If you are looking for a hilarious, short video to end the workweek with…look no further! Nothing sums up the state of disorder in the the union like watching Attorney General Eric Holder stumble when confronted on his incompetence and cronyism by the almost equally corrupt Congress. Let’s cut the guy some slack though, he was probably too busy prosecuting banker crimes to be bothered with such trivial matters…
So there are two bills under consideration in the Texas state legislature that could represent a huge victory for champions of privacy against the national surveillance state. As such, we need to spread the word to as many people as possible and provide support to the activists in Texas that are leading the charge. Obama’s ridiculously authoritarian Department of Justice believes that regular citizens have no expectation of privacy if we carry a GPS device on our cellphones. Free human beings beg to differ. From Slate:
According to the Department of Justice, cellphone users can be tracked without a warrant because “no reasonable expectation of privacy” applies to location data. But lawmakers in Texas disagree—and are proposing strict new tracking regulations that could place the state at the forefront of nationwide efforts to rein in government surveillance.
Two identical bills filed at the end of last month in the state House and Senate propose a series of amendments to the Texas code of criminal procedure. The bills, submitted by Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, and Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, would in all but exceptional cases require law enforcement agencies to get a search warrant to obtain cellphone location information—whether the phone is being tracked in real-time or retrospectively.
Obama’s nominee to head the SEC, Mary Jo White, is just another gatekeeper appointed to make sure no one ever goes after the Wall Street crime syndicate. As I have written about many times in the past, Obama does not nominate anyone to a high position of power in government who will not behave like a good little lapdog for Wall Street.
Despite Obama’s propagandist statement about how “you don’t want to mess with Mary Jo,” her background implies she will function as a useful servant to the financial oligarchs. Forget for a second about that fact at her recent firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP her clients included the usual suspects such as such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), and UBS AG, but she is actually known as the prosecutor who popularized the “slap Wall Street on the wrist” approach. From Bloomberg:
As Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor during the 1990s, Mary Jo White could have sought the corporate equivalent of the death penalty: indicting Prudential Securities Inc. for fraudulently marketing $8 billion in ruinous energy partnerships to small investors.
Instead, Prudential’s attorneys pressed White, who had earned notice as an aggressive litigator in terrorism and organized crime cases, to consider something less punitive. She ultimately accepted, agreeing to a $330 million fine and placing Prudential on probation, allowing it to avoid criminal charges.
White’s record on white-collar cases reveals a more practical streak. Her invention of corporate probation, or deferred prosecution, in the Prudential matter was later copied by scores of U.S. attorneys seeking punishment for a company without going to trial.
“Practical” means having no balls and laying down to Wall Street crimes.
This is a great talk with the civil libertarian and defense attorney Harvey Silverglate. He is the same person that was mentioned in my recent post: A Broken Justice System: “Most Americans Commit About Three Felonies a Day.” This video is not just for those that fear they may one day be paid a visit by the Feds, but it is important for all of us to be aware of how the system works and just how shady these characters can be. Land of the free!
Ever heard of a Form 302? If not, definitely take the time to watch.
Good thing everyone is now distracted and divided on the whole gun debate so the banksters can once again get off with a slap on the wrist for financial crimes against humanity. For those that have forgotten what LIBOR is, I wrote about it in my piece My Two Cents on LIBOR-GATE. This is how the CFTC itself described LIBOR this summer:
The American public and our markets rely upon the integrity of benchmark interest rates like LIBOR and Euribor because they form the basis for hundreds of trillions of dollars of transactions and affect nearly every corner of the global economy,” said David Meister, the CFTC’s Director of Enforcement.
Now here is the punishment for rigging the most important interest rate in the world. From the NY Times:
It has also charged two former UBS traders with crimes that include conspiracy, wire fraud and violation of antitrust laws. The subsidiary will pay a $100 million fine, and the traders, if extradited and convicted, could go to jail. But the deal leaves UBS itself relatively unscathed. In all, it will pay $1.5 billion to settle allegations of rate-rigging that span nearly a decade and implicate the bank and its bankers far beyond the wrongdoing of two rogue traders.
According to the investigation by the Financial Services Authority, the British regulator, 40 individuals at UBS, including 11 managers, were directly involved in rate-rigging that was carried out to boost trading profits, while at least two more managers and five senior managers were aware of the practice.