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The 'Weapons of Mass Deception' chronicled by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber in their study of The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq (2003) are upgraded and still deployed. But some broad interpretative overviews are also emerging, offering ...
Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Kevin Pina, Janine Bandcroft Dec. 15, 2008
Pacific Free Press
... Jack Random, Sheldon Rampton, Paul Craig Roberts, David Robb, Paul de Rooij, John Ross, David Rovics, Danny Schechter, Vandana Shiva, Norman Solomon, Starhawk, Grant Wakefield, Paul Watson, Bernard Weiner, Mickey Z., Howard Zinn and many ...
Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Janine Bandcroft, Ian McAllister June 15, 2009
Pacific Free Press
... Greg Palast, Mike Palecek, Michael Parenti, Robert Parry, John Pilger, Kevin Pina, William Rivers Pitt, Justin Podur, Lila Rajiva, Jack Random, Sheldon Rampton, Paul Craig Roberts, David Robb, Paul de Rooij, John Ross, David Rovics, Danny Schechter ...
PR Watch Op-Ed -- Most Americans know American International Group (AIG) as the global insurance behemoth that was so criminally and recklessly managed it had an outsized role in tanking the global economy.
Rather than feeling a bit humble for wreaking havoc on the lives of millions, AIG's new management is feeling rather cocky. Apparently AIG CEO Robert Benmosche has figured out the magic formula for selling insurance. Benmosche told Bloomberg News that he likes to do business in "red states" where the firm signs up more reliable customers than those in "more liberal" areas.
Guest article by Joanne Barkan, with permission from Dissent Magazine.
The cost of K–12 public schooling in the United States comes to well over $500 billion per year. So, how much influence could anyone in the private sector exert by controlling just a few billion dollars of that immense sum? Decisive influence, it turns out. A few billion dollars in private foundation money, strategically invested every year for a decade, has sufficed to define the national debate on education; sustain a crusade for a set of mostly ill-conceived reforms; and determine public policy at the local, state, and national levels. In the domain of venture philanthropy -- where donors decide what social transformation they want to engineer and then design and fund projects to implement their vision -- investing in education yields great bang for the buck.
Earnings and bonus reports are rolling in and the big, bailed-out banks are back in the black. In 2010, total compensation and benefits at publicly traded Wall Street banks and securities firms hit a record of $135 billion -- up almost six percent from 2009 according to the Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon may take home the biggest bonus check, an eye-popping $17 million.
Rumor has it that the 50-state attorneys general investigation into the Fraudclosure scandal is wrapping up. It's time for a backbone check. Will the state attorneys general just ask the big banks and service providers to turn over a chunk of change from seemingly bottomless pockets? (This strategy was pursued by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) with little impact). Or will Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller take the lead in wrestling a real settlement out of the banks, so that families hammered by unemployment and underemployment can stay in their homes?
In 2010, banks initiated 3 million foreclosure filings. Total foreclosure filings could reach 9 million in 2011. In any civilized nation, the forcible migration of a city the size of New York would be treated for what it is -- an economic and humanitarian catastrophe. Attorneys General in every state are now actively investigating this FRAUDCLOSURE. Write to the lead investigator, Attorney General Tom Miller of Iowa, today.
Op-ed by Steve Horn.
The Egyptian people have exposed the great myth that prevails in the sphere of United States' foreign policy, namely that U.S. foreign policy elites are concerned with "spreading democracy."
That is because, as Hampshire College's Michael Klare has written, since 1945, the United States has maintained a foreign policy that is centered around "blood and oil." The foreign policy establishment often uses "democracy spreading" as a public relations platitude because it sounds much better than saying, "We went to war for oil." But caring about democracy goes out the window when one truly scrutinizes U.S. foreign policy through a critical lens. Sourcewatch calls this phenomenon Big Oil, Big Lies.
Guest blog by Greg Colvin, Campaign for America's Future
Introducing the Citizens Election Amendment, Version 1.0.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case exactly one year ago tomorrow, saying that the Constitution gives , people have been asking "how can we amend the Constitution to put this right?"
