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Luminous Animal

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Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 27,310

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The bank settlement negotiations and deal are not figments of progressives' imaginations.

A revised negotiated deal was presented as of a few days ago.

California attorney general rejects foreclosure settlement
Published: Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012
Lawyers in the (California) AG's office have reviewed the settlement offer during the past several days and found that the proposal prevents the state from pursuing substantial legal actions against lenders.

"Our state has been clear about what any multistate settlement must contain: transparency, relief going to the most distressed homeowners, and meaningful enforcement that ensures accountability," said Preston.

The state's rejection came a day after President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech called for the creation of a special investigative unit to delve into abusive lending practices that helped trigger the foreclosure crisis.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/26/4216052/california-attorney-general-rejects.html#storylink=cpy

Calif. AG Rejects Mortgage Settlement
Posted 1/26/2012 10:55 AM by Kirk Haverkamp
A settlement that could produce up to $25 billion in mortgage relief for homeowners is in doubt after it was rejected by the California attorney general, who said the proposed deal doesn't go far enough.

"We've reviewed the details of the latest settlement proposal from the banks, and we believe it is inadequate for California," said Shum Preston, a spokesman for Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Harris' office had withdrawn from negotiations over the settlement last fall, saying the proposed deal at that time did not go far enough in holding mortgage servicers accountable for past misdeeds or in providing mortgage relief to homeowners. Preston said yesterday that the newest version of the deal still did not measure up in those areas.

Read more: http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2012-01/calif-ag-rejects-mortgage-settlement.aspx?storyid=116859#ixzz1kb7r30Ic

Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu Jan 26, 2012, 04:27 PM (24 replies)

Reporters Without Borders: U.S. 47th in world press freedom index. Fell 27 pts.

The fall in ranking was due largely because of the arrests of journalists during OWS protests.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Wed Jan 25, 2012, 05:33 PM (2 replies)

Michael Hastings interviews Assange in Rolling Stone (it is a great interview)


And they're going after Manning, who is facing a life sentence, to get him to say that you're a spy?
To be another chess piece on the board in the attack on us. The U.S. government is trying to redefine what have been long-accepted journalistic methods. If the Pentagon is to have its way, it will be the end of national-security journalism in the United States.

How so?
They're trying to interpret the Espionage Act to say that any two-way communication with a source is a collaboration with a source, and is therefore a conspiracy to commit espionage where classified information is involved. The Pentagon, in fact, issued a public demand to us that we not only destroy everything we had ever published or were ever going to publish in relation to the U.S. government, but that we also stop "soliciting" information from U.S. government employees. The Espionage Act itself does not mention solicitation, but they're trying to create a new legal precedent that includes a journalist simply asking a source to communicate information. A few years ago, for example, the CIA destroyed its waterboarding interrogation videos. In the Manning hearing, prosecutors described how we had a most-wanted list, which included those interrogation videos if they still existed.

The WikiLeaks site had a "most-wanted" list of stories you were eager to get?
This list was not put together by us. We asked for nominations from human rights activists and journalists from around the world of the information they most wanted, and we put that on a list. The prosecution in the Manning hearing has been attempting to use that list as evidence of our solicitation of information that is likely to be classified, and therefore our complicity in espionage, if we received such information.

From a journalist's perspective, a list like that would be the equivalent of a normal editorial meeting where you list the crown jewels of stories you'd love to get.

So if you're going to jail, then Bob Woodward's going to jail.
Individuals like Sy Hersh and Dana Priest and Bob Woodward constantly say to their sources, "Hey, what about this, have you heard anything about it? I heard that there's been an airstrike in Afghanistan that's killed a bunch of civilians – do you have any more details, and can you prove them with paper?" And all those would be defined as conspiracy to commit espionage under the Pentagon's interpretation.

And so much more.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Wed Jan 18, 2012, 11:52 PM (4 replies)

Turley in WAPO: 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.


