Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 24, 2011 Pentagon Finds No Fault in Ties to TV Analysts
QUOTE: A Pentagon public relations program that sought to transform high-profile military analysts into “surrogates” and “message force multipliers” for the Bush administration complied with Defense Department regulations and directives....The inquiry confirmed that Mr. Rumsfeld’s staff frequently provided military analysts with talking points before their network appearances....four military analysts reported that they were ejected from Mr. Rumsfeld’s outreach program “because they were critical” of the Pentagon.
New York Times Dec 22, 2011 A Christmas Message From America's Rich
QUOTE: The entire ethos of modern Wall Street, on the other hand, is complete indifference to all of these matters. The very rich on today’s Wall Street are now so rich that they buy their own social infrastructure. They hire private security, they live on gated mansions on islands and other tax havens, and most notably, they buy their own justice and their own government....nobody even minds that they are rich. What makes people furious is that they have stopped being citizens.
Rolling Stone Nov 29, 2011 Gingrich Gave Push to Clients, Not Just Ideas
QUOTE: in the eight years since [Gingrich] started his health care consultancy, he has made millions of dollars while helping companies promote their services and gain access to state and federal officials. In a variety of instances, documents and interviews show, Mr. Gingrich arranged meetings between executives and officials, and salted his presentations to lawmakers with pitches for his clients
New York Times Oct 21, 2011 What is the Right Solution for Internet Tax? New report says it would encourage competition and help consumers
QUOTE: ...Amazon is pulling the spotlight away from other online retailers, but he is also disturbed that it is making deals with politicians in order to eliminate its tax own burden. The online retailer has been negotiating with states to avoid or delay paying taxes in exchange for investment and jobs in those states.
WebProNews Sep 02, 2011 Obama Administration Abandons Stricter Air-Quality Rules
QUOTE: President Obama abandoned a contentious new air pollution rule on Friday, buoying business interests that had lobbied heavily against it, angering environmentalists who called the move a betrayal and unnerving his own top environmental regulators.
New York Times Aug 05, 2011 Ex-Lawmaker Still a Friend of Hospitals
QUOTE: House members are banned from lobbying on Capitol Hill for a year after leaving office (Mr. Pomeroy’s term ended in January), but Mr. Pomeroy, a Democrat, has teamed up with his former chief of staff, who is not subject to the restriction, as a lobbying partner.
New York Times Jul 13, 2011 Amazon Takes On California
QUOTE: Amazon said this week that it would push a voter initiative in California that could eliminate sales tax for virtual sellers with only a modest physical presence in the state. Its move instantly escalated the company’s long-running battle with many states over collecting sales tax, taking the question directly to voters. And it has sharply intensified its dispute with physical retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and Target, which have vowed to fight the measure.
New York Times Jun 30, 2011 Local Laws Fighting Fat Under Siege
QUOTE: Several state legislatures are passing laws that prohibit municipalities and other local governments from adopting regulations aimed at curbing rising obesity and improving public health, such as requiring restaurants to provide nutritional information on menus or to eliminate trans fats from the foods they serve.
New York Times Jun 20, 2011 Support Is Mutual for Senator and Utah Industry
QUOTE: [Sen. Hatch] was the chief author of a federal law enacted 17 years ago that allows companies to make general health claims about their products, but exempts them from federal reviews of their safety or effectiveness before they go to market.... Mr. Hatch has been rewarded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, political loyalty and corporate sponsorship of his favorite causes back home. His family and friends have benefited, too...
New York Times Jun 16, 2011 Who Is James Johnson?
QUOTE: Morgenson and Rosner write with barely suppressed rage, as if great crimes are being committed. But there are no crimes. This is how Washington works. Only two of the characters in this tale come off as egregiously immoral. Johnson made $100 million while supposedly helping the poor.
