Whatever Became Of Western Civilization?

A Total Collapse of Economic & Government Morality

Not that long ago government and free market proponents were at sword’s point, but no more. With little left in the private sector to rip off, the financial gangsters have turned to the public sector and put to work for them the free market economists’ advocacy of privatization. Governments themselves became part of the conspiracy once the politicians realized that looting public assets was an efficient way to reward their private benefactors. [Read more...]

Jamiol Presents

MNC

In Amerika There Will Never Be A Real Debate

“Every time Americans vote it is a vote for their own obliteration”

realdebateGod help them if Obama and Romney ever had to participate in a real debate about a real issue at the Oxford Union. They would be massacred.

The “debates” revealed that not only the candidates but also the entire country is completely tuned out to every real problem and dangerous development. For example, you would never know that US citizens can now be imprisoned and executed without due process. All that is required to terminate the liberty and life of an American citizen by his own government is an unaccountable decision somewhere in the executive branch.

No doubt that Americans, if they think of this at all, believe that it will only happen to terrorists who deserve it. But as no evidence or due process is required, how would we know that it only happens to terrorists? Can we really trust a government that has started wars in 7 countries on the basis of falsehoods? If the US government will lie about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in order to invade a country, why won’t it lie about who is a terrorist?

America needs a debate about how we can be made more safe by removing the Constitutional protection of due process. If the power of government is not limited by the Constitution, are we ruled by Caesar? The Founding Fathers did not think we could trust a caesar with our safety. What has changed that we can now trust a caesar? [Read more...]

Bill Conroy’s Narco News: Mexican President Calderón Hires US Propaganda Firm

Los Pinos Retains Las Vegas-Based R&R Partners to Promote Government's Successes as the Bloody Drug War Rages On

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The administration of Felipe Calderón has retained a politically connected US advertising and public relations firm to promote the political and economic agenda of the Mexican president in advance of the upcoming G20 Summit, which will be held in Los Cabos, Mexico, only a few weeks prior to the July 1 Mexican general election.

The move raises serious questions about whether Calderón is skirting, possibly even violating, a Mexican constitutional provision, Article 41, that prohibits the Mexican government from engaging in political promotion and advertising prior to a national election.

The Group of 20 (G20) Summit, a gathering of the leaders from the dominant global economies to be chaired this year by Mexico, will take place in Los Cabos, located on the southern tip of the Mexico's Baja California peninsula, in mid-June at a plush convention center built for the occasion by the Mexican government at a cost exceeding $100 million. The Mexican government also is kicking in some $47 million to stage and promote the convention itself. [Read more...]

US Media Story: Whores, Pimps & Clients

'Lockheed Martin Goes to Bat for' …Who?

washingtontimesYesterday Justin Elliott at Salon reported on an international media-lobbying intrigue involving Bahrain, a Lockheed Martin executive and the Washington Times:

A top executive at Lockheed Martin recently worked with lobbyists for Bahrain to place an op-ed defending the nation’s embattled regime in the Washington Times — but the newspaper did not reveal the role of the regime’s lobbyists to its readers. Hence, they did not know that the pro-Bahrain opinion column they were reading was published at the behest of … Bahrain, an oil-rich kingdom of 1.2 million people that has been rocked by popular protests since early 2011.

The episode is a glimpse into the usually hidden world of how Washington’s op-ed pages, which are prized real estate for those with interests before the U.S. government, are shaped. It also shows how Lockheed gave an assist to a major client — Bahrain has bought hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons from the company over the years —as it faces widespread criticism for human rights abuses against pro-democracy protesters.

prostituteThe story is worth reading. Just remember this is an itsy bitsy tiny little case; only one example of many more similar cases occurring regularly. Hello? Think about our Congress and over 400 lobby-able crooks in it. Think about our government providing perks and access to ‘select’ reporters for being good pet boys. Think about dime-a-dozen plentiful retired generals linking their MIC bosses to the mighty purchaser Pentagon…on a daily basis hundreds of prostitution transactions like the one with the Washington Times. Come to think of it, one major difference between the examples I’m providing and prostitution in the true sense of the term is that usually the American public is at the center of services and transactions provided. That is, the services and products offered are their hard-earned dollars, their liberties, their security, their gullibly misplaced trust… [Read more...]

Government on a String

Politicians aren’t as Incompetent as They Seem

By Linda Lewis

 Just who's pulling the strings?
I'm all tied up in you
But, where's it leading me to?

