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News April 2012

My News
Monday April 30, 2012
Domestic News

Occupy Wall Street Plans Global Disruption of Status Quo
Bloomberg | Henry Goldman | 04/30/12

Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe tomorrow calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.

Organizers say they hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, Barcelona, London, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia. ... Read more

Big Banks Throw (Another) Tantrum: Seven And A Half Things To Know:
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/30/12

The Financial Times reports that ginormous banks in the U.S. are stomping mad about a feature of the recently signed JOBS Act that lets banks issue research reports on small companies they're helping take public. It was only about a decade ago, you may recall, these big banks were put in a permanent time-out from this sort of activity because they tended to abuse it, writing glowing research reports about CrapStock.com with one keyboard while telling their co-workers the same stock was a giant money-loser with another. ... Read more

International News
Fukushima

Nuclear expert raises doubts about support columns under Spent Fuel Pool No.4 at Fukushima Daiichi
ENENews | Author | 04/23/12

... Securing the structure of the pool at Unit 4 was identified early on in the crisis, with support columns installed. But the survivability of these columns, if struck by a manor [sic] seismic event, must be doubted. A decision to build a new structure around the plant with heavy lift cranes is only the start of a long process that risks failure at numerous corners. All through this period and before the spent fuel is unloaded and put in secure casks the possibility will persist of loss of cooling water leading to an exothermic reaction that would lead to the release of a vast inventory of radioactive cesium and other radionuclides. The 50 mile evacuation zone recommended for U.S. citizens in the months after the Fukushima accident began would not be sufficient to protect Japan, including Metropolitan Tokyo, from potential devastation as a society. That was the information conveyed to Prime Minister Kan more than one year ago - and it remains the nightmare today. ... Read more

The Highest Risk: Problems of Radiation at Reactor Unit 4, Fukushima Daiichi
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Matsumura Akio | 03/22/12 ??

The efforts of two Japanese citizens, Matsuura Akio and Murata Mitsuhei, to raise awareness of the risk of a further major accident at Fukushima are to be commended. More than 13 months after the accident began - the threats from the Fukushima Daiichi site are multi-dimensional and on-going, but the under reporting of these risks as a result of nuclear crisis fatigue tied with the 24 hour news cycle can lead to a complacency on the current and future reality at the site.

The specific issue highlighted by Matsumura and Murata is the risk and consequences of the failure of the spent fuel pool at the destroyed reactor unit 4 at Fukushima Daiichi. As they report the spent fuel inventory at this pool is the largest of all 4 reactors that were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. ... Read more

Russia Stunned After Japanese Plan To Evacuate 40 Million Revealed
EU Times ?? | Author | date

A new report circulating in the Kremlin today prepared by the Foreign Ministry on the planned re-opening of talks with Japan over the disputed Kuril Islands during the next fortnight states that Russian diplomats were "stunned" after being told by their Japanese counterparts that upwards of 40 million of their peoples were in "extreme danger" of life threatening radiation poisoning and could very well likely be faced with forced evacuations away from their countries eastern most located cities... including the world's largest one, Tokyo. ...

... Important to note, this report continues, are that Japanese diplomats told their Russian counterparts that they were, also, "seriously considering" an offer by China to relocate tens of millions of their citizens to the Chinese mainland to inhabit what are called the "ghost cities," built for reasons still unknown and described, in part, by London's Daily Mail News Service in their 18 December 2010 article titled: "The Ghost Towns Of China: Amazing Satellite Images Show Cities Meant To Be Home To Millions Lying Deserted". ... Read more

Fukushima Reactor 4: Life On Planet Earth in the Balance
PrisonPlanet | Kurt Nimmo | 04/07/12

Matsumura posted a startling entry on his blog following a statement made by Japan's former ambassador to Switzerland, Mitsuhei Murata, on the situation at Fukushima.

Speaking at a public hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, Murata warned that "if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 -- with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground -- collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4," writes Matsumura. ... Read more

The ghost towns of China: Amazing satellite images show cities meant to be home to millions lying deserted
MailOnline | Author | 12/18/10

These amazing satellite images show sprawling cities built in remote parts of China that have been left completely abandoned, sometimes years after their construction.  Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices.

Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country's vast swathes of free land.  The photographs have emerged as a Chinese government think tank warns that the country's real estate bubble is getting worse, with property prices in major cities overvalued by as much as 70 per cent. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, April 30 [12:27]
DN | Ahead of May Day, David Harvey on Urban Uprisings From Occupy Wall Street to Paris Commune (04/30/12) [11:38]
TRNN | Bankers Assault on Financial Reform (04/30/12) [17:22]
Fukushima
Akio Matsumura talks about nuclear power plants, spent fuel pools, and the trouble with Reactor 4 at Fukushima.
Fukushima Reactor 4 (03/08/12) [5:28]
Fukushima Fuel Pools: Impending Disaster, Solutions, Greed & Inaction (A. Gundersen on Ecoshock) (04/11/12) [25:34]
Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US [4:27]
Bloomberg Television's "Behind The Wall": China's Ghost Cities [4:04]
China's Ghost Cities and Malls [14:38]
China's Empty City: government stimulus & central planning at work [3:08]

Repeat from Yesterday Because It Is Important
Inside Job
One of the best documentaries on what went on during the financial crisis of 2007-8. Inside Job (2008) [1:48:27]
PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street
PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street on PBS Part 1 (04/24/12) [59:14]
PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street on PBS Part 2 (04/24/12) [54:31]
Genetically Modified Foods - GMO
In one interview this guy, Jeffrey M. Smith, gives the best explaination on why we don't need GMO foods. The GMO Threat (06/16/11) [59:49]
Banksters

Larry Summers Resumes Exercises In Pontificating Sophistry
ZeroHedge | Author | 04/30/12

Over the weekend, just because apparently someone really needed content at any cost (in this case zero), we got a new intellectual stillborn from none other than the man who more than anyone is responsible for the global economic collapse the world has been in for the past 4 years, and from which it is nowhere even close in escaping. The man of course is Larry Summers, who first crushed global finance, then Harvard, and finally Obama's economic platform, whom the FT saw fit to give the chance to pontificate on ... Read more


Weekender April 28-29, 2012
International News
Domestic News

House Vote 195 - Extends Student Loan Rates
New York Times | Author | 04/27/12

Read more

Bank CEOs To Tell Fed Regulation Is 'Unrealistic': Report
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/27/12

The banking industry is getting personal in its tireless fight against regulation.  Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase and the industry's regulation-basher in chief, has called for a sit-down next week between the heads of four of the nation's biggest banks -- JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley -- and Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo, the Wall Street Journal is reporting.

The purpose of this friendly get-together will be to express the banks' displeasure about financial regulation, particularly a Fed plan to limit the banks' exposure to derivatives tied to the credit of foreign governments and other banks. ... Read more

PBS Frontline Investigation Into Financial Crisis Suggests Another Disaster On Horizon
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/24/12
See videos in the right column

... On Tuesday night PBS will air the first two parts of a four-part documentary on the crisis, called "Money, Power and Wall Street," with the second two parts to air next Tuesday, May 1.

The first hour tells the history of the credit derivatives at the heart of the crisis, while the second hour tells the blow-by-blow of the crisis itself, culminating with the bank bailouts in the fall of 2008. ... Read more

Big Banks: Now Even Too Bigger to Fail
BusinessWeek | David J. Lynch | 04/19/12

Two years after President Barack Obama vowed to eliminate the danger of financial institutions that are too big to fail, the nation's largest banks are bigger than they were before the financial meltdown. Five banks -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Goldman Sachs (GS) -- held more than $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, according to the Federal Reserve. That’s up from 43 percent five years earlier.

The Big Five today are about twice as large as they were a decade ago relative to the economy, meaning trouble at a major bank would leave the government with the same Hobson's choice it faced in 2008: let a big bank collapse and perhaps wreck the entire economy or inflame public ire with a costly bailout. "Market participants believe that nothing has changed, that too-big-to-fail is fully intact," says Gary Stern, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. ... Read more

AIG May Not Be as Healthy as It Looks
Magazine | Author | date

Morningstar analyst Ryan sees weakness in AIG's basic businesses. He says the company's property and casualty unit, which accounts for half its revenue, is "not making money selling policies and is having a very difficult time just earning its cost of capital." ...

... The bottom line: AIG's stock is up 40 percent this year, thanks in part to a tax benefit worth $17.7 billion awarded by the Treasury. Read more

Jon Corzine Is the Original George Zimmerman
RollingStone | Matt Taibbi | 04/24/12

... Nobody disputes the fact that MF Global officials dipped into customer accounts and took over $1.6 billion of customer money. We not only know that company officials reached into customer accounts, we know they brazenly lied to bondholders, ratings agencies and investors about the firm's financial condition ("MF Global's capital and liquidity has never been stronger," wrote the CFO of MF Global's holding company, on the same day Moody's downgraded it to junk status).

We even know that eighteen days before the firm went bust, company officers discussed how quickly to return money to customers, and even contemplated, in writing, the possibility of not returning the money right away. This is from a risk-assessment document prepared by company officers entitled "Break the Glass": ... Read more

Robert Wenzel's 'David' Speech Crushes Federal Reserve's 'Goliath' Dream
ZeroHedge | Author | 04/27/12

In perhaps the most courageous (and likely must-read for future economists) speech ever given inside the New York Fed's shallowed hallowed walls, Economic Policy Journal's Robert Wenzel delivered the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth to the monetary priesthood. Gracious from the start, Wenzel takes the Keynesian clap-trappers to task on almost every nonsensical and oblivious decision they have made in recent years.

"My views, I suspect, differ from beginning to end... I stand here confused as to how you see the world so differently than I do. I simply do not understand most of the thinking that goes on here at the Fed and I do not understand how this thinking can go on when in my view it smacks up against reality." ... Read more

Obama campaign: 'Secretive oil billionaires' funding Romney
Politico | BYRON TAU | 04/26/12

The Obama campaign accused 'secretive oil billionaires' of running a shadow campaign on Mitt Romney's behalf.  "Secretive oil billionaires are making good on their promise to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Governor Romney's behalf attempting to defeat the President," Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

"After all, Governor Romney has introduced a tax plan which charges taxpayers $4 billion in year to provide subsidies to oil and gas companies making record profits, he opposes increased fuel economy standards that will save consumers thousands of dollars at the pump, and he supports repealing the reforms the President passed to prevent manipulation of our oil futures market," LaBolt said. ... Read more

Videos
Inside Job
Inside Job
PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street
PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street on PBS Part 1 (04/24/12) [59:14]
PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street on PBS Part 2 (04/24/12) [54:31]
Matt Taibbi in RollingStone
Ring-of-Fire
Wall Streets Naked Swindle Part 1 (11/05/09) [6:39], Part 2 [5:13], Part 3 [9:44]
The Corporate Takeover of America - Part 1 (06/25/09) [9:10], Part 2 [10:17]
TYT
Matt Taibbi on How Goldman Sachs Has Been Robbing Us Blind (07/17/09) [17:33]
Matt Taibbi's Articles at RollingStone good
Genetically Modified Foods - GMO
The GMO Threat (06/16/11) [59:49]
Monsanto Food Wars: GMO Seeds and Animals () [32:29]
A Documentary On Genetically Modified Foods - GMO () [1:48:58]
Fukushima | Arnie Gundersen | Chris Busby
Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US [4:27]
Gundersen: One Year Anniversary of Fukushima Daiichi (03/11/12) [4:19]
Gundersen: Fukushima Meltdown Could Result in One Million Cases of Cancer (03/28/12) [9:02]
Fukushima Fuel Pools: Impending Disaster, Solutions, Greed & Inaction (A. Gundersen on Ecoshock) (04/11/12) [25:34]
Chris Busby: The REAL reason why Fukushima debris is burnt all over Japan [2:25]
Prof.Chris Busby VERY IMPORTANT !Nuclear power and solar flares (03/05/12) [19:21]
Prof. Chris Busby: New book out! Fukushima 'Anniversary' (03/05/12) [1:42:52]
Seconds From Disaster - S01E07 - Meltdown In Chernobyl (1986) [45:20]
Pilots For 9/11 | Citizen Investigation Team
NATIONAL SECURITY ALERT - 9/11 PENTAGON ATTACK (2009) [1:21:47]
9/11 Blueprint for Truth: The Architecture of Destruction [1:59:07]
Scene From: "9/11: World Trade Center Attack" , PilotsFor911Truth [12:31]
Pilots For 9/11 Truth Presents "9/11 INTERCEPTED" [41:43]
TED's -- TEDEducation and Animators
theRSAorg
Questions No One Knows the Answers to (03/17/12) [12:18]
The Divided Brain [11:48]
Crises of Capitalism [11:11]
Superfreakonomics [10:30]
TEDEducation
How Pandemics Spread [8:00]
Deep Ocean Mysteries and Wonders [8:28]
The Secret Life of Plankton [6:02]
The Cockroach Beatbox [6:15]
Evolution in a Big City [5:16]
Other Stuff
Kubrick's Odyssey - Secrets Hidden in the Films of Stanley Kubrick [1:09:40]
Hacking Democracy [1:21:58]

Friday April 27, 2012
International News

Hollande Says Germany Can't Make Europe's Decisions Alone
Bloomberg | Mark Deen | 04/27/12

Francois Hollande's stepped-up attacks on Chancellor Angela Merkel's belt-tightening solution to Europe's crisis show he doesn't understand his country's economic shortcomings, an aide to the German leader said.  The intensifying war of words between the French presidential race frontrunner and Merkel is putting the two politicians from Europe's two largest economies on a collision course over ending the region's sovereign debt crisis. ... Read more

CIA seeks new authority to expand Yemen drone campaign
Washington Post | Greg Miller | 04/18/12

The CIA is seeking authority to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen by launching strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed, U.S. officials said.  Securing permission to use these "signature strikes" would allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior, such as imagery showing militants gathering at known al-Qaeda compounds or unloading explosives. ... Read more

Domestic News

GM foods not served in Monsanto cafeteria
CBC News | Author | 11/10/2000

... The Independent newspaper reports that there is a notice in the cafeteria of the Monsanto pharmaceutical factory is High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, advising customers "as far as practicable, GM soya and maize (has been removed) from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve." ... Read more

Koch-Backed Americans For Prosperity Announces $6 Million Ad Buy Attacking Obama
Huffingon Post | Luke Johnson | 04/26/12

Americans For Prosperity, the conservative group backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, announced Thursday a $6 million ad buy hitting President Barack Obama.

The ad begins Friday and airs in battleground states Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Minnesota, Nevada, Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico. The ad accuses Obama of wasteful spending on energy and stimulus funding. ... Read more

Washington Post's Kaplan and Other For-Profit Colleges Joined ALEC, Controversial Special Interest Lobby
Huffington Post | David Halperin | 04/26/12

Republic Report has learned that the Washington Post Company's Kaplan for-profit college division, was, last year, a member of the controversial business advocacy group the American Legislative Exchange Council. Other major for-profit education companies also joined ALEC. Republic Report has obtained a July 2011 document showing Kaplan Higher Education and other for-profits as members of ALEC's Education Task Force. ...

... For-profit colleges are the ultimate special interest. Many receive around 90 percent of their revenue from federal financial aid, more than $30 billion a year, and many charge students sky-high prices. In recent years, it has been fully documented that a large number of these schools have high dropouts rates and dismal job placement, and many have been caught engaging in highly coercive and deceptive recruiting practices. ... Read more

CISPA Passes House: Cybersecurity Bill Approved Despite White House Veto Threat
Huffington Post | Gerry Smith | 04/26/12

... The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, sponsored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), would give businesses and the federal government legal protection to share information about cyber-threats with each other. The government does not currently share that data because the information is classified and companies fear violating anti-trust law. The bill would remove legal barriers so they can do so. ... Read more

Water Cycle Study Examines Global Warming, Ocean's Salt Content
LiveScience | Wynne Parry | 04/27/12

Global warming is revving up the planet's cycle of evaporation and precipitation, making wet places even wetter and dry places drier, a new study suggests. A team of researchers found the intensity of the water cycle increased roughly 4 percent over the last half of the 20th century by examining changes in the ocean's salt content. ... Read more

'Agent Orange Corn' Debate Rages As Dow Seeks Approval Of New Genetically Modified Seed
Huffington Post | Lucia Graves | 04/26/12

A new kind of genetically modified crop under the brand name of "Enlist" -- known by its critics as "Agent Orange corn" -- has opponents pushing U.S. regulators to scrutinize the product more closely and reject an application by Dow AgroSciences to roll out its herbicide-resistant seeds.

The corn has been genetically engineered to be immune to 2,4-D, an ingredient used in Agent Orange that some say could pose a serious threat to the environment and to human health. Approval by the United States Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency would allow farmers to spray it far and wide without damaging their crops, boosting profits for the agribusiness giant. ... Read more

Republicans Are Harassing the Mortgage Fraud Task Force
TheNation | George Zornick | 04/26/12

Republicans frequently criticize President Obama as an adversary of capitalism: they say he wants to "put free enterprise on trial" (Mitt Romney) or that the president believes the country's problems "must be the fault of those people on Wall Street" (Mitch McConnell).

But oddly, when Obama announced in January the formation of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities working group, Republicans were completely silent. The working group's stated purpose is to investigate and potentially prosecute major Wall Street firms, but no Republican presidential candidate or member of Congress publicly criticized the effort. ... Read more

Chasing Fees, Banks Court Low-Income Customers
New York Times | JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG | 04/24/12

When David Wegner went looking for a checking account in January, he was peppered with offers for low-end financial products, including a prepaid debit card with numerous fees, a short-term emergency loan with steep charges, money wire services and check-cashing options.

"I may as well have gone to a payday lender," said Mr. Wegner, a 36-year-old nursing assistant in Minneapolis, who ended up choosing a local branch of U.S. Bank and avoided the payday lenders, pawnshops and check cashers lining his neighborhood. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, April 27 [13:18]
DN | As Obama Expands Drone War, Activists & Victims' Advocates Join D.C. Summit on Civilian Toll (04/27/12) [19:26]
DemocracyNow speaks with Pakistani lawyer, Shahzad Akbar, who represents families of civilians killed in U.S. drone strikes. After first being denied a visa, he is in Washington, D.C., to attend a Drone Summit organized by human rights groups to call attention to the lethal rise in the number of drone strikes during the Obama administration. The human rights group, Reprieve, estimates up to 2,283 people have been killed by unmanned U.S. drones in Pakistan since 2004. The summit comes as the United States pursues a radical expansion of how it carries out drone strikes inside Yemen. The so-called "signature" strike policy went into effect earlier this month allowing the U.S. to strike without knowing identity of the targets, and at least one attack has already been launched. We're also joined by Medea Benjamin, the cofounder of CODEPINK, one of the organizers of this weekend's summit. Her new book is called, "Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control," which also examines the rise in the use of drones for domestic surveillance in the United States.
TYT | CIA Wants To Expand Drone Strikes In Yemen (04/20/12) [5:04]
TYT | CISPA Explained (04/24/12) [4:00]
Comment
Americans For Prosperity, the conservative group backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, announced Thursday a $6 million ad buy hitting President Barack Obama. AFP Wasteful Spending Ad (04/26/12) [1:00]
Diane Rehm's Show
Diane Rehm Domestic News - Friday 04/27/12
International News - Friday 04/27/12
Comment
I started watching RT's "Capital Account" because of an article I was reading.  I found the interview interesting and started looking for other episodes.  I have listed these episodes/interviews from newest to oldest, but I recommend viewing the interveiws in order.   The trend is very interesting and informative.
Remember you can use the progress bar to jump around in the videos and thus skip the advertising.

RT | Jim Grant explains how Central Banks are Waging War on Supply and Demand (04/26/12) [28:04]
RT | ZeroHedge Blogger Bob English outlines how Bernanke and the Fed could finally go Bankrupt! (04/25/12) [27:52]
RT | James Turk gives his timeline on the Dollar's Collapse and Gold's role as the messenger! (04/24/12) [28:02]
RT | Word of the Day: International Monetary Fund (IMF) (04/20/12) [3:53]
RT | Jon "Teflon Don" Corzine and his Posse Roam Free ahead of new MF Global Hearing (04/20/12) [28:06]
RT | Are Central Bankers just Economic Make-up Artists, Sexing-up Prices? (04/19/12) [28:05]
RT | Debt-ridden Countries IMF'd as "Euro Collapse" threat lures Bailout Bucks w/Michael Hudson (04/18/12) [27:58]
RT | Commodities Expert: Oil scarcity not speculation driving up prices (04/17/12) [28:01]
RT | Rhetoric vs. Reality: China, Entrepreneurial Capitalism & the Turbo Tax Defense (04/16/12) [28:03]
RT | Back to the Future: The Central Banker's Destruction of Time and Space!! (04/12/12) [27:56]
RT | A Look at how Central Banks are Steering our Society off an Cliff (04/11/12) [28:01]
RT | "Casino Jack" Abramoff breaks down how Government is Sold to the Bidder (04/10/12) [28:05]
RT | Economic Hit Man John Perkins on the New Banana Republic and USA, Inc. (04/05/12) [28:00]


Thursday April 26, 2012
International News
Domestic News

Earth to Ben Bernanke: Chairman Bernanke Should Listen to Professor Bernanke
New York Times | PAUL KRUGMAN | 04/24/12

Bernanke was and is a fine economist. More than that, before joining the Fed, he wrote extensively, in academic studies of both the Great Depression and modern Japan, about the exact problems he would confront at the end of 2008. He argued forcefully for an aggressive response, castigating the Bank of Japan, the Fed's counterpart, for its passivity. Presumably, the Fed under his leadership would be different.

Instead, while the Fed went to great lengths to rescue the financial system, it has done far less to rescue workers. The U.S. economy remains deeply depressed, with long-term unemployment in particular still disastrously high, a point Bernanke himself has recently emphasized. Yet the Fed isn't taking strong action to rectify the situation. ... Read more

Bernanke says Fed prepared to do more for economy
Reuters | Pedro Nicolaci da Costa | 04/25/12

"We remain entirely prepared to take additional balance sheet actions as necessary to achieve our objectives," Bernanke told reporters. "Those tools remained very much on the table and we would not hesitate to use them should the economy require that additional support." In response to the deepest recession in generations, the Fed lowered benchmark overnight rates to near zero in December 2008 and more than tripled its balance sheet by purchasing $2.3 trillion in government and mortgage bonds. ... Read more

Conservative Nonprofit Acts as a Stealth Business Lobbyist
New York Times | MIKE McINTIRE | 04/21/12
See "TYT | ALEC = Obvious and Organized Corruption" in the right column

Desperate for new revenue, Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation last year that would make it easier to recover money from businesses that defraud the state.

It was quickly flagged at the Washington headquarters of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a business-backed group that views such "false claims" laws as encouraging frivolous lawsuits. ALEC's membership includes not only corporations, but nearly 2,000 state legislators across the country -- including dozens who would vote on the Ohio bill. ... Read more

Fix income inequality with $10 million loans for everyone!
Washington Post | Sheila Bair | 04/13/12

See "TYT | $10 Million Loans for Everyone!" in the right column

Are you concerned about growing income inequality in America? Are you resentful of all that wealth concentrated in the 1 percent? I've got the perfect solution, a modest proposal that involves just a small adjustment in the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy. Best of all, it will mean that none of us have to work for a living anymore.

For several years now, the Fed has been making money available to the financial sector at near-zero interest rates. Big banks and hedge funds, among others, have taken this cheap money and invested it in securities with high yields. This type of profit-making, called the "carry trade," has been enormously profitable for them. So why not let everyone participate? ... Read more

Timothy Geithner: 'You Can't Legislate Away Stupidity And Risk-Taking And Greed'
Huffington Post | Reuters | 04/25/12

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sought on Wednesday to reassure Americans that the Obama administration was doing what it could to rout out the bad actors from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

"The wheels of justice are turning now," Geithner said at an event in Portland after touring a factory there. "They are not turning as fast as people would like, but we have the best system in the world for making sure we can enforce the laws of the land," he said. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, April 26 [13:02]
DN | CISPA Critics: Cybersecurity Act Will Increase Domestic Surveillance, Violate Privacy Rights (04/26/12) [13:56]
Climate change at the doorstep in Norfolk (04/27/12) [0:57]
Quote of the Day
This was in an article concerning how our financial leaders are handling the Economic Crisis:

Extend and pretend..... its all we got.
These are older videos but STILL relevant. I like the Bill Black interviews. Remember you can use the progress bar to skip around.
Dylan Ratigan | David DeGraw and William Black (10/17/11) [9:37]
Dylan Ratigan | Bill Fleckenstein, Bill Black (08/08/11) [15:07]
TYT | Obama Vs Romney on Student Loans (04/24/12) [6:02]
TYT | CISPA Explained (04/24/12) [4:00]
TYT | ALEC = Obvious and Organized Corruption (04/23/12) [12:22]
Comment:
Most of the attention has focused on ALEC's role in creating model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that broadly advance a pro-business, socially conservative agenda. But a review of internal ALEC documents shows that this is only one facet of a sophisticated operation for shaping public policy at a state-by-state level. The records offer a glimpse of how special interests effectively turn ALEC's lawmaker members into stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes. The documents -- hundreds of pages of minutes of private meetings, member e-mail alerts and correspondence -- were obtained by the watchdog group Common Cause and shared with The New York Times.
TYT | $10 Million Loans for Everyone! (04/21/12) [4:13]
Comment:
Former FDIC head Sheila Bair wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about fixing income inequality with huge interest free loans for all Americans to illustrate the absurdity of what was done with the big Wall Street banks after the financial collapse.
TYT | ALEC Begs Right Wing Bloggers For Help (04/19/12) [4:25]


Wednesday April 25, 2012
International News

Britain in recession means more woe for government
Reuters | David Milliken | 04/25/12

Britain's economy has fallen into its second recession since the financial crisis after a shock contraction at the start of 2012, heaping pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron's government as it reels from a series of political missteps. ... Read more

Domestic News

Lehman Brothers Investigator On 60 Minutes: 'They'd Fudged The Numbers'
Huffington Post | Harry Bradford | 04/23/12

Lehman Brothers, the firm that collapsed four years ago causing a global financial crisis, misrepresented its financial health prior to its bankruptcy, according to an investigation by 60 Minutes.

"They'd fudged the numbers," Anton Vakulas, the attorney appointed by the federal bankruptcy court to investigate Lehman Brothers' collapse told 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft. "They would move what turned out to be approximately $50 billion of assets from the United States to the United Kingdom just before they printed their financial statements." ... Read more

PBS Frontline Investigation Into Financial Crisis Suggests Another Disaster On Horizon
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/24/12

... On Tuesday night PBS will air the first two parts of a four-part documentary on the crisis, called "Money, Power and Wall Street," with the second two parts to air next Tuesday, May 1.

The first hour tells the history of the credit derivatives at the heart of the crisis, while the second hour tells the blow-by-blow of the crisis itself, culminating with the bank bailouts in the fall of 2008. ... Read more

Romney's Etch A Sketch Campaign Begins
NewYorkMagazine | Jonathan Chait | 04/24/12

... Mitt Romney Etch A Sketch pivots of the general election. After having repeatedly denounced any need for the federal government to subsidize tuition costs during the primary, Romney has now endorsed Obama's call for extending lower rates for federally-subsidized loans. Romney says he supports the measures "in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market." Apparently, he has been informed of the poor job market since wrapping up the nomination, when he was still advising graduates concerned about debt to acquire a high-paying job. ... Read more

Noam Chomsky on America's Declining Empire, Occupy and the Arab Spring
AlterNet | Joshua Holland | 04/24/12

Last year, the Occupy Movement rose up spontaneously in cities and towns across the country, radically shifted the discourse and rattled the economic elite with its defiant populism. It was, according to Noam Chomsky, "the first major public response to thirty years of class war." In his new book, Occupy, Chomsky looks at the central issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How are the wealthiest 1 percent influencing the lives of the other 99 percent? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuinely democratic election look like? ... Read more

March Durable Good Implode, Worse Than Lowest Wall Street Forecast And Biggest Drop Since January 2009
ZeroHedge | Author | 04/25/12

So much for a moderate decline in the economy. As we warned back in February when we noted that the non-seasonally unadjusted collapse in durable goods was historic, now that the aftereffect of a record warm winter is fully gone, the March durable goods data comes in and it was a complete disaster: instead of dropping modestly by 1.7% as the consensus expected, the March actual print was a massive 4.2% decline, worse than the worst Wall Street forecast, or the most since January 2009! And it was not only airplanes as many were expecting (despite Boeing's just announced epic sales): the ex-transportation number was down 1.1%, on expectations of a 0.5% gain; even worse, capital goods new orders slid 0.8% on expectations of a 1% gain. And as usual inventories hit another record high. Overall, a horrendous print which confirms that the entire myth of a recovery in Q1 was warm weather driven, and that about 1% of the 2.5% or so consensus GDP was due to the weather. Expect the downward GDP revisions to come any second. But don't expect the market to react to this news at all: after all if anything, this simply makes NEW QE/LTRO more likely and is to be cheered by all habitual gamblers. ... Read more

TARP Profit A Myth, Claims TARP Inspector General Christy Romero
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/25/12

Contrary to the Obama administration's claims, the bank bailout has not turned a profit for the U.S. government and may never turn a profit, according to a grim new assessment by the bailout's watchdog.  Even by non-financial standards the bailout has been less than a roaring success and may be helping to lay the groundwork for future financial disasters and bailouts, writes Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in her latest quarterly report to Congress, released Wednesday morning. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, April 25 [14:08]
DN | 1T Day: As US Student Debt Hits $1 Trillion, Occupy Protests Planned for Campuses Nationwide (04/25/12) [10:35]
PBS NewsHour | Tuesday, April 24, 2012 (04/24/12) [59:14]
Diane Rehm Show
Diane Rehm Backlash Over Eurozone Austerity Measures (04/25/12)
Desmond Lachman | resident fellow, American Enterprise Institute.

Simon Johnson | professor of entrepreneurship at MIT's Sloan School of Management, a senior fellow of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and author of "White House Burning: The Founding Fathers, Our National Debt, and Why It Matters To You"

David Smick | global macroeconomic advisor, founder and editor of The International Economy magazine and author of "The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy".
60 Minutes
60Minutes | The case against Lehman Brothers. (04/22/12) [13:41]
First two episodes of "Money, Power and WallStreet" premiered last night. People are still not aware that Wall Street is still gambling with our futures! No real changes in regulations have been passed! PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street on PBS Part 1 (04/24/12) [59:14]
PBS FRONTLINE | Money, Power and Wall Street on PBS Part 2 (04/24/12) [54:31]
PBS Nova (newest on top)
NOVA's "Secrets of the Sun" will be premiering tonight 04/25/12 at 9:00 on your local PBS station. It looks like it will be a good show. PBS NOVA | Secrets of the Sun (04/25/12) [preview]
PBS NOVA | Deadliest Tornadoes on PBS (04/11/12) [52:52]
PBS NOVA | Cracking Your Genetic Code on PBS (03/28/12) [53:27]
RT | War profiteers steal billions (11/29/11) [2:33]
Way Back Machine
I like Nomi Prins for her "no-nonsense" way of explaining the inner workings of Wall Street. RT | Nomi Prins: Banks are like "Government-Sponsored Mafias" (11/29/11) [7:55]
RT | Keiser Report Extra: Interview with Nomi Prins (09/30/11) [9:58]
GRITtv: Nomi Prins: Will Obama Regulate Wall Street? (06/22/09) [1:52]
GRITtv: Nomi Prins: It Takes a Pillage Part 1 (10/07/09) [7:25], Part 2 [8:38]
Other
Aljazeera | Bahrain: Shouting in the dark (08/04/11) [50:56]

Tuesday April 24, 2012
International News

Bundesbank's Weidmann Says What No Politician Wants to Hear
Bloomberg | Jeff Black | 04/23/12

... Weidmann's public criticism of measures such as the "fiscal compact" -- hailed by its architects as the first step to economic union -- has pitted him against Merkel and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi as they struggle to hold the 17-nation euro region together. With Europe in recession and rising Spanish bond yields threatening to reignite the debt crisis after a three-month lull, the Bundesbank's youngest-ever president says greater fiscal and monetary rectitude is the only way to win back investors' trust. ... Read more

Domestic News

U.S. Stocks Join Global Slump on Europe's Political Woes
Bloomberg | Rita Nazareth | 04/23/12

Bank of America Corp. fell 2.2 percent, following a drop in European lenders, as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte offered to quit after lawmakers split over austerity and French President Nicolas Sarkozy lost the first round of his re-election bid. Monsanto (MON) Co. and U.S. Steel Corp. (X) slid at least 1.8 percent as European and Chinese manufacturing shrank. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) retreated 4.7 percent amid a bribery probe in Mexico. ... Read more

Super PAC Donors, Led By Sheldon Adelson, Keep The Money Flowing
Huffington Post | Paul Blumenthal | 04/23/12

WASHINGTON -- Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino tycoon, and his family topped the all-time list of disclosed individual donors to independent spending groups in a single election cycle when they gave an additional $10 million to super PACs in March. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, Adelson and his family increased their total super PAC giving to $26.5 million, pushing them past the $23.7 million contributed by billionaire businessman George Soros to 527 groups in the 2004 election cycle. Adelson, of course, donates to conservative interests, while Soros supported progressive causes. ... Read more

ALEC Running Tax Scam for Big Companies
Huffington Post | Bob Edgar | 04/23/12

Once upon a time, an American business that was part of a scheme to systematically and secretly lobby state legislators to win passage of laws tailored to fattening its profits at the expense of the public good would have been shunned by customers and marginalized in the marketplace.

