Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bankrupt church wants donations for pastor’s sick wife ferried in limo

Arvella Schuller, left, and Rev. Robert Schuller, in 1998: AP Photo/John Hayes

By Zachary Roth | The Lookout – 19 hrs ago

Some members of a bankrupt Orange County, Calif. megachurch are expressing outrage after fielding an email request for congregants to deliver food to waiting limos so that it can ferried to the founder's sick wife.

The appeal comes weeks after a lawsuit charged that the founder of the Crystal Cathedral house of worship, Rev. Robert Schuller, and his family had been paying themselves lavish salaries and other benefits while the church was in financial straits.

"They've completely depleted the church's funds," one member, Bob Canfield, told the Orange County Register. "But they have shown that they have absolutely no remorse for what they've done. They're still being chauffeured around in limos. We, the congregants, have nothing." READ MORE

Sex Scandal Might be First Sign Cain is Qualified to Be Politician


Makes Him Seem ‘Presidential,’ Expert Says

MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report) – Herman Cain’s burgeoning sex scandal might actually be the first sign that he is qualified to be a politician.

That is the assessment of presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, who believes that news of the sex scandal could convince previously undecided voters that Mr. Cain, a former restaurant executive, is of presidential timbre.

“Voters look at Herman Cain and say, wait a minute, a pizza guy? Does he have what it takes to run for office?” Mr. Logsdon said. “The fact that he is involved in a sex scandal gives him instant credibility.”

“It makes him seem presidential,” he added.

Reports that Mr. Cain may have been involved in fundraising irregularities could also add to his presidential luster, Mr. Logsdon said.

“Voters want to know that their elected leaders have experience mishandling money before they take office,” he said. “When you’re President, there’s no time for on-the-job training.”

Mr. Cain could do other things to reinforce the impression that he has the right stuff to be a politician, “such as lying about his military record,” but ultimately everything hinges on the sex scandal, he said.

“If it turns out there was just one or two women and it all blows over, it may not be a big enough sex scandal to help him,” he said. “But if it emerges that Herman Cain was an obnoxious horndog who’d chase anything in a skirt, he could be the next President of the United States.” Read more here.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Bill In Congress Could Turn Alternative Media Outlets and YouTube Singers Into Felons


SB 978 is just one more bullet in a broader government effort to end the web as we know it.

In June, Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced SB 978, specifically “to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright, and for other purposes.”

In lay terms, it’s the “illegal streaming bill,” and it would essentially make the streaming of any copyrighted material on the Internet a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. On paper, it sounds innocuous—copyrighted material and the Internet have a contentious history, and efforts to curb piracy have conflicted with the concept of the Internet as a free exchange for information. But SB 978 is a sweeping curtailing of Internet rights under the guise of hindering piracy, and just one more bullet in a broader government effort to end the web as we know it, and snip away at the First Amendment.
READ MORE

The End of the Herman Cain Campaign? (It's Not What You Think)


Sexual harassment allegations aren't the only thing troubling Cain's campaign--there's also the dirty politics of his campaign manager, Mark Block.

In a hallway outside the ballroom in the National Press Club, a mustachioed man looked ill at ease as he was mobbed by reporters asking questions about sexual harassment allegations made against his boss, GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, on the Politico Web site the night before.

Mark Block, whose face is now familiar to thousands as the Smoking Man in the Cain campaign's latest video, told reporters that Cain was unaware of any settlements paid to the two women who made the accusations while Cain served as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, as Politico reported. But the reasons for Block's discomfort likely went beyond Cain's situation to his own.
READ MORE

Glenn Beck-Approved Goldline Charged With 19 Criminal Counts Of Fraud And Theft


By Alex Seitz-Wald on Nov 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

Goldline International, the precious metal retailer that has capitalized on conservatives’ anxiety about the economy by forging synergistic relationships with right wing TV and radio hosts, is facing a new series of legal challenges after authorities filed criminal charges against the company and its executives yesterday. Several major conservative talkers — including two former GOP presidential candidates — have endorsed and recommended Goldine, which critics have long contended is little more than a scam.

After more than a year of investigating, the city attorney in Santa Monica, California, where the company is based, has filed 19 criminal charges of fraud and theft against the company, in addition to charges against top executives and salesmen, ABC News reports:
READ MORE

Exclusive: Romney Family Investment Group Partnered With Alleged Perpetrators Of $8 Billion Ponzi Scheme

Mitt Romney and his son Tagg Romney. Tagg is the managing partner to Solamere Capital, a firm that invested in a new company employing brokers accused of taking part in the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme.

By Lee Fang on Nov 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

Mitt Romney, his son Tagg, and Romney’s chief fundraiser, Spencer Zwick, have extensive financial and political ties to three men who allegedly participated in an $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme. A few months after the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a firm financed by Mitt Romney and run by his son and chief fundraiser partnered with the three men and created a new “wealth management business” as a subsidiary.

In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, Tagg Romney confirmed their business relationship, but falsely claimed that the men were cleared of any wrongdoing associated with the Ponzi scheme. Tagg Romney told ThinkProgress that his three partners collected about $15,000 from their involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Court documents obtained by ThinkProgress show that the legal proceedings are ongoing and the men made over $1.6 million selling fraudulent CDs to investors.

The Ponzi Scheme

30 Major Corporations Paid No Income Taxes In The Last Three Years, While Making $160 Billion

By Pat Garofalo on Nov 3, 2011 at 9:15 am

Photo by Flickr user Joseph Seal

One of the driving forces behind the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests is the fact that corporations have not been paying their fair share in taxes. A new report from Citizens for Tax Justice will no nothing to alleviate the protesters’ frustration.

CTJ looked at 280 companies, all of them members of the Fortune 500, and found that “while the federal corporate tax code ostensibly requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate, on average, the 280 corporations in our study paid only about half that amount.” And those who paid even half the statutory corporate tax rate paid far more than many of their competitors.


READ MORE

Bill Gates: ‘I’m Generally In Favor’ Of The Rich Paying More In Taxes



The majority of millionaires (“job creators” in the GOP’s parlance) support higher taxes on the wealthy. Today on ABC’s This Week, Microsoft founder Bill Gates added his voice to the chorus, scoffing at the idea that the rich would riot over a marginal tax increase. “I just can’t imagine these millionaires and billionaires going down and barricading the streets because they are going to have to pay 4 or 5 percent more in taxes. I mean, it’s going to be rough for them,” he quipped. “There’s certainly a case to be made that taxes should be more progressive,” he added. When asked whether he agrees with the Buffett rule, he noted that the revenues needed cannot be raised completely off the top income bracket but he said, “I’m generally in favor of the idea that the rich should pay somewhat more.”

Move Over, Wacky Cain Ad: Rick Perry Speech Video Deemed "Weird, Rambling, Incoherent" by Press

On Friday night, Rick Perry gave a "loose," "off-the-cuff" speech in New Hampshire that got pundit's tongues wagging over the weekend. What was he doing, exactly?

The Daily Mail rounds up reaction:

Those in attendance said that passion is not a word to describe his performance, off the wall, bizarre and rambling though, were more adequate.


Maddow on Mississippi's Drive to Call an Embryo a Person and Its Roots in the "Conceived in Rape" Tour

The scariest thing this Halloween is Mississippi's "personhood" amendment, which Rachel Maddow says is a "juggernaut" that will end the legality of fertility treatment, birth control, and abortion as we know it in the state.

This movement began as the kooky, frightening "ccnceived in rape" tour which was on the fringe, but Maddow notes, it quickly moved to the "center of Republican politics" in the conservative state.
READ MORE

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Occupy Wall Street’s Success: Even Republicans Are Talking About Income Inequality



As ThinkProgress’ Zaid Jilani cataloged earlier this month, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have helped shift media coverage away from conservative concerns about the federal debt and deficit to the more progressive (and important) issues of unemployment and unequal income distribution.
READ MORE

Cain Campaign Update: Coulter Blames "Liberal Media" for Sex Harassment Allegations, Cain Now In Trouble for Campaign Finance

It isn't easy being the front-runner--suddenly your whole operation, your personal past, everything is under scrutiny. Herman Cain is the latest candidate in the hot seat.

