News February 2013
Senator Bernie Sanders Accuses Wall Street Of Avoiding Taxes By Stashing Cash Overseas
In a statement on the Senate floor Wednesday explaining why he would vote against confirming Treasury Secretary nominee Jack Lew, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) accused Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs of avoiding U.S. taxes. Lew, who worked at Citi when the bank received a bailout. ... Read more
Moyers & Winship: Here's an Idea -- Let's Tax the Earnings of Politicians Turned Lobbyists
Jesse Eisinger, writing at The New York Times, reports that on January 25th, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid announced the appointment of Cathy Koch as his chief advisor on tax and economic policy. According to the Times, "The news release lists Ms. Koch's admirable and formidable experience in the public sector. 'Prior to joining Senator Reid's office,' the release says, 'Koch served as tax chief at the Senate Finance Committee.'"
But, Eisinger notes, the press statement fails to mention Ms. Koch's actual last job -- as a registered lobbyist for GE. "Yes, General Electric," he writes, "the company that paid almost no taxes in 2010. Just as the tax reform debate is heating up, Mr. Reid has put in place a person who is extraordinarily positioned to torpedo any tax reform that might draw a dollar out of GE -- and, by extension, any big corporation." ... Read more
Guess What? The Debt Everyone Is Freaking Out About Does Not Exist
... Some of the debt certainly exists, like the roughly $11.6 trillion owed to foreign and private creditors. But that isn't the debt anyone's worried about. If we stopped adding to it tomorrow, the debt as it stands would pose essentially zero threat to the country's fiscal health, as the ongoing growth of the economy would send our debt-to-GDP ratio dropping like a rock.>/p>
So the debt that's got everyone worried is the part we haven't yet incurred. And that debt, by definition, does not exist. It's not a certainty, it's merely a projection by the Congressional Budget Office. And trying to model how the federal budget, not to mention the entire American economy, will behave years or even decades in the future is a devilishly treacherous business. ... Read more
Handcuffing Seven-Year-Olds Won't Make Schools Safer
... In addition, the U.S. military is now offloading billions of dollars worth of its surplus equipment, some of it assumedly used in places like Iraq and Afghanistan against armed insurgents, on police forces even in small towns nationwide. This includes M-16s, helmet-mounted infrared goggles, amphibious tanks, and helicopters. And now, the same up-armoring mentality is being brought to bear on a threat worse than terror: our children. Think of it as the reductio ad absurdum of the new national security state. First, they locked down the airports, then the capital, then the borders, and finally the schools. Now, we're ready!
But the seldom-asked question is: ready for what? After all, with a few rare exceptions (including unpredictable lone wolf attacks like the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; the disgruntled software engineer who flew his plane into a building containing an IRS office in Austin, Texas, killing himself and an IRS manager; Major Nidal Hassan's murderous rampage at Fort Hood, Texas; and the Newtown slaughter), just about all "terror" threats in the U.S. have essentially been FBI sting operations involving crews of "terrorists" who were, by themselves, incapable of planning their way out of the proverbial paper bag. Imagine for a moment how much better off we might be today if the money that has, for more than a decade, poured into the militarization of the police had been plowed into American education or infrastructure or just about anything else. In that case, we might be prepared for something other than fighting phantoms. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, February 28 [12:07] DN | Fascism in the Church: Ex-Priest On "The Pope's War," Clergy Abuse and Quelling Liberation Theology (02/28/13) [19:15]
Diane Rehms ShowHow Processed Food Took Over The American Diet. (02/28/13) [1hr]
TRNN News**TRNN | Hagel Confirmed - Will He Jump on the Military Expenditure Bandwagon? (02/27/13) [9:36]
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TYT News*TYT | The Great American Taxpayer Robbery (02/24/13) [5:12]
TYT | Legalized Bribery - Senator Bought by State Farm (02/24/13) [3:54]
TYT | Copyright Alert System Launches - To Scare Pirates? (02/26/13) [6:15]
TYT | Limbaugh Wails: Left Has Beaten Us! (02/25/13) [6:56]
TYT | Panic Time? Sequester Kicks in Soon (02/25/13) [4:58]
Aljazeera NewsAljazeera | Inside Story - America's fiscal turbulence (02/26/13) [25:02]
Steven Cobert & Jon StewartStephen Cobert | Drone Ducking Tips (02/27/13) [4:20]
*Jon Stewart | R.J. Cutler contrasts Dick Cheney's lack of introspection with a real concern for his legacy. Part 1 (01/27/13) [6:19], Jon Stewart | Part 2 [7:58]
Jon Stewart | Merge Overkill - Greeb Is Good (01/27/13) [6:05]
*Jon Stewart | Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson argue that hunger in America is a solvable problem. Part 1 (01/26/13) [7:42], Part 2 [4:32]
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: 'We Actually Benefit From Downturns'
Like most soft-spined Americans, you probably have painful memories of the financial crisis and consequent recession. Perhaps you even think of those things as "bad." Fortunately, Jamie Dimon is not like the rest of you losers.
That is because, unlike you, Jamie Dimon is CEO of JPMorgan Friggin' Chase, America's greatest bank, which just so happens to snack on financial crises and recessions like so much KIND bar. "This bank is anti-fragile, we actually benefit from downturns," Dimon bragged to his bank's investors at a conference on Tuesday. ... Read more
Elizabeth Warren, Ben Bernanke Clash Over 'Too Big To Fail'
Newly minted Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday showed why big banks are not her biggest fans, grilling Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about the risks and fairness of having banks that are "too big to fail."
Warren (D-Mass.) questioned Bernanke during his latest semiannual appearance before the Senate Banking Committee to discuss the economy and monetary policy. Warren pressed the Fed chairman about whether the government would bail out the largest banks again, as it did during the financial crisis. ... Read more
Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year?
On television, in interviews and in meetings with investors, executives of the biggest U.S. banks -- notably JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon -- make the case that size is a competitive advantage. It helps them lower costs and vie for customers on an international scale. Limiting it, they warn, would impair profitability and weaken the country's position in global finance.
So what if we told you that, by our calculations, the largest U.S. banks aren't really profitable at all? What if the billions of dollars they allegedly earn for their shareholders were almost entirely a gift from U.S. taxpayers? ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, February 27 [12:48] DN | Selling the White House? Obama-Linked Group Promises Top Donors Access to President (02/27/13) [16:26]
DN | Behind the Brands: On Food Justice, Oxfam Gives Coca Cola, Kellogg's, Nestle & Pepsi Failing Grades (02/27/13) [7:04]
Oxfam has released a comprehensive report that measures how the world's 10 largest food companies perform on food justice issues. No company emerges with passing grades. The 10 companies Oxfam scores are Associated British Foods, Coca Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestlé, Pepsico and Unilever. Collectively, these companies make $1 billion a day. Oxfam based its report seven criteria: Small-scale farmers, farm workers, water, land, climate change, women's rights, and transparency. We're joined by Chris Jochnick, a lead researcher for Oxfam's new report, "Behind the Brands."MAKERS: Women Who Make America, Website
Elizabeth Warren's Q&A of Ben Bernanke at Senate Banking Committee Hearing
Dangerous Winter Storm Packs One Two Punch - Gets Worst (02/26/13) [2:48]
DARPA's 1.8-gigapixel cam touts surveillance from 20,000 feet
It's been three years since we first heard about DARPA's ARGUS-IS, but thanks to a PBS Nova special entitled "Rise of the Drones," we finally have more information about the 1.8-gigapixel camera that is supposedly the highest-resolution surveillance system in the world. The documentary showed video footage of the imaging system in action, though the camera itself remains shrouded in mystery for security reasons. Designed to be used with UAVs like the Predator, the ARGUS-IS (which stands for Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance - Imaging System) can spot a six-inch object within a ten square mile radius from 20,000 feet in the air. As shown in the clip after the break, the high-res cam doesn't quite reveal facial features, but you can spot details like a bird flying around a building and the color of someone's clothes. ... Read morePBS NOVA | Drones: ARGUS Featured on PBS Nova [4:52]
A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives
On the third Wednesday of every month, the nine members of an elite Wall Street society gather in Midtown Manhattan. The men share a common goal: to protect the interests of big banks in the vast market for derivatives, one of the most profitable -- and controversial -- fields in finance. They also share a common secret: The details of their meetings, even their identities, have been strictly confidential.
Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk. In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks. ... Read more
*The Austerity Agenda: An Electoral Loser
Last summer, following their failure to get the White House or Congress to embrace the austerity agenda outlined by their National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles announced that they would launch a populist campaign to pressure Congress to "Fix the Debt." Where did they make the announcement? On Main Street? Some abandoned factory? The kitchen table of a working family? Don't be silly. They went to their base: a gathering of billionaire CEOs at a swank resort in Sun Valley, Idaho. ... Read moreDN | John Nichols: The 'Fix the Debt' Campaign's Astroturf Roots (02/22/13) [2:19]
How did debt reduction become Washington's number one priority? As a new special issue of The Nation explores, it has a lot to do with the 'Fix the Debt' campaign and its billionaire backers.
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, February 26 [11:40] *DN | Billionaires for Austerity: With Cuts Looming, Wall Street Roots of "Fix the Debt" Campaign Exposed (02/26/13) [19:42]
DN | "Makers: Women Who Make America": New Film Chronicles Past 50 Years of Feminist Movement (02/26/13) [14:07]
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | Richard Wolff: Taming Capitalism Run Wild. (02/22/13) [56:54]
PBS NOVAPBS NOVA | Japan's Killer Quake (02/27/13) [52:52]
TRNN NewsTRNN | James Heintz: President Obama and GOP focus on budget cutting instead of creating more employment (02/26/13) [10:12]
TRNN | Allen Ruff: Kazakhstan's brutal repression of workers and opposition ignored as it tries to play broker in the stand off between the US and Iran (02/26/13) [11:45]
Diane Rehms ShowFormer U.S. Senator Tom Daschle discusses his new book, "The U.S. Senate," a guide to how the institution works. (02/26/13) [1hr]
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*How the Government Is Pinching Pennies and Cutting Corners When it Comes to Nuclear Safety
It appears the lessons from Fukushima have not been learned. ... Read more
*Justice Department's New Get-Tough Policy Is, Well, Not
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but . . . the latest ploy by the government to insist it is "getting tough" on Wall Street is beyond laughable. ... Read more
*U.S. Government Essentially Gives The Banks 3 Cents Of Every Tax Dollar
On television, in interviews and in meetings with investors, executives of the biggest U.S. banks -- notably JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon -- make the case that size is a competitive advantage. It helps them lower costs and vie for customers on an international scale. Limiting it, they warn, would impair profitability and weaken the country's position in global finance.
So what if we told you that, by our calculations, the largest U.S. banks aren't really profitable at all? What if the billions of dollars they allegedly earn for their shareholders were almost entirely a gift from U.S. taxpayers? ... Read more
*Wall Street wins again
A year ago, President Obama gestured toward the first lady's box at the State of the Union address at Eric Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York. Schneiderman had just agreed to co-chair the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities working group, an initiative between state and federal law enforcement officials and bank regulators, designed to investigate and prosecute fraudulent Wall Street activity that led to both the creation of the housing bubble and its collapse. In exchange, Schneiderman dropped his objections to a settlement over some of the banks' fraudulent post-crash activity, particularly around fraud in foreclosure processing. The secret truth: There never was a "task force" dedicated to ferreting out mortgage fraud. ... Read more
The SCOOTER Store power wheelchair company raided in federal probe
Critics say it's putting seniors in costly equipment they don't need, and ripping off the government for what may be hundreds of millions of dollars a year. ... Read more
Cape Wind: Regulation, Litigation And The Struggle To Develop Offshore Wind Power In The U.S.
"We have real and looming environmental problems on the horizon," Gordon told reporters that summer, as he prepared to apply for the necessary federal and state permits. "Is this going to solve these problems? No. But it is going to help."
Almost 12 years later, the now 59-year-old Gordon, who graduated from Boston University during the 1970s oil crises with a degree in communications and, he says, vague designs on film school before he set his sights on the energy business, is still pressing his case. Not a single turbine is in the water. .. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, February 25 [10:08]
Hanford Nuclear Reservation*Leak Found In Tank Containing 500,000 Gallons Of Radioactive Nuclear Waste In Washington State (02/17/13) [5:50]
TalkingStickTV | Tom Carpenter: Hanford: 56 Million Gallons of High Level Nuclear Waste (01/19/13) [29:19]
*60 Minutes | Hanford - Lethal and Leaking Part 1 (12/09/07) [7:00], Part 2 [7:00]
Movies - Olympus Has Fallen | White House Down*"Olympus Has Fallen" (2013) starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman and Rick Yune - Trailer - In Theaters 3/22 [2:34]
"White House Down" (2013) starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx (funky slideshow) [1:16]
We all hear about the Secret Service, but do we know what they do and how much it takes to keep the President safe?DC | Secrets Of The Secret Service (older doc) [43:34]
Diane Rehms ShowThe Potential Impact Of Sequestration 02/25/13 [1hr]
The U.S. is bracing for steep, across-the-board cuts in the federal budget. If implemented, they could mean furloughs at the Pentagon, longer airport security lines and delays in food inspection. Diane and her guests discuss the potential impact of sequestration.Domestic News - Friday 02/22/13 [1hr]
International News - Friday 02/22/13 [1hr]
Rachel Maddow*Rachel Maddow | Hubris : Selling the Iraq War (02/19/13) [43:40]
TRNN NewsTRNN | Bill Black: Clinton admin. thought that prosecuting big bank fraud wasn't worth the governments time and could destabilize banking system (02/24/13) [13:51]
TYT News*Bank of America's Taxpayer Robbery (02/23/13) [5:21]
Wall Street Wins Again - Fraud Totally Unchecked (02/23/13) [4:37]
Inside China's Drone Strike Plans (02/23/13) [3:40]
Big Banks' Second Mortgage Foreclosure Game (02/23/13) [4:23]
Scooter Store Raided in Crackdown (02/22/13) [6:34]
Supreme Court Owned By Corporations? (older 01/22/12) [2:34]
Beautiful VideoPlanet Earth seen from space [20:34]
Drought forecast to persist, intensify in much of U.S.
The nation's worst drought in decades is expected to persist and likely intensify across much of the drought-stricken parts of the Plains, Southwest and Rockies over the next several months, federal scientists announced Thursday. The storm that dumped snow and rain across portions of the central USA this week will help, but much more would be needed to break the drought, says meteorologist David Miskus of the Climate Prediction Center. ... Read more
Bugs You Can Eat
Before fast food, farms, or even wild game, insects fed prehistoric hunter-gatherers all over the planet. A near taboo in the Western world, entomophagy (insect-eating) is still practiced by millions of people in traditional societies... Bugs You Can Eat
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, February 22 [14:43] DN | Torture at Guantánamo: Lt. Col. Stuart Couch On His Refusal to Prosecute Abused Prisoner, Part 1 (02/22/13) [14:56], Part 2 [14:56], Part 2 [10:18]
Rachel MaddowRachel Maddow | Hubris : Selling the Iraq War (02/19/13) [43:40]
TRNNDetroit Anti-Eviction Campaign Keeping Families in Their Homes (02/22/13) [7:03]
Yahoo Daily Ticker with Lauren LysterYahoo Daily Ticker | Lauren Lyster: Peter Schiff Doubles Down on Inflation Prediction
How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?
5 Signs Extreme Wealth Deadens the "Empathy" and "Honesty" Parts of the Brain
As we try to grasp the reasoning behind cuts to life-saving programs while billion-dollar incomes and trillion-dollar profits are being made, we must understand that extreme wealth deadens parts of the brain. Empathy and honesty go first. Then rationality, as evidenced by some of the outlandish excuses given by the very rich for their abuses. ... Read more
Most Terrorist Plots in the US Aren't Invented by Al Qaeda -- They're Manufactured by the FBI
In the ten years following 9/11, the FBI and the Justice Department convicted more than 150 people following sting operations, though few had any connection to real terrorists. The following is an excerpt from The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War on Terrorism by Trevor Aaronson (Ig Publishing, 2012). ... Read more
US senator says 4,700 killed in drone strikes
A US senator has said that an estimated 4,700 people have been killed in America's secretive drone war, the first time a government official has offered a total number of fatalities caused by nearly a decade of drone strikes, local media reported. Republican senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of the drone raids, revealed the figure in a speech on Wednesday in his home state of South Carolina."We've killed 4,700," Graham was quoted as saying by the Easley Patch, a local website covering the small town of Easley. "Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war, and we've taken out some very senior members of al-Qaeda," he told the local Rotary Club. ... Read more
Environmental Movement Has Lost, Says Patagonia Founder
... Q: Bill McKibben and 350.org are trying to use protesting the Keystone XL pipeline as a way to jumpstart climate change activism. Is there, in your view, an environmental movement today? A: No. We've lost. Corporations are so strong. They're stronger than any government. They're running the government. And oil is tough because we're addicts to oil. Who's going to go to an oil company and say: "I'm not going to buy your gas because you're irresponsible"? Because you're addicted. You're not going to go to your pusher and say: "I'm not going to buy your dope any more."
Q: You say we're screwed, and yet you continue to support scores of local activist organizations. So you must believe at a certain level that the game is not up, no? A: Well, you got to do what you can. ... Read more
Muddy Waters, Carson Block, Secret China Weapon Is on SEC Website
Muddy Waters LLC, whose analyst reports triggered $7 billion in losses for Chinese stocks, used an unlikely secret weapon for its research: the public website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Carson Block, the 36-year-old short-seller who heads Muddy Waters, said he's an avid reader of letters from the SEC's corporation-finance experts to executives about the adequacy of disclosures in regulatory filings. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, February 21 [12:19] DN | Sequestration: What do the Automatic Spending Cuts Mean for the Poor, Unemployed and Children? (02/21/13) [8:13]
The word of the month in Washington is "sequestration" or the automatic $85 billion in spending cuts slated to take effect on March 1 unless Congress reaches a deal. What will those cuts mean in real life for the poor, unemployed, sick and children? Reporter Imara Jones of ColorLines.com joins us to discuss how the damage will stretch far beyond jobs, forcing a dramatic pullback in critical areas like health, education, housing and food security, especially in already vulnerable and marginalized communities.*DN | Bowman v. Monsanto: Indiana Farmer's Supreme Court Challenge to Corporate Control of Food Supply (02/21/13) [8:14]
A David versus Goliath case heard by the Supreme Court this week pits a 75-year-old farmer from Indiana against Monsanto, the world's largest seed company. The dispute began when soybean farmer Vernon Bowman bought and planted a mix of unmarked grain typically used for animal feed. The plants that grew turned out to contain the popular herbicide-resistant genetic trait known as Roundup Ready that Monsanto guards closely with patents.
PBS Frontline & NOVA*PBS Frontline | Raising Adam Lanza. Trying to answers the elusive question: Who was Adam Lanza?(02/19/13) [54:46]
PBS NOVA | Mind of a Rampage Killer (02/20/13) [preview]
What makes a person walk into a theater or a church or a classroom full of students and open fire? What combination of circumstances compels a human being to commit the most inhuman of crimes? Can science in any way help us understand these horrific events and provide any clues as to how to prevent them in the future?*PBS NOVA | Rise of the Drones (01/23/12) [52:52]
Drones. These unmanned flying robots--some as large as jumbo jets, others as small as birds--do things straight out of science fiction. Much of what it takes to get these robotic airplanes to fly, sense, and kill has remained secret. But now, with rare access to drone engineers and those who fly them for the U.S. military, NOVA reveals the amazing technologies that make drones so powerful as we see how a remotely-piloted drone strike looks and feels from inside the command center. From cameras that can capture every detail of an entire city at a glance to swarming robots that can make decisions on their own to giant air frames that can stay aloft for days on end, drones are changing our relationship to war, surveillance, and each other. And it's just the beginning. Discover the cutting edge technologies that are propelling us toward a new chapter in aviation history as NOVA gets ready for "Rise of the Drones."
Diane Rehms ShowDebate Over The Use Of Domestic Drones 02/21/13 [1hr]
TRNN NewsTRNN | Sasha Breger Bush: In the name of democratizing finance, derivative exchanges are achieving the opposite (02/20/13) [12:10]
*TRNN | Bob Pollin: Will a Higher Minimum Wage Cost Jobs? (02/21/13) [8:46]
Max Keiser ShowKeiser Report (E408) When Truth is Found to be Lies (02/19/13) [25:45]
Max Keiser talks to former energy regulator, Chris Cook, about how we move from dollar diplomacy to gas diplomacy and a world where energy as the modern water hole where you don't have to kill each other and a gas backed currency becomes a new global reserve currency in a post-dollar world.Keiser Report (E407) Sterlageddon (02/16/13) [25:46]
Max Keiser talks to Jan Skoyles of the Real Asset Company about gold monetisation, renminbi internationalisation and the very harsh laws against sterling devaluation.*Keiser Report (E407) Horsemeat Burger vs Dutch Sandwich (02/14/13) [25:45]
Max Keiser talks to anthropologist, David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, about the dollar, a war backed currency, being displaced by gold and about who killed Aaron Swartz and why.
Carson Block, owner of Muddy Waters, Secret China Weapon Is on SEC Website
PBS Frontline | Cheney's Law (03/28/12) [53:27]
Rome will burn, regardless of Italian election result
Regardless of who wins next weekend's parliamentary election, Italy's long economic decline is likely to continue because the next government won't be strong enough to pursue the tough reforms needed to make its economy competitive again.
Bankers, diplomats and industrialists in Rome and Milan despair at how Italians are shifting allegiances ahead of the February 24-25 vote to favor anti-establishment upstarts and show disgust with the established parties. That makes it more likely that no bloc will have the political strength to tackle Italy's deep-rooted economic crisis, which has made it Europe's most sluggish large economy for the past two decades. ... Read more
Exposed: The Dark-Money ATM of the Conservative Movement
Working out of an nondescript brick rowhouse in suburban Virginia, a little-known organization named Donors Trust, staffed by five employees, has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to the most influential think tanks, foundations, and advocacy groups in the conservative movement.
