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Middle East voters have had enough of election fraud: Where is my vote? Mauritania Edition
Just as thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest a seemingly rigged presidential election, now thousands of voters in Mauritania – at the other end of the Middle East – are marching under a green banner that reads: “Where is my vote?” A style of civic mobilization appears to once again spreading out of Iran, offering a model to dissidents throughout the region.
The Mauritanian protests began after the July 18 elections, where General Abdel Aziz, who took power in a coup last year, claimed to have won 52% of the vote in a multi-candidate race. However, accusations of voter fraud have run rampant, and opponents are asking for an international investigation and calling the vote “prefabricated”. Two incriminating videos have surfaced to buttress these claims: One video allegedly shows a ‘fraud factory’ in which pro-Aziz campaign staffers are seen duplicating voter ID cards to allow people to vote twice. Another video, taken on the day of the vote, shows Aziz’s supporters purchasing ID cards from underprivileged citizens, supposedly to use them to vote for Aziz.
The four main opposition candidates have rejected the outcome, the European Union has called for a proper inquiry, and the chairman of Mauritania’s Electoral Commission has resigned in protest. Hundreds of Mauritanians have taken to the streets to protest the apparent fraud, and the opposition has already adopted the slogan “Where is my vote?” – translating it into Arabic and French as a rally cry. No Iran-like crackdown on protestors has yet erupted, though it appears the struggle – as in Iran – is far from over.
More news of the civil rights movement in the Middle East at the CRIME Report.
Not even Obama’s Army. Via Michelle Malkin, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota has introduced the Taxpayer Protection and Anti-Fraud Act,
which would restrict access to taxpayer dollars available through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for groups that have been indicted for violations of state or federal laws. Almost 5,000 citizens have registered their support for the bill available through Bachmann’s online site, according to her press office.
As The Examiner has previously reported ACORN has received at least $53 million in federal funds since 1994, and the controversial group could potentially gain access to $8.5 billion in additional taxpayer dollars, unless Congress intervenes. The track record is not encouraging.
…“No one has a right to federal funds,” she said. “We have a fiduciary responsibility as members of Congress to establish criteria by which groups can gain access to federal dollars. I believe we should be able to raise the bar above indictment and not be restricted solely to convictions. This in no way denies someone their due process rights in court.”
You can sign the petition here.
Doing the job the legacy media and the Democratic Congress won’t do: following the money. From Fox News, Lawmaker Pushes for Investigation into ACORN Finances
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a member of the Judiciary Committee, is demanding congressional hearings into the financial structure of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
King questions the actions of ACORN officials as well as the multitude of nonprofit activist groups that apparently overlap with ACORN and share the same headquarters address in New Orleans.
“This spider web, this myriad web of ACORN dollars and revenue streams, every bit of them should be looked at, all the corporations that they are networked with all of the boards of directors of those corporations, the inner locking connecting, the faces that are the same from board to board.”
Much ado about nothing, says ACORN:
ACORN believes an investigation of its finances is “…a continuation of the right wing Republican attacks which continues to stalk ACORN. This ACORN as ‘punching bag’ redundancy is not worthy of your audience.”
So far the focus on ACORN fraud has been on fake voter registrations. Why is a federal investigation needed? According to a former FEC Commissioner,
“ACORN has all these subsidiaries and affiliates that seem to be shell organizations with money being transferred between them and to investigate that takes a lot of resources,” said von Spakovsky, a visiting legal scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. “I really think that’s the kind of thing that only someone like the FBI could thoroughly investigate.”
Why are they beating up on poor little ACORN? Michelle Malkin has the goods on their incestuous corruption:
They thought it would go away. They were wrong. Obama and the Left thought ACORN’s scandalous racket was a dead issue. But whistleblowers, investigative bloggers, and talk radio continue to press for transparency and taxpayer accountability. Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King has renewed efforts for congressional hearings into the financial structure of the massive, publicly subsidized activist group and its non-profit affiliates. Judicial Watch sheds light on ACORN’s partnership with the Census. Keep an eye on ACORN’s propaganda role in the Obama push for a government health care takeover. And Glenn Beck spotlights the left-wing strategy session to rescue ACORN.
Much more at her link, including the connections with the Obama campaign the New York Times decided wasn’t worth it’s journalistic effort.
Powerline has a post on the TARP quarterly report recently released and finds a lot to worry about. TARP: The Looming Debacle
…The Inspector General’s report documents the stunning and at least partly illegal expansion of TARP from the $700 billion originally allocated by Congress to what is now a $3 trillion complex of programs…
The level of mismanagement is colossal. The report says,
Treasury has indicated, however, that it will not adopt SIGTARP’s recommendation that all TARP recipients be required to do the following:
• account for the use of TARP funds
• set up internal controls to comply with such accounting
• report periodically to Treasury on the results, with appropriate sworn certifications
In light of the fact that the American taxpayer has been asked to fund this extraordinary effort to stabilize the financial system, it is not unreasonable that the public be told how those funds have been used by TARP recipients. Treasury is now conducting regular surveys of the banks’ lending activities; however, with the exception of Citigroup and Bank of America, Treasury has refused to seek further details on TARP recipients’ use of funds.
