Ray Nagin was the business executive who swept into City Hall on promises of reforming how government does business, only to see those ideas disintegrate. He was the face of the city after Hurricane Katrina, shouting anguished distress calls to the world, seeming urgent but also at times unhinged. He was the nontraditional politician who corralled support across racial groups and then turned divisive with an awkward attempt at welcoming back storm-displaced African Americans to a “chocolate city.”
Nagin was the first New Orleans mayor indicted and tried on federal charges for corruption. On Wednesday, he was the first to be convicted.
Jurors overwhelmingly agreed with the prosecution’s narrative in finding him guilty on 20 of 21 charges: Nagin sold his office for personal gain. (more…)
I don’t know what happened over the last few hours, but Nicki Minaj has removed offensive single art that included Malcolm X. The single for “Lookin’ A$$ Ni99a” was released and it caused a huge furor because the art featured a famous image of Malcolm X looking out the window. Behind the scenes and even in social media, there was a furor growing. With the anniversary of Malcolm’s death coming, I can only image it was going to get really bad for Nicki. Eventually, the image was taken down, but not before thousands of disparaging comments were posted on a number of social media outlets. Now, Kevin Powell’s BK Nation and former U.S. vice presidential candidate Rosa Clemente have jump started separate boycotts that takes the Young Money rapper to task.
On Instagram, Nicki said the following:
What seems to be the issue now? Do you have a problem with me referring to the people Malcolm X was ready to pull his gun out on as Lookin Ass Niggaz? Well, I apologize. That was never the official artwork nor is this an official single. This is a conversation. Not a single. I am in the video shooting at Lookin Ass Niggaz and there happened to be an iconic photo of Malcolm X ready to do the same thing for what he believed in!!!! It is in no way to undermine his efforts and legacy. I apologize to the Malcolm X estate if the meaning of the photo was misconstrued. The word “nigga” causes so much debate in our community while the “nigga” behavior gets praised and worship. Let’s not. Apologies again to his family. I have nothing but respect an adoration for u. The photo was removed hours ago. Thank you.”
(CNN) — The Department of Justice is investigating the death of Alfred Wright, a physical therapist who disappeared and died under mysterious circumstances in an isolated section of Texas, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said Monday.
Wright, 28, a resident of Jasper, Texas, was last seen alive November 7 when he stopped at a liquor store because he was having trouble with his pickup truck. He was on his way to treat a patient.
Local law enforcement authorities searched but gave up. His family found his partially clothed body 19 days later in an area that officers had supposedly searched.
Adding more confusion, a medical examiner said the death was accidental, but a different pathologist hired by the family said there appeared to be “severe trauma” to the body. Continue Reading »
What do you give a Wall Street CEO who has presided over a decade of fraud and criminality, who directly supervised a unit which lost $6 billion through incompetent and illegal trading, and whose reign of crime and mismanagement has cost his institution $20 billion in the last year alone – a figure which undoubtedly would’ve been much larger in a less morally compromised regulatory environment?
If you are the Board of Directors of JPMorgan Chase, you give him a raise.
Let’s not mince words: Jamie Dimon’s bank is, as we said last May, the scandal of our time. The crimes committed during Dimon’s time in senior management include bribery, mortgage fraud, investor fraud, consumer fraud, credit card fraud, forgery, perjury, violation of sanctions against Iran and Syria, violation of laws prohibiting the bilking of active-duty service members … shall we continue?
The Captain and Tennile are getting divorced. But when it comes to the Board and Jamie, love will keep them together. Continue Reading »
The White House is calling January “TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) Month” and has made it their task to pass Fast Track. President Obama needs Fast Track to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). When Congress returned this month, a bill was quickly introduced after delays of more than a year.
The lies begin with title of the bill: “The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014.” Bi-partisan? In the House there was only one sponsor, Republican David Camp (MI). The Republicans demanded the Democrats add a sponsor before it was introduced, but due to public pressure, they could not find one.
The only Democrat on the bill in the Senate is Max Baucus (MT) — the senator who gave us the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and who is leaving the senate to become Ambassador to China. So, the bill is only bi-partisan until he heads off to his new job.
Baucus likes to informally call the bill “The Job Creating Bipartisan Trade Priorities Act,” but that just adds another lie since trade agreements consistently lose jobs, expand the wealth divide and increase trade deficits.
TPP Loses Momentum
After four years of secret negotiations with more than 600 corporate advisers, the once seemingly invincible largest trade bill in history, covering 40% of the world’s economy , looks very much like it can be defeated.
Why is the TPP looking like it can be stopped? One reason is its secrecy. (more…)
Verizon, the FCC and What You Need to Know About Net Neutrality
Editor’s note: On January 14, DC’s Circuit Court of Appeals found that the FCC does not have the authority to impose its net neutrality rules on Internet service providers. Read on to learn what that means for the future of the Internet.
Over the last decade, net neutrality has increasingly made its way into public discourse: politicians on Capitol Hill have battled over it, corporations have worked to curb it and public interest advocates have fought to preserve it. In September, the fight to keep the Internet free and open found its way to the DC’s Circuit Court of Appeals, where Verizon is attempting to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s current net neutrality regulations. Verizon vs. FCC, which could be decided as soon as this month, is the latest and arguably most important battle to protect the Internet from censorship and discrimination. But what is net neutrality? And what could this case mean for the future of the Internet? We’ve put together this “explainer” to catch you up.
