PATH: BS | Business | Corporate Welfare

Three Economic Myths That Cause Us to Vote Against Our Interests

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Robert Reich in approximately two minutes exposes 3 common economic myths that may be responsible for why so many Americans vote against their own interests... A very important and insightful explanation everyone should see...

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Inside The World Of Phony Benevolence

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Two news stories have been circulating this week on the Internet that mask more dubious intentions that are worth mentioning.

In one story, a famous movie producer is building low-income housing, "To help less-affluent people settle an otherwise upscale area of California" -- how noble.. if that were actually the case.

In the second story, one of the richest people in the world is claiming to "bring the Internet to the underpriviledged," but it too, is a scam....

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Celebrities Misled By 'Restore The Gulf' Campaign

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[Environment]
Not long ago, many celebrities got together to make a PSA for the "Be The One" campaign, urging people to sign a petition to save the Gulf of Mexico on the website RestoreTheGulf.com (very similar to the government's website at RestoreTheGulf.gov, which might have caused confusion). This all seems good, until you look at the fine print and dig below the surface... Which is what DeSmogBlog did. It turns out that the campaign's sponsors are "America's WETLAND Foundation", a front group for oil companies (Shell, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, etc), and "Women of the Storm", a Louisiana group with strong ties to America's WETLAND (the founder of the former is married to the chairman of the latter).

The end result seems to be a carefully-orchestrated snowjob by the oil and gas industry to try and get taxpayers to fund the cleanup of their own messes...

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Robert Greenwald's "Koch Brothers Exposed"

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In Robert Greenwald's new film, The Koch Brothers Exposed, he examines the pervasive influence of David and Charles Koch on the American fabric of life. It covers areas as diverse as their impact on community school boards, colleges, the environment, voting rights, and think tanks. Greenwald began the film before the Occupy Wall Street movement exploded. He was eight months into conducting his own research and filming when he saw how the 1 percent was using their financial resources to promulgate their specific ideologies and economic interests.

Watch the whole film here..

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What Ronald Reagan Actually Did To The American Economy

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On this, the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan, we discovered this very illuminating video from renown economist and research professor Michael Hudson, which explains some of the unique aspects of "Reaganomics" and what it actually did to the American economy.

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HMO To Drop 650,000 Customers To Raise Priofits

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Health insurance giant Aetna is planning to force up to 650,000 clients to drop their coverage next year as it seeks to raise additional revenue to meet profit expectations.

In a third-quarter earnings conference call in late October, officials at Aetna announced that in an effort to improve on a less-than-anticipated profit margin in 2009, they would be raising prices on their consumers in 2010. The insurance giant predicted that the company would subsequently lose between 300,000 and 350,000 members next year from its national account as well as another 300,000 from smaller group accounts.

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Exposing the "Americans For Prosperity" Anti-Health Reform Front

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow confronts Tim Phillips, head of the co-called "grass roots" group, Americans For Prosperity which is going on a bus tour around the country spreading misinformation about health reform and get to the bottom of who's really behind this "grass roots organization."

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Daily Show Lambasts CNN For Bizarre Fact Checking

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[Pundits]
John Stewart asks, who does fact checking any more? Apparently CNN does... of SNL skits, instead of their own guests.

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You Are Worth More To Your Boss Dead Than Alive

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[Beating Dead Horses]
Did you know that if you work at Wal-Mart, the corporation will take out a secret life insurance policy on you, naming themselves as the beneficiary? It's called "Dead Peasant Insurance" and thousands of corporations do it. It seems that most employees are worth more dead, than alive to these companies and they gamble and speculate with the insurance industry to make money when their employees die.

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See The Commercial CNN Refuses To Air

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A Poignant illustration of what's wrong with healthcare in America that will likely never see the light of day on radio and television, so we need to go viral with it...

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How To Lose Money: Watch CNBC And Jim Cramer

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[News Media]
CNBC's Rick Santelli is angry that those loser homeowners are going to get bailed out. Jon Stewart has some comments on that... especially after Santelli bailed from appearing on The Daily Show.

UPDATE: Now it has turned into a conflict between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer...

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Bill Maher On the Bailouts

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Bill Maher has released a viral video in anticipation of the season premier of his show Real Time, and as usual, he pulls no punches in addressing the current financial crisis...

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BBC Exposes The Reality Of The US Healthcare System

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A January 19 episode of BBC One's Panorama, the world's longest running television documentary show, tackles the dismal state of health care in the United States, the lengths to which its estimated 45 million uninsured citizens will go to in pursuit of care, the pharmaceutical industry's rigged pricing against the American patient, and the insurance industry's efforts to deny care whenever possible.

The documentary opens in rural Kentucky, where people have driven within a 200-mile radius to wait in line in the early morning for a spot in line to see a volunteer doctor thanks to the efforts of Remote Access Medical, who originally set out to help people in the Amazon jungle, but now focus 60% of their time on Americans.

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Peter Schiff: US "Phony Economy" Is Collapsing - Let It Go

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[Pundits]
The one financial pundit who forsaw the mortgage crisis and other issues long before anyone else, and in defiance of other people, is interviewed on what he thinks of the bailout...

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BSA Show #9: Entitlements, Welfare, Socialism Oh Noooooo!

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[BSAlert *exclusive*]
It's all over the news and our podcast couldn't be any more topical. Before we even finished it there was more talk of bailouts and taxpayer money going to help underprivileged welfare CEOs. Will the madness end? We tackle the argument from both sides. Just who is lazily wasting your tax dollars?

Got iTunes? subscribe to the podcast by clicking here.

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What Caused The Second Depression In-A-Nutshell

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[BSAlert *exclusive*]
Everyone is pointing fingers at who is to blame in the current financial and economic crisis. Let's move beyond partisan sniping and take a look and see if we can find some real cause-and-effects...

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60 Minutes Uncovers The Real Financial Crisis

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[Get-Rich-Quick]
A 60-Minutes investigation reveals "Wall Street's Shadow Market". If you didn't see this the other day, it's definitely worth a look.

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Moore: The Rich Got Their Welfare Check This Morning

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Michael Moore has penned a poignant diatribe on the financial bailout. Irresponsibility and greed are being rewarded by American taxpayers to the richest people in the financial community.

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Pundits Say McCain Incapable, Responsible For Financial Crisis

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A roundtable of media people discuss the current financial crisis and whether or not John McCain was responsible due to his support of deregulation of the finance industry... critics are saying this is one video that is the most damaging yet to the McCain campaign and reputation. Even George Will throws McCain to the lions.

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State Department Protects Corporations From Citizens

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A PowerPoint presentation, leaked from a division of the State Department, reveals that the government is briefing corporations about animal rights activists and offering “countermeasures” to protect corporate profits.

For years, the government has relentlessly pushed to label animal rights and environmental activists as “eco-terrorists” and domestic terrorists. The FBI even labels these groups the “number one domestic terrorism threat.” But this State Department PowerPoint puts the “Green Scare,” as many activists are calling it, in much different perspective.

It spells out, with startling candor, that animal rights and environmental activists are less a threat to national security than to corporate financial security. And it shows that the targets of this “War on Terrorism” aren’t just people burning SUVs: the targets are people using their First Amendment rights.

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Former Google Employees Get $33M For Lame Search Engine

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[Faulty Products]
Right now, the big PR buzz is over a new search engine launched by ex-Google employees, called CUIL - oh yea, pronounced "cool", and previously spelled CUILL - I guess they figured dropping one "L" might improve their brand image. Unfortunately, making a search engine that works before they launch a big PR blitz might have been more helpful.

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Stats Indicate "Gas Shortage" May Be Phony

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While various pundits claim accessibility to oil resources is what's driving high gas prices, reports from the United States Department of the Interior indicate otherwise. Apparently the reality is, the oil companies have access to plenty of oil -- they're just not drilling for it. They're letting prices go up in an effort to put pressure on consumers to put pressure on lawmakers to give them even more access to drilling areas. And the clincher is right now, only 17% of the oil leases available are actually being drilled!

