Corporate Power

US Airways Follows the Bush Model: Cut Pay, Slash Benefits, Dump Unions
Corporate Power

Indystar: "US Airways Group Inc. is proceeding with plans to seek bankruptcy court permission to cut employee pay and benefits, Chief Executive Bruce Lakefield said in a recorded message to workers." Ain't it interesting how so-called "bankruptcy reform" only hurt private citizens, while corporations continue to use it to weasel out of meeting their obligations to employees. "The airline told unions for its 27,800 employees Sept. 22 that it would ask a court to let it impose the cuts unless agreements were reached by Friday. The company wants to cut pay 23 percent, stop pension plan contributions or end 401(k) matches for some workers, send some mechanics' work to outside companies and require pilots and flight attendants to work longer if needed, the unions said."

Wal-Mart: The Bush-Corporate Plan for America in a Big Box
Corporate Power

Stephanie Pool writes, "Wal-Mart is 3.5 times larger than its largest competitor." Yet "a typical employee's hourly wage is $8.00. The co's voluntary health plan [costs] $2,844 a year, yet employees still pay a deductible. More than 2/3 of employees are women. Less than 10% hold management positions...Half of Wal-Mart's US employees qualify for food stamps. Vista, California reported a 24% increase in crime after the arrival of a new Wal-Mart. Pineville, No Carolina rejected two big boxes [because] the property tax generated wouldn't cover the salaries of the two additional police officers [required]. A 250,000-square-foot supercenter with a 16-acre parking lot will produce 413,000 gallons of [pollutant-laden] storm runoff for every inch of rain. Once Wal-Mart stifles its competition in a region, it [vacates] many of its stores," with leases that prevent anyone else from using the space. The result, over 370 useless eyesores; Half have been vacant for at least two years."

SHOCKER: Bush Administration Cuts 200 Proposed Regulations for Protecting Public Safety
Corporate Power

OMB Watch: "An analysis of four key federal agencies charged with safeguarding the public's air, water, food, health, transportation and workplaces reveals consistent and widespread obstruction, neglect and weakening of protections. The report attributes the pattern to a pro-corporate bias of the Bush administration and appointed agency heads favoring narrow special interests over the public good. EPA has withdrawn 90 agenda items, most addressing clean air and water...FDA has withdrawn 62 agenda items, including one to track contaminated blood... NHTSA has withdrawn 31 auto safety agenda items...OSHA has withdrawn 24 agenda items. This report updates and expands the May 2004 report, 'Special Interest Takeover: The Bush Administration and the Dismantling of Public Safeguards.' "

Bush Collecting up to TWENTY FIVE TIMES More Cash from Corporate Pork Barrel than Kerry
Corporate Power

Public Citizen: "Most of the industries or professions bundling the most for both candidates gave significantly more to Bush - from lobbyists ($8.2 million vs. $2.7 million ) to real estate interests ($7 mil vs. $2.4 mil) to state and federal government officials ($5.4 mil vs. $2.3 mil). But where Bush really outdistanced Kerry was 'the energy/natural resource industries: "Bush has collected at least $4.9 mil - 25 times more than the $200,000 that Kerry took in from that sector. Bush also collected 15 X more than Kerry from the construction industry ($3.9 mil vs. $250,000), 10 X more from the transportation sector ($3 mil vs. $300,000), and four X more from the insurance industry ($1.8 mil vs. $450,000). Bush raised three X as much as Kerry from bundlers representing hospitals, HMOs, nursing homes and drug companies ($4.4 mil vs. $1.3 mil)." You will note that Public Citizen, founded by Nader, conveniently omits any info about Nader donations.

Bush Rewards CEO of Killer Mine in Indonesia with Top Fed. Advisory Post
Corporate Power

In June, Bush appointed Wayne Murdy, CEO of Newmont Mining Corporation to a top level manufacturing advisory post. http://www.industryweek.com/DailyPage/newsitem.asp?id=6055 Even as Murdy was being elevated to national advisory status, his corporation's mine in Indonesia - in the same region where Henry Kissinger's environmentally nightmarish Freeport-McMohran gold mine is sites - was ravaging the Indonesian environment, dumping toxic pollution (mercury) into a bay that has killed, it is believed, at least 30 Indonesian natives. The mine has a long history of abuse: But this is JUST the sort of operation Bush and pals endorse, promote, protect and - as Murdy's appointment proves - REWARDS. http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Action/action57.htm

National Geographic Society Turns Corporate Shill, Pushes Junk Food on Kids
Corporate Power

Those of you who have seen both the adult and kid versions of National Geographic lately have undoubtedly noticed the shift in the mags. The adult version often carries well-timed propaganda pieces (like the huge PR story on Saudi Arabia just when that Bush-friendly country needed it). And while it runs no stories on global warming, it routinely features full-page ads for SUVs and oil companies. Now, reports Common Dreams, the Society's "once ad-free magazine for kids is now packed with ads for fast food, candy, sugary cereals, snack cakes, and other products." The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest "urged the Society to reject ads for low-nutrition, high-calorie foods." According to the CSPI, the mag "rarely runs stories on nutrition or healthy eating and shamelessly blends food advertising into its editorial content." In short, the once proud National Geographic has, like so many US institutions, from NPR to the EPA has become a corporate shill.

Unilever - Owner of Slim-Fast and Lipton Has History of Using Corporate Clout to Punish Free Speech
Corporate Power

When Whoopi Goldberg cracked a bawdy anti-Bush joke at a private Democratic fundraiser, Slim-Fast promptly fired her. But this was just one chapter in a continuing anti-free speech saga. Slim-Fast is owned by Unilever, which also owns Lipton Tea. Rap and Rock Confidential reports: "The Dixie Chicks Top of the World tour was set to begin in Greenville, South Carolina, on May 1. The state legislature had passed a resolution condemning the group. Lipton Tea, their corporate tour sponsor, scrapped most of its endorsement deal with the Chicks, saying that it's "wrong" to be for peace." (paragraph 5). Lipton is listed as one of the 25 top Bush/GOP donors. http://www.boycottbush.net/consumers.htm Unilever is currently conducting voter registration drives targeting Hispanics. Gee, we wonder what party they will be pushing? | Contact Unilever | www.unilever.nl | Weena 455 3013AL Rotterdam | Email: tom.gordijn@unilever.nl richard-van-der.eijk@unilever.nl alexandra.middendorp@unilever.nl

Incestuous Ties between Goverment and Contractors Has Intensified under NeoCon/Bush Regime
Corporate Power

The Project on Government Oversight has released a new report revealing the appalling ongoing collusion between corporate barons and US politicians. One thing that emerges clearly is that from 1996, when the NeoCons won a stranglehold over Congress, the number of contracts being doled out to pals of future employers of politicians has steadily climbed. Meanwhile, the number of prosecutions for conflict of interest/official fraud has been slashed. Scroll to the last 1/3 of the report to the chart entitled "Enforcement of the Revolving Door". As they say, one picture - or chart - is worth a thousand words. Referrals for prosecution for declined from 35,625 in 1995 to just 22,797 in 2003. Among those conspicuously NOT referred for prosecution: Halliburton.

Room 347
Corporate Power

"Beginning in 2001, when the Republican Party briefly lost control of the Senate, six top lobbyists have met 'nearly every Thursday morning with the Senate's top Republican aides in Room 347 of the Russell Office Building.' Taeggan Goddard calls it 'perhaps the most exclusive lobbyist meeting in Washington':

Participants include:

-- Dirk Van Dongen of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
-- Bruce Josten of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
-- Dan Danner of the National Federation of Independent Business
-- Lee Culpepper of the National Restaurant Association
-- Mike Baroody of the National Association of Manufacturers
-- John Castellani of the Business Roundtable

The group was initially formed in 1994 and was critical in drafting the 'Contract with America.' But it disbanded once the Republicans consolidated their control on Capitol Hill. ... 'The meeting has never been publicized' and participants have refused to comment."

Was 'Tainted Gas' Episode Rigged to Help Push Bush Energy Scheme Through?
Corporate Power

When we discovered how close the ties between Motiva Enterprises, LLC and Bush are, the inevitable question arose: Was the "tainted gas" episode that caused 519 gas stations to close right before the Memorial Day weekend rigged? Our suspicions grew when we discovered that Bush and the GOP plan to try to ram through the energy bill again starting, likely, NEXT WEEK. How convenient: Create an artificial fuel shortage and refinery crisis that can be used to whip up support for the energy bill, make a case for easing regulations further, and provide an excuse for shelling out more taxpayer dollars in corporate welfare.

The Ugly Truth about Motiva , the Corporation that Sold Hundreds of Service Stations Tainted Gas
Corporate Power

Motiva Enterprises, LLC, whose LA refinery sold hundreds of US gas stations sulfur-tainted gas right before the Memorial Day weekend, forcing the stations to shut down is in bed with Bush bigtime. Its Gulf Coast refineries are environmental nightmares, yet have flagrantly thumbed their nose at any effort to force them into even minimal clean up, an effort aided changes Bush made to the Clean Air Act that have specifically helped Motiva. .The LA plant is the biggest emitter of toxic pollutants in the state and is regularly subject to massive releases of toxic pollutants and accidents (three per month). Motiva, LLC - which is a joint venture between Saudi Refining Co and Shell Oil is the NUMBER ONE importer of Persian Gulf oil. In 2003, Shell received a massive contract to deliver oil to the SPR in exchange for free drilling and extraction rights on public lands in the Gulf of Mexico.

Report Reveals that Bush's Dismantling of Public Protections is Endangering Millions of Americans
Corporate Power

A report by the Center for American Progress and OMB Watch reveals how Bush has dismantled protections for public health, food safety, the environment and corporate responsibility. "Special Interest Takeover: The Bush Administration and the Dismantling of Public Safeguards," says crucial safeguards have been swept aside or watered down; enforcement efforts have been curtailed; and emerging problems ignored, while information and scientific findings that suggest a need for action are suppressed. The toll may be staggering: Every year, more than 40,000 people die on our nation's highways. Foodborne illnesses kill an estimated 7,000 and sicken 76 million. Nearly 6,000 workers die as a result of injury on the job, with an additional 50,000 to 60,000 killed by occupational disease. And asthma - linked to air pollution - is rising dramatically, afflicting 17 million, including six million children."

Under Bush, the Dominant Use of Public Wildlands is Now Oil and Gas Operations
Corporate Power

Common Dreams: "New information released today by The Wilderness Society shows that the Bush administration has used a series of arcane and interrelated administrative decisions, and the settlement of a key 'friendly' lawsuit, to make oil and gas development the dominant use of federal public lands. 'These documents show that the Bush Administration, without changing any statutes or regulations, and without consulting with the American people, has made a series of decisions that has profoundly changed the way our public lands are managed,' said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. 'The laws governing our public lands mandate that key environmental values are to be protected, but these documents show that the only thing the leadership of the Interior Department cares about is allowing the oil and gas industry to do whatever it wants with our public lands."

Not Content with Bush's Gift of Public US Oil Lands, Oil Barons Muscle in on Russia
Corporate Power

Unknoiwn to most Americans, ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco are currently "contracted" to the Bush administration to supply oil to the SPR. What this sweetheart deal (called "royalty-in-kind") entails, thanks to Bush's "revisions" of the SPR guidelines, is that in exchange for kicking the SPR back some oil, the two companies get free rein over US oil fields in the Gulf. Experts say the RIK program ends up costing taxpayers hundreds of millions annually and benefits only the participating corporations. Now you know why Bush is insisting on refilling the SPR at the worst possible time. No refill, no RIK for his oily pals. But apparently the RIK deal isn't enough, so the two companies are now in Russia, trying to muscle in on oil fields there.

Bush Dish-Up of Top Posts and Tax Dollars to Pioneers and Rangers is Spiraling Out of Control
Corporate Power

The Guardian describes how Bush's ring of key donors - the Pioneers, Rangers and "Super-Rangers" - is designed to squeeze the maximum dollars from members by such an ironclad guarantee of favors that the donors will compete for position. 'When you do that, the sky is really the limit. They give more and more, but in the end it is all just gravy for the Bush train,' says one observer. A recent report shows that, out of 630 elite donors from 2000 and 2004, almost one quarter were given an appointment from the administration - including 24 ambassadorships and two cabinet positions. In 2002 more than $3.5 billion of federal contracts were given to 101 companies that between them boasted 123 Pioneers or Rangers. This, say some, is just the tip of the iceberg. Integrity is no requirement, either: 146 donors (including Ken Lay) have been involved in corporate scandals or helped run companies that have.

Kerry Tells Bush to Stop Refilling SPR -- for the Benefit Oil Barons and Speculators
Corporate Power

Bush's pals in at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, along with his pals at ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco have been making a major killing off Bush's refilling of the SPR over the past two years during a period when supplies in the commercial sector were at an historic low. In exchange for delivering some oil to the SPR, the oil companies get free rights to drill on taxpayer owned oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. Refilling while commercial supplies are low drives up the price of crude...up to $8 per barrel. So, the crude futures speculators at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley then clean up. The only losers: the American people. John Kerry has called on Bush to stop this scam - but Bush says no. Afterall, his number 1 and number 9 top campaign contributors right now are Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley!

Oil Futures Speculators Like Goldman Sachs Have Driven Crude Price up 27% Just Since January
Corporate Power

NZ News: "US oil futures fell a dollar from record highs on Tuesday as dealers took profits amid signals producer group Opec could decide in June to raise its output quotas to soothe the rattled market. Analysts said, however, that surging global fuel demand and oil's popularity with speculative hedge funds had sown doubts in the cartel's power to bring US prices much below US $40 a barrel any time soon. US light crude futures settled down US$1.01 to US$40.54 a barrel after peaking at US$41.85 a barrel on Monday, the highest price since the New York Mercantile Exchange launched the contract in 1983. Spurred in part by fears of attacks on oil terminals in the turbulent Middle East, speculative hedge funds have also bought heavily into oil markets, helping US crude surge 27 per cent so far this year."

Drug Companies That Donated Most to Bush Will Gain Most from 'Medicare Reform' Scam
Corporate Power

Sharon Theimer writes: "A few weeks after the Bush administration named Medco to be one of the first Medicare drug card providers, a company executive helped throw a $100,000 fund-raiser for the president that was headlined by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson In all, companies that won approval from Thompson's department to be the first Medicare drug discount card providers spent at least $35 million lobbying in 2003, and their executives and lobbyists donated or raised hundreds of thousands of dollars more for President Bush's reelection, an Associated Press review found. Democratic rival John F. Kerry received a much smaller amount from the same group."

Bush Trade Schemes Will Let Corporations Bankrupt 'Uncooperative' Poor Nations through Huge Lawsuits
Corporate Power

While Bush and pals seek to block the rights of US consumers to sue corporations -- internationally, the NeoCons are using HUGE lawsuits to try to bankrupt poor nations refusing to accept corporate dictates. Under Bush-style "bilateral trade agreements," corporations are given the right to sue for damages if past, present or future investments are jeopardised by legislation. When Costa Rica refused to allow Harken Energy [Bush's old co.] to drill for oil in pristine coastal waters, Harken sued the country for $57 billion, more than THREE TIMES Costa Rica's GDP. On March 11, 2004, Costa Rica announced it does not have to pay, as it has the right to protect its natural resources. However, Bush and the NeoCons are seeking to overturn that by ramming through the Central American Trade Agreement, which, in essence, grants corporations the right to bankrupt "uncooperative" nations.

Wal-Mart Loses Round One in California - But Vows, in Classic Bush Style, to Ignore the Public's Will
Corporate Power

Wal-Mart epitomizes the Bush agenda: make low-wage service jobs the only game in town, while forcing out small, independent businesses and making local taxpayers pay the cost of increased congestion, road maintenance, sewage, water, etc. One town in California has stood up to the giant. 60% was demonstrated in an initiative blocking the siting of a Wal-Mart in Inglewood. ."This is very, very positive for those folks who want to stand up and hold this corporate giant responsible," said Daniel Tabor, a former City Council member who had campaigned against the initiative." Alas, like all Bush's corporate pals, Wal-Mart plans to ignore the public will and use its endless resources to force its way via the court system.

Bush Corporate Pals Poised to Rape Pristine Wilderness in New Mexico Despite Public Outrage
Corporate Power

Talk about robber baron dictatorships! In Jan., Bush illegally removed dozens of environmental protections "from an oil and gas drilling plan for New Mexico's pristine 1.2-acre million Otero Mesa desert region."Why? To help his pal George Yates' petroleum empire, which has since 2000, lavished over one-quarter million dollars on Bush via GOP "groups." Meanwhile, the pimp behind this land rape is the Bureau of Land Management's Steven J. Griles, who continues to be paid $284,000 per year by a lobby firm connected to the Yates outfit. Although the governor of NM and a coalition of environmental activists, ranchers ,--and most of the people of NM oppose the deal -- Bush doesn't give a damn. He's planning to dole out America's resources to his friends before he's booted out. http://www.protectamericaslands.org/news_releases.asp?nrid=114

Is Robert Card Being Dumped as Preemptive Damage Control in Bush's Bid to Ram thru the Nuke Industry-Pandering Energy Bill?
Corporate Power

Right now, with public ire rising against Bush corporate contract pandering (Halliburton as a case in point), Bush can't afford to have a new conflict of interest case hit the news- esp. one that affects his chances of ramming the nuke-favoring Energy Bill through. So we wonder if Robert Card was dropped as "preemptive damage control"? Las Vegas Sun, Feb. 2002: "DOE Undersecretary Robert Card's former firms, CH2M Hill Corp. and Kaiser-Hill Corp., both have contracts with the department for radioactive waste cleanup projects in Colorado and Washington. Critics charge Card with favoring the two companies in official department business." These allegations surfaced first in 2002 as "Nevada officials continue their long battle to poke holes in the DOE's credibility as manager of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project, a plan to ship the nation's most radioactive nuclear waste to Nevada for permanent burial."

Out-of-Control Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Face Staggering $25 BILLION in Derivative Losses!
Corporate Power

Bush's campaign 2000 was greatly aided by the estimated $250,000 in funds funneled illegally into his campaign by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now it turns out that both giants, fed by Bush's intentional suppression of interest rates, and free from any government oversight, are now threatening to destabilize the US economy further due to $25.1billion in losses, paid out in probably unrecoupable derivatives transactions. Says FT: "The potential scale of the liabilities, which have yet to be recognised in the company's earnings or in the minimum capital adequacy required by its regulator, raise fresh doubts about the financial health of the mortgage finance giant. Regulation of Fannie Mae and its sibling Freddie Mac is rapidly moving up the agenda in Washington, amid concerns that the two government-sponsored entities have grown so big that they pose a systemic risk to the US financial system."

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Threaten Critics with Retaliation
Corporate Power

In addition to investigating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for illegal campaign contributions to Bush, "Lawmakers also are looking into allegations that Fannie and Freddie have threatened major banks with retaliation for criticizing the mortgage-market giants," reports the Moonie Insight Mag. " Critics continue to express concern that, soon, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have assumed the risk of more than half of all U.S. home mortgages, putting taxpayers on the hook for an astronomical bailout should there be a real-estate bust. According to recent reports, Fannie's and Freddie's combined debt is greater than $1 trillion and stands to surpass publicly held Treasury debt by 2005. While Treasury securities are guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, GSE debt is not, although capital markets behave as if it were."

