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Tapeworm Economy

Oligarchy. See <a href="">Catherine Austin Fitts</a>.

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Rahm Emanuel is a horrible human being

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Health Insurance Parasite of the Day: Aetna's CEO Mark Bertolini


Fortune 500 health insurers increased compensation for their CEOs more than 19% in 2013 over 2012! Aetna's CEO Mark Bertolini received a 131% pay hike, bringing in $30.7 million: that's 877 times the $35k that the average worker makes in a year. Centene and Molina Healthcare doubled pay for their CEOs as well.

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Stock dumping, Goldman Sachs edition

Last quarter Goldman Sachs insiders dumped 57,000 shares of GS stock. The previous quarter they dumped 14,573,300.

Lloyd Blankfein has dumped 137,670 shares since October.

Basically Goldman Sachs is conducting a global bust out operation, and no one, not even their own firm, is exempt. Read more about Stock dumping, Goldman Sachs edition

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Wellpoint cashes in from the law its Flexian VP, Liz Fowler, wrote

You remember Liz Fowler, right? The Flexian who crafted ObamaCare for Max Baucus while on secondment from her "real" job as a Wellpoint VP, and who then went on to the White House, and then went on to cash in as a Big Pharma lobbyist? Of course you do. And as it turns out -- hold onto your hats, folks! -- she did very well for Wellpoint when she'd parked herself on The Hill:

No health insurance company has aligned itself with Obamacare as closely as WellPoint. The nation's second-largest health insurer opted to participate in the health insurance exchange for every state where it operated. WellPoint's stock scored huge gains in 2013, climbing 51%.

Did the Obamacare connection help make WellPoint a big winner? Yes -- and no. The company's participation in those state exchanges hasn't made much difference so far. Obamacare enrollment has been far behind projections.

However, another facet of Obamacare has helped WellPoint. As a result of the health reform legislation, several states have expanded their Medicaid programs. Those states include California and New York, both of which happen to be [oh ha ha ha!!!!] states where WellPoint does business. Medicaid enrollment stands out as one of the few bright spots for Obamacare thus far. WellPoint, with the largest Medicaid membership of any major insurer, is poised to be a big beneficiary.

A brilliant corporate move. You can see Fowler working out strategy with her C-suite buddies: "What can they possibly not fuck up? Yeah, Medicaid! It already works! They don't have to build a website or anything!" And Wellpoint would have had every opportunity to become intimately familiar with Administration foibles; that's what's so great about being a Flexian! Read more about ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Wellpoint cashes in from the law its Flexian VP, Liz Fowler, wrote

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: A good product sells itself. And then there's ObamaCare....


Extrapolated across the entire U.S., the cost of marketing and advertising to get Americans to sign up for coverage is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Here’s a link* to all of the federal grants, including marketing funds, allocated to states across the country by the Obama administration to set up marketplaces and educate consumers.

And the ad spending doesn’t end with government dollars. Private insurers are spending huge sums as well.

“We have had several plans in place to reach different audiences through various channels, including direct mail, billboards, online, radio and TV,” said Greg Thompson, spokesman for the nation’s fourth-largest health plan, Health Care Service Corp., which is selling health insurance products on exchanges via Blue Cross and Blue Shield products it owns in Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Montana.

Needless to say, in a single payer system, all that money would go to patient care. To health care. Read more about ObamaCare Clusterfuck: A good product sells itself. And then there's ObamaCare....

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Walmart takes over OMB

Obama to nominate Walmart's Burwell as White House budget chief

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama plans to nominate Walmart's philanthropic head Sylvia Mathews Burwell to become director of the White House budget office on Monday, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Walmart's philanthropy funds those those horrible Kipp charter schools. Read more about Walmart takes over OMB

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Obama’s Proposed $9 An Hour Minimum Wage Is A Joke. Let’s Make Democratic Politicians Work For $9 An Hour And Republican Politicians For $7.25.

"We are justly proud of the high wage rates which prevail throughout our country and jealous of any interference with them by the products of the cheaper labor of other countries. To maintain this condition, to strengthen our control of home markets and, above all, to broaden our opportunities in foreign markets where we must compete with the products of other industrial nations, we should welcome and encourage every influence tending to increase the efficiency of our productive processes" --Henry Towne, President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1911 Read more about Obama’s Proposed $9 An Hour Minimum Wage Is A Joke. Let’s Make Democratic Politicians Work For $9 An Hour And Republican Politicians For $7.25.

If Iceland can do it, shouldn't others?

Fitch said Iceland's debts had been upgraded to BBB from junk after a strong recovery from the financial crisis.

Reykjavik's meteoric recovery comes after its 300,000 residents were told they would be locked out of the world's financial markets for decades after they refused to rescue a group of bankrupt banks in 2008.

Unlike Ireland, Portugal and Spain, the Icelandic government let the country's banks become insolvent rather than spend tens of billions of pounds on bailout funds.

Jay's picture

Grandest Bargain Ever, a different wrinkle from Economist Richard Wolff

My "Dismal Science" diet comes from a wide variety of sources. As our corrupt national political establishment and discredited media organs begin to focus on post-election Catfood Commission politics, it's instructive to see how different economists read the writing on the wall, and come to a variety of conclusions. In this case I'd like to highlight the observations of Dr. Richard D. Wolff, who appears to come to a similar conclusion to the one I derived in my previous post about how the Grand Bargain is a shell game calculated to drain the public funds for private purposes (The Grandest Bargain Ever, Explained). Read more about Grandest Bargain Ever, a different wrinkle from Economist Richard Wolff

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Neoliberalism kills Read more about Neoliberalism kills

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Arianna Huffington

Can we just call her Princess 1%? Read more about Arianna Huffington

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How the Steel Workers made Bain Capital THE issue


Laid Off Steelworker in Anti-Romney Ad Says He Is Not Voting for Obama

The United Steelworkers' initial accusations regarding the GS Technologies plant closing have proven explosive enough to potentially derail Romney’s presidential bid. Their effectiveness also suggests labor's new strategy of doing its own political actions separate from the Democratic Party is starting to pay off.

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How Bill and Melinda Gates use philanthropy to pump corporate profits

Education Week

Philanthropy wonk Lucy Bernholz defines the buzzword leverage as "the idea that you can use a little money to access a lot of money." ...

...And in its U.S. education reform charity work, the Gates Foundation has increasingly shifted its funding to promote market domination by its British corporate education services partner, Pearson Education.


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