It’s a slush fund extraordinaire and Treasury doesn’t even pretend to care what’s going on.
The report goes on to identify areas of concern, such as conflicts of interest, collusion between the bureaucrats running programs and their participants, and the potential for money laundering.
Powerline draws some conclusions:
What conclusions can we draw? 1) The government’s $3 trillion and counting TARP program represents the greatest opportunity for sharp operators to profit at taxpayer expense in history. 2) The Obama administration is either in favor of giving Wall Street sharks this opportunity or, at a minimum, doesn’t much mind doing so. (If this seems odd, remember where Obama got the biggest chunk of campaign contributions in 2008.) 3) It may be that the TARP complex of programs is the beginning of a national-socialist type takeover of the financial services industry by the federal government…
You should read the whole post. It’s worth going there just for the chart that details where the money went.
There has been a lot of uproar about how bailed-out companies have spent the billions in TARP funds they received, from giving contractually-mandated bonuses to employees to lobbying Congress for more money. You may also have heard of the 20 civil and criminal investigations currently going on into TARP fraud.
But where else is this money going? Quite possibly to lefty groups like ACORN, says Senator Inhofe. So he and Senators DeMint, Vitter, and Ensign are offering an amendment to the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA), S.386 that “would require TARP recipients to fully disclose any expenditures that are not essential to restoring their solvency.”
PDF of the amendment here.
From his press release:
“My amendment to S. 386 requires TARP recipients to fully disclose any expenditures that are not essential to restoring their solvency,” Senator Inhofe said. “Companies that get bailed out cannot carry on as if it were business as usual.
“I would normally be concerned about interfering with private-sector decision-making, but when these companies take public dollars they cease to be private sector entities in the conventional sense. To date, over 540 companies have received about $600 billion taxpayer from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, supposedly to improve their financial stability. These include some of the largest corporations and financial institutions in America. Yet in recent years, many of these same firms found enough money to contribute annually to some of the most radical organizations in the nation.
“Some of these companies have donated to ACORN, Friends of the Earth, Planned Parenthood, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Conservation International Foundation, to name just a few. The vast majority of Americans do not support the agendas of these fringe groups, whose excesses have been well-documented over the years.
It’s an extremely overdue but welcome step. Congress should have included something similar in the original legislation, but were in too much of a hurry to dump all that money out. We’ll see if Congress is serious about demanding accountability by approving this amendment or if their outrage is a sham.
The California budget passed last February included cuts aimed at, among other things, home health care. The SEIU, a service employees union, along with other groups, sponsored protests against these cuts last month:
“When legislators buried these ‘trigger cuts’ deep in the February budget agreement, they were counting on not having to take responsibility for their decision to make such unpopular cuts. We’re coming to our leaders’ front doors to demand they accept responsibility for their decisions that will harm the elderly, the sick, people with disabilities, struggling families, and students,” said Paula Cantera, a home care provider in Napa County.
You’d think it’s all about the sick people, listening to them. Strangely enough, the article failed to mention this: Fraud infects state in-home care program
Reporting from Sacramento — Loose oversight and bureaucratic inertia have allowed fraud to fester in a rapidly expanding multibillion-dollar state program that provides personal caregivers to the impoverished elderly and disabled. Hundreds of reports of scams and swindles are going without investigation.
Prosecutors and program administrators across the state say they are alarmed by the ease with which people are taking advantage of the program, In Home Supportive Services.
…”This program is very easy to abuse,” said Michael Ramsey, the district attorney in Butte County in Northern California, which disbanded its In Home Supportive Services fraud unit in 2007 because of budget cuts. “It invites chicanery and fraud.”
Who is a big benficiary of this fraud?
Some critics of the program say politics has blocked efforts to combat fraud. The program has become a steady source of revenue for the Service Employees International Union, among the most powerful interest groups in the Capitol, as well as a second union, the United Domestic Workers of America.
Under the program, people receiving care are entitled to hire whom they wish at government expense. Most hire their relatives, because family members are often the most appropriate to provide the needed round-the-clock feeding, changing, bathing and other care. Wages range from $8 to $14.68 an hour, depending on the county. Those workers are required to pay monthly union dues that total millions of dollars. The SEIU, for example, collects nearly $5 million a month from its 223,000 In Home system members.
The unions donate heavily to the campaigns of Democrats who control the Legislature and organize get-out-the-vote efforts on their behalf.
“There is a huge amount of money flowing to unions from this vast pool of workers they have been able to organize,” said Sen. Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto). “Anything they see as a threat to that income stream they are going to challenge and use the political muscle they have to do it.”
They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more. Take any effort to protect the taxpayer, I mean. Makes it hard to swallow that their concern is mainly about the people being cared for. I hope California voters take this into account when they vote on Proposition 1A in May.
Thanks to FreedomPolitics
Another candidate for the Science Crime Hall of Fame. MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield fixed data on autism
THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changedand misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.
Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that AndrewWakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.
The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.
However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.
The results of this fraud?
Despite involving just a dozen children, the 1998 paper’s impact was extraordinary. After its publication, rates of inoculation fell from 92% to below 80%. Populations acquire “herd immunity” from measles when more than 95% of people have been vaccinated.
Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease.
This man should rot in jail. And the Lancet should be driven out of the scientific community.