Corporation as Psychopath
Corporate Power

Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman write: "People ask -- Rob, Russell, the world is going to hell in a handbasket. What can we do about it? We say -- read one book, see one movie. Unfortunately, the movie and the book are available now only in Canada. But wait -- before you head north of the border -- they will be available here in a month or so. And believe us, it is worth the wait. (Full disclosure -- our work -- the Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s -- is featured in the movie.) The book is titled: The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power. It is by Joel Bakan (Free Press, 2004). The movie is called: The Corporation. It is by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott, and Joel Bakan."

Finally! Hard Evidence that Google Slants Its Material to Corporate Interests
Corporate Power

A paid ad by the environmental group, Oceania decrying the polluting practices of cruise ships was pulled after two days because it was critical of a google sponsor, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. "The decision stunned Oceania because it reeked of censorship and favoritism, said Oceania chief Andrew Sharpless. Google claims it refuses all ads critical of 'other groups or companies' but that this policy doesn't effect its search engine. But many observers, including Ralph Nader, say corporate stacking of search engine results is routine. Google changed their 'ranking priority system' in November 2003 to a system that many say favors corporate sites, while filtering out smaller, independent sites.

Bush's War on Obesity Ends Before It Begins
Corporate Power

So much for Bush's much-touted war on obesity! "Leading scientists accused the Bush administration of putting the interests of powerful American sugar barons ahead of the global fight against obesity," reports the Guardian. "More than half of all Americans are overweight...in Bush's Texas, nearly 1/3 of the population is obese. One of [Bush's] main fundraisers is sugar baron Jose 'Pepe' Fanjul, head of Florida Crystals." He has showered $100,000 onto the Bush reelection campaign. "Bush argues there is little robust evidence that drinking sugary drinks or eating too much sugar is a direct cause of obesity." He wants to block a recommendation that just 10% of people's energy intake should come from added sugar. At a meeting on this issue with WHO next week, guess who will represent the US? Bill Steiger, George Bush Sr's godson. Steiger will make the idiotic claim that junk food does not contribute to weight gain in children!

2003's Worst Corporate Abuses against America
Corporate Power

"The notion that the free market is more important than the free society was pushed to new heights during 2003," writes Jamie Court. "At the same time, the counter-corporateering movement scored some major victories that could set a new tone in 2004." Among the 10 worst corporate outrages (many aided and abetted by the corrupt Supreme Court): The FCC sellout of 45% of America's airwaves to one holder, the obscene profits of HMOs while citizens access to insurance declined, the sellout of Americans' privacy to banks and insurers, Halliburton's Iraq contract fraud, the loss of Medicare's right to negotiate drug costs. Read 'em and weep -- then work to get Bush out of office so this trend does NOT continue!

Don't Buy Wal-Mart for the Holidays
Corporate Power

From Working for Change: "Wal-Mart engages in some of the worst labor practices in the country: paying its employees substandard wages, forcing unpaid overtime on its workers and refusing to provide affordable health insurance. This holiday season, pledge not to shop at Wal-Mart and to ask your friends and families not to buy you gifts from Wal-Mart until the chain: Pays its one million workers a living wage; Provides affordable health insurance to its employees; Stops discriminating against women; Stops attacking employees who want to be represented by a union; Ceases forcing unpaid overtime on its employees; Stops pressuring suppliers to lower their labor costs. Tell Wal-Mart that until it changes its ways, you will take your holiday shopping to other stores and will urge your friends and family to do the same."

What is Happening to Our Country? Major Coal Company Buys Town in Ohio
Corporate Power

"The nation's largest energy producer now counts the town of Cheshire, Ohio, among its assets. If you can call it an asset, that is. American Electric Power Co. (AEP) bought the place for $20 million in an effort to avoid cleaning up emissions from its coal-fired Gen. James M. Gavin Power Plant. The government has been known to buy out environmentally ruined areas, as with Love Canal, but this is the first time a private company has ever purchased an entire town. Here the Washington Post omits a crucial detail: how much it would have cost the company to clean up and conform to the Clean Air Act. General Gavin, the plant's namesake, ...originally enlisted as a way to escape working in the Pennsylvania coal mines. The general is said to have had an obsession with discovering his heritage. Now, however, the town with a coal plant named after him has also lost its own history, as residents give up the fight to save their homes and move away." [Currently located on page 2 of the blog].

Bangkok Scrubs the Poor Before Economic Summit
Corporate Power

PentaPost (buried on page A18): "This city of 10 million, known for its endless traffic jams and teeming street life, has been spruced up and locked down in preparation for the 21 leaders attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum that starts Monday. The cleanup has included barring thousands of street vendors from the central city, shipping 10,000 homeless people to army camps and banning more than 500 human rights activists from entering the country. About 600 Cambodian beggars, mostly women and children, were rounded up and airlifted back home on C-130 Hercules military aircraft. About 3,000 stray dogs were caught and shipped to the countryside. And a banner four stories high and a quarter-mile long, displaying an image of the Grand Palace royal compound, was erected to conceal a slum community that leaders might have otherwise glimpsed."

Bill to Limit Asbestos Suits is Red Meat for Corporate Lobbyists
Corporate Power

"Major US corporations ranging from Pfizer to Halliburton are mobilizing scores of public affairs professionals across Washington this fall in hopes that the new legislative session will bring an end to years of costly asbestos-related lawsuits. Working separately as the Asbestos Study Group and the Asbestos Alliance, hundreds of major companies that have either manufactured or used asbestos are lobbying for protection from more than 600,000 asbestos lawsuits now pending in US courts. A bill that would create a $108 billion trust fund from which victims could receive compensation is expected to be considered by the Senate this fall. Many in Congress consider the bill, which would also bar future asbestos-related lawsuits, a high priority, but newly revived debates over energy policy and Iraq threaten to sidetrack the long-simmering issue. Hence, a vast army of public affairs professionals is mobilizing to preserve the momentum."

Members of Congress Take Vacations with Lobbyists, Paid For by Corporations
Corporate Power

"For most Americans, August is a time for summer vacation. For members of Congress, their aides and some lobbyists, it's a time for privately sponsored junkets.... While the trips are filled with policy discussions, they also reveal how corporate interests obtain access to lawmakers through privately sponsored travel. This month, for example, 20 members of Congress jetted to London for a week-long visit.... These politicians had no fear of getting lonely: More than 100 lobbyists accompanied them, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. The corporate participants included representatives from American Express, AOL Time Warner, Bristol-Myers Squibb, General Motors and Hewlett-Packard.... Corporate sponsors must pay annual membership fees of $9,500 and fund their own trips abroad. The congressional contingent...travels for free.... A lobbyist who did not go described the expedition as 'a very hot trip. All of our clients want to try to go, but it's very expensive.'"

Monsanto, Stop Bullying Tiny Dairy over Growth Hormones
Corporate Power

From Act For Change: "In a move of Goliath-attacking-David proportions, Monsanto, the multi-national agrichemical company, is suing a small, family-owned milk producer in Maine because they advertise that their farmers pledge not to use artificial growth hormones (also known as rBST) on the cows that produce their milk. Oakhurst Dairy pays its suppliers a price premium not to use artificial growth hormones on their cows and they advertise this via a 'Farmer's Pledge' emblem on their products. They do so in order to respond to consumer demand for dairy products produced by cows free of rBST. The dairy makes no health claim about the Farmer's Pledge, but Monsanto claims that even a factual assertion misleads consumers! Although approved for use in the United States by the FDA, artificial growth hormones are already banned in the European Union and Canada, and Monsanto clearly fears that even informing consumers of their use will damage its sales." Send an e-mail!

Big Business Plans to Brainwash Employees to Vote Republican
Corporate Power

The Hill reports, "Approximately 170 corporations, including some 60 Fortune 500 companies, are participating in an ambitious plan to mobilize employees in the presidential and congressional elections 15 months away... While the effort, dubbed the Prosperity Project, is nominally bipartisan, it is certain to favor Republican candidates, who are generally viewed as friendlier to business than Democrats... Participants, including companies such as ExxonMobil, Procter & Gamble and International Paper, and trade associations such as The Business Roundtable and The Financial Services Roundtable, have already contacted 1.5 million employees, said Greg Casey, BIPAC president. Widespread participation from corporate America this early, and ambitious voter turnout plans being developed by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), are foreboding developments for Democrats." Boycott GOP Donors! http://www.boycottbush.net/

Are the Tobacco Companies and Chemotherapy Drug Producers Partners in the 'Cancer Industry? '
Corporate Power

Cheryl Seal writes: "Now, to drive more nails into the coffins of thousands of Americans -- some may be your mother or father, an uncle, aunt, sister, brother, kid or a friend -- the scheme may soon include the corporate media. If the FCC removes the last barriers to corporate media control, the media will become a much more manipulable tool of the corporazis. With mega media comes mega advertising. And who are the mega advertisers? The drug companies and, perhaps soon, the tobacco industry. If the FCC succeeds in overriding public opinion to pander to a few media barons like Rupert Murdoch, who is to say advertising barriers will not be next to fall? As it is, images of smoking are being slipped into TV movies and dramas with increasing frequency/ Couple this with the pro-tobacco industry stance the Bush federal judges are taking and the future looks like one long round of smoke-chemo-and-die -- all at the public's expense."

The Halliburton Bill of Rights: Rumsfeld Pushes Legislation Gutting the Civil Service, the Environment, and Public Oversight
Corporate Power

Matt Bivens writes: "Brace yourself. The Defense Secretary is pushing a 205-page bill through Congress that would -- take a deep breath: Strip Defense Department employees of their unions, whistleblower protections, annual pay raises, and rights to appeal disciplinary actions; Let the Defense Secretary dole out no-bid, no-oversight, no-accountability contracts worth billions (one observer calls it 'the Halliburton Bill of Rights'); Exempt the military from environmental and wildlife protection rules on more than 23 million acres of American lands; Free the Pentagon from dozens of requirements it report to Congress." Yup, "The Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act" packs a double whammy. It exempts the Pentagon and its corporate suppliers from environmental rules and public accountability; AND it pounds a big nail in the Civil Service system -- which was designed to replace cronyism with professionalism. This corporate bonanza is on the fast track for passage.

