First published in The Agonist
The corporate takeover of California is on hold according to the latest polls out of the nation’s largest state. Just nine days before the election, the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California poll shows a nearly impossible uphill battle for the big business ticket of former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.
Among likely voters in the governor’s race, Brown leads Whitman 50% to 38%. In the race for United States Senator, two term Senator Barbara Boxer maintained an 8% lead. The leads by Democrats come from a brand new constituency, those who “never” go to church. More on that later.
Dave Leip’s US Atlas of Presidential Elections
Here’s my prediction for the Senate races. I see the Democrats holding on to a 54 seat majority. If this happens, the thing to watch are the rules for the new Senate. Will Reid keep to that 60 vote requirement that he’s used to kill any progressive legislation? Duh, of course he will!
My predictions don’t matter that much but the Presidential Atlas site is a gem. You can get data, review past elections, and participate in a forum. It’s an excellent resource. The site is without any bias whatsoever. Dave Liep collects the data and you get real election results., unlike those provided on election night. A good deal of voting results come in up to a month after the election. Membership is free, right column. (more…)
Do you deserve to die earlier than necessary because we have a manifestly unfair and inefficient health care delivery system? Do your friends and family?
What Changes in Survival Rates Tell Us About US Health Care (Hint, were a cool number 49 in longevity worldwide, just ahead of … Albania !)
The Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) is ground zero for the current crisis. The very entity that was to bypass state and county laws and regulations and assume universal ownership apparently has a very limited or nonexistent basis in law.
Big banks have stopped foreclosures in 23 states due to legal challenges to their ownership of mortgage notes. On Wednesday, JP Morgan upped their total to 41 states in which foreclosure operations had ceased.
Why the halt in foreclosures? It seems that the banks have ignored long established state property and title procedures and may not actually own the title to the homes subject to foreclosure (and others subject to the same procedures).
Calculated Risk quoted a JP Morgan spokesman saying,
“We’ve identified issues relating to the mortgage foreclosure affidavits and those include signers not having personally reviewed the underlying loan files but instead having relied upon the work of others. … And there are circumstances where affidavits have not been properly notarized” Oct. 13.
Failing to “personally review” loan documents means that asserting that the review took place was perjury. This happened for countless mortgages. Failing to properly notarize mortgage signatures violates state property law. It could also be seen as negligence by investors in the mortgages, as well.
ForclosureGate – Shock and Awe
Those who saw the foreclosure and eviction movement around the country as inevitable may be in awe at this development. Citizens may be able to keep their homes longer, avoid eviction, and regroup financially. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) was prophetic at the start of 2009 when she outlined what turned into a stunningly successful legal strategy.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur “Make Them Prove They Own Your Loan!” — January 2009
You thought the foreclosure mess was bad? You’re right about that. But it gets so much worse once you start adding in a whole bunch of parallel messes in the world of mortgage bonds. For instance, as Tracy Alloway says, mortgage-bond documentation generally says that if more than a minuscule proportion of notes in a mortgage pool weren’t properly transferred, then the trustee for the bondholders can force the investment bank who put the deal together to repurchase the mortgages. And it’s looking very much as though none of the notes were properly transferred.
But that’s not even the biggest potential problem facing the investment banks who put these deals together. It also turns out that there’s a pretty strong case that they lied to the investors in many if not most of these deals.
Judy White is in a desperate struggle to get husband Gary medication critical to his well being. Gary White was convicted by Federal prosecutors for refusing to cooperate as a witness in one of the Don Siegelman trials in Alabama Federal Court. White, a Republican County Commissioner refused to testify in what he said was an unlawful prosecution. He was found guilty of “petty corruption” charges after refusing to cooperate despite the fact Siegelman’s conviction was recently vacated by the Supreme Court of the United States. Upon arrival at Federal prison in South Carolina on September 29, White’s prescription medication was confiscated. He has had no medication since.
Judy White says she doesn’t know the system but she’s gone public and written an open letter to President Barack Obama appealing for his help to save her husband’s health. The Bush era Alabama Federal prosecutors who convicted Wright in their relentless persecution of former governor Siegelman remain as Federal prosecutors to this day. Michael Collins
After the break…
Judy White Fights For Incarcerated Husband’s Access to His Prescriptions By Joan Brunwasser
By Numerian posted by Michael Collins
“MERS acts as nominee in the county land records for the lender and servicer. Any loan registered on the MERS® System is inoculated against future assignments because MERS remains the nominal mortgagee no matter how many times servicing is traded. MERS as original mortgagee (MOM) is approved by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, FHA and VA, California and Utah Housing Finance Agencies, as well as all of the major Wall Street rating agencies.” About theMortgage Electronic Registration System, MERS
The foreclosure scandal surrounding the US financial industry is being portrayed by the banks as a technical problem which requires that some documentation errors be fixed. The White House has rejected the calls of many in the Congress for a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures on the grounds that there are quite a lot of them that are legitimate and should be processed. Government officials say it is going to take just a little bit of time to sort out these from the flawed foreclosures.
Young Workers in Free Fall: 1/3 Under 35 Live with Parents
So much for the economic independence that’s supposed to come with young adulthood.
But when unemployment among young men workers is the highest it’s been in 61 years, as noted by New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, it’s little wonder that workers under 35 are facing so many economic obstacles.
On Tuesday, the AFL-CIO released the results of a disturbing new Peter Hart survey, “Young Workers: A Lost Decade” that found that about a third of workers under 35 live at home with their parents, and they’re far less likely to have health care or job security than they were ten years ago. Even then, in a 1999 survey, when they faced economic insecurity, they still had reasons to be hopeful.
Those days are long gone. A quarter of young workers say they don’t earn enough to even pay their monthly bills, a 14% rise from the last survey. As Richard Trumka, the presumptive incoming president of the AFL-CIO, said in a press conference today:
We’re calling the report “A Lost Decade” because we’re seeing 10 years of opportunity lost as young workers across the board are struggling to keep their heads above water and often not succeeding. They’ve put off adulthood – – put off having kids, put off education – and a full 34 percent of workers under 35 live with their parents for financial reasons.Thirty-five percent are significantly less likely to have health care than older workers, only 31 percent make enough money to pay their bills while putting anything aside in savings, and almost half are more worried than hopeful about their economic future.