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GOP meddles in Democratic nomination with takedown of O'Rourke - POLITICO
The Club for Growth sees the ex-Texas congressman as a serious threat to Donald Trump, and they're treating him accordingly.
2019-03  campaign2020  politics  gop  shenanigans  money  power 
6 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Trump inauguration took money from shell companies tied to foreigners | World news | The Guardian
Creators of firms that donated revealed by Guardian as Indian financier, lobbyist with links to Taiwan and Israeli real estate developer
2019-03  politics  corruption  money  power 
6 weeks ago by Weaverbird
The Origins of Paul Manafort, Trump's Former Campaign Manager - The Atlantic
Decades before he ran the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort’s pursuit of foreign cash and shady deals laid the groundwork for the corruption of Washington.
2019-03  politics  corruption  gop  money  power  lobbying 
6 weeks ago by Weaverbird
Jeffrey Epstein case: Federal prosecutors broke law, judge says | Miami Herald
Federal prosecutors, under former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by wealthy New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

While the decision marks a victory for crime victims, the federal judge, Kenneth A. Marra, stopped short of overturning Epstein’s plea deal, or issuing an order resolving the case. He instead gave federal prosecutors 15 days to confer with Epstein’s victims and their attorneys to come up with a settlement. The victims did not seek money or damages as part of the suit.

It’s not clear whether the victims, now in their late 20s and early 30s, can, as part of the settlement, demand that the government prosecute Epstein. But others are calling on the Justice Department to take a new look at the case in the wake of the judge’s ruling.
2019-02  law  money  power  corruption 
7 weeks ago by Weaverbird
America is falling out of love with billionaires, and it’s about time - Los Angeles Times
The issue of how many billions are too many billions has been placed in high relief by the presidential campaign of Schultz, the ultimate billionaire vanity project. Schultz condemns calls for higher marginal tax rates on the wealthy and, typically for his species, portrays himself as a man who has gotten where he is today by taking advantage of America as the land of opportunity — so what’s keeping you layabouts from doing the same. But he also mentions, in passing, that he grew up in federally subsidized housing in New York. So someone, somehow, gave him a leg up using tax revenue.

It’s proper to question why people like Schultz and Dell feel so strongly about a marginally higher tax on their marginal income.
2019-02  money  power  politics  taxes  society  inequality 
11 weeks ago by Weaverbird
'Our house is on fire': Greta Thunberg, 16, urges leaders to act on climate | Environment | The Guardian
Swedish school strike activist demands economists tackle runaway global warming. Read her Davos speech here
2019-01  climate_change  money  power 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam | News | The Guardian
Oxfam said the wealth of more than 2,200 billionaires across the globe had increased by $900bn in 2018 – or $2.5bn a day. The 12% increase in the wealth of the very richest contrasted with a fall of 11% in the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population.

As a result, the report concluded, the number of billionaires owning as much wealth as half the world’s population fell from 43 in 2017 to 26 last year. In 2016 the number was 61.
2019-01  money  inequality  poverty  power 
12 weeks ago by Weaverbird
The real Goldfinger: the London banker who broke the world | News | The Guardian
The true story of how the City of London invented offshore banking – and set the rich free
2018-12  money  power  history  economics 
december 2018 by Weaverbird
How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
That Spiked magazine’s US funding arm received $300,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation suggests a hidden agenda
2018-12  uk  money  power  koch  corruption 
december 2018 by Weaverbird
Republicans Are Clinging to Power in Wisconsin. Expect to See More GOP Power Grabs.
If the U.S. political commentariat saw this happening in another country, they would call it what it is: a coup.
2018-12  politics  gop  power  corruption  government  constitution  shenanigans 
december 2018 by Weaverbird
Jeffrey Epstein: About the sex trafficking case & accusations | Miami Herald
How a future Trump Cabinet member gave a serial sex abuser the deal of a lifetime
2018-11  rapeculture  law  sex  corruption  politics  money  power 
december 2018 by Weaverbird
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked | Technology | The Guardian
A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
2018-12  #Brexit  money  power  data  democracy  politics 
december 2018 by Weaverbird
Rudy Giuliani’s Mystery Trips to Russia, Armenia and… — ProPublica
We spent weeks investigating his work and clients in the former Soviet Union. We have so many questions.
2018-11  politics  russian  corruption  money  power  trump 
november 2018 by Weaverbird
Wells Fargo says internal error caused more home foreclosures than expected | Reuters
The bank said in a filing with regulators that an expanded review found that 870 customers were incorrectly denied mortgage changes, leading to 545 of them losing their homes.

This comes after the bank in August had for the first time disclosed a calculation error in an internal underwriting software had caused 625 borrowers to be incorrectly denied mortgage loan modifications under a federal assistance program, 400 of whom had their homes foreclosed upon.
money  power  corruption  housing  inequality 
november 2018 by Weaverbird
Rupert Murdoch: The cancer eating the heart of Australian democracy
But on top of all the above, while manipulating each of them, has been Rupert Murdoch - the greatest cancer on the Australian democracy.

Murdoch is not just a news organisation. Murdoch operates as a political party, acting in pursuit of clearly defined commercial interests, in addition to his far-right ideological world view.
media  australia  rightwingnutjobs  money  power  politics 
september 2018 by Weaverbird
Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America
Suppressing voting, changing legislative processes so that a normal majority could no longer prevail, sowing public distrust of government institutions— all these were tactics toward the goal. But the Holy Grail was the Constitution: alter it and you could increase and secure the power of the wealthy in a way that no politician could ever challenge.
money  power  economics  politics  society  koch  corruption 
september 2018 by Weaverbird
Why Manafort and Cohen Thought They’d Get Away With It — ProPublica
Beginning with a charge to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller has fallen upon a rash of other crimes. In doing so, he has exposed how widespread and serious our white-collar fraud problem really is, and how lax enforcement has been for years.

At least he is also showing a way out of the problem. He and his team are demonstrating that the proper attention, resources, technique and experience can go a long way to rectify the white-collar prosecution crisis.
2018-08  money  power  corruption 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Top Republican on Tax Subcommittee Received Yacht Loan From Foreign Bank Lobbying on 2017 Tax Bill | Capital & Main
Federal records show that one of Rep. Vern Buchanan’s LLCs financed foreign bank loans to purchase a yacht and a private luxury jet.
2018-08  politics  money  power  congress  corruption 
august 2018 by Weaverbird
Trump whines Kochs should be nice to him because he 'made them richer'
The tax plan passed by Republicans in Congress and signed into law by Trump was heavily tilted in favor of the extremely wealthy, like Charles and David Koch. It was constructed behind closed doors by lobbyists working in concert with Republicans to make life easier for rich individuals and mega-corporations.

That is in large part why the plan is so unpopular with voters and why Republicans have abandoned their plans to use it as the centerpiece of the midterm election strategy. The party has decided racial demagoguery is easier than defending a giveaway to the Kochs.
2018-07  money  power  koch 
july 2018 by Weaverbird
Treasury Department Policy Change Protects Privacy Of Wealthy 'Dark Money' Donors | HuffPost
The Treasury will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations, including the NRA, to identify their financial donors to U.S. tax authorities.
2018-07  money  power  corruption  government  regulation  NRA  russian 
july 2018 by Weaverbird
Buyers tied to Russia, Soviet republics made 86 all cash sales | McClatchy Washington Bureau
“The size and scope of these cash purchases are deeply troubling as they can often signal money laundering activity," said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee and a former federal prosecutor. "There have long been credible allegations of money laundering by the Trump Organization which, if true, would pose a real threat to the United States in the event that Russia were able to leverage evidence of illicit financial transactions against the president."

There's nothing illegal about accepting cash for real estate. But transactions that do not involve mortgages — which account for one in four residential purchases in the country — raise red flags for law enforcement officials as it could be a way to commit fraud or launder money.
2018-06  money  power  corruption 
july 2018 by Weaverbird
Elon Musk drawn into farting unicorn dispute with potter | Technology | The Guardian
But the use of Edwards’ work without compensation highlights what artists say is the kind of corporate theft and copyright infringement that has become rampant – forcing independent artists to engage in expensive legal battles to get credited and paid.
art  copyright  money  power  corruption 
july 2018 by Weaverbird
What It’s Like When Elon Musk’s Twitter Mob Comes After You
When female journalists like me dare to question the SpaceX and Tesla founder, there’s a predictable result: We get called bitches, idiots, and worse.
bullying  socialmedia  money  power  male-privilege  batshitcrazy  media  tech  twitter 
june 2018 by Weaverbird
Ryan-linked group raised $24.6M from anonymous donor - POLITICO
American Action Network, the nonprofit group closely aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, raised a record $41.9 million amid the GOP push to repeal Obamacare and restructure the tax code — more than half of which came from one donor, according to a tax filing obtained by POLITICO.

