Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dobson: U.S. in ‘trouble with God’ if Obama reelected

By Andrew Jones
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In video released Tuesday morning from a secret religious right-wing event titled “One Nation Under God,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson warned Americans that if they don’t vote right-wing in 2012, they’ll be in “serious trouble” with God.

“I am most concerned about the dift away from Christian principles,” Dobson said at the media embargoed event held in late October. “Are we going to continue to honor God with the holy living that he continues to prescribe to us? If we don’t, we are in serious trouble. And right now, I think we are.” READ MORE

Mayor "1%" Bloomberg Tries to Make it Harder for Homeless to Get Into Shelters (Temporary Reprieve Granted)

New York's Department of Homeless Services has tried to launch a new policy restricting access to shelters.
November 10, 2011
Last week the Bloomberg administration announced new eligibility rules that would make it harder for homeless people to get into city shelters, a cost-cutting measure astutely timed to coincide with the approach of winter. After a major outcry by homeless advocates and city council members including Speaker Christine Quinn, the city agreed last night to delay the measure pending a court review on December 9th.

Under the policy, originally set to go into effect next week, the city could refuse someone a bed at a shelter unless they proved they had no other housing options, such as staying with relatives or friends. Department of Homeless Services commissioner Seth Diamond claimed the new eligibility guidelines would prevent people who have alternatives to the shelter (like a princely spot on someone's floor) from filling up space reserved for the chronically homeless.

Critics pointed out that redefining what counts as "homeless" and throwing bureaucratic obstacles at people in desperate financial straits is not the same thing as actually combatting homelessness. READ MORE

Keystone Pipeline Victory: President Puts Disastrous Pipeline on Hold -- May Effectively Kill the Project

The American people spoke loudly about climate change and the president responded.
November 10, 2011

Um, we won. You won.

Not completely. The president didn’t outright reject the pipeline permit. My particular fantasy--that he would invite the 1253 people arrested on his doorstep in August inside the gates for a victory picnic by the vegetable garden--didn’t materialize.

But yesterday the president sent the pipeline back to the State Department for a thorough re-review, which most analysts are saying will effectively kill the project.

Some "Joke": GOPer Calls Nancy Pelosi the C-Word (and More) on Twitter

It was bad when Herman Cain called Nancy Pelosi "Princess Nancy" during last night's GOP debate.
But the reaction of former South Carolina Republican Party leader Todd Kincannon was even worse. Via HuffPo's Amanda Terkel, here's Kincannon responding to a Twitter user who objected to some of Kincannon's remarks about Pelosi: READ MORE

Score One for the Open Internet: Resolution That Would Have Overturned Net Neutrality Rules Is Blocked in Senate

Some great news today on the net neutrality front:

The Senate voted, 46-52, against moving forward with a resolution that would overturn federal regulations that govern anticompetitive behavior online....

Democrats opposed the resolution, arguing that the FCC’s rules are necessary to prevent large corporations from throttling Internet access.

Elizabeth Warren Responds to Karl Rove's Attack, Still Supports OWS

In an interview with a local television station this morning, Elizabeth Warren responded to the new attack ads Karl Rove is running against her:

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren Thursday had no problems being linked to the Occupy Wall Street movement and stands by her statement that she "created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do."

Some direct quotes from Warren in the interview, which will air in full on Sunday:

"What I'm doing is what I've been doing for a long time, and that is protesting the activities on Wall Street, trying to hold those guys accountable, and now trying to take that fight to the United States Senate"

"Occupy Wall Street is an independent movement, organic, moving in its own direction. And that's how it should be. It's its own voice.

Opulent Sothebys' Appalling Treatment of Its Workers Is a Perfect Symbol of the Out of Touch 1%

What better symbol of the 1 percent's treatment of the 99 then one of the world's most opulent institutions refusing to bargain with its workers?
November 10, 2011

When I arrived at Sotheby's on New York's Upper East Side before a massive art auction on Wednesday night, the three-month-old picket line outside the institution was peopled by a couple dozen Teamsters and supporters there on behalf of locked-out workers. They were using whistles, carrying signs and standing beneath one of those giant inflated rats, getting revved up for the evening ahead.

I turned to one guy at the end of the block, asking, "Has the Occupy Wall Street contingent come yet?"

His eyes widened: "They're coming?"

9 Wall Street Execs Who Cashed in on the Boom—and the Bust

The "pay cap" the Obama administration put on seven bailed-out companies was largely symbolic. Here are the unaffected players still making bank off the bubble and the bailout.
November 8, 2011

The following article first appeared in Mother Jones.For more great content from Mother Jones, sign up for their free email updates here.

After Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley announced hefty profits in the fall of 2009, the Obama administration's pay czar said that he'd cap pay at Citigroup, Bank of America, and five other bailed-out companies. The move was largely symbolic: It capped salaries for only 25 executives, kept big stock bonuses in place, and did nothing to address the culture of rewarding folks who sowed our economic destruction. Below, some of the players who made out like bandits during the bubble and the bailout.

REFILE-News Corp says hacking scandal lawyers were spied on

Mon Nov 7, 2011 3:57pm EST

* Surveillance on lawyers representing hacking victims

* Revelation comes ahead of James Murdoch's parliament appearance

* British MP says Murdochs must take blame

By Michael Holden

LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said on Monday its staff had ordered surveillance to be carried out on two lawyers representing victims suing the media group over the phone-hacking scandal which has engulfed the company.

News International, the UK newspaper arm of News Corp , admitted that the action, the latest in a string of embarrassing and damaging revelations about illegal eavesdropping on phone messages, was "inappropriate".

It also adds to growing pressure on Murdoch's son James, the chairman of News International who is due to face British lawmakers for a second time on Thursday as part of a probe to find out how much he knew about the hacking scandal.

Occupy the Education System: Students, Teachers and Parents Find New Spirit and Challenge the Attack on Public Schools

In the past couple of weeks, Occupy Wall Street has spurred dedicated education activists into some of the most innovative and inspiring actions.
November 9, 2011

Mouse over and click the photographs in this story and you can listen to audio recordings as well.

“I work hard, but my grades don't matter. But I have a voice and I will be heard!”

Jordan is 13, and she's speaking to a crowd of mostly adults, sitting on the granite steps of the New York City Department of Education at Tweed Hall. Or rather, she is speaking through them, as her words echo through the people's mic used at Occupy Wall Street just few blocks south from where she's speaking.

Tonight the steps of the DOE themselves have been occupied and are packed with teachers, students, parents, and supporters holding a general assembly on the state of public education in New York. MORE

If We Don't Solve the Jobs Crisis We May End Up With Our Streets in Flames and Society Dysfunctional

Unless our policy makers can make job creation the top priority, the mass riots and burning streets of Europe may be coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

November 10, 2011

Employers added fewer jobs than was forecast in October, which has lots of folks scratching their heads over what to do about it.

In response to the latest unemployment figures, our nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, has again begun talking about additional stimulus measures, such as the purchases of mortgage backed securities (MBS) or a bond-buying program known as “QE3”. But neither of these measures worked before, so why should we expect more success this time?

Finally, a Judge Stands Up to Wall Street

Matt Taibbi talks about US politics. (photo: Robin Holland)

Federal judge Jed Rakoff, a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's office here in New York, is fast becoming a sort of legal hero of our time. He showed that again yesterday when he shat all over the SEC's latest dirty settlement


Thursday, November 10, 2011

ALEC Exposed

Through ALEC, Global Corporations Are Scheming to Rewrite YOUR Rights and Boost THEIR Revenue
Business money
Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations. Through ALEC, corporations have "a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU?

Who Is Behind ALEC?
ALEC Corporations


ALEC State Chairs

ALEC "Scholars

ALEC Boards & Task Forces


ALEC & NCSL Comparison

Koch & ALEC

Bill Daley is Asked to Take A Back Seat

By karoli


Whether it was the bizarro Politico interview he gave last week or his utter failure at being able to get anything done in his tenure as White House Chief of Staff probably matters less than the outcome. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Daley has handed off all of his daily duties to Pete Rouse and will remain through 2012 as some sort of "ambassador." READ MORE

Election Results: Once Voters Really Understand The Republican Agenda, They Reject It

Posted: 08 Nov 2011 08:36 PM PST

Apparently it's not too late. Even rank-and-file Republican voters have rejected some of the most extreme Republican laws in yesterday's elections. A clearly chastened Ohio Gov. John Kasich, ringleader for the extreme ALEC agenda,

SB 1070 Promoter, State Senator Russell Pearce Defeated In Arizona

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 06:00 AM PST

Good job, Arizona!!! Corrupt, hateful Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce was defeated soundly tonight by a moderate Republican, Jerry Lewis. Lewis took 53 percent of the vote in a low-turnout election.

Pearce, as you might recall, was the author and promoter of SB 1070, the odious immigration law that nearly turned Arizona inside out. It seems voters were unimpressed with his xenophobia and his corruption.

Big Victory in Ohio, Mostly Positive Signs Elsewhere

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 07:00 AM PST

As just reported, Gov. John Kasich's anti-collective bargaining law, Senate Bill 5, just got soundly defeated in Ohio, falling with 61.7 percent voting against itas of 10 p.m. Eastern time. With 14 counties still to report, only seven of the state's 88 counties voted in favor of the anti-union bill. More than one million Ohio voters cast their ballot against the extreme bill in an off-year election, showing strong opposition to this type of tactic that targets working families at the expense of the 1 percent.

We Are Ohio, the key group fighting the law, issued the following statement: READ MORE

Why Are Democrats Richer than Republicans?

Tom Kando

...And here is another thing: On average, Republicans are poorer than Democrats! Just go figure. When it comes to economics, it should be pretty simple. There are two basic political attitudes, and you would expect them to correlate with how rich a person is: you would expect both the rich and the poor to vote their pocketbook. The rich would vote for lower taxes and for the government to butt out, i.e. Republican, conservative. The poor would vote for more re-distribution of wealth, more government services, i.e. Democratic, liberal. But, lo and behold, it’s the opposite! Even though there is a lot of overlap, the statistics are clear: The average income of the 100 million or so Republicans is LOWER than that of the 150 million or so Democrats!

This oddity can be explained, of course. READ MORE

Obama's Secret Weapon

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry during a Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas on Oct. 18, Chip Somodevilla ; Alex Wong / Getty Images

Nov 7, 2011 4:45 AM EST

With one year to go until the presidential election, Michael Tomasky handicaps the race—and explains why, despite the lackluster economy, the GOP just may get Obama reelected.

Politics is sometimes a science and other times an art. So here we sit, with the election exactly a year away, and the conventional wisdom in the political press is largely driven by the political-science theory of presidential elections and economic determinism: that is, that the results of presidential elections are pretty much strictly a function of economic conditions, and if those are bad (defined by various measures, chiefly the jobless and growth rates), the incumbent will lose.

By that theory, Barack Obama is pretty well doomed. And yet I don’t know a soul who thinks he doesn’t stand a decent chance of winning next year. As a matter of fact, it’s quite clear that his stock has risen a bit over the past couple of weeks. Why? It’s not the Republican candidates. READ MORE

NASA spots a New York City-sized iceberg as it breaks off Antarctic glacier

NASA spots a New York City-sized iceberg as it breaks off Antarctic glacier
By Andrew Freedman

NASA researchers flying low over Antarctica’s vast, frozen landscape recently stumbled across a rare event in progress: the calving of a massive iceberg from one of Antarctica’s largest and fastest-moving glaciers. The scientists, who were taking part in NASA’s “Operation IceBridge,” were able to fly a follow-up mission above the Pine Island Glacierto gather unprecedented airborne measurements of an ongoing iceberg calving event. Typically, scientists can only learn of such events after they take place. READ MORE

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Scientist Who Testified in Support of Mining Around the Grand Canyon Stands to Make $225,000 From It

As ThinkProgress reported yesterday, Republican members of Congress have been waging a war to open 1 million acres around the Grand Canyon to uranium mining. Last week Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar took one of the last steps in withdrawing the area from new mining claims. But in response, Republicans have introduced H.R. 3155, the Northern Arizona Mining Continuity Act of 2011, to keep the decision from moving forward. The issue has become “one of the top legislative priorities of Republicans in Congress” as Energy and Environment Daily reported this morning. READ MORE

For ‘Occupy Fresno,’ First Amendment trumped by county ordinance

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

For the third night in a row, protesters with “Occupy Fresno” were arrested for gathering in a public park, apparently in violation of a county ordinance that labeled them trespassers.

At least 20 were arrested over the weekend. Nine more were led away in handcuffs on Monday night.

While they could have moved their demonstration to the sidewalks at night to avoid the arrests, they’ve steadfastly refused, equating that action with forfeiture of their constitutional right to freedom of assembly.

Facing another round of arrests on Monday night, they continued to stand firm against police orders, chanting, “Hell no, we won’t go! Occupy Fresno!” and forcing officers to physically remove them. READ MORE


40 Things You Should Know About Sex by Age 40

1 to 4
1. He doesn't care if you've shaved

2. Wide beats long every time. If you care at all about penis size (and studies show that women are far more into how penises look than how they're hung), you know that width matters more than length.

3. All the girls are doing it. Masturbating, that is. In a 2004 survey by AARP, nearly half the women between the ages of 45 and 49 said they had taken matters into their own hands in the previous 6 months. And many women have used more than just their hands. In a 2009 survey by the University of Indiana, more than half the respondents had used a vibrator at least once, and nearly one in four had used one in the previous month.

4. He likes the cuddling part, too...and not just because he's half comatose when you snuggle up after sex. During lovemaking, both men and women release the chemical oxytocin—the so-called “cuddle hormone” that helps new moms bond with their babies. So what does than mean for men? Oxytocin boosts their desire for intimacy, along with their feelings of trust, according to a 2008 study by the University of Zurich. And in this case, what's good for the gander is good for the goose.


Why David Brooks Is Totally Wrong About Income Inequality and the 99%

(...and you thought this guy crashed and burned with Bush, eh?)

Brooks' latest tries to dismiss the conflict between the 99% and the 1% -- here's why he gets it wrong.

November 4, 2011

When I saw that the most-emailed article at the New York Times a couple of days ago was a David Brooks piece titled “The Wrong Inequality,” my heart sank a little. After I read the article, in which Brooks claims that the focus on “blue state” inequality between the super-elite and the rest has crowded out discussion of “red state” inequality between people who have and haven’t graduated from college, my heart sank a little more.

Brooks is peddling a premise—that differing levels of education are the cause of the most important inequalities in America today— that threatens to give ammunition to those who would seek to weaken the power of the 99 percent.READ MORE

Pew Report on Young-Old Wealth Gap is Misleading and Divisive; Could Fuel Intergenerational Class War

Those gunning for Social Security are already using the study to divide the "other 99 percent."
November 7, 2011

A new study purporting to show that older households are doing much better than younger ones in terms of wealth and income threatens to spark an intergenerational class war, pitting Americans of different ages – people who have all been devastated by the crash caused by Wall Street's recklessness -- against one another. But there are serious flaws in how the research is being interpreted.

The analysis, by Pew Research, is being spun as evidence that the government “spends too much” on the elderly while leaving younger Americans hanging out to dry. It's already becoming another weapon in the corporate right's long-running battle against Social Security. READ MORE

What Happened When I Tried to Get Some Answers About the Creepy NYPD Watchtower Monitoring OWS

Photo Credit: Tam Turse

There’s a metal monster looming over Liberty Square, but don’t ask questions about it or else.

November 6, 2011

LIBERTY SQUARE – The drummers drummed. The guitarists strummed. And the hearty souls building a new society in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park traded in their tarps for tents as the temperature dropped. All the while, Officer Guzman stood watch.

But there was something special about Officer Guzman. He wasn’t one of the 25 police officers I counted standing on the perimeter of Liberty Square that first wintery day. He wasn’t one of dozens more shooting the breeze with their partners inside a police van or sitting alone in a cruiser texting. Officer Guzman spent the day suspended in the air, two stories up, at the corner of Trinity Place and Liberty Street, inside a little metal box that goes by the name Sky Watch.READ MORE

In Public Press Conference, A Fourth Woman Accuses Herman Cain of Sexual Harassment

A fourth woman is accusing Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment — and this time, there is a name and a face to go along with the allegations.
November 7, 2011

Sharon Bialek, who is a registered Republican and tea party supporter, told reporters Monday that the then-CEO of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) had put his hand “under my skirt and reached for my genitals” while she was meeting with him about a job in mid-July 1997.

“She reached out to Mr. Cain for help in finding another job,” attorney Gloria Allred explained. “Mr. Cain, instead, decided to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package.”

50 Best Celebrity Bikinis

In May, Kim Kardashian debuted a beach-ready body in her teal and gold-accented two-piece in Mexico.

(This is, of course, just a sneaky attempt to attract eyeballs LOL! After all, haven't we heard enough about "Sugar" Cain's exploits without actually seeing anything?)
SEE MORE Please don't strain your eyeballs, you'll need them to read more when you get back!

Google may dump Chamber of Commerce over ‘Protect IP’ bill

By Muriel Kane
Friday, November 4, 2011

The so-called “Protect IP” bill, which is nominally intended to halt digital piracy and the online sale of counterfeit goods by allowing US officials to block allegedly infringing websites, has run into opposition from many quarters, including human rights activists.

Now it seems that the powerful United States Chamber of Commerce, which has aggressively promoted the legislation, may suffer for its stance. Last spring, an attempt by the hacktivist group Anonymousto shut down the Chamber’s website with a denial-of-service attack fell far short of its goal, but recently several high-powered tech industry groups and their members have joined the struggle.

Yahoo left the Chamber last month, and Google is apparently considering doing the same.

U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

POLL September 28, 2010

Executive Summary

Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.

On average, Americans correctly answer 16 of the 32 religious knowledge questions on the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Atheists and agnostics average 20.9 correct answers. Jews and Mormons do about as well, averaging 20.5 and 20.3 correct answers, respectively. Protestants as a whole average 16 correct answers; Catholics as a whole, 14.7. Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons perform better than other groups on the survey even after controlling for differing levels of education.

The Moral Force of OWS is Tackling the Devastating War on the Poor

Devastating as it’s been, the war against the poor has gone largely unnoticed -- until now.
November 6, 2011

To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from here.

We’ve been at war for decades now -- not just in Afghanistan or Iraq, but right here at home. Domestically, it’s been a war against the poor, but if you hadn’t noticed, that’s not surprising. You wouldn’t often have found the casualty figures from this particular conflict in your local newspaper or on the nightly TV news. Devastating as it’s been, the war against the poor has gone largely unnoticed -- until now.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has already made the concentration of wealth at the top of this society a central issue in American politics. Now, it promises to do something similar when it comes to the realities of poverty in this country.

G.E. Will Pay Back $3 Billion to Buffett

Warren E. Buffett will get back $3 billion that he invested in General Electric during the financial crisis, plus a $300 million bonus.

8:31 p.m. | Updated

Warren E. Buffett continues to collect benefits from the financial crisis.

General Electric said on Tuesday that it would pay back the $3 billion investment that his company, Berkshire Hathaway, made in the depths of the crisis, netting Mr. Buffett a tidy profit.

He will get back his principal, a $300 million bonus, plus any accrued and unpaid dividends, according to a regulatory filing by G.E. on Tuesday. General Electric said it would repay the investment on Oct. 17.

Mr. Buffett has been quick to capitalize on the problems of financial companies, forging deals at beneficial terms to Berkshire.

OWS and Unions: How to Defend People About to Lose Their Homes

"They got bailed out, we got thrown out!" rang through the streets as we marched to two of the fourteen houses on the same street being foreclosed.
November 7, 2011

The following article is by Peter Olney, Director of Organizing for the International Longshore & Warehouse Union.

Inspired by the Occupy movement over 100 people showed up Friday outside the homes of two African American families in the Bay View, one of the traditional black neighborhoods of San Francisco. A year ago or even two months ago this home defense led by ACCE would have scraped to enlist 1-20 people to be present. Now buoyed by the effervescence of the Occupy moment, unionists, community leaders and politicians all swarmed Quesada Avenue in San Francisco. A high point was when a jubilant and visibly moved black homeowner came out her door and called the assembled group “her angels of mercy”. Then the banners of Occupy San Francisco arrived to cheers of all present: “They got bailed out, we got thrown out!” rang through the streets as we marched to two of the fourteen houses on the same street being foreclosed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Why Bank Transfer Day (Today) Is Only the Beginning of Something Huge

The movement to make sure our money serves our own values rather than the bottom line of huge banks will only gain energy as small victories accumulate.
November 4, 2011

On Oct. 9, Kristen Christian, a 27-year-old art gallery owner in Los Angeles, created a Facebook page urging her friends to move their money out of the big banks on Nov. 5. The suggestion hit a nerve. By Nov. 4, 77,015 “friends” had declared their intention to “attend” Bank Transfer Day.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that 77,015 people will be pulling all their money out of the likes of Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America all at once. Saturday is hardly an ideal day to get banking business done, and the process of switching over one’s account to a new bank or credit union is not something that can be accomplished — yet — with a flip of a switch. (Detailed advice on how to change your banking account can be found here.) And of course, clicking your intent to do something on Facebook is a far cry from actually, well, doing it. READ MORE

The Economic Future Looks Dark as the Faux Economic Recovery is Primarily Low-Paying Jobs

The current "recovery" is actually deepening our deficit of good jobs.
November 1, 2011

Major newspapers last week reported a trend that won’t come as a surprise to working Americans: incomes are falling. In fact, median household income, adjusted for inflation, has fallen faster since the recession ended than during the recession itself. Analysts point to high unemployment and weak economic growth as the culprits, but that is only part of the story.

Just as the country struggles to confront a seemingly insurmountable jobs deficit, America’s chronic low-wage problem is reasserting itself with a vengeance. Here are three ways to understand just how severe the problem is.

Italy: Umberto Bossi urges Silvio Berlusconi to quit

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's key coalition partner has urged him to step aside ahead of a crucial budget vote.

Northern League leader Umberto Bossi is a volatile ally who brought down Mr Berlusconi's first government in 1994.

Mr Berlusconi's majority has crumbled ahead of the vote, with several MPs defecting or saying they will rebel.

Until now he has insisted he has enough support to be able to continue to govern and has denied he will resign.

While Italy's deficit is relatively low, investors are concerned that the combination of Italy's low growth rate and 1.9tn euro (£1.63tn; $2.6tn) debt could make it the next country to fall in the eurozone debt crisis.READ MORE

Signs of Neanderthals Mating With Humans

(note: We're probably going to hear more about this... Not to mention "political implications" [lol] After all, the historical evidence says the economy does better
under democrats than republicans. While the most notable Neanderthal feature is that they tended to do the same things, in the same ways all the time, expecting different results. Egads!)

Published: May 6, 2010

Neanderthals mated with some modern humans after all and left their imprint in the human genome, a team of biologists has reported in the first detailed analysis of the Neanderthal genetic sequence.

The biologists, led by Svante Paabo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have been slowly reconstructing the genome of Neanderthals, the stocky hunters that dominated Europe until 30,000 years ago, by extracting the fragments of DNA that still exist in their fossil bones. Just last year, when the biologists first announced that they had decoded the Neanderthal genome, they reported no significant evidence of interbreeding.

Scientists say they have recovered 60 percent of the genome so far and hope to complete it. By comparing that genome with those of various present day humans, the team concluded that about 1 percent to 4 percent of the genome of non-Africans today is derived from Neanderthals. But the Neanderthal DNA does not seem to have played a great role in human evolution, they said.

Experts believe that the Neanderthal genome sequence will be of extraordinary importance in understanding human evolutionary history since the two species split some 600,000 years ago. READ MORE
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'Vendetta' mask becomes symbol of Occupy protests

NEW YORK – Look at a photo or news clip from around the world of Occupy protesters and you'll likely spot a handful of people wearing masks of a cartoon-like man with a pointy beard, closed-mouth smile and mysterious eyes.

The mask is a stylized version of Guy Fawkes, an Englishman who tried to bomb the British Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605.

"They're very meaningful masks," said Alexandra Ricciardelli, who was rolling cigarettes on a table outside her tent in New York's Zuccotti Park two days before the anniversary of Fawkes' failed bombing attempt.


Here's an avatar for you or
just use it in your OWS postings:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Corzine's Downfall

Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker
Nick Paumgarten begins: "The collapse this week of the broker-dealer MF Global and the comeuppance of its chief executive Jon Corzine, who resigned Friday, have been and will be put to many political and rhetorical purposes. MF Global's bankruptcy has been called, possibly, the first domino in a potential collapse of the European banking system."

James Murdoch to Face MPs Fighting to Save His Career

Dan Sabbagh, Guardian UK
The report begins: "James Murdoch is preparing to concede in front of MPs that News Corporation should have taken further action earlier to investigate allegations that phone hacking was more widespread at the News of the World than the actions of a single rogue reporter."

Steve Weissman | Why the 1% Love "Anarchist Violence"

Steve Weissman, Reader Supported News
Steve Weissman begins: "From the trashing of downtown Oakland after the General Strike to burning cars and looting in Rome during a huge anti-capitalist demonstration by the Indignati, no one should be surprised by the militant vandalism of self-described Anarchists dressed in black - or by the police violence they provoke. Protesters of a certain age have seen the pattern too many times, especially in the violence that paid provocateurs created in the 1960s as part of the FBI's Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO). Hopefully, today's nonviolent mass movements can learn from our mistakes, as many in Occupy Oakland seem to be doing."

FOCUS: Assassination Backlash

Andrew Cockburn, Los Angeles Times
Andrew Cockburn begins: "There is no denying that 2011 has been a banner year for taxpayer-funded assassinations - Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki, five senior Pakistani Taliban commanders in October and many more. Given the crucial US backup role in Libya, and the ringing exhortation for the Libyan leader's death issued by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton just before the event itself, we can probably take a lot of credit for Moammar Kadafi's messy end too."

First recall effort launched against Walker, triggering unlimited fundraising

By Jason Stein and Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel

Nov. 4, 2011 (1338) Comments

Madison - A Republican campaign contributor officially filed a recall effort Friday against Gov. Scott Walker, triggering a powerful tool for the GOP leader: unlimited campaign fundraising.

The effect of the filing is to give Walker an extra week and half to raise campaign contributions with no limits that can be used to help defend against a more serious recall attempt against the governor scheduled to begin on Nov. 15. Friday's petition was filed by David Brandt of Muskego in Waukesha County. Brandt is a modest contributor to Walker and the state Republican Party.

In the filing with the state Government Accountability Board, Brandt wrote cryptically that he was registering a recall committee - Close Friends to Recall Walker - to "fulfill my friend's last request."

In Wisconsin, gubernatorial candidates normally can't raise more than $10,000 from a single contributor during a four-year election cycle. But a quirk in state law removes those limits during the first part of recall elections.

Groups like United Wisconsin and the state Democratic Party are starting their recall Walker efforts on Nov. 15. Those groups are angry over Walker's agenda, including his legislation repealing most union bargaining for most public employees.

To succeed in forcing a recall election of the Republican governor, organizers must gather 540,000 signatures in 60 days.

Phone messages left at Brandt's home were not returned. In the handwritten form, he listed himself as the committee's treasurer and said he should be exempt from filing campaign finance reports because the committee would not raise more than $1,000 in a calendar year. That small amount of funding would make it impossible to collect and organize a half million signatures. READ MORE

What caused the financial crisis? The Big Lie goes viral.

By Barry Ritholtz, Published: November 5

I have a fairly simple approach to investing: Start with data and objective evidence to determine the dominant elements driving the market action right now. Figure out what objective reality is beneath all of the noise. Use that information to try to make intelligent investing decisions.

But then, I’m an investor focused on preserving capital and managing risk. I’m not out to win the next election or drive the debate. For those who are, facts and data matter much less than a narrative that supports their interests.

One group has been especially vocal about shaping a new narrative of the credit crisis and economic collapse: those whose bad judgment and failed philosophy helped cause the crisis.

Rather than admit the error of their ways — Repent! — these people are engaged in an active campaign to rewrite history. They are not, of course, exonerated in doing so. And beyond that, they damage the process of repairing what was broken. They muddy the waters when it comes to holding guilty parties responsible. They prevent measures from being put into place to prevent another crisis.

Here is the surprising takeaway: They are winning. Thanks to the endless repetition of the Big Lie.READ MORE

Fact Check: Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Isn’t a Job Creator

Brad Johnson, ThinkProgress: "Proponents of the dangerous Keystone XL project claim that construction of the 1700-mile tar sands pipeline from Canada to Texas will create tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of much-needed jobs across the country. However, these tremendous-seeming jobs claims are based entirely on a report by the Perryman Group, commissioned by the pipeline’s owner TransCanada, whose results have been described as 'dead wrong' and 'meaningless' by Council on Foreign Relations fellow Michael Levi and environmental economist Andrew Leach, neither of whom oppose the construction of the pipeline."
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The Pro-Israel Lobby Courts African-Americans

Sunday 6 November 2011
by: Ira Glunts, Truthout | News Analysis

Hasbara is the Hebrew word for a particular type of pernicious propaganda first employed by early Zionists leaders to explain the unexplainable actions of the Jewish administration in Palestine. In recent years, hasbara has been disseminated by certain Christian fundamentalists who believe supporting Israel brings them closer to God, and also by many members of the United States Congress who have been co-opted by the powerful pro-Israel lobby. Now, the lobby has its sights set on a new group of potential collaborators: African-Americans.

A group of 18 African-American local and state politicians, including the presidents of the City Councils of Atlanta and Detroit, recently enjoyed a tour of Israel courtesy of the American-Israel Educational Foundation (AIEF). AIEF was also the sponsor of the infamous 2011 US Congressional summer trip to Israel, during which 81 American lawmakers diverted their attention from the budget debate and the US financial crisis in order to focus on the sightseeing pleasures of the Holy Land - and to be propagandized by the Netanyahu government. AIEF is part of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the biggest pro-Israel lobbying group in the US

Also, in October, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest non-Jewish, pro-Israel organization in the United States, held a number of events specifically targeting religious African-Americans. These events were held in black churches in New York City during CUFI's "Gathering of Solidarity With the State of Israel" conference on October 25 and 26.

The AIEF political junket and the CUFI church meetings are examples of the recent push to recruit pro-Israel support among the African-American community, according to Nathan Guttman in a recent article in the Jewish newspaper, Forward. Both CUFI and AIPAC have been developing contacts in the African-American community for at least five years, although their efforts have gone largely unnoticed until now.

Some Disturbing Truths About Rick Perry's Texas

Michael Winship, Truthout: "The non-profit, non-partisan Texas Tribune, for example, features on its webpage an exhaustive 'Perrypedia,' which offers the latest on all things Rick. The publication recently noted that 'Perry’s presidential campaign hinges on one overarching message: that states perform best when left to their own devices and federal regulators should butt out. Yet during his decade-long tenure in the governor’s office, Perry and his staff repeatedly downplayed the severity of abuse and neglect allegations at Texas’ state-run institutions for the disabled - until conditions became so dire that the U.S. attorney general was forced to intervene.'"
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With People in the Streets, 1 Percent Congress Continues to Push Austerity

Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future: "This situation of crony government protecting the connected rich while people are in the streets demanding change is more and more reminiscent of Egypt under Mubarak. The 1% would be well-advised to pay attention to what has happened in other countries where government ignores the people and takes care only of the connected rich."
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Still Fighting for Their Country, Now Veterans of Occupy

11-11-11 is not a variant of Herman Cain's much-touted 9-9-9 tax plan, but rather the date of this year's Veterans Day. This is especially relevant, as the US has now entered its second decade of war in Afghanistan, the longest war in the nation's history. US veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are appearing more and more on the front lines - the front lines of the Occupy Wall Street protests, that is.

Video from the Occupy Oakland march on Tuesday 25 October looks and sounds like a war zone.

The sound of gunfire is nearly constant in the video. Tear-gas projectiles were being fired into the crowd when the cry of "Medic!" rang out. Civilians raced toward a fallen protester lying on his back on the pavement, mere steps from a throng of black-clad police in full riot gear, pointing guns as the civilians attempted to administer first aid.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fed Changes Growth, Employment Forecast for the Worse

Flickr / clementine gallot (CC-BY)

Posted on Nov 2, 2011

Back in June, the Federal Reserve predicted a sunnier economic future for the U.S. than it did Wednesday, when the Fed released revised figures for both growth (it’ll happen more slowly) and unemployment (it’ll continue to hover around 9 percent) through 2012. But the news wasn’t all gloomy, as The Washington Post relayed that day. —KA

The Washington Post:

The central bank’s latest forecast released Wednesday predicts that the economy will grow just 1.6 percent to 1.7 percent for all of 2011. For 2012, growth will range between 2.5 percent and 2.9 percent. Both forecasts are roughly a full percentage point lower than the Fed’s projections from June.

The unemployment rate has been stuck near 9 percent for more than two years. The Fed doesn’t see that changing this year. It predicts it will fall between 8.5 percent and 8.7 percent next year. In June, the Fed had predicted unemployment would drop next year to as low as 7.8 percent.

Cain Claims Koch a 'Brother From Another Mother;' Meets With Kingmaker DeMint

Two days after meeting with GOP kingmaker DeMint, Herman Cain shows his love to the billionaire Koch brothers, while sex harassment allegations win him GOP hearts.
November 4, 2011

As conventional wisdom heralded an end to Herman Cain's presidential campaign due to the sexual harassment scandal that has excited the media, Cain appeared unrepentant Friday before an adoring crowd at the annual convention of the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, which is chaired by billionaire David Koch.

Herman Cain Sits Down With...Clarence Thomas' Wife

When in the course of human events a long-shot presidential candidate surges in the polls and finds himself battling multiple allegations of sexual harassment, it becomes necessary for said candidate to sit down with the one woman in America who can best understand his plight: Clarence Thomas' wife, Ginni.

So naturally, that's what Herman Cain did on Wednesday, the same day a third woman stepped forward to allege that she had been sexually harassed by Cain while working at the National Restaurant Association. Thomas, who recently left a voice message for Anita Hill, the woman who accused her husband of sexual harassment, asking Hill to apologize, sat down with Cain for a Daily Caller exclusive. In the interview, Thomas peppered Cain with questions like, "Are reporters setting you up to be guilty until proven innocent?" and "Is campaigning in Washington, DC a disorienting experience?" Here's a characteristic exchange:

GINNI THOMAS: 30 congressmen are calling for A.G. Eric Holder to resign over Operation Fast...

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"Who Are the 1%?" Project Launches to Expose the Greediest Americans

The Brave New Foundation, in partnership with AlterNet and nine other partners, has launched the "Who Are the 1%?" project. As the project's website explains:

Inequality has ballooned over the last three decades as some of the wealthiest Americans have enriched themselves at the expense of everyone else. Who are the worst offenders?

You tell us. We'll compile your suggestions and hold a vote to decide which ones Brave New Foundation will expose. We have just two criteria: they have to be in the wealthiest 1%, meaning a net worth of over $9 million, and they have to be using their wealth and power to keep down the other 99%. The rest is up to you. Have at it.

Watch the following video for more information on the project, and nominate someone who you think is the worst of the 1% here.

650,000 Americans Joined Credit Unions Last Month — More Than in All of 2010 Combined

One of the tactics the 99 Percenters are using to take back the country from the 1 percent is to move their money from big banks to credit unions,community banks, and other smaller financial unions that aren’t gambling with our nation’s future.

Now, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reports that a whopping 650,000 Americans have joined credit unions since Sept. 29— the date that Bank of America announced it would start charging a $5 monthly debit fee, a move it backed down on this week.

To put that in perspective, there were only 600,000 new members for credit unions in all of 2010.


Activists Hold "People's Hearing" of Goldman Sachs, Chris Hedges and 12 Others Reportedly Arrested

Update: The hearing has ended, but according to reports on Twitter 13 people were arrested in front of Goldman Sachs headquarters this afternoon.
Reportedly, among those arrested were Reverend Billy and Chris Hedges.

Right now, a "People's Hearing" of Goldman Sachs is taking place at Liberty Square Park. According to

The people will bring to justice perhaps the single most egregious perpetrator of economic fraud and corruption in the United States. The Hearing will include testimonials from individuals directly affected by Goldman’s fraudulent manipulation of financial markets, including victims of housing foreclosures, pension losses, public lay-offs and untenable student debt. The proceedings will also include expert analysis from Ralph Nader, Cornel West and Chris Hedges. Following the 99-minute hearing the people will decide on a fair and deliverable verdict via our own process of consensus-based direct democracy – and we intend to deliver it ourselves – to the headquarters of Goldman Sachs at 200 West Street, eight blocks from Liberty Square.

Watch the livestream here (apologies for the quality of the audio -- some speakers are easier to hear than others):

Video streaming by Ustream

The State Department Is Using Our Money to Pimp for Monsanto

(photo: wordpress)

By Jill Richardson, AlterNet

03 November 11

eople in India are up in arms about eggplant. Not just any eggplant -- the fight, which is also raging in the Philippines, is over Monsanto's Bt eggplant. Even as increasing scientific evidence concludes that biotechnology and its arsenal of genetically modified crops may be doing more harm than good, companies like Monsanto are still pushing them hard and they are getting help from the U.S.

The State Department is using taxpayer money to help push the agenda of Monsanto and its friends all across the world. Here's a recent example: Assistant Secretary of State Jose W. Fernandez, addressing an event of high-level government officials from around the world, agribusiness CEOs, leaders from international organizations, and anti-hunger groups said, "Without agricultural biotechnology, our world would look vastly different. One of our challenges is how to grow more crops on the same land. This is where biotechnology plays a role." READ MORE

Katrina vanden Heuvel | Why the Supercommittee Should Disband

Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington Post
Excerpt: "The entire country is terrified about the economy. There are 24 million people in need of full time work, wages are declining, one in four homes is under water, workers entering the workforce outnumber the jobs being created, Europe and China's economies are slowing. People understandably want Congress to focus on jobs and the economy."

Police Use Teargas After Protesters Force Port to Close

Adam Gabbatt, Guardian UK
Intro: "Police used teargas and non-lethal weapons to control Occupy Oakland protesters overnight after a general strike had effectively shut down the city's port and downtown areas."