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Author Topic: Obama: Corruption, Deception, Dishonesty, Deceit and Promises Broken  (Read 167730 times)
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« Reply #1550 on: July 04, 2012, 04:53:59 AM »

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/03/squelching-secrets-why-is_n_1628547.html



And you communist rats complained about W?   
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« Reply #1551 on: July 07, 2012, 09:09:54 AM »

Bro, I bet you get so much pussy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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« Reply #1552 on: July 09, 2012, 08:52:14 AM »

Obama Spends Record $12 Billion To Keep Documents Secret

by Wynton Hall

8 Jul 2012121post a comment

www.breitbart.com





President Barack Obama has said his administration is the most most transparent administration in the modern era. 

But a new report by the Information Security Oversight Committee found that in 2011, the Obama Administration spent a record $12 billion to keep documents secret, a 12 percent increase over last year's classification costs. 

As Asawin Suebsaeng of the liberal Mother Jones publication puts it, "It's safe to say that it is long past due to officially declare the Obama era a transparency #fail."
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« Reply #1553 on: July 09, 2012, 10:03:21 AM »

Obama Spends Record $12 Billion To Keep Documents Secret

by Wynton Hall

8 Jul 2012121post a comment

www.breitbart.com





President Barack Obama has said his administration is the most most transparent administration in the modern era. 

But a new report by the Information Security Oversight Committee found that in 2011, the Obama Administration spent a record $12 billion to keep documents secret, a 12 percent increase over last year's classification costs. 

As Asawin Suebsaeng of the liberal Mother Jones publication puts it, "It's safe to say that it is long past due to officially declare the Obama era a transparency #fail."


what kind of docs?
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« Reply #1554 on: July 09, 2012, 10:05:44 AM »

what kind of docs?


http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/07/government-secrecy-costing-even-more-money-these-days


Most transparent president ever! 
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« Reply #1555 on: July 09, 2012, 10:17:23 AM »

what kind of docs?


to keep classified files secret     your [333386]post are bullshit you word shit to sound like something else
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« Reply #1556 on: July 09, 2012, 10:20:13 AM »

to keep classified files secret     your post are bullshit you word shit to sound like something else

Like what?  Even MJ, a far left progressive site is calling Obama a complete failure on transparency. 
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« Reply #1557 on: July 09, 2012, 10:22:37 AM »

to keep classified files secret     your [333386]post are bullshit you word shit to sound like something else



It's safe to say that it is long past due to officially declare the Obama era a transparency #fail.



PROMISE BROKEN
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« Reply #1558 on: July 09, 2012, 10:23:55 AM »

as far as i know a classified file is classified and can't  be made known to the public,it's always been that way.that's why your post are mostly bullshit
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« Reply #1559 on: July 09, 2012, 10:24:50 AM »

as far as i know a classified file is classified and can't  be made known to the public,it's always been that way.that's why your post are mostly bullshit

Tell that to Mother Jones.

Obama is covering up his many crimes in office. 
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« Reply #1560 on: July 09, 2012, 10:33:31 AM »

Tell that to Mother Jones.

Obama is covering up his many crimes in office. 

proof ,or your just making shit up again
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« Reply #1561 on: July 09, 2012, 10:44:28 AM »

Team Obama Regulates Goat Herders’ Workplaces
 www.humanevents.com ^ | 8/24/2011 | Audrey Hudson





The Obama administration is setting new workplace regulations to assist foreign workers who fill goat herding positions in the U.S. , including employee-paid cell phones and comfy beds.

These new special procedures issued by the Labor Department must be followed by employers who want to hire temporary agricultural foreign workers to perform sheep herding or goat herding activities. It describes strict rules for sleeping quarters, lighting, food storage, bathing, laundry, cooking and new rules for the counters where food is prepared.

“A separate sleeping unit shall be provided for each person, except in a family arrangement,” says the rules signed by Jane Oates, assistant secretary for employment and training administration at the Labor Department.

“Such a unit shall include a comfortable bed, cot or bunk, with a clean mattress,” the rules state.

Diane Katz, a research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation, unearthed the policy in the “Federal Register,” the massive daily journal of proposed regulations that Washington bureaucrats publish every day.

Under the Obama Administration, the nanny state has imposed 75 new major regulations with annual costs of $38 billion.

“This captures what is wrong with government,” Katz said. “I could not have made this up.”

With unemployment holding steady at 9% and government regulations adding more burden to small businesses, such as those run by ranching families, Katz said, bureaucrats aren’t helping.

“Instead of remedying the problem, the regulations make it that much harder,” Katz insisted. “We may need a whole set of regulations just to define what a comfortable bed is. I imagine it’s not straw.”

The new lighting standards say that in areas where it is not feasible to provide electrical service such as tents or mobile trailers, lanterns must be provided. “Kerosene wick lights meet the definition of lantern,” the regulations say.

“When workers or their families are permitted or required to cook in their individual unit, a space shall be provided with adequate lighting and ventilation.”

“Wall surfaces next to all food preparation and cooking areas shall be of nonabsorbent, easy-to-clean material. Wall surfaces next to cooking areas shall be of fire-resistant material,” the regulations say.

“It makes you wonder,” Katz said, “how they ever did this before the government got involved?”

“Who knew we needed all of this federal help for herding goats?” Katz quipped.



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« Reply #1562 on: July 10, 2012, 06:34:03 AM »

Obama's Global Health Policy Undercuts Reform At Home


Posted: 07/10/2012 9:20 am Updated: 07/10/2012 9:47 am




WASHINGTON -- A few hours after the Supreme Court upheld his signature health care legislation last week, President Barack Obama approached a White House podium, addressed the camera and declared that the nation's top justices had reaffirmed an important guiding principle of his presidency.

"Here in America -- in the wealthiest nation on Earth -- no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin," Obama said.

That single sentence was a compelling invocation of nearly every political theme Obama has presented on the campaign trail this year: To live in a nation is to take part in a social contract; personal wealth does not determine human dignity; decent people in a nation of means do not allow the less fortunate to suffer needlessly.

But while the president has focused on lowering health care costs at home, he has repeatedly sought to impose higher drug prices abroad. For pharmaceutical companies, that has meant steady profits, but for the global poor in desperate need of affordable drugs, those lofty prices are often a matter of life and death.

