Archive for scandal – Page 2

Scott #Walker part of "criminal scheme;" prosecutor closing in on Chris #Christie

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When it rains it pours in GOP ScandalLand! Today's episode includes some ominous news for both criminal (allegedly) Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and everyone's favorite entertainer, criminal (allegedly) Gov. Chris "Who moi?" Christie of New Jersey.

Where to begin? All my salivating is distracting me, but not enough to prevent bringing you the latest.

Let's start with Scott "Who Needs a Recall When We Have a Legal Case?" Walker. Politico has the scoop:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker participated in a “criminal scheme” to coordinate fundraising for Republicans trying to beat back efforts to recall him and state senators from office, local prosecutors argue in court documents released Thursday.

Walker, his chief of staff and others were involved in the coordination effort with “a number of national groups and prominent figures,” including Karl Rove, special prosecutor Francis Schmitz alleged.

“[T]he evidence shows an extensive coordination scheme that pervaded nearly every aspect of the campaign activities during the historic 2011 and 2012 Wisconsin Senate and Gubernatorial recall elections,” Schmitz wrote in a December motion, on behalf of five attorneys from some of the state’s most liberal counties, just now unsealed by an appellate court judge.

Ruh roh!

Scotty's in a neck-and-neck race for re-election, so this may very well complicate matters for him. And don't even get me started about his shrinking chances for a 2016 presidential run. Dems are ecstatic.

Moving on to Bridgegate and poor, put-upon Gov. "Heartbroken." This reporting comes via Esquire, where the sub-headline is "Indictments against four cronies are near certain, sources say. Only question is if David Samson, Christie's longtime crony, will flip."

naked nude man covers crotch ouch

Two sources with intimate knowledge of the case say Fishman’s pace is quickening -- he has empaneled a second grand jury, and the U.S. Justice Department has sent assistant prosecutors and FBI agents to work the case. [...]

Fishman’s challenge is to nail down specific criminal charges on several fronts -- the diversion of Port Authority money to fund New Jersey road and bridge projects; the four-day rush-hour closures of George Washington Bridge lanes in Ft. Lee; and a web of real-estate deals spun by David Samson, long a Christie crony, when he chaired the PA’s Board of Commissioners as Christie’s appointee. [...]

The question that truly matters is whether Fishman’s pursuit leads to the governor himself. Christie’s Port appointees -- not only Samson, but former PA Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni and his oddball sidekick David Wildstein -- all face near-certain indictment and are being pressed to hand up Christie, as is the governor’s former chief counsel, Charlie McKenna... Fishman has cut no deals with anyone so far, and the looming indictments have encouraged Christie’s PA appointees to sing.

On source said that Samson "is toast." "They’ve got him cold... He got sloppy, arrogant, and greedy. Samson will want a deal."

GIF happy DancingSnoopy

Both articles are must-reads, and they're relatively short, so have at it.

What was that again about 2016? Methinks we may have a twofer here. With any luck, we can show both lying, arrogant, slimeball Republican governors the door.

buh bye by Kelly Kincaid

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GM's Mary Barra Fires Employees But Spares Herself

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Doesn't it seem to always be the case when there's a corporate problem, the first thing the bosses do is point fingers? The toppers never want to take responsibility themselves. It was some low-ranking employees and the CEO was left out in the dark. Somewhere along the line, after they've fired those who were directly hands on, the light starts to reflect back at them. Then there's very few places they can hide.

Well today, the lights at General Motors were shined on 20 key employees, 15 of whom were fired and 5 who were reprimanded over the company’s failure to disclose a defect with ignition switches that is now linked to at least 13 deaths.

This all stems back to 2001 and has continued up until recently -- both in General Motors lethal inactivity in responding to an issue they were totally aware of as well as their attempts to sweep this deadly flaw under the carpet.

Washington Post today reports:

Mary Barra jpeg

“I hate sharing this with you just as much as you hate hearing it,” [General Motor's CEO] Barra told employees in a town hall meeting at GM’s suburban Detroit technical center. “But I want you to hear it. I want you to remember it. I want you to never forget it.” Barra promised to “fix the failures in our system.”

Does Barra really mean what she's saying? Consider this, she's not among the 20 people singled out for firing or discipline.

Why should she be? Because a quick look at her employment at GM. She started working for General Motors at the age of 18 in 1980 and subsequently held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, including being manager of the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly. Is she trying to say she had no idea what was going on? I suppose it's possible, but...

From General Motors website:

Prior to her current position, Barra served as Executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing Supply Chain since August 2013, and as Senior Vice President, Global Product Development since February 2011. In these roles, she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management and quality of GM vehicles around the world.

Previously, Barra served as GM Vice President, Global Human Resources; Vice President, Global Manufacturing Engineering; Plant Manager, Detroit Hamtramck Assembly; Executive Director of Competitive Operations Engineering; and in several engineering and staff positions.

Hello. The ignition catastrophe was an engineering design problem. That falls right under Barra's purview which brings us all back to the beginning. Finger pointing and assigning blame when it's really the guilty who should be taking the fall. I don't think Barra directly was responsible for the design flaw. But was she aware of it if these other 20 people were? Apply some simple logic here and decide for yourself-- in this case, did a guilty co-conspirator get promoted in order to put out the fire?

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"Voters need to keep the source of scandal -mongering in mind when they're at the polls"

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The VA scandal is real, and it's disturbing as hell. Nobody disputes that. On the bright side (*sarcasm*), Fox News contributor Ben Carson went so far as to call the VA scandal "a gift from God." What a guy, what. a. guy.

But there is more to the VA mess than playing the blame game. Scape-goating won't fix the problem, because the problem is systemic. So, while the GOP insists on exploiting what's left of their Benghazi!!!! and IRS smears as "scandals," they have proven not to be. The Veterans Affairs story, on the other hand, is, but it involves a number of components.

For example, via HuffPo: 41 Republican Senators Voted Against a Landmark Veterans Bill in February, Today They Blame the VA.

Here are some additional takes on "Another Obama scandal? Consider the source" via today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

It would be hard to disagree with Cathleen Decker's assertion that the Obama White House has an image of "one mess after another." It's largely composed of anything that will stick to the shovels of those digging for dirt, from tea party enemies to Fox News to House Republicans who sense danger for their party. ("VA crisis echoes Obamacare's stumbles: 'Drip, drip, drip,'" May 24)

Voters need to keep the source of the scandal-mongering in mind when they're at the polls. Having a Democratic-controlled Congress would be a big step back to collegial debate without shutdowns, intentional distortions and false scandals.

Jules Brenner

Hollywood

***

If a detailed, accurate evaluation of the current problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals is carried out, my guess is that it will show that the VA has had to shoulder huge additional responsibilities because of aging veterans and new ones from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, all of whom clearly deserve all that they have been promised. But the funding to fulfill those promises has been grossly inadequate.

We need to learn who is responsible. If it is the result of Congress failing to fund services, then those members responsible need to accept the blame.

Gertrude Barden

Porter Ranch

***

I am an older veteran who has only recently needed help. I found that the wait time for appointments has been as quick as with my private doctors, and the help at the VA clinic in South L.A. has been both friendly and professional.

If I had to find fault, it would be with the coffee — it's a little strong for my taste.

Oliver Eugene Thomas

Pasadena

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Judge who ended #Walker probe attended junkets financed by Kochs (VIDEO)

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A judge is supposed to be impartial. A judge, well, judges, and so he or she must be fair and dispassionate. A judge should not feel pressured or indebted to any party while rendering a decision. He or she should only rely on evidence presented.

So, when reports surfaced that the judge who halted the Walker "John Doe" criminal investigation attended all-expenses paid "judicial junkets," that raised a few eyebrows. Why?

Those little "junkets" were funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, and other ideological and corporate interests. And by now, it's common knowledge that Walker and the Kochs are BFF. Well, Walker and the Kochs' wallets are BFF, because nothing defines friendship like corporate cash.

Did I mention that same judge has an assistant who is married to a Walker campaign lawyer?

Chris Hayes covered the corrupt judge story on "All In" last night. PR Watch wrote it up a few days ago:

On May 6, federal District Court Judge Rudolph Randa blocked an ongoing John Doe criminal probe into allegedly illegal coordination between nonprofit groups like Wisconsin Club for Growth, which spent $9.1 million on electoral ads during Wisconsin's recall elections, and the recall campaigns of Governor Scott Walker and state senators. John Doe investigations are similar to grand jury investigations, and Wisconsin Club for Growth -- and its director, Eric O'Keefe, a longtime compatriot of the Koch brothers -- asked the federal court to stop the probe, alleging it violated their "free speech" rights.

Judge Randa sided with O'Keefe, and also ordered prosecutors to destroy all evidence gathered in the investigation, an extraordinary edict in a criminal case made even more astounding by the fact that it came in the context of a preliminary injunction. The Seventh Circuit has blocked this part of his ruling; an appeal of the remainder of his decision is pending.

An analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy shows that Judge Randa attended privately-funded, all-expenses-paid judicial seminars put on by George Mason University in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012, according to publicly-available financial disclosure forms. (The 2013 disclosure form has been requested but has not yet been publicly posted).

The George Mason University seminars are bankrolled by a long list of right-wing foundations, like Koch, Bradley, and the Searle Freedom Trust, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and corporations like BP, Exxon Mobil, and Dow Chemical.

Much more at the link.

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Fox News contributor Ben Carson: VA scandal "is a gift from God." (VIDEO)

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Dr Ben Carson Fox VA scandal gift from god

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Above is a Media Matters video of what retired neurosurgeon and Fox News [sic] contributor, Dr. Ben Carson, said (out loud) on one of their broadcasts. He was being interviewed about the Veterans Affairs scandal involving the hospital backlogs when he made his thoughtless comments. Apparently the "doctor" has very little self-awareness and even less professionalism.

Short version: He exploited a simply terrible situation to bash Obamacare in the name of his god. Surprisingly, Ben Carson made no mention of-- BENGHAZI!!!!!! He must have been sleep-deprived or suffered a(nother) mental lapse to have omitted something as relevant as BENGHAZI!!!!!! from the conversation.

For Carson to have made such an egregious error should have resulted in Fox giving him the boot. He clearly failed to fall in line and regurgitate their default talking point. He committed the ultimate sin, especially at such an opportune time.

Ben Carson:

"I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider. And if we can’t get it right, with the relatively small number of veterans, how in the world are you going to do it with the entire population?... You guys [politicians] are servants, you're not rulers.”

His god is kinda twisted. And by his god, I mean Carson.

How Pollyanna of him to play his warped version of the Glad Game as the rest of the nation registers shock, sorrow, and outrage. And how unfortunate for him and ClusterFox that his rosy outlook on the deaths and deception of veterans was aired for all to witness.

It's documented now, Doc Carson. Be proud.

By the way, this is the guy who also said, "Obamacare is the worse thing since slavery."

H/t: TPM

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Matt Mowers, ex- #Christie aide, contradicts his boss on wooing mayor #Bridgegate

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Former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Matt Mowers, had a thing or two to say about a thing or two about Bridgegate. Remember Bridgegate? The scandal that rocked Christie's thuggy, nasty little world? The scandal that is currently being pushed aside in favor of Benghazi and Brainghazi and ThisGhazi and ThatGhazi? Matt Mowers testified for seven-- count 'em, seven!-- hours in front of the the legislative committee investigating the lane closings.

Matt Mowers did something else, too: He contradicted his boss. Ruh-roh. Anyone else out there suddenly have the word "retribution" pop into their mind?

Rachel Maddow covered the story during her election coverage last night, and noted that Bridgegate is not getting much attention these days, despite the fact that things are heating up. Watch the video above for her interview with John Wisniewski, the New Jersey Dem who is leading the investigation.

The New York Times has more:

The administration of Gov. Chris Christie worked to cultivate Fort Lee’s mayor for at least a year and a half before lanes were closed at the George Washington Bridge in an act of political retribution, according to testimony from a former aide to the governor on Tuesday.

The description of the efforts to woo the mayor seemed to run contrary to the governor’s statement after the lane closings exploded into a scandal in January that Mayor Mark Sokolich had never been on his “radar screen.”

So why in the world did Team Christie put lives at risk by closing down the lanes to the bridge?

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Boehner tweets pic of Benghazi Committee. So where's the photo of the fundraising letter?

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Republicans are so darned proud of their new Benghazi Committee that they could just burst. They were climbing all over each other to be included. Well, now, thanks to the Twitter Machine, we get to see exactly who won the Big Benghazi Committee Prize:

I tweeted my response: Got a pic of the fundraising letter? Boehner's costly and time-consuming witch hunt at the expense of four dead Americans, highlighting the GOP's blatant disregard for the deaths of four Americans, is appalling. Here are more tweets reacting to his Benghazi!!!! Ad that he'll likely robotically ignore (as he did questions about the fundraising) or never read:

From 2008:

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) is standing by the remarks he made yesterday that the Obamas are part of an “elitist-class…that thinks that they’re uppity.” According to the AP, Westmoreland says that he was unaware that the word was offensive...

Here are a few more Moments of Outrage:

David Spellman left out "exploitation" movie billboard. Moving on:

tv benghazi

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