Saturday, March 31, 2012

Students in Trayvon Martin walkout damage drugstore

I think this was the article Glenn Beck was referencing way back on March 28, that I couldn't find when I looked for it yesterday.

A bunch of students who wanted "justice" for Trayvon trash a store - a store whose owner and workers had absolutely nothing to do with the death of Trayvon Martin. And leaders of the black community wonder why there's no justice for Trayvon, when the atmosphere of fear that causes such deaths certainly doesn't seem to be generated by store owners or neighborhood watch folks..

From Miami Herald: Students in Trayvon Martin walkout damage drugstore
About 100 students who walked out of class at North Miami Beach Senior High School in honor of Trayvon Martin, the Miami Gardens teenager who was shot to death last month in Sanford, ended up ransacking a Walgreens drugstore, breaking displays and merchandise, North Miami Beach police said.

The students walked out of school about 11 a.m. Friday in an otherwise peaceful demonstration, according to a statement emailed by police.

Walgreens surveillance cameras rolled as the students flooded the store and ran through the aisles. At one point, the school’s assistant principal entered the store to try to get the students to leave. They soon begin streaming out of the store and back into the street.

Police and store officials this week were not sure whether anything was stolen because the ransacking was not caught by the cameras, according to police. The students caused about $150 worth of damage in broken shelving and merchandise, officials said.

More mindless viiolence in Miami

No idea the race of the gangs involved...except if they'd been members of a white gang, we certainly would have been told...

And if the person being laid to rest wasn't in a gang, why in the world were so many gangs there "mourning" his death?

From Miami Herald: Gang tiff sparked funeral home shooting that left 2 dead, 12 injured
A tiff among gang members at a North Miami-area funeral home sparked a mass shooting that injured 12 people and killed two men, according to Miami-Dade police and law enforcement.

The gunmen, who fired a barrage of bullets at a crowd of mourners Friday night, remained on the loose. Investigators have not released information about the shooters, only that a white car may have been involved.

One of the victims, a 43-year-old man, died outside the Funeraria Latina Emanuel funeral home, authorities said. The other, a 27-year-old man, died at the hospital. Witnesses at the funeral home had said one of the two people killed was shot in the chest.

Among the wounded was a 5-year-old girl who was shot in the leg. She is hospitalized at Jackson Memorial Hospital and is listed in stable condition.

The funeral was for Morvin Andre, 21, of North Miami, who was buried Saturday morning at Southern Memorial Park next to the funeral home.

Andre was killed March 16 after he tried to jump 22-and-a-half feet from the fourth floor of the Aventura Mall parking garage to escape pursuit from Bloomingdale’s loss prevention employees. Andre landed on his feet, but then fell back and hit his head, according Aventura Police Major Skip Washa, a spokesman.

Washa said Saturday the county medical examiner’s office has ruled Andre’s death a suicide because the Bloomingdale’s employees were one floor below Andre when they told him to stop. Instead, he jumped.

Originally, it was reported that Andre, a nursing student at Broward Community College, had been killed in a shooting, according to mourners at the funeral home.

A law enforcement official told the Miami Herald that the shooting involved members of several South Florida gangs who were in attendance at his wake Friday night to pay their respects. Andre was not part of a gang himself, the official said.

Certain gang members took offense when someone touched Andre’s body in the casket, setting off an argument that spilled out into the street.

Members of one gang retrieved an assault rifle and a handgun from a car and opened fire at other gang members in front of the funeral home, a police commander told Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS 4.

Shooting erupted as more than 100 people were gathered outside the funeral home, in the 14900 block of West Dixie Highway, outside the city limits of North Miami.

“I was on my way out of the chapel when I heard the shots,“ said A.D. Lenoir, the pastor who officiated at the service. “I told people to look for cover. It was chaos.”

Lenoir, 29, said people were screaming, crying and yelling.

Several victims were taken to Jackson, and others to local hospitals.

The West Dixie Highway corridor has been the scene of several shootings in recent years. In 2007, the owner of a martial arts studio was fatally gunned down in a drive-by.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS

Can We Ban "Prison-Pants" For Being Offensive?

I'm watching the Golf Pre-game show on the Golf Channel, and they are showing a "teaser" for a Feherty (talk show) episode with Bubba Watson, and they are riding in the #1 car from Dukes of Hazzard, the TV show, the one that has a Confederate flag on the roof.

Watson was supposed to drive that during the opening ceremony of some major race - I can't remember which one, not being a NASCAR fan - but he was told that he could not do so because the Confederate flag on the top was offensive.

Doubtless due to its connotation of slavery before the Civil War.

And this got me to thinking.

Why can't we get "prison pants" banned for the same reason?

You have all seen "prison pants" even if you don't know what they are - most teenagers these days wear them, not just the African-Americans or Latinos who started the trend.

Apparently, when you are sent to jail, you are given clothes to wear but you are not given a belt. So if your clothes were too big, and usually they were, they'd hang off your butt and look horrible.

At some point in the 1990s, maybe even the 1980s, people in "the hood" started wearing these pants to show, apparently, that they'd been through their "rite of passage" of going to jail. It gave them street cred.

So nowadays we've got teenagers, and even grown men and the occasional grown woman, wearing these pants that are belted in underneath their buttocks. So we get a fine view of their underwear. Or as Seinfeld said to George Costanza about Kramer's decision to go "commando" - there's nothing between us and him but a thin layer of gabardine.

People who wear this kind of clothing look stupid. They can't walk without holding up their pants with one hand. And of course, they can't get any kind of a - reputable - job wearing clothes like that.

And of course there is the connotation of "prison pants."

And because of that connotation with prison, surely those pants are offensive on those grounds, and should be banned? Well, not so much clothing manufacturers who make them should be assessed harsh penalties for doing so. Let them still make the pants, but bankrupt them if they try to do so. (Yes, that's an ironic echo of President Obama's commment on his destruction of coal plants - "Oh, we'll still let them do it, but we'll have so many regulations in place that we'll bankrupt them if they try."

Frankly, I'd say banning "prison pants" - and the mentality wearing them engenders - is a much more urgent necessity than banning coal factories.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I Wonder if the Murderers were wearing hoodies?

Note that the race of murderers and victims is not given. How odd.

I wonder if the leader of the New Black Panthers will offera bounty for the heads of the murderers who, in attention to the two men they killed, also shot Wade's nephew?

From CBS Sports: Dwyane Wade's nephew wounded in Chicago shooting
CHICAGO -- A nephew of Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade was one of 13 men shot -- two fatally -- during a violent six-hour stretch in Chicago, another indication that violence is on the rise in the nation's third-largest city.

A spokesperson for Wade confirmed that his nephew was one of those injured in a Thursday shooting at a convenience store. The spokesperson declined to confirm the nephew's name or condition.

Wade, a Chicago native, was playing in a game at Toronto on Friday night.

Wade's nephew was one of six males shot at a store on Chicago's South Side at about 6 p.m. Thursday by hooded men who police said fled the scene in an SUV. One man was dead at the scene and four others -- ranging in age from 16 to 24 -- were hospitalized in critical condition. The Cook County medical examiner's office identified the slain man as Shawndell Harris, 22.

"I don't have all of the details at this time," Wade said in a written statement released early Friday evening. "My thoughts and prayers are with all involved, including my nephew and sister. Having grown up in the inner-city, I am aware of the difficult realities that exist on the streets. One of the goals of my foundation, the Wade's World Foundation, is to continue to spread the message that the violence needs to stop."

Wade was expected to have further comment in his postgame media availability.

The news of the shooting involving Wade's nephew comes one week after the eight-time NBA All-Star was among the Heat players who spoke out about the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. A neighborhood watch volunteer fatally shot the 17-year-old, although no arrest has been made because the volunteer has claimed self-defense.

Of the Martin shooting, Wade said that, "as a father, this hits home."

In Chicago, there were three other shootings during Thursday's stretch of violence, police said.

- Shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, David Gully, 31, was fatally shot in the head across the street from his South Side home, police said. Suspects have been questioned and several weapons have been recovered, police said.

- At about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, four people standing in a parking lot on Chicago's West Side were wounded when a gunman fired at them from a moving vehicle, police said.

- Two other men were wounded in separate shootings on the South Side -- one in the leg and one in the buttocks.

The shootings are part of a larger uptick in violence across the city this year. From Jan. 1 to March 29 of this year, there were 474 shootings, 101 of them fatal, according to the Chicago Police Department. During the same time period last year, there were 346 shootings, 55 fatal.

Tio Hardiman, director of the anti-violence group CeaseFire, said he believes clashes are increasing because the city is dealing with violence as a crime problem and not as a public health epidemic.

"You cannot arrest your way out of this problem," Hardiman said. "You have to meet people where they are and change the way they think."

Should "Gay History" be taught in kindergarten?

A woman called Rush today and said this:
I'm calling SB48, which is Senate Bill 48 written by Mark Leno in San Francisco, passed by all the Democrats last year and now is law, signed by Governor Brown. It's taking away parental rights, and of course there's no media coverage whatsoever on it, that's why I'm calling. It's basically mandatory, mandatory gay history teaching, starting in kindergarten to the twelfth grade with no opt-out for parents. Normally in sex education in high school you can opt out, but this particular bill, which I'm getting signatures for because there's petitions around trying to repeal it, is taking away the rights of parents. They cannot opt-out of it, so they're gonna teach a kindergartener, five, six, seven, eight year old, trying to explain to them gay history and that's a sexual content that's inappropriate at that age.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it (and I see nothing in that to say that this education is going to start during Kindergarten):
Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, also known as the FAIR Education Act (Senate Bill 48) and informally described by media outlets as the LGBT History Bill, is a California law which compels the inclusion of the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people into educational textbooks and the social studies curricula in California public schools by amending the California Education Code. It also revises the previous designation of "black Americans, American Indians, Mexicans, Asians, [and] Pacific Island people" in that list into "Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and European Americans". It would also amend an existing law by adding sexual orientation and religion into a list of characteristics (which already includes race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and disability) that schools are prohibited from sponsoring negative activities about or teaching students about in an adverse way.

In particular, according to chief author Sen. Mark Leno, it "ensures that the historical contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are accurately and fairly portrayed in instructional materials by adding LGBT people to the existing list of under-represented cultural and ethnic groups already included in the state’s inclusionary education requirements."

The bill was introduced into the Senate on December 13, 2010, and was finally passed 23-14 on April 14, 2011.[1] The bill was then passed by the Assembly on July 5 by a vote of 49-25. Governor Jerry Brown, who has historically opposed Proposition 8 and has generally supported LGBT rights in the state, signed the bill into law on July 14. Governor Brown said however that state textbooks probably would not be updated to reflect the requirements of the law until 2015.

It is supported by the GSA Network and Equality California, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights welcomed its ratification into law. The California Teachers Association's President Dean Vogel stated that “We believe that curricula should address the common values of the society, promote respect for diversity and cooperation, and prepare students to compete in, and cope with a complex and rapidly evolving society. SB 48 does that by helping to ensure that curricular materials include the contributions of persons with disabilities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans to the development of California and United States.”

It is opposed by the state Republican Party and social conservative organizations. A conservative group called Stop SB 48 is collecting signatures to place a referendum on the June 2012 statewide ballot. If successful, SB 48 would be repealed.[6] LGBT rights groups fear that it will be difficult to defend the law if it were to go to a popular vote. It is notable that the law does not include an opt-out option for parents who do not wish to have their children learn about LGBT topics in school.

In October, 2011, the group failed to collect enough signatures for the issue to be placed on a referendum in June 2012. Opponents of the bill will have other opportunities to overturn the law via a ballot initiative or a constitutional amendment. The constitutional amendment option demands even more signatures and is thus more costly.

The repeal campaign has been accused of exaggerating the bill's effects in order to convince people to sign petitions. The Courage Campaign filed a formal complaint with the California Attorney General, District Attorney, and the Oceanside City Attorney on behalf of the witness, Max Disposti. The Courage campaign also started an online petition asking for an investigation into the tactics of Stop SB 48.

In November 2011, Stop SB 48 sent out an e-mail to their supporters telling them that they indeed plan to pursue a ballot initiative to try and repeal SB 48.[12] There are actually two proposals that were submitted to the California Attorney General to be cleared for the collection of signatures. One seeks to outright repeal SB 48, while the other seeks to grant parents the right to opt their children out of such instruction

Where is CSI on this Travyon Martin case?

Apparently Newsweek has come out with an issue devoted to the Trayvon Martin case. I heard this on Rush - I was unfortunately unable to listen to much of him today, but if I heard correctly, Newsweek has come out with this issue and on the cover is that same photo of him when he was 14 years old.

Why don't we ever see a current picture of him? Why does everyone in the media want us to think that Trayvon was this fresh-faced, small 14 year old instead of a great big 17-year old football player?

It's one thing for the 60-year-old author of a biography to use a photo of himself or herself when they were 40, but when covering a news story, a current photo of victim and alleged attacker should be run! That should be a no brainer!

I also want to know where the Florida police are in this. If Zimmerman was on the ground when he shot Martin, then the angle of the bullet hole should reflect that. There should also be gunshot residue (or GSR) on his hoody and on Zimmerman's shirt. Was there?

30 Mar 2012, Fri - Rush Limbaugh headlines

--Show Open: Michelle and Kids in Vegas... Newt Meets Mitt... Big Lottery Jackpot... Two Corrections for Greg Sargent

--The Hot Theory on How the Supreme Court Gets to a 6-3 Vote to Uphold Obamacare

--The Out-of-Touch Liberal Provincials

--Elena Kagan: How Can Giving a Boatload of Money to Poor People be Unconstitutional?

--Read Mark Levin's "Ameritopia" for Insight on the Founders and Freedom of the Press

--Biden Takes Page Out of Mondull Playbook

--Shell Oil CEO Schools Charlie Rose

--An E-Mail from My Friend Who's Not Thrilled About Mitt Romney

--AP Begs for Supreme Court Leak

--The Fascinating Story of Foxconn

--California to Teach "Gay History"?

--Trayvon and Pop Culture

Stack of Stuff
--Canada Ups Retirement Age in Bid to Balance Budget

--Rep. Paul Ryan Endorses Mitt Romney

--The Obama Women Are in Vegas

--Justices Meet Friday to Vote On Health Care Case

--Bigfoot Sleuth Stomped for Leading Tour on Federal Lands Without Permit

--Obama's Policies to Blame for Weak Recovery

30 Mar 2012 - the big desk

Apologies for missing my normal posts this morning, but last night I had purchased a new desk at a surplus store, and it was a foot bigger than my old desk, and in order to get it into the living room from the outside, and into my office from the living room, I had to take the books out of two huge bookcases.

I also had to remove everything from my old desk, and found all the wires and cords - from my landline phone, my scanner, my TV (I watch TV and write at the same time) - in short, they were all tangled together and I had to get that sorted out.

Then I had to put everything on my new desk and get everything plugged in, ya da ya da... and I actually like my old, smaller desk better but it's too late to do anything about it now...

So I had to relax and chill for a while and decided to watch Phil Mickelson play his second round at Humble, Texas.

And now I'm refreshed and ready to go to work. I will skip the schedules, though, and go straight to Rush's headlines.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

No Justice’: Pakistani Acid Victim Commits Suicide After Years of Pain & Suffering

From the Blaze: No Justice’: Pakistani Acid Victim Commits Suicide After Years of Pain & Suffering

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani acid attack victim Fakhra Younus had endured more than three dozen surgeries over more than a decade to repair her severely damaged face and body when she finally decided life was no longer worth living.

The 33-year-old former dancing girl — who was allegedly attacked by her then-husband, an ex-parliamentarian and son of a political powerhouse — jumped from the sixth floor of a building in Rome, where she had been living and receiving treatment.

Her March 17 suicide and the return of her body to Pakistan on Sunday reignited furor over the case, which received significant international attention at the time of the attack. Her death came less than a month after a Pakistani filmmaker won the country’s first Oscar for a documentary about acid attack victims.

Younus’ story not only drives home the woeful plight of many women in conservative Muslim Pakistan, it is also a reminder of how the country’s rich and powerful operate with impunity. Younus’ ex-husband, Bilal Khar, was eventually acquitted, but many believe he used his connections to escape the law’s grip — a common occurrence in Pakistan.

More than 8,500 acid attacks, forced marriages and other forms of violence against women were reported in Pakistan in 2011, according to The Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights organization. Because the group relied mostly on media reports, the figure is likely an undercount.

“The saddest part is that she realized that the system in Pakistan was never going to provide her with relief or remedy,” Nayyar Shabana Kiyani, an activist at The Aurat Foundation, said of Younus. “She was totally disappointed that there was no justice available to her.”

Younus was a teenage dancing girl working in the red light district of the southern city of Karachi when she met her future husband, the son of Ghulam Mustafa Khar, a former governor of Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab. The unusual pairing was the younger Khar’s third marriage. He was in his mid-30s at the time.

The couple was married for three years, but Younus eventually left him because he allegedly physically and verbally abused her. She claimed that he came to her mother’s house while she was sleeping in May 2000 and poured acid all over her in the presence of her 5-year-old son from a different man.

Tehmina Durrani, Ghulam Mustafa Khar’s ex-wife and his son’s stepmother, became an advocate for Younus after the attack, drawing international attention to the case. She said that Younus’ injuries were the worst she had ever seen on an acid attack victim.

“So many times we thought she would die in the night because her nose was melted and she couldn’t breathe,” said Durrani, who wrote a book about her own allegedly abusive relationship with the elder Khar. “We used to put a straw in the little bit of her mouth that was left because the rest was all melted together.”

She said Younus, whose life had always been hard, became a liability to her family, for whom she was once a source of income.

“Her life was a parched stretch of hard rock on which nothing bloomed,” Durrani wrote in a column in The News after Younus’ suicide.

Younus’ ex-husband grew up in starkly different circumstances, amid the wealth and power of the country’s feudal elite, and counts Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar as a cousin.

ilal Khar once again denied carrying out the acid attack in a TV interview following her suicide, suggesting a different man with the same name committed the crime. He claimed Younus killed herself because she didn’t have enough money, not because of her horrific injuries, and criticized the media for hounding him about the issue.

“You people should be a little considerate,” said Khar. “I have three daughters and when they go to school people tease them.”

Younus was energized when the Pakistani government enacted a new set of laws last year that explicitly criminalized acid attacks and mandated that convicted attackers would serve a minimum sentence of 14 years, said Durrani. She hoped to return someday to get justice once her health stabilized.

“She said, ‘When I come back, I will reopen the case, and I’ll fight myself,’ and she was a fighter,” Durrani said.

Durrani had to battle with both Younus’ ex-husband and the government to send her to Italy, where the Italian government paid for her treatment and provided her money to live on and send her child to school. Pakistani officials argued that sending Younus to Italy would give the country a bad name, Durrani said.

Younus was happy when Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won an Oscar for her documentary about acid attack victims in February, but was worried about being forgotten since she wasn’t profiled in the film, said Durrani.

Durrani said Younus’ case should be a reminder that the Pakistani government needs to do much more to prevent acid attacks and other forms of violence against women, and also help the victims.

“I think this whole country should be extremely embarrassed that a foreign country took responsibility for a Pakistani citizen for 13 years because we could give her nothing, not justice, not security,” said Durrani.

Brit Gets 56 Days in Jail for Racist Tweet Against Soccer Player

Apparently this guy is going to have to change his name and grow a beard if he ever expects to be employed in the UK again...

Should making derogatory remarks about people be punishable by jail time???? I don't think so...

From The Blaze: Brit Gets 56 Days in Jail for Racist Tweet Against Soccer Player

SWANSEA, Wales (The Blaze/AP) — The student who mocked Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba on Twitter after the player collapsed on the field during a match has been jailed for inciting racial hatred.

Liam Stacey, a 21-year-old student at Swansea University, admitted to the charge last week and was jailed Tuesday for 56 days.

Chief prosecutor Jim Brisbane says “we hope this case will serve as a warning to anyone who may think that comments made online are somehow beyond the law.”
Liam Stacey Sentenced to 56 Days in Jail for Racist Tweets

Muamba’s heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes after he collapsed during an FA Cup quarterfinal match against Tottenham on March 17. He remains hospitalized in intensive care.

According to the Guardian, Stacey’s original racist tweet – allegedly reading “LOL, F*** Muamba. He’s dead.” — was criticized by those on the twittersphere, which resulted in offensive and racist retaliatory posts toward those attacking him:

Stacey branded people who criticised him on Twitter as “wogs” and told one to “go pick some cotton”.

The Guardian reports that Stacey wept during the hearing yesterday, and his defense attorney Gareth Jones said his client “lost his head” in making those tweets. He said that the university Stacey attended as a biology undergraduate student has asked him not to return.

Stacey said he was drunk at the time of the tweets and does not consider himself racist. The Guardian reports district judge John Charles saying the the “racist abuse” was “instigated as a result of a vile and abhorrent comment about a young footballer who was fighting for his life.“ Judge Charles acknowledges that it is clear Stacey regretted the post later and that he had better ”learn to handle [his] alcohol”.

CNET reports Stacey was found guilty of violating Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 for “sending by a public communications network a message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”. CNET speculates that with this ruling British courts will see similar cases for which “judges will, hopefully, be able to discern between the threatening, the hateful and the simply humorous.”

Others have questioned if the court went too far with jail time for a drunken tweet that was regretted. What do you think?

Still No Words of Leadership from the Prez on Bounty In Florida

Two people were forced out of their house because they have a son named George Zimmerman, and there's a bounty on the head of someone named George Zimmerman.

Where's the President?

Black organizations are calling for Zimmerman's death - where's the President?

Shouldn't he be saying something like, "George Zimmerman didn't give Trayvon Martin due process, but everyone deserves due process so don't you go killing this guy because if you do you'll go on trial for murder yourself."

(As an aside, yesterday Glenn Beck said that 70 teenagers from a Florida school had gone into a Walmart and tossed the joint, saying they did it in honor of Trayvon Martin. I've searched the news and I've searched The Blaze today, and I see no news articles. So I'm not sure if that actually happened...)

Why shouldn't the judges have to read the 2,400 page law?

Yesterday, Supreme Justice Scalia mocked Obama's attorney, saying, "You really expect us to read that 2,400 page law? We have court clerks for that."

And I'm thinking - yes, you should read it. Why shouldn't you read it, if you're the one who is supposed to be judging on it????

And as someone from the Obama regime said two years ago, it's not like it's 2,400 densely written pages. There's only a couple of paragraphs on each sheet. (Now, I haven't checked that myself, but that's what I remember this guy saying.)

One thing that I think would help this country is if we got rid of legalese. Right now we hire lawyers for everything "legal" that needs to be done - contracts and stuff, ad no one reads them because no one can understand them, because there's all this "why's and wherefores" and archaic English.

And then there's always some other lawyer who comes along and says, "No, paragraph E didn't mean this. It really meant that. So now we need to renegotiate."

What we need is to throw out all the Latin and all the archaic, polysyllabic verbiage, and render everything in plain English.

29 Mar 2012, Thu, Rush Limbaugh headlines

--Reality Confounds the American Left

--Random Act of Journalism: The Washington Post Writes the Truth About This Program

--Because You Asked... Our Ratings are Up

--Liberals Can't Defend Their Corrupt Ideas, So They Create Phony, Divisive Distractions

--My Judge Buddy on Severability

--The Four Liberal Supreme Court Justices Don't Like the US Constitution

--The Regime Rebrands the Mandate

--After Impassioned Obama Plea to Punish Big Oil, the Dem Senate Rejects His Bill

--What If His Name was Jorge Zimmerman?

--We Now Return to the GOP Primary

Stack of Stuff
--House Kills Obama Budget 414-0
--Justices Poised to Strike Down Entire Healthcare Law
--Scalia Invokes 8th Amendment Against Reading 2,700-Page Obamacare Bill
--Marco Rubio Endorses Mitt Romney For President
--Final GDP Reading Misses Estimates; Claims Edge Down

Lawbreakers To Get Special Treatment in Los Angeles

From Fox News: Police to ignore California impound law amid concern of fairness to illegal immigrants

The Los Angeles Police Department will soon start ignoring California state law, which requires police to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days.

The majority of unlicensed motorists in Los Angeles are immigrants who are in the country illegally and have low-income jobs. The LAPD says the state's impound law is unfair because it limits their ability to get to their jobs and imposes a steep fine to get their car back.

As long as drivers can produce some form of I.D., proof of insurance and vehicle registration, they'll be allowed to keep their car. Police Chief Charlie Beck insists that it's simply leveling the playing field.

"It's about fairness. It's about equal application of the law," Beck told a Los Angeles TV station earlier this month.

Opponents of Beck's decision are furious and refer to studies showing unlicensed drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. Indeed, a 2011 AAA study titled "Unlicensed to Kill" finds they are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and more likely to flee the scene of a crime.

The decision has angered Don Rosenberg, a resident of Los Angeles County, who lost his 25-year old son, Drew, in a 2010 accident caused by an unlicensed driver in San Francisco, a city with lax impound policies. The driver, who tried fleeing the scene, had previously been pulled over but was allowed to retrieve his car after a short time, months before the accident.

"It doesn't matter to me who killed my son-- what their nationality was. It was the fact that if the law were followed, he'd be alive today," Rosenberg told Fox News.

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley wrote Chief Beck, saying his policy would be "invalid" in light of state law, which states a vehicle "shall be impounded." But supporters of Beck's decision say, regardless of the law, he's doing the right thing for illegal immigrants who cannot yet obtain driver's licenses here. [How about, if they don't have a license, they shouldn't be driving?]"A low-income person doesn't have the ability to pay the fees after 30 days to get their car back," said Cardinal Roger Mahony, former Archbishop of Los Angeles and an immigration activist. "Basically, we're just creating more punitive problems for them."

The L.A. Police Commission voted in favor of the new policy 4-1 last month. The LAPD says officers will begin implementing it in a matter of weeks. The city attorney has also sided with Beck's decision.

Immigrant advocates say the controversy highlights the need to provide provisional driver's licenses for illegal immigrants. [How about just enforcing the law that says illegals should be sent back where they belong?]

Don Rosenberg says he'd favor that, as long as the police enforce state law by impounding unlicensed drivers' cars when pulled over. But he believes that the city is pandering to the Latino community and doesn't hold out hope that the policy will change anytime soon.

"It's more important that people who are in the country illegally get to drive than it is that people who are here get to live," he said.

29 Mar 2012, Thur, SoS Clinton and Staff Schedule
Secretary Clinton is on foreign travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Istanbul, Turkey through April 1. The Secretary is accompanied by Assistant Secretary Shapiro and Director Sullivan.

10:15 a.m. Deputy Secretary Burns meets with U.S. Representative Eliot Engel, on Capitol Hill.

11:30 a.m. Deputy Secretary Burns meets with Moroccan Ambassador to the U.S. Rachad Bouhlal, at the Department of State.

12:30 p.m. Deputy Secretary Burns attends a meeting at the White House.

2:30 p.m. Deputy Secretary Burns meets with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, at the Department of State.

8:00 a.m. Deputy Secretary Nides speaks with U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter.

10:00 a.m. Deputy Secretary Nides meets with Director of Foreign Assistance Rob Goldberg, at the Department of State.

10:30 a.m. Deputy Secretary Nides receives the credentials of Qatari Ambassador-designate Mohammed Abdullah al Rumaihi, at the Department of State.

12:15 p.m. Deputy Secretary Nides meets with CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Daniel Yohannes, at the Department of State.

1:30 p.m. Deputy Secretary Nides speaks with CEO and President of Carlson Hubert Joly.

3:30 p.m. Deputy Secretary Nides meets with Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, at the White House.

Under Secretary Hormats departs for New York to deliver remarks at the “Financial Times Conference on Investing in a Sustainable Future,” through March 30.

Under Secretary Otero is on foreign travel to El Salvador and Belize through March 29.

Acting Under Secretary Gottemoeller is on foreign travel to Vienna, Moscow, Tallinn and London through April 5.

Acting Under Secretary Stephens is on foreign travel to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv through April 5.

Assistant Secretary Blake is on foreign travel to Dushanbe, Tajikistan; New Delhi, India; and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

8:30 a.m. Assistant Secretary Brownfield testifies before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs at a hearing on, “Security Challenges in Latin America,” on Capitol Hill.
(media determined by host)

12:00 p.m. Assistant Secretary Carson attends an event in honor of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, in Washington, DC.

2:15 p.m. Assistant Secretary Carson testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on African Affairs at a hearing on, “A Closer Look at Nigeria: Security, Governance, and Trade,” on Capitol Hill.
(media determined by host)

Assistant Secretary Countryman is on foreign travel in Tokyo, Japan through March 29.

Assistant Secretary Gordon is on foreign travel to France, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

4:00 p.m. Acting Assistant Secretary Hammer attends a meeting at the White House.

11:15a.m. Acting Assistant Secretary Jacobson meets with Jamaican Ambassador to the U.S. Audrey Marks, at the Department of State.

2:00 p.m. Acting Assistant Secretary Jacobson chairs an Executive Committee meeting, at the Department of State.

Assistant Secretary Posner and Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer are on foreign travel in Ottawa, Canada, to lead the U.S. Delegation for the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) Initiative Annual Plenary Meeting.

Assistant Secretary Shapiro accompanies Secretary Clinton on foreign travel.

Assistant Secretary Stock in on foreign travel in Spain through March 30.

9:00 a.m. LOCAL Assistant Secretary Stock attends the Service Innovation Summit, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Spain, the Rafael del Pino Foundation and Meridian International’s Global Service Leaders Initiative, in Madrid, Spain.

11:00 a.m. LOCAL Assistant Secretary Stock meets with members of the Spanish Fulbright Commission, in Madrid, Spain.

11:30 a.m. LOCAL Ambassador CdeBaca delivers remarks at the National Association of Attorneys General Presidential Initiative Summit, in Seattle, Washington.

3:30 p.m. LOCAL Ambassador CdeBaca meets with members of the Seattle Human Trafficking Task Force at an event hosted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in Washington, DC.

Ambassador Goosby leads the U.S. delegation at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria board retreat in Geneva, Switzerland, to review new General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo’s initial progress in reforming the Fund.

Ambassador Rapp is on foreign travel in Istanbul, Turkey to participate in meetings related to the second meeting of the “Friends of the Syrian People.”

9:00 a.m. Ambassador Verveer attends meeting at the White House.

10:30 a.m. Ambassador Verveer meets with Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Deputy Coordinator in the Office of the Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Ruth Pojman, at the Department of State.

3:00 p.m. Ambassador Verveer meets with President and CEO of Calvert Foundation Lisa Hall, at the Department of State.

5:00 p.m. Ambassador Verveer delivers remarks on the Arab Spring, by teleconference, to students of the University of Wisconsin Law School.

6:00 p.m. Ambassador Verveer delivers keynote remarks on women in government at the Women’s Congressional Staff Caucus Women’s History Month briefing, on Capitol Hill.

Special Representative Balderston is on foreign travel to London, UK to meet with representatives from the private sector to discuss support for the Secretary’s Global Impact Economy Forum and the International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) among other partnership opportunities.

Special Representative Lewis is on foreign travel in Brazil through April 3 to promote sub-national engagement.

8:30 a.m. LOCAL Special Representative Lewis meets with representatives of the American Chamber of Commerce, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

10:30 a.m. LOCAL Special Representative Lewis meets with Maria da Graca Paiva, a UNESCO consultant with the Rio Grande do Sul State Secretary of Health, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

1:30 p.m. LOCAL Special Representative Lewis meets with Rio Grande do Sul State Secretary for Sports Kalil Sehbe, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

3:00 p.m. LOCAL Special Representative Lewis meets with Mayor of Porto Alegre José Fortunati, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

4:30 p.m. LOCAL Special Representative Lewis meets with President of CECUNE Juarez Ribeiro, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

10:30 a.m. Special Envoy Rosenthal delivers a keynote address at the 13th Annual Mosaic Luncheon, hosted by the Women’s Division of the Jewish Federation of Greater Austin, in Austin, Texas.

Director of Policy Planning Sullivan accompanies Secretary Clinton on foreign travel.

12:30 p.m. Daily Press Briefing with Deputy Spokeperson Mark Toner

29 Mar 2012, Thur, Pres and VP Schedule
10:00 am
The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:45 am
The President delivers remarks urging Congress to vote to end the billions in taxpayer dollars handed out to oil companies every year
Rose Garden
Open Press
12:30 pm
The Vice President attends a campaign event with local supporters
Local Event Time:
11:30AM CST
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2:45 pm
The Vice President attend a campaign event.
Local Event Time:
1:45PM CST
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

6:00 pm
The Vice President attends a campaign event
Local Event Time:
5:00PM CST
Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Women's group protests Limbaugh honor in Missouri

From Yahoo News: Women's group protests Limbaugh honor in Missouri
..JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilley has been getting a lot of deliveries from women's rights groups since his decision to commission a bronze bust of Rush Limbaugh to be placed among other honorees inside the state Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians.

Two weeks ago, one group wheeled 600 rolls of toilet paper into the middle of his Capitol office, waving signs and telling the speaker to "Flush Rush!"

On Wednesday, another round of protesters marched around the Capitol's north side before piling up pages with about 35,000 petition signatures outside Tilley's third-floor corner office.

The Perryville Republican announced the honor for the conservative radio host days after Limbaugh described a Georgetown law student as a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her testimony about birth control before congressional Democrats. Limbaugh has since apologized for his language.

The protesting groups say Limbaugh's remarks were not just disrespectful to the law student, but to all women. Jessica Peters, a Planned Parenthood volunteer from Kansas City, said the remarks should preclude Limbaugh from having his bust placed in the Hall of Famous Missourians.

"I think that words have a lot of power to them," said Peters, 27. "If we say that it's OK for somebody to call somebody a 'slut,' then it's OK for people to use name-calling."

Despite the protests, Tilley hasn't given any indication he's thinking about changing his mind about the honor. Tilley said Limbaugh, who is from Cape Girardeau, is an important — if controversial — figure in Missouri's history.

"He's transformed talk radio, he's the most popular radio personality in the country and he's from our home state of Missouri," Tilley said. "Does he say controversial things? Yes. Does he say provocative things? Yes. Does he say things that I disagree with? Yes. But he certainly has been successful."

Limbaugh himself does not appear to have commented on Tilley's decision, or the backlash that followed its announcement. In an emailed statement Wednesday, Premiere Networks, which syndicates Limbaugh's weekday radio show, took a neutral stance.

"Premiere Networks remains committed to providing its listeners with access to a broad range of opinion and commentary without condoning or agreeing with the opinions, comments or attempts at humor expressed by our on-air talent," the statement read. "We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, and the right of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions."

Hall of Famous Missourians inductees have their busts displayed on the third floor of the state Capitol. Several dozen people have been chosen by Missouri House speakers through the years, including President Harry Truman, Mark Twain, Walt Disney, George Washington Carver and Stan Musial.


"Before we let you take over our city, we'll burn it down"

What's this "our city" crap? And where will you live after you've burned down "your city"?
RUSH: While we're on the subject of the New Black Panthers, I told you yesterday about the former NAACP leader from Garland, Texas. He's a conservative by the name of C.L. Bryant. We had the story yesterday. It was two guys that he was publicly very critical of: The Reverend Jackson and Al Sharpton. He accused them of exploiting the Trayvon Martin case. And, by the way, our caller, Josh, had a good point. Have you seen much of the Trayvon Martin case lately compared to what it was earlier in the week? It must not have been going the way they wanted it to go because it kinda quieted down.

I know the Supreme Court oral arguments came along and maybe took precedence, but still. Anyway, Mr. Bryant -- the Reverend Bryant of the NAACP -- appeared last night on CNN with Erin Burnett on her program, Out Front. He appeared with Roland Martin, the African-American host of Washington Watch on TV One, and I think he's a commentator at CNN as well. So these two guys are on, and Reverend Bryant buried Roland Martin. And I want you to hear the sound bites. We have three of them. Erin Burnett said, "Reverend Bryant, you have made the comment that Reverend Sharpton and Reverend Jackson -- both of whom now are involved in this situation -- are, quote, 'exploiting the tragedy.' What do you mean?"

BRYANT: Wherever there is something like this that occurs like Tawana [Brawley] or the Duke lacrosse team, you can guarantee you that two faces will show up in order to heighten the tension in this type of situation. And they're usually Reverend Sharpton and Reverend Jackson. Our hearts do go out to this mother because she's lost a son who is 17 years old. That, though, is an issue that I do believe justice will find its way to remedy.

RUSH: Okay. So after Bryant says that Sharpton and Jackson have "heighten[ed] the tension," Roland Martin steps in to say this...

MARTIN: I say, "As a pastor, where are you?" See, I get pastors who differ. I know that the Apostle Paul differed with the Disciple Peter. But where have you been? Are you leading marches? Are you leading rallies? Are you stepping up?

RUSH: So you see, the definition of an authentic African-American is leading marches, leading the rallies. "Are you stepping up?" So Roland Martin says to C. L. Bryant: Where have you been, buddy? I haven't seen you out on the march! I haven't seen you out at the rallies! Where have you been?

