Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Corruption Watch

  • Reports shed light on ties between Weldon, businesses:
    Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon, under investigation for allegedly trading his influence to get lobbying business for one of his daughters, also has helped corporations that have hired another daughter, a friend and some of his former aides.
  • Businesses Seek Protection on Legal Front
    Frustrated with laws and regulations that have made companies and accounting firms more open to lawsuits from investors and the government, corporate America — with the encouragement of the Bush administration — is preparing to fight back.

    Now that corruption cases like Enron and WorldCom are falling out of the news, two influential industry groups with close ties to administration officials are hoping to swing the regulatory pendulum in the opposite direction. The groups are drafting proposals to provide broad new protections to corporations and accounting firms from criminal cases brought by federal and state prosecutors as well as a stronger shield against civil lawsuits from investors.
  • GOP Congressman Has Close Ties to Arms Contractor
    In November at the five-star Hotel Splendido overlooking the harbor in Portofino - a playground of the Italian rich - Representative Curt Weldon, (R-Pa.), was the center of attention. The second-ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, Mr. Weldon was a main speaker at a conference sponsored in part by the Italian military giant Finmeccanica. At the gathering of Italian, British and American political leaders, Mr. Weldon spoke on behalf of Italian arms makers who were seeking a bigger share of Pentagon contracts.
  • Money trails lead to Bush judges
    "A four-month investigation reveals that dozens of federal judges gave contributions to President Bush and top Republicans who helped place them on the bench."
  • The Worst Congress Ever
    Rolling Stone: How our national legislature has become a stable of thieves and perverts -- in five easy steps .
  • Will a shocking new GOP court victory and Karl Rove's attack on Ohio 2006 doom the Democrats nationwide?
    "With a major GOP federal court victory, the Ohio 2006 election has descended into the calculated chaos that has become the trademark of a Karl Rove election theft, and that could help keep the Congress in Republican hands nationwide.

    Through a complex series of legal maneuvers, and now a shocking new decision from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the GOP has thrown Ohio's entire process of voting and vote counting into serious disarray. The mess is perfectly designed to suppress voter turnout, make election monitoring and a recount impossible, and allow the Republican Party to emerge with a victory despite overwhelming evidence the electorate wants exactly the opposite."
  • Jefferson County Voters Continue To Raise Concerns About Voting Machines
    KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket.
  • Florida ballot terminals favor Republicans
    Florida voters using electronic ballot machines are having persistent problems choosing Democrats in early elections, the Miami Herald reports.
    The touch-screen gizmos seem strangely attracted to Republican candidates. One voter needed assistance from an election official, and even then, needed three tries to convince the machine that he wanted to vote for Democrat Jim Davis in the gubernatorial race, not his Republican opponent Charlie Crist.
  • Orange County charges 11 with phony voter registration
    "Fraudulent voter registration charges were filed this week by prosecutors who said Democrats were unwittingly signed up as Republicans."
  • U.S. Drops Bid Over Royalties From Chevron
    "The Interior Department has dropped claims that the Chevron Corporation systematically underpaid the government for natural gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico, a decision that could allow energy companies to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties."
  • The Untracked Guns of Iraq
    "About the last thing the United States ought to be doing in Iraq is funneling weapons into black-market weapons bazaars, as sectarian militias arm themselves for civil war. Yet that is just what Washington may have been doing for the past several years, thanks to an inexplicable decision that standard Pentagon regulations for registering weapons transfers did not apply to the Iraq war."
  • Data Shows How Oil Companies Could Have Cooked Gas Prices Before Election
    "New data and analysis shed some light on how big oil companies may have driven down the price of gasoline in the run up to the election in order to maintain the status quo.

    The Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights has found that the recent sharp drop in gasoline prices from this year's record highs is steeper than the drop in the price of crude oil, indicating that refiners are taking less profit in order to push the retail price lower as the election approaches.

    It is a pattern that is also evident, though less sharply, in the autumn of the last two election years, 2002 and 2004."
  • Brownout at the EPA
    "The agency shuts down five public libraries full of environmental data, and employees and activists question the Bush administration's motives."
  • Ex-White House Official to Be Sentenced
    Lawyers sought leniency Friday for a former Bush administration official convicted in a lobbying scandal. But the judge suggested he would be moved only if David Safavian expressed remorse.
  • Greg Palast | Recipe for a Cooked Election
    "A nasty little secret of American democracy is that, in every national election, ballots cast are simply thrown in the garbage. Most are called 'spoiled,' supposedly unreadable, damaged, invalid. They just don't get counted. This 'spoilage' has occurred for decades, but it reached unprecedented
    heights in the last two presidential elections. In the 2004 election, for example,
    more than three million ballots were never counted.
    Almost as deep a secret is that people are doing something about it. In New Mexico, citizen activists, disgusted by systematic vote disappearance, demanded
    change - and got it."

1 comment:

rimone said...

jesus, what a rundown--you prolly heard me screaming my head off, getting louder and louder as i read.