Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tech titans lobby Congress for giant tax break

Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Friday, November 25, 2011

Washington --

Silicon Valley's tech titans are in full holiday mode - tax holiday that is.

Google, Apple, Oracle, Cisco and other multinationals have fielded more than 160 lobbyists and consultants - including, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, 60 insiders such as Karen Olick, former chief of staff for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. - to get Congress to give them a giant tax break on their overseas profits.

U.S. multinationals currently have $1.4 trillion parked offshore. A rising portion of it is held in tax havens using innovative tax dodges known as the "Dutch Sandwich" and "Double Irish."

Banded together with pharmaceutical companies and other multinationals in a group called the Win America coalition, Bay Area technology giants say that slashing their tax rate from 35 percent to 5.25 percent on foreign profits they return or "repatriate" to the United States will create millions of jobs. READ MORE

The Shocking True Tale Of The Mad Genius Who Invented Sea-Monkeys

By Evan Hughes | June 28, 2011

"Sea-Monkeys, do monkeys / Story of my life / Send three bucks to a comic book / Get a house, car and wife"—Liz Phair, “Gunshy"

In a 2002 interview with Erik Lobo of Planet X magazine, Harold von Braunhut comes across as the kind of charming old guy who might detain you in conversation a bit too long if you were volunteering at a home for the aged. An inventor and entrepreneur who brought us legions of wonderfully gimmicky toys before he died, at 77, in 2003, von Braunhut holds forth about times gone by, interrupted only when his cockatoo chews at the wire connecting his hearing aid to the telephone.

Von Braunhut was a short, balding man who had the accent that turns “beautiful” into “bee-YOO-dee-full,” and he often cast himself as the guy they all doubted until he showed ’em. In the interview he seems to delight in telling Lobo about his most famous and successful novelty item, Sea-Monkeys. These little critters, you may recall, carry with them the promise of “a BOWLFULL OF HAPPINESS—Instant PETS!” They’re supposed to arrive in the mail, spring to life in water, and soon start horsing around and making babies. According to von Braunhut, the problem with selling Sea-Monkeys early on, ya see, was that “nobody believed it!” He adds, “It’s a little bit like the story of the Wright brothers.”

Five Ways that Financial Elites are Destroying Democracy

Is democracy compatible with a financial system run by billionaires? Maybe not.
November 21, 2011

Is democracy compatible with a financial system run by billionaires? Maybe not. Here are five ways that high finance is undermining democracy:

1. Billionaires replace one person, one vote.

Ask any American what’s wrong with our country and they will say that money rules politics. And they are correct. It’s obvious that major political donors and lobbyists for the super-rich have more political influence than we do. As the top 1 percent gains more and more of the nation’s income, the 99 percent effectively become disenfranchised. And of course, the Citizens United Supreme Court decision makes it even easier for the rich to buy political power. Lopsided campaign contributions by and for the super-rich are making a mockery out of elections. In 2010, for example, business outspent labor by a factor of 14 to 1.

Why Do Men Visit Strip Clubs? Their Confessions Revealed

A new blog gives voice to guys who empty their pockets just to see naked flesh, and reveals a lot about male desire.
November 22, 2011

Why do men visit strip clubs? The answer to that question may seem so obvious as to not even warrant asking in the first place, but the new blog Letters From Men Who Go to Strip Clubs” proves just how wrong that assumption is. It’s the brainchild of journalist Susannah Breslin and just the latest in a series of “Letters” projects in which men email her with brief confessionals about why they gravitate toward the sex industry – whether it’s by watching porn at home, trolling Craigslist for a cheap blow job or tucking dollar bills into strippers’ g-strings – some of which she then posts online. The result is essentially open-source sociological data — and some of it is bizarrely poetic.


The Virus of GOP Ignorance: Why Don't Media Protect Us From the Lies Spewed in the Republican Primary?

Reporters representing reliable media outlets are supposed to defend the discourse from the virus of this ignorance.
November 23, 2011

The following article first appeared on the Web site of the Nation. For more great content from the Nation, sign up for its email newsletters.

It is a symbol of our current political predicament that anytime anyone tells the truth about anything in the contest for the Republican nomination, a new scandal erupts. Newt Gingrich was briefly drummed out of the Republican Party for accurately terming Paul Ryan’s destructive Medicare plan a “radical” step toward “right-wing social engineering.” Jon Huntsman caused virtually the only stir of his all-but-invisible campaign when he admitted to what the Salt Lake Tribune straight-facedly called the “politically dicey belief that climate change is human-caused and needs to be addressed.” And most recently, CBS’s John Dickerson caused a contretemps when a stray e-mail revealed that Michele Bachmann was “not going to get many questions” in the debate the network was sponsoring because “she’s nearly off the charts.”

