Posts Tagged ‘fraud’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 13, 2013
Here’s the one-liner you’ll remember, albeit one with significant truth:
“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Smithfield corporate hog farm feedlot in North Carolina.”
Or, if you prefer:
“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Paula Deen Christmas recipe.”
And if the Pentagon budget were a recipe, it’d be a recipe for disaster.
The budget for the United States Department of Defense accounts for very nearly 6% of our nation’s budget. It is THE SINGLE LARGEST BUDGET ITEM in the entire budget. The amount of money sifting through the Pentagon’s hands is more than the combined defense budgets of the world’s top 15 wealthiest nations. And, it accounts for 4.7% of our nation’s economy. Late former President Dwight David Eisenhower was spot-on accurate in his Farewell Address to the nation 17 January 1961 when he warned us saying:
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
None of this is to say, of course, that any kind of spending on national defense is somehow a bad thing, for it is not. Yet Eisenhower specifically warned about even the spiritual implications of the DoD spending “Gone Wild.” However, the last time the people, the Congress, the President or anyone else – including the Comptroller General, the Office of the DoD Inspector General, or the Secretary of Defense ever said anything about being budget hawks on the use of the people’s taxes was September 10, 2001 when SecDef Donald Rumsfeld spoke to the Department of Defense, and announced that the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” Not only was that money MIA, but he added that…
“The technology revolution has transformed organizations across the private sector, but not ours, not fully, not yet. We are, as they say, tangled in our anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.
“We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well. A new idea must often survive the gauntlet of some 17 levels of bureaucracy to make it from a line officer’s to my desk. I have too much respect for a line officer to believe that we need 17 layers between us.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, September 10, 2001
He discovered $2.3 Trillion in the DoD budget of taxpayer monies which had no accounting. It was “Missing In Action.” The next day, the World Trade Centers suffered terrorist attacks. We never heard anything ever again. [Read the text of his speech here: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430]
Here’s a video of the CBS news report.
And now, here’s a jet plane that is the veritable aircraft version of a Jack-of-all-Trades-and-Master-of-None, which our nation’s military has previously said they do not need, and already have other more durable, reliable and operable aircraft. And this is a thing that they have continuously said they want, rather than need.
Wants and needs are two entirely different things.
And not only that, but that the entire bidding process related to Defense contracts is fraught with cost overruns, late deliveries and more – all of which would NOT be, and is NOT tolerated in private enterprise. And yet, we somehow think that the sacred cow of Pentagon spending is somehow exempted from the normal rules of operation.
And now, with the budget items heating up again, it would be ludicrously preposterous to presume that the sacred cow of Pentagon slush funds slop trough is in pristine condition.
Other agencies, like American businesses and families throughout, have learned to live within their means, and make do with less.
Why can’t the Pentagon?
By Tony Capaccio – Jan 12, 2013
Durability testing on the most complicated version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT) F-35 was halted last month after “multiple” cracks were discovered in the fighter jet, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.
The previously undisclosed halt in high-stress ground testing involves the F-35B, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $2.3 Trillion, abuse, Congress, cooking, Defense Department, Donald Rumsfeld, faith, fraud, Lockheed Martin, Marine, morals, Paula Deen, Pentagon, pork, recipe, religion, spirituality, United States, United States Department of Defense, United States Secretary of Defense, waste, World Trade Center | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 29, 2012
It’s been amazing to me to hear that many who have followed this issue – or even had some passing familiarity with the story – have been so blatantly ignorant of the abuses and frauds perpetrated by the corporate executives of the Hostess Corporation. Frankly, those who demonized the unfortunate demise of this iconic American enterprise blamed unions, and completely overlooked corporate malfeasance. However, this enterprise, which, in the course of their operations, once treated their employees well, was miserably raped by greedy and incompetent executives. Why they have not been charged with theft or fraud is beyond my comprehension.
Hostess Maneuver Deprived Pension
- Updated December 9, 2012, 8:03 p.m. ET
Hostess Brands Inc. said it used wages that were supposed to help fund employee pensions for the company’s operations as it sank toward bankruptcy.
After nearly 22 years at Hostess, former forklift operator Craig Davis is pondering his future on the front porch of his home in Emporia, Kan.
It isn’t clear how many of the Irving, Texas, company’s workers were affected by the move or how much money never wound up in their pension plans as promised.
After the company said in August 2011 that it would stop making pension contributions, the foregone wages weren’t put toward the pension. Nor were they restored.
After nearly 22 years at Hostess, former forklift operator Craig Davis is pondering his future on the front porch of his home in Emporia, Kansas. Ryan Nicholson for The Wall Street Journal
The maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Wonder Bread filed for bankruptcy protection in January and shut down last month following a strike by one of the unions representing Hostess workers. A judge is overseeing the sale of company assets.
