August 8th, 2012


Money Laundry, Drug Cartels, Funding Terrorism. It's Hard to Be a Banksta.

Richard Meddings On U.S. Regulators: 'You F*cking Americans. Who Are You To Tell Us, The Rest Of The World That We're Not Going To Deal With Iranians?'

Standard Chartered Plc's Group Finance Director Richard Meddings was the executive who allegedly cursed U.S. regulators in a conversation cited by a New York watchdog pursuing a money laundering case against the British bank, a source familiar with the situation said.

The New York State Department of Financial Services has threatened to strip Standard Chartered of its state banking licence, dubbing it a "rogue institution" that hid $250 billion of illegal transactions tied to Iran.

The bank strongly denies the figure, saying only a tiny proportion of the Iran-related transactions totalling less than $14 million were questionable under U.S. sanctions rules.

The source named 54-year-old Meddings, a possible future CEO of Standard Chartered, as the executive mentioned in what has been the most eye-catching piece of evidence quoted so far because of the colourful language allegedly used.

"You f---ing Americans. Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world that we're not going to deal with Iranians ?" the U.S. regulator quoted an unidentified Standard Chartered executive director in London as saying in a conversation in 2006.

Meddings, one of five executive directors at the time, did not respond to repeated requests for comment. A spokesman for Standard Chartered in London said:

"This is not a quote we recognise as coming from Richard or any other of our directors." The bank emphasised that the remark was "something someone said had been said" and did not appear in any document.

The New York State Department of Financial Services said in an order on Monday that in October 2006, Standard Chartered's top official for business in the Americas warned in a "panicked message" that the bank's Iranian dealings could cause "catastrophic reputational damage" and "serious criminal liability".

A group executive director in London then shot back the expletive-laden response, according to a New York branch officer quoted in the order. A source familiar with the situation, who declined to be identified, told Reuters the executive was Meddings.

The reply was "succinctly and unambiguously communicated" and showed "obvious contempt for U.S. banking regulations", the regulator's order said.

Meddings, an Oxford graduate and accountant by profession, became group finance director of the bank shortly afterwards.

As a group executive director he had been in charge of growth and governance across Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Europe and the Americas. He had also spent time as executive director in charge of risk.

The loss of a New York banking license would be a devastating blow for a foreign bank, effectively cutting off direct access to the U.S. bank market.
buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx

Fred Karger Launches Boycott Of Amway Following $500,000 Donation To NOM

Though our list of gay-friendly shopping and food choices continues to increase as huge international companies decide to come out on the right side of history, openly-gay ex-GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger wants us to take one major company off the shopping list.

Announced today at the Unity 2012 Convention in Las Vegas, Karger has launched a global boycott of Amway due to a just uncovered $500,000 donation to the National Organization of Marriage.

Read the press release from Karger's Right Equal Rights:

On August 3, 2012 Rights Equal Rights launched a global boycott of Amway / Alticor and all its divisions and family owned businesses because of its President and company owner Doug DeVos’ $500,000 contribution to the National Organization (NOM) for Marriage. This contribution recently came to light from the federal IRS 990 tax filing of the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation.

NOM is boycotting Starbucks and General Mills for simply supporting marriage equality in their home states, and is busily defending its staunch ally Chick-fil-A. We at Rights Equal Rights feel that it is important to support our friends and equally important to keep pressure on the mega- donors to NOM and other likeminded organizations and individuals who so vigorously oppose Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality.

A global boycott of Amway will let others know that there are consequences for giving massive amounts of money to take away the rights of a minority. We will be closely watching the donors who contribute to the anti-gay sides of the four upcoming November 6 th marriage elections in Minnesota, Maryland, Maine and Washington State.

“I imagine NOM leaders Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown thought that no one would uncover the huge Amway contribution which appears to be the largest family donation to NOM in its history,” Karger said. “Only the Catholic Church’s political arm, the Knights of Columbus, has given more to the hate group NOM.”

For more on the Amway boycott, visit

Source: Instinct Magazine.

I thought it was interesting that this hasn't really been covered in mainstream news media. Any further tag suggestions welcomed.
oh holy shit
  • chaya

St. Paul Teacher Accused Of Discriminating Against Black Students

Heights Community School parents have filed a lawsuit that is now moving to federal courts against the St. Paul Public School District in Minnesota, amid an investigation into allegations that teacher Timothy Olmsted discriminated against black students.

Olmsted resigned after the district placed him on paid leave in the spring after parents complained that he called black students "fat, black and stupid" and told them, "you will never amount to anything" and "you only have one parent," WCCO reported.

The teacher also allegedly forced black students to sit in the back of the classroom, or sit with their desks facing the wall.

"He told the whole entire class that it is easier for him to teach rich white folks than poor black people,"
Tolbert told WCCO.

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Source has video and further links.

What the hell does it take for a school district to investigate a teacher and pull them from a classroom in something resembling a timely manner? What, all these different parents and kids were all just making this shit up? Calling in to complain for the lulz?


Bloody Mittens: Now Accepting Donations from Right-wing Death Squads.

Wealthy Oligarchs from El Salvador are People too.

Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied To Death Squads

In 1983, Bill Bain asked Mitt Romney to launch Bain Capital, a private equity offshoot of the successful consulting firm Bain & Company. After some initial reluctance, Romney agreed. The new job came with a stipulation: Romney couldn't raise money from any current clients, Bain said, because if the private equity venture failed, he didn't want it taking the consulting firm down with it.

When Romney struggled to raise funds from other traditional sources, he and his partners started thinking outside the box. Bain executive Harry Strachan suggested that Romney meet with a group of Central American oligarchs who were looking for new investment vehicles as turmoil engulfed their region.

Romney was worried that the oligarchs might be tied to "illegal drug money, right-wing death squads, or left-wing terrorism," Strachan later told a Boston Globe reporter, as quoted in the 2012 book "The Real Romney." But, pressed for capital, Romney pushed his concerns aside and flew to Miami in mid-1984 to meet with the Salvadorans at a local bank.

It was a lucrative trip. The Central Americans provided roughly $9 million -- 40 percent -- of Bain Capital's initial outside funding, the Los Angeles Times reported recently. And they became valued clients.

"Over the years, these Latin American friends have loyally rolled over investments in succeeding funds, actively participated in Bain Capital's May investor meetings, and are still today one of the largest investor groups in Bain Capital," Strachan wrote in his memoir in 2008. Strachan declined to be interviewed for this story.

When Romney launched another venture that needed funding -- his first presidential campaign -- he returned to Miami.
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leviathans in the womb

Putin v. the Punk Rockers

BATTLING the sweaty crowd at the Khamovnichesky court to hear the closing statements in the Pussy Riot trial, I couldn’t shake off the odd feeling that I was in the presence of genuine celebrity. My current job requires me to bump into famous Russians regularly, but I haven’t felt like this once. Yet here, staring at three young women in that absurd glass cage in which the Russian courts insist on keeping defendants, I was star-struck.

The fate of Maria Alyokhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, each charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after lip-syncing to a punk song in a church for 40 seconds, has become a certified international cause.

The United States government expressed concern, Amnesty International deemed the women “prisoners of conscience,” and a dozen Western stars — like Madonna, Bjork and even Danny DeVito — sang, spoke, wrote and tweeted their support.

But the hometown opinion on Pussy Riot is mixed at best. Even the liberal response has involved language like “They should let these chicks go with a slap on the ass.” Despite the rapid Westernization of the city elites, the rise of the vaunted “creative class” and the widespread distrust of the state-coddled Orthodox Church, Russians remain distinctly uncomfortable with activist women.
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Five Things Everyone Should Know About GOP Senate Candidate Todd Akin

On Tuesday night, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) wrapped up his state’s Republican Senate nomination, defeating two other Tea Party Republicans in a race that split the GOP’s hard right faction. Akin’s highest profile backers were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), which should be no surprise — Akin has a long history of taking inflammatory, extremist positions, particularly with respect to religion and equal rights for gays and lesbians:

1. Akin believes Medicare is unconstitutional. In a set of remarks that also questioned the validity of climate science, Akin asserted that providing healthcare for the elderly is unconstitutional, saying “I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care.” He also called for a repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows voters, rather than their state legislatures, to choose who will represent them in the Senate.

2. Akin said that “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God.” Akin once claimed, after an NBC broadcast accidentally omitted “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, that the network intentionally took it out as part of a “systematic effort to try to separate our faith and God” because “the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God.” Despite a strong backlash from religious leaders, Akin refused to apologize and doubled down on his remarks.

3. Akin is one of the most anti-gay GOP members of the House. According to a ThinkProgress analysis, Akin is one of the seven leading sponsors of anti-gay legislation in Congress, which perhaps follows from his belief that “anybody who knows something about the history of the human race knows that there is no civilization which has condoned homosexual marriage widely and openly that has long survived.” Akin has focused on gay members of the military, pushing legislation that would protect soldiers who chose to harass and bully their LGBT colleagues. He also attempted to block funding for the military unless the Defense of Marriage Act was used to block marriage equality on military bases.

4. Akin called recent legislation streamlining the student loan process a “state three cancer of socialism.” During the debt ceiling negotiations in 2010, Akin referred to President Obama as “a flaming socialist,” presumably because his massive concessions to GOP priorities weren’t quite massive enough for Akin’s tastes. He has also suggested that recent legislation streamlining the student loan process has contributed to America’s “stage three cancer of socialism.”

5. Akin wants the United States to withdraw from the UN. He advocated for full withdrawal from the international organization during a recent bus tour, according to a report by Chesterfield Patch.

Akin will face Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November. Polling suggests he currently has a small lead.

Update: Akin also thinks the Department of Education, EPA and the Department of Energy should be eliminated.


According to a slightly more detailed post about Todd Akin at Right Wing Watch, he also believes that legal abortion is the reason for illegal immigration: “If you think about it we’ve aborted however many – 40 million – Americans through abortion. If those Americans had not been aborted, we might have more laborers here. Consequently, America is not reproducing itself in terms of our own internal repopulation of having a bunch of kids.”

ETA: A number of votes from Todd Akin that "show he's outside even the Republican mainstream"

London school playing field sell-offs continue to rise.

Ministers approve sale of six tennis courts and football pitch at London school, despite criticism of policy amid Olympic success.

Ministers have approved proposals to sell off a London school's playing fields, including six tennis courts and a football pitch, despite mounting criticism of the coalition's planning for an Olympic legacy.

The land at Elliott school in Putney, south London, is being sold off to pay for a major refurbishment. It brings the number of school playing field sell-offs approved by the coalition to 22.

The Guardian revealed government figures on Monday which show that the sale of school sports fields continues even though ministers declared in the coalition agreement that they would seek to protect them.

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OP: Inspire A pulling the carpet out from beneath their feet. Genius.
*president obama

Obama May Be Gay And Previously Married To A Man

In what may be the most eyebrow-raising reaction to President Obama's controversial pro-gay marriage stance to date, a right wing Tea Party author and conspiracy theorist is claiming that Obama himself might be secretly gay or bisexual.

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Dude's a birther, so I'm not at all surprised by this. Source has a video.

Speculation grows over Romney VP pick

Time is running out for Mitt Romney to make his vice presidential selection, as speculation intensifies over whom the presumptive Republican nominee will choose as his running mate — and when.

The moment will be the biggest one yet for Romney, who will use the selection to set the tone for the remainder of his campaign — and try to derail an Obama campaign that has steadily protected leads in pivotal swing states.

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I needed some rampant speculation in my life so here we are