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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

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Bankster of America


Bank of America Schemes to Evade Settlement Rules and Pocket Cash
Posted on Jun 29, 2013


Documents leaked by a bank insider show the company sold servicing rights to more than half a million mortgages to loan servicing companies in order to make a quick profit and avoid settlement requirements, leaving homeowners in the lurch and with fewer protections to avoid foreclosure, writes Salon reporter David Dayen.

The documents show that in January 2013, Bank of America sold more than half a million mortgages worth $93 billion to the parent corporation of Green Tree Servicing, a non-bank loan servicer based in St. Paul, Minn. Such companies are “buying up servicing rights to millions of mortgages, gradually positioning themselves to become the biggest companies in the space,” Dayen reports.

“These non-bank servicers, which process monthly payments and deal with foreclosures but do not originate loans,” Dayen continues, “have an asset not available to their big bank colleagues: They haven’t yet been officially caught scamming customers. Therefore, they are not a party to the various servicer settlements brought by state and federal regulators, and they need not submit to those settlement guidelines.”

Green Tree and other servicing companies Nationstar and Ocwen have worse track records for customer service and respect for borrowers than Bank of America. In a lawsuit against Green Tree Servicing, Leonard Law Office in Massachusetts claimed the servicer imposed illegal processing fees, “failed to process mailed payments on time; harassed borrowers by calling them at all hours of the night and using abusive language to try to collect on debts; and delayed or denied timely modifications.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/bank_of_america_schemes_to_evade_settlement_rules_and_pocket_cash_20130629/



Traffic island 'beach' opens in downtown Detroit





from USA TODAY:


DETROIT -- A traffic island in the heart of downtown Detroit has been transformed into an urban beach thanks to a civic group whose shopping list included about 150 tons of golf-course bunker sand.

The beach, on Woodward Avenue at the southern end of the city's Campus Martius neighborhood, is modeled after a similar program in France called Paris Plages, according to Bob Gregory, senior vice president of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. It became operational earlier this month, although the official grand opening is Friday.

Gregory declined to say how much the beach project cost. It will close for the season at the end of September.

........(snip)........

"It's all about activating public spaces, including parks, streets and sidewalks, so people have a great experience in the public space," said Gregory. "The point of it is to revitalize downtown Detroit and the city of Detroit by getting people outside and enjoying their city and generating new business, restaurants and cafes. It's both social for the people and economic development. ... It was done as a fun experiment to see if people like it. If people like it, we'll bring it back." ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/27/traffic-island-beach-opens-in-downtown-detroit/2466147/



Is Philadelphia the Next Chicago? (school closings)


from Dissent magazine:



Is Philadelphia the Next Chicago?
By Andrew Elrod - June 28, 2013


Last week four members of UNITE HERE, one of the four unions representing staff in the School District of Philadelphia, began a hunger strike that would culminate nine days later with a thousand-person rally at the state capitol. Two parents, organizers with UNITE HERE, and two cafeteria workers represented by the union fasted in protest of what the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) has termed the “doomsday budget.” That budget is an attempt by the School District of Philadelphia to fill a $300 million deficit by laying off 3,700 staff and eviscerating the teachers’ union contract.

In addition to ending teachers’ seniority protections and step increases (scheduled raises for consecutive years worked), the district’s proposal includes a wage cut, an increase in employee benefit contributions, and the elimination of necessary overtime pay—prep time for teachers and emergency visits by nurses. The plan would institute unlimited class sizes and reserve the right for the district to contract out union jobs. Other clauses absolve the district of the responsibility for providing water fountains and educators’ desks.

And all those cuts? That’s just the teachers.

The district’s entire safety staff (employees whose roles fall somewhere between hall monitor and security guard) will be gone in the fall, more than halving UNITE HERE Local 634’s membership. The staff is vital in a district that reported over 2,600 violent incidents last school year (the union says closer to 10,000). Whereas the teachers’ contract was proposed in February, it is this more recent announcement about security that brought parents and staff out to Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett’s office for a week of protest. While the community may have been displeased with the mistreatment of teachers, it was outraged at the prospect of dangerous schools. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/is-philadelphia-the-next-chicago



Hot as Hell





LAS VEGAS — Forecasters called for more supercharged temperatures Sunday as a heat wave gripped the Southwest, leaving one man dead and another hospitalized in serious condition in heat-aggravated incidents in this sunbaked city.

Temperatures in Las Vegas shot up to 115 degrees on Saturday afternoon, two degrees short of a record, while Phoenix baked in 119 degrees. Large swaths of California sweltered under extreme heat warnings, which are expected to last into Tuesday night – and maybe even longer.

In Death Valley – known as the hottest place on Earth – temps reached 125, according to the National Weather Service. Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set nearly a century ago on July 10, 1913, stands as the planet's highest recorded temperature.

Las Vegas fire and rescue spokesman Tim Szymanski said paramedics responded to a home without air conditioning and found an elderly man dead. He said while the man had medical issues, paramedics thought the heat worsened his condition. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/30/heat-wave-west_n_3524642.html



Does ALEC Want You to Work Even if You’re Sick?


Does ALEC Want You to Work Even if You’re Sick?

June 28, 2013
by Laura Macomber, Okapi Productions


On Friday, June 14, Governor Rick Scott struck a double blow when he signed into law a bill suppressing “living wage” and paid sick-leave policies for Florida workers. While Gov. Scott’s negative opinion of government-sponsored health care and state taxes remain no secret in Florida, what’s less known is that a national group called ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is behind the effort to place this latest anti-worker bill into the governor’s hands.

