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Happy Hour Roundup

* Steve Benen, who previously got blogospheric traction with a series of health care posts called "Pass The Damn Bill," now urges Dems to vote on extending the middle class tax cuts: "Hold The Damn Votes." Indeedy! We'll be hearing more of that, I wager.

* But: House Dem leaders are considering adjourning early, which would give them more time to campaign -- without having voted on whether to extend the middle class tax cuts.

* And yet...also in that link: House leaders reportedly "hope" they can hold that vote. Uh, isn't it up to them?

* Question of the day: At the CNBC town hall with voters today, Obama was asked:

I think some of those in business may think that deep down you think that working for profit is morally inferior to the kind of work you used to do as a community organizer. Is that how you feel?

A better question would be: Is that really how they feel?

* Also: Obama took a fair amount of heat from disillusioned supporters.

* Here's the only piece you need to read on why Christine O'Donnell probably can't win.

* Full-throated endorsement of the day: The Delaware GOP chair tells ABC News that he's pulling for O'Donnell because it's "my job" to get her and other Republicans elected, "whether I like it or not."

* It's on: House GOP to unveil its policy agenda this Thursday, and two-thirds of the items are said to be actual legislative proposals. But:

A House GOP strategist highly involved in getting Republicans elected told CNN it was important to abide by the so-called "80-20 rule," meaning "the election is 80 percent about Democrats and 20 percent about us."

* And: The Hill speculates the GOP plan will include freezing spending at 2008 rates, extending all the Bush tax cuts, and repeal of health reform.

* The response from Dem leadership aide Doug Thornell: "What's shocking is that it took them more than 20 months to repackage a plan that's no different from the one that caused the Great Bush Recession."

Pretty sure "Great Bush Recession is a new one.

* Gallup, which got tons of attention when it found a big GOP lead in the generic ballot matchup, now finds the parties nearly tied.

* Not our usual fare, but Jesse Zwick does a nice job looking into some of the sources quietly funding anti-gay ballot initiatives in California and Maine.

* An interesting profile of Glenn Beck, full of info about his early years that's worth a look.

* It looks like Harry Reid's campaign is now openly questioning Sharron Angle's sanity. In a release accompanying a new Web video showing repeated efforts by Angle to dodge her past positions, the Reid campaign wrote:

Does Sharron Angle even understand the difference between reality and fiction at this point?

* Where does all the talk about mosques and sharia law come from? Matt Duss has been doing nice work digging into the behind-the-scenes thinkers who are hatching all this stuff. Newt is the front man.

* And Barbara Morrill, on O'Donnell's claim that people were created in "God's image" and homosexuality is an "identity disorder":

Presumably God's image is reserved for people who think and act like Christine O'Donnell. Who knew that God once "dabbled in witchcraft"?

What else is happening?


By Greg Sargent  | September 20, 2010; 5:45 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Happy Hour Roundup, Health reform, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, economy  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Game on? Senate Dems move towards vote on middle class tax cuts
Next: The Morning Plum

Comments

Plumliners, a reminder that lms has generously spent some time establishing an Act Blue page for contributions to candidates. If this interests you, and you share our desire to keep Boehner (or Pence, or Bachmann) and/or McConnell (or DeMint) from controlling their respective portions of the Congress, then please follow the link:

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well, Chris at "The Fix" didn't think that O'Donnell or Angle could win their respective primary either ...

Just wait until Thursday!!!

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"Full-throated endorsement of the day: The chair of the Delaware Republican Party tells ABC News that he's pulling for O'Donnell because it's "my job" to get her and other Republicans elected, "whether I like it or not.""

Good stuff, Greg. Later, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"Does Sharron Angle even understand the difference between reality and fiction at this point?"

Fantastic question.

Sharron Angle:

Harry Reid has voted "to give special tax breaks to illegal aliens."

PolitiFact:

FALSE

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/sep/17/sharron-angle/sharron-angle-calls-harry-reid-best-friend-illegal/

Sharron Angle:

Harry Reid has voted "to give illegals Social Security benefits even for the time they were here illegally."

PolitiFact:

BARELY TRUE

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/sep/17/sharron-angle/sharron-angle-says-harry-reid-wants-give-illegals-/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Donate to Christine O'Donnell's campaign today!

https://secure.piryx.com/donate/ObyCSaw9/Friends-of-Christine-ODonnell/primary-victory

Or, send a check to "Friends of Christine O'Donnell" • PO Box 3987 • Wilmington, DE 19807

And, be sure to vote for Bristol Palin tonight on DWTS ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg, that Cillizza piece is a keeper. We'll see how the numbers match the reality.

The piece of Yerushalmi is an eye-opening, and disgusting example of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the right.

It's McCarthyism all over again, but even stupider (if that's possible).

Charlie McCarthyism: empty-headed bigotry and xenophobia.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

60-Plus:

The new health care law "will cut $500 billion from Medicare. That will hurt the quality of our care."

PolitiFact:

BARELY TRUE

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/sep/20/60-plus-association/medicare-cuts-health-care-law-will-hurt-seniors-sa/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Jake, you go ahead and send her some money. She has rent due on the first and who knows when she'll drive by a Ruby Tuesdays?

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Already done, BGinCHI ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this is definitely one to watch:

* One Wisconsin Now uncovers organized voter suppression effort *

One Wisconsin Now has learned of an organized voter suppression effort between the Wisconsin GOP, Americans for Prosperity, and a number of tea party groups.

The organization obtained an audio recording, which it says it has verified as authentic, from a June 16, 2010 meeting.

"""""According to the statements made on the recordings, Dake lays out the plans, detailing contact between himself and Reince Preibus, the Republican Party of Wisconsin Chair and Mark Block, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin:

* The Republican Party of Wisconsin will use its “Voter Vault” state-wide voter file to compile a list of minority and student voters in targeted Wisconsin communities.

* Americans for Prosperity will use this list to send mail to these voters indicating the voter must call and confirm their registration information, and telling them if they do not call the number provided they could be removed from the voter lists.

* The Tea Party organizations will recruit and place individuals as official poll workers in selected municipalities in order to be able to make the challenges as official poll workers.

* On Election Day, these organizations will then “make use” of any postcards that are returned as undeliverable to challenge voters at the polls, utilizing law enforcement, as well as attorneys trained and provided by the RPW, to support their challenges."""""

As a result, One Wisconsin Now has filed a request for investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Election Integrity Task Force and the Government Accountability Board.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/9/20/903616/-One-Wisconsin-Now-uncovers-organized-voter-suppression-effort

GET OUT THE VOTE, WISCONSIN!

DON'T FALL FOR ANY TRICKS.

IF YOU ARE IN DOUBT AT ALL, CALL THE STATE ELECTIONS OFFICE!

http://gab.wi.gov/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Christine O'Donnell says that I was "created in God's image". Isn't that cloning, and doesn't that make me a "God"?

Of course it also makes all of you God's too, so none of you no longer need to fear "the wrath of God", because you are it's equal.

Thank Christine The Witchcraft Dabbler for making you aware, that you too are a "God".

Posted by: Liam-still | September 20, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Do they EVER GET TIRED OF THEIR OWN HYPOCRISY?!?!?! JEEZ!

* Stimulus-hating Rossi tours stimulus-saved shipyard *

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dino Rossi has fiercely criticized the $800 billion federal stimulus package of 2009, saying it did nothing but add to the federal debt and failed to turn the economy around...

But on Thursday, he toured a Whidbey Island shipyard that didn't fit that narrative. I tagged along.

Rossi visited Nichols Bros. shipyard in Freeland, which was the recipient of $841,000 in stimulus money. (The boat-building firm received the money through a competitive grant process under the name Ice Floe LLC.)....

Nichols Bros. boasts of actually increasing its hiring this year - the company employs 210 workers now, up from 130 last April.

During the tour, I asked Collins whether the federal stimulus had anything to do with that.

"Absolutely, it had a big part of it," Collins said.

Collins said the stimulus gave money to customers that translated to work on new or repaired boats. And Nichols said the direct, $841,000 grant enabled the company to do that work faster and more profitably.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/9/20/903531/-WA-Sen:-Stimulus-hating-Rossi-tours-stimulus-saved-shipyard

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for highlighting the Actblue link again BG. I'm out to do some local campaigning for a few hours and will check in later.

We've already raised $325 today and I'll keep these three names up until Friday when we'll find another three that need support in close races. Most everyone seems to think Sestak is a good choice for the next round so let me know if there's someone else you'd like to see on our "community organizers" page.

No amount is too small really, it's time to show these candidates they have our support so please consider donating. If we all just skip a movie night or dinner out once a week it adds up. Thanks in advance.

Chris Coons was, I thought, an obvious choice for this week as we don't want to take anything for granted. Below are links to why I chose Feingold and Grayson this week.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/radio/2010/09/14/feingold/index.html

http://forward.com/articles/131322/#ixzz0zv978eQo

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Greg, I'll check out your links when I get back and try to post a comment or two in between the "thread bomber's" late night marathon.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 20, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, no, no they don't. Not even close.

And here's Dick Armey, who doesn't understand Social Security or the idea that "pay as you go" is not the point.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/dick-armey-social-security-is-a-ponzi-scheme.php?ref=fpblg

What a giant jackass.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Here's a campaign email from Alan Grayson -- who is on our Plum Line Community Organizers page this week -- that I enjoyed immensely!

----------

Dear xxxxxxx,

It looks like the drug companies don't like me.

No, strike that. It looks like the drug companies really, really hate me. And they'll do everything within their power to get rid of me.

Which is why I need your help. Please contribute to our campaign, and show the drug companies that we're sick - sick of them!

This month, the "60 Plus Association" is pouring over $600,000 into negative ads against me. And who is the "60 Plus Association"? The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has "outed" "60 Plus" as a front for PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Holy Harry and Louise! We're being attacked by Big Pill!

Who should choose our elected officials - us, or the giant drug companies? It's time to give Big Pill a bad case of acid reflux. Support our campaign, and help us fight back.

Do you know what message Big Pill is using to numb, sedate, narcotize and stupefy the electorate? It's the shocking revelation that I voted for health care reform. Which Big Pill says will cut $500 billion from Medicare benefits - a total lie that FactCheck quickly exposed.

http://www.factcheck.org/2010/09/misleading-onslaught-by-60-plus/

Next month, who knows what Big Pill will spend to defeat us? $1 million? That's the profit that Merck, a single drug company, makes every hour.

Every. Hour.

We need a cure for what ails us. And what ails us is the anonymous corporate manipulation of public opinion by front groups like "60 Plus." Contribute $25, $50 or more to our campaign, and help put a chill on "Big Pill."

Before it's too late.

Truth,

Alan Grayson

----------

You know what they say...

The bigger the headache, the bigger the pill.

So tell Big Pill to Chill!

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Pleasant evening, ya'll.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Some of the posters here from the right are just beyond ignorant or without conscience.

In this mornings Plum I posted about Mike Huckabee's heartless take for the "values" voters. He compared pre existing Medical conditions to a house already burnt to the ground or a car already wrecked.

In the purest free enterprise sense everybody can understand his point. In a very real HUMAN sense MOST people..at least those who can combine a brain and a heart understand comparing the dignity of human life...human suffering..with a piece of property is simply DISGUSTING. It is absolutely un-Christian.

Debating this point this morning one truly ignorant poster coined this gem...

"Again, work with county case workers like I do. You'll soon learn that Americans will take advantage of anything they can. And if that means scheming the systems that you do goodie good guys develop then so beit."

Are these people truly that heartless? That ignorant. I mean seriously I literally do not understand the kind of warped mind that comes up with stuff like that. So people with pre-existing conditions...like birth defects...those that suffer from genetic disorders..are
"scheming the system"?

Seriously! Are there really people who can think like this? That human life is the same as a house or a car? That a pre existing condition is all part of "scheming the system"

Ohh and the best part...this poster wants my home address..presumably so he can come and teach me a lesson. Yes...zero compassion..but he can work up some violence! What is this country coming to?

Truth is I've been in the gym 6 days a week for the past 8 weeks. I'm Irish..bad temper...even at 62 I'm feeling great..lots of testosterone brewing from lifting all those heavy weights..all that spinning..but if I invited that moron down to meet me and kicked his pathetic arse from one side of town to the other..what would that make me? HIM!!! I think I'll pass. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I've got to re-post this from the previous thread. I think it spectacularly demonstrates the danger of an uninformed electorate:

Quote of the day:

The deficit didn't matter during times of prosperity (am I the only one who can see that?).

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The most complete demonstration of ignorance that I have seen in some time.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 20, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

Did you see my question to you this morning?

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

ruk, what are you hearing about Grayson? Any local tidbits? And what about the Gov and Senate races?

Good to hear you're keeping at the gym.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

You were complaining about some TEA Party candidate who said: "Women aren't capable of service in the Armed forces and their admission to the Military Academies would ruin those institutions".

I was asking if you had ever read this from (now U.S. SENATOR from Virginia) Jim Webb, who happens to be a Democrat, entitled: "Women can't fight"?

http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/mediapolitics/2182.html

I'm not being sexist in saying that women should not be involved in combat. Think of it as more like chivalry : )

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Must-read takedown of the WaPo editorial page's rant against Elizabeth Warren.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/20/the-washington-posts-deme_n_731488.html

Great stuff.

Can't believe how pathetic Fred Hiatt and that ship of fools can be.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Below is a comment from Ezra Klein's blog:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/the_rich_are_not_bad_just_rich.html

Another demonstration of the bad mis-information/understanding of many of the GOP elctorate:

If Obama and the Democrats are successful in raising the tax rates on the quasi-rich, then they too, like the super rich will work hard to avoid paying taxes. I met a woman this weekend who has a doctor husband who makes more than $250,000. She was planning on starting an alpaca farm so that they could use the expenses as a tax write off. Her only motivation for this was to counterbalance the tax increases coming next year. I am sure that people like the Hendersons will meet with a tax attorney before they sell their house or cars, and come up with ways to deprive the Obama administration and the Democrats of the revenue that they think that they will get by raising the taxes on "the rich".

Posted by: cummije5 | September 20, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

This person obviously does not understand that (s)he is actually making a very strong argument IN FAVOR of raising taxes on the rich -- that they will search for and invest in expense generating opportunities that may decrease their profits but that will actually expand the overall economy, ease unemployment and grow revenues.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 20, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

@BG Sink has close to a double digit lead over Scott. Of course he has only spent 250 of his 300 million (that we know of..Scott is the first Gubernatorial candidate from either party in decades to refuse to release his tax returns)which means he'll probably come in the last couple of weeks big time with all the negative ads for which he's become famous. He's started already but Sink actually has a much larger war chest than he does..at the moment.

Don't know about Grayson. Orlando is at the end of the I-4 corridor that typically decides statewide races but we here on the West end of the corridor have more blue..the East end in Orlando more red. Quite frankly Grayson sitting in that seat was already a bit of an anomaly in typically R Orlando. I haven't kept up with the polls. I am on Grayson's list serve and so I get the emails including the one Ethan shared. For a New Yorker Ethan is very astute and up to date on Florida politics. I'll let him discuss the Senatorial campaign...last I saw Marco the back room dealer had a double digit lead over both Crist and even more over Meeks.

