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Exactly.  This is what many have been hammering on: This isn't just an issue of technical fuck-ups.  This is a complete breakdown in the mechanism that protects people's property rights.

It's not possible for two banks to foreclose on the same house without fraud.  It's not possible to foreclose on someone who didn't have a mortgage without fraud.

Even in the cases where we actually are talking about merely flawed paperwork (and those are by no stretch all the cases, I'll bet), you can't have these technical problems without systemic fraud.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 08:20:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not fraud if you win and you don't do jail time.

This is like enclosure, the clearings or any other historical land grab.

Wikipedia:

The process of enclosure has sometimes been accompanied by force, resistance, and bloodshed, and remains among the most controversial areas of agricultural and economic history in England. Marxist and neo-Marxist historians argue that rich landowners used their control of state processes to appropriate public land for their private benefit. This created a landless working class that provided the labour required in the new industries developing in the north of England. For example: "In agriculture the years between 1760 and 1820 are the years of wholesale enclosure in which, in village after village, common rights are lost".[1] "Enclosure (when all the sophistications are allowed for) was a plain enough case of class robbery"

The difference this time is that the left-overs will become vagrant and useless. There's nothing for them to do, except steal and deal.

And given that politically the choice is between Obama, whose take-down of the bankers lacks a certain enthusiasm, and some right-wing wacko with mental health issues - pick any one from the badgers-with-rabies bag of bonkers candidates - a new vagrant class dying in ditches is the most likely outcome.

State AGs can only push it up to the Supremes. And we know whose side they're on.

Unfortunately for the bankers, what's more likely to happen is that they'll start suing each other at some point. That's when it's going to get interesting.

But I don't have much optimism in bottom-up legal challenges, because that whole due process thing has been a joke in the US since Gitmo, at least. This development is just the director's cut for domestic release.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 09:12:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
State AGs can only push it up to the Supremes. And we know whose side they're on.

Theoretically they could push it to the Supreme Court, but even if the winger justices wanted to do a land grab (Tenth Amendment be damned), I don't think they have the votes.  There isn't any law to work off for the feds as far as the foreclosures go.

The MBSs, perhaps.

Most likely, I think, is SCOTUS will want no part of this.  As you know, SCOTUS's first reaction on an issue the public is well aware of is to run away as quickly as it can.  You'll get them to finally make an opinion known on same-sex marriage before this.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 09:28:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Truthout: Foreclosuregate and Obama's "Pocket Veto" (07 October 2010)
Amid a snowballing foreclosure fraud crisis, President Obama today blocked legislation that critics say could have made it more difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosure proceedings against them.

The bill passed the Senate with unanimous consent and with no scrutiny by the DC media. In a maneuver known as a "pocket veto," President Obama indirectly vetoed the legislation by declining to sign the bill passed by Congress while legislators are on recess.

...

The swift passage and the president's subsequent veto of this bill come on the heels of an announcement that Wall Street banks are voluntarily suspending foreclosure proceedings in 23 states.

MERS is a system that allows banks to bypass the legal obligation to hold the physical note in order to foreclose. Note how this bill passed the senate unanimously...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 11:58:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Without a record of who was present, in either the Senate or the House.
by gk (gk) on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 02:57:28 PM EST
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Yeah, because "passing by unanimous consent" means (if I remember Roberts's Rules of Order properly) that the speaker asks "is there any objection to unanimous consent?" and, if there isn't, the motion is not put to a vote.

But you would expect there to have been a quorum and the minutes of the session to record who was present, wouldn't you?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 04:44:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There has to be a quorum in the chamber for the Senate to be in session.  I don't think there has to be a quorum in the chamber to pass legislation.  I know a Quorum Call is a standard tactic when someone wants to be a PITA, for some reason, and drag everybody from whatever it was they were doing into the chamber to prove there is a quorum "present."  

So, I'd say as long as nobody questioned it and under Unanimous Consent it was passed under the Rules of the Senate.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 05:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You would think in the current climate it would be impossible for anything to pass by unanimous consent. However, you would be wrong. It is very revealing that it's something such as this that can pass by unanimous consent.

It is also revealing of the skin-deep support for this measure that Obama vetoed this and the Senate didn't pass it again.

So, what happened, was the motion snuck in by some bank hack, and approved by "yeah, whatever", until someone at the White House actually read it and figured it might not be such a good idea?

Also, this veto adds some nuance to Krugman's

True to form, the Obama administration's response has been to oppose any action that might upset the banks, like a temporary moratorium on foreclosures while some of the issues are resolved. Instead, it is asking the banks, very nicely, to behave better and clean up their act. I mean, that's worked so well in the past, right?


By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 16th, 2010 at 06:09:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has this ever happened before? Vetoing legislation that passed unanimously?
by gk (gk) on Sun Oct 17th, 2010 at 01:59:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is just weird.

The legislation passes unanimously, but without an actual vote (just by "no objection to unanimous consent").

In parliamentary procedure, unanimous consent, also known as general consent, or in the case of the parliaments under the Westminster system, leave of the house, is a situation in which no one present objects to a proposal. The chair may state, for instance: "If there is no objection, the motion will be adopted. [pause] Since there is no objection, the motion is adopted" or in Westminster parliaments, "There being no objection, leave is granted." On the most routine matters, such as inserting an article into the Congressional Record, the chair may shorten this statement to four words: "Without objection, so ordered" or even to two words: "Without objection." If no member objects the motion is adopted, but if any member does declare his opposition the motion is not adopted and cannot be agreed to without a vote.
Then it gets an underhanded veto ("pocket veto")
A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver in United States federal lawmaking that allows the President to indirectly veto a bill. The U.S. Constitution requires the President to sign or veto any legislation placed on his desk within ten days (not including Sundays) while the United States Congress is in session. From the U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 7 states:
If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a Law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a Law.
If the President does not sign the bill within the required time period, the bill becomes law by default. However, the exception to this rule is if Congress adjourns before the ten days have passed and the President has not yet signed the bill. In such a case, the bill does not become law; it is effectively, if not actually, vetoed.
This is the equivalent of passive-aggressive behaviour on the part of the legislative and executive branches, presumably in response to very strong pressure from the financial sector and in strong fear of a very polarised public opinion (whatever you do you will be denounced by either the left or the right in the strongest terms, so you just do nothing).

In other words, both the Congress and the White House are scared out of their wits and doing stupid shit they are not convinced about.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 17th, 2010 at 03:58:34 AM EST
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