Via D-Day, this statement from Leahy strikes me as absurd:
“Senator Leahy understands the President’s decision not to sign the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act, and he supports that decision,” said a Leahy spokeswoman in a statement. “When Congress passed the legislation, no concerns or objections had been expressed. Now that concerns have been raised, Congress should reexamine whether this bill might have an unintended impact on foreclosures in the future. We certainly do not believe that is what Representative Aderholt and the other cosponsors of the legislation intended.”
You’ll have that when you rush a bill through on voice votes, no discussion, no public airing, and no public debate. People tend to usually only complain about the bills they are aware of, you know?
@WereBear: Ditto that.
@Ash Can: That makes more sense than this explanation.
Somehow this reminds me of the times when Bottle Rocket was very small, when I’d catch him up on the kitchen counter holding a cookie he’d just nabbed off the top of the refrigerator, and he’d tell me that he was “just putting it back.”
@Ash Can: Yeah, man. They learn that kind of thing so dang fast.
Gotta be hardwired, or something.
Thread needs more snacks.
@Ash Can: Reminds me of the time James O’Keefe said that the 13 page memo outlining a plan to fool a female CNN reporter into meeting him in his ‘pleasure palace’ and secretly videotape the encounter was someone else’s idea and not something he was really going to try to do.
Was the point of this to give Obama call to say “see, we don’t only punch hippies!”
They haven’t even been elected and they lied about reading every bill.
The bill, on its face, did not seem to do much more than mandate that notarizations from one state be recognized by others. I think a lot of Congress critters looked at that and said, “Makes sense to me. Let’s do it.” The fact that there might be huge unintended consequences probably did not occur to them. I would not attribute bad motives where laziness and shallow understanding will also explain an action.
I’m actually willing to believe everyone involved was way too retarded to realize what this bill would mean or that it even existed, except for the lobbyist who wrote it and the politicians who introduced it, and that Obama would have quietly signed it into law in complete ignorance that it was anything other than your standard moderate-harm-to-America giveaway to someone’s aunt’s neighbor’s brother. That’s generally how this sort of crap gets passed.
Once again, just pick up a copy of The Great Derangement by Matt Taibbi and flip to Chapter 2 if you want an account of how this kind of bill becomes a law.
@Balconesfault: Give credit where credit is due. This punch was clearly not aimed at hippies.
Also, wtf Leahy?
Also, also – wtf Fiengold, Sanders, Kerry, Boxer, Franken! Where the hell were you people? Jim Bunning pees himself holding up unemployment insurance extensions, but you guys can’t trouble yourselves to force a roll-call vote on this abortion of legislation?
Where oh where is the liberal Tom Coburn? Hell, where oh where was regular old Tom Coburn? That bastard objects to damn never everything.
Oh, well if it was just laziness and shallow understanding, then I guess it’s ok.
@John Bird: I agree except I wouldn’t say retarded, so much as inattentive. This IS how the bills get passed. They don’t know what they’re voting for, they just vote the way the leader says.
It’s disappointing to see Leahy be the one that pushed this through. Then again, it’s not the first time he’s talked like a hippie and walked like a Blue Dog.
Damn irrititating that THIS is what the world’s greatest deliberative body managed to find unanimous consent on; particularly in light of the current foreclosure scandal.
Wow, Leahy, who bought you?
Oh I see. (Neat site a friend helped work on by the way.)
I guess I should be happy that the FIRE industry ranked 4th.
@Zifnab: I doubt any of the people you named would have known what the hell you were talking about if you mentioned that bill to them outside their offices a couple days ago. They probably would have seen you as the guy who complains that the post office they just named is transmitting 2012 NHL draft picks into his brain.
Of course, that’s the worst part.
Retardedly inattentive. Inattentively retarded. Either works for me to describe how Congress works.
@Zifnab: The bill does not look like a problem if you just read it. It was sponsored by an association of court reporters because transcripts from one state were no being accepted in another. Vote for leg that fixes these little problems is easy to get people to do. The fact that it could have a pernicious effect on foreclosure litigation is not obvious.
The threat this bill posed to homeowners was about as real
as the one from the guy about to pull the plug on your Grandma.
Wait a minute. If only there was a system by which individuals could designate representatives, representatives with broad professional and legal backgrounds and even additional budgets to hire staffs with special expertise and organized in subgroups dedicated to particular policy areas, specifically to carefully weigh the costs and benefits of potential laws and then, after careful and open deliberation and debate on these matters, act in their constituents’ interests in deciding whether those laws should be enacted . Naaaaah!
Patrickleahy of York.
@ricky: It removes a small layer of protection, but functionally it would do very little.
I didn’t think that the possible threat to the foreclosure process was towards homeowners.
The bill in question is so short that real Congressmembers could actually read it and understand it in the time it took to pass it on a voice vote while suspending the rules.
The problem with the bill is what someone read “into” the bill, not what was in it.
Anybody who thinks requiring in state notarization of documents in foreclosures provides any protection probably doesn’t realize Notary Public is a license even Joe the Plumber could obtain. And defects in the work would not be as obvious.
