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HOLY HELL: Priest Allegedly Told Rape Victim: ‘This is What God’s Love Feels Like’

The outside a catholic church. Screenshot via NBC Los Angeles.
A Los Angeles attorney is accusing 200 Catholic priests of sexual abuse across California.

According to NBC affiliate in Los Angeles, attorney Ray Boucher has mapped out at least sixty locations of where suspected priests reside in California.

“Many if not all these priests have admitted to sexual abuse,” Boucher told NBC Los Angeles. “They live within a mile of 1,500 playgrounds, schools and daycare centers.”

One of the alleged victims, Dan Smith, graphically detailed his incident with a local priest when he was a child.

“He would rape me and then say this is what God’s love feels like,” Smith told Los Angeles NBC.

Boucher represents over 500 suspected victims suing the Los Angeles Archdiocese for sexual molestation. The LA Archdiocese reached a $660 million settlement with most of the victims in 2007.

But the archdiocese is being accused of a cover up by letting priests leave the country or hide in rehab until the legal deadline for prosecution runs out.


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Fed Plays Wall Street Favorites in Secret Bond Deals: Mortgages

The Federal Reserve secretly selected a handful of banks to bid for debt securities acquired by taxpayers in the U.S. bailout of American International Group Inc., and the rest of Wall Street is wondering what happened to the transparency the central bank said it was committed to upholding.

“The exclusivity by which the process has shut out smaller dealers is a little un-American,” said David Castillo, head of sales and trading at broker Further Lane Securities LP in San Francisco, who said he would have liked to participate. “It seems odd that if you want to get the best possible price that it wouldn’t be open to anyone who wants to put in the most competitive bid.”

After inviting more than 40 broker-dealers to take part in a series of auctions last year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York asked only Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Barclays Plc (BARC) to bid on the full $13.2 billion of bonds offered in two sales over the past month. The central bank switched to a less open process after traders blamed the regular, more public disposals for damaging prices in 2011. This week, Goldman Sachs bought $6.2 billion of bonds in an auction.

Read the rest here.

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Mark Cuban Called Into Deposition for the Ongoing SEC Insider Trading Investigation

Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, appeared at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today to face questions related to the agency’s insider-trading lawsuit against him.

Cuban, 53, has been fighting for more than three years against SEC claims that he traded on confidential information when he sold his stake in Mamma.com, a Canadian Internet search company now known as Copernic Inc., just before it announced a private placement of shares. He arrived at the SEC’s offices in Fort Worth, Texas, at 8:45 a.m. with his attorney Stephen Best following a Jan. 13 court order to appear for the deposition.

In a 2008 lawsuit, the SEC claimed Guy Faure, then chief executive officer of Mamma.com, told Cuban in a 2004 phone call about plans for a private share offering. Cuban sold shares ahead of the deal, avoiding $750,000 in losses after the offering diluted his holdings, the SEC said…”

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Rep. Bachus Facing Insider Trading Investigation

“The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to sources familiar with the case.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who holds one of the most influential positions in the House, has been a frequent trader on Capitol Hill, buying stock options while overseeing the nation’s banking and financial services industries.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative agency, opened its probe late last year after focusing on numerous suspicious trades on Bachus’s annual financial disclosure forms, the sources said. OCE investigators have notified Bachus that he is under investigation and that they have found probable cause to believe that insider-trading violations have occurred.

The case is the first of its kind involving a member of Congress. It comes at a time of intense public scrutiny of congressional ethics, with the House passing legislation Thursday to tighten rules against insider trading by lawmakers. The impetus for the legislation, a version of which passed in the Senate a week earlier, came from a “60 Minutes” report and a book mentioning Bachus’s trades, “Throw Them All Out,” by Peter Schweizer.

“The Office of Congressional Ethics has requested information and I welcome this opportunity to present the facts and set the record straight,” Bachus said in a statement issued Thursday by his spokesman, Tim Johnson.

Omar Ashmawy, OCE staff director and chief counsel, declined to comment. “The office does not confirm or deny whether an investigation is taking place.” Chief counsel for the House Ethics Committee, Dan Schwager, also declined to discuss the case. “The committee doesn’t comment on specific matters or allegations,” he said.

OCE investigators are examining whether Bachus violated Securities and Exchange Commission laws that prohibit individuals from trading stocks and options based on “material, non-public” inside information, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The office also is investigating whether Bachus violated congressional rules that prohibit members of Congress from using their public positions for private gain.

In recent years, Bachus has made numerous trades, some of them coinciding with major policy announcements by the federal government and industries under his congressional oversight, according to a review of his financial disclosure forms by The Washington Post.

Most of his investments are for less than $10,000, and almost all involve options rather than stock purchases. The options allowed Bachus to buy or sell stocks at certain prices in the future — betting that the value of those stocks will rise or fall.

A Fidelity brokerage statement Bachus submitted for 2008 shows that he made $30,474 in short-term investments, many of them bought and sold in a matter of days, sometimes during the same day….”

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First new nuke reactor in 3 decades gets approval

WASHINGTON – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the first new nuclear power project in more than three decades.

The panel on Thursday approved plans from Southern Company for two reactors at a Georgia site. The $14 billion reactors could begin operating as soon as 2016 and 2017.

The NRC last approved construction of a nuclear plant in 1978, a year before a partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania raised fears of a radiation release and brought new reactor orders nearly to a halt.

The NRC approved a new reactor design for the Georgia plant in December. Utility companies in Florida and the Carolinas also plan new reactors that use the same design by Westinghouse Electric Co.

The planned reactors are remnants of a once-anticipated building boom that the power industry dubbed the “nuclear renaissance.”

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Minimum Thought Put into Minimum Wage



by David Asman at FoxBusiness.com

Mitt Romney panicked the other day. The press was raking him over the coals for saying that he worried more about the middle class than he did about the poor. So he panicked and threw a bone to liberals, some of whom he hopes will vote for him in November.

The bone he threw was a promise to index minimum wage to inflation — an idea that’s not only an insult to those who believe in free markets, but also an insult to the millions of young folks who are out of work because of minimum wage laws.

As the brilliant economist Thomas Sowell pointed out in a column this week, a minimum wage is one of the worst things you can do to young folks out of work.

“When you set minimum-wage levels higher than many inexperienced young people are worth, they don’t get hired. It is not rocket science.”

The minimum wage is particularly tough on black teens, whose unemployment rate is now over 39%. But it hasn’t always been that way. Sowell reminds us that black teen unemployment in the late 1940s was under 10%. Why? Because there really wasn’t a minimum wage back then; high inflation had made it meaningless.

So young black men were able to get entry level positions. Sowell was one of them. His first job was delivering telegrams in New York — not a great job, but for a black, high school drop out in the late 1940s, it was a great start. And he wouldn’t have gotten that start if there had been a real minimum wage.

Minimum wage laws prevent that first leg up. And if we index minimum wage to inflation, we’ll see teenage unemployment go even higher.
Read more: http://trade.cc/ajegixzz1loAvTB89

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AIR MARSHALS GONE WILD! Tales Of Sexism, Suicide and Bigotry


Managers at the Federal Air Marshal Service regularly made fun of blacks, Latinos and gays, took taxpayer-paid trips to visit families and vacation spots, and acted like a “bunch of school kid punks,” current and former air marshals tell ABC News.

One supervisor was even photographed in 2006 asleep on a flight, carrying a loaded pistol, the air marshals said.

In interviews to be broadcast tonight on “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline,” the air marshals describe a culture of incompetence, bigotry and sexism on the part of senior managers at some offices that has endured for the last decade and raises questions about the professionalism and performance of the force entrusted with preventing acts of in-flight terrorism.

“Sooner or later, if you do not have people operating at their peak efficiency, then you take the risk that a terrorist is going to get away with his dirty deed,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, D.-Florida, who asked for an inspector general’s investigation of the allegations made by current and former air marshals two years ago.

“The culture is, hate African Americans, hate females, go after gays and lesbians cause we don’t like the way they think,” said former air marshal Steve Theodoropoulos.

It was Theodoropoulos, working in the Orlando air marshal office, who provided a photograph to reporters in 2010 of a “distorted air marshal Jeopardy game board” with classifications that were racial slurs aimed at minority and gay air marshals.

“Category pickle smokers was directly aimed at gay males,” he said of the board, which he discovered in a training room at the air marshal office in Orlando. The air marshals say it was removed in 2009.

Other categories included “Our Gang” for African-Americans, “Geraldo Rivera” for Latinos, and “Ellen DeGeneres” for gay female air marshals.

One of the five women listed on the board later tried to commit suicide, according to Theodoropoulos and other air marshals familiar with the case.

Air marshals who were military veterans were listed as “Operators” because they were often called away for training and perceived to be shirking their flight assignments.

“Anybody that’s not like them, they’re against,” said Theodoropoulos. “I mean, how do you operate under those conditions?”

Sen. Nelson says the attitude calls into question the judgments and training of air marshals involved in the incident.

“This behavior went well over the line,” said Sen. Nelson. “This is unprofessional, this is unacceptable and it should have been corrected two years ago when I first reported it to the Inspector General.”

The Inspector General’s report is scheduled to be made public on Thursday, but according to an advance copy obtained by ABC News, the investigation found “a great deal of tension, mistrust and dislike between non-supervisory and supervisory personnel in field offices around the country.”

READ: Excerpts From DHS Inspector General’s Investigation Into Air Marshal Allegations (PDF)

The report, which was triggered by a CNN broadcast about the Jeopardy board in 2010, concludes that the allegations, perceived and real, “posed a difficult challenge for the agency” but, according to a survey of air marshals, “do not appear to have compromised the service’s mission.”

The survey found that 76 per cent of air marshals asked said “people they work with cooperate to get the job done.”

But the Inspector General also warned that”these allegations add unnecessary distraction at all levels at a time when mission tempo is high and many in the agency are becoming increasingly concerned about workforce burnout and fatigue.”

Security ‘Not Compromised’ By Air Marshals

John Pistole, who oversees the air marshals as head of the Transportation Security Administration, said security had not been compromised by the behavior of some air marshals. “Absolutely not,” Pistole told ABC News Tuesday. “The national security mission is always paramount.”

“TSA took a proactive approach to the issues raised and has developed and implemented solutions ahead of the conclusion of the investigation,” said the TSA in a statement to ABC News.

READ the full TSA statement.

But some members of Congress questioned the report’s conclusion that the mission was not compromised. The Inspector General’s report also failed to fully investigate many of the more damning allegations made against air marshal manager.

“Our review does not support a finding of widespread discrimination and retaliation” within the Federal Air Marshal Service, the report said.

Other air marshals, still working undercover on flights and unable to reveal their names publicly, alleged that managers regularly scheduled themselves on flights so they could visit family or vacation spots.

In one example, the air marshals provided a photograph of a manager who arranged to fly to Brussels at Christmas time, and then jumped a fence to sit next to the Baby Jesus in a nativity crèche in the city’s main square.

Former federal air marshal Theodoropoulos has had his own issues, stemming from an altercation with a bartender that led to his dismissal from the air marshals after a 20-year career in law enforcement.

He and his union say the government used a relatively minor incident as a way to get rid of a whistleblower and send a message to other air marshals to keep quiet.

Click Here for the Blotter Homepage.

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