And so Reverend Bryant responds...

BRYANT: Your question is: What dues have I paid? I've had the Klan and the skinheads after me --

MARTIN: That's not what I asked!

BRYANT: -- over school busing --

MARTIN: That's not what I asked!

BRYANT: -- 20-some years ago. Just this past month here where I live in Shreveport, in Louisiana, the skinheads and the Aryan Nation was try to move into our area.

MARTIN: I asked --

BRYANT: I, along, with other pastors have in fact done that. What we're doing...

MARTIN: (interrupting)

BRYANT: What we are doing is, in fact, trying to deal with a powder keg here that we need to keep the top on.

MARTIN: Erin! Erin!

BRYANT: That's what we're trying to do.

RUSH: "Erin! Erin!"

Roland Martin wants some help there from Erin Burnett. Ronald Martin wanted Erin to stop the Reverend C.L. Bryant. But he was challenged on his credentials and on his authenticity. So he became back (summarize): "Okay, fine. I got the Klan. I got skinheads after me here. We got Aryan Nation here running around trying to move into our area." But apparently that's not good enough. And from the "New Black Panther Leader Malik Shabazz Threatens to Burn Detroit Down -- Angry over steps being taken due to a financial emergency in Detroit, New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz declared he would burn the city down.

"'This is white-on-black crime,' he said during public comment at the two hour meeting held Monday afternoon. 'This is white supremacy. Before you can take over our city, we will burn it down,' he added. According to the Detroit Free Press, Shabazz was one of about 100 angry and defiant Detroiters who attended the meeting. The Detroit Free Press reported: 'Detroit's financial review team this afternoon declared that the city is under a financial emergency and no consent agreement between the city and state has been adopted, a move that forces Gov. Rick Snyder to appoint an emergency manager within the next 10 days under state law. State officials, however, are hopeful that an agreement can be reached before an emergency manager is named.' ...

"[S]ome locals see the move as a 'hostile takeover of a predominately black city,' the Free Press added." The local newspaper said that some locals see the move to appoint a new manager to handle the financial situation in Detroit as a "hostile takeover of a predominantly black city." That makes sense to me. The city of Detroit has been run by black Democrats for a long time, and New Black Panther leader Malik Shabazz has threatened to burn it down, and he's black. He's threatened to burn it down if the manager appointed here by the governor to take over the finances of the city doesn't meet with his approval. Detroit's in a shambles as it is. What are the stories we've had?

Houses have been bulldozed. Neighborhoods have, too, where the houses have been abandoned and so forth. At the end of the story, the last line of the story -- you'll like this -- is: "Last December, talk show host Rush Limbaugh offered his advice for fixing Detroit: 'Get rid of every liberal in government.'" I did offer that advice last December, and I stand by it. If you want to fix Detroit, get rid of the liberals. Wherever they run the show... (sigh) Take a look wherever they run the show, wherever liberals are in charge unchecked with no opposition. I don't care what their skin color is. It doesn't matter. Liberalism doesn't know race or any of that. You take a look at any city dominated by liberalism for a long period of time, unchecked, and you will see major problems.


RUSH: So let's put this in perspective. An unhinged nut goes crazy with a gun in Tucson, Arizona, and wounds a member of Congress, and for months after we get preached to by President Obama and the Democrats that Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh need to clean up their language, even though it was learned that that deranged lunatic in Arizona didn't even listen to talk radio.

Then we had an avowed, acknowledged Obama fan threaten to kill Joe Arpaio, and we get crickets. Now we got Malik Shabazz threatening to burn down Detroit, and we got crickets. The New Black Panther Party with a bounty on George Zimmerman in Florida, we get crickets. But this Malik Shabazz thing, his reaction, folks, it's a precursor. It's Greece. What Malik Shabazz is saying in Detroit: You put somebody in charge here who's gonna start cutting the budget; you put somebody in here who's gonna cut payments to unions; you put somebody in here who's gonna cut benefit payments, and we're gonna burn the city down.

That is exactly the kind of reaction the Democrats want. Isn't that how they intend to counter any Republican demands for budget cuts or fiscal responsibility? Imagine Romney or Santorum are elected president, the Republicans take over the Congress, start cutting the budget, here come the threats. Isn't that exactly what's gonna happen? This is the signal. So Malik Shabazz says we'll burn down Detroit. If you implement any kind of a financial austerity plan here, we'll burn down the city. It's a precursor. His reaction's exactly what the Democrats want. That's what Occupy Wall Street is. You better not start cutting our freebies. You do that and we're gonna start defecating on your cars, whatever else they did. Worse, of course.


RUSH: It might be useful to remember that Spike Lee hosted President Obama in a fundraiser back in January. Obama raised $1.6 million at Spike Lee's house. The same guy who tweeted the address where he thought George Zimmerman was so the New Black Panther Party posse could go out. That's the kind of people raising money for Obama, and of course Obama is not giving the money back.

When Is President Obama Going to Ask for Calm and Sanity?

Rush had a lot of good stuff to say on this today...
RUSH: Bobby Rush went to the floor of the House today. He is a congressman from Illinois, Chicago. He went to the floor of the House today dressed in a hoodie to show solidarity with Trayvon Martin and with the Civil Rights Coalitions case, Trayvon Martin's situation. Now, there's a dress code in the House that does not include hoodies, and he was chastised and stopped from speaking. He was cut off for breaking the House dress code, and here's how it sounded.

BOBBY RUSH: Just because someone wears a hoodie does not make them (gaveling) a hoodlum. (gaveling) The Bible teaches us, Mr. Speaker, in the book of... (crosstalk)

CHAIR: The member will suspend...

BOBBY RUSH: ...these words... (gaveling)

CHAIR: The member will sus...

BOBBY RUSH: These words. (gaveling)

CHAIR: The member... (gaveling and crosstalk) the member will suspend.

BOBBY RUSH: ...what is good.

CHAIR: The chair must remind...

BOBBY RUSH: What does... (crosstalk)

CHAIR: ... clause 5 of Rule 17. (crosstalk)

BOBBY RUSH: ...what does the Lord require you but to do justly... (crosstalk)

CHAIR: Member is out of order.

BOBBY RUSH: ...and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (crosstalk)

CHAIR: The member is no longer recognized. The chair will ask the sergeant-at-arms to enforce the prohibition on decor.

RUSH: He showed up wearing a hoodie. Well, he got what he wanted. He got all the attention and then tried to make the case the hoodie is a fashion statement. Now, Bobby Rush is a former Black Panther. You should know that. He's a former Black Panther. So let's now go to sound bite number 17. J. Christian Adams appeared on Fox & Friends today with Brian Kilmeade. J. Christian Adams worked in the Obama Justice Department. He was handling the case against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in Philadelphia when Eric Holder basically shut down the case. And J. Christian Adams -- and this is really the CliffsNotes version of this -- he resigned and wrote a book and explained what was going on.

He basically said that the Obama Justice Department had determined they were not going to pursue black defendants. Just weren't gonna do it. It was payback time now. Just dropped the case. And J. Christian Adams was handling the case and they had plenty of evidence. They coulda gotten a conviction, he thought. So he's now an expert on these matters. We've interviewed him for the Limbaugh Letter. He was on Fox this morning, Fox & Friends with Kilmeade. By the way, J. Christian Adams' book is Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department. They were talking about the New Black Panther Party bounty for the capture of George Zimmerman, and Kilmeade said, "You investigated the Black Panthers for what they were doing in 2008. That went nowhere. Why is this case with the New Black Panthers now, why is this one going nowhere or why is it slow off the mark?"

ADAMS: It's because the New Black Panthers think they're above the law. What would have given them that idea? I mean we all know the answer. The answer is Eric Holder. Look, we live in a country where lawless mobs don't offer bounties on citizens' heads to be captured. We don't live in that country, but these guys think we do. You cannot solicit kidnapping in the state of Florida. It's a felony in Florida. It's a felony to travel across interstate lines to solicit kidnapping. So here we have the New Black Panthers once again probably committing crimes and going completely unpunished.

RUSH: Unpunished? If I may interject, they're not even being pursued. They haven't been charged. We haven't gotten to the punishment stage. Nobody's even condemning this. Certainly Holder isn't, from the Justice Department, nor is Obama. But I would say that, with all due respect, J. Christian Adams is mistaken. We do live in a nation where this is happening. He said we don't live in that country. We do. He said we don't live in a country where lawless mobs offer bounties on citizens. Yeah, we do. In fact, I happen to live in the state where it's happening. Disney World is not far from where this is happening. So I must respectfully disagree. We do live in a country where lawless mobs can issue... certain lawless mobs can. Kilmeade said, "Besides Eric Holder, is there fear of inflaming race relations if you crack down on people who want to inflame race relations like the Black Panther Party?"

ADAMS: There's a fear among some, but there's no fear among people like Al Sharpton. Even the president has inserted himself in a racial way saying that Trayvon looks like --

KILMEADE: Do you think wrongly?

ADAMS: Absolutely wrongly. No president in our country's history would have injected himself into a criminal matter using racial code like Barack Obama did.

