Posts tagged occupywallstreet
4:12 pm - Mon, Nov 28, 2011
53 notes

A federal judge in New York on Monday threw out a settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Citigroup over a 2007 mortgage derivatives deal, saying that the S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations did not satisfy the law.

The judge, Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan, ruled that the S.E.C.’s $285 million settlement, announced last month, is “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest” because it does not provide the court with evidence on which to judge the settlement.

The ruling could throw the S.E.C.’s enforcement efforts into chaos, because a majority of the fraud cases and other actions that the agency brings against Wall Street firms are settled out of court, most often with a condition that the defendant does not admit that it violated the law while also promising not to deny it.

That condition gives a company or individual an advantage in subsequent civil litigation for damages, because cases in which no facts are established cannot be used in evidence in other cases, like shareholder lawsuits seeking recovery of losses or damages.

The S.E.C.’s policy — “hallowed by history, but not by reason,” Judge Rakoff wrote — creates substantial potential for abuse, the judge said, because “it asks the court to employ its power and assert its authority when it does not know the facts.”

The S.E.C. did not respond immediately to a request for comment on the judge’s decision, which was released Monday morning. A Citigroup spokesman said the company was studying the decision and had no immediate comment.

The New York Times, “Judge Blocks Citigroup Settlement With S.E.C.”

“…the S.E.C.’s policy of settling cases by allowing a company to neither admit nor deny the agency’s allegations did not satisfy the law.”

Fucking A.

(via inothernews)

(via randomactsofchaos)

9:36 am - Tue, Nov 22, 2011
254 notes
abaldwin360:

Scumbag Newt
10:31 am - Sat, Nov 19, 2011
99 notes

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

sarahlee310:

Lobbying Firm’s Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street

A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.

According to the memo, if Democrats embrace OWS, “This would mean more than just short-term political discomfort for Wall Street. … It has the potential to have very long-lasting political, policy and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The memo also suggests that Democratic victories in 2012 should not be the ABA’s biggest concern. “… (T)he bigger concern,” the memo says, “should be that Republicans will no longer defend Wall Street companies.”

Two of the memo’s authors, partners Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, previously worked for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Geduldig joined CLGC before Boehner became speaker;  Cranford joined CLGC this year after serving as the speaker’s assistant for policy. A third partner, Steve Clark, is reportedly “tight” with Boehner, according to a story by Roll Call that CLGC features on its website. 

Jeff Sigmund, an ABA spokesperson, confirmed that the association got the memo. “Our Government Relations staff did receive the proposal – it was unsolicited and we chose not to act on it in any way,” he said in a statement to “Up.”

CLGC did not return calls seeking comment.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel declined to comment on the memo. But he responded to its characterization of Republicans as defenders of Wall Street by saying, “My understanding is that President Obama is the single largest recipient of donations from Wall Street.”

The CLGC memo raises another issue that it says should be of concern to the financial industry — that OWS might find common cause with the Tea Party. “Well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where OWS protestors and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism,” the memo says. “…This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”

The memo outlines a 60-day plan to conduct surveys and research on OWS and its supporters so that Wall Street companies will be prepared to conduct a media campaign in response to OWS. Wall Street companies “likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause,” according to the memo.  “A big challenge is to demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost.”  

Part of the plan CLGC proposes is to do “statewide surveys in at least eight states that are shaping up to be the most important of the 2012 cycle.”

Specific races listed in the memo are U.S. Senate races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada as well as the gubernatorial race in North Carolina.

The memo indicates that CLGC would research who has contributed financial backing to OWS, noting that, “Media reports have speculated about associations with George Soros and others.”

“It will be vital,” the memo says, “to understand who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show that they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way.”

(via Up with Chris Hayes)

3:08 pm - Fri, Nov 18, 2011
123 notes
cartoonpolitics:

Oh yes .. there’s absolutely no doubt about that ..

cartoonpolitics:

Oh yes .. there’s absolutely no doubt about that ..

(via randomactsofchaos)

10:59 am
16 notes

The NYPD has discredited itself — Tough tactics and intolerance favor the rich and flout the rule of law

abaldwin360:

BY MICHAEL TRACEY | salon.com

As Occupy Wall Street grew, the New York Police Department’s “crowd control” tactics became increasingly bizarre and aggressive: historic mass arrests, motor scooter attacks, destruction of booksramming horses into demonstrators, putting New York Post reporters in choke holds – to name only a few.  And following Tuesday’s brazen raid of Zuccotti Park, carried out in the dead of night, the NYPD indicated that de-escalation is not on the horizon. Quite the opposite, in fact. Police officials at the highest ranks, under the direction of Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, have taken to simply making up the rules as they go along.

[FULL STORY]

(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

10:30 am
51 notes
Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
Harry S. Truman (via abaldwin360)

(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

3:23 pm - Thu, Nov 17, 2011
4 notes

theamericanbear:

Ear Splitting Pain Compliance Device | digby

In case you were wondering about the effects of an LRAD, read this report from the ACLU from last month:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of Karen Piper, a bystander who suffered permanent hearing loss after Pittsburgh police deployed a Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) against protestors during the 2009 G-20 Summit. An LRAD emits harmful, pain-inducing sounds over long distances. Developed for use by the military, LRAD technology had never before been used against US civilians.

"Police departments should not be using weapons built for the military on civilian protesters," said Witold Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania "As this case shows, the LRAD cannot be controlled to prevent serious harm to innocent bystanders. Collateral harm to innocents may be justifiable in wartime, but not to quell protesters who overturned a couple of trash dumpsters."

