Archive for February, 2008

Still wowing

The dust has just settled from a record-breaking week of early voting. About 25,500 people early voted, with over 5,600 voting on the last day.

In Lubbock County, roughly 1,000 more Lubbockites voted in the Democratic Primary than in the Republican Primary.


Mortgage Crisis: Etymology, Cartoon, and “Just Say No”

The etymology of the word mortgage is a fascinating one:

The great jurist Sir Edward Coke, who lived from 1552 to 1634, has explained why the term mortgage comes from the Old French words mort, “dead,” and gage, “pledge.” It seemed to him that it had to do with the doubtfulness of whether or not the mortgagor will pay the debt. If the mortgagor does not, then the land pledged to the mortgagee as security for the debt “is taken from him for ever, and so dead to him upon condition, &c. And if he doth pay the money, then the pledge is dead as to the [mortgagee].”

Our contemporary adjustable rate / subprime mortgage crisis is a little bit more complicated than a simple matter of a debt that may or may not be repaid and a house that may or may not be seized. That’s why I was delighted to find this stick figure cartoon explanation called “The Subprime Primer.” It’s hilarious, educational, and worth the five minutes it takes to read.

Lastly, what happens when someone who is foreclosed on decides that they aren’t giving up without a fight?

Joe Lents hasn’t made a payment on his $1.5 million mortgage since 2002.

That’s when Washington Mutual Inc. first tried to foreclose on his home in Boca Raton. The Seattle-based lender failed to prove that it owned Lents’ mortgage note and dropped attempts to take his house. Subsequent efforts to foreclose have stalled because no one has produced the paperwork.

“If you’re going to take my house away from me, you better own the note,” said Lents, 63, the former chief executive officer of a now-defunct voice recognition software company.

Judges in at least five states have stopped foreclosure proceedings because the banks that pool mortgages into securities and the companies that collect monthly payments haven’t been able to prove they own the mortgages.

These ripoff securities were in such a hurry to rip people off that they may not have done the appropriate paperwork to transfer ownership of the mortgages they are selling to investors! The amount of deceit and dumbassedness at every stage of our modern mortgage crisis is simply staggering.

The lesson that I am learning from the mortgage crisis is this: in a culture where regulation is frowned upon, crooks will thrive.

George Lopez Endorses Barack Obama

The real will always recognize the real.

3rd DeLeon recall petition: an early glance

Today I picked up a copy of the 3rd petition to recall Linda DeLeon that Roger Settler turned a few days ago. The petition contains 707 signatures according to Settler. 494 valid signatures are needed to force either a resignation or a recall election.

Things are pretty busy in my life right now, but I am interested in studying this petition to see what I can see. I haven’t entered the petition into a database, but I’ve looked over each page and come up with a few early items of interest:

  • Approximately 450 signatures are missing voter registration numbers.
  • Approximately 160 signatures failed to check whether they voted for DeLeon in the election in which she was elected.
  • Lots of Texas Tech students signed the petition


My very early guess is that this petition won’t make it.

My opinion remains that this whole “recall DeLeon” business is a big waste of time. It’s more of a media circus based around a few local personalities than anything else. I don’t believe that a petition to recall Linda has enough support in her district to succeed.

Related A-J Coverage:

Viva Obama!

(Thanks, Jason!)

Democratic Primary > Republican Primary

After two days of early and absentee voting, roughly 2350 voters have participated in the Democratic Primary, and roughly 1750 voters have participated in the Republican Primary. Democrats are participating more than Republicans by a margin of 500 in Lubbock County, Texas. In. Lubbock. County.


I never thought I would live to see the day when more Lubbockites participated in the Democratic Primary than in the Republican Primary in the second most conservative city in the USA. Let’s hope the trend continues through election day (where, for once, the Democratic precinct conventions will get the nice big rooms in the voting locations!).

This is an exciting time to be a Democrat!

How to Contact the Lubbock Barack Obama Campaign

Barack Obama Campaign
Contact: Annie Reed
Phone: 806-744-5700
Email: areed AT texobama DOT com

How to Contact the Lubbock Hillary Clinton Campaign

Hillary Clinton Campaign
Contact: Natalie Gregory
Phone: 806-795-9482
Email: lubbock AT hillaryclinton DOT com

Pam Brink for Lubbock County Democratic Party Chair

I gotta say: it’s a wonderful feeling to have a choice for the office of Lubbock County Democratic Party Chair. Hopefully the excitement over this race will bring new voters to our primary. I salute both of our candidates for their courage to offer themselves for the difficult and sometimes thankless challenge of being the County Chair.

This wonderful feeling is even better for me since someone I trust is in the race. I trust Pam Brink because she has been in the trenches with us doing the hard work of the Party, and she’s been working hard for years. Pam brought the people and the money together to secure our permanent headquarters building, which has been a great asset for party-building. She runs the Party’s Art Auction fundraiser each year, and it consistently brings in the big bucks, second only to our annual banquet. Pam has shown great leadership through the West Texas Coalition of Democrats, which is one of the most successful ways that rural Democrats from surrounding counties coordinate with us here in Lubbock.

Regarding her opponent Charles Dunn, I have one story to tell and one question to ask. In 2005 after the tragic death of County Chair Irma Guerrero, our Executive Committee held a meeting to elect a new County Chair to finish out her term. There were two candidates who came forward: Johnnie Jones and Charles Dunn. Johnnie won the election among the assembled Precinct Chairs. Immediately, the Executive Committee offered Charles the position of Vice Chair, which he turned down. Since then, we haven’t seen him until this election. Where have you been all this time, Charlie?

For me, the choice is clear. Let’s elect someone with a proven record of working hard on behalf of the Party. Let’s elect someone who shows true leadership without needing to be in charge.

Let’s elect Pam Brink as our next Lubbock County Democratic Party Chair.

Cheerful AM Talk Radio Moment

Sometimes I turn the car radio to conservative AM talk radio because I hate myself and love heartburn.

On my to lunch today, I actually heard Rush Limbaugh attack the idea of “hope,” which one might argue is the primary message of Obama’s campaign. Rush used a Nietzsche quote (of all things) to back himself up, and got into it with a caller who was saying that hope kept him alive for 52 years.

The whole exchange had Rush looking like the bully that he is. I understand the Rovean strategy of “attack your opponent’s strengths,” but some concepts are simply unassailable.

Good luck with your battle against hope, wingnuts.

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