RE: VENTRA

Just checked my CHASE debit card balance and history. Was surprised to see approximately 20 withdrawals of ~$5 taken by “VENTRA ACCOUNT CHICAGO IL” in the last month. This is strange, because I paid for and use a prepaid “unlimited ride” card as facilitated by my university. I shouldn’t be getting charged on a per ride basis at all. Certainly not to my CHASE account. 

I did some research, and it appears that the Ventra sensor system just charges whichever readable card is closest to its sensor. So, while I presumed that the sensor was reading my “unlimited ride” university pass from my wallet, it was ACTUALLY dipping into my checking account. I have unwittingly been being charged an unlimited ride “day pass” rate of $5 EVERY SINGLE TIME I have gotten on the CTA in the last month. All, while I should be enjoying a “free” prepaid ride. 

This is absolutely preposterous. I never authorized nor intended for my bank to make payments based on proximity to a third parties’ sensors. I never gave VENTRA access or information concerning my CHASE account. Nor was I given any reason to suspect that the VENTRA sensors were indiscriminate in their scanning. 

This has cost me approximately $100 dollars in the last month. Given that 1.6 million CTA rides are charged for every day, the financial stakes for this kind of “error” are astronomical. 

There MUST be some variety of tribunal set up to resolve these kind of claims or a pending class action lawsuit to address this. If anyone has any information, please contact me ASAP.

maxistentialist:

9 minutes after posting them, the Texas Senate changed the date on their SB5 results.

Looks like the Texas Senate is just gonna… lie and retroactively change its vote on SB5 to have occurred within the allotted time? I didn’t know that legislative procedure was so … optional. Should I respect the laws of Texas next time I visit, knowing full well they may have been passed in a fashion contrary to the Constitution’s Republican Government Guarantee Clause? Maybe I’ll just pass my own damn laws as I drive through? Quorum of ME bitches.  maxistentialist:

9 minutes after posting them, the Texas Senate changed the date on their SB5 results.

Looks like the Texas Senate is just gonna… lie and retroactively change its vote on SB5 to have occurred within the allotted time? I didn’t know that legislative procedure was so … optional. Should I respect the laws of Texas next time I visit, knowing full well they may have been passed in a fashion contrary to the Constitution’s Republican Government Guarantee Clause? Maybe I’ll just pass my own damn laws as I drive through? Quorum of ME bitches. 

maxistentialist:

9 minutes after posting them, the Texas Senate changed the date on their SB5 results.

Looks like the Texas Senate is just gonna… lie and retroactively change its vote on SB5 to have occurred within the allotted time? I didn’t know that legislative procedure was so … optional. Should I respect the laws of Texas next time I visit, knowing full well they may have been passed in a fashion contrary to the Constitution’s Republican Government Guarantee Clause? Maybe I’ll just pass my own damn laws as I drive through? Quorum of ME bitches. 

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
Groucho Marx

thepeoplesrecord:

Thousands of protesters marched through the Mexican capital on Saturday, July 7 against President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto, accusing him of buying votes and paying off TV networks for support.

thenewrepublic:

Noam Scheiber on how megabanks corrupt regulators.

“Is it even possible to regulate megabanks in any meaningful sense? After all, if the allegations are true, officials at the Bank of England weren’t sending these hints to Barclays because they took a shine to Barclays’ executives or because they stood to benefit personally if the bank’s share-price rose. They were doing it because they worried that a run on a bank as big as Barclays would destabilize the British economy and wanted to do everything possible to avoid that, even if it meant skirting the rules (again, according to the allegations). 

Which is to say, in order to get corruption in your banking system, you don’t need literal corruption of the Government Official X owns shares in Bank Y variety (or even Official X wants to work at Bank Y after he leaves government). You just need banks big enough so that the bureaucrats keeping an eye on them have nightmares about what happens if the banks fail.”

–– Noam Scheiber, “How Megabanks Corrupt Regulators, LIBOR Edition“ 

ataxiwardance: Corporatist privilege is so integrated into our global financial system that regulators simply understand their role as enablers of a recalcitrant hegemony, rather than policemen over an open market. The new regulatory capture! No bribes required.

This is really where Occupy and Anti-Statists intersect.

I might also recommend Matt Taibbi’s recent post on the LIBOR scandal.

Predators and Professors

"[T]he people who run these banks are encouraged to assume a lot of risky bets, which include pure gambling-type activities. The bankers get the upside when things go well, while the downside risks are largely someone else’s problem. This is a nontransparent, dangerous, government-run subsidy scheme, ultimately involving very large transfers from taxpayers to a few top people in the financial sector.

To protect the scheme’s continued existence, global megabanks contribute large amounts of money to politicians … [and] also run a highly sophisticated disinformation/propaganda operation, with the goal of creating at least a veneer of respectability for the subsidies that they receive. This is where universities come in.”

occupyallstreets:

Energy And Commerce Investigation Reveals Obama Secretly Cut A Deal With Lobbyist Group PhRMA On Health Care Reform

It was first reported back in 2009 that the Obama administration cut a deal with the PhRMA to break specific campaign promises he made about health care reform in exchange for PhRMA spending money to politically support the bill. Thanks to some newly revealed emails via Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner we now have more details of how the deal was made.

Nancy DeParle, then director of the White House Office of Health Reform, wrote the following email to PhRMA’s chief lobbyist on June 3, 2009: “Yes – I pushed this to everyone (Messina, Rahm) is in Egypt with POTUS but Phil Schrillo, Dana Singlser and I made decision, based on how constructive you guys have been, to oppose importation on this bill.

[…]

That September, top PhRMA lobbyist Bryant Hall reported to his coworkers in an email that he “had a good call w Messina,” and wrote: “Confidential: WH is working on some very explicit language on importation to kill it in health care reform. This has to stay quiet.

Between May and August 2009, as the White House officials and key players in Congress were formulating the national health care law, the Obama administration held ongoing negotiations with PhRMA to secure industry support for the health care law as well as other policy concessions.

A report by the House Energy And Commerce goes into details:

“Documents obtained through the investigation confirm the existence of a deal between the White House and PhRMA. The deal included explicit policy commitments, affirmed in a closed-door meeting at the White House on July 7, 2009…And in its review of the tactics used by the White House, the investigation identified a potent combination of policy threats and private reassurances that industry would be protected against policies it disliked in exchange for support of the legislation and acceptance of other policies. Taken together, these findings help illuminate a previously opaque series of agreements that resulted in a fundamental reshaping of our nation’s health care system.”

Source/Credit

(via anarcho-queer)

think-progress:

Although a majority of the Senate voted to repeal tax breaks for the big five oil companies, the 51-47 vote fell short of the 60 needed.

Hahaha. I love how achieving Cloture (3/5th of the full Senate) is now functionally equivalent with a majority. GO DEMOCRACY.

(via anarcho-queer)