Nevertheless, members of the Obama administration continue to pursue policies around drug pricing that multiple United Nations groups, the World Health Organization, human rights lawyers and patient advocates worldwide decry.

Two weeks ago, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Deputy Director Teresa Stanek Rea sparked an uproar among public health experts when she testified before Congress on multiple administration strategies to affect drug pricing abroad by using American international political muscle. Her testimony focused on the Indian government’s efforts earlier this year to create an affordable generic alternative to an expensive cancer drug called Nexavar, which had been patented by Bayer AG, a multinational pharmaceutical conglomerate best known in the United States for aspirin pills.

Over the course of 70 minutes, Rea repeatedly castigated India's government for approving the generic drug, calling the move an "egregious" violation of World Trade Organization treaties. India's decision, Rea said, "dismayed and surprised" her, and she boasted about "personally" engaging "various agencies of the Indian government" in efforts to overturn it.

"This is unprecedented, really shocking testimony," says Judit Rius, the U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign, an international humanitarian aid group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. "It doesn't have any ground in international legal norms. I've never really seen a U.S. government official misinforming Congress in public like this. It's embarrassing for the White House."

The Rea hearing, which had all the trappings of an inconsequential technocratic snoozefest, was almost completely ignored by American media -- drowned out by the furor over the Supreme Court’s historic health care ruling. Only eight members of the 23-person House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet showed up and asked questions.

Thus far the Indian government has resisted American pressure and continues to offer the generic alternative, which was approved in March after several months of negotiations with Bayer.

Not once during her testimony did Rea -- or any member of Congress -- cite the price Bayer posted in India for its version of the drug. Bayer, which earned $3.4 billion last year, was charging over $5,000 a month for standard doses, according to data from the Indian government. The cost of a generic version: $157 a month.

It was the high price that Bayer demanded for its cancer medication that prompted the Indian government to act. In a nation with a per capita income of just $3,693, the Bayer drug is financially out of reach for most Indians. The government authorized Natco Pharma to begin selling the generic version and ordered the firm to pay Bayer a 6 percent royalty on the proceeds.

That practice, known as compulsory licensing, is commonplace. It's explicitly protected by World Trade Organization treaties, an effort to ensure that good health care is not merely a privilege for the rich -- the kind of principle outlined by Obama in his celebration of the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. even deploys the compulsory licensing process to address domestic drug shortages.

But at the hearing, Rea said she planned to deploy the pressure it has used against India in other countries, too. "This is front and center," Rea said. "[We are] trying to stop the granting of further compulsory licenses."

Public health advocates have an entirely different take on the issue. They emphasize that Rea, who declined to comment for this article, did not offer a legal rationale for her agency's opposition to compulsory licensing, which goes against decades of international practices. Even the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of the WTO's website details broad leeway to approve generics that clearly apply to the Bayer cancer drug.

"Ignorance is no excuse for bad argument," says Anand Grover, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and Senior Advocate for the Supreme Court of India, who notes that, under WTO rules, "Setting an exorbitant price which makes the drug unavailable to those who need it ... [is] grounds for the issuance of a compulsory license."

Bayer declined to comment on specific pricing for the drug, or the Indian government's calculations, based on Bayer data, that just 2 percent of eligible patients had received the drug during its first few years on the market.

"We will rigorously continue to defend our intellectual property rights which are a prerequisite for bringing innovative medicines to patients," Bayer spokeswoman Heather Levis Guzzi said in an emailed statement. "The limited period of marketing exclusivity made possible by patents ensures that the costs associated with the research and development of innovative medicines can be recovered."

The company also pointed to the fact that Nexavar is not one of the 348 drugs on India’s National List of Essential Medicines -- a compilation of treatments intended to be available in a country’s health care system at all times.

The medical patent system has plenty of detractors. Many public health experts and economists advocate for public financing of research and development costs to avoid private sector pricing problems. Public health experts who deal with AIDS, in particular, have long sought to reform the patent regime, since HIV drugs must be taken continuously for decades, making high dosage costs an acute problem. Nexavar is one of several new cancer drugs featuring a similar treatment regimen to the best HIV drugs. It can extend a patient's life for years, but only if taken continuously.

Whatever the import patents have in protecting intellectual property and corporations' bottom lines, even the strictest patent rights have always been accompanied by exceptions and flexibilities.

"It's disappointing and outrageous," says Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Program, a consumer advocacy group, in reference to Rea's testimony. "Compulsory licensing is a sovereign right to protect public health and other public interests. It's been around as long as patents have been around. It goes back to the concept of 'crown use' in the oldest patent rules."

Rea and others at the briefing also failed to note that Bayer is a German company. During a lengthy discussion of the Obama administration's efforts to prevent the Indian government from providing affordable medication to its citizens, Rea declared, "We are doing everything we can to respect the rights of U.S. innovators." But she didn't mention that her efforts weren’t actually supporting an American corporation.

This is new territory for U.S. trade negotiation and enforcement, according to trade experts. During the Clinton and Bush years, American diplomats were dispatched to Brazil and Thailand to fight compulsory licenses on key AIDS drugs. However, the medications facing newfound competition were patented by U.S. corporations -- not foreign companies.

The Obama administration was quick to push back on Rea's testimony, with another key trade office downplaying her comments.

"We have expressed concern with India's interpretation of its law in authorizing the issuance of this license but we have not opined with regard to whether the action is consistent with [WTO treaties]," Carol Guthrie, spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, told HuffPost.

While the Patent Office has extensive foreign educational and advisory operations in developing nations, it does not have authority to bring unfair trade cases before the WTO. That power rests with the USTR, a White House agency that is also responsible for negotiating international trade deals. In a blog post published a few days after the hearing, Rea walked back some of her comments, acknowledging that compulsory licenses can be acceptable under WTO rules. Nevertheless, she said her agency "encourages" other nations to adopt policies that are stricter than WTO standards and maintained her opposition to the Indian generic.

"Although compulsory licensing can be permissible under the TRIPS Agreement, we encourage our trading partners to consider ways to address their public health challenges while maintaining intellectual property rights systems that promote investment, research, and innovation," Rea wrote. "The broad interpretation of Indian law in a recent decision by the Controller General of Patents of India regarding compulsory licensing of patents, in my view, may undermine those goals."

