Tuesday, February 18, 2014



OMNI:  US CAPITALISM NEWSLETTER #16,   February 18, 2014.    Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.     (#1 Jan. 30, 2011; #2 August 24, 2011; #3 October 2, 2011; #4 Oct. 29, 2011; #5 Jan. 29, 2012; #6 April 7, 2012; #7 June 8, 2012; #8 July 14, 2012; #9 Nov. 12, 2012; #10 Dec. 27, 2012; #11 Feb. 24, 2013; #12 April 23, 2013; #13, July 7, 2013; #14 August 28, 2013; #15, Nov. 22, 2013).


What we believe to be he case, what we think should be the case, and what is actually the case.



My blog:  The War Department and Peace Heroes







See Class, Corporate Personhood, Corporations, Economics, Globalization, Go Not to Jail, Greed, Inequality, Information Control, Lobbying, Marx, Military Industrial Complex, Monopoly, Occupy, Rapacity, Regulation, Secrecy, Socialism, Too Big To Fail, US Economic Imperialism, Working Class, and related newsletters.


A Call to the People by George Monbiot:

From: Robert McAfee <robertjmca1@gmail.com>
Date: September 19, 2013, 5:36:29 AM CDT
To: Robert McAfee <robertjmca1@gmail.com>

After more than a quarter of a century of environmental campaigning I’ve come to see that the only thing that really works is public mobilisation: the electorate putting so much pressure on governments that they are obliged to take a stand against powerful interests. It doesn’t matter what weapons governments use to confront these interests: what counts is their willingness to use them. A system which undermines public involvement, boosts the power of the financial markets and reduces love and passion and delight to a column of figures is unlikely to enhance the protection of the natural world.


Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12 at end.


Contents #13

Dick, Moyers & Co.: Victims of US Capitalism in Milwaukee

Scheer,  Predatory Takeover, The Great Stickup

Taibbi, Big Banks Price-Fixing

Dick, Warrior Capitalism

Taibbi, Everything Rigged

Leech, Capitalism Genocidal, Rev. by Sethness

Munoz, US Supreme Court Protects Corporations, MM Silent

Richard Wolff

Kroll, 2012 Elections and Billionaires


Gibson, Public Banking


Contents #14


Leibovich: US Capitalism Washington, DC,

Cox: The Market as God

Moyers: Freeland, Taibbi, Income Inequality

Birdsell:  Poverty of Working Poor

Ockert:  SNAP Handouts Help Short-term


Hedges:  Global US Capitalism, World’s Elites vs. World’s Poor

Trainor:  And Climate Change, 180 Degree Turn Needed Now

Bennett:  Chomsky, Bolivia (long-term gains) vs. US (short-term)

Faulkner:   Over-accumulation of Capitalism: 

Defenders of a Modified Capitalism

Admati and Hellwig: Changing the Banking System

Haque: Changing the Economic System

Strong and Mackey: Conscious Capitalists Can Solve World’s Problems

Welch: Positive Vision Needed


Contents #15 Nov. 22, 2013 (11 essays)


Frontline, JPMorgan Fined $13 Billion, the Price of Business as Usual

Hedges (2 essays on disintegrating Corporate State)

Moyers & Company:  Interview of Heather Gerken and Joyce Appleby

Moyers & Co., Interview of Gretchen Morgenson, Author of Reckless Endangerment

Nichols and  McChesney, Dollarocracy

Gotesdiener, A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home


Senator Sanders, Morally and Economically Sound Budget

Speth, Manifesto for a New Economy

Appleby, Libertarian View of Flexible Capitalism

Brown, Costa Rican (and North Dakotan!) Public Banking


Contents #16,

US “Free”-Market, Unregulated Greed

Parramore, Ayn Rand

Video Documentary, Frontline, “To Catch a Trader”

Dick: Jackson’s Study of Media Reporting of Unequal Justice

Michael Klare: Carbon Dioxide Increasing


Building a New Economic System

Pierce, Economic Bill of Rights Needed vs. Corporations

Chomsky, An Economic System for the Common Good

Weissmann, A Different Federal Reserve

Hedges, Public Banks, the North Dakota Model

Bradbery, Adequate Regulatory Oversight

Stephenson and Miodema, Volker Rule One Step

The People’s Ally, Public Citizen

Staggenborg, Pledge to Amend, Anti-Corruption Act Petition




Ayn Rand Destroys CEO's Empire 
Lynn Parramore, AlterNet, Reader Supported News, Dec. 10, 2013. 
Parramore writes: "Lampert created a business model predicated on the notion that the invisible hand of the market would magically drive stellar results. With his belief in economic fairy tales, he managed to kill the goose that laid his own golden egg." 



GOOGLE SEARCH, PBS, FRONTLINE, Martin Smith, “To Catch a Trader” Documentary, Jan. 6, 2014, Page One


1.      Video: "To Catch a Trader" Preview | Watch ... - PBS Video


FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith goes inside the dramatic hunt that uncovered the biggest insider trading scandal in U.S. history, drawing on ...

2.      To Catch a Trader | FRONTLINE | PBS


To Catch a Trader ... In a never-before-published video, hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen, whose firm this week pleaded guilty to securities fraud, describes ...

3.      Video: "To Catch a Trader" Preview | Watch FRONTLINE ... - KERA


Jan 7, 2014 - FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith goes inside the dramatic hunt that uncovered the biggest insider trading scandal in U.S. history, ...

4.      Frontline To Catch A Trader | WTTW Chicago - Daily Schedule


From small-time options trader to King of Wall Street hedge fund managers, ... SAC Capital, and other Wall Street characters with never-before-seen video and ...

5.      "To Catch a Trader" PBS Frontline Video Preview, Jan 7th, 2014 ...


3 days ago - FRONTLINE Coming January 7th – correspondent Martin Smith goes inside the dramatic hunt that uncovered the biggest insider trading ...

6.      "To Catch a Trader" Preview | Watch Frontline PBS Full Episodes ...


Dec 12, 2013

... scandal in U.S. history, drawing on exclusively-obtained videoof hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen ...

7.      To Catch A Trader | Frontline | Wisconsin Public Television


To Catch A Trader. Billionaire Steven A. Cohen and the largest insider trading scandal in U.S. history ... Series Links. Visit Frontline website. Searching for Video ...

8.      Frontline: To Catch A Trader » TV Programs on Iowa Public Television

www.iptv.org › Programs  Frontline

That's how the CDC describes a frightening new threat spreading... 02:00. FRONTLINE | Preview "Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria" | PBS Play Video ...

9.      FRONTLINE | Preview "To Catch A Trader" | PBS - YouTube

► 0:32► 0:32


21 hours ago - Uploaded by PBS

This video is unavailable. Alert icon. You need Adobe Flash Player to watch this video. Download it from Adobe.

10. Frontline: To Catch a Trader Episode Online | DIRECTV

www.directv.com › DIRECTV Everywhere  TV Shows  Frontline

Watch Frontline (To Catch a Trader) on DIRECTV. An ongoing seven-year investigation into insider trading includes a profile of Steven A. Cohen and his ...


Why Aren’t Big Bankers in Jail?

By Janine Jackson.   EXTRA! (Jan. 2014).

     “The man in charge of a bank that engaged in massive mortgage fraud [Jamie Dimon] chatted with a corporate media host (CNBC Squawk on the Street, 7/12/13) about the fact that virtually none of those who enriched themselves while eviscerating the life savings of many blameless people, derailing the US economy along the way, have faced criminal prosecution: Jim Cramer: Shouldn't they have indicted somebody who actually did bad things in banking? JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: I think if someone did something wrong, they should go to jail. Cramer: Well, who did? Who went to jail? Dimon: One of the great things about America, failure is not illegal or wrong.”

      Jackson gives an excellent analysis of corporate media response to the question, especially their deflection of blame by diffusion of the guilty.  For example, the public is to blame for believing in the bubble.   But a multitude of frauds were committed, and they will continue until the plutocratic malefactors are punished.  But worse, the stench of unequal justice in the US will eventually stifle the truth and poison hope.  For example,  in a brief attached note, “An Unarrestable Class?”, the ACLU reported on 3,278 people—mostly black, many poor, mentally ill, on drugs—who are in prison for “failure,” for example for carrying drugs for an abusive boyfriend or possessing a crack pipe.  --Dick



Michael T. Klare | Peak Oil Is Dead, Long Live Peak Oil! 
Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch, 09 January 14 PM,  Reader Supported News

Klare writes: "As the year begins, we know more about what's in our future with somewhat greater certainty and, generally speaking, as record amounts of carbon dioxide continue to pour into the atmosphere, we’re doing remarkably little about it." 


Building a New Economic System


WE NEED A BILL OF RIGHTS THAT PROTECTS THE PEOPLE NOT ONLY FROM THE GOVERNMENT BUT FROM THE CORPORATIONS  [The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights helps, but The Earth Charter is better.  Dick]

The Tyranny of the Brand

By Charles Pierce, Esquire  20 December 13

 What good is a Bill of Rights if it protects us (increasingly thinly) against government, but subcontracts the job of abridging those rights to every other institution that affects our lives and well-being?


s the day went on, I heard an unfortunate number of progressive friends address the issue of the suspension of the crackerfamilias with the flat assertion that the First Amendment doesn't apply to corporations and that therefore, A&E was within its rights to suspend the guy. (Which, as Steve M. points out, isn't really a suspension but rather that the crackerfamilias is sort of banned from A&E world HQ while his program is on hiatus, which many of the show's fans likely believe is a form of hernia.) I do not deny the basic legal correctness of this point, but I do wonder if progressives should be quite so blithe about it.

The Bill Of Rights is supposed to be durable and universal. Now, though, in our schools and in our workplaces, it has taken a severe beating. Regularly scheduled drug testing without cause eviscerates the protections of the Fourth And Fifth Amendments. Just this week, Senator Professor Warren proposed a bill that would decouple credit checks from the application process, which at least is a step toward reasserting a right to privacy. To say that, well, Phil Robertson doesn't have a First Amendment right to a TV show is only to make half an argument. What good is a Bill of Rights if it protects us (increasingly thinly) against government, but subcontracts the job of abridging those rights to every other institution that affects our lives and well-being? As it happens, I had disciplinary action taken against me at the last newspaper I worked for because of things I had written on the Esquire.com Politics blog prior to coming to work here full time. When I asked my immediate supervisor why this happened, he replied, "My primary obligation is to the company." (I looked down to make sure I wasn't wearing a nametag with the word Wal Mart on it.) If I showed you the official letter of reprimand, you wouldn't believe that it actually was written by anyone who worked for a newspaper in any capacity except hawking it from a steam grate. They were within their rights to do what they did, but if you believe in civil liberties, you have to start wondering how truncated those liberties are in daily life.

And my favorite left-wing left-winger passes along another story from within this rapidly expanding gray area.

According to the new policy, "improper use of social media" includes any "communication through social media that":

"ii. when made pursuant to (i.e. in furtherance of) the employee's official duties, is contrary to the best interest of the university"; "iv. subject to the balancing analysis required by the following paragraph, impairs discipline by superiors or harmony among co-workers, has a detrimental impact on close working relationships for which personal loyalty and confidence are necessary, impedes the performance of the speaker's official duties, interferes with the regular operation of the university, or otherwise adversely affects the university's ability to efficiently provide services. "In determining whether the employee's communication constitutes an improper use of social media under paragraph (iv), the chief executive officer shall balance the interest of the university in promoting the efficiency of the public services it performs through its employees against the employee's right as a citizen to speak on matters of public concern, and may consider the employee's position within the university and whether the employee used or publicized the university name, brands, website, official title or school/department/college or otherwise created the appearance of the communication being endorsed, approved or connected to the university in a manner that discredits the university. The chief executive officer may also consider whether the communication was made during the employee's working hours or the communication was transmitted utilizing university systems or equipment. This policy on improper use of social media shall apply prospectively from its date of adoption by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Does your job own your civil liberties when you're off the clock? Does it own your thoughts, expressed freely, when you're home? Are we saying that the government can't abridge your constitutional rights, but that The Brand can? If you answer instantly, "yes," think again about what you're saying, and about the kind of country in which you want to live.



Noam Chomsky, How Can We Escape the Curse of Economic Exploitation?   Noam Chomsky, AlterNet,  09 January 14, Reader Supported News

Chomsky writes: "Concern for the common good should impel us to find ways to cultivate human development in its richest diversity." 



Steve Weissman, Learning to Love the Federal Reserve. 
Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News , 09 January 14,
Weissman writes: "At the risk of being tarred and feathered, let me suggest that a very different Federal Reserve could become an indispensable tool for extending politically conscious, democratic control to the nation's economy." 

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Standing Up to Corporate Power


By: Angela Bradbery

You’d think the financial crash in 2008 would have taught us some lessons. But apparently, we haven’t learned. Despite the fact that deregulation – which allowed the big banks and financial institutions to operate without oversight – contributed to the near collapse of the economy just a few years ago, we still haven’t instituted the safeguards needed to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Reality Check: The Forgotten Lessons of Deregulation and Unsung Successes of Sensible Safeguards,” a book released today at an event at Public Citizen, provides an in-depth look at how deregulation derailed the economy and puts forth a series of case studies that counter allegations made against public protections in recent years. The book is by our own Taylor Lincoln, research director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch program.

Taylor Lincoln Reality Check

Watch video of the discussion moderated by Public Citizen’s Taylor Lincoln (pictured) at the reception for the release of the new book, “Reality Check.”

“Four years ago, hardly anybody disputed that the housing bubble and financial crisis cried out for better regulation, but that lesson was soon forgotten,” said Lincoln. “We hope that our book will provoke a more thoughtful debate moving forward.”

“Reality Check” chronicles the damage caused by insufficient oversight of mortgage lending, financial derivatives, commodities and residential electricity services. The book illustrates that even the bailed-out mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were often incorrectly portrayed as government agencies, succumbed because of a shortage of government oversight.

“Reality Check” also debunks myths that have flourished in recent years about how safeguards work.

Today’s symposium at our Washington, D.C., headquarters featured a discussion with Neil Barofsky, a federal prosecutor who was chosen to serve as the special inspector general overseeing the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program; Brooksley Born, former chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; and former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who was instrumental in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (You can watch a video of the event here.)

The discussion was lively and fascinating, and the speakers were surprisingly candid about the challenges of crusading against powerful Wall Street interests. For instance, Barofsky recounted how he was told that it wouldn’t be in the best interest of his long-term career to be too hard on the banks. The solution Barofsky and others advocate: breaking up the big banks.

Want to get the book? You can order it for your Kindle via Amazon by going tohttp://www.amazon.com/Reality-Check-ebook/dp/B00C11TJY4. Or you can download individual chapters at http://www.citizen.org/reality-check-lessons-of-deregulation-successes-of-safeguards-ebook.

Contrary to claims that new rules are written by civil servants with little oversight, the book provides case studies illustrating that federal agencies are among the most regulated entities in the United States. Agency obligations have slowed the rulemaking process to a crawl.

For instance, the book recounts a 12-year saga surrounding the effort to complete a much-needed and uncontroversial update to a rule on the operation of cranes. More broadly, the book documents that delays in completing workplace rules concerning well-understood hazards have resulted in tens of thousands of avoidable illnesses and injuries.

Members of Congress often accuse agencies of handing down rules willy-nilly without oversight. But the rulemaking process has become so cumbersome that agencies fail to meet deadlines set by Congress nearly 80 percent of the time.

Meanwhile, the allegations surrounding public safeguards have kept many in the public arena from understanding that such rules tend to be well-crafted. A series of case studies in the book shows that regulations have a remarkable track record of success. Not only do rules tend to exceed their public protection objectives, they often do so at a fraction of predicted costs and to the benefit of industries that earlier fought mightily to stop them.

Finally, the book revisits the oft-recited trope that regulations are responsible for “killing jobs.” Numerous studies have found that new public safeguards have a beneficial effect on employment. Meanwhile, surveys have consistently found that small businesses rate regulations low on their list of concerns when contemplating whether to hire new employees.

“Reality Check” is available on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Reality-Check-ebook/dp/B00C11TJY4. Individual chapters can be downloaded by going tohttp://www.citizen.org/reality-check-lessons-of-deregulation-successes-of-safeguards-ebook.

The event can be viewed at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30825643.

Angela Bradbery is director of communications for Public Citizen.



Chris Hedges

Overthrow the Speculators

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From TRUTHDIG Posted on Dec 29, 2013

AP/Richard Drew

Traders work at the Goldman Sachs posts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 2012.

By Chris Hedges

Money, as Karl Marx lamented, plays the largest part in determining the course of history. Once speculators are able to concentrate wealth into their hands they have, throughout history, emasculated government, turned the press into lap dogs and courtiers, corrupted the courts and hollowed out public institutions, including universities, to justify their looting and greed. Today’s speculators have created grotesque financial mechanisms, from usurious interest rates on loans to legalized accounting fraud, to plunge the masses into crippling forms of debt peonage. They steal staggering sums of public funds, such as the $85 billion of mortgage-backed securities and bonds, many of them toxic, that they unload each month on the Federal Reserve in return for cash. And when the public attempts to finance public-works projects they extract billions of dollars through wildly inflated interest rates.

Speculators at megabanks or investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are not, in a strict sense, capitalists. They do not make money from the means of production. Rather, they ignore or rewrite the law—ostensibly put in place to protect the vulnerable from the powerful—to steal from everyone, including their shareholders. They are parasites. They feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They just manipulate money. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged.

We can wrest back control of our economy, and finally our political system, from corporate speculators only by building local movements that decentralize economic power through the creation of hundreds of publicly owned state, county and city banks.

The establishment of city, regional and state banks, such as the state public bank in North Dakota, permits localities to invest money in community projects rather than hand it to speculators. It keeps property and sales taxes, along with payrolls for public employees and pension funds, from lining the pockets of speculators such as Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Money, instead of engorging the bank accounts of the few, is leveraged to fund schools, restore infrastructure, sustain systems of mass transit and develop energy self-reliance.

The Public Banking Institute, founded by Ellen Brown, the author of “Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free,” Marc Armstrong and other grass-roots activists are attempting to build a system of public banks. States such as Vermont and Washington and cities such as Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Reading, Pa., have begun public banking initiatives. Public banks return economic power, and by extension political power, to the citizens. And because they are local they are possible. These and other grass-roots revolts, including sustainable agriculture, will be the brush fires that will, if they succeed, ignite the overthrow of the corporate state.

 “The debate about public or private control of the monetary system has been going on for hundreds of years,” Armstrong, the executive director of the Public Banking Institute, said when I reached him by phone. “The American Revolution had everything to do with who controlled our economic destiny. The money supply is central to that control. North Dakota has proven that a state can use a public bank to further the economic interests of its people. North Dakota funds its own infrastructure and capital investment projects. It provides funding for commercial lending throughout the state. It develops the areas of its economy it wants to prioritize, areas that are often not funded by private banks.”

