Saturday, June 25, 2011

Seventeen Agencies and Organizations United Under One Goal

The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations within the executive branch that work both independently and collaboratively to gather the intelligence necessary to conduct foreign relations and national security activities. Our primary mission is to collect and convey the essential information the President and members of the policymaking, law enforcement, and military communities require to execute their appointed duties.

The 17 IC member agencies are:

* Air Force Intelligence
* Army Intelligence
* Central Intelligence Agency
* Coast Guard Intelligence
* Defense Intelligence Agency
* Department of Energy
* Department of Homeland Security
* Department of State
* Department of the Treasury
* Drug Enforcement Administration
* Federal Bureau of Investigation
* Marine Corps Intelligence
* National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
* National Reconnaissance Office
* National Security Agency
* Navy Intelligence
* Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Members of the IC collect and assess information regarding international terrorist and narcotic activities; other hostile activities by foreign powers, organizations, persons, and their agents; and foreign intelligence activities directed against the United States (U.S.). As needed, the President may also direct the IC to carry out special activities in order to protect U.S. security interests against foreign threats.


Keith Olbermann on Marriage Equality: Opponents Are in the Fear Business

On his new show on Current TV, Keith Olbermann offered this special comment on marriage equality (The video may take a moment to load).

Playboy on Life Support: Why Hef's Empire of Naked Ladies No Longer Matters

Our ongoing fascination with Hef reflects a younger generation’s curiosity about a man who's a relic of a past era that couldn’t exist today. READ MORE

What's the Matter With Oklahoma? State Launches Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Muslim Crusade

While Oklahoma does not have a large immigrant population, the state has become an example of the illogical nature of anti-immigrant and anti-Islam laws. READ MORE

What's Victory? The Nine Orwellian Propaganda Terms That Define Our War State

Here are nine common terms, including "victory" and "enemy" used by our government and military that probably don’t mean what you think they mean. READ MORE

The Living Dead: Why Thousands of Russian Addicts Are Rotting to Death

There is a new drug in Russia, and addicts are using it until their skin falls off.
June 24, 2011 |

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In the United States, OxyContin addiction is spreading across the country and causing a rash of problems. A powerful narcotic, Oxy’s grip on addicts is so tight it even drives people to murder, as was evidenced last week in Long Island, where an addict’s pharmacy burglary of 8,000 pills left four people dead.

Now the powerful pull of addiction is showing new strength in Russia, where it has reached an unprecedented level of self-destruction by rotting its victims to death in a short period of time.

In Russia, efforts to stunt the flow of Afghan heroin have resulted in a diminished dope supply with higher prices. To some, this may seem like a success, but expensive heroin did not result in fewer junkies.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Scientists Warn That Ocean's Marine Life on "Brink of Extinction"

Anna Tomforde, McClatchy Newspapers: "The world's oceans are degenerating far faster than predicted and marine life is facing extinction due to a range of human impacts - from over-fishing to climate change - a report compiled by international scientists warned Tuesday. The cumulative impact of 'severe individual stresses,' ranging from climate warming and sea-water acidification to widespread chemical pollution and overfishing, would threaten the marine environment with a catastrophe 'unprecedented in human history.'"
Read the Article

Nobel laureate Peter Diamond opts out

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "Nobel laureate Peter Diamond had a depressing op-ed in The New York Times on June 5, withdrawing himself from contention as a member of the Federal Reserve board in the face of Republican opposition. 'Skilled analytical thinking should not be drowned out by mistaken, ideologically driven views that more is always better or less is always better,' wrote Mr. Diamond, who is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 'I had hoped to bring some of my own expertise and experience to the Fed. Now I hope someone else can.' What you need to know about Mr. Diamond is not just that he's a very great economist, but that he's an economist's economist - someone who is a deeply respected theorist, not at all someone who made his way as an ideologue. His work is basically apolitical. Except that these days everything is political."
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Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates: A Tough Act to Follow

Melvin A. Goodman, Truthout: "CIA director Leon Panetta soon will become secretary of defense, taking over Washington's largest and most powerful bureaucracy with a budget that amounts to nearly 60 percent of discretionary federal spending. He will be stepping into the shoes of the most influential member of the Obama administration, Robert M. Gates, who has been canonized for his performance over the past five years. For the past two months, however, Secretary of Defense Gates has been on a farewell tour of US think tanks, universities and military academies, advocating policies that will make Panetta's job extremely difficult."
Read the Article

Makers of Generic Drugs Don't Have to Warn of New Dangers, Supreme Court Rules

Daniel G. Savage, Los Angeles Times: "The Supreme Court gave the pharmaceutical industry a pair of victories Thursday, shielding the makers of generic drugs from most lawsuits by injured patients and declaring that drug makers had a free-speech right to buy private prescription records to boost their sales pitches to doctors. In both decisions, the court's conservative bloc formed the majority, and most of its liberals dissented. About 75% of the prescriptions written in this country are for lower-cost generic versions of brand-name drugs. Federal law requires the original makers of these brand-name drugs to include an approved and up-to-date warning label that tells doctors and patients of possible side effects or complications. But in a 5-4 decision, the high court said this duty to warn patients of newly revealed dangers does not extend to the makers of generic drugs."
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William Rivers Pitt | Clarence Thomas Must Go

