• Теги
    • избранные теги
    • Люди1117
      • Показать ещё
      Страны / Регионы432
      • Показать ещё
      Международные организации53
      • Показать ещё
      Формат10
      Компании1124
      • Показать ещё
      Издания159
      • Показать ещё
      Показатели21
      • Показать ещё
      Разное529
      • Показать ещё
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.
Развернуть описание Свернуть описание
29 апреля, 14:00

Список Магницкого и пытки в американских тюрьмах

Наконец-то список Магницкого стал реальностью и теперь посольство Великобритании может смело щеголять размахивая им перед носом у российских чиновников. Читатель может удивиться бравурной ноте начала статьи и будет разумеется прав. Свинское дело задумал сенатор-демократ от штата Мэриленд Бенджамин Луис Кардин, но оно ему как раз и по плечу. Большего ему и не добиться. Читателя может […]

26 апреля, 22:06

Sharpton's gathering opens as 'annual convention of the resistance'

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s annual convention began Wednesday inside the Sheraton New York, on 7th Avenue by 53rd Street. But to hear the longtime civil rights activist and television host describe it, he is gathering supporters behind enemy lines. “You’re a few blocks south of Trump Tower. And we’re a few blocks north of Fox News,” Sharpton said, to laughs in the audience. “So, we’re right in the middle of an era we’re going to deal with for the next three and a half days.” As President Donald Trump concludes his first 100 days in office this weekend, Sharpton is billing his annual convention as the first national gathering of progressives and activists of the Trump era and a chance for liberals to gird themselves for the next 1,360 days of Trump’s presidency. New York City Public Advocate Tish James helped set the anti-Trump mood, telling the crowd assembled in the ballroom Wednesday, “Welcome to the annual convention of the resistance.” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman welcomed the conference with jabs at his federal counterpart. “National Action Network, you have built a framework that is needed now more than ever, as all these Americans rise up and see the injustice and see it embodied in people like our so-called federal attorney general,” Schneiderman said, borrowing Trump’s much-criticized rhetorical attack on federal judges. Schneiderman later took a dig at Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent comments about a judge in Hawaii, saying, “I don’t really think of an attorney general as someone who says the great state of Hawaii is just some island sitting out there in the Pacific.”Eric Holder, the former attorney general under President Barack Obama, laid out the argument before the crowd that Trump and Republicans have been “suppressing” the vote of Democrats, and in particular, people of color, and that those efforts need to be fought. “That most basic right” of voting, Holder said, “is under siege." While saying voters need to show some proof of identification (“Every person attempting to vote should have to show he or she is who they claim to be. That’s basic. Too many today forget this has always been the case.”) Holder said Republican-controlled legislatures are using that requirement to unfairly block voters. “Now, instead of ensuring the integrity of the voting process, they actually do the opposite, by keeping certain groups of people away from the polls,” Holder said. “Now, to employ language of our president, that is how elections are officially rigged, by the state governments controlled by his party.” Then, as if the point was not clear, Holder told the audience who was to blame and why: “Vote-fraud did not become an issue in Texas and North Carolina and in other places until people of color started to cast ballots in record numbers connected to the candidacy and the presidency of Barack Obama.” Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, a native of Buffalo, gave a stump speech to the conference about what he considered to be the horrors of Trump’s presidency. “I believe our presence here today is more important than our presence a year ago, because we have existential threats to our democracy as we know it,” he said.In a video message, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said economic and social problems needed to be fought in tandem. “This is not an either-or choice,” she said, speaking from two large screens projected over the ballroom. “We can’t chose to fight only one of these battles or the other; to fight bigotry or to fight for economic opportunity. They go hand in hand.” Tom Joyner, the longtime radio host, was in the audience for much of the morning’s event. Afterwards, in the lobby, he told POLITICO New York that Democrats and progressives needed a unified front in opposing Trump. “We need to protest. We need agitate. We need to do all those things that we used to do and we need to step that up, now more than ever before,” he said. Asked whether Democrats should work with Trump in order to get, for example, funding to improve mass transit (with transit issues on extreme display at Penn Station in recent weeks), Joyner said no. The opposition to Trump, he said, “should be across the board."In her speech to the crowd, James referred to Trump’s “first 100 days of chaos and confusion, 100 days of fear and hate, 100 days of sexism and racism, 100 days of order after order of dismantling voting rights, women’s rights, immigrants rights, environmental justice, public education and health and the list goes on and on. This, my friends, has been — pwhew — has been an extreme exercise in endurance.” Calling Trump's presidency "illegitimate,” James called on the crowd to organize and create “a wall of humanity against this administration” and “continue the next 100 days of resistance.”

26 апреля, 20:30

Eric Holder Rips Republicans For Trying To Make It More Difficult To Vote

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); Former Attorney General Eric Holder says it’s “shameful” Republicans are seeking to implement photo ID laws and other measures that make it more difficult to vote. Holder, who is leading a national redistricting reform effort, accused Republicans of trying to suppress potential voters who are less likely to support them. He made the remarks during the National Action Network’s annual convention in New York City on Wednesday.  “Some Republicans have declared, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, change the rules.’ Make it more difficult for those least likely to support Republican candidates to vote,” he said. “This is done with the knowledge that by simply depressing the votes of certain groups, not even winning the majority vote of these groups, elections can in fact be effective.” “The attempts in certain states to make even registration more difficult are shameful,” he added. Holder went on to cite a 2014 study by the Government Accountability Office showing that voter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee reduced turnout among young and African-American voters. “If one were to try to find vote fraud or a rigged election system, that is exactly where it is,” he said. The comments come after Arkansas’ governor signed a voter ID bill last month. Iowa’s governor is considering a similar measure, and New Hampshire is also contemplating legislation to toughen its proof of residency requirements. There are laws in 34 states requiring voters to produce identification when they vote.  Holder addressed President Donald Trump’s unsupported claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election, saying the president was fueling the perception that elections lacked integrity. “And with recent claims by Mr. Trump of ‘rigged elections’ based on fraud ― again, without any proof, save the bluster of the candidate ― this mistaken belief in voter fraud becomes almost hard-wired,” he said. Such a perception, he added, makes voter suppression efforts easier. “The nation’s attention and laws should not be focused on these phantom, illegal voters,” he said, adding that officials should instead focus on registering eligible voters. Holder acknowledged the U.S. voting system is far from perfect. He pointed to a 2012 Pew report ― the same one cited by Trump to justify his claim of widespread voter fraud ― noting that 1 in every 8 voter registrations in the country is outdated. “This is not a result of people trying to game the system. It is an indication that the system itself is inadequate. That the system itself is at fault,” Holder said. He also called for more states to adopt automatic voter registration, so voters are automatically registered to vote whenever they have any meaningful interaction with the DMV. Oregon became the first state in the country to implement the system last year and saw major gains in youth turnout and registration by people of color, according to one report.  -- 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.

26 апреля, 17:31

'Until the Drug Dealer's Teeth Rattle'

A new book examines how black communities inadvertently helped lay the groundwork for mass incarceration.

25 апреля, 20:20

We Cannot Afford Another 100 Days of Trump Without An Action Plan

As we approach President Trump’s 100th day in office, many pundits and commentators are reviewing what he has not accomplished – and rightfully so. Whether it was his promise to build the wall and have Mexico pay for it, tax reform, getting a repeal and replace health care bill to the floor and more, Trump outlined his own agenda for the first 100 days but has clearly failed to deliver. What we have seen instead is his Justice Department withdraw from a lawsuit in Texas on voter ID, announce an end to moving forward on police reform and an undermining of consent decrees. We have also witnessed increased immigration raids, threats to cut funding to sanctuary cities and the spreading of fear within immigrant communities. Trump outlined his own agenda for the first 100 days but has clearly failed to deliver. We will develop our own plan of action to protect voting rights, civil rights, police reform and other issues of grave concernAnd we have observed gender inequality, Islamophobia, stereotyping, racial inferences and very clear ways of marginalizing certain groups of people. That is why civil rights and social justice leaders, elected officials and faith leaders are converging in New York City under the leadership of my organization, National Action Network (NAN), for the first national gathering of its kind during this new Administration. On Wednesday, April 26, we will kick things off at NAN’s annual convention with none other than former Attorney General Eric Holder, followed by DNC Chair Tom Perez addressing delegates, activists, clergy, students and others from around the nation that will all convene with us over the course of the next few days. From Bernie Sanders, Gov. Cuomo, Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee, MC Lyte and Hill Harper to Mary Frances Berry, Van Jones, Shaun King, Joy Reid, Angela Rye, Michael Eric Dyson and many more, we will hear from some of the greatest minds of our time and those leading by example. We are determined not to sit back and watch the erosion of things we have personally and actively fought for. We will develop our own plan of action to protect voting rights, civil rights, police reform and other issues of grave concern, and we will hit the ground running with our own 100-day strategy to do so. We will develop our own plan of action to protect voting rights, civil rights, police reform and other issues of grave concern. Those generations that proceeded us paid a high price so that we could obtain certain rights and opportunities, and we must ensure the same – and more – for future generations. We must organize from the local community level all the way to Congressional races and for the Presidential election itself. We must have media campaigns, economic withdrawals and press our elected officials to do the right thing. In short, we must use everything at our disposal to resist. While Trump is able to guide public attention away from some egregious things taking place that impact underprivileged black and latino communities, the details are clear from the actions of Attorney General Sessions, Education Secretary DeVos and others in his Administration. We must operate now. This Administration has declared war on crime when violent crime continues to decline. Sessions ordered a review of consent decrees (that those police departments are actually in favor of), and his actions are halting reform that all sides agree is desperately needed in order to improve police and community relations. We have always been pro-police but anti-police brutality; the distinction is significant. The current Justice Department is also actively allowing laws to proceed that blatantly disenfranchise the votes of people of color, the poor and the elderly ― that is frightening at best. We can defeat Trump and his Administration’s attempts; we did it before with grassroots planning and mobilization as witnessed by the pushback against his Muslim travel ban and their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It is up to us to remain vigilant. We will mark the first 100 days by energizing ourselves. Some will mark Trump’s 100 days by measuring it and what he has or has not accomplished. We will mark the first 100 days by energizing ourselves. This Administration has hidden our pain, but we must not stifle or mute our voices. As we gather for NAN’s convention, people from all corners of the country, the young, the elderly and from diverse backgrounds will all collectively organize for our future. One filled with increased equality, justice and opportunity. While they may try to reverse progress and turn back the clock, we march forward. As we near the 100th day of Trump in office, we renew our commitment towards organizing and civil rights for all. The next 100 belong to us. -- 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.

22 апреля, 03:24

Friday Talking Points -- Trump Suffering From '100 Days Envy'

We'd like to boldly add a new disease's definition to the political lexicon. We feel this is necessary since Donald Trump seems to have caught a rather drastic case of "100 Days Envy." Symptoms are a tendency to flail around looking for a legislative win you can brag about, and an unnatural fear of being called a loser by the entire planet's media for not even coming close to fulfilling pretty much any of the grandiose promises you made for your first 100 days in office. The only cure for such a malady is time. Give it a few more weeks, and the media will probably forget all about how much fun it is to mock your lack of achievements. It'll all get better soon, but you're going to have to take your medicine while it happens, sorry about that. Heh. To put all of this another way: next week's scheduled "100 Days Schadenfreudefest" has already begun, here at Friday Talking Points headquarters. We have to wonder, given Trump's masochistic fascination with Saturday Night Live, if this all wasn't spurred on by Alec Baldwin's Trump portrayal last week, during which he asked that the list of his 100-days accomplishments be read to him. The list consisted of: "1. Confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court," and nothing else. This is but a harbinger of the coming flood of "100 days" stories written in the next week, all of which will conclude exactly the same thing: Trump has absolutely squandered any political capital he might once have had. He got a Supreme Court justice confirmed, and that is indeed the extent of his major accomplishments. Which is one of the big reasons why he's now less popular than United Airlines. This is all the more schadenfreude-y because Trump himself promised so much for his first 100 days. Here's but one of his tweets with a list of things he'd accomplish. Note well -- only one thing on that list has actually even been attempted. It then failed spectacularly (the "repeal and replace" fiasco in the House). And remember all that talk about how we'd "get tired of winning" and beg Trump to slow down with all the winning because we couldn't take it? With one week to go, is anyone now tired of Trump's incessant winning? Didn't think so. Panic is reportedly setting in over at the White House. The new idea is to try to jam through the "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill once again. A quick review -- this bill had an artificial deadline set originally (by Paul Ryan), was so hastily constructed that the final version didn't even get a chance to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and did not have the support of enough Republicans to get passed. This was due to two groups, one of which thought the bill was pretty awful because it kicked 24 million people off health insurance, and the other that (incredibly) thought that that the bill wasn't awful enough. Now the White House is setting its own artificial deadline (pass it before Trump's 100 days are up, so he's got something to brag about), it is being so hastily constructed that the final version will not have enough time for the C.B.O. to score it, and (amazingly) has been tailored to be even more awful than the first go-round, in order to tempt Tea Partiers to vote for it. This is going to lose even more centrist Republican votes, and is likely doomed to failure even in the House. Wow. It's like déjà vu all over again (as Yogi Berra famously said). Here's Trump, predicting victory: "The plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week, but we will get it." This is, of course, fake news. The plan is actually getting worse and worse, and a lot of people are hating it a lot -- a lot of Republican people, even. And they're going to attempt to do all this in the midst of a looming deadline of a government shutdown if a continuing resolution budget bill doesn't pass. Good luck, guys! But because at this point it's hard not to feel sorry for Trump, we'd like to offer up a suggestion to both the White House and the Republicans running Congress. Why not pass a single-page "We hate Obamacare" resolution? Just fill it up with all the "Obamacare is bad... mmm'kay?" stuff you want (with apologies to Mr. Mackey). However, the one-page bill wouldn't actually change anything, it would just be a way for you to express your displeasure to the world. See, Trump doesn't really care what he signs, as long as he gets to sign something. This is obvious -- compare what he said he wanted to do on healthcare before he got elected with the garbage-fire that is the Ryancare bill. Trump doesn't care, so just pass some meaningless "sense of the Congress" resolution about how much the GOP hates Obamacare. Kind of like all those dozens and dozens of bills the House passed back when they knew Obama would veto them. This way, everybody wins. Trump gets to sign something, he gets to brag about it, Republicans get to vent, but (crucially) nobody's health insurance gets taken away. The perfect solution! In keeping with this reach-across-the-aisle (with tongue firmly in cheek) attitude, we'd now like to say something positive about a Donald Trump photo-op. No, really! Trump went up to a Snap-On tools factory to announce a crackdown on H-1B visas, and we honestly have to admit that even we were impressed by the backdrop -- an American flag mosaic made entirely of Snap-On tools. Now that was a nice flag! Maybe it's a "guys who love tools" thing, we don't know, but we were indeed impressed with whoever had the initiative to put such a cool thing together for a presidential visit. Well done! And, incredibly enough, even on message for Trump's speech! Somebody at Snap-On deserves a raise.... Also pleasant to see on television last week was the news that Bill O'Reilly will not be appearing on television anymore. Yep, Bill-O has finally been dumped by Fox News. Only a decade or so after the world learned what a complete and utter pig he is -- on a regular basis -- towards women he wants to have sex with (no matter what they thought of the prospect). Really, this should come as no surprise to anyone, since we've had the transcripts for a long time now. But when advertisers started dropping Bill like a hot potato, Fox finally acted. "About time" doesn't even begin to cover it. Like Glenn Beck before him, Bill O'Reilly got the boot because he was starting to affect the company's bottom line and attracting massive protests right outside their front door. The one iron-clad law of working for a corporation has always been: "Everybody can be replaced -- even you." Especially when the company's trying to buy Europe's Sky News network. Hey hey, ho ho, Bill O'Reilly's got to go. To close on a more positive note, we would like to point out that this weekend is the second in a string of three where anti-Trump protests are happening, so we'd encourage everyone to attend the nearest march for science this weekend. Technically, this one is not so much "anti-Trump" as "anti-anti-science" -- fighting the tide of politicians refusing to believe the data in front of them, on all sorts of important issues. So it's not an "anti-Trump" rally so much as an "anti-Republican idiocy" rally, really. Hopefully all the marches all get good weather and overwhelming turnout! A special House election happened in Georgia this week. Democrat Jon Ossoff got a whopping 48.1 percent of the vote, in a "jungle primary" that had more candidates on the ballot than the Republicans put up for president last time around. Ossoff's nearest competitor was a Republican who pulled in just under 20 percent of the vote. That's impressive -- a 28-point margin win! Especially considering this is Newt Gingrich's old House seat. Which is why Jon Ossoff is easily our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week. Ossoff beat expectations handily, since most polls showed him with support in the 41-45 percent range. He did five points better than his polling average, which can only be called extremely impressive in such a red district. This also showed the Democrats' turnout was much better than anyone expected, and the Republican turnout was down from what they'd expected. This is all to the good. However... ...Jon Ossoff also failed to gain an absolute majority of the vote (by two points), which means there will be a runoff election in June where he faces off against a single Republican opponent. That was very disappointing to a whole lot of Democrats, which is why we've also got to hand Ossoff the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award as well. If Ossoff had cleared the 50-percent bar and won the seat outright (no runoff necessary), then Democrats across the country would have rejoiced and proclaimed the inevitability of a "wave election" coming in 2018 which would sweep the Republicans out of power in at least one house of Congress. Whether this would become true or not, this would have energized the party's faithful by giving them a clean win in a previously staunch Republican district to crow about. By falling short, Democrats now have to pin their hopes on either the Georgia runoff or a special House election in Montana where they think they have a good shot at another upset. Ossoff still has a chance, of course. There were other Democrats in the race, who (together) pulled in about a single percent of the vote. This means 49 percent of the people who voted in the special election voted for a Democrat. So all Ossoff might have to do to win in June would be to pick up a single additional point -- putting the race squarely in the "tossup" category. But for the next two months, Ossoff won't have the luxury of being able to stay largely above the fray, as he did in the primary phase (when all the Republicans were mostly focused on attacking each other). Now it will be a one-on-one partisan race, meaning Ossoff's going to have to go on the offense a lot more. We'll see if he can maintain his sunny atmosphere throughout. Bazillions of dollars from both sides have already been spent on this race, and that flood of money and advertising is only going to increase. We feel sorry for anyone attempting to watch television for the next few months in Atlanta, that's for sure. The contest will very likely become a referendum on Donald Trump. Trump's not very popular even with Republican voters in this district, so his performance over the next two months will likely influence the race. But the big disappointment this week was clearly that we have to go through this phase at all. If Ossoff had pulled in two percent more last Tuesday, he'd be on his way to being sworn in right now, because no runoff would have even happened. For that disappointment, Ossoff becomes the winner of both the MIDOTW and the MDDOTW -- a convergence which has only happened three previous times in this column's history. [Jon Ossoff is currently a candidate for office, and it is our longstanding policy not to provide links to campaign sites. Therefore, to either commiserate with or congratulate Jon Ossoff, you'll have to search out his contact information on your own, sorry.] [Editorial note: For the record, the three previous dual award winners were: Joe Biden won both awards in FTP 223 (8/17/12) for two remarks he had made that week; Eric Holder in FTP 144 (10/22/10) for settling a decades-old case brought by Native Americans against the federal government but also for weighing in (unethically, if not illegally) on the side of defeating California's first attempt (Proposition 19) at legalizing recreational marijuana; and Hillary Clinton way back in FTP 22 (3/7/08), for winning the Rhode Island, Ohio, and Texas primaries, but also for how she campaigned in these states (which saw the first airings of the infamous "3:00 A.M." ad) -- and for blowing the line: "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night" in her SNL appearance. This column was even subtitled "Hillary Sweeps The Awards!" which is why we're pointing out the relative rarity of such an occurrence -- only the fourth time in 433 Fridays!] Volume 433 (4/21/17) Another mixed bag of talking points this week. Which includes a fun one towards the end, where you get to make up your own conspiracy theories! So without further ado, let's just get right to it. Maybe Matt Lauer can help? This is already a running joke on late-night television. "Perhaps Donald Trump should appoint Waldo to run the Navy. Maybe he could find where our aircraft carriers are in all of that ocean. No, wait -- I've got a better idea! Let's get Matt Lauer on the case. He could fly around the world and broadcast 'Where in the world is the U.S.S. Carl Vinson' segments! Now that'd be good television -- or at least better than the White House clown show we saw over the past few weeks on the issue." Like a lead balloon More bad news for Trump from Gallup. "In the past month, Donald Trump's poll numbers have taken quite a few major hits. On the question of whether Trump keeps his promises or not, he fell from 62 percent believing he kept his word to only 45 percent in one month's time. This drop was across the board -- among women, men, millennials, baby boomers... pretty much everybody. Among independents, the drop was from 59 percent to 43 percent. But that's not the only metric where Trump's numbers are tanking -- once again, it's pretty much across the board. 'Strong and decisive leader' went from 59 percent to 52 percent. 'Trump can bring about changes this country needs' went from 53 percent to 46 percent. He's really in the toilet on 'honest and trustworthy,' which went from 42 percent to a dismal 36 percent. And we're not even at 100 days yet, so those numbers can fall even further! Donald Trump is definitely going to set all kinds of records for 'most unpopular president ever,' that's for sure. No wonder he's so worried that he hasn't done much of anything in his first 100 days...." Who's gonna pay? Mexico! So it goes, in Trump's fantasyland. "Remember when Donald Trump used to give rallies and call out to his audience: 'Who's gonna pay for the wall?' and they'd scream back: 'Mexico!' at the top of their voices? Well, if indications are correct, Trump is about to threaten to shut down the government if he doesn't get what he's asking for -- which is forcing American taxpayers to pay for his wall to nowhere. He went from guaranteeing Mexico would pay for his folly to now throwing a tantrum if Congress doesn't force all of us to pay for it, because he never had a plan to make Mexico pay for it in the first place. That's a pretty stunning broken promise, and Trump's only going to call attention to his hypocrisy if he chooses to have this fight next week." Headline of the week Nothing like showing our best... um, face... to the world. "Donald Trump announced he's going to name none other than Scott Brown to be America's ambassador to New Zealand. This prompted one of the biggest newspapers in New Zealand to run one of the best headlines I've seen in a long time: 'Man tipped for US ambassador role in NZ a former nude model who supports waterboarding.' That about sums it up, don't you think?" Want to save a quick billion? This isn't going to happen any time soon, but sooner or later someone's going to notice it on Capitol Hill. "Congress is about to tackle the budget, tax reform, and if rumors are true they're also going to revisit healthcare reform. They should really check out a recent study which shows how they could save a cool billion dollars a year on Medicaid alone. All they'd have to do for these savings to appear would be to approve medical marijuana. That's it. Prescriptions for pain pills would go down, life would get better for patients, and the federal government could pocket a billion dollars a year in savings. Just by making this one change." He's Hillary's love child! Open the floodgates! Release the conspiracies! "While much more media attention was paid to Bill O'Reilly being forced out of a job, we found the news from Representative Jason Chaffetz even more interesting. Chaffetz chairs the House committee whose duty it is to oversee government, and he sure had a fine old time investigating Hillary Clinton within an inch of her life last year. However, since Trump has taken over, Chaffetz has been refusing to investigate anything Donald Trump does. So he's stepping down from the committee, and now it seems he might even just quit Congress before his term is up, ostensibly to run for governor of Utah. But it only seems appropriate that conspiracy theories are now popping up for why Chaffetz is abruptly stepping down. After all, he never met a Hillary conspiracy story that wasn't worth the committee's time to investigate, so turn-about is indeed fair play. There are already unfounded rumors that he's secretly gay or is being blackmailed somehow by the Russians, but surely we can do better than that! Maybe he was raised by Bigfoots! Bigfeet? Whatever... or perhaps he gets regularly probed by aliens on invisible spacecraft? No, wait -- I've got it! He's the secret love-child of Orrin Hatch and Hillary Clinton! I think that's worth investigating, don't you?" Shooting the.... The Washington Post had an amusing article this week on the (ahem) oratory style of the new head of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez. It would have been a lot more amusing, though, if they had run it with a more-accurate title, such as: "Tom Perez Talks Some Shit." Perez was asked about his use of this particular word, and responded very candidly. In fact, our talking point from Perez consists of the only quotes from the article which don't actually contain rough language (you'll have to read it for yourself to see what else he had to say!). Speaking of his penchant for vulgarity, Perez responded: Talk about ridiculous. I grew up in Buffalo. We're a blunt community. We tell it like it is. I think folks want to hear the straight skinny; they don't want double-talk. When asked about the Democratic mantra of "when they go low, we go high," though, Perez showed some real backbone -- which is really why we're highlighting his comments this week: They consistently went low, and you know what? It's a great aspiration to want to turn the other cheek. But my first goal is to make sure we're standing up for our values. And in today's toxic politics, it was clear from Day One that Mitch McConnell's one goal was making Barack Obama a one-term president. We have to fight with a similar relentlessness. Chris Weigant blogs at: Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank -- 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.

21 апреля, 01:40

Sessions wants to put people 'in jail' for leaks

"Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail," Jeff Sessions said in El Paso, Texas.

20 апреля, 20:24

O'Reilly, Ailes, And Trump Have All Benefited From New York's Racial Landscape

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); Next Wednesday, a few blocks south of Trump Towers and a few blocks north of Fox News, the first major national convention this year bringing together faith leaders, elected officials, grassroots organizers and more will kickoff in New York City. Opening with former Attorney General Eric Holder and followed by other notables over the course of several days like Bernie Sanders and many others, National Action Network’s (NAN) annual conference will take place at a time when so much of this nation’s progress is on the line. As we convene, it is in the backdrop of a city where racial manipulation in the late ‘80s and ‘90s was prevalent, and it is what NAN was founded to combat. While we were working to bring about justice and serve as a voice for the voiceless, others were spreading racial fears and building entire empires using that division. People like Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and yes, Donald Trump, have all amassed tremendous wealth and power by stoking the fire of racial bias instead of telling people the truth. It’s time to set the record straight. NAN was founded over 25 years ago as we were fighting for justice for Yusef Hawkins, a 16-year-old shot and killed in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, after being surrounded by a mob of bat-wielding white youths, as well as the case of the NJ 4 (black and latino youth shot by NJ state police) and the Central Park Five who were wrongfully convicted in the horrific jogger case ― Trump, I might add, also took out full page ads at the time in major newspapers calling for the death penalty to be reinstated in NY against those five teenagers. All of these tragic incidents dealt with racial bias from working class whites or police out of those communities. They were the audience that O’Reilly and Ailes fueled and then profited from tremendously. Fox News built a machine that told them they were being ignored at the expense of others, rather than telling them what was really taking place. It began in New York, where O’Reilly hails from and where he and Ailes crafted their media careers. It is also the same place that produced an outer borough white guy who grew up right near Howard Beach and Bensonhurst, and who would then go on stoking those same fears decades later in order to win a presidential election. The false narrative that working class whites were somehow under assault from blacks, latinos and other minorities is what these three men used to raise their own clout, amass their own wealth and gain power. O’Reilly, Ailes, and Trump rose despite their blatant bias, homophobia and misogyny because they played to a market of people who were legitimately marginalized but sold that it was others who were marginalizing them. Fox News played on the racial and sexist fears of people who were victims of Reagan’s trickle-down economics and failed Bush policies who then turned around in some cases and victimized others. It is a cruel game of divide and conquer where the ones cashing in have been people like Ailes, O’Reilly and Trump, and corporations like Fox News. I suppose Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tried to unite the black and white working class because he understood that they were being pitted against each other. We must move in the spirit of Dr. King to find a way to tear down the wall (Mr. Trump) constructed by those who stoke fears rather than change policies that make us unstable and insecure. NAN was founded to carry on Dr. King’s work and seek a society that is fair and just regardless of one’s color, creed, gender, orientation, religion or background. People like O’Reilly, Ailes and Trump may seek to divide us for their own selfish benefit, but we must not fall for deceit and must continue to unite. Next week we gather once again because everything ― literally everything ― is at stake. Please visit nationalactionnetwork.net for more information on NAN’s annual convention. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58c5a514e4b0a797c1d39e3b,58b75398e4b019d36d108fa0 -- 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.

20 апреля, 12:06

Trump Has Moved To Dismantle Criminal Justice Reform In His First 100 Days

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); In his inaugural address, President Donald Trump painted a dark picture of America, a nation where “crime and gangs and drugs” are causing “American carnage” in its cities. The address echoed Trump’s campaign, in which he sold increases in homicides in a handful of cities as a nationwide crime wave and presented “more law enforcement, more community engagement and more effective policing” as the solution to a nonexistent problem. A report released Thursday by the Brennan Center for Justice lists a few ways in which Trump’s vision of America, along with policies put forth by his administration, could lead to widespread rollbacks in criminal justice reform. “Trump’s dark portrait of America, however, comes at a time when the national crime rate is near historic lows ― 42 percent below what it was in 1997,” the report reads. “As his first 100 days near an end, what has the president done to address crime and criminal justice? And what can the country expect in the weeks and months ahead?” Here are a few ways, as outlined in the Brennan Center report. Fear mongering to justify a return to tough-on-crime policies Trump, who often presented himself as a “law and order” candidate in his campaign, has made repeated false claims about murder rates even though crime remained at near-historic lows in 2016. The report says that Trump’s logic in warning of a supposed rise in crime is linked to his immigration stance. “By finally enforcing our immigration laws we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions and billions of dollars and make our communities safer for everyone,” Trump said in an address to Congress in February. He has painted calls for police reform as “anti-law enforcement.” In July, Trump accused the Black Lives Matter movement of stoking violence against cops after five law enforcement officers were killed in Dallas. Trump also supports reimplementing “stop and frisk,” a policy that violates the constitutional rights of citizens by allowing unwarranted police searches ― particularly of black and Latinx people. Trump has also claimed that too much scrutiny of police departments has resulted in a “war on police.” “Trump and his new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, insist that they must ‘Make America Safe Again,’ citing outside forces that have brought in drugs and violence ―  justifying a travel ban, a border wall with Mexico and mass deportations,” the report reads. “The administration has also issued several executive orders focused on combatting this phantom crime wave, without offering solutions to solve the real and serious localized problems of violence in Chicago and Baltimore.” Trump has already signed three executive orders expanding the powers of federal law enforcement agencies ― including allowing the Department of Homeland Security to utilize “all necessary and lawful action to break the back of the criminal cartels that have spread across our nation.” The Justice Department Has Moved To Stop Policing The Police Sessions is cynical of widespread police reform and civil rights investigations into departments. He has spoken out against consent decrees and sees “bad apples” as the reason for police misconduct rather than systemic failures. To Sessions, the government shouldn’t be “dictating to local police how to do their jobs” or dishing out “scarce federal resources” to sue cities. Under Sessions, the Justice Department will “pull back” on investigations that he believes diminish the effectiveness of police departments. The Brennan Center report also notes that local police departments could evolve into a way for the government to enforce its immigration policies in sanctuary cities. “Historically, the Justice Department has played a key role overseeing and regulating civil rights violations committed by local police departments. … Sessions outright rejects this role for the federal government, labeling it as part of a broader ‘war on police,’” the report says. “He has directed a review of all existing consent decrees and attempted to stall pending agreements. This trend will likely continue, potentially emboldening police departments to become more aggressive.” Sessions Could Restart A War On Drugs And Bring Back ’90s Crime Policies Sessions isn’t a fan of criminal justice reform. Like Trump, he may part with the bulk of conservatives and require federal prosecutors to seek the most extreme charge in every case they try, which could lead to the revival of mandatory minimum laws for relatively low-level, nonviolent offenses. This ideology, in many ways, contradicts a number of conservatives who have joined progressives in the stance that criminal justice reform is needed because too many Americans are incarcerated.  “Since taking office, Sessions has given several speeches calling for a return to harsher federal charging policies, and issued memoranda directing U.S. Attorneys to stand by for such major policy shifts,” the report says. “Sessions could revoke key [Attorney General Eric] Holder-era initiatives, directing federal prosecutors to pursue maximum penalties in drug cases even in states where marijuana is legal. Notably, the administration has shown interest in expanding treatment options for opioid addiction, which disproportionately affects white, rural communities, while increased marijuana prosecutions would more affect communities of color.” Rod Rosenstein, Trump’s choice to be deputy attorney general, is another fan of mandatory minimum sentences (even though the report says he has claimed they can be excessive in some cases). Eric Dreiband, who could be nominated to run the Justice Department’s civil rights division, opposes “ban the box” reform, named for the criminal history check box on job applications, which would delay criminal background checks and focus hiring on a person’s qualifications. Richard Baum, the acting drug czar, defended the “war on drugs” in 2001. Steven Cook, a prosecutor who opposes sentencing reform, was appointed by Sessions to run the new Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, which would guide the country’s approach to violent crime. Cook and Sessions are planning to prosecute a higher number of drug and gun cases while pursuing mandatory minimums, according to The Washington Post, signaling a desire to reinstitute the war on drugs and “tough on crime” policies.  If you're always angry about politics, sign up for bruh., a sporadic newsletter by Julia Craven.powered by TinyLetter -- 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 апреля, 12:12

How California Gave Us Trumpism

Some of the president’s most hard-line advisers forged their beliefs in reaction to what they saw in their home state.

04 апреля, 23:07

Can Trump's Justice Department Undo Police Reform?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had indicated he would not make law-enforcement reform a priority, but new moves suggest he’ll try to reverse Obama-era changes, too.

