Corrupt industry, corrupt party

This is just one guy.

In a seemingly unprecedented move, President George W. Bush on Wednesday revoked a pardon he had issued just 24 hours earlier for a politically connected real estate developer who defrauded hundreds of low-income home buyers—acknowledging that White House aides had not fully described the scope of the crimes committed and the context of the clemency application.

The unexpected Christmas Eve reversal came after it was discovered that the pardon of Isaac Toussie had not met Justice Department guidelines and that Toussie’s father had donated $28,500 to the Republican National Committee, prompting some of Toussie’s victims to complain he had been bailed out thanks to White House ties.

That legacy thing isn’t going so well.

How many more scumbags are there that we’ll never know about? How many of them are in Washington state? Will the remains of the traditional media here endeavor to tell us? The house building, selling and financing industry needs to be held accountable. You shouldn’t be able to wreck an economy and get away with it, at least if you’re name isn’t Stalin.

Here Bush is trying to pardon a kleptocrat and the only way he gets called on it is because house owners who got screwed called foul. We could use some of that moxie here.

Comments

  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    You ain’t seen nothing yet! Wait until January 19 — that’s when he’s going to pardon the war criminals and torturers.

  2. 2

    manoftruth spews:

    you guys are kidding right? lets see, bill clinton pardoned terroists, a criminal like marc rich, who just used this country and then using his israeli citizenship hid out in israel, and hundreds of other shady characters. you cant possibly be serious in criticizing bush. that whould only mean you have no intention of looking for fairness only extreme partinsianship.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Investment bubbles always spawn excesses, and housing was no exception.” — Business Week

    Yeah, but that’s not the whole story. People are more prone to misbehave when there’s no cop around. Laissez-faire, anti-regulation ideology made this bubble possible.

    “It may seem like ancient history now, but not long ago the mortgage industry was turning ordinary people into millionaires. One of them was Sharmen Lane, a high school dropout who, like many other young women during the boom, found her way into an obscure banking job with the clunky title ‘mortgage wholesaler.’ Her experience — and the experiences of other wholesalers like her — offers a glimpse into the recklessness and indulgence that drove the industry to ruin.

    The rise of mortgage wholesalers from grunts to rainmakers is one of the more curious developments of the housing bubble. Wholesalers work for banks and other lenders. The wholesaler’s job is to buy loan applications from independent mortgage brokers so that lenders can turn them into loans. Wholesalers are paid on commission: the more loans they generate, the more money they make.

    “During the housing boom, lenders typically approved the loans and then packaged them into securities. That path — from mortgage brokers to wholesalers to lenders to securities — turned out to be a road to disaster.

    But as the housing bubble inflated, wholesalers — though hidden from public view — became high-earning superstars. Lane, a manicurist before joining now-defunct subprime lender New Century Mortgage in 1997, says she brought home $1 million in 2002 and $1.2 million in 2003.

    “Eventually the deal-making turned frenetic. Multiple wholesalers began inundating mortgage brokers with offers for the same applications. Some brokers chose to exercise their power by asking for something extra in exchange for their business: sex. Dozens of former brokers and wholesalers say the trading of sexual favors was so common that it came to be expected. Lane recalls one visit to a mortgage brokerage near San Jose (Calif.) in which the manager lewdly propositioned her in his office. She says she declined the advance, and he didn’t sell her any applications. But other female wholesalers didn’t have the same qualms about crossing the line. ‘Women who had sex for loans were known very quickly,’ says Lane …. ‘I didn’t want to be a mortgage slut.'”

    (Quoted from Business Week under fair use.)

    Roger Rabbit Commentary: What’s striking about this brief excerpt from an article about the mortgage business in a mainstream business magazine is how quickly it moves from the business of buying mortgage applications to the sleazy world of mortgage whores, in the literal sense of the term.

    Also striking about this description of the business of buying and selling mortgages is the notion of a high school dropout working as a manicurist making over a million dollars a year within 5 years of entering the business of buying and selling mortgages. Someone didn’t make this up! Sharmen Lane is a real person, and this is a real-life story, not pulp fiction!

