Here is a fairly scathing review of Obama’s presidential performance that you should read, written by Dr. Drew Western, a professor of psychology who advised Democrats in the last election. He definitely gives voice (and then some) to the sense of frustration felt by the progressive left over what has to be considered a year of wasted opportunity. If I had to summarize Obama’s freshman year in office, it would be: “stabilize the stock market, and fuck the rest”.
Maybe all the recent healthcare drama is inducing amnesia, but I’m having a hard time identifying any significant policy changes from the Bush years. There’s been no rebuke of the torture years, just a polite brushing under the rug. There’s been no check on the titans of Wall Street (even the Brits instituted a 50% tax on bank bonus payments). Anyone recall anything remotely close to that over here? (This blog doesn’t count). We’ve got escalation in Afghanistan, and even the Iraq troop drawdown is following the Bush timeline. McClatchy has a truly infuriating story about the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which was supposed to help people facing foreclosure stay in their homes, but instead is helping banks to fast-track the eviction process:
To date, more than 759,000 trial loan modifications have been started, but just 31,382 have been converted to permanent new loans. That’s averages out to 4 percent, far below the 75 percent conversion rate President Barack Obama has said he seeks.
In the fine print of the form homeowners fill out to apply for Obama’s program, which lowers monthly payments for three months while the lender decides whether to provide permanent relief, borrowers must waive important notification rights.
This clause allows banks to reject borrowers without any written notification and move straight to auctioning off their homes without any warning.[…]
Flores bought her home in 2006 for $352,000. Records show that it has a current fair-market value of $99,000. The new owner bought it for $78,000 at an auction Flores didn’t even know about.
You can’t even blame Bush for this one. Explain to me why it is better for a bank to sell a place to real estate vultures at below market value, rather than let the owner-occupant renegotiate (i.e. cramdown). We really are on the road to neo-feudalism. Peace be with you, fellow peasant!
While in no way, shape or form endorsing the thinly veiled racism… this is fun: