Politics and Legislation
Republican leaders racking up ‘yes’ votes on Rep. Ryan’s budget
By Erik Wasson and Russell Berman
Conservative House Republicans on Thursday said they support the 2013 budget resolution, leaving GOP leaders increasingly confident they will be able to pass the measure on the floor next week.
Kony resolution catches on in Senate
By Carlo Munoz
Much like the viral video that reintroduced the world to the atrocities committed by Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, a Senate resolution condemning his actions is rapidly gaining support on Capitol Hill.
Introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the resolution calls upon the Obama administration to increase assistance to the Ugandan military’s efforts to take out Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.
Lawmakers have been falling all over themselves to sign on as co-sponsors to the Coons-Inhofe resolution. By Thursday, 37 senators had signed on.
Senate to vote on bill killing oil tax breaks
By Andrew Restuccia
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has scheduled a procedural vote Monday on legislation to repeal billions of dollars in tax breaks for the largest oil companies.
A Senate Democratic aide told The Hill that Reid filed cloture on the bill, authored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), on Thursday, setting up a procedural vote on Monday at 5:30 p.m.
The legislation faces major hurdles to passage, but will nonetheless rally many Senate Democrats, who have made killing the tax breaks a top political priority amid soaring gas prices.
Senate passes House GOP’s JOBS Act
By Josiah Ryan
The Senate on Thursday passed an amended version of House Republicans’ Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a bill supporters say would generate jobs by easing capital formation regulations for small companies.
The legislation, which soared through the House earlier in March, 390-23, survived fierce opposition in the Senate from powerful Democrats including Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and several attempts to gut and replace many of its key provisions through the amendment process.
New counter terrorism guidelines permit data on U.S. citizens to be held longer
By Sari Horwitz and Ellen Nakashima
The Obama administration has approved guidelines that allow counter terrorism officials to lengthen the period of time they retain information about U.S. residents, even if they have no known connection to terrorism.
The changes allow the National Counter terrorism Center (NCTC), the intelligence community’s clearinghouse for terrorism data, to keep information for up to five years. Previously, the center was required to promptly destroy — generally within 180 days — any information about U.S. citizens or residents unless a connection to terrorism was evident.
The new guidelines, which were approved Thursday by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., have been in the works for more than a year, officials said.
The guidelines have prompted concern from civil liberties advocates…….
Chinese Security Chief Lost Power Struggle in Coup
Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of CPC attends the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on March 5. A suddenly announced ideological training session is the latest sign that things are changing in Beijing.
…….On March 15, Zhou’s handpicked successor to head the PLAC, Bo Xilai, was placed under house arrest by the Central Guard Bureau, the agency responsible for the security of the CCP’s top leaders. Many bloggers assumed Zhou has now suffered Bo’s fate.
“The PLAC will be holding a massive training course for over 3,300 secretaries. Don’t you guys think there’s something fishy about it? Perhaps Zhou Yongkang is in trouble now,” wrote a blogger.
“It looks like Zhou Yongkang has been arrested. The PLAC wants its people to pledge their loyalty,” wrote one blogger.
Another blogger wrote, “It looks like the Party secretary of the PLAC is a goner, and Party officials have to realign the formation.”
Federal Judge Okays Flag Desecration
A federal judge has declared Missouri’s flag desecration law is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson issued a permanent injunction in the case of Frank Snider, who was arrested in 2009 for cutting up an American flag and throwing it into the street.
Southern leg of Keystone pipeline a ‘priority,’ Obama says
Amid criticism he isn’t doing enough to beat back rising gas prices, President Obama Thursday said he is calling on his administration “to cut through red tape, break through bureaucratic hurdles,” and make the Southern leg of the controversial Keystone pipeline “a priority.” Mr. Obama’s stop in Cushing was part of a four-state, two-day tour in which the president touted his [corpora-terrorist overlords'] energy policies. Standing next to the giant TransCanada pipes that will make up the Southern leg of the Keystone pipeline, Mr. Obama sought to remind voters that he’s not opposed to domestic oil drilling
Saudi Arabia And China Team Up To Build A Gigantic New Oil Refinery – Is This The Beginning Of The End For The Petrodollar?
The largest oil exporter in the Middle East has teamed up with the second largest consumer of oil in the world (China) to build a gigantic new oil refinery and the mainstream media in the United States has barely even noticed it. This mammoth new refinery is scheduled to be fully operational in the Red Sea port city of Yanbu by 2014. Over the past several years, China has sought to aggressively expand trade with Saudi Arabia, and China now actually imports more oil from Saudi Arabia than the United States does. In February, China imported 1.39 million barrels of oil per day from Saudi Arabia. That was 39 percent higher than last February. So why is this important? Well, back in 1973 the United States and Saudi Arabia agreed that all oil sold by Saudi Arabia would be denominated in U.S. dollars. This petrodollar system was adopted by almost the entire world and it has had great benefits for the U.S. economy. But if China becomes Saudi Arabia’s most important trading partner, then why should Saudi Arabia continue to only sell oil in U.S. dollars? And if the petrodollar system collapses, what is that going to mean for the U.S. economy?…..
Dangerous and Bizarre Obama Nominee for World Bank Prez
This looks like major trouble.
President Obama has nominated Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim for the position of President of the World Bank. All bets were on Jeffrey Sachs. Sachs even thought he was the man, as countries around the world were lining up behind him.
However, President Obama out of the blue nominates Kim. It should be noted that Kim has zero financial background, which in itself may not be bad, since it means he is not a regime bankster. But, his credentials suggest that Obama sees some kind of global social health program along the lines of Obamacare, with the World Bank as a key player.
Kim has been a Professor of Medicine and Social Medicine and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. What’s “Social Medicine”. Wikipedia explains it well:
The field of social medicine seeks to:
understand how social and economic conditions impact health, disease and the practice of medicine and foster conditions in which this understanding can lead to a healthier society.
Translation: It’s about central planning for the medical industry.
Wars and Rumors of War
Ex-FBI informant on terror traps:
‘There is no real hunt. It’s fixed’
Craig Monteilh says he did not balk when his FBI handlers gave him the OK to have sex with the Muslim women his undercover operation was targeting. Nor, at the time, did he shy away from recording their pillow talk. “They said, if it would enhance the intelligence, go ahead and have sex. So I did,” Monteilh told the Guardian as he described his year as a confidential FBI informant sent on a secret mission to infiltrate southern Californian mosques. It is an astonishing admission that goes to the heart of the intelligence surveillance of Muslim communities in America in the years after 9/11. While police and FBI leaders have insisted they are acting to defend America from a terrorist attack, civil liberties groups have insisted they have repeatedly gone too far and treated an entire religious group as suspicious.
U.S. Sergeant Faces 17 Counts of Murder in Afghan Killings
Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged on Friday with 17 counts of murder and various other charges, including attempted murder, in connection with the March 11 shooting deaths of Afghan civilians, a senior United States official said on Thursday. Sergeant Bales, who is 38 and had been serving his fourth combat tour overseas, is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He is accused of walking away from his remote base in southern Afghanistan and killing 16 17 civilians in a nighttime ambush…
Afghan villagers told they would pay for bomb days ahead of massacre of 16
Residents of an Afghan village near where an American soldier is alleged to have killed 16 civilians are convinced that the slayings were in retaliation for a roadside bomb attack on US forces in the same area a few days earlier. In accounts to The Associated Press and to Afghan government officials, the residents allege that US troops lined up men from the village of Mokhoyan against a wall after the bombing on either March 7 or 8, and told them they would pay a price for the attack.
Poland’s Monsanto action lays 1000s of dead bees on Govt steps
By Rady Ananda
On March 15, over 1,500 beekeepers and their allies marched thru the streets of Warsaw, depositing thousands of dead bees on the steps of the Ministry of Agriculture, in protest of genetically modified foods and their requisite pesticides which are killing bees, moths and other agriculturally-beneficial insects around the globe.
Later that day the Minister of Agriculture, Marek Sawicki, announced plans to ban MON810, which has become ineffective at deterring pests in the US.
GM crops and the pesticides used with them have led to a host of problems (itemized here), including the development of new pathogens. One is associated with spontaneous abortion in cattle and another is responsible for massive methane foaming on manure lagoons which explode, killing thousands of animals in the US since 2001.
The Polish Beekeepers Association organized the protest, joining forces with International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC) and the Coalition for a GMO Free Poland. Targeting Monsanto’s MON810 GM corn in particular, they also called for a complete ban on all GM crops and harmful pesticides……
Sarkozy: Jail those who browse terror websites
By RAPHAEL SATTER
France’s president proposed a sweeping new law Thursday that would jail those who visit extremist web sites — one of several tough new measures floated in the wake of a murderous shooting spree.
The proposed rules, unveiled by Nicolas Sarkozy after the death of an Islamist fanatic wanted for a horrifying series of execution-style murders, have alarmed journalists and legal experts, who say they risk pulling the plug on free expression.
Sarkozy argued that it was time to treat those who browse extremist websites the same way as those who consume child pornography.
“Anyone who regularly consults Internet sites which promote terror or hatred or violence will be sentenced to prison,” he told a campaign rally in Strasbourg, in eastern France. “What is possible for pedophiles should be possible for trainee terrorists and their supporters, too.”……
Paramilitary-Style Police Detain And Search Individuals From Occupy Miami
Summary of post by James Cox
Members of Occupy Miami were leaving to do a march and a rally, when multiple trucks and cars filled with paramilitary SWAT-looking officers, with military weaponry pulled. According to reports, these ‘paramilitary-looking’ police officers drew their weapons on the occupiers and rounded them up, along with tenants of the apartment complex, and put them on the ground… These officers were in full riot gear and had assault rifles, tactical gear and shotguns. They were also accompanied by FBI agents and the City of Miami police.
Dozens arrested in Vermont Yankee protest
Scores of protesters were arrested at the corporate headquarters of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Thursday, the first day of the plant’s operation after the expiration of its 40-year license. A heavy police presence and ropes blocked off access to the offices in Brattleboro. The arrests were made calmly and without any confrontation, with obvious signs that protesters and police had worked out the logistics beforehand. A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 gathered in a downtown Brattleboro park before they marched the 3 1/2 miles to the headquarters.
The Rage Against Radiation
by Zen Gardner
The outrage against nuclear power is totally under reported. Naturally. Who in the corporate media would want to fight corporate interests in a corporately controlled world?
The amazing video below is the soul of conscious Japan revealed and well worth the full watch. It’s extremely powerful, lucid, comprehensive, consciously aware and emotionally moving.
All the right stuff.
Marine facing dismissal over Obama criticism
The Marine Corps on Wednesday notified a sergeant who has been openly critical of President Barack Obama that he is violating Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities and that he faces dismissal. Camp Pendleton Marine Sgt. Gary Stein started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party to encourage fellow service members to exercise their free speech rights. He declared a few weeks ago that he would not follow the unlawful orders of the commander in chief. Stein stated that he would not follow orders from the president if those orders included detaining U.S. citizens, disarming them or doing anything else that he believes would violate their constitutional rights.