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Current location: Seattle, WA
Member since: Tue Nov 23, 2004, 11:22 PM
Number of posts: 8,647

Journal Archives

"wide-ranging foreclosure abuses" -- there's more to the story

Companies like Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo and Chase ended up being stuck with an additional $25 billion settlement just for the tawdry document-fudging "robosigning" scheme that helped accelerate the foreclosure crisis.

I am glad Taibbi included this, but there is more to the story than the mortgage fraud and abuses that got so much press.

One aspect that we hear almost nothing about is that fact that the banks that served as securitization trustees for those giant investment trusts refused to engage in the most basic loss mitigation procedures -- procedures that were previously standard practice throughout the mortgage industry. Had they done so, I have no doubt that a countless number of the foreclosures would never had occurred.

I have learned this from personal experience. My partner and were pro se litigants in a case involving Citibank that stretched from 2008 to 2014. It's a long story, but suffice it to say, in the course of the case we became experts of sorts on the unlawful, negligent, and bad faith conduct that permeated the system. (Much of which continues.)

By failing to engage in the most basic loss mitigation steps, the banks displayed a mystifying level of negligence and bad faith. They exhibited absolutely no interest in protecting the interests of the investors. Because they were selling the bonds to each other, their failure is a truly bizarre display of acting against their own interests.

Another thing we learned is the extent to which the state courts enabled the unlawful conduct. From beginning to end in our case, the law was clearly on our side. Nevertheless, we lost in superior court and the appellate division. It was truly mystifying.

Ultimately, the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall took up the case and petitioned the Supreme Court of NJ on our behalf. Although we lost there too, the fact that the the center took up the case was vindication that we weren't "crazy."



That's something we used on the old tabletalk political forums many moons ago.

It stands for "Do Not Feed The Energy Creatures."

Put them on ignore. They just aren't worth the energy.

Why? Beltway group think.

Too many Dems believe Sanders' "socialist" ideas are toxic. Just as they have believed that any fight for the principles we really care about will bring the wrath of... well, somebody... down on them. There will be a "backlash." The Republican noise machine will kill us (not that they call it that). And on and on.

Such beliefs and rationalizations for not "rocking the boat" are never challenged inside the beltway (or by the people "out here" who have internalized the rationalizations). Classic group think. The beliefs of the insular group just keep drifting further and further away from reality as those inside the insular group reinforce the increasingly irrational beliefs.

Sanders campaign is challenging beltway/establishment group think. But it's a hard nut to crack. By its nature, group think is a powerful social force.

It's not hopeless. Redemption is always possible. Sanders' campaign is chipping away, and, win or lose, will generate positive ripple effects into the future. If someone so "radical" can't make it to the White House this time, he will have paved the way for another candidate advocating real change to make it in the future.

In the meantime, it's up to us to just keep chipping away at the rationalizations and memes. (e.g., Can't win so don't fight; there'll be backlash; or whatever the latest excuse for inaction might be.)

The only way they can truly "win" is if we bow out of the fight.

Support verifiedvoting.org


The off-the-scale bashing is so disturbing...

I want to see Bernie in the White House, but if that doesn't come to pass, we still need to win back Congress, and do what we can to make as many parts of his New New Deal a reality as possible. That means continuing to organize. It also means that we need to elect the person most likely to sign any decent legislation that gets through into law. If she wins the nomination, that means Hillary.

I know many reject the idea, and I don't imagine anything I say is going to change any minds, but THERE IS A DIFFERENCE between Hillary and Trump (or Cruz). If for nothing else, for the sake of the Supreme Court. Any more right-wingnuts on the court, just say goodbye to... well, just about any of the hard won rights you might care about.

It's not just about putting Bernie in the White House. It's about much more!

We’re fighting to put Bernie in the White House. But that’s not all we are fighting for.

Challenging Beltway Group Think

Whatever the outcome, every person inspired to play an active part in the campaign, every dollar raised, every delegate won, helps disprove the notion that universal health care, billionaire’s tax, and so on, are "toxic" topics that Democrats must avoid at all costs.

Inside the beltway, the "conventional wisdom" is that raising "socialist" ideas will bring the wrath of... well someone.. down on them. Bernie's campaign is showing them that what "comes down" is masses of money and a well-spring of energetic support. Seeing the real consequences of raising "socialist" ideas can help put some spine back into them... Well, perhaps not actual spine, perhaps just enlightened self-interest (Maybe I could rally some support and raise more money for reelection if I were bolder? Hmmm.)

Inspiring People Across America to Fight for What Bernie Stands For

One of my fondest wishes is that, whether or not Bernie wins the nomination, people who have been inspired to take action by Bernie's campaign, will be inspired to continue the fight for what he stands for after the campaign is over.

Even if he's elected, he can't get the things we want done, done, without a lot of help from "out here."

Change doesn't get done without people “on the ground.” His campaign is bringing in the "troops" needed for the fights ahead: winning back Congress in 2018 (if we don’t manage it this cycle); lobbying to get more sponsors for bills that implement his proposals, lobbying to push those bills through. Big change rarely happens overnight. But if enough people are inspired to stand up, we will ultimately win.

To those who argue that Bernie should drop out, I say this: it would be a terrible mistake. Bernie needs to stay in though the convention, regardless of the cumulative numbers. If he drops out, any state that hasn't voted yet will lose out because the people on the ground will have the wind knocked out of their sails. We would lose people who may otherwise have become agents of change.

Imagine This

Imagine if we had just 250 citizen lobbyists in each congressional district pestering members of Congress (or staffers) face-to-face, gathering names on petitions, raising money, working on Congressional elections, and so on. That's a mere 0.15% of people who turnout to vote for candidates in the middle or left side of the spectrum. (That's assuming an average district size of 700,000; 75% over 18; 60% voter turnout, and about 50% of those in the middle or left side of the spectrum).

With the support of small contributions, these folks could be paid to work full time on our behalf. We could create a formidable "K street" operation of our own.

Corporate America may have the money, but people on the ground translate to money and power too. I think too many don't believe this right now. It’s time for that to change. Bernie’s campaign has already accomplished amazing things. Embrace those accomplishments. Use those victories to feed confidence in our own power to effect change.

Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.

As a wise friend used to say, we don't need a movement. More of us just need to move.

Turning Hopelessness and Immobility into Confidence and Action

Can it be discouraging? You betcha. Except for voting, I've felt hopeless and immobilized for some time. But, some of the “old-timers” here may remember me. I was in the fight for the integrity of our elections. We lobbied members of Congress, face-to-face, to get a Senator to stand with Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and object to the Ohio electors on Jan 6, 2005 (something that even John Conyers told us was impossible). So many joined that battle. And we did it. We “got” Barbara Boxer. The full extent of the fraud in Ohio is a permanent part of the Congressional record. The tragedy of the stolen election is memorialized. It was proud moment for all. Throughout the Bush presidency, we lobbied for his impeachment, won sponsors, and in the process, put a indelible stain on the Bush presidency.

What I learned, and what I have lost touch with, is that when I get out there and work with others, my hope is naturally renewed. In the process, I encounter other people and groups who are out there tackling problems that seem overwhelming... and winning. It's almost impossible to feel hopeless when you witness people in action first hand.

Bernie’s campaign has inspired me to get back into the fray. I’m committed to staying in for the long haul. I hope many of you feel the same.

Have confidence in yourself. That’s where it all begins.

It always seems impossible until it's done.
― Nelson Mandela

Heartbroken... and grateful

I am so grateful that Karyn touched my life. In particular, I will always treasure the time Dusty ("Senator" on DU) and I shared with Karyn and Andy at the "Gathering to Save Our Democracy" in Nashville back in 2005.

When she responded to my post about Dusty's death, Karyn wrote "I have to believe that not only did Dusty have a terrific reunion with Andy- but I'll bet they are gonna team up and help us win this election." That was back in 2012. In her tribute to Andy, she wrote "He was an extraordinary person, a hero of democracy and a wonderful friend. Knowing that he is now free of the pain that had taken over his body these past few months it is a comfort to know that he is free now and has left it all behind."

Words are failing me, so I borrow hers. I have to believe that not only did Karyn, Dusty, and Andy have a terrific reunion, but that they are going to team up and help us with this election. She was an extraordinary person, a hero of democracy, and a wonderful friend. I take comfort in knowing she is free of the pain she suffered, and am thankful that she gained some measure of normalcy -- even if only for a short time -- before the end. ("Still here and feeling good" Nov 10, 2015)

I love you Karyn.

DU's "Senator" Died June 8, 2011

Dusty Kiegel -- "Senator" here on DU since 2001 ("Senator101" on the old TableTalk Politics board), love of my life and constant companion for more than 20 years -- died on June 8, 2011.

I am so sorry that I allowed his online "voice" to go silent without explanation for almost a year, but I was just unable to relay the heartbreaking news sooner.

His death came without warning. I saw him off on a trip on June 7, 2011. After the flight he become ill with what he thought was some sort of food poisoning. He died that night. A heart attack as he slept. He was 49.

His obituary appeared in the New Jersey Star Ledger. You can find it here

I like to think that he and Andy Stephenson had a grand reunion.

-- pat_k (Patty Keeshan)



For those who did not "know" him....

Senator's Journal

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