Politics and Legislation
The Hill: McKeon wants to stop sequestration—and previous Pentagon budget cuts
By Carlo Munoz and Jeremy Herb
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Wednesday he wants to reverse $487 billion in cuts to the Pentagon’s budget that were included in last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling.
The Hill: Obama, Cameron toast ‘essential relationship’ at black-tie state dinner
By Meghashyam Mali
President Obama hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron at a black-tie state dinner in Washington on Wednesday night.
The Hill: State lawmakers blast House GOP’s medical malpractice reform bill
By Julian Pecquet
The nation’s leading advocacy group for state lawmakers wrote to House leaders on Wednesday to share their “strong, bipartisan opposition” to federal medical malpractice reform because it would infringe upon states’ rights.
The Hill: Dem presses USDA to ban ‘pink slime’ in school lunches
By Mike Lillis
A Maine Democrat is pressing the Obama administration to ban “pink slime” in school cafeterias.
Selling Out Pays
When a Congressman Becomes a Lobbyist, He Gets a 1,452% Raise (on Average)
By Lee Fang
What’s the best way to “buy” a member of Congress? Secretly promise them a million dollars or more in pay if they come to work for you after they leave office.
UN panel approves sidelined report praising Gaddafi’s human rights record :
A United Nations panel has adopted a report praising the human rights record of the former government of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a year after it was sidelined amid international objection.
More austerity needed in Greece: EU/IMF
Greece will have to slash a further 5.5 percent of GDP in government spending in 2013 and 2014 to meet agreed fiscal targets underpinning the second international bailout for Athens, a European Commission report said.
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 exposé of J.P. Morgan Chase’s credit card services division, relying on multiple current and former Chase employees.
Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail
The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?
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. Greg Smith, the head of the U.S. equity derivatives business for Goldman Sachs in Europe, the Middle East and Africa made headlines all over the world on Wednesday when he resigned publicly from Goldman Sachs in a scorching editorial in the New York Times. Smith said that he could “honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it”.
Greece on the breadline: HIV and malaria make a comeback
Jon Henley finds a medical aid organisation trying to plug the gaps as the health service nears breakdown
The savage cuts to Greece’s health service budget have led to a sharp rise in HIV/Aids and malaria in the beleaguered nation, said a leading aid organisation on Thursday.
The incidence of HIV/Aids among intravenous drug users in central Athens soared by 1,250% in the first 10 months of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year, according to the head of Médecins sans Frontières Greece, while malaria is becoming endemic in the south for the first time since the rule of the colonels, which ended in the 1970s.
Israeli strike on Iran could mean $6-per-gallon gas
By Ben Geman
An Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear enrichment sites would spike gas prices to between $5 and $6 per gallon, according to market analysts.
This would be well beyond the record highs hit in 2008, when nationwide average retail prices hit $4.11-per-gallon, analysts say.
“I think you will see $5 and $6 dollar a gallon gas,” said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.
5 Principles for Money and Banking in a New World System
Eric Blair Activist Post
Increasing numbers of global citizens are becoming aware that the monetary system and international cartel of banks are rotten to the core and represent the root cause of all economic disparity to mankind.
Foreign buyers are snapping up U.S. homes
With foreign entities wary of mortgage-backed securities, buyers are focusing on individual homes — a welcome occurrence in regions suffering from a glut of properties on the market.
European Zombie Banks and Vampire Governments
The term “zombie banks” refers to banks that refuse to lend to the private sector. They are run by fearful bankers who do not trust other bankers. They do not trust many potential borrowers. According to legend, zombies survive by eating the brains of their victims. It seems to me that zombie bankers must be limiting their diet to brains of other bankers and investment fund managers.
Making 9 Million Jobless ‘Vanish’: How The U.S. Government Manipulates Unemployment Statistics
When we look at broad measures of jobs and population, then the beginning of 2012 was one of the worst months in US history, with a total of 2.3 million people losing jobs or leaving the workforce in a single month. Yet, the official unemployment rate showed a decline from 8.5% to 8.3% in January – and was such cheering news that it set off a stock rally.
How can there be such a stark contrast between the cheerful surface and an underlying reality that is getting worse?
Wall Street retreats after rally, but Apple up again
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 broke a five-day streak of gains on Wednesday as investors found little reason to extend a rally that took the benchmark index to four-year highs.
Recovery for the 1%, Recession for the Rest
Christopher Petrella, Op-Ed:
“Historically, one of the most problematic features of a neoliberal economy has been the sharp rise in precarious employment, as employers have unwaveringly pursued strategies that ‘flexibilize’ work and destabilize the very concept of job security. Precarious labor in this sense refers to forms of work typically marked by temporary contracts, limited or no social benefits and statutory guarantees, high degrees of job insecurity, low job tenure, sub-standard wages, and high risks of occupational injury and disease.”
13 Reasons Goldman’s Quitting Exec May Have a Point
Cora Currier, News Report:
“An executive at Goldman Sachs left the firm today with a bang, penning a New York Times op-ed accusing the company of increasingly putting profits ahead of clients. Greg Smith started as an intern 12 years ago and last headed a derivatives department. Not surprisingly, Goldman quickly and strongly disagreed with his take.”
Homeless In The USA
One Family’s Story In Pictures
By Lucy Nicholson
One in 45 children, totalling 1.6 million, is homeless, the highest number in United States history.
Wars and Rumors of War
Kony 2012, US War Crimes, Coltan & Depleted Uranium make “Invisible Children”
Uploaded by chatzefratz on Mar 12, 2012
When Americans talk about helping children, then things get real scary; depleted uranium in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Irak, Libya and soon in Uganda – Agent Orange in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Wrecked children, babies, offspring and human genetics for hundreds of thousands of years – all this while Americans sing about love, showing half naked ladies and their pharaonic signs and symbols. Watch “The Pharaoh Show” from user giureh for total understanding.
Suicide attack at Camp Bastion today looking like more pro war propaganda…
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is feared to have been the target of a suicide attack at Camp Bastion today.
Australian ‘special forces gathering intelligence in Africa’
The Sydney Morning Herald said 4 Squadron of the elite Special Air Service (SAS) had mounted dozens of clandestine operations in places such as Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya in a role normally carried out by spies.
Terror, Trauma, and the Endless Afghan War
Amy Goodman, Op-Ed:
“We may never know what drove a U.S. Army staff sergeant to head out into the Afghan night and allegedly murder at least 16 civilians in their homes, among them nine children and three women. The massacre near Belambai, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, has shocked the world and intensified the calls for an end to the longest war in U.S. history. The attack has been called tragic, which it surely is. But when Afghans attack U.S. forces, they are called “terrorists.”
Taliban Suspend Talks with U.S.; Karzai Calls for Faster Transition
Ali Safi, News Report:
“The Taliban said Thursday that they had suspended negotiations with the United States and Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on international troops to withdraw from villages in the latest apparent fallout from a U.S. soldier’s alleged murder of 16 Afghan villagers.”
Netanyahu is Preparing Israeli Public Opinion for a War on Iran
By Aluf Benn
Haaretz’s editor-in-chief says that what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war.
Top Ten Media Failures in the Iran War Debate
By Stephen M. Walt
Americans haven’t been well-served by media coverage of the Iran debate.
Targeted Killings: US and Israeli Specialties
By Stephen Lendman
International law permits justifiable self-defense. Targeted killings are prohibited, especially premeditated ones like America and Israel repeatedly commit for reasons other than claimed.
Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist in Prison?
By Democracy Now!
The Obama administration is facing scrutiny for its role in the imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist who exposed how the United States was behind a 2009 bombing in Yemen that killed 14 women and 21 children.
Pakistan Says End Drone Strikes:
Pakistan has told the White House it no longer will permit U.S. drones to use its airspace to attack militants and collect intelligence on al-Qaeda and other groups, according to officials involved in the talks.
Netanyahu warns: Israel has defied U.S. wishes before:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday told the Knesset that Tehran was behind the recent rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip and ratcheted up his rhetoric regarding a possible military strike on Iran, broadly hinting that Israel might act even without American approval
AIPAC’s Iran “Expert” Briefs Hill Staff on Tehran’s “Terror Threat”:
Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, briefed some 40 congressional staffers on Iran’s support for terrorism worldwide.
Iran strike imminent: Russian diplomat:
“The attack will be mounted before the end of this year. Israel is blackmailing [U.S. President Barack] Obama by confronting him with a dilemma: either he supports the war option or will lose the support [of the U.S. Jews],” a high-ranking official of the Russian Foreign Ministry told the newspaper ahead of the U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria on Monday.
SWIFT Cuts Off Iran As Sanctions Vice Tightens :
Iran was effectively cut off from global commerce on Thursday, when the company that handles financial transactions said it was severing ties with many Iranian banks
Iran food stockpiling grows as grain ships near port: -
Vessels carrying at least 360,000 tonnes of grain are lined up to unload in Iran, Reuters shipping data showed on Thursday, a sign that Tehran is succeeding in stockpiling food to blunt the impact of tougher Western sanctions.
No sanctions on US wheat?
Iran makes second US wheat purchase-USDA:
A weekly export sales report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday showed that Iran has bought an additional 60,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat.
U.S. May Sanction India Over Level of Iran-Oil Imports:
India has failed to reduce its purchases of Iranian oil, and if it doesn’t do so, President Barack Obama may be forced to impose sanctions on one of Asia’s most important nations, Obama administration officials said yesterday.
Pro-government rallies held across Syria:
Millions of Syrian government supporters dashed through streets and main squares nationwide, to stage rallies in support of embattled President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday, according to Xinhua.
Reclaiming the Commons: Taking Human Lessons in the Era of H.R. 347, Corporatism and Perpetual War
Phil Rockstroh, Op-Ed:
“With increasing velocity, since the advent of the post-Second World War national security state, then gaining speed with the incessant search and destroy mission waged on the U.S. Constitution known as the War on Drugs, and kicking into a runaway trajectory in the post Sept. 11, 2001 era — the increase in totalitarian impulses, among both the general population and corporate and governmental elite of the nation, has proceeded at an alarming rate.”
US Government Admits It Has Seized Hundreds Of Domains Registered Outside The US
from the this-has-been-happening-for-a-while dept
After the US seized Bodog.com, we pointed to a writeup by EasyDNS that has created quite a stir, claiming that this was the first time that the US had seized a domain that was registered through a non-US registrar by going straight to the register (in this case VeriSign). But as we pointed out, that’s simply untrue. Back in 2010 we wrote about how most of the federal government’s domain seizures went directly to the register.
US e-voting system cracked in less than 48 hours
Broken Padlock Icon Researchers at the University of Michigan have reported that it took them only a short time to break through the security functions of a pilot project for online voting in Washington, D.C. “Within 48 hours of the system going live, we had gained near complete control of the election server”, the researchers wrote in a paperPDF that has now been released. “We successfully changed every vote and revealed almost every secret ballot.” The hack was only discovered after about two business days – and most likely only because the intruders left a visible trail on purpose.
KONY 2012: Merchandising and Branding Support for US Military Intervention in Central Africa
Edward Bernays believed that society could not be trusted to make rational and informed decisions on their own, and that guiding public opinion was essential within a democratic society. Bernays founded the Council on Public Relations and his 1928 book, Propaganda cites the methodology used in the application of effective emotional communication. He discovered that such communication is capable of manipulating the unconscious in an effort to produce a desired effect –
Justice Department Investigating Whether MEK Speakers Accepted Illegal Fees From Terror Group
Did Alan Dershowitz accept blood money (aka speaker’s fee) from the MEK, a designated terror group? If so, he may’ve violated federal law.
In ‘highly unusual’ move, Marines asked to disarm before Leon Panetta speech
In a highly unusual move, around 200 U.S. Marines were asked to leave their weapons outside the tent where U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was set to speak during his trip to Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Automated License Plate Recognition
Uploaded by DeputyKen on Dec 19, 2006
Automated License Plate Recognition currently being used in Central Florida.
Both The Market and Government Are Irrational
By Paul Craig Roberts
Those dependent on Social Security and Medicare are finding that these programs are being blamed for budget deficits caused by multi-trillion dollar wars of choice.
Welcome to the USA:
Canadian women allege U.S. border groping:
Four female U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Detroit are being sued by three Canadian women who allege they were sexually fondled at the border.
Soledad O’Brien on Breitbart’s Bombshell:
‘Where’s the Bombshell?’:
In this CNN clip, Breitbart.com editor Joel Pollak is grilled by Soledad O’Brien in a way I wish more journalists would follow
Afghanistan massacre by U.S. sergeant reveals epidemic of psychiatric drugging of soldiers
By Mike Adams,
(NaturalNews) The recent massacre of 16 civilians in Afghanistan by a rampaging U.S. military sergeant has something in common with nearly every school shooting in the USA — something the mainstream media typically refuses to report: These shooters frequently have a history of psychiatric drug “treatment” by psychiatrists. Psychiatric drugs are now being routinely used across the U.S. military, where violent suicides have skyrocketed to levels never before seen in human history. 18 veterans commit…