Thanks for the encouragement about regaining my fitness. Next year if you make it up to the UP perhaps we could try
the Brockway Mountain Climb. Every biker I've seen at the top of that climb looks like they just finished the Tour De France.
THAT would be a true test of fitness! ;-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@JakeD Sorry I missed your question this morning.

If you wish to repeat it I'll try to answer without snark. I'll pay you respect as a fellow Vet and I know you take your religion seriously so I'll respect that as well.

I must warn you of my strength/weakness..a bit of the yin and yang as it were.
I am a mirror Jake. When people approach me nicely I return that...when they approach with snark or violence..I certainly return the snark..and alas sometimes the name calling...I am getting better about the violence though. Perhaps I'm just getting too old. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's asserts that covering pre-existing conditions is a violation of insurance principles and compares it to property insurance where the company does not retroactively cover a burned down house.

The market for health insurance is 85% employer covered which DOES cover pre-existing conditions. It is absurd to say that the industry can cover the pre-existing conditions of 85% of its market, but not the 15%. They can cover the pre-existing conditions of their individual market if they want to.

Further, a person with a pre-existing condition is not equivalent to a burned down house, unless he is dead. It is erroneous to compare a person with allergies to a burned down house.

Further, his position not only flies in the face of insurance principles as applied by the industry itself, but is obviously insensitive to human life. He seems very sensitive to insurance companies' profits. Huckabee has clearly chosen money over life. I expect more from a man of the cloth.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7:

No need to apologize. I was simply asking if you had ever read this?

http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/mediapolitics/2182.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

JakeD If your question was the one about Jim Webb...yes I saw that. I'm sure there are other Dems who feel like Webb. When I was a young man I would have agreed with you about no woman in combat or the Academies.

Alas Jake whether you wish to admit it or not that ship has sailed..or perhaps that tank has rolled. Women have attended the Academies...very successfully and so it's really hard to argue objectively that they have harmed those institutions.

BTW Jake, I came very close to attending West Point. I had a chance to go to Fort Belvoir prep school where the 50 enlisted men selected each year used to go to for one year to prepare for the Academy. I elected to pass on that opportunity. There is not a day that passes that I don't have second thoughts...for about a millisecond. I am not "lifer" material. Two years was enough. Still I certainly respect ALL lifers or career soldiers.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

12Bar - obviously, you don't know Our Mike all that well.

After that horrible school shooting (at a middle school! 11 and 12 year-olds shooting their classmates & teachers!) here back in the 90s, Mike wrote a book about school shootings and youth violence, called "When Kids Kill" and used his office as governor to pimp book sales. When he was asked if he was donating any or all of the proceeds to the victim's fund, he got defensive and said he wasn't, and that was his right - he had KIDS to put through college, so he needed to cash in however he could.

This book came out something like 6 months after the shootings, and Mike admitted that the shootings were his inspiration for the book. But...sorry victims! Can't let your bills, funeral expenses, etc get in the way of making a buck!

That's the kind of "Christian" Mike Huckabee is.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 20, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Jake, have you read Matterhorn (by Karl Marlantes)? ruk can vouch for its power as a war novel.

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Chivalry is dead : (

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Imsinca wrote,
"We've already raised $325 today and I'll keep these three names up until Friday when we'll find another three that need support in close races. Most everyone seems to think Sestak is a good choice for the next round so let me know if there's someone else you'd like to see on our "community organizers" page."
-----

If people spent as much time raising money for charity as they do D-bagger politicians
and businesses and fat-cats spent as much money paying taxes as they do hiring lobbyists and bribing politicians so they won't have to pay taxes---wouldn't it be a better world?

Posted by: Brigade | September 20, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I should have added...since Huckabee's 18-year-old son had recently generated some outrage when he wasn't charged for torturing and LYNCHING a stray dog while working as a Boy Scout camp COUNSELOR, the local wags all referred to Mike's book as "When Kids Kill Dogs".

This is the same son who got caught trying to take a loaded Glock onto an airplane a few years back.

Posted by: JennOfArk | September 20, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

@jenn,

No, I didn't know that. I might be one of those rare people on the left who actually had a pretty good opinion of Mike Huckabee. Not politically, but more about him as a person. I am stunned that he would choose sides -- money vs. human life -- and choose money.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, given the slate of GOP candidates, giving to Dems IS charity. The welfare of the American people depends on it.

(tongue approaching cheek)

Posted by: BGinCHI | September 20, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Vote for Bristol Palin on "Dancing with the Stars":

1-800-868-3407 or text the word "VOTE" to 3407

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

ethan2010 wrote,
"We need a cure for what ails us. And what ails us is the anonymous corporate manipulation of public opinion by front groups like "60 Plus." Contribute $25, $50 or more to our campaign, and help put a chill on "Big Pill."

Before it's too late.

Truth,

Alan Grayson"
-----

What a total crock of sh*t. What this guy wants is cold, hard cash. And what he knows how to do is push the buttons of his feeble-minded constituents. The guy's a certifiable nutjob.

First we had the Bush drug benefit put on the national credit card. Now we have the political equivalent of a botched abortion in the Democratic HCR. Tell me this Alan Grayson: why is there bipartisan resistence for negotiating lower prices with pharmaceutical companies? Since no Republicans voted for HCR, we can't hardly blame them this go round. But if we just send you $25, $50 or more, then you'll get a law passed and signed into law that says pills that sell for $5 in Canada shouldn't sell for $500 here? In a pig's eye. Walmart can negotiate for lower prices than mom-and-pop stores; medicare can set prices for hospital stays and doctor reimbursement. But standing up to "Big Pill" or pushing tort reform is not going to happen while pols get their palms greased. It just wouldn't be the American way.

Posted by: Brigade | September 20, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Phone lines, text votes (AT&T customers only) and online polls will open at the top of each performance show so that viewers can vote for their favorites. Phone and text lines will stay open for 30 minutes after the end of the show. Online voting will remain open until 11am (Eastern Time) the next day.

In the Dancing with the Stars Results Show, the couple with the lowest combined score from judges and viewer votes will be eliminated from the competition. The scoring is divided evenly between the judges and the viewers at home, ensuring unpredictable outcomes at the end of every show. When the final two couples remain, the ultimate dance-off will determine who wins the trophy.

Each week every couple receives points from the judges and votes from the public. For every couple we work out the share they got of the points given by the judges on the night, and the share they got of the public's votes on the night and we add these two shares together. The couple with the lowest combined total is eliminated from the show.

For example if couple A, B and C receive 38, 26 and 14 points from the judges, we calculate what share these points represent of the total awarded by the judges on the night. In this case the judges gave 78 points in total, and each couples' share of 78 points breaks down as follows: 38= 48.72% of78, 26= 33.33% of 78, 14= 17.95% of 78. Let's suppose that when the public votes are tallied, each couple has the following shares: A= 20%, B=40%, C=40%. To determine who's eliminated we combine these two shares for the total:

Couple A: 20+48.72%= 68.72%
Couple B: 40+33.33%= 73.33%
Couple C: 40+17.95%= 57.95%
In this case, the bottom two couples would be A and C, and C would be eliminated.

ONLINE VOTING REQUIREMENTS:
The Internet browser on user computers must allow cookies, have Javascript enabled and have the latest version of Flash installed in order to vote. If cookies and Javascript are disabled and Flash is not installed, users will be unable to access the online ballot.

If you are still having problems accessing online voting, send us your feedback here:

http://abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/feedback

Posted by: JakeD2 | September 20, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

@12barblues...


