Progressive Calendar 11.19.11 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2011 13:42:53 -0800 (PST)
 P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   11.19.11

1.OWS/grow notDem 11.19 7pm
2. Party                    11.19 7pm

 3.Matt Taibbi - Jail for food-stamp fraud; Wall Street fraudsters get

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From: "Tom Dooley" <fellowcommoditydooley [at]>
Subject: OWS/grow notDem 11.19 7pm

Working Democracy for Sat Nov 5th 7 pm at Mayday Bookstore
How to expand OWS movement/NOT be co-opted by Democratic party, where to go
from here

The usual good food and drink.
7 pm  Sat  Nov  19

MAY DAY BOOKS 301 Cedar Ave.S. basment of HUB Bicycle, door frwy side of
bldg, WEST BANK, Minneapolis
NOTE: Parking in lot next to bookstore NOT available this weekend dueto
Midwest Mountaineering event. Must use parking meters or UM ramp.

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Party 11.19 7pm
The Ninth AnnualNonpartisan Party
From:  Carleton Crawford (R)       Elizabeth Dickinson (Green)   Dan
McConnell (DFL)            Brian Melendez (DFL)            Loren Olson
(DFL)            Gregg Sougstad (R)

You and your friends are cordially invited to the ninth annual “Nonpartisan
Party” on Saturday 19 November 2011, from 7 p.m. until Whenever, at Brian
Melendez’s home, 1777 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis. (Please see below
for directions.)

The Concept
            The inaugural Nonpartisan Party was held in 2003, when — for
the first time in many years — there were neither federal, state,
legislative, nor municipal elections scheduled in Minneapolis. The first
Tuesday after the first Monday in November came and went without a general
election. (This year, for only the second time since the inaugural party in
2003, that alignment will recur.)

    The co-hosts — then as now — were volunteer activists in different
political parties. We spend practically all our volunteer time around
politics, helping get our candidates elected. But some of the most decent
and interesting folks that we have met in local politics are not
necessarily members of the same party as we are. Unfortunately, those folks
seldom deal with each other outside the partisan political context, so
building relationships and actual friendships with each other is tough. But
politics would be much more civil, and perhaps focused more on issues and
less on personalities, if there were more opportunities for building
relationships and friendships among volunteers across party lines.
    To that end, we threw the first Nonpartisan Party as an opportunity for
volunteer leaders in all the political parties to meet and mingle outside
partisan politics. The event was a success, so we have turned it into an
annual event — a chance for coming together after an actual election,
taking off our hats as partisans for a moment and looking at the candidates
and at each other as neighbors and fellow citizens. The Rules
            There are a few ground rules:
  1.         The party is a private event, hosted by individuals and not by
political parties, organizations, or titles. Everyone who cares about local
politics, regardless of partisan affiliation (or lack of affiliation), is
    2.         No agenda or program.
    3.         No handouts, leaflets, or other propaganda. It’s a party, ya
    4.         The party is mostly in honor of volunteer activists.
Publicly elected officers are more than welcome. So are candidates for
those offices. But nobody gets a soapbox or a formal introduction.
    5.         No campaigning allowed. (Gossip and speculation are
    6.         No speeches!             We will supply some beverages and
munchies. You don’t need to bring anything. But if you do want to bring
something, you can bring a favorite beverage or snack for sharing.

The Directions
            Brian’s house, 1777 Dupont Avenue, is a red-brick house with
white and green trim in Lowry Hill, three blocks west of Hennepin Avenue,
between Summit and Douglas (three blocks north of Franklin). You can park
on the street.

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Woman Gets Jail for Food-Stamp Fraud;
Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
 18 November 11

Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light of the
recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who say the
protesters have it wrong, and don't really have a cause worth causing
public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me by a friend on the Hill.

Last week, a federal judge in Mississippi sentenced a mother of two named
Anita McLemore to three years in federal prison for lying on a government
application in order to obtain food stamps.

Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a
record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option of opting out of
that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of those states. Since
McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to
receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two

The total "cost" of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money back. But
paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge Henry Wingate.

Wingate had the option of sentencing McLemore according to federal
guidelines, which would have left her with a term of two months to eight
months, followed by probation. Not good enough! Wingate was so outraged by
McLemore's fraud that he decided to serve her up the deluxe vacation, using
another federal statute that permitted him to give her up to five years.

He ultimately gave her three years, saying, "The defendant's criminal
record is simply abominable.... She has been the beneficiary of government
generosity in state court."

Compare this court decision to the fraud settlements on Wall Street. Like
McLemore, fraud defendants like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Deutsche Bank
have "been the beneficiary of government generosity." Goldman got $12.9
billion just through the AIG bailout. Citigroup got $45 billion, plus
hundreds of billions in government guarantees.

All of these companies have been repeatedly dragged into court for fraud,
and not one individual defendant has ever been forced to give back anything
like a significant portion of his ill-gotten gains. The closest we've come
is in a fraud case involving Citi, in which a pair of executives, Gary
Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley, were fined the token amounts of $100,000
and $80,000, respectively, for lying to shareholders about the extent of
Citi's debt.

Neither man was forced to admit to intentional fraud. Both got to keep
their jobs.

Anita McLemore, meanwhile, lied to feed her children, gave back every penny
of her "fraud" when she got caught, and is now going to do three years in
prison. Explain that, Eric Holder!

Here's another thing that boggles my mind: You get busted for drugs in this
country, and it turns out you can make yourself ineligible to receive food

But you can be a serial fraud offender like Citigroup, which has repeatedly
been dragged into court for the same offenses and has repeatedly ignored
court injunctions to abstain from fraud, and this does not make you
ineligible to receive $45 billion in bailouts and other forms of federal

This is the reason why all of these settlements allowing banks to walk away
without "admissions of wrongdoing" are particularly insidious. A normal
person, once he gets a felony conviction, immediately begins to lose his
rights as a citizen.

But white-collar criminals of the type we've seen in recent years on Wall
Street - both the individuals and the corporate "citizens" - do not suffer
these ramifications. They commit crimes without real consequence, allowing
them to retain access to the full smorgasbord of subsidies and financial
welfare programs that, let's face it, are the source of most of their

Why, I wonder, does a bank that has committed fraud multiple times get to
retain access to the Federal Reserve discount window? Why should Citigroup
and Goldman Sachs get to keep their status as Primary Dealers of US
government debt? Are there not enough banks without extensive histories of
fraud and malfeasance that can be awarded these de facto subsidies?


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