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Journal Archives

Jeff Sessions' Justice Department Backed a Mortgage Corporation Over a Veteran

On Thursday, in a post regarding the legal assault on the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, we noted that the aggrieved party that has been weaponized to kill the agency on behalf of the White House, Congressional Republicans, and every swindler working in the American economy was a corrupt mortgage-lending company called PHH, which the CFPB dunned for $109 million over a kickback scheme between the corporation and various mortgage-servicing companies. While its lawyers have been gussying up its scams in constitutional raiment, the company is out there doing business the way it always has. From OregonLive:

The Marine Corps called him back to Iraq and Afghanistan for three more tours. He was in Fallujah in Iraq's "bloody triangle" during the surge. In all, he spent about four years in the Middle East. In between deployments, McGreevey would return to Vancouver, where he managed to buy a house on Northeast 24th Court. But the years overseas took a toll. He says he made a fateful mistake: trusting someone else to make the mortgage payment. He returned from his third tour in June 2010, just in time to watch PHH Mortgage repossess his house. Knowing next to nothing about the consumer protections afforded him as a member of the military, McGreevey didn't contest it. The foreclosure became final on Sept. 10. McGreevey's final deployment ended in 2012. He had advanced from private to staff sergeant. Though diagnosed 80 percent disabled with post-traumatic stress syndrome, hearing loss and a back injury, he set about reinventing himself for civilian life. He earned a business degree from Portland State University and got a job at a bank.

So, yes, PHH foreclosed on a veteran while he was on his third tour in the Middle East. Happy Memorial Day Weekend. Luckily, there is something called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act that is supposed to protect members of the military serving overseas from having done to them exactly what PHH did to Jacob McGreevey. He got legal help and took PHH to court. Then, something happened.



Nearly a quarter of UK Power generated by Solar today- a new record!

A record amount of solar power was generated on Friday as Britain basked in sunshine and temperatures of up to 28C, the National Grid has said.

It said 8.7 gigawatts (GW) had been generated at lunchtime, representing 24.3% of total generation across the UK.

The level tops the previous record of 8.48GW set on 10 May.

Duncan Burt, head of control room operations at National Grid, called it the "beginning of a new era".

"We now have significant volumes of renewable energy on the system," he said. "We also have the tools available to ensure we can balance supply and demand."


Ex-coroner: Elected officials being free to use N-word a 'great thing' about South Carolina

As Dorchester County's coroner, Chris Nisbet would use the N-word as a term for black people he considered thugs, he said in newly released court records.

But Nisbet, whose investigations of police shootings drew criticism from black activists, said he saw nothing wrong with white officeholders like him saying the word that many consider racist.

"I mean, that's a personal preference," he said. "You can't tell an elected official what to do. That's the great thing about South Carolina, right?"

Nisbet's 20-year tenure as the county's top death investigator ended after calling a black neighbor the N-word and pulling out a gun in August 2015. The confrontation happened within months of the racially charged shootings of a black man by a white North Charleston police officer and of nine black church worshippers by self-avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof.


Mentally ill languish in Texas jails despite funding hike

May. 24, 2017
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Though a judge deemed her mentally unfit to stand trial fourteen months ago, Jennifer Lampkin is still sitting in an Austin jail cell because there are no free spots for her at the state’s psychiatric hospitals.

Lampkin, 35, has both intellectual disabilities and a mental illness, and without treatment, the court couldn’t reassess her competency to stand trial on an assault charge for allegedly slapping a child, which might at least allow her case to progress.

“I don’t think she understands why she remains in jail,” said her attorney, Elsie Craven. “She’s stressed because she doesn’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t believe she’s getting the treatment she needs. How could she? She’s in jail.”

Lampkin is one of hundreds of mentally ill Texas inmates who have been stuck in jail for months waiting for a spot at one of the state’s overcrowded and understaffed mental hospitals. Though such problems aren’t unique to Texas, its inmates face among the nation’s longest waits to receive psychiatric treatment and the problem is only getting worse despite recent efforts to improve the situation.

The average wait for a maximum security inmate to get in-patient psychiatric treatment has nearly doubled in the past two years, to 127 days, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.