Laziness and shallow understanding can be fixed and/or worked around. Dire conspiracies, not so much.
True enough. The imagined flaw fixed by the bill was removing the threat posed to fraudulent foreclosure agents who were not thoughful enough to hire locally when seeking a crooked notary.
I keep looking at that word and all I see is conspirators.
Jeebus christ. The bill is one page long and only deals with the people who make sure signatures and dates are correct on documents. This can be important, but does not promote fraud, or legalize it in any way. But it is not the end of the world, and likely the main reason obama won’t sign it now, is because of the rushed process and how that looked. Otherwise, I have read no one who I respect, claiming this is some kind of big deal, or giveaway or whatever. I don’t know why it was rushed, maybe simply because there wasn’t time to debate it with all the other shit going on.
Leahy needs to send himself one of his trademark “sternly-worded letters.”
While I channel my inner-Cheney and tell him to “go fuck himself.”
When historians 50 years from now tote up Obama’s accomplishments, one of the major items on the list will be teaching a Congress that had almost forgotten, how to fucking legislate.
Dude wouldn’t be so busy if he didn’t have to be an occupational rehab therapist for an entire freaking branch of the govt that had a stroke sometime back and lost the ability to move or speak. Now they can at least mumble and stumble around bumping into the furniture, knocking things over, and scaring the childern. Baby steps, people, baby steps.
Lots of maybes. Maybe a bank lobbysist saw the bill and thought it would help speed foreclosures. Maybe Leahy has a friend back in Vermont who is a notary whose association was pusing the bill and asked why it was lingering and he wanted to impress the person. There are lots of maybes that may be never answered now.
What amused me were comments on other threads by the punch drunk hippie faction that saw a possible signing of this bill as proof Obama was born in a corporate incubator by outsourced workers in Kenyattastan.
@General Stuck: It’s the timing General. Seemingly fraudulent notarized docs are being used to fast track bogus foreclosures. There’s a lot of reported abuse of the process in the last couple of weeks. Foreclosures being suspended all over the county. Suddenly this bill gets passed after languishing since I think it was 2006. Optics matter. It looks suspicious.
And having worked in the law biz for 20 years, language really matters. It’s not just the law, it’s how it can be interpreted by the courts. Given the current state of our justice system, thinking somebody saw it as a possible out for the banksters.
Suck It Up!
yeah ’cause it is always about the left.
The bill was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying “Beware of the leopard”…
Suck It Up!
With more than 400 bills languishing in the Senate I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them just didn’t read the bill. Hell, most of them probably just wait until someone else interprets the bill for them and then they decide how to vote.
@Fax Paladin: Oh, it was in the Larry Craig Memorial Restroom?
@General Stuck: What flavor Kool-aid are they serving this week?
I have to say: Good on the media for catching this one. Or good on that one guy from Reuters. Or whoever. Stuff like this is their job, and it seems that somebody actually did it for once.
That said, I’m still not overly worried about this one.
Okay, I’ll ask again.
The federal E-SIGN law has been in effect for about ten years now. It requires acceptance of an electronic notarization of a document relating to specified commercial transactions (including certain mortgage transactions) in or affecting interstate commerce.
Why is there no outcry over this?
So, with all of this, I have a question. An honest, most likely to be mocked for question… Why is there no requirement for some percentage of legislators in each house to have read the bill? Or even a tracking of having read the bill along with the votes?
Obviously just asking the congresscritters wouldn’t work, since most of them have shown no close relationship with the truth, but seriously?
While the cynic in me knows their real job is to go out and get more money to get relected so they can go out and get more money so they can get re-elected, isn’t reading and writing said legislation the basic requirements of the job?
I’m not dismissing the existence of staff to do research and distill issues into executive summaries for our busy representatives, and I understand that some bills are 1000s of pages, but, seriously, it saddens me.
Is it just that the bills are written exactly that way by lobbyists who just pass the shit on to lawmakers? Designed in an inherently complex way, like credit card agreements so that people purposely don’t read them?
@singfoom: Who would make them read it? It is not like you can assign homework. I am not being flippant; this is basically the reason no such requirement exists-it is unenforceable.
@Libby: i certainly agree the timing looks bad, and the manner in which it was passed, but it is still a narrow issue that no one has been able to point to it legalizing or even promoting fraud. I am glad Obama vetoed it though, as doing legislation in a more deliberate way is always preferable.
Well, not the PUMA sour grapes flavor. Obama vetoed the bill, I know that is disappointing for the sewer rats over at The Confluence, but maybe next time.
Our side seems to hate the give and take of a more pugnacious style of politics. Its sorta like what used to happen when the AV Club found themselves sitting at a lunch table valued by the jocks.
@General Stuck: Was that really your best shot?
This place has really gotten lame.
How would you prove they read it?
@Omnes Omnibus: Your point is quite plain. I understand that enforcement of it would be nigh-impossible to impossible, but as a metric (assuming a system of confirmation) it would be a very useful data point for determining the fitness of a candidate.
Personally, I tend to like legislators who write and read legislation. If they have not read a bill, or at least an executive summary of the bill (which I would still call laziness) how can they even vote on it?
