TARP is winding down...bring on the lawsuits. Within the next week, the US government is set to sue a dozen banks for billions in losses caused by those banks' misrepresenting the risks of mortgage-backed securities. This is in addition to numerous State Attorneys General suing the banks for failing to reach an agreement in foreclosure abuses. Insurance giant AIG will also be suing BofA to recoup losses over the mortgage bonds. BofA had also agreed to a settlement of $8.5 billion to cover losses from soured mortgage debt issued through Countrywide. Deutsche Bank is suing WaMu. Goldman Sachs already settled with the SEC for $500 million for their fraud and have been sued by othersseeking to recover losses. [more inside]
Project Censored places "Distorted Election Coverage" at number 3 on their list of ignored news stories of the last year. In more recent ignored news a Diebold insider speaks out (which security guru Bruce Schneier considers "sensationalist" but "good information") - just as Diebold shares plunge and top executives flee. In July Diebold's voting machines were rejected by the state of California after "possibly the most extensive testing ever on a voting system" revealed a high incidence of crashes and paper jams. Not to mention the undocumented backdoor in Diebold's GEMS vote tabulator. Meanwhile, in Ohio, two officials of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections have been indicted by a grand jury on charges that they "did not permit a random selection of precincts for the recount and it did not let witnesses oversee the opening of the sealed ballot cases and the first recount of the votes." And John Conyers is urging Americans to oppose a proposed national ID voting requirement, which he calls a "21st Century poll tax". Is this what democracy looks like?
House and Senate GOP leaders announce the (Republican dominated) "Hurricane Katrina Joint Review Committee" which should ensure that no-one near the top of the (Republican Dominated) chain of command is in any danger of repercussions over the death of a great American city. In fact, it seems likely that incompetence will be richly rewarded: representative Waxman thinks that a Provision in Katrina Emergency Bill Leaves Government Open to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. But that's nothing! Despite near-universal opprobrium as a dysfunctional bureaucracy led by an unqualified political appointee, FEMA will receive nearly all of the funds approved on Thursday -- $50 billion... (all links via TPM)