Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,963
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 40,963
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Birmingham attorney Donald Watkins tells U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice that federal judge Mark Fuller should be removed from bench
By Kent Faulk
AL.com on August 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Birmingham attorney Donald Watkins has been on a campaign in the past few weeks to see federal judge Mark Fuller removed from the bench in the wake of the judge's arrest on a domestic violence charge in Georgia earlier this month.
On Monday, Watkins stepped up his efforts in a letter to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. In that letter, Watkins complains about a "flagrant display of hypocrisy in the federal judiciary in Alabama" that Watkins says is due to the judges' political stripes.
"I will not allow Mark Fuller's sleazy conduct to stain the impeccable record of all of the distinguished men and women who serve this great nation's federal judiciary," Watkins stated in an email to AL.com regarding his letter to Roberts. "As a long-time member of the federal bar, I will do everything within my power to make sure that a violent wife-beater and known philanderer is removed from the federal bench."
"We need one standard of personal and professional integrity for federal judges, and it must apply across-the-board," Watkins tells Roberts in the letter.
"The federal judges who are pushing a double standard for the benefit of criminal defendant Mark Fuller ought to be ashamed of themselves," Watkins wrote. "Wife-beaters, drug and alcohol abusers, philanderers, and liars have no place as judges on the federal bench. Truthful and clean living judges who have respect for women represent the standard we should expect and demand on the bench. No exceptions should be tolerated."
Posted by Octafish | Thu Aug 28, 2014, 03:01 PM (20 replies)
One, William K. Black, had worked for the US government prosecuting thousands of criminals during the Savings & Loan crisis during the Reagan-Bush I mis-administrations. Another is Joseph Stiglitz, who warned us about Larry Summers and government by Goldman Sachs. Those are the most important sources for this story. For some reason, you don't know about them or quote them.
GOOGLE "William K. Black" + "Control Fraud" to learn more.
I appreciate that you want to learn, stevenleser, unlike those in the current administration, including officials in the Departments of Treasury and Justice.
Posted by Octafish | Wed Aug 27, 2014, 03:23 PM (0 replies)
Here's what the FBI man said:
FBI saw threat of loan crisis
A top official warned of widening mortgage fraud in 2004, but the agency focused its resources elsewhere.
August 25, 2008|Richard B. Schmitt | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Long before the mortgage crisis began rocking Main Street and Wall Street, a top FBI official made a chilling, if little-noticed, prediction: The booming mortgage business, fueled by low interest rates and soaring home values, was starting to attract shady operators and billions in losses were possible.
"It has the potential to be an epidemic," Chris Swecker, the FBI official in charge of criminal investigations, told reporters in September 2004. But, he added reassuringly, the FBI was on the case. "We think we can prevent a problem that could have as much impact as the S&L crisis," he said.
Today, the damage from the global mortgage meltdown has more than matched that of the savings-and-loan bailouts of the 1980s and early 1990s. By some estimates, it has made that costly debacle look like chump change. But it's also clear that the FBI failed to avert a problem it had accurately forecast.
Banks and brokerages have written down more than $300 billion of mortgage-backed securities and other risky investments in the last year or so as homeowner defaults leaped and weakness in the real estate market spread.
Most observers have declared the mess a gross failure of regulation. To be sure, in the run-up to the crisis, market-oriented federal regulators bragged about their hands-off treatment of banks and other savings institutions and their executives. But it wasn't just regulators who were looking the other way. The FBI and its parent agency, the Justice Department, are supposed to act as the cops on the beat for potentially illegal activities by bankers and others. But they were focused on national security and other priorities, and paid scant attention to white-collar crimes that may have contributed to the lending and securities debacle.
Now that the problems are out in the open, the government's response strikes some veteran regulators as too little, too late.
Swecker, who retired from the FBI in 2006, declined to comment for this article.
But sources familiar with the FBI budget process, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the growing fraud problem, say that he and other FBI criminal investigators sought additional assistance to take on the mortgage scoundrels.
They ended up with fewer resources, rather than more.
Sometimes it's a good idea to get a lot of sources, stevenleser, especially when it comes to the banksters, crooks and traitors who stiffed the American people with a $16 trillion IOU to the Wall Street casino.
Posted by Octafish | Wed Aug 27, 2014, 03:06 PM (1 replies)
The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa
Hoffa and the Mob
In 1959 Robert F. Kennedy, the brother of John F. Kennedy who would soon be elected president of the United States, appeared on The Jack Paar Show, America's first late-night television talk show. At the time Bobby Kennedy was chief counsel of the Senate Labor Rackets Committee, better known as the McClellan Committee. Speaking to a national television audience, Kennedy had plenty to say about Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamsters union, and the crusading young attorney was not afraid to name names.
Sitting across from an attentive Jack Paar, their images broadcast across America in grainy black and white, Kennedy said, "All of our lives are too intricately interwoven with this union to sit passively by and allow the Teamsters under Mr. Hoffa's leadership to create such a superpower in this country—a power greater than the people and greater than the Government... Unless something is done, this country is not going to be controlled by the people but is going to be controlled by Johnny Dio and Jimmy Hoffa and Tony 'Ducks' Corallo."
Except for Hoffa's, those names were probably unfamiliar to most Americans, but the directness of Kennedy's accusation was courageous and remarkable. What public official today would go on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno or The Late Show with David Letterman and point the finger at gangsters, using their real names?
Posted by Octafish | Mon Aug 25, 2014, 08:02 PM (1 replies)
Can we quote you on that? The greatest hits of Coleman Young
Detroit Mayor Coleman Young was certainly one of the more controversial figures to lead the city. People either loved him or hated him, but as more time passes and more facts come to light — such as the Free Press’ investigation “How Detroit went broke” — it is clear that he actually was one of the city’s five best mayors.
But he also is remembered for being one of the more colorful characters to lead the city, and his mouth — and his language — were legendary.
Here are 12 of Young’s greatest hits — or, at least, his greatest family-friendly hits — as excerpted from the book “The Quotations of Mayor Coleman A. Young.” For more, buy the book here from Amazon.com.
On the abandonment of Detroit:
“No other city in America, no other city in the Western world has lost the population at that rate. And what’s at the root of that loss? Economics and race. Or, should I say, race and economics.”
On Ronald Reagan, before the Republican was elected president:
On Ronald Reagan, after the Republican was elected president:
Posted by Octafish | Mon Aug 25, 2014, 11:00 AM (11 replies)
Obama confidant’s spine-chilling proposal
Cass Sunstein wants the government to "cognitively infiltrate" anti-government groups
Salon, Jan. 10, 2010
Cass Sunstein has long been one of Barack Obama’s closest confidants. Often mentioned as a likely Obama nominee to the Supreme Court, Sunstein is currently Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs where, among other things, he is responsible for “overseeing policies relating to privacy, information quality, and statistical programs.” In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.
Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.” Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.
SOURCE w/links: http://www.salon.com/2010/01/15/sunstein_2/
Posted by Octafish | Mon Aug 25, 2014, 10:46 AM (0 replies)
Right on topic. Ask Abraham BOLDEN, first African American Secret Service agent on White House duty.
Personally appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the White House detail, Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden reported overt racism by his fellow agents and outright hostility toward the "n------loving president," quoting fellow Secret Service agents on the JFK detail.
Abraham Bolden speaks at JFK Lancer.
The story of a man who told the truth:
After 45 Years, a Civil Rights Hero Waits for Justice
June 12, 2009 11:52 AM
A great miscarriage of justice has kept most Americas from learning about a Civil Rights pioneer who worked with President John F. Kennedy. But there is finally a way for citizens to not only right that wrong, but bring closure to the most tragic chapter of American presidential history.
After an outstanding career in law enforcement, Abraham Bolden was appointed by JFK to be the first African American presidential Secret Service agent, where he served with distinction. He was part of the Secret Service effort that prevented JFK's assassination in Chicago, three weeks before Dallas. But Bolden was framed by the Mafia and arrested on the very day he went to Washington to tell the Warren Commission staff about the Chicago attempt against JFK.
Bolden was sentenced to six years in prison, despite glaring problems with his prosecution. His arrest resulted from accusations by two criminals Bolden had sent to prison. In Bolden's first trial, an apparently biased judge told the jury that Bolden was guilty, even before they began their deliberations. Though granted a new trial because of that, the same problematic judge was assigned to oversee Bolden's second trial, which resulted in his conviction. Later, the main witness against Bolden admitted committing perjury against him. A key member of the prosecution even took the fifth when asked about the perjury. Yet Bolden's appeals were denied, and he had to serve hard time in prison, and today is considered a convicted felon.
After the release of four million pages of JFK assassination files in the 1990s, it became clear that Bolden -- and the official secrecy surrounding the Chicago attempt against JFK -- were due to National Security concerns about Cuba, that were unknown to Bolden, the press, Congress, and the public not just in 1963, but for the next four decades.
Abraham Bolden paid a heavy price for trying to tell the truth about events involving the man he was sworn to protect -- JFK -- that became mired in National Security concerns. Bolden still lives in Chicago, and has never given up trying to clear his name.
Will Abraham Bolden live to finally see the justice so long denied to him?
After the assassination, he went to Washington on his own dime and reported what he saw to the Warren Commission. For his trouble -- and despite an exemplary record as a Brinks detective, Illinois State Trooper, and Secret Service agent -- Bolden was framed by the government using a paid informant's admitted perjury and spent a long time in prison. The government also drugged him and put him into psychiatric hospitals. His real crime was telling the truth.
Americans know the Truth: the country hasn't been the same since Nov. 22, 1963. President Kennedy kept the nation out of Vietnam and started toward the moon. Imagine what the New Frontier could have become for us today? Certainly would not be a time where "money trumps peace."
Posted by Octafish | Sun Aug 24, 2014, 10:13 PM (0 replies)
By Shadee Ashtari
The Huffington Post, 02/25/2014
In 1999, then-Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) spearheaded the effort to repeal the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, greatly contributing to the events that led to the 2008 economic collapse.
The Depression-era banking law was designed to limit and regulate the activities of commercial banks to prevent another economic meltdown.
On Nov. 4, 1999 -- almost a decade before the latest financial crisis -- Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) delivered an urgent, prescient plea, warning of what may happen without the Glass-Steagall firewall.
Dingell, whose father helped pen the 1930s Glass-Steagall Act, said in his 1999 argument against the deregulatory vote:
I think we ought to look at what we are doing here tonight. We are passing a bill which is going to have very little consideration, written in the dark of night, without any real awareness on the part of most of what it contains.
Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and John Boehner (R-Ohio) were among those who voted to revoke Glass-Steagall. Years later, after deregulated banking practices and loan standards cost taxpayers more than $700 billion in bank bailouts, many of those lawmakers regretted their actions, including former President Bill Clinton -- who signed the repeal into law -- and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
“The banks had been working on it for 40 -- no, hell no -- since it was enacted, the banks have been trying to get rid of it,” Dingell told Politico in 2008. “They worked like hell. They finally wore this place down. Everybody forgot what happened during the Depression and why Glass-Steagall was passed.”
Thank you for remembering the Revolving Door, Blue_Tires. Reminded me of what this guy said:
Neil Barofsky Gave Us The Best Explanation For Washington's Dysfunction We've Ever Heard
Business Insider, Aug. 1, 2012, 2:57 PM
Neil Barofsky was the Inspector General for TARP, and just wrote a book about his time in D.C. called Bailout: An Insider Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street.
Bottom line: Barofsky said the incentive structure in our nation's capitol is all wrong. There's a revolving door between bureaucrats in Washington and Wall Street banks, and politicians just want to keep their jobs.
For regulators it's something like this:
"You can play ball and good things can happen to you get a big pot of gold at the end of the Wall Street rainbow or you can do your job be aggressive and face personal ruin...We really need to rethink how we govern and how regulate," Barofsky said.
I'm so old I can remember when integrity in office was considered normal.
Posted by Octafish | Fri Aug 22, 2014, 03:13 PM (0 replies)
Here's a good example why:
Nixon approved hiring a Secret Service man who said he'd 'kill on command' to guard Ted Kennedy. You can hear Nixon and Haldeman discuss it, about 40 minutes into the HBO documentary "Nixon by Nixon." While I had read the part of the transcript available years ago, and wrote about it on DU, almost no one I know has heard anything about it.
Ted Kennedy survived Richard Nixon's Plots
By Don Fulsom
In September 1972, Nixon’s continued political fear, personal loathing, and jealously of Kennedy led him to plant a spy in Kennedy’s Secret Service detail.
The mole Nixon selected for the Kennedy camp was already being groomed. He was a former agent from his Nixon’s vice presidential detail, Robert Newbrand—a man so loyal he once pledged he would do anything—even kill—for Nixon.
The President was most interested in learning about the Sen. Kennedy’s sex life. He wanted, more than anything, stated Haldeman in The Ends of Power, to “catch (Kennedy) in the sack with one of his babes.”
In a recently transcribed tape of a September 8, 1972 talk among the President and aides Bob Haldeman and Alexander Butterfield, Nixon asks whether Secret Service chief James Rowley would appoint Newbrand to head Kennedy’s detail:
Haldeman: He's to assign Newbrand.
Toward the end of this conversation, Nixon exclaims that Newbrand’s spying “(is) going to be fun,” and Haldeman responds: “Newbrand will just love it.”
Nixon also had a surveillance tip for Haldeman for his spy-to-be: “I want you to tell Newbrand if you will that (unclear) because he's a Catholic, sort of play it, he was for Jack Kennedy all the time. Play up to Kennedy, that "I'm a great admirer of Jack Kennedy." He's a member of the Holy Name Society. He wears a St. Christopher (unclear).” Haldeman laughs heartily at the President’s curious advice.
Despite the enthusiasm of Nixon and Haldeman, Newbrand apparently never produced anything of great value. When this particular round of Nixon’s spying on Kennedy was uncovered in 1997, The Washington Post quoted Butterfield as saying periodic reports on Kennedy's activities were delivered to Haldeman, but that Butterfield did not think any potentially damaging information was ever dug up.
Why does that matter? The Warren Commission, and the nation's mass media, never heard about the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro until the Church Committee in 1975. You'd think that would be a matter of concern to all Americans, especially considering how then-vice president Nixon was head of the "White House Action Team" that contacted the Mafia for murder.
This is the sort of information citizens of a democracy shouldn't have to search the Internet to learn. It should be taught in school, or at the least, discussed in the nation's mass media. I certainly think it's unfair for people -- especially those who consider themselves Democrats or democrats -- to label those interested in such subjects "Conspiracy Theorists."
Posted by Octafish | Tue Aug 19, 2014, 04:31 PM (0 replies)