"Further, his position not only flies in the face of insurance principles as applied by the industry itself, but is obviously insensitive to human life. He seems very sensitive to insurance companies' profits. Huckabee has clearly chosen money over life. I expect more from a man of the cloth."


Thanks for making my point far more eloquently that me. Amen!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues wrote,
"Further, a person with a pre-existing condition is not equivalent to a burned down house, unless he is dead. It is erroneous to compare a person with allergies to a burned down house."
-------

I didn't see his actual remarks, but, as you present them, they would make for an invalid comparison. Of course no one is going to issue a policy and pay a claim, at least not legally, on a car that has already been wrecked or a house that has already been burned down. And no one is going to pay for a surgery that has already taken place before a policy is issued, even if the policy-holder has a pre-existing condition. The more apt comparison would be a person with a pre-existing condition and a driver with a history of accidents or reckless driving. You won't pay for prior claims but you realize that there is a high probability of future claims.

I'm not trying to compare people to property. Just trying to draw a more accurate parallel. Just as there is high-risk auto insurance for bad drivers, there should be some sort of insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. If the pool of insureds is large enough, it should not be a problem---as in your example of employer furnished coverage. If the government is subsidizing coverage, then that's between us and our representatives in Washington.

Posted by: Brigade | September 20, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Brigade, you're barking up the wrong tree if you're implying Alan Grayson sided with Conservadems on HCR. You're just flat-out making sh*t up. If you want to blame Grayson for failure of including drug re-importation in HCR, then you may as well blame Joseph Cao for all of Steve King's or Michelle Bachmann's votes. As you well know, that's just not how it works.

In fact, Alan Grayson pushed a Medicare for All buy-in program that was the most progressive health care legislation offered in the entire debate.

You should be THANKING HIM for his efforts in standing up to Big PhRMA and Big Insurance, not blaming him for the final package -- which was watered down by CONSERVATIVE Dems and CONSERVATIVE Republicans.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Jake,

Thanks for the clarification. When you mentioned above that we should vote for Bristol Palin on "DWTS" I assumed it stood for "Drunken Wasilla Teen Sex."

Posted by: bearclaw1 | September 20, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

but if I invited that moron down to meet me and kicked his pathetic arse from one side of town to the other..what would that make me? HIM!!! I think I'll pass. :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 6:33 PM
-----

He says his address is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and if you come down there, he'll hit you so hard your shirt tail will run up your back like a window shade.

Posted by: Brigade | September 20, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse


@brigade,

The industry has already admitted they have no trouble with pre-existing conditions in the individual market if they get some sort of mandate. So much for they "can't do it". They can, and do all the time. It's just a matter of getting their pound of flesh. There is no "principle" that is being violated, I assure you.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

They will *NEVER* STOP standing up for Wall Street and screwing the little guy.

* Key senator wants to reopen Wall Street bill *

Republicans will reopen the broad Wall Street reform law and overhaul the newly created consumer protection bureau if they regain control of Congress after the November elections, a leading lawmaker said on Monday.

[...]

"The consumer agency bothers me the most," said Shelby, who failed to reach a compromise with Democrats and voted against the bill. "I thought the creation of it and the way it was created was a mistake," he said.

Under the bill, banking regulators are stripped of their consumer supervisory duties and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gains the power to write and enforce rules for mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.

"I don't believe it's good for business, it's not good for the financial sector and ultimately I don't believe it's going to be good for credit for a lot of people who need it. It's gonna cost," Shelby said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68J49920100920

Brigade, you want to fight the big money interests? You want to stand up for regular Americans?

Then stand up AGAINST the Republican money machine.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade...LMAO...I don't believe I'll be sparring with the Prez..because as you suggest.."he'll hit you so hard your shirt tail will run up your back like a window shade." At least I'm certain I could kick his butt at bowling. Does that count? :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

@brigade,

A flaw with your reasoning is the auto driving analogy. There are bad drivers who run up claims and good drivers who don't.

But people all become pre-existing conditions. It is the normal aging process.

And regarding pools--pools are defined as what the companies want them to be. I fail to understand why employer paid premiums cover a different pool than individual paid premiums.

Are the people and risks different? Someone would have to convince me. The difference is that employers negotiate better premiums, not that the underlying risk is different. Employees have pre-existing conditions too, you know.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

You should be THANKING HIM for his efforts in standing up to Big PhRMA and Big Insurance, not blaming him for the final package -- which was watered down by CONSERVATIVE Dems and CONSERVATIVE Republicans.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 7:58 PM
----

I'll thank him when it looks like he can get something done other than raise money on the issue. And as a conservative, I really don't see this as a liberal/conservative issue. I see it as a right/wrong issue and an example of a Congress that is more addicted to self interest than constituent interests.

After enough games and BS, I like to see actual results, not what are being sold as good faith efforts. You can't tell me the American people won't get behind a bill to allow price negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, and Republicans will never convince me that such bargaining is going to put anyone out of business.

Posted by: Brigade | September 20, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Are the people and risks different? Someone would have to convince me. The difference is that employers negotiate better premiums, not that the underlying risk is different. Employees have pre-existing conditions too, you know.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 8:07 PM
----

I take your point. But (at least in most cases), insurance companies may not have veto power over whom you add to your pool of employees. However, they might turn one of them down if approached by them individually rather than as part of the pool. My employer is self-insured, but claims are administered through a third party insurance company for a fee. I don't know how they react if they find a prospective employee is in remission from cancer (or anything else which indicates increased risk). That's not my department, and I'm blessed (and thankful) not to have had pre-existing conditions.

Posted by: Brigade | September 20, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

There is NO underwriting on employees in employer paid policies. That means that all pre-existing conditions, even cancer, are covered. They ask no medical questions.

If the industry can do ,and spread the risk, for 85% of their market, they can do it for the remaining 15%. The reason they don't, IMO, is because they squeeze the hell out of individuals who have no buying power.

The individual market is made up of sole proprietors, contractors, unemployed (and uninsured). I fail to see how this group of people is any different than employees, except they don't have the employer negotiating on their behalf.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I just got a mailer from Friends of Sharron Angle asking for money, in Arlington, VA.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

This, my PL compeneros, is big:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-20/gmac-mortgage-halts-home-foreclosures-in-23-states-including-florida-n-y-.html

Potentially 10K fraudulent affidavits/day. "Expediting" the process via GovtMotors' finance wing. Finding the bottom value of the sub-prime tranche bait that NO ONE at the banks, The FED, or Treasury wants to know. Plus peremptorily and w/out due process putting folks on the street.

The banks are just part of the govt now.

Posted by: tao9 | September 20, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"I'll thank him when it looks like he can get something done other than raise money on the issue"

Want something to get done?

Then don't support candidates who oppose progressive reform. Get active supporting candidates who support that issue.

This is a representative democracy, you can't blame one member of the House of Representatives for the perceived failure of the whole House. And if you don't like the results, WORK HARDER. That's what I'm doing. That's what Alan Grayson is doing. I don't know who you support or where you live, but you can make calls and get the vote out for progressive candidates.

That's about the sum of it, right? There are just too many politicians who OPPOSED the reforms that we both wanted. The only way to remedy that is to help elect people who understand the issues, care about people like us, and think in a long-term strategic, SMART fashion.

Sitting at home, or giving up, or saying "to hell with it" (not saying you're doing that btw) won't change a darn thing. In fact it will only get WORSE. We NEED to stay engaged and informed, and we need to bust our behinds to make sure we help out -- and vote for -- any candidates who support these crucial reforms.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I just got a mailer from Friends of Sharron Angle asking for money, in Arlington, VA.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 8:30 PM
----

Well, pony up. Don't be a miser.

