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The pilfering public pension pirates of Illinois: tax the rich to save the rest

11:44 am in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

This is the thanks they get? Our teachers and our librarians, civil engineers and school crossing guards, trash collectors and public safety protectors, public prosecutors and public defenders, snowplow drivers, accountants, file clerks, telephone operators, translators, healthcare workers, those who care for our sick and elderly and our forgotten.

Acme Arts Collective and its member artists are cooperating on this Thanksgiving day to publicize the attack on public employees carried out by both the Democrats who control the statehouse in Illinois and the Illinois Republicans who have conspired with the oligarchic predatory class to demonize Illinoisans who selflessly choose to serve the public as teachers, police, firefighters, public safety inspectors; your neighbors who’s energies have educated your children, saved the lives of your parents and grandparents and, yes, worked thanklessly to attend to the waste that is created daily by the vast mechanisms in modern America that shift wealth from the poorest to the most wealthy.

Our friends and neighbors who chose to give up the comforts that would have otherwise been accorded to them in our unfair two class system should they have decided to ‘make money in the private sector’ and cravenly given their energies to gamble and steal in the fashion of modern America’s felonious financial sector are now being attacked in a organized and systemic fashion by the multi-headed Cerberus that is the financial/political/media industrial complex. The protectors of the rich and un-civil at the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the unfair-taxation-matrons at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the ALEC lap-puppies at the Illinois Policy Institute have banded together with the politicians from both parties who bear responsibility for Illinois’ pension ‘crisis’ in a greed induced blitzkrieg to steal pension benefits from poor, old, sick, infirm and literally helpless Illinoisans who spent their lives working to make the civic space of Illinois function for the past 30 years.

That is correct, the richest industrialists, the most bought off press and our hopelessly sycophantic to business interests politicians and weasley wealth protecting “not-for-profits” who run Illinois have banded together for the single purpose of taking food out of the mouths of our neighbors and taking medicine away from our friends who are disabled, infirm and diseased for the simple to understand single purpose – because they are greedy.

Lets break it down -

The Industrialists:
These are Illinoisans who exploit the value added to our state by public employees every single day. Their employees were taught how to read, write and reason by your neighbor, a school teacher. They ship the plastic widgets that they sell to make themselves fabulously wealthy on roads that were built using public funds that created thousands of middle class private sector jobs, and are kept safe by public sector engineers, safety inspectors and police. But these unpatriotic parasitic wealthy Illinoisans refuse to pay their fair share of income taxes to support the intellectual and physical infrastructure in Illinois that they themselves have used to become wealthy and, instead, are conspiring to ensure that old ladies do not have life saving medications.

The Media:
The Editorial board of the bankrupt Chicago Tribune, who themselves amass outrageous pension benefits that ensure that they will each receive pensions of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year when they retire, have banded with private sector companies to make certain that the school teachers and librarians who read the Chicago Tribune will have to choose between medicine and food in their retirement. Acting as the water-carrier for wealthy individuals and corporations, the Chicago Tribune has led a greed inspired propaganda blitzkrieg against the poorest among us who gave their entire working careers to serve the public. The Chicago Tribune does not think that it is fair that the average retired state employee who receives a pension lives on $20,000, but thinks that giving a combined $42.5 million in bonuses to a group of its employees just last year amounts to being a ‘productive business enterprise’ …did I mention that the company is bankrupt?

The Politicians:

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Unclear on the concept cavalcade continues to corrupt citizens’ consciousness

4:16 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Ripped from the headlines, the news seems to suggest that rank and file democrats are following their standard bearer’s ‘style’ when it comes to solving some of the more pressing and complex problems that we face togehter as a nation. Its good to know that these followers have appreciated the efforts made by the Obama administration to “set the tone” as we sally forth together to solve these troubling and significant criminal and cultural problems.

Democratic leadership acts as anti-equal justice vigilante, taking personal initiative to smash the concept of equal protection under the law with of get-out-of-jail-for-free winks and nods to felonious bankers

President Obama, referring to the his administration’s broad based policy of agreeing to non-prosecution agreements drafted by private businesses who have been accused of criminality, reassured citizens angered by the administration’s apparent disregard for the law when he stated; “Well, first, on the issue of — on the issue of prosecutions on Wall Street, one of the biggest problems about the collapse of Lehman’s and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal, it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless…You know, the financial sector is very creative, and they are always looking for ways to make money. That’s their job. And if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it.”

Democratic president acts as anti-international and anti-US constitutional law vigilante, pommeling treaties and settled US law with the truncheon of a non-investigation promise to American torturers

A short two months after winning the election in 2008, and just days before taking an oath that requires him to “protect and defend the constitution”, president Barack Obama, speaking on television on January 10, 2009, advised Americans of his unconventional plan for enforcing treaty obligated, legally codified and constitutionally mandated prohibitions against torturing human beings, stating; “Part of my job is to make sure that, for example, at the CIA, you’ve got extraordinarily talented people who are working very hard to keep Americans safe. I don’t want them to suddenly feel like they’ve got spend their all their time looking over their shoulders…(I operate on) a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

Democratic president acts as anti-health vigilante, taking personal initiative to smash the public healthcare option with cudgel of disingenuousness and lies

Speaking to a gathering of actually important Democratic party supporters in September of 2010 who paid $30,000 each to sup with President Obama, the president took time to put critics of his signature insurance industry bail-out plan called the Affordable Care Act in their place, saying, “Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed — oh, well, the public option wasn’t there.”

Democratic president acts as anti-constitution vigilante, taking personal initiative to bug-splat American citizens with no judge’s order

In a new book regarding the 2010 presidential campaign, President Obama confirms one of the skills that he has consciously honed and perfected since he became president of the United States. Having overseen the conveyance of sky-death to hundreds of innocent humans as he personally ordered hundreds of drone executions, Obama reflected on his new-found passion, stating, “I’m really good at killing people.”

Democratic president acts as anti-privacy vigilante, taking personal initiative to bludgeon the notion of private communication for every member of the human race with complete and unrelenting surveillance

Speaking to a troubled populous after they were informed of the un-warranted and warrantless surveillance of all Americans, and most citizens of planet earth, for the entire time he has been president, Barack Obama sought to calm the concerns of Americans when he advised in July 2013 that, the “modest encroachments on privacy” were “worth us doing” in furtherance of protecting the homeland. Obama reminded Americans that, while not specified in the US Constitution, “There are some trade-offs involved,” when it comes to protecting the homeland.

Democratic leadership teams with Republican leadership as anti-sick person vigilantes, taking personal initiative to scheme to beat back relief payments to American patients with technical accounting brick-bat

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Bipartisan odor wafting from DC

7:41 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Republican Elephant & Democrat Donkey

Bi-partisan cooperation, but not in the people’s name.

As both Democratic and Republican politicians are getting ready to roll up their sleeves and start governing now that the closed for business government has been re-opened for business, a small group of political leaders from both parties are working together to brainstorm solutions that are practical, make good sense and appeal to the mindsets and meet the requirements of politicians from both parties. While the consensus of TV’s shouty partisan teletubbies is that our diametrically opposed political parties can’t possibly agree on anything (and we therefore can’t do anything other than continue fighting imperial wars and bailing out private businessmen) the deal-makers in DC are currently working on a proposal that has not been castigated by either Democrats or Republicans as “unworkable”, “undoable”, “unpalatable” or “un-American” providing hope that the chasm between the party of Lincoln and the party of…whatever the Democrats say that they are the party of, can be bridged for the sake of benefiting regular Americans, who are very rich.

The bi-partisan work group has proposed implementing what it calls the “chained tax tables” that will, over the course of time, gradually reduce the rate of taxes paid by the country’s “job creators” eventually bringing the country to a comfortable stasis point of zero percent with respect to taxation of our richest donors/citizens that both Democrats and Republicans can trumpet as a success when they stand before their local Chambers of Commerce.

In the system of chained tax tabling, instead of politicians caving to wealthy campaign cash contributors once every two years (during election seasons) and giving away scads of unwarranted tax breaks, promoting tax forgiveness schemes, offering multiple year tax holidays and tax rebates, an assessment will be made every month that will take into account the level of pouting, screaming and threatening to withhold financial support from politicians by America’s wealthiest and America’s businesses that will be recorded on a new government scale called the “Captured Politican Index” (CPI). Based upon the monthly changes to the CPI, the tax rates of our top earners will be decreased in rough proportion to the kicking and screaming, pouting and threatening that the index will quantify.

Chained tax tabling was originally conceived of by a team of academics that was appointed during the Clinton presidency when both republicans and democrats, supported by the White House, determined that having the lowest personal tax rates on the planet for our wealthiest citizens and for our hard working corporations was just too burdensome.

Though chained tax tabling was inspired out of a pure bi-partisan desire to help a small sliver (one percent) of America’s citizens that legislators realized really “needed a little help” from our government, the concept was originally lionized largely by rightwing think tanks in America, including the Heritage Foundation, and was supported by George W. Bush among other members of America’s “hard right”. But, with the election of the very pragmatic servant of the public Barack Obama, members of America’s “left wing”, including Obama himself, have realized the need to extend tax relief to the hard working very rich in our country.

US Representative Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently exclaimed his full throated support for chained tax tabling and the CPI recently stating, “That’s right. I do, and I’ll tell you why — because Social Security is going to run out of money in 20 years. I want to fix it now, before we reach that cliff … Medicare may run out of money in 10 years, let’s fix it now If we don’t focus on the health care and dealing with the entitlements, the baby boom generation is going to blow away our future.”

It is this mindset that animates the group of brave elected officials from both parties that has banded together to push for chained tax tabling to lend support to our country’s job creators and to show that bipartisanship has not died in this great land.

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To hell with the heelots and then, to the hills

1:14 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

As this divided, infrastructurally decrepit, middle class obviated, finance industry indentured, environmentally forsaken, compassion suppressing, rich get richer, war is the only answer, private capital coddling country slides off the rails towards the only demise that its choices can afford it, inhabited as it is by government protectors of big business who scream about government overreach, pettifogging mouthpiece Nobel Peace Prize winners who describe their child victims as terrorists expecting that their ‘framing’ absolves them from war crime guilt, humanitarians who call for the cindering of civilians, government regulators who claim they have only the power to de-regulate industries, criminal enforcement entities who wink&grin with private business owners as they say they cannot prosecute crimes unless they are committed by poor people, American patriots whose vision of freedom is to be freed from contributing to the common good and freed to move tax payer bailout money to untaxable off-shore accounts, political party apologizers who gladly accept tens of thousands of deaths every year in America so they can assert that laws created by the insurance industry to protect it from being thrown on the ash heap of history are somehow helping our poor and sick to receive care, I look out my Midwestern window today to have revealed to my weary eyes, a clump of river birch trees accepting its fate of dying to the winter, its beautiful death-shroud of golden leaves quivering in the portent of a northerly breeze. I am inspired today to sing praise to the bull-shit callers, the question askers (and answer demanders), those who will not give in or up as the fresh face of modern US neo-fascism glares threateningly back, the whistle blowers, the debate goers, the seed sowers who call out the collateral victim mowers, the division growers and baby in the bathwater throwers – those who recognize these ‘heelots’ for what they are and know that standing firm is the only stance to take when “standing up”.

Robert Riskin wrote the screenplay for the classic American film “Meet John Doe”, based upon a story by Richard Connel and Robert Presnell. The Capra film was released in 1941, but really reflects the time period of America’s last depression. As many know, the story involves a scheme concocted by a jaded newspaper woman who has been fired when a new owner of her newspaper comes in to “clean house”. The reporter convinces ‘John Doe’, an innocent country boy, to pretend to threaten to commit suicide due to the economic misery and America’s political intransigence to remedy the suffering, which gives the recently fired reporter an exclusive story – saving her job. The scheme careens out of the control of the schemers when the concocted story ignites a massive popular movement among regular Americans who are seeking both relief from the crushing economic depression as well as answers from politicians and the captains of industry. In an interesting fictional parallel to an historic incident, America’s industrial magnates conspire to seize control of the movement and utilize the agitated populace to instigate a coup, taking over America and instituting a fascistic new government that is directed by rich business owners to protect private capital and subordinate America’s workers and neuter the nascent popular political movement.

I know readers will see in this story many parallels to our current times – with the obvious exception being the fact that, during the previous depression, Hollywood would allow such a piece of socialist agit-prop to hit the big screens across America (even with its softening sub-plots) – and I encourage readers who have not seen this film in a long time to seek it out and view it comparing its mise-en-scene with today’s messy scenes in the USA; but my intent of bringing up this wonderful film is to call attention to a scene where ‘the Colonel” (played beautifully by Walter Brennan) gives his soliloquy, expounding on freedom in (from) this modern world.

After agreeing to the scheme, the hoboing John Doe is fed a meal, given new cloths by his newspapermen handlers, and $50 “spending money”. All of which leads to the Colonel frustratedly expressing his philosophy to a room full of regular modern Americans, city folk to be sure – but regular folks, just like those country folks in the American hinterland: Read the rest of this entry →

Presidental proffer of ‘protection’ to pilfer pensioner’s pocketbooks is pathetic

3:57 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

Social Security card

Will Obama sacrifice social security to the Republicans?

As part of the agreed to by all parties ‘government shut down’ congress is contemplating resurrecting elements of President Obama’s so-called ‘grand bargain’. One of the president’s proposals, lifted as many of his ‘ideas’ are from the wish-list of fiscal conservatives intent on ‘ending social security as we know it’ including the Heritage Foundation, would require that social security recipients receive reduced cost of living increases, decreases that compound over time. Meaning, the longer a Parkinson’s patient is sick and relies upon government benefits, the more her social security will diminish. The change to social security that President Obama (D-IL) has proposed is referred to as the “chained CPI”.

Social Security payments to our disabled citizens average $13,548 per year. Social Security payments to America’s retirees average $15,228 per year. More than 53 million Americans receive these small benefits which help to keep them out of poverty. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the chained CPI proposed by President Obama in his 2014 budget will cut Social Security benefits to all recipients. The president calls his plan to reduce social security benefits a “protection,” I call it a pathetic capitulation to America’s wealthiest citizens.

The greedy statisticians who are pushing use of the Chained CPI assert that because of the way inflation is currently assessed, social security recipients are getting too much money; proponents of this scheme to reduce payments to our seniors and disabled assert that social security recipients currently receive an “unearned benefit” and that this, as opposed to unfunded military invasions for example, increases the budget deficit.

As far as I can tally, the average social security yearly payment of $14,388 represents a miniscule 8.2 percent of the congressional ‘take home pay’ of $174,000. Congress persons make $159,612 more than our average social security recipient, and these people think our sick and elderly are making too much? When a retired fire fighter receives $15,228 per year or a sick patient receives $13,548 per year in social security benefits, it is very difficult for me to conceive that there is a way that these deserving Americans are receiving an “unearned benefit.”

82 House Democrats oppose the President’s plan to cut payments to the disabled and seniors.

Contact your Democratic representative today and ask if they support taking money away from the sick and elderly.

Contact the White House and ask why a Democrat would propose cutting benefits to the sick and elderly.

We need to stand for our elders and our disabled neighbors — we need to make sure democratic politicians know that if they support diminishing social security they will LOSE THEIR JOBS.

“Resolve yourself to evolve yourself. Evolve, revolve. Evolution, revolution”  –Lend a hand by #theCCC
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Rahm divvies up the free market for pals

2:00 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

In another in the long list of privatization schemes gone (not surprisingly) awry, Chicago, a blue city in a blue state of Democratic party bred leaders that appears by all accounts to be the nation’s laboratory for, is running the numbers on its ‘bike share’ program called “DIVVY” (which is really a bike rental scheme) to realize that they just are not adding up.

Divvy bike sharing station

Divvy bike sharing station

The City of Chicago began its ‘public/private partnership’ bike share scheme earlier this year after seeking bids by companies interested in partnering with the city in 2012. While a local start-up, Bike Chicago, placed a bid for the city contract that offered to do the job for $26 million over a 5 year period, the company ALTA, a Portland OR based company that has contracted with several US cities including New York, Washington DC and Boston over the past two years in ‘public/private partnerships’ to provide bike share service, was able to secure the city contract for $65 million.

At the time ALTA received the contract from the City of Chicago, concerns arose that the bidding process for this partnership was tainted. It was discovered that Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s (who was preiously White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration) appointed city Transportation Commissioner, Gabe Klein, formerly worked for ALTA. The allegation of improprity is currently being investigated by the City of Chicago’s Inspector General.

The program was rolled out in Chicago this past June and about 1400 out of a projected 4000 bikes are ready for rental on the city’s streets. But revenues are not rolling in as projected by the players in this ‘public/private partnership’. As per usual in such contracts, if the costs of running the program exceed the revenues generated by the share service, then Illinois taxpayers are required under the contract to make up the difference. ALTA runs the program at the low, low cost of $2.33 million per month, so far the system has generated about $160,250 per month, or about 7 percent of the fee ALTA is to be paid. Admittedly, the $28 million cost for the first year of the program, is roughly one third of the contract’s total obligation – but at the current rate of revenue, there is little chance that the service will ever be able to be self-sustaining.

As President Obama will tell while looking you straight in the eye, these amazing melding of public funding, public risk and private profits will “create jobs…attract private investment…(have) less red tape to gum up the works…(and, by the way private companies will ensure that projects will be completed) better and faster.” (President Obama, April 1, 2013 Miami, FL).

The Chicago bike rental scheme received $22 million in federal grant money and $5.5 million in Illinois taxpayer funds to kick-start: that is $27.5 million in taxpayer funds out of the $28 million first year costs to run the program. As my math figures, that means ALTA coughed up around $500,000 to secure this keen $65 million 5 year public/private contract.

Chicago city officials, including Mayor Emmanuel, happily report that the numbers from 2 months of bike-sharing in Chicago show that the partnership is performing “beyond their expectations.” At a return rate of 7% of the expected costs to run the program, many Chicagoans are asking themselves just exactly what the signatories to the public/private scheme would consider to be “not meeting expectations” and also are trying to figure out which public (you know, just public) projects will have to be cut back or terminated to find dollars to pay ALTA’s end of this ‘public/private’ boondoggle.
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Democratic credulity and the scientific religion of free marketism

3:29 pm in Uncategorized by acmerecords

cross posted at the demise

In case there is any lingering hope, that hasn’t yet changed to disbelief or rage, that Democrats have finally torn the gauzy film of free market scientific-theologism from their eyes, we now observe the spectacle of Mr. Obama (a real true Democrat) slathering praise on the lizard-like manipulator consigliore of profit privatization and debt socialization, Mr. Summers, asserting in broad daylight that Summers makes an “outstanding” candidate to head up the Federal Reserve.

Larry Summers - Caricature

Larry Summers – Caricature

I really think that Obama believes that Mr. Summers would be a “terrific” head of the Federal Reserve. And whether he knows it or not, his man-crush on lizard Summers is a significant tell signaling the religion that our Democrat in the White House practices; free market scientific-theologism.

Let’s take a look at some of Mr. Summer’s career achievements in the world of your own personal finances that may help you understand just why our dear democratic leader swoons in defense of Mr. Summers.

When he was an appointee of that other fabulous freemarketeer Democratic president, Bill Clinton, Summers worked on some really high-minded, forward thinking (one might even say world shaking in their outright speculative adventurism) programs that we Americans are still reaping the rewards from : the non-regulation of over-the-counter derivative financial gambling bets and the de-regulation of the nation’s banks that allowed them to enter the world-wide non-regulated casino.

I know that the 15.2 percent of Americans without a job in July 2013 (as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) would surely thank Mr. Summers for his vision for their future, that is on the off chance that Mr. Summers happens to visit the homeless shelter.

Likewise, the households in the US that lost an estimated $16.4 trillion in net worth between 2007 and 2009 will, after a little free-market reeducation provided by our Democratic leadership, certainly wish to thank Mr. Summers for the ‘tough love lesson’ they have received about the free market of financial sector regulation that benefits everyone equally…it’s just like science!

