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Tag: Corruption


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

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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
senate.gov

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

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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


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

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


Blagojevich
weblogs.cltv.com

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


Blagojevich
wn.com

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
vowelmovers.files.wordpress.com

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


Blagojevich
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



senate.gov 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


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

‘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


Karzai
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
abcnews.com

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


The A Word

Recently, I’ve been groping for the precise word to characterize the zeitgeist of this (unfortunately) historic moment—a word I finally found during a visit last week to central Mexico.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
AP photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Burris: Symbolism Over Substance

As Sen. Roland Burris’ listening tour apparently deteriorates into a dismissing tour, perhaps black voters will finally abandon the politics of symbolism that Burris has eagerly manipulated. 

Posted on Feb 21, 2009 READ MORE


Sen. Burris
senate.gov

First Blagojevich, Next Burris?

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich didn’t go down without a big fight (or a full-on media assault), and judging by the comportment of his controversial Senate pick, Roland Burris, we can expect another show of defiance if Burris is put on trial for perjury.

Posted on Feb 20, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Explaining, Start Packing

Roland Burris, the woefully forgetful Illinois senator, should go home and stay there, and I’d advise taking a vow of silence as well.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / debaird

Congress for Sale

Nearly a quarter of the members of the House of Representatives find themselves embroiled in a lobbying scandal, with Rep. John Murtha at the center. One hundred four representatives earmarked more than $300 million in just one bill, allegedly in exchange for campaign contributions from a lobbying firm founded by a former Murtha protégé.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


Jailing Kids for Cash

As many as 5,000 children in Pennsylvania have been found guilty, and up to 2,000 of them jailed, by two corrupt judges who received kickbacks from the builders and owners of private prison facilities that benefited.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
senate.gov

Burris Did More for Blagojevich Than He Let On

Surprise! Roland Burris has no credibility. The man who condemned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for allegedly trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat—until he was appointed to it—has revealed that, contrary to what he told the United States Congress in sworn testimony, he tried to raise money, as requested, for the governor-turned-auctioneer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

Bad News From America’s Top Spy

It turns out that Wall Street, rather than Islamic jihad, has produced our most dangerous terrorists. Just ask the new director of national intelligence, who warned that the deepening economic crisis could trigger a return to the “violent extremism” of the 1920s and 1930s.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Mugabs and Tsvans
telegraph.co.uk

Tsvangirai to World: ‘Get Over’ Mugabe

Much like an unsympathetic friend counseling you after a breakup, recently installed Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is calling on the world to “get over” the wrongs of President Robert Mugabe.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


America Faces the Music in Davos

The American participants in this year’s World Economic Forum have been the first to confront the full international blowback to the U.S.-created world economic crisis, which has devastated the nation’s reputation for competence, along with the justification for its six-decade role as world leader.

Posted on Feb 1, 2009 READ MORE


Tsvangirai Beaten
dailymail.co.uk

Mugabe Learns How to Share ... Maybe

The ever-unfolding democratic drama in Zimbabwe has revealed a new, potentially less contentious chapter. Opposition leader and once-exiled politician Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will join a government as prime minister with President Robert Mugabe in a power-sharing agreement between the two rival parties.

Posted on Jan 30, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich

Blagojevich Pleads His Case

It was just politics as usual, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday of the corruption allegations that seem all but certain to upend his political career.

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 READ MORE



abc.go.com

Protecting the Homeland From Homeland Security

As previously reported on Truthdig, there’s a lot going on in Homeland Security that doesn’t make it onto the reality show of the same name. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s G.W. Schulz continues to dig into the department’s unsavory bits, including an immigration officer who was arrested for allegedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl in Rio while there on official business.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Blago Tapes Played at Impeachment Trial

Previously unreleased audio recordings of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich talking gambling legislation and campaign contributions were played in all their ignominy during his impeachment trial Tuesday. There’s a lot more going on here than a vacant Senate seat.

Posted on Jan 27, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

Illinois Senate Takes Up Blagojevich’s Case

He’s been airing his side of the story to the press; now it’s time for the Illinois Senate to actually decide Rod Blagojevich’s fate. On Monday, the impeached Illinois governor went on trial, and his prospects aren’t looking good.

Posted on Jan 26, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich

Blago Compares Himself to Gandhi, MLK and Mandela

A confession: We’ve been avoiding the news about embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose impeachment trial begins Monday. There are too many storm clouds on the horizon to waste time on this man’s circus. But we couldn’t help but pause to marvel at the chutzpah of the governor, who dropped this bombshell on Sunday.

Posted on Jan 25, 2009 READ MORE


General Motors Lobby
nation.co.ke

Post-Bailout, Lobbying Continues

Without skipping a beat, once-troubled financial entities are continuing to spend big to lobby Congress as they pocket billions in TARP bailout money. The lobbying is defended by the bail-outted firms as a “transparent and effective way” to be heard on policy issues.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich
The Economist

The Road to Impeachment

The Illinois House has voted to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich on charges of corruption—like, for example, trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder. The road to impeachment now leads to the Illinois state Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed to boot Blagojevich.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE



abc.go.com

‘Homeland Security USA’: The Outtakes

The inaugural episode of ABC’s newest reality television series did exactly as producer Arnold Shapiro told viewers it would: unabashedly celebrated the Department of Homeland Security. It also failed in every conceivable way to critically examine the largest reorganization of the federal government since World War II.

Posted on Jan 9, 2009 READ MORE


Now Is No Time for Phony Thrift

As the government contemplates spending very large sums of money, it is reassuring to know that somebody still worries about waste. Or it would be reassuring, if only that somebody were not Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


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