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Mar 17 2013

What We Now Know

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

In this week’s segment of MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes “What We Now Know, Up host Chris Hayes discusses his new show week nights at 8 PM on MSNBC. He tells us the that “Up” will continue with a new host to be announced in the next few days. Congratulations, Chris, kick butt.

What we have learned this week is discussed with guests Ben Jealous, president and CEO of NAACP; Nancy Huehnergarth, nutritional advocate and policy consultant, contributor to the Huffington Post; New York City Council Member Letitia James, a member of the Working Families Party representing parts of Brooklyn, and a candidate for public advocate; and Monifa Bandele, campaign director with MomsRising.org.

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FDIC Secretly Settling Bank Cases For Years With ‘No Press Release’ Clause: Report

from Huffington Post

At the request of rule-breaking bankers, a top U.S. regulator has for years settled bank cases in secret, raising the bar on just how far regulators are willing to go to help the industry they regulate.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures bank deposits in the U.S. and shuts down failing banks, has since 2007 repeatedly settled charges of banker wrongdoing by agreeing to “no press release” clauses that keep the settlements a secret, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In one particularly glaring example, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $54 million to quietly settle charges that its New York mortgage-banking subsidiary, MortgageIT, sold bad loans to another mortgage bank, Independent National Mortgage Corporation, a/k/a “IndyMac.” IndyMac collapsed under the weight of bad mortgage loans in July 2008, a notable milestone in the financial crisis.

In exchange for the settlement, the FDIC agreed not to announce the deal unless it was asked about it, the LAT writes. That was just one of “scores” of such settlements the LAT discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request that turned up 1,600 pages of documents.

State Department report OK’ing Keystone XL linked to oil industry

by Natasha Lennard, Salon

Consulting firms with ties to oil giants provided the basis of government document

The State Department study published last month OK’ing the Keystone XL pipeline was partly compiled by “oil-industry connected” firms, according to new reports.

The Environmental Impact Statement, as Salon noted on its release, angered environmentalists for its assessment that the project was sound and would have limited negative consequences. As DeSmog Blog’s Steve Horn noted Tuesday, however, “Unmentioned by State: the study was contracted out to firms with tar sands extraction clientele, as revealed by InsideClimate News.”

InsideClimate News reported that two firms, EnSys Energy and ICF International provided the State Department that basis for their claims:

   The State Department’s recent conclusion that the Keystone XL pipeline “is unlikely to have a substantial impact” on the rate of Canada’s oil sands development was based on analysis provided by two consulting firms with ties to oil and pipeline companies that could benefit from the proposed project.

   EnSys Energy has worked with ExxonMobil, BP and Koch Industries, which own oil sands production facilities and refineries in the Midwest that process heavy Canadian crude oil. Imperial Oil, one of Canada’s largest oil sands producers, is a subsidiary of Exxon.

   ICF International works with pipeline and oil companies but doesn’t list specific clients on its website. It declined to comment on the Keystone, referring questions to the State Department.

NFL’s Sexual Orientation Concern Must Be Addressed, Says NY AG Eric Schneiderman

by Michael Gormley, Huffington Post

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged the NFL on Thursday to investigate whether possible draft picks were improperly asked about their sexual orientation during the league’s combine, which he said would be illegal in New York.

“We ask that the league immediately issue a statement that any form of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation by league teams or players against potential recruits or players constitutes a violation of state, local and, in some cases, contractor law and will not be tolerated,” Schneiderman said in a letter dated Thursday and released to news organizations.

Schneiderman asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to call him by next Wednesday to schedule a meeting on the matter.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was already looking into the issue and would discuss it at its meeting next week in Phoenix.

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