News for January 2012
California To Run Out Of Cash In One Month, Controller Warns
If anyone is tired of the daily European soap opera with surrealistic tragicomic overtones, they can simply shift their gaze to the 8th largest economy in the world: the insolvent state of California, whose controller just told legislators has just over a month worth of cash left. Read more
Has the UN been designed to fail?
The UN seems to have been designed to fail, due to bureaucracy and the exclusive power of the Security Council. Read more
Iraq: A country in shambles
Despite promises made for improvements, Iraq's economy and infrastructure are still a disaster. As a daily drumbeat of violence continues to reverberate across Iraq, people here continue to struggle to find some sense of normality, a task made increasingly difficult due to ongoing violence and the lack of both water and electricity. Read more
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, January 31, 2012 [15:23]
Matt Taibbi ponders whether Obama's embrace of populist rhetoric is (01/28/12) [4:09]
Taxpayer-Funded Freddie Mac Caught Betting Billions Against Struggling American Homeowners (01/31/12) [7:17]
Ex-Marine Re-Occupies His Own Foreclosed Home in Fight Against Freddie Mac, JPMorgan Chase (01/31/12) [6:54]
Shale-shocked: Fracking gets its own Occupy movement
Fracking uses prodigious amounts of water laced with sand and a startling menu of poisonous chemicals to blast the methane out of the shale. At hyperbaric bomb-like pressures, this technology propels five to seven million gallons of sand-and-chemical-laced water a mile or so down a well bore into the shale.Read more
CIA's Covert Iraq Mission
Obama says U.S. troops are leaving Iraq, but the future of secret counterterrorism and intelligence programs inside the country is still being hashed out. Eli Lake reports on how big a footprint the CIA will leave behind. Read more
Equipment drawdown may cost tens of billions
As U.S. troops near what is supposed to be the final year of combat operations in Iraq, the military's top logisticians have quietly been working on the "monumental" task of removing mountains of war-fighting equipment from that theater. "We've been in that theater of war for [six] years. This is Ph.D-level stuff. It's literally millions of pieces of equipment," said Maj. Gen. Kevin Leonard, the G-3 for Army Materiel Command. One source has said the total will be tens of billions of dollars.Read more
The US security complex: Too big to fail
Many Americans are not aware that their tax money is being spent supporting a huge military industry. US taxpayers are shelling out $1.2tn for the military, intelligence and homeland security sectors. Read more
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, January 30, 2012 [12:30]
Sugar daddy Adelson could save $500 million in taxes if his boy Gingrich Wins[3:08]
NDAA- The final deadly blow to American Liberties & Freedom (12/14/11) [10:12]
Wake up America! Still not convinced were in Martial law Part 1 (12/09/11) [7:04]
Union Pacific Military Train (05/16/11) [3:06]
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is an American fighting vehicle platform manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, formerly United Defense. Since entering service with the U.S. Army in 1981, a total of 6,724 Bradleys (4,641 M2s and 2,083 M3s) have been produced. The total cost of the program is $5,664,100,000, and the average unit costs $3,166,000.
Three main versions of the M1 Abrams (see video below) have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection and electronics. These improvements, as well as periodic upgrades to older tanks have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service. The M1A2 is 63 tons. M1-A2 costs US$6.21 million (M1A2 / FY99)
Let say there were 100 Bradley's on this train, and 100 M1-A2 on the train shown below. That is $316,600,000.00 and $621,000,000.00 respectively... almost a billion dollars! Now lets say we forgave everyone with a mortgage underwater $50,000.00. Those two trains represent 20,000 people whos homes could be saved.
DN: Despite Salary Caps, Treasury Approved Lucrative Exec Payouts for Dozens of Bailed-Out Firms (01/27/12) [3:34]
New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez reports the Treasury Department has approved payouts exceeding $5 million for 49 executives at firms that most benefited from the Wall Street bailout. The executives' pay came despite the $500,000 salary cap established under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
DN: Gingrich's Extremist Anti-Palestinian Stance Follows Millions From Top Donor Sheldon Adelson (01/27/12) [13:17]
RT: MSM: DISCLOSE Act Revived (01/26/12) [5:02]
RT: Israel creates a super PAC to attack Ron Paul (LiveLeak, RT) (01/19/12) [8:43]
TYT: CEO Bankruptcy Bonus (01/27/12) [5:57], NYT Article
TYT: Romney's family baptized his atheist father-in-law as Mormon -- 14 months after his death.
BREAKING! MILITARY EQUIPMENT near Santa Cruz, Southbound (011912) [2:44]
Military equipment train loaded with tanks and other vehicles of war rolls through Morgan Hill, Calif. on Jan. 19, 2012. The train originated in Oxnard and is headed to the Sierra Army Depot in Herlong. This train ran as the UP 7623 SOXHR-17 via the Coast Line.
Stephen Roach on Bloomberg: The Fed's "trying to pull the wool over our eyes" (01/27/12) [5:02]
Stephen Roach Explains How The Fed Is Pulling The Wool Over Our Eyes
"Bernanke is betting the ranch on open-ended QE and zero interest rates and it worries me" is how Stephen Roach of Morgan Stanley starts this must-see reality-check interview with Bloomberg TV's Tom Keene. The reason for his concern is simple, the current Fed modus operandi is a framework for rescuing economies in crisis but does little to sustain economic recovery. Read more
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, January 27, 2012 [11:36]
Newt Gingrich reveals his plan to build a permanent U.S. moon base by 2020. [3:37]
Supreme Court - Religious Freedom vs. Americans with Disabilities Act. [3:49]
Mitt Romney & Newt Gingrich in Florida (01/26/12) [5:29]
Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 2 [7:05]
I was looking at the National Debt page of OccupyBanksters.com and realized that in recent history it has been increating by 100 billion/month, but this month it didn't increase... it actually went down! I was ecstatic until I did some more investigative research. It appears we have surpassed the the Debt Ceiling and thus can't accummulate more debt. Then it hit me, why don't we just not raise the Debt Ceiling. Then the numbers won't get bigger... they will just magically disappear! I'm kidding of course. See the Boomberg video below (it is a little old but you will get the point).
And of course there is the bigger threat posed by Derivatives totalling somewhere around $707,568,901,000,000 to 1.4 quadrillion. Watch the video below (Cenk Uygur at TYT) and then go to the Financial Crisis News Magazine page (toward the bottom).
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, January 26, 2012 [13:14]
Iraqis Outraged as Haditha Massacre Trial Ends in No Jail Time for Accused Marines. Part 1 [9:52], Part 2 [7:31]
A little bit of humor at the expense of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.
Stephen Colbert: Grim Colberty Tales with Maurice Sendak Pt. 1 (01/24/12) [7:32]
Stephen Colbert: Rick Santorum's Senior Pandering (01/24/12) [3:48]
Stephen Colbert: Newt Gingrich taking down the debate monitors (01/23/12) [3:19]
And some more humor at the expense of Mitt Romney.
Jon Steward: I Know What You Did Last Quarter... Mitt Romney Tax Returns (01/24/12) [6:57]
Also Elizabeth Warren on Changing America (see both parts).
Elizabeth Warren explores the consequences of America's changing investment priorities and discusses where the money is going. Part 1 (01/24/12) [6:10], Part 2 [7:15]
Keith Olbermann Keith Olbermann: When Complex System Fail, How Big the BP Oil Spill Was with Kate Sheppard (01/23/12) [6:11]
Keith Olbermann: A Good Overview, After the State Of The Union Address (01/25/12) [10:37]
Finally, people are starting to wake up!
Citigroup Faces $1 Billion Fraud Lawsuit Over CDOs
NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc was sued for fraud by Loreley Financing over nearly $1 billion worth of collateralized debt obligations purchased in 2006 and 2007.
Citigroup is accused of defrauding Loreley into purchasing "fraudulent investments that are now worthless," Loreley said in a complaint filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Citi used the CDOs to offload the risks of toxic mortgage-backed securities on its books and to help preferred clients "short" the housing market, the lawsuit claims. Read more
Groups Call For Break-Up Of BofA
Jan 25 (Reuters) - A group of consumer advocates, academics and economists want to end "too-big-to-fail" banks, starting with Bank of America Corp.
The group, led by onsumer advocacy organization Public Citizen, plans to file a petition with the Federal Reserve Board and other regulators on Wednesday asking them to carve the bank into simpler, safer pieces. The Fed and the coalition of regulators known as the Financial Stability Oversight Council have the authority to take such action under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law passed in 2010, the group said. Read more
Americans Disagree With Mitt Romney: Corporations Aren't People
Whatever Mitt Romney says, the American people aren't buying this whole "corporations are people" thing.
More than half of Americans said corporations aren't people, and they shouldn't be given the same constitutional rights as citizens, according to surveys conducted by Legal Progress, a program ran by the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress.
The poll, conducted throughout 2010 and 2011, also found that most Americans, by a margin of three to one, say there should be a limit to the amount corporations can contribute to campaigns.
The debate over corporate personhood has intensified in the wake of the Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in the famed Citizen United case that corporations have the same constitutional rights as people to choose their elected officials -- and therefore have the ability to make unlimited political contributions.
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney only added fuel to the fire when he declared corporations to be people last August. Read more
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, January 25, 2012 [9:34]
Ralph Nader Reviews Obama's State of the Union Speech: "He Says One Thing And Does Another" (01/25/12) [14:10]
And yes, there are other events going on in the world!
1st Year Anniversary In Tahrir Square: HBO Doc on Egypt's Revolution Reported By DN's Sharif Kouddous
I love Bill Moyers interviews
Bill Moyers asks very good questions and then gets out of the way for the answers. See a list of great interviews here.
Bill Moyers Essay: Plutocracy and Democracy Don't Mix [3:53]
Bill Moyers Essay: The Affront of Citizens United (02.19.10) [3:00]
What's up in space
As expected, a CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Jan. 24th at approximately 1500 UT (10 am EST). The impact produced a G1-class geomagnetic storm and bright auroras around the Arctic Circle.Even veteran aurora watchers were impressed. "This was one of the best Northern Lights displays that I've ever seen, and I mean ever in over 5000 hours on the ice," says Andy Keen of Inari, Finland. "It was, in short, truly spectacular and something that will live with me for a lifetime." In the Abisko National Park of Sweden, aurora tour guide Chad Blakely contributed a similar report Read more
Iran: UK Could Send Military Reinforcements To Gulf, Says Philip Hammond
Britain could send military reinforcements to the Gulf if the dispute with Iran escalates, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said. He said the decision to send HMS Argyll as part of an international flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz on Sunday sent a "clear signal" to Tehran. Read more
Iran: Cameron, Merkel And Sarkozy Demand Regime Ends Nuclear Ambitions
David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have issued a statement amid EU oil sanctions imposed against Iran today. The move comes after Britain joined the United States and France in sending a flotilla of warships through the sensitive Strait of Hormuz as tensions escalate of over the regime's controversial nuclear programme. Read more
Bailed-Out Companies Pressured TARP Pay Czar To Keep Executive Pay High: Report
Former U.S. pay czar Kenneth Feinberg approved pay packages worth $5 million or more from 2009 to 2011 for 49 top earners, the report said. "Special Master Feinberg said the companies pressured him to let the companies pay executives enough to keep them from quitting, and that Treasury officials pressured him to let the companies pay executives enough to keep the companies competitive and on track to repay TARP funds," the report said.
Public anger over high pay and billion-dollar bonuses at bailed-out firms in 2008 prompted the Obama administration to limit cash salaries at $500,000 and approve compensation packages for the companies' top earners. ... The companies affected were: AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, Chrysler Financial Services, Chrysler Holding, General Motors, and Ally (formerly GMAC). Read more
Will the Mitt/Newt Slugfest Boost the Occupy Movement?
The Occupy movement brought key issues like economic inequality, Wall Street greed, and political corruption to the table. And we may have the GOP frontrunners to thank for keeping them there. Here's a look at how the Battle of Newt and Mitt can help keep the OWS flame alive... Read more
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, January 24, 2012 [10:38]
Taxes, taxes, taxes
Did you watch the Republican debates last night? Here is some insight into what Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich is NOT discussing.
As Romney Releases Tax Returns, Former Senate Investigator: We've Got To Tax Corporations (01/24/12) [13:50]
99%ers v.s. 1%ers
I have to say Bill Moyers interviews are the best. This is well worth viewing!
Bill Moyers: On Winner-Take-All Politics (01/13/12) [57:07]
Stephen Colbert Ends Run For President, But Jon Stewart Won't Return Super PAC (01/24/12) [4:17]
Comedian Colbert Campaigns Day Before SC Primary (01/20/12) [3:05]
What's it Like to be Unemployeed!
