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Tag: Corruption

White House / Pete Souza

Obama Pressures Senate on Public Option

Like a reluctant Sisyphus, the president is still pushing the public option up Capitol Hill. According to a report in the L.A. Times, Obama has been trying to sell moderate Democrats on the idea. That’s no easy task, as many have taken gobs of money from the private health industry and coincidentally oppose meaningful reform.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Ken Denny

Ex-U.N. Official Slams Afghan Elections

A former U.N. diplomat has attacked the process and results of the recent Afghan elections, claiming that almost one in three votes cast for incumbent President Hamid Karzai was fraudulent and that the elections seriously weakened the democratic process in the eyes of the Afghan people. As a consequence, the Taliban is stronger, says Peter Galbraith, who was fired in a dispute over the voting.

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE


Fujimori Is Found Guilty, Again

While serving time in a Peruvian clink, Ex-President Alberto Fujimori found time in his schedule to be convicted of corruption. The sentence handed down in his fourth and final trial on charges of illegal activity in office calls for extending his jail stay by six years.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE

Too Big to Jail

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE

Ehud Olmert

Olmert’s Corruption Trial Opens in Israel

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is being tried on charges of corruption that allegedly occurred while he was Jerusalem’s mayor and later a Cabinet member. Olmert maintains his innocence, claiming a three-year smear campaign forced him to resign as prime minister a year ago.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Susan Walsh

Shady Deal Showered Top Blue Dog With Cash

Rep. Mike Ross has been one of the leading opponents of health care reform in Congress. Guess who coincidentally sold property to a pharmacy chain for hundreds of thousands more than it was worth? Ka-ching!

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE

Baucus Bill Lands With a Whimper

Sen. Max Baucus bent over backward to please Republicans with his insurance-friendly vision of health care reform, which forces everyone to buy private insurance and has no public option, but the very Republicans he negotiated with now won’t have anything to do with the bill.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE


Berlusconi Accused of Censorship

Everyone’s favorite world leader/womanizer is in the news again after a film director accused the Italian prime minister of censorship. Italian state television has refused to show a film trailer that accuses Silvio Berlusconi of creating a “frivolous media culture,” and many think the PM’s incredible influence over the media has something to do with it.

Posted on Sep 3, 2009 READ MORE

Who Is Obama Playing Ball With?

It looked like it was business as usual for President Barack Obama on the first day of his vacation, as he spent five hours golfing with a top executive from UBS, a bank that sheltered wealthy tax dodgers while hardworking U.S. taxpayers were bailing it out.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE

Afghan election
AP / Musadeq Sadeq

Afghan Election Dogged by Fraud Claims

Corruption rumors and threats of violence preceded last week’s Afghan presidential election, so it’s not surprising that similar concerns are cropping up after the fact.

Posted on Aug 22, 2009 READ MORE

Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE

Hippocratic Oaf

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE    

Afghan election
AP / Rahmat Gul

Report: Pre-Election Corruption Crops Up in Afghanistan

This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan may not be the cleanest polling event, if the BBC’s findings about corruption and voting fraud are indicative of larger trends. The British news outlet reported Tuesday that bribery and bids to buy voting cards, combined with threats of violence from militant groups, could muck up the works come Thursday.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Ron Edmonds

New E-Mails Detail Rove’s Role in Attorney Firings

Internal e-mails released Tuesday show that Karl Rove and other senior Bush aides played an “earlier and more active role” in the 2006 U.S. attorney firing scandal than previously revealed. The messages detail a concerted, two-year effort by Rove and staff to dismiss attorneys for political reasons.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE

William Jefferson
Wikimedia Commons /

From the Freezer to the Cooler

Former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, who memorably repurposed his freezer to accommodate an illicit stash of $90,000 in cash, was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday and could be looking at 20 years in the slammer.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE

Pre-Existing Condition

Posted on Aug 2, 2009 READ MORE

AP / Mel Evans

American Plutocracy: Corruption Is In the Eye of the Beholder

To many observers, the recent New Jersey corruption sting, which resulted in the arrests of three mayors, two state assemblymen and five rabbis, seems rather surreal for the American social and political fabric.

