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atdnext On October - 22 - 2011

This week began with Mitt Romney telling The R-J Editorial Board that he wants to see MORE home foreclosures. Here’s what Romney said:

As for what to do for the housing industry specifically, and are there things that you can do to encourage housing? One is don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up. The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.

And here’s reality.

Romney’s callous disregard for families losing their homes through no fault of their own is bad enough. But it’s also not true that speeding foreclosures is good for the economy, as every foreclosure drags down the value of the homes around it. The Roosevelt Institute Mike Konczal has pointed to research showing that “foreclosures were responsible for 15% to 30% of the decline in residential investment from 2007 to 2009 and 20% to 40% of the decline in auto sales over the same period.”

And, of course, focusing only on those homeowners entering the foreclosure process legally ignores the vast amounts of fraud that banks perpetrated in order to speed foreclosures, such as robo-signing and fake notarization of documents. Romney already has the lobbyist for a notorious foreclosure mill fundraising for his campaign — perhaps he should take a moment, while he’s in Nevada, to talk to those who are on the other side of the equation.

Now guess who’s piggybacking off Romney’s callous disregard for formerly middle class homeowners getting roughed up by the big banks? Oh yes, that’s right… New GOP frontrunner darling, Herman Cain!

Cain is championing the same group whose bad mortgage loans helped spur the financial implosion of 2008, has left over 1 million Americans with foreclosed homes, and may push an additional 5.9 million Americans to that outcome over the next few years. Banks and their lobbyists have openly “delayed, diluted, and obstructed attempts to address the problem.” Instead, banks unleashed “robo-signers,” officials who sign foreclosure forms without reading them, and managed to set a foreclosure record last year despite their self-imposed foreclosure moratoriums.

What’s more, by calling for an end to the Dodd-Frank regulations to protect foreclosure victims, Cain is jeopardizing key consumer protections for those looking to own a home. The Consumer Financial Protection Agency — which Republicans are hell-bent on obstructing — is designed to stop predatory lending by helping prevent mortgage brokers from putting borrowers into higher interest loans, regardless of their long-term ability to pay. The Dodd-Frank bill also stops banks from selling off an entire loan to avoid the risk of mortgage default, another problem that contributed to the financial meltdown. The law requires lenders to retain 5 percent of every loan — a policy banks are desperately trying to repeal.

They don’t get it. They really don’t get it! Nevada is still on top of the foreclosure heap, families are still losing their homes to foreclosure, and the Republican candidates have nothing to offer.

Perhaps this is why #OccupyLasVegas shouted out on Tuesday when CNN was tossing out the usual pre-debate spin. CNN was trying to keep the focus on the inane and insane inside The Venetian, but they couldn’t entirely drown out the voices of the people outside. The 99% refused to be ignored.

“The Republicans want to take us low-income people, they want to take more taxes from us and give to the rich,” Las Vegas resident Quenton Gavin said. “They’re robbing us for what we don’t have.”

Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation and an ongoing foreclosure crisis. The GOP debate held there offered few solutions, focusing instead on attacking undocumented immigrants, repealing health care reform, slashing taxes and easing regulations.

“It’s just the same broken record,” Las Vegas resident Judy Ostapow said. “Deregulate, cut taxes for the wealthy, and this is going to stimulate jobs. Well it hasn’t stimulated jobs in all these years that they’ve had these tax cuts and deregulating and it hasn’t done anything. It’s just made the problem worse.”

Look at what the Occupy/99% movement is demanding, what the American people want, and what the Republicans have been talking about this week. The contrast couldn’t be any clearer.

Again, there’s a reason why these people have been taking to the streets. There’s a reason why they’ve become so frustrated with the current political system. And there’s a reason why they couldn’t relate to the crap being tossed at the Sands Expo stage on Tuesday.

Right now, the media are focusing on the RNC tag-teaming with New Hampshire Republicans to try to force the Nevada GOP to give up its early caucus. And right now, it looks like the Nevada GOP may cave to a certain extent and push its caucus back to January 17, or perhaps all the way back to February 4. What’s so hilarious about this fiasco is that it all started when Florida (again) broke GOP rules by moving its primary to January 31, which drove all the “officially approved early states” to leap-frog Florida. Yet so far, Nevada looks to be the state that will be punished the most for Florida’s original sin. RNC Chair Reince Preibus is now promising Nevada Republicans he will do his part to “preserve Nevada’s early status in future elections”, but how can he be believed when the RNC couldn’t stop Florida twice?

And really, this dating drama is just a small part of the bigger picture. More importantly, why won’t any of the GOP candidates propose anything to halt the foreclosure crisis, put people back to work, and invest in our economy? Why are a few TEA-nuts more important to that party than the strong majority of the American people? Is it really all about the cold, hard cash?

Nevadans especially want answers on how to solve the foreclosure crisis, how to get people back to work, how to create and implement a 21st century energy plan, and how to move our country forward. But instead, all we hear from the GOP candidates, and their fanatical fans, is how to “take our country back” to The Gilded Age by repealing Wall Street oversight, repealing health care reform, and repealing the entire New Deal. There’s a giant elephant in this room that GOP leaders and media pundits either can’t see or won’t see. No wonder why we keep seeing poll numbers like these.

(As always, you can also find my fairly unbalanced rants at Nevada Progressive.)

Written by atdnext

Hello. I'm atdnext from Daily Kos... And I also have my own blog at NevadaProgressive.com! I like to take action whenever I can to make this world a better place. I'm quite fiercely progressive, but I also have a pragmatic side. I guess that's why I'm a Democrat. ;-)

42 Responses so far.

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  1. Emerald1943 says:

    Why do I feel that something just may be changing in this country this afternoon?

    From day to day, I go on my roller coaster ride…up one day and down the next, determined by the news of the day, how the President is faring, and how hard the criticism of him is. I go from being on top of the world, seeing improvement in the polls for this issue or that, to being in a complete blue funk, worrying about what can happen if the rethugs take over the Senate or beat the President next year.

    But today, it seems like there is something moving on a national level. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but it feels that way to me.

    Today, the President has announced plans to help homeowners avoid foreclosure (with the normal screams from the right), and also plans to help college students. The news from the stock market is good, unemployment is going down, the GDP is going up, and the President’s approval numbers are getting better. The support for the OWS is very positive and change is in the air. More people are recognizing the repub candidates’ ridiculous and out-of-touch positions, making them look completely inadequate to lead this country. The people are not completely deaf, dumb, and blind, nor are they apathetic anymore!

    But it’s more than that. The PEOPLE are waking up. They are watching and have strong opinions about the way they have been savaged by big corporations and big banks and yes, the government too. There is overwhelming support for raising taxes on the rich and for prosecuting the banksters. The people are identifying with the OWS movement, even if they are not all in the streets. Something is changing and growing in these United States!

    Today is a good day! The roller coaster is definitely climbing! And I have a smile on my face!

    Thanks for letting me comment on my personal feelings! You guys are the best!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Em, even I am allowing myself to think that the next election is going to shock the pudnuts. It could be (and in any healthy sane country SHOULD be)a landslide for Obama. What I am more worried about is the Senate, but I’m beginning to think we could keep it and re-take the House--or at least lower their numbers.

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Hi Cher! Thanks! I also think that we can re-take the House. It has been fairly apparently that the repubs are having some pretty bad buyer’s remorse for sending the baggers in to wreck the House of Representatives. The more that the President pounds them for their obstruction on the Jobs Act, the better it gets for our hopes.

        It was reported that we only have to lose four seats in the Senate to lose our majority. That’s some pretty tight odds. But with the amazing climb of Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, I am encouraged that we can at least hold on to what we’ve got. It would be wonderful to take at least 60 seats there in order to defeat the repubs’ filibusters, but that might be a tall order. It’s too soon to tell.

        All in all, I am encouraged. I do think the President will win re-election. He still has that blessed veto pen!

  2. jjgravitas says:

    The GOP spend their whole careers thinking from within the GOP box, never venturing outside of it. Feed and nurture the rich, starve everybody else, let them eat cake. Their debates are all about determining who is the GOP-i-est. The thought of any of these guys getting into the White House is truly frightening. Occupy D.C. would want to ramp up ten-fold in response. Many of our armed forces returning from Iraq would join in the Occupy protests, having returned to a U.S.A. with no jobs for them to return to, which is why many of them joined the military in the first place.

    • foodchain says:

      JJ, Oh wow! The power of seeing them would be amazing, especially with the GOP saying we shouldn’t leave Iraq. And it would help put to rest the difficulties with the troops returning from Vietnam

    • AdLib says:

      Hey JJ! I really am hoping that our returning troops join OWS to continue defending America and its people. That remarkable lecture that marine in NY gave to police, shaming them, was a testament to how powerful their support of OWS can be.

      I saw a tweet about the organizing of returning military, the site didn’t look 100% legit but I do hope they become visible participants. A populist movement can sure use people who can lead and accomplish objectives…and have a moral authority to speak about protecting the people.

      Let’s see what happens…

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Adlib, it was that “moral authority” that made that Marine’s rant so powerful. We have been taught to give absolute respect to the military for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for all of us. And rightfully so!

        The faces of the New York policemen that were on the receiving end of his rant were priceless to see. They didn’t dare try to back him down. If anyone would be respected by the police, it would be our heroes!

      • AdLib, those still on active duty status aren’t allowed to join protests. But those who are no longer on active duty can do so, because they are now civilians and aren’t subject to the terms of The Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

  3. AdLib says:

    It’s surreal to me that people running for the Presidency could be campaigning on taking health care away from Americans, taking homes away from Americans, taking teachers/police/fireman away from Americans, taking more tax money away from Americans, taking Social Security and Medicare away from Americans…

    …and still be considered viable candidates.

    I mean, for those people who would even entertain voting for any of these lunatics, what does it take to get you to vote in your best interests? For Repubs to propose making porn and hamburgers illegal?

    Unbelievable!

  4. Emerald1943 says:

    Atdnext, great post! Thanks!

    I am so sorry for the people out there in your state! In fact, I’m so sorry for all the people all over this country who have been savaged by the banks! There are several good articles today about just this subject, including one that Bito posted on the Twitter feed.

    http://t.co/JOr2cE8Z

    This article talks about the complicity of the Bush administration and the continual push by the repubs to de-regulate the financial markets that led us over the cliff. If you’ve not read it, I highly recommend it.

    Also, thanks for that little ray of bright light at the end of your piece…the Time Magazine poll that shows President Obama winning! In the face of all the bad news, it’s comforting to see that, even though we are still a year out.

    Thanks again for your article! Very interesting, and poignant!

    • atdnext says:

      Thanks. I was irritated when I already started to hear media pundits excuse Romney’s comments by saying he’s “callous, but correct”. No, he’s really NOT correct.

      http://nvprogressive.blogspot.com/2011/10/mitt-romney-callous-just-plain-wrong.html

      And he’s just as callous as ever. Foreclosures can have a devastating “domino effect” on the economy. That’s why Romney’s “don’t stop the foreclosures” plan just isn’t a realistic option (unless we really want a double-dip recession).

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Hi atdnext!

        “…unless we really want a double-dip recession”.

        But of course, that what the rethugs want! If they can continue to obstruct and beat back any attempt from the President and the Dems to make things better, the economy will be so bad by November 2012 that they think they can take back the White House. Never mind the pain of the people who are losing everything! Romney is such a pr*ck!

  5. atdnext says:

    Btw, ICYMI earlier, the Republicans just gave Nevada to President Obama!

    http://nvprogressive.blogspot.com/2011/10/wherein-nevada-is-positioned-to-remain_22.html

    Wow, they are really hellbent on losing… AGAIN!

    • coveark says:

      I love Progressives in Nevada and I love to hear our President speaking with passion………..
      As for the repugs in NV on that podium…………It is their lack of humanity and their lack of compassion , the peek into their psyco-minds that can give US some hope. They have no shame and no care or understanding.

      Keep up the good fight!!

      As far as selling large blocks of these homes at cut rates to investors….and renting them out…..guess who loses and guess who piles in more of the gravy………If they are going to be sold off at low prices they should at least be offered publicly. I know that in many areas of CA the investment still is very high on only one home that is repossed if they are even offered singly. Keeping the tax base cut and waiting to hand them over to the rich…..as they lower the services etc on the state and local level because of their created (in part) stagnant economy.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Hey atdnext, I really don’t have a problem with that! I hope you don’t either! :-)

      • atdnext says:

        Of course not, Emerald! In fact, I hope the Nevada GOoPers keep failing their way to losing the Senate race here along with more Congressional and Legislature seats! 😀

  6. bito says:

    I tried to count all the of the overbearing rules and regulations that are stopping the banks from negotiating on home loans that Mr. Cain gave in his interview but I lost count… Oh, wait, he did mention that the FDIC requires the banks to be solvent which stops them from “getting creative.”
    Wasn’t that one of problems, and still is, of the crash? That “creative” stuff?
    Exactly what part of Dodd-Frank is hurting banks, Mr. Cain?

    Regulations, regulations, regulations is so much of their drumbeat, yet they can never cite one and actually show how it is stopping banks/recovery from their investing.

    • Emerald1943 says:

      Bito, it’s not the regulations hurting the banks or anyone else…just another repub talking point that they all use too frequently, just because it sounds good to their base. It appeals to that independent streak in all Americans and makes these “no nothings” sound like they actually know what they’re talking about!

      There was a study that someone, maybe you, posted last week about the opinions of small business owners and regulations…whether or not regs were preventing businesses from hiring. The answer was overwhelmingly NO. Regulations were not preventing hiring. The main reason given by the businesses was a lack of demand for products or services. The repubs, I’m sure, paid no attention to this but just kept on with their same old lines.

      The repubs have taken up this anti-regulation drumbeat and will continue until somebody in the RNC changes their talking point of the day/week/month/year! One trick ponies…all of them!

      You would think that the repubs would sometimes change up their talking points. Don’t they realize that almost anyone in this country who pays any attention can recite their mantra? Cut taxes, deregulate, and privatize everything!

    • atdnext says:

      Wasn’t that one of problems, and still is, of the crash? That “creative” stuff?

      Yes, it was, bito. We all know it, but the GOP candidates are in full denial. If it weren’t for the regulations currently on the book, this Great Recession would have been another Greater Depression. And if we had better regulations on the book last decade, we would have been able to at least prevent much of what happened with the real estate bubble growing, then bursting.

    • SueInCa says:

      Bito
      I think you touched on the real issue, some banks are still not solvent. If they were, the Fed could start unloading the toxic assets back to them and it has not happened yet. The BIG LIE is ongoing.

      • bito says:

        That’s also trure, Sue, and Cain’s not even understanding what a FDIC bank is either complete ignorance or deception. FDIC banks make an agreement to stay solvent and in return are insured along with their depositors. That “creative” junk is what gets them in trouble. I can’t remember the exact numbers that is in Dodd-Frank that banks have to increase on their holdings but it’s around 1.5-2%. They can probably find that much in exec. salaries and bonuses.
        But your the banker and you know all that and more. 😉

        • SueInCa says:

          Bito
          Read this article from the Washington Post by Elliot Spitzer. He was attempting to out the Bush administration regarding the consumer protection agencies and how they completely dismantled them shortly before he was caught with a prostitute………………

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/13/AR2008021302783.html

          • Emerald1943 says:

            Sue, I am so sorry! I mistakenly gave you a thumbs down! I would reverse it but it won’t let me! Mea culpa!

            I was going to thank you for posting this. I read it about an hour ago before I saw your post. Quite revealing! Too bad Spitzer got caught with his panties around his ankles. I’m certainly not making excuses for the man, but I have always wondered if he was set up. He was getting awfully close to the culprits and I think they knew it. I know he had quite a history of hangin’ out with the ladies of the night, but the banksters could have used this information to set him up. The end result was that he left office in total disgrace and they were left to their own evil devices!

            I’m just sayin’…

  7. SueInCa says:

    Atdnext

    Great piece. I was one of the lucky ones who got out of Nevada right before the crash. We sold our home for 250k but unfortunately for the buyers they are now trying to unload it for 118k. Then we bought in CA and were lucky to get out with 8k selling our condo for 110k after we had paid 175k four years ago. To give you an idea how messed up things are, the city where we lived controlled the appreciation of those condos and according to their calculations that condo should have sold for 234k. Their calculations did not take into account increased foreclosure rates.

    Not many in Congress really care about what happened to the “people” they are supposed to be representing, with the GOP the worst of all. The truth is you are not going to find many people who are still in the black worrying too much about “the other guy”. I believe our country was deliberately pushed into what happened and were given the permission to “just go shopping” in order to keep the people from having a free moment to really think about what was going on or questioning how in the world they could all of a sudden afford a half million home without a salary increase. They wanted to believe this was normal and this Occupy movement is making those same people who were in on it very nervous because they are being exposed. They got away with it because the American people(for the most part) took those instructions and followed them to the natural conclusion: mountains of debt and one step from financial ruin. The GOP most likely are still going on the assumption that people are just too worried about their finances to really step out and speak up. Occupy proves them wrong and a GOPer never likes to be proven wrong nor will they ever see the world as it really is. Part of the reason they try to beat up on Liberals all the time?, open mindedness and critical thinking is not natural in their world.

    • atdnext says:

      Already, some media pundits here are trying to spin away Romney’s “let them get foreclosed” proposal by saying it’s the homeowners’ fault for buying into the bubble. Oh yes, never mind that under George W. Bush’s “Ownership Socieity”, the feds were ENCOURAGING the banks to “get creative”, pump out as many subprime loans as they could, then sell the mortgages to investors as “AAA rated mortgage backed securities”. This is why the Occupy/99% movement scares them. Occupy is directing the anger back toward where it belongs (at the banks and the politicians that serve them).

      • Emerald1943 says:

        Hey atdnext, you are so right! They have been trying to blame the home buyers from the outset when many of them were just duped, plain and simple! It’s kinda’ like blaming yourself if you aren’t rich and don’t have a job…you know, Cain’s admonition! What a deep thinker he is!! :-)

        I am so 100% supportive of the OWS movement and sincerely hope that they will be able to bring about some significant change! Just because they have large numbers doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be an uphill battle to beat these crooks who took all the money!

      • SueInCa says:

        adtnext
        Some people are blind and dumb and will never admit that republicans have done more damage than any other party.

  8. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    I “bank” at a credit union. There re lots of reasons. But this is one of them.

    Smallest foreclosure rate in the midwest because they planned ahead. The board decided not to get into the MacMansion business 10 years ago and emphasizes small family homes in traditional neighborhood settings.

    It created a “projected means” policy to govern home loans and never used the easy money scales promoted by Fannie and Freddie.

    Less than .5 Percent of their personal and commercial properties are “under water.” They make a lot less money on the foreclosure loop but their new member rate of growth is huge.

