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Protect Our Elections Asks FBI To Expand Its Investigation Of NewsCorp To Include Its Relationship With US Chamber Of Commerce

On August 14, 2011, Protect Our Elections attorney Kevin Zeese wrote a letter to the FBI asking that it expand its investigation of NewsCorp to include (1) its million dollar donation to the US Chamber of Commerce to gut the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in order to cover up, obstruct and undermine an investigation under the FCPA, and (2) a conspiracy with the Chamber to use private investigators, military intelligence contractors, and law firms to spy on Americans and organizations that they consider threats, either on political, financial or ideological grounds.

Why Don't Corporations Pay Much Higher Taxes Until They Actually Produce Jobs in the US?

-Originally blogged by Mark Karlin on Buzzflash

August 9, 2011- Why don't corporations pay much higher taxes until they produce jobs in America?

After all, workers don't get paid until after they complete their jobs every couple of weeks or so. That's the way companies compensate employees.

So, why not wait to tax corporations at a lower rate until they prove that they are "job creators" in the United States - not overseas?

And every year, the businesses would have to prove that they haven't moved jobs to lower-wage nations, otherwise their taxes will zoom up again.

What Ronald Reagan said about the Soviet Union - "Trust but verify" - should be applied to American business, because they have gotten rock-bottom tax breaks and loopholes - but they mostly use them to increase their profit by employing sweat-shop labor in other nations. As trickle-down economics has played itself out over the last few decades, it has shown that lower taxes for the rich and corporations lead to a very large net loss of jobs in the United States, not an increase.

While Many Americans Struggle to Pay for Food, the Rich Are Back Buying $2495 Pairs of Boots

-Blogged by Mark Karlin on Buzzflash

August 9, 2011- The demand economy has collapsed for the vast majority of Americans. Jobs have been lost, wages have stagnated and the buying power of all but the wealthy dramatically reduced.

But if you are super-rich, according to an August 4 New York Times article, you "are (almost) spending like it's 2006: luxury goods are flying off the shelves, even with the economy staggering."

If you want to walk in the shoes of the ultra-wealthy, it will cost you a few weeks' wages (if you are lucky enough to have a job). According to The Times, "In 2008, for example, the most expensive Louboutin item that Saks sold was a $1,575 pair of suede boots. Now, it is a $2,495 pair of suede boots that are thigh-high."

While most of America struggles with the basic costs of living, even delaying medical care because of high health insurance deductibles (for those who have medical insurance), the rich are on a luxury item buying rampage. According to the Times:

Unstrange Bedfellows: News Corp and Chamber

-Blogged by Abby Zimet on Common Dreams

July 21, 2011-

Plot Gets Thicker Dept: Murdoch's News Corp. is facing charges under a U.S. foreign bribery law. Activist groups have raised concerns about News Corp.’s connections to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has undertaken a pricey lobbying campaign to weaken that law. Now News Corp. has hired the law firm of former Bush A.G. Michael Mukasey, who happens to be leading the Chamber's fight against the law. Hmmm.

Campaign for America's Future: GOP Dogma on Taxes, Spending and Revenue vs. the Facts

-By Robert Borosage

Basic facts and charts  help you take on some of the Orwellian, "ignorance is strength" falsehoods used by conservative leaders to control the economic debate.

Part I: The Tax Lie

Fact: Tax Hikes Don’t "Cripple Job Creation"

Conservatives say they are prepared to blow up the economy by not lifting the debt limit if that is what it takes to avoid raising taxes on the rich – even to avoid closing loopholes that have hedge fund billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their chauffeurs.

“Everything is on the table,” says House Speaker John Boehner, but tax hikes are “off the table” because they would “wreak havoc on the economy” and further cripple job creation.

Press Release: FBI Announces Probe of News Corp

For Immediate Release Contact: Naomi Seligman, 310.617.4577,

FBI Announces Examination Of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp For Illegal Hacking Of Americans’ Phones, Including 9/11 Victims  Urged Probe Under The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Earlier This Week

Group Now Asks For Investigation To Include Million Dollar Payments To Weaken FCPA

Washington, DC –  welcomed the announcement today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is opening a criminal examination of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for hacking into the phones of United States citizens, including victims of the 9/11 terror attack.  The group urged the FBI to take action in response to the other serious allegations lodged against News Corps in the United States.

Just a Few Ways Corporations Kill Innovation in the United States

- Originally blogged by Mark Karlin on Buzzflash

July 4, 2011- Innovation used to be a hallmark of America, and so I read with interest about a July 4th Declaration of Innovation that declares,

We, the people of the United States of America, hold these truths to be self-evident - that great innovators drive America's unsurpassed economic success; that innovation creates jobs, markets and industries where none existed before; and that innovation moves us forward as a nation, pushing us to succeed and strive for a better tomorrow.

Unfortunately, for far too many Americans, the Fourth of July is a nostalgic celebration of past "glories" rather than future opportunities.

Declaration of Dependence: America's Infrastructure is Being Repaired, By Workers in China

-Originally blogged by Mark Karlin on Buzzflash

July 3, 2011- Did you know that some of America's infrastructure is being repaired after all?

The only catch is that major parts of the work are being done in China, meaning that many US construction workers stay unemployed.

Take for instance the massive $7.2 billion project to rebuild the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was compromised by earthquake damage.

The New York Times reports about a surge of construction employment on American projects such as the bridge, in China:

At a sprawling manufacturing complex here, hundreds of Chinese laborers are now completing work on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Next month, the last four of more than two dozen giant steel modules - each with a roadbed segment about half the size of a football field - will be loaded onto a huge ship and transported 6,500 miles to Oakland. There, they will be assembled to fit into the eastern span of the new Bay Bridge.

Global Corporations Crush Small Businesses and Then Blame It on the Government

-Originally blogged by Mark Karlin at Buzzflash, June 20, 2011-

When Chris Wallace of Fox interviewed Jon Stewart over the weekend, he thought he was scoring a point when he bragged that Fox "news" viewers love the network. Stewart, always quick on the draw, responded that although this may be true, study after study shows that Fox viewers are the most misinformed on television.

BuzzFlash at Truthout encounters this constantly in comments and emails that we receive in response to the BuzzFlash blog columns. Fox viewers often base their statements on Fox "manufactured facts" that are simply not true.

One of these points is that big government is strangling small businesses, which are the backbone of the American economy. But the reality is that large corporations, particularly American-based global corporations, are slowly killing many small businesses, as we have noted before.

Think of small businesses that used to be in abundance: for example, hardware stores, pharmacies, appliance stores and shoe stores, among others.

LA Times: Corporate political transparency ratings

Many of America’s most powerful companies do not report how much they spend to influence elections and legislation. These companies contribute millions of dollars to powerful trade associations and to other politically active groups that are not required to report the sources of their funding.

Those groups, in turn, spend the money on lobbying and other political activity. The Los Angeles Times reviewed how the 75 largest publicly traded companies in the energy, healthcare and financial services sectors disclose their political giving on their corporate websites. 


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.


Backbone Campaign
Liberty Tree
Progressive Democrats of America
Peoples Email Network
Justice Through Music
Locust Fork Journal
Berkeley Fellowship UU\'s Social Justice Committee
The Smirking Chimp
Progressive Democrats Sonoma County
Center for Media and Democracy
Chelsea Neighbors United
Atlanta Progressive News
Yes Men
No Nukes North