Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 21, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SANTORUM'S HOUSE....Will Bunch writes that Rick Santorum sure can afford a lot of house for a guy who earns $162,000 a year:

A year later, the couple refinanced for $500,000....What was curious was the source of the increased mortgage. It was a new private bank catering to affluent investors and institutions whose officers have contributed $24,000 to Santorums political action committees and re-election campaign called Philadelphia Trust Company.

....The 12-page deed on file in the Loudoun County courthouse does not provide much information about the loan, although it does state that the term is just five years, with repayment of the $500,000 due by November 1, 2007.

Let's see. At an interest rate of, oh, let's say 4%, that's $110,000 in payments per year. Or else a mighty big balloon payment in November 2007, which as Will points out, is conveniently just a few months after Santorum's current term expires.

But I'm sure we're all being unduly suspicious here. There's nothing wrong with friends helping friends, is there?

Kevin Drum 1:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (90)

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Comments


IOKIYAR


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 21, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

More than likely it's a 5 year balloon, so the interest payments would only by a couple grand a month or so, probably less.

He can always refinance it at the end of 5 years -he won't have to pay it off.

Posted by: GAB on February 21, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see $500,000 5 year loan at 4% comes out to $9200 a month plus
taxes (another $1000/month) $10 Gs per month! His gross monthly salary
$160,000/12 = $13,500 a month (before taxes). No problem if you're a Repug US Senator.

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on February 21, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

But he's a Christian, so by definition he can't be doing anything wrong.

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe he makes up the difference in cash flow by selling those "man on dog" videos he's always talking about.

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

the balloon set up with the 5 year term seems very sensible given the nature of Santorum's (or any Senator's) job. It's floating a loan of that size that might raise an eyebrow. (I write as a Pennsylvanian who'll oppose Santorum in every way in the next election)

Posted by: David on February 21, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the bi-partisan scandal angle on this?

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget his "house" in Penn Hills (LOL).

They sure picked the right person to impose "ethics" on the Repukes.

Hate the evil brown people out to get us, win a prize!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on February 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Coming from someone from Southern California where every Tom, Dick and Harry owns a Million Dollar house this is not quite a fair charge. Just as the Southern Californians, even with meager incomes, are somehow able to afford such a house, why not assume that Tricky Rick might have been able to do the same thing.

Posted by: lib on February 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

As a senator, doesn't he get some sort of housing allowance and a puppy?

Posted by: Alf on February 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see the problem here. The house is not that expensive and he looks to have a balloon payment at the end.

Foolish, perhaps - he could easily float a fixed rate 30 year loan on that income for a house like that.

If he's not taking bribes now he'll be worth plenty when he leaves office. If he's banking on high future earnings it doesn't make much sense for him to worry too much about saving properly now. (Consumption smoothing and all that.)

Posted by: Saam Barrager on February 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

As a senator, doesn't he get some sort of housing allowance and a puppy?

There's that damn dog again!

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Come on. I can't stand the guy, but plenty of folks have a $500K mortgage these days. And interest only loans are not exactly unusual among the general public. Calculated that way, the suggested 4% sweetheart rate translates into $20K per year or $1,666.67 per month. That's not unreasonable.

Posted by: Tim on February 21, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

That's actually not an unreasonable amount of house on that salary. What is odd is the very very short mortage, and its structure.

Posted by: Isaac on February 21, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

the balloon set up with the 5 year term seems very sensible given the nature of Santorum's (or any Senator's) job
Yep. If he's not re-elected he sells, if he is re-elected he re-finances. That ballon payment got him into more house than he could otherwise afford.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

There's that damn dog again!

Mwfphf!

Posted by: shortstop, with part of a mineola stuck in her nose on February 21, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Well, he couldn't have written a book, unless there is a market for sheaves of paper with crayola scribblings and drool on them....

Look, let's not become like the right-wing, who wanted to make an issue out of how much Bill Clinton claimed as the value of his underwear as a non-cash charitble contribution on his tax returns. That sort of thing is for petty simpletons like Joseph Farah, Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. If there is evidence of cronyism that resulted in a violation of banking laws or improper underwriting that resulted in increased risk to FDIC-insured depositors, let's go after him with guns blazing. Otherwise, take the high road.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on February 21, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

When will you liebural-quedas realize that Republicans get these kind of deals because real Americans know that the GOP is the only hope for America's continued exisitence ? The company that gave the Honorable Rick Santorum this deal knows if they don't do their part to keep the brilliant men who lead our Republican Party happy and healthy and furnished with the very best lodging money can buy that al-Queda and the Saddamites will enslave us all in Sharia and IslamoFascism. If that happens there won't be any more drum circles for you and your smelly seditious bretheren to attend, because you'll all be dead.

You need to get with the program, lieberalquedas, before you bring us all down.

Posted by: fromage de pnis on February 21, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! It's a big house. Gotta have room for the sexnasium and the beastiality suite.

Posted by: ckelly on February 21, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno, this doesn't really strike me as that bad. I'd love to see Santorum in ethical hot water, but plenty of people who make $162,000 live in nicer houses than that.

Posted by: MDS on February 21, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but generally thoe people aren't getting preferential treatment from a bank that donated to their re-election campaigns.

Posted by: Viserys on February 21, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

The collective stench rising from the Rethuglican Party is beginning to spread, and soon will blanket the whole country like the sulphorous odor of a paper mill. Like week-old fish, it'll have to be disposed of next November, and again in 2008, or else breathing will become impossible.

Posted by: Doofus on February 21, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

> Look, let's not become like the right-wing,
> who wanted to make an issue out of how much Bill
> Clinton claimed as the value of his underwear as a
> non-cash charitble contribution on his tax
> returns

On the contrary: when your opponent is drowning, throw him an anvil. Every one of these garbage piles that is turned over exposes another layer of roaches to the light. The roaches scurry to another garbage pile (or try to make a deal with the exterminator, I mean prosecutor) and the virtueous cycle continues!

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

cons only pay attention if the -preferential treatment-.....is a b-j...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 21, 2006 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe this is above board, maybe not. It doesn't matter so much. There's plenty of stuff about Santorum one can say that's unarguably true, that will make him significantly less likely to win.

For example, how about just a 15 second ad spot with video of the young Republicans at a Santorum rally at Drexel University chanting "hey hey, ho ho, Social Security has got to go," followed with a scary voiceover saying something along the lines of "Rick Santorum's supporters want him to get rid of Social Security. Can we afford to trust him?"

Posted by: phleabo on February 21, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Folks,
my first reaction was puzzlement, too. $500,000 on a $162,000 salary is do-able -- but *only* if he has a 20 or 30 year mortgage. a five-year mortgage? no way is he doing that on his senate salary alone.

Posted by: lou on February 21, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

100 grand a year and a $500,000 mortgage? Been there done that.

This is reasonable, and you only need look at the interest rate, was it market rate, how much did they shave off and how much should Sanatarium return.

This sounds like something on the margin. It is not like shooting lawyers, afterall.

Posted by: Matt on February 21, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Cranky Ob: The roaches scurry to another garbage pile (or try to make a deal with the exterminator, I mean prosecutor) and the virtueous cycle continues!

I dig the metaphor, but what happens when the roach is the exterminator (being exterminated by the prosecutor)? I speak, of course, of Little Tommy DeLay.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

It's quite telling with Moslems worldwide, looting, burning, rioting and killing, liberals want to focus all their energy on exposing evil rich white Republicans eating and shopping at the likes of Wendy's and Walmart. The outrage!

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK


ff: focus all their energy on exposing evil rich white Republicans eating and shopping at the likes of Wendy's and Walmart.

count the stories on this lone blog and you'll see how false that is.....


next....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 21, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Kevin Drum state in a post a few days ago that the median value of a house in California is around $500k? A US Senator can actually afford a $640k house? I am outraged! Why hasn't this made the front pages of the NY Times?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Folks,
my first reaction was puzzlement, too. $500,000 on a $162,000 salary is do-able -- but *only* if he has a 20 or 30 year mortgage. a five-year mortgage? no way is he doing that on his senate salary alone."

He does have a wife too you know. Do you know what her income is? It was mentioned that she is a lawyer and a nurse. At $200k+ per year, it is easily doable.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Agaion, I have to ask where is Kevin Drumm when it comes to Ted Kennedy and his Trusts held in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying American taxes...

Complete and utter silence from the moralists of the left.

And Lady Johnson owned Brown and Root and a large piece of Haliburton.

Posted by: Patton on February 21, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Conspircacy nut: "If he's not re-elected he sells..."

Exactly. Which state do you think he'll run in next?

Posted by: brent on February 21, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

ff: Why hasn't this made the front pages of the NY Times?

one moment you claim its the focus of the left's energy...

the next moment...

you are complaining its not on the front page of the nyt...


rove wouldnt be happy....

spread out the obfuscation...

its rule 3 in your handbook...


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on February 21, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Patton gets it right!

No matter what a Republican Bad Apple has done, he is, by definition, a more moral, courageous, handsome and better-smelling person than any Demonrat could ever be, and is therefore excused from all responsibility, accountability and moral duty.

Posted by: fromage de pnis on February 21, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter [sic], unsurprisingly, is being his usual disingenuous self.

You are missing the point if you think there is supposed to be outrage because Santorum is living in a $500K McMansion in Virginia.

The real scrutiny is properly aimed at the terms under which he received his mortgage. Not to mention why a man who is self-admittedly "living paycheck to paycheck" (!) and who still gets financial help from his parents (!!) thinks it's financially prudent to drop that amount of coin on a house. Or why he's charging the taxpayer for his Starbucks jones.

Now, on another subject, Freedom Fighter [sic], can you tell me why you wingnuts are so hot on using the outdated term "Moslem"? Is it sort of like referring to the "Democrat Party"? I'm really curious about this.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on February 21, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 2:58 PM:

It was mentioned that she is a lawyer and a nurse. At $200k+ per year, it is easily doable.

From the Prospect article:

Karen Santorum has earned other income since she began raising and homeschooling the couples children. She has authored two books...She received a $10,000 advance in 2002 for the second book.
Posted by: grape_crush on February 21, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

"Now, on another subject, Freedom Fighter [sic], can you tell me why you wingnuts are so hot on using the outdated term "Moslem"?"

What's wrong with Moslem?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

From the Prospect article:

Senator Santorum and his wife, who is an attorney and a nurse

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

"The real scrutiny is properly aimed at the terms under which he received his mortgage."

So what does the article say? The last time read it, it didn't say squat.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Here, from the Prospect via Atrios, is the real scandal:

The Prospect decided to heed Santorums advice by taking an honest look at the family budget -- his family budget. What we found is that Santorums exurban lifestyle is financed in ways that arent available to the average voter back home in Pennsylvania -- namely a political action committee that lists payments for such unorthodox items as dozens of trips to the Starbucks in Leesburg, a number of stops at fast-food joints, and purchases at Target, Wal-Mart, and a Giant supermarket in northern Virginia. Although a Santorum aide defends those charges as legitimate political costs, good-government experts say the expenditures are at best unconventional, and at worst a possible violation of Senate rules, and the purchases appear to be unorthodox when compared with other senators filings. Santorums PAC -- a leadership PAC, whose purpose is to dispense money to other Republican candidates -- used just 18.1 percent of its money to that end over a recent five-year period, a lower number than other leadership PACs of top senators from both parties.

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

It was mentioned that she is a lawyer and a nurse.

A lawyer and a nurse? That's a bad combination. How long before she sues herself for malpractice?

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

can you tell me why you wingnuts are so hot on using the outdated term "Moslem"?

It's an archaism that stems from the fact that wingnuts are not very well-read. Look, if you haven't read anything about eastern europe since 1975, you would repeatedly call the country north of Bulgaria "Rumania," simply because you weren't well-read to know that the modern spelling is "Romania." Continuing with the archaism is a way for modern right-wingers to passively rebel against modernity, clinging to their archaic transliterations. Many would (and, in the aftermath of 9/11 did) use "Mohammedan," but that was considered too "obvious."

Senator Santorum and his wife, who is an attorney and a nurse

Both of which are professions that a person retains whether she is currently practicing her profession or not. Since she does not receiving any income from either of those professions, it should have been clear what was meant in the context of the article.

Posted by: Constantine on February 21, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK


As others have pointed out, this could easily be an interest only loan with a balloon payment after the five years. At which point, he simply sells or refinances.

It also isn't very unusual for an 'affluent investor' company to extend credit to a US Senator with a healthy future potential income of books and speaking fees.

The interesting aspect of this may just be whatever other sweetheart terms the Trust company provided. Like a really low index or a buyback provision ala Cunningham?

Posted by: tinfoil on February 21, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Lawyer and a nurse.

She sues after giving the anema.

Posted by: lib on February 21, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

I don't like the guy either, but your other posters are correct. A $500K interest-only loan with a balloon payment at the end of 5 years is very doable (and quite common) for a guy making $162K/year. This kind of load would have a low interest rate (4-5%) and total annual payments of $20-25K. No problem.

Before you get to the end of the 5-years, you either refinance or sell the property.

Posted by: scottd on February 21, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly. Which state do you think he'll run in next?
Well, since this was directed to me I feel some need to answer, except I don't have one. He'd never make it in a real red state, or a real blue state, so I suppose he'd need to go to another purple state.

But I think the most likely option will be that he will become a lobbyist or "consultant" of some type. I'm not a fan of adding laws unless absolutely needed, but that stuff has to stop somehow.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"The real scrutiny is properly aimed at the terms under which he received his mortgage."

"Santorum and his wife received a $500,000, five-year mortgage for their Leesburg, Va., home (pictured at top) from a small Philadelphia private bank run by a major campaign donor even though its stated policy is to make loans only to its 'affluent' investors, which the senator is not. Good-government experts said the mortgage from Philadelphia Trust Co. raises serious questions about Santorums conduct at a time when he is the Senate GOPs point man on ethics reform. They explained it would be a violation of the Senates current ethics rules if Santorum received something a regular citizen could not get."

http://www.pnionline.com/dnblog/attytood/archives/002807.html

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

The interesting aspect of this may just be...
The only thing that jumped out on me was purchase price vs appraised value. Now maybe they monkey with appraised value for property tax purposes there, but otherwise he certainly followed the old advice to "Buy Low".

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 21, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hard to be a full time attorney and/or nurse while home schooling six kids, FF...Try reading past the Santorum campaign spokeswoman's quote.

Posted by: grape_crush on February 21, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Pa., and I can assure you that Ricky will be selling that house in 2007 unless he becomes a lobbyist or something like that, because he won't be a Senator any longer.

It's not just the sleazy sweetheart deal on the house--it's that, it's using his PAC as his personal checking account, it's the fact that he doesn't really live in Pennsylvania, and it's the fact that he's a creep and an asshole...among other things.

Oh, and it's the fact that every time he opens his mouth he says the most stupid shit you've ever heard.

Posted by: Ringo on February 21, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

"She sues after giving the anema."

So she's a Democrat?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

I actually don't mind the wingnuts using "Democrat" as an adjective, or "Moslem"--it serves as an instant idiot alert, and I know to treat that person the same as I do the crazy guy yelling on the street corner.

Posted by: Ringo on February 21, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Both of which are professions that a person retains whether she is currently practicing her profession or not. Since she does not receiving any income from either of those professions, it should have been clear what was meant in the context of the article."

How did you reach this conclusion? The article didn't say whether she's working or not. And if she wasn't, I am sure the honest folks at the Prospect would let us know in no uncertain terms.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

As long as you maintain your licenses, you can be an attorney or a nurse without actually working at all.

Posted by: Ringo on February 21, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

"She sues after giving the anema [sic]."

What this is referring to is the Santorum family's lawsuit-happy ways and their tendency to tie up our hard-working courts with their frivolous lawsuits. Here from Think Progress:

Speaking of politicians whose personal family decisions happen to conflict with their political demagoguing on health care issues, Josh Marshall brings our attention to Sen. Rick Santorums (R-PA) medical malpractice hypocrisy. In 1996, Santorum testified on behalf of his wife Karen, who was seeking $500,000 in pain and suffering against Dr. David Dolberg of Virginia, because of pain from his 1996 chiropractic treatment of her.

Funny, that didnt stop Santorum from supporting and voting for a bill in 2003 that would have capped awards for pain and suffering at $250,000.

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:lEaSfTlyjd8J:thinkprogress.org/2005/03/29/santorums-pain-and-suffering/+santorum+sued+wife+insurance&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Since the beginning of Santorums term in 2001, Americas Foundation has paid for some 66 trips to Starbucks -- almost all in Santorums hometown of Leesburg -- and close to 100 small purchases from another Washington area coffee vendor, along with purchases at Arbys, Burger King, Wendys, Ben and Jerrys, and a vast array of retail and food outlets. Santorum spokeswoman Davis said that every listed expense was related to the PACs mission, including routine expenses such as office supplies including furniture, travel for staff, meals, and grocery items for various functions such as fund-raisers and planning meetings.

However, a comparison to five other senators leadership PAC expenses shows that those PACs do not list expenditures on items such as convenience stores or coffee shops, with a couple of exceptions for out-of-state travel. Different leadership PACs maintain records differently, but Americas Foundation appeared to spend more heavily on credit-card payments, for example, than similar PACs. The $463,378 spent by Santorums PAC on credit-card payments from 2001 through 2005 constituted 8.6 percent of all cash taken in, while comparable numbers for Kentuckys Mitch McConnell, his partner in the GOP Senate leadership, were $29,524 and 1.6 percent. All this leads experts to say that those expenditures appear highly unusual.

These are very questionable transactions, given that the donors to this leadership PAC were trying to work on party building, says Alex Knott, political director for the Center for Public Integrity, a leading Washington-based good-government group. They were probably not aware that the funds were being spent at convenience stores and coffee houses. CREWs Sloan said some charges appear to be for personal use, which would violate Senate ethics rules. Let them explain why an ice-cream cone at Ben and Jerrys is a campaign expense, she says.

This is gonna be the story, and the subject of all the questions they ask him, from now until he's defeated at the end of the year.

Good riddance, couldn't happen to a better guy.

Posted by: Ringo on February 21, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Agaion, I have to ask where is Kevin Drumm when it comes to Ted Kennedy and his Trusts held in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying American taxes...

Complete and utter silence from the moralists of the left.

Sure. If what you say is true, that stinks. But you guys elected an insider trading scumbag and a guy who circumvented trading-with-the-enemy laws by setting up an off shore corporation to do his dirty work.

Complelte and utter silence from the [...] of the right.

So, go do what Mr. Goodbar suggested. Do it today.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on February 21, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

How did you reach this conclusion? The article didn't say whether she's working or not
Read the article, FF:
financial disclosure forms since 2001 have shown little family income beyond his Senate salary
That "little family income" was then referred to as advances on books that the married couple has had over the year. No mention of income from Mrs. Santorum's professions. In fact, Rick Santorum is quick to remind everyone how his wife is a stay-at-home mother.

Posted by: Constantine on February 21, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

"I actually don't mind the wingnuts using "Democrat" as an adjective, or "Moslem"--it serves as an instant idiot alert"

Yeah, it serves as a flag to differentiate between a real liberal and a parody, which are becoming more and more difficult to distinguish with each passing day.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on February 21, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Not to defend Santorum, but I live in Loudoun County, make about his Senate salary, and have a $500,000 home loan at a higher interest rate that has a 5 year payoff as well. It's basically called living in the suburbs of Washington D.C., and there is absolutely nothing unusual about it. It may not be the best possible mortgage product longterm-wise, but without creative financing options housing is a bitch around here. I will now put away my "Re-Elect Santorum 2006" card.

Posted by: Chris Peterson on February 21, 2006 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

What!? Santorum patronizes Ben & Jerry's? Why isn't he boycotting those dope-smoking, peace-pushing liberal pussies, just like Christians everywhere have completely sworn off those fag-loving Disney folks?

Oh, wait. It's not a worthwhile cause if it remotely interferes with the instant consumer gratification of obese, slack-jawed Republicans.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. Okay, I tried the P word in this context and my keyboard didn't catch on fire.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. Okay, I tried the P word in this context and my keyboard didn't catch on fire. Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 4:19 PM

Nonono, that's if you go into a bathroom, turn out the lights and chant, "Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney, Dick Cheney."

He'll appear in big puff of sulphurous smoke.

Damn, my keyboard just caught fire...

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 21, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Are you sure it was fire, Morph? Maybe it was just a flash from his hunting rifle as he burst drunkenly through your shower curtain.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Are you sure it was fire, Morph? Maybe it was just a flash from his hunting rifle as he burst drunkenly through your shower curtain. Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 4:50 PM

Either way I better watch out. I forget, is it sunlight or holy water that you should use?

I know that a wooden stake through the heart is useless.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 21, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

I think you just give him a car and a fifth of bourbon and let him rip across the grounds of the Naval Observatory. Get the Secret Service out of the way first. Lynne, not so much.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Santorum and his wife received a $500,000, five-year mortgage for their Leesburg, Va., home (pictured at top) from a small Philadelphia private bank run by a major campaign donor even though its stated policy is to make loans only to its 'affluent' investors, which the senator is not.

