This one is going to be a movie. What has been going on in the Baltimore Detention Center – and perhaps other Jails in the State of Maryland is unbelievable. The inmates truly were running the prison…
This one is going to be a movie. What has been going on in the Baltimore Detention Center – and perhaps other Jails in the State of Maryland is unbelievable. The inmates truly were running the prison…
Seems that Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife have been playing fancy-free with “gifts” from corporate interests in Va. There was the matter of a $6500 Rolex, A $15,000 “donation” to pay McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding expenses at the Governor’s Mansion. $10,000 gift to McDonnells other daughter before her wedding. Trips on private planes. A family “vacation”. A $1500 catered Thanksgiving Dinner and $3,000 “vacation”…
And that is just the “$125,000″ or so McDonnell has admitted taking from one wealthy businessman.
Then there is the issue of McDonnell’s wife using campaign funds as a personal piggy bank to buy clothes, furnish the mansion, and finance a lavish lifestyle. While not exactly illegal under Virginia law – it does raise some questions as to propriety.
Prosecutors are investigating what exactly these many gifts paid for.
McDonnell has been on a lot of the Republican Party potential Presidential candidates “short list” of VP picks. There also is some currency that McDonnell would make a run for a Senate seat or the big Kahuna – the Presidency.
Perhaps even more explosive is the fact that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also benefitted from the largesse of the same group of business interests. Cuccinelli says Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams didn’t give him the kind of presents that can be returned. Gifts from Williams listed in Cuccinelli’s financial disclosure forms include a $1,500 catered Thanksgiving dinner, private jet trips and vacation lodging. When asked about the list of gifts—totaling $18,000—the attorney general responded by saying that “there are some bells you can’t un-ring.” The “Cuch” just happens to be running for Governor this term.
Now, I don’t know about you, but when the State’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer is taking gifts under the table… The Attorney General of all people in a Government is supposed to conduct themselves within the law to be above reproach.
There is the consideration that the uncovered monies may just be the tip of the iceberg…
A prominent political donor and his dietary supplement company have been cooperating for several months with federal prosecutors in a fast-moving public corruption investigation of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, according to three people familiar with the probe.
Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific, has turned over personal financial records and sat for interviews in which he provided firsthand accounts of luxury gifts andmore than $120,000 given to McDonnell (R) and his family members since 2011, the people said.
Star has given prosecutors access to corporate records and offered information from other company officials. The three spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is in a sensitive stage.
The cooperation is an ominous sign for McDonnell, suggesting that federal prosecutors are focused on trying to build a potential criminal case against him.
McDonnell has not been charged, and prosecutors ultimately must determine whether they have the evidence to proceed against him.
But Williams is a critical witness who can offer investigators insight into the key issue for such a case: whether the governor and first lady agreed to take official actions that could help Williams’s company in exchange for his gifts.
McDonnell has repeatedly said he has broken no laws, insisting that he did nothing to help Williams’s company that he would not have done for any state-based enterprise. He has said he was not required by state law to disclose gifts given to his family members or a corporate loan that he said Williams provided. He has said he properly disclosed $50,000 given by Williams to his wife as a loan.
Still, McDonnell recently apologized for breaching the public’s trust and said he had repaid money he received from Williams, along with interest. Last week, he said he was working to return all of Williams’s gifts to his family.
But the federal probe is ongoing, as is an investigation by a state prosecutor in Richmond into whether the governor followed Virginia’s gift disclosure laws. Star Scientific has also told investors that it faces a securities probe.
Rich Galen, a spokesman for McDonnell, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office and an attorney for Williams.
Look like Republican Congressman Darrel Issa’s Kangaroo trial of Attorney General Eric Holder just got derailed.
In a move that hopefully signals the development of a backbone in the Obama Administration, President Obama has exerted “Executive Privilege” for the first time in his Presidency. The fact that he had to do so to derail Issa’s Kangaroo “trial” of AG Eric Holder says more about Republican racism and political vendettas than legality. Post the 2008 Election with a Democrat Majority in Congress, Democrats cut a deal with the Devil not to pursue the illicit, illegal, and treasonous crimes of Bush, Cheney, and their accomplices – including Mr Issa, in an attempt to tone down the political acrimony which had brought the country to its knees during the Clinton investigations, and enabled 911. The deal further saved the country from the embarrassment of having a former President, Vice President, and senior Cabinet Ministers placed in Orange Jumpsuits to spend long terms in prison.