The money raised includes $24.6 million from a single anonymous donor, according to AAN’s 2017 tax return, which covers July 2016 to June 2017 and was filed this week. As a “social welfare” group organized under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, AAN can raise money in unlimited amounts, but it is not required to disclose its donors, unlike a super PAC.
2018-05  corruption  money  power  politics 
may 2018 by Weaverbird
GOP Rigs Elections: Gerrymandering, Voter-ID Laws, Dark Money - Rolling Stone
With a combination of gerrymandering, voter-ID laws and dark money, Republicans have tipped the political scales in their favor. Will it be enough to keep Democrats from claiming victory in 2018?
politics  voting-rights  gop  shenanigans  corruption  money  power  campaign2018 
april 2018 by Weaverbird
EXCLUSIVE: Robert Mercer backed a secretive group that worked with Facebook, Google to target anti-Muslim ads at swing voters
Most Americans have never heard of the far-right neoconservative nonprofit that ran the ads. It has no employees and no volunteers, and it’s run out of the offices of a Washington, D.C. law firm. More importantly, most voters never saw the ads.

And that was by design.

The group, a social welfare organization called Secure America Now, worked hand in hand with Facebook and Google to target their message at voters in swing states who were most likely to be receptive to them.

And new tax documents obtained by OpenSecrets show that the money fueling the group came mostly from just three donors, including the secretive multimillionaire donor Robert Mercer.
Mercer  money  power  politics  corruption  shenanigans  campaign2016 
april 2018 by Weaverbird
Sinclair withdraws $25,000 donation to NPPA | Poynter
Three of Sinclair Broadcast Group's top news executives are former National Press Photographers Association award winners. So when NPPA issued a statement Wednesday criticizing Sinclair for requiring local news anchors to read the same corporately written statement on-air condemning "fake news" it was a stinging critique.

Less than 24 hours later,  NPPA said Sinclair withdrew a promised $25,000 donation to the NPPA legal fund.

NPPA joined a chorus of critics, including the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, who raised concerns about Sinclair's "news promotion."
new  journalism  rightwingnutjobs  money  power  media 
april 2018 by Weaverbird
Snyder ending bottled water for Flint
Michigan will stop providing Flint residents with free bottled water when current supplies run out, Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration said Friday, citing nearly two years of test results showing falling lead levels in city tap water.

Preliminary data from early 2018 testing showed 90 percent of high-risk Flint water sites at or below 4 part per billion of lead, according to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. If results hold true through end of June, it would be the fourth consecutive six-month period levels have tested below the federal action level of 15 parts per billion.
water  race  racism  politics  money  power  health 
april 2018 by Weaverbird
Anchors Reciting Sinclair Propaganda Is Terrifying in Unison
The anchors were forced to read the so-called journalistic responsibility messages word for word by their employer, the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of television stations in the country. The features were one of Sinclair’s now infamous “must-run” segments, consisting of conservative commentary that every Sinclair-owned station is required to air.

Think Progress rounded up many of the “fake stories” segments for a chilling video on Friday, but Deadspin’s Timothy Burke published a much more terrifying version on Saturday, which at one point shows 30 of the segments synced up in unison:
media  journalism  dystopia  money  power  rightwingnutjobs  politics 
april 2018 by Weaverbird
How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media
Earlier this month, CNN’s Brian Stelter broke the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner or operator of nearly 200 television stations in the U.S., would be forcing its news anchors to record a promo about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.” The script, which parrots Donald Trump’s oft-declarations of developments negative to his presidency as “fake news,” brought upheaval to newsrooms already dismayed with Sinclair’s consistent interference to bring right-wing propaganda to local television broadcasts.
2018-03  money  power  democracy  rightwingnutjobs  media  politics 
april 2018 by Weaverbird
The Koch Brothers Get Their Very Own Secretary of State | The Nation
Trump’s pick to replace Rex Tillerson is an errand boy for billionaires.
2018-03  koch  money  power 
march 2018 by Weaverbird
The Koch Brothers vs. God
The fossil fuel lobby preached its gospel in Virginia. Now, black churches are fighting back.
2018-03  koch  BigOil  money  power  corruption  longform 
march 2018 by Weaverbird
Inequality gap widens as 42 people hold same wealth as 3.7bn poorest | Inequality | The Guardian
Oxfam calls for action on gap as wealthiest people gather at World Economic Forum in Davos
2018-01  inequality  money  power 
january 2018 by Weaverbird
Time Inc. to be acquired by company backed by Koch brothers | TheHill
Meredith Corp., a publisher backed by GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch, announced on Sunday it was buying Time Inc. for $1.8 billion, according to multiple reports. 

