The Pardonner-in-Chief is coasting into Christmas having pardoned 19 Americans--not including Sgt. Evan Vela, Border Agents Ramos and Campeon, or Jonathan Pollard--who, by the way, has entered his 24th year of a life sentence for one count of passing classified information to an ally--Israel, in this case. This is a crime, Pollard's website points out, for which the median sentence is 2 to 4 years.
Instead, President Bush saw fit to bestow mercy on a group including a convicted methamphetamine dealer, a cocaine distributor, two marijuana suppliers, a deceased man, an immigration law-breaker and--in mid subprime mortgage meltdown --Isaac Toussie, a genuine "predatory lender."
The New York Daily News reports:
President George W. Bush pardoned a Brooklyn real estate developer accused of scamming hundreds of poor, minority homebuyers - and whose father donated $28,500 to the Republican Party this year.
Hmmm. The story goes on to note that the White House did not explain why the president believed Toussie, who admitted falsifying finances of prospective homebuyers seeking HUD mortgages, deserved a pardon, but it's obvious: In Bushland, Toussie wasn't a crook--he was punished for trying to close the poor, minority home-ownership gap.
The NYDN reports:
A federal suit against [Toussie] also charges the Toussies, father and son, lured "inexperienced and low income inner city minority first-time buyers into purchasing homes that they could not afford." The homes were overpriced by up to 50% and often defective, and the cost of mortgage payments was hidden, the suit said.
"The Toussies also fraudulently advertised sponsorship by the NAACP, alleged praise from black celebrities such as Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg and former Mayor David Dinkins...none of whom made any such endorsements,'" the suit alleges. Toussie's lawyers denied the allegations and said "many plaintiffs were complicit" in the fraud.
This gets a pardon. I don't get Bush.