Tag: corruption

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Elizabeth Warren Rap Video- Got A New Sheriff

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Reasons Washington is Broken, Part 17

Since I moved to Washington, DC, I have obtained piece by piece of a massive jigsaw puzzle.  No one bothered to explain the rules, or what the picture is supposed to look like when you’re finished with it, but that’s just not how things work here.  Because I don’t believe that truth ought to be granted on a need-to-know basis, I have written about what I’ve uncovered.  Perhaps enough of us will chip away at the Sphinx long enough to find the answers to the riddles it holds close to the vest.  What follows is another one recently explained.

Washington Dysfunction Has Deep Roots

Across the board frustration at Washington, DC, will characterize this November’s elections.  The question on the minds of many is why, despite the promises to the contrary, nothing gets done and the situation gets worse and worse with every passing year.  To answer this question, one first needs to examine Washington culture in detail.  To begin, it is insular, frequently secretive, and suspicious of outsiders.  Capitol Hill dictates a more or less common mindset among everyone who lives here.  And, in all fairness, one really needs to get involved on the inside to totally understand its riddles.  I firmly believe that reform is possible, but, on the difficult matter of a solution, the analogy I always use is that of the Gordian Knot of Greek mythology.  This was an impossibly entwined knot that was eventually undone by a bold stroke of the sword, rather than through a probably hopeless desire to devote hour upon hour in the hopes of eventually untying it.    

Too Corrupt To Fail [Updated]

  After nine years of work, $330 Billion in treasure, and nearly 1,300 American fatalities, bankers might ultimately do to Afghanistan what the Taliban could never accomplish.

 Even as it battles a resurgent and spreading Taliban, the beleaguered government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai is facing a more immediate threat: a run on the country’s largest banks.

  This week, droves of depositors rushed offices of Afghanistan’s Kabul Bank, pulling out their money amid concerns that bank has lost millions of dollars. BBC News broadcast images of Hummers and SUV’s racing to the bank, a troubling sign of growing mistrust for Mr. Karzai’s already heavily criticized government.

Something in the neighborhood of $200 to $300 million in deposits have been withdrawn in just a couple days, about half of all the bank’s assets. If the stampede continues for just a few more days the bank will fail.

 So why is this important? Because the Kabul Bank is what the government uses to pay its teachers, police, and soldiers.

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The Big Bubble Is Bursting: Is There Life After Capitalism?

Here Paul Jay of the Real News talks in November 2008 at The Krahl Academy about US foreign policies, blowback, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the concurrent crises of capitalism, of media, of economies, of terrorism, of fascism, of corporatism, of corruption in US political parties, about the shit hitting the fan, and about one part of the solution for it all.

I originally posted this at Antemedius as one part of the solution, shortly after the video was released, in October 2009.

Jay’s talk is about 40 minutes. Watch the video. It’s worth your time, and beats TV all to hell. I guarantee it.

If I’m not doing the thing I feel is most significant, then I feel empty inside.

–Paul Jay

Real News Network – October 4, 2009

The crisis will deepen, we need real news

Paul Jay of The Real News speaks at the Von Krahl Academy, Estonia in November 2008

The Costs of Wars Only Grow

There are two very important, and full of real facts, op-ed’s in the San Francisco Gate this Sunday morning that should be read and absorbed.

We hear very little, actually almost nothing, about the present costs, nor long term costs, of our long occupations of choice. Especially by those that held the power and readily rubber stamped what their same political party administration wanted. Nor did they feel much need in holding congressional hearings, investigations nor much oversite, not much heard when reports of billions just went poof nor when private contractors on their no bid contracts kept wasting money on shoddy work and much more, while they held the power. They weren’t the only ones, even their supporters and talking heads readily supported everything they did and didn’t do.

Drain the Swamp? Drain the Attraction to the Swamp, First

Generation after generation of politicians running as Washington outsiders have railed against the established system.  Lambasting corruption and inherent evil has been an effective populist message for a long while.  We saw it from one party in 2006 and 2008 and now, in 2010, we observe it in another.  Every generation appears to have been sold the same basic message. But after each wave of reformers finds the going perilous and true change difficult, we engage in an equally long-running tradition, that of demanding why.  Why is this institution so resistant to change and so stubbornly ingrained?  Where does one even begin?

The Week in Editorial Cartoons, Part II – Climate Change Obstructionism

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson, Comics.com, see reader comments in the Houston Chronicle

Morning Migraine: Democrats Finally Go For Jobs Program & Peace

United States to  Spend $7.5 Billion on jobs program on water, energy, and health.


…. a vision of a future in which all people can live safe, healthy, and productive lives; contribute to their communities; and make the most of their own God-given potential.”

Clinton said the U.S. will complete two hydroelectric dam projects to supply electricity to more than 300,000 people in areas near the Afghan border, will renovate or build three medical facilities in central and southern Pakistan and will embark on a new initiative to improve access to clean drinking water in the country.

