Archive for the ‘GE’ tag
Supreme Court hears Arizona’s controversial ‘papers’ argument, Occupy interrupts shareholder meetings
Allison and Jamie talk about the Occupy/ACT UP protest in New York, the Supreme Court appears to favor Arizona on its controversial immigration law, Occupy protesters disrupt corporate shareholder meetings, Netroots decides to play nice with President Obama, the feds make the first arrest following the BP oil spill tragedy, the UK slips into a double dip recession – is the US far behind?, Minnesota’s state GOP gets evicted from its headquarters, Jamie recommends good sources of iron for vegans, and Kthug writes about another controversial issue: Zionism.
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Borders officially closes, Allison and Jamie share memories, GE guts offshore wind-power plans, Louis Gohmert defends corporations in his “jobs” bill, NAVY vet sues the state of Florida over drug testing.
Special announcements: Saturday September 17th is the Occupy Wall Street (#OccupyWallStreet) protest: https://occupywallst.org/
Troy Davis protests scheduled TODAY in downtown Atlanta, NYC (4:30-6PM at Times Sq, 43rd St and Seventh Ave,) and in Oakland (4-6PM, Oakland Fed Building, 1301 Clay St, near 12th St-City Center BART).
Jamie will be performing at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, Maryland September 21 in honor of Howard Zinn. http://zinnedproject.org/posts/11738
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In this episode, Citizen Radio answers a ton of your mail! Your questions/comments are on veganism, zombie-killing, and how to survive your miserable job. Also, GE doesn’t handle getting pranked very well, Newt Gingrich is terrified of a secular country, and of course Muslims, Congress really doesn’t represent the demographics of the United States, and finally, some helpful tips on killing zombies.
Allison continues to blog at The Nation. Share her articles on Facebook and Twitter! Latest post: GE Demands Removal of Hoax Website.
Today, Jamie offers a shout-out to the Bay area, and a not-so-enthusiastic shout-out to a whole lot of pissed off white people.
Next, Citizen Radio discusses the stupid decision to suspend Keith Olbermann for *gasp!* being liberal, and also revisits the Rally For Sanity.
BART Officer Johannes Mehserle received two years in prison for murdering Oscar Grant. Allison and Jamie talk about the importance of the story, and why it should be receiving more attention from the establishment media.
It’s time for more of your Listener Mail! Your questions/comments this week concern finding a Progressive support group and another listener goes vegetarian!
Subscribe to hear all of this week’s episodes, including Citizen Radio Live! with guests Reggie Watts, Todd Barry, and Melissa Harris-Perry, a special BONUS midterm elections episode, how alcohol is the most dangerous drug, and New Corp’s journalmalism. Plus, Allison and Jamie answer a shitload of your Listener Mail!
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Citizen Radio is a political-comedy internet radio show hosted by Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein that airs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Subscribe to the show at wearecitizenradio.com.
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General Electric has become the biggest beneficiary of one of the rescue programs originally designed for banks, according to the Washington Post. However, GE has also managed to avoid the restrictions and regulations placed upon the financial institutions by exploiting a loophole in the rescue program, and claiming two small Utah banking institutions qualified it for government (read: taxpayer money) assistance.
Now, President Obama wants to close that loophole and reaffirm the wall between banking and commerce. Hopefully, some of that plan will include a new Glass-Steagall, an act originally introduced in 1933 during the first American economic apocalypse. Glass-Steagall was designed to separate commercial from investment banking, which is an important safeguard to keep banks from getting “too big to fail.”
Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) and House Representative Jim Leach (R-IA) introduced a bill to repeal Glass-Steagall in 1999. It passed the Senate and the House, and President Clinton signed the legislation into law. It was a major victory for deregulation and corporations that value rapid, unchecked growth over responsibility and long-term stability.
The government had let a cougar out of its cage and then had the nerve to act surprised when they got mauled. The banks (and a select few corporations) got “too big to fail,” and the taxpayers are now endlessly bailing them out.
If President Obama is serious about regulation, he needs to go beyond this single loophole and get tough with banks and corporations. Glass-Steagall II could control bank growth, but corporations need their own regulation overhaul.
Corporations have more power than individuals and yet are protected as individuals by the law. Though they exert unusual influence on the government with their army of lobbyists, 10,000 Political Action Committees, and placement of executives in high-ranking government positions (see: Hank Paulson,) corporations simultaneously use the Constitution to protect themselves from liability.
Barry Yeoman reports in Mother Jones that the 1978 Supreme Court agreed with corporations claiming that
[T]he state could not limit their political spending in an antitax campaign. Almost two decades later, a federal appellate court struck down a Vermont law requiring that milk from cows treated with bovine growth hormone be so labeled. Dairy producers had a First Amendment right ” not to speak,” the court said. In California, Nike invoked the First Amendment to fight a lawsuit arguing that the company’s public relations materials misrepresented sweatshop labor conditions.
Most recently, the Retail Industry Leaders Association has relied on the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause to fight Maryland’s Wal-Mart law, designed to force the company to expand its spending on employee health care. The retail group has also sued Suffolk County, New York, which last fall passed a similar ordinance aimed at nonunionized supermarkets.
Factor in the billions of dollars corporations save with their tax breaks, tax havens, and abandonment of union contracts for the sake of cheap labor in foreign countries, and the message becomes pretty clear: the US loves the corporation. Yet, this kind of fondness for corporations isn’t reciprocal for you, the taxpayer, who inevitably rushes in to save the day when the corporation goes bankrupt after years of deregulation and over-leveraging.