Also, link to article on Turley's website (in case you hit a paywall at WAPO)


Posted by Luminous Animal | Sun Jan 15, 2012, 02:15 PM (8 replies)

America Worse Than Apartheid on Black Incarceration

Michelle Alexander, who wrote the book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” was interviewed on Democracy Now on Friday, January 13, 2012. According to the interview, there are more African Americans under correctional control today than there were enslaved in 1850. More African American men are disenfranchised today than in 1870 as a result of felony disenfranchisement laws. And, as a percentage of the total population, there are currently more blacks imprisoned in the U.S. than in South Africa at the height of apartheid.

Alexander points out that the high incarceration rate for African Americans is due largely to the war on drugs and the “get tough” movement (e.g., Three Strikes laws, Zero Tolerance laws, minimum sentencing rules), which have disproportionately affected poor people of color, and which were designed as a backlash against the Civil Rights movement, as they reduce black participation in the political system in much the same way that poll taxes and literacy tests did in the past.

The majority of U.S. prisoners are serving time for nonviolent and drug-related crimes which are committed by middle class and white Americans at a similar rate to poor African Americans, but which are largely ignored in middle class white neighborhoods. Thus, the problem is not entirely due to racism, but is also due to continued class distinctions and wealth inequality.


Also, here is the Democracy Now interview with Michelle Alexander.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jan 14, 2012, 01:37 PM (8 replies)

How you can help H20 Man with his hunger strike against fracking...

Call Senator Tom Libous: "He has offices in Binghamton and Albany. The Binghamton phone numbesr are: 607-773-8771, and 877-854-2687. The Albany number is: 518-455-2677. District Fax: (607) 773-3688. His e-mail is: [email protected]" .

"People can also call Governor Andrew Cuomo on this. You do not have to be a New York State resident. His phone number is: 518-474-8390."

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr's office at Pace University: "It would be good if people called his office at Pace University, and tell his secretary, Mary Beth Postman, to have Robert call Cuomo on this issue. That number is: 914- 422-4343."

William Rivers Pitt's article here:

Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Jan 13, 2012, 01:48 PM (24 replies)

So, which candidate do you think that Obama could handily defeat...Romney, Gingrich, or Paul...

I mean handily with a mandate and that the ticket could enhance lower ticket voters.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Jan 13, 2012, 03:14 AM (48 replies)

Bradley Manning's leaks probably put fewer Americans in danger

than the leaks by the 4 Marines in Afghanistan.

Greg Mitchell via twitter.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu Jan 12, 2012, 05:14 PM (0 replies)

Leon Panetta says Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon;

PBS edits his remark to make it appear he said the opposite:

via charlesdavis84 Charles Davis on twitter
Posted by Luminous Animal | Tue Jan 10, 2012, 02:22 PM (1 replies)

Notes From a Guantánamo Survivor


Hundreds more still detained and will always be detained after this kind of tragic suffering...

"I later learned the United States paid a $3,000 bounty for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently the United States distributed thousands of fliers all over Afghanistan, promising that people who turned over Taliban or Qaeda suspects would, in the words of one flier, get “enough money to take care of your family, your village, your tribe for the rest of your life.” A great number of men wound up in Guantánamo as a result.

I was taken to Kandahar, in Afghanistan, where American interrogators asked me the same questions for several weeks: Where is Osama bin Laden? Was I with Al Qaeda? No, I told them, I was not with Al Qaeda. No, I had no idea where bin Laden was. I begged the interrogators to please call Germany and find out who I was. During their interrogations, they dunked my head under water and punched me in the stomach; they don’t call this waterboarding but it amounts to the same thing. I was sure I would drown.

At one point, I was chained to the ceiling of a building and hung by my hands for days. A doctor sometimes checked if I was O.K.; then I would be strung up again. The pain was unbearable.

After about two months in Kandahar, I was transferred to Guantánamo. There were more beatings, endless solitary confinement, freezing temperatures and extreme heat, days of forced sleeplessness. The interrogations continued always with the same questions. I told my story over and over — my name, my family, why I was in Pakistan. Nothing I said satisfied them. I realized my interrogators were not interested in the truth. "
Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat Jan 7, 2012, 07:35 PM (7 replies)
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