After the allegations of "inappropriate behavior" in his past that may qualify as sexual harassment which rocked his campaign yesterday, Herman Cain is in defense mode, denying the reports and blaming the liberal media for their circulation.

Here he is on Fox News issuing one such denial:

READ MORE

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Take Five Minutes of Your Day to Keep Wall Street Occupied With This Amazing At-Home Activism Plan

Far away from New York? Busy all the time? This video making its rounds across the internet has a great idea for doing your small part to help Occupy Wall Street--and get rid of junk mail while you do it, using those handy "business reply" envelopes that show up unwanted at your doorstep.

A bonus: it gives more business to the Postal Service.

The idea is to "keep Wall Street occupied" by organizing a mass movement of consumers to send their unsolicited credit card and mortgage offers right back to the Wall Street mailrooms from whence they came--with a message from the 99% inside! READ MORE

The day to say bye-bye to big banks


by Frida Berrigan | October 28, 2011, 6:17 pm

My sister will be 30 on November 5! Happy Birthday, Gal! I remember the day she was born. The school secretary paged the classroom my brother and I were in and said, “Mrs. So and So, please send Frida and Jerry Berrigan to the main office with their belongings. They will not be returning to class today.”

When we got home, there she was, still covered in slime and yellow stuff. She was born at home. She was perfect. Our lives were never the same. Before my brother and I knew it, she was kicking our butts at checkers, running circles around us academically, and then climbing tall cranes and rappelling down others, holding corporations accountable to people.
READ MORE

Former GITMO Chief Prosecutor: 'Prosecute Torture'

A detainee at the US Guantanamo Bay prision facility, 01/14/09. (photo: Brennan Linsley/AP)

Ed Vulliamy, Guardian UK
Ed Vulliamy reports: "The former chief prosecutor for the US government at Guantanamo Bay has accused the administration he served of operating a 'law-free zone' there, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the order to establish the detention camp on Cuba."
READ MORE

A Master Class in Occupation

Zuccotti Park on Liberty Street, New York City, Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, 09/22/11. (photo: Jack Berman)

By Chris Hedges, Truthdig

31 October 11

on Friesen, 27, tall and lanky with a long, dirty-blond ponytail, a purple scarf and an old green fleece, is sitting on concrete at the edge of Zuccotti Park leading a coordination meeting, a gathering that takes place every morning with representatives of each of Occupy Wall Street's roughly 40 working groups.

"Our conversation is about what it means to be a movement and what it means to be an organization," he says to the circle. A heated discussion follows, including a debate over whether the movement should make specific demands.

I find him afterward on a low stone wall surrounding a flowerbed in the park. He decided to come to New York City, he said, from the West Coast for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. He found a ride on Craig's List while staying at his brother's home in Champaign, Ill.

"It was a television event when I was 17," he says of the 2001 attacks. "I came here for the 10-year anniversary. I wanted to make it real to myself. I'd never been to New York. I'd never been to the East Coast."

Once he reached New York City he connected with local street people to find "assets." He slept in the parks and on the street. He arrived on the first day of the occupation in Zuccotti Park. He found other "traveler types" whose survival skills and political consciousness were as developed as his own.
READ MORE

Paul Krugman | Bombs, Bridges and Jobs


Paul Krugman, The New York Times
Paul Krugman writes: "Faced with this prospect, Republicans - who normally insist that the government can't create jobs, and who have argued that lower, not higher, federal spending is the key to recovery - have rushed to oppose any cuts in military spending. Why? Because, they say, such cuts would destroy jobs."
READ MORE

Cain Defends Accusing Planned Parenthood of 'Planned Genocide'; Goal Is To ‘Kill Black Babies’

Posted: 30 Oct 2011 06:00 PM PDT


Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is standing by his assertion that reproductive health care provider Planned Parenthood is carrying out the "planned genocide" of African Americans.

In a March speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation,Cain said the organization's mission was to "help kill black babies before they came into the world."

On Sunday, CBS host Bob Schieffer asked the candidate if he still believed that statement.

"Yes," Cain replied. "I still stand by that."
READ MORE

Meet The Press Doesn't Want To Discuss Economic Issues For 99% Of America

Posted: 31 Oct 2011 07:00 AM PDT

Republican tool.

That's the kindest term I can use for David Gregory and his perceived responsibilities as the moderator of the now 74 year old Meet the Press. There are hundreds of Occupy protests going on worldwide, all protesting the income inequality and the how the system is rigged towards just one percent of the population, so what will David Gregory discuss with his panel? The influence of the tea party on the Republican primaries, naturally.

Keep in mind that at a recent tea party rally they could only drum up fifteen participants. Not fifteen speakers, fifteen attendees. So any influence that the tea parties are having due to their ideological purity and recalcitrance is clearly disproportionate.

Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm tried to direct the conversation back to what Americans actually care about. READ MORE

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Today in Republican Scandals




1. Salon ties the two Republican frontrunners into a single scandal:

“Follow the money” is an elementary rule for understanding American politics, and in the case of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the money trail leads to a case of apparent money laundering that involves his Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney and a $1 million contribution from the same Texas tycoon who bankrolled the “Swift Boat” attacks against the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry

2. MSNBC lets us know about a forthcoming Bloomberg report that could reveal a very un-American deal from huge teabagger funders:

Koch Industries, the company controlled by GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch, sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran in an end-run around a trade ban and cheated the government out of nearly 2 million barrels of oil from federal lands, according to a blockbuster report in the November issue of Bloomberg Markets magazine.

---
"Look Mom, it's Tappy, what does that mean?"
---
READ MORE 1
READ MORE 2
READ MORE 3
READ MORE 4
READ MORE 5

Monday, October 31, 2011

Republican NJ mayor won’t resign over ‘Rentboy’ scandal, alleged underwear pics


It’s almost more newsworthy these days when a conservative Republican politician turns out to not be in the closet. According to Talking Points Memo, Medford, New Jersey mayor Chris Myers insists that he is not resigning in spite of a mushrooming scandal involving his purported contact with a male prostitute who he procured through the website “Rentboy.com”.

Photographs that allegedly show the mayor sprawled on a bed in a pair of tight-fitting blue Calvin Klein underwear have surfaced, as well as photos taken of the Republican politician’s ID and wallet. The Medford Courier-Post asked the mayorif there was any truth to allegations by a young man associated with “Rentboy.com” that Myers sought his services while traveling for business in California, and that during their encounter the older man had promised him a car and a recording studio.

Myers responded, “I can’t comment on something I don’t know.” He claims that the photos of him could be digitally faked and that the accusations are “ridiculous”. He told the Courier, “I believe I’ve been wronged by stories pinned on anonymous reports.” READ MORE

Bachmann: My ‘flat tax’ would have ‘not one but several rates’

By Andrew Jones
Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another day, another peculiar statement from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

When asked by ABC’s This Week host Christiane Amanpour about what her tax plan would be, the congresswoman said that she would implement a flat tax. But while discussing her plan, Bachmann seemed to not understand what exactly a “flat tax” is.

“I would flatten the rates and simplify them, I would not have just one rate, but I’ll have several rates,” she said. “A flattened, simple, much fairer system, and one that would be equitable and raise revenues for the federal government as well.”

WATCH: Video From ABC News, which appeared on October 30, 2011 (Preferably Skip to 12:06 mark).
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

READ MORE

Women Who Raped 17 Men Wanted More Than Just Sex

Admit it -- when you hear the term serial rapist, you tend to picture a man, right? But in Zimbabwe, a trio of women in their 20s are being charged for sex attacks of 17 men.

When their car was involved in an accident on Friday, police found the women -- Rosemary Chakwizira, 24, Sophie Nhokwara, 26, and her sister, Netsai Nhokwara, 24 -- had a stash of 33 condoms containing semen. Ughhhh. I know!

It seems the women had been targeting male hitchhikers over the past two years, either giving them a drink with a tranquilizer or raping them at gunpoint. Terrifying! And 17 men have come forward to positively identify the three women as having raped them, so it's not just like one or two guys are telling some cockamamie story. Yeeesh. At first glimpse, you might think these women are a.) out of their minds and committed these rapes as a string of senseless acts, or b.) one of them was a totally wacko ringleader forcing the other two to go along for the ride.

But, I'm not so sure. It seems like they all had an ulterior motive.
READ MORE

Credit union flap may reveal Goldman Sachs is bullying community banks

By Muriel Kane
Friday, October 28, 2011

When it was announced recently that Goldman Sachs had withdrawn its sponsorship of the small community bank at which Occupy Wall Street had set up an account for its donations, it appeared to be merely a petty act of vindictiveness.

According to investigative reporter Greg Palast, however, the motivations go much deeper and may involve that Goldman Sachs is misusing TARP bailout funds as a “political weapon” to bully smaller banks.

Rachel Maddow: That’s enough of Paul Wolfowitz

By Roxanne Cooper
Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why is Paul Wolfowitz being treated by the media as if he still any credibility on U.S. foreign policy? On Friday night, Rachel Maddow launched into an epic rant about his latest piece in Foreign Policy Magazine.

“If you were an architect of the Iraq war, you don’t ever get an opportunity to talk about what’s a good idea for war ever again,” Maddow said.

She then castigated the entire Bush administration for being wrong about Iraq. “I’m sorry, when it comes to war in this country, you had your chance. Blew it. No. Wrong.”

She continued, “You are not going to be consulted on the next big idea since you got the last one so wrong. Take up another hobby. Try to convince us to listen to your big ideas on some other subject. Confess before the cleric of your choosing. But war advice? No. Seriously, you went looking for a plan for Afghanistan and for that plan, you went looking to Paul Wolfowitz? The answer is no, no, no. Ten years of hell, No. Not again.”

Watch the full segment below, originally uploaded by MSNBC on October 28, 2011.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Maher panel rips GOP strategist for not admitting Iraq invasion was ‘wrong’

Republican strategist (and Bush/Cheney loyalist) Ron Christie appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher‘s panel discussion Friday evening, and still couldn’t admit that invading Iraq was a wrong decision.

That steadfastness by Christie prompted Princeton professor Cornell West to repeatedly ask, “Were your wrong, were you wrong?”

Former CNN correspondent also had his criticism set for Christie’s hypocrisy of questioning President Obama’s influence in Libya, asking, “Why didn’t you ask that during the Bush administration?”

WATCH: Video from HBO, which was broadcasted on October 28, 2011 (Preferably skip to 4:20).

What Are the "San Jose Articles"? Don't Be Fooled By the Conservative Global Elites' Latest Ploy to Attack Science, Women, and the United Nations


The sum of nine articles are meant to etch away at important gains made by the global reproductive rights community, from liberalizing abortion laws inNepal to Colombia and Mexico.
October 25, 2011

They say timing is everything. That’s almost certainly what an anti-choice global elite had in mind when they launched the “San Jose Articles”
last week at the United Nations. Comprised of nine tenets that mimic global human rights agreement language, the articles are an attempt to dismantle safe abortion access, and undermine the authority of the United Nations and other governing bodies to ensure the health and rights of women worldwide.

READ MORE

9/11 Pentagon Debate: Craig Ranke (CIT) vs Anthony Summers



You can comment here, but you'll probably be better off at the pilots for truth site, where you can get answers from licensed heavy aircraft pilots and be better informed.

The topic can be found here:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Judge Approves Landmark $1.2 Billion Settlement for Black Farmers


A federal judge on Thursday approved a $1.25 billion settlement in a lawsuit filed against the Agriculture Department by thousands of black farmers. The group of farmers said that they experienced widespread racial bias from the department when they were denied loans and programs throughout the 1980's and '90s.

CNN provides more details on the U.S. District judge Paul Friedman's historic ruling:
"I'm very pleased that this has resolved itself," U.S. District judge Paul Friedman said Friday. "It will provide relief to an awful lot of people."

In an opinion filed in the case, Friedman deemed fair a proposed settlement that provides a system of compensation for black farmers who joined a class-action lawsuit claiming that they can prove racial bias in decisions related to Agriculture Department programs and support.

"Historical discrimination cannot be undone," Friedman wrote, citing a basis to establish payments "for the broken promise to those African-American farmers and their descendants."

As many as 68,000 African-American farmers who filed between 1999 and 2008 would apply for one of...

Click here to read the entire article...

2377 Occupy Together communities

If you can’t join protesters on the ground, one way to make your voice heard is to send a message of solidarity.

Your message of solidarity—which will be delivered by Working America—will go a long way to energize the protesters who are camping out in the rain and cold. And it only takes a moment to write.


It’s even better if you can join an Occupy event yourself. Since the protests are a truly organic movement, and aren’t organized by the AFL-CIO, we can’t tell you exactly what will be happening when you arrive. But what we can tell you is this: The more people who can stand in solidarity, the better. Once you join your local protest, you can find ways to get involved. Check out this map of protests.
READ MORE

ICE Agent During Search: "The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls"

The ACLU of Tennessee filed a lawsuit this week in federal court on behalf of fifteen residents of an apartment complex in Nashville, TN who say they were targets of an unlawful immigration raid. The defendants allege that ICE agents and Metro Nashville police officers forced their way into their homes without warrants. When residents asked the officers to show a warrant, one agentreportedly said, “We don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE.” Then, gesturing to his genitals, the officer reportedly said “the warrant is coming out of my balls.” READ MORE

Michael Moore Explains OWS to Anderson Cooper: "This Movement is So Beyond, 'Hey Let's Get this Candidate Elected'"

Yesterday Anderson Cooper wondered where the Occupy movement is headed, what with the snow and the winter, and Michael Moore had an answer: "The snow and the winter is not going to stop the collective anger," he said from Occupy Oakland, while several supporters behind him shook their heads in agreement. "I think it will only harden peoples' resolve." And when Cooper wondered if candidates would "rise up" from the movement, or if the Democratic Party would be impacted? Moore explained it further: "This movement is so beyond, 'Hey let's get this candidate elected.' Those days are over... we've all participated... What did we get? Where are we? We're in the worst shape we have been in this country that I have seen in my lifetime."

Watch:

Disgusting: New York's Largest Foreclosure Firm Mocked Downtrodden Homeowners at Halloween Party



Last year, the law firm of Steven J. Baum threw a Halloween party in which employees mocked the homeowners it foreclosed against, wearing horrific "squatter" and "homeless" costumes and setting up a fake foreclosure sale tent city. Steven J. Baum is the largest foreclosure mill firm in the state of New York, and represents Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, among other mortgage lenders. A former employee sent photos of the partyto the New York Times' Joe Nocera:

These pictures are hardly the first piece of evidence that the Baum firm treats homeowners shabbily — or that it uses dubious legal practices to do so. It is under investigation by the New York attorney general,Eric Schneiderman. It recently agreed to pay $2 million to resolve an investigation by the Department of Justice into whether the firm had “filed misleading pleadings, affidavits, and mortgage assignments in the state and federal courts in New York. (In the press release announcing the settlement, Baum acknowledged only that “it occasionally made inadvertent errors.”)

MFY Legal Services, which defends homeowners, and Harwood Feffer, a large class-action firm,have filed a class-action suit claiming that Steven J. Baum has consistently failed to file certain papers that are necessary to allow for a state-mandated settlement conference that can lead to a modification. Judge Arthur Schack of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn once described Baum’s foreclosure filings as “operating in a parallel mortgage universe, unrelated to the real universe.” (My source told me that one Baum employee dressed up as Judge Schack at a previous Halloween party.)
READ MORE