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Katrina vanden Heuvel writes: "He is the most powerful federal employee you've never heard of. Edward DeMarco has slowed the economic recovery with the stroke of a pen. His actions are costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, forcing millions of homeowners to lose their homes, and contributing to the falling housing prices that are a brake on the recovery."

Edward 'Ed' DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, speaks during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, DC. (photo: AP)
Edward 'Ed' DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, speaks during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, DC. (photo: AP)

The Man Blocking America's Recovery

By Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington Post

20 March 12


e is the most powerful federal employee you've never heard of. Edward DeMarco has slowed the economic recovery with the stroke of a pen. His actions are costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars, forcing millions of homeowners to lose their homes, and contributing to the falling housing prices that are a brake on the recovery.

Not bad for an obscure "acting director" who should have departed his position long ago.

Edward DeMarco heads the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). He's a temp, in office only because - no surprise - Senate Republicans, led by Richard Shelby (Ala.), refused even to allow a vote on the man President Obama nominated for the post.

And DeMarco is philosophically opposed to the common-sense solutions needed to deal with the housing crisis.

When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - holders or guarantors of about 60 percent of housing mortgages - were bailed out, the FHFA was tasked with supervising their activities, with a mandate to minimize taxpayer losses. That gives DeMarco extraordinary power.

As the Federal Reserve has detailed, falling housing prices are a continuing drag on the recovery. Homeowners have lost a staggering $7 trillion in the value of their homes since early 2006 as home prices fell an average of about 33 percent. Homes are the prime investment of middle-class families, and when home values fall, families begin to cut back on purchases. This slows the entire economy.

With foreclosure, the effects are even worse. Foreclosure is a tragedy for those who lose their home and an economic calamity for their neighbors, who watch their houses plummet in value. It is costly to creditors, for the loss on foreclosed properties often exceeds what might be gained through renegotiating the mortgage. And foreclosures in large numbers impede a recovery, driving housing prices into a death spiral.

The Federal Reserve concludes that is what we face now. Millions have lost their homes already, and millions more are on the verge. A stunning 12 million homeowners - one in five with mortgages - are "under water," meaning their homes are worth less than their mortgage.

Some of these victims had taken former Fed chair Alan Greenspan's advice and took out a subprime or variable-interest loan with a small down payment to buy a house, on the assumption that values would continue to rise. When prices fell, these buyers not only lost their down payment, they couldn't refinance their loans when their variable rates kicked up.

More of these underwater homeowners, however, are simply bystanders - collateral damage - to the banking folly. They hold prime mortgages, put down 20 percent and now find themselves unable to refinance or to sell. Their investment is gone.

So a growing chorus of voices - from Obama to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke - have called for programs that would refinance underwater loans, particularly by reducing the principal owed so homeowners can stay in their homes.

Small-scale experiments have shown this approach can save creditors money. But the banks want to avoid putting a real price on the mortgages they own for as long as possible, while loan servicers are set up to manage loans, and often have neither the staffing nor the incentive to deal with homeowners in trouble. One aim of the multibillion-dollar settlement just inked by attorneys general of several states and five big banks was to require the setup of procedures to facilitate refinancing and principal reduction.

Fannie and Freddie hold over 20 percent of underwater mortgages, so Bernanke, President Obama and leading senators and legislators have called on DeMarco to let Fannie and Freddie move on principal reduction. The Treasury Department even offered to provide 63 cents for every dollar of principal reduction to subsidize the process.

According to the FHFA's own reports, done carefully, this might save taxpayers $28 billion, compared to the cost of foreclosures. But Edward DeMarco says no. He even shut down a test program in principal reduction before it got started.

"He's acting as if he was head of two private companies called Fannie and Freddie and not taking into account the impact this has on the economy, and I think he should be more cooperative with efforts to reduce foreclosures," argues Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

DeMarco argues that he has no authority to allow principal reduction because his mandate is to minimize taxpayers' losses. But Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and John Tierney (D-Mass.), both members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms, noted that the FHFA's own figures show a sensible program could save taxpayers billions - to say nothing of the benefits of buoying housing prices, keeping other homeowners above water, and helping the economy get going.

