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ParkingPlaces



    Posts: 6128
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the following is a direct response to a link posted by Wayne. The quoted material is the entire story (sans video) that he linked to:

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Did Obama Court Case Help Bankrupt to Black Homeowners? ‘Daily Caller’ Reveals President’s Legal Backfire

A startling new story by The Daily Caller reveals how a mortgage discrimination lawsuit by then-attorney Barack Obama left many African Americans on the hook for home loans they couldn’t pay back. Tucker Carlson, founder of The Daily Caller, joined Fox and Friends this morning from North Carolina where the Democratic National Convention is set to take place this week.
First of all, this is not a new story. Google it. It was making the rounds in 2008. Same exact story. http://www.mediacircus.com/2008/10/obama-sued-citibank-under-cra-to-force-it-to-make-bad-loans/ Even has a Fox News video embedded. It’s just a game for Fox. I know you enjoy it, but it is still just a game. At best, they were scooping themselves.

Second, Obama was not the lead attorney in this suit. He was way down the totem pole. He billed a total of $467 dollars for his part in the case. Less than three hours. He was one of the attorneys on the team, but way down the list in terms of participation.

Are there issues as to whether or not the decision in this suite was the right one? Yep. Are there issues here worth discussing to help prevent similar erros in judgment in the future? Yep. Is this suite proof positive that Obama is out to destroy the nation? Well, that’s a bit far-fetched. I'm gonna say nope.

Imagine a whole segment of our population being denied certain rights of access to financial services only because of where they lived. Something called redlining. Is that supposed to be the American way? Is that the best method for dealing with economic inequality: keeping it that way? Or was it perhaps an effort on the part of well meaning people to fix a problem? And, given who was involved, is it suprising that not all of them could successfully navigate the wild and whacky world of high finance from which they had been shut out for their entire lives?

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He told Steve Doocy that the lawsuit was a class action suit of 186 clients, which accused Citibank of redlining — the process of excluding people from mortgages because they live in bad neighborhoods.
Carlson said that Obama was a lead plaintiff on some of these cases, though just a few years later many of the clients weren’t able to pay up. The lawsuit was pushed forward regardless, on the grounds that it was racist not to give them mortgages. He reported that nearly half of the clients from this 1995 lawsuit against Citibank have gone bankrupt or received foreclosure notices and only 19 still own homes.
As Graybeard has noted, Obama was NOT the lead plaintiff. He was a lawyer on the team, two years out of law school. Who put less than three hours into the suite. This is very different that what Carlson reported.

Note too that little is said about the timeline for when people the various borrowers involved defaulted. Yes, there is some info in the video that indicates there were defaults early in the life of the loan, within the first few years. But what percentage of the defaults came after the economy tanked in 2007-2008, when tons of people started loosing their homes because of the bad economy. You can be sure that if all the loans defaulted during a good economy, he would have reported it. By not mentioning the timeline for those failures, he is lying by omission. A reporter owes it to readers to be honest about such things.

Quote
According to Carlson, who was speaking on behalf of Neil Munro, the reporter who spent time investigating this, some of the plaintiffs didn’t know Obama was involved in the suit and were bewildered that they received loans when it was obvious that they couldn’t repay it.
Munro did not receive comment from the White House on this issue and found no evidence that Obama went back and spoke to the people he was representing.

The use of the world “bewildered” is a bit perplexing. No, make that bewildering. Obama was an unknown entity who spent less than three hours on the case. The lead attorneys were much more visible. I’m fine with folks saying “I had no idea that Obama was on the team. But so what”. Anything else is disengenuous.

If I were the White House, I wouldn’t bother commenting either. There is nothing here.

Lastly, do keep in mind that loans of this sort made up only 6% of all housing loans when the economy went sour. (The lawsuit was in response to CitiBanks' loan policies. They were also only 6% of the failed mortgages.) The law called upon by the lawyers in the case was the Community Reinvestment act of 1977. Which did not apply to all lending institutions:
http://www.businessweek.com/investing/insights/blog/archives/2008/09/community_reinv.html
Which sort of means that if they were the only thing that went belly up in the housing bubble, it wouldn’t be deserving of the name. The ruling in this case involved only depository banks, and the vast majority of the loans that went sour during the burst were via large loan companies like Countrywide, which were not subject to those laws. So again, this lawsuit is virtually irrelevant.

Hindsight is 20/20. If someone wants to point out the social harm this lawsuit and others like it caused, fine. Even I can see that. But to think that the story is proof that Obama is out to destroy America is ludicrous.

And that’s why we think your source material sucks. And that is why we need more information before there is any chance that we will consider your side of the story.

Wayne, when you are making heavy duty charges, like "Obama is out to destroy America" and "Obama is just another Idi Amin", this is how you say it. With corroborative information. With links. With sources.

Opinions are great, but base them on something. You're allowed to have them, but it is so nice if there is something behind them besides dreams of sugarplums shoved up someones rear end.

Note of interest: Fox loves itself so much it didn’t even link to Carlsons' web site. What sort of idiotic news team would be too selfish to provide a frickin’ link? Oops, I answered my own question.

Changed Change Reason Date
caveat_imperator and yet another of wayne's house of cards collapses March 07, 2013, 11:34:08 AM
screwtape good work. March 07, 2013, 09:33:05 AM