On Monday's Majority Report with Sam Seder, Matt Taibbi explains the myth of JP Morgan Chase as the “one good bank”, why too big to fail is the problem, why Washington is finally getting fed up with Wall Street, how Wall Street miscalculated the 2012 election, how JP Morgan Chase hides losses and commits regular acts of financial fraud and is genuine Wall Street reform possible now?
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- Bloomberg's Army
- Bradley Manning
- Bureau of Justice Statistics
- Carl Levin
- Central Park Five
- David Edward Coombs
- Dept. of Justice
- Donald Trump
- Donna Lieberman
- Fast and Furious
- General news
- God's will
- Government and politics
- Great Lakes
- Gun Control
- Inspector General
- JPMorgan Chase
- Jamie Dimon
- Jateik Reed
- John Koster
- Law and order
- Legal proceedings
- Majority Report
- Matt Taibbi
- Mayor Michael Bloomberg
- Michael Bloomberg
- Military and defense
- Military legal affairs
- Monday Mayhem
- NATO summit
- NY City Council
- National Nurses Rally
- New York Civil Liberties Union
- North America
- Occupy Chicago
- Occupy Wall Street
- Operation Impact
- Paul Browne
- Political corruption
- Political issues
- Ramarley Graham
- Richard Mourdock
- Richard Wolff
- Sam Seder
- The Pirate Bay
- Todd Akin
- Tom Morello
- Too Big to Fail
- U.S. Department of Defense
- United States
- United States government
- Wall Street
- armed forces
- auto workers
- concealed weapon
- congressional candidate
- death penalty
- emotional instability
- financial fraud
- freedomof speech
- gun stores
- intelligence operations
- legitimate rape
- mental illness
- personal debt
- school shooting
- stand your ground
- state capitalism
- stop and frisk
- wage slavery
- wall street reform
Military Judge Col. Denise Lind ruled Tuesday to reduce the potential sentence of Bradley Manning, an Army private accused of releasing classified documents to the infamous WikiLeaks website. Lind's ruling stems from her belief that Manning was subjected to "illegal pretrial punishment" during his nine months of confinement. She called Manning's treatment -- which consisted of solitary confinement in a windowless cell, often without clothing, for 23 hours a day -- "excessive." The 25-year-old is to face 22 charges when his trial begins March 6th. Due to Tuesday's ruling, if he is given a prison sentence he will receive 112 days off of whatever it is.
"Army Col. Denise Lind ruled during a pretrial hearing that authorities went too far in their strict confinement of Pfc. Bradley Manning for nine months in a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., in 2010 and 2011. Manning was confined to a windowless cell 23 hours a day, sometimes with no clothing. Brig officials said it was to keep him from hurting himself or others."
"Lind said Manning's confinement was "more rigorous than necessary." She added that the conditions "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests."'
"Manning faces 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum sentence of life behind bars. His trial begins March 6."
"The 25-year-old intelligence analyst had sought to have the charges thrown out, arguing the conditions were egregious. Military prosecutors had recommended a seven-day sentence reduction, conceding Manning was improperly kept for that length of time on highly restrictive suicide watch, contrary to a psychiatrist's recommendation."
Manning supporters were disappointed with today's ruling. "I don't find it a victory," supporter Mike McKee said. "Credit like that becomes much less valuable if the sentence turns out to be 80 years." McKee was one of about a dozen supporters who were present in the courtroom for Tuesday's ruling.
The scheduled four-day hearing is, in part, to determine if Manning's motivation matters in the case. The prosecution seeks to block the defense from presenting evidence of motive calling it "irrelevent." The defense claims barring such evidence would cripple the defense's ability to argue that Manning leaked only information that he believed couldn't hurt the United States or help a foreign nation.
RT.com discusses the ruling.
By Blair Hickman, Suevon Lee and Cora Currier, ProPublica, Dec. 14, 2012, 4:34 p.m.
Update: With today's shooting in Newtown, Conn., this article, first published July 24, 2012, unfortunately seems relevant again.
In the wake of last week's shooting in Aurora, Colo., we've taken a step back and laid out the best pieces we could find about guns. They're roughly organized by articles on rights, trafficking and regulation. And include your suggestions in comments.
Battleground America, New Yorker, April 2012 Jill Lepore's thorough look at the evolution of U.S. gun laws — from the Second Amendment, to the 1968 Gun Control Act, to the N.R.A.'s rise to political prominence — is an excellent primer for the modern day gun debate. And provides great context for the articles below. Contributed by @Corinneavital
Florida 'stand your ground' law yields some shocking outcomes depending on how law is applied, Tampa Bay Times, June 2012 The Tampa Bay Times analyzed nearly 200 "stand your ground" cases in Florida. Among the findings: Nearly 70 percent of defendants who invoke "stand your ground" went free. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty; 59 percent of those who killed a white went free.
Stand Your Ground Law Coincides With Jump in Justifiable-Homicides Cases, Washington Post, April 2012 Since Florida passed a Stand Your Ground law in 2005, more than 30 states have adopted similarly broad laws. Justifiable-homicide cases have also been on the rise nationwide.
Felons Finding It Easy to Regain Gun Rights, New York Times, November 2011 In many states the restoration of gun rights for convicted felons is now either automatic or left to the discretion of judges under vague standards. Standards are similarly lax for those with a history of mental illness — judges are often ill-equipped to make decisions without information about an applicant's mental health.
The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal, Fortune, June 2012 An investigation into the fallout over Operation Fast and Furious suggests much of what's been widely reported about the scandal is simply wrong. It doesn't seem the ATF intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Based on confidential ATF documents and interviews with law enforcement agents, the piece claims the public charges are "replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies." Fortune's follow-up answers some criticisms raised by Sen. Chuck Grassley, among others. Congress is conducting an investigation into Fast and Furious.
Realco Guns Tied to 2,500 Crimes in D.C. and Maryland, Washington Post, October 2010 As part of a larger look at firearms' paths from dealer to crime scene, the Post's analysis of gun-trace data for Virginia found that a handful of dealers sold the bulk of crime guns. Realco, the store featured in this piece, sold four times the number of crime guns as the next highest dealer. The kicker? It was all perfectly legal.
The Gun: The AK-47 and the evolution of war, CJ Chivers, October 2010 A nuanced, in-depth look at what is arguably the most lethal gun of all time.
U.S. Stymied as Guns Flow to Mexican Cartels, New York Times, April 2009 Before the ATF's efforts to monitor gun-trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border became notorious, this article detailed how easy it was for straw purchasers to buy guns in the U.S. and get them across the border to Mexico, and how difficult it was for federal regulators to build a case against them. About 90 percent of the 12,000 guns recovered and traced in 2008 by Mexican officials came from U.S. dealers.
Concealed gun law turns 10 years old, Booth Newspapers, June 2011 A decade after Michigan passed a law making it easier to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, hundreds of thousands have been issued. This multi-part series shows how regulations meant to keep track of who has concealed-carry licenses — and whose should have been revoked — are a mess. The New York Times has also analyzed the lack of oversight into the concealed-carry permit process in North Carolina, which loosened the requirements to obtain such permits in 1995.
Ineffective rules let gun stores endure, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 2010 The ATF is charged with inspecting the country's 62,000 licensed gun dealers. But it's rare for a permit to be revoked, and when it happens, stores often simply reopen with a new license in someone else's name, or sell guns on the side through their personal collections. (This Washington Post database lets you see which dealers near you have had their licenses revoked.)
There were five of them, not even men yet, accused of a violent rape. They were prosecuted aggressively by district attorneys and vilified by a tabloid press, then sent to prison for as many as 13 years.
In 1989, the case of the Central Park Five, as the attack on a 28-year-old white investment banker in uptown Manhattan has come to be known, roiled the country, touching on race and class and fears about crime.
But the defendants -- all black or Latino, none older than 16 -- didn't commit the attack on the Central Park jogger. They were the victims of coerced confessions and authorities eager for scapegoats.