“When a public bank such as the bank in North Dakota funds infrastructure projects the interest costs, which [otherwise] are often 50 percent or more of a project, in essence fall to zero because the interest is returned to same people who own the bank and paid the interest in the first place,” said Armstrong, who previously worked for IBM Finance. “[Americans typically] hold labor costs under a microscope, but ... don’t hold interest costs under a microscope. North Dakota can offer commercial loans as low as 1 percent. Compare this with Wall Street banks that charge 14 or 15 percent. We can use bank credit, the tool Wall Street banks use to amass wealth and power, to empower ourselves.” And because credit, Armstrong notes, is the source for 97 percent of the nation’s money supply, this power would be huge.

The Bank of North Dakota, the vision of socialists from a century ago, has been in operation for 90 years. It offers the state’s farmers and businesses low interest rates on loans. After floods destroyed much of Grand Forks in 1997 the bank provided a six-month moratorium on mortgage payments and gave low-interest loans to the community to rebuild, a sharp contrast with the raw exploitation that marked the arrival of Wall Street bankers and speculators in Gulf Coast areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. Public banks in the United States, like the public banks in Germany, fund things such as solar power because it is good for communities rather than the portfolios of speculators.

1   2   NEXT PAGE >>> http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/overthrow_the_speculators_20131229


SEC Votes to Adopt Volcker Rule to Ban Proprietary Trading 
Emily Stephenson and Douwe Miedema, Reuters, Reader Supported News, Dec. 10, 2013 
Stephenson and Miedema report: "U.S. regulators toughened key sections of the Volcker rule's crackdown on Wall Street's risky trades on Tuesday as they finalized one of the harshest reforms after the credit meltdown." 

[But “harshest”?  Harsh?  Have any of the reforms been harsh?  Even altogether have they been adequate to end the corruption and boom-bust fluctuations at the injurious heart of the market system?  Other essays in this newsletter suggest not.   –Dick]



Some bank regulation finally passed


"On Tuesday, December 10, 2013, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) along with 4 other agencies passed the Volcker Rule, while a 5th agency has stated it will also pass the rule, but behind closed doors.  The Volcker Rule is a huge win for President Obama in regards to financial reform, fundamentally changing the way banks on Wall Street operate and severely limit the relationship between commercial and investment banks.

More specifically, the new law separates investment banking, private equity and proprietary trading (hedge fund) sections of financial institutions from their consumer lending arms.



Kelly and Rick, Public Citizen via uark.edu 




to James

Public Citizen


What a year.

As 2013 draws to a close, now is a good time to reflect on the past twelve months of
Public Citizen’s victories, struggles, milestones and achievements.

You — as an essential part of this inspiring project we call Public Citizen — play a major role in each and every one of our shared accomplishments. We can’t do what we do without you.

Curious what we did together in 2013?

For a glimpse, keep reading to see fourteen standout posts from Public Citizen’s blogs this year.

Want to make sure you don’t miss 2014’s posts?

Sign up to receive a weekly email highlighting the best in-depth research, incisive policy analyses and informed observations from Public Citizen’s blogs.

Here are fourteen blog posts from 2013 to ring in 2014.

Please read, comment and share!

· January 10
U.S. Chamber plays Chicken Little (again)
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen

· February 28
Occupy lawsuit seeks to hasten Volcker Rule implementation
Bartlett Naylor, financial policy reform advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

· March 1
Reflections on the movement to stop the Keystone XL pipeline
Julia Trigg Crawford, energy activist and volunteer with Public Citizen’s Texas office

· April 3
New Public Citizen book, ‘Reality Check: The Forgotten Lessons of Deregulation and Unsung Successes of Sensible Safeguards,’ makes the case for regulations
Angela Bradbery, communications director for Public Citizen

· June 3
Obama’s covert trade deal
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division, and Ben Beachy, research director for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division

· June 17
The surprising answer from Google on its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Jake Parent, coordinator of Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch

· July 18
Cordray confirmation as CFPB director another victory for Public Citizen’s consumer protection efforts
Rick Claypool, online director for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

· July 22
What the Prince of Cambridge can teach the United States about the benefits of a single payer health care system
Dave Sterrett, health care counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

· August 28
Police break up Public Citizen press conference criticizing HHS for unethical study
Sam Jewler, communications officer for Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch

· September 25
Coalition of parents and safety groups sue DOT over stalled auto safety rule to protect children
Scott Michelman, attorney for the Public Citizen Litigation Group

· October 29
An energy consumer Bill of Rights is needed
Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program

· November 1
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers and experts make the case for transparency
Kelly Ngo, online advocacy organizer with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

· November 13
151 House Democrats, bloc of GOP announce opposition to ‘Fast Track’ trade authority
Ben Beachy, research director for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Division

· December 18
Mountain of evidence: Consumers, employees and even small businesses are losing right to sue
Christine Hines, consumer and civil justice counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division

Make sure you don’t miss our blog posts in 2014.

Sign up to receive an email each week highlighting posts from Public Citizen’s blogs.

Thanks for all you do,

Rick Claypool and Kelly Ngo
Public Citizen’s Online Action Team




The future of the amendment movement is here

Rick Staggenborg [staggenborg4senate@hotmail.com]

 Rick Staggenborg ‎[staggenborg4senate@hotmail.com]‎ 


Tuesday, January 28, 2014 4:35 PM

There is great news regarding the move to end corporate rule in the US and the world. As I mentioned in my last email, Rootstrikers and Demand Progress are calling to make support for an amendment to reform campaign finance and end corporate constitutional rights a campaign issue in the 2016 Presidential campaign. 

This pledge strategy is essentially what Represent US has been pushing to get reform legislation passed by planning a campaign to call for pledges of support of congressional candidates for the Anti-Corruption Act. 

Now RepresentUS has teamed up with Free Speech for People to launch a joint petition calling for BOTH the Act and an amendment. This is a significant breakthrough and the timing is fantastic! We are organizing in Oregon to make support for such an amendment a campaign issue in 2014 congressional elections. The idea is pretty much what was outlined in early 2012 as the Pledge to Amend campaign:


If we successfully build a movement in Oregon that mobilizes people to attend campaign events and make the issue prominent, I fully expect the strategy to be adopted by other groups working on the issue and go national in time to affect the 2012 elections.

Please help by signing and sharing this petition.


In solidarity for peace and justice,
Rick Staggenborg, MD
Board President, Take Back America for the People
Founder, Soldiers For Peace International
Coos Bay, OR


Contents #9 Nov. 12, 2012

Hedrick Smith, Who Stole the American Dream?

To Schneiderman:  Prosecute or Resign

Taibbi, Why Government Doesn’t Fight Wall Street

Barofsky, Bailout on TARP

Nader: Where Were the Whistleblowers?

Freeland, Plutocrats

Reich, Book on US Capitalism

Reich, Interviewed About US Capitalism

Survey:  Confidence in Capitalism Declines

Wolf:  Global Financial Fraud

Looking Back at Capitalist Greed, PBS:  Remember the Triangle Fire



Contents #10

Ha-Joon Chang, About Capitalism

Gibney Video: Park Avenue, 1% of 1%:

Hacker and Pierson: Winner-Take-All Politics

Bybee, War on Wages

Foster and McChesney, Monopoly-Finance Capital

Pollin, Full Employment

Wenz, Progressive Taxation

Mondiot, Unregulated Capitalism and Climate Change

Williams, Socialism


Contents #11

Taibbi, Lies about Bailout

Ad Busters on US Capitalism

Ad Busters on Canadian Capitalism

Moyers  & Co. Programs

Richard Wolff’s Books

Jim Wallis, Serving the Common Good


Contents #12

Animated Film on Nature of Capitalism

Connaughton, Why Wall Street Always Wins

Moyers Interviews Sheila Bair and Richard Wolff March 22


Tunnel People and Economic Collapse

Dauvergne and Lister,  Corporate Takeover of Sustainability

Smil, What We Have Taken from Nature

Blinder, Cause and Cure of Economic Crisis

Leopold, World of Top Hedge-Fund Managers

Garson, How the 99% Lives in the Recession

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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)