"If DeMarco were fire chief and your house became engulfed in flames, you could forget about calling 911," argues the Huffington Post's Peter Goodman. "He would not run up the municipal water bill by saving your block."

Clearly DeMarco should go. Without Shelby's obstruction, he'd already have been gone. Now the pressure is building. Liberal groups - MoveOn, the Campaign for America's Future, Rebuild the Dream and the New Bottom Line, among others - have joined in petitions calling on the president to fire DeMarco and make a recess appointment to replace him. Last week, demonstrators marched outside regional Fannie and Freddie offices, calling on DeMarco to go. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has signed a letter telling DeMarco to act or to leave.

A recess appointment would trigger a partisan brawl with Republican senators that the White House has little appetite for. But to save taxpayers billions, to help families keep their homes and to give a boost to the economy, getting rid of the most destructive man we've never heard of is a small price to pay. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+52 # grouchy 2012-03-20 22:59
-12 # lorenbliss 2012-03-20 22:59
Three points:

(1)-"The White House" aka Barack the Betrayer has NO appetite for partisan brawl. Not now, not ever.

(2)-Never forget the Democrats had a sufficient Senate majority to oust DeMarco prior to the 2010 elections, when the electorate -- enraged to despair by Obama's repeated betrayals -- voted in the Republicans.

(3)-DeMarco's endless term in office is yet another classic example of how Barack the Betrayer works behind the scenes to facilitate One Percent (Republican) tyranny. Obama the Orator speaks progressive change even as Barack the Betrayer methodically obstructs it, Hence to imagine public pressure will result in DeMarco's ouster is to imagine the Easter Bunny will soon bring unemployment relief.
+30 # JCM 2012-03-21 08:05
Way to go lorenbliss, we don't need Bad Barack. Let’s get rid of Bad Barack and put another Republican in. That will make things much better. The Republican would probably appoint DeMarco to the job permanently so Bad Barack can’t betray us again. Barack is much worse than the people who got us into this catastrophe, so let’s hate the President and help the Republicans win. Or we can vote for a progressive third party candidate of our imagination and still help the Republicans win. Whatever, lorenbliss, we sure appreciate your hate.
+16 # pbbrodie 2012-03-21 09:11
First, in my humble opinion you should not have used the word hate in reference tolorenbliss's comments. He never used that word or even suggested that he hates President Obama. You are putting words in his mouth. He may have referred to President Obama as a betrayer but that's a far cry from hate.
Second, he never said we shouldn't elect Obama or should vote for anyone else. All he did was make some pretty valid points about Obama and how he operates.
Third, he has every right to criticize the President and why shouldn't he? I plan to vote for President Obama but I have no problem what-so-ever with people complaining about the job he's doing and pointing out all of his betrayals. I believe it was Noam Chomsky who said the lesser of two evils is still less evil but guess what, it is still evil.
I do not believe you have to work really hard to convince people that Obama is vastly more desirable as President than anything the Repthuglicans have as an alternative but this absolutely does NOT mean that we must act as if Mr. Obama is some sort of great President that has done anything remotely resembling a good job so far and that we can't criticize him.
+6 # JCM 2012-03-21 11:27
I appreciate your opinion but disagree with some of your thoughts. Lorenbliss doesn't use the word hate but to me his whole representation of his comment is hateful. That is my take on it. His criticisms are mostly just name calling. Criticisms without facts are not helpful and are what the Republicans are pretty good at. People that criticize in this way can influence others in negative ways that could lead to the Republicans win. There are plenty of ways that we can criticize the President and I think that thoughtful, factual criticisms are helpful, however, the closer we get to the election I feel we must back this President as much as we can mainly due to the alternative would be so destructive. The President is not the lesser of two evils. He is a President in a situation unlike any before; where one party would rather the country fail than let the President succeed. Many of the problems we have with the President have been carefully orchestrated by the Republicans. More below...
+4 # lorenbliss 2012-03-21 16:41
"Criticisms without facts"? Nonsense!

Obama the Orator promised public-option/s ingle-payer health care, Employee Free Choice and the restoration of our constitutional rights – precisely the reasons I voted for him.

