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Dems: Obama broke pledge to force banks to help homeowners

By Pro Publica
Friday, February 4, 2011 19:50 EDT
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Before he took office, President Obama repeatedly promised voters and Democrats in Congress that he’d fight for changes to bankruptcy laws to help homeowners—a tough approach that would force banks to modify mortgages.

“I will change our bankruptcy laws to make it easier for families to stay in their homes,” Obama told supporters at a Colorado rally on September 16, 2008, the same day as the bailout of AIG.

Bankruptcy judges have long been barred from lowering mortgage payments on primary residences, though they could do it with nearly all other types of debt, even mortgages on vacation homes. Obama promised to change that, describing it as exactly “the kind of out-of-touch Washington loophole that makes no sense.”

But when it came time to fight for the measure, he didn’t show up. Some Democrats now say his administration actually undermined it behind the scenes.

“Their behavior did not well serve the country,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who led House negotiations to enact the change, known as “cramdown.” It was “extremely disappointing.”

Instead, the administration has relied on a voluntary program with few sticks, that simply offers banks incentives to modify mortgages. Known as Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, the program was modeled after an industry plan. The administration also wrote it carefully to exclude millions of homeowners seen as undeserving.

The administration launched the program with a promise that it would help 3 million to 4 million homeowners avoid foreclosure, but it’s likely to fall far short of that goal. The Congressional Oversight Panel now estimates fewer than 800,000 homeowners will ultimately get lasting mortgage modifications.

Over the past year, ProPublica has been exploring why the program has helped so few homeowners. Last week, we reported how the Treasury Department has allowed banks to break the program’s rules with few ramifications. The series is based on newly released data, lobbying disclosures, and dozens of interviews with insiders, members of Congress and others.

As the foreclosure crisis grew through 2008, the large banks that handle most mortgages were slow to offer modifications to struggling homeowners. Homeowners were left to navigate an onerous process that usually did not actually lower their mortgage payment. More than half of modifications kept the homeowner’s payment the same or actually increased it.

Many in Congress and elsewhere thought that mortgage servicers, the largest of which are the four largest banks, would make modifications only if they were pressured to do so.

Servicers work as intermediaries, handling homeowners’ mortgage payments on behalf of investors who own the loans. Since servicers don’t own the vast majority of the loans they service, they don’t take the loss if a home goes to foreclosure, making them reluctant to make the investments necessary to fulfill their obligations to help homeowners.

To force those servicers to modify mortgages, advocates pushed for a change to bankruptcy law giving judges the power not just to change interest rates but to reduce the overall amount owed on the loan, something servicers are loath to do.

Congressional Democrats had long been pushing a bill to enact cramdown and were encouraged by the fact that Obama had supported it, both in the Senate and on the campaign trail.

They thought cramdowns would serve as a stick, pushing banks to make modifications on their own.

“That was always the thought,” said Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), “that judicial modifications would make voluntary modifications work. There would be the consequence that if the lenders didn’t [modify the loan], it might be done to them.”

When Obama unveiled his proposal to stem foreclosures a month after taking office, cramdown was a part of the package. But proponents say he’d already damaged cramdown’s chances of becoming law.

In the fall of 2008, Democrats saw a good opportunity to pass cramdown. The $700 billion TARP legislation was being considered, and lawmakers thought that with banks getting bailed out, the bill would be an ideal vehicle for also helping homeowners. But Obama, weeks away from his coming election, opposed that approach and instead pushed for a delay. He promised congressional Democrats that down the line he would “push hard to get cramdown into the law,” recalled Rep. Miller.

Four months later, the stimulus bill presented another potential vehicle for cramdown. But lawmakers say the White House again asked them to hold off, promising to push it later.

An attempt to include cramdown in a continuing resolution got the same response from the president.

“We would propose that this stuff be included and they kept punting,” said former Rep. Jim Marshall, a moderate Democrat from Georgia who had worked to sway other members of the moderate Blue Dog caucus on the issue.

“We got the impression this was an issue [the White House] would not go to the mat for as they did with health care reform,” said Bill Hampel, chief economist for the Credit Union National Association, which opposed cramdown and participated in Senate negotiations on the issue.

Privately, administration officials were ambivalent about the idea. At a Democratic caucus meeting weeks before the House voted on a bill that included cramdown, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner “was really dismissive as to the utility of it,” said Rep. Lofgren.

Larry Summers, then the president’s chief economic adviser, also expressed doubts in private meetings, she said. “He was not supportive of this.”

The White House and Summers did not respond to requests for comment.

Treasury staffers began conversations with congressional aides by saying the administration supported cramdown and would then “follow up with a whole bunch of reasons” why it wasn’t a good idea, said an aide to a senior Democratic senator.

Homeowners, Treasury staffers argued, would take advantage of bankruptcy to get help they didn’t need. Treasury also stressed the effects of cramdown on the nation’s biggest banks, which were still fragile. The banks’ books could take a beating if too many consumers lured into bankruptcy by cramdown also had their home equity loans and credit card debt written down.

While the Obama administration was silent, the banking industry had long been mobilizing massive opposition to the measure.

“Every now and again an issue comes along that we believe would so fundamentally undermine the nature of the financial system that we have to take major efforts to oppose, and this is one of them,” Floyd Stoner, the head lobbyist for the American Bankers Association, told an industry magazine.

With big banks hugely unpopular, the key opponents of cramdown were the nation’s community bankers, who argued that the law would force them to raise mortgage rates to cover the potential losses. Democratic leaders offered to exempt the politically popular smaller banks from the cramdown law, but no deal was reached.

“When you’re dealing with something like the bankruptcy issue, where all lenders stand pretty much in the same shoes, it shouldn’t be a surprise when the smaller and larger banks find common cause,” said Steve Verdier, a lobbyist for the Independent Community Bankers Association.

The lobbying by the community banks and credit unions proved fatal to the measure, lawmakers say. “The community banks went bonkers on this issue,” said former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT). With their opposition, he said, “you don’t win much.”

“It was a pitched battle to get it out of the House,” said Rep. Miller, with “all the effort coming from the Democratic leadership, not the Obama administration.”

The measure faced stark conservative opposition. It was opposed by Republicans in Congress and earlier by the Bush administration, who argued that government interference to change mortgage contracts would reduce the security of all kinds of future contracts.

“It undermines the foundation of the capitalist economy,” said Phillip Swagel, a Bush Treasury official. “What separates us from [Russian Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin is not retroactively changing contracts.”

After narrowly passing the House, cramdown was defeated when12 Democrats joined Republicans to vote against it.

Many Democrats in Congress said they saw this as the death knell for the modification program, which would now have to rely on the cooperation of banks and other mortgage servicers to help homeowners.

“I never thought that it would work on a voluntary basis,” said Rep. Lofgren.

At the time that the new administration was frustrating proponents of cramdown, the administration was putting its energies into creating a voluntary program, turning to a plan already endorsed by the banking industry. Crafted in late 2008, the industry plan gave banks almost complete freedom in deciding which mortgages to modify and how.

The proposal was drafted by the Hope Now Alliance, a group billed as a broad coalition of the players affected by the mortgage crisis, including consumer groups, housing counselors, and banks. In fact, the Hope Now Alliance was headquartered in the offices of the Financial Services Roundtable, a powerful banking industry trade group. Hope Now’s lobbying disclosures were filed jointly with the Roundtable, and they show efforts to defeat cramdown and other mortgage bills supported by consumer groups.

The Hope Now plan aimed to boost the number of modifications by streamlining the process for calculating the new homeowner payments. In practice, because it was voluntary, it permitted servicers to continue offering few or unaffordable modifications.

The plan was replaced by the administration’s program after just a few months, but it proved influential. “The groundwork was already laid,” said Christine Eldarrat, an executive adviser at the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “Servicers were onboard, and we knew their feelings about certain guidelines.”

As an official Treasury Department account of its housing programs later put it, “The Obama Administration recognized the momentum in the private sector reflected in Hope Now’s efforts and sought to build upon it.” It makes no mention of cramdown as being needed to compel compliance.

Ultimately, HAMP kept the streamlined evaluation process of the Hope Now plan but made changes that would, in theory, push servicers to make more affordable modifications. If servicers chose to participate, they would receive incentive payments, up to $4,000, for each modification, and the private investors and lenders who owned the loans would also receive subsidies. In exchange, servicers would agree to follow rules for handling homeowner applications and make deeper cuts in mortgage payments. Servicers who chose not to participate could handle delinquent homeowners however they chose.

The program had to be voluntary, Treasury officials say, because the bailout bill did not contain the authority to compel banks to modify loans or follow any rules. A mandatory program requires congressional approval. The prospects for that were, and remain, dim, said Dodd. “Not even close.”

“The ideal would have been both [cramdown and HAMP],” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), then the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. But given the political constraints, HAMP on its own was “better than nothing.”

“We designed elegant programs that seemed to get all the incentives right to solve the problem,” said Karen Dynan, a former senior economist at the Federal Reserve. “What we learned is that the world is a really complicated place.”

The program was further limited by the administration’s concerns about using taxpayer dollars to help the wrong homeowners. The now-famous “rant” by a CNBC reporter, which fueled the creation of the Tea Party movement, was prompted by the idea that homeowners who had borrowed too much money might get help.

Candidate Obama had portrayed homeowners in a sympathetic light. But the president struck a cautious note when he unveiled the plan in February 2009. The program will “not rescue the unscrupulous or irresponsible by throwing good taxpayer money after bad loans,” said Obama. “It will not reward folks who bought homes they knew from the beginning they would never be able to afford.”

While the government had been relatively undiscriminating in its bank bailout, it would carefully vet homeowners seeking help. HAMP was written to exclude homeowners seen as undeserving, limiting the program’s reach to between 3 million and 4 million homes.

In order to prove their income was neither too high nor too low for the program, homeowners were asked to send in more documents than servicers had required previously, further taxing servicers’ limited capacity. As a result, some servicers say eligible homeowners have been kept out. According to one industry estimate, as many as 30 percent more homeowners would have received modifications without the additional demands for documentation.

A lot of the program is focused on “weeding out bad apples,” said Steven Horne, former Director of Servicing Risk Strategy at Fannie Mae. “Ninety percent is not focused on keeping more borrowers in their homes.”

Reporting by Paul Kiel and Olga Pierce.

Pro Publica
Pro Publica
ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.
 
 
 
 
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  • http://wintersoldier.org Walter F. Wouk

    It’s time to face the irrefutable fact that Obama is a “sell out.”

  • Anonymous

    I try and I try to look for things to like about the man I voted for. GODDAMMIT when is he going to give me a reason?!

    All I seem to see are neo-con values coming out of a Demcrat’s mouth. WTF? I am ripped. When is this guy going to start representing his base?!

    He talks a very articulate game, then his actions give a face palm to the Left. EVERY FREAKIN TIME!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRHVHDAEGMWTNUSYM7X2WSURKU russell

    He didnt fail us…about 4 senate democrats cut his legs out from under him and I am sure you can guess the 4 I am talking. He has done as well as he could given the mess he was left with by the previous adminstration. Just because he is the President doesn’t automatically mean he can wave a magic wand and make things happen. If that were the case Bush would have really messed up the country by privatizing Social Security and outlawing abortion and gay marriage. We didnt lose the House because of republicans, we lost the house because lazy and non thinking democrats turned on their party for things they had no control over. Do I wish Dems in the senate would have forced the gop to follow through on all their fillibuster bluster..HELL YEA! But it didn’t happen. Just so we all remember, democrat or republican, this country’s laws are made for the wealthy, by the wealthy. Inj my assessment it is a case of choosing the lessor evils. I cant wait until enough gun toting Americans, both left and right, finally understand who the real enemy of the middle class is.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps Mr. “Screw everyone that got me in office” discovered that it’s impossible for the banks to do much of anything because they don’t own the deeds. Makes me wonder what’ll happen in a few years when the first of the 15 year mortgages that stay afloat reach the end of their term and homeowners can’t get clear title…I’m guessing Congress will simply grant all Corporate Citizens that bought the cash flow stream the ability to create deeds out of thin air.

  • Ma’at

    Of course he did. He hasn’t kept one single promise and is an unmitigated conservative disaster.

  • Anonymous

    If you believe anything obama told you, you haven’t been around very many con artists.

    I said long before he slithered into the nomination that the republicans would train him like a poodle…and I was right!

  • Guest

    He sure helped the Banks.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    Every pledge this fraud has made has been broken. He is the misleader…a man of lies just like his predecessor.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    Obama’s job was to fill us with hope and then break our will with his broken promises.

  • arianna issa

    Ve shouldt punish Banks andt da Wall Street becaust da peoples don’t vant to pay mortgage? President smart vhen he appoint Geithner andt da Summers to vatch out for our interest. Now he appoint Daley, somevone else vho know vho to take care ov. Must take care of Have’s, if not take care of Have’s dar be no Have’s and vith no Have’s dar would be no Have Not’s! Is simple! Plenty of crumbly bridges for da peoples to sleep under. All time hear Obama reneged on public option, Obama reneged on bankruptcy law, Obama reneged on tax cut for Have’s, or Obama reneged on thisa or thata. You people racist for calling President Reneger! You lazy Renegers for not paying mortgage! I learn dees thingks at Davos. As boy friend alvays say to me “They won’t be able to afford gas to run their fucking lawn mowers when we’re done with them, why do they want a fucking yard anyway? The won’t be able to mow it. You give these people an inch they’ll want a yard they can’t mow!” Andt he should know dees thingks, he billionaire congressman.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LJMNZL5KJFX2H5CKWK2S75HU7I Kevin

    Yes and if choose the lesser of two evils you just keep the system rolling and have no reason to bitch, ever.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you completely. Obama is as big a fraud as the banks he supports. He’s big on the MIC, in bed with the US Chamber of Commerce and it’s cronies. He’s against the working class, doesn’t believe in bringing back industry and the means of production…and those high tech jobs (that keep on going overseas with his help).

  • Anonymous

    President O’banka is showing his true colors: Green.

  • Anonymous

    And it’s amazing how many people bought into it (and still do, with ‘it” being the whole Hope(TM) and Change(TM) ad campaign). People on the right buy into the same sort of shit from their guys and ultimately tend to be just as disappointed. That’s how they keep we the people divided.

  • Anonymous

    He is clearly on the side of the banks and Wall Street. We voted for change, for a progressive liberal who would help us take back control of the country. We didn’t get that, and we are very, very angry.

  • Anonymous

    “I will change our bankruptcy laws to make it easier for families to stay in their homes,”

    And 34% of soldiers face foreclosure that fight the capitalist pigs wars. For shame America.

    US Soldiers Losing Homes to Illegal Foreclosures

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/01/us-soldiers-losing-homes-to-illegal-foreclosures/

  • Anonymous

    You really thought he was a “liberal.” I just thought he was a better upgrade from ver.1
    _0.1. Hopefully the “service” packs will make him work.

  • Anonymous

    “PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on our Obameter.”

    Obama has kept 134 promises, compromised on 41 and broken 34. Some 221 pledges are “in the works,” the scorecard finds.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/

  • Anonymous

    Presidential Directive – Strengthening Our Military Families
    January 24, 2011

    “I’m proud to announce that for the first time ever, supporting the well-being of our military families will be a priority not just for the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, but all across the federal government….Sixteen members of my Cabinet have committed their departments and agencies to making military families one of their highest priorities.”

    “We’re focusing on four areas —- the things you said matter most to you, whether you’re Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine or Coast Guard — active Guard or Reserve, a veteran or a member of a family of the fallen. We didn’t wait for today to launch these efforts. Many of these efforts have already been underway.”

    “First, we are putting new emphasis on the quality of life for our military families. The Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services, for example, have joined forces to improve community mental health services and prevent suicides”.

    “A new office in the Treasury Department is working to protect military families from abusive practices like predatory lending. It turns out that military families are more subject to some of these financial scams than just about any other group.”

    “The Agricultural Department is expanding its support for families in rural areas. A disproportionate number of our military families come from rural areas or are stationed in rural communities.”

    “The Interior Department — we use our national parks to help our wounded warriors recover. And we are going to remain relentless — not just at VA, but at HUD and HHS and across the government -— in our fight to end homelessness among our veterans. We have to have zero tolerance for homelessness among our veterans.”

    “So for the first time ever, the Department of Education will make military families a priority for some of its grant programs. And that’s going to give states and communities new incentives to address the unique needs of military children.”

    “The Interior Department, which is already one of the largest federal employers of young people, will create more opportunities, like summer jobs, for young people from military families. And today, we are renewing our call for every state to adopt the Interstate Compact, which makes it easier for military children to transfer between schools and succeed in the classroom.”

    “….we’re redoubling our efforts to help military spouses pursue their educations and careers. As Michelle said, we’ve brought in the departments of Labor and Commerce and the Small Business Administration. We’re going to help spouses get that degree, find that job, or start that new business. We want every company in America to know our military spouses and veterans have the skills and the dedication, and our nation is more competitive when we tap their incredible talents.”

    “And finally, we’re going to keep increasing childcare for our military moms and dads with young children. This is not just a job for the Department of Defense. As Michelle said, the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture are now helping, too. And working together, we believe we can find new childcare options for tens of thousands of military children.”

    “So these are just some of the nearly 50 specific commitments that my administration is making today….You see, this is one of those challenges, and one of those moments, when we have to remember what unites us as Americans, what we can achieve together — and what we owe to each other, especially to those who serve and sacrifice so we can live free and be safe.”

    “I want every service member who’s deployed to know that when you’re over there taking care of the country that you love, your country is back here taking care of the families that you love. I want every military wife and husband to know that we’re going to help you keep your family strong and secure. I want every military kid to know that we’re going to be there for you, too, to help you grow and to live your dreams.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/01/24/remarks-president-mrs-obama-and-dr-biden-presidential-studies-directive-

  • Anonymous

    Rachel Maddow outlines the things he has done so far.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908//vp/39959392#39959392

  • godistwaddle

    Obama: joined Bush to bail the banks that they may continue their depredations upon the rest of us; expanded Afghanistan–immolating American thugs and Afghan patriots to be re-elected and show himself all manned-up for the Repubs; continues Iraq; continues Gitmo; fails to prosecute the war criminals of the previous administration, making his own even more complicit in their crimes; dithers about foreclosures; expands Bagram, where Afghans and others may be tortured to death by the CIA without any oversight; expands drone attacks whereby American “heroes” annihilate the wedding parties of innocent (“terrorist”) Afghans by flipping a switch at Nelson AFB; makes sure meaningful health care reform will NOT occur; bails the companies who then coolly outsource more jobs; takes direction from BP; makes certain real banking reform will not get Citibank’s panties in a twist; and assures the rich that they need not pay their fair share for the privileges they’ve derived from american society and law.. In short, Obama joins the powerful in making sure this crisis reduces plain Americans to the peonage the powerful want. No more unions, no more living wages–just the workers in their place, happy to be wage slaves.

    If you voted for Obama, you really weren’t listening. He is and always has been a right-wing tool.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_USTC5E6P4FBMQRHXC2DBD2TOJE Jim C

    First you have to define ” kept ” . He claims he kept his promise on health care and I suppose one could make the argument he technically did . But is this watered down gift to the insurance industry with no public , government option or price controls really what we were rooting for ? I think not ! How about card check ” ? He tried kinda , a little , but got and fought for nothing . Banking regulation , weak , watered down and will be completely ineffective . In fact I can’t think of one thing he either promised or implied he was going to do that he’s come through on , except ” don’t ask don’t tell ” which of course is social legislation that the corporate boys could care less about . And there lies the pattern , do it only if it doesn’t step on corporate toes , otherwise let business call the shots , waffle and protest that ” this is as good as we could do ” without really trying or cave to the conservative position . This isn’t really what I had in mind , but maybe thats just me .

  • CozmicSeer

    This among other things to do with banks shows that they have sore butt cheeks and Obama has very sore lips.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1369501073 Gary Mialocq

    NEVER accept a loan modification. The ONLY reason they offer them is so they can cancel the original note which 99% of them can’t find. I know of several cases where homeowners accepted loan modifications, were making payments on time, only to learn their house had been sold at auction. The lenders’ explanation: “Our loyalty is to our investors, not the borrower”. Case closed.

  • Anonymous

    just another in a long list of broken promises by this empty suit! most banks are much too busy to help homeowners because all there time is spent fucking them over, jacking up fees, fraudulent foreclosures, BUSINESS AS MOTHERFUCKING USUAL! loan sharking is now done by banks and pay day loan joints, thats all congress is good for: making crime legal for banks and corporations!
    I cant wait for this country to fall, because we really need to go back to square one, no matter how ugly it gets!

  • Anonymous

    IM IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT, HES THE WORST KIND OF SELL-OUT! AT LEAST YOU KNEW BUSH WAS AN ERAND BOY FOR THE ELITES, HE NEVER TRIED TO HIDE THAT.
    BUT THIS SHIFTY MOTHERFUCKER WHO OCCUPYS THE WHITE HOUSE NOW PRETENDS TO BE WITH THE PEOPLE WHILE HE FUCKS US AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY!
    FUCK OBAMA! VOTING IN THE 2 PARTY SYSTEM IS LIKE PISSING IN THE WIND!

  • Anonymous

    I understand, i want to like the guy also, bush was easy to hate passionatly! Of course I want to root for our first black president. The sad fact is that it is becoming increasingly clear that Barkey is just another corporate stooge! A fucking liar, and a complete sell-out. Do I hate the guy?well,not yet, do I respect the piece of shit, FUCK NO!

  • godistwaddle

    SHOW ME YOUR PAPERWORK, MUTHAS!!

  • D.Crockett

    the government holds 90% of the home loans in the U.S. is there a wispier socialism here
    our would it be easer to claim “imminent domain” if there were was a break down of government
    control. if you don’t know it the government can also claim all of your gold holdings as well.

  • D.Crockett

    I see the health reform as a”health tax” the I.R.S. is going to be the police as to insure
    you pay the piper oh by the way the Insurance co that will write the government health policies will owned by the government.

  • Anonymous

    Obama the F***ing Wall Street/Zionist/Pentagon puppet.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    Obama has broken so many pledges I’ve lost count. He’s a pathological liar.

  • Anonymous

    No no this is all part of Obama’s master 4 dimensional Start Trek/Spock chess game that you all are far too igmorant to understand, that any day now, when he is in office a little longer, he is going to launch.
    I mean he’s only been in office what,10 years? Give him a chance you haters.

  • Anonymous

    “Obama broke pledge to force banks to help homeowners”

    Of course he did, just like promises and other pledges he made to the people who put him into the oval office. He’s been a lying sack of shit you can’t trust, except you can trust him to break his promises and pledges.

  • Anonymous

    Of course. As Chomsky put it (paraphrasing) ‘ banks were his main benefactor and they expect to be paid back’

    Now, what part of our ‘sputnik moment’ is this?

  • Anonymous

    Dubya with a higher IQ and more destructive because of it

  • Anonymous

    Let me spell it out since you didn’t. The enemy of the middle class (and democracy) are the wealthy elites. Obomber works for them.

    They are enabled by most dems who are bought and paid for and abolutely the entire republican party and all it stands for today.

    ‘his hands were tied’ and ‘it’s not perfect, but…’ are just more lies from Obomber..

  • Anonymous

    Not the same. Bush was up front about what he was and what he wanted.

  • Anonymous

    true, better than nothing.. also true: trimming around the edges… also true: no fundamental changes… also true: makes us happy to have crumbs… also true: better than McCain/Palin?

    maybe not. If they were in power, maybe it would wake up Americans to the point of some kind of limited revolution, where at least the next generation would be in much better shape…

  • Anonymous

    Even if you accept the ‘st perterburgh times’, which I don’t much – I’ve looked at this and doesn’t seem to great. I would put more faith in another source. anyway:

    kept: 134 (I think some may be questionable)
    ‘in the works’, compromised, broken, stalled: 370

    some record. look at history, FDR was admired while campaigning and while in office. How many people would come to Obomber’s speeches now or ever again? You have to face the fact that as a campaigner he told people what they wanted to hear, he will always do that.

    imo, the American people thought we were getting an FDR-lite or maybe a kind of Thurgood Marshall. But what we got is a nice Clarence Thomas.

  • Anonymous

    Obummer is an out and out fraud.

  • Anonymous

    More like tiddlywinks. The man’s an ass and your a FOOL for reviving this nonsensical “4 Dimensional Chess” Star Trek rubbish.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, Bush was a train-wreck, but you knew where he stood. Obama says one thing and does the other.

    He seems to have an extreme distaste for Liberals.

  • Jaimie11

    She’s a formidable apologist for perfidy. Thing is he does a little dab there and then big back stab here.

  • Jaimie11

    Politifact is biased towards their base of support. Of course they would be expected to prop up the O man. Keeps ‘em in business pumping out all that phony nonpartisanship.

  • outsidevoice

    Uh, I think he is kidding. Read the comment again from that angle.

  • Jaimie11

    Nothing like enticing a whole new crop of naive, poverty stricken young people to sign up to fight for oil and world domination.

    Still the brain damaged are not getting the care they need – oh well, they’re used up. When a soldier, or anyone who is not a privileged member of the 2% class and their lackeys, starts costing more to maintain than he brings in to the profits numbers, they’re expendable. Problem is you just can’t kill them outright…not quite yet anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I see that now. Perhaps I was hasty because I see little humor in the actual situation.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TTCYMSQW7E5EVBYYMS2YSNCSAM Anonymous

    So he promises us healthcare reform, and instead signs into law a plan to make the health insurance companies rich by forcing us all to carry commercial insurance policies, then he supports big agriculture by supporting GE foods, allowing Monsanto to sue small farmers whose crops have been contaminated with GE pollens,and now he supports the banks by completely falling through on his promise to help people stay in their homes. That’s just awesome. I wonder which ultra-rich group of companies he’s going to help next?

    If I lie on my job application I can be fired from my job without further ado….

  • outsidevoice

    I’m right there with you brother. It’s enough to make us all crazy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-W-Roads/629696293 Chris W Roads

    NO MATTER WHO YOU VOTE FOR THE GOV STAYS IN POWER.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRBJ4PCICLE2LKWF2USZSQWGG4 Jim

    And apparently a whole lot less ethical. Intention counts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRBJ4PCICLE2LKWF2USZSQWGG4 Jim

    Facts on the ground prove without question that the big banks get the love -and the taxpayer’s money- and the homeowners, the people, get the shaft.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRBJ4PCICLE2LKWF2USZSQWGG4 Jim

    What’s making us crazy is that we have been straight-faced lied to.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LJMNZL5KJFX2H5CKWK2S75HU7I Kevin

    I really don’t see how anyone thought he was a progressive liberal? The fact that he was eager to keep fighting in Afghanistan spoke volumes.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRBJ4PCICLE2LKWF2USZSQWGG4 Jim

    And, when you get a loan mod the non-recourse loan becomes a full-recourse loan.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRBJ4PCICLE2LKWF2USZSQWGG4 Jim

    Not always maybe but he thinks he sees what side his bread is buttered on.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JRBJ4PCICLE2LKWF2USZSQWGG4 Jim

    I hold my nose. The stench comes through.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LJMNZL5KJFX2H5CKWK2S75HU7I Kevin

    That popularity was built on false perceptions. FDR isn’t any less a war-criminal. So in a sense you got your FDR.

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