Archive for the ‘corruption’ Category

Argentina: #FIFAarrests in 22 tweets

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Eamonn MacDonagh summarizes it perfectly:

Ecuador: Brazilian prosecutor sides with Chevron

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Paul Barrett reports, Senior Brazilian Official Backs Chevron in Oil Pollution Case
Prosecutor recommends that Brazilian courts reject $9.5 billion Ecuadorian contamination judgment
(emphasis added):

. . . Donziger and his legal team can’t enforce the Ecuadorian judgment in that country, because Chevron has no assets in Ecuador. So the plaintiffs have sought to enforce the verdict in other countries where the oil company does have assets worth billions of dollars.

One of those countries is Brazil. The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice asked the Brazilian Attorney General’s Office for its view of the complicated international case. In a 16-page nonbinding opinion dated May 11, the prosecutor’s office recommended that the Brazilian court reject the Ecuadorian verdict for much the same reasons that the U.S. court found it unenforceable.

The Brazilian Attorney General’s Office cited at length the March 2014 U.S. court ruling and said that the Ecuadorian judgment was thoroughly infected by “corruption.”

Read the whole article.



So many Evitas, so little time . . .

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

In the WSJ,
Notable & Quotable: ‘Evita’“Never been a fund like the Foundation Eva Peron!”

Never been a fund like the Foundation Eva Peron! . . .

And the money kept rolling out in all directions,

To the poor, to the weak, to the destitute of all complexions

Now cynics claim a little of the cash has gone astray

But that’s not the point, my friends.

When the money keeps rolling out, you don’t keep books

You can tell you’ve done well by the happy, grateful looks

Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way.

Never been a lady loved as much as Eva Peron!

Sing it, Ricky!

Ecuador: Correa thinks Brad bought the wrong book

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Brad Pitt bought the movie rights to Paul Barrett’s book, Law of the Jungle: The $19 Billion Legal Battle Over Oil in the Rain Forest and the Lawyer Who’d Stop at Nothing to Win about fraudster Steven Donziger.

Rafael Correa is not happy:

Ecuador’s president urges Brad Pitt to scrap Amazon oil spill movie
Socialist leader Rafael Correa concerned film will be based on a book he alleges covered up actions of oil giant Chevron

He said: “Now they’ve brought out a book, Law of the Jungle, all paid for by Chevron, in which we look like savages in a country without any separation of powers. If he has any doubts, we invite him to come to Ecuador and scoop up with his hands the oil which still lies in pools 30 years later and which was left by that corrupt oil company Chevron-Texaco, continuing to pollute our forest. Given the clarity of the facts, anybody who signs up to or collaborates with Chevron is an accomplice to that company’s corruption.”

Correa seems to have heeded John Oliver’s advice to stay away from Twitter, but there’s a hashtag all the same – #braddotherightthing.

One with misspellings, complete with photo of Brad’s 2012 trip to Lago Agrio,

One grammatically correct,

Correction:
In my original post, I snarked about Brad Pitt. I reconsidered, and apologize for unduly casting aspersions.



Haiti: Clintons’ scam

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Mary O’Grady:
How the Clintons Worked the Angles in Haiti
Bill handled earthquake aid while Hillary was secretary of state. The nation deserved better.

Within two weeks of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake, the word had already gone out from the State Department that Bill Clinton would be in charge of U.S. reconstruction efforts. “That means,” one individual told me and I reported in a Jan. 25, 2010 column, “if you don’t have Clinton connections, you won’t be in the game.”

The “game,” as my source called it, meant securing hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts from the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development and grants from multilateral institutions like the InterAmerican Development Bank, which gets the bulk of its funding from the U.S.

The Clintons deny that Bill’s power over State’s purse was used to secure donations to the Clinton Foundation. But at least two contributors who gave more than $1 million as I described in a March 9 column, including the InterAmerican Development Bank, benefited from U.S. earthquake aid.

No bid contracts, carte blanche from the Obama administration, Bill handling hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars . . . as Capt. Louis Renault said,

Haiti: Clinton’s crony gets the contract

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Andrew Stiles reports:
Oh, Denny Boy: How The Clintons Helped an Irish Telecom Tycoon Makes Millions in Earthquake Ravaged Haiti

On February 24, former President Bill Clinton was in Haiti to celebrate the opening of a luxury Marriott Hotel in Port-au-Prince. Like most foreign-backed projects in Haiti, the Clinton Foundation was a key player in its development. And like most projects involving the Clinton Foundation, a shady Clinton crony is running the show.

The 175-room hotel is owned by Digicel Group, the Caribbean and Central American telecom empire run by Denis O’Brien, an Irish billionaire who officially resides in Malta to avoid taxes and serves chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Haiti Action Network. Digicel, the largest mobile provider in Haiti, invested $45 million in the project, which also benefited from $26.5 million in financing from the World Bank-affiliated International Finance Corporation. But it was Bill Clinton who made it all happen.

Read the whole thing.

Of course, Bill claims “he only works there,”

Further obfuscation to follow, in the form of aging point men declaring,

  1. That the accusations are “old news.”
  2. That the accusers are funded by right-wing conspiracists.
  3. That everyone does what the Clintons did.
  4. That the media pick on the Clintons.
  5. That there is no hard evidence (because they have destroyed documents) that would ever lead to a criminal case. And:
  6. That they are moving on, to work on behalf of the folks.

No way I want the Clintons back in office.

Chile: Bachelet ditches entire Cabinet

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

If you visit college campuses/campi with your child, you may listen to an administrator say something in the likes of, “look at the person at your right, look at the person at your left, only one of the three of you will get in.” If you look at the persons in this photo, only one gets to keep her job . . . for now:

Trying to stay in office and aiming to change the Constitution, while steeped in corruption scandals,
Chile’s president Michelle Bachelet asks entire cabinet to resign amid crisis
Faced with lowest approval ratings of her political career leader says she will decide who to keep on in her government
. That means she’s firing them in the most cowardly way:

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday that she has asked all her Cabinet ministers to submit their resignations and she will decide who stays and who leaves in the next 72 hours.

If Ms Bachelet wants to project an image of decisiveness and clarity of purpose, this little game of asking all her Cabinet ministers to submit their resignations after which she will decide who stays and who leaves in the next 72 hours instead proves her to be, without a doubt, a scurvy coward.

What she should have done is not choose a roster of corruption in the first place – which, considering her son, probably was not an option.

Here’s the interview (in Spanish) with Mario Kreutzberger, a.k.a. Don Francisco, where she insists she was out of touch town while her son was procuring that US$10 million loan,

Too late to ask her to put on her big girl panties – she doesn’t have any.

Exit question:
Why don’t you quit, Michelle?

Chile: Bachelet lifts a page from the Clintons

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Michelle Bachelet’s son, Sebastián Dávalos, who had to resign his post as his mother’s sociopolitical director, stands accused of corruption after procuring a US$10 million loan to flip a property the day after she won the second round,

Davalos is accused of promising Bank of Chile executives the government’s ear in return for a CHL$6.5 billion (US$10 million) loan for Caval Ltd., a company half-owned by his wife, which previously held assets of under $8,000. The loan was used to purchase land for a housing development that was later sold at a $4 million profit.

Maybe he thought he was related to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Bachelet insists she will not resign, and, lifting a page from the Clintons, promises she is moving on, to work on behalf of the folks:
Chile’s President Vows to Tackle Corruption, Rewrite ConstitutionMichelle Bachelet says overhaul will make political financing ‘completely transparent’

The president said the anticorruption measures will be complemented by a new constitution. The government is expected to start work on the new constitution in September, Ms. Bachelet said. The current constitution was implemented during the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

This rewrite was a campaign promise; Bachelet intends to use proceeds from the mining industry to pay for propaganda social programs, which currently the Constitution does not allow.

Bachelet’s popularity rating is currently 32%. The economy is sliding as investment and growth drop following her tax increases. She’s going to end school vouchers.

And Putin’s been invited.

What could possibly go wrong?

Latin America: Why there’s no light at the end of the tunnel

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Vast natural resources, great human capital, and yet, LatAm wallows in corruption and crime. This is not likely to change for the foreseeable future.

Why?

Belen Marty writes about one reason why:
LatAm’s Socialist Countries Rival World’s Worst in Institutional Quality
Zimbabwe, Libya Outrank Venezuela in Dismal Scoresheet for Bolivarian Republics

Latin-American countries with governments that claim to be pursuing a “socialist” agenda come out the worst in the latest Institutional Quality Index published by Argentina’s Freedom and Progress Foundation, with several regional nations ranking alongside countries such as South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, and Gabon.

Argentina, governed between 2003 and 2007 by the late former President Néstor Kirchner, and by his spouse President Cristina Kirchner since 2007, has fallen the most in the rankings over the last 10 years, dropping 50 places to occupy position 137 out of 193 surveyed nations. In 2014 alone, Argentina fell several places to be rated worse than China, Uganda, and Lebanon.

Hugo Chavez’s legacy lives on,

Taking the same long-term view, the index shows how other regional countries have slid dramatically in the quality of their public institutions. Bolivia is down 99 places, Argentina by 33, Ecuador by 81, Venezuela by 75, and Paraguay fell by 61 positions, all since 1996.

Communism doesn’t work: Cuba takes the cake at 192, one notch above bottom-ranked North Korea, even after US$300million and 3 million tourists last year alone. Let’s pause for a Capt. Louis Renault moment.

The report, authored by academic Martín Krause, takes an average of eight indicators used by recognized international organizations. Among them are the Index of Economic Freedom (Compiled by the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation), Doing Business, the Rule of Law (the World Bank), and Corruption Perceptions (Transparency International).

The report, which you can read here in Spanish, concludes,

En definitiva, aquellos países que tienen una buena calidad institucional o aquellos que la han mejorado, en particular en relación a las instituciones de mercado, y dentro de ellas aquellas que protegen la inversión y la actividad emprendedora, muestran un mejor desempeño económico y, con ello, ofrecen más oportunidades de progreso a sus habitantes.

[My translation:]
Definitely, the countries with good institutional quality or those which have improved it, especially in regards to market institutions, and within those, the ones that protect investment and enterprise, show better economic performance, and, along with it, offer their citizens more opportunities for progress.

Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Please read my latest, Oh look, the guy behind the Clinton uranium deal was also the guy behind the Clinton FTA deal.