A Confederacy of Scoundrels, Undeclared War & Rich Candidates: Aug 25, 2015

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PUBLICITY NOTES: We’re getting more requests all the time for Russ and others to appear on radio shows and podcasts. In addition, we see our articles frequently picked up, cited, or linked to. For example, Daily Kos featured a postabout the “Black Lives Matter” movement and Hillary Clinton, and the first article they link to is ours, about the death of the youth Kalief Browder, by Ralph Lopez.

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Confederacy of Scoundrels: Katrina Exposed, Part 2 of 5
By Russ Baker
This article was originally assigned, accepted, and paid for in full by Vanity Fair — which never got around to publishing it. It tells the story of the cronyism, corruption, ineptness, contempt for the public and utter shamelessness of the Bush family apparatus and its extensive network. With yet another Bush now contesting the White House, and with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina upon us, we would do well to study this closely. It documents unequivocally how greed and unenlightened self-interest in high places can tear apart the very fabric of American society. Originally written within months of Hurricane Katrina, it will still make your blood boil. This week we publish it in five parts. Here is Part 2.

WHO

The Net Worth of Each Presidential Candidate
Is America a representative democracy?  Not if the wealth amassed by twelve presidential candidates is any indication. From Bernie Sanders (somewhere between $110,014 – $550,999) to Dr. Ben Carson ($8.0 million – $19.6 million), from Jeb Bush ($19 million – $22 million) to Hillary Clinton ($15.3 million – $55 million), and, of course, on to Trump ($2.9 billion – $10 billion)—the gap between the people and their supposed representatives is wider than ever.

Lockheed Martin Took Taxpayer Dollars, Spent It Lobbying for More Dollars
The Department of Justice just slapped another corporation on the wrist. This time, the DOJ charged Lockheed Martin a paltry $4.7 million to settle charges that it illegally usedtaxpayer funds to lobby the Department of Energy in a bid to score yet more taxpayer money in the form of a no bid contract at Sandia National Laboratory. Lockheed’s contracts with Sandia are worth $2.4 billion.

The FDA Is Basically Approving Everything. Here’s The Data To Prove It
Either the pharmaceutical industry has entered an unprecedented era of product safety  and self-regulation… or the FDA has slid into an unprecedented era of lax oversight and indifference to its role as watchdog over Big Pharma’s profitable drug pipeline. From 2008 to 2010, the FDA approved between 56% and 60% of new drugs. Over the last two years, that number has spiked to 89%. And the FDA now approves 90% of Big Pharma’s new marketing claims.

WHAT

One Year into the War That Congress Won’t Declare
It’s been a year since President Obama suggested that Congress rework the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to set new parameters for the War on Terror and the growing conflict against ISIS. Thus far… nothing has happened. And neither Congress nor the President is doing anything to resolve this ongoing violation of the Constitution.

WHY

Superhero-Inspired Robotic Hand Wins UK Dyson Award
British inventor Joel Gibbard created a low-cost, fully-articulated prosthetic hand that is easily produced with a 3-D printer. It uses skin sensors to pick up impulses and translates those into hand movements. Gibbard’s invention now moves on to the International James Dyson Award competition where it will compete against the winners of 20 other national finals. This seems a big advance–and you’ve certainly got to hand it to Gibbard.

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