--“Puppet on a String” (1967) by Bill Martin & Phil Coulter. Performed by Sandie Shaw.

American voters disagree on many issues but nearly all agree that government’s performance has been abysmal.

Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States has fallen back to 11%, the lowest level since December 2008 and just four percentage points above the all-time low recorded in October 2008…The all-time low of 7% came in an Oct. 10-12, 2008, poll, conducted shortly after stock values plummeted following Congress' passage of the TARP legislation in response to the September 2008 financial crisis. (Gallup.com, August 18, 2011)

The data show that public confidence fell most sharply when the President and Congress rejected majority public opinion on economic issues, namely bank bailouts and federal debt reduction. Those were not the only disappointments, by any means. On a variety of issues, from healthcare reform to credit card legislation, government officials have given lip service to the wishes of their constituents.

Political commentators and candidates for political office regularly attack government officials as inept.  President Bush was labeled incompetent. President Obama is criticized as a poor negotiator.  Democrats, in general, are described as weak while Republicans are viewed as cold-hearted. Unsurprisingly, that is how voters perceive the parties, also.

Marionettes for saleFew of these politicians were really incompetent. Many failed to produce the results voters said they wanted.  But, that may be because the politicians were serving a different constituency: a wealthy corporate elite.  With a coterie of lobbyists constantly tugging on their strings, political puppets are bound to appear clumsy. They know how to get what they want, though. Most freshman members of Congress are millionaires, after all.
The only downside for political puppets is the possibility of voter backlash at election time. Economically, however, politicians are well-insulated from public displeasure. Whether they are booted from office or decide to retire, they can look forward to cushy jobs with corporations, corporate lobbies, and corporate-funded think tanks.

Elected officials have another incentive to be responsive to corporate lobbying:  their stock portfolios. For example, eight members of Congress hold $50,000 or more in Apple stock, reports OpenSecrets.org (August 25, 2011), and one of the eight (Nancy Pelosi) reportedly has Apple stock worth $1 million or more. Observers have noticed that Congressional investments out-perform the stock market and even out-perform investments held by corporate insiders.

Some outraged citizens have called for mass demonstrations.  But, demonstrations against government policies tend to fail when the policies are profitable for corporations, observes psychologist Bruce Levine. In his book, Get Up, Stand Up, Levine writes: [Read more...]

BFP Select Nightly News & Editorials-August 4, 2011

US Secret War in 120 Countries, UK's Secret Policy on Torture RevealedMedia Disinformation & the Causes of Somali Famine, Obama & Limousine Liberals, US-Russia To Train Capitalists in Marxian Monopoly, Destroying Democratic Presidents, How to Advance Liberty, A Revolving CIA Door in Pakistan & More!

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BFP Nightly Quote

“Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy, the whores are us.” - P. J. O'Rourke

International Newsworthy

US Secret War in 120 Countries 

Mullen's Decision to Skip Pakistan: "Stalemate in Ties"

A Revolving CIA Door in Pakistan

Election Watchdog Row Backfires on Iraq's Maliki

Iran Revolutionary Guards Commander Becomes New President of OPEC

How Turkey's Military Crisis will Affect NATO

Kosovo: "Partition is Now More Likely"

Interpol's Red Notices Used to Pursue Political Dissenters-Opponents

UK's Secret Policy on Torture Revealed

Dominican Republic: Investigative Journalist's Murder Probably Linked to his Work

 * * * *

[Read more...]

BFP Select Nightly News & Editorials

Obama: Transnational Organized Crime is A National Emergency!, Who Rules America, 9/11: Who Really Benefited?, Foreign Powers Behind "Cambodia Killing Fields?", Pentagon: You Hack- We Shoot, Murdoch's Misery- China's Delight, The lesser Evil, & More!

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Newsworthy

Foreign Powers behind "Cambodia Killing Fields?" 

US Turns Heat on ISI: Says it Spies on Pakistani-Americans

Iran Draws the Line with Turkey on Syria

More Predator Drones for Libya

As Central Asia Dries Up, States Spar Over Shrinking Resources

Murdoch's Misery, China's Delight

****

[Read more...]

BFP Select Nightly News & Editorials

CIA Trains Coverts Units of Afghans, Rep. Burton 'had no inkling' Lobbyist Linked to Spy Agency, CIA Bank Accounts Used to Funnel Oil Deal Money, Creating a Military State, Echelon Dwarfs Murdoch's "News of the World" & More!

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Newsworthy

CIA Trains Coverts Units of Afghans

US Senators Warn Beijing on South China Sea 

Deadly New Zealand Earthquake Unearths Israeli Spy Ring

Bahrain: Washington & London Endorse Dialogue with Tyrants & War Criminals & Torturers

How Israel & Its Allies Thwarted Gaza Aid Flotilla

Foreign Investment Begin to Pour into Iraq

**** [Read more...]

Boiling Frogs Beltway Buzz: The Upcoming Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Prozac

A Caucus to Combat Terrorism, Domestic Violence, Divorce & Job Dissatisfaction via ‘Happiness Pill’

capprozAccording to our inside sources a new Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Prozac will be launched before the end of the 112th Congress. The primary purpose of the Prozac Caucus will be to raise awareness and advocate for this ‘miracle drug’ aka ‘happiness pill,’ on the grounds of combating homegrown terrorism and domestic violence, lowering the national divorce rate, and increasing the level of general job satisfaction among the restless American workforce. “Increasing the level of general satisfaction and happiness, while decreasing the effects of violence and despair inducing factors such as anxiety and depression, are the major keys to achieving long term national security, family unity, and work force stability. With Prozac we believe we can achieve all that and more,” said a congressional aide who wished to remain anonymous. The caucus will have an interactive website with easy-to-print promotional materials and a password protected section for physicians titled ‘Patriotic Physicians for a Secure America.’

Let’s start with what is a congressional caucus, or at least what it is supposed to be, in theory that is. A congressional caucus is a coalition of House and Senate members who meet to discuss specific legislative priorities and policy issues. Caucuses ‘supposedly’ allow members to discuss issues to determine their positions and make sure their votes are informed. They can also give ‘advocates’ a chance for a group of legislators to champion their cause on the Hill. You may go ahead and change ‘advocates’ to ‘lobby and you’ll be even more on target.

When we look at the long list of these caucuses, a list that initially had only a few but seems to lately  have taken off rapidly, we see some caucuses that seem rather ‘ordinary and expected;’ for example,  Children’s Environmental Health Caucus or Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus. We also see some ‘amusing’ ones, such as Congressional Bike Caucus, Congressional Soccer Caucus, and Congressional Boating Caucus.

You follow me so far? Okay, then there are more than a few caucuses that are ‘confusing:’ Democratic Israel Working Group, Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus, and other ones for Turkey, Jordan, etc.  Why do I say ‘confusing’? Well, in the above paragraph we outlined the caucus definition, which includes ‘giving advocates, aka lobbies, a chance to influence, aka lobby, their cause through the members of their caucus. In this case, the advocates, aka lobbies, are foreign, and this means ‘direct foreign influence,’ and that in turn would make the representatives in these caucuses who then influence and lobby the rest of the Congress ‘foreign agents.’ Think of it as two-tiered foreign lobbies: [Read more...]

US Politics & the Myth of the Pendulum Swing

Pacified & Lulled, Still Waiting for the Pendulum to Swing

PendIt was a rainy April day in 2004, and I was in the office of one of my professors at the university’s Public Policy Graduate Department. I was having one of those defeated and disillusioned moments that kept recurring during that time period. I think you would have found it justifiable: I had been slapped with two separate gag orders via two separate invocations of state secrets privilege, I had just witnessed the Congress being hit with another gag order in my case via retroactive classification issued by the Justice Department, we were at war in Iraq based on lies, the PATRIOT ACT was in full swing, secret kidnapping and detention operations by our paramilitary were taking place all over the world, congressional corruption and revolving door scandals were popping up one after another…So, you see, all this and being almost at the end of my masters program specializing in US public policy, where what we were taught didn’t match reality on the ground (US politics and government) whatsoever, gave me a certain degree of justification for feeling  the way I felt that day.

Sitting across from my professor I threw out the questions: Why can’t I see a single instance of practices indicative of our so-called system of checks and balances? Isn’t it more like three illusionary branches but actually one system serving the interests of a very few? Isn’t our nation headed towards a police state; fast and furiously? How do all these in-theory-only fanciful policy concepts apply to real-politics on the ground? ...

My professor smiled and nodded. After letting me vent, he calmly replied:

You are young. You have to look at what’s been happening and place it in historical context. If you look at the US political climate over the last century you’ll see this Pendulum Trend. Things get really bad for civil liberties and good governance for a few years, sometimes even for a decade or more, then, things swing back the other way, and you see Renaissance-Like changes towards the other direction. We go through a hawkish period with wars, and then, we get into a more pacifist mode. We get a conservative administration and lose some of our welfare gains, but a few years later we get a liberal government and put in place new welfare programs…Things don’t stay the same. It’s been only three years or so since 9/11. Very soon people will get over the initial shock and fear, and they’ll push out the current national security state of government…This is the cyclical nature of US politics…

I looked up at him, and asked:

So you are saying this Pendulum will swing the other way? All by itself? So we just sit tight and wait for this pendulum to swing the other way?

He shook his head, and replied:

It’s a bit more complicated than that, but yes, time takes care of some of that. Other actors outside the state will play their role…you know, various NGOs, etc. Changes in the economy will be another ingredient…of course, the media…the Bush administration will be replaced, and most likely, it will be replaced by the other party, bringing in a liberal oriented administration… So, yes, give it some time and you’ll see the Pendulum swing the other way…

Tell you what: I have heard this ‘Pendulum Swing’ story-theory many many times since; especially from academians, tunnel-vision analysts, crusty politicians, and to a certain extent, from the general public - those with a bit higher education who consider themselves politically involved and savvy. The more I study history, the further I delve into our real governance record, the more I look at the last half century’s graph on fluctuation of the real ingredients (here at BFP we call these the real diseases, the macro causes)…well, the more I get pi..ed with this utterly nonsensical and false yet widely-held notion of ‘just wait for the ‘Pendulum Swing.’ [Read more...]

Podcast Show #37

The Boiling Frogs Presents Corey Pein

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Corey Pein recounts the creation of the recently launched groundbreaking site warisbusiness.com, a nonpartisan site covering military contracting, the global arms trade and the lobby, and how he began the project with two assumptions: The first- a lot of people are making money from war, while enjoying the comforts of anonymity (such people were once plainly called profiteers), and the second: Privatizing war inevitably prolongs it, creating what economists call a “perverse incentive.” Mr. Pein discusses the bought out generals and the militarization of the economy, and the latest on the ‘Rent-A-Generals’ exposé. He talks about scandals such as Mina Corp and the subsequent cover up, US Embassies as marketing arms of military corporations, the win-win outcome of elections for the Pentagon contractors and arms makers, Wikileaks, and more!

CoreyPein Corey Pein is an award-winning investigative reporter and long-form narrative journalist who writes about the military industrial complex, money, politics and violence from London, UK. Previously, he has lived in New Mexico, Oregon, Georgia and in Southeast Asia. His latest project is warisbusiness.com, a startup news site covering military contracting and the global arms trade. Mr. Pein has worked on staff at Columbia Journalism Review, Willamette Week, the Santa Fe Reporter and IHT ThaiDay, and contributed to Salon, Slate, The American Prospect, and CounterPunch, among others.

Here is our guest Corey Pein unplugged!

Note- Boiling Frogs selects warisbusiness.com as the best website of 2010!

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by contributing directly and or purchasing Boiling Frogs showcased products.

9/11 Commissioner’s Turkey Baste: Chicken or the Egg?

The Roots of Lee Hamilton’s Six Figure Earnings

chickeggWe all know the relevance and importance of a solid and sound background check when it comes to our elected and appointed officials and commissioners. Of course we all want to know about that big ‘conflict of interest’ factor. Okay, not all of us, especially not our MSM stenographers, but a few independent researchers and journalists here and there, and the rest of us among the ‘active and inquiring’ crowd. So let’s call this ‘chasing the chicken’ for now.’ Are you with me so far? Just hang in there and you’ll find out what I’m talking about, or at least I hope you will 😉

Equally or even more significant is the need to follow up into post facto profiteering and connections of those assigned or elected for particular official posts. As in business, there is more than one method of payment and reimbursement for public figures serving interests other than the public, and in some cases interests totally in conflict with those of the public. Think of Former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and his post official position as a registered foreign agent for Turkey and his $35,000 a month payment. Or think about Former Defense Secretary, William Cohen, who went from heavily in debt and with negative net worth to multi millionaire in less than two years after leaving his public post. Unfortunately even fewer people, reporters and researchers, bother to cover and report on these important cases. Now, let’s call this ‘chasing the egg’ for the sake of what’s coming next.

