Tag Archives: Graft

Media calls Hastert clean-as-a-whistle as he is indicted for “prior misconduct” but where did he get millions to pay?

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s biggest crime isn’t whatever he’s paying hush money to cover up, it’s this: Where did the former high school teacher and wrestling coach get a discretionary fund of millions to pay off a blackmailer? While reporters try to dig up Hastert’s accuser, we should follow the money backward. WHERE DID SPEAKER HASTERT GET THE MONEY?! Or do we take for granted that all congressmen slash lobbyists are multi-millionaires who can spare several million for bribes of their own? It’s interesting that the media wants to indemnify Hastert’s “clean as a whistle” career from what they’re labeling “prior misconduct”. But that “clean as a whistle” firewall comes from Hastert having presided over the impeachment of Bill Clinton. So he’s a choirboy along the likes of Ken Starr. Otherwise Hastert’s long reign in the house was the usual shady. Details listed on the recent indictment indicate Hastert was being blackmailed for sexual misbehavior in the Duggar family tradition, not uncommon to born-again congressmen of Hastert’s hue.

The NYE Fiscal Cliff is a Buffalo Jump. Is your herd going to fall for it?

Fiscal Cliff is a Buffalo Jump
DENVER, COLORADO- The DC Kabuki Divas are amping up their New Years cliffhanger, the so-called Fiscal Cliff, to inaugurate domestic austerity measures meant to cement the widening income gap between the rich and everybody else. If it’s a cliff, it’s a buffalo jump off which the easily panicked are stampeded to their death. Fiscal Cliff even shares the same initials with the last economic extortion ploy, the Financial Crisis which intro’d President Obama’s preceding term.

So-called Fiscal Cliff is a Buffalo Jump

Remember the “Financial Crisis” from out of nowhere when Obama first came to office? Now it’s Bank Heist, the Sequel, branded most assuredly with the assistance of Madison Avenue as a “Fiscal Cliff”, shall we call it FC2? This time instead of extorting a so-called “bank bailout”, the oligarchs want austerity concessions. Having looted the public treasury, they’re after the public wealth we call government’s primary social benefit to which the public thought it was “entitled”. So our herders are crying FISCAL CLIFF hoping to divert the public beast to a real cliff, another Buffalo Jump, in urban terms, a shakedown.

WWII vet, age 92, finally diagnosed with PTSD why, because we care?

Sgt. Stanley Friedman, a 92 yr-old veteran of the WWII North African campaign, was finally diagnosed with PTSD. Pro bono lawyers couldn’t even verify his service records, but after sixty years of denying his claims, the VA has at last been forced to grant Friedman compensation. Is this really the result of crafty legal work, at long last, or of a PR climate now overrun by Big Pharma, whose PTSD drug market windfall needed a poster boy for the baby boomer set, the type of veteran Americans favor over those from less “good” wars?

It’s not a recession, it’s a robbery.

It's not a recession, it's a robberyThis image gets my vote for the KILLER APP of internet memes to explain what the “economic crisis” and its global banking “austerity measures” are really about: pure greed.
All the rich have ever wanted is everything. Damn the middle class, the working class and the poor. Economists are part of their getaway illusionist crew, if you want to understand Milton Friedman and the banking economy, call CSI.

Do we need to speak truth to power? The powerful already know the truth. They bank on it.

So that much hasn’t been made clear to you with Occupy Wall Street? Common citizens are coming together across the globe, without need to apprise each other about Capitalism’s ravages. Does anyone still doubt these crimes are fully premeditated? SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER may still be a laudable dare, but let’s not pretend it’s revelatory. Today netizens are being asked to petition congress to stand down its attack on Net Neutrality, because apparently the public’s freedom on the web might be something lawmakers are overlooking. Playing this speak-truth-to-power charade simply renders the public complicit in perpetuating untruth, that the actions of our corporate government, media and capital class are not absolutely, mendaciously callous and deliberate.

Colorado Springs corruption detectives sniff desperation of lottery ticket clerks

Colorado Lottery, don't forget to payYou’d think Colorado Springs’ many kleptocrats, considering our locale’s famously embarrassing lower than average IQ, must be stupid enough to get caught. Other than the odd treasurer with a gambling habit, law enforcement is not going after them. Instead, according to an article in today’s Gazette, local detectives are policing convenience store clerks, exposing the corruption of workers who have to tender anything over a five into a time-lock safe. A Colorado Lotto sting operation busted two out of twenty clerks surveyed this weekend who pretended their customers had losing tickets, and who later tried to redeem the tickets for themselves. One of the corrupted employees worked at the west side Farmcrest, now she’s on the lam, so I have a personal interest in calling the sweep an entrapment.

Obviously. In her shoes, a likely pretty awful daily grind, what might you have been tempted to do?

Here’s how it worked: the special Lotto detective, yeah, I carry a badge, hits random ticket outlets, equipped with a trick ticket which when fed into the Lotto equipment registers as a $100,000 winner. This is handed to each clerk under the pretext that the pretend-ticket-holder wants to know if his/her ticket is a winner. If it is, hurrays all around, the secret shopper leaves congratulated without further ado. If the clerk palms the ticket, inserts a bum ticket kept handy, and tells the mystery shopper theirs is a dud, the detective returns to the office to lay in wait for that clerk to visit in person to claim to the “prize”.

Now the story doesn’t say that particular clerks were targeted based on flagged irregularities, or for having redeemed a suspicious percentage of winning tickets, or for having entered the same non-winning ticket at repeated intervals during the same work shift. Actuarial predictors could probably narrow the hunt, but there the prey becomes perhaps too crafty. Instead the mystery shoppers cast a wide net, sweetened with a $100,000 lure.

You may think I’m too soft on a miscreant clerk betraying her fellow poverty-wage peers, those who tithe what they can’t afford for the regular vicarious, virtual delusion that any successive investment in the lottery could deliver them into riches. Perhaps it’s more obvious to her than to most that with lottery tickets the payoff is in holding the ticket, the dreams you entertain, before you confirm it’s very very unlikely to be worth more than nothing. Perhaps she knows the only way you’re going to quit the destructive habit is to lose the last umpteenth time. I know in Cripple Creek when I saw a slot machine paying out, or heard someone tell of returning from Las Vegas with a positive cash balance, I thought, oh no, that only encourages the idiots. Perhaps a lottery sales clerk gets to know her regular customers and knows how severely each cannot afford the deprivations which their gambling compels.

Of course the Lotto secret shopper is not going to be confused for a regular. But who knows what profile undercover officers project. Maybe they’re nasty customers, someone a clerk would hate to see win. I have no idea. Imagine you are that detective, eager to trip someone up, with the scruples of a condescending law enforcer who suspects all. I’ll bet you’d be as rude as your undercover video camera allows. If the clerk isn’t alerted by your undercover behavior, it might be the creepiness of your insincerity that prompts her to tell you your ticket is not a winner. Her disdain may even be compounded by the factor that you can’t even verify the ticket yourself at the DIY kiosks. On top of that you’re an asshole.

At the core, what you’ve done is dangle $100,000 in front of a clerk who earns minimum hourly wage, who’s not permitted to work more than 20 hours a week and thus has to hold two or three jobs, earning no overtime. You’ve targeted a person who is cannon fodder for armed robbery holdups, without cause. It’s a tribute to the average clerk’s honesty, or a sign of their heightened state of fright, that more do not fall to temptation.

The Colorado Lotto’s pretense for exemption from the state’s otherwise fairly puritanical isolation of gambling communities is that it’s tolerated because it funds Colorado’s park system. The contrivance of this Lotto police sting operation suggest the program also aims to supplement municipal and correctional system coffers.

You tell me whether publicizing such successful stings gives people more or less comfort in the lottery’s integrity. I’d be inclined to say no. If the Lotto really wanted, system safeguards could easily subvert the best efforts of dishonest clerks.

I draw consolation in thinking this entrapment scenario prompts an obvious defense for my poor Westside victim. She told the undercover shopper that the ticket was not a winner. In fact it was not a winning ticket, it was a fraud.

Before tarring himself Representative Tar Baby, Doug Lamborn made threats as Congressman “Consequences”

Do you remember that Colorado Representative Doug Lamborn had a nickname before he pinned the latest on his sorry tail? Before Tar Baby, Lamborn was known for another remark whose meaning he insists he hadn’t intended, when he left a telephone message with a local couple, threatening “consequences” if they failed to cede to his demand. The couple had questioned the propriety of two campaign contributions, accusations which proved to be true, but Lamborn warned there would be consequences if they did not agree to meet with him privately to discuss a retraction. The couple felt unsettled by a congressman threatening them with “consequences” but Lamborn laughed it off as a misinterpretation, just as he did again with “tar baby”. Lamborn explained he didn’t mean it like that, he wanted them to understand that, you know, there are consequences to telling untruths. But theirs weren’t, in fact Lamborn’s protestations were untrue. And very unjustly, he has yet to suffer for it. Yet. Throwing your weight around like a mobster is one thing, calling the president a Tar Baby might prove stickier.

Find the Michele Bachmann inside you

So Michele Bachmann was a tax collector. Sarah Palin was an oil industry stooge. The media didn’t conjure these villainesses from whole or rare cloth. Most politicians are corporate functionaries before they bill the public to do it. If they haven’t dedicated their lives expressly to destroying the environment, the social fabric, your job and everyone’s quality of life, they’ve always understood your loss was somebody’s gain, and theirs. Know anyone like that around you? Practically everyone! That’s whose throats you need to wrap your fingers around. Shake the blinders off their eyes with good old-fashioned throttling. Shout them down. Shut them up. Shame and scorn them, the heartless, uninformed, apathetic pricks. Activism begins at the grassroots, pull those weeds from the roots.
The media sets up Bachmann and Palin as characters you love to hate, there for you to pillory in effigy. You can flame them with your wit, call for their heads, but ultimately their pulpits lay beyond your reach, from where they safely goad you at the media’s whim. Wake up. Bachmann and Palin are the effigies. Burning them accomplishes nothing. They’re the poster children rotten apples among the joe public rotten apples which fill the American barrel. Look around you. See all the clueless, amoral, self-serving opportunists? Time to drop the agree-to-disagree, polite society pretense. Take the gloves off and have at ’em.

Petition Sallie Clark not to groom Lisa Czeladtko city council campaign

Conflict of interest, anyone? County Commissioner is one of those “low paid” jobs in local government which pays off hugely in graft money, if one is so disposed to take advantage of that opportunity, by voting tax breaks, zoning laws (enforced at Public Expense) and other Pork-barrel subsidies for the actual paying business of the Commissioner. Quasi-legalized Grand Theft would be a better word for it.

editorial note: There are lines even in Colorado Springs politics which should not be crossed. Such as paid representatives using their positions of power to influence elections. Sally Clark is an Earth-raping Fascist a Land Developer, part of the “in crowd” who destroyed the economy of the U.S., the entire planet and in particular Colorado Springs with their Ponzi-scheme federally subsidized Mortgage Ripoff. And who bought her position and vote not only as city council but as County Commissioner. Same as always Lisa Czeladtko is running for City Councilor of Colorado Springs Colorado. The status quo in Colorado Springs shows hatred toward victims of a poor local economy.

Former Colorado Springs City Councilor and current El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark is the campaign manager for Lisa Czeladtko.

Lisa Czeladtko has negatively criticized the New Life Church for having helped victims of a fallen economy in Acacia Park. Lisa Czeladtko has publicly demonized victims of a fallen economy.

Sallie Clark is acting as her campaign manager while serving as El Paso County Commissioner.

Sallie Clark must either resign as El Paso County Commissioner or resign as Lisa Czeladtko’s Campaign Manager.

Colorado Springs needs fair minded representatives on the City Council not those who express hatred toward toward people who were negatively affected by the downfall of the economy.

Furthermore let this petition serve as a notice that the whole world is watching Colorado Springs

There was a Richard Pryor movie long ago “Brewster’s Millions: an American excess story” in which the question was put, of a mayoral candidate, “Why would anybody spend 30 Million dollars to get elected to a job that pays a hundred Thousand a year? Answer: because he can steal it back, with interest”

While the campaign costs for City Council and County Commissioner here aren’t that large, neither is the actual pay for those positions. Since every man jack and girl Jill on either board considers or at least calls him/her self a “conservative” and with business ethics which start and end with Profit At Whatever Moral Cost, that leads to a (yet another) wide-open all-you-can-steal-buffet publicly funded trough where the Rich can feed.

Exact text of petition:

Please Resign

Greetings,

We feel that your efforts to help Lisa Czeladtko win a seat onto the Colorado Springs City Council are with hatred toward the victims of a poor economy in the Colorado Springs Area.

We the undersigned feel that it would be in the best interests of the people in the Colorado Springs and El Paso County Area if you resign as Lisa Czeladtko’s Campaign Manager and/or El Paso County Commissioner

[Your name]

Of course my take on it remains unchanged

The City of Colorado Springs worships as a demigod a former United States Army general who used his leverage as a certified Baby-killing Land Thief in the (for now paused) Genocide against American Indians with the sole purpose of taking the land… Used that leverage to get a GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED Railroad “free market enterprise” and used THAT position to get, from the Federal Government, and at taxpayer expense, sections (square mile blocks) of land and started the City of Colorado Springs on what is basically Real Estate Fraud, enforced by U.S. Cavalry rifles and sabres.

The aforementioned Acacia Park, which Lisa Czeladtko and others of her Fascist Ilk wish to make off-limits to anybody who doesn’t meet their criteria, largely based on income, for citizenship in Colorado Springs, or El Paso County, or the State of Colorado or The United States….

has at the North-east corner an intersection, Platte and Nevada, where they’ve got this humongous Idolatrous statue of the aforementioned Baby-killing Land Raping Thief which we, the Citizens, are required to worship with our tax money (it costs us to maintain their idol) and is an utterly ridiculous traffic hazard.

“At Smith-Barney (or any other thieving-ass Investment House temple-of-Mammon) we make money the old fashioned way… we hire scions of the Slave Class to join our armies and take the resources of other people and kill anybody who objects”

It’s Obama’s tax cut for the rich

Barack Obama and Bill Clinton steal from the poor to give to the rich
It seems just an election ago that Candidate Obama objected to the Bush Tax Cuts which launched a new gilded age. Now that those grievously unfair giveaways are up for extension, President Obama is not just a cheerleader, he’s the pitcher, with relief pitcher Clinton in the final inning. Obama pushed so hard to close this deal, even the GOP, the supposed heavies, were able to log their opposition. To the “compromise” — an extenuating detail future campaign ads can omit.

Incumbent pig Lysa Merkoskee will not be dislodged from corporatist trough

As oil industry crony Lisa Murkowski retains her Alaska senate seat, did she “make history” by being the first official in 50 years to succeed as a write-in candidate, or did she make history by demonstrating that incumbents can beat every last determined effort to throw them out? The otherwise incorrigibly-Republican Murkowsky was rejected in her own party’s primary, so she defied her constituents by running under the stealth Incumbent Party, DC’s most heavily funded lobby arm, representing corporate polluters, profiteers, pillagers and other profaners of Democracy, enlisting the help of even Alaska’s poorest spellers to ensure that nothing will dislodge America’s corrupt Mandarins.

Bush leaves US a half-trillion more debt

Bushco not only exhausted the treasury, but a half-trillion dollars more Americans don’t have. Is that someone you’re comfortable having a beer with? Someone who commits more spending to himself and friends, and leaves the debt to the next addressee? Credit card companies call that fraud. So long suckers! It’s graft plain and simple. Especially since the money wasn’t burnt up in a war, or blown to the winds by Katrina. No, this money was funneled, by the supertanker load, to Bush and Cheney cronies in oil, weapons and banking.
 
Think there’s not more damage Bush can do? Think the Kucinich impeachment call is after spilled milk? The ACLU can think of five barn doors we need to block immediately while Bush’s burglary is still in progress! Mukasey’s declaration of universal war for one!

MC FogHorn Leghorn and the F’N MA

Fat Fannie and Fudgebutt FredWith record high foreclosures due to predatory lenders and sham mortgages, who’s in favor of a taxpayer bailout to the Federal National Mortgage Assoc.?
Or how about public monies to save the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation? No takers? The homeowners are still screwed, but the lenders need our help. They’re shareholder owned, government sanctioned monopolies, and they need 25 billion. No sympathetic alms? Good thing both the FNMA and the FHLMC, appointed themselves the intentionally endearing nicknames Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to confuse our affections.

It reminds me of a classmate who reinvented himself on the first day of college. When professors asked our names or applicable nicknames, this skinny pocket-protector wearer told the class he went by “Bear.” And his unlikely reincarnation stuck. Thereafter “Bear” became that much less an engineering geek than his no more nerdier compatriots.

Fannie and Freddie may sound like personable natural derivatives of their acronyms, but the Appalachian appellations are official. When I was confronted about having apparently misspelled the cutesy MAE, being the purported colloquial surname of the usurious giant, I found there was indeed a formal spelling. Really? For a phonetic abbreviation? Couldn’t it just as easily be spelled with a Y? And why not Fanny with a Y, like Brice, Hackabout-Jones or the derriere? Too much impropriety for hillbillies?

Do the letters FN resolve to “Fanny” more than to the more modern and infinitely appropriate Fucking?

Where did MA become May? Why not Ma, like Ma Dalton?

And wherever do you get Freddie from FHL? I see Foghorn Leghorn for the first initials. Leaving MC for Mack as of The Knife.

The FNMA / FHLMC bonanza provides a textbook simple model of the capitalist stakeout of regulated/unregulated public finance: build a business, merge to create a monopoly, then loot funds to require a taxpayer bailout.

Stephen Johnson auto industry minion

EPA Chief Stephen Johnson denies climate change will adversely effect CaliforniaThere it is, the Neocon ensemble: black suit, red tie and US flag lapel pin, the mark of graft, greed, and audacious insincerity.
 
EPA Chief Stephen Johnson defended his decision today to deny California a waiver to set its own automobile emissions standards. (The progressive CAFE standards and the pending LCFS regulations.) His rationale? Climate change threatens no significant adverse effect on the state.