Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

Dems Doing Damnably Dumb Deed: 12 Voting against the mortgage cramdown measure

Update below with link for video of Sen. Durbin's post-vote remarks. Strong and pointed. Also, Scarecrow's take at FDL, and Snarlin' Arlen's first stab in the back of the Dems.

Today twelve Democratic senators, including the newest "Democratic" senator Arlen Specter, voted with all the Repubs to defeat the mortgage cramdown measure. Kennedy(MA) and Rockefeller (WV) were absent. Lieberman voted with the Dems on this (a freebie, since it was going down anyway?).

Among the newbies, the Udalls (CO and NM) voted to aid struggling homeowners, as did Begich (AK), Gillibrand (NY), Hagan (NC), Kaufman (DE), and Merkley (OR). I don't know these pols well enough yet to know if they would have voted this way had the vote been really close. Had Kennedy and Rockefeller voted yes, and had Franken been seated, it would have come down to one vote for a tie. Who could have been persuaded to vote to help homeowners? And would Rockefeller have stood with them?

The Dirty Dozen:
Baucus (MT)
Bennet (CO) newbie
Byrd (WV) What?
Carper (DE)
Dorgan (ND)
Johnson (SD)
Landrieu (LA)
Lincoln (AR)
Nelson, Ben (NE)
Pryor (AR)
Specter (PA) Newbie Dem showing his Repub cajones, independence?
Tester (MT)

Nothing really suprising in the list -- just depressing.

Yves at Naked Capitalist writes that "Banksters Again Prevail Over Real Economy."

Note that the popular description is often misconstrued in short form descriptions. Judges would not have had open-ended authority to make changes. The construct is that mortgages are collateralized loans. The mortgage balance is written down in bankruptcy to the value of the collateral, and the excess is added to the unsecured creditor claims.

This is also not an arcane process. It's used in commercial bankruptcies and lending against boats, for instance. Ever hear any complaints about this practice in Chapter 11?

Maybe we should ask these Dems if they're going to ensure that cramdowns be disallowed in commercial bankruptcies and for those boat loans? Oh, and second (even more?) homes can currently be crammed down. But, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, heh?

Yves links to a Bloomberg article on the defeat:

Democrats led by Durbin had sought a compromise on the measure with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., the American Bankers Association and Financial Services Roundtable. The lenders that scuttled the negotiations are “surviving today because of taxpayers’ dollars,” Durbin said. The three banks he named received $95 billion in U.S. aid. (My emphasis)

I guess the banksters think they have the upper hand right about now -- they're probably right about that. James Kwak thinks so, too.

Update: DDay thinks Durbin is asking the public to call these Dems and call them out (and any Repubs who might have some milk of human kindness in them), feels Obama must have OK'd Durbin's remarks. With video of Durbin's very pointed comments after the vote.

Update 2: Scarecrow at FDL asks why, if the banks own the Senate, why don't we own the banks? Rhetorical, bitterly sarcastic question, of course.

Update 3: Watertiger writes at FDL of the newest Dem senator's vote against the Obama/Dems budget. Gee. who'dathunkit?

0
No votes yet

Comments

Submitted by lambert on

... would have been, "So, you want to know who's running the country?"

Thanks for this, jawbone.

Gee, too bad HOLC isn't on the table, eh? I guess that wasn't progressive enough...

a little night musing's picture
Submitted by a little night ... on

Democrats led by Durbin had sought a compromise on the measure with JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp., the American Bankers Association and Financial Services Roundtable. The lenders that scuttled the negotiations are “surviving today because of taxpayers’ dollars,” Durbin said. The three banks he named received $95 billion in U.S. aid.

My own banking parasite is oh-so-reliable!

Good post, jawbone. Thanks for putting it together.

Edited to add: my impression of Gillibrand so far leads me to believe that she would have voted for the cramdown even if it were not close. Perhaps other New Yorkers will weigh in?

Submitted by Anne on

I mean, it's just so great being able to finally get those things we've waited so long and worked so, so hard to bring to fruition.

Oh, wait...we're the party that, even with a majority, can't get anything really important done. The party that welcomed in the craven and soul-less Arlen Specter, who so far seems to be on track to getting all the goodies he thinks should come with his seniority, and in exchange promised to...uh, wait, I 'll think of something...oh! I know - he's promised to accept all the help - and no doubt, money - the DSCC and Harry Reid can throw his way so he doesn't have to leave the best job ever!

I truly did not realize it was possible to be that clueless.

But, then again, I really thought the Bush years would mark the height of my depression and anger.

See what I know?

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

Having seen the actions of the Dems since 2006 I've come to the following conclusion: Dems have to leave the American people hurting to hold onto their power. If we get liberal policies that are widely popular then the Dems will have a harder time squeezing money and votes out of us* by complaining that the GOP is preventing everything.

In other words, yes, I now believe the Dems are *deliberately* keeping stuff out of reach. There is no excuse for New Deal or Great Society type policies to be put off anymore. If you think we have to have some 11-D chess excuse (they want the people to call!) or do not think it is politically possible for major change, you clearly fell asleep during the 2006, 2007, 2008 elections. The country wants change. The country voted for change. What have we gotten?

* Since so many are unemployed, the Dems will probably rely more on votes than money since folks have much less disposable income. Also, I'm sure the banksters can more than supply Dems electoral funding needs.

NOTE: If you talked to me two years ago, you would have found a completely different person. I actually believed in Democrats then and bought into their little game.