Posted by: Brigade | September 20, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

tao conjecture on GMAC:

Sub-primes created and securitized so fast in the mid-2000's that conveyance of the note (buyer's iou) was fumbled so often that foreclosure by the subsequent trust lacks legal standing. It's widespread and a Gordian knot to untangle.

So GMAC cut the knot, and they got caught.

Posted by: tao9 | September 20, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Just got notice of a KOS diary via Blue Virginia about a coordinated voter suppression plan uncovered in Wisconsin.

I can't believe these scumbags still try this crap. I hope they all go to prison.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I just watched that whole CNBC thing with President Obama. Unbelievable. He is freakin' amazing. Going into such detail on tough tough issues, with no notes, not even so much as a pause, and no commercial breaks. 1 solid hour of policy wonking by a brilliant man, giving fresh, candid answers to the most difficult questions. Seriously, just awesome. Thank you Mr. President, thank you.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 20, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

@tao,

Someone's in trouble at GMAC and your theory is probably very close to the truth. I have been reading for some time that some judges have refused to grant foreclosure until the lender produces something or other, and the paper seemed to be hard to come by. But, that would be for some particular state. This seems to be a more widespread problem.

What can I say. It couldn't happen to a better bunch of greedy b*astards who played musical chairs so fast, that they lost the paperwork.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, and what pisses me off to no end is Huffington Post decided to highlight the lady as do the right wing sites to take Obama down.

Arianna Huffington is focused on selling book. She's bamboozled thousands of liberals and Progressives into following her site and is now turning everyone against each other.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that he is legally "President" of course.

Posted by: clawrence12 | September 20, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

@tao,

Oh, I guess the "something or other" is the note.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

David Dayen has been on the home foreclosure front reporting abuses for months. Alan Grayson has also been working diligently in his state to protect homeowners from fraudulent foreclosures.

Again, reps like Grayson deserve our support, he is a staunch supporter of the middle class and is not beholden to big donors. Please contribute to his campaign.

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Below is from DDay discussing the GMAC foreclosure issue and Grayson holing a few feet to the fire.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(DDay) "I suspect that GMAC, wary of entangling themselves in this kind of fraud, stopped all their activities to get a handle on the extent of the damage. One of the states where they halted foreclosures was Florida, where Attorney General Bill McCollum has initiated his own investigation on these matters.

The only thing I can think of to elicit that kind of reaction is the noose tightening around foreclosure fraud. Federal investigators have been probing these activities, and the New York Times just ran a major story about foreclosure mills, where loan originators used phony documentation to claim ownership of titles to which they had no claim. Basically, people were getting foreclosure eviction notices from servicers who did not own the home. Rep. Alan Grayson recently petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to halt all foreclosures initiated by three firms in the state, who account for roughly 80% of all foreclosure activity."

(Grayson) "Three foreclosure mills – the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, Shapiro & Fishman, and the Law Offices of David J. Stern – constitute roughly 80% of all foreclosure proceedings in the state of Florida. All are under investigation by Attorney General Bill McCollum. If the reports I am hearing are true, the illegal foreclosures taking place represent the largest seizure of private property ever attempted by banks and government entities. This is lawlessness.

I respectfully request that you abate all foreclosures involving these firms until the Attorney General of the state of Florida has finished his investigations of those firms for document fraud.

I have included a court order, in which Chase, WAMU, and Shapiro and Fishman are excoriated by a judge for document fraud on the court. In this case, Chase attempted to foreclose on a home, when the mortgage note was actually owned by Fannie Mae.(end Grayson)

The court order is here, and basically, Shapiro and Fishman lied on behalf of Chase and WaMu to try and kick someone out of a home they didn’t own."

http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/09/20/gmac-suspends-all-foreclosures-nationwide/

Posted by: lmsinca | September 20, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

12bar,

This is why I'm an indie/con. Everybody, Dems&GOP sat around that table two years ago and TARPed.

The fin sector knew before, during, and were confident after that the feds (ie.: Us) would bail them out. Mssrs' Obama and McCain gave their blessings. We own a big chunk of GMAC.

Same merde, different suits. Elizabeth Warren is a PotemkinCzar, simply for show.

Posted by: tao9 | September 20, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Won't it be ironic that the last wave of foreclosures will take property that no one owns and return it to no one? I wonder if the cities eventually will just bulldoze down these properties that belong to no one? I'm assuming a lot of these properties have already been sitting vacant.

Or, is this a case where the servicers will eventually cure their defects and prove ownership?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Greg, time to refocus on Angle. She's now decided it's OK to speak at John Birch Society events.

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/37231_GOP_Candidate_Sharron_Angle_Speaks_at_John_Birch_Society_Event

Looks like the extreme is now mainstream for the Republicans. This is a full on assault from the GOP and they are allowing even the most extreme back in. America better wake the f' up. This is no normal attempt to retake control, this will be an attempt to take things to the extreme. This new batch of players are not Republicans in the sense you and I thought they were. They are ideologues and conspiracy theorists hellbent on tearing the social fabric of this country apart.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

tao, this is also why ruk and I are indie/libs. I've been a registered independent for 40 years and in at least the last 30 haven't seen a republican I could trust and a few of the big donor Dems aren't much better. It's also why I only give to and campaign for pols, not the big orgs such as DSCC or DCCC.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 20, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess the foreclosed houses that belong to no one, in part belong to us, the American people, part owners in GMAC Mortgage.

Apparently, all the moratorium states are judicial foreclosure states, where courts control the interactions of defaulting homeowners and their lenders.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

tao, but I think you're wrong about Warren. She's stood up to the bankers already and will do so again. We need her or someone like her in or around the WH. If we lost Summers and Geithner, I wouldn't shed a tear but who do you replace them with, another Rubinite or who? I lean more toward the Simon Johnson, Dean Baker, Stiglitz economic policy guys, or even a Roubini. Who do you like? I'm not being rude here, I'm really curious.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 20, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

That GMAC story is nuts.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

"A better question would be: Is that really how they feel?"

Huh? Why is this a "better" question?

"Where does all the talk about mosques and sharia law come from?"

Er...Islam?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 20, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

@tao lmsinca is correct. I too am a registered I. The Corporations now rule.

Perhaps it was you however who pointed out to me we've always had a plutocracy...Roosevelts..Kennedys..ironically
that was one of the things that so motivated Tricky Dicky. The sad thing is if Nixon had not been so bitter over this and moved to the dark side he might have been a great President. As Kevin W likes to point out he did actually provide some things for our environment and other "progressive' causes. Apparently he was also willing to deal with healthcare...ahhh but that's all spilt milk now.

I'm not sure we weren't better off with the Robber Barons than we are now with the Corporatists. Back then the wealth was actually less concentrated than it is now...the top 2% had 18% of the wealth..today it's up to 24%.

Worse still are the figures or CEO salaries. In 1965 they earned 24 times what the average worker was paid..by 2007 that figure had reached an astounding 275 times the worker's salaries. Does anybody really believe that CEO's became that much move valuable in just 40 short years. Their figures don't compute well with other Western economies either. In Europe the CEO's earn only about 25 times what their workers make.

This has nothing to do with value or productivity or creation of jobs or any other of that tired bs...this is simply about learning how to game the system.

Posted by: rukidding7 | September 20, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

tao:

"The fin sector knew before, during, and were confident after that the feds (ie.: Us) would bail them out."

Did the folks at Lehman and Bear "know" they were going to get bailed out too? I guess they were a little overconfident, eh?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 20, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

The biggest fraud of all of it was the AIG bailout. Read this if you really want to get your blood boiling.

