Look What Alan Zibel of Associated Press Finally Figured Out
January 17, 2010
Hereâ€™s how Alan â€śScoopâ€ť Zibelâ€™s story for the AP starts:
WASHINGTON â€” President Barack Obama’s plan to fix the foreclosure crisis has been a dud, putting the housing market recovery at risk.
Is that what it put a risk, Alan?Â It put â€śthe housing market recoveryâ€¦ AT RISKâ€ť?Â Alan, you and I are not going to get along, I can tell that already, so I might as well go ahead and say itâ€¦ youâ€™re a moron.Â On this subject at least, youâ€™re not a writer, Alanâ€¦ youâ€™re a typer.
First of all, Alan, there was no housing market recovery to be put at risk.Â Is that news to you Alan?Â Are you a RealtorÂ®, Alan?Â Just because the government decided to give people their down payments and then finance them with easy money FHA loans and the likeâ€¦ all the while telling them weâ€™ve hit bottom, and other similar nonsenseâ€¦ does not a housing market recovery make.Â And as far as the Presidentâ€™s program being a â€śdud,â€ť wellâ€¦ arenâ€™t you just cute and cuddly?Â A â€śdudâ€ť?Â Like a â€śMilk Dud,â€ť Alan?
The president falling on his face and failing miserably as related to our economic catastrophe cost a lot more than any faked recovery.Â Obamaâ€™s â€śdudâ€ť has likely cost the Democrats any hopes for political dominance, and unless the Republicans decide to run Palin/McCain in 2012, it has also likely cost Obama his second term.Â And thatâ€™s just the political costsâ€¦ what about the costs to homeownersâ€¦ families, childrenâ€¦ scars that wonâ€™t heal for decades and literally millions of people affected.
Of course, on the bright side, Obama has said some very nice things about climate change, and heâ€™s certainly proven that heâ€™s just sick about health care in this country, but as to fixing anything Americans care a lot about right nowâ€¦ well, thereâ€™sâ€¦ nothing.Â He hasnâ€™t done a damn thing.
Hopes were overinflated when Obama unveiled the program before an adoring audience of Arizona high school students last February. Almost a year later, it appears only about 750,000 homeowners — a fraction of the 3 million to 4 million originally projected — might complete the application process, predicts Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com.
Hopes were â€śoverinflated,â€ť Alan?Â Why, who on earth could have â€śoverinflatedâ€ť them, my dear boy?Â Was it you?Â No.Â Was it me?Â No.Â Was it Colonel Sanders, Alan?Â Hugo Chavez?Â Dmitrv Medvedev?Â Who, Alan, who, who, who?
Then he says:
The more borrowers who can’t be helped, the more foreclosed properties will flood the market. And that means the nation’s housing market, which appeared to recover last summer, could soon take another turn for the worse.
Alan, what are you babbling aboutâ€¦ a recovery in the housing market last summer?Â Are you a crack smoker, Alan?Â Iâ€™m so sick of this kind of propaganda being espoused by know-nothing journalists that itâ€™s making me physically ill.Â Youâ€™re a renter, am I right Alan?Â Maybe you should check with your parents before writing a sentence like that.Â Was your article intended to be an â€śarticle,â€ť or was it more of a press release?
And he goes onâ€¦
A record 2.8 million households were threatened with foreclosure last year, up more than 20 percent from a year earlier, RealtyTrac Inc. reported last week. The foreclosure listing firm expects another record this year.
First of all, Iâ€™ve seen different numbersâ€¦ like a million higher type numbers, but thatâ€™s not even the point.Â Foreclosures going up by 20% a year isnâ€™t something you report as if itâ€™s just another day at Disneylandâ€¦ itâ€™s a God damned financial and social tragedy of epic proportion that dwarfs 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina in terms of pain and suffering by such a margin, that itâ€™s inconceivable that anyone would treat it so cavalierly in print.Â Your lack of compassion, Alan, is appalling.
And then he says:
Home prices, meanwhile, are down 30 percent nationally from the peak in mid-2006, and there is mounting evidence they will fall again over the winter as low-priced foreclosures make up a larger proportion of sales.Â “It’s a very serious threat to the housing market, and still one of the most significant risks to the broader recovery,” Zandi said.
