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Shadow Elite

Booted by Voters? Still in Hot Demand: 5 Places Former Pols Go After Leaving Congress

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 11.18.2014 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

Luckily for those who won't be returning to Congress -- the tally is 75 -- their power and influence is more sought after than ever, and many "fail up." For them, the days of being lobbied are over. Now some will make the classic switch, joining the ranks of the lobbyists of K Street.

Is Your Doctor on Big Pharma's Dole?

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 10.08.2014 | Politics
Janine R. Wedel

An elite few who take large sums from Big Pharma very likely sway decision making by countless other physicians, who might not even know they are getting a choreographed, yet subtle, sell-job.

Caymans' Folly: Do You Know Where Your Pension Funds Are?

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 04.16.2013 | Business
Janine R. Wedel

Islands like the Caymans are well-known as corporate tax havens, and earlier this week Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders railed against rampant offshore tax abuse. What's less well-known, but perhaps just as troubling, is that hedge funds use these havens to avoid something else as well: proper governance.

It Was A Wonderful Life: My Odyssey with Bank of America

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 01.31.2012 | Business
Janine R. Wedel

This technology-driven, partly outsourced, too-big-to-fail bureaucracies of today are more difficult to maneuver than that of yesteryear. And the frustration and angst it breeds are one reason the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements resonate with Americans.

Shadow Elite: Shaving Cream -- Murdoch's Only Sanction??

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 09.20.2011 | Media
Janine R. Wedel

Will we take Murdochgate as a case study of today's top power brokers in action and do the work required to understand and challenge them? Or will the ability to hold them to account end with nothing more than a close shave?

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.

How the Top 1 Percent Capture Our Regulators... and the American Dream

Linda Keenan | Posted 07.16.2011 | Business
Linda Keenan

The kind of structural corruption present in American politics and industry today is reminiscent of what one sees in modern communist China, or during the transition years away from communism in Eastern Europe.

How the Richest "1 Percent" Keep Rewarding Themselves for Epic Failure

Linda Keenan | Posted 06.07.2011 | Business
Linda Keenan

A signature feature of the shadow lobbyist era is not just a manipulation of public policy, but also an embrace of "failing upward". No matter the track record, the elite 1 percent seek more of the same.

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: "Safe" Nuclear Power? No Such Thing

Lloyd J. Dumas | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Lloyd J. Dumas

Natural disasters, such as the gigantic earthquake off the coast of Japan, remind us of the fragility of even our most impressive technologies and the utter interconnectedness of our modern societies.

Shadow Elite: Libya and the Consummate Shadow Lobbyist -- Neocon Richard Perle

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

No matter what shadow lobbyists try to portray, or how often they try to fly under the radar, they are, indeed, lobbyists, whether for their own ideological cause or simple financial interest. They need to be held to account.

Shadow Elite: Move Your Money and Beyond -- Reforming Market Culture From the Bottom Up

Annelise Riles | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Annelise Riles

Like efforts by good citizens to clean up a decrepit park frequented by drug dealers, it's time to pick up the trash left by the financial destruction, and challenge each other to clean up our acts.

10 Shadow Elitists of the Decade

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Linda Keenan

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Shadow Elite: The "Secretive" Bankers Who Love Derivatives and Hate the Free Market

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Linda Keenan

Banks keeping competitors out and price information to themselves are using tactics designed to maximize profits, but there's nothing free market about those tactics. It's up to the government to "free" the market, but so far it's failed.

Shadow Elite: WikiLeaks, FOIA and the Cultural Life of Government Secrecy

Michael G. Powell | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Michael G. Powell

When we become aware of government secrecy -- as we do through redaction in WikiLeaks document dumps -- it raises our consciousness about the exercise of power and especially the potential abuse of that power.

Shadow Elite: Truthiness, Porn and the Real Problem With Reality TV

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

What do the makers of reality TV and the makers of pornography have in common with some of America's top power brokers? It may be less of a stretch than it sounds.

Shadow Elite: Government & "Big Cheese"

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Linda Keenan

When institutional walls separating functions and ensuring balance of power are weak, players can concentrate and intensify their influence. This is now what we're seeing with the dairy lobby -- i.e. "big cheese".

Shadow Elite: Will the Real Juan Williams Please Stand Up?

Linda Keenan | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Linda Keenan

Williams, who pulled off representing two vastly different brands, qualifies as agile and edgy. But he's hardly an anomaly: These days, the idea that a journalist would operate with a single standard of conduct seems as dated as an 8-track tape.

Shadow Elite: Truthiness in the Twitter Era

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

The insidious and deceptive self-branding that used to be confined to the corporate world is now also used by political message-makers, aiming to create a look and feel that consumers identify with intuitively.

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: The DISCLOSE Act -- Who's Blindfolding the American Electorate?

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

Is there anything more toxic to a healthy democracy than special interests buying elections? Sadly, yes. It's when citizens have no idea who those special interests even are, and no way to find out.

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: What Blackwater Sells (and the Government Wants): Deniability

Janine R. Wedel | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Janine R. Wedel

Ever heard of a private security contractor name Paravant? XPG? No? Well, that's just as Blackwater, the parent company of Paravant, XPG and dozens of other "subsidiaries", would have it.