Category Archives: Protest


In fact, around this time there had been efforts by some of the big Wall Street firms to salvage their triple-A tranches by buying actual mortgages and preventing enough foreclosures to keep those tranches from eroding. Bear, which owned the mortgage originator EMC, announced the EMC “Mod Squad” in early April, which was supposed to help delinquent borrowers avoid foreclosure. Other firms, including Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, were meeting to see if they could do something collectively to keep home-owners from defaulting. The simple act of buying up the mortgages and then forgiving the loans would not only save homeowners, but save Wall Street billions of dollars in potential losses.
But there were all kinds of problems. Regulators were deeply suspicious. The firms themselves worried about antitrust concerns. And the servicers, as one person involved in the effort put it, “were largely controlled by people who might not want mortgages rescued.” Still, this source adds, “it should have been possible to overcome.”
It wasn’t to be. In particular, a number of the big investors who were short the triple-A tranches were furious when they discovered what was going on. They were going to make money if enough homeowners were foreclosed on! They didn’t want anyone helping out homeowners at the expense of their profits.

–Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera, All the Devils Are Here, pp. 289-90.


Piercing the Veil of M.I.A.

In honor of MIA’s new album, I’m sharing LL Smooth J’s remix of that old hit Paper Planes.

Get it here: Paper Planes (Smoothjazzy remix).mp3

I’m also headed out to buy the Believer to read her interview with Joshua Clover. I trust it has to be at least as incendiary as the Lynn Hirschberg takedown.

Piracy Funds Terrorism. Truffle fries.

RNC Memories

A Necessary condition for Peace

A Necessary Condition for Peace

“It’s time for the party of big ideas, not the party of Big Brother.” –Mitt Romney

Nostalgia moment: My 2004 NYC RNC Diary is still up at Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood.

“So when asked who’s the best, y’all should say: RNC and LL Smooth J”

9/11 was an Inside Job

WGA strike now affecting theater

Youtube debate

New York Times: Writers’ Strike Leads to End of Debate Plan

Finding itself in the middle of labor disputes between television writers and CBS, the Democratic National Committee announced yesterday evening that it was canceling the debate among Democratic presidential candidates scheduled for Dec. 10. …

Hollywood’s television and film writers have been on strike since Nov. 5, and most of the Democratic candidates had pledged not to cross picket lines to attend the debate, which had been set to take place at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. That location has been picketed most days since the start of the strike, and no aspiring Democratic presidential candidate would have wanted to be caught on film crossing the line.

And here we thought unions had lost their sway with Democrats.

Global Rising of the Suits


Tina Fey

I learned from my teaching days that many lawyers are really frustrated would-be screenwriters, so they have that in solidarity.

Pakistan’s lawyers certainly win the points for enthusiasm, though. The WGA’s riot meter appears to be stuck on “Golf Spectator.” Even the Today Show drowned them out. I’m not advocating they take it all the way up to “Molotov” level (publicly), but they could at least dial it up to “Boston Red Sox Fans.” Maybe “Crowd at TRL”?

Our President is a violent cokehead

Fourth Anniversary