FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS, PLEASE START BY READING THE WHY & WHY NOW Post
9/9/12 Here is the latest installment of J'ACCUSE: Part XIV
For the time being I will leave-up these easy links if you want to start reading from the beginning.
9/27/12 How is This Civil & Not Criminal?
Please read this settlement press release from the Federal Trade Commission. After doing so, ask yourself: If a private individual had done this and not seven companies, can you imagine a person not going to prison for quite some time?
9/24/12 Ripping off Inmate's Families
Attached is a good editorial from the New York Times on the long practice of states charging the incarcerated outrageous rates to place phone calls from prison. The states contract with third-party telecoms to provide the service and then take huge legal kickbacks from the telecoms after they've charged the inmates or their families sky-high rates. In many cases it would be far cheaper to call Pakistan from your home phone for an hour than it is in many states for an inmate to call a few miles away for a few minutes. As the Times points out, the FCC has ignored this issue for years. States allow this practice because the income they receive from the telecoms closes budget holes and the public doesn't care about inmates or their families - so it's a problem easy to ignore and without a sympathetic lobbying constituency. The Times has written about this before and I applaud them for keeping on top of the issue.
9/24/12 Why Not 2 Billion or 3?
On Huff Post today is a story about an organization called One Billion Rising. It's founded by Eve Ensler of The Vagina Monologues fame. What does the organization's name mean? Ms. Ensler claims that one in three women in the world (one billion) will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. And from where does she derive this amazing stat? read more...
9/23/12 The Most Insightful SNL Political Ad
I am sure you all saw this video piece on last night's SNL, but on the chance you haven't I attach a link. It's a faux campaign ad about this year's 'undecided voters.' I've been thinking for some time that if you actually are still undecided about choosing between Romney and Obama, then you're brain dead, not ambivalent. SNL clearly believes the same.
9/23/12 A Scandalous State
Please read the attached NPR story regarding the unprecedented scandal taking place in Massachusetts involving their state crime lab. A chemist in the lab routinely mishandled drug evidence and produced fraudulent reports in as many as 40,000 criminal cases over 10 years. The number of people who may have to be released from prison - both guilty and innocent - is, at the moment, incalculable. You will recall that back in June I posted a piece on a Supreme Court decision that weakened a decision from last year that had strengthened defendant rights when confronting forensic lab reports. This catastrophe in Massachusetts must cause the Court to rethink its attitude in these types of cases. In that post was my experience working for a company that owned a lab that did - or claimed to - the same forensic testing as was done in the Massachusetts state lab. I attach that June post as well.
Thanks to Rudy Veritas reader Danny B for the NPR story
A Rudy Veritas reader sent me this You Tube clip entitled "Unjustified." It's a bizarre tale of conspiracy perpetrated by the U.S. Department of Justice and a federal judge at the expense of a defendant named Sholom Rubashkin. The video speaks of something I have written here endlessly for four years: the total unaccountability of U.S. Attorneys. It's a professionally produced 10 minute video and worth a view. Unjustified
9/20/12 Redistribution and Conservatism
Gov. Romney is on to something with this redistribution of wealth comment from Obama. The problem is that he's not framing it or explaining it properly. Obama's comment is at the heart of the ideological war that has taken place in America since Barry Goldwater spoke at the Cow Palace. read more...
9/20/12 On My Mind - 9/20/12
Just a few things in the news that I've been reading:
The Petulant Billionaire Mayor
As I wrote a few days ago, NYC is now facing billions of dollars in deficits for the foreseeable future. A goodly chunk of that budget hole was created by the failure of the mayor to properly and legally expand NYC's taxi service. A proposal to increase outer borough service would have meant the awarding of new medallions which would have brought in $635 million. Not wanting to go through the trouble - as required under the City Charter - of having the NYC Council adopt a Home Rule message, the mayor went directly to Albany to have his taxi plan approved. read more...
9/20/12 The Inevitable Result of Sex Offender Registries
Please read the attached article. When you post hundreds of thousands of people's names, addresses, license plates and places of work online and then list vague, intentionally misleading acts of sexual violence, crazy people, acting as vigilantes, will murder them. It's happened all over the country. read more...
9/19/12 NEWS ALERT
Fox News is reporting that the attacks in Libya last week were not only planned terrorist attacks, but were organized by a former Gitmo inmate with direct ties to Al Qaeda, Supyan Ibrahim Gahu, released in 2007 and handed over to the Libyans under the condition he remain imprisoned. He was not. He is also apparently being blamed for organizing jihadists during the Libyan uprising last year. Although the White House said as recently as yesterday that the Benghazi attack was not terrorism and related strictly to the stupid video, the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center testified on Capitol Hill today that it was indeed terrorism. It's pretty pathetic that even as of this writing the Libyan president is saying flatly - and has for three days - that this was a terrorist attack while Jay Carney and Susan Rice deny it vehemently. This is not good news for the White House.
9/19/12 Losing Jobs to China? Nope, the BOP
For four years I've been meaning to write a major post on UNICOR. Never heard of it? It's an American corporation, located solely within the U.S., that pays its workers an average of $1/hr with no benefits. How can this be, you say. The workers are all federal inmates. The federal government owns UNICOR. It makes everything from mattresses to filing cabinets. Every federal prison is stocked fully with UNICOR products. Federal government offices are also heavily stocked with their wares. read more...
9/18/12 The NYT Lucks Out
Timing is everything, so they say. The modern news cycle, like a hurricane, will stay in place and wreak havoc until something moves it out of the way. A so-so news story can become huge if it's a slow news week (in the old days, this described the entire month of August). There's a story, which I think is true, about a Lyndon Johnson aide caught in flagrante in a mens room with another man; surely to be the top news story the next day in 1964. Except that same day China detonated its first atom bomb and the mens room story was buried. I was grateful that on the day my indictment was unsealed and I was arrested, George Bush spoke to the nation and announced that war in Iraq would commence in 48 hours. My story got pushed deeper inside most papers. So too the New York Times dodged a bullet this week. read more...
9/18/12 A Romney Opportunity on the 47%
Mitt Romney has stumbled upon another campaign opportunity to engage the president and yet early signs are that the liberal press will cower him into a defensive crouch. As you know, Romney was caught on video tape some months ago saying that 47% of Americans pay no federal income tax. The NYT said this morning that, "Mr. Romney is absolutely correct that about half of American households do not pay federal income tax." I have been writing since the primaries that a muscular debate on tax reform was a winning issue. Most Americans do not like that half of their countrymen contribute nothing financially to the running of the republic. The Times says that almost all of that 47% is comprised of the very poor or elderly. Everyone knows that is not true. read more...
9/17/12 Romney Should Take Rudy's 1989 Lead
All this talk from the mainstream media and conservative pundits that the Romney campaign needs a shakeup reminds me eerily of Rudy Giuliani's campaign of 1989. The remarkable thing, perhaps not remarkable, is that we're talking about the same person to be tossed 23 years later. read more...
9/16/12 Who Will Fight BOP Overcrowding?
Whether it's California, Chicago, Arizona, New Orleans, Mississippi, Buffalo, Alabama or a dozen other state and local jurisdictions, prison overcrowding has become a priority for the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ has brought a number of court challenges to appalling conditions in state and local prisons, usually caused by underfunding and overcrowding. The question I pose here on an almost daily basis is, who then monitors the DOJ. read more...
9/15/12 A Tale of Two Americas
There is an interesting contrast taking place right now of American values. In Georgia the ACLU is representing a local KKK group that is fighting the state's decision to deny the KKK the right to sponsor a section of highway in the Adopt-A-Highway program. The state agency denying the permit said the program is aimed at "civic-minded organizations in good standing." What that means exactly I am sure no one could possibly say. And that's the problem. Since no one knows what that phrase means, it will be left to the subjective caprice of state bureaucrats to decide. And that's not OK. read more...
9/15/12 Told You So
When an economy, large or small, has an unemployment rate upwards of 10%, that can only mean that the economy cannot grow without policy intervention. It will contract and one of the inevitable repercussions of that contraction will be lower tax revenue. I have been saying for nearly two years that while Mike Bloomberg fritters away his time on limiting beverage container sizes, repealing the 2nd Amendment and other ephemera (bike lanes, trans fats, beach smoking, etc.), the local economy was withering. read more...
9/15/12 The Most Clueless White House Ever
I woke this morning to a Yahoo News headline reading "Google Rejects White House Request to Pull Video." The White House is trying to convince Google that it doesn't understand its own Terms of Service, and that the video violated them. Essentially the Obama Administration is attempting to censor legitimate free speech because its content is incompatible with the values of Islam. This act is outrageous on three fronts: 1. Google is a private commercial business not engaging in any illegal activity; 2. the White House has astonishingly and completely misunderstood what is happening in the Middle East this week; and 3. the Arab World rejects modernity, would prefer that the rest of us return to the cultural and religious values of the 13th Century and the Obama Administration seeks to acquiesce. read more...
9/14/12 Quote of the Week
"When I was a girl we studied Presidents who owned people like this President."
Ellen Barkin's character on The New Normal
9/14/12 The Cairo Cable Fiasco
Here is a link to Foreign Policy magazine's blog called The Cable. This particular post details the events and back and forth between the State Department and the Cairo embassy regarding the famous "apology cable" of three days ago. I won't summarize it, you should read it. But the amazing result is that, apparently, a junior embassy staffer willfully disobeyed the State Department and is still at his post. Proving once again that no act of criminality, profligacy or disobedience will get you fired in the Obama Administration. No one has ever witnessed job security like this.
9/14/12 The Remaining Party Boss
Over the years, and even in his obituary, Ray Harding was often called "the last old time party boss." While it's true that Ray had total party discipline within the Liberal Party, he achieved much of his legend through the atmospherics. In the late 20th Century, few party leaders were still subsisting on black coffee and five packs a day of unfiltered Camels. His height and immense girth also added to the legend; not to mention his brusque manner and profanity-laden speech. read more...
9/13/12 More Shiny Objects for NYC
Let's all take a moment and stop to applaud Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his dramatic and hard fought victory in banning sodas over 16 ounces. Sure, cynical observers would point out that the victory was pre-ordained because the non-reviewable decision was made by the mayoral appointed Board of Health, chaired by his appointed Health Commissioner. Sure, that's what the cynics would say. But look deeper and you'll see how brave an act it was.
We recall that NYC currently has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. NYC has more homeless on the streets and in its shelters than at any time in the last 10 years. NYC has not seen this level of random street shooting and death since the dark days of the Dinkins Administration. Recent studies have shown that the Mayor's stated signature initiative - improving public education - has, after spending many extra billions of dollars, been a total failure. NYC now spends more annually on tort settlements than the total municipal budgets of 98% of all other U.S. cities. Not to mention the often unmentioned ticking timebomb of Bloomberg created unfunded pension costs that will haunt future mayors for decades to come. It takes an awfully brave and courageous man, in light of that horrfically awful record, to focus his energies on soda pop. Kudos to Mike Bloomberg and the citizens of New York City for making sure he had an extra four years of this brand of leadership.
9/13/12 Sure, Blame the Jews
What a surprise. Turns out the man behind the video that's supposedly causing the Mideast to erupt into flames isn't Jewish after all. His name is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, non-Jew. He is in fact Egyptian. How serendipitous that the name chosen for this video's creator was Sam Bacile, Israeli-American. The minute I heard that the film's creator stated publicly that the film was financed by "100 Jews," I knew this whole thing was a hoax and the Jewish aspect was a put-up - it was so ham-handed. It was the kind of anti-Semitism that only Arab Jew haters would find clever. Jesus Christ, if this isn't an intricately planned series of attacks and riots, then I don't know what is. And then there's Zbigniew Brzezinski this morning on Morning Joeusing the opportunity to spew his usual anti-Israel garbage and advocating for 1st Amendment restrictions to stop people like "Sam Bacile" from inciting violence against Muslims. read more...
9/13/12 Fox News Won't Cut it For Mitt
Here's where we stand: 1. Mitt Romney issues a perfectly reasonable statement condemning the only words from the Obama Administration after the attacks began in Cairo; 2. the entire news media - sans Fox - goes into overdrive denouncing Romney, to the exclusion of the larger riots and deaths; 3. Romney poll numbers have started to sink; and 4. conservative tastemakers have started to call the election over. What to do? In a perfect world, and with a quality campaign staff and media strategists, you would launch a scorched earth TV barrage. The time for subtly is over. The time for timidity has passed. The news media is using this opportunity to kill Romney's campaign once and for all. The big question is will he let them. read more...
9/13/12 A Cuomo Reverts to Family Form
When I said prior to the 2010 gubernatorial election that Andrew Cuomo is - like his father - a thug at heart, I knew it would only be a matter of time before the true Andrew Cuomo surfaced. Less than two years in office - and after a spectacularly successful first year - the true Cuomo nature has come to the fore. read more...
9/12/12 At Least Bush Knew We Were Attacked
Was this Al Qaeda? How did we miss this? Was the the death of Amb. Stevens and three others a well coordinated attack by Al Qaeda and this film nonsense just a smokescreen? It speaks so little of the Muslim faith and Arab culture in general that we all just assumed these people behaved like children and would naturally erupt into violence and murder over some ridiculous internet video. They may have used this and our political correctness against us. The really suspicious and dangerously troubling aspect is the Egyptian Government's refusal to send help to the embassy. Was this part of the plan? Was the The Brotherhood part of this overall attack? Just yesterday the Egyptian Govt. sent large reinforcements to the Syrian Embassy when protests against Assad grew too large. But when the U.S. requested aid, nothing. read more...
9/12/12 Nick Brody as President
Not too much happens these days politically that shocks me our brings me to instant outrage. I've become more saddened and cynical than anything else. I certainly did not think true outrage would come from an action by the Obama State Department. All day yesterday I read stories and watched video of our embassy in Cairo and consulate in Benghazi being overrun by locals furious, they claim, about an on-line video from a Coptic Christian group condemning Islam and mocking the prophet Mohammed. The Coptic group apparently has some presence in the U.S. read more...
9/11/12 A Judge Takes on Media Coverage of Criminal Cases
Just as I have written how sick and tired I am of former Republican members of congress - Dick Armey, Bob Barr, et al. - who leave office and all of a sudden become great 10th Amendment advocates; and just as I have written how tired I am of fatuous former federal prosecutors who, once leaving the DOJ, bemoan the power and corruption of U.S. Attorney's Offices, I am equally disgusted by federal judges who leave the bench and then warn of the power of federal prosecutors.
While on the bench, they rubber stamp every request by any assistant U.S. attorney. Off the bench, they are happy to condemn it. Meanwhile, all those defendants who suffered the consequences as a result of the judge's obsequiousness are just stats. Former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner writes specifically (see link below) on the media's incessant criticism towards any judge who dares hand down lower sentences than prosecutors request. It's a very good article and even though Judge Gertner falls into the Johnny Come Lately category, all help is helpful. She writes mainly about the media's reaction to sentencing, but also covers prosecutorial caprice and abuse. Nothing is going to change the bottom-feeding news media today. Prosecutorial abuse, however, is something we all need to write and speak out about. So, although late to the party, I applaud her insightful analysis.
9/11/12 The Murder of Kenneth Trentadue
A Rudy Veritas reader, seeing my recent post describing my stay at the Federal Transfer Center, Oklahoma City, sent me an incredibly chilling video link. I was completely unaware of the murder of Kenneth Michael Trentadue by the DOJ and the cover-up that followed. The video is from a conference on prison reform that was posted on You Tube last week. The speaker is Jesse Trentadue, Kenneth's brother. In short, Kenneth Trentadue was a nice family man who was visiting his wife's family in Mexico and returning to the U.S. At the border he was arrested on a parole violation. read more...
9/11/12 Remembering 9/11
Attached is the post I published here on 9/11/09 recounting my experiences and impressions on 9/11/01 and the days thereafter. It was written less than two years after I had come back from prison and I guess, in part, it shows. I feel today the same as I did when I published that three years ago: God, I hate this day.
9/10 Update: If you read a post from last week titled "How is Team Romney Missing This?" you may remember I ended the post by questioning whether I had misunderstood Ben Bernanke's speech in which he gave the Fed credit for two million of the four million jobs Obama claims he "saved or created" during his first term. If I hadn't misunderstood it, why wasn't Team Romney trumpeting the Fed's claim. I waited and waited, watched all the shows and saw neither Romney nor Ryan mention this; no Romney surrogate either. Then on Fox News Sunday, as an aside, Glenn Hubbard - Romney economic advisor and Dean of the Columbia Business School - said it. OK, so we have answered the first question, was I wrong? Answer, no. Second question, why aren't they saying this everywhere?
Notwithstanding the coming QE3, the Fed cannot keep doing this in perpetuity - it cannot keep propping up bad Obama policies through a second term. Which means, with a weakened Fed this economy will crash, not recover, in Obama II. Why isn't this being incorporated in Romney's stump speech - it's not all that esoteric a point. I guess the answer is to add this to the growing list of questions as to how Team Romney manages day-in and day-out to blow this election.
9/10/12 How Disconnected are Chicagoans?
As a New Yorker, it is completely beyond my ken to imagine a situation where the city is awash in crime and murder - then the threat of a teacher's strike - and the incumbent mayor says publicly that he will spend the next two months devoting his time to raising money for the president's SuperPac. On top of that, the teachers actually do go out on strike. How would it be possible for a citizenry to tolerate a mayor like this? I guess we need to poll Chicagoans, because this is actually the situation there.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has no answer to crime there, other than to have turned over to the Justice Department crime fighting in that city. Again, completely unthinkable here in NYC. Letting the U.S. Dept. of Justice supersede the NYPD on the streets of NY?? Madness. And yet Chicagoans seem to find it preferable than trusting their mayor. On top of this, his approval rating is above 50%. After the iron hand of the Daleys - which fostered the label 'The City That Works' - why would Chicagoans so readily accept this level of dysfunction? Why would they accept the idea that their mayor - in the middle of so many local crises - should be devoting his time and energies to re-electing the president. The Second City is looking more and more third rate to me.
9/9/12 Whole Lotta Bling
This will surely be the first and last time I post a story on here about college basketball. This column by sportswriter Dan Wetzel caught my eye on Yahoo Sports. Duke senior Lance Thomas walks into a 47th street jeweler, famous for outfitting rap stars and pro athletes, and purchases $97,000 worth of jewelery for himself. He pays $30,000 in cash and signs a promissory note to pay the balance within 15 days. That was three years ago. Thomas, now a player for the New Orleans Hornets, never pays the debt. The questions are many: where does a Duke senior get $30,000 in cash; why did the jeweler extend the credit; why did he wait three years to file a lawsuit (which is the reason we know about any of this); why didn't now-wealthy Thomas pay the loan, etc, etc., etc. The NCAA is such a total joke. It was lampooned beautifully in a classic South Parkepisode about crack baby basketball. In which Eric Cartman explains that the crack babies cannot be compensated because it would ruin their "amateur status."
Wetzel notes that what Thomas did would/should force the NCAA to cancel all of Duke's wins while Thomas played, including their championship. He also notes that the NCAA has two sets of rules, one for the major conference teams and another for the rest. They're happy to punish harshly the lesser teams and coaches but always hold back on the big ones (Penn State doesn't count). Read the whole column, it's a great perspective. Also, if you can, get a hold of the South Parkepisode. Hearing Eric Cartman - posing as a pseudo plantation owner and Confederate colonel - in a thick southern drawl calling these NCAA players slaves and then being told that the correct term is "Stu-Dent Ath-O-letes," is priceless.
9/7/12 Fact Checking Fatigue
I am really sick and tired of this new industry of presidential candidate fact checkers this year. The word 'fact' has now come to include opinion, impression or belief. Facts aren't even facts anymore. Was Paul Ryan factually correct when he said that the Janesville, WI GM plant closed during the Obama presidency? Yes, he was - they stopped producing vehicles in April, 09. But the fact checkers went crazy, producing hours of criticism for the mainstream media to hammer Ryan with. With that said, it is clear that no media outlet will devote the same fact checking coverage to the Obama and Biden speeches that they did to Romney/Ryan. So therefore let me attach the AP fact checking analysis of yesterday's speeches. There were many serious falsehoods and someone should expose and disseminate them.
9/6/12 The Cotton Candy Acceptance Speech
It's a strange day when Joe Biden outshines Barack Obama head-to-head in oratory, sincerity, empathy and genuineness. Why is crazy Joe Biden on this ticket? Tonight was why. He was fiery and emotive. He appeared to believe in the "record" of this administration far more than Obama did. He wasn't loopy and appealed, as much as anyone in this administration can, to the white working class out there. I did not think it was possible for any Democrat to inspire at this convention with this economy and this dreadful record. But Biden was inspiring mainly because old Joe Biden is an old-line Democrat who really believes this shit, as my father used to say. Clinton appealed to the head, Biden to the heart and Obama to what? The liver? read more...
9/6/12 Sex Offender Civil Commitment
Attached you will find an extremely compelling and readable paper, sent to me by a Rudy Veritas reader, describing what the author calls the "war on sex offenders." The article appeared in the July 2011 edition of the Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology and was authored by Prof. Corey Rayburn Yung of the University of Kansas Law School. read more...
9/6/12 D. Wasserman-Schultz Needs an Intervention, Stat!
Read the previous post regarding DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's repeated lies involving a comment she made to a Democratic Jewish group that Israel's Ambassador had said that Republican criticism of Obama Israel policy was 'dangerous' and 'hurting Israel.' Then this morning, on CNN, she told Soledad O'Brien that there was absolutely no discussion within the platform committee about taking out the Jerusalem language. read more...
9/6/12 Pity the East Coast Literati Today
I woke this morning to get me my usual dose of Wille Geist only to find MSNBC dark. Then CNN, then CNBC, then CNN International. All dark. I called Verizon. Turns out last night Verizon lost 453 channels due to some outage. They informed me that all of New York State and parts of New Jersey were covered by this outage. Sure to spark conspiracy fans, the only cable news channels up and running? Yup, Fox News and Fox Business News. They said it might take 24 hours to bring them all back up. I'm sure that's an exaggeration, but can you imagine Fox's ratings for tonight's Obama convention speech if that were true. Better yet, think of all the Left journalists in New York City this morning who will be forced to watch all their convention coverage and Clinton anaylsis delivered to them by Gretchen Carlson, Steve Ducey, Brian Kilmeade and Imus. It does make you chuckle.
Update: Fear not liberal New York, as of 7:15 AM, all channels back up.
9/5/12 Calling Lee Atwater
I know two things for sure: Dick Durbin has now been universally exposed as a fool and if Lee Atwater were alive this election would be over. Some background on events of the last 24 hours. First, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz had remarks she made to a Jewish group leaked where she claimed that Israel's Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, had told her that Republicans hard-line pro-Israel stance was "dangerous for Israel." Then, someone, noticed that the word God did not exist in the entire Democratic platform; the first time this has happened in anyone's memory. Lastly, and most damning, the platform declaration that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel was gone. Also, Hamas was no longer a terrorist organization according to the Democrats. read more...
UPDATE 9/6/12:Politico reports today that President Obama personally reviewed and approved the removal of Jerusalem and Hamas from the platform two weeks ago.
9/2/12 How is Team Romney Missing This?
At the end of last week Ben Bernanke gave an important speech in Jackson Hole which most observers have taken as a sign that the Fed is prepared to be aggressive in taking more action, possibly another round of quantitative easing, to jump start the economy. The really big news, however, was Bernanke's look backwards at what the Fed has done and what it produced. Since the start of the financial crisis, the Fed has pumped $2.3 trillion into the economy through a combination of low interest rates and purchases of mortgage backed securities and Treasuries. Bernanke claims these actions have directly resulted in the creation of two million jobs since 2009 and a direct increase to the GDP of 3%. read more...
9/2/12 MSNBC Goes Off the Rails - 3
In case you missed it, attached is a link to a New York Times story from last week by Alessandra Stanley called "How MSNBC Became Fox's Evil Liberal Twin." It's a good story and echoes much of what I have written here for months. The most egregious claim in the piece comes from the headline. The Left likes to say that MSNBC is the liberal Fox News. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fox's convention coverage was anchored by Brett Baier and Megyn Kelly. read more...
9/2/12 Stranger Danger Hysteria
I happened across today a repeat of an April Dateline episode entitled "Stranger Danger." The promo was shrouded in frightening facts and stats about children being randomly abducted off the streets each year. As with all these show that nakedly seek to scare the shit out of dimwitted housewives, it was couched as some sort of public service program complete with hidden camera segments. read more...
8/31/12 Romney's Speech: Your Dad's GOP
I had hoped to say today in regards to Romney's convention speech, "Wow, was I wrong." Sadly, I wasn't. But I'll get to that in a minute. As Thursday 10PM began, I thought that this convention had been flawless. From Christie to Rice to Gov. Martinez to Ryan to Mrs. Romney to the terrific second acts of the Olympic team, the Romney video and those heartbreaking testimonials, this was all primed for a pitch perfect hour on Thursday evening. read more...
8/29/12 U.S. Appeals Court Rules that Consensual Adult Sex OK, Consensual Adult Sexting - 30 Years in Prison
Rudy Veritas reader Russ B. sent me a decision by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals that upholds a 30 year prison sentence for a man convicted of child pornography, distribution of child pornography, enticement of a minor to produce child pornography and a host of enhancements to his base sentence. The decision was 2-1 with the Chief Judge dissenting. read more...
8/28/12 What Can Romney Say?
I've been thinking about Mitt Romney's speech Thursday night. And I'm worried. I'm looking forward to Ann Romney as she will provide the "Awwww" moments, hopefully softening and humanizing the man. I am really looking forward to Chris Christie because, shockingly, he has become the most articulate voice in the country against Obamaism. He has a Jersey commonness to his words and thoughts that appeal to the broad middle - a pissed-off Bill Clinton, if you will. The Republican Party is dominated by southern and midwestern slicksters; either smooth, like car salesman or yahoo hucksters. There are virtually no average, straight talking leaders in the party. It's not that Christie is so good, which he is, it's that he's so rare. read more...
8/27/12 MSNBC Goes Off the Rails - 2
In case you missed them, here are two more examples of how MSNBC can be called many things, but a news network ain't one of them. Here are two clips from the last week, the most recent this morning, from Martin Bashir and Chris Matthews expressing outrage when anyone dare impede the Obama re-election effort. I won't describe them because it's better to watch. Two weeks ago - the day after Biden's "put y'all back in chains" remark - Lawrence O'Donnell was boastful on Morning Joethat he never mentioned the story in his broadcast the night before. Choosing instead, he said, to spend the hour on Paul Ryan's office having sent a constituent service letter asking for stimulus money. Rachel Maddow summed up her indictment of Ryan by saying how could he have possibly forgotten since he signed the letter. Proving once again how little liberals seem to actually know of the workings of government. Having worked for a senator, maybe 1% of all correspondence is signed by the member. Giant autopen machines sit in the House and Senate basements cranking out these letters. Often the staff just signs the Rep's name themselves. read more...
8/24/12 A Coming Romney Landslide?
I usually don't place much store in silly quadrennial gimmicks that seek to predict the winner of the presidential contest. There's the Scholastic poll of schoolchildren and some type of ice cream poll. This year there is a new coffee poll between McCafe and Starbucks. But if respected academics from real universities, with a flawless track record since 1980, announce their model's findings, you kind of have to sit-up and take notice. read more...
8/24/12 Bloomberg: The Arrogance of Power
There is a common disassociation that takes places among rulers, usually from despotic regimes. After a long period, the ruler will come to believe the fallacy that if he, the Great Giver of all Things Good, cannot do something, then it cannot be done. It never occurs to the despot that perhaps there may be another wise man out there who could do better. If he cannot do something, then it cannot be done. read more...
8/23/12 A Judicial Sex Offender
Syracuse Family Court Judge Bryan Hedges resigned abuptly last April. Now we know why. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct was investigating the judge for an incident with his 5 year old niece 40 years ago. Apparently, 25 year old Hedges was visiting his brother and his family. While masturbating, Mr. Hedges' 5 year old deaf niece came into the room. Everyone agrees on those facts. The niece, Ellen Warner, claims that her uncle had her put her hand on his while he continued masturbating. Judge Hedges says she saw him and left. Before I comment on these facts, let me tell you what would have happened to Judge Hedges had this happened today. He would go to prison for years, first of all. Then, when he was released, he would be registered as a Level 3 sex offender, which means for life. Extra points would be added in determining his level based on the child's age and whether she was handicapped, in this case deafness. That would have been his fate. Instead, he is only being barred from a seat he has already resigned. read more...
8/22/12 Tony Farmer's Reaction
I think after what I have written about Stop & Frisk, defandant's right, the abuses of the criminal justice system and the corruption of the plea deal, I have earned the right to point to a case where justice was in fact served against a defandant. Also, as a white man, I want to make a point about black culture. 18yo high school basketball star Tony Farmer was sentenced today for, essentially, beating up his former girlfriend. He was charged with things like kidnapping, assault and witness intimidation. He dragged this girl around by her hair after beating her. He then, stupidly, sent her text messages threatening her if she moved forward with charges. He was sentenced to three years in prison. It seems a perfectly just sentence to me. read more...
8/22/12 When the Left Misses Rudy
Read the attached story. I won't even summarize it here. I want you to read it fresh. And while you do, try and imagine a world where Rudy Giuliani would have EVER permitted such a thing to happen. True, he would have made all out war on the Hudson River Park Trust and its hard Left Executive Director A.J. Pietrantone in the process - and provided quite a P.R. show - but the problem would have been solved and no one would have dared let this happen again.
Also, do you think there's some connection between the current Mayor's girlfriend being a board member of the Hudson River Park Trust and Bloomberg actually allowing a section of New York to accumulate with many months' worth of garbage? Is it possible he's letting Lower Manhattan fill up with garbage in order to aid his girlfriend's group in the their negotiations?? I'm just saying.
This is the moment when the West Side Left remembers with a shudder the Dinkins years and why they quietly went in and cast their ballot for Rudy. Because isn't the job of a mayor to pick-up the garbage, stimulate the local economy, improve our schools and not allow the police department to turn whole demographics into a suspect criminal class? Yes, you would be forgiven if after a decade of Bloomberg you'd forgotten what a mayor is actually supposed to do.
8/21/12 Chris Matthews = Todd Aiken
In a typical MSNBC over-the-top response, Chris Matthews sought to denounce Todd Aiken this afternoon on Hardballby claiming emphatically that no woman has ever claimed rape falsely. It has never happened. Why would they, he asked, the scrutiny would be so intense that no woman would put herself through it. His two guests, former RNC Chair Michael Steele and the Washington Post's Nia Henderson, just sat there and did not refute that outlandishly stupid declaration. read more...
8/21/12 NYT: 11 Days Late, But Only on the Web
I wrote a post last week titled Color Me Cynical. It contrasted the New York Times' coverage of a harassment lawsuit filed by a senior Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent against Janet Napolitano and the lesbian mafia running DHS, with a bizarre NYTprofile of NYC's Correction commissioner detailing her love of plants and pasta, that ran on the same day the scandal broke. The commissioner, Dora Shriro, was formerly a longtime Napolitano aide in Arizona and at DHS. The lawsuit suggests the two were lovers. The lawsuit was a major story in every NY newspaper and on every network and cable news show. The only news outlet that failed to cover it was the New York Times.
That changed today, 11 days after the story broke, with a web-only piece on the lawsuit. As of yet, the NYT has not run the story in the actual newspaper. The strange thing is that one would think that running a story 11 days after it broke would necessitate some new piece of information to justify its appearance. Or is the excuse that the internet was too full prior to today to accommodate the story? I read and reread the story to try and determine why today. Had the Times uncovered some new info that finally allowed it to write a story? Nope. I can only assume that because the story gores so many of the Times' sacred oxes - Obama, Bloomberg, homosexuality, feminism - they just chose to ignore it until such time as they could bury it on their website.
DHS is a sewer of waste and mismanagement and everyone knows it. To be fair, it was a sewer before Napolitano, but by every account she has only made it worse. Here's my question: If Mitt Romney, whom the Times really dislikes - wins in November, will they wait 11 days to report it because they dislike the election's outcome? It's one thing when the Times makes a principled stand not to cover certain celebrity scandals. It's entirely another when they don't cover stories that muck-up their agenda. That's a dangerous road for them to go down.
8/19/12 Rudy on His Game
I watched all the Sunday morning news shows today and the only Romney surrogate worth anything was Rudy Giuliani. Eric Fernstrom, Kevin Madden, Bob McDonnell & Ed Gillespie were all uniformly terrible. Why can't these Romney people receive proper briefings and debate prep? One question asked of each of them, including Rudy, was Paul Ryan's inclusion in his budget of the same $716 billion cut to Medicare as President Obama. The answer I have been waiting for this whole last week was that he had no choice but to include it since he had to fashion a budget based on current realities. Like it or not, Obamacare is the law until it is not. So he included it and tried to work around it. The only person on any TV show who made this point was Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. No Romney surrogate had the presence of mind or preparation to say this. How ridiculously irresponsible would the Chair of the House Budget Committee have been to present a budget for the House to vote on that assumed something as massive as Obamacare simply didn't exist. How relentlessly attacked would that have been? read more...
8/19/12 A Return to Watergate on DVD
For over 35 years I have waited and waited for a seminal TV mini-series to appear on VHS, cable and then DVD. In 1977 Watergate was only three years behind us and Richard Nixon was still in deep pariah status. The wounds, characters, trauma and lessons from those two years were very fresh. The mini-series was still in its infancy with Roots, Rich Man/Poor Manand one or two others having made a mark. Devoting six nights in a row of TV to any one project was still an event. ABC hyped that they had purchased the rights to John Ehrlichman's fictional Watergate novel, The Company. They then assembled a terrific cast of 70's actors: Cliff Robertson, Robert Vaughn, Lois Nettleton, Stephanie Powers, John Houseman, Tony Bill, Andy Grifith and Jason Robards as the Nixon character, President Richard Monckton. It was six nights of riveting television. I sat glued to the TV over those evenings and just drank it in. We were a far less jaded country back then and still naive of life inside the White House and CIA. Jason Robards' paranoia and hatred of "Harvard elite faggots" is not to be missed. The mini-series was called Washington: Behind Closed Doors. At the time, the New York Timescalled it, "fascinating political intrigue." For some reason, once it was shown, it never aired again. I have looked often over the decades for a History Channel presentation or a DVD set. But nothing. Well last week the drought ended. I stumbled upon it by accident while looking at new DVD releases at the NY Public Library. I watched it again last week and it was a lot of fun. Part of the pleasure was the very 1970's character of the production: from the filmmaking; to the acting; the dialogue; the clothes; and the very real way - given the then TV moires - it presented bare-knuckled politics. It's about 9 hours of TV, but I think if you are old enough to remember that period you'll really enjoy it.
8/18/12 Janet DeFiore Update
Although I live inarguably in the most corrupt county in New York State, even I am sometimes shocked by what government and law enforcement get away with here. As you know, Westchester District Attorney Janet DeFiore is the focus of a scandal, first reported in the NY Post, involving a welfare scam perpetrated by her nanny allegedly with DeFiore's knowledge. There is a local muckraking newspaper in Westchester called the Westchester Guardianthat fights a lonely battle against the various corrupt government entities throughout Westchester. This week they published a summary of the investigation including government e-mails attempting to thwart any scrutiny of DeFiore. read more...
To be labeled the worst Bloomberg commissioner is a little like being called the worst Arab dictator; it's a such a long list - how would you choose? But there does in fact appear to be a winner and it's John Rhea, Chairman of the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA). Continuing his total detachment from reality and under intense pressure, Mike Bloomberg announced "sweeping" reforms to NYCHA's board and management structure. While announcing these "reforms," necessitated by the agency's total mismanagement by his appointed Chairman, Bloomberg called Rhea's performance and record "spectacular." You'd have to ask yourself if the man actually knows the meaning of the word. Maybe he thinks it means bumbling incompetence. If so, we'd all agree. read more...
8/17/12 The NYT' Badly Skewed Priorities
The New York Times has found a new favorite topic in Paul Ryan. Every day there is a minimum of 2-3 major hit pieces on the GOP VP nominee to be. The latest is Ryan's trip to Las Vegas to meet with Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino owner. It has become a left wing mantra to decry the secretive monies being pumped into this race through outside PACs. The irony is that the NYT/MSNBC crowd seems to know where every penny is being sent and by whom to these PACs, all the while denouncing their stealth. All of Adelson's many millions, whether to Gingrich, Romney or SuperPACs, is reported as some sort of scandal. Of course all of this money bacchanal is the Democrat's - and John McCain's - fault. How on Earth could someone run for president at $2500 a pop. The answer is they cannot. read more...
8/16/12 Jesse Jr.'s Bipolar is Setting Up a Defense
The Mayo Clinic has finally released their diagnosis on Jesse Jackson, Jr. After weeks and weeks of mystery we now know he is Bipolar, more specifically Bipolar II. I write about this because for many years I too was Bipolar II. A Bipolar II condition is marked by periods of deep depression offset by periods of hypomania. Put simply, hypomania is a state of high energy euphoria: you feel fantastic, think everything is great - even if it's not - and tend to do things in extremes. I would wake up in the morning, after days or weeks of depression, and realize how happy I was. If I were fat, I thought I looked thinner. I would have my secretary fill up my calendar with business lunches and social events weeks in advance (only to cancel them when the depression returned). I love to shop and in that state I wouldn't buy one sweater but go on-line and buy 10. It's also marked by a sense of grandiosity and self importance. Bipolar II has become a common defense in criminal cases because, if legitimate, it can explain actions one might not ordinarily take or engage in. If you're even a slightly sexual person, in a hypomanic state you'll have the libido of a porn star. Moreover, all good judgment about sex will leave you. read more...
8/12/12 Color Me Cynical
Do you think it's a coincidence that the New York Timesignored a major story involving a lawsuit against Janet Napolitano and DHS alleging sexism and favoritism and the puff piece they ran the same day the DHS story broke? The lawsuit alleges a rampant anti-male bias at DHS at the highest levels. Not stated is the fact that the Secretary, Janet Napolitano, is a closeted lesbian. A major focus of the lawsuit is her favoring her former chief aide, Dora Schriro, over veteran male DHS staff. Ms. Schriro resigned under mysterious circumstances from DHS just weeks after receiving a major promotion. She left to become NYC's Corrections Commissioner. read more...
8/11/12 So the Battle is Joined
OK, it's Paul Ryan. This choice has some parallels to 2008. Unlike Romney, however, McCain never had anyone in mind when his V.P process started; there was no likely choice. Mitt Romney wanted Rob Portman. Then he wanted Tim Pawlenty. And finally what he wanted became irrelevant and it became what he needed, just like McCain. Paul Ryan was not my first choice, that would be Gov. John Kasich. But Kasich's issues with his wife made his nomination deeply problematic. He would have been a dynamic candidate and a fantastic vice president. read more...
8/11/12 Some Thoughts on Ray Harding's Passing
It's interesting that Ray died on August 9th. As I have for 38 years, I took note on Wednesday of the significance of the date. Nearly four decades ago, my family was in Charlottesville, VA for two weeks while Ray did periodic training at the JAG school there as part of his National Guard service. Ray's obituary omitted this, but for a brief time that summer he was a candidate for Lt. Governor in that year's election. A few weeks earlier he had done his annual two weeks at Camp Drum. The local Watertown television station had done a major piece on him: Lt. Governor candidate in their midst. read more...
8/10/12 Follow-up on Background Checks
On July 25th I posted a piece (Right Problem, Wrong Solution) on the exploding internet industry that provides low cost - and often inaccurate - criminal background checks to employers. The piece was in response to a Timeseditorial that prosposed modest reforms to the industry. The Times had a follow-up editorial yesterday noting the first federal action taken against one of these companies.
I could put on my right-wing Republican hat and note that the action was taken by the FTC which has always had jurisdiction to act rather than the new - and superfluous - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - but I won't. The FTC's action is a small step against an industry that is, in theory, very regulated but until now on no one's radar. As I pointed out on the 25th to the Times, and the Times now points out in its latest editorial, the real action has to come from the states that provide this mountain of personal information to any company willing to pay for it and then repackage it as a criminal background check. Small steps all the way around.
8/9/12 Obit Corrections
The New York Times published a very nice and comprehensive obituary on Ray Harding today. There were two errors, however. Since an obituary of a significant political figure is often what history remembers, I thought I would point them out. The important one, which the Timeshas not changed although I e-mailed the writer this morning, is that Ray was not born in Herzegovina, but Croatia. Of course in 1935 all republics were part of Yugoslavia, but he was born in a very tiny village on the Hungarian border which I can pronounce just fine, but cannot spell (Tereznepolje is an almost accurate spelling). I visited the village in 1976 and Ray's house and my grandfather's connected general store were still standing. They were part of Croatia in 1935, 1976 and today. When Ray went back for the first time in the 80's they had been torn down. The structures were literally feet from the border crossing and the Hungarian border guards wanted my camera confiscated when I took pictures of the house with Hungary in the background. Remember in 1976 the Cold War was still raging. Warsaw Pact member Hungary and go-it-alone Yugoslavia were not great friends at the time.
Ray's Croatian heritage and his gratitude to the United States for taking him in were keys aspects of his make-up. In later years he would represent Croatia in legal matters in U.S. courts and even traveled in an armored personnel carrier from the Austrian border to meet with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman in his wartime bunker during the Balkan conflicts in 1991. That's why it's kind of a major error for the Times to write he was from Herzegovina.
The second error, which I correct in the memory of Mane Harding, is that my grandfather was never beaten by any Nazis. For some reason, even though they knew he was Jewish, they left him alone. They came into his store and treated him just fine. He was, however, viciously beaten many times by the Ustase, Croatia's puppet government. It was the Ustase that caused him to flee, not the Nazis. He went to Italy to see if it would be safe and returned to gather his family for the journey back. The fate of Mane, Jelica and Branko Hochwald was not Auschwitz but rather Jasenovac, where they surely would have died. Few remember now, but Ustase leader Ante Pavelic was very proud that by 1943 Croatia had become Jew free. The reason my grandfather refused to return to Yugoslavia once he emigrated was twofold: he was a staunch anti-communist; and he could never forgive the fact that it was his countrymen who had beaten him and caused him to become a refugee.
I realize neither of these are very significant errors for the average reader. But obituaries should be accurate. The Times has on their obit page New York Times obituaries of famous people as they appeared contemporaneously in the paper. If they were wrong then, you'd be reading and believing inaccurate info one hundred years later.
8/7/12 NYC Stop & Frisk: The Example Not to Follow
San Francisco's Mayor Ed Lee announced today that he was backing off his proposal to bring NYC's Stop & Frisk policy to San Francisco. The press, the public, the Board of Supervisors AND the Police Department vehemently opposed it. Instead, they will double down on their version of the Giuliani/Bratton CompStat program. I mean, after all, who but a civil liberties hating mayor and police commissioner would disdain success, COMPSTAT, and blindly support an insupportable, counterproductive and unconstitutional policy like Stop & Frisk? Oh yea, Bloomberg & Kelly. Kudos to San Francisco. More and more cities will use NYC's example and see the benefits of not pointlessly making war on their minority citizens. sfirst: SF Ditches S&F
Thanks to Rudy Veritas reader Danny B. for the story.
8/7/12 Debunking the Myths Behind a Dangerous Trend
Most of you will have no interest in this, but some of you will find a new study very educational and enlightening. A study, just released this month, by the Washington University in St Louis School of Law seeks to debunk the legal underpinnings behind an increasingly alarming trend in criminal courts of awarding adult victims of child abuse monetary damages against viewers of child pornography. Put simply, a 40 year old man who was photographed sexually as a child has the legal right, 35 years later, to seek restitution against current viewers of those images. Many courts are awarding such damages on the broad legal theory that an on-going child porn industry can be held monetarily responsible for an individual criminal act decades ago not perpetrated by any individual named in the action or anyone who directly caused it. It would be the equivalent of a father getting his 8yo daughter hooked on heroin and 30 years later the daughter suing me, a stranger, because I currently inject heroin (I don't btw). The criminal is her father, not anyone else. The study goes further, however. It debunks all the modern prosecutorial and court-held general assumptions underlying the harsh penalties surrounding the viewing and possession of child porn.
As it relates to restitution, the study focuses on a woman named Amy whose father had taken a series of pictures of her as a child that apparently were/are widely disseminated. Amy has been seeking restitution in every child porn case where her pictures were discovered. Some courts have awarded her thousands per case, others millions. All these awards are based on federal law that requires criminal victims to be compensated. Amy's claims are based on the fact that her sexual abuse, at the hands of her father, have damaged her and made her incapable of work and, put simply, a psychological mess. Completely understandable and deserving of sympathy - were she to seek damages against her father. So far her total is millions of dollars awarded by courts against men whom she has never met. Imagine any other area of the law, civil or criminal, where a victim can seek restitution decades later against an individual who was not even born at the time of the crime. That, in a nutshell, sums up how crazy this growing trend should be viewed by a thoughtful jurist. But of course it's not.
Here is the study. It's short, 62 pages, and very readable. Download SSRN-id2123527
8/6/12 Who Lost Syria?
NBC had a story today, interviewing leaders of the Free Syrian Army, that laid bare the ongoing failure of U.S. policy in Syria. These leaders said very frankly that Al Queda was prominent now in Syria and was offering the rebels weapons and money. The rebel leaders interviewed said they would much prefer American aid, but they will take Al Queda weapons if they have no choice. This is like a free throw shot for the U.S.: remove the Assads; improve Israel's security situation; create a somewhat more democratic Syria; leave Iran totally isolated; and remove Russian influence. How would this not be a win-win-win? But, unlike in Libya, the Obama Administration claims this is somehow different. It's only different to the extent that this situation is of far greater strategic interest to the U.S. than was Libya - auguring all the more for deeper U.S. involvement. Crazy that we spend billions each month to fight Al Queda remnants in Afghanistan, and yet we could - but refuse to - spend millions to achieve all the previously listed aims plus keep Al Queda from establishing a foothold in Syria. Who could blame the rebels, when they win, were they to provide haven and support for Al Queda, which supported them. That's how the world works. After those interviews, it's even more inexplicable to me that Mitt Romney is not now hammering Obama on this. 'Who lost China?' was a complicated question to answer back in the 1950's. Who lost Syria will be simple to answer in the years ahead. Two words, Barack Obama.
8/6/12 Pining for the Giant Press Opportunity
Mitt Romney has found himself a very good issue. Ohio has changed its voting law this year to eliminate early voting in the three days prior to election except for military personnel. The Obama campaign, looking at two bad options, has chosen the least worst. Faced with three lost days of early voting in Ohio, they have chosen to make war on the military. Chicago HQ are not stupid people. They weighed the pluses and minuses of tens of thousands of Ohioans (in 2008, 98,000 voted in the three days before election day) not being able to vote versus going to court and creating a PR disaster. They chose, not stupidly, the votes. read more...
8/1/12 Favorite Anti-Obama Ad of the Week
The clip is complete with outakes. My favorite reason is #1: "Nobody knows where he came from."
8/1/12 NYCHA Reverts to Form
I've recounted this story before but it bears retelling today. On a shuttle to DC in December 1993, Rudy Giuliani called me over to where he was sitting and showed me that day's cover of the Daily News. We were on our way to D.C. for a day of meetings and events. We would go to the White House, Capitol Hill, the Holocaust Museum and a number of other stops. But what had Rudy angry that morning was the revelation that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) had just lost 15 or 50 (I don't remember which) million dollars in federal grant money because they had forgotten to spend it. It was going back to HUD. read more...
7/29/12 Did I Mention the City's Unemployment Rate is 10%?
I awoke this morning to an e-mail from Rudy Veritas reader Pete F. asking, "Can this be true?" Attached was a link to a NY Poststory detailing how Mike Bloomberg has instituted a City program to track formula provided to new babies at all NYC hospitals and to have hospital staff hector and badger new mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding. Even crazier, the story said the City was encouraging hospitals to lock-up the formula so mothers would be forced to breast feed. I was convinced the link was a hoax and went to the Post's website to find the story. Sure enough it's real. The Mayor wants new mothers to stop feeding their babies formula and instead exclusively breast feed.
Honestly it's like having Caligula for mayor. I wouldn't be surprised at this point if Bloomberg, like Caligula, appoints a horse to fill a city judgeship. There appears to be no end to just how crazy and detached he and his administration have become. I will say I cannot wait to see the reaction of all the whacked out, liberal feminists who have supported his fascistic policies on smoking and fats. It will be interesting to see them on cable news this week explaining why this is none of the City's business, but someone's choice to drink a 32oz Coke is. When you have no consistent ideology you will invariably get caught up criticizing your own position on the next issue. What is it about allowing fascism to go unconfronted that people still don't understand??
Now all this might just be amusing if the city were humming along fine. But the city's soaring crime and unemployment rates make it clear that the last 18 months of Bloomberg's reign will be spent on satisfying his insane and unsupported health concerns and causes. As life grows harder, more expensive and much more dangerous for New York City's citizens, the Mayor focuses on soda, popcorn, gun laws in Colorado and baby formula. The lesson for New Yorkers? To paraphrase Ed Koch: You supported a coup and now you must be punished. No one, however, imagined the punishment would be this harsh or that the petulant, thin-skinned gnome mayor would become this deranged.
7/24/12 I'm Just Saying
On today's Morning Joe and then again on Your World with Neil Cavuto, former TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky made the most startling accusation. He claims that a number of Obama/Geithner Treasury officials, in an attempt to tamp down his criticisms in 2009, threatened him by saying that he would do real harm to himself if he "didn't change my tone." He was told "bad things" would happen to him. Conversely, he was told that "good things" would happen to him, such as a federal judgeship, if he changed his tone. These are only a small part of the revelations of outrageous behavior and highly questionable actions by Treasury officials in general, and Sec. Geithner specifically, in Barofsky's new book, Bailout.
I mention this to make the point that if this had been a Republican treasury secretary and a Republican president this would be the lead story for weeks on every network and front page of the NY Times and Washington Post. But because it's Obama, through Geithner, it's relegated to a one day story, even when the book is a wholesale attack on banks, the Left's favorite target. So biased is the coverage in this presidential race that the Left can't even champion their own favorite cause - hating the banks - when it conflicts with Obama's re-election. I'm just saying.
7/21/12 Typical DOJ Hypocrisy
You may recall that some months ago I wrote about the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) south Florida office (these idiotic federal government acronyms) being indicted for sending child porn. ICE is the federal agency that handles child porn investigations (don't ask me why). Well I have been waiting for any news on his trial which was supposed to have started months ago. Yesterday Anthony Mangione appeared at federal court in West Palm Beach and pleaded guilty to a single child porn charge. I won't criticize the plea too much, except to say that sending child porn is serious shit in the federal system and his plea was very generous. However, because of the insane federal sentencing guidelines, he faces real time - from 5-20 years when he is sentenced in October. read more...
7/20/12 NYC Unemployment Rate Over 10%
NYC has come within 2,000 of the highest number of people unemployed in over 37 years. The June unemployment rate, 10.1%, is higher than at any point during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Ironically in 2009 the entire rationale for the only coup in U.S. history was that only Michael Bloomberg could steer us through these perilous economic times. As of now, only four other major U.S. cities have higher unemployment rates than New York City. read more...
7/13/12 Making Rudy Earn his Way Back-in
Wow, talk about micro targeting. Rudy Giuliani, previously persona non grata with Camp Romney, has obviously agreed - for the sake of Giuliani Partners in the event of a Romney win - to suck up his considerable pride and ego and campaign in some pretty minor venues. Gone are the days of jetting around the country on Air Force One in 2004 to major campaign rallies. Now he is appearing solo at VFW halls and ribbon cutting ceremonies for rural county Romney headquarters. The Romney campaign already knows that Rudy no longer has widespread appeal. But even so, these are decidedly retributive events. Oh yea, we'll let you campaign for us, but you're going to a VFW rally in Hampton Roads and opening our HQ in Henrico County, the Romney people must have told him. In the old days, any Republican governor would have cleared his schedule to stand next to Rudy Giuliani. For the Henrico event all they could muster was the Lt. Governor to welcome Rudy.
Somewhere in Boston, Russ Schriefer is sitting back in his chair with his hands behind his head (one hand anyway) and smiling broadly. Payback is a bitch.
7/10/12 Is the Romney Campaign Doing Something Smart?
Let me say something nice about the Mitt Romney campaign. I have a feeling that there is a chance, just a chance, they may be doing something clever. I know, I know the greater chance is that what I am about to describe could better be ascribed to ineptitude rather than skill.
Let's first agree on two things: 1. Barack Obama is a black man and our first black president; and 2. the major media outlets very much want him re-elected, even if they don't love him. read more...
7/4/12 Reuters on a Roll
Here are two in-depth investigative pieces from Reuters' Insight unit. Both involve criminal justice matters, one in New York and the other Florida.
The New York piece is the latest press scrutiny devoted to Stop & Frisk. The national press, after years of obsequious fawning over Ray Kelly and Mike Bloomberg, has finally taken off their rose-colored glasses and begun looking at the reality on the ground of life in New York City. At least the reality lived by non-below 96th Street minorities throughout the five boros. I believe a consensus is forming that Bloomberg -as we all could have told him and did - will have his first two terms undone by his third. It's a lengthy article and, for my taste, a little too even-handed for an issue undeserving of it. But very worth your time.
The second article involves the sentence given in a Florida federal court to an 18yo defendant for a string of armed robberies of fast food restaurants. Certainly a crime spree deserving of a stiff sentence, but 162 years for a first time offender?
The article is worth reading for its focus on the federal sentencing practice known as stacking. Stacking involves counting each count of an indictment as a separate and unique crime. Thereby transforming a first time offender with 6 counts into a "habitual" criminal. I recall very well looking at the sentencing chart for the first time and seeing how dramatic the sentencing increase would have been in my case had this been my second or third offense or had my counts been counted that way.
The story mentions Ray Kelly as supporting this practice as an "investigative tool." Meaning - like in the worst of totalitarian states - that the government has the tool to sentence you to prison for life if you don't cooperate; even if the crime is clearly not warranting a severe punishment.
The defect in the Reuters' piece is that it focuses exclusively on Florida and - to make the point that Florida is a prosecutor's buffet - mixes state and federal cases and statistics, thereby leaving the casual reader perhaps a little confused. The federal system is uniquely cruel and more so when practiced by prosecutors in places like Florida or Texas. So throwing in state crimes and stats only muddies the argument. But it's very much an article worth reading.
6/24/12 The Simple Truth Behind Contempt
Here's the thing I don't get about Eric Holder's position on Fast & Furious: Roger Clemens supposedly lied to Congress about a private matter - whether he took steroids - and the Justice Department felt this so important that they indicted him; committed prosecutorial misconduct in their pursuit of Clemens by openly defying a federal judge's order, causing a mistrial; and then ordered him retried. All at a cost of $5-7 million. Only to lose. All of this for the statement that he never took steroids.
In Fast & Furious, an arm of the U.S. Government gave itself license to violate U.S. laws and aided in the murder of hundreds of people including U.S. agents. They then, in a response to Sen. Grassley, lied about the whole thing. The Issa Committe, rightfully,wants a full investigation into the whole program but also the lie. Towards that end they subpoenaed documents. The Justice department refuses to hand them over and hides behind the less than useless DOJ Inspector General. By doing, so they are in contempt. This is not any more complicated than that.
6/23/12 Quote of the Week
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, was in the U.S. last week promoting his new book, Johnson's Life of London. TIME Magazine had 10 Questions with him. Here was my favorite:
TIME: There are so many mayors across the U.S. whose towns are really struggling. Is there any piece of advice you could give them?
Johnson: Be a booster of your city. My hero is the mayor in Jaws. He's a fantastic guy, and he keeps the beaches open, if you remember, even after it's demonstrated that his constituents have been eaten by this killer fish. Of course he was proved catastrophically wrong in his judgment, but his instincts were right.
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