bill sponsor, CISPA, Computer security, Conflict, Congress, contractors, corruption, Cybersecurity Bill, defense, greed, Interest, internet, invasion, Kristi Clemens Rogers, Michael Rogers, Mike Rogers, money, National Security Agency, NSA, privacy, Representative, Republican, U.S. citizens, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Military, U.S. Senate, U.S. State Department, United States, Untrustworthy
from the no-conflict,-no-interest dept
It would appear that Rep. Mike Rogers, the main person in Congress pushing for CISPA, has kept rather quiet about a very direct conflict of interest that calls into serious question the entire bill. It would appear that Rogers’ wife stands to benefit quite a lot from the passage of CISPA, and has helped in the push to get the bill passed. It’s somewhat amazing that no one has really covered this part of the story, but it highlights, yet again, the kind of activities by folks in Congress that make the public trust Congress less and less.
It has seemed quite strange to see how strongly Rogers has been fighting for CISPA, refusing to even acknowledge the seriousness of the privacy concerns. At other times, he can’t even keep his own story straight about whether or not CISPA is about giving information to the NSA (hint: it is). And then there was the recent ridiculousness with him insisting that the only opposition to CISPA came from 14-year-old kids in their basement. Wrong and insulting.
Of course, as we’ve noted all along, all attempts at cybersecurity legislation have always been about money. Mainly, money to big defense contractors aiming to provide the government with lots of very expensive “solutions” to the cybersecurity “problem” — a problem that still has not been adequately defined beyond fake scare stories. Just last month, Rogers accidentally tweeted (and then deleted) a story about how CISPA supporters, like himself, had received 15 times more money from pro-CISPA group that the opposition had received from anti-CISPA groups.
So it seems rather interesting to note that Rogers’ wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, was, until recently, the president and CEO of Aegis LLC a “security” defense contractor company, whom she helped to secure a $10 billion (with a b) contract with the State Department. The company describes itself as “a leading private security company, provides government and corporate clients with a full spectrum of intelligence-led, culturally-sensitive security solutions to operational and development challenges around the world.”
Hmm. Sounds like a company like that would benefit greatly to seeing a big ramp up in cybersecurity FUD around the globe, and, with it, big budgets by various government agencies to spend on such things. Indeed, just a few months ago, Rogers penned an article for Washington Life Magazine all about evil hackers trying to “steal information.” In it, there’s a line that might sound a wee-bit familiar, referring to the impression of hackers as being “the teenager in his or her parent’s basement with bunny slippers and a Mountain Dew.” Apparently, both of the Rogers really have a thing about teens in basements. The article is typical FUD, making statements with no proof, including repeating the NSA’s ridiculous allegation that hackers have led to the “greatest transfer of wealth in American history.” It’s such a good line, except that it’s completely untrue. The top US companies have recently admitted to absolutely no damage from such attacks. The article also lumps in “hacktivists” like Anonymous, as if they’re a part of this grand conspiracy that needs new laws.
Tellingly, in the print version of Washington Life that this article appeared in, which you can see embedded below, you’ll note that there’s a side bar right next to her article about the importance of passing cybersecurity legislation in Congress. Guess what’s not mentioned anywhere at all? The fact that Kristi Rogers, author of the fear-mongering article, happens to be married to Rep. Mike Rogers, the guy in charge of pushing through cybersecurity legislation. That sure seems like a rather key point, and a major conflict of interest that neither seemed interested in disclosing. Oh, and Kristi Rogers recently changed jobs as well, such that she’s now the “managing director of federal government affairs and public policies” at Manatt a big lobbying firm, where (surprise, surprise) she’s apparently focused on “executive-level problem solving in the defense and homeland security sectors.” I’m sure having CISPA in place will suddenly create plenty of demand for such problem solving.
A few months ago, on one of his FUD-filled talks about why we need cybersecurity, Rogers claimed that it was all so scary that he literally couldn’t sleep at night until CISPA was passed due to an “unusual source” threatening us. The whole statement seemed odd, until you realize that his statement came out at basically the same time as his wife’s fear-mongering article about cybersecurity. I guess when your pillow talk is made up boogeyman stories about threats that don’t actually exist, it might make it difficult to fall asleep.
Either way, even if we assume that everything here was done aboveboard — and we’re not suggesting it wasn’t — this is exactly the kind of situation that Larry Lessig has referred to as soft corruption. It’s not bags of money shifting hands, but it appears highly questionable to the public, leading the public to trust Congress a lot less. At the very least, in discussing all of this stuff, when Mrs. Rogers is writing articles that help the push for CISPA, it seems only fair to disclose that she’s married to the guy pushing for the bill. And when Mr. Rogers is pushing for the bill, it seems only right to disclose that his wife almost certainly would benefit from the bill passing. And yet, that doesn’t seem to have happened… anywhere.
13th Amendment, agriculture, America, Americans, Attorneys, Baby Boomers, bailout, banks, Barack Obama, benefits, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Brazil, Canada, capitalism, Caterpillar, Cathy Koch, CEOs, chairman, China, citizens, coal, communications, consumers, corporations, crime, crops, decline, defense, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Depression, dirty politics, Doug Oberhelman, Drugs, economic, Economic inequality, Eduardo Saverin, Eli Lilly, Elite, environment, Ernest Moniz, exemptions, Facebook, FDA, Federal Government, federal law, federal taxes, food, Food Czar, Freedom, funding, GDP, General Electric, globalization, GMOs, Google, greed, grocery stores, Gross domestic product, Human Rights, Hypocrisy, hypocrite, Illinois, imprisonment, income, inequality, investments, Jeffery Immelt, Jobs, Jobs Council, kids, law firms, legislators, lobbyists, male, Mary Jo White, median income, Medicare, mega-banks, mega-corporation, Michael Taylor, Microsoft, middle class, Monsanto, National Defense Authorization Act, natural gas, oil, Pfizer, poison, poisoning, poisonous, politics, Poor, Poverty, power-hungry, President, Project on Government Oversight, Quantitative Easing, Quantitive Easing, REIT, research, SEC, Secretary of Energy, Security and Exchange Commission, Sequestration, slavery, Social Security, state taxes, stock market, Surveillance, survival, tax dodgers, Tax Dollars, tax evasion, tax havens, taxes, taxpayers, technology, The GEO Group, Toxic, U.S, U.S. Government, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Unemployment, United States, Urban Institute, Vice President, Washington, Washington D.C., wealthy, white, world
Capitalist greed is splitting our country in two. But rather than look objectively at their failures, many of those responsible have been hypocritical, portraying themselves as advocates of freedom and prosperity while the greater part of America slides toward poverty.
Some of the candidates:
1. The “Get a Job” Critic
This usually well-connected person criticizes the jobless for being lazy. But in a recent poll that asked if “the government in Washington should see to it that everyone who wants to work could find a job,” 68 percent of the general public agreed, while only 19 percent of the wealthy were in agreement.
Apparently they feel the free market will find those jobs. But as they staunchly adhere to their notion, large corporations are holding trillions in cash, transferring millions of jobs overseas, and paying low-level wages to those who have managed to stay employed.
It all started with a “world is flat” reverie by which every individual in the world is empowered to accomplish great things. Then on to “create your own job” hyperbole and on a global scale to the capitalist’s belief that “a billion people have been lifted from poverty through free-market competition.”
The message being spread by the people at the top is that everyone benefits and everyone has opportunities.
The reality is that only the top of the mountain is flat. Or more accurately, the plateau just below the top of the mountain is flat. Perhaps 10 percent (or somewhere between 5 and 20 percent) of the U.S. is doing reasonably well, especially with 93 percent of non-home wealth owned by the richest quintile of Americans. Everyone else has experienced a 35-year decline in income. But hypocrisy bares its contemptuous soul with its hurrahs for the ever-growing stock market.
Outside our borders, world inequality has decreased, but largely because of the rapid ascent of China, while INSIDE China inequality has grown at a pace rivaling the U.S. There may be a half-billion young Chinese laborers who are technically above poverty level, but GDPs don’t measure the quality of life or asset distribution of 70-hour-per-week factory workers.
3. The Self-Made Man
Wealthy individuals pride themselves on their successes from meager beginnings. Many of this self-congratulatory group grew up as educated white males in the richest nation ever in the most productive time in the history of the world. They rode the technology engine for 30 years benefiting from federal funding that provided almost half of basic research funds into the 1980s and half of research in the communications industry as late as 1990.
