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Hermit-The-Prog

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Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2018, 02:50 PM
Number of posts: 9,007

Journal Archives

"What happened to our wealth? They took it."

Homewreckers: How Wall Street, Banks & Trump’s Inner Circle Used the 2008 Housing Crash to Get Rich


We speak with investigative reporter Aaron Glantz about his new book “Homewreckers,” which looks at the devastating legacy of the foreclosure crisis and how much of the so-called recovery is a result of large private equity firms buying up hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes. “Homewreckers: How a Gang of Wall Street Kingpins, Hedge Fund Magnates, Crooked Banks, and Vulture Capitalists Suckered Millions Out of Their Homes and Demolished the American Dream” reveals how the 2008 housing crash decimated millions of Americans’ family wealth but enriched President Donald Trump’s inner circle, including Trump Cabinet members Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, Trump’s longtime friend and confidant Tom Barrack, and billionaire Republican donor Stephen Schwarzman. Glantz writes, “Now, ensconced in power following Trump’s election, these capitalists are creating new financial products that threaten to make the wealth transfers of the [housing] bust permanent.” Aaron Glantzis a senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. He was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize this year for his reporting on modern-day redlining.

[ ... ]

AARON GLANTZ: Well, first of all, I wanted to know. Eight million Americans lost their homes in the Great Recession. But they didn’t just disappear, right? So we live now in a society where the wealth gap between the richest one-tenth of 1% and the other 90% is bigger than it’s been in a hundred years. And so much of Americans’ wealth is in their homes, because we have very few other ways to save. So I wanted to know: What happened to these houses? Who profited off this mess? And that trail led me to a number of people who are in Donald Trump’s inner circle.

[ ... ]

What I wanted to know was what happened after. Right? We’ve been stuck in this country on this trauma of 2007, 2008, 2009. But now here we are in 2019. Ten years have passed. The unemployment rate is low. The president tells us everything is great. But people don’t feel like everything is great. So, you know, we have jobs, but what happened to our wealth? They took it. That’s what happened.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And also, the disproportionate impact that this loss of equity in all these homes had, especially on the African-American and Latino communities, which were even more dependent on home equity for what little wealth they had or net wealth they had.

AARON GLANTZ: What we see is that banks, like Steve Mnuchin’s bank, concentrated their foreclosures in communities of color. And then, when they started making loans again when the economy improved, they didn’t make loans to those communities. So they wiped out the wealth of these communities with foreclosure, but then, over a five-year period, Steve Mnuchin’s bank made three loans to help African Americans buy homes and 11 loans — this is national bank — helped three African Americans and 11 Latinos buy homes over five years.

And now Steve Mnuchin, as the treasury secretary, is in charge of regulating every American bank. And so, he and Donald Trump picked one of his deputies at OneWest Bank, Joseph Otting, for this position called comptroller of the currency, which basically is America’s top bank cop, who’s in charge of enforcing laws, like the Community Reinvestment Act, that are meant to stop redlining. So, this bank, which didn’t make any loans — hardly any — to communities of color is now in charge — you know, this leadership, under President Trump — of making sure that these anti-redlining laws are followed.

[ ... ]


(Video and transcript at link)
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Wed Oct 16, 2019, 02:58 AM (5 replies)

Oct 4, south central KY and it did not get above 90F !

I've turned off the AC and opened the windows for the first time since at least June.

Damned Chinese hoax.
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Fri Oct 4, 2019, 07:16 PM (12 replies)

Hillary & Chelsea & Colbert last night

Rhiannon12866 has posted the videos from the Stephen Colbert show last night:

https://www.democraticunderground.com/1017554709

It's good to hear an informed leader speak.
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Tue Oct 1, 2019, 12:39 PM (0 replies)

Hillary's 20 questions are just as valid as in 2016

In September, 2016, Hillary Clinton fired off the following tweetstorm. Sure looks prescient to me.

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776092870545707008

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776095260153872385

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776096173723615232

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776097265270292480

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776098173047676930

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776099278804684800

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776099941999607808

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776100601092595717

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776101413441134592

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776102376151416833

https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton/status/776103470554353664
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Mon Sep 30, 2019, 05:08 PM (9 replies)

that DOES NOT verify your vote!

The machine can spit out the Encyclopedia Brittanica to you, while counting you as having voted for Hitler Uber Alles.

Electronic voting substitutes a fast number for a verifiable election.

The voter cannot verify an electronic ballot. The voter can only verify that something changed while operating the controls.

The public cannot verify 1 voter for 1 ballot. The public cannot tell what is happening with the electronic device when a voter is at the controls.

The public cannot verify the count of ballots with electronic devices. All the public can verify is that some numbers are reported from the device.

Paper ballots:

The voter can verify a paper ballot.

The public can verify that 1 voter submits 1 paper ballot.

The public can verify the counting of paper ballots.
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:59 AM (0 replies)

Pelosi Remarks ... 200 Days of GOP Senate Inaction on H.R. 1



Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Marking 200 Days of GOP Senate Inaction on H.R. 1, the For The People Act

September 27, 2019 Press Release


Washington, D.C. – Speaker Pelosi delivered remarks at a press event highlighting 200 days of Senate GOP inaction on H.R. 1, the For The People Act, historic legislation to reduce the role of big dark money in politics, advance fair and secure elections and restore ethics and integrity to government. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi. Good morning, everyone. Thank you very much for being here this morning as we observe the 200 days since we sent H.R. 1 over to the Senate.

I want to commend Congressman John Sarbanes for being such a – tremendous leadership in integrity in government, by working this issue for a long time. Then – became H.R. 1, when the Democrats had the Majority in Congress. He has been one who has seen and heard from the public how concerned they are about the role of big dark money in politics, and how it undermines their confidence that Congress can ever act to lower prescription drug prices, to protect our environment, the list goes on and on, because of that big dark money.

And, so, his role as Chair of the Democratic Reform Task Force and lead sponsor of H.R. 1 is to be commended for – anyone who wants to improve not only our – reducing the role of money in politics, but restoring the confidence of the American people in what we do here.

I also want to acknowledge the leadership of Madam Chair, the Chair of the House Administration Committee, Zoe Lofgren. She is a champion. A brilliant legal mind that we call upon in many arena – areas here and a champion of securing our elections.

We’re thrilled to be here with our Freshmen. Now, the Freshman Class, during the campaign, about one year ago, they sent a letter signed by 100 candidates – many of them, many of whom – it was like 67 or something of them became Members of Congress – stating that H.R. 1 was of the highest priority, cleaning up government.

Our agenda in the last election was For The People, quoting from the words – the brilliant words – of our Founders at the start of our Constitution: ‘We, the People.’ Our Constitution begins ‘We, the People.’ We are acting For The People.

And, with us today, are Representative Malinowski of New Jersey, Representative Neguse of Colorado, Representative of Pappas of New Hampshire, Representative Haaland of New Mexico. Do I have everyone? Yes, I do. And, many more Members of the Freshmen Class who have been leaders on this issue, but I am proud to be standing with those – and, you’ll be hearing from them momentarily.

We sent this legislation over to the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and it’s been sitting there in his Grim Reaper role. But, we are saying to him that the American people – ‘You may think this is dead over there, Grim Reaper’ – what a nice thing to say about yourself – ‘but it is alive and well in the public. And the people know and they will know more that you are holding this up.’

It is important to note that Mitch McConnel has said the problem is not that there is too much money in politics, the problem is that there isn’t enough money in politics. If there was ever a declaration of lack of values in terms of our democracy, with stiff competition, that stands as a prominent one.

I am now very pleased to yield to the distinguished Chair of our Task Force, a leader in restoring confidence in government and increasing the role of the people – For The People – in government, John Sarbanes of Maryland.

