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Remember how when the financial crisis started the irresponsible homeowners were blamed?

Since then, I found out a few more details about people who get more say so than homeowners

So basically AIG bet money it didn’t have and lost, and all the bailout money we gave it (and any more that we give it) will go to pay off the bookies.

And why the renewed furor at the homeowners? Because the House bill was featuring cram downs.

The provision would allow a bankruptcy judge to reduce a homeowner’s mortgage principal.

That bill also was washed up to make concessions to bankers beholden moderates

At a closed-door meeting of House Democrats last week, Rep. Tauscher voiced strong concerns about the legislation, warning that the initial House bill didn’t go far enough to ensure homeowners try to work with banks

but the banks didn’t like it, and now interestingly Harry Reid doesn’t like it either

Senate Majority Leader Reid said today he would drop a cram-down provision from a House-passed banking bill if the language threatened to keep the Senate from passing the overall bill.

Apparently, besides the republicans bankers got to Evan Bayh and other democrats.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., and others that the cram-down bill cannot pass due to opposition from Republicans and some Democratic moderates.

I got my cramdown learning at The Confluence

The bottom line is that the possibility of the cram down being used to restructure principal residence mortgages is one of the most valuable “sticks” society can have to put a check on lender stupidity, negligence and down-right thievery.

As for the blue dogs in the House and Evan Bayah’s group in the senate being called “moderates” here’s a good argument that they are way extremists instead

Again, nearly 2/3 of the American public supports giving assistance to homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments and facing foreclosure. Two-thirds.

So obviously, the Senators who oppose 2/3 of the electorate are… “moderates.”

But they prevail, because they represent Wall Street’s hold on the government – and so far this worked like a charm. They seem to hold all the pieces in the chess game to trump anyone else’s needs: the White House, the Treasury and enough people in Congress.

In other news, The Economist, which endorsed Obama, looks back at Hillary’s quip about on the job training and sees why she was right

His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped. Many of his strongest supporters—liberal columnists, prominent donors, Democratic Party stalwarts—have started to question him. As for those not so beholden, polls show that independent voters again prefer Republicans to Democrats, a startling reversal of fortune in just a few weeks.

HILLARY CLINTON’S most effective quip, in her long struggle with Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination last year, was that the Oval Office is no place for on-the-job training. It went to the heart of the nagging worry about the silver-tongued young senator from Illinois: that he lacked even the slightest executive experience, and that in his brief career he had never really stood up to powerful interests, whether in his home city of Chicago or in the wider world. Might Mrs Clinton have been right about her foe?

Geez, Economist, who would have thunk it?

  1. puma.gif picture by Robbedvoter

After Diane Feinstein disagreed with Reid and the senators on blocking Burris

“Does the governor have the power, under law, to make the appointment? And the answer is yes,” Feinstein said, urging the Senate to settle the matter. “If you don’t seat Mr. Burris, it has ramifications for gubernatorial appointments all over America. … Mr. Burris is a senior, experienced politician.”

Politico reports of a new meeting taking place today

He’s now got a top Senate Democrat on his side, a growing chorus of Congressional Black Caucus members backing him and an apparent edge in pending lawsuits.

An edge in pending lawsuits! Way to go, No Drama!

And just to make it sure I have no favorites on any side of this fight, my good friend Jim-Clintonsare racist Clyburn weighs in on the other side

South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, a member of the House Democratic leadership and the highest ranking African-American in Congress, told Politico that the Constitution is on Burris’ side.

“I thought we ought to follow the Constitution, and I think, whatever we do, we don’t get away from the Constitution, irrespective of our feelings politically,” Clyburn said.

Something tells me that Clyburn would not have hugged the Constitution so tight had Burris’s color been different.

NYT editorial elaborates the point

THE scene of Roland W. Burris being escorted from the Senate by the Capitol police on Tuesday could be only the first act of an unpleasant and distracting drama. But in the days since Mr. Burris’s appointment to Illinois’s junior Senate seat was announced by that state’s scandal-tainted governor, Rod Blagojevich, it has become clear that the Senate’s power to reject Mr. Burris is, at best, highly debatable. The wisest course for the Senate is to end the dispute by accepting the appointment.

But bring it on! It’s nice to see that the race card that put an incompetent in the White House can be played against him too…


And Burris/Blago wins!

Roland Burris, the man appointed to Barack Obama’s Senate seat by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, will be allowed to take the seat, according to the Associated Press.

Spokespersons for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin are denying the report

They’ll only look more idiotic when t turns out to be true.


As predicted, the Blago mess spills into Franken’s situation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yielded to Republican threats and agreed on Monday not to immediately seat fellow Democrat Al Franken, whose razor-close victory in Minnesota faces legal challenges.

After all, if they are using a Secretary of State certification for Burris…

Update 2

Illinois Secretary of State jesse White resents being made the fall guy and more importantly thinks

“They could have seated him without my signature,” White said. “My signature’s mainly ceremonial rather than being a point of law.”

I cannot believe that Politico would even turn around – if only partially the “No Drama Obama” slogan in the tentative title


The article even contains some snark

For an outfit known for its lack of drama, Team Obama has become a downright thrill show.

Bill Richardson! Rick Warren! Rod Blagojevich! Roland Burris! Talk about a ride through the fun house.

Interesting they noticed. They were chanting the slogan still a week ago when Blagobamarama was unfolding in full glory. Of course, exhonerating Obama is the first concern, but this time is not a total innocent verdict:

President-elect Barack Obama doesn’t bear responsibility for all these speed bumps on the road to a better, happier, more respected America, but he certainly bears responsibility for some of them.

Wow! That’s the most contorted way of saying – we tried, but can’t.

And as they go over those “bumps” (could be people under the bus?),they conclude on the Richardson mess

Or how come somebody didn’t say to Obama, “Before we name this guy, let’s keep looking into this. After all, a late appointment is better than an embarrassing appointment.”

So blame this drama on Team Obama.

Wow! Not quite him, but his team, his name attached. Getting close.

Politico – for the first time calls the Rick Warren controversy a “drama” and guess who is to blame?

Nor was Obama’s defense especially satisfying. Obama said that Warren had invited Obama to Camelback Church to give a speech, and now Obama was inviting Warren to speak.

But this isn’t just any speech. It is an inaugural invocation, and it has huge symbolic importance. And the new administration is going to be on tenterhooks until it hears what Warren actually plans on saying.

So for this drama, blame Obama.

They can d that because they end the article by exculpating Obama from the Blago-Burris unpleasantness

More on them in the future, but Obama has shown a wise amount of distance from both. Their drama cannot be laid at his feet. But, unavoidably, he is going to have to bear their burden on his shoulders.

Of course, all this “drama” business has the effect of making light of serious issues of corruption, negligence and bigotry. Real problems – not plays.

But media is confused that way.

Greta van Sustren reports that CNN got a little confused:

Get this:  CNN put out a list of “falling from grace in 2008″ and put Governor Palin on the list with (get ready!!) this group of men:

Senator John Edwards who cheated on his wife but gave the excuse his wife was in remission from cancer (nice, huh?)…

Governor Elliott Spitzer cheating on his wife with a prostitute (and let’s not forget the black socks!)…

Senator Ted Stevens convicted of crimes….he said he didn’t use the $2000 plus gift chair in his house…that’s a good one!!

…or how about Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick? convicted of felonies!!!

and Governor Blago who is about to be indicted for alleging selling a Senate Seat that was occupied by our next President???

A little wishful thinking CNN?

And, speaking of senate seats mess, Harry Reid is drawing a new line in the sand:

Reid: Coleman will “never ever serve

I know Coleman lost, and the continuing suits are too much, but is reid saying he put a curse on Coleman? For life? or someone is throwing a tantrum?

Chicago Tribune reports that Harry reid also interfered in the Senate appointment process of the Obama seat

Days before Gov. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, top Senate Democrat Harry Reid made it clear who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis or Emil Jones.

Reid had no choice but to confirm this because

Sources believe that at least portions of the phone conversations are on tape.

but saying it was nothing wrong with it

“It is part of his job as majority leader to share his thoughts about candidates who have the qualities needed to succeed in the Senate.”

Reid tried to keep a mystery about the names discussed.

Reid declined to reveal the specific names discussed, saying he didn’t want to embarrass anyone.

How, Harry Reid is busy figuring out how to block Burris.

This DNC in Chicago move will provide a lot of entertainment, me thinks.

Alegre’s Corner cover the story with a mix in of Cornyn opposition
It seems he now has 2 senators to challenge
Burris meanwhile, told Lynn Sweet:
“We are the senator.”

“They” may actually become senator according to this

But Reid conceded that “there’s always room to negotiate” when asked if his mind was absolutely closed to seating Burris.

While GOP smells blood in th water

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), speaking on “This Week,” called for a special election to fill the seat and said Democrats are afraid of one.

“The fear is that Republicans might somehow win the seat in Illinois if there’s a special election,” McConnell said. “But the process is so tainted, it’s such a tangled mess, that the only way to clear the air and to have a successor chosen in Illinois that everybody can have confidence in — and a process that they can have confidence in — is to have a special election.”

An ironic tale of two incoming senators and the red tape battles readied for Tuesday

It seems that Al Franken’s road to the senate will be contentious all the way with

A Supreme Court order requested by Norm Coleman could change things, but the counting of wrongly rejected absentee ballots is to start today.

But since Franken is due in the senate on Tuesday, the GOP is preparing a welcome for him

Cornyn promises filibuster on Franken

The newly minted National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman said he had not whipped votes in the GOP caucus, but added that he could not imagine any members defecting and seating Franken without a certificate of election.

Franken will not have that certificate as long as the election is challenged in the courts

And here comes the funny part as noticed by Firedoglake: Cornyn tactics are identical with those of Reid in his planned opposition to Burris:

The first thing the Senate leadership plans to do is to demand, under Rule 2 of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a certificate containing “the name of the person elected or appointed, the date of the certificate, the name of the governor and the secretary of state signing and countersigning the same, and the State from which such Senator is elected or appointed.”

So, they’ll errect a red tape wall against Burris…Unless baybe Blago was smart enough to take care of this one too

It turns out that Blagojevich–like every other Governor, I’m told–has a set of certificates that are pre-signed by the Secretary of State, to be used in the event of an emergency. If Burris shows up with one of those, the Senate leadership intends to reject it.

So now, with both parties prepared to use petty bureaucracy to block a member on the other side, looks like they are in check

Concludes Firedoglake

The Republicans have been planning to block Franken for some time, and Reid should have factored that in when he drew up his Burris game plan. Until Reid announced he’d refuse to seat Burris because he didn’t have a certificate, the Dems had an argument that the Senate Republicans were just playing politics.

Now they’re stuck trying to explain the double standard for Franken and Burris.

Harry Reid — played by Blago, played by Cornyn.

He’s a friggin’ Stradivarius.

Well, it’s a morality tale that to me only illustrated how much the Democratic party left not just its base but its principle. Once you steal an election for your predetermined candidate, what’s to differentiate you from the other guys? Other that, you now operate from Chicago – so the stench of all the goings on there will be imprinted on the party for years to come.


yet another hilarious development

If Roland Burris tries to enter the rarefied airspace of the Senate chambers, he will be stopped by armed guards.

Not Your Sweetie

February 2020
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