by Goldy, 03/16/2010, 11:52 AM
Dino Rossi's shady dealings with disgraced developer Michael Mastro could loom large over any future political campaign.

Dino Rossi's shady dealings with disgraced developer Michael Mastro could loom large over any future political campaign.

State Republicans talk tough about taking out U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in what’s shaping up to be a tough year for incumbents, but time’s running out to field a credible challenger, and those WSRP faithful holding their breath in anticipation of two-time gubernatorial loser Dino Rossi jumping into the breach are likely to have their faces turn blue long before Washington turns red.

While Rossi would no doubt like to be elected Senator, insiders say he’s not so keen on the idea of running. Nor is serving in the other Washington all that appealing.

The governorship is only as hard a job as you want to make it to be, and Olympia is but a short drive from Rossi’s Sammamish home. But the U.S. Senate is a full-time gig that requires tons of travel and the uprooting of one’s family, and that’s not exactly what Rossi signed up for when the WSRP’s second-choice (Dave Reichert was the inside favorite until he opened his mouth) accepted his party’s gubernatorial nomination back in 2004.

But perhaps the biggest reason why you won’t see Dino Rossi’s name on the “Prefers GOP Party” ballot anytime soon, is that the post-economic-collapse political climate and the financial scandals that precipitated it have virtually assured that Rossi’s own business dealings would be exposed to the kind of public scrutiny he managed to mostly avoid in 2004 and 2008. And it’s not so clear that Rossi’s reputation would hold up so well under such circumstances.

Of course there’s Rossi’s close business relationship with his longtime mentor Mel Heide, who pleaded guilty to bilking millions out of clients two years before Rossi finally severed their ties, not coincidentally in the middle of Rossi’s first political campaign. Heide’s shady real estate dealings have been reported at length, but Rossi’s own business practices while in Heide’s employ have never been fully investigated.

But of even greater concern to Rossi and his image makers might be a more recent scandal, his sweetheart deal and unreported $50,000 loan from real estate developer Michael Mastro. Back when the story was all but brushed off by the media in the final days of the 2008 gubernatorial campaign, Rossi’s spokesperson dismissed it as an “11-year-old oversight,” but since then Mastro’s own shady dealings infamously came to light after the state filed securities charges against him in the wake of a financial collapse that has cost hundreds of local investors all of the $100 million they entrusted in Mastro.

Kinda like the Puget Sound’s own personal Bernie Madoff.

So what did then state Sen. Rossi know, and when did he know it? Well, surely Rossi had the real estate chops to know that he and two BIAW lobbyists had received a helluva deal when Mastro sold them the Windsor Court Apartments in 1997, while lending them the money to buy it. Rossi and his buddies repaid the loan a couple years later, after flipping the property for a handsome profit.

Huh. Big profits from a no-money-down real estate investment; it sounds like one of those too-good-to-be-true, late night infomercials. And meanwhile, Mastro’s own investors are out their entire kitty.

Rossi profits from his sweetheart deal, while Mastro's investors suffer

Rossi profits from his sweetheart deal, while Mastro's investors suffer

No doubt Mastro thought he was making a prudent investment of his own, buying the loyalty and friendship of a rising state senator (he was also an early big contributor to both of Rossi’s gubernatorial campaigns), but I’m not so sure his hundreds of bilked investors would look so kindly at the deal. Neither am I sure that the media can look the other way should Rossi jump into a high-profile U.S. Senate race — not even the reliably pro-Rossi Seattle Times.

Back in 2008, when the story was merely about Rossi’s failure to report the Mastro loan, the Times pretty much dismissed it as an unintentional oversight, writing that “His campaign correctly pointed out that much larger real-estate transactions were disclosed on his personal financial-disclosure form.” But in light of what we now know about Mastro’s business practices, that excuse in itself should raise some eyebrows.

Why would Rossi report larger transactions, but fail to disclose this one? Was it really an oversight, or did Rossi have more to hide than the Times and others first suspected?

That is a question that likely won’t be adequately investigated unless he challenges Sen. Murray, which given the current political and economic environment, and his known close ties to two shady real estate investors, Rossi is exceedingly unlikely to do.

79 Responses to “Why Rossi won’t run”

1. Michael spews:

Great post!

2. Ludicrus Maximus spews:

Hey Goldy,

Off-topic here, but for the last couple days every time I visit HA your site automatically (and annoyingly) scrolls me down to Lee’s “Urban Renewal” post from three days ago. Anything you can do to stop it from doing this?

3. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Why Micheal?

Goldy slimes two people. One he slimes on allegations not yet proven in court. The other on the basis of knowing the guy he makes unproven claims about.

Yes, Goldy believes in innocent until proven guilty, unless the guy is politically repellent to Goldy, or it serves his interests. This is muckraking garbage in every sense of the word, and should finally end any claims Goldy has to be a journalist in in any sense of that word.

4. Steve spews:

@2 And it only takes like forever to load.

5. lostinaseaofblue spews:

I worked with Mastro. He was tough and very business like, but you omit a few important facts.

Most of the friends and family investors backed Mastro in all this mess.

Mastro was paying all his bills, including to those investors, until a political enemy got hold of a note and forced him out of business. Had envy and stupidity not done so hundreds of direct and thousands of indirect jobs would still be extant in the Seattle area, as Mastro reliably built even during recessions.

Goldy, you’re a little man who hates anyone successful because you aren’t. Most people would try to hide this character flaw, you glory in it.

6. YLB spews:

Excellent! The farther you can keep real estate operators from the levers of power the better..

Now if only we can keep finance types the hell away. Yes that applies to the Obama administration too.

7. Roger Rabbit spews:

@3 “One he slimes on allegations not yet proven in court.”

Good God, you’re obtuse! If we couldn’t discuss the wheelings and dealings of public figures until they’re “proven in court,” political speech would be put in lockdown in this country.

Mastro’s financial collapse has received wide media coverage, dummy. And Rossi is a politician. Of course Goldy can discuss Rossi’s sordid business dealings in public. Sometime when you’re not too busy jerking off, read Sullivan v. New York Times.

8. Roger Rabbit spews:

@5 “I worked with Mastro.”

Somehow I’m not surprised that someone like you has dealings with someone like him.

9. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Goldy, the hypocrite and fool,

So you know, as you clearly have no grasp of the construction industry-

Short term construction notes are common, the rule in fact. Rossi repaying a note 2 years later is the opposite of sinister in this context.

Most heavy developers like Mastro sell the property prior to completion, sometimes prior to construction. Many with the pockets to do so sell it on their own note. Also the opposite of sinister.

Mastro was the exact kind of person you lefties often defend, but only if they are poor and stupid. He had huge holdings on the Eastside used as security against construction loans, the market tanked, the notes were called and he was underwater. Usually this brings out the hankie and the sob story from you folks. Oh, this guy you didn’t like, so poor choices matter here!

Ass.

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

@5 “Mastro was paying all his bills, including to those investors, until a political enemy got hold of a note and forced him out of business.”

Oh sure, it was all a “political enemy’s” fault; being overextended during a recession had nothing to do with bringing down his house of cards.

11. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 8

Yeah, I was way up there in Mastro finances owning a company which installed cabinets in his buildings. You’re not a fool, try not to look like one.

12. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 10

“Mastro was the exact kind of person you lefties often defend, but only if they are poor and stupid. He had huge holdings on the Eastside used as security against construction loans, the market tanked, the notes were called and he was underwater. Usually this brings out the hankie and the sob story from you folks. Oh, this guy you didn’t like, so poor choices matter here!”

I never said or wrote that the bankruptcy shouldn’t have happened. Puttin yourself in debt means someone else has power over you, and you can’t always control whom. Mastro screwed up and is paying the logical price.

The hypocrisy of the left is amusing, when it isn’t actively dangerous.

13. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 7

Being a retired attorny you wouldn’t recognize a moral or ethical issue, but this is one.

Had this guy been a corrupt leftist you’d be shouting about principles and so on. Since you don’t like him he doesn’t deserve anything but the public stocks.

14. lostinaseaofblue spews:

BTW, Sullivan ranks right up there with Dredd Scott and Roe for insane decisions by the Supremes. It establishes an irrational standard whereby anyone can be smeared on little or no evidence unless an impossible threshold is reached. Freedom of the press is like any other freedom, it bears responsiblities. But I forget, responsibility is yet another principle the left doesn’t understand.

15. Roger Rabbit spews:

This story is bigger than Mastro and Rossi. The real story is that America is full of people like them, and the entire U.S. economy is (choose one) [ ] A. a house of cards or [ ] B. a giant Ponzi scheme.

One percent of the population owns nearly 35% of the wealth, and the top 20% owns 85% of the wealth.

http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

Or maybe I should say “hold title to” instead of “own” because few rich people own their wealth free and clear. Their empires are built on debt.

And they didn’t amass that wealth by working for it. God hasn’t yet made the man who can amass buy hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate by putting part of his wages in bank CDs. These guys do it by writing each other IOUs. It’s a kind of rump currency that takes over the economy — until it explodes like a hydrogen dirigible.

That’s what happened here. Mastro leveraged debt into more debt, robbing Peter to bribe Paul, until the balloon simply couldn’t lift the weight of reality anymore. Lots of people did it, throughout the economy. There’s nothing new about it, and in all of human history it has never worked, and it didn’t this time either.

But there is an endless supply of greedy and dishonest human beings, so the cycle keeps repeating itself, and the larger mass of humanity learns nothing from it.

Somewhere, among today’s young people, more would-be Mastros and Rossis are waiting in the wings, biding their turn to take the stage in the theater of financial folly.

16. Roger Rabbit spews:

@11 “You’re not a fool, try not to look like one.”

Why not? You do. Why should you have a monopoly?

17. Rujax! spews:

There’s good ‘ol “lostinhisownasshole” lost in his own asshole again.

Sheesh…

18. Rujax! spews:

Is there ANY corrupt Republican that moron doesn’t like?

19. Roger Rabbit spews:

@12 “I never said or wrote that the bankruptcy shouldn’t have happened.”

Bankruptcy doesn’t happen unless you take risks with other people’s money. The only people who go bankrupt are those who borrow money and can’t pay it back.

You act as though Mastro was an innocent victim of the economy. That’s bullshit. He took huge risks with other people’s money that he didn’t disclose to them. He peddled investments in violation of state securities laws. He recklessly overleveraged properties to buy more properties. He defrauded banks and investors alike. Surely this guy knew what a business cycle is, and surely he knew what would happen to this empire when the economy turned down. He was a gambler. He took big gambles and lost, as most high rollers eventually do.

20. Roger Rabbit spews:

@18 That’s a question that answers itself.

21. Michael spews:

@3
Mel Heide was convicted of stealing from people. Rossi was protected from being convicted of stealing from people do to his power and political convictions. The documentation about Rossi’s activities are all there out in the public.