"The government’s $182 billion bailout of insurance giant AIG should be seen as the Rosetta Stone for understanding the financial crisis and its costly aftermath. The story of American International Group explains the larger catastrophe not because this was the biggest corporate bailout in history but because AIG’s collapse and subsequent rescue involved nearly all the critical elements, including delusion and deception."

http://www.alternet.org/economy/147788/elizabeth_warren_uncovered_what_the_govt._did_to_%27rescue%27_aig%2C_and_it_ain%27t_pretty/?page=entire

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing her role in the exposure of the AIG bailouts is part of the reason for push back against her. She pissed off everyone.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

And that was the biggest theft of tax payer dollars and surprisingly gets the least amount of play because the tea partier's are completely distracted as to who did what along with Dems.

I don't see how what they did with AIG wasn't illegal.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

@mike,

I haven't read your article yet, so I may stand corrected. It is my understanding that we, the people, are owed about $102billion now from AIG, and will be repaid through sale of subsidiaries and a secondary offering of common stock (meaning sold to the public).

After reading a few books on the financial collapse, I've come to the conclusion that letting the whole thing collapse was too scary and had immense negative implications that no one understood. Emphasis on the later. It was like a bunch of mountain climbers connected by their climbing rope, and whether or not it was a good idea to let one of them fall. Make the wrong decision, and there the WHOLE bunch of them go.

Scott made the point that Lehman and Bear Stearns didn't get bailed out. If his larger point is that the financial industry did not anticipate the magnitude of the collapse, I think I would agree. That's not to say those guys didn't know that central banks & treasuries worldwide has a HUGE vested interest in bailing them out.

I'm not surprised that Wall Street conoogled their way to the best deals they could get, but that is their nature. I'm not condoning or pardoning their behaviour in any way, but they are the smartest slime on the earth.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

scott,

"Did the folks at Lehman and Bear "know" they were going to get bailed out too? I guess they were a little overconfident, eh?"

Well Chase ate the Bear. Fuld was shocked.
I think they both underestimated the gas that Goldman and citi had. No BFF's at the Fed. Not big enough to not fail.

Posted by: tao9 | September 20, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Here's the breakdown 12Bar.

AIG insured the investments into Mortgage backed securities for investment firms around the world. We lent money to AIG to pay off their insurance policies they could no longer cover because they were so over leveraged. The biggest recipient was Goldman Sachs as the cost of something like 11 billion.

The insurance is what is called CDS, or credit default swaps. These are the unregulated derivatives nobody has visibility over.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

12Bar:

"...smartest slime on the earth."

You were doing so well, and then you had to spoil it with a stupid and ignorant generalization.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 20, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

"Pretty sure "Great Bush Recession is a new one."
---------------------------------------------

Could catch on though. Apparently it's been officially pronounced this week by the duly anointed Council of People Who Pronounce Such Things that the recession -- our longest since WWII -- began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-economy/2010/09/its_official_the_great_recessi.html

Posted by: CalD | September 20, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

@mike,

I'm know about the CDS and the interrelationships between the parties. From a practical point of view, legal or not, if the global financial system goes down and takes every financial institution with it, it makes sense to act and ask forgiveness later. Just my opinion.

Of course, AIG was merely a funnel to pump more liquidity into the banks, and probably foreign banks too. I think that was understood at the time.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

There's going to be a nasty feedback loop.
Who's going to end up with the hot-"MBS"-potato when they don't know who owns what?
The total number I've heard is $1.2T. The Feds own a big nut o' that.

btw: Geithner...dead man walkin'.

Posted by: tao9 | September 20, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

For anyone interested...I don't know if this will go anywhere but this sounds real promising coming out of the Israel/Palestine front.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0910/Bibi_effusively_praises_Obama_Clinton_in_call_with_Jewish_leaders_.html#

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@scott,

Stupid and ignorant? And you accuse me of hyperbole.

I don't step away from the smartest slime on earth one bit. Wall Street will outsmart any of us, and all of us every time, and they will get rich doing it. What's more, we may not even know they emptied our pockets. They always come out on top, as is evidenced at the present time.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@tao,

I read that GMAC is claiming they will resume foreclosures in a few weeks to a few months. You don't believe them?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

12Bar,

"You don't believe them."

No, I don't. And GMAC is a HAMP participant, so the lawsuits are going to hit the admin..

From ProPublica:

Elisa Anaya
Aug. 2, 6:13 p.m.
What’s happening with GMAC?-I keep hearing they are “better"t an the rest, but we have been trying to modify our loan—which was sold three times before GMAC took it over—for two and half years.

We have made payments based on verbal communication that were 27 cents over; checks were cashed, never told wrong amount, then told we were being foreclosed because we hadn’t technically made a payment, because the checks could not be applied since the amount was wrong.

We put $100,000.00 down and have made payments of at least $2,500.00 and usually more then $3,000. and at times $3,900 since we bought the house four years ago. Now, we are told that we owe more then a $100,000. more then original note or sell price! How can that be? They won;t send us details of our loan, despite repeated requests in writing.

We have worked with two different HOPE authorized groups, and in each case they made our situation worse and our loan payment went up, instead of down, even though our income had gone down . We keep being told that our income is too high for a mod-but not high enough just to refinance outright-even though with a 30 year fixed we would be paying the same amount as our original loan payment, but would have to stop going through this turmoil.

Can someone tell me why GMAC wants my house?

We send Certified letters, return receipt requested, but they will still claim to have not received or insist a document is missing or unsigned, even though I have copies, but how do you prove that? We just recently started recording all our phone conversations with the lenders—The first person I told I was recording said they could no longer speak to me-even though at times they say they may be recording my call-so now I don’t tell them, I just do it.
Every three months, without fail, the house goes back to foreclosure, then a new loan package arrives in the mail. I have to file a new mod app-I just do it myself, because the HOPE people are stupid and do little more then push paper and collect a fee and then go, “it’s out of my hands.”

People say to get an attorney, but I can’t afford it because all my money is going to my house payment, and stupid things like food and health insurance.

I wouldn’t know what attorney to trust anyway, since some of my co-workers her in the Los Angeles area gave attorneys thousands only to be left in the same situation.

It feels good to vent, but is anyone listening!

http://www.propublica.org/article/survey-homeowners-working-with-servicers-often-blindsided-by-foreclosures

Posted by: tao9 | September 20, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why FDL and Openleft have been virtually silent on Joe Sestak lately? They fought to get him elected and beat the establishment (Obama) and now nothing.

The guy is gonna get knocked out by Toomey ffs.

I really don't understand "progressives" prerogatives at times tbh.

Maybe I'm just stupid or something.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 20, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

tao,

Well, it's a mess, that's for sure, but not all that surprising that the paperwork would be nonexistent. As you might be able to tell, I'm not too sensitive to the political repercussions of all this. People blamed Bush & Obama for the bailouts, but I'm not one of those people. From what I've read, it was downright scary.

What's more important are the people and their homes. If they can be salvaged, I hope it happens.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 20, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

12Bar,

Agreed.

But if "liar loan" creeps get to keep their joints on our dime...grrrrr.

Posted by: tao9 | September 21, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

@tao,

I hadn't even thought of that. Well, I hope not. A mortgage broker told me some time ago that the foreclosures due to liar's loans were mostly over, and the next wave would be people whose houses are below market. Of course, maybe he doesn't know sheet.

I just assumed the vast majority of these foreclosures in limbo are already vacant.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 21, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Elizabeth Warren was on CNBC talking about the foreclosure problem. I've talked about the failure of HAMP here numerous times and the total unwillingness of banks to cramdown the loans to levels that realistically reflect the value of the home, but there are clearly people who bought homes they couldn't afford. I even detailed my son's best friend's story who is losing his home even though he was one of the good guys and put $135k down on the darn thing. It's a total mess and until it's resolved we're going to do nothing but meander through the recession.

