Category Archives: Corruption

How the Mighty Have Fallen: John Edwards Now Getting Hair Done at… Supercuts

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Welcome to the second America, Mr. Edwards.

From the New York Post:

Disgraced former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, reviled for his costy coifs on the campaign trail, now places his strands in the hands of the pros at Supercuts.

Edwards, who in his political heydey went to stylist Joseph Torrenueva, whose Beverly Hills salon charges $300 to $500 per cut, now goes to Supercuts in Raleigh, NC, for a $12.95 job, employees say.

“We just talked about his hair,” said a hairdresser named Leah, who recognized Edwards from a photo.

Haircuts are free in federal prison, where Edwards, 58, could spend up to the next 30 years if he is found guilty of violating campaign-finance laws.

Has Pink Sapphire declared bankruptcy yet?

How long before Edwards is spotted in ::gulp!:: Wal-Mart?

Former Obama Economic Adviser and MF Global CEO: I Don’t Know Where the Money Is

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Here’s are some brief portions of Jon Corzine’s testimony to a congressional committee yesterday about the MF Global collapse and the “missing” $1.2 billion. I’d expect nothing less than “I don’t know where the money is” coming from one of the economic gurus of the era of Hope & Change. It’s a miracle he was never put in charge of the Department of Energy:

And if you wanted to know Corzine’s party affiliation, you wouldn’t have found out by watching ABC or CBS news.

As always, here’s another reminder that we’re talking about the first person the Obama administration called for economic advice when they got to Washington. It all makes sense now:

Rick Perry: Throw Insider Trading Members of Congress in Jail

Alternate MSNBC headline: Rick Perry Presidency Would Worsen Problem of Prison Overcrowding:


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Perry’s talking about this — possible insider trading involving members of Congress from both parties — which isn’t as bad if members of Congress do it, because they write the laws. Nancy sure did a good job of draining that swamp, didn’t she? Maybe the swamp would siphon off a little faster if Pelosi herself wasn’t clogging the drain.

Perry might actually be on to something, at least as far as a strategy goes. Overall, Congress has about an eleven percent approval rating — only pubic lice and Jerry Sandusky come in lower. Some GOP candidates are running against each other and Newt’s running against Obama and the media, which leaves calling out an unpopular Congress as the untapped GOP primary-season resource. We’ll see if it moves the needle for Perry. It better or he’s close to having to short-sell his campaign (that would be inside information though, so nevermind).

Big 3 Networks Conveniently Forget to Mention Jon Corzine’s Party Affiliation

Yesterday at Michelle M’s place I mentioned MF Global’s bankruptcy (the “MF” stands for “where’d all the MF’in money go?”). The company currently can’t account for $700 million and has admitted to using client money to cover company losses — a big no-no in the securities biz.

If Obama was a Republican we might have expected the mainstream media to make a little more out of the fact that Obama once referred to MF Global’s leader Jon Corzine as “our Wall Street guy.” And if Corzine was a Republican we certainly would be hearing more mentions of his party affiliation:

On Tuesday, the morning shows of the Big Three networks omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm, something that even the liberal New York Times did in their coverage of the story. ABC’s Good Morning America also failed to include Corzine’s name during their news brief on the investigation.

News anchor Josh Elliott noted in a 13-second brief that “a Wall Street brokerage firm run by New Jersey’s former governor is filing for bankruptcy. Regulators say some $700 million belonging to MF Global’s customers is apparently missing.” Apparently, the name of the Democrat’s firm is newsworthy at ABC, but his name and his party ID isn’t.

On NBC’s Today show, Natalie Morales gave Corzine’s name right away and detailed that the “the missing money forced MF Global to file for bankruptcy Monday after scuttling a deal to sell part of the company to a rival firm.” But she followed her ABC colleague’s lead by not revealing the former governor’s political affiliation.

While ABC and NBC gave their news briefs on the investigation during the first half hour of their programs, CBS’s Early Show waited over an hour to report on the story. However, the program spent the most time on it out of the three – 23 seconds – compared to 13 seconds and 18 seconds respectively for the other two networks, for a total of 54 seconds of coverage. Fill-in news anchor Betty Nguyen didn’t give Corzine’s party

The MSM always claims they don’t report in a biased fashion, but often their bias is even more glaringly obvious if you pay attention to what they don’t say.

Here are the Bankruptcy Twins — President Obama, Democrat, and the beleaguered Jon Corzine (party affiliation not available at press time), back in more hope-filled days:

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Update: The FBI is now on the case of Corzine (party affiliation not available at press time).

