Friday, October 30, 2009

Congressional Black Caucus Members Under Investigation

The Washington Post is reporting that House ethics investigators have been scrutinizing the activities of more than 30 lawmakers and several aides in inquiries about issues including defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.

Dozens in Congress under ethics inquiry

Ellen Nakashima and Paul Kane staff writers with the Washington Post are reporting the a number of members of the Congressional Black Caucus are being investigated for defense lobbying and corporate influence peddling, according to a confidential House ethics committee report prepared in July.

The document also disclosed that ethics committee staff members have interviewed House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) about one element of the complex investigation of his personal finances, as well as the lawmaker's top aide and his son.

Rangel said he spoke with ethics committee staff members regarding a conference that he and four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus attended last November in St. Martin. The trip initially was said to be sponsored by a nonprofit foundation run by a newspaper. But the three-day event, at a luxury resort, was underwritten by major corporations such as Citigroup, Pfizer and AT&T. Rules passed in 2007, shortly after Democrats reclaimed the majority following a wave of corruption cases against Republicans, bar private companies from paying for congressional travel.

According to Wapo Rangel said he has not discussed other parts of the investigation of his finances with the committee. "I'm waiting for that, anxiously," he said.

Reps. Maxine Waters and Laura Richardson are seen.

There is more.. According to Wapo, Politico, and The LA Times, the committee did not detail the two newly disclosed investigations. However, according to the July document, Rep. Maxine Waters, a high-ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, came under scrutiny because of activities involving OneUnited Bank of Massachusetts, in which her husband owns at least $250,000 in stock. Waters arranged a September 2008 meeting at the Treasury Department where OneUnited executives asked for government money. In December, Treasury selected OneUnited as an early participant in the bank bailout program, injecting $12.1 million.

AAPP: Voters in their congressional districts need to take a hard look at these Corrupt Congressional Black Caucus members. It just may be time to throw these folks out of office. I know if any of them were representing me, I would vote them out of office in a heartbeat. I guess Cathy Hughes would do the same thing. If I were Obama I would not meet with the Congressional Black Caucus until they stop standing up for crooks, get there act together and purged those who bring the group into disgrace.

I'm also getting a bit tired of these Congressional ethics inquiries, that have been dragging on for sometime despite vows to end corruption.

I guess I can understand why some democrats are worried that one of their own could cost them their jobs.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tasers, Taser International and messages of the Heart

Well it looks like Taser International has said Uncle. The Makers of TASER devices say don't aim at chest. As reported by many bloggers, including the Electronic Village, news outlets and internet sources, Taser maker Taser International is advising police agencies across the nation to avoid aiming the devices at a suspect’s chest. The Arizona-based company says such action poses an “extremely low” risk of an “adverse cardiac event.” The Atlanta Journal reports that Law enforcement in Atlanta, Gwinnett and Clayton County said they are in the process of scheduling training for their officers who carry Tasers.

“It won’t be a huge change. It’s a difference of a few inches,” said Sgt. Tony Kessler, a training officer for the Clayton County Sheriff. “We still have the back and other parts of the body.”

Gwinnett Police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli said the Taser manufacturer only “recommended aiming lower towards the abdominal region,” but said the 279 officers who have Tasers will be retrained.

Cobb County Police are already ahead of the game, spokesman Officer Joe Hernandez said. Cobb’s 100 Tasers are carried by only veteran patrol officers, the Tactical Team, Burglary Apprehension Team and robbery interdiction squad. More HERE

The advisory, issued in an Oct. 12 training bulletin, marks the first time that Taser has suggested any risk of ill effects on the heart from the use of its 50,000-volt stun guns. More HERE

Electronic Village reports, Taser International, the maker of taser guns is advising police officers to avoid shooting suspects in the chest with the 50,000-volt weapon, saying that it could pose an extremely low risk of an "adverse cardiac event."

The advisory, issued in an Oct. 12 training bulletin, marks the first time that Taser has suggested any risk of ill effects on the heart from the use of its 50,000-volt taser guns.

Electronic Village goes on to report that critics, including civil-rights lawyers and human-rights advocates, called the training bulletin an admission by Taser that its guns could cause cardiac arrest. For years, Taser officials have said in interviews, court cases and government hearings that the stun gun is incapable of inducing ventricular fibrillation, the chaotic heart rhythm characteristic of a heart attack. More HERE There have been more than 400 deaths in the U.S. and 26 in Canada since 2001, according to a study by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Tasers have contributed to more than 30 of those deaths, according to medical examiners.

Three of those occurred in the Gwinnett County jail after deputies used a Taser on combative inmates. Autopsies showed two of those deaths were the result of heart attacks, but did not cite what caused the cardiac arrest. The other death was ruled the result of “excited delirium” – a combination of cocaine, alcohol and physical exertion that excited his heart too much, according to the medical examiner.

A spokeswoman for the Gwinnett sheriff said Taser International's training bulletin has already been sent out to all of the deputies who carry Tasers. More HERE

"All future training will have it incorporated too," sheriff's spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said Thursday.

The Publisher of the Tasered While Black Blog said: "Well it looks like this announcement by Taser International is having major impact on law enforcement standard operating procedures. Let's see if it make any difference on the streets of Amderica, or will cops actually aim at the chest in the future, as a way of killing people."

Boulder, Colorado ACLU wants Tasers holstered

New Guidelines For APD On Taser Gun Use - Albuquerque News Story

Metro Police Change Taser Policy

Police rethink stun-gun policy

Read more on tasering at the following blogs.