My NY Post column on Dodd: You’re not fooling anyone

posted at 8:36 am on February 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The New York Post asked me to write a column for today’s paper on Chris Dodd’s bait and switch tactics regarding his Friends of Angelo mortgages.  The idea that a refi on loans now has nothing to do with Dodd’s conflicts of interest and Countrywide’s influence peddling when Dodd got the loans:

Dodd, the chairman of the Banking Committee, announced this week that he’ll have the mortgages refinanced and managed by a third party to protect against allegations of influence peddling.

Problem is, this doesn’t negate any prior influence peddling. It’s akin to closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, torn down the fences and set the farm on fire.

The influence-peddling took place when Dodd got the special deal from Countrywide – and the shenanigans that Dodd & Co. allowed Countrywide and other irresponsible subprime lenders to engage in have already burned down the US economy.

Dodd promised last summer that he’d release all of his mortgage documentation to the public. He’s now in his seventh month of failing to deliver. This week, Dodd released some of the papers – but only to a select group of reporters, who weren’t allowed to make copies.

The long wait suggests that Dodd has something to hide. The incomplete “disclosure” and the refinancing, meanwhile, look more like an attempt to bury evidence than a sudden commitment to clean government.

Loan Zen notes that the refinancing of the two mortgages isn’t exactly a big sacrifice for Dodd, either (via Michelle):

So let’s ponder this scenario friends. You’re the head of one of the most powerful committees in the world. You get a sweetheart deal from the tannest man in America on not one but two mortgages. Someone discloses the “less than fair” deal after the market turns to pixy dust. You throw a news conference admitting you’re wrong and that you’ll make it better by refi-ing out. You go ahead and refinance at market historic lows — paying 2 points on both deals — at the rate of 4.375% for a 30 year fixed loan. You walk away saving $7,325.69 per year on your mortgages. Now this is a beautiful country.

Be sure to read my entire column … click on all the advertisements … and write letters to the editor extolling my brilliance.  I’m not saving $7300 a year on my mortgages, after all.


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Man, what could I do with an extra $7300/year???

TheHat on February 4, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Good stuff, Ed.

drjohn on February 4, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Nicely done, Ed.

awake on February 4, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Not so long ago, Democrats ran on the “culture of corruption” issue. Who knew that was actually a campaign promise?

LOL. But I think the Dems have gone past a culture. They’re working on a civilization of corruption.

progressoverpeace on February 4, 2009 at 8:42 AM

Dodd and Frank have some balls, huh? Blaming the entire meltdown on a lack of oversight on Wall Street. Pathological.

marklmail on February 4, 2009 at 8:43 AM

Congratulations on being asked to write for them!

I’ll go pick up a copy this morning

blatantblue on February 4, 2009 at 8:45 AM

Not so long ago, Democrats ran on the “culture of corruption” issue. Who knew that was actually a campaign promise?

Ed Morrissey is a writer at hotair.com.

From the article (above). That right there is worth $ 7,300 +++.

stenwin77 on February 4, 2009 at 8:46 AM

… and write letters to the editor extolling my brilliance.

There’s not enough bandwidth Ed………. :)

Rovin on February 4, 2009 at 8:47 AM

Having the New York Post on your resume will probably be worth $7300/year at some point.

BigD on February 4, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Be sure to read my entire column … click on all the advertisements … and write letters to the editor extolling my brilliance.

Check. Check. Aaaaaand check.

Weight of Glory on February 4, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Who knew that was actually a campaign promise? stenwin77 on February 4, 2009 at 8:46 AM

One promise Obama intends to keep is the one he explained to Joe the Plumber…….

STIMULUS = SPREAD THE WEALTH

Rovin on February 4, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Pixy dust = pixie dust?

Our slimo-ticians in Congress really can’t surprise me anymore. I fully expect them to be the most degenerate malcontents in our society. Actually, I would have expected Dodd to blame his financial situation on Bush, then turn around and get a personal buy-out on both his mortgages slipped into an upcoming “stimulus” package.

1. Term limits
2. Pay based upon economy + performance
3. Criminals forbidden from any and all public service

Geministorm on February 4, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Dodd and Frank have some balls, huh? Blaming the entire meltdown on a lack of oversight on Wall Street. Pathological.

marklmail on February 4, 2009 at 8:43 AM

As recently as August of 2997 Dodd was seeking more DEregulation of the GSE’s.

