Yesterday, Bank of America said it will “effectively lift its foreclosure freeze” next week when it will resubmit foreclosure documents to courts for 102,000 foreclosure actions in 23 states. U.S. regulators, including the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, along with all 50 states’ attorneys general will move ahead with their investigations of the banks’ “shoddy practices” that caused the foreclosures.
January through September of this year is tied for the warmest first nine months on record, according to the National Climate Data Center. This year’s temperatures are tied with those in 1998, though this was the warmest nine months ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.
Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials are pushing for changes to make it easier for them to wiretap costumers of phone and broadband carriers. They say new legislation is needed “because some telecommunications companies in recent years have begun new services and made system upgrades that create technical obstacles to surveillance.”
A California federal judge said yesterday that “she is inclined to deny the government’s request to allow the Pentagon to enforce its ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy” while her injunction against it is being appealed. The government asked for a stay of her ruling declaring the policy unconstitutional, and she “is expected” to issue a ruling denying that request today.
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether former attorney general John Ashcroft is “personally liable for misusing federal laws” to illegally detain and treat a U.S. citizen as a terrorist. The plaintiff’s attorneys say Ashcroft’s actions were a “gross abuse” of power and part of the Bush administration’s “aggressive” strategy in using the material witness statute to hold suspects without evidence to charge.
The Department of Justice filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that practicing Islam is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution, defending the building of an expansion of a mosque in Murfreesboro, TN. The city has “an obligation to treat mosques the same as churches, synagogue, or any other religious assemblies,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights.
President Obama’s “signature tax cut of the past two years, which decreased income taxes by up to $400 a year for individuals and $800 for married couples, has gone largely unnoticed.” A recent New York Times/CBS poll found that only 10 percent knew the Obama administration had lowered taxes for most Americans.
Alaska GOP candidate for U.S. Senate Joe Miller admitted yesterday that “he was disciplined for violating the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s ethics policy in 2008 when he was a part-time borough lawyer.” The statement comes a week after Miller vowed to not answer any more questions about his personal life or history.
And finally: The late Senator Ted Stevens brought a mountain of pork spending back to his home state of Alaska so it’s only fitting that he be remembered with a mountain of his own. Yesterday, President Obama signed the Mount Stevens and Ted Stevens Icefield Designation Act, a bill sponsored Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that will officially name the highest unnamed peak in Alaska, as well as an icefield, after Stevens.