Public health experts emphasize that this kind of political pressure from the U.S. can be damaging to developing nations, even if no formal trade complaint is ever brought before the WTO.

"The [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] is viewed as a regulator in other parts of the world, and not a lobbyist for U.S.-style patent laws or patent enforcement," says Kajal Bhardwaj, a human rights lawyer in India who has done extensive work on legislation to combat HIV in India."The statement by the USPTO official that its trainings are a method for preventing the issue of compulsory licenses is of great concern."

Rea's testimony is only the most explicit example of the Obama administration's efforts to use intellectual property maneuvering to inflate medical costs abroad. This year alone, the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department have joined USTR and the USPTO in disrupting World Health Assembly talks over reducing research and development costs for medicines targeting developing nations, and shut down World Intellectual Property Organization negotiations aimed at curtailing the prices of existing drugs in poor countries.

Of course, high medicine prices abroad mean high profits for pharmaceutical firms, and drug companies were an important White House ally during the legislative push for the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare seeks to contain medical costs by focusing on insurance reform -- it makes only very modest changes to prescription drug policies, and in many respects, actually breaks new ground on pharmaceutical company efforts to establish drug monopolies.

"We're taking the worst parts of U.S. law, the parts that make these medications unavailable to patients, and putting them into a trade policy as a guiding principle for developing countries," says Reshma Ramachandran, a fellow with the American Medical Student Association, which advocates for universal quality affordable health care and global health equity, among other priorities. "That's ridiculous."

As HuffPost reported in the fall of 2009, the Obama administration cut a deal with PhRMA -- the dominant drugmaker lobbying group -- intended to smooth the bill's congressional path. Obama agreed to go easy on pharmaceutical companies with his reforms, if PhRMA would support the overall legislation. One of the key giveaways to PhRMA? A new 12-year monopoly on test data used in medical trials for drugs derived from proteins or living tissues. Obama approved the PhRMA freebie over the explicit objections of the Federal Trade Commission, which concluded in a 2009 report that the new test data rights would lead to anti-competitive behavior.

This new power, called data exclusivity, prevents companies from relying on another firm's clinical trials when seeking government approval for their own drug. The practice violates centuries of scientific standards, but it can also lengthen patent monopolies and prevent the development of new, even broadly unrelated, medications that rely on previous scientific tests.

"The 12 years of exclusive rights in test data creates an automatic monopoly right that is stronger than a patent monopoly in most countries, and it raises drug prices," says James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International, a nonprofit dedicated to public health and access to knowledge. "It violates the Helsinki Declaration on ethical principles for research involving human subjects, because it requires the duplication of experiments on human subjects."

The WTO has never required countries to abide by these standards, but according to Rea, the U.S. is trying to use trade negotiations with 10 other Pacific nations to export the policy abroad.

India isn't part of the Trans-Pacific deal, but Rea's discussion of the pact underscores the administration's multi-pronged approach to elevating drug prices. While attempting to prevent the introduction of generic drugs in WTO nations, the U.S. is simultaneously seeking new trade agreements that would impose stricter rules than those required by the WTO. Countries involved in the Trans-Pacific talks include Malaysia, which has a per capita income one-third less than that of the U.S., and Vietnam, a nation significantly poorer than India.

"We view that the Trans-Pacific Partnership provides a good venue to make sure that we get appropriate data protection, and that the 12 years of data exclusivity is something that we are definitely trying to negotiate for right now," Rea said during her testimony.

The USTR rejected Rea’s statement.

"That is incorrect," USTR's Guthrie told HuffPost, referring to Rae's claim about data exclusivity. "U.S. negotiators have not proposed a specific term for data exclusivity for biologics ... discussions on issues relating to biologics are continuing because we want to get the substance right."

Although the Patent Office is a key adviser on trade agreements, negotiating the Trans-Pacific deal is USTR's responsibility. Draft terms of the pact, and the Obama administration's hoped-for final results, are withheld from the public -- a policy which has embroiled the agency in considerable controversy with members of Congress, who want staffers to be able to access key documents. Rea's announcement of a negotiating goal was a major diplomatic faux pas.

Rae walked back this point from her under-oath testimony in her blog.

"I was also asked to comment on a twelve year period for data protection for biologics which is favored by the research-based pharmaceutical industry," Rae wrote. "The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are ongoing and the United States Government has not made a proposal for a longer term of data protection for biologic medicines."

But while there is a clear pattern to the Obama administration's strategy on such issues, different factions of the executive branch do not always agree on details. In its latest budget proposal, the Office of Management and Budget suggested a 7-year time limit on data exclusivity. But if Rea's preference policy made its way into the Trans-Pacific deal, the U.S. would be subject to international trade sanctions if it ever opted to shorten or eliminate the 12-year right.

The U.N. Development Program and UNAIDS, meanwhile, oppose any term of data exclusivity whatsoever, and issued a report in June encouraging countries not to sign trade agreements that include the provision.

The latest round of Trans-Pacific negotiations began the week after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. The irony is not lost on health care reform activists in developing nations.

"That the Obama administration cannot see the gross inequity of charging $5000 per person per month for a cancer medicine in a developing country says a lot about this government," says Shiba Phurailpatam of the Asia Pacific Network of people living with HIV/AIDS. "Affordable care, it seems, is only for U.S. citizens, not for the developing world."



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/obamas-health-policy-global-health-reform_n_1659742.html




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« Reply #1563 on: July 10, 2012, 06:35:35 AM »


"This is unprecedented, really shocking testimony," says Judit Rius, the U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign, an international humanitarian aid group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. "It doesn't have any ground in international legal norms. I've never really seen a U.S. government official misinforming Congress in public like this. It's embarrassing for the White House."




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« Reply #1564 on: July 10, 2012, 07:44:56 AM »

The 8 Most Shameful Moments of Barack Obama's Presidency
 Townhall.com ^ | July 10, 2012 | John Hawkins




Cool "The private sector is doing fine:" Know what hasn't been "doing fine" for a single day since Barack Obama came into office? The private sector. So when Barack Obama bizarrely proclaimed that "the private sector is doing fine" earlier this year, Obama was further out of touch than E.T. was when he wanted to phone home.