Like the parable about the Scorpion and the Frog, the only thing you can expect from a starving rabid dog when you try and feed him is to get bit.
I hope this is a sign that President Obama is willing to wield that proverbial 2 x 4 in his second term.
President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege in response to requests made by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, who has embarked on a controversial investigation into the Department of Justice’s Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking program.
The invocation of executive privilege allows the president to defy requests and subpoenas by members of the legislative and judicial branches for information the White House deems sensitive. Obama’s decision will allow him to refuse to provide certain documents pertaining to the Fast and Furious program.
The Oversight Committee has threatened to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and Issa had scheduled a vote on the matter for Wednesday morning. A committee aide told Reuters that Issa would proceed with the contempt vote even after Obama’s action. Issa later declared that the decision to assert executive privilege “falls short of any reason to delay today’s proceedings.”
Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole addressed Issa in a letter on Wednesday morning.
“We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps we have taken to address the Committee’s concerns and to accommodate the Committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and Furious,” he wrote. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the Committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the Department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues.”
Holder, who met with Issa Tuesday in an attempt to reach an agreement on how many and which documents related to Fast and Furious he would turn over, had formally written Obama requesting that he exercise executive privilege…(A copy of that letter is here)
In an email to The Huffington Post, an administration official noted that former President George W. Bush asserted executive privilege six times, while former President Bill Clinton did it 14 times. This is the first time Obama has exercised this authority. The Republican National Committee was quick to point out Wednesday that then-candidate Obama criticized Bush for using the practice in 2007…
Filed under: Stupid Republican Tricks, Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks | Tagged: attorney general, congress, corruption, Darrel Issa, Eric Holder, Executive Privilege, fast and furious, Kangaroo Court, Republican | Leave a Comment »
Small Government is corrupt government. One of the reasons conservatives so love that small government is the opportunity it provides for corruption.
Washington, DC’s city government has a long history and culture of corruption. Many of the black contractors in the region won’t even consider making sales calls on the DC Government because of internal corruption.
From former Mayor Marion Berry to the current Kwame, this corruption has reached into the highest levels of the DC Government, forming a virtual boat anchor around the necks of the citizenry and the city’s ability to provide services.
The amazing part is that the stakes in the corruption, unlike other big cities – are so small. I’m not real sure this is the type of case Federal prosecutors ought to be chasing, though – as there seems to me to be a lot bigger fish to fry than some moron lying about his income on a loan application. Going after Kwame on this is a bit…
Speaking of boat anchors – Borrowing $50k for a 38′ boat? Obviously he was maxxed out on his Mercedes payment (Kwame had a reputation for driving expensive cars). If he had to borrow $50k for that size boat – he couldn’t afford it anyway. Boats in that size come with 300-600 gallon gas tanks – meaning a fill up for half a tank, which is where most prudent boaters fill – is $750 – $1,500. That doesn’t count $2-3000 a year in slip fees, $1,500 in winterization costs, and normal repairs and maintenance…
It had to be a used boat, because the last time I went to the Annapolis Boar Show, you couldn’t buy the steering wheel on a quality boat in that class for $50k. And I have known guys who spent that much on the electronics package and fishing gear on their boats.
And with the mortgage industry fraud and theft by bank of depositor funds though overdraft and other manipulated fees…
I’m not sure Kwame’s crime rises above theft of stolen money from a thief who stole the money in the first place.
Not to excuse Kwame – But…
I Don’t understand why these prosecutors aren’t putting the real thieves in jail.
D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown resigned from his seat Wednesday night, hours after he was charged with bank fraud, plunging the city government into a leadership crisis.
“Because of the great respect that I have for the institution that is the Council of the District of Columbia, I have chosen the only honorable course in submitting my resignation at this time,” Brown wrote in a letter to the council secretary. “I simply will not hold this body, and its important work hostage to the resolution of my personal indiscretions.”
Earlier in the day, prosecutors filed a three-page charging document in the District’s federal court accusing Brown (D) of falsifying records in applications to obtain a home loan and to buy a $50,000 powerboat. Brown inflated his income by “tens of thousands of dollars” in the two-year scheme that started in August 2005, federal prosecutors wrote.