Dodd is a lying buffoon.

drjohn on February 4, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Well done, Cap’n!

Kid from Brooklyn on February 4, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Hey, I’ve got a HELOC loan from Countrywide for around 15 K. Not my choice; that’s who I wound up with when I bought my condo in ’03. Given the sliminess of Countrywide, can anybody tell me if–and how–I can transfer the loan to some less objectionable company?

radjah shelduck on February 4, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I clicked on all the advertisements, especially the NFL.com which offers Steelers Super Bowl victory memorabilia.

*still gloating*

Bishop on February 4, 2009 at 9:01 AM

An interview with Fox and Friends can’t be far behind, Ed. Perhaps a guest slot on Red-Eye, sitting a safe distance away from Bill.

Who knows, you could get the ultimate praise in the days ahead …. having Dodd chastise you on the floor of the senate. A badge of honor we would all like to wear.

fogw on February 4, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Just like the tax cheats, laws are different when you make them. What a crook…

krl on February 4, 2009 at 9:04 AM

I clicked on every single ad, and my work filter blocked one of them as ‘pornographic in nature’. Now I’m going to get fired, thanks a lot Ed.

BadgerHawk on February 4, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Great job, Ed. Could a Worst Person In The World be in your future? Let’s hope so.

LastRick on February 4, 2009 at 9:09 AM

The lost “treasures” of Captain Ed Morrissey:

Invitations to White House or Capital dinners——gone!

Christmas presents from the Dodd family——–gone!

One more corrupt suspicious practice by a politician brought to the attention of the public——-priceless!

Rovin on February 4, 2009 at 9:12 AM

Good job, Ed.

Looks like Rush picked the wrong week to go on vacation.

rbj on February 4, 2009 at 9:13 AM

You know that game “Where’s Waldo?”, we need to create a new game, “Find the Ethical Democrat”. There should definitely be prizes involved, this could be a year long search, maybe even make it into a reality series…each week, the investigative teams would put forth potential candidates and then discover some hidden slimy facts and the crowd would go, “Awwwwww!”.

I’d find it highly entertaining at least…

Geministorm on February 4, 2009 at 9:15 AM

They’re working on a civilization of corruption

One does what one does best.

oldleprechaun on February 4, 2009 at 9:21 AM

Is this kind of like what President Obama means when he says that:

“……two sets of standards, one for powerful people and one for ordinary folks who are working every day and paying their taxes.”

Is Dodd enjoying a set of standards for the powerful people?

bloggless on February 4, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Be sure to read my entire column … click on all the advertisements … and write letters to the editor extolling my brilliance.

Done. Great job. I can’t wait until you’re famous enough that the people I know hate you. Way to go.

JiangxiDad on February 4, 2009 at 9:30 AM

The sad thing is the way people like Dodd are treated as anomalies, when they’re called on their corruption at all. The most dangerous delusion afflicting the American people is the belief that corrupt politicians are indivdiual bad apples who mar an otherwise decent system. It’s a variation on the tired old campus leftist wheeze, that communism has only been a miserable worldwide failure because the “right people” haven’t been able to try it yet.

The truth is, this kind of corruption is inevitable under a socialist government, which we’ve had for a long time before Barack Obama came along to kick it into overdrive. When the government allocates resources and determines economic succcess, the essential skill for businesses becomes the ability to influence government officials. The ability to run the business efficiently and turn a profit becomes secondary, or even becomes a liability, since it makes the business a target for government takeover and scapegoating to hide government failures. Honest businessmen can never compete with government officials in the political arena, because the latter receive millions of dollars of in-kind support from an adoring media that has absolutely zero interest in writing Ayn Rand heroic narratives about titans of industry.

Efforts to fight this kind of corruption at the margins are doomed to failure, especially since one party, the Democrats, feel no compulsion to obey *any* of the laws enacted to restrain government corruption, and the media never hold them accountable for it. Who can ever forget the spectacle of poor John McCain being straitjacketed by his own stringent campaign-finance laws – and then audited after he lost the election! – while Barack Obama cheerfully raked in hundreds of millions in blatantly illegal contributions, and paid a massive multi-state vote fraud operation to help secure his election, with billions of “stimulus” dollars now earmarked for the same organization? Unless we can find 545 incorruptible, all-knowing saints to run the executive, legistlative, and judicial branches of the government, the only way to clear off the forest of lobbyist barnacles encrusting Washington is to tear the socialist machine down, return all those resources to the free men and women who earn them, and turn lobbying back into an excercise of constitutionally protected free speech, instead of a vital business surivival tool.