Corporations Are Patenting Human Genes and Tissues -- Here's Why That's Terrifying

A medical ethicist explains the dark implications of corporate medical patents and the nightmarish scenario of our medical-industrial complex.
November 23, 2011

Do you think that granting corporations the rights of people in the Citizens United case is disturbing? Then contemplate the fact that corporations have been patenting human genes and tissues at alarming rates -- in the last 30 years, more than 40,000 patents have been granted on genes alone.

As the Occupy movement fights against the unmitigated influence of corporations on our lives, author Harriet Washington's new book, Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself--And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future, is a timely wakeup call to protect the very essence of human life from the medical-industrial complex.

How White Supremacists Are Trying to Make an American Town a Model for Right-Wing Extremism

A recent influx of white supremacists and Patriot group members to the town of Kalispell, Montana, is causing alarm.
November 22, 2011

Editor's note: This is the first of a four-part series by Media Matters of America.

At first glance the Pioneer Little Europe website seems like it could be the work of the Montana Office of Tourism. Photographs depict the rugged beauty of the Flathead Valley region near Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.

One image shows a young blond-haired girl playing in a meadow overlooking Kalispell, the largest town in the area, with a population around 20,000.

The site also features short news items about the Northwest Montana State Fair and a wildflower beautification program along with Kalispell job postings.

But then there's this: A scan of a full-page advertisement in a recent edition of the Flathead Beacon, the local paper, with photographs of 47 babies newly delivered in the Kalispell Regional Medical Center. All but one are fair-skinned with light-colored hair. "Wonderful white babies being born in Kalispell," the website reads. "What do the babies look like being born in your town?" Another item on the Pioneer Little Europe site depicts white families relaxing on the shore of a lake. A caption reads,"This is how white our beaches are, and I'm not talking about sand."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes in Malaysia tribunal

Former US president George Bush and his former counterpart Tony Blair were found guilty of war crimes by the The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal which held a four day hearing in the Malaysia.

The five panel tribunal unanimously decided that Bush and Blair committed genocide and crimes against peace and humanity when they invaded Iraq in 2003 in blatant violation of international law.

The judges ruled that war against Iraq by both the former heads of states was a flagrant abuse of law, act of aggression which amounted to a mass murder of the Iraqi people.

James Murdoch Steps Down at News Corp.

Nobody ever truly leaves the mafia, do they?

James Murdoch has left the boards of operating companies overseeing News Corp.'s U.K. newspapers the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times, according to British regulatory filings, which registered the changes in September.

Gingrich Explains Why Child Janitors Are a Good Idea and Child Labor Laws Are ‘Truly Stupid’

Posted Nov 22, 2011 6:27 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss

GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich is explaining his assertion that child labor laws are “truly stupid.”
Gingrich says he wants to empower kids to succeed through a work ethic, the Washington Post's Election 2012 blog reports. In poor neighborhoods, he has said in recent speeches, children can’t earn cash because they are “trapped in child laws.” He offers school janitorial jobs as an example, saying kid janitors “would be dramatically
Employer of the year?

less expensive than unionized janitors.” Kids working part-time in such jobs would earn money and gain pride in their schools.

Gingrich elaborated in an interview with the Washington Post. “I’m not suggesting that they drop out of school and become janitors, I’m talking about working 20 hours a week and being empowered to succeed,” he said.

Things President Obama has done:

“He was elected President. He wasn’t elected Jesus!”
Posted on Sunday, August 29, 2010, 8:24 am by GottaLaff

I contacted the person on Facebook who composed this list of President Obama’s accomplishments and got permission to post it here at TPC. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of each entry, but I do appreciate the amount of work that went into it, as well as the sentiment behind it.

The usual punditiots have spent so much time and energy attacking Obama’s policies, but it goes without saying he has gotten a lot done in the short time he’s been in office. It’s nice that someone pointed that out.

There is room for disagreement on some of these (#5, for example, doesn’t take into account that Obama still supports oil drilling, nuclear energy, and so-called “clean” coal; #18 isn’t what I’d call a positive, but yes, he did do it), but overall, this is still quite an impressive list:

Tax Comparison: Obama vs Reagan, Nixon, Eisenhower

March 13, 2009 03:33 PM EDT

I received this chart, from The Washington Monthly, in an email this morning. I thought I would pass it along in case you have not seen it.

The media has been obsessing about President Obama's plan to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans—from 35% to 39.6%.

But I was surprised to learn that the tax rate the wealthiest Americans paid on the top portion of their earnings at the end of Ronald Reagan's first term was much higher -- 50%.

Under Richard Nixon it was 70%, and under Dwight Eisenhower it was actually 91%.

Bloomberg: Let All Bush Tax Cuts Expire

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Pedophiles infiltrate respected institutions to find victims

November 13, 2011, USA Today

The Penn State allegations may seem unthinkable: revered assistant coach and prominent community activist Jerry Sandusky preying on eight children. But such abuses of trust play out in the USA over and over again. Respected people who set up charitable or social groups for children, only to be implicated in some form of child sexual abuse, are a frightening reality. Washington, D.C., journalist Patrick Boyle, author of the 1994 book Scout's Honor: Sexual Abuse in America's Most Trusted Institution, says reaction to Catholic church sex abuse complaints and those against the Boy Scouts of America were similar. "In both cases, there was a lot of willful ignorance among the higher-ups," he says. "They almost tried not to know things." In the Penn State case, Boyle says, "everybody seems to have done the minimum, instead of doing the maximum or more, which is what we'd expect of these institutions." "If you can give 110% on the field, why can't you give 110% for the victims?"

Note: For powerful evidence that this kind of abuse is much more widespread than expected, click here.

To understand how this relates to secret societies and deep hidden knowledge of our world, click here.

OMG: You want to get arrested, lady? The retired JUDGE shoved up against a wall and threatened by NYPD at Occupy Wall Street clashes

Speaking out: Retired judge Karen Smith told Democracy Now! she saw a policeman beat a woman during the clearance of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 3:53 PM on 20th November 2011

A retired New York Supreme Court judge has claimed she was manhandled by a policeman after watching him beat a woman at the Zuccotti Park raids.

Karen Smith was working as a legal observer when she saw a distressed woman pushed to the ground and beaten by an officer, she said.

When she demanded he stopped, the unidentified cop pushed her against a wall and threatened her with arrest.

Banks Near Record Spending on DC Lobbyists

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf appeared before a House panel in 2009. (photo: Bloomberg News)

By Andrew Dunn, The Charlotte Observer

21 November 11

As Congress and US agencies contemplate hundreds of rules, Wells Fargo helps the industry mobilize resources of persuasion.

The money banks spend on lobbying is on pace to reach a record high again this year as the industry battles to weaken or repeal hundreds of rules being crafted by federal regulators.

Lobbying outlays by the five biggest spenders in the commercial banking sector increased 12 percent in the first three quarters of 2011 over the same period last year, an Observer analysis of federal lobbying disclosure records shows.

Supercommittee's Failure: The Winners and Losers

President Obama spoke on Monday after the congressional supercommittee failed to reach a deal on deficit reduction, 11/21/11. (photo: Philip Scott Andrews/NYT)

By Jonathan Allen, Politico

21 November 11

RSN COMMENT: "In a short, to-the-point, White House news conference President Obama promised to veto any attempt to avoid $1.2 trillion in 'triggered cuts' after the collapse of the so-called 'Supercommittee.' In an obvious reference to plans by Congressional Republicans to bypass nearly $600 billion in defense cuts, the President said, 'I'll veto any effort to avoid automatic cuts." -- JPS/RSN

In Washington, you can win for losing.

As the professional Cassandra class bemoaned the failure of the congressional supercommittee to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit-slashing policies on Monday, there were plenty of folks in DC ready to dance a jig on the fresh legislative grave.

That's because a lot of folks stood to gain - or at least lose less - from the debacle.

Still, it's hard not to see Washington, Congress and the members of the supercommittee as big losers in the scorecard of national politics.

Here's a look at how POLITICO ranks the losers and winners.


The military industrial complex

The 99% "Mic Checks" the 1%

Michele Bachmann appears stunned as Occupy Charleston protesters using the human microphone technique interrupt her speech aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina, 11/11/11. (photo: Getty Images)

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News 21 November 11

Reader Supported News | Perspective

As the lead Republican negotiator during the manufactured debt crisis, Eric Cantor had the podium all summer long. He walked out of the early debt talks, insisting on a cuts-only solution. The House Majority Leader readily dismissed sensible proposals like ending billions in wasteful tax giveaways for corporations and the super-rich. Cantor's callousness is legendary - he even withheld FEMA assistance to his own and other hurricane-ravaged districts until disaster-relief spending was offset by cuts.

With Cantor at the helm, Republicans in the House refused to end $20 billion in wasteful subsidies to tax-dodging oil companies, stalled on closing corporate tax loopholes that bleed out $100 billion annually, and even refused to close a tax loophole for corporate jet owners.

