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Florida Nixes A Grand Jury for Trayvon Case, Persecution of Helen Thomas, When Murdoch Attacks

April 10th, 2012 - by:

No Grand Jury For Trayvon in FLA

LA Times: “The special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case announced Monday that she will not take the case before a Florida grand jury – but will continue pursuing her “investigation.”

•CLG: Trayvon Martin: Protesters march to L.A. City Hall

Marchers were moving through the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Monday evening to protest the shooting of black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. The Los Angeles Police Department warned that some streets between Pershing Square and downtown L.A. could be closed during the march, which runs from 5th and Hill streets to Spring and 1st streets. The march was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The march was one of several in Los Angeles and other cities in recent weeks.

•Fluent:’George Zimmerman Releases Statement, Speaking for First Time About Trayvon Martin Case’ Zimmerman is also using his website to raise funds.

•Washington Times: Bill Cosby: ‘The Gun’ Empowered Mr. Zimmerman
Deborah Simmons, The Washington Times

Excerpt: “‘Without a gun, I don’t see Mr. Zimmerman approaching Trayvon by himself,’ Mr. Cosby explained. ‘The power-of-the-gun mentality had him unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations.

National Journal: Romney Goes Ballistic on Santorum: Keystone Kill-Shot

What’s the price of loyalty? Mitt Romney hopes he can buy it for $2 million or more. The GOP presidential front-runner’s two-week, multimillion-dollar TV ad buy in Pennsylvania — the media equivalent of a nuclear bomb — delivers a powerful message to Republican voters there: You might have supported Rick Santorum when he was your U.S. senator, but I want your vote now.

Barry Dyke Blows Whistle on Romney Scheme: Steamy Love Affair: Mitt Romney, Wall Street Finance and Wealthy Politicians Affair with For-Profit Education Student Loan Academic-Industrial-Complex

Hampton, NH (April 9, 2012) Best-selling NH author Barry James Dyke reports that Mitt Romney, Wall Street finance and wealthy politicians have a steamy love affair with the for-profit education student loan academic-industrial-complex.

In his new book, The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom www.thepiratesofmanhattan.com, he documents the oncoming $1 trillion student loan tsunami in both for-profit and not-for-profit schools. Dyke unveils the incestuous interconnection of Wall Street private equity firms in monster “club deals” which include Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, KKR, Carlyle and Providence Equity.

Dyke writes, “For profit-education companies revenue stream is almost entirely dependent on the federal government funded student loans. For profit school enrollment has gone from 385,000 in 2000 to 1.8 million in 2010. The Government Accounting Office (GAO), in a scathing 2010 report found that for-profit colleges engaged in deceptive practices, encouraged fraud to enroll students, saddled them with large debts and offered few solid job prospects to pay back loans. For-profit schools enroll 10% of the people into colleges, used up 25% of government financial aid and account for 44% of student loan defaults” The author continues, “to make matters worse, much of for-profit education student loan academic complex capital/equity base is supplied by mutual funds, which get their funding from Main Street America’s 401(k)s. It’s another showcase for Wall Street greed, and when it implodes, the taxpayer will hold the bag.”

Mitt Romney’s Florida primary fundraising chairman was James “Bill” Heavener, the CEO of Full Sail University, a for-profit college. Heavener contributed $85 thousand to a super PAC (Political Action Committee) Restore Our Future—supporting Romney which is run by former Romney aides. [To see Romney’s endorsement of Full Sail and other for-profit schools, see this YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF_9r6-DLTw (Mitt Romney Endorses Scam For-Profit Colleges)].

TA Associates, a Boston based private equity firm is an investor in Full Sail University. C. Kevin Landry, an executive with TA donated $120 thousand to Romney’s super PAC. TA acquired for-profit The Rocky Mountain School of Design in Denver in 2011 and The Los Angeles Film School in Los Angeles. TA Associates owned another for profit educator, Florida Career College but sold the school to two other private equity firms, Greenhill Capital and Abrams Capital. Romney’s son Tagg runs a Boston based fund-of-funds private equity firm Solamere Capital where Mitt invested about $10 million. Solamere invested in TA Associates, which in turn acquired Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc. in 2009 from private equity firm Wellspring Capital Management.

•Fluent: ‘Elizabeth Warren raises $6.9 million, Brown Still Has More Money’

Top Cop Says:America’s police are out of control

Veteran Police Commander TONY BOUZA asks: What can possibly justify so sweeping an assertion?

I will try.

I started in policing on 1/1/53 in the NYPD, rose, over 24 years, to command Bronx forces and then served three as #2 in the Transit Police. This was followed by nine years as chief in Minneapolis .

I secured a BBA and MPA on the way, had eight books published on policing and served as an expert on police procedures, in cases all over the U.S. , in about 80 cases, to the present day. I only accepted cases in which I thought an injustice had been done.