But Barack the Betrayer screwed us on every one of these issues.

He also betrayed us on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

His (unreported) cuts to Medicare went into effect 1 January 2012: a four percent increase in prescription drug co-payments for Part D Extra Help and a one percent increase in Extra Help premiums -- this maliciously imposed only on the very poorest Medicare recipients.

Maliciously? Absolutely: Those on Extra Help are abjectly poor, hence least able to protest -- an ugly truth the politicians readily exploit.

Again we see how party labels are meaningless. Republican or Democrat, all are in the same Ruling Class party.

That's why "change we can believe in" was always a Big Lie.

Our constitutional democracy is dead. The sole issue is how quickly the U.S. will become overtly fascist. On this there's no meaningful difference between the GOPorkers and the DemocRats. Whomever wins, we'll soon be the de facto Fourth Reich: concentration camps for dissenters, death for those of us who are elderly, disabled, chronically poor – no longer exploitable for profit.

To claim otherwise is pathological denial or willful ignorance.
+9 # JCM 2012-03-21 18:40
If you want to understand the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans just take a look at the bills passed in the house during the 111th Congress under Nancy Pelosi and then look at the 112th Congress under the Republican Tea party. If you can't tell the difference by comparing the two, then you might be in denial.
+17 # JCM 2012-03-21 11:29
Our only hope now is to criticize the extreme Republican conservative ideology over and over. Repeat and repeat over again how our country has been reduced and our middle class has declined only to the benefit of the wealthiest due to the conservative ideology. Factual evidence of this is the extreme income and wealth inequality we see as a product of fewer taxes mostly for the wealthiest and less regulations in financial and petroleum industries, both examples of the Republican, conservative ideology. The President hasn’t been a great President for the progressive, liberal side but he might be and is the best chance we have of restoring our country. We must give him a filibuster proof Congress this election in order to give our country a chance to restore our economic and social health.
+20 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-21 17:10
When I see people who obviously care about the issues and pay attention to them repeatedly claim that it is Republican ideology and candidates causing the problems of this country I feel absolute despair.

It is corporate ideology and the candidates they purchase (virtually all of them) causing the destruction of this country.

Failing to acknowledge that is going to leave us – like the bull – rushing at the red flag (Republicans) while the sword (Democrats) pierces his heart. The bull doesn’t realize the matador (corporations) holds both.
+11 # lorenbliss 2012-03-21 18:27
Superb analogy, Ms. Remington -- in fact the best I've seen on these pages yet, especially in terms of how the GOPorkers and the DemocRats facilitate one another's tyrannical deception of the electorate.

But I must quibble over one point: it's not "corporate ideology" that is destroying us, our nation, our species, our planet.

What's destroying us is capitalism, the absolute evil of infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue.

That and capitalist governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent, total subjugation and genocide by impoverishment and abandonment for all the rest of us.
+3 # phrixus 2012-03-22 07:00
Your arguments might carry more weight if you refrained from schoolyard name-calling. Seriously, "GOPorkers" and "DemocRats?" Come on...
+11 # JCM 2012-03-21 19:07
I agree with much of this and it is one of our greatest challenges to our country to remove corporate money from politics, it is corrupting our democracy. The difference I have is that the Democrats, when you look at the bills that they have passed and try to pass are overwhelmingly for the benefit of the working class. I can’t argue that every bill is perfect and there are plenty I would repeal but the comparison to what the Republicans pass is stark. The Republicans pass bills that in many cases take fundamental rights away from people, they favor the wealthiest by reducing their taxes and letting our infrastructure and important programs suffer for it, and they cut regulations on the institutions that have nearly destroyed our economy. They cut regulations that keep our environment healthy, make regulations that take away voting rights, and worst of all would sacrifice our country’s success so that they may win the White House. This in itself is an act of treason. Yes there is corruption in both parties and this needs to be fixed, but the extreme contrast between the two parties direction for this country makes it easy for me to pick the Democrats. We must give the President a filibuster proof Congress and then we might be able to restore the health of this nation.
+11 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-21 21:16
The NDAA and the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and signed by Obama.

The NDAA enables indefinite detention of anyone, including Americans, based on accusations of terrorism – no due process. Within days of its passage an Oakland City Council member accused Occupy Oakland of being terrorists for peacefully attempting to open a community center.

The FRBGIA makes it a felony to protest anywhere in the US if you are near people or events of "national significance." The people include anyone guarded by the SS. Events include the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, funerals of past presidents, the Democratic and Republican Debates and National Conventions, meetings of the G-8, the G-20 and the World Trade Organization. A recent amendment expanded it to include anywhere around the White House. People already arrested under this act include those carrying signs asking people to join protests. They got detained by police, held on $25,000 bail and charged with felonies. They can serve up to 10 years.

The "Jobs Act" just passed the House 390 to 23. The bill will remove virtually all remaining financial regulations, supposedly to create jobs. It will actually increase fraud, strip consumer protections, set us up for a 1920's style depression, and cause job LOSSES. The senate just rejected two amendments to minimize the damage. Obama supports it.
+1 # JCM 2012-03-22 04:30
Contentious legislation at best.
+10 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-22 13:56
The framer's intent is clear -- "Congress shall make...NO LAW...abridging the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Violating the first amendment of the constitution goes well beyond contentious.
+1 # JCM 2012-03-22 04:56
Here is the FRBGIA.
0 # JCM 2012-03-22 04:59
Here is a kind of for and against the FRBGIA:
+2 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-22 14:09
He attempts to look at the issue from a couple of perspectives, but leaves out a lot and acknowledges that although he doesn't know of vast abuses of the law and its predecessor, he's not really sure.

Here are a couple of other pieces on the topic. The first one (video) includes actual cases that Volokh didn't know about.

The second reviews the law and includes excerpts that contradict some of Volokh's statements about what the law actually says.
+4 # terrison 2012-03-22 05:37
You can't really make a case by taking three bills and generalizing whole parties with them. As JCM said, look at the entire 111th and 112th Congresses, what they have enacted, what the Dens have tried to enact, and what has been unilaterally blocked by the Republicans, as well as what the GOP would like to enact. Do you pay attention to what they are passing in state legislatures all over the country in terms of women's reproductive rights? Have you seen Paul Ryan's budget bill? Mitch McConnell specifically said that the Senate Republicans' FIRST priority was to defeat President Obama, their highest stated GOAL is to block all Obama-backed legislation. Anyone who says there's no difference between the parties is simply not paying attention.
+8 # lorenbliss 2012-03-22 13:36
terrison, you and many others need to understand the two-party charade.

(1)-There is really only one party, the Ruling Class or One Percent party, of which the Democrats and Republicans are merely pseudo-factions .

(See Bill Moyers' disclosures of 10 July 2009 at working journalists, this was nothing new. It was the ultimate dirty secret of U.S. politics. But Moyers was the first of us to dare publicly expose it.)

(2)-The GOPorker/DemocR at scam is nothing more than a variant of the good-cop/bad-co p con. One party screams and rants to provide a rationale for the other party's betrayals, as in the health-care debacle or the ongoing war against women.

(3)-Innumerable studies in what used to be called "industrial psychology" prove capitalism's most profitable employees are those who are (A), terrified to unquestioning obedience, and (B), so sexually frustrated they sublimate their forbidden desires in frenzies of productivity and impulse buying.

Hence the oppression in which both alleged "parties" are equally complicit: denial of health care (fear); the war against women (war against sexuality); and the imposition of zero-tolerance Christian theocracy (guaranteed obedience, as proven long ago in the post-Reconstruc tion South).

Wake up, people! A good brain-starter is Marxian economics...
+6 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-22 14:47
As I mentioned below, space limitations here influenced what I included.

I chose the first two because they were strongly bi-partisan and because they are serious threats to democracy. Constitutionall y-protected rights are essential, particularly for people who have lost all recourse for change within normal government channels. An attack on our basic rights to assemble and redress grievances, which is what the NDAA and FRBGIA are, threatens democracy itself by suppressing our ability to peaceably assemble and redress grievances.