Gregory Rayburn, Hostess’s chief executive officer, said in an interview it is “terrible” that employee wages earmarked for the pension were steered elsewhere by the company.
“I think it’s like a lot of things in this case,” he added. “It’s not a good situation to have.”
Mr. Rayburn became chief executive in March and learned about the issue shortly before the company shut down, he said. “Whatever the circumstances were, whatever those decisions were, I wasn’t there,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Hostess’s previous top executive, Brian Driscoll, declined to comment.
Hostess hasn’t previously acknowledged that the foregone wages went toward its operations.
The maneuver probably doesn’t violate federal law because the money Hostess failed to put into the pension didn’t come directly from employees, experts said.
“It’s what lawyers call betrayal without remedy,” said James P. Baker, a partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP who specializes in employee benefits and isn’t involved in the Hostess case. “It’s sad, but that stuff does happen, unfortunately.”
The decision to cease pension contributions angered many employees. After the bankruptcy filing, Hostess tangled with Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, business, crime, fraud, greed, ho's, Hostess, Hostess Brands, incompetence, investigation, liars, pension, Rayburn, retirement, Teamster, theft, Twinkie, Twinkies, Wall Street Journal | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Welcome to Alabama, where the legal concept of respondeat superior apparently does NOT apply.
Some would call this murder.
If a person driving drunk kills someone, nowadays, they’re charged with murder – even though they did not plan, or intend upon killing someone (the element of premeditation, or forethought).
But why isn’t Huntsville Hospital charged with murder? (It’s kinda’ difficult to charge a corporation with murder, but it’s quite possible that the officers can be indicted or charged.)
And why aren’t those directly responsible (those in the Recovery Room who were responsible for Gracie’s care) charged with Murder?
It’s painfully obvious some things MUST change in Alabama regarding healthcare.
Girl disabled, later dies, after tonsillectomy at Huntsville Hospital; Alabama public hospitals‘ liability capped at $100,000
By Challen Stephens | email@example.com on December 03, 2012 at 1:03 PM, updated December 03, 2012 at 4:18 PM
Randy Smith and Deedee Smith talk about raising a child with disabilities while Gracelynn, 5, sits in her wheelchair during an interview in their home Monday, November 19, 2012 in Athens, Ala. (Eric Schultz / firstname.lastname@example.org)
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — Four years ago, Gracie knew a few dozen words and had just learned to walk backwards. But Gracie had a little trouble breathing at night. Doctors said it would only get worse, so they decided to remove her tonsils.
The surgery lasted less than 15 minutes.
In the recovery room at Huntsville Hospital, Gracie was standing on her bed calling for her mother. “We were told she was having difficulty coming out of anesthesia,” said her father Randy Smith. Nurses said the girl needed to rest to recover. In the recovery room, the family says, she was allowed to stop breathing for more than 10 minutes.
Dan Aldridge, attorney for the Smiths, said Gracie “was not connected to the customary monitoring equipment that sounds an alarm if vital signs reach a dangerous zone.” He said the nurses, three of them, were in the recovery room. At one point, her mother voiced concern. “I was told, ‘Mom, now don’t wake her up, if we get her up, we will never calm her down,” said Dee Dee Smith. “My response was she was not breathing.”
Dee Dee said one of the nurses touched the girl’s foot. It was cold. Aldridge said “code” was called. Medical staff poured into the room. Gracie would spend the next 18 hours in a coma. When Dee Dee finally got to hold her girl again, the girl’s eyes were open but Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, End Of The Road | Tagged: Alabama, Athens, Birmingham, Bureau of Labor Statistics, child, Christmas, dead, Dee, died, disabled, fraud, funeral, girl, Gracie, harm, hospital, Huntsville, Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville Hospital System, hurt, immunity, incompetent, liability, limited, Medicaid, PACU, pediatric, peds, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, public, respondeat superior, Santa Claus, Smith, Smiths, surgery, tonsillectomy, twin, unequal | 7 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 19, 2012
As the saying goes, “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”
At this point, apparently, she’s not yet begun, although she is “in the house.”
And, from our “WTF?!?” files, comes this item:
In early February, Hostess had asked the bankruptcy judge to approve a sweet new employment deal for Driscoll. Its terms guaranteed him a base annual salary of $1.5 million, plus cash incentives and “long-term incentive” compensation of up to $2 million. If Hostess liquidated or Driscoll were fired without cause, he’d still get severance pay of $1.95 million as long as he honored a noncompete agreement.
The committee representing Hostess’s unsecured creditors alleges that information it has gathered suggests “the possibility” that the company converted a chunk of its top executives’ pay from performance-based bonuses to salary, “at least in part to sidestep” rules designed to ensure that companies in bankruptcy aren’t enticing their employees to stay on board with the promise of cash, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y.
This solitary example is a wonderful one for illustrating what is WRONG with corporate governance and corporate operations in the United States. It’s an even more sad commentary that laws must be enacted to require people to do the right thing. At this juncture, the judge overseeing the Hostess Brands Inc. bankruptcy is doing precisely that.
Hostess and Bakers Union Asked Accept Strike Mediation
The judge overseeing Hostess Brands Inc. declined to approve the company’s liquidation today and asked management and the bakers’ union to enter mediation tomorrow to resolve the strike that the maker of Twinkies and Wonder bread said forced it to shut.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said at a hearing in White Plains, New York, that there are “serious questions as to the logic behind the decision to strike.” Hostess and the bakers’ union agreed to Drain’s request to enter confidential mediation under his supervision.
“To me, not to have gone through that step leaves a huge question mark over this case which I think will only be answered in litigation,” Drain said. “My desire to do this is prompted primarily by the potential loss of over 18,000 jobs, as well as my belief that there is a possibility to resolve this matter, notwithstanding the losses the debtors have incurred over the last week or so.”
Hostess hasn’t spoken with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union since August, said Heather Lennox, a lawyer for the company. Hostess is seeking permission from Drain to pay bonuses to key managers while closing operations that will leave most of its 18,500 workers unemployed. Any agreement arising from the mediation would probably come too late to save the company, Lennox said.
“Things have gone too far to repair themselves under the current form,” Lennox, a partner at Jones Day, told Drain. “It would be very hard for us to recover from this damage even if there were to be an agreement in the near term.”
“Our best shot is to see what we can sell as going concerns and have the company continue that way,” she said. The hearing to consider Hostess’s request to wind down was postponed until Nov. 21.
Hostess said Nov. 16 that it would shut, claiming that a weeklong strike by the bakers’ union forced liquidation. The union blamed management’s concession demands, while some employees blamed both sides. Strikers were still outside the company’s facilities today, Hostess’s lawyers said.
Corrina Christensen, a spokeswoman for the bakers’ union, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the mediation.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, whose members distribute Hostess products, had ratified a new contract with 8 percent in wage concessions and 17 percent in benefit reductions.
“The Teamsters will closely monitor the mediation between the BCTGM and Hostess management and assist in any way we can to help the two sides reach an agreement that keeps the company’s doors open,” Ken Hall, the Teamsters general secretary- treasurer, said today in a statement.
The judge may be creating risk for both sides that encourages them to reach a deal, Ken Russak, a bankruptcy attorney at Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato in Los Angeles, said today in an interview. “The bankruptcy judge would much prefer to have the parties work something out than having to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, avarice, Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, bakery, bankruptcy, business, Ding Dong, Drain, enterprise, Flowers Foods, food, fraud, greed, Ho Ho, Hostess, Hostess Brands, Hostess cakes, judge, labor, management, mediation, mismanagement, news, Teamsters, Twinkie, Twinkies, union, United States, United States bankruptcy court, waste, White Plains New York, Wonder Bread | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, October 15, 2012
“Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels.”
-Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:5 (NLT)
Charity president unhappy about Paul Ryan soup kitchen ‘photo op’
By Felicia Sonmez , Updated: October 15, 2012
Paul Ryan & wife “wash” already clean dishes for a fake photo op in Youngstown, OH.
The head of a northeast Ohio charity says that the Romney campaign last week “ramrodded their way” into the group’s Youngstown soup kitchen so that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan could get his picture taken washing dishes in the dining hall.
Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University.
“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”
He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”
Ryan had stopped by the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Catholic, Chris Maloney, faith, fraud, GOP, hypocrisy, hypocrite, Jesus, liar, Mahoning County Ohio, Mitt, Mitt Romney, Ohio, Paul Ryan, religion, Republican, Romney, Romney Ryan, Ryan, Saturday, Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Soup kitchen, Youngstown State University | 6 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 9, 2012
U.S. Charges 530 in Mortgage Probe With $1 Billion in Losses
The U.S. brought charges against 530 people over mortgage schemes that cost homeowners more than $1 billion, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.
More than 73,000 homeowners were victims of various frauds for which charges were filed during a year-long crackdown, including “foreclosure rescue schemes” that take advantage of those who have fallen behind on payments, the Justice Department said in a statement.
