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07/19/2010 - 10:47

Meeks photoAt the same time that Guyanese-born businessman Edul Ahmad gave Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) an unsecured $40,000 personal loan, he was pleading poverty to state authorities who had suspended his real estate license, according to Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein in yesterday’s New York Post.

Meeks failed to report the 2007 loan on his annual financial disclosure report, that all member of Congress are required to file, until June of this year after the FBI reportedly started asking questions about the loan. Meeks has repeatedly referred to Ahmad as his “friend,” but when asked by the New York Post last month what his relationship was with Meeks, Ahmad said, “I have none.”

3,067 reads
07/17/2010 - 11:03

Massa photoBrian Tumulty of Gannett reports that former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) put his wife on his campaign payroll after he resigned from Congress and after he ceased to be a candidate for re-election. According to Massa’s quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Beverly Massa received $34,214 for April through June for serving as campaign treasurer, even though she was not paid for previously serving in the position.

Tumulty also reports that Massa paid for airfare, hotels, and meals at restaurants like Morton’s out of the campaign fund. Massa’s continued looting of leftover campaign funds is baffling given the scrutiny he is already under.  As Tumulty reports:

3,153 reads
07/16/2010 - 12:56

Today I discussed BP’s capping of the well and whether BP shareholders should be punished with Dan Weiss of the Center for American Progress, and CNBC hosts Larry Kudlow and Trish Regan. Here is a transcript:

2,822 reads
07/15/2010 - 19:06

Lloyd Blankfein photoGoldman got to keep 100% of what it really wanted, namely the ability to cling to its claim that if did nothing wrong. 

It did acknowledge a “mistake” for not telling CDO buyers that hedge fund operator John Paulson helped booby-trap the security before it was sold. It is common for the SEC settle Wall Street cases without an admission of guilt, but is not typical for it to allow the accused party to do but at the same time admit to a “mistake.” That’s how it works when your political influence permeates the government. You get to deny wrongdoing at the same time you admit to wrongdoing.

1,834 reads
07/15/2010 - 17:06

Scott Brown photoOn the evening of Scott Brown’s election, I wrote that among the reasons for his victory was resentment of “a host of actions to prop up Wall Street firms at the expense of taxpayers.”

Who would have thought that less than six months later Brown would cast the decisive vote in favor of legislation that institutionalizes Wall Street bailouts, and whose sponsors — Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank — played key roles in bringing on the meltdown, not to mention representing everything that is sleazy and corrupt about Washington. If Brown wasn’t running against Barney Frank when he railed against the “machine,” then what was he talking about?

3,262 reads
07/15/2010 - 16:16

Obama/BlagojevichFrom a public relations standpoint, getting forced out of the Illinois governor's mansion a year and a half ago was a smart career move for Rod Blagojevich. He's been all over the TV since, doing stints on such shows as "Celebrity Apprentice" and "The Late Show with David Letterman." But publicity may not be enough to keep him or several of his former allies out of prison. His long-awaited trial on fraud and conspiracy charges related to his attempt to sell Barack Obama's pending Senate vacancy to the highest bidder began on June 8, the result of a five-year Justice Department probe into corruption in Chicago politics. Prosecutors wrapped up their case just before 5 P.M. Tuesday.  Evidence introduced thus far confirms widespread suspicions that former Gov. Blagojevich and his benefactors were part of a larger Chicago-Obama White House conduit.

5,456 reads
07/12/2010 - 12:00

Soros photoWhen George Soros invests $50 million to revolutionize the way Americans think about a certain issue, it would normally be deemed newsworthy. Not so with the formation of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). Three months after a summit in New York state last July, Soros pledged $50 million to INET, which promises “to promote changes in economic theory and practice” by “providing the proper guidance” to “the next generation.” 

Despite its name, its philosophy is nearly a century old. The group blames the economic crisis on free market capitalism and promotes a return to the theories of John Maynard Keynes. INET hosted its inaugural conference April 8-10 at King’s College, Keynes’ school, and called on economists to “apply the same Keynesian courage and innovation” to ending the worldwide recession.

8,075 reads
07/11/2010 - 14:04

Meeks photoOn Saturday, Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) made the following statement:

Beginning at the height of the selection process for Aqueduct Racino development investors as I fought for local participation, and for the past several months, right-wing interest groups such as the National Legal and Policy Center and sensationalist media outlets have lodged unfounded attacks against me and other respectable members of the Queens community related to my family home and my involvement with New Direction Local Development Corporation.

3,752 reads
07/08/2010 - 15:09

money in trash canA significant portion of ShoreBank Corporation’s progressive vision is investment in “sustainability” and the creation of a “green” economy, which may be part of the reason the distressed lender is in need of a bailout, seeking millions of dollars from Wall Street firms so it will then qualify for funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

For example, ShoreBank has two sub-entities based in the Pacific Northwest: the FDIC-backed ShoreBank Pacific, and the nonprofit ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia. Both are institutions whose lending criteria are based upon progressively defined notions of “sustainability,” with the bank a partnership between ShoreBank Corp. and the environmental group Ecotrust. The bank’s mission is to “profitably assist businesses, and through them their communities, to be sustainable in economic, social, and environmental practices.” Here’s how they explain their lending criteria:

5,320 reads
07/08/2010 - 10:19

Meeks photoAccording to the New York Daily News today:

Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks made no payments for three years on a secret $40,000 personal loan - and repaid the cash only when the FBI started asking questions…

Meeks received a check for $40,000 from Queens businessman Ed Ahmad in January 2007 to finish paying off his new $830,000 home, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Meeks first disclosed the loan on his financial disclosure report that all members of Congress were required to file by May 17 for the preceding 2009 calendar year. Meeks filed late on June 15. Click here to download a 5-page pdf of the report. The Ahmad loan was made in 2007, meaning Meeks failed to disclose it on his 2007 and 2008 forms.

3,222 reads
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