Category Archives: Corruption

Lawmakers Move to Bar Foreign-Owned Corporations From Spending on US Elections

A new bill “closes a glaring loophole opened up by the Supreme’s Court disastrous Citizens United decision which allows U.S. companies primarily owned by foreign entities to funnel money into our elections,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-11-2024 by Common Dreams

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund owns stakes in several major U.S. companies including Uber. Such companies have been allowed to spend freely on elections since 2010, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizen United. Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced bills to the U.S. Senate and House seeking to ban corporations that are at least 5% foreign-owned from federal elections spending, drawing praise from advocacy groups.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act to the Senate and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) reintroduced the same bill to the House, with each version gaining co-sponsorship by progressive lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

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Bipartisan Group of Senators Announces Deal to Ban Stock Trading in Congress

“If you want to serve in Congress, don’t come here to serve your portfolio, come here to serve the people,” said a Democrat leading the effort.

By Edward Carver. Published 7-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Senator Jeff Merkley/X

A small, bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Wednesday announced a proposal to ban trading of individual stocks by members of Congress and certain of their immediate family members, drawing praise from watchdog groups.

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) brought forth the bill, which would tighten rules on holdings of individual stocks and establish what Merkley described as “huge” penalties for noncompliance—the equivalent of a member’s monthly salary, or 10% of the value of the improper investment, whichever is greater.

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‘All of Our Tricks Worked’: Spoof ExxonMobil Ad Nails Just How Easy It’s Been for Big Oil

“Do you have any idea how easy it is to get you off our backs with a little bullsh*t about your responsibilities to the planet?”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 7-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Exxon Knew – Divest rally at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX on May 25, 2016 . Photo: 350 .org/flickr/CC

A new parody ExxonMobil advertisement released Tuesday by a group founded by Adam McKay—the Academy Award-winning writer and director of the blockbuster doomsday climate comedy Don’t Look Up—mocks humanity for letting Big Oil get away with causing one of the biggest existential threats of all time.

“There’s a world we all want to live in again. A world where the air is pure and crisp and clean and fills your lungs with joy. A world where you can drink water from any river or creek and your house will still be there tomorrow if it rains,” the narrator of Yellow Dot Studio’s latest parody video says in the two-minute clip. “Here at Exxon, we believe in that world, and we’re working hard to make sure that our customers believe that we believe in that world.”

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With Attention on Presidential Contest, GOP Goes on Austerity Rampage

One leading Democrat warned Republicans’ spending proposals would “demolish public education” and “let corporate price gouging run rampant.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 7-6-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson speaking with attendees at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s 2023 Annual Leadership Summit. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

With much of the public’s attention on the looming presidential election and high-stakes jockeying over who will take on Donald Trump in November, congressional Republicans in recent weeks have provided a stark look at their plans for federal spending should their party win back control of the presidency and the Senate.

The appropriations process for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins in October, is currently underway, with congressional committees engaging in government funding debates that are likely to continue beyond the November elections.

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Planned Parenthood Warns House GOP Appropriations Bills Attack Global Health

The “slate of dangerous and unpopular provisions” includes “eliminating the Title X family planning program and reinstating the Trump-era expanded global gag rule.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-1-2024 by Common Dreams

A Planned Parenthood exam room. Photo: Planned Parenthood

As the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives uses the appropriations process to promote the GOP agenda ahead of the November elections, Planned Parenthood Action Fund on Monday highlighted how the spending bills attack health within and beyond the United States.

“Once again, anti-abortion rights politicians in Congress are manipulating the federal appropriations process to push for a recycled slate of dangerous and unpopular provisions to block access to sexual and reproductive healthcare across the country and around the world,” states the new PPFA memo.

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‘Gift to Corporate Greed’: Dire Warnings as Supreme Court Scraps Chevron Doctrine

“Make no mistake—more people will get sick, injured, or die as a result of today’s decision,” said one advocate.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-28-2024 by Common Dreams

The Supreme Court. Photo: Public Domain

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority delivered corporate polluters, anti-abortion campaigners, and other right-wing interests a major victory Friday by overturning the so-called Chevron doctrine, a deeply engrained legal precedent whose demise could spell disaster for public health and the climate.

The high court’s 6-3 ruling along ideological lines in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce significantly constrains the regulatory authority of federal agencies tasked with crafting rules on a range of critical matters, from worker protection to the climate to drug safety.

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‘Unfathomably Cruel’: Billionaire-Backed Justices Rule in Favor of Criminalizing Homelessness

“Maybe the right-wing justices could empathize with the most vulnerable Americans if they spent less time jet-setting on luxury vacations on their wealthy benefactors’ dime,” said one critic.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 6-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Homeless encampment in Downtown Los Angeles over the freeway in 2021. Photo: Levi Clancy/Wikimedia Commons/CC

“SCOTUS just criminalized homelessness.”

So said numerous legal experts and advocates for the unhoused Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority ruled that local governments can enforce bans on sleeping outdoors, regardless of whether municipalities are able to offer them shelter space.

In a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, the justices ruled in City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Johnson that officials can criminalize sleeping and camping on public property including parks, even when housing options are unavailable or unaffordable.

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Supreme Court Puts Countless ‘Lives at Risk’ by Ruling Against Clean Air

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has abandoned any pretense of neutrality in cases involving environmental regulations,” an expert said.

By Edward Carver. Published 6-27-2024 by Common Dreams

The John E. Amos Power Plant is a three-unit coal-fired power plant in West Virginia
owned and operated by Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP). Photo: Cathy/flickr/CC

Health and environmental groups decried a U.S. Supreme Court decision on Thursday that suspended an air pollution rule with far-reaching implications set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The justices ruled 5-4 in Ohio v. EPA to nullify the rule, designed to protect people in states downwind from smog-forming pollution, until the case can be decided on its merits in federal court, siding with the industrial polluters and upwind states who’d petitioned them to do so.

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‘Democracy Must Be Respected’: Bolivian Leader Replaces Military Chiefs Over Coup Attempt

Leftists and political leaders around the world slammed the coup effort as Bolivia’s trade union federation called for an emergency mass mobilization and a general strike.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-26-2024 by Common Dreams

Military members stand guard with an armored truck outside the government palace at Plaza Murillo on June 26, 2024 in La Paz, Bolivia. Photo: S.L. Kanthan/X

Bolivian President Luis Arce replaced top military leaders on Wednesday in response to an attempted coup d’état in which troops took over Plaza Murillo in La Paz and rammed an armored vehicle into the doors of the presidential palace so soldiers could storm the building.

“We denounce irregular mobilizations of some units of the Bolivian army,” Arce, a member of the Movement for Socialism (MAS) party, said on social media. “Democracy must be respected.”

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‘Julian Assange Is Free’: WikiLeaks Founder Strikes Plea Deal With US

“We thank all who stood by us, fought for us, and remained utterly committed in the fight for his freedom,” said WikiLeaks. “Julian’s freedom is our freedom.”

By Common Dreams. Published 6-24-2024

Free Julian Assange protest in Raleigh, NC April 2021. Photo: Anthony Crider/flickr/CC

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday reached a deal with the U.S. government, agreeing to plead guilty to one felony related to the disclosure of national security information in exchange for his release from Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom.

A related document was filed in federal court in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth. Under the plea agreement, which must still be approved by a judge, the Department of Justice (DOJ) will seek a 62-month sentence, equal to the time that the 52-year-old Australian has served in the U.K. prison while battling his extradition to the United States.

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