Here are some of the cuts hitting states and localities from sequestration......the Grand Bargain having the people paying off what was massive corporate fraud and damages from crashing the economy with that fraud. Remember, all of this $16 trillion could be paid off by simply reinstating Rule of Law and recovering corporate fraud and tax evasion...NO REPUBLICANS OR TAXPAYER MONEY NEEDED.....
NEO-LIBERALS COULD HAVE DONE THIS FOUR YEARS AGO, RATHER THEY PROTECTED WEALTH AND PROFIT!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!
Today we heard that the lead paint damages to Baltimore families will come from the very funding to give people affordable housing. The amount of money moving from government coffers in fraud in just a few decades could have bought affordable housing for every low-income family in the city. Rather, Baltimore's City Hall with all of its corporate and crony pols sent it to develop Johns Hopkins East and Harbor East.....it is disgraceful. Johns Hopkins is advertizing its hospitals all around the world as it is now a corporation with a global health system that pays no taxes and sucks the life out of communities and revenue paid by the citizens of Baltimore leaving the poor to third world desperate lives.
The problem below is the failure of the City to protect its citizens and that comes with government oversight and crooked politicians. So fixing that is the solution. We need those politicians who oversaw the lack of oversight that led to these families exposures jailed and fined and we need to rebuild all oversight agencies in the city that should be protecting people. That's right..our government serves and protects the people when it is not captured and crony.
The problem for Baltimore is that it is a corporate town....run by Johns Hopkins and developers who make sure our government is captured and crony by filling elected positions with politicians who work for them...not the people. When you have public funding for housing for the poor going to pay lawsuits, denying the service that agency was to provide..you have captured and corrupt. The State/Federal government is at the very least the one to take that responsibility for failure to oversee.
What we have in Baltimore is a deliberate defunding of public housing whether through Federal and state budget cuts or whether through police zero tolerance making felons out of the poor so they will not be eligible for housing vouchers. We have Enterprise Zones with no low-income housing and City Hall passing laws pretending that Equal housing laws with government funding does not exist. The bottom line is NONE OF THIS IS LEGAL!
Graziano.......you have spent hundreds of billions of dollars these few decades on Hopkins East Baltimore and Harbor East rather than doing your job protecting people....that makes you scum!
Housing agency pays $6.8 million to lead paint victims Federal funds to help poor pay rent tapped for outstanding judgments
Using funds meant to help poor families find affordable places to live, Baltimore's public housing agency has paid nearly $6.8 million in long-standing court judgments for lead poisoning suffered by six former residents when they were young children.
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City refused for years to pay nearly $12 million in lead-paint injury judgments, saying it lacked the money. But then the agency began to satisfy some of the judgments, previously paying $5 million.
The latest payments, made last week, mark the first time the authority got federal approval to pay court judgments by dipping into funds it receives to operate public housing and subsidize rents for low-income families in private housing.
Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano said it was a difficult decision to pay the judgments — the funds would have been used to help pay rents for 700 households in a city with a severe shortage of affordable housing. The nation's fifth-largest housing authority serves 25,000 households in the city.
"Those are some of the choices we've had to make," he said in an interview Tuesday. Federal officials did not provide any additional money, he explained, but merely authorized the agency to use existing federal funds, which have been cut this year by Congress.
"We knew it was a zero-sum game," he said. "Whatever we paid out was that much less to provide assistance to households we're trying to serve."
The payments, which range from $365,000 to more than $4 million apiece, satisfy all outstanding court judgments against the housing authority for lead poisoning, though it still faces hundreds more lawsuits.
To cover the $5 million in earlier payments, the authority used some non-federal funds as well as money from the liquidation of two bankrupt insurance companies that once covered the authority against lead-paint liability.
"At long last, the lead-poisoned children who received judgments a long time ago finally received their compensation," said Brian S. Brown, the lawyer who represented the six plaintiffs whose judgments were paid last week. At least one of the lawsuits was filed nearly a decade ago, and a couple of the judgments were five and six years old.
