Saturday, March 1, 2014

How long can the FBI cover up Ibragim Todashev's murder? In the Case Of Edward Deegan It Was 30 Years

Hoosierman posted an excellent story about the (what is the polite term for conspiracy to obstruct justice?) Ibragim Todashev slaying.

In the case of Edward "Teddy" Deegan the FBI covered up the truth for over 30 years. They never did come clean and were it not for a pit bull of a journalist named Dan Rea (now a talk radio host) we might not have ever learned the truth.

Truth is sometimes uglier than fiction. In 1968, the FBI framed four innocent men to protect their informant, crime boss Joe Barboza. If this all sounds familiar, the FBI would later conspire with and murder for another Boston crime boss, Whitey Bulger. If you ever read up on the Bulger fiasco and it is stated that Whitey was mishandled or that he simply outwitted his FBI godfathers, put the page down and read something more truthful. The FBI orchestrated the Barboza scandal(s) and they helped choreograph Whitey's crimes years later.

By the way, the Barboza case reached the highest level of FBI cooperation. J. Edgar Hoover knew that innocent people were sent away to aid and abet and bolster and defend Barboza.

In 2007 a federal judge leveled a $101 million verdict against the FBI.

Assets Seizures Are A National Disgrace. Asset Seizures Without Convictions Nullifies The Very Premise Of A Constitutional Republic.

That timing matters a great deal to the plaintiffs in this case, a married couple by the name of Kaley who have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of selling stolen medical supplies. That may sound like a finding of guilt, but in fact grand jury proceedings are a non-adversarial process where the prosecution alone is permitted to call witnesses and present evidence. The suspects have no opportunity at that point to rebut anything the government alleges against them.
In the wake of the grand jury indictments, the federal government moved to freeze the Kaleys’ assets, including their home and a $500,000 certificate of deposit the couple had recently purchased in order to cover the anticipated legal expenses arising from their trial. Put differently, the government has eliminated their ability to pay their lawyer.
Writing for a 6-3 majority, Justice Elena Kagan sided with the government. “The question here presented,” Kagan wrote, is whether the Kaleys have a constitutional right “to contest a grand jury’s prior determination of probable cause to believe they committed the crimes charged. We hold that they have no right to relitigate that finding.”

Don't sell the SEC short unless you work there

"In short, it appears that SEC employees continue to take advantage of non-public information to trade profitably in stocks under their regulatory purview."
Mind you this is the same agency that sent Martha Stewart to prison for insider trading. Technically the SEC investigated Stewart but the US attorney lost the case but managed to send her to jail for lying to the FBI. Anyway it's the thought that counts. It's only wrong when non SEC employees trade on inside information. I wonder if Lois Lerner helps them file their tax returns.

No one is currently charged with insider trading at the SEC. Two scholars, Shivaram Rajgopal, a professor of accounting at Emory University, and Roger White, a doctoral student in accounting at Georgia State University have authored a study that shows SEC employees have an uncommon ability to predict when their employer is about to bring an action against a publicly traded firm and dump their stocks accordingly. The study was constructed using data the authors obtained from a FOIA request. They did not have access to individual account information but where able to discern a strong statistical inference of wrong doing. The researchers could not tell how much certain employees were earning in profits or whether employees with certain kinds of jobs or at certain levels of power were able to make more money.
The table below compares the actions of SEC employees compared to the entire market, in various run-up periods ahead of an enforcement action. The disparity is striking. Thirty days or less before an announcement, for instance, more than 74 percent of trades by employees were sales, versus just half in the total market.

In administrations past we would expect to hear that an immediate criminal investigation had been launched but this is the Obama administration. No ethics, no problem.

Friday, February 28, 2014

How long can the FBI cover up Ibragim Todashev's murder?

