Ex-Baltimore Cop Michael Wood Exposes Police Culture Of Corruption & Abuse (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur) – YouTube

via Ex-Baltimore Cop Michael Wood Exposes Police Culture Of Corruption & Abuse (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur) – YouTube.

TYT Interviews

Published on 10 Jul 2015

Former U.S. Marine and Baltimore police officer Michael A. Wood, Jr. made headlines when he Tweeted about the abuses he witnessed fellow Baltimore police officers perpetrating. In this interview with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur Wood reveals the truth behind the “us vs. them” siege mentality pervading urban police forces that leads to a culture of corruption, racism and abuse, and what can be done to bring change for the better to policing in the United States.

Follow Michael A. Wood Jr. on Twitter: @MichaelAWoodJr

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Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus | Black Agenda Report

via Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus | Black Agenda Report.

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 06/23/2015

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Every phony leftist that peddled Barack Obama as a “progressive,” and every knave and fool in “Progressives for Obama” that spread rose petals at his feet in 2008, should do penance through five years of silence. The First Black President positioned himself “at the far right wing of his own Democratic Party” to pass his TPP rigged trade treaty. Only three Black congresspersons, and 25 other Democrats, joined with Obama and his Republicans.

Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“Obama delivered a crushing defeat to his own party, and to the health and welfare of all humanity.”

In the weeks before Barack Obama began his first term in office, we at Black Agenda Report described him as a center-right politician, based on the cast of characters he chose for his cabinet and his announcement that Social Security and all entitlement programs would be put on the chopping block under his presidency. Six and a half years later, Obama stands at the far right wing of his own Democratic Party, and – on issues of corporate domination – to the right of many Republicans.Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership treaty, the 21st century blueprint for global corporate rule, garnered only 28 Democratic votes in a showdown on Capitol Hill, last week. But, backed by 190 Republicans, and all the assets that Wall Street can muster, Obama delivered a crushing defeat to his own party, and to the health and welfare of all humanity. So rotten is the stench of TPP – a treaty so toxic it is a state secret – that only three members of the Congressional Black Caucus were willing to side with the First Black President.

The “Black TPP Three” are: Gregory Meeks, the corporate servant from Queens, New York; Terri Sewell, the sell-out who misrepresents Alabama’s Black Belt; and Eddie Bernice Johnson, the congresswoman from Texas who occupies a special place of shame, since she also voted in favor of the disastrous NAFTA treaty, 22 years ago.

Eddie Bernice Johnson, Recidivist

Back in 1993, Obama’s political mentor, Bill Clinton, crossed over the aisle to lead Republicans to victory over his fellow Democrats in the fight to pass NAFTA, the treaty with Canada and Mexico. Clinton got a much larger share of Democrats to go along with his jobs-killing bill, but most of the party still opposed the deal; 102 Democrats voted Yes, versus 156 that said No to NAFTA. Six members of the Congressional Black Caucus sided with Bill Clinton: Carrie Meek, of Florida; Mel Reynolds, from Chicago, who two years later was forced to resign after a conviction for statutory rape; William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson, the money-man from New Orleans who hid cash in his refrigerator; Floyd Flake, whose New York seat is now held by the thoroughly corrupted Gregory Meeks; Harold Ford, who went on to become George Bush’s favorite Black congressman; and Eddie Bernice Johnson, the only one of the six still in a position to betray more 700,000 of her constituents, in Dallas, Texas.

In the generation since passage of NAFTA, the Black economy has collapsed, largely due to the flight of manufacturing jobs to low wage foreign shores. On Barack Obama’s watch, Black wealth fell to one-twentieth of median white household wealth, making it statistically impossible for African Americans to ever hope to reach parity with whites, short of a revolution. TPP will hasten the pace of social and economic decline in the United States – the real legacy of Barack Hussein Obama.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted atGlen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.


object lesson for next time ’round…


$200 Million Went to House Members to Pass Fast Track – Here’s Who Took the Cash | Occupy.com

via $200 Million Went to House Members to Pass Fast Track – Here’s Who Took the Cash | Occupy.com.

TUE, 6/23/2015 – BY PAOLA CASALE

dropped many think our government is for sale. However, by taking a look at the facts below provided by Open Secrets, it is easy to understand where they are coming from.

Looking back at Friday the 12th, the House voted on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the controversial bill that gives power to the executive branch to negotiate treaties. TPA limits Congress’ ability to better a trade deal by subjecting members of Congress to 90 days of reviewing the trade agreement, prohibiting any amendments on the implementing legislation, and giving them an up or down vote.