The third, I chose, because it is happening right now, it includes the massive deregulation that DCM correctly identifies as a threat to us all, and it – like the other two – has strong bi-partisan support. (see next post)
+9 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-22 14:50
The continuation and expansion of Bush’s policies are also dangerous and, often, illegal: aggressive wars, obsessive secrecy (combined with a simultaneous intrusion into the lives of Americans via warrantless spying), aggressive targeting of whistle blowers and journalists, and the shielding from accountability of corporations and high level government officials whose abuses, crimes, and corruption they exposed.

Obama’s claim (and exercise) of the authority to kill people without any due process and his is an extreme violation of our law and international law. His exercise of this wrongfully-clai med authority against Americans is unprecedented in our history.

This list isn’t even close to inclusive either. Yes, Republican rhetoric and policy are vile. My point is that the threats to freedom, democracy, fairness, and equality are bipartisan.
+4 # JCM 2012-03-22 15:51
Your point is well taken. There are egregious bills created by both sides and there are many reasons for it. As we have both said money is corrupting our democracy and I wish there was something we could do about it. Unfortunately, the players in Congress are the ones that have to fix it. Our only recourse is the courts and the elections. That is another point I am trying to make,this time in our political reality we have to make a choice. We can vote Democrat or Republican. Judging from history there is no hope that the Republicans have the judgment to restore America but when we look at history, far and near, I see in the Democrats (and like minded Independents) a willingness to raise the standard of living for all Americans, protect the environment, maintain a fair election for all people and, not lastly, they believe in science. The Democrats do make mistakes but the Republicans make disaster.
+5 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-22 22:19
There is one additional recourse to the courts and elections – a popular movement. This, I think, is the most important because our entire system of government is corrupt. Electing new and better candidates into it either damages or corrupts them, too.
I also think you are giving the Democrats way too much credit. The idea that things will improve if only Republicans are shut out of meaningful representation in politics flies in the face of our most recent experience with a Democratic majority in congress. They decided as a party that it would be politically beneficial to them to pursue policies supported by Republicans (who only blocked them to be obstructionists ). Rahm Emmanuel bullied and threatened the most progressive Democrats mercilessly to fall in line with legislation they opposed. This scenario would likely repeat even if they got a filibuster-proo f majority because members of congress are beholden to their donors. If genuinely progressive legislation even made it to the floor, the needed votes would, somehow, not materialize until it was watered down sufficiently to get corporate sponsor approval.

Even if I am wrong, any time a single party gets absolute control it gets more corrupt and abusive of power.

That’s why I think is at least as important for those of us to care about these issues to focus on what happens after the election. We need major systemic change. A popular movement is the only thing that can do that.
+2 # JCM 2012-03-23 09:36
The election is in eight months. Even if we could have an overreaching popular movement to what end would it accomplish. Certainly, if a large enough movement with clear demands were to happen it could affect the election and the 99% has changed the discourse for the better(I think it would have been more effective if they did have clearer demands). We still have to go to the polls and elect who is on the ballot. Historically, I would have agreed that it is better to have a balance of power in Congress, but the Republican Party has become too destructive to American society. You said it yourself, the Democrats had to bend to the Republican Ideology in order to pass anything and Emanuel had to beat some people up to get anything passed. If the Democrats had a larger majority and didn’t have to deal with the Republican obstruction they would be able to pass legislation that couldn’t pass before and would be able to appoint people that can help our country, what this article is all about. Electing any Republican even if they seem to want to help will ultimate vote mostly the party line. Another plus for the country if we did have both Houses with a larger majority is that it might make the Republicans sway back to the center. Vast sums of money have flowed from the working class to the very few due to lower taxes and less regulation, the conservative ideology. The Republicans will never vote for higher taxes and better regulation.
+1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-23 14:09
Most history books list problems facing the country and then conclude by saying something like, "these problems ended when so-and-so was elected president." This gives the totally false impression that the president is the person who makes things better. Social movements have always been behind the positive changes made by presidents and congress.

The goals, in this case, involve process at least as much as ends. Representative government is an end. Talking to each other, listening, and incorporating agreed-on ideas are part of the process. Getting the money out of politics, ending too big to fail, stopping foreclosures, creating jobs based on a green economy, ending wars (overt and covert) and occupations...O WS and others are addressing each of these and more with specific actions.