Republicans got everything they wanted thanks to Cantor - cuts to public services, no new revenues and a "supercommittee" tasked with making even more harmful cuts.

Is Newt Gingrich as smart as he thinks?

By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE | 11/22/11 11:45 PM EST Updated: 11/24/11 5:32 AM EST

Newt Gingrich is always on message about one thing: He’s not just smart, he’s a deep-thinking intellectual with the big ideas to set the country right.

Leading conservative intellectuals who spend their days discussing big ideas aren’t as convinced.

They don’t doubt he’s smart. They just doubt he’s as smart as he thinks he is.

Gingrich is interested in ideas and at his best has been highly skilled marketer of them — as when he distilled decades of conservative thought into the “Contract with America” in 1994. But as he surges in the 2012 polls on the strength of professorial debate performances, some skeptics on the academic and think tank right say that the former speaker’s showy intellectualism and endless reservoir of obscure historical trivia are not the same as being an original or rigorous thinker.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

McQueary played in Sandusky's golf tourney after alleged rape

Jerry Snow Sporting News

Mike McQueary’s reaction to seeing a young boy allegedly being raped in the Penn State football showers is under heavy scrutiny, and his behavior in the months following also seems unusual.

According to a grand jury report, McQueary testified he heard “sexual activity” coming from the showers on March 1, 2002, and saw then 59-year-old Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a boy he estimated to be about 10 years old.

McQueary has been criticized for not doing more to help the boy, and for going to his dad and head football coach Joe Paterno rather than police or child services.

Then a 28-year-old graduate assistant, McQueary has since changed his story, according to a leaked email, saying he informed police the night it happened.

The police say there is no evidence to support such a claim.

Paterno described McQueary as “very upset” when he shared the news with his head coach the next morning, and yet 26 days later McQueary participated in an event with Sandusky.

Multiple sources are reporting McQueary, an assistant coach on Penn State’s football team, played in a charity flag football game in which Sandusky coached on March 28, 2002.

Less than three months later, on June 21, 2002, McQueary played in a celebrity golf tournament benefiting Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, according to

McQueary played in Sandusky's golf tournament again in 2003 and played in another flag football game with Sandusky coaching in April 2004.

It’s another bizarre twist in the child sex scandal at Penn State.

And in another twist, The New York Times reported Wednesday nightthat an entry in an online forum dedicated to Penn State athletics led investigators to McQueary. The item, according to the Times, stated that an assistant coach witnessed an assault but did not act. The Times report suggests investigators were able to eventually deduct McQueary was the assistant coach referenced in the item.

According to the Times' sources, McQueary eventually met with investigators and told them that he witnessed Sandusky assaulting the boy.

Jerry Sandusky Cover up and Money Trail

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sandusky Cover Up Scandal
This commentary is not to justify the alleged actions of Jerry Sandusky. I believe he is more than likely guilty and that is why I could never be an impartial juror. According to the U.S. Constitution, which preserves civility in the United States, we need to recognize the court procedures set forth by it. In other words, we need to recognize that government, law enforcement, and politicians will may use it against us to paint a story with the media. Right now there are only bits and pieces of information; people are appalled and rightfully so, but making sure we get the complete story is necessary. I feel most main stream news sources would not print this, thus we need the internet: the underworld of news. I hope this story is shared by many to get to the core of the truth, as people we are supposed to trust have done a great injustice not only to young children but also to innocent men of which none is Jerry Sandusky in this commentary.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baum Foreclosure Firm to Close After Fannie and Freddie Pull Files, Plans Mass Layoffs

Baum Firms employees idea of great Halloween costumes, now out on the streets themselves.

Posted Nov 21, 2011 12:40 PM CST
By Martha Neil

Bad judgment about Halloween costumes worn last year by some employees of the Steven J. Baum law firm has come back to haunt New York's largest mortgage foreclosure practice.

After recent news reports that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (as well as some major loan servicers) have pulled their business in the aftermath of the costume controversy, the Baum firm has now announced that it is closing, Bloomberg reports.

Mass layoffs are expected. A notice filed by the firm with the New York State Department of Labor says jobs will be cut within 30 days, WIVB reports.

In addition to the problematic costumes, which were criticized as poking fun at individuals losing their homes, the firm last month agreed to pay $2 million to resolve a probe of its foreclosure practices.

The Pledge: Grover Norquist's hold on the GOP

You may have believed that Republicans were simply ideologically stupid, now you know for a fact that they are certifiably insane!

Krugman: ‘Only fools and clowns’ believe Republican ideology

By David Edwards
Sunday, November 20, 2011

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says that Newt Gingrich is just the latest of the “fools and clowns” in the Republican presidential race to become a frontrunner.

“I have a structural hypothesis here,” Krugman told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour Sunday. “You have a Republican ideology, which Mitt Romney obviously doesn’t believe in. He just oozes insincerity, that’s just so obvious. But all of the others are fools and clowns. And there is a question here, my hypothesis is that maybe this is an ideology that only fools and clowns can believe in. And that’s the Republican problem.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan spoke up in Gingrich’s defense.

Los Angeles highway collapses into ocean

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, November 21, 2011

Talk about crumbling infrastructure.

During heavy rains on Sunday, a portion of Paseo Del Mar, a coastal highway near Los Angeles, collapsed and fell into the ocean. Thankfully, the road had been closed down for nearly a year as civil engineers monitored the cliff face that supported it, which had been slowly eroding away.

All over Los Angeles on Sunday, the number of vehicle accidents went soaring as torrential downpours begin mid-morning and did not stop for most of the day. Authorities attributed most of the wrecks to drivers going too fast on slick, wet pavement.

Game Over for Planet Earth: The Month’s Biggest Story You Never Read

While you were paying attention to Herman Cain, the Kardashians and the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, the U.S. Department of Energy administered last rites to the planet.
November 16, 2011

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

What's the biggest story of the last several weeks? Rick Perry’s moment of silence, all 53 seconds' worth? The Penn State riots after revered coach JoePa went down in a child sex abuse scandal? The Kardashian wedding/divorce? The European debt crisis that could throw the world economy into a tailspin? The Cain sexual harassment charges? The trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor?

The answer should be none of the above, even though as a group they’ve dominated the October/November headlines. In fact, the piece of the week, month, and arguably year should have been one that slipped by so quietly, so off front-pages nationwide and out of news leads everywhere that you undoubtedly didn’t even notice. And yet it’s the story that could turn your life and that of your children and grandchildren inside out and upside down. READ MORE

At Religious Right Forum, GOP Candidates Weep and Proselytize

In an Iowa megachurch, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Ron Paul put Christianity front and center.
November 20, 2011

If you needed evidence of the mainstreaming of right-wing religious culture at the highest level of American electoral politics, Saturday's Webcast presidential forum in the all-important state of Iowa, whose caucuses open the presidential primary season, would serve as Exhibit A.

Gathered around a table decorated with pumpkins, the candidates for the Republican nomination for president shed tears and traded heart-rending personal stories in the sanctuary of the First Federated Church of Des Moines, at an event dubbed a Thanksgiving Family Forum. Neither of the two Mormon candidates, the front-runner Mitt Romney nor the back-of-the-pack John Huntsman, took part. READ MORE

National Lawyers Guild Files FOIA Requests Seeking Evidence of Federal Role in Occupy Crackdown

Friday 18 November 2011
by: Dave Lindorff , This Can't Be Happening | Report

With Congress no longer performing its sworn role of defending the US Constitution, the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee and the Partnership for Civil Justice today filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA and the National Parks Service to release "all their information on the planning of the coordinated law enforcement crackdown on Occupy protest encampments in multiple cities over the course of recent days and weeks."

Penn State taps ex-FBI director to probe sex abuse

In this file photo, FBI Director Louis Freeh remarks about today's indictment of 13 Saudis and a Lebanese for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, during a press conference in Washington, June 21, 2001.

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA | Mon Nov 21, 2011 3:21pm EST

(Reuters) - Penn State University trustees named former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh on Monday to head an independent investigation into the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the university.

Freeh told a news conference that the investigative team run by his law firm would examine gaps in Penn State's "control environment," oversight and culture that allowed years of alleged abuse to go undetected and unreported.

"The scope of our work will be broad, covering a lengthy period of time," Freeh said.

Euro zone not working, words alone won't fix it: Buffett

By Chikafumi Hodo

IWAKI, Japan | Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:55am EST

(Reuters) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Europe's debt crisis had shown up a "major flaw" in the 17-member euro zone system and it would take more than words to fix it.

"There is a major flaw in the euro system ... I do know the system as presently designed has a major flaw and that flaw won't be corrected just by words," he told CNBC during his first trip to Japan on Monday.

Buffett, dubbed the 'Oracle of Omaha' for his long track record as a value investor, said he had no idea how Europe's sovereign debt crisis, which started in Greece two years ago and rages on, would end, though he noted there were good valuations among companies in Europe.

"Not in the debt space, but in the equity space there are opportunities. I can think of a dozