Out Today, Carmen Segarra’s Secret Recordings of the Fed and Goldman Sachs

Out Today, Carmen Segarra's Secret Recordings of the Fed and Goldman Sachs

Bank examiner Carmen Segarra’s 46 hours of secret recordings of meetings between Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York are being called “the Ray Rice video for the financial sector”—and by no less than financial journalist and Liar’s Poker author, Michael Lewis. Segarra’s recordings, released this morning by ProPublica and This American Life (TAL), go some ways towards explaining how regulators overlooked events leading up to the 2008 financial disaster. The subprime mortgage crisis, according to one 2008 report, was responsible for the greatest loss of wealth among people of color in modern U.S. history. 

Segarra, who is Puerto Rican, was among a new group of staffers hired by the Fed in 2011* to better regulate the banks. Her assignment: Goldman Sachs. Says Lewis of listening to the story unfold on TAL: 

1. You sort of knew that the regulators were more or less controlled by the banks. Now you know.

2. The only reason you know is that one woman, Carmen Segarra, has been brave enough to fight the system. She has paid a great price to inform us all of the obvious. She has lost her job, undermined her career, and will no doubt also endure a lifetime of lawsuits and slander.

So what are you going to do about it?

Listen to Segarra on This American Life and learn more about her wrongful termination lawsuit against the Fed.

(h/t BloombergView)

* Post incorrectly stated, 2012.

More Arrests in Ferguson, You had me at Ello, #HTGAWM Premiere

More Arrests in Ferguson, You had me at Ello, #HTGAWM Premiere

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • For the second day, U.S.-led forces strike oilfields held by Islamic State in Syria. 
  • The U.S. is reportedly considering softening its stance on Iran’s uranium enriching centrifuges. 
  • Stacey Dean Rambold, the Montana teacher who served just one month in prison for raping a 14-year-old who later committed suicide, will be re-sentenced
  • Following a tough winter at the start of this year, the economy grew 4.6 percent in the second quarter. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

Ongoing Deportations Inspire Revival of Sanctuary Movement

Ongoing Deportations Inspire Revival of Sanctuary Movement

After the summer’s child migrant crisis, President Obama’s postponement of his promised sweeping executive action on immigration, and amidst ongoing deportations, churches are taking a stand. Two dozen churches, inspired by the sanctuary movement of the 1980s, have pledged to offer sanctuary to undocumented immigrants facing deportation, the Arizona Republic reported. 

“In light of this crisis, we are calling for a national response from communities of faith to declare sanctuaries for those facing final orders of deportation,” Tucson, Arizona’s Southside Presbyterian Church pastor Alison Harrington said, the Arizona Republic reported. Harrington, who the paper credits with pioneering the original sanctuary movement in the 1980s, called it a move of “last resort” for people who are facing deportation and the communities who support them. Back then, NPR reported, eight church leaders were convicted of smuggling for allowing those immigrants, many who were fleeing war in Central America, to take refuge inside their churches.

This past June, Daniel Neyoy Ruiz was offered a one-year stay on his deporation, NPR reported, after being taken in by the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. 

New Report Details Barriers to Black Girls’ Success

New Report Details Barriers to Black Girls' Success

A collection of statistics: 34 percent of African-American girls did not graduate high school on time in 2010, compared to 22 percent of all female students.

Twelve percent of African-American pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade female students received an out-of-school suspension during the 2011-2012 school year. Black girls’ suspension rate is six times higher than their white female counterparts. In the state of Wisconsin that school year, more than one in five of every black girl received an out-of-school suspension. Researchers have found that racial disparities in student rates of misbehavior do not account for this gulf.

In 2013, 43 percent of black women without a high school degree were living in poverty, compared to 28 percent of white women with the same levels of educational attainment. Black women with full-time jobs working year-round still make just 64 cents on the dollar compared to white men, and 82 cents for every dollar that their white female counterparts make.

At the root of each of these inequities are longstanding structural barriers to black women’s educational and economic success, argues a new report (PDF) put out this week by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (NAACP LDF) and the National Women’s Law Center. “Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls” offers historical context for black girls’ and women’s educational and economic experiences, as well as policy recommendations to address these racial gaps.

The report is also a response to the excitement and concern inspired by My Brother’s Keeper, the Obama administration initiative to support boys of color. The $200 million, five-year initiative was launched in February with the involvement from federal agencies and private corporations. Critics of My Brother’s Keeper have argued that racial inequity is not felt more deeply by boys than girls, and that excluding girls sidelines their experiences.