Brown, dogged for months by an investigation into his personal finances and his 2008 campaign for a council seat, is scheduled to attend a plea hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon. Bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, but under federal sentencing guidelines, Brown will face far less potential punishment.
The disclosure of the charges set off a frenzy of activity at the District’s John A. Wilson Building, including a hastily scheduled closed-door council meeting in Brown’s office.
Brown, 41, submitted his resignation quietly, in a letter delivered privately. He refused to address a platoon of reporters as he left his council offices about 4 p.m.
A politician who speaks of himself in the third person, has compared himself to President John F. Kennedy and has a love affair with expensive cars, Brown flashed a large grin as he shoved his way through the scrum and tried to ignore reporters’ shouted questions.
“I will have a comment tomorrow,” said Brown, who as recently as last week said that he was not “worried one bit” about an intensifying federal probe into his finances and a previous city campaign.
The charges against Brown came in a “criminal information,” a document that can be filed only with the defendant’s consent and which signals that a plea deal has been reached. Officials familiar with the case said that prosecutors and Brown’s attorney have been discussing the plea deal for weeks.
“Thank you,” he told reporters as he tried to get to his car. “No comment as of now. I appreciate you for waiting in this hallway all this time. I don’t have a comment.”
On Wednesday night, well after Brown had left the Wilson Building, city workers removed his nameplate from his office door, leaving only the word “Chairman” near Room 504…
Brown is the second council member this year to be charged with a federal crime. Last month, former council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D) was sentenced to 38 months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing more than $350,000 from city taxpayers.
Wow! Now that Pizza has officially been been classified by Congress as a Vegetable, it is only a matter of time before it is in all the seed catalogs!
I mean – if it is a veggie – you ought to be able to order your double pepperoni and cheese with anchovy and mushrooms and plant the seeds right out back. 45 days for a medium – 60 for a large!
One question though… Should I make space for it next to the zucchini or the basil plants?
On Tuesday, Congress decided that pizza is a vegetable. I have to imagine that this news instilled confusion in many Americans, as many Americans are (a) familiar with pizza, (b) familiar with vegetables and (c) sane.
But, to provide specifics that will in no way dispel your lingering thoughts that we are governed by morons but at least allow you some anthropological insight into how a group of morons who have been given permission to sit in a fancy room in Washington, D.C., and grunt at each other actually think, here is their thinking: Pizza is a vegetable for the purposes of determining what goes into public school lunches by virtue of the fact that pizza traditionally includes a schmear of tomato paste. (Botanically speaking, tomatoes are actually fruit, but we’re going to have to just let that slide.)
At any rate, you may still be wondering how it came to pass that Congress arrived at the conclusion that pizza could count as a serving of vegetables. Wonder no more! Congress was guided along this path by lobbyists. And lobbyists can do all sorts of things, by magic! (Except provide nutritious lunches for children.)
It just doesn’t get much uglier than this. In a country which incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than even communist regimes…
The Police in the Big Apple have been found to be framing suspects to make drug arrests. The Big Apple certainly isn’t a stranger to crooked cops.
Kinda makes you wonder how prevalent this is around the country?
A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.
The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.
Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
“Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny. (more…)
Working in Haiti is one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever done… And rewarding. 19 Months and 19 trips to the country after the earthquake which devastated the country, a hell of a lot hasn’t changed – or is worse. A hell of a lot has changed for the better as well - much due to the perspicacity of the Haitian people, the hard work of independent charities and churches from other countries, the blood sweat and tears of the relief agencies…
Which I guess defines the “bipolar frustration” felt by many Haitians and AID workers.
The failures in the country include 19 months later, little to no progress has been made in fixing any of the very basic infrastructure systems in the country. It hits you in the face as soon as you land in the country – the airport is in shambles. The main terminal which suffered severe damage during the earthquake is exactly in the same condition as it was 15 months ago, the Air Traffic Control Tower which collapsed during the earthquake has been replaced by a “temporary tower” – a Winnebago parked in the middle of the airfield…
That is the only way in and out of the country for emergency relief supplies such as medicines and food.
There was supposed to be a major project to correct the basic problems with the airport – it hasn’t happened.