On September 24, 2009, Piper, then a visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon University, decided to observe G-20 protests in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood as research for her book on globalization issues and the responses of bodies like the G-20 to protest activity. She arrived at Arsenal Park around 10 a.m. and saw protestors calmly and peacefully milling around the area. After the protest began, Piper walked on the sidewalk a short distance from the marching protesters, in the company of other curiosity seekers and journalists. When Piper became concerned about rapidly increasing police activity, she tried to leave the area. As she was walking away, police officers activated, suddenly and without warning, an LRAD a short distance away from her. It emitted a continuous piercing sound lasting several minutes.[…]

The LRAD, a distance hailing and crowd control device, was originally developed in response to the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in October 2000 and was intended to be used by American warships to warn incoming vessels approaching without permission. Among other things, it emits harmful, pain-inducing sounds over long distances.

According to Walczak, local ear doctors reported that they treated a fair number of people, including Pittsburgh police officers, for hearing and other ear problems in the wake of the LRAD deployment. The ACLU-PA will use the discovery process to learn more about the extent of the harms caused by the LRAD, to police and others. […]

Yet another pain compliance device in use against American citizens. The good news is that the intense pain it causes anyone in the vicinity is “harmless.” Except when it causes permanent damage. […]

But still, as a spokesman for the company said:

If you stand right next to it for several minutes, you could have hearing damage,” he said. “But it’s your choice.”

See? You have a choice. You can just not protest. If you do, expect torture and possible permanent damage. That’s what being free is all about.

2:17 pm - Wed, Nov 16, 2011
87 notes
abaldwin360:

Look at the mess those protesters left behind.

abaldwin360:

Look at the mess those protesters left behind.

(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

11:25 am
375 notes

sarahlee310:

Robert Reich: Occupiers Occupied: The Hijacking of the First Amendment

robertreich:

A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum. According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted. 

First things first. The Supreme Court’s rulings that money is speech and corporations are people have now opened the floodgates to unlimited (and often secret) political contributions from millionaires and billionaires. Consider the Koch brothers (worth $25 billion each), who are bankrolling the Tea Party and already running millions of dollars worth of ads against Democrats. 

Such millionaires and billionaires aren’t contributing their money out of sheer love of country. They have a more self-interested motive. Their political spending is analogous to their other investments. Mostly they want low tax rates and friendly regulations. 

Wall Street is punishing Democrats for enacting the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation (weak as it is) by shifting its money to Republicans. The Koch brothers’ petrochemical empire has financed, among many other things, candidates who will vote against environmental protection.

This tsunami of big money into politics is the real public nuisance. It’s making it almost impossible for the voices of average Americans to be heard because most of us don’t have the dough to break through. By granting First Amendment rights to money and corporations, the First Amendment rights of the rest of us are being trampled on. 

This is where the Occupiers come in. If there’s a core message to the Occupier movement it’s that the increasing concentration of income and wealth poses a grave danger to our democracy. 

Yet  when Occupiers seek to make their voices heard — in one of the few ways average people can still be heard — they’re told their First Amendment rights are limited. 

The New York State Court of Appeals along with many mayors and other officials say Occupiers can picket — but they can’t encamp. Yet it’s the encampments themselves that have drawn media attention (along with the police efforts to remove them). 

A bunch of people carrying pickets isn’t news. When it comes to making views known, picketing is no competition for big money .

Yet if Occupiers now shift tactics from passive resistance to violence, it would spell the end of the movement. The vast American middle class that now empathizes with the Occupiers would promptly desert them. 

But there’s another alternative. If Occupiers are expelled from specific geographic locations the Occupier movement can shift to broad-based organizing around the simple idea at the core of the movement: It’s time to occupy our democracy.

10:53 am
299 notes

#OWS This May Not Be What A Police State Looks Like, But It’s Certainly How One Begins

abaldwin360:

by WashingtonsBlog

Police State Tactics On Display Nationwide

In the last couple of days, police at Occupy protests:

The Guardian’s Laura Pennie notes:

Law enforcement is there to protect a wealthy elite from the rest of the population

***

A teenage girl holds a hastily written sign saying: “NYPD, we trusted you – you were supposed to protect us!”

***

The sentiment is a familiar one. Across Europe, over a year of demonstrations, occupations and civil disobedience, anti-austerity protesters have largely shifted from declaring solidarity with the police – as fellow workers whose jobs and pensions are also under threat – to outrage and anger at state violence against unarmed protesters. Following last month’s police brutality in Oakland, and today’s summary eviction of the Occupy Wall Street camp, American activists too are reaching the conclusion that “police protect the 1%”.

“Who do you guys work for?” Shouts one Manhattan protester, as police load arrestees into a van. “You work for JP Morgan Bank!”

And the Washington Post’s James Downie writes:

As hard as the NYPD and New York City’s government might try to obscure the truth though, one truth remains: At 1 a.m. this morning, in the heart of New York City, protesters exercising their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly were swept away by the state, while that state also did all it could to prevent media coverage. No matter what one may think of the occupiers or their cause, nothing they’ve done justifies blockading the press or ignoring court orders. Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and other New York leaders who ordered the eviction should take a long, hard look at their handling of the occupation. This morning’s action may not be what a police state looks like, but it’s certainly how one begins.

[SOURCE]

(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

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