February 8, 2012 archive

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Another day in the Veal Pen

Waiting for slaughter.

Today I’m going to pick on the National Council for La Raza which you may remember fondly as a Hispanic empowerment group on the forefront of Immigration Reform.

Having completely and totally failed at changing the Obama Administration’s worse than George W. Bush deportation policy (MSNBC, not exactly a hotbed of rumor and innuendo), La Raza has now attempted to gather the shreds of credibility that remain to sell out once again in defense of the Obama Bankster Bailout: Robo Signing Edition.

This did not escape my notice over at The Great Orange Satan-

Attorneys General: It’s Time to Close the Deal


Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM PST

Details of a $25 billion robosigning settlement have begun to emerge and if the reported details are accurate, there is much to celebrate.

Clearly, $25 billion is not enough to repair all of the damage done to our homes and the economy, but that is why the robosigning settlement is only part of the solution. One of the most important deals struck in the negotiation is on the releasing of future legal claims. This means that the AGs and the Department of Justice can continue to pursue civil rights, origination, and securitization claims. In fact, the financial crimes task force, investigations underway by AGs in California, Nevada, and Massachusetts, and the Department of Justice’s landmark settlement with Countrywide give us every reason to believe that the march toward accountability is off to a good start. The robosigning settlement should be the next step. It is time to deliver the first installment of relief for homeowners that have not a moment to lose.

Is this the policy of La Raza?

If so it’s remarkably short sighted nor does it seem to match the policy goals of your organization.

This is a ridiculously small amount of money to cover over $700 Billion in lost value and most of it comes not from banks, but from the same taxpayers that bailed them out.

This is a horrible settlement on every level.  Supporters should be ashamed.

by ek hornbeck on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 01:50:53 PM PST

NCLR Policy on AG Settlement

NCLR’s policy goal is to maximize relief for families in the timeliest fashion possible.  As we noted in the blog post, we agree that $25 billion is will not meet demand or atone for all the harms caused by the financial crisis. However, it is an important first step at a time when we really need momentum. The deals preserves the ability of the Department of Justice and the state Attorneys General to continue pursuing financial criminals and holding them accountable.  It would be short-sighted, and quite frankly irresponsible, to walk away from $25 billion and drag out negotiations for another six months or a year, while millions of families continue to slip toward foreclosure.  The settlement is not perfect and advocates will have to remain vigilant.  NCLR will continue our drumbeat for justice and meaningful relief for the millions of Americans who have been victimized by improper lending practices.

by NCLR on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 07:50:06 AM PST

Oddly enough it’s the very same Janis Bowdler that Yves Smith cites today-

(S)ome core constituencies aren’t buying what the Administration is selling:

Aides to President Barack Obama have in recent weeks courted civil rights groups and borrower advocacy organisations, scheduling meetings and calls in an attempt to gain support for the expected settlement and muffle criticism from key political allies…

The meetings have occasionally served as a “gripe session”, as one participant called them, because many of Mr Obama’s most ardent supporters have criticised the pending deal’s terms for the degree of relief provided and the extent of the release from legal claims it provides for banks desperate to minimise mortgage-related liability…

Janis Bowdler, a housing expert at the National Council of La Raza, the largest US Hispanic civil rights group, said the settlement would be a good start for the White House as it seeks to prove it is doing all it can for homeowners.

“Wrapping up the settlement now is the right thing to do, but it’s only going to be a win for them politically if they follow up with the financial crimes task force,” Ms Bowdler said…”Otherwise, if this is it, and they’re satisfied with just $25bn, I don’t think that will be enough to convince voters that they were doing all they could to fix the housing market.”

Oh, they plan to do more: put some small and maybe even mid sized players in stocks in the town square, the closer to the elections, the better. As we know all too well, the Administration only wants to appease voters, not fix the problem. What it seems to fail to recognize is the the housing market is in such distress that token measures and gimmickry are unlikely to do the trick.

