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Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Morning News

Posted by on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 9:00 AM

BeginAgain, a world premiere by Stranger Genius Award winners zoe | juniper, opens tonight at On the Boards.
  • Juniper Shuey
  • BeginAgain, a world premiere by Stranger Genius Award winners zoe | juniper, opens tonight at On the Boards.

Sixteen bodies found, nine believed to still be in the mud, and 90 missing. "All they found were the reminders of lives. 'We saw some clothing that would fit a 3-year-old, and then some nursery toys. We didn’t know if they were from the same house, or what,' says Finzimer. The slide had literally smashed houses together."

A librarian, a Navy veteran, and a high-school custodian.The Seattle Times has short profiles of the confirmed dead and the missing—including, curiously, a leader of the Freedom County movement to secede from Snohomish County. Death doesn't care about politics.

But politics cares about death. "Egypt's chief prosecutor on Wednesday ordered two new mass trials for 919 suspected Islamists on charges that include murder, despite international criticism of an earlier trial that issued death sentences against hundreds of defendants."

Bank of America will pay $9.3 billion for selling bad mortgage bonds. "The regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, had accused the bank of misrepresenting the quality of loans underlying residential mortgage-backed securities purchased by the two mortgage finance companies between 2005 and 2007."

A real-life Robin Hood. The mayor of a small Spanish village, in an area where the unemployment rate is around 40 percent, is experimenting with communism—and leading raids on large supermarkets to stock the food banks. "'Aren't you all hungry?' he yelled through a megaphone in the grocery parking lot that morning in August 2012. 'Let's go shopping!' The cheering crowd pushed its way inside, piling chickpeas, rice, tomatoes and other food into carts, then rushing out without paying. Police met the mostly first-time outlaws outside and arrested Sanchez Gordillo, although not before he managed to transfer his loot to representatives of local food banks to distribute to the poor."

Are rap lyrics admissible evidence? The New York Times looks at cases where rappers' boasting has played a role in their convictions.

Crimea river. The Russian "self-defense" paramilitaries who led the way for Russian troops, menaced journalists, and beat up people who publicly opposed the idea Russian annexation are now being disbanded by the new Russian overlords who say they're "no longer useful." Be careful what you wish for.

American guns. Three have been arrested after a shooting in the University District at 47th and Brooklyn.

An n+1 rumination on NOLA. "Even now, whenever I go there, New Orleans seems to be trying to draw me into some kind of conspiracy of signification. When I lived there, my apartment was on Independence, a one-way street. Two blocks over was Desire, a one-way street going in the opposite direction."

Tonight at On the Boards: A world premiere by zoe | juniper, the dance and design duo who won a Stranger Genius Award last year.

The top search hit this morning for "good news" was a CNN article titled "How to find good news in Gwyneth's breakup":

Breaking news: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have separated. So, who cares?

Well, for many reasons, people seem to have strong reactions. I imagine some of that stems from the fact that Paltrow has at times perpetuated an ideal that seems impossible to replicate. Her lifestyle website, Goop, offers otherworldly solutions to problems only the uber-wealthy can afford to have. Goop proclaims, "Gwyneth started goop in the fall of 2008 to share all of life's positives..."


Comments (16) RSS

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fletc3her 1
If you want to donate to the victims of the landslide:…
Posted by fletc3her on March 27, 2014 at 9:11 AM · Report this
fletc3her 2
Which I probably got from SLOG an hour ago. I've been posting the link a couple places.
Posted by fletc3her on March 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM · Report this
Storming the supermarket I'm sure seemed like a good idea, until of course the company decides there's no point in sending more food to restock if it's just going to get stolen.
Posted by MRM on March 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 4
Bank of America is more than welcome to use the $3.00 check image processing fee I pay (I write 1-2 checks a month) towards that fine.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on March 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM · Report this
AirBuddy 5
The recent n+1 city by city essay on Boise is another quality elegy on place that details what happens when your podunk NW-ish hometown is suddenly kind of cool. Also, it's by Cienna Madrid's teen years best friend, which is crazy!
Posted by AirBuddy on March 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Gern Blanston 6
One of the victims of the slide was also a nurse who had just bought a home in the slide area. She had moved in a week before, and had three contractors working on the home when the slide hit. Talk about horrible luck.
Posted by Gern Blanston on March 27, 2014 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Bank of America forced to pay $7.3 billion, buy $2 billion worth of bonds, for wrecking the global economy over the course of two years. "This'll definitely cut into the obscene profits that we made off of those deals," a spokesman claims, "but, all things said, no regrets. We still came out ahead, and just wait until you see what we've got planned for next quarter!"
Posted by Ruke on March 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM · Report this
rob! 8
@4: Wouldn't it be better if they a) returned to the banking rules of 75 years ago, b) returned your actual canceled checks to you at no additional charge (if desired), c) paid more than a fraction of a percent interest on savings accounts under $100k, and d) didn't repeatedly do things that incurred multi-billion-dollar fines?
Posted by rob! on March 27, 2014 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 9
@8 - mostly but..
a - unsure
b - I don't want the checks back where they would reside in shoe boxes in the basement - but the imaging should be a courtesy - for sure!
c - I suppose so. But far better to have savings in a money market account anyway. Just have to meet a $1K minimum balance.
d - Yes, but government polices were also to blame for the sub-prime mortgage bubble burst.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on March 27, 2014 at 11:36 AM · Report this
JonnoN 10
@9 BoA money market accounts currently yield 0.08% APR.

If you don't like evil bank, stop using them. Complaining on here just earns you more well-deserved derision.
Posted by JonnoN on March 27, 2014 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 11
@10: That's why I use a different institutions for my money market, and other investment vehicles. I just use BoA for checking. Also, it was more of a "joke" than a complaint. Please take a sedative.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on March 27, 2014 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 12
I would dispute the notion that celebrities do much besides murder that's "news". And I wish the story was that those two had murdered each other.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Glad people are ignoring Brendan's stupid coverage of the events in Crimea. I know, I know. Putin is Hitler -- Hillary told you so.
Posted by Linda J on March 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 14
There's a movement to secede from Snohomish County? For Heaven's sake, why?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on March 27, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
Fnarf 15
@9, regarding your point d: bullshit.

The subprime mortgage crisis was the result of a concerted policy by lenders -- NOT the government, NOT the borrowers. In fact, a substantial majority of subprime borrowers qualified for prime loans, but were lied to about that fact (this is still largely true today, to a lesser extent).

Every major lender in the runup to the crisis had an ENTIRE DEPARTMENT devoted to forging signatures and other details on loan forms. Many borrowers didn't even know what they were borrowing.

The banks didn't give a shit, either, because their mandate from above was to produce as many subprime loans as humanly possible, because the product they were trying to generate was not housing loans at all; it was derivatives based on bundled loans -- even if a large portion of those loans were fake. Good producers of bad loans -- loans that everybody in the building knew were bad -- up to SEVENTY A DAY for the very best -- were rewarded with cash and other perks, including free rides on prostitutes.

Millions of people have lost not just their homes but their life savings because of the actions of these banks. Those people are overwhelmingly black and brown. None of the banks have been punished, beyond a few trivial "cost of doing business" penalties.

Read this and understand why the bullshit lie being peddled by people like you is false:…
Posted by Fnarf on March 27, 2014 at 3:22 PM · Report this
@ 13. I follow Brendan's coverage of the events in the Crimea and especially Chris Collison's reporting. I think it was very powerful when Chris' colleague told the woman who had pointed them out to the Russian police and was mocking them later: “What happened back there is just like what people were doing to the Jews in the 1940s”. Unfortunately, the behavior of the Russians in 2014 is very similar of that of the Nazis in 1938.
Posted by LetV on March 27, 2014 at 11:42 PM · Report this

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