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Эрик Холдер
Эрик Холдер
Эрик Химптон Холдер-младший (англ. Eric Himpton Holder, Jr., род. 21 января 1951) — американский политик, Генеральный прокурор США с 3 февраля 2009 года. До своего назначения работал в юридической фирме Covington |&| Burling.
Эрик Химптон Холдер-младший (англ. Eric Himpton Holder, Jr., род. 21 января 1951) — американский политик, Генеральный прокурор США с 3 февраля 2009 года. До своего назначения работал в юридической фирме Covington |&| Burling.
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21 января, 18:47

WOMEN’S MARCH takes over downtown DC -- THE JUICE: What we’ve learned, what we’ve seen about insiders in Trump’s orbit -- ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Understanding the exec. orders, inside the parties

Good Saturday morning. More than 200,000 people are descending on Washington this morning to participate in the Women’s March. The effort, which includes six “sister marches” across the country, is featuring more than 50 speakers, including Gloria Steinem, in downtown D.C. before walking 2 miles along the National Mall to The Ellipse. Organizers were still looking for additional marshals Friday afternoon to help shepherd the larger than expected number of attendees.-- @ABC7NEWS: “Multiple Metro station parking lots filled to capacity as #WomensMarch begins” http://bit.ly/2jZCsdYDONALD TRUMP and MIKE PENCE are attending the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral this morning. Trump’s team has advised that today is a work day, so the press is on standby for potential executive orders and other meetings at the White House.-- @seanspicer: ".@POTUS to visit @CIA this afternoon. Event is over capacity at 300+. Excited to thank the men and women of the intelligence community."**SUBSCRIBE to Playbook: http://politi.co/1M75UbXUNDERSTANDING WHAT TRUMP SIGNED LAST NIGHT -- “Trump signs sweeping order that could gut Obamacare,” by Jen Haberkorn and Nolan McCaskill: “The order changes nothing immediately and doesn't spell out exactly what Trump would like his government to do. But it sends a strong symbolic message to his supporters, while offering some clues to his direction. Federal agencies could use the order to stop enforcing the individual mandate, which has been the most contentious piece of the law -- a move that could throw the individual insurance market into an almost immediate spiral.” http://politi.co/2jAIfqu-- “White House orders ‘immediate regulatory freeze,’” by Andrew Restuccia and Nick Juliano: “President Donald Trump took his first steps Friday night toward what he has promised will be a wide-ranging assault on Barack Obama’s regulatory agenda, a crusade eventually aimed at erasing Obamacare and landmark climate change regulations. Trump’s initial action -- ordering a freeze on all pending regulations until his administration can review them -- would have a more modest impact: It could throttle almost-completed rules aimed at expanding overtime pay, tightening pipeline safety, protecting imperiled bumblebees and imposing stricter safeguards on rail shipments of flammable crude oil, among other topics.” http://politi.co/2jLmRBcFOR HISTORY -- PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP -- NYT: “TRUMP, SWORN IN, ISSUES A CALL: ‘THIS AMERICAN CARNAGE STOPS’” http://bit.ly/2j76zBH … WaPo: “TRUMP TAKES POWER: NEW PRESIDENT VOWS TO END ‘AMERICAN CARNAGE’” http://bit.ly/2jZntR6 … WSJ: “The Trump Era Dawns – ‘We are transferring power back from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people’” http://bit.ly/2jjaI2Y ... MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: “POMP, PROMISES, PROTESTS” http://bit.ly/2jLsobd … GRAND RAPIDS PRESS: “HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Trump takes reigns of country with a vow to return the power to the people” http://bit.ly/2jj2Iip … L.A. TIMES: “Trump takes first steps in a new era of conservatism -- Latinos have no place in this cabinet” http://bit.ly/2jj6N6zTHE BOSTON GLOBE has a great front page with an eye-grabbing AP image. http://bit.ly/2jiYvvo-- THE AP BULLETIN at 11:59 a.m.: “WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump takes oath of office as the 45th president of the United States.” … at noon: “WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump takes the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States, a combative billionaire businessman and TV celebrity elected to lead a profoundly divided country. The unorthodox politician and the Republican-controlled Congress are charting a newly conservative course for the nation, vowing to reverse the work of the departing Barack Obama.”FROM 1600 PENNSYLVANIA -- @realDonaldTrump at 6:53 a.m.: “A fantastic day and evening in Washington D.C.Thank you to @FoxNews and so many other news outlets for the GREAT reviews of the speech!”THE JUICE -- WHAT WE’VE LEARNED --THE MOST INTERESTING THING about yesterday was not the speech, parade or protests. It was the inaugural lunch in the Capitol, where Donald Trump mingled and back-slapped with the long-time D.C. politicians he dumped all over on the National Mall. THE SCENE: Reporters were allowed to observe the lunch from a balcony above Statuary Hall. We were permitted to snap photos for most of the lunch (Jake put a ton on Twitter http://bit.ly/2jAvyfj).-- THE INVITED GUESTS were not only lawmakers, but, as the WaPo’s top congressional reporter Paul Kane pointed out on Twitter, the lunch also included top donors like Sheldon Adelson for the first time in his memory. They all sipped wine and chatted in a friendly manner that belied the blow-up-Washington rhetoric that Trump used in his address.-- MITCH MCCONNELL swapped seats with SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO.), the chairman of the inaugural committee, so he could sit next to Donald Trump. McConnell and Trump spoke for a long period of time -- and if you know McConnell, he doesn’t talk to anyone for that long unless he has something to say. The senator was doing a lot of the talking, and he’s not much for small talk. This was a one-on-one chat, with even Mike Pence laying back. McConnell and Trump were both talking with their hands, with McConnell at one point making a “T” with his two hands, appearing to illustrate a collision. McConnell is the ultimate Capitol operator. He’ll be able to tell Trump what is -- and, more importantly, what isn’t -- possible. Plus, he doesn’t have the scar tissue with Trump that Ryan has.-- CHUCK SCHUMER spoke with TRUMP for a while, too. The format was a lot less formal. Melania Trump was seated next to the president, and Abby Blunt -- Sen. Blunt’s wife, and a top lobbyist for Kraft Heinz Company -- was in the middle of the chat as well. It seemed like a friendly conversation from afar.-- ROY BLUNT, who chaired the inauguration, worked the room judiciously on his own, but also made sure to introduce Trump to people that he should know. One of the most notable introductions he made was Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat.-- It’s becoming clear how TRUMP sees PAUL RYAN. He quipped at a ceremony this week that Ryan was probably “out writing legislation. He’s got so much legislation to write. He never had it so good. He’s actually got somebody that’s gonna sign it.” That’s actually not a bad read. Ryan is the legislator of this gang. He was seated at the end of the table, next to Karen Pence, the second lady.-- IT WAS ALSO FASCINATING to see which lawmakers took it upon themselves to go up to Trump. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, got words in with Trump. Rep. John Larson, a gregarious Democrat from Connecticut, also approached the front table to chat with him. DAVID SHULKIN, the VA nominee, seemed friendly not only with Trump, but also with Schumer.-- KEVIN MCCARTHY will be a key figure for Trump. Trump said this week that McCarthy frequently called the New Yorker when he was feuding with Paul Ryan. Think of McCarthy as the insider -- the pal in the House. According to people close to both men, Trump enjoys McCarthy and his phone calls. At the lunch, he was seated next to Ivanka and a few seats away from Jared.JAMES MATTIS was sworn in as Defense secretary last night, and GEN. JOHN KELLY was sworn in to lead D.H.S. BY THE NUMBERS -- Facebook is reporting that 60 million people in the U.S. Friday engaged in 208 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to Trump’s inauguration.THE NEXT FOUR YEARS? -- “Rough first day for press in Trump’s White House,” by Sarah Wheaton: “The pomp and circumstance ended in pandemonium in the White House briefing room. President Donald Trump’s staff teased the press all afternoon on Friday about whether Trump would sign executive orders. ‘A possibility,’ said Press Secretary Sean Spicer. ‘Potentially,’ said strategic communications director Hope Hicks. ‘Don’t start drinking yet,’ said deputy Communications director Raj Shah. The back-and-forth ended with Trump signing an executive order allowing federal agencies to disregard provisions of the Affordable Care Act.“In the hours leading up to Trump's signing, Spicer emerged repeatedly, without warning, to address the press in the briefing room, prompting reporters to run through the corridor and push each other out of the way. He announced, at first, that Trump would sign two executive orders. Then he announced there’d be three actions – and in the end, only one of them was actually an executive order. Though he promised a full readout of the executive order, a vague directive to agencies to ‘ease the burden’ of Obamacare before it’s repealed, Spicer ultimately delivered a 30-second statement that didn’t mention the order, and tweeted to confirm it had been signed.” http://politi.co/2jiK6PWTHE LOYAL OPPOSITION -- “An Anti-Corporate Investigative Reporter Will Lead Left’s ‘Answer’ To Breitbart: Hillary Clinton fundraiser David Brock has hired David Sirota, a critic of big money ties to both parties.” by BuzzFeed’s Paul McLeod: “True Blue Media, pitching itself as the left’s answer to Breitbart, has picked an investigative reporter critical of Republicans and Wall Street Democrats alike as its new CEO. David Sirota is leaving his role as senior investigations editor at the International Business Times to lead True Blue, which currently operates as ShareBlue and was part of a network of liberal outlets supporting Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.” http://bzfd.it/2jJY68k [email protected]: “As Trump is sworn in, FOX News announces that it has signed Nigel Farage as a network contributor.”FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: LIZ JOHNSON, communications director for former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and a member of the Trump transition team, is going to the Department of Homeland Security’s office of public affairs as a communications adviser.-- SPOTTED: SARA BONJEAN helping Vice President Mike Pence and his family navigate the waters of inauguration festivities.-- BUZZ: Shealah Craighead will be the White House photographer. Her website: http://bit.ly/2jj6mJvOVERHEARD at the Whiskey Ball Friday night, a young Republican discussing his desire to try to work in the administration: “You can get something that you’re not qualified for and make something of it.”TOP TWEETS -- @CNN: “The Piano Guys play ‘Fight Song’ at Trump #InauguralBall, Clinton campaign’s signature song”: http://bit.ly/2jAlwuD [email protected]: “Parade route from Capital to WH. Entire stands empty. Crowd thin.” 2-min. video http://bit.ly/2kbZa1v … Gender-Professecs (@MrTrunney): “Richard Spencer got punched in the face during the protests at Trump’s #inauguration” http://bit.ly/2iWpSdO … @BarackObama, whose bio reads “Dad, husband, President, citizen”: “Hi everybody! Back to the original handle. Is this thing still on? Michelle and I are off on a quick vacation, then we’ll get back to work.” …Ciaran Jenkins (@C4Ciaran): “Watch Trump and Obama greet the same couple [the Doles]. V different styles.” http://bit.ly/2iN8NHYMICHAEL GRUNWALD in Politico, “From Obama to Trump: No Ordinary Lurch: The ceremony might have looked smooth, but it’s hard to imagine a more abrupt change in the American presidency”: “Trump was Trump, even though he had just become President Trump. He is no ordinary politician, and his inaugural address—a pugilistic, nationalistic, campaign-style screed that made America sound like an unbearable dystopia—was a harsh reminder, if one were needed, that this was no ordinary transfer of power. ... It’s an abrupt shift not only from a Democratic technocrat who pursued progressive policies to a Republican billionaire who has vowed to undo them, but from no-drama to melodrama, from cerebral and methodical to impulsive and chaotic, from the pedantic intellectual who loathes cable news and quoted V.S. Naipaul in an exit interview with the New York Times book critic to the brand-savvy entrepreneur and reality-TV host who incessantly watches cable news and does not seem to read books at all.” http://politi.co/2kbOvnEFACT CHECK -- NYT A21, “Trump’s Grim View of the Economy Ignores Most Americans’ Reality,” by Binyamin Appelbaum: “The dismal picture of the American economy President Donald J. Trump painted in his Inaugural Address on Friday is at odds with the economic reality of most Americans. Mr. Trump described a nation depleted, despairing and in decline. ... In fact, the United States is in the midst of one of the longest sustained economic expansions in the nation’s history. The stock market has climbed to record heights; middle-class incomes are increasing after years of stagnation; and corporations are recording enormous profits. Some measures of consumer confidence show that optimism about the economic outlook, and job and income prospects have climbed to the highest levels in more than a decade.” http://nyti.ms/2kbQYP4SNEAK PEAK -- KELLYANNE CONWAY on NBC’s “Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist”: When asked if President-elect Trump will answer every criticism, like SNL and Meryl Streep, Conway says, “He doesn’t answer every criticism, believe me” and he will “possibly engage pop culture but again, he rarely draws first blood.” “Why was it okay for President Obama -- everybody swooned and thought it was a wonderful idea that he would engage pop culture on his own terms, and if Donald Trump does it a little bit differently through his social media platforms everybody feigns shock and dismay?” http://on.today.com/2iN6gxxTHE CABINET -- “Weak vetting led to Cabinet confirmation surprises,” by Josh Dawsey and Eli Stokols: “Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s pick to be treasury Secretary, failed to list $100 million in assets on his federal disclosure forms. Vincent Viola, nominated to be Army secretary, punched a man in the face at a horse race last summer. The ex-wife of Andrew Puzder, the labor secretary nominee, once appeared incognito on ‘Oprah’ to raise domestic abuse allegations, which Puzder has denied. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s choice for education secretary, struggled to demonstrate a basic comprehension of department policy and basic education terms during her hearing this week. Two nominees didn’t pay taxes on their household employees. This string of startling revelations over the past two weeks caught senior members of Trump’s staff by surprise, and they didn’t know some of the potential for problems before Senate confirmation hearings began.” http://politi.co/2kd34eGTHE NEW ADMINISTRATION -- “With Trump in Charge, Climate Change References Purged From Website,” by NYT’s Coral Davenport: “Within moments of the inauguration of President Trump, the official White House website on Friday deleted nearly all mentions of climate change. The one exception: Mr. Trump’s vow to eliminate the Obama administration’s climate change policies, which previously had a prominent and detailed web page on whitehouse.gov.” http://nyti.ms/2iWArNX-- “Republicans delay DeVos committee vote by a week,” by Michael Stratford: “Sen. Lamar Alexander, chair of the Senate education committee, has delayed by a week a planned committee vote on Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Education secretary. The vote, which was originally slated for this Tuesday, has been rescheduled until Jan. 31, Alexander announced Friday evening. The delay comes as Democrats have argued that they haven’t had enough time to examine DeVos’ complicated financial holdings or ask her questions.” http://politi.co/2jZh48CPLAYBOOK IN-BOX – From “President Trump” yesterday at 1:19 p.m. with the subject line “Before tomorrow”: “Friend, I am humbled to write to you for the first time as your president. This is an honor I will never take lightly – and I will NEVER forget the brave and strong Americans who entrusted me with this great responsibility. ... Ronna McDaniel – our Party’s terrific new chairman and a real winner – will soon be sending me a list of our many members who renewed their commitment for the 2017 year. Friend: I hope you will accept your Sustaining Membership to sustain everything we accomplished for years and years to come. Please accept your Sustaining Membership for the 2017 year and make a contribution of $250, $100, $65, $50, $35, $25, or $15. ... God bless you, Donald J. Trump President of the United States.”CLICKERS – “The best photos from Trump’s inauguration” -- 132 pix http://politi.co/2j6McV8 … “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,”edited by Matt Wuerker – 12 keepers http://politi.co/2kddbQQ … @PostGraphics:“Words Donald Trump said for the first time in any U.S. inaugural address” http://bit.ly/2jZg7wTGREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:--“The Government Secrets Trump Is About to Discover,” by Garrett M. Graff in the January/February 2017 issue of Politico Magazine: “From spy planes to cyberattacks to the private lives of foreign leaders, the president gets access to more confidential material than anyone else on the planet. Now, it’s all in Donald Trump’s hands.” http://politi.co/2iN0DPG--“The Heroism of Incremental Care,” by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker: “We devote vast resources to intensive, one-off procedures, while starving the kind of steady, intimate care that often helps people more.” http://bit.ly/2jE7334--“The Great Exception: California vs. Trump. Part One,” by Andy Kroll in California Sunday: “With a GDP of $2.5 trillion, it has the sixth-largest economy in the world, trailing only the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, China, and, of course, the United States. With 39 million people, it is by far the most populous state in the union. (Put another way, nearly one out of every eight Americans is a Californian.) Two of the nation’s most influential industries — tech and entertainment — reside primarily in California. The state is the fifth-largest supplier of food in the world.” http://bit.ly/2jD9aUW (h/t Longreads.com)--“I Work in the Restaurant Industry. Obamacare Saved My Family’s Life,” by Allison Robicelli in Eater magazine: “The Affordable Care Act was going to make hospitality careers livable. Now what?” http://bit.ly/2k7XWsm--“The Feels of Love,” by T. Kira Madden in Guernica Magazine: “‘In my defense,’ he said, ‘I thought you were 13.’” http://bit.ly/2jdkYdb--“Why the elites always rule,” by Hugo Drochon in The New Statesman: “Since an Italian sociologist coined the word ‘elite’ in 1902, it has become a term of abuse. But history is the story of one elite replacing another – as the votes for Trump and Brexit have shown.” http://bit.ly/2iOZMZS (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“My Dinners With Harold,” by Daniel Duane in California Sunday: “How a shy Ph.D. in English literature revolutionized the science of cooking and became revered in the most famous kitchens in the world.” http://bit.ly/2iXYgbb--“How Jokes Won the Election,” by Emily Nussbaum in The New Yorker: “How do you fight an enemy who’s just kidding?” http://bit.ly/2jQZT9j--“Searching for Richard Spencer,” by Eli Sanders in The Stranger: “What I found in a small Montana town at the center of a white nationalist troll storm.” http://bit.ly/2jdmtrV (h/t Longform.org)--“They Called Her Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,” by Brad Ricca in Narratively: “The mysterious case of the first female U.S. District Attorney, and the morbid murder investigation that put her on the map.” http://bit.ly/2jR2YGj--“Gay bars are under threat but not from the obvious attackers” – The Economist: “The disappearance of gay bars and clubs is an unhappy side-effect of a far more cheering trend.” http://bit.ly/2iXWLdcSPOTTED -- Former Louisiana Gov. and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal at Table Kitchen & Bar in Baton Rouge on inauguration night, with his wife Supriya and two of his three children … Marvin Nicholson, Anita Decker Breckenridge, Joe Paulsen and Pete Souza on Obama’s final flight aboard Air Force One (i.e. Executive One) to Palm Springs. All returned to D.C. aboard the plane once it refueled. ... Rahm Emanuel with a large group dining on Thursday evening at Miami Beach steakhouse The Forge ... former Gov. George Pataki walking near the Newseum Friday morning ... Justice Sonia Sotomayor last night at Red Hen ... Having breakfast at Bistro Bis at the Kimpton George hotel this morning: Chris Cuomo with David Axelrod; Doug Brinkley with James RosenINAUGURATION PARTY CIRCUIT -- Sheldon and Miriam Adelson and the Ricketts family hosted a private inaugural party last night in a room decked out like a Vegas lounge with TVs framed in gold. The party took place at the Morning Consult office close to the White House. SPOTTED: Sylvie and Todd Ricketts, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), John Paulson, Paul Singer, Andy Abboud, Robin and Brian Baker, Rob Collins, Laura and Joel Kaplan, Campbell Brown and Dan Senor.-- Amb. Mary Ourisman and Mandell Ourisman hosted an “Inaugural Afterglow Party” at Cafe Milano last night, which ran past 1 a.m.: SPOTTED: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) taking photos with guests, Wilbur Ross, Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, Jim Glassman, Laura Ingraham chatting with Tammy Haddad, Bob Barnett, Juleanna Glover, Eric Bolling, Sergio Gor, Marcie and Will Kinzel, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, Ark. Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kit and Linda Bond, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Jim McCray, Marlene Malek, Matt Swift, former Amb. Paula Dobriansky, Jack and Susanna Quinn, Steve Clemons, Ken and Jackie Duberstein, Carlos Gutierrez, Bret and Amy Baier, Fred Ryan, Walt Cronkite IV, Kevin Sheridan, John Arundel, Jack Evans, Pam Stevens, Rick Perry, Tommy Quinn, Lloyd Hand, Virginia Coyne, Scott Thuman, Annie Groer, John Avlon, Kevin Chaffee, Nancy Brinker.--Tim Daly hosted a Creative Coalition Ball last night with Robin Bronk and urged the 300 plus attendees for “the right to bear arts” at the Harman Center for the Arts. Blues Traveler performed after a spoken word presentation by the stars. SPOTTED: Christina Hendricks, Dean Norris, Cheryl Hines, Alysia Reiner, Mae Whitman, Geoffrey Arend, Beau Willimon, Susan Blumenthal, Jen Smith, Carol Alt, Bob Franken, and members of Congress and media types.--SPOTTED at Time Warner’s viewing party which Carol Melton hosted: Jim and Heather Johnson, Tim McBride, Philippe Bourguignon, Kate Goodall, Niki Christoff, Heather Podesta, Gary Knell, Andrew Overton, Tammy Haddad, Raul Fernandez, Steve Clemons, Kevin Merida, Jen Smith, Juleanna Glover, Kevin Chaffee, Nika Nour. --SPOTTED at last night’s Big & Rich RIAA Musicians on Call Benefit: Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Amy Isbell, Mike Platt, Penny Nance, Michele Ballantyne, Mitch Glazier, Tyler Grimm, Morna Willens, Cary Sherman, iHeartRadio DJs Toby Knapp and JT Bosch, Austin Carson, Brendan Belair, Todd Dupler, Todd Willens, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Cara Weiblinger, Jonathan Lamy, Rhod Shaw, Laura Mullen, McKinley Cooper, Jeff Gregorio, Brendan Kownacki, Joanna McIntosh. Pic by Dan Swartz of Big & Rich toasting with Rep. Collins http://bit.ly/2iN6IM0--Hundreds of guests gathered at MXDC downtown from 8 until well after midnight for the Inaugural Whiskey Ball hosted by the Distilled Spirits Council, National Restaurant Association, Locust Street Group, Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Quicken Loans and Washington Life Magazine. SPOTTED: Kraig Naasz, Frank Coleman, Mark Gorman, Michele Famiglietti, David Culver, Steve Danon, Craig Wolf, Craig Purser, Ben Jenkins, Joe Maloney, Katy Summerlin, Allison Schneider, Nina Verghese, Gloria Dittus, Carl Hulse, Emily Heil, Nika Nour, Matt Cooper, Robert and Katie Zirkelbach, Rick Klein, Byron Tau, Amy Harder, Matt and Rebecca Haller, Jared Parks, Leslie Kimball, Andrew Kovalcin, Craig Gordon, Chris Gindlesperger, Alex Strong, Sue Hensley, Erin Streeter, Chrys Kefalas, Tommy McFly.TRANSITIONS -- Eddie Vale emails friends and colleagues, per a note forwarded by a friend: “Hey everyone...time for some impersonal sharing of personal news...after four wonderful years of working with David [Brock], an amazing team, and you all, from American Bridge it’s time for me to head off on a new adventure and I’m going to be working with Cara Morris-Stern and Tom McMahon over at New Partners.” … Kirstjen Nielsen named chief of staff at DHS -- In his initial letter to DHS employees, Secretary John Kelly wrote: “With her extensive experience in homeland security, she understands the complexity of the various agencies and policies within the Department and the larger homeland security enterprise.” She most recently has worked on global risk consulting and been a senior fellow at GWU’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.BIRTHDAYS: Eric Holder, former attorney general, is 66 (hat tip: Kevin Lewis) ... Gary Locke, former Commerce Secretary and Ambassador to China, is 67 ... Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is 64 ... Becca Glover, comms. director for Sen. Richard Burr and an Issa alum (h/ts her Sarahs, Katy Summerlin and Taylor Holgate) ... Will Holley, partner at Firehose Strategies, former counsel for Rubio for President and a Mercury and Bush WH alum (h/ts Marco, Alex Conant, Peter Watkins) ... CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist (h/t Matt Dornic) … Tyler Cowen, GMU economist and Marginal Revolution blogger, is 55 ... Matt Cooper, political editor at Newsweek and the pride of South Orange, N.J. ... Politico’s John Shinkle, the pride of Dayton, Ohio ... Politico’s Jen Haberkorn ... Jonathan Grella, EVP of public affairs at the U.S. Travel Association (Aggressive!) ... Philly Daily News’ Will Bunch is 58 ... Nahiomy Alvarez, analyst at Hamilton Place Strategies (h/t Ben Koltun) ... philanthropist Lynn Schusterman, co-founder of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation (h/t Jewish Insider) ... Jim Davidson at Polsinelli (h/t Jon Haber) ... Joe Donoghue, LD for Sen. John McCain and McCain’s favorite “little jerk” since 1987 (h/t Lee Dunn) ... Bob Sensenbrenner, GC at House Rules Committee (h/t birthday girl Becca Glover, who went to high school with Bob) … Chris Donovan, senior producer at ABC News and the pride of New Hampshire, is 42 ...… Josh Isay, managing director at SKDKnickerbocker ... D.C. attorney Leonard Silverstein … Michael Anderson, a CAP fundraiser and alum of Sen. Tim Johnson ... Jamie Waters, Bush alumnus now VP at Compass Advisers Group ... ABC News’ Subrata De ... Politico Europe’s Christopher Spillane and Helen Collis ... Roberto Jose Coquis, an OFA and Bush 43 WH alum and a fun, devoted dad and hubby; lover of all things sports n’ politics ... Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) is 56 ... former Rep. Matt Salmon is 59 ... Steve Rosenthal, president of the Organizing Group, is 64 (h/t Sean Johnson) ... Michael Vanzetta … Elizabeth Wickett ... Jordan Grossman, alum of HHS, OFA and DHS ... Collin Hansen ... Forrest Brown, campaign coordinator at Unified Social and a PCCC alum … Tommy McKone, manager of gov’t affairs at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office ... Campbell Spencer ... Ron Bell … Jeff Simmons (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) … Tony Reinke ... Kyle O’Connor, former Obama WH speechwriter, now in executive comms at Facebook ... Margaret Olmos ... Josh Warren, Treasury alum now director of corporate strategy and development at BlackRock ... Michael Lemov ... Katie Loovis, director of corporate responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline ... Rich Juliano ... Len Colodny is 79 ... Cynthia Faulkner ... McCain LD Joe Donoghue – read a WashExaminer profile of him http://washex.am/2jDov7V … Amy Allman ... Tony Reinke … Margaret Olmos … World Golf Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus is 77 (h/t AP)THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from BWI en route Austin:--CNN’s “State of the Union” (9 a.m.): Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) … House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Panel: David Axelrod, Marsha Blackburn, Nina Turner and Mia Love. --“Fox News Sunday”: Reince Priebus … Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Panel: Bret Baier, Mo Elleithee, Kim Strassel and Juan Williams. --ABC’s “This Week”: Kellyanne Conway … Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)… Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Panel: Alex Castellanos, Stephanie Cutter, Matthew Dowd, Jonathan Karl and Cokie Roberts. --CBS’s “Face the Nation”: Kellyanne Conway … Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Panel: Lanhee Chen, Susan Page, Frank Luntz and Jeffrey Goldberg. --NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Kellyanne Conway ... Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) … Tom Barrack … Panel: Hugh Hewitt, Eliana Johnson, Chris Matthews and Kristen Welker. --Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” (10 a.m.): Anthony Scaramucci … Grover Norquist … House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) … Carly Fiorina … Paula Broadwell. Panel: Ed Rollins, Stephen Sigmund and Judith Miller. --Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” (SUN 11 a.m.): Erin McPike … Mollie Hemingway … Joe Trippi … Bret Baier … Corey Lewandowski … Susan Ferrechio. --CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King (8 a.m.): Panel: Peter Baker, Mary Katharine Ham, Jeff Zeleny, Nia-Malika Henderson. --CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: (11 a.m.): Panel: Michael Oreskes, Karen Tumulty, Lynn Sweet and Frank Sesno ... Jeff Mason … David Fahrenthold. --Univision’s “Al Punto” (10 a.m.): Univision News correspondent Luis Megid … Presidential Inauguration Committee spokesman Carlos Diaz-Rosillo … National Hispanic Leadership Conference president Rev. Samuel Rodriguez … Luis Gutierrez … report on “El Chapo” from Univision investigative unit vice president Gerardo Reyes … United We Dream’s Cristina Jimenez and The Women’s March’s Paola Mendoza … actress and activist Diane Guerrero. ---C-SPAN: “Newsmakers” (10 a.m.): Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, questioned by Politico’s Isaac Dovere and The Hill’s Reid Wilson … “Q&A” (SUN 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET): Author and Johns Hopkins University’s Benjamin Ginsberg (“What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People”). --Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes or listen at MackOnPolitics.com): Ben Shapiro … Reed Galen … ViaMedia CEO Mark Lieberman.

21 января, 01:09

Inside Obama's final goodbyes

The former president buoys aides by saying ‘this is not a period, this is a comma…’

20 января, 13:31

Top Democratic donors urged to invest more at state level

AVENTURA, Fla. — It’s all about the states.That’s the message that will greet a wide swath of the Democratic Party’s leading donors and operatives here on Friday evening.Nick Rathod, executive director of the State Innovation Exchange, is slated to pitch them on a new round of investment in the progressive group that aims to rebuild the party from the ground up by focusing on state legislatures — a strategy adopted by Republicans a decade ago.Speaking before a panel featuring three prominent state attorneys general, Rathod — President Barack Obama’s former liaison to the states — will unveil a $10 million budget goal for the group, known as SiX, alongside the beginnings of a plan to expand the work of its 501(c)(4) side, allowing it to go beyond its policy work and dive further into elections and advocacy.Addressing the group just hours after Donald Trump’s inauguration -- at a time when party leaders are considering more seriously how to replicate the GOP's downballot success — Rathod intends to sound the alarm about the approaching 2017 and 2018 elections and make the case that his party needs to work on developing a leadership pipeline from local offices, according to excerpts of the speech provided to POLITICO in advance. “All of us need to recognize that this did not just happen overnight,” Rathod will say, detailing progressives’ decline below the presidential level, including a total lack of legislative chambers in the entire South while Republicans control as many legislative chambers as they have in nearly a century. “It’s been in the making for nearly a generation and progressives have basically been asleep at the wheel. While we have been spending billions on trying to hold control of federal power, right under our noses conservatives have been quietly investing and building an infrastructure at the state level that has been chipping away at progressive power for at least the past 40 years."In insisting on the need for a more serious investment in building up local leaders for long-term gain, Rathod will point to Democrats’ weak Senate and presidential performances.“How is it that we don’t have anyone else to run for Senate in some of these places?,” he will ask. “We have to dust off a bunch of old white guys who held office years ago. And don’t get me started on the presidential race. Conservatives had a clown car of candidates, but like it or not that clown car was relatively diverse, it was young, and most came out of state politics. Meanwhile we are organizing around two white 70-year-olds and our next best option was the vice president, who is amazing, but another 70-year-old."The speech will greet donors and strategists who are gathering in south Florida as counter-programming for the inauguration, while they map out a path ahead for a party that suffered a shocking loss in November but even worse devastation at the state level over the last eight years.Investment in the states has been a buzzy topic among Democrats in the months since Election Day, including among the candidates vying to take over the Democratic National Committee. Much of their emphasis is on making gains ahead of 2020’s round of Congressional map redistricting. SiX isn’t alone in making a local push: former Attorney General Eric Holder — who is also speaking at the conference — recently launched his own National Democratic Redistricting Committee.Rathod intends to frame the coming campaign as a response to the GOP effort in the run-up to 2010 — led by veteran strategist, and later Republican National Committee chair, Ed Gillespie — that positioned that party for broader victories after that round of redistricting.“That year, they spent about $30 million on races in those states and blew Democratic incumbents out of the water, and recaptured control of all of those state capitals,” he will say. “What they did there allowed them to control redistricting and redraw both state and federal lines in a way that built a conservative firewall in the House of Representatives at least through 2020. Let me put that $30 million in perspective for you: this year, the Indiana Senate race cost $30 million. So for the same amount of money that we put behind trying to elect Evan Bayh in Indiana, Republicans took control of statehouses and gained control of the House of Representatives for a decade."The appeal is unlikely to be the only one donors hear at the weekend retreat, but it comes as many of the wealthiest liberal contributors are actively searching for their next big initiative after pumping more money into Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign than any before it.Reorienting the left's leadership away from its entrenched leadership is among Rathod's aims.“From my conversations with elected officials, operatives, and others in the states, they .have completely lost faith in the DNC and related party committees to do anything that would help support the organizing and other work happening in the states,” he’s set to say. “Donors and others need to ask themselves whether they want to follow the same crowd of people who now are talking a big game about the states but spent the last decade watching as the party lost nearly one thousand seats and otherwise decimated the party."

19 января, 23:45

Looking Back: President Obama's Historic Efforts To Roll Back The Drug War And Tackle Mass Incarceration

Tomorrow, Barack Obama's historic presidency will come to an end. It is hard to believe that he will no longer be our President. I have both smiled and wiped away tears when watching President Obama's farewell speeches, press conferences and exit interviews. With Obama's term coming to a close, I wanted to reflect and thank him for his efforts to roll back the failed drug war and fix our broken criminal justice system. Here are some of his accomplishments. White House Allows Marijuana Legalization Laws to Proceed Colorado and Washington made history in November 2012 when they voted to legally regulate the production, distribution and sale of marijuana. But there was much uncertainty about how President Obama and the federal government would respond. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder gave a qualified green light for Washington and Colorado to move forward and implement their laws via the August 2013 Cole memo. Over the next several years, more states and jurisdictions legalized marijuana - Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. in 2014 and California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada in 2016. President Obama deserves credit for allowing the will of the people to stand and for allowing these states to move away from marijuana prohibition. President Obama and AG Holder Slam Mass Incarceration and Mandatory Minimum Drug Laws President Obama and his attorney general spoke out forcefully against mass incarceration and mandatory minimum drug laws and made criminal justice reform a signature issue of Obama's second term. Holder urged US attorney generals to not charge mandatory minimums for drug offenses when it could be avoided. President Obama spoke out against the 100-to-1 crack/powder sentencing discrepancy and although Congress wasn't able to eliminate the discrepancy, they did reduce it to 18-to-1 with the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act. Obama and Holder pushed hard for bipartisan legislation that would roll back mandatory minimums. Attorney General Holder called for the repeal of laws that prohibit millions of felons from voting. President Obama's Drug Czar Embraces Harm Reduction Strategies President Obama and his Drug Czar Michael Botticelli urged people to think about drug addiction as a health issue instead of a criminal issue. Obama's Affordable Care Act expanded treatment to millions of people who never had access. Botticelli called for harm reduction strategies to deal with our overdose crisis, including expanding access to naloxone, the overdose reversal drug. They also embraced methadone and other medications for people struggling with opioid addiction, as well as syringe access programs to reduce HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other preventable diseases. President Obama Acknowledged His Drug Use and Admitted Marijuana No More Dangerous Than Alcohol Obama broke ground by talking openly about his own personal history of drug use. He was matter-of-fact about his marijuana use and even admitted to using cocaine in his youth. He shattered the myth that all drug use is problematic and could hold someone back from ambition and success. In a seminal interview with the New Yorker, President Obama said that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and spoke about racial disparities in marijuana arrests. President Obama Grants More Clemencies than Last 11 Administrations Combined President Obama started off slow and was criticized for not using his clemency and pardon powers. But then, in 2014, the administration made it clear that it wanted to step it up and took the unprecedented step of encouraging defense lawyers to suggest inmates whom the president might let out of prison early. Over the last couple of years he moved aggressively and granted clemency to close to 1,600 people, more than the last 11 administrations combined. I don't want to overstate President Obama's criminal justice reform accomplishments. Many of these efforts fell short and there is so much that was not accomplished. We still have a mass incarceration crisis and there are record numbers of people dying from preventable overdoses. But when we look at the Trump administration getting ready to take over and the people he is surrounding himself with, particularly Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, it is obvious how much we are going to miss President Obama's efforts to fix our criminal justice system. Tony Newman is the director of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance (www.drugpolicy.org) This piece first appeared on the Drug Policy Alliance Blog: http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/looking-back-president-obamas-historic-efforts-roll-back-drug-war-and-tackle-mass-incarceration -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 января, 13:13

Democrats in the Wilderness

Inside a decimated party’s not-so-certain revival strategy.

19 января, 00:02

Obama Says Voting Barriers Are Directly Linked To Jim Crow And Slavery

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); President Barack Obama said Wednesday he believes that efforts to make it more difficult to vote in the United States are an extension of the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. “There is an ugly history to that that we should not be shy about talking about,” Obama said during his final news conference. “The reason that we are the only country among advanced countries that makes it harder to vote is, it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery. It became sort of acceptable to restrict the franchise. That’s not who we are. That shouldn’t be who we are. That’s not when America works best.” As Republicans across the country push strict voter ID laws in state legislatures, Obama described the notion that there were many incidences of voter fraud as “fake news.” “Make it easier, not harder. This whole notion of voting fraud, this is something that has constantly been disproved. This is fake news. The notion that there are a whole bunch of people who are going out there and are not eligible to vote and want to vote,” Obama said. “We have the opposite problem. We have a whole bunch of people who are eligible to vote who don’t vote. So the idea that we put in place a whole bunch of barriers to people voting doesn’t making sense.” President-elect Donald Trump has claimed that millions of Americans voted illegally during the presidential election, a claim that is untrue. A New York Times survey of all 50 states following the November election found very few incidences of voter fraud. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a provision in the Voting Rights Act that required places with a history of racial discrimination to seek clearance from the federal government before making changes to their elections. The decision has opened the door to a number of laws that make it more difficult to vote, After he leaves the White House, Obama will also be involved in an effort led by former Attorney General Eric Holder to take on redistricting reform and make electoral districts fairer for both parties. Obama said on Wednesday that these unfair “gerrymandered” districts threatened the country. “Political gerrymandering that makes your vote matter less because politicians have decided you live in a district where everybody votes the same way you do so that these aren’t competitive races and we get 90 percent Democratic districts, 90 percent Republican districts,” he said. “That’s bad for our Democracy, too. I worry about that.” -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

18 января, 01:26

Sessions Is Done Talking: How Will He Act On Legal Marijuana?

By Al Olsen Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) rope-a-doped his way through two days of grilling during his confirmation hearing without suffering anything close to a knockout blow, or really saying much about legal marijuana. President-elect Donald J. Trump's embattled nominee for Attorney General, an ardent opponent of legal marijuana, provided vague answers to questions about his approach to the issue. Despite the grilling from Democratic senators, Sessions suggested that he would not radically shake the status quo. But there is a lot of tea-leaf reading in between the lines. RELATED STORY: Sessions Needs To Think Like An Accountant, Not An Attorney "I won't commit to never enforcing federal law," said Sessions, responding in a double negative when asked if he would spend precious federal dollars and manpower to prosecute people for consuming cannabis in accordance with state laws. "But absolutely it's a problem of resources for the federal government." Sessions also suggested that the guidelines provided by his predecessors Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch were "truly valuable" in maintaining an appropriate balance. The testimony that made the biggest headlines occurred on Tuesday when Sessions challenged Congress to do its job as the legislative branch of the federal government and pass a law if it wants to put an end to the incongruity of state and federal policies. Until then, he maintained, he was adamant that he would follow current law "in a just and fair way." RELATED STORY: 6 Reasons Why Marijuana Wins No Matter Who Becomes Attorney General "It is not so much the Attorney General's job to decide what laws to enforce," Sessions said. "We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we are able." Some policy wonks and marijuana legalization advocates were cautious in their criticisms of the testimony. On one hand, his answers were innocuous and non-threatening. But on the other hand, Sessions has a decades-long reputation of anti-marijuana rhetoric. Marijuana Majority: "It's a good sign that Sen. Sessions seemed open to keeping the Obama guidelines, if maybe with a little stricter enforcement of their restrictions," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "The truth is, his answer was skillfully evasive. Drug Policy Alliance: "Jeff Sessions is a nightmare. He is a threat to progress, especially marijuana reform, sentencing reform, and asset forfeiture reform," said Bill Piper, senior director of national affairs for the DPA. "It is clear that he was too afraid to say the Reefer Madness things he said just a year ago, but he left the door open to interfering in the states. I think he will follow Trump's lead, whichever way that goes" Piper said, adding that Sessions' performance was "wishy-washy at best." National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: "If anything, his comments are a cause for concern and can be interpreted as leaving the door open for enforcing federal law in legalized states," said Erik Altieri, executive direction of the NORML. "If Sessions wants to be an Attorney General for ALL Americans, he must bring his views in line with the majority of the population and support allowing states to set their own marijuana policies without fear of federal intervention," he said. Marijuana Policy Project: Sessions "chose not to commit to vigorously enforcing federal prohibition laws in states that have reformed their marijuana laws. He also recognized that enforcing federal marijuana laws would be dependent upon the availability of resources, the scarcity of which poses a problem," said Robert Capecchi, director of MPP. During a Senate hearing in 2016, Sessions vehemently urged the federal government to act against the legalization efforts, declaring that "good people don't smoke marijuana." He also took a swing at Obama's pragmatic approach to the issue, saying: "We need grown-ups in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it is in fact a very real danger. To make it socially acceptable creates increased demand and results in people being addicted and being impacted adversely." Even more alarming is his belief that America's $1 trillion War on Drugs was a success. If confirmed -- which seems almost a forgone conclusion at this point -- Sessions would run the Department of Justice, the agency that enforces federal marijuana law. He would have the authority to roll back decades of progress in marijuana policy. But would Sessions -- of Trump for that matter -- want to wage a battle against eight states that have legalized full adult recreational use and another 29 states with medical marijuana programs? Cannabis is even legal in Washington D.C. It would appear to be a waste of resources to re-engage in this battle. RELATED STORY: Why Even Jeff Sessions Can't Stop The Marijuana Train From Rolling Polling is clear that the American people are in favor of legalization. States are collecting huge revenues from fees and taxes on marijuana sales. It is conceivable that Sessions would take a tepid, hands-off approach to the issue. At least one Congressman thinks so. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a legalization proponent, believes it would not be in Sessions' best interest to interfere with states that have legalized marijuana on the books. Rohrabacher is co-author of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment, which prohibits the Justice Department from spending federal funds to enforce the federal prohibition laws in states where medical marijuana has been legalized. Some legalization advocates express worry that there will be pressure applied to Congress to eliminate or change this rule. Rohrabacher dismisses such chatter. "Jeff Sessions is a loyal man with integrity, he will do what his boss wants him to do," Rohrabacher said. Trump, during the wildly contentious presidential campaign stated that he believes states should decide on marijuana legalization for themselves. "In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state by state," Trump said. Incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, agrees. "When you come into a Trump administration, it's the Trump agenda you are implementing, not your own, and I think Sen. Sessions is well aware of that," Spicer said. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

17 января, 23:33

Here's What Happens When Sessions Is In The Saddle At Justice

In 2008, the Alabama Policy Institute published a position paper on what it considered a dangerous trend by the courts and attorneys general. The trend was the court's approval of consent decrees. For decades, consent decrees have been major weapons wielded by the Justice Department to go after cities, states, and corporations that engage in blatant abusive practices on everything from consumer fraud to police abuse. The institute compiled a lengthy position paper that railed against the use of consent decrees to right wrongs. It demanded that attorneys general and state legislatures act to limit, if not outright do away with, the use of consent decrees. The Institute asked the one attorney general whom it was certain would back its conclusions to the hilt to write the introduction. U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions got right to the point in the very first two sentences, "One of the most dangerous, and rarely discussed exercises of raw power is the issuance of expansive court decrees. They have a profound effect on our legal system as they constitute an end around the democratic process." He boasted that as Alabama Attorney General he rushed to the courts to scrap a consent decree approved by his predecessor. He succeeded. Sessions heartily cheered the Institute for leading the charge to curtail the use of consent decrees. GOP senators, conservative bloggers, and legal shills have launched a charm campaign to paint Sessions as a guy who has been misunderstood. His racially demeaning quotes supposedly were taken out of context and, as Alabama Attorney General and later, U.S. Attorney, he urged vigorous prosecution of a Klan murderer, backed school desegregation efforts, filed lawsuits against voting rights discrimination, and backed the extension of the Voting Rights Act in 2006. But that's simply PR puffery and window dressing to mask the extreme peril Sessions poses once in the saddle at the Justice Department. There were glaring signs that he would not play by the legal and public interest book as Attorney General. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he claimed that he didn't see any criminal act in Trump's boast that he grabbed women in their private parts. This struck to the heart of whether Sessions' Justice Department would deal impartially with vital Department gender enforcement issues such as support for marriage equality, pay equity for women, and domestic violence and sexual assault. He also didn't object when Trump said he'd prosecute Hillary Clinton and investigate Black Lives Matter. Then there's the question of just what types of crimes Sessions would prosecute. There are an estimated 4000 federal criminal statutes on the books that could be subject to prosecution. It's up to the Attorney General to decide which crimes to make a priority for prosecution. Holder and Lynch put the department spotlight on immigration rights, voting rights, police abuse, drug and criminal justice system reform, and doing away with the use of private prisons for profit. Sessions chomps to get rid of voting rights enforcement, calling the Voting Rights Act "intrusive." As for private prisons, under former Attorney General Eric Holder, the Bureau of Prisons issued a memo that it would phase out the use of private, for-profit prisons, citing grave problems in safety, security, and oversight. During the campaign, Trump disagreed, calling for even more privatizations and private prisons. Geo Group is one of the largest private prison corporations. Four months after Trump pitched private prisons, in October, 2016, the GEO Group saw the pro privatization handwriting on the wall and hired two former Sessions aides to lobby in favor of outsourcing federal corrections to private contractors. There's still another sign of the shape of things to come at the Justice Department under Sessions. In 1997, when he was Alabama's Attorney General, a state judge went after him, calling him and his office an example of perpetrating the "worst case" of prosecutorial misconduct he had seen. The case that got the judge up in arms against Sessions was a prosecution of a trucking company for allegedly submitting fraudulent billings and taking kickbacks. Specifically, the charge was that his office failed to turn over evidence, gave false testimony, and abused the defendant's rights. Subsequent rulings and an ethics commission investigation found no wrong doing on Sessions' part. However, there was a taint with the public charge that Sessions, as the judge noted, was willing to "disregard the lawful duties of the Attorney General." There are certainly precedents where prior Attorney Generals went against the prevailing philosophy and wishes of the man who appointed him or her, namely the President. However, Sessions has been in public life for decades. There's absolutely no hint, based on his Senate voting record, public statements and actions, and ties to hard right-wing groups, that once in the Justice Department saddle, that he will suddenly be a fair and impartial enforcer of civil rights laws, criminal justice reforms, and go after corporate abuses. The evidence is just the opposite. Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming The Obama Legacy (Middle Passage Press) He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

17 января, 16:11

JOHN FUND AND HANS VAN SPAKOVSKY: Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free Administration’ Is a Myth. In real…

JOHN FUND AND HANS VAN SPAKOVSKY: Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free Administration’ Is a Myth. In reality, Mr. Obama has presided over some of the worst scandals of any president in recent decades. Here’s a partial list: • State Department email. In an effort to evade federal open-records laws, Mr. Obama’s first secretary of state set up a […]

17 января, 13:03

Will Obama pardon Snowden?

It's unlikely, but a 2001 Clinton pardon reflected concerns about using the Espionage Act against whistleblowers.

16 января, 22:48

Politicians Honor MLK Day While Working Against The Rights He Fought For

Politicians across the U.S. marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year by sharing photos of the civil rights hero and remembering his fight for equality. Some of the people paying tribute did so despite having actively fought against the causes that Dr. King championed. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), for one, has been a staunch advocate for voter ID laws. Such laws tend to disenfranchise people of color and low-income Americans, who are less likely to carry the right kind of identification.  Proponents of such measures say that they help combat voter fraud, a problem that is both rare and largely not possible to prevent with voter ID laws. Critics of voter ID laws, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, compare them to poll taxes, which Dr. King marched against. Still, Walker tweeted on Monday that he was honoring “the life and legacy” of King. We honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLKDay pic.twitter.com/90ZDHYHkxZ— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) January 16, 2017 Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) also paid tribute to King, despite his own voter suppression controversies. Scott was criticized by civil rights advocates in the weeks leading up to the 2016 elections for refusing to extend the voter-registration deadline even with a hurricane looming over the state. “Everybody has had a lot of time to register,” Scott said. A federal judge soon reversed that decision, along with a Florida law that put strict standards on mail-in ballots. U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker called the law an “undeclared war on Floridians’ right to vote.” Today, @FLAnnScott and I join all Floridians to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact his legacy continues to have on our country.— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) January 16, 2017 Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who in 2014 signed into law major restrictions on early voting, called on citizens to “embrace [Dr. King’s] vision of equality, compassion, justice, and peace.” Today we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #MLK pic.twitter.com/E8vrbjRaRx— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) January 16, 2017 Last year, under then-Gov. Mike Pence (R), Indiana state police raided a voter registration center working to sign up black citizens. Pence, who also opposed a state law banning LGBTQ workplace discrimination, tweeted about MLK Day too.  It’s hard not to wonder what Dr. King, who once said that “we must live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” would have thought about the vice president-elect’s record. America today honors the life & enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose voice, vision and courage made us a more perfect union.— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) January 16, 2017 President-elect Donald Trump and his real estate empire have a long history of discriminating against black tenants. In 1970s, the Justice Department actually sued Trump and his father, Fred, over allegations that they wouldn’t allow African Americans to live in their apartment buildings. The case was settled out of court. Trump also infamously pledged to ban Muslims from entering the country, accused Mexico of sending “rapists” to the U.S. and has nominated for attorney general Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a man who was once deemed too racist for a judgeship position. (Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s wife, even wrote a scathing letter opposing Sessions’ 1986 nomination.) Despite this, Trump, who has received the enthusiastic endorsement of white supremacists, urged Americans on Monday to celebrate King and “all of the many wonderful things that he stood for.” Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and all of the many wonderful things that he stood for. Honor him for being the great man that he was!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2017 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

15 января, 04:10

Perpetual Political War

The Trump slump has begun. Trump has less public support than any President-elect on record. Only 44 percent of Americans say they approve of Trump's handling of the presidential transition, according to Gallup. That number is going down. It was 48 percent a month ago. Compare that with George W. Bush, who took office in January 2001 after the fiercely disputed Florida recount. Bush started out with 61 percent support. Bill Clinton won the 1992 election with 43 percent of the popular vote in a three-way split with President George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot. Clinton's transition rating: 68 percent approval. Honeymoon? Forget it. Only 37 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Trump in this month's Quinnipiac poll. Most Americans don't like Trump. There is only one way Trump can survive: perpetual political war. He got elected by dividing the country. It was not exactly the old division, left versus right. Trump provoked a populist-elitist division by fiercely attacking the cosmopolitan ruling class. ``There is nothing that the political establishment will not do, no lie that they won't tell, to hold their prestige and power at your expense,'' he told a rally in Florida in October. Resentment of intellectuals and educated elites is an old theme in U.S. politics, going all the way back to Andrew Jackson. Trump exploited it relentlessly. He ended up carrying non-college educated white voters by better than two to one. The cultural elite's response to Trump? Contempt. Actress Meryl Streep denounced Trump as a ``bully'' for his ``instinct to humiliate'' the less fortunate. Trump's response? Defiance. He called Streep ``one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood'' and ``a Hillary flunky who lost big.'' Contempt versus defiance. That is likely to be the prevailing mode of political discourse for the next four years. Given the interference in the election by Russia and the FBI, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) told NBC News, ``I don't see this President-elect as a legitimate President.'' Trump's response via Twitter: ``Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime-infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results.'' A former Hillary Clinton campaign strategist said on MSNBC, ``What would be great is if [Trump] started conducting himself in a way that's consistent with the manner of all preceding Presidents. . . . Stop hurling insults. Stop hurling tweets.'' Trump's response? A defiant tweet: ``What are Hillary Clinton's people complaining about with respect to the FBI? Based on the information they had, she should never have been allowed to run -- guilty as hell.'' For Trump to survive, two conditions must hold. Republicans have to keep their majorities in Congress, and Trump's supporters have to stand by him. His supporters can threaten any Republican in Congress who opposes or even criticizes the President with a serious primary challenge. Trump knows how to rally his army. He has weaponized social media. Twitter nurtures populism. It enables Trump to bypass the news media and communicate directly with his people, who regard the media as a despised elite. As President, Trump has to continue tweeting to keep his populist following on a war footing. A revenge cycle is underway in American politics. The minute Barack Obama took office in 2009, conservatives organized a resistance movement. The Tea Party sprang into existence a few weeks after Obama's inauguration. Its mission was to oppose and obstruct everything Obama tried to do. Now a resistance movement is emerging among progressive Democrats. Its mission is to everything Trump tries to do. Big city Democratic mayors say they will refuse to cooperate with efforts to deport immigrants who seek refuge in their cities. Democratic state officials are organizing to do the same thing Republican state officials did when Obama was President -- go to court to challenge the federal government's constitutional authority to pass laws they find objectionable. The California legislature is retaining Eric Holder, Obama's former attorney general, to represent them in legal confrontations with the Trump Administration. ``Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California,'' the Democratic leader of the state senate said. The Democratic National Committee is setting up a ``war room'' to fight President Trump -- a research and communications operation aimed at rallying opposition to his policies, exposing his conflicts of interest and challenging his factual distortions. You thought the 2016 campaign was over? It was actually the opening salvo of a war that's likely to go on for years. Trump thrives on division. The Trump slump doesn't threaten him as long as his army is ready to fight at his command. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 января, 19:10

Sessions Needs To Think Like An Accountant, Not An Attorney

By John Hudak What to make of Jeff Sessions as the nation's next Attorney General? Well, first, if you oppose his nomination: Take a deep breath. He is going to be confirmed; he is going to be Attorney General. It's fantasy to think Sessions' nomination will be derailed. Once you've achieved acceptance, it's important to think about what he will be like as Attorney General. There is no doubt he will be a staunch opponent of immigration reform, work hard to deport as many undocumented individuals as possible, try to OK every abortion restriction the Congress can get passed, and make conservative orthodoxy mainstream in the Department of Justice. RELATED STORY: 6 Reasons Why Marijuana Wins No Matter Who Becomes Attorney General But what will he do with marijuana policy? This issue is a tricky one because he has spent a career as a fierce drug warrior. However, after a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) about enforcement of CBD oil in states that have reformed their laws, Sessions responded: "I won't commit to never enforcing federal law, Senator Leahy. But absolutely it's a problem of resources for the federal government. The Department of Justice under Lynch and Holder set forth some policies that they thought were appropriate to define what cases should be prosecuted in states that have legalized at least in some fashion some parts of marijuana.  I think some of them are truly valuable in evaluating cases but fundamentally, the criticism I think that was legitimate is that they may not have been followed. Using good judgment about how to handle these cases will be a responsibility of mine." So, what does this mean? It's a tap dance for sure. But it suggests that as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions knows that accounting is as important as enforcement. The Justice Department has an annual budget of over $27 billion -- a ton of money, for sure. But it gets spent fast. Jeff Sessions knows this. Every US government administrator -- from the manager of a small division of a bureau to a cabinet secretary -- has to make choices about how to spend funds. For an Attorney General, that means making hard choices about where, when, and to what extent to enforce laws. Prosecutors cut plea deals not only because they guarantee convictions, but because they also save money. Law enforcement officials make choices like these everyday, and Jeff Sessions will have to do the same. RELATED STORY: Why Even Jeff Sessions Can't Stop The Marijuana Train From Rolling On marijuana, Sessions faces choices. He can crack down on government officials, companies, investors, working within regulated industries in the states that have reformed marijuana laws. That's low hanging fruit. It's easy to know who these people are, where they are operating and the extent of their violations of federal law -- because they are doing it in the open. However, Sessions will be reminded constantly that every dollar he uses to shut down a legal recreational dispensary in Denver or raid a medical marijuana grower in San Francisco or arrest a cancer patient in Boston, is one less dollar he can spend on cracking down on illegal international marijuana supply networks; distributors of fentanyl; peddlers of heroin or other black market, unregulated sources of the world's most dangerous drugs. For an Alabama Senator, it is easy to group a state-legal, regulated marijuana operator, doling out bud in Seattle with a black market smuggler of fentanyl, nervously overseeing a shipping container crossing the Pacific. However, as Attorney General, it's not that easy. Sessions' testimony blends a commitment to the rule of law with a pragmatic approach to governing -- something geeks like me at the Brookings Institution call "enforcement discretion." He was clear that he didn't think the Holder/Lynch policies (likely meaning the Cole & Ogden Memos) were wrong. In fact, he called them "truly valuable." His concern was that the DOJ hasn't been faithful to those policies -- something few would disagree with. RELATED STORY: 11 Essential Books About Marijuana This is not to say Jeff Sessions will be a warrior for the status quo -- what I call the "Obama Doctrine on Marijuana." But, he's not the marijuana industry's angel of death either. Yes, he will join hands with the soon-to-be-named DEA chief and drug czar, at the pulpit of conservative government, and preach the gospels of prohibition. Yes, you'll probably see some state-level crackdowns, as well. But, as Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell has pointed out, on marijuana, Sessions sounded a lot like Loretta Lynch did in her confirmation hearing. And if Attorney General Sessions behaves more like Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder than ... well ... Senator Sessions, the marijuana industry, its consumers and patients will breathe a sigh of relief. John Hudak is deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management and a senior fellow in Governance Studies. Hudak is also the author of Marijuana: A Short History, which offers a unique, up-to-date profile of how cannabis emerged from the shadows of counterculture and illegality to become a serious, even mainstream, public policy issue and source of legal revenue for both businesses and governments. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

13 января, 12:06

In 2 Terms, Barack Obama Had Fewer Scandals Than Donald Trump Has Had In The Last 2 Weeks

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); WASHINGTON ― Scandal has consumed the final four years of every two-term president in modern history ― George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon. Barack Obama’s administration is the exception. While there were some minor scandals and resignations during Obama’s eight years in office, wrongdoing never fully occupied his presidency. None of it even directly touched the White House. There were no grand juries investigating his aides. There were no impeachments. There were neither convictions of White House staffers, nor pardons to protect government officials. This was a significant departure from the previous four two-term presidents. George W. Bush’s second term featured convictions related to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, in which more than a dozen lobbyists and government officials went to jail for corruption. There were also convictions related to the politically motivated purge of U.S. attorneys and the retaliatory leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity. As everyone who was sentient in the 1990s recalls, Clinton was impeached over his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. Reagan’s second term was plagued by corruption investigations ranging from Iran-Contra to Wedtech, a contracting scandal that led to the resignation of Attorney General Ed Meese. And, of course, there were Nixon’s final two years in office, which featured the convictions of 48 government officials and the first presidential resignation over corruption. All of these past scandals directly involved White House staff. Karl Rove, Bush’s top political adviser, and Lewis Libby, a senior adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, both were implicated in leaking Plame’s name to the press in retaliation for an op-ed that her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, wrote that showed that the president had lied about Iraq’s pursuit of nuclear weapons in his 2003 State of the Union address. While Rove was not prosecuted, Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice. Bush later commuted the sentence. The Clinton administration’s major scandal was related to the president’s own actions. The Iran-Contra scandal consumed the entire national security arm of the Reagan administration. At least eight members of the administration were indicted, and there were multiple convictions, although some were later overturned due to jury tampering, and President George H.W. Bush pardoned others. The 1972 Watergate scandal and ensuing revelations of campaign finance violations, cover-ups and retaliations destroyed the Nixon administration. It’s not an accident that Obama’s presidency was largely scandal-free. His former ethics adviser, Norm Eisen, began to craft an ethics plan for the administration months before the 2008 election. When Obama won, Eisen began implementing these plans with other White House aides ― including Chris Lu, who served as assistant to the president and later as deputy secretary of labor, and the late Cassandra Butts. Obama himself got engaged in the planning, reportedly making line-edits to the guidelines, according to Eisen. The plan required every Obama administration official and employee to sign an ethics pledge that included bans on accepting certain gifts and revolving-door rules that barred former staffers from lobbying the administration until Obama’s term ended. Officials leaving for other lines of work were banned from contacting their former agency for two years. The administration also adopted a loose ban on registered lobbyists entering the administration. Not all of these commitments stuck. Obama granted waivers that allowed some lobbyists to be appointed to government positions. And lawyers who represented banks or other industries, but were not registered as official lobbyists, moved freely from the private sector to the public sector and back again. By no means did the Obama administration thwart the power of special interests and big money in Washington. But the administration did avoid major scandals, which Eisen attributed to the “tone at the top.” “Everyone knows the president himself is a man of great integrity,” Eisen said. “He cares about this, he talks about it.” Still, there were examples of wrongdoing that led to resignations. Congress held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in the “Fast and Furious” investigation ― a botched Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms operation against gun smugglers from 2009 to 2011 that led to the death of a border control agent. Officials also resigned over the Internal Revenue Service’s alleged targeting of conservative groups for tax scrutiny, overspending on conferences at the General Services Administration, and hacking that exposed employee records at the Office of Personnel Management. The years-long investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s response to the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi revealed that she kept a private email server. While that did not lead to any charges or convictions, it may have contributed to her election defeat.  “Look I’m not saying everything the administration, the White House, has done is perfect,” Eisen said. But, he added, “You can’t compare those to the major scandals that have afflicted previous White Houses, where people have gone to jail. There’s been nothing like that under Obama.” President-elect Donald Trump, meanwhile, is set to enter office with unprecedented conflicts of interest related to his business empire, already setting the tone for a very different administration. He appears to be doing very little to vet his cabinet appointees. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the first speaker to be punished for ethics violations and a Trump ally, called for ethics laws to be loosened for Trump, and for the president-elect to issue preemptive pardons to appointees, so they won’t be punished for breaking the law. While Trump was looking to fill out his Cabinet, he managed to consider the only major figure convicted of a crime in Obama’s eight-year administration. That person was former CIA Director David Petraeus. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12 января, 23:12

Baltimore Police Agree to Stop Abusing Their Power

Under a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, the troubled force will employ a variety of measures to protect constitutional rights and correct racial disparities.

12 января, 21:10

Holder launches Democratic redistricting initiative

Former Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday officially launched the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, billing it in a speech to the Center for American Progress Action Fund as the center of Democratic rebuilding in the era of President-elect Donald Trump and as Democrats' main hope to roll back Republican gains in state legislatures and prepare for redistricting in 2020.The end goal: House majorities in Congresses elected after 2020. But Holder cited the Virginia governor's race and the potential special legislative races in North Carolina as "priorities" toward that end happening in 2017. Those states will be two early battlefields where NDRC will try to ensure Democrats have a “rightful seat at the table during the 2020 redistricting process,” Holder said."We heard a lot in this past election about rigged systems, but I want to say the biggest rigged system in America is gerrymandering,” Holder said. “A system where the lines are drawn not to represent American communities, but benefit politicians. A system where politicians pick their voters.” President Barack Obama will now take on a major role in the effort to rebuild the party’s presence in local offices with the NDRC, elevating its work from his post-presidency platform.Holder detailed a three-point, “going into the states” strategy for the NDRC — tackling gerrymandering by investing in down-ballot Democratic candidates who will influence future redistricting legislation, arguing for reforms to existing maps in state and federal courts, and promoting ballot initiatives that would mandate new procedures for independent district drawing.The top of the NRDC's priority list, Holder said, is simply winning state legislatures and governorships. Holder noted that three dozen upcoming gubernatorial races in 2017 and 2018 offer a direct path to affecting redistricting in many states. Holder also noted that other, less-noticed statewide officeholders, such as secretaries of state, are positioned to affect the redistricting process in certain states. “Four of the nine House seats gained by Democrats this year were a result from new maps that came from redistricting cases in Florida and Virginia,” Holder said. “The NDRC is poised to seize on these early gains by advancing a very aggressive legal strategy.”Democrats have suffered serious setbacks in nonfederal races across the country in recent years. In 2016, Republicans hold "trifectas" — majorities in the state House, Senate and the governor’s mansion — in 25 states, giving the party unfettered avenues to pass legislation in much of the country. Meanwhile, Democrats hold all levers of power in six states. Losses in the 2010 election seriously hampered Democrats' ability to affect redistricting in many states, especially in the Midwest. House gains the GOP made in the 2010 election were solidified in 2011 and 2012 as friendly state legislators drew district boundaries to protect newly elected Republican members of Congress.Holder acknowledged that the Democratic Party “lost track of our roots and didn't keep our eyes on the prize,” by emphasizing gains at the national level instead of in the states. Holder also took a swipe at Republicans’ strategy to flood state legislatures with voting reforms, saying the GOP “realized that their governing philosophy is not a winning one, so because they can’t win the game, they’ve decided to change the rules.”

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12 января, 07:51

Jeff Sessions a 'Nightmare' for Marijuana and Sentencing Reform, Advocate Says

We could see a dramatic reversal in the positive steps made by President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder to reform drug policy, says Drug Policy Alliance's Ethan Nadelmann Help support The Real News by making a donation today: http://therealnews.com/donate

12 января, 03:34

Steve Israel to advise DGA redistricting effort

The Democratic Governors Association has brought on former Rep. Steve Israel as an adviser, working on the group's effort to elect Democratic governors who will help the party draw more favorable congressional lines during the next round of redistricting.Israel, a former DCCC chairman, will advise the DGA's "Unrig the Map" initiative. He plans to travel the country to convince donors, activists and other constituencies that the road to a Democratic House majority starts with winning governor's races in 2018. And while Israel decried the need to constantly raise money after announcing he'd retire from Congress last year, he'll be fundraising for the effort, too."You cannot gain a House Democratic majority without electing more Democratic governors," Israel said in an interview. "That's it, short and simple."Israel has firsthand experience with how hard the current lines have made it for Democrats to retake the House. He led the DCCC during the 2012 cycle, when Democrats failed to recapture the chamber despite winning the national popular vote in House races, and again in 2014.The "Unrig the Map" initiative is focused on electing Democratic governors in 18 states with lines that the party views as unfairly benefiting Republicans. The targeted states include Virginia in 2017; Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas in 2018; Kentucky and Louisiana in 2019; and Indiana, Missouri and West Virginia in 2020.To figure out how to win those states, Israel will be "spearheading an intensive research project in Democratic battleground states to analyze voter sentiment in areas where Donald Trump did well," he said. He's also digging into how three Democrats managed to win in states that Donald Trump carried last year: Steve Bullock in Montana, Roy Cooper in North Carolina and Jim Justice in West Virginia."The path to a long-term Democratic majority is in their campaign playbooks," Israel said. "Those three governors in particular understood the importance of messaging to a critically important Democratic base as well as to swing voters."Israel will also work closely with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a new group that President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder are leading, with help from the DGA.

11 января, 15:00

We Can’t Forget All The 'Scandals' Of The Obama White House

This piece is part of a series on Obama’s legacy that The Huffington Post will be publishing over the next week. Read other pieces in the series here. One of the lowest points of Barack Obama’s presidency came in late spring 2013, when the White House was involved in a trio of controversies that the media and partisan critics had deemed worthy of calling “scandals.” As you may recall, the Obama White House was in the thick of the ongoing michegas over its 2012 Benghazi talking points ― hashed out in the fog of the attack and believed by many to have been massaged for the sake of ensuring that Obama would prevail in that November’s election. The second controversy was the then-unfolding story that the IRS had targeted political groups for heightened scrutiny, singling out organizations with the words “patriot” or “tea party” in their names. And the third scandal was the one that only a few people cared about, because it happened to reporters: It had just come to light that the Department of Justice had secretly seized “two months of phone records for Associated Press reporters and editors without notifying the news organization.” It was a pretty bad time for the president, and somewhere in Alaska, former Gov. Sarah Palin (R) added to it with a searing Facebook post. As The Huffington Post’s Paige Lavender reported: “This scandalous hat trick is on your watch. It is not believable that you knew nothing about Obama administration actions in dealing with these scandals,” Palin wrote. [...] Palin said Obama’s “team is out of control,” specifically targeting Attorney General Eric Holder and calling for his resignation. Palin didn’t stop at the latest scandals to rock the Obama Administration. She also slammed Obama for not holding his own umbrella. Umbrellas? Oh, Sarah, that vault looked so good in the air but then you botched the landing. But this was typical. During the Obama years, it definitely has been possible to view some of the White House’s decisions as “scandalous.” At the risk of having many Very Serious Beltway People come at me with their “Well, actually, this is just an example of a difficult policy choice, Jason,” I’ll say that for my money, the whole drone “kill list” thing and the administration’s failure to properly secure the financial futures of distressed post-crash homeowners actually do rise to the “scandal” level. But for many others, Obama’s use of a teleprompter qualified.   Who knew that things as petty as a teleprompter or an umbrella could stoke such outrage? Who knew that partisan antagonists could be so creative? In that way, the Obama era was truly unique. The idiots who peddled all of the dumb, perplexing and made-up controversies that competed for everybody’s attention actually used real industry and innovation. It was a breathless time where clothing and condiments and the particularities of various office supplies could inspire endless fist-shaking and sputtering and hot-takes galore. What if all of this energy and effort had been put to some productive purpose? Alas, Obama’s hip-hop barbecue maybe didn’t create any jobs, but so many stupid things kept the media in business all the same. Here are some of the greatest hits. February 2008: Michelle Obama is proud of us, so let’s stone her in the town square. A stray remark at a campaign rally ― “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and … for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback” ― got Michelle Obama in dutch, because wasn’t America swell before hope made a comeback? Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife were quick to counter that they’d always been proud of their country, presumably including that time their country did this to them. Can you imagine how exhausting it is to always be proud of something? I’d be much prouder of America if it didn’t need my validation all the damn time. June 2008: Black couple did alarming thing with their hands. Ha, you guys, let’s remember Fox News idiot E.D. Hill and her stricken reaction at the sight of Barack and Michelle dapping each other up. “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently.” It was a good reminder that stupidity often requires intense mental exertion. March 2009: Michelle Obama has arms. They appeared in a photograph. This was bad for some reason. April 2009: Obama has a run-in with the greeting police. Being polite and culturally aware doesn’t often work out for presidents, as Obama found out after he got caught bowing his head in greetings with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The State Department’s protocols do mandate a “no bowing” policy! But it would seem that the importance of these protocols lies in preventing a partisan Rorschach test from exploding on the internet. It’s too bad that the energy detractors exerted over this wasn’t matched when it came time to question the U.S. role in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen! April 2009: God save the queen (from Michelle Obama). The first lady got herself into a real spot when she “briefly put her hand on the back of Queen Elizabeth II” at a reception. The British press reacted with an aghast exhalation, citing royal etiquette. (Stateside, we mostly remembered that Americans are no longer subjects of the British monarch.) May 2009: Time for a condiment inquisition! So, the president, like all right-thinking people, loves a good burger. He also eschews ketchup, which is correct, because ketchup is garbage. But the fact that he likes to use Dijon-style mustard sent Fox News banshee Sean Hannity into a spasm of false class consciousness and complaint. “Hope you liked your fancy burger,” Hannity mewled, while playing his audience old Grey Poupon commercials. Hey, Sean, you understand that Grey Poupon is really cheap and all that other stuff is just effective marketing, right? July 2009: Panic at the G-8 Summit! So I’ve got to admit, at first blush, this looked pretty bad ― a chance photograph of Obama and his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, looked like Obama had paused to take a lingering look at a 17-year-old Brazilian woman’s backside while at the G-8 conference. In an amazing feat of journalism, however, reporters revealed that the original photo had a little bit of the old trompe l’oeil, and Obama was absolved of wrongdoing. That used to be the way the news worked, anyway. July 2009: Obama said a true thing about a stupid incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts. If the police ever arrest me for breaking into my own home, I’d say that those cops “acted stupidly” because that would quite literally be the truth. I’d say that if it happened to you, too. But when Obama said the same thing after Cambridge police arrested Harvard professor Skip Gates for allegedly breaking into his own home, everything went sideways for the president. Naturally, the fact that the topics of race and police resonated throughout made it more than possible for this matter to get overly politicized. It certainly demonstrated that there were massive (and unnecessary) political constraints on Obama in any discussion about race ― and in retrospect, this is a real pity. Also bad: This was the event that gave the world “beer summits.” January 2010: People have opinions about desks! A 2010 photograph of Obama talking to a room full of advisers with his feet propped on the Resolute Desk would make the complaint rounds for years to come, so much so that three years after the fact, The Washington Times somehow reported that the image was sending “shockwaves around the world,” which, LOL. Naturally, the outrage mainly stemmed from the fact that Obama wasn’t propping up his feet while simultaneously being Caucasian. July 2010: The curious matter of the “black power” ice cream. I’m pretty certain this scandal was entirely confined to the state of Maine, but the story here is that there is an ice cream joint in Bar Harbor with a logo that looks like “an upright black fist clenching a spoon,” and it never really mattered to anyone until the Obamas stopped in for some cones one summer. That’s when “several right-leaning bloggers have suggested that the decision by Obama, the nation’s first black president, to patronize a shop with what one site called ‘such a politically-sensitive logo’ has hidden, intentional meaning.” And that’s how the Dunning-Kruger effect works! May 2011: Common did some black stuff at the White House. Michelle Obama celebrated some American poets at the White House, among them Chicago rapper and actor Common. It takes real effort to mine Common’s work for anything even remotely “gangsta” (Common’s best-known song is a repudiation of hip-hop’s excesses), but The Daily Caller put in some time and surfaced a poem “written from the perspective of inner city black youths who feel that the police don’t protect them.” Soon, Fox News was following suit, referring to Common as a “vile rapper.” If you’re wondering if that was an abrupt change of heart on Common’s merits by Fox News, give yourself a prize. September 2011: Never forget that time Obama used a binder clip. This may have been the most amazing scandal of the Obama presidency. At a Rose Garden news conference urging Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, Obama brandished a copy of the bill, and the New York Post somehow fixated ... on this: President Obama’s plan to reverse the nation’s staggering jobless rate is held together with a paper clip! “Here it is,” Obama said, waving a copy of his jobs plan during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden yesterday, an enormous paper clip binding the pages together. That’s right, a whole crazy thing about how a stack of paper was held together by a binder clip. The Post called it “chintzy,” and Steve Doocy of “Fox & Friends” deployed similar language. Such elitism! Everyone knows that the noble binder clip is the hardy working-class paper fastener. That used to mean something. Throughout 2012: A crazy row over a 2009 Oval Office decor decision consumes those with nothing better to talk about. It began with a Winston Churchill bust being removed from its Oval Office perch in favor of a Martin Luther King Jr. bust shortly after Obama took office. This outraged people who just learned of the move and combined a congenital need to be outraged with the failure to achieve the formal operational stage of cognitive development. The ensuing mystery and its attendant confusion was compounded by the fact that there are Churchill busts all over the White House. Finally it was explained, probably to no one’s satisfaction. I don’t know how I’ll explain to future generations how so many people became obsessed with a bust of Churchill. With any luck, there won’t be any “future generations.” May 2012: The political press learns something about memoirs. Oh, man, and then there was the time that a bunch of political reporters got a bit snooty about the fact that the “New York girlfriend” in Obama’s memoir Dreams From My Father, was never disclosed to be a “composite character” made up of many different people in the book itself. Except, guess what? This was, in fact, disclosed in all editions of the book. Really, political reporters should probably talk to the people who publish memoirs because then they’d learn that composite characters are a frequently used device that allows memoirists to keep their books from being tens of thousands of pages long, but I guess that would be too much effort. August 2013: The Obama’s don’t have any white dogs. Ha, well, OK. February 2014: Were Bey and Bam doing it? No, Obama and Beyonce were not having an affair, despite the momentarily confident assertion from French photographer Pascal Rostain that The Washington Post was planning on reporting the blockbuster account. Alas, such a report did not come to pass. Still, it was a fun one for the ‘shippers. August 2014: Hold up, is everyone really freaking out about a tan suit? Obama famously told author Michael Lewis that in an effort to “pare down decisions,” he restricted himself to wearing only gray or blue suits while in office. It’s no wonder: The one time he opted for something different ― a tan suit ― the world nearly exploded. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) actually got mad about this. It’s like we want the world to think we are a nation of garbage people. September 2014: The coffee cup salute. Very few people noticed or cared about this time Obama hopped off Marine One holding a cup of coffee in his hand, causing him to bungle the traditional salute to the Marines at the end of the steps. But apparently numerous people exist who meticulously watch for such breaches of protocol and start shrieking about it on social media whenever they catch one. It’s a good way to serve your country without putting anything personal at risk, I guess. May 2016: The house Obama will live in after he leaves office is near other things. Specifically, The Daily Caller objects to the fact that the president’s Kalorama home will be near the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. Just wait till they find out that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner will be doing the same! Finally, over the years many people have complained that Obama plays too much golf. We’re going to give his critics this one, because golf is bad. ~~~~~  Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.    type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related coverage... + articlesList=586bfbfbe4b0d9a5945cc204,5866836ce4b0de3a08f808dd,584eea35e4b04c8e2bb0cee2 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

11 января, 02:20

Jeff Sessions Offers No Straight Answers On How He'll Handle Legal Marijuana

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has outlined his stance as a firm opponent of marijuana, but during his confirmation hearing Tuesday, he offered only vague answers about how he might approach the drug should he be confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump’s attorney general. Although Sessions appeared to suggest there wouldn’t be radical changes in federal policy toward weed, he also left the door open for increased federal interference. “I won’t commit to never enforcing federal law,” said Sessions, responding to a question about whether he’d use federal resources to prosecute people using marijuana in accordance with their state laws. “But absolutely it’s a problem of resources for the federal government.” Sessions went on to say that federal guidelines on marijuana enforcement crafted under Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch had been “truly valuable” in determining how to navigate inconsistencies between federal law ― under which marijuana is illegal ― and state laws that have loosened restrictions on the plant. Sessions also noted that if Congress wanted to clear up this confusion, it could pass a law adjusting the legal status of marijuana. Until then, however, he vowed to do his job “in a just and fair way” while judging how to approach marijuana going forward. “It is not so much the attorney general’s job to decide what laws to enforce,” Sessions said. “We should do our job and enforce laws effectively as we are able.” Marijuana advocates met Sessions’ stance with guarded optimism, though they cautioned that he had not ruled out the possibility of more aggressive action against legal marijuana states and users.   “It’s a good sign that Sen. Sessions seemed open to keeping the Obama guidelines, if maybe with a little stricter enforcement of their restrictions,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, a drug policy reform group. “The truth is, his answer was skillfully evasive, and I hope other senators continue to press for more clarity on how he would approach the growing numbers of states enacting new marijuana laws.” Bill Piper, senior director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, said Sessions was “wishy-washy at best.” “It is clear that he was too afraid to say the Reefer Madness things he said just a year ago (that’s progress), but he left the door open to interfering in the states,” Piper said in an email. “I think he will follow Trump’s lead, whichever way that goes.” Marijuana remains illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, despite statewide efforts to scale back on criminalizing the plant over the past few years. Legal recreational marijuana has been approved in eight states and Washington, D.C., which continues to ban sales, unlike the state programs. A total of 28 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. President Barack Obama’s Justice Department has allowed states to forge their own way on marijuana policy due to guidance urging federal prosecutors to refrain from targeting state-legal marijuana operations. But marijuana advocates are concerned that this guidance will be reversed when the Trump administration enters the White House and a new attorney general, presumably Sessions, takes control of the department. His answer was skillfully evasive, and I hope other senators continue to press for more clarity. Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority Sessions has long held retrograde views on marijuana and the war on drugs, and his nomination as attorney general had received near universal condemnation from advocates in favor of progressive drug policy. “Jeff Sessions is a nightmare,” said Piper in a statement Monday. “He is a threat to progress, especially marijuana reform, sentencing reform, and asset forfeiture reform.” Piper urged the committee to reject Sessions’ nomination and was not swayed by the senator’s testimony on Tuesday. During a Senate hearing last year, Sessions spoke out against weed and urged the federal government to send the message to the public that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He went on to criticize Obama for not speaking out more forcefully against the drug, saying that “we need grown-ups in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.” In separate comments last year, Sessions also called the legalization of marijuana “a mistake.” Sessions told PBS’s “Frontline” in a 2015 interview that he believes the war on drugs was a success. But public support for the nation’s longstanding enforcement-first approach to drug use has waned in recent years. The four-decade boondoggle has cost the U.S. more than $1 trillion, cemented America’s position as the world’s leading jailer and ruined countless lives, while failing to drive down addiction rates or the price or purity of drugs. If confirmed, Sessions would sit atop the Department of Justice, the federal agency that oversees federal prosecutors and enforces federal marijuana law. He would have great influence in determining whether to preserve or roll back recent changes to marijuana policy ― changes that reflect shifting public opinion in favor of more lenient weed laws. Drug policy reformers have raised concerns that Sessions could use the FBI to crack down on marijuana operations nationwide, or direct the Drug Enforcement Administration to enforce federal prohibition outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The court ruled in August that a federal rider blocks federal officials from prosecuting state-legal marijuana operators and patients. But that rider must be re-approved annually, and if it’s allowed to expire, Sessions could then order the DEA to enforce federal law nationally. He could also sue the various state governments that have set up regulatory schemes. Sessions offered few details about his plans during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, and some of his supporters have said it’s likely that he’ll take a hands-off approach toward marijuana. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), a vocal proponent for reforming marijuana laws, told The Huffington Post in November that Sessions would not interfere with states that have legalized marijuana, a position that he characterized as consistent with Trump’s. “Jeff Sessions is a loyal man with integrity, he will do what his boss wants him to do,” Rohrabacher said. During the presidential campaign last year, Trump said that he believes states should decide on marijuana legalization for themselves. “In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state by state,” Trump said. Trump’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, echoed similar sentiments on Tuesday during an interview on Fox News. “When you come into a Trump administration, it’s the Trump agenda you are implementing, not your own, and I think Sen. Sessions is well aware of that,” he said. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

27 мая 2013, 11:26

Простым языком об организованной преступности финансового бизнеса. Тема: ставки Libor