    When a high school dropout trained to trim and paint fingernails can pull down a million bucks a year with less than 5 years of experience, you know in your gut there’s gotta be something wrong with that industry. You can’t become a million-dollar-a-year surgeon, lawyer, or manager in that length of time, even though you need a hell of a lot more education and training for those occupations.

    Oh sure, there have always been occupations in which you could make a million a year with little education if you had enough moxie and initiative — for example, running drugs up from South America, or carrying out contract killings for the Mafia, or robbing banks.

    And what people like Lane were doing was, literally, robbing banks. Because, in the end, it was the banks who ended up broke and now we taxpayers are bailing them out so they don’t take the whole economy under. Next to the mortgage industry, loan sharking and running prostitution rings and gambling parlors and extortion rackets is small potatoes. Every mobster in the country must be thinking, “Geez, why didn’t I think of that?”

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 What terrorists did Clinton pardon? Did he pardon someone who blew up an abortion clinic or shot an abortion doctor?

  5. 5

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 (continued) “you have no intention of looking for fairness”

    This is a liberal blog, you stupid asshole! What does fairness have to do with anything? We’re propagandists — just like you guys.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @2 (continued) Did you get on the wrong bus, bub? Most of your ilk come here to pick fights with liberals, because they enjoy getting their asses kicked. And we welcome your ilk here, because we enjoy kicking your asses. Admittedly, that’s not much of a challenge, because you guys are wrong on every issue, but we enjoy it anyway because … well, because … just because kicking your sorry fascist asses is fun! And patriotic, too.

  7. 7

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Season’s Greetings

    Okay, so I didn’t originate this, but it’s Christmas Eve and conveys the spirit of the holiday so here goes:

    “To All My Democrat Friends:

    “Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

    “To My Republican Friends:

    “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

    Of course, extending these greetings to you goatfucking Republicans doesn’t imply a truce or anything like that. Remember what they did to the French soldiers who refused to shoot at Germans on Christmas Day? Well, that ain’t gonna happen here, nosireebob! Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean we’re not going to spend tomorrow kicking your traitor asses halfway to next Christmas! So, I hope you goatfucking fascist trolls have the balls to show up here tomorrow to get what’s coming to you!

  8. 8

    manoftruth spews:

    @4, the flmn terrorists. and because they way i look at it is, if i thought you were stupid, i wouldnt waste my time arguing with you, so i think you just forgot that since it was too big a story at the time for you to miss.

    ok, i get your point about this being a liberal blog, fairness be damned. but…..just like you refered to having fun, nobody posts anywhere just to have it lost in cyberspace, and that means it has to have some meaning, and just like its no fun to discuss politics when you’re babysitting your ten year old nephew, if you feel the opposition never sees your point (mine being, clintons pardons were so bad you cant possibly criticize bush), that takes the fun out of it.

  9. 9

    manoftruth spews:

    @7, well my recollection of history is that the germans and french and english celebrated christmas togther.
    (if you’re a conspiracy theorist, and believe the rothschilds financed both sides of the war, as they have been accused of doing thruout history, that must have frosted they’re asses, not to mention scared the shit out of them thinkng the goyem might ask themselves what are we fighting about and trained the cannons on the rothschilds)

  10. 10

    spews:

    Its a little sad that even pardoning can’t be done with competence. Its also opens up a constitutional question of whether a president can even revoke a pardon once it has been issued.

    Ah, incompetence and questionable legal practices… Bush can’t escape his modus operandi even when he’s trying to do the right thing.

  11. 11

    busdrivermike spews:

    Yes, pardons are revocable unless delivered to the person being pardoned. It has happened before. The pardon is not effective unless the person has the pardon in hand. In fact, if the pardons are not delivered by the time of the inauguration, Obama can nullify all Bush pardons granted.

    And BTW, I ordered about $1K in Xmas items from Amazon on 12/16 using Amazon Prime guaranteed two day shipping. They were not delivered by tonight. So it all goes back to Amazon with a note saying:

    “Greg Nickels, Mayor of Seattle, decided not to salt the roads, so the packages could not be delivered. So it all goes back, and in addition, I would like full compensation for the $80 I spent for a year of Amazon Prime. Bill City of Seattle at YOUR(Amazon’s) discretion).

    They get cash, and an afternoon at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood. Lynnwood, where they maintain their roads, will get my sales tax money, and $1K in sales, not Seattle.

    Fucking Asshole Nickels. Ruined my kids Christmas. But he saved the saltwater of Puget Sound from…… being salted? Isn’t it time Nickels became a real Vulcan employee, instead of the citizens paying his salary while he does Vulcan bidding?

  12. 12

    Blue John spews:

    I’m so tired of you all whining about not salting on the roads. I like the lack of salt. My car last so much longer. We don’t have enough snow days to justify buying and storing the salt.
    I support Mayor Nickels in this case, and you and your kind are being crybaby wimps. You want your 2 day immediate gratification and damn the consequences. I don’t have any sympathy for you.

  13. 13

    busdrivermike spews:

    Hey Blue John:

    Fuck you, asshole. Why don’t you go down to Harborview and tell all the people who broke their ankles and wrists from falling injuries that they are whiners.

    I will tell you why you won’t do that. Because you have no balls. Using your philosophy, I guess we do not need earthquake planning, since they rarely happen. No police, since most people never have to call them. No Fire Dept. either, since most houses never burn down. Medic One, that is a socialist program too, right? No need for any sympathy for a person suffering a heart attack, he or she probably ate too much meat and fat.

    Yep, let everyone die. Your a real humanitarian. Merry Christmas, asshole.

  14. 14

    RightWingTroll spews:

    I find it fascinating that twisted liberals blame the entire real estate mess on Republicans. Barney Frank, Franklin Raines anyone? Besides it is all THEIR fault. To single out Republicans for 100% blame is sheer insanity and tunnel vision of the worst kind.

    I might as well blame the snow fiasco in Seattle on liberals since the mayor and city council are 100% Democrats, but I won’t.

  15. 15

    WeBentOverTheGOP spews:

    It’s important to add some context here. On Nov 4, we bent over and ass-fucked every right wing cock-sucker in America by utterly destroying the GOP party. We beat them silly. It was a landslide. Their hopes and dreams for the destruction of America were eliminated. Their positions and opinions properly ignored and rejected.

    What the right wing trolls here at HA think means nothing. And as usual, the best these asshole idiots can do is try to justify the criminal acts of this drunken whore George Bush by pointing to something President Clinton did.

    Keep that up idiots. That was your game plan during the last two elections (2008 and 2006) and you got your hats handed to you. So keep it up fools. And we’ll make you even more irrelevant in 2010!

    We bent over the GOP and fucked em’ in the ass. So whatever they think – it’s been rejected.

  16. 16

    Piper Scott spews:

    @13…BDM…

    Aside from the profanities, Amen!

    I can’t wait to see the statistics on how many ambulance, police, and fire calls were prohibited from being answered or were delayed on account of Mayor Quarters chicken attitude toward salt.

    Anyone die? Get mugged, robbed, or experience domestic violence? House burn down? All to satisfy smug self-righteous greenies who cannot provide any real data to support their so-called environmental assertions.

    It’s the job of government to put the safety and health of its citizens above all other priorities. Fish are not citizens.

    The Piper

  17. 17

    Piper Scott spews:

    @13…BDM…

    Aside from the profanities, Amen!

    I can’t wait to see the statistics on how many ambulance, police, and fire calls were prohibited from being answered or were delayed on account of Mayor Quarters chicken attitude toward salt.

    Anyone die? Get mugged, robbed, or experience domestic violence? House burn down? All to satisfy smug self-righteous greenies who cannot provide any real data to support their so-called environmental assertions.

    It’s the job of government to put the safety and health of its citizens above all other priorities. Fish are not citizens.

    The Piper

  18. 18

    Piper Scott spews:

    @13…BDM…

    Aside from the profanities, Amen!