William Rivers Pitt, Truthout: "For the sake of full disclosure, I will tell you that I do not like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. In my opinion, he has no business sitting on the high court after the reprehensible treatment he forced Anita Hill to endure, and has been a disgrace to the bench lo these last twenty years. Anthony Weiner, one of Clarence Thomas' most ardent critics, was just run out of Washington DC on a rail for behavior far less offensive; Mr. Thomas is lucky there was no such thing as Twitter when he was sexually harassing Hill, or he'd be chasing ambulances outside of muni court like the hack he is. He sits up there like a lump, never speaking or offering questions to petitioners, and has not had an original thought since his shameful Senate approval. But his vapid intellectual presence on the bench is only a small part of the story. Mr. Thomas has, by all appearances, turned his position on the court into a license to print money for himself, his family, and a few choice friends."
Read the Article

Over-Prescribed: How Taking Too Many Pills is Hurting Americans

Aggressive marketing pushes drugs on patients well beyond clinical usefulness, and it's thinning their wallets and threatening their health. READ MORE

"Sex, Love, Revenge ... and Atheism? Finally, a Big New Film That Shows Non-Belief in a Positive Light

"The Ledge" is smart, riveting, complex, emotionally engaging, visually gorgeous... and best of all, almost entirely unpredictable. READ MORE

Conservatives Fight to Let Corporate Bosses Break Laws Protecting Their Workers

A sizable share of corporate America's lackeys hold the view that American companies should be able to violate our labor laws with impunity. READ MORE

9 States Where Awful GOP Policies Will Actually Drive Up the Abortion Rate

Republicans, who claim to find fetal life precious and abortion horrendous, also favor the very policies that drive increasing numbers of women to seek abortions. READ MORE

Epidemic: Over 400,000 Traumatic Brain Injuries for Vets Coming from Iraq and Afghanistan

America faces a huge challenge in caring for the shocking number or traumatized war vets. READ MORE

8 Reasons Justice Clarence Thomas Must Step Down

Plagued by ethical breaches and links to groups calling for armed insurrection against the U.S. government, Clarence Thomas must resign his seat on the Supreme Court.READ MORE

Private Prisons Spent Over $1 Million In Just Three Months Lobbying To Put More People In Jail

Yesterday, the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) released a report chronicling the political strategies of private prison companies “working to make money through harsh policies and longer sentences.” The report’s authors note that while the total number of people in prison increased less than 16 percent, the number of people held in private federal and state [...]

Click here to read the entire article...

Palin Bus Tour Slams On the Brakes

Scott Conroy, Real Clear Politics
Scott Conroy writes: "The realities inherent in conducting the necessary legwork to mount a viable presidential campaign, even for a candidate as unconventional as Palin, may compel her to move closer to a decision sooner than she might have liked. But for the time being, she appears to be in no rush to either enter the 2012 fray - or to distance herself from it."

Private Prisons Spent Over $1 Million In Just Three Months Lobbying To Put More People In Jail

Yesterday, the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) released a report chronicling the political strategies of private prison companies “working to make money through harsh policies and longer sentences.” The report’s authors note that while the total number of people in prison increased less than 16 percent, the number of people held in private federal and state [...]

Click here to read the entire article...

How Tent Cities Are Revitalizing Sit-In Activism

Since citizens of the newly-founded township Walkerville, Wisconsin, created their own tent city in Madison's Capital Square to protest Scott Walker's budget problems, a spate of similar tent cities have sprouted up in protest across the nation. Because what is a more effective action than one that goes 24-7? Last week, in response to Walkerville, New York citizens founded Bloombergville outside Manhattan's City Hall, in order to protest his garbage city budget.

And as of this week, Walkerville is already seen as a success. Job Party reports from Wisconsin: Read more

By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 08:15 AM

Obama's Gay Marriage Stance in Spotlight as NY Nears Legalization

As both Republican and Democrat lawmakers near legalizing same-sex marriage in New York, Obama's fundraiser for gay supporters in New York City is magnifying his somewhat noncommittal stance on the issue. The AP gets succinct on it:

After getting off to what gay activists viewed as a slow start on their issues, Obama won over many by repealing the ban on gays serving openly in the military and by instructing the Justice Department to stop defending in court a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Read more
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | AlterNet

Is the GOP Trying to Bring Back the Myth of the "Unemployment Queen"?

Why do I have the feeling we're shortly going to see the emergence of the "Unemployment Queen":
During a Senate hearing Wednesday, an independent consultant said 90% of the states use technology that is at least 20 years old to process jobless claims. One state, he said, relies on a system that was first created 42 years ago. U.S. wasting billions on jobless benefits.

Outside experts and state officials say the U.S. could save billions of dollars if more money were spent to upgrade the nation’s unemployment insurance system, which is jointly run by the states and federal government. In just the past two years alone, the government has handed out nearly $30 billion in jobless benefits to people who were not qualified to receive payments.

Read more

By Digby | Hullabaloo
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 @ 10:59 AM

NC Woman Sterilized by State After Being Deemed "Promiscuous"

Absurd, illegal and immoral. Raw Story:

The day that Elaine Riddick had her first and only child, the state of North Carolina had her sterilized on the orders of a court. Riddick had been raped but the state said she was promiscuous.

“They said that I was feeble-minded, they said that I was promiscuous,” Riddick told CBS News.

“I’ve always been able to take care of myself – I’ve never been promiscuous.”
“So how can people use these things to describe a child that had been abandoned? Or that had been raped by the neighbor and then again, raped by the state of North Carolina?” Read more

Second Harlan Crow Connected Group Has A Perfect Litigation Record Before Justice Thomas

Real estate magnate Harlan Crow has been very good to Justice Clarence Thomas, lavishing gifts and other favors on Thomas and his family. Crow provided $500,000 to allow Thomas’ wife to start a Tea Party group, and he once gave Thomas a $19,000 Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass. He also served on the board of a corporate-aligned think tank called the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which once gave Thomas a $15,000 gift.

As ThinkProgress reported earlier this week, AEI filed at least three briefs in the Supreme Court after giving Thomas this very expensive gift, and Thomas either sided with AEI or took a position that was much more extreme that AEI’s in all three of these cases.

ThinkProgress has now learned that a second Harlan Crow-affiliated group, the Center for the Community Interest, has a perfect record in front of Justice Thomas. Read more

Right-Wing Media Attack Vargas With Stereotypical, Anti-Immigrant Vigor

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, recently revealed that he is an undocumented immigrant. Right-wing media responded with virulent anti-immigrant attacks, with Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail writing: "kick the lying, illegal alien Jose Antonio Vargas out."
Read More

Fox Uses Oil Reserve Announcement To Demand More Drilling

After President Obama announced that the U.S. will tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Fox News figures falsely suggested that government restrictions are encumbering domestic oil production. In fact, drilling is nearing a twenty-year high, and countless economists have explained that expanded U.S. oil production is not a solution to high oil prices.
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Right-Wing Media Strain To Portray Obama's Speech As A "Mission Accomplished" Moment

Following President Obama's speech announcing the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, right-wing media have strained to portray the announcement as a "mission accomplished" moment. However, Obama acknowledged that "huge challenges remain" in Afghanistan and "[w]e'll have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we've made."
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Another "Indoctrination" Freakout: Right-Wing Media Attack MD's Environmental Literacy Education Requirement

Right-wing media have attacked a recent Maryland State Board of Education ruling that requires high school students to be "environmentally literate" before graduating as "indoctrination" and "brainwash[ing]," while using it as an opportunity continue the right-wing's longstanding war on climate science.
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In Michigan "This Is Not Democracy, This Is Dictatorship"

Eartha Jane Melzer, The Michigan Messenger
Intro: "In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Ingham County court, citizens from across the state are asking that Michigan's Emergency Manager law be declared unconstitutional. The Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act allows the governor to appoint Emergency Managers to take over local units of government, fire elected officials, sell off or privatize community assets and even dissolve whole cities."

Nurses Take On Wall Street

National Nurses United
On Wednesday over a thousand nurses and activists marched on Wall Street in New York City, chanting "Wall Street got bailed out! We got sold out!" Standing on the steps of Federal Hall across from the New York Stock Exchange protesters held signs with slogans reading: "Take it Back! Tax Wall Street" and "Heal America! Tax Wall Street."

Koch Brothers' Campaign to Kill Social Security

Bernie Sanders, Brave New Foundation
Video: Bernie Sanders and Brave New Foundation investigate a multi-million-dollar misinformation campaign by the Koch Brothers to dismantle Social Security.

Michele Bachmann's Holy War

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
Intro: "Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and, as you consider the career and future presidential prospects of an incredible American phenomenon named Michele Bachmann, do one more thing. Don't laugh."

The Attack on the Middle Class

By Sen. Al Franken, Reader Supported News
23 June 11

Fighting for America's Middle Class, Netroots Nation 2011

n Saturday, June 18th, I was given the honor of speaking at Netroots Nation 2011 in Minneapolis, the 6th annual convention of progressive grassroots leaders and activists. I was the opening speaker at Saturday's Morning Keynote session, which focused on how to save the middle class and build progressive infrastructure. I had an amazing time at the conference and met a ton of passionate activists and progressives.

The full video and text of my speech is below. Enjoy!