Then in 2002, after the five had all spent years in jail, a previously unknown man admitted to beating and sexually assaulting the woman. All five of the convictions were vacated.
An explosive new documentary looks at a case once referred to as "the crime of the century": the Central Park Five. Many people have heard about the case, but far too few know that innocent teenagers were imprisoned as a result. The film tells the story of how five black and Latino teenagers were arrested in 1989 for beating and raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. Media coverage at the time portrayed the teens as guilty and used racially coded terms like "wolf pack" to refer to the group of boys accused in the attack.
Donald Trump took out full-page ads in four city newspapers calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty so they could be executed. However, the convictions of the five were vacated in 2002 when the real rapist came forward and confessed to the crime, after the five defendants had already served sentences of almost seven to 13 years.
New York City is refusing to settle a decade-long civil lawsuit brought by the men. And now lawyers for the city are seeking access to footage gathered for the new film.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! speaks to one of the Central Park Five, Raymond Santana; filmmaker Sarah Burns; and journalist Natalie Byfield.
Full transcript after the jump.
Economist Richard Wolff explains the weaknesses of capitalism and the need for Americans to understand the system under which they live and work.
There are many problems associated with capitalism (state capitalism): wage slavery, concentration of wealth and power, undermining of democracy, repression of curiosity and creativity, environmental destruction, the boom and bust cycle (over production), economic depression, promotion of competition over cooperation, isolation of individuals from society, consumerism, escapism, apathy, emotional instability, political corruption (cronyism), suppression of science and technology research due to short term profit motive, personal debt, crime, violence, war, etc.
The strength of capitalism is its ability to produce enormous wealth (surplus), but this is only possible through state capitalism (government control of the economy).
A Republican congressional candidate says abortion should not be legal, even when it involves "the rape thing," according to audio obtained by activist working on behalf of the liberal group FUSE Washington.
John Koster was questioned about his views on abortion during a fundraiser Sunday, and said he does not oppose abortion when the life of the mother is in danger, but then explains he would oppose it when it involves rape or incest:
“Incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare. But the rape thing, you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption and doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But, on the rape thing it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?”
Let me get this out of the way first, no incest is not rare. Does it actually have to be "reported" on Fox News for Republicans to know it's happening?
I suppose "the rape thing" is just a trifling matter when you already don't have enough respect for women to allow them to make their own decisions about their health and bodies. But Republican politicians used to be much more subtle with their attitude towards women. First there was mandatory counseling, and waiting periods, then in 2011 Republican lawmakers went full tilt with a record number of abortion-related legislation including forced transvaginal ultrasounds. Now they seem pathological, and intent on essentially legalizing rape.
We've had to endure Todd Akin and his "legitimate rape," and come to discover his frightening militant anti-abortion background, and Richard Mourdock saying that pregnancy resulting from rape is God's will.
Rape is violence, and rape is a crime. Anyone who uses a woman's body against her will for any reason is a criminal, and that should include forcing a woman to jump through hoops to obtain an abortion, efforts to prevent a woman's access to birth control, or using an elected office to criminalize abortion.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a reporter on Monday that forcing the NYPD to submit to oversight from an inspector general would destroy the city of New York:
Appointing an inspector general to oversee the NYPD is a recipe for disaster, Mayor Bloomberg warned yesterday.
“I think if you want to bring crime back, let’s go politicize control of the Police Department,” the mayor said, responding to a reporter’s question about a new City Council bill requiring an IG for cops getting a hearing tomorrow.
“The last thing we need is some politician or judge getting involved with setting policy, because you won’t be safe anymore. But today, you are. Think about that when you write your story,” Bloomberg added.
Who the hell is safe in NYC? It sure wasn't this teenager who was forced to submit to the NYPD's version of 'Stop and Frisk':
In a press release, Anonymous has claimed to have leaked 1.7 GB of data stolen from the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, a Department of Justice agency that collects and analyzes crime data. The file has been leaked to The Pirate Bay. This is a Monday Mail Mayhem release.
We are Anonymous.
Today we are releaseing 1.7GB of data that used to belong to the United States Bureau of Justice, until now.
Within the booty you may find lots of shiny things such as internal emails, and the entire database dump.
We Lulzed as they took the website down after being owned, clearly showing they were scared of what
We do not stand for any government or parties, we stand for freedom of people, freedom of speech and freedom of information.
We are releasing data to spread information, to allow the people to be heard and to know the corruption in their government. We are releasing it to end the corruption that exists, and truly make those who are being oppressed free.
The price we pay very often is our own freedom. The price governments pay is the exposure of their corruption and the truth being revealed, for the truth will set us free in the end.
So once more we call on you. Hackers, activists, and freedom fighters; join us in our struggle against these corporate
Then a man without a mask says the following:
What’s next? What’s next is… all they can do is shut down the Internet itself. And we see, how that went for them, in Egypt. And we the people know, that when the government shuts down the Internet, that’s when it’s time to shut down the government.
Then he puts the Guy Fawkes mask on,and repeats the Anonymous slogan:
We are Anonymous
We do not forgive
We do not forget
He then adds an extra warning, “And now, expect a whole lot more.”
Is this data actually part of what was foretold by Christopher Doyon, aka "Commander X"? Doyon is the Anonymous member who is hiding in Canada because he's wanted in the United States and facing a 15 year prison sentence for a prior hack attack:
Q. What’s next for Anonymous?
A: Right now we have access to every classified database in the U.S. government. It’s a matter of when we leak the contents of those databases, not if. You know how we got access? We didn’t hack them. The access was given to us by the people who run the systems.
I still find myself incredulous at the possibility that government employees with access to every classified government database could've turned over the keys to the kingdom, but it seems that Anonymous wants to convince us of exactly that.
"For the fired auto workers who were twisted, tricked and robbed / To the
peasant in Guatemala in a sweatshop got your job / And she can't feed
her family on the pennies that she makes / Meanwhile the crime
rate's rising up and down the Great Lake states"
[Video of the brutal beating of 19-year old Jateik Reed during an NYPD "Stop and Frisk"]
The NYPD on Sunday spoke with glowing praise of their under-fire "Stop and Frisk" policy that allows them to throw anyone they please up against a wall, and sometimes worse (See Jateik Reed video above).
Comparing numbers from the first three months of 2012 to the same period last year, the number of such stops increased 10% while the number of illicit guns taken away went up 31%, according to a New York Police Department statement from Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.
Meanwhile, New York's murder rate has plunged 21% year-to-date as of last Friday -- meaning, if the current trend continues, the yearly number of murders in the city would be the lowest since such statistics first were recorded, as such, in 1963.
"New York City continues to be the safest big city in America, and one of the safest of any size, with significantly less crime per capita ... than even small cities," the department said.
Police cited Operation Impact and the "stop and frisk" policy as key reasons for the improving crime statistics. But the policy has been criticized sharply by some as grounds for racial profiling.
The statement drew a harsh response from the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) as executive director Donna Lieberman accused the NYPD of trying to "massage the numbers to make this look like an effective and worthwhile program."
Just last Wednesday, the NYCLU released a report of their own based on the information cited by the NYPD in Sunday's statement from Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne:
More young black men were stopped and frisked by police last year than actually live in the city, according to an analysis by the New York Civil Liberties Union.
About 168,000 black men between the ages of 14 and 24 were stopped under the controversial NYPD program in 2011 -- compared to the 158,406 who live in the five boroughs.
The NYCLU report also revealed of five precincts with blacks and latinos comprising as little as 8 percent of the population, they still accounted for up to 77 percent of of the stops in those areas.
The NYPD denies any claims of racial profiling, and says that it targets only "those who commit crimes." Yet as was revealed in the case of Jateik Reed, claims by police that he was carrying drugs have been shown to be false, and that his arrest was unfounded and he shouldn't have even been stopped when an outdoor surveillance camera video surfaced.