    I can’t wait to see the statistics on how many ambulance, police, and fire calls were prohibited from being answered or were delayed on account of Mayor Quarters’ chicken attitude toward salt.

    Anyone die? Get mugged, robbed, or experience domestic violence? House burn down? All to satisfy smug self-righteous greenies who cannot provide any real data to support their so-called environmental assertions.

    It’s the job of government to put the safety and health of its citizens above all other priorities. Fish are not citizens.

    The Piper

  19. 20

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    12. Blue John spews:

    I’m so tired of you all whining about not salting on the roads. I like the lack of salt. My car last so much longer. We don’t have enough snow days to justify buying and storing the salt.
    I support Mayor Nickels in this case, and you and your kind are being crybaby wimps. You want your 2 day immediate gratification and damn the consequences. I don’t have any sympathy for you.

    Blue John–Your head appears actually smaller than a Pinhead…didn’t think that was possible. Heretofore, BY YOUR OWN WORDS, you shall be known as Blue John..MICRODOT HEAD!

    For cryin’ out loud.
    Mayor LardAss appears to be listening to “environmentalists” without checking their credentials. Many of these eco-whackos have zero science in their backgrounds. They spew the Evergreen College school of gut-feelings.

    WAKE UP AND GROW UP!

    Piper is right…Nickels has a legal obligation to ensure Public Safety. LardAss has failed!
    IMPEACH NIPPLES!!

  20. 21

    G spews:

    FREE Streaming TV Shows, Movies, Music(over 6 million digital quality tracks), Unlimited Games, Money, and FREE College Educations (Stanford, Oxford, Notre Dame and more) @ InternetSurfShack.com 

  21. 22

    correctnotright spews:

    @19: 400 words: the incompetent and corrupt Bush administration. The Toussie pardon is just the latest in corruption and incompetence:
    Katrina, Brownie
    Gonzalez, Justice Dept.
    Abramoff, Rove, DeLay, Safavian, Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Doolittle, Feeney
    The republican party treasurer
    Dick Cheney and the “Enron” energy task force
    Blackwater
    No-bid contracts to Halliburton
    Dick Cheney and Scooter Libby
    FDA failures to regulate drugs
    EPA letting in lead tainted toys
    Stephen (liar) Johnson at the EPA on ignoring his own scientists recomendations on gas mileage for California
    The entire alaska delegation (Murkowski family, Don Young, Ted Stevens, Palin and troopergate)
    Larry Craig, David Vitter, Tom (Pedophile)Foley
    Phil (whiner) Gramm for the credit-default swap that enabled the banking collapse

    And those are just off the top of my head…a lump of coal to all those grnches for today. Crooks!

  22. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @8 “the flmn terrorists”

    This proves you’re as big an idiot as everyone here thinks you are. First of all, there’s no such thing as an “flmn terrorist.” I’ll take a wild guess and infer you’re referring to 16 members of the FALN whose sentences were commuted by President Clinton. Secondly, he didn’t pardon them, you ignorant fuck. He commuted their sentences.

    You want to debate? Okay, let’s debate. Here are the facts about those commutations. None of these 16 individuals were convicted of a violent crime or any act that resulted in injury to any person. They were in prison for conspiracy and sedition. They received sentences of 35 to 105 years, which is far in excess of sentences given to other people convicted of similar crimes. All had served at least 19 years in prison, which is more time than is served by most people convicted of similar crimes. Clinton used the commutation power to bring their sentences in line with what is a normal sentence for their crimes. He did not pardon them, and his commutations were not an endorsement or approval of their conduct. In fact, as a condition of the commutations, he required these prisoners to permanently renounce violence. These commutations were supported by, among others, the cardinal of New York, the archbishop of Puerto Rico, and nearly a dozen Nobel laureates. Clinton obviously took this action in the interest of justice, and for a dumb fuck like you who has no idea of what ‘justice’ is, I’ll explain that one of the components of any reasonable concept of justice is that people who commit similar crimes should get similar sentences, and disproportionately long sentences are inherently suspect. As for whether these people were “terrorists,” that’s a semantical question that’s very much open to debate, although not in this case because none of these 16 people were convicted of violent crimes let alone crimes constituting terrorism as that term is defined by federal laws.