A War for the Soul of a Nation
Corporate Power

Charles Bornemann: "Today liberal and progressive voices within the Democratic Party are in full retreat much like the British at Dunkirk. Beaten badly but not defeated as even the British came back from horrible defeat, survived a long bombing campaign, re-organized and claimed victory. Herein we see the great lesson of history in that the moral will of the people always prevails. Perhaps we need to peacefully and within the constraints of our laws strike at the heart of an impressive Republican war machine. We could come together to take away the rights of corporations to influence politics removing at once their ability to contribute to campaigns and influence policy. We could continue in removing the vestiges of legalized bribery from our leaders by forcing change that removed special interests from politics. We could fight to make it illegal for any member of government to profit from military concerns... One person with dedication can change the world. Won't you join me?"

The World Bank and IMF: Resolved to Ruin
Corporate Power

Greg Palast writes: "Green-haired protesters in the streets of Seattle were ridiculed for their belief that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the world's finance ministers enter into secret agreements to impoverish developing nations. Here, in fact, is one such agreement: Argentina's 'Country Assistance Strategy Progress Report' from June 2001. This document, nominally produced by the World Bank, represents the interlocking directives of both the Bank and the IMF, as well as, indirectly, the wishes of both institutions' largest patron, the United States Treasury Department...And yet for the 100-plus that rely on IMF and World Bank loans-countries such as Argentina, Tanzania, Ecuador, Sierra Leone-such agreements serve as de facto legislation, meticulous in detail and ideological in thrust. Although couched as loan conditions or as helpful development advice, these reports more closely resemble the minutes of a financial coup d'etat."

The Myth of Corporate Personhood
corporate power

The myth of corporate personhood (which includes none of the responsibilities of being a good neighbor or citizen) has allowed them to accrue massive power - to run roughshod over our lives, make bad laws and break good ones, control legislatures and generally commit murder and get away with it. Indeed, most of the power of Bush and the GOP to destroy life, make war and steal our rights comes from the influence and donations of corporations bloated with the power of personhood. But your town or city can pass ordinances denying such personhood, as did a small town in PA.

The Size of the Bet
Corporate Power

Jock Gill writes: "But the riskiness of big bets doesn't apply just to Big Government. It also applies to Big Business. And that's the big bet today's conservatives ask us to make over and over. The conservatives of course don't call it a big bet. They call it 'privatization' and 'consolidation.' But they can't have it both ways. If they want bigger and bigger bets on business, then we need government to protect the long term good for all by restraining the worst excesses of unfettered market capitalism with its narrow focus and myopic time scales. If conservatives want smaller government, they will have to agree to smaller businesses."

Now Corporations Claim The 'Right To Lie'
Corporate Power

Thom Hartmann writes, "While Nike was conducting a huge and expensive PR blitz to tell people that it had cleaned up its subcontractors' sweatshop labor practices, an alert consumer advocate and activist in California named Marc Kasky caught them in what he alleges are a number of specific deceptions. Citing a California law that forbids corporations from intentionally deceiving people in their commercial statements, Kasky sued the multi-billion-dollar corporation. Instead of refuting Kasky's charge by proving in court that they didn't lie, however, Nike instead chose to argue that corporations should enjoy the same 'free speech' right to deceive that individual human citizens have in their personal lives... But Nike isn't a person - it's a corporation. And it's not their 'say' they're asking for: it's the right to deceive people." Republicans impeached Bill Clinton for lying, but they enthusiastically support corporate lying - defeat ALL Republicans!

U.S. Funding Anti-Chavez Infomercials in Venezuela, Via the National Endowment for Democracy and the International Republican Institute
Corporate Power

During the oil-baron/CIA instigated Venezuelan strikes the country's dominant privately owned stations have been running opposition "infomercials" and non-stop coverage of opposition protests. Where are they getting the cash? Here are some hints: Since Bush took office, the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy stepped up its funding to opposition groups, including funneling $340,000 through the International Republican Institute. This may be just the tip of the iceberg, as was the case in Haiti, Nicaragua, Chile and other countries where, says Alternet, "Washington has sought 'regime change' because our leaders didn't agree with the voters' choice at the polls. (In fact, Washington is currently aiding efforts to oust President Aristide in Haiti--for the second time). In these episodes, our government concealed amounts up to the hundreds of millions of dollars that paid for such things as death squads, strikes, economic destabilization, electoral campaigns and media."

Bush Corporate Cronies Want Chavez Ousted by Jan. 1 2003 Because of Law Changes that Will Bar their Exploitation of the Country
Corporate Power

No wonder such a push is being made by Bush and pals to oust Hugo Chavez! On Jan 1, two major laws will make life much less cushy for the corporate robber barons pillaging the Venezuelan land. The Land Law will make easy speculation by real estate moguls much harder. But the Hydrocarbon Law is what Bush fears most. This law will dismantle "the meta-State of the petroleum business PdVSA, the corrupt oil group that controls the economic life of the country and that is an integral part of the 'New World Energy Order' of George Bush," writes Hans Dietrich. "Today, only 20 percent of the income of this mega-company goes to the State. Eighty percent goes to 'operating costs' that enrich secret accounts of the beneficiaries of this economic cancer. The power of this petroleum 'steal-ocracy' has become propped up progressively during recent decades."

Colin Powell's Son Michael of the FCC Prepares to Drive Major Nail Into Coffin of American Free Speech
Corporate Power

Colin Powell's little boy, who grew up to be a Bush toady just like his daddy, is getting ready to drive a major nail into the coffin of Free Speech. FCC commissioner Michael Powell is planning to give America's media away to corporate interests - conveniently just in time to ensure a nice total news blackout for the Bush War. Powell wants to roll back the last regulations that prevent corporate barons from taking over every last shred of the free press and turning it into just another arm of the corporate propaganda machine. If Powell gets his way, your local newspaper, TV, and radio stations may soon all be owned by the same big Bush-promoting corporation. The Internet will be next. File your protest of this outrage now!! http://www.democraticmedia.org/getinvolved/ownershipAction_FCCFiling.html

Gateway Was Under SEC Investigation since Dec. 2001 - Why Was this Concealed Until NOW?
Corporate Power

One thing that poll after poll showed is that Americans associate the GOP more with corporate fraud than the Democrats, and that they have little faith in the GOP's ability to address corporate fraud. So it comes as no surprise to us that two major SEC investigations were blocked from the media for MONTHS - until after the Nov. election. Now, with the holidays and war coming on to "bury" the impact, it is revealed that Gateway, AOL and Veritas are ALL under SEC investigation for various reasons! If there was every glaring proof of how the Bush administration colludes with the mainstream media to delude the public for its own gain, here it is!

Days after Bush Brings Congress to Heel, BioPort Calls for Massive National Anthrax Vaccination Program
Corporate Power

To refresh your memory... BioPort is the mysterious little company in Lansing, MI that, despite repeatedly failing FDA inspections and being formally accused of fudging records, holds the ONLY federal contract for producing and distributing anthrax vaccine. The CEO of BioPort is Bin Laden family friend Fuad El-Hibri, while other key players are former UK prime minister John Major, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff William Crowe, Jr. (who has been implicated in the sale of anthrax pathogens to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s), and (beneath a heavy smokescreen), the Carlyle group. Just days after Bush railroaded Congress into endorsing the "terror W-ar forever" policy, BioPort releases a "study" commissioned and paid for by the company that calls for a massive national vaccination program....which, of course, translates into BILLIONS of bucks for BioPort. Worse yet, the safety of these vaccines has not been proven, despite "bought-and-paid-for" "studies."

Stock Market Goes Down for the Average American, and Up, Up, Up for GE and IBM
Corporate Power

"Stocks roared higher for a second straight session on Friday, propelling the market to its first up week in seven, as newfound optimism swirled around earnings outlooks for bellwethers IBM and GE," gushes Reuters.com's financial page. While ordinary citizens are losing their savings and their homes at rates unseen since the Great Depression, a select few corporations are getting pumped, thanks to Bush. This past week, GE stocks rose $1.61 to $24.21, thanks to the pro-war Congressional vote (GE is a MAJOR defense conractor) and to GE's own TV network, NBC, which used a continuous diet of aggressive propaganda on the nightly news to promote the war. IBM rocketed up $6.34 to $63.92 - gains owed mostly to Bush's lavishing of huge contracts on the corporation - a company which collaborated extensively with the Nazis, as did the Bush family, in WWII. See http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/6177.html and http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/7856.html

To Stop W-ar, We Must Get Corporate Greed Out of Politics
Corporate Power

Thom Hartmann writes, "If the exemption on SUVs from fleet mileage standards was ended and fleet gas mileage in the US was to increase by a tiny 3 MPG, we'd no longer need to import any oil from the Middle East. But the larger the car, the larger the profit for both the oil and the auto companies -- and the auto and oil lobbies pass out millions in Washington, DC. And now that the airwaves have been sold to corporate interests who will only allow politicians to speak if they pay, political campaigns guzzle cash like SUVs guzzle gas...Because these corporations have claimed the constitutional human right of free speech -- which includes the right to influence legislation, to influence politicians, and give money to political parties -- we, the people, who would benefit from a shift in direction away from oil industry and toward local human values are left out of the decision making loop."

