Politics and Legislation
Obama Impeachment Bill Now In Congress
Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C., has introduced a resolution declaring that should the president use offensive military force without authorization of an act of Congress, “it is the sense of Congress” that such an act would…
Supreme Court Likely to Endorse Obama’s War on Whistle-Blowers
Chris Hedges, Truthdig Op-Ed:
“Obama, who serves the interests of the surveillance and security state with even more fervor than did George W. Bush, has used the Espionage Act to charge suspected leakers six times since he took office. The latest to be charged by the Obama administration under the act is John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer accused of disclosing classified information to journalists about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaida suspect.”
Though 69 Percent Of Americans Want Super PAC Ban, Super PACs Dominate GOP Race
Josh Israel, News Report:
“Independent expenditure-only “super PAC” committees have accounted for a stunning 91 percent of the television campaign advertising over the past month in Alabama and Mississippi — the two states holding their Republican primaries today. But while the more than $75 million already spent nationally by these groups has undoubtedly altered the dynamics of the presidential race, it has also annoyed the vast majority of Americans.”
The Hill: Justice blocks Texas voter ID law
By Justin Sink
The Justice Department on Monday blocked a new Texas law that requires government-issued photo identification at the polls, further inflaming an intense and racially charged election-year debate over voting requirements.
The Hill: Dems targeted over support for healthcare law’s ‘rationing board
By Julian Pecquet
The conservative seniors’ lobby 60 Plus launched a $3.5 million ad campaign on Monday targeting five vulnerable Senate Democrats over their support for the healthcare reform law’s cost-control board.
SEC charges five with insider trading from AA tip
(Reuters) – Securities regulators charged two Ameriprise Financial advisers and three others with insider-trading, saying they made $1.8 million in illicit profits based on confidential merger information one of the advisers learned through an Alcoholics Anonymous relationship.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said Timothy McGee, one of the advisers, was tipped about a pending merger of insurer Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp and Tokio Marine Holdings.
The Audacity of Bonuses at MF Global
Nomi Prins, Op-Ed:
“Today, our regulatory bodies are incapable, or simply don’t want to be bothered with, tracing money and returning it to the public customers to whom it belongs. The inability to independently examine MF Global’s books, without its executive involved, reveals the sorry state of our financial system. In this post-Glass-Steagall-repeal world, the mixing of customer money and speculative betting – whether at a super-market bank or broker-dealer, whether involving subprime loans packages or European Sovereign debt, poses too dangerous a level of complexity.”
Germany Fails To Meet Its Own Austerity Goals
As she travels from one European Union summit to the next, Angela Merkel’s constant mantra in recent months has been austerity, austerity, austerity. But apparently the German chancellor hasn’t been quite as strict when it comes to her own country’s budget.
Energy Secretary Chu disavows 2008 remark that he wants higher gas prices
By Andrew Restuccia
Energy Secretary Steven Chu disavowed Tuesday his 2008 comments about increasing gas prices to European levels, remarks that Republicans have pounced on in recent weeks.
“I no longer share that view,” Chu said during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, adding that he wants to lower gas prices.
Chu said higher gas prices could slow the economic recovery.
Oil prices fall as China data sparks fresh demand worries
World oil prices dropped on Monday as investors fretted over the strength of worldwide energy demand following weak Chinese economic data. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April, shed $1.06 to $106.34 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for April was down 65 cents at $125.33 in late afternoon deals. “Crude oil fell sharply…
Oil price volatility in focus at world energy forum
Kuwait City (AFP)
The world’s largest energy forum began meetings on Monday over oil price fluctuations and safeguarding supplies amid heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme and a softening in global growth. Oil ministers and delegates from the 88-member International Energy Forum (IEF) are holding their biennial three-day gathering in the Gulf emirate of Kuwait to discuss the role of the forum…
Consumers line up to buy Chinese-Venezuelan cars
Just weeks after the opening of four Chery dealerships in Venezuela, dozens of people are lining up every day to buy the first Chinese cars being sold in the Latin American nation. Unlike competing Japanese and American cars, import preferences granted by the Venezuelan government mean the Chinese cars are cheaper, which has attracted a steady stream of interested customers. “I came to b …
Haynesville Shale Continues to Favour Louisiana over East Texas
London, UK (SPX)
Gas production from the US Haynesville Shale continues to favour the state of Louisiana over East Texas, with the former set to become a major gas producing state while pipeline development in East Texas continues to slow, a new report by business intelligence expert GlobalData has found. The new report found that several major gas companies are funding extensive infrastructure development …
Oil and Gas is One of the Fastest Growing Segments of the Energy Sector in China
Kolkata, India (SPX)
Netscribes has announced the launch of its report, Oil and Gas Market in China 2012. The Oil and Gas sector in China is expected to witness tremendous growth owing to the robust growth of the economy of China. The report begins with a detailed overview of the global oil and gas market that includes detailed coverage of global production, consumption and reserves for both oil and gas. This …
Warning of ‘real’ anger at banks
Sir Mervyn told The Times that Britain’s banks are in denial about public anger over their behaviour.
And he hit out at them for insisting everyone needed to live with “market disciplines” until the financial crisis hit when they asked for bail outs.
“Market discipline can’t apply to everyone except banks,” he told the newspaper, adding people’s anger was “very real and wholly understandable”.
Greek debt swap could be short-lived reprieve
(Reuters) – Greece’s deep recession and unpredictable elections threaten to turn the biggest debt restructuring in history into yet another short-lived reprieve, although the existential threat posed to the euro zone is not what it was.
Alert From European Investment Banker
Mach 12, 2012
I am someone who has worked for one of the largest investment banks in the world RBS and I can tell you that the contagion of debt has run its course. We are already prepped for a Greek default this month especially since the recent downgrade by Fitch.
Collapse Coming–Not Recovery
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Revised)
The way the latest unemployment numbers were reported by the mainstream media (MSM), you would think the Great Recession was over and the United States was solidly on the road to recovery. The Associated Press reported the numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with a story that said, “The United States added 227,000 jobs in February, the latest display of the breadth and strength of the economic recovery. The country has put together the most impressive three months of job growth since before the Great Recession. The unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent. It was the first time in six months it didn’t fall, and that was because a half-million Americans started looking for work.”….
Handicapping the Collapse
Scattered diverse and almost uniformly unfavorable and dangerous events are unfolding, as the global economy and financial structure undergoes the equivalent of endless earthquakes and bombardment of solar emissions. Reporting is difficult, since information is distorted toward the sunny side. Events are moving fast, as quickly as the danger level is rising. As conditions worsen, the hype and spin has risen almost out of control. The political machine, tied at the hip to the banking apparatus, has ramped up the growth story even as the strain on the information spin has become more visible and subject to heavy criticism…..
Wars and Rumors of War
‘MKO conducts assassinations for Mossad for funding’
An American political commentator says that the primary source of income for the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) comes from assassinations it performs against Iranian nationals at the behest of Israel’s spy agency Mossad.
Yet another reason to leave: US soldier allegedly kills Afghan women and children
According to Afghan officials who visited the scene of the murders, some 16 people, nearly all of which were women and children, have been killed by a lone American soldier.
Secret SAS squadron sent to spy in Africa
A SECRET squadron of Australian SAS soldiers has been operating at large in Africa, performing work normally done by spies, in an unannounced and possibly dangerous expansion of Australia’s foreign military engagement. The deployment of the SAS’s 4 Squadron – the existence of which has never been publicly confirmed – has put the special forces unit at the outer reaches of Australian and international law. A SECRET squadron of Australian SAS soldiers has been operating at large in Africa, performing work normally done by spies, in an unannounced and possibly dangerous expansion of Australia’s foreign military engagement.
Scientists Warn EPA Over Monsanto’s GMO Crop Failures, Dangers
By Anthony Gucciardi
A group of scientists is calling for major federal action in order to deal with the threat posed by Monsanto’s GMO crops, now petitioning the EPA to address the issue head on. The group of 22 academic corn experts are drawing attention to the immense failure of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, which is developing mutated and resistant insects as a result of its widespread usage.
Aircraft Carrier Enterprise Sets Off On Final Journey – Direction Iran
Today at noon Eastern, the storied aircraft carrier Enterprise, aka CVN-65, left its home port of Naval Station Norfolk one final time for its final voyage with a heading: Arabian Sea, aka Iran. There in a week it will join CVN 72 Lincoln and CVN 70 Vinson, as well as LHD 8 Makin Island, all of which are supporting any potential escalation of “hostilities” in the Persian Gulf region. As a reminder, back in January we learned that the Enterprise’s final voyage will be in proximity to Iran, and in the meantime, the aircraft carrier held extended drills off the Florida coast to attack a “faux theocracy” consisting of fundamentalist “Shahida” states. Why the Arabian Sea in about 7-10 days will be home to not two but three aircraft carriers and a big deck amphibious warfare ship is very much an open question, although we may have some thoughts.
With Iran, Threat Inflation Is the Threat
William Astore, Op-Ed:
“If a nuclear-armed Iran is indeed the greatest threat we as a nation face, that is indeed good news. Even better: Our latest intelligence estimate suggests that Iran still doesn’t have a nuclear weapon, nor is it clear whether its leaders have decided to build one. Iran also lacks a delivery system capable of striking the United States. Even if Iran decided to build a bomb and succeeded, any Iranian leader would be foolhardy in the extreme to threaten the United States, which still has thousands of nuclear warheads of its own — and plenty of delivery systems.”
Obama: US ‘heartbroken’ over Afghan civilians killed in attack
By Amie Parnes
President Obama said Tuesday that the U.S. is “heartbroken” over the Afghan civilians killed by a U.S. soldier and takes the deaths as “seriously” as if the victims were our own.
Obama spoke as violence in Afghanistan began to escalate two days after a U.S. soldier killed more than a dozen Afghan civilians in an apparent rogue attack.
“The United States takes this as seriously as if it was our own citizens and our own children who were murdered,” Obama said during brief remarks in the Rose Garden. “We are heartbroken over the loss of innocent life.”
The Hill: Report: Panetta says death penalty possible in Afghanistan shootings
By Jeremy Herb
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday that the death penalty is a possibility for the Army soldier who killed at least 16 Afghans Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
Feds Let BP Off Probation Despite Pending Safety Violations
Abrahm Lustgarten, News Report:
“BP’s refining subsidiary was released today from criminal probation related to a 2005 explosion in Texas City that killed 15 workers. The company has addressed the most serious safety deficiencies exposed by the accident and satisfied the terms of a felony plea agreement to settle charges that it failed to protect workers from known risks, a U.S. Justice Department spokesman said.”
Court Declares Newspaper Excerpt on Online Forum is a Non-Infringing Fair Use
Late Friday, the federal district court in Nevada issued a declaratory judgment that makes is harder for copyright holders to file lawsuits over excerpts of material and burden online forums and their users with nuisance lawsuits.
The judgment – part of the nuisance lawsuit avalanche started by copyright troll Righthaven – found that Democratic Underground did not infringe the copyright in a Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper article when a user of the online political forum posted a five-sentence excerpt, with a link back to the newspaper’s website.
US wind generation increases by 27 percent
Wind generation in the US increased by 27 percent in 2011 as compared with 2010, continuing a trend of rapid growth, the government said Monday. Tax credits and grants for electricity from certain renewable sources have encouraged capacity additions and increased generation from wind and other renewable sources, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Monday. Wind energy is the largest source of non-hydroelectric renewable electricity in the US, contributing 61 percent of the nea …
China solar giant faces glare of US trade row
by Staff Writers
Wuxi, China (AFP)
In the eastern Chinese city of Wuxi, home to the world’s biggest maker of solar panels, labour is so cheap that workers carry out jobs by hand while machines designed to perform the same tasks sit idle.
The low cost of labour, coupled with the massive scale of production at its 14,000-person plant, have enabled China’s Suntech to become the global industry leader in just a decade.
Activists tap court to block Japan reactor restart
by Staff Writers Tokyo (AFP)
A group of Japanese citizens filed a lawsuit Monday to prevent the restart of a nuclear power plant, a day after the first anniversary of the tsunami that sparked the Fukushima atomic disaster.
The group of 259 citizens filed the suit in Osaka District Court seeking an injunction that would block the reopening of utility Kansai Electric’s nuclear power plants Oi Unit 3 and 4 in central Fukui prefecture.
Kolkata protest against PM comment on Kudankulam project
by Staff Writers Kolkata, India (IANS)
A group of Kolkata residents Monday held a 12-hour fast against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comments on agitations centred around the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu and wrote to him demanding the scrapping of the project.
The prime minister, in an interview to Science magazine in February, reportedly blamed NGOs from the US and Scandinavia for fuelling protests against the nuclear plant.
Fukushima prefecture aims for green power
by Staff Writers Tokyo (UPI)
As Japan marked the first anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the country’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, the governor of Fukushima prefecture called for terminating nuclear power and promoting renewable energy.
“We will call for all nuclear power stations in the prefecture to be shut down so that an accident like this never happens again,” Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato said Sunday of the worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.
Responding to the Radiation Threat
by Lynn Yarris for Berkeley News
Berkeley CA (SPX)
Mass contamination from major radiation exposure events, such as the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, require prompt treatment in the form of a pill, such as the treatment being developed at Berkeley Lab. File image courtesy AFP.
The New York Times recently reported that in the darkest moments of the triple meltdown last year of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese officials considered the evacuation of the nearly 36 million residents of the Tokyo metropolitan area.
NYPD officer thrown in psych ward by superiors after revealing systemic corruption
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Adrian Schoolcraft of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) 81st precinct in Brooklyn noticed some disturbing trends within the department and in response to his brave move to step forward, his superiors had him thrown in a psychiatric ward.
Schoolcraft realized that there was a pattern of the victims of crimes being caught up in bureaucratic hurdles which he thinks were deliberately put in place in order to make it harder to report serious crimes.
He then did his job and reported multiple incidents to investigators in 2009.
DOJ Asks Court To Keep Secret Any Partnership Between Google, NSA
The Justice Department is defending the government’s refusal to discuss—or even acknowledge the existence of—any cooperative research and development agreement between Google and the National Security Agency.
DARPA’s Director Will Soon Be a Google Executive
You probably don’t know Regina Dugan’s name, but for the past three years, she’s been director of DARPA, the military’s R&D lab. In a few weeks, she’ll be moving into an executive position at Google, becoming one of the most senior military officials to cross over to the private sector.
Portable chargers, boosters to ease green car charging woes
Chevrolet Europe’s president Susan Doherty drives to work every day in an electric car, and thanks to a recharging station at work, she never worries about running out of power. For most other people, however, it remains a challenge to find electric charging stations to refuel. As a result sales of electric cars have lagged, with most consumers going for hybrid options that at least offe …