Sorry, but I think that laws should apply to the rich and the powerful, just like they apply to the rest of us.

And at least I have the balls, that when I kick, I aim those kicks at people with more power than myself. You seem to go around beating up on the powerless.

22. Roger Rabbit spews:

@13 You’re full of shit on all counts.

Attorneys are subjected to more ethical regulation than almost any other profession. Clients trust us with their confidences and money, and we’re required to protect both against all perils. We are under fiduciary duties, a duty to make reasonable investigation, to be truthful, to avoid conflicts of interest, and we’re not allowed to screw our customers (figuratively or literally). Asswipe developers and builders have none of those responsibilities. (One of my neighbors recently got some work done to her house by fucking the contractor.)

I don’t like or dislike Mastro. Why would I? I’ve never met the guy or had any dealings with him, and he doesn’t owe me money. All I know about him is what I read in the papers. I don’t know what his politics are, nor do I make any assumptions about that. He could be a big Democratic donor for all I know — that wouldn’t make any difference, he’s still a crook whose financial shenanigans ruined scores of lives.

You, however, seem to have a problem recognizing that a guy who violates laws enacted to protect investors from people like him, a guy who wiped out people who trusted him with their money, might have issues beyond simple bad luck — ethical issues, candor issues, honesty issues … those kinds of issues.

23. Roger Rabbit spews:

@14 Maybe you’d be happier living in Britain or France than in a country with free speech.

24. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Rabbit will try direct the attention away from issues with which he can’t contend, so for those watching at home-

Mastro went under; his misfortune and those of his investors, leftists would say. But Mastro left a lot of carpenters, subcontractors and suppliers in trouble when he was forced into bankruptcy. He did build when every other contractor was waiting for better times, so those jobs and derivative jobs are that much more important. But since Goldy doesn’t like Rossi and needs to slime him in any way he can, ethical or not, Mastro becomes his target.

Mastro did put himself in a position where the bankruptcy was a possibility. His fault, his problem. Rabbit and others will try to say I wrote something else. I didn’t.

The principle of innocent until proven guilty is an important one whether the person is a politician, developer or janitor. Yes Goldy may have the right to print sleazy allegations as though they were fact. It simply shows how sleazy he is. It doesn’t alter the principle.

The facts about the construction industry, how it’s financed etc are much closer to how I described than the slimy imputations Goldy did. I welcome anyone to correct me if I’m wrong but, you know, I’m not.
Rossi disclosed all of his business dealings, forgot a petty little $50,000 note paid off and the property it paid for sold and this is proof he is complicit in anything the government might find against Mastro. Please.

Were Mastro a homeowner who didn’t bother to read the documents accompanying his mortgage who failed this story would read “big bank boppresses and makes homeless working stiff.” The left couldn’t keep a consistent principle to save their lives. It’s all relative to you.

Re 15

You are completely right. The economy was a house of cards, and still is. Americans accumulate far too much debt, mostly to pay for stuff they don’t need. A reckoning will always come for this kind of behavior. Problem is when the rich get hurt the poor get hurt worse. That’s just the way it is.

I’d like to see this recession last a little longer, honestly. I’d like to see a period of 4 or 5 years where the bare concept of debt scares people so badly they soil their pants. I’d like to see consumer and corporate debt halved or less, and made much less available for the long term.

But this would require sacrifice politically and personally and just won’t happen.

25. Roger Rabbit spews:

@24 “Mastro did put himself in a position where the bankruptcy was a possibility. His fault, his problem. Rabbit and others will try to say I wrote something else. I didn’t.”

The way “Lost” writes this crap, you’d almost think Mastro hurt no one but himself. Our myopic contractor friend refuses to see the dozens of people whose lives were damaged or destroyed by this man because it was THEIR money he lost. It is his fault, but it’s not “his problem,” it’s a problem for the people he victimized. “Lost” is too blind to see this is bigger than Mastro losing his mansion and fancy cars.

26. Goldy spews:

Lost @14,

Without Sullivan, people like me would be unable to publish, regardless of the facts, simply out of fear of being sued. But I suppose you know that, and believe that would be a good thing, since really, only people with deep pockets deserve to have a public voice.

27. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 21

Rossi was not prosecuted or convicted and is presumed innocent, I thought. My bad.

As for calling me a coward who picks on the poor and weak- go to hell.

I consistently have said that banks liable to failure should have been allowed to fail. I consistently have said, here and elswhere, that the logical repercussions of ones’ actions are theirs to bear. This is true whether they are wealthy or poor, powerful or weak.

I was talking about a principle you seem not to understand; that a person not convicted of a crime ought to be free of being called a criminal.

28. Roger Rabbit spews:

Our system is designed to facilitate entrepreneurial risk-taking. There’s only two things Mastro had to do to stay within the law: He needed a license to sell securities (or sell them through someone who does), and he had to disclose certain information to his investors. He complied with neither. That, and the fact his investors lost everything they entrusted to him, tells you everything you need to know about the guy. Goldy has pegged him correctly.

29. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 23 and 26

Perhaps both of you would be happier in France where liberty is not accompanied by responsibility, and is cheapened by the lack.

Goldy, you could publish things you could document. Sullivan allowed people like you to lie, misdirect and destroy people simply because you don’t like them. Sullivan could have drawn a line farther back, but the magic words ‘free press’ trumped the sensible ones ‘responsible press.’ That’s why no-one believes what they see on the news or read (where they exist) what they read in the papers.

30. Roger Rabbit spews:

@27 Rossi’s boss went to jail for fraud. When the guy got out of jail, Rossi made a beeline to him, asking to work for him again. Whether Rossi was prosecuted or not is immaterial; as voters, we’re entitled to draw inferences about his integrity for that, just as you would be if he came to you with a business deal. Get off this “presumption of honesty until convicted in court” track; it’s a dead end, and you’re making a fool of yourself.

31. Roger Rabbit spews:

@26 People like Mastro would love to be able to silence critics and whistleblowers with libel laws. In fact, some developers have tried, with what are called “SLAPP” suits. Our legislature considered that enough of a problem that it passed legislation to protect our citizens’ free speech rights against the threat of these lawsuits.

32. Roger Rabbit spews:

@29 Kiss my ass.

33. lostinaseaofblue spews:

The paragraph just before the one you quote deals with all the people hurt by the Mastro bankruptcy. This will be the biggest personal bankruptcy in Washington State history, and will sting a lot of folks along the way.

But-

Investors are gambling. They know that, or should.

Carpenters work in a field high in employment risk. 6 months before being laid off I called all of my staff in and told them things looked bad and they should start thinking about saving money and how they would live. As much as I hated to do it (each man was very good and hand picked for my department) I also gave each a letter of reccomendation advice to look for another job. However, most employers just tell you at the end of the day that you no longer have a job, and carpenters know this, or should.

The above is true of any subcontractor or supplier affiliated with the construction industry.

So yes, Rabbit I care. I have friends who no longer have jobs due to the Mastro bankruptcy, or who lost large sums of money due for services or supplies. Try not telling me about what I care, but principles matter also, and the risks were inherent in each activity.

34. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 32

Off to work. You have a nice day too!

35. Daddy Love spews:

29 lost

I am assuming that by this you mean that the people who said that Democratic health care contained death panels should be facing some serious legal consequences. And hey, maybe they should. You do have a point.

36. Daddy Love spews:

Rossi won’t run bcauase he’s a lazy butt who wants a position handed to him. I’d like to see Rossi and Reichert compete in a “who’s laziest” contest. I like that Dino, but my money’s on Dave.

37. Zotz spews:

@15:
[ ]C Global Criminal Enterprise; or
[X]D All of the above

38. rhp6033 spews:

RR @ 19: I think your statement is too broad.

You could say that investors/developers who file bankruptcy do so because they have taken a risk which was essentially with other people’s money, whether it be investors, banks, contractors, or vendors.

As for individuals, there are many people who file bankruptcy due to circumstances which are largly out of their control. Most Americans are only one or two paychecks, coupled with an unexpected disaster (car accident, expensive medical care, etc.) away from bankruptcy.

39. Alki Postings spews:

LOL. So “lostinaseaofblue”, can I assume you will defend the next Democrat who is in a nasty financial mess, but not “convicted in court” yet? I mean you won’t jump to conclusions, or just make up stuff will you and ASSUME they’re guilty of something? Of COURSE not! Never happens…nope. LOL

40. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 38

RR is right. No-one to whom you don’t owe money can force you into bankruptcy. In a very real sense buying a house or a car, or putting the Cancun vacation on plastic is gambling with someone else’ money.

We all do it. It’s an act of faith that the ability to pay my mortgage today will stay the same next year, or in 5 years.

But this recession is all about everyone putting the whole of their lives on the line to get that vacation in Mexico, or a new refrigerator using the equity in their homes to do it. It isn’t the same thing as saying that if I had to I could take out a second mortgage to pay the first on the basis of that equity. And to portray it as blameless and out of the control of the borrower is just false. If I know I’m within a paycheck or two of losing my home and do nothing about it that is entirely my fault. If I know that the deductible or time off work from a car accident would bankrupt me I have a responsibility to do something about it, not blame fate or the Gods when bad luck happens.

41. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 39

Alki, read my posts before accusing me of hypocrisy.

I blame Republicans or Democrats when they step out of the lines of public duty as public officials.

I’ll take a conservative on for stupid or bad decisions (the Patriot Act, Iraq War, Bush Bank bailouts etc) as well as a liberal.

I’m far from perfect, and am as biased in my views as the next man, but I do try to avoid hypocrisy.

42. The Duke spews:

You can all kiss my ass. Don’t know why yet, but you can.

As for Mastro, he took a gamble and lost. Ends up in bankruptcy, just like many others like him. We have bankruptcy laws to protect people when things go South. So far I don’t have a problem.

What I do have a problem, is with people who hide assets, and play all these games about who owns what. Man up, hand over the keys to the houses and the Rolls Royce. You gambled and lost, pay up.

As for Rossi, I went to College with him. He was a slime then, he still is one today.

43. Roger Rabbit spews:

@38 “We all do it.”

No, we’re not all the same. There’s three basic types of people in our country:

Type 1 — Live the most lavish lifestyle you can by borrowing as much as your income allows you to. To these people, a big raise means a bigger mortgage on a larger house. They look well-to-do, but have little net worth.

Type 2 — Live below your means, buy only what you need, avoid or eliminate debts, and stockpile savings and investments. We’ve all heard the story about the janitor who lived modestly and left millions to charity when he died.

Type 3 — The middle ground between Types 1 and 2. This guy has a mortgage and borrows for a luxury purchase now and then, but doesn’t go overboard with debt, and puts aside savings. He lives comfortably and isn’t obsessed with dying rich.

My guess is most people are Type 3′s. But I’ve found some surprising statistics: Two-thirds of people with credit cards pay in full every month and carry no balance, and 40% of homeowners have no mortgage debt.

I’m a Type #2. (This should come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog.) I have no debts, low expenses, and I’m a relentless saver. I didn’t get there by making a lot of money — no matter what Cynical says, state pay stinks.

Simplistic people assume a large income is necessary to pile up net worth. In fact, the opposite is true. Having more income helps you save only if you don’t spend it. Most people can’t resist that temptation. The more you make, the bigger that temptation is, and the harder it is to resist it.

For most of us, the key determinant in accumulating net worth is not how much you make but how much you spend. Spending discipline, not earning power, is what will determine your financial fate. There’s an old saying, “Most people work at jobs that hate to make money they don’t need to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” Don’t be one of those people.

The secret is don’t care what Type 1′s think of your lifestyle. If you can put your ego back in its cage and let your brain run your life you’ll do fine. The younger you are when you realize this, the better you’re going to do.

44. Roger Rabbit spews:

@40 “No-one to whom you don’t owe money can force you into bankruptcy.”

Technically true, but you’ve overlooked something. Namely, the majority of personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by medical bills, and most of those bankrupts were insured.

None of us are safe. Tens of thousands of people who thought they were insured against catastrophic medical bills discovered they weren’t when the insurance company claims people interpreted the fine print in the policy written by crafty lawyers so no one could understand it. In fact, most of us are not insured against the principal risk we paid premiums to insure against — the huge and compulsory medical expense that wipes you out.

And that, my friend, is why we need health care reform and why three-fourths of Americans support health care reform. That, friend, is why the Coffee Party went from 200 members to 110,000 members in 2 weeks. That is why the silent majority is going to drown out the howling rightwing mobs in the streets, and ultimately, is why health reform will pass Congress. If not this time, then someday. Because the silent middle class out there isn’t stupid and knows all too well that people are being driven into medical bankruptcy by greedy and avaricious insurance companies, and they’ve had enough of that.

45. Roger Rabbit spews:

@33 “This will be the biggest personal bankruptcy in Washington State history, and will sting a lot of folks along the way. But- ”

No buts. This case isn’t in the news just because it’s the biggest personal bankruptcy in Washington history. There’s more to it. This guy misled people, including relatives and close friends. He didn’t comply with securities laws enacted to protect people like them from people like him. Lots of businesses borrow money, but he didn’t run his business as carefully or prudently as he should have. Mastro told people they were investing with him, when in fact he was casino gambling with their money. He’s a scumbag.

46. ArtFart spews:

@24 “Mastro went under; his misfortune and those of his investors, leftists would say. But Mastro left a lot of carpenters, subcontractors and suppliers in trouble when he was forced into bankruptcy.”

Not to mention hundreds of his “family and friends” investors who lost a big chunk of their retirement nest eggs. Apparently it’s sorta-kinda-OK to let what really amounts to a small circle of friends in on the action with your business deals, but doing it on such a grand scale, with that many “shirt-tail relatives” and hundreds of millions of dollars, is another matter.

This may be an example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions, but Mastro most likely knew things were circling the drain for quite a while before he let on to all those people who’d given him their sheckels.

47. ArtFart spews:

@40 “It’s an act of faith that the ability to pay my mortgage today will stay the same next year, or in 5 years.”

Right…and you expect that whatever institution wrote the mortgage was sharing that same faith. Unfortunately, with the advent of derivatives and credit default swaps, Wall Street became a casino where people were betting on your not being able to pay.

“If I know I’m within a paycheck or two of losing my home and do nothing about it that is entirely my fault.”

Yeah, right…but if you’ve been conned into taking on a mortgage whose terms may never have been explained to you, or might have actually been misrepresented, by a bank that didn’t give a shit because they were going to pass you and your dicey deal (and thousands of others) off like a hot potato on to an even bigger bank that’s actually operating more like a Las Vegas casino…sorry, it’s those jerks’ fault, too.

Not that it does you a hell of a lot of good if you wind up out on the street.

48. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 45

For all I know you’re right. I never had a check bounce, or a contract reneged on from him, but I was a small account so that means nothing.

That’s what the bankruptcy and possible criminal courts will determine. Or not. The man is well over 90. While he comes from a long lived family I’d bet my last dollar he’ll never see most of these cases litigated.

But the court is still the finder of fact, not a rumor mill blog.

Re 43

I’m in the category of spender you are. It’s why I’m investing after a lay-off, not worrying about how to pay for the house I own outright.

The best definition of a credit card I ever heard was ‘spending money you don’t have to impress people you don’t know.’

If more Americans had learned the lessons of the Great Depression we’d still be the biggest creditor nation on the planet, not the deepest in debt.

49. proud leftist spews:

Wow, I just read through this thread. I had thought in the past that lost was capable of rational thought, and have even stated here as much. For him, however, to put the New York Times v. Sullivan case in the same category as Dred Scott shows his true colors. For those of you who don’t recall, the Dred Scott decision of about 1857 declared that an escaped slave really wasn’t human, he was property. The decision helped precipitate the Civil War. The Sullivan decision, however, recognized that public figures open themselves up to public commentary, and, in a society that values free speech, that means nasty things sometimes get set about you. Deal with it. lost plainly does not value the First Amendment. If the press can only publish that which has been proven, then where the hell are we? Goldy’s post here is quite judicious, lost. You, m’lad, are an idiot who doesn’t recognize the fundamental constitutional values that underlie our most basic political values.

50. GBS spews:

Dino Rossi is a bona fide two-time loser.

He CANNOT mount and win a state wide election in Washington.

Period.

Sen. Murray will keep her seat, I repeat, WILL KEEP HER SEAT until the day she retires from the Senate.

RNC, RSCC knows this and they will not fund a serious challenge to her in this political environment where the Republicans, yet again, lag in donations.

Good luck, boyz. You’re gonna need it.

51. GBS spews:

49. proud leftist spews:

Goldy’s post here is quite judicious, lost. You, m’lad, are an idiot who doesn’t recognize the fundamental constitutional values that underlie our most basic political values.

3

Here, here, I second that statement. What “lost” doesn’t yet realize is that when he speaks, or as in this case, writes, his mind is on parade for all to examine.

All anyone sees is a stupid klown parroting Fox News talking points.

He’s so clueless you’d think he was first to go through Texas’ new cirriculum of rewriting American history leaving out Thomas Jefferson and the word Democratic.

Pathetic.

52. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 49

Sullivan was wrongly decided, as was Dredd Scott or Roe. The freedom of the press isn’t any more absolute than any other, no matter how important it is, M’lad.

A press that can print any kind of lie is a danger, not an aid, to democracy. A press with no accountability, not to the government, but in general is a danger to democracy. Should the press be free from prior restraint? Absolutely. But to say they are free from consequences would be foolish and demean the right granted to it. No liberty freed of responsibility can truly be one.

53. proud leftist spews:

GBS
lost set a new low today, I think. I haven’t been around here as much as usual lately (due to work commitments, which I’m sure our trolls don’t understand), but, holy crap, I don’t recall seeing such nonsense from him before.

54. mark spews:

Funny, no mention of Obamas shady real estate dealings and millions upon millions of foreign campaign contributions. Then theres George Soros,talk about a slime! Then theres Roger Rabbit bragging about finances. Its easy to save money when you have NO friends and nothing to do. HA Take that you carrot munching ponytail piece of work.

55. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 51

FYI, I don’t own a television and never watch one. So Fox news doesn’t play largely in my life. Nor do I listen to Rush, Schultz or any of the other clowns parading as the voice of the left or right.

I actually read books and original sources, like Sullivan. Until you’ve read books not on the Berkely counter culture reading list, or on MSNBC pick of the week, your opinion isn’t worth all that much to me.

Have a nice evening.

56. Politically Incorrect spews:

The key to winning a state-wide election is to overcome the blue voting bloc of Thurston, Pierce, King and Snohomish Counties. For a non-socialist candidate, that’s pretty much impossible. Only those who propose more and more government control, higher taxation and the destruction of private wealth can be successful in winning a state-wide office.

57. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 51 or Leftist

Which of “the fundamental constitutional values that underlie our most basic political values,” is it you or believe I need a civics lesson in? I note you’re awfully vague about that.

I put forward a reasoned argument against Sullivan and the kind of libelous statements Goldy is making under its’ protection. You tell me I’m in some vague way unaware of these values.

What was that GBS said…. Oh, pathetic.

58. lostinaseaofblue spews:

“Only those who propose more and more government control, higher taxation and the destruction of private wealth can be successful in winning a state-wide office.”

Odd, I don’t hear GBS or Leftist railing against this fundamentally Un-American comment out of all step with the framers intentions. I mean they were totally pro-tax, which is why we…oh yeah.

59. Roger Rabbit spews:

@58 That’s not “Un-American” — it’s simply a different point of view.

If government can do something better and more efficiently than the private sector, doesn’t it make sense to have the government do it?

For example, which is better for the taxpayer, fighting an unnecessary Republican war in Iraq with $15,000-a-year soldiers or $150,000-a-year mercenaries?

And speaking of “government control,” would you rather be able to elect the school board that spends your school taxes, or give that money to private schools with no accountability to taxpayers for curriculum or results?

60. Roger Rabbit spews:

“Sullivan was wrongly decided.”

No, it wasn’t. It means, among other things, that if you run for public office people have a right to openly talk about your fitness for that office.

“A press that can print any kind of lie”

Who decides what is a lie? A jury of 12 housewives? A judge? You haven’t been around courts much, have you? Do you really believe what happens in a courtroom bears some relation to reality? Courtrooms are theaters, not exercises in truth-seeking.

“A press with no accountability, not to the government, but in general is a danger to democracy.”

Sullivan, contrary to your thinking, doesn’t immunize the press from legal liability for libel. All it does is establish a more rigorous standard for public figures.

However, let’s play along and imagine public figures could sue anyone for telling “lies” about them. Wouldn’t Obama then have a cause of action against every “birther” who publicly questioned his citizenship? And should he have?

61. Roger Rabbit spews:

@47 The 30-year mortgage was invented in the era of lifetime employment. In this modern new age of virtual economies where companies disappear overnight and few jobs last more than 5 or 10 years, isn’t the 30-year mortgage an anachronism?

62. Roger Rabbit spews:

@48 “But the court is still the finder of fact, not a rumor mill blog.”

Under the “preponderance of evidence” standard applicable to civil trials, the court has a 49.9999999999% chance of guessing wrong, which makes courts little better than rumor mills, if accuracy is what you’re after.

63. Roger Rabbit spews:

@48 “I’m in the category of spender you are.”

No, you’re not. Unlike you, I’ve never visited a European art museum — and probably never will. Couldn’t exactly afford that on a public servant’s salary. The only time I’ve ever traveled abroad, the Army paid for the trip.

64. Roger Rabbit spews:

@56 The key to winning a statewide election is being a Democrat, because the majority of Washington voters have no use for wingnut nonsense.

65. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

@9, LostinNarcissism: Most heavy developers like Mastro sell the property prior to completion, sometimes prior to construction.

Well actually, no they do not. Who in their right mind would buy it with its thin layer of equity overlaid by ironclad bank construction loan requirements? This assertion is pure fantasy. The big payout comes with the lease/sell out and “takeout” financing. Most sophisticated investors then know they are not buying a pig in a poke. Only the rubes buy property “on the come” unless the price is extremely in their favor.

Then there are the scammers who issue “securities” on undeveloped properties with an “ironclad” promise to pay based upon some made up LTV lie. This is a crime.

Another favorite trick is to simply disappear.

Development is a risky business, because usually nearly all the money developers play with belongs to somebody else.

I only feel it fair to with hold judgement on Mr. Mastro pending the outcome of any criminal proceedings, but I suspect he may well cop a plea.

There will be a ton of civil action. There are some very very angry investors will deep pockets who want this guy’s hide.

Many with the pockets to do so sell it on their own note…

That is a laughable claim. You pulled that one out of your ass, Mr. Lost. Don’t let your apoplexy get the better of you.

66. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 44

My brother and I were talking about this earlier. I know why health care reform is wanted in the US. Spiralling medical and insurance costs, insurance that may or may not cover your illness and people who lack the means to pay medical costs are problems that threaten the viability of the economy.

The health care system in the US isn’t. It’s something unplanned and shows the chaos of that origin. We’re neither fish nor fowl, as regards being fully private or fully government in our health care, and that makes for a screwed up system.

How exactly is forcing everyone to buy insurance, which a lot of folks say is a big part of the problem, and forcing insurance to cover pre-existing conditions without the ability to raise rates supposed to help then?

67. Proud To Be An Ass spews:

How exactly is forcing everyone to buy insurance, which a lot of folks say is a big part of the problem, and forcing insurance to cover pre-existing conditions without the ability to raise rates supposed to help then?

The insurance concept is simple: Expand the pool, and rates will be lower. This is a basic underwriting principle.

I personally am opposed to private insurance having much of any role in health care. They bring no economic value to health care.

Have a good evening.

68. Michael spews:

@66, 67

As I recall people pitched a fit about having to pay for “Freddie The Freeloader’s” healthcare under ObamaCare (hint: you’re paying for it right now, that’s why he’s called Freddie The Freeloader.) so we made a system where everyone has to pay in. No Freddie The Freeloader’s. Now people are pitching a fit about everyone having to buy in.

69. Roger Rabbit spews:

@66 “How exactly is forcing everyone to buy insurance, which a lot of folks say is a big part of the problem, and forcing insurance to cover pre-existing conditions without the ability to raise rates supposed to help then?”

These are really two questions, but the answers are related.

At his townhall last summer, Rep. Inslee estimated uninsured care adds $1,300 to our insurance premiums annually. The uninsured aren’t denied care; what happens is cost-shifting. Ironically, this is more socialistic than mandatory insurance.

The theory is that adding millions of new customrs to the insurance pool will generate enough new revenue to cover people with pre-existing conditions without raising rates. Also, combing through applicants’ medical histories to weed out those with pre-existing conditions costs the insurers big money, and eliminating this procedure would free up that money to use for providing health care.

70. ArtFart spews:

@69 “Rep. Inslee estimated uninsured care adds $1,300 to our insurance premiums annually.”

Which basically means that, compared to the “overhead” (a euphemism for “corporate profit”) that comprises THIRTY PERCENT of what we Americans collectively pay for health care, it don’t amount to a pee hole in a snow drift.

The real “freeloaders” aren’t in the emergency rooms. They’re in oh so plush offices on Wall Street.

71. correctnotright spews:

@3: Lost

Thanks for defending a crooked business man:

Bankrupt Seattle real-estate magnate Michael R. Mastro broke the law by misleading so-called “Friends & Family” investors from whom he raised $100 million, state regulators charged Friday.

Mastro made false statements to investors and omitted important information, the state Department of Financial Institutions’ securities division said.

He also broke a state law barring the sale of unregistered securities, the 15-page document contends.

Yeah, everyone loves the guy. We all love criminals.

72. correctnotright spews:

@66: Guess Lost forgot the basic statistics again:

1. We pay almost double for health care compared to the next closest country.

2. We get care that is on par with Slovenia.

(so we are not getting our money’s worht).

3. Private insurance overhead plus profit is 30%

4. Medicare overhead is about 3%

5. Many people cannot even get health care if they have a preexisting condition.

6. We pay more for drugs than any other country on earth. Medicare pays more for drugs because of the deal the republicans made with the Pharmaceuitical industry (that prevents Medicare from negotiating prices and costs US money).

73. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 71 and 72

As regards Mastro, try reading the posts. I don’t defend him, except to say that I still believe in innoncent until proven guilty. Call me an anachronism. If he broke the law the consequences will catch up with him and I have no problem with that. If he didn’t he has the right to his reputation not being smeared.

“We all love criminals.” I know liberals do. You still admire Billy Joe JimBob Clinton.

As regards health care-

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

You can twist any set of numbers to say what you wish them to. You can repeat your chestnut about Slovenia until the cows come home. It doesn’t make it true. Know how I know? Foreign heads of state from countries with socialized medicine come here for health care. The socialized Canadian system farms out L&I to private clinics because they are more cost effective, wait times are workable, and recuperation times are a factor of 1 to 6 times shorter.

Private insurance may not be the way to go. I don’t know. But comparing it to false Medicare numbers is just wrong. Many times I’ve pointed out that when you factor in fraud the overhead costs with Medicare and private insurance are commensurate.