Social Darwinism And The Republican Party


Despite their widespread diffidence towards Charles Darwin‘s theory of evolution, Republicans are in many ways indebted to social Darwinist principles, whether they are aware of it or not.

In recent decades the GOP has developed an ideology that is based on the concept of the ‘survival of the fittest’ applied to human society. The result of such ideas has been the promotion of oligarchism, understood as the celebration of the ‘great men’ able to win the struggle for success.

In a recent interview Housing Secretary and Trump supporter Ben Carson argued that ‘poverty is a state of mind’:

I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there. And you take somebody with the wrong mindset, you can give them everything in the world, they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom.

The underlying idea of Carson’s statement is that society is a battlefield in which the strong win and the weak lose. According to this model, rationally debatable social and economic policies on the part of the state do not have a positive impact on collective welfare.

much more


Trump Official Incompetently Defends Administrations Competence

Earlier this week, the Trump administration released a federal budget that contradicted itself. This wasn’t terribly surprising. After all, the president spent his entire campaign vowing to realize a long list of mutually exclusive policy goals: large increases in funding for the military and border defense; the maintenance of Medicare and Social Security at their current benefit levels; a $1 trillion infrastructure package; enormous tax cuts for both the wealthy and middle class; and a balanced budget within ten years.

The most gifted fiscal-policy thinkers in the world would struggle to produce a document that complied with such commitments. And the Trump White House does not boast a world-class team of economic advisers — or, really, any “team” of economic advisers, at all.

And so, on Tuesday, Mick Mulvaney unveiled a budget that:

1) Included cuts to federal agencies and anti-poverty programs so draconian, multiple Republicans declared them dead on arrival.

2) Pretended that Trump’s infrastructure pledge did not exist, Social Security disability benefits aren’t really Social Security, and the estate tax will still provide the government revenue even after it’s abolished.


The Governor of Texas Just Joked About Shooting Journalists

Texas Governor Greg Abbott appears to have just made a crude, poorly timed joke about shooting members of the free press.

On Friday, Gov. Abbott signed Senate Bill 16 which would significantly lower the cost of obtaining a handgun carry license from $140 to $40, and lower renewals from $70 to $40 after the initial 5-year license expires, making handgun license fees in Texas some of the lowest in the country.

“The right to bear arms is something that is synonymous with the state of Texas. We are proud to expand the right to bear arms by lowering the cost of what you have to pay in order to get a license to carry,” Gov. Abbott said, according to the Texas Tribune. “Texans’ ability to bear arms is going to be even bolder today than it’s ever been before.”


Following the time on the range, Gov. Abbott held up his target sheet and joked, “I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters.”


Why this photo of political spouses and partners is making waves

By AJ Willingham,

(CNN)What's the first thing you noticed about this picture of political spouses and partners, other than Melania Trump's continued mastery of the color black?

It's probably the man in the back row, standing out against the nine women pictured. That's Gauthier Destenay, the First Gentleman of Luxembourg and the husband of the world's only acting openly gay prime minister.

Destenay and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel wed in 2015, right after Luxembourg legalized gay marriage. When Bettel won the Prime Ministership in 2013, he was already in a civil partnership with Destenay and their sexualities were not a secret.

To be clear, Bettel isn't the only gay prime minister ever, just the only one in office right now. Former Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurõardóttir were both public about their sexualities.



Wild horses could be sold for slaughter in Pres. Trumps budget plan

PALOMINO VALLEY, NV (AP) — President Donald Trump’s budget proposal calls for saving $10 million next year by selling wild horses captured throughout the U.S. West without the requirement that buyers guarantee the animals won’t be resold for slaughter.

Wild-horse advocates say the change would gut nearly a half-century of protection for an icon of the American West and could send thousands of free-roaming mustangs to foreign slaughterhouses for processing as food.

They say the Trump administration is kowtowing to livestock interests who don’t want the region’s estimated 59,000 mustangs competing for precious forage across more than 40,000 square miles (103,600 square kilometers) of rangeland in 10 states managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The budget proposal marks the latest skirmish in the decades-old controversy pitting ranchers and rural communities against groups that want to protect the horses from Colorado to California.



Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest



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