I’m not being flippant either…maybe it’s an emotional response, but this feels the same way as a bank charging me for talking to a real person in a bank. It’s a betrayal of the primary function that the institution exists for…
Maybe if they didn’t have to spend their time gathering piles of money, they might have time to actually do the job. Doubtful future for any real kind of public financing with the current landscape and the John Roberts court….
@myiq2xu: So go somewhere else, if we disappoint you.
As Libby said, I think people found the timing suspicious. AGs in a dozen states suspend foreclosures because of paperwork problems and suddenly a bill regarding paperwork gets taken away from its committee and rushed through the Senate within a couple of days?
It could well turn out to be much ado about nothing, but the timing is pretty weird and it’s worth looking more closely at the bill to see what’s up with it.
Actually, yes. I’ll get right on that, an automated system that writes a quiz for each bill entered into the record and presents each legislator with it. It should only take me another couple hundred years to code that up real nice.
The mental image of congresscritters looking over at each other’s answers is pleasing, at least. :)
@singfoom: Bills can also be stunningly long and phrased in ways that are virtually unintelligible on a quick reading. I agree with your point; legislators should know what is in the legislation on which they vote.
Why would you think they actually write or read or understand any bills they end up passing in the first place?
Tell us, how is life at the PUMA Castle with the moat filled and and no doors. Do you get satellite teevee?
If memory serves, Russ Feingold was the only senator who took the time to read the great American novel (aka the Patriot Act).
The Pale Scot
from Yves @ NC
Rule of Law Versus Bank Profits: Mortgage Fraud Edition
This development reveals how this battle is likely to play out. Now that judges in some states are starting to take these dubious, potentially fraudulent measures seriously, the next line of attack is to get the more bought-and-paid-for Federal government to intercede on behalf of the banks. As the e-mail by the Ohio Secretary shows, this is a state versus Federal rights issue. And the problem is that these solutions will be depicted as “efficient,” just as securitizations and other “innovations” were.
And while efficiency in theory is a good thing, it must always be kept secondary to the overall integrity of the system, otherwise, you run the risk of breakdown. Using dubious arguments to overturn well settled law to get the banking industry out of a monster mess it created is a Faustian bargain. It makes it abundantly clear what is really at stake here, which is the rule of law. Banks that were quick to defend unjustifiable pay deals by invoking “sanctity of contract” have no inhibition about ignoring their own contracts to pad their bottom line, and ultimately, the wallets of top executives.
Rather than deal with the considerable consequences of these abuses, the banks are prepared to bulldoze well settled state laws to give them an easy way out. And I’m not basing my view on this story alone; I had a conversation yesterday with a Congressional staffer who matter-of-factly said (but with little understanding of the underlying issues) that Congress would intervene on behalf of the industry, via its authority over national banks.The result is that we institutionalize kleptocracy while keeping largely gutted forms of due process as theater. The powers that be hope that the broad public will remain unaware of what is really at work.
But my question has to do with the substance of the provisions as compared to current law. . The timing of this bill is only questionable if the substance is questionable.
Look, I can’t follow you into Fantasyland. The administration and the Democratic Party are actually, literally, genuinely more critical of themselves than you are of them at this point. You’re through the looking glass. You’re saying we found WMDs in Iraq.
@John Bird: I only said I don’t know what this bill does or doesn’t do, and that the way it was done was suspicious and am glad it was vetoed. You went off to crazy town again with yo butterfly ass and declared it the end of civilization as we know it. A bill letting out of state notaries be recognized in local courts. Now maybe there is some nefarious scheme in that, and especially the electronic parts. I just wish someone could explain to me how this allows or promotes fraud is all. But again, glad Obama stopped it and I suspect for the same reasons. At least he isn’t part of this dark conspiracy. That should relax yer ‘noids a little, shouldn’t it?
I’m not sure the way it passed was terribly suspicious.
After 40 minutes of debate on the House floor, HR 3808 passed by a voice vote on April 27. A voice vote is hardly unusual: of the 372 House bills sitting in the Senate at the beginning of September, 182 were passed by voice vote.
At the end of September, the number of House bills sitting in the Senate rose to 420. With something less than 12 weeks remaining until the end of session, it doesn’t seem implausible that they were simply trying to herd as many noncontroversial bills through as fast as possible. This bill had been around for a couple of sessions and had never raised any flags. Having had no amendments added to it, it doesn’t seem unreasonable that it would gain unanimous consent.
Unable to edit to add these two links:
Legislative history for HR 3808, including debate on House floor
Number of House bills passed by voice vote
Unable to edit to add these two links:
Legislative history for HR 3808, including debate on House floor
Number of House bills passed by voice vote
Minor, uncontroversial legislation doesn’t get discussed much. Hell, major, significant, controversial legislation often isn’t discussed that much. I can’t get too incensed about this barring new information. It sounds like it was a sensible measure to start with, but given current events, it could have caused some serious problems. That was caught, and it was stopped. The system worked, for a change.
Hey! We wanted bipartisanship, right? Well, it looks like we have it! The only problem is the fuckface politicians don’t want us to know just how bipartisan they really are!