My bank's definition of "affluent" includes one earning >$150,000/year and qualifies one for "private banking" services. 5 year balloon mortgages at fixed rates are routinely offered to private banking clients, and can be renewed anytime before maturity at a reset rate based on market conditions (subject to various mortgage fees).

Kevin didn't post an actual interest rate the 4% was used as an example), but around 6% would seem appropriate for such a 5-year deal.

Posted by: pencarrow on February 21, 2006 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

I know that a wooden stake through the heart is useless.

Did you know Cheney's daughter is a lesbian?

Jebus, none of them can shoot straight.

Posted by: craigie on February 21, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

What!? Santorum patronizes Ben & Jerry's? Why isn't he boycotting those dope-smoking, peace-pushing liberal pussies, just like Christians everywhere have completely sworn off those fag-loving Disney folks?

I think he enjoys their "Slippery Santorum" flavor...

Dedicated readers of Dan Savage will get the joke...

Posted by: Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'm no fan of Rick, but the terms of this mortgage don't seem fishy (its source is another matter).

Mortgages recorded in land records rarely give more info than the amount of the loan. That is, they don't reveal the interest rate, amortization period, etc.

$500,000--a relatively modest home value in the DC area, by the way--at 6% (a high rate in 2002 for those with good credit), amortized over 30 years is just under $3,000 per month.

It's not at all unrealistic that the mortgage baloons in 5 years, has a variable interest rate that would make the payments lower, or even has an interest only provision for a few years.

Based on the known info, this doesn't seem like a scandal in the making. Plenty of other trees to bark up, unless this one shows something else.

Posted by: Jim on February 21, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Penis claims:
""No matter what a Republican Bad Apple has done, he is, by definition, a more moral, courageous, handsome and better-smelling person than any Demonrat could ever be, and is therefore excused from all responsibility, accountability and moral duty.
""""

NO, I SIMPLY GET TIRED OF THE DOUBLE STANDARD WHEN YOU ATTACK REPUBLICANS. IT IS THE SAME WITH EVERY SO-CALLED BUSH/REPUBLICAN SCANDAL...YOU NEVER WANT TO ACTUALLY COMPARE THEM TO DEMOCRATS BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU WILL LOSE.

YOU MOAN AND GROWN ABOUT KATRINA RESPONSE, BUT WHEN YOU ACTUALLY COMPARE FACTS BETWEEN BUSH AND PRIOR DEMOCRATS, BUSH LOOKS LIKE A ROSE.

THE SPEED OF RELIEF, THE QUICKNESS OF REVIEWING THE AREA, ETC ETC. ARE ALL MUCH BETTER THEN CLINTON DID, SO YOU DON'T ARGUE COMPARATIVE FACTS.

JUST THE LATEST EXAMPLE IS THE LEFT AND THE MEDIA ALLOWING HILLIARY OF ALL PEOPLE TO ATTACK CHENEY FOR SECRECY WHEN SHE WITHHELD CRITICAL INFORMATION ON THE DEATH OF VINCE FOSTER FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE PUBLIC FOR 30 HOURS, AND WITHHELD THE ROSE LAW FIRM BILLING RECORDS FOR YEARS.

Posted by: Patton on February 21, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

I think he enjoys their "Slippery Santorum" flavor...

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan on February 21, 2006 at 6:31 PM:

I think he enjoys their "Slippery Santorum" flavor...

Not a dedicated Savage reader, but...EEeewwww...That's freakin' disgusting...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 21, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Damn. Shortstop beats me to the comment yet again...Oh well; great minds and all that...

Posted by: grape_crush on February 21, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

More government is going to produce more of these deals, what's the problem?
You want more government Kevin, so this is okay, right?

Your such a schmuck.

Posted by: Chaufist on February 21, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK
More government is going to produce more of these deals, what's the problem?

The bizarre idea that the only political option that exists is between "more" and "less" government, and every other result is a simple function of whether there is "more" or "less" government is ridiculous.

