Saturday, October 29, 2011

How the Bitter Elitists at Fox News Keep Trying -- And Failing -- to Dampen Support for Occupy Wall Street

Another day, another Fox News attempt to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement. This time they've resurrected their favorite bogeyman, ACORN.
October 27, 2011

Fox News has been feverishly trying to dampen the viral growth of OWS ever since the movement sprouted in a park in Lower Manhattan about a month ago. Fox's overt hostility is in sharp contrast to the love affair they had with the Tea Party.

Now Fox is slandering decent and passionate protesters as communists, whining about class war, comparing them to hippies, accusing them of violence, and associating them with Nazis. All of these attacks have collapsed from the weight of their own dishonesty, and support continues to grow for the movement. But does that stop Fox News? READ MORE

Colbert Fights Against 'The War On Halloween' (VIDEO)

David Taintor | October 27, 2011, 10:34AM

With Halloween just around the corner, Stephen Colbert on Wednesday had some tough words for those trying to spoil the spooky fun.

Apparently there's a new trend this year: costume swapping, to keep old costumes from ending up in landfills.

"This is political correctness gone bad," Colbert said. "Before you know it, we'll need to buy carbon offsets to leave a flaming bag of poop on a doorstep."

Environmentalism goes against everything Halloween stands for, he added: rampant consumerism and waste.

"Like clear cutting a forest, pulping the trees into lush, three-ply toilet paper, shipping the rolls on diesel trucks to air conditioned grocery stores, where we buy them and, as a heartless final insult, hurl them at their still-living cousins."

But that's not all. A Christian group in Texas is reportedly encouraging people to ditch the sexy and scary costumes for sheets of white and Bibles. They're calling it Jesus Ween.

"Because dressing in white and handing out bibles is sure to make your house the creepiest one on the block," Colbert said.

The group is selling it as an alternative to Halloween -- a decision Colbert doesn't quite understand.

"Think about it, Jesus rose from the dead, he's the original zombie," Colbert said.

Watch the video:(above)

10 Reasons Bank of America Is the Most Hated Bank in America

Here are ten reasons to take your money out of Bank of America - and park it at a credit union or community bank near you.
October 27, 2011

There is no shortage of hatred for the biggest banks. Indeed, the Occupy Wall Street movement is leading a national revolution against these byzantine, powerful Goliaths for the economic devastation they have caused. This makes it difficult to choose the worst of the bunch. That said, a strong case can be made that Bank of America deserves the title of the nation's most despised bank.

Here are ten reasons to take your money out of Bank of America - and park it at a credit union or community bank near you. (And yes, that may be near impossible if you have a mortgage with them, as refinancing away from any big bank nowadays is a nightmare.)READ MORE

Rick Perry's Shady Connections to Extremist Right-Wing Pastors

Perry has long cultivated ties to evangelical leaders who hold extreme views.
The following article first appeared in Mother Jones. For more great content from Mother Jones, sign up for their free email updates here.

At the Values Voters Summit earlier this month, Rick Perry and his sputtering campaign got plenty of attention—but not for the reasons the candidate would have liked. It was the Texas governor's association with a controversial religious leader that made headlines, after Robert Jeffress, a Dallas Pastor who introduced (and endorsed) Perry at the event, said that conservative voters should reject Mitt Romney because he belongs to a "cult" (the Mormon church).

Fox News Won't Air Wall Street Protester Who Humiliates Fox News

You had to know that the notoriously imbalanced Fox News wouldn't tell the truth about the populist uprising taking place on Wall Street. What you might not have expected, however, is the conservative cable channel getting caught red-handed in its latest moment of extremely biased reporting.

Thus far Fox's only pieces on Occupy Wall Street have been poorly developed hit jobs like this one from Bill O'Reilly, in which a producer makes fun of ill-informed children. But when Greta van Sustern attempted a similar stunt later last week, her producer got far more than he bargained for in Jesse LaGreca, one of the more outspoken Wall Street occupiers. LaGreca, who is far from a hippy-dippy rambler, puts van Sustern's producer on his heels immediately, unleashing a blistering assault on Fox News before delivering a well articulated explanation of why he's protesting. In the end the Fox News producer is forced to admit, "Fair enough. You have voiced an important reason to criticize myself and my company." It's a great instance of an embarrassed man getting his comeuppance, and you have The New York Observer to thank for it. For some reason, Greta van Sustern chose to never air the LaGreca interview.

