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Leo Gerard has been the international president of the United Steelworkers since 2001. He also is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee and chairs the labor federation’s Public Policy Committee. President Obama appointed him to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. He serves as co-chairman of the BlueGreen Alliance and on the boards of Campaign for America’s Future and the Economic Policy Institute. At the Campaign for America's Future, he writes Capitalism Failed; Cronyism and Corruption Rule:

The Washington Post and federal investigators are hounding Robert F. McDonnell, the Republican governor of Virginia, for taking more than $150,000 in cash and gifts from the CEO of Star Scientific, Jonnie R. Williams Sr.

Gov. McDonnell, a former businessman himself, apparently just didn’t understand that politicians can’t self-deal the way CEOs do. A state’s chief executive can’t accept a $6,500 Rolex watch engraved “71st Governor of Virginia” from a CEO with a history of trouble with the law and a clear desire to get something in return. But between corporate executives, well, there’s few holds barred on such shady transactions.

Capitalist theory asserts that CEOs rise to the top based on merit and moxey and deserve million dollar pay packages. Turns out, though, capitalism doesn’t really work that way. Conniving Jonnies rule the business world. First they ditched the philosophy that corporations are equally responsible to America, shareholders, workers, customers and communities. Then they enshrined CEOs as corporations’ primary beneficiaries, thus golden parachutes awarded to failed and fired executives. In the real world, CEOs rise to the top based on cronyism and corruption.

This is documented in a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) titled Executive Excess 2013: Bailed Out Booted Busted. IPS looked at the performance of the CEOs who the Wall Street Journal deemed in each of the past 20 years to be the nation’s 25 best paid. The number of executives is 241 because some CEOs got the best big bucks several times.

IPS found that more than one in three – actually 38 percent – of these top-paid CEOs led firms that were bailed out or failed in the 2008 financial crisis; paid fraud-related settlements or fines, or got fired – landing softly in a sizeable pile of go-away cash. […]

Twenty-seven of the best big bucks CEOs got fired, were forced to retire, or lost their jobs when their companies went belly up. Twenty-three of them, including those whose firms were failing or were charged with financial fraud, floated merrily away on golden parachutes. The average value of those go-away packages was $48 million. More bad work rewarded with big bucks. […]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003Foreign help not on the horizon:

Four U.S. soldiers have died the past four days -- glorious victories in Bush's "flypaper" War Against Terror.

You see, as Bush, Andrew Sullivan, and other Chickenhawk Neocons remind us -- we should celebrate every time US forces are killed in Iraq, because those very same terrorists would otherwise be killing Americans here in the US.
Dead Americans in the U.S. -- bad. Dead Americans in Iraq -- good. Thank the heavens we can enjoy the benefits of good, sound Chickenhawk Neocon thinking.
Yet given our great successes in getting our US troops killed in Iraq, not the U.S., it's difficult to understand why we can't garner any international help.

Tweet of the Day:

The U.S. has a $7.25 minimum wage. Australia’s is $16.88  American Exceptionalism is really American Delusionalism.

Every Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at, and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio."

High Impact Posts. This Week's High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

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