Money & Politics

Kellogg Brown & Root, the nation's top Iraq war contractor and until last year a subsidiary of Halliburton Corp., has avoided paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in this tropical tax haven.
The medieval alchemists claimed they could turn ordinary metals into gold. Analysts at Standard & Poors (S&P), Wall Street's top ratings agency, claimed that bad loans to poor people were wildly profitably. A U.S. government investigation alleges that S&P financial analysts are no different from the hucksters of yore.
The decision by Mr. Abramoff to cooperate in a broadening federal inquiry reaching deep into Mr. DeLay's inner circle led some influential Republicans on Wednesday to issue new calls for Mr. DeLay to abandon his goal of regaining his post.
If the race for the White House was won by whoever drew the biggest crowd there would be no contest. The next president would be a gaunt man in a crumpled suit who travels on discounted senior citizen's tickets and delivers long, rambling speeches. He is Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate turned Green Party presidential candidate.
An Alaskan Inupiat Eskimo firm has been awarded a multi-million dollar no-bid contract to feed Bolivian soldiers and police in that country's continuing drug war, raising questions concerning the firms on-going relationship with former Halliburton subsidiary KBR and the US Senate's Alaskan Native Corporation privilege.
Exam privatization threatens public schools "They make kids in my class feel dumb," says Vanessa Verdín about the corporate-designed standardized tests that millions of U.S. students are required to take under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Vanessa, an energetic eleven year old whose hobbies include soccer, knitting and research, feels that the tests "ask the wrong questions" and "waste time when we could be learning."
As a growing number of Department of Homeland Security employees exit the agency, the practice of former officials joining prestigious research or academic institutions while working on behalf of for-profit companies is not uncommon in Washington.
Seven international banks have been served with subpoenas over the global interest setting scandal. Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS - have been asked to provide relevant "documents and communications" to the New York attorney-general.
Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began investigating one of the nation's largest hedge funds, Pequot Capitol Management, for possible insider trading. Up until last summer, the inquiry was headed by SEC lawyer Gary Aguirre. His investigation proceeded smoothly, Aguirre claims, until he asked for testimony from former Pequot chairman and Morgan Stanley CEO, John Mack, a top Bush donor.
This marks the second consecutive convention in which the GOP is trying to sell itself to minorities and progressive whites. Remember that patronizing ''big-tent'' rhetoric from San Diego four years ago?