HamiltonFortunately one independent reporter researched and reported on one such case, call it ‘chased the egg,’ on one of the 9/11 Commissioners, a Former Representative, Mr. Lee Hamilton, which I happened to come across yesterday. It was truly interesting to see how many ‘honorary’ positions Mr. Hamilton has been given, handed, by our government alone, just check out a few here:

-Co-chair of the Department of Energy Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future with Brent Scowcroft

-Serves on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board & the FBI Director’s Advisory Board,

-Serves on the US Department of Homeland Security Task Force

- Serves on the CIA External Advisory Board

The White House, the CIA, and the FBI must have been extremely well-served by Hamilton’s performance as the commissioner to grant him this many prestigious quasi positions. No? For me, the most interesting aspect which was covered by CounterCurrents.Org had to do with Hamilton’s position with and current salary from the Woodrow Wilson Center, and his questionable corporate ties, particularly with BAE Systems, the main sponsor of his forthcoming gala dinner. Here are a few excerpts:

Back in May, I was unaware that WWC President Lee Hamilton is a board member of one of the Center's top corporate donors, BAE Systems Inc. That's the American division of the largest weapons and defense firm in the world, BAE Systems plc, based in the U.K., with annual sales exceeding $36 billion.

Lee Hamilton's 34 years as Congressman (D-IN) and his service on the CIA External Advisory Board, FBI Director's Advisory Board, 9/11 Commission, and elsewhere are cited in his biography on the WWC website.

Nowhere, however, does the WWC mention his simultaneous service to corporate America. Hamilton -- whose WWC salary exceeds $410,000 and who qualifies for a hefty Congressional pension -- is a member of the boards of not only BAE Systems Inc. (since 2004), but also Carbon Motors (since 2008), and the Albright Stonebridge Group (since 2006).

Hold on, it’s getting much worse, and I’m adding my own emphasis to the excerpts:

The latter is a DC-based “global strategy firm” headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (co-chaired the so-called “ Genocide Prevention Task Force" with former Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose firm represents Turkish businesses; they both refuse to acknowledge the Armenian genocide) and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (pled guilty to stealing classified documents needed by the 9/11 Commission).

Even aside from Hamilton's corporate connections, can the WWC serve as a “neutral forum” for, and objectively analyze, the issues facing the American people when companies with mercenary agendas – overseas business interests, deals with sordid foreign governments, genocide denial, Federal contracts, and more – are helping to foot WWC's budget?

BAE, for example, has lobbied against an Armenian genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress and, like several WWC donors, is a member of the American Turkish Council. The ATC is a business group that has shamelessly labored to defeat the Armenian resolution and that FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds has accused of serious wrongdoing.

Here is more on BAE as a major criminal entity: [Read more...]

Dennis Hastert: A Portrait of a Political System Termite

The Erosion & Rotting of a Nation’s Foundation

TermitesWhile dictionaries and encyclopedias, including Wikipedia, provide a thorough definition and description of insect termites, none offers any information on the semi-human termites imbedded within the political system of our nation, where they feed on the lobby and special interest Political Eco System while they cause serious foundational and structural damage to the welfare of the public majority, and to future generations’ prosperity and liberties. These Political System Termites (PST) and their colonies exist and thrive within various branches and layers of the political governing system, and they go by different names or titles, including Representative, Senator, Secretary, and Advisor. Regardless of title differences and purely cosmetic differentiations and technicalities, they belong to the same political eco system and all are considered members of the PST family. This article will focus mainly on Congressional Termites.

Let’s start by comparing some general overlapping characteristics between the widely acknowledged and recognized insect termites and the still-waiting-to-be recognized and defined Political System Termites (PST):

Insect termites divide labor among gender lines, produce overlapping generations and take care of their young collectively. Political System Termites divide their activities based on a corruption hierarchy, create networks of laws and legislations to protect themselves and the establishment, and protect one another collectively, including their retired then turned lobbyist seniors - regardless of cosmetic brand differentiations, such as ‘D’ or ‘R.’

Insect termites are economically significant as pests that can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Political System Termites are also economically and politically significant as pests that can create a seriously damaging web of laws and regulations particularly harmful to society at large, while sucking up taxpayers’ resources and trust, and betraying the people’s interests in exchange for establishment and external interest connected personal gain.

Insect termites live in colonies that, at maturity, number from several hundred to several million individuals. The potency of Political System Termites has a bit less to do with their actual numbers, and much more with the power and freedom granted to them by the very same victims they feed and extract upon. After all, PSTs are in charge of making the laws and rules governing their own existence and survival.

A typical insect termite colony contains nymph workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals of both genders, sometimes containing several egg-laying queens. A typical Political System Termite colony may include a Speaker of the PST Colony, Chairmen and Chairwomen of sub-colonies, congressional larva (aka aides), and extended networking PSTs in media and PR colonies.

