• Is it Obama’s move? Or is it the Supreme Court’s, deciding whether or not to accept Risen’s petition for writ of certiorari? Does Risen’s petition trigger an Obama (and Sterling?) response to the Supreme Court too? (Papers linked at NYT list three parties.)

  • Fracking/drilling companies not just using Army psyop manuals against activists (“insurgents”), but using active duty service men and women against general citizens, according to the 2011 CNBC article, to affect/effect municipal governments and developing local regulations.

    “Range employs dozens of veterans and active service men and women,” Pitzarella said. “One employee who works with municipal governments in Pennsylvania has a background in psychological operations in the Army. Since the majority of his work is spent in local hearings and developing local regulations for drilling, we’ve found that his service in the Middle East is a real asset.”

    (I need a blinking red font option.)

  • I loved the #MillionMaskMarch! Twitter pic diary: http://correntewire.com/happy_november_v_loving_the_millionmaskmarch

    Also loved the Russell Brand-Jeremy Paxman youtube and his essay on Revolution, so I don’t begrudge him the attention or association. I doubt #MMM did either, but what do I know. Wish I could have bought the New Statesman Revolution issue here in the U.S. but couldn’t find one. But I called around and nobody had it or would order it. I think what he’s saying is seriously important. Maybe a dog whistle 99% of us hear and 1% can’t.

  • California:


    Justices Say Jurors May Not Vote Conscience

    Ruling: The law must be followed even if panelists believe the result will be unjust, state’s highest court finds.


    SAN FRANCISCO — Jurors must follow the law–not their consciences–even when they strongly believe the law will produce an unjust result, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

    And if you say the two magic words, “jury nullification” during voir dire:


    [The judge] asked me the same question another way and I said I would vote my conscience. And then he dismissed me, saying it was too bad when people couldn’t follow the law, making it clear that he thought I was a rotten citizen and that no one else in the courtroom should even think of thinking like me. I tried to say, I think I would be following the law, the Constitution, but nope I was out. And it wasn’t just sit down and be quiet, it was court stopped until I left the room. I thought, wow, those must be powerful words.

  • Congress, eh. Will be irrelevant – superseded. Yves Smith last Sunday on Harry Shearer’s Le Show, on the TPP trade agreement and its Atlantic counterpart being worked up in secret right now:


    YVES SMITH: Another thing that this deal would prohibit is capital controls. …things like, for example, money laundering provisions, that’s a capital control.

    Game over, Maxine. And sorry, congresspeople not allowed to participate in the planning:

    YVES SMITH: But the Obama administration has done a tremendous job of keeping this all under wraps. You know, at the very top of this show you commented how very little has been written about it, and that’s because of these extreme secrecy provisions, that only little bits of the text have been leaked. Nobody really knows what’s happening. Even the congressmen who’ve read the text have been told they can’t talk about it in any meaningful way. I think the only one who squawked about it a bit is Alan Grayson. And even then he said it took him six weeks of fighting with the trade representatives office to even sched– they were basically stonewalling him on scheduling a time for him to read what they’d allow him to read.

    But corporations are:

    HARRY SHEARER: Well, let’s take as written, or take as read, the easy jibe that this is the most transparent administration in history, dot dot dot. But are there legitimate reasons, while this is in the negotiating process, for keeping the U.S. desired language so secret?

    YVES SMITH: No. Particularly since they’re actually sharing it with something like 600 corporate representatives who are parties to this deal. So basically the corporations that have an interest in this deal going forward get to see the language. Why doesn’t the public get to see the language?

    Labor unions are not:

    HARRY SHEARER: Now, I’ll ask you a dumb follow-up question. Any labor unions among them?


    What a deal!

  • As Lester Freamon says in The Wire “You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where the fuck it’s gonna take you.”

    Freamon! Hugs! Thanks DSW, perfect. Great youtube.

  • thatvisionthing commented on the blog post Over-Classification at the State Department

    2013-11-06 11:30:22View | Delete

    (We didn’t organize ourselves under an authority, we organized authority under ourselves)

  • thatvisionthing commented on the blog post Over-Classification at the State Department

    2013-11-06 11:26:07View | Delete

    Hi Peter! I’m wondering…

    1) what this maybe says about how govt deals with frontdoor USPS mail privacy law, even while it’s institutionalizing backdoor spying on us? Snailmail, even junk mail, is still entitled to 4th Amendment privacy… maybe how the govt itself sorts out public privacy notices and rules in and down through its various agencies and levels is interesting to wonder about? See, even trying to put the idea in words ties me in knots. How we live out paradoxical rules, bound to come out funny. Catch-22.


    (Maybe make the USPS product look silly so we don’t take expectation of privacy seriously and won’t miss USPS when the state has withered it away?)

    2) Maybe this is literally a cover letter. I think I remember that it took 40 years for the Pentagon Papers’ blue cover to be unclassified; till then it was evidence that the PPs existed, which govt could not admit? So protecting your enclosed financial data is presumed to have been covered by the associated but unattached and losable letter? “We meant well.”

    3) Maybe this is about getting us accustomed to an approving board for all official information we may receive? There’s a scale; there’s a scalemaster? One of the happiest things I noticed once was that the Constitution has no title. We just spoke our government into being. (Shh!! don’t tell, don’t look) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Constitution_of_the_United_States,_page_1.jpg

    So grateful for all you do.

  • Remember when we used to despise them? And we were different? I feel like a child and so old at the same time.

  • thatvisionthing commented on the blog post The Banksters Push Back Against Richmond

    2013-09-01 12:32:52View | Delete

    Maybe look again? Here’s two sentences pulled from transcript of recent KQED forum on Richmond and eminent domain:

    Steven Gluckstern, chairman, Mortgage Resolution Partners: The company that loaned the city the $160,000 to do this needs to earn a return, and it earns around $10,000. So that’s another $10,000, to pay back the Wall Street firm that has lent the money to the city to purchase it.

    I just bolded the part that freaked me out. What could possibly go wrong?

    So, is Richmond (city and/or homeowners and/or MBS investors) not being “cowed into submission by the Financial Institutions!” — or being herded by them to the slaughterhouse, again? Sincerely asking.

  • thatvisionthing commented on the blog post The Banksters Push Back Against Richmond

    2013-09-01 01:50:27View | Delete

    Take a look at these pictures of houses MRP targeted in Richmond for eminent domain:


    Are you sure this is about staving off blight and foreclosure?

  • thatvisionthing commented on the blog post The Banksters Push Back Against Richmond

    2013-09-01 01:38:45View | Delete

    From Corrente — MRP could not determine who owned the mortgages; also there’s a new Fifth District Court of Appeals decision just published (Glaski v. Bank of America) that sounds like Szymoniak, broken chain of title — can that matter to Richmond in the First District?

    KQED Forum: Richmond, California looks to eminent domain (me: but is there a who there?)

    According to Steven Gluckstern, the chairman of MRP, the company advising Richmond, all the mortgages chosen “were selected out of a pool of what are called private-label securitization mortgages.” And:

    Steven Gluckstern: I think Jeff gave a very good explanation that there are trustees and servicers who actually can make decisions about these loans. You’ll find ironic, as part of our advice to Richmond, we reached out to the servicers and trustees just to find out where to send the letters in terms of the request for purchase, and the trustees in general told us they had no power to make this decision, that we should send them to the servicers, and the servicers sent us a letter saying they have no power to make this decision; you should send them to the trustees. So the city of Richmond sent them to both, because between them they must have that power.

    Except maybe not?

    Richmond is in California’s First District Court of Appeals; in the recent (published!) Fifth District decision, Glaski v. Bank of America, a homeowner successfully argued that the bank did not have standing to foreclose because the securitization and thus chain of title were faulty…

    h/t william occam at Naked Capitalism, is there a there there now? Is there a who with standing and agency?

