It is quite clear to even the most casual observer that the judicial system in this country is divided into two categories, one system for the rich and powerful and one for the poor and powerless, especially if the skin of that poor person is of a darker persuasion. My research tells me this really has much more to do with a class war than racism however. Having dark skin or being from a certain address makes people easier to identify(or profile) as being from a poor class which means they have little power or voice. The rich hire attorneys who make their truthiness arguments to a truthiness judge who knows his job will disappear if he doesn't decide the way those who have the power want him to. The lobbies for the rich get our ethically challenged legislators to change the laws so what they are doing which is immoral or unethical can be interpreted as legal. Because obviously whether it is immoral or unethical does not matter to them, they just want to get away with it. They also get harsh laws passed to make sure those poor people are well punished for even a slight indiscretion because they are seen as being less-than and used as disposable people by the rich and powerful. Just look at our illegal war in Iraq which was born of lies and fabricated for agenda and profit. The lawyers wrote opinions allowing illegal acts at the behest of the Bush gang of thugs. Were those at the top punished for what amounts to torture, murder, treason, and more? Of course not, but they did prosecute some soldiers for carrying out their orders, soldiers who would have been punished for refusing and perhaps even had their lives in danger. While I believe the soldiers should have refused to carry out these actions most of them were young, inexperienced, and naive(except Graner). In other words confused as to what they should do, but those officers above them knew better and certainly should have refused to carry out those actions. These two following essays illustrate my point that justice is not met out equally in the United States where our school children take a pledge that says, “with liberty and justice for all“.

Yves Smith at Firedoglake:

Quite a few observers, including this blogger, have been stunned and frustrated at the refusal to investigate what was almost certain accounting fraud at Lehman. Despite the bankruptcy administrator’s effort to blame the gaping hole in Lehman’s balance sheet on its disorderly collapse, the idea that the firm, which was by its own accounts solvent, would suddenly spring a roughly $130+ billion hole in its $660 balance sheet, is simply implausible on its face. Indeed, it was such common knowledge in the Lehman flailing about period that Lehman’s accounts were sus that Hank Paulson’s recent book mentions repeatedly that Lehman’s valuations were phony as if it were no big deal.

Well, it is folks, as a [pdf] newly-released examiner’s report by Anton Valukas in connection with the Lehman bankruptcy makes clear. The unraveling isn’t merely implicating Fuld and his recent succession of CFOs, or its accounting firm, Ernst & Young, as might be expected. It also emerges that the NY Fed, and thus Timothy Geithner, were at a minimum massively derelict in the performance of their duties, and may well be culpable in aiding and abetting Lehman in accounting fraud and Sarbox violations.

We need to demand an immediate release of the e-mails, phone records, and meeting notes from the NY Fed and key Lehman principals regarding the NY Fed’s review of Lehman’s solvency. If, as things appear now, Lehman was allowed by the Fed’s inaction to remain in business, when the Fed should have insisted on a wind-down (and the failed Barclay’s said this was not infeasible: even an orderly bankruptcy would have been preferrable, as Harvey Miller, who handled the Lehman BK filing has made clear; a good bank/bad bank structure, with a Fed backstop of the bad bank, would have been an option if the Fed’s justification for inaction was systemic risk), the NY Fed at a minimum helped perpetuate a fraud on investors and counterparties.

This pattern further suggests the Fed, which by its charter is tasked to promote the safety and soundness of the banking system, instead, via its collusion with Lehman management, operated to protect particular actors to the detriment of the public at large.

And most important, it says that the NY Fed, and likely Geithner himself, undermined, perhaps even violated, laws designed to protect investors and markets. If so, he is not fit to be Treasury secretary or hold any office related to financial supervision and should resign immediately.

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The best way to keep from finding something is to refuse to look for it.

From The American Prospect:
Their group blog called Tapped.

The compromise was that Durbin would accept Sessions' amendment to change the disparity from 100 to 1 to 20 to 1. In return, Sessions offered to withdraw his amendments that would have narrowed the circumstances under which a judge could reduce penalties for offenders who acted with "fear, impulse or affection," and would have imposed a 10-year mandatory maximum for simple possession rather than eliminating the five-year mandatory minimum for simple possession entirely.

"My position is for one to one, equity and equality in sentencing, but in order to get things done you have to be prepared to make mutual concessions," Durbin said. "That's what we have done."

In a statement, the ACLU Legislative Counsel Jennifer Bellamy urged Congress to eliminate the disparity entirely, saying, "We finally have the political will and momentum to end this unconstitutional disparity. We should not miss this opportunity to effect real change and ensure fair sentencing for all Americans."

The Judiciary Committee passed the bill, which will go to the full Senate for a floor vote. Instead of eliminating the crack/powder disparity, which practically everyone in the committee acknowledged disproportionately affects black Americans, the senators opted to make the law one-fifth as racist as it used to be.

The senators on the committee spent the rest of the markup complimenting each other on all they had achieved with their bipartisanship.

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Yes, our racial/class disparity in the judicial system our legislators decided should be 20:1, rather than  100:1. What a victory.

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