Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Yesterday, I diary-ed about Senators Dodd's and Conrad's "VIP" mortgages from Countrywide.  Basically, Sen. Chris Dodd, chair of the Banking Committee, and Sen. Kent Conrad, chair of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, allegedly refinanced properties through corrupt, insolvent, predatory Countrywide's "V.I.P." program, receiving reduced fees, points and closing costs. 2/7372

Those who put partisanship above patriotism, and party loyalty above ethical standards, dismissed the report, and attacked the messenger, because the senators "only" received  $2700 and $10,000, respectively.  See yesterday's comments.

But see today's new disclosures. ory/568954.html


Yes, Dodd "only" received $2,700 in interest rate discounts.  But, PER YEAR FOR THIRTY YEARS.

And, Conrad "only" received $10,000 in interest rate discounts. But, PER YEAR FOR THIRTY YEARS.

And, Conrad didn't just happen to get the favorable preferential rate given to good customers.  He called the CEO of Countrywide directly for the  loan.  He didn't call a loan officer or an underwriter or a mortgage broker or even the branch manager.  Conrad called the CEO of the whole darn company.  That's what's called strong arm tactics.  Did Conrad call the CEO of a regulated industry to hear him say, "Well, my chair, we can't do anything special for you, we have to treat you like everyone else?" And, if Conrad wanted to be treated like everyone else, why did he call the CEO?

And, Countrywide in fact made an exception in lending Conrad $96,000 in 2004 to buy an 8-unit apartment building from his brothers.  The company had a policy of only providing loans for buildings of four units or fewer.  Conrad says, "They said they frequently made exceptions, especially for good customers." In fact, an internal e-mail from the CEO said the exception was "due to the fact that the borrower is a senator."

Folks, this is where the rubber hits the road.  Are we going to change the culture in Washington, or are we going to excuse and ignore crony-ism and corruption from members of our team?

I've been a Democrat all my life, and not because I was waiting for our turn to be abusive.  I've been waiting for our turn to run an honest and ethical and moral government, front top to bottom, all three national branches and both houses of Congress, federal, state and local.

As I said yesterday, Dodd and Conrad need to resign their chairs. TODAY. And, Obama needs to call for it. TODAY. It will prove to the public that we're not just full of hot air.  And it won't let the Republicans change the subject when we go forward with mortgage relief legislation.

UPDATE - - Who do I contact / email (and what is their email address) to report the folks who are randomly tr-ing / hr-ing comments they don't like but which do not violate the faqs? Please post info in a comment. Thx.

Tags: Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd, Kent Conrad (all tags)



Tips for ethics?

by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Tips for ethics?

Tips for baseless accusations? I think not. Nothing you posted today or yesterday proves a damn thing. should this be refered to the Senate ethics committee to see if there was any impropriety? Sure. If you want to write a diary asking for an investigation, go right ahead. That would be a diary that most people would probably agree with. This diary and the one you posted yesterday are with out any basis in fact, and that is why you're getting slammed. If you don't want to be treated like a POS, don't post POS diaries. Now, if you'll excuse me, Scarlett just TM'd me... gotta run

by awobbly 2008-06-14 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips for ethics?

by Veteran75 2008-06-14 02:31PM | 0 recs

"excuse and ignore crony-ism and corruption from members of our team?"

Where is there any proof for such loaded language?

What are the qualifications to become a "VIP" for countrywide?

What are you accusing Dodd of having done for the loan that you call him corrupt?

by Is This Snark 2008-06-14 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: hmmm

used his position to get on the friends and family plan

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 10:10AM | 0 recs
Dodd got preferential treatment.
from an industry he regulates.
He admits it, but denies he asked for it.
Conrad called the CEO directly, got rules waived, and post phone call email from the CEO says to give Conrad preference because he's a senator.  
Dodd saves $2700 x 30 years.
Conrad saves $10K x 30 years.
They're the two who are to bring forward our morgage relief / mortgage regulation proposals?
If it were Republicans, wouldn't you be calling for their resignation?
This is the first test of our new standards of ethics - - will we pass or fail?
I'm a pro HRC, Obama-sceptic.  He can win me over if he does the right thing and proves it's not just pretty words.
by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd got preferential treatment.

I don't think the article says anything of the sort. It damn sure doesn't look like they did anything other than call the guy to get a mortgage. There's no evidence of anything else. We're not talking Ted Stevens or Duke Cunningham here.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 10:36AM | 0 recs
If you want a mortgage, you call
the loan officer, NOT the CEO.  And, if after the fact, the CEO writes an email that says, waive the rules, he's a senator?  
Do you really excuse that?
by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: If you want a mortgage, you call

You call the loan officer because you don't know the CEO. If you know the CEO, you call the CEO. This looks to be turning into a witch hunt for Democratic congressmen, and we shouldn't be taking the bait this easily.

Quick question, and I don't want to offend. Are you a Republican? If you are, you can tell me. I don't care, I just want to know. You and aliveandkicking both have been consistently posting this kind of shit every day, and if you're really a Democrat, post something, anything positive about the Democratic party or negative about the Republican party. Consider it a dare to the both of you.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 10:54AM | 0 recs
I've been a democrat all my life.
So now you're a DINO if you oppose unethical Democrats?  Nice.
That's the Bush / Cheney method of losing power once you get it.
by kosnomore 2008-06-14 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been a democrat all my life.

Could you just name a gripe you have with Republicans? It's my theory that many GOPers that would post here would either never say anything bad about Republicans/good about Democrats or at least would ONLY frame things in the stupidest way imaginable. I don't think they would actually ever admit to themselves that the Republicans are too conservative on some issues. And I'd like to know, because debate with someone like that would just be a huge waste of time (well... moreso).

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I've been a democrat all my life.

Nevermind, I believe you. I'm sorry, but I'm tired of coming here every day and seeing nothing but total pessimism from too many people. If it's genuine, then that's legitimate, but if it is just here to incite fighting, then it just makes us all go back at each other's throats.

But that's all irrelevant. I'm sorry.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: If you want a mortgage, you call

I got zero points, a 1% rate difference and a no cost mortgage that saved me over 10k up front and about 5k a year on the mortgage.

That was the employee benefit.

Oh and I didn't have to talk to a loan officer either.

by kasjogren 2008-06-14 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: If you want a mortgage, you call

Obviously, Obama needs to repudiate you immediately, or the dead-end Clintonistas will be justified in voting for McCain instead!  :rolleyes:

by JDWalley 2008-06-14 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd got preferential treatment.

I'm a pro HRC, Obama-sceptic.  He can win me over if he does the right thing and proves it's not just pretty words.

In other words:  this has nothing to do with the issues at hand -- and everything to do with being a Hillary dead-ender trying desperately to figure out some way to heave mud at Obama, no matter how tenuous the connection may be.  Thanks for admitting to your true motivation, so we know how seriously to take your "concerns."

by JDWalley 2008-06-14 12:31PM | 0 recs
$2,700 isn't much

I'm not defending anybody here, but I just wanted to point out that $2,700 could be gotten with a 1 point drop in your interest rate. That's just about what I saved when I refinanced my mortgage.

In Dodd's case, that was three-quarters of a point. Now, we have to look into whether he could've gotten such a reduction in rates on his own.

by lizardbox 2008-06-14 10:17AM | 0 recs
Re: $2,700 isn't much

The other missed point is that it was w/ countrywide too. they been bashed by Obama too. The diarist is right; we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Honestly if this was republican senator(s) would we be that cute in  dismissing it?

This years election we talk about new kind of politics , we talk about unity , we talk not red/ blue America but united states of America. Yet I see time and time again the same old theme

bash bash bash the otherside

Politics as usual if you ask me... why we going back to the same old politics. Sometimes I think--- was my TV tuned to different channel?

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 10:27AM | 0 recs
I wasn't trying to defend him

just merely pointing a little factual nugget.

In no way do I call for dismissing the issue. Shame on Dodd and Conrad for this; I agree that it should not be tucked away.

by lizardbox 2008-06-14 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: $2,700 isn't much
And what was Countrywide's reputation in 2003, when both these men got their loans? No one had ever heard of sub-prime loans then. They were one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the country, as I recall.
People who get mortgages negotiate the points paid all the time, and you all want them to resign because they got less than a one percent discount on their interest by getting the "VIP" treatment?
by skohayes 2008-06-14 02:41PM | 0 recs
It's $2,700 x 30 years - - -
and you can't only lose a little of your virginity!
Seriously, this is our first test.
I'd love to hear BO say "I support them and they've supported me and I don't believe they would do anything wrong but we must adhere to a higher sense of ethics and, in that spirit, I urge them to temporarily step aside from their chairs until these allegations are thoroughly investigated."
The contrast with BushCo handling of ethical issues would be awe inspriring.
by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: It's $2,700 x 30 years - - -

I could go with that as long as they would. I want Obama to defend the hell out of them but ask them to step aside while an investigation happens. I don't think it would take long because it doesn't look like they did anything wrong. But we ARE better than the Republicans, and when this all went down, they weren't chairing ANYTHING.

We are talking about a 1% discount to Conrad, and a WHOPPING 0.5 and 0.25% discount for Dodd. Man, sign me up for that action.

No, seriously, please sign me up for that action.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 10:45AM | 0 recs
Re: It's $2,700 x 30 years - - -

You can only lose a little of your virginity?  


by kasjogren 2008-06-14 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Ok, just have to say that any Congressman or woman who calls the CEO of any company to inquire about a business arrangement and then claims they didn't know they would be special treatment is a complete liar.  If they didn't want special treatment they would go through regular channels just like the rest of us.

FYI - I know this type of stuff goes on all the time.  You make contacts in the business world and you use them and return favors to benefit you or your company.  But when you work for the taxpayers and you regulate that particular industry you are treading a very, very, very thin line with this type of behavior.

by JustJennifer 2008-06-14 10:28AM | 0 recs
Smearing Democrats

If I get into a VIP program that 26000 other people qualified for am I getting special treatment?

Perhaps if I used my connections to get into a program I didn't qualify for I would be less than honest if I said my contacts didn't get me into the program.

by Is This Snark 2008-06-14 11:52AM | 0 recs
Snark - why did you tr me below?

I did nothing tr-worthy - - delete or i report you to the admins.  Thx.

by kosnomore 2008-06-14 12:56PM | 0 recs
You're so right.

This is even more concerning than those phone calls between Obama and Scarlett Johanssen you blogged about.

Thank you for your concern.  If only more Democrats were as concerned as you are, we could make sure all of our concerns were taken care of.

Thanks for being a part of the

by spunkmeyer 2008-06-14 10:28AM | 0 recs
There's nothing wrong.
There's nothing wrong.
There's nothing wrong.
Keep repeating, and no one will notice.
Good strategy!
PS - When do I get my $10K per year for 30 years?
by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: There's nothing wrong.

Maybe when your credit rating goes up?????

by venician 2008-06-14 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: There's nothing wrong.

Nothing but net.

by kasjogren 2008-06-14 11:44AM | 0 recs
Re: You're so right.

do you ever add anything to a conversation or just go around w/ labeling people w/ images attached to 99% of your comments. Interesting to read your comment history.

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 10:31AM | 0 recs
Sarcasm and snark - -
the new campus emblems of superiority!
And so persuasive!
by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:33AM | 0 recs
Why do you guys TR stuff

against the rules - - stop it / delete it / or lose your rating ability.

by kosnomore 2008-06-14 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Sarcasm and snark - -

Uprated because I see no valid reason for that comment to be TR'd.

by Swedie 2008-06-14 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: You're so right.

Bwahahaha, yah, funny how this "writer" (or is it just a McCain-Bot on a server somewhere?) never seems to trouble their head about all of the REALLY creepy stuff going on in Washington. Good one.

by Kordo 2008-06-14 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

This is basically bs. These guys got the best deal on their mortgage they could. People do it every day. Was there a smidgen of influence in the whole transaction. Probably. But get real here if  you're a US senator you don't get treated like one of the unemployed. It it totall fair. No. But it's life.  

by ottovbvs 2008-06-14 10:32AM | 0 recs
"Was there a smidgen of influence
 in the whole transaction. Probably."
Do tell, how much is too much?  Or, does it depend on party registration?
Come On!  I thought we're trying to do away with ALL influence peddling and cronyism, not just "theirs"!
by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:35AM | 0 recs
And if we tolerate a "smidge" of ours

we innoculate theirs from attack!

by kosnomore 2008-06-14 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

ottovbs, you can't be serious.  If we were talking about Republicans would you be saying the same thing?

by JustJennifer 2008-06-14 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

There is a gang of 14(I dont about ottovbs specifically ) on mydd that is stuck on ole style of politics. Dare if you open your mind and challenge any thought or question us to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

these are the same clowns in every diary who do a drive by's on politics as usall.

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 10:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

The Following Users Have Recommended This Diary:

Is this the start of our very own gang of 14?

by venician 2008-06-14 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

This from someone who only started posting here 2 weeks ago? Wasn't that about the same time that operation chaos started? So where you the first troll they sent over?

by venician 2008-06-14 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

what you 10 yrs old? venician...

is that the gang of 14 sitting in the basement of their parents house - best mantra.  You are now cracking me up kid...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

That's funny, are you a professional comedian or are you keeping your amateur status? Either way you do make me laugh with all of these concern diaries.

by venician 2008-06-14 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Who cares what the diarist's motivations are?  Is the story fabricated?  I have heard about it from several sources so it's not made up.  All this talk of trolling and Republicans is just side stepping the real issue, which is are we going to hold our party members to a higher standard or is it really just politics as usual?

by JustJennifer 2008-06-14 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

I believe in my heart that a new era is coming. regarding the the rest of the gang of 14 on mydd who just do drive by's on diaries... well every family has its basement kids. :)

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

The issue isn't whether the story is "fabricated."   The issue also isn't whether the loans came from Countrywide* (which, at the time, was merely one of a dozen or so large mortgage companies with nothing to distinguish them from the others).  The only issue is whether Dodd and Conrad used their influence to get special financial treatment that wasn't available to others with their income and credit ratings.  If so, kick 'em out.  If not, STFU.

*Disclosure:  When my wife and I were house-hunting fifteen years ago, Countrywide was one of the companies we considered using to obtain financing.  Had we gone with them, would you consider us to be "unethical" as well, particularly if we got a good rate because our credit rating was high?  Furthermore, the company we did go with promptly unloaded the mortgage to Met Life, who then sold it to Mellon Mortgage (who later sold it to Chase).  So, whether we liked it or not (we didn't!), for a couple of years or so, our mortgage payments were going to Richard Mellon Scaife's company.  Does that implicate us as part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?  Should I be forced to resign from MyDD because of it?  There's a point where "gotcha" politics become ridiculous.

by JDWalley 2008-06-14 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

If you are a Senator and you called the CEO directly to get your mortgage, then yes I would be suspicious.  Otherwise, no problem.

by JustJennifer 2008-06-14 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

If what you just posted is true, it is ENTIRELY a reason to be concerned. I don't think it is a matter of some kind of backroom deal, I think it's just a matter of "This guy is a buddy of mine, give him a discount". Lord knows CEOs pull that crap every day for NON-Congressmen. I wouldn't doubt for a second that he would give them outrageous discounts without them even realizing it. If they sought it and we can prove it, I'm greatly disappointed. But Chris Dodd? Kent Conrad? When did we start assuming those two are dirty without demanding evidence? Johnson was bad, and he did what he had to. But if the CEO DID give those rates out without telling people, anyone who got a loan from Countrywide would have the same thing going on.

by vcalzone 2008-06-14 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Hillary has never waited in line for 35 years!!!

And yet, she claims to be a democrat?

I'm aghast! But the MSM never reported it. No surprise there either.

by xdem 2008-06-14 11:00AM | 0 recs

is this 'VIP Program' one that is officially available to any other members of the public?  For example, is the program listed in their advertising materials or on their website?  If so, I don't see a problem.  

Should a senator bargain for a higher rate than the one legitimately offered?  On the other hand, if anyone can prove that this rate would never be offered to anyone ever who was not a senator, I do see a problem.

by semiquaver 2008-06-14 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: So

Like private banking and private portfolio management, these types of loans are available to millionaires (all Senators are millionaires, btw). Most people are unaware of the vast number and variety of perks available to people with substantial means.

It would appear that the people pushing this story are trying to frame it as a Jack Abramoff type of situation. Which would, of course, require some proof.

So, let's see whether they can put some up, or whether this is just an exercise in shit-slinging.

by xdem 2008-06-14 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

This issue has so clearly and perhaps, even painfully, demonstrated the issues that have arisen within our party recently.

There cannot be any "free pass" given to someone because they happen to have a (D) after there name.  There cannot be any "free pass" given to someone because they happen to have supportered your preferred primary candidate.

This is not concern trolling, as some have so masterfully and immaturely tried to portray it as.  This is the most fundamental, bedrock concern which we ought to have, especially in the Democratic Party: a concern for legitimate government.

Senators Dodd and Conrad have both violated that legitimacy, and deserve to be taken to task for it.  The only word I can find to describe someone who feels differently is, well, "shill".

by hornplayer 2008-06-14 11:08AM | 0 recs
Can you imagine if it was Hillary
or Bill or Chelsea getting the loan?
Mon Dieu these bbs would be going nuts with accusations.  
by Jjc2008 2008-06-14 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Can you imagine if it was Hillary


by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 11:25AM | 0 recs

I've been a Democrat all my life

I find that hard to believe.

by Massadonious 2008-06-14 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Err..

I'm sorry, did you have a point, or were you just out to insult the diarist?

by hornplayer 2008-06-14 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Err..

I'm sorry, but I don't bother to attempt to refute concern trolls of his kind. If you take a look at this guy's history, every single diary is critical of Democrats, and specifically, Senator Obama. I'm all for accountability, but this guy takes it off the deep end.

Not to mention he pushes old anti-Obama talking points (ZOMG REVEREND WRIGHT!! ZOMG THROW THIS GUY UNDER DA BUS!) that would make Fox News proud.

And, come on, an entire diary about how he should denounce Scarlett Johansson for...gasp....e-mailing him? Give me a break.

His concern has been duly noted many times, and now yours is too.

by Massadonious 2008-06-14 11:25AM | 0 recs
Yay for TR abuse!

by Massadonious 2008-06-14 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Yes, Dodd "only" received $2,700 in interest rate discounts.  But, PER YEAR FOR THIRTY YEARS.

And, Conrad "only" received $10,000 in interest rate discounts. But, PER YEAR FOR THIRTY YEARS.

I think you need to go back and check your facts.

The loans translate into money saved. For example, in Dodd's case, Portfolio calculates that "the lower rates save the senator about $58,000 on his Washington residence over the life of the loan, and $17,000 on the Connecticut home."

In the case of Conrad, he saved about $10,700 on a loan he took out for his $1.07 million home in Bethany Beach, Del.

by jsfox 2008-06-14 11:15AM | 0 recs
You forget that Republican trolls...

... can't be bothered with little things like "facts."

They are here to smear, not discuss reality.

by tbetz 2008-06-14 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

I swear the inability to call our leaders to task when they do something wrong will be the downfall of this party.  It has already contributed to the situation we find ourselves in today so I guess something like this is barely a blip on the radar to some people.  We have not come a long way, baby.

by JustJennifer 2008-06-14 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

If I could have the power to bookmark my words by everyone it would be golden.

With democrats now seeming to head in the direction of holding overwhelming majorities/ exert total power just like republicans in both houses, we are going to have several congressman and senators have corruption issues just like the last tenure. That's the nature of politics when you have absolute majorities. If we do not set a standard from the get go--- we are the same Washington we dread!

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Oh wait, Dodd is a big Obama supporter. He stood by Obama when Obama needed him. Now he needs us. Circle the wagons boys. Time for some new politics.

by MediaFreeze 2008-06-14 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Jeesh, dramatic much?  

Hopefully they will look into this and find nothing.  But let's not just dismiss things outright because someone has a (D) by their name.  

by JustJennifer 2008-06-14 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Oh wait, Dodd is a big Obama supporter.

Which is why, I have no doubt, certain posters here are pushing this story with such excessive spin.  

And did you hear that Obama has had a radical pastor?  Which is surprising, him being a Muslim and all.


by JDWalley 2008-06-14 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

This diary brings speciousness to an entirely new level. The Diarist can be proud of that remarkable accomplishment. In fact I'm compelled to say,


by xdem 2008-06-14 11:42AM | 0 recs
A sad joke



So a diary smearing two democratic senators is launched to the top of the rec list by faithful Hillary supporters.

Are the Admins too busy fielding emails about how mean people are to alegre to clean up their website?

Give me a fucking break. Some Democratic website this is.

by Is This Snark 2008-06-14 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: A sad joke

this coming from you talking about outrage ... that handle that was created to biatch and cry about another democrat all primary season long, to insult other bloggers who supported her? Oh the irony...

by aliveandkickin 2008-06-14 12:08PM | 0 recs
Like this diaries assumptions

yours are also filled with misinterpretations that assume the worst about Democrats.

My user name was created because I felt Jerome had crossed the line into ethical absurdity, and wilderness of partisan hackery.

I have no doubt that you are the worlds biggest victim and everything anyone does IS in fact a plot to derail any and all things you hold dear, but sometimes even for you things just are what they are and done without plot or motive where you are CONCERNED.

by Is This Snark 2008-06-14 12:26PM | 0 recs
What does McCain have to do to win you over?

Just sit there?

by heyhellowhatsnew 2008-06-14 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: What does McCain have to do to win you over?

What does McCain have to do?

Well, for starters, he could send smart and snarky trolls over to MyDD to convince me to be very concerned about how divided the 'Dems' are and how misogynistic and cheaty my candidate is and just how corrupt my Senators are...

I guess that would probably work.

by xdem 2008-06-14 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

corrupt, insolvent, predatory Countrywide

Considering that, at the time they got the loans, Countrywide was just another mortgage company that hadn't gotten mired in its current troubles, isn't throwing on all that rhetoric a bit unnecessary?

I don't think it reflects poorly on Dodd or Conrad that they chose one of a number of prominent mortgage companies to get loans.  And, before I pass judgment on them for being part of the "V.I.P." program, I'd have to know how many people got mortgage deals under that program.  Was it just governmental higher-ups with whom Countrywide was trying to gain influence?  Or was it a larger program for people in any field of employment with high salaries and top credit ratings?  In this particular case, it would appear context is everything -- just as it was when Hillary Clinton was on the board of WalMart, in the days before Walton's children made it such an exploitative behemoth.

by JDWalley 2008-06-14 12:26PM | 0 recs
That's what the Dems in Congress

have been calling them - - google what Dodd and Obama and Clinton called them!

by kosnomore 2008-06-14 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: That's what the Dems in Congress

Which sort of shows that the unheard of discount of less than one percent (well except for those that negotitate a better rate, or those with excellent credit ratings, etc,) has not influenced Dodd's opinion, right?

by skohayes 2008-06-14 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

Hmmm, why do I have a feeling if this were Evan Bayh and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz you guys wouldn't have posted and mass thug-rec'd this ala the alegre days?

by MJJLWolf 2008-06-14 12:40PM | 0 recs
Seriously, take this shite to Hillaryis44... least you'll seem like less of a dork over there. Scarlett Johanson? are you high? I'll say it real slow:



by Kordo 2008-06-14 12:53PM | 0 recs
This won't be an earth-shaking scandal, but

it does stink...I think what makes it more notable than your average Washington sleaze is the fact that Dodd is chairman of the House Banking Committee, which is supposed to regulate the very people from whom he was getting "goodies". His long-forgotten father, Senator Thomas Dodd, is one of only nine members in Senate history to have been censured--his offense was misappropriating camgaign funds. So let's just say that ethical behavior doesn't exactly run in the family.

More reprehensible--and less reported--is the fact that our Federal Reserve now has three vacancies, which will become four at the end of August with Fed Governor Mishkin's departure. Senator Dodd refuses to confirm any of Bush's nominees to fill the openings, which have existed for some time. Once Mishkin departs, the Fed will have less that 5 members--the number required for a quorum--for the first time since 1936.

We all know how the game is played in the Senate--frankly, if this were a Supreme Court vacancy, I'd probably favor waiting until next year to confirm anyone, in the hopes that a President Obama make the nomination. But the shit that Dodd is trying to pull is dangerous, in that the Fed not only needs to function, but should project strength to financial markets. Deliberately reducing it to half strength is not only petty, but the kind of extreme partisanship that McCain and his "gang of 14" regularly decry.

This may not be an issue now, but it will be come Fall, and I think it will be a lot more serious than Dodd's friendship with creeps like Angelo Mozillo. At a minimum, it will undercut Senator Obama's hopes for "a new kind of politics".

by BJJ Fighter 2008-06-14 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: This won't be an earth-shaking scandal, but

So your big concerns are the actions of Senator Dodd's father and the fact that Dodd isn't rubber-stamping Bush appointees to the Fed?


by nathanp 2008-06-14 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: This won't be an earth-shaking scandal, but

No, my concern is that Mr.Dodd is not conducting hearings on nominees to the Federal Reserve, which is what we--the taxpayers--have hired him to do.

fyi, Fed nominees are generally apolitical individuals--their job is to formulate a sound monetary policy, utilizing the tools at the Fed's disposal. Apparently, you don't understand this. Ben Bernanke was a Bush appointee, and is generally winning kudos from the financial sector as well as from leaders on the Hill--both Democratic and Republican.

In any event, refusing to act on these nominees is just childish and petulant. The idea of a fat and aging playboy on the Hill--who himself looks pretty corrupt at this point--refusing to do the people's business won't play well...especially if we have another Bear Stearns fiasco, and the Fed can't act quickly because they don't have a quorum. That scenario will define "broken government".

by BJJ Fighter 2008-06-14 09:59PM | 0 recs
Well shit...

Good thing Dodd never broke into the top tier during the primaries. This is a disappointing.

by potus2020 2008-06-14 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

I have a hard time believing that this diary was written in good faith.

by rfahey22 2008-06-14 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

What is good faith?  Is reporting on the news or writing a diary about facts that happen, not in good faith?  I don't even see how good faith enters into this.

by Scotch 2008-06-14 03:20PM | 0 recs
Republicans: Worse than we thought

Well as soon as every Republican Senator resigns their seat and we send the entire Bush administration to the Hague for trial I'll think about your suggestion.

by hankg 2008-06-14 02:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

I did some googling, and Conrad and Dodd were two of several people who got the "VIP" treatment. Those involved in the Democratic party include:

participants in the V.I.P. program included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Jackson was deputy H.U.D. secretary in the Bush administration when he received the loans in 2003. Shalala, who received two loans in 2002, had by then left the Clinton administration for her current position as president of the University of Miami....Holbrooke, whose stint as U.N. ambassador ended in 2001, was also working in the private sector when he and his family received V.I.P. loans. He was an adviser to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.


Most of the officials belonged to a group of V.I.P. loan recipients known in company documents and emails as "F.O.A.'s"--Friends of Angelo, a reference to Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo. While the V.I.P. program also serviced friends and contacts of other Countrywide executives, the F.O.A.'s made up the biggest subset.

According to company documents and emails, the V.I.P.'s received better deals than those available to ordinary borrowers. Home-loan customers can reduce their interest rates by paying "points"--one point equals 1 percent of the loan's value. For V.I.P.'s, Countrywide often waived at least half a point and eliminated fees amounting to hundreds of dollars for underwriting, processing and document preparation. If interest rates fell while a V.I.P. loan was pending, Countrywide provided a free "float-down" to the lower rate, eschewing its usual charge of half a point. Some V.I.P.'s who bought or refinanced investment properties were often given the lower interest rate associated with primary residences.