In August, the African American Policy Forum and UCLA School of Law’s Critical Race Studies Program hosted a hearing in Los Angeles, the third of its kind, to raise awareness about the experiences of girls of color who, as co-host and law professor Kimberle Crenshaw said, “experience some of the same things boys experience and somethings boys never dream of.”

Read the NAACP LDF and National Women’s Law Center report in full (PDF).

[VIDEO] Ferguson Police Chief Apologizes to Michael Brown’s Family

[VIDEO] Ferguson Police Chief Apologizes to Michael Brown's Family

Ferguson’s police chief this morning issued a public video apology to Michael Brown’s family that touches on the length of time that 18-year-old Michael Brown’s body lay in the street. Watch above. The two-minute video of Thomas Jackson in plain clothes and occasionally reading from paper notes, was issued through a marketing and communications firm, the Devin James Group. Does Jackson’s apology help the town’s long process of healing?

Eric Holder to Resign From Attorney General Post

Eric Holder to Resign From Attorney General Post

After serving six years as U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder is planning to resign. From NPR:

Two sources familiar with the decision tell NPR that Holder, 63, intends to leave the Justice Department as soon as his successor is confirmed, a process that could run through 2014 and even into next year. A former U.S. government official says Holder has been increasingly “adamant” about his desire to leave soon for fear that he otherwise could be locked in to stay for much of the rest of President Obama’s second term.

Holder’s Justice Department is currently investigating Officer Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Amid civil unrest, Holder, who often speaks candidly about racial injustice, visited Brown’s family in August.*

*Post updated to reflect that Holder visited Ferguson in August, not early September.







President Obama is scheduled to make the announcement about his resignation at 4:30 ET.

$1.5M Settlement for Woman Punched on Video by California Highway Patrol

$1.5M Settlement for Woman Punched on Video by California Highway Patrol

Marlene Pinnock, the woman whose beating on the side of the road by a California Highway Patrolman was caught on video this July, has reached a $1.5 million settlement. As part of the deal, reported to have been mediated over nine hours in Los Angeles, officer Daniel Andrew will resign.

The video of the highway patrolman straddling and punching 51-year-old Pinnock on July 1 spread widely over the Internet. Pinnock had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had been off her medication for two to three weeks when motorists called police to complain of a woman walking barefoot along the highway.

Pinnock told her story on August 11 to CBS News. Watch video above.

(h/t Fox News)

Meet the 8-Year-Old Who Speaks 8 Languages

Meet the 8-Year-Old Who Speaks 8 Languages

Mabou Loiseau already speaks English, Kreyol, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin and American Sign Language—and is now learning Japanese. At only 8 years of age, she also plays eight instruments.

Watch Loiseau, who says she wants to learn chemistry and biology soon, in this interview with Katie Couric that aired over the summer. Spoiler: she wants to be a lawyer, a brain surgeon and a singer when she grows up.

Troubled U.S. War Jets Strike Syria, iPhone Bendgate, Water Vapor on Exoplanet

Troubled U.S. War Jets Strike Syria, iPhone Bendgate, Water Vapor on Exoplanet

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:

  • A white South Carolina trooper is charged for shooting a black unarmed motorist. 
  • The California Highway Patrol and Marlene Pinnock, who was senselessly beaten by officer Daniel Andrew, have come to a $1.5 million settlement; Andrew is also resigning as part of the settlement.
  • ESPN’s Bill Simmons is suspended after going in on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. 
  • Researchers find a correlation between people who work 55 or more hours in “low socioeconomic status jobs” and Type 2 diabetes. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

No Indictment for Officers Involved in John Crawford’s Killing at Walmart

No Indictment for Officers Involved in John Crawford's Killing at Walmart

A Greene County, Ohio, grand jury has declined to indict two Beavercreek police officers involved in the shooting and killing of 22-year-old John Crawford at a Dayton area Walmart.

Crawford was shopping on August 5 when he picked up a BB gun from a store shelf. He was on his cell phone as he carried the toy gun around at Walmart. Fellow shopper Ronald Ritchie called 911 and said Crawford was pointing the BB gun at people—although in an interview with The Guardian, he later admitted that Crawford never pointed it at anyone.

