Extortion: Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder’s record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.
Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation’s largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.
Besides requiring billions in debt forgiveness payments to delinquent borrowers in Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago and other Democrat strongholds — and up to $500 million to cover personal taxes owed on those checks — the deal requires BofA to make billions in new loans, while also building affordable low-income rental housing in those areas.
In effect, lenders are bankrolling the same parasites that bled them for the risky loans that caused the mortgage crisis. With new cash, they can ramp back up their shakedown campaign, repeating the cycle of dangerous political lending that wrecked the economy.
These settlements have little, if anything, to do with “justice” or restitution for innocent victims. In its 30-page “statement of facts,” Justice couldn’t provide a single shred of evidence of fraud against BofA. Nor could it ID a single “victim” by name.
The attorney general is actually perverting justice by extorting billions of dollars from the largest banks in the country and giving it away to the president’s political friends and favorite political causes.
Fred Siegel has a culturally relevant essay “Ferguson fury: Activists, journalists stuck in 1960s racial resentments” on why the riots and protests in Ferguson have little to do with the death of Michael Brown and the “sad drama of resentment and revenge” that “cultivate[s] a community that excels in resentment.”
The American understanding of riots and racial violence was shaped a half-century ago, during the insurrections of the 1960s. To judge by the responses to the current rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, little has changed since then.
After riots have wrought their physical and psychic damage, some invariably declare that the unrest was constructive.
Patricia Bynes, a Democratic committeewoman for Ferguson, rationalized that the events in Ferguson would benefit the entire metropolitan area because, she said, “St. Louis never has had its true race moment, where they had to confront this.”
A “race moment” is where people group together by their race to riot against other races.
She was topped by Missouri Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson, who has been leading the police response in Ferguson. Speaking to a unity rally at a local church, Johnson suggested that, somehow, Brown’s death was “going to make it better for our sons to be better black men.”
Bear in mind that 90% plus of Black killings are by other “black men.”
[...] The virtue of disruption, academics and observers argue, is that it gives African-Americans a crisis with which to bargain. But after 50 years, what has this bargain achieved, except to cultivate a community that excels in resentment?
It’s not just African-Americans who are stuck in the sixties. Reporters are still seeking out the Kerner Commission’s white racists, who are ultimately to blame for all racial problems.
Historians and sociologists are offering structural explanations for the violence; whites in general, and small businesses in particular, have little to say but simply flee to safer climes.
In Ferguson, after a week of unrest that included looting and rioting, we know very little about the incident that resulted in Michael Brown’s death, despite the release of the first pathology report. The officer involved is in seclusion and has given no public statements. The Grand Jury, should one be convened, will likely have only a vague picture of what happened.
When Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012, the media constructed a racial narrative around the case—especially NBC news, which doctored tapes of George Zimmerman’s 911 call. It wasn’t until much later that pictures were shown of Zimmerman’s dark-skinned, Peruvian mother. Had those pictures been publicized earlier, the public might have understood that Trayvon Martin’s tragic death was not an example of a Klan-like murder.
In Ferguson, the media’s preferred narrative—a “gentle giant” of a young black man gunned down for no reason by a racist cop—was short-circuited by a videotape, taken minutes before his death, depicting Michael Brown strong-arming a diminutive store clerk who’d caught him stealing a box of cigarillos.
Deflated, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer described the video as a “smear.” Does he think the tape should have been suppressed?
Riots bring but one certainty—enormous economic and social costs. Businesses flee, taking jobs and tax revenues with them. Home values decline for all races, but particularly for blacks. Insurance costs rise and civic morale collapses. The black and white middle classes move out. [...]
The story is similar in Detroit, which lost half its residents between 1967 and 2000. Civic authority was never restored after the late 1960s riots, which never really ended; they just continued in slow motion. “It got decided a long time ago in Detroit,” explained Adolph Mongo, advisor to the jailed former “hip-hop mayor,” Kwame Kilpatrick, that “the city belongs to the black man. The white man was a convenient target until there were no white men left in Detroit.”
Siegel concludes that it “persists in part because so many journalists and academics, not to mention black activists, have so much invested in it. It’s the conceptual air that they breathe.” [emphasis added]
Siegel goes to on to elaborate and provide clues to what that concept, or philosophical principle is, but he does not explicitly identify it.
The “conceptual air” they breathe, the philosophy that the rioters, community activists, and CNN-MSNBC media clan cling to and hold dear, is racism.
Concord, N.H.—Today the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court for Strafford County and saved the state’s tax-credit scholarship program. The program provides low-income families with education scholarships, which parents may use to send their children to a private school, a tuition-charging public school in a neighboring school district or to pay for homeschooling expenses. The plaintiffs were several state taxpayers who were philosophically opposed to the program. The court held that the plaintiffs lacked the necessary personal injury to challenge the program.
The scholarship money is raised by private scholarship organizations, who may offer local businesses a partial tax credit (85 percent) in exchange for their donations. Since a trial court found aspects of the program unconstitutional in June 2013, parents who wanted to use scholarships at private religious schools have been prevented from participating in the program. Now eligible families will be able to send their children to whatever school they choose.
“This is a great day for parental liberty in New Hampshire,” said Institute for Justice (IJ) Senior Attorney Dick Komer, who represented two families seeking scholarships and the Network for Educational Opportunity (NEO), the state’s only operational scholarship-granting organization. “We are delighted that the Supreme Court recognized that the trial court erred in allowing this case to proceed in the absence of any personal harm suffered by the plaintiffs from the alleged unconstitutionally of the program.”
Tim Keller, Komer’s co-counsel and managing attorney of IJ’s Arizona office, added: “This was a hard-fought battle and we are gratified that the parents have finally prevailed. The plaintiffs’ case and the Superior Court’s decision were based on a relic of anti-Catholic bigotry enshrined in the New Hampshire Constitution in 1877, which they extended beyond its intended scope. This is a victory for all who would live free in New Hampshire!”
The lawsuit was brought by eight taxpayers and a business, who claimed the program violated a provision of the constitution that prohibits the state from appropriating or applying state funds raised by taxation for “the use of the schools or institutions of any sect or denomination.”
IJ Attorney Erica Smith contrasted the lack of personal harm to the plaintiffs with the harm they caused last summer to the participating families, who because of the trial court’s ruling, were unable to use the scholarships: “Without showing, let alone asserting, any actual harm to themselves, these plaintiffs denied priceless educational opportunities to many New Hampshire families, solely because they do not approve of the schools these families had freely chosen. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has ended this infringement of the rights of the participating families.”
Kate Baker, executive director of NEO, said, “We at NEO are thrilled by the decision of the Supreme Court. We are eager to get to work awarding scholarships to low-income families without having to discriminate based on what sort of private school the parents want their children to attend.”
[...] do racially-balanced police forces actually treat their communities any more fairly than those as skewed as Ferguson’s?
From the studies that have been done, however, there’s no conclusive evidence to show that white and black police officers treat suspects differently — if anything, some of the studies show that black officers can be harder on black criminal suspects.
In 2004, for instance, criminologists found in an analysis of observational and survey data from St. Petersburg, Fla., and Indianapolis, Ind., that in resolving conflicts, “black officers are more likely to conduct coercive actions” — which could mean anything from verbal orders to physical confinement — than white officers. A 2006 study of Cincinnati police records concluded that white officers were more likely to arrest suspects than black officers overall — but it also found that black officers were significantly more likely to make an arrest when the suspect was black.
What’s more, polls show that black communities do not necessarily trust police forces more when they are more racially representative. In Washington D.C., according to a 2011 Washington Post poll, the police department got a relatively low 60 percent rating from black residents, despite the fact that the force is highly integrated. The New York Police Department’s demographics are close to those of the rest of the city, but a Quinnipiac poll from 2014 found that only 54 percent of black residents approved of its performance. The Detroit police department is so dominated by African Americans that it’s been sued for discrimination against whites, and yet only 18 percent of black Wayne County residents approved of its work in 2009.
“Open immigration” in the context of capitalism means open to non-criminals and open to non-jidhadists. It does not exclude screening for criminals (those who violate rights), those with contagious diseases, and terrorists.
This is how Yaron Brook and Craig Biddle use the term. (I believe Binswanger is for “open borders” eventually — so I am not sure how he
will handle jihadists).
Those who paint advocates of open immigration, such as Brook, Biddle and Weiner as leaving borders open with no screening (for jihadists and diseases, etc.) are dishonest.
Dr. Brook explicitly states screening is required in his definition of open immigration in his video. Link is here:
Biddle states in his essay on open immigration and individual rights:
“Open immigration does not mean that anyone may enter the country at any location or in any manner he chooses; it is not unchecked or unmonitored immigration. Nor does it mean that anyone who immigrates to America should be eligible for U.S. citizenship–the proper requirements of which are a separate matter. Open immigration means that anyone is free to enter and reside in America–providing that he enters at a designated checkpoint and passes an objective screening process, the purpose of which is to keep out criminals, enemies of America, and people with certain kinds of contagious diseases.2 Such a policy is not only politically right; it is morally right.”
There are many differing arguments for open immigration — each with their different nuances — many of those arguments for open (and closed) immigration are wrong. So be careful when you lump them all together.
Don’t get caught up in the open to everyone vs. closed to everyone dichotomy on this issue. So people be careful when you paint with your overly large brush when demonizing an imagined enemy.
“Mark Zuckerberg is a techie wiz who got lucky one day” — they say while using for free a remarkable achievement created by Zuckerberg (and his talented team).
This is the same parasitical mentality the pirates music and movies, that loots corporations to support third-world dungeons, that agitates for a “living wage,” that compels those who make money to pay fo…r their “free” education, that credits God (but not the doctors) for a successful operation, that announces to the world: “You didn’t build that.”
What surprises me is the good people who remain silent in the face of such spiritual shoplifting. The formula is simple: If you want Creators in your midst, then defend them — give them the credits and rewards they have earned. — Voltaire Press
All anyone needs to know about the Middle East conflict is that the Jews want peace and the Arabs don’t, because the Arabs hate Jews for religious reasons and they want them dead.
Politics, territory – these are just excuses.
Palestinian leaders have had several chances for a two state solution and they have always rejected it because they don’t want a two state solution, and they don’t care about the suffering of their people.
They want all Jews out of there, or dead.
The leader of Hezbollah is on record as saying that he won’t be happy until every Jew on earth is dead.
Once you realise that this is the position then, whatever you think of Israeli security measures, your moral standpoint has to change.
New York’s specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant and the equally storied Bronx High School of Science, along with Brooklyn Technical High School and five smaller schools, have produced 14 Nobel laureates — more than most countries.
For more than 70 years, admission to these schools has been based upon a competitive examination of math, verbal and logical reasoning skills. In 1971, the state legislature, heading off city efforts to scrap the merit selection test as culturally biased against minorities, reaffirmed that admission to the schools be based on the competitive exam.
But now, troubled by declining black and Hispanic enrollment at the schools, opponents of the exam have resurfaced. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has filed a civil-rights complaint challenging the admissions process. A bill in Albany to eliminate the test requirement has garnered the support of Sheldon Silver, the powerful Assembly speaker.
And new Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose son, Dante, attends Brooklyn Tech, has called for changing the admissions criteria. The mayor argues that relying solely on the test creates a “rich-get-richer” dynamic that benefits the wealthy, who can afford expensive test preparation.
As Ting’s story illustrates, however, the reality is just the opposite. It’s not affluent whites, but rather the city’s burgeoning population of Asian-American immigrants — a group that, despite its successes, remains disproportionately poor and working-class — whose children have aced the exam in overwhelming numbers.
And, ironically, the more “holistic” and subjective admissions criteria that de Blasio and the NAACP favor would be much more likely to benefit children of the city’s professional elite than African-American and Latino applicants — while penalizing lower-middle-class Asian-American kids like Ting. The result would not be a specialized high school student body that “looks like New York,” but rather one that looks more like Bill de Blasio’s upscale Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn.
To modern “progressive” elites, though, the story is intolerable, starting with the hard work. These liberal elites seem particularly troubled by the Asian-American work ethic and the difficult questions that it raises about the role of culture in group success.
While the advancement of Asian students has come overwhelmingly at the expense of more affluent whites, it has also had an undeniable impact on black and Latino students, whose foothold at these schools, small to begin with, has all but vanished.
Subjective selection criteria also inevitably favor the affluent and connected — as a comptroller’s audit of the screened-school admissions process revealed. The study found that most of the schools examined did not follow their stated selection criteria and could not explain the criteria that they actually did use.
Critics of the SHSAT will reply that something must be done about declining black and Hispanic enrollment at the specialized high schools. The answer, however, can never be to lower objective standards.
Adopting this cynical approach would do no favors for black and Latino children, while opening the door to discrimination against Asian kids like Ting. It is not the specialized schools’ emphasis on merit, but rather the advocates’ defeatist worldview that is truly — and tragically — wrongheaded.
“Life in Gaza is miserable now, but if Israel is permitted to prevail, circumstances can improve markedly. U.S.- and Canadian-trained security forces of the Palestinian Authority can take over key crossings and patrol Gaza’s porous border with Egypt. Rather than be funneled into Hamas’s war chest, international aid can be transferred directly to the civilian population to repair war damage and stimulate economic growth. Terrorist groups and their state patrons …can be put on notice: The game has changed unalterably.
And by letting Israel regain its security with regard to Gaza — with all the pain it entails — the United States and its allies will be safeguarding their own. Though bitter, the fighting between Israel and Hamas raging in Gaza’s alleyways is merely part of the far vaster struggle between rational nations and the al-Qaeda and Islamic State-like forces seeking their destruction. Relative to that global conflict, Operation Protective Edge may seem small, but it is nevertheless pivotal. To ensure that it concludes with a categorical Israeli win is in the world’s fundamental interest. To guarantee peace, this war must be given a chance.”
MZJ Music is proud to present the world premiere of the BOSTON TEA PARTY OPERA at the 18th annual New York International Fringe Festival – FringeNYC, a production of The Present Company:
New love blooms – and old loyalty dies,
as Sam Adams leads a rebellion
against an Empire’s high taxes, heavy-handedness and invasions of privacy.
A mythic, modern version of the moment Americans discovered their identity as a people.
This epic but accessible music-drama rides the line between traditional opera and modern musical theater. The show features an interracial cast, and touches upon the controversial yet ever-evolving meaning of the term “Tea Party.” The Boston Tea Party Opera invites the audience to compare the patterns of injustice and oppression suffered by the American colonists leading up to the Revolutionary War—and similar patterns unfolding in America today. The comical and satirical elements of the show are directed not at the scrappy Americans, but at those who kneel to the King’s Empire.
Portions of the show were recently presented at StageFest 2014 in Jersey City, and at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum in Boston.
The show is created and directed by Matthew Zachary Johnson, faculty at Mannes College the New School for Music. Johnson is the composer of a body of often-performed works for saxophone, including Scherzo, Grand Sonata, and the instrumental soliloquy Serenade. According to About.com classical guide Aaron Green, “If this is the direction classical music is heading, well, I’d say the future will be full of wonderful music.”
Choreography is a significant part of the show, with poetic gestural dance used to communicate the major events including the Boston Massacre and the culminating Tea Party itself. Choreographer Karen Gayle—an alum of Toronto Dance Theater and Alvin Ailey American Dance Center—serves on the faculty at Steps on Broadway, Ballet Hispanico, and the New Dance Group. She is also the choreographer and host of Deante Dance, a series of modern dance based fitness videos, and Street Fusion, an instructional street jazz and hip hop DVD.