"What gets me," Brown said, "is why did it take this long for them to step up when there was a court order against them?"
Ingesting even small amounts of lead can cause permanent brain damage in a young child, research has shown, stunting learning and contributing to behavior problems. Lead-based paint, once widely used in housing, has been banned since 1950 in Baltimore City and since 1978 nationwide. But much of the city's housing stock was built before the prohibition.
Graziano said the authority always had intended to honor its legal obligations, but held off while it sought to work out a "global solution" to hundreds of lawsuits filed by former residents who claim they suffered lead poisoning as young children in the 1990s or earlier. But those efforts came to naught, he said.
The authority has managed to fend off $1.4 billion in claims by winning 251 lead-poisoning lawsuits filed against it, he said. The agency still faces 316 other cases that have yet to be resolved, with claims totaling $929 million, he added.
"But even if a fraction of those cases go through," he said, "as you can see, it's millions and millions of dollars."
Graziano said the authority is exploring setting up a self-insurance fund. Such a plan also would need to be approved by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, he said, and it would have to be financed by diverting federal funds meant to help poor people afford housing.
"There is no magic solution here," he said. "There are limits to what we can do."
The housing authority had commercial insurance at one time to cover lead-poisoning injury claims, but those policies were canceled in the mid-1990s. The agency defended itself against lead-paint lawsuits after that by arguing it had governmental immunity, but in 2009 the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled it had no such legal shield.
Brown, the plaintiffs' attorney, said the authority should have set up its own self-insurance fund years ago after commercial insurance dried up.
"If they had followed the law and insured or provided for insurance like the statute clearly says they are obligated to do, they wouldn't have that problem," the attorney said. He called it "reprehensible" that the authority is taking housing assistance for the poor to pay the judgments.
But Graziano said the authority has been severely cash-strapped for the past decade, so it would not have been any easier to set up self-insurance before now.
"We would have had to make serious sacrifices then," he said. "We've had to make serious sacrifices now."
Graziano said the flurry of lead-paint lawsuits against the housing authority in recent years all date back to exposures claimed before 1996, when a state law took effect requiring landlords to limit tenants' risk of lead poisoning by cleaning up and repairing their rental housing.
The agency has complied with that law despite shrinking federal support, the housing commissioner said. Congress has sliced more than 10 percent from $283 million in the federal funding budgeted for the agency this year, he noted.
Those who have pressed the housing authority to honor its legal obligations welcomed the latest payments. But they lamented the fact that it came at the expense of the Section 8 housing voucher program, which this year subsidized rents for 14,825 households, according to agency figures.
"So this means that fewer people will be able to live in an affordable and presumably safe rental housing," said Del. Samuel I. "Sandy" Rosenberg, a Baltimore city Democrat. He added that he hoped the authority was taking steps to limit its future liability.
"I'm glad to see that they're putting some closure to families that have been harmed living in public housing in Baltimore City that was not appropriate for them to live in," said City Councilwoman Helen Holton. She said she hoped the payments would help the agency meet its obligation to be accountable to public housing tenants.
"It's going to cost us all," said Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, "because some of that money that's going to be paid out is money that would have been spent in neighborhoods, I presume. But you've got to take care of families first if you're going to take care of the city."
I do not know how these people are allowed to print this stuff but Maryland has and has had the lowest unemployment payments and the lowest funding of social services in the country for decades. Below you see the headlines from a decade ago and you can believe it has gotten worse, not better.
Md.'s jobless benefits rated among worstWage replacement ratio is 43rd lowest in U.S.Business leaders dispute study
Average payout of $241.57 ranks 25th among statesFebruary 23, 2003|By William Patalon III | William Patalon III,SUN STAFFMaryland may be one of the wealthiest states in the nation, but its unemployment benefits rank near the bottom, and should be upgraded immediately, concludes a new study by the Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute.
Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) *********UPDATE*********** 07/29/2013
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LISS FUND? How did LISS Funding run out in one day?
ALL MARYLAND REVENUE GOES TO CORPORATE TAX BREAKS AND CORPORATE FRAUD.
Maryland has one of the lowest funding of social services of all states with huge wealth disparity. It also has one of the worst corporate predatory environments on the poor so what little they get is gutted by fraud.
Add to that poverty wages that sends people to social services to supplement survival and you have a state committed to third world society!
We need to realize what damage is being done in the name of this manufactured crisis. We are seeing all public programs and services gutted while corporations and the rich are left rolling in wealth and it is all on the backs of neo-liberals. Obama and Congress have the ability to recover tens of trillions of dollars in corporate fraud.....no republican votes needed...no taxpayer money needed....recovering fraud pays for itself. Instead, what we are seeing is a dismantling of public justice at all levels of government. Whether defunding or staffing appointments that are corporate lawyers and no public justice----these corporate pols are taking all voice from the people!
VOTE THESE INCUMBENTS OUT OF OFFICE!
Federal Public Defender Sequester Cuts Slammed As 'Ill-Conceived'
The Huffington Post | By Ryan J. Reilly Posted: 07/23/2013 2:35 pm EDT
Forty former federal judges and prosecutors are urging Congress to fully fund the federal public defenders program that has been decimated by sequestration.
"These ill-conceived measures undermine not only the Federal Defender system, but the entire federal judiciary, without achieving any real cost savings," they wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is holding a hearing on the impact of sequestration on Tuesday afternoon.
"The only way to save the Federal Defender program is to ensure that it receives adequate funding in FY 2014," they wrote. "We urge the members of this subcommittee to work with your colleagues, whether through the appropriations process or through a continuing resolution, to ensure that the Federal Defender program is provided with the resources it needs to continue its mission. Failure to provide the necessary funding will have consequences far beyond the Federal Defender program, increasing costs for the federal judicial and penal systems."
As The Huffington Post reported, sequestration has meant furloughs and layoffs for federal public defenders across the country. Officials have been warned that cuts could be even more severe in the next fiscal year.
The letter is embedded below.
I love this article, but when you describe the 2012 mortgage fraud settlement of $25 billion as massive without explaining that the total mortgage fraud was in the trillions of dollars....you do not place the fight on getting that remaining fraud back...no doubt we need to stop continuing fraud. Government watchdogs placed a couple $100 billion settlement for each big bank as a minimum. We have received a few tens of billion.
YOUR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL CANDIDATE MUST BE RULE OF LAW!
This corruption below plays with the complete breakdown in Rule of Law in Maryland.......FOR THOSE OUT OF STATE.....THIS IS GOVERNOR O'MALLEY WHO WANTS TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2016.....CROOKED!
Regarding Anne Arundel's Leopold replacement:
OK, let's see if I understand the situation. A sociopath violating tons of ethical, moral, and legal codes gets a few days in jail and a fine while the staff around him trying to survive in this environment are scrutinized for their part in the criminal behavior of their boss and risk lifelong career opportunity for bringing to light what government oversight should have . The new political boss looks at everything but strong punishment for the politician for breaking the laws and public trust as the corrective action and increasing government oversight of political actions in office.
She is doing all of this to make herself look like a viable candidate in next elections.....WAKE UP MARYLAND.... THE VISIGOTHS HAVE LANDED!
Yes, the problem is that Maryland has no public oversight of anything whether corporate or civil activities. Maryland has no laws in place to hold corporate or civil violators accountable. Maryland has no public justice system to investigate and prosecute these white collar crimes. THAT IS THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION! We have a Maryland General Assembly that are neo-liberals and conservatives who protect wealth and profit and as such protect bad behavior from these people. We elect them year after year so this Assembly is crony and corrupt. They pass laws that keep the public from being able to prosecute or throw crony pols into jail. The two people running for the office of Maryland State Attorney General....the office that would throw corporate fraudsters and political sociopaths in jail are from the very crony and corrupt Maryland Assembly.....Jon Cardin and Peter Frosh. DO YOU HEAR THESE TWO DECRYING SUSPENDED RULE OF LAW AND THE FAILURE TO LEGISLATE IN THE PEOPLE'S INTERESTS? Of course you don't.