Unless they asked, V.I.P. borrowers weren't told exactly how many points were waived on their loans, the former employee says. However, they were typically assured that they were receiving the "Friends of Angelo" discount, and that Mozilo had personally priced their loans.

This article has much more detail (though it seems rahter right leaning, as no Republicans are mentioned).

A slap on the wrist is all they're going to get.

by skohayes 2008-06-14 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

I don't like the idea of Democrats getting caught in anything, but I also can't believe the desire of a lot of people here to smear the diarist because he is the messenger when the Democrats do do something wrong.  

Many of you didn't live through, or else don't remember when Dan Rostenkowski, Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in Congress, and also an extremely  powerful Democrat, was involved in a scandal involving privilege and misuse of funds.  The beginning of the scandal was nothing much, but as it grew it got deeper and deeper until it brought the whole party down. Better that is was cut off at the beginning than when it ws. That was the last time that Democrats ever had any power or leverage in this government.  NO govt person should take special privileges even if it is legal, if it is using their status to bring them personal wealth.  It is an abuse of the system, of the voters who voted for them, and of those who have no other choice but to trust them with their own lives.

I don't care which Party it is, it needs to be stopped before it brings us down later after noone has called them on the beginnings of it, and turned their heads the other way.  Dodd and Conrad should know better, and the fact that they get careless and start living in a power bubble is a bad sign for us in the future.

by Scotch 2008-06-14 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

I also can't believe the desire of a lot of people here to smear the diarist because he is the messenger when the Democrats do do something wrong.

Yeah, this sure sounds like he's just passing news along:

Dodd and Conrad need to resign their chairs. TODAY. And, Obama needs to call for it. TODAY.

Yep, no agenda at all.

by Massadonious 2008-06-14 08:22PM | 0 recs
Another distressing thread
Whoever first injected the Hillary lost the primaries and should get over it comments should really just go away. I don't have time for infantilism. It has nothing to do with what is written in the diary.

As for diary recommendations, this one I have not recommended solely based on the fact that it make legal conclusions based on which calls for actions are urged. mydd is not a surrogate court, nor do any of its members have access to the facts of the cases. Actually, it appears like some of the facts of the cases have been brought up somewhere and there was a response by the two Senators.

I don't have to agree with a diary's contents to recommend it. I might do so if it brings up issues or points that can be countered with less than puerile comments (see first point). As these types of accusations are going to pop up with increasing frequency, I see no reason why myDD participants should not have the ability to practice commenting on them.

Calling out the recommenders of diaries is bad. If you have something to say to someone, say it directly to one of their posts. Otherwise, it really does smack of intimidation and silencing of discussion. Thats the surest way to make random stupidity and calculated baseless attacks take on more significance than they have.

That said, there should be thousands of diaries on the ethical lapses or questions of impropriety of the Republicans who have controlled this country for a long time. There is the whole lying about conditions leading up to the war, the oft repeated statement by McCain that our economy is just humming along nicely, etc.

This applies to this diary and the outraged about this diary diary, which I'm sure will prompt another round of outrage about diaries that are permitted to be posted by the administrators. Not clear that really helps promote any cause.

by Jeter 2008-06-14 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

"Dodd and Conrad need to resign their chairs. TODAY."


"And, Obama needs to call for it. TODAY."


"We Democrats need to stop being afraid of Republicans and stop mirroring their talking points."


by catilinus 2008-06-14 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought

I find it funny that you would update and ask where to report TR abuse, since it's likely that you're not going to report each incident in this diary, and just the ones that personally offended you.

by Massadonious 2008-06-14 08:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Dodd and Conrad: Worse than we thought


by spacemanspiff 2008-06-15 01:27AM | 0 recs

They 'allegedly' procured mortgages.  Warm up old sparky.

by lojasmo 2008-06-15 04:45AM | 0 recs


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