So this past weekend he just continued the tradition of towering mendacity. He came out to Providence, RI, and invaded the Netroots Nation convention. He was seen hanging out with James O'Keefe, and they evidently wanted to dig up dirt on the Netroots folks. (You can judge for yourself the results of his "investigation", but we won't pay for the shower you'll want to take afterward.)
Our friend devtob saw Hoft walk over to the little cluster of Occupy protesters who had gathered across the street from the convention center. It was obvious that he wanted to get the Occupy folks to say something outrageous, so he pretended to be one of them, even going so far as to hold up a "Tax the 1%" sign and chant along. Witnesses who were there said Hoft was saying outrageous things and trying to get the Occupy folks to agree with him. They refused to take the bait.
Good on them. And shame on Hoft. Though of course he has no conception of that.
These are the stories of the New York Police Department's notorious and illegal Stop and Frisk program, which saw 685,724 illegal searches in 2011 alone. The NYPD is only allowed to stop and search someone if they have reasonable suspicion that they've committed a crime, making stops on the basis of skin color illegal. 87% of New York City's black and latino population has been stopped and frisked at some point, and as The New York Times reports in its Op-Doc, "The Scars of Stop and Frisk", the vast majority of those stopped are never ticketed or arrested - 88%, in fact. In a twisted kind of apartheid, young men and women of color in New York City are being stopped on the basis of their skin color and sometimes detained for hours without reason. Pioneered by the special crimes unit - the same one that killed Amadou Diallo, an innocent man suspected of a rape, in a hail of bullets in 1999 - stop and frisk is truly "the new Jim Crow," as an activist in Nina Berman's short doc on the subject dubs it.
"I'm in fear for my life from the law" RDACBX raps on "Stop! Stop and Frisk!" featuring Rebel Diaz, Vithym and Luss, the video for which features snapshots of recent victims of NYPD overreach and is "dedicated to the mothers of victims of Police Terrorism." It was produced after the February 2 killing of an unarmed 18-year-old, Rahmarley Graham, in the Bronx, which occurred a week after officers administered a Rodney King-style beating on another unarmed youth, 19-year-old Jatiek Reed. As victims of fatal police brutality have piled up - Patrick Dorismond, Sean Bell, Anthony Baez, Malcolm Ferguson, Anthony Rosario - a social movement has formed to reclaim the streets for the people.
Tea party favorite Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) on Wednesday asked JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who recently announced that his company had lost at least $2 billion in the derivative market, to "guide" Congress in creating friendly banking regulations.
During a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing, DeMint told Dimon that lawmakers had no right to judge JPMorgan for their massive losses.
"We can hardly sit in judgement of your losing $2 billion," the junior senator from South Carolina explained. "We lose twice that every day here in Washington and plan to continue to do that every day. It's comforting to know that even with a $2 billion loss in a trade last year, your company still, I think, had a $19 billion profit. During that same period, we lost over a trillion dollars."
"As you can tell, there's a temptation here. Every time something goes amiss, we want to add a regulation, and we've surrounded the banking industry with so many regulations and we still seem to have problems here and there," DeMint added. "I think we do need to recognize that you are a very big bank, the biggest in the world. You've got very big profits. Periodically you're going to have big losses and we need to look at that as part of doing business."
The senator continued by asking Dimon "for some ideas of what you think we need to do ... to allow the industry to operate better."
"I believe in strong regulation, not always more," the CEO replied. "I would prefer a simple, clean, strong regulatory system with real intelligent design. And that's not what we did. We created a really complex, hard to figure out who's responsible, no one could adjudicate between all the various regulatory agencies."
"Obviously as we've seen, the laws and regulations are not necessarily improving things," DeMint agreed. "Some of the things you've done voluntarily -- and other banks -- like capital requirements. I think a best practice -- if we could do anything to encourage the industry to develop a lot of its own voluntary rules, that would guide us a lot better."
"So I guess if I could just leave you with any one thing, if you could come back this time next year and talk about how the industry has put together large-scale, best-practice committees, that would help us keep banking as a private enterprise rather than as a government institution."
The Coalition for the Homelessreports the number of people living in New York City homeless shelters has reached an all-time high of 43,000. Critics attribute the spike in homelessness to the Bloomberg administration’s alleged failure to help move homeless families into permanent affordable housing. Housing advocates say the problem was exacerbated by the city’s cancellation of the "Advantage" apartment rental subsidy, with as many as 8,000 former aid recipients now facing eviction. We get a report from Democracy Now!’s Chantal Berman, who interviewed several aid recipients who could soon lose their homes, and speak to Patrick Markee, senior policy analyst at Coalition for the Homeless in New York City
COLBERT: Well said. Obama is totally out of touch. Romney then flew off in his private jet to watch Rafalca compete in the national dressage championship.
And Romney was just getting luke-warmed up. […]
Yes! Only Romney has the courage to say what we're all thinking. America is being sucked dry by fireman, policeman and teachers. These big-government teet moochers are so lazy they can't even take the stairs. Some of them slide down poles.
Must be nice. And the worst part folks is our kids look up to these parasites. Ask any brainwashed six year old what he wants to be when he grows up and it's always members of public service unions; firemen, policemen, teachers.
Kids need to start admiring society's real heroes; job creators.
Last week, I shared the story of Colleen Mckee Espinosa, the single mother of three who was facing foreclosure after CitiBank refused to accept payment on her mortgage, after they moved up the due date for her payment without her knowledge. They also added thousands of dollars in attorney fees because the home went into foreclosure, making it impossible for her to catch up.
After media coverage in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the blog Crooks and Liars, and other outlets, Citibank officials contacted the family, and assured them they were doing everything they could to resolve the case, assigning them a contact in the “executive response unit.” Despite this, the bank is moving to auction the home at a sheriff’s sale this Wednesday at City Hall, after which time the bank would have no legal obligation to work with the family.
An official with CitiMortgage’s Executive Response Unit contacted the Espinosa family with news that Citibank had approved a loan modification that would keep the family in their home and reduce their payments by one-third on a 7.5 year payment plan. The dramatic news came less than 24 hours before the house was to be sold at auction on Wednesday, June 13.
The Espinosa's give thanks to all their supporters, and offer hope to others facing similar circumstances:
“I am deeply grateful to everyone from across the country who stood with our family as we fought our foreclosure,” said Nick Espinosa, Colleen’s son, and an organizer with Occupy Homes MN. “I’m inspired by the outpouring of community support, and it renews my commitment to stand with other families who are struggling to stay in their homes.”
“I’m incredibly proud of what this family has accomplished,” said Anthony Newby of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. “They’ve managed to rally hundreds of community members to stand with them to save their home. Their campaign will undoubtedly empower other families to stand up and do the same.”
Colleen Mckee Espinosa continued, “When I first learned we were in foreclosure, I felt ashamed and isolated, and sure we were going to lose our home. As I resolved to fight, I realized I had nothing to be ashamed of. If anyone should be ashamed, it’s the banks for tearing apart our communities after we bailed them out with our tax dollars. When we stand together we can win, and I believe thousands more will.”
Nick Espinosa continued, “This negotiation represents a victory not just for our family, but for millions of families facing foreclosures across the country. Countless families could stay in their homes if banks simply modified their loans based on the actual market value and reduced their principal, instead of the price to which banks inflated them before they crashed our economy. As with Monique White and Bobby Hull here in Minneapolis, and others standing up across the nation, we see that when a community stands behind a family and draws attention to their case, the banks are more than capable of solving it. If they can fix it for our family, they can fix it for millions of others.”
Occupy Homes Minnesota has been an amazing lifeline for the people of their state, and they remain dedicated to helping victims of bank fraud and foreclosure. To learn more about them and what they're up to, please visit their website Occupy Homes Minnesota: http://www.occupyhomesmn.org/
[Photo: Colleen and son Nick Espinosa, via Occupy Homes Minnesota.]
