Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Judge Sack's Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher/Bush White House Connection?

If you check out the May 1, 2009 financial disclosure form that Columbia Law School faculty member Robert D. Sack filed for 2008 (which is posted on the Judicial Watchdog website at ( http://www.judicialwatch.org/judge/sack-robert-d ), you’ll notice that the federal appellate court judge who wrote the recent unjust legal decision in the Lynne Stewart Case was paid $7,500 by Columbia Law School in 2008. In addition, Judge Sack apparently also received $72,000 in 2008 from the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Retirement Plan—at the same time he was employed as both a federal court judge and a lecturer at Columbia Law School.

Coincidentally, the lawyer who served as the principal legal advisor to the National Security Council in the Bush White House, Michael Edney, now works in the Washington, D.C. office of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP firm whose “retirement plan” apparently paid Judge Sack $72,000 in 2008. As a press release, titled “Former White House Legal Advisor Returns to Gibson Dunn in D.C.,” that was posted on the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP website on May 13, 2009 revealed:

“Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP welcomes back Michael J. Edney to its Washington, D.C. office after four years of high-level Executive Branch experience in the White House and the Department of Justice. Edney rejoins the approximately 125-lawyer litigation practice group in the Washington, D.C. office, including more than a dozen former Department of Justice attorneys….From 2007 to 2009, Edney served as a principal legal advisor to the National Security Council in the White House. In that position, he participated in crafting and implementing the Administration’s response to national security legal matters in the courts, before Congress, and in the public….

“Edney resumes his litigation practice at Gibson Dunn after a four-year absence…He joined the Office of Legal Counsel in the United States Department of Justice in 2005, where he provided legal advice on the most difficult constitutional and statutory issues facing the Executive Branch…He brings to Gibson Dunn a wide knowledge of the Department of Justice’s civil litigation and criminal enforcement practices. In 2007, he joined the National Security Council staff in the White House, where he served among a small group of legal crisis management experts responsible for national security…His responsibilities included advising senior White House policymakers and reaching consensus among the senior lawyers of the Executive Branch on the most serious national security legal questions confronting the Nation….”

A former Assistant United States Attorney named Alexander Southwell also began working in 2007 at the New York office of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP firm whose “retirement plan” apparently paid Judge Sack $72,000 in 2008. As a July 24, 2007 press release on the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP website noted:

“…Mr. Southwell joins a number of former Assistant U.S. Attorneys at Gibson Dunn, including Jarrett Arp, Robert Blume, Robert Bonner (U.S. Attorney, Cent. Dist. of Calif.), David Burns, David Debold, Lee Dunst, Miguel Estrada, Michael Farhang, Douglas Fuchs, Nicola Hanna, Peter Jaffe, Randy Mastro, Marcellus McRae, Orin Snyder, John Sturc, Maurice Suh, Jim Walden, Joseph Warin, Gregory Whitehair, and Debra Wong Yang (U.S. Attorney, Cent. Dist. of Calif.).

“Mr. Southwell served from 2001 through 2007 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York.”

Sunday, November 22, 2009

National Lawyers Guild Called Lynne Stewart's Trial & Conviction `A Travesty'

The judicial branch of the U.S. federal government is supposed to be independent of both the U.S. Senate and Columbia University Law School. Yet after a Columbia Law School faculty member named Robert D. Sack recently wrote an unjust legal decision that upheld a 2005 trial conviction of Lynne Stewart, the former Chief Counsel to U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York--a 1993 Columbia University Law School graduate named Preet Bharara--wrote a motion--on behalf of a U.S. Justice Department that is headed by former Columbia University Trustee Eric Holder--requesting that the bail of the 70-year-old woman human rights lawyer be revoked. And that Stewart be imprisoned immediately.

But in the introduction to its 2005 pamphlet, titled The Case of Lynne Stewart: A Justice Department Attack on the Bill of Rights, the National Lawyers Guild noted:

"When Lynne released for public dissemination to the media a statement from her client--an act that the Justice Department was fully aware of about which it took no action for years--it was assumed her actions fell within current norms of protected legal advocacy. Following a change in administrations as well as the stigma of 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft convened an unseemly press conference and appeared later that day on the David Letterman Show to announce the bootstrapping of that minor violation of regulations into a full blown `terrorism' charge against her.

"Lynne Stewart, known in New York for defending poor and politically controversial clients for decades, was made part of a seven-count indictment, accusing her of `conspiracy' with two others, her translator and a legal assistant. The evidence presented at trial included the secret recordings of her meetings with her client...The evidence showed, at most, that in her effort to counterbalance the devastating effects of her client's lengthy isolation, she had released the press statement years earlier as part of the defense campaign to keep him in the public eye...

"Her trial and conviction were a travesty...

"This case brings us all to a cross-roads. Either we protest her conviction and demand respect for the Sixth Amendment and the rights of clients and attorneys to execute defense strategy without governmental interference and the constant threat of prosecution, or we consent to a radical rewriting of the right to counsel, thereby endorsing the administration's view of a new America ruled by administrative fiat, unhindered by Constitutional restraint..."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Columbia Law School Professor Urged Imprisonment For Lynne Stewart

A Columbia Law School faculty member named Robert D. Sack recently wrote the legal decision that authorized and urged the immediate imprisonment of a 70-year old woman human rights lawyer named Lynne Stewart--for the act of photocopying and mailing a press release for one of her legal clients.

Sack, the son of Park Slope rabbi Eugene Sack, was the Columbia University Law School Commencement speaker in 2007. In his May 17, 2007 speech,Sack confessed the following:

"My father was a reform rabbi with a pulpit in Park Slope Brooklyn...

"...It would be foolish to think that which judge happens to sit on your panel never matters. Sometimes it does...

"I took a job with Patterson, Belknap & Webb here in New York. A partner of the firm, later my mentor, Bob Potter, greeted me at the door. He said, `The most fun around her is representing The Wall Street Journal.' And I said--`Yes. I'll do that.' That's how I got into media law."

Besides sitting on the U.S. federal judiciary bench (having been appointed by Bill Clinton in the 1990s), Columbia Law School Professor Sack has also sat next to two top Dow Jones Company executives--Stuart Karle and James Ottaway Jr.--while serving as a board member of the William F. Kerby and Robert S. Potter Fund.

Coincidentally, Lynne Stewart was the lawyer for the still-imprisoned 1968 Columbia Strike Leader David Gilbert during the 1980s; and the Obama Administration Justice Department which decided to push for Stewart's imprisonment in the Columbia Law School faculty member's federal courtroom is headed by former Columbia University Trustee Eric Holder.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Franklin Delano Roosevelt: "On Inherited Wealth"

On June 19, 1935, former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the following:

“The transmission from generation to generation of vast fortunes by will, inheritance, or gift is not consistent with the ideals and sentiments of the American people…

“…Great accumulations of wealth cannot be justified on the basis of personal and family security. In the last analysis such accumulations amount to the perpetuation of a great and undesirable concentration of control in a relatively few individuals over the employment and welfare of many, many others…

“Such inherited economic power is as inconsistent with the ideals of this generation as inherited political power was inconsistent with the ideals of the generation which established our Government…”

In his 1939 book The Ending of Hereditary American Fortunes, Gustavus Myers also recalled:

“Bent upon still further breaking up great family concentrations of wealth, President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged Congress to use its taxing power to the limit. In addition to Federal estate taxes, he called for still more levies in the shape of inheritance, succession and legacy taxes on large amounts received by any one legatee or beneficiary. And to prevent possible evasion, heavier taxes on gifts…The Knights of Labor, decades back, had demanded the taxing of great private wealth out of existence…”

Yet in 2009, wealth and political power in the United States still seems to be undemocratically concentrated in the hands of a small number of billionaire and multi-millionaire individuals--and the corporations, political parties, global media conglomerates, foundations and universities which these plutocrats control.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Black Male Worker Jobless Rate Jumps To 17.1 Percent Under Obama

The official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for African-American male workers over 20 years-of-age under the Democratic Obama Regime increased from 16.5 percent to 17.1 percent between September and October 2009; while the unemployment rate for African-American female workers over 20 years-of-age was still 12.4 percent in October 2009, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The official “seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for all African-American workers (which also takes into account the 41.3 percent jobless rate for African-American youth between 16 and 19 years of age) increased from 15.4 to 15.7 percent between September and October 2009.

Ironically, although Democratic Party presidential candidate Obama claimed during the 2008 election campaign that his economic recovery and stimulus plan would provide jobs for unemployed workers in the United States, since October 2008 the official “seasonally adjusted” official jobless rate for African-American male workers over 20 years of age has jumped from 11.8 percent to 17.1 percent.

In October 2009, the official “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Hispanic or Latino male workers over 20 years of age was 11.9 percent. For all Hispanic or Latino workers over 16 years of age (which takes into account the 35.6 percent “not seasonally adjusted” jobless rate for Latino youth), the official “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate was 13.1 percent in October 2009.

For white male workers in the United States over 20 years of age, the official “seasonally adjusted” jobless rate increased from 9.6 to 9.9 percent between September and October 2009, while the rate for white female workers over 20 years of age increased from 7 to 7.4 percent.

Since October 2008, the official unemployment rate for white male workers over 20 years of age has increased from 5.8 percent to 9.9 percent.

The “not seasonally adjusted” unemployment rate for Asian-American workers was 7.5 percent in October 2009. But the official “seasonally adjusted” national jobless rate for all U.S. workers increased from 9.8 to 10.2 percent between September and October 2009.

Since October 2008, the official jobless rate for all U.S. workers has jumped from 6.6 percent to 10.2 percent.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ November 6, 2009 press release:

“The unemployment rate rose from 9.8 to 10.2 percent in October, and nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline (-190,000)…The largest job losses over the month were in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade…

“In October, the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000 to 15.7 million. The unemployment rate rose…to the highest rate since April 1983…

“The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was…5.6 million. In October, 35.6 percent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more…

“The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was…9.3 million…These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job…

“About 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in October…These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

“Among the marginally attached, there were 808,000 discouraged workers in October…Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them…,

“Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 190,000 in October…

“Construction employment decreased by 62,000 in October…Job losses were concentrated in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-30,000) and in heavy construction (-14,000)…

“Manufacturing continued to shed jobs (-61,000) in October, with losses in both durable and nondurable goods production…

“Retail trade lost 40,000 jobs in October. Employment declines were concentrated in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-16,000) and in department stores (-11,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 18,000 in October…”