Full text click here

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Growing Desperation of the "Don't Raise Taxes on the Rich" Crowd

Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog: "The much-vaunted Republican pledge not to raise any taxes is crumbling. Today 34 Senate Republicans voted to end the special tax breaks for ethanol. According to no-tax-increase purists like Grover Norquist, this is tantamount to a tax increase. The truth is, Republicans are divided between those who want to bring down the budget deficit and those who want to shrink government. Ending a special tax subsidy helps reduce the deficit but doesn't necessarily shrink government. That's why Norquist and his followers have insisted any such tax increase - including even the closing of tax loopholes - be directly linked to a corresponding tax cut. In order to save face on today's vote, Norquist says renegade Republicans will still be considered to have adhered to the pledge if they vote in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Jim DeMint to eliminate the estate tax. Talk about grasping at straws. DeMint's amendment isn't even up for a vote. In short, the no-tax pledge is evaporating in the fresh air of reality. What are anti-tax Republicans to do now?"
Read the Article

The Air Force Finally Got Tired of Getting Screwed (Literally)

The Miracle of Procurement Debunked Again: The Air Force Finally Got Tired of Getting Screwed (Literally)
Dina Rasor, Truthout: "Boeing has just been caught spending $37 dollars for nut and bolt retainers for the Army's CH-47 helicopter, but charging the Army an average of $381.78, according to a recent Department of Defense's (DoD) inspector general's (IG) report. The IG's office won't comment on the report because it is 'For Official Use Only,' but Bloomberg News got a hold of the report and wrote a story on May 24 about how the DoD IG recommends that Boeing refund the government at least $6 million.... This story could be just another illustration to show that the DoD has not gotten its act together on overpriced spare parts and many of you may be flashbacking to the overpriced toilet seats and coffee brewers of the 1980s and 1990s.... But this recent mess is because of a new experimental way of doing the logistics for weapons that was introduced during the Bush administration. It is called Performance Based Logistics (PBL) and it is just another scheme to push DoD money at contractors and then go hands off and let them make all the decisions."
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The Military as a Jobs Program: There Are More Efficient Ways to Stimulate an Economy

Ellen Brown, Truthout: "The military is the nation's largest and most firmly entrenched entitlement program, one that takes half of every tax dollar. Even if 'national security' is considered our No. 1 priority (a dubious choice when the real unemployment rate is over 16 percent), estimates are that the military budget could be cut in half or more and we would still have the most powerful military machine in the world. Our enemies (if any) are now 'terrorists,' not countries; and what is needed to contain them (if anything) is local policing, not global warfare..... The military is not subject to ordinary market principles, but works on a 'cost-plus' basis, with producers reimbursed for whatever they have spent plus a guaranteed profit.
Read the Article

Top Posts on Facebook

1. Shame Of America: Desperate Man Robs Store For One Dollar In Order To Go To Jail To Get Health Coverage

2. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker To Cut Medicaid Without Public Hearings

3. Indiana Law Forces Planned Parenthood Clinics To Close And Stop Treating Thousands Of Medicaid Patients

4. Florida Pushes Rule Allowing Medicaid Providers To Opt-Out Of Family Planning Services On Moral Or Religious Grounds

5. Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Next Target in GOP Attack

Newt Gingrich's Tiffany Troubles Get Worse

Things just got even worse for Newt Gingrich, whose presidential campaign has imploded in recent weeks with the bulk of his staff jumping ship. The latest blow to his campaign is the revelation that the Gingrichs had not one but two lines of credit at the luxury jewelry store Tiffany. As the Washington Post reports, Gingrich must file a personal financial disclosure form within a month of declaring his candidacy, and that form will show that Gingrich enjoyed a $500,000 to $1 million line of credit at Tiffany, which has been closed with a zero balance. Here's more from the Post:


The Difference Between Civil Libertarians and Selfish Jerks, Explained

This piece in Slate about libertarian philospher Robert Nozick has engendered quite a bit of online chatter and it's very much worth reading if you are interested in the intellectual underpinnings of that side of our economic debates. There are lots of responses around the sphere, but this defense of libertarianism called "Libertarians Aren't All Selfish Jerks" by Conor Friedersdorf caught my eye because this argument is so commonly wielded at liberals and it deserves a response. He refers to a number of libertarians who are working on such topics as the drug war and prison reform and terrorism policy etc (along with one of the hip libertarian issues of the day --- onerous licensing of low wage service workers like hairdressers) and then writes:


TV Truth Showdown: Jon Stewart Fact-Checks Fox, Bloggers Fact-Check PolitiFact

Political "fact-checking" site PolitiFact made the claim Jon Stewart was "wrong" a few nights ago when, in an appearance on Fox News, he accused Fox news viewers of "consistently" being the most misinformed in polls.

His response on the air was to hastily apologize for his remark, and then to brilliantly turn the incident on his head and askask why Fox hadn't apologized for the dozens of false claims it had aired that had been similarly "debunked" by PolitiFact?

Watch Stewart's hilarious response below, and then keep reading to understand why PolitiFact's criticism of Stewart isn't fully correct, either.
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As His New Show Draws Strong Ratings, Olbermann Urges Obama: "Bring Our Troops Home."

As his show displays remarkable ratings for such a young program on a non-mainstream cable channel, Keith Olbermann continues to show the same sharp political drive he always has. Here is some analysis of the initial ratings numbers from Forbes' Jeff Bercovici:

Current TV has released some ratings figures for the first night of the reborn “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” and they’re a lot better than the host led listeners to expect they might be. “Countdown” attracted 179,000 viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 — the key age group for cable news advertisers — on Monday night. Not only is that close to the total audience of 200,000 that the show was drawing in its early days on MSNBC, according to Olbermann; it’s not far off the 237,000 viewers age 25-54 who actually watched Olbermann’s replacement, Lawrence O’Donnell, Monday night.
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Shocking Development: Palin Quits Something (Again)

Sarah Palin's "One Nation" tour has now changed to the "Half a Nation" tour, as the nation's leading opponent to "gotcha journalism" decided to re-wield her mad quittin' skillz, dry-dock her constitutional tour bus, and return to Alaska to take in the marvelous view of Russia in the summertime.

The "One Nation" tour launched with intense media interest, as reporters initially followed Palin and her family on the road, diligently trying to decipher the former half-term Alaska governor and ex-GOP vice presidential nominee's 2012 intentions. But after being ignored and mislead and denied interviews or access, reporters' attention fizzled.

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Hilarious: Fake Right-Wing Blogger Offers O'Keefe Crack-Pipe Money; O'Keefe Accepts

Blogger Ian Murphy, the fake "David Koch" who pranked Scott Walker so memorably this Spring, walked into RightOnline this week under a pseudonym ("Jay Mitchell Huntsman") as a conservative blogger whose online domain was the hilariously-titled blog Eagles, Guns & Eagle-Guns. With this blog as his credential, Murphy walked into the conference and got all fanboy on prankster James O'Keefe, even offering to buy him lunch. Only when he revealed that his fortune came from selling crakc-ipies was O'Keefe deterred from dining with him--but he took his money anyway.
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White Right-Wingers Deeply Concerned About Blacks and Latinos -- When They're in the Womb

Criminalizing both reproductive choice and undocumented immigrants is part of a larger scheme of eliminating the rights of the underclass. READ MORE

5 Things Atheists Have Wrong About Religion

5 Things Atheists Have Wrong About Religion

Atheists tend to be very well-informed about religion. But there are a few things they often still get wrong.

Are We Giant Suckers?

While the US Blows Money on the Military, Europe Spends Dough on Social Programs

Hawks simultaneously argue that lavish U.S. military spending subsidizes Europe’s social welfare programs, and that we’re the smarter party in this deal.

Restore the Greek Currency, and Its Economy

Ann Pettifor, Reader Supported News
Intro: "We write to encourage you - to urge you on in your resistance. In your defiance, you understand Greece is slave to the interests of private wealth. You must understand too that it is private wealth that needs Greece. Greece does not need private wealth. As is obvious to you - if not to EU finance ministers - Greek and other EU taxpayers are asked to shore up the immense wealth and reckless lending of private French, German, British and American banks. Without your taxes, your sacrifices, the privatization of your government's assets, these bankers once again face Armageddon - as they did in autumn of 2008."

MIT's Fracking Report Backs Its Donors: Gas Companies

Wenonah Hauter writes: "I almost gagged on my coffee when I finally got around to reading the corporate-sponsored pro-fracking propaganda by MIT on natural gas, entitled, 'The Future of Natural Gas.' Isn't this academic institution embarrassed to sell its reputation to corporations?"

GOP Can't Block Recess Appointment of Elizabeth Warren

David Arkush, Public Citizen
Intro: "If you're following the story of whether President Obama will nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), you've probably heard that the Republicans found a way to block even a recess appointment. It turns out that's mistaken."

World's oceans in 'shocking' decline

20 Jun 2011 The oceans are in a worse state than previously suspected, according to an expert panel of scientists. In a new report, they warn that ocean life is "at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history". They conclude that issues such as over-fishing, pollution and climate change are acting together in ways that have not previously been recognised.
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Michigan Citizens Sue State Governor Over Emergency Powers

22 Jun 2011 Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R-Sociopath) was sued today by 28 residents who asked a court to declare unconstitutional a new law granting state-appointed financial managers emergency dictatorial powers over local governments. The law was signed March 16. Michigan has emergency managers running the schools in Detroit, as well as the cities of Pontiac, Ecorse and Benton Harbor. The law allows emergency managers to terminate employee contracts and suspend collective bargaining.
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FBI seizes DigitalOne servers in Virginia raid

--Sergej Ostroumow, Chief executive of DigitalOne, called the agency's work 'unprofessional'. 22 Jun 2011 Agents raided a data center in Virginia early Tuesday and confiscated several web servers. In the wake of the raid several websites remain offline, and people are left ruffled by the FBI’s heavy handedness. According to the New York Times, the raid happened at a data center in Reston, Virginia, which was attached to the Swiss based DigitalOne.
The FBI took three enclosures with equipment plugged into them, taking out the sites of Curbed Network which included blogs on real estate, restaurants and shopping. Instapaper, a service that saves articles, and the bookmarking site Pinboard suffered as well.
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US in talks with Taliban, says Karzai

[ya gotta love these guys for their highly opinionated schlanguage (slanted+language)

--Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, confirms US involvement in the peace [aka surrender] talks at a news conference in Kabul 18 Jun 2011 The US and other foreign powers are engaged in preliminary talks with the Taliban about a possible settlement to the war in Afghanistan, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has said. Diplomats have already said there have been months of preliminary talks between the two sides, and Karzai, who is a strong advocate of peace talks, has long said that Afghans are in contact with insurgent groups. "Peace talks are going on with the Taliban. The foreign military and especially the United States itself is going ahead with these negotiations," Karzai told a news conference in the Afghan capital. [Get ready. USociopaths are preparing to pay the Taliban to stop fighting, as they did in Iraq under cover of the 'surge,' which never worked. This action is undertaken to 'save face,' as the US would have been defeated in both Iraq and Afghanistan if they didn't use taxpayer dollars to bribe its opposition to lay down their arms and let the US steal the oil, gas, opium, etc. --LRP]

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Dangerous radiation leaked from three-quarters of U.S. nuclear power plants

--Water tested around 37 facilities contained radioactive concentrations exceeding U.S. drinking water standard and in some cases at hundreds of times over limit 21 Jun 2011 Dangerous radiation has leaked from three-quarters of all U.S. nuclear power stations raising fears the country's water supplies could one day be contaminated. The number and severity of leaks has increased because of the many old and unsafe plants across America, a new investigation has claimed. Radioactive tritium has escaped at least 48 of 65 of all U.S. sites, often entering water around the plants through rusty old pipes. [No worries. The GOP/Obusha will simply lower the drinking water standards - problem solved.]
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jon Stewart Angrily Tells Chris Wallace: Fox News Has the Most Misinformed Viewers

Jon Stewart Angrily Tells Chris Wallace: Fox News Has the Most Misinformed Viewers


Justices Have Been Forced to Resign for Doing What Clarence Thomas Has Done

Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress: "Justice Clarence Thomas is an ethics problem in a black robe. Just eight months after ThinkProgress broke the story of Thomas' attendance at a Koch-sponsored political fundraiser, we learn that Thomas doesn't just do unethical favors for wealthy right-wing donors - they also do expensive favors for him. Leading conservative donor Harlan Crow, whose company often litigates in federal court, donated $500,000 to allow Thomas's wife to start a Tea Party group and he once gave Thomas a $19,000 Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass. The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank which frequently files briefs in Thomas' Court, also gave Thomas a $15,000 gift. If this sounds familiar, it's because America has seen this movie before. Indeed, the Thomas scandal is little more than a remake of the forty year-old gifting scandal that brought down Justice Abe Fortas."
Read the Article

AARP wobbling on Social Security

Posted: 20 Jun 2011 07:00 AM PDT

Who would have ever thunk it was possible that under a Democratic President, the idea of cutting benefits to Social Security and deficit reduction hawks would be so prevalent? The beltway media has really forced the issue of fearmongering the American people on the federal debt which is the only way Republicans could ever get any traction for their hatred of New Deal and Great Society programs. Even with a total global financial meltdown and high unemployment, all the polls show Americans still do not want their Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security touched, privatized or voucherized, but that hasn't stopped the Villagers from telling us to get serious and be adults about 'entitlements."

Republicans will always attack these incredible has programs brought us dignity as we get older and have made this country special because now seniors and the elderly are taken care of in a way that so appalled Presidents like FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, JFK and LBJ. Even Nixon wanted some sort of universal health care to take care of people. AARP stood tall against Bush's attempts to privatize Social Security, but new reports have shown them going all squishy on us at a great time of need.

Roger Hickey: AARP Tells Members They Won't Fight Social Security Benefit Cuts

Rigging the 2012 Election

Posted on Jun 19, 2011
Bill S (CC-BY-ND)

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

An attack on the right to vote is under way across the country through laws designed to make it more difficult to cast a ballot. If this were happening in an emerging democracy, we’d condemn it as election-rigging. But it’s happening here, so there’s barely a whimper.

The laws are being passed in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” But study after study has shown that fraud by voters is not a major problem—and is less of a problem than how hard many states make it for people to vote in the first place. Some of the new laws, such as those limiting the number of days for early voting, have little plausible connection to battling fraud.

These statutes are not neutral. Their greatest impact will be to reduce turnout among African-Americans, Latinos and the young. It is no accident that these groups were key to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008—or that the laws in question are being enacted in states where Republicans control state governments.

How Conservatives Manipulate Language to Gain Power

Conservatives, the modern version anyway, aren’t good for much, but they retain a marvelous talent for manipulating language.
June 16, 2011 |

As kids we learn that sticks and stones can break our bones, but words will never hurt us. Some time later, sophomore year in college for example, we learn that Friedrich Nietzsche wrote “names have the power to slay.” As an aside, Nietzsche also said “Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive,” which is a good observation, even though Oscar Wilde would have found a better way to say it. Conservatives, the modern version anyway, aren’t good for much, but they retain a marvelous talent for manipulating language. How else do you explain the fact that a bunch of people who managed to effectively destroy the world economy and are in a rush to eviscerate the social programs, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, that millions of Americans depend on for basic survival, are unashamed to call themselves “conservatives” while liberals, who were on the right side of both history and economics, try to hide behind “progressive”?

Bachmann Bilked Taxpayer Funds for Tea Party Rally

In November of 2009, Michele Bachmann and other Congresspeople paid a total of $13,630 for a sound system at a Tea Party rally held at the Capitol. The money was filtered from their office accounts -- which, in turn, are funded by taxpayers, reports ROLL CALL

Bachmann billed the event as a "press conference," which can be funded from official accounts. But no questions were taken from the press and, unlike most press conferences, it opened with a prayer, the national anthem and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

A few days earlier, the Minnesota Republican had appeared on a Fox News talk show and made an appeal for activists to come to D.C. for the event, promising to help them lobby Congress against the [health-care reform] bill.

"I'm asking people to come to Washington, D.C., by the carload," Bachmann said. "I'd love to have every one of your viewers join me so that we can go up and down through the halls. Find Members of Congress, look at the whites of their eyes and say, 'Don't take away my health care.'"


Wealthy, Handsome, Strong, and with Endless Hard-Ons: The Impossible Ideals Men Are Expected to Meet

American ideas about "real men" are contradictory and impossible to live up to. So stop trying!
June 20, 2011

You've almost certainly heard feminist rants about impossible cultural ideals of femininity: how standards of femininity are so narrow and rigid they're literally unattainable; how, to avoid being seen as unfeminine, women are expected to navigate an increasingly narrow window between slut and prude, between capable and docile, between moral enforcer and empathetic helpmeet.

Here's what you may not know: It works that way for men as well.

A recent article about male fitness models has made me vividly conscious of how the expectations of masculinity aren't just rigid or narrow. They are impossible. They are, quite literally, unattainable.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Homosexuals Control Bush White House - Russian Paper

New Evidence of D.C. Pedophile RING


Witness says abducted children--23 now dead--abused by 20-30 pedophile members of congress at child sex parties held at Embassy Row mansion where Secret Service-secured presidential limo was seen parked outside.

The now-notorious Gannon, a well-known American homosexual pornographer and also a close worker with the Republicans in the White House, is revealing everything about the powerful ring of homosexuals that now are controlling the President Bush.
Gannon, made many secret tape recordings while he was a "front" reporter for the right-wing Republicans at the White House. These tapes, which clearly show the influence of powerful perverts inside the most advanced of the American political circles, were made secretly by Gannon over a two year period.
With the assistance of a literary agent, Gannon has offered these most revealing and very private conversations, to a Russian publishing company's offices in Malaysia and it is confidentially stated that a very dynamic and revealing book will be produced in the coming future!

Republican Values Create Child Molesters

Republican philanderer and hypocrite Newt Gingrich was cheating on his wife while denouncing President Bill Clinton's extramarital affair

Republican Values Create Child Molesters

You are warned!

Republican Party Chairman Sam Walls, who is married, was urged to drop his candidacy for Congress when it was found he likes to dress up in women's clothing

Bill Maher: Sarah Palin is a 'Category 5' Moron

If anyone thinks that the media didn't fail America, just think that Palin
could get so close to being in the White House that she took up so much of
our time in consideration of that prospect.

How Robert Gates' Lies and Cover-Ups Earned Him a Long, Prestigious Career -- At the Expense of the American People

Two decades ago, U.S. history could have taken a very different course if Gates and his cohorts had faced real accountability and their secrets had been exposed.

"Lying is the way business gets done"


A Message From Keith Olbermann

Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the much-anticipated week-nightly commentary show featuring the return of one of journalism’s most outspoken voices, will return on independently-owned Current TV on Monday, June 20 at 8/7c.

For the Countdown interactive experience, visit

Why Is It So Hard to Bring Rapists to Justice?

A new documentary about a real life Special Victims Unit shows how tough it is to make rapists pay for their crime.
June 19, 2011

Devoted fans of the popular cop show can probably recite it in their sleep: "In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories."

Those stories on Law & Order: SVU are fiction (although they frequently echo tabloid headlines), but these statistics are not: Every two minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. One out of six American women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. But only forty percent of these crimes will be reported. Only six percent of rapists spend a day in jail.

These devastating numbers are at the very soul of a new documentary that offers an inside look at a real-life SVU -- the sex crimes prosecution unit of the New York District Attorney's office, the first of its kind in the country. Produced by Lisa F. Jackson, Sex Crimes Unit premieres on HBO, Monday, June 20, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will be repeated throughout the rest of the month and into July. Look for it.

Keith Olbermann Returns to TV Tonight: What To Expect

New freedom from a new channel means Olbermann's "Olbermann-ness" is going to skyrocket -- great news for progressives.
June 19, 2011

Keith Olbermann is the kind of person who is unfailingly himself at all times. Whether on television or in interviews, he never seems like he's putting us on, and he's gained a huge, dedicated fanbase for being an unwavering, concise, passionate, intense and sometimes outrageous person.

But when "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" returns to the small screen tonight, the show will be more “Olbermann” than ever. Armed with the new freedom that comes from broadcasting on an independent station like Al Gore’s Current TV, Olbermann will be able to more comfortably express himself. Which is not to say he was hemmed in too much at MSNBC. Earlier this month, he told Rolling Stone that they never censored him. (“What were they going to do about it? It was live,” said Olbermann. “I will say this. Nobody ever said: If you say this, you're going to be fired.")

But a quick glance at his new roster of contributors hints that the resurrected "Countdown" is stretching out in its newly broad boundaries. For one, comedian Richard Lewis -- the acerbic Brooklynite known for his all-black outfits and sniping sarcasm -- is scheduled to be a regular on the show. “Comedians,” Olbermann told Rolling Stone, “are the only ones paid to tell the truth in public discourse. Everybody else—politicians, news broadcasters, religious figures—we're all paid to be oracles, when in fact we are like a good public-relations man. A good public-relations man keeps you away from the public, and if you have relations, he keeps that hidden.”

Mind Games: Are Cyberspace and Psychiatric Drugs Messing with Our Heads?

We rely more and more on psychiatric drugs to keep us level and technology to keep us informed. But over-reliance could be changing our very reality.

Bill Maher: If You Think the GOP Field Now Is Bad, Look at Rick Perry

Bill Maher: If You Think the GOP Field Now Is Bad, Look at Rick Perry

The presence of two conservatives on his panel last night didn't stop Bill Maher from being his fiery self last night.

He took particular glee in slamming the right wing in his New Rules segment, in which he singled out uber-religious, uber know-nothing Texas Governor Rick Perry for the Maher treatment. And with good reason, as AlterNet's Josh Holland recently noted: Texas is a mess thanks to his stewardship.

Watch below, via Crooks and Liars.

Justice Thomas Caught Up In Yet Another Ethical Tangle

The New York Times reports on Justice Clarence Thomas’ longstanding — and highly fruitful — relationship with a leading conservative donor named Harlan Crow. Crow has donated nearly $5 million to Republican candidates and conservative organizations, including $100,000 to the anti-John Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — and he has also been very generous to the Thomas family:

The two men met in the mid-1990s, a few years after Justice Thomas joined the court. Since then, Mr. Crow has done many favors for the justice and his wife, Virginia, helping finance a Savannah library project dedicated to Justice Thomas, presenting him with a Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass and reportedly providing $500,000 for Ms. Thomas to start a Tea Party-related group. They have also spent time together at gatherings of prominent Republicans and businesspeople at Mr. Crow’s Adirondacks estate and his camp in East Texas. [...]
Read more

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Too Big to Fail Banks Got Caught…Not Surprized!

The Too Big To Fail banks have been waiting with trepidation for a ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court of the State of Massachusetts on the case titled US Bank National Association (as trustee) vs. Antonio Ibanez. They were right to be fearful. The state supreme court has ruled against the banks and upheld a lower court order that nullified foreclosures by US Bancorp and Wells Fargo, on the grounds that neither bank had the legal right under Massachusetts law to foreclose. Today’s ruling has far-reaching consequences for the banks and the housing market in general, as it throws into serious question the legal soundness of millions of mortgages in the US if, as expected, courts in other states come to similar conclusions as the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

This recent case adds weight to the other lawsuits going on around the country .

So what does all the really mean for homeowners?

Bottom line is this…if the bank holding your mortgage note can’t prove who actually owns your note (today or in the previous “assignment chain”), then they have no legal right to demand that you are obligated to continue making payments or repay a loan to them, since its unclear if they actually ever legally owned it.

So the opportunity for borrowers who want a shot a voiding their mortgage is quickly becoming a reality nationwide. Over a dozen cases has shown that the banks may not even own your loan anymore, and unless they can produce proof that they have no valid claim – IN MANY CASES THERE IS NO PROOF!

This is particularly interesting for homeowners struggling to make payments or even those who are current, but want to have a go at making their mortgage go away FOREVER.

Now the question is, how do you get them to provide this information and how do you prove your case and VOID YOUR MORTGAGE?