The Assassination of Eliot Spitzer

H/T: The Largest Minority

The predatory lending industry has a partner in the White House

Here is the piece in the Washington Post this video refers to:

Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime
How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers
By Eliot Spitzer – Thursday, February 14, 2008

Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers’ ability to repay, making loans with deceptive “teaser” rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.

Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.

Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York’s, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.

What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.

Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.

Read on…

From Brasscheck TV on this video:

It’s one of the most amazing displays of journalistic incompetence and malpractice in recent memory.

The US news media failed to draw the obvious connection between the bizarre federal law enforcement investigation and leak campaign about the private life of New York Governor Spitzer and Spitzer’s all out attack on the Bush administration for its collusion with predatory lenders.

While the international credit system grinds to a halt because of a superabundance of bad mortgage loans made in the US, the news media failed to cover the details of Spitzer’s public charges against the White House.

Yet when salacious details were leaked about alleged details of Spitzer’s private life, they took that information and made it the front page news for days.

To the 9/11 fiasco, the Iraq War, the travesty of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and the shredding of the US Constitution, we can now add a deliberate and reckless undermining of the credit and banking system of the US to its list of “accomplishments.”

On this last Friday (March 21st), the Miami Herald wrote a piece about who sent the letter to the FBI to set this ball in motion. It came from the attorney for Republican political operative Roger Stone.

Stone, known for shutting down the 2000 presidential election recount effort in Miami-Dade County, is a longtime Spitzer nemesis whose political experience ranges from the Nixon White House to Al Sharpton’s presidential campaign. His lawyer wrote the letter containing the call-girl allegations after FBI agents had asked to speak to Stone, though he says the FBI did not specify why he was contacted.

”Mr. Stone respectfully declines to meet with you at this time,” the letter states, before going on to offer ”certain information” about Spitzer.

Read on..

BuzzFlash had actually written a piece on March 14th in the “Hypocrite of the Week” segment on Roger Stone, including this section:

Over the years, he’s [Roger Stone] shown up at the center of a lot of controversial Republican efforts to bring down Democrats in questionable ways. And that’s why, it piqued our interest to read these paragraphs from a New York political reporter about a phone call with Stone concerning the unusual federal government prostitution sting operation (which ostensibly began as a money laundering investigation) against Eliot Spitzer:

“I didn’t make him go to a prostitution ring,” said the most famous and ruthless Republican dirty trickster who still walks the earth. “He did that all on his own.”

Stone said that even before I asked if his hand was somehow in Spitzer’s latest trouble. I figured, somehow or another, it had to be.

“No comment on that,” Stone said. “I will say I knew it was coming. That’s why I wasn’t too upset about the results of the special election,” where a Democrat grabbed a supposedly safe Republican State Senate seat, leaving Democrats just one vote shy of control.

So an infamous Republican dirty trickster who now heads a highly offensively named and controversial anti-Clinton 527 called Citizens United Not Timid (okay if you’re slow, put the four capital letters together — and we are not making this up) happened to know in advance about the Bush partisan DOJ’s unusual takedown of a rising Democratic governor over sex. And he wasn’t just any governor, he was the head of the Empire State who had alienated Wall Street by aggressively taking on white collar crime when he was the New York AG.

In fact, Stone may have a larger role in the pursuit of Spitzer since he has worked for the Republican opposition in New York and was even fingered, if you can believe how low he’ll go, trying to anonymously threaten Spitzer’s father over the telephone.

How is this all connected? I don’t know, but my gut tells me it is. These are the same Republican dirty tricks used to shut down anyone who gets in this administration’s way – take the story of Don Siegelman for example.. Or the outing of Valerie Plame.. And the list goes on..

Where is the media? Where are the real investigative journalists in this country? Do they still exist?

I don’t condone the conduct of Mr. Spitzer. His choices brought shame, embarrassment, and condemnation on himself – and unbelievable pain to his family. I do question the bigger picture though. There is a lot more to this story than just Eliot Spitzer spending a lot of his own money, on his own free time, on high end call girls. Its time somebody had the courage to look a little further and do some real reporting.

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8 thoughts on “The Assassination of Eliot Spitzer

  1. Wow. Thank you for the post, nwmuse.

    It’s too bad we’re such an up-tight Puritanical society that who someone has sex with is “more important” news than the banking industry and federal government acting in concert to screw the American public.