Rep. Joe Walsh Has ‘Fast & Furious’ Pegged

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ocky Mountain Way) has called on Attorney General Holder to resign over Fast & Furious (don’t hold your breath, Joe).

Walsh sure seems to have a bead on what Fast & Furious was designed to accomplish:

Walsh added that Holder needs to explain to the American people what role he had in Operation Fast and Furious. “The American people deserve to know the truth regarding Attorney General Eric Holder’s knowledge and role in the Fast and Furious operation,” Walsh said. “This program was deliberately designed to attack law-abiding American gun owners and gun dealers. Why else would an anti-gun administration force licensed firearms dealers to sell guns to violent criminals?”

That would appear to be the intent of the “program.”

Meanwhile, Republicans grilled J-Nap:

Republicans were outraged that Napolitano had not talked to Holder about the operation, saying that she should have done so when she learned that two of the weapons sold under Fast and Furious were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last year.

“For you to have two dead agents and to have never had a conversation with Eric Holder about Fast and Furious and about this is totally unacceptable,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

Oh come on, give Swifty a break — she was probably busy instructing TSA agents how to spot and report threats to national security.

In other F & F news, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform led by Darrell Issa requested to speak with White House National Security Staffer Kevin O’Reilly. The White House responded that O’Reilly was “on assignment for the State Department in Iraq.” Pajamas Media takes it from there. It sounds like somebody isn’t very anxious for Issa’s committee to speak with Mr. O’Reilly.

The John Murtha Legacy Just Keeps Getting Better

As you read this try and keep in mind that this is a guy who was honored by having a Navy ship named after him.

Last week’s release of FBI documents finally put in writing what nobody had ever said on the record: The FBI suspected that former Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) and lobbyists close to him were running a scheme to funnel earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits to benefit the lawmaker’s friends and former staffers.

Bits and pieces of this story were kicked around for years before Murtha died in February 2010. The Los Angeles Times, Roll Call, the Washington Post and others had documented the odd appearance of earmarks for tiny defense contractors that just happened to open an office in western Pennsylvania and just happened to hire one of the lobbying firms close to Murtha and just happened to begin making campaign donations to Murtha and other Members of Congress close to him.Reporters could do little but assemble the coincidences and couldn’t prove there was anything wrong with the bigger picture.

But it turns out the FBI was reading the stories and was very interested — interested enough that the Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into Murtha and some of the lobbyists in his orbit, a fact that never leaked while Murtha was alive.

In part, the probe never leaked precisely because he was alive.

Let’s just say that Murtha’s post Marine Corps service was less than exemplary — Abscam, endless wastes of money ($150 million for a 20 passenger-a-day airport being one of the less expensive pork projects done in his name), Haditha and now this.

Time to change the name of that ship.

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What Other Briefings is Eric Holder Not Reading? Update: House GOP Calls for Special Counsel to Investigate Holder

To get quickly up to speed on the latest on Fast & Furious:

–Earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder told a congressional committee he’d only “heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

–CBS has documents that show Holder was informed in 2010.

–Holder now says he mis-understood the question (pause for laughter) and he did know about it, just not the details.

–DOJ officials told CBS News that the gun-walking operation referenced in those memos wasn’t Fast & Furious, but a different one (there’s another one?).

–Fox News reported on a former DoJ official who knows Holder and said that he receives dozens of memos a week and “doesn’t always read them.” What a convenient dereliction of duty. What other memos do you think Holder might not be reading? Maybe something about Solyndra?

The plot thickens:


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Update: It’s on:

House Republicans are calling for a special counsel to determine whether Attorney General Eric Holder perjured himself during his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Operation Fast and Furious, Fox News has learned.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was sending a letter to President Obama on Tuesday arguing that Holder cannot investigate himself, and requesting the president instruct the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel.

Green Con Jobs Update: More Obama Supporters Put in Positions Where They Could Help Themselves to Taxpayer Money

This Frank Drebin picture is going to get quite a workout in the coming months, so get used to it:

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We’ve known previously that “clean energy” projects involving Obama’s campaign donors and even Nancy Pelosi’s brother in law have received huge government loans to start companies that even many in the administration knew would do little except take the money, go under, and stick taxpayers with the bill.

That list of names is growing:

Several of Barack Obama’s top campaign supporters went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative energy firms, ABC News and iWatch News have learned.

One of them was Steven J. Spinner, a high-tech consultant and energy investor who raised at least $500,000 for the candidate. He became one of Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s key loan program advisors while his wife’s law firm represented a number of companies that had applied for loans.
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Spinner was not the only Obama political supporter to play a role at the Energy Department. California venture capitalist Steve Westly, who raised more than $500,000 for Obama, had Secretary Chu’s ear on green energy issues as a member of a high-level volunteer advisory panel. Mackey Dykes, who was a finance manager for the Obama campaign, was hired to be the liaison between the Energy Department and White House. Each declined interview requests.

Obama’s political supporters were also investors in companies that had applied for loans. Westly has held stakes in at least five companies that have won DOE support. Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, another Obama bundler, was the biggest private backer of Solyndra. Westly, Spinner and the CEO of Allison Spinner’s law firm, John V. Roos, (now Obama’s ambassador to Japan), each raised more than $500,000 for Obama’s 2008 campaign.

This whole thing smells so fishy that every cat in the country is chasing the story around.

That said, nobody actually believes that people give all that money to politicians because they don’t expect anything in return, do they? It’s just that this time the return is so, well, transparent. And transparent is what Obama pledged to be. He’s sure followed through on that promise.

The 6 Degrees of Separation in the Latest Billion Dollar Government Loan for a Solar Company

Finish investigating the Solyndra debacle before continuing to shell out billions in taxpayer loans for “clean energy” startups? Eh, what for?

The Energy Department announced Wednesday that is has finalized more than $1 billion in loan guarantees for two separate solar projects.

The decision comes several weeks after Solyndra, a California-based solar manufacturer, received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration in 2009 filed for bankruptcy and laid off 1,100 workers, setting off a firestorm in Washington.

DOE announced a $737 million loan guarantee to help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev. The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve.

The Energy Department says the project will result in 600 construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs.

You just know with this administration there’s got to be a political crony connection, so let’s head down the trail and see where it leads: The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, which is a subsidiary of California-based SolarReserve. SolarReserve’s major investors include Pacific Corporate Group. On PAG’s Board of Trustees and apparently serving as the company’s number-two man is a guy named Ronald Pelosi. Does that last name sound familiar? He’s Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Time for congressional testimony practice. Repeat after me, Ron: “On the advice of counsel I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege.”

The loan was just recently finalized, but it was announced back in May. This part of the story caught my eye:

It’s an alternative to traditional solar power projects that use large arrays of photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and convert it to electricity. The idea is reminiscent of the Archimedes Death Ray, an oft-used trope in popular culture.

Hey, do you think that’s why Obama had the Mythbusters re-try their Archimedes Death Ray experiment last October? The Mythbusters debunked the story once, and Obama had them attempt it one more time — and again the myth was declared “busted.” Which means it was definitely used as a model for Obama’s “clean energy” loan program.

Don’t worry. I’m sure SolarReserve will spend their taxpayer-provided windfall at least as responsibly as Solyndra did.

New York Times Headline Blames U.S. for Missing Solyndra Warning Signs; Update: Video Link to Solyndra Hearings — Execs Invoking the Fifth Amendment

The latest New York Times story about Solyndra is fairly open and honest regarding the Obama administration’s complicity in the $500 million boondoggle, but the Times’ headline writer is still in “protect Obama” mode:

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The “U.S.” missed warning signs? The Bush administration ultimately voted against giving Solyndra a taxpayer-backed loan. To me it sounded like a sham from the start (as does just about anything into which this administration sinks its teeth and our money). The rest of America wasn’t consulted on whether the loan was a good idea or not — so it’s not really fair to say the entire country missed the warning signs. I guess this particular headline writer’s credo is “if you can’t blame Bush, blame the whole country.”

That said, there is a twinge of accuracy in that headline. Much of the U.S. is to blame for this mess: the part of America that voted to put Obama in the White House.

Update: The Solyndra congressional hearings are under way and can be seen on C-Span 3 here. Every answer from the Solyndra executives is some variation of “under the advice of counsel I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege.”

The answers are all the same, but the questions, such as “what was your company’s plan to pay back $535 million dollars,” at some point must be answered. Too bad that question wasn’t asked by the Obama administration before they handed the money to Solyndra.

Heh: Henry Waxman just said that making the execs plead the 5th over and over again is “badgering witnesses.” Well, at least this is one way to finally get a liberal Democrat to run to the rescue of corporate execs.

As always, cue Drebin:

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(h/t Newsbusters)