Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Alternate Realities Roundup 8/6

Posted By on August 6, 2013, 10:57 AM

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In a letter to employees, the Washington Post's publisher and CEO explain why they sold the paper to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.---

Top of the Alty World

“Publisher: Katherine Graham Would Support Selling Washington Post to Jeff Bezos”--Washington City Paper

Rolling Stone takes a look at how climate change and Tea Party politics make for a volatile mix when it comes to wildfires in the West.--Rolling Stone

ProPublica looks at how payday lenders continue to survive even when states attempt to crack down on them.--ProPublica

The U.S. Department of Justice has begun reviewing a questionable unit of the Drug Enforcement Agency for using domestic surveillance tactics in its investigations, including using intelligence gathered by the National Security Agency.--Democracy Now!

Top of Alty Utah

The porn site “MormonBoyz.com” says its server was attacked by the LDS Church.--Q Salt Lake

Before he became Attorney General, Swallow had an interesting relationship with a former diet-pill-peddling business associate.--Utah Political Capitol

A mysterious, apocalyptic tile has appeared on a Salt Lake City street.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Watch protestors disrupt operations at a proposed tar-sands mine in Utah (video).--Salt Lake City Weekly

Rantosphere

Bryan Schott looks at the conflict of interests that have already plagued the Legislature's committee tasked with investigating Attorney General John Swallow and how the public views the process.

“Actually, this happened because this sort of thing is commonplace on Capitol Hill. Connections on both sides of the aisle are chummy. Nobody looks twice when someone has a conflict or a sketchy business connection. Lobbyists can be lawmakers. Lawmakers are married to lobbyists. It’s all very insular. There’s a reason the atmosphere on Capitol Hill is sometimes called “the bubble.” It’s how we got to this point with John Swallow, and his predecessor, Mark Shurtleff. It’s just an erosion of what the public expects from our public servants.”--Salt Lake City Weekly

The Long View

The Fund of Funds program was set up before the economy tanked, and has access to $300 million to invest in private venture capital to help the Utah economy. But, if the return on investments doesn't pay off the loan, taxpayer's education dollars have to cover the losses.

“Imagine that you’ve just been approved for a huge loan. You take the cash from a bank, step into the lobby of a casino and hand out $100 bills to a handpicked team of gamblers—good gamblers: tight-playing poker players and blackjack experts. As your rounders hit the tables, the deal is simple: If they win more than they lose, everyone can keep playing. But, if the winnings don’t cover the bank loan, you’ll make up the difference by breaking open your kid’s college-fund piggy bank. That’s what critics say is the idea behind the Utah Fund of Funds, a big-bucks investment program that you might not even know about, despite the fact that it’s using your taxes as a safety net.”--Salt Lake City Weekly

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