Business

Her Final Year: Alzheimer's Disease, Care-Giving and Care-Giver Recovery

Many of you may recall that I was the primary care-giver for a victim of Alzheimer's Disease - specifically, my mother-in-law who I affectionately referred to as "Mumsie." I wrote a few pieces that appeared here on ePluribus Media as well as other places, often sharing thoughts / feelings and happenings about the ongoing experience, or reflecting upon it after her passing in December of 2007.

Some of you may recall that I mentioned working with someone to co-author a book about the experience.

Well, the book is complete. It's now available via Amazon.com in both print and Kindle format. It's Her Final Year: A Care-Giving Memoir.

We think that anyone facing prospect of - or currently engaged in - the care-giving role for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's disease may find the experiences we relate within to be of use and interest. If you know anyone who you think may benefit, please pass along new of our book and the website URL (herfinalyear.com).

Thank you.

 

Schadenfreude: Foreclosing on the Foreclosers - Biting Bank of America in the Assets

For anyone wondering what a good example of schadenfreude may be: this is. From the Daily Kos diary by Unit Zero, which first brought the story to my attention:

Warren and Maureen Nyerges purchased a house from Bank of America for cash, never getting nor needing a Mortgage. BoA in its infinite wisdom screwed up and issued a foreclosure through their attorney. The Nyerges fought and sued the bank, finally winning a judgment after a year and a half of legal wrangling. The Collier County Judge ordered the bank to pay the Nyerges legal fees of $2,534 for the "error". Five months later the bank had still not paid the judgment, so the Nyerges had their attorney do what the bank would have done, seize their assets.

This is one of the few times that one might interchange the term "schadenfreude" with "justice."

 

Bank of America, one of the crown princes of the Thieves Guild, has a habit of foreclosing on the wrong properties.

 

Seen "Unemployed Need Not Apply"? I need your help.

Originally posted Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 03:26:02 PM PST over on DailyKos. Reposted with permission on the author's behalf.

There are a lot of unemployed people here on DKos, including quite a number of long-term unemployed. I've seen mention here and there from people who have come across listings that actually, blatantly say something like "No unemployed need apply". I'm trying to track down where those listings are, what state(s) the companies posting them are in, what sorts of positions they are for, the names of the companies, and other such details.

Why? Because I've brought up to my state legislators the problem of people seeing such listings. Frankly, it's a form of discrimination that I feel ought to be illegal, especially in a Great Recession such as this one. I may be able to instigate the passage of legislation forbidding this practice, at least in Washington State, but it would help a lot if I knew where these things were taking place and who was doing this.

 

Fact: The Bankers Theft of Our Money was Planned Well in Advance

Just how far in advance? We have yet to figure that out. 6 Months? At the very least. More? Anything to suggest it wasn't years in advance? This is more Wikileaks news from #cablegate searches and brought to light by the Guardian.

Remember how the Bush administration insisted that every bank had to be bailed out "now, Now, NOW!" in this unforeseen crisis or else the entire universe would financially implode?

It seems that must have been the script since there was no sudden crisis that came out of nowhere and that the Bankers were plotting their bailouts at least 6 months in advance:

Ask Eliot Spitzer...

This is precisely what happens:

Spitzer Whacked For Warning Of Financial Crisis, Bush Fed Targets Taxpayers As Bagholders

Roger Stone is the longtime dirty-trickster who knocked the socks off of Eliot Spitzer in a scandal of high-priced trysts that forced resignation of the NY Governor earlier this year. With a Republican pedigree stretching to Watergate, Stone needed little inducement more than Spitzer's capital "D" affiliation.

But, as the nation's taxpayers await the terms of our extortion by the Bush Administration's 'exempt from oversight' bankers' club under a plan -- including full immunity -- led by Henry Paulson, it's time to consider the political assassination of another White House enemy for the SOP it was.

Sure, Spitzer should have de-socked before his career-ending indiscretion. But we should revisit the prophetic message that was lost to the tsunami of Spitzer's scandalization two weeks later.

Julian Assange take note - This is what happens when you threaten the Banks of Amer, err, the United States of America:

The Myopia of the Masses: My Own "Better Off Dead" Experience

Crossposted at DailyKos.

If you haven't read the diary "...is surely better off dead" by Auntie Neo Kawn of DailyKos yet, go read it now -- I'll wait.

This diary is an additional build upon it -- my own experience as one of those who the comment "better off dead" refers to.

When you're ready and you've tipped, rec'd and commented over on Auntie's piece, feel free to drop below the fold to get my take. And thank you for your time.

 

Open Thread - Landmark Ruling Last Week that YOU may not have heard about and then some...

Zach Carter takes note of recent ruling in a case that shows pretty clearly how the banks, not just Wells Fargo BUT all banks, purposely rigged their overdraft system against you:

Wells Fargo Overdraft Scam Makes Elizabeth Warren More Important Than Ever

A landmark court ruling on Wells Fargo's outrageous overdraft scam has the potential to return hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen funds to consumers all over the country. But like many of the banking scandals from the past decade, there's more to the story than simple bank predation. When banks devised this new program to swindle their own customers, bank regulators did not merely look the other way, they actively encouraged the behavior by writing a new rule approving a practice that courts now believe to be unfair and deceptive. The Wells Fargo case should be viewed as a clear example of why Elizabeth Warren ought to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The overdraft scam that Judge William Alsup slapped down yesterday is not unique to Wells Fargo-- every big bank in the country has been doing it for years, and if it's never happened to you, it's probably happened to your friends or family. Banks make a lot of money from overdraft fees-- $38 billion last year, compared to a combined industry profit of just $12.5 billion. They don't make that money by accident. Internal company emails and memos from the Wells Fargo case show bankers spending a lot of time figuring out how to maximize the number of overdraft charges they can hit their checking customers with.

One way is by changing the order in which your transactions are processed. Most people think that their checks and debit card purchases are processed in the order that they make them. But that's not how banks actually do it. Instead, they wait for you to make several purchases, and then process the most expensive purchases first. This method pushes a customer's balance to zero faster than the honest way that actually reflects buying habits. And the sooner your balance goes to zero, the more overdraft fees the bank can hit you with.

It is institutional fraud, across the board and directed at the average consumer, that had elevated the issue of the new consumer protection agency to a grassroots level to begin with.

And it is not just the bank customers that are institutionally screwed over by the financial system. Again from Mr. Carter, even the small players on Wall Street are habitutally hammered to the benefit of the American elite that continues to escape punishment for their crimes:

The Latest Financial Gambling Tool

“I make a living off the dumb money,” says Emil van Essen, “These index funds get eaten alive by people like me”

Just so you know, Joe and Suzy Sixpack with your 401ks and other investments... You are the tool with the dumb money. And, yes. The game is rigged in the favor of the house again.

From Bloomberg News we get the tale of contango, commodities futures trading and the savvy using your gullibility to fleece you with their latest "financial innovation":

They got a lot damned gaul talking like that:

It was bad enough listening to the Obama administration and Democratic party politicians, in general, talking about student loans and using all of the same arguments we were making for Single Payer as the reasoning to change that system but refusing to use the same arguments for healthcare...

But watching the GOP use the same Single Payer arguments to protect Big Oil from the high costs of insuring their own disasters?

Just way beyond the pale:

Gasland, Fracking and You

I'm preparing a series of stories that will assemble loosely under the topic of 'regulation'. More precisely, it's related to the 'mis-regulation' that informed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and which carved out protection for 'fracking'.   Remember that Dick Cheney's Task Force secretly collected the industry wishlists to guide his National Energy Policy, in 2001, which guided the legislative formation of EPAct 2005..

War on An Economy in Crisis

With billions having been tossed into Iraq without any accountability at all, is it surprising in any way that the GOP's complete financial incompetence has left the nation in tatters?

Yesterday, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) released its findings on how the money was spent from a special Iraq reconstruction fund set up by the Department of Defense (DOD) between 2003-2007. The account used Iraqi oil money to fund the reconstruction of Iraq. SIGIR concluded that 96 percent of the $9.1 billion the reconstruction program cannot be accounted for by the DOD:

A US federal watchdog has criticised the US military for failing to account properly for billions of dollars it received to help rebuild Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money. Out of just over $9bn (£5.8bn), $8.7bn is unaccounted for, the inspector says. [...]

The funds in question were administered by the US Department of Defence between 2004 and 2007, and were earmarked for reconstruction projects. But, the report says, a lack of proper accounting makes it impossible to say exactly what happened to most of the money.

Now we need to look at what we can do to fix some of this, right? First, let us define some of the problems:

A bit on the new consumer protection agency +++ FinReg with Thom Hartmann and Matt Taibi

Over at My Left Nutmeg the Working Families Party is gunning to get Senator Chris Dodd to do the right thing and push for a vote on Elizabeth Warren for the new consumer protection agency (CPA):