"[T]he corrupting influence of money is the first problem facing this nation. That unless we solve this problem, we won’t solve anything else... The Framers, Lessig says, had just one kind of dependence in mind for members of Congress: a dependence on the people. He quotes The Federalist (the then-anonymous essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay that are often used as a contemporary account of the Framers’ intentions) to make this point: number 52 describes the House of Representatives as that “branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone” (emphasis added).
But in the last two decades, Lessig writes, members of Congress have developed a fearsome dependency: campaign cash. The total amount spent on campaigns by all candidates for Congress in 2010 was $1.8 billion. Fundraising has become a way of life..." (via 3 Quarks Daily)
posted by caddis
on Aug 1, 2012 -
Collusion, vandalism and violence—all for something as banal as snowplowing. If you think it seems too extreme, you don’t understand how public contracting in Montreal works, said the former employee of the major company. The same tactics are used throughout the city, even in the tiniest industries; it’s a culture, a way of life. “I have seen a guy get threatened when he bid on a grass-mowing contract in Ville St. Laurent. They don’t care. It’s just about maintaining control over those areas,” he explained. “The people that talk about corruption in the construction industry don’t realize it’s not just construction. It’s everywhere in public works.”
posted by vidur
on Apr 19, 2012 -
of international adoptions, from the superlative Schuster Institute
for Investigative Journalism. The site contains an amazing amount of information about corruption in international adoption in countries like Nepal
posted by the young rope-rider
on Apr 19, 2011 -
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
- "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via
; previously on arms contractors
posted by kliuless
on Mar 21, 2011 -
A Glimpse of the World
All across Africa, new tracks are being laid, highways built, ports deepened, commercial contracts signed
-- all on an unprecedented scale, and led by China, whose appetite for commodities
. Do China's grand designs promise the transformation, at last, of a star-crossed continent? Or merely its exploitation? The author
travels deep into the heart of Africa, searching for answers. [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Apr 26, 2010 -
The Next Attack.
"Terrorists in Iraq are becoming proficient at blowing up
oil refineries. Similar plants in a handful of American
cities represent our greatest vulnerability. We could
easily be making them less dangerous. But we’re not." And one of the key players in keeping things that way happens to be Dick Cheney’s son-in-law
posted by homunculus
on Mar 1, 2007 -
"I am copying you on this crap since I honestly believe the competitive procurement will never happen."
--a multi-billion-dollar no-bid contract to KBR/Halliburton announced only after the fact, Cheney's extensive involvement, the attempted coverup of that involvement, lies, and you. Embarrassment is not sufficient cause for exemption
from the Freedom of Information Act, no matter how much some may wish. ...Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in September 2003 Cheney stated,
“I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the [Army] Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the Federal Government.”
posted by amberglow
on Jun 15, 2006 -
Their view is that psyops can be directed toward global transregional audiences.
My view is that that’s not possible because it directs psyops against our own friends and allies and even at our own public. ... In Mind Games, Columbia Journalism Review thoroughly examines the disintegrating lines between Public Affairs, Psy-Ops, IO, the public, and the truth. Some old friends are mentioned too: the Lincoln Group
, the Rendon Group,
the Pentagon, our own media, and others. If truth is our greatest weapon, as Rumsfeld has said, how can the administration hope to prevail in an information war when it is not honest with itself?
posted by amberglow
on May 1, 2006 -
"These are just slush funds for conservative interest groups"
--The Compassion Capital Fund ($148 million of our money), and the Community-Based Abstinence Education grant program ($391.7 million of our money)--just 2 of many new programs. ...The distribution of new money to conservative organizations is a small part of an estimated flood of $2 billion a year in federal grants to religious and religiously affiliated organizations.
--except it's only to organizations who have policies that agree with Bush and the GOP agenda on social issues, and not about need.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 22, 2006 -
Corruption Perceptions Index 2001 highlights worldwide corruption
"There is no end in sight to the misuse of power by those in public office - and corruption levels are perceived to be as high as ever in both the developed and developing worlds.
It does not reflect secret payments to finance political campaigns, the complicity of banks in money laundering or bribery by multinational companies. Corruption in the most prosperous countries in the world has many manifestations."
posted by riley370
on Jun 29, 2001 -