Pre-existing conditions, health care for children whose parents can’t afford it, medical bankruptcies affecting the insured and other issues are the real problem. I can’t say that I know completely how to fix them. I can say that the Obama fix is a joke which won’t work, and won’t work very expensively. At the top level of subsidy 80% of insureance will be paid by taxpayers for the poor. This means a family just scraping by has to come up with the other 20% or be criminals. Nice choice.

We subsidize the rest of the world. We pay for R&D so that a person living in Nice or Toronto can pay less than cost for prescriptions. If we stop paying for R&D who will? We’re the last people on earth actually paying the freight, neithercorrectnorright.

And last I checked Obama just gauranteed a 6% price increase per year for big Pharma. Is he a Republican now? Oh God! No!

74. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 63

Sorry, I was going by the constructive criticism advanced by my wife on my spending habits, or lack thereof.

If it makes you feel better- I only go to Europe because I have friends with a house near Pisa. They borrow my cabin to enjoy the US, I borrow their house to enjoy Southern Europe. Otherwise it costs pretty much the same as living here. It’s a fantastic education for our kids in culture and history. Absent these circumstances I probably wouldn’t go. Well, I lie. I would because it’s a lot of fun too.

Otherwise my cars are paid for as is my house. Credit cards are paid off when the bill arrives. I have mortgages but a strict rule that debt never exceed 1/3 of income from properties. It means my business grows slowly, but I never have to worry about bankruptcy. People tell me I’d be wealthier making other peoples money work for me. They can do that, I don’t care for the risk, and won’t take it with money not belonging to me.

75. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Re 47

You’re right. Banking regulations that forced the lending institution to keep the risk of a mortgage would significantly alter the mortgage landscape for the better.

And banks that messed up should clean up the mess, in conjunction with homeowners that did.

If a bank fraudulently wrote a mortgage (lied about applicant income, changed terms after signing etc) isn’t the note invalid? If the homeowner couldn’t be bothered to understand the biggest purchase of his or her life I have sympathy, but no urge to excuse them.

76. GBS spews:

Lost @ 73:

. . ., medical bankruptcies affecting the insured and other issues are the real problem. I can’t say that I know completely how to fix them. I can say that the Obama fix is a joke which won’t work,.”

Typical fearful and reactionary Republican line of thinking. In one and the same breath lost says he doesn’t know how to fix it, but can say with certainty Obama’s plan won’t fix the problem.

How on earth can anyone merge those two thought processes, “I don’t know how to fix it, I just know that Obama’s plan won’t work” is the epitome of dishonest and factually absent thinking.

OK, lost, here’s a chance at redemption after you couldn’t come up with a coherent, fact-based argument to substantiate your claim that America was founded on Christian principles, now’s your chance to explain, in detail, why Obama’s plan won’t work.

BTW, please site factual pieces of evidence that we can investigate on our own. You know, in the same way I used The Declaration of Independence, Preamble to the Constitution, the Constitution itself, written work by our first 3 sitting US presidents, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, all the signers to the D of I and Constituion, treaties, historical letters, laws, Supreme Court cases, and every level of courts in the land to substantiate my position that America, the United States of America, was founded on the principle of government being religiously neutral.

I bet, however, that you will disregard the challenge and just use tired out lines of attack instead of standing on your knowledge of the issues as your response mechanism.

Go ahead, prove me wrong.

77. lostinaseaofblue spews:

GBS

With all due respect to your inflated sense of what you ‘proved’ with respect to the impenetrable wall separating church from state-

I prefer looking at the forest before staring at trees. Otherwise the danger is in thinking you’re standing in a grove of beech because you happen to be looking at the only one of that species in a stand of oak.

All the grand cites you claim to have brought up? Don’t recall that. I recall a Danbury letter from a man who hated the Bible so much he took a razor to it.. (and who incidentally had little to do with the writing of the Constitution.)

I recall a mention of a treaty with one clause written to avoid further conflict with Islam…

No, don’t recall Tom Paine. I don’t recall any cites specifically of the other sources you mention. Maybe I missed it because I was, well, living my life. Sorry.

Keep on tilting at the windmill of the eradication of religion from all aspects of public life if you like. I wish you and Quixote good luck. You’ll need it. Heck, I’ll even cede the argument if it will give you a shred of victory in your hopeless quest.

As frar as health care goes, I don’t think there is a magic bullet. That’s what you’re trying to twist into an logical problem? Interesting. I can know that my car won’t start, know that Chevy parts won’t fix my Ford and suffer from no logical problems. Same with Obamacare.

Try answering how cash strapped families will comply with a law requiring they pay 20% of their insurance. It worked so well with auto insurance, because all poor people rushed right out and bougth it! Or not. So now the people you try to help are not only poor and without insurance, they are criminals, and this solves the problem?

Try answering how Obama gauranteed pharma 6% inflation per year and somehow fought prescription drug prices in the same breath. Try eplaining who will pay for R&D in your socialist dream world.

When you’ve caught up I’ll worry about your new arguments.

78. lostinaseaofblue spews:

Oh, GBS, while you’re at it-

How is it that the Canadian government doesn’t even trust its’ medical system to work in L&I? They work with technically illegal private clinics to obtain short waiting times for care, optimal recuperation times and cost effectiveness. There’s a ringing endorsement of the single payer crap you and your friends would like to foist off on an unsuspecting public.

79. Steve spews:

@9 What a load of shit. Like the house flipper knows anything about the big-time.