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Chinese currency bill

Reviewing the bill.

The watchdog that didn’t bark

You’d almost think this was for show and not meant to actually solve the problem, wouldn’t you?

Why has the administration’s flagship foreclosure prevention program been so ineffective in helping struggling homeowners get loan modifications and stay in their homes? One reason: The government’s supervision of the program has apparently ranged from nonexistent to weak.

Documents obtained by ProPublica – government audit reports of GMAC, the country’s fifth largest mortgage servicer – provide the first detailed look at the program’s oversight. They show that the company operated with almost no oversight for the program’s first eight months. When auditors did finally conduct a major review more than a year into the program, they found that GMAC had seriously mishandled many loan modifications – miscalculating homeowner income in more than 80 percent of audited cases, for example.

Yet GMAC suffered no penalty. GMAC itself said it hasn’t reversed a single foreclosure as a result of a government audit.
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We are the working poor

The Tin Bird Choir, h/t Riverdaughter:

Hmm

Marcy finds a second Cheney interview under oath that no one knew about.

Christie

Not running. Oh noes, what shall we do?

Live at Wall Street

Lee Camp:

NAFTA redux

Public Citizen on the trade agreements Obama just sent to the Congress:

By asking Congress to approve three NAFTA-style trade deals signed by former President George Bush, President Barack Obama has completely flip-flopped on his campaign promises to fix America’s failed trade policy and has cast his lot against the majority of the American people who oppose more of these job-killing deals.

At a time of 9 percent unemployment and broad public opposition to more NAFTA-style trade agreements, it’s a fairly shocking shift away from the president’s job-creation message to suddenly call on Congress to pass three old Bush trade deals that the federal government’s own studies say will increase the U.S. trade deficit.

The Korea FTA is the most economically significant since NAFTA, is projected to increase our trade deficit in key “jobs of the future” sectors such as computers, high-speed trains and solar, and result in the loss of an additional 159,000 U.S. jobs.

Congress should not even be considering a trade deal with Colombia, where scores of trade unionists, human rights defenders and Afro-Colombians are murdered or displaced from their lands every year and conditions have worsened since the administration signed off on an unenforceable “Labor Action Plan.” At a time when America is trying to reduce the national debt, Congress should not be considering a trade deal with Panama, a notorious tax-haven where U.S. firms and wealthy individuals go to dodge their taxes.

These trade deals replicate the mistakes of the past, not the way to win the future, and thus pose serious policy and political perils. Poll after poll shows that the vast majority of the American public – across stunningly diverse demographics – is opposed to more of these NAFTA-style trade deals and that members of Congress vote for them at their peril. Even White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, whose job it is to sell these trade deals and who helped former President Bill Clinton sell NAFTA to a skeptical Congress, recognized that workers “lose from these agreements,” and implied that campaigning against free trade agreements could even be an electoral advantage. ( “White House’s Daley seeks balance in outreach meeting with manufacturers,” The Washington Post, June 16, 2011).

TWU asks for restraining order

This is encouraging news. It looks like the unions who have promised to support Occupy Wall Street are going to do more than march — the TWU is doing whatever they can to obstruct a police crackdown on protestors. There will be a massive march Wednesday with participating unions and Moveon.org taking part in the event:

In support of the ongoing “Occupy Wall Street” protest, the Transport Workers Union is going to court to stop its drivers from being required to transport arrested demonstrators.

Local 100 is seeking a restraining order against the police department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Union leaders say drivers’ rights were violated when they were forced to bus arrested demonstrators from the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday.

They also say the NYPD commandeered several MTA buses, and in at least one case, passengers were booted from the bus so demonstrators could be loaded up.

“Our operators are not there to transport folks that are arrested, particularly innocent folks that are arrested. That’s particularly appalling to Local 100,” said John Samuelsen, president of Local 100.

In response, MTA officials said the authority has a long history of cooperating with the police department and other law enforcement agencies when they have transportation needs.

Meanwhile, Occupy Wall Street demonstrators took their fight to City Hall Monday.

Hundreds began what they called a “march of the zombie bankers” to protest greed and express their outrage over the mass arrests this weekend.

Protestors were joined by film producer Amy Goodman, who just settled a suit with Minneapolis St. Paul Police and the Secret Service over her 2008 arrest during the Republican National Convention.

“It is these kinds of public protests, these shows of public dissent where so often the police crackdown, as we have seen with one of the largest mass arrests of protesters in the history of this country just this past weekend,” said Goodman.

Systemically dangerous institutions

From New Economic Perspectives:

It is the fraudulent SDIs that are the massive job killers and wealth destroyers. It is the Great Recession that the fraudulent SDIs produced that caused most of the growth in the federal deficits and made the fiscal crises in our states and localities acute. The senior officers that led the control frauds are the opposite of the “productive class.” No one, without the aid of an army, has ever destroyed more wealth and dreams than the control frauds. It is essential to hold them accountable, to help their victims recover, and to end their ongoing frauds and corruption that have crippled our economy, our democracy, and our nation.

Front page

Philadelphia Daily News.

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