“These comprehensive efforts represent Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: $1 billion, abuse, Attorney General, banks, Bankster, Eric Holder, finance, fraud, GOP, high finance, law, money, mortgage, Mortgage fraud, Mortgage loan, news, Republican, scheme, United States, United States Department of Justice, Wall Street, Washington, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
As the president and others – nonpartisan and partisan alike – have noted, BIG BUSINESS should NOT need a bailout. They should be operated in such a manner as to allow the Free Market to decide how, to what extent, and if they prosper. As part of that process, ironclad and strong regulation to prevent fraud and abuse should be vigorously enforced. And chief executives Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: "Occupy Wall Street", abuse, AIG, American International Group, bailout, banks, Big Business, business, consumer, corruption, economic, economy, entrepreneurship, federal, Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Federal Reserve System, fiscal, fiscal orgy, fraud, free enterprise, Glass-Steagall, Glass-Steagall Act, incestuous fiscal orgy, infographic, insurance, lobbyists, news, Occupy until I come., protection, stock brokerage houses, TARP, tax, taxes, Timothy Geithner, treasury, Troubled Asset Relief Program, United States Department of the Treasury, USA, Wall Street, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 8, 2012
A few points for the reader to consider:
This fraud was national in scope, involving a $3 BILLION settlement, of which the North Carolina Attorney General was able to recoup $31.8M. Pfizer, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson, Forest Labs, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca have also all plead guilty to deceptive and fraudulent marketing. It’s very likely a drop in the bucket in comparison with the greater scope.
The four most expensive Pharmacy frauds in the United States history have occurred since George W. Bush oversaw the rewriting of the Medicare Part D drug benefit in 2003. In order of their value, they are:
GlaxoSmithKline – $3 Billion, 2012
Pfizer – $2.3 Billion, 2009
Abbott Laboratories – $1.5 Billion, 2012
Eli Lilly – $1.4 Billion, 2009
The so-called “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription Part D drug plan was closed by President Obama. That “doughnut hole” was created under the George W. Bush administration, who caved in to lobbyists from BIG PHARMA, and allowed them to write much of that aspect of the 2003 revision of the Medicare Part D law (also known as the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA), and refused to allow Medicaid the opportunity to bargain for prices with pharmaceutical firms.
Advertising is expensive. Advertising for medications on television, radio, Internet, magazines, billboards, buses, and any other place where advertising is sold, is illegal in some nations. It was once illegal in the United States, until the 1980′s when the FDA OK’d it under pressure from the Reagan administration.
IMS Health, a medical data firm, calculates that drug companies’ business in the United States alone earns more than $300 billion a year.
Last year, GSK had $20 Billion gross profits on $27 Billion in revenue. So don’t let anyone EVER fool you into believing that drug companies don’t make enough money, don’t have enough profits, or enough profit margin.
Pharmaceutical companies spent Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, BIG MONEY, Big Pharma, Bupropion, corruption, FDA, Food and Drug Administration, fraud, George W. Bush, GlaxoSmithKline, GOP, lobbyist, Medicaid, North Carolina, Paroxetine, Paxil, Political corruption, Republican, Ronald Reagan, Roy Cooper, United States, waste, wealth, Wellbutrin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 2, 2012
How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill
by: Matt Taibbi
Mitt Romney illustration / Illustration by Robert Grossman
The great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn’t stand for anything. He’s a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who’ll say anything to get elected.
The critics couldn’t be more wrong. Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He’s closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren’t the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they’re the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he’s trying for something big: We’ve just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we’ve been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation.
The incredible untold story of the 2012 election so far is that Romney’s run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy, which he’s somehow managed to keep hidden, even with thousands of cameras following his every move. And the drama of this rhetorical high-wire act was ratcheted up even further when Romney chose his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – like himself, a self-righteously anal, thin-lipped, Whitest Kids U Know penny pincher who’d be honored to tell Oliver Twist there’s no more soup left. By selecting Ryan, Romney, the hard-charging, chameleonic champion of a disgraced-yet-defiant Wall Street, officially succeeded in moving the battle lines in the 2012 presidential race.
Like John McCain four years before, Romney desperately needed a vice-presidential pick that would change the game. But where McCain bet on a combustive mix of clueless novelty and suburban sexual tension named Sarah Palin, Romney bet on an idea. He said as much when he unveiled his choice of Ryan, the author of a hair-raising budget-cutting plan best known for its willingness to slash the sacred cows of Medicare and Medicaid. “Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party,” Romney told frenzied Republican supporters in Norfolk, Virginia, standing before the reliably jingoistic backdrop of a floating warship. “He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt.”
Debt, debt, debt. If the Republican Party had a James Carville, this is what he would have said to win Mitt over, in whatever late-night war room session led to the Ryan pick: “It’s the debt, stupid.” This is the way to defeat Barack Obama: to recast the race as a jeremiad against debt, something just about everybody who’s ever gotten a bill in the mail hates on a primal level.
Last May, in a much-touted speech in Iowa, Romney Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, Bain Capital, crime, fraud, GOP, John McCain, Mitt Romney, news, Paul Ryan, Republican, Romney, United States, Wall Street, waste, wealth | 4 Comments »