04 апреля, 02:05

Terry McAuliffe Has A Very Clintonian Plan For Democrats To Win Back Power

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has a two-pronged strategy for his fellow Democrats to regain power in the age of Trump: Don’t get distracted by the chaos and prioritize the states. In an interview with The Huffington Post, McAuliffe called on Democrats to simplify their message down to its most fundamental, Clintonian core. For all the talk of Russian connections, disorganization and dubious ethics, McAuliffe argued, voters care most about the economy. Democrats would be wise to explain how President Donald Trump is failing them on that front. “Don’t chase the shiny objects,” McAuliffe said, advising those running for office. “The public is sick of people picking partisan fights for the sake of fights. I don’t pick fights with Trump for the sake of picking arguments. I am one of his most vocal critics because, as I’ve said, this man is a one-man wrecking crew to my economy.” A year ago, few would have imagined McAuliffe playing the role of Moses leading Democrats through their desert days. Prohibited from running for re-election himself in 2017, the longtime ally of the Clintons seemed poised to find his way to the White House in some capacity once Hillary Clinton won.   Trump’s victory changed that. So too did the Democratic Party’s paltry showing in governor’s races across the country. Suddenly, McAuliffe was one of just 16 Democrats in a top executive office and one of the few who hailed from a swing state. In the first few months of the Trump administration, he emerged as a party power broker, one of the president’s most assertive critics, and an oft-rumored candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. For now, McAuliffe said his sights are set on the midterm elections. Twenty-seven of the 38 governorships on the ballot this year and the next are Republican-held. A failure to score gubernatorial wins in 2018, McAuliffe argues, could very well doom the Democratic Party’s future by leaving it with too little power in the redistricting battles of 2021. He has joined the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, alongside former Attorney General Eric Holder and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “We, as a party, if we don’t win a vast majority of these governorships, then we are out of the game. I don’t care what you say,” McAuliffe said. “Our party loves to focus on the federal. We love every four years to come out in the presidential and raise untold amounts of money and then everybody goes away. We have got to focus on those state chambers and on governors.” Declaring a focus on 2018 is one thing. Building up to win back the House and flip multiple governor’s mansions is another. A former chair of the Democratic National Committee himself, McAuliffe said he didn’t expect the newly elected Tom Perez to be the face of the party’s revival. The chair’s job, he said, was about the “nuts and bolts of our party,” not necessarily being the “chief spokesman.” Instead, McAuliffe wants Democratic leaders in Congress and the states to speak up. He encouraged them to weave arguments that rest heavily on the idea that Trump has failed in his pledge of economic revival, whether it be in straightforward ways (cutting budgets, failing to prioritize infrastructure) or a roundabout manner (instituting a travel ban that discourages companies from doing business in America, hampering academic and scientific research). “That train is so far off the track today,” McAuliffe said. “I said early on during the transition that I would work with the president. … Every governor will give you the same speech: ‘We will work with him if he works with us on jobs and infrastructure and health care.’ He hasn’t done any of it. He has shattered that. The glass is gone. It is on the floor shattered.” -- 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.

04 апреля, 00:12

Fox News And Bill O'Reilly Are Out Of Excuses

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); These women didn’t call human resources. That’s partly how conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly and Fox News are defending themselves against former employees and contributors whose sexual harassment allegations were detailed in a bombshell New York Times cover story over the weekend. In separate statements, the network and O’Reilly said the accusers never called Fox’s internal hotline, an 800 number employers can use to lodge concerns anonymously. This isn’t much of a defense. For starters, at least one of the harassment complaints the Times wrote about was settled before 2004, the year Fox told The Huffington Post that it launched its hotline. And a lawyer for another accuser told a roomful of reporters on Monday that her client, Fox on-air guest Wendy Walsh, didn’t know about the hotline and wouldn’t have called it because she wasn’t a full-time employee or even a paid contributor. (Fox says it makes its hotline known to both categories of worker.) The weak hotline excuse is a glaring sign that despite a much-publicized internal investigation into sexual harassment that eventually led to Ailes’ departure, the culture at Fox News hasn’t changed when it comes to women, sexism and harassment. Here are the relevant parts of O’Reilly and Fox’s responses to claims that O’Reilly inappropriately propositioned women and then retaliated against them when they turned him down: “Notwithstanding the fact that no current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st Century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O’Reilly, even anonymously,” the company said, noting that it had looked into the accusations and that O’Reilly had denied them on their merits and “resolved” them. For his part, O’Reilly said the lawsuits are the inevitable result of his fame and controversial persona, adding: “In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.” Fox and O’Reilly have a widely publicized history of aggressively targeting women who make sexual discrimination claims. That’s almost certainly created a culture of fear and intimidation that would keep women from reporting concerns internally. If the company had fully reckoned with that history, it would have never used this weak hotline excuse. Fox News didn’t respond to questions about whether it expected non-employees to know about the phone number or why the hotline was mentioned in its statements. “We are not living in the Stone Age of the Mad Men era,” said attorney Lisa Bloom, calling out Fox’s culture at a press conference on Monday alongside her client. Walsh, a former “O’Reilly Factor” guest, alleges the host reneged on promise to make her a contributor after she declined his sexual advances. Walsh is not suing Fox News, but Bloom said she would cooperate in any independent investigations. Bloom urged federal and state investigators to launch an independent probe of the news organization, which she said is still rife with problems even after Ailes left last summer once multiple accusations of sexual misconduct came to light. According to Bloom’s count, at least 30 women have come forward with sexual harassment and discrimination claims against Ailes, O’Reilly or others at Fox. She hinted that more women are out there who are keeping quiet. Fox News’ parent, 21st Century Fox, hired the law firm Paul, Weiss last summer to investigate the accusations against Ailes. But Bloom says the firm’s work wasn’t truly independent since it was paid by the company. The firm served as “advocates for Fox News,” she said. Companies often handle sexual harassment claims by bringing in an outside law firm. Ride-hailing giant Uber recently hired former attorney general Eric Holder and his Washington firm to look into a former engineer’s claim that the company’s human resources department had repeatedly ignored her sexual harassment complaints. These investigations tend to be narrowly focused, lawyers say. So if the firm was looking at Ailes’ behavior, it wouldn’t have delved into O’Reilly’s, for example. Bloom said she believed that at least a few of the women who’ve accused O’Reilly or Ailes of sexual harassment actually did reach out to Fox’s human resources department. But even if none of them did, it is perfectly reasonable for a woman to sidestep the human resources department if she doesn’t trust her company to properly handle a complaint ― for example, if another woman had come forward in the past and the company had fired or retaliated against her. That’s what happened to O’Reilly accuser Andrea Mackris, a producer on his show who sued the Fox host for discrimination in 2004. Mackris claimed that O’Reilly had called her to talk about his sexual fantasies. She said she heard him masturbating while they were on the phone. But even before Mackris filed her claims, she was hit with a pre-emptive suit by Fox and O’Reilly, who claimed she was trying to blackmail them. O’Reilly spoke about the suit on the air, calling it “the single most evil thing I have ever experienced.” The whole incident “served as a stark warning of what could happen to women if they came forward with complaints,” the Times’ Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt wrote of the settlements O’Reilly and Fox paid to female accusers over the years. At the time, Fox News was run by Ailes, a notoriously paranoid, secretive and vengeful boss with his own reputation as a sexual harasser. Of course women weren’t running to call the HR department to lodge their concerns. Fox isn’t the only company to offer employees a hotline for reporting concerns they aren’t comfortable taking to a direct supervisor. Under federal law, public companies must provide those numbers to employees. But the hotline just isn’t going to work if employees don’t trust their employer, Stan Greenberg, a leadership consultant, told HuffPost. Fox News has paid out millions of dollars because of O’Reilly ― and yet, he’s still there, Greenberg noted. “What does that tell employees about how committed the [company] is for providing a safe workplace? It sends a signal that [his behavior] is OK.” The toll-free phone number for Fox employees is listed in the company’s “Standards of Business Conduct,” a 58-page document all full-time employees receive and must certify that they’ve read. The company says that if employees have concerns ― which would presumably include a boss hitting on you ― they can take it up with human resources, or an in-house lawyer, or they can call the phone number or they can even take their issues all the way to the company board of directors. Rules like these are critical for companies that want to address complaints before they reach the courtroom, says Dan Omeara, a partner at Montgomery McCracken who handles these kinds of cases for employers. “If you don’t follow procedure, the court might throw out the suit.” In those cases, however, employers would have to show they had no idea about the harassment claims and that company sexual harassment policy was widely known and understood. That’s not the case with Fox, said attorney Nancy Erika Smith, who represented Gretchen Carlson in her harassment claim against Ailes and whose client Julie Roginsky is also suing the network. Smith’s clients have said they were largely unfamiliar with the rules ― but were aware of how the company had handled prior allegations. “I don’t think there’s a chance in hell of that defense working anywhere.” This story has been updated with comment from Nancy Erika Smith. -- 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.

04 апреля, 00:12

Fox News And Bill O'Reilly Are Out Of Excuses

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); These women didn’t call human resources. That’s partly how conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly and Fox News are defending themselves against former employees and contributors whose sexual harassment allegations were detailed in a bombshell New York Times cover story over the weekend. In separate statements, the network and O’Reilly said the accusers never called Fox’s internal hotline, an 800 number employers can use to lodge concerns anonymously. This isn’t much of a defense. For starters, at least one of the harassment complaints the Times wrote about was settled before 2004, the year Fox told The Huffington Post that it launched its hotline. And a lawyer for another accuser told a roomful of reporters on Monday that her client, Fox on-air guest Wendy Walsh, didn’t know about the hotline and wouldn’t have called it because she wasn’t a full-time employee or even a paid contributor. (Fox says it makes its hotline known to both categories of worker.) The weak hotline excuse is a glaring sign that despite a much-publicized internal investigation into sexual harassment that eventually led to Ailes’ departure, the culture at Fox News hasn’t changed when it comes to women, sexism and harassment. Here are the relevant parts of O’Reilly and Fox’s responses to claims that O’Reilly inappropriately propositioned women and then retaliated against them when they turned him down: “Notwithstanding the fact that no current or former Fox News employee ever took advantage of the 21st Century Fox hotline to raise a concern about Bill O’Reilly, even anonymously,” the company said, noting that it had looked into the accusations and that O’Reilly had denied them on their merits and “resolved” them. For his part, O’Reilly said the lawsuits are the inevitable result of his fame and controversial persona, adding: “In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.” Fox and O’Reilly have a widely publicized history of aggressively targeting women who make sexual discrimination claims. That’s almost certainly created a culture of fear and intimidation that would keep women from reporting concerns internally. If the company had fully reckoned with that history, it would have never used this weak hotline excuse. Fox News didn’t respond to questions about whether it expected non-employees to know about the phone number or why the hotline was mentioned in its statements. “We are not living in the Stone Age of the Mad Men era,” said attorney Lisa Bloom, calling out Fox’s culture at a press conference on Monday alongside her client. Walsh, a former “O’Reilly Factor” guest, alleges the host reneged on promise to make her a contributor after she declined his sexual advances. Walsh is not suing Fox News, but Bloom said she would cooperate in any independent investigations. Bloom urged federal and state investigators to launch an independent probe of the news organization, which she said is still rife with problems even after Ailes left last summer once multiple accusations of sexual misconduct came to light. According to Bloom’s count, at least 30 women have come forward with sexual harassment and discrimination claims against Ailes, O’Reilly or others at Fox. She hinted that more women are out there who are keeping quiet. Fox News’ parent, 21st Century Fox, hired the law firm Paul, Weiss last summer to investigate the accusations against Ailes. But Bloom says the firm’s work wasn’t truly independent since it was paid by the company. The firm served as “advocates for Fox News,” she said. Companies often handle sexual harassment claims by bringing in an outside law firm. Ride-hailing giant Uber recently hired former attorney general Eric Holder and his Washington firm to look into a former engineer’s claim that the company’s human resources department had repeatedly ignored her sexual harassment complaints. These investigations tend to be narrowly focused, lawyers say. So if the firm was looking at Ailes’ behavior, it wouldn’t have delved into O’Reilly’s, for example. Bloom said she believed that at least a few of the women who’ve accused O’Reilly or Ailes of sexual harassment actually did reach out to Fox’s human resources department. But even if none of them did, it is perfectly reasonable for a woman to sidestep the human resources department if she doesn’t trust her company to properly handle a complaint ― for example, if another woman had come forward in the past and the company had fired or retaliated against her. That’s what happened to O’Reilly accuser Andrea Mackris, a producer on his show who sued the Fox host for discrimination in 2004. Mackris claimed that O’Reilly had called her to talk about his sexual fantasies. She said she heard him masturbating while they were on the phone. But even before Mackris filed her claims, she was hit with a pre-emptive suit by Fox and O’Reilly, who claimed she was trying to blackmail them. O’Reilly spoke about the suit on the air, calling it “the single most evil thing I have ever experienced.” The whole incident “served as a stark warning of what could happen to women if they came forward with complaints,” the Times’ Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt wrote of the settlements O’Reilly and Fox paid to female accusers over the years. At the time, Fox News was run by Ailes, a notoriously paranoid, secretive and vengeful boss with his own reputation as a sexual harasser. Of course women weren’t running to call the HR department to lodge their concerns. Fox isn’t the only company to offer employees a hotline for reporting concerns they aren’t comfortable taking to a direct supervisor. Under federal law, public companies must provide those numbers to employees. But the hotline just isn’t going to work if employees don’t trust their employer, Stan Silverman, a leadership consultant, told HuffPost. Fox News has paid out millions of dollars because of O’Reilly ― and yet, he’s still there, Silverman noted. “What does that tell employees about how committed the [company] is for providing a safe workplace? It sends a signal that [his behavior] is OK.” The toll-free phone number for Fox employees is listed in the company’s “Standards of Business Conduct,” a 58-page document all full-time employees receive and must certify that they’ve read. The company says that if employees have concerns ― which would presumably include a boss hitting on you ― they can take it up with human resources, or an in-house lawyer, or they can call the phone number or they can even take their issues all the way to the company board of directors. Rules like these are critical for companies that want to address complaints before they reach the courtroom, says Daniel P. O’Meara, a partner at Montgomery McCracken who handles these kinds of cases for employers. “If you don’t follow procedure, the court might throw out the suit.” In those cases, however, employers would have to show they had no idea about the harassment claims and that company sexual harassment policy was widely known and understood. That’s not the case with Fox, said attorney Nancy Erika Smith, who represented Gretchen Carlson in her harassment claim against Ailes and whose client Julie Roginsky is also suing the network. Smith’s clients have said they were largely unfamiliar with the rules ― but were aware of how the company had handled prior allegations. “I don’t think there’s a chance in hell of that defense working anywhere.” This story has been updated with comment from Nancy Erika Smith. CORRECTION: An earlier version wrongly identified leadership consultant Stan Silverman.  -- 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.

30 марта, 00:32

DEA Takes Billions In Cash From People Not Charged With A Crime, Can't Say How It's Helping