The publisher said it would acquire Time's outstanding shares for $18.50 per share, Reuters reported.

The two companies said the deal had been unanimously approved by their respective boards and would close sometime early next year, according to the Associated Press.
2017-11  koch  propaganda  money  power 
november 2017 by Weaverbird
Yes, This Is a Witch Hunt. I’m a Witch and I’m Hunting You. - The New York Times
It is unclear what possessed Woody Allen, of all people, to comment on the accusations of sexual predation against Harvey Weinstein, when he could have just not said anything, not expressed sympathy for an alleged serial rapist, not accused long-silenced women who said they were sexually assaulted of contributing to “a witch hunt atmosphere” and not felt compelled to issue a pouty follow-up statement in which he didn’t apologize but, in fact, reiterated how “sad” he feels for Weinstein because Weinstein is “sick.”

I’m kidding! It’s totally clear why Allen would issue such a statement — why he wouldn’t hesitate to include the astonishing confession that “no one ever came to me or told me horror stories with any real seriousness,” implying that people did tell him about Weinstein but he, with that odd omniscience native to the very rich, deemed them insufficiently serious. It’s also totally clear why Allen felt untouchable enough to add that even if he had believed the “horror stories,” he wouldn’t have been interested, let alone concerned, because he is a serious man busy making serious man-art. He said people wouldn’t bother coming to him anyway, because, as he described it: “You’re not interested in it. You are interested in making your movie.” (That last bit is fair, actually. If I’d been sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, literally my last instinct would be to go to Woody Allen for help.)

It’s clear because the cultural malfunction that allows Allen to feel comfortable issuing that statement is the same malfunction that gave us Allen and Weinstein in the first place: the smothering, delusional, galactic entitlement of powerful men.
2017-10  sexism  money  power 
october 2017 by Weaverbird
British courts may unlock secrets of how Trump campaign profiled US voters | Technology | The Guardian
A US professor is trying to reclaim his personal data from the controversial analytics firm that helped Donald Trump to power. In what legal experts say may be a “watershed” case, a US citizen is using British laws to try to discover how he was profiled and potentially targeted by the Trump campaign.
2017-10  data  privacy  tech  law  money  power  politics  campaign2016 
october 2017 by Weaverbird
Behind New Obamacare Repeal Vote: ‘Furious’ G.O.P. Donors - The New York Times
As more than 40 subdued Republican senators lunched on Chick-fil-A at a closed-door session last week, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado painted a dire picture for his colleagues. Campaign fund-raising was drying up, he said, because of widespread disappointment among donors over the inability of the Republican Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act or do much of anything else.

Mr. Gardner is in charge of his party’s midterm re-election push, and he warned that donors of all stripes were refusing to contribute another penny until the struggling majority produced some concrete results.
2017-09  healthcare  money  power  corruption  congress 
september 2017 by Weaverbird
Donald Trump Is the First White President - The Atlantic - Ta-Nehisi Coates
The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.
2017-09  race  power  racism  politics  history  longform 
september 2017 by Weaverbird
How the aristocracy preserved their power | News | The Guardian
After democracy finally shunted aside hereditary lords, they found new means to protect their extravagant riches. For all the modern tales of noble poverty and leaking ancestral homes, their private wealth and influence remain phenomenal
england  uk  society  history  money  power  politics  longform 
september 2017 by Weaverbird
Who’s Been Seeding the Alt-Right? Follow the Money to Robert Mercer
Jane Mayer profiles hedge fund manager, alt-right supporter, and political funder Robert Mercer in the New Yorker. He’s the man who brought us Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and eventually, Donald Trump, and his worldview may sound particularly familiar to anyone who’s been reading up on Bannon.
2017-08  money  power  politics  corruption 
august 2017 by Weaverbird
How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation - The New York Times
Within days of their meeting, Mr. Pai was named chairman of the F.C.C. And during his first 10 days on the job, he relaxed a restriction on television stations’ sharing of advertising revenue and other resources — the exact topic that Mr. Pai discussed with Mr. Smith and one of his business partners, according to records examined by The New York Times.

“These are invaluable and effective tools, which were taken away by the commission,” according to a summary of their meeting filed with the F.C.C.

It was only the beginning. Since becoming chairman in January, Mr. Pai has undertaken a deregulatory blitz, enacting or proposing a wish list of fundamental policy changes advocated by Mr. Smith and his company. Hundreds of pages of emails and other documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal a rush of regulatory actions has been carefully aligned with Sinclair’s business objectives.
money  power  media  regulation  government  corruption  politics 
august 2017 by Weaverbird
Pipeline to the classroom: how big oil promotes fossil fuels to America's children | US news | The Guardian
Documents show how tightly woven group of pro-industry organizations target impressionable schoolchildren and teachers desperate for resources
BigOil  money  power  climate_change  science  anti-science 
june 2017 by Weaverbird
Keep the Arctic Wildlife Refuge Safe | Audubon
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an iconic American treasure—and a vital habitat for birds that migrate through all fifty states to nest here. It is home to more than 200 species of birds, along with polar bears, wolves, and nearly 200,000 caribou that raise their young in the refuge. Birds migrate from across the United States and from six continents in order to feed and reproduce in the Arctic Refuge, taking advantage of the burst of plant and insect life during the long days of the Arctic summer.

The region was first protected in 1960 by President Dwight Eisenhower. President Eisenhower had the wisdom to set aside an entire Arctic ecosystem, from the Brooks Range Mountains and surrounding forests, to wild rivers and streams, vast marshes, to the biologically-rich coastal plain that streteches to the Arctic Ocean. This area provides crucial nesting habitat for birds such as Tundra Swans and Northern Pintail.

While many areas in Alaska are already open to oil and gas drilling, oil and gas interests continue to lobby to drill in the pristine coastal plain. And unlike other areas in the Refuge, much of the refuge has never received permanent protection through a Wilderness designation from Congress, leaving it vulnerable to industrial development.
2017-03  nature  BigOil  money  power  regulation  conservation  environment 
march 2017 by Weaverbird
Tech and the Fake Market tactic – Humane Tech – Medium
[A]ll this equates to is an economic transfer from the working class over to urban metropolitan elites, which benefits one particular corporation over others. This is plainly crazy.

These new False Markets only resemble true markets just enough to pull the wool over the eyes of regulators and media, whose enthusiasm for high tech solutions is boundless, and whose understanding of markets on the Internet is still stuck in the early eBay era of 20 years ago.
tech  marketplace  economics  power 
february 2017 by Weaverbird
The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Super Court That We're Not Talking About
Once a venue of last resort for corporations wronged in a foreign jurisdiction, ISDS is now a playground where investors with no connection to the initial investment can get rich. Even the arbitrators seem to be growing queasy at the prospect of investors using ISDS like a casino parlor.
#TPP  justice  money  power  politics  international 
august 2016 by Weaverbird
The Next Battle for Net Neutrality Is Getting Bloody
Net neutrality is a slippery subject. Months after the government appeared to get greedy telecom companies in check, carriers have come up with another clever trick to make more money and jeopardize the open internet. The latest trick is something called zero-rating, and your mobile carrier probably already uses—or abuses—this net neutrality loophole.
internet  money  power  regulation  shenanigans  politics 
june 2016 by Weaverbird
Scale of Hearst plot to discredit Orson Welles and Citizen Kane revealed | Film | The Guardian
Previously unpublished documents have revealed the scale of a plot by the media mogul William Randolph Hearst to discredit Orson Welles and destroy Citizen Kane, the 1941 film about the rise and fall of the fictional newspaper proprietor Charles Foster Kane.
film  history  money  power 
march 2016 by Weaverbird
Covert Operations - The New Yorker
few weeks after the Lincoln Center gala, the advocacy wing of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation—an organization that David Koch started, in 2004—held a different kind of gathering. Over the July 4th weekend, a summit called Texas Defending the American Dream took place in a chilly hotel ballroom in Austin. Though Koch freely promotes his philanthropic ventures, he did not attend the summit, and his name was not in evidence. And on this occasion the audience was roused not by a dance performance but by a series of speakers denouncing President Barack Obama. Peggy Venable, the organizer of the summit, warned that Administration officials “have a socialist vision for this country.”
koch  money  power  politics 
january 2016 by Weaverbird
How the Kochtopus Went After a Reporter | Mother Jones
"It is not easy to uncover the inner workings of an essentially secretive political establishment," the New York Times' review of the book notes. "Mayer has come as close to doing it as anyone is likely to come anytime soon." And there's a section in the book that should be particularly chilling for journalists, for Mayer describes how she became the target of a nasty opposition research effort after she wrote about the Koch brothers several years ago.
koch  money  power  politics 
january 2016 by Weaverbird
Koch Political Network Takes A Deep Dive Into Community Organizing : NPR
Now, here in this country, it is not hard to figure out the intentions of the Koch brothers. Billionaires David and Charles Koch want to elect Republicans, but they're doing things a little differently this time. In 2012, during the presidential election, one surprise was how TV attack ads failed to help elect GOP candidates - well, lesson learned. The Koch brothers' conservative political network, while still doing TV, has taken a deep dive into community organizing
koch  money  power  politics  campaign2016  npr  audio 
january 2016 by Weaverbird
Koch “Alliance” on Criminal Justice Reform Exposed as Trojan Horse
the ostensible alliance over liberalization of America’s criminal justice laws was based on a misunderstanding of the Koch brothers’ fundamental political goal.

