BP Haggling With Government Over Penalty for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

By: Monday October 1, 2012 7:14 am

The US government has still not reached a settlement with BP over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, though talks continue. The issue concerns an upcoming lawsuit over violations of the Clean Water Act. A ruling that BP acted with “gross negligence” in their role in the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico triples the damages for the company, which is based on the amount of oil that spilled out of the well. This would come to roughly as high as $25 billion. The most precise figure we have is that 4.9 million barrels, or 205.8 million gallons, poured into the Gulf.

Israel’s Barak Calls for Unilateral Withdrawal From Parts of West Bank

By: Monday September 24, 2012 6:30 pm

In the US press, a big story on the Middle East today is another ignorant comment by the President of Iran, who holds very little power in the Islamic Republic relative to the Supreme Leader. But the really big story comes out of Israel, where Defense Minister Ehud Barak called for a settlement pullout from the West Bank, another dramatic development in his evolution away from the Likudnik faction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Justice Department Accuses BP of “Gross Negligence” in Oil Disaster

By: Wednesday September 5, 2012 7:40 am

The Justice Department, which has been more active in closing cases than pursuing them lately, has accused BP of “gross negligence” in a court filing. The language has a very particular significance; if successful, BP would owe quadruple the amount of damages under the Clean Water Act, which could lead to a total of $21 billion in fines.

Judge Jed Rakoff Berates SEC for Secret Settlement Deals, in Judicial Filing

By: Wednesday August 15, 2012 1:35 pm

Jed Rakoff is the federal judge who has engaged in a lonely crusade against the SEC’s practice of slap-on-the-wrist settlements against the nation’s largest financial firms. The SEC and Citigroup took Rakoff to court, essentially, to get their settlement on some mortgage-backed securities deals approved. Rakoff has a lawyer now, and he argued before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that he required more information to properly conduct oversight.

Waters Challenges Khuzami on Securitization Fraud Task Force, Gets Revealing Answers

By: Friday May 18, 2012 9:00 am

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who is in line to take over as the lead Democrat on the Committee, actually referenced the interview I did with Elizabeth Warren yesterday, in questioning of Robert Khuzami, who is both the head of enforcement at the SEC and a co-chair of the RMBS working group, the panel that is supposed to be investigating fraudulent actions in the securitization of mortgages. Waters used the fact that Warren expressed no confidence in the working group or any other measures from the regulatory and law enforcement communities to hold banks accountable to launch into a series of questions about the RMBS working group and its progress.

Who Will Police Captured Agencies?

By: Sunday March 25, 2012 10:30 am

How do we police a captured agency if courts have to take their word for everything?

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jeremy Ben-Ami, A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation

By: Sunday July 31, 2011 1:59 pm

In midsummer 2006, while my wife and kids were on our yearly trip down to Seattle, to be with our extended Norwegian-Jewish-Cambodian-Icelandic-Swedish-Texan family, the so-called Israel-Hezbollah War was in full rage. My brother-in-law and I were watching Wolf Blitzer on CNN, as he interviewed one pro-Israel talking head expert after another, describing the war not just from the Israeli point of view, but from a right-wing Israeli standpoint.

After the program, he lamented that the voice for Israel in the American media, in public affairs and in politics is almost always from a perspective much further from the right than it should be to reflect the views of the average Israeli, or those of the American Jewish community. He longed for a new organization, based from the positions of moderates, to counter the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other hawkish pro-Israel groups.

“But,” Lee lamented, “that’ll never happen.”

Some say it has now happened.

Clinton Criticizes Israel … a little

By: Sunday January 9, 2011 6:00 pm

Obama Administration’s kabuki over Israeli Palestinian peace efforts continues as historic Shepherd Hotel in Palestinian neighborhood is demolished.

Netanyahu Offers Settlement-for-Recognition Trade; Palestinians Instantly Reject

By: Monday October 11, 2010 7:15 pm

Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have gone to the Republican Party school of negotiating, where you get a concession, and in return ask for a bigger concession.

This Is Starting To Get Dangerous For Us

By: Sunday March 14, 2010 7:45 am

After being humiliated in Jerusalem over the settlement construction in Ramat Shlomo, Joe Biden tells a closed-door group that Israeli intransigence in the peace process “is is starting to get dangerous for us…

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