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Call Third Way on their plan to overturn four centuries of property law so the banksters can keep stealing homes

After the banksters lost the Ibanez decision, they had their lackeys at Third Way plan to rewrite the rules. Lose at the state level? Fine! Have the Congress you own federalize the issue, and get away clean. Oh, and Bill Daley is on their board. Read the whole horrible post at Yves place, and then give Third Way a call:

Third Way
1025 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 501
Washington, DC 20036

(202) 384 1700

(202) 775 0430 (fax)

add a “1? “2? “4? to the 1700 to get a real voice.

NOTE Yves remarks:

Establishment Republicans would also be wise to give this proposal a wide berth. If you want to recruit for the Tea Party, you could hardly find a better tool that to have the Federal government interfere with local courts on a matter as important to most Americans as their homes

Look! Over there! Sarah Palin!

UPDATE Emptywheel writes:

In short, this seems like an admission by the Third Way that the shitpile remains a serious problem. But also an attempt to preempt processes already underway to solve the shitpile. Not to mention eliminate legal recourse for many of the people who have been wronged here.

Update: The more I think about this paper, the more it seems like Third Way is saying, “Congress, we’ve had a major setback in the courts. Can you please make sure to 1) limit access to the courts and 2) preventing any more of these judgments that will reveal just how deep the shitpile really is?”

If the banksters -- even after trillions in bailouts -- were still solvent, would they even have to do this? A question that answers itself, once asked. Either that, or they're just openly looting, "because they can."

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Submitted by Hugh on

The banks are insolvent and yes, this is looting. This is keptocracy. The banks steal and commit massive fraud and the response of our political elites is to cover for them. Obama's hiring Bill Daley as his chief of staff wonderfully illustrates this corrupt relationship.

Submitted by jawbone on

reform; had to be on NPR but I'm not finding it yet.

The speaker said the Democratic left had to realize that Obama had completed FDR's great social programs and that health care (well, dude, actually Obama did health insurance profit protection reform!) reform had been completed. Finished. No more to do. Nor should any more be done.

And, iirc, most importanty, the middle class had to realize there was no more that ought to be done for them.

I wish I'd checked it out at the time (it was withing the past couple weeks), but I don't have ready access to a computer right now (on guest status).

Does anyone else recall hearing that kind of statement? It was, I think, predicated on saying the Daley appointment was such a great thing for Obama to have done, but I'm not positive of that as I caught only the tail end of a segment while I was running errands.

Would appreciate any input. Third Way is absolutely a corporatist front group. Tries to sound less Dem mainstream and more "centrist," aka Repub Lite, ostensibly "independent," than the DLC. MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) loves 'em.

Dangerous group.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

and thanks for calling out the Third Way, stink tanks never get held accountable for their role in the kleptocracy.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

If the banksters -- even after trillions in bailouts -- were still solvent, would they even have to do this? A question that answers itself, once asked. Either that, or they're just openly looting, "because they can."

Or both!

The third way will join the No Labels Party. They're at the heart of corporatism.

nihil obstet's picture
Submitted by nihil obstet on

I'm finding all this very interesting. The legitimacy of the nation-state and its interdependence with capitalism in the 17th and 18th centuries depended on a number of practices: the establishment of laws applying equally to all persons, the resultant embodiment of property as freedom and contract law as defining relationships, the state's monopoly on violence, the monopoly of currency-based transactions and therefore of wage labor as a means of social control. Any form of government depends on emotional assent to its basic social organizing principles, and these are ones that most Americans have believed in.

We're seeing now a systematic destruction of the principles to which most Americans give assent. The past twenty years have seen the unveiling of a two-tier justice system of immunity for elites and harsh punitiveness for everyone else. The law itself is being trashed, as the government can now order anyone's assassination for its own reasons.

The belief that everyone should "work hard and play by the rules" is being undermined by the high disemployment -- if people in their late teens and twenties don't develop a relationship with the world of employment, they'll probably never develop the work ethic that capitalism has depended on, at least not without an economic miracle to suck them in. Add to that the instability of what employment there is whether from looting management or the lack of employment support such as adequate sick leave.

Large swathes of the political class now inveigh against the state's monopoly on violence, and it's having its effect. We also have the increasing use of private armies.

During these 20 years or so, corporations have been allowed to exempt themselves from contract and commercial law (just look at the arbitration clause that your insurance company, bank, telecom company, et. al, include in your contract, saying that you've waived your access to courts. The courts have been upholding these clauses). And now the single most important feature of capitalism -- property -- is being vitiated. This is stunning.

When the basis of society changes, those at the bottom are almost always hurt the worst. The virtually complete privatizing of society that characterizes feudalism was a step backward in the 6th c. and would be a bad retreat today. So this is somewhat scary and not a real immediate cause for celebration. However, this sweeping destruction of capitalist means of legitimacy is the strongest sign since the 1930s of weakness and may be opening space for some real change.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

It's all about the spirit of the law -- this time:

The Supreme Court audience perked up Tuesday when Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. announced that Justice Elena Kagan would deliver the first judicial opinion of her career.

"This case," she said in a strong, confident voice, "is about proper interpretation of the bankruptcy code."

...Kagan wrote a detailed, 18-page opinion that spoke for seven of her colleagues. The lone dissenter was Justice Antonin Scalia, with whom Kagan has friendly relations.

...In the bankruptcy case, the dispute arose over the way debtors may keep part of their incomes from creditors. They are allowed to take deductions for living expenses such as food, housing, car payments and upkeep before determining how much of their income should be paid toward debt.

Jason Ransom, who declared bankruptcy after running up more than $80,000 in unsecured debt, wanted to take advantage of the $471 monthly allowance for car payments. But the credit card company he owed objected because Ransom's 2004 Toyota Camry was paid off.

Kagan's order upheld lower-court rulings that agreed with the company.

Via Brad DeLong Buce Palookaville weighs in at the blog Underbelly:

There's a back-story here that you'd never suss out of the opinion itself. Specifically, the language in question comes from the famous-all-over-town bankruptcy amendments of 2005, which made it much tougher for ordinary folks to get bankruptcy relief. Whether that's A Good Thing or not is the kind of issue on which, inevitably, tastes differ. But another issue, apart from substance, is quality of the statute as a piece of draftsmanship.

Here there is much wider agreement: it's a mare's nest, a dog's breakfast, a can of worms, just about anything but the cat's meow. Cudgeling my brain, I can think of only one person who has ever gone on record as believing that the statute is carefully written.

No surprise, then, that an kind of cottage industry has developed in the lower courts since 2005 which you might call Saving Congress from Itself--more precisely, trying to read some sense into a statute which often doesn't make any sense. But this endeavor has not been purely technical. Rather, there seems to have developed a sense among the lower courts that what Congress intended to do was jam it to the debtor good and hard, and that if Congress didn't get it right the first time, then we must help them.

Bankruptcy lawyers have fashioned a new canon of statutory interpretation: if the statute seems to favor the creditor, apply the statute; if it seems to favor the debtor, assume it's a mistake and favor the creditor anyway.

I wouldn't put Kagan in quite that camp. Her reading seems more rooted in the "Congress couldn't have said anything that stupid" school....

Here's a final graf from the WaPo article:

...Scalia said that Congress wrote the law in such a way that any debtor who owns a car is entitled to the car ownership deduction. Ransom's case may seem odd, he said, but the court's job is "not to eliminate or reduce those oddities, but to give the formula Congress adopted its fairest meaning."