Life under gangster government: Obama’s $20 billion bank heist

May 19, 2011

And a bunch of states’ attorney generals looking to pander for votes are in on the job. Karl Rove blows the whistle:

At last Wednesday’s “CBS Town Hall,” President Obama said he was “trying to . . . figure out how we can get the banks to do more” on modifying mortgage loan payments. Perhaps, he said, people whose mortgages are underwater should get a “principal reduction, which will be good for the person who owns . . . the home.”

Mr. Obama has decided that taxpayers have no appetite for bailing out homeowners who don’t make their payments, or for rescuing those whose homes are worth less than their mortgages. Instead, he’s backing a proposal by his Department of Justice and state attorneys general to force major banks to cough up the dough.

The money would come from a settlement with JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other banks accused of “robo-signing,” in which foreclosure documents were signed by bank employees or agents without properly certifying all the papers. The attorneys general admit that virtually no one was erroneously foreclosed upon because of robo-signing. The banks foreclosed on people who were on average 18 months delinquent, and after multiple attempts to modify the loan had been tried and failed.

But Justice and the state attorneys general are demanding $20 billion for sloppiness, which they will then be able to hand out to voters—and potential supporters. The money won’t come from the banks; it will come from their customers, millions of whom will pay more in fees and interest and will, in some cases, be denied credit.

This stinks. It’s not only corrupt, it’s bad policy.

As Rove points out, only a few people were hurt in the robo-signing “scandal,” and the proper solution would have been to make them whole with some additional compensation, including returning them to their homes.  Instead, Ali Obama and his 40 Thieves President Obama and the state AGs are abusing the law to extort billions from the banks –at the customers’ ultimate cost– that can then be used to plug state budget gaps or as bait for votes. Far from doing justice, the robo-signing problem has been an excuse to do a great injustice, both to the banks and to the original victims, whose cause has been forgotten.

Michael Barone called this “gangster government” and “thugocracy;” we know it as “The Chicago Way.”

It sure isn’t the Rule of Law.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Obama’s legacy: bad judges — Updated

May 19, 2011

Presidents almost always worry about their legacy — what lasting effect they’ll have on the nation and how History will remember them. President Obama is surely no different in that regard from his predecessors — a man as narcissistic as he couldn’t be otherwise.  Indeed, he made his desire to fundamentally transform America a centerpiece of his campaign for election; you can bet he wants to be known for this:

One of the more subtle, yet profound, ways a president shapes this legacy is through his selection of federal judges, from the Supreme Court down to the district courts. Our legal tradition gives judges great power to shape the law via interpretation and even to create it out of whole cloth, if they can come up with a constitutional justification — however flimsy and tortured. And so President Obama can, through his judicial nomination,  have an influence over our laws and the relationship between citizen and government long after he leaves office.

Which should worry the heck out of us.

At Pajamas Media, Hans von Spakovsky and Deborah OMalley give us a rundown of eight awful picks who pose a real threat to our democracy and who should never, ever come anywhere near the higher courts. Here’s one example:

Bernice Donald: Donald, a district court judge in Tennessee, is nominated to the Sixth Circuit. She has made some worrisome, Chen-esque statements concerning how a judge’s experience should influence her decision-making. During an American Bar Foundation panel, she stated that, as an African American woman judge, she had a “vastly different” view than her white male colleagues as to which evidence supports summary judgment — as if one’s race somehow genetically defines one’s legal thinking. While judges try to be objective, she explained, they inevitably view things “through the lens of culture … and that may impact how … much weight [they] accord to different things.”

She has even advocated that courts consider a plaintiff’s cultural background in tort suits. Why? Because a plaintiff may be “more adversely affected by [an] error” depending on their cultural background and therefore “entitled to a larger award.” Not considering a plaintiff’s culture in tort cases, she asserts, denies “true justice” to large segments of society. In fact, she believes that courts hearing tort cases can be “on the front lines of public policy, cultural anthropology, and the law.” A novel concept of justice indeed, especially in a country with a Constitution that requires all citizens to be treated equally under the law, no matter what their race or “cultural” background.

Worse than these statements is her conduct on the bench. In a number of cases, she has stretched the limits of judicial power. In a gender-discrimination case, the Sixth Circuit overturned her decision for having “circular reasoning” and for ordering a professor to apologize to a female plaintiff who sued him for discrimination. The Sixth Circuit chastised Donald for exceeding her equitable power when she ordered the professor to apologize, citing to a Ninth Circuit case where the court said “[w]e are not commissioned to run around getting apologies.”

In another case, she took the bizarre — and blatantly unconstitutional — position that the racial makeup of faculty members at a school should match the racial makeup of the student body. Her argument was that school children are constitutionally entitled to “educational guidance which includes teachers of the student’s own race.” The Sixth Circuit rejected this argument, noting the obvious fact that it would amount to discriminatory hiring and firing of faculty. Donald, however, obviously believes that discriminatory employment practices like racial quotas are not just legal, but desirable.

(Emphasis added. )

Call me old-fashioned, but, while I believe our system works best when judges are given broad discretion, that freedom also requires restraint and humility on their part. Their job is to interpret the law as democratically-elected legislatures intended, barring blatant unconstitutionality.  If they want to make policy, they should take off the black robe and run for Congress or their state legislature, the bodies which answer to the people. Of course, that’s anathema to the Left, which has been using the courts to make an end-run around the people since the 1960s.

Meanwhile, there are seven more awful picks on the list, and Judge Donald isn’t even the worst. That honor goes to Goodwin Liu, whose nomination to the 9th Circuit is up for a cloture vote today and faces a threatened filibuster, one of the rare times I think it’s justified.

Given the legacy of judges the president wishes to bequeath to the nation, however, those times may have to become much more common.

UPDATE: Liu’s nomination was blocked in the Senate. Well done to the Republican caucus.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)