Monday, December 13, 2010

Patt Morrison for Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:19




1:21 – 1:39

An entire continent waiting on one vote: the global ramifications of Southern Sudan’s independence

On January 9th there will be a vote in an African country that will have ramifications across the continent and the entire globe.  Sudan, a country that has fought two bloody civil wars over the course of almost 50 years and has another long-simmering battle raging in its Darfur province, could soon split into two different countries.  Southern Sudan, the Christian half of the country that has fought the North almost since Sudan itself gained independence in 1956, will hold a referendum next month on its own independence that could touch off a new war, a wave of similar secession movements in other African countries or a continent-wide ethnic/religious battle; there’s also a distinct possibility that the referendum won’t happen, if the North feels that the Southern Sudanese are serious about being independent, taking with them several lucrative oil fields.  At the heart of the matter is the split between the North’s Arab, Muslim-leaning population and the South’s black Christian people.  Patt gives a primer on an election that could go down in history as far more important than what happened in the U.S. in November.



Lako Tongun, professor of international & intercultural studies & political studies at Pitzer College


  • Aside from teaching about Sudanese politics, history & culture, Tongun is from South Sudan—he fled the country during the first civil war but has returned several times.  He is voting in the election on Jan. 9th


Zach Vertin, Horn of Africa analyst at the International Crisis Group, based in Nairobi, Kenya





1:41 – 1:58:30

Who really owns your house—could mortgage transfers threaten legality of foreclosures?

Can your bank take your home?  Yes, if they own it, but increasingly that ownership is being challenged in court as evidence of “robo-signings” and other careless documentation problems come to the fore. Recently a New York state judge, law professor and consumer attorneys testified before a Congressional panel that, in many cases, banks in fact have no legal standing to foreclose on borrowers due to a complicated electronic system known as MERS, which a majority of lenders use to document mortgage assignments. The confusion lies in the fact that MERS allows 20,000 people who work for lenders, not MERS, to sign mortgage paperwork in MERS’ name, obfuscating who actually owns the mortgage and with whom a homeowner can negotiate. Critics argue the judiciary system has actually exacerbated the current foreclosure crisis by too often accepting submissions without question from foreclosure-seeking lending institutions. Is this the first step in a massive overhaul of the MERS system and how can you trace your mortgage?



Katherine Porter, visiting professor of bankruptcy, consumer finance & secured credit at the Harvard Law School


  • Porter testified in front of the Congressional Oversight Panel in October on the legal challenges to foreclosures that are based in the question of ultimate ownership of mortgages.
  • She has said the law is very unsettled about transferring mortgage ownership.


Daniel Edstrom, head of the securitization auditing firm DTC-Systems


  • Edstrom reverse engineered the mortgage on his family home, an effort that took him a year to complete and produced an unbelievably complicated flow chart as his mortgage was transferred between owners as it was traded through mortgage-backed securities.



2:06 – 2:39

Michelle Rhee:  radically reforming public education, whether you like it or not

She started as a Teach for America recruit and she’s since become one of the most prominent public education officials in the country. Michelle Rhee has made it her life’s mission to reform the public education system, and her resume proves it. After Teach for America, Rhee founded and ran the New Teacher Project for 10 years before finally being appointed the Chancellor of D.C. public schools where she served for close to three and a half years. Now she’s moving a little south to run Florida Governor-elect Rick Scott’s education task force (there’s speculation that she’ll become his Commissioner of education), and she’s started a new program called Students First aimed at transforming public education across the country. She’s a busy woman, but she’s here to talk to Patt about reforming the nation’s public education system, whether we like it or not.



Michelle Rhee, member of Florida Governor-elect Rick Scott’s education task force; founder of Students First; and former Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools




Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of the city of Los Angeles  



Brock Cohen, English & humanities teacher at Grant High School in North Hollywood




Representative, UTLA, United Teachers Los Angeles



2:41 – 2:58:30




Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

89.3 KPCC-FM | 89.1 KUOR-FM | 90.3 KPCV-FM

626.583.5171, office

415.497.2131, mobile /


No comments: