…the congress, not of the us, of football – fifa…

…as the corporate us msm, with the obviousness of the name, football, insists pretzel-ianly on soccer….

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). So, the US DoJ has found the time from its hectic schedule to indict a bunch of officials in Zurich, Switzerland, for stuff like racketeering, conspiracy and corruption. And these are FIFA officials, most of whom reside in other independent countries. The sums? Some US$150m, and a decades long business, an ‘open’ secret.

Yes, but those sums, multiples upon multiples of US$150m, involved in LIBOR rigging, laundering drug money, and similar not so minor transgressions by officials of financial institutions who make US campaign contributions? And those charges laid against which officials, when, where? Curious business, corporate democracy. What next, the US DoJ confiscates FIFA and its funds?

Yet the pleasant surprise of this news is that it is met with great irony as the common dreams blog reports, Given Rampant White-Collar Crime, FIFA Raid Raises Questions About DOJ Priorities. We have this nice touch,

Reaction to the news, however, was mixed—particularly in a country where the “world’s sport” (“soccer” in the U.S.; “futbol” or “football” everywhere else) is only the favorite in two percent of American households, according to a 2012 survey.

For perspective, repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, and passage of the ‘replacement’, Commodity Futures Modernization Act did confer some significant rewards – but that is just one of other stories.

More timely is the feverish, desperate efforts to pass the ‘fast track’, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), to expedite passage of the corporation-driven ‘free trade’ agreements, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Er, but why is the acronym for the latter not TATIP? Moving on.

From The Guardian we learn of the ‘incentives’ to US lawmakers to approve the legislation that is ostensibly meant to benefit the beleaguered US workers and middle-class. Clearly, this is no case of buying a vote. As the report states, Here’s how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill.

A decade in the making, the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is reaching its climax and as Congress hotly debates the biggest trade deal in a generation, its backers have turned on the cash spigot in the hopes of getting it passed.

One of those pesky problems – the availability of data and information to conduct analysis of what is conveniently glossed over, especially by the US corporate MSM. And those data? Some excerpts,

Using data from the Federal Election Commission, this chart shows all donations that corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate:

  • Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 “yea” votes.

Legalised corruption? Au contraire, sacrifices, all for the benefit of the down-trodden citizenry of the US against the fierce competition of the ruthless outsiders; Yet that is still insufficient to deter at least one discordant voice,

“How can we expect politicians who routinely receive campaign money, lucrative job offers, and lavish gifts from special interests to make impartial decisions that directly affect those same special interests?” Gidfar said. “As long as this kind of transparently corrupt behavior remains legal, we won’t have a government that truly represents the people.”

As if that were not enough, The Intercept enters the fray with uncomfortable observations. One recent post, State Department Officials Pass Through Revolving Door, Lobby for Passage of TPP. A glimpse of how the game is played,

While Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is refusing to reveal her position on the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, other former State Department officials are actively supporting the agreement. They’re just not bothering to reveal their conflicts of interest.

More than 30 former State Department officials, envoys, military officers and White House national security advisers who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents signed a letter last month calling the trade agreement “a defining test for American political and economic leadership in the Asia-Pacific region” and urging members of Congress to give President Obama “fast-track” authority to speed its passage.

Clearly, no cynical ploy. All for the benefit of the disadvantaged US citizenry. No lie.

Yet, as an effort is made to package the fables for acceptability, no matter how outlandish, comes another show stopper. Again, the Intercept, as its Dan Froomkin sems to relish this challenging assignment, Cantwell Delivers Howler to Explain Vote on Trade Bill, Pointed Stenography Ensues

It does take a special mettle to be so responsible a Senator.

Sen. Maria Cantwell engaged in a very public maneuver on the Senate floor Thursday, withholding her vote in favor of the big trade bill until she got assurances that there would be a vote on renewing the Export-Import Bank.

Afterward, explaining the fervency of her support for the Ex-Im Bank, she told such a howler that even the Capitol press corps, not empowered to actually call a senator a liar, made sure to offer readers the opportunity to reach that conclusion on their own.

The Democrat from Washington state, where Boeing is the single largest employer, said her support for the Ex-Im — often called the “Bank of Boeing” because fully $8 billion of the bank’s $12 billion in annual loan guarantees support the international sales of its jetliners — wasn’t inspired by the aerospace giant, but by small businesses in her state, like one in Yakima that exports music stands.

[bold added for emphasis]

So what makes that so hard not to believe? Well, here we just happen to have a truly dedicated public servant who has gone onto other, well, public service. The Intercept to tell the tale? Why not? Sen. Mary Landrieu, After Pushing for Keystone XL, Joins TransCanada Lobbying Firm

And without wasting time its Lei Fang informs us,

The law firm Van Ness Feldman announced today that former Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who lost her reelection bid last year, will be joining the company to help run its lobbying division and focus on energy issues.

Landrieu joins the firm after pushing aggressively for energy-related policy goals that overlapped with Van Ness Feldman’s clients. In November of last year, Landrieu helped force a vote to approve the Keystone XL, the controversial tar sands pipeline owned by Transcanada, a firm represented by Van Ness Feldman.

Landrieu also worked to expedite the approval of liquified natural gas export terminals, another contentious issue. Landrieu sponsored legislation to expedite the LNG approval process and specifically pushed for individual projects, including the Sempra Cameron LNG facility in Louisiana. Van Ness Feldman has a large practice on LNG issues and lobbied for approval of several LNG export terminals, including the Sempra facility touted by Landrieu.

As we read this headline from The Guardian, US indicts Fifa officials with ‘rampant, systemic and deep-rooted’ corruption, the world, where football is the sport, wonders, ‘FIFA? Meanwhile, back in the US?’ Even with the seeming nobleness and derring-do of the overdue effort, that nagging question remains ignored, unanswered.

…that thing about casting out beams, and not just motes – even if, at last, a breath of fresh air for football…

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