Salon: F**KED: The United States of Unemployment / ISO of a Movement (08/12/2010) [7:00]
Salon: F**KED pilot episode: The 99ers meet The 99% -- at OWS (08/07/11) [5:31]
Salon: The new face of hunger 99ERS Middle Class ONE 'face' of the unemployed. (07/03/11) [10:14]
Iran: Flotilla Of Warships Sent Through Strait of Hormuz Heightens Tensions
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that a Royal Navy Type 23 frigate, HMS Argyll, was part of the US-led carrier group to pass through the waterway, as tensions continued to escalate over Tehran's nuclear programme.
The strait, a 34-mile-wide sea passage, connects the petroleum-producing Persian Gulf states to the ocean, making it a strategic choke point on the world's economy.
The EU gave preliminary approval to new sanctions against Iranian oil on Monday. On the table is a total ban on European purchases of Iranian oil - a sanction that would not just hit Iran but key EU buyers including Greece Italy and Spain.
Sanctions are already expected against Iran's central bank.
The full implementation of the sanctions would be delayed until 1 July, due to concerns about their impact on the European economy. Read more
Occupy Congress greets returning lawmakers
Hundreds of supporters of the Occupy movement from across the country greeted returning members of Congress on Tuesday with a chorus of mic checks, a blizzard of pinks slips, and an impolite message: "You don't represent 99 percent of the country." Read more
The "anti-Semitism" smear campaign against CAP and Media Matters rolls on
Block's once-secret email campaign followed a Politico article by Ben Smith which accused (or, rather, credited) these CAP and MM writers with deviations from "the bipartisan consensus on Israel" and voicing "a heretical and often critical stance on Israel heretofore confined to the political margins"; moreover, Smith wrote, "warm words for Israel can be hard to find on [CAP's] blogs." Read more
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, January 23, 2012 [13:44]
Whistleblower Dr. Steven Nissen on "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Health Care" (01/23/12) [21:48]
Raj Patel: In Attacks on Obama, Food Stamps, Newt Gingrich is "Racially Coding Poverty"
I like Bill Moyers interview style and I think that his guests reveal alot about Washington and Crony Capitalism.
Bill Moyers: On Crony Capitalism with David Stockman.
Making Fun of Politics
I recently watched an interview ridiculing Jon Steward making fun of Washington. I don't think the interviewer understood what Jon Steward was trying to say or do. I think this interview with Bill Moyers helps to explain what both Jon Steward and Stephen Colbert are trying to do to help decode what is happening in Washington.
Bill Moyers: Jon Stewart on Fake News (04/27/07) [32:51]
Hedge Fund Employees Allegedly Part Of 'Tight-Knit Circle Of Greed'
Federal prosecutors have arrested seven hedge fund workers, alleging that they were part of a "tight-knit circle of greed" that took home nearly $78 million in illegal profits.
The scheme included one $53 million trade -- the largest transaction ever to lead to a Manhattan prosecution -- and came mostly from tips from one employee at Dell. The arrests are the latest in a recent government crackdown on insider trading. Read more
Ron Suskind: book "Confidence Men," President Barack Obama pushed his administration to break up Citibank early during his tenure but was thwarted by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
According to Suskind's book "Confidence Men," Obama told the author that he was agitated Geithner wouldn't follow through on the president's wish to break up Citibank. In the aftermath of the economy collapsing in late 2008, Obama was trying to develop options to handle banks saddled with large amounts of toxic assets.
The book reports that Obama's effort was effectively stopped by Geithner "slow-walking" it, although the treasury secretary did not flat-out refuse to take action on Citibank. In one April 2009 meeting, when Obama asked specifically about the bank, he was told "there is no plan" by Christina Romer, who at the time chaired the Council of Economic Advisers.
Suskind's book describes Obama and then-Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel clashing with Geithner's office over the apparent disrespect to the president's authority. Read more
Caterpillar Inc. Sees Surging Profits, Amid Pay Cuts And Rumors Of Plant Closures
Corporate profits are higher than ever, but for many workers, things just keep getting worse.
Take the situation unfolding at Caterpillar Inc.'s London, Ontario plant. The company, the world's largest heavy machinery manufacturer, is insisting that Canadian workers take a 50 percent pay cut, give up their current pension plan and swallow a significant reduction in benefits. On Jan. 1, Caterpillar locked out the plant's 465 workers, refusing to let them do their jobs until they make these sacrifices.
"In the small picture, Caterpillar is a really hard employer, but the big picture here is obviously the race to the bottom," said Linda Kaboolian, a lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard, who studies workplace issues and has closely tracked the company's practices through the decades.
The driving force behind these record profit gains are reductions in wages and benefits, according to a report by Michael Cembalest, Chief Investment Officer at JPMorgan, published last summer. This is a major issue, experts say, and not just for those workers facing a lower paycheck. Read more
Attack Ad Against Newt Gingrich
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, January 20, 2012 [11:38]
Read Between the Lines
Drones, Asia & Cyber War: Pentagon Shifts Priorities in New Review; Budget Exceeds Bush Era (01/09/12) [13:27]
Dronology: US flying eye spies on people at home (01/20/12) [3:25]
Stephen Colbert: Rock Me Like a Herman Cain South Cain-olina Primary Rally.
Redo. I thought this interview between Jon Steward and NYT Journalist Joe Nocera was really good, so I thought I would pull it forward. Daily Show: Jon Steward's Interview of NYT Journalist Joe Nocera Part 1 (01/19/12) [6:33], Part 2 [9:54]
Diane Rehm Show
Interview from the Past
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, January 19, 2012 [8:32]
10 Reasons the U.S. Is No Longer the Land of the Free
Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own -- the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves? Read more
Richard Cordray, CFPB Chief, Promises New Scrutiny Of Banks That Make Payday Loans
... The move is significant in that Cordray made no distinction between established financial institutions, including Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank, and less-respectable storefront and online payday lenders with names like EZ Money and AmeriCash Advance, widely criticized for making high-cost, short-term loans to the most desperate borrowers. Read more
Daily Show: Jon Steward's Interview of NYT Journalist Joe Nocera Part 1 (01/19/12) [6:33],
Part 2 [9:54]
SOPA Debate: Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales in Discussion with Copyright Alliance's Sandra Aistars
Keystone Victory: Bill McKibben and Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska on Obama Rejecting Pipeline
Jon Stewart Argues With Siri Over Foxconn
Jon Stewart has another name for Foxconn, the notorious Chinese gadget manufacturer and Apple supplier: the Fear Factory.
