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Insurance Companies Increase Cost of Medical Treatment: Privatization is About Making Corporations Bigger Profits, Reducing Care

-Originally blogged by Mark Karlin on Buzzflash

June 16, 2011- The Republican effort to privatize Medicare insurance is nothing but a strategy to redistribute wealth upward. It has nothing to do with improving care and cutting costs. In fact, it would decrease access and the quality of health care for seniors, with the exception of the richest Americans.

That is because for-profit insurance companies make money, as BuzzFlash has noted before, by adding overhead (profit) to the cost of health insurance and denying as many medical services as possible to increase net revenue.

Wendell Potter, a former CIGNA vice president, reveals where some of that profit goes:

You might be surprised to learn that more and more of the dollars you pay for coverage are being sucked into a kind of black hole.

Press Release: Hundreds of Nurses to Call on White House, Congress June 7

Call for New Agenda, a Main Street Contract for the American People
Say Wall Street Should Pay for Rebuilding Nation and Healing America

Hundreds of registered nurses from 31 states, joined by labor and community allies, will gather outside the White House, picket the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and rally near Congress Tuesday, June 7 to call for a new, “Main Street Contract for the American People.”

The gathering, sponsored by National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses, will propose a program for rebuilding American communities with jobs, healthcare, education, and other urgent needs, funded through a fair tax policy targeted at those on Wall Street who created the economic crisis. Nurses will emphasize that theme with a spirited protest at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters.

Is Berico Sheltering Aaron Barr?

-Originally blogged by Stranded Wind on The Daily Kos

May 19, 2011- The HBGary fiasco, where @AaronBarr mouthed off to Anonymous, and then received the mother of all internet troll jobs, is now over a hundred days in the past. The world has forgotten, but Senate hearings, Department of Justice investigations, and civil suits from the intended victims of Team Themis are still very real hazards for the companies involved.

  I was noodling around today in job offerings for people with security clearances (don’t ask) and I noticed this gem.

CREW Writes Letter to President Obama Supporting Executive Order Requiring Transparancy of Campaign Finance

If you've been following the news, you've probably heard about the President's executive order drafted April 13, which would require full disclosure of campaign donations made by business entities seeking government contracts. Needless to say the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove are very upset over this new development. On May 4th, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) -with the support of over 30 other progressive organizations- sent a letter to President Obama endorsing the executive order.


How Many Firefighters Does It Take to Pay a CEO?

Originally posted at AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch:

According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. corporations held a record $1.93 trillion in cash on their balance sheets in 2010. But they are not investing to expand their companies, grow the real economy or create good middle-class jobs. Corporate CEOs are literally hoarding their company’s cash—except when it comes to their own paychecks.

In 2010, Standard & Poor's 500 Index company CEOs received, on average, $11.4 million in total compensation— a 23 percent increase in one year.[1] Based on 299 companies’ most recent pay data for 2010, their combined total CEO pay of $3.4 billion could support 102,325 median workers’ jobs.[2] Video

What does the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have to do with Climate Change?

The Chamber is controlled by Big Polluters, poisons politics with its dirty money and opposes every single effort to curb climate pollution.

Music by Supergood ( from Hans Hansen on Vimeo.

Press Release: Calls for U.S. Government to Halt All Contracts With HBGary Federal Calls for U.S. Government to Halt All Contracts With HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies and Palantir Technologies Because of Their Involvement in Chamber of Commerce Dirty Tricks Campaign

WASHINGTON, April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --, a national campaign dedicated to exposing excesses and unethical activities of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today, April 19, 2011, called for all agencies of the U.S. Government to halt all contracts with three military intelligence contractors involved in the recent "Chamberleaks" scandal.  These contractors, HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies and Palantir Technologies, have and have pending millions of dollars in contracts with the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Department of Justice and other agencies.   They were recently caught red handed in a Watergate type dirty tricks campaign aimed at NGOs, unions and reporters which is called "Chamberleaks" because it was instigated on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The companies used applications developed from government and military intelligence contracts to create a spying, malware and disinformation campaign to destroy opponents of the Chamber, including   See this Brad Blog article for more information. 

Thousands To Protest At Chamber Of Commerce April 18


You suits at the Chamber of Commerce might want to bring a sack lunch to work on Monday because there are going to be 10,000 protestors on your doorstep, and you might find it a little difficult to push your way through the crowd to get to a posh restaurants. People are fed up with the way you've been running the country lately and they're probably not going to just let you push them out of the way this time.

And yes, a few of us who you had your little HBGary creeps spying on will be there too. It's going to be a rockin' time, so make sure to have plenty of goons in full riot gear on hand, because we know how much you love it when peaceful protestors remind you of how morally bankrupt you are...

Move To Amend: Madison and Dane County WI Voters Support Constitutional Amendment

April 6, 2011- Last night voters in Madison, WI and Dane County, WI voted on two seperate resolutions to support a United States Constitutional Amendment that would declare that only human beings are entitled to Constitutional rights.

In Madison, WI voters approved the following language by 84%:

"Shall the City of Madison adopt the following resolution: RESOLVED, the City of Madison, Wisconsin, calls for reclaiming democracy from the corrupting effects of undue corporate influence by amending the United States Constitution to establish that:

1. Only human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights, and

2. Money is not speech, and therefore regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech."

Dane County voters (the county in which Madison is located) voted to approve the following language by 78%:

Chamber of Commerce Lies, Crappy Jobs and The American Dream

-Originally blogged by Jonathan Tasini on Working Life

April 1, 2011- I know there is an obvious answer to this question: does the Chamber of Commerce ever stop lying? Since you've answered that yourself, let's consider for a moment the most immediate lie--and the truth about the economic reality facing most working people.

  There is, as we know, a concerted effort by Republicans and business leaders (and a scattered handful of dumb-ass Democrats) to undermine the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and make sure Elizabeth Warren never sets foot inside the Bureau as its confirmed chief. So, you may have seen yesterday some reports about Warren's visit to a Chamber conference during which the head of the Chamber, Thomas Donohue spoke:

Rep. Johnson seeks intelligence firms' contracts in ChamberLeaks scandal

March 28, 2011- Congressman writes Gates, Holder and Clapper; says he will lead investigation himself if necessary

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA-04) has requested that the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and Director of National Intelligence turn over to Congress all contracts with intelligence firms HBGary Federal, Palantir Technologies, and Berico Technologies.  (Click HERE to read the letters – .pdf, 3 pgs)

Why it's Time to Fight the US Chamber of Commerce

(Big hat tip to 350.Org for creating the infographic)

Tax Time? Not for Giant Corporations

Sanders Calls for Shared Sacrifice

March 27, 2011- While hard working Americans fill out their income tax returns this tax season, General Electric and other giant profitable corporations are avoiding U.S. taxes altogether.

With Congress returning to Capitol Hill on Monday to debate steep spending cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.

Reporters Without Borders Condemns Chamber of Commerce Attacks On American Journalists

On Monday, March 14, 2011, Reporters Without Borders,, the international organization dedicated to protecting journalists around the world from attacks, issued the following statement about the Chamber of Commerce dirty tricks campaign that used military intelligence operatives to target journalists Glenn Greenwald and Brad Friedman.

"Reporters Without Borders supports the Democrats' initiative
for an investigation on these practices for they can be
harmful to journalism."

On March 8, 2011, twenty Members of Congress requested an investigation into the Chamberleaks scandal and held its first hearing on March 14, 2011.   


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