Although it seems to most people that letting greed addled phonies “regulate themselves” as they were (quite literally) making billions in personal wealth by misrepresenting the value of their gambling products may be a bad idea; at the time, Mr. Summers went on record before the US Congress and reassured those corn-pone chumps that “the parties to these kinds of contracts are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies.” I guess in the end, these banking felons actually did do a good job of “protecting themselves” – not so much my retired 3rd grade science teacher…who maybe should have studied the science of ‘free markets’ instead of biology.

It is, however, good to know that – in the long run (or bank run, whatever) – Summers finally agreed with Keynesians when he quoted John Maynard Keynes telling Newsweek in 2009, “When circumstances change, I change my opinion.”

More thoughts from this vessel of magical economic thinking and action;
Mr. Summers says he is in awe of “the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that…. I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly underpolluted”,

And, Mr. Summers may himself not think that fed chair candidate Janet Yellen is up to the task (given the existence of, well, her ovaries) due to the fact that women, Summer’s asserts, have a “different availability of aptitude at the high end” than us testosterone addled free market he-men.
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Schneiderman blows statute, HuffPo blows coverage

11:46 am in Uncategorized by acmerecords

In a mildly sourced report by the Huffington Post about ‘private’ conversations between a handful of senators and the Attorney General of New York, who is also a co-chair of President Barack Obama’s task force investigating the frauds carried out by the nation’s largest banks against investors in mortgage backed securities, groups including retired teachers and civil service employees, Eric Schneiderman conveyed that he is concerned that his concerns about the public’s growing concerns that the enforcement work group is nothing more than a toothless and supine act of public relations kabuki to cover for the inaction on the part of both federal and state law enforcement officials who, after more than five years, have yet to charge a high level employee of any of the nation’s most powerful banks with crimes that led to the collapse of worldwide banking system, are communicated.

Schneiderman’s critiques come as the statutes of limitation for the crimes committed by the nation’s largest financial institutions in the lead up to the new depression have, in most case, run out extinguishing regulators’ ability to prosecute the criminals.

One of the senators who met recently with Schneiderman, the retiring senator from Michigan, Carl Levin, was concerned to tell the Huffington Post that Schneiderman “expressed similar frustrations that the public has expressed,” and another senator, who was concerned to maintain anonymity, said that Schneiderman “was very clear” that he wanted to convey his “frustration”.

Schneiderman’s appointment to co-chair the Obama created work group on mortgage backed securities was announced to great fanfare during Obama’s State of the Union address in 2012, four years after the onset of the new depression and during a time in which the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve had given America’s largest private banking companies trillions of tax payer dollars, nearly interest free loans and 100 percent guarantees on trillions of dollars of worthless securities and debt held by the private financial companies.  In the speech, Obama was keen to express his concern for the millions of Americans who became homeless and jobless due to the illegal actions of these privately run companies (although the president has gone on record stating his personal belief that “no laws were broken” in the run-up to the new depression).

Consumer groups and organizations that serve communities of dispossessed homeowners advised the Huffington Post of their concerns about the appalling track record of the mortgage securities workgroup with regard to enforcement actions, spoke “on the condition of anonymity” because of their concerns about “jeopardizing their relationships” with the state-federal workgroup.  Many homeowner service agencies have received millions of dollars generated out of non-prosecution agreements reached between federal and state regulators and the nation’s largest financial institutions that involved enforcement entities absolving private parties from criminal actions for the payment of “contributions” and fines.

A review of the mortgage securities enforcement work group’s web site  today (April 24, 2013) relates that Schneiderman is joined on the task force by Obama’s hand-picked Assistant Attorney General to lead the Criminal Division of the US Justice Department, Lanny Breuer.  Breuer resigned from government service to work for a Washington DC law firm that defends banking companies and finance companies in January 2013.

In the whirlwind of concerns related by the Huffington Post in its ‘news’ story, no mention of concern was iterated for the more than 3 million families estimated to have been foreclosed upon between 2008 and early 2012, at the time that Obama appointed Schneiderman to head the mortgage securities working group.

cross posted at the demise