Trading Places

"Two senior United States trade negotiators who sealed the trade deal with Australia have accepted plum jobs representing U.S. medical and drug companies," reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Ralph Ives, the current U.S. trade representative for pharmaceutical policy, will become the industry group AdvaMed's vice-president for global strategy. Claude Burcky, head U.S.


A Different Kind of Workplace Organizing

"The Business Industry Political Action Committee's 'Prosperity Project' program targets 20 million employees in battleground states" and "pushes their companies' views of political candidates to employees via Web sites and interoffice e-mails," reports Advertising Age.


CSE, Nader and the Hidden Power of the Brothers Koch

Center for Public Integrity examines the hidden power of the Koch brothers, the billionaires who launched the corporate front group Citizens for a Sound Economy. "CSE has found itself in hot water in recent weeks over charges it has been working illegally to get consumer activist Ralph Nader on the presidential ballot in Oregon.


Bush Administration Pressures EU On Chemical Rules

It used to be that the U.S. chemical industry lobbied lawmakers in Washington. Now the White House is aggressively lobbying on the industry's behalf in Brussels, opposing new European Union regulations on chemicals. The EU's proposed Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals or REACH would require chemical makers to publicly report the potential harmfulness of their products - both for new chemicals being introduced and those already available.


Censorious or Sensitive?

Clear Channel Communications refused to display a peace group's billboard ad in New York's Times Square during the Republican Convention. The ad features a red, white and blue bomb graphic with the words "Democracy Is Best Taught by Example, Not by War." The peace group says Clear Channel also rejected their alternative ad, in which a dove replaced the bomb graphic.


Mega Mediasaurus

Conservatives and liberals alike are concerned by growing media consolidation, notes Jack Bradigan Spula, but he warns that "this outrage is being channeled into a national debate about 'indecency,' 'values' and moral policing." The Federal Communications Commission, headed by Michael Powell, recently announced large fines for broadcasters whose programming is deemed indecent.



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