We put up a few more stories on the mortgage mess tonight for a reason. It isn’t that we had a sudden explosion of new information on mortgage abuses. It is instead to remind readers that we could turn this blog entirely over to covering mortgage chicanery and not even scratch the surface.
And the latest bit of corrupt behavior is that the Obama administration has a full court press on to push the heinous “multi-state” settlement deal over the line. We’ve pooh poohed previous reports from Iowa state attorney general Tom Miller that a deal is just around the corner, since he’s been doing his variant on a Chicken Little act for a full year. But it appears the President wants a talking point, ideally for the State of the Union address or as shortly thereafter as possible.
So this time is different: the administration is putting far more pressure on the dissident and skeptical Democratic attorneys general. And precisely because Tom Miller’s efforts have appeared to be going nowhere, particularly after California AG Kamala Harris left the talks, the grass roots effort to oppose the talks has slackened off. The lack of active opposition leave the AGs feeling more exposed, particularly in light of often misleading press stories (for instance, the Wall Street Journal implied over the summer that Harris was wavering when all it was doing was repackaging stale information under a new headline). Similarly, the Administration is ramping up “a deal is almost cinched” reports with Obamabot news outlets like NPR. This is a classic deal/salesmans’ tactic: to create the impression of momentum when there is fact is often none.
The Democratic attorneys general have been invited to meet in Chicago on Monday, and Shaun Donovan of HUD and a member of the Department of Justice will be putting the heat on. The Republican AGs are getting the same documents the Democrat AGs will receive and will confer by phone.
List of Attorneys General phone numbers here…