Организованная преступность финансового бизнесаПора перестать смеяться над любителями теорий заговоров. Может быть, за нитки за кулисами дергают не ротшильды с рокфеллерами, а наемные менеджеры, но суть от этого не меняетсяМеждународная финансовая система, ставшая сегодня основой современной корпоративной свободнорыночной экономики - это мошенничество в особо крупных размерах.Странные порядки царили в советских СМИ. Интересные вещи появлялись в самых неожиданных местах. Журналы «Наука и жизнь» и «Знание сила» писали про политическую философию, рассказы Кафки появлялись где-нибудь в «Сибирских огнях», репродукция Пикассо впервые в СССР была опубликована в сатирическом «Крокодиле», а о Роллинг стоунз впервые написали не в музыкальном обозрении, а в детском журнале «Ровесник».В Америке все скоро будет, как в СССР эпохи застоя. Уже сейчас расследованиями финансовых спекуляций занимаются не солидные «Уолл-стрит джорнал» или «Файненшиал таймс», а журнал «Роллинг стоунз». Финансовый корреспондент журнала Мэтт Тайби практически единственный в мейнстриме, кто пишет о разрегулированном и дисфункциональном американском и мировом финансовом рынке и о том, насколько этот рынок мошеннический.Почему, как в СССР? А потому, что все меньше и меньше реальных хозяев, а делами заправляет цех наемных менеджеров, заинтересованный лишь в высокой зарплате и жирном пакете бенефитов в конце года. Именно менеджеры и финансовые спекулянты, да еще их адвокаты составляют тот 1%, который присваивает себе львиную долю национального богатства Америки. Как заметил ветеран американской журналистики Хедрик Смит, распределение богатства в Америке аналогично тому, что было в Египте в эпоху фараонов. Однако, в отличие от Египта, собственность здесь обезличена, а богатство рассредоточено и перемешано в различных банковских и финансовых продуктах, которые давно уже никто не способен контролировать.На встречу с Мэттом Тайби я шел с большим интересом. Его последняя статья «Все – мошенничество. Крупнейшая финансовая афера фиксирования цен в истории» рассказывает о манипулировании на рынке свопов. Комиссия по торговле товарными фьючерсами недавно начала следствие по делу брокерской фирмы ICAP и 15 банковских учреждений Уолл Стрит. Комиссия расследует их сговор с целью манипуляции скоростью публикации индекса ISDAfix.О ФИНАНСАХ ПРОСТО И ИНТЕРЕСНОЕсли продолжать писать о финансах в том же псевдопрофессиональном духе, зараженном корпоративным новоязом, то даже самые преданные мои читатели скоро потеряют интерес. Потому объясню просто. Что бы вы сказали, если бы результаты скачек объявлялись публике через несколько дней после того, как скачки состоялись? А в это время «умным людям» внутри системы разрешалось делать ставки? Собственно, так и происходит со скоростной электронной торговлей. Комбинаторы внутри системы получают возможность видеть и прогнозировать результаты торгов в конце дня, и на этом основании делают свои ставки, покупают и продают до того, как остальные игроки узнают, что там происходит. Покупают и продают не на свои деньги, а на деньги клиентов, против интересов которых они часто играют. ISDAfix – один из многих индексов, существующих на финансовых рынках. Он служит для определения курса в финансовых сделках. Libor – другой такой индекс, с помощью которого определяют курс практических всех банковских сделок с переменным курсом. Фокус здесь в том, что эти индексы составляются на основе оценочных данных, которые финансовые компании предоставляют добровольно и имеют возможность их поправлять.Самое простое объяснение свопа. Скажем вы – город или компания – заняли деньги под переменный курс и хотите иметь стабильность займа с фиксированным процентом. Тогда  фиксированный процент вы платите банку, а уже он разбирается с переменными процентными ставками. Это выходит дороже, но освобождает от хлопот. Своп – это многошаговая операция,  в ходе которой активы переходят из рук в руки, одновременно продаются и покупаются на заранее договоренных условиях.Сговор был в том, чтобы лишить широкую публику возможности своевременно узнавать об этих условиях. Банки докладывают о своих курсах добровольно, а это прямое приглашение не говорить всей правды.Большинство американского среднего класса слишком озабочено своими растущими долгами,  невозможностью сводить концы с концами, необходимостью выкладываться на двух-трех работах. Лишь мельком они могут услышать о скачках индекса Доу Джонс на Уолл Стрит. В конце дня им по телевизору расскажут, как шутка хакеров о взрыве в Белом Доме завалила на несколько минут финансовые рынки. Уровень торгов  потом восстановится. Вот только самого главного - кто нагрел на этом руки - СМИ не расскажут.Только недавно без лишнего шума закончилось судебной сделкой расследование аферы, в которой мошенники сманипулировали индексом Libor на пятьсот триллионов долларов. Штрафы заплатят, как водится, не виновники, а вкладчики компаний и налогоплательщики. Да еще законодатели дадут проворовавшимся банкирам налоговые скидки.Так случилось в рождественскую ночь, когда для компании, оштрафованной на $750 миллионов за уголовные нарушения, конгрессмены тихонько протащили закон об освобождении от налогов на $500 миллионов. ПОЧЕМУ ЖЕ ЗАКОНОДАТЕЛИ РАЗРЕШАЮТ ПОДОБНОЕ?– Раньше это работало или, по крайней мере, ничего не всплывало на поверхность, – говорит Тайби. – Теперь же выясняется, что котировки подправлялись довольно долгое время. Это очень легко сделать. Достаточно одному биржевому маклеру и одному из сотрудников рейтингового агентства вступить в сделку и позвонить по нескольким номерам. И это без преувеличения затрагивает интересы миллиардов людей.На манипуляциях поймали три банка, которые уже заключили судебные сделки, еще четыре - под следствием, но предполагается, что все 16 «первоклассных» банков, определенных в маркетмейкеры индекса, занимались манипуляциями. Тайби говорит, что по его данным, следствие ведется против 15-ти из них:Если там было мошенничество, то во всех 16-ти банках должны были знать о нем? – В деле есть множество косвенных улик, подтверждающих, что руководство знало о мошенничестве, – говорит Тойби. – В деле фигурирует переписка между Bank of England и гендиректором одного из крупнейших в Великобритании и мире финансовых конгломератов – Barklays в разгар глобального финансового обвала 2008 года о том, чтобы установить индекс ниже, чем он был на самом деле.Индекс Libor, по сути, измеряет, как банки доверяют друг другу, и поэтому является показателем благосостояния финансовой системы в целом. Если индекс низкий, банки доверяют и занимают друг другу деньги. Если индекс высокий – значит, банковская система нестабильна.Котировки межбанковского обмена устанавливаются ежедневно, и, вероятно, можно было создать независимую организацию для мониторинга и предотвращения мошенничества?– Да, если бы использовали реальные данные. Однако сегодня никто не обязан подавать реальные цифры о том, сколько денег они заняли вчера и по какому курсу. Предоставляют лишь свои предположения о том, какая котировка будет. Там довольно сложный процесс подсчета, охватывающий разные периоды времени и 16 основных мировых валют.Новый сговор, который расследует Комиссия, влияет на затраты по обслуживанию займов во всем мире и процентные свопы стоимостью в $379.  – триста семьдесят девять триллионов долларов. Для сравнения – валовой национальный продукт США составляет около 15 триллионов, а совокупное национальное богатство США – 57.4 триллиона (на 2011 г). Эта мошенническая схема затрагивает любого, кто платит по ипотечной ссуде, по ссуде на машину, расплачивается кредитной карточкой. От этого зависит сама цена денег, обменные курсы валют во всем мире. Речь идет о небольшом подразделении внутри ICAP, – говорит Тайби. –  Около 20 человек, которые, по сути, определяли курсы свопов во всем мире. Хотя фирма зарегистрирована в Лондоне, действовали они из Джерси-сити, потому американские регуляторы смогли расследовать их деятельность.По сути же, транснациональные банковские корпорации действуют в сумеречной зоне, с неопределенными юрисдикциями. В афере Lidor все началось с японского биржевика, вступившего в сговор с сотрудником Lidor, тоже находившимся в Японии. Национальные границы не всегда позволяют эффективно расследовать новые виды корпоративной преступности.Это совершенно новый вид преступлений. Нет надобности красть у людей деньги и имущество. Вместо воровства манипулируют стоимостью имущества, которое имеется у людей, манипулируют процентными ставками, которые мы платим.НОВЫЙ ЭТАП МЕЖБАНКОВСКИХ МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫХ ПРЕСТУПЛЕНИЙЧто же здесь нового, если Уолл-стрит и банки всегда отличались "творческими" и "новаторскими" подходами к поиску путей, как делать деньги? – Здесь нечто совершенно новое. Во время финансового коллапса 2008 вскрылся огромный объем системной коррупции в финансовых корпорациях, систематической обман в ипотечном бизнесе, укорененные аферы в аудите, мошеннические схемы в банках и компаниях, как в Лэмон Брозерс.Однако раньше мы никогда не сталкивались со случаями коррупции и мошенничества, включавшие сговор между банками. Последние аферы свидетельствуют о том, что корпоративная преступность вступила в новый этап межбанковских международных преступлений. На сцену выходит глобальная институцианализированная организованная преступность, способная безнаказанно подавить конкуренцию и манипулировать международными финансовыми рынками в невиданных ранее масштабах.Речь не идет о группе злоумышленников, ловящих рыбку в мутной воде рынка производных финансовых продуктов - деривативов. Определенные деятели зарабатывают миллиарды потому, что делают бизнес по-блатному, имеют нечестные преимущества. Мощные силы лоббируют политическую систему, и не допускают сделать рынок деривативов и свопов более прозрачным и понятным. Они имеют своих людей в Конгрессе. Они помогли Обаме избраться, а он расставил нужных людей в своей администрации. Громко разрекламированная финансовая реформа Обамы, известная еще как Додд-Френк Акт была без зубов, содержала множество лазеек и исключений, позволявший обойти закон. Даже те скромные меры обеспечения прозрачности рынка, которые содержит закон, администрация Обамы за полтора года так и не провела в жизнь.Разве банки не конкурируют между собой? Разве незримая рука свободного рынка не способна упорядочить рынок? А как же базисные мифы капитализма, которые американцы (а теперь и все остальные) впитывают чуть ли не с молоком матери? Предвидя возмущенные возгласы моих читателей-свободнорыночных энтузиастов "где вы видели свободный рынок", скажу, то, что называет себя свободным рынком, таковым и является, другого - нет.С другой стороны мои читатели-либералы, свято верящие, что американское общество стоит на защите их прав и равных возможностей, возразят, мол, а как же антимонопольное законодательство? Что бы сказал борец с монополизацией Тедди Рузвельт?Я полагаю, что антимонопольное законодательство должно применяться к подобным сговорам, но оно не применяется, – говорит Мэтт Тайби. –  Большие корпорации, контролирующие огромные сегменты рынка и национальных ресурсов, являются монополиями. Тем самым они становятся опасными для общества.Однако, когда появляются доказательства того, что они находятся в сговоре между собой для манипуляций курсами и котировками, это становится чрезвычайно опасным  для общества. Если мы ничего с этим не делаем радикально, то это ведет нас к эскалации.ЧЕМУ БАНКИРЫ НАУЧИЛИСЬ У МАФИИ?И все-таки, что же с конкуренцией. Неужели "Чейс" и "Сити банк" не конкурируют между собой? – Они ведут борьбу за клиентов. Они конкуренты на каком-то уровне, но есть целые сферы в финансовом бизнесе, когда они заодно, – говорит Мэтт Тайби. –  Я проводил журналистское расследование по поводу манипуляций на аукционах государственных облигаций. Мало кто об  этом знает, но если город, штат или даже целая страна хочет мобилизовать средства, то по закону, они обязаны провести торги. Аукцион призван создать конкуренцию между финансовыми корпорациями, и тем самым снизить учетные ставки, которые общество платит. На деле банкиры поделили между собой рынок с целью не допустить конкуренции, мол, мы возьмем облигации этого города, вы – другого.Материал по расследованию торгов облигациями Тайби называется «Чему банкиры научились у мафии». Читателю на просторах бывшего СССР они живо напомнят мошеннические аукционы веселых времен приватизации 1990-х.В Америке власти все же уличили пять крупнейших финансовых корпораций Уолл-Стрит, да еще банковскую компанию «Дженерал Электрик» в махинациях на сумму в $3.7 млрд. Как водится, в тюрьму никто не сел. В Штатах элита выше этого и понятие личной ответственности здесь напрочь отсутствует. Никто не заплатил штрафа из собственного кармана. Откупились многомиллионными штрафами из денег держателей акций. Такие штрафы никого не отпугивают. Когда делаются десятки миллиардов, то многомиллионые штрафы – лишь производственные расходы.Да и не доходят штрафы до пострадавших. Когда американское министерство финансов в рамках судебной сделки оштрафовала банки за нарушения в сфере ипотеки, то пострадавшие получили компенсацию в размере $300 на душу, зато адвокаты банков положили в карман два миллиарда. Прокуратура предпочитает не связываться с финансистами. Уходящий министр юстиции Эрик Холдер заявил недавно, что эти компании слишком большие и не по силам прокуратуре.«Министерство юстиции не провело во время президентства Обамы никаких серьезных расследований ни одного из крупных финансовых учреждений», – говорил мне Уильям Блак, адъюнкт-профессор экономики и права в Университете Миссури, Канзас-Сити. В 1980-х годах он работал следователем в скандале S&L (saving&loans). За 4 года Холдер и его люди не только не завели ни одного дела против крупных банковских воротил, но и тщательно следили, чтобы на местах не появились такие дела. Когда генеральный прокурор Нью-Йорка Эрик Шнайдерман завел было уголовные дела за массовые нарушения законов банками при выселении людей из домов за долги, Холдер и его люди тут же надавили и заставили Шнейдермана подписать сделку с банками. При подготовки статьи, из офиса генерального прокурора штата сообщили, что взамен он добился, чтобы из сделки исключили пункт о предоставлении иммунитета банкирам от дальнейших расследований по ипотечным преступлениям.Обама привел Холдера из адвокатской фирмы «Ковингтон и партнеры», которая обслуживает и представляет худших финансовых нарушителей. Холдер зарабатывал там $2,5 млн. в год. Холдер привел с собой Ленни Брюэра, возглавлявшего в фирме отдел "белых воротничков" по защите финансовых уголовников. В юстиции Обамы, Брюэр возглавил отдел уголовного преследования и всячески заботился, чтобы его бывшие клиенты не стали его подследственными. В одном из интервью Брюер признался, что, прежде всего, его заботит, что финансовые фирмы могут пострадать, если их менеджеры окажутся на скамье подсудимых.Брюэра хорошо вознаградили, и после завершения работы в министерстве юстиции, он получил работу лоббиста с окладом $4 млн. в год. Еще два юриста из Ковингтон заняли при Холдере ключевые позиции в системе правосудия Обамы, а первый заместитель Холдера Джеймс Кол пришел из другой, не менее одиозной юридической фирмы Bryan Cave LLP.Не удивительно, что и расследование аферы Libor, по сути, закончилось пшиком.Первым обвиняемым, с кем заключили сделку, оказался Barclays. Они заплатили относительно небольшой штраф ($450 млн. способны ослепить человека с улицы, но это копейки по сравнению с суммами, которые они оборачивают). Мой друг в правоохранительных органах говорил тогда, что все ожидают, как обычно, что за легкое наказание они сдадут всех остальных и последуют обвинительные иски в уголовных преступлениях. Оказалось, что сделка с Barclays стала эталоном для всех остальных подобных сделок.    СМИ не уделяют большого внимания финансовым аферам. Когда я ехал на встречу с Мэттом Тайби, в поезде пролистал газеты. Первые полосы были заняты сообщениями о том, что Джейон Коллинз стал первым открытым геем в Высшей спортивной лиге, Анджелина Джоли в целях профилактики удалила себе грудь (в качестве рекламной кампании по защите многомиллиардного бизнеса корпорации, запатентовавшей на себя человеческие гены – прим. ред.) в городских джунглях Сиэттла нашлись три женщины, проведшие 10 лет в рабстве в подвале дома в тихом городском районе. Одна из рабынь сумела сбежать, когда ее хозяин отправился покушать в местный МакДональдс.Мэтт Тайби - один из немногих в Америке, кто берется распутать аферы и рассказать о них публике, а «Роллинг Стоунз магазин» - практически единственное издание мейстрима, готовое предоставить свои страницы для расследований на эту тему.Много лет назад я слушал выступление легендарного Бена Бредли, многолетнего главреда «Вашингтон пост», запустившего расследование «Уотергейтского дела» и опубликовавшего знаменитые «Бумаги Пентагона». В русскоязычном мире многие помнят блестящую роль Джейсона Робардса, сыгравшего Бредли в фильме «Вся президентская рать». Бредли тогда спросили, а почему бы ему не заняться финансовыми аферами. Как раз тогда в самом разгаре был кризис S&L, в котором прогорело больше четверти всех кредитно-сберегательных ассоциаций США. Бредли тогда усмехнулся и сказал, что у публики «glaze over» – глаза остекленеют от этих дел. Американская публика способна до остервенения спорить по поводу толкования конституции, гражданских, гендерных или религиозных прав, но совершенно не обучена реагировать, когда задевают ее реальные социальные или классовые интересы. Капиталистический реализм, в котором здесь выросли, не дает необходимого словаря, моделей и понятий.Михаил Дорфман

07 мая 2013, 00:39

Без суда и следствия - в лучших традициях Линча

В прошедший понедельник американцам доходчиво разъяснили при каких обстоятельствах любого из них могут убить, причем не кровожадные террористы, а собственная, горячо любимая армия, полиция, спецслужбы…Выступая перед студентами и преподавателями Северо-Западного Университета, генеральный прокурор США Эрик Холдер разъяснил, что факт убийства американских граждан их правительством не стоит расценивать как нечто ужасное, а наоборот, как демонстрацию заботы правительства о безопасности американцев. Эрик ХолдерХолдер пояснил, что: «Когда речь идет о национальной безопасности, конституция гарантирует надлежащую правовую процедуру, а не судебный процесс.» Иными слвоами, любого американца теперь могут лишить жизни без суда и следствия, лишь при одном подозрении в намерении совершить противоправные действия (теракт).Так же Холдер подчеркнул: "Мы находимся в состоянии войны с врагом без гражданства, склонного кочевать от страны к стране… Ни Конгресс, ни наши Федеральные суды не ограничили границы применения нами силы…"До недавних лишь группа высших чиновников могла расценивать уровень угрозы для национальной безопасности и принимать решение по ликвидации лиц, от которых эта угроза исходит. Среди таких чиновников были равно как министр обороны Леон Панетта (ныне Чак Хэйгел) так и президент Барака Обама, который, непосредственно и давал окончательное утверждение на ликвидацию.Леон Панетта и Барак Обама еще в январе 2012 публично обсуждали идею ликвидации подозреваемых без суда и следствия.По словам генерального прокурора, это, с недавних пор, уже пережиток прошлого. «Конституция не требует от президента откладывать действия по предотвращению теракта до момента, когда полностью становится известно, что подозреваемый планирует его совершить. Такие действия приводят к нежелательному риску».По словам Холдера отныне решения, о ликвидации граждан являются исключительной прерогативой исполнительной власти, потому что только исполнительная власть обладает "опытом принятия подобных решений и полным доступ к имеющейся.Таким образом, в ближайшее время стоит ожидать появления списков неблагонадежных граждан США, за которыми будет организована слежка. И случайный клик на гиперссылке радикального исламистского сайта может в ту же секунду призвать фею калибра 5.56.