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 ― Over the past decade, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has permanently seized $3.2 billion in cash from individuals who were never charged with a crime, according to a Justice Department inspector general report released Wednesday. Authorities confiscated this money using a controversial process known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows police to take property ― including vehicles, jewelry, houses and, most commonly, cash ― based solely on the suspicion it’s tied to crime. Law enforcement officials say civil forfeiture is a crime-fighting tool that allows them to target the financial proceeds of illegal activity, even when they don’t have direct evidence of wrongdoing. But due to lax reporting standards around civil forfeiture, the extent of those benefits is unclear, the report found. It also raised concern about the DEA’s reliance on interdiction operations along highways and at transportation hubs, as well as the agency’s inconsistent policies and training procedures. Since 2007, the DEA has taken in $4.15 billion in cash forfeitures. Of that, $3.2 billion ― or 81 percent ― involved cases in which no criminal charges were filed. These sorts of seizures, usually made without a court-issued warrant and without the presence of narcotics, carry the highest risk of violating civil liberties, according to the report. With no independent judicial oversight and weak protections for property owners, opponents argue that members of law enforcement routinely abuse civil forfeiture. The report sought to probe these issues by taking a closer look at how the DEA takes people’s cash. But the authors encountered a roadblock. The DEA doesn’t “use aggregate data to evaluate fully and oversee their seizure operations, or to determine whether seizures benefit criminal investigations or the extent to which they may pose potential risks to civil liberties,” the report found. Investigators instead chose to focus on a sample of 100 DEA cash seizures made without a warrant or the presence of drugs. Of these seizures, 85 were part of interdiction activity at transportation facilities or along highways. The smallest seizure involved $3,000 confiscated at an airport. Only six of these 85 cases were prompted by pre-existing intelligence about a specific drug crime, and most were associated with cold consent encounters, which involve officers approaching people they suspect of involvement in drug trafficking and asking their permission to conduct a search. The inspector general’s office has criticized this practice as being prone to racial profiling. In over half of the 100 cases examined, there was no discernible evidence the seizures advanced law enforcement efforts, the report found. In only 44 cases could the DEA say conclusively that the seizures had “advanced or been related to ongoing investigations, resulted in the initiation of new investigations, led to arrests, or led to prosecutions.”  Investigators were also concerned about the lack of uniform training for both federal agents and members of state or local task forces working in cooperation with federal authorities to make seizures. “While the factual situations vary from case to case, such differences in treatment demonstrate how seizure decisions can appear arbitrary, which in turn can fuel public perception that law enforcement is not using this powerful authority legitimately,” the report read.  These kind of findings undercut the claim that civil forfeiture is vital as a crime-fighting tool. Darpana Sheth, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice Civil asset forfeiture has come under bipartisan criticism in recent years, and support for reform is growing at both the state and federal levels. Critics say the practice infringes on people’s due process and property rights by forcing them to engage in costly legal battles to prove their innocence and recover their assets. Opponents of civil forfeiture also claim it encourages law enforcement to haphazardly seize property rather than focus on public safety. The inspector general’s report shows some evidence of the DEA pursuing civil forfeiture over-aggressively. Although property owners only challenged 20 percent of seizures over the past decade, nearly 40 percent of the contested cases resulted in a full or partial return of assets. “These kind of findings undercut the claim that civil forfeiture is vital as a crime-fighting tool,” said Darpana Sheth, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm that believes all forfeiture should be tied to a criminal conviction. “The report reaffirms what IJ has been saying all along, about how forfeiture laws create this perverse financial incentive to seize and forfeit property.” Congress has considered legislation to reform civil forfeiture in recent years, and the latest report appeared to add some urgency to that effort.  “Today’s report by the Inspector General makes it clear that asset forfeiture is in desperate need of reform,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “While asset forfeiture is a useful law enforcement tool to fight crime, the current lack of oversight and training poses dangers to Americans’ civil liberties.” 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_2'),onPlayerReadyVidible); But the acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, put into place under President Donald Trump, was critical of the report and described asset forfeiture as a “vitally important law enforcement tool” that had helped “fight the current heroin and opioid epidemic that is raging in the United States.” A 10-page response to the report from acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said the Justice Department had “significant concerns” about the final report. Relying upon a review of the 100 DEA cash seizures had led to “inaccurate or misleading” conclusions, Blanco wrote.  Blanco said the Justice Department was taking another look at a 2015 order from former Attorney General Eric Holder which affected some of the department’s asset forfeiture work by limiting the types of civil forfeiture cases state and local law enforcement could pursue through the federal process. “The Department is conducting a review of the Attorney General’s 2015 Order to determine all potential negative effects on law enforcement ― federal, state and local,” Blanco wrote. “One key underpinning of that review is that the Department continues to rely on critical cooperation with its state and local law enforcement partners. It is imperative that these partnerships remain strong.” Both Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions seem receptive to the idea of allowing law enforcement to use civil forfeiture more aggressively after police officials complained that their operations had been scaled back in recent years. But the inspector general’s office said Blanco’s response indicated he didn’t fully appreciate the civil liberties issues at stake.  “While we have long recognized that a well-run asset forfeiture program can be an important law enforcement tool, we believe that the Criminal Division’s comments on our report indicate that it has missed a key point: regardless of the importance of the tool, it must be used appropriately, with effective oversight, and in a way that does not place undue risks on civil liberties,” the office responded in a statement. “We further believe that the Department has an increased responsibility to protect civil liberties when its investigative components use a tool that permits seizure and forfeiture of property without judicial involvement or apparent connection to investigative activity, and then uses the proceeds of that property as a funding mechanism for law enforcement operations,” the statement continued. -- 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.

29 марта, 01:06

Uber Needs To Do Better When It Comes To Diversity

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); After years of keeping its diversity data hidden away, Uber released its first diversity report Tuesday, under the direction of its new Chief Human Resources Officer Liane Hornsey. The report revealed that Uber employees are mostly white and mostly male, especially at the more senior levels of the company. A full 78 percent of Uber’s workers at the director level or above are men, and 76.7 percent of the company leadership is white. Tuesday’s disclosure is part of a concerted PR effort to right the ship at the company after a series of scandals. Uber has faced allegations of rampant sexual harassment from former employees; a high-profile lawsuit that contends Uber stole trade secrets from a Google-founded competitor; numerous high-profile departures; and a video showing CEO Travis Kalanick telling off a driver. “​This report is a first step in showing that diversity and inclusion is a priority at Uber,” Kalanick said in a statement. “I know that we have been too slow in publishing our numbers — and that the best way to demonstrate our commitment to change is through transparency.” Still, as dismal as Uber’s numbers are, Business Insider notes they’re slightly better than several other top companies in Silicon Valley. Overall, 63.9 percent of Uber’s workers are male, and 36.1 percent are female. That’s not great, but it’s still slightly ahead of Facebook (33 percent women), Apple (32 percent), Google (31 percent) and Microsoft (25.8 percent). In tech positions, however ― where Silicon Valley struggles as a whole ― women make up just 15.4 percent of Uber’s workforce. Compared to the above companies, Uber also has a (slightly) more racially diverse employee base, with 49.8 percent of employees identifying as white, 30.9 percent identifying as Asian, 8.8 percent black, 5.6 percent Hispanic, 4.3 percent identifying as “two or more races,” and 0.6 percent identifying as “other.” Again, not great, but still ahead of the companies listed above and Silicon Valley overall. For comparison’s sake, as of June 2016, Apple’s U.S. workforce was 56 percent white (a 2 percent increase from 2015), 19 percent Asian, 12 percent Hispanic, and 9 percent black (up 1 percent). In a release accompanying Tuesday’s report, Uber also noted it’s making an effort to hire more women and people of color.  That includes ramping up recruitment efforts at historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions, and pledging to spend $3 million over the next three years to help boost the ranks of women and minorities in tech overall.  Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Uber board member Arianna Huffington are also conducting an independent investigation into the various sexual harassment claims at the company. (Huffington, previously the editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, stepped down from her role last year.) And last week, Uber made three female executives at the company available for a conversation with reporters. But there’s clearly much more work to be done. “Every strength, in excess, is a weakness,” Hornsey told The New York Times. “What has driven Uber to immense success — its aggression, the hard-charging attitude — has toppled over. And it needs to be shaved back.” -- 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.