The most significant difference between insect termites and Political System Termites has to do with their ecology. While the former are important in nutrient recycling, habitat creation, soil formation and quality, the later is not known for any positive contribution to the human eco system, at least not in the last few decades. The only known habitats for Political System Termites are those marked by social deceases such as bribery, greed, prostitution, treason …

This should be enough for a preliminary albeit simplified scientific definition and general description of Political System Termites. I will leave further and more expanded descriptions and literature to sociologists and political scientists in academia, where time always seem to be abundant to formulate definitions and answers into long winded gobbledygook no one ever seems to understand, let alone critique.

Instead, I will provide you with a short portrait of a known Political System Termite which acted as the Speaker of the PST Colony of Capitol Hill for nearly a decade. This example should sufficiently illustrate how these termites go about eroding and rotting the nation’s foundation, while putting in place laws meant to ensure further and easier erosion by their larva, the future PSTs.

PST Dennis Hastert: A Portrait

PST HastertDennis Hastert, a Republican member of the US House of Representatives from 1987 until 2007, represented Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, and served as the Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007.

Prior to his two-decade long career as a congressman, Hastert was a high school teacher in Chicago with a modest family income. Yet, somehow, he managed to become a multi-millionaire while in Congress: his financial net worth went from less than $270,000 in 1986 to an estimated $4 million to $17 million. No, this was not due to a rich wife or a sudden inheritance, nor was it due to winning a lottery. This fortune came about solely as a result of his activities as a Political System Termite. We will have more on this further down the article.

This PST, while hard at work with his comrade termites eroding and rotting the legislative foundation, while filling up his personal pockets with hard-earned taxpayers money and building a fortune, was involved in almost every major scandal involving the Capitol Hill PST Colony during the last decade: From the Jack Abramoff Scandal to the Mark Foley Disaster, from being pocketed by foreign government(s) to making millions in congressionally earmarked land deals.

Well, this PST may have had retired in 2007, but he is still sucking up taxpayers money, and not a meager amount. Let’s look at the latest on this PST and on our rotten system with real rotten laws drafted by even more rotten lawmakers to benefit the most rotten ones. [Read more...]

Site Updates for November 23

Weekly Interviews, Article Update, & A Few Noteworthy Links

SibelsBFLogoOur Boiling Frogs Show is now officially a weekly-based Podcast interview series. The interviews will be posted every Friday afternoon. Our upcoming guests: Mizgin Yilmaz, Kristina Borjesson, Mark Klein, Pepe Escobar, and Russ Baker. We are scheduling several other exciting and informative interviews; stay tuned.

We have an updated version of Joe Lauria’s FROM FLATBUSH TO THE STREETS OF KANDAHAR here. My site statistics report says it’s been widely clicked-upon & downloaded, so check it out if you haven’t read this solid piece, and go back and re-read it if you’ve read the original piece and want more!

Noteworthy Stories & Links

Welcome Comrade Maobama

Pepe Escobar has a two-part series on Obama’s China Visit at Asia Times. For those of you who may not know; I happen to be a big fan of Mr. Escobar, his solid track record in investigative journalism, his bold and witty writing style, and his untainted and independent stand when it comes to real reporting. When you get a chance check out ‘The Best of Pepe Escobar’ at Asia Times . Here is his part I:

Welcome Comrade Maobama, Part I

As mentioned above, last week we interviewed Mr. Escobar, and will publish the interview in about 4 weeks. 

Lobbyists Boldly Craft & Insert Provisions to the House Bill

As the numbers and actions of sold out spineless representatives in Congress increase, the lobby industry’s takeover of Congress and our legislation gets bolder and bolder. Here is a recent example presented by the Sunlight Foundation:

More than a dozen lawmakers inserted statements supporting a biotechnology provision added to the House health care bill that was crafted by lobbyists for the biotechnology firm Genentech.

Wait a minute before you start waving the ‘oh the shameless Republicans,’ or ‘sold out spineless Democrats’ flag, because this ain’t partisan, as most significant problems rotting our nation are not:

The Genentech lobbyists crafted two statements — one for Democrats and one for Republicans — for lawmakers to insert into the Congressional Record. The collection of lawmakers is very bipartisan with ten Republicans and eight Democrats issuing near identical statements. (One Democrat, Rep. Heath Shuler, inserted the Republican statement.)

As for the implications? Here is a sound, important, but still micro-level conclusion on implications being cited by several sites and forums: [Read more...]