maxomai: dog (dog)
John Kerry issued a statement today:

The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kyiv’s Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity. This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy.


Indeed. A democratic, human-rights-respecting nation should never see this:

84yrolddorli-rainey-retired-teacher-pepper-sprayed-by-cop-seattle1111811-national-occupy-wall-street-police-beatting-brutality
133129074133136487
liz-nichols-occupy-portland-pepper-spraymore-wounds-from-rubber-bullets-at-Occupy-Denver-225x300
occupy-wall-street-13occupy-wall-street-arrest-007
OccupyWallSt protester-choked-by-police-officer-at-Occupy-Denver-300x200
riot-police-using-rubber-bullets-and-mace-at-Occupy-Denver-300x168riot-police-using-rubber-bullets-and-mace-at-Occupy-Denver

EDIT Whoops.......I'm sorry. I meant to include images of the Ukranian state's police brutality, and instead included images of American police crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street protesters. I apologize to John Kerry and to our Corporate Overlords for the oversight.
maxomai: dog (Default)
maxomai: dog (Default)

How’s unemployment doing?


According to the government’s broadest measure of unemployment, some 17.5 percent are either without a job entirely or underemployed. The so-called U-6 number is at the highest rate since becoming an official labor statistic in 1994.


The number dwarfs the statistic most people pay attention to—the U-3 rate—which most recently showed unemployment at 10.2 percent for October, the highest it has been since June 1983. (CNBC)


Ouch. To make things worse, there are now five unemployed persons for every opening. Meaning, if you were to wave a magic wand right now and fill every opening with an unemployed person, unemployment would still be at over 8%.


And corporate profits?


The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.


American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or noninflation-adjusted terms. (NYT)


Naturally, the solution to this conundrum is to refuse to extend unemployment benefits (which just motivates laziness) and cut corporate taxes in order to promote jobs. Or, something to that effect. And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.


UPDATE It’s been pointed out, btw, that this isn’t a coincidence: corporations are making more money by cutting labor costs.








maxomai: dog (Default)

How’s unemployment doing?


According to the government’s broadest measure of unemployment, some 17.5 percent are either without a job entirely or underemployed. The so-called U-6 number is at the highest rate since becoming an official labor statistic in 1994.


The number dwarfs the statistic most people pay attention to—the U-3 rate—which most recently showed unemployment at 10.2 percent for October, the highest it has been since June 1983. (CNBC)


Ouch. To make things worse, there are now five unemployed persons for every opening. Meaning, if you were to wave a magic wand right now and fill every opening with an unemployed person, unemployment would still be at over 8%.


And corporate profits?


The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.


American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or noninflation-adjusted terms. (NYT)


Naturally, the solution to this conundrum is to refuse to extend unemployment benefits (which just motivates laziness) and cut corporate taxes in order to promote jobs. Or, something to that effect. And pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.


UPDATE It’s been pointed out, btw, that this isn’t a coincidence: corporations are making more money by cutting labor costs.








maxomai: dog (Default)

When Michael Moore came out with Sicko, health insurance executives were scared to death that he would inspire a national grassroots movement for Canadian-style government-run health care — and so they moved, quickly, to discredit him. In the below videos, Michael Moore has a one-on-one chat with the man who was directly in charge of the work of discrediting him. What was originally going to be an exchange of views turned into a heartfelt discussion of the moral dimensions of smearing and being smeared. Definitely worth watching.


Part One:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Part Two:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


And with that, I’m calling it a night.








maxomai: dog (Default)

When Michael Moore came out with Sicko, health insurance executives were scared to death that he would inspire a national grassroots movement for Canadian-style government-run health care — and so they moved, quickly, to discredit him. In the below videos, Michael Moore has a one-on-one chat with the man who was directly in charge of the work of discrediting him. What was originally going to be an exchange of views turned into a heartfelt discussion of the moral dimensions of smearing and being smeared. Definitely worth watching.


Part One:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Part Two:



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


And with that, I’m calling it a night.








maxomai: dog (Default)

Rep. Schakowsky went on PBS to sell her deficit reduction plan today. Quoting:


Well, you know, we have right now the greatest disparity in income from the rich to the poor and middle class than we have had since 1925, right before the Great Depression.


And this kind of income inequality is not good for our economy. And it’s certainly not good for people who have seen their incomes stagnant or falling over the last couple decades. In fact, all of the growth in wealth went during the Bush years to the top — wealthiest people in our economy.


