” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver declared his innocence Thursday after facing bombshell federal corruption charges of soliciting $4 million in dirty money over the last 15 years.
“ I am confident that after a full hearing and due process, I will be vindicated of these charges,” a relaxed Silver announced after his release on $200,000 bond following a Manhattan Federal Court hearing.
Silver, spied earlier taking an uncomfortable ride to the courthouse alongside an FBI agent, made his brief appearance after U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara blasted him as the epitome of a corrupt politician.
“ For many years, New Yorkers have asked the question, ‘How could Speaker Silver, one of the most powerful men in New York, earn millions of dollars in outside income without deeply compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents?’” said Bharara.
“ Today we provide the answer: He didn’t.” “
Be sure to read it all at The Daily News … this moment has been a long time coming …
” Federal authorities are expected to arrest Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, on corruption charges on Thursday, people with knowledge of the matter said. The case is likely to throw Albany into disarray at the beginning of a new session.
The investigation that led to the expected charges against Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, began after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013.
Details of the specific charges to be brought against Mr. Silver were unclear on Wednesday night, but one of the people with knowledge of the matter said they stemmed from payments that Mr. Silver received from a small law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes. The total amount of the payments was unclear, but another person has said they were substantial and were made over several years.
Mr. Silver failed to list the payments from the firm, Goldberg & Iryami, on his annual financial disclosure filings with the state, as required.”
God bless Preet Bharara and the Federal prosecutor’s office . It looks like Gov Cuomo’s shutdown of the Moreland commission was not enough to save one of the Dem’s favorite sons . Heres hoping Silver finishes his days in an 8×8 cell . Wishful thinking , I know , but one can hope .
Read more at the NY Times
” The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a former air marshal can seek whistleblower protections for disclosing sensitive information to the news media about the absence of security officers on certain flights.
On a 7-2 vote, the court rejected arguments made by President Barack Obama’s administration, which was seeking to reverse an appeals court ruling favoring whistleblower Robert MacLean, who was fired for the 2003 leak.
” I believe the ruling will give other federal employees more confidence to expose wrongdoing,” MacLean, who was fired in 2006 and now works in residential construction management in California, said in an interview.
The legal question was whether MacLean’s actions may be protected by the U.S. Whistleblower Protection Act, a law that protects employees if a disclosure exposes unlawful conduct, gross mismanagement or threats to public safety.
In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court concluded that U.S. Transportation Security Administration regulations that prohibited MacLean’s disclosures did not have sufficient legal force to bar him from receiving protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act.”
Reuters has the whole story
” A man bulldozed his wife’s home down to the ground with everything inside it, and when he was asked why he didn’t let her know about it, he said that he tried to call her, but she didn’t answer her phone. The bizarre story coming out of New York certainly confirms one of the neighbor’s observations that while the husband is a “nice guy,” he is also a “loose cannon.” As reported by 4 New York on Jan. 21, when 48-year-old James Rhein’s wife came home to her house after running errands on Monday, she was extremely upset. “She was in the middle of the road screaming, ‘her house, what happened to her house?'”
Apparently, James Rhein is not a man of words but of action. The house on Woodland Avenue in Middletown in New York, which legally belonged to his wife, had problems with the foundation and was crumbling from years of disrepair. On Monday, while his wife was running some errands, James had some time on his hand to take care of the problematic house.
Since Monday was a federal holiday and all official offices to get a demolition permit were closed, Rhein took the matter into his own hands. He rented a bulldozer from a local construction company, got to work, and by the time his wife was done with her errands, the house was taken care of – as in bulldozed to the ground.”
Read more at The Examiner
” Seven years after the recession began, only one in 50 U.S. counties has fully bounced back, according to a study the National Association of Counties released Monday.
The 2014 County Economic Tracker shows that 65 of the nation’s 3,069 counties have met or surpassed prerecession levels in four measured categories: jobs, unemployment rate, economic output and home prices.
Those places range from Anderson County, S.C., to McKenzie County, N.D., to Kodiak Island, Alaska.
National employment surpassed 2007 levels during 2014 and the U.S. gross domestic product had fully recovered from the recession by 2011. But the national unemployment rate was 5.6% in December compared with 5% when the recession began seven years earlier. And housing values in much of the country have yet to fully return.
The recovered counties are largely located in energy-rich areas and have small populations. Of the 65 recovered counties, 24 are in Texas and 16 are in North Dakota. The others are generally in the middle of the country, including nine in Minnesota and eight in Kansas.
None of the recovered counties has more than 500,000 residents.”
This article , more than any other demonstrates that the nearly $3 Trillion in government stimulus spending was nothing more than wasteful cronyism handed out to favored unions , interest groups and corporations . Little or none trickled down to benefit the taxpayers actually footing the bill .
Wall Street Journal
” In the kind of response that sounds like a joke — even to liberal journalists — Secretary of State John Kerry brought Seventies pop star James Taylor (now almost 67) to sing his old chestnut “You’ve Got a Friend’ to the French as a show of support after President Obama blew off the “historic” rally of world leaders last Sunday.
Try Washington Post political reporter Aaron Blake as a non-plussed MSM member:
Our “smart diplomats” are sending France a “Big Hug” … could they be any more lame ?
” Do police officers “routinely lie to serve their own interests?” Thirty-one percent of Americans believe they do, and that number rises to 45 percent among African-Americans, 41 percent among young people and 39 percent among Democrats. Republicans reject that charge three to one (60 to 20 percent).
Those numbers come from a national poll of Americans just conducted by Reuters and the Ipsos polling organization. (Explore the full results here.) Still, the image of the police is more controversial than the reality.
Asked whether they approve of the job being done by “your local police department,” nearly three quarters of Americans say they approve. Approval is high among African-Americans (56 percent) as well as whites (77 percent), among Democrats (72 percent) as well as Republicans (84 percent).”
Not only do cops lie on a regular basis in the course of performing their “duty” but they are allowed to use lies in pursuit of their desired end results … Know Your Rights
” Mexico’s president told President Obama Tuesday that his government will supply the documents necessary for millions of illegal Mexican immigrants to prove they’ve been living in the U.S. prior to 2010, a move that will help them qualify for Mr. Obama’s recently announced deportation amnesty.
In an Oval Office meeting, President Enrique Pena Nieto praised Mr. Obama’s executive action on amnesty as “very intelligent and audacious,” and said his government will do everything in its power to ensure that Mexicans who want to stay in the U.S. can do so.
The move has proven far more controversial in Washington, where Republican critics say the president’s unilateral move was unwise and unconstitutional.
About two-thirds of the nearly 5 million illegal immigrants covered by Mr. Obama’s action are natives of Mexico. It’s not clear what kind of documentation the Mexican government will provide to show proof of residency in the U.S. prior to 2010 — the cutoff date to qualify for Mr. Obama’s amnesty plan and avoid deportation.”
When governments facilitate the breaking of the law , there is no law …