I usually do not have much good to write about Rachel Maddow but she is on point with this report. Ibragim Todashev was killed on May 22 of last year, today is the first of March and all the public knows has come from sources from outside the FBI. As Maddow notes there has been little reporting on this story. No NYT editorials prompting candor, no Fox News interviews with masked informants, not even an admonishment to dump all firearms into Hudson River from Piers Morgan. Maddow is the sole responsible television personality speaking on this subject and that is scary.

When the FBI uses other federal agencies to deport witnesses it is stepping dangerously close to criminal conspiracy.

7 Memorable Attacks On The Tea party From The Mainstream Media

I disagree that these are the worst media attacks but they all deserve another look.

But rather than treat the Tea Party as a standard protest movement, the American media closed ranks with the left and spent much of the last five years attacking them. The Tea Party has been called “racist,” “homophobic,” “terrorists” and “wingnuts.” It has also been accused of causing “economic destruction.” The media tried to link Tea Partiers to the attack on then-Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords, D-Ariz., and the Aurora theater shooting.

"Howard" Meets Alan Simpson

The president told them that he would take no action on any of the Commission's recommendations and explained his rationale in the following way - prior to his re-election and probably after his re-election he would do nothing. Simply put it was a pure political decision. He stated that to accept reductions in the growth of entitlements would alienate his base and he would only look at the tax increase side of the recommendations after the election. He further added that to accept the recommendations would give the Republicans a victory as seen by the voters and he was not ever going to do that now or ever. He was adamant that he wanted more spending and more taxes and that he would pursue that course throughout his administration until his last day in office.

Stunned by that answer, Bowles asked him if he would do what's right for the country and exert some leadership to save the nation's fiscal future. Obama's response was that he would let the next president worry about the spending and debt, but he was going to spend and tax and re-distribute wealth throughout his term.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Geithner threatened S&P 5 minutes after meeting with Obama

Maybe if the DOJ would drop the case it could avoid another scandal. On January 23 I reported in a post that then Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner called Harold McGraw III, CEO of McGraw Hill, the parent company of Standard and Poor and in effect promised McGraw that there would be consequences for S&P's downgrade of US debt. I quoted an affidavit filed by McGraw Hill who is defending itself of wrong doing leading up to the mortgage meltdown of 2008.
Mr. Geithner expressed anger at the downgrade. In the course of our
discussion, he referred to an asserted two trillion dollar error in S&P’s work, an error that he had
described in various discussions with the media following the announcement of the downgrade.
Having been briefed on the issue by S&P personnel in the wake of those statements by Mr.
Geithner, I explained to him that in relying on Congressional Budget Office figures, as it had,
S&P had not made an error. Mr. Geithner said that S&P had made a huge error and that “you are
accountable for that.” He added that S&P had a previous history of errors and that this was not
the first mistake it had made.
As I reported contemporaneously to my colleagues, he said that “you have
done an enormous disservice to yourselves and to your country”, that the U.S. economy was bad
and that the downgrade had done real damage. S&P’s conduct would be “looked at very carefully” he said. Such behavior could not occur, he said, without a response from the government.
Now attorneys for McGraw Hill contend that Geithner made the call 5 minutes after leaving the Oval Office where he had met with Obama. The lawyers contend that they gathered the information by examining Geithner’s public schedule. They also contended that the timing of the Obama-Geithner conference could support the idea that they were singled out for retaliation and they want White House records. The DOJ said that S&P’s request for White House records was a “fishing expedition” and urged U.S. District Judge David Carter to deny the rating company’s request to force the government to hand over the information.
Very few public companies have had the nerve to stand up to the Obama Administration let alone accuse it of malfeasance. Here's hoping!

Greenpeace founder calls climate change part extreme political ideology and part religious cult

This updates an earlier post I wrote about Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore who calls global warming, if true, a blessing. He appeared on the Sean Hannity Show last night.

