HomeUncategorized5/17-18 News Roundup and Open Thread
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Benny

Benny

Benny

Rep Al Green from Louisana is on the Banking and Financial Oversight Committee. There have been hearings about SVB and First Republic’s collapses yesterday and today. He has been laser focused on the bankers, laying blame squarely on the bankers shoulders rather than the Fed. He asked the banker testifying (sorry I didn’t catch which one, I’m listening via twitter) if he had been trained well in banking, served on the SF Fed Board at one point? The banker nodded. Then he said, are you blaming the regulators on that side of risk policy that you helped create?

Benny

Another representative is testifying that SVB went down due to greed and recklessness. The higher the risk, the bigger the bonuses. (SVB CEO) Becker was asked if he would return the bonus. He answered he will cooperate (not voluntarily) with the government (which may or may not make him return the bonus and the money needed to take a vacation in Hawaii when the bank collapsed).

Benny

Joyce Beatty of OH is bashing the CEO’s of the failed banks, said her district lost over $27M in their portfolios. She gets the witnesses to admit their salaries, most over a million dollars or more, including bonuses. She hammers them on their lack of knowledge or details in the matter.

orlbucfan

Seriously, these are white collar criminals. They’re greedy and incompetent/stupid. When are they going to face actual accountability?

Benny

There is legal bribery. But yes, if someone took a 20 dollar bill out of the cash register, that is theft.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

What is legal bribery? Is it what AIPAC is doing to control our govt?

Benny

Exactly.

Benny

If I were her, I wouldn’t be celebrating too much. She got by Trump and she’s controllable by Chris Licht.

orlbucfan

It looks like her big claim is she’s photogenic on the boob tube. Whoopee.💩🤮

Benny
wi65

No1 requirement for hire at Faux News

wi65

Meh, Cult-45 basically ignored her. She got started by working for Carlson so not that all impressed by her. R lite basically

Benny

Benny

U.S. Supreme Court denies request to block Illinois and Naperville gun bans

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request from a Naperville gun store owner to block a city ordinance and and Illinois law banning the sale of certain high-powered firearms and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who oversees emergency requests from Illinois and neighboring states, referred the request from gun shop owner Robert Bevis to the full court, which denied it in an unsigned order.

The Naperville City Council approved a local ban on the sale of certain high-powered firearms a month after the deadly mass shooting at last year’s Fourth of July parade in north suburban Highland Park. The state followed suit in January with a law that immediately banned the sale of certain semi-automatic guns as well as high-capacity ammunition magazines statewide.

The state law is being challenged in both state and federal court. Wednesday’s high court ruling indicates the ban will remain in effect while those challenges play out.

Robert Bevis, owner of Law Weapons & Supply, and the National Association for Gun Rights are challenging both the Naperville ordinance and the state law in their federal lawsuit, arguing the gun bans violate the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The plaintiffs asked the Supreme Court to intervene in late April after both the U.S. District Court and the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined to issue injunctions while the case is being adjudicated.

In its subsequent filing to the Supreme Court, the state argued that Bevis and the gun group have failed to show that they are likely to succeed in overturning the laws or to prove that it would be appropriate for the high court to step in this early in the proceedings.

“They principally argue that the district court erred in denying a preliminary injunction … but this Court is not a court of error correction,” Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office wrote in its response.

Bevis and the gun rights group also failed to show that they would suffer irreparable harm if the law were to remain in place, which might justify an emergency response from the Supreme Court, Raoul’s office argued.

They “have not shown that their inability to purchase or sell a narrow category of firearms — assault weapons and (large-capacity magazines) — will irreparably harm them,” the state said in its response. “By contrast, the Act’s restrictions on assault weapons and (large-capacity magazines) promote a compelling interest in protecting the public and saving lives.”

In a separate 23-page response, lawyers for the city of Naperville argued that just because those challenging the laws “assert that this presents an issue of constitutional import is not a reason for sidestepping the ordinary appellate process.”

If the Supreme Court granted the request, “it would suggest that emergency relief is the rule, not the exception,” the Naperville lawyers argued.

In their request for emergency relief, Bevis and the gun rights group argued that there “cannot be the slightest question … that the challenged laws are unconstitutional” because they place restrictions on the sale and possession of weapons that “are possessed by millions of law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, including self-defense in the home.”

In addition, they said the laws fail to meet the guidelines for permissible restrictions laid out in recent Supreme Court rulings in gun control cases, including a decision last summer in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which struck down New York state’s concealed carry law.

The 7th Circuit earlier this month placed on hold a ruling from a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois that had temporarily blocked enforcement of the state ban.

The appeals has scheduled oral arguments for next month on the Bevis case and other pending legal challenges to the state law.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement Wednesday that he was “pleased that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Protect Illinois Communities Act will stand as it continues to make its way through the judicial system.”

“The gun lobby has insisted on every legal maneuver to block this law, refusing to acknowledge that lives will be saved by this important piece of legislation,” Pritzker said. “Despite these challenges, I remain confident that the assault weapons ban will be upheld and will create a safer Illinois for our residents.”

On Tuesday, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit led by state Rep. Dan Caulkins, of Decatur, contending that the state ban violates the equal protection and special legislation clauses of the state constitution.

An attorney representing Caulkins and other plaintiffs in the case, Jerry Stocks, argued at Tuesday’s hearing that the ban also violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution while Raoul’s office, which is defending the ban, contended that the Second Amendment is not at issue in the state Supreme Court case.

“I think the purpose of those arguments was to kind of get everybody to agree that the Second Amendment applies to everyone,” Caulkins said after the hearing.

This is good news but I am still skeptical as the gun hobbyists and other gun shops will keep wacking away at it, just like the forced birthers did with Roe.

orlbucfan

The only reason why is the bribes involved. Who do they go to? The Assault Rifles Ban–aka M-16 models and high-capacity magazines–expired during Cheney-Dumbya. All Congress had to do was renew it. They didn’t.

Benny

Benny

It will be interesting to see if the American Library Association files an amicus brief to go along with it. Technically, this is financial harm if school district libraries are cancelling orders or contracts.

Benny

Guess the Dutton family has little use for tiktok.

Benny

To me, this is similar to prohibition. I don’t know how this will get enforced except for government officials.

orlbucfan

I don’t use or have any interest in Tik-Tok, Instagram, etc. Not missing anything and glad I don’t have to monitor kids.

Benny

I can understand why Gen Z and Millennials like it, especially for hip-hop and new pop music. I’ve chosen not to employ the app even if it is easier to shoot some video footage and peer sharing with it. Some of the better organic political videos are on tik-tok, and that’s where most of Bernie’s crowd (read LD) is. They aren’t on regular blogs, that’s old school for them.

Bernie’s still doing some stuff with FB and twitter, but he’s putting more pics on Instagram, I’ve noticed. He hasn’t migrated to mastodon (microblog) yet. I suspect Bernie’s communication staff is leery of Musk’s micromanagement tendencies on twitter.

orlbucfan

I’m actually very old school, but I avoid a lot of social media cos I don’t need it. Now, if I had kids, etc., it would be a different story. I’m also highly skilled in English, and was a professional proofreader for several years during the period when computer graphics was being invented. Poor writing skills drive me batty. I’m not a photographer either as I don’t have the ‘eye.’

wi65

Orl, i would ask for a pardon😁 as my writing skills are compromised at times. One of my deficiencies

orlbucfan

Well, your thoughts/brain sure aren’t, wi64. 🙂 You’re my fellow Futurist and Space nut Birdie. Besides, we are on the same page, politically (thumbs-up emoji).

Benny

Republicans blast judge during hearing over Clarence Thomas’s 2011 ethics review

Senate Republicans clashed Wednesday with a federal judge who voiced concerns about the transparency of a 2011 ethics review of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during a judiciary subcommittee hearing.

Sen. John Kennedy (La.), the subcommittee’s top Republican, slammed the hearing as being part of a “perpetual political carousel” that makes him “want to gag” and questioned Judge Mark L. Wolf’s credibility as a witness.

“For the last dozen years, a lone federal judge, who is with us today, has been obsessed with complaining that the judicial conference got it wrong,” Kennedy said in his opening remarks. “Judge Wolf wasn’t getting his way from the head of the judicial conference or from Chief Justice Roberts himself.”

