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This is really, really infuriating. Scheiderman is maybe the only person in America who’s trying to hold banks accountable, and I knew it was just a matter of time before the administration started putting the screws to him for that very reason:

Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.

In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks.

Mr. Schneiderman and top prosecutors in some other states have objected to the proposed settlement with major banks, saying it would restrict their ability to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing in a variety of areas, including the bundling of loans in mortgage securities.

But Mr. Donovan and others in the administration have been contacting not only Mr. Schneiderman but his allies, including consumer groups and advocates for borrowers, seeking help to secure the attorney general’s participation in the deal, these people said. One recipient described the calls from Mr. Donovan, but asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.

Not surprising, the large banks, which are eager to reach a settlement, have grown increasingly frustrated with Mr. Schneiderman. Bank officials recently discussed asking Mr. Donovan for help in changing the attorney general’s mind, according to a person briefed on those talks.

In an interview on Friday, Mr. Donovan defended his discussions with the attorney general, saying they were motivated by a desire to speed up help for troubled homeowners. But he said he had not spoken to bank officials or their representatives about trying to persuade Mr. Schneiderman to get on board with the deal.

Last week, David Dayen wrote about how the Bank of America was trying to smear Schneiderman:

So having figured out that the Feds cannot come riding to the rescue with another back-door bailout, Bank of America has settled on Plan B. They’ve decided to smear the AGs who are doing their job.
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Reminds us of this great speech from Charlie Chaplain in “The Great Dictator”:


We had another line of fierce storms move through this afternoon, lots of rain and lightning. Two houses out in the burbs were struck by lightning and were on fire.

I was thinking about this: Why would people buy these really expensive houses – yet not invest $2500 or so in a lightning rod?

She’s the one

Karl Wallinger:

Excellent NYT piece about an annoying symptom of America’s decline — the tendency of far too many too people to “infantilize” themselves with mindless hero worship and a desperate belief in American exceptionalism.


Libyan rebels have taken control of most parts of Tripoli:

Meanwhile, in Syria, rebels pour into the streets to show their support:

Hard times of old England

Steeleye Span:

Too much of nothing



Rita Coolidge:

Philly Folk Fest 50th anniversary

Live stream:

Free live streaming by Ustream

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