After pointing out that GOP presidential candidates said they promised to create jobs in America and entice innovators like Steve Jobs to keep their factories in the U.S., Stewart took a good long look at Foxconn and the working conditions at the manufacturing plant. "If we want to compete with China, we've got to make our factories look a lot more like Foxconn," he said. Read more
Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Expose More Super PAC Loopholes Without 'Coordinating'
Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart's grand experiment in using satire as a political weapon continued Tuesday night on "The Daily Show," when the "Colbert Report" host dropped by to "not coordinate" with Stewart on how his Super PAC money is being spent. Read more
Rick Snyder protesters: 'Michigan - We don't want our elected officials to be unilaterally dismissed'
As hundreds of marchers demonstrated outside the gates of Gov. Rick Snyder's private residence near Ann Arbor, loudly chanting in protest of Michigan's emergency manager law, the Rev. Charles E. Williams II had a quiet conversation with the governor's chief of staff.
Williams, pastor of the historic King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, said he hopes the governor is listening and is willing to find a way to help cities in Michigan that are struggling financially - without, as he put it, ruining their democracy. Read more
Larry Summers Being Considered For World Bank Chief
Boy, this is like giving Al Copone the key to the city... Read more
Jon Steward: Fear Factory, By creating a convenient ecosystem, China's Foxconn draws in employees who earn 31 cents an hour working for 35 hours straight, thereby saving American companies money. (01/16/12) [7:06]
Stephen Colbert New Super PAC Ad for South Carolina
Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert Expose More Super PAC Loopholes Without 'Coordinating' (01/18/12) [8:38]
Mitt the Ripper - Stephen Colbert's Super PAC Attacks Mitt Romney (01/15/12) [1:01]
Interview with Stephen Colbert (01/15/12) [10:10]
The Colbert Report: Jon Stewart takes over the Colbert Super PAC (01/12/12) [1:13]
Jon Stewart to Oversee Stephen Colbert SuperPAC (01/13/12) [2:11]
Stephen Colbert Runs For President 2012 [1:18]
Stephen Colbert: 'I am a Super PAC and So Can You' (06/30/11) [5:08]
C-SPAN: Stephen Colbert Opening Statement (09/24/10) [5:29]
The Colbert Report: A Rare Behind-the-Scenes Look (04/19/07) [2:33]
Huffington Post Explains: Stephen Colbert's Super PAC Goes To Washington
Part 1 [3:51], Part 2 [3:42], Part 3 [4:47], Part 4 [3:54], Part 5 [4:33]
Occupy the Dream: The Mathematics of Racism
As we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr, it appears we are a far less prejudiced country than we once were. Individual expressions of racism are less tolerated than ever, we have an African-American President, and African-Americans are increasingly being accepted into executive suites. Yet when we look closer, we find that Greedy Bastards have rebranded racism and made it acceptable again, by calling it "the war on drugs." Read more
Closure of Hormuz Strait: An Actual Threat or Diplomacy?
As global sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program are getting tighter, Iran has started to respond with its own cards. Tehran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz on December 27 last year not only provoked energy markets and raised crude prices, it also increased tension and spread panic about security in Persian Gulf. But is this a real threat or Iranian diplomacy in the absence of real diplomacy between Iran and the U.S. If it is not a real threat, what is the message behind the bombast? Read more
Keith Olbermann: Why Mitt Romney won't share his tax returns (01/12/12) [3:44]
DN News for Monday, January 16, 2012 [10:56]
Dylan Ratigan: Occupy the Dream: The Mathematics of Racism (01/16/12) [11:03]
Dylan Ratigan: Occupy the Dream (FED), Nomi Prins (01/16/12) [9:11]
Dylan Ratigan: 1) Are Corporations people, and 2) is Money Speech (01/16/12) [5:33]
Encouraging the Right Kind of Greed Among Banks: Dylan Ratigan
The financial markets need regulation the way a nuclear-power plant needs a cooling agent for its radioactive fuel rods. If safety rules are enforced and the heat of the rods is properly controlled, the result can be clean, abundant energy. But if that cooling process is neglected, there could be a meltdown.Similarly, capital requirements are the cooling agent of risk-taking in the economy. And just as nuclear fuel will always be reactive, people will always be greedy. We need to enforce rules to balance natural greed with capital requirements so that greed can create productive risk-taking and competition -- not short-term extraction. Here are five possible ways to do that. Read more
Why We Are Uneasy About the Global Economy in 2012: Harold James
The New Year opens with greater nervousness in financial markets and among policy makers than at any time since the Great Depression. The gloom is deeper even than in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008, a much greater calamity than anything that actually happened in 2011 (as opposed to what people feared might happen). This dark outlook stems from a state of mind we share with those who lived through the Depression era: the conviction that available policy tools are limited in their effectiveness. Read more
Right-wing documentary targets Occupy
Exclusive: Film in the making from Citizens United is likely to portray Occupy Wall Street protesters as anti-democratic anarchists... Read more
Check the video in the right column "America At Risk" for an example.
Dr. Martin Luther King's Last Speech [4:29]
MLK's Last Speech [3:28]
Martin Luther King's Legacy: How MLK Continues To Inspire Religious Leaders Today
Rev. King practiced his faith in a way that was both personal and public, pious and prophetic, and his commitment to pluralism and justice has influenced a generation of religious leaders from all faiths. HuffPost Religion is proud to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by offering these testimonies from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhists religious leaders on MLK's influence upon them, and how he might influence all of us as well. Read more
How Fares the Dream?
"I have a dream," declared Martin Luther King, in a speech that has lost none of its power to inspire. And some of that dream has come true. When King spoke in the summer of 1963, America was a nation that denied basic rights to millions of its citizens, simply because their skin was the wrong color. Today racism is no longer embedded in law. And while it has by no means been banished from the hearts of men, its grip is far weaker than once it was. Read more
America At Risk, hosted by Newt and Callista Gingrich, an example of a Citizens United Productions. America At Risk: The War With No Name - Official Trailer [2:20]
Mitt Romney and Bain Capital: Understanding the Reality
Newt Gingrich and a "super PAC" supporting him, financed by Las Vegas mogul Sheldon Adelson, are claiming in emotion laden ads that Romney's activities at Bain actually reduced jobs and harmed employees. And Texas Governor Rick Perry has characterized private equity companies like Bain as "vultures" that destroy worker's lives.
We have to look elsewhere than Bain Capital to make a well-reasoned decision about Romney's qualifications for the job of president. Read more
Social Welfare State, American-Style, Means Relief For The Rich
The one big difference is that in the American social welfare state, a lot of the benefits go to the rich.