Founded in 1999, Donors Trust (and an affiliated group, Donors Capital Fund) has raised north of $500 million and doled out $400 million to more than 1,000 conservative and libertarian groups, according to Whitney Ball, the group's CEO. Donors Trust allows wealthy contributors who want to donate millions to the most important causes on the right to do so anonymously, essentially scrubbing the identity of those underwriting conservative and libertarian organizations. Wisconsin's 2011 assault on collective bargaining rights? Donors Trust helped fund that. ALEC, the conservative bill mill? Donors Trust supports it. The climate deniers at the Heartland Institute? They get Donors Trust money, too. ... Read more
Behind the SEC's Revolving Door
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a government accountability watchdog group, published a report this week on the so-called "revolving door" at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Authored by POGO Investigator Michael Smallberg, the report highlights numerous examples of how the back and forth of SEC regulators between jobs in Washington and on Wall Street blunts the agency's effectiveness. ... Read more
Wall Street Setting Itself Up For Next Derivatives Crisis, Market Participants Warn
A crucial change in the way financial derivatives are packaged and sold on Wall Street is enabling traders to bypass new regulations aimed at limiting reckless speculation, enhancing the prospect of another derivatives crisis, warn some market participants. ... Read more
Monsanto: All Your Seeds Are Belong to Us
Here's what happened: Bowman bought seeds from a grain elevator that sold soybeans for animal feed, industrial use, or other nonplanting purposes. The elevator contained a lot of "second generation" Roundup Ready seeds--the spawn of original seeds that other farmers had bought and harvested from Monsanto. That's not surprising, since "[Roundup Ready soybeans are] probably the most rapidly adopted technological advance in history," said Seth Waxman, who is representing Monsanto. "The very first Roundup Ready soybean seed was only made in 1996. And it now is grown by more than 90 percent of the 275,000 soybean farms in the United States." ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, February 20 [11:00] DN | Prisoner X: As Secrecy Falls, Doubts Grow on Suicide Claims for Australian Israeli Linked to Mossad (02/20/13) [18:50]
DN | Recruited by Police & Thrown Into Danger, Young Informants Are Drug War's Latest Victims. Part 1 (02/20/13) [15:23], Part 2 [9:28]
New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman has just been awarded a George Polk Award for her article, "The Throwaways," which investigates law enforcement's unregulated use of young confidential informants in drug cases. Stillman details how police broker deals with young, untrained informants to perform high-risk operations with few legal protections in exchange for leniency -- and sometimes fatal results.
What are We Doing To OurselvesSave us - MidwayFilm.com (05/23/12) [3:55]
Midway Atoll, one of the most remote islands on earth, is a kaleidoscope of geography, culture, human history, and natural wonder. It also serves as a lens into one of the most profound and symbolic environmental tragedies of our time: the deaths by starvation of thousands of albatrosses who mistake floating plastic trash for food.
Hanford Nuclear Reservation
*Hanford Wash. Radiation Tanks Leaking (02/16/13) [2:52]
Propaganda from Hanford YouTube Channel
The Hanford Story: Tank Waste Cleanup (01/26/12) [8:38]
60 Minutes expose from 6 years ago. The more accurate story
*Hanford - Lethal and Leaking Part 1 (12/09/07) [7:00], Part 2 [7:00]
TRNN NewsTRNN | Bob Pollin: Obama Supports Clean and Dirty Energy (02/19/13) [8:05]
TRNN | Bill Fletcher: Twenty Myths About Unions (02/19/13) [14:42]
TYT News*TYT | Wall Street Setting Up Financial Armageddon (02/19/13) [6:14]
Diane Rehms ShowJess Bravin: "The Terror Courts: Rough Justice At Guantanamo Bay" 02/20/13 [1hr]
Aljazeera News*Aljazeera | Inside Story - The shift in global arms trade (02/19/13) [25:00]
*Aljazeera | Inside Story - Pakistan's sectarian tensions (02/18/13) [25:00]
ABC NightlineABC Nightline | Former Navy SEAL on Military's Top Secret Unit Coming Out of the Shadows (02/19/13) [5:02]
Billionaires Secretly Funded Vast Climate Denial Network
Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120 million to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.
The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of think tanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarizing "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives. ... Read more
Supremes Set To Gut Another Campaign Finance Law?
The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will hear a case challenging the per-biennial cycle limit on campaign contributions from individuals. The case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, argues that the limit on what individuals are allowed to give candidates ($46,200 per two-year cycle) and parties and PACs ($70,800 per two-year cycle) is an unconstitutional violation of the individual donor's free speech rights.
The U.S. Court of Appeals already ruled in favor of keeping the biennial limits, which have been in place since 1971 and were upheld in the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo case. By accepting the case, the court is stepping into the thick of another controversial campaign finance case just three years after ruling in Citizens United v. FEC that corporations and unions can spend freely on elections. ... Read more
Adam Lanza Motivated By Norway Massacre: Newtown Shooter Wanted To Top Breivik Death Toll, According To CBS Report
... Adam Lanza, 20, who killed himself as police closed in on him at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, saw himself in direct competition with Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting attack in Norway on July 22, 2011, CBS said. Breivik surrendered to police. ... Read more
Prosecutors, Shifting Strategy, Build New Wall Street Cases ????
Criticized for letting Wall Street off the hook after the financial crisis, the Justice Department is building a new model for prosecuting big banks. In a recent round of actions that shook the financial industry, the government pushed for guilty pleas, rather than just the usual fines and reforms. Prosecutors now aim to apply the approach broadly to financial fraud cases, according to officials involved in the investigations.
Lawyers for several big banks, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they were already adjusting their defenses and urging banks to fire employees suspected of wrongdoing in the hope of appeasing authorities. ... STILL NO ONE GOES TO JAIL? ... Read more
Other countries court skilled immigrants frustrated by U.S. visa laws
The contraption sits in a basement lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a mishmash of hoses, wires, whirring pumps and a 12-foot-high plastic tower filled with steam and dripping water, all set on plastic milk crates.
It looks like a high school science project, but it was developed by two postdoctoral mechanical engineers at MIT. And it just might be a breakthrough that creates wealth and jobs in the United States and transforms the white-hot industry of oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That is, as long as the foreign-born inventors aren't forced to leave the country. ... Read more
Break Up the Ratings Oligopoly!
The Justice Department's landmark lawsuit against Standard & Poor's has captured headlines and broken the facade of rating-company immunity. But the threat to bludgeon, if not bankrupt, S&P through litigation masks the failure of the Securities and Exchange Commission to reform the raters.
Imposing a settlement of more than $1 billion on S&P may appease the popular cry for the rating companies to pay for their shortcomings in understating financial risks, yet will do nothing to fix the distorted incentives that shape the industry. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, February 19 [13:03]
*DN | Donors Trust: Little-Known Group Helps Wealthy Backers Fund Right-Wing Agenda in Secret. Part 1 (01/19/13) [11:15], Part 2 [11:18]
Bill MoyersBill Moyers | As the SEC Door Revolves. (02/15/13) [3:28]
Bill Moyers | Democracy for Dollars. (02/15/13) [4:43]
*Bill Moyers | Full Show: The Fight to Keep Democracy Alive. Exploring the virus of money in our politics, and how we need to combat it. (02/15/13) [56:54]
60 Minutes60 Minutes | Will Israel's "Iron Dome" help bring peace? (02/17/13) [13:01]
*60 Minutes | Africa Mercy: Hospital of hope (02/17/13) [12:07]
Diane Rehms ShowGuns And Suicide 02/19/13 [1hr]
TYT NewsTYT | Drones - Web Press GRILLS Obama (02/18/13) [6:20]
*TYT | Drone Pilots Get High-Ranked Medals (02/18/13) [2:06]
PBS NOVA*PBS NOVA | Earth From Space: Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. (02/13/13) [1:52:52]
Costa ConcordiaABC 20/20 | Ghost Ship: Looking Back at the Costa Concordia (02/15/13) [8:57]
The Costa Concordia Documentary (09/04/12) [43:34]
NatGeo | Sinking of the Costa Concordia caught on camera (01/15/13) [44:57]
*60 Minutes | Costa Concordia: Salvaging a shipwreck (12/17/12) [13:28]
48 Hours48 Hours | Honor and Dishonor: Two women are dead and the prime suspect is a decorated soldier. Can the Army convict one of its own? (02/16/13) [42:29]
Face the NationFace the Nation (02/17/13) [46:56]
*Wealth Inequality in America [6:24]
Bank Of America Back Door Bailout Comes To Light or Don't Blink, or You'll Miss Another Bailout
MANY people became rightfully upset about bailouts given to big banks during the mortgage crisis. But it turns out that they are still going on, if more quietly, through the back door. The existence of one such secret deal, struck in July between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Bank of America, came to light just last week in court filings.
That the New York Fed would shower favors on a big financial institution may not surprise. It has long shielded large banks from assertive regulation and increased capital requirements. Still, last week's details of the undisclosed settlement between the New York Fed and Bank of America are remarkable. Not only do the filings show the New York Fed helping to thwart another institution's fraud case against the bank, they also reveal that the New York Fed agreed to give away what may be billions of dollars in potential legal claims. ... Read more
*Senate Report: Massive Post-9/11 Surveillance Apparatus A "Waste"
Check out the Frontline video at the left: "Top Secret America" with Diane Preist
Today, a bipartisan Senate committee published the searing results of a two-year investigation (PDF) into "fusion centers," which were created in the aftermath of 9/11 as places for state, local and federal officials to share and analyze information, in the hopes of detecting and thwarting terrorist threats. ...
... According to the congressional report, DHS estimates that it has spent between $289 million and $1.4 billion to support fusion centers since 2003. Why is there such a broad range and so little certainty of just how much money has been spent? ... Read more
National Counterterrorism Center's 'Terrorist Information' Rules Outlined In Document
A training document released in response to a civil liberties organization's lawsuit and obtained by The Huffington Post reveals that the government considers an "analyst's wisdom" the ultimate arbiter of whether data on American citizens can be classified as "terrorist information" and retained forever.
"Only a CT (counter-terrorism) analyst can determine whether data constitutes terrorism information," the electronic training course for new National Counterterrorism Center analysts states. "There is no requirement that the analyst's wisdom be rock solid or infallible." ... Read more
At Least We're Not Measles: Rationalizing Drone Attacks Hits New Low
Read an absolutely amazing article today. Entitled "Droning on about Drones," (see below) it was published in the online version of Dawn, Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, and written by one Michael Kugelman, identified as the Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.
In this piece, the author's thesis is that all this fuss about America's drone policy is overdone and perhaps a little hysterical. Yes, he admits, there are some figures that suggest that as many as 900 civilians have been killed in drone strikes between 2004 and 2013. But, he notes, that only averages out to about 100 civilians a year. Apparently, we need to put that number in perspective: ... Read more
Droning on about drones
... In Pakistan, there is much ire over civilian casualties. Reliable figures are highly elusive, though many cite the data of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Early this week, the BIJ was projecting that up to nearly 900 civilians have been killed by drone strikes in Pakistan between 2004 and 2013. ... Read moreJuhi Agrawal Has The Best Moment Ever With Achilles & Jubatus (02/15/13) [1:23]
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, February 18 [12:06] DN | Tens of Thousands Rally to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline & Urge Obama to Move "Forward on Climate" (01/18/13) [13:09]
PBS Frontline*PBS Frontline | Top Secret America (09/06/11) [53:41]
NPR Science FridayNPR Science Friday | Asteroid 2012 DA14 is half the size of a football field, and whizzing towards the Earth at over 17,000 miles per hour. (02/15/13) [41:42]
NPR On Point | A Near Miss: Fending Off Asteroids. (02/14/13) [46:14]
TRNN News*TRNN | Markus Stanley: Quadrillion Dollar Derivatives Market 20 Times Global GDP (09/25/12) [15:03]
TRNN | Bill Black: Jacob Lew confirmation hearing for Secretary of the Treasuery shows he was picked as a signal that the Geithner policies would survive Geithner (02/18/13) [6:19]
*TRNN | Washington DC climate change rally brings 35,000 protestors together, but activists question if real change in Obama's policies will spring from protest (02/18/13) [9:44]
TRNN | Norman Solomon: on developing an independent Progressive movement and influencing the Democratic Party. Part 1 (02/18/13) [5:30], Part 2 [7:53]
National DebtClick to zoom
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The FED and Crony CapitalismG. Edward Griffin: "Legalized Plunder of the American People" (10/02/12) [12:57]
Peter Schweizer: Crony Capitalism in Washington, D.C. (09/26/12) [12:57]
David Stockman: How Crony Capitalism Corrupts the Free Market (09/26/12) [35:43]
Jon StewartJon Stewart Calls Out CNN's Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship Coverage: 'You're Not Heroes' (02/15/13) [3:14]
Meteorite Streaks Across Russian Urals, Leaves Approximately 500 Injured
A meteor that scientists estimate weighed 10 tons (11 tons) streaked at supersonic speed over Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday, setting off blasts that injured some 500 people and frightened countless more. The Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement that the meteor over the Chelyabinsk region entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph) and shattered about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above ground. ... Read more
Elizabeth Warren Embarrasses Hapless Bank Regulators At First Hearing
Bank regulators got a sense Thursday of how their lives will be slightly different now that Elizabeth Warren sits on a Senate committee overseeing their agencies. At her first Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing, Warren questioned top regulators from the alphabet soup that is the nation's financial regulatory structure: the FDIC, SEC, OCC, CFPB, CFTC, Fed and Treasury. ... Read more
Why No Glass-Steagall II?
Eighty years ago this month, Ferdinand Pecora, the cigar-chomping former assistant district attorney for New York City, was appointed chief counsel for the US Senate Committee on Banking and Currency. In subsequent months, the hearings of the Pecora Commission featured many sensational revelations about the practices that led to the 1930's financial crisis.
More than that, the Commission's investigation led to far-reaching reform -- most famously, the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking. But Glass-Steagall didn't stop there. It created federal insurance for bank deposits. With unit banking (in which all operations are carried out in self-standing offices) viewed as unstable, banks were now permitted to branch more widely. Glass-Steagall also strengthened regulators' ability to clamp down on lending for real-estate and stock-market speculation.
The hearings also led to passage of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Securities issuers and traders were required to release more information, and were subjected to higher transparency standards. The notion that capital markets could self-regulate was decisively rejected. ... Read more
Did the Bankers Do It?
Few areas of economic activity in the United States are more politicized than housing finance. Yet the intellectual left has gone to great lengths to absolve regulators, government lending mandates, and agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of any responsibility for the housing boom and the subsequent bust.
The rationale is clear: if these officials, institutions, and policies were held accountable, the reform agenda would necessarily shift from regulating greedy bankers and their bonuses to asking broader questions. Might government mandates contribute to bad behavior by private players? Can regulators be trusted to make appropriate trade-offs between financial stability and mandates that have wide political support? Indeed, can central bankers be truly independent? Unquestioning acceptance of a greater government role in taming markets would, in short, give way to asking whether that role can sometimes be part of the problem. ... Read more
*Vernon Bowman, Indiana Farmer, Prepares To Take On Monsanto In Seed Patent Case
A 75-year-old Indiana grain farmer will take on global seed giant Monsanto Co at the U.S. Supreme Court next week in a patent battle that could have ramifications for the biotechnology industry and possibly the future of food production.
The highest court in the United States will hear arguments on Tuesday in the dispute, which started when soybean farmer Vernon Bowman bought and planted a mix of unmarked grain typically used for animal feed. The plants that grew turned out to contain the popular herbicide-resistant genetic trait known as Roundup Ready that Monsanto guards closely with patents.
The St. Louis, Mo.-based biotech giant accused Bowman of infringing its patents by growing plants that contained its genetics. But Bowman, who grows wheat and corn along with soybeans on about 300 acres inherited from his father, argued that he used second-generation grain and not the original seeds covered by Monsanto's patents. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, February 15 [15:49]
DN | An Intentional Fire? Police Use of Incendiary Tear Gas Criticized in Killing of Christopher Dorner. Part 1 (01/15/13) [6:56], Part 2 [20:14]
Meteor shower hits central Russia (02/15/13) [1:30]
*Elizabeth Warren EMBARRASSES Bank Regulators At First Hearing (02/14/13) [4:19]
TRNN (The Real News Network) NewsCostas Lapavitsas: LIBOR Scandal More Than Fraud - Whole Game is Rigged (02/15/13) [8:26]
*Patrick Bond: Will Feb 17th Protest Stop the XL Pipeline and Shift Climate Debate? (02/15/13) [11:10]
Aljazeera News*Aljazeera | People & Power - Investigates fraud and corruption running through the veins of the US pharmaceutical industry. (older but good) [23:44]
Bill Maher - Anti-Pharma Rant [4:11]
Diane Rehms ShowDomestic News - Friday 02/15/13 [1hr]
International News - Friday 02/15/13 [1hr]
NPR Science FridayNPR Science Friday | Asteroid 2012 DA14 is half the size of a football field, and whizzing towards the Earth at over 17,000 miles per hour. (02/15/13) [41:42]
TYT (The Young Turks) NewsTYT | Were Dorner's Complaints Legitimate? Who Burned the Cabin? (02/14/13) [8:55]
TYT | Obama Calls for $9 Minimum Wage (02/13/13) [5:34]
TYT | Climate Change in Obama State of the Union (02/13/13) [5:24]
PBS NewshourPBS Newshour | PBS Shields and Brooks Analyze SOTU and Republican Response (02/12/13) [24:02]
Other videosHere is a reason why you might want to buy a full Windows 8 tablet instead of a Windows RT tablet.
*Is the Acer W510 Windows 8 tablet better than Windows RT? (02/12/13) [11:04]
Republicans See Obama Second-Term Agenda as Dead in Water
President Barack Obama called for a higher minimum wage and stricter gun laws, proposed making preschool available to all 4-year-olds, and asked Congress to rewrite U.S. immigration law. Republicans in Congress are making clear that little of it will happen.
House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and rank-and-file Republicans opposed many of the details Obama set out in his second-term agenda in his State of the Union address to Congress. They signaled that the political fights of the past aren't over yet. ... Read more
Why Obama's Minimum Wage Plan Really Worries The GOP And Business Lobby
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) only needed a single night's sleep before throwing cold water on one of the most significant proposals put forth by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address Tuesday night: raising the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour and pegging it to inflation. ... Read more*Wealth Inequality in the United States
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Inside the Military Rape Cult
On One Billion Rising, a day to stop rape and violence against women, Sabrina Rubin Erdely discusses her Rolling Stone report on a tragic tale of sexual assault in the military.
In many ways, what happened to Petty Officer Second Class Rebecca Blumer after she was roofied and raped by three Army officers she met in a bar not far from base was far worse than the attack itself. Her superiors became more intent on prosecuting her for D.U.I. than on finding out what really happened to this promising young intelligence analyst. What's worse is that her brutal story, recounted in riveting detail by journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely in this month's Rolling Stone magazine, is far from uncommon. ... Read more
Do GMO Crops Really Have Higher Yields?
According to the biotech industry, genetically modified (GM) crops are a boon to humanity because they allow farmers to "generate higher crop yields with fewer inputs," as the trade group Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) puts it on its web page.
Buoyed by such rhetoric, genetically modified seed giant Monsanto and its peers have managed to flood the corn, soybean, and cotton seed markets with two major traits: herbicide resistance and pesticide expression--giving plants the ability to, respectively, withstand regular lashings of particular herbicides and kill bugs with the toxic trait of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.
Turns out, though, that both assertions in BIO's statement are highly questionable. Washington State University researcher Charles Benbrook has demonstrated that the net effect of GMOs in the United States has been an increase in use of toxic chemical inputs. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, February 14 [14:07] *DN | 48 Arrested at Keystone Pipeline Protest as Sierra Club Lifts 120-Year Ban On Civil Disobedience (01/14/13) [11:51]
TRNN | "We Need To Push Him": Actress Daryl Hannah Arrested While Urging Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline (01/14/13) [6:30]
Diane Rehms ShowGavin Newsom: "Citizenville: How To Take The Town Square Digital And Reinvent Government" 02/14/13 [1hr]
TRNN NewsTRNN | Costas Lapavitsas: In Greece, Lower wages, austerity, high unemployment creating situation like 1930's with a dangerous rise of the right (01/14/13) [5:52]
TRNN | Stephanie Luce: Union members earn on average 27% more, yet union density drops to its lowest point; Obama takes labor law reform off his agenda (01/14/13) [13:12]
*TRNN | Worker Owned Businesses Point to New Forms of Ownership? Can co-ops come out of the margins of the economy and be part of a larger political project to transform how things are owned? (01/14/13) [7:30]
Thom Hartmann NewsThom Hartmann | U.S. Political System No Longer Functions (02/12/13) [3:43]
Climate ChangeChasing Ice | Watch a City-Sized Glacier Collapse (12/14/12) [4:42]
Bill McKibben: Stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline for Good (02/13/13) [2:47]
The Last Mountain - Trailer (05/23/11) [2:28]
*The Last Mountain - Movie (2011) [1:35:10]
Interview with "The Last Mountain" film director Bill Haney and film producer Clara Bingham on the story of how one West Virginia community mobilizes to save the last intact mountain in the Coal River Valley (06/21/11) [9:17]
Water.org*Full Interview With Matt Damon About The Water Crisis (01/03/11) [8:50], website
River Water Harvesting in Ethiopia [1:04],
NBC Dateline NewsDateline | On-line Classified Ads Part 1 [6:34], Part 2 [4:57], Part 3 [7:44], Part 4 [6:01], Part 5 [7:23], Part 6 [7:50]
Jon StewartJon Stewart | Jon Stewart Tears Into Marco Rubio's State Of The Union Rebuttal Hypocrisy (02/14/13) [6:00]
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Paul Krugman Tears Apart Marco Rubio's SOTU Response
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) blamed the government for the housing crisis Tuesday during his response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. But Paul Krugman took issue with Rubio's assertion in a Wednesday blog post. "Every piece of the government-did-it thesis has been refuted," the Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote. "[And Republican politicians] have responded by rewriting history to defend their prejudices." ... Read more
Choice of Mary Jo White to Head SEC Puts Fox In Charge of Hen House
I was shocked when I heard that Mary Jo White, a former U.S. Attorney and a partner for the white-shoe Wall Street defense firm Debevoise and Plimpton, had been named the new head of the SEC.