TPA passed with a mere 219-211 vote with only 218 needed to pass. The real shocker comes from the amount of money each Representative received for a yes vote. In total, $197,869,145 was given to Representatives for a yes vote where as $23,065,231 was given in opposition.

  • John Boehner (R-OH) received $5.3 million for a “yea” vote and was the highest paid legislator.
  • Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) received $2.4 million for his “yea” vote.
  • Paul Ryan (R-WI) received $2.4 million for a “yea” vote and came in at the third highest paid legislator.
  • Pat Tiberi (R-OH) follows Paul Ryan, coming in the fourth spot having received $1.6 million for his “yea” vote.

The fifth highest paid legislator is somewhat of a “hero” in comparison to others. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) received $1.6 million for a yes vote and only $282,710 for a no vote. Despite his high contribution from those in favor of TPA, he still voted a solid nay.

We also have other hero stories.

  • Joe Crowley (D-NY) received 1.3 million for a “yea” vote and only $72,550 for a “nay” vote and he still voted against TPA.
  • Patrick Murphy (D-FL) received 1.1 million for a “yea” vote and only $213,360 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.
  • Richard Neal D(MA) received $1.1 million for a “yea” vote and a mere $47,625 for a “nay” vote and still voted against it.

Democrats are not the only heroes in this voting session. GOP members spoke very loud and clear.

  • Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) received $541,746 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay!”
  • Andy Harris (R-MD) received $254,803 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay”.
  • Thomas Massie (R-KY) received $250,328 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay” vote and he still voted “nay.”
  • Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) received $180,832 for a “yea” vote and no money at all for a “nay vote” and she still voted “nay.”

Where did this kind of money come from? Those in favor of TPA were security brokers and investment companies who donated a whopping $11.3 million dollars for a “yea” vote. Big banking companies donated $10.1 million dollars. In other words, Wall Street hashed out millions and millions of dollars to push for the passage of TPA.

Originally published by Op-Ed News

Chicago Tribune picks up big Walker corruption story w/ UPDATE

via Chicago Tribune picks up big Walker corruption story w/ UPDATE.

SUN JUN 21, 2015

by strobusguy

On Friday afternoon, the Walker gang did a news dump, revealing that the corrupt Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which Walker created and has chaired, was responsible for handing out more than $124 million to Wisconsin businesses without any formal staff review.  Please see the diary by Jake formerly of the UP on this.  Since hearing about this, I have had the feeling that this outrageous episode of incompetence and cronyism might just be the thing that finally exposes Scott Walker as the criminal he is.

But I have seen little follow-up to the Friday story in any major news outlet.  But the Chicago Tribune did cover it in this story:  “Scott Walker’s Wisconsin jobs agency gave out $124 million without review”

Such blatant corruption is now there for all to see:

Documents detailing the awards were made public late Friday afternoon in advance of a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board meeting on July 20 to discuss one troubled unsecured loan that went to a failing company owned by a Walker donor.

The Republican Walker, who is expected to formally launch a presidential campaign in mid-July, has been hounded by troubles with the quasi-private jobs agency he created shortly after taking office in 2011.

An internal review released Friday showed that WEDC gave out 27 award contracts to 24 companies between July 2011 and June 2013 without staff review, which WEDC said was not required at the time. Those were discovered during a review of 371 awards WEDC made in its first two years of operation.

Keep in mind that this was all carried out under Walker’s direct oversight:

Of the 27 awards, just over 6,100 jobs were expected to be created, but to date only about 2,100 have been. Nearly 8,900 jobs have been retained, according to WEDC. The projects made about $490 million in investment, the report said.

One of the 27 unsecured awards was a $500,000 loan to the now-defunct Milwaukee construction company Building Committee Inc. that was collapsing at the time and created no jobs. That was among several loans questioned by state auditors that led Walker in May to call for scrapping the loan program.

Incredibly, the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has nothing on the story, nothing since itsFriday story.  The Sunday Wisconsin State Journal in Madison has nothing.

The incompetence on display is incredible.  One wonders if any of the other Republican nomination contenders will do what the Wisconsin media are not doing:  grab on to this and bring fresh air and sunlight to the political cesspool that Scott Walker has created.

11:36 AM PT: I wrote this diary quickly to keep the story alive, and to help it spread.  Didn’t expect it to end up on the rec list, so thanks.  But I have a commitment this afternoon and won’t be able to respond.  Please carry on!

UPDATE:  Let’s hope the momentum picks up on this:  Green Bay Senator Hansen Calls for Closure of WEDC:

State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) called for the closure of the troubled Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today after it was revealed that WEDC officials failed to perform critical underwriting for $124.4 million in taxpayer supported loans it made to 27 companies.

“WEDC has been an unmitigated disaster from the start. It has been one scandal after another, squandered millions of dollars and failed to produce any significant numbers of jobs,” said Hansen a longtime critic. “There is no way to justify its existence any longer. It is time to end WEDC. It is beyond repair and the taxpayers deserve better.”



The real scandal in Denny Hastert’s life on Creators.com

via The real scandal in Denny Hastert’s life on Creators.com.

by Jim Hightower

Washington’s establishment of politicos, lobbyists and media sparklies are shocked — shocked to their very core! — by the scandalous sexual revelations about Dennis Hastert.

The portly Republican, who’d been Speaker of the House a decade ago, was an affable, non-descript Midwesterner who was popular with his fellow lawmakers. A former high school wrestling coach in rural Illinois, Hastert was viewed as a solid salt-of-the-Earth fellow embodying Middle America’s moral values. So his recent indictment for paying $1.7 million in hush money to a man he apparently molested during his coaching years has rocked our Capitol City.

“I’m shocked and saddened,” said the current GOP Speaker, John Boehner. Likewise, former colleagues from both sides of the aisle were dismayed that “our Denny” would have been engaged in child molestation and now caught in an illegal financial cover-up of that abomination. “This has really come out of nowhere,” exclaimed Rep. Peter King, a longtime ally of the man whom all of Washington considered a straight arrow.

Washington’s gossip mill is spinning furiously over last week’s revelations. Before we join these officials in wailing about Dennis Hastert’s alleged long-hidden molestation, however, let me note that while they are bewildered by his sexual impropriety, they find it not worthy of mention — much less condemnation — that Denny has long been immersed in the immoral swamp of Washington’s game of money politics. The guy they profess to love as a paragon of civic virtue — “the coach,” as Rep. King hailed him — was one of the most corrupt speakers ever. What about the filthy, backroom affair he has been openly conducting with corporate lobbyists for nearly two decades?

During his tenure as House speaker, Hastert turned the place into the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of corporate favors. By putting campaign cash into Republican re-election coffers controlled by him and his top hit man, Majority Leader Tom DeLay, corporate interests gained entry into Denny’s psychedelic playhouse.

With Hastert himself singing “Candy Man,” the favor seekers could help themselves to the river of chocolate running through Congress’ back rooms.

Remember “earmarks,” the sneaky tactic of letting congressional leaders secretly funnel appropriations to favored corporations and projects? Earmarks became the trademark of Hastert’s regime, sticking taxpayers with the tab for such outrages as Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere.” Indeed, Denny grabbed a $200 million earmark for himself, funding an Illinois highway near land he owned — land he then sold, netting millions in personal profit.

When he left Congress, Hastert moved just a short limo ride away to become — what else? — a corporate lobbyist. Trading on his former title, personal ties to House members and knowledge of how the chocolate factory runs, he has been hauling in a fortune as a high-dollar influence peddler for makers of candy-flavored cigarettes, Peabody Coal Company, land developers and other giants. And guess what his specialty is? Getting “riders” attached to appropriations bills, so public money is channeled directly to his clients.

Hastert openly traded legislative favors for campaign cash, including profiting personally from his powerful position. And, when he was squeezed out because of the corruption, he didn’t return to the home folks — he became a K-Street lobbyist, continuing to profit to this day by doing corporate favors. That’s how he got so rich he was able to shell out $1.7 million in hush money to the student he abused.

Good ol’ Denny has always thought he was above the law. Just as Hastert should be held accountable for the deep personal damage his alleged molestation would’ve done to his former student, so should he also pay for his abominably-indecent abuse of office, his self-gratifying groping of public funds and his repeated, sticky-fingered violations of the American people’s public trust.

To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at http://www.creators.com.

spread it far and wide…

A Utopian Encyclopedia.

Good question to ask in the US

via Good question to ask in the US. Despite record low….

Despite record low public approval ratings for Congress of below 14% at times (with voters in some polls rating cockroaches, traffic jams, and toe-nail fungus higher than US politicians) over 95% of incumbent members can still expect to be re-elected ..  (more here)

(Source: facebook.com)


Chaos Follows Right Wing Takeover of Wisconsin Supreme Court

via Chaos Follows Right Wing Takeover of Wisconsin Supreme Court.

How very sad and disgusting.  When I was a lad in Milwaukee, Wisconsin could still take pride in it’s progressive heritage and Milwaukee still elected socialist mayors, the last one of which left office in 1960.  Granted, they were of the Second International persuasion, but, hey, until the International disgraced itself in World War I, membership of it was good enough for the likes of Lenin, Trotsky, Luxemburg, et al.