ALEC is an organization made up of state legislators and private-sector members who come together to promote corporate friendly legislation. While the group purports to exist for “educational” purposes and claims to do no lobbying, ALEC has come under scrutiny for its “model legislation” — bills crafted to reflect the special interests of ALEC’s corporate members, that then frequently find their way into the statehouses of ALEC’s legislative members. So-called “Stand Your Ground” laws, discriminatory voter ID requirements and anti-union “right to work” laws are just a few of the policies cultivated by ALEC.

Florida House Bill 655 clearly borrows from an ALEC model bill, the “Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act,” which seeks to repeal or prohibit any “living wage” mandates or ordinances set by local city and town councils.

But ALEC manages to exert major ideological influence even beyond its own model legislation. The new Florida bill is one of a number of preemption laws to have cropped up in state after state since 2011. That’s no coincidence. The same year, Wisconsin passed the country’s first anti-paid sick-leave law. According to the Center for Media and Democracy’s Mary Bottari and Brendan Fischer, who have tracked ALEC extensively over the past few years, the Wisconsin bill was distributed to ALEC members during a 2011 conference in New Orleans, where it was the sole point of discussion during a meeting of ALEC’s Labor and Business Regulation Subcommittee. (The ALEC subcommittee was co-chaired at that time by YUM! Brands, Inc., the company that owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.) ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://billmoyers.com/2013/06/28/does-alec-want-you-to-work-even-if-youre-sick/



Bill Moyers: The Truth About American Poverty


https://


Greg Kaufmann on the Truth About American Poverty
June 28, 2013

Greg Kaufmann, poverty correspondent for The Nation, says the poor in America are stereotyped and demonized in an effort to justify huge cuts in food stamps and other crucial programs for low-income Americans.

“People are working and they’re not getting paid enough to feed their families, pay their utilities, pay for their housing, pay for the healthcare… if you’re not paying people enough to pay for the basics, they’re going to need help getting food,” Kaufmann tells Bill. “There are a lot of corporations that want to be involved in the fight against hunger. The best thing they can do is get on board for fair wages.”


http://billmoyers.com/segment/greg-kaufmann-on-the-truth-about-american-poverty/



Richard Wolff: Economic Realities





Published on Jun 24, 2013

This week's show has Richard D. Wolff giving updates on the G8 summit and Bernanke "shows", Turkey vs Brazil protests, Europe's austerity, and drug companies "pay to delay." The major discussions are on the current crisis in financing public education and of lotteries as disguised tax increases. Finally, Wolff responds to listener questions on job losses from progress, worker coops' survivability, capitalism and democracy, and campaign financing reform.


Capitalism's "One-Track Mind" for Profits


Capitalism's "One-Track Mind" for Profits

Saturday, 29 June 2013 00:00
By Jacinda Chan, Truthout | News Analysis


In May, following a visit to President Nieto of Mexico, President Obama stopped in Costa Rica for the first time. Obama met with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and attended the Central America Integration System as an observing member. His mission: to address the drug trafficking problem in Central America, which is often used as a transit route between South America and the US.

Obama asserted that Latin American governments must work towards alleviating poverty, to reduce the gang activity that facilitates drug trafficking. In his address in Costa Rica, Obama addressed the issue of development in Central America, including the improvement of infrastructure and the increase in trade and foreign investment. But he didn't say a thing about the ways in which neoliberal policies have fueled widespread poverty and unrest.

These policies have continually favored oligarchic elites: American businesses and all seven Central American countries would increase the profits of the wealthy few. All seven of these Central American countries are ruled by wealthy conservatives, including El Salvador (President Funes) and Nicaragua (President Ortega), who nonetheless rely on wealthy conservatives for electoral votes.

Without proper institutions to regulate where profits from trade and foreign investment go, elite oligarchies will stay in power and increase profits from foreign investments and trade while neglecting the poor and increasing poverty. Without a significant redirection of resources toward impoverished communities, increased trade and foreign investment are unlikely to reduce gang violence and drug trafficking. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/news/item/17230-more-neoliberal-profit-driven-policies-proposed-during-obamas-trip-to-costa-rica



Louie Goober


WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court's decision finding the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional opens the door to legalized bigamy and polygamy, conservative Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert suggested Friday.

Gohmert made his comments in his typical week-ending remarks on the House floor, belittling the "holy quintet" of justices who wrote the majority opinion by saying they had broken the wise words of the biblical King Solomon that "there was nothing new under the sun."

The justices, Gohmert said, decided improperly that modern marriage between same-sex couples is a new development that requires equal protection under the Fifth Amendment. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/28/louie-gohmert-doma_n_3517882.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



California temperatures could reach 130F as heat wave hits western US


(Guardian UK) Dan Kail was vacationing in Las Vegas when he heard that the temperature at Death Valley could approach 130F (54C) this weekend. He didn't hesitate to make a trip to the desert location that is typically the hottest place on the planet.

"Coming to Death Valley in the summertime has always been on the top of my bucket list," the 67-year-old Pittsburgh man said. "When I found out it might set a record I rented a car and drove straight over. If it goes above 130F I will have something to brag about."

The forecast called for Death Valley to reach 128F Saturday as part of a heat wave that has caused large parts of the western US to suffer. Death Valley's record high of 134F, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on earth.

"The wind out here is like being in front of a blast furnace," Kail said. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/29/california-temperatures-western-us-heatwave



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