Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Petition Our President

President Obama: Don't sell us out to Wall Street.
A message from CREDO Action:
Americans are paying a heavy price for Wall Street greed. Millions are out of work, millions face foreclosure, and millions more are feeling the pain in some other way.
But not one of the Wall Street crooks who drove our economy off a cliff has gone to jail. And without aggressive investigation and prosecution of misconduct, none of them will.
Yet even as thousands are in the streets demanding Wall Street accountability, high-ranking officials in the Obama administration are actively pushing state Attorneys General to cut a terrible deal in the next few weeks with mortgage firms that lets these giant institutions off the hook for what appears to be widespread mortgage and foreclosure fraud.
President Obama needs to step in and put a stop to this.
The notorious robo-signing scandal is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wrongdoing by the mortgage industry.
Through congressional hearings, court cases and investigative reporting, we know of numerous stories of big financial firms engaging in shady mortgage practices, many of which seem on their face to be against the law.
But the Obama administration has been pushing the Attorneys General to reach a settlement deal before these issues have been investigated in any meaningful way.
In exchange for what amounts to a slap on the wrist, the banks will get broad immunity from future prosecution.
Although the specific may change as negotiations are ongoing, the most recent reporting on the deal under consideration comes from Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times, who wrote on Saturday:
Cutting to the chase: if you thought this was the deal that would hold banks accountable for filing phony documents in courts, foreclosing without showing they had the legal right to do so and generally running roughshod over anyone who opposed them, you are likely to be disappointed.1
The pressure on the state Attorneys General is coming from HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who is a quintessential Wall Street insider.2
Secretary Geithner, who used to be the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, has a long history of enabling Wall Street misconduct.
So it's not surprising that he would be pushing for a backroom deal that could short-circuit future attempts to investigate the banks, punish people for their wrongdoings, and force banks to change their practices to help borrowers and homeowners.
What is a little surprising is President Obama allowing this to happen after his political advisors have said that he plans on running against Wall Street as part of his reelection campaign.3
In other words, President Obama will tell us he's for Wall Street accountability even as he's allowing his subordinates to sell us out to Wall Street.
President Obama can't have it both ways.
Talk is cheap. If President Obama is sincere about wanting to hold the banks accountable, he'll ensure his administration does nothing less that support investigating, prosecuting and punishing unscrupulous banks to the full extent of the law.
Thank you for speaking out.
Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. "A Deal That Wouldn't Hurt," Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times, Oct. 29, 2011.
2. "The Worst Deal They Could Cut," Mike Lux, Huffington Post, Oct. 31, 2011.
3. Ibid.

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