Government Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important government corruption news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These government corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Government Corruption News stories


Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

At America’s court of last resort, a handful of lawyers now dominates the docket
2014-12-08, Reuters
Posted: 2015-01-04 21:58:09
http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/scotus/

The U.S. Supreme Court building proclaims a high ideal: “Equal Justice Under Law.” But inside, an elite cadre of lawyers has emerged [to give] their clients a disproportionate chance to influence the law. A Reuters examination of nine years of cases shows that 66 of the 17,000 lawyers who petitioned the Supreme Court ... were at least six times more likely to be accepted by the court than were all others. About half [of these 66 lawyers] worked for justices past or present, and some socialize with them. Although they account for far less than 1 percent of lawyers who filed appeals to the Supreme Court, these attorneys were involved in 43 percent of the cases the high court chose to decide from 2004 through 2012. The Reuters examination of the Supreme Court’s docket, the most comprehensive ever, suggests ... a decided advantage for corporate America. Some legal experts contend that the reliance on a small cluster of specialists, most working on behalf of businesses, has turned the Supreme Court into an echo chamber – a place where an elite group of jurists embraces an elite group of lawyers who reinforce narrow views of how the law should be construed. Of the 66 most successful lawyers, 51 worked for law firms that primarily represented corporate interests. In cases pitting the interests of customers, employees or other individuals against those of companies, a leading attorney was three times more likely to launch an appeal for business than for an individual, Reuters found.

Note: How interesting that no major media seem to have picked up this revealing story. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption from reliable major media sources.




North Korea/Sony Story Shows How Eagerly U.S. Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims
2015-01-01, The Intercept
Posted: 2015-01-04 21:56:13
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/01/north-koreasony-story-shows-eag...

The identity of the Sony hackers is still unknown. President Obama, in a December 19 press conference, announced: “We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack.” He then vowed: “We will respond. We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States.” The ... campaign to blame North Korea actually began two days earlier, when The New York Times [reported] that North Korea was ‘centrally involved’ in the hacking of Sony Pictures computers. The same day, The Washington Post ... devoted most of its discussion to the “retaliation” available to the U.S. The NYT and Post [did not note] how sparse and unconvincing was the available evidence against North Korea. The day before Obama’s press conference, long-time expert Marc Rogers detailed his reasons for viewing the North Korea theory as “unlikely”; after Obama’s definitive accusation, he comprehensively reviewed the disclosed evidence and was even more assertive: “there is NOTHING here that directly implicates the North Koreans” and “the evidence is flimsy and speculative at best.” None of this expert skepticism made its way into countless media accounts of the Sony hack. North Korea was [reported to be] responsible for the hack, because the government said it was. That kind of reflexive embrace of government claims is ... dangerous [because such] claims can serve as a pretext for U.S. aggression.

Note: Read the complete article above to see why Glen Greenwald compares this propaganda campaign with the run-up to the Iraq War and the Gulf of Tonkin fraud. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about mass media deception from reliable sources.




Go to the bank, go to jail
2014-12-26, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2015-01-04 21:53:56
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/Go-to-the-bank-go-to-jail-59...

[Making bank deposits of] less than $10,000 is illegal if it is done to evade a federal bank reporting requirement. [By] a practice known as civil asset forfeiture, prosecutors can seize [such bank deposits]. As an individual, you may be presumed innocent unless or until you are proven guilty, but your money and possessions have no such protections. To get your money back, you have to go to court essentially to prove that you and your assets are not guilty. Federal agents have used this power to seize medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized medical marijuana ... to shut down what are legal businesses under California law without having to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the owners violated federal drug laws. Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and President Obama’s nominee to succeed Eric Holder as Attorney General, has been an aggressive practitioner of asset seizures. Lynch’s office has served as a major forfeiture operation, bringing in more than $113 million in civil actions from 123 cases between 2011 and 2013. [One] case involves Bi-Country Distributors, a Long Island family business that stocks convenience stores. In May 2012, federal agents seized more than $400,000 from the business bank account. Brothers Jeffrey, Richard and Mitch Hirsch who run the business ... made frequent deposits under $10,000. Federal prosecutors grabbed the money, but didn’t charge the Hirsches with a crime.

Note: This story references facts from a Wall Street Journal article that calls civil asset forfeiture "an all-purpose cash machine for police departments and prosecutors." For more along these lines, see this deeply revealing summary of a New York Times article that shows how cops steal from innocents to pad police department budgets.




The Government Problem
2014-12-23, Chicago Tribune
Posted: 2015-01-04 21:51:37
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/sns-201412230900--tms--amvoices...

Consider the new spending bill Congress and the president agreed to a few weeks ago. Under the $1.1 trillion measure, government spending doesn't rise as a percent of the total economy. If the economy grows as expected, government spending will actually shrink over the next year. The problem with the legislation is who gets the goodies and who's stuck with the tab. Only about 12 percent of federal spending goes to individuals and families. An increasing portion goes to corporate welfare. In addition to the provisions in the recent spending bill that reward Wall Street, health insurers, the travel industry, food companies and defense contractors, other corporate goodies have long been baked into the federal budget. Big agribusiness gets price supports. Hedge-fund and private-equity managers get their own special "carried-interest" tax loophole. The oil and gas industry gets its special tax subsidies. Big Pharma gets a particularly big benefit: a prohibition on government using its vast bargaining power under Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate low drug prices. The new spending legislation, just enacted, makes it easier for wealthy individuals to write big checks to political parties. Much of government is no longer working for the vast majority it's intended to serve. Unless or until we can reverse the vicious cycle of big money getting political favors that makes big money even bigger, we can't get the government we want and deserve.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption and income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.




Whistleblower Claims CDC Covered Up Data Showing Vaccine-Autism Link
2014-08-28, Time
Posted: 2015-01-04 21:42:03
http://time.com/3208886/whistleblower-claims-cdc-covered-up-data-showing-vacc...

There’s a war going on between those who believe in the health benefits of vaccines ... and those that believe that the immunizations do more harm than good. Now one of the authors of a 2004 government study that found similar vaccination rates among children with and without autism says the study omitted some important data. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and one of the authors of a 2004 study published in the journal Pediatrics, spoke with Brain Hooker, who serves on the board of Focus Autism (which was founded to “put an end to the needless harm of children by vaccination and other environmental factors”), about the data that was not included in the final report. Hooker and Thompson ... discussed a subset of the 624 children with autism and 1824 without the condition who were studied. Thompson admitted that among African-American boys, the incidence of autism was higher among those who were vaccinated than among those who weren’t. But that information was not part of the paper. Did the CDC cover up the data? Thompson claims that the findings were statistically significant, but ... that the way that the 2004 study was presented does not negate the importance of vaccination, [and that] the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

Note: Thompson claims he was not aware that the discussion was being recorded, and his statements appeared in a video released on YouTube on August 22 entitled “CDC Whistleblower Revealed.” For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.




Child abuse inquiry: Police investigate three alleged murders
2014-12-18, BBC News
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:55:18
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30534235

Detectives are investigating three alleged murders as part of an inquiry into historical child abuse, the Met Police has said. No confirmed identities or bodies of victims had been found. Officers made a public appeal for information relating to Dolphin Square estate in Pimlico, south-west London, amid claims boys were abused there [by] a paedophile ring involving prominent figures in the 1970s and 1980s. The appeal was made as part of Operation Midland, which is under the umbrella of Operation Fairbank, and is one of a number of ongoing inquiries into historical abuse. The paedophile ring is alleged to have included senior military, law enforcement and political figures. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse said police were examining whether children were abused at locations across London, in the Home Counties and at "military establishments". BBC home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds said it was the first time Operation Midland had confirmed ... that the murders involved three children. The claims also included allegations a child had been run over. [Related inquiries include] Operation Fernbridge - examining claims [of a] paedophile ring with links to Parliament. Operation Cayacos - investigating allegations ... linked to convicted paedophile Peter Righton. The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry - assessing reports of abuse in the island's children's homes and fostering services from 1960 to the present day.

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.




Five Westminster paedophile rings probed by Scotland Yard
2014-12-21, The Telegraph
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:52:59
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11306575/Five-Westminster-paedop...

Police are investigating claims that up to five paedophile rings operated at the heart of Westminster with the involvement of “highly influential” politicians. A Labour MP who has handed a dossier of evidence to Scotland Yard said he now believed the complexity of child abuse networks at the heart of government in the Seventies and Eighties had been seriously underestimated. John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, said it was “inconceivable” that police would not now arrest and interview some of the politicians he has named in a list handed to detectives. Mr Mann, who has spent months sifting evidence from members of the public, met Scotland Yard and handed over evidence on 22 politicians, including three serving MPs and three members of the House of Lords. “There are at least five paedophile rings which involved MPs,” he said. “Each of them involved at least one MP, some involved more, and these were groups of people who knew about the activities of one another. “In some cases I believe they committed abuse together.” Thirteen former ministers were among the list. Mr Mann handed his dossier to detectives from Operation Trinity, the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into alleged abuse in children’s homes in Lambeth, south London. A range of other inquiries have also been launched including Operation Midland, looking at allegations of child sex abuse focusing on Westminster.

Note: A further article states that a member of Parliament is calling for an investigation into the suspicious deaths of two people who were revealing information on the pedophile rings which go to the highest levels of government. Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government.




Was FBI wrong on North Korea?
2014-12-23, CBS News
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:50:59
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/did-the-fbi-get-it-wrong-on-north-korea/

Cybersecurity experts are questioning the FBI's claim that North Korea is responsible for the hack that crippled Sony Pictures. Kurt Stammberger, a senior vice president with cybersecurity firm Norse, told CBS News his company has data that doubts some of the FBI's findings. While Norse is not involved in the Sony case, it has done its own investigation. "We are very confident that this was not an attack master-minded by North Korea and that insiders were key to the implementation of one of the most devastating attacks in history," said Stammberger. He says Norse data is pointing towards a woman who calls herself "Lena" and claims to be connected with the so-called "Guardians of Peace" hacking group. Norse believes it's identified this woman as someone who worked at Sony in Los Angeles for ten years until leaving the company this past May. "There are certainly North Korean fingerprints on this but when we run all those leads to ground they turn out to be decoys or red herrings," said Stammberger. For instance while the malware used to attack Sony has been used by North Korea before, it is also used by hackers around the world every day. It's worth noting that the original demand of the hackers was for money from Sony in exchange for not releasing embarrassing information. There was no mention of the movie "The Interview." The FBI is still continuing its investigation into the Sony hack.

Note: There appears to be much more to the Sony hacking than meets the eye. Read a wired.com article showing among other things that both Sony and the FBI deny the North Korea connection.




Alleged victim of VIP paedophile ring Martin Allen lived on grounds of Australian high commission in London
2014-12-19, Sydney Morning Herald
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:48:04
http://www.smh.com.au/world/alleged-victim-of-vip-paedophile-ring-martin-alle...

The son of a former chauffeur to the Australian high commissioner may have been murdered by a VIP paedophile ring in London more than three decades ago, according to shocking claims being investigated by British police. Martin Allen was 15 when he disappeared on November 5, 1979. His body has never been found. He lived with his parents on the grounds of the Australian high commission in London – his father was chauffeur to the then high commissioner, Sir Gordon Freeth. A key witness has come forward to police, with allegations about sexual abuse and murder by a paedophile ring with links to government, spy chiefs and prominent military figures. Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, who is in charge of the investigation dubbed Operation Midland, said no bodies have been recovered. "At this stage in the investigation, it is not possible to say if Martin's disappearance is linked [to the organised sexual abuse]," Superintendent McDonald said. "However, officers will keep the family updated on the progress of their investigation." In 2009 Allen's parents made a fresh appeal for information about their son's fate. Tom and Eileen Allen said they had lost hope of seeing him alive and feared they would die before his body was found. "We just want to know what happened," Mrs Allen said. "Somebody must know something. Please tell us so we can move on."

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.




London police: we believe claims of ‘VIP’ child sex abuse and murder
2014-12-18, The Guardian
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:45:51
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/dec/18/london-police-vip-child-sex-ab...

Scotland Yard says victim’s allegations against prominent political and establishment figures are credible and true. They believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys. Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties. So far one victim, known by the pseudonym Nick, has come forward. Police as yet have no bodies, full names of those abused or killed, or exact locations where the killings took place. But the detective in charge of the investigation pointedly described Nick’s allegations as “true” and said Nick had been abused from 1975 to 1984, between the ages of seven and 16. It is clear detectives are not just investigating but building criminal cases to take to court. Police said their inquiries into claims that prominent people abused children, and [into] the cases [that] may have been “overlooked” or covered up now spanned 18 separate investigations, including one into the Elm Guest House in London. The police inquiries followed allegations of abuse involving senior politicians and high-profile figures made by the Labour MP Tom Watson.