In this country, each person has one vote, no matter whether you are rich or poor. And it is illegal to buy or sell a person's vote. So why do we allow electoral influence to be bought and sold? Why has politics in America become a commodity in an economic marketplace, where the richest corporations, business associations, unions, and individuals can buy enormous leverage on the outcome of our elections?
By devoting just two minutes to health care reform in his State of the Union address -- and not mentioning it until half way through the remarks -- President Obama was signaling Americans that he believes the health reform debate is over, that Republicans would be wasting precious time by "refighting the battles of the last two years."
While noting that "anything can be improved" and that he would welcome ideas to improve the bill he signed into law last March, Obama offered only two subjects that might warrant renewed attention -- and one of those is sure to set off alarms among consumer advocates and trial lawyers, though changes seem unlikely.
In a response to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission releasing its final report on the financial crisis today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pitched a classic hissy fit calling the report an "abuse of the process" that would create "more job-killing lawsuits." (So much for the new tone in Washington.)
Word is beginning to leak out about the contents of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's (FCIC) final report, a 576-page official analysis of the causes of the crisis. The Commission, which got off to a slow and rocky start, managed to hold 19 days of hearings and interviewed 700 witnesses. According to the New York Times, the report puts blame where blame is due, on reckless Wall Street gambling, but also on the colossal failure of government.
It is a known fact that money taints every aspect of American politics, and most prominently, elections. The Raw Story reports that sometimes you actually don't have to pay to play, or at least that if you pay enough, sometimes the favor is returned.
Being on the Fox News payroll has its advantages. Not only did five potential Republican candidates get regular paychecks from the network last year, but they also got something even more valuable: airtime. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee appeared for almost 48 hours. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had nearly 14 hours of appearances. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was given close to 12 hours. Former senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum and former UN Ambassador under George W. Bush John Bolton both received about six hours.
The film put the harms associated with natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in the national limelight and begat a propaganda campaign by Energy in Depth (EID). EID, for those who have not heard of it, is a pro-oil-and-gas drilling industry front group formed by the American Petroleum Institute.
Like their "Debunking Gasland" campaign, thoroughly debunked by Kevin Grandia of DeSmogBlog as an absurd misinformation campaign, EID is at it again, this time in the form of an idiotic smear campaign.
If you want to know how things really get done in Washington -- or don't get done, depending on the desires of America's corporate executives -- all you have to do is read a couple of paragraphs in a January 23 story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Reporter Joe DiStefano quotes a vice president at APCO Worldwide -- one of DC's most powerful and influential PR firms -- in response to questions about my book, Deadly Spin. Throughout the book, I disclose the previously secretive work APCO did for the health insurance industry to manipulate public opinion on health care reform, in part by trying to scare people away from a movie, Michael Moore's 2007 documentary "Sicko".
The surprising gem in the Inquirer piece was that APCO VP Bill Pierce essentially agreed with me. He acknowledged that interest-funded pressure groups "are all over the place" in Washington. "That's how everybody exists here," Pierce said.
The answer is when it is home-grown.
The mainstream media largely ignored a story about an especially sophisticated and deadly backpack bomb found along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Washington last week, barely covering it beyond an initial mention. The device drew special attention from some news outlets because it contained shrapnel, was equipped with a remotely-controlled detonator, was "directional" (meaning aimed toward the parade route) and in the FBI's words, was "capable of inflicting multiple casualties." The major media barely mentioned the incident, and the lack of follow-up stories on it is even more deafening now that the FBI has concluded that the connection between this incident and racism is "inescapable."
The Center for Media and Democracy needs a talented writer/reporter/researcher to join our team, with a particular focus on cutting edge environmental, food, and agricultural issues.
January 21, 2011 marks the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision that expanded corporate power over our elections and our policies by asserting federal laws cannot limit corporate "speech." The capacity of the richest Wall Street firms in America to almost dictate election results by spending overwhelming sums to distort public opinion and then distort public policy is a real threat to the American dream and ideal of democracy.