Officer Sean Williams and Seargent David Darkow, who are both white, responded to the scene and maintain that they ordered Crawford, who is black, to drop his weapon; Williams fired because Crawford allegedly refused. But Crawford’s family says he was never ordered to put down the toy gun. A special grand jury heard from 18 witnesses during the course of two days and revealed its decision Wednesday morning.

The Ohio Student Association, which organized a 11-mile march called Journey for Justice today through Greene County, is calling for the Department of Justice to open its own investigation into Crawford’s killing. 

Obama at the U.N., Kerry Washington Plays ‘Box of Lies,’ India’s Mission to Mars

Obama at the U.N., Kerry Washington Plays 'Box of Lies,' India's Mission to Mars

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • President Obama is expected to address the United Nations this morning as part of his war effort; he’ll also convene the U.N. Security Council, perhaps best known to pass resolutions that can’t be enforced. 
  • Protesters gather in Ferguson once more after a mysterious fire destroys a makeshift memorial steps away from where Michael Brown was shot and killed. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

U.S. Bombs Syria, Eric Holder Talks Reform, California’s Drought

U.S. Bombs Syria, Eric Holder Talks Reform, California's Drought

 Here’s what I’m reading up on today:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Once Again, Anti-Islam Ads Go Up on New York City Transit

Once Again, Anti-Islam Ads Go Up on New York City Transit

Once again, a major American transit system has become a hotbed of racial hate. On Monday the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a far-right group based in Houston, Texas, that’s led by conservative activist Pamela Geller, launched an ad campaign that uses photos and images to denigrate Islam. Geller pulled a similar stunt earlier this year in Washington, D.C., but this time she’s upped the ante: the ads will include a photo from journalist James Foley’s gruesome beheading.


As Jack Jenkins points out at Think Progress, this isn’t the first time New York City’s subways have been a spectacle of Islamophobia. “In 2012, the group posted ads in Washington, D.C. and NYC that referred to enemies of Israel “savages,” and this summer it put posters on 20 buses in the U.S. capital that included an image of Adolf Hitler sitting next to Muslim leader Haj Amin al-Husseini underneath the caption, “Islamic Jew-hatred: It’s in the Quran.” Read more

In Ferguson, an 11-Year-Old Boy Grabs the Mic

In Ferguson, an 11-Year-Old Boy Grabs the Mic

Marquis Govan, 11, knows what Ferguson needs: jobs. It’s what he told the St. Louis County Council on August 19  and it’s the message he took yesterday to a national audience on CBS “Sunday Morning.” Just listen to the video above—especially when he interrupts reporter Jane Pauley with, “Look, let me tell you why,” to explain why kids at his school do not aspire to become police officers.

Govan, who spent his first two years in foster care, now lives with his great-grandmother. He attends Loyola Academy in St. Louis.

The first of a series of townhalls to run through November 4 begins this Monday evening in Ferguson. Media will not be allowed.

(h/t St. Louis Public Radio/CBS Sunday Morning)

Nuclear Arms, Climate Justice March, iPhone Sells and Drag Queens

Nuclear Arms, Climate Justice March, iPhone Sells and Drag Queens

Here’s what I’m reading up on today:

  • The U.S. is ramping up its nuclear arms arsenal.
  • Apple sold a record 10 million iPhone 6’s over the weekend.
  • More than 300,000 people marched for climate justice in New York City on Sunday. The U.N. climate summit begins today.
  • The first ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples opens today at the United Nations.
  •  Texas Governor Rick Perry is using Joan Rivers’ death to stretch his anti-abortion agenda.
  • Omar Gonzalez, the military vet who was caught last week scaling the White House fence, has a story.  
  • ESPN published a timeline of the Ray Rice scandal. Biggest takeaway: The Ravens knew months ago what happened inside that elevator.
  • Facebook’s next target: drag queens.
  • funkgodjazz&medicine opened in Brooklyn over the weekend. Go see it. 

Weekend Read: Misty Copeland, An Unlikely Ballerina

Weekend Read: Misty Copeland, An Unlikely Ballerina

Settle in this weekend and meet artist, athlete and ballerina Misty Copeland in this gorgeous New Yorker profile by Rivka Galchen. 

Copeland’s artistic and commercial successes make us all feel good—about ballet, about America—and yet that feeling is somewhat tendentious. It is impossible to distill the current role of race in ballet (or in any field) from one woman’s career. Copeland’s race makes her immediately distinctive in the ballet world, and this has undoubtedly helped her commercial career, but murmurings, on some online dance-discussion threads, that she has been excessively promoted within A.B.T. because of her race overlook not just her virtuosity but also the many years in which she wasn’t a soloist, or even a lead dancer.

(h/t The New Yorker)

Border Patrol to Police Its Own Deadly Shootings

Border Patrol to Police Its Own Deadly Shootings

In response to heated criticism over its officer-involved deadly shootings, Border Patrol will begin criminally investigating its own officers accused of excessive force, Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The agency will also begin trial-testing body-mounted cameras on officers. Both moves are efforts to quell demands for accountability for the nation’s largest uniformed federal law enforcement agency.

Since 2010, Border Patrol officers have killed at least 29 people in use-of-force incidents, Reuters reported. The agency has faced public pressure to share information about its use-of-force and accountability policies. Allowing the agency to investigate its own officers will expedite accountability efforts, Kerlikowske said. The Department of Homeland Security granted the agency the authority to do so. 

In the last decade, the Border Patrol has not disciplined a single agent involved in a deadly force investigation, acknowledged Mark Morgan, an FBI special agent assigned to run the Border Patrol’s internal affairs unit, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Group Buys Millions of Student Loan Debt—To Cancel It

Group Buys Millions of Student Loan Debt--To Cancel It

Imagine getting a letter in the mail one day, announcing that a portion of your student loans has been cancelled forever. If you don’t toss that letter in the junk mail pile, you might find out it’s true. That’s what happened in Michigan this year to a 32-year-old mother of four and a 24-year-old dental student. On the third anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, one offshoot of the Zuccotti Park encampment is making good on its mission to buy debt—only to cancel it. A group of activists called Rolling Jubilee is going after student loans, which at more than $1 trillion now account for 10 percent of all US debt, second only to mortgages.

Rolling Jubilee initially began by canceling nearly $15 million of personal debt from medical bills. This Wednesday, it moved on to $4 million of student loan debt incurred by more than 2,000 students of the for-profit Corinthian Colleges system. (As reported by the Huffington Post this week, federal regulators are suing Corinthian for allegedly swindling students and engaging in illegal debt collection practices.)

Rolling Jubilee, according to The New Yorker, knows its approach isn’t a sustainable solution to the debt crisis among young people. What they want is for “debtors [to] organize themselves into a group powerful enough to seek policy changes on their own, as unions did in the early twentieth century, and as civil-rights activists did in the nineteen-sixties.”

(h/t The New Yorker; NPR)

NYPD Officer Suspended After Video Shows Him Kicking Street Vendor

NYPD Officer Suspended After Video Shows Him Kicking Street Vendor Play

NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced that an unnamed officer has been suspended and stripped of his badge after being caught on video kicking a street vendor who was in police custody.

The scene unfolded after a street fair in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, last Sunday when several vendors reportedly failed to leave the area. The vendors can be seen on the video resisting arrest before one, Jonathan Daza, 22, is ultimately tackled to the ground and kicked by the officer. The police department has not released the officer’s name.

“I was very concerned with a video that was taken and the actions of one of our officers who was seen kicking an individual,” Bratton said Wednesday. “As best I could tell looking at that video it seemed to be totally unprovoked. That officer has been suspended and in terms of suspension in this department that means he’s been relieved of his gun, his badge and his police duties.”

Five people were arrested during the melee. Internal Affairs is investigating the incident. 

(h/t Gothamist)

TAGS: NYPD video

Scotland Votes, Texas Executes and Apple Does Something Good

Scotland Votes, Texas Executes and Apple Does Something Good

Here’s what I’m reading up on today:

  • Scotland votes on its referendum for independence today. 
  • The University of California has proposed a system-wide plan to combat campus sexual assault, calling for mandatory training for students, staff and faculty, improved support for victims and more thorough investigations. 
  • Texas executed 38-year-old Lisa Ann Coleman on Wednesday. Coleman was on death row for starving and beating her girlfriend’s son to death. 
  • Yet another NFL player has been arrested on charges of domestic violence. 
  • Adrian Peterson’s mom stood up for him and defended corporal punishment.
  • San Francisco is really bad at prosecuting rape cases…
  • …but great, it seems, at allowing single-room occupancy hotels to hawk rooms to tourists in low-income neighborhoods. 
  • Occupy Wall Street activists are suing one another. 
  • Apple finally decides to protect its users

TAGS: Morning Rush
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