Two of the U.S. largest banks, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, reported big quarterly profits on Friday—with JPMorgan Chase having a third-quarter profit of $5.7 billion, up 34 percent from last year. The economy is adding jobs, the housing market is recovering, and the federal reserve provides money for free. Which means it is a great time to be a bank. Earnings at Wells Fargo were up 22 percent for the third quarter, or $4.9 billion profit. Chase’s profits come in the aftermath of the “London whale” trading debacle.
A group of comedians will be "fact-checking" the presidential campaigning the next few days through videos, and the preview is above. They include Sarah Silverman, Lizz Winstead, Rosie Perez and even a few guys. Because when lies go unchecked, we all lose. Actually.org spreads the truth, because the truth matters—even in politics
New York City has seen a nearly 20% spike in homelessness over the past year. The city now deals with homeless numbers not seen since the Great Depression.
The crisis stems from a lack of affordable housing and the city's ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor, one of the widest in the U.S. and comparable to that found in sub-Saharan Africa.
Our Dreams Don’t Fit in Their Ballot Boxes!
No to austerity! Yes to reclaiming our communities!
Occupy Portland and Portland Action Lab invite all people to participate in a national call to action to say No to Austerity and Yes to building our collective power. On November 2nd and 3rd (N3) we will mobilize and march, voting with our feet by taking direct action to interrupt the normal course of business. Our power is in our neighborhoods, building alternatives, and taking to the streets! Business and our governments hoard wealth, privatize our communities, and burden us with enormous debt – This is AUSTERITY and we say Enough is Enough!
We call on all participants in the Occupy movement, rank-and-file union members, students, our elders and people-at-large to organize creatively and return to our public spaces with this message on the weekend before the election. Our communities will make our own decisions and control our own resources, no matter who is elected. We are not alone; austerity is a consequence of a failed economic system and people around the world are rising up. We act in solidarity and take inspiration from the peoples of Greece, South Africa, Quebec, Chile, and beyond who are fighting austerity and the destruction of their communities.
Solidarity against Austerity!
As the United Nations marks Thursday as International Day of the Girl Child, the world body's focus this year has been on ending child marriages.
In Afghanistan, the practice is illegal under the law but still common. In one case, an Afghan woman in Kabul was forced into a marriage at the age of 11.
Al Jazeera's Jennifer Glasse speaks to a woman in Kabul who was forced into marriage at age of 11.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) acknowledged on Wednesday that House Republicans had consciously voted to reduce the funds allocated to the State Department for embassy security since winning the majority in 2010.
On Wednesday morning, CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien asked the Utah Republican if he had "voted to cut the funding for embassy security."
"Absolutely," Chaffetz said. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.”
During the past two years, House Republicans have continued to deprioritize the security forces protecting State Department personnel around the world. In fiscal year 2011, lawmakers cut $128 million off of the administration's request for embassy security funding. House Republicans drained off even more funds in fiscal year 2012, cutting back on the department's request by $331 million.
Consulate personnel stationed in Benghazi had allegedly expressed concerns over their safety in the months leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Chaffetz and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have alleged that those concerns were ignored.
A Yemeni man was shot and killed by gunman on his way to work at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa early Thursday morning. The car carrying Qassem Aqlan, who headed an embassy security team, was shot at by masked attackers on a motorcycle. “This (assassination) operation has the fingerprints of al Qaeda which carried out similar operations before,” a source told Reuters. Assassination attempts have been frequent since Yemen’s army cleared Islamist fighters out of many towns earlier this year, while the U.S. has been high alert for its embassy staff overseas since the ambassador to Libya was killed with three others on Sept. 11 in Benghazi.
Good morning, today is Thursday, October 11, 2012.
From Mark Fiore: Right-Wing Ralphie is back! After the Obama-Romney debate, he's here to talk a little bit about the next step of the campaign. Don't worry about voter ID, not everyone needs to vote!
Your open thread begins below.
Walmart workers have launched historic labor protests and strikes across 28 stores in 12 states, the first retail worker strike in the company’s 50-year history. According to organizers, employees are protesting company attempts to "silence and retaliate against workers for speaking out for improvements on the job."
DemocracyNow! goes to Bentonville, Arkansas, to speak with Mike Compton, a Walmart worker protesting outside the company headquarters today just days after taking part in a successful strike at a Walmart supply warehouse in Elwood, Illinois. Also in this segment is Josh Eidelson, a contributing writer for Salon and In These Times who broke the story of the Walmart store strikes last week.
Nearly a week after President Obama stopped his campaign's momentum with a lackluster debate performance, former President Clinton sought Tuesday to help him recover by offering a withering new critique of Mitt Romney.
"I had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did," Clinton told nearly 2,000 supporters at a campaign rally for Obama and other Democrats. "I thought, 'Wow, here's old moderate Mitt. Where ya been, boy?'"
“Now, the problem with this deal is the deal was made by severe conservative Mitt,” Clinton continued. “That was how he described himself for two whole years, until three or four days before the debate -- they all got together and said, ‘Hey, man, this ship is sinking faster than the Titanic… so just show up with a sunny face and say, I didn’t say all that stuff I said in the last two years. You gonna believe me or your lying eyes here? Come on.’”
“And if I had been the president, I might have said, ‘I hate to get in the way of this, I miss you,’” he added.
Clinton also emphasized the progress the economy had made in recent years, with millions of jobs being created and unemployment dropping below 8 percent for the first time since the crash. He criticized Republicans who slammed the recent unemployment report.
"I want a president and Congress that loves it when unemployment drops...I want someone who says, 'Hallelujah,' every time the unemployment rate drops," Clinton said to cheers and applause.
H/T CNN for the video embed.
Wells Fargo is the latest collateral damage from the housing boom. U.S. prosecutors are suing the bank -- the country’s largest originator of home loans -- for defrauding the government, accusing it of issuing mortgages without proper discern and then lying about their condition to the Federal Housing Administration. When these problematic loans later defaulted, the Federal Housing Administration was obligated to cover the hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. The lawsuit attempts to reclaim those damages. “The bank will present facts to vigorously defend itself against this action,” a Wells Fargo rep said in a statement.
In a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan, the prosecutors accused Wells Fargo, the country’s largest originator of home loans, of defrauding the government for more than a decade. The bank recklessly issued mortgages and then made false certifications about their condition to the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency that insured them, the complaint said.
The problematic loans were not eligible for the government insurance, according to the lawsuit, and when they soured, the F.H.A. was obligated to cover the losses. The Justice Department is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
“Yet another major bank has engaged in a longstanding and reckless trifecta of deficient training, deficient underwriting and deficient disclosure, all while relying on the convenient backstop of government insurance,” Preet S. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, whose office filed the lawsuit, said in a statement.
According the the government's complaint, Wells Fargo knew about the vast number of deficient loans but concealed them from the F.H.A.