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Friday, July 16, 2010

"Compassionate conservatives" party of "family values" you think? I'd shut my mouth if I was you, Diaper Dave

Greg Sargent captures Louisiana Senator and prostitute enthusiast David Vitter in a moment of what passes for jocularity in the Vitterverse, on Rush Radio 99.5 in New Orleans.
At issue: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's femininity (relative to the women Vitter pays to have sex with him, presumably).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Report: Gore Accuser Failed Lie Detector Test

Source: Fox12 Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A masseuse who accused former Vice President Al Gore of groping and kissing her at a downtown hotel in 2006 failed a lie detector test and had a history of falsely accusing people of mistreating her, according to a report in this week's Portland Tribune newspaper.

Tribune editors said they found out about Molly Hagerty's sex abuse allegation against Gore 3 ½ years ago, but they didn't print an article because the newspaper's reporters thought her story lacked credibility.

The National Enquirer first reported the story last month and detailed Hagerty's accusations that Gore made unwanted sexual contact at Hotel Lucia in Portland.

Tribune editor Mark Garber said Hagerty's lawyer asked her to take a lie detector test and she failed, but that wasn't the reason they didn't print the story. He said the newspaper reporters' "personal interaction" with Hagerty raised red flags. LinkHere

That nightmare is over, or is it

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jon Kyl: Extend Bush Tax Cuts For Wealthy Even If They Add To Deficit

Republican Low Life
Top Senate Republican Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) insisted on Sunday that Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans regardless of their impact on the deficit, even as he and other Republicans are blocking unemployment insurance extensions over deficit concerns.
"[Y]ou should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes," said the Arizona Senator during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. "Surely Congress has the authority, and it would be right to -- if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending, and that's what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans."
White House aides immediately seized on the comments. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs wrote on Twitter, "Kyl says wealthy need big Bush tax cuts while middle class families are on their own to fend for themselves as a result of Bush economy."
In private, administration officials say that the framing of the argument couldn't be more advantageous: "It's cutting taxes for the wealthy and letting the unemployed to fend for themselves," said one White House ally.
"If all of this has a familiar ring to it, it's because unpaid for tax cuts for the rich at the expense of working people is the same backward policy Republicans used to put the nation in this hole, and it's the same policy they promise to return to if put in a position of power again," added Hari Sevugan, press secretary for the Democratic National Committee. LinkHere

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Powerful Private Equity Firm Sued Over 'Reckless' Mortgage Fund

How soon they forget, only took 18 months
The world's second-biggest private-equity firm was sued this week over its "reckless and grossly negligent" management of a failed mortgage bond affiliate that cost investors nearly $1 billion, according to suits filed in Delaware and New York.
The Carlyle Group, which oversees more than $90 billion across six continents, stands accused of paying its executives "excessive and unjustified" fees while managing its hedge fund, Carlyle Capital Corporation, into the ground, the Financial Times and Bloomberg News report, citing the two lawsuits. CCC, which invested in mortgage-backed securities and "leveraged finance assets," collapsed in March 2008 after it "failed to meet more than $400 million of margin calls on mortgage-backed collateral," Bloomberg reports.
By the end of 2007 the fund had $21 billion in debt but just $75 million to meet margin calls, the FT reports, citing the lawsuit.
Investors in the fund allege that Carlyle Group officials took more than $20 million in fees and more than $50 million in other benefits, the FT reports, citing the lawsuit, despite that within a year the failed hedge fund had unrealized losses exceeding $270 million.
"In the short space of eight months, the entirety of CCC's capital was spectacularly lost under the reckless and grossly negligent direction, supervision, management and advice of the defendants," Bloomberg reports, citing the lawsuit. The Carlyle Group "preferred" its own "corporate interests" over that of the hedge fund, the lawsuit alleges, according to the FT.
The $945 million hedge fund sought annual returns of at least 12 percent, according to the Delaware-filed suit, Bloomberg reports. While the fund called for leverage of about 19 times capital, the actual leverage exceeded 30 times capital, Bloomberg reports, citing the lawsuit.
"CCC's losses were the direct result of a determinedly reckless 'bet the farm' approach, brazenly pursued in the self-interests of the Carlyle Group," Bloomberg reports, citing the lawsuit.
Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank by assets, said it wrongly classified as much as $10.7 billion of short-term repurchase and lending transactions as sales from 2007 to 2009 to reduce its end-of-quarter assets.
Bank of America said the inaccuracies aren’t material and “don’t stem from any intentional misstatement of the Corporation’s financial statements and was not related to any fraud or deliberate error,” according to a May 13 letter released yesterday from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“A $10.7 billion accounting error would be a material event for about 99.9 percent” of U.S. banks, said Cornelius Hurley, director of the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University School of Law. “It’s hard to see how the SEC can accept BofA’s rejoinder as being sufficient.”
SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment.
The SEC sent letters to finance chiefs at about two dozen firms in March asking whether they employed accounting strategies like those at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The bankrupt securities firm was accused of using repurchase agreements called Repo 105s to move assets off its balance sheet to hide leverage, thereby improving its capital ratios.
$2.3 Trillion
Bank of America had disclosed in a March 31 financial filing that “certain sales of agency mortgage-backed securities should have been recorded as secured borrowings rather than sales,” bank spokesman Jerry Dubrowski said. “The handful of transactions did not have a material impact on the company’s balance sheet or earnings. They need to be viewed in the context of our $2.3 trillion balance sheet.”
In April, the SEC asked Bank of America to disclose whether its transactions were intentionally mislabeled, and to prove that the trades were immaterial. The Charlotte, North Carolina- based bank said in an April 13 letter that it stopped the transactions after the first quarter of 2009, the SEC said.
The Bank of America transactions involved six so-called dollar-roll trades completed during 2007, 2008 and 2009. The amount of the trades represented 0.1 percent of total assets in the December 2008 quarter and improved the company’s Tier 1 capital leverage ratio by one basis point, or one-hundredth of a percentage point, during the September 2008 quarter, the bank said. LinkHere

San Diego ACORN Worker Suing 'Undercover Pimp' James O'Keefe and Pals

For OpEdNews: Gustav Wynn - WriterAs was widely predicted, a former employee at the San Diego ACORN office has brought a lawsuit against right-wing activist journalists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles who surreptitiously recorded him while posing as a pimp and a half-naked hooker seeking accomplices in the commission of crimes of prostitution, statutory rape and kidnapping.
Juan Carlos Vera was fired after O'Keefe's San Diego ACORN exposé was released. The segment seemed to show Vera discussing crimes agreeably. Called 'undercover reporting', the sting was shown to the world in exclusives given to hyper partisan Fox TV host Sean Hannity who wholly tarred ACORN for condoning underage prostitution and human trafficking.
After informing an unprecedented vote by Congress to defund ACORN (later found unconstitutional), ACORN was cleared of all criminal wrongdoing in the videos, and in particular the footage showing Vera was ordered investigated by California Attorney General Jerry Brown who cut a strange backroom deal with O'Keefe in exchange for access to the full unedited San Diego tapes.
Brown's office reportedly agreed not to bring criminal charges against O'Keefe and Giles for violating state privacy laws. After reviewing the tapes however, Brown concluded the tapes were "severely edited", suggesting Vera "may be able to bring a private suit".
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