New York Times Jun 14, 2011 Banks Turn to Schumer on Patents
QUOTE: After years of fighting Mr. Ballard at the federal Patent Office, in court and across a negotiating table, the banks went to see one of their best friends in Congress, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, who inserted into a patent overhaul bill a provision that appears largely aimed at helping banks rid themselves of the Ballard problem.
New York Times Apr 20, 2011 Obama weighs disclosure order for contractors
QUOTE: “Now, under the guise of ‘transparency,’ the Obama administration reportedly wants to know the political leanings of any company or small business, including those of their officers and directors, before the government decides if they’ll award them federal contracts.”
Washington Post Apr 20, 2011 Even in an era of budget cuts, these government programs won’t die
QUOTE: But they have survived, again and again, thanks to powerful lobbies or high-placed patrons in Congress… “If lawmakers can’t cut programs that cost a few million, how are they going to cut deficits that are going to be in the trillions?”
Washington Post Dec 23, 2010 U.S. Approved Business With Blacklisted Nations
QUOTE: Despite sanctions and trade embargoes, over the past decade the United States government has allowed American companies to do billions of dollars in business with Iran and other countries blacklisted as state sponsors of terrorism...At the behest of a host of companies — from Kraft Food and Pepsi to some of the nation’s largest banks — a little-known office of the Treasury Department has granted nearly 10,000 licenses for deals...
New York Times Jun 25, 2010 Justices say petition signers should not expect their names to be kept secret
QUOTE: Those who sign referendum petitions should generally not expect to keep their names secret, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting the argument of an anti-gay-rights group that disclosure would violate their First Amendment protection of political expression.
Washington Post Jun 24, 2010 House Approves Legislation That Mandates the Disclosure of Political Spending
QUOTE: The House on Thursday approved legislation to curtail the ability of corporations and other special interest groups to influence elections by requiring greater disclosure of their role in paying for campaign advertising. The bill is intended to counter a Supreme Court ruling in January that the federal government may not ban political spending by corporations and other advocacy groups, like labor unions.
New York Times May 14, 2010 Debit Fee Cut Is a Rare Loss for Big Banks
QUOTE: Retailers have begged Congress for years, in vain, to limit the fees they must pay to banks when customers swipe credit or debit cards...That long record of futility ended in a landslide Thursday night. Sixty-four senators, including 17 Republicans, agreed to impose price controls on debit transactions over the furious objections of the beleaguered banking industry.
New York Times May 09, 2010 Banks Lobbying Against Derivatives Trading Ban
QUOTE: Democrats surprised the industry by adding the “push-out” provision in mid-April, transforming the final rounds of an epic prize fight. The industry has been forced to set aside the issues that were its greatest concerns, including its opposition to a requirement that almost all derivatives trades be recorded on public exchanges.
New York Times May 09, 2010 Fight Erupts Over Rules Issued for ‘Mental Health Parity’ Insurance Law
QUOTE: Insurance companies and employer groups are lobbying the White House to delay and rework the rules on “mental health parity.” Insurers and many employers supported the 2008 law, but they say the rules go far beyond the intent of Congress and would cripple their cost-control techniques while raising out-of-pocket costs for some patients.
New York Times May 04, 2010 Free Speech Through the Foggy Lens of Election Law (Sidebar)
QUOTE: Corporate contributions to candidates are still banned, but corporations may now spend freely in candidate elections. The distinction between contributions and spending has not been popular in the legal academy.
New York Times Apr 28, 2010 The fight over FedEx and the right to organize
QUOTE: In 1996, as the Senate considered reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration, a few words were slipped in allowing FedEx alone to be classed as an express carrier under the jurisdiction of the RLA. This gave FedEx a cost advantage over unionized rivals UPS and DHL and, for that matter, any start-up that might come along. It has also enabled FedEx not only to keep its drivers from unionizing...
Washington Post Apr 24, 2010 Undercover persuasion by tech industry lobbyists
QUOTE: The influence peddlers of K Street have discovered the power of social networking on such Web sites as Twitter and Facebook. Using their own names without mentioning that they work in public relations or as lobbyists, employees of companies with interests in Washington are chattering online to shape opinions in hard-to-detect ways.
Washington Post Feb 27, 2010 Ethics panel clears 7 on earmarks
QUOTE: the ethics committee declared that lawmakers are free to raise campaign money from the very companies they are benefiting so long as the deciding factors in granting those "earmarks" are "criteria independent" of the contributions. The report served as a blunt rejection of ethics watchdogs and a different group of congressional investigators, who have contended that in some instances the connection between donations and earmarks was so close that it had to be inappropriate.
Washington Post Nov 19, 2009 Zombie Nuke Plants
QUOTE: More than half of America's nuclear plants have received new twenty-year operating licenses. In fact, the NRC has not rejected a single license-renewal application. Many of these plants have also received "power up-rates" that allow them to run at up to 120 percent of their originally intended capacity. That means their systems are subjected to unprecedented amounts of heat, pressure, corrosion, stress and embrittling radiation.
Nation Nov 14, 2009 In House Record, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’
QUOTE: Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies.
New York Times Oct 26, 2009 A congressman, a lobbying firm and a swift path to earmarks: Democrat supported funds for tech companies, many of which supported him
QUOTE: Federal investigators are scrutinizing [Representative Peter J.] Visclosky's earmarks and whether a member of his staff tried to raise campaign money by promising funding.
Washington Post Oct 24, 2009 Alaska lawmaker is linked to corruption probe
QUOTE: In documents filed this week in Alaska's long-running political corruption investigation, the government's lead witness said he had given thousands of dollars in gifts to "United States Representative A" -- who could only be Republican Rep. Don Young.
Los Angeles Times Oct 17, 2009 Congressional Ethics Inquiries Drag on, Despite Vows to End Corruption
QUOTE: The record illustrates how Congress has struggled to police itself after years in which its ethics committees were often derided as ineffectual.
New York Times Oct 08, 2009 Ex-Staffers Winning Defense Panel Pork, Study Finds
QUOTE: In the coming year's military spending bill, members of a House panel continue to steer lucrative defense contracts to companies represented by their former staffers, who in turn steer generous campaign donations to those lawmakers...
Washington Post Oct 01, 2009 Senator’s Aid After Affair Raises Flags Over Ethics
QUOTE: Several experts say those activities [of Senator John Ensign] may have violated an ethics law that bars senior aides from lobbying the Senate for a year after leaving their posts.
New York Times Sep 24, 2009 F.D.A. Reveals It Fell to a Push by Lawmakers
QUOTE: The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that four New Jersey congressmen and its own former commissioner unduly influenced the process that led to its decision last year to approve a patch for injured knees, an approval it is now revisiting.
New York Times Sep 19, 2009 Plugged-In Age Feeds a Hunger for Electricity (By Degrees)
QUOTE: efforts to cover consumer electronics [in electrical efficiency rules] like televisions and game consoles have been repeatedly derailed by manufacturers worried about the higher cost of meeting the standards.
New York Times Sep 02, 2009 The Fix Is In: The hidden public-private cartel that sets health care prices.
QUOTE: Fundamentally, the entire payment model of American health care drives medical centers, doctors, and hospital managers to push for more fancy procedures at the expense of primary care doctors.
Slate Aug 26, 2009 Subprime Lenders Getting U.S. Subsidies, Report Says
QUOTE: Many of the lenders eligible to receive billions of dollars from the government's massive foreclosure prevention program helped fuel the housing crisis by issuing risky subprime loans...
Washington Post Aug 20, 2009 The 21 Club: Drinking laws
QUOTE: In the past, states have been too fiscally timid to challenge the 21 law. But calls for change are growing louder.
Economist Aug 18, 2009 The Most Outrageous U.S. Lies About Global Healthcare
QUOTE: Many of the most wildly inaccurate statements [about health systems] have been directed abroad -- sometimes at the United States' closest allies, such as Britain and Canada, and often at the best health-care systems in the world.
Aug 17, 2009 Diabetes Case Shows Pitfalls of Treatment Rules
QUOTE: setting [healthcare] guidelines that are good for every patient, it turns out, can get messy, with some experts warning that a big national plan of this sort poses risks.
New York Times Aug 17, 2009 One Person’s Boondoggle, Another’s Necessity
QUOTE: Those [certain] proposals for spending federal stimulus money were all criticized... But they have something else in common, too. They are popular locally. And they underscore a truth that has been evident since the New Deal: sometimes the boondoggle is in the eye of the beholder
New York Times Aug 16, 2009 Oil Group's 'Citizen' Rally Memo Stirs Debate: Firms Asked to Recruit Employees, Retirees (Green)
QUOTE: A petroleum industry trade group is asking oil companies to recruit employees and retirees to attend rallies attacking climate-change legislation, an approach to grass-roots politics that resembles strategies used recently by some opponents of health-care reform.
Washington Post Aug 08, 2009 Where Have You Gone, Joe the Citizen?
QUOTE: The traditional town hall meeting, a staple of Congressional constituent relations, had been hijacked, overrun by sophisticated social-networking campaigns [to protest healthcare reform]...
New York Times Aug 07, 2009 UPS Employees Say They Were Forced to Lobby Against FedEx
QUOTE: In an increasingly bitter Washington battle between the nation's two largest shipping companies, some unionized UPS workers say they are being forced to write letters to their lawmakers in support of more stringent labor rules for arch rival FedEx.
Washington Post Aug 05, 2009 Coal Group Reveals 6 More Forged Lobbying Letters
QUOTE: A total of 12 forged letters -- all appearing to come from local groups unhappy with a climate-change bill -- were sent to three congressional offices this summer by a Washington lobbying firm, according to the pro-coal group for which the firm was working.
Washington Post Jul 29, 2009 Texas Hospital Flexing Muscle in Health Fight
QUOTE: One of the largest sources of campaign contributions to Senate Democrats during this year’s health care debate is a physician-owned hospital [Doctors Hospital at Renaissance] in one of the country’s poorest regions that has sought to soften measures that could choke its rapid growth.
New York Times Jul 27, 2009 Infectious Diseases Study Site Questioned: Tornado Alley May Not Be Safe, GAO Says
QUOTE: The Department of Homeland Security relied on a rushed, flawed study to justify its decision to locate a $700 million research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas, according to a government report.
Washington Post Jul 22, 2009 White House declines to disclose visits by health industry executives
QUOTE: Invoking an argument used by President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House...
Los Angeles Times Jul 21, 2009 Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform: Key Senator Baucus Is a Leading Recipient
QUOTE: Top health executives and lobbyists have continued to flock to the senator's[Max Baucus] often extravagant fundraising events in recent months. During a Senate break in late June, for example, Baucus held his 10th annual fly-fishing and golfing weekend in Big Sky, Mont., for a minimum donation of $2,500.
Washington Post Jul 21, 2009 TARP watchdog cites lack of transparency in Obama administration
QUOTE: critics of the administration said that the White House has fallen short of its promises to run a more open government.
Los Angeles Times Jul 20, 2009 U.S. Withheld Data on Risks of Distracted Driving (Driven to Distraction)
QUOTE: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, decided not to make public hundreds of pages of research and warnings about the use of phones by drivers — in part, officials say, because of concerns about angering Congress.
New York Times Jul 15, 2009 Exchange students live American nightmare
QUOTE: Danielle Grijalva, director of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students, said she once worked in the industry. The agencies, which she calls unregulated travel agents, can make millions of dollars enticing rich foreigners and lobbying for State Department grants to lure scholarship-eligible students here for a year of study.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 13, 2009 China Broadens Investigation of Steel Industry
QUOTE: The Chinese authorities have detained or questioned at least seven Chinese steel industry executives in a broadening corruption investigation...
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