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Paul Szep | Escape to What? / Slate.com

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Foreclosure Mills: America's Newest Housing Nightmare

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  • Borrowers are getting screwed again as bailed-out banks send their foreclosure dirty work to con artists with a history of breaking the law.
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  • The Forgotten Foreclosure Crisis
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Andy Kroll, Mother Jones/Axis of Logic

David Stern, multi-millionaire lawyer who
 exploits people who are losing their homes.

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Late one night in February 2009, Ariane Ice sat poring over records on the website of Florida's Palm Beach County. She'd been at it for weeks, forsaking sleep to sift through thousands of legal documents. She and her husband, Tom, an attorney, ran a boutique foreclosure defense firm called Ice Legal. (Slogan: "Your home is your castle. Defend it.") Now they were up against one of Florida's biggest foreclosure law firms: Founded by multimillionaire attorney David J. Stern, it controlled one-fifth of the state's booming market in foreclosure-related services. Ice had a strong hunch that Stern's operation was up to something, and that night she found her smoking gun.

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It involved something called an "assignment of mortgage," the document that certifies who owns the property and is thus entitled to foreclose on it. Especially these days, the assignment is key evidence in a foreclosure case: With so many loans having been bought, sold, securitized, and traded, establishing who owns the mortgage is hardly a trivial matter. It frequently requires months of sleuthing in order to untangle the web of banks, brokers, and investors, among others. By law, a firm must execute (complete, sign, and notarize) an assignment before attempting to seize somebody's home.

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The Forgotten Foreclosure Crisis, Think Progress

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  • Without more intervention, the housing market will continue its 'slow motion' adjustment that will continue to inhibit economic growth and drag down consumer spending.
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  • Foreclosures Rise with Unemployment
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Tell the U.S. Attorney: Investigate Christine O'Donnell!

Sign our petition encouraging U. S. Attorney David Weiss to fully investigate this matter!
The Christine O'Donnell Controversy

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Next week (Sep 19-25) , Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) will ask the Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss to open a criminal investigation into Christine O'Donnell's abuse of campaign funds. We'll also ask the Federal Election Commission to look into the matter. It seems pretty clear to us that she has been using her campaign money to finance her personal life, which is flat-out illegal.

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We need your help.

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Sign our petition encouraging U. S. Attorney David Weiss to fully investigate this matter!

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The Christine O'Donnell Controversy, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN
CNN is already looking into the matter. Click here, or watch the YouTube clip , to see their report.

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Hypocritical Legal Crusade Against Craigslist Will Not Solve Violence Against Sex Trafficking Victims

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AG Richard Blumenthal's obsession with Craigslist does nothing to end the exploitation of people trafficked for sex.

Melissa Gira Grant,  AlterNet

For years, Connecticut state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (and his dozen or so allied AGs across the United States) have aggressively attacked Craigslist's Adult Services section. This weekend, Craigslist opted to self-censor that part of the site. Perhaps now, Blumenthal and his allies in law enforcement might abandon their counterproductive crusade against Craigslist and take steps to confront the issues that actually contribute to violence against people involved in the sex trade.

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If these lead prosecutors are truly concerned about ending violence and exploitation, then their focus on one intermediary advertising Web site, among dozens of other sex ad venues, could be considered criminally shortsighted. There’s a tremendous amount the attorneys general could do to actually curb the suffering of people within the criminal and legal systems in which they have power. This is what some of us have elected them to do.

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Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A.

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  • The Obama national security team has also authorized the C.I.A. to try to kill a United States citizen suspected of terrorism ties, blocked efforts by detainees in Afghanistan to bring habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the basis for their imprisonment without trial, and continued the C.I.A.’s so-called extraordinary rendition program of prisoner transfers — though the administration has forbidden torture and says it seeks assurances from other countries that detainees will not be mistreated.
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  • Torture Is a Crime, Not a Secret
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Charlie Savage, New York Times | NY

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

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Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian now in London, says he was arrested in Pakistan and handed to the C.I.A., which then passed him to the security service in Morocco, where he was tortured.
Shaun Curry/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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A federal appeals court on Wednesday (September 8) ruled that former prisoners of the C.I.A. could not sue over their alleged torture in overseas prisons because such a lawsuit might expose secret government information.

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The sharply divided ruling was a major victory for the Obama administration’s efforts to advance a sweeping view of executive secrecy powers. It strengthens the White House’s hand as it has pushed an array of assertive counterterrorism policies, while raising an opportunity for the Supreme Court to rule for the first time in decades on the scope of the president’s power to restrict litigation that could reveal state secrets.

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Torture Is a Crime, Not a Secret, New York Times | NY
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle
All too often in the past, the judges pointed out, secrecy privileges have been used to avoid embarrassing the government, not to protect real secrets. In this case, the embarrassment and the shame to America’s reputation are already too well known.

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