For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn’t in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn’t think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise.
The Prime Minister conceded that some losses of sensitive data are inevitable because human error cannot be entirely eliminated.
Mr Brown made the candid statement after it was revealed that a memory stick containing information said to give access to Government tax and benefits records had been lost in a pub car park.
The loss of the data storage device forced officials to suspend the main Government Gateway website, used by 12 million individuals and companies to deal with tax returns, benefits claims and other sensitive Government issues.
Officials insisted that there been no risk of personal records being obtained by unauthorised users, but the incident, the latest in a string of similar losses, deepened ministers’ embarrassment over the handling of Government data.
In the wake of the latest incident, the Prime Minister promised that Whitehall rules on data handling would be toughened yet again. Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, is writing to officials about how they manage sensitive records, he said.
But Mr Brown added: “I think it’s important to recognise that we can’t promise that every single item of information will always be safe because mistakes are made by human beings.”
Dear Gordon: let me hand you the perfect method to keep all the information safe: don’t store it in the first place. As a side benefit, people will stop accusing your government of being Big Brother. Your country has managed to do fine for centuries without storing everything about everybody.
Six hundred and fifty years ago came the climax of the worst financial collapse in history to date. The 1930’s Great Depression was a mild and brief episode, compared to the bank crash of the 1340’s, which decimated the human population.
The crash, which peaked in A.C.E. 1345 when the world’s biggest banks went under, “led” by the Bardi and Peruzzi companies of Florence, Italy, was more than a bank crash—it was a financial disintegration. Like the disaster which looms now, projected in Lyndon LaRouche’s “Ninth Economic Forecast” of July 1994, that one was a blowup of all major banks and markets in Europe, in which, chroniclers reported, “all credit vanished together,” most trade and exchange stopped, and a catastrophic drop of the world’s population by famine and disease loomed.
Like the financial disintegration hanging over us in 1995 with the collapse of Mexico, Orange County, British merchant banks, etc., that one of the 1340’s was the result of thirty to forty years of disastrous financial practices, by which the banks built up huge fictitious “financial bubbles,” parasitizing production and real trade in goods. These speculative cancers destroyed the real wealth they were monopolizing, and caused these banks to be effectively bankrupt long before they finally went under.
Because they started out with Abraham Lincoln, and ended up with George W. Bush.
Tomorrow’s election day. Have you done everything you can to help John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the Republican ticket? Sure many of you have been out there educating voters about Obama’s abundance of melanin. Some of you have even hung Obama effigies from your trees or shouted “nigger” or “kill him” at a rally. But is that really enough? Are you covering all the bases? Have you done anything to hamper the effectiveness of Obama’s animal allies?
Last night, patriots slaughtered a goat and left its severed head at a Charlie Brown for Congress campaign office. How many severed goat heads have you delivered.
A few weeks ago, another patriot shot a bear cub and wrapped it in Obama signs as a warning to Obama voters. How many baby bear cubs have you killed for McCain-Palin ’08?
The shipwrecked mariner had spent several years on a deserted island. Then one morning he was thrilled to see a ship offshore and a smaller vessel pulling out toward him. When the boat grounded on the beach, the officer in charge handed the marooned sailor a bundle of newspapers and told him, “The captain said to read through these and let us know if you still want to be rescued.”
“At WaMu it wasn’t about the quality of the loans; it was about the numbers,” Ms. Cooper says. “They didn’t care if we were giving loans to people that didn’t qualify. Instead, it was how many loans did you guys close and fund?”
Ms. Cooper, 35, was laid off a year ago and is still unemployed. She came forward to discuss her experiences at the bank in order to help shareholders recover money from WaMu executives.
“If a loan came from a top loan officer, they didn’t care what the situation was, you had to make that loan work,” she says. “You were like a bad person if you declined a loan.”
One loan file was filled with so many discrepancies that she felt certain it involved mortgage fraud. She turned the loan down, she says, only to be scolded by her supervisor.
“She told me, ‘This broker has closed over $1 million with us and there is no reason you cannot make this loan work,’ ” Ms. Cooper says. “I explained to her the loan was not good at all, but she said I had to sign it.”
The argument did not end there, however. Ms. Cooper says her immediate boss complained to the team manager about the loan rejection and asked that Ms. Cooper be “written up,” with a formal letter of complaint placed in her personnel file.
Ms. Cooper said the team manager told her to “restructure” the loan to make it work. “I said, how can you restructure fraud? This is a fraudulent loan,” she recalls.
Ms. Cooper says that her bosses placed her on probation for 30 days for refusing to approve the loan and that her team manager signed off on the loan.
Four months later, the loan was in default, she says. The borrower had not made a single payment. “They tried to hang it on me,” Ms. Cooper said, “but I said, ‘No, I put in the system that I am not approving this loan.’ ”
A number of financial experts now fear that the federal government’s $143 billion attempt to rescue troubled insurance giant American International Group may not work, and some argue that company shareholders and taxpayers would have been better served by a bankruptcy filing.
The deal that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pressed upon AIG was intended to stop any domino effect of financial institutions falling because of their business ties to AIG. The rescue allowed AIG to provide cash to huge banks and other players who had invested in rapidly souring mortgages insured by the company.
Early this year, investors had begun privately demanding that AIG pay off its billion-dollar guarantees. But in mid-September, when the demands for cash reached a public crescendo, AIG had to admit that it didn’t have enough cash on hand to meet the obligations.
In the first weeks of its federal rescue, AIG has used the loan money to post collateral demanded by these firms, sources close to those deals say.
“No one else benefits,” former AIG chief executive and major shareholder Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg wrote to AIG’s current chief executive on Thursday. “Unless there is immediate change to the structure of the Federal loan, the American taxpayer will likely suffer a significant financial loss.”