    Now, since these guys don’t qualify as “terrorists,” and weren’t pardoned, I’ll repeat my question: What terrorists did Clinton pardon? The correct answer is, bzzzzt, none. You lose, but thanks anyway for playing, dumbshit.

  23. 24

    Blue John spews:

    @20 Wahoo, I have put Mr Cynical in a twist. You don’t live here, you live in Montana or something, why do you care?
    Did you bother to read my post? I didn’t support the no salt decision for environmentalist reasons, I support the no salt rule because it’s better for my car. I’m being a greedy republican, it’s not about others convenience to get 2 day shipping from Amazon, it’s about me and my car lasting longer. Twit.
    @18 Oh sure, NOW you conservatives care about public services. You don’t want to pay for them, but you sure as hell want them available.

  24. 25

    delbert spews:

    I really don’t care that the City refuses to salt the roads. My car lasts longer and I can drive on packed snow and ice.

    What I object to, is the premium tax rates we pay for the non-existent services. It seems to be that way for all the City’s services. High priced, yet crappy services from the municipal government.

  25. 26

    FricknFrack spews:

    @ 11. busdrivermike said: “I ordered about $1K in Xmas items from Amazon on 12/16 using Amazon Prime guaranteed two day shipping.”

    Can’t blame you for being p!ssed, not like you ordered 12/23 and expected miracles. It should have been more than sufficient time, even with the snow. Who wants to just hand out money, when you’ve got great pleasures in the gifts you choose for family?

    However, I do like your proposed remedy. Sorry Dude for the ruined Christmas plans!

  26. 27

    rhp6033 spews:

    My colleague just told me that Christmas packages shipped to her from her family in California, shipped on Dec. 18th by FedEx Next Day service, have yet to arrive. The FedEx website says “unable due to deliver due to weather conditions beyond our control”.

    But according to Piper, the roads in Bellevue have been clear for DAYS. She called them on the 23rd and 24th and offered to go down to the distribution center and pick them up, but was told that wasn’t possible. The items were being sent to our office, not her home, which has been receiving FedEx packages regularly despite the snow.

    So what is clearly happening is that FedEx was:

    (a) struggling with their usual holiday rush,

    (b) decided to gamble on not hiring more holiday help on the assumption that the poor economy would equal less business, and

    (c) FedEx management was blessed with a series of snowstorms upon which they could then blame late deliveries for the next two or three weeks.

    Note that our business shipping was NOT affected. It seems clear to me that a decision was made at the corporate level to keep servicing customers with major corporate business accounts, and TO HELL with the individual shippers, even though they pay a lot more per package. They figure they can always shift the blame to the weather or to the local authorities for not clearing the roads for them.

    Sounds like Republicans to me – making half-assed business decisions to cut costs, and then trying to pass the risk and blame on to the customers and local officials.

    In the meantime, last Monday I mailed from Everett five packages by U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail (2-3 business days), using their boxes and paying a flat rate of $4.80 each. All arrived to their destinations on Wednesday, even the one sent to my sister in PA. Despite our frequent complaints about the Postal Service, they really came through when the private companies, charging much more, did not.

  27. 28

    Piper Scott spews:

    @27…rhp6033…

    Now, now…Careful making sweeping generalizations based solely on anecdotal evidence.

    I paid beaucoup extra for priority, thee-day delivery of a box to San Antonio, mailing it out of the Lacey, WA post office on Tuesday, December 16th.

    It didn’t arrive until late Wednesday, Christmas Eve.

    How’s that for guaranteed service?

    On December 16th, I don’t recall seeing a lot of snow on the ground up here. And certainly San Antonio isn’t known for blizzard-like conditions – the odd rattlesnake or tornado now and then, but not anything akin to what we’ve been experiencing.

