News Mar 2012
The third British Empire
London is considered the "capital of capitalism" allowing foreign billionaires to stash tax free income offshore.
Historians tell us that there were two quite distinct British empires - the first an Atlantic empire built on North American colonies and Caribbean possessions and the second an Asian empire, built on control of India and coercive trade with China. These two empires were deeply criminal projects, in the specific sense that they relied heavily on profits from slavery and the sale of narcotics. Empire on the British model was a moneymaking venture, where moral considerations took second place to the lure of super profits. ... Read more
US-Pakistan: Who needs whom more?
Standing side by side this week, the US president and Pakistan's prime minister vowed to work together while conceding that their relationship has experienced deep strains. On Wednesday, US and Pakistani military leaders also held talks in an attempt to mend ties between the allies. The relationship hit a new low in November after US troops, based along the Afghan border, killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. A US investigation found both sides were to blame for the deadly exchange of fire. Read more
America's Dangerous Game - drone strikes in Yemen
This film examines the covert war in Yemen and asks if the US is creating more enemies than it can capture or kill. Read more
Neoliberal Egypt: The hijacked revolution
The country's new leaders seem to be planning the same old economic policies which led to increased poverty.
London, United Kingdom - The ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 set off a spate of political reforms in Egypt culminating in the recent parliamentary elections and the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party. Yet the meaning of the 2011 "revolution" remains far from decided.
When Egyptians rose up last year, it was not only against tyranny and political repression, but also against the neoliberal economic order - designed by the United States - that has generated hunger, poverty and inequality in Egypt since the 1980s. For most people, these latter concerns were at least as pressing as the former, though they have been completely obscured in the prevailing media discourse. Now the tragedy is that, when it comes to economic policy, Egypt’s new rulers seem set to reproduce more of the same. Read more
The Koch Brothers
People & Power asks why the billionaire siblings are spending a fortune in support of a conservative political agenda. Read more
Gulf fisheries in decline after oil disaster
Nearly two years after BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, fishermen and scientists say things are getting worse. Read more
In Pictures: Gulf seafood industry struggles in wake of BP spill
Fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico are in the initial phase of collapse, according to scientists. Read more
Is capitalism bankrupt?
With a worldwide financial crisis and an outraged 99 per cent, we ask if the free market is free enough.
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday March 30 [11:40]
PBS NewsHour Thursday, March 29, 2012
Domestic News - Friday 03/23/12
International News - Friday 03/23/12
Aljazeera | Inside Story Americas - US-Pakistan: Who needs whom more? (03/30/12) [25:21]
Aljazeera | People & Power: America's Dangerous Game (03/01/12) [25:01]
Aljazeera | People & Power - The Koch Brothers (03/29/12) [25:06]
We have to: 1) get Money (Lobbyists) out of Politics/Washington, 2) Re-regulate Wall Street, 3) stop Crony CapitalismTYT | Trillion-Dollar Jet Wasting Your Tax $ (03/25/12) [2:47]
TYT | Break Up The Big Banks - Conservative Dallas Fed President (03/25/12) [4:02]
Health Care Mandate, The Supreme Court, & Hypocrisy
TYT | Extreme Weather & Climate Change (03/27/12) [5:27]
TYT | Stand Your Ground Law States (03/24/12) [5:20]
TYT | A Tribute to Newt Gingrich (03/28/12) [3:40]
Way Back Machine
Aljazeera | Slavery: A 21st Century Evil - Your purchase is your advocacy
It is not easy mobilising an army of citizens that will put an end to modern slavery. The mass of people find it hard to believe that slavery still exists in the 21st century. The fact that tens of millions of individuals around the globe daily live in real forms of bondage contradicts our sense of modern history and moral progress. Such ignorance nurtures passivity. Read more
Talks over oil release push down crude
Efforts by some of the world's biggest oil buyers to co-ordinate the possible release of emergency reserves and an intervention by Saudi Arabia sent crude prices tumbling on Wednesday, raising the prospect of relief for Europe's flagging economies and American motorists facing pump prices of almost $4 a gallon. Read more
Oh, Canada's Become a Home for Record Fracking
Early last year, deep in the forests of northern British Columbia, workers for Apache Corp. performed what the company proclaimed was the biggest hydraulic fracturing operation ever. The project used 259 million gallons of water and 50,000 tons of sand to frack 16 gas wells side by side. It was "nearly four times larger than any project of its nature in North America," Apache boasted.
The record didn't stand for long. By the end of the year, Apache and its partner, Encana, topped it by half at a neighboring site. As furious debate over fracking continues in the United States, it is instructive to look at how a similar gas boom is unfolding for our neighbor to the north. Read more
PAC Track - What and Where are the Super PACs Spending?
Two federal court rulings in 2010 paved the way for the ascent of "super PACs," political action committees that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on political races, as long as they don't coordinate with a specific candidate. And so far, they're spending heavily on the Republican race. This app, part of our long-term investigation into "dark money," keeps track of where super PACs are spending and raising their cash to influence the presidential race. Read more
Mitt Romney Tells 'Humorous' Story About Father Closing A Michigan Factory
Mitt Romney is known for his sometimes awkward sense of humor, and some of his biggest campaign missteps have come when he has made statements that seemed out of touch with Americans' economic struggles. Read more
At MF Global Hearing, Executives Offer Lawmakers Few Answers on Millions That Disappeared
MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 31. Former CEO Jon Corzine, a former New Jersey governor and U.S. senator from the state, stepped down in November. About $1.6 billion in customer money hasn't been recovered. Read more
Gangster Banks Keep Winning Public Business. Why?
This story dovetails with the larger story I have out in the magazine now about Bank of America, another Too-Big-To-Fail behemoth that placed a very close second in the area of municipal bond business, according to the Bloomberg survey. Chase managed $35.7 billion in long-term bond sales, while BOA/Merrill Lynch came in at about $200 million less. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday March 29 [11:17]
TYT | Health Care Behind The Scenes w/ Wendell Potter (12/13/10) [18:18] | Deadly Spin
Activists vs Big BusinessJudi Bari Revisited: New Film Exposes FBI Coverup of 1990 Car Bombing Part 1 (03/28/12) [17:34], Part 2 [17:34]
Redwood Summer: Where the 90s Begin (06/19/11) [22:32]
Earth First! The Politics of Radical Environmentalism by Chris Manes (07/26/11) [59:29]
Kind of SadRedwood Lumber Industry, Northern California - 1947 [9:57]
Falling Old Growth Redwood. Humboldt County CA 2002 [6:37]
Short, Thought Provoking VideosI don't necessarily agree with everything said, but I like the ideas and how cleanly they are presented. http://www.youtube.com/user/LearnLiberty
Funding Government by the Minute (03/28/12) [4:16]
What If the National Debt Were Your Debt? (03/26/12) [2:13]
What Are the Dangers of Too Much Debt? (03/20/12) [3:08]
The Broken Window Fallacy (06/23/11) [3:09]
Are We Running Out of Resources? (02/28/12) [4:07]
The following video shows how -- what we think is a simple concept -- can actually be a much more complex concept. But, it also shows how a well designed chart/graph, and good explanation, can help the rest of us make good informed decisions.
Note: this assumes the presenter is honest, with no hidden agenda!
Who favors more freedom, liberals or conservatives? (05/11/11) [4:49]
Is Social Security Bankrupt? (03/15/11) [1:39]
Banks Paying Fines <=> Cost of Doing Business
Ponying Up: How Much Have Big Banks Been Docked for the Financial Crisis?
Ponying Up: How Much Have Big Banks Been Docked for the Financial Crisis? Read more
Federal Government & Attorneys General reach landmark settlement with major banks
After many months of negotiation, 49 state attorneys general and the federal government have reached agreement on a historic joint state-federal settlement with the country's five largest loan servicers: Read more
Who are the Super PACs' Biggest Donors?
By Al Shaw, ProPublica. Updated March 21, 2012
This chart shows the share of all contributions given by the top ten donors to each of the 12 largest super PACs, through Feb. 29.
Kofi Annan's six-point plan for Syria
UN-Arab League envoy's plan calls for military pullback, establishment of temporary ceasefires and political dialogue. Read more
Netanyahu Sees Strike on Iran's Nukes as Worth the Risk
... There are a few reasons why this episode is now so important. Last week, I wrote about some of the assumptions Israel's leaders are making about the potential fallout from a strike on Iran's nuclear sites. I visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem this month, and I was struck, in my conversations with Israeli officials and ex-officials, by the number of best-case scenarios they offered up. They seemed dangerously overconfident that they could manage the aftermath of a strike, and this has led them to contemplate what seems to me -- at this moment at least -- a precipitous and premature attack. ... Read more
Why the Pentagon's New Fighter Jet Will Now Cost More Than $1 Trillion
... The JSF program is a massively expensive undertaking. It has cost the government $400 billion to date, and is estimated to run more than $1 trillion to develop, buy and support nearly 2,500 aircraft through 2050. ... Read more
The myth of freedom in the land of the free
The US touts itself as the land of free, but it has laws which are designed to crush criticisms of the state. Read more
Selling war from 1917 to 2012
The US has become more accepting of capitalism in the past century, even as economic security has declined. Read more
Painkiller Opana, new scourge of rural America
Back in high school in Houston, Texas, C.J. Coomer got good grades and played football. He was dark-haired and handsome, popular with his friends and doted on by his family. But when his mother got divorced and moved to be near family in rural Scott County, Indiana, Coomer began running with a crowd there that abused prescription painkillers to get high. His weight dropped from 210 pounds to just 140 pounds (64 kg), he couldn't work, and was constantly borrowing money. Read more
MF Global executive details scramble for funds
MF Global's (MFGLQ.PK) North America chief financial officer plans to tell lawmakers on Wednesday that she desperately sought to transfer funds to cover the customer account shortfall in the final hours before the firm's collapse, but that some banks would not execute them. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday March 28 [12:57]
Industry Whistleblower Wendell Potter: However Court Rules on Healthcare, Solution is Single-Payer (03/28/12) [16:14]
Who is Getting the Money?TYT | US Spends 59% of Budget on Defense (12/04/11) [3:14]
RT | US/Iran tension artificial? (01/05/12) [11:25]
TYT | Legal for U.S. Govt to Execute Citizens Abroad? (12/03/11) [5:10]
TYT | The Top 1% Vs YOU (10/31/11) [6:58]
Hooties vs Dick Cheney. Which is scarrier?Jon Steward | The media analyze George Zimmerman's 911 call and don hoodies, following the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida; while in other news, Dick Cheney gets a new heart. (03/26/12) [8:39]
Jon Steward | Hoodie Threat: Following the Trayvon Martin shooting, John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac report from Florida on why it is that only what black people wear turns scary. (03/26/12) [8:30] Stephen Cobert | Mitt Romney-Etch A Sketch Comparison (03/26/12) [4:41]
Model: The F-35
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Purpose: air-to-air combat
Taliban or Al Qaeda or ??
Seats: As many as you can pile in
Purpose: ground combat
Procurement: $250.00 used
Taliban or Al Qaeda
Why not just take the $400 million a plane and give it as food and clean water (i.e. modern wells) to the Afghan people. The Afghan people would probably appreciate it more.
White House Offers To Curtail Drone Program In Pakistan, Officials Say
WASHINGTON -- In a bid to save the CIA's drone campaign against al-Qaida in Pakistan, US officials offered key concessions to Pakistan's spy chief that included advance notice and limits on the types of targets. But the offers were flatly rejected, leaving US-Pakistani relations strained as President Barack Obama prepares to meet Tuesday with Pakistan's prime minister. Read moreNote: Drone Slideshow
The west has lost in Afghanistan
Five years ago the Americans were refusing to speak to the Taliban. Now the Taliban are refusing to speak to the Americans. That is a measure of how the balance of power has shifted in Afghanistan. The western intervention there has failed. As Nato prepares to withdraw from the country in 2014, it is only the scale of the defeat that remains to be determined. Read more
Transgender Miss Universe Canada Finalist Jenna Talackova Disqualified From Competition
'Koch Brothers Exposed:' New Film Examines How Billionaire Brothers Shaped The Political Narrative
... Keystone XL - Koch Industries and its employees are the single largest oil and gas donors to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Along with ample evidence linking the Kochs' business to the Canadian tar sands, they refuse to testify in Congress about their financial interest in the controversial Keystone XL. At the same time, the Kochs' allies in Congress are doing their best to stonewall and remove oversight. ... Read moreKoch Brothers Exposed: the Film trailer
Paul Ryan Budget Likely To Go Back On Shelf After House Passage
WASHINGTON -- The most powerful prescriptions of a tough House GOP budget plan, like a dramatic restructuring of Medicare and big cuts to domestic programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and transportation appear destined to go back on the shelf almost as soon as the measure is passed this week. Read more
It's Official - The Fed Is Now Buying European Government Bonds
As if the 'risk-less' dollar-swaps the Fed has extended to any and every major central bank were not enough, William Dudley just unashamedly admitted that the Fed now holds 'a very small amount of European Sovereign Debt'. Explaining this position Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, March 27 [13:50]
Healthcare Debate: Does Law Do Enough to Fix Health Crisis? (03/27/12) [24:59]
Israel: Mustafa Barghouti vs. Rabbi Arthur Waskow on BDS Movement, Palestinian Solidarity (03/26/12) [15:10]
Diane Rehms Show | Worlwide Nuclear Security Summit
Weapons-grade nuclear material is stored at an estimated one hundred sites worldwide. Many of these sites are unsecured, leaving them vulnerable to terrorists. Leaders of 54 nations are meeting in South Korea on the second of a two-day summit on keeping nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists. But the world's biggest nuclear concerns remain focused on North Korea and Iran, who did not attend the Summit but whose actions loom large over its participants. Diane and guests discuss the global nuclear summit and what it means for the future of worldwide security. Worlwide Nuclear Security Summit.
Or jump here.
Some Interesting Quotes
"Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself." --Henry A. Wallace
"Fascism is capitalism in decay." --Vladimir Lenin
"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power." --Benito Mussolini
"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group," --Franklin D. Roosevelt
The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite. --Thomas Jefferson
Fascism, at any rate the German version, is a form of capitalism that borrows from Socialism just such features as will make it efficient for war purposes. --George Orwell
Way Back MachineNoam Chomsky
Chomsky on the economy Part 1 (10/21/08) [11:00], Part 2 (10/21/08) [14:07], Part 3 (04/02/09) [13:41], Part 4 [11:19]
Noam Chomsky: The Costs of War
Afghanistan: The Wheels Are Coming Off
... While the leadership of America is mud-wrestling with itself in the election "silly season," the nation is watching the wheels come off its military occupation of Afghanistan. It feels like that special effects TV ad for a new SUV in which, as the SUV speeds forward, thousands of its parts magically come flinging loose until we see nothing but the truck chassis speeding ahead. ... Read more
Domestic NewsFormer NSA Employee Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack on Whistleblower Crackdown (03/26/12)
Democracynow.org - We continue our conversation with Thomas Drake, who was prosecuted by the Obama administration after challenging mismanagement, waste and possible constitutional violations at the National Security Administration. "I'm the first to acknowledge that there are secrets. But not when it comes to govt wrongdoing and illegalities and when in fact they're endangering the safety of our own country," Drake says. Former Justice Dept. spokesperson, Matthew Miller now says the case may have been an "ill-considered choice for prosecution. Drake faced 35 years in jail, and his case ended last year in a misdemeanor plea deal. We also speak with Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Drake's lawyer and a whistleblower herself. She is currently the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower organization. Radack has written a new book, called TRAITOR: The Whistleblower and the "American Taliban." We also discuss the case of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer who also has been charged under the espionage Act, allegedly, for providing details about the CIA's covert spy war with Iran that formed a chapter in James Risen's book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration."
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday March 26 [11:39]
Former NSA Employee Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack on Whistleblower Crackdown (03/26/12) [22:04]
Way Back Machine
Why We FightI put the documentary "Why We Fight (2006)" here and under the Military Industrial Complex (on the News Magazine menu). The documentary is older, but I like the film and also the interviews with the director Eugene Jarecki. He has a lot of good insights into the inner working of our governement.
"Why We Fight" by Eugene Jarecki, is a 2006 documentary film about the military--industrial complex. [1:38:41]
DN | "Why We Fight" director Eugene Jarecki on the Election 2008 [8:54]
TRNN | The American Way of War -- Eugene Jarecki is an award-winning dramatic and documentary filmmaker whose previous film WHY WE FIGHT won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival (03/22/09) [15:17], Part 2 [15:00], Part 3 [15:47]
The cost of empire (03/07/09) [10:48]
PakistanTRNN | The Pakistan puzzle | The unraveling situation in Pakistan confounds U.S. policy in Afghanistan (03/23/09) [10:43]
60Minutes | The War In Pakistan: Reporting from Pakistan, Steve Kroft examines the state of Pakistan, where Islamic insurgents are attempting to take over the country. (03/15/09) [12:13]
Taliban Grooming Boy Bombers (02/11/10) [2:18]
VietnamChildren of Agent Orange : How a group of US veterans in Vietnam are trying to atone for the mistakes of the past. (09/23/11) [23:58]
Jim Jordan Suggests Elections Drive Solyndra Investigation
In an interview following yet another hearing in which Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified about the Department's loan guarantee program, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appeared to admit that Republicans' ongoing probes of the program -- from which the bankrupt California-based solar company Solyndra and others benefited -- are largely a play to win votes in November. Read more
What Is President Obama So Afraid Of?
Quietly, and with little fanfare, President Obama signed a "National Defense Resources Preparedness" Executive Order on Friday. As the name suggests, the order intends to shore up the country's national defense resources in advance of a national emergency. To be fair, this is not the first time that such an order has been written. President Obama's order, however, takes things much, much further. This is all playing out with nearly perfect historical precision. Time and time again throughout history as once great empires accelerated their declines, governments have taken steps to protect their interests against the people. In the past, they have imposed curfews, disarmed the population, curtailed civil liberties, and declared national emergencies, usually against some great faceless enemy from abroad who threatens their way of life. As it turns out, though, our great faceless enemy is not some mythical boogeyman living in a cave, nor some angry brown person who hates us for our freedoms... but the very people within the system who've taken an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.' Have you hit your breaking point yet? Read more
Harold Simmons On Obama: 'That Socialist'
The reclusive, super-wealthy Republican donor Harold Simmons sat down for an interview with the Wall Street Journal in which he explained why he decided to donate $18 million to conservative super PACs. To put it bluntly: he despises and fears President Barack Obama.
"Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama," Simmons told the Journal (subscription required), in what is the piece's most provocative quote. "Obama is the most dangerous American alive... because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country."
Stocks slip on China and Europe worries
Initial indecision has been dispelled as assets classes conform to the typical "risk off" theme. The FTSE All-World index is down 0.7 per cent, supported somewhat by Asia adding 0.3 per cent earlier in the day. Read more
Jim Yong Kim For World Bank Head: Obama Nominates Dartmouth College President
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Friday nominated Dartmouth College president and global health expert Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank, an unconventional pick that could help to quell criticism in the developing world of the U.S. stranglehold on the international organization's top post. Obama said Kim, a Korean-born physician and pioneer in the treatment of HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis, has the breadth of experience on development issues needed to carry out the financial institution's anti-poverty mission. "It's time for a development professional to lead the world's largest development agency," Obama said Friday morning during a Rose Garden ceremony. Read more
The Dumbest 'Bipartisan' Move Since Repealing Glass-Steagall
... This time it's the deceptively named "JOBS Act," introduced by the far-right Republicans in Congress and passed overwhelmingly by members of both parties. The President indicated his eagerness to sign the bill early on. Once again basic protections for investors, including individuals and families, are being recklessly overturned in a deregulating frenzy. ... Read more
11 Reasons Why America Would Be A Better Place Without Goldman Sachs
Would America be a better place without Goldman Sachs? Of course it would. The "vampire squid" of Wall Street does not care about the future of America. Sadly, Goldman Sachs apparently does not even care much about their own clients. What Goldman Sachs is all about is making as much money as humanly possible. In the end, there is nothing wrong with making money, but there are constructive ways to make money and there are destructive ways to make money. Unfortunately, Goldman Sachs seems to find the destructive path almost irresistible. Read more
Morgan Stanley Ship Hauls Frozen Gas 14,500 Miles to Tokyo
Japanese LNG imports rose 22.5 percent from a year earlier to 7.67 million tons in February, the finance ministry said yesterday. The world's largest buyer of the fuel imported a record 8.44 million tons in January, trade ministry data show. The country's nuclear plants were operating at 6.1 percent of capacity last month ... Read more
Securities Fraud Settlements Plunge To Lowest Level In Ten Years
... The number and size of securities fraud settlements that won final U.S. court approval fell in 2011 to the lowest in a decade, amid a drop in cases linked to accounting problems and U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission enforcement activity. According to a study being released on Wednesday by Stanford Law School and Cornerstone Research, courts in 2011 approved 65 such settlements totaling a mere $1.36 billion, down from 86 settlements totaling $3.21 billion a year earlier. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, March 23 [11:16]
Hard Landing - Caption This Apache Helicopter Crash... In The Middle Of Afghanistan
Bloomberg | Euro Crisis EKG: Danger Signs Return to Europe (03/23/12) [1:51]
TRNN | Anand Gopal: Afghan Killings Product of Failed Strategy (03/16/12) [15:48]
TRNN | Afghan Activists Want US Out, No Deal with Taliban (03/13/12) [10:09]
Ajazeera | Afghanistan's propaganda war (03/17/12) [24:18]
Iraq Bombings: Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility For Attacks
BAGHDAD -- Al-Qaida's front group in Iraq claimed responsibility Wednesday for a wave of attacks that killed 46 people across the country this week and said the violence exposes how weak government security is ahead of the upcoming Arab League summit in Baghdad. Read more
Emirates Says 'Whole Load of Airlines' Will Fail in Fuel Squeeze
Emirates, the biggest airline by international traffic, said more carriers will go bust this year as fuel costs and sluggish economies undermine profitability. "We can reel off a whole load of airlines that are teetering on the brink or are really gone," Tim Clark, the Dubai-based carrier's president, said in an interview. "Roll this forward to Christmas, another eight or nine months, and we're going to see this industry in serious trouble."
Airline profits will plunge 62 percent in 2012 to $3 billion, equal to a 0.5 percent margin on sales, as oil prices rise ...
Who Pays the Bill for Wall Street's Mess?
Paul Ryan's Republican budget is revealing, but not flattering. Even by Washington standards, this is a remarkably dishonest document. It claims to be serious, but offers targets that are simply preposterous. It calls for leveling with the American people, but cravenly ducks laying out who will pay for top end tax cuts. Ryan would invest in policing the world and protecting the tax havens of multinationals and turn the Dream into a fantasy. The Ryan budget stands with the 1%. The Congressional Progressive Caucus with the rest of us. You get to choose. Read more"Path to Prosperity" by Paul Ryan
Small Business Tax Cut Would Help Stars, Hedge Funds
WASHINGTON -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Wednesday unveiled a $46 billion economic stimulus bill that would cut taxes for small businesses -- and offer a windfall for wealthy celebrities and hedge funds. The Small Business Tax Cut Act would grant a one-year 20 percent cut on taxes paid by small businesses, defined by the federal government as companies that employ fewer than 500 people.Read more
NSA Chief Denies Domestic Spying But Whistleblowers Say Otherwise
In a rare break from the NSA's tradition of listening but not speaking, NSA chief General Keith Alexander was grilled Tuesday on the topic of eavesdropping on Americans in front of a House subcommittee. Read more
Allen Stanford, Convicted Ponzi Schemer, Seeks New Trial, Blames Twitter
Allen Stanford, the financier convicted of running an estimated $7 billion Ponzi scheme, has asked for a new trial, citing the media's use of Twitter in the courtroom and a lack of time to prepare his defense. ...
Mitt Romney: George W. Bush And Henry Paulson Saved Country From Depression
Comment: Now -- I know Mitt Romney is either clueless or a crook. Almost every serious article I have read said: 1) the client's money should have been protected, 2) the bank managers should have been fired and brought up on charges, and 3) the banks should have been put through a controlled bankruptcy. The United States and the World economies would be much better off for it. Where as now, everyone is just holding their breath for the unraveling to start.
BEN BRAINANKE: He Says These Aren't The Zombie Banks You're Looking For
When it comes to making the markets feel confident in banks, Ben Bernanke is a Jedi master. On Wednesday the Fed chairman, who shares facial-hair characteristics with Obi-Wan Kenobi, told Congress that U.S. banks were not the zombie banks we were looking for.
Salon Corporate Challenge: Goldman Sachs
All of Wall Street's big banks are equally guilty of bad citizenship. But some are more equal than others.
Investment banks were the driving force behind the structured finance products that provided a steady stream of funding for lenders originating high risk, poor quality loans and that magnified risk throughout the U.S. financial system. The investment banks that engineered, sold, traded, and profited from mortgage related structured finance products were a major cause of the financial crisis. Read moreReport released in April by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, authored by Carl Levin and Tom Coburn
The Great Renewable Energy Race
Interactive graph (move the round ball at the top). Read more
The Deadly Scramble for the World's Last Resources - Book Review
Well, here's the rub: These critical resources are running out. Virtually all of them. The world is hurtling towards what author Michael Klare calls "a crisis of resource depletion." In a new book, Klare drops the stunning news that the earth's easily accessible supplies of oil, coal, gas, metals, minerals, rare earths and even water and food are disappearing fast, plunging governments and corporations into a balls-to-the-wall "race for what's left." Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, March 22 [10:07]
Reporter Matt Taibbi Says Fraud and Bailouts Are the Secrets to Bank of America's Success (03/22/12) [19:22]
Matt Taibbi on the Explosive Resignation of Goldman Sachs Executive Greg Smith (03/22/12) [3:04]
Bill McKibben: Winter Heat Wave Shows Need for Obama to Reject, Not Fast-Track, Keystone XL (03/22/12) [6:55]
End of the Road Documentary
In 2008 the world experienced one of the greatest financial turmoils in modern history. Markets around the world started crashing, stock prices plummeted, and major financial institutions, once thought to be invincible, started showing signs of collapse. Governments responded quickly, issuing massive bailouts and stimulus packages in an effort to keep the world economy afloat.
The Ascendence Of Sociopaths In US Governance
How did we get here? An argument can be made that miscalculation, accident, inattention and the like are why things go bad. Those elements do have a role, but it is minor. Potential catastrophe across the board can't be the result of happenstance. When things go wrong on a grand scale, it's not just bad luck or inadvertence. It's because of serious character flaws in one or many -- or even all -- of the players. So is there a root cause of all the problems I've cited? If we can find it, it may tell us how we personally can best respond to the problems. In this article, I'm going to argue that the US government, in particular, is being overrun by the wrong kind of person. It's a trend that's been in motion for many years but has now reached a point of no return. In other words, a type of moral rot has become so prevalent that it's institutional in nature. There is not going to be, therefore, any serious change in the direction in which the US is headed until a genuine crisis topples the existing order. Until then, the trend will accelerate. The reason is that a certain class of people -- sociopaths -- are now fully in control of major American institutions. Their beliefs and attitudes are insinuated throughout the economic, political, intellectual and psychological/spiritual fabric of the US. Read more
FukushimaFRONTLINE: Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown on PBS (02/28/12) [54:40]
FRONTLINE: Nuclear Aftershocks () [53:07]
60 Minutes | SpaceX video (03/17/12) [14:59]
60 Minutes | The Spymaster: Meir Dagan on Iran's threat. In a rare interview, ex-chief of Mossad Meir Dagan speaks out against a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities anytime soon. He says the Iranian regime is rational in its own way. (03/11/12) [57:00]
60 Minutes | Stuxnet: Computer worm opens new era of warfare (03/04/12) [14:55]
60 Minutes | The Majority Leader: Rep. Eric Cantor (01/01/12) [13:03]
PBS NOVA | 9/11 - "Why the Towers Fell" () [54:14]
60 Minutes | President Obama interview (12/10/11) [56:53]
60 Minutes | Jake: Hanging out with a teenage Einstein (01/15/12) [3:53]
60 Minutes | Groupon grew from a simple idea to a $15 billion company in just three years. (01/15/12) [7:53]
The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
... In the process -- and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration -- the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. ... Read more
Oil Prices Spike Exacerbated By Wall Street Speculation, Federal Reserve Study Finds
WASHINGTON -- Two economists at the St. Louis Federal Reserve have published findings that indicate that Wall Street speculation is responsible for 15 percent of the increase in oil prices over the past decade, a finding with significant implications for the recent sharp rise in gas prices.
While politicians have little ability to alter the price swings of commodities like oil, regulators have both the authority and policy tools to do so. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is responsible for overseeing the financial market for oil. The 2010 Wall Street reform bill gave the CFTC new power to limit excessive speculation, but the rule will not go into effect until later this year. Read more
Michigan's Corruptibility Rated An 'F' In New Report -- And It Isn't Just A Detroit Problem
From the cases of Kwame Kilpatrick to those of Monica Conyers and Robert Ficano, metro Detroit has not wanted for blockbuster political scandals over the past few years. But now a new ranking from the Center for Public Integrity claims that Michigan as a whole is one of the worst states when it comes to "corruptibility." Read more
New Hampshire Republican Proposes Amendment Banning Left-Handed People From Marrying
Watch Bernanke And Geithner Testify Together On The European Financial Crisis - Is There A Plan B?
What is more amusing than the pathological liars that are Tim Geithner or Ben Bernanke testifying to congress? Both of them testifying at the same time. Such as now. From C-Span: "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke go before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday to discuss lessons learned from Europe's sovereign debt crisis. In a hearing titled, "Europe's Sovereign Debt Crisis: Causes, Consequences for the United States and Lessons Learned," both financial chiefs will share their personal experiences. Read moreCNBC's Santelli vs Liesman Cage Match: TARP
Zero Hedge | Author | 03.21.12
We heard it then and we will hear it again (soon we suspect) that unless some huge liquidating bailout event occurs, the world will no longer exist as we know it... Video Debt Ceiling 101, CNBC's Santelli Sounds Off
Zero Hedge | Author | little older
The Sesame Street vesion of the "LAST" Debt Ceiling Increase... Video This is an easy to understand video that goes well with the video above. DEBT LIMIT - A guide to American Federal Debt Made Easy [3:09]
Record 1.2 Million People Fall Out Of Labor Force In One Month, Labor Force Participation Rate Tumbles To Fresh 30 Year Low
A month ago, we joked when we said that for Obama to get the unemployment rate to negative by election time, all he has to do is to crush the labor force participation rate to about 55%. Looks like the good folks at the BLS heard us: it appears that the people not in the labor force exploded by an unprecedented record 1.2 million. Read more
The Sesame Street Jobs 'Recovery'
After deconstructing the labor report for signs of false positives, Michael Cembalest of JPMorgan, sees muddle-through data in the US as sustaining a below trend growth rate - noting his belief that the US economy would not withstand a withdrawal of stimulus (read promise of liqudity to come) right now. While not as ebulient as many on the street, the JPM CIO sees a US job market that is gradually getting better - as is spending. However, what keeps him up at night is the budget deficit... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, March 21 [11:53]
James Bamford: Inside the NSA's Largest and Most Expansive Secret Domestic Spy Center Part 1 (03/21/12) [12:07], Part 2 [19:09]
NOVA | The Spy Factory () [52:48]
Repeat from Monday (Wired Magazine)So what is Washington and Congress Spending Our Money On??
"Last November a bipartisan group of 24 senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to approve continued funding through 2013 for the Department of Energy's exascale computing initiative" (the NSA's budget requests are classified).
2 Billion Dollars Data Center
And I'm sure the 2 billion dollars is just a drop in the bucket to what it will really cost!
Needs and Costs
When the computer gets to yottaflop size...
Review of The New IPad 3
Way Back Machine
Crazy People on Wall Street
TYT: Bank of America Dangerous Derivatives Deal (10/20/11) [3:17]
International NewsTRNN | Lawrence Wilkerson: Conflict in Syria is a Civil War (03/17/12) [9:33]
Another Hidden Bailout: Helping Wall Street Collect Your Rent
Here's yet another form of hidden bailout the federal government doles out to our big banks, without the public having much of a clue. This is from the WSJ this morning:
The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom
... According to Arthur Berman, a respected energy consultant in Texas who has spent years studying the industry, Chesapeake and its lesser competitors resemble a Ponzi scheme, overhyping the promise of shale gas in an effort to recoup their huge investments in leases and drilling. When the wells don't pay off, the firms wind up scrambling to mask their financial troubles with convoluted off-book accounting methods. "This is an industry that is caught in the grip of magical thinking," Berman says. "In fact, when you look at the level of debt some of these companies are carrying, and the questionable value of their gas reserves, there is a lot in common with the subprime mortgage market just before it melted down." ... Read more
Monsanto Pays 93 Million to Victims In Settlement
Monsanto tentatively agreed to a $93 million settlement with some residents of Nitro, West Virginia. Nitro is a small town that got its name from manufacturing explosives during WWI. It was also the site of a Monsanto chemical plant that manufactured 2,4,5-T herbicide that was half of the Agent Orange recipe. Herbicide 2,4,5-T was contaminated with the caustic by-product dioxin. This settlement may open the floodgates to successfully suing Monsanto for its poison. Read moreThis is one of the comments to the above article: My dad was a chemist -- two patents to his name -- and he was Union Carbide's patent agent for a quarter century. When I was in college -- I think in '71 -- he called -- one of only two times. He said that dioxin was in Agent Orange -- they'd analyzed it. He said that the only way that could be in the mix was if they ran the reactor too hot. He told me that if I got a draft notice, I was going to Canada or Europe -- immediately. Then he handed the phone over to my mother who cried her eyes out. She said that if I got a draft notice, she may never see me again when I left, or any children I might have, but it was the only logical choice. And shortly after that, the reactor blew up and killed plant workers. And did anyone at that plant ever see any OSHA inspectors? NO! But they crawled all over Carbide -- a good guy in the chemical industry. Finally -- FINALLY -- all this -- crap is coming out -- 40 YEARS LATER -- after most of the victims are dead -- Jim from West Virginia. Dylan Ratigan: Taxpayer funded loans and corporate welfare (03/17/12) [3:39]
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, March 20 [12:12]
DN | Florida's "Shoot First" Law Critiqued By Gun Control Lobby Following Trayvon Martin Shooting (03/20/12) [10:11]
FukushimaGundersen: One Year Anniversary of Fukushima Daiichi (03/01/12) [4:19]
CNN | State of Vermont vs. Entergy on Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant (03/01/12) [7:56]
The Magic of Computers, Still Need Electricity!In the last several days I have had articles from 1) Japan's worlds fastest computer with 82,944 custom-made CPUs that can do 10 quadrillion, or 10,000 trillion calculations a second, to 2) US's Utah Data Collection Center that can hold a yottabyte of information and use about 200 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 200,000 homes. So today I thought I would put together some videos on what a data center is composed of. If you don't care about how a modern computer server is constructed, though the Intel videos are facinating with all the robots, skip down to Data Centers and watch Microsoft, Google and White Mountain (WikiLeaks) videos. Have fun.
Chip Manufacturing Process - Philips Factory (08/25/10) [10:43]
From Sand to Chip - How a CPU is Made - AMD Factory (08/25/10) [10:13]
How the Intel 22nm computer chips are made from silicon (10/17/10) [6:04]
Get Inside an Intel 45nm Chip Factory(11/07/07) [7:39]
Micro Chip to Processor
How the Intel Processor is Made (09/08/09) [6:48]
How to make a Motherboard - A GIGABYTE Factory (07/15/10) [10:33]
Individual Blade Computer
Introducing the World's Fastest 1U Server (06/05/09) [3:19]
Microsoft GFS Datacenter (07/24/11) [10:17]
Google container data center tour (04/07/09) [6:37]
HP Pod Data Center Container (12/10/08) [8:28]
White Mountain, Fit For A James Bond Villain! (04/15/09) [9:12]
Facebook's Server Room [8:09]
CERN: server farm [0:23]
Way Back Machine - Still Relevant TodayDylan Ratigan | MSNBC exposes Federal Reserve Con (04/08/10) [7:00], Part 2 [9:11]
Iran threatens Hormuz and world oil supply after trade links cutoff
Former Intelligence Minister Ali Falahian, Iran's senior spokesman on sanctions, said Sunday, March 18, that if the US and Europe think they can ignore international law to promote their interests, they should know that Iran will respond in kind everywhere it can. "I suggest that the West take seriously our threat to close the Strait of Hormuz," he said in Tehran's first response to the SWIFT decision to sever ties with Iranian banks to enforce European sanctions on its nuclear program. Read more
2011 - The Year Of The Earthquake: A Visual And Auditory Guide
Mitt Romney Doesn't Have Enough Information To 'Take A Stand' On Afghanistan
WASHINGTON -- More than a decade into the war in Afghanistan, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney does not have enough information to "take a stand" on whether troops should remain or continue to withdraw on the timetable set by President Obama. Read more
Big Romney is watching you
Romney's private equity firm is helping China create an all-seeing surveillance system -- the free market at work. Read more
The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
... In the process -- and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration -- the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. ... Read more
Want to Lower Gas Prices to $3.00, Now? Tax the Oil Speculators, Now
A month ago, I reminded everyone that ExxonMobil's CEO, Rex Tillerson, told Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing that the oil would be about $60-70/barrel if the speculators in oil futures were not driving up the price. (See the linked article for the testimony, and the link to the hearing itself).
A few days ago, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich picked up the same theme, pointing out that the oil speculators had gone to court to get a stay against regulating their activities.
That is, Wall Street is playing hardball, driving more and more of your money into their pockets.
