Submitted by libbyliberal on Sat, 04/21/2012 - 2:37pm
It’s been two years. Two years since our collective shock and awe over the worst environmental disaster in American history.
Horrified we watched for three long months as hundreds of millions of gallons of oil relentlessly bled into the Gulf of Mexico.
BP pr handlers and Obama spokespeople asked America to trust that this corporation and our government were seriously responding to the crisis and would do everything possible for future prevention of another such catastrophe.
Here is a stack of resurrected revelations and new revelations about the disaster that we must not let disappear into a national memory hole.
Eleven men died when BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. (Robert Weissman)
The blowout spewed nearly 5 million barrels of oil and more than 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico. (Common Dreams)
BP made a conscious decision not to install a $500,000 safety device that could have prevented the blowout. (Robert Weissman)
Most of his ire was reserved for CNN host Erin Burnett, who is one of the millionaires herself that would be affected if that rule ever passed and her penchant for quoting sources like the Tax Foundation and bringing on billionaires like John Paul DeJoria to discuss why the rich should not have to pay more in taxes.
With tax day approaching, a new study released by CALPIRG found that the average California taxpayer in 2011 would have to shoulder an extra $423 tax burden to make up for revenue lost from corporations and wealthy individuals shifting income to offshore tax havens. The report additionally found that to cover the cost of the corporate abuse of tax havens in 2011, small businesses in California would have to foot a bill of over $2,010 on average.
Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals avoid paying an estimated $100 billion in taxes by shifting income to low or no tax offshore tax havens. Of that $100 billion, $60 billion in taxes are avoided specifically by corporations. A GAO study found that at least 83 of the top 100 publically traded corporations use offshore tax havens.
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
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Wed, 02/15/2012 - 9:25am
I wrote this song, "Privatize Everything," back in 2000. The song was meant as political satire, but unfortunately, many of these lyrics have already become reality in recent years.
The oceans are being privatized under NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco's "catch shares" program that concentrates ocean fisheries in fewer, increasingly corporate hands.
Ocean conservation management has been privatized under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative's creation of so-called marine protected areas in California that fail to protect the ocean from oil spills and drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy project and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chairs the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force that imposed the "marine protected areas" that went into effect in Southern California waters on January 1, 2012.
The water in Central Valley rivers and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is being privatized though the Obama and Brown administration Bay Delta Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral canal, designed to increase water exports to corporate agribusiness interests, including Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick and the Westlands Water District, and Southern California. Habitat "restoration" and infrastructure "improvements" under this corporate water grab will be funded through the $11.4 billion Water Bond.
The reality is that corporate America, with the support of the government, is using mass unemployment as a bludgeon to drive down wages, destroy working conditions and force workers to accept poverty wages and sweatshop conditions. The same process is unfolding internationally, as the bourgeoisie utilizes the crisis of its own making to destroy social gains won by the working class over more than a century of struggle.
May’s jobs report revealed the continuing jobs crisis in America.
So what is Obama doing? Reassuring the private sector fat cats that they are safe from regulation and that massive cuts to social spending is the way his regime will go.
“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 www.studentloanjustice.org in an effort to hook up with others in similar straits, share stories and become politically active in restoring consumer protections for student loans.
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
Submitted by Tjadendevries on Sun, 11/27/2011 - 4:49pm
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%.)