Doctor Zero on February 4, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Most excellent, Captain Ed. We constant readers of yours have always recognized your ability to reach a wider audience with the quality of your work.

onlineanalyst on February 4, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Good article, Ed. With regard to Dodd releasing paperwork, you might have said something like: ” his paperwork joins a long waiting list of document that were promised to be released, like Bill Cllinton’s medical records, John Kerry’s military records, and Barack Obama’s records from his entire life up to age 43″.

Vashta.Nerada on February 4, 2009 at 9:41 AM

You’re crazy man. How’s a horse gonna set the farm on fire?

syg6 on February 4, 2009 at 9:44 AM

Going by Dodd’s logic, Nixon could have ended the Watergate controversy by simply promising to dismantle the White House taping system.

jon1979 on February 4, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Hiding crap under a new carpet doesn’t make it smell better? huh..

roninacreage on February 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Ed, Perfect article! I love how our Reps. have ignored the fact that some of the Reps should be in hearings themselves. It wasn’t Wall Street that caused all this havoc. They are ignoring the housing situation. Then I didn’t realize that Wells Fargo was given Bail Out money also. I am steamed since they bought out our bank Wachovia. Which Wachovia sucks! Guess I have to find a Bank that is stable and didn’t have to get a Bail Out. Our home loan is with these greedy monkey’s.

sheebe on February 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Quid Pro Quo!

Johan Klaus on February 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Great column, Ed. Why people don’t “get” this is beyond me… (I especially loved the last line of the column!)

D2Boston on February 4, 2009 at 10:05 AM

sheebe on February 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM
Going to be hard to find such a bank. I remember reading last fall where Bernake and Paulson had a meeting with the big banks and I believe Wells Fargo didn’t want any money and they were told they weren’t leaving without some.

red131 on February 4, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Read the Post srticle and clicked on a couple ads, including the Dove Chocolate ad. I was wonder if this is chocolate soap that my wife could eat in shower.

WashJeff on February 4, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Dodd and Frank need to be taken down just on principle. Besides the absolute hypocracy of it all these guys are a couple of the biggest tools in Washington. Their political demise would help derail the Democrats ability to pass legislation and improve our shot at the midterms.

moxie_neanderthal on February 4, 2009 at 10:15 AM

the only reason he is re-financing is that interest rates are lower.

besides being a criminal, Dodd is an accomplished liar.

But they all are, aren’t they?

notagool on February 4, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Dodd and Frank need to be taken down just on principle. Besides the absolute hypocracy of it all these guys are a couple of the biggest tools in Washington. Their political demise would help derail the Democrats ability to pass legislation and improve our shot at the midterms.

moxie_neanderthal on February 4, 2009 at 10:15 AM

They should also be taken down as a minimal gesture of responsibility to the public treasury. The idea that the engineers of the Fannie Mae debacle are still allowed anywhere near the Senate is an outrage. It’s a testament to the political incompetence of Republicans that these sleazeballs don’t look out their windows and see a mob of angry taxpayers burning them in effigy. Barney Frank, in particular, should be living in the south of France, sitting on his pile of looted taxpayer dollars and writing op-eds for Le Monde about how harsh and unfeeling American-style capitalism is.

Doctor Zero on February 4, 2009 at 10:41 AM

The New York Times has practically turned itself into a pretzel blaming the mortgage meltdown on Republicans or anyone but the Democrats and Frank and Dodd in particular. They have had academic treatises on the certificates themselves, studied lack of regulation articles, a mantra that “there is enough blame to go around”….

The worst part is that the senior citizen we nominated to face The One (big recipient of the largess) couldn’t bring this up. Forget coming up with a prosecutor (As Bill O’Reilly suggested) and making a large, loud issue out of this, quite astonishingly the Republicans couldn’t even mention the miscreants. Do you wonder why the Dems think such ploys as this will work? Look at the recent past.

No contribution from me for Juan McLame’s Country First operation!

IlikedAUH2O on February 4, 2009 at 10:43 AM

shhebe…Wells didn’t ask for or want the bailout $$. They were basically told to “go along” or their would be repercussions. Now that they did, Paulsen & friends can dictate what Wells does to some degree, like cancelling this years top producer trip, (which they’ve been doing for 20 years) because it’s not good press.

Tim Zank on February 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Going by Dodd’s logic, Nixon could have ended the Watergate controversy by simply promising to dismantle the White House taping system.

jon1979 on February 4, 2009 at 9:55 AM

+1

Randy Cunningham could have done a re-fi and stayed out of jail?

Next thing you know, Bin Laden will want to “roll over” his assets.

Rovin on February 4, 2009 at 10:57 AM

Tim Zank on February 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Hard for me to feel too sorry for Wells Fargo. Can’t speak to what goes on in other states, but here in Arizona, WF has aggressively pursued illegal alien business. Not only are Spanish-language signs featured prominently in their banks here, but they have for years been offering mortgages (as well as other bank products) with “no Social Security number required.”

AZCoyote on February 4, 2009 at 11:14 AM

sheebe on February 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM
Going to be hard to find such a bank. I remember reading last fall where Bernake and Paulson had a meeting with the big banks and I believe Wells Fargo didn’t want any money and they were told they weren’t leaving without some.

red131 on February 4, 2009 at 10:07 AM

shhebe…Wells didn’t ask for or want the bailout $$. They were basically told to “go along” or their would be repercussions. Now that they did, Paulsen & friends can dictate what Wells does to some degree, like cancelling this years top producer trip, (which they’ve been doing for 20 years) because it’s not good press.

Tim Zank on February 4, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Thank you to you both. I had no idea that happened. Like taking a gun to their heads………….

sheebe on February 4, 2009 at 11:25 AM

Bank Of America gave 2 million to Acorn. Not sure if you all heard this. It is true. Also a few other organizations. With our Bail Out money. Err our tax money!

sheebe on February 4, 2009 at 11:28 AM

I said yesterday that this lying sack of crap wasn’t giving anything up. Can we Pleeeese see the deal he got? if its a mortgage, the actual mortgage docs may be on file with the county recoeders office in the county in which he lives.

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on February 4, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Waiting for Dodd to release “all” of the papers? Shit, I’m still waiting for John Kerry to release “all” his military records.

GarandFan on February 4, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I figure that unless the NYT jumps on this, he’s going to just ride it out. The same buffoons in his home state that keep putting this lying, cheating, self-serving crook back in office every six years won’t be troubled at all by any of it.

AUINSC on February 4, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Not so long ago, Democrats ran on the “culture of corruption” issue. Who knew that was actually a campaign promise?

And one of the precious few they will keep.

18-1 on February 4, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Q : Since the airwaves are public property, don’t we have the right to control the incomes of those who benefit from the use of those airwaves? I think we will go down this road and others as well. Oh, it is going to be a fun ride. Where’s my pitchfork?

Fuquay Steve on February 4, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Are Pitchforks on sale yet?

PappaMac on February 4, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Excellent article, Ed!

Not so long ago, Democrats ran on the “culture of corruption” issue. Who knew that was actually a campaign promise?

Know any bumper-sticker manufacturers? I’m thinking this one would go over very well….

ladyingray on February 4, 2009 at 12:58 PM

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

Let us not forget that Mr. Dodd is the only sitting Senator who’s father was censured by the Senate…

phreshone on February 4, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Dodd and Frank literally need to be lynched, tarred, feathered and pillaried at the same time. Tyranny that demands citizen justice.

wepeople on February 4, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Ed, I read the Post article comments too. Looks like you were preaching to the choir at the Post as well. Good work, you write as well for the Post as you do for us. Bless you!

Unfortunately, Connecticut is royal blue, and the voters here are highly likely to continue electing this excrement of a Senator. It’s hard to find kindred red souls in this state…that’s why, as a recent transplant here, Hot Air is the first blog I read every morning with my coffee.

marybel on February 4, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Nice Article Ed.

Ares on February 4, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Death–by booga booga!!

urbancenturion on February 4, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Most Unethical Congress Evah v.2.0

DannoJyd on February 5, 2009 at 6:59 AM