RUSH: This is a brave guy, folks. J. Christian Adams is a brave man to be saying this. A former member of the Obama Justice Department, very courageous and brave. This is not gonna sit well with the forces of tyranny. A lot of people are maybe a little surprised I'm using the word tyranny to describe what's happening to the country. I think it fits. I think it's apt. It's perfectly descriptive. A friend of mine made a point to me in an e-mail last night. I thought it was great. One of the reasons that the left in this country -- stop and think about this. The reason they're so tyrannical, tyrants never have to explain anything. They don't have to explain why they're doing anything.

Your earliest encounter with tyrants was your parents, and your parents didn't have to tell you "why" anything. They just said, "because I said so." Now, it's not considered tyranny, parent to child. It's considered child rearing. Most parents are trying to protect their kids from doing the wrong thing, teach 'em to do the right thing, and sometimes parents don't know what to say when kids go, "Why? Why?" "'Cause I say so." But when you get into adult to adult, government to citizen, they don't have to explain. Tyrants never have to explain anything. They just issue the tyranny. And if you fight back and demand an explanation, it makes it worse. You're never gonna get one because they don't have to.

Now, here's J. Christian Adams taking it right to 'em. "No president in our history would have injected himself into a criminal matter using racial code like Obama did." Everybody thinks that, but J. Christian Adams is one of the few to say it. Kilmeade finally says, "In the terms of this case, isn't it pretty clear, especially from a guy in your situation, there's much more that we'll all have to learn about this case?"

ADAMS: No question. That's what the process of law is. That's why what the Black Panthers did is so bad, because we have a system to analyze complicated facts like this. It's not a lynch mob. It's not a posse of lawless thugs. You can't solicit kidnapping under Florida law, so where's the Florida department of criminal justice on this? Where's the attorney general of Florida? Where are they? Something needs to be done.

RUSH: They're scared. They'll be called racists. I'll tell you what the attitude is. Let this play out and it will go away. That's what the attitude is. The attitude is, if we try to enforce the law here it's just going to inflame these already high tensions. Let's back off. Let's not make it any worse than it is. It'll go away. The problem with that is once you stop the pursuit of criminals, you've empowered 'em. Once you stop asserting your morality and the primacy of your law, that sends a message to people who want to break it.

28 Mar, 2012, Wed, Rush Limbaugh Headlines

--The Ridiculous Obamacare Debate

--We're Up Against the Forces of Tyranny

--Carville: Dems Can Win by Losing

--Jeffrey Toobin's Condition Worsens

--Scalia: You Expect Us to Read 2,700 Pages?

--How Did We Get to This Point?

--Trayvon Martin Latest: Bobby Rush, J. Christian Adams, Rev. Bryant, Spike Lee and More New Black Panther Threats

--Defend Small Business!

--Americans are Woefully Misinformed About "Access to Health Care"

--Rush Baby Starts a Company

Stack of Stuff
--Gas Tops $3.90 a Gallon -- AAA Survey

--Americans Angry with Obama Over Gas Prices

--Skeptical Justices Question Obama Healthcare Law

--Carville: A Supreme Court Loss Will Help Democrats

--Elderly Couple in Fear Over Spike Lee Tweet

--20% of America's Working-Age Men Are Unemployed

Reforming the Global Fund to Fight AIDS

Ambassador Goosby leads the U.S. delegation at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria board retreat in Geneva, Switzerland, to review new General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo’s initial progress in reforming the Fund.

I'm wondering why the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria needs to be "reformed". Hasn't it been doing its job??

(And I see, when getting down to the last couple of paragraphs in the Wikipedia article below, that, why, yes, the Fund was discovered, in 2011, to be rife with corruption.)

From Wikipedia:
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (often called The Global Fund or GFATM) is an international financing organization that aims to "[a]ttract and disburse additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria." A public–private partnership, the organization has its secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization began operations in January 2002. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was one of the first private foundations among many bilateral donors to provide seed money for the project.

The Global Fund is the world's largest financier of anti-AIDS, TB and malaria programs and at the end of 2010 has approved funding of USD 21.7 billion that supports more than 600 programs in 150 countries. According to the organization, it has financed the distribution of 160 million insecticide-treated nets to combat malaria, provided anti-tuberculosis treatment for 7.7 million people, and provided AIDS treatment for some three million people, saving 6.5 million lives. In 2009, the Fund accounted for around 20 percent of international public funding for HIV, 65 percent for tuberculosis, and 65 percent for malaria.

The Global Fund is a financing mechanism rather than an implementing agency. This means that monitoring of programs is supported by a Secretariat of approximately 600 staff (as of 2011) in Geneva. [Rather an expensive place to live....]

Implementation is done by Country Coordinating Mechanisms, which are committees consisting of local stakeholder organizations in-country that include some or all of government, NGO, UN, faith-based and private sector actors. This has kept the organization smaller than other international bureaucracies, but also given rise to concern over its capacity to ensure appropriate use of its funds. It has also raised concerns about conflict of interest, as some of the bodies who sit on the CCMs also receive money from them.

Since the Fund was created in 2002, public sector pledges have totaled USD 28.3 billion (95 percent of all pledges). The remaining USD 1.6 billion (5 percent) has been pledged from the private sector or other financing initiatives. The Fund states that from 2002 to 2015, 54 donor governments have pledged a total of USD 28.3 billion and paid USD 17.2 billion. From 2001 through 2010, the largest contributor by far has been the United States, followed by France, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The donor nations with the largest percent of gross national income contributed to the Fund from 2008 through 2010 are Sweden, France, Norway, the Netherlands, and Spain.

The global financial crisis has significantly impacted the fund. The Fund stated in May 2011 that it was short by USD 1.3 billion for 2011 through 2013, seeking at least USD 13 billion to cover minimum estimated needs but only holding pledges of USD 11.7 billion. The organization was also adversely affected by revelations of USD 25 million missing from community programs in four nations in Africa, which caused Sweden and Germany to suspend their donations until the completion of audit in 2011.

The genesis of the Global Fund emerged during discussions between donor and multilateral agencies toward the end of 1999, leading up to the July 2000 G8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan.

During that time, under the leadership of World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland and WHO Deputy Director General David Nabarro, discussions were initiated with donors other UN agencies concerning the creation of a new global health fund to help achieve these targets. Just prior to the Summit, WHO publicly called for a "massive effort to tackle infectious diseases" and for creation of "a new mechanism to take proven interventions to scale. The mechanism would achieve internationally agreed targets to cut TB and malaria mortality by 50%, and HIV infection by 25%."

At the Okinawa Summit, G8 nations for the first time established measurable global targets for addressing AIDS, TB and malaria. Immediately following the Summit, WHO went on record stating that the G8’s commitment to fight AIDS, TB and malaria would cost at least $25 billion over the next five years, suggesting that 60 percent of this funding should be spent on HIV/AIDS, and the rest evenly split for campaigns against TB and malaria.

On September 28, 2000, the European Commission, WHO and UNAIDS announced that they were taking a common stand against the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in the developing world.

In October 2000, WHO and the city of Winterthur, Switzerland convened a Massive Effort Advocacy Forum to engage over 200 public agencies, private sector and civil society organization in a process of building ownership and support to massively scale up donor funding to fight diseases of poverty. In eventually launching a massive global health resource drive, the city of Winterthur agreed to pay for the lodging of all of them Massive Effort guests. Speakers included Brundtland and Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, in addition to Prof. Jeffrey Sachs via satellite.

This subsequently led to WHO, Credit Suisse/Winterthur Group and the Swiss/Kenyan NGO Double Incentive Project (DIP) establishing and funding the Massive Effort Campaign, for the short term purposes of igniting, jump starting and building global support the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria.

During the final months of 2000 and early 2001, political jockeying over who might host the Global Fund intensified. Many initially assumed hosting the Global Fund was WHO's end game. On August 19, 2000, The Washington Post reported that "Clinton Signs Bill Establishing Global Fund to Fight AIDS," effectively intending to locate it inside the World Bank. According to The Washington Post, "President Clinton signed a bill today that sets up a global trust fund for AIDS patients that has been likened to a kind of Marshall Plan against the infectious disease." Soon thereafter, UNICEF's Carol Bellamy suggested that UNICEF was better equipped to know "How to Distribute AIDS Drugs" in her March 2001 The New York Times op-ed.

An article published in the British medical journal The Lancet by Harvard academics Amir Attaran and Jeffrey Sachs in January 2001 called for an order of magnitude increase in foreign aid budgets for HIV/AIDS, over those the researchers documented in the 1990s. Attaran and Sachs proposed a new funding stream of $7.5 billion or more to fund projects proposed and desired by the affected countries themselves, and that a panel of independent scientific experts validates as having epidemiological merit against the pandemic.

Attaran and Sachs also recommended that the new funding stream "must be based on grants, not loans, for the poorest countries", unlike the World Bank, which was the largest multilateral HIV/AIDS funder then existing.

On April 21, initiating a week of heightened, coordinated advocacy in support of establishing the Global Fund, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier called for a "Marshall Plan" to fight AIDS in Africa. This followed on an announcement by 38 pharmaceutical companies that they would drop their challenge to prevent South Africa from providing cheaper generic ARVs.

On April 23, 2001, an informal meeting of "stakeholders including some G8 and non-G8 members, representing different constituencies," was hosted by DFID and CIDA in London, to discuss the proposed “Global Fund for Health and AIDS.” A number of potential options were on the table, including the "Ottawa Fund," a UNAIDS concept paper submitted on behalf of all UN agencies, and a proposal by Italy, which was about to host the upcoming G8 Summit.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the aspirations of the group were to focus on HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB, with the potential to expand to other health conditions including children’s illnesses and maternal ill-health. This fund would be characterized by “highly visible operating systems, transparency of processes, the relentless pursuit of results, speedy disbursement, support for a diversity of service providers (including faith-based organizations) under common (usually national government) stewardship. Investors would be able to top predict the likely impact of their investments.”

It was noted the following week in a video conference with the UN Secretary General's office that, with the possible exception of France, "none of the bilaterals are keen to support an HIV/AIDS specific fund." Canada, Japan The Netherlands, and the EC were most interested on focusing on the three diseases, with the UK, Italy and Sweden potentially wanting a broader mandate, and with Denmark, Norway and Germany being unclear about their positions.

On April 26, 2001, in Abuja, Nigeria, at the urging of a wide range of parties—and particularly due to the emerging consensus among bilateral and UN agencies during the London meeting three days prior—UN Secretary General Kofi Annan made the first explicit public call by a highly visible global leader for this new funding mechanism, proposing "the creation of a Global Fund, dedicated to the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases."

A month later, The Economist editorialized that "...the fund itself must not be devoured by a voracious UN bureaucracy. Mr Annan wants an independent board to administer the money... (and that) the amount of money needed, after all, is not huge: it is about half America's annual spending on pot-plants and flowers."[26]

The first private contribution to the Global Fund was made by Kofi Annan. Having just been named the recipient of the 2001 Philadelphia Liberty Medal on May 3, 2001 Annan announced that he would donate his US$ 100,000 award to the Global Fund "war chest" he had just proposed creating. On May 8, the International Olympic Committee also made a US$ 100,000 contribution to the Global Fund.

In an address during WHO's World Health Assembly on May 15, 2001, WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland described the challenges of going to scale smartly yet rapidly. "The timetable is necessarily a tight one. You might say that we are going to have to sail in the boat, while we are still building it. But the world is not going to wait while we get every detail in place." There was strong pressure that the Global Fund become operational by the year's end."

On May 31, France became the second bilateral donor after the US to announce a contribution to the Global Fund. This initial pledge was for US$ 127 million.

Stephen Lewis of Canada was appointed as the United Nation's Special Envoy on AIDS on June 1, 2001. On the same day, Kofi Annan addressed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and encouraged American business leaders to speak up loud and often about the AIDS epidemic as a way to fight the disease.

South Africa's Minister of Health quickly gave notice that support from the Global Fund might not be welcomed in the single country home to the most HIV infections. "South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang told the conference a global fund being set up to fight AIDS, TB and malaria should not be used to force AIDS advisers on the region. 'We know what AIDS is and we know what is happening here. The region has its own experts on AIDS,' she said.

Early resistance to the promise of the Global Fund wasn't limited to Manto during the first week of June 2001. Andrew Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, told The Boston Globe that Africans were incapable of following complicated, multi-drug AIDS treatment, which requires taking different pills at specified times of day, because many of them "don't know what Western time is." According to Natsios, "Many people in Africa have never seen a clock or a watch their entire lives, . . . they know morning, they know evening, they know the darkness at night."

Countering the week's spate of skepticism, the Massive Effort Campaign mobilized the first large corporate contribution to the Global Fund from Credit Suisse/Winterthur Group for US$ 1 million, signaling that while some health ministries and donor agencies might still have doubts about the viability of the Global Fund, one of the world's largest banks and health insurance companies did not.

On June 19, 2001, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed $100 million, spread over a few years. Signaling that stopping the transmission of AIDS was the foundation's top global health priority, the Foundation announced that it would commit $100 million to the Global Fund over a multi-year period. The foundation also used the occasion to call on other organizations and governments around the world to support the new fund. Additionally, by the end of June, the UN Foundation set up a new mechanism for channeling private donations to the Global Fund.

The decision to create the new funding mechanism was expected to be taken by heads of state at the 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa (Italy), at the urging of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, and largely along the lines WHO, Attaran and Sachs described. Indeed, the United Nations system had been considered ill conceived to implement a major increase in development funding. Multiple organizations were converging with small-scale projects on countries with limited institutional capacities, which exacerbated a series of problems, including poor coordination, duplication, high transaction costs, limited country ownership and lack of alignment with country systems.

Before the start of the Genoa G8, the United States, Britain and Japan had already contributed $200 million each, France had committed $127 million, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had committed $100 million. On July 13, Germany announced its contribution to the Global Fund amounting to US$ 131 million. On July 18, Canada committed US$ 100 million and the European Commission agreed to a Euro 120 million contribution. On July 20, Russia contributed $20 million.

The G8 didn't disappoint in calling for the creation of the Global Fund, although pledges were significantly lower than the $7 to $10 billion annually called for by Kofi Annan.

According to the G8’s final communique, “At Okinawa last year, we pledged to make a quantum leap in the fight against infectious diseases and to break the vicious cycle between disease and poverty. To meet that commitment and to respond to the appeal of the UN General Assembly, we have launched with the UN Secretary-General a new Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. We are determined to make the Fund operational before the end of the year. We have committed $1.3 billion. The Fund will be a public-private partnership and we call on other countries, the private sector, foundations, and academic institutions to join with their own contributions - financially, in kind and through shared expertise.”

In July 2001, Kofi Annan appointed Ugandan cabinet minister Crispus Kiyonga to chair the Transitional Working Group that would establish the Global Fund. The Transitional Working Group was composed of representatives from more than 40 countries, UN agencies, the World Bank, private groups and NGOs.

The September 11 attacks created serious challenges for the Global Fund. In the three months prior to 9/11, the New York Times had expressed its support for fully financing the Global Fund in four separate editorials; it wouldn't be until three months after 9/11 that it would again editorialize in support of the Global Fund.

According to Timothy Wirth, former US Senator and head of the UN Foundation, "The attacks had a very damaging impact on funding, and we have to get everyone moving again to rebuild that momentum. The victims of Sept. 11, beyond the direct victims of the violence, have been the world's poorest people, particularly those with AIDS. The United States cannot say to the rest of the world, 'Help us' (in fighting terrorism) when we're not willing to help the rest of the world."

A key piece of evidence arguing for the importance of the Global Fund was delivered on December 20, 2001, when the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health made its findings public. Created by WHO's Brundtland and chaired by Sachs, the report promised that "A drastic scaling up of investments in health for the world’s poor will not only save millions of lives but also produce enormous economic gains." This report was particularly timely in reengaging journalists and refocusing the attention of policy makers on diseases of poverty and the emerging Global Fund, months following 9/11.

Officially operational in 2002, the Global Fund was intended to introduce a new aid paradigm based on partner country leadership, donor alignment with partner countries' development strategies, harmonization of donor actions, managing for results, and donor and partner being mutually accountable for results. This was subsequently conceptualized by the OECD in its 2004 Paris Declaration on 'aid effectiveness'.

The Global Fund's initial 18-member policy-setting board held its first meeting on January 28–29, 2002, and issued its first call for proposals. The first Secretariat was established in January 2002 with Paul Ehmer serving as team leader, soon replaced by Anders Nordstrom of Sweden who became the Fund's interim executive director. By the time the Global Fund Secretariat became operational, the Fund had already received $1.9 billion in pledges. In the months to follow, the Bush Administration was sharply criticized in the media for promising to pledge only $200 million a year.

At its inception, the Fund was adamant that it would not be about "business as usual," but would be grounded in "tough love" as it wrote its checks. On February 14, 2002, The Wall Street Journal headlined that the "Disease Fund Plans Tough Standards." In the article, a Bush administration official is quoted saying, "We envision a level of fiscal accountability . . . that’s unheard of in international development assistance."

In March 2002, a panel of international public health experts was named to begin reviewing project proposals that same month. In April 2002, the Global Fund awarded its first batch of grants - worth $378 million – to fight the three diseases in 31 countries.

Initial leadership
Richard Feachem was named as its first Executive Director in April 2002 and was about to get off to a rocky start days before the opening of the July 2002 International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, a bi-annual meeting attended by tens of thousands of the world's leading AIDS researchers, implementers, care givers and activists.

According to John Donnelly of The Boston Globe, "Richard G.A. Feachem, about to become the first director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, is already under fire from activists who want him to quit for saying the fund has plenty of money to start. At a critical time in the fight against the three killer infectious diseases, and on the eve of the 14th International AIDS Conference in Barcelona, Feachem is set to begin building an organization almost from scratch while fending off the activists."

During this defining moment, the Massive Effort Campaign, the activist NGO created, contracted and entrusted to ensure the Global Fund's successful launch throughout its first four years, was able to help prevent the Global Fund from being killed in its crib.

Feachem served from July 2002 until March 31, 2007. He announced he would not seek another term following a probe into the involvement of his wife in the Global Fund's business.

Michel Kazatchkine was then selected over the Global Fund’s architect, David Nabarro, even though Nabarro was “considered the strongest of three shortlisted candidates to head the Global Fund ... A selection committee has evaluated the three nominees' qualifications and ranked ‘Nabarro first, Kazatchkine second and (Alex) Cotinho third,’ according to a Fund source.”

Eventually, Michel Kazatchkine, a public health expert with over 20 years of experience in the field, was selected to be the Global Fund's second Executive Director. The September 2005 conference in London mobilized 3 billion euro, just over half the pledges at the Gleneagles G8 summit. On September 21, 2011, the AIDS Health Foundation called for Kazatchkine's resignation in the wake isolated yet unprecedented reports of "waste, fraud, and corruption" in order that "reforms may begin in earnest.” On January 24, 2012, Michel Kazatchkine ultimately declared his resignation.

The Global Fund has drawn much praise for the transparency of its organization. Information on the Global Fund's processes, including sensitive decision-making processes, is available from their official website.

The Global Fund provides initial grant funding solely on the basis of the technical quality of applications, as evaluated by its independent Technical Review Panel. The Fund has no means of assessing the implementation capacity of the applicants. Grants are signed for an initial period of two years. It provides continued funding to programs based solely on the basis of performance, which is generally defined as disbursement and purchases. The Fund makes no attempt to confirm whether services were delivered or whether its grants had any effect on health status or outcomes.

The objective of the Global Fund — to provide funding to countries on the basis of performance — was supposed to make it different from other international agencies that concerned themselves primarily with recording what money has been spent on, rather than what targets have been achieved.

These organizations have hundreds or thousands of staff that assist with implementation of grants. However, the Global Fund's five-year evaluation concluded that without a standing body of technical staff, the Global Fund is not able to ascertain the actual results of its projects. It has therefore tended to look at disbursements or the purchase of inputs as performance.

It also became apparent shortly after the Global Fund opened that a pure funding mechanism could not work on its own, and it began relying on other agencies (notably WHO) to support countries in designing and drafting their proposals and in supporting implementation. UNDP, in particular, bears responsibility for supporting Global Fund-financed projects in dozens of countries. As a result, the Fund is most accurately described as a financial supplement to the existing global health architecture rather than as a separate approach.

Bilateral donors immediately pledged millions (in some cases billions) of US dollars in support of Global Fund programs. The innovative approach to its financing principles is obviously considered key to its success. Since its inception, the Global Fund has committed US $11.4 billion to more than 550 grants in 136 countries (as of December 2008).

In March 2010, Dow Jones Indexes signed a memorandum with The Global Fund to explore the creation of co-branded indexes that could be licensed as the basis for investment products. The Global Fund aims to strengthen its engagement with the private sector, while the Dow seeks to add to its range of socially conscious indexes.

The Global Fund became the first organization of its kind, incorporated as a Foundation under Swiss law. It is a new kind of public-private partnership but is often confused as being part of the United Nations family. This may be because until January 1, 2009 Global Fund staff were officially World Health Organization (WHO) staff members and besides this the World Health Organization (WHO) provided many administrative services to the Global Fund secretariat and is also based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Effective January 1, 2009, the Global Fund became an administratively autonomous organization, terminating its administrative services agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO).

In March 2009, the head of the Fund criticized statements made by Pope Benedict XVI, according to whom AIDS "cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems."

Replenishment phase
As of 2010, the Global Fund has entered its 'replenishment phase', i.e. it needs funders to commit themselves to continued financing. Alarms have been raised prior to the 2010 October meeting about a looming deficit in funding, which would lead to people currently undergoing ARV treatment losing access to this - increasing the chance of them becoming resistant to treatment. UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé has dubbed the scenario of a funding deficit an "HIV Nightmare".

The Global Fund has stated that it needed at least 20 billion dollars in 2011-13, and 13 billion just to "allow for the continuation of funding of existing programs". Its 2001-2010 budget includes 19,4 billion dollars, with 600 interventions in 145 countries and 5.7 million lives saved.

Italy, founding member of the Fund seating in its administrative committee, announced at the Aquila 2009 G8 Summit a una tantum contribution of 30 million €. Both the una tantum and the 2009 and 2010 contributions (130 million € each) have not been disbursed (in fall 2010), for a total debt of 290 million €.

At the October 2010 replenishing meeting $11.8 billion USD was mobilized, with the USA being the largest contributor - followed by France, Germany and Japan. The Global Fund has said that the $1.2 billion USD lack in funding will "lead to difficult decisions in the next three years that could slow down the effort to beat the three diseases".

In 2011, the organization's internal investigation identified 13 countries, most in Africa, where several million dollars' worth of antimalarial drugs where stolen and presumably sold on the black market. A Global Fund spokesman confirmed that the organization suspected malaria drug valued at USD 2.5 million were stolen from Togo, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Cambodia from 2009 to 2011, with some cases earlier. Investigations were continuing to determine the amount of theft in other countries.

In November 2011, the Fund's board cancelled all new grants for 2012, only having enough money to support existing grants.

Corruption and misuse of funds
In January 2011, the Associated Press reported vast corruption in programs financed by the Global Fund.

The article cited findings of the GFATM OIG office that up to 2/3 of funds in some of the reviewed Global Fund’s grants were lost to fraud and the OIG report showed that systematic fraud patterns have been used across countries.

GFATM responded to the AP story with a press release on January 24, 2011, stating that, "The Global Fund has zero tolerance for corruption and actively seeks to uncover any evidence of misuse of its funds. It deploys some of the most rigorous procedures to detect fraud and fight corruption of any organization financing development."

In the days following the AP story, a number of op-eds, including one by Michael Gerson which was published in the Washington Post on February 4, 2011, sought to put the controversy surrounding the misuse of Global Fund grants in perspective. In his op-ed, Gerson stated, "The two-thirds figure applies to one element of one country's grant - the single most extreme example in the world. Investigations are ongoing, but the $34 million in fraud that has been exposed represents about three-tenths of 1 percent of the money the fund has distributed. The targeting of these particular cases was not random; they were the most obviously problematic, not the most typical."

These newly uncovered misuses of funds were investigated and made public by the Global Fund Inspector General's Office (OIG), an auditing unit independent from the Global Fund Secretariat that manages the disbursements of funds to the programs (the selection of new applications for grants is done by the Technical Review panel and the GFATM Board - both independent entities from the GFATM secretariat).

This point was also highlighted by Gerson in his February 4, 2011, op-ed where he noted, "The irony here is thick. These cases of corruption were not exposed by an enterprising journalist. They were revealed by the fund itself. The inspector general's office reviewed 59,000 documents in the case of Mali alone, then provided the findings to prosecutors in that country. Fifteen officials in Mali have been arrested and imprisoned. The outrage at corruption in foreign aid is justified. But this is what accountability and transparency in foreign aid look like. The true scandal is decades of assistance in which such corruption was assumed instead of investigated and exposed." The GFATM Secretariat has posted a series of press releases on the GFATM website to publish their views on these dealings.

The OIG has been newly reinforced and was created during 2005, three years after the GFATM was founded.

During these investigation the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) that manages and supervises a large proportion (12%) of the fund's spending as Local Fund Agent (LFA) in-country (the Global Fund has no country offices) has claimed diplomatic immunity to block the GFATM inspector general from access to internal audits and books of investigated programs in the more than two dozen nations.

The OIG has only examined a small percentage of the grants so far. Previous reviews of grants and the organization have shown substantial misconduct in some programs, lack of adequate risk management and operational efficiency of the Global Fund.

Severe cases of corruption have been found in several African countries such as Mali, Mauritania, Djibouti and Zambia. Global Fund spokesman, Jon Liden, said; "The messenger is being shot to some extent. We would contend that we do not have any corruption problems that are significantly different in scale or nature to any other international financing institution." This statement triggered a wave of private protests from other agencies who felt the Fund was attempting to divert attention from itself. Subsequent Global Fund statements have omitted any reference to other agencies.

In response to the findings, Sweden, the fund's 11th-biggest contributor, has suspended its $85 million annual donation until the corruption problems are resolved. Together with Sweden, Germany, the 3rd biggest contributor to the fund has also blocked any financing until a special investigation has been completed.

These findings come on top of previously discovered massive abuse of funds, corruption and mismanagement in a series of grants that forced the GFATM to suspend or terminate these grants after such dealings became publicly known with Uganda, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Ukraine being the largest of these grants (more than US$ 100 million each).

The story widened in February 2011 when the Financial Times reported that the fund’s board of directors had failed to act previously on concerns over accountability, including the conclusion of an ex­ternal evaluation in 2009 which criticized the Fund's weak procurement practices. Warnings of inadequate controls had also been reported periodically.

In Feb. 2011 the FT also reported that its own review found that neither Global Fund staff nor the Local Fund Agents (the entities entrusted with ensuring accountability at country level) had noticed the deficiencies reported by the inspector-general.

Financing, major donations and administration
The GFATM is almost completely funded by contributions from the largest developed nations governments / tax payers. GFATM audited annual returns show that currently more than 96% of its yearly contributions are received from government organizations. Its largest private contributor by far is the Gates Foundation.

* In June 2001, Winterthur Group, the Swiss-based financial services group, a sponsor of the Massive Effort Campaign and at the time a subsidiary of Credit Suisse, became the first corporate contributor to the Global Fund with a gift of $1 million.

* In January 2006, Bono and Bobby Shriver announced the launching of the Product Red campaign, proceeds from which would go to the Global Fund. Questions have been raised by nonprofit watchdogs and marketing experts regarding the unusually high advertising budgets spent on Product Red that some (until 2007) estimated as high as $100 million. GFATM published data states that until February 2011 the Product Red campaign has contributed less than 1% ($163 million) of the almost $19 billion contributions received since establishing the GFATM 2001/02.

* In August 2006, the Gates Foundation contributed $500 million to the Global Fund, calling the fund "one of the most important health initiatives in the world".

* In March 2006, Executive Director Richard Feachem announced his intention to step down, as soon as his successor was determined by the Global Fund Board. In April 2007, Michel Kazatchkine became the Global Fund's new Executive Director.