Iraq War Is Just Another Step on the Road to a Very Dark Future
Corporate Power

"How stupid are Americans not to see that all this war talk is a diversionary tactic, a red herring meant to cover up crimes of the American government: widespread corruption that robbed Americans of billions of dollars in scandals named Harken, Enron and Halliburton, a meaningless genocidal attack on Afghanistan that failed to achieve its stated objective yet killed 5,000 innocent people and now has been conveniently forgotten, and an attack on American soil that killed another 3,000 Americans that also has been largely forgotten, as the highest levels of the U.S. government work diligently to cover up the brutal facts that highly placed officials KNEW this atrocity was going to happen and did nothing to stop it. In fact, they wanted it to happen because it served their purposes." So writes John Kaminski.

Nightmare in Indonesia: The Bloody Model for Bush's Corporate Takeover of Southwest Asia
Corporate Power

In an article first published in July 2001 in "Malaysiakini," Malaysia's only independent news paper, Cheryl Seal describes the invasion and takeover of Indonesia by U.S. corporations in the name of "fighting communism." Change the names of the country and some of the players (not all - Kissinger, Rumsfeld, Cheney, all were around and involved in the Indonesian powerplays in the Ford administration) and substitute "terrorists" for communists, and you will soon see the disturbing, unavoidable parallel between the modus operandi of the corporate barons and their politicians then and now - except now, the corporate barons and politicians are one in the same. The description of this "Nightmare in Indonesia" becomes not just a history, but a cautionary tale.

While Bush Corporate Lobbyists Ride Roughshod over the World Summit, Nearby Photo Exhibition Depicts Ongoing Agony of the Corporate Atrocity in Bhopal
Corporate Power

While corporate lobbyists sent by Bush dominate the World Summit, nearby there is a gripping photo exhibition depicting an atrocity committed by a U.S. corporation. "Shot by Indian photojournalist Raghu Rai, the 55 pictures recall Bhopal, where more than 3,000 people were killed and tens of thousands injured in a poison-gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in 1984. 'What I find shocking and surprising is that even after 18 long years, people are still suffering,' Rai said. 'The tragedy is still engraved in their faces. When you see such intensity in their eyes, you can't remain a silent observer.' Rai is well known for his December 1984 photograph of a hand scraping sand near the head of a partially buried baby in Bhopal. His latest pictures, taken earlier this year, are no less poignant. Picture after picture shows vacant, haunted faces, chronically ill men and women and pain-racked victims dying a slow, painful death."

Corporate Takeover of Earth: Even in His Absence, Bush Sets the Tone for the World UN Summit
Corporate Power

Although G.lobal W.reckingball Bush refused to attend the World Summit in Johannesburg himself, he sent his corporate goons, who have managed to hijack the whole show. "What we are seeing is quite literally a corporate takeover of this process. So far corporate accountability has been dropped from the implementation text at the summit," Daniel Mittler, spokesman for Friends of the Earth International warned at a Press conference. "Key negotiations in Johannesburg are in danger of being stitched up by a controversial deal struck between US trade officials and trade mandarins in the EU Commission," Oxfam and the World Wide Fund for Nature said in a statement. Said Steve Sawyer, Greenpeace policy adviser: "The only way the US can be brought to the summit is if the rest of the world sends a message to George W. Bush — the same message he has sent to the summit (for not attending)."

Bush Wants to Let the Wall Street Crooks Rob Us Blind
Corporate Power

Jim Hightower writes: "If you had bought $1,000 worth of Enron stock a year ago, you'd now be down to $16.50. If you'd bought $1,000 worth of WorldCom stock, you'd only have $5 left from your investment. But . . . if you'd bought $1,000 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock), drank all the beer, and cashed in the cans for the 10-cent deposit, you would have $214. So, the prudent investment strategy is clear: Drink heavily and recycle. Yet, George W Bush continues to put on his 'What, me worry?' face and insist that the prudent strategy for us Americans is to privatize our Social Security funds. [Bush's Social Security privatization scheme would let Enron's bankers bilk] workers and investors out of billions of dollars. George might [still believe] in laissez-faire fantasies, but these fund managers are cold-eyed opportunists who know that they would reap huge annual fees if only they can get their hands on our Social Security funds."

In the Wall Street Temple of Greed, Low Fat Calorie Counting Rules -- French Fries are for Suckers
Corporate Power

Barbara Ehrenreich writes: "My advice to the fat-deprived yuppies who are now watching their fortunes melt away: Take a break from the markets and go out and get yourself a bacon cheeseburger and fries or, if you still have a few bucks to toss around, a nice pancetta-rich plate of spaghetti carbonara. Eat every last drop. Then lean back, with the grease dripping down your chin, smile at the people around you, and appreciate, perhaps for the very first time, what it feels like to have enough."

The Bush Mantra -- Government of the CEOs, by the CEOs, for the CEOs
Corporate Power

From the American Prospect: "Phil Gramm has never met a CEO he didn't like, excepting those socially conscious idiots, but even Gramm has voted for some tough penalties for criminal CEOs -- which offends this administration's sense of justice (i.e., its double standard). But then, Gramm isn't Bush. He doesn't have CEOs on his team, scripting his every burp. He doesn't have Cheney coming by at nap time to defend the CEO's sovereign right to loot, or O'Neill to tuck him in and tell him that these mishaps are all part of the genius of the system... In a land where they suddenly feel like strangers, where stony faces and disparaging words now mark their passage, America's CEOs know there's one house where they're always welcome -- if they can just buy that boy a second term."

Cornering the World's Water
Corporate Power

This is what Bush's corporate hegemony really means. Soon we will not even be able to drink water or draw a breath without being held up. A handful of transnational corporations, backed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), are now aggressively taking over the management of public water services, dramatically raising the price of water to the local residents and profiting especially from the Third World's desperate search for solutions to its water crisis. Some are startlingly open about their motives. The decline in fresh water supplies and standards has created a wonderful venture opportunity for water corporations and their investors, they boast. The agenda is clear: water should be treated like any other tradable good, its use and distribution determined by the principles of profit.

The Bush Administration Invites Corporate Lobbyists to Write Their Own Regulatory Hit List
Corporate Power

Molly Ivins writes, "In the Most Chilling Quote category, consider this gem from Mitchell Daniels... concerning the administration's ongoing campaign to deregulate everything in sight: 'We must learn to speak the vocabulary of consumer protection.' Oooo, Grandma, what big teeth you have! The Wall Street Journal did an admiring profile this week of the 'regulatory czar,' John D. Graham, who works for Mitchell... Less than two weeks after Sept. 11, The Washington Post reported on an e-mail written by a lobbyist and circulated at Graham's request. Graham had asked her 'to convene key lobbyists to identify and rank' the regulations business most wanted to target. Among the 57 listed were parts of the Family and Medical Leave Act, food-labeling requirements, reporting toxic emissions and mine-ventilation standards... As Izzy Stone used to say, 'Who needs a conspiracy when what they're doing to you is right on the front page?'"

Kevin Phillips Warns America Is Becoming a Plutocracy
Corporate Power

Paul Krugman writes, "Kevin Phillips's new book, 'Wealth and Democracy,' is a 422-page doorstopper, but much of the book's message is contained in one stunning table. That table, in the middle of a chapter titled 'Millennial Plutographics,' reports the compensation of America's 10 most highly paid C.E.O.'s in 1981, 1988 and 2000. In 1981 those captains of industry were paid an average of $3.5 million, which seemed like a lot at the time. By 1988 the average had soared to $19.3 million, which seemed outrageous. But by 2000 the average annual pay of the top 10 was $154 million. It's true that wages of ordinary workers roughly doubled over the same period, though the bulk of that gain was eaten up by inflation. But earnings of top executives rose 4,300 percent... [Phillips] offers a bleak alternative: 'Either democracy must be renewed, with politics brought back to life, or wealth is likely to cement a new and less democratic regime — plutocracy by some other name.'"

Activists' Tool: Revoking Corporate Charters
Corporate Power

Geov Parrish writes, "A movement is quietly taking shape… to boldly challenge the power of corporations. The idea is… to take on the rapidly expanding power of corporations by revoking their original charters. Corporations may be globetrotters but they all originate somewhere… There are laws that provide for revocation of corporate charters if the company is violating laws or otherwise operating in ways contrary to the public interest…. One would…examine the impact of corporations on our ability to govern ourselves; the other would impose a 'three strikes' law on… dealings with corporations that have violated the law… In an era when people's food, housing, health care, education, and very government seem to be held captive to the profit motive, some… conversation on how this is shaping our society is long overdue… [It] would force corporations to justify themselves not just by how their profitability impacts shareholders, but by how their actions impact the public at large."

CAPTIVE STATES: New Book on Corporate Takeover of Britain Eerily Echoes Plight of America Under Bush
Corporate Power

In George Bush's America and Tony Blair's Britain, the real rulers are the corporate barons, who believe everything has a price, from the U.S. presidential election to UK's national Christmas tree. Now British journalist George Monobiot reveals the frightening extent of corporate power in everyday life in "Captive State: the Corporate Takeover of Britain." Though the political players have different labels (the Labor Party is, ironically, the GOP's current counterpart), the modus operandi and end result is the same on both sides of the puddle: Says Monbiot: "The bigger companies become, the more power they accumulate. As they grow, their concerns become ever further removed from those of the citizens they dwarf, until the world is run not for the benefit of its six billion poor or merely comfortable inhabitants, but for that of a handful of remote billionaires." A MUST READ.

Corporations Use Threats of Assassination to Suppress the Truth
Corporate Power

George Monbiot writes in the Guardian UK, "On November 29 last year, two researchers at the University of California, Berkeley published a paper in Nature magazine, which claimed that native maize in Mexico had been contaminated, across vast distances, by GM pollen. The paper was a disaster for the biotech companies seeking to persuade Mexico, Brazil and the European Union to lift their embargoes on GM crops. Even before publication, the researchers knew their work was hazardous. One of them, Ignacio Chapela, was approached by the director of a Mexican corporation, who first offered him a glittering research post if he withheld his paper, then told him that he knew where to find his children. In the US, Chapela's opponents have chosen a different form of assassination."