7) Obama bows to Saudi king: If Barack Obama had spent his formative years in the United States instead of overseas, he'd know that real Americans don't bow. Moreover, no American, especially the President, should be bowing down to a dictatorial king like the one we had to overthrow in the Revolutionary War. Besides the Saudi king, Obama also continued to humiliate himself and his country by bowing to Japanese Emperor Akihito and the Chinese PM. We're lucky that the SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden as opposed to capturing him or we might have seen pictures of Obama bowing to him on MSNBC by now.

6) Son looked like Trayvon: At a time when George Zimmerman was publicly being threatened with death and white people were being beaten "For Trayvon," there was an opportunity for the President to show leadership and encourage people to calm down. Instead, after making some perfunctory remarks towards that end, Obama added fuel to the fire by noting, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." This was a follow-up to Obama's similarly foolish decision to insert himself into another local situation that didn't concern him. After his friend Henry Gates smashed his own door in and made such an ass of himself that he was arrested when the police arrived, Obama noted that he didn't know the facts, but he did know that the "police acted stupidly." He then followed that up by suggesting racism was probably to blame. Fortunately, he managed to patch over that bit of idiocy with a "beer summit" as opposed to the Trayvon Martin case where he increased the chances that someone would get killed because he was thoughtlessly shooting off his mouth.

5) Refusing to pick up illegals from Arizona: After the Obama Administration refused to enforce federal immigration law in Arizona, the state passed a tough new law that allowed local police to do the job ICE wouldn't do. Disgracefully, Barack Obama held a White House press conference where both he and Mexican President Felipe Calderon ganged up against Arizona for doing little more than enforcing the laws on the book. The Obama Administration then sued Arizona and after it didn't emerge completely victorious, simply refused to pick up illegal aliens that aren't felons from Arizona. In other words, not only is Barack refusing to enforce the law of the land, he won't allow anyone else to uphold the laws he falsely swore to uphold when he became President.

4) Persecuting the Catholic Church: Obama spat in the face of the Catholic Church and violated its constitutionally-protected 1st Amendment religious rights by demanding that it provide birth control and abortifacient drugs in its hospitals. Unless this policy is stopped, millions of Americans will pay the price as the Catholic Church closes its hospitals rather than violate its deeply-held religious beliefs in order to cater to Barack Obama's whims.

3) Passing Obamacare: Health care reform was opposed by the Republican Party and the American people despite endless lies the Obama Administration told about what a wonderful program it would be. The Obama Administration lied when it said everyone could keep their health insurance, that it wouldn't increase the deficit, when it said there were no death panels in the bill, when it said it wouldn't increase taxes, and when it said abortion wouldn't be funded with your tax dollars. All of these lies were for a program that took 500 billion dollars out of Medicare to fund a new entitlement program that will cause large numbers of doctors to quit, dramatically reduce the quality of care, and force Americans to deal with the IRS just to get health care. It's one of the single worst bills in America history that delivers an incredibly expensive new entitlement program at the point in American history where we can least afford it.

2) Obama's lawless attempt to pass the Dream Act by Fiat: After the DREAM ACT failed to make it through Congress, Barack Obama illegally decided to implement it anyway. After instructing the Department of Justice to stop following the law in regard to illegals under 30, Obama decided to issue work permits for illegals. That's an illegal act that directly contradicts the existing immigration law. It also makes little sense to give somewhere between 800,000 and 3 million foreigners work permits when every job they take will keep another American out of work in tough economic times.

1) Eric Holder held in contempt of Congress after Obama uses executive privilege: On Barack Obama's watch, the Department of Justice helped put guns into the hands of Mexican cartels and these guns were used to kill hundreds of Mexicans along with American Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Did Eric Holder know about this beforehand? Did Barack Obama? We don't know for sure because they've been engaged in a Nixonian cover-up. They've dragged their feet, stonewalled, and when they couldn't hold off any longer, Obama declared executive privilege in an attempt to hide the truth about how deeply his administration is tied to the deaths of 300 plus people. Obama's behavior was so sleazy that 17 House Democrats felt compelled to vote with Republicans to find Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. Say what you want about Watergate, but at least no one was killed during the scandal, which is something that can't be said about Obama's Fast and Furious debacle.
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« Reply #1565 on: July 10, 2012, 06:03:37 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/10/closure-border-patrol-stations-across-four-states-triggers-alarm



WTF!!!! 

FUBO.

ou Obama drone should all just swallow the pill.
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« Reply #1566 on: July 10, 2012, 06:43:30 PM »

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Obama’s ATF Targeting Hispanic Gun Buyers
PGNH Website ^ | 7/10/2012 | Evan Nappen, Esq.
Posted on July 10, 2012 9:22:39 PM EDT by Revtwo

A new, controversial question now appears on the most recent “Firearms Transaction Record Part I – Over-the Counter” (A.K.A. Form 4473), which must be filled out by anyone purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearm Licensee, meaning a gun shop or other licensed dealer.

Every person completing this form must now, under a new question “10.a,” either confirm or deny whether they are Hispanic/Latino. Failure to do so will cause potential criminal prosecution and a denial of Second Amendment Rights.

What if the “ethnicity” question demanded “Jew or Not a Jew”? Would that “ethnicity” question be acceptable? Like the Hispanic/Latino question, it is offensive and not necessary. It has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s qualification to purchase a gun.

(Excerpt) Read more at pgnh.org ...







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« Reply #1567 on: July 11, 2012, 02:24:45 AM »


Bump.




Obama's Global Health Policy Undercuts Reform At Home


Posted: 07/10/2012 9:20 am Updated: 07/10/2012 9:47 am




WASHINGTON -- A few hours after the Supreme Court upheld his signature health care legislation last week, President Barack Obama approached a White House podium, addressed the camera and declared that the nation's top justices had reaffirmed an important guiding principle of his presidency.

"Here in America -- in the wealthiest nation on Earth -- no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin," Obama said.

That single sentence was a compelling invocation of nearly every political theme Obama has presented on the campaign trail this year: To live in a nation is to take part in a social contract; personal wealth does not determine human dignity; decent people in a nation of means do not allow the less fortunate to suffer needlessly.

But while the president has focused on lowering health care costs at home, he has repeatedly sought to impose higher drug prices abroad. For pharmaceutical companies, that has meant steady profits, but for the global poor in desperate need of affordable drugs, those lofty prices are often a matter of life and death.

