Tag Archives | Corruption

For-Profit Prison Corporation Accused Of Partnering With Violent Gangs To Run Jail

Corrections Corporation of America is accused of using targeted prison gang violence as a cost-saving measure, ThinkProgress reports:

A lawsuit brought by eight inmates of the Idaho Correctional Center alleges that the company is cutting back on personnel costs by partnering with violent prison gangs to help control the facility. Court documents and an investigative report issued by the state’s Department of Corrections show how guards routinely looked the other way when gang members violated basic facility rules, negotiated with gang leaders on the cell placement of new inmates, and may have even helped one group of inmates plan a violent attack on members of a rival gang.

The inmates contend that officials at the prison — the state’s largest, with more than 2,000 beds — use gang violence and the threat of gang violence as an “inexpensive device to gain control over the inmate population,” according to the lawsuit, and foster and develop criminal gangs.”

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Daily Beast’s David Frum on American Corruption

David Frum discusses American corruption at the University of Florida: "...what we now see are members voting for very specific investment-oriented things in which they share the benefit with ten people, or twelve people. And finally there's this very haunting fact that whenever we study the stock portfolios of members of congress, they seem to do about twice as well as the market."
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The Pro-Cancer Lobby In Washington D.C.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof describes what he terms the “cancer lobby” — how major industry spends millions of dollars to influence Congress in support of carcinogenic chemicals:

Who knew that carcinogens had their own lobby in Washington? Just consider formaldehyde, which is found in everything from nail polish to kitchen countertops, fabric softeners to carpets. Largely because of its use in building materials, we breathe formaldehyde fumes when we’re inside our homes. According to government scientists, it causes cancer.

The chemical industry is working frantically to suppress that scientific consensus — because it fears “public confusion.” Big Chem apparently worries that you might be confused if you learned that formaldehyde caused cancer of the nose and throat, and perhaps leukemia.

The industry’s strategy is to lobby Congress to cut off money for the Report on Carcinogens, a 500-page consensus document published every two years by the National Institutes of Health, containing the best information about what agents cause cancer.

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Rep. Todd Akin: Write a Check if You Want My Attention

Via Raw Story: When it comes to politics, money talks and bullshit walks...right into public office. Most politicians aren't nearly as upfront about the connection between receiving loads of money and their willingness to pay attention to their constituents. Then again, most politicians aren't Rep. Todd Akin, currently running for senate in Missouri. Akin was perhaps a little too candid for his own good at a Kansas City Fair Tax meeting in May when he answered a question about the best way to contact a member of congress. The campaign to re-elect his opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, uploaded the audio just a couple of days ago:
“I’m in a three way primary for the U.S. Senate. I’ve gone to people and asked for their support, their help, or their endorsement and some people say yes. They write me a decent check. I remember that… You remember who’s helping you. That’s one way that people get to know Congressmen and Senators.”
Read more at Raw Story.
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Pfizer Ordered to Pay US Government $60 Million in Connection with Bribery Charges

 

Photo: Candy (CC)

Via BBC News:

Pharmaceutical giant has Pfizer has agreed to pay the United States government $60 million to settle charges that its representatives bribed health care officials in Europe and Asia to secure lucrative contract. The company admits no wrongdoing:

The US drugs giant does not admit any guilt.

“Pfizer subsidiaries in several countries had bribery so entwined in their sales culture that they offered points and bonus programs to improperly reward foreign officials who proved to be their best customers,” said Kara Brockmeyer, chief of the SEC’s foreign enforcement division, which made the allegations.

The countries involved are Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Serbia.

Sixty million dollars may sound like a lot of money, but it’s practically peanuts to Phizer: The company grossed almost $48 billion in income last year.

Read the rest of the story at BBC News.… Read the rest

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Matt Taibbi Explains The LIBOR Bankster Scam

Disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer just might have a future as a talk show host if he keeps booking amazing guests like Matt Taibbi for Current TV:

…Barclays CEO Bob Diamond recently resigned after the bank was fined $453 million for its part in the scandal, which involved manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a key global benchmark for interest rates, by essentially “faking their credit scores,” according to Taibbi. And as Taibbi explains, Barclays couldn’t have acted alone.

“It can’t just be Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland. In fact, it can’t even be four banks or even five banks,” he says. “Really, in the end it’s probably going to come out that it’s going to be all of them … involved in this. And that’s what’s critical for people to understand: that this is a cartel-style corruption.”…

[continues at Current TV]

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Whistle-Blowing Financial Website Screwed Over by Wells Fargo

Via ML-Implode:
ML-Implode.com discovered in the course of its normal banking activities that Wells Fargo had frozen its bank account with no warning. Upon inquiring at the local branch (which had no direct knowledge of the incident), it was discovered the account had been flagged “credit risk”, and slated to be immediately closed. These actions are more than slightly unusual because ML-Implode’s account was a plain checking account and was not an underwritten account. In fact, ML-Implode paid a monthly fee for the account, so Wells Fargo was certainly doing it no favors. While the site is effectively insolvent (due to the impact of multiple frivolous libel suits from corrupt mortgage, e.g. by the outlawed Grant America scheme) and thus typically had a minimal balance, there had been no problems with overdrafts and all charges and obligations were always dutifully covered...
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‘Inside Job’ Director Charles Ferguson Indicts Our ‘Predator Nation’

Bald EagleHail Caesar! The circle of those of us crusading for a jail-out of banksters, and not another bailout for them is widening, Our newest Commissar of Condemnation, Charles H. Ferguson, director of the film Inside Job is in the house with a new must-read book, Predator Nation, that documents and details how the financial elite and its values took over our culture and country.

When I first saw Ferguson’s film, coming out two years after my Plunder: The Crime Of Our Time on a similar subject, I was a bit jealous because of all the support he attracted from Sony and Hollywood insiders who waged a successful Oscar campaign on its behalf. He had access to big money for a film on big money, after selling a software company. He could afford high production values but also the kind of marketing that Indy filmmakers like myself dream about.

As a PhD, former business executive and government advisor, Ferguson had developed a keen skill for synthesizing information and creating a filmic “explainer,” almost like a big screen power-point presentation, that recounts how we got into this financial crisis through government deregulation/complicity.… Read the rest

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Iceberg Ahead: The Big Money That is Sinking Democracy

TitanicI keep thinking of that clear April night 100 years ago when the unsinkable RMS Titanic steamed towards New York. It was actually on its way to dock just a few blocks from where I live at what are now the Chelsea Piers. There was a sense of optimism abroad as a new record for a speedy transatlantic passage was about to be set.

There was music, dancing and fine wine. That is, until they saw that iceberg high in the water. The captain and his mates were aware that 80 percent of it was underwater and out of sight. They didn’t react in time.

Everyone knows the story—most recently recreated in 3D—but the lesson is really not just about that great ship that went down, or even the company that bypassed safety regulations, or even the hubris of the owners whose greed sent so many passengers to that legendary “watery grave.”

It was also about not seeing the dangers in front of us.… Read the rest

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