That goal is, quite consistently, to advance their own corporate interests.

So, while the Kochs and the liberal groups used similar language in their critique of the criminal justice system, when it came down to actual legislation, the Kochs were focused on reducing criminal prosecutions of corporations, not people.

Koch and the House Republicans turned out to be pushing a bill that critics describe as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for white-collar criminals.
koch  justice  money  power  congress  law 
january 2016 by Weaverbird
Koch Industries | PolluterWatch
The Political Economy Research Institute ranks Koch Industries as the fourteenth worst air polluter in the U.S. in their Toxic Release Inventory, above oil giants like BP, Shell and Chevron and large coal utilities like American Electric Power and Duke Energy. CARMA reports that Koch releases about 200,000 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide annually.
koch  pollution  money  power 
august 2015 by Weaverbird
Here's How You Buy Out A Democracy
This is not a simple black-and-white story — there are several shades of gray, revealing serious shortcomings in our systems for investigating suspected wrongdoing and for the exercise of judicial power.

This is how democracies die: not with a bang, but through the quiet election of officials who put ideology ahead of principle, and invalidate rules designed to make sure our government is not for sale to the biggest donors.

The people who bought Wisconsin’s democracy – namely the libertarian Koch Brothers – can now use this decision to put unlimited money behind their favorite pols in Badger State contests.
democracy  politics  money  power  corruption  koch  election 
august 2015 by Weaverbird
Institute of Peace’s Hawkish Chairman Wants Ukraine to Send Russians Back in Body Bags
The United States Institute of Peace is a publicly funded national institution chartered by the U.S. government to promote international peace through nonviolent conflict resolution.

But its chairman, Stephen Hadley, is a relentless hawk whose advocacy for greater military intervention often dovetails closely with the interests of Raytheon, a major defense contractor that pays him handsomely as a member of its board of directors.
politics  money  power  corruption 
august 2015 by Weaverbird
Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery”
Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”

Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United.
money  power  politics  SCOTUS  corruption  interview 
august 2015 by Weaverbird
Foe of Limits on Political Spending Likens Big Donors to Owners, Making Opponents’ Point
Of the plethora of think tanks in Washington, D.C., one of the most entertaining is the Center for Competitive Politics, which exists to argue that there are too many restrictions on money in politics. No one knows who gives the CCP the money to say this, since the CCP does not disclose its donors and in fact is willing to file a lawsuit to prevent California’s attorney general from finding out (even though she wouldn’t make the information public).

But whoever CCP’s donors are, they’re really not getting their money’s worth, as you can tell from this New York Times story about the fact that only 400 families have provided almost half the funding so far for the 2016 presidential campaign:
politics  money  power  corruption  lobbying 
august 2015 by Weaverbird
Charles Koch on the 2016 race, climate change and whether he has too much power - The Washington Post
Charles Koch steers one of the biggest private corporations in the United States and leads a network of conservative groups that serves as a major force in American politics. But the billionaire industrialist dismisses the idea that he commands great influence.

“There are so many things I would change!” Koch told The Washington Post Monday in an exclusive interview. “If I had all this power, why aren’t they getting changed? This is ludicrous.”
koch  power  money  politics  corruption  interview 
august 2015 by Weaverbird
No Cost for Extremism
ccording to the news media, 2014 was the year that the GOP “Establishment” finally pulled Republicans back from the right-wing brink. Pragmatism, it seemed, had finally triumphed over extremism in primary and general election contests that The New York Times called “proxy wars for the overall direction of the Republican Party.”

There’s just one problem with this dominant narrative. It’s wrong. The GOP isn’t moving back to the center. The “proxy wars” of 2014 were mainly about tactics and packaging, not moderation.
politics  gop  rightwingnutjobs  money  power  shenanigans  congress 
may 2015 by Weaverbird
Everything You Hate About Washington Confirmed by One Simple Job Change | Mother Jones
It's common for federal officials to shift from government to industry, but Poneman's journey has drawn unusually harsh and bipartisan scrutiny. It has also brought new attention to the Energy Department's ongoing efforts to bail out a private firm that has highly paid executives and still experiences huge losses.
politics  congress  oversight  money  power  shenanigans 
may 2015 by Weaverbird
Big Oil: All Your Tax Dollars Are Belong To Us | Wonkette
At a time of rising global temperatures and increasing threats to our nation’s social safety net, it makes no sense for Congress to continue giving away taxpayer money to the highly profitable and highly polluting fossil fuel industry.

And then the Republican majorities in the House and Senate laughed and laughed and laughed, while phoning up the Koch brothers to ask for more money, the end.
BigOil  congress  money  power  corruption  politics  taxes 
may 2015 by Weaverbird
Elizabeth Warren fires back at Obama: Here’s what they’re really fighting about - The Washington Post
The president has committed only to letting the public see this deal after Congress votes to authorize fast track. At that point it will be impossible for us to amend the agreement or to block any part of it without tanking the whole TPP. The TPP is basically done. If the president is so confident it’s a good deal, he should declassify the text and let people see it before asking Congress to tie its hands on fixing it.
#TPP  politics  congress  law  economics  money  power  regulation 
may 2015 by Weaverbird
After 9/11, We Were All Judith Miller - Raymond Bonner - POLITICO Magazine
As journalists, we all let our guard down in the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack on American soil. We abandoned some of the most important journalistic principles—speak truth to power; hold governments accountable; display healthy skepticism—at the base of the American flagpole. And I don’t just mean the royal we, the institutional we. I, too, am culpable.
journalism  history  power  ethics 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
It's Not the 1 Percent Controlling Politics. It's the 0.01 Percent. | Mother Jones
Between 1980 and 2012, the share of federal campaign contributions coming from the very, very biggest political spenders—the top 0.01 percent of donors—nearly tripled:
politics  money  power  inequality 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
“Pagan statism”: The frightening corporate/Christian alliance that invented “In God We Trust” and “One Nation Under God” -
We tend to imagine public expressions of faith as rising spontaneously from the American people, for good or for ill. When a politician says “God bless America,” she’s trying to sound like a populist, not like a corporate pawn. But as Princeton historian Kevin Kruse details in a new book, “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America,” our country’s religious slogans owe more to corporate campaigns than they do to grassroots work.

As Kruse argues, in the wake of the New Deal, business leaders linked Christianity, Republican politics and libertarian economics, helping drive a wave of public piety in the 1950s. The decade gave us our national motto, In God We Trust (born in 1956), and a new line in the Pledge of Allegiance, “one nation under God” (dating to 1954, this American tradition is as old as Burger King and Denzel Washington).
religion  politics  money  power  history  cynical  hypocrisy 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
The cold truth about our thirst for bottled water | Lucy Siegle | Comment is free | The Guardian
The exploitation of a precious natural resource by multinational companies is degrading the environment. Consumers shouldn’t fall for it
water  money  power 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
Conservative thinktank seeks to change Pope Francis's mind on climate change | Environment | The Guardian
A US activist group that has received funding from energy companies and the foundation controlled by conservative activist Charles Koch is trying to persuade the Vatican that “there is no global warming crisis” ahead of an environmental statement by Pope Francis this summer that is expected to call for strong action to combat climate change.