Now, of course, it’s much different. Globalization and automation have eliminated many of the old opportunities. Half of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. And while it’s always been more of a struggle for the lowest-income people, it’s even worse now, with more than half of those individuals in the bottom income quintile remaining there 10 years later. Compared to other developed countries, the U.S. ranks near the bottom in economic mobility.
4. The Government Hater
This candidate opposes government intervention of any type, unless it’s for national defense, homeland security, surveillance, prison funding and the drug war, any subsidies to oil and coal and agricultural companies, bailouts and Quantitative Easing, tax expenditures that mainly benefit the rich and anything to do with women’s bodies.
5. The Revolving Doorman
Here’s another candidate who hates government interference, but will tolerate it if there’s a friend in the regulator’s chair. A friend like Mary Jo White, connected for 36 years to a law firm that would be monitored by her new position as head of the SEC.
A report by the Project on Government Oversight stated that “Former employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) routinely help corporations try to influence SEC rulemaking, counter the agency’s investigations of suspected wrongdoing… and win exemptions from federal law.”
General Electric has a particularly smooth-spinning revolving door in the back of its corporate offices. After eliminating 37,000 jobs over ten years, CEO Jeffery Immelt was appointed as chairman of President Obama’s Jobs Council. Secretary of Energy nominee Ernest Moniz has served on GE’s advisory board. And Cathy Koch, a lobbyist for the tax-avoiding company, was appointed chief advisor on tax and economic policy.
6. The Entitlement Basher
This person claims that Social Security recipients are ‘takers.’
Here are the facts. According to the Urban Institute the average two-earner couple making average wages throughout their lifetimes will receive less in Social Security benefits than they paid in; same for single males.
Meanwhile, tax expenditures (deductions and exemptions which primarily benefit the very rich) cost us about 8 percent of the GDP, which is almost exactly the same percentage that goes to Social Security and Medicare.
7. The New American – Love It and then Leave It at Tax Time
Unlimited candidates for the Hypocrisy Hall here, starting with companies like Google and Microsoft that hold onto their foreign cash to avoid taxes, but actually keep the cash in U.S. banks, taking advantage of publicly-funded national security to safeguard the assets they’re not paying taxes on.
Then there are pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly and Pfizer who denounce the idea of consumers purchasing cheap prescription drugs from Canada, but then shift patents and profits to offshore tax havens to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
On the individual level, 1,700 Americans renounced their citizenships in 2011. The top Hypocrisy Hall candidate is Eduardo Saverin, who found safe refuge in the U.S. after his family was threatened in Brazil, benefited from American research and technology to take billions from his 4 percent share in Facebook and then skipped out on his tax bill.
Finally there are CEOs like Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar, who threatened to leave Illinois unless the highly profitable company received a tax break that allowed the company to pay less than 1 percent of its total net income in state taxes, and then said, “Legislators in Illinois have created an environment that is unfriendly to business and investment.”
8. Realtor for the Slaves
The GEO Group, operator of private prisons, is trying to qualify as a “real estate intensive industry” (REIT). In a company profile GEO refers to itself as having “attractive real estate characteristics.”
What is the nature of GEO’s property? The 13th Amendment says “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The private prisons have a room ready for the kids on the school-to-prison pipeline.
So Who Makes It to the Hall?
Only those who can aspire to duplicitous extremes, like Monsanto, whose website proclaims “Monsanto is committed to assuring the safety and quality of our products and promoting a culture of integrity through our business conduct,” after their communications director said “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible.”
Now, that is worthy of recognition.
agriculture, America, Americans, Barack Obama, bill, bribery, citizens, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, communism, Constitution, corporate, corporations, Corporatism, corruption, crops, D.C., Deadly, Death, defense, democracy, Department of Defense, economic collapse, Economic inequality, economic meltdown, Economy, email, erosion, failure, Failures, farmers, federal courts, Federal Government, Federal government of the United States, food, food supply, Fountain City Wisconsin, fraud, GMO, GMO seeds, GMOs, grandkids, greed, greedy, H.R. 933, Human Rights, immoral, kids, Legislation, legislators, Lethal, mega-corporation, middle class, monopoly, Monsanto, Monsanto Protection Act, New World Order, Obama, Occupy Monsanto, phone, plutocracy, poisonous, Poor, population, population control, power, power-hungry, President, Rights, Section 735, seeds, Sequestration, socialism, spending, Toxic, Traitor, U.S, U.S. Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Defense, U.S. Defense budget, U.S. Government, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, unethical, United States, United States Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Defense, United States of America, unprotected, Voters, Washington D.C., Wasteful Spending, White House
I regret to inform you that late Tuesday night, March 26, 2013, President Barack Obama, signed bill H.R. 933 into law which had the biotech rider known as the “Monsanto Protection Act” in it. Now, the citizens of the United States have NO protection from the evils of Monsanto’s poisonous GM seeds!
(In 2007) Obama Promises to Label GMOs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqaaB6NE1TI&list=PLswFQy8PadF8VupmNAy5Gr2l7MvYAGtU8&index=5
Our highest elected official not only ignored the will of over 90% of Americans, but he systemically and systematically continued to strip away the rights afforded to citizens under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights! Obama just handed Monsanto a very early Christmas present by allowing them to completely overstep our federal courts, and continue to plant their toxic seeds. Now, nothing stands in the way of Monsanto’s goal of global monopolization of the food supply! There could not have been a worse outcome for the U.S. at a time of extreme idealism and rampant corruption never seen in the history of the world! Hundreds of thousands of phone calls to the president on Monday, March 25, 2013 appeared to do nothing to convince Obama to at least strike Section 735 containing the “Monsanto Protection Act” from H.R. 933 by sending it back to congress for removal.
By the way, H.R. 933 is a defense SPENDING bill of almost $1 trillion for fiscal year ending September 30, 2013 during a time of Sequestration! Don’t worry though, because President Obama will take more from the middle class and poor to pay for an already over-bloated defense budget! This will just make even more Americans dependent on the U.S. Government, and that is exactly what happens during a switch to socialism in a plutocracy not a democracy. Soon enough, the rights of the American people will be more eroded than a communist nation as the New World Order comes to power!
It is time to let your president know that what he signed into law is completely unacceptable, immoral and unethical! Do you want to eat genetically modified food that is slowly killing you? That’s exactly what it is doing! Our government likes to think of it as population control. Do you want your kids and your grandkids eating toxins that will bring about a slow and painful death? Call or write President Obama today to let him know that he needs to listen to the will of the citizens of the United States of America, and he must stop acting upon corporate interests and greed over a country on the verge of total economic collapse!
Take action here:
President Obama’s email address: http://capwiz.com/politicsol/mail/?id=3181&lvl=F&chamber=P
White House phone number: (202) 456-1111
*NOTE* Check my archives for more information on our government’s love affair with Monsanto!
by John Loeffler – Fountain City, Wisconsin
agriculture, Americans, angry, banks, Barack Obama, Biotech Rider, bribery, Canada, Clarence Thomas, Congress, corporations, corruption, Deadly, defense, FDA, federal courts, Federal government of the United States, food, food prices, food supply, Fountain City Wisconsin, fraud, Genetically modified food, Genetically modified organism, GMO, GMOs, greed, greedy, House of Representatives, Judge, lawmakers, laws, Lawyers, legislators, lobbyists, mega-banks, mega-corporation, Michael Taylor, money, monopoly, Monsanto, Monsanto employees, Monsanto Protection Act, Occupy Monsanto, poisonous, power, power-hungry, President, Representative, Senate, Senator, Sequestration, spending, spending increase, Supreme Court, Toxic, U.S, U.S. citizens, U.S. Government, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, U.S. taxpayers, United States House of Representatives, United States Senate, Wasteful Spending
Our entire government has been corrupted with the evils of Monsanto which is a corporation that wants nothing more than to control the entire world’s food supply. Luckily, most of the world has wised up, and over 50 countries now ban or severely restrict Monsanto’s monstrous grip on our food that is grown with poison directly inside of it! Unfortunately for the U.S. and Canada, they are firmly gripped by Monsanto’s tenacious tentacles! Money talks big time in America!
Even our own congress has accepted millions of dollars from Monsanto! How else can you explain secret biotech riders slipped into other government spending, like defense spending, that easily passes through both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate? Our elected legislators made it crystal clear that they side with large corporations and mega-banks, and so has our president. After all, President Obama was the one who appointed Michael “Monsanto” Taylor to lead the FDA back in 2010 which was three years after then-Senator Barack Obama promised to get GMOs labeled!
