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How Politicians Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism

Jimmy Williams

A Former Lobbyist Tells All

Jimmy Williams used to lobby for the powerful National Association of Realtors. He tells us about the steady flow of donations that Congressmembers need, and how he wants to take down the crazy campaign finance system.
Source: The Friday Podcast: A Former Lobbyist Tells All

Peter Schweizer

How Politicians Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison

Peter Schweizer explains how members of Congress profit from insider trading and use their political influence for their own financial gain. He reports on several current members of the House and Senate who have affected votes on bills or gathered information from briefings to benefit their financial portfolio.

Peter Schweizer is the author of several books, including Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty -Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism. He was a consultant to the Office of Presidential Speechwriting in the White House from 2008-2009 and is currently the William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Source: Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison

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Glenn Greenwald on America's lawless elite

Glenn Greenwald

Tom Ashbrook interviews Glenn Greenwald

From Watergate to Gitmo to Occupy, we will hear from Glenn Greenwald on what he calls the rise of an American's lawless elite.
Source: Glenn Greenwald On “America’s Lawless Elite”

Glenn Greenwald talks to Bob McChesney

Greenwald was named by The Atlantic as one of the 25 most influential political commentators in the nation. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and is the winner of the 2010 Online Journalism Association Award for his investigative work on the arrest and oppressive detention of Bradley Manning.
Source: Glenn Greenwald, former Constitutional and Civil Rights Litigator joins McChesney on Sunday

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How The Wealthy Buy Politicians

Lawrence Lessig & Jack Abramoff

Jack Abramoff is a former lobbyist who pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Abramoff also worked as businessman, movie producer and writer. Abramoff's lobbying and the scandals and investigation are featured in a documentary movie "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" and a political satire movie titled "Casino Jack".

Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard. He has been the lead counsel in important cases concerning copyright laws for digital content. His current work concerns institutional corruption.
Source: Lawrence Lessig interviews Jack Abramoff

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Inside the Mind of the President

Dr. Justin Frank

Dr. Justin Frank talks about his new book, Obama on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President with Peter B. Collins.  Dr. Frank is a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University, and previously wrote Bush on the Couch. Frank maintains a private practice in marital and family therapy.  He describes “Obsessive Bipartisan Disorder” and remarks on Obama’s attraction to appeasing the GOP leaders who are committed to his destruction.

Source: Dr. Justin A. Frank Puts ‘Obama on the Couch’

Peter B. Collins

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The Banksters Have Won: The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Fraudclosure Settlement

But first watch this ...

... and also, California AG, Kamala Harris sold us out

The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement

Here are the top twelve reasons why this deal stinks:

    1. We’ve now set a price for forgeries and fabricating documents. It’s $2000 per loan.

The Student Loan Scam

This is probably the most important article you'll ever read if you're going to college, or thinking about it ... or know someone who is

A Review of The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History – and How We Can Fight Back by Alan Michael Collinge

By Carolyn Betts and Catherine Austin Fitts

    The Preface begins:

    “The truth is that I never considered student loans to be an especially interesting topic. College debt, I believed, was a necessary evil – to be repaid expeditiously and then forgotten even more quickly. However, what I once thought of as an uninteresting issue has come to dominate my life.”

    This highly informative book was written by a 1998 graduate of Cal Tech with three degrees in aerospace engineering who, after a student loan nightmare that took him from an original relatively modest $38,000 Sallie Mae loan to an obligation of $80,000 by 2002 and $103,000 by mid 2005. At that point he started the website in an effort to hook up with others in similar straits, share stories and become politically active in restoring consumer protections for student loans.

Mr. President, please oppose the current National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012

I recommend opposing the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012. The U.S. is not at war with any country. Nor is U.S. threatened by any group of criminals. Therefore, the U.S. does not need a war-time budget. The only defense needed is a few ships on each of the coasts. Veterans must get the best possible treatments for physical and mental injuries. I support job training for all Americans unable to find work.

The U.S. military is not a global police force. No country can possibly afford to pay for this useless manifestation of arrogance. Any secret provisions of this bill directly violate the Constitutional requirements to spell out all government expenditures. Detention of suspects without a public and fair trial also violates the 5th amendment of the Constitution. The excessive military expenditures by the U.S. government threatens the future economic viability of the U.S. economy.

The only expenditures needed for Iraq and Afghanistan are those needed for a speedy and safe exit by all U.S. personnel. These recommendations will be opposed by all who equate military might with the mission of the U.S. to shape the world. They can not see the foolishness of such a conceit. Americans expect their elected officials to put the health and wealth of their country ahead of useless and self-defeating projections of power

The Powell Manifesto: How A Prominent Right-Wing Lawyer's Attack Memo Changed America

If you want to know why and how the right-wing gained and has maintained hold of American discourse and rhetoric ... read what follows. It's ten years old but the points are still valid

The Powell Manifesto: How A Prominent Lawyer's Attack Memo Changed America

    America's Second Gilded Age has been scoured of its glitter, along with the platitudes that its town criers preached -- "too much government," "market infallibility," and "prosperity forever." The policies and ethical failures that sprang from this gospel are under intense scrutiny. After 30 years, the self-serving creed of a right-wing coalition of wealth and power -- ideologues, promoters, corporate executives, and the American aristocracy of money - is under assault, its system failures increasingly apparent. Their ideology tantalized millions with the promise of "getting the government off our backs!"

    The consequences of this readily marketable guff have led us to drastically altered economic circumstances -- a ruinous drop in both stock values and ethical standards that has weakened the economy; far worse, a global loss of confidence in the American economic system, and in a pro-market administration that is squandering America's good name and credibility among allies and friends

The L-Curve, and what 99% means, and what 1% means

    Watch the video ... Actually it's worse, when you look at it the right way

    The L-Curve graph represents income, not wealth. The distribution of wealth is even more skewed. Quoting from a recently-published book by political philosopher David Schweickart,

      If we divided the income of the US into thirds, we find that the top ten percent of the population gets a third, the next thirty percent gets another third, and the bottom sixty percent get the last third. If we divide the wealth of the US into thirds, we find that the top one percent own a third, the next nine percent own another third, and the bottom ninety percent claim the rest. (Actually, these percentages, true a decade ago, are now out of date. The top one percent are now estimated to own between forty and fifty percent of the nation's wealth, more than the combined wealth of the bottom 95%.)

Ralph Nader and the Police State

Scott Horton Interviews Francis Boyle

Francis Boyle discusses how in 2004 the FBI and CIA tried to make him an informant to betray his Arab and Muslim legal clients. His refusal landed him on several terrorism watch lists and guaranteeing him a lifetime of harassment when traveling. He asks if we are already living in a police state, which will become a military dictatorship after one more major terrorist attacks. Currently Professor Boyle lectures on international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.
Source: Scott Horton Interviews Francis Boyle

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader talks with Bob McChesney

Ralph Nader was named by The Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, and by Time and Life magazines as one of the hundred most influential Americans of the twentieth century. Nader has organized millions of citizens into more than 100 public interest groups to advocate for solutions. His efforts have helped create laws, regulatory agencies, and federal standards that have improved the quality of life for generations of Americans. Because of Ralph Nader we drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments.
Source: Ralph Nader on Media Matters with Bob McChesney

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The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in American Police Departments

*** I actually wrote this two years ago, but I think in light of all the police rioting against the occupy movement, it's information is even more striking, topical, and relevant today ***

Before you dismiss this and say, "it can't happen here," click this link, and then click this link; the problem is that it happens all too frequently as seen in this recent video about the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh. Stick with the video, the first 30 seconds or so of the video is music, but then comes an interesting report

CATO: The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in American Police Departments

The Story of Broke: Why There's Still Plenty of Money to Build a Better Future

The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money. The Story of Broke calls for a shift in government spending toward investments in clean, green solutions—renewable energy, safer chemicals and materials, zero waste and more—that can deliver jobs AND a healthier environment. It’s time to rebuild the American Dream; but this time, let’s build it better.

How lobbyists and huge campaign contributions manipulate politics and the economy

Jacob Hacker

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class

Bob McChesney talks with Jacob Hacker, Professor of Political Science at Yale University. Jacob Hacker has made important contributions to public policy ideas in the areas of healthcare, social welfare and economic opportunity. Jacob has spent his career researching how the institutions of social protection work, practically and economically.

Paul Pierson

Paul Pierson is noted for his research on comparative public policy and political economy, the welfare state, and American political development. Pierson is Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley.

The bottom line is that lobbyists and campaign contributions by the wealthy have changed the structure of the economy for the worse.
Source: Winner-Take-All Politics: Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class

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