This is the only article I’ve read about organizing that’s really worth a hill of beans. Read it, try it!
My God, I can’t believe how many people they’ve packed into the square. All those banner and flags waving — would you see that kind of enthusiasm in this country for anything that wasn’t a sporting event?
I was worried when I went to sleep, because they talked about tanks surrounding the square — but it looks like the army might be there to protect the demonstrators.
The House Republicans are back in charge, and that means no ethical violations will ever be found among the party faithful. As a reporter, I occasionally had to work on these ethics stories, and it’s the same as it ever was: There is literally almost nothing congress critters can’t get away with:
The House Ethics Committee issued a report last month with evidence that campaign donors were offered one-on-one meetings with Members of Congress, that senior Congressional staff participated in nearly every fundraising activity a Member conducted, and that a lobbyist discussed both a legislative concern and a fundraising event with a Member’s chief of staff.
The committee found nothing wrong with any of it.
Although the House Ethics Manual forbids the use of official resources to support campaign or political activities, the case of the three lawmakers who came under scrutiny demonstrates how closely intermingled those activities can sometimes be.
Last month, the Ethics Committee issued a report on the fundraising efforts of Reps. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Tom Price (R-Ga.) and John Campbell (R-Calif.) and concluded that, contrary to the judgment of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, “each Member’s fundraising activities raised no appearances of impropriety. Nor did they violate any law or other applicable standards of conduct in connection with their fundraising activities.”
The OCE, reviewing the same facts, had concluded that some of the fundraising activities the Members had engaged in “gave the appearance that special treatment or access was provided to donors or that contributions were linked to an official act.”
[...] For example, the committee report includes e-mails from Crowley’s fundraising consultant thanking a financial industry lobbyist “for helping out Crowley for Congress and JOE PAC” and offering times and dates when the Congressman is available for a one-on-one meeting. Similarly, a fundraiser for Campbell sent an e-mail to a corporate donor asking for a contribution and noting that “Congressman Campbell wanted me to see if you are available to do a 1-on-1 coffee or lunch with him. He prefers these to big events. Is there any way you can do $1k or even $500 to help him out?”
The invitation included a broad window of times the Congressman would be available during two weeks Congress was in session.
In an interview with Roll Call, Campbell spokesman Chris Bognanno defended the meetings, saying “these coffees are not just one-on-one and the vast majority are not with donors — the Congressman likes coffee. He likes to go to coffee houses and drink coffee.” The meetings “are both of an official nature and of a political nature. … They are one-on-one or two-on-one or a group will come and talk to him” about an issue, and on some occasions “there are some that are fundraising that are set up with the fundraiser.”
I think we can safely say that the preponderance of the evidence indicates that the Wall St. bankers are an outright criminal class. Does anyone other than Jamie “bankers, bankers, bankers” Dimon still say otherwise? It’s time we stopped talking about whether they’re criminals and started insisting that these people go to jail:
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. ignored or dismissed warning signs about the Madoff fraud even as it earned hundreds of millions of dollars from its relationship with his firm, according to a lawsuit unsealed Thursday.
J.P. Morgan Chase stood “at the very center” of Bernard Madoff’s fraud, according to a lawsuit unsealed Thursday. Michael Rothfeld has details.
The $6.4 billion lawsuit, filed in federal bankruptcy court, claims that bankers at J.P. Morgan discussed the possibility that Bernard Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme, worried that a firm of such size was audited by a storefront accountant and called his returns “too good to be true.”
“While numerous financial institutions enabled Madoff’s fraud, JPMC was at the very center of that fraud, and thoroughly complicit in it,” according to the 115-page lawsuit, filed under seal in December by Irving Picard, the trustee seeking to recover money for Mr. Madoff’s victims and made public on Thursday.
J.P. Morgan said in a statement that the lawsuit “is meritless and is based on distortions of both the relevant facts and the governing law.” The bank said it “did not know about or in any way become a party to the fraud orchestrated by Bernard Madoff.”
The complaint seeks the return of nearly $1 billion in J.P. Morgan’s profits and fees, and $5.4 billion in damages. It goes into great detail about the bank’s alleged efforts, starting in about 2006, to make money by offering products tied to Mr. Madoff through investment funds that fed money to him.
J.P. Morgan only reported its suspicions of Mr. Madoff to British authorities in late October 2008, two months before he surrendered, the lawsuit said. In a suspicious activity report filed with Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, the bank said the performance of Mr. Madoff’s investments appeared to be “too good to be true—meaning that it probably is.”
Even that warning was made in passing, the lawsuit said. It came after a London employee of J.P. Morgan was threatened while trying to redeem the bank’s money from a Madoff-related fund by a fund employee who mentioned having “Colombian friends” who could “cause havoc,” adding, “we know where to find you.”
You know, people aren’t logical, or fair, or even sane most of the time. I rest my case: Dan Snyder? The most ethnically insensitive man in the NFL? (And God knows, that’s a high bar.) From Above The Bar:
This is rich. The owner of the Washington R******s, Dan Snyder, has sued the Washington City Paper for a column he claims defamed him and used anti-Semitic imagery. That’s right, the man who has famously defended his right to name an entire football team after an ethnic slur is playing the ethnic card because a columnist made fun of him.
The kicker is that on top of this amazing execution of rank hypocrisy, Snyder manages to insult all Jews who have actually dealt with anti-Semitism by coming up with an ethnic offense where none existed. The columnist wasn’t making Jewish jokes or playing off of Jewish stereotypes. He was calling Dan Snyder a terrible owner and a shady dude. Saying he was a victim of anti-Semitism degrades the term and make this entire lawsuit look like the petulant reaction of a narcissistic millionaire.As Dennis Green might say: Daniel Snyder is who we thought he was….
Here are the basics of the lawsuit, from ESPN:
Snyder filed the lawsuit against the weekly paper and its parent company, Atalaya Capital management LP, in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday. The suit seeks at least $1 million in damages for each of the two causes of action, plus punitive damages.
The cover story entitled “The Crazy R******s Fan’s Guide to Dan Snyder,” has an altered photo of the owner with horns and a beard drawn in pen. The suit claims the weekly newspaper used “lies, half-truths, innuendo and anti-Semitic imagery to smear, malign, defame and slander” Snyder.
It works for Netanyahu, right? Everyone knows America won’t actually make them do anything.
This is one of my very favorite songs. Ben Folds Five: