Chris Hedges discusses the lifetime achievement of activist and attorney Ralph Nader, in his creation of government regulation and regulatory agencies to protect the rights and lives of the public. His work began with seat belt regulation and lead to the passing of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
The hype and unsubstantiated hope behind the self-driving car movement continues unabated, distracting from addressing necessities of old “mobilities” such as inadequate public transit and upgrading highway and rail infrastructure.
The Lawless-loving corporatists have worked overtime to besmirch the word “regulation” (or law and order for corporations) and edify the word “deregulation,” to help bring about their dream state of dismantled or weakened regulation.
I’ve always been intrigued by the major questions not asked by reporters at press conferences, not asked by legislators at public hearings or even the questions citizens at town meetings don’t ask public officials. It’s not that they do not know about or could not easily become informed enough about a given issue and ask substantive questions. It’s just that so many taboos are packed into these questioners’ ideological mindset, career goals or concern with what other people over them might think. Maybe it is a culturally-rooted fear of challenging entrenched power brokers.
On this episode of America’s Lawyer, attorney Mike Papantonio exposes Santander Bank for defrauding investors in Puerto Rico through a massive municipal bond scheme. Mike then speaks with attorney, Peter Mougey, about how Santander was able to pull off this scam and why no one was sent to prison as a result.
Do you have your savings in a mutual fund? Does your pension fund invest in stocks, just as mutual funds do? If so, you may want to know this has been a bad week for U.S. stock markets. The Dow and Nasdaq indices have plummeted big time, but not because of the U.S. economy which is showing signs of revival. It is, as the Wall Street Journal reports, mostly because of the woes in China plus the shakiness of the depressed Greek economy and weaknesses of the economies in other larger emerging nations such as Brazil and Turkey.
With Ralph in DC, David in LA and Steve in New Zealand, Ralph tells us how one airline made the mistake of bumping him from a flight, how Paul Ryan lives in a corporate bubble, how he might tweak our system of government, and how one irate gentleman once delighted in blowing smoke in his face. Continue reading →
http://www.democracynow.org – As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is often referred to by critics as “NAFTA on steroids,” and would establishing a free-trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompass 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy.
While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisors reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton, and Monsanto. “This is not mainly about trade,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It is a corporate trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments — limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy — or establishing new powers for corporations.”
Abby Martin speaks with Margaret Flowers, Organizer for Popular Resistance about why fast tracking the TPP is so dangerous to the democratic process, and why everyone should care about this “free trade deal”.
Earlier this week, Andrew Pollack reported in the New York Times that biotech companies like Monsanto, Dupont and Dow Chemical announced through an industry association that they would be more transparent with the public about the chemicals and genetically modified seeds they sell. According to Cathleen Enright, executive vice president at the Council for Biotechnology Information (BIO), “We have not done a very good job communicating about GMOs. We want to get into the conversation.”