A Kennedy Without Tears-not in our lifetime

Will the defendant please cry us a river? Maybe it's part of the Kennedy curse. I'm referring to the family's well know propensity to drive under the influence and leave the scene of the accident. At her trial the niece of the hero of Chappaquiddick wasted no time taking the jury back to Camelot. Never mind that her childhood had nothing to do with the charges against her.
Coyly her lawyer asked her to explain why she grew up in Virginia, as if anyone gives a damn. “Daddy was the attorney general during the civil rights movement and then a senator", explained Kerry Kennedy.
Then more biography; “I have 10 brothers and sisters. My mother raised us because my father died when I was 8,” she said. Her lawyer, Gerald Lefcourt, asked how her father died.
“He was killed while running for president,” she reminded the jurors.
One supposes a more aggressive prosecutor would have asked the sainted defendant why she, a mother of three, had an extramarital affair with a polo player while she was married to Governor Cuomo but the jurors probably already know that adultery is also part of the Kennedy legacy and the case boils down as to why she couldn't read a prescription label. Kennedy claims she accidentally took Ambien thinking it was thyroid medication.
Getting to the nitty gritty Kennedy would gladly plead to the leaving the scene charge but the driving under influence of drugs rap, although only a misdemeanor, could hamper her international travel and impair the invaluable work she is doing for the oppressed people of the world. Yes, the poor would be ones who would suffer if she is convicted. Again, please cry us a river.

Trouble In Workers' Paradise Department

This is a good piece because it is written from a leftist perspective. The reporter in clearly sympathetic to Hugo and his band of thugs. One might even call him an apologist.

But the literally billions of dollars that have “disappeared” in recent years, and the extraordinary wealth accumulated by leading Chavistas, are the clearest signs that their interests have prevailed. At the same time, the institutions of popular power have largely withered on the vine. The promises of community control, of control from below, of a socialism that benefited the whole population, have proved to be hollow.

Darn! Who could have seen money vanishing in thin air if we put a bunch of thugs in control? There is no precedent for such an atrocity.

What has emerged in Venezuela is a new bureaucratic class who are themselves the speculators and owners of this new and failing economy. Today, as the violence increases, they are to be seen delivering fierce speeches against corruption and wearing the obligatory red shirt and cap of Chavismo.

How do you say 'apparatchik' in Spanish?

The answer is political rather than economic: corruption on an almost unimaginable scale, combined with inefficiency and a total absence of any kind of economic strategy. In recent weeks, there have been very public denunciations of speculators, hoarders, and the smugglers taking oil and almost everything else across the Colombian border. And there have been horrified reports of the “discovery” of thousands of containers of rotting food. But all of this has been common knowledge for years. Equally well known is the involvement of sectors of the state and government in all these activities.

Hugo's good works continue long after his passing.

How is it possible that a country with the world’s largest proven reserves of oil (and possibly of gas, too) should now be deeply in debt to China and unable to finance the industrial development that Chavez promised in his first economic plan?

How is it possible? Failure on this scale takes effort and work and above all else,  commitment. 

All of this is an expression of an economic crisis vigorously denied by the Maduro government but obvious to everyone else. Inflation is caused by the declining value of the bolivar, Venezuela’s currency, itself the result of economic paralysis. The truth is that production of anything other than oil has ground to a virtual halt. The car industry employs 80,000 workers, yet since the beginning of 2014 it has produced 200 vehicles — what would normally be produced in half a day.

Did Chevy move a Volt factory to Venezuela?
And the achievements pile up right before our eyes.

It was a clear expression of the growing frustration and anger among Chavez supporters. 2012 had seen inflation rates hovering around fifty percent (officially) and the level has risen inexorably throughout the last year. Today the basic basket of goods costs 30% more than the minimum wage — and that is if the goods are to be found on the increasingly empty shelves of shops and supermarkets. The shortages are explained partly by speculation on the part of capitalists — just as happened in Chile in 1972 — and partly by the rising cost of imports, which make up a growing proportion of what is consumed in Venezuela. And that means not luxuries, but food, basic technology, and even gasoline.

If you are nostalgic for the days when American leftists excused every action of the Soviet Union (They were Russian peasants not Ivy Leaguers. Cut them some slack) you will enjoy this analysis. The ghost of Hugo is still with us.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Greenpeace founder is a climate change denier

We find climate change deniers showing up in the damnedest place these days. Testifying before a Senate committee Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore stated, “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years."
You owe it to yourself to read Moore's entire prepared testimony. Sample this;
The increase in temperature between 1910-1940 was virtually identical to the increase between 1970-2000. Yet the IPCC does not attribute the increase from 1910-1940 to “human influence.” They are clear in their belief that human emissions impact only the increase “since the mid-20th century”. Why does the IPCC believe that a virtually identical increase in temperature after 1950 is caused mainly by “human influence”, when it has no explanation for the nearly identical increase from 1910-1940?

THUGs: The Helpful Union Guys

SEIU is not the only union to fall victim to a RICO indictment. Iron Workers local 401 in Philly has had a long tradition of violence and intimidation. Surprisingly, the Obama DOJ has put its foot down.

Members used arson, vandalism, sabotage and occasional violence to retaliate against those who chose to use non-union workers, the indictment says. Local 401 members were also allegedly behind the arson attack on a Quaker meeting house just days before Christmas 2012, which resulted in $500,000 in damage. The indictment also accuses two ironworkers of participating in a 2010 baseball-bat assault on non-union workers building a Toys R Us store in King of Prussia.

Kudos to the National Review for their ongoing investigation into this matter. My opinion is that alternative media spend too much time with opinion and not enough time on investigative journalism. Then again, the MSM has largely abandoned investigative journalism.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kasparov dings Obama

No wonder the media doesn't dote on him.

Let's do it for the landscapers

Supposedly Alex Sink is a pretty shrewd campaigner. She ran well against Rick Scott for Governor of Florida, losing by about 1 percent of the vote. Early voting has already begun and a poll commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce shows her slightly behind Republican David Jolly 42% to 44%. Why in the world she would make such a statement? If we don't pass immigration reform we won't have landscapers or maids?! Was that calculated to woo the middle class vote?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

NOAA versus The Farmers' Almanac-The unsettling uncertainty of settled science

Last fall the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that temperatures would be above normal from November through January across much of the Lower 48 states. Okay, long rang weather forecasting is at best a tricky business even when approached objectively but when the forecasters rely on "settled science" it's time to switch channels.

Jason Samenow of the Washington Post who must fancy himself as the gatekeeper of the settled science society was quick to pounce upon what he perceived as heresy with a post he may want to forget, The Farmers’ Almanac outrageous forecast: a frigid, snowy winter and stormy Super Bowl. OMG! What will those flat earthers think of next? I'll post a few quotes from Mr Samenow for you to read while you watch him bleed out.
If you believe it, residents of the Plains to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast may want to start stocking up on warm weather gear, snow shovels, and salt right now! The Farmers’ Almanac is calling for a “bitterly cold” winter for much of the region.
He is just getting warmed up.
The decision to make MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands home for the Super Bowl was a controversial one. Critics say cold could make for an uncomfortable fan experience and a storm could be a nightmare for travelers. In early February, cold snaps and snowstorms are common in the region.
Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco called the cold weather Super Bowl concept “stupid” .
Flacco may be considered a genius if the Farmers’ Almanac forecast is right.
“…fans, players, and travelers alike may want to leave a few days early and pack extra warm, waterproof weather gear,” the Almanac’s press release advises.
(It’s a nice coincidence the Super Bowl occurs on Groundhog Day. The rodent and Farmers’ Almanac have about the same forecasting credibility…)
I wouldn't go so far as to call Joe Flacco a genius but in hindsight he looks smarter than NOAA and Samenow.
Let me state emphatically that no one – with any degree of accuracy – can predict the specific days when cold snaps or storms will occur months in advance.
True. They missed it by 6 hours! The New York Daily News headline reads;

Winter storm hits New York City area just 6 hours after Super Bowl ends — and much more snow on the way.

Close enough for government work?