I thought to myself: Couldn't they have found someone who wasn't a key figure in one of the most notorious scandals to hit the SEC in the past two decades? And couldn't they have found someone who isn't a perfect symbol of the revolving-door culture under which regulators go soft on suspected Wall Street criminals, knowing they have million-dollar jobs waiting for them at hotshot defense firms as long as they play nice with the banks while still in office? ... Read more
'Bailout': Neil Barofsky's Adventures in Groupthink City
As the former Special Inspector General of the TARP, a key official who was present at the highest levels throughout most of the bailout period and saw from the inside how both the Bush and Obama administrations attacked the economic collapse, Barofsky does have that story to tell, and the book unsurprisingly is full of historically weighty scenes and factoids that will be culled by reporters like me for years to come.
But there's a secondary and I think more interesting subplot to this book, a personal story that will give it more staying power. Just like Will was really a journey-of-self-discovery story that just happened to have the Watergate burglary as a backdrop (the book's real climax comes in the post-Watergate prison years, where Liddy really "finds himself"), Bailout is a kind of Alice in Wonderland tale of an ordinary, sane person disappearing down into a realm of hallucinatory dysfunction, with Tim Geithner playing the role of the Mad Hatter and Barofsky the increasingly frustrated Alice who realizes he's stuck at the stupidest tea party he ever was at. ... Read more
Privatizing Roads, Bridges, Schools and Energy Grids? Corporatism Pervades SOTU
The split screen during the state of the union last night was a nice touch. After all, what is more practical, more common sense--more bipartisan, perhaps--than charts? My favorite chart was the wages versus corporate profits over time. Those two jagged lines--one shooting sky high over the last decade, the other plummeting steadily over the last forty years--are worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. Throughout the State of the Union, President Obama railed against the reality the chart revealed.
Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged," he boomed. "Today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong." ... Read more
Walls, roof collapse at Chornobyl nuclear power plant
At 2 p.m. on Feb. 12, part of the roof and the wall of the Chornobyl nuclear plant collapsed, Ukraine's emergencies services announced. The accident took down about 600 square meters of a covering adjacent to the ill-famed fourth unit. Emergencies services said radiation levels did not increase after the accident.
Ukrainian officials said the preliminary cause for the collapse was heavy snowfall. Meanwhile, the plant's administration gave itself two weeks to investigate the accident. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, February 13 [12:20] DN | Beyond Gun Control, Obama Urged to Tackle Joblessness, Incarceration and U.S. "Culture of Violence" (02/13/13) [13:02]
DN | Obama's SOTU Address Calls for Middle-Class Revival, But Poverty & Inequality Still Get Short Shrift (02/13/13) [17:33]
*DN | Despite Planned Troop Withdrawal, Special Ops & Private Forces Prepare to Continue Afghan War (02/13/13) [9:33]
DN | As Obama Touts Pathway to Citizenship, Record Deportations Leave Undocumented Immigrants in Fear (02/13/13) [5:55]
PBS Frontline*PBS Frontline | Cliffhanger: Investigates Washington's failure to solve America's debt & deficit problems. (02/12/13) [53:44], website page
60 Minutes*60 Minutes | The team behind the 12-time Oscar-nominated film "Lincoln" talks about how they brought the president and his world to life. (02/10/13) [11:31]
*60 Minutes | 40 Million Mistakes: Is your credit report accurate? (02/10/13) [12:20]
60 Minutes | Americans in Algeria: Surviving a terrorist attack (02/10/13) [12:17]
Diane Rehms ShowAnalysis Of The State Of The Union Address 02/13/13 [1hr]
TRNN News*TRNN | Lawrence Wilkerson: John Brennan claims Iran pushing towards a nuclear weapon; ignores National Intelligence Estimate. (01/12/13) [5:07]
TRNN | Leo Panitch and Jennifer Taub: Will Obama Plan Create a "Rising, Thriving Middle Class"? (01/13/13) [13:54]
TRNN | Gerald Epstein: SOTU: Do Policy Proposals Live up to Rhetoric on Wages and Climate Change? (01/13/13) [12:23]
TRNN | Bill Black: SOTU: Obama Opens Door to Grand Betrayal (01/13/13) [13:49]
TYT NewsTYT | Limbaugh: Liberal, Black Cop Killer Gets Media Praise (02/12/13) [3:28]
TYT | Syrian Soldiers' Usher Dance Party (02/12/13) [5:26]
Jon StewartJon Stewart | Tears Dick Cheney A New One Over Obama Criticism: 'Sh*tty' VP Was 'Wrong Every Time' (02/12/13) [5:02]
*Jon Stewart | Skygall: A leaked government document details the legal argument supporting the president's use of drones to kill eventual Al Qaeda suspects. Part 1 (02/06/13) [3:56], Part 2 [4:05]
Jon Stewart | Ed Whitacre: "American Turnaround" reveals how he helped save General Motors. Part 1 (02/06/13) [3:56], Part 2 [5:04]
Boehner Baby. (07/13/12) [2:13]
*The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed
For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story -- speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of the United States government to help its most experienced and skilled warriors carry on with their lives.
... I would come to know about the Shooter's hundreds of combat missions, his twelve long-term SEAL-team deployments, his thirty-plus kills of enemy combatants, often eyeball to eyeball. And we would talk for hours about the mission to get bin Laden and about how, over the celebrated corpse in front of them on a tarp in a hangar in Jalalabad, he had given the magazine from his rifle with all but three lethally spent bullets left in it to the female CIA analyst whose dogged intel work and intuition led the fighters into that night. ... Read more
A rape a minute, a thousand corpses a year
Here in the United States, where there is a reported rape every 6.2 minutes, and one in five women will be raped in her lifetime, the rape and gruesome murder of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi on December 16, 2012, was treated as an exceptional incident. The story of the alleged rape of an unconscious teenager by members of the Steubenville High School football team was still unfolding, and gang rapes aren't that unusual here either.
Take your pick: some of the 20 men who gang-raped an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas, were sentenced in November, while the instigator of the gang rape of a 16-year-old in Richmond, California, was sentenced in October, and four men who gang-raped a 15-year-old near New Orleans were sentenced in April, though the six men who gang-raped a 14-year-old in Chicago last fall are still at large. ... Read more
Death Cafes Grow As Places To Discuss, Learn About End Of Life
A few dozen Ohioans will meet Wednesday evening in a community room at a Panera Bread outside of Columbus for tea, cake and conversation over an unusual shared curiosity. For two hours, split between small circles and a larger group discussion, they'll talk about death. A facilitator may throw out questions to spark the conversation: How do they want to die? In their sleep? In the hospital? Of what cause? When do they want die? Is 105 too old? Are they scared? What kind of funerals do they want, if any? Is cremation better than burial? And what do they need accomplish before life is over? ... Read more
Who is responsible for the looming 'sequester' spending cuts?
Question: "Looking at all this, do you regret that this White House suggested this in the first place?"
White House spokesman Jay Carney: "The notion much propounded by the spin doctors on the Republican side that the sequester is somehow something that the White House and the president alone wanted and desired is a fanciful confection. The fact of the matter is, as I think you all recall in the wake of the passage of the Budget Control Act, it was the Republicans, including the Republican leader of the House, who celebrated it as getting 98 percent of what they wanted." ... Read more
Internal GOP clash pits tea party conservatives against Karl Rove
The internal conflicts that have roiled the Republican Party since its dismal showing in November appear to be deepening as conservative activists and tea party officials have begun to loudly resist an establishment effort to blame them for the GOP's 2012 troubles. The nation's largest tea party organization is launching a new federal political action committee, Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, aimed at challenging GOP incumbents and other establishment candidates to adopt more conservative positions. ... Read more
Solar storms to peak in 2013
In September 1859 the largest known solar flare on record so far was hurled at earth from the sun. All over Europe and North America telegraph systems failed, with some telegraph operators getting electrocuted and burnt by their morse keys as the storm hit. Pylons threw sparks, telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire, and despite being disconnected from power supplies it was possible to send and receive messages for days via the 'celestial power' humming through the wires. ...
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, February 12 [9:29]
DN | North Korea Nuclear Test Sends Message to Washington One Week After U.S.-South Korean War Games (01/12/13) [8:27]
DN | After Pope Benedict, Progressive Catholics and Priest Victims Call for a More Inclusive Papacy (01/12/13) [14:55]
DN | Daniel Ellsberg and Jacob Appelbaum on the NDAA, WikiLeaks and Unconstitutional Surveillance (02/06/13) [19:41]
The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed*Navy SEAL Who Says He Killed Bin Laden Speaks Out in Interview Says Military Abandoned Him (02/11/13) [6:01]
A lengthy and in-depth piece by the Center for Investigative Reporting's Phil Bronstein -- published in Esquire -- details the story of the Navy SEAL who says he was the man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden. Speaking about the raid, he also shares his story about the rough transition into civilian life. "The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care," the piece, entitled" The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden... Is Screwed," opens -- a glimpse into the picture painted throughout the article, in which he is referred to, simply, as the Shooter.SEAL Who Killed bin Laden Says Military Abandoned Him (02/11/13) [1:37]
Bill Moyers Show*Bill Moyers | Nick Turse describes his unprecedented efforts to compile a complete and compelling account of the Vietnam War's horror. (02/08/13) [25:34]
Bill Moyers | When We Kill Without Caring (02/07/13) [2:13]
Story about the Vietnam War
*Oliver Stone | Heaven & Earth 1993 [2:15:41]
Diane Rehms ShowThe Growing Threat Of Cyber-Espionage 02/12/13 [1hr]
Miniature Chameleons Discovered in Madagascan
TYT News*TYT | Trickle Down Economics False, Middle Out is the Best Policy (02/10/13) [5:50]
The theory that trickle-down economics would help the economy is false, and there are earnings numbers from decades to prove it. In fact, on average, middle-class wage earners are making less than before, while the rich have only become much richer. Income inequality has worsened dramatically in the United States, and is actually worse than most of the world in that regard.TYT | Filibusted - GOP's Pointless Filibuster Reform (02/09/13) [4:41]
How does trickle-down work and how has it failed? How did the raised taxes under president Bill Clinton help create more jobs, and how did President George W. Bush's plan pult that growth to a halt? And lastly, how do "middle-out" economics work, and how will it help our collapsing middle-class re-stabilize? Cenk Uygur brings the facts and breaks it down.
TYT | 'Death Cafes' Pop Up All Over Country (02/09/13) [3:34]
AljazeeraAljazeera | People & Power - Orthodox corruption? (02/06/13) [25:00]
After decades of suppression, the Russian Orthodox Church appears to be back in favour with the country's leadership.*Aljazeera | People & Power - Greece: The odyssey (12/26/12) [24:33]
Asteroid DA14*NASA | ScienceCast: Record-Setting Asteroid Flyby on Feb 15, 2013 (01/28/13) [4:23], website
Pope Benedict XVI To Resign On Feb. 28 Due To Health Concerns
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on -- the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning. ... Read more
EU Crisis Damage Seen in Worst Quarter Since Lehman Wake
Euro-area economic data due this week will probably show the damage inflicted by the region's sovereign debt crisis with the worst quarterly decline in output for almost four years. Gross domestic product shrank 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the median of 45 estimates gathered by Bloomberg News. That would be the biggest decline since the first quarter of 2009, when GDP fell 2.8 percent in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The data is due to be published on Feb. 14. ... Read more
Obama weighing executive actions on housing, gays and other issues
President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues. ... Read more
Farmer's use of genetically modified soybeans grows into Supreme Court case
... Bowman's unorthodox soybean farming techniques have landed him at the center of a national battle over genetically modified crops. His legal battle, now at the Supreme Court, raises questions about whether the right to patent living things extends to their progeny, and how companies that engage in cutting-edge research can recoup their investments. ...
... Those supporting Bowman hope the court uses the case, which is scheduled for oral arguments later this month, to hit the reset button on corporate domination of agribusiness and what they call Monsanto's "legal assault" on farmers who don't toe the line. Monsanto's supporters say advances in health and environmental research are endangered.
And the case raises questions about the traditional role of farmers. For instance: When a farmer grows Monsanto's genetically modified soybean seeds, has he simply "used" the seed to create a crop to sell, or has he "made" untold replicas of Monsanto's invention that remain subject to the company's restrictions? ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, February 11 [12:59] Despite Offer of Direct Talks, U.S. Intensifies "Sanctions-Centric" Economic War Against Iran (02/11/13) [12:47]
Michael Moore, Chris Hedges on Challenging NDAA Indefinite Detention and the "Corporate Coup d'etat" (02/11/13) [13:41]
Wanted for Killing 3, Christopher Dorner's Claims of Racism, Corruption Resonate With LAPD's Critics (02/11/13) [19:24]
Diane Rehms ShowSafety Concerns At Compounding Pharmacies 02/11/13 [1hr]
The Men Who Made Us FatBBC | The Men Who Made Us Fat Part 1 [58:25], Part 2 [58:58], Part 3 [58:32]
TRNN NewsTRNN | Britain's Anti-War Movement looks back on over a Decade of War (02/11/13) [9:56]
TRNN | William Black: Judge Rules Against a Bank - Precedent Could Cost Bank of America Billions (02/11/13) [7:53]
TRNN | William Black: Creative Finance: Leaving Felons in Charge of the Banks (older 02/04/13) [8:53]
Snow Storm NEMOBlizzard Snowstorm NEMO Boston Evening Update of Powerful Storm 11:30PM 2/8/13 [9:09]
Asteroid NewsAsteroid 2012 DA14 : To fly 14,000 miles between Earth and Satellites on Feb 15 (01/03/13) [2:30]
NASA | Asteroid 2012 DA14, Earth Flyby Reality Check 2/15/13 (02/04/13) [4:23]
Solar Storms NewsExperts Warn Of Massive Solar Storms As Sun's Activity Set To Peak This Year (01/15/13) [6:07]
Elephants face jumbo problems in India
At a railway station in Ganjam, a seaside district in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, five elephants trying to cross the tracks were either oblivious of the speeding Coromondel Express or had little time to turn back as the train tore through the night fog. The giant mass of steel and iron mauled the elephants as they attempted to cross the tracks. What made the scene more revolting was the discovery of the mangled remains of an unborn elephant foetus thrown several metres from its dead mother's womb after the collision. ... Read more
Northeast Blizzard Warnings Posted As Region Braces For Up To Several Feet Of Snow. Snow began to fall around the Northeast on Friday at the start of what's predicted to be a massive, possibly historic blizzard, and residents scurried to stock up on food and supplies ahead of the storm poised to dump up to 3 feet of snow from New York City to Boston and beyond. ... Read more
Hidden In Global Central Bank Reflation Effort Exposed
By now it is no secret that in the past decade, the "Big 6" global central banks have boosted their combined balance sheet by an unprecedented $11 trillion, from $3 trillion to over $14 trillion, just as it is no secret anymore that the only reason the global market trades where it does is courtesy of the "flow" or liquidity generated as a result of this unprecedented intervention, whose inevitable outcome is eventual inflation. What, however, was hidden in plain sight, was the chart responsible for this massive stock market surge, which has seen the S&P double in the past 4 years (if go nowhere in the past decade). Luckily, we now have "deciphered" the subliminal message contained in the global central bank liquidity "flow", which is shown as the deep blue line in the chart below. Technicians have a specific name for the pattern that has emerged: "the middle finger formation" and while others can call it by a plethora of other names, the central bankers' message to the rest of the world is now plain for all to see. ...
*"The Banks Still Hold Guns to our Heads," Say Former TARP Director
Last night, Jon Stewart interviewed Neil Barofsky, the former overseer of the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and author of the new book Bailout. According to Barofsky, TARP turned into a colossal betrayal of the American people, a disaster aided by the corrosive and defensive environment in Washington.
"Everybody was more concerned about looking out for themselves, the next newspaper report, rather than the giant financial meltdown that we had walked into," Barofsky said. Barofsky was appointed by President Bush in 2009 as Special Inspector General to TARP, but resigned in 2011. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, February 08 [12:28] *DN | Jeremy Scahill: Assassinations of U.S. Citizens Largely Ignored at Brennan CIA Hearing (02/08/13) [22:54]
DN | CODEPINK Repeatedly Disrupts Brennan Hearing Calling Out Names Of Civilians Killed in Drone Strikes (02/08/13) [12:32]
DN | "He Was The Agency": Ex-CIA Analyst Questions Brennan Claim He Couldn't Stop Waterboarding, Torture (02/08/13) [10:21]
Diane Rehms ShowDomestic News - Friday 02/08/13 [1hr]
International News - Friday 02/08/13 [1hr]
NPR Science FridayScience of Sleep. Scroll down 1/4 inch and click the "Listen Now" button.
Science Friday | Science of Slumber: How Sleep Affects Your Memory (02/08/13) [40:41]
Jon Stewart*Jon Stewart | "The Banks Still Hold Guns to our Heads," Say Former TARP Director. Part 1 (02/08/13) [6:32], Part 2 [6:02]
Aljazeera NewsAljazeera | Inside Story Americas - Probing Obama's drone wars (01/06/13) [25:00]
*Aljazeera | Inside Story Americas - Is John Brennan the man for the top CIA job? (01/07/13) [25:00]
TRNN News*TRNN | Ray McGovern: Brennan Hearings: Who's Overseeing Who? (01/08/13) [12:25]
TRNN | The End of Squatting in the UK? Calls from within government to fully criminalise squatting gather momentum. (01/08/13) [18:50]
PBS NOVAPBS NOVA | Saved by the Sun: (2007) [53:08]
TYT NewsTYT | IObama Vaguely, Maybe Reduces Greenhouse Emissions (01/06/13) [5:11]
More News Articles
Ayn Rand's Gospel of Selfishness and Billionaire Empowerment Is Plaguing America
Thirty years after her death, Ayn Rand's philosophy of selfishness and billionaire empowerment rules the world. It's a remarkable achievement for an ideology that was pushed to the fringes for most of her life, and ridiculed on national television in a notorious interview with Mike Wallace. But, it's happened. And today, the United States and other independent governments around the world are crumbling while Ayn Rand's billionaires are taking over.
With each new so-called Free Trade agreement -- especially the very secretive Trans Pacific Partnership, which has less to do with trade and more to do with a new law of global governance for transnational corporations -- Ayn Rand's reviled "state" (or what we would call our democracy, the United States of America) is losing its power to billionaires and transnational corporations. ... Read more
Desperate People Ripping Off Copper in One of Our Poorest Cities
There are more than one million homeless people in America and 138 million people who live paycheck to paycheck. Many more are struggling, wondering how they'll make rent or get enough food. Those numbers are astounding. This is America. Many proudly think our society is fair, but the evidence overwhelmingly shows that fairness in America is a myth. ... Read more
How Did the Gates of Hell Open in Vietnam
Now, in Kill Anything that Moves, Nick Turse has for the first time put together a comprehensive picture, written with mastery and dignity, of what American forces actually were doing in Vietnam. The findings disclose an almost unspeakable truth. Meticulously piecing together newly released classified information, court-martial records, Pentagon reports, and firsthand interviews in Vietnam and the United States, as well as contemporaneous press accounts and secondary literature, Turse discovers that episodes of devastation, murder, massacre, rape, and torture once considered isolated atrocities were in fact the norm, adding up to a continuous stream of atrocity, unfolding, year after year, throughout that country. ... Read more
Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of US citizens
The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki's 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen. ... Read more
Snowstorm of Uncertainty Nears
In fact, the coming storm looks to be as close to a meteorologist's worst nightmare as can be imagined, and here's why: Warm air at the coast will stifle snow accumulations, while just a few miles inland the parent storm could produce hefty precipitation totals. The general rule of thumb is that an inch of rain equals 10 inches of snow, so any inconsistencies are greatly magnified. ... Read more
BP profits cut in half since Gulf oil spill
British energy giant BP said Tuesday that net profits slumped by more than half in 2012, as the group was rocked by fines and asset sales linked to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, ahead of a US trial later this month.
Earnings after taxation tumbled 54 percent to $11.582 billion (8.6 billion euros) in 2012, compared with $25.7 billion in 2011, BP said in a results statement. Adjusted net profit, stripping out fluctuations in the value of inventories, plunged by almost 50 percent to $11.993 billion. The London-listed group took a pre-tax charge of $4.1 billion for the fourth quarter in relation to the Gulf of Mexico disaster, taking its total clean-up bill to $42.2 billion. ... Read more
Newspapers accused of 'shameful' complicity for hiding existence of secret U.S. drone base
... On Tuesday, following Monday's disclosure by NBC of a leaked Justice Department white paper on the case for its controversial targeted killing programme, the Washington Post revealed it had previously refrained from publishing the base's location at the behest of the Obama administration over national security concerns. The New York Times followed with its own story on the drone programme on Wednesday, and an op-ed explaining why it felt the time to publish was now. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, February 07 [14:31] *DN | After Colin Powell Doubted Al-Qaeda/Iraq Links, CIA Pushed False Intel Derived From Torture. Part 1 (02/06/13) [2:06], Part 2 [2:07]
RT | Paint It Black: FBI keeps Americans in dark about GPS tracking (01/22/13) [2:06]
LinkTV | Earth Focus: Solar Ship Sails Around the World (12/12/12) [4:54]
LinkTV | Earth Focus: Why the US Economy Needs Bees (11/19/12) [9:22]
Diane Rehms ShowDrones And Their Use In Counterterrorism 02/07/13 [1hr]
TRNN News*TRNN | Greg Palast: Koch Brothers Driving Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to Cut Out Venezuelan Oil. (01/07/13) [11:14]
Alberta, Canada | Click to zoom
*TRNN | Peter Watt (author of Drug War Mexico): Drug War Mexico, NAFTA and Why People Leave (02/06/13) [11:05]
TYT NewsTYT | "Gun Crazy USA" by Vice - Shocking Legal Gun Deals (02/06/13) [6:43]
Thom HartmannThom Hartmann | Thom Hartmann on the News (02/06/13) [6:54]
Thom Hartmann | Why the U.S. is suing the S&P (02/06/13) [8:32]
Thom Hartmann | Drones...the ultimate stalkers (02/06/13) [6:36]
Keiser Report (E399) Kamikaze Currency Killers (01/29/13) [28:15]
In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to former MI5 agent turned whistleblower, Annie Machon, about the global crackdown on the internet and the activists who live there.Keiser Report (E398) Plunderers Pumping Profiteers (01/26/13) [28:14]
Max Keiser talks to Professor Steven A. Ramirez, a former Enforcement Attorney at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, about the broken social contract, when that contract got broken and how to mend it.*Keiser Report (E397) Burgers, Banksters & Blackholes (01/24/13) [27:57]
Max Keiser talks to Pulitzer award winning journalist, Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica.org about big banks like Wells Fargo using accounting tricks very similar to those used by Enron, including off balance sheet entities, black box trading, black box loans and black hole financing.Keiser Report (E396) Threshold of Tyranny Passed (09/01/12) [28:34]
In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to Alex Jones about his appearance on Piers Morgan's show on CNN. They also discuss the targeting of activists and the role of new media taking on the dinosaurs of media.Keiser Report (E395) Welcome Home German Gold (01/19/13) [28:11]
Max Keiser talks to Doug Casey of CaseyResearch.com about German gold, Glenn's Gulch and future war.
Extraordinary Rendition Report Finds More Than 50 Nations Involved In Global Torture Scheme
The U.S. counterterrorism practice known as extraordinary rendition, in which suspects were quietly moved to secret prisons abroad and often tortured, involved the participation of more than 50 nations, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Open Society Foundations. ...
... The number of nations and the names of those detained provide a stark tally of a program that was expanded widely -- critics say recklessly -- by the George W. Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and has been heavily condemned in the years since. In December, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, condemned the CIA's detention and interrogation efforts as "terrible mistakes." ... Read more
Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be "senior operational leaders" of al-Qaida or "an associated force" -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. ... Read more
S&P Analyst Joked of Bringing Down the House Before Crash
Standard & Poor's employees sang and danced to a mock song inspired by "Burning Down the House" and joked about the company's willingness to rate deals "structured by cows" before the 2008 global financial collapse, according to a U.S. government lawsuit. Two S&P analysts in April 2007 discussed the company's model for collateralized debt obligations, with one messaging that a deal was "ridiculous" and that S&P "should not be rating it," according to the complaint filed Feb. 4 in federal court in Los Angeles. ... Read more
RBS Busted On Libor Manipulation: "its just amazing how libor fixing can make you that much money"
Six months after the Barclays epic wristslap in which there were none - zero - criminal charges against Libor manipulators, it is time to trot out the same old theatrical song and dance again, this time focusing on bailed out RBS, which the CFTC just fined a whopping sum of $325 million, modestly less than the $16 billion profit the bank made in 2007, followed by the epic subsequent collapse which saw $104 billion in bailouts to keep the bank afloat courtesy of Biritsh taxpayers. In other words: manipulate the world's most sensitive credit-related metric, and you will see either 5% of your peak profits deducted, or we will force you to get even more bailouts. ... Read more
The Nefarious Ways 9-11 Turned America into a Lockdown State
Even after his death, Osama bin Laden thrives in the U.S.'s transformation into a lockdown state. ...
... During the Inauguration Washington was in a lockdown mode unmatched by any inauguration from another era -- not even Lincoln's second inaugural in the midst of the Civil War, or Franklin Roosevelt's during World War II, or John F. Kennedy's at the height of the Cold War. ...
... "The airspace above Washington... [will be] a virtual no-fly zone for 30 miles in all directions from the U.S. capital. Six miles of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers will be shut down, with 150 blocks of downtown Washington closed to traffic, partly out of concern for car or truck bombs... with counter-snipers on top of buildings around the capital and along the parade route... [and] detectors monitoring the air for toxins... At the ready near the capital, thousands of doses of antidotes in case of a chemical or biological attack… All this security will cost about $120 million dollars for hundreds of federal agents, thousands of local police, and national guardsmen from 25 states." ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, February 06 [14:19] *DN | Decade After Iraq WMD Speech at UN, Ex-Powell Aide Lawrence Wilkerson Debates Author Norman Solomon (02/06/13) [27:15]
DN | Bill McKibben: Ahead of Keystone XL Rally, Fossil Fuel Divestment Expands Across U.S. Campuses (02/06/13) [5:06]
DN | Lawmakers Threaten Funding of Brooklyn College for Hosting Event on BDS Campaign Against Israel (02/06/13) [11:43]
TRNN News*TRNN | Robert Pollin: Last quarter of 2012 had zero growth, wages were lower, unemployment higher as stock market hit record highs. (02/06/13) [8:33]
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | Vicki Divoll and Vincent Warren on Drones and Democracy (02/01/13) [37:15]
Bill explores the moral and legal implications of using drones to target our enemies -- both foreign and American -- as well as other intelligence issues with Vicki Divoll, a former general counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and former deputy legal adviser to the C.I.A.'s Counterterrorism Center, and Vincent Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
PBS | Need to KnowPBS Need to Know | Jeff Greenfield explores why it now takes nearly four times as long to complete infrastructure projects in the United States than it did in the 1970's. (01/18/13) [24:45]
PBS | NOVA*PBS NOVA | Secrets of the Sun: With new tools, scientists are striving to better grasp our star and its potentially widely destructive solar storms. (04/25/12) [52:52]
TYT NewsTYT | Obama Adopts Bush's Extraordinary Renditions? (02/05/13) [4:40]TYT | Obama Adopts Bush's Extraordinary Renditions? (02/05/13) [4:40]
TYT | Govt. Has The Right to Kill American Citizens? (02/06/13) [8:51]
TYT | Deadly Drone Strikes - Obama is 'Serious' (02/05/13) [6:08]
RT | Max KeiserKeiser Report (E402) Horror Bankers Attack! (02/05/13) [25:45]
In the second half of the show, Max Keiser talks to former Scotland Yard fraud squad detective, Rowan Bosworth-Davies of Rowans-Blog.blogspot.co.uk about justice departments and regulators going after the 'little guy' because he is 'easier' to get than the too-big-to-fail.Keiser Report (E401) Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It Economy (02/02/13) [25:45]
Max Keiser talks to Simon Rose of SaveOurSavers.co.uk about his recent experience giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee and about the moochers living on the dole of quantitative easing while the Bank of England sits on one third of the stock of gilts with a 'cunning' plan to sell them one day and theoretically make a profit.Keiser Report (E400) Bond-Pocalypse Now (01/31/13) [25:47]
Max Keiser talks to Ian Williams of Charteris Treasury about silver suppression and the bond-pocalypse.
Matt Taibbi on Big Banks' Lack of Accountability
Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi joins Bill to discuss the continuing lack of accountability for "too big to fail" banks which continue to break laws and act unethically because they know they can get away with it. Taibbi refers specifically to the government's recent settlement with HSBC -- "a serial offender on the money laundering score" -- who merely had to pay a big fine for shocking offenses, including, Taibbi says, laundering money for both drug cartels and banks connected to terrorists.
Taibbi also expresses his concern over recent Obama appointees -- including Jack Lew and Mary Jo White -- who go from working on behalf of major banks in the private sector to policing them in the public sector.
"The rule of law isn't really the rule of law if it doesn't apply equally to everybody. If you're going to put somebody in jail for having a joint in his pocket, you can't let higher ranking HSBC officials off for laundering $800 million for the worst drug dealers in the entire world," Taibbi tells Bill. "Eventually it eats away at the very fabric of society." Read more
How Much Will Tar Sands Oil Add to Global Warming?
Hansen is not alone in caring. In addition to a groundswell of opposition to the 2,700-kilometer-long Keystone pipeline, 17 of his fellow climate scientists joined him in signing a letter urging Pres. Barack Obama to reject the project last week. Simply put, building the pipeline--and enabling more tar sands production--runs "counter to both national and planetary interests," the researchers wrote. "The year of review that you asked for on the project made it clear exactly how pressing the climate issue really is." ... Read more
Noam Chomsky: The Paranoia of the Superrich and Superpowerful
... Take the U.S. invasion of Iraq, for example. To everyone except a dedicated ideologue, it was pretty obvious that we invaded Iraq not because of our love of democracy but because it's maybe the second- or third-largest source of oil in the world, and is right in the middle of the major energy-producing region. You're not supposed to say this. It's considered a conspiracy theory. ... Read more
Welcome to the Network of Global Corporate Control
Corporate culture creates, over time, a totalitarian culture as this dominant institution seeks to remake society in its own image - where people are punished and impoverished as corporations are supported, rewarded and empowered. ...
... In the year 2000, of the world's 100 largest economies, 51 were corporations, while only 49 were countries, based upon national GDP (gross domestic product) and corporate sales. Of the top 200 corporations in 2000, the United States had the largest share with 82, followed by Japan at 41, Germany at 20, and France at 17.
Of the world's 100 largest economic entities in 2010, 42% were corporations; when looking at the top 150 economic entities, 58% were corporations. The largest corporation in 2010 was Wal-Mart, the 25th largest economic entity on earth, surpassed only by the 24 largest countries in the world, but with greater revenues than the GDP of 171 countries, placing it higher on the list than Norway and Iran. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, February 05 [11:46]
DN | Kill List Exposed: Leaked Obama Memo Shows Assassination of U.S. Citizens "Has No Geographic Limit" (02/05/13) [18:39]
DN | Court: Gov't Can Secretly Obtain Email, Twitter Info From Ex-WikiLeaks Volunteer Jacob Appelbaum (02/05/13) [7:05]
DN | Daniel Ellsberg: NDAA Indefinite Detention Provision is Part of "Systematic Assault on Constitution" (02/05/13) [7:56]
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | Matt Taibbi: On Big Banks' Lack of Accountability (02/01/13) [15:20]
*PBS Frontline | "The Untouchables": examines why no Wall St. execs have faced fraud charges for the financial crisis. (01/22/13) [53:41]
*Bill Moyers | Bruce Fein & John Nichols: Rule of Law in Government (07/13/07) [41:50]
PBS NOVAPBS NOVA | The Illusion of Time [52:52]
PBS NOVA | Forgotten Genius: Against all odds, African-American chemist Percy Julian became one of the great scientists of the 20th century (older) [1:52:15]
Diane Rehms ShowEnvironmental Outlook: The Keystone XL Pipeline 02/05/13 [1hr]
TRNN NewsTRNN | Gerald Eptsein: Financial Regulation and Cost Benefit Analysis for Whom? (02/05/13) [7:13]
TRNN | Isabel Garcia: What a Progressive Immigration Reform Bill Looks Like (02/05/13) [8:39]
TYT NewsTYT | Chinese Hackers Infiltrate New York Times (02/03/13) [4:11]
TYT | Billionaires Choking Out Climate Change Science (02/03/13) [2:00]
TYT | Malala Yousufzai's Recovery Video After Taliban Attack (02/04/13) [2:47]
A Little Bit of HumorOnly Difficult Pistachios Left In Bag (02/03/13) [2:54]
Europe Plunges By Most In Six Months
European stocks had surged on to new highs while credit markets had decidedly not joined the liquidity-fueled exuberance. Sure enough a few days later and Europe in general is weak, but Italy and Spain are under significant pressure. The last four days have seen the biggest plunge in over six months with the IBEX (Spain -5.7%) and Italy's MIB -6.7%. ... Read more
U.S. To Bury Almost All Existing Used Nuclear Fuel; Recycling Deferred At Least 20 Years
There's little hope that the 70,000 metric tons of used nuclear fuel dispersed across the United States will ever be recycled, according to a recent study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory--so nearly all existing waste will go into the earth.
