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Bernie Madoff Trashes Criminal Justice Reform

December 31st, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

innocence-project-of-texas.jpg

Or indirectly anyway.

The hits from the Madoff mess just keep on coming.

The newest casualty, according to the Wall Street Journal’s law blog, is the JEHT Foundation, a New York City-based philanthropy focused on juvenile and criminal justice, human rights, and election reform. Unfortunately it seems, JEHT’s major donors invested with Madoff. As a consequence, the foundation will close up shop in January.

JEHT was the primary funder for such organizations as the Texas-based Innocence Project, the Death Penalty Information Center and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, The Sentencing Project, the Vera Institute of Justice and more, says Doug Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy.

All extremely worthy and important organizations, and all to a greater or lesser degree imperiled because of one man’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

ONE GOOD NEWS NOTE in the criminal justice realm: This spring Virginia Senator Jim Webb plans to introduce legislation to reform the U.S. prison system, the retooling of which is a longstanding passion of his. And according to the Washington Post. Webb not only intends to introduce the legislation, he plans to push hard for it. Given Webb’s slightly tough-guy reputation, say friends, nobody’s going to accuse him of being soft on crime, so if anyone can get away with pushing sentencing and prison reform, it’s Jim Webb.

We’ll be watching, and cheering him on.

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NOTE: I’m half in vacation mode this morning, but will post more later today before we all take off to make New Year’s resolutions. (You are all making New Year’s resolutions are you not?).

Posted in criminal justice, Economy | 4 Comments »

The Bombing of Gaza

December 30th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

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I generally stay off this issue,
but as the bombing in Gaza continues to worsen and the Los Angeles Times insists on printing blatantly one-sided accounts, like this one, to supposedly inform us, it is time to offer a few counterweights.

(Note to LA Times reporter Michael Muskal: When writing a “primer” about the “key factors behind” any given conflict, like, say, the violence being rained down on Gaza, it is generally considered comme il faut to actually present the “factors” affecting both sides of the conflict, not to merely offer a justification for the side with which you agree, which is activism masquerading as journalism.)

To put a bit more of a human face on the situation, here is an essay written on the second day of the bombing by Dr. Akram Habeeb, Assistant Professor of American Literature at the Islamic University of Gaza.

As a Fulbright scholar and professor of American literature at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG), I have always preferred to keep silent about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I always felt that it was my mission to preach love and peaceful coexistence. However, Israel’s massive offensive against the Gaza Strip has spurred me to speak out.

Last night, during the second night of Israel’s unprecedented attack on Gaza, I was awakened by the deafening sound of intensive bombardment. When I learned that Israel had bombed my university with American-made F-16s, I realized that its “target bank” had gone bankrupt. Of course Israeli politicians and generals would claim that IUG is a Hamas stronghold and that it preaches terrorism.

As an independent professor, not affiliated with any political party, I can say that IUG is an academic institution which embraces a wide spectrum of political affinities. I see it as prestigious university which encourages liberalism and free thought. This personal point view might seem to be biased; therefore, I would invite anyone who would doubt about my assertions to browse IUG’s website and research its history. They would learn about its membership in various international academic institutions, the active role its professors play in scholarly research as well as prizes and research grants they have received.

Why would Israel bomb a university?
Israel did not only target my university last night. It also bombed mosques, pharmacies and homes. In Jabaliya refugee camp Israeli bombs killed four little girls, sisters from the Balousha family. In Rafah they killed three brothers, aged 6, 12 and 14. They also killed a mother, along with her one-year-old child from the Kishko family in Gaza City ….

And then there is this from Italian journalist, Vittorio Arrigoni, who has been writing from Gaza:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Middle East | 35 Comments »

Richard LoCicero – Part XII: An Appreciation

December 29th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

Although I have made much of my living writing about murder, mayhem and tragedy, I’m still having trouble putting down anything that is terribly coherent on the subject of Richard LoCicero’s death.

Fortunately, however, blogger (and WitnessLA commenter) Reg has written well over at Beautiful Horizons about why our friend Richard—the blogger, commenter, former college teacher, former Vietnam war military intelligence officer—was someone who mattered.

Here are a few clips:

His trademark was incisive commentary rooted in a deep reading of history and literature. He was opinionated but, more than opinion, he was informed and analytical. Richard’s knowledge of history was prolific.

[SNIP]

…Richard was a son of Southern California in it’s Post-WWII heyday. He served in Vietnam as an Intelligence officer and had a broad knowledge of the history of U.S. intelligence agencies. He seemed to have read every important book on the CIA ever published. And he’d taught for a time at university, although he’d long parted company with academia. I gleaned a few other smaller things reading his comments over the years – he had a passion for railroads and a taste for single malt scotch.

Richard died on December 15 in a skilled nursing facility in Santa Ana, California. Those of us who had gotten to know him in the often strangely intimate online world have been—-as many of you have expressed here—-completely devastated by the news.

It was early this past summer when we learned that the man whose wit and intelligence that we’d come to appreciate in various corners of the web, was homeless, living on the street, and suffering from a daunting laundry list of physical problems including congestive heart failure and all the complications of diabetes. We also learned that he did all his posting and commenting and reading in whatever public libraries he could manage to get to given the limitations of his ailing body.

After Richard confessed to his predicament, I asked if he would chronicle some of this experiences in journal form to be posted here. His email logistics in doing so were often quite challenging and working them out led to us talking from time to time on the phone.

Usually Richard would call me collect around the first of every month right after he got his new SSI check, meaning he had the money to stay for a few days at a Motel 6. This in turn meant, for a little while at least, he had access to a telephone. When we chatted, we sometimes talked about Richard’s physical condition, which was deteriorating, and the fact that he probably should get some kind of therapeutic help for the depression that came and went with increasing frequency. Other times he would give me his latest take on that day’s political news, and regale me with quirky and darkly funny tales from the world of homelessness.

Mostly, however, we talked about literature. Richard was one of the best read people I know—which is saying something. His love of good writing was deepened by his love for and knowledge of history, politics, the law, and a whole array of other topics. I inevitably came away from one of these nighttime chats (they somehow usually occurred around 10 p.m,) feeling I had gotten far more than I had given.

For instance, when in early fall of this year, I found myself on a George Orwell reading kick, Richard was the ideal conversational companion. He had read pretty much all of Orwell’s work, both the fiction and the nonfiction, and was able to discuss each book and/or essay with vivid and insightful enthusiasm. Even better, for my selfish purposes, he knew the work intimately enough to be able to give me unerring advice as to what I might want to read next.

To paraphrase the rock-and-roll poet, everybody dies, baby that’s a fact. But the thing that haunts in Richard’s case is that is the suspicion that our friend RLC died mostly because he was homeless. Or to put it another way, Richard’s condition deteriorated because he was too sick to withstand the rigors that homelessness imposes, particularly in Orange County, where the number of those in need of shelter so greatly exceeds the number of beds.

“I just need a room,” he kept saying to me. “If I have a room, I think I can handle the rest.”

But Richard never got a room until he was so sick that the only place possible was a bed in a skilled nursing facility—where the care may or may not have been adequate.

Richard LoCicero was a Vietnam Vet and a man with a big lovely mind, a wicked sense of humor, a stupendous amount of courage, and a generous heart.

The fact that we live a society that could find no room for him—literally not one room—is simply incomprehensible.

Yet, this post is meant to be about appreciation rather than grief or fury so, to that end, I think again I will defer to a clip from reg’s post at Beautiful Horizons:

…..rather than dwell on the obvious, I feel more compelled to look at what Richard accomplished even in the face of the most hopeless imaginable fate. His love of history, politics and prose; of sharp debate and wry observation; of reading, of writing and telling us how he saw it, drew Richard to travel miles many days, with a weak heart and a bum leg – literally not enough oxygen in his blood and fighting off infection – to spend an allotted hour in front of a library computer checking in with his “internet friends” and interlocutors, writing his commentary and then, no doubt, spending a few more hours in this haven from the cruelties of the street nestled in a book. I can’t imagine the intellectual will and physical courage that took and I didn’t fully appreciate just how profound Richard’s efforts were until they were done and Richard was gone.

Posted in Homelessness, Street Stories | 7 Comments »

Trigger-Happy Cops in Inglewood?

December 29th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

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An LAPD command staff friend once told me the following about the elements necessary
to successfully train good police officers: “The idea is to create critical thinkers, not just tactical experts, people who can not only shoot a gun brilliantly but who also know when to shoot the damn thing — and more important, when not to.”

According to Sunday’s LA Times, members of the Inglewood police department aren’t terribly clear about the last part of that weapons-related equation.

To wit:

In the span of four months this year, Inglewood officers shot and killed four people, three of them unarmed. The Times’ review of court documents, law enforcement records and interviews shows that the problem is not new.

* Five of the 11 people shot and killed by Inglewood police since 2003 were unarmed. They include a man who fled when officers tried to stop him for riding his bicycle on a sidewalk. An officer said he fired when the man reached for a bulge near his waist, which turned out to be a rolled-up T-shirt.

* Several officers — including a training sergeant
– have complained about the department’s policy on when to shoot and about a lack of training.

* To investigate shootings by police, the department has assigned the vice president of the Inglewood police officers’ union, which advocates for officers accused of wrongdoing, and a detective accused by a prosecutor of lying about his own off-duty shooting.

* Two Inglewood officers were involved in using electric Taser guns on unarmed suspects four times in five weeks — including on one man’s genitals — prompting defense attorneys to call them the “Taser Twins.”

Read the rest.

Inglewood Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks is a smart, personable woman who came to her present position with many promises to correct the department’s past problems, including the promise to root out problem officers. In addition, she was kind enough to make herself open and available to several of my USC students whom I assigned to cover the Inglewood police last spring and talked about the changes she intended to make in the department.

My students also found that the Inglewood police had a big public image problem, and that a great many Inglewood residents did not feel at all protected and served by their cops.

Thus when one reads things like the above description of who will be investigating these questionable shootings (…the department has assigned the vice president of the Inglewood police officers’ union, which advocates for officers accused of wrongdoing, and a detective accused by a prosecutor of lying about his own off-duty shooting) it is difficult to imagine what Chief Seabrooks could possibly be thinking.

Maybe Chief Seabrooks in over her head. It takes a strong, steady, confident leader to be able to change an entrenched police culture.

If Chief Seabrooks isn’t that leader, she must be replaced.

Photo by Gary McCarthy, Los Angeles Wave

Posted in criminal justice, law enforcement | 1 Comment »

Oh, Yeah, and There’s Arsenic In the Drinking Water

December 29th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

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No, not your drinking water.
The drinking water that is the only water allowed he inmates in one of California’s prisons, namely Kern Valley.

The LA Times has the report this morning. But those of us who get collect calls from inmates have been hearing tales of hideous drinking water in various prisons in addition to that of Kern County. But little has been reported.

Good for the Times for doing a balanced job.

Posted in crime and punishment, prison, prison policy | 1 Comment »

Merry Christmas to All….And to All, Wishes of Love and Light

December 24th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon


May you give and receive much love during these holidays….

In the spirit of the season, here are three lovely songs from some great women. Only one is on-the-nose-Christmasy, but they’re all beautiful.

Emmylou and Patty Griffin…. singing My Baby Needs a Shepherd

Patty Griffin and Natalie Maines singing Mary.

Finally Dolly Parton singing Go Tell It on the Mountain
If you have any to add, list away.

In the meantime, joy to you all.

Posted in American artists, American voices, Life in general | 2 Comments »

My Name is Richard. And I’m Homeless. The Last Chapter

December 24th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon



I had been remiss.
I hadn’t talked to Richard since before Thanksgiving and I somehow misplaced the telephone number for the skilled nursing facility in Santa Ana where he had been transferred.


I tried half-heartedly a couple of times to find it in my endless piles of papers and notebooks
with no luck. Stupid, I thought, and figured he’d call me.

The weeks passed, and I kept meaning to do more but somehow it did not make it to the top of my To Do list. I was busy. There was teaching, I had my MFA and book deadlines, there were other people with louder emergencies….yadda, yadda, yadda.

A million excuses.

Finally today, I thought I’ve got to find Richard no matter what it takes. It is, after all, the day before Christmas.

I called Coastal Community Hospital the place where I remembered he’d been last before he went to the skilled nursing facility. After several dead ends, I located the social services person who had made the transfer arrangements when Richard left Coastal Community back in early November.

(See this post for a bit of that back story And go here for all 11 posts about Richard.).

The social worker was a kind, intelligent-sounding guy named Dan, and he remembered Richard. They’d had a couple of good conversations, Dan said.

“Yeah, Richard’s really smart,” I said. “Not someone who should have been living on the street. He wasn’t working because he was sick. It wasn’t right.”

Fortunately Richard had given the hospital staff verbal permission to provide me with information about him, and Dan had notes to that effect. This meant he was able to get around the HIPA regulations. But he was doubtful he could find the transfer information this late in the game, he said. After putting me on hold for a few minutes, Dan came back.

“A Christmas miracle! I found it.” He give me the number for a facility called Country Villa Plaza.

“He wasn’t in very good shape when he left here,” Dan said. “So I imagine he’s still there. He told me when we talked that he’d finally realized he needed some help. But truthfully he should have gotten help sooner.”

Although short of a hospital, what alternatives were there? Santa Ana’s shelters are jammed five times over.

“Yeah,” Dan said glumly.

I called Country Villa Plaza right away. The young woman who answered the phone sounded very young indeed. She said Mr. Locicero was not in residence. I got pushy. I was his emergency contact, I told her. If he was discharged I should have been notified. Dan told me this is what I should say if they gave me any trouble. Since there was no one else that Richard put down as family at the hospital other than me, they would likely give me the information.

The young woman became nervous. “He was discharged on December 15,” she said.

“To where?” I asked. Dear God. He can’t have been foolish enough to go back on the street again. Surely.

“I’ll transfer you to medical records.”

I got Roger in medical records who seemed irritated to be working today, and was extremely reluctant to give me any information at all. He was suspicious of my inquiries from the get go, although what there was to be suspicious about was never clear.

“I know he was discharged on the 15th of this month,” I said. “I just need to know where. I should have been notified.” I repeated the mantra that Dan at the hospital had given me.

Roger put me on hold. When he came back I could feel that somehow the air between us had changed.

“I’m sorry to tell you….” he began.

He didn’t need to finish. My heart dropped through the floor ahead of his words.

“….that Mr. Locicero passed away.”

God damnit, god damnit, god damn it. I let him down. I should have called him earlier. I should have done something.

Richard, I’m so, so sorry. So sorry.

I tried to get additional information out of Roger, anything at all. Not that it mattered. I just couldn’t stand not knowing at least something. Surely Richard should not die without at least one person who knew him being told what had killed him? Was it a fast downhill slide? Was there something that could have been done? Where and how was he buried? Perhaps all pointless questions. I mean really what difference did it make now? But still….. Still. Attention should be paid.

Roger grew testy. “You weren’t on his card. There was no family member on his card. And you weren’t on his card,” Roger emphasized this again. “So I can’t give you any information. I am prevented by HIPA laws.” blah, blah, blah.

“Look, he’s dead!” I said finally. “Can’t you at least tell me why he died?” No, Roger said. He couldn’t. He couldn’t let me speak to any of his nurses either. After fifteen minutes of every kind of pestering, I gave up. Heck, Roger was within his rights.

And it was, after all, a bit late to do my pestering. A month earlier would have served Richard far better.

So, that’s all I know.

And it is terrible news.

Posted in Homelessness, Street Stories | 16 Comments »

O Holy Night: An Early Christmas Story

December 24th, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

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I met Jessie, the woman on the far left in the photo,
last night in the parking lot of the shopping center located at the northeast corner of Topanga Canyon and Ventura Boulevards. She was outside the Rite Aid drugstore where I had just finished running the very last of my pre-Christmas errands.

I had no choice but to notice her because Jessie and her two young companions, Marian, who is 22-years old, and Kyle, who is 20, were selling t-shirts out of Jessie’s van and Kyle hit me up for a sale as I came out the Rite Aid door. I said no to the shirt, but commented on the quality of the garments they were selling, which I thought quite nice. After that we all got to talking.

There was something about Jessie that interested me.. Beneath the surface style she projected, which was warm but also controlled and cautious, she had the kind of deep-banked glow that is at times found in those who have seen the worst in life, but have somehow reemerged from whatever hell they encountered with enough frail hope still intact that they can use it as seed in order to grow more hope, and still more after that, until the hope has outweighed the darkness.

My snap judgment turned out to be reasonably correct. At 43, Jessie is an ex-prostitute and drug addict who was in the life for nineteen years, but now has been clean and sober for ten, she said.

“My mother was a prostitute and my grandmother was a prostitute. It’s just how it was. People always said I’d turn out just like my mother. I never thought I would, but I did. The difference is, I’m not ending up like my mother.”

There was emotional and physical abuse in her house that resulted in her being put in a series foster homes and group homes. She ran off and began making her living on the street when she was fifteen.

Jessie said that her turnaround moment came when she was in jail a decade ago and things got so bad and painful that she considered killing herself. At one of her worst moments, she had something of a religious awakening, which she credits with saving her life. After she got out of jail, she joined a church and painstakingly gathered together the strength to quit drugs as she looked for a new way of paying her bills.

Jessie can sew, so she began making simple garments and purses, as well as decorating readymade t-shirts and sold them at swap meets. She called her beginning clothing line “ANUEMI”—”A New Me”—because, she said “I realized, I am a new me.” She renamed herself Anuemi Taylor.

Over time, Jessie said, she did well enough with the merchandise and other jobs, that she started to look for ways to help some of those around her who were also struggling.

“I don’t just want to help myself, I want to help others,” Jessie said, “I want help make my neighborhood of South LA and my city a better place. That’s what I’m about now. That’s what I’ve been called to do.”

With this in mind, she began employing kids like Kyle and Marian who were staying in sober living houses and needed some honest way to make money. (The sober living house where Kyle and Marian were staying costs $20 a day. )

Another of her missions is to locate all nine of the children she birthed and then gave up for adoption. “So far I’ve been reunited with three of them,” she said

When Jessie first met Kyle she thought briefly that he might be one of her lost kids, but she quickly learned that he was not. “He could be if you look at the face shape,” she said, and smiled when Kyle nodded agreement. “All my children were mixed race,” she said.

I told her I could see a resemblance. “Yeah, well, so, I’ve just adopted him and Marian for a while anyway,” she said and Kyle nodded again.

As for Kyle’s story, he said he used to take and sell drugs up until a year ago, but has been clean and sober since last January. “My family’s messed up,” he said somewhat out of sequence. “My family’s scattered everywhere.” Interestingly, Kyle’s turnaround epiphany, like Jessie’s, came when he was locked up. At nineteen years old, he spent a couple of months in LA County jail. Being in the adult facility freaked him out, he said. He decided he never wanted to go back and began to get sober.

Marian, he said, had a similar story. (Marian had run off to the bathroom while we chatted.)
I had groceries in the car, and an impatient dog along with me, so finally I said I had to go. But Jessie and I exchanged numbers. I took their pictures with my phone, and we all bade each other Merry Christmas.

It was a cold night for California, and the problems we face as a state and as a nation produce their own brand of daunting chill, but after meeting Jessie and her two young companions, for at least one night everything around me —metaphorically speaking anyway—seemed just a little bit warmer.

Merry (nearly) Christmas, everyone.

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PS: You can find Jessie’s MySpace page by clicking here (NOTE: Music Alert), and there are other references if you Google ANUEMI.

Posted in American voices, Life in general | 1 Comment »

Ted Stevens Prosecution Team and the Bad Judgment Olympics

December 23rd, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

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This morning’s Washington Post (among many news outlets) has the story
about all the ways that investigators and prosecutors working on the bribery and hideously bad judgment case against Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, may have used hideously bad judgment and received goods and favors that look sort of….well……bribe-ish.

The allegations come from a whistleblower complaint that was made public yesterday. The whistleblower is an FBI agent who worked on the case against Stevens, and who appears to have had it with the idiotic—and in some cases, possibly criminal—- behavior of those working on the case with him.

[The complaint] alleges that FBI agents met with witnesses in their homes and hotel rooms and even provided one source with a bureau-issued cellphone. An FBI agent apparently became so friendly with a key witness that the investigator wore a special outfit when the man testified. “It was a surprise/present for Allen,” the complaint alleged, in a reference to former oil executive Bill Allen.

The whistleblowing agent, who joined the bureau in 2003, also wrote that members of the prosecution team “created a scheme” to send a witness home before trial and that they inappropriately altered a document later turned over to Stevens’s attorneys.

And there is this from the Washington Times:

The most recent accusations, described by prosecutors as a “self-styled whistleblower complaint,” contains allegations already made during the trial, according to Judge Sullivan’s ruling. Those included accusations that prosecutors purposely withheld evidence from the defense — which the judge agreed was true but wasn’t serious enough to warrant dismissing the case.

In at least one new allegation, an investigator ” ‘accepted multiple things of value’ from sources cooperating with the investigation, including artwork and employment for a relative.”

Judge Sullivan noted the irony of that accusation, pointing out in his ruling “that the defendant in this case was convicted for failing to disclose that he had accepted multiple things of value and, in fact, the trial included testimony about his receipt of artwork and employment for a relative.”

But he went on to write, “whether the allegation in the complaint is true and, if true, whether it bears on the outcome of the trial remains to be seen.”

The complaint was made Dec. 2 to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The name of the person who made the complaint has been redacted from court documents, but is described as “a federal employee with extensive knowledge of the investigation and trial in this case.”

Prosecutors argued against revealing the complaint for several reasons, including that the individuals named in the complaint did not testify at trial, and the issues involving disclosing evidence to the defense had already been handled at the trial.

The judge, who has frequently been critical of prosecutors, said their argument “misses the mark.”

“It seems abundantly clear that providing public access to this complaint, which raises issues that question both the integrity of the proceedings and the law enforcement process in this case, is appropriate and, indeed, required,” he wrote.

Obviously, this is not the sort of thing that gives the general public confidence in our criminal justice system.

On the other hand, with California going broke in two months, according to state Controller John Chiang, and the stock market tanking again yesterday, maybe the Alaska bad judgment follies are a welcome distraction.

Posted in crime and punishment, criminal justice, law enforcement, National politics | No Comments »

SUNDAY & MONDAY MUST READS (AND A MUST SEE):

December 22nd, 2008 by Celeste Fremon

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FOUR MUST READS AND A MUST SEE

1. FRANK RICH….FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY NEEDED—ASAP

In Sunday’s NY Times, Rich writes about the secrecy that helped precipitate the financial meltdown and the secrecy that is still occurring. Here’s a clip:

…Incredibly enough, as we careen into 2009, the very government operation tasked with repairing the damage caused by Wall Street’s black boxes is itself a black box of secrecy and impenetrability.

Last week ABC News asked 16 of the banks that have received handouts from the Treasury Department’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program the same two direct questions: How have you used that money, and how much have you spent on bonuses this year? Most refused to answer.

Congress can’t get the answers either. Its oversight panel declared in a first report this month that the Treasury is doling out billions “without seeking to monitor the use of funds provided to specific financial institutions.” The Treasury prefers instead to look at “general metrics” indicating the program’s overall effect on the economy. Well, we know what the “general metrics” tell us already: the effect so far is nil. Perhaps if we were let in on the specifics, we’d start to understand why.

In its own independent attempt to penetrate the bailout, the Government Accountability Office learned that “the standard agreement between Treasury and the participating institutions does not require that these institutions track or report how they plan to use, or do use, their capital investments.” Executives at all but two of the bailed-out banks told the G.A.O. that the “money is fungible,” so they “did not intend to track or report” specifically what happens to the taxpayers’ cash.

Nor is there any serious accounting for executive pay at these seminationalized companies. As Amit Paley of The Washington Post reported, a last-minute, one-sentence loophole added by the Bush administration to the original bailout bill gutted the already minimal restrictions on executive compensation. And so when Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulson’s Wall Street alma mater, says that it is not using public money to pay executives, we must take it on faith. ….

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2. ARNOLD’S “60 MINUTES” INTERVIEW

I have always voted against Schwarzenegger, and still disagree with him on much. Yet he has clearly grown on the job and, like many others of my fellow liberals—particularly those of us who are hyper-focused on criminal justice issues and/or the environment— lately I find myself wishing he was not terming out quite so soon.

Last night’s 60 Minutes segment gives glimpses of why this is true.

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3. THE END OF THE BOOK?

Editor and blogger Tom Engelhardt writes an LA Times Op Ed
in which he tells some very scary book publishing tales guaranteed to disturb the sleep of writers across America.

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4. GEORGE BUSH AND THE BONFIRE OF THE ECONOMY

If you haven’t already read this weekend’s NY Times article about the Bush Administration and the economy, now would be a REALLY good time. Here’s a clip:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in environment, State government, State politics, writers and writing | 6 Comments »

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