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OnyxCollie

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Member since: Wed Sep 14, 2005, 06:07 PM
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The Clinton Foundation.

Perhaps the most important modern institution in the field of group power-and it contrasts dramatically with Maitland's picture of clubs, religious associations, and charities preferring the hedge of the trust and the anonymity of unincorporated status- is the "foundation" which flourishes in contemporary America.

The foundation is largely an American creation. No doubt the accumulation of vast wealth was one reason for its rise; another-at least in the days when Carnegie, Rockefeller, and others perpetuated their names through their now world famous bequests-was unquestionably a desire of wealthy and successful men to purge their consciences before God and man and to justify the acquisitive society which had enabled them to accumulate enormous riches by leaving a vast proportion of their wealth for the benefit of mankind.6 But in recent years these reasons for the earlier foundations have become less important, and the incorporated foundation or trust has become predominantly a business device, a paramount instrument in the struggle between the demands of the modern Welfare State and the wish of the individual entrepreneur to perpetuate his fortune and his name. The greatest and most influential of the foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie) are the creations of individuals or families, but the large foundations of the future will increasingly be the creations of corporations. The desires to give and to perpetuate the name of the individual or corporate donor are undoubtedly still important motivations, but the immense growth in the number and size of foundations in recent years7 suggests that business considerations play an increasing role. By either bequeathing or giving during his lifetime a proportion of his estate to a permanent institution established for officially recognized charitable purposes, the donor, usually the controller of an industrial or business empire,8 achieves a number of purposes.9 In the United States gifts to such organizations are exempt from gift taxes, and bequests to them are deductible for estate tax purposes. The organizations themselves are normally exempt from income tax, property tax, and other taxes. A charitable gift intervivos is an allowable deduction from the taxable income of the donor.10 The absence of the latter privilege in English law may be one reason why incorporated charities are not so widespread in Britain (apart, of course, from the vastly greater capital wealth of United States business). Otherwise, motivations for the establishment of charitable companies are very similar." The arithmetics of these benefits vary from year to year and are, of course, subject to legislative changes. Unless, however, there were to be a fundamental change in legislation in regard to charitable gifts,12 the advantages of transferring both capital and annual income away from the personal estate of a taxpayer in the high income brackets or away from a corporation are very considerable.13 But in the age of the managerial revolution and the Welfare State, a motive at least equal to that of providing a suitable mechanism for philanthropy and a tax free reservoir for an otherwise highly taxable income is the power which the foundation gives to the controller of a business or industry to perpetuate his control.14

Friedmann, W. G. (1957). Corporate power, government by private groups, and the law. Columbia Law Review, 57(2), 155-186.


The Clinton Foundation - About
http://www.clintonfoundation.org/main/our-work/by-initiative/clinton-foundation-in-haiti/about.html

The Clinton Foundation has been actively engaged in Haiti since 2009, focusing on economic diversification, private sector investment and job creation in order to create long-term, sustainable economic development. After the devastating earthquake in 2010, President Clinton formed the Clinton Foundation Haiti Fund and raised $16.4 million from individual donors for immediate earthquake relief efforts. Since 2010, the Clinton Foundation has raised a total of $34 million for Haiti, including relief funds as well as projects focused on restoring Haiti's communities, sustainable development, education and capacity building. In 2012, the Clinton Foundation concentrated on creating sustainable economic growth in the four priority sectors of energy, tourism, agriculture, and apparel/manufacturing, working to bring new investors, develop and support local organizations and businesses, and create access to new markets. The Clinton Foundation also continued working to support government efforts to improve Haiti’s business environment and supported programs in education and capacity building.


Earthquake Relief Where Haiti Wasn’t Broken
By DEBORAH SONTAG JULY 5, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/world/americas/earthquake-relief-where-haiti-wasnt-broken.html

CARACOL, Haiti — On the first anniversary of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, in a sleepy corner of northeast Haiti far from the disaster zone, the Haitian government began the process of evicting 366 farmers from a large, fertile tract of land to clear the way for a new industrial park.

The farmers did not understand why the authorities wanted to replace productive agricultural land with factories in a rural country that had trouble feeding itself.
But, promised compensation, they did not protest a strange twist of fate that left them displaced by an earthquake that had not affected them. “We watched, voiceless,” Jean-Louis Saint Thomas, an elderly farmer, said. “The government paid us to shut us up.”

In Port-au-Prince, meanwhile, with rubble still clogging the streets, former President Bill Clinton, co-chairman of Haiti’s recovery commission, had celebrated the Caracol Industrial Park as a glimmer of hope during a ceremony cementing an agreement with the anchor tenant — Sae-A Trading, a South Korean clothing manufacturer and major supplier to American retailers like Walmart and Gap Inc.

“I know a couple places in America that would commit mayhem to get 20,000 jobs today,” Mr. Clinton said, referring to the jobs that Sae-A pledged to generate over six years. In exchange, thanks to a deal that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton helped broker, Sae-A looked forward to tax exemptions, duty-free access to the United States, abundant cheap labor, factory sheds, a power plant, a new port and an expatriate residence outfitted with special kimchi refrigerators.


Washington Backed Famous Brand-Name Contractors in Fight Against Haiti’s Minimum Wage Increase
http://www.haiti-liberte.com/archives/volume4-47/Washington%20Backed%20Famous.asp

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti worked closely with factory owners contracted by Levi’s, Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom to aggressively block a paltry minimum wage increase for Haitian assembly zone workers, the lowest paid in the hemisphere, according to secret State Department cables.

The factory owners refused to pay 62 cents an hour, or $5 per eight-hour day, as a measure unanimously passed by the Haitian parliament in June 2009 would have mandated. Behind the scenes, the factory owners had the vigorous backing of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Embassy,
show secret U.S. Embassy cables provided to Haïti Liberté by the transparency-advocacy group WikiLeaks.

The minimum daily wage had been 70 gourdes or $1.75 a day.

The factory owners told the Haitian parliament that they were willing to give workers a mere 9 cents an hour pay increase to 31 cents an hour – 100 gourdes daily – to make T-shirts, bras and underwear for U.S. clothing giants like Dockers and Nautica.


