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Janine Wedel

With Obama's "Dinner Date," Wall Street's Elite Wins... Again

Linda Keenan | Posted 08.15.2011 | Business
Linda Keenan

The news that President Obama will wine and dine with top Wall Street CEOs is just the latest example of how the "wizards" of Wall Street and their Washington allies continue to win -- their clout seemingly undiminished -- in the face of spectacular failure.

Shadow Lobbyists & The "Scholars-for-Dollars" Who Helped Rebrand Libya

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

Monitor Group's academic campaign helps explain why Libya's image softened in recent years. And it also underscores the emergence of a new breed of power broker: "shadow lobbyists".

Shadow Elite: The "Inside Job" That Toppled Iceland's Economy

Robert Wade | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Robert Wade

Iceland's crash, for which the Prime Minister has now been indicted, is another case in which networks of public-private players, purporting to serve the public interest, instead capture official information to serve their own interests.

Shadow Elite: The Small Government Lie - How Both Parties Stood By as Our Government Burned

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

Our government, on the federal level, has already been upended by small government ideology, beholden to private interests as never before in our memory. But we can't just blame the Tea Party.

Shadow Elite: Pat Tillman & Why Soldier Hero Worship Serves the Powerful ... Not the Soldiers

Andrew Bickford | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Andrew Bickford

"Heroism" is used and heroes created to aestheticize and glorify war and, it seems, is the ideological band-aid we use to cover up the suffering, wounding, and killing of disposable soldiers.

Shadow Elite: Elizabeth Warren's Best Credential: Outsider

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Linda Keenan

Questionable behavior became commonplace in innumerable corners of the financial industry over the past 20 years. And at key moments, it was an outsider like Elizabeth Warren who had the common-sense perspective to cry foul.

Shadow Elite: Selling Out Uncle Sam: Government Contracting -- A Free Market Farce

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

The deep scandal of government contracting goes far beyond the actions of a handful of bad actors and products that can seen and touched. It is systemic, insidious, potentially damaging to national security -- and perfectly legal.

Shadow Elite: Selling Out Uncle Sam - The Collision of State & Private Power

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

When government contractors hire former directors of intelligence and defense-related government agencies, they are banking on coincidences of interest between their hires and their hires' former (government) employers.

Shadow Elite: WikiLeaks: Irresponsible or Indispensable?

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Janine R. Wedel

WikiLeaks is a declared combatant in information warfare: high-tech, good-government vigilantes. The group acts as the consummate outsider, a crucial role in the shadow elite era.

Shadow Elite: Selling Out Uncle Sam & Outsourcing American Power

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

When information that is supposedly of and for government is in private hands, the power of that information can be used to serve private agendas with the risk of corporate and private players influencing policy to suit those agendas.

Shadow Elite: Has the Obama Organizing Machine Staged A Party Takeover?

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

The shadow elite in America are adept at creating novel alternative structures and new venues of power that suit their agenda, and Organizing for America seems to be a case in point.

Shadow Elite: Neocons, The Holocaust & Emergency Powers

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

Democracy must be counted as one of the casualties of this new century's wars, and more broadly, of an era where an elite few have become masters at pressing their own self-interested agendas with impunity.

Shadow Elite: Rolling Stone's Hastings - How Outsiders Provide the Indispensable Check & Balance

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Janine R. Wedel

Michael Hastings broke the understandings maintained for mutual benefit by the military, reporters who regularly cover it, and perhaps some allied think tanks as well. He did not have special access, he chose to take a risk.

Shadow Elite: Goldman Sachs - Fraud Is Not the Scandal

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Linda Keenan

Americans justifiably furious with Wall Street conduct, and the havoc it's caused, might be comforted by news that regulators are taking Goldman Sachs to court, alleging fraud. They shouldn't be.

Shadow Elite: What's Behind Surging Executive Power? Globalization

Saskia Sassen | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Saskia Sassen

With a new emergent phase of democratic and quasi democratic regimes, can enhanced executive power linked to globalization be reoriented to better, noncommercial goals, like climate change, global hunger, or poverty?

Shadow Elite: BP And Government's Titanic Failure -- Outsourcing Its Talent (And Power)

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Linda Keenan

Today upwards of three-quarters of the work of federal government, measured in terms of jobs, is contracted out. This has been part of a fundamental redesign of governing towards privatization and industry self-regulation.

Shadow Elite: March to War - Why the Neoconservatives Are Not a Cabal or Conspiracy

Stephen M. Walt | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Stephen M. Walt

I think there's no question that the neoconservatives played a central role in leading the United States into Iraq, but to characterize them as a cabal or conspiracy is misleading.

Shadow Elite: Wall Street Culture - They Still Don't Get It (Except Their Bonuses)

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Linda Keenan

The bankers may like to show they prize flexibility, but try telling them they should change bonus culture. On that score, they will not bend. But they needn't worry -- the Champagne will still flow; Washington isn't going after bonuses.

Shadow Elite: March to War -- The Neocon Playbook, Straight from the Soviet Bloc

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Janine R. Wedel

Despite a new administration in Washington, not to mention the damage done to their credibility since the Iraq invasion, the Neocon core lives on, because networks like it are self-propelling and enduring.

Shadow Elite: March to War -- Is Ahmed Chalabi Under Iran's Thumb?

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Janine R. Wedel

In the case of Ahmed Chalabi, we saw an unelected power broker, not even a U.S. citizen, exerting enormous influence over our decision to go to war. That he's now said to be influenced by Iran comes as no surprise.

Shadow Elite: Think BP's The Bad Guy? Think Bigger, Way Bigger

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Linda Keenan

There was much finger-pointing this week, but the politicians, and our entire leadership, should also point a finger at themselves, for allowing private industry to increasingly devour public power, and gut regulatory responsibility.

Shadow Elite: March to War -- Rove, Perle, & Truthiness

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

One wishes that Iraq was now simply a matter of historian research. But the reality is that we're still there and the country is still dangerously unstable. No amount of truthiness can make that hard fact go away.

Shadow Elite: Why Did Military Top Brass Flout Its Own Chain of Command?

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

In December, the top U.S. intelligence officer in Afghanistan bypassed traditional boundaries and used a think tank to deliver a blistering report on the state of intelligence-gathering in that country.

Shadow Elite: If You Believe That, I've Got a Bridge to Sell You....

Donald Cohen | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Donald Cohen

Mayors and governors staring down massive budget gaps are putting bridges, buildings, parking lots, and more up for sale. Who's buying? Wall Street, which, in turn, wants to sell off your public assets to investors.

Shadow Elite: On the Trail of "Government Sachs"

Robert E. Prasch | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Robert E. Prasch

Right now, Greece and European markets continue to shudder from Goldman's 'contribution' to their economy. Deals that helped Greece avoid some painful fiscal truths were hidden from public view.