La Raza.  A sold out failure on every level.  Exactly as influential as Planned Parenthood.

DHinMI called me dangerous and edgy.  Well, I am.

praying at the Western Wall

Ahhhhh…the wisdom of the ages.

A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time.

PhotobucketSo she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site.

She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an interview.

“Pardon me, sir, I’m Rebecca Smith from CNN. What’s your name?

“Morris Feinberg,” he replied.

“Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?”

“For about 60 years.”

“60 years! That’s amazing! What do you pray for?”

“I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims.”

“I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop.”

“I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults and to love their fellow man.”

“I pray that politicians tell us the truth and put the interests of the people ahead of their own interests.”

“How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?”

“Like I’m talking to a fucking wall.”


The Daffy Doc

On This Day In History February 8

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 8 is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 326 days remaining until the end of the year (327 in leap years).

On this day in 1828, Jules Gabriel Verne is born in Nantes, Brittany in France. He was a French author who pioneered the science-fiction genre. He is best known for novels such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before air travel and practical submarines were invented, and before practical means of space travel had been devised. He is the third most translated individual author in the world, according to Index Translationum. Some of his books have been made into films. Verne, along with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells, is often popularly referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction”.

Literary debut

After completing his studies at the lycée, Verne went to Paris to study for the bar. About 1848, in conjunction with Michel Carré, he began writing libretti for operettas. For some years his attentions were divided between the theatre and work, but some travellers’ stories which he wrote for the Musée des Familles revealed to him his true talent: the telling of delightfully extravagant voyages and adventures to which cleverly prepared scientific and geographical details lent an air of verisimilitude.

When Verne’s father discovered that his son was writing rather than studying law, he promptly withdrew his financial support. Verne was forced to support himself as a stockbroker, which he hated despite being somewhat successful at it. During this period, he met Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, pére, who offered him writing advice.

Verne also met Honorine de Viane Morel, a widow with two daughters. They were married on January 10 1857. With her encouragement, he continued to write and actively looked for a publisher.

Verne’s situation improved when he met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, one of the most important French publishers of the 19th century, who also published Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, and Erckmann-Chatrian, among others. They formed an excellent writer-publisher team until Hetzel’s death. Hetzel helped improve Verne’s writings, which until then had been repeatedly rejected by other publishers. Hetzel read a draft of Verne’s story about the balloon exploration of Africa, which had been rejected by other publishers for being “too scientific”. With Hetzel’s help, Verne rewrote the story, which was published in 1863 in book form as Cinq semaines en balloon (Five_Weeks_in_a_Balloon Five Weeks in a Baloon). Acting on Hetzel’s advice, Verne added comical accents to his novels, changed sad endings into happy ones, and toned down various political messages.

From that point, Hetzel published two or more volumes a year. The most successful of these include: Voyage au centre de la terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1864); De la terre à la lune (From the Earth to the Moon, 1865); Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1869); and Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days), which first appeared in Le Temps in 1872. The series is collectively known as “Voyages Extraordinaires” (“extraordinary voyages”). Verne could now live on his writings. But most of his wealth came from the stage adaptations of Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (1874) and Michel Strogoff (1876), which he wrote with Adolphe d’Ennery. In 1867 Verne bought a small ship, the Saint-Michel, which he successively replaced with the Saint-Michel II and the Saint-Michel III as his financial situation improved. On board the Saint-Michel III, he sailed around Europe. In 1870, he was appointed as “Chevalier” (Knight) of the Légion d’honneur. After his first novel, most of his stories were first serialised in the Magazine d’Éducation et de Récréation, a Hetzel biweekly publication, before being published in the form of books.

In his last years, Jules Verne wrote a novel called Paris in the 20th Century about a young man who lives in a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, gas-powered automobiles, calculators, and a worldwide communications network, yet cannot find happiness and comes to a tragic end. Hetzel thought the novel’s pessimism would damage Verne’s then booming career, and suggested he wait 20 years to publish it. Verne put the manuscript in a safe, where it was discovered by his great-grandson in 1989. It was published in 1994.

In 1905, while ill with diabetes, Verne died at his home, 44 Boulevard Longueville (now Boulevard Jules-Verne).


Norton Anti-Virus is itself a virus that makes it impossible to maintain your computer without paying a yearly rent to Symantec and has only middling effectiveness at its purported purpose.

Don’t pay?  Your computer crashes and you have to wipe it and re-install the operating system.

pcAnywhere is malware that allows remote users to hijack your machine.

It was Symantec and their police handlers who introduced money into the equation.

I encourage you to download a torrent today and leave it to seed.  Free Download Manager is not only free, but superior.  It also offers a BitTorrent client that you can selectively turn off and on and resumable downloads and error correction.

Anonymous: Symantec Offered $50K for Stolen Code, Plus a Lie

By Mark Hachman, PC World

February 6, 2012 08:36pm EST

Members of the Anonymous network released an email thread on Monday that claims that Symantec offered $50,000 in return for the guaranteed destruction of code tied to its pcAnywhere and Norton Antivirus tools.

The group said later that the code would be released. Separately, Anonymous released emails from the legal team who represented Frank Wuterich, the staff sergeant who led an assault on the Iraqi city of Haditha that left 24 unarmed civilians dead.

According to the email chain, Sam Thomas, an employee of Symantec, began negotiations with “Yamatough,” a member of the Lords of Dharmaraja group using a Venezuelan email address, on or about Jan. 18. According to the emails, Symantec asked Yamatough and the group to lie about having accomplished an earlier 2006 hack, which obtained the code.

Hackers sought $50,000 from Symantec for anti-virus blueprint

By Frank Jack Daniel, Reuters

Tue Feb 7, 2012 3:46am EST

An email exchange released by the hacker, who is known as YamaTough and claims to be based in Mumbai, India, shows drawn-out negotiations with a purported Symantec employee starting on January 18.

“In exchange, you will make a public statement on behalf of your group that you lied about the hack.”

The hacker said he never intended to take the money and warned he would soon release the blueprints for Symantec’s pcAnywhere and Norton antivirus products.

“We tricked them into offering us a bribe so we could humiliate them,” YamaTough told Reuters.

The Obama Nightmare (Bush’s 4th term)

Bush’s fourth term is shaping up beautifully.  Republicans are a disgrace; Democrats a very similar, but publicly perceived lesser disgrace.  I sort of agree, but not really.  They are knocking off the same countries as Cheney, with vini vidi vici aplomb.  Plus sum; while ramping up internal power grabs.  Just like Dick!

Meanwhile, La Diggs, whom I like well-enough, hears the death rattle (more accurately “debt rattle”) of MOUs.  Hardy har har!  You fucking with me, girlfriend?  Has Europe escaped your attention?  They are scared to foreclose on Greece!, for all the CDS triggers.  Nevermind Spain and Italy.

Big Tent Democrat is a foregone conclusion on matters of vital interest.  He’s keeping his mouth shut until after November, at which point he’ll bank on being in the club.  Trust me, on this.  BTD is still in the club, to which neither you, nor I, nor driftglass belong; and speaking of driftglass…Let’s just say that Roman Polanski will never call him “pussycat” and cut his nose, because as formidable as he is, he doesn’t sniff around the right places anymore.  Jake “Mr. Gitts,” he no longer is.

Booman, is, of course, himself.  Probably has never “seen” the empire for what it is.  It’s hard to know what a “complete fool” is, being one myself.

Daily Kos: fukity fuk fuk fuk.

And there you have it.

Sorry to say, our friends are quickly/slowly drying up, like mortar between bricks: It sets over-night, then cures.

Muse in the Morning

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Late Night Karaoke

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

Our regular featured content-

These featured articles-

This is an Open Thread

The Stars Hollow Gazette