The Rhetoric of Global Warming; War and the Private Investor
Corporate Power

The right wing relies on simplistic, invariably deceitful rhetoric to hammer their point (and its hidden agenda) home to the "average Joe and Jill." Why does the left - the side with the lion's share of wit and creativity - allow them to get away with it? A modern day Thoreau offers ideas for fighting rhetoric with better rhetoric. Meanwhile, excerpts from a 1935 book by his father, a famed economist contain a warning that has obviously gone unheeded by ExxonMobil, Carlyle, et al. The latest food for thought from Cheryl Seal's column.

Connecticut AG Throws Monkey Wrench into Stanley Works' Plan to Evade Taxes by 'Moving' to Bermuda
Corporate Power

Connecticut's Democratic Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, filed a lawsuit "to block Stanley's move to Bermuda on the ground that the company, which makes tools, used deception to win shareholder approval of the plan." By simply filing the lawsuit, Blumenthal pressured Stanley Works management into scheduling a new vote by the shareholders. Blumenthal said, "This victory is a major win for shareholder rights, but the debacle has decimated the company's credibility. If there is a revote," he added, "we will critically scrutinize it to stop management's misleading statements about the move overseas. Even before any revote, Congress should close the federal tax loophole that is motivating Stanley Works to abandon America and Connecticut." The latest report is that the shareholders will have a revote.

Corporate Media Cover-up: HarperCollins Destroys 4,000 Copies of Book Exposing Jim Cramer
Corporate Power

HarperCollins ordered the destruction of 4,000 copies of a newly released book, "Trading with the Enemy: Seduction and Betrayal on Jim Cramer's Wall Street." This was purportedly because the subject of this exposé of corporate-media collusion and inside trading - James Cramer - threatened to sue for libel. Oh, boo hoo! As if the subject of every exposé since the dawn of publishing hasn't threatened to sue for libel! The reissued version of the book contains a disclaimer - from HC, not the author. Why is HarperCollins protecting Cramer? Especially as it now appears Cramer may indeed have (among other things) used info gleaned from celebrities at CNBC to conduct lucrative inside trades? It's just another case of the one tentacle of corporate media protecting another tentacle - and those tentacles include their toadies in office. Look at how the media continues to protect Bush, Ken Lay, and all the other creeps who SHOULD be in jail!

Protest for Workers Rights in Denver -- 4 pm Today
Corporate Power

Monte Whaley writes in the Denver Post, "Maria Luz Panameno hopes to deliver a message to the International Chamber of Commerce today about how workers are mistreated in El Salvador. The 36-year-old mother of three wants to give a letter to Gap clothing store executives who are in Denver for a three-day ICC conference that begins today in downtown Denver... Other workers from Guatemala, Mexico and the United States along with critics of big business plan to demonstrate from 4 to 6 p.m. today during the first day of the conference... Corporate watchdogs say the ICC brings together corporate interests that exploit working people throughout the world for profit. 'We just want to tell these business leaders that workers' rights are just as important as business rights,' said Ellen Golombeck, president of the Colorado AFL-CIO."

Protest for Workers Rights in Denver -- 4 pm Today
Corporate Power

Karen Abbott writes in the Rocky Mountain News: "Colorado labor union officials expect about 1,000 people at a rally and march today in support of working people in the global economy. The message: Workers' rights must not be overlooked as economies worldwide unite into one. Demonstrators want to be sure that message gets to members of the International Chamber of Commerce, meeting in Denver this week. 'These are top business leaders,' said Ellen Golombek, Colorado president of the AFL-CIO. "These are the people who have the power to make change.' The rally will be at 4 p.m. at 17th and Welton streets. The group then will march along the 16th Street Mall, turn right on Curtis Street and proceed along 17th Street back to Welton Street."

The Bully of Bentonville Is Remaking our World
Corporate Power

Jim Hightower reports, "Corporations rule. No other institution comes close to matching the power that the 500 biggest corporations have amassed over us... The media and politicians won't discuss this, for obvious reasons, but we must if we're actually to be a self-governing people. [Behind the Wal-Mart ads] is what one union leader calls 'this devouring beast' of a corporation that ruthlessly stomps on workers, neighborhoods, competitors, and suppliers. Despite its claim that it slashes profits to the bone... Wal-Mart banks about $7 billion a year in profits, ranking it among the most profitable entities on the planet... Wal-Mart and the Waltons got to the top the old-fashioned way--by roughing people up. The corporate ethos emanating from the Bentonville headquarters dictates two guiding principles for all managers: extract the very last penny possible from human toil, and squeeze the last dime from every supplier." The Waltons are also big-time backers of right-wing think tanks.

Big Tobacco's Global Smuggling Scheme
Corporate Power

Two major multinational tobacco companies supported a multi-billion dollar global smuggling scheme aimed at establishing their brands in new markets, a Nation investigation reveals. The Nation also implicates these tobacco companies in a brazen reshaping of the USA Patriot Act in order to insulate themselves from charges of smuggling and money laundering leveled in lawsuits filed in US courts. "Big Tobacco: Uncovering the Industry's Multi-billion Dollar Global Smuggling Network," a six-month investigation by The Nation, PBS's NOW With Bill Moyers and the Center for Investigative Reporting, reveals how this illegal smuggling operation worked in Colombia for more than a decade.

Enron Scandal Exposes Malignancy of Contemporary Capitalism
Corporate Power

"The Enron scandal is the result of a profound and malignant mutation that has taken place in American capitalism during recent decades, affecting the capitalist model everywhere. The scandal has revealed the predatory and corrupting side to the new corporate system, its social irresponsibility and exploitative nature, which affect the lives of every American who works for a large business, every corporate stockholder and every regulatory official and political officeholder in the national government... The public... has grasped that the rules of deregulated market capitalism licensed a system of organized swindle. The anxiety in the U.S. Congress over Enron shows that legislators sense the public outrage, even if the Bush administration seems completely deaf to what has happened. The drunken party is over. Some of the party-givers and party-goers are now on their way to jail. We need a return to responsible capitalism." So writes William Pfaff in the International Herald Tribune.

Bush's Boy Harvey Pitt Out to Dismantle SEC and Turn Corporate Oversight over to Corporations
Corporate Power

"At a time when the Enron scandal is bringing intense Congressional scrutiny on corporate auditors, SEC chairman Harvey Pitt is quietly proposing to pass the enforcement buck from government back to the private sector," writes Utne Reader's Barbara Langer. Pitt is trying to turn securities regulation over to the same corporations that abuse the system. The idea, of course, is to eliminate any hope for legally enforceable laws, remedies, or punishments to force reliable corporate disclosure or to prevent auditor conflicts of interest of the sort that have cropped up during the Enron scandal." Pitt is ensuring that his real constituency, corporate and auditor robber barons, break no effective laws by seeing to it that there are none to break. Pitt should quit. He's betraying the public interest and proving his complicity with the government, corporate, and auditor interests that are dismantling the SEC and leaving the empty facade the public mistakes for a securities regulator. "

We Live in a New Gilded Age
Corporate Power

Marty Jezer writes, "We live in a new Gilded Age with bought politicians and greedy corporate managers. We no longer have a government by and for the people; hell, we don't even have honest debate. Bush's $378 billion military budget, for example, needs to be scrutinized. Most of it is going to stop the Russians from invading Europe, a threat that no longer exists. But don't expect the merits of the military budget to be discussed at all. The defense industry gives politicians millions of dollars to prevent such a debate. Ultimately it will be money rather than merit that carries the day. The same is true regarding health care and every other social program... But it's in the area of tax legislation that the system is really corrupt... [Conservatives insist that] if the rich aren't given legal tax breaks they'll cheat on their tax returns. And they'll get away with it too!"

Enrongate Is a Replay of the S&L Scandal, Both Caused by Deregulation and Corruption
Corporate Power

"Back in 1912, when he was running for president, Woodrow Wilson had this to say about democracy in America: 'Suppose you go to Washington and try to get at your government. You will always find that while you are politely listened to, the men really consulted are the big men who have the biggest stakes -- the big bankers, the big manufacturers, the big masters of commerce.... Every time it has come to a critical question, these gentlemen have been yielded to, and their demands treated as the demands that should be followed as a matter of course. The government of the United States is a foster child of the special interests.' What else can be said about the Enron meltdown? Nothing happened here that didn't happen during the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s, except back then we didn't have 24-hour cable channels and the Internet giving us saturation coverage. Then, as now, the looting was set off by deregulation." So writes Publicus in TomPaine.com.

Republicans Set Trap for Themselves with Global Crossing Charges
Corporate Power

Republicans are going ballistic over the bankruptcy of Global Crossing, another overvalued 90's telecomm company. Matt Drudge singled out "Chairman Gary Winnick, a top Democrat [sic] donor who helped DNC head Terry McAuliffe turn a $100,000 stock investment - into $18,000,000!" In fact, Global Crossing gave George Bush Sr. $80,000 worth of stock options in lieu of cash for a speech, which grew to a value of $14.4 million. In fact, Global Crossing's top executives - Winnick, co-chair Lodwrick Cook, and former CEO Leo Hindery - were just as generous to Republicans as Democrats. Cook was even a Trustee of the Bush Sr. Presidential Library. GC executives also gave over $23,000 to John McCain. So let the Republicans investigate Global Crossing - the more the public is exposed to corporate corruption of politics, the more they will demand that Bu$h and the Republicans enact a strict ban on soft money, full public financing of Federal elections, and real regulation of corporate greed!

Enron is Not the Only Lousy Corporation
Corporate Power

2001 was certainly a bad year for Enron. But Enron has plenty of company in the Multinational Monitor's list of the Ten Worst Corporations of 2001. The list also includes Abbott Laboratories, Argenbright, Bayer, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, Philip Morris, Sara Lee, Southern Company, and Wal-Mart.

Military-Industrial-Banking-Intelligence-Complex Manipulates US Politics Just Like World Politics
Corporate Power

"Has any one noticed that the manner in which 'campaign financing' is used to SHAPE the behaviors of Republicans and Democrats in Congress is ANALOGOUS to how the Military-Industrial-Banking-Intelligence-Complex (MIBIC) uses 'defense spending' to control the political decisions of world's nations, both within and between?" So writes Tina Staik.

Feds Probe Northrop in Defense Fraud Case
Corporate Power

"Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation of the Rolling Meadows facility of defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. in connection with alleged fraud of more than $100 million. In court papers, some filed under seal, the U.S attorney's office in Chicago alleges that Northrop systematically overcharged the Defense Department for radar jammers and other high-tech devices used in warplanes such as the B-1 bomber, the F-15 fighter and the B-2 Stealth bomber. The government also alleges that Northrop executives knew of the overcharging and covered it up. Northrop is a key government contractor whose controversial Stealth bomber is an important part of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, and the most expensive aircraft ever made at $2.2 billion apiece. The overbilling allegations were originally included in a civil complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago 12 years ago by two former Northrop employees."

Texas Republicans Clamor to Ban and Burn Science Textbooks that Conflict with their Anti-Environmental Philosophy
Corporate Power

Bush's anti-environmental storm troopers are following in Hitler's footsteps and want to round up books that conflict with the "Fuhrer's" views on science. A corporate front group calling itself Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy converged on the State Board of Education in Austin on 9/6 and demanded the removal of a new eighth-grade science textbook. These freepers find the discussions of global warming, acid raid, and rain forest destruction offensive and say they're designed to "frighten students and motivate them to action" (can't have kids do anything but watch commercial TV, can we?). Michael Franks, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee, not only wants to throw the books out - he wants to burn them, Reich-style. "I think we've found the alternative fuel source that everyone is looking for and that is burning these," said Franks. And people say we are unfair to compare Hitler and Bush in any way?

Corporations Now Dominate University Research, Leading to Major Conflict of Interest Issues
Corporate Power

Corporations are reducing their overhead and maximizing their profits by using federal and university research facilities for a tiny fraction of what it would cost them to fund such research themselves. Meanwhile, college administrations, eager to scoop up corporate pork, are starting to put student interests second to corporate needs. Complaints of ethics violations and conflict of interest are growing. In many schools we know of, foreign tech students are often given preference in enrollment and funding over American students. We know of foreign tech students, who, under the implied threat of deportation, routinely work 40-60 hours per week for minimal pay as "undergraduate researchers" on corporate-oriented projects. Collaborations between corporations and colleges are becoming increasingly common. Bottom line is, corporations now "own" our colleges.

Microsoft Sends Letters from the Dead to Protect their Monopoly
Corporate Power

"Letters purportedly written by at least two dead people landed on the desk of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff earlier this year, imploring him to go easy on Microsoft for its conduct as a monopoly. The pleas, along with more than 100 others from Utah residents, are part of a carefully orchestrated nationwide campaign by the software giant that may be backfiring. Microsoft sought to create the impression of a surging grass-roots movement, aimed largely at the attorneys general of some of the 18 states that have joined the Justice Department in suing Microsoft." This is just one more reason why Microsoft should be broken up - and why the Bush administration's opposition to the breakup is wrong.

Alaska on the Auction Block, with Even Native Americans Going 'Corporate'
Corporate Power

We predict that unless conscientious Alaskans make a determined stand, with a decade, their state will resemble some of the abject, ruined zones of northeastern Russia. A few peninsulas there were, in the name of economic progress under Stalin and later communist leaders, turned into 'subpolar industrial parks.' Now these areas are depressed wastelands (having outlived their economic usefulness) with air and water so fouled in some of these areas that they are being sued by neighboring areas affected by the blight. Alaska will soon bristle with missile silos, ugly military bunkers, and oil rigs while its surface will be permanently disfigured by pipelines and strip mines. Alas, some native American groups, once the last caring guardians of the land, have gone corporate: the Point Hope Native Corporation (sounds almost obscene, doesn't it?) bid for and won a contract to help turn Alaska into a missile outpost. Brother wolf has been replaced by Daddy Warbucks.

How Corporations and their Puppet Politicians Stay on Top: It Takes a Village - a Potemkin Village
Corporate Power

The tactic is known in inside circles as creating a "Potemkin village," in honor of the the field marshal who first developed such scams to help Catherine the Great of Russia convince foreigners of Russia's prosperity. Now it is a big-bucks scam routinely used by both corporations and politicians to buy influence and undeserved goodwill, often working in partnership with, or creating, "nonprofit" organizations (we call them corporate front groups. The Freeport-McMoRan gold mine in Indonesia (see commentary at Democrats.com) is said to maintain a very elaborate "set" for foreign visitors - no drop ins allowed. Here's a "field guide" to how its done, complete with examples. It's obvious to us the Shrub has created his own mobile Potemkin village, with the aid of corporate puppeteers and toadies in the media, which, like an elaborate roadshow set, can be set up, ready for photo ops at a moment's notice.

They Don't Call It the 'Corporate Media' for Nothing!
Corporate Power

CBS has dropped several episodes of the challenging TV drama "Family Law" from its rerun roster because corporate sponsor Procter & Gamble didn't like the content (one episode focused on gun control issues) If you think CBS or any other channel has an "ethical" standard that contributes to these decisions, think again. It's all about the cash. Period. For ex., the ultra-rightwing Dr. Laura show was canned in part due to pressure from advertisers who were pressured by liberal political groups. So left-wing, right-wing - ain't no thing. It's the money that talks. We are only hearing about the "Family Law" flap because it will be highly noticable to faithful viewers. However, just think how many content decisions have been made that are less noticable (like news stories witheld) due to the almighty corporate buck. You can bet your sweet bippy it happens on a daily basis.

Microsoft Hopes to Get a Sweet Deal from the Felonious Five with Supreme Court Appeal
Corporate Power

Why doesn't this surprise us? Bill Gates, smelling impending justice in the air (wafting his way from the appeals court about to decide Microsoft's penalty for holding an illegal monopoly), is whining to the Supreme Court. And why not? Every corporation knows they have a friend in the Treasonous Five, who will be sure to fend off justice on their behalf. Gates sent his petition to Scalia, et al. just two days before the hammer was scheduled to come down. In true corporate/GOP copout style, Gates is also trying to make Microsoft's crimes look less outrageous by harping on Judge Jackson's minor transgression, saying the entire case should be thrown out, mostly because Jackson, after hearing the case, personally found Gates autocratic and greedy. Even more outrageous is Gates' contention that a Supreme Court review of the case would "restore public confidence in the integrity of the judicial system." Yeah, just like a review of discarded ballots by Kathareine Harris might restore faith in FL's election system! In this photo here, he reminds us unnervingly of Sidney from "Tom Sawyer" - the nerdy little brat who whined "Aunt Polly!" everytime he didn't get his way.

Secrets of Corporate Media Exposed! Philadelphia Weekly Exclusive Nabs Private Memo from Knight Ridder Exec
Corporate Power

Not long ago, Knight Ridder, a conglomerate of news outlets, decided to sell out to the corporate principle of "More Is Not Enough." But when publisher Jay Harris was pressured to take the profits of the "San Jose Mercury News" - already at 22-29% -even higher, he drew a line. Rather than sacrificing journalistic integrity to up the profit ante for a few stockholders more interested in the quantity of their portfolios than the quality of news, Harris quit. In the wake of this event, Knight Ridder has, understandably, been bombarded by tough questions by reporters. But the company has kept up a stonewall. Dems.com has revealed before how reporters and editors are given instructions from higher up on what and how news is presented. Now the Philadelphia Weekly proves that in the corporate media, even how reporters handle OTHER REPORTERS is directed from above.

Coke Accused of Terrorism: Whatever Happened to 'We'd Like to Teach the World to Sing?'
Corporate Power

What a sharp contrast between corporate hype and corporate reality. Coke once claimed in a feel-good singing commercial that they'd like to "teach the world to sing." Now it's in court defending itself against charges that it used illegal paramilitary gangs to terrorize trade unionists in Colombia. And, it was not an obscure human rights group that filed the suit against Coke - it was the United Steelworkers on behalf of Columbia's National Food Industry Worker's Union. Coke is denying all charges. But the evidence is strong. Paramilitary forces are being maintained in Colombia mainly by cattle ranchers, corporate interests like Coke and drug dealers. Just as in Indonesia, corporations cloak their need for "protection" under the ongoing faction wars in the country - wars the same corporations and the CIA helped to instigate and sustain.

Major Study Reveals Deadly Link between DDT and Premature Births
Corporate Power

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the U. of No. Carolina shows that the use of DDT in the US is the likely cause of thousands of premature births in the 1960s. The stored blood serum from the mothers of thousands of children born between 1959-1966 were studied. Not only did the mothers of preemies have elevated DDT in their blood, so did their infants. And this was just from second-hand exposure. Can you imagine what is happening to women in the 25 countries now using DDT heavily and regularly - thanks to chemical co. lobbying - to control malaria? Nothing like trading one form of infant mortality in for another. Btw- we note that the study was NOT published in the US, but in the respected British medical journal "The Lancet."

DDT Use Now Allowed in 25 Developing Countries, Where It May Wreak Future Havoc
Corporate Power

Right now, the chemical companies are hoping to make a killing by reintroducing DDT as a friendly all-purpose pest killer. They've already unloaded tons of the stuff, mostly in developing countries. A major pro-DDT propaganda campaign has been waged through industry toadies like Philip Stott, Steve Milloy of Fox, Fred Seitz, Patrick Michaels, and John Stossel, and through industry front groups like junkscience.com, the Cato Institute, the Competive Enterprise Institute, et al. The argument that DDT will "cure malaria" is a joke. Any entomologist worth his/her salt knows that in a short time, mosquitoes WILL develop resistance to the chemical and a "super strain" of the disease will likely emerge. Meanwhile, DDT will remain in the environment, accumulating and killing wildlife and, in the doses proposed for malaria-prone regions, killing or harming the unborn children of poor women.

Tiny Economic Ruling Majority is Unmoved by Growing Outcry of the Majority
Corporate Power

Here are some prophetic comments written by Will Hutton in January 2000 during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "The protests in Seattle and in the City of London are already dismissed as the reaction of 'globophobes' and unrepresentative pressure groups who are trying to deny economic growth to the world's poor... the balloon of complacency and belief that the Davos consensus is almost unimprovable is so huge that it would take an intellectual atom bomb along with gigantic riots to effect any change... In other words, if a country wants to succeed it had better remodel itself around the US example and apply the Davos consensus as fast as possible. Demonstrators and doubters are just losers who don't understand the new rules."

Bush's FBI Arrests Russian Programmer for Violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Corporate Power

Dmitry Sklyarov, a lead programmer for the Russian software company ElcomSoft, was arrested Monday morning for distributing the company's Advanced eBook Processor. This high-visibility prosecution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act seems to have focused the kind of anger not seen since the days of the 1996 Communications Decency Act or the Secret Service raid of Steve Jackson Games... Sklyarov is facing a five-year prison term and a fine of $500,000. "The U.S. government for the first time is prosecuting a programmer for building a tool that may be used for many purposes, including those that legitimate purchasers need in order to exercise their fair use rights," said Robin Gross, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. What Gross calls "fair use rights" are part of modern copyright law. They permit people to use copyrighted products legally in a certain way without permission -- for instance, by excerpting a short portion of a work.

Masters of War: Corporate Ties of Top Defense Appointees and Key Star Wars Lobbyists Exposed!
Corporate Power

Here in living color is a complete rundown of the Bush regime's defense department and the key lobbyists for the Star Wars scheme. It reads like a who's who of defense pork corporations. These men are the Masters of War that Bob Dylan warned of in his chilling song (see http://www.bobdylan.com/songs/masters.html). They aren't here to protect America - they are here to create their own order built on our money and -- if it profits them -- our childrens' blood. Yet Bush has intentionally loosed these dogs of war on the world.

Bush Raises $15 Million for GOP at $2,500/Plate Dinner Attended by Big Oil Reps and Co-Arranged by Tobacco Industry
Corporate Power

Bush couldn't bash Gore enough for attending a low-key meet-and-greet at a Buddhist temple (that Roger Parloff in "American Lawyer" finally verified was NOT a Democratic fundraiser; see "Temple in a Teapot" at www.law.com). But Gore's little outing looks almost like a religious experience now compared to the flagrant "trawling for dollars" binges put on by Bush. This week at a $2,500 per plate black tie dinner attended by a guest list that reads like who's who in the book of corporate greed, Bush hauled in $15 million to fund a push to reinstall Trent Lott as Senate Maj. Leader and to keep Congress safely under Dennis Hastert's ample thumb. We should note that in addition to having a swarm of oil, energy, and mining barons and/or their reps present, the event was co-arranged by the tobacco industry - no doubt as a warm thanks to Shrub for "fixing" their federal case so satisfactorily.

Oregon Senator Wyden Rips Open Supply-Rigging Practices by Big Oil with Secret Memos
Corporate Power

When the Powerine Oil Co. refinery, closed in 1995 to permit new equipment installation, tried to restart in 1996, they were pressured by Exxon to stay closed to keep gas prices jacked up. "Needless to say, we would all like to see Powerine stay down. Full court press is warranted in this case," states an Exxon memo uncovered by Ron Wyden (D-Ore). Wyden has found several other "highly confidential memos" that reveal collusion among oil companies to put the squeeze on consumers. Exxon's response is of course, denial - the same response they offer every time they're caught red-handed.

Project Underground Reveals the Ugly Underbelly of the International Mining and Fossil Fuel Industries
Corporate Power

From gold mines in Indonesia and Peru to oil drilling operations in Pakistan, international corporations are racking up an appalling history of human rights violations and environmental devastation. Because the mainstream press will not address these issues it falls to courageous, dedicated "underground" organizations to expose the sickening truth. Project Underground, which publishes a newsletter called "Drillbits & Tailings," is devoted to supporting the human rights of communities around the world struggling against the exploitation and blight brought on them by the mining and oil industries. Bookmark this one and pass it on!

'Honor And Dignity' Reigns! Bush's Nominee For SEC Chair Was The Lawyer For A Teen Sex Video Distributor
Corporate Power

"Bush's choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission helped an online distributor of 'Teen Sex' videos and other adult entertainment resolve troubles with the NASDAQ stock market, SEC records show." Lawyer Harvey Pitt appears to be yet another corporate fox appointed by Bush to guard the regulatory henhouse. Pitt's previous clients include Lloyd's of London, which he represented in a $22 global billion deal that prevented its financial demise. Pitt also negotiated a $350 million settlement between Paine Webber and the SEC. He was the defense attorney for inside trader Ivan Boesky. According to Forbes Magazine, Pitt is a Bush family confidante. Did Pitt act as a confidante when the SEC was investigating Dubya for insider trading after dumping his Harken Energy stock? Pitt served as the SEC's general counsel under Carter. He was a protege' of Stanley Sporkin, who would become the CIA's general counsel during Iran-Contra.

Scared Green! How John Stossel, ABC, Right-wing 'Think Tanks' and the Chemical Industry Are Colluding to Sabotage Environmental Education
Corporate Power

John Stossel: Emmy-winning telejournalist, star of "20/20"... fraud. Find out how Stossel, Michael Sanera, and the so-called "friends of children" at the Disney network (ABC) are using children, deception, entrapment, and set-ups to ambush environmental education on prime time!

Trent Lott - A Mississippi Defense Contractor's Best Friend
Corporate Power

"A year ago, as the Clinton administration was trying to decide what weapon systems to sell to Taiwan, it suddenly found itself under intense pressure from one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., wanted the White House to allow Taiwan to buy advanced Aegis radar systems mounted on Arleigh Burke destroyers. And he wanted two of those warships to be built at Litton-Ingalls' shipyards in his hometown of Pascagoula, Miss….Lott gets substantial campaign contributions from Litton and other defense-electronics companies and has been a pivotal player in the intense congressional efforts over the past few years to provide Taiwan with more U.S. military help…to land contracts for Mississippi shipping and defense-electronics companies...for example, [Litton-Ingalls] received a $106 million contract to repair and restore the guided-missile destroyer Cole…damaged in a terrorist attack in Yemen last fall."

American Airlines Gets Green Light to Crush Competitors
Corporate Power

Several years ago, American Airlines was challenged by three low-cost competitors operating out of Dallas-Fort Worth: Vanguard Airlines, Sun Jet International and Western Pacific. American undercut their prices to drive them out of business, and succeeded with 2 of the 3 airlines. Clinton's Justice Department filed an anti-trust lawsuit. But a judge has given American the thumbs-up, and Bush's Justice Department is expected to stand up for unbridled corporate power by dropping the case. Next time you're forced to pay an outrageous airline fare, just say thank you to Bu$h.

The Many-Tentacled Monster of Corporate Science Is Half Nightmare, Half Sick Joke
Corporate Power

Corporate "scientists" are spending millions to create a bogus new "environmentalism" in which up is down and down is up. It isn't really science at all - it's just designed to sound like science (that must be what Bush means by "sound science"). Democrats.com commentator Cheryl Seal takes you on a guided tour of the deceitful, disturbing, and occasionally nauseating world of corporate science propaganda sites. Take your barf bags along!

Bush Opposes Consumer Privacy Rules In The Name Of 'Bidness'
Corporate Power

"The Bush administration, responding to concerns in the financial-services sector, is objecting strongly to a set of proposed European Commission privacy rules affecting trans-Atlantic e-commerce." With his corporate sponsors yanking his chain, Bush must oppose individual rights in the name of corporate power. "The clauses would obligate U.S. firms to operate under European Union privacy standards, which are much stricter than U.S. law. EU standards require, for example, that consumers have access to information collected about them and notice on how it is use." Replace "consumers" with "patients" and this sounds just like the clause in the proposed Patient Bill of Rights that Bush and the GOP find so offensive.

Under Bush, FTC Will Promote Corporate Power
Corporate Power

According to the Wall Street Journal, "a GOP majority will make some corporate mergers easier to get through antitrust review, while tightening enforcement in other areas, and could curtail huge penalties the agency has begun to impose on big drug companies for alleged anticompetitive pacts with generic drug makers, agency officials said. The new majority also is likely to reverse FTC advocacy of tough online-privacy rules, officials said." In plain English, that means Internet users will have NO privacy rights under Bush (subscription required).

In GOP Washington, Corporate Power is Out of Control
Corporate Power

"With last week's reversal of his campaign pledge to limit power plants' emissions of carbon dioxide, a key contributor to global warming, President Bush surrendered to coal companies and utilities dependent on coal. He had little choice. It's payback time, and every industry and trade association is busily cashing in. There's no longer any countervailing power in Washington. Business is in complete control of the machinery of government. The House, the Senate and the White House are all run by business-friendly Republicans who are deeply indebted to American business for their electoral victories." So writes Robert Reich in the New York Times.