If you go bankrupt, you’re out of luck. GE and President Obama probably won’t rush to the rescue and spend their money on your hard luck, even if your hard luck was caused by a corporation (as happened to victims of 400% payday loan interest rates.)
Obama’s closing of the rescue plan loophole is a good step, but it’s only one step. The US government needs to make up for years of deregulation and corporatism in order to protect Americans from corporate behemoths that are accountable to no one (including their own employees), leaches on taxpayers’ wallets, and an inevitable burden on the economy when they go broke and demand their bailouts.
In the spring of 2007 a tiny military contractor with a slender track record went shopping for a precious Beltway commodity.
Access like this does not come cheap, but it was an opportunity potentially worth billions in sales, and Defense Solutions soon found its man. The company signed Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and military analyst for NBC News, to a consulting contract starting June 15, 2007.
Four days later the general swung into action. He sent a personal note and 15-page briefing packet to David H. Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, strongly recommending Defense Solutions and its offer to supply Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles from Eastern Europe. “No other proposal is quicker, less costly, or more certain to succeed,” he said.
Thus, within days of hiring General McCaffrey, the Defense Solutions sales pitch was in the hands of the American commander with the greatest influence over Iraq’s expanding military.
“That’s what I pay him for,” Timothy D. Ringgold, chief executive of Defense Solutions, said in an interview.
General McCaffrey did not mention his new contract with Defense Solutions in his letter to General Petraeus. Nor did he disclose it when he went on CNBC that same week and praised the commander Defense Solutions was now counting on for help — “He’s got the heart of a lion” — or when he told Congress the next month that it should immediately supply Iraq with large numbers of armored vehicles and other equipment.
He had made similar arguments before he was hired by Defense Solutions, but this time he went further. In his testimony to Congress, General McCaffrey criticized a Pentagon plan to supply Iraq with several hundred armored vehicles made in the United States by a competitor of Defense Solutions. He called the plan “not in the right ballpark” and urged Congress to instead equip Iraq with 5,000 armored vehicles.
“We’ve got Iraqi army battalions driving around in Toyota trucks,” he said, echoing an argument made to General Petraeus in the Defense Solutions briefing packet.
Through seven years of war an exclusive club has quietly flourished at the intersection of network news and wartime commerce. Its members, mostly retired generals, have had a foot in both camps as influential network military analysts and defense industry rainmakers. It is a deeply opaque world, a place of privileged access to senior government officials, where war commentary can fit hand in glove with undisclosed commercial interests and network executives are sometimes oblivious to possible conflicts of interest.
Few illustrate the submerged complexities of this world better than Barry McCaffrey.
General McCaffrey, 66, has long been a force in Washington’s power elite. A consummate networker, he cultivated politicians and journalists of all stripes as drug czar in the Clinton cabinet, and his ties run deep to a new generation of generals, some of whom he taught at West Point or commanded in the Persian Gulf war, when he rose to fame leading the “left hook” assault on Iraqi forces.
But it was 9/11 that thrust General McCaffrey to the forefront of the national security debate. In the years since he has made nearly 1,000 appearances on NBC and its cable sisters, delivering crisp sound bites in a blunt, hyperbolic style. He commands up to $25,000 for speeches, his commentary regularly turns up in The Wall Street Journal, and he has been quoted or cited in thousands of news articles, including dozens in The New York Times.
His influence is such that President Bush and Congressional leaders from both parties have invited him for war consultations. His access is such that, despite a contentious relationship with former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the Pentagon has arranged numerous trips to Iraq, Afghanistan and other hotspots solely for his benefit.
At the same time, General McCaffrey has immersed himself in businesses that have grown with the fight against terrorism.
If this is indeed true, it’s outrageous. I seriously doubt NBC plans on affording Biden or Gonzales the same privilege of getting free face-time on a national network on public airwaves.
NBC, and its parent company GE, are allowing Sarah Palin to perform this ridiculous PR stunt even though she parrots hateful ideologies, including forcing rape victims to pay for their own rape kit.
Also? She thinks Jesus is coming back to Earth…soon! And she’s running for the second highest seat in the land.
Which brings me to my theoretic question: If we (Jamie and I) were to organize a protest of Sarah Palin’s hosting of SNL in NYC, who could come out?
We’re not talking about standing outside in the dark with our little signs. We’re going to stand in line, get into the live taping, and then take turns yelling our slogans throughout the night, so even if a handfull of us get kicked out, there are more people scattered throughout the place to make the entire hour-long taping complete and utter hell, and the footage unusable.
Now, having said that, we have a source on the SNL staff, who tells us he doesn’t think Sarah Palin will actually be used. This is great news, and here is how you can prevent her from even getting her painted clown face on TV:
Call and complain. Say you find Sarah Palin’s rhetoric hateful and offensive, and you will stop watching SNL if Lauren Michaels (SNL producer) allows this divise, monstrous character to parade around on network television.
General Electric (NBC parent company): 212-575-6000, or 1-800-626-2000
Here’s the contact info for Lorne Michaels’ SNL production company: (212) 265-7600
This is NOT a free speech issue. The airwaves belong to the public, and NBC is not affording equal face time to the political parties. SNL has been accused of being too liberal, and now GE is pressuring the staff to “even things out” by having Palin on their show. It’s bullshit.
IF YOU CAN COME TO THE PROTEST, PLEASE CONTACT ME
If this happens, it would be October 25. We will probably only be able to receieve stand-by tickets, so you will need to arrive by 7 a.m. on the morning of the taping under the “NBC Studios” marquee on the 50th St. side of 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Again, ideally we don’t want her on the show AT ALL, so call the above numbers, and I’ll keep you all posted