Report: Top Politico reporter trades favors for access (To Chelsea Clinton?)

Politico’s beat.

The crony media is not a new topic here and the news that one of Politico’s top dogs promised to be extra special nice to Chelsea Clinton in an interview doesn’t surprise us. It probably doesn’t surprise our readers either. But it is worth noting how cuddly the generally liberal but often excellent website is, with, well, politicos. I have been to a few Politico functions. “Lovefest” is too strong a word,

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If You Think Corporate Inversions Are Bad, Blame Politicians rather than Pfizer

Image: Tax Foundation

I actually don’t think corporate inversions are bad. There are lots of things corporations do which are bad, and we chronicle them here all the time. Working the system for subsidies. Working the system to gain inside contracts. Gaming the system to shut out competitors. Buying politicians. And a million other things. But inversions in principal are not bad. Of course a corporation is going to want to minimize its tax outlay. People do. If I was a shareholder of a company I would expect that company leadership would do the inversion thing if it made sense.

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Washington Post: Inside the Clinton Donor Network

OK future Washington hacks – Dem, GOP and otherwise, this is how you do it. Actually, it’s probably best that you skip this article now that I think about it.

The rest of our readers however, the ones who are actually sane, who would never willingly spend their lives in a blind quest for power, should read this article. Bill and Hillary have raised $3 billion in their careers. That’s a hell of a lot of money and it all came from people who wanted something.

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A Furious Ralph Nader Calls Out The Fed As “Tribune To Plutocratic, Crony Capitalism”; Janet Yellen Responds

We have a few really liberal (the American “modern” kind) favorites and Ralph Nader is one of them.

We like him not because he agrees with us on everything, he certainly doesn’t, but he has a moral compass. He has a deeply developed sense of right and wrong. This is something too many in the political world both on the Left and Right simply do not have.

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Unease, But Little Opposition as France Curbs Basic Freedoms

She is from France.

We in the West made it through the whole Cold War without tossing aside our freedoms for the most part. In the face of nuclear annihilation we remained relatively free. Indeed it was these freedoms which helped us define ourselves relative to our totalitarian communist rivals. Our freedoms were what made us, us.

But this sentiment, this general reverence for freedom, has been on the wane since September 11th 2001. The attacks in France seem to have spurred an even greater move toward a soft totalitarianism in the West.

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European officials want access to nearly ALL world financial transfers in the name of fighting “terrorism.”

As we stated before, Rahm Emanuel isn’t the only one who believes that a good crisis shouldn’t be wasted. The attacks in Paris have galvanized much of Europe and as such politicians across the Continent (and here too) are trying to grab power while the climate is right. Case in point? That the EU now wants access to pretty much every bit of financial information flowing through the SWIFT system. Basically they want ultimate control over electronic transfers.

They need this information of course to “combat terrorism.”

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First retail bank (that we know of) to apply negative lending rates to clients

If you want to keep money at Alternative Bank Schweiz you are going to have to pay for it. That’s right, keeping your Swiss francs under your mattress will generate a relative yield to the francs held at this bank. This is a knock on effect of the Swiss central bank trying to maintain parity with and independence from (ha) the euro.

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Governments Are the Worst Polluters

We’ve made this point many times on this website. You know why the Colorado doesn’t flow into the ocean? Why Chernobyl blew up? Why BP felt it was safe (from a business standpoint) to drill 1 mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico? Why rain forests are being depleted around the world? Why the Aral Sea is no longer a sea? Why oceans are toxic waste dumps? Why nothing lives in the rivers in China any longer?

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Perhaps the best 5 minute geopolitical and economics lesson you’ll ever see. From the movie NETWORK

Ned Beatty isn’t totally right here but there’s a good bit of truth in what he says. Regardless below is one of the greatest scenes in all of cinema and everyone should see it.

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Fed To Hold An “Expedited, Closed” Meeting On Monday

I actually look at it as a positive that they announced the meeting for Monday. If they had scheduled a weekend meeting (Remember those weekend Fed meetings in 2008? I sure do.) I’d be more concerned.

Still, I’d love to know what spurred this. I wonder…Could this be why?

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Blowback: The Washington War Party’s Folly Comes Home to Roost

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Some of the folks in the Military Industrial Complex would be wise to revisit the lessons in this book. Of course much of the Art of War is about being frugal with resources. The contractors aren’t too keen on that.

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