February 10, 2012
The police departments of Boston, Massachusetts and Rochester, New York are arresting people video taping their arrest in public places. In the case of Rochester, a homeowner was arrested for filming a traffic stop arrest from her own front yard. We’re accustomed to reading about these sorts of things in Communist countries and other dictatorial countries. So what are we supposed to conclude from this?
In Congress, pork is a very bipartisan issue. 33 members are guilty of directing funding of federal projects within 2 miles of their own property. Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Harold Rogers (R-Kentucky), Jack Kingston (R-Georgia), John Oliver (D-Massachusetts), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland), Todd Akin (R-Missouri), Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), G.K. Butterfield (D-North Carolina), Darrell Issa (R-California) and Doc Hastings (D-Washington) are just the big spenders. 16 lawmakers sent tax dollars to companies, colleges or community programs where their spouses, children or parents work as salaried employees or serve on boards. (See names and pictures of others.)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Government-Sponsored Enterprise’s (GSE), knew about foreclosure fraud for 10 years yet did absolutely nothing about it. Nye Lavalle, a wealthy businessman in Florida, blew the whistle on this in 2003. But, then as now, nobody wanted to listen to whistleblowers. In fact, whistleblowers are demonized today, thanks to a very successful propaganda political campaign from the right.
“Even then, [Lavalle] discovered, some loan-servicing companies that worked for Fannie Mae routinely filed false foreclosure documents, not unlike the fraudulent paperwork that has since made “robo-signing” a household term. Even then, he found, the nation’s electronic mortgage registry was playing fast and loose with the law — something that courts have belatedly recognized, too…For two years, he corresponded with Fannie executives and lawyers. Fannie later hired a Washington law firm to investigate his claims. In May 2006, that firm, using some of Mr. Lavalle’s research, issued a confidential, 147-page report corroborating many of his findings.”
Michael Dunn, A former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner, has sold his after-public-life services to Patton Boggs, a lobbying firm headquartered in Washington, DC. He was appointed to the CFTC by former President George W. Bush. Dunn served with the CFTC from January 2006 until recently. No word yet on how big his payoff salary is.
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky