Foreclosure Court: The Erosion of the Judiciary
Posted on September 2nd, 2013 by Mark Stopa
I’m a big believer in the justice system. In fact, that’s part of why I became a lawyer. I believe in every litigant’s right to obtain a fair hearing and trial before a neutral judge and/or impartial jury. It sounds cliché, but that’s what I do – help people navigate the judicial system in their time of need.
In recent months, though, the judiciary in many parts of Florida (not all, but many) has turned into something I don’t recognize. The change has been so sudden and so extreme that it’s altering the face of the judiciary and hindering that which I hold so dear – the right to fair hearings and due process. Yes, what I consider the “core” of a fully-functioning judicial system is eroding.
If you’re a Florida lawyer but you don’t handle foreclosure cases, you likely have no idea what I’m talking about. After all, outside of foreclosure-world, Florida’s courts are operating like normal, business as usual. Sure, the down economy has brought some minor changes, but all in all, our courts are functioning in a normal way.
Foreclosure cases, though, are a totally different animal.
I was chatting with a colleague the other day, an attorney who doesn’t handle foreclosure lawsuits, and he was shocked as I described the things I see in foreclosure court on a daily basis. This is a seasoned attorney who was SHOCKED at what I see every day. That made me realize … I’m not doing a good enough job of explaining the travesties I see every day in foreclosure-world.
It’s a tough line to toe, frankly. Bar rules prohibit me from disparaging any particular judge, so it’s sometimes difficult to explain what’s happening in foreclosure court without crossing that line. In this blog, though, I’m going to toe that line. Don’t misunderstand – I’m not criticizing anyone in particular. Rather, my critique – and that’s what I see this as, a constructive critique, coupled with a hope that everyone will realize just how flawed our system has become – is aimed at the entire institution. My concerns aren’t with any particular judge or any one ruling – they lie with the entire judicial system, the way the entire judiciary is operating right now, at least as it pertains to foreclosure cases.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m just a self-interested, foreclosure defense attorney who’s trying to delay foreclosures and let people live for free. I’m upset because the courts are making that more difficult. Right?
Before you blow off my concerns in that manner, you tell me. Are my concerns legitimate? Is this how a judicial system should operate? You tell me …
As a foreclosure defense lawyer, I’ve seen pro se homeowners attend hearings in their cases and not be allowed to speak. Not one word. It wasn’t that the judge didn’t hear the homeowner or didn’t realize he/she was present, either – the homeowner asked the judge to speak at a duly-noticed hearing and was not permitted to do so. Homeowner loses, yet couldn’t say one word. Isolated incident, you say? I’ve personally seen it more than once.
Not being permitted to speak has not been limited to pro se homeowners. I have personally been threatened with criminal contempt – criminal contempt – for moving to disqualify a judge after striking my defenses without letting me say one word about those defenses. Your defenses are stricken, you can’t talk, and if you complain about it, I’ll throw you in jail.
In many parts of Florida, attorneys are not permitted to attend foreclosure hearings by phone – regardless of how insignificant or short the hearing may be. Never mind that the Florida Supreme Court created a rule of judicial administration which requires phone appearances be permitted for hearings that are 15 minutes or less absent “good cause” – in many parts of Florida, attendance by phone is simply not permitted.
I’ve heard some justify this procedure by explaining how it’s difficult to deal with phone appearances in foreclosure cases. Really? How is it any more difficult than in other types of cases? Frankly, I can’t help but wonder if the prohibition on phone appearances is designed to make it harder for defense lawyers to appear in cases for homeowners, enabling the courts to push through those cases faster. (Prohibiting phone appearances obviously makes it harder and more expensive to attend hearings, often making the difference in a homeowner’s ability to afford counsel.)
That’s an absurd proposition, though, right? Why would our courts care how quickly foreclosure lawsuits are litigated? Judges are neutral arbiters – they don’t care how quickly the cases are adjudicated. Do they?
The answer to that question is at the heart of the problem. In recent months, the Florida legislature has been putting immense pressure on Florida judges to clear the backlog of foreclosure lawsuits. How much pressure? Well, the legislature controls the amount of funding that goes to our courts – funding that is needed to retain new judges, senior judges, court staff, and clerks (basically, the funding necessary to keep all judges and JAs from being totally overwhelmed). Unfortunately, the legislature has been giving these judges an ultimatum, kind of like parents do to their children regarding allowance. Basically, it works like this … “if you don’t finish these foreclosure cases, we won’t give you more funding.” As such, the legislature holds the judiciary hostage … if the judiciary doesn’t clear cases, then the legislature doesn’t give the judiciary the funding necessary to manage the many thousands of foreclosure lawsuits pending before it.
Perhaps worse yet, and to my sheer disgust, I’m told the legislature recently cut the pay of Florida judges (for the first time in years), and the clear understanding was that it was done as a way to punish/blame the judges for not clearing up the backlog of foreclosure cases faster. “You won’t enter judgments fast enough for our liking … we’ll cut your pay.”
(The pay of Florida judges is public record, right? Why is nobody talking about this?)
The judicial system shouldn’t operate this way. We all learned it in elementary school, how the three branches of government exist as “separate but equal” branches of government, employing a system of “checks and balances” to ensure a fully-functioning government. But that’s not what’s happening right now, certainly not in foreclosure court. In foreclosure-world, the legislature is king.
You might think this is conjecture and speculation on my part. It’s not. I can’t go a week without hearing how the legislature is forcing judges to move cases. Judges discuss it openly in open court, and not just to me – to everyone. As a result of this dynamic – judges wanting to move cases – I see all sorts of crazy things I’d never see in any other area of law.
I’ve mentioned the homeowners who can’t speak, the threats of incarcertaion, and the prohibition on phone appearances, but let’s get to some more egregious concerns.
Judges sua sponte set trials in foreclosure cases (without a Notice of Trial having been filed, without a CMC or pretrial conference, and without discussing/clearing the date with an counsel). This is now routine, virtually everywhere in the state.
Judges sua sponte set trials in foreclosure cases where a motion to dismiss is outstanding and the defendant has not filed an answer.
Judges sua sponte set trials with less than 30 days’ notice (such that, as defense counsel, you randomly receive a trial Order in the mail, reflecting you have a trial in 2 weeks).
The sua sponte setting of trials dominates the landscape of foreclosure-world. Banks often don’t want trials in foreclosure cases, but the judges will set them anyway. Then, even when the plaintiffs are vocal about not wanting a trial in that particular case, judges often insist they go forward anyway. Even stipulated/agreed Orders to continue a trial or vacate a trial Order often go unsigned.
Sometimes, where trial has been set in violation of Rule 1.440, judges will recognize the error and fix it. (The judges in Pinellas and Hillsborough in particular are good about this, striving to follow the law.) In many others cases, though, judges will proceed with trial anyway. In foreclosure circles, one county has become known for using a stamp – DENIED – right on the motion to vacate trial Order, without a hearing. Case not at issue? Doesn’t matter. Less than 30 days’ notice? Doesn’t matter. Bank doesn’t want a trial? Doesn’t matter. We’re going to trial!
Often, judges won’t proceed with trial where the defendant hasn’t filed an Answer but will essentially force the Answer to be filed forthwith. How is this accomplished? Easily – either deny the motion to dismiss (often without a hearing), or sua sponte set a CMC to ensure the case gets at issue. Some courts use CMCs as a way to, in my view, browbeat parties into settling. One county, for example, has started setting three CMCs at once – one per week for three consecutive weeks, requiring in-person attendance, at mass-motion calendars that last an hour or more, with no input from counsel on when the CMCs are scheduled. You’re not available? Too bad. You don’t need a CMC three weeks in a row? Yes, you do. Your case will get at issue and it will be set for trial.
Oh, and if you want to set a hearing in this county, you have to mail in a form – MAIL IN A FORM – and wait for them to respond to you, by mail, with a form that gives you a set hearing date, without any input from you on when that hearing takes place.
What dominates the thinking from the judiciary – again, not my speculation, but something the judges openly discuss – is their desire to “close” cases. That’s the monster that the legislature has created – evaluating the performance of judges not based on their work as judges but based on the results set forth in an Excel spreadsheet. How many foreclosure lawsuits were filed in that county? How many judgments have been entered? If the ratio of judgments entered to cases filed is high enough, then the judges in that county are doing a good job and deserve more funding from the legislature. If not, then those judges and JAs can all suffer through the many thousands of cases without more help.
The dynamic is so perverse that I’ve seen judges refuse to cancel foreclosure sales even when both sides ask them to.
Plaintiff’s lawyer: “We don’t want this foreclosure sale to go forward, judge.”
Defendant’s lawyer: “We are living in this house. We don’t want this foreclosure sale to go forward, judge.”
Judge: “Foreclosure sale will go forward as scheduled.”
This dynamic is particularly difficult to take when the parties have reached a settlement. For example, loan modifications sometimes happen after a judgment but before a sale. That means, essentially, that both sides are willing to forego foreclosure with the homeowner resuming monthly mortgage payments. Incredibly, based partly on their desire to “close” a case, some judges will force a foreclosure sale to go forward even when both parties don’t want it to, having settled their dispute via a loan modification.
Plaintiff’s lawyer: “We have agreed to a loan modification. We want the foreclosure sale cancelled.”
Defendant’s lawyer: “We have agreed to a loan modification. We want the foreclosure sale cancelled.”
Judge: “Foreclosure sale will go forward as scheduled.”
Even when both sides are able to resolve disputes before trial, even then they sometimes can’t escape a dress-down from the judiciary. For instance, I’ve watched judges threaten Bar grievances against lawyers – yes, Bar grievances – where they settled the lawsuit by consenting to a foreclosure judgment with a deficiency waiver and extended sale date. Mind you, that’s a perfectly legitimate way to compromise and settle a foreclosure lawsuit – bank gets the house, homeowner avoids any further liability and gets to stay in the house longer so as to pack up and move – but the prospect of the sale date getting pushed out 4-5 months angers some judges. “No, you can’t settle that way. The sale has to happen sooner.” Yes, I’ve seen settlements like this rejected with the sale set sooner than the parties agreed.
There’s absolutely no rule or law that requires a sale to happen sooner where the parties agree. Unfortunately, the judges are motivated by having that case “closed” so the numbers on the spreadsheet look better for the legislature.
My natural response is to lament the unfairness of it all. After all, that homeowner gave up the chances of winning at trial predicated on getting more time in the house. I find it terribly unfair that the homeowner gave up a right to trial in exchange for an extended sale date that the judge took away … right? Some judges would scoff at that notion. After all, I’ve heard several times, in open court, ”there is no defense to foreclosure,” or “I’ve never seen a valid defense to foreclosure,” or words of that ilk. Never mind that I’ve had many dozens of foreclosure cases dismissed throughout Florida, including several at trial (25 different judges have dismissed a lawsuit of mine on paragraph 22 noncompliance, for example) … there is no valid defense to foreclosure and, hence, no reason for an extended sale date.
Another county has become known for punishing any defendants who force a trial to proceed. I personally observed the judge begin every hearing by telling the homeowners and their counsel that they “better” accept a 120-day extended sale date, as if that “offer” was rejected then it would be “off the table” after the trial. The implication here was obvious to everyone in the room … You want to show up and force the bank to prove its case? You’ll lose, and I’ll punish you by ruling against you and forcing you to move out sooner.
Some would say that the way to deal with this madness is to appeal. Easier said than done. Homeowners facing foreclosure are often in no position to fund an appeal. I’ve taken some appeals for free, but there’s only so many I can handle that way. Oh, and even if you get beyond the issue of funding, go look for published decisions that are pro-homeowner in the First DCA, Third DCA, or Fifth DCA. Many thousands of foreclosure cases have been adjudicated in those areas in the past several years. How many favorable rulings do you think have come out of those jurisdictions during that time? I’ll give you a hint – not many. In many ways, appealing in those parts of the state is like standing at the bottom of Mount Everest and being told “climb.”
Dealing with this dynamic has been very difficult in recent months. It’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s difficult to watch the judicial system bend at the direction of the legislature. It’s tough to know the concept of “separation of powers” that we all learned in elementary school is being cast aside. It’s hard to feel like the most fundamental concepts of due process are being sacrificed to push lawsuits faster when even the plaintiffs in those lawsuits don’t so desire. It’s hard to feel like these procedures have made it impossible for me to help homeowners in certain parts of the state. It’s frustrating that many reading this will be upset at the entire judiciary, not realizing there are many circuit judges – particularly in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and other areas within the ambit of Florida’s Second District – who are striving to be fair and follow the law notwithstanding all of the pressure from the legislature.
Mostly, though, I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed that such perverse procedures are happening in our courts every day yet nobody is talking about it – and many don’t even realize it’s happening. I’m disappointed that the justice system I knew is eroding. I’m not going to find a dictionary definition, but that’s what erosion is – a slow process of deterioration such that, before too long, that thing which previously existed is no more.
I hope everyone shares this blog. I hope my friends, colleagues, attorneys and homeowners all understand what’s happening in our courts. I hope everyone stands up to the legislature and demands it stop this madness. Most of all, I hope the erosion of our judiciary stops … soon.
“We are still in the death grip of the banks as they attempt to portray themselves as the bulwarks of society even as they continue to rob us of homes, lives, jobs and vitally needed capital which is being channeled into natural resources so that when we commence the gargantuan task of repairing our infrastructure we can no longer afford it and must borrow the money from the thieves who created the gaping hole in our economy threatening the soul of our democracy.” Neil Garfield, livinglies.me
We all know that dozens of people rose to power in Europe and Asia in the 1930′s and 1940′s who turned the world on its head and were responsible for the extermination of tens of millions of people. World War II still haunts us as it projected us into an arms race in which we were the first and only country to kill all the people who lived in two cities in Japan. The losses on both sides of the war were horrendous.
Some of us remember the revelations in 1982 that the United States actively recruited unrepentant Nazi officers and scientists for intelligence and technological advantages in the coming showdown with what was known as the Soviet Union. Amongst the things done for the worst war criminals was safe passage (no prosecution for war crimes) and even new identities created by the United States Department of Justice. Policy was created that diverted richly deserved consequences into rich rewards for knowledge. With WWII in the rear view mirror policy-makers decided to look ahead and prepare for new challenges.
Some of us remember the savings and loans scandals where banks nearly destroyed everything in the U.S. marketplace in the 1970′s and 1980′s. Law enforcement went into high gear, investigated, and pieced together the methods and complex transactions meant to hide the guilt of the main perpetrators in and out of government and the business world. More than 800 people went to jail. Of course, none of the banks had achieved the size that now exists in our financial marketplace.
Increasing the mass of individual financial institutions produced a corresponding capacity for destruction that eclipsed anything imagined by anyone outside of Wall Street. The exponentially increasing threat was ignored as the knowledge of Einstein’s famous equation faded into obscurity. The possibilities for mass destruction of our societies was increasing exponentially as the mass of giant financial service companies grew and the accountability dropped off when they were allowed to incorporate and even sell their shares publicly, replacing a system, hundreds of years old in which partners were ultimately liable for losses they created.
The next generation of world dominators would be able to bring the world to its knees without firing a shot or gassing anyone. Institutions grew as malignancies on steroids and created the illusion of contributing half our gross domestic product while real work, real production and real inventions were constrained to function in a marketplace that had been reduced by 1/3 of its capacity — leaving the banks in control of $7 trillion per year in what was counted as gross domestic product. Our primary output by far was trading paper based upon dubious and fictitious underlying transactions; if those transactions had existed, the share of GDP attributed to financial services would have remained at a constant 16%. Instead it grew to half of GDP. The “paradox” of financial services becoming increasingly powerful and generating more revenues than any other sector while the rest of the economy was stagnating was noted by many, but nothing was done. The truth of this “paradox” is that it was a lie — a grand illusion created by the greatest salesmen on Wall Street.
So even minimum wage lost 1/3 of its value adjusted for inflation while salaries, profits and bonuses were conferred upon people deemed as financial geniuses as a natural consequence of believing the myths promulgated by Wall Street with its control over all forms of information, including information from the government.
But calling out Wall Street would mean admitting that the United States had made a wrong turn with horrendous results. No longer the supreme leader in education, medical care, crime, safety, happiness and most of all prospects for social and economic mobility, the United States had become supreme only through its military strength and the appearance of strength in the world of high finance, its currency being the world’s reserve despite the reality of the ailing economy and widening inequality of wealth and opportunity — the attributes of a banana republic.
All of us remember the great crash of 2008-2009. It was as close as could be imagined to a world wide nuclear attack, resulting in the apparent collapse of economies, tens of millions of people being reduced to poverty, tossed out of their homes, sleeping in cars, divorces, murder, riots, suicide and the loss of millions of jobs on a rising scale (over 700,000 per month when Obama took office) that did not stop rising until 2010 and which has yet to be corrected to figures that economists say would mean that our economy is functioning at proper levels. Month after month more than 700,000 people lost their jobs instead of a net gain of 300,000 jobs. It was a reversal of 1 million jobs per month that could clean out the country and every myth about us in less than a year.
The cause lay with misbehavior of the banks — again. This time the destruction was so wide and so deep that all conditions necessary for the collapse of our society and our government were present. Policy makers, law enforcement and regulators decided that it was better to maintain the illusion of business as usual in a last ditch effort to maintain the fabric of our society even if it meant that guilty people would go free and even be rewarded. It was a decision that was probably correct at the time given the available information, but it was a policy based upon an inaccurate description of the disaster written and produced by the banks themselves. Once the true information was discovered the government made another wrong turn — staying the course when the threat of collapse was over. In a sense it was worse than giving Nazi war criminals asylum because at the time they were protected by the Department of Justice their crimes were complete and there existed little opportunity for them to repeat those crimes. It could be fairly stated that they posed no existing threat to safety of the country. Not so for the banks.
Now as all the theft, deceit and arrogance are revealed, the original premise of the DOJ in granting the immunity from prosecution was based upon fraudulent information from the very people to whom they were granting safe passage. We have lost 5 million homes in foreclosure from their past crimes, but we remain in the midst of the commission of crimes — another 5 million illegal, wrongful foreclosures is continuing to wind its way through the courts.
Not one person has been prosecuted, not one statement has been made acknowledging the crimes, the continuing deceit in sworn filings with regulators, and the continuing drain on the economy and our ability to finance and capitalize on innovation to replace the lost productivity in real goods and services.
We are still in the death grip of the banks as they attempt to portray themselves as the bulwarks of society even as they continue to rob us of homes, lives, jobs and vitally needed capital which is being channeled into natural resources so that when we commence the gargantuan task of repairing our infrastructure we can no longer afford it and must borrow the money from the thieves who created the gaping hole in our economy threatening the soul of our democracy. If the crimes were in the rear view mirror one could argue that the policy makers could make decisions to protect our future. But the crimes are not just in the rear view mirror. More crimes lie ahead with the theft of an equal number of millions of homes based on false and wrongful foreclosures deriving their legitimacy from an illusion of debt — an illusion so artfully created that most people still believe the debts exist. Without a very sophisticated knowledge of exotic finance it seems inconceivable that a homeowner could receive the benefits of a loan and at the same time or shortly thereafter have the debt extinguished by third parties who were paid richly for doing so.
Job creation would be unleashed if we had the courage to stop the continuing fraud. It is time for the government to step forward and call them out, stop the virtual genocide and let the chips fall where they might when the paper giants collapse. It’s complicated, but that is your job. Few people lack the understanding that the bankers behind this mess belong in jail. This includes regulators, law enforcement and even judges. but the “secret” tacit message is not to mess with the status quo until we are sure it won’t topple our whole society and economy.
The time is now. If we leave the bankers alone they are highly likely to cause another crash in both financial instruments and economically by hoarding natural resources until the prices are intolerably high and we all end up pleading for payment terms on basic raw materials for the rebuilding of infrastructure. If we leave them alone another 20 million people will be displaced as more than 5 million foreclosures get processed in the next 3-4 years. If we leave them alone, we are allowing a clear and present danger to the future of our society and the prospects for safety and world peace. Don’t blame Wall Street — they are just doing what they were sent to do — make money. You don’t hold the soldier responsible for firing a bullet when he was ordered to do so. But you do blame the policy makers that him or her there. And you stop them when the policy is threatening another crash.
Stop them now, jail the ones who can be prosecuted, and take apart the large banks. IMF economists and central bankers around the world are looking on in horror at the new order of things hoping that when the United States has exhausted all other options, they will finally do the right thing. (see Winston Churchill quote to that effect).
But forget not that the ultimate power of government is in the hands of the people at large and that the regulators and law enforcement and judges are working for us, on our nickle. Action like Occupy Wall Street is required and you can see the growing nature of that movement in a sweep that is entirely missed by those who arrogantly pull the levers of power now. OWS despite criticism is proving the point — it isn’t new leaders that will get us out of this — it is the withdrawal of consent of the governed one by one without political affiliation or worshiping sound sound biting, hate mongering politicians.
People have asked me why I have not until now endorsed the OWS movement. The reason was that I wanted to give them time to see if they could actually accomplish the counter-intuitive result of exercising power without direct involvement in a corrupt political process. They have proven the point and they are likely to be a major force undermining the demagogues and greedy bankers and businesses who care more about their bottom line than their society that gives them the opportunity to earn that bottom line.
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Occupy Davis – We Are the 99%25 by Wikipedia
America , difficult as it may be for some to accept, is a house of cards, i.e., “a weakened structure that is in danger of collapsing or failing if its foundations continue to erode.” This nation of ours remains in deep turmoil as our nation and our democracy are being ravaged by Corporatists and rogue politicians. There is only one way to combat this dangerous coalition and that is by unleashing the massive power of the American people against it.
What brought us to this sorry state and condition? To begin with, America has become a democracy in name only and government of the people, by the people and for the people of America has been cleverly transferred to the masters of Corporatism. Powerful corporations have now assumed control over this nation and rule it with an iron fist. The tentacles of this giant octopus are wrapped around and are suffocating every important institution in this country.
Far too many Americans are seemingly oblivious to the depth of this dilemma and the precarious state of this nation. For those who doubt and minimize these dangers because they have been conditioned to think that this nation is invincible, all they need do is listen to some of the respected economists who warn that our financial sector can, at any time, be devastated by a monumental collapse of mega-trillion dollars of toxic derivatives that could wreck this economy almost overnight. Congressional oversight and regulation has been so weakened over time that it makes such a catastrophe a real possibility. See this article by Richard Clark to receive an alarming, in-depth analysis of this issue.
Now let’s further examine how this government and the Congress have become the antithesis of how a democracy should function. The principles of our democracy indicate that the passage of legislation should be based on majority rule but that’s not how this Congress and, especially the Senate, functions. And it never will until the use of the poisonous filibuster, by which legislation is routinely obstructed, delayed and destroyed, is brought under control. Congress, as is often said, is the place where good ideas go to die. Try as I might I can think of absolutely nothing of real substance that this Congress has done since America entered the 21st Century.
But it’s more than just the deadly filibuster that is making this Congress dysfunctional. Another contentious issue involves how the people of this country are represented in the Senate. The Founding Fathers made a colossal mistake when they created the Senate and mandated that there would be two senators for every state instead of basing the number on states’ individual populations. Time and again the votes of tiny states have proven to more powerful as those of massive states. For example, the eight least populous states in America have a combined population of 5,876,000 and 16 senators while California and New York with a combined population of almost 57 million have a total of only 4 senators. That condition limits and dilutes the overall power of the people.
Combine this political mistake by the Founding Fathers with the use of the filibuster by the Republicans and you know exactly why this Congress remains in gridlock and critical legislation never gets off the ground. This is concrete evidence of exactly why this country is so badly deteriorating. Both of these contributing factors to congressional incompetence could be altered if the power of the people is unleashed to begin the transformation of this government.
Therefore it’s not difficult to conclude that this Congress, as currently constituted, is entirely incapable of effectively governing this nation and society. Then the really big question becomes: what exactly can be done about it? Well, that’s where the massive power of the people of America comes in because this power represents the one and only way that this grave condition can be alleviated. It all comes down to the fact that the people must be energized and motivated to put an end to this political madness.
That massive power of which I speak is the voting power of nearly 210 million eligible voters in this country. Those who sincerely want to address this country’s myriad of problems have to realize that voter turnout must be dramatically increased and that they must organize a massive movement to accomplish just that. They need to undertake this task at a time when the Republican Party is doing everything in its power to reduce the number of voters through all sorts of devious means because they know that their only chance to win elections is by low turnout.
Here is what must happen. The Center for the Study of the American Electorate, put 2012 voter turnout at 57.5% of all eligible voters in America, This study group estimated 126 million people voted in the 2008 election, meaning that 93 million eligible citizens did not cast ballots. How can this democracy function effectively when so many Americans who have been given the opportunity to vote choose not to? That is inexcusable; every American who could actually vote and does not is contributing directly to the gigantic mess this country is in. They are at the very center of this problem that is allowing our system of government to be corrupted by sleazy, greedy politicians. You would think that progressives and independents would recognize the great danger this poses and would be working tirelessly across America to substantially increase voter turnout.
Sure this could be a great thing for America but to many it’s difficult to picture how that process would actually evolve. So, let’s think of it this way; suppose you buy a house that needs a complete rehab. So where do you start? First, you have to address the rotting foundation, the sewage from leaking pipes and, of course, you will need to bring in the exterminators. You start where the worst damage is being done, spend a lot of time, money and effort to make the necessary repairs and then you move up to the higher levels of the house and finish the job.
So, let’s proceed from that analogy back into the real world and see just how such a monumental endeavor could be progressed in order to cleanse and stabilize our currently corrupted political system:
*In the 2014 national elections: the objective must be to do everything possible to soundly defeat every GOP candidate. We need to get rid of every U.S. Representative and senator that has blocked critically needed gun safety controls, those who consistently obstruct job creation, those who support an agenda of perpetual war, and those who are working to restrict the Constitutional rights and freedoms of the people. In doing this certain Senate Democrats, Mark Begich, AK, Mary Landrieu, LA, Mark Pryor, AR, Heidi Heitkamp, ND and any other Democrats who too often vote against the best interests of the people must also be replaced.
The Republicans in Congress have now crossed the line, they have stabbed the people of America in the back time and again and as appropriate payback this party of control freaks must be dismantled. The voting power of the people, a power that, when ignited nothing can withstand, will do just that and turn this ideologically twisted party into a pile of smoldering ashes.
A very broad coalition of rational-thinking Democrats, progressives, independents, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and every other minority group in America, together with the majority of Caucasian Americans, must band together to flush these traitors, be they Republicans or rogue Democrats, out of the Congress and send them into political purgatory.
*If the people would send the Republican Party into political oblivion, it would naturally follow that for the first phase of this governmental transformation, the Democrats would take full control of both houses of the Congress. That could be another problem in the making and so it would be crucial to immediately initiate a movement to create and develop a Progressive Party that would, for all practical purposes, take the place of the defunct GOP and challenge the Democrats on all key issues and problems facing this nation. Such a movement could be formed through the collective efforts of progressives, independents, the Green Party and other similar groups.
*With a new style Congress it would pave the way for making campaign finance reform the #1 priority by enacting legislation that absolutely bans corporations and special interest lobbyists from having any contact with any member of this Congress or associated government agencies. This would completely remove Corporate America from any involvement of any kind with the election process.
*Let the Democratic and Progressive Parties compete for the support of the American people. If the Congress undergoes an overhaul, if the filibuster obstruction is stopped, if the Senate is reconstituted with more senators from populous states and no more than one senator for each of the smallest states, then we can, once again, see democracy in action.
*Open the door for honest, ethical, individuals with vision and passion to lead America out of its current deep morass; presidents who will never allow themselves to be controlled by the proliferators of war and the masters of Corporatism as has been the case since we entered the 21st Century; those who, over a period of time, would transform the Supreme Court into a judicial body that rules on the basis of the constitutionality of issues instead of personal beliefs and ideology.
Without question, many out there may well react to this kind of a plan as far-fetched, naÃ¯ve, and even deluded thinking because they just can’t see how the mass of the people can be awakened from their lethargy and motivated to do something dramatically different. But that’s what’s been the problem; we keep telling ourselves what we can’t or don’t want to do instead of making up our minds that we can and must not allow our country to be further ravaged by those whose only objective is to advance their own interests at the expense of the people.
But even in the face of the expected opposition by those who embrace the status quo and passively accept and condone what is happening around them, this is a plan that, without a doubt, could be successful if the majority of people can be made to fully understand that they have no choice but to get involved; that time is running out and that it is critically important they concentrate on taking positive actions instead of merely criticizing and complaining. They need to wake up to the realization that they must do everything in their power to save their country. All they need do is to stop sitting on the sidelines and get out to vote.
This can happen and, in fact, it better happen or we are going to see this house of cards in which we live come crashing down upon us.
I recently learned that in Forsyth County Georgia, an investigation has begun on the crooked foreclosure mill attorneys in Georgia. YEA!!!
Wow, there has been continual violations of Georgia’s real property laws ever since Foreclosure Hell began, and should it be proven that these attorneys, signing their names as every bank’s employees, which we know they aren’t maybe the tides will be turning!!!
It is no secret that the foreclosure hell sweeping the country has resulted in a nightmare from hell.
The land records of the past 300 years is in peril, as is your right to know who owns your Note, and who you are obligated to make your payments to.
There is an important Petition to sign to help your county keep the records in order. It is one of the only safeguards that you, as a borrower have against the banksters.
Click the link, there are 100,000 signatures needed!