28 марта, 23:53

Travis Kalanick’s Ex Reveals New Details About Uber’s Sexist Culture

Gabi Holzwarth was glad to be out of Uber’s orbit, which she described to The Huffington Post as a deeply misogynistic environment that was damaging to her psyche. But she got pulled back in with a phone call three weeks ago from a top Uber executive, who she says urged her to keep quiet about a 2014 incident at a South Korean karaoke and escort bar.  Holzwarth, though, says nothing will stop her from speaking out. For three years, while she was dating Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, Holzwarth ― a violinist and business development manager ― spent time at bars and parties surrounded by the men of Silicon Valley. If there were women around, she said, they were more likely to be models than other executives. “You go to an event and there’s just a bunch of models they’ve flown in,” Holzwarth, 27, told HuffPost. “That’s what they like to play with. That’s pretty much it.” It wasn’t a good situation for Holzwarth, who’s dealt with eating disorders for years. “As a woman struggling with my own insecurities and body image, the best thing for me was to leave that unhealthy world of impossible standards,” she said. (Holzwarth has credited Kalanick with helping her recover from her eating disorders.) Holzwarth’s story ― recently detailed at The Information ― is emerging amid a spiraling public relations disaster for Uber, partly as a result of allegations about its aggressive and sexist company culture. On Tuesday, for the first time, Uber released data about the gender, racial and ethnic makeup of its workforce. Like most of its competitors, the company is overwhelmingly white and male, particularly in its leadership and tech roles. The company also acknowledged an intense, masculine culture that it says has led to trouble. “Every strength, in excess, is a weakness,” Liane Hornsey, the company’s new chief human resources officer, told The New York Times. “What has driven Uber to immense success — its aggression, the hard-charging attitude — has toppled over. And it needs to be shaved back.” Holzwarth’s relationship with Kalanick ended in August 2016. She refrained from talking about him or Uber for several months, even as the ride-hailing company has been rocked by allegations of sexual harassment leveled by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, along with other controversies. The company has said that it wants to get to the bottom of Fowler’s accusations ― a terrible tale in which Uber’s executives repeatedly ignored complaints of harassment and sexism, ultimately leading Fowler to leave the firm. In February, Uber launched an internal investigation into the harassment complaint, led by former Attorney General Eric Holder and board member Arianna Huffington (who stepped down from her positions at HuffPost last year). Huffington has been defending Uber in the press. However, on Tuesday, Huffington said through a spokeswoman that she won’t comment further on the matter until Holder’s investigation is completed.  The New York Times ran an explosive report last month ― the result of interviews with more than 30 current and former employees and reviews of internal emails ― that described a bruising corporate culture at Uber, one rife with sexism and hostility. In one instance, a manager groped the breasts of multiple female co-workers. “A director shouted a homophobic slur at a subordinate during a heated confrontation in a meeting,” reports the Times’ Mike Isaac. (The manager who groped the women was terminated within a day, the Times notes.) Holzwarth was staying out of it ― until she got a call a few weeks ago from Emil Michael, Uber’s senior vice president of business. Holzwarth says that Michael asked her to keep quiet about an incident that took place in South Korea in 2014, involving escorts in a karaoke bar. Michael believed the story might resurface because of the current controversy. The Information described the incident in a story this weekend. According to Holzwarth and an internal complaint from a female marketing manager at the company, Kalanick, Holzwarth and several Uber executives ― all but one of them male ― went to a karaoke and escort bar in Seoul. The male Uber executives selected women working at the bar ― who were wearing tags with numbers ― and sat with them, according to The Information’s report. However, Holzwarth, Kalanick and the female Uber executive did not stick around. Prostitution is illegal in South Korea, but casual sex work is not uncommon there, and often happens at karaoke bars. The incident made the female executive deeply uncomfortable, and she later filed a complaint with Uber’s human resource department. “It made me feel horrible as a girl (seeing those girls with number tags and being called out is really degrading),” the female executive told Holzwarth in a text exchange, according to The Information’s report. Holzwarth confirmed that detail to HuffPost. Holzwarth says that in their phone call a few weeks ago, Michael told her that if anyone asked about that night, she should say it was just karaoke. Holzwarth said she spent a few anxious weeks stewing about that phone call before finally opening up about it to  The Information. “I don’t want to be silenced or lie for somebody else. It made me feel uncomfortable,” she told HuffPost. “[It was a] tough three weeks of hiding their secret.” Michael disputes Holzwarth’s account of the phone call. “Given the intense news cycle I thought it was the right thing to do to reach out and let her know that reporters may try to contact her directly,” Michael told The Information. “I have known her for a long time, consider her a friend and did not want her to be taken by surprise. Her recollection of this conversation was different from mine and I am very sorry if the purpose of my call was misunderstood.” Reached for comment, a spokeswoman for Uber referred HuffPost to Michael’s remarks above. The spokeswoman also offered a company statement: “This all happened nearly three years ago. It was previously reported to human resources and in early March was referred to Tammy Albarran and Eric Holder,” who are leading an investigation into Uber’s workplace culture. Holzwarth said that she does not consider Michael a friend. In the days since her story first appeared, she says, several women have reached out to thank her for coming forward ― including women at Uber and in the Valley more generally. She’s glad she spoke up, but she’s not sure her story or the company’s efforts to fix its problems ― Kalanick, who is 40 years old and was recently caught on video sparring with a driver, has apologized and pledged to “grow up” ― will ultimately change anything for Uber. “I’ve seen how the company runs. It is how it is,” she said. “I truly don’t believe things will be changing.” -- 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.

24 марта, 01:11

Obama's Top Civil Rights Official Takes Over 'Nerve Center' Of Trump Resistance

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 ― The former top official at the Obama Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is taking over the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a 67-year-old organization sometimes described as the lobbying arm of the civil rights movement. Vanita Gupta, who ran the Civil Rights Division for the last two-plus years of the Obama administration, was named the next president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Thursday. Later this year, she will succeed Wade Henderson, who has served as president and CEO since 1996 and helped grow the organization into a coalition of more than 200 civil and human rights groups. Gupta, 42, began her legal career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she fought for dozens of people in a tiny Texas town who had been locked up on the lies of a racist rodeo cowboy paid by police to conduct drug stings. She served as deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.  In October 2014, just months after the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Gupta was named acting head of the Civil Rights Division. On her watch, the Justice Department issued a damning report on the operations of Ferguson’s police department and municipal court in early 2015 and later released other critical reports on the Baltimore and Chicago police forces. The Justice Department reached deals with officials in Ferguson and Baltimore to improve their law enforcement practices, while a potential agreement with Chicago remains in question under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Gupta said initiatives that the Civil Rights Division championed during the Obama administration are “quite vulnerable” in the Trump era. The groups that make up the Leadership Conference, she said, are at the “heart of the resistance” fighting rollbacks of civil rights protections. “We’re going to have to use the power of the field operation here at the Leadership Conference and the member organizations to mobilize an American public that right now is really eager to fight back and to resist assaults on the very values that we all hold dear,” Gupta said. She sees the Leadership Conference as a “nerve center” for both defending civil rights on the federal level and pushing forward to advance civil rights on the state level. The member organizations of the Leadership Conference have a crucial role to play during the Trump era in her view. “We can’t rely on Congress to be a check on the executive branch right now,” Gupta said. It was gratifying, she added, to see people “of all stripes, religions and races coming together” in response to the Trump administration’s travel ban. “I think this is a time of unprecedented solidarity among the groups that make up the Leadership Conference to recognize that an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us,” said Gupta. “For me, this opportunity could not come at a better time, because I think we all know very well, and all too well, what’s at stake.” Several civil rights leaders applauded Gupta’s appointment. Former Attorney General Eric Holder praised her “fearless advocacy for the rights of all Americans.” Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, called her a “once-in-a-generation leader.” Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said Gupta was at the “forefront of bold, imaginative and uncompromising civil rights leadership.” Gupta, who worked closely on policing issues at the Justice Department, said she was troubled by the Trump administration’s indications that the department will pull back from the broad reform efforts pursued by the Obama administration.    “It is a huge, radical departure for this Justice Department to step away from that work,” Gupta said. But “even if this Justice Department is out of step with what’s happening around this country,” she said, civil rights advocates and policing organizations have an important role to play in pushing reform forward. “The role of local community input in holding local officials accountable to enforcement has always been really important, and there will be a role for the Leadership Conference to play in lifting up those community voices and the member organizations that are really engaged on that,” Gupta 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.

21 марта, 21:59

Senators press Sessions on drug policy changes

The Democrats urged the attorney general not to return to policies that urge prosecutors to pursue long mandatory-minimum prison sentences against low-level drug offenders.

20 марта, 20:16

Clinton camp unloads on Comey

Former top officials for Hillary Clinton’s campaign vented their frustration with both FBI Director James Comey and congressional Republicans on Monday as he testified on Capitol Hill. Five months after Comey stepped into the 2016 election fray in the campaign’s closing days to talk about investigations into Clinton’s email use — which Clinton herself has said was a cause for her loss to Donald Trump — many Democrats are still seething at his role. Noting that Comey acknowledged receiving Department of Justice approval to publicly reveal his agency’s investigation into potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, Clinton’s former press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted, “An approval he did not care to obtain in Clinton’s case." Fallon — who was a former senior official in the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder — joined other former Clinton aides in also grumbling about the revelation that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign as of late July, but that Comey didn’t disclose it until now. “Russia probe that Comey confirmed was, as best we can tell, in effect before Nov. 8,” he wrote, referring to Election Day. “Fair to ask why he didn’t think voters deserved to know." “Doing some jobs right requires being in the news everyday, becoming a household name, enraging everyone,” wrote longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines, who played Trump during her debate prep, tapping into Democrats’ pool of anger with Comey. “FBI Director isn’t one of them." But the operatives’ frustration also extended to the talk of Russia’s meddling in the election more generally — and Comey’s acknowledgment of the country’s intent, now that Trump is president. Noting that Comey said it is “correct” to say that Russia preferred Trump to Clinton in the election, former Clinton communications staffer Tyrone Gayle, now the press secretary for California Sen. Kamala Harris, wrote, “That sound you just heard was every ex-Clinton staffer banging their heads on the wall from California to DC." Nearly a year and a half after Clinton herself testified in front of Congress over the 2012 attack in Benghazi, they also had little patience for House Republicans. “Focus on leaks meant to serve same purpose as Trump allegation about wiretapping: distract from possible collusion,” Fallon wrote in response to GOP lawmakers’ lines of questioning about leaks to the media. “To Members of House Intel deflecting real questions on Russia hack for partisan purposes: this threat isn’t partisan,” added former campaign manager Robby Mook, who has raised the alarm about Russia’s election meddling across the world since November. “Anyone could be next."

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 $379.000.000.000.000  – 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.