It is not a good situation for us to be, as Nicholas Kristof has called, like a banana republic.



You can see the full transcript here. Again, it needs to be said: if we’re going to focus on the deficit now, of all times, there are ways to do it without screwing the poor .. if the President and the Democrats in Congress are willing to hold the line. Rep. Schakowsky shows us a great way to do this.








maxomai: dog (Default)

Rep. Schakowsky went on PBS to sell her deficit reduction plan today. Quoting:


Well, you know, we have right now the greatest disparity in income from the rich to the poor and middle class than we have had since 1925, right before the Great Depression.


And this kind of income inequality is not good for our economy. And it’s certainly not good for people who have seen their incomes stagnant or falling over the last couple decades. In fact, all of the growth in wealth went during the Bush years to the top — wealthiest people in our economy.


It is not a good situation for us to be, as Nicholas Kristof has called, like a banana republic.



You can see the full transcript here. Again, it needs to be said: if we’re going to focus on the deficit now, of all times, there are ways to do it without screwing the poor .. if the President and the Democrats in Congress are willing to hold the line. Rep. Schakowsky shows us a great way to do this.








maxomai: dog (Default)

Remember Andrew Brietbart of Breitbart Media, the dude who made crap up about Shirley Sherrod, who then proceeded to sue him?


Well, he’s going to be part of ABC News’s election night coverage, as an “analyst.” You wouldn’t think that ABC News would hire someone with shaky journalistic credentials, but that’s exactly what they’ve done.


Hey, whatever sells cigarettes and cookies, right?








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Remember Andrew Brietbart of Breitbart Media, the dude who made crap up about Shirley Sherrod, who then proceeded to sue him?


Well, he’s going to be part of ABC News’s election night coverage, as an “analyst.” You wouldn’t think that ABC News would hire someone with shaky journalistic credentials, but that’s exactly what they’ve done.


Hey, whatever sells cigarettes and cookies, right?








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Lisa Epstein, William Black and Dylan Ratigan discuss the mortgage foreclosure mess: how the banks perpetrated fraud, how they then bilked the taxpayers, and how the politicians and the Federal Reserve are covering things up. Feel free to watch the whole thing, but the good stuff comes after the 5:00 mark:



One of the few politicians who has been leading the charge on this is Alan Grayson. Unfortunately, his Republican opponent, “Taliban Dan” Webster, has a single-digit lead in the polling average, but Grayson can still pull this out with your help.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Lisa Epstein, William Black and Dylan Ratigan discuss the mortgage foreclosure mess: how the banks perpetrated fraud, how they then bilked the taxpayers, and how the politicians and the Federal Reserve are covering things up. Feel free to watch the whole thing, but the good stuff comes after the 5:00 mark:



One of the few politicians who has been leading the charge on this is Alan Grayson. Unfortunately, his Republican opponent, “Taliban Dan” Webster, has a single-digit lead in the polling average, but Grayson can still pull this out with your help.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Wells Fargo tries to foreclose a house they don’t own .. and get denied. And in the process, a hard-working, well-deserving homeless family finds a permanent place to stay.


All thanks to a kindly lawyer on one hand, and the greed and incompetence of the financial sector on the other.


I love happy endings. I’m typically American that way.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Wells Fargo tries to foreclose a house they don’t own .. and get denied. And in the process, a hard-working, well-deserving homeless family finds a permanent place to stay.


All thanks to a kindly lawyer on one hand, and the greed and incompetence of the financial sector on the other.


I love happy endings. I’m typically American that way.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

I was fetching a glass of water and about to go back to bed when this caught my eye:


Attorneys General in 40 States Said to Join on Foreclosures.


Attorneys general in about 40 states may announce by next week a joint investigation into potentially faulty foreclosures at the largest banks and mortgage firms, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.


State attorneys general led by Iowa’s Tom Miller are in talks that may lead to the announcement of a coordinated probe as soon as Oct. 12, said the person, who asked not to be named because an agreement wasn’t completed. The number of states may change because several are deciding whether to join, the person said. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said yesterday in a statement that his state will join a multi-state effort.


What they’re investigating is the big banks using apparently fraudulent means — including forged signatures and made-up dates — to attempt to foreclose on homes that they can’t prove they own. Normally, these banks would have clear title and therefore the clear right to foreclose, but after doing a criminally sloppy job of chopping the mortgages up into pieces and reselling them as mortgage-backed securities, nobody has clear title. (You know that recession from which we’re trying to recover? The banks’ sloppiness is one of the major root causes, if not THE major root cause, of the credit crisis that led to that recession — nobody trusted anyone because nobody knew what anyone else was really worth, and so lending ground to a halt.)


What’s scary about this is that all of this is coming to light (in the mainstream media, anyway — Rep Alan Grayson (D-FL) was on it long ago (2)) after this nation dodged a bullet in the form of HR 3808. This bill, which sailed through Congress on unanimous consent motions, would have required the courts in any state to recognize a notarization in any other state. While this sounds like a common sense measure, this would have sent anyone with any need to prove anything in court running to the state with the weakest notary laws. That way, they could have put a meaningless signature and stamp on a fraudulent document — and every court in the United States would have been forced to recognize that document. Among other nightmares, this means that the above-mentioned frauds being perpetrated by the big banks would have been nearly unstoppable.


Fortunately, we have a reprieve, even if only temporarily, from that nightmare. On Thursday, President Obama vetoed HR 3808, very much to his credit. Interestingly, Bank of America halted foreclosure proceedings in all 50 states on Friday, and the Wall Street Journal published an editorial bemoaning the “politics” of the veto on Saturday. My read? They were counting on this bill sneaking past everybody.


This is where you come in. You can help yourself and everyone else by doing the following:



  • Write the attorney general for your state and ask them what they’re doing to investigate fraudulent foreclosure practices by the banking industry. If you don’t know who your AG is, check Congress.org or Wikipedia. This kind of thing might seam like weak sauce, but it keeps the AGs focused on the issue, which is exactly what we consumers want right now.

  • Ask your Senators and Representative why they didn’t step in to stop HR 3808. It doesn’t matter who your Senators and Representative are — not a single one of them stepped in to stop this bill.

  • Ask the people running to be your Senator or Representative whether they would have supported HR 3808. If they say “no” or “yes, but with minimum standards for notaries,” then they’re probably okay. If they would have given HR 3808 unconditional support, then they don’t deserve your vote; tell them so, and tell them why. If they don’t know what you’re talking about, educate them.








maxomai: dog (Default)

I was fetching a glass of water and about to go back to bed when this caught my eye:


Attorneys General in 40 States Said to Join on Foreclosures.


Attorneys general in about 40 states may announce by next week a joint investigation into potentially faulty foreclosures at the largest banks and mortgage firms, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.


State attorneys general led by Iowa’s Tom Miller are in talks that may lead to the announcement of a coordinated probe as soon as Oct. 12, said the person, who asked not to be named because an agreement wasn’t completed. The number of states may change because several are deciding whether to join, the person said. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King said yesterday in a statement that his state will join a multi-state effort.


What they’re investigating is the big banks using apparently fraudulent means — including forged signatures and made-up dates — to attempt to foreclose on homes that they can’t prove they own. Normally, these banks would have clear title and therefore the clear right to foreclose, but after doing a criminally sloppy job of chopping the mortgages up into pieces and reselling them as mortgage-backed securities, nobody has clear title. (You know that recession from which we’re trying to recover? The banks’ sloppiness is one of the major root causes, if not THE major root cause, of the credit crisis that led to that recession — nobody trusted anyone because nobody knew what anyone else was really worth, and so lending ground to a halt.)


What’s scary about this is that all of this is coming to light (in the mainstream media, anyway — Rep Alan Grayson (D-FL) was on it long ago (2)) after this nation dodged a bullet in the form of HR 3808. This bill, which sailed through Congress on unanimous consent motions, would have required the courts in any state to recognize a notarization in any other state. While this sounds like a common sense measure, this would have sent anyone with any need to prove anything in court running to the state with the weakest notary laws. That way, they could have put a meaningless signature and stamp on a fraudulent document — and every court in the United States would have been forced to recognize that document. Among other nightmares, this means that the above-mentioned frauds being perpetrated by the big banks would have been nearly unstoppable.


Fortunately, we have a reprieve, even if only temporarily, from that nightmare. On Thursday, President Obama vetoed HR 3808, very much to his credit. Interestingly, Bank of America halted foreclosure proceedings in all 50 states on Friday, and the Wall Street Journal published an editorial bemoaning the “politics” of the veto on Saturday. My read? They were counting on this bill sneaking past everybody.