    What chaps my cheeks is how every post office I ever go into never has all the windows (or whatever they call them) open even when there’s a line running out the door and onto the street. To make matters worse, when all you want to do is pick up something too large for a post office box, you still have to stand in the freakin’ line for 25 minutes – no express lanes.

    The Post Office should study quick check out processes at Safeway.

    My experiences are admittedly anecdotal – I make no sweeping generalizations of my own.

    The Piper

  28. 29

    rhp6033 spews:

    ManofTruth@9: The famed “Christmas Truce” was only in 1914, the first year of the war. It actually lasted longer than one day, as the solders were very reluctant to fire upon their new friends in the following days.

    This upset the upper command on both sides, who remedied the situation by re-shuffling units and thereby breaking up the budding friendships. Future holidays were met with warnings against such fraternization, and steps were taken to discourage it by ordering randam artillary bombardments of the enemy lines and the area between the lines during the holidays.

    By 1916, however, the soldiers were frustrated by the futility of the war. Many times they were ordered to go “over the top” and attack the enemy trenches, only to be thrown back with appalling casualties. The depth of the carnage can be seen by the fact that after the war, it was a rare person in France was one who could claim to have graduated from high school in 1914 and yet still be alive.

    Beginning in 1916, many French units (perhaps a majority of them!) simply refused to follow orders to attack, despite the protestations of their officers. This was somewhat remedied by shooting some of those soldiers “as an example to others”, but the remaining soldiers found that although they could be ordered to “go over the top”, and shot if they refused to do so, nobody could force them to agressivly attack the enemy. Most went over the top, only to find the first convenient hole, and remain there until the whistles were sounded to retreat back to the trenches. The French were brave soldiers, but smart enough to know when they were being wasted fruitlessly.

    The same thing occured in 1864 during the Petersburg campagn of the American Civil War. Even famed veteran units such as Hancock’s corps (Union Army of the Potomic) couldn’t be persuaded to push an attack to it’s objective. On one occassion a veteran regiment was told to attack, but they simply went forward and then “went to ground”, taking cover from the Confederate fire. When a new regiment was sent in, the veterans tried to stop them, grasping at their trouser legs and shouting “Get down, you fool! You can’t take those entrenchments!”. They were right, the new regiment attacked anyway, and was repulsed with losses exceeding 50%.

  29. 30

    rhp6033 spews:

    BusDriverMIke@11: I’m not sure about pardons having to be delivered, but I believe it was the appointment of commissioners which weren’t delivered before Jefferson became president which sparked the “Marbury vs. Madison” case. Jefferson cancelled the appointments, and one of the appointees (Marbury) sued. It was a battle between the Democrats led by Jefferson (then called the Republic Democrats), against the Federalists (John Adams’ party). The disposition of the case is seldom mentioned outside of legal circles, it is primarily known as the case in which the Supreme Court declared itself to be the final arbiter of the constitutionality of laws of Congress and acts of the Executive Branch.

  30. 32

    realitycheck spews:

    Yeh, yeh, yeh, the dems kicked the repubs ass during the last election. Still even in two landslide dem years you “liberal” bloggers were not able to get your little Darcy Burner elected to congress even when you had more money than the incumbent.

    The repubs got what they deserved as they became big government, big corruption, big pieces of shit. Still with all that you guys couldn’t knock out one of the weakest members of congress.

    Maybe facts not propoganda do matter. Darcy sucks, sucked, and will always suck. Resume lying sack of crap, did nothing for my community, house burning pudgy girl.

    Will the dems fall prey to the same issues the repubs have had? In two years you will know.

    Merry Christmas Darcy. HA HA HA, or I mean HO HO HO.

  31. 33

    Marvin Stamn spews:

    8. manoftruth spews:
    ok, i get your point about this being a liberal blog, fairness be damned.

     
    Liberals see nothing wrong with pardoning tax cheats as long as they donate to democrats.
     
    I’m confident that if that madoff guy is still living in 4 years obama will pardon him on his way out of office. After all, madoff donated to democrats.
     
    Strange the liberals aren’t talking about the donors to the clinton library. Oh yeah, they contributed to a democrat.