Every time a Honda Civic owner fills his tank, he hands $7.30 to Wall Street. A Ford Explorer driver is even more "generous" -- she provides them with a cool $10.41. Read more
Greg Smith vs Goldman Sachs
When I read Greg Smith's op ed in the New York Times my very strong impression was, "Nothing new here, so what, not worth reading." That's certainly true as far as I was concerned, but when a friend not in finance told me the contents of the editorial was a surprise, I thought I had better weigh in. I even feel somewhat duty-bound to do so, because I spent many years on the "sell side," that is, at firms like Goldman Sachs. Read more
A Wall Street Insider's Response To Greg Smith
... I'll say it again: Greg Smith has nerve. He took great risk putting his name to that letter. He will be getting calls, emails and all else, straight to his person. He might well face litigation, this from a foe few dare challenge. And the men at the at the top, CEO Lloyd Blankfein and COO Gary Cohn, are powerful indeed, and Greg Smith has just publicly done them far more damage as individuals than any testimony in front of Congress did. ... Read more
Goldman Sachs's long history of duping its clients
Smith, now the most famous former Goldman Sachs derivatives salesman on the planet, went off on his former employer in the opinion pages of the New York Times this past week -- much to the amazement of nearly everyone -- because he claimed that during his 12years at the firm, the ethics and morals of his co-workers deteriorated so dramatically that he just couldn't take it anymore. Read more
Goldman's never had "moral fiber"
... The problem isn't excessive greed. If you took the greed out of Wall Street all you'd have left is pavement. The problem is endemic abuse of power and trust. When bubbles are forming, all but the most sophisticated investors can be easily duped into thinking they'll get rich by putting their money into the hands of brand-named investment bankers. ... Read more
What Do Customers Really Think About Goldman Sachs?
I tried to find a representative article, but couldn't. Need to read the article. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, March 19 [13:16]
DN | Occupy Wall Street Strategy Discussion: Stephen Lerner, Frances Fox Piven, Ryan Devereaux (03/19/12) [15:41]
DN | Police Arrest 73 in Occupy Wall Street Crackdown As Protesters Mark Six Months of Uprising (03/19/12) [12:17]
If you don't want to view the whole video please start at 1:40 minutes, about 1 inch in from the left on the progress bar.
2011 earthquakes WORLDWIDE plotted and animated (2/10/12) [9:03] Mitt Romney Doesn't Have Enough Information To 'Take A Stand' On Afghanistan
Drones in America | SURVEILLANCE IN AMERICAYou might have missed the Executive Order that got signed late last Friday.
Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness 03/16/12
In Washington Congress can't agree on anything, but ...
"These goals have considerable support in Congress. Last November a bipartisan group of 24 senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to approve continued funding through 2013 for the Department of Energy's exascale computing initiative" (the NSA's budget requests are classified).
2 Billion Dollars Data Center
And I'm sure the 2 billion dollars is just a drop in the bucket to what it will really cost!
Needs and Costs
When the computer gets to yottaflop size...
Way Back Machine
Crazy People on Wall Street
TYT: Bank of America Dangerous Derivatives Deal (10/20/11) [3:17]
With The Enterprise Just 4 Days Away From Arrival, A SWIFT Cut Off Of Iran
Update: as we hit print, we see headlines that the UK will cooperate with the US on bilateral agreement to release oil stocks. Crude down big on the news, which is merely an advance move ahead of almost inevitable war with Iran, simply to make the spike more palatable.
The push to get Iran to do something terminally irrational (now that USS Enterprise in its final tour of duty is almost on location just off the side of CVN-70 Lincoln and CVN-72 Vinson in the Arabian Sea, where the US will shortly have not one, not two, but three aircraft carriers) is now in its final stretch. Read more
Pakistan's Zardari Seeks to Restore U.S. Ties Amid Challenges
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said his nation is seeking to restore ties with the U.S. as lawmakers prepare to seek consensus on the countries' future relationship after a challenging year. Read more
Banking The Least Trusted Industry In America: Report
Finance is one of the least-trusted professions in the United States, just behind of banking and ahead of media, according to a to a new report from public relations firm Edelman. According to the survey, 46 percent of the American general public has trust in financial services, slightly higher than the global average of 45 percent. Read more
Goldman Heir On Greg Smith Op-Ed: 'Spot On'
Henry Goldman III, the great-grandson of Goldman Sachs' founder Marcus Goldman, told Business Insider that he thinks Greg Smith's op-ed in The New York Times criticizing the investment bank's "toxic" environment was "spot on." Read more
Gullible Muppets and Goldman Sachs: What Does It Say to the 99%
Banker Greg Smith quit Goldman Sachs in spectacular style, making a splash in the press as big as the fortune he and his colleagues made off the backs of clients worth trillions of dollars. Unfortunately, unlike Mr Smith the 99% are simply not in a position to walk away from the mess the bankers created and are suffering the consequences of record unemployment and a broken society. Neither have the 99% been collecting a hefty six-figure salary as Smith has for the past 12 years before his epiphany. Read more
Humanity Is Rising
Why Conservatives Are Still Crazy After All These Years
It suddenly feels like conservatism has gotten crazier than ever. Read more
VideosEx-Goldman Exec Comes Clean On How A "Toxic And Destructive Goldman Rips Off Its Clients"
BBC | Trader Tells the Truth: "The Collapse is Coming... And Goldman Rules The World (09/26/11) [3:29]
RT | Goldman Trashed by Long Time Exec Greg Smith(03/14/12) [9:28]
Keith Olbermann | Goldman parachute: Dan Gross on the allure of Greg Smith's op-ed (03/14/12) [2:24]
Dylan Ratigan | Ex Goldman Sachs executive Greg Smith exposes the toxic culture of greed at Goldman Sachs. (03/16/12) [10:46]
Stephen Cobert | Stephen takes Wall Street executive Greg Smith to task for breaking the sacred trust of "The Street." (03/14/12) [3:14]
Aljazeera | Inside Story Americas - Is Wall Street beyond reform? (03/16/12) [25:02]
Aljazeera | Jeffrey Sachs: 'That's not a free market, that's a game' (12/11/11) [25:11]
Jeffrey Sachs: 'That's not a free market, that's a game' (article)
Jeffrey Sachs: Occupy Wall Street Part 1 (11/09/11) [6:12], Part 2 [5:38]
Capitalism Hits the Fan Film Screening and Q&A with Professor Richard Wolff (03/10/10) [1:44:18]
A Little Bit of HumorJohn Steward | John Oliver investigates US stopping funding of UNESCO
In this two-part report, John Oliver investigates the Obama administration's decision to stop funding UNESCO, a multinational humanitarian organization. Part 1 (03/15/12) [5:29], Part 2 [6:54]
Sanctioned Iran Banks Being Cut Off From Global Network
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, known as Swift, the dominant messaging service for international financial transactions, said yesterday it will halt service for some two dozen Iranian banks that have been sanctioned by the European Union, including Iran's central bank Read more
Weiss: Zionism has created 'rivers of blood'
When Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, visited Washington last week on the eve of the Purim holiday, he gave Barack Obama, the US president, what he considered a symbolic gift - a copy of the old testament book of Esther. Netanyahu called it "background reading on Iran", since its story concerns relations with Jews in the Persian empire some 2,500 years ago. It is considered by scholars to be mostly fiction, but for Netanyahu Esther represented justification for his stance against modern Iran. Read more
Green: Death of the Forests
This extraordinary visual essay, told with no human commentary at all, explores the impact of deforestation and the exploitation of natural resources in Indonesia from the point of view of a dying orangutan called Green. Stunning images of the natural world and its biodiversity are counter-pointed with scenes of their destruction and the resulting cruelty to animals. The film takes viewers on an emotional journey, following Green's final days and revealing the devastating impact of logging, land-clearing and palm oil plantations. Read more
Goldman's Greg Smith Not First To Highlight Wall Street's Shortcomings
Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs employee, turned into an Internet household name Wednesday after he penned his letter of resignation from the bank in the form of an op-ed in The New York Times. While the letter generated outcry from all corners, Smith is echoing sentiments that have been expressed before by others. Read more
Goldman Roiled by Op-Ed Loses $2.2B for Shareholders
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) saw $2.15 billion of its market value wiped out after an employee assailed Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein's management and the firm's treatment of clients, sparking debate across Wall Street. Read more
Stress Tests Pass Fed's Flim-Flam Standard: Jonathan Weil
The most important thing to understand about the Federal Reserve's latest stress tests is what they were not intended to do. Their purpose wasn't to test whether the nation's biggest banks could survive a financial blowup like that of 2008 without government assistance.
... That's why the results of the Fed's "comprehensive capital analysis" are more about public relations and manufacturing confidence than they are about disseminating reliable information on banks' health. ... Read more
Watch Bernanke's 'Little' Inflation Capsize U.S.
A little is all right. That's the message Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has been giving out recently when asked about the evidence of inflation in the U.S. recovery. Sometimes Bernanke doesn't even go that far. He simply says he doesn't see inflation. The Fed chairman recently described the prospects for price increases across the board as "subdued." Read more
Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks' Mortgage Shenanigans
According to one suit, Bank of America allegedly passed bad loans on to the Federal Housing Administration. According to another, the bank allegedly denied qualified homeowners access to HAMP, the government's loan modification program.
The suits were all settled as part of the overall $25 billion mortgage deal. They were filed under the False Claims Act, which provides incentives for whistleblowers to come forward in cases in which someone has defrauded the government. Whistleblowers can net up to 25 percent of the total settlement from False Claims suits, and in some of these cases, the reward is in the millions. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, March 16 [14:55]
DN | State Dept. Seeks Firing of Peter Van Buren, Whistleblower Who Exposed Wasteful Iraq Projects (03/16/12) [6:35]
DN | Afghan Massacre Sheds Light on Culture of Mania and Aggression in U.S. Troops in Afghanistan (03/16/12) [16:40]
DN | "Mind Zone": New Film Tracks Therapists Guiding Soldiers Through Traumas of Afghan War (03/16/12) [10:11]
Aljazeera | Rabbi Dovid Weiss: Zionism has created 'rivers of blood' (03/10/12) [20:47]
TRNN | "No First Strike Against Iran" Says NYT Ad (03/14/12) [22:11]
Aljazeera | Witness - Green: Death of The Forests (03/14/12) [47:14]
Reuters | Tornado wrecks Michigan homes (03/15/12) [0:34]
TYT | 'Why I'm Leaving Goldman Sachs' - NY Times Op-Ed (03/14/12) [10:21]
TYT | Why Are You On Birth Control? Employers Asking (03/14/12) [3:16]
TYT | Bible Belt Loves Porn (03/15/12) [4:10]
Way Back MachineAfghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death (2001-2002) [50:42]
Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death (earlier title: Massacre at Mazar) is a 2002 documentary by Irish filmmaker Jamie Doran and Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi about alleged war crimes committed by Afghan Northern Alliance troops under General Abdul Rashid Dostum against Taliban fighters. The Taliban fighters, who had surrendered to Dostum's troops after the November 2001 siege of Kunduz, were transported to Sheberghan prison in sealed containers. Human rights groups estimate that hundreds or thousands of them died during and after transit. Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death presents testimony from interviewees stating that American military personnel were present at and complicit in some of the mass killings, known as the Dasht-i-Leili massacre.
Top ten media failures in the Iran war debate
... What about the human beings? One of the more bizarre failures of reporting on the war debate has been the dearth of discussion of what an attack might mean for Iranian civilians. If you take out some of Iran's nuclear facilities from the air, for example, there's a very real risk of spreading radioactive material or other poisonous chemicals in populated areas, thereby threatening the lives of lots of civilians ... Read more
From Seeds of Suicide to Seeds of Hope: Why Are Indian Farmers Committing Suicide and How Can We Stop This Tragedy?
200,000 farmers have ended their lives since 1997. Farmers' suicides are the most tragic and dramatic symptom of the crisis of survival faced by Indian peasants. Read more
Alone: India's Farmer Widows (Slideshow)
India's ongoing water crisis has driven 200,000 farmers to suicide. As water dwindles, that number grows, and farmer widows are left to pick up the pieces. Read more
Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail
At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we'll all be paying for until the end of time. Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers? Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they'll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world's worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt's funeral. ... Read more
On Goldman Executive Greg Smith's Brave Departure
Wall Street is buzzing this morning about a resignation -- a historic one. Greg Smith, the executive director and head of Goldman Sachs's United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, not only decided to quit Goldman, he decided to do it in the New York Times, eloquently deconstructing the firm's moral slide in a lengthy op-ed piece. Read more
Twitter Feed Is Fed's Latest Effort to Reach Out to Public
The Federal Reserve said it will post messages about its press releases, speeches, testimony and reports to Congress -- even its weekly balance sheet. It will also post "educational frequently asked questions," according to a statement released today in Washington. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, March 15 [13:42]
Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in Prison? (03/15/12) [15:38]
Onwards to India's Food Sovereignty - The alternative Public Distrib (w/ video)
Thanks Too EVIL MONSANTO Every 30 Minutes a Farmer Commits Suicide (02/07/12) [6:37]
'Kony 2012' Prompts Outrage In Uganda, Future Screenings Canceled (VIDEO) (03/14/12) [2:40]
Stephen Cobert | Iranian Irony Threat. As war tensions escalate between the U.S. and Iran, Stephen fears a covert hipster plot. (03/07/12) [3:50]
Jon Steward | My Little Kony. Jason Russell's "Invisible Children" YouTube video condemning the human rights abuses of Joseph Kony becomes a viral sensation. (03/12/12) [5:02]
Domestic NewsDylan Ratigan | "Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail" by Matt Taibbi of RollingStone. Exclusive on the fallout of the financial meltdown and banks still "cooking the books".
Reggie Middleton's Stance: Business Model Designed To Walk Over Clients (03/14/12) [1:08]
TYT | It doesn't have anything to do with Democrats, It has to do with the wholesale purchase of the Republican party by the top one percent. (03/07/12) [2:11]
I like Nigel Farage and his outspokennessRT | Nigel Farage Thinks It's Revolution Time (02/19/12) [7:32]
Japan Earthquake 2012: Tokyo Region Hit By Strong Quake
... A magnitude-6.8 earthquake first struck the southern coast of Hokkaido island in the evening, causing a small tsunami. Tsunami advisories were issued along the northern Pacific coast, prompting some communities to advise residents to evacuate coastal homes. ... Read more
Side-by-Side Look at Destruction and Renewal in Japan
Global Warming: Flood Risk Rising For Coastal Residents, Reports Say
WASHINGTON, March 14 (Reuters) - For the nearly 5 million people who live along the U.S. coasts from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Coast, rising seas fueled by global warming have doubled the risk of so-called once-a-century floods, according to a trio of environmental reports released on Wednesday. These new reports - one from the non-profit group Climate Central and two others published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters - offer a detailed picture of where the most severe risks are along coastlines of the contiguous 48 states. Read more
Stress Tests: Citigroup, Three Other Major Banks Fail
... For now, the Fed says banks have significantly bigger cash cushions than they did heading into the crisis. Still, the Fed said the financial plans of Citigroup, Ally Financial, SunTrust and MetLife left those banks without enough of a cash cushion to survive a severe economic downturn. ... Read more
Is MF Global Getting a Free Pass?
It's sure starting to look as if Jon Corzine is going to get away with it. By now, it has been well established that Corzine's former firm, MF Global, committed the sin of sins for a broker-dealer. In late October, during the final, desperate days before it entered bankruptcy proceedings, its executives took money from segregated customer accounts -- money that belonged not to MF Global but to the farmers and commodities traders that were its clients -- and used it to prop up its rapidly collapsing business. Read more
Guy Who Rented All 94 Rooms of Aspen Hotel for Party Scores Awesome New Goldman Job
Remember the story about the Wall Street guy who rented out all 94 rooms of an Aspen hotel for three days for his daughter's Bat Mitzvah? ... Verschleiser also made a bundle burning Bear's bond insurers, whom he bet against after inducing them to insure his crappy mortgage bonds, nicknamed "Sack of Shit" bonds by one of the funny dudes in his department. Verschleiser reportedly bragged that he made $55 million shorting his own bond insurers in the space of three weeks. ... Read more
J.P. Morgan Chase's Ugly Family Secrets Revealed
In a story that should be getting lots of attention, American Banker has released an excellent and disturbing expose of J.P. Morgan Chase's credit card services division, relying on multiple current and former Chase employees. One of them, Linda Almonte, is a whistleblower whom I've known since last September; I'm working on a recount of her story for my next book. Read more
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
Ex-Goldman Exec Comes Clean On How A "Toxic And Destructive" Goldman "Rips Its Clients Off"
Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs. Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm -- first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London -- I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it. Read more
Goldman Responds To Greg Smith, Darth Vader Is Leaving The Empire, And More...
Because every former employee confession has an equal and opposite reaction from "toxic and destructive" firms. And what a better way to test the PR disaster damage control skills of the firm's new global head of corporate communications: former Treasury aide and Geithner lackey Jake Siewert. In other news, Goldman is now promptly adding perpetual non-disparagement clauses to all employee contracts. Retroactively, if possible. Read more
Goldman Sachs Executive Director Corroborates Reggie Middleton's Stance: Business Model Designed To Walk Over Clients
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, March 14 [8:19]
DN | Behind the Afghan Massacre: Accused Soldier Suffered Brain Injury After Deployments in Iraq (03/14/12) [17:59]
Rich are Getting RicherThom Hartmann: Secrets the Rich don't Want You to Know (04/15/11) [10:25]
TYT | Top 1% Captured 93% Of Income Gains In 2010 (03/05/12) [4:03]
The Widening Wealth Divide, and Why We Need a Surtax on the Super Wealthy
Let Santorum and Romney duke it out for who will cut taxes on the wealthy the most and shred the public services everyone else depends on. The rest of us ought to be having a serious discussion about a wealth tax. Because if you really want to know what's happening to the American economy you need to look at household wealth -- not just incomes. Read more
Corporations Are Manipulating UsHow corporations have redefined our freedom... (03/12/12) [7:53]
Thom Hartmann | Mark Pocan D-WI Rep talks about how ALEC is writing laws for our legislatures. (03/13/12) [8:41]
Thom Hartmann | ALEC's disturbing level of influence (01/06/12) [6:05]
Why I Am Leaving Goldman SachsReggie Middleton's Stance: Business Model Designed To Walk Over Clients (03/14/12) [1:08]
Big Brother & More on BanksRT | 'EU pushing Greece towards revolution' (03/13/12) [5:20]
RT | Bigger Brother: Total surveillance comes to UK (03/09/12) [3:19]
Max Keiser | Anonymous vs Goldman Sachs (03/09/12) [1:15] Max Keiser | Banks that Bite: 'This is not a boat accident' (03/07/12) [2:05] Obama's Wall Street (02/24/12) [1:01]
And They Think It's All Over ...
So Greece has been saved -- is that right? Well according to ISDA (the International Swaps and Derivatives Association) a "Restructuring Credit Event has occurred with respect to the Hellenic Republic" which in the vernacular means the Greeks are bust; tell us something we don't know! The importance of this statement is that credit default swaps (CDS) on Greek debt are now triggered and holders will have their losses made good. There were any number of scurrilous rumours that ISDA would not declare a credit event to preclude their illustrious members from paying out, but when the net downside of $3 billion needs to be shared out amongst the likes of Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, UBS, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale ... Read more
Euro Weakness Wanes as Draghi Prompts Traders to Tame Views
The world's biggest banks are less pessimistic about the euro as the European Central Bank provides unlimited cash to the region's financial system, Germany may avoid recession and Greece looks to complete the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history. Strategists at Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley raised their estimates for the euro this month, as the median estimates of more than 50 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg increased for the second and third quarters. Read more
Japan earthquake and tsunami anniversary: 30 powerful images of the disaster
Gaza violence: 'we don't want to escalate but maybe we have no choice'
Rockets from militants are slamming into Israeli cities, Israeli air strikes are killing Palestinian children, and no end is in sight... Read more
The 2012 Money Race: Compare the Candidates
The presidential candidates have raised more than $330 million for their campaigns to date, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Mitt Romney leads among Republicans, but President Obama easily topped the field. Read more
Republican Presidential Candidates
All the Republican Candidates listed in one place... Read more
Barack Obama's warm welcome for David Cameron signals revival of 'special relationship'
The president and Prime Minister will say that the "essential relationship" is a "partnership of the heart", as Mr Cameron flies to America for a three-day visit. Official talks are likely to focus on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, with a handover to Afghan troops now expected as soon as mid-2013. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, March 13 [12:54]
TRNN | As Greece Unravels, Banks and Markets Pleased with Austerity and Debt Deal (03/12/12) [10:22]
TRNN | Raising Taxes on Rich does not Slow Jobs Growth (03/09/12) [12:16]
TYT | Republican Jobs Plan - Help Hedge Funds (03/09/12) [4:45]
TYT | Anonymous Members Arrested - FBI Fear Mongering? (03/08/12) [5:33]
TYT | Jeb Bush For President? (02/28/12) [5:11]
Special Interest News
Super Computer that can do 10,000,000,000,000,000 calculations per second
The K (kei) Computer is made up of 864 fridge-like units called "racks, which contain 24 system boards. While normal PCs are mounted with just one CPU, K has a total of 82,944 custom-made CPUs. The K Computer can do 10 quadrillion, or 10,000 trillion calculations a second. What do you know we can count up all the derivatives in the world in less than a second! Read more
Japan's Nuclear Energy Industry Nears Shutdown, at Least for Now
The Ohi nuclear plant was not damaged by the earthquake or tsunami but sits idled because of a standoff caused by a legal quirk: Japanese law requires reactors to be shut down every 13 months for routine checkups and the plant's operator has been unable to restart them because of opposition from local residents. ...
Goldman Secret Greece Loan Shows Two Sinners as Client Unravels
Greece's secret loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) was a costly mistake from the start. On the day the 2001 deal was struck, the government owed the bank about 600 million euros ($793 million) more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed, said Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over the country's debt-management agency in 2005. By then, the price of the transaction, a derivative that disguised the loan and that Goldman Sachs persuaded Greece not to test with competitors, had almost doubled to 5.1 billion euros, he said. Read more
What Obama and Israel Are Really Up to With Iran, and Each Other
But behind the scenes, the truth is different. According to a number of senior American intelligence and Mideast policy officials, speaking on background, the U.S.'s significantly ramped-up American covert sabotage and non-proliferation campaign has convinced the Israelis that the U.S. is more sensitive about Israel's "red lines" -- the no-way-back developments that the Jewish state can't tolerate and would pre-emptively strike to prevent. This, in turn, fortifies Israel's caution. Despite the hue and cry of Republican candidates, the two sides are actually moving closer together. (That doesn't mean that either country is preparing for action, and the U.S. remains committed to a policy of direct military action only as a last resort.) ... Read more
Our "Let's Pretend" Economy: Let's Pretend Financialization Hasn't Killed the Economy
... Financialization is like the bubonic plague--it constantly needs new victims as it kills off its existing hosts. Housing? Dead, killed by financialization, aided, abetted and powered by the Federal Reserve. Now the Fed wants to "save" what it already killed via financialization--housing--by buying $1 trillion in plague-infested mortgages and brute-force efforts to keep interest rates below inflation, i.e. negative rates. ... Read more
Banker-Novelist Alex Preston Attacks Ruthless Traders, Sides With Protests
"I sleep a lot better now," he says. "There were things about it that were incredibly attractive besides the money, but at my core I was pretty miserable because I didn't get to see enough of my kids. I was always reading a book inside an annual report." Novelist Alex Preston was also going home and writing each night. His first novel, "This Bleeding City," was published while he was global head of trading in the Carlyle Group LP's (CG) leveraged finance division. Read more
The Most Dangerous Man In America -- Ed DeMarco's
DeMarco steadfastly refuses to allow Fannie and Freddie to help distressed homeowners by writing off principal balances on their mortgages. This has ensured that tens of millions of borrowers remain "underwater," meaning they owe the banks more than their homes are worth -- a status that has an alarming tendency to portend foreclosure. His refusal is based on logic that is both elegantly simple and tragically flawed: He is responsible for cleaning up the books at Fannie and Freddie, so he is against spending money. Read more
The Story Behind US Gas Price Pain
Gasoline consumption in the United States has been dropping for years. In the last decade, vehicle fuel efficiency has improved by 20%, and the combination of that shift and a weak economy of late has pushed gasoline demand to its lowest level in a decade. At the same time, US oil production is at its highest level in a decade. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, March 12 [10:35]
Nuclear Engineer Arne Gundersen: Fukushima Meltdown May Result in 1 Million Cases of Cancer (03/12/12) [9:02]
Contamination Fears Linger For Japanese Children, Workers One Year After Fukushima Meltdown (03/12/12) [10:55]
"The Greatest Bank Robbery Ever"
Interview with William K. Black. Banks, intensifying financial crises; money manager capitalism; sovereign currency; crony capitalism; theoclassical economists; control fraud, Commodities Future Modernization Act of 2000; S&L Liars' Loan Crisis of 1990-91; Reinventing Government Movement; deregulation, desupervision and defacto decriminalization; fraud incentives; looting; subprime; Enron; Parmalat; BofA; Citigroup; Ameriquest; Washington Mutual; systemically dangerous institutions; Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); faux stress tests; European austerity crisis; Mario Draghi, President of the ECB.
Click for Audio Interview with Bill Black
Thom Hartmann | Economist Richard Wolff on Austerity in Greece (03/08/12)[12:32]
Thom Hartmann | Michael Cohn on security in America and the Iranian Threat (03/08/12)[6:26]
Way Back Machine
9/11 FEMA videographer at Ground Zero goes public
As official videographer for the U.S. government, Kurt Sonnenfeld was detailed to Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, where he spent an entire month filming: "What I saw at certain moments and in certain places ... is very disturbing!" He never handed his 29 tapes over to the authorities and has been persecuted ever since. Kurt Sonnenfeld lives in exile in Argentina. ... Read more9/11 :WTC - Kurt Sonnenfeld video footage 9/11.: newly released 2010 (09/30/10) [9:31]
9/11.FEMA Photographer Kurt Sonnenfeld WTC Photos Part 1 [14:11], Part 2 [14:17], Part 3 [10:55]
A War Crime Or an Act of War?
It was no surprise that President Bush, lacking smoking-gun evidence of Iraq's weapons programs, used his State of the Union address to re-emphasize the moral case for an invasion: ''The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or disfigured.'' Read moreI don't really like the way Alex Jones interviews people, but I like Greg Palast and his investigations. So here are two report:
Alex Jones | Greg Palast: Greece Crisis is A "Crime Scene" 1/3 (11/10/11) [14:03], Part 2 [15:14], Part 3 [3:14]
BBC | Greg Palast: We're Not Running Out of Oil, Just Cheap Oil (02/08/11) [13:39]
If you haven't already seen this movie you should watch it. It is more relevant today then it was in 1988. John Carpenter's "They Live" (1988) [1:34:00]
Private Investors Said to Agree to Swap About 85% of Greek Debt
Private investors agreed to swap about 85 percent of their Greek government bonds for new securities in the biggest sovereign debt restructuring in history, according to a banker briefed on the results. Preliminary indications showed that as much as 155 billion euros ($205 billion) of the 177 billion euros of Greek-law bonds were offered, said the banker, who declined to be identified. Twelve billion euros of debt not under Greek law was also tendered, as was 7 billion euros of bonds from state-owned companies guaranteed by the government, the banker said. Read more
Switzerland Wants Its Gold Back From The New York Fed
Earlier today, we reported that Germans are increasingly concerned that their gold, at over 3,400 tons a majority of which is likely stored in the vault 80 feet below street level of 33 Liberty (recently purchased by the Fed with freshly printed money at far higher than prevailing commercial real estate rates for the Downtown NY area), may be in jeopardy,and will likely soon formally inquire just how much of said gold is really held by the Fed. As it turns out, Germany is not alone ... Read more
177 RESIGNATIONS FROM WORLD BANKS, INVESTMENT HOUSES, MONEY FUNDS
Updated 3/8/12 Special thanks to Gabriel at http://www.facebook.com/MassResignations for the heads up on a number of new banking resignations that I missed . Gabriel will be tracking Insurance, Government and Healthcare Resignations. Read more
Japan's Nuclear Energy Industry Nears Shutdown, at Least for Now
The Ohi nuclear plant was not damaged by the earthquake or tsunami but sits idled because of a standoff caused by a legal quirk: Japanese law requires reactors to be shut down every 13 months for routine checkups and the plant's operator has been unable to restart them because of opposition from local residents. ... Read more
The Way Greeks Live Now
Petros Vafiadis, with his wife, Ekaterina, and their son Traianos, is an unemployed construction supervisor who says "things will only get worse." The couple put their sons through college and now have no savings. Read more
Citigroup Gives Vikram Pandit $14.9 Million 2011 Pay Package
Citigroup Inc. (C), the third-biggest U.S. bank, said it gave Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit $14.9 million in total compensation for 2011, including his first bonus since the lender almost collapsed in 2008. The package included $1.67 million of salary and a $5.33 million cash bonus, the New York-based lender said yesterday in a regulatory filing. Read more
Ohio Fracking Earthquakes: Officials Say Tremors Were 'Almost Certainly' Caused By Wastewater Injection
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A dozen earthquakes in northeastern Ohio were almost certainly induced by injection of gas-drilling wastewater into the earth, Ohio oil and gas regulators said Friday as they announced a series of tough new regulations for drillers Read moreInterview with Josh Fox who directed the documentary "Gasland".
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, March 9th [10:58]
Author Eyal Press on the Whistleblowers Who Risk All to "Heed the Voice of Conscience" (03/09/12) [19:49]
Russians Prepare 5000 Shelters for Return of 2nd Sun Brown Dwarf (05/23/11) [2:41]
Solar Weather | Solar Storms | Solar FlaresSolarMonitor.org
Way Back Machine
Five Banks Account For 96% Of The $250 Trillion In Outstanding US Derivative Exposure; Is Morgan Stanley Sitting On An FX Derivative Time Bomb?
The latest quarterly report from the Office Of the Currency Comptroller is out and as usual it presents in a crisp, clear and very much glaring format the fact that the top 4 banks in the US now account for a massively disproportionate amount of the derivative risk in the financial system. Specifically, of the $250 trillion in gross notional amount of derivative contracts outstanding (consisting of Interest Rate, FX, Equity Contracts, Commodity and CDS) among the Top 25 commercial banks (a number that swells to $333 trillion when looking at the Top 25 Bank Holding Companies), a mere 5 banks (and really 4) account for 95.9% of all derivative exposure (HSBC replaced Wells as the Top 5th bank, which at $3.9 trillion in derivative exposure is a distant place from #4 Goldman with $47.7 trillion). The top 4 banks: JPM with $78.1 trillion in exposure, Citi with $56 trillion, Bank of America with $53 trillion and Goldman with $48 trillion, account for 94.4% of total exposure. As historically has been the case, the bulk of consolidated exposure is in Interest Rate swaps ($204.6 trillion), followed by FX ($26.5TR), CDS ($15.2 trillion), and Equity and Commodity with $1.6 and $1.4 trillion, respectively. Read more
International NewsMSNBC News | Solar Storms
Major X5.4 Solar Flare + CME - Presentation (03/07/12) [0:39]
X5.4 Solar Flare Partially Earth-Directed, Bz is Tilting South (03/07/12) [1:22]
2012-03-08 15:03 UTC Geomagnetic Storm has Started, Solar Radiation Storm Continues
A Primer on Space Weather Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Dennis Kucinich: Conscience of the Congress
... I spoke with him by phone about his gerrymandered eviction from the U.S. House of Representatives. Although he had just lost the position he has held for eight terms, by the end of our conversation he was optimistic and promised to continue the fight: "I am not about to abandon what I stand for." ... Read more
Campaign for Primary Accountability Super PAC Targets Incumbents
... "We are not issue-driven," said Curtis Ellis, spokesman for the group. "We're the only Super PAC that is using the new tools of campaign finance to help people on the outside, the challengers." He said Wenstrup's success was a testament to the PAC's vision of "holding incumbents accountable."
Only in existence since September, the Campaign for Primary Accountability is already making a name for itself by taking on members of both major parties from Texas, where incumbent Democrat Rep. Silvestre Reyes claimed its a vehicle for "special interest money and family wealth," to Alabama, where Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus dismissed it as a "handful of rich people." ... Read more
The Misinformation Machine
... The three political action committees buying the most television time this election season have spent more than 98 percent of their money on ads that discredit one or another candidate, according to Kantar Media. These attacks by their very nature are misleading. FactCheck.org, which tracks accuracy in political messaging, found that the "avalanche of negativity" in recent political ads also contained a fair share of distortions and lies. ... Read more
U.S. Hate And Extremist Groups Hit Record Levels, New Report Says
... In 2011 there were 1,018 "hate groups" nationally, representing a slight increase from the previous record, one year earlier in 2010, when there were 1,002 hate groups tallied.
Perhaps more disturbing than the small, yet sustained rise in hate groups, is the parabolic growth over the last few years in the number of anti-government "Patriot" and militia groups reported by the SPLC. These groups, which are categorized separately from hate groups, grew 55% to 1,274 in 2011, up from 824 in 2010. In 2008 such groups totaled only 149, while in 2009 the total increased to 512. Michigan had the largest number of "Patriot" groups with 79, followed by Texas with 76, California with 59 and Washington State, with 50. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, March 8 [9:57]
Dennis Kucinich, Progressive Mainstay in Congress, Loses Primary in Re-Drawn Ohio District (03/07/12) [4:45]
InvisibleChildren KONY 2012 Went ViralMy Comment
The article below is about a brewing controversy surrounding the InvisibleChildren.com charity/movement and their campaign to raise awareness about the Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony. I remember reading articles about this tragedy years ago, and seeing a "Law and Order" episode to expose the issue on TV. Otherwise, I don't know too much about the group. The message sounds good and as I have become to realize "media exposure" is the fastest way to get anything accomplished. If their motives are pure, I wish them the best and will try to help anyway I can.
Invisible Children founders posing with guns: an interview with the photographer
Stop Kony 2012, an online campaign to raise awareness about Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony, went viral Wednesday, thanks to a 30-minute video about Kony's group the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which has abducted and forced around 66,000 children to fight in his army over the past two decades. Read moreWho is KONY 2012 (03/05/12) [29:59]
Back to My Soap BoxTRNN | Is Obama Still on the Austerity Train? (03/04/12) [11:47]
Land Grabs and Commodities Speculations are big factor in artificially driving up food prices.
TRNN | Bio-fuels, Speculation, Land Grabs = Food Crisis (2011) [17:23]
Max Keiser | Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan and Jon Corzine, MFGlobal... Shark Boy and Lava Girl and a futures market (03/08/12) [14:00]
This is a good interview with Michael Hudson. He talks about the competing economic theories in todays world and the economist that are holding our country hostage. Max Keiser | Max talks to Dr. Michael Hudson about Modern Monetary Theory at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and about the Chicago Boys gutting the economic competition. 903/08/12) [14:00]
What These People Could Do for Humanity
The Way Back MachineTYT | Destroyed Afghanistan Village (01/21/11) [9:05]
EconomyCNBC | Jim Grant: "Capitalism Is An Alternative For What We Have Now" (03/07/12) [8:52]
U.S. Sells $6 Billion of AIG Shares at $29 Each
EnvironmentGlobal Temperature from 1886 to 2011
Global Temperature in 2011, Trends, and Prospects
Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Israel-Iran Tension Mounts: Live Updates On The Drumbeat Of War
The prospect of a high-profile military conflict looms again in the Middle East. National security analysts believe Israel's government is giving serious consideration to an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in the coming months, an action that would trigger a cascade of unpredictable military, political and economic reactions in the region and around the world.
This blog aims to provide comprehensive, highly readable coverage of this story in realtime, and that won't be possible without your help: please tweet me, subscribe to my updates on Facebook or RSS, or comment below to join the conversation or pass along tips or observations. Read more
Gauging Arab public opinion
The first of its kind - a poll conducted in 12 Arab countries, representing 84 per cent of the population of the Arab world, in an attempt to gauge the region's political mood - has arrived at some interesting results. Organised by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), face-to-face interviews by Arab surveyors with 16,731 individuals in the first half of 2011 revealed majority support for the goals of the Arab revolutions and notably, for a democratic system of government. The countries surveyed included Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania, with the help of local institutions and research centres.
While people seem generally split on the question of separation of state and religion, a majority supports the non-interference of religious authorities in politics. And by a 15-1 ratio, Israel and the US are seen as more threatening than Iran. However, this ratio is lower among those living in proximity to Iran. Read more
World Powers Agree to Resume Nuclear Talks With Iran
BERLIN -- For the first time in more than a year the global powers dealing with Iran's disputed nuclear program said Tuesday that they would resume face-to-face negotiations. "I have offered to resume talks with Iran on the nuclear issue," said Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, who represents the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany in dealings with Iran. "We hope that Iran will now enter into a sustained process of constructive dialogue which will deliver real progress." Read more
Fed Shrugged Off Warnings, Let Banks Pay Shareholders Billions
In early November 2010, as the Federal Reserve began to weigh whether the nation's biggest financial firms were healthy enough to return money to their shareholders, a top regulator bluntly warned: Don't let them. "We remain concerned over their ability to withstand stress in an uncertain economic environment," wrote Sheila Bair, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., in a previously unreported letter obtained by ProPublica. Read more
Financier Stanford Convicted In $7 Billion Fraud
Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford, whose financial empire once spanned the Americas, was convicted Tuesday on all but one of the 14 counts he faced for allegedly bilking investors out of more than $7 billion in massive Ponzi scheme he operated for 20 years. Read more
Stock Market Suffers Worst Selloff Of Year, Losing Battle Against Reality
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell about 203.66 points, or 1.6 percent, to 12759.16, its worst percentage loss since December 8 and its worst point loss since November 23. The more relevant S&P 500-stock index fell 1.5 percent to 1343.36, also its worst selloff of the year. And the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.4 percent to 2910.32.
Bank stocks were among the day's biggest losers. Morgan Stanley, which frequently last year was the market's whipping boy for euro-zone worries, took on that role again, falling 5 percent. Bank of America was down 3 percent. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, March 7 [14:29]
New arrests have been made in the crackdown on a loose, large network of politically inspired "hacktivists." On Tuesday, four men in Britain and Ireland were charged with computer crimes; a fifth man was arrested Monday in Chicago. They were part of a group called "LulzSec" affiliated with Anonymous...
