Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

We have written on multiple occasions about the illegal activities of Big Banks and Wall Street financial firms as well as their penchant to repeat their offenses.  It now seems that a State regulator and two Federal prosecutors may have finally come to the conclusion that many Big Banks are not only continuing their illegal practices, but that they may have hid information during prior investigations into their allegedly shady dealings.

While I am glad that at least two Federal prosecutors may be putting the heat on some of the repeat offenders by extending their deferred prosecution agreements and opening new investigations and taking a second look at past investigations, my first response is what took them so long?

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

It never ceases to amaze me that the heads of major corporations and officers of those companies just never seem to go to jail when the corporation’s fingers are caught in the cookie jar.  We saw two separate examples of that concept this week.  One example is simply a case of corporate greed at employees expense and the other is a brutal and deadly tragedy that caught up the corporate employees, but not their bosses.

In the past, I have written about banks getting away with fines and financial penalties for committing crimes, but today the focus is on two corporations in two different areas of endeavor.  I am referring to the corporation formerly known as Blackwater and Electronics for Imaging (EFI).  Blackwater as you may recall was in the private security and intelligence gathering business with many government clients, while EFI is a Silicon Valley tech firm with earnings of over $100 million in 2013.  They both have one thing in common.  They broke the law and one got a slap on the wrist and the CEO and founder of the other and his fellow corporate officers avoided any culpability in a brutal murder case. (more…)

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

Fascinating book out by NPR media reporter, David Folkenflik, entitled Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires that explores the strange world of publisher Rupert Murdoch. Gobbler of such English-speaking newspapers as The News of The World, The Sun, The Wall Street Journal, and The Times, Murdoch is mostly known for his media collaboration with Roger Ailes in the development and promotion of Fox News, the Right’s mouthpiece of choice. Until his inglorious dismount from credibility in the London Phone Hacking scandal where a Murdoch newspaper employee was convicted of hacking the telephone voice mails of murdered British teenager, Milly Dowler, Murdoch had personified all that is unseemly about tabloid journalism. The personification of Charles Foster Kane, Murdoch fed the Right the red meat of dissention blending news with opinion and relying on practices that were criticized by honest journalists (even conservative ones) around the world calling it right-leaning tabloidism (here).

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

I have been reading about the latest Breitbart-inspired dire prediction of the nefarious ( and possibly illegal) machinations of the Obama Administration. You know “Green Paper-Gate.” It’s the one where the conservative blog, Breitbart,  reports that a draft solicitation proposal for purchase of green paper issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services definitely means that the Obama Administration is secretly planning a massive amnesty campaign of undocumented aliens. And, worse still,  that it’s keeping that secret until after the mid-term elections as a boon to Democratic candidates. I went back and took a look at the proposal and here is the offending language: “The requirement is for an estimated 4 million cards annually with the potential to buy as many as 34 million cards total. The ordering periods for this requirement shall be for a total of five (5) years.” A draft RFP issued a few days later contains the same language but adds the following: “In addition, the Contractor shall demonstrate the capability to support potential “surge” in PRC and EAD card demand for up to 9M cards during the initial period of performance to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.” You can view the proposal (here) and the RFP (here) and then read all the GSA bureaucratic verbiage for yourself. Have a good time.

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1408390089660_Image_galleryImage_Officer_DARREN_WILSON_pic1408392017717_Image_galleryImage_Piaget_Crenshaw_who_livesA former Missouri police chief is publicly saying that the Justice Department is actively leaking reports that it has found insufficient evidence to support federal charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. There is certainly a long and controversial history of the Justice Department leaking stories to the media to pressure targets or to prepare the public in otherwise secret or confidential investigations. While threatening witnesses and others over any disclosures, the Justice Department does not hesitate to make such leaks for political purposes. The question is whether the recent uptick in leaks is such a campaign. There has been an increase in such stories coming from unnamed Justice sources and former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says that the evidence has supported the officer on a number of points, including a struggle within the cruiser.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

I can still remember the first time I voted in a National election.  I was a young, 18-year-old student and I could finally have a say in who was going to run the country.  It was a proud day for me and the countless other 18 year olds who were also voting for the first time.  I can honestly say that I have not missed voting in any election since.  That includes both primary and general elections.  There wasn’t always a lot to vote for in some of those primaries over the years, but I consider voting a duty, so I made sure that I made it to the polls.

It hasn’t always been easy for all citizens to cast their vote.  Even in my lifetime, the Jim Crow laws of the South made it difficult, at best for African-Americans citizens to register and to cast their ballots.  After years of protests and legal battles, I thought the Jim Crow style of voter suppression was a thing of the past.  It turns out I was wrong.  Very wrong. (more…)

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By Mark Esposito, Weekend Blogger

Good afternoon folks, and welcome to the sports holy day known as NFL Sunday. We mostly all love it. The collisions, the sparkling cheerleaders, the feats of athleticism that would have made an ancient Greek Olympian proud. It’s all there – drama, excitement, pageantry, bright colors and morality. Yep there’s bad boys (think Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens) and good guys (anybody named Manning or Russell Wilson) and there’s music – marching bands, pep bands, loud speakers blaring just about any rap, punk, pop, or country song you like depending on locale. Football is king! Long Live The King!

But the king has had better seasons.

From the professional gladiators to the high school gladiators-in-training, football’s morality play has come off the skids. The carefully cultivated image of athlete as hero that echoes through the centuries from the plains at Marathon to an Olympic stadium in 1936 Berlin overseen by a bad man with a bad mustache, yes, and all the way to modern day techno-proficient, thunder booming, firework blasting sports theatres, Football America is suffering.

Maybe it was avarice or a sense of invulnerability or most likely hubris. All of football was riding high early this year. The NFL was enjoying record profits even having the audacity to ask its halftime acts to pay it for the privilege of sweating it out before millions of Americans at home and in person.  It was pushing the Old Man of US sports, Major League Baseball, from the headlines by moving its pre-season draft of players to prime time in … gasp … May, smack in the middle of  baseball season. The colleges had just finished a game of musical chairs and chicken all at the same time and got the venerable, doting NCAA to approve a bowl championship, an acknowledgment of the 5 Big Boy Conferences, and the shunning of anything approaching governing the Big 5.

Yes football was riding high — but there were signs of looming disasters to come.

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