It matters who is elected to State Attorney General's office as this will set the stage for a return to first world Rule of Law and democracy. IF A POLITICIAN WILL NOT EVEN MENTION OR ACKNOWLEDGE FRAUD.....THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE CANDIDATES!
"It's a double conspiracy," says an amazed Michael Greenberger, a former director of the trading and markets division at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and now a professor at the University of Maryland. "It's the height of criminality." - See more at: http://portside.org/2013-05-18/matt-taibbi-everything-rigged#sthash.WwlMRnHc.dpuf
Testimony on Derivatives
Michael Greenberger, JD
Michael Greenberger testifies about excessive speculation in oil markets.
June 30, 2010
The Role of Derivatives in the Financial Crisis
Testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission
August 5, 2009
Excessive Speculation: Position Limits and Exemptions
Testimony before the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
February 3, 2009
Discussion Draft: The Derivatives Market Transparency and
Accountability Act of 2009
Testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture
July 10-11, 2008
Potential Excessive Speculation in Commodity Markets: The Impact
of Proposed Legislation
Testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture
July 10, 2008
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Testimony before the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and
June 24, 2008
Ending Excessive Speculation in Commodity Markets: Legislative
Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security
and Government Affairs
June 23, 2008
Energy Speculation: Is Greater Regulation Necessary to Stop Price
Manipulation? - Part II
Testimony before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
July 9, 2008
Answer of Professor Michael Greenberger to the June 24, 2008 PSI
Staff Analysis of his June 3, 2008 Senate Testimony
Letter in response to the Joint Analysis of the Majority and Minority
Staffs of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
June 3, 2008
Energy Market Manipulation and Federal Enforcement Regimes
Testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science,
December 12, 2007
Energy Speculation: Is Greater Regulation Necessary to Stop Price
Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce
June 25, 2007
Excessive Speculation in the Natural Gas Futures Market
Testimony before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of
the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
May 5, 2006
Lessons from Enron: An Oversight Hearing on Energy Trading and
Testimony before the Democratic Policy Committee
Global Power Project: Banking on Influence with Wells Fargo
Friday, 02 August 2013 09:21 By Andrew Gavin Marshall, Occupy.com | Report
This is part 8 of the Global Project series.
(Photo: Ken Teegardin / Flickr)Just recently, in late July, Wells Fargo surpassed the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as the world’s largest bank by market capitalization. This followed Wells Fargo reporting a 19% increase in profits over the second quarter as the bank has been busy consolidating the housing market while other big banks have retreated from it. Wells Fargo had amassed a share of almost 40% of the U.S. mortgage market by early 2013.
Now, let's put this in context with the company's other recent activities.
Wells Fargo, which acquired Wachovia in the wake of the financial crisis, controlled roughly 28.8% of all home loans issued across the United States in 2012, compared to 11.2% of the market it controlled in 2007, just before the housing implosion. In 2012, the bank paid a $175 million settlement following revelations that “mortgage brokers working with Wells Fargo had charged higher fees and rates to more than 30,000 minority borrowers across the country than they had to white borrowers who posed the same credit risk.”
In the settlement, the world’s largest bank “admitted no wrongdoing,” noting in a press release that the bank simply wanted “to avoid a long and costly legal fight.” Then, in 2013, Wells Fargo agreed to a further $42 million settlement because “it neglected the maintenance and marketing of foreclosed homes in black and Latino neighborhoods across the country.” Again, of course, the bank admitted no wrongdoing.
But that's just the tip of things. A civil mortgage fraud suit was filed against Wells Fargo in late 2012 for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over “reckless mortgage loans” made by the bank for over a decade in the lead-up to the financial crisis. Even in light of the massive settlement in 2012 over mortgage fraud, which simultaneously forced big banks to adhere to new rules regarding the mortgage market, it was found that both Bank of America and Wells Fargo had “flagrantly violated those obligations,” increasing foreclosure risks for Americans. Also, this past May, Wells Fargo agreed to pay a $105 million settlement in a fraud case brought by Orange County, which also implicated Bank of New York Mellon to the tune of a $114 million settlement.