The Boston Tea Party Opera will be premiering at: Venue #13: Sheen Center – THE LORETTO, 18 Bleecker St (at Elizabeth). Show Times: Sat 8/9 @ 8:15pm – opening night! Wed 8/13 @ 4:15pm (talk back following this performance); Sat 8/16 @ Noon; Mon 8/18 @ 4:45pm; Fri 8/22 @ 5:15pm. Tickets: $18 on sale starting July 18. For tickets visit www.FringeNYC.org. For more information about the show, go to www.bostonteapartyopera.com
Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 – April 2011. Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame. The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.
“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to Congressional inquiries. There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.
“Just a short time ago, Commissioner Koskinen promised to produce all Lerner documents. It appears now that was an empty promise. Frankly, these are the critical years of the targeting of conservative groups that could explain who knew what when, and what, if any, coordination there was between agencies. Instead, because of this loss of documents, we are conveniently left to believe that Lois Lerner acted alone. This failure of the IRS requires the White House, which promised to get to the bottom of this, to do an Administration-wide search and production of any emails to or from Lois Lerner. The Administration has repeatedly referred us back to the IRS for production of materials. It is clear that is wholly insufficient when it comes to determining the full scope of the violation of taxpayer rights.”
Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-LA) added, “In the course of the Committee’s investigation, the Administration repeatedly claimed we were getting access to all relevant IRS documents. Only now - thirteen months into the investigation – the IRS reveals that key emails from the time of the targeting have been lost. And they bury that fact deep in an unrelated letter on a Friday afternoon. In that same letter, they urge Congress to end the investigations into IRS wrongdoing. This is not the transparency promised to the American people. If there is no smidgeon of corruption what is the Administration hiding?”
More like deleted.
I wonder what would happen if a citizen told the IRS that all their records were lost in a computer crash? Shame the IRS never heard of making backups. Perhaps they used the computer consultants in charge of running the Obamacare website. Or, perhaps the NSA will have them!
The terrorists who attacked the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 used cell phones, seized from State Department personnel during the attacks, and U.S. spy agencies overheard them contacting more senior terrorist leaders to report on the success of the operation, multiple sources confirmed to Fox News.
The disclosure is important because it adds to the body of evidence establishing that senior U.S. officials in the Obama administration knew early on that Benghazi was a terrorist attack, and not a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video that had gone awry, as the administration claimed for several weeks after the attacks.
Eric Stahl, who recently retired as a major in the U.S. Air Force, served as commander and pilot of the C-17 aircraft that was used to transport the corpses of the four casualties from the Benghazi attacks – then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods – as well as the assault’s survivors from Tripoli to the safety of an American military base in Ramstein, Germany.
In an exclusive interview on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Stahl said members of a CIA-trained Global Response Staff who raced to the scene of the attacks were “confused” by the administration’s repeated implication of the video as a trigger for the attacks, because “they knew during the attack…who was doing the attacking.” Asked how, Stahl told anchor Bret Baier: “Right after they left the consulate in Benghazi and went to the [CIA] safehouse, they were getting reports that cell phones, consulate cell phones, were being used to make calls to the attackers’ higher ups.”
Stahl also contended that given his crew’s alert status and location, they could have reached Benghazi in time to have played a role in rescuing the victims of the assault, and ferrying them to safety in Germany, had they been asked to do so. “We were on a 45-day deployment to Ramstein air base,” he told Fox News. “And we were there basically to pick up priority missions, last-minute missions that needed to be accomplished.”
“You would’ve thought that we would have had a little bit more of an alert posture on 9/11,” Stahl added. “A hurried-up timeline probably would take us [an] hour-and-a-half to get off the ground and three hours and fifteen minutes to get down there. So we could’ve gone down there and gotten them easily.”