  2. Can we PLEASE impeach the m’r f’r bush now??? There’s only a list of reasons as long as the scroll of Hogwarts’ students…it’s not for lack of cause.
    Where’s the manager? I want a word! Hey, Reid/Pelosi – better come clean w/your dirty laundry so that you can finally get this wretch (and his cabal) impeached and imprisoned and not worry about them springing crap on you to keep you silent.
    DO IT NOW!!!
    Disgustedly,
    Elspeth
    (where’s my V for Vendetta mask!!?!?!)

  3. As the knots become untangled… we will see more of this story. The big story is not Eliot Spitzer and call girl. The big story is Eliot Spitzer exposing GWB’s unAmerican behavior. Something like this happened a few years ago to a covert CIA agent. This administration will stop at nothing to get its way. The NSA spying has been a bonus to Bush and Cheney.

  4. While not to trivialize Spitzers behavior, much less defend it, I’m sure this episode of ruin for a powerful player in government was encouraged by his adversaries.
    It was allowed to happen, and perhaps assisted, by people who wanted Spitzer out of their machinations.
    The layers will peel off of this one by one.
    Governor Gone Wild

  5. I so wish Spitzer had kept his zipper closed. He would have been able to do some real disclosing on what is a very real scandal in your country and what has produced victims galore!

    Now the scandal is once again a very private matter and the media are getting all hysterical about it. In America you can screw a whole country and all its inhabitants, but don’t you screw a consenting adult!

  6. If Spitzer had not been right about the Bush Administration, then bringing him down this way would have had, at least to a small extent, some justification. If Spitzer had been wrong.

    But Spitzer was absolutely correct, and the Bush Administration not only encouraged this practice, but defended the banking industry when, as any intelligent economist could have told you, the whole thing went to hell in a handbasket. Spitzer was right, and Bush was wrong. That’s what makes their treatment of him so deplorable. Would they have done this if Spitzer had not publicly called them out inthat editorial? I think not. At least, not until someone really, really close to the White House was about to get nabbed. Maybe someone in the WH. Maybe Spitzer was already close. Maybe.

  7. We sit around and bitch and moan and all we can come up with is “Maybe the Dem’s will bail us out”! Why don’t we use what little power we still have left as FDR Progressives. If the corporate media refuses to cover real stories – the action should be simple. The corporates rely on our unions playing dead except in bargaining. A general strike by the communication workers, pressmen, cameramen, reporters and even the janitorial staff, not for more money but for a truly Free Press woulld show the patriotism and real strength of Unionism. Do the corporations dare not to cover that story?

    We MUST gain more control of the media and papers or we will keep hearing about hookers and Brittany and what ever other trash they call “News”.

    Corporations should not be allowed to “Manage” news centers. Allowing the Chairman of GE to change the call in 2000 should not have been allowed. I don’t care if the man has ultimate power in the corporation, whoever allowed this call to stand should have resigned immediately instead of complying. By allowing this to occur the collective press bent over and said “Whatever YOU command Master!!”

    What Would Walter Cronkite have done? We’ll never know because back then he would have used his power as “The Most Trusted Man in America” to tell the Chairman, “Not while I’m here.”

    We MUST regain a truly Free Press. The mainstream media propaganda outlets MUST be allowed editorial freedom from the boardroom and staffed by those who follow stories wherever the facts lead and will report the truth. As long as they are considered a profit centers the corporations will use the purse-strings to exercise control. If we didn’t “expect” profit from the news maybe we would have reporters who will be allowed 6 months to work out complex stories such as “How much money has been stolen by contractors in Iraq and how can we stop it and get OUR money back?”

    Or, just how did the USA change in such a short time, from the most free nation in the world to a nation where national police can and do record all of our private conservations and emails. Our entire congress selling out the people who elected them by passing the Bankruptcy Bill, The PATROIT Bill and any other bill written by the corporate lobbyists in the corporation’s interest..

    If we don’t regain the press, they will make us all slaves and indentured servants. It may be too late now, but we should at least try. As of now only the Unions have a real chance of changing things. And only if their leaders are not already as corrupted as our friends in the DLC.

    But what do I know, I’m just
    The Old Hippy

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