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Jimmy Carter's Proposed Energy Policy In 1977

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President Jimmy Carter delivered a televised speech on April 18, 1977. More than 30 years ago Carter addresses important issues regarding the future of energy use and policy in America. Check it out.

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Fear And Loathing In Iraq, Halliburton Style

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[Beating Dead Horses]
Theft, hookers, melting down Iraqi gold to make cowboy spurs—all in a day's work for private military contractors in Iraq?

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Dave Barry Explains The Government Stimulus Check Program

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In case you weren't aware, the government is set to start sending people "stimulus checks" this week. What does it mean? Comedian Dave Barry sums it up nicely...

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At Least One Congressman Has Noticed Rising Oil Prices

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Is there anyone in Congress paying attention regarding oil? Yes, Oregon's Peter DeFazio railed against the Republican special interests that prevent any real progress from being made on getting control over skyrocketing fuel prices and huge profits being realized by oil companies while consumers struggle with high fuel costs. See the video that will never make mainstream news...

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Chomsky: Why Don't We Ask Iraq What's Best For Them?

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American politicians are regularly asked what they think the best option is for Iraq.

During this election cycle, all of the candidates continue to say they will stay in Iraq. Professor Noam Chomsky makes a very rational case outlining the double standard America has on these issues and who's opinion should ultimately matter. Check out the video..

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Can Jim Cramer Be More Of A Laughing Stock? Probably

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He might be the most celebrated stock picker on TV, but many say Jim Cramer got it wrong and some have renewed an older criticism of the television host: Small investors who follow Cramer stand to lose big.

Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money is now something of a laughingstock, after telling viewers on March 11th not to "move" their "money" from Bear Stearns.

He told viewers: "Don't move your money from Bear! That's just being silly! Don't be silly!"

Cramer and CNBC have defended his statements, arguing that Cramer's assertions on the bank were in reference to a viewer's question on Bear Stearns' liquidity, not its stock prices.

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Your Bank May Collapse But Lenders Still Get Big Bonuses

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As mortgage holders face foreclosure and shareholders take a bath, troubled Washington Mutual takes action -- to protect executive bonuses. It could be a trend. Get the board of directors to change the rules to make it look like you're doing a good job and collect millions in bonuses.

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2+ Years Later, Louisiana Homeowners Still Waiting To Rebuild

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Two-and-a-half years after Hurricane Katrina, tens of thousands of miserable homeowners are still waiting for their government rebuilding checks, and many complain they can’t even get their calls returned. But the company that holds the big contract to distribute the aid is doing quite well for itself.

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Web Site Revealing Money Laundering Scheme Is Shut Down

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A group people are apparently behind a scheme to shut down the web site Wikileaks, for publicizing documents which appear to show an elaborate tax evasion scheme involving the Cayman Islands, Swiss bankers and a host of powerful American businesspeople. In what's a poignant demonstration of how much people in government know technology, an injunction was granted against the domain registrar for wikileaks.org to make it not resolve (shut the whole web site down instead of ask offending content to be removed) but these people didn't know much about mirrors or IP addresses apparently.

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Citigroup Barrs Investors From Selling Their Hedge Fund Shares

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Citigroup has barred investors in one of its hedge funds from withdrawing their money, and a new leveraged fund lost 52 percent in its first three months, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The largest U.S. bank suspended redemptions in CSO Partners, a fund specializing in corporate debt, after investors tried to pull more than 30 percent of its roughly $500 million of assets, the newspaper said. Citigroup injected $100 million to stabilize the fund, which lost 10.9 percent last year, the newspaper said.

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Farmers Resell Discounted Water Back To Municipality

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[Environment]
With water becoming increasingly precious in California, a rising number of farmers figure they can make more money by selling their water than by actually growing something.

Because farmers get their water at subsidized rates, some of them see financial opportunity this year in selling their allotments to Los Angeles and other desperately thirsty cities across Southern California, as well as to other farms.

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Whole Foods Touts (pictures of) Local Produce

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[Liars]
Whole Foods' local grower campaign hasn't panned out as advertised, according to a lawsuit filed by an Alabama farmer.

Snow's Bend Farm, a family-owned commercial grower near Black Warrior River, AL, said in a suit last week Whole Foods' advertisements list the grower as a fresh and authentic local supplier. But the grocer has never bought a single item from Snow's Bend, says the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Birmingham. Whole Foods had no comment on the matter Monday, saying only that it hopes for a peaceful resolution.

The suit says the saga started in January 2007 when a Whole Foods executive contacted the farm, saying it wanted to buy produce and tout the grower as a "local supplier."

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US Mint Announces New Coinage!

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[Humor]
It turns out there was a method to the government's madness when they raided recently gold coin distributors. The government has plans for a new series of coins. Take a look!

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Top 25 Censored News Stories Of 2008

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Project Censored is a media research group out of Sonoma State University which tracks the news published in independent journals and newsletters. From these, Project Censored compiles an annual list of 25 news stories of social significance that have been overlooked, under-reported or self-censored by the country's major national news media.

Between 700 and 1000 stories are submitted to Project Censored each year from journalists, scholars, librarians, and concerned citizens around the world. With the help of more than 200 Sonoma State University faculty, students, and community members, Project Censored reviews the story submissions for coverage, content, reliability of sources and national significance. The university community selects 25 stories to submit to the Project Censored panel of judges who then rank them in order of importance. Current or previous national judges include: Noam Chomsky, Susan Faludi, George Gerbner, Sut Jhally , Frances Moore Lappe, Norman Solomon, Michael Parenti, Herbert I. Schiller, Barbara Seaman, Erna Smith, Mike Wallace and Howard Zinn. All 25 stories are featured in the yearbook, Censored: The News That Didn't Make the News.

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EPA Says California Cannot Have Cleaner Air Than U.S.

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The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday denied California and 16 other states the right to set their own standards for carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.

The E.P.A. administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, said the proposed California rules were pre-empted by federal authority and made moot by the energy bill signed into law by President Bush on Wednesday. Mr. Johnson said California had failed to make a compelling case that it needed authority to write its own standards for greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks to help curb global warming.

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FCC Decides American Media Isn't Screwed Up Enough

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[Newspapers]
The head of the Federal Communications Commission has circulated an ambitious plan to relax the decades-old media ownership rules, including repealing a rule that forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same city.

Good f*cking grief! Is anybody paying attention? We've been railing for years about how eradicating The Fairness Doctrine and the passage of the 1996 Telco Act gutted media and created the mess we're in now, and the Bush administration's FCC is again, pandering to corporate interests at the expense of Americans ever having any hope of decent news and other media options.

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The Secret History of the War on Cancer

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Children shouldn't use cellphones. No one should drink diet sodas sweetened with aspartame. And think twice before getting X-rayed with a CAT scan except in a bona fide life-threatening emergency. That's just some of the precautionary advice that epidemiologist Devra Davis, who runs the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, delivers in her new book, "The Secret History of the War on Cancer."

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BSAlert Show 4 - Dissecting The Libertarian Government Model

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[BSAlert *exclusive*]
With everyone going nuts over Libertarian-in-Republican-clothing, Ron Paul, we thought it might be worthwhile to take a deeper look into what this notion of "Liberty" is all about and whether the Libertarian-style of government has any basis in reality. The result, a two-part, two-hour interview with an outspoken, activist, fundamentalist libertarian where we don't pull any punches and get to the bottom of things.

Subscribe to the BSAlert podcast here.

"There wasn't a movement in the early days of the industrial revolution. You don't really get libertarian movements until there's a certain amount of peace, democracy and prosperity, where the hard task of creating a state and building a nation has been done." - Christopher Hitchens

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Iraq Government Wants Blackwater Out Of The Country

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[Military]
The Iraqi government said it would suspend the license of Blackwater, probably the most famous among the armies of private security contractors working inside Iraq, after an incident in central Baghdad in which government officials allege eight civilians were killed. The incident looks certain to rekindle the controversy of the wide role given to the contractors in the Iraq war, with critics saying that they operate outside the sorts of legal oversight and codes of conduct that restrict the behavior of soldiers in war zones.

