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Violence Against Women Act.

(forwarded from an email I received.)

The Violence Against Women Act is due for reauthorization. Our wonderful champions, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), will introduce a bipartisan bill on Wednesday (11/30) to reauthorize and improve VAWA! The National Task Force has worked closely with them on the bill to ensure that it will not only continue proven effective programs, but that it will make key changes to streamline VAWA and make sure that even more people have access to safety, stability and justice. This is an important step forward for VAWA and we hope to get even more improvements as the bill moves forward!

What’s most important now is to get the Senators on the list below excited about VAWA and to get their support for the bill. If you live in any of the states listed below, please call your Senator(s) TODAY and ask for them to be original co-sponsors of VAWA. We need to keep their phones ringing!

Talking points:
We know that Senator _________ cares about ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The Violence Against Women Act is critical to our ability to address these crimes in our state.
There is evidence showing that VAWA has saved millions of dollars and countless lives.
We are asking for you to be an original co-sponsor of the Leahy/Crapo bill that will be introduced on Wednesday.
Please contact Anya McMurray or Noah Bookbinder at (202)224-7703 to sign on to the bill.

So much larger than life

“Big Time” was in the soundtrack of Inside Job, the Academy Award-winning film about Wall Street crooks. Probably not on Mike Bloomberg’s Top Ten list (the song or the film).

Every time I think this guy can’t possibly seem any worse, he opens his mouth and proves he’s not only an arrogant plutocrat, but also a dangerous one:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the New York Police Department was like his own personal military force during a speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to PolitickerNY. “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world,” he said. More here.

Photographs and memories

Jim Croce:

If you could read my mind

I still remember when my friend J.C. taught me how to play this Gordon Lightfoot song. I was 18:

Running on hope

H/T Sky Dancing:

Running on Hope from Douglas Sarine on Vimeo.

Baby it’s cold outside

Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone:

Unchained melody

Righteous Brothers:

Anderson’s electronic instruments make the track sound as big and empty as a prairie, and her voice is beautifully droll. She makes numbness sound sexy. More here.

Rotten to the core

Bill Black (h/t Lambert):

When you are told no one could see this crisis coming, ask them about the subprime crisis of 1990 to 1991. It’s a trick question. As all good things do in the world of fraud, this one started in Orange County, where you had significant people making liars loans. Now, remember, it is the lenders who put the lies in liars loans, not the borrowers. We know this empirically. And we stopped that—because it was insane—as regulators. And guess what happened? The leading folks making liars loans gave up their federal charter, gave up federal deposit insurance, and became a mortgage bank for the sole purpose of escaping regulation. And they changed their name. Some of you will recognize this name—to Ameriquest. Ameriquest was the leading predatory lender that in addition to making liars loans every day of the week targeted minorities to destroy that wealth you just heard about. They targeted Latinos, they targeted Blacks, and they were caught. They were caught three times doing this and the justice department refused to prosecute. Instead they settled for four hundred million dollars and guess what happened to the head of Ameriquest? Did he: a) resign in disgrace, b) was he indicted, or c) did we make him our ambassador to the Netherlands? Got it and won. How hard is this to figure out? Why do you think we made him our ambassador to the Netherlands? Because he was the leading political contributor to president of the United States of America. And that’s bad but what comes next is far worse. Remember, this is the most notorious fraud in the nation. It targets minorities. Everybody knows it does so. Two entities rushed to acquire these personnel and this business and their names—Citicorp and Washington Mutual—who become two of the most notorious frauds in all of this.

So timewise I’ll stop here but the case is, when we prosecuted, we had a ninety-percent conviction rate when they had the best criminal defense lawyers in the world and they spent money like water to protect the CEO from going to prison. So when they tell you no one can stop this, it is utter nonsense. I’ll leave you with these statistics: the FBI warned of this in September 2004. In open testimony, it warned expressly that there was an epidemic—I’m quoting—an “epidemic of mortgage fraud” and it predicted it would cause a financial crisis. If that’s not enough, the industry own anti-fraud experts in 2006, in writing, went to every mortgage banker in America and virtually every other lender and said three things: 1) stated income loans are an open invitation to fraudsters, 2) the incidence of fraud in such loans is 90%, and 3) these loans deserve the phrase—used by the industry behind closed doors—they are liars loans because they are pervasively fraudulent. How big did they get? Well, what did the industry do after it was warned? Did it stop making these loans? No! It massively increased the amount of these loans such that by 2006, one out of every three home loans in America was a liars loan. And that’s why we have a crisis and it came from the very top of these organizations, and it went through—as the FHFA said in its complaint—the largest banks in the world were endemically fraudulent. It is not a few rotten apples. It is an orchard of one percenters who are rotten to the core.

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