An important message for you from Amy Goodman

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

  • Taxpayer-Funded Freddie Mac Caught Betting Billions Against Struggling American Homeowners

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    As homeowners across the nation struggle to keep up with mortgage payments—and in the worse cases face foreclosure—a new investigation reveals that taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, Freddie Mac, made multi-billion-dollar investments that profited if borrowers stayed stuck in high-interest mortgages. Freddie Mac began increasing these investments dramatically in late 2010, at the same time it was making it harder for homeowners to get out of such mortgages. Several U.S. lawmakers and prominent economists are now calling for Congress and the White House to end this financial conflict of interest. This comes just one week after President Obama promised "no more red tape" for homeowners looking to refinance. We speak with Jesse Eisinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning senior reporter at ProPublica, who co-authored the investigative report with NPR news. [includes rush transcript]

  • Ex-Marine Reoccupies His Own Foreclosed Home in Fight Against Freddie Mac, JPMorgan Chase

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    As Freddie Mac comes under scrutiny for betting billions on investments that profit if homeowners they issued loans to are locked into high-interest mortgages, we speak with Arturo de los Santos, a U.S. Marine veteran who was evicted last year in Riverside, California, after Freddie Mac and JPMorgan Chase foreclosed on his house last June. "We were trying to get the bank’s attention to review our case again. We couldn’t believe that after they had evicted us, they modified our loan," de los Santos says. "I called, and I told them, 'I thought we were doing the loan modification.' And they go, 'Well, we have a loan modification department and a foreclosure department, and the foreclosure department decided to sell the house.' So they sold the house." De los Santos and his family reoccupied their home in December with help from the Occupy movement, but face eviction again this week. [includes rush transcript]

  • "The House I Live In": New Documentary Exposes Economic, Moral Failure of U.S. War on Drugs

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    This weekend the top documentary prize at the Sundance Film Festival went to "The House I Live In," which questions why the United States has spent more than $1 trillion on drug arrests in the past 40 years, and yet drugs are cheaper, purer and more available today than ever. The film examines the economic, as well as the moral and practical, failures of the so-called "war on drugs" and calls on the United States to approach drug abuse not as a "war," but as a matter of public health. We need "a very changed dialogue in this country that understands drugs as a public health concern and not a criminal justice concern," says the film’s director, Eugene Jarecki. "That means the system has to say, 'We were wrong.'" We also speak with Nannie Jeter, who helped raise Jarecki as her own son succumbed to drug addiction and is highlighted in the film. We air clips from the film, featuring Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow"; Canadian physician and bestselling author, Gabor Maté; and David Simon, creator of "The Wire." [includes rush transcript]