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At NYU, HUD's Castro Speaks Lofty, "Whether Through Specific Goals or Not"

By Matthew R. Lee

NEW YORK, November 16 -- When the US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro held “an intimate speaking engagement” at NYU on November 14, it was according to HUD to “allow economists, housing industry and policy experts, and distinguished NYU faculty and staff to hear directly from Secretary Castro about our nation’s rebounding housing market.” There was an area marked “Reserved for Press,” and that where Inner City Press went.

  When after the speech it came time for Q&A, Inner City Press asked Castro for his view of the US Affordable Housing Goals, whether they can continue to perform their function if the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue. Video here.

   In his response, Castro referred to folks of modest means, and to lending to people of color -- but he said, “whether through the use of specific goals or not.” Many working on this issue, such as NCRC, wonder what this says about his and his prospective partner's commitment to the Affordable Housing Goals. We'll have more on this.

   On November 14 the Democratic Party debate in Des Moines was supposed to be primarily about the economy. But then the night before, 129 people were killed in terrorist attacks in Paris. So CBS' John Dickerson began with the issue, if the Obama Administration (and Hillary Clinton who was a part of it) underestimated ISIS.

  Bernie Sanders tracked ISIS back to the US invasion of Iraq; Hillary Clinton emphasized that extremism existed before that invasion, citing the bombing of US Marines in Beirut under Reagan, the attack on US embassies in African under “my husband.”

  Sanders said he is not a fan of regime change, rattling off Iran, Chile / Allende and Guatemala. Martin O'Malley said the US should not be roving the world looking for dictators to topple. Previously, he wrote that the UN should pay victims for bringing cholera to Haiti; there was nothing even near that in the foreign policy opening of the Des Moines debate.

  Somehow, the airstrikes on and chaos in Yemen was not even mentioned in the segment. Then it cut to the economy, and one wondered how Goldman Sachs, for example, would come up.

Update: Bernie Sanders brought up Goldman Sachs, as dominating; Hillary Clinton again deflected calls to reinstate the Glass Steagall Act by referring to her plan for non-banks. Does that no longer include Goldman Sachs?

   Back on October 13 when the then-five Democratic Party candidates for President debated on CNN from Nevada, they crossed swords on bank regulation and Edward Snowden, less so on foreign policy. Near the end, Hillary Clinton said she was proud “the Iranians” don't like her; Bernie Sanders, that Wall Street doesn't like him.

   Martin O'Malley called for restoring the Glass Steagall Act which separated banking from investment banking. Bernie Sanders recounted asking why Goldman Sachs -- now seeking Federal Reserve approval to acquire GE Capital Bank's deposits -- didn't itself do a bailout.

   Lincoln Chafee, amid some flubs, said to bring Snowden home without penalty; he cited the US bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Absent was reference to the United Nations, much less the corruption scandal there. Hillary used the UN to speak out about her emails, about which Bernie Sanders said, “Enough with your damn email.” Jim Webb repeatedly cited his military service. But why wasn't Laurence Lessig in it? 

  Back in August amid debate about Jorge Ramos of Univision and Fusion being ejected from Donald Trump's press conference in Iowa, then allowed back in to ask questions, from the United Nations the comparison is inevitable to UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous.

  Ladsous who after openly refusing to answer any questions from Inner City Press about rapes in DR Congo, Darfur and the Central African Republic used Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's guards to eject the Press from a supposedly open meeting, here.

  Ladsous has STILL not answered questions about his role in covering up peacekeepers' rapes in the Central African Republic. And the old-school UN Correspondents Association, UNCA, said nothing about that, or the ejection. That most corporate media just sucks up to power? Sadly, not news. That's why the Free UN Coalition for Access, FUNCA, was created, here.

  On August 26, as Ramos was interviewed by Megyn Kelly on FOX, over on CNN that network congratulated itself on not celebrating shooters, as it devoted hours to such coverage, of Vester Lee Flanagan a/k/a Bryce Williams killing TV journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward. But that's... another story.


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