Category: Bribes


 

Published time: February 18, 2014 17:12
Stefan Selig.( Reuters / Mike Segar )

Stefan Selig.( Reuters / Mike Segar )

 

 

A controversial trade deal being touted by the White House is expected to give American corporations broad new authority if approved. Now according to newly released documents, big banks gave millions to the execs that are now orchestrating the agreement.

 

Investigative journalist Lee Fang wrote for Republic Report on Tuesday this week that two former well-placed individuals within the ranks of Bank of America and CitiGroup were awarded millions of dollars in bonuses before jumping ship to work on the Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of the White House.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a widely-contested trade deal between the US and 11 other nations adjacent to the Pacific Rim, and has been negotiated by representatives for those countries in utmost secrecy. According to leaked excerpts of the TPP and remarks from experts following the news closely, though, it’s believed that the arrangement would allow corporations to oppose foreign laws while at the same time limiting the abilities for governments to regulate those entities.

On Tuesday, Fang wrote that two major United States-based financial firms have significantly awarded former executives who have since attracted the attention of President Barack Obama and subsequently been offered positions that put them directly involved in TPP talks.

Former Bank of America investment banker Stefan Selig, Fang acknowledged, received more than $9 million in bonus pay after he was nominated to join the Obama administration in November. And Michael Froman, the current US trade representative, was awarded over $4 million from Citigroup when he left them in 2009 in order to go work for the White House. Republic Report were provided those statistics through financial disclosures included in Fang’s article.

When Selig was asked to head the International Trade Administration by the White House last November — a Commerce Department job — the New York Times considered it “a rare appointment of a Wall Street banker by the Obama administration.” If he is confirmed by the Senate as expected, he will work directly with US trade officials on hammering out final arrangements for the TPP. Froman has been the US trade representative since last June, and according to his biography on that department’s official website, is directly overseeing TPP discussions.

 

Read More Here

Obama trade officials received huge bank bonusesSalon.com

Obama trade officials received huge bank bonuses

http://www.salon.com/…/obamareceived_huge_bank_bonuses

Obama’s TPP trade officials took bonus money from big banks

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/16564785-obamas

Obama Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks

Obama Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/17/obama-trade-banks

 

 

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @GlennFarley

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 6:24 PM

Updated yesterday at 8:14 PM

SEATTLE — There are over 20 cities in Washington State that use red light cameras and they’re split between two different vendors. In Seattle it’s American Traffic Solutions. The other is a company called Redflex.

Whether you consider them big brother or an electronic cop that can watch dangerous intersections all day every day, traffic cameras are controversial.

One of the things that make them that way is perception over the money they generate, which in our state is $124 a ticket.

Watchdog organizations like bancams.com say profits for the companies are a big incentive to win contracts with cities at any cost. And in Chicago allegations are swirling around a scandal involving Redflex and how far some company sales employees were willing to go to win millions in business.

So what does that have to do with Washington State?

Read More Here

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Fired photo radar exec. says he bribed Colorado officials

by 13News Now, Trevor Hughs/The Coloradoan

WVEC.com

Posted on January 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM

Updated today at 5:10 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH — A former top executive of the company that runs red-light and speed-camera systems in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Newport News says he and others gave “lavish gifts and bribes” to government officials in Colorado and elsewhere to secure and retain their business.

None of the three cities say they’ve received anything from Redflex, the Arizona-based company that runs the city’s camera-radar systems. The contracts between Redflex and the three cities were not available on Friday, but Virginia Beach says its contract for the current fiscal year tops $700,000.

According to legal documents, former Redflex Executive Vice President Aaron Rosenberg says he and his bosses routinely gave out everything from sporting-event tickets to rounds of golf and meals to government officials in charge of deciding whether to hire and retain the company.

Read More Here

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Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad on Thursday, August 01, 2013 .
Sat Oct 19, 2013 5:55PM
Related Interviews:
The Obama administration is quietly releasing more than $1.6 billion in frozen military and financial assistance to Pakistan, ahead of the prime minister’s visit to the White House this week.

The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Congress has given the green light to dispersing most of the money, which should start moving in early 2014.

The aid was stalled while the two countries’ relationship soured in the wake of the 2011 military raid that killed Osama bin Laden and NATO air strikes that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers later that year.

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House.

“The meeting will highlight the importance and resilience of the US-Pakistan relationship and provide an opportunity for us to strengthen cooperation on issues of mutual concern, such as energy, trade and economic development, regional stability, and countering violent extremism,” the White House said in a description of the meeting.

The White House added that discussions will focus “on ways we can advance our shared interest of a stable, secure, and prosperous Pakistan.”

According to the AP report, the State Department began meeting with lawmakers in July and August to inform them of its plans to restart assistance. Those officials, it added, said that broader cooperation from Pakistan led to the resumption of aid, rather than any specific event.

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Pakistan tells U.N. at least 400 civilians killed by drone strikes

Residents stand inside a damaged house after a missile attack in Damadola village of the Bajaur tribal region in Pakistan May 15, 2008. REUTERS/Ammad Waheed

UNITED NATIONS | Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:41pm EDT

(Reuters) – Pakistan has confirmed that of some 2,200 people killed by drone strikes in the past decade, at least 400 were civilians and an additional 200 victims were deemed “probable non-combatants,” a U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday.

Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, also urged the United States to release its own data on the number of civilian casualties caused by its drone strikes.

Emmerson said Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry told him it had recorded at least 330 drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan’s largely lawless region bordering Afghanistan, since 2004.

Clearing out militant border sanctuaries is seen by Washington as crucial to bringing stability to Afghanistan, particularly as the U.S.-led combat mission ends in 2014. Most, but not all, attacks with unmanned aerial vehicles have been by the United States. Britain and Israel have also used them.

In an interim report to U.N. General Assembly released on Friday, Emmerson said Pakistani government records showed that drone strikes had killed at least 2,200 people and seriously wounded at least 600 since 2004.

He said Pakistan had confirmed that “at least 400 civilians had been killed as a result of remotely piloted aircraft strikes and a further 200 individuals were regarded as probable non-combatants.”

“Officials indicated that, owing to underreporting and obstacles to effective investigation, those figures were likely to be an underestimate” of civilian deaths, Emmerson said.

Emmerson, who visited Pakistan in March, noted that principal media monitoring organizations had recorded a “marked drop” in reported civilians casualties from drone strikes in the tribal areas during 2012 and the first half of 2013.

The tribal areas have never been fully integrated into Pakistan’s administrative, economic or judicial system. They are dominated by ethnic Pashtun tribes, some of which have sheltered and supported militants over decades of conflict in Afghanistan.

 

Read More Here

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Food Freedom News.

 

Monsanto Minion AwardsBy Organic Consumers Assn.

On Thursday, October 10, activists posing as biotechnology industry lobbyists and processed food industry insiders delivered “Monsanto’s Minions Awards” to the members of Congress who have worked the hardest to keep their constituents in the dark about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in America’s food supply.

The activists represented the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Occupy Monsanto.

Following the delivery of the awards to Congressional offices, the anti-GMO activists, posing as the Biotechnology Industry Awards Committee (BIAC), attempted to block entrances to the Congressional office buildings to stop corporate lobbying during the shutdown.

The action, modeled on the one Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies did at the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1967, involves dumping out briefcases of cash on the X-ray machines at the entrances where lobbyists are waiting in line to go through the metal detectors and enter the Congressional office buildings. The corporate lobbyists are expected to lunge for the fluttering bills just as the stock traders did, creating a melee that will shut down the entrance.

Lobbyists scurrying to grab dollar bills is an apt metaphor for what’s happening during the shutdown. They are here meeting with the Congresspersons they supported financially during the elections to create or protect federal laws that boost their profits.

“The legislative pressure-cooker created by self-inflicted deadlines and crises like the fiscal cliff, the shutdown and the debt limit are the worst way to write legislation. Corporate lobbyists are here to take advantage of the situation. That’s how we got the Monsanto Protection Act in March. We’re here to try to stop that kind of thing from happening again,” said Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, dressed for the day as Jennetta Kontamy-Nashun, Biotechnology Industry Awards Committee lobbyist.

Monsanto, the target of the anti-GMO activists’ ire, is a company that spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaign donations in each election cycle and millions of dollars every year lobbying. In exchange, Congress subsidizes its genetically engineered food and makes sure it isn’t labeled or safety-tested.

Read More Here

 

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‘No Monsanto!': World marches against GMO food

 

Published time: October 12, 2013 19:06
Edited time: October 13, 2013 01:44
Activists carry signs during a protest against chemical giant Monsanto in Durban on October 12, 2013. (AFP Photo / Rajesh Jantilal)Activists carry signs during a protest against chemical giant Monsanto in Durban on October 12, 2013. (AFP Photo / Rajesh Jantilal)

 

Thousands took to streets across the world’s cities on Saturday to protest the use of GMO products, with Giant Monsanto being the main target. Over 50 countries have been taking part in the march for world food day, and across 47 different US states.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on the March Against Monsanto campaign

Berlin, Strasbourg, Chicago, London, Sydney and Mumbai are just a few of the 500 cities worldwide involved in the rallies, with each one drawing hundreds.

The demonstrators have been calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and “other harmful agro-chemicals,” according to March Against Monsanto’s official webpage. Protesters wielded large banners denouncing GMO products, and donned fancy dress: In Washington DC a group dressed as bees to highlight the impact of insecticides on bee populations.

 

Anti-GMO (genetically modified foods) protestors put a chain at the site entrance of US seed company Monsanto on October 12, 2013 during a day of action against the company, in Monbequi, southern France. Banner (R) reads: "No to a world according to Monsanto". (AFP Photo / Pascal Pavani)Anti-GMO (genetically modified foods) protestors put a chain at the site entrance of US seed company Monsanto on October 12, 2013 during a day of action against the company, in Monbequi, southern France. Banner (R) reads: “No to a world according to Monsanto”. (AFP Photo / Pascal Pavani)

The rallies  come four days ahead of World Food Day on Oct. 16 and are a direct attack on what the organizers term Monsanto’s “predatory business,” genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other harmful pesticides, which threaten “health, fertility and longevity.”

In Berlin, people expressed displeasure at the food giant for a number of reasons, ranging from long-term health concerns to the chemicals used in Monsanto products.

“There a Smartstax corn that Monsanto has made…it is a corn that resists six different types of herbicide, so you can spray it with six different chemicals and it won’t die,” Heidi Ostermannm, a nutritionist participating in the Berlin march told RT.

“It also produces two insecticides in its own kernels and you can’t wash it off – I don’t even know if technically that’s food. In my mind as a nutritionist, that’s no longer food,” she said.

 

Read More Here

 

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…..Not to mention  direct  access to the  IRS who will garnish  your  bank accounts for fines imposed if you  cannot  afford  to  get  the  mandated  insurance.

Now let’s  see  who will be  affected , shall we?

The  poor  who  qualify  for  the assistance  programs  will be taken  care  of . 

The  rich  can  afford  any  insurance  they prefer. 

So  who  does  that  leave?

Oh  yes  ,  that’s   right the  Working Middle  Class.  The  same  Middle  Class  that  has  been  bearing the  brunt  of  the  load  of the  Deficit. 

The  same  Middle   Class   who is  having a  hard  time   keeping a  roof  over  their   families  heads  and   food on the  table. 

The  same  Middle  Class  who’s  children’s  future  has  been gambled  away  by greedy ,   inept  and entitled politicians.  Concerned  only  for the money they  are  making  for  themselves  by  selling that  same  Middle  Class  up the   river.

Excuse me  if  I  call BS and  say that the  American  People  are  being  held  hostage  by the   political  system on  both  sides  of the  aisle.   So spare me  the  holier  than  though  and  change  for a  better  future  rhetoric.  The  way  things  are   going  the only  ones   with a  better  future  on the  horizon are the   corrupt  politicians  and the  corporate  crooks  they  enable!!

~Desert Rose~

 

Right-Wing Republicans vs. Corporate Democrats vs. Progressive Populists
    Right-Wing Republicans vs. Corporate Democrats vs. Progressive Populists
                                                                        Truthout.org

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Obamacare subjects entire nation to ransom demands of coercive government

Obama

Friday, October 04, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)

(NaturalNews) You’ve probably noticed I’m not covering pure politics anymore here on Natural News, but I am covering Obamacare and health issues quite intensely. And when it comes to Obamacare, you can’t separate the insane politics from the Affordable Care Act policies, so I’ll give you an advance warning that this article delves into some hard-hitting issues of what I believe is really wrong with America today.

For starters, the rhetoric over Obamacare and the government shutdown has reached a point of insanity. Obama himself has begun using “gun to the head” rhetoric, invoking highly-inappropriate violent imagery and trying to cast it upon his political enemies. Furthermore, with Obama’s approval, White House spokespeople have also begun characterizing Republicans as “terrorists, kidnappers and arsonists” for their taking a stand against Obamacare. Even the more mild characterizations depict Republicans as “holding the nation ransom” while behaving like “suicide bombers” for daring the question the sanity of government gone insane.

Click here to read 11 more violent metaphors currently being invoked by liberals against the GOP.

I’m no water-bearer for the Republican party, as you well know, but this poisonous rhetoric from a failed, desperate administration demands to be honestly answered. If we’re going to invoke these metaphors, after all, let’s do it accurately. Because if you get right down to it, Obamacare subjects the entire nation to the ransom demands of a criminal, coercive regime that seems more rooted in Soviet-style communism than American freedom.

If Obamacare were a person passing you on the sidewalk, he would pull out a gun, stick it to your forehead and scream at you to “Give me all your money or else!” The so-called “Affordable Care Act” is built on a foundation of coercion and theft. It is not a voluntary program. It does not ask for nor require your consent. It is a grotesque example of government abuses gone terribly wrong at the hands of a wildly deceptive, insidious administration that honors no law whatsoever.

Metaphors that make sense: the Obama administration is a mafia

What’s emerging right now in the actions and rhetoric of the White House is that there is no difference whatsoever between the philosophy of the Obama administration and the philosophy of a criminal mafia. Both the mafia and the Obama administration:

• Use fear and intimidation to force people into surrendering their money.

• Threaten the use of force to coerce you into capitulating to their demands.

• Lie to the media and the public about their true intentions.

• Have a strong contradiction between their public persona of “compassion” versus their private behavior of ruthless aggression and destruction.

• Believe they have an inherent right to rule over everyone else.

• Have no respect whatsoever for individual rights, liberties or the rule of law.

• Believe they can simply invent the rules as they go along, complete outside of law.

• Believe they are exempt from the same laws and rules they force everyone else to follow.

• Blame everyone else for the problems and disruptions they have caused to society.

• Are led by sociopaths.

Unlimited theft is now the Big Government game plan

The “Affordable Care Act” is the landmark legislation of the Obama mafia, because it establishes the government’s “right” to engage in unlimited theft and confiscation of money from the American people. Thanks to Chief Justice Roberts and the U.S. Supreme Court, a dangerous precedent now exists that allows the federal government to simply seize funds out of your bank account at any time, for any amount, for any reason whatsoever, as long as they call it a “tax.”

This is a mafia-style approach to governing by coercion. Before long, Obama (or a future president) might decide that every American should buy war bonds through a mandatory “Affordable War Bonds” program. Such a program might automatically withdraw $500 from your bank account each and every month, redirecting that money to the wealthy arms manufacturers whose bombs and missiles need replacing because we’re suddenly in a war with Eurasia… or wherever.

Understand the gravity of this when I explain that the federal government now has no limits whatsoever to its powers of confiscating private wealth. This is crucial to really grasp because it means that when the government runs out of suckers willing to keep lending it more cash — and it can no longer print new money without triggering a global sell-off — there is a 100% chance it is going to resort to the nationwide confiscation of private wealth in order to keep itself afloat.

Yes, you head me right: Your retirement funds, pension funds, private bank account and investment funds will all be subject to government confiscation, much like what recently happened in Cyprus. And because there are no longer any limits to government — the Constitution apparently be damned! — there is no way to stop this cancerous plague of economic destruction from sucking a significant portion of the private wealth in America into a black hole of bureaucratic waste and crony capitalism.

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ReasonTV

Published on Sep 17, 2013

“Someone breaks in, they never show up. Yet still, they want to come and blackball you and close your business,” says Derek Little, owner of an auto shop along Detroit’s Livernois Avenue.

He’s one of many business owners in Detroit who’s faced what he says amounts to harassment from the city’s overzealous code enforcement. Amidst a bankruptcy and a fast-dwindling population and tax base, the city has prioritized the task of ensuring that all businesses are in compliance with its codes and permitting. To accomplish this, Mayor David Bing announced in January that he’d assembled a task force to execute Operation Compliance.

Operation Compliance began with the stated goal of shutting down 20 businesses a week. Since its inception, Operation Compliance has resulted in the closure of 383 small businesses, with another 536 in the “process of compliance,” according to figures provided to Reason TV by city officials.

But business owners say that Operation Compliance unfairly targets small, struggling businesses in poor areas of town and that the city’s maze of regulations is nearly impossible to navigate, with permit fees that are excessive and damaging to businesses running on thin profit margins.

“It is hard to run a business in Detroit. It’s taken me three years to get approval for an outside patio,” says Larry Mongo, who runs Cafe D’Mongo’s Speakeasy a successful bar and restaurant in downtown Detroit.

While Cafe D’Mongo’s is now well-established and successful, Mongo says that the inscrutable regulations, frustrating bureaucracy, and rampant corruption among city officials discourages many would-be entrepreneurs from ever pursuing their business ideas in the city.

“What about the person starting out? The reputation that they give their relatives, their cousins, their friends… They say, ‘Hey, don’t [start a business]. They rob you,'” says Mongo.

Operation Compliance is but one manifestation of a larger problem in Detroit says Michael LaFaive, Director of the Mackinac Center in Michigan. That problem is a local government more focused on collecting revenue and maintaining municipal worker jobs than it is on creating a business-friendly environment.

“Accidentally, the city has created sort of an anarchistic culture in the city, where many entrepreneurs, where many of the smaller retailers and entrepreneurs simply forgo getting the required permits,” says LaFaive. “So entrepreneurs have said, ‘Look, let them catch me if they can.’ Right now, the city has decided, ‘We’re going to try to catch you, and we’re going to put together a special unit to do so.'”

Officials from the city of Detroit did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this story.

Approximately 5 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer and Weissmueller.

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions of this video, and don’t forget to subscribe to Reason TV’s Youtube channel for more content like this.

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