LulzSec Cyber-Activists Arrested With Aid of Hacking Group's Former Leader. Is Assange Next? (03/07/12) [7:42]
TYT | Top 1% Captured 93% Of Income Gains In 2010 (03/05/12) [4:03]
TYT | HR 347 - Trespass Bill Threatens First Amendment (03/05/12) [6:09]
TYT | Bill O'Reilly Rips Sandra Fluke (03/06/12) [4:36]
TYT | Limbaugh, Savage & Hannity - Corporate Ties To Mitt Romney (03/05/12) [3:22]
Did The Fed Help Banks While Ignoring The Risks?
Since the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve has shrugged off warnings and let the largest U.S. financial firms pay tens of billions of dollars in dividends to shareholders, instead of putting aside money as capital in case a new financial crisis hits. Investigative reporter Jesse Eisinger details how the Fed made a critical oversight in the wake of the financial crisis -- despite objections from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. His report was published jointly by ProPublica and The Atlantic online. Read moreNPR | Fresh Air | Did The Fed Help Banks While Ignoring The Risks? (03/06/12)
NPR | Fresh Air
Looks like everyone is loosing today. World's Richest Lose $11.3B. Three people are loosing nearly 1 billion dollars.
Human Interest News
Pink Slime For School Lunch: Government Buying 7 Million Pounds Of Ammonia-Treated Meat For Meals
Pink slime -- that ammonia-treated meat in a bright Pepto-bismol shade -- may have been rejected by fast food joints like McDonald's, Taco Bell and Burger King, but is being brought in by the tons for the nation's school lunch program.The U.S. Department of Agriculture is purchasing 7 million pounds of the "slime" for school lunches, The Daily reports. Officially termed "Lean Beef Trimmings," the product is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It's then blended into traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties. Read more
Note: I moved the "Award Winning News" to it's own menu. To see the articles on ProPublica /w NPR Fresh Air podcasts go here
Note: I moved the "Way Back Machine" to it's own menu. To see the articles on The National Security Archive go here.
AIPAC beats the drums of war
... Something new, and ominous, is in the air at this week's annual AIPAC gathering. As always, there are the ritual affirmations of solidarity with the Jewish state, and, as always, there are the usual shows of lobbying might ("largest gala ever!"). But this time there is also an intimation, from speaker after speaker, that war is coming -- and probably soon. ... Read moreAIPAC.org (American Israel Public Affairs Committee)
AIPAC, on PRWatch.org
AIPAC on Wikipedia.org
IAPAC (Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans)
Israeli Leaders Praise Obama's AIPAC Speech
Israeli officials on Monday welcomed President Barack Obama's declaration that he stands by the Jewish state against a nuclear Iran -- but as a result, Israel may have an ever tougher time launching a strike on Iran in defiance of U.S. requests to hold off. Read more
AIPAC, Israel, and the Hypocritical Claim of Backing a Two-State Solution
New WikiLeaks stash: a frightening view of government intelligence
As promised in December, WikiLeaks has begun to release a stash of documents related to the modus operandi of the "private intelligence" sector, using Texas-based Stratfor as a case study. Claiming to have hacked Stratfor's system to obtain millions of private emails, WikiLeaks has just released the first batch -- and what it suggests about the American intelligence community makes me feel as secure as day-old pizza in a frat house. Read more
Insight: Wall Street, Fed face off over physical commodities
While the battle over proprietary trading and new derivatives regulations has taken place largely in public view since the 2008 financial crisis, the fight by JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to retain or expand their prized physical commodity operations - most acquired in only the past six years - has remained hidden. Read more
Special InterestNew Report: Outing the Oligarchy | "Billionaires Who Benefit From Today's Climate Crisis" (12/06/11)
This is a big file, to read off-line you might want to right click on the link and chose "Save Link As..." and save it on your own HD.
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, March 6 [12:18] TYT | NBC Execs Privately Briefed On War With Iran By General McCaffrey (02/29/12) [8:06]
RT | Obama and AIPAC planning Iran's future? (03/02/12) [9:27] War Made Easy
War Made Easy - How They Keep Spinning Us To Death (05/29/07) [1:13:36]
Stratfor Intelligence LeakTYT | Wikileaks Stratfor Emails Devastating (02/28/12) [9:50]
TYT | Who Stratfor Is Selling Intelligence To (02/29/12) [5:58]
RT | WikiLeaked Stradfor E-mails 'Israel ruined Iran's nuke plans' (02/27/12) [2:55]
I looked on the Guardians Newspaper for further articles on the above video. Couldn't find anything specific, but did find a lot of good articles.
The Guardian articles on Iran
Financial StuffTYT | Wall Street Exec, Jamie Dimon, Says Journalists Are Overpaid (02/29/12) [4:18]
Looks like the Koch Brothers are loosing $113,000,000.00 a piece today.
Obama, Iran and preventive war
President Obama yesterday joined virtually every U.S. political leader in both parties in making the obligatory, annual pilgrimage and oath-taking to AIPAC: a bizarre ritual if you think about it. During his speech, he repeatedly emphasized that he "has Israel's back," rightfully noting that his actions in office prove this ("At every crucial juncture -- at every fork in the road -- we have been there for Israel. Every single time"). One of his goals was commendable -- to persuade the Israelis not to attack Iran right now -- but in order to accomplish that, he definitively vowed, as McClatchy put it, that "he'd call for military action to prevent Iran from securing a nuclear weapon." In other words, he categorically committed the U.S. to an offensive military attack on Iran in order to prevent that country from acquiring a nuclear weapon; as AP put it: "President Barack Obama said Sunday the United States will not hesitate to attack Iran with military force to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon." Read more
Obama at AIPAC: Iran Diplomacy Still on Table
Obama spoke shortly after President Shimon Peres told the same conference that "there is no space" between the U.S. and Israel on Iran policy. Lukewarm Reception for President Despite Some Tough Talk. Read moreMaybe there's still a chance we can get Bush or Chaney on the stand.
Geir Haarde, Iceland's Ex-PM, The First World Leader To Face Criminal Charges Over Financial Crisis
REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- Iceland's former prime minister has rejected charges he failed to adequately protect his country's economy from financial shocks in the first criminal trial of a world leader over the 2008 financial crisis. Read more
State budget cuts hit small-town Ohio
Residents in Uniopolis wanted a balanced budget, and voted in Republican Gov. John Kasich to get the job done. But now the village is facing disincorporation because it can't stay afloat. Read more
Gulf Oil Spill Settlement: Seven And A Half Things To Know
Thing One: BP's Big Day: So today is a great day for BP. The mammoth British oil company's stock is up 3 percent this morning, its biggest one-day gain in a month, after this weekend's $7.8 billion settlement deal with private plaintiffs who said their lives and businesses were ruined by BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill a couple of years back. The deal was smaller than the $14 billion many had expected, Bloomberg writes, and the oil company already had $20 billion set aside to cover damages. It still may be on the hook for nearly $18 billion in government fines, but, hey, BP makes $25 billion per year in profit. Read more
Slim Tops Gates in Debut of Daily Billionaire Ranking
Carlos Slim, the telecommunications tycoon who controls Mexico's America Movil SAB (AMXL), is the richest person on Earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world's 20 wealthiest individuals. The 72-year-old's net worth fell $478.4 million in a day to $68.5 billion as of the close of markets on March 2, as U.S. moguls Bill Gates and Warren Buffett placed second and third on the list compiled by Bloomberg News. Brazil's Eike Batista, who ranks 10th, still covets the top spot after vowing a year ago that he'd become the world's wealthiest man by 2015. Read moreBloomberg Billionaires Index
Bloomberg Billionaires Index Clear-Cut, Miller Says
In Small Claims Court, Consumers Win Against Huge Companies
NEW YORK (AP) -- If you feel cheated by a big company and complaining gets you nowhere, what can you do? A handful of recent cases suggest that consumers can, if they're motivated enough, win against big companies in small claims courts. These "David versus Goliath" battles were won against the likes of AT&T, Honda and others, without resorting to lawyers. The plaintiffs paid minor filing fees, gathered their own research and presented arguments in quick hearings that resemble the average "Judge Judy" episode. Read more
Limbaugh Advertisers: We Still Won't Sponsor Rush Anymore
As the controversy grew over Rush Limbaugh's latest incendiary comments -- he called law student and birth control advocate Sandra Fluke a "slut" on Wednesday -- his show's advertisers began to flee in droves. The Associated Press reported on Sunday that seven companies have backed away from the show. Read moreThese are the same people who are writing our laws for us. Please read about ALEC here.
Spying on the Koch Brothers
Inside the discreet retreat where the elite meet to plot Barack Obama's defeat. Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, March 5 [11:23]
Debate: Attacking Iran, Israel-Palestine & Obama with Rashid Khalidi & Jonathan Tobin, Part 1 (03/05/12) [18:41], Part 2 [13:23]
Is the $7.8 Billion BP Oil Spill Settlement a Bad Deal For Gulf Residents and Businesses? (03/05/12) [13:51]
AIPAC, How Influential Are They?
Financial Crisis, The Gift That Keeps on GivingBB | John Perkins on How Iceland Was Victimized by Economic Hit Men.
To hear John Perkin's "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" go here ( about 1/2 down the page).
Bloomberg Billionaires Index
Way Back Machine - 2008 & 2009Why am I posting videos from 4 years ago? Well, these people weren't mislead like the rest of us. They really knew what was happening behind the curtain and were speaking out. We should learn from them and not just blindly go along with what our leaders say, it is taking us to the brink of disaster. We should be speaking out and getting rid of the people in Washington that aren't representing the will of the people. People like Santorum and Romney have no clue on how to run a country. We will be in a war within a month of their inauguration.
Take a moment and look at these short videos in sequence. They really do have a lot of information in them that resinates even today.
TYT | Are We Witnessing the Shock Doctrine in Effect? (09/22/08) [8:35]
TYT | This Is How The Bail Out Will Screw You (09/22/08) [5:07]
Nader talks in West Virginia about the Wall Street Bailout (09/25/08) [6:13]
TRNN | Once in a century rip-off (09/26/08) [6:32]
Goldman Sachs Bribed Senate To Pass Bailout Bill (10/02/09) [5:09]
G&B | America: Host or Parasite? (2007) [9:37]
TRNN | How Goldman secretly bet on the U.S. housing crash (11/03/09) [9:32]
TRNN | Goldman taking away people's homes (11/02/09) [7:44]
An attack on Iran would be an act of criminal stupidity
After a decade of calamitous western wars in the wider Middle East, the signs are becoming ever more ominous that we're heading for another. And, hard as it is to credit, the same discredited arguments used to justify the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan -- from weapons of mass destruction to sponsorship of terrorism and fundamentalist fanatics -- are now being used to make the case for an attack on Iran. Read more
The US must stop the strategic blunder of an attack on Iran
The actual evidence behind the Iranian threat is murkier than many realize: Friday's IAEA report suggested that there are many outstanding questions about Iran's uranium enrichment program, but US intelligence agencies remain unconvinced that Iran has an active program to convert that material into a bomb. But much like Iraq, the debate over the actual facts has been sidelined by one over the wisdom of striking first before the threat manifests itself. Read more
5 Minutes To Self-Immolation Of The Israeli Empire
... Wesley Clark was given a list of 7 Muslim nations 10 days after 911 that America was to invade. That 2001 hit list originated in Israel in 1982. The last nation on that list is Iran. ... Read more
Fearful of a nuclear Iran? The real WMD nightmare is Syria
... But the Libyan chemical stockpile consisted of several tons of aging mustard gas leaking from a half-dozen canisters that would have been impossible to utilize as weapons. Syria likely has one of the largest and most sophisticated chemical weapon programs in the world. Moreover, Syria may also possess an offensive biological weapons capability that Libya did not. ... Read moreReport to Congress on Weapons of Mass Destruction
Status of World Nuclear Forces
More than a decade and a half after the Cold War ended, the world's combined stockpile of nuclear warheads remain at a very high level: more than 20,500. Of these, some 4,800 warheads are considered operational, of which nearly 2,000 U.S. and Russian warheads are on high alert, ready for use on short notice. Read moreI just finished reading this whole article. You may or may not want to read the whole thing - it is long. What I found amazing is that a pencil size piece of cobalt in a shipping container nearly paralyzed a port facility for over a year. Yet Fukushima had three nuclear reactor meltdowns and multiple hydrogen explosions, possibly spewing tons of spent fuel rods thousand of feet from the facility, and yet the Japanese are talking about moving residence back to their homes someday.
Why Is This Cargo Container Emitting So Much Radiation?
... Regardless, the mystery of container 307703 is no longer Genoa's concern. The sliver of cobalt that sat on the dock for more than a year is now hundreds of miles away, the container that housed it now scrap metal itself. And more than 1,000 new cargo containers will come in tomorrow. ... Read more
Geithner Pens Another Ridiculous Op-Ed
This Op-Ed by Tim Geithner makes him sound like an innocent by-stander at an arson fire and not the person holding the torch. Read more
White House, US Courts & EPA Shaft Veterans to Protect MonsantoNatural Society | Cassandra Anderson | 02/07/12
American veterans and the entire country of Viet Nam affected by Agent Orange have been shafted beyond imagination due to corruption within the US government and US courts. US courts have protected Monsanto and Dow Chemical from liability and criminal prosecution. The US government has shielded Monsanto and Dow from the massive cost of medical treatment for victims and environmental remediation cleanup costs that would drive these corporations into bankruptcy. Read moreThe Story of Agent Orange
New Research: GMO Food Far Worse Than We Think
Disturbing new research published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology indicates that genetically modified (GM) crops with "stacked traits" --that is, with multiple traits such as glyphosate-herbicide resistance and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal toxins engineered together into the same plant, are likely far more dangerous to human health than previously believed, due to their synergistic toxicity. Read more
Millions of Pounds of Toxic Poison to Flood US Farmland
The EPA announced that it has completed the first part of its study on dioxin, after more than 25 years of stonewalling. Dioxin is the most caustic man-made chemical known. Dioxin is a general term for hundreds of chemicals that are produced in industrial processes that use chlorine and burning. Disturbingly, it has a half-life of 100+ years when it is leached into soil or embedded in water systems. Dioxin was the most harmful component in Agent Orange (the recipe for Agent Orange is 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T herbicides). Read more
Video NewsZH | "How Did You Not Notice 24-Year-Olds Were Being Paid $2 Million A Year Who Clearly Didn't Know Anything?" (03/02/12) [3:45] President Obama: The full "60 Minutes" interview (12/10/11) [56:53] Jake: Hanging out with a teenage Einstein (01/15/12) [3:53] Groupon grew from a simple idea to a $15 billion company in just three years. (01/15/12) [7:53]
Way Back Machine - 2007Wesley Clark ( US 4 Star General ) US will attack 7 countries (Iraq, Syria , Lebanon , Libya, Samolia , Sudan and Iran ) in 5 years. (10/03/07) [8:14]
When you think of the threat that Iran poses, think of the infrastructure that we have to annihilate anyone on the planet. Heck, we have an agency just to think up the names/acronyms of all our other agencies who spend trillions of dollars to write reports that help to justify the infrastructure that we have to annihilate anyone on the planet.
Near Washington, Preparing for the Worst
Continuity of government
Continuity of Operations Plan
Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center
Raven Rock Mountain Complex
Operation Looking Glass
United States Strategic Command
Russia (former Soviet Union)
Letters of last resort
HMAS Apocalypse: Deep in the Atlantic, a submarine waits on alert with nuclear missiles that would end the world... (2008)
MAD -- Mutual assured destruction
Human Interest NewsThis is kind of different. Thinking back to my college days I can remember learning about a chimpanzee or gorilla who learned sign language. But, like so many things in my life, in the interim years I didn't think too much about it. Then to my surprise I ran across these videos and learned that Koko just celebrated her 40th birthday. The videos are very heart warming. But, just like with everything else in life, there is another side to the story. On Koko's website I learned about the plight of the Mountain Gorilla and a more gruesome topic of "bushmeat". Sure enough there were videos on YouTube on the illegal trading and killing of these endangered animals. Much more rampant then I thought existed.
Koko Documentary and Robin Williams [4:28]
Koko the Gorilla Cries Over the Loss of a Kitten [1:40]
Koko: A Talking Gorilla Part 1 [9:56], Part 2 [10:00], Part 3 [10:00], Part 4 [10:00], Part 5 [10:00], Part 6 [10:00], Part 7 [10:00], Part 8 [10:05]
Koko the Gorilla Gets a New Pet Kitten [2:34]
Koko Makes New Kitten her "Baby" for Now [2:28]
Koko Reads Animalia [4:12]
Koko celebrates her 32nd birthday [1:39]
The wildlife trade is totally out of control and involves fresh bush meat from the surrounding forests but also all kinds of other wildlife products.
The Cairo Connection [27:22]
The Kinshasa Connection [35:58]
The Mong Lah Connection [27:46]
Inside Story - Saving endangered species. It is the 15th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). (03/22/10) [24:27]
Fukushima: Chaos reigns
Elsewhere along the vast stretch of coast hit by the March 11 tsunami there are palpable signs of progress. Almost all of the 23 million tons of rubble has been removed, although rebuilding has yet to start. But at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the cleanup looks like it has barely begun. Instead, the real work is being done, unseen, deep inside the crippled reactors, where melted fuel remains cool, but whose precise state and location remains a mystery. Read more
20% of Military Fatalities in Afghanistan are "Insider" Shootings
Paul Krugman: GOP Fiscal Proposals Are Sound 'If You Believe In Magic'
Mitt Romney is very concerned about budget deficits. Or at least that's what he says; he likes to warn that President Obama's deficits are leading us toward a "Greece-style collapse." So why is Mr. Romney offering a budget proposal that would lead to much larger debt and deficits than the corresponding proposal from the Obama administration? Read more
Fed Shrugged Off Warnings, Let Banks Pay Shareholders Billions
... That $33 billion is money that the banks don't have to cushion themselves -- and the broader financial system -- should the euro crisis cause a new recession, tensions with Iran flare into war and disrupt the oil supply, or another crisis emerge. That $33 billion is money that the banks don't have to cushion themselves -- and the broader financial system -- should the euro crisis cause a new recession, tensions with Iran flare into war and disrupt the oil supply, or another crisis emerge. ... Read more
Bank Fees Quietly Coming Back Even After Backlash
NEW YORK -- Big banks, facing declining revenues and a regulatory climate that leaves them fewer creative ways to make money, are quietly introducing or experimenting with fees that are sure to outrage customers. Bank of America was shouted down by angry customers last fall when it tried to impose a $5 monthly fee for using a debit card. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo backed off plans to impose their own fees. Read more
JPMorgan Chase, Despite Record Annual Profits, Doesn't Award CEO Bigger Bonus
Bank of America In Trouble?
.... It's a very bad sign that a bank is in a desperate cash crunch when it tries repeatedly to gouge its customers. David Trainer, an analyst for Market Watch, a WSJ publication, wrote that the new fees are a sign of series trouble at BAC. ... Read more
Inefficient Wall Street Wastes $280 Billion A Year: Study
Wall Street seems to have learned a neat trick: how to make more money while producing less. Between 1980 and 2010, the U.S. financial industry nearly doubled in size, relative to the overall economy. Yet in terms of what the financial industry actually produces -- liquidity, assets, anything of measurable benefit to society -- the sector appears to be doing less these days than it used to. Read more
Remember, the Koch Brothers are writing our laws for our representatives through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Koch Brothers File Lawsuit Over The Ownership Of the Cato Institute
TOPEKA, Kan. -- Billionaire brothers and political donors Charles and David Koch (kohk) have filed a lawsuit in Kansas over the ownership of a prominent, Washington-based conservative think tank.
The Kochs, known for supporting conservative causes, are shareholders in the Cato Institute. Until October, the other two shareholders were its president and a former chairman. The brothers dispute whether the former chairman's widow now controls his 25 percent voting interest. Read more
One Out Of Every Ten Wall Street Employees Is A Psychopath, Say Researchers
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, March 2, 2012 [12:26]
TYT calls out Wall Street employees whining about the 14 percent drop in their cash bonus pool. (02/29/12) [3:23]
The next two videos are older, but nothing fundamentally has changed. It seems the "too-big-to-fail" banks are not out for the benefit of their customers.
Dylan Ratigan | William K. Black, fire Holder, fire Geithner, fire Bernanke, fire the "too-big-to-fail" banks (02/25/10) [12:49]
Dylan Ratigan | Foreclosure fraud $45 trillion dollars (02/26/10) [14:10]
Is the White House responsible for changing the conversation on climate change? (02/29/12) [2:57]
Corporate tax rate was 12.1 percent in 2011 -- a 40-year low (02/28/12) [3:59]
Way Back Machine - 2010 & 2011
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. Read more
Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows: David Reilly
The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week's congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all.
Wednesday's hearing described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials.
We're talking about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose role as the most influential part of the federal-reserve system -- apart from the matter of AIG's bailout -- deserves further congressional scrutiny. Read more
HOLY BAILOUT - Federal Reserve Now Backstopping $75 Trillion Of Bank Of America's Derivatives Trades
William Black: Not With A Bang, But A Whimper: Bank Of America's Derivatives Death Rattle
BofA puts taxpayers on the hook for Merrill's derivatives
BofA Said to Split Regulators Over Moving Merrill Derivatives to Bank Unit
Greek Economy Suffers Record Collapse In February
There are those who recall that not ten days ago, according to the IMF's Greek (un)sustainability analysis, worst case scenario no less, Greek GDP would somehow miraculously post just a 1% drop in 2013. Unfortunately this won't happen. According to the overnight PMI update out of Europe (where was saw the jobless rate at the highest since 1997), the Greek economy just imploded at a record pace. Read more
Senators Offer License To Strike Iran Nuclear Program
WASHINGTON -- If President Barack Obama feels the need to launch a military strike against Iran's nuclear program, Congress will back him, a group of senators declared Wednesday. Read more
Only 54% Of Young Adults In America Have A Job
A month ago, Zero Hedge readers were stunned to learn that unemployment among Europe's young adults has exploded as a result of the European financial crisis, and peaking anywhere between 46% in the case of Greece all they way to 51% for Spain. Which makes us wonder what the reaction will be to the discovery that when it comes to young adults (18-24) in the US, the employment rate is just barely above half, or 54%, which just happens to be the lowest in 64 years, and 7% worse than when Obama took office promising a whole lot of change 3 years ago. Read more
Arizona Anti-Union Bills Fueled By Americans For Prosperity, Koch Brothers Support
In Arizona, Republican efforts to dismantle public unions took another step forward this week. On Tuesday, the state Senate passed a bill banning the practice of "release time," by which government employees are paid to do union work. The bill would affect a wide array of union workers, including firefighters, police officers, and construction workers, who may be called on by the government for assistance in the case of an emergency. Read more
Occupy Wall Street Protests ALEC In What Activists Call Largest Coordinated Occupy Event This Year
... In Washington, D.C., police arrested between eight and 12 people outside the headquarters of agriculture company Monsanto, according to protesters. In California, protestors blocked the entrance to three Walmart distribution centers. In New York, about 100 people demonstrated outside of Pfizer and gathered in Bryant Park for a talk by journalist Matt Taibbi. There were smaller demonstrations in cities from Albany, N.Y., to Tulsa, Okla. ... Read more
Goodbye, First Amendment: 'Trespass Bill' will make protest illegal
... The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of H.R. 347 late Monday, a bill which is being dubbed the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. In the bill, Congress officially makes it illegal to trespass on the grounds of the White House, which, on the surface, seems not just harmless and necessary, but somewhat shocking that such a rule isn't already on the books. The wording in the bill, however, extends to allow the government to go after much more than tourists that transverse the wrought iron White House fence. Under the act, the government is also given the power to bring charges against Americans engaged in political protest anywhere in the country. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, March 1, 2012 [11:36]
You need to watch this video if you are part of the 99%ers. The GOP tax plans are going to benefit the rich! So what elese in new? DN | David Cay Johnston: "Romney's Tax Plan is George W. Bush on Steroids" (03/01/12) [11:58]
What is happening to our schools??
DN | Occupy Education: Teachers, Students Fight School Closings, Privatization, Layoffs, Rankings (03/01/12) [25:03]
JPMorgan Chase Now Prefers Customers With $100,000 Or More
If you've got less than a hundred grand in the bank, JPMorgan Chase is just not that into you. At a presentation to investors this week, JPMorgan executives said they saw only a "limited opportunity to deepen relationships" with those customers who have less than $100,000 in their names, according to a recent report from Bloomberg. Read more
Bankers Shouldn't Worry About Drum Circles - But Some of 'Em Should Worry About Subpoenas
Consider JPMorgan Chase, the institution run by Mr. Dimon. To call his bank "scandal-plagued" would be putting it mildly. Chase has settled six fraud cases with the SEC over the last thirteen years and is implicated in several ongoing investigations, including the two most notorious fraud cases of our time. At any other moment in history the headlines would be screaming with various combinations of the words "JPMorgan Chase," "fraud," "probe," "drop," mistakes," "disaster," "incompetence" and "scandal." But these aren't normal times. The public has come to expect that bankers will commit fraud, and that the government will ignore it. They've come to expect that banks will make bad loans, and that the governments of the world will rescue them by making life more difficult for ordinary people. Read more
Larry Summers For World Bank: So Much Wrong, So Little Time
... There are lots of reasons to hope President Obama does not pick Summers for the job, but let's start with the latest, one that hasn't gotten a lot of widespread attention yet: The revelation from Noam Scheiber of The New Republic, in his new book about Obama's economic team called The Escape Artists, that in December 2008, Summers blocked from President Obama's view a suggestion by former economic adviser Christina Romer that his first economic stimulus package should ideally be $1.8 trillion. ... Read more