Report: State Department-Backed Garment Complex in Haiti Stealing Workers’ Wages
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/10/17/headlines#10179

A new report by the Worker Rights Consortium has found the majority of workers in Haiti’s garment industry are being denied nearly a third of the wages they are legally owed due to widespread wage theft. The new evidence builds on an earlier report that found every single one of Haiti’s export garment factories was illegally shortchanging workers. Workers in Haiti make clothes for U.S. retailers including Gap, Target, Kohl’s, Levi’s and Wal-Mart. The report highlighted abuses at the Caracol Industrial Park, a new factory complex heavily subsidized by the U.S. State Department, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Clinton Foundation and touted as a key part of Haiti’s post-earthquake recovery. The report found that, on average, workers at the complex are paid 34 percent less than the law requires. Haiti’s minimum wage for garment workers is between 60 and 90 cents an hour. More than three-quarters of workers interviewed for the report said they could not afford three meals a day.


Clintons' Pet Project for Privatized 'Aid' to Haiti Stealing Workers' Wages: Report
https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/10/16-4

Haiti's Caracol Industrial Park—the U.S. State Department and Clinton Foundation pet project to deliver aid and reconstruction to earthquake-ravaged Haiti in the form of private investment—is systematically stealing its garment workers' wages, paying them 34 percent less than minimum wage set by federal law, a breaking report from the Worker Rights Consortium reveals.

Critics charge that poverty wages illustrate the deep flaws with corporate models of so-called aid. "The failure of the Caracol Industrial Park to comply with minimum wage laws is a stain on the U.S.'s post-earthquake investments in Haiti and calls into question the sustainability and effectiveness of relying on the garment industry to lead Haiti's reconstruction," said Jake Johnston of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in an interview with Common Dreams.

Caracol is just one of five garment factories profiled in this damning report, released publicly on Wednesday, which finds that "the majority of Haitian garment workers are being denied nearly a third of the wages they are legally due as a result of the factories’ theft of their income." This is due to systematic employer cheating on piece-work and overtime, as well as failure to pay employees for hours worked.
...
Financers included the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. State Department, and the Clinton Foundation, who invested a total of $224 million with promises to uphold high labor standards. Its anchor tenant is the Korean S&H Global factory, which sells garments to Walmart, Target, Kohl's, and Old Navy, according to the report.


Group Says Haitian Garment Workers Are Shortchanged on Pay
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/world/americas/group-says-haitian-garment-workers-are-shortchanged-on-pay.html?_r=1&

MEXICO CITY — Garment factories in Haiti, the backbone of an effort to revive the country’s earthquake-shattered economy, have seriously shortchanged workers of their wages to keep costs of their T-shirts and other export goods low, according to a report to be issued Wednesday by a labor rights group.
World Twitter Logo.

The report, prepared by the Worker Rights Consortium, focused on 5 of Haiti’s 24 garment factories and found that “the majority of Haitian garment workers are being denied nearly a third of the wages they are legally due as a result of the factories’ theft of their income.”

The group said that the factories deprive workers of higher wages they are entitled to under law by setting difficult-to-meet production quotas and neglecting to pay overtime.

It said that offenders included the Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti, which the United States helped build and has cited as a centerpiece of reconstruction efforts, and factories that make products for prominent retailers like Gap, Target and Walmart.


The Clinton-Bush Fund has closed up shop in Haiti: Here are the fruits of neoliberal "charity"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022415607


In a country where the citizens are living in tents, the Clinton Foundation will give you a sweet deal on a home loan. (Low introductory APR, guaranteed not to skyrocket too soon!)

Tens of thousands still living in tents 5 years after Haiti earthquake
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article6005817.html

“The needs are so immense,” said Odnell David, a Haitian government housing division chief with the Unit for Housing Construction and Public Buildings. “For you to address the housing problem in Haiti, you also have to address all of the other problems in Haiti — employment, investments, education. All have to run parallel.”

Rather than build houses, David said, the government has decided it’s better to create the environment to motivate people to construct their own homes. It’s a philosophy that the government is also pushing with foreign donors, who like the government, have struggled to make good on promises to build tens of thousands of new homes to get Haitians out of the tents.

“A lot of minor interventions are still being done in Port-au-Prince, where you will see that they are still building houses to give to people,” said David, noting that while such ventures are appreciated, they would not build Haiti’s struggling economy.

“What we are saying is you need the government to invest, the people to invest and the private sector to invest to be certain you will have durable development,” he said. “If you don’t have this combination, we will always remain in the same situation.”


New Program Launched to Make Home Mortgages Available to Haitians
http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/new-program-launched-to-make-home-mortgages-available-to-haitians

MARCH 24, 2011

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has announced the launch of a $47 million program to make home mortgages more widely available in Haiti.

Jointly sponsored by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, the program will provide home mortgages and home-repair loans to low-income Haitians and small businesses affected by last year's earthquake. The Development Innovations Group will manage the program, pending approval by OPIC's board of directors in June after implementation details are finalized.

The program was approved last week by the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, a group formed in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake to review and approve projects funded by bilateral and multilateral donors, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. Funded by Haiti Reconstruction Fund ($10 million), the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund ($3 million), and OPIC ($34 million in debt funding), the program is modeled after similar efforts that have proved successful in other parts of the developing world.

"What Haiti needs today are smart investments that will create economic opportunities and lay the groundwork for long-term, sustainable growth," said Clinton Bush Haiti Fund CEO Gary Edson. "By providing funding for programs such as this, we're making it possible for ordinary Haitians to own their own home as well as their own future success and prosperity."


Bill Clinton met with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to get donations for his Foundation. (Republicans will likely ignore this bit of information, since Uribe's on the News Corporation Board of Directors.)

Uribe meets with Bill Clinton
http://colombiareports.com/uribe-meets-with-ex-us-president-bill-clinton/

Bill Clinton, ex-president of the United States and husband of the current U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met with Colombian president Alvaro Uribe on Wednesday in search of resources for the reconstruction of Haiti.

~snip~

While his wife is on a diplomatic tour of various Latin American countries, ex-president Clinton is using the opportunity to raise money for Haiti’s reconstruction following the devastating earthquake that happened there in January of this year. The money is being raised through Clinton’s own charity, the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton will also be taking a look at various projects in Colombia that the Clinton Foundation has helped fund while visiting the country.


Some background on Uribe (What a nice guy!):

U.S. INTELLIGENCE LISTED COLOMBIAN PRESIDENT URIBE AMONG "IMPORTANT COLOMBIAN NARCO-TRAFFICKERS" IN 1991
http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB131/

Then-Senator "Dedicated to Collaboration with the Medellín Cartel at High Government Levels"

Confidential DIA Report Had Uribe Alongside Pablo Escobar, Narco-Assassins

Uribe "Worked for the Medellín Cartel" and was a "Close Personal Friend of Pablo Escobar"

Washington, D.C., 1 August 2004 - Then-Senator and now President Álvaro Uribe Vélez of Colombia was a "close personal friend of Pablo Escobar" who was "dedicated to collaboration with the Medellín {drug} cartel at high government levels," according to a 1991 intelligence report from U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officials in Colombia. The document was posted today on the website of the National Security Archive, a non-governmental research group based at George Washington University.

~snip~

The newly-declassified report, dated 23 September 1991, is a numbered list of "the more important Colombian narco-traffickers contracted by the Colombian narcotic cartels for security, transportation, distribution, collection and enforcement of narcotics operations." The document was released by DIA in May 2004 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by the Archive in August 2000.

The source of the report was removed by DIA censors, but the detailed, investigative nature of the report -- the list corresponds with a numbered set of photographs that were apparently provided with the original -- suggests it was probably obtained from Colombian or U.S. counternarcotics personnel. The document notes that some of the information in the report was verified "via interfaces with other agencies."

President Uribe -- now a key U.S. partner in the drug war -- "was linked to a business involved in narcotics activities in the United States" and "has worked for the Medellín cartel," the narcotics trafficking organization led by Escobar until he was killed by Colombian government forces in 1993. The report adds that Uribe participated in Escobar's parliamentary campaign and that as senator he had "attacked all forms of the extradition treaty" with the U.S.


Uribe was ‘the head of Colombia’s paramilitaries’: former AUC ringleader
http://colombiareports.com/head-colombias-paramilitaries-former-auc-leader-ex-president-uribe/

Former President Alvaro Uribe was the “head of Colombia’s paramilitary groups,” according to a former paramilitary commander and witness in the case against a presidential candidate loyal to the former head of state.

The accusations were made by Pablo Hernan Sierra, alias “Alberto Guerrero”, former commander of the Cacique Pipinta bloc of the paramilitary group AUC, during an interview with Venezuelan network TeleSur.

“He was our commander,” claimed Sierra. “He never fired a gun; but he led, he contributed, he was our man at the top.”

“The massacres, the disappearances, the creation of an {AUC} group: he is responsible,” said Sierra.

The ex-paramilitary is a key witness in an investigation into Uribe’s alleged ties with paramilitary groups, especially his role in the formation of an AUC bloc while governor of Antioquia department from 1995-97, and his use of the AUC to win votes in the 2002 Presidential election.


Details of testimony that involves Uribe in a massacre
http://colombiasupport.net/2008/06/details-of-testimony-that-involves-uribe-in-a-massacre/

The ex-paramilitary Francisco Enrique Villalba Hernández declared to the Colombian Attorney General’s office this past February that President Alvaro Uribe and his brother Santiago participated in planning a massacre in the north of the department of Antioquia, according to a copy of the testimony obtained by the Nuevo Herald. Part of the confession of Villalba, whose credibility Uribe attacked this week, was utilized by the Interamerican Human Rights Court (CIDH) to condemn Colombia for that massacre, which occurred in the village of El Aro in 1997, according to an extensive decision of that tribunal two years ago. Villalba did not involve the ruler or his brother in his testimony before the CIDH, but his narrative was part of the proofs that served the tribunal to conclude that in the slaughter of El Aro agents of the public security forces collaborated with groups of the United Self-defenses of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia—AUC) to murder in cold blood at least fifteen campesinos “in a defenseless position, taking their goods away from others and generating terror and displacement,” according to the 160-page decision. This same decision cites a testimony to the effect that the government of the department of Antioquia, at that time led by the currently president, refused to extend protection to the inhabitants of El Aro, when they learned that the paramilitary attack was imminent. “In the face of this situation, about two months before the occupation, the Community Action Board (Junta de Acción Comunal) asked the government for protection, which was not offered,” says the decision of the CIDH.

Until now, some of aspects of the declaration of Villalba to the Colombian prosecutors were only known in an indirect and fragmentary way which where revealed surprisingly by Uribe during a radio interview this week in order to reject what the ex-paramilitary pointed out. But the Nuevo Herald obtained a complete copy of the declearation that, in fact, contains repeated testimonies of Villalba that Uribe, when he was Governor of the department of Antioquia, hobnobbed with the highest leaders of the AUC and gave them carte blanche to carry out the massacre. “{Alvaro Uribe told us} that what had to be done, that we would do it,” declared Villalba in describing a meting in which AUC leaders, military personnel and the brothers Alvaro and Santiago Uribe. Villalba’s 19-page declaration describes, using names and details a close relationship of complicity and camaraderie between military and police authorities with the heads of the death squads.


Wiretapping scandal increasingly reveals political persecution under Uribe
http://colombiareports.co/wiretapping-scandal-increasingly-reveals-political-persecution-under-uribe/

As Colombia’s Supreme Court investigates illegal spying by the country’s former intelligence agency, an increasing amount of details are revealed about the alleged political persecution of leftist opponents of former President Alvaro Uribe.

A former director of Colombian intelligence agency DAS, Jorge Noguera, is currently on trial for various charges surrounding the wiretapping scandal that has already seen multiple convictions of Uribe’s former chief of staff and a second intelligence chief.

Colombia’s now-defunct intelligence agency, the DAS, did not report to anyone but the president and had been spying on the Supreme Court, journalists, human rights defenders and politicians in a scandal that was uncovered in 2008.


US told Uribe to clean up DAS: Wikileaks.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=405x48766
US told Uribe to clean up DAS: Wikileaks.
Tuesday, 22 February 2011 11:30 Hannah Aronowitz .

WikiLeaks cables reveal that the U.S. pressured the government of then-President Alvaro Uribe to clean up the scandal-hit intelligence agency DAS in 2009, El Pais reported Tuesday.

The cables show that then-U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield told then-Vice President Fransisco Santos to toughen his government's relationship with the DAS, and ordered him to carry out a "thorough, transparent and public," investigation of the secret service agency for its part in the illegal wiretapping of government critics.

Santos acknowledged the demands, and even contemplated dissolving the DAS altogether, according to a cable sent form Bogota to Washington the day after the September 15, 2009, meeting.

While the attitude of the U.S. Embassy prior to this demand seemed limited to observing, recording and reporting back to Washington on the wiretap scandal, their stance changed when it emerged that one of the illegal recordings made was of a phone call between a U.S. Embassy official and a Colombian judge.


US embassy urged Clinton to hold back on praising Uribe during 2010 visit
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10141200957
Source: Colombia Reports

US embassy urged Clinton to hold back on praising Uribe during 2010 visit
Posted by Grace Brown on Sep 7, 2015

The United States’ embassy in Bogota warned former State Secretary Hillary Clinton ahead of a 2010 visit to Colombia to “avoid effusive praise for President Alvaro Uribe” because of the latter’s implication in mayor human rights abuses.

The email, dated June 3 2010 and originating from the office of Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA), was forwarded by Ambassador William Brownfield, now Assistant Secretary of State for Narcotics Affairs and Law Enforcement, and sent to Clinton’s then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, prior to flying to Colombia on a state visit.


. . .

However, the email advised, this recognition should avoid “repeating the tone of Defense Secretary Gates’ April visit, in which he called Uribe a ‘great hero’ and failed even to mention any concerns.” Among those concerns were mounting accusations of mass human rights violations that happened under Uribe’s watch.

The email highlighted the possible scale of the “false positives” scandal, in which Colombia’s US-backed military murdered thousands of innocent civilians and dressed them in guerrilla clothing in order to inflate body counts and receive bonuses.

Read more: http://colombiareports.com/us-embassy-urged-clinton-to-hold-back-on-praising-uribe-during-2010-visit/


This is what Hillary Clinton had to say about Uribe (hat tip to karynnj).

http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2010/06/142945.htm

SECRETARY CLINTON: President Uribe, let me begin by telling you how pleased I am to be here in Colombia for the first time. You have been so gracious in entertaining my husband and my daughter in the past. And now, I finally have completed the family visits to your beautiful country.

This is a trip I have looked forward to making for quite some time, and it is a real pleasure to see how far Colombia has come and how much Colombia is contributing not only to its own people but to those who face similar struggles beyond your borders. So thank you for your hospitality, thank you for the very comprehensive discussion that we have had together today, and for the opportunity to reaffirm the friendship and strong partnership between the United States and Colombia.

In the last decade, Colombia has confronted immense challenges. And by any fair measure, Colombia has made great progress. That is thanks to the leadership of your government and to the resilience and dedication of the Colombian people. And even with continuing challenges in your own struggle, Colombia is playing a positive and increasingly important regional role, whether it be on promoting clean energy or on relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. The United States has been proud to stand with Colombia, and we will continue to stand with you in the future.

President Uribe and I discussed Colombia’s continuing efforts in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime. And I expressed the commitment of the Obama Administration to continuing to partner with Colombia as it works to consolidate the security gains of recent years.

We also discussed Colombia’s efforts to enhance human rights, the strides made, the challenges that remain, the ongoing need for vigilance and commitment. And I also want to publicly express our admiration for President Uribe providing a remarkable example of strong democratic leadership in respecting the constitutional court’s decision regarding another term.

Colombia is such a valued partner and a leader that we look forward to expanding and deepening our partnership. Colombia has helped to lead the way as an active member of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Just a few examples that we look to and encourage others to do so as well: developing cutting-edge mass transit systems, exploiting the potential of biofuels, becoming a leader in the use of ethanol, spearheading an initiative to help build the infrastructure for long-distance electrical transmissions from Panama, through the Andean states, to Chile.

Colombia has also worked hard to address the historic lack of opportunity for many of its people, and in doing so has provided important models for other countries in our hemisphere. Recently, the United States and Colombia concluded the first steering committee meeting for our action plan on racial and ethnic equality, which will work to improve access to education, employment, and other opportunities for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities.

We signed a new science and technology agreement today that will facilitate the exchange of ideas and technology to help both our countries compete in the global economy. All these and many other efforts speak to the enduring bonds of friendship and the stronger partnership for the future that we have, not just between our governments but between our peoples.

Mr. President, I speak for President Obama and myself when I say that you, personally, have been an essential partner to the United States. And because of your commitment to building strong democratic institutions here in Colombia and to nurturing the bonds of friendship between our two countries, you leave a legacy of great progress that will be viewed in historic terms. I know, though, as you said yourself in your remarks here today, you realize how much more is yet to be done.

This morning, I met with the two remaining presidential candidates. This is a choice for the Colombian people to make, but I have to say that the first round of voting was a testament to the vibrancy and strength of Colombia’s democracy. And the United States will work closely and constructively with whomever the Colombian people choose in this second round.

So thank you once again, Mr. President. And you’re right; we had a wonderful dinner last night here in Bogota among friends, some Colombian, some American. And we talked about how remarkable it was that such a common event could take place. And as I drove here to the presidential palace and had the chance to look out the window at this absolutely magnificent city, my heart was filled with the hope that I know fills the hearts of so many Colombians, that what has been accomplished will only go from strength to strength. We will stand with the people of Colombia to make that so.

Thank you so much, Mr. President. (Applause.)


Alvaro Uribe is now on the Board of Directors for Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

News Corp. Nominates Chao, Uribe to Board as Directors Step Down
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2012-09-04/news-corp-nominates-chao-uribe-to-board-as-directors-step-down.html

News Corp. (NWSA), the media company run by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, nominated ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao as directors, bolstering the board’s government experience.

Uribe and Chao will replace Andrew Knight and John Thornton, who plan to step down as directors following the annual meeting, News Corp. said today in a statement.

The changes presage a broader shakeup in News Corp.’s organization over the next year. Murdoch announced a plan in June to break up News Corp.’s publishing and entertainment divisions into separate companies. Murdoch will remain chairman of both businesses and CEO of the entertainment division.

Chao served as labor secretary under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009. After that, she became a distinguished fellow of the Heritage Foundation in Washington. The Harvard-educated Uribe was president of Colombia from 2002 to 2010 and more recently served on an advisory council for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), News Corp. said.


And then there's HSBC Bank:

Clinton Foundation Received Up To $81m From Clients Of Controversial HSBC Bank - Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/10/hillary-clinton-foundation-donors-hsbc-swiss-bank

~snip~

The charitable foundation run by Hillary Clinton and her family has received as much as $81m from wealthy international donors who were clients of HSBC’s controversial Swiss bank. Leaked files from HSBC’s Swiss banking division reveal the identities of seven donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation with accounts in Geneva.

They include Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate and one of the foundation’s biggest financial backers, and Richard Caring, the British retail magnate who, the bank’s internal records show, used his tax-free Geneva account to transfer $1m into the New York-based foundation.