Regarding Democratic strategy, I never said they "HAD to bend to the Republican ideology ... and beating up progressives... in order to pass anything." I said they CHOSE this path as a political calculation because they believed going back on their campaign promises would score them more political points. They were wrong (both ethically and tactically) and lost their majority because people realized they were either weak, liars, or both.

All that said, my biggest concern is not who you vote for. It’s what all the supporters of whoever wins do up to and AFTER the election to push for needed changes.
0 # JCM 2012-03-23 15:38
We can spend a lot of time talking about our political future. I think in many ways we would agree on many issues. I am curious, who would you like to see win this election, considering all the political realities. And what do you think we can do to help restore our democracy.
+1 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-24 02:39
I like Rocky Anderson. At this point, though, there aren't enough people who believe third party candidates can win – which is ironic because, as far as elections go, voters decide the political reality. A lot more people would be looking at third parties if the Republican candidates weren't so extreme. They are so bad that they are essentially campaigning for Obama and drawing attention away from the terrible things he’s done.

The only way we’re going to restore democracy is if massive numbers of people join together to push whoever wins in the direction we want them to go. For that to happen, we’ve got to start talking to each other – all different viewpoints and perspectives – find common ground, and build a vision of where we want the country to go.
0 # JCM 2012-03-24 09:55
If you can bear with me, could you list and/or relist the things you think Obama did that were terrible. I would like to take a harder look to see if I agree.
0 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-25 00:34
-Aggressive war (overt and covert) in multiple Muslim nations – war crimes
-Regularly threatens war (illegal under international law)
-Drone strikes that kill civilians, including hundreds of children
-Assassination/extra-judicial killing, no due process
-Signed extension of “Patriot Act”
-Guantanamo (never tried to close it; promoted moving it to the U.S)
-supports indefinite detention and torture of thousands of people at Bagram and other prison facilities in Muslim “partner” nations in “war on terrorism”
-Signed NDAA –indefinite detention based on accusation of terrorism – includes a provision that allows Americans to be rendered to another country (for torture?)
-Signed Federal Buildings…Act – made protesting anywhere in the U.S. a felony, punishable with big fines and up to 10 years in prison
-Expanded Bush’s use of state secrets, blocking recourse against any of the above by Americans & others via courts
-Expanded (hugely) warrantless spying on Americans
-Targeting and imprisoning of journalists
-Unprecedented targeting of whistle-blowers (who he claimed in the campaign were heroes), prosecuting them as spies for revealing government abuse, corruption, waste, and crimes
-Shielding government officials and corporations from investigation and prosecution of crimes revealed by whistleblowers or investigative journalists.
-Shielding Bush officials from investigation for war crimes and other serious abuses
0 # JCM 2012-03-25 17:21
This is going to take a while - Check back in a few days. Thanks, JCM
0 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-25 15:00
This is just the beginning of the list.
0 # JCM 2012-03-26 13:55
I'll keeo looking here if you want to add to the list. I'll do my best to cover them in a that might open both our eyes. Thanks very much for continuing our conversation.
0 # JCM 2012-03-26 14:00
If I lose contact here, I'll write to you on your RSN page.
+5 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-21 22:39
Space limitations restricted me to those three issues, which "take fundamental rights away from people" and "cut regulations on the institutions that have nearly destroyed our economy."

Here's one more among many examples of actions by this administration that are at least as damaging as those committed by Bush and show how they perceive the government.

The Partnership for Civil Justice just received documents from the Dept. of Homeland Security that it requested through FOIA that "reveal that federal law enforcement agencies began their coordinated intelligence gathering and operations on the Occupy movement even before the first tent went up in Zuccotti Park on September 17, 2011."

Documents show that the Secret Service was on duty at "the Wall Street Bull." The name of the protectee listed is "U.S. Government."

They also show that DHS has "gone out of their way to project the appearance of an absence of federal involvement in the monitoring of and crackdown on Occupy."

Here’s the website:

The issues you mentioned concern me, too. But, I think if we sat down and made a list, we’d find abuses on virtually all issues of major importance in both the D & R columns.
0 # lorenbliss 2012-03-21 20:12
Off-topic but vital, apropos your screen-name: might you be the Stephanie who -- accompanied only by her two horses -- rode the Crest Trail from Bellingham to Mexico? If so please contact me via my blog...
0 # Stephanie Remington 2012-03-22 00:35
No, but that sounds like a great trip.
0 # lorenbliss 2012-03-22 16:49
Again off-topic but...what prompted my question was your combination of first and last names. The Stephanie I knew -- a formidably articulate NYC advertising executive who after her summer on the Crest Trail radically changed her life by becoming a nurse-practitio ner for the United Nations -- was accompanied on her odyssey not just by two horses but by protective equipment that bore the name Remington. Alas we long ago lost track of one another -- Steph in various Third World countries as I was moving around the U.S. doing journalism -- and it struck me your name might be a kind of recognition code designed to sort out those of us who actually knew her. (See my blog,
0 # Hey There 2012-03-22 15:27
Good analogy. Well said
+19 # John Locke 2012-03-20 23:32
No surprises here. if he refuses to make any consessions to help borrowers avoid foreclosure, isn't that what Wall Street really wants? Then they have more properties to acquire from Fanny and Freddie at pennies on the dollar. Ultimately this loss will be paid by us in taxes. Who does this character work for? It looks like Wall Street!
+30 # X Dane 2012-03-21 01:08
De Marco is not the only one that should be kicked out, Richard Shelby is scum and should be kicked out of the senate........I know you can't do that, but I have seen his shenanigans for many years. That man is a one man destruction band. He has prevented so many constructive things from happening. I think he is from Alabama, so no chance for a democrat winning HIS seat. DAMN.
+5 # Valleyboy 2012-03-21 02:49
And here was me thinking it was the banksters that stole all our money...
+13 # moby doug 2012-03-21 09:29
The racist, inbred, under-edjookate d, moronic, fundy, duped voters of the Confederate State of Alabam will continue to re-elect Senator Ruination T. Cornpone as long as he draws a breath. Below, from Wikipedia, are a couple of Shelby's typically brilliant moves:

Sen. Richard Shelby voted to block three amendments to regulate banks, including an amendment #3812 to S. 3217,to cap ATM fees at $0.50 per transaction, and also to bar banks who borrowed tax payer money through TARP funds to use those funds for their own benefit.[33]

Shelby opposed the nomination of Nobel Economics Prize laureate and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Peter Diamond to serve on the board of the Federal Reserve, on the grounds that professor Diamond "lacked the necessary qualifications" .[37]
+18 # susienoodle 2012-03-21 09:56
it really saddens me that we are a democracy in name only these days. The fact the rethugs can hold up so many appointments demonstrates the fraud our system of government has become.
At least this latest brat has been exposed. Now we need to make his life as miserable as he has made other people's.
+7 # angelfish 2012-03-21 13:00
This flies in the face of Sanity and reason! WHY keep this Fool in Office? If it's a Temporary position, REMOVE him and replace him with someone who is, at the very least, COMPETENT! FIRE THIS CRETIN!
+6 # MainStreetMentor 2012-03-21 21:12
President Obama must remove this man from any position of authority. It's the only viable answer - and the least expensive.
+1 # motamanx 2012-03-22 11:51
Is the fabulous Katerina telling us that Obama and that scumbag Richard Shelby are allied in this? hard to believe. Shelby really hasn't shown me any leadership--he' s a money grabber.
+1 # Innocent Victim 2012-03-23 14:47
And Obama? What is he? Isn't he reaching for the gold that will come his way after his presidency: the corporate directorships, book contracts, speaking engagements, appointments and honorariums? He is not sucking up to the big banks, oil industry and Wall Street for nothing!
+1 # Innocent Victim 2012-03-22 13:05
Katrina vanden Heuvel refused her editorial support on "The Nation" in each bid by Ralph Nader for the presidency in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Instead, she supported Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama. She is a proponent of voting for the less undesirable candidate rather than of voting for the best candidate. Gore and Kerry could not find their voices as candidates, and Kerry - once anti-war - is now a militarist. Obama has proved to be as bad as the worst expectations of John McCain. Her judgment has been so poor that I don't bother to read what she writes.

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