US Officials Tried to Pull Videos From YouTube

Google released data tracking government efforts to have videos taken down from YouTube. (photo: Hürriyet Daily News)

Josh Halliday, Guardian UK
Halliday reports: "Figures revealed for the first time show that the US demanded private information about more than 11,000 Google users between January and June this year, almost equal to the number of requests made by 25 other developed countries, including the UK and Russia. Governments around the world requested private data about 25,440 people in the first half of this year, with 11,057 of those people in the US."

10th Anniversary of Patriot Act a Day to Mourn

President Bush signs the USA Patriot Terrorism Prevention Reauthorization Act of 2005 in the East Room of the White House, 03/09/06. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Shahid Buttar, The Progressive

Buttar wrties: "The Justice Department's own internal watchdog has documented numerous abuses of Patriot Act powers. The federal government has issued thousands of improper National Security Letters. The Patriot Act has also been used by the Departments of Justice and Treasury to seize charities without due process, even though the work of such organizations could advance US interests by alleviating suffering in war-torn areas and winning hearts and minds. The same provisions have enabled investigations of peace, labor and immigrant rights activists in Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles for what essentially amount to thought crimes."

Fed's $40 Billion Iraqi Money Trail Goes Cold

Eamon Javers, CNBC News
Javers begins: "It has been called the largest airborne transfer of currency in the history of the world. But finding out what happened to all the money involved has become one of the biggest financial mysteries of all time. By one account, the New York Fed shipped about $40 billion in cash between 2003 and 2008. In just the first two years, the shipments included more than 281 million individual bills weighing a total of 363 tons. But soon after the money arrived in the chaos of war-torn Baghdad, the paper trail documenting who controlled it all began to go cold."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wall Street Is Still Out of Control

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

26 October 11

Wall Street is still out of control, and why Obama should call for Glass-Steagall and a breakup of big banks.

ext week President Obama travels to Wall Street where he'll demand - in light of the Street's continuing antics since the bailout, as well as its role in watering-down the Volcker rule - that the Glass-Steagall Act be resurrected and big banks be broken up.

I'm kidding. But it would be a smart move - politically and economically.

Politically smart because Mitt Romney is almost sure to be the Republican nominee, and Romney is the poster child for the pump-and-dump mentality that's infected the financial industry and continues to jeopardize the American economy.

Romney was CEO of Bain & Company - a private-equity fund that bought up companies, fired employees to save money and boost performance, and then resold the firms at a nice markups.READ MORE

Al Gore | Koch-Funded Study Confirms Climate Data

Al Gore, Reader Supported News
Gore writes: "With the evidence reconfirmed (again), I would hope that skeptics would rethink their position and join me in pushing our government, and governments around the world, to take steps to solve the climate crisis."

Fox Revives Myth That "America Is A Center-Right Country"

October 26, 2011 6:21 pm ET — 46 Comments

This year, Fox has continued to push the right-wing talking point that "America is a center-right country." In fact, on issue after issue, polls are clear that Americans favor progressive policies.READ MORE

Hannity Attacks Obama For Noting Republicans Are Anti-Environment

October 26, 2011 11:09 am ET — 40 Comments

Fox News' Sean Hannity has spent the past week attacking President Obama over what Hannity called Obama's "incendiary language," because Obama said Republicans want "dirtier air, dirtier water." But Obama is right in that Republicans have repeatedly voted to weaken pollution limits this year.

"The Most Exciting Tax Plan Since Reagan's": Right-Wing Media Tout Perry's Flat Tax

October 26, 2011 2:01 am ET — 31 Comments

Following the release of Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's (TX) tax plan, conservative media have hyped the plan, claiming it is "exciting" and a "radical improvement" over the current system. However, economists from across the spectrum have criticized Perry's plan, noting that it will lead to "substantial" revenue loss and "draconian cuts" while "undermin[ing]" the need to make the tax code simpler.READ MORE

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Court Gives Banks 'Beat-Down' Over Foreclosures

By Les Christie, CNN Money

22 October 11

The Massachusetts high court ruled on Friday that two foreclosures are invalid because the banks could not prove they had the proper paperwork to foreclose.

The banks "failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of foreclosure," Justice Ralph Gants wrote for the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

This could be a harbinger of things to come because it is the first ruling by a state high court on the issue of whether banks can foreclose on homeowners if can't prove they hold the mortgages.

Numerous instances of this emerged last fall, as evidence appeared that banks were robo-signing foreclosure documents without actually reading them. As a result, there are dozens of similar cases in lower courts across the country, all waiting for the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling.

"It's about the most extensive beat-down the banks have received over their shoddy practices," said Christopher Peterson, a real estate law professor at the University of Utah. "It could be a wake-up call for rubberstamping judges that they need to more carefully examine practices."

Rupert Murdoch: News Corp's Great Dictator on the Brink

nder normal circumstances, Rupert Murdoch doesn't have much patience for the annual shareholders' meetingsthat are required by law of American public companies. He regards them as a farce, because they cannot change the outcome in a company where a voting majority is secure, and as an exercise in liberal corporate law designed to put him personally on the spot.

Still, his handlers, whose job is, in part, to protect him from himself, have long made him train for these meetings as though he's going into a presidential debate. Without rigorous practice, he is quite liable to not pay attention and appear quite bewildered, or pay too much attention and explode in fury, or worse, truthful exasperation. READ MORE

10 Ways to Support the Occupy Movement

There are many things you can do to be part of this growing movement—and only some of them involve sleeping outside. READ MORE

The "Attractiveness Bonus" in the Workplace

Studies show pretty people make more money--so should ugly people be designated disabled members of a disadvantaged minority meriting compensation as a protected class? READ MORE

“What Did We Actually Do Right?” On the Unexpected Success and Spread of Occupy Wall Street

Protesters at "Occupy Wall Street" camp, Liberty Square
Photo Credit: Sarah Jaffe

A look back at the beginnings of the Occupy Wall Street movement, how it has spread, and the lessons of its experiments in direct democracy. READ MORE

The skinny on the planned cashless society

A control grid beyond even Hitler's imagination

Let's see, you awake one morning, have breakfast and head for the

While you were asleep "Echelon" flags a sentence you wrote in an email
last week and sent it for 'further inspection" to a reviewer who, incidentally voted for Bush!

You stop at the gas station where your card is refused! Your debit account
shows you have no funds. You call the bank they say you'll have to come in to discuss this matter. Meanwhile you have to call on friends to come help you pay for your gas. That's when you notice that your cellphone has stopped working.
Unfortunately, you're so used to speed dial you don't know anyone's number and information 411 cost 50 cents, so you power up your laptop but it too is blank.
Welcome to the brave new world.

White House Approves BP’s Gulf Drilling Plan

An oil-soaked bird struggles against the oil-slicked side of a supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, 08/09/10. (photo: Gerald Herbert/AP)

By Clifford Krauss, The New York Times

22 October 11

he Obama administration on Friday took another step toward allowing BP to return to the Gulf of Mexico, approving the first oil drilling plan for the company there since the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig more than a year ago.

It was another sign that oil exploration in the gulf was coming back to normal, although energy companies continued to complain that the permitting process for drilling new wells remained far slower than before the accident.

The federal government's approval of the BP plan to drill up to four exploratory wells nearly 200 miles from the Louisiana coast was positive news for BP, which has struggled to recover from the April 2010 accident that left 11 workers dead and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the gulf.

Is Bank of America Headed for the Glue Factory?

In recent months Bank of America has been moving assets and laying off workers. (photo:

Mike Whitney, CounterPunch
Whitney begins: "Why is Bank of America moving derivatives from Merrill Lynch to an insured subsidiary? Is it because the derivatives could blow up at any time leaving Merrill with gigantic, unsustainable losses? If that's the case, then it would make perfect sense to shift them into a depository institution that's covered by the FDIC. That way, the taxpayers would wind up paying for the damage and no one would be the wiser."

Credit Card 'Blockade' Halts Donations, WikiLeaks Faces Funding Crisis

Mark Seibel, McClatchy Newspapers
Seibel reports: "WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website that has been at the center of some of the world's most controversial news for the past 18 months, is facing dire economic times, largely, the website says, because Visa, MasterCard and PayPal have refused for more than 10 months to process donations made on its behalf."

I thought vigilantism was against the law? Have they done away with the
need for formal charges and trials? Banks and other businesses can now
claim to be enforcing the law, when, in fact, all they are "enforcing"
is a one sided view of a select public opinion.

FOCUS: NPR-Simeone Battle Escalates

Associated Press
AP reports: "NPR will no longer distribute the member station-produced program 'World of Opera' to about 60 stations across the country because the show host helped organize an ongoing Washington protest, a network official said Friday evening."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bernie Sanders: America's #1 Socialist Goes Mainstream

Paul Harris, Guardian UK
Harris writes: "Sanders is unique in American politics. In a country dominated by a two-party system, he is the lone independent in the Senate. In a political landscape where 'socialist' is essentially a curse word, he has carved out a successful political career, with a solid base of support in his home state. Tall, with a shock of white hair and a slightly dishevelled appearance even when wearing a smart suit, he speaks with the thick Brooklyn accent of his working-class childhood, even while inhabiting the rarefied atmosphere of the Senate."

How to Make Banks Really Mad: Occupy Foreclosures

Mike Konczal, New Deal 2.0: "Could the next step after camping in Zuccotti Park be camping out in homes facing foreclosure? As people think a bit more critically about what it means to 'occupy' contested spaces that blur the public and the private and the boundaries between the 99% and the 1%, and as they also think through what Occupy Wall Street might do next, I would humbly suggest they check out the activism model of Project: No One Leaves."
Read the Article

REPORT AIR DATE: Oct. 19, 2010
Boston Group Helps Homeowners 'Stand Up, Fight Back' Against Foreclosure

Global Economic Fate Hinges on European Finance Talks

Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers: "The fate of the global economy, European unity - and the 401(k) savings of ordinary Americans - all hang in the balance as Europe's leaders meet over the weekend to try to resolve a burgeoning debt crisis that threatens to spread globally. The leaders are expected to decide at their European Union summit by next Wednesday whether and how to expand the controversial bailout fund they created earlier this year."
Read the Article

Depth Needed in News Coverage of Wall Street

Jesse Laird, Truthout: "What is less certain, however, is whether American media will take upon themselves the more useful tasks of analyzing these underlying moral failures and of providing a fair hearing to the people most damaged by the economy. So far, media coverage tends to focus on dramatic encounters and confrontation without going deeper into the underlying causes or dynamics. America needs greater depth of insight by media into the present crisis."
Read the Article

Qaddafi Is Dead. Now What for Libya?

Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: "With the death Thursday of Moammar Gadahfi, Libya's de facto leaders now face the challenge of preserving the fragile unity they enjoyed while the deposed dictator was on the run as they begin transforming their war-battered nation into a democracy after 42 years of tyrannical one-man rule. The task is daunting."
Read the Article

Revolving Door: Top Industries

Practically every industry and special interest area hires lobbyists to represent and defend their interests in Washington, D.C. But some industries frequently employ a special breed of lobbyist: those who previously worked for the federal government they're now tasked with lobbying.

Some of these "revolving door" lobbyists once toiled as low-level congressional staffers or entry-level bureaucrats. Plenty more, however, worked within government's upper ranks, serving as top agency officials, congressional chiefs of staff and even as members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

The chart below details which industries and special interest areas most frequently use lobbyists who have spun through the revolving door of federal politics and government:READ MORE/SEE CHARTS

Which Bank Is the Worst for America? Five Behemoths That Hold Our Political System Hostage

Sarah Jaffe and Joshua Holland, AlterNet: "AlterNet, in partnership with the Media Consortium, looked at the five banks that exert the most influence on our democracy. Based on their size, the amount of money they spend on campaign donations and lobbying, and the number of employees who’ve gone through the revolving door into public service, or vice versa, we determined which banks have had the worst impact on the country. We’ll rank each one based on our research, and come up with the worst of the worst - the big bank that’s done the most damage to America's economy and society."
Read the Article

Goodbye Iraq? Not Exactly

David Swanson, War Is A "There will be U.S. troops remaining in Iraq. They simply will not be employed by the 'Department of Defense' (as we call it, I'm not sure Iraqis call it that). Thousands of mercenaries will be employed by the State Department. Iraqi police will be trained to U.S. specifications on the U.S. taxpayers' dime. We will maintain the world's largest embassy. And I have to assume the CIA is not departing."
Read the Article

President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference about the Iraq troop withdrawal in the White House briefing room in Washington, October 21, 2011. (Photo: Philip Scott Andrews / The New York Times)