Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Famous last words
DeBlasio would seem to have egg on his face now that Ahmad Khan Rahami has been arrested in connection with the Chelsea bombing. But Leftists have hides like Rhinoceroses so he is probably untroubled
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, evidently fearing negative optics regarding the latest terror bombing, said, "We ... want to be upfront saying that there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection to this incident. This is preliminary information. It's something we will be investigating very carefully, but there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection." While de Blasio did acknowledge that it was "an intentional act," his claiming there is no "terror connection" is simply asinine. As the investigation unfolds, Americans will learn who is responsible for these acts of terror — jihadis. But Democrats like Obama and de Blasio seem more concerned about Americans' perception of terrorists than actual Islamists and their hateful violence.
Leftmedia's Racial Bias
According to the Leftmedia, Donald Trump is the modern example of a bigoted racist. Story upon story go after Trump for such things as David Duke’s endorsement, which Trump rejected, or Trump’s call to limit immigration from Islamic countries or his plan to build a wall on the U.S. southern border. But which side is most responsible for injecting racism into the campaign?
On Saturday Barack Obama told the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, “There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters, and after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote!” In other words, if you’re black and you don’t vote for Hillary Clinton because Obama supports her, then you are insulting him. This statement is blatantly racist, yet there are no accusations from the media of Obama being a racist.
The New York Times on Monday ran a story with the following headline: “White Voters Keep Trump’s Hopes Alive in Must-Win Florida.” Once again, the media is fixated on maintaining a carefully crafted image that implies racism because a majority of Trump’s supporters are white.
As Dallas police sergeant Demetrick Pennie has recognized with his lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and other prominent liberal black leaders including Barack Obama for inciting violence against law enforcement, it is not Donald Trump who is responsible for inciting racial polarization but liberals with their obsession on viewing all political perspectives through the lens of race.
Banks and Banksters: Too Big to Fail or Jail?
There's one set of laws for the ruling class elitists and another set for us "deplorables."
In 2008, when a combination of government mandates severely compounded by Wall Street greed nearly blew up the world’s financial system, Congress and the Bush administration conjured up the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to save institutions deemed “too big to fail.” Ever since, too big to fail has rendered large financial institutions, and the executives that run them, virtually immune from criminal prosecution. And nothing speaks more forcefully to this reality than the latest scandal perpetrated by Wells Fargo.
Two weeks ago, federal regulators revealed the country’s third-largest bank spent the last five years opening 1.5 million bank accounts and 565,000 credit card accounts without customer permission. A staggering 5,300 employees were involved in the scam that included using a customer’s personal information from a legitimate account to open a bogus one and moving money from one to the other. Workers even created fake email addresses and PIN numbers to facilitate the corruption.
The reason? They were trying to meet sales quotas, even though this practice, known as “sandbagging,” resulted in $50 fines for the customer.
Wells Fargo’s punishment? The 5,300 employees were terminated, and the bank paid a $185 million fine levied by officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which boasted that “Wells Fargo is paying the largest penalty the CFPB has ever imposed” since its creation following the financial meltdown.
Yet those officials didn’t mention a despicable reality revealed by The New York Times, which explained the deal “was classic Wall Street.” In short, no matter how egregious the activity, many cases are settled “without a bank having to admit doing anything wrong.”
Enter Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf, who offered the standard faux-mea culpa. “Our goal is to get it right with every customer 100% of the time,” he stated. “When we fall short of that goal, I feel accountable and our leadership team feels accountable — and we want all our stakeholders to know that.”
Feeling accountable? Stumpf and his senior management team have suffered no consequences whatsoever for the bank’s malfeasance. And adding insult to injury, Carrie Tolstedt, the Wells Fargo executive who ran the phony accounts unit she resigned from the firm in July, received a $124.6 million golden parachute. At the time, Stumpf referred to Tolstedt as “a standard-bearer of our culture” and “a champion for our customers.”
Champion sandbagger is more like it.
Moreover, those boastful CFPB officials apparently looked the other way. “Regulators never determined the extent of Tolstedt’s knowledge about the abuse, and she was never named directly in the lawsuits brought over it,” reports the New York Daily News. “But she took over the division in 2008, meaning she oversaw it for the entirety of the racket.”
Even worse, this racket was exposed three years ago by Los Angeles Times reporter E. Scott Reckard, who chronicled the frenzied level of company-pressured “cross-selling” and the concomitant threats of termination that battered employee morale to the point where it led to ethical breaches. “To meet quotas, employees have opened unneeded accounts for customers, ordered credit cards without customers' permission and forged client signatures on paperwork,” he revealed.
Three years later, Americans are supposed to believe this scam was the sole handiwork of middle management and staffers, “some of whom were being paid as little as $10 an hour,” as the Chicago Sun Times put it.
Hopefully it won’t fly. Tomorrow, Stumpf is scheduled to appear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing that will focus on Wells Fargo’s sales practices. While he’s there, maybe he’ll be asked to explain how his insistence there was no incentive to perpetrate this fraud squares with a series of videos — many of which were posted in 2011 — blasting those sales incentives.