Nevertheless, members of the Obama administration continue to pursue policies around drug pricing that multiple United Nations groups, the World Health Organization, human rights lawyers and patient advocates worldwide decry.

Two weeks ago, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Deputy Director Teresa Stanek Rea sparked an uproar among public health experts when she testified before Congress on multiple administration strategies to affect drug pricing abroad by using American international political muscle. Her testimony focused on the Indian government’s efforts earlier this year to create an affordable generic alternative to an expensive cancer drug called Nexavar, which had been patented by Bayer AG, a multinational pharmaceutical conglomerate best known in the United States for aspirin pills.

Over the course of 70 minutes, Rea repeatedly castigated India's government for approving the generic drug, calling the move an "egregious" violation of World Trade Organization treaties. India's decision, Rea said, "dismayed and surprised" her, and she boasted about "personally" engaging "various agencies of the Indian government" in efforts to overturn it.

"This is unprecedented, really shocking testimony," says Judit Rius, the U.S. manager of Doctors Without Borders Access to Medicines Campaign, an international humanitarian aid group that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. "It doesn't have any ground in international legal norms. I've never really seen a U.S. government official misinforming Congress in public like this. It's embarrassing for the White House."

The Rea hearing, which had all the trappings of an inconsequential technocratic snoozefest, was almost completely ignored by American media -- drowned out by the furor over the Supreme Court’s historic health care ruling. Only eight members of the 23-person House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet showed up and asked questions.

Thus far the Indian government has resisted American pressure and continues to offer the generic alternative, which was approved in March after several months of negotiations with Bayer.

Not once during her testimony did Rea -- or any member of Congress -- cite the price Bayer posted in India for its version of the drug. Bayer, which earned $3.4 billion last year, was charging over $5,000 a month for standard doses, according to data from the Indian government. The cost of a generic version: $157 a month.

It was the high price that Bayer demanded for its cancer medication that prompted the Indian government to act. In a nation with a per capita income of just $3,693, the Bayer drug is financially out of reach for most Indians. The government authorized Natco Pharma to begin selling the generic version and ordered the firm to pay Bayer a 6 percent royalty on the proceeds.

That practice, known as compulsory licensing, is commonplace. It's explicitly protected by World Trade Organization treaties, an effort to ensure that good health care is not merely a privilege for the rich -- the kind of principle outlined by Obama in his celebration of the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. even deploys the compulsory licensing process to address domestic drug shortages.

But at the hearing, Rea said she planned to deploy the pressure it has used against India in other countries, too. "This is front and center," Rea said. "[We are] trying to stop the granting of further compulsory licenses."

Public health advocates have an entirely different take on the issue. They emphasize that Rea, who declined to comment for this article, did not offer a legal rationale for her agency's opposition to compulsory licensing, which goes against decades of international practices. Even the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of the WTO's website details broad leeway to approve generics that clearly apply to the Bayer cancer drug.

"Ignorance is no excuse for bad argument," says Anand Grover, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health and Senior Advocate for the Supreme Court of India, who notes that, under WTO rules, "Setting an exorbitant price which makes the drug unavailable to those who need it ... [is] grounds for the issuance of a compulsory license."

Bayer declined to comment on specific pricing for the drug, or the Indian government's calculations, based on Bayer data, that just 2 percent of eligible patients had received the drug during its first few years on the market.

"We will rigorously continue to defend our intellectual property rights which are a prerequisite for bringing innovative medicines to patients," Bayer spokeswoman Heather Levis Guzzi said in an emailed statement. "The limited period of marketing exclusivity made possible by patents ensures that the costs associated with the research and development of innovative medicines can be recovered."

The company also pointed to the fact that Nexavar is not one of the 348 drugs on India’s National List of Essential Medicines -- a compilation of treatments intended to be available in a country’s health care system at all times.

The medical patent system has plenty of detractors. Many public health experts and economists advocate for public financing of research and development costs to avoid private sector pricing problems. Public health experts who deal with AIDS, in particular, have long sought to reform the patent regime, since HIV drugs must be taken continuously for decades, making high dosage costs an acute problem. Nexavar is one of several new cancer drugs featuring a similar treatment regimen to the best HIV drugs. It can extend a patient's life for years, but only if taken continuously.

Whatever the import patents have in protecting intellectual property and corporations' bottom lines, even the strictest patent rights have always been accompanied by exceptions and flexibilities.

"It's disappointing and outrageous," says Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen's Access to Medicines Program, a consumer advocacy group, in reference to Rea's testimony. "Compulsory licensing is a sovereign right to protect public health and other public interests. It's been around as long as patents have been around. It goes back to the concept of 'crown use' in the oldest patent rules."

Rea and others at the briefing also failed to note that Bayer is a German company. During a lengthy discussion of the Obama administration's efforts to prevent the Indian government from providing affordable medication to its citizens, Rea declared, "We are doing everything we can to respect the rights of U.S. innovators." But she didn't mention that her efforts weren’t actually supporting an American corporation.

This is new territory for U.S. trade negotiation and enforcement, according to trade experts. During the Clinton and Bush years, American diplomats were dispatched to Brazil and Thailand to fight compulsory licenses on key AIDS drugs. However, the medications facing newfound competition were patented by U.S. corporations -- not foreign companies.

The Obama administration was quick to push back on Rea's testimony, with another key trade office downplaying her comments.

"We have expressed concern with India's interpretation of its law in authorizing the issuance of this license but we have not opined with regard to whether the action is consistent with [WTO treaties]," Carol Guthrie, spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, told HuffPost.

While the Patent Office has extensive foreign educational and advisory operations in developing nations, it does not have authority to bring unfair trade cases before the WTO. That power rests with the USTR, a White House agency that is also responsible for negotiating international trade deals. In a blog post published a few days after the hearing, Rea walked back some of her comments, acknowledging that compulsory licenses can be acceptable under WTO rules. Nevertheless, she said her agency "encourages" other nations to adopt policies that are stricter than WTO standards and maintained her opposition to the Indian generic.

"Although compulsory licensing can be permissible under the TRIPS Agreement, we encourage our trading partners to consider ways to address their public health challenges while maintaining intellectual property rights systems that promote investment, research, and innovation," Rea wrote. "The broad interpretation of Indian law in a recent decision by the Controller General of Patents of India regarding compulsory licensing of patents, in my view, may undermine those goals."

Public health experts emphasize that this kind of political pressure from the U.S. can be damaging to developing nations, even if no formal trade complaint is ever brought before the WTO.

"The [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] is viewed as a regulator in other parts of the world, and not a lobbyist for U.S.-style patent laws or patent enforcement," says Kajal Bhardwaj, a human rights lawyer in India who has done extensive work on legislation to combat HIV in India."The statement by the USPTO official that its trainings are a method for preventing the issue of compulsory licenses is of great concern."

Rea's testimony is only the most explicit example of the Obama administration's efforts to use intellectual property maneuvering to inflate medical costs abroad. This year alone, the Department of Health and Human Services and the State Department have joined USTR and the USPTO in disrupting World Health Assembly talks over reducing research and development costs for medicines targeting developing nations, and shut down World Intellectual Property Organization negotiations aimed at curtailing the prices of existing drugs in poor countries.

Of course, high medicine prices abroad mean high profits for pharmaceutical firms, and drug companies were an important White House ally during the legislative push for the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare seeks to contain medical costs by focusing on insurance reform -- it makes only very modest changes to prescription drug policies, and in many respects, actually breaks new ground on pharmaceutical company efforts to establish drug monopolies.

"We're taking the worst parts of U.S. law, the parts that make these medications unavailable to patients, and putting them into a trade policy as a guiding principle for developing countries," says Reshma Ramachandran, a fellow with the American Medical Student Association, which advocates for universal quality affordable health care and global health equity, among other priorities. "That's ridiculous."

As HuffPost reported in the fall of 2009, the Obama administration cut a deal with PhRMA -- the dominant drugmaker lobbying group -- intended to smooth the bill's congressional path. Obama agreed to go easy on pharmaceutical companies with his reforms, if PhRMA would support the overall legislation. One of the key giveaways to PhRMA? A new 12-year monopoly on test data used in medical trials for drugs derived from proteins or living tissues. Obama approved the PhRMA freebie over the explicit objections of the Federal Trade Commission, which concluded in a 2009 report that the new test data rights would lead to anti-competitive behavior.

This new power, called data exclusivity, prevents companies from relying on another firm's clinical trials when seeking government approval for their own drug. The practice violates centuries of scientific standards, but it can also lengthen patent monopolies and prevent the development of new, even broadly unrelated, medications that rely on previous scientific tests.

"The 12 years of exclusive rights in test data creates an automatic monopoly right that is stronger than a patent monopoly in most countries, and it raises drug prices," says James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International, a nonprofit dedicated to public health and access to knowledge. "It violates the Helsinki Declaration on ethical principles for research involving human subjects, because it requires the duplication of experiments on human subjects."

The WTO has never required countries to abide by these standards, but according to Rea, the U.S. is trying to use trade negotiations with 10 other Pacific nations to export the policy abroad.

India isn't part of the Trans-Pacific deal, but Rea's discussion of the pact underscores the administration's multi-pronged approach to elevating drug prices. While attempting to prevent the introduction of generic drugs in WTO nations, the U.S. is simultaneously seeking new trade agreements that would impose stricter rules than those required by the WTO. Countries involved in the Trans-Pacific talks include Malaysia, which has a per capita income one-third less than that of the U.S., and Vietnam, a nation significantly poorer than India.

"We view that the Trans-Pacific Partnership provides a good venue to make sure that we get appropriate data protection, and that the 12 years of data exclusivity is something that we are definitely trying to negotiate for right now," Rea said during her testimony.

The USTR rejected Rea’s statement.

"That is incorrect," USTR's Guthrie told HuffPost, referring to Rae's claim about data exclusivity. "U.S. negotiators have not proposed a specific term for data exclusivity for biologics ... discussions on issues relating to biologics are continuing because we want to get the substance right."

Although the Patent Office is a key adviser on trade agreements, negotiating the Trans-Pacific deal is USTR's responsibility. Draft terms of the pact, and the Obama administration's hoped-for final results, are withheld from the public -- a policy which has embroiled the agency in considerable controversy with members of Congress, who want staffers to be able to access key documents. Rea's announcement of a negotiating goal was a major diplomatic faux pas.

Rae walked back this point from her under-oath testimony in her blog.

"I was also asked to comment on a twelve year period for data protection for biologics which is favored by the research-based pharmaceutical industry," Rae wrote. "The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are ongoing and the United States Government has not made a proposal for a longer term of data protection for biologic medicines."

But while there is a clear pattern to the Obama administration's strategy on such issues, different factions of the executive branch do not always agree on details. In its latest budget proposal, the Office of Management and Budget suggested a 7-year time limit on data exclusivity. But if Rea's preference policy made its way into the Trans-Pacific deal, the U.S. would be subject to international trade sanctions if it ever opted to shorten or eliminate the 12-year right.

The U.N. Development Program and UNAIDS, meanwhile, oppose any term of data exclusivity whatsoever, and issued a report in June encouraging countries not to sign trade agreements that include the provision.

The latest round of Trans-Pacific negotiations began the week after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. The irony is not lost on health care reform activists in developing nations.

"That the Obama administration cannot see the gross inequity of charging $5000 per person per month for a cancer medicine in a developing country says a lot about this government," says Shiba Phurailpatam of the Asia Pacific Network of people living with HIV/AIDS. "Affordable care, it seems, is only for U.S. citizens, not for the developing world."



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/10/obamas-health-policy-global-health-reform_n_1659742.html




________________________ ________________________ _______________


Obama = OWNEd by BIG PHARMA 

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« Reply #1568 on: July 11, 2012, 05:05:09 PM »

Solyndra-Linked Executive to Lead Pentagon’s Advanced Tech Agency
The Foundry ^ | 7/11/12 | Melanie Wilcox
Posted on July 11, 2012 8:51:11 PM EDT by Nachum

A venture capital executive with ties to defunct solar company Solyndra has been hired as the new chief of the Defense Department program heading up the Pentagon’s renewable energy push.

Arati Prabhakar, a former partner at U.S. Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that backed Solyndra, has been named the new director of DoD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Prabhakaker will administer DARPA’s roughly $3 billion budget, some of which will likely continue funding projects in renewable energy.

While there is no indication that Prabhakar was involved with Solyndra during her time at USVP, her appointment to DARPA may rekindle allegations of cronyism in the administration’s dealings with Solyndra and other green energy companies.

DARPA itself has been scrutinized for some of its green energy deals. Former chief Regina Dugan was investigated by federal watchdogs after her family’s company won $400,000 in DARPA contracts while she headed the division.

DARPA was also responsible for the $21.8 million deal with biofuel company Solazyme, inviting further scrutiny. A member of Solazyme’s corporate board sat on President Obama’s transition team, where he helped form renewable energy policy.

Given the large pricetag of the Solazyme deal – the Navy paid $26 per gallon for Solazyme fuels – its merits mention that Prabhakar stresses the importance of relying on alternative energy despite its admittedly high costs to American taxpayers.
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« Reply #1569 on: July 11, 2012, 05:06:32 PM »

Perfect: Obama adviser outsourced hundreds of jobs to India last year
Doug Ross Journal ^ | 7/11/12 | Doug Ross
Posted on July 11, 2012 8:21:35 PM EDT by Nachum

Curious: didn't see any stories on this outrage on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC or read about it in The New York Times-Democrat or The Washington Post-Democrat:

About a year ago, Xerox told some 600 employees, many of them engineers, that their jobs were being transferred to an India-based IT services firm.

How has that worked out? Neither company is disclosing detail about what's been going on, but information is leaking out about some layoffs.

The move by Xerox goes to the heart of the outsourcing debate between President Barack Obama and the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

It involves outsourcing product engineering employees, a skill set often linked to the nation's innovation capacity, to an offshore company. Will Xerox's moves result in a net gain or net loss of jobs? The answers may still be in the future, but one of the people involved has the president's ear.

Xerox's CEO, Ursula Burns, is playing a prominent advisory role in the Obama administration as the vice chair of the President's Export Council as well serving on the President's Jobs Council.

As Jim Geraghty observes, Mitt Romney has outsourced a grand total of zero jobs, while our beloved President Zippy McStatist has spent about $29 billion of your money outsourcing. At least.

Oh, and vintage media hacks: don't bother picking up this story and running with it. We've got it handled, thanks.
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« Reply #1570 on: July 12, 2012, 02:01:02 PM »

Obama Guts Welfare Reform
 The Foundry (Heritage Foundation) ^ | July 12, 2012 | Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley

 


Today, the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the reform law. The Obama directive bludgeons the letter and intent of the actual reform legislation.

Welfare Reform under Clinton

Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The underlying concept of welfare reform was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.



The welfare reform law is often characterized as simply giving state governments more flexibility in operating welfare programs. This is a serious misunderstanding. While new law (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) did grants states more flexibility in some respects, the core of the act was the creation of rigorous new federal work standards that state governments were required to implement.



The welfare reform law was very successful. In the four decades prior to welfare reform, the welfare caseload never experienced a significant decline. But, in the four years after welfare reform, the caseload dropped by nearly half. Employment surged and child poverty among affected groups plummeted. The driving force behind these improvements was the rigorous new federal work requirements contained in the TANF law.



Obama’s Trick to Get Around Work Requirements



Today the Obama Administration issued a new directive stating that the traditional TANF work requirements can be waived or overridden by a legal device called the section 1115 waiver authority under the Social Security law (42 U.S.C. 1315).



Section 1115 states that “the Secretary may waive compliance with any of the requirements” of specified parts of various laws. But this is not an open-ended authority: Any provision of law that can be waived under section 1115 must be listed in section 1115 itself. The work provisions of the TANF program are contained in section 407 (entitled, appropriately, “mandatory work requirements”). Critically, this section, as well as most other TANF requirements, are deliberately not listed in section 1115; they are not waiveable.



In establishing TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from the section 1115 waiver authority. They did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of Health and Human Services (HHS) bureaucrats. Of the roughly 35 sections of the TANF law, only one is listed as waiveable under section 1115. This is section 402.



Section 402 describes state plans—reports that state governments must file to HHS describing the actions they will undertake to comply with the many requirements established in the other sections of the TANF law. The authority to waive section 402 provides the option to waive state reporting requirements only, not to overturn the core requirements of the TANF program contained in the other sections of the TANF law.



The new Obama dictate asserts that because the work requirements, established in section 407, are mentioned as an item that state governments must report about in section 402, all the work requirements can be waived. This removes the core of the TANF program; TANF becomes a blank slate that HHS bureaucrats and liberal state bureaucrats can rewrite at will.

Congressional Research Service: “There Are No TANF Waivers”



In a December 2001 document, “Welfare Reform Waivers and TANF,” the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clarified that the limited authority to waive state reporting requirement in section 402 does not grant authority to override work and other major requirements in the other sections of the TANF law (sections that were deliberately not listed under the section 1115 waiver authority):





Technically, there is waiver authority for TANF state plan requirement; however, [the] major TANF requirements are not in state plans. Effectively, there are no TANF waivers.



Obviously, if the Congress had wanted HHS to be able to waive the TANF work requirements laid out in section 407, it would have listed that section as waiveable under section 1115. It did not do that.



Define “Work”…



In the past, state bureaucrats have attempted to define activities such as hula dancing, attending Weight Watchers, and bed rest as “work.” These dodges were blocked by the federal work standards. Now that the Obama Administration has abolished those standards, we can expect “work” in the TANF program to mean anything but work.



The new welfare dictate issued by the Obama Administration clearly guts the law. The Administration tramples on the actual legislation passed by Congress and seeks to impose its own policy choices—a pattern that has become all too common in this Administration.



The result is the end of welfare reform.
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« Reply #1571 on: July 15, 2012, 06:39:06 PM »

Autopsy Inconclusive for Obama Campaign Worker Who Collapsed at Chicago Campaign HQ
NBC Chicago ^ | 7/14/12 | NBC Chicago
Posted on July 15, 2012 10:21:34 PM EDT by jimbo123

An autopsy for an Obama for America campaign staffer who died after collapsing in the Chicago headquarters was inconclusive Saturday.

-snip-

The autopsy requires further studies before a cause of death can be determined, according to the medical examiner’s office.

(Excerpt) Read more at nbcchicago.com ...
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« Reply #1572 on: July 15, 2012, 06:46:43 PM »

Autopsy Inconclusive for Obama Campaign Worker Who Collapsed at Chicago Campaign HQ
NBC Chicago ^ | 7/14/12 | NBC Chicago
Posted on July 15, 2012 10:21:34 PM EDT by jimbo123

An autopsy for an Obama for America campaign staffer who died after collapsing in the Chicago headquarters was inconclusive Saturday.