Today, mega-companies like Walmart, Koch Industries, Pfizer, and State Farm Insurance are openly if quietly engaged in just such an effort. They call it the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, dress it up with rhetoric about their devotion to free speech and free markets, and whine like spoiled children when someone dares to tell the truth about what it's up to.  For about a year now, Common Cause and other watchdog groups have been taking a hard look at ALEC. The more we've learned, the more unsettled we've become. And in recent days, I'm pleased to say, the press and public have been taking notice. ... Read more

ALEC Wants You To Pay 750 Percent More For High-Speed Internet
AlterNet | Zaid Jilani | 04/18/12

...Take public high-speed broadband Internet. A few years ago, the city of Wilson, North Carolina, decided that it would create its own broadband system, which it called Greenlight. The service offered speeds twice as fast as private competitors in the area for a similar price. Soon, the success of the service spread, and a number of other cities began offering municipal broadband systems that were cheaper and/or faster than private competitors'.

But state legislators -- who received $600,000 in contributions from the telecom industry in the previous election cycle -- reacted to the spread of these successful services by undercutting them with a bill that made it very difficult for cities to operate their own broadband systems. One provision in the bill made it illegal for cities to offer broadband services that are priced below their costs. "This bill will make it practically impossible for cities to provide a fundamental service. ... Read more

Right-Wing ALEC Retreats on Most Controversial Issues
AlterNet | Brendan Fischer | 04/17/12

Under growing public pressure and the departure of multiple corporate members, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has announced it is disbanding the Task Force that has been responsible for some of the organization's most controversial pieces of legislation. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker introduced several bills approved by that Task Force when he was a legislator in the 1990s and early 2000s.

For at least three decades, the corporations, special interest groups, and legislators on the ALEC Public Safety & Elections Task Force (known as the Criminal Justice Task Force until 2009) have approved model bills that promote for-profit prisons and lengthen prison sentences, criminalize immigrants, expand the "war on drugs," thwart evidence-based pre-trial release programs in favor of for-profit bail-bonding, and many other policies. ... Read more

Mobile Carriers Lobby Against Cellphone Location Privacy Bill
Wired | David Kravets | 04/23/12

Cellphone companies are objecting to proposed California legislation that would force them to publicly report the number of times they turn over cellphone location information to police and federal agents, arguing that it's too burdensome, and would take time away from the important work of sharing customer data with cops "day and night." ...

... "These reporting mandates would unduly burden wireless providers and their employees -- who are working day and night to assist law enforcement to ensure the public's safety and to save lives," wrote the Wireless Association, a trade group representing the industry, in a letter (.pdf) to the California lawmaker proposing the privacy bill.

The American Civil Liberties Union unveiled a study two weeks ago, based on records obtained from open-government laws, showing that the practice of obtaining such cellphone data, without court warrants, is widespread across America. ... Read more

99% Power Movement Kicks Off With Massive Actions at Wells Fargo Shareholder Meeting
AlterNet | Maria Poblet | 04/22/12

Every major bank holds its shareholder meeting in the spring, makingtheir nefarious plans about how to invest the billions they have stolen from us: ranging from mineral extraction in the global south to foreclosures in East Oakland.

But 2012 will be different than last spring, and the spring before it. This year, there's a nationally coordinated effort of the 99% to fight back. We may not have the money for our own strategy meetings in fancy boardrooms, but we have something much better: people power -- the millions of people who are fighting to save their homes, struggling to pay their bills,trying to get out from under their student loans, are ready to take action to make things better. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, April 24 [14:00]
DN | "War is the Enemy of the Poor": Cornel West and Tavis Smiley on Poverty, MLK, Election 2012 (04/24/12) [10:07]
DN | Shocking Video Shows Mexican Immigrant Beaten to Death By U.S. Border Patrol Agents. Part 1 (04/24/12) [17:57], Part 2 [15:46]
Noam Chomsky
RT | Noam Chomsky on Occupy Wall Street protests (10/02/11) [4:41]
RT | Noam Chomsky on Occupy Wall Street Movement & State Of World (longer version) [11:12]
Noam Chomsky's Thoughts on Occupy Wall Street (03/12/12) [3:22]
TYT
TYT | Climate Change Coverage Plummets On Broadcast Networks: (04/22/12) [3:46]
TYT | How Many Donors Does Karl Rove's Super PAC Have? (04/21/12) [3:30]
TYT | The Real Hilary Rosen Scandal (04/21/12) [3:37]
TYT | Van Jones Nails Republicans Over The EPA (04/20/12) [4:31]

Internet Hall of Fame

Vint Cerf: Father of the Internet, We Knew What We Were Unleashing on the World
Wired | Ryan Singel | 04/23/12

... Cerf did that in 1973. For most of you that's probably 20 years before you even knew what the internet was. That's why he's known as the father of the internet and earned himself a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Cerf didn't stop there -- he went on to co-found the Internet Society (ISOC) and served as president of ICANN, the organization which operates the domain naming system. ... Read more

6 Things You Need to Know About the Government's New Spy Law (CISPA)
AlterNet | Scott Lemieux | 04/18/12

Congress is seriously considering a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Intended to allow information-sharing both between corporations and between corporations and the government, it presents serious dangers to individual privacy. The most important parts of the proposed act permit corporations to share information about their customers with each other and with the government if they assert that this information-sharing is necessary for national security. ... Read more

Other Interesting Articles

Alessandra Ambrosio Poses Nude & Pregnant For Vivara Jewelry Ad
Huffington Post | Author | 04/23/12

Victoria's Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio is in the throes of her second pregnancy (she's having a boy!), and like any good model, she's treating it as an opportunity to show off her awesome figure.

Ambrosio posted this sexy photo on her Facebook on Sunday, which was shot by the famed duo Mert & Marcus. It appears to be an ad for the Brazilian jewelry company Vivara, and, well, it's working: you can't help but notice her flashy rings (after you're done looking at the, uh, rest of the picture). ... Read more


Monday April 23, 2012
International News

Dutch Cabinet Resigns
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/23/12

As reported first thing this morning when we discussed the perfect storm in Europe, the Dutch government was expected to resign en masse in the aftermath of this weekend's auterity fiasco. Sure enough, that resignation is now fact. ... Read more

Mark Grant: "I Do Not Believe, Any Longer, That The Catastrophe Can Be Avoided"
ZeroHedge | Author | 04/23/12
Read more

The Fool's Game: Unravelling Europe's Epic Ponzi Pyramid Of Lies
Domestic News

The Amnesia Candidate
New York Times | Paul Krugman | 04/22/12

... Yes, it does. Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration's policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don't remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall. ... Read more

Mitt Romney Budget Cuts Would Have Severe Consequences
Huffington Post | ANDREW TAYLOR | 04/22/12

WASHINGTON -- Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney's way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education.

Romney also promises budget increases for the Pentagon, above those sought by some GOP defense hawks, meaning that the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. Nonmilitary programs would incur still larger cuts than those called for in the tightfisted GOP budget that the House passed last month. ... Read more

Mitt's War on Mitt
Huffington Post | Robert Creamer | 04/22/12

By all rights, the Republican presidential candidate should have a lot of wind at his back in 2012.

  • President Obama's economic policies brought an end to the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression and have now yielded 25 straight months of private sector jobs growth. But many Americans are still out of work.
  • The far right has been energized by passage of President Obama's legislative agenda: health care reform, the equal pay for equal work, ending Don't Ask-Don't Tell, Wall Street reform. They hate these policies and they are highly motivated to stop the President's re-election.
  • The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has allowed a flood of corporate and right wing money that should allow the right to out-communicate the President's campaign for re-election.
Instead, Mitt Romney is struggling. There are many factors:
  • President Obama's well organized, highly disciplined campaign;
  • A bloody Republican primary season;
  • The high regard in which most Americans hold the President -- last week's ABC News poll showed 56% regard him favorably while only 40% regard him unfavorably.
But Mitt Romney's biggest enemy is Mitt Romney. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, April 23 [12:34]
DN | Gulf Oil Spill: BP Execs Escape Punishment as Disaster Continues To Impact Sea life. Part 1 (04/23/12) [11:33], Part 2 [10:50]
TRNN | Beat the Press with Dean Baker (04/22/12) [11:07]
RT | Dean Baker, "If you want to talk to someone from Goldman Sachs, call the Treasury Dept. (12/05/11) [6:42]
Matt Taibbi: Obama's JOBS ACT Sucks (04/19/12) [5:38]
"The Greatest Bank Robbery Ever" Bonnie Faulkner and William K. Black Part 1 (03/17/12) [15:00], Part 2 [13:23]
Into the Fire doc | G20 2010 Toronto, Canada
Remember police being dressed in blues, ready to answer your questions and give directions. Now police are dressed in black flack jackets and gas masks and use mace to communicate with the public. This was two years ago and in Canada. Scary times ahead. Police State?
World leaders and activists from around the world gathered for the G20 Summit (2010). With over 19,000 police officers and security personnel on hand, the results lead to over 1100 arrests, martial law in downtown Toronto, and the most massive violation of civil liberties in Canadian history.
Into The Fire (04/20/11) [2:03:47]
Way Back Machine
TYT
TYT | Wall Street Wants Romney Over Obama But... (02/06/12) [4:21]
TYT | Billionaires Pledge 100 Million To Beat Obama (02/07/12) [3:18]
TYT | Wall Street Frat Mocks Occupy Wall Street (02/04/12) [6:32]
TYT | Are Corporate Taxes Higher Today? (02/03/12) [3:19]
TYT | 243,000 Jobs Created in January (02/03/12) [5:18]

Weekender April 21-22, 2012
International News

Navigating Syria's slippery narratives
Aljazeera | Author | 04/14/12

Listening Post puts social media in Syria under the spotlight and asks who and how much to trust. ... Read more

Günter Grass, Israel and the crime of poetry
Aljazeera | Hamid Dabashi | 04/10/12

In his poem, Nobel laureate Gunter Grass criticises Israel and condemns German arms sales to the Jewish state. ... Read more

Europe Urged to Quell Crisis as IMF Wins $430 Bln Boost
Bloomberg | Simon Kennedy | 04/21/12

European governments were urged to be tougher and more agile in their efforts to end two years of debt turmoil as the International Monetary Fund won more than $430 billion to safeguard the world economy.  IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde's push for a doubling in lending power paid off despite complaints from emerging markets wanting more say in how the fund is run and calls from some richer nations for aid to be more tightly controlled. ... Read more

Geithner Says Europe Must Be Creative, Aggressive in Crisis
Bloomberg | Ian Katz | 04/21/12

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the global economic recovery is fragile and Europe's effort to prevent the spread of its debt crisis depends on the willingness and ability of the region's leaders to act aggressively and creatively. ... Read more

Asian Stocks Fall on G-20 Europe Warning, Slowing U.S. Recovery
Bloomberg | Eleni Himaras | 04/20/12

Asian stocks fell this week, just the fourth weekly retreat this year for the regional benchmark, as the Group of 20 nations warned Europe's debt crisis still threatens global growth and as U.S. economic data showed the recovery in the world's largest economy is slowing. ... Read more

Domestic News

It Takes Dark Money to Make Dark Money
MotherJones | Andy Kroll | 04/20/12

When Crossroads GPS, the conservative nonprofit started by GOP political gurus Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, isn't dropping millions of dollars on anti-Obama ads, it's doling out tens of millions more to like-minded groups. "The ATM of the Right," Politico recently called Crossroads. Between May 2010 and December 2011, new tax records show, Crossroads gave $4 million to Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform and $500,000 to former Sen. Norm Coleman's American Action Network. ... Read more

Why The Left Misunderstands Income Inequality
ZeroHedge | Author | 04/20/12

There is a widely-held notion on the political left that the key economic problem that our civilisation faces is income inequality. ... Read more

Two years after BP oil spill, offshore drilling still poses risks
Washington Post | Steven Mufson | 04/19/12

Two years after a blowout on BP's Macondo well killed 11 men and triggered the largest oil spill in U.S. history, oil companies are again plying the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Forty-one deep-water rigs are in the gulf. The vast majority of them are drilling new holes or working over old ones, while the other behemoths are idle as they await work or repairs. A brand new rig -- the South Korean-built Pacific Santa Ana, capable of drilling to a depth of 7.5 miles -- is on its way to a Chevron well. ... Read more

Should we really worry about solar storms?
Aljazeera | Ian O'Neill | 04/10/12

Los Angeles, CA - Last month, the British government took the unprecedented step of declaring space weather one of the greatest threats to the country. Alongside terrorism, flooding and pandemics, we now have an extraterrestrial threat to add to the list of "things that could give you a really bad day". But is Whitehall overreacting? And what is "space weather" anyway? ... Read more

Weekend Magazine
Ajazeera | Listening Post - Navigating Syria's slippery narratives (04/14/12) [25:08]
Aljazeera | Inside Story - Israel: A 'democratic' violator of rights? (03/28/12) [25:01]
Aljazeera | Earthrise: Mountain Gorilla on the increase
BB | China's `Newly Rich' Gather at Hainan Luxury Expo
Way Back Machine
TRNN | NDAA: Wilkerson: New Military Powers the Road to Tyranny (12/08/11) [7:28]
TRNN | NDAA: New Military Detention Powers Threaten Basic Rights (12/21/11) [11:06]
TRNN | Wilkerson on 9/11 (09/12/10) [29:46]
TRNN | 9/11 and Continuity of Government (09/11/10) [16:39]
TRNN | US prepares for "continuity of government" (12/01/08) [8:01]
Secret Government Succession Plans (07/15/08) [8:56]
RutherfordInstitute | On Target with John Whitehead: America's Shadow Government: Part 1 (10/06/08) [5:09], Part 2 [5:34]
Shadow Government 2009 () [1:28:31]
Police State?
World leaders and activists from around the world gathered for the G20 Summit (2010). With over 19,000 police officers and security personnel on hand, the results lead to over 1100 arrests, martial law in downtown Toronto, and the most massive violation of civil liberties in Canadian history.
Into The Fire (04/20/11) [2:03:47]
Military Inside US | Mercenaries | Contractors
Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder (08/04/09) [article]
Blackwater Heir Wants to Keep State Dept. Security Contract (2009) [article]
The Way Back Machine
UFO Hypothesis: Michael Schratt with a bonus interview by Rick Keefe

Friday April 20, 2012
International News

Ignoring Critics, Argentina To Nationalize Oil Firm
NPR | COREY FLINTOFF | 04/19/12

It's sounds like a story from the past: A Latin American leader announces plans to nationalize a large foreign company, touching off a high-stakes battle that involves money, politics and diplomacy. ... Read more

Domestic News

Here Come's The Economy's 19th Nervous Breakdown: Seven And A Half Things To Know
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/20/12

Thing One: Econoworries: America's economy is bumpier than that traffic circle in front of Union Station that has Thomas Friedman so worried, and not even Michael Bloomberg can help. ... Read more

ALEC Ends Its Guns And Voter Suppression Task Force
Think Progress | Scott Keyes | 04/17/12

In the face of mounting pressure from progressive activists and its own corporate sponsors, the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-wing group funded by corporations like ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, announced today that it will shut down a task force that deals with "non-economic issues," like voter suppression efforts and "stand your ground" gun laws. ... Read more

Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists
Aljazeera | Dahr Jamail | 04/20/12

New Orleans, LA - "The fishermen have never seen anything like this," Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. "And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I've never seen anything like this either."  Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.

Cowan's findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP's oil and dispersants.  Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP's 2010 oil disaster. ... Read more

Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists

The BP oil spill: Two years on
Aljazeera | Author | 04/19/12

Shrimp without eyes, crabs without claws and a fishing industry in decline - two years after the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, scientists and fishermen tell Al Jazeera that its impact is becoming clearer and things are getting worse. ... Read more

The BP oil spill: Two years on

Free $10 Million Loans For All! and Other Wall Street Notes
RollingStone | Matt Taibbi | 04/19/12

I hope everyone saw ex-Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chief Sheila Bair's editorial in the Washington Post (see below), entitled, "Fix Income Inequality with $10 million Loans for Everyone!" The piece might have set a world record for public bitter sarcasm by a former top regulatory official. ... Read more

Fix income inequality with $10 million loans for everyone!
Washington Post | Sheila Bair | 04/13/12

For several years now, the Fed has been making money available to the financial sector at near-zero interest rates. Big banks and hedge funds, among others, have taken this cheap money and invested it in securities with high yields. This type of profit-making, called the "carry trade," has been enormously profitable for them.

So why not let everyone participate?  Under my plan, each American household could borrow $10 million from the Fed at zero interest. The more conservative among us can take that money and buy 10-year Treasury bonds. At the current 2 percent annual interest rate, we can pocket a nice $200,000 a year to live on. The more adventuresome can buy 10-year Greek debt at 21 percent, for an annual income of $2.1 million. Or if Greece is a little too risky for you, go with Portugal, at about 12 percent, or $1.2 million dollars a year. (No sense in getting greedy.)

Think of what we can do with all that money. We can pay off our underwater mortgages and replenish our retirement accounts without spending one day schlepping into the office. With a few quick keystrokes, we'll be golden for the next 10 years. ... Read more

Hedge-Fund Assets Rise to Record Level
WSJ | JULIET CHUNG | 04/19/12

The hedge-fund industry is bigger than ever before, after a market rally helped lift assets under management to a record.  Total hedge-fund assets surged to $2.13 trillion at the end of the first quarter, beating the previous high of $2.04 trillion, set in the middle of last year, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc. Higher returns, rather than the flow of new money from investors, accounted for a large portion of the industry's growth. ... Read more

Nine U.S. Banks Said to be Examined on Overdraft Fees
Bloomberg | Carter Dougherty | 04/20/12

Two years after regulators gave Americans more power to manage overdrafts of their checking accounts, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reviewing bank practices to determine if the crackdown went far enough.  The agency, which will decide by the end of the year whether to write new rules, is scrutinizing nine banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and Bank of America Corp., said four people briefed on the examination. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, April 20 [13:15]
DN | National Security Agency Whistleblower William Binney on Growing State Surveillance (04/20/12) [18:08]
DN | "We Don't Live in a Free Country": Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Mass Govt Surveillance (04/20/12) [6:41]
DN | "The NSA Is Lying": U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails Says NSA Whistleblower (04/20/12) [14:37]
DN | Detained in the US: Filmmaker Laura Poitras Held, Questioned Some 40 Times at US Airports (04/20/12) [5:38]
Diane Rehm's Show
Diane Rehm Domestic News - Friday 04/20/12
International News - Friday 04/20/12
TRNN | Right Wing Billionaires Push Israel's Agenda in 2012 Elections (04/19/12) [12:46]
TYT | The Truth About Tax Rates (04/18/12) [5:34]
TYT | ALEC Retreats On 'Stand Your Ground,' Voter ID Laws (04/17/12) [3:29]
The Gulf, BP Oil spill, Corexit, Deformed Sea Life
Dylan Ratigan
Dylan Ratigan | Documentary "The Big Fix", 2nd anniversary of the BP oil spill (04/19/12) [7:59]
The Big Fix Official Trailer (10/11/11) [2:15]
The Big Fix - SHOCKING Interview by Ken Spector [25:18]
Corexit Danger, Illustrated
Dylan Ratigan | Details on what happened in the FED during the financial crisis Part 1 (04/17/12) [11:21], Part 2 [9:59]
Dylan Ratigan | Truth in Food Labeling, i.e. GMO (04/12/12) [11:30]
Jon Steward and Stephen Colbert
Jon Steward
Good interview between Jon Steward and Robert Reich concerning the state of affairs in Washington. Note: there are three parts.
Jon Steward | Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich lays out the conditions that he believes will lead to the formation of a legitimate third party in the United States. Part 1 (04/18/12) [5:46], Part 2 [5:19], Part 3 [8:15]
Jon Steward | Primatologist Jane Goodall details the documentary "Chimpanzee," in which the male leader of a chimpanzee family adopts a young orphan chimp named Oscar. (04/16/12) [6:56]
Stephen Cobert
Stephen Cobert | Michelle Obama discusses her national initiative for helping military families, Joining Forces, and the importance of lowering veterans' unemployment rates. Part 1 (04/11/12) [4:15], Part 2 [4:15]
Stephen Cobert | NG: premieres a show about people obsessed with the imminent collapse of civilization, which hasn't been covered on TV in over a year. (04/18/12) [4:44]

Thursday April 19, 2012
International News

Debate Grows as Europe Fears Return of a Crisis
New York Times | NICHOLAS KULISH | 04/17/12

BERLIN -- The European financial crisis has shown signs of reigniting in recent days, sharpening the debate between the champions of austerity and a growing chorus urging more expansionary policies to promote growth.

Even the traditionally hard-line International Monetary Fund called on Tuesday for stronger European nations to ease the fiscal brakes by stretching out budget cuts over a longer period. But if that message was intended foremost for Germany, ... Read more

Iraq: Explosions In Baghdad, Kirkuk Claim Dozen Of Lives
Huffington Post | SINAN SALAHEDDIN | 04/19/12

BAGHDAD -- Bombings struck several areas in Baghdad and to the north Thursday, killing at least 30 people in the first major attacks in Iraq in nearly a month. The violence stoked fears that insurgents were trying to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government amid rising sectarian tensions. ... Read more

Domestic News

The Significance of Citigroup's Shareholder Revolt
Hufington Post | Robert Reich | 04/18/12

The shareholders of Wall Street giant Citigroup are out to prove that corporate democracy isn't an oxymoron. They've said no to the exorbitant $15 million pay package of Citi's CEO Vikram Pandit, as well as to the giant pay packages of Citi's four other top executives.  The vote, at Citigroup's annual meeting in Dallas Tuesday, isn't binding on Citigroup. But it's a warning shot across the bow of every corporate boardroom in America.

Shareholders aren't happy about executive pay.  And why should they be? CEO pay at large publicly-held corporations is now typically 300 times the pay of the average American worker. It was 40 times average worker pay in the 1960s and has steadily crept upward since then as corporations have morphed into "winner-take-all" contraptions that reward their top executives with boundless beneficence and perks while slicing the jobs, wages, and benefits of almost everyone else. ... Read more

Whale of a Problem: Regulators Subvert Will of Congress
Propublica | Jesse Eisinger | 04/18/12

To look like they were ready to comply with the Volcker Rule, the part of the Dodd-Frank Act that aims to prevent banks from gambling on their own account with money that taxpayers insure, financial firms quickly spun off or shut down their hedge funds, private equity firms and proprietary trading desks. ... YEA RIGHT? Read more

Halliburton 1Q 2012 Profits Rises To $627 Million On Record North American Revenue
Reuters | Author | 04/18/12

April 18 (Reuters) - Halliburton Co, the world's second-largest oilfield services company, on Wednesday reported higher quarterly profits as North American revenue reached a record high, lifting its shares in premarket trading. ... Read more

Read more

John Raese, Running for U.S. Senate as a Republican in West Virginia, Equates Smoking Ban To Hitler Policy
Huffington Post | Luke Johnson | 04/19/12

John Raese, running for U.S. Senate as a Republican in West Virginia, equated a county smoking ban with Hitler forcing Jews to wear the Star of David at a recent Republican event.  Speaking in Hurricane, W.Va., last Thursday at the Putnam County Lincoln Day Dinner, Raese turned to Monongalia County's recently enacted smoking ban as an example of government overreach.

"But in Monongalia County now, I have to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say this is a smoke-free environment. This is brought to you by the government of Monongalia County. Okay?" he said. "Remember Hitler used to put Star of David on everybody's lapel, remember that? Same thing." ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, April 19 [14:38]
DN | Tavis Smiley & Cornel West on "The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto" (04/19/12) [20:25]
DN | Back From Syria, Journalist Anand Gopal Warns Protesters "Face Slaughter" by Assad Regime (04/19/12) [7:34]

The Birth Of Barter: How One Greek Town Dropped The Euro And Moved On
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/18/12

Bartering is starting to come back... Read more
Greek Town Develops Bartering System (04/18/12) [2:32]

Bob Janjuah, "we are in midst of central bank anarchy"
Occupy Wall Street is Back!!!
TRNN | Spring Revival: Occupy Wall Street Seeks to Rejuvenate Movement (04/19/12) [7:06]
TRNN | Inequality and Instability Part 1 (04/17/12) [14:17], Part 2 [14:17]
How is the Gulf doing? Not So Well
The Big Fix Official Trailer (10/11/11) [2:15]
The Big Fix - Official Trailer [2:08]
The Big Fix - SHOCKING Interview by Ken Spector [25:18]
Health Warning: Oil And Corexit Are Poisoning The Gulf, Marine Life, Workers And Public!!! [12:38]
BP Oil Spill Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura [43:39]
Architects & Engineers - Solving the Mystery of WTC 7 - AE911Truth.org [15:00]
John Perkins - Economic Hitman
I like John Perkins interviews. He tells how America didn't really help developing nations during the 60s, 70s, but on the contrary took advantage of third world countries.
Economic Hit Man John Perkins on the New Banana Republic and USA, Inc. (04/05/12) [28:00]
John Perkins "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"Extended Interview 2008 [1:08:39]
John Perkins - The Secret History of the American Empire 2009 [1:24:24]


Wednesday April 18, 2012
International News
Domestic News

ALEC Retreats Under Pressure, Ends Push For 'Stand Your Ground,' Voter ID Laws (UPDATE)
Huffington Post | Dan Froomkin | 04/17/12

WASHINGTON -- The American Legislative Exchange Council, the controversial corporate-sponsored lobbying group whose push for "stand your ground" gun laws and voter ID legislation ignited grassroots protests, announced Tuesday that it is getting out of the social policy field to focus on core economic issues. ... Read more

ALEC has been hugely successful at turning corporate wish lists into "model" bills that conservative state legislators then claim as their own and pass. In its statement, ALEC said it would be "redoubling our efforts on the economic front, a priority that has been the hallmark of our organization for decades." The goal: "free-market, limited government, pro-growth policies."

Aspects of that agenda concern some members of the progressive community as much or more than ALEC's stands on social policy. Measures to bust unions, remove worker protections, slash corporate taxes and privatize huge swaths of the government "are a huge portion of their agenda," Graves said.

Moreover, on many social issues, ALEC has already achieved what it set out to achieve, Graves pointed out.

"So in some ways, it's just a PR maneuver on their part, to try to stanch the bleeding," she said.

Allen West On Communist Comment: 'I Don't Regret It Whatsoever'
Huffington Post | Jennifer Bendery | 04/17/12

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that he doesn't have any regrets about saying last week that as many as 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party, an incident that drew harsh criticis. ... Read more

"No, I don't regret it whatsoever," West said in response to a reporter asking about his comment. The freshman Republican, who took the question while participating in a panel discussion at conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, then proceeded to double down in his belief about liberal Democrats being communists.

"I think that if you would take the time to study the political spectrum of ideologies, you'd understand that, at the turn of the century, American communists renamed themselves as progressives," he said. "If you studied the Woodrow Wilson administration, people referred to the Woodrow Wilson administration as a progressive administration."
Comment: maybe we 99%ers are finally WAKING UP.

Citigroup Pay Proposal Rejected By Shareholders
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/17/12

Citigroup's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year continues.  The big bank last month suffered the ignominy of having the Federal Reserve nix its plan to raise its dividend from the nominal penny per share. And on Tuesday Citi shareholders rejected its pay plan for top executives, including nearly $15 million in pay-and a $40 million bonus--for CEO Vikram Pandit.

The say-on-pay vote, a feature of the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, isn't binding on Citigroup. But that slap on the face, with only 45 percent of investors approving Citi's pay plan, stings nonetheless. ... Read more

Occupy Citigroup's Compensation Plan: Seven And A Half Things To Know
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/18/12

Thing One: Sucks To Be Citi: The Occupy movement has come to the corporate boardroom.  In an unseemly display of activism that is clearly the work of socialist sympathizers, Citigroup shareholders on Tuesday rejected a pay plan that showers Citi CEO Vikram Pandit with millions in cash and bonuses despite his overseeing a 44 percent drop in the company's share price last year. The stock is up 33 percent this year, but still well below where it was at the end of 2010 and certainly well below its price before Pandit took over the company in late 2007, just before the financial crisis. It's the second major rebuke of the year for Citi, following the Fed's earlier smackdown of the bank's plan to increase its dividend. ... Read more

SEC Stall Leaves Key Dodd-Frank Rules More Than A Year Overdue
Huffington Post | Dan Froomkin | 04/17/12

WASHINGTON -- A full year after the official deadline came and went, key regulations necessary to enforce the Dodd-Frank financial reform law remain unwritten, leaving vast areas of the financial market still vulnerable to self-destruction and failing to discourage corrupt practices overseas.

Among the overdue regulations from the Securities and Exchange Commission alone are complicated rules, like those that would rein in the derivatives market, and simple rules, like the pending requirement that companies publicly reveal the median compensation of all their employees, the compensation of their CEO, and the ratio of the two. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, April 18 [13:39]
DN | ALEC Drops Push for Voter ID, Stand Your Ground Laws After Outcry Sparks Corporate Exodus (04/18/12) [20:54]
DN | Norway's Johan Galtung, Peace & Conflict Pioneer, Reflects on Norwegian Massacre (04/17/12) [11:28]
TRNN | US Isolated at Summit of Americas (04/16/12) [16:25]
TRNN | Inequality and Instability (04/17/12) [14:17]
Comment: I just ran across another documentary that I haven't seen before. It is about the Corporate News Media and how bias it is. I also noted that the issues surrounding Citizens United were also brought up here, i.e. granting "free speech rights for the transnational corporations". Orwell Rolls In His Grave - The One Thing The Media Doesn't Like To Talk About (2003) [1:45:26]
http://www.orwellrollsinhisgrave.com/
High Frequency Trading
Comment: There are things on Wall Street that are just WRONG... and this is one of them (naked shorts and unbridled commodities speculation are anothers). It is sad our government can't, or won't, stop these practices.

Is Speed Trader Mark Gorton Killing Wall Street?
Huffington Post | D.M. Levine | 04/18/12

Mark Gorton is sitting in the Zen garden on the roof of his office in downtown Manhattan, squinting into the sunlight and telling me he's not evil.

"If you listen to some of the rhetoric in the press recently, you'd think we were killing babies," Gorton says, in between sips of organic blood-orange soda as he leans forward in a wicker chair. He's upset that his business is being "tarred" by the bad publicity plaguing the rest of Wall Street. "What we're doing is a net positive for the world."

This is an interesting complaint because in many ways Mark Gorton is the new face of Wall Street. Gorton is a high-frequency trader. His company, Tower Research Capital LLC, with its 275-person global staff of engineers and computer science and physics majors, is part of an industry that today is responsible for more than half of all stock trading in the United States, according to the Tabb Group, a financial markets research and strategic advisory firm. Gorton's is an industry under scrutiny. Read more

Comment: This 60 Minutes episode exposes the HUGE amount of resources that are going toward this new type of trading. It is too bad the billions of dollars that are going into useless transactions aren't being used to rejuvenate our country! 60 Minutes | Wall Street: The Speed Traders

Tuesday April 17, 2012
International News
Domestic News

Foreclosure Crisis: Goldman Sachs Servicer, Total Disaster
propublica | Paul Kiel | 04/11/12

... As of the end of 2010, fewer than 12 percent of the borrowers who'd applied for a HAMP modification with Litton were granted one. The vast majority of those denials, Wyatt says, were not legitimate. Goldman Sachs' emphasis on maximizing profits rather than preventing foreclosures is typical of the servicing industry, he says, particularly the larger banks. ... Read more

Sheldon Adelson Gives $5 Million To Super PAC Backing House Republicans
Huffington Post | Paul Blumenthal | 04/16/12

WASHINGTON -- A super PAC launched to protect the Republican Party majority in the House of Representatives received its biggest infusion of cash to date as Sheldon Adelson and his wife contributed $5 million to the Congressional Leadership Fund in February.  The $5 million contribution from Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate who bankrolled a super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, launches the Congressional Leadership Fund into the top tier of super PACs just as the general election season begin. Read more

Billionaires fall in line
Politico | KENNETH P. VOGEL | 04/16/12

The super PAC mega-donors who dragged out the GOP primary are getting behind the establishment, rather than continuing to back rogue candidates and causes -- as some in the Republican Party feared.  Donors like Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess, who gave millions to anti-establishment presidential primary campaigns, are starting to fall in line -- promising to support Mitt Romney and cutting checks to groups fighting for congressional Republicans. ... Read more

Super PAC Track, What and Where are the Super PACs Spending?
ProPublica | Al Shaw | 04/16/12

This app, part of our long-term investigation into "dark money," keeps track of where super PACs are spending and raising their cash to influence the presidential race. Read more

The Rich Are Different From You and Me -- They Pay Lower Taxes
Huffington Post | Bill Moyers | 04/16/12

... Then look at this report in the New York Times: Last year, among the 100 best-paid CEOs, the median income was more than $14 million, compared with the average annual American salary of $45,230. Combined, this happy hundred executives pulled down more than two billion dollars.  What's more, according to the Times "... these CEOs might seem like pikers. Top hedge fund managers collectively earned $14.4 billion last year." No wonder some of them are fighting to kill a provision in the recent Dodd-Frank reform law that would require disclosing the ratio of CEO pay to the median pay of their employees. One never wishes to upset the help, you know. It can lead to unrest. ... Read more

Banks Seen Dangerous Defying Obama's Too-Big-to-Fail Move
Bloomberg | David J. Lynch | 04/16/12

Five banks -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve.

Five years earlier, before the financial crisis, the largest banks' assets amounted to 43 percent of U.S. output. The Big Five today are about twice as large as they were a decade ago relative to the economy, sparking concern that trouble at a major bank would rock the financial system and force the government to step in as it did in 2008 with the Fed-assisted rescue of Bear Stearns Cos. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, April 17 [13:38]
DN | AP Wins Pulitzer For Exposing Growth of NYPD as CIA-Like Intel Agency, Spying on Muslims (04/17/12) [17:37]
Washington Has Does Nothing to Stop Fraud
TRNN | Speculation and Criminal Manipulation of Food and Commodities Prices (04/12/12) [8:58]
TRNN | Global North VS South Over Financialization of Food (04/12/12) [17:26]
Eliot Spitzer says Wall Street wins, investors lose with JOBS Act (04/12/12) [7:04]
Eliot Spitzer says President Barack Obama was on Wall Street's side (04/12/12) [3:32]
The next couple of videos are older, but go well with the videos above.
Dylan Ratigan-Eliot Spitzer on Wall Street Problems (01/11/12) [9:49]
Dylan Ratigan ramps it up to 11 on Maddow show (01/02/12) [5:59]
Rachel Maddow Calls Out The Republican Lie That Obama Has Grown Government (01/14/12) [14:59]
Robert Reich Short Videos
I like Robert Reich's videos because they are short concise and don't cloud the issue. Some people might not agree with his views and think these videos are too simplistic. But, I would rather have a clear idea of someone's opposing views, then to have someone lie to me using obtuse arguements. Robert Reich | Military Industrial Congressional Complex (05/26/11) [2:09]
Robert Reich | Invest in America (07/05/11) [2:40]
Robert Reich | The Truth About the Economy (06/13/11) [2:38]
Robert Reich | Take Medicare Cuts Off the Table (05/23/11) [2:12]
Robert Reich | Spending Caps: The Republican Plan with Lipstick (05/02/11) [1:58]
Robert Reich | Aftershock: The next economy and America's future (09/22/10) [5:25]


Monday April 16, 2012
International News

Euro Area Seeks Bigger IMF War Chest on Spanish Concerns
Bloomberg | Patrick Donahue | 04/16/12

European officials travel to Washington this week seeking a bigger global war chest to combat the debt crisis as Spain's government battles to quell renewed market turmoil over its finances.  Three weeks after European leaders unveiled emergency euro- area funding exceeding the symbolic $1 trillion mark, concerns about Spain's position have ratcheted the nation's borrowing costs to the highest levels this year. Crisis-fighting resources will dominate talks at the International Monetary Fund's spring meeting in Washington from April 20-22. ... Read more

Kabul Attacks: Even Before Taliban Siege Ends, A Battle For Messaging Rages
Huffington Post | Joshua Hersh | 04/15/12

WASHINGTON -- It didn't take long after the first suicide bomber blew himself up in Sunday's dramatic -- and still ongoing -- siege of central Kabul by Taliban militants for both sides to claim victory. ... Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, told Agence France Presse on Sunday. "Today's attacks were the start of our spring offensive." ... Read more

Domestic News

A Veteran's Death, the Nation's Shame
New York Times | NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF | 04/14/12

HERE'S a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands.  An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year -- more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began. ... Read more

SEC Fails To Monitor More Than Half Of Stock Trading, Former Agency Lawyers Say
Huffington Post | D.M. Levine | 04/16/12

The Securities and Exchange Commission does not currently have the ability to fully monitor what, by most accounts, makes up a majority of the stock trading activity in the United States, according to former SEC lawyers. What's more, recent reforms and proposals are unlikely to make much of a difference, they say. ... Read more

Financial Instability For (Keynesian) Dummies
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/15/12

In a little under eight minutes, a plethora of today's more outspoken realists, economists, and journalists provide a simple yet clear path through the financial crisis to critically explain how the so-called equilibrium that so many mainstream analysts and economists trusted as fact has been proven as simple fiction. ... Read more

Sergey Brin, Google Co-Founder, Says Internet Freedom Facing Greatest Threat Ever
Huffington Post | Reuters | 04/15/12

... "There are very powerful forces that have lined up against the open Internet on all sides and around the world," Brin was quoted as saying. "I am more worried than I have been in the past. It's scary." ... Read more

Tornadoes Damage Midwest Towns, Residents Struggling To Recover
Huffington Post | SEAN MURPHY | 04/15/12

WOODWARD, Okla. -- The television was tuned to forecasters' dire warnings of an impending storm when Greg Tomlyanobich heard a short burst from a tornado siren blare after midnight Sunday. Then silence. Then rumbling. The 52-year-old quickly grabbed his wife and grandson, hurrying them into the emergency cellar as debris whirled around their heads at their mobile home park in northwest Oklahoma. They huddled inside with about 20 other people before the tornado -- among dozens that swept across the nation's midsection during the weekend -- roared across the ground above, ripping homes from their foundations. Read more

Tornado Alley has expanded!

"Pink Slime" controversy fuels agriculture clash
Reuters | P.J. Huffstutter | 04/16/12

Standing before a crowd of McDonald's Corp shareholders at its headquarters last spring, an unlikely investor prepared for battle. Paul Shapiro, a senior official of the Humane Society of the United States, brandished a sheet of paper. The fast-food chain was serving eggs to Americans from caged chickens, he said, each living in a space smaller than the paper rectangle. Why was that? ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, April 16 [9:33]
Latin America v. Obama: U.S. Policy Under Fire at Colombian Summit (04/16/12) [14:04]
High Frequency Trading on Wall Street
High Frequency Trading makes up to 70% of all trades on Wall Street. See the article in the left column: "SEC Fails To Monitor More Than Half Of Stock Trading, Former Agency Lawyers Say".
60 Minutes | Wall Street: The Speed Traders
TEDx | NewWallStreet - Sean Gourley - High frequency trading
Financial Instability For (Keynesian) Dummies
Financial Instability Mini-Documentary
Secret Societies | Shadow Governments
Bilderberg Group
Jesse Ventura: "Secret Societies"
Bohemian Grove
Bohemian Grove (The World's Elite!) History Channel (2011) Part 1 [15:00], Part 2 [15:08], Part 3 [13:52]
FEMA, Fusion Centers, HomeLand Security
Police State 4: The Rise of FEMA [2:20:38]
Trilateral Commission, Council for Foreign Relations, New World Order
Invisible Empire A New World Order Defined
Making of the "Lord of the Rings"
I spent the weekend looking at this documentary. It is facinating and gives a great view of what it takes to make a movie.
J.R.R. Tolkien - Creator of Middle-earth


    From Book to Vision
  1. J.R.R. Tolkien - Creator of Middle-earth Part 1 [11:37], Part 2 [10:52]
  2. From Book to Script Part 1 [10:34], Part 2 [9:31]
  3. Storyboards and Pre-Viz: Making Words Into Images [13:32]
  4. Designing Middle-earth Part 1 [14:38], Part 2 [11:24], Part 3 [15:18]
  5. Weta Workshop Part 1 [15:17], Part 2 [14:02], Part 3 [13:56]
  6. Costume Design [11:34]

  7. From Vision to Reality
  8. The Fellowship of The Cast Part 1 [13:19], Part 2 [7:12], Part 3 [14:16]
  9. A Day In the Life of a Hobbit [13:07]
  10. Cameras in Middle-earth Part 1 [12:42], Part 2 [9:24], Part 3 [13:50], Part 4 [13:53]
  11. Scale Part 1 [10:12], Part 2 [5:28]
  12. Big-Atures Part 1 [7:17], Part 2 [8:58]
  13. Weta Digital Part 1 [14:43], Part 2 [10:09]
  14. Editorial: Assembling an Epic [12:46]
  15. Digital Grading [12:09]
  16. The Soundscapes of Middle-earth [12:37]
  17. Music for Middle-earth [12:29]
  18. The Road Goes Ever On... [5:08]

  19. The Journey Continues
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-earth Part 1 [14:12], Part 2 [15:22]
  21. From Book to Script: Finding the Story Part 1 [8:23], Part 2 [12:41]
  22. Designing Middle-earth Part 1 [14:58], Part 2 [15:29], Part 3 [15:26]
  23. Weta Workshop Part 1 1[14:52], Part 2 [14:34], Part 3 [14:25]
  24. The Taming of Smeagol [1/3] Part 1 [13:49], Part 2 [12:11], Part 3 [13:45]

  25. The Two Towers - The Battle for Middle-earth Begins
  26. Warriors of the Third Age Part 1 [9:47], Part 2 [11:12]
  27. J.R.R. Tolkien (The Legacy of Middle-earth) Part 1 [14:59], Part 2 [14:33]
  28. Cameras in Middle-earth Part 1 [11:32], Part 2 [12:56], Part 3 [13:20], Part 4 [14:54], Part 5 [14:53]
  29. Big-atures - Models Part 1 [8:42], Part 2 [13:12]
  30. Weta Digital Part 1 [15:21], Part 2 [12:18]
  31. Refining the Story Part 1 [11:27], Part 2 [10:32]
  32. Music for Middle-earth Parrt 1 [13:14], Part 2 [12:16]
  33. The Soundscapes of Middle-earth Part 1 [8:45], Part 2 [12:43]
  34. 'The Battle for Helm's Deep is Over...' [6:28]

  35. The War of the Ring
  36. Designing Middle-earth Part 1 [14:13], Part 2 [13:07], Part 3 [12:53]
  37. Big-atures Part 1 [11:21], Part 2 [8:39]
  38. Weta Workshop Part 1 [13:35], Part 2 [10:57], Part 3 [12:52], Part 4 [10:15]
  39. Costume Design [12:04]
  40. Home of the Horse Lords Part 1 [15:12], Part 2 [15:09]

  41. Return of the King
  42. Cameras in Middle-earth Part 1 [15:28], Part 2 [13:06], Part 3 [15:19], Part 4 [14:48], Part 5 [14:42]
  43. Weta Digital Part 1 [15:26], Part 2 [12:25], Part 3 [14:27]
  44. Editorial: Completing the Trilogy Part 1 [12:10], Part 2 [10:13]
  45. Music for Middle-earth Part 1 [11:24], Part 2 [10:44]
  46. The Soundscapes of Middle-earth Part 1 [11:55], Part 2 [10:21]
  47. The End of All Things Part 1 [8:27], Partr 2 [13:04]
  48. The Passing of an Age Part 1 [9:42], Part 2 [9:42]

  49. Tolkien's: The Real Middle Earth (a documentary made by different people)
  50. Tolkien's: The Real Middle Earth [58:37]
  51. The Real Middle Earth - Extra Feature 1 [8:26]
  52. The Real Middle Earth - Extra Feature 2 [10:00]
  53. The Real Middle Earth - Extra Feature 3 [14:35]
  54. The Real Middle Earth - Extra Feature 4 [5:58]
  55. The Real Middle Earth - Extra Feature 5 [5:00]

  56. Audio Books
  57. The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring Audio Book Part 1 [8:31:29], Part 2 [10:23:52]
  58. The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers Audio Book Part 1 [8:44:08], Part 2 [7:51:49]
  59. The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King Audio Book Part 1 [10:11:35], Part 2 [7:07:43]

Friday April 13, 2012
International News

Pakistan To USA: No More Drone Strikes
Huffington Post | Reuters | 04/12/12

ISLAMABAD, April 12 (Reuters) - Pakistan's parliament on Thursday unanimously approved recommendations from its national security committee on ties with the United States, including a demand to end drone strikes. Read more

Domestic News

Irving Moskowitz, Controversial Backer Of Israeli Settlements, Gives $1 Million To Anti-Obama Super PAC
Huffington Post | Paul Blumenthal | 04/12/12

A retired physician who made a fortune purchasing hospitals and running bingo and casino operations in the economically depressed California town of Hawaiian Gardens, Moskowitz is well-known to those who follow the Israel-Palestine conflict. His contributions to far-right Jewish settler groups, questionable archaeological projects and widespread land purchases in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have routinely inflamed the region over the past four decades and, according to many familiar with the conflict, made him a key obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Read more

PAC Track: What and Where are the Super PACs Spending?
ProPublica | Al Shaw and Kim Barker | updated 04/12/12

Two federal court rulings in 2010 paved the way for the ascent of "super PACs," political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on political races, as long as they don't coordinate with a specific candidate. And so far, they're spending heavily on the Republican race. This app, part of our long-term investigation into "dark money," keeps track of where super PACs are spending and raising their cash to influence the presidential race.   Read more

Call It the Reagan Rule
Huffington Post | Chris Weigant | 04/12/12

President Barack Obama is using the week before income taxes are due to make a full-court press for the vote next week in the Senate on the so-called "Buffett Rule" -- which would force people making a million bucks a year to pay higher taxes than their secretaries. Read more

2012 Wildfire Season: Western States Prepare For Dangerous Fires
Huffington Post | REMA RAHMAN | 04/12/12

DENVER -- The West's 2012 wildfire season exploded in earnest last month with a wind-whipped blaze that killed three people in rugged alpine canyon country near Denver. It took a 700-strong federal firefighting team a week of labor, day and night, to tame the blaze -- and other states throughout the West took notice. Fire experts say this year's drought, low snowpack and record-high temperatures in much of the West portend a dangerous installment of what has become a year-round wildfire threat. Read more

Drought expands throughout USA
USA Today | Doyle Rice | date

Still reeling from last year's devastating drought that led to at least $10 billion in agricultural losses across Texas and the South, the nation is enduring another unusually parched year. A mostly dry, mild winter has put nearly 61% of the lower 48 states in "abnormally dry" or drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly federal tracking of drought. That's the highest percentage of dry or drought conditions since September 2007, when 61.5% of the country was listed in those categories.

Only two states -- Ohio and Alaska -- are entirely free of abnormally dry or drought conditions, according to the Drought Monitor. The drought is expanding into some areas where dryness is rare, such as New England. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, April 13 [11:14]
Today we have "Occupy Wall Street", back in the 60s there was the SDS (Student for Democratic Society). DN | SDS Founder, Tom Hayden on Participatory Democracy From Port Huron to Occupy Wall Street (04/13/12) [30:43]
Diane Rehm's Show
Domestic News - Friday 04/13/12
International News - Friday 04/13/12
TYT | Polls Prove America is Progressive 904/11/12) [9:45]
TYT | Buffett Rule (04/11/12) [4:37]
A short cute video on the strength of words. The Power of Words: Andrea Gardner's book 'Change Your Words, Change Your World' on www.amazon.com

'Tornado Alley' grows wider, report says
USA Today | Doyle Rice | 04/12/12

A report finds that the traditional boundaries of Tornado Alley -- which has centered on the Plains states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota -- should be expanded to include much of the Midwest and Deep South, because the frequency and severity of tornadoes in those areas is much more widespread than commonly believed. Read more

The Way Back Machine
This is an older interview between TRNN and William K. Black on the Financial Crisis Bill Black: Economic Collapse Part 1 [10:00], Part 2 [10:00], Part 3 [10:00], Part 4 [10:00], Part 5 [10:00] great interview


Thursday April 12, 2012
International News

IMF's Lagarde Says Europe Still Main Economic Risk
Bloomberg | Sandrine Rastello | 04/12/12

... Lagarde's efforts over the past six months to get $500 billion in additional lending resources have been met with reluctance from member countries to contribute in the absence of further European action. Her comments today come as Spain sees borrowing costs nearing levels that prompted Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek bailouts from the European Union and the IMF. ... Read more

Huge quakes off Indonesia stir panic, but no big tsunami
Reuters | Reza Munawir | 04/11/12

A powerful 8.6 magnitude earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks struck off Indonesia on Wednesday, sending people scurrying from buildings as far away as southern India, but there seemed little risk of a disastrous tsunami as in 2004. Read more

Mexico City Buildings Shaken by Magnitude 7 Earthquake
Bloomberg | Jonathan Roeder | 04/11/12

Mexico City buildings shook today during a magnitude 7 earthquake that struck the country's western coast. Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said on his Twitter account that the city's main services, including subways and hospitals, were working after the quake and no damage had been detected. Some buildings were evacuated in central Mexico City. Read more

Domestic News

How Did Mitt Make So Much Money and Pay So Little in Taxes?
Huffington Post | Robert Reich | 04/12/12

Now that Mitt Romney is the presumed Republican candidate, it's fair to ask how he made so much money ($21 million in 2010 alone) and paid such a low rate of taxes (only 13.9 percent). Not only fair to ask, but instructive to know. Because the magic of private equity reveals a lot about how and why our economic system has become so distorted and lopsided -- why all the gains are going to the very top while the rest of us aren't going anywhere. The magic of private equity isn't really magic at all. It's a magic trick -- and it's played on you and me.   Read more

Chris Martenson: "Are We Heading For Another 2008?"
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/11/12

We all know that central banks and governments have been actively intervening in markets since the 2007 subprime mortgage meltdown destabilized the leveraged-debt-dependent global economy. We also know that unprecedented intervention is now the de facto institutionalized policy of central banks and governments. Read more

Apple Is Now Larger Than...
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/11/2

The Apple comparisons have come thick and fast but today's Bloomberg Chart-of-the-day really highlights the macro fundamental weakness in Europe and the micro-bubble in corporate America's shiny new toy. Apple's market cap is larger than the combined market cap of companies in Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Read more

Lenders Again Dealing Credit to Risky Clients
NYT | JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG | 04/10/12

But as financial institutions recover from the losses on loans made to troubled borrowers, some of the largest lenders to the less than creditworthy, including Capital One and GM Financial, are trying to woo them back, while HSBC and JPMorgan Chase are among those tiptoeing again into subprime lending. Read more

TARP Bailout Money Fails To Reach Neediest Homeowners After Two Years: Report
Huffington Post | Loren Berlin | 04/12/12

The Hardest Hit Fund, a $7.6 billion initiative established by the federal government in February 2010 to help families in states most crippled by the collapsed housing market, has distributed just 3 percent of its money -- or $217.4 million -- to help homeowners, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Fund, or SIGTARP.

"Look at the TARP money that goes out to the banks," said Special Inspector General Christy Romero in an interview with The Huffington Post. "That goes out in a matter of days. This has been two years and only 3 percent of these funds have trickled out to homeowners."

The Hardest Hit Fund has helped just slightly more than 30,000 homeowners, or 7 percent of the roughly 480,000 homeowners targeted for assistance Read more

Comment: good article on the cost/obstacles facing the wind power industry.

Wind Power Seen Surging as Custom Barges Cut Set-up Costs
Bloomberg | Alex Morales | 04/10/12

While sea-based wind power is among the most expensive forms of renewable energy, countries including the U.K. have promoted large-scale projects to add jobs, harness the stronger winds offshore and lessen the noise and visual impact of turbines on nearby communities. Offshore wind costs about $232 a megawatt-hour of power generated, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That compares with about $80 for onshore wind, $62 for gas-fired plants and $77 for coal. The government supports the industry with incentives for power produced by renewable energy sources. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, April 12 [10:46]
DN | Outrage Over "Stand Your Ground Laws" After Trayvon Murder Sparks Corporate Exodus from ALEC (04/12/12) [12:27]
If you thought SOPA and PIPA were bad, here comes CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act).
TYT | CISPA = SOPA 2.0? (04/10/12) [5:55]
RT | CISPA: Nightmare Cybersecurity Bill
Robert Reich: How Did Mitt Romney Get So Obscenely Rich? Robert Reich Explains (04/11/12) [2:51]

Talking Wall Street Accountability with Spitzer, Ratigan and Others
Rolling Stone | Matt Taibbi | 03/27/12

Matt Taibbi | A quick housekeeping note: I'm going to be appearing at an event at Gaston Hall at Georgetown University tonight, at 7:00 p.m. The event, called "Blueprint for Accountability," is a wide-ranging discussion about Wall Street that includes Governor Spitzer, Ron Suskind, OWS activist Jesse LaGreca, and is moderated by Dylan Ratigan. You can watch it live below, or on ForaTV. For more info, check out this article. Read more

Note: Once you open the video window, scroll down about an inch to center the video. Sorry for the inconvenience.
The Wall Street-Washington Connection (03/27/12) [1:26:00]

Back to the Future
The Real News Network Interviews Wilkerson on Dick Cheney
I was watching some of the older TRNN interviews and I thought this one was great. It basically talks about the systematic dismantling of our regulatory systems by Dick Cheney when he was Vice President.
TRNN | Wilkerson on Cheney, Part 1 (06/07/10) [12:39]
TRNN | Cheney's push of deregulators led to BP disaster, Part 2 (06/08/10) [9:02]
TRNN | Cheney wanted new cold war with China, Part 3 (06/10/10) [10:04]
TRNN | Cheney and far right lead Republicans over cliff, Part 4 (06/10/10) [10:04]
And a bit of humor provided by Jon Steward.
Jon Steward | The media analyze George Zimmerman's 911 call and don hoodies,following the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida; while in other news, Dick Cheney gets a new heart. (03/26/12) [8:39]

Wednesday April 11, 2012
International News

Media roundup: An imminent strike on Iran?
Aljazeera | Matthew Cassel | 04/09/12

Some commentators compare the escalating rhetoric on Iran with the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq. Read more

Analysis: Investors run scared of Spain's battered banks
Reuter | Sinead Cruise | 04/11/12

Spain's banks are fast joining the ranks of the most unloved in Europe just as many need to raise capital urgently, deserted by investors who believe the country is on the brink of a recession that many lenders will not survive. The government has ruled out more state aid for a sector that comprises a motley mix of international lenders and heavily indebted local savings banks. That leaves two options: raising private capital or turning to the EU for bailout funds. Read more

Domestic News

George W. Bush: I Wish They Weren't Called 'Bush Tax Cuts'
Huffington Post | Author | 04/10/12

Former President George W. Bush spoke on fiscal policy on Tuesday, taking a jab at President Obama's tax plan and expressing a regret on his own cuts enacted during his first term. Read more

The Era Of Independent Central Banks Is Over
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/10/12

Federal debt has expanded by $9.5 trillion - from $5.7 trillion in 2000 to $15.2 trillion at the end of last year and, as Neal Soss of Credit Suisse notes, is still growing over $1 trillion a year (or $5 billion per day). The state of fiscal sustainability, as explained in this compendium of slides, is perilous...   Read more

McDonalds becomes fifth major sponsor to cut ties with ALEC
RawStory | Eric W. Dolan | 04/10/12

McDonalds said Tuesday that it would not renew its membership with the American Legislative Exchange Council, making it the fifth major sponsor to drop its support this month. "While [we] were a member of ALEC in 2011, we evaluate all professional memberships annually and made the business decision not to renew in 2012," Ashlee Yingling, a McDonald's spokeswoman, told Mother Jones.

The conservative organization, better known simply as ALEC, drafts model bills for legislators and has been a driving force behind voter ID laws, business-friendly tort reforms, Arizona's controversial immigration law, and efforts to privatize public education. Read more

How Romney Fibs -- and Gets Away With It
MotherJones | David Corn | 04/05/12

... At the start of his remarks, Romney praised the media -- while noting he was sometimes irked by coverage of his campaign -- and nobly observed that voters will be "informed by your coverage" and will "hopefully... have an accurate understanding" of the 2012 race and the choice at hand, due to hard-working journalists chronicling the contest. But then Romney went on to hurl a series of utterly untrue remarks. ... Read more

Comment
The below article shows how convoluted the mortgage industry is, especially concening the big banks, but what I found sad was that people are loosing their homes for thousands of dollars, while BOA settles "cost of doing business" lawsuits for millions of dollars. For the cost of some of these lawsuits many thousands of people could have been kept in their homes.

Bank Of America Sues Itself In Unusual Foreclosure Case
Hufington Post | Zach Carter | 04/10/12

Read more

Bank Of America Forecloses On Pamela Flores' House After Telling Her To Miss Payments
Huffington Post | Alexander Eichler | 04/10/12

... In many cases, banks have advised struggling homeowners to miss payments in order to qualify for a loan modification -- only to turn around and foreclose on the homeowner instead. The same thing allegedly happened to Frank and Deana Dixon of Scituate, Massachusetts and Annette Lake of Santa Clara, the latter also dealing with BofA. The practice is so common that it was one of the central subjects of a Senate banking committee hearing in December 2010. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, April 11 [10:41]
DN | Active-Duty Army Whistleblower Lt Col Daniel Davis: US Deceiving Public on Afghan War Part 1 (04/11/12) [15:16], Part 2 [15:16]
George W. Bush On Tax Policy & Growth (04/10/12) [4:08]
Rachel Maddow | exPresident Bush talks about the Bush Tax Cuts (04/11/12) [12:00]
Comment: I'm re-posting this TRNN video because it seems like ALL the regulations/laws that Congress is passing are just for looks/smoke screen and do little to re-regulate/solve the problems in Washington and Wall Street. TRNN | Jobs Act 2012 a Recipe for Fraud (04/04/12) [11:24]
Comment: This is a long video, but a good story. The reactors/cooling pools at Fukushima are not totally shut down. The area is so radioactive neither man or robot can work in the area. You can skip the first 4:20 minutes by moving the progressbar about 2inches.
Rachel Maddow | Fukushima, man made problem that we can't fix (04/09/12) [16:06]
Rachel Maddow | FukushimaCity residence fear radiation is spreading outside of exclusion zone (03/07/12) [10:12]
Rachel Maddow | Reports on the billionaires that are supporting our politicians (02/20/12) [8:20]
Dylan Ratigan | Breakout Nation in pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles (04/09/12) [11:02]
TYT | Doomsday Preppers Buy Luxury Shelters For Apocalypse (04/09/12) [5:32]
Jon Steward | Jack Goldsmith's book "Power and Constraint" argues that, surprisingly, America's governmental checks and balances do a pretty decent job of constraining executive power (04/04/12) [7:27]

Tuesday April 10, 2012
International News

In Europe, Unease Over Bank Debt
NYT | LIZ ALDERMAN | 04/08/12

...New data shows that Spanish and Italian banks have been buying such debt in record amounts after the European Central Bank lent financial institutions billions in cheap money over the winter in the hopes that banks would buy more bonds from their own government to tamp down national borrowing costs, which had earlier shot toward the high levels that forced Greece to take a bailout. ... Read more

Domestic News

Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse
RollingStones | Matt Taibbi | 04/09/12

Boy, do I feel like an idiot. I've been out there on radio and TV in the last few months saying that I thought there was a chance Barack Obama was listening to the popular anger against Wall Street that drove the Occupy movement, that decisions like putting a for-real law enforcement guy like New York AG Eric Schneiderman in charge of a mortgage fraud task force meant he was at least willing to pay lip service to public outrage against the banks. Then the JOBS Act happened.

The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market.

In fact, one could say this law is not just a sweeping piece of deregulation that will have an increase in securities fraud as an accidental, ancillary consequence. No, this law actually appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets. Read more

JPMorgan Trader Iksil Fuels Prop-Trading Debate With Bets
Bloomberg | Shannon D. Harrington | 04/06/12

Iksil's influence in the market has spurred some counterparts to dub him Voldemort, after the Harry Potter villain. He works in London in the bank's chief investment office, which has assembled traders from across Wall Street to its staff of 400 who help oversee $350 billion in investments. While the firm describes the unit's main task as hedging risks and investing excess cash, four hedge-fund managers and dealers say the trades are big enough to move indexes and resemble proprietary bets, or wagers made with the bank's own money.   Read more

Analysis: Short on tools, central banks left with words
Reuters | Pedro da Costa | 04/08/12

As U.S. Treasury yields began to rise in late March on signs of an economic recovery, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave a speech that focused on the weakness of the labor market. Stocks and bond markets rallied on hopes that this meant he was gearing up for a third round of quantitative easing or QE3.

The following week, the release of minutes from the Fed's March meeting painted a much more hawkish picture, with a dwindling number of voting members on the Federal Open Market Committee - just two of 10 - actively considering more stimulus.   Read more

Is the Fed Promoting Recovery or Desperation?
www.hussman.net | John P. Hussman, Ph.D | 04/09/12

Immediately after the payroll number was released, CNBC shot out a news story titled "Disappointing Jobs Report Revives Talk of Fed Easing." Of course it does, because this remains a market dependent on sugar. And with little doubt the Fed will eventually deliver it - perhaps following a market plunge of 25% or more - but with little doubt nonetheless, because like the indulgent parent of a spoiled toddler, the FOMC can't stand to see Wall Street throw a tantrum without reaching for a lollipop.   Read more

Corporate Tax Rates: Fortune 500 Companies That Make Money From Taxes
Huffington Post | Harry Bradford | 04/09/12

Instead of giving money to the government, it turns out more than a few U.S. companies are actually making money off their income taxes.

In a recent report by the Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, 26 of 30 Fortune 500 companies examined had negative income tax rates on profits made in the U.S. between 2008 and 2011 (h/t Think Progress).

The findings may seem contradictory with recent news that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate among developed nations at 39.2 percent. But due to loopholes in the tax code and federal tax subsidies, very few companies actually end up paying the full "statutory" rate.

As it stands now, the actual tax rate corporations pay, called the "effective" tax rate, is at 12.1 percent of profits, the lowest level it's been since 1972, Think Progress reports. Likewise, tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product is at lows not seen since the 1940s, according to CTJ. Read more

The Best Congress the Banks' Money Can Buy
Huffington Post | Bill Moyers | 04/09/12

Here we go again. Another round of the game we call Congressional Creep. After months of haggling and debate, Congress finally passes reform legislation to fix a serious rupture in the body politic, and the president signs it into law. But the fight's just begun, because the special interests immediately set out to win back what they lost when the reform became law.

They spread money like manure on the campaign trails of key members of Congress. They unleash hordes of lobbyists on Capitol Hill, cozy up to columnists and editorial writers, spend millions on lawyers who relentlessly pick at the law, trying to rewrite or water down the regulations required for enforcement. Before you know it, what once was an attempt at genuine reform creeps back toward business as usual.

It's happening right now with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act -- passed two years ago in the wake of our disastrous financial meltdown. Just last week, for example, both parties in the House overwhelmingly approved two bills that already would change Dodd-Frank's rules on derivatives -- those convoluted trading deals recently described by the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as "the largest dark pool in our financial markets."

Especially vulnerable is a key provision of Dodd-Frank known as the Volcker Rule, so named by President Obama after the former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. It's an attempt to keep the banks in which you deposit your money from gambling your savings on the bank's own, sometime risky investments. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, April 10 [14:54]
DN | Training Terrorists in Nevada: Seymour Hersh on U.S. Aid to Iranian Group. Part 1 (04/10/12) [12:38], Part 2 [15:03]
This is older video, but I liked the message. It really shows the despair in the Palestinian people. Why don't the neocons in both, Israel and the United States, realize that making people misserable, i.e. Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghanistans, doesn't accomplish anything.
Death in Gaza Documentary [1:20:54]
U.S. Economic and Jobs Outlook (04/10/12)

TYT | Iran War Would 'Be A Nightmare' - Israeli Foreign Minister (04/08/12) [3:02]
TYT | $44 Trillion In Wall Street Bets (04/08/12) [3:33]
TYT | Gov. Christie's Corporate Welfare Results (04/06/12) [3:30]

Our Step-By-Step Guide to Understanding ALEC's Influence on Your State Laws
ProPublica | Lois Beckett | 08/01/11

For decades, a discreet nonprofit has brought together state legislators and corporate representatives to produce business-friendly "model" legislation. These "model" bills form the basis of hundreds of pieces of legislation each year, and they often end up as laws. As media scrutiny of the nonprofit -- the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC -- has grown, we've built both a guide and a searchable database so you can see for yourself how ALEC's model bills make their way to statehouses.   Read more

Sony forecasts record annual loss of $6.4bn
Eljazeera | Author | 04/10/12

Japanese electronics giant Sony has forecast an annual loss of $6.4bn, double its previous estimate and a record loss for the firm.

In its forecast revealed on Tuesday, the company blamed the record loss on tax charges related to its US business. The company is planning to cut 10,000 job as Sony exits businesses that are not profitable or central to the firm's strategy.

In February, it had projected an annual net loss $2.7bn due to weak TV sales, the strong yen and from disruptions to production from flooding in Thailand. That estimate has since been revised upward to $6.4bn. Read more

Way Back Machine
Palestine-Israel 101 [32:45]


Monday April 09, 2012
International News

Spain's Death Spiral and the Hypocrisy of the Euro
Time | MichaelSchuman | 04/05/12

Anyone out there who thinks the euro zone debt crisis is over -- and you know who you are -- should take a good look at what's going on in Spain. If Italy represented the biggest threat to the euro in 2011, then Spain will be the big story of 2012. Whatever numbers you look at, Spain is in a death spiral, a self-defeating circle of recession and austerity that is sending one of Europe's most important members into an economic dark ages. Spain today represents all of the failings of the monetary union, from its misconceived inception to its misguided approach to the debt crisis.   Read more

Domestic News

OFF TO AN UGLY START
CNN Money | CNNMoney staff | 04/09/12

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) was down, 139 points, or 0.1%, shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 (SPX) tumbled 16 points, or 1.2%, and Nasdaq (COMP) slid 43 points, or 1.4%. On Friday, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs in March, following three straight monthly gains of 200,000 jobs or more, a trend that economists expected would continue.   Read more

The Gullible Center: So, can we talk about the Paul Ryan phenomenon?
NYT | PAUL KRUGMAN | 04/08/12

And yes, I mean the phenomenon, not the man. Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the principal author of the last two Congressional Republican budget proposals, isn't especially interesting. He's a garden-variety modern G.O.P. extremist, an Ayn Rand devotee who believes that the answer to all problems is to cut taxes on the rich and slash benefits for the poor and middle class.   Read more
Tax Policy Center

Federal Funds to Train the Jobless Are Drying Up
New York Times | MOTOKO RICH | 04/8/12

But a usually reliable source of workers, the local government-financed job center, could offer little help, because the federal money that local officials had designated to help train drivers was already exhausted. Without the government assistance, many of the people who would be interested in applying for the driving jobs could not afford the $4,000 classes to obtain commercial driver's licenses. Now Atlas is struggling to find eligible drivers.   Read more

Extreme Weather Of The Week
Huffington Post | API | 04/08/12

This week saw extreme weather around the world, but Texas was particularly hard hit in the U.S. Officials estimated that between six and 12 tornadoes hit North Texas on Tuesday, reported the Associated Press.   Read more

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Republicans Are 'Rooting For Economic Failure'
Huffington Post | Alana Horowitz | 04/08/12

Asked about March's jobs report, Schultz said, "We have got a ways to go, we need to keep pushing. But what's really bothersome to me, Candy, is that it almost seems like my Republican colleagues in Congress and Mitt Romney are rooting for economic failure." The DNC chair said that the Republicans are focusing too much on winning the presidential election in November and not enough on job creation.   Read more

Why We've Lost the War on Terror
Huffington Post | Jess Coleman | 04/09/12

The Supreme Court, which is meant to be the ultimate protector of justice, ruled on Monday that law enforcement may strip-search people arrested for any offense, even if their is no reason to suspect the presence of contraband. Most disturbingly, Senator Kelly Ayotte recently rose before the U.S. Senate and declared, "No member of Al Qaeda, no terrorist, should ever hear the words 'You have the right to remain silent.'" Now, you may think supporting these efforts makes you seem "tough on terrorism." But I am aware of no time in history that the U.S. was so willing to abandon essential values with virtually no opposition. That, folks, is exactly what Al Qaeda wanted.   Read more

The US Recorded Its Warmest March In History And All We Got Was This Timelapse Video
Zero Hedge | Author |04/09/12

NOAA just released confirmation that the first quarter of 2012 was the warmest on record. The fact that we rely on 'seasonal adjustments' in macro data that are so critical in our seeming belief in the recovery of the US economy (and its extrapolation into how many iPads will be bought next month) when the temperature is 20% hotter than average is simply incredible. ... Read more


DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, April 9 [14:10]
DN | From Political Prisoner to Climate Activist: Ousted Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed (04/09/12) [26:36]
Israel: living conditions deteriorate, more money to army (01/11/12) [9:26]
TRNN | Arab League Meeting in Iraq Shows Deep Divisions Over Syria (04/05/12) [11:08]
TRNN | "Friends of Syria" Push Civil War (04/04/12) [9:10]

Gangster Banks Keep Winning Public Business. Why?
Rolling Stone | Matt Taibbi | 03/27/12

Matt Taibi: A friend of mine sent this article from Bloomberg, along with the simple comment: "Perfect." What's perfect? That the banks that have been caught repeatedly ripping off communities and munipalities -- banks that have paid hefty settlements for rigging bids, bribery and other sordid misdeeds -- keep winning the most public business. Apparently, our public officials aren't concerned about whom they hire to serve as the people's investment bankers. From the piece, entitled "JPMorgan Claims No. 1 for Government Debt After Jefferson County".
Read more

NSA/CSS Opens Its Newest Facility In Georgia
NSA Website | Author | 03/05/12
Read more

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center
Wired.com | James Bamford | 03/15/12
Read more



Way Back Machine
TRNN | The Cost of Full Spectrum Dominance (02/11/12) [13:15]

Friday April 06, 2012
International News
Domestic News

Eric Cantor's Obama Comments Contradict Mitt Romney Attack Line
Huffington Post | Chris Gentilviso | 04/05/12

After Barack Obama signed the JOBS Act into law on Thursday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) made comments that appeared to contradict one of Mitt Romney's standby attack lines against the president.

"The president said today that he's always believed that it's the private sector that is the job generator in this country," Cantor told reporters, according to MSNBC's First Read. "I agree with him, and I think most Americans agree with him."  That statement is at odds with Romney's frequent assertion that Obama thinks of government, not business, as fueling economic growth.   Read more

JOBS Act Will Be Holiday For Fraudsters: Seven And A Half Things To Know
Huffington Post | Mark Gongloff | 04/05/12

Thing One: Turn Back The Clock: Are you sad that you missed a chance to blow all of your money on tech IPOs like Pets.com or Webvan back in the 1990s? Well, buck up, because happy days are here again.

President Obama this afternoon will sign into law an abomination known as the JOBS Act, something he pushed through Congress, an easy task given its wide bipartisan support. It's a terrible bill, as we and others have written in the past, and the rest of the world seems to slowly be catching on to the idea. Read more

American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Ultra-Conservative Lobby, Loses 2 Major Funders, Coca Cola and Pepsico
Huffington Post | Dan Froomkin | 04/05/12

WASHINGTON -- Succumbing to pressure from public interest groups, Coca Cola and Pepsico have severed their ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an ultra-conservative lobby group that has pushed so-called Stand Your Ground gun legislation and voter-identification bills through state legislatures across the country.

Public interest groups, including ColorOfChange.org and Campus Progress, have long been trying to break up the powerful alliance between corporations minding their financial interests and conservative activists pursuing a right-wing social agenda.   Read more

JPMorgan Trader Accused Of "Breaking" CDS Index Market With Massive Prop Position
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/05/12

...And that, for those confused, is how JPMorgan operates: they lie about everything, fully aware they have perpetual immunity because they are more powerful than the Fed (just recall Jamie Dimon's symbolic spitting in the face of Ben Bernanke), they are a tri-party repo dealer thus in the center of the entire shadow banking system, and have the biggest single-bank derivative exposure in the world, at $70 trillion as of December 31. ... Read more and Bloomberg

Mike Krieger Explains Central Planning for Dummies
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/05/12

What we need to understand is that we are in one of the most dangerous phases of this crisis at the moment. The priests of fiat are being attacked from all sides. People have awoken to the Fed and how criminal and deceitful this organization is and the existential threat it poses to economic freedom and hence human liberty. The arguments against the Fed are blistering and the only rebuttal the Fed has is to spout the same old nonsense like "we saved the world" or some trite derivative of this fallacy. The only thing they saved are untalented speculators from their bad bets. What the Fed has systematically done is literally transfer all of the bad debts and bets from the banks to the taxpayer. We are living this reality to this day. This fact is becoming increasingly understood throughout society, hence the emergence of the tea party and then last year's Occupy Wall Street movement. So the thing I want my readers to really internalize is that the Fed and indeed TPTB generally are getting slaughtered in the intellectual arena and they know it. As a result, they feel cornered and will thus act increasingly aggressive to prove they are right and everyone else is wrong. Read more

Ann Romney Would Be Out Of Luck Without Mitt's Millions
Huffington Post | Jeffrey Young | 04/06/12

If Ann Romney weren't wealthy, she might have even more in common with Kelly Gaeckle.

Both women suffer from multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological disorder that impairs motor function, cognitive abilities and vision and can cause uncontrollable muscle spasms, fatigue and dizziness. Patients eventually can lose the ability to walk.  Romney, whose husband is Mitt Romney -- the leading Republican presidential contender, the ex-governor of Massachusetts and a former corporate honcho worth as much as $250 million -- presumably doesn't struggle to pay for her treatments, even if she doesn't consider herself wealthy. Read more

U.S. Employers Pull Back Sharply On Hiring As Fewer People Search For Jobs
Huffington Post | PAUL WISEMAN | 04/06/12

WASHINGTON -- The job market slowed in March as companies hit the brakes on hiring amid uncertainty about the economy's growth prospects. The unemployment rate dipped, but mostly because more Americans stopped looking for work.

The Labor Department says the economy added 120,000 jobs in March, down from more than 200,000 in each of the previous three months.  The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent, the lowest since January 2009. But the rate dropped because fewer people searched for jobs. The official unemployment tally only includes those seeking work. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, April 6 [14:10]
"Shouting in the Dark" Film Captures Bahrain's Pro-Democracy Uprising Against US-Backed Rule (04/06/12) [21:35]
Aljazeera | Bahrain: Shouting in the dark (04/01/11) [50:56]
Financial giant JP Morgan Chase will pay $20m to settle claims from former customers that the bank mishandled their funds.
JP Morgan Chase fined $20 Million (04/05/12) [2:10]
TRNN | Jobs Act 2012 a Recipe for Fraud (04/04/12) [11:24]
Diane Rehm's Show
Domestic News - Friday 04/06/12
International News - Friday 04/06/12
Chemtrails and Geoengineering
Speaker: I join the conversation to add some rather startling information about the Government Organizations and Companies who are funding the AAAS organization. The Organization who is forwarding the idea of "GEO-ENGINEERING" along with Bill Gates , Richard Branson and other rich and powerful Corporate Owners.
The Jeff Farias Show: "Geo-Engineer 101" Part 1 (05/17/10) [9:18], Part 2 [9:17], Part 3 [8:10]
200 Million Tons of Aluminum Aerosol Chemtrail Poisoning All Life! Scientific Proof! (04/07/10) [9:57]
What in the World Are They Spraying? Full Documentary (12/20/10) [1:37:45]
www.facebook.com/WhatintheWorldAreTheySpraying

Way Back Machine
Camp Century under the snow in Greenland (1957-63) [31:49]
War Comes to America [1:06:20]
Frank Capra and Dimitri Tiomkin had a part in this series of films from the Army's Office of the Chief Signal Officer. This is Part Seven of the orientation series "Why We Fight" called "War Comes to America" and tells the tale of a reluctant America drawn into battlegrounds of World War II.
Watch all the shorts, or "War Comes to America"
The Deadly Virus, The Influenza Epidemic of 1918
The Influenza Epidemic of 1918
World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world's population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.

Thursday April 04, 2012
International News

Greek Suicide: Austerity Measures In Greece Lead To Elderly Man Killing Self In Syntagma Square
Huffington Post | NICHOLAS PAPHITIS | 04/04/12

ATHENS, Greece -- A Greek retiree shot himself dead in the busiest public square in Athens during morning rush hour Wednesday, leaving a note police said linked his suicide with the country's acute financial woes. Read more

Egypt: The Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost
realclearpolitics.com | Ed Koch | 04/03/12

The chickens are coming home to roost in the Middle East. The experts who supported the removal of President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, e.g., The New York Times' Tom Friedman and many others, are perhaps now wondering if they were right to do so.  Hosni Mubarak was certainly an authoritarian ruler. His government brooked little or no dissent; there was no competing party at the polls; and the judiciary was beholden to Mubarak's government. Read more

Domestic News

Affordable Care Act Repeal Would Have Immediate Consequences
Huffington Post | Katy Hall | 04/03/12

President Obama is "confident" the Supreme Court will rule that his health care law is constitutional, but heated questioning by conservative justices at last week's hearings leaves uncertain the fate of not only the individual mandate but also the entire law.

If the mandate is struck down, insurance premiums might shoot up and millions of Americans would be left uninsured. But for some, the Affordable Care Act without the mandate looks a lot better than no law at all. Read more

Mitt Romney Claims President Obama Will 'End Medicare'
Huffington Post | Zach Carter | 04/04/12

In a speech Wednesday, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney attacked President Barack Obama's signature health care policy by falsely claiming that Obama "has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it." Read more

Stocks: Worries about Europe resurface
CNN Money | Staff | 04/05/12

Stocks fell for a second straight day Wednesday, as eurozone debt worries resurfaced and investors continue to ponder what the markets might look like without additional stimulus from the Federal Reserve.   Read more

JPMorgan's Dimon gets $23 million for 2011 and bragging rights
CNN Money | Stephen Gandel | 04/04/12

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) disclosed on Wednesday afternoon that it paid its CEO $23 million in 2011. That was the same as last year, but it handily made Dimon, for the second year in a row, the best paid CEO in banking in 2011 - a year in which many other top financial executives saw their pay cut. Dimon's pay for instance, was more than double rival Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein, whose pay likely dropped to $9 million for 2011, down nearly $4 million from the year before. The only CEO who was even close to Dimon was Wells Fargo's (WFC) John Stumpf, who got a total pay package of just under $20 million.

Dimon received $6 million of his $23 million in salary or cash bonus. The rest was paid in restricted stock and options, the first portion of which will start to vest in early 2014. And while Dimon was also the only JPMorgan executive who managed to avoid a pay cut in 2011, the pay of the other executives make it clear that big paydays are far from over on Wall Street. JPMorgan's investment banking chief James Staley, for instance, got paid $16 million for last year, including a $5.3 million cash bonus. JPMorgan's CFO Douglas Braunstein saw the biggest drop in pay to $9.5 million for 2011, down $3 million from the year before.   Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, April 5 (04/05/12) [9:58]
TRNN | Jobs Act 2012 a Recipe for Fraud (04/04/12) [11:24]
TRNN | Is Netanyahu Bluffing? (04/04/12) [12:29]
TRNN | Iranian Diplomat Says IAEA Undermined Recent Talks to Satisfy Israel and West (04/03/12) [15:24]
TRNN | "Friends of Syria" Push Civil War (04/04/12) [9:10]
El-Erian: European crisis far from over
My Local News

Detroit back off the ledge
CNN Money | Chris Isidore | 04/05/12

The city council narrowly approved a deal Wednesday night that grants the city the power to void contracts and slash costs amid looming financial insolvency.

