Monday, August 31, 2009

A ‘Little Judge’ Who Rejects Foreclosures, Brooklyn Style

Published: August 30, 2009

The judge waves you into his chambers in the State Supreme Court building in Brooklyn, past the caveat taped to his wall — “Be sure brain in gear before engaging mouth” — and into his inner office, where foreclosure motions are piled high enough to form a minor Alpine chain.

This piece was sent to me from a friend. I missed it in the Sunday Times. What more could be said. I have seen several foreclosure documents and they sprinkled with these errors. One of the problems is that the attorneys of the defendants don't catch these errors and file for dismissal. Banks pay lawyers, accountants and administrator plenty of money, you would think that they could do their job correctly and submit documents to the court not much better than first year law students. But of course, they spent so much time trying to pass off these mortgages to other people so that they would not have them on their books, or so that they could make even more money by selling these CDOs and other exotic instruments that no one would be able to unravel, even themselves.

Justice Schack has every right to question these foreclosures. If the banks cannot prove clear title, they have no right to foreclose on a homeowner. If they do, then every shareholder of every company has a right to foreclose on the company they hold stock in, or at one time owned stock in.

Commercial Real Estate Lurks As Next Potential Mortgage Crisis

nancytheliberal is absolutely right. Roosevelt came in after 12 years of Republicans screwing up the economy and save capitalism from itself. The Democrats instituted the economic reforms that have kept us the most stable country in the world until the mid 1980s when Reagan started to relax the laws that Roosevelt put in place. It has been a steady decline since as more laws and regulation were changed to make things the same as before the depression: Consolidation of insurance, banking, and investments, relaxed regulation for investing with leveraged and margin stock purchases, not enforcing the regulations that were left in place.

Republicans can only show that government does not work by not enforcing the laws and regulations in place, and by underfunding the agencies that are responsible for that enforcement. WE must press our representatives to restore those laws and regulations that were overturned. We do not need new financial instuments to make the economy work. Mortgages and their financing were one of the major reasons for the great depression.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wall Street Leverage Rising At Fastest Pace Since '07

Sometimes when I read these kinds of stories, not only do I add them to my blog, but I copy them to my congressman and senators and say WTF!

Why have we not brought back Glass-Steagall? Where is the banking reform that should have happened after the crash. When will congress be able to do more than one thing at once. Can't you hold a healthcare meeting today and a finance meeting tomorrow, Sen Baucus? Or is that asking too much? Come on Barney, get something done! O man, make a stand. Use the bully pulpit. Where the hell is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Frank: Bill Mandating "Complete Audit" Of The Fed Will Pass House In Fall

A couple of things would have made this a better article. Rather than linking back to another article when referencing co-sponsors, it would have been nice to se a list of either those sponsors or the ones who were not on board. Secondly, Bernie is an Independent. That has been his affiliation for some time. He no longer considers himself a socialist as a party member.

Let's get this bill passed. If your rep is not a co-sponsor, call his office and get a commitment to support HR1207l, the call your senators to sponsor S604
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chairman: US Is Bungling Muslim Outreach

The worst part in all of this is that the policy makers, i.e. the politicians, are the ones that decide what and how we communicate to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, it is our military that must take the brunt of our ill conceived policy as The symbol of the United States abroad. If, like in Iraq and Afghanistan, our intention is to rebuild those countries, the the majority of the effort should be through the State Department and it sub-agencies, with minimal support from the military. Militaries are for fighting wars, not nation building. Hopefully Obama will listen to his CJCS.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Friday, August 28, 2009

Abuse Issue Puts Justice Dept., CIA, At Odds

Why should Obama be distracted by the Justice Dept. investigation? All he needs to do is tell Panetta to co-operate. The CIA should be encouraging its members to own up, give up the people above that gave the orders and we can get this behind us. I am sure that the small guys would love to get out of being scapegoats if they got some immunity. Have some integrity, your oath of loyalty was to your country, not someone that gave you an illegal order.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Banks 'Too Big to Fail' Have Grown Even Bigger

Banking regulation, all regulations are in place for a reason. Pumping billions into the large banks sos that could buy out the failing banks was plain stupid. These failing banks should have been operated by the FDIC until their assets could be purchase by other local banks. Instead, the government violated its own regulations in allowing the Big 3 (4) Banks to assume more market share than the regulations allowed.

Now these banks hold 10% of all deposits, 1/2 of all mortgages, and 1/3 of all credit cards issued. The WaPo article fails to cite investment figures. Now that these banks are also investment banks, this should have been reported on as well.

Too big to fail, I say break them up, and do it ASAP. First remove investment and insurance from all banking, return to Glass-Steagall. Then go back to the 10% market share regulation. As WaPo reported when the bank mergers would exceed 10%, "But the central bank thought local competition in each of those places was sufficient to allow the merger to go through, documents show". Competition was supposed to keep the baking and investment industry from killing itself, and maintaining market share. We can see how wrong that was when the regulations are not enforced by the government.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

French Bankers Agree To Limits On Bonuses

Why stop with the banks. It should be part of the incorporation laws and how business must deal with bonuses. If we cannot do it through regulation, then stockholders in every corporation in this country should fight to make it part of the by-laws of the company.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

From Bank of America, Two Different Stories About Tracking Bailout Funds

Sulyguvna and NoFooling are exactly right. If it was you or me, the government would have us up on perjury in a heartbeat. Corporate execs can get away with anything.

