June 17th, 2011 Washington [API] President Obama used an Autopen device to sign an extension of the Patriot Act into law last month, a move that has some members of Congress in a lather
The autopen is a commonly used device among the legislative community to generate mass copies of their own signature. Normally the autopen is not used to enact laws, but the President was on a European trip and did not want the bill to expire at midnight. At the time, the concern was a lapse in national security measure, and the Bush administration had already explored the legality of a Presidential signing in absentia. The opinion was released to the media to near universal indifference.
The signing prompted a letter from 21 House Republicans asking for Obama to resign the measure in person, since he has plenty of spare time at the moment.
“Mr. President, it is clear that assigning a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress is a debatable issue, and could be challenged in court,” the letter reads in part.
Oddly, these same Republicans are just fine with robosigning when it comes to the average mortgage.
MERS is an automated system that banks use to register mortgages instead of physically showing up at the register of deeds. Although it has nearly no actual employees, MERS handles 60% of all mortgages in this country. Recent investigation has shown that these mortgages were not audited, not filed properly and the signatures were robosigned by temporary employees who pretended to be vice presidents foreclosing on properties that no one had actually examined.
Marty Knollenberg, the Republican Chair of the Banking Committee had never heard of MERS until last month because he was busy examining Obama’s birth certificate as opposed to checking the system that regulates over 60 million mortgages.
Republican Darrell Issa who chairs the House Oversight Committee reviewed the evidence, decided not to subpoena the banks about their foreclosure process even though improperly filed mortgages undermine all contract law. He is more interested in pursuing government sponsored lending institutions and low-income homebuyers.
“You know what? F*** the middle class,” Issa said when questioned. “And you can quote me. No one cares about the middle class, I don’t understand why they don’t get it. I don’t know what else we can do to show our utter disdain for those people. I don’t like touching them anymore. Before I shake anyone’s hand, I ask them how much they make, because I can’t get the presence of broke off of my skin.”
“Only suckers pay taxes,” Knollenberg added. “Bank of America paid no taxes last year, after they received 20 billion in bailout money the year before, and they paid for it by kicking middleclass people out of their home by accident. That’s hustle.”