Hostile Takeover

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Hostile Takeover

Postby StarmanSkye » Thu May 11, 2006 9:25 pm

David Sirota -- Hostile Takeover: Review<br><br>This looks like a well-written, detailed tome revealing the enormous changes affecting American society as the result of unprecedented influence by big corporations to corrupt government. It would probably make an excellent primer for people who have only begun understanding the betrayal of government in sacrificing the needs and interests of ordinary citizens to serve elite class interests. <br><br>What's perhaps the book's saving grace of an important subject (that most folks on this forum are already pretty-well informed about) and which reading-about can be distressingly bleak is Sirota's offering suggestions for a wide range of things we can do to force change and retake citizen-control over our democratic institutions.<br>Starman<br>******<br><br>The short URL for this item is: <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://mathaba.net/news/?x=537125">mathaba.net/news/?x=537125</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <br>On David Sirota's New Book: Hostile Takeover<br><br><br>--quote--<br>Everyone should read it to learn what's really going on around us that affects us all in the most important ways I know and which most people at best only vaguely understand on many if not most of the major issues. Those who read it will learn in stunning and graphic detail how large corporations in league with government at all levels serving their interests and not ours are destroying the democratic pillars of our society. The result now evident when we know the facts David presents is a great irreversible harm to the great majority unless we can collectively act in time to reverse the destructive path and economically downward trajectory we're now on -- all planned and implemented by our elected officials in service to their generous corporate benefactors. In his important book, David lucidly explains the problem in detail and gives us an action plan to fight back. <br>...<br><br>CHAPTER 8: ENERGY - TRY TO THINK OF ANOTHER INDUSTRY WITH CLOSER TIES TO THOSE NOW IN THE ADMINISTRATION <br>The Bush administration is run by a cadre of high level officials formerly involved with energy companies before they came to government including the president and vice-president. Now try to think of another industry that will be better treated by those in government than this one. There is none, although there are lots of others who get their full share and aren't complaining. <br><br>There are good reasons why energy prices are high today, and we either don't hear about them or enough about them. The main reason is we're a profligate nation with 5% of the world's population that consumes 26% of the world's daily oil production and about 23% of total natural gas production. The reason we're so wasteful is the industry wants it that way and the government, in full support of the energy giants, encourages consumption and discourages conservation. The reason is obvious. Our bad habits are good for business. <br><br>David's book didn't have some industry figures I now have to show how good business really is in a time of sky-high oil prices. I'll do it by citing the operating results of the oil giant I most like to pick on because they make it so easy for me to do it - Exxon-Mobil. In 2005, this company showed it's currently the largest corporation in the world. In its annual report to shareholders and Wall Street investors, it reported the highest annual profit ever earned by a publicly traded company. It was a breathtaking $36 billion on sales revenue of $371 billion. But that's not the end of the story. The good times just keep rolling for this oil giant as it recently reported its operating results for its 2006 first quarter, and they're better than ever: profits were up 7% from last year to 8.4 billion (their highest ever for a first quarter) and sales were up as well by 8.4% to $89 billion. Now to put all that in perspective, based on its 2005 sales volume, Exxon-Mobil is so large that if this company were a country it would rank in size ahead of nearly 75% of all countries in the world. <br><br>They can thank the Bush administration for a lot of their success. <br><br>Guess who their top executives will be voting for in November and the top officials of the other energy giants as well. <br>High energy prices (and specifically oil prices) are also the result of at least two other factors which David discusses. <br><br>One is the effect on competition by massive consolidation in the industry, especially among refiners. He noted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved 413 mergers during the Clinton years and another 520 in the first three years of the Bush administration. Fewer companies mean less competition, and that's led to higher prices. David also reported that Consumers Union in 2004 found that higher prices were mostly from higher charges at refineries. And those increases were the result of lax federal regulation which allowed refiners to create artificial bottlenecks in supply driving up the cost of gasoline at the pump. <br><br>There's a nasty word for this never used. It's called price fixing, and our government watchdogs are allowing it with their winks and nods to their oil giant friends. The consuming public is forced to pay the price and is lied to by the government and industry trying to justify it. <br><br>To top it all off, it's well known, especially by those who try to deceive us, that energy supplies are finite. With that in mind, you'd think the government would be encouraging or even mandating the industry to make a determined effort to find alternative sources to replace our dwindling resources that won't last forever. And you'd also think laws would be passed requiring conversation especially by raising fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and enacting other measures to lower energy consumption. But if you thought that, you'd be wrong. Although the need is urgent, doing these sensible things are bad for business. And as we see repeated industry after industry, our government will even pursue reckless policies to support their corporate friends and funders, and in the process ignore the needs of the public. Nothing will ever change until we demand it, and that's what David is trying to convince us to do. <br><br>--end quote-- <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Hostile Takeover

Postby chiggerbit » Thu May 11, 2006 10:59 pm

I'm not exactly a fan or Rense, but this is an interesting article:<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.rense.com/general62/corporatocracy.htm">www.rense.com/general62/c...ocracy.htm</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Hostile Takeover

Postby Gouda » Fri May 12, 2006 4:27 am

Here is a critical take on the Sirota book from Russell Mokhiber of <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/">The Corporate Crime Reporter</a><!--EZCODE LINK END-->. Disclaimer: I have not read <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Hostile Takeover</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, though I would certainly take Mokhiber's arguments into consideration if I do read it. <br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/sirota050406.htm">Article Here:</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>David Sirota: Despite Hostile Takeover, Not Willing to Let Go</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>20 Corporate Crime Reporter 19(10), May 4, 2006<br><br>Al Gore, Thomas Frank, George Lakoff, Arianna Huffington, William Greider, and Jim Hightower all have nice things to say about David Sirota’s new book: Hostile Takeover: How Big Money & Corruption Conquered Our Government – and How We Take It Back (Crown, 2006).<br><br>With corruption stories in the mainstream press almost daily, this book should be a best seller.<br><br>Sirota documents the hostile takeover by big business of the country on every major issue that matters to every American.<br><br>He documents myths – jury awards and lawsuit costs to the economy are out of control – lies – America can’t afford health care coverage because it is too expensive – pathological lies – our government tries to stop companies from shipping jobs overseas – and fairy tales – companies are forced to pay higher taxes in the United States than in most other industrialized countries.<br><br>He highlights twenty public heroes – Costco CEO Jim Senegal, Congressman David Obey (D-Wisconsin), Governor Bob Riley (R-Alabama), ACORN leader Bertha Lewis, Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota), Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren, Wall Street Journal reporter Ellen Schultz, Congressional staffer Warren Gunnels, California State Senator Deborah Ortiz (D), former New England Journal of Medicine Editor Marcia Angell, Pfizer VP Peter Rost, public interest attorney James Love, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer (D), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration head Jeffrey Runge, Working Families Party founder Dan Cantor, Wal-Mart employee Joshua Noble, Public Citizen Congress Watch’s Frank Clemente, Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan).<br><br>By our rough count only two – Riley and Runge – of the twenty heroes are Republicans.<br><br>Call them token Republican Party heroes.<br><br>And he calls out twenty-two corporate hacks – Governor Sonny Perdue (R-Georgia), Mickey Kantor, Congressman Tom DeLay (R-Texas), Grover Norquist, White House economic adviser Greg Mankiw, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), Congressman Jim Moran (D-Virginia), Congressman John Boehner (R-Ohio), Congressman Jim Nussle (R-Iowa), former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia), Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich (R), Medicare administrator Tom Scully, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), former Heritage Foundation president Ed Fuelner, Senator Pete Dominici (R-New Mexico), Missouri Governor Matt Blunt (R), Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R), Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Georgia), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), ABC reporter John Stossel.<br><br>By our rough count only four – Kantor, Bayh, Moran and Landrieu – of the twenty-two corporate hacks are Democrats.<br><br>Call them token Democratic Party hacks.<br><br>Get the picture?<br><br>Yes, in Sirota, we are talking about a Democratic Party partisan.<br><br>The guts of Sirota’s book are ten chapters showing how corporations have used their power to tilt the playing field toward big business on taxes, wages, jobs, debt, pensions, health care, prescription drugs, energy, unions, and legal rights.<br><br>It is the kind of book that public interest types – think New York Attorney General candidate Mark Green – have written in decades past – to no avail.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The corporate juggernaut rampages on – unabated.<br><br>Why?<br><br>Because the people writing these books – like Sirota and Green – and those supporting them – like Hightower and Frank – are Democratic Party loyalists.<br><br>They condemn the Democratic Party – as does Sirota – for being corrupted by big money interests.<br><br>But they are tethered to its rotting hulk.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>And they cannot let go.<br><br>There is a war inside the Democratic Party.<br><br>On one side, the progressives and anti-corruption forces – led by the likes of David Sirota and Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin).<br><br>On the other, big business interests led by the Democratic Leadership Council, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.<br><br>But what if the big money interests win the war?<br><br>We asked Sirota – what if Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 2008?<br><br>Will Sirota support her?<br><br>“I don’t think she is going to get the nomination,” he says.<br><br>But what if she does?<br><br>Would you support her?<br><br>“I’d have to see the dynamics of the race,” he says.<br><br>After a little bit of back and forth, it becomes clear – Sirota will support the Democratic Party – no matter the nominee – against the Republican – no matter the nominee.<br><br>To Sirota, the Republican Party is the party of big business.<br><br>And the Democratic Party is the party of the people.<br><br>The way it has been.<br><br>The way it always must be.<br><br>Although as he makes clear in his book, there has been a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party by big business.<br><br>And Sirota is going to spend his time trying to get it back.<br><br>Does he have a breaking point – a point at which he says – this party is too far gone to save?<br><br>“I can’t answer that question,” he says.<br><br>Why not?<br><br>“I’m an optimist,” he says. “That comes through in the book. Some people call it deluded optimism. Also, because I’ve been around enough good Democratic politicians and activists – people who are trying to do the right thing. I believe that the party can be a means to progressive ends.”<br><br>Sirota was brought up in a Democratic Party household in the Philadelphia area.<br><br>“I was brought up in opposition to Republican policies,” he says. “That’s for sure. That was definitely in my house, all the time.”<br><br>And he is tethered to the Democratic Party and cannot let go.<br><br>After graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1998, he worked in various Democratic Party campaigns, did a stint at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington, D.C., was the press spokesperson for Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), and then moved to Montana, where his wife now works for Governor Brian Schweitzer.<br><br>Sirota worked to get Schweitzer elected.<br><br>Sirota is now a campaigner against corruption in politics.<br><br>He will be a featured speaker at an upcoming conference in New Hampshire on state efforts to combat corporate corruption.<br><br>He puts out a weekly “corruption digest” that is a compilation of corruption stories from around the country.<br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong><br>But what good is all his good work – if the anti-corruption forces are locked within a corrupt Democratic Party?</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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