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Obama at the US Chamber of Commerce

From HuffPost:

President Obama’s visit to the Chamber of Commerce always seemed bizarre. Reaching out to the US Chamber isn’t like reaching out to business. Under the guidance of Tom Donohue, the Chamber has become less a business association than a right-wing lobby operation that makes its money selling its services to entrenched corporate interests (the health insurance companies, Big Oil, the drug companies) that prey on taxpayers and pay dearly to protect their privileges. The Chamber is shedding board members and local affiliates because of its zealotry — most notably in joining the no-nothings on global warming in return for Big Oil contributions. The president was warmly received by a grateful Donohue eager to revive the threadbare myth that the Chamber represents US business. The president said he was being neighborly and wished he had brought a fruitcake over earlier. That led wags to say, “No worry, the Chamber is already chock full of fruitcakes.”

Progressives panned the president for making the visit; the press reported it as a “charm offensive,” part of his calibrated “move to the center.” And no doubt, the president ladled out the pander, promising to reduce burdensome regulation, reform and lower corporate taxes, pass corporate trade accords, and do whatever is needed to help business compete. (more…)

By |2011-02-08T21:23:50-04:00February 8th, 2011|Business, Obama administration|Comments Off on Obama at the US Chamber of Commerce

Climate change scandal that wasn't

I don’t talk about climate change enough on this blog. I just don’t have the time to read everything. At least that’s my excuse. Here’s a great post from DK:

It was the scandal that never was, which was the true scandal. It was one of the most shameful episodes in the annals of climate change denialism, and given the desperate efforts of the corporate interests that profit so mightily off such staggering irresponsibility, that’s no mean feat. But so many traditional media outlets have become little more than propaganda arms of their corporate owners that their obscuring, obfuscating and sometimes just plain lying about the scientific facts is just more of the same. It’s only the most dangerous crisis humanity has ever faced, but to them that’s less important than their rapacious greed. It’s time for a bloggers’ ethics conference.

The real story was that thieves hacked the private emails of respected climate scientists. That’s a crime. That should have been at least part of the focus of the reporting: a false scandal was being concocted by people who were, at face value, criminals. But the larger part of the story was that it was a deliberate effort to distort and distract from the scientific facts. That, too, should have been at least part of the reporting. Instead, so many major media outlets played along, ignoring the criminality, and propagating the distortions and lies exactly as the criminals wanted. Even though the distortions and lies were easily debunked. All it took was intelligence and integrity, rarely found in the major media, although they could be found, elsewhere.

One of the best concise refutations of the false scandal came from our ownDarkSyde, one of those lowly blogger types. Brian Angliss of Scholars & Rogues provided one of the best comprehensive refutations, in a series of posts: hereherehere, and here. Another of those bloggers. And a couple weeks back, Salon’s Alex Pareene had what should be, but certainly won’t be, the false scandal’s death knell:

It was obvious to anyone who actually bothered to read the stolen “climategate” emails that they didn’t actually contain anything particularly scandalous, and they certainly didn’t contain anything at all that remotely called into the question the legitimacy of years of science demonstrating the effect of human activity on climate change.

But once the name “climategate” was affixed to the trumped-up non-scandal and printed in large type in a major newspaper, it didn’t matter what the emails said. Not a whit. Emails, scandal, “-gate” — there must be something to this!

There wasn’t.

More here

By |2010-07-05T22:17:37-04:00July 5th, 2010|Environment|Comments Off on Climate change scandal that wasn't

McCain's Love Affair With Lobbyists

I guess that all affairs must end some time. It is sad and painful when you get found out. Well, it appears that Senator John McCain and his ‘maverick’ image were found with a couple of lobbyists. This is the same McCain who “boldly” fought for campaign finance reform. If you listen to the news, one might believe that McCain hated lobbyists when in fact the opposite was true. McCain got in trouble with lobbyists over 20 years ago as part of the Ketting Five. The New York Times reported that McCain may have had an affair with a lobbyist but that wasn’t the important part of that article. The take-home message was that McCain remains very close to a number of lobbyists.

Well, Newsweek, among other new outlets, reported that McCain’s close ties to several lobbyists need to be cut. It looks bad for the ‘maverick’ image. McCain’s campaign is packed with lobbyists.

(more later)

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From Newsweek:

Stung by the news that two aides once lobbied for the Burmese junta, John McCain last week rolled out a sweeping new conflict-of-interest policy for his campaign, requiring all staffers to fill out questionnaires identifying past or current clients that “could be embarrassing for the senator.” Aides say that McCain was furious over the Burma connection (which he learned from a NEWSWEEK story) and was “adamant” about banning campaign workers from serving as foreign agents or getting paid for lobbying work.

But the fallout may not be over. One top campaign official affected by the new policy is national finance co-chair Tom Loeffler, a former Texas congressman whose lobbying firm has collected nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002 and millions more from other foreign and corporate interests, including a French aerospace firm seeking Pentagon contracts. Loeffler last month told a reporter “at no time have I discussed my clients with John McCain.” But lobbying disclosure records reviewed by NEWSWEEK show that on May 17, 2006, Loeffler listed meeting McCain along with the Saudi ambassador to “discuss US-Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relations.” (more…)

By |2008-05-19T16:11:37-04:00May 19th, 2008|Corporate Wrongs, Election 2008|3 Comments
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