What is net neutrality?
Network neutrality, or net neutrality, is a term first coined by technology policy scholar Tim Wu to describe the preservation of online innovation by prohibiting companies from discriminating against some users and content, or prioritizing some content over others. It guarantees a level playing field in which Internet users do not have to pay Internet service providers more for better access to online content, and content generators do not have to pay additional fees to ensure users can access their websites or apps. (more…)
In the wake of the recent homophobia and racism scandals surrounding A&E’s popular so-called “reality” show Duck Dynasty, there is an important, little-known detail that should be remembered: it’s all fake… all of it.
Sources close to the show have time and time again leaked details that the show is literally scripted. Because of non-disclosure agreements, cameramen, and others who wish to go public with this information have proven unable to do so. As a result, without a name attached to such leaked information, many of these claims of inauthenticity are seen as lacking credibility.
But as the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” One thing that the so-called “Duck Dynasty” family cannot deny are family pictures taken before their fabricated “reality” show was scripted for them. These pictures all showcase a family devoid of backwoods attire: no camouflage, no face paint, no headbands, and no beards.
Everything you do on your iPhone may be open to NSA snooping thanks to a covert software the agency can install without users’ knowledge. Apparently the app, called Dropout Jeep, can remotely send all of your text messages, contacts and voicemails to the NSA, and can activate your iPhone’s camera or mic for real time surveillance, too.
In a presentation at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Germany, security researcher Jacob Applebaum detailed the NSA’s iPhone spying capabilities. Along with being able to use Dropout Jeep to collect your conversations and contacts, the agency can use cell towers to find your location, and can remotely push new files to user’s iPhones.
The NSA documents Mr. Applebaum referenced say it has a perfect track record for installing Dropout Jeep on targeted iPhones, meaning they have been able to successfully install the software on every iPhone they want. Based on the agency’s success rate and the amount of data they’re able to collect, Mr. Applebaum questions Apple’s involvement.
He said in a presentation at the conference,
I don’t really believe that Apple didn’t help them. I can’t really prove it, but they [the NSA] literally claim that anytime they target an iOS device, that it will succeed for implantation. Either they have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning that they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves. Not sure which one it is. I’d like to believe that since Apple didn’t join the PRISM program until after Steve Jobs died, that maybe it’s just that they write shitty software.
Continue Reading »
Anyone reviewing the data is likely to conclude that there must be some mistake. It doesn’t seem possible that one out of twenty American families could each have made a million dollars since Obama became President, while the average American family’s net worth has barely recovered. But the evidence comes from numerous reputable sources.
Some conservatives continue to claim that President Obama is unfriendly to business, but the facts show that the richest Americans and the biggest businesses have been the main—perhaps only—beneficiaries of the massive wealth gain over the past five years.
1. $5 Million to Each of the 1 percent, and $1 Million to Each of the Next 4 percent
From the end of 2008 to the middle of 2013 the total U.S. wealth increased from $47 trillion to $72 trillion. And about $16 trillion of that is financial gain (stocks and other financial instruments).
The richest 1 percent own about 38 percent of stocks and half of are non-stock financial assets. So they’ve gained at least $6.1 trillion (38 percent of $16 trillion). That’s over $5 million for each of 1.2 million households.
The next richest 4 percent, based on similar calculations, gained about $5.1 trillion. That’s over a million dollars for each of their 4.8 million households.
The least wealthy 90 percent in our country only own 11 percent of all stocks excluding pensions, which are fastly disappearing. The frantic recent surge in the stock market has largely bypassed these families.
Gay Black CNN Anchor Don Lemon Defends Duck Dynasty Star’s Homophobic and Racist Remarks
by Yvette Carnell
Not long ago, CNN anchor Don Lemon proved that he doesn’t understand why the NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk program is unconstitutional. Now he’s coming to the defense of ‘Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, proving that Lemon doesn’t quite grasp free speech protection, either. Lemon, who is gay and black, defended the homophobic and racially inflammatory (and inaccurate) remarks made by Robertson during a GQ interview.
Here’s the ‘Duck Dynasty’ star on homosexuality:
It seems like, to me, a vag!na—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anµs. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.
The fixation of anti-gay conservatives with homos*xual s*x is something I’ve made peace with, deciding it’s something I’ll never wrap my head around. Some people, straight and gay, may not enjoy anul sex, just as some women may not enjoy dating or marrying someone who carries the appearance of a homeless person. Robertson should just be grateful that his wife is into that roaming smelly marauder look.
And here’s Robertson, during the same interview, reminiscing of how happy black people were in the pre-Civil Rights era in the South: Continue Reading »
Poster’s Note: Now this isn’t the whole interview but Kanye sounds like he is really coming apart. I hope there is another section of this interview that makes his rant make sense.
George Zimmerman, acquitted four months ago in the killing of Trayvon Martin, was arrested on Monday after his girlfriend called 911 during a domestic dispute, telling police he broke a table in her home and pointed a long-barreled shotgun at her.
Zimmerman, 30, was booked into Seminole County Jail, where he is being held without bail. He was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon — a felony — and battery and criminal mischief.
According to Lt. Dennis Lemma, police responded to the domestic disturbance call at Samantha Scheibe’s home in Apopka, Fla., at 12:30 p.m. When deputies arrived, Scheibe indicated Zimmerman had forced her out of her home and barricaded the door with furniture. Continue Reading »