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

Politico's beat.
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
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.

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Washington Post: Inside the Clinton Donor Network

Secretary of State-nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton and husband, former President Bill Clinton descend the stairs at the U.S. Capitol for the start of the 56th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. More than 5,000 men and women in uniform are providing military ceremonial support to the presidential inauguration, a tradition dating back to George Washington's 1789 inauguration. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Suzanne M. Day, U.S. Air Force/Released)

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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Statist Brookings Institution is afraid that people actually want a simplified tax code

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I love this. The old fashioned 20th Century statism just drips from the attached piece. Vanessa Williamson, fellow at Brookings, arguably the most prestigious statist think tank in Washington, is afraid that people will actually like the idea of closing loop holes in the tax code. She recognizes correctly that if the tax code is simplified, if things are made more simple and more efficient, the government won’t be able to take as much from the citizenry.

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

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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.
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.

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Poll: 1 in 3 Independent and Republican voters see the government as an “enemy”

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Many people see the federal government as not reflecting their views at all. Some see the unending expansion of the state into every nook and cranny of life, and the gaming of the government by powerful corporate and political interests, as a real threat. Indeed that our massive government is encroaching on the things many Americans hold particularly dear, independence, for some – faith, economic liberty, liberty generally, privacy, and so on.

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Billionaire Paul Singer on Chinese downturn, could cause “Global central bank panic.”

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 23JAN13 - Paul Singer, Principal, Elliott Management, USA is seen during the session 'The Global Financial Context - Reinforcing Critical Systems' at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2013. Copyright by World Economic Forum Remy Steinegger

Are we too pessimistic with regard to China? Perhaps, but who really knows. Seriously, who really knows. The data out of the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State is poor. It is politically manipulated. No one really has a hard sense of what’s actually going on, including probably the Chinese government to a large extent.

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

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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.

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The cronies lose in Argentina, Peronistas defeated

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Electorally anyway. There remains support among a significant part of the Argentine population for a large welfare state. (Which can be a challenge in a country which occupies a space somewhere between developed and developing.) But this is progress. The soft-fascists (sometimes not so soft), the Peronistas, have been beaten, though they still control the Argentine congress.

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

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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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