Note: Watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse scandals reach to the highest levels of government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.




A Brief History of the CIA's Unpunished Spying on the Senate
2014-12-23, The Atlantic
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:43:20
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/a-brief-history-of-the-ci...

Last March, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA of spying on the Senate intelligence committee as it labored to finalize its report on the torture of prisoners. CIA Director John Brennan denied the charge. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “We wouldn’t do that. That’s just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we’d do.” His denial was publicly proved false. "An internal investigation by the C.I.A. has found that its officers penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing its damning report on the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program," The New York Times reported. "The report ... found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information." "A panel investigating the C.I.A.’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee ... will recommend against punishing anyone," The New York Times reports. "The panel will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency’s inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were ... done at the behest of John O. Brennan."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.




Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses
2014-12-21, New York Times
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:41:17
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/22/opinion/prosecute-torturers-and-their-bosse...

President Obama [has thus far] failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the ... official government [torture] program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.'s destruction of videotapes of torture sessions and those who may have gone beyond the torture techniques authorized by President George W. Bush. But the investigation did not lead to any charges being filed. The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch are ... calling for appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate what appears increasingly to be “a vast criminal conspiracy, under color of law, to commit torture and other serious crimes.” The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Who should be held accountable? Any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who drafted what became known as the torture memos. There are many more names that could be considered. Because of the Senate’s report, we now know the distance officials in the executive branch went to rationalize, and conceal, the crimes they wanted to commit. The question is whether the nation will stand by and allow the perpetrators of torture to have perpetual immunity for their actions.

Note: Some have called for prosecuting those responsible as violators of international rules against human experimentation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices and widespread government corruption.




Secret CIA report: Drone strikes and targeted killings 'boost support for terror groups'
2014-12-18, International Business Times
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:38:07
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/secret-cia-report-drone-strikes-targeted-killings-bo...

Drone strikes and "targeted killings" of terror targets by the United States can be counterproductive and bolster the support of extremist groups, the CIA has admitted in a secret report released by WikiLeaks. The document, by the intelligence agency's Directorate of Intelligence, said that despite the effectiveness of "high value targeting" (HVT), air strikes and special forces operations had a negative impact by boosting the popular support of terror organisations. The CIA report is dated 2009 and talks of operations conducted in countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen. Operations against terror targets "may increase support for the insurgents, particularly if these strikes enhance insurgent leaders' lore, if non-combatants are killed in the attacks, if legitimate or semi-legitimate politicians aligned with the insurgents are targeted, or if the government is already seen as overly repressive or violent," the report said. "Senior Taliban leaders' use of sanctuary in Pakistan has also complicated the HVT effort," it reveals. "Moreover, the Taliban has a high overall ability to replace lost leaders ... especially at the middle levels." It speaks of drone strikes also having limited effect in Iraq. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, US drone strikes have killed between 2,400 and 3,888 people in Pakistan in the years 2004 to 2014 and between 371 and 541 people in Yemen in the years 2002 to 2014.

Note: This report proves that the CIA has been aware that drone strikes are ineffective since at least 2009. If drones help terrorists, almost always miss their intended targets, and may be used to target people in the US in the future, what are the real reasons for the US government's drone program?




Too Big to Tax: Settlements Are Tax Write-Offs for Banks
2014-10-27, Newsweek
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:34:04
http://www.newsweek.com/2014/11/07/giant-penalties-are-giant-tax-write-offs-w...

At the Justice Department, senior officials like to congratulate themselves on the headline-making, big bucks settlements they have imposed upon banks and lenders. Those settlement figures are not quite what they seem, because settlements can be deducted from tax liabilities. For nearly every dollar a bank or lender has pledged to pay ... up to 35 cents will find its way back into bank coffers. Under Attorney General Eric Holder, whose agency has not prosecuted a single major bank or executive in the aftermath of the 2008 meltdown, the Justice Department has [allowed] windfall tax deductions [to be] set against the civil settlements imposed. [These may] total more than $44 billion. Astonishingly, for an economic crisis estimated to have cost the U.S. economy anywhere from $6 trillion to $14 trillion in lost output and value —if not twice that, according to a September 2013 study by the Dallas Federal Reserve bank— tracking the settlements and the deductions against taxes via government websites is almost impossible. There’s [a] self-serving reason for the Justice Department to hike civil settlement payments while allowing for most of the sum to be tax-deductible. The agency receives a cut of up to 3 percent of its share of the total settlements for its Working Capital Fund, a slush fund common across major government agencies. The Justice Department’s slush fund ... signals an institutional interest in getting big numbers.

Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about widespread corruption in government and banking and finance.




Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General
2014-12-06, New York Times
Posted: 2014-12-28 15:27:29
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/us/politics/energy-firms-in-secretive-allia...

Attorneys general in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts of money for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million this year. The Times reported previously how individual attorneys general have shut down investigations, changed policies or agreed to more corporate-friendly settlement terms [for] campaign benefactors. But the attorneys general are also working collectively. Out of public view, corporate representatives and attorneys general are coordinating legal strategy and other efforts to fight federal regulations, according to a review of thousands of emails and court documents and dozens of interviews. Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma [used his post] to help start what he and allies called the Rule of Law campaign. That campaign, in which attorneys general band together to operate like a large national law firm, has been used to back lawsuits and other challenges against the Obama administration on environmental issues, the Affordable Care Act and securities regulation. The most recent target is the president’s executive action on immigration. Coordination between the corporations and teams of attorneys general involved in the Rule of Law effort also involves actual litigation to try to clear roadblocks to energy projects, documents show.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Doctor Transparency: Why Leana Wen Received Threats After Launching
2014-11-19, International Business Times
Posted: 2014-12-22 08:17:16
http://www.ibtimes.com/doctor-transparency-why-leana-wen-received-threats-aft...

Leana Wen created the “Who’s My Doctor” campaign last year. The effort ... goes a step further than the federal government’s mandate requiring physicians to disclose all money they receive from drug companies. Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data that outlined the $3.5 billion that companies paid to the nation’s doctors. The Open Payments database ... was heavily opposed by physician groups and pharmaceutical companies. “Incentives matter,” said Wen in a recent TED talk, “If you go to your doctor because of back pain, you might want to know he’s getting paid $5,000 to perform spine surgery versus $25 to refer you to see a physical therapist.” As part of the “Who’s My Doctor” effort, each physician voluntarily publishes a “Total Transparency Manifesto,” which ... flows into a searchable database that prospective patients can use. One year after starting the project, only 34 “transparent doctors” are listed on the website. There are many more who were less than pleased. “I thought some doctors would sign on and others wouldn’t, but I had no idea of the backlash that would ensue,” she said in her TED talk. The criticism quickly went beyond online comments. Soon, people were asking Wen’s employer to fire her, and sending mail to her home address with threats.

Note: Don't miss the inspiring TED talk of Dr. Wen. And check out her website "Who's My Doctor" at http://www.whosmydoctor.com.




Where's the outrage? Congress changes savings accounts and retirement funds, and America sleeps
2014-12-16, The Guardian
Posted: 2014-12-22 08:13:09
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/dec/16/budget-sets-stage-for-next-meltdown

Congress has passed, and President Obama has said he would sign, a budget bill that allows banks to use your savings when they make giant financial bets called derivatives. Again. And because those savings are insured by the federal government, you, the taxpayer, would be on the hook if those bets go south. Again. This isn’t arcane financial stuff we can ignore. These are the exact financial mechanisms that led to the global crisis just six (short!) years ago. The Dodd-Frank reform law that was passed in the wake of that crisis forbade this from ever happening. People in the personal finance field love to talk about how if we could just get more Americans to save, if we could just get more Americans to learn the basics of the stock market, if we could just convince Americans to forego that latte at Starbucks, if we could just put Americans on a budget, then things would be OK. But how is any of that supposed to work when banks can use people’s savings to play the roulette wheel that is the stock market – and then when they lose, they just order another cup of coffee and use the federal budget to make sure that the losses fall not on them but on the people who just tried to save a little money in the first place? This one is only on workers if they say nothing and fail to educate themselves on what is being plundered from their futures. The powers that be are counting on you not to pay attention, or to feel so impotent that you just give up.

Note: Read how literally hundreds of trillions of dollars are being recklessly gambled by the banks using our savings and retirement. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about widespread corruption in government and banking and finance.




Forbidden Topic in Health Policy Debate: Cost Effectiveness
2014-12-16, New York Times
Posted: 2014-12-22 08:10:42
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/upshot/forbidden-topic-in-health-policy-deb...

For the most part, we’re avoiding [the subject of cost effectiveness] when we talk about health care. When the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the body specifically set up to do comparative effectiveness research, was founded, the law explicitly prohibited it from funding any cost-effectiveness research at all. As it says on its website, “We don’t consider cost effectiveness to be an outcome of direct importance to patients.” As a physician, a health services researcher and a patient ... I think understanding how much bang for the buck I, my patients and the public are getting from our health care spending is of great importance. The United States Preventive Services Task Force ... was set up by the federal government to rate the effectiveness of preventive health services on a scale of A to D. When it issues a rating, it almost always explicitly states that it does not consider the costs of providing a service in its assessment. And because the Affordable Care Act mandates that all insurance must cover, without any cost sharing, all services that the task force has rated A or B, that means that we are all paying for these therapies, even if they are incredibly inefficient. If we are going to mandate that recommendations and interventions must be covered by health insurance ... it seems logical that we at least consider their economic value.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Amid Details on Torture, Data on 26 Who Were Held in Error
2014-12-12, New York Times
Posted: 2014-12-22 08:08:26
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/13/us/politics/amid-details-on-torture-data-on...

One quiet consequence of this week’s sensational release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the C.I.A. detention program was a telephone call that a human rights lawyer, Meg Satterthwaite, placed to a client in Yemen, Mohamed Bashmilah. For eight years since Mr. Bashmilah, 46, was released from C.I.A. custody, Ms. Satterthwaite ... had been trying without success to get the United States government to acknowledge that it had held him in secret prisons for 19 months and to explain why. In the phone call on Wednesday, she told him that the Senate report listed him as one of 26 prisoners who, based on C.I.A. documents, had been “wrongfully detained.” After learning the news, Mr. Bashmilah pressed Ms. Satterthwaite, who heads the global justice program at New York University Law School, to tell him what might follow from the Senate’s recognition. Would there be an apology? Would there be some kind of compensation? Among the others mistakenly held for periods of months or years, according to the report, were an “intellectually challenged” man held by the C.I.A. solely to pressure a family member to provide information; two people who were former C.I.A. informants; and two brothers who were falsely linked to Al Qaeda. Ms. Satterthwaite was not able to answer Mr. Bashmilah’s question about an apology or reparation. No apology was forthcoming from the C.I.A., which declined to comment on specific cases.

Note: An ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Bashmilah and others flown to prisons on C.I.A. aircraft was dismissed on the grounds that it might expose state secrets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing stories about questionable intelligence agency practices from reliable sources.




U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, But None to Their Victims
2014-12-16, The Intercept
Posted: 2014-12-22 07:59:06
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/16/u-s-tv-media-gives-ample-platfo...

Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture. The War on Terror generally has been “reported” for 13 years and counting by completely silencing those whose lives are destroyed or ended by U.S. crimes. In 2002, Maher [Arar], a Canadian citizen of Syrian descent who worked as an engineer, was travelling back home to Ottawa when he was abducted by the U.S. Government at JFK Airport, [secretly] interrogated for weeks, then “rendered” to Syria where the U.S. arranged to have him brutally tortured ... for 10 months. He was completely innocent, [and was] unceremoniously released back to his life in Canada as though nothing had happened. U.S. courts refused even to hear his case, accepting the Obama DOJ’s claim that it was too secret to safely adjudicate. The Canadian government ... publicly apologized for its role, and paid him $9 million. There are hundreds if not thousands of Maher Arars the U.S. media could easily and powerfully interview. The detainees held without charges, tortured, and then unceremoniously released from Guantanamo and Bagram are rarely if ever heard from on U.S. television, even when the U.S. Government is forced to admit that they were guilty of nothing.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption that is supported by equally corrupt mass media.





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