Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover
we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.
AP’s Today in History for November 19th
President Abraham Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address; Egypt’s Anwar Sadat becomes first Arab leader to visit Israel; Ford halts Edsel production; Bandleader Tommy Dorsey and actress Jodie Foster born.
Breakfast Tune Battle Hymn Of The Republic
Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below
Did US Banks Try to Manipulate the Dodd-Frank Debate by Delaying Mortgage Foreclosures?
Sumit Agarwal, ProMarket
…In a recent paper with Gene Amromin, Zahi Ben-David, and Serdar Dinc, I focused on this specific question: whether banks delayed foreclosure initiation on delinquent mortgages in the districts of House Financial Services Committee members during 2009–10 when the Dodd-Frank Act was being debated. We used institutional details of the US Congress in our test design. For example, given the importance of seniority in Congressional committees, incumbents tend to stay on the same committee for multiple terms. Hence, most members made the decision to be on the Financial Services Committee long before the financial crisis. The foreclosure process on delinquent loans starts only when lender—or its agent, the loan servicer—takes explicit action; therefore, the start of the foreclosure process is largely discretionary and can be delayed.
We found that mortgage-servicing banks did indeed delay the start of foreclosures on delinquent loans if those loans were located in the electoral districts of House Financial Services Committee members. Importantly, there was no difference in delinquency rates in committee districts so this differential delay cannot be attributed to servicers’ capacity constraints under a large volume of delinquent loans. These results are robust to many loan- and location-specific controls, some of which are time-varying (e.g., zip code–level house price changes), as well as any state-specific time effects.
We verified that our results are not spurious through a variety of tests. As placebo tests, we checked the membership in the Transportation and Infrastructure and Defense committees and find no link between membership in either of those two committees and the timing of foreclosures. We also did not find any effect of the Financial Services Committee membership in the earlier years when foreclosures did not attract as much attention.
To address the concerns that legislators may self-select into the Financial Services Committee based on the delinquency rates of their constituents, we checked the robustness of our results by restricting our sample to legislators who were elected to the House and to the Financial Services committee before 2005, well before the onset of the crisis. …
A Week After Virginia Election Sweep, Democrats Join Republicans for More Bank Deregulation
David Dayen, The Intercept
BIPARTISANSHIP, LONG LEFT for dead in Washington, has struck again. And Wall Street looks to be the winner.
In the wake of the Equifax scandal, Congress has been under pressure to act. But the price of modest reforms in Washington is often much larger giveaways elsewhere, and that pattern holds true in the agreement announced Monday between nine Senate Democrats and the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.
The measure would roll back several key financial regulations, including sections of the Dodd-Frank Act. It does so under the cover of offering consumer protections and coming to the aid of community banks — though the financial institutions that benefit have not-so-obscure names, like American Express, SunTrust, and BB&T.
Four Banking Committee Democrats — Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Mark Warner, D-Va. — negotiated the bill with committee chair Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, after ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, broke off talks on a compromise bill with Crapo just last month. Warner’s Virginia colleague Tim Kaine, last year’s vice presidential nominee, signed on as an original co-sponsor of the bill, along with Joe Manchin D-W.Va., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Gary Peters D-Mich., and Angus King, I-Maine, who caucuses with Democrats. The Democratic support would give the legislation enough support to break a filibuster, if all Republicans signed on. …
Chris Murphy Accuses U.S. of Complicity in War Crimes from the Floor of the Senate
Alex Emmons, The Intercept
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS have largely avoided speaking out about the famine and cholera epidemic in Yemen, even as aid organizations, celebrities, and late-night TV hosts sounded the alarm this past week.
But one U.S. senator is breaking the Senate silence — and even going further, explaining how U.S. support for the war has enabled the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.
Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy spoke out about the crisis on the Senate floor Tuesday, while showing pictures of starving Yemeni children. His remarks went much further than those of most public officials, not shying away from the reality that the cholera epidemic could never have taken place without U.S. support.
For U.S. officials, the difficulty in publicly addressing the crisis is caught up in U.S. complicity, given that the disease and starvation in Yemen is not the result of a random hurricane or an earthquake, but the expected result of deliberate actions taken by the United States and its allies in the Gulf.
Murphy’s speech, delivered on the Senate floor Tuesday, had been viewed later that day by fewer than 200 people. …
Julian Assange’s Hatred of Hillary Clinton Was No Secret. His Advice to Donald Trump Was.
Robert Mackey, The Intercept
THE REVELATION THAT WikiLeaks secretly offered help to Donald Trump’s campaign, in a series of private Twitter messages sent to the candidate’s son Donald Trump Jr., gave ammunition to the group’s many detractors and also sparked anger from some longtime supporters of the organization and its founder, Julian Assange.
One of the most high-profile dissenters was journalist Barrett Brown, whose crowdsourced investigations of hacked corporate documents later posted on WikiLeaks led to a prison sentence.
Brown had a visceral reaction to the news, first reported by The Atlantic, that WikiLeaks had been advising the Trump campaign. In a series of tweets and Facebook videos, Brown accused Assange of having compromised “the movement” to expose corporate and government wrongdoing by acting as a covert political operative.
Brown explained that he had defended WikiLeaks for releasing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee, “because it was an appropriate thing for a transparency org to do.” But, he added, “working with an authoritarian would-be leader to deceive the public is indefensible and disgusting.” …
- Arkansas Justice: Racism, Torture, and a Botched Execution
- Why do people care more about benefit ‘scroungers’ than billions lost to the rich?
Robert de Vries and Aaron Reeves
Something to think about over coffee prozac
The Buffalo Bills found the answer to their anemic rushing attack on Sunday ― but he lacked a uniform, or any other clothing for that matter.
A streaker who invaded the field literally rushed for more yards than the entire Bills team during their 47-10 home loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Let’s take a look at the stats: Five Bills players carried a total of 15 times for 69 yards.
According to the Buffalo News, the streaker sprinted from end zone to end zone ― 100 yards.
He was eventually stopped by security after he slipped on a cutback move in an attempt to run across the field yet again. He was escorted off with a yellow security jacket to cover what needed to be covered. …