I cite only a few illustrative cases to support my view.

The first place that pops is Chicago —where I did a lot of cases, including one this year in which about 800 protesters were trapped, penned in and arrested, though they’d committed no crime. The arrests, in 2003, were ordered by top brass, one of whom became chief shortly thereafter.

The arresting cops—knowing they’d been ordered to undertake false arrests for which they could be sued—signed fictitious names on the reports. They needn’t have feared since cops are never exposed to such dangers as losing their homes, however pervasive the myth.

By 2012 the City, unwilling to face the humiliation of not being able to identify its own employees in a massive arrest action, settled the case for $6.2 million, or about $3 for every Chicagoan.

The case had at first been thrown out, but the public service lawyers who hired me appealed, won and fought for the settlement.

Before that there’d been a series of cases in which a zealous, devoted commander tortured many black males into confessing to murders they hadn’t committed through the use of an electric generator that delivered horrific shocks. One victim clenched his teeth so tightly they all came loose.

The detective filled Death Row with these citizens, and the same law firm undertook to prove their innocence. A conservative Republican governor, stunned by the proofs, emptied Death Row. He later went to prison himself for a corrupt act. The commander was convicted of torture (ex V. P. Cheney please take note—anyone can be “persuaded” to confess to anything) and sent to prison. He’d been regularly photographed with the city’s leaders who’d been only too happy to shine in the glory of his “exploits.”

The innocent received millions. The guilty were never caught.

Economy Woes

•Raw Story: Matt Taibbi blasts the JOBS Act: It almost boggles the mind

*FT: Implications Dire: US Union Pensions In A Deep Hole

•Ellen Brown: All Banks Are Not Created Equal
How the people can use public banks to supplant
Wall Street greed

•Daily Beast: Cheat Sheet – Sold! Facebook Snaps Up Instagram for $1 Billion
Sold! Facebook Snaps Up Instagram for $1 Billion

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook made a bold play for photo-sharing supremacy on Monday, shelling out a reported $1 billion to acquire the popular mobile-photo application, Instagram. “For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family,” Zuckerberg wrote in a statement. “Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.” The deal comes just days after Instagram began streaming its service on Android phones in addition to iPhones.

LBN: Microsoft Gobbles AOL Patents” The technology world is in an arms race, and intellectual property is the weapon of choice. Microsoft bought its way toward the front of the pack Monday when it announced a deal with AOL that will give it 800 of AOLs patents and license to 300 more, all for just slightly north of $1 billion. In the world of mega tech litigation, patents are both offensive and defensive weapons, as companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google regularly go to court to fight over who has rights to basic elements of the devices and software millions use every day.

The Hill: Carney: Senate vote on Buffett Rule is no empty gesture

White House press secretary Jay Carney said a Senate vote next week on the so-called Buffett rule will not be an empty gesture even if it is defeated in the upper chamber.

Carney insisted the White House goal was to win passage of the measure, but also acknowledged the vote could accomplish the political goal of hurting Republicans, something that could also eventually lead to its passage.

eWallStreeter: Is William Cohan Right That Wall Street “Regulation” Has To First And Foremost Curb Greed?

Now that the world is covered in at least $707 trillion in assorted unregulated Over the Counter derivatives (as of June 30, the most recent number is easily tens of trillions greater) and with at least one JPMorgan prop|non-prop trader exposed to having a ~$100 billion notional position in some IG-related index trade, pundits, always eager to score political brownie points, are starting to ruminate over ways to put the half alive/half dead cat back into the box. Unfortunately they are about 20 years too late: with the world literally covered in various levered bets all of which demand hundreds of billions in variation margin on a daily basis, the second the one bank at the nexus of the derivative bubble (ahem JPMorgan) starts keeling over, it will once again be “the end of the world as we know it” unless said bank is immediately bailed out.

Johnatah Zuro writes:Top Corporations Pay No Taxes

Last year, Citizens for Tax Justice found that 30 major corporations had made billions of dollars in profits whilepaying no federal income tax between 2008 and 2010. Today, CTJ updated that report to reflect the 2011 tax bill of those 30 companies, and 26 of them have still managed to pay absolutely nothing over that four year period:

– 26 of the 30 companies continued to enjoy negative federal income tax rates. That means they still made more money after tax than before tax over the four years!;

– Of the remaining four companies, three paid four year effective tax rates of less than 4 percent
(specifically, 0.2%, 2.0% and 3.8%). One company paid a 2008-11 tax rate of 10.9 percent.

– In total, 2008-11 federal income taxes for the 30 companies remained negative, despite $205 billion in pretax U.S. profits. Overall, they enjoyed an average effective federal income tax rate of –3.1 percent over the four years.

Amongst the 30 are corporate titans such as General Electric, Boeing, Verizon, and Mattel. The only four companies that slipped into positive tax territory were DTE Energy, Honeywell, Wells Fargo, and DuPont, with DuPont the only one that paid more than 4 percent over the four years.

Corporate taxes in the U.S., contrary to the constant protestations of conservatives, are at a 40 year low, with many of the most profitable companies paying nothing at all. CTJ noted that “had these 30 companies paid the full 35 percent corporate tax rate over the 2008-11 period, they would have paid $78.3 billion more in federal income taxes.” And this is not a problem that only afflicts the U.S., as the UK found out last week that online retailer Amazon made billions in sales in 2011, while paying nothing in corporate taxes.

Bloomberg View: Gary Shilling, US Headed Back To Recession

For several months, I’ve been forecasting a recession in the U.S. this year, arguing that weakened consumer spending — the key to the economic outlook — would tip the economy back into a downturn. But what about recent positive data and markets? Do they affect my forecast? […] Personal-income growth continues to be weak — up just 0.2 percent in February — meaning this recent exuberant consumer spending is being fueled largely by increased debt and tapping of savings. At the same time, pay per employee is rising slowly and continues to fall in real terms. So increased job growth remains the key to any increases in real household after-tax income, which declined in February for a second straight month and gained a mere 0.3 percent, compared with February 2011. […] With the house-price collapse and the earlier huge withdrawal of home equity, consumers can no longer use their homes as leverage for oversized spending. The profligate postwar babies need to save for retirement, and they can. Many are in their 50s, their peak-income years. Their offspring’s tuition bills have disappeared with graduations and, if their kids are like our four, they no longer have as many smashed-up cars to replace. Also, those with jobs should be encouraged to step up saving for contingencies, due to employment uncertainty. […]

Occupy

•WP: Occupy Plans To “Take Down” Bank of America

HP: Occupy Tackles Foreclosures

Global News: The Information Clearing House Reports

Mike Shedlock: US Offers to ‘Negotiate’ if Iran Surrenders;
Thoughts on Negotiation Tactics; Obama Threatens War

President Obama has stepped up the rhetoric against Iran with an offer to “negotiate”. His offer is no offer at all, it is a demand to surrender.

Johannes Stern, Western Powers Manipulate Syrian Peace Plan To Prepare For War

The imperialist powers never intended to find a political settlement to the conflict, as they claimed, but sought instead to create a pretext for further provocations against Syria.

Rick Steves: ‘I’ve Been Duped’:Reflections on Israel and Palestine”

Do you know the frustration you feel when you believed in something strongly and then you realize that the information that made you believe was from a source with an agenda to deceive?

Guardian: UK banks and insurers blacklist cluster bomb manufacturers

Lloyds and Aviva among the major firms invoking ‘stop lists’ to purge cluster munitions companies from their share portfolios

Serge Halimi,LeMonde Diplo: Why Does Saudia Arabia Get A Free Pass?

•Intimidation: Guillen to return to Florida for Castro apology

Fluent:‘Labor Organizer Who Exposed Dangerous Working Conditions Is Tortured, Killed’
Media

EJC: Millions of Internet users in Iran could soon be permanently cut off from the Web, social networks, and e-mail. In a statement released last week, Reza Taghipour, the Iranian minister for Information and Communications Technology, announced it plans to establish a national intranet within five months in an effort to create a “clean Internet,” according to an International Business Times report.

True? Russia Today YouTube Channel Suspended. & Alex Jones Channel is being Deleted (Latest news I heard but not confirmed is that RT is back and the RT US channel was not affected. Checking….)

• Politico: More journalists linked to case charging ex-CIA officer with leaks about interrogators

The identities of journalists who allegedly received illegal leaks from former CIA officer John Kiriakou are spilling into the public domain in the wake of his indictment last week on charges that he disclosed the names of CIA personnel involved in interrogations of terror suspects.

Two New York-based reporters, Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito, are among the journalists the government has alleged as being on the receiving end of leaks from Kiriakou, sources familiar with the case told POLITICO.

Cole, described in court papers as Journalist A, worked until earlier this year as a producer for ABC Newss investigative unit, but the alleged leaks to him took place before he joined ABC.

New Helen Thomas Outrage

Christine Tatum sends a link to an column she wrote the for Friday’s edition of The Arab American News:

Here is a link to Michael Miner’s blog post about the controversy in the Chicago Reader (I hope you’ll feel free to post comments here …):

Marvin Kitman: “The day I met Mike Wallace.”

DXM: Comments on My Piece On Obama

I have always admired Van Jones, Andrew Sullivan and Eugene Robinson, and Reverend Wright and Angela Davis. Why would they stick with Barack while so many others couldn’t? So here’s my way of answering your concerns and keeping the News Dissector on the front burner for AmpedStatus/Network readers. Thanks

Your comments on my work and this blog always welcome. Write: dissector@mediachannel.org