    I wonder how this impacts the City of Richmonds eminent domain push? If a bank or servicer does not have legal standing to foreclose becuase they cannot prove ownership how can the City of Richmond pay for them for a mortgage?

  • thatvisionthing commented on the blog post The Banksters Push Back Against Richmond

    2013-09-01 01:16:02View | Delete

    Peterr, Cynthia, Masaccio, Synoia and everybody else here who knows more about this kind of stuff than I do — how come no mention of Yves Smith’s take on Richmond? Her assessment of the situation is quite different than yours. MRP isn’t going after blighted houses in foreclosure; most of the houses it’s going after have performing loans and it is not offering market price. And the money to buy these mortgages via the city’s eminent domain action would be coming from… not the city, but Wall Street. Who there? I dunno, but is there a good guy on Wall St.? I don’t think so. Also, MRP has gone around shopping their proposal to several other California cities and none have bitten.

    Yves Smith: Beware Private Equity Guys Bearing Gifts: Eminent Domain Mortgage Scam Hit with Well-Deserved Lawsuit

    Also David Dayen: Take my house, please! (concurs with Yves about Richmond, offers alternative of Boston):

    If firms like MRP really seek to benefit communities through local principal reduction schemes, instead of using the eminent domain power they can simply buy the mortgages outright. One financial intermediary has been able to make this work on a small scale. Boston Community Capital, a nonprofit, launched what it calls the Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods Initiative in 2009.

    He also adds that who really ought to be doing the principal reduction is Fannie/Freddie:

    Given the evidence, it appears facilitating principal reductions at the local level by simply buying out the loans has a better chance of success than using a controversial eminent-domain scheme that could backfire. But in both cases, we’re still only talking about hundreds of loans, when there are millions of underwater mortgages across the country. The real solution here, the one with the appropriate scale, is for the federal government to pursue this type of program itself. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which could get some of the way there, have rejected principal reduction, despite their own numbers showing it would create a financial benefit.

    Of course, Fannie and Freddie are MERS founding members, and neither Yves’ nor DDay’s stories have the word “discovery” in it — though DDay’s immediately prior story on Salon (Your mortgage documents are fake!) was about Lynn Szymoniak. So I would really appreciate your take with consideration of this additional info. I would love to see the house of cards rightly collapse (Cynthia @14) (finally!). I just don’t know that the city of Richmond is trying to make that happen.

  • Anderson Cooper: What about that, Jeff? That is Glenn Greenwald’s argument, that basically it’s linking journalism, conducting journalism, to acts of terror.

    Jeffrey Toobin: The word journalism is not magical immunity sauce that you can put on anything and eliminate any sort of liability.

    Magical immunity sauce for me but not for thee.

  • Should say, Kevin, I followed your Birgitta Jonsdottir link and it leads to a tweet to WikiLeaks from January 25 that says the Iran scene has been written out and come back with constructive ideas. So that’s right after Assange’s Sam Adams speech above.

    Also, as for Assange not sitting down with Cumberbatch, it sounds like he got past that. From March:

    Cumberbatch portrays the WikiLeaks co-founder in Bill Condon’s upcoming drama The Fifth Estate, which Assange had previously slammed as “a massive propaganda attack”.

    However, The Sun reports that Assange now emails Cumberbatch regularly, having initially rebuffed the actor’s request to meet him when he was first cast.

    “Assange now thinks Benedict better understands his actions and motivations,” a source said.

    And it sounds like Cumberbatch is an Assange fan:

    “Assange made the most extraordinary contributions to human history by treating the Internet as a democracy,” he tells THR.

    So maybe this will be a good movie. Hope so. I don’t think We Steal Secrets even played in my city.

  • Assange, on the other hand, chose not to sit down and personally meet the actor playing him, Benedict Cumberbatch, even though Cumberbatch seems to have respect for the role he played in WikiLeaks’ impact on the world.

    Assange spoke preemptively about The Fifth Estate in his videolink address at this year’s Sam Adams Awards at the Oxford Union. From Corrente in January:

    Dreamworks’ upcoming movie The Fifth Estate about WikiLeaks is “a lie upon a lie,” says Julian Assange. “It fans the flames to start a war with Iran… So that’s the reality of where we’re at. Not merely a war of intelligence agencies, but a war of corrupt media, corrupt culture.”