    And now my every present question: WHY DOES ANYONE IN THE MIDDLE OR LOWER CLASSES VOTE FOR ANYONE IN THE GOP? Even the “good” ones are part of an increasingly bad system.

    Friends tried to get a college loan from the Credit Union but they were refused because the loan required require projected payments which family income and likely employment for the young woman in question were too low. What impressed me is that the bank offered a advisory conference where they laid out alternative colleges which fit the family’s profile. That was two years ago and its working out fine.

    My point: when they want to, they can do it right and make money.

  9. Good article atdnext! Predatory beasts in the jungle, the entire lot of them. I can’t believe Mittens actually said what he said, ON CAMERA! These cretins don’t even try to mask their unbounded greed any longer. They no longer even pretend to be on the side of the American people. I say, keep talking Mittens and Cain, keep talking, because every time you do, you show more and more of your true selves! Americans are no longer sleeping and we ARE paying attention and taking notes.

    • SueInCa says:

      Kt
      Oh I can, Mittens is an idiot, one step away from being a full fledged GOPer. By that I mean he has the ability to be a critical thinker but he also is desperate to win the nomination so he acts like a GOPer in a pandering way to show “he is just like them”. Truth is I don’t think he really is, I think there is more liberal in him than he wants to let on.

      • The people of Massachusetts weren’t real fond of him, but they didn’t hate him either. And Mass is predominantly blue. I do think Romney truly is a shill for big money interests. Just another uber rich asshat IMO!

        • SueInCa says:

          KT that is probably true but there are liberals out there that are just like him. They will sell their souls for what they want, just like Mittens. Not everyone is a pure lib like you and I lol.

          • sue, I replied earlier, but it vanished. I agree, some folks are just more into money than anything else. I don’t get that impression from anybody here, but I’ve known many “liberals,” that seek a monied existence. I do not, and I blame the Beatles for their song “Can’t Buy Me Love!” 😉

            • Emerald1943 says:

              Hey KT! Your answer to Sue about Siddartha was very good! Being one of those “heathen” Buddhists, I can certainly relate. People who seek nirvana will never find it. It is already there…you just have to let it happen, like when you are standing on that balcony looking out over the ocean. And voila! :-)

            • Thanks for that reply sue. The story of Siddhartha is a great one. He of course became the Bhudda. Nirvana is a weird concept for me. I don’t really strive for that, or total bliss and happiness. I truly believe they are unattainable. But we have have moments of nirvana. Brief and wonderous experiences that turn us and guide us. I would imagine being on a hotel balcony and looking out over beautiful Hawaii and the brilliant blue pacific would be a form of it. There are so many beautiful and wonderous things in life that are there for us everyday. We just have to slow down and learn where to look.

            • SueInCa says:

              KT

              That is what getting out of the corp world felt like, freedom and serenity. I never realized how stressed I really was. I was traveling sometimes two weeks out of every month, one week in McClean VA for my staff there and then trips to customer locations with staff for projects. I had alot of miles racked up but I did the best thing in the world with them. Two trips to Hawaii and what we saved in airfare we stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel. Much better than working.

              I read Sidhartha many many years ago and my interpretation of the book was that all of our activities help to shape our world. No one activity can bring us nirvana, it takes many experiences and some never reach a complete state. I know I have not, but I am content.

            • It’s funny sue. I was never any where near wealthy. Then my addiction to booze and drugs kicked in and it made me live a less material oriented life. I guess I just got used to it after a while and when I recovered from the addiction, I started reading things like R.W. Emerson and Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching. Great life wisdom in both. I’m not singing the blues about my life, quite the contrary. I live a contented existence with little money and I have a lot of freedom.

            • SueInCa says:

              KT
              I know plenty but I would still rather have them on my side. I was caught up in that existence while I was working, more money was always the mantra but when I was laid off for the first time, I got off the wagon and have never been corporate since. I wish it was the Beatles who changed me, but a kicking in the butt from a corp is probably just as effective.


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