March 18, 2014
Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 3.38.00 PM

Exxon’s Ongoing Love Affair With Russia

Rachel Maddow covered this subject pretty well last night in a piece titled “Oil mega-corporations key to leverage over Russia” but really scratched the surface on the pressure Exxon may be exerting on the State Department right now over sanctions against Russia.

Her interview with Former Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul, who quit the post a month ago, had this interesting quote, which tells of the cozy and deep relationship between the State Department and multinational oil companies who call themselves American companies when useful. Maddow asked about how Exxon might be lobbying the State Department at this point.  McFaul …

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October 22, 2013

New VIDEO Highlights Urgent Need For Obama To Make Chemical Plants Safer

After a chemical plant explosion in West, Texas, killed fifteen people in April, President Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to create a plan to reduce the risks of more deadly chemical disasters. But with the President’s October 31st deadline for action coming up fast, it’s not clear that the EPA will take decisive steps.

In 2003, the government’s National Infrastructure Protection Center warned that chemical plants in the United States could be targets of terrorism. Media investigations have highlighted lax or nonexistent security at these facilities, with gates unlocked and chemical tanks unguarded. According to the EPA, more than …

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August 24, 2013
Barack Obama

Obama: For-Profit College Industry “Making Out Like a Bandit”

Yesterday President Obama delivered a forceful message to the predatory for-profit college industry. In response to a question at an event Friday at Binghamton University in New York state, Obama said these businesses were “making out like a bandit” preying on veterans and other students, as well as taxpayers. He warned that if these for-profit colleges don’t start training students for careers, they face a cutoff of federal aid.

Obama’s forceful remarks echoed the strong statement he made on this issue last year, standing with soldiers at Fort Stewart, Georgia. This is the kind of strong leadership we need …

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August 2, 2012
corruption

Corruption #2 Issue for Americans

87% percent of Americans find, “reducing corruption in the federal government,” to be “extremely,” or, “very important” according to a new Gallup poll on American’s top priorities for the next president.  This is the #2 issue, following only job creation.

Corruption in government usually ranks as an important issue when it is asked about specifically, though it is not as top-of-mind as jobs or the economy.

Particularly, corruption does less well in polls when respondents are asked to volunteer priorities.  However, only 2% thought corruption was not an important issue.  In addition, corruption, like job …

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June 14, 2012

Obama’s Second Term Agenda: Why Not Focus On Campaign Finance Reform?

Ryan Lizza’s much buzzed about recent piece in The New Yorker investigates what Barack Obama might focus on in a second term. Obama could focus on immigration reform, on clean energy and the environment, on shoring up healthcare reform to future attacks from Republicans, on foreign policy. These are all issues that candidate Obama promised to work on in the 2008 election.

But Lizza’s article doesn’t mention another one of Obama’s big 2008 promises. Here he is in 2008, promising to work on getting big money out of politics:

Let me be clear — this isn’t just about ending the …

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April 27, 2012
Obama takes on predatory colleges.
Obama takes on predatory colleges.

A Good Day: Obama Stands With Troops Instead of Wealthy Predatory Colleges

At Fort Stewart, Georgia, today, President Obama  signed an executive order aiming to protect U.S. troops, veterans, and their families from the predatory abuses of some for-profit colleges. It remains to be seen if this new directive will do enough to guide our service members into programs that actually help them build careers — and away from programs that leave them deep in debt. But President Obama delivered powerful remarks, charging that some for-profit education companies “aren’t interested in helping you…. They are interested in getting the money.” He called their conduct “appalling” and “disgraceful” and told the troops …

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February 14, 2012
The American Bankers Association is openly threatening to mobilize an astroturf movement against a bank tax.

Big Bank Lobby Threatens To ‘Employ The Grassroots’ If Bank Tax Gains Any Traction In Congress

President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal this week. While it is not expected to be passed into law, it is being used as a statement of Obama’s fiscal and political principles going into the election year.

Included in Obama’s proposal this year is a special tax on financial firms with more than $50 billion in assets. This bank tax would raise an estimated $61 billion in revenue if enacted. To many Americans, taxing these big banks is only fair. After all, their reckless behavior helped cause a recession that impoverished more than 60 million people and …

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February 3, 2012

VIDEO: Anita Dunn Defends Her Dual Role As White House Advisor, Influence Peddler

Though President Obama lashed out at the influence of lobbyists in his State to the Union address, a current advisor to his campaign and administration, former White House communication director Anita Dunn, runs one of fastest growing corporate “public affairs” firms in Washington DC. Dunn left her post as a public servant in late 2009 to return to the firm now known as SKDKnickerbocker. Although she is not technically a registered lobbyist, she has been hired to manage a variety of corporate lobbying campaigns against President Obama’s reforms.

Last month, Republic Report asked Dunn about the ethical …

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