Yesterday, three Credit Suisse bankers were charged with fraud by the U.S. Attorney for the S.D.N.Y., Preet S. Bharara, for inflating value of mortgage bonds during financial crisis to inflate their own bonuses. Significantly, two of the three traders pleaded guilty yesterday. As a result, nobody can truthfully utter the line “there have been no Wall Street bankster convictions!” Of course, Wall Street banks like Goldman and Citibank had also entered into settlements with the SEC prior to this, but as a routine practice in such settlements, the banks didn’t admit to any wrongdoing. These successful prosecutions of the Credit Suisse traders are likely to lead to more convictions, as the two who plead guilty are cooperating with the U.S. Attorney. Other investigations are also pending against the Bank of New York Mellon and Deutsche Bank.
I’m sure there will be some critics who will characterize these prosecutions as too little, too late, and remain convinced that this administration simply doesn’t care to enforce criminal laws against the big Wall Street banks. Wrong. Mr. Bharara spoke to this point yesterday, “The number of prosecutions is not a function of resources, effort, commitment or courage. It is a function of the laws, the facts, and the painstaking nature of these investigations.”
For those who want a quick and easy re-election for Barack Obama, the ideal outcome of the Republican primary race is to see the president’s supposedly most formidable rival, Mitt Romney, suffer a slow and painful (and scandalized and mortifying) defeat at the pudgy hands of the GOP’s “pneumatically overstuffed” chief narcissist, Newt Gingrich.
And don’t act like you haven’t pictured it: Newt on stage at the GOP convention in Tampa Bay, swiveling his tractor-tire hips as only a fat man can as “Dancing Queen” blares over the loud speaker; his wife, Jackie BattleyMarianne Ginther Callista Gingrich standing next to him, the skin on her face stretched back and tucked neatly under her bullet-proof platinum blonde helmet, eyes aglow like polished silver dollars placed over the shrunken sockets of a corpse bride, bleached teeth clenched around an invisible key to her husband’s glitchy chastity belt loving heart in a smile that only the editors of Cosmetic Surgery Magazine could say with a straight face was “natural.”
Hanging behind the podium, a red, white, and blue banner spells out the core of this estranged congressman’s presidential platform—“Big Ideas, Child Slavery, No Blacks”—as Gingrich humbly accepts the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nomination, his supporters cheering like drunk pedophiles at a “Little Miss Sunshine” pageant.
Is it that impossible a scenario?
If you look at each candidate’s pros and cons, it’s more than possible.
I couldn’t go to #OccupyMobile. I wanted to, very much, but I was in the hospital. While everyone was taking over parks, setting up tents and camping out in protest of income inequality, I was nearly wasted away in constant pain in a sanitized bed in a room where everything smelled sterile, drowned in antiseptic. Were I able to attend, anyway, it wouldn’t have been for very long – I am in a wheelchair and camping out in a park, getting out of my chair, sleeping on the ground in a cold and dirty tent, even if I could have gone I couldn’t have stayed – I couldn’t have been a part of this. The privilege of being able to forgo thinking about your health, where you might find a place to sleep or even some flat ground to wheel across is a privilege to which I’ve never had access. From the outset I was stuck “participating” in the movement – since I do believe in a lot of its underlying goals – by going online and reading or writing about it.
For a movement that rests on visibility at parks or other open areas, this isn’t much of a way to participate and to feel welcomed.
It’s bigger than ableism, though.
How many black Occupiers have there been? Not too many. We have a so-called justice system in this country that was formulated at the same time our forebears were beginning to dabble in slavery. This system has for centuries worked to arrest and detain blacks and keep them in prison throughout much of their lives. Three strikes laws and the “War on Drugs” have made it necessary for black people to consider every thing they do very carefully so that they don’t upset the ugly institutions the country was built upon and end up in jail one too many times, or under the batons of some angry white cops; even in so-called liberal cities police violence has always been rampant and extensive. Racial violence and fears run deep. Continue reading →
It’s disappointing that Naomi Wolf’s response to my criticism of her November 25 Guardian column – and earlier blog-post — doesn’t address the many misstatements of fact, logical leaps and baseless assertions which I highlighted.
Wolf instead spends much time on a general discussion of heightened federal surveillance and the increased coordination between federal and local law enforcement agencies, which she says I am naïve not to acknowledge, and devotes an enormous amount of space to establishing that federal law enforcement agencies have had some sort of role in at least monitoring the Occupy Movement and offering some guidance to local law enforcement agencies.
Holland’s assessment is spot on. Wolf’s article rambles on for eight pages, and ultimately, doesn’t say anything relevant.
Wolf leads off by criticizing a claim that neither Holland nor any of her critics has never made: that DHS had no involvement with the crackdowns on Occupy Wall Street locations: Continue reading →
[This is a post by friend of ABLC, Vent Casey, III. He has also written for TheGrio.com. You can find him at @vcthree on Twitter or at his blog Cultured State. -ABLxx]
So, in yet another critique of Occupy Wall Street–rather, the criticism of activism that operates in a standard of reductionism, to front with a message of “inclusiveness”, this response I got on Twitter…
“I would just appreciate the people who are standing up for you right now and be happy.”
That led to yet another tiring explanation about race v. class issues, and…sigh…whatever.
Yet, I want to consider that response for a moment: why should I be simply be happy and appreciate people “standing up for me right now”? Why? Because they’re there; because they merely exist?
The people “standing up for me right now” have little but a clue of my challenges and struggles—not just now, but in thirty-two years of breathing on this planet. They haven’t much of an idea of the things I’ve seen and experienced in that lifetime. And as such, I feel no compulsion whatsoever to merely applaud an effort. Many people have made “efforts,” but haven’t finished the deal. I’m past the point of congratulations for “efforts.” You want that? Find the teachers in school who told you that it never mattered what the score was in a game, but that you gave it your best.
Cause I’ll tell you straight out that I’ve given my best, and guess what? Still on the bench.
I called bullshit and Bullshit finally responded: “It’s bullshit.”
Naomi Wolf’s feverish article charging that the crackdowns of occupy locations were being coordinated by federal law enforcement agencies has captured the #OWS collective consciousness.
And, as it turns out, the sole basis for her article — Rick Ellis’s article in Examiner.com — was debunked by Ellis himselfnine days before Wolf decided to feed her feverish fact-free article to the frenzied masses.
Beyond a lack of leaders to inspire them to join the Occupy fold, blacks are not seeing anything new for themselves in the movement. Why should they ally with whites who are just now experiencing the hardships that blacks have known for generations? Perhaps white Americans are now paying the psychic price for not answering the basic questions that blacks have long raised about income inequality.
New Jersey comedian John “Alter Negro” Minus says he won’t participate in the Occupy protests because black people are being besieged by so many social injustices, he can’t get behind targeting just the 1 percent.