-snip-

The autopsy requires further studies before a cause of death can be determined, according to the medical examiner’s office.

(Excerpt) Read more at nbcchicago.com ...


let me guess you think he was poisioned  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1573 on: July 15, 2012, 06:48:26 PM »

let me guess you think he was poisioned  Roll Eyes


LOL.    nothing is beyond MurderBa,a.
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« Reply #1574 on: July 16, 2012, 06:01:32 AM »


Treasury probe cites officials for soliciting prostitutes, accepting industry gifts, FOIA docs reveal

 By Bob Cusack - 07/15/12 08:19 PM ET


www.thehill.com






Treasury Department officials have been cited for soliciting prostitutes, breaking conflict-of-interest rules and accepting gifts from corporate executives, according to the findings of official government investigations.
 
The revelations of unethical behavior at Treasury are detailed in little-noticed documents posted this month on governmentattic.org, which publishes agency responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
 
While it is not uncommon for departments within the executive branch to have personnel issues, it is unusual for these types of documents to become public. They provide a rare glimpse of internal probes within the Treasury Department, exposing different episodes of misconduct.
 
Investigators at the Treasury's Office of Inspector General (OIG), which responds to tips and official referrals from within the department, found that employees had engaged in unethical, and perhaps criminal, conduct.

The emergence of the OIG probe findings come in the wake of embarrassing scandals for the Obama administration at the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Secret Service. Even though the wrongdoing at Treasury is not as far-reaching or as embarrassing as those controversies, it could put the administration on the defensive with less than four months before the election.
 
Some of the OIG's work focused on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an agency housed within Treasury that was created by Congress to oversee banking institutions. It also homes in on the now-defunct Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), which recently became part of the OCC as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.
 

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More from The Hill
 • Thune rising: GOP senator on veepstakes and his future
• Hill Poll: Voters say wealth is an impossible dream
 • Ron Paul readies for last showdown with Bernanke
 • GOP ramps up attacks on Obama over military cuts
 • White House holds 'pep talk' on military use of biofuels
 • Defense hawks take cautious approach with NRA, UN arms treaty
 • Dems use wildfires to call for hearings on climate change
 • Boehner has raised $80M as Speaker

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The identities of the government officials who were investigated are unclear. Their names were redacted from the documents released under FOIA, consistent with FOIA law.

 In 2010, an OTC employee “misused” government resources to solicit prostitutes on three separate occasions via Craigslist. While working at the OTC, investigators said the government staffer “viewed websites offering erotic services on a weekly basis as well as communicating with and arranging meetings with women offering erotic services."
 
The OIG concluded that the OTC worker had violated government rules on “notoriously disgraceful conduct.” The case was referred for criminal prosecution to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District for Columbia, which opted not to prosecute "absent aggravating circumstances such as underage prostitutes or human trafficking." The employee, who was not a political appointee, subsequently retired from the government, according to the documents.
 
In another finding, the OIG cited an OCC staffer for accepting golf fees and meals from bank executives. The staffer, who had received ethics training, said he believed playing golf with industry officials under the purview of OCC was “a condoned activity.”
 
The golf outings took place on multiple occasions during work weeks when OCC was conducting bank examinations. Many of the greens fees and meals at the golf course were paid for by corporate executives.
 
The OIG stated the OCC official “violated several regulations covering ethics and the conduct of employees in the performance of their official duties.”
 
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia, however, declined to pursue criminal charges.
 
OIG found other financial conflict of interest with the OCC relating to contract bids and the acceptance of improper gifts such as flowers, meals and at least one limosine ride. A separate Treasury official was deemed to have a financial conflict of interest in 2010 when the bank examiner disclosed he had an overdraft protection line of credit loan from a financial institution that was regulated by the OTS.
 
The documents from OIG also show that a few allegations of unethical conduct were found to be without merit.
 
Treasury Department officials say the violations are isolated incidents.
 
"Treasury has a strong ethics policy that we expect all of our employees to follow, and the overwhelming majority of them do. As with any large organization, issues of misconduct occasionally arise. When that happens at Treasury, we act promptly and decisively to address them. The OIG moved aggressively to investigate the isolated instances of misconduct referenced in these documents, most of which were brought to the OIG’s attention by bureau management," a Treasury spokesman told The Hill.

An OCC spokesman said that "the agency does not comment on individual personnel matters. As your review of the documents will note, many of the investigations were found to be without merit, others are several years old, and some reference referrals made by the OTS, prior to the integration of that agency’s responsibility’s into the OCC."
 
Unlike most government entities, the OCC does not receive appropriations from Congress. Its operations are primarily funded from assessments levied on national banks and federal saving associations.
 
OCC has nearly 4,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) while Treasury has more than 107,000 FTEs. The OIG report highlights the wrondoing of a handful of Treasury workers.
 
The OIG determined that a Treasury employee in the Financial Management Services division used government resources to mail personal bills over an eight-year-period.
 
Another ethics violations stipulated in the OIG documents focused on a Treasury Department employee in the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC).
 
The intoxicated OFAC official attempted to bring prohibited alcoholic beverages into a college football game, and was stopped by law enforcement.
 
The OFAC official was perceived to be “disorderly and disruptive” and was nearly arrested even after University of North Carolina police noticed the official’s badge and credentials. The report said the officers used “restraint because they believed him to be a law enforcement officer.” OIG found him to be in “violation of Treasury policy.”
 
Other than the employee who surfed the Internet for prostitutes, it's unclear if the workers that the OIG investigated are still employed at Treasury.
 
In an interview with The Hill, Eric Thorson, the IG at Treasury, praised senior leaders at Treasury for giving his department the freedom to aggressively investigate allegations. He noted that Treasury is a "fairly large department," suggesting the actions of a few should not tarnish the vast majority of employees who comply with government ethics laws.
 
"Many organizations have people who do dumb things," he said.
 
Thorson stressed that the OIG findings are not comparable to GSA's scandal of lavish spending, saying Treasury has a clear track record of not tolerating misconduct. He and other Treasury officials said that the OIG reports show Treasury's systems are working because they have rooted out problems within the department.
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