Monday, August 31, 2015

WH and Other Odds and Ends

End of August “Cats and Dogs”

I don’t Tweet, as I’ve often said, and am not really sure of how people connect and maintain “Tweetosphere” connections.

What happens for me, as occurred this past Friday, is people send me copies of others’ Tweets and responses.

Wall Street Journal reporter Joe Light tweeted the MBA’s David Stevens, about whom I wrote last week when Stevens suddenly (in my view) came out supporting Fannie and Freddie retention and recapitalization.

I expressed my blog doubt about Stevens veracity because the he and MBA had been so adamant about support this Administration and various Senate legislative vehicles, first Corker (R-Tenn.)—Warner (D-Va.) and later Johnson (D-SD.)--Crapo (R-Idaho) all of which would have blown up F&F, substituting a new mortgage system—likely controlled by the nation’s largest banks—but using the GSEs as an interim support system host until the new beast could come on line.
Light asked Stevens the following “pass/fail” question.
Joe Light (@joelight)
@DavidHStevens @MBAMortgage So if you were on Senate Banking Committee, you would have voted against J/C?

Joe or somebody, let us know when David Stevens answers and then ask David if he will debate Josh Rosner?

Why the White House Counsel Got Involved in the GSE Cases?

As most people know, about 10 days ago, the White House Counsel’s office requested access—via the US Court of Federal Claims (Judge Margaret Sweeney)—to documents filed by the defendants in the Fairholme vs U.S. case. Plaintiffs did not object to giving the WH access to the information, some of which has been labeled by the DoJ or Treasury as “privileged.”

"Pursuant to paragraph 7 of this Court’s Amended Protective Order dated July 29, 2015 (ECF No. 217), defendant, the United States, respectfully requests that Jennifer O’Connor, James Walsh, and Allison Murphy be permitted access to information protected by the Protective Order. All of the applicants are attorneys representing the United States within the meaning of Paragraph 4 of the Protective Order, and work in the Office of the White House Counsel. Counsel for the United States has consulted with counsel for plaintiffs, Fairholme Funds, Inc., et al. (Fairholme), who has indicated that Fairholme does not oppose these applications for access to protected information."

Why the WH sought this info remains an outstanding question and there have no official explanations, just a lot of guesses and hopes (mainly by plaintiff interests that the action reflects some pending maneuver by the government to reach an accommodation).

I’ve heard many of the guesses, i.e. the WH always gets involved when the president’s name is mentioned; probably didn’t realize how much Treasury and DoJ screwed up and the WH might need to bail the Admin out; WH needs to know what’s been said before it seeks accommodation; appeals court suggested the WH consider arbitration, which requires understanding the messy legal terrain agencies created: this is SOP at some point in any judicial hearing involving the federal government.

I’ve also two things on this matter: if something dramatic is brewing behind the scenes, we’ll all soon know because there are very few “domestic policy” secrets in DC; since I am a cynic and don’t believe in miracles or Leprechaun pots of gold, I suspect the true reason is somewhat mundane, pedestrian, likely bureaucratic and non-thrilling.

That doesn’t mean the courts won’t find for the plaintiffs, but I think it still will be a lot of slogging.

Bethany McLean’s Latest GSE Book

This is not a review of Bethany Mclean’s latest GSE book, “On Shaky Ground, the Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants,” because I am not allowed to do that until after her book officially comes out.

But, having read it and spoken with the author, who will be starting a book tour (she’ll be in DC in a few weeks), I will highlight out two salient facts.

Ms. McLean is supportive of the Fannie and Freddie going forward operationally and believes they are a necessity in the mortgage market to balance the large commercial banks mammoth market power.

Also coming this week on F&F….

On September 4, Judge Margaret Sweeney will conduct a “status conference” and I am sure it will cause much early consternation—since it is closed to the public—but that won’t stop stories/developments from post facto discussion. 

What Others Are Saying

Fannie & Freddie Corner

Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) editorially dumps on FHFA new GSE housing goals

Center for American Progress says “Good job Fannie.”

The “Right” weighs in against F&F recap

Dick Bove—on CNBC--why the WH’s is interested?

Bloomberg, quoting WSJ’s Joe Light, says WH GSE interest is SOP


Pershing Square Shareholders letter from Bill Ackman

Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assn Fannie Mae (OTCBB:FNMA) (FNMA) / Freddie Mac / Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (OTCBB:FMCC) (FMCC)
Fannie and Freddie reported another strong quarter. These results further corroborate our thesis that both entities could recapitalize and safely exit conservatorship if the Net Worth Sweep (the U.S. Government’s expropriation of each quarter’s net worth by extraordinary dividends) is eliminated. During the quarter, there were a number of positive legal developments in the shareholder litigation against the U.S. Government expropriation.
In the D.C. Court of Appeals, the plaintiffs filed a strong appeal brief against the decision last September dismissing their claims that the Net Worth Sweep violated applicable statutory restrictions. Numerous amici (friends of the court) briefs were filed in support of the plaintiffs, two of which are worth highlighting.
One came from several parties including the Independent Community Bankers of America and William Isaacs, the former FDIC Chairman, who during his career personally oversaw the conservatorship or receivership of hundreds of banks during the S&L crisis. The brief argues that Fannie and Freddie’s conservatorships were modeled word-for-word on FDIC conservatorships, and that the Net Worth Sweep is both unprecedented and inconsistent with the goals of conservatorship as understood and implemented for over 80 years. If allowed to stand, the brief argues, the Net Worth Sweep will cause providers of capital to financial institutions to question whether the rule of law and the established hierarchy of corporate claims can be preserved in conservatorship. Banks rely on low-cost debt and preferred stock financing in order to provide low-cost loans to consumers. If the courts allow assets of a private financial institution to be expropriated during conservatorship, there will be few if any lenders willing to provide financing to financial institutions, particularly during a time of stress.
In his amicus brief, former Fannie Mae CFO Tim Howard offered an accounting-based analysis that questioned the necessity and motives behind the Net Worth Sweep. During conservatorship, the FHFA changed the GSEs accounting policies, accelerating non-cash charges, generating paper losses, and leading to a substantial majority of the Treasury’s $190 billion preferred stock investment. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Howard shows, the GSEs’ actual credit losses were exceeded by their cash profits, while the non-cash charges that necessitated the capital injections have largely been reversed, leading the Treasury to “sweep” away almost all of the GSEs’ capital since 2012.
In the Court of Federal Claims, plaintiffs have filed redacted documents that suggest that their discovery process has uncovered evidence that contradicts the government’s defense of the Net Worth Sweep and calls into question both its necessity and true purpose. Although these documents are filed under seal, Judge Sweeney has allowed them to be used in related cases in the District Court and Court of Appeals.
“Rule of Law Guy,” writing in Seeking Alpha; Please read this excellent explanation of some of the nuances in the court cases and the plaintiffs’ arguments and amici briefs. After page 1, there is a free sign-up to continue to read this analysis.

Presidential corner

Trump and Fox’s Ailes, Kiss and Make-up, again…..

Read: Trump versus Bush is a Family Soap Opera

Troubling Signs for Jeb??

John Podesta on possible Biden run.

Gov. Walker is a “crony capitalist”
Big Bank Screw Up Corner
New England Judge looks under Royal Bank of Scotland’s kilt, F&F lawsuit won’t be dismissed
Gretchen in NYT: SEC to Citigroup: Who done it? “It wasn’t you, it wasn’t me, must be the fellow behind the tree.” (With apologies to the late Senator Russell Long (D-La.).

Iran Deal Corner

CNN—What are the Iranians Building at Parchin Site??

Bull Pucky Corner

I’ll willingly sign it, but will HBC Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) or presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) secession petition?
Someone should ask them?

Panda Corner

Washingtonians have been mesmerized for the past two weeks about the stories of the impending Panda Mommy’s birth,  and her delivery of twins, one of which—the smaller of the two—unfortunately didn’t survive.

Alexandra Petri, a regular Washington Post columnist, who often pens fringy, offbeat, sometimes humorous op-eds on sensitive issues, found something in this saga worth noting.

Good GSE info site

Maloni, 8-31-2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Legal Filings Clash, Now POTUS Wants In*

MBA’s David Stevens Said What???

I keep writing that things are “slow” or meandering in DC in August. Mainly, because they are. I try and publish or discuss substantive material, about which the GSE world cares, but those issues don’t always crop up.

Ergo, since we all are citizens in a bigger world, occasionally I go off on foreign policy, domestic issues, or pure politics, especially now with the presidential campaigns in full throat.

But yesterday saved you all (and me) from blathering blindly about non-GSE issues (although I have a few in this blog), when I was sent Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) President David Steven’s latest commentary. (See below.) 

I was stunned reading this declaration, frankly, because if anyone had asked me—or other mortgage industry observers trade association observers--”Where is the MBA and Stevens on the future of Fannie and Freddie,” I would answer, “Are you kidding, he/it supports doing away with the GSEs.”

But now Stevens claims he wants F&F around (with conditions). Flip-flop.

Does that square with what his larger bank members want? I know it comports with what his smaller members want, which trust the big guys in the same way upstream swimming salmon trust grizzly bears.

Does it even square with what he’s been quoted as saying about the issue? I’ve always believed that the MBA isn’t homogeneous on this but, it appears quite divisive among the MBA membership.

They have large banks, but also small banks, independent mortgage companies, and credit unions, which look to F&F for business sustenance.

To support my point that this is a new tact, I would have offered --and still do offer--the following evidence that David Stevens and the MBA are not fans of the GSEs.



There is much more out there, too.

Is Stevens a chameleon or a historical revisionist? How can he say he wants to preserve F&F after loudly supporting various Senate bills, all of which would do away with the GSEs, as soon as their regulator and Treasury were able.
Will folks wonder if he is lying now or was then?

(One of DS’s bitter professional adversaries had far stronger language describing Stevens, last night, after reading the DS column. I suspect some of that will show up on Twitter, shortly).

Oh, and his “bright line,” is a totally specious and MBA- conjured non-issue.

When did Fannie or Freddie ever want to get into the primary market—cross his “bright line”--violate the law which limits them to the secondary mortage market and do what primary market lenders now do for the GSEs, i.e. originate and deliver geographically diverse product for securitization at minimal costs.

There is no need to waste time and draw a “bright line” between primary and secondary market responsibilities market, it exists in reality and business practice.

One is hundreds of businesses and originates mortgage loans which meet F&F underwriting requirements, while the other represents two companies in the DC area which acquire those loans and--for a guarantee fee—securitize those loans, making them investment housing bonds which institutional investors buy.

I guess David may think, just because August is a vacation and sleepy time, everybody is napping.

Ed DeMarco Says Get Rid of the GSEs!

As if we didn’t know, Ed DeMarco, former FHFA Director (Mel Watt’s predecessor) last week let us know how he feels about Fannie and Freddie going forward. He’s against them as he tells the Congress in his Wall Street Journal op-ed piece (surprised by that placement, hardly)!

Ed tells the Congress, without mentioning his own name, touts the wonderful “common securitization platform” project, which “FHFA set up in 2012,” which most critics claim was designed to give away for free the GSE’s “secret sauce” and securitization technology to the very big banks Ed feels should run the nation’s secondary mortgage market.

Who do you think ran FHFA in 2012 and proposed this less than crackerjack idea—unless you want the GSEs out of the market-- forcing F&F to create a single purpose, Delaware charted corporation to underwrite and carry out Ed’s wet dream??

Anyone guessing it was DeMarco wins.

Real world to Ed. I don’t think the Congress will have any time this year to consider doing away with Fannie and Freddie, but that won’t stop the Conservative rhetoric toward the same.
And, next year, do you think with all of the noise, chaos, and internecine angina that Mr. Trump is causing the GOP, the RNC’s Reince Priebus or an equivalent figure, will want to stand up in a congressional/presidential election year and loudly say to America, “Let’s get rid of Fannie and Freddie and further screw up the domestic home buying market? Who’s with us?”

Additional GSE Court Filings

Plaintiffs lawyers for have filed additional views pointing out that Treasury, DoJ, FHFA filings were flawed, inaccurate, and—in some instance—just lies, which call into question Judge Royce Lamberth’s opinion that HERA (Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008) allowed federal regulators  to do whatever they wanted to F&F and its shareholders, as companies under “conservatorship.”

Just as original plaintiffs' arguments suggested the government bent, exceeded, and likely broke HERA, we are now waiting for one federal court to agree and issue its opinion.

Naturally the government disagrees with everything the plaintiffs contend.

In the meantime, as reported, lawsuits have been filed in Delaware (where Fannie is chartered) and Virginia (Freddie’s home state) arguing that neither state's laws permits the 2012 “sweep,” which take very penny the two earn, with a small haircut for a declining amount of capital, and ships it to the Treasury’s General Fund, for deficit reduction use or earmarked for other purposes, as some current bills in Congress direct.

But the courts pace and what I believe should be easy rejections—or non-acceptance--of the defendant’s (the US government) position, to date bring no positive actions for the plaintiff.

To “conserve and return to private ownership and operation” (paraphrasing) is not to strip all revenue, possible capital, and hamstring the entities going forward; “conservatorship” is not receivership and is not supposed to last six plus years.

The macro regulatory mishandlings have been accompanied by dozens of micro intrusions and FHFA decision making is retarding the GSEs return to anything resembling full functioning privately owned enterprises.

Ironically, the FHFA has managed to get F&F to join them on the last filing opposing the request to overturn Lamberth.
Now who, on either board or among the enterprise execs, wouldn’t want the enterprises freed? (Exception Don Layton!)

It begs the question to which particular room in Hades, the public and its elected and legal officials, have consigned the GSEs and for what reasons?

Anyone who rationalizes, “Who cares, after all, it’s just Fannie and Freddie….” should as my mother used to say, “Spend the rest of their lives needing Pepto Bismol.”

But courts move to their own drummer and calendar (which lawyers must love!).

Here are two recent filings, one by the plaintiffs for purposes of the Lamberth appeal and a second by the government’s outside lawyers, objecting to the plaintiffs filing.

Plaintiff’s filing,

Here Comes the White House Counsel

*At the end of last week, the WH Counsel’s office filed with the court papers asking for access to the documents filed with the courts in the HERA and Third Amendment law suits.

"Pursuant to paragraph 7 of this Court’s Amended Protective Order dated July 29, 2015 (ECF No. 217), defendant, the United States, respectfully requests that Jennifer O’Connor, James Walsh, and Allison Murphy be permitted access to information protected by the Protective Order. All of the applicants are attorneys representing the United States within the meaning of Paragraph 4 of the Protective Order, and work in the Office of the White House Counsel. Counsel for the United States has consulted with counsel for plaintiffs, Fairholme Funds, Inc., et al. (Fairholme), who has indicated that Fairholme does not oppose these applications for access to protected information."

Speculation is rampant as to what it means, if it means anything at all, legally or politically.

Does the WH need to know more because the President may get splashed with the government’s legal/regulatory errors; does the President need to know more because he is contemplating releasing and recapping F&F; or, do the President’s lawyers want to know more because they think they can do a better job of prosecuting these cases than DoJ?

It would be positive to think rumors, finally, are hitting the WH about gross agency incompetence and flawed policy positions and someone is getting nervous.

Finally, it could be none of those things, so I’ll stop guessing until I know more!

What Others Are Saying

Website recommendation: GSE LINKS is an excellent Internet site for anyone wanting the latest in public statements and current GSE news. Good dude runs it.

New F&F Goals

FHFA offers new GSE affordable housing goals, as per Jon Prior, Politico
By Jon Prior
8/19/15 1:00 PM EDT
The regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has finalized a new set of housing goals for the government-controlled companies that includes an effort to help low-income renters facing a shortage of options.
The long-awaited targets from the Federal Housing Finance Agency establish what percentage of business Fannie and Freddie would direct to finance home loans and multifamily developments in poor neighborhoods beginning this year through 2017. The benchmarks were last set in 2012.
While much of the focus on the rules centers on the companies’ support for those looking to buy a home, the new standards released Wednesday show the agency under Director Mel Watt is addressing a dwindling supply of affordable rental properties in many markets left behind by the housing recovery.
“The single-family goals advance the Enterprises’ statutory missions to provide access to credit for creditworthy borrowers and provide liquidity to the U.S. housing market while operating in a safe and sound manner,” Watt said in a statement. “The multifamily goals will create rental opportunities for those who need affordable housing. Together, these goals establish a solid foundation for affordable and sustainable homeownership and rental opportunities in this country.”
Watt gave affordable-housing advocates a victory with the new rules by requiring the two companies to finance 24 percent of their mortgages in low-income areas, up from 23 percent under the old standard.

Presidential Primary Corner

The Donald weighs in on Tom Brady and Deflate Gate.

I am certain this is a big issue in Iowa and Caucus votes will hinge on how the other candidates respond to Trump’s dramatic defense of Tom Brady.

“Donald” Starts 14th Amendment Ruckus and the Lilliputians trip on one another signing up…


George Will says Trump’s immigration plan will kill GOP’s 2016 chances.

Scott Walker immigration foibles. (Note George Will’s wife—as GW always notes-- is involved in the Scott Walker campaign.)


Classy Guys (Not!), Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) use Jimmy Carter as a cudgel to beat up Obama, the week Carter announces he has brain cancer. (They could have spouted the same BHO putdowns without ever mentioning Carter’s name.)


Joe Biden and Liz Warren Huddle

Bank Screw-Up Corner

Violation after violation, the banks can’t stop themselves from breaking the rules.
Citi settles fraud allegation ($180 Mil)

Bank of NY Mellon—and another one

Brent Scowcroft calls for support of the Iran deal.

Maloni, 8-24-2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Allies Can Disagree......

Washington in August…


DC is a nice town this time of year, despite the high temps and afternoon rain storms. Most of the hot air leaves (when Congress goes), roads are less congested, stores and restaurants easier to access, and a pleasant calmness settles over a city that most of the year never is too calm. (For you regular Wash Post readers, I penned these lines two days before Kathleen Parker wrote some of the same in her Sunday op-ed piece, which also discussed her recent medical setbacks.)




Nothing major shaking here on the GSE scene—or behind it contrary to what some suggest (see below)—occasionally a positive comment here an article there. The F&F world remains, all about the HERA and Third Amendment court cases.


I Just Disagree (Gently) and Told Him So….


Quote from Tim Howard 717’s Blog (segment from lead blog piece, as of 8-15-2015):


“I apologize for the delay between posts, but critical developments continue at a rapid pace. On virtually every front of this war, we continue to make great gains. President Obama is facing increasing pressure to do the right thing, I have heard whispers that fractures are developing within the high command. Some of our most powerful hidden allies are prepared to take matters into their own hands if he refuses to take the actions necessary to save Fannie and Freddie from destruction.” 


The tone and substance of the above is one of the reasons I shared my “concern,” last week, with “Tim Howard 717,” the author who is the most ardent/prolific advocate, still suggesting powerful ‘inside the Beltway” forces are clashing--behind the scenes--that soon will produce an Obama free-the- GSEs act which lets F&F get more market responsive and keep some/all of their earnings.


 “Tim Howard 717,” eons ago, adopted that nom de guerre—without seeking (and still hasn’t sought) its rightful GSE owner’s permission. The owner—in this side bar issue--is Fannie Mae’s former longtime CFO and my colleague and friend, J. Timothy Howard. 

Apparently, the ersatz “Tim” wanted to enhance the receptivity for his GSE commentary, so he expropriated a name he thought could accomplish that—and never has given it up—I am sure there is some self-fulfilling success to his choice, since he now oversees a very often visited F&F blog.  

His poor judgment in trafficking in someone else’s name is one thing but, what bothers me most is repeating the meme about an Admin poised to do a GSE-180. It’s cruel. 

Large numbers of 717’s readers self-identify as F&F common or preferred stock shareholders. When he regularly makes the above questionable claim, he is telling his F&F investing posters, who are metaphorically thirsty, “There is an accessible cool bubbly brook—and $20 to $50 per share price--right over this hill.” Maybe, but....

TH717 never identifies the sources for his “it’s coming” stories, but that doesn’t stop him confidentially feeding his readers—who are hard core and possibly a bit politically naïve--a hope for something which may never happen, telling them some variation of “the truth will prevail.”

Unfortunately for those of us who want/hope the truth to win out, federal judges/courts don’t always see the world the way plaintiffs suing the government do, no matter how much common sense the plaintiffs and their attorneys provide. 

Last week, I told the guy still camouflaging with “real Tim’s” name, I have been unable to find any DC evidence of what he purports to be imminent.

While that may suggest his intelligence network is better than mine, I see NOTHING that would substantiate this Administration suddenly reversing field, since it has bad mouthed Fannie and Freddie from its earliest days--not just occasionally but consistent heavy duty blasting, in multiple congressional hearings and public speeches. (Caveat: Except of course this WH feigned, “He worked at Fannie?”, when President Obama dipped into the deep Fannie talent pool for a National Security Advisor.)