Shi-ite pilgrims have been targeted in Iraq, with at least 56 dead maybe more and dozens being injured. The death toll is expected to rise. This time the target was the annual pilgrimage marking the 8th century death of al-Kadhim, one of the 12 principal Shiite saints, who is said to be buried in a shrine in Baghdad.
This is the wreckage of the car bomb and the devastation at the scene of the blast in central Baghdad. People trying to clean up the mess left behind with others clearly still in shock about the damage caused to their businesses.
In all there were four co-ordinated & simultaneous explosions in yet another wave of violence fueled by sectarianism. This apparently is the Kurdish Democratic Party's HQ in Kirkuk in the north: fire-fighters struggling to quell a blaze here and the car which apparently blew up right outside it. One local man condemning the fact that - in the current climate - offices of political parties were allowed to be situated in residential areas.
Here in Hilla, in the south of Baghdad, the front of this restaurant on the street corner's been blown clean out by two car bombs exploding within minutes of each other. It's a place apparently where police officers liked to go for breakfast. Emergency services wash blood and debris away from the scene as what's left of damaged vehicles nearby are taken away.
Iraq's interior ministry made a statement saying they'd be stepping up security across the city in expectation of more violence.
In this clip from Channel 4's Random Acts series, British protesters flip the script and kettle activists on behalf of London's Metropolitan Police, who grow angry that their "top-secret" suppression tactic has been exposed - and publicly, mercilessly mocked.
Darcy Burner, the Harvard-educated, Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative from Washington's 1st District was one of the keynote speakers at this year's Netroots Nation. Carla Axtman of Blue Oregon was an attendee this year in Providence, R.I., and caught Burner's speech on the topic of the "War on Women:"
As an attendee of last week's Netroots Nation in Providence, Rhode Island, I was privileged to attend a speech by Democratic congressional candidate Darcy Burner. During the speech, Burner asked if there were women in the room who would be willing to stand up and talk about making the choice to have an abortion. All over the room, women stood. Myself included. Burner then asked those who were willing to support these women who would speak up about their choice to stand. As far as I could see, the entire rest of the room came to their feet.
For me, it felt like the safe and warm embrace of a loving community--willing to support me and speak out against those who would try and shame me.
For conservatives, it was just another chance to engage in being jackasses.
Burner said,”If you are a woman in this room, and statistically this is true of about 1/3 of the women in this room, if you’re a woman in this room who has had an abortion and is willing to come out about it, please stand up.”
She continued, “Now, if you are willing to stand with every woman who is willing to come out about having had an abortion, please stand up.”
Nearly everyone stood.
Burner said,”This is how we change the stories in people’s past. We need to make it okay for women to come out about the choices they make.”
The left will say that they’re not pro-abortion, they’re pro-choice or they’re pro-women. It was clear, though, that abortion itself was elevated as something good and something to be celebrated.
The speaker and the audience was honoring women who had an abortion as though the action was an objectively good thing.
While it's not surprising that Ms. Clothier doesn't get it, as the entire exercise was about women standing up and refusing to be shamed by the anti-choice crowd, and everyone applauding to show solidarity and support of the rejection of shame that's created by the aspersions of others.
This statement threw me for a loop, though:
.Darcy Burner’s presentation gives insight to how the left sees women and their place in the world. It is abortion focused and rooted in the past.
It's the anti-choice crowd voting to force women to take Big Government with them to visit their doctors, invading their privacy, and forcing them to jump through hoops for healthcare. But we're "abortion focused and rooted in the past"? Axtman offers her version of Clothier's remarks, "Shorter Melissa: Sit down you shameful, murdering sluts. How dare you celebrate taking responsibility for your life & choices in a way in which I disagree."
The anti-choice crowd has long held some invisible flag they call the "moral highground" and waved it around to pronounce judgement on others for actions they disagree with. Women are taking a stand and saying "enough," brave women like Darcy Burner and Carla Axtman. The anti-choice "moral highground" is not rooted in medical science, or even logic, it's a false flag that is being torn down and people will applaud this moment finally arriving.
Abortion is a legal medical procedure. It's not a satanic ritual. Get over it.