Tag Archives | Corruption

Caller Posing As Major GOP Contributor Dupes Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Scott Walker is Mini-Mubarak!Well, we knew Wisconsin governor Scott Walker was morally and intellectually challenged, but a recent phonecall, as discussed in this expose in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provides some dramatic new details …

Madison — Gov. Scott Walker, believing he was talking to prominent financial backer David Koch, revealed to a Buffalo, N.Y., blogger Tuesday his strategies to deal with public-sector unions and to lure Democrats boycotting the Senate back to Wisconsin.

In the 20-minute talk, he also likened his tough stance to take away most bargaining rights from public workers to former President Ronald Reagan successfully combating the air-traffic controllers union three decades ago.

“That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall in the fall of Communism because from that point forward the Soviets and the Communists knew that Ronald Reagan wasn’t a pushover,” according to the recording.

He said he told his cabinet, “This is our moment. This is our time to change the course of history.”

Walker also discussed a plan to get his bill on union rights passed without Democrats who have boycotted the Senate.

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Matt Taibbi: Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

White CollarI have been a fan of Matt Taibbi’s work for quite some time, looks like he is asking the really “big” question in his most recent article (one that Danny Schechter, who Disinformation has worked with, has focused his work upon). I encourage you to read this article in Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi writes:

Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.

“Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”

I put down my notebook. “Just that?”

“That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail.

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Did Societies Evolve To Be Corrupt?

Riot PoliceGood question. Alasdair Wilkins asks on io9.com:

Corruption is as old as human history. For as long as people have organized themselves into groups with powerful leaders, those leaders have sometimes abused their power. But evolutionary biologists say corruption might actually be holding societies together.

That’s the theory put forward by evolutionary biologists Francisco Ubeda and Edgar Duenez. The pair used game theory to figure out why people cooperate to form a society even though the ones in charge are corrupt. The model they developed assumes that government officials and law enforcers — in other words, the individuals responsible for punishing noncooperators — can get away with a certain amount of noncooperation themselves in the form of corruption, and that they can sidestep most punishments when caught being corrupt.

Their findings make a lot of intuitive sense — most people will continue to cooperate to keep their society together, in part because they don’t want to be punished by law enforcers.

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400,000 Baby Chicks Killed By Bankrupt Poultry Farm

Dumping Baby Chicks

Photo: Dmitry Noskoff

Stephen Messenger writes in treehugger:

Poultry workers reportedly wept as they carried out their grim task — overseeing the death of about 400 thousand newborn chicks by drowning them in water or simply dumping them in rusty barrels outside where they would succumb to the freezing winter air. Around 600,000 more birds, housed at Russia’s Krasnaya Polyana poultry farm have died of malnutrition, and the lives of 3 million others await a similar fate. A $190,000 tax debt, says the farm, has forced them to declare bankruptcy, leading to this killing of chickens on a horrific scale.

The poultry farm, located in the region of Kursk, is owned by Russian parliament member Alexander Chetverikov — and he says declaring bankruptcy, which has forced the deaths of about 1 million chickens, was his only recourse after he became the target of a political conspiracy aimed at putting him in financial ruin.

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Nigeria Charges Dick Cheney With Bribery

Georgia US CheneyDick Cheney is facing arrest on corruption charges…in Nigeria. You can’t get much more shady then that. The BBC reports:

Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency is to charge former US Vice-President Dick Cheney over a bribery scandal that involves a former subsidiary of energy firm Halliburton. The case centers on engineering firm KBR, which admitted bribing officials. Mr Cheney was Halliburton’s chief executive before becoming vice-president to George W Bush in 2001.

KBR last year pleaded guilty to paying $180m (£115m) in bribes to Nigerian officials prior to 2007, when it was a subsidiary of Halliburton. The firm agreed to pay $579m (£372m) in fines related to the case in the US. But Nigeria, along with France and Switzerland, has conducted its own investigations into the case.

Mr Cheney’s lawyer, Terence O’Donnell, said US investigators had “found no suggestion of any impropriety by Dick Cheney in his role of CEO of Halliburton.”

“Any suggestion of misconduct on his part, made now, years later, is entirely baseless,” Mr O’Donnell said.

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Tom DeLay Found Guilty Of Money Laundering, Facing Prison Sentence

jpDELAY-popupOld Disinfo fave Tom DeLay finally received what he had coming to him last week — the former House majority leader could be facing 5 to 99 years in prison after being found guilty of money-laundering. It’s nice to see the Hammer get nailed. The New York Times reports:

Tom DeLay, one of the most powerful and divisive Republican lawmakers ever to come out of Texas, was convicted Wednesday of money-laundering charges in a state trial, five years after his indictment here forced him to resign as majority leader in the House of Representatives.

After 19 hours of deliberation, a jury of six men and six women decided that Mr. DeLay was guilty of conspiring with two associates in 2002 to circumvent a state law against corporate contributions to political campaigns. He was convicted of one charge of money laundering and one charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

As the verdict was read, Mr.

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Doctors & Drug Companies – Just Doing Business?

Logo for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Logo for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

CBS News nails it pretty well in the first sentence of this report:

In other industries you might call it a bribe, but when drug companies provide travel expenses, consulting fees and other goodies to doctors, it’s just called doing business.

At least that’s the conclusion of a new study by the Mongan Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital, which took the moral pulse of 1,900 physicians across the country.

The good news? The number of docs on the dole has fallen from an astounding 94 percent in 2004. The bad news? Three quarters of America’s physicians still take some kind of hand outs from companies who want them to prescribe their medicine to their patients, according the study.

And it seems to work.

Doctors with “industry relationships” were more likely to self-report prescribing big ticket drugs, according to the paper.

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Bill Moyers: Welcome To Plutocracy!

Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers

Mr. Moyers delivers his take on what went wrong, where it’s leading, and what to do about it. Take it as you will, but I think it nails the big issues right to the wall for all to see. Via TruthOut:

Bill Moyers speech at Boston University on October 29, 2010, as a part of the Howard Zinn Lecture Series.

I was honored when you asked me to join in celebrating Howard Zinn’s life and legacy. I was also surprised. I am a journalist, not a historian. The difference between a journalist and an historian is that the historian knows the difference. George Bernard Shaw once complained that journalists are seemingly unable to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. In fact, some epic history can start out as a minor incident. A young man named Paris ran off with a beautiful woman who was married to someone else, and the civilization of Troy began to unwind.

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We Are Change LA Member Jailed for “Involuntary Facial Expressions”

Bruno Bruhwilher

Bruno Bruhwilher

Your support is needed at wacla.org and www.free-bruno.org.

WeAreChangeLA’s lead organizer Bruno Bruhwiler is being targeted as a terrorist threat. It all began when Bruno was sitting in the audience at a civil hearing for another WACLA member. The Judge literally did not like Bruno’s involuntary facial expressions, and ordered him out of the courtroom.

He was detained in the hall after asking to see the officers’ ID cards before he left the building. They are required according to their own manual to provide ID upon request, but apparently don’t like to be asked for it. When the supervising officer ordered Bruno to turn around and put his hands behind his back, Bruno instantly turned around and put his hands behind his back with absolutely no resistance.

At first he was supposedly being detained for trespassing (which is a misdemeanor) but of course, you can’t trespass on public property so then they dropped trespassing and told him he was being detained for a public disturbance.… Read the rest

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