This is where you come in. You can help yourself and everyone else by doing the following:



  • Write the attorney general for your state and ask them what they’re doing to investigate fraudulent foreclosure practices by the banking industry. If you don’t know who your AG is, check Congress.org or Wikipedia. This kind of thing might seam like weak sauce, but it keeps the AGs focused on the issue, which is exactly what we consumers want right now.

  • Ask your Senators and Representative why they didn’t step in to stop HR 3808. It doesn’t matter who your Senators and Representative are — not a single one of them stepped in to stop this bill.

  • Ask the people running to be your Senator or Representative whether they would have supported HR 3808. If they say “no” or “yes, but with minimum standards for notaries,” then they’re probably okay. If they would have given HR 3808 unconditional support, then they don’t deserve your vote; tell them so, and tell them why. If they don’t know what you’re talking about, educate them.








maxomai: dog (Default)

The Republican Party has always prided itself as being the party of the small business entrepreneur. Which is, naturally, why today they filibustered a Senate bill intended to help small businesses stay afloat.


Olympia Snowe was especially embarrassing this morning. Her argument was that the Senate needs to act quickly to help small businesses — which is why she’s supporting the filibuster to prevent a vote on helping small businesses.


GOP complaints that Harry Reid didn’t provide enough time for amendments are plain and simple BS — the real agenda here is to run out the clock before the August recess to imperil the cap-and-trade bill.


And if they can put another bullet in the economy’s guts, well, that might just suit their agenda as well.








maxomai: dog (Default)

The Republican Party has always prided itself as being the party of the small business entrepreneur. Which is, naturally, why today they filibustered a Senate bill intended to help small businesses stay afloat.


Olympia Snowe was especially embarrassing this morning. Her argument was that the Senate needs to act quickly to help small businesses — which is why she’s supporting the filibuster to prevent a vote on helping small businesses.


GOP complaints that Harry Reid didn’t provide enough time for amendments are plain and simple BS — the real agenda here is to run out the clock before the August recess to imperil the cap-and-trade bill.


And if they can put another bullet in the economy’s guts, well, that might just suit their agenda as well.








maxomai: dog (Default)

Unemployment extensions are very likely to pass today, with Snowe and Collins (both R-ME) joining the Democrats to vote for this bill and Ben Nelson (D-NE) voting against. This move will spare a few million people from a very dim future (thanks in no small part to a totally destroyed safety net) for a while longer. It also, by the way, might spare the rest of the economy from going down the toilet — and given the very immanent threat of cyclical deflation, none too soon.


The Republicans, for their parts, have shifted their rhetoric, probably after realizing that calling the unemployed lazy bums wasn’t going to sit well with the public. They are back to their old saw that their opposition is about bringing the deficit under control. As an answer to that, let me point out that there’s plenty of evidence that cutting UI will end up making the deficit worse by shrinking the economy and thus shrinking tax revenues. It’s also worth mentioning that the current Republican emphasis on the deficit, after two wars and tax cuts for the rich, is deeply hypocritical.


As for the Democrats? They started charging hard against the GOP .. pretty much as soon as victory was inevitable, thus minimizing the political gain from extending UI. It does make me wonder when these guys are going to get some Ballz again.








Originally published at maxomai.org

maxomai: dog (Default)

Unemployment extensions are very likely to pass today, with Snowe and Collins (both R-ME) joining the Democrats to vote for this bill and Ben Nelson (D-NE) voting against. This move will spare a few million people from a very dim future (thanks in no small part to a totally destroyed safety net) for a while longer. It also, by the way, might spare the rest of the economy from going down the toilet — and given the very immanent threat of cyclical deflation, none too soon.


The Republicans, for their parts, have shifted their rhetoric, probably after realizing that calling the unemployed lazy bums wasn’t going to sit well with the public. They are back to their old saw that their opposition is about bringing the deficit under control. As an answer to that, let me point out that there’s plenty of evidence that cutting UI will end up making the deficit worse by shrinking the economy and thus shrinking tax revenues. It’s also worth mentioning that the current Republican emphasis on the deficit, after two wars and tax cuts for the rich, is deeply hypocritical.


As for the Democrats? They started charging hard against the GOP .. pretty much as soon as victory was inevitable, thus minimizing the political gain from extending UI. It does make me wonder when these guys are going to get some Ballz again.








Originally published at maxomai.org

Profile

maxomai: dog (Default)
maxomai

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
171819202122 23
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 05:59 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios