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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

Why Is Obama Charging You For Nuke Plant Costing Higher Energy Bills Than Solar?

beforeitsnews.com - Feb. 23 (News Analysis) - “If nuclear power is such a good idea, why does it need financial help from every U.S. taxpayer?” is a question many Americans and even the Washington Post are asking this week. Even more would ask that question and demand better if they knew the new nuke facility will cost more in energy bills than had the same money funded solar energy. This week, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced Obama’s administration would extend a $6.5 billion federal loan guarantee to cover partial cost of building two new reactors at Southern Co.’s Alvin W. Vogtle site.

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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 22 2014

08:00

Anatomy of the Deep State

billmoyers.com - By Mike Lofgren - Feb. 22 (Opinion) - Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.  Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome.  By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks …

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February 20 2014

08:00

Here's Why Obama Can't Get Democrats To Back His Trade Deal

Huffington Post - By Ryan Grim, Zach Carter - Feb. 20 (News Analysis) - GOP leaders in Congress support the trade pact, which is still being negotiated. But Democratic opposition is broad in both the House and Senate, making Froman's mission critical if the Obama administration hopes to clear the agreement through Congress when it is finished. And if the reception at the Common Purpose gathering is any indication, a lot more charm will be needed. The liberal coalition was unusually unified -- against the administration.

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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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08:00

Boeing looks to U.S. Congress to fund fighters after Navy skips orders

MSN.com - Feb. 17 (News Report) - Boeing Co is mounting a last-ditch campaign to convince U.S. lawmakers to buy more fighter jets and stave off a shutdown of a St. Louis production line after the U.S. Navy failed to fund the jets. The Navy's fiscal 2015 budget plan omits funding for any extra F/A-18E/F Super Hornets or EA-18G Growlers, according to several sources familiar with the issue. The White House is due to submit its 2015 budget request to Congress on March 4. While the 2015 budget does not include funding for shutting down the F/A-18 production line in St. Louis after 2016, the Navy plans to add such termination funding to its 2016 budget, said one of the sources, who could not speak publicly.

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February 15 2014

08:00

David Simon on America as a Horror Show

billmoyers.com - By David Simon - Feb. 15 (Opinion) - “The horror show is we are going to be slaves to profit. Some of us are going to be higher on the pyramid and we’ll count ourselves lucky and many many more will be marginalized and destroyed,” Simon tells Moyers. He blames a “purchased” Congress for failing America’s citizens, leading many of them to give up on politics altogether.

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February 14 2014

08:00

Janet Yellen and I Were Taught to Revere Capitalism. But It's a Failing System

billmoyers.com - By Richard Wolff - Feb. 14 (Opinion) - The professor who shaped the macroeconomics we learned was James Tobin. He taught us to be Keynesian economists: that is, to accept capitalism as the sole object and focus of our studies, to celebrate it as the best possible system and to preserve it against its own serious faults. Keynesian economics teaches that to secure capitalism’s blessings requires systematic government intervention in the workings of the economy.

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08:00

5 Ways The Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal Could Ruin TV and The Internet

Huffington Post - By Timothy Stenovec - Feb. 14 (News Analysis) - You're probably already thinking that the merger of the two biggest cable companies in the United States isn't going to turn out great for regular people. Guess what? You're on to something. If Comcast's proposed $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable actually happens (and that's a big if), then the giant company would have 30 million customers and dominate cable and Internet service throughout the U.S. Here are some fairly terrible things that could happen if the deal goes through:

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February 12 2014

08:00

Insurers now outspending Kochs’ group on Obamacare ads

Washington Post - By Sandhya Somashekhar - Feb. 12 (News) - Much has been made about Americans for Prosperity's prodigious spending on an ad campaign opposed to the new health-care law. But another player, which is casting the program in a different light, is giving the conservative advocacy group a run for its money: the health insurance industry. Companies such as Cigna and Kaiser Permanente poured about $40 million into television ads specifically related to Obamacare between Dec. 1 and Feb. 8, according to ad tracking firm Kantar Media. That is far more than AFP, which as of last week had dropped about $27 million on ads since August attacking politicians who supported the program.

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January 31 2014

08:00

Obama's Weak Enviro Agenda Is Suicide for Humanity -- Here's the Stark Ecological Future We Face

AlterNet - By Tara Lohan - Jan. 31 (News Analysis) - Are there any self-respecting environmental organizations out there that are still behind President Obama? After his State of the Union on Tuesday it's hard to imagine there could be. In his address, Obama proudly declared, "The 'all the above' energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades."

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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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08:00

What Would President Hillary Do? She'll Be the First Woman President.

rall.com - By Ted Rall - Jan. 30 (News Analysis) - Hillary leads every poll of the Democratic field for 2016. But why? What is it about her that makes some liberal voters swoon? I combed the Internet looking for signs of something approximating a political agenda. I pushed out the following question to social networks: “Support Hillary for 2016? Can you tell me what she would DO?” The closest approximation to an answer came back: “She would be the first woman president.”

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January 29 2014

08:00

TPP Creates Legal Incentives For ISPs To Police The Internet. What Is At Risk? Your Rights.

eff.org - By Kurt Opsahl, Carolina Rossini - Jan. 29 (News Analysis) - Service providers are the conduits of free expression. By enabling free or low-cost platforms that enable anyone to reach an audience of millions, ISPs have democratized media and enabled innovative ideas to spread quickly—without the gatekeepers of traditional media. Private ISP enforcement of copyright poses a serious threat to free speech on the Internet, because it makes offering open platforms for user-generated content economically untenable

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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 26 2014

08:00

First Things First: Until We Fix Our Democracy Problem, It's Hard to Fix Any Problem

truth-out.org - By Marge Baker - Jan. 26 (Opinion) - we have a major democracy problem. Citizens United paved the way for unlimited corporate spending to distort our elections. Staggering amounts of money have poured into our political system since the Court handed down that decision. Second, and just as importantly, it’s become clear that until we fix that democracy problem, it’s hard to fix any problem. In other words, until we fix the funding of our political campaigns, we can’t fix the individual issues that matter most to everyday Americans.

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January 17 2014

08:00

What The Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Mean For Washington

kuow.org - By Ross Reynolds, Marcie Sillman, Hannah Burn - Jan. 17 (Opinion) - Ross Reynolds talks with Eric Shinfeld, president of the Washington Council on International Trade, about how he believes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) agreement will benefit Washington. Meanwhile, Marcie Sillman speaks with Labor Representative Stan Sorscher at the Society for Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) Stan Sorscher. He explains why he believes the TPP will hurt Washington.

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January 15 2014

08:00

TPP: Poison for Local Community Resilience

Common Dreams - By Richard Heinberg - Jan. 15 (News Analysis) - Now comes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a new trade deal negotiated in secret (only corporations get to contribute to, and look at, the draft language). The point of the Treaty: to double down on globalization at precisely the moment in time when the entire enterprise is beginning to fail as a result of stubbornly high oil prices, worsening climate change impacts (floods, droughts, wildfires), debt deflation, and middle-class fears of losing even more ground.

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