It gets better. In 2010, Wachovia – which was purchased by Wells Fargo in 2008 – paid a settlement of $160 million for laundering over $100 million in drug money for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels. Further, the bank admitted that it had failed to “apply the proper anti-laundering strictures” regarding the bank’s handling of $378.4 billion in currency exchanges with Mexico between 2004 and 2007. A federal prosecutor commented, “Wachovia’s blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations,” as tens of thousands of Mexicans were killed in an exponentially violent drug war.
Thus, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, not only did the big banks receive sprawling government bailouts (Wells Fargo got $25 billion from the U.S. government), but according to the UN, proceeds pouring in from the global drug trade ultimately helped keep Wells Fargo and others afloat as “the only liquid investment capital” available to them during the crisis. But Wells Fargo didn't just profit from laundering money for major drug cartels -- it also profited, and continues to profit, at the other end of the drug war as a major investor in the prison-industrial complex, specifically with heavy investments in the GEO Group, the second largest private prison company in the United States.
As the largest bank in the world, Wells Fargo is deeply connected with some of the most powerful U.S. and international institutions to ensure that no matter how many crimes it commits -- fraud, illegal foreclosures, money laundering, you name it -- it will continue to consolidate markets, grow larger and presumably get away with its criminal activities for relatively small fines. The Global Power Project examined a total of 26 individuals on the executive committee and board of directors at Wells Fargo to assess their institutional affiliations. The most represented institutions (with three individual affiliations each) are the Council on Foreign Relations and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), followed by Harvard, Citigroup, Chevron, the Financial Services Roundtable and Target Corporation (with two individual affiliations each).
Meet the Elites
Elaine L. Chao, who sits on the board of Wells Fargo, was formerly U.S. Secretary of Labor in the George W. Bush administration, from 2001 to 2009. She was a Distinguished Fellow of the Heritage Foundation from 1996 to 2001 and has resumed that position since 2009. She was also the President and CEO of the United Way of America from 1992 to 1996, Director of the Peace Corps from 1991 to 1992, and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1989 to 1991. Chao is a member of the board of directors of Dole Food Company, News Corporation, Protective Life Corporation, the Institute of Politics of Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a member of Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
John S. Chen, also on the board of Wells Fargo, is a senior adviser to Silver Lake Partners, a director of the Walt Disney Company, a member of the Board of Overseers Emeriti of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, a former member of the President’s Export Council, a member of the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution, chairman of the U.S.-China Policy Advisory Roundtable at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Wells Fargo board member Enrique Hernandez, Jr. is the president and CEO of Inter-Con Security Systems, and sits on the boards of Chevron, Nordstrom, McDonald’s Corporation, and the board of trustees of the University of Notre Dame. He is a member of the Harvard College Visiting and Harvard University Resources Committees and is a member of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.
Federico F. Peña, on the Wells Fargo board, was a U.S. Secretary of Transportation and U.S. Secretary of Energy during the Clinton administration, and previously a member of the Colorado House of Representatives and a former mayor of Denver. More recently, he has been a senior adviser to Vestar Capital Partners, on the board of Sonic Corporation and a member of the Diversity Advisory Board of Toyota North America. A former national board member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team, Peña is also former National Co-Chair of Obama For America and currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
John G. Stumpf, the president and CEO of Wells Fargo, is a member of the board of directors of the Financial Services Forum and chairman of the board of the Financial Services Roundtable, and is also on the boards of Target Corporation, Chevron, and on the board of trustees of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
For a mega-money laundering, drug war profiteering, prison-industry enlarging global bank like Wells Fargo, the evidence is obvious: it helps to have affiliations with individuals and institutions that make up the U.S. and increasingly the international power elite. Like the other big banks, Wells Fargo is too big to fail, too big to jail, too criminal to control -- and too tumorous to tolerate.