Several Democrats, including Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who sat in for Wednesday’s hearing, came to Wolf’s defense, arguing that the hearing is not a “witch hunt” but an attempt to “rescue the reputation of the court.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the federal courts, convened the hearing after new reporting revealed that Wolf had expressed concerns more than a decade ago about how a committee of federal judges was handling a review of complaints alleging that Thomas had flouted financial disclosure rules. The financial disclosure committee ultimately concluded that Thomas had not willfully committed any wrongdoing.

Wolf took issue with the transparency of the review. “The manner in which the Judicial Conference has interpreted and implemented the Financial Disclosure statutes has been shrouded in secrecy,” Wolf wrote in his opening statement.

Wednesday’s hearing is Whitehouse’s latest attempt to examine the inner workings of the federal courts’s policymaking body following new revelations about the high court’s longest-serving justice. “Congress has a role in making sure that our courts are administering federal ethics fairly and as intended. If they aren’t, we need a robust record of what has gone wrong and what new laws might be needed to fix it,” Whitehouse said in his opening remarks.

When a justice or judge is accused of falsifying or omitting information from their financial disclosure report, the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Financial Disclosure launches a probe that could culminate in a referral to the attorney general.

Bloomberg News revealed this month that Wolf believed the judicial conference, of which he was a member at the time, couldn’t exercise this authority because the financial disclosure committee hadn’t informed the conference what those complaints were.

Thomas was under fire in 2011 for not disclosing his wife’s employers and travel paid for by Dallas billionaire Harlan Crow.

The revelations drew condemnations from Democrats and court transparency advocates, who pressed the judicial conference to investigate Thomas. The late Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (N.Y.) and 19 other Democrats signed a September 2011 letter asking the judicial conference to refer the matter to the Justice Department.

The conference referred the complaints to the 16-member financial disclosure committee, which was chaired by Judge Bobby R. Baldock at the time and then by Judge Joseph McKinley, the chief judge of the western district of Kentucky, who succeeded him later that year. The committee is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Ethics in Government Act.

Wolf, who said he hadn’t seen the 2011 letters, criticized the committee’s failure to share information about the allegations with the conference.

“This concerned me because the issues raised by the letters were serious,” Wolf wrote. “Such information would have afforded me and the other members of the Conference the opportunity to discuss and decide whether there was reasonable cause to believe Justice Thomas had willfully violated the Act and, if so, to make the required referral to the Attorney General.”

The financial disclosure committee cleared Thomas and, instead, opted to amend its internal process for reviewing ethics complaints.

Now after a justice or judge is accused of violating financial disclosure rules and a member of the committee has reviewed the accusations made against them, a referral is made to the subcommittee on compliance. The subcommittee reviews the allegations and the reviewing judge’s findings, and issues a recommendation to the full committee about whether to accept that judge’s assessment. The financial disclosure committee must also now report the number and nature of the complaints — as well as the action taken — to the full conference.

The committee will follow these steps when reviewing complaints about Thomas.

Whitehouse and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) asked the judicial conference to refer Thomas to Attorney General Merrick Garland for an investigation after ProPublica revealed last month that Crow took Thomas on lavish vacations and purchased three properties in Savannah, Ga., from him and his relatives for about $133,000, including the house where the justice’s mother lives.

Thomas did not disclose the transaction on his annual financial report, which requires disclosure of any sale or purchase of property over $1,000. He also did not report the trips with Crow.

Since then, new reporting has revealed that Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo paid Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Clarence Thomas, tens of thousands of dollars in consulting work through a nonprofit. Additional ProPublica reporting has revealed that Crow also paid the tuition of the justice’s grandnephew for two private boarding schools.

If the body has “reasonable cause” to believe Thomas willfully ignored ethics rules, it will vote to refer the matter to Garland. Ten votes are needed for a referral.

orlbucfan

This clown Thomas and his FRightwingnut wife (who is probably guilty of treason) is making the SCOTUS the corrupt clown show it is. We’ve had some whoppers of corrupt RWing SCOTUS throughout American History, but this one is taking the cake in terms of ultimate corruption and ideology.