Cholera made it’s reappearance last year killing over 6,500 people. It’s back again this year, spreading into Port au Prince. The country does not have a sewer treatment system, so raw sewage is pumped into the ocean, or in some recently documented cases just dumped right on the ground. Don’t even think about the sanitary conditions in the tent cities where roughly 600,000 Haitians still live, or the rivers where raw sewage is dumped to flow out to the ocean, but which get clogged with millions of plastic bottles causing overflow into entire neighborhoods, despite the frantic efforts of local authorities to clear the debris.
There was supposed to be a new sewer treatment plant – it hasn’t happened.
And that is just the “short list”.
One of the victims of the situation appears to be trash collection. Someone donated dumpsters to collect local trash – but the company which emptied them stopped emptying them (I assume because they ran out of money). So residents now burn the trash in the dumpsters sitting along the streets adding to the already serious air pollution issues (One of the principal killers in Haiti is Tuberculosis, and the average lifespan is only 59).
These issues have to do with the billions of dollars in aid promised by various governmental and international financial agencies – which never got spent to fix the very basic problems in the country. Now – if anyone ever got around to writing a book about why that happened, and continues to happen, parts of it would come out like those international thrillers by a Coyle or Ludnum. The rest like a slow motion disaster movie. The fact of the matter is, both the domestic government under Preval, and the international agencies share the blame. Most people believe corruption is only on the part of the historically corrupt Haitian Government. That’s not entirely true – although the Preval administration was undeniably corrupt to the core – there has been plenty of corruption, bureaucratic incompetence and foot dragging at the international agencies, including by our own US governmental agencies as well. The result has been little progress.
If our conservative friends really gave a damn about government incompetence, malfeasance, corruption, waste, and inability to work together toward a common goal… This would be Herman Cain’s new “bookend” speech. But they don’t – so I expect little to change for the better, regardless of who takes office in 2013. Besides – it’s a black country, and we know damn well where those rank on the hierarchy of conservative concerns.
So I guess, it is uplifting when you hear about something that is working. Here is one, very important case of a treatment that I believe, was initially developed in Africa (Although George Washington Carver could have told them about this 100 years ago), having success in Haiti, and creating an industry.
Thanks for making my day, Meds and Food for Kids!
With his ribs showing and his skin practically hanging off him, Pierre Wisny is painfully thin.
The 11-month-old Haitian weighs just 11 pounds, and it’s no surprise that he is severely malnourished.
The same applies for 3-year-old Alcincord Guerviscon, although it’s clear — even without measurements — to see that his growth has been stunted by the same condition. He weighs only 15 pounds.
In most of these cases, the children got this way because of poverty and a lack of access to good food. If they’re not given emergency treatment, they could die or suffer more effects of malnutrition, including reduced brain development.
For staff members at one clinic in northern Haiti, intervention comes in bright green packets: Medika Mamba, which means “peanut butter medicine” in Creole. It’s a ready-to-eat paste packed with nutritious ingredients that — over a period of weeks — gives a jolt to the system and puts children back on track. Made by a U.S.-based nonprofit called Meds and Food for Kids, it’s one of several brands of ready-to-use therapeutic foods.
“You can’t rehabilitate a child who has severe malnutrition with a plate of beans and rice. There’s just no way,” said Thomas Stehl, the nonprofit’s director of operations. “Their stomachs are too small and their nutritional requirements are too great to ever be satisfied in that way. So the quality and the density of food is really important. And that is why ready-to-use therapeutic food and Medika Mamba is such a great answer.” (more…)
We’ve all run into it, whether with a bureaucrat generating arbitrary rules and exerting authority to make things difficult – the cop who is abusive or intentionally hostile, or the store clerk who makes a simple transaction complex. This field of study becomes more important as the population expands and we as a society have to learn to live in ever more dense environments. Further is the issue of how business can learn to be more efficient and responsive.
A new study by three universities shows that people holding positions of power with low status tend to demean others, one of the authors said.
The research sheds light on why clerks can seem rude or even why the Abu Ghraib guards humiliated and tortured their prisoners, the researcher said.
In an article to be published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers studied the relationship between the status and the power of a job, said Nathanael Fast, assistant professor of management and organization at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.
The study, “The Destructive Nature of Power without Status,” determined that the combination of some authority and little perceived status can be toxic.
“We found that people who had high power and high status, they were pretty cool,” Fast told CNN. “But it was people who had power and lacked status who used their power to require other persons to engage in demeaning behavior.”
In a field of study where psychologists and business schools are now jointly looking at how power shapes business relationships, the study’s authors examined the notions of how low status is “threatening and aversive” and how power “frees people to act on their internal states and feelings,” the researchers say.
“The world was shocked when pictures circulated in 2004 showing low-ranking U.S. soldiers physically and sexually abusing prisoners from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq,” the study says. “One could point to these examples as support for the popular idea that ‘power corrupts.’
“However, we believe there is more to the story. Although it is true that the prison guards had power, it is equally true that their roles provided little to no respect and admiration in the eyes of others. They had power but they lacked status. We posit that understanding the combinations of these two variables — power and status — produces key insights into the causes of destructive and demeaning behavior,” the study says.
The researchers held experiments with students who were randomly assigned a high-status “idea producer” role or low-status “worker” role.
The students were asked to select from a list of 10 activities for the others to perform. Five of the most demeaning commands were: Say “I’m filthy” five times, say “I am not worthy” five times, bark like a dog three times, state three negative personal traits and count backward from 500 in increments of seven.
The least five demeaning activities were: Write a short essay on your experiences today, say a funny joke, clap hands 50 times, do five pushups, and jump up and down 10 times on one leg, the study said.
The research found that “individuals in high-power/low-status roles chose more demeaning activities for their partners (e.g., bark like a dog, say “I am filthy”) than did those in any other combination of power and status roles.”…
The most corrupt court in America, also happens to be it’s highest. Whether performing judicial fellatio for the Koch Brothers, or a political hand job in the Citizens United case – the 5 conservative justices on the Supreme Court are sold to the highest bidder…
My biggest disillusionment with the Obama Administration and crop of Yellowback Democrats is, while they are willing to go after their own – such as Charlie Rangel and “Cash Jefferson”…
There has been an utter refusal to bring Republican miscreants to justice, whether it was the criminal underworld of the previous Bush Administration – or the current legislation for sale Republican Congress… Or the Supreme Court Justices who flaunt both the rules and the Law.
I often work in Third World countries. This sort of corruption is often an endemic problem. and one of the major roadblocks to progress. Conservatives make America as corrupt as one of those Tinpot Dictatorships – each and every day. Indeed, the United States is now 22nd on the World Corruption Index.
Has the Supreme Court lost faith in the American court system? That is a strange question to ask about the justices who sit at the top of the country’s judicial hierarchy. But in case after case in the just-completed term, the court, usually in 5-4 decisions with the conservatives in the majority, denied access to the courts.
Consider just a few of the examples:
• The court ruled that patients who suffer devastating injuries from generic prescription drugs cannot sue the manufacturers for failing to provide adequate warnings even when drug companies making the non-generic versions of the same drugs can be sued on the same basis.
• The court held that standard clauses in consumer contracts calling for arbitration preclude consumers from joining class-action suits even when the effect almost surely would be that no individual lawsuits would be filed because the amount involved was too small.
• The court decided that employees who claim to be victims of sex discrimination cannot sue in class actions when the employer has a policy that prohibits discrimination.
• The court concluded that a man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder that he did not commit could not sue the prosecutors who hid key evidence.
• The court said that taxpayers cannot bring an action in federal court arguing that a state impermissibly established religion by giving tax credits that go almost entirely to religious schools.
• The court held that prisoners convicted in state court cannot obtain a hearing in federal court even when they have new evidence that calls into question their convictions — because of matters such as ineffective defense counsel or failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence — notwithstanding a federal statute that expressly authorizes such hearings.
Filed under: Domestic terrorism, Stupid Republican Tricks | Tagged: Antonin Scalia, cash and carry, Clarence Thomas, corruption, criminal, crooked, judges, justice for sale, sold out, Supreme Court | 2 Comments »
Turns out Tommie Clarence’s vote on the Supreme Court can not only be bought by financial consideration through his wife…
I do a fair amount of work in third world countries where corruption is often an issue. Thanks to conservatives I now live in one.
In 2001, a conservative, corporate-aligned think tank called the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) gave Justice Clarence Thomas the gift of a $15,000 bust of Abraham Lincoln. At the ceremony presenting Thomas with this very expensive gift, AEI president Christopher DeMuth explained that the bust was “cast in 1914 by the great neo-classical sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman.”
AEI, however, is not simply in the business of giving luxurious gifts to Supreme Court justices — it is also in the business of litigating before the United States Supreme Court. ThinkProgress uncovered three briefs that AEI filed in Thomas’ Court after Thomas received their $15,000 gift. Thomas recused from none of these three cases, and he either voted in favor of the result AEI favored or took a stance that was even further to the right in each case:
- Riley v. Kennedy: AEI filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision preventing a change in Alabama’s voting law from going into effect. Justice Thomas did not recuse, and he joined the Supreme Court’s decision reversing the lower court.
- Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1: AEI filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decisionupholding a local school district’s desegregation plan. Thomas joined the majority opinion reversing the lower court’s decision, and he filed a lengthy concurrence defending that result.
- Whitman v. American Trucking Association: AEI joined a brief asking the Supreme Court to allow the EPA to consider the costs of implementing new air quality standards before it issued them. Thomas’ concurring opinion went much further than AEI asked him to go, suggesting that the law authorizing EPA to issue these standards is unconstitutional.
Although there is no evidence that AEI gave Thomas the $15,000 gift specifically to buy his vote in a particular case, Thomas’ decision to sit on cases where his benefactor has a demonstrated interest creates a very serious appearance of impropriety. No one would trust a judge to hear their case if they learned that someone on the other side of the case had given that judge a rare and expensive gift.
Filed under: American Greed, Black Conservatives, Great American Rip-Off | Tagged: bribery, Clarence Thomas, corruption, crook, crooked judge, prostitute, Supreme Court, Uncle Tom, whore | 1 Comment »
This one is a set up by the same folks who brought back Baby Doc, and own Preval. There is really no reason for Aristide to come back at this point other than to throw some mud into the election process. Further, if he does come back, he likely is going to face criminal prosecution for corruption during his term…
Not sure what Glover is doing in the middle of this – but I guess using former American Republican elected officials, as in the case of Baby Doc didn’t work out as well as expected. With luck, Haiti will eventually get a decent government – of and by the people, instead of the corrupt few.
At which point they will hang this bastard, right next to Baby Doc and their financiers.
After seven years in exile, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide will be back in his homeland Friday, two days ahead of a highly anticipated election, his U.S. attorney said.
Aristide will board a plane Thursday night at the privately-owned Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, said lawyer Ira Kurzban who is accompanying Aristide back to Port-au-Prince along with actor Danny Glover, an Aristide supporter and critic of U.S. objections to his return.
He is scheduled to address reporters before he departs, Kurzban said. (more…)
One of the impacts of Katrina’s aftermath…
Justice Department officials on Thursday released the findings of a 10-month investigation into this city’s Police Department, revealing a force that is profoundly and alarmingly troubled and setting in motion a process for its wholesale reform.
The report describes in chilling detail a department that is severely dysfunctional on every level: one that regularly uses excessive force on civilians, frequently fails to investigate serious crimes and has a deeply inadequate, in many cases nonexistent, system of accountability.
Using the report as a guideline, federal and local officials will now enter into negotiations leading to a consent decree, a blueprint for systemic reform that will be enforced by a federal judge.
“There is nobody in this room that is surprised by the general tenor and the tone of what this report has to say,” said Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans, at a news conference attended by city and federal officials.
But, added Mr. Landrieu, who publicly invited federal intervention in the Police Department just days after his inauguration in May, “I look forward to a very spirited partnership and one that actually transforms this Police Department into one of the best in the country.”
The city’s police chief, Ronal Serpas, said he fully embraced the report and would be going over its findings with senior leadership later in the day.
While the report describes an appalling array of abuses and bad practices, it does not address in detail any of the nine or more federal criminal investigations into the department. These inquiries have already led to the convictions of three police officers, one for fatally shooting an unarmed civilian and another for burning the body.
Justice Department officials chose to exclude the information gleaned in the criminal inquiries to keep a wall between those investigations and the larger civil investigation into the practices of the department. But there were more than enough problems left to uncover.
While other departments generally have problems in specific areas, like the use of excessive force, “New Orleans has every issue that has existed in our practice to date, and a few that we hadn’t encountered,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil rights division.
The report reveals that the department has not found a policy violation in any officer-involved shooting for the last six years, though federal officials who reviewed the records found that violations had clearly occurred. The department’s canine unit was so badly mismanaged — the dogs were so aggressive they frequently attacked their handlers — that federal officials encouraged the department to suspend it last year even though the investigation was still under way.
