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February 23 2014

08:00

Dark Money Groups to Get Clarity From the IRS; Outrage Ensues

billmoyers.com - By Joshua Holland - Feb. 23 (News Report) - Social welfare organizations are allowed to influence elections to a degree, but can’t make electoral politics their “primary focus.” The problem is that standard hasn’t been well defined. That lack of clarity was at the heart of the IRS’s Cincinnati field office using “inappropriate criteria” to examine these groups’ applications for tax-exempt status. In its report on the “scandal,” the IRS Inspector General’s office wrote, “We also believe that Determinations Unit specialists lacked knowledge of what activities are allowed by” the tax code.

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08:00

Big Oil, Bad Air

Center for Public Integrity - By Alex Cohen, Chris Zubak-Skees, Zahra Hirji, Sabrina Shankman, Marcus Stern. - Feb. 23 (Special Report) - When Lynn Buehring leaves her doctor’s office in San Antonio she makes sure her inhaler is on the seat beside her, then steers her red GMC pickup truck southeast on U.S. 181, toward her home on the South Texas prairie. About 40 miles down the road, between Poth and Falls City, drilling rigs, crude oil storage tanks and flares trailing black smoke appear amid the mesquite, live oak and pecan trees.

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February 19 2014

08:00

Major Oil Companies Making Double Profits from Oil Spills

ringoffireradio.com - By Alisha Mims - Feb. 19 (Investigative Report) - An investigation led by a former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) engineer and an environmental and civil rights attorney is uncovering evidence that major oil companies are being paid twice for cleaning up toxic oil spills. Multibillion-dollar companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, and BP are being paid for cleanup efforts with state government funds and again, in secret, by insurance companies, Reuters reports.

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February 18 2014

08:00

The 4 Most Profound Ways Privatization Perverts Education

AlterNet - By Paul Buchheit - Feb. 18 (News Analysis) - Profit-seeking in the banking and health care industries has victimized Americans. Now it's beginning to happen in education, with our children as the products. There are good reasons - powerful reasons - to stop the privatization efforts before the winner-take-all free market creates a new vehicle for inequality. At the very least we need the good sense to slow it down while we examine the evidence about charters and vouchers.

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February 17 2014

08:00

Obama Admin's TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks

republicreport.org - By Lee Fang - Feb. 17 (Investigative Report) - Officials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show. Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.

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January 30 2014

08:00

Walsh How the media created Chris Christie

populist.com - By Joan Walsh - Jan. 30 (News Analysis) - it’s hard not to be shocked anew that Christie was ever considered a leading presidential candidate. It’s also shocking that he coasted to reelection just two months ago, crushing state Sen. Barbara Buono – but the two phenomena are connected. Christie’s strong national reputation convinced local and national Democrats and even liberal media figures to either ignore the New Jersey race or, in some cases, back Christie.

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January 28 2014

08:00

The new loophole that connects Congress to corrupt corporate cash

JimHightower.com - By Jim Hightower - Jan. 28 (Special Report) - By holding what are called "destination fundraisers" outside of Washington, lawmakers and lobbyists can spend quality time together as they ski, snorkel, and schmooze. "It's a way to get some large chunks of a lawmaker's time," oozed the lobbyist, who had recently enjoyed three days at the Four Seasons Resort in Vail with five Republican House members, two of whom are on the committee that writes our health laws.

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January 27 2014

08:00

Dark Money, the Attack on Voting Rights & How Racism Stills Drives Our Politics

Democracy Now - By Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman - Jan. 27 (News Analysis) - "This is more than North Carolina," Moyers says. "It’s a harbinger of how organized money is the greatest threat to democracy because it unbalances the equilibrium. Democracy is supposed to check the excesses of private power and private greed, and if money disestablishes that equilibrium, we’re in trouble."

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January 24 2014

08:00

This Is What Happened When A Corporate Democratic Group Took On Elizabeth Warren

Huffington Post - By Luke Johnson - Jan. 24 (News Report) - The liberal blog Daily Kos first reported the news. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressives United and Democracy For America had all pressured Schwartz in December to resign her honorary position at Third Way. At the time, her spokesman said the congresswoman thought that the op-ed was "outrageous and strongly disagree[d] with it."

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08:00

Seniors Paying $7,125 a Month to be Neglected? What Happened When Wall Street Got Involved in Assisted Living

ProPublica - By A.C. Thompson, Jonathan Jones - Jan. 24 (Investigative Report) - Here are a few things the brochure didn’t mention: Just months earlier, Emeritus supervisors had audited the facility’s process for handling medications. It had been found wanting in almost every important regard. And, in truth, those “specially trained” staffers hadn’t actually been trained to care for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, a violation of California law. The facility relied on a single nurse to track the health of its scores of residents, and the few licensed medical professionals who worked there tended not to last long. During the three years prior to Joan’s arrival, Emerald Hills had cycled through three nurses and was now employing its fourth. At least one of those nurses was alarmed by what she saw, telling top Emeritus executives — in writing — that Emerald Hills suffered from “a huge shortage of staff” and was mired in“total dysfunction.”

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January 12 2014

08:00

The Ugly Truth about Charter Schools: Padded Cells, Corruption, Lousy Instruction and Worse Results

AlterNet - By Jeff Bryant - Jan. 12 (Investigative Report) - So how do you feel when you find out the local school that you pay for with your taxes is operating a scam that diverted millions of dollars through fake Medicaid billing? Or the school used your tax dollars as “grants” to start up other profit-making enterprises ... or pay lavish salaries — $300,000, $400,000 or more — to its administrators ... or support a movement linked to a reclusive Turkish cleric being investigated for bribery and corruption. Welcome to the world of charter schools.

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January 04 2014

08:00

NSA does not deny ‘spying’ on members of Congress

theguardian.com - By Spencer Ackerman in Washington, Martin Pengelly in New York — - Jan. 04 (News Report) - The National Security Agency on Saturday released a statement in answer to questions from a senator about whether it “has spied, or is ... currently spying, on members of Congress or other American elected officials”, in which it did not deny collecting communications from legislators of the US Congress to whom it says it is accountable.

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January 02 2014

08:00

Why Is the IRS Fighting Efforts to Unmask Karl Rove and U.S. Chamber Political Money Laundering?

AlterNet - By Steven Rosenfeld - Jan. 02 (News Report) - An IRS whistleblower lawsuit that attempts to finger an overseas non-profit affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a dark money conduit that put tens of millions into Karl Rove’s hands during the 2010 elections may soon die in an obscure federal court—unless the judge allows evidence-gathering over the IRS’s objections.

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December 23 2013

08:00

In No One We Trust

readersupportednews.org - By Joseph Stiglitz - Dec. 23 (Opinion) - In America today, we are sometimes made to feel that it is naïve to be preoccupied with trust. Our songs advise against it, our TV shows tell stories showing its futility, and incessant reports of financial scandal remind us we’d be fools to give it to our bankers. That last point may be true, but that doesn’t mean we should stop striving for a bit more trust in our society and our economy. Trust is what makes contracts, plans and everyday transactions possible; it facilitates the democratic process, from voting to law creation, and is necessary for social stability. It is essential for our lives. It is trust, more than money, that makes the world go round.

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December 14 2013

08:00

Chris Christie Denies Political Payback In Bridge Controversy As Top Appointee Resigns

Huffington Post - By Amanda Terkel - Dec. 14 (News Report) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) sought to quell mounting questions over whether his administration used the busiest U.S. bridge in a political retribution scheme, holding a lengthy press conference Friday where he gave his first extended remarks on the issue since the controversy erupted.

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08:00

Federal Judge Describes, Then Supports Plot to Rob Detroit Pensioners

AlterNet - By Frank Joyce - Dec. 14 (News Analysis) - It is important to understand that at no point has Detroit declared or requested bankruptcy. Indeed Detroiters and others in Michigan have resisted as best they could, only to be overpowered at every turn. As Judge Rhodes explains below, bankruptcy has been orchestrated from Lansing (the state capitol) with a lot of help from Wall Street banks and other financial players.

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December 07 2013

08:00

Walmart Is Not the Bargain You Might Think

truth-out.org - By Maura Stephens - Dec. 07 (Opinion) - People flock to Walmart for perceived bargains and convenience. Here are some facts that might keep them from adding their hard-earned cash to the profits of a company that's squashing lives and worker rights worldwide. Next time someone tells you they shop at Walmart because it's cheap or convenient, share this.

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08:00

Joe Stiglitz writes open letter to TPP negotiators

keionline.org - By James Love - Dec. 07 (News Report) - Professor Joseph Stiglitz has written an open letter to the TPP negotiators, asking that they resist proposals to weaken consumer rights in intellectual property. The letter identifies 12 specific "grave risks" in the IP Chapter, and calls upon negotiators to publish the investor state dispute resolution text.

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08:00

Catering to Boeing’s corporate demands is beneath us

seattletimes.com - By Danny Westneat - Dec. 07 (Opinion) - The notion that the commoners might take over the means of private production is, indeed, crazy. So isn’t it also crazy that we commoners now are being asked to finance the means of production? I’m referring to the ceaseless demands of the Boeing Co., which is becoming peerless in its pursuit of public subsidies.

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December 05 2013

08:00

Inside the Fight to Prevent Billions in International Money Laundering and Tax Shelters

AlterNet - By Micael Hudson - Dec. 05 (Special Report) - Britain has vowed to lift the secrecy covering the Cayman Islands and other financial sanctuaries operating under its flag. Dozens of rich nations have agreed — in an unprecedented example of global cooperation on offshore issues — to begin swapping information about assets stashed in foreign accounts. Another French president — François Hollande — has promised to “eradicate” tax havens. “Looks like the offshore party is over,” the Chicago Tribune said recently. Will this time be different? Many financial crime fighters are skeptical.

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