These projects and several others focused on promoting economic growth will cost some $500 million and will be funded by legislation approved by Congress to triple nonmilitary aid to $1.5 billion a year over five years.

Vice President clarifies what it means to be elected because your country wanted a change in foreign policy after 7 years of war.   12 months x 103 per month = 1236 more fatalities by next July in Afghanistan, when we’ll…..  slow down.  


Vice President Joe Biden is taking a more cautious approach when it comes to next summer’s planned military U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

He once predicted the drawdown next July would mean “a lot of people moving out.”

But he tells ABC’s “This Week” that the number of U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan “could be as few as a couple of thousand troops.”  

Biden says it’s too early to judge whether the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan will succeed, but he says there is progress.

A record 103 NATO troops were killed in June, the deadliest month of the nearly 9-year-old war for international forces.

I know we can fix the international financial crisis and the domestic 20 out 10 Depression with more of the same.  And this should help the Democrats with their message fine tuning during the fall campaigns.

Whew.  And here I was worried about that oil well developing a little leak.  

Let it Be

I’m moving away from thinking. Not that thinking isn’t useful but, rather, that it tends to take up too much space in my brain and limits my ability to perceive. The problem with out of balance thinking is that it feeds “stories” and makes the ego stronger (I’m right and you’re wrong, or they’re wrong). We need a balance and I find balance by focusing on this moment right now–and that’s the only time I feel truly happy and sane.  

Corruption saturation

If one considers spreading societal corruption as a series of ink blots that progressively stain a white fabric, there is an end state of saturation where everything becomes corrupt and nothing remains unstained. In America, we are nearing that state. Here is some evidence:

1. Our securities markets, once the greatest and most efficient engine of capital formation in the world, are now riddled with manipulation and are openly denounced as corrupt by independent observers.

2. Our government regulatory agencies have been fully captured by the industries they are charged with supervising, with catastrophic results exemplified by the Gulf oil spill.

3. Our political leadership shows no signs of altering its subservience to predatory corporations, and the Supreme Court has permanently established the control of wealthy interests over the election process by equating unlimited corporate political spending with “free speech.” There is no meaningful change possible in US society as long as the corporations are in control.

4. The news media remain in the hands of five private corporations, and they remain completely devoted to preserving the dominance of corrupt corporations and their political servants.

5. The academic sector, harried by cutbacks and funding shortages, is mute in the face of gross dysfunctions in business and political leadership. Instead it grinds out irrelevant and impotent research, while waiting for grants and awards from the corporatocracy.

6. The popular culture enshrines self-indulgence, violence, and the adrenalin rush as the highest values for individuals. The wealthy are admired for their ruthless pursuit of self-interest, and it is believed that calculated selfishness is the sure path to riches for all.

There are interesting consequences of arriving at a saturated state of corruption. One no longer needs to be concerned with its extent, since one can assume that every non-trivial organization is corrupt. Thus, effort can be channeled into shifting all activity away from large institutions and organizations and attempting to make all transactions and interpersonal dealings with trusted individuals and trusted small-scale entities. This contraction into a highly defensive behavioral pattern will be costly and difficult for most people, but it will be the only means of escaping substantial harm as a society saturated by corruption collapses into ruins.

The Sword’s Edge: Obama And Big Oil

I posted this video interview almost 2 years ago here on November 29, 2008, and after the recent and ongoing poisoning of the Gulf of Mexico caused a least I think in part by the regulatory corruption of MMS and the US government by BP and the other oil companies, maybe it’s time to revisit the predictions made in this so long ago.

Antonia Juhasz is the author of The Bu$h Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time and most recently, The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry, and What We Must Do To Stop It.

Juhasz is a policy-analyst and a Fellow with Oil Change International, “a research and advocacy organization that exists to force progress in the energy industry towards an environmentally and socially sustainable energy future”, and the Institute for Policy Studies, a policy studies non-profit think-tank for progressive or liberal causes based in Washington, D.C. IPS work is organized into over a dozen projects, all working collaboratively and strategically to pursue three overarching policy goals: Peace, Justice and the Environment.

She has taught at the New College of California in the Activism and Social Change Masters Program and as a guest lecturer on U.S. Foreign Policy at the McMaster University Labour Studies Program in a unique educational program with the Canadian Automobile Workers Union, and lives in San Francisco.

Antonia talked with Sharmini Peries of the The Real News about whether or not Barack Obama is likely to buck, or back, the most powerful corporations in the world, and whether he’ll continue the same foreign policies that have over the past 60 odd years of “pragmatic” conservative US imperialism nearly brought the empire to it’s knees, drastically lowering the amount of expenditures on liberal social policies.

Real News: November 29, 2008 – 7 min 37 sec

Will Obama rein in big oil?

Antonia Juhasz: Clinton-era deregulation helped big oil get bigger

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