In a study completed late last year, Oak Ridge officials determined that the U.S. is at least 20 years away from large-scale reprocessing of used nuclear fuel, if it decides to pursue such technologies. By then, they estimate, nuclear plants will have generated another 40,000 metric tons of spent fuel. ... Read more
*Too Fast To Fail: Is High-Speed Trading the Next Wall Street Disaster?
AT 9:30 A.M. ON AUGUST 1 a software executive in a spread-collar shirt and a flashy watch pressed a button at the New York Stock Exchange, triggering a bell that signaled the start of the trading day. Milliseconds after the opening trade, buy and sell orders began zapping across the market's servers with alarming speed. The trades were obviously unusual. They came in small batches of 100 shares that involved nearly 150 different financial products, including many stocks that normally don't see anywhere near as much activity. Within three minutes, the trade volume had more than doubled from the previous week's average.
Soon complex computer programs deployed by financial firms swooped in. They bought undervalued stocks as the unusual sales drove their prices down and sold overvalued ones as the purchases drove their prices up. The algorithms were making a killing, and human traders got in on the bounty too.
Within minutes, a wave of urgent email alerts deluged top officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission. On Wall Street, NYSE officials scrambled to isolate the source of the bizarre trades. Meanwhile, across the Hudson River, in the Jersey City offices of a midsize financial firm called Knight Capital, panic was setting in. A program that was supposed to have been deactivated had instead gone rogue, blasting out trade orders that were costing Knight nearly $10 million per minute. And no one knew how to shut it down. At this rate, the firm would be insolvent within an hour. Knight's horrified employees spent an agonizing 45 minutes digging through eight sets of trading and routing software before they found the runaway code and neutralized it. ... Read more
*Insight: Electric cars head toward another dead end
Recent moves by Japan's two largest automakers suggest that the electric car, after more than 100 years of development and several brief revivals, still is not ready for prime time - and may never be. In the meantime, the attention of automotive executives in Asia, Europe and North America is beginning to swing toward an unusual but promising new alternate power source: hydrogen. ... Read more
U.S. Income Inequality Worse Than Many Latin American Countries
Latin America has long been viewed as a region plagued by some of the worst wealth inequality in the world. But in recent years, those figures have turned around, while in the United States income inequality is on the rise. ... Read more
China Regulators Move to Restrain Lending
BEIJING--Chinese regulators have moved to rein in bank lending in recent weeks amid a rush of new loans, according to people familiar with the new restrictions, in a signal of concern about the potential impact of a flood of money into the world's No. 2 economy. Two of China's biggest state-owned banks received warnings last month from the People's Bank of China that they exceeded their January loan quotas set by the central bank, according to the people with direct knowledge of the matter. Bank of China Ltd. received a warning from the PBOC that the bank had exceeded its new loan quota by more than 30 billion yuan (about $4.8 billion), said some of these people, which could hurt the bank's ability to keep its loan-to-deposit ratio under the regulatory level. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, February 04 [10:39]
DN | On Rosa Parks' 100th Birthday, Recalling a Rebellious Life Before & After the Montgomery Bus. Part 1 (02/04/13) [16:03]
The Gatekeepers: In New Film, Ex-Shin Bet Chiefs Denounce Occupation, Compare Israel to Nazi Germany (01/29/13) 
TRNN NewsTRNN | William Black: Creative Finance: Leaving Felons in Charge of the Banks (02/04/13) [8:53]
*TRNN | Supervisor of Intelligence Estimate Hailed for Preventing War with Iran (02/04/13) [16:48]
TYT News*TYT | U.S. Income Inequality - Worse Than Latin America? (02/03/13) [5:30]
TYT | Billionaires Choking Out Climate Change Science (02/03/13) [2:00]
TYT | NRA's 'Enemy List ' (02/03/13) [2:16]
More NewsSlashing America's Defense - Impact Of Sequestration Cuts On Military (02/04/13) [3:05]
*Who Killed The Electric Car (older) [1:32:27]
Money, Banking and the Federal Reserve [42:09]
Diane Rehms ShowControversy Over Legal Protections For Gun Companies 02/04/13 [1hr]
GMO*France checks the scientific validity of shocking GM food study (09/20/12) [1:16]
Global GMO Alert! - New Scientific Evidence Proves Danger? (09/20/12) [12:50]
Danger of Genetically Modified Foods with Dr OZ (03/06/12) [15:03]
History Channel DeclassifiedHC | Declassified: Joseph Stalin [44:55]
HC | Declassified: Chairman Mao [43:38]
HC | Declassified: Viet Cong [45:02]
HC | Declassified: The Tet Offensive [45:02]
HC | Declassified: The Taliban [45:02]
HC | Declassified: Pol Pot Inside Evil [42:42]
Leonard Maltin's Off-hollywood: The Five Best Indie Films To See This Month
Since this is Academy Award month, I've decided to focus on Oscar-nominated documentaries, with one ringer to lighten the tone of these mostly-serious films. ...
How The Stock Market Became The "Food Stamps" for the 1%
Food stamps are just a payoff to the poor. It keeps them off the streets. It's an unspoken bribe plain and simple. The oligarchs do not want angry, roving, hungry masses on the streets while they strip mine what's left of the economy. However, the oligarchs have another problem to deal with - the huge group of people that resides in between them and the poor. The average person can feel themselves getting poorer despite the nonsense spewed by the mainstream media; and this is where the stock market comes into play. More than any other group, the 1% has been convinced that the stock market represents some sort of leading indicator of wealth and prosperity. A rising stock market today is actually a leading indicator of the destruction of the middle class, cultural destitution and a society in collapse. The stock market is like slop in a pigpen. It is a key instrument used to keep the 1% from getting antsy. Unlike the middle class (a group that isn't falling for any of the tricks), many of the 1% work on Wall Street or related industries and own stocks. They must be kept quiet as the coup that started in 2008 is brought to fruition. So as the 1% sits around analyzing a casino, the poor collect food stamps and the middle class dies. ... Read more
Thought of the Day
"They're willing to let people think about mild reforms and little changes, and incremental changes, but they don't want people to think that we could actually transform this country." -- Howard Zinn
Noam Chomsky: Obama Would Have Been Called a 'Moderate Republican' in Recent Decades
Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, and one of the nation's leading intellectual critics of the US political, corporate and national security apparatus. In this long interview, Cenk Uygur of TYT and Professor Chomsky discuss President Obama, the rightward shift of US politics over the past few decades, drone strikes, the labor movement, Aaron Swartz, the role of the media and what hope we have for the future. In the interview, Chomsky argues that the country's political shift toward corporate and business interests in recent decades reflects a "realignment" of the economy. Read more
The Linchpin Lie: How Global Collapse Will Be Sold To The Masses
... The globalists have stretched the whole of the world thin. They have removed almost every pillar of support from the edifice around us, and like a giant game of Jenga, are waiting for the final piece to be removed, causing the teetering structure to crumble. Once this calamity occurs, they will call it a random act of fate, or a mathematical inevitability of an overly complex system. They will say that they are not to blame. That we were in the midst of "recovery". That they could not have seen it coming. Their solution will be predictable. They will state that in order to avoid such future destruction, the global framework must be "simplified", and what better way to simplify the world than to end national sovereignty, dissolve all borders, and centralize nation states under a single economic and political ideal? ... Read more3MIN News January 31, 2013: Planets affect the Sun (01/31/13) [3:43]
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, February 01 [17:15]
DN | Anti-Keystone XL Protester Disrupts TransCanada Speech for Several Minutes [2:24]
*DN | The Gatekeepers: In New Film, Ex-Shin Bet Chiefs Denounce Occupation, Compare Israel to Nazi Germany (01/30/13) [11:31]
Amidst a spate of killings by Israeli forces of unarmed Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, we turn to the stunning Oscar-nominated documentary, "The Gatekeepers." The film brings together six former heads of Israel's internal security agency, the Shin Bet, collectively speaking out for the first time ever. They detail their methods against Palestinian militants and civilians in the Occupied Territories, including targeted killings, torture, recruiting informants, and the suppression of mass protests during two intifadas. But in doing so, they also criticize the occupation they were assigned with defending and warn that successive Israeli governments have endangered their country's future by refusing to make peace. "We are making the lives of millions unbearable, into prolonged human suffering, [and] it kills me," Carmi Gillon says in the film. "[We've become] a brutal occupation force similar to the Germans in World War II," adds Avraham Shalom.
Diane Rehms ShowDomestic News - Friday 02/01/13
International News - Friday 02/01/13
MSNBC Rachel MaddowHow Reaganomics Destroyed The Middle Class...And Maybe America (12/04/10) [8:27]
The National Debt went up under: Carter 41%, Reagan 186%, Bush Sr. 53%, Clinton 40%, Bush W. 77%.Recent Presidents Who Increased the National Debt (12/28/10) [1:34]
Noam ChomskyDemocracy: America's Oldest Spectator Sport (06/03/11) [3:43]
Bill Moyers | Noam Chomsky on Manufacturing Consent, Part 1 (11/04/88) [26:23], Part 2 [25:58]
Life of Howard ZinnHoward Zinn died at the age of 87 on 01/27/10
Howard Zinn Tribute Video by The People Speak (04/02/10) [8:58]
A People's History of American Empire by Howard Zinn (fun cartoon version) [8:35]
Laura Flanders | Martin Duberman: Howard Zinn's Life and Legacy (01/28/13) [7:47]
*Bill Moyers | Howard Zinn on the Power of People (12/11/09) [26:16]
MS Law.edu | Howard Zinn - You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train (05/19/10) [1:00:19]
In this presentation of The Massachusetts School of Law's program, Books of Our Times, Dean Lawrence R. Velvel interviews American Historian Howard Zinn on his books: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train - A personal History of Our Times, and Failure To Quit - Reflections of an Optimistic Historian. The discussion ranges from Mr. Zinn's optimism for the future and what true Patriotism is, to what Americans don't want to hear.
TRNN NewsZinn on investigating 9/11 (04/27/09) [10:05]
Jon StewartJon Stewart | Eviscerates Republicans' Logic During Gun Violence Hearings (01/22/13) [2:20]