The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based conservative thinktank that seeks to discredit established science on climate change, said it was sending a team of climate scientists to Rome “to inform Pope Francis of the truth about climate science”.
koch  pope  climate  climate_change  environment  lobbying  money  power  science  batshitcrazy  rightwingnutjobs 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
The Koch Brothers Are Reportedly Ready To Back Scott Walker
The Koch brothers are among the best-known conservative donors, and potential Republican candidates court their favor. The pair has said they plan to spend nearly $900 million during the 2016 campaign cycle.
campaign2016  koch  politics  money  power 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
Profile: Koch Industries, Inc. | DeSmogBlog
Koch Industries, Inc. is the largest privately owned energy company in the United States, and the country's second largest private company. According to Forbes, in 2007 Koch Industries generated $98 billion in revenue and had 80,000 employees.
koch  money  power  politics 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
Rockefeller Brothers Fund: it is our moral duty to divest from fossil fuels | Environment | The Guardian
In an exclusive interview, Rockefeller Brothers Fund chair, Valerie Rockefeller Wayne and president, Stephen Heintz, talk about the decision to cut ties to fossil fuels, what it meant for the divestment movement and the challenges involved
environment  climate_change  money  power  BigOil 
april 2015 by Weaverbird
Citigroup Wrote the Wall Street Giveaway The House Just Approved | Mother Jones
The bill, drafted almost entirely by Citigroup, would allow banks to do more high-risk trading with taxpayer-backed money.
congress  politics  money  power  corruption  law 
december 2014 by Weaverbird
Inside The Koch-Backed History Lessons North Carolina Wants To Teach High School Students | ThinkProgress
Public high school students in North Carolina will be taught from a lesson plans and worksheets prepared by a organization closely tied to the billionaire Koch brothers, if the state’s Department of Public Instruction gets its way. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, the Virginia-based Bill of Rights Institute received a “$100,000, sole-source contract with [North Carolina] to help develop materials for teachers to use in a course on founding principles that the state requires students to take.”

The N&O also notes that the organization receives funding directly from David Koch and from two Koch family foundations, although, if anything, this description understates the Institute’s ties to the conservative billionaires
koch  history  education  politics  money  power  constitution  rightwingnutjob 
december 2014 by Weaverbird
The Police in America Are Becoming Illegitimate | Rolling Stone
Still, being quick to draw in a dark alley in a gang chase is one thing. But if some overzealous patrolman chokes a guy all the way to death, on video, in a six-on-one broad daylight situation, for selling a cigarette, forget about a conviction – someone at least has to go to trial.

Because you can't send hundreds of thousands of people to court every year on broken-taillight-type misdemeanors and expect people to sit still while yet another coroner-declared homicide goes unindicted. It just won't hold. If the law isn't the same everywhere, it's not legitimate. And in these neighborhoods, what we have doesn't come close to looking like one single set of laws anymore.

When that perception sinks in, it's not just going to be one Eric Garner deciding that listening to police orders "ends today." It's going to be everyone. And man, what a mess that's going to be.
police_state  justice  inequality  law  race  money  power 
december 2014 by Weaverbird
Common Cause – Explanation of Campaign Finance Provision in Congressional Omnibus Spending Bill
A provision in the omnibus spending bill increases the amount an individual donor can give to political party committees by 500%.
politics  congress  budget  money  power  corruption  shenanigans  regulation 
december 2014 by Weaverbird
5 Awful Things Congress Snuck Into the Omnibus Budget Deal | The Bulletin
The current budget deal includes a repeal of the Dodd-Frank derivatives rule that was literally written by big bank lobbyists — A leaked document obtained by the New York Times revealed that 70 of the 85 lines of derivatives language reflect recommendations made in a piece of model legislation drafted by lobbyists for Citigroup, another bank that played a major role in the 2008 crisis and also received billions of federal stimulus dollars.

If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because the House passed the exact same CitiGroup-written law last year, but it died after resistance from the Senate and Treasury Department. Now, Wall Street’s allies in Congress have effectively copy-pasted the CitiGroup-approved language out of the old bill and into the current budget deal, which is much less susceptible to a veto threat since a veto would shut down the government.

As an aside, did you know Wall Street spends $1.5 million per day to buy influence in Washington? Looks like their investment is continuing to pay off.
politics  congress  budget  money  power  corruption  shenanigans  regulation 
december 2014 by Weaverbird
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