I’ve been around Firedoglake as long as most of you, and I’m happy to be asked to tell you what matters to me about FDL.
What is most striking to me about the FDL of today is the diversity of subject matter: wingnut-filleting, Palin-watching, bassets, Figs & ferrets, Saturday preaching and Sunday contemplation, arts fine and not-so, food from far and near. And that just the nights and weekends! During the business part of every single day, you can tune to Firedoglake for the best coverage of foreclosure fraud, ongoing torture and wiretapping abuses, America’s galloping corporatism, and Republican pandering to the worst of their base.
If there’s a status quo ante that needs puncturing and exposure, you already know Firedoglake writers have a bead on it. You’ve read about it here, or you will soon.
Can you please help FDL raise $60,000 by day’s end so that we can continue to provide you with such a wide range of topics, views, and perspectives untainted by lobbyist money and untrammeled by corporate leash?
There isn’t a better place on the internet for a wider range of topics. If the subject is elite misperception of our deficit problem, you know it’s covered here. If the topic is ignoring the American people’s views on raising taxes on the rich to recoup this century’s losses, it’ll be front-paged at FDL. If the topic you want is our elite non-profit organizations supposedly dedicated to the issue in their mission statement giving this new Democratic president a free pass or even a ringing endorsement, look no further. If you’ve been away from the ‘tubes all day and want to catch up quickly on the stories missed by the Legacy Media, tune in to the News Desk Roundup. If the intersection of politics and the Left Coast glitterati is your game, LaFiga has you covered.
But, for me, what matters most is Firedoglake’s coverage of Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) issues, and the effort the blog has undertaken to cover the Prop 8 referendum and the subsequent historic efforts to overturn that civil rights rollback in federal court.
The day after the 2008 election, when jubilant progressives elsewhere prematurely celebrated the election of a young, dynamic Democratic president and LGBT Californians sat stunned and demoralized at our civil rights stripped away, Jane Hamsher sent me an email saying, “We will not rest until this injustice is undone, Teddy.”
This isn’t Firedoglake’s issue: we’re not a ‘gay blog’ and most of us aren’t ‘gay bloggers.’
But amidst my tears on Election Day Plus One, Jane’s email presaged the work FDL has done the last 18 months. FDL is not an LGBT blog nor are we LGBT bloggers, many of us. But the expert team assembled to liveblog from Judge Vaughn Walker’s courtroom — David Dayen, Marcy Wheeler, and Emptywheel’s bmaz — lifted me up. They provided me with the will to continue as my fingers cramped and my back cried out. As I wept in the courtroom while brave plaintiffs described the simple human rights they were daily denied as a gay couple and a lesbian couple, I had the power of FDL with me and behind me.
And you knew where to look for this coverage, because FDL’s tremendous backstage crew had provided a Hub where all our coverage lived — and will always live as long as there’s a federal trial underway on our right to marry.
I knew I could not rest until we’d seen that trial through — and there’s plenty more to come, you know very well, no matter the decision Judge Vaughn Walker renders.
There were plenty of LGBT bloggers covering the trial, twitterers and texters too. But if you wanted the core coverage, the word-for-word explication, the sense of the courtroom, the attitude from the bench, the despair and confusion among the Counsel for Defendant-Intervenors — here’s where you tuned in. The activist organizations and LGBT organizers and bloggers provided plenty of fine background, flavor, color, and perspective.
Firedoglake was the model, though — and for that I am very grateful and thankful. Aren’t you?
Please help Firedoglake raise $60,000 by the end of the day so that we can, among many other things, bring you continued Prop 8 Trial coverage: at the full Ninth Circuit, at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and — eventually — at the Supreme Court.
I appreciate all the support you’ve provided me, and my co-livebloggers, throughout the trial in San Francisco. Can you please make that support tangible today in a way that will allow us to continue to provide you the coverage you’ve come to expect from us?
Thank you very much!
Two years into the housing crash, Fannie Mae just now announced a war on strategic defaulters:
WASHINGTON, DC — Fannie Mae (FNM/NYSE) announced today policy changes designed to encourage borrowers to work with their servicers and pursue alternatives to foreclosure. Defaulting borrowers who walk-away and had the capacity to pay or did not complete a workout alternative in good faith will be ineligible for a new Fannie Mae-backed mortgage loan for a period of seven years from the date of foreclosure. Borrowers who have extenuating circumstances may be eligible for new loan in a shorter timeframe.
Fannie Mae will also take legal action to recoup the outstanding mortgage debt from borrowers who strategically default on their loans in jurisdictions that allow for deficiency judgments. In an announcement next month, the company will be instructing its servicers to monitor delinquent loans facing foreclosure and put forth recommendations for cases that warrant the pursuit of deficiency judgments.
Troubled borrowers who work with their servicers, and provide information to help the servicer assess their situation, can be considered for foreclosure alternatives, such as a loan modification, a short sale, or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. A borrower with extenuating circumstances who works out one of these options with their servicer could be eligible for a new mortgage loan in three years and in as little as two years depending on the circumstances.
It's an dramatic move for the much-maligned company. But first of all, the plan sounds too vague to result in many prosecutions.
Second, the war on default is a terrible market indicator. Fannie Mae is worried about an increase in strategic defaults, which is caused by and contributes to a fall in prices. Indeed, that's what's been happening all spring, as home values keep dropping in many markets.
Don't miss: 14 Reasons To Fear The Growing Mortgage Bubble
Mike Fuljenz Mike Fuljenz