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NY Times on 38 Studios

NYTimes.com offers "Curt Schilling, Rhode Island and the Fall of 38 Studios," a very lengthy and detailed look at the startup studio that ended up costing baseball star Curt Schilling and the state of Rhode Island a lot of money. Nobody comes out looking too good after all this, as the article details the naïveté of game development neophyte Schilling taking on the most ambitious type of game in undertaking an MMORPG, and the sketchy history of politics in Rhode Island ("Rhode Islanders are used to being played by their politicians. What makes them cringe is the suspicion that virtually all their elected leaders might have been played by someone else."). They touch on an interstate rivalry with Massachusetts which played a part in Rhode Island's overreach here, and the behind-the-scenes machinations to facilitate the state's hefty loan to the company, which prompted the one dissenting voter to say: "Scandal finds money." The article is filled with detail on problems inherent in this situation, such as 38 Studios needing to control costs at the same time they were trying to live up to the pumped-up promise that they would bring new jobs to the state and how former 38 Studios CEO Brett Close urged releasing Amalur in smaller phases, rather than "trying to build the skyscraper horizontally and then standing it up." They sum up the current legal proceedings between Rhode Island and Schilling, and offer this interesting take: "At bottom, 38 Studios may be that rare political scandal that grew not from any lies that anyone told the public, but from the stories that desperate politicians told themselves." Thanks nin via Kotaku.

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44. Re: NY Times on 38 Studios Apr 22, 2013, 18:47 RollinThundr
 
Cutter wrote on Apr 22, 2013, 18:26:
Here's what the GOP does for the elites versus the working stiffs....

Exxon/Chevron's record profits

While 2012 might not be a banner year for Big Oil profits, it wasn’t a bad one either. With just BP left to announce 2012 earnings, Big Oil earned well over $100 billion in profits last year, while the companies benefit from continued taxpayer subsidies. Average gas prices also hit a record high last year, showing how a drilling boom may help oil companies’ profit margins, but not consumers’ wallets.

ExxonMobil — now the most valuable company in the world, passing Apple — earned $45 billion profit in 2012, a 9 percent jump over 2011. Meanwhile, Chevron earned $26.2 billion for the year. In the final three months of the year, the companies earned $9.95 billion and $7.2 billion respectively.

Here are the highlights of how Exxon and Chevron spend their earnings:

ExxonMobil

Exxon received $600 million annual tax breaks. In 2011, Exxon paid just 13 percent in taxes. The company paid no taxes to the U.S. federal government in 2009, despite 45.2 billion record profits. It paid $15 billion in taxes, but none in federal income tax.

Exxon’s oil production was down 6 percent from 2011.

In fourth quarter, Exxon bought back $5.3 billion of its stock, which enriches the largest shareholders and executives of the company.

Exxon’s federal campaign contributions totaled $2.77 million for the 2012 cycle, sending 89 percent to Republicans.

The company spent $12.97 million lobbying in 2012 to protect low tax rates and block pollution controls and safeguards for public health.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson received $24.7 million total compensation.

Exxon is moving ahead with a project to develop the tar sands in Canada.

Chevron:

In October, Chevron made the single-largest corporate donation in history. Chevron dropped $2.5 million with the Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC to elect House Republicans.

The bulk of Chevron’s federal contributions came from the super PAC donation, for a total of $3.87 million for the 2012 cycle. 85 percent went to Republicans.

Chevron spent $9.55 million lobbying Congress in 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Chevron paid 19 percent U.S. taxes last year (half of the top corporate tax rate of 35 percent), and received an estimated $700 million in annual tax breaks last year.

Chevron was fined $1 million for a refinery fire that sent 15,000 Richmond, California residents to the hospital. Though the company faces $10 million in medical expenses, Chevron earns it back in a couple of hours.

With Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips reporting $35 billion in combined profit in 2012, BP is the last company left to announce its profits for the year.

That you continue to pretend democrats don't get their share of lobbying is comical.
 
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