As for being able to track that money we gave them, any basic account would know how to do it. No money comes into a bank, especially when they were told in the beginning that they would have to provide accountability, where that money went. Double entry accounting, Bookkeeping 101.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

1,000 CCTV cameras to solve just one crime, Met Police admits
Fewer than one crime is solved by every 1,000 closed circuit television cameras, the Metropolitan Police, Britain's biggest police force, has admitted. By Christopher Hope

Apparently, closed circuit TV is not what its cracked up to be. The UK has 20% of the total CCTV cameras in the world monitoring their populace. Yet they have solved fewer than 0.1% for every 1000 cameras for every crime committed. They have not even helped. The British government has spend over $819 million over 10 years through 2006 to install and operate the system. The best that can be said for the system is that "the cameras had done virtually nothing to cut crime, but were most effective in preventing vehicle crimes in car parks" according to a Home Office report.

Further, former shadow Home Secretary David Davis said, "CCTV leads to massive expense and minimum effectiveness. It creates a huge intrusion on privacy, yet provides little or no improvement in security". Eamonn Butler, of the Adam Smith think tank in the UK notes that they do not stop terrorists from committing their acts of terror, rather that are happy to have what have done advertised. This only increases their effectiveness.

What that means is that the cameras are good for helping police get traffic convictions and solve crime that may have been perpetrated in a parking lot. Here in the US, those cameras are on private property and in the hands of private companies, not the government. That is the way it should stay and those cameras should only be trained on private property

High Speed Rail

New high-speed rail plan unveiled

The proposed new rail link will be the UK's second high-speed line
Network Rail has proposed a new £34bn ($55bn) high-speed railway line linking Scotland and London by 2030.
The line will serve Birmingham and Manchester, getting passengers from Glasgow to London in just two hours and 16 minutes, the rail firm said.
It rejected several alternative routes, including the east of England.
The proposed new High Speed 2 line will still need to be approved by the government, which is conducting its own rail network review.

The British government, and the opposition Conservatives, both believe in the future of high speed rail. Trains will travel up to 200 mph cutting the travel time from London to Edinburgh in half by train and only 54 minutes longer than by air. This is significant, as you have to check-in one hour before departure. You do not have to do that with rail transportation.

Currently, travel time New York to Chicago is 28h 50m, while air travel is 2h 15m. Not even competitive. A high speed service that would connect New York to Chicago via Detroit would greatly cut down on that travel time. There is no New York to Detroit service available at this time.

High speed rail, once it was implemented could generate enough money to subsidize the other passenger services that Amtrak provides. Upgrading Amtrak's bridges to be able to accommodate car carriers throughout its network would encourage more vacation travel as well. The Auto train from Washington to Orlando is a great service that take many cars off the road traveling to Florida. This should be adapted to the rest of the network.

Gordon Brown Breaks Silence On Lockerbie Bomber: "Repulsed" By Libya Welcome

This is why we need to make green energy available on large scales as soon as possible. Put energy generation back in the hands of the people.
About England
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Michael Steele: VA Encouraging Vets To Commit Suicide (VIDEO)

It seems that everyone that joins the Republican party must drink the kool-aide or take the red pill. They are so caught up with "1984" that they probably don't even know that they are lying anymore.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Cheney Accuses Obama Of Politicizing Justice Department

There is no mistaking that Cheney has driven into the ditch.

You have hit the nail on the head. Luckily, we have escaped from that nightmare. Now we need to purge it from our psyche.

Go Holder Go.
About Dick Cheney
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Monday, August 24, 2009

Obama Has Fewer Than Half of His Top Appointees In Place

This is a problem with our form of government. In a parliamentary system, you have a "shadow" government that has everyone in place waiting for the next election and closely following their ministerial counterparts. However, the day to day functioning of the government is done by career bureaucrats, that follow what the politicians decide for the direction of the government. There is no waiting for appointees. May not be better system, but the government gets to it programs quicker.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Afghan Elections Seen As A Setback For Women

Unfortunately, women are always considered second class citizens. One of the easiest groups to subjugate. Maybe, one day we (men) will not hold down 50% of the population.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Torture Prosecutions Coming Soon? Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases

Enough information has been released to the public to warrant a prosecutorial investigation. Congress has made inquiries and been given little true information. Should the AG set up a special prosecutor, that individual should run all of the information to ground. In other words, not just the people that committed the acts, but those that authorized the acts, those that created the environment for those acts to be committed, and those that failed to prosecute when this information was known. That would cover the crime itself, conspiracy to commit the crime, and accessory after the fact to the crime. This way, the people at the top get their day in court and that guys at the bottom are not just the scapegoats.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

EPA Fails To Inform Public About Weed-Killer In Drinking Water (VIDEO)

I used to work in environmental testing. If a client was over their levels we were told to sample again. Since sampling is a spot check, you do not know if the levels were higher. The average is what the EPA looks at over time, however, if you have a high spike at anytime with drinking water of air quality, people are exposed to that amount. It is dangerous to have atrazine above 3 ppb. So a spike over that amount, should cause daily sampling. Consumers should be warned so that they can make adjustments during the spike periods, the same as they do when there are smog alerts so people know to stay indoors to avoid over exposure.

I thought that with a change of administrations, also came a change in attitudes. It is the government's job to protect the people from whom there power and authority is derived. Maybe every bureaucrat and politician should have to have Constitutional and Declaration of Independence awareness training on an annual basis.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Millions Face Shrinking Social Security Payments

The problem with social security could be fixed if everyone had to pay social security tax for all the money they earned. Not just the $105K. The rich get off because once they stop paying that tax, it no longer affects them. Corp CEOs stop paying social security tax about 5 minutes after midnight January 1st.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost