Archive for corruption

Stew of corruption: Just add politicians, cash, and simmer.

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culture of corruption

Last night, Rachel Maddow did a segment on several recent corruption scandals involving state level politicians, in this case Democrats. It was pretty jaw-dropping. Included in her report was the arrest yesterday of California State Sen. Leland Yee:

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This morning, I came across this Los Angeles Times article about Yee and noticed this:

Democrat Derek Cressman, one of Yee's opponents in the secretary of state race, called his arrest a "wake-up call."

"We are clearly beyond the point of looking at one bad apple and instead looking at a corrupt institution in the California Senate," Cressman said. "The constant begging for campaign cash clearly has a corrosive effect on a person's soul and the only solution is to get big money out of our politics once and for all."

Then I saw this Los Angeles Times editorial:

This page has been firm in its opposition to the NRA's abject disdain of the public good in pursuing its warped view of the 2nd Amendment's right to bear arms and its bullying approach to the political process. But the blame for this national insanity should not be placed entirely on the NRA. Politicians respond to the group's pressure out of fear, knowing that their jobs often depend on low-turnout, one-party primaries in which fringe passions are amplified.

In other words, if politicians don't respond to the NRA's bullying, they can kiss their donations good-bye, and some other extremist will win the cash... and the day.

Thank you Supreme Court and Citizens United, for turning campaign finance laws on their heads, for allowing super PACs and billionaires to call the shots and buy our elections, and for giving toxic organizations like the NRA the leeway to exert their influence on election outcomes. The result? More corruption and less democracy.

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No Race Based Assumptions Here -- Really? Watch The Cops

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For those who think race assumptions and racial bias are slackening and tolerance is improving in this country, here's a quick reminder that we haven't moved very much. If you're white, go ahead, steal a car. It's okay because you're, you know, white. You're superior.

Now if you're black, don't even try to walk by a car. You're obviously trying to steal it.

Here's a very unscientific experiment caught on video. I think it will reassure you that we have a long way to go -- especially if you're a cop.

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You Won't Believe What This Cop Did -- And His Chief Defends Him

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I mean you can't make sh*t like this up. And of course, it happened in my native Massachusetts, so there's no doubt in my mind it's true. We produce police corruption like it was baked beans.

The details are simple. A cop is on his phone, illegally working a security detail. He's swearing and using the "F-bomb" incessantly. A nearby neighbor sitting on his porch across the street was offended by the language so he approached the cop and asked him to please watch his language. The cop did what you'd expect. He swore at the guy, called him names and told him to scram.

The citizen returned to his own house, sat on his porch and heard more foul language. He took out his iPhone and recorded the cop. The cop saw this, then came over and arrested the citizen sitting on his own porch for wiretapping.

If that wasn't enough, the phone was confiscated by the police and held by them as evidence. Two days later, the recording on the phone is discovered erased-- while in police custody. They cops are now blaming the arrested man who didn't even have access to his phone. This evidence, by the way would have supported the accused man's case.

This is Beantown Madness, and not the kind that comes with a Red Sox World Championship.

Watch for yourself.

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Kids For Cash -- Judges Sold Children For Profit

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Kids Children

This weekend a new documentary called Kids For Cash, The Movie opens nationwide. It contains some very startling revelations about justice, children and dirty judges who sold them for profit. For many of us, this shocking story will seem surreal. Imagine you're a parent and your child is accused of a prank or joke. Not a real crime. Here's what happened in Pennsylvania, according to the NY Times:

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Things were different in the Luzerne County juvenile courtroom, and everyone knew it. Proceedings on average took less than two minutes. Detention center workers were told in advance how many juveniles to expect at the end of each day — even before hearings to determine their innocence or guilt. Lawyers told families not to bother hiring them. They would not be allowed to speak anyway.

Why and how would a judge be allowed this shadow justice -- this attack against innocent kids or ones whose crime in any other jurisdiction would result in probation or a scolding? Money!

In what authorities are calling the biggest legal scandal in state history, the two judges [ Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. and Judge Michael T. Conahan] pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud in a scheme that involved sending thousands of juveniles to two private detention centers in exchange for $2.6 million in kickbacks.

The root of this evil, of course are the perpetrators, the two judges. But what's behind this all is the justice system, one that rewards the incarceration of men, women and children. These REWARDS are paid by... private detention centers. That's right. The private profit-making jails. These corporate-run cesspools are allowed to exist under lighter and less supervised oversight than state-run facilities. Hellholes fraught with unbridled horrors and torture. These Gitmo-like facilities make their highest profits when they run at full capacity. And how best to keep the occupancy rate high? Offer kickbacks to judges who will turn their backs on justice. In essence, this is legalized slavery and the slave sellers are men and women in black robes.

Rev. Al Sharpton had a woman and her daughter on his show who together helped break this scheme wide open. Here's a piece from that interview on Politics Nation that will open your eyes and perhaps even turn your stomach.

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Will FBI's Win Streak Stop At 150-0 Or Does Their Cheating Continue?

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FBI Badge

"Nobody is supposed to be above the law in this country," says Rachel Maddow. "Even the FBI." That sounds pretty solid in my book. Yet a few months ago the New York Times reported about 150 FBI shooting incidents which the Bureau internally reviewed and found that all 150 incidents were wholly justified. None were found to be accidental, negligent or criminal. None. 150 cases heard and all 150 determined to be "good" shootings.

That's amazing. A perfect record. In professional football if you go 16-0 you go down in the record books. In the modern NFL football era, it's only happened twice, and they only have 16 regular season games. In baseball it's never happened. Not in the NBA either. Or Hockey. Add basketball to the list of an elusive perfect seasons. When you play more than a handful of games, perfection is just not something that happens. Not even once.

So how is it the FBI has a perfect 150-0 record? Watch Rachel Maddow discuss this below. And what's even more interesting than the perfect record itself is the secrecy and conspiracy necessary to make this happen. Arresting innocent people so their visas expire allowing the government to expel witnesses to FBI shootings from our shores to keep them quiet. Taking innocent people and unarmed people and blowing them away or deporting them to Russia where they disappear, just so they can't testify against the FBI. If you think this is another installment of Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne adventures, it's not -- so far. But Hollywood can't be very far behind with a film treatment of this expose. They may start with the Boston Magazine story which comes out in a few days: The Murders Before The Marathon.

If you can't wait to read it or rather watch it revealed by none other than Massachusetts resident, Rachel Maddow, here you go.

WARNING: But be prepared for some graphic, disturbing images... and some moral outrage.

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Corruption Across the European Union 'Breathtaking' (EU Report)

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I just found this story on the BBC:

Corruption Across the European Union 'Breathtaking'

Note: the map represents the results of the question "Are you personally affected by corruption in daily life?' - not the actual results of the survey.

What I find strange about the story is that I lived in and traveled through Europe for about 17 years and was never asked for a bribe or felt that others were being asked for them or giving them unbidden.

I'm trying to figure at what level this corruption took place, perhaps if you were looking for building permits or dispensations from safety regulations.

I do wonder why the difference between north and south is so high. I do remember many stories from travelers to the former Soviet Union of constantly being asked for bribes to get the simplest things done. I have no idea if anything has changed since then (ca 15 years ago).

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Paging Lorraine Bracco - Dr. Bracco...

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TJBracco01

Written by guest contributor, "hardybear" of the wonderful Free Range Talk site:

 The proper savoring of our annually grrrreat January tee vee viewing trifecta -- the Grammy's, SOTU and Superbowl mania --  has been brutally interrupted by two tri-state GOP Macho Macho Men.

Chris 'I Know Naw'thing' Christie has new muck being raked as we speak. Details of a Democratic mayor who DID get ample and speedy Sandy Funds for kissing up and following through on their gubernatorial quid commitments are the latest brick in the Fed built wall o' Humpty Dumpty. Keep the name Belleville in mind ... it may be renamed Waterloo.

No surprise that Christie is now reported by the New York Times as being genuine Joisey and WAY communiqué paranoid (in all candor he is hard to miss visually and the bulk of bullies have a sniveling inner coward constantly dodging fear).  It may his Nixon move, as we will soon have text messages to comb over a stem of nice dry Italian red.

What is a tough guy supposed to do when apologies and evasion fail? Let Hollywood come to the rescue. Lorraine Bracco, that magnificent dame, can get out one of those tailored skirts, grab a notepad and fly in to help Boy Wonder Christopher's career out of meltdown.

Dr. Jennifer Melfi.

In the Fifth response from his tribe, Staten Island [perfect, right?!] Republican Marine and pretend GOP Congressman from  Grimm threatened to hurl  local reporter Michael Scotto (a former msnbc man) off the effing dome balcony  either before after he broke him in half "like a boy" following SOTU.  Media Whiplash MoMo. This cat needs also some Anger Management help from L.A., dude has some serious High-T.

Goosfraba.

Conservatives must be all manhood-threatened,  gay couples were married legally for ten minutes in Utah for Gawd's sake.

 

Photo credit HBO dot com.

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