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Sat Sep 28, 2019, 10:32 AM (4 replies)

Trump Answers Ukraine Question By Attacking Hillary Clinton For Not Visiting Wisconsin


Trump Answers Ukraine Question By Attacking Hillary Clinton For Not Visiting Wisconsin

Posted on Wed, Sep 25th, 2019 by Sean Colarossi

Donald Trump held his first press conference since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry, and he was unable to offer a credible defense for why he pressured a foreign leader to interfere in an American election.

Instead, Trump talked about his Electoral College victory and attacked Hillary Clinton for not visiting Wisconsin in 2016.

“Why should the American people, then, be comfortable with an American president asking a foreign leader for information about an American citizen?” one reporter asked Trump.

What came next from the president was a rambling dose of word salad in which he stumbled into a rant about the 2016 election.

Trump said:

Well, I think you can look at your senators and you can look at Biden and you can at all these other people. But what we’re looking for is corruption. An investigation started called the Russian witch hunt, affectionately, and it was a total phony scam. It was set up by people within the government to try and stop somebody from getting elected, and after that — after that person, namely me, won and convincingly won at 306 to 223 in the Electoral College. Which, by the way, when you run a race if you’re running electoral, you know, if you go by the college, electoral college, that’s a much different race than running popular vote. And it’s like the 100-yard dash or the mile. You train differently. And I can’t help it that my opponent didn’t go to Wisconsin and should have gone much more to Michigan and Pennsylvania and other places, but that’s the way it is. We won an election convincingly. Convincingly.

[ ... ]
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Wed Sep 25, 2019, 08:41 PM (15 replies)

a'ight, who forgot to flush?

Turned on my tv and there was this big, orange turd on it, gurgling and wallowing.

My hat's off to you folks who are tough enough to watch and listen to Donnie. I caught one phrase, "there are a lot of dishonest people out there, we played it straight and millions of our people see that", and had to turn it off.

Is he dumb enough to think that a formal impeachment inquiry means he's removed from office already? Please, don't anybody tell him differently. Let's see if he moves out before the weekend.


Also, it's in Dems natures to feel sorry for wounded animals. Don't. Remember children in cages and families ripped apart. Those are immediate atrocities. Others will play out for perhaps years to come.
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Wed Sep 25, 2019, 05:06 PM (15 replies)

the Constitution already prohibits this shit!

Article I, Section 9:

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.


Article II, Section 1:
The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.


1. Twitler selling access to foreign diplomats, at his hotel and golf resorts, violates Article I, Sec. 9.

2. Twitler re-routing the military and Pampered Pence to his resorts violates Article II, Sec. 1.

You don't need more bills that Moscow Mitch will never allow to be voted on and that Twitler would never sign. The Constitution covers this shit already.
Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Mon Sep 23, 2019, 05:47 PM (1 replies)

Trump administration's crackdown on campus criticism of Israel is Orwellian

The Trump administration's crackdown on campus criticism of Israel is Orwellian

-- Joshua Leifer
23 Sep 2019
The Guardian

Trump’s department of education is using the threat of defunding to achieve its political goals – to great effect

If you criticize Israeli policy, you will lose your federal funding. That is the message the Department of Education is sending with its threat to withdraw federal support for the Consortium for Middle East Studies, operated jointly by Duke University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, if it does not alter the content of its programming.

Just three months after Education Secretary Betsy Devos ordered an investigation into a conference about the politics of the Gaza Strip that the consortium had sponsored – an authoritarian threat, in and of itself – the Department of Education issued a letter demanding that the Duke-UNC consortium remake its curriculum. Or else.

The Department of Education’s letter, published last Tuesday, charged that the Duke-UNC program was failing to meet its federal mandate – by focusing too much on cultural studies and topics like “Love and Desire in Modern Iran” and not enough on “advancing the security and economic stability of the United States”. In other words, it seems the program was teaching its students about the complex and varied cultures of countries in the Middle East instead of how to dominate them.

[ ... ]

Posted by Hermit-The-Prog | Mon Sep 23, 2019, 09:17 AM (1 replies)
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