Posted on Jul 31, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

Senate Votes Down Military Boondoggle

One politician’s jobs program is another’s “inexcusable waste of money.” Luckily for the taxpayer, that’s how Barack Obama feels about the F-22 strike fighter, a plane Congress has been pushing over the military’s objections. After Obama threatened a veto, the Senate voted not to fund the jet, which was designed to fight the Soviets.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE

Soul Mate

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE

John McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Suddenly, a Trillion Dollars Is Too Expensive?

The senators who now claim we cannot afford to spend a trillion dollars to make long overdue changes in health care know exactly what that amount can buy. They know because they have spent it, year after year, on military misadventures and subsidies to big banks and corporations.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE

Collage from Fox and James Montgomery Flagg

Public Option or Bust

Health care reform is shaping up as astronomically expensive, but that’s only if private insurers and Big Pharma get their way, writes Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert Reich. Without competition from the government—a public option—the health care industry will continue to gouge and Americans will still be in the weeds, a trillion dollars poorer.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Brennan Linsley, pool

Foreclosure Fiasco

The Bush-Obama strategy of throwing trillions at the banks to solve the mortgage crisis is a huge bust. The financial moguls, while tickled pink to have $1.25 trillion in toxic assets covered by the feds, along with hundreds of billions in direct handouts, are not using that money to turn around the free fall in housing foreclosures.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009 READ MORE

Obama ‘Strongly Condemns’ Iran Crackdown

The president opened his Tuesday press conference by saying, “The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions… .”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / @@:@@

Iran Election Watchdog Stands by Results

Iran’s Guardian Council has found “no major fraud or breach in the election” and will not annul the vote, a spokesman announced Tuesday. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, jumped into the fray, calling on the Iranian government to “respect fundamental civil and political rights.”

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE

Friendly Advice

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Iran Dilemma

The president’s initial caution served the interests of freedom by making clear that the revolt against Iran’s flawed election is homegrown. As the struggle continues, we cannot pretend that we are indifferent to its outcome.

Posted on Jun 21, 2009 READ MORE

Max Baucus

Health Care Fail

By one estimate, Sen. Max Baucus gets about $1,500 a day from the health industry. Who put this man in charge of health care reform? The senator’s latest innovation in compromise is to slash proposed insurance subsidies in a bid to get Republicans on board. And forget about a government-run insurance program.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Erica J. Knight

Congress Funds Wars With Billions to Spare

After the president signs a $106 billion emergency supplemental, the U.S. will have shelled out about $1 trillion in “emergency” funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—not including the Pentagon’s obscene annual budget, exponentially expanding health care costs for wounded troops, and the interest on all that debt. True to form, lawmakers threw in $2.7 billion worth of cargo planes no one asked for.

Posted on Jun 18, 2009 READ MORE

Congre$$, Heal Thyself

As the Obama administration pushes for a vote on health care reform before Congress recesses in August, has health industry money too thoroughly polluted the process for anything good to come of it?

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE

The Lesser of Two Spuds

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE    

The Justice Business

The appearance of extreme political impropriety is sometimes just too extreme, according to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in a case that shines a brutal light on the spiral of campaign contributions that threaten to compromise too many state courts.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 READ MORE

Flickr / ivanx

An Army of Fun

Here we go again. The Center for Public Integrity crunched the numbers and found that between 1998 and 2007, Defense Department personnel enjoyed “more than 22,000 trips worth at least $26 million, sponsored by an array of foreign governments, private companies and other groups which have business with the Pentagon.”

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE

Sheila Bair
AP photo / J. David Ake

A Republican to Save Us

You probably don’t know much about Sheila Bair, but she is looking out for you, and that is why the big guys on Wall Street and their allies in the Obama administration are out to get her.

Posted on Jun 10, 2009 READ MORE

Two Men Who Stood Under the Plunderers’ Knives

Ken Saro-Wiwa and Alberto Pizango never met, but they are united by a passion for the preservation of their people and their land, and by the fervor with which they were targeted by their respective governments.

Posted on Jun 9, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Outrage—and Business as Usual

The public face of Congress is angry and outraged at all the bad behavior by banks, but in the other Washington, the financial industry continues to have its way.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE


Jeff Kreisler’s ‘Get Rich Cheating’

This satirical infomercial summarizes Jeff Kreisler’s new book, “Get Rich Cheating.”

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE

Like a cop car
USA Today

Mexican Mayors Arrested

Twenty-seven politicians in the western Mexican state of Michoacan were arrested by police in the largest operation to target mayors and other officials in Mexico’s drug war. The politicians are suspected of collaborating with the state’s powerful narco-syndicates.

Posted on May 27, 2009 READ MORE

Former South Korean President Commits Suicide

Roh Moo-hyun, South Korea’s ex-president, died Saturday after jumping off a cliff while hiking near his rural home in the country’s southeast. Roh had been implicated in a corruption scandal and left a suicide note behind, according to The New York Times.

Posted on May 22, 2009 READ MORE


Judge: Blago Show a No-Go

Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich had high hopes of recouping his public image—or at least making a little cash—by joining a gaggle of “famous” people willing to do anything to stay in the limelight (putting it generously) in NBC’s reality show “I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!” But alas, those dreams have been dashed.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE

Harald Dettenborn

Report: Rep. Harman Mixed Up With AIPAC, Espionage and Alberto Gonzales

Rep. Jane Harman agreed to go to bat for two AIPAC officials accused of espionage, in exchange for which an Israeli spy would try to get her appointed to chair the House Intelligence Committee, according to Congressional Quarterly. The NSA reportedly captured an exchange between Harman and the spy, during which the congresswoman allegedly said, “This conversation doesn’t exist.”

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Next Top Douche Bag

Only 24 hours after pleading not guilty to racketeering and fraud charges on Tuesday, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has accepted a reality television deal to be one of 10 contestants competing in “I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!” As if his hair was destined for anything but television stardom?

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich Pleads Not Guilty

Riffing on a Teddy Roosevelt quotation, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich maintained his defiant (or delusional?) stance to reporters outside Chicago’s U.S. District Courthouse after pleading not guilty to 16 federal criminal charges on Tuesday.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE

The Best Investment Money Can Buy

In the last decade, the financial industry’s $5 billion investment in campaign contributions and lobbyists resulted in deregulation and boatloads of free money. By Bloomberg News’ account, $12.8 trillion worth of taxpayer loans, grants and guarantees—all to Wall Street.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / Seth Perlman

Blagojevich Racks Up 16 Felony Charges

It’s now eminently clear that former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s media blitz to gain sympathy after he was ousted from office in January hasn’t helped his case, as he was charged with a whopping 16 felony counts on Thursday. However, Blagojevich wasn’t in Chicago to receive the bad news in person—he was vacationing near Disney World with his family.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE

Close These Refuges for Scoundrels

The story of former AIG executive Joseph Cassano points up once more how tax and regulatory havens across the world encourage nefarious conduct, lack of transparency, evasion of taxes and corporate criminality.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE by way of Wikimedia Commons

Justice Dept. Wants Stevens Conviction, Charges Dropped

Former Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska probably lost his seat because he was convicted of corruption charges, but now his guilt may be in doubt. At the direction of Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department has asked a federal judge to set aside the verdict and dismiss the indictment because of prosecutorial shenanigans.

Posted on Apr 1, 2009 READ MORE


‘The American Way of War’ in 2009

We certainly saw evidence that President Eisenhower’s famous warning about the dangers of an insatiable U.S. “military-industrial complex” rang true during the Bush administration, but how about now?

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE

Wikimedia Commons / The White House

Move Over, President Karzai, Here Comes Your Prime Minister

In an attempt to weaken Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s grip on power, certain powers that be from the West are creating a brand new prime minister position and planning to redirect funds from Karzai’s headquarters in Kabul to the provinces.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE

AP photo / M. Spencer Green

America Is in Need of a Moral Bailout

The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success, always defined in terms of money and power, is its own justification. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse.

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE

Warren CIA

Sex Scandal Calls CIA’s Self-Policing Into Question

A CIA sex scandal, or, more precisely, allegations that a CIA agent raped two Algerian women, has raised questions in Congress about how the agency polices itself. Oddly, discussions of the controversy have failed to emphasize another significant “oops” moment in CIA operations regarding corruption and the need for oversight: torture.

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 READ MORE

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