The Roundup for July 17, 2011
As it turned out, Carmageddon was light on both the car and the “mageddon.” The 405 Freeway even reopened early. That’s what happens when federal, state and local government works together to solve a problem! For me, it was just another Southern California weekend. For the rest of the world…
• What of the Ninth Circuit’s response to the emergency request from the Justice Department to lift that stay on the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy? They allowed the stay, but also barred the DoD from “investigating, penalizing, or discharging anyone from the military pursuant to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” while the case plays out. So that’s effectively maintaining the stay, I’d say. On a related note, this is a brave op-ed from the commander of an infantry company.
• Revealing comments from Jamie Dimon, where he says that the flaws in mortgage products are an “unmitigated disaster” and that everybody is going to sue everybody else, so the solution is to “clean it up for the sake of everybody.” Particularly the people who would have their due process rights snuffed out in the process.
• Meawhile, California may join the investigation by New York and Delaware into securitization problems. That would mean that states with almost 20% of the country’s population would be rejecting any settlement on foreclosure fraud, and that’s not counting the conservative AGs who will reject it on the grounds that they would rather do nothing.
• News Corp. update: Rebekah Brooks was arrested today and put under several hours of questioning; the head of the Metropolitan Police in London has resigned for being on the take from News of the World; and David Cameron comes under increasing pressure for his ties to News Corp. executives. Nearly every institution in Britain is being touched by this scandal, and there are indications it will spread to this country as well.
• This is a good article by Mark Schmitt on Democrats’ failure to use synecdoche. The real reason it fails is that Democrats inevitably seem more concerned with making the pithy faux-populism catch-phrase than actually dismantling rampant inequality or tax policies that favor the rich.
• How rejecting a bigger stimulus over concerns about the deficit made the deficit worse.
• David Leonhardt claims that the bursting of the consumer bubble is an explanation for the slow recovery. He hasn’t been to rooftop bars in LA. People will still spend money, gladly – if they have it. The lack of consumer spending seems more like an effect than a cause.
• The opposition quit reconciliation talks in Bahrain, talks that were praised by the Obama Administration. The opposition group al-Wifaq called the talks “not serious.”
• More in the Middle East: Showing that dissent can work, the Egyptian Prime Minister just reshuffled its cabinet, including a resignation from the foreign minister and a new finance minister; Yemen’s protesters inaugurated a shadow government; Free Libya forces make a run at the oil city of Brega.
• Digby on the arguments made to deprive people of their Social Security benefits.
• I’m amazed by how little attention, even in this state, has been paid to the inmate hunger strike at the Pelican Bay state prison in California.
• Speaking of the News Corp. scandal, Piers Morgan needs to answer some questions rather than asking them.
• The new Treasurer of the World Bank was the Chief Risk Officer for Lehman Brothers.
• This blogger makes the case that HAMP’s Net Present Value test was designed to fail underwater borrowers in the hardest-hit states.
• GM is investing in Flint again; I smell another Roger & Me sequel!
• I’m intrigued with at least trying Spotify.