Even more important — maybe — the Department of Justice has issued subpoenas to Wells Fargo. Maybe because the DOJ has yet to characterize its involvement as a criminal investigation, without which any subsequent penalties will amount to the aforementioned “classic Wall Street” outcome. And maybe because the DOJ’s track record is utterly dismal in that regard. As Fortune revealed in 2013, despite a total of $62.2 billion in fines paid by the nation’s six largest banks over three years, and another $24.7 billion needed to settle pending lawsuits, not a single bank has had to admit any wrongdoing, and not one dollar of these billions in fines has been paid by any bank executive.
It was shareholders who took all the hits.
Why? The title of a report prepared by the Republican staff of the House Financial Services Committee and issued on July 11 says it all. “Too Big to Jail” reveals the depredation of British banking giant HSBC, which laundered nearly $900 million for drug traffickers and processed transactions for Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar/Burma, despite them being subject to U.S. sanctions. HSBC paid a $2 billion fine — and the DOJ granted the bank a “deferred prosecution” arrangement that amounts to a delay, or no prosecution whatsoever, because it promised to change its behavior.
That would be the same HSBC whose clients donated $81 million to the Clinton Foundation. The same HSBC that in 2013 appointed as a Director of HSBC Holdings … current FBI Director James Comey.
“Back in 2008, the smart people said we had to bail out the banks — because if we didn’t, we’d get an economic catastrophe,” writes New York Post columnist Nicole Gelinas. “Maybe. We know what we did get: generations of voters, liberal and conservative, who are disillusioned with capitalism. They can see that the chief of Wells Fargo gets $19.3 million annually to preside over systemic fraud, while they get blots on their credit reports.”
We also know what we didn’t get: Not a single resignation required in exchange for the $700 billion taxpayer-funded TARP bailout. Thus, it’s not just the banks the ruling class considers too big to fail. The bankers themselves who ran the system into the ground also remain conspicuously immune from anything resembling genuine accountability.
In an appearance on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” Stumpf resisted the suggestion he should resign, telling host Jim Cramer the best thing he could do now is provide leadership for his company.
Really? Stumpf became chairman of Wells Fargo in 2010. Under his “leadership” between then and now, the bank has paid out billions of dollars in fines and lawsuit settlements related to a host of infractions that include fraud, reckless underwriting, improper certification of home loans, and illegal student loan servicing practices.
This nation remains divided over a host of issues. But one suspects an overwhelming majority of Americans on both sides of the political divide are thoroughly disgusted with the reality that there appears to be one set of laws for the ruling class elitists and another set for the rest of us “deplorables.” Few things would restore a sense of justice more effectively than tossing the odious concepts of too big to fail and too big to jail on the ash heap of history.
The alternative? Abiding criminal activity mitigated solely by fines. Fines large financial institutions see as little more than the cost of doing business.
Sanctuary cities kill
Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old San Franciscan women, was murdered by an undocumented immigrant living in the city illegally in July of 2015. Now her family blames more than just her murderer Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, Kate’s family has decided to sue the city for being an “sanctuary city”.
The lawsuit writes that “Kate’s death was both foreseeable and preventable had the law enforcement agencies, officials and/or officers involved simply followed the laws, regulations and/or procedures which they swore to uphold.”
By definition, these sanctuary cities are known to defy the law in order to provide a safe haven for illegal immigrants living in the United States. However, this also provides no protection in situations like Kate’s, where Juan had been a repeat felony offender and deported 5 times after illegal activity aside from his residence.
These safety cities for illegal immigrants have now taken center stage on the immigration debate. The issue was brought to the Senate floor by Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey in July to strip funding from sanctuary cities, however; Democrats united to protect the cities claiming the legislation does not provide a “real solution to our broken immigration system.”
Later, Donald Trump made it one of the pillars of his immigration agenda on the campaign trail. At a Phoenix, Arizona rally on August 31, 2016, Trump discussed the importance of working with Congress to prevent taxpayer money from funding institutions which are not following through on their simple promises to citizens-to enforce the law.
Trump noted “Cities that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities will not receive taxpayer dollars, and we will work with Congress to pass legislation to protect those jurisdictions that do assist federal authorities… Block funding for sanctuary cities… We will end the sanctuary cities that have resulted in so many needless deaths.”
Sanctuary cities are committing far more than an act against federal law. According to the Washington Post of July 2016, from 2004 to 2012 sanctuary cities generated agreements between local and federal law enforcement to keep illegal immigrants in U.S. prisons after completing time served for crimes in order to provide shelter and resources to stall deportation and provide an opportunity to fight immigration court. Often passing the “prisoners” from prison to prison without providing family notice or legal counsel, only to eventually release the illegal immigrant back into society.
However, this plan has been criticized as an obvious violation of international human rights accords and simply a method to keep and rerelease illegal immigrants. Without consequence for a lack of adherence to federal law, cities were able to commit any number of legal violations they desired.
Federal immigration law becomes absolutely purposeless without state and local adherence to the policies. Even in situations where cities tried to imprison illegal immigrants without warrant to protect against deportation, human rights violations ran rampant. Sanctuary cities must be discovered and punished for their lack of accountability, if they are not any possibility of immigration reform will be a lost cause.
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Posted by JR at 12:28 AM