Chevron’s Lobbyist Now Runs the Congressional Science Committee
Lee Fang on February 21, 2014 – 12:28 PM ET

For Chevron, the second-largest oil company in the country with $26.2 billion in annual profits, it helps to have friends in high places. With little fanfare, one of Chevron’s top lobbyists, Stephen Sayle, has become a senior staff member of the House Committee on Science, the standing congressional committee charged with “maintaining our scientific and technical leadership in the world.”

Throughout much of 2013, Sayle was the chief executive officer of Dow Lohnes Government Strategies, a lobbying firm retained by Chevron to influence Congress. For fees that total $320,000 a year, Sayle and his team lobbied on a range of energy-related issues, including implementation of EPA rules under the Clean Air Act, regulation of ozone standards, as well as “Congressional and agency oversight related to offshore oil, natural gas development and oil spills.”

Sayle’s ethics disclosure, obtained by Republic Report, shows that he was paid $500,000 by Chevron’s lobbying firm before taking his current gig atop the Science Committee.

Read more.


Break-in Reported at Project on Government Oversight
By Jeff Stein
Filed: 2/21/14 at 6:16 PM | Updated: 2/22/14 at 12:13 PM

It’s probably nothing, but the office of a major Washington, DC national security whistleblowers organization was broken into last week.

The intruder or intruders left dozens of computers and other valuable office equipment untouched but jimmied open a file cabinet at the Project on Government Oversight, a private organization that has conducted several sensitive investigations in recent months, including a critical report on a controversial Pentagon leak investigation.

The Washington Metropolitan District Police report on the Feb. 11-12 overnight incident listed its probable cause as “occupation,” which means that it was “related to the kind of business” POGO conducts, not ordinary theft, an MPD spokeswoman told Newsweek.

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Austin police drag jogger to car screaming after jaywalking without ID
By John Byrne
Friday, February 21, 2014 9:34 EST

A Texas woman was dragged screaming to a police car in Austin, Texas after being arrested for failing to provide ID while jaywalking.

The woman, pulled to a police car in gym clothes, was captured on video shouting, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

A University of Texas Student filmed the police capturing the jogger and placing her in an officer’s car.

Read more.


February 19, 2014
Newly Elected President Of Institute of Medicine Is On The Pepsico Board Of Directors

Earlier today I reported the news that Victor Dzau, the chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and the CEO of the Duke University Health System, would become the next president of the Institute of Medicine. But I failed to remember that I had written about Dzau several years ago. I think it will be of interest to many observers that Dzau currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pepsico. I’ve asked the IOM for a comment about this.

Read more.


Ohio passes restrictive voting bills, Dems vow to sue
02/20/14 08:18 AM—UPDATED 02/20/14 10:30 AM
By Zachary Roth

Ohio lawmakers passed two restrictive Republican voting bills Wednesday night, raising the prospect that casting a ballot this fall could be much more difficult, especially for minority voters.

With Ohio remaining the key presidential swing state, the changes could also affect the 2016 election.

The state Democratic Party said immediately that it would sue in federal court to block the laws.

Read more.


A Third Death at JPMorgan and Another Press Lockout on Information
JPMorgan’s Hong Kong Headquarters
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 19, 2014

Since January 28 of this year, one tragic death per week has occurred at JPMorgan among men in their 30s, the latest occurring yesterday — a statistically improbable random occurrence. Each JPMorgan employee worked at a headquarters’ building in a key financial market for JPMorgan – London, New York, and Hong Kong. And in each and every case, the press has been blocked from obtaining vital information to properly do its job.

The deaths started on January 28 when Gabriel Magee, a 39-year old technology Vice President, was found dead on the 9th level rooftop of JPMorgan’s European headquarters at 25 Bank Street in the Canary Wharf section of London. After much prodding by Wall Street On Parade, the Metropolitan Police in London could not confirm that one eyewitness to the fall existed despite London newspapers widely circulating the story that commuters and colleagues observed Magee leap from the building. After more prodding, the Metropolitan Police now state that no further details will be released until a Coroner’s Inquest is held on May 15. That’s more than 100 days from the date of death when mainstream media will have likely lost interest.

According to friends and family, Magee was a vibrant, happy individual with a great sense of humor. He had emailed his girlfriend the evening before his body was discovered that he would be home shortly. When he did not arrive, his girlfriend reported his disappearance to police. Magee’s body was spotted on the 9th level rooftop by co-workers looking out windows on higher floors of the building who then called police at around 8:02 a.m. the next morning.

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After five banker deaths in January, a sixth: J.P. Morgan exec jumps in Hong Kong
By John Byrne
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:09 EST

Across the world, bankers are plummeting to their deaths.

In the latest of a series of fatal falls, a 33-year-old J.P. Morgan employee leapt from the roof of J.P. Morgan’s Hong Kong headquarters on Tuesday, above, plunging thirty stories to his death.

The employee’s role at the bank was unknown. Witnesses say police tried to stop the man from jumping to no avail. The employee’s death is just the latest in a string of seeming suicides that have wreaked havoc in the moneyed class over the past months.

Read more.


Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:30 AM PST
Walker linked to secret e-mail system
by Jed LewisonFollow for Daily Kos

So far, the news that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ordered a Milwaukee County doctor to be fired because she had spent time as a thong model is the strangest thing to emerge from the investigation of illegal political activity in his office when he was Milwaukee County Executive. But this might ultimately prove to be the most significant:

Included in more than 27,000 emails unsealed Wednesday is one that for the first time directly ties Gov. Scott Walker to a secret email system used in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive.

“Consider yourself now in the ‘inner circle,’” Walker’s administration director, Cynthia Archer, wrote to Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch just after the two exchanged a test message.

Read more.


The Great Divide February 15, 2014, 4:20 pm
One Nation Under Guard
By SAMUEL BOWLES and ARJUN JAYADEV

Another dubious first for America: We now employ as many private security guards as high school teachers — over one million of them, or nearly double their number in 1980.

And that’s just a small fraction of what we call “guard labor.” In addition to private security guards, that means police officers, members of the armed forces, prison and court officials, civilian employees of the military, and those producing weapons: a total of 5.2 million workers in 2011. That is a far larger number than we have of teachers at all levels.

What is happening in America today is both unprecedented in our history, and virtually unique among Western democratic nations. The share of our labor force devoted to guard labor has risen fivefold since 1890 — a year when, in case you were wondering, the homicide rate was much higher than today.

Read more.


In Ukraine, Fascists, Oligarchs and Western Expansion Are At The Heart Of The Crisis
The story we’re told about the protests gripping Kiev bears only the sketchiest relationship with reality
Seumas Milne | The Guardian (UK)
January 29, 2014

We’ve been here before. For the past couple of months street protests in Ukraine have been played out through the western media according to a well-rehearsed script. Pro-democracy campaigners are battling an authoritarian government. The demonstrators are demanding the right to be part of the European Union. But Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has vetoed their chance of freedom and prosperity.

It’s a story we’ve heard in one form or another again and again – not least in Ukraine’s western-backed Orange revolution a decade ago. But it bears only the sketchiest relationship to reality. EU membership has never been – and very likely never will be – on offer to Ukraine. As in Egypt last year, the president that the protesters want to force out was elected in a poll judged fair by international observers. And many of those on the streets aren’t very keen on democracy at all.

You’d never know from most of the reporting that far-right nationalists and fascists have been at the heart of the protests and attacks on government buildings. One of the three main opposition parties heading the campaign is the hard-right antisemitic Svoboda, whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok claims that a “Moscow-Jewish mafia” controls Ukraine. But US senator John McCain was happy to share a platform with him in Kiev last month. The party, now running the city of Lviv, led a 15,000-strong torchlit march earlier this month in memory of the Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose forces fought with the Nazis in the second world war and took part in massacres of Jews.

Read more.


The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination




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