Now if TH717’s suggestion--of a coming momentous GSE turnabout decision--is a reflection of this Administration  quaking in its boots because of events in Judge Margaret Sweeney’s court or even developments with the appeal of the original specious Judge Royce Lamberth decision--given the normal snails’ pace of legal action and the multiple appeals still available to the WH (all of which eat the clock)—I submit the b-baller in President Obama, or his AG Loretta Lynch,  just has to run a delaying “four corners offense” through next year’s elections until BHO’s successor is sworn in on January 20, 2017. 

It’s not that far away and that kicks the GSE can down the road for another president and Congress.

That is less humbling for Obama than giving up now, even though “release, recap, and return” is more honest, bold, forthright, pro-middle class, and legacy building, than jumping because Uncle Sam’s ass—and the Obama Admin’s--may get kicked in one court. 

But, until the first federal judge makes a pro-plaintiff decision, GSE advocates will have to exist on hopes and rumors (speculations found in several GSE blogs, not just 717’s) and pray the Congress doesn’t screw up too much of the F&F operational side with blatant legislative interference.

The Positive TH717 News 

I read 717’s blog regularly. He often details provocative things; has some very bright, GSE- aware posters (far more than write into my blog), who offer riveting items,  many of whom post as “anonymous,” so I can’t follow exactly who is offering what sage like advice. But, the dialogue is fascinating. 

Other blogs I follow are GSE Links, Investors Unite, the GSE blog on Google, which some posters call “PBJ,” Investors Hub, Fannie Mae Shareholders, and more.  

They all contain insight and value for me. There are very few websites where F&F-smart people congregate, who believe in the GSEs as institutions, support their historic housing mission success, and follow their fate. 

I don’t think my blog contains too much hype, beyond my admitted cynicism. I try and source most everything I discuss or tie it to events/activities others, independently, can review and then decide for themselves. 

If it turns out that 717 is correct and Barack Obama flips, I’ll be the first to offer “mea culpa,” apologize to him for my doubts, and cheer the results. 

But, until that time, I just don’t believe. 

(Note: Sources on 717’s site—not the author--seem worked up over some, unidentified, major GSE event they believe is happening today, Monday, 8-17, when my blog publishes. He professes no knowledge of same and doesn’t seem to sign on.)

A Coming Departure?


Oddlot Prediction: Remember where you heard it first. It seems to me only a matter of time before Fannie CEO Tim Mayopoulus bids good bye to the enterprise. Mel Watt’s increased salary decision  got started with TM’s desire to earn additional compensation and the HBC’s Ed Royce (R-Cal.) legislation re-buffed that and him. I am betting Mayopoulus—who has impressed observers--will be in great demand and soon will go elsewhere to earn what he believes he is worth.

Hold the calls. This is my opinion and I have no knowledge from TM—whom I’ve never met--or his associates that he is packing his Fannie Mae professional bags. 

Another Big Bank Business Perversion


Latest big bank travesty. Citizens Bank—Rhode Island headquartered and the 13th largest US bank by assets--will pay a $35 million fine for failing to credit the proper amount to checking/savings accounts when the customer provided a lower figure than they actually gave the bank employee, holding on to those excess dollars and pennies . That’s major nickel and dime poop, BS, but it happened.

How hard can that be for banking institutions? 

It’s also a good reminder, no matter how much you like your favorite bank, large or small, always carefully check all of your transactions (credit card bills, too). The institutions make mistakes, sometimes intentionally.

What Others Are Saying


Former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.)—newly minted head of United against Nuclear Iran” (UANI) argues why Congress should reject the Obama Iran deal.



“If I were a carpenter and you…,” the NYT’s Tom Friedman looks at how different Israelis might look at the Iran deal.


Which Senators still are available to support President Obama on the Iran deal?


Kissing Trump’s Gluteus Maximus! 

Huff Post on Roger Ailes’  “Megyn who?” actions. 


I’m not from Iowa or New Hampshire, but I am rooting for you Donald to get the GOP nod!! 


Maureen Dowd takes her foot from ck long enough to oloto sup with the Donald>
HRC’s neck long enough to sup with the Donald.


Trouble in Bernie-land?


Wells Fargo Hires ex-Warner Aide to Lobby 

The best part of this story is the post article comments and the fact that Wells had one of the worst low-income housing records of all the big banks. So, are they hoping this new lobbyist will help them match or exceed that infamy?


Bloomberg’s Al Hunt offers a sober and non-sensational view of the US economy.


The Hill Soldiers On


Maloni, 8-17-2015