~snip~

Caring was legitimately permitted to keep his assets offshore by a hereditary quirk of UK tax law, under which he is registered as “non-domiciled”, courtesy of his Italian-American father. The HSBC records suggest Caring’s $1m donation was paid in return for former president Bill Clinton’s attendance at a lavish costume charity ball organised by Caring in St Petersburg, Russia.

Another Clinton foundation donor who had a HSBC account in the tax haven is Jeffrey Epstein, the hedge fund manager and convicted sex offender who once flew the former president on his private jet for charity events in Africa. The identities of Clinton supporters who banked with HSBC in Geneva are contained in internal bank data leaked by a HSBC computer expert turned whistleblower, Hervé Falciani.


HSBC. How bad is it really?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026263884

The HSBC scandal continues to grow. Proof of their criminal activities grows each time you turn over another rock. How bad is HSBC?
For those who haven’t been following, the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) uncovered and reported on HSBC’s enabling of criminal behavior by arms dealers, smugglers, drug lords and the just plain cheap who don’t want to pay taxes.

HSBC, headquartered in London, when informed about the global investigation, first insisted that the ICIJ destroy its data.
It was only after the ICIJ refused and people found out what was going on that their chairman Stuart Gulliver issued the apology for HSBC’s culpability in tax avoidance.

What is HSBC hiding?
In 2006, the Swiss Branch managed tens of millions of dollars for Saudi Arabian businessmen suspected since 2001 of donating money to Muslim terrorist Osama Bin Laden,

The bank also opened accounts for a crystal meth gang in the US and a drug dealer who was sentenced to seven years in prison
HSBC was aiding clients involved in Drug and Human Trafficking, arms dealing and Arms dealing according to Tages Anzeiger.

"HSBC profited from doing business with arms dealers who channelled mortar bombs to child soldiers in Africa, bag men for Third World dictators, traffickers in blood diamonds…”

Names include Frantz Merceron, an associate of former Haitian president Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Former Egyptian trade minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid, who fled Cairo during the 2011 uprising, and people officially sanctioned by the United States Government, like Turkish businessman Selim Alguadis.

Currently, there are 10 separate investigations on 4 continents against the bank in nine countries: Asia: India, Europe: Belgium, Switzerland, France and Denmark, North and South America: Mexico, US, Argentina and Brazil (2 separate)

Asia: India. According to the Times of India, the Tax Office is expected launch criminal proceedings against the bank shortly.
The Indian Express reports that 1,195 Indian names are on the list at the tune of over $4bn. The Supreme Court has created a Special Investigative Team.

Several top businessmen on the list include Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Anand Chand Burman, and Shravan Gupta.
Also on the list are diamond traders, some of whom have left India and moved to other countries.
Also included are prominent politicians including former UPA minister Preneet Kaur, former Congress MP Annu Tandon and family members of former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane.
India is going to pay the whistleblower from HSBC for more information; possibly as much as 10% of whatever they collect

Europe:
France. France appears to be preparing to go to trial. But a separate investigation into HSBC's parent company is ongoing

Denmark. 300 Danes are on the list the amount $370mn in accounts. Benny Engelbrecht the Tax Minister wants to know why, with information available, did his predecessors not act.

Belgium. HSBC faces criminal charges. HSBC initially refused to cooperate until Magistrate Ine Van Wymersch, announced that the investigating judge was issuing arrest warrants for past and current directors. Then HSBC decided they would cooperate.
*** See throw 'em in jail. They roll
***The judge was not identified by name in any article I perused

North America
Mexico: The government is investigating 2,642 names linked to $2.2bn

U.S.: The Justice Department is considering criminal charges against the bank and its clients. 4,183 names 13bn+ dollars

In Brazil 11 accounts held over 110 million dollars and is tied to the state-owned Oil Company, Petrobras
The Brazilian government is also looking into 6600 other undeclared accounts with HSBC's Swiss private bank affiliated in Brazil

In Argentina, the states Tax Office wants 3bn dollars held by 4,000 people in HSBC banks linked to Argentinians and Argentine businesses returned to Argentina. This, after Argentine authorities raided HSBC offices in Buenos Aires and are preparing criminal prosecution.

As of June, 2007, except for the Vatican, there doesn’t appear to be any country without a client on the list, though 15 of the countries do not appear to have any client hiding money to avoid taxes. The list of the ‘nulls’ include Laos, Burkina Faso, Tonga, Swaziland, Trinidad, etc.

There are 23 countries with the number of derelicts in their country in the thousands (UK 8,844; US 4,183; Saudi Arabia 1,504; Lebanon 2,988, Israel 6,554, Canada 1,859, France 9,187...). Their hidings are over 139bn.

on note: Even though they had the information available, the Cameron government gave the former HSBC chair Stephen Green a Tory peerage and appointed him trade minister “several months after the government was given information from the French government in May 2010”.

sourced through:
http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/09/4542851_belgian-judge-threatens-hsbc-directors.html?rh=1
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/09/us-hsbc-belgium-moneylaundering-idUSKBN0LD1HO20150209
http://www.thelocal.dk/20150209/denmark-ignored-information-on-hidden-swiss-fortunes
http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-others/hsbc-sheltered-murky-cash-linked-to-dictators-arms-dealers/
http://www.thelocal.ch/20150208/hsbc-swiss-bank-helped-terrorists-and-criminals
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/22/swiss-account-secret-of-hsbc-chief-stuart-gulliver-revealed
http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/feb/18/hsbc-swiss-bank-searched-as-officials-launch-money-laundering-inquiry

That's nice.

Not very helpful, but nice.

(What odds are you giving for Hillary Clinton choosing Lloyd Blankfein as Treasury Secretary?)

Assumption 2: Representation and State Preferences States (or other political institutions) represent some subset of domestic society, on the basis of whose interests state officials define state preferences and act purposively in world politics.

In the liberal conception of domestic politics, the state is not an actor but a representative institution constantly subject to capture and recapture, construction and reconstruction by coalitions of social actors. Representative institutions and practices constitute the critical "transmission belt" by which the preferences and social power of individuals and groups are translated into state policy. Individuals turn to the state to achieve goals that private behavior is unable to achieve efficiently.9 Government policy is therefore constrained by the underlying identities, interests, and power of individuals and groups (inside and outside the state apparatus) who constantly pressure the central decision makers to pursue policies consistent with their preferences.

~snip~

This is not to adopt a narrowly pluralist view of domestic politics in which all individuals and groups have equal influence on state policy, nor one in which the structure of state institutions is irrelevant. No government rests on universal or unbiased political representation; every government represents some individuals and groups more fully than others. In an extreme hypothetical case, representation might empower a narrow bureaucratic class or even a single tyrannical individual, such as an ideal-typical Pol Pot or Josef Stalin. Between theoretical extremes of tyranny and democracy, many representative institutions and practices exist, each of which privileges particular demands; hence the nature of state institutions, alongside societal interests themselves, is a key determinant of what states do internationally.

Representation, in the liberal view, is not simply a formal attribute of state institutions but includes other stable characteristics of the political process, formal or informal, that privilege particular societal interests. Clientalistic authoritarian regimes may distinguish those with familial, bureaucratic, or economic ties to the governing elite from those without. Even where government institutions are formally fair and open, a relatively inegalitarian distribution of property, risk, information, or organizational capabilities may create social or economic monopolies able to dominate policy. Similarly, the way in which a state recognizes individual rights may shape opportunities for voice.10 Certain domestic representational processes may tend to select as leaders individuals, groups, and bureaucracies socialized with particular attitudes toward information, risk, and loss.

Moravcsik, A. (1997). Taking preferences seriously: A liberal theory of international politics. International Organization, 51(4), 513-553.


THE ADMINISTERED SOCIETY Totalitarianism Without Terror Author: Allen Kassof World Politics 16(4) (1964) 558-575.

TOTALITARIANISM WITHOUT TERROR

The concept of the administered society is proposed as a way of saying that there can be totalism without terror; it recognizes that the changes in the Soviet Union have been real and vast (after all, totalism without terror is something new); but it insists that, far from developing alternatives to totalism, Soviet society is being subjected to new and more subtle forms of it, and that the Stalinist past is being streamlined rather than rejected.

The case for the administered society is not subject to proof of an absolute kind, for not only is such a concept more or less useful rather than right or wrong, but its application to the affairs of a live society cannot possibly cover all contingencies. It does, however, provide a general framework for depicting the Soviet system under Khrushchev (and probably his successors as well), sensitizing us to interpretations that otherwise might go unnoticed and enabling us to see patterns in apparently unconnected trends.

SOCIAL STRATIFICATION Under Stalin, the differences in income, life-style, and perquisites of the various occupational strata came to be very wide indeed, certainly so in contrast with the Marxist vision of the classless order, also in absolute terms.

The growth of pluralism, or at least of the capacity of a population to erode the monolithism of a social system, seems to depend to a considerable degree upon the opportunities available to various social groupings (especially, perhaps, in the upper ranges of the stratification system) to develop over the generations, without undue manipulation and interference from the outside and with reasonable probabilities of continuity, their own traditions, expectations, and behavior patterns -in short, upon opportunities to develop into subcommunities of interest.


Working for the Few
Political Capture and Economic Inequality
178 Oxfam Briefing Paper Summary
www.oxfam.org

Extreme economic inequality is damaging and worrying for many reasons: it is morally questionable; it can have negative impacts on economic growth and poverty reduction; and it can multiply social problems. It compounds other inequalities, such as those between women and men. In many countries, extreme economic inequality is worrying because of the pernicious impact that wealth concentrations can have on equal political representation. When wealth captures government policymaking, the rules bend to favor the rich, often to the detriment of everyone else. The consequences include the erosion of democratic governance, the pulling apart of social cohesion, and the vanishing of equal opportunities for all. Unless bold political solutions are instituted to curb the influence of wealth on politics, governments will work for the interests of the rich, while economic and political inequalities continue to rise. As US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, ‘We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.’

Oxfam is concerned that, left unchecked, the effects are potentially immutable, and will lead to ‘opportunity capture’ – in which the lowest tax rates, the best education, and the best healthcare are claimed by the children of the rich. This creates dynamic and mutually reinforcing cycles of advantage that are transmitted across generations.

Given the scale of rising wealth concentrations, opportunity capture and unequal political representation are a serious and worrying trend. For instance:

• Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.2

• The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.3

• The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.4

• Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.5

• The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.6

• In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.7

~snip~

Oxfam’s polling from across the world captures the belief of many that laws and regulations are now designed to benefit the rich. A survey in six countries (Spain, Brazil, India, South Africa, the UK and the US) showed that a majority of people believe that laws are skewed in favor of the rich – in Spain eight out of 10 people agreed with this statement. Another recent Oxfam poll of low-wage earners in the US reveals that 65 percent believe that Congress passes laws that predominantly benefit the wealthy.


The richest get richer
http://blogs.reuters.com/david-cay-johnston/2012/03/15/the-richest-get-richer/?print=1&r=

The aftermaths of the Great Recession and the Great Depression produced sharply different changes in U.S. incomes that tell us a lot about tax and economic policy.

The 1934 economic rebound was widely shared, with strong income gains for the vast majority, the bottom 90 percent.

In 2010, we saw the opposite as the vast majority lost ground.

National income gained overall in 2010, but all of the gains were among the top 10 percent. Even within those 15.6 million households, the gains were extraordinarily concentrated among the super-rich, the top one percent of the top one percent.

Just 15,600 super-rich households pocketed an astonishing 37 percent of the entire national gain.

The different results in 1934 and 2010 show how a major shift in federal policy hurts the vast majority and benefits the super-rich.

The coup already occurred.

The NSA gathered info on Democratic politicians that it would turn over to the FBI and US Attorneys, resulting in investigations and prosecutions, operating under "parallel construction," which would occur during close elections.

ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT’S 2002 MEMORANDUM

On March 6, 2002, Attorney General John Ashcroft issued a memorandum regarding new procedures to apply to foreign intelligence (FI) and foreign counterintelligence (FCI) investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It proposed significant changes to FISA and allowed overlapping between intelligence officers and law enforcement officers:

Prior to the USA Patriot Act, FISA could be used only for the "primary purpose" of obtaining "foreign intelligence information." The term "foreign intelligence information" was and is defined to include information that is necessary, or relevant, to the ability of the United States to protect against foreign threats to national security, such as attack, sabotage, terrorism, or clandestine intelligence activities. See 50 U.S.C. § 1801(e)(1). Under the primary purpose standard, the government could have a significant law enforcement purpose for using FISA, but only if it was subordinate to a primary foreign intelligence purpose. The USA Patriot Act allows FISA to be used for "a significant purpose," rather than the primary purpose, of obtaining foreign intelligence information. Thus, it allows FISA to be used primarily for a law enforcement purpose, as long as a significant foreign intelligence purpose remains. See 50 U.S.C. §§ 1804(a)(7)(B), 1823(a)(7)(B).

The Act also expressly authorizes intelligence officers who are using FISA to "consult" with federal law enforcement officers to "coordinate efforts to investigate or protect against" foreign threats to national security. Under this authority, intelligence and law enforcement officers may exchange a full range of information and advice concerning such efforts in FI or FCI investigations, including information and advice designed to preserve or enhance the possibility of a criminal prosecution. The USA Patriot Act provides that such consultation between intelligence and law enforcement officers "shall not" preclude the government's certification of a significant foreign intelligence purpose or the issuance of a FISA warrant. See 50 U.S.C. §§ 1806(k), 1825(k).


These procedures were changed or rejected by the FISA court and its opinion was publicly released in August 2002.


In spite of the long-accepted, constitutionally sound, independence-preserving method of appointing interim U.S. Attorneys, the appointment process was radically changed with the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act in 2006. Removed was the interbranch appointment from the district court; the Attorney General could now make interim U.S. Attorney appointments. Also eliminated was the 120 day period that interim U.S. Attorneys could stay in office before a district court could appoint an interim U.S. Attorney to fill the vacancy. Interim U.S. Attorneys could now remain in office indefinitely, or until the President appointed a U.S. Attorney to the district. Interim U.S. Attorney appointments bypassed Senate confirmation, leaving the determination of qualification to the Justice Department.

The insertion of this new clause into the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act went unnoticed. Senators were at a loss to explain how the clause made its way into the bill. It was later determined that the Justice Department had requested Brett Tolman to insert the clause into the bill (Kiel, 2007). At the time the clause was inserted Mr. Tolman was a counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which is Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) is a member. Sen. Specter responded to inquiries about his involvement with the clause by saying, “I do not slip things in” (Kiel, 2007, p. 1). According to Sen. Specter, the principal reason for the change was to resolve “separation of power issues” (Kiel, 2007, p. 2). The Senate voted to repeal the clause in February 2007 (P.L. 110-34, 2007). At the time of this writing, Mr. Tolman is a U.S. Attorney for the state of Utah.

~snip~

A report from Professors Emeritus Donald C. Shields and John F. Cragan of the University of Missouri and Illinois State University respectively, shows that of 375 elected officials investigated and/or indicted, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. “U.S. Attorneys across the nation investigate seven times as many Democratic officials as they investigate Republican officials, a number that exceeds even the racial profiling of African Americans in traffic stops” (Shields & Cragan, 2007, p. 1).


Criminal defense lawyers demand access to secret DEA evidence
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/08/criminal-defense-lawyers-demand-access-to-secret-dea-evidence/

In interviews, at least a dozen current or former agents said they used “parallel construction,” often by pretending that an investigation began with what appeared to be a routine traffic stop, when the true origin was actually a tip from SOD.

Defense lawyers said that by hiding the existence of the information, the government is violating a defendant’s constitutional right to view potentially exculpatory evidence that suggests witness bias, entrapment or innocence.

“It certainly can’t be that the agents can make up a ‘parallel construction,’ a made-up tale, in court documents, testimony before the grand jury or a judge, without disclosure to a court,” said Jim Wyda, the federal public defender in Maryland, in an email.

“This is going to result in a lot of litigation, for a long time.”


"Parallel construction" is really intelligence laundering
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023425612

The government calls the practice "parallel construction," but deciphering their double speak, the practice should really be known as "intelligence laundering." This deception and dishonesty raises a host of serious legal problems.

~snip~

Taken together, the Fifth and Sixth Amendments guarantee a criminal defendant a meaningful opportunity to present a defense and challenge the government's case. But this intelligence laundering deprives defendants of these important constitutional protections. It makes it harder for prosecutors to comply with their ethical obligation under Brady v. Maryland to disclose any exculpatory or favorable evidence to the defense—an obligation that extends to disclosing evidence bearing on the reliability of a government witness. Hiding the source of information used by the government to initiate an investigation or make an arrest means defendants are deprived of the opportunity to challenge the accuracy or veracity of the government's investigation, let alone seek out favorable evidence in the government's possession.

The third major legal problem is that the practice suggests DEA agents are misleading the courts. Wiretaps, search warrants, and other forms of surveillance authorizations require law enforcement to go to a judge and lay out the facts that support the request. The court's function is to scrutinize the facts to determine the appropriate legal standard has been met based on truthful, reliable evidence. So, for example, if the government is using evidence gathered from an informant to support its request for a search warrant, it has to establish to the court that the informant is reliable and trustworthy so that the court can be convinced there is probable cause to support the search. But when law enforcement omits integral facts—like the source of a tip used to make an arrest—the court is deprived of the opportunity to fulfill its traditional role and searches are signed off without the full knowledge of the court.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/dea-and-nsa-team-intelligence-laundering


The NSA-DEA police state tango
http://www.salon.com/2013/08/10/the_nsa_dea_police_state_tango/singleton/

On the other hand, this is a genuinely sinister turn of events with a whiff of science-fiction nightmare, one that has sounded loud alarm bells for many people in the mainstream legal world. Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law professor who spent 18 years as a federal judge and cannot be accused of being a radical, told Reuters she finds the DEA story more troubling than anything in Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks. It’s the first clear evidence that the “special rules” and disregard for constitutional law that have characterized the hunt for so-called terrorists have crept into the domestic criminal justice system on a significant scale. “It sounds like they are phonying up investigations,” she said. Maybe this is how a police state comes to America: Not with a bang, but with a parallel construction.


The NSA operates under the purview of the Department of Defense. The current Secretary of Defense is former Republican Senator, Chuck Hagel. What does Hagel have to do with a coup? He was one of the authors of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the law that brought unverifiable electronic voting machines using secret, proprietary software. Hagel also has business and financial ties with ES&S.

Diebold's Political Machine
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/03/diebolds-political-machine 

While Diebold has received the most attention, it actually isn't the biggest maker of computerized election machines. That honor goes to Omaha-based ES&S, and its Republican roots may be even stronger than Diebold's. 

The firm, which is privately held, began as a company called Data Mark, which was founded in the early 1980s by Bob and Todd Urosevich. In 1984, brothers William and Robert Ahmanson bought a 68 percent stake in Data Mark, and changed the company's name to American Information Services (AIS). Then, in 1987, McCarthy & Co, an Omaha investment group, acquired a minority share in AIS. 

In 1992, investment banker Chuck Hagel, president of McCarthy & Co, became chairman of AIS. Hagel, who had been touted as a possible Senate candidate in 1993, was again on the list of likely GOP contenders heading into the 1996 contest. In January of 1995, while still chairman of ES&S, Hagel told the Omaha World-Herald that he would likely make a decision by mid-March of 1995. On March 15, according to a letter provided by Hagel's Senate staff, he resigned from the AIS board, noting that he intended to announce his candidacy. A few days later, he did just that. 

A little less than eight months after steppind down as director of AIS, Hagel surprised national pundits and defied early polls by defeating Benjamin Nelson, the state's popular former governor. It was Hagel's first try for public office. Nebraska elections officials told The Hill that machines made by AIS probably tallied 85 percent of the votes cast in the 1996 vote, although Nelson never drew attention to the connection. Hagel won again in 2002, by a far healthier margin. That vote is still angrily disputed by Hagel's Democratic opponent, Charlie Matulka, who did try to make Hagel's ties to ES&S an issue in the race and who asked that state elections officials conduct a hand recount of the vote. That request was rebuffed, because Hagel's margin of victory was so large. 

As might be expected, Hagel has been generously supported by his investment partners at McCarthy & Co. -- since he first ran, Hagel has received about $15,000 in campaign contributions from McCarthy & Co. executives. And Hagel still owns more than $1 million in stock in McCarthy & Co., which still owns a quarter of ES&S.


The other authors of HAVA are former Republican congressman, Bob Ney,

Ney Pleads Guilty to Corruption Charges 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/13/AR2006101300169.html 

Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) pleaded guilty yesterday to corruption charges arising from the influence-peddling investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, becoming the first elected official to fall in a scandal that may damage his party's chances in next month's elections. 

Ney, 52, emerged from a month of alcoholism treatment to appear in federal court in Washington, where he admitted performing official acts for lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions, expensive meals, luxury travel and skybox sports tickets. Ney also admitted taking thousands of dollars in gambling chips from an international businessman who sought his help with the State Department. 

~snip~ 

Ney made no statement to the court, but afterward he issued a written statement saying he was "ashamed" that his long career in public service has ended this way. 

"I never acted to enrich myself or get things I shouldn't, but over time, I allowed myself to get too comfortable with the way things have been done in Washington D.C. for too long," Ney said. "I accepted things I shouldn't have with the result that Jack Abramoff used my name to advance his own secret schemes of fraud and theft in way I could never have imagined."


former Democratic Senator, Chris "Friend of Angelo" Dodd, who ran for President (and did worse than Kucinich),

Countrywide Gave Special Attention To Lawmakers 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/13/AR2008061303738_pf.html 

The Portfolio investigation alleges that favorable loans also were extended to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.); President Bush's former housing secretary, Alphonso Jackson; former United Nations ambassador Richard Holbrooke; and former Health and Human Services secretary Donna E. Shalala. 

~snip~ 

Holbrooke, Shalala and Jackson did not return phone calls seeking comment. But Conrad and Dodd, both of whom have committee jurisdictions that affect Countrywide, yesterday dismissed the notion that they received favorable deals, and they said they did not know that the FOA loan category existed. 

~snip~ 

"As a United States senator, I would never ask or expect to be treated differently than anyone else refinancing their home," Dodd said in a statement. 

~snip~ 

Dodd borrowed $506,000 at 4.25 percent to refinance his Washington townhouse and $275,042 at 4.5 percent to refinance a home in East Haddam, Conn., according to Portfolio. Quoting internal documents, the magazine said Countrywide waived three-eighths of a point, or about $2,000, on the first loan and a quarter of a point, or $700, on the second.


(Dodd is now a lobbyist for Hollywood and is lobbying for laws that allow censorship of the Internet.)

Chris Dodd Breaking Promise Not To Become A Lobbyist Just Weeks After Leaving Senate; Joining MPAA As Top Lobbyist 
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110221/14490613193/chris-dodd-breaking-promise-not-to-become-lobbyist-just-weeks-after-leaving-senate-joining-mpaa-as-top-lobbyist.shtml 

One of the worst kept secrets in DC and Hollywood over the last month or so is the news that former Connecticut Senator and failed Presidential candidate Chris Dodd is set to become the MPAA's new boss (salary: $1.2 million per year). This came after a failed attempt to get former Senator (and failed presidential candidate) Bob Kerrey to take the role last year. 

Assuming Dodd takes the role, he's already proving himself to be perfect for a Hollywood job, because it makes him a blatant liar. Last summer, Dodd insisted that he would not become a lobbyist. He made this abundantly clear. When asked what he would do, he was explicit: "No lobbying, no lobbying." Yeah, apparently a million dollar plus salary makes you a liar barely a month after leaving the job. Of course, technically, Dodd is also barred from becoming a lobbyist for two years after leaving the Senate, but there's a kind of *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* trick that Dodd and others use to technically claim they're not lobbyists while merely running one of the bigger and most high profile lobbying organizations around. 

Of course, it'll also be interesting to see if Dodd sells his soul and changes some of his professed principles. For example, he was a big supporter of "net neutrality." But the MPAA has come out against net neutrality, claiming it would hamper its efforts to "fight piracy." He was also against ISP data retention, which the MPAA has supported (again as a way to fight piracy). On copyright he was somewhat non-committal, but did talk about how fair use rights are important. I imagine that will disappear once he takes the role formerly filled by Jack Valenti -- the man who once declared that fair use doesn't exist.


and former Republican Representative and House Majority Whip, Tom "Dancing with the Stars" DeLay. DeLay, who had been under indictment for five years and was convicted in 2010 for conspiracy and money laundering to get Republicans elected, recently had his conviction overturned, all without spending a single day in prison.

Texas Appeals Court Overturns Tom DeLay's Money Laundering Conviction
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/texas-appeals-court-overturns-tom-delay-s-money-laundering-conviction 

A Texas Court of Appeals overturned former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's (R-TX) conviction of money laundering on Thursday, finding the trial court's decision "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions," KHOU reported. 

A court convicted and sentenced DeLay to three years in prison in 2010 for allegedly scheming to improperly influence Texas elections by helping to illegally steer corporate money to candidates in 2002. DeLay has since been waging a lenghty appeals process, and was acquitted Thursday. 

Read the appeals court opinion here. 

http://www.search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=eb407752-d6ce-4bd3-9180-7fe57e473ffc&coa=coa03&DT=Opinion&MediaID=ecfe9eca-d8d0-48c2-b525-de00c57af7bf


Sounds like a successful coup to me.
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