"We spend a tremendous amount on private social welfare through tax subsidies," said Christopher Faricy, a political science professor at Washington State University whose forthcoming book is about our divided welfare state. Read more
JPMorgan could lose $5 billion from PIIGS exposure: report
(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) could lose up to $5 billion from its exposure to Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in an interview with Class CNBC, carried in Italian newspaper Milano Finanza on Saturday. ... Dimon said Europe was the worst problem for the banking sector. Read more
S&P Downgrades Eurozone Countries As Investors Avoid Eurozone Government Debt
... Bart van Ark, chief economist at the Conference Board, said that investors are concerned that leaders of Germany -- the leading eurozone economy -- are pursuing priorities in the wrong order. He said that first, the European Stability Mechanism should triple in size to 1.5 trillion euros, or $1.9 trillion, as a backstop for troubled governments, then the eurozone should become fiscally integrated. But instead, Germany is trying to implement tougher penalties for countries that exceed deficit limits. When someone is drowning, a lifeguard should not insist that the drowning person learn to swim before saving him, he said. Read more
Italy's crisis opens doors to cash-rich mafia
Greece's Debt Talks With Creditors Stall
Greece's creditor banks broke off talks after failing to agree with the government about how much money investors will lose by swapping their bonds, increasing the risk of the euro-area's first sovereign default. Read more
Newt Gingrich SuperPAC
Why "Citizen United" is Bad for Politics.
If you want to see the video that has everyone is talking about, click on the image below. This is what a SuperPAC can do to discredit another candidate (see the article in the left column). When Mitt Romney Came To Town (01/11/12) [28:07]
Dylan Ratigan: "What Mitt Romney Does Is NOT Capitalism! It's Exploitation!" (01/09/12) [4:34]
Mitt Romney's Destructive Jobs Record at Bain Capital (01/05/12) [5:28]
Auction 2012: Top 10 Reasons to Get Money Out
If something about this election feels wrong to you, you're not alone. Here are ten facts about the political process that show why we need to end the auction by getting money out of politics. Read more
Enron Creditors Get 53 Percent Payout
Defunct Enron Corp (ENRNQ).'s creditors have received $21.8 billion in cash and stock so far, with money from lawsuits and settlements helping to give general unsecured creditors a payback three times higher than the estate had projected, a report shows. Read more
Looming S&P downgrade hits euro zone markets
Standard & Poor's was poised to downgrade the credit ratings of several euro zone countries on Friday, including France and Austria but not Germany or the Netherlands, rattling markets in the first blow of the new year for the troubled single currency. Read more
Greece euro exit worse than catastrophic -Toscafund
Reuters reports: "A Greek exit from the euro zone would be worse than catastrophic and could provoke greater social unrest, Zimbabwe-style inflation and a military coup, said London-based hedge fund firm Toscafund. Read more
Everything wrong with American capitalism is on display in the Frankenstein monster of the banking world: Bank of America
Once upon a time, Bank of America was a bank for the 99 percent. History tells us that A.P. Giannini, the son of Italian immigrants who built Bank of America into one of the greatest banks in the world, practically pioneered the concept of retail banking. In contrast to his peers, he firmly believed that "there was money to be made lending to the little guy." Read more
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray: Occupy DC Should Be Evicted
WASHINGTON -- District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has turned up the pressure on the federal government to remove the Occupy DC encampment from McPherson Square. Read more
Voter Fraud Video
New Hampshire Democratic Party offered this response Friday to the Republican House Leadership's comments on the voter fraud video Read more
DN News for Friday, January 13, 2012 [10:56]
Path to War? Assassination of Iran Nuclear Scientist, New Sanctions Strain US-Iran Relations
Bank of America
Occupy DC Kitchen (McPherson Square) (01/08/12) [2:58]
Empire Still: Obama’s Misguided Pentagon Strategy
... This is highly provocative, and China has already responded angrily, with its state-run news media warning Obama not to engage in "war mongering" or to "recklessly practice militarism," the New York Times reported. ... Read more
Intelligence Agencies Say No New Nukes in Iran
The U.S. intelligence community is reporting to the White House that Iran has not restarted its nuclear-weapons development program, two counterproliferation officials tell NEWSWEEK. U.S. agencies had previously said that Tehran halted the program in 2003. Read more
How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests
The first few times I went down to Zuccotti Park, I came away with mixed feelings. I loved the energy and was amazed by the obvious organic appeal of the movement, the way it was growing on its own. But my initial impression was that it would not be taken very seriously by the Citibanks and Goldman Sachs of the world. You could put 50,000 angry protesters on Wall Street, 100,000 even, and Lloyd Blankfein is probably not going to break a sweat. Read more
Why Do Zombie Banks Hate Writing Off Bad Loans?
Wonder why all bank earnings over the past 3 years are fake? Wonder why few if any banks ever dare to take major write offs and represent the true nature of their financials? Wonder no longer: Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil explains. Read more
DN News for Thursday, January 12, 2012 [12:16]
Keith Olbermann: with Matt Taibbi on Ron Paul (01/11/12) [7:24]
Strait of Hormuz powder keg: US-Israel to meet Great Prophet? (01/06/12) [3:01]
Wayne Madsen : US will start WW3 by attacking Iran (01/09/12) [12:29]
U.S. Stocks Fall as Europe's Debt Crisis Threatens Global Growth
Global stocks fell today as Germany's Federal Statistics Office said the economy probably shrank in the fourth quarter from the third, and the European Union cut euro-area growth to 0.1 percent in the third quarter, from 0.2 percent estimated earlier. The U.S. Federal Reserve is due to release its Beige Book survey of economic conditions today. Spain and Italy will sell as much as 17 billion euros ($22 billion) in debt tomorrow. Read more
Wall Street Employees Threaten To Quit If Bonuses Aren't Up To Snuff
Brokerage executives at one Wall Street firm, Jefferies Group, have threatened to leave the company if their bonuses aren't up to par with other firms, the New York Post reports. Read more
Fitch: ECB Must Do More To Prevent 'Cataclysmic' Euro Collapse
FRANKFURT, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank should ramp up its buying of troubled euro zone debt to support Italy and prevent a "cataclysmic" collapse of the euro, David Riley, the head of sovereign ratings for Fitch, said on Wednesday. Read more
The Neverending MF Global Story: Regulators Block The Truth
Instead of looking out for MF Global investors - and customers who are still waiting for their money - it looks like regulators and the bankruptcy trustees are busy suppressing information. Read more
The Glacial Response of the S.E.C. to the Rise of High-Speed Trading and Market Volatility
... During the last five months of 2011, the average difference between the Dow's intraday high and low was a stomach-churning 260 points. New research suggests that high frequency trading (HFT), which accounts for about 60 percent of daily U.S. stock-trading volume, exacerbates volatility. ... Read more
Iran nuclear scientist killed in Tehran motorbike bomb attack
An Iranian university professor working at one of the country's main uranium enrichment facilities has been killed in Tehran, apparently the latest victim in what is widely seen as a covert war against the Islamic republic's nuclear programme. Read more
DN News for Wednesday, January 11, 2012 [13:51]
High Frequency Trading
High-Frequency Trading: Explained (10/10/09) [8:36]
60 Minutes - High Frequency Trading [14:09]
Getting Money Out Of Politics
"This President Is Working For The Bad Guys!" Dylan Ratigan (09/25/11) [6:43]
Ex-Lobbyist Explains How Money has Invaded and Corrupted our Political System (09/23/11) [11:13]
Corporate Fascist on Dylan Ratigan (09/22/11) [9:33]
60 Minutes: Blows The Lid Off Congressional Insider Trading (11/14/11) [15:30]
60 Minutes - Jack Abramoff, The Lobbyist's Playbook (11/06/11) [14:53]
On Mitt Romney's Defense Of Bain Capital And The Private Equity Industry - Here Are Some Facts
Lately, Bain founder and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has found himself in a spirited defense of the private equity industry, doing all he can to spin decades of data which confirm, without failure, that PE Leveraged Buy Outs are nothing but "efficiency maximizing" transactions whose only goal is the "maximization" of EBITDA in the pursuit of dividend recap deals, IPOs or outright sales, while loading up the company with untenable amounts of leverage. All this with a 3-5 year investment horizon, which ignores the long-term viability of a company and seeks to streamline (read fire as many as possible) operations as quickly as possible in the goal of maximizing short-term returns. We wish him luck in his endeavor. Read more
Walker Confesses To Being Embarrassed By 'Koch' Call
... Usually reluctant to concede error, Walker now confesses to being embarrassed by the "Koch" call. ... Read more
Hungary Folds, Ready To Change Its Laws To Get European Bailout Money
If there is any one more vivid confirmation of Mayer Rothschild words "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws" then we have yet to find it. Read more
The Neverending MF Global Story: Regulators Block The Truth
Instead of looking out for MF Global investors - and customers who are still waiting for their money - it looks like regulators and the bankruptcy trustees are busy suppressing information. Read more
Much more to check out...
Keith Olbermann: Put The Blame On Bain, with Robert Reich
Thom Hartmann: Has MI Gov. Snyder declared financial martial law? (01/06/12) [9:59]
Ann Barnhardt explains MF Global
Obama Justifies FEMA imprisonment of civilians! [7:42]
Obama is being hammered for downsizing the military budget. Maybe that's not such a bad idea.
Basel rejects delay to liquidity buffers
... The top central bankers and regulators from 27 major economies firmly rejected industry pleas for a delay or substantial rewrite of the controversial planned "liquidity coverage ratio" that will require banks to hold buffers against a 30-day market crisis. Part of the "Basel III" reform package designed to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis, the LCR has come in for heavy criticism from bankers who say it will constrain lending, harm economic growth and make the banking system vulnerable to sovereign woes. Read more
What worries U.S. military leaders the most?
"What is it right now in the world -- is it North Korea, is it Iraq, is it Iran -- what is it that worries you the most right now?" Schieffer asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They both agreed: "All of the above." Read more
American, British, Israeli and Iranian Warships Sailing Towards Confrontation
The U.S. and Israel are conducting their largest-ever joint warfare exercises near Iran. And see this.
England is sending its most advanced ship - the HMS Daring - to the region.
Only days after finishing its last wargames in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran has announced another set of wargames in February. Read more
Israel seeks revenge for hacking
Danny Ayalon, the deputy foreign minister, warned that the attack represented "a breach of sovereignty comparable to a terrorist operation, and must be treated as such". He added: "Israel has active capabilities for striking at those who are trying to harm it, and no agency or hacker will be immune from retaliatory action." Read more
Diane Rehm's Show
DN: Pity The Billionaire by Thomas Frank on the "Unlikely Comeback of the Right" (01/03/12) [13:30]
TYT: Tech Blackout to Protest SOPA (01/05/12) [4:59]
TYT: Leaked: Republicans Scared of Occupy Wall Street (12/02/11) [8:43]
Matt Taibbi - TYT: "Obama Is Doing The Bidding Of His Campaign Contributors By Not Proscecuting Wall Street (01/02/12) [13:10]
On Eve of $41 Billion MF Global Bankruptcy Filing, Jon Corzine Was Chateau Shopping in France
In an exclusive report from three of Vanity Fair's premier business writers - contributing editors Bryan Burrough, William D. Cohan, and Bethany McLean - the February issue delivers a sprawling account of the personal and professional battles of Jon Corzine, the former Goldman Sachs C.E.O. and ex-politician whose helming of MF Global resulted in a notorious $41 billion filing for bankruptcy and a $1 billion loss in firm equity. Read more
Euro Collapse and the American Impact
The questions that I most often receive as a Brit commentating in America are: why is the Euro a mess, will it survive 2012 and if it doesn't, how does it impact America? Read more
UBS' Releases Most Dire Prediction To Date: Greece To Experience "Coercive" Restructuring With CDS Triggering Around March
UBS: "we anticipate that the crisis will deteriorate further than the stressed levels of late November. We do not believe that Greek PSI will take place in a "voluntary" fashion but instead expect coercive restructuring of Greek debt either before or soon after the March redemption, triggering CDS contracts. Greece is not likely to decide to leave the euro area in 2012, though the risks of that happening have certainly increased." Read more
Japanese Zombie Banks Perfected By Europeans
We discussed the start of a new breed of bond issuance in Europe earlier in the week. The Ponzi Bond was born and today Banco Espirito Santo, of Portugal, came to the market (was there really an external demand?) and issued EUR1bn of three-year debt guaranteed by none other than the 16.4% yielding-equivalent three-year Portuguese government. Peter Tchir notes that "If the Japanese created the 'zombie' banks, the Europeans are perfecting them." On the bright side, the ECB has saved itself the effort of creating a "bad bank" and has just become one. Read more
Ask Not What Occupy Wall Street Will Do Next; Ask How We Will Change The Status Quo
"I wonder what Occupy Wall Street is going to do next..." So goes the refrain that punctuates many conversations about Occupy Wall Street today. Read more
DR Show: Attack of the Zombie Banks (01/05/12) [3:31]
Occupy Wall Street seem to oppose banker bailouts because bailouts are unfair. Bankers - by and large the most privileged class in society - got at the last count over $14 trillion of interest free money from central banks and governments to keep on doing the same thing - getting rich from speculation, on the backs of workers and the productive economy. The rest of society- teachers, nurses, factory workers, entrepreneurs, the unemployed, etc- have to "share the pain" of unemployment, austerity and a depressed economy. Read more
MF Global is just a dry run for what is coming next!
Iran To Hold New "Massive" Naval Exercise Near Straits Of Hormuz, To Run Parallel With Joint US-Israel Wargame
Recent debate over the Keystone XL oil pipeline has turned a spotlight on Canada's controversial and oil-rich tar sands, which would be the source of crude oil flowing through the pipe to the Gulf of Mexico. Read more
There's No Hiding From Tar Sands Oil
Recent debate over the Keystone XL oil pipeline has turned a spotlight on Canada's controversial and oil-rich tar sands, which would be the source of crude oil flowing through the pipe to the Gulf of Mexico. Read more
TYT: Citizen's United Overturned in NYC & Montana (01/05/12) [3:33]
TYT: 1/2 Of Workers Make Under $26k In The U.S. [4:30]
TYT: Poll on America's Opinion of Socialism (01/01/12) [4:56]
Michigan Emergency Managers Making 6 Figure Salaries (01/05/12) [3:31]
Real Jobless Rate Is 11.4% With Realistic Labor Force Participation Rate
One does not need to be a rocket scientist to grasp the fudging the BLS has been doing every month for years now in order to bring the unemployment rate lower: the BLS constantly lowers the labor force participation rate as more and more people "drop out" of the labor force... Read more
Top Three Central Banks Account For Up To 25% Of Developed World GDP
... More importantly, these banks assets (and by implication liabilities, as virtually none of them have any notable capital or equity) combined represent a whopping 25% of their host GDP ... Read more
Get Paid To Say Dumb Stuff About Global Warming on Video
How much does climate denial cost? Apparently it only takes $500. Steve Milloy, the former tobacco lobbyist turned Fox News columnist and global warming denier extraordinaire, is offering that much money to anyone who will make a scene next week at a State Department screening of a new documentary about how climate change is affecting the Himalayan glaciers. Read more, Also Check Out the website
Countdown: Keith Olbermann - Pay To Win, with Matt Taibbi (01/05/12) [6:43]
Countdown: Keith Olbermann - Caucus Crunched, with Steve Kornacki (01/04/12) [10:55]
Countdown: Keith Olbermann - Conservative Wanted, with Tim Dickinson (01/04/12) [6:05]
What's Happening in the Persian Gulf Explained
The basics: Iran and the United States appear to be heading for a showdown in the Persian Gulf. Amid already-high tensions over Iran's advancing nuclear program, the US has imposed harsh new economic sanctions on the regime in Tehran. Read more
Montana Supreme Court Upholds State's Corporate Campaign Spending Ban
WASHINGTON -- The Montana Supreme Court has put itself on a collision course with the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding a century-old state law that bans corporate spending in state and local political campaigns. Read more
Barack Obama's bold recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
WASHINGTON -- Doubling down on President Barack Obama's bold recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the White House announced Wednesday that Obama would also use his recess powers to fill three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency charged with enforcing labor law. Read more
Standing Up for Consumers
Today, I was appointed by President Obama to serve as the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I am honored by this opportunity to continue my work on behalf of consumers. And I am energized by the responsibilities and challenges facing the Bureau. Read more
U.S.-Iran Tensions: Mideast Showdown Builds As United States Tightens Military Ties To Israel
WASHINGTON -- Storm clouds darkening over the Middle East suggest a growing peril for the United States and the possibility of a new war that could embroil the U.S., Israel, Iran and others in a bloody, costly fight.
Behind this week's exchange of threats between Iran and the United States over access to the Persian Gulf, seasoned analysts see a perfect storm of factors that could trigger armed conflict. Read more
Next Year's Wars
What conflict situations are most at risk of deteriorating further in 2012? When Foreign Policy asked the International Crisis Group to evaluate which manmade disasters could explode in the coming year, we put our heads together and came up with 10 crisis areas that warrant particular concern.
Admittedly, there is always a certain arbitrariness to lists. This one is no different. But, in part, that serves a purpose: It will, hopefully, get people talking. Why no room for Sudan - surely a crisis of terrifying proportions? Read more
TOPIC - Occupy Wall Street
7 Places the 99% Will Fight Back Hard in 2012
After all, social movements aren't built in a few months. They take years of planning, new and escalating tactics, and the occasional great leap forward. We saw that leap in 2011 - now it's time to take the next step in 2012.
Read on for seven places where working people's fight for justice should erupt over the next year. Read more
7 of the Nastiest Scams, Rip-Offs and Tricks From Wall Street Crooks
How many high-level Wall Street players have been put in jail for the crimes that led to the financial crisis? Not. Even. One. Read more
Why Are We Forced to Worship at the Feet of 'Mythical' Financial Markets Controlled by the Elite?
The markets are "jittery," "upset," "skittish" and "unnerved." They are "confident" or "unsure." They are "demanding" that political leaders "put up or shut up." And they are "reacting unfavorably" to Obama's newfound populism.
These are just a few of the many ways financial markets are described each and every day by the media, financial players and public officials. At first it seems as if these markets are humanoids onto which we project our feelings. Yet, on closer inspection, it's more like we have ascribed to them god-like powers. We are told to appease the market gods or face eternal financial damnation. As President Obama warned Europe recently, they must "muster the political will" to "settle markets down." Read more
Eliot Spitzer: Our Rallying Cry Should Be, "We Own Wall Street and We Can Stop Corporate America's Worst Behavior."
If the public exercised its ownership capacity by influencing board member selection, compensation, and political donations, then these companies would be fundamentally altered... Read more
6 Stories That You May Have Missed From the Occupy Movement
But in terms of the day-to-day actions of the movement, the media is somewhat less interested now that Zuccotti Park and many other occupation sites have been cleared. Therefore, you may be missing some intriguing stories from occupiers around the nation. Here are several such stories that were under-reported over the past few weeks. Read more
Bill Black's Handy Guide to Bankster Fraud, From 'Small Fraudulent Fry' to 'Septic Tank Scum'
All Bill Black's articles and videos are GREAT... Read more
Goldman's Latest Boiler-Room Stock: America
It seems Jim O'Neill, the head of Goldman's Asset Management department, is predicting that the United States stock market may go up "15 to 20 percent." O'Neill apparently believes Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve will resort to another round of money-printing, and finally green-light the long-awaited "Qe3," or third round of "Quantitative Easing."
The QE programs involve the Fed printing hundreds of billions of dollars and pumping them into the marketplace, where they ostensibly stimulate the economy (although recent experience tells us that the money mostly ends up being swallowed by the financial services industry - but that's another subject for another time)... Read more
Obama and Geithner: Government, Enron-Style
Strongly recommend this piece at the Huffington Post by Jeff Connaughton, a former aide to Senator Ted Kaufman. Jeff is one of the smartest guys on the Hill and is particularly strong on issues surrounding Wall Street and the regulatory system.
The notion that what Wall Street firms did was merely unethical and not illegal is not just mistaken but preposterous: most everyone who works in the financial services industry understands that fraud right now is not just pervasive but epidemic, with many of the biggest banks committing entire departments to the routine commission of fraud and perjury...
What makes Obama's statements so dangerous is that they suggest an ongoing strategy of covering up the Wall Street crimewave. There is ample evidence out there that the Obama administration has eased up on prosecutions of Wall Street as part of a conscious strategy to prevent a collapse of confidence in our financial system,... Read more
Iowa: The Meaningless Sideshow Begins
It takes an awful lot to rob the presidential race of this elemental appeal. But this year's race has lost that buzz. In fact, this 2012 race may be the most meaningless national election campaign we've ever had.
... If that sounds like a glib take on a free election system that allows the public to choose whichever candidate it likes best without any censorship or overt state interference, so be it. But the ugly reality, as Dylan Ratigan continually points out, is that the candidate who raises the most money wins an astonishing 94% of the time in America. Read more
TOPIC - Occupy Wall Street
Thomas Frank: How the Right Wing Hijacked Rage Over the Economic Collapse and Swindled America
In his new book, "Pity the Billionaire," Tom Frank turns his mordant eye on the unlikeliest political development of the Obama presidency: how the crash of 2008 served to strengthen the political right. The deregulation of Wall Street, championed for 30 years by right-wing leaders, had led to an economic catastrophe so frightening that the country elected a liberal Democrat to the presidency. Read more
Grover Norquist's Real Game: Shifting Power and Wealth to the 1 Percent
Grover Norquist is fast becoming the man everyone loves to hate - except those who fear him. Norquist, the leader of Americans for Tax Reform, is both the architect and enforcer of the Republican Party's obsessive opposition to all taxes - an obsession that threatens to drive America off a fiscal cliff.
Every Republican running for president (except John Huntsman) has signed Norquist's no-tax pledge. So have 13 governors, 1,300 state legislators, 40 of the 47 Republicans in the Senate, and 236 of the 242 Republicans in the House. Read more
$707,568,901,000,000: How (And Why) Banks Increased Total Outstanding Derivatives By A Record $107 Trillion In 6 Months
While everyone was focused on the impending European collapse, the latest soon to be refuted rumors of a quick fix from the Welt am Sonntag notwithstanding, the Bank of International Settlements reported a number that quietly slipped through the cracks of the broader media. Which is paradoxical because it is the biggest ever reported in the financial world: the number in question is $707,568,901,000,000 and represents the latest total amount of all notional Over The Counter (read unregulated) outstanding derivatives reported by the world's financial institutions to the BIS for its semi-annual OTC derivatives report titled "OTC derivatives market activity in the first half of 2011." Read more...
I know this is an old video of Brooksley Born asking Warren Buffett about Derivatives, but it still is the most relevant problem to our society today. Just this year the banking industry has added another 100 Trillion to the derivatives bubble. We should be steering away, or at least regulating, derivatives! Derivatives still a ticking time bomb! (09/01/11) [11:42]
TYT: Bank of America Dangerous Derivatives Deal (10/20/11) [3:17]
Wall St's Latest Shameless Ploy to Fleece You
Wall Street is its own worst enemy. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it's busily shredding new regulations and making the public more distrustful than ever.
The Street's biggest lobbying groups have just filed a lawsuit against the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, seeking to overturn its new rule limiting speculative trading.
For years Wall Street has speculated like mad in futures markets - food, oil, other commodities - causing prices to fluctuate wildly. The Street makes bundles from these gyrations, but they have raised costs for consumers. Read more
I just found these Occupy Wall Street clips from October, but I think they are just as relevant today as 2 months ago. TYT: Bank of America Dangerous Derivatives Deal (10/20/11) [3:17]
TYT: Banks 'Livid' at Occupy Wall Street support by Democrats (10/20/11) [7:37]
HAPPY NEW YEAR: YOU CAN NOW BE DETAINED INDEFINITELY
WASHINGTON -- Indefinite military detention of Americans became the law of the land Saturday, as President Barack Obama signed a defense bill that codified that authority, even as he said he would not use it. Read more
Before Midnight, Occupy Wall Street Activists Retake Zuccotti Park
"All week! All year! We'll still be here!". "Whose park? Our park!".
The chants went up 10, 20, maybe 100 deep shortly before midnight at Zuccotti Park as Occupy Wall Street activists surprised the New York Police Department and retook the space that was once the homebase for their movement. Read more
Occupy Wall Street Explained
Current|Keith Olbermann: Occupy Wall Street Demands [4:00]
I'm using this area as a holding area. I realize RT is a controversial source for me to get material from... but I was interested in the drone use inside America.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for the intensification of sanctions against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program, saying an embargo on Iranian oil must be put in place. But Caleb Maupin of the International Action Center, an anti-war group, say such measures "are just part of a continued repression of the Iranian people."
Dronology: US flying eye spies on people at home (01/20/12) [3:25]
America's controversial use of its drones in Asia may have caused overwhelming anger, but now it's threatening to do the same at home. Washington's key spying weapon in overseas operations is becoming a common tool for U.S. police, stirring up privacy concerns among more and more Americans.
UK seeks Saudi Arabia support to attack Iran? (01/14/12) [4:53]
British PM David Cameron has met with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia - the UK's biggest trade partner and arms market in the Middle East. The gulf kingdom has been rattled by recent unrest in the Arab world - and has suppressed protests on home soil as well as elsewhere with ruthless force. During the visit, the British leader and the King of Saudi Arabia discussed shared concerns about Syria, with David Cameron talking about removing the country's President. But senior politics editor at the New Statesman magazine Mehdi Hasan believes Britain has no moral authority to preach democracy to a country which is using lethal force to disperse protests.