This title issue (GMAC and otheres) is a nightmare and it's also affecting those people who are investing in the foreclosed homes and title issues are coming back to bite them. Well's Fargo is beginning to write new rules which dumps the whole thing onto the "unsuspecting" new borrower. I'll link that below. But here's Warren on CNBC last week.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Banks and homeowners alike need to take a more realistic view about how to stem the tide of foreclosures overtaking the housing market and the economy, the head of a government watchdog panel told CNBC.

The more than $700 billion the government allocated toward dealing with foreclosures has only made a minor dent in the problem, said Elizabeth Warren, chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

That's because those on both sides of the equation are not taking a proactive enough approach, she said.

"We have to sober up on this and say, 'Look, it's time to get realistic,'" Warren said. "It's time for the banks to get realistic about the value of the second mortgages, it's time to be realistic about doing some principal writedowns."

But the onus is not entirely on banks. Homeowners with distressed mortgages also may need a reality check.

"Some of you should stay in your homes...and some of you don't belong in those homes and you've got to be moved out," Warren said. "And frankly, those houses need to get back onto the market and get into the hands of people who can afford them."

"In other words, acknowledge the problem, deal with it, write off the losses and start rebuilding an economy on solid ground."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here's the link on Wells Fargo.

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/ticking-time-bomb-wells-fargo-dumps-0

Posted by: lmsinca | September 21, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

This is from a WSJ article on the subject: "In states that have so-called judicial foreclosure laws, banks must file a summary judgment motion in order to take possession of a property where the owner is in default on the loan. These motions must be supported by a "witness" who has reviewed the file in question and made sure the lender actually owns the mortgage note in question, and that the loan is actually in default.

According to a sworn deposition given in June, GMAC employee Jeffrey Stephan, who was described as a foreclosure specialist working in a GMAC office in Pennsylvania, said he signed off on hundreds of these legal documents per day without examining the documents associated with the case, which sometimes included loan documents and other verifications. In addition, in a number of cases these legal documents weren't signed in the physical presence of a notary public."

Someone fighting foreclosure can, with the right judge and state laws, force the bank to bring the actual person who is "familiar" with the paperwork for the borrower as well as prove who actually owns the mortgage(this is also true in credit card defaults and is often used to get those cases thrown out). My guess is that some judge has seen some fishy stuff and threatened Ally that he would start making them prove who actually owned the mortgage (impossible to do when it's securitized). Rather than push the issue and roll the dice, they're "suspending" operations.

This is pretty clever on the borrowers part. Will be interesting to see what happens. Some people may live in those houses for decades while the case law is settled.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 21, 2010 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Oops,

Here's the link.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703989304575504142243174842.html

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 21, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

@lms,

Thanks for the Wells Fargo link. IMO, I would support regulation that prevents shifting the title risk to the new buyer. Without even dealing with the horrible ethics of cheating the new owner, it simply defers the problem. Without clear title, these properties have no real value and we are kidding ourselves that we have solved the real estate problem. It is just lying out there like a time bomb.

Further, as far as I remember, when has a new owner been unable to get clear title or insure for clear title? This will seriously undermine the real estate market for all of us, if people have to start worrying about title.

We should not do what Japan did when their banks hid from their overvalued real estate by refusing to take the writedowns. Everyone in the world knew it, so the banking industry just seized up, and Japan's economy stagnated for years and still is actually.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 21, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

I would also guess that home loans are going to be much harder to get until this is settled.

I'm taking bets that Congress intervenes and changes some laws before December 31st.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 21, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

@troll,

Perhaps you know more about this than I do, but I think the document that must be produced or witnessed, is the promissory note. I don't think the note is impossible to produce, because of securitization. But, obviously, there is some problem coming up with it.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | September 21, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

McWing, correct me if you think I'm wrong but isn't the daisy-chain of securitization the culprit here. MERS was created in the late 90's do deal with the title issues in court proceedings but was basically just a clearing house of information and not an actual party in the title of the property.

If the courts are now demanding clear ownership (title) to foreclose, precisely because the house cannot technically fall into the hands of some entity that does not actually own it for resale, who's to blame for this situation? Reminds me of the collapse of a ponzi scheme.

I'm no economist, so maybe I'm missing something here. What's the way out?

Posted by: lmsinca | September 21, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

I just had an off the wall thought. Maybe the banks are sitting on over a trillion dollars because they know what's coming.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 21, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca,

I'm not an expert but I think you're correct about the "clear title" and securitization issues. Some of it, I think, is the borrower making the forecloser "prove" they own the note. It's my understanding that if the loan has been sold (numerous times) and or securitized, it becomes very difficult to show exactly who owns the note. Also, if a law firm is representing the lender, then the borrower had a right to make sure the loan paperwork was properly handled. Hence, in the article, the problem with the guy who signed hundreds of foreclosure notices a day. There is no way to prove that person can show a "familiarity" with the loan.

As schadenfruede as this might be for some, it could conceivably stop all lending in the country. That's why I'm guessing there will be Congressional intervation very quickly.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | September 21, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

What a mess. To me it sounds like the courts will be busy, that'll make the lawyers happy though.

I'm out, have a good night all.

It was nice not having so many silly posts to wade through for a change.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 21, 2010 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Best place to find quality quality bankruptcy info online is http://bit.ly/avB0jI

Posted by: jonseth21 | September 21, 2010 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Re the foreclosure mess, I'm not in that area of law per se, but I know a bit a about it and handled a famous case a few years ago, the first of these of which I'm aware. I wouldn't normally have been hired for a foreclosure (way too expensive), but this one had spun out of control and become a larger problem.

The "ownership" issue is related to the sale and securitization of mortgage loans but isn't caused by it. What happens in these cases, in simple terms, is that lenders sell large blocks of mortgages, and typically they end up being sold to Fannie Mae at some point. But the lenders and Fannie developed a practice of not doing all the paperwork to formally assign the note and mortgage or record the assignments -- unless and until they had to, i.e., if foreclosure became necessary.

Further complicating matters is the practice of separating "servicing" from what you can think of as "the rest" of the ownership rights. Servicing basically means receiving payments, handling day to day administration, etc. Fannie will typically sell servicing rights to the loans it owns, because it doesn't want to be in the business of receiving payments etc. This means that for many people, it appears that Lender A now owns your mortgage, when it might be only the servicer and Fannie actually "owns" it, in the sense that these lending side parties have executed contracts and exchanged payments for certain ownership rights, even though they might be not completing all the paperwork to establish clear title to the outside world. So long as payments are made, none of this really matters in any practical sense.

But if a foreclosure becomes necessary, the practice is supposed to be that the proper assignments are executed and recorded, so that the foreclosing entity has proper title -- typically would mean being "owner and holder." In the case of Fannie, it doesn't want to do foreclosures. It just wants to remain in the background as the mortgage purchaser that in essence makes the market. So Fannie will always assign its ownership rights to the servicing bank, which then forecloses as owner and holder.

But mistakes become easy, and it can become confusing for the lender personnel to get the assignments right. Or they might slip up and file the foreclosure action before they have all the necessary assignments executed and recorded.

There are huge numbers of mortgages held in arrangements like these. Strictly from an economic point of view, there isn't anything really "wrong" with it, nor as between the lenders and the borrower. At some level, you can say that the borrower owes the money, and we are just talking about which lender involved in the arrangement is the owner and holder at the time of foreclosure. But it technically needs to be the true owner and holder who forecloses. In many cases, including the one I had, the borrower is a true deadbeat who discovers a defect in the chain of assignments and exploits it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mike:

Just perused the comments and saw you attack HuffPo, FDL and OpenLeft because, you say, they are dividing Liberals and Democrats. Isn't exactly what you are doing? I've noticed you launch these drive-by attacks on Liberals and Progressives repeatedly. Or am I imagining that?

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

On a completely different topic, the book I've been raving about, Invisible Hands, does a tremendous job detailing how Big Business, acting through the Modern Conservative movement, has turned the United States into a plutocracy. Big Business did this by making the GOP its subsidiary. Invisible Hands, however, ends at Reagan. (There is just a short epilogue for more recent history.) I suspect that Big Business was dissatisfied controlling only the Republican Party and they wanted the Democratic Party too, to guarantee their power. That, I believe, is what Republicrats are for. They represent Big Business' effort to complete its government takeover. I'd be grateful if anyone can recommend a good book on the rise of the DLC and affiliated corporatist Democratic Party groups.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

12Bar

"Stupid and ignorant?"

Yes.

"And you accuse me of hyperbole."

I do? When?

You speak of "Wall Street" as a single, unitary actor making decisions and taking action. That can be a convenient and useful shorthand, but it can also lead to stupidity, as displayed by your characterization "slime". Your characterization is no different than calling welfare recipients lazy deadbeats.

"Wall Street" is actually tens of thousands of people, most of whom you don't know from Adam. Some of them probably are slime, but the vast majority of them are likely no different to you, good people trying to do a job.

Perhaps you will protest that you are only talking about the upper echelon of management. Still, your claim is an overgeneralization born of ignorance. Even this demographic of Wall Street is comprised of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individuals, of whom you are truly familiar with how many? Maybe a couple, if that?

You call them slime, yet you don't know the first thing about most of them, their lives, their motivations, what they have done or not done, what they do or don't do. You imagine some stereotyped caricature of a and somehow convince yourself that it represents real people.

So yes, your bigotry is no different to any other bigotry...stupid and ignorant.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Slime is far too kind. Wall Street is a Giant Vampire Squid sucking the life from the American economy. (h/t Matt Taibbi)

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Since the poor SuperRich are so put-upon maybe we need an affirmative action program for them.

BTW: Conservatism's destruction of the Union Movement is a big part of the explanation for the ever-increasing wealth disparity in the U.S.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

@qb: don't know if you're still out there, but I have a question about this:

"This means that for many people, it appears that Lender A now owns your mortgage, when it might be only the servicer and Fannie actually "owns" it, in the sense that these lending side parties have executed contracts and exchanged payments for certain ownership rights, even though they might be not completing all the paperwork to establish clear title to the outside world. So long as payments are made, none of this really matters in any practical sense."

Does the borrower have to legally be notified of who actually "owns" the note vs. who is just servicing it? From your comment, I can't quite tell if people don't know about Fannie's role because they haven't been told - or they just never bothered to read the fine print, etc.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 21, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Ds Up +1% today on the Generic Gallup poll same poll that had them down -10% a week ago. Campaigns are fluid, so I would suggest that the GOP and their apologists here, hold off on their curtain measuring.

Posted by: leichtman1 | September 21, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

s'cat,

While all of this is not very fresh in my memory, I think the answer to your question is unfortunately "it depends what you mean." Or perhaps, "that's debatable."

But, strictly speaking, I don't think such notification is required, at least not always. For example, your lender could enter into a contract to sell your mortgage (as part of a large bundle) to Fannie, while simultaneously entering into a contract (also bundled) to continue the servicing. From the borrower's point of view, in a sense nothing has really changed, and I think borrower notification probably isn't required or at least didn't used to be. Of course, these rules can all vary by state.

If you think about it, Fannie owns a huge number of mortgages, but how many people do you know who know their mortgage is owned by Fannie? Probably none. But Fannie would be violating the law a lot of times if notification of these transactions were required. Again, it's been a while since I was embroiled in this, and it was on the front end, before a lot of these cases had been litigated.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

Can you get me the address of Big Business? I want to send them a letter. I've looked on my Bloomberg information system but can't find Big Business listed at all. Is it publicly traded or privately held? And who is the head of Big Business? Naturally I want to go straight to the top. Do you have a list of Big Businesses board members? Any idea when they last held a board meeting or when the nexrt one is?

And, as regards to this plutocracy we apparently live under, how wealthy does one have to be in order to be a part of it? I want to know if I am (although I am pretty sure I am not, since an awful lot of what the government does I actually oppose yet am entirely unable to prevent it.) And I'm pretty sure we still hold elections in the US. Are they just complete shams, or does this plutocracy somehow do a jedi mind trick on the electorate in order to get them to vote for the plutocrats and their minions? Just curious.

Are all the plutocrats employees of Big Business? For example is George Soros and Al Gore a part of Big Business? How about Rupert Murdoch and Richard Mellon Scaife? And the Sulzbergers? Boy, those must be some pretty interesting meetings when they all get together to plan which laws to implement. And where do they meet to do this planning...in a secret mansion in Colorado called "The Meadows"?

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/the_morning_plum_94.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 21, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne:

"Wall Street is a Giant Vampire Squid..."

No, in reality Wall Street is a relatively small piece of pavement in lower Manhattan which runs perpendicular to the north of Broad Street.

As for your larger point, you are the same as any other bigot, vociferously certain of things about which you are embarrassingly ignorant.

Posted by: ScottC3 | September 21, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad you asked, Scott. I suggest you read Professor Phillips-Fein's magnificent book, Invisible Hands, which provides a detained account of Big Business' use of Conservatism and the GOP to destroy the New Deal and establish an American plutocracy. For a starting point, I'll direct you to the infamous Powell Memorandum from 1971:

http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_accountability/powell_memo_lewis.html

The most pressing questions, however, concern what Big Business is doing right now to maintain its iron grip on our government. For instance, do you think it possible that Big Business might have discovered that planting paid commenters on political blogs helps create more Useful Idiots? I do.

And no, I don't think roundtable meetings are necessary. I suspect that, at this advanced stage, the plutocracy operates like al Qaeda, very de-centralized but everyone knows the goal: destroy Liberalism and neuter the government so that Big Business has total control over the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

"bigot"

Don't worry. We'll soon have a Plutocrat Relief Fund to help the downtrodden and oppressed Robber Barrons. Oh wait, we already did that when we bailed out Wall Street and put all the losses on the national credit card, finance charges payable to China.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

BTW: Lewis Powell, author of the 1971 Plutocratic Manifesto, was appointed to the Supreme Court by Richard Nixon just months after he authored that memo in secret. The memo's existence wasn't know until AFTER Powell was confirmed. In this Powell was the forerunner of today's Plutocratic SCOTUS Justices like Scalia, Roberts and Alito. From the 1971 Powell Memo to Citizens United. The plutocrats now control the Supreme Court along with the political branches. It's like living in Russia.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

@Alan Grayson: "Do you know what message Big Pill is using to numb, sedate, narcotize and stupefy the electorate?"

You idiots! Vote for me!

Often politicians, but especially the Democrats in this election cycle, remind me of the Simpson's Mayor Quimby:

(To his constituents, demanding change):
Quimby: "Demand? Who are you demand anything?!?!"
His bodygaurd: "Election in November, election in November."
Quimby: "What? Again?!?! This stupid country!"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 21, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

That "Powell Memo" doesn't bother me in the least. Perhaps wb will be so good as to point out what in it is so nefarious.

Perhaps he will someday also actually explain where in the First Amendment he finds the exceptions he wants to enforce.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"That "Powell Memo" doesn't bother me in the least."

No kidding. You probably have it posted on your refrigerator.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"No kidding. You probably have it posted on your refrigerator."

Nope. But you still haven't pointed out what is nefarious about it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 21, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

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