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PG&E Spent Billions on Lobbyists and PR Instead of Upgrades

PG&E Spent Billions on Lobbyists and PR Instead of Upgrades

Power shutoffs affecting more than 1 million residents, scheduled by PG&E this week throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California, have sparked a massive backlash, with many community members telling reporters that they are shocked that the company has not done more to upgrade its transmission lines. The decision to shut off the electricity services, a precaution over concerns about high winds, raises the question of precisely how PG&E has been spending its rate-payers’ money. And the answer isn’t pretty: While neglecting safety upgrades and investments in its aging...

October 17, 2019
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Nancy Pelosi to Receive First Genuine Left-Wing Challenge in 30 Years

Nancy Pelosi to Receive First Genuine Left-Wing Challenge in 30 Years

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will face a spirited challenge from activist and attorney Shahid Buttar in the November general election.Buttar represents a unique, if unlikely challenge to Pelosi, the most powerful elected Democrat in the country and 33-year incumbent for San Francisco’s congressional seat. On Tuesday, Pelosi took 72.5 percent of the vote in California’s 12th Congressional District. Under the state’s unique primary system — where the top-two vote-getters in the primary make it to the general election, even if they belong to the same party — Buttar’s 12.7 percent was enough to...

March 4, 2020
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CVS Health Quietly Made Massive Donation to Dark-Money Group Fighting Access to Care

CVS Health Quietly Made Massive Donation to Dark-Money Group Fighting Access to Care

In a year marked by a coronavirus pandemic that has killed millions, CVS Health financed a wave of political advocacy against measures to control health care costs and increase access.The health care giant, which owns Aetna health insurance and operates thousands of pharmacies and walk-in clinics around the country, provided to the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, or PAHCF.The seven-figure donation from CVS is the largest known contribution to PAHCF, which was formed in 2018 to lobby and advocate against proposals such as Medicare for All, the public option, and similar reforms...

Apr 21
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Drugmakers Promise Investors They’ll Soon Hike Covid-19 Vaccine Prices

Drugmakers Promise Investors They’ll Soon Hike Covid-19 Vaccine Prices

The U.S. pharmaceutical firms behind the approved coronavirus vaccines — Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Pfizer — have quietly touted plans to raise prices on coronavirus vaccines in the near future and to capitalize on the virus’s lasting presence.While the companies have enjoyed a boost in goodwill from the rush to develop vaccines, drug industry executives have noted, the public is still sensitive to drug pricing and the reputational risk has, so far, curtailed their ability to reap large financial rewards.But that environment, they hope, will change once the pandemic ends: a date that...

Mar 18
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After Pork Giant Was Exposed for Cruel Killings, the FBI Pursued Its Critics

After Pork Giant Was Exposed for Cruel Killings, the FBI Pursued Its Critics

Last June, Noel Williams, the chief operations officer of Iowa Select Farms, a powerful pork company and the largest in Iowa, pulled into the parking lot of an empty housing complex typically used for the firm’s immigrant workforce.He was there to transport Lucas Walker, a former truck driver for Iowa Select, to a meeting with Nick Potratz, an FBI agent from the Des Moines office of the bureau. That’s according to Walker, who had recently tried to report Iowa Select, his former employer, for mistreating animals. After The Intercept published leaked video of pigs being , Walker came under...

Feb 17
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Drug Lobby Asks Biden to Punish Foreign Countries Pushing for Low-Cost Vaccines

Drug Lobby Asks Biden to Punish Foreign Countries Pushing for Low-Cost Vaccines

President Joe Biden’s administration is being asked to punish Hungary, Colombia, Chile, and other countries for seeking to ramp up the production of Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics without express permission from pharmaceutical companies.The sanctions are being urged by the drug industry, which has filed hundreds of pages of documents to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative outlining the alleged threat posed by any effort to challenge “basic intellectual property protections” in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.The drug industry has sharply criticized any attempt to share...

Mar 3
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Former FBI Officials Tapped for Amazon’s Growing Security Apparatus

Former FBI Officials Tapped for Amazon’s Growing Security Apparatus

, Amazon, one of the largest corporations in the world, supplies state-of-the-art facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies, provides the military with a range of technology services, and is now building out its security operation with over a dozen former FBI agents.The tech conglomerate, which began as an online bookseller, is rapidly hiring for its global security center in Arizona. As the firm expands and faces new challenges, including increased antitrust scrutiny, , and pressure from worker activism, the company is staffing up with former FBI agents, with a focus on...

Feb 11
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Fossil Fuel Executives Gloat About Profits, PR From Texas Winter Storm Crisis

Fossil Fuel Executives Gloat About Profits, PR From Texas Winter Storm Crisis

As a severe winter storm swept Texas last week, cutting electricity from millions of residents in freezing temperatures and causing nearly 70 deaths so far, some energy executives saw an upside to the catastrophe.“Obviously, this week is like hitting the jackpot,” boasted Roland Burns, the chief executive and chief financial officer of Comstock Resources, a shale drilling company that benefited from the sudden demand for natural gas, in a call with investors last Wednesday. The price for gas, said Burns, has been “incredible.”Marshall McCrea, the co-chief executive of pipeline firm Energy...

Feb 23
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Amazon Hired Koch-Backed Anti-Union Consultant to Fight Alabama Warehouse Organizing

Amazon Hired Koch-Backed Anti-Union Consultant to Fight Alabama Warehouse Organizing

Amazon is bringing on a set of well-trained union suppression consultants in its high-profile fight to keep its massive warehouse workforce free of organized labor.The Seattle-based conglomerate recently retained a consultant named Russell Brown to help thwart the union election that began recently at its fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama, new show.Brown was brought on by Amazon on January 25 for a contract to help persuade Amazon’s Alabama employees not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, or RWDSU, a union that is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial...

Feb 10
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Howard Dean Pushes Biden to Oppose Generic Covid-19 Vaccines for Developing Countries

Howard Dean Pushes Biden to Oppose Generic Covid-19 Vaccines for Developing Countries

Howard Dean, the former progressive champion, is calling on President Joe Biden to reject a special intellectual property waiver that would allow low-cost, generic coronavirus vaccines to be produced to meet the needs of low-income countries. Currently, a small number of companies hold the formulas for the Covid-19 vaccines, limiting distribution to many parts of the world.“IP protections aren’t the cause of vaccination delays,” Dean claimed in a for Barron’s last month. “Every drug manufacturing facility on the planet that’s capable of churning out Covid-19 shots is already doing...

Apr 8
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