Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
GOD SAVE HRC, FROM REALITY — Jeffrey St. Clair on Hillary Clinton’s miraculous rags-to-riches method of financial success; LA CONFIDENTIAL: Lee Ballinger on race, violence and inequality in Los Angeles; PAPER DRAGON: Peter Lee on China’s military; THE BATTLE OVER PAT TILLMAN: David Hoelscher provides a 10 year retrospective on the changing legacy of Pat Tillman; MY BROTHER AND THE SPACE PROGRAM: Paul Krassner on the FBI and rocket science. PLUS: Mike Whitney on how the Central Bank feeds state capitalism; JoAnn Wypijewski on what’s crazier than Bowe Bergdahl?; Kristin Kolb on guns and the American psyche; Chris Floyd on the Terror War’s disastrous course.
The Democrats, Pfizer and Acorn

Who’s the Pimp?

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER

Acorn is a poor people’s grassroots organization.

Earlier this month, some of it’s employees were caught on tape giving advice to two young right-wing activists posing as pimp and prostitute.

Pfizer is a wealthy and powerful multinational corporation.

Earlier this month, a Pfizer unit pled guilty to a felony in connection with a major health care fraud and paid $2.3 billion in fines.

So, if the Democratically controlled Congress were to vote to either:

a) strip federal funding from the grassroots group Acorn, or

b) ban corporate felon Pfizer from future government business

Which would it be?

Let me guess.

Last week, the Democratic controlled Congress voted to strip Acorn of its federal funding.

Why?

The vote came a day after the release of the latest video by the two activists who crisscrossed the country trying to get Acorn employees to help them in setting up a child-prostitution business.

In some Acorn offices, workers reported the two to the police.

In others, they sought to help the fake pimp and prostitute.

Fox and Limbaugh and Hannity and Beck and O’Reilly made it seem as if Acorn was a corporate felon.

And reacting to the right-wing echo chamber, the House and Senate voted to end Acorn’s federal funding.

Unclear whether such a move is Constitutional.

The Constitution prohibits bills of attainder.

That means Congress can’t punish individual organizations.

But putting that minor detail aside for a moment, let’s say Congress can punish.

Why bully the weak?

After all, a society rots from the head down.

Let’s chop at the top.

Let’s find a list of major corporate criminals who rip off the federal government.

And bar them from ever doing business with the federal government again.

Lo and behold, we have such a list right here.

A quick and dirty list from the annals of Taxpayers Against Fraud and the Corporate Crime Reporter:

Pfizer, Serono, Takeda-Abbott Pharmaceutical, Shering-Plough, Lilly, Abbott Labs, Cephalon, National Medical Enterprises, HCA, Gambro Health Care, Schering-Plough, Astra-Zeneca, Bayer, Purdue.

Major corporate criminals?

Check.

Convicted in a court of law?

Check.

Ripped off the federal government?

Check.

Paid fines that would keep Acorn in business until hell freezes over?

Check.

Which raises an obvious question for the members of Congress who voted overwhelmingly to strip Acorn of its federal funding:

Who’s the pimp?

RUSSELL MOKHIBER is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter and founder of singlepayeraction.org