Tag Archives: Government corruption

80 Members of Congress see their net worth skyrocket in five years

By Government Gone Wild

Here is “The List” that we speak of in “The Video Congress Does Not Want You To See”. Check to see if your representative in Congress is on this list. This is a trend analysis of the data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics using their average net worth calculations.

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What’s at stake in Wisc: Public Assets No-Bid Give-Away to Koch brothers

Mike Konczal Feb 21, 2011    Rortybomb

The Less Discussed Part of Walker’s Wisconsin Plan: No-Bid Energy Assets Firesales.

Have you heard about 16.896?

The fight in Wisconsin is over Governor Walker’s 144-page Budget Repair Bill. The parts everyone is focusing on have to do with the right to collectively bargain being stripped from public sector unions (except for the unions that supported Walker running for Governor). Focusing on this misses a large part of what the bill would do. Check out this language, from the same bill (my bold):

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).

The bill would allow for the selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants without bids and without concern for the legally-defined public interest.   Continue reading

Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them

(Victor Juhasz)

By Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stones

Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.” I put down my notebook. “Just that?” “That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people.

The rest of them, all of them, got off. Not a single executive who ran the companies that cooked up and cashed in on the phony financial boom — an industry-wide scam that involved the mass sale of mismarked, fraudulent mortgage-backed securities — has ever been convicted.

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Bill Moyers: Welcome to the Plutocracy

Bill Moyers speech at the first Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture of Boston University, Oct. 29, 2010. Text below, posted at Truth Out, differs slightly from the actual presentation.

Watch a video of the speech and the Q&A session here.

Bill Moyers on government corruption, corporatism, Citizens United, Koch brothers, Karl Rove, and, of course, Howard Zinn’s promotion of resistance, national strikes and bottom-up democracy. Unfortunately, he also supports ObamaCare, disingenuously characterizing it as providing health coverage for 40 million Americans — those very people who don’t have coverage because they can’t afford it. Passing a law that requires them to buy it does not provide healthcare; it just makes them criminals for being too poor to afford insurance. Big difference between free public health care and mandatory insurance premiums. Otherwise, it’s an excellent speech. ~Ed.

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The Cost of Corporate Communism

defy corp buttonBy DYLAN RATIGAN            HUFFINGTON POST COMMENTARY

Lately I have been using the phrase “Corporate Communism” on my television show. I think it is an especially fitting term when discussing the current landscape in both our banking and health care systems.

As Americans, I believe we reject communism because it historically has allowed a tiny group of people to consolidate complete control over national resources (including people), in the process stifling competition, freedom and choice. It leaves its citizens stagnating under the perpetual broken systems with no natural motivation to innovate, improve services or reduce costs.

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