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Archive for the ‘corruption’ Category

In Thailand, a corrupt official was found guilty of human trafficking.

Seems pretty straightforward, if unusual. How often do corrupt officials end up going to jail, anyhow? Not darn often.

But reading more on the case, I found out something interesting: In Thailand, if you are a government official and are convicted of a crime committed while in office, your punishment is automatically doubled. We need a law like this here in the United States. Maybe that would keep some of our corrupt politicians from going bad so fast.

Of course, first we would have to actually have convictions for our politicians who are corrupt…

– Badtux the “Well, there goes THAT suggestion!” Penguin

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This seems to be a thing with the Trumps. Fucking over Veterans, I mean.

In this case, Trump funnels money into one of his own golf courses at the expense of a veterans program for disabled veterans that uses the Potomac River for kayaking. It turns out you don’t need legs to kayak. Who coulda thunk?! So anyhow, Camp David has a world-class golf course maintained at taxpayer expense and is a thirty minute helicopter ride from the White House, but Trump golfs at his own golf course instead, forcing the Secret Service to lease the golf course for a day and close the nearby river in order to secure the President. Free government money into Trump’s pockets! What a deal — for Trump. Not for anybody else.

Needless to say, nobody’s calling this outright corruption what it is — outright corruption. Trump could do like Ike and Gerald Ford and golf at Camp David. Ike built a pretty good golf course there, Gerald Ford renovated it to be world-class. But that wouldn’t funnel money into his own pockets. Fuck the taxpayer, right? And fuck those veterans too.

– Badtux the Corruption Penguin

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Ordered by a court to release his list of Russia contacts from his security clearance form, Attorney General Jeff Sessions instead releases a page from the form that is redacted to the point of basically being a blank sheet.

Oh Jeffy, puh-LEEZE. It’s not as if it’s a secret that you met with multiple Russian officials during the course of the Presidential campaign. Hell, we even have pictures of you talking with them:

Not to mention that you’ve even said yourself that you talked them them “as part of your Senate duties”. So you producing this blank sheet of paper? Total dick move. Total. Dick. Move.

If the plaintiffs in this FOIA lawsuit don’t file a petition for contempt of court with that evidence above, their lawyers ain’t doin’ their job. And guess what, Jeffy? It’s likely that you’ll get to spend a few days in Graybar Motel, like that woman in Kentucky who thought she could defy a court order to issue marriage certificates and changed her mind swiftly after spending some time in Club Fed for contempt of court. Let’s see what gets produced after a few days contemplating your navel in the Graybar Motel….

– Badtux the Popcorn-Munchin’ Penguin

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FBI wiretapped a Russian gambling ring headquartered at Trump Tower. Only three floors below Trump’s own apartment. Not just a gambling ring, they specialized in extortion and money laundering too.

Donald Trump’s connections with the Russian Mafia are extensive. They rent his apartments and hotel rooms, they buy his houses, they lend money to him, he is, basically, up to his shoulderbones in Russian mafiosos. What do they have on him, and how much have they shared with Russian intelligence?

– Badtux the Not-Russian Penguin

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So all this drip drip drip of stories about connections between Trump administration officials and Russia? Obama set that up, making sure that all this information was floating around out there in the intelligence committees in Congress and in the intelligence community as a whole.

So now the latest Trump administration official with Russian contacts was… Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who lied to Congress not once, but twice saying that he hadn’t had any contact with Russian officials. Twice. Perjured himself. Let’s see, what did Congress do when President Clinton perjured himself? Wait, I gotta think about that one…

So anyhow, Jeffy swiftly said he never talked to no Ruskies. Except… that sorta pissed off one Republican who you shouldn’t piss off in this situation. That’s Representative Chaffetz, he of the ten billion Benghazi and email investigations, who called for Sessions to recuse himself from any investigation of Russia connections.

Finally Sessions saw the writing on the wall and recused himself — with caveats. I.e., he’s only recusing himself from campaign-related investigations — nothing else.

