Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

LinkSwarm for July 24, 2015

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Today will be full of Stuff. And Things. So enjoy a LinkSwarm!

  • Barack Obama, the MegaBanker’s friend. “Three top Democrats are accusing the Department of Housing and Urban Development of quietly removing a key clause in its requirements for taxpayer-guaranteed mortgage insurance in order to spare two banks recently convicted of federal crimes from being frozen out of the lucrative market.”
  • Companies that continue to fund Planned Parenthood. I believe the American Cancer Society should come in for a particularly hard time for sponsoring an event called “The Race For Life”…
  • And those same companies are scurrying for cover now that the lights have been flipped on.
  • On the New York Times running interference for Planned Parenthood. Which should surprise no one. Of course one branch of the Democratic Party will always defend another.
  • Five examples of that voting fraud Democrats swear doesn’t exist from 2015.
  • 93% unionized A&P supermarket chain files for bankruptcy. Again. Gee, what could be the cause?
  • Republicans chastise their extremists, Democrats pander to them.
  • Salman Rushdie says the world learned the wrong lesson from his fatwa. Namely to cower down in the face of jihad and really lick boot… (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Not just Israel: Border walls are going up all across the Middle East to help keep out jihadists. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • How Uber is taking on Bull De Blasio. Man, Democrats hate it when you threaten the profits of their favored entrenched monopolies.
  • Return to the joyous heydays of lesbian feminists collective. “Sitting in endless meetings, unable to reach agreements, and taking days to produce one leaflet because someone objected to the word seminal.” Can’t imagine why they didn’t take the world by storm…
  • All the people who should sue Gawker. It’s a lengthy list. Plus this: “Gawker is the kind of place where they hold up pictures of Sabrina Erdely and say: ‘Now this is how you do it!”
  • Guns don’t kill people, Austin policemen bumping off their 7-month pregnant girlfriends kill people. Allegedly.
  • Sorry Instapundit, but I read this piece and I instantly think Grizzly Man 2.
  • Rio Grande Valley Corruption Watch

    Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

    Been a while since I took a look at the last region of Texas where Democrats still wield political power: the Rio Grande Valley. What’s going on down there these days?

    Would you believe…corruption?

    The Rio Grande Valley is considered the most corrupt area in the country, according to the latest statistic from the U.S. Department of Justice.

    The Valley has the highest number of federal public corruption convictions. In 2013, 83 cases received guilty verdicts or pleas. The FBI since launched their anti-corruption task force.

    Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?

  • A look at vote buying in the valley:

    They’re called politiqueras — a word unique to the border that means campaign worker. It’s a time-honored tradition down in the land of grapefruit orchards and Border Patrol checkpoints. If a local candidate needs dependable votes, he or she goes to a politiquera.

    In recent years, losing candidates in local elections began to challenge vote harvesting by politiqueras in the Rio Grande Valley, and they shared their investigations with authorities. After the 2012 election cycle, the Justice Department and the Texas attorney general’s office filed charges.

    “Yes, there is a concern in which the politiqueras are being paid to then go and essentially round up voters and have them vote a certain way,” says James Sturgis, assistant U.S. attorney in McAllen.

    In the town of Donna, five politiqueras pleaded guilty to election fraud. Voters were bribed with cigarettes, beer or dime bags of cocaine. In neighboring Cameron County, nine politiqueras were charged with manipulating mail-in ballots.

    Funny how much of that voter fraud Democrats claim doesn’t exist there is. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

  • From the same series: How the drug trade turns good cops bad, focusing on Jonathan Treviño, former head of a Hidalgo County narcotics squad who’s now doing 17 years in prison
  • Still another piece from the same series: “Jonathan Treviño’s father, Lupe, who was Hidalgo County’s powerful and popular sheriff, is serving a five-year prison term for a separate conviction. He admitted taking $10,000 in illegal campaign contributions from a drug trafficker known as The Rooster, with ties to the Gulf Cartel.” Plus an estimate that 20% of the border’s economy is based on drugs. NPR guesses this estimate is too high; I would guess it’s probably low.
  • Speaking of which: “The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office blocked auditors from investigating whether or not former Sheriff Lupe Treviño’s administration allowed county workers to fraudulently report they worked extra hours — and rack up so-called ‘comp time’ they could spend campaigning for him.”
  • And this was at the direction of former Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Jose Padilla, who “himself pleaded guilty to working with a Weslaco-based drug trafficker named Tomas ‘El Gallo’ Gonzalez, talked about the time card tampering allegations during a videotaped interview with anti-corruption activists.”
  • “Two former Hidalgo Housing Authority officials have plead guilty to bribery this afternoon. Sixty year-old Susana Mungia and 53-year-old Lubina Pedraza both admitted in Federal court to have engaged in a bribery scheme, after they had solicited and received money in exchange for allowing people to skip the waitlist and immediately obtain housing assistance.
  • “A Starr County justice of the peace facing bribery and cocaine charges has been forced off the bench until further notice, state officials ordered Monday. The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct ordered Salvador Zarate suspended without pay until further notice, according to court documents. Zarate, 62, the Place 3, Place 1 justice of the peace, is accused of taking $500 to lower two defendants’ bond on Christmas Eve.”
  • “The Indian Lake Police Chief John Chambers was arrested [in February] on 14 counts of tampering with governmental records.”
  • These are only the stories that have caught my eye this year…

    UT Admissions Scandal 10X Worse Than Previously Admitted

    Thursday, July 16th, 2015

    We’ve known, from the drips and dabs that slipped out, that the UT admissions scandal was worse than the Kroll report actually let on. But we didn’t know it was ten times worse:

    At least 764 applicants initially denied admission to the University of Texas were admitted thanks to a backdoor program for the wealthy and politically connected administered by former president Bill Powers.

    More than 200 of those applicants were admitted despite having their applications cancelled by the Admissions Office.

    The total is more than 10 times the 73 applicants widely reported from an investigation paid for by the university and conducted by Kroll Associates. Kroll withheld the full findings from its 107-page final report.

    More:

    The Kroll investigation confirmed what had been common knowledge in the wealthy Dallas-area community of Highland Park, which includes UT Regent Wallace Hall and House Education Committee chair Dan Branch: students were getting into UT at extraordinary rates, despite bad grades.

    UT admitted seven Highland Park students with grade point averages below 2.0 and SAT scores below 800.

    Also this:

    The very worst of the students UT admitted, the investigation showed, were clustered in the districts of Branch, House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), and Sen. Kirk Watson, (D-Austin).

    Straus has gone to even greater lengths than UT to cover up the abuses. He authorized a special committee operating behind the scenes in an effort to impeach Hall for asking too many questions about the admissions process.

    A very cynical part of me wonders if this is the root of Straus’ stranglehold on the Speaker’s office: his power as the go-to fixer for getting unqualified students into UT.

    If you hadn’t heard, Wallace Hall, who uncovered the scandal, is suing UT chancellor William McRaven for access to the documents Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has already said he’s entitled to.

    Indeed, UT’s dishonest coverup may be a big factor in the Supreme Court in agreeing to hear an appeal on Fisher vs. University of Texas, “a 2008 lawsuit brought by a white student claiming the university’s diversity-seeking admissions system had unfairly deprived her of admission.”

    The Dallas Observer‘s Jim Schutze (who, unlike myself, favors affirmative action) explains:

    The court did receive a blistering friend-of-the-court brief (see copy below) from the Cato Institute, a conservative think-tank, in support of Fisher’s request to be heard again. The Cato brief called the court’s attention to an investigation of admissions at UT that grew out of the Hall disclosures. Cato told SCOTUS the investigation proved that UT’s “claimed diversity rationale is a sham.”

    That would be new evidence, maybe. But if it goes to the university’s core integrity – if the university has been lying to the courts about why it handles admissions the way it does – then maybe it’s not so new. Maybe it goes right to the heart of the existing case.

    We have talked here often before about revelations brought forward by Hall showing that the former president of the university and some of the regents were handing out undergraduate admissions to sons and daughters of influential state legislators the way favors of love are distributed in a bawdy house. But does that kind of corruption go to the affirmative action question?

    Nobody knows if the Cato amicus brief played any role at all in the high court’s eventual decision to rehear Fisher. But if it did, this would be why: When the Supreme Court ruled in 2013 to send Fisher back down to the 5th Circuit, the court said the lower court needed to take a tougher look at the university’s admissions policies. The Supreme Court told the lower court not to just take the university at its word but to examine the university’s admissions closely under a doctrine called “strict scrutiny.”

    The 5th Circuit basically said yeah, yeah, OK, we strict scrutinied them, and we still trust them. So the 5th Circuit upheld the university. Fisher appealed back to the Supreme Court saying the 5th Circuit hadn’t really done the strict scrutiny strictly enough.

    Then along comes the Wallace Hall evidence of an under-the-table secret admissions program the university forgot to tell the courts about. In fact, Hall’s investigation found evidence of lying, destruction of documents, coercion – enough story lines for an entire season of The Sopranos, all having to do with UT admissions.

    A Supreme Court case is likely to bring national attention to a scandal the local mainstream media has tried to downplay or bury. And if it turns out UT actually lied to the courts, well, that sort of thing tends to make federal judges a mite testy…

    (Hat tip: Push junction.)

    Leland Yee Pleads Guilty To One Count of Racketeering

    Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

    As part of a plea agreement, former California Democratic state senator Leland Yee plead guilty to one count of racketeering, as did three other co-defendants. Yee, in case you don’t remember, was charged with being involved in a wide web of corruption, including gun running (a special irony for a politician known for supporting gun control), murder for hire schemes, drugs, extortion, and campaign finance law violations.

    If he’s only pleading guilty to one charge, my guess would be that Yee is going to flip and testify on Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow and other defendants in the sprawling case. However, the actual plea agreement ((via Dwight via Popehat) evidently doesn’t specify cooperation against Chow or other defendants.

    It’s great they’re getting Yee to plead, but since Yee (being a state senator) was the “big fish” and given the lengthy list of original charges, the fact they’re only getting him to cop to one count suggests the case may have had some shaky planks. (Maybe an unreliable witness?) Or that there was so much more they could nail Chow on that they didn’t want to keep spending so much time on Yee.

    Or that political cronies somehow managed to swing him a soft deal…

    LinkSwarm for June 26, 2015

    Friday, June 26th, 2015

    The problem with doing a LinkSwarm is there’s just no end to links! I suppose I could post each and every one as I find it, but then I’d be be traveling in the wake of Instapundit, without his indefatigable will. (Or, this week, his army of star assistants.)

    Anyway, these are from the last few weeks:

  • Nothing says “religion of peace” quite like crucifying children for breaking a Ramadan fast.
  • Speaking of Ramadan, Muslims kicked it off in the now-traditional manner: Blowing up the mosques of other Muslims. (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • ObamaCare has fallen short of its enrollment target, hiked insurance premiums, failed to cut down on ER visits, and flopped in its attempt to improve hospitals’ bottom line.
  • ObamaCare is sputtering.
  • Hawaii kills its ObamaCare exchange.
  • China’s dredging on Mischief Reef has united the rest of Asia against it.
  • China tries debt swap financing for the Ghost Cities.
  • “Barack Obama has been the most successful person in history when it comes to electing Republicans to Congress.”
  • Donating to a tsunami victim charity? Don’t forget that Bill Clinton gets his cut.
  • Bill and Hillary and The King of Gay Porn.
  • Not just Bill and Hillary: Even Clinton underlings got Arab money while working for the government.
  • 20 revelations about the U.S. and Israel from Obama’s ex-Israeli ambassador’s new book.
  • Americans prefer not to live where the law-abiding are disarmed.
  • Obama’s plans to muzzle gun-related speech.
  • Ted Cruz introduces legislation to eliminate Obama’s illegal alien amnesty slush fund.
  • “What we’re dealing with is a mayor who is universally acknowledged to be bumbling and incompetent.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • LOL.
  • The Huffington Post: Hell on earth. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • You too can enjoy and spread “white privilege” to your children, no matter your color!
  • The “pecking disorder” among Social justice Warriors.
  • “He ain’t do no wrong — he just shot a cop.”
  • Remember that ultra-irritating piece on life on the Upper East Side? Not so fast.
  • Ouch.
  • Heh.
  • Don’t order the Chong Chin Chicken at Asia Cafe.
  • Belated News: Grand Jury No-Bills John Daub

    Thursday, June 25th, 2015

    I missed this good news when it came out on June 2, but a Travis County Grand Jury has declined to indict John Daub in the self-defense shooting death of a home intruder who turned out to be autistic.

    And his blog, Stuff from Hsoi, is available again.

    Hutto Police Officer Murdered On Duty

    Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

    Hutto police Sergent Chris Kelly was was killed in the line of duty today after being run over by a suspect during a traffic stop. (The suspect is in custody.) Kelly was a USAF veteran, and left behind a wife and two children.

    Police work is deeply necessary for civilized society, and occasi0onally very dangerous…

    Texas vs. California Update for June 24, 2015

    Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

    It’s been a while since I did a Texas vs. California update, so this is going to be a meaty one:

  • The Texas Comptroller has released a 50 state overview of how Texas stacks up to other states. There’s a lot of information to mine there. A few nuggets”
    • Texas ranks first as the best state for business, while California ranks 50th.

    • Texas ranks as the best state for net migration; California ranks 49th.
    • There are area in need of improvement. Texas ranks 49th in states whose residents over 25 hold high school diplomas. California? 50th.
  • Texas has enjoyed 100 straight months of unemployment below the national average. (Now it’s 101 months, but I can’ find a link right at the moment.)
  • The previously mentioned California pension reform ballot initiative has been filed.
  • Can it help California voters avoid pension armageddon?
  • “Low Taxes And Economic Opportunity In Texas Lead To Youth Population Boom.”
  • I was unaware that CalPERS owns its own planned community in Mountain House, California, and which it’s invested more than $1 billion in. A community that in 2008 was the most underwater in terms of mortgages in the entire country, and which was estimated to be worth only $200 million at some point. And now their water is being cut off due to the drought. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Speaking of the drought, California is running on empty:

    We suffer in California from a particular form of progressive immorality predicated on insular selfishness. The water supplies of Los Angeles and the Bay Area are still for a year longer in good shape, despite the four-year drought. Neither area is self-sufficient in water; their aquifers are marginal and only supply a fraction of their daily needs. Instead these megalopolises depend on intricate and expensive water transfer systems — from Northern California, from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and from the Colorado River — that bring water and life to quite unnatural habitats and thereby allow a MGM or Facebook to thrive in an arid landscape that otherwise would not support such commerce and population. Without them, Atherton would look like Porterville.

    Quiet engineers in the shadows make it all work; the loud activists in the media seek to make it unwind. These transfers have sterling legal authority and first claims on mountain and northern state water. If Latinos in Lemon Cove are going without household water, Pyramid Lake on I-5 or Crystal Springs Reservoir on 280 are still full to the brim.

    Why then do those who have access to water delivered in a most unnatural way seek to curtail supplies to others? In a word, because they are either ignorant of where their own water comes from or they have not a shred of concern for others less blessed, or both. We will confirm this ethical schizophrenia should a fifth year of drought ensue. Then even the most sacrosanct rights of transferred water will not be sufficient to accommodate the San Francisco and Los Angeles basins. Mass panic and outrage will probably follow, and no one will care a bit about the delta smelt, or a few hundred salmon artificially planted into the San Joaquin River watershed, or a spotted toad that holds up construction of an urgently needed reservoir.