Almost as ridiculous as the idea that the Bush Administration and its supporters somehow stand for "less" government.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 21, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

What is the other option between more or less government?
Kevin Drum and you cmdicely want more government so more of these deals are likely. That is a fact, you can't stop them now, how will you stop them when there are more of them?
When the people who are supposed to stop them are the people who benefit?
What makes you think I am a Bush supporter?
Kevin and you cmdicely are schmucks.
Real shit for brains.

Posted by: Chaufist on February 21, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

All the people saying that $500,000 isn't much for a house in the D.C. area and that you could easily qualify for that on $162,000 per year, might want to remember that he has to have some sort of residence in his home state as well.

Regardless of the details of this transaction, which looks tacky mostly because Santorum doesn't meet the lender's stated profile for loan recipients rather than the specific terms that have become public so far, there are more than enough other ethical issues in Santorum's closet to make the idea of him leading the Republican reform efforts laughable.

Posted by: tanj on February 21, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

tanj: ...there are more than enough other ethical issues in Santorum's closet to make the idea of him leading the Republican reform efforts laughable.

No room for ethics in there. It's stacked to the ceiling with cartons of taxpayer-funded lube.

Posted by: shortstop on February 21, 2006 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Patton: "Waaaahhhhh, Waaahhhh, (sniff) (sob) but, but that nasty bitch Hillary gets away with everything and us Republicans we get caught all the time.. (stomps feet, throws self on ground and pummels the dirt with fists) It ain't fair!"

Posted by: j swift on February 22, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Ol'Santorum will probably get to visit Ney's London gambling house just before the balloon payment is due, so all will be well in Ricky World.

Posted by: synecdoche on February 22, 2006 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

Ol'Santorum will probably get to visit Ney's London gambling house just before the balloon payment is due, so all will be well in Ricky World.

Posted by: synecdoche on February 22, 2006 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

The bizarre idea that the only political option that exists is between "more" and "less" government
Well, the only other option than more or less, is having the same amount of government; but I realize this part isn't germane.

and every other result is a simple function of whether there is "more" or "less" government is ridiculous
As for this, I find the wishing away of human nature that you have to do to support it to be ridiculous. Power corrupts, people are selfish, and people respond to incentives.

Take you, for example. You want to force your views of government on me. It's selfish, you want what you want and you don't care what I want; you think I'm crazy. You cannot imagine a sane person holding an opinion different from yours (properly stated, the difference would need to be non-trivial). Now, I don't blame you for this, it's human nature. But it is extremely dishonest to pretend it doesn't exist.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 22, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Well, it's nice to see the left wingnuts and homophiles will "Swiftboat" anyone who does not adhere to their lockstep. Once again the left in this country proves how absolutely hysterical and rabid they are with anyone who dares not toe the politically correct line.
It is ironic how the left in America labels anyone who dares to challenge their ideology as "Nazi". Liberals need to take a long hard look in the mirror . The socialist/progressive little chorus in America is proving to be the new age snake handlers and pulpit pounders of today. The left has more in common with the National Socialism of the Third Reich than anyone in history.

Posted by: riverman on February 22, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Okay. Enough is freakin' enough.

>The left has more in common with the National Socialism of the Third Reich than anyone in history.
Posted by: riverman


Will somebody please make sure riverman has taken his meds. He's foaming at the mouth, delirious, and chewing up the carpet.

Posted by: CFShep on February 22, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Will somebody please make sure riverman has taken his meds.
Actually, he has a point. Let's start with the fact that socialism runs counter to human nature, it rewards for the wrong stuff. Therefore, in order to have a socialist society it is necessarily totalitarian.

On the other end of the spectrum is anarcho-capitalism, which is every man for himself. This is also the complete opposite of totalitarianism.

And the closer a society is to socialism, the closer it must be to totalitarianism. And it is the left that is trying to move us toward socialism.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on February 22, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

So, how much of living expenses were covered by this PAC for Santorum and his family members?

Waiting for the Senate, run by Citizen Frist, to get interested in ethics is like waiting for the Titanic to stay afloat. Vote the bums out!

Let's hope that a few Senators are interested in reform and in positions to do something about it. Specter made a stab at it and all of a sudden had all the corruption around him begin erupting. Let's hope that makes him mad, not scared, of being labelled a crook because those that benefit from the crookedness want to brand him a criminal so they don't have to deal with their own duplicity towards our Constitution.

Posted by: parrot on February 22, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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