The report details a record of discriminatory policing, with a ratio of arrests of blacks to whites standing at nearly 16 to 1. Calls for police assistance by non-English speakers often went unanswered.
The report also found that the police “systemically misclassified possible sexual assaults, resulting in a sweeping failure to properly investigate many potential cases of rape, attempted rape and other sex crimes.”
More indictment of Clarence Thomas’ fraud…
Filed under: Black Conservatives, Domestic terrorism, Stupid Republican Tricks, Stupid Tea Bagger Tricks | Tagged: bribery, citizens united, Clarence Thomas, Conservative, corrupt judge, corruption, crooked judge, dirty money, fraud, Koch, payoff, rat, Supreme Court | Leave a Comment »
Push come to shove time in Haiti. This week is it, relative to US involvement in negotiating an end to the corrupt political machine in Haiti. Hillary is there to make a point… Time to get off the pot.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is flying to Haiti to mediate in a political crisis there while other administration officials are keeping watch on violent protests halfway across the world in Egypt.
Clinton will meet Sunday with President Rene Preval and the three candidates vying to succeed him during her visit. She will also see a treatment center for the cholera epidemic that has killed almost 4,000 people.
Haiti’s political crisis stems from a first-round presidential election in November that was marred by fraud.
The U.S. wants Preval’s preferred candidate, Jude Celestin, to bow out because the Organization of American States says he had the least support. The U.S warns that continued aid for Haiti’s reconstruction from last year’s earthquake is at stake.
Haiti’s presidential run-off is in March.
This one is beginning to gain momentum. As I said in a previous post, there are a lot of questions as to the conduct of Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alito in terms of their cozy relationships with ultra-right wing groups funded by the Koch Brothers.
Thomas in particular – seems to have been the beneficiary of a lot of cash – well north of $1 million funneled through his wife’s work on conservative “causes” including for the Heritage Foundation and her own PAC which anonymously was “gifted” $550k…
Thomas also failed to report his wife’s income from 2003-2009…
Editorials across the country are beginning to call for a full investigation, or a resignation…
The 1978 Ethics in Government Act requires federal officials to disclose income from spouses. When federal judges ignore the law, the act directs the Judicial Conference to refer those matters to the attorney general. This seems like a clear case. Despite Thomas’ efforts to correct the record, the matter should be pursued.
Clarence Thomas should step down from the US Supreme Court. Immediately. Before, he was merely a bad judge; now he is a judge in violation of the law.
His excuse is that he didn’t know the law. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” It is especially bad that a Supreme Court Judge has choosen this flimsy garb to mask his naked transgressions.
The New York Times reports on January 24th that Judge Thomas admitted that he has failed to disclose his wife’s income for the last six years. This is not bake sale money; she earned $686,587 from 2003-2007. This came from the Hertitage Foundation, a fairly-to-the-right political think tank. She also began and directed a political action committee that took in $550,000 and they aren’t saying who donated that bit of extra change.
Judge Clarence Thomas must resign. It the only right thing to do.
And this may be just the tip of the iceberg – WikiLeaks next exposure is making public private Swiss Bank Accounts held by Americans…
Apparently a number of Judges have popped up, and the sources of the money are, in at least the initial cases from big banks… Apparently in the form of bribes. One needs to wonder if Mssrs Thomas, Scalia, Alito, or Roberts also have secret accounts at this point, with their cozy relationships with the far right’s financiers.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas might not be the only judge feeling a tad uncomfortable in the coming days. Thomas is under scrutiny for his failure to disclose his wife’s income for at least five years–and possibly going back more than 20 years. But we are seeing signs that other stories soon will be breaking about judicial chicanery.
Federal and state judges are among those likely to hold Swiss bank accounts that have become the subject of a WikiLeaks investigation, reports a California-based human-rights organization.
Closer to home, we’ve had considerable interaction in recent weeks with two federal judges–William M. Acker Jr. and Abdul Kallon, both of the Northern District of Alabama. We soon will be presenting detailed information showing that Acker and Kallon are violating their oaths to uphold the law. We have seen evidence that at least one of these judges has engaged in a possible criminal conspiracy.
Filed under: Black Conservatives, Stupid Republican Tricks | Tagged: Clarence Thomas, corrupt judges, corruption, impeachment, income, judicial malfeasance, reporting swiss bank account, resignation, scandal | 2 Comments »