From this Friday's Real Time With Bill Maher, Bill's annual election reel, "In Memoriam."
Thousands in New York City remain without clean water, food, heat, or power. Relief efforts by locals offer continuing direct aid to the neighborhoods most affected by Hurricane Sandy.
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Bill Maher had some fun in this Friday's edition of New Rules with everyone from the wingnuts who doubted Nate Sliver's math, to Sean Hannity, to Ted Nugent and Victoria Jackson, to Fox News and their fearmongering about the New Black Panther Party.
And he reminded everyone that when it comes to reelecting our first black President, with white people, far too often it's one step forward and two steps back in regard to race relations in this country. Having Fox or right wing hate talk off the air would go a long way towards remedying that situation. As Maher noted, there is one thing to be hopeful about on that front, which is that like The Beach Boys, their fans are dying from old age.
By Paul Kiel, ProPublica
An executive who the Justice Department says facilitated a scheme to defraud Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is now spearheading JPMorgan Chase's role in the government's program to compensate victims of the big banks' abusive foreclosure practices.
The executive, Rebecca Mairone, worked at Countrywide and Bank of America from 2006 until earlier this year, when she left for JPMorgan Chase, according to her LinkedIn profile.
In a lawsuit filed last month in federal court in New York, Justice Department attorneys allege that Countrywide, which was bought by Bank of America in 2008, perpetrated a two-year scam to foist shoddy home loans on Fannie and Freddie. Neither Mairone nor any other individuals are named as defendants in the civil suit, and no criminal charges have been filed against her or anyone else in connection with the alleged misconduct. But Mairone is one of two bank officials cited in the suit as having repeatedly ignored warnings about the "Hustle," as the alleged scheme was called inside the company, and she prohibited employees from circulating some of those warnings outside their division.
Mairone was chief operating officer of the Countrywide lending division that allegedly carried out the "Hustle." She took the helm of JPMorgan Chase's involvement in the Independent Foreclosure Review this summer, according to a former Chase employee.
The review, overseen by federal banking regulators, requires the nation's biggest banks to compensate victims for harm they inflicted on borrowers. Victims can receive up to $125,000 in cash or, in some cases, get their homes back. But the review has already been marred by evidence that the banks themselves play a major role in identifying the victims of their own abuses, raising the question of whether the review is compromised by a central conflict of interest.
Mairone's role raises additional questions about the Independent Foreclosure Review.
The review "never seemed designed to place first the interests of those who were supposed to be helped u2014 victimized homeowners," said Neil Barofsky, the former federal prosecutor who served as the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as the bank bailout.
"Finding out that the person running it for JPMorgan Chase is a person whose conduct in the run-up to financial crisis was allegedly so egregious that she somehow managed to be one of the only people actually named in a case brought by the Department of Justice goes beyond irony," he continued. "It speaks volumes to the banks' true intent and lack of concern for homeowners when addressing the harm that they caused during the foreclosure crisis."
In response to ProPublica's questions about Mairone's role in the foreclosure review and the suit's allegations, Chase issued a brief statement confirming that Mairone is a managing director who is "working on the Independent Foreclosure Review process." The statement added, "It would not be appropriate for us to discuss another firm's litigation."
Chase declined to make Mairone available for comment, and she did not return a message left at her home number.
Good morning, today is Saturday, November 10, 2012. Happy Birthday to Sesame Street, it debuted on this day in 1969.
Your morning open thread begins below.
The election is finally over, so what happens next? Reihan Salam, a conservative blogger at National Review Online’s “The Agenda”, and long-time New York Times columnist Bob Herbert join Bill to assess and debate how the election revealed changes in American social and political culture. They also discuss what Obama’s re-election means for working families and people at the bottom of our economic ladder.
“I think this election really did demonstrate that there’s been a dramatic change particularly with regard to social issues and how folks talk about them,” Salam tells Bill. “I think that that has proven very sobering for a lot of folks on the right.” Salam is the co-author, with Ross Douthat, of Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.
Herbert says, “I think the Republican Party is accurately defined as a party that looks out for the interests of the very wealthy. The Democratic Party less so, but I think they look out for the interests of the wealthy, too, before they look out for the interests of working Americans.” Herbert has been traveling the country for the past two years, reporting for his forthcoming book Wounded Colossus. He is now a distinguished fellow at the think tank Demos.
A full transcript of the show is available here.
via The Young Turks
Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL.) explains why he’s completely against the Obama administration agreeing to a Grand Bargain with Republicans. “The Democratic should be united,” Grayson says. “We are the party that created social security. We are the party that created Medicare. We should stand behind it, and we should protect it. It’s amazingly popular among the voters. Why should we shoot ourselves in the head by saying we’re going to end these programs or even cut back these programs?”
Things always find a way to happen ... A pen leaking. Your shoelace coming untied. Toxic chemicals in your drinking water. What?!
Watch this video to learn how the more oil and gas companies frack, the more trouble is finding ways to happen.
Willard Mitt Romney may have been shell shocked when his second attempt to rule the empire failed, but he stayed true to himself right up until the very end.
"From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself. Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked."
"Fiscally conservative," one Romney campaign staffer told NBC.
At least he didn't ship them all off to China.
Forbes' Helaine Olen notes:
In case you are wondering, this did not have to happen. The Mitt Romney for President entity does not end with Romney’s Tuesday night loss. There are papers to be filed with various federal commissions and bills to be paid ….
The Mitt Romney for President financial entity survives for as long as two more years as these tasks are completed.
The staff would also still have to face the bitter billionaire donors.
On Wednesday, Romney had a post-defeat breakfast with some of his wealthiest and most loyal donors. At the private gathering, the donors allegedly unloaded on Romney staff for its failed "junior varsity operation."
And then, a little Karma perhaps?
At some point, early Wednesday morning, when Gov. Mitt Romney and family were tucked into bed, a quiet call went out on the radio channel used by his Secret Service agents: "Javelin, Jockey details, all posts, discontinue."
Of all the indignities involved in losing a presidential race, none is more stark than the sudden emptiness of your entourage. The Secret Service detail guarding Governor Romney since Feb 1. stood down quickly. He had ridden in a 15-car motorcade to the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston for his concession speech. He rode in a single-car motorcade back across the Charles River to Belmont. His son, Tagg, did the driving.
Pat Robertson is shocked and awed that 30% of women in the United States of America love porn. Women are "involved in" pornography? Men "struggle with it?"
Robertson, who has watched a lot of porn -- but only so he can report back to the world on the evils of porn, naturally -- described it as "boring." Then he implied that the best-selling novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" was to blame for the mass corruption leading women to the formerly exclusive to men world of porn. "Mommy porn" he called it, apparently never having heard of "romance novels."
Just wait until he wakes up and finds out there's a black man in the White House.
H/T RightWingWatch for the video.