How can the U.S. fight back against Monsanto’s toxic GMOs that are slowly poisoning everyone to death when our leaders that we placed into power accept fistfuls of cash from Monsanto’s lobbyists? How can we take back our food supply when Monsanto ships its workers directly over and into the U.S. government? Take a look at no less than 13 current and former Monsanto employees who work for our government! Click on their names, and notice how many times the word “lobbyist” pops up:
Now if excessive greed does not bother you, then you may want to rethink your conscience!
Let congress and the president know that it is time for Monsanto to go!
U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
by John Loeffler – Fountain City, Wisconsin
WTF??!!! Pay close attention to the last paragraph, and then tell me that Bush was not praying for another terrorist attack to keep him in power! I feel so comforted in knowing that the U.S. government is secretly creating shit that we do not need, at taxpayer expense, of course!
North American Army created without OK by Congress
U.S., Canada military ink deal to fight domestic emergencies
Posted: February 24, 2008
1:45 pm Eastern
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
In a ceremony that received virtually no attention in the American media, the United States and Canada signed a military agreement Feb. 14 allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of USNORTHCOM, signs agreement Feb. 14, 2008, with Canadian Air Force Lt. Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command (USNORTHCOM photo)
The agreement, defined as a Civil Assistance Plan, was not submitted to Congress for approval, nor did Congress pass any law or treaty specifically authorizing this military agreement to combine the operations of the armed forces of the United States and Canada in the event of a wide range of domestic civil disturbances ranging from violent storms, to health epidemics, to civil riots or terrorist attacks.
In Canada, the agreement paving the way for the militaries of the U.S. and Canada to cross each other’s borders to fight domestic emergencies was not announced either by the Harper government or the Canadian military, prompting sharp protest.
“It’s kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-U.S. relations and contentious issues like military integration,” Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians told the Canwest News Service. “We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites.”
The military Civil Assistance Plan can be seen as a further incremental step being taken toward creating a North American armed forces available to be deployed in domestic North American emergency situations.
The agreement was signed at U.S. Army North headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, by U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, or USNORTHCOM, and by Canadian Air Force Lt. Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command.
“This document is a unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military plans to respond quickly to the other nation’s requests for military support of civil authorities,” Renuart said in a statement published on the USNORTHCOM website.
“In discussing the new bilateral Civil Assistance Plan established by USNORTHCOM and Canada Command, Renuart stressed, “Unity of effort during bilateral support for civil support operations such as floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and effects of a terrorist attack, in order to save lives, prevent human suffering an mitigate damage to property, is of the highest importance, and we need to be able to have forces that are flexible and adaptive to support rapid decision-making in a collaborative environment.”
Lt. Gen. Dumais seconded Renuart’s sentiments, stating, “The signing of this plan is an important symbol of the already strong working relationship between Canada Command and U.S. Northern Command.”
“Our commands were created by our respective governments to respond to the defense and security challenges of the twenty-first century,” he stressed, “and we both realize that these and other challenges are best met through cooperation between friends.”
The statement on the USNORTHCOM website emphasized the plan recognizes the role of each nation’s lead federal agency for emergency preparedness, which in the United States is the Department of Homeland Security and in Canada is Public Safety Canada.
The statement then noted the newly signed plan was designed to facilitate the military-to-military support of civil authorities once government authorities have agreed on an appropriate response.
As WND has previously reported, U.S. Northern Command was established on Oct. 1, 2002, as a military command tasked with anticipating and conducting homeland defense and civil support operations where U.S. armed forces are used in domestic emergencies.
Similarly, Canada Command was established on Feb. 1, 2006, to focus on domestic operations and offer a single point of contact for all domestic and continental defense and securities partners.
In Nov. 2007, WND published a six-part exclusive series, detailing WND’s on-site presence during the NORAD-USNORTHCOM Vigilant Shield 2008, an exercise which involved Canada Command as a participant.
In an exclusive interview with WND during Vigilant Shield 2008, Gen. Renuart affirmed USNORTHCOM would deploy U.S. troops on U.S. soil should the president declare a domestic emergency in which the Department of Defense ordered USNORTHCOM involvement.
In May 2007, WND reported President Bush, on his own authority, signed National Security Presidential Directive 51, also known as Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, authorizing the president to declare a national emergency and take over all functions of federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, without necessarily obtaining the approval of Congress to do so.