And there you have it. It’s a great racket that allows doctors to extort loads of money from those in the most pain and with the least ability to fight back. None of them want the gravy train to end, and that’s your “financial interests” right there. It’s shameless and venal and there’s no excuse for it. And that’s America’s health care system.
It turns out Rand Paul’s filibuster was big scam. Sen. Paul has wasted little time implementing the second part of his planned filibuster. He is now trying to cash in with a fundraising letter.
The true story behind Rand Paul’s filibuster is starting to come out. According to the National Journal, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans knew the filibuster was coming, “But the day wasn’t entirely unplanned. Paul, often accused of being a lone wolf on Capitol Hill, had laid some of the groundwork to win over the GOP establishment. McConnell and Co. knew the filibuster was coming, even if they did not know when precisely or what exactly it would look like.”
This fact contradicts the myth that Paul floated that he decided to come to the Senate floor and start speaking. Sen. Paul has been suggesting that everybody just showed up, “We probably had 15 congressmen come over to the Senate floor,” he said this morning in a radio interview with Glenn Beck. Paul pointed out that House members are allowed to come to the Senate floor but are barred from speaking or coming forward, so they were presumably there just to lend support with their presence. “I’ve never seen that happen before. And they came spontaneously. Nobody called them. They just showed up.”
Sen. Paul’s claims of spontaneity are dubious at best. Now we have come to learn that Paul is trying to cash in on his planned stunt.
I know somebody will accuse me of trying to get rich off of #TGDN, which is ridiculous. I just can’t devote the time to the admin work.
#TGDN having a paid staff person means that all of us have now created more jobs (1) than Barack Obama (0). Be proud!
So this is pure grifting. It costs NOTHING to monitor a single Twitter hashtag. Twitter does not even assign admins to monitor hashtags.
Todd is scamming stupid wingnuts.
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The family of Noah Pozner was mourning the 6-year-old, killed in the Newtown school massacre, when outrage compounded their sorrow.
Someone they didn’t know was soliciting donations in Noah’s memory, claiming that they’d send any cards, packages and money collected to his parents and siblings. An official-looking website had been set up, with Noah’s name as the address, even including petitions on gun control.
Noah’s uncle, Alexis Haller, called on law enforcement authorities to seek out “these despicable people.”
“These scammers,” he said, “are stealing from the families of victims of this horrible tragedy.”
It’s a problem as familiar as it is disturbing. Tragedy strikes – be it a natural disaster, a gunman’s rampage or a terrorist attack – and scam artists move in.
It happened after 9/11. It happened after Columbine. It happened after Hurricane Katrina. And after this summer’s movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.
Sometimes fraud takes the form of bogus charities asking for donations that never get sent to victims. Natural disasters bring another dimension: Scammers try to get government relief money they’re not eligible for.
“It’s abominable,” said Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, which evaluates the performance of charities. “It’s just the lowest kind of thievery.”
Noah Pozner’s relatives found out about one bogus solicitation when a friend received an email asking for money for the family. Poorly punctuated, it gave details about Noah, his funeral and his family. It directed people to send donations to an address in the Bronx, one that the Pozners had never heard of.
It listed a New York City phone number to text with questions about how to donate. When a reporter texted that number Wednesday, a reply came advising the donation go to the United Way.
The Pozner family had the noahpozner.com website transferred to its ownership. Victoria Haller, Noah’s aunt, emailed the person who had originally registered the name. The person, who went by the name Jason Martin, wrote back that he’d meant “to somehow honor Noah and help promote a safer gun culture. I had no ill intentions I assure you.”
Every scammy, scummy sidebar banner ad now uses the same copy: [Some professional group] HATES “Local Mom”/”Random Guy” for discovering this “ridiculously easy/cheap WEIRD trick.”
Three years ago it was Dentists Hate Local Mom’s Teeth Whitening Trick! The teeth whitening scam appears to have evolved into Dermatologists Hate Local Mom’s Wrinkle Trick! The scam operates the same way: a bunch of fake front sites are set up, featuring a bogus “Mom” who reveals the “Weird Trick” which is to use Two Products At The Same Time. “Local Mom” got the products as “free samples” but that offer is no longer available so “Local Mom” will send YOU, stupid internet consumer, a 30-day “free” supply of Two Products which will only cost $14.99 for shipping & handling and then $100 a month every month for the rest of you life or until you cancel your credit card.
For some ridiculously weird reason, this scam just goes on and on.
Now HATE is even being used to sell legitimate products.
LANGUAGE PROFESSORS HATE HIM! UH, ACTUALLY THEY TOTALLY DON’T.
The Wall Street Mafia Scam: America’s Biggest Banks Took Part in a Nationwide Bid-Rigging Conspiracy- Caught On Tape
Someday, it will go down in history as the first trial of the modern American mafia. Of course, you won’t hear the recent financial corruption case, United States of America v. Carollo, Goldberg and Grimm, called anything like that. If you heard about it at all, you’re probably either in the municipal bond business or married to an antitrust lawyer. Even then, all you probably heard was that a threesome of bit players on Wall Street got convicted of obscure antitrust violations in one of the most inscrutable, jargon-packed legal snoozefests since the government’s massive case against Microsoft in the Nineties - not exactly the thrilling courtroom drama offered by the famed trials of old-school mobsters like Al Capone or Anthony “Tony Ducks” Corallo.
But this just-completed trial in downtown New York against three faceless financial executives really was historic. Over 10 years in the making, the case allowed federal prosecutors to make public for the first time the astonishing inner workings of the reigning American crime syndicate, which now operates not out of Little Italy and Las Vegas, but out of Wall Street.
The defendants in the case - Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg and Peter Grimm - worked for GE Capital, the finance arm of General Electric. Along with virtually every major bank and finance company on Wall Street - not just GE, but J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, UBS, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Wachovia and more - these three Wall Street wiseguys spent the past decade taking part in a breathtakingly broad scheme to skim billions of dollars from the coffers of cities and small towns across America. The banks achieved this gigantic rip-off by secretly colluding to rig the public bids on municipal bonds, a business worth $3.7 trillion. By conspiring to lower the interest rates that towns earn on these investments, the banks systematically stole from schools, hospitals, libraries and nursing homes - from “virtually every state, district and territory in the United States,” according to one settlement. And they did it so cleverly that the victims never even knew they were being cheated. No thumbs were broken, and nobody ended up in a landfill in New Jersey, but money disappeared, lots and lots of it, and its manner of disappearance had a familiar name: organized crime.
Several weeks, ago, the NY Times reported:
On any ordinary day, yellow school buses with the Hebrew names of yeshivas dominate the ultra-Orthodox landscape of Borough Park, Brooklyn. But in the days before Passover, large trucks parked along many of the sidewalks are far more striking, particularly those bearing signs with a Hebrew word obscure even to most Jews: Sheimos.
Sheimos (pronounced SHAME-os) is a term for religious books containing the Hebrew name of God that need to be ritually buried in the ground.
As Passover approaches, Orthodox Jews strive to rid their homes of even the slightest trace of bread or other unleavened grain products known as chametz, almost down to the molecule. Bibles, prayer books and volumes of Talmud receive a thorough airing as well, and the most dog-eared specimens are often discarded. But Jewish religious law considers throwing them in the trash a desecration.
So parked all day on many streets in Borough Park and nearby neighborhoods like Midwood are trucks whose drivers will carry books to a cemetery upstate for a fee of about $8 to $10 a box.
Today it was reported (but not by the Times):
Brooklyn, NY - Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) was outraged to learn that a van full of shaimos had been abandoned in Borough Park.
A resident of the community called the Assemblyman this morning to complain of a van that had been parked in the community since Pesach. When a member of the Assemblyman’s staff went to investigate, he discovered a box van with out-of-state license plates that had received several parking tickets. A look inside revealed that the back of the van was full of boxes containing shaimos (books or other sacred objects which can no longer be used but may not be destroyed).
‘This is not the first time that con artists have pulled this kind of stunt,’ said Assemblyman Hikind. ‘The disposal of shaimos is often done around Pesach when people are cleaning and they have no idea who it is that’s accepting their packages of shaimos on the streets. It’s a cash-and-carry business that’s ripe for scammers. What an absolute disgrace.’
SHAME-os is right!
CHICAGO (AP) — A phone scam in which callers in India posed as debt collectors bilked millions of dollars out of more than 10,000 U.S. residents by using threats of arrest or the loss of their jobs, U.S. authorities said Tuesday in what they described as a first-of-its-kind investigation.
Callers drew on personal data snatched from payday loan websites, Federal Trade Commission official Steven Baker said. More than 20 million calls may have been placed over the past two years, with collectors demanding between $300 and $2,000 per call.
Such a far-reaching fraud with so many millions of calls flooding in from India is something investigators haven’t seen before and was fostered in part by the plummeting costs of international calls, Baker, the FTC’s Midwest director, said.
While federal authorities seem to have put a halt to this one scam by freezing the assets of a California-based business allegedly involved, Baker said other similar scams are almost certainly up and running.
“We think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
Authorities have received more than 4,000 complaints about debt-collection schemes in recent years, said Baker. They describe aggressive, foul-mouthed callers, some of whom claimed to be agents of a nonexistent Federal Department of Crime and Prevention.
JanLaree Dejulius, of Las Vegas, was at work at a university office when she got a call from a man who gave his name as Officer Black. He knew one of her relatives hahad taken out a payday loan online. If Dejulius didn’t pay up, he said he would send someone to her work to arrest her, she said.
They’ll be back with some other weird old scam
WASHINGTON (AP) — Expect to see fewer “newsy” online advertisements hawking acai berry diet pills.
Federal regulators announced settlements Wednesday with six online marketers who were accused of using fake news sites on the Internet to entice customers to buy acai berry weight-loss products. They promised rapid and substantial weight loss, sometimes claiming people could lose 25 pounds in four weeks without changing their diets or exercising.
The Federal Trade Commission says it was all a scam.
The FTC accused the marketers of designing websites that falsely appeared as if they were part of legitimate news organizations. They flashed investigative-sounding headlines and presented a reporter’s “first-hand experience” with acai berry supplements.
The commission went to court in April, seeking temporary restraining orders against the marketers. All six have since taken down their sites pushing the pills.
Acai is a dark purple fruit from a palm found in Central and South America. The marketers advertised their supplement as a weight-loss aid, and often sold with a separate “colon cleanser” product.
Four other similar cases are pending.
“We have ongoing efforts to aggressively challenge deceptive advertisements over the Internet like the fake news sites attacked here, and our enforcement actions can potentially reach anyone in the chain between a seller and the consumer,” said Steven Wernikoff, an FTC attorney in Chicago.
Consumers paid $70 to $100 for a supply of the pills, according to FTC attorney Matthew Wernz.
Yet despite the ease with which he avoided punishment for his Prague adventure, his newest plea for help should come as no surprise - for Duke is a veteran scam artist with a long history of persuading supporters to send him a buck. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion and mail fraud for ripping off hundreds of thousands of dollars from white supremacist donors who thought they were helping save the white race - money that actually went to finance Duke’s gambling habit. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined $10,000.
That was just the splashiest case. In the late 1970s, Duke lost the support of many comrades after he allegedly stole money from the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, (the “kinder, gentler” Klan group he founded in 1975) and used it to refurbish his Louisiana home. In 1987, facing charges of reckless conduct after engaging in a shouting match with a black man, he raised at least $8,000 from backers who mistakenly believed they were helping 62 other white supremacists. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was fined $55. In 1995, the state of Louisiana fined him $1,111 for using illegal fundraising techniques during his unsuccessful run for governor four years earlier.
In 2000, even after federal authorities raided his home and carted away nearly two dozen boxes of papers, computer discs, credit card records and other documents - material that would be used to put him away three years later - Duke insisted on his innocence. “[T]his probe is nothing more than a political assassination on the part of government officials who are seeking to silence my voice on our European heritage and rights,” he wrote from his temporary home in Russia, where he was far beyond the reach of U.S. authorities.