    The greens who pontificate about the need to return the San Joaquin watershed to its 19th-century ecosystem will become pariahs. When the taps run dry in Hillsborough and Bel-Air, very powerful people will demand water for their desert environs, which will in fact begin to return to the deserts that they always were as the thin veneer of civilization is scraped away.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Hey, remember how California’s are always saying “Sure, Texas has lower taxes, lower cost of living, and better job growth, but California’s awesomely moderate weather beats Texas’ summer heat hands down!”?

    Yeah, not so much this year… (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • California legislature votes to reinstate Kelo-like seizure of private property for private development use. Shamefully, 12 Republicans joined Democrats to vote for eminent domain abuse.
  • “Pension payments are starving basic city services.”
  • A Marin County grand jury wants more openness about government employee salaries and pensions. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Of the four “minority majority” states, minorities in Texas are doing best.
  • California farm workers are suing to get the United Farm Workers out of their lives and pockets.
  • Among cities with high prices and stagnant wage growth, California has the nine worst, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Jose.
  • Because California homes just didn’t cost enough already, new energy regulations are going to make them even more expensive.
  • The San Bernardino sheriff’s department has used a “stingray” to capture cell phone communication over 300 times in the past year or so without a warrant.
  • Apple continues expanding in Austin.
  • Texas is one of the states General Electric might leave Connecticut for.
  • California-based retailer Anna’s Linens files for Chapter 11.
  • California holding company Premier Ventures uses yet another bankruptcy filing to prevent an Akron, Ohio mall from being sold at auction. (Previously.)
  • Not news: California bankruptcy filing. Still not news: From a fraud judgment. News: For a lawsuit first filed in 1989.
  • Public Integrity Unit Oversight Removed From Travis County

    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

    Democrats won’t be able to launch partisan witch hunts against statewide Republican officeholders from the Travis County Prosecutor’s Office anymore, as Governor Greg Abbott has signed the bill stripping oversight of the statewide Public Integrity Unit from the Travis County prosecutor’s office

    “Under House Bill 1690, the Public Integrity Unit would be shifted from Travis County to the Texas Rangers – part of the Department of Public Safety – which would take charge of investigating alleged corruption among public officials. District attorneys from the home county of the accused would prosecute the cases.”

    Travis County Democrats in general, and District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg in particular, have only themselves to blame. Both Lehmberg and equally partisan predecessor Ronnie Earle have pursued vindictive and flat-out-fraudulent cases against Republican officeholders, from Rep. Tom Delay (accused of violating a law that hadn’t been enacted at the time, and whose conviction was overturned and converted into an outright acquittal) to Kay Bailey Hutchison.

    But it was Rosemary Lehmberg’s actions that pretty much sealed the fate of the Public Integrity Unit. The video of following her DUI arrest (when she decided that rolling around Austin with an open bottle of vodka in the car and a blood alcohol level of .239 would just be a swell idea) lead to Governor Rick Perry demand for her to resign. When she refused, Perry carried through with his threat to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit, at which point the Travis County prosecutor’s office indicted Perry for using his constitutionally enumerated veto powers.

    If it hadn’t been for Lehmberg’s poor judgment and criminal activity, and and the grossly partisan overreach of herself and Earle, the legislature would never have felt compelled to act.

    Given the sterling reputation of the Texas Rangers, the unit is now in far better hands, and the move to their oversight takes effects September 1.

    Jihadsville, West Yorkshire

    Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

    The town of Dewsbury in West Yorkshire is punching above its weight when it comes to producing Jihadists:

    Set in a quiet corner of West Yorkshire, on first glance the former mill town of Dewsbury looks perfectly innocent.

    But bubbling away under the surface of the thriving community is a deep-rooted problem with hardline Islamic extremism.

    Home to Talha Asmal – the 17-year-old boy believed to be Britain’s youngest suicide bomber – Dewsbury is also where two of Britain’s 7/7 bombers lived, including the man who masterminded the attack, Mohammad Sidique Khan.

    7/7 refers to the July 7, 2005 subway bombings in London that killed 52 civilians.

    Of course, the shocking thing about this story is just how unshocking it’s become. Is anyone surprised anymore when some small UK village hosts its own hardened jihad cell? It’s simply the reality of modern Britain.

    (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)