Tag Archives: Capitalism

GOP House Puts Big Oil’s Revolving Door Into High Gear

These lobbyists are not getting hired to advocate for American energy consumers—they will push an agenda that benefits the new majority’s donors no matter what it costs taxpayers.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 1-27-2023 by Common Dreams.

Nancy Peele, chief of staff to House Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), is a former fossil fuel lobbyist for companies responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil spill. (Photo: Nancy Peele/LinkedIn)

An analysis published Friday by the nonpartisan watchdog Accountable.US revealed that numerous former fossil fuel lobbyists are being hired to work for the Republican-controlled 118th Congress, including in high-level positions on the House Natural Resources Committee.

“As the Republicans majority begins the new Congress, former oil industry lobbyists will have new and growing influence as top staffers for congressmen on key committees,” the analysis states. Continue reading

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OSHA Fines Amazon ‘Roughly 0.000013%’ of Annual Revenue for Worker Safety Hazards

For serious injuries linked to the company’s insistence that employees maintain a relentless pace of work, Amazon was fined $60,000—the amount it made “every four seconds in 2022.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 1-19-2023 by Common Dreams

Amazon Warehouse. Photo: Jaimie Wilson/flickr/CC

A paltry $60,000 fine for failing to keep employees safe at one of the world’s richest companies offered the latest evidence, according to one critic, that the system ostensibly meant to protect workers “is so broken.”

That was the assessment of Paris Marx, host of the podcast “Tech Won’t Save Us,” after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Wednesday it had issued a citation to Amazon for worker safety violations at three of its warehouses in Deltona, Florida; Waukegan, Illinois; and New Windsor, New York. Continue reading

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Because Congress ‘Won’t Act,’ Lawmakers in Seven States Team Up to Introduce Wealth Tax Bills

“States are stepping up to make billionaires pay their fair share, and it’s time for Congress to take action too,” said U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

By Jake Johnson.  Published 1-18-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Frustrated with federal inaction in the face of soaring inequality, Democratic lawmakers in seven states across the U.S. are teaming up this week to simultaneously introduce wealth tax bills targeting the fortunes of billionaires and other rich individuals who have seen their net worth explode in recent years.

Officially launching on Thursday, the first-of-its-kind effort is led by state lawmakers in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, and Washington—collectively home to around 60% of the country’s wealth. Continue reading

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‘Deeply Sinister’: Emails Reveal Big Pharma Pushed Twitter to Silence Vaccine Equity Voices

“At a time when online mobilizations were one of the few forms of protest available to the public, Twitter was seemingly asked to shield the powerful from criticism,” said one campaigner. “That should worry all those who care about accountability.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-16-2023 by Common Dreams

lobal Justice Now and The People’s Vaccine projection campaigning for global vaccine equality in London on March 8, 2021. (Photo: Jess Hurd/Global Justice Now via Flickr)

Drugmaker BioNTech and the German government pushed Twitter to “hide” posts by activists calling on Big Pharma to temporarily lift patents on Covid-19 vaccines—a move which would have given people the Global South greater access to the lifesaving inoculations, a report published Monday by The Intercept revealed.

Twitter lobbyist Nina Morschhaeuser “flagged the corporate accounts of Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca for her colleagues to monitor and shield from activists,” according to The Intercept‘s Lee Fang. An email from Morschhaeuser said the German Federal Office for Information Security also contacted Twitter on behalf of BioNTech, whose spokesperson, Jasmina Alatovic, asked the social media giant to “hide” activist tweets targeting her company’s account for two days. Continue reading

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House GOP Scraps Consumer Protection Panels in ‘First of Many Gifts’ to Wall Street

Republican Chair Patrick McHenry “wasted no time seeking payback on behalf of his biggest donors by scrapping key subcommittees dedicated to consumer protection and preventing industry discrimination,” said Accountable.US.

By Julia Conley  Published 113-2023 by Common Dreams

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) speaks at the Brookings Institute in 2017. Photo: Brookings Institution/flickr/CC

The U.S. committee tasked with overseeing the financial sector on Thursday “dispelled any doubt of their intent to do the bidding of the financial industries over the interests of everyday families,” said a government watchdog group as the panel signaled it will significantly scale back its efforts to push for consumer protections on Wall Street.

House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) announced the new Republican subcommittee chairmanships, with new panels including the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy—tasked with overseeing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—and the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion, headed by pro-cryptocurrency Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.). Continue reading

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‘Nail in the Coffin’: Study Shows Exxon Accurately Predicted Warming Decades Ago

“Our analysis shows that ExxonMobil’s own data contradicted its public statements, which included exaggerating uncertainties, criticizing climate models, mythologizing global cooling, and feigning ignorance,” said lead author Geoffrey Supran.

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 1-12-2023 by Common Dreams

Exxon Mobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo: WClarke/Wikimedia Commonns/CC

“This is the nail in the coffin of ExxonMobil’s claims that it has been falsely accused of climate malfeasance.”

That’s what University of Miami associate professor Geoffrey Supran said about a peer-reviewed study on the fossil fuel giant’s global warming projections published Thursday in the journal Science, which he began work on as a Harvard University research fellow. Continue reading

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Concerns Over Disinformation Grow After Musk Relaxes Twitter Ban on Political Ads

Critics expressed concern about the social media giant serving as “a major new forum for massive amounts of money to be spent to influence politics.”

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 1-4-2023 by Common Dreams

As advertisers depart Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s recent takeover, the billionaire owner continues to shake up the social media platform, which on Tuesday relaxed a ban on political and issue-based advertising put in place for over three years.

When then-CEO Jack Dorsey announced the ban in October 2019, he explained that “this isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.” Continue reading

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Nobody loved you, 2022

From devastating floods in Pakistan to Italy’s far-right PM to overturning Roe v Wade, this was a year of extremes

By Adam Ramsay  Published 12-30-2022 by openDemocracy

A flooded village in Matiari, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Photo: Asad Zaidi/UNICEF

How do you turn 365 days experienced by eight billion people – and billions more other beings – into some kind of story?

Maybe you start with some events?

In which case, 2022 was the year that Covid vaccines kicked in. Daily global deaths hit 77,000 on 7 February, and have declined fairly steadily ever since. It was the year Russia invaded Ukraine, the first war between major European powers since 1945. Continue reading

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‘Why Are These Conflicts Allowed?’ Corporate Giving to Group Tied to Supreme Court Sparks Concern

“You want to ‘preserve #SCOTUS history’?'” said one watchdog group. “Hire a curatorial staff. Don’t run a pay-for-play.”

By Jon Queally  Published 12-31-2022 by Common Dreams

Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Both alarm and concern were expressed Saturday in response to new reporting about a charitable group with close ties to the U.S. Supreme Court that has been soliciting and accepting donations from corporate interests and far-right activists with cases before the court.

The New York Times exposé focused on the activities and fundraising of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a nonprofit that claims its mission is “dedicated to the collection and preservation” of the Court’s history. Continue reading

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Pharma Giants to Hike 350+ US Drug Prices in the New Year: Analysis

“Why? Because they can. Big Pharma does not care about us.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 12-30-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Images Money/flickr/CC

Global pharmaceutical giants plan to hike U.S. prices for hundreds of drugs next month in anticipation of the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which will allow Medicare to negotiate the cost of certain drugs starting in 2026, an analysis published Friday revealed.

The analysis, conducted by the healthcare research company 3 Axis Advisors and reported on by Reuters, said that Big Pharma corporations including Pfizer, AstraZeneca PLC, and Sanofi SA are set to raise the list prices—which do not include any rebates—on over 350 drugs early in January. Continue reading

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