    And in the Oxford Union youtube there’s a brief audience shot of either Benedict Cumberbatch or a guy who looks a lot like him.

    JULIAN ASSANGE: Now, we have something here (holding up script) which is a recent acquisition of WikiLeaks, although we have been following the matter for some time, and this is the script to a tens of millions of dollar budget Dreamworks movie. What is it about? It is about us, nominally. It is about WikiLeaks the organization. It is a mass propaganda attack against WikiLeaks the organization and the character of myself and our activities and so on. But it is not just an attack against us. It is an attack against Iran. It fans the flames to start a war with Iran, and it’s coming out in November. It’s being filmed now. Benedict Cumberbatch is playing me. This movie has British involvement and people in Britain should be concerned about it.

    How does it open? Well – and this has not been previously disclosed before – the opening scene is in a military complex in Tehran. The camera comes in, closes up on a file, and it is a design for a nuclear bomb marked with nuclear symbols. There’s notes and whispers all around and they are in Farsi, they’re in Persian. There’s an older scientist speaking. A high-speed camera will measure the explosive charge we have designed to trigger the chain reaction. It is then revealed by the camera four scientists in white coats walking in a windowless corridor. The youngest, “Simsana” – remember that name, “Simsana” – writes on the file: “The dimensions of the payload are consistent with a Shabab missile.” Okay. That’s the opening scene. Iran is working on an atomic weapon. The opening scene of a film about WikiLeaks. How does this have anything to do with us? Well, we’ll come to it.

    [inset of youtube screenshot: Benedict Cumberbatch?]

    The next scene concerning Iran is in Cairo where that Iranian nuclear scientist is meeting a U.S. CIA agent, Kate. Closeup again on the handwritten diagram of a nuclear bomb, the same diagram as we saw in the opening. And “Siman” says, “I copied it from memory. They’re testing the explosive in the next six months.” Now, remember what [Sam Adams Award Winner] Tom [Fingar]’s National Intelligence Estimate found. Iran did not have a nuclear program. All sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies feeding into that report said that was the case, with high confidence, and has been reconfirmed every year since that point. The senior diplomat who’s also at the table with the CIA agent says, “Shit! We thought they were at least three years away from a bomb.” Another lie. Tom’s report does not say that they’re three years away from a nuclear bomb. So it’s a lie upon a lie, a great big budget thing that’s going to be pushed out in November. The Iranian nuclear scientist then says, “If it works, they won’t hesitate to sell the technology, and even if one of these things gets into the wrong hands, they’ll sell it anyway.”

    So that’s the reality of where we’re at. Not merely a war of intelligence agencies, but a war of corrupt media, corrupt culture.

  • https://twitter.com/kgosztola/statuses/356919709544890368

    Judge denies govt request for witness to rebut testimony by Prof. Yochai Benkler on how WikiLeaks is legit journalistic org #Manning


    7:04 PM EST The Judge has asked the government about Benkler: “Do you mean that you do no preparation and you wait until you get the relevance ruling and then you start?” Even though the judge ruled that Professor Benkler’s testimony was relevant, the goverenment still thought they could block it. So they claim that they didn’t prepare to contest it.

    (Isn’t that kind of incredible? Remember the question Judge Lind asked,

    The judge, Col. Denise Lind, asked the prosecutors a brief but revealing question: Would you have pressed the same charges if Manning had given the documents not to WikiLeaks but directly to the New York Times?

    The prosecutor’s answer was simple: “Yes Ma’am.”

    The question was crisp and meaningful, not courtroom banter. The answer, in turn, was dead serious. I should know. I was the expert witness whose prospective testimony they were debating.

    was reported in the New York Times in January 2013 and the occasion was whether or not Benkler’s testimony would be allowed. Now the govt wants to start preparing a rebuttal? Am I missing something?)

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