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US "Invests In Peace" In Israel Via $30B Arms Deal

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US Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns has signed a deal that will provide Israel with $30bn of military aid over the next 10 years.

The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has said the aid will preserve his country's military advantage over other countries in the Middle East [while being the pawn in an elaborate kickback scheme to politically-connected American companies who profit from the Middle Eastern conflict.]

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Taxpayers/Government Get "Screwed" for more than $20M

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A small South Carolina parts supplier collected about $20.5 million over six years from the Pentagon for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to a Texas base, U.S. officials said.

The company also billed and was paid $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Marines in Habbaniyah, Iraq, and $293,451 to ship an 89-cent split washer to Patrick Air Force Base in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Pentagon records show.

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Time-Warner Rewrites USPS Postal Rules and Rates

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For the first time ever in the history of the US, The Postal Regulatory Commission ignored a plan by the US Postal Service in favor of a rate-increase plan submitted by an outside corporation: Time-Warner, which involves a super-complicated scheme to allow their own publications to avoid paying higher postage, while sticking it to smaller publishers.

Go democracy!

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Court Confirms Katrina Damage Was Not "An Act Of God"

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Hurricane Katrina victims whose homes and businesses were destroyed when floodwaters breached levees in the 2005 storm cannot recover money from their insurance companies for the damages, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

While insurance may cover some "acts of God," the insurance industry had enough fine print to invalidate claims of flooding due to negligence on the part of the Army Corps of Engineers, which led to the majority of the city's destruction, and therefore, victims were not qualified to be covered under their insurance policies.

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Bush Wants To Sell Saudis $20 Billion Worth of Weapons

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Having not completely pinned the Irony and Incompetency meter, the Bush administration this week is pushing for Congress to approve the sale of $20B worth of arms to Saudi Arabia. You know, the Saudi Arabia that supplied 15 of the 19 men who crashed planes on 9/11. Yea, that Saudi Arabia.

The proposed package of advanced weaponry for Saudi Arabia includes state-of-the-art satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters and new naval vessels.

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The US Government Gave $1.1 Billion To Dead Farmers

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First they paid farmers to farm.

Then they paid farmers not to farm.

Then they took another step by paying non-farmers not to farm.

And just when you thought they´d run out of ideas, here comes the logical conclusion: Agricultural subsidies for the dead.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed $1.1 billion over seven years to the estates or companies of deceased farmers and routinely failed to conduct reviews required to ensure that the payments were properly made, according to a government report.

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Chinese Toothpaste: Better For Your Car Than Your Teeth?

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The government warned consumers on Friday to avoid using toothpaste made in China because it may contain a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze.

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Sicko Opens Today, Michael Moore Responds To Critics

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[Movies]
As Michael Moore's new movie, "Sicko" opens today, all sorts of things are flying, from rumors that the Feds are going after the people whom he took to Cuba, to an interesting exchange in front of the NYSE, and we have the video, where Michael Moore, on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange talks about how to improve healthcare, urges fund managers to stop investing in companies that profit from denying people healthcare, and responds to critics of the movie's details.

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Has Dick Cheney Become Colnel Kurtz From "Apocalypse Now?"

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If you've seen the movie "Apocalypse Now" or read Joseph Conrad's book, "Heart of Darkness," you might be experiencing deja vu when seeing the antics of Dick Cheney and the Bush White House. It seems Cheney has definitely "gotten off the boat" and the White House is running its own little nation-within-a-nation that exists in a vaporous netherworld between the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches.

The news media is finally perking up and digging deeper into the enigma that is the Vice President of the United States. It seems Dick Cheney claims he's not part of the Executive branch of the government, won't tell anybody what he does, who he sees, or even who is on his payroll...

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