Prices down 30% nationally.Â Mounting evidence.Â A very serious threat to the housing market.Â One of the most significant threats to our broader recovery.Â I know Zandi said some of it, but you printed it.Â Youâ€™re some interviewer Alan.Â You should have your own show on MSNBC.Â You could call it: Letâ€™s Play Softball with Alan Zibel.
And then Alan goes from annoying to thatâ€™s enough, Iâ€™m going to kick your ass:
The Obama plan aims to help borrowers in financial trouble by making their payments more affordable. Modifications made under the program include a lower interest rate and often a longer repayment period. The average monthly payment has been cut by $500 on average.
The homeowners receive temporary modifications, which are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete the required paperwork, including proof of income and a letter explaining the reason for their troubles.
Boy, I oughtaâ€™ slap you silly for writing that garbage.Â How in the world did you get hired bby the AP anyway.Â The Obama plan is a complete and utter failure.Â It is essentially worthless.Â If it wasnâ€™t there, weâ€™d likely be much better off.Â The only program it outperformed was the Bush Hope-4-Homeowners program, which was quite likely the biggest flop, as far as government programs go, in American history.Â Donâ€™t you read, Alan?
And then he adds insult to injuryâ€¦
There’s blame on both sides: Mortgage companies say they have struggled to get back the necessary paperwork, while homeowners and housing counselors say navigating the bureaucratic maze often seems impossible.
No, Alanâ€¦ thereâ€™s no blame on both sides.Â Thereâ€™s only one side to this issue.Â The banks and government have failed the American taxpayer and homeowner at every conceivable turn in this catastrophic meltdown, and the homeowners are going to pay the price for the sheer incompetence and criminal behavior for a century.Â Mortgage companies are lying their collective asses off.Â They certainly didnâ€™t seem to struggle with getting necessary paperwork when they originated a gazillion of these fabulous loans, so why would there be such a struggle now?
And he couldnâ€™t possibly have ended there and put us all out of our miseryâ€¦
But the 102 participating companies are getting wildly different results. While a handful of mortgage companies are “very good at it,” said Michael van Zalingen, director of homeownership services at Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, “some either don’t care or can’t figure it out.”
The biggest company in the program, Bank of America, has completed modifications for fewer than 2 percent of the 200,000 borrowers it has enrolled. Rebecca Mairone, a Bank of America executive, said the bank has started sending notaries door-to-door to get signed documents back quickly.
Which handful of companies are considered â€śvery good at itâ€ť?Â Did you think to ask that, Alan?Â And Bank of America is not just being â€śnot very good at itâ€ťâ€¦ 2% after a year or more is not just underperformingâ€¦ itâ€™s not giving a ratâ€™s petute one way or the other.Â Oh, and thank God that BofA is now going door-to-door to get signed documents from homeowners.Â Iâ€™m sure in a country of 300 million people and I donâ€™t even know how many square miles, Iâ€™m sure the door-to-door approach will be very speedy.Â Itâ€™s too bad we donâ€™t have anything like THE INTERNET to expedite things.Â Maybe Wells will announce next that theyâ€™re going to use carrier pigeons.
And then to wrap things up, thereâ€™s nothing like the musings of my favorite assistant Treasury Secretaryâ€¦ Mr. Michael Barr.Â Iâ€™ve gone after this guy twice in the last couple of months, and he never disappoints.Â Iâ€™m pretty sure he and Dan Quail are tight.Â Hereâ€™s Michaelâ€¦
Companies with disappointing results “need to do much better,” Michael Barr, an assistant Treasury secretary, told reporters Friday.
See what I mean?Â What would we all do without Michael Barr over there at Treasury?Â I, for one, sleep soundly because Barr is at the helm.
Alright, this isnâ€™t even fun anymoreâ€¦ wrap it up Alanâ€¦
Another major mortgage company, Wells Fargo & Co., is doing better but still has completed modifications for fewer than one in 10 borrowers. To speed up the process, Wells Fargo has been holding a borrower assistance events in several major cities. It brought 200 loan counselors to Baltimore’s downtown convention center last week.
“You get a little more consideration with the person when you’re eye to eye with someone,” said Odella Taylor, 50, a Wells Fargo borrower who fell behind on her home loan last year after separating with her husband.
This is just so sad for so many people.Â And so embarrassing for Wells Fargo and every other bank involved.Â And as far as the government goesâ€¦ well, letâ€™s just say that thereâ€™s an election coming up, and another one after that.Â So, weâ€™ll just leave it to the votersâ€¦ get the picture, Mr. President?