The deal, which provides no state funding or loans, was backed by Mayor Dave Bing and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. Snyder issued a statement shortly after the 5-4 vote commending the council for acting "responsibly," but said there is still work to be done.   Read more

Jon Steward | Daily Show imagines the day's proceedings with the help of a Taiwanese animation studio. (03/29/12) [6:00]
Way Back Machine

A Year at War
New York Times | Author | 2010-2011

More than thirty thousand American soldiers have taken part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of the First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division. Over their deployment, from March 2010 until March 2011, The New York Times followed their journey. Read more


Wednesday April 04, 2012
International News

Europe's Economic Woes: That Sound You Hear Is the Euro Cracking
Time | RANA FOROOHAR | 04/04/12

... The latest Band-Aid put on the euro-zone troubles by the European Central Bank (ECB), in the form of a $1.2 trillion loan to European banks, isn't working, at least not to solve the core problem. The euro-zone economy has now contracted for a second consecutive quarter, and labor markets and lending are deteriorating. A double-dip recession in Europe is pretty much baked in. ... Read more

Spain's debt to jump to 78 percent of GDP: De Guindos
Reuters | Author | 04/03/12

(Reuters) - Spain's public debt will surge to around 78 percent of gross domestic product this year, from 68 percent in 2011, Economy Minister Luis De Guindos told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. Read more

Rajoy of Spain Needs All the Luck He Can Get
Wall Street Journal | SIMON NIXON | 04/02/12

Mariano Rajoy has perhaps the least enviable job in the world. The Spanish Prime Minister last week announced the toughest budget in recent Spanish history against the backdrop of a sharp rise in government bond yields. Although his government has made an energetic start, including wide-ranging labor market reforms, financial sector reform and a commitment to cut the budget deficit to 5.3% of GDP in 2012 from 8.5% in 2011, Madrid is struggling to retain the confidence of markets. Read more

Top JPMorgan banker quits after market abuse fine
Reuters | Sudip Kar-Gupta | 04/03/12

(Reuters) - One of London's most prominent bankers was fined 450,000 pounds ($720,000) for passing on inside information in a case that will embarrass his employer J.P. Morgan Cazenove and which marks a push by British regulators to target high-profile figures. Read more

Domestic News

Stocks sink as Fed dashes stimulus hopes
CNN | Maureen Farrell | 04/03/12

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks dropped Tuesday after the Federal Reserve indicated it was unlikely it would offer more stimulus anytime soon. Investors grew skittish after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent open committee meeting around 2 p.m. The Fed's comments suggested that it was less likely the central bank would intervene to help the markets unless growth slows. Read more

How American Corporations Transformed From Producers to Predators
Huffington Post | William Lazonick | 04/03/12

Corporations are not working for the 99 percent. But this wasn't always the case. In a special five-part series, William Lazonick, professor at UMass, president of the Academic-Industry Research Network, and a leading expert on the business corporation, along with journalist Ken Jacobson and AlterNet's Lynn Parramore, will examine the foundations, history and purpose of the corporation to answer this vital question: How can the public take control of the business corporation and make it work for the real economy?

In 2010, the top 500 U.S. corporations -- the Fortune 500-- generated $10.7 trillion in sales, reaped a whopping $702 billion in profits, and employed 24.9 million people around the globe. Historically, when these corporations have invested in the productive capabilities of their American employees, we've had lots of well-paid and stable jobs. That was the case a half century ago. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, April 4 (04/04/12) [12:33]
DN | Tim Weiner on "Enemies: A History of the FBI", A Century of Secrets, Snooping and Subterfuge (04/04/12) [6:33]
El-Erian: European crisis far from over
TYT | Arrest George Zimmerman for Trayvon Martin Shooting - Poll (04/03/12) [5:02]
Apparently the Republic Convention will be in Tampa Florida this year and the police are starting to think of security. It turns out they have a list of items that are banned, such as a SuperSoaker and bodily fluids, but because of Florida's laws they couldn't ban guns!
TYT | RNC Protesters Can Carry Guns But Not 'Super Soakers' (04/03/12) [4:26]
TYT | President Obama Attacks Ryan Budget In Speech But... (04/02/12) [5:18]
TYT | The Rich Get Richer (04/01/12) [5:40]
TYT | Taxmageddon (04/02/12) [5:40]
TYT | Biden: 'This isn't your father's Republican Party' (04/02/12) [3:31]
TYT | Ron Paul Vs Romney & Obama (04/02/12) [5:16]

Tuesday April 03, 2012
International News

Attack On Iran Would Be 'Disastrous' For Middle East, Turkish Prime Minister Warns
Huffington Post | Author | 04/02/12

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned over the weekend that an Israeli strike on Iran would have "disastrous" consequences for the Middle East, likely sparking a regional war, Turkish newspapers reported on Sunday. Turkey is a major U.S. ally in the region and Erdogan indicated that he had expressed his concerns to President Barack Obama. Read more

Domestic News

Bank of America raised CEO Moynihan's pay more than fourfold in 2011
Boston Business Journal | Author | 03/28/12

Bank of America Latest from The Business Journals Follow this company (NYSE: BAC), Massachusetts' largest bank by assets, more than quadrupled CEO Brian Moynihan's compensation in 2011 to $8.09 million. As earlier reports had predicted, Moynihan's salary was unchanged at $950,000. However, his stock awards skyrocketed to $6.1 million from zero the previous year Read more

China, Where GM Sold More Cars In 2010 Than In The US, Sees January Car Sales Plunge 10.3%
Zero Hedge | Author | 02/15/12 (OLDER)

... The Shanghai-based China Passenger Car Association reported that sales of passenger cars fell 10.3 percent in January from the month before to 965,238. Per Manufacturing.net: "Chinese bought 13.7 million passenger vehicles last year, up by a third from 2009. But that robust growth is forecast to cool this year. ... Read more

The Latest Parabolic Chart - GM Channel Stuffing
Zero Hedge | Author | 04/03/12
Read more

At Least 7 People Dead In Incident At Christian University In Oakland, Authorities Say
Huffington Post | AP TERRY COLLINS | 04/02/12
Read more

Just for Fun

Reborn Dolls: Collectors Care For Lifelike Plastic Dolls As Real Babies
Huffington Post | Jessica Samakow | 04/03/12

Becky, a 42-year-old mom of two (real kids), appeared on the "Today" show this morning to talk about her hobby. MSNBC showed footage of Becky carrying Annie, one of her 10 Reborn dolls, in an infant car seat. She said that she only identifies Annie as a doll when people ask. Caring for a Reborn isn't a spoof, Becky insists. "I don't think I'm odd, this is a hobby," she says. Read more

Our kids get toy poodles at Christmas... why can't adults get toy babies?
CBS | Baby boom: Lifelike 'reborn dolls' gain popularity (04/02/12) [6:32]
DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, April 3 [12:22]
DN | Former Obama Adviser Van Jones on Life Inside White House and Right-Wing Smear Attack (04/03/12) [16:35]
DN | "Two Sources of Power": Van Jones on Obama Reelection and Building Occupy-Like Mass Movements (04/03/12) [13:16]
The Real News Network
This is a good interview about oil pricing and why "Supply and Demand" isn't the problem. We need a clear voice telling the truth and exposing the "double talk" the lobbyist are feeding our politicians.
TRNN | High Oil Prices Must be Subject of Criminal Investigation (03/27/12) [14:47]
TRNN | National Occupation of Washington, DC Begins with Demonstration at the EPA (03/30/12) [2:24]
TRNN | Why are Workers Striking Across Spain and Portugal? (03/28/12) [12:52]
TRNN | Banking "Technocrats" Undermine Democracy (03/26/12) [10:26]
This is Our Government!!
So who is at the bottom of the Honesty and Ethics list... even below Used Car Salesmen? Maybe we should send our hospital staffs to run Washington!

Monday April 02, 2012
International News

In Egyptian Hard-Liner's Surge, New Worries for the Muslim Brotherhood
New York Times | DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK | 04/01/12

CAIRO -- Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is an old-school Islamist. He wants to move toward abolishing Egypt's peace treaty with Israel and cites Iran as a successful model of independence from Washington. He worries about the mixing of the genders in the workplace and women's work outside the home. And he promises to bring extraordinary prosperity to Egypt, if it turns its back on trade with the West. Read more

Domestic News

Pink Slime Economics -- House of Representatives passed what was surely the most fraudulent budget in American history
New York Times | PAUL KRUGMAN | 04/01/12

... But we should not allow events in the court to completely overshadow another, almost equally disturbing spectacle. For on Thursday Republicans in the House of Representatives passed what was surely the most fraudulent budget in American history. ... Read more

Their Contributors' Bidding: Don't they ever learn?
New York Times | Author | 04/01/12

Don't they ever learn? Large bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate have now passed the deeply flawed JOBS Act and President Obama is expected to sign it soon. The full name is equally seductive: Jump-start Our Business Start-ups Act. What it is is an invitation to a fresh round of financial malfeasance. It rolls back important investor safeguards from the post-Enron Sarbanes-Oxley law and the post-financial crisis Dodd-Frank law. Read more

At the US-Mexican Border, on the Night Watch
New York Times | MARC LACEY | 04/02/12

"If you would have visited 11 years ago, it was like a scene out of a movie," said Mario Escalante, a Border Patrol agent who used to work in the Douglas area but has since moved to the headquarters in Tucson. "We were overrun. People were coming across in groups of 30 or 50 or 100 or more. We were catching thousands of people a day."

"Three bodies approaching the fence," an agent reported over the radio in clipped language, using the Border Patrol slang for migrants. "TBS," the same voice said, reporting that the three potential crossers were now "turning back south." Read more

House GOP Discusses Reviving Earmarks
Huffington Post | Reuters | 04/02/12

... In a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans, Rogers recommended reviving a proven legislative sweetener that became politically toxic a year ago. Bring back earmarks, Rogers, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, told his colleagues. Few members of Congress have been bold enough to use the "e" word since both the House and Senate temporarily banned the practice last year after public outcries about Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" and other pork barrel projects. ... Read more

Alan Greenspan: Republican Attacks On Ben Bernanke 'Wholly Inappropriate And Destructive'
Huffington Post | Bonnie Kavoussi | 04/02/12

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan says enough with all the attacking of Ben Bernanke. "Anyone has the right to criticize Federal Reserve policy, but it is wholly inappropriate and destructive to engage in ad hominem attacks," Greenspan told The Financial Times, referring to GOP presidential candidates' bashing of his successor, Ben Bernanke. Bernanke has led the Fed since 2006, during the financial crisis, recession and recovery. His drastic actions to stimulate the economy -- keeping interest rates near zero and tripling the size of the Fed's balance sheet -- have become a flashpoint in the Republican presidential primary. On top of all that, add to this the irony that Greenspan and Bernanke actually are Republicans. Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday April 2 [14:25]
Burma Pro-Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi Wins Seat in Landmark Vote Part 1 (04/02/12) [15:53], Part 2 [11:42]
PBS NewsHour Friday, March 30, 2012
Local News

Foreclosures slow Detroit's rebirth -- Detroit riddled with repossessions from height of housing meltdown
Detroit News | MIKE WILKINSON | 04/02/12

More than a quarter of homes whose loans failed at the height of the foreclosure crisis in 2006 and 2007 have already been razed or are on the demolition list, becoming a huge obstacle to the city's rebirth, a Detroit News analysis shows.

In neighborhoods on the far west side and the northeast corner of the city, as many as two-thirds of the properties that went into foreclosure just five years ago are in the city's crosshairs or already on the ground. The worst-hit areas almost mirror perfectly parts of the city where the most subprime mortgages were issued before they helped trigger the collapse of the banking industry. Read more

Texana Hollis, Evicted 101-year-old Detroit Woman, Gets Her Home Back
Huffington Post | Author | 04/01/12

DETROIT -- A 101-year-old Detroit woman who was evicted from her foreclosed house is expected to move back home next week.

Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom and his charity S.A.Y. Detroit are helping to renovate Hollis' house. The author's charity bought the home from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fix it up for Hollis.

Hollis was evicted Sept. 12 after her 65-year-old son failed to pay property taxes linked to a reverse mortgage and HUD foreclosed. Two days later, the department said she could return. But that didn't happen because HUD said the home was unsanitary and unsafe. Read more

So why aren't any of these people in jail. We can foreclose on a 101 year old woman (see article in left column), but we can't convict the real culprits that created this whole financial mess!
Friday March 30, 2012
International News

The third British Empire
Aljazeera | Author | 03/28/12

London is considered the "capital of capitalism" allowing foreign billionaires to stash tax free income offshore.

Historians tell us that there were two quite distinct British empires - the first an Atlantic empire built on North American colonies and Caribbean possessions and the second an Asian empire, built on control of India and coercive trade with China. These two empires were deeply criminal projects, in the specific sense that they relied heavily on profits from slavery and the sale of narcotics. Empire on the British model was a moneymaking venture, where moral considerations took second place to the lure of super profits. ... Read more

US-Pakistan: Who needs whom more?
Aljazeera | Americas | 03/30/12

Standing side by side this week, the US president and Pakistan's prime minister vowed to work together while conceding that their relationship has experienced deep strains. On Wednesday, US and Pakistani military leaders also held talks in an attempt to mend ties between the allies. The relationship hit a new low in November after US troops, based along the Afghan border, killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. A US investigation found both sides were to blame for the deadly exchange of fire. Read more

America's Dangerous Game - drone strikes in Yemen
Aljazeera | People and Power | 03/08/12

This film examines the covert war in Yemen and asks if the US is creating more enemies than it can capture or kill. Read more

Neoliberal Egypt: The hijacked revolution
Aljazeera | Dr Jason Hickel | 03/29/12

The country's new leaders seem to be planning the same old economic policies which led to increased poverty.

London, United Kingdom - The ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 set off a spate of political reforms in Egypt culminating in the recent parliamentary elections and the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. Yet the meaning of the 2011 "revolution" remains far from decided.

When Egyptians rose up last year, it was not only against tyranny and political repression, but also against the neoliberal economic order - designed by the United States - that has generated hunger, poverty and inequality in Egypt since the 1980s. For most people, these latter concerns were at least as pressing as the former, though they have been completely obscured in the prevailing media discourse. Now the tragedy is that, when it comes to economic policy, Egypt's new rulers seem set to reproduce more of the same. Read more

Domestic News

The Koch Brothers
Ajazeera | People and Power | 03/29/12

People & Power asks why the billionaire siblings are spending a fortune in support of a conservative political agenda. Read more

Gulf fisheries in decline after oil disaster
Aljazeera | Dahr Jamail | 03/05/12

Nearly two years after BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, fishermen and scientists say things are getting worse. Read more

In Pictures: Gulf seafood industry struggles in wake of BP spill
Aljazeera | Erika Blumenfeld | 03/28/12

Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico are in the initial phase of collapse, according to scientists. Read more

Is capitalism bankrupt?
Aljazeera | Author | 02/25/12

With a worldwide financial crisis and an outraged 99 per cent, we ask if the free market is free enough. Read more
Is capitalism bankrupt? (video) (02/25/12) [25:24]

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday March 30 [11:40]
PBS NewsHour Thursday, March 29, 2012
Diane Rehms

Domestic News - Friday 03/23/12
International News - Friday 03/23/12
Aljazeera | Inside Story Americas - US-Pakistan: Who needs whom more? (03/30/12) [25:21]
Aljazeera | People & Power: America's Dangerous Game (03/01/12) [25:01]
Aljazeera | People & Power - The Koch Brothers (03/29/12) [25:06]
We have to: 1) get Money (Lobbyists) out of Politics/Washington, 2) Re-regulate Wall Street, 3) stop Crony Capitalism
TYT | Trillion-Dollar Jet Wasting Your Tax $ (03/25/12) [2:47]
TYT | Break Up The Big Banks - Conservative Dallas Fed President (03/25/12) [4:02]
Health Care Mandate, The Supreme Court, & Hypocrisy
TYT | Extreme Weather & Climate Change (03/27/12) [5:27]
TYT | Stand Your Ground Law States (03/24/12) [5:20]
TYT | A Tribute to Newt Gingrich (03/28/12) [3:40]

Way Back Machine

Aljazeera | Slavery: A 21st Century Evil - Your purchase is your advocacy
Aljazeera | Dr David Batstone | 10/10/11

It is not easy mobilising an army of citizens that will put an end to modern slavery. The mass of people find it hard to believe that slavery still exists in the 21st century. The fact that tens of millions of individuals around the globe daily live in real forms of bondage contradicts our sense of modern history and moral progress. Such ignorance nurtures passivity. Read more


04.01.2012. 14:27

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