Socially Unconscious

Reading Time: 2 minutes Are you one of those who tries to buy the offbeat brands, because they’re made by small, locally-owned, family businesses, and tend to use more wholesome ingredients than the giant manufacturers? As someone who makes an effort in that regard, I sometimes wonder whether the companies are indeed the delightful anachronisms they present themselves as. Read More

Did Geithner Aid and Abet Citigroup?

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Washington Post, in conjunction with ProPublica, published a long investigative piece today on Timothy Geithner’s tenure as head of the New York Federal Reserve. The article particularly focuses on his oversight of Citigroup, the largest bank under the New York Fed’s authority and the recent recipient of $45 billion in TARP money. Under the Read More

The Tycoon

Reading Time: < 1 minute Here’s a passionate tirade about the damage done to journalism by media tycoon Conrad Black and other greedy, marauding owners. Black went to prison for criminal fraud in looting his properties, but, typically, is unrepentant and finding even that stint simply another chapter of a charmed life. Black, a member of the British House of Read More

Gold Rush for Lobbyists

Reading Time: < 1 minute Reform may be in the air, but the Sunlight Foundation has a new report noting that nearly 1,700 new clients have signed up with lobbying firms in DC in the first quarter of 2009. Sunlight describes their initial findings as a “first pass” at scrutinizing a database of lobbying registrations. Of particular interest: Our first Read More

Leahy's Truth Commission Hits the Skids

Reading Time: 3 minutes Those of you following the prosecution trail will be interested to know that Patrick Leahy’s Truth Commission is a no-go. I was in a meeting with Leahy and 4 other Vermonters on Monday when he broke the news to us. We had asked for the meeting to learn why he supported a Truth Commission over Read More

Comforting the Comfortable

Reading Time: < 1 minute Every so often, mainstream journalists indulge us with stunning self-revelatory comments about themselves and their cohort. Consider Evan Thomas’s profile of Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in the latest Newsweek. Thomas writes: If you are of the establishment persuasion (and I am), reading Krugman makes you uneasy. You hope he’s wrong, Read More

Extracting the Truth

Reading Time: 3 minutes In an era when the public is demanding accountability, how accountable is the intelligence sphere? Employing hundreds of thousands and spending hundreds of billions each year, it essentially answers to no one. Even the people’s representatives tasked with riding herd, the congressional intelligence committees, have nearly always been kept in the dark, sworn to silence, Read More

More Leaks

Reading Time: 2 minutes In Not So Secret After All? (March 18), I pondered the spate of leaks on seemingly sensitive military and foreign policy matters. Well, here comes more. In the New York Times of March 28, we have in the lead story a full-blown leak-a-thon: President Obama’s plan to widen United States involvement in Afghanistan came after Read More

Of Bonuses and Shelters

Reading Time: < 1 minute Stories about homelessness and the spread of tent cities abound. It has always been difficult to get an accurate number on how many people are without shelter, but homelessness groups have estimated that on a given night in one of the worst months of a typical recent year, that figure might near 800,000. Say it Read More

Meet Lloyd Blankfein

Reading Time: 3 minutes The Wall Street Journal has disclosed that Lloyd Blankfein was present at the meetings with Tim Geithner and Hank Paulson when the decision was made to bail out AIG, which had sold credit default swaps to Goldman Sachs on which AIG was unable to make good.  Goldman’s stock had plummeted to 35, wiping out vast Read More