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Five laws

Every internet user should know.

Dirty rotten Drudge

From ThinkProgress:

Matt Drudge continues to capture the attention of the polical media “because of his brand recognition and, in 2012, because he has a direct line to the Romney campaign.”

But Drudge has used this position to continually mislead the public and the media. Tuesday night’s “bombshell” was just one of many recent examples. Here are 10 completely fake banner stories by Drudge in 2012…

Republican chutzpah

Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND), locked in a close Senate race against former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D), visited the 55th Street bypass bridge construction site in Minot on Tuesday, touting the stop on his campaign’s Twitter feed

However, Berg voted to strip funding for the bridge construction last year, nearly killing the entire project…

Gee

You don’t suppose the deep cuts in government spending have anything to do with this, do you?

The International Monetary Fund’s chief economist has warned that the global economy will take a decade to recover from the financial crisis as the latest snapshot of the UK economy suggested that growth in the third quarter will be at best anaemic.

A cowardly spectacle

I’m thinking of the Sept. 30 Huffington Post story that began like this:

Ahead of the first presidential debate this Wednesday, the Obama campaign has rejected the idea that the president will be hurling any “zingers” at opponent Mitt Romney.

That was the political understatement of the year. It wasn’t just the absence of zingers that made Obama look so infuriatingly weak. It was his obvious determination to avoid any responses that might be construed as over-aggressive, even in the face of Mitt Romney’s numerous self-contradictions.

Maybe Obama took the stupid advice of advisers who warned him not to appear “un-presidential” — i.e., indignant in the face of Mitt Romney’s lies. More likely, Obama was simply being what many of us already thought he was — a smart, smooth man who is temperamentally incapable of the combativeness that a genuine leader must summon at those moments when the policies and principles he has espoused are under attack.

Why didn’t Obama make the obvious point that Romney’s attempt to present himself as concerned about average Americans was and is ludicrous? Why did he not even mention Romney’s infamous dismissal of 47 percent of the electorate?

Pardon the boxing analogy, but here was a man so concerned about staying ahead on points that he wouldn’t even trade punches with his opponent. He could have knocked Romney out of the ring but instead spent most of the contest backpedaling and looking down, as if his only goal was to make sure he didn’t trip over his own feet.

Obama may well survive his timid performance in the first debate — he didn’t even defend Social Security in a spirited and convincing fashion — but he has again reminded us that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between himself and Romney, or between the two major parties as they exist today.

More here.

Debate

Not your imagination, Obama sucked. Talking about how they both support the same shitty trade deals, the same for-profit charters, the same “need” to cut Social Security and Medicare. Yeah, I’m motivated!

Also: What Ted Rall said.

Ready for love

India Arie:

Too hurt to dance

Love how these British pop singers recreate the sound of the Sixties! Duffy:

Shadow debate on Democracy Now!

One of the reasons we have so little to choose from in presidential elections is because both parties and the media cooperate in keeping out third party candidates. We haven’t seen much informed, skeptical commentary since the old days when “Strange Bedfellows” Al Franken and Arianna Huffington covered the presidential debates on Comedy Central, so hats off to Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!

As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney square off in their first debate tonight, Democracy Now! will broadcast live from Denver with a special expanded presidential debate from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. ET. We will air the Obama/Romney debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

Stream our special 3-hour show on the Democracy Now! livestream or tune in on television on Link TV (DISHNetwork Channel 9410 or DirecTV Channel 375) or on Free Speech TV (DISH Network Channel 9415 or DirecTV Channel 348).

Click here to see all of our coverage of Election 2012.Join the discussion on our Facebook page, on Google+ or on Twitter #ExpandTheVote.

This is gonna be interesting:

(Reuters) – The highest court in the state of Washington recently ruled that a company that has foreclosed on millions of mortgages nationwide can be sued for fraud, a decision that could cause a new round of trouble for the nation’s banks.


The ruling is one of the first to allow consumers to seek damages from Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a company set up by the nation’s major banks, if they can prove they were harmed.


Legal experts said last month’s decision from the Washington Supreme Court could become a precedent for courts in other states. The case also endorsed the view of other state courts that MERS does not have the legal authority to foreclose on a home.


“This is a body blow,” said consumer law attorney Ira Rheingold. “Ultimately the MERS business model cannot work and should not work and needs to be changed.”


Banks set up MERS in the 1990s to help speed the process of packaging loans into mortgage-backed bonds by easing the process of transferring mortgages from one party to another. But ever since the housing crash, MERS has been besieged by litigation from state attorneys general, local government officials and homeowners who have challenged the company’s authority to pursue foreclosure actions.


A spokeswoman for MERS said the company is confident its role in the financial system will withstand legal challenges.


The Washington Supreme Court held that MERS’ business practices had the “capacity to deceive” a substantial portion of the public because MERS claimed it was the beneficiary of the mortgage when it was not.


This finding means that in actions where a bank used MERS to foreclose, the consumer can sue it for fraud. If the foreclosure can be challenged, MERS’ involvement would make repossession more complicated.


On top of that, virtually any foreclosed homeowner in the state in the past 15 years who feels they have been harmed in some way could file a consumer fraud suit.

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