We’ll see if that satisfies Chaffetz and Marco Rubio and other Republican critics…

– Badtux the Popcorn-munchin’ Penguin

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Ro Khanna has received more money from Wall Street than any other House candidate in the United States.

Yes, the candidate claiming to be an “honest government” candidate has taken more money from the corrupt Wall Street establishment that bought laws that allowed them to crash the economy in 2008, then escape all consequences while getting billions in taxpayer bailouts for their corruption, than any other candidate in the entire United States of America. Even more than the New York City candidates who you would think would be the focus of Wall Street money.

This is why I can’t vote for Ro Khanna. He is a Republican Lite in the pay of the sleazy Wall Street types who crashed our economy in 2008 and then got paid to bail themselves out. I think Mike Honda has overstayed in the House, he is no longer capable and needs to designate a successor with similar ideals, but Ro Khanna is a dishonest sleazebag who has repeatedly made promises that he knows he can’t keep (because U.S. Representatives don’t have the power to fulfill promises such as “institute coding classes in all schools”) and Ro has repeatedly smeared a man who has served honorably in the House for almost as long as this sleaze has been alive. There are ways to run against an elderly man who served honorably in his day but is no longer capable. Dishonorable smear jobs and ugliness are not among them, and are what offends me most about Ro’s campaigns.

In short: Ro is *not* a suitable replacement for Mike Honda. Ro Khanna is part of the problem with our economy and our government (that is, pay for play politics), not part of the solution.

– Badtux the Santa Clara Penguin
Note: Yes, the San Jose Murky News endorsed Ro. They’ve never met a “pro business” (i.e., corrupt pay-for-play) candidate that they didn’t like. And your point?

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cropped-Dove-and-Waitz-1
Sheriff Jerry Larpenter of Terrebone Parish, who thinks he’s found an ‘out’ to the Sullivan test by filing criminal charges claiming that his critic libeled an insurance agent who is not a public figure.

For those of you not familiar with the Sullivan Test, it dates back to the civil rights era where Southern politicians regularly sued newspapers for libel when those newspapers reported on their corruption and their mistreatment of civil rights protesters. This culminated in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which raised the bar for libel of a public official to “actual malice” — that is, the politician or public figure not only had to prove that what was published about him was false, but also that the person who published it knew it was false.

Given the Sullivan Test, Sheriff Larpenter can’t file criminal charges claiming that the anonymous blogger who is documenting his corruption has libeled him. A quick trip to federal court with a reference to Garrison V. Louisiana, which invalidated the Louisiana criminal libel statute in any case involving public figures and especially public officials, and he’d be a laughingstock as well as promptly sued for malicious prosecution and violation of 1st Amendment press rights. But Sheriff Larpenter thinks he has found an “out”, which is that Tony Alford, the Sheriff Department’s new insurance broker (and whose office manager just *happens* to be the Sheriff’s wife), is not a public official or a public figure as defined by the Sullivan decision.

Of course the whole concept of “criminal libel” is ridiculous on its face in the first place. Libel is an act that does not cause death or physical injury, thus is more properly classified as a civil offense where the victim sues the perpetrator for damages. But most of the states of the Confederacy (all of them, actually, other than Texas and Missouri) still have these criminal libel laws on their books from the days when they were used against civil rights activists. And our corrupt Louisiana politician of the month, Sheriff Jerry Larpenter, in conjunction with his corrupt crony Terrebonne Parish District Attorney Joe Waitz, intend to use it in order to silence the blogger who is documenting their corruption. Because freedom of the press is not a freedom that Larpenter and Waitz care about. Because to them, the Constitution is just a piece of paper.

And the voters of Terrebonne Parish elected these corrupt anti-Constitution politicians, and will pay millions for the lawsuit settlement after the malicious prosecution lawsuit is filed against them. So it goes. Elections have consequences. If the voters of Terrebonne Parish didn’t want to pay out all that money, they should have elected less corrupt officials. Right?

– Badtux the Corruption Penguin

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