SUN MAY 24, 2015

by Puddytat

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture of newly RW anointed Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack is worth about ten thousand (I’m not sure if it’s under copyright so I can’t post it here). And then there’s the accompanying article describing the chaos that Roggensack has brought with her to her shiny new leadership position.

Checked the picture out? Good. It’s a lot more real that the smiling faced version she has on her website and uses in campaigns. But it pretty much says it all about someone that Urban Milwaukee is calling Lady MacBeth.

For more of the backstory on the recent changes in our Wisconsin Supreme Court follow this link. If you’ve been following the RW takeover or already read that piece, you may now continue to read what’s happened since she and her fellow RW justices voted by email to put her in charge.

On April 29, state election authorities certified the referendum vote. Later that day, the conservatives voted by email to make Roggensack the chief justice.

When the RW has the majority of the votes, they wanted to ensure they owned the Chief, as well – impossible under Wisconsin law which established the most senior Justice was to be the Chief when the state was founded over 150 years ago. It took a lot of money and a huge amount of propaganda to fool voters about that change.

There seems to be very little actual patience in Patience Roggensack who has wasted no time in establishing her lock on power. Roggensack didn’t even wait, as suggested by fellow RW extremist Justice David (the choker) Prosser, until August 1 when the courts’ new term began. Nope. No public ceremony, no meeting, no handover of the gavel. A vote by email was taken and the Iron Fist of Roggensack began to pound out orders.

And the media noticed.

Let’s start with Chief Justice Roggensack ignoring the calendar agreed upon last year and unilaterally giving her fellow justices a few days of notice of a meeting she  scheduled to decide cases. Under the existing calendar, the Court wasn’t scheduled to have any case discussions in May. Some Justices had conflicts and couldn’t attend Roggensacks’ very special and hastily called meeting. She wouldn’t budge.

No problem, she related in an email. They just needed to email her “their votes” otherwise she would consider that they had “withdrawn” from the cases she had scheduled at the very special meeting. That threat didn’t sit well with Justice Crooks, considered a conservative swing voter.

How can you vote without having, hearing or participating in a discussion? Apparently, discussions are now just window dressing because the 4 RW justices have the majority votes on every case to be decided. Discussions and hearing might have just become extinct at the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.

And when did email become the means of voting on Supreme Court cases? That seems to have started with the vote by email to select Roggensack as Chief Justice shortly after the elections were certified in April (there was a heavily financed referendum to change the assignment of Chief Justice from “longest serving” to an election among the Justices – the first ever change in that process since the founding of Wisconsin over 150 years ago). The ink was barely dry on the certification when the RW pounced to vote in “their own” RW Chief. Now, they not only have the majority of votes on each and every case, but they now control the entirety of the court itself.

When reports of Roggensacks power grab and actions started being reported in Wisconsin, Roggensack immediately ran to Milwaukee RW radio host Charlie Sykes to whine about the coverage. Yes, folks, that’s right – she used a RW ideological hate talker instead of a reporter or even public radio. Even former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske was horrified at her choice of venue.

“For Roggensack to choose a very partisan radio show to make her announcement about being a consensus builder is really a bad first step to rebuilding the court’s reputation,” Geske says.

The RW doesn’t care how things look anymore. It’s the arrogance of feeling entitled to power. They don’t govern or care about justice. When in office, they rule using every bit of authority they have, can muster, or can give themselves.

One of the most important cases the Wisconsin Supreme Court will decide will concern the John Doe 2 probe into illegal coordination between campaigns and dark money groups. Roggensack has already decided NOT to even hold a hearing on the case.

But it gets worse. Much worse:

Roggensack’s decision to get in bed with Sykes looks all the worse given the high-profile case the court is being asked to adjudicate. As I’ve written, Roggensack and the three conservative judges who support her have declined to recuse themselves from deciding whether the John Doe investigation should be shut down, despite the fact the two parties to the case, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, are parties to the case who could potentially face criminal charges. These two groups together spent $7.6 million to help elect these four justices, providing 76 percent of the support for Prosser, 69 percent of support for Justice Michael Gableman, 59 percent of the spending for Justice Annette Ziegler and 48 percent for Roggensack.

If these justices vote to kill the Doe, the clear message will be that “justice” was purchased for $7.6 million. That message will resonate all the louder now that Roggensack has let the entire state know she is only comfortable discussing court affairs with a talk show host who had repeatedly assailed the John Doe investigators as police-state thugs conducing a “a partisan witch hunt.”

(bolding is mine)

It won’t just look like justice is for sale. It really WILL be on sale.

Stay tuned folks. From what I’ve seen, things can only get worse from here. Who knows, maybe the Clown Show Roggensack has created might even eclipse the ongoing WEDC corruption in state news coverage.