Archive for the ‘influence’ Category

Russia Boosts Aid To Neighbors; Wants U.S. Base, Influence Ended

February 4, 2009

Russia is now opposing President Obama on the military front.  Russia is increasing aid to Former Soviet Union members in a sort of bribe to increase Russian influence and force out ideas of democracy and help to the U.S.  The Georgia incursion last summer was a tank spearheaded attack — this is more like a bribe…

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said Tuesday at a news conference in Moscow that “all due procedures” were being initiated to close Manas Air Base, the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
Today the Associated Press said Kyrgyzstan‘s government has submitted a draft bill to parliament calling for the closing of the U.S. base at Manas that is key to the military campaign in Afghanistan.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell on Tuesday called Manas “a hugely important air base.”

“It provides us with launching point to provide supplies in Afghanistan. We very much appreciate [Kyrgyz] support in using that base and we hope to continue,” he said.


Personnel of the U.S. airbase at Manas air base near Bishkek ... 
Personnel of the U.S. airbase at Manas air base near Bishkek stand at attention at their base, June 4, 2007.(Vladimir Pirogov/Reuters)


By Conor Sweeney and Oleg Shchedrov, Reuters

Russia offered financial support to two ex-Soviet states on Tuesday and secured military favors in return, a day after former Cold War ally Cuba secured renewed assistance from Moscow.

Despite devaluing the rouble, falling oil prices and a collapse in its domestic stock market, Moscow still offered support to three countries that will pit it against the interests of the United States.

The announcements will dampen optimistic hopes that last week’s conciliatory Davos comments on both economics and defense by powerful Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin marked a change in Moscow’s combative stance toward the West.

Kyrgyzstan’s President announced his country would shut the United States Manas military airbase near the capital Bishkek that provides what the Pentagon says is a “hugely important” logistical support for its operations in Afghanistan.

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Madoff’s $50 Billion Scam Included Buying Influence in Washington

December 16, 2008

Within a day of the Dec. 11 arrest of Wall Street financier Bernard L. Madoff, his Washington lobbyists were scrambling to sever all ties to a man who’s been accused of a $50 billion fraud and who may go down in history as the largest financial scam artist ever.

The lobbying firm Dow Lohnes Government Strategies filed paperwork on Dec. 12, terminating its lobbying contract with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. That ended more than 10 years of Madoff lobbying in Washington, in which his investment firm spent more than $400,000 to influence the federal government.

By Eamon Javers, Lisa Lerer

Bernard L. Madoff, the Chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, ... 
Bernard L. Madoff, the Chairman of Madoff Investment Securities, is seen speaking in 2007.(Philoctetes Center/Handout/Reuters)

But lobbying is just a piece of Madoff’s influence in Washington. His family has contributed nearly $400,000 to political committees. And his niece, Shana Madoff Swanson, who serves as a compliance attorney at his firm, is married to a former high-ranking Securities and Exchange Commission official, Eric Swanson.

Swanson was the assistant director in the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ market oversight unit in Washington. According to his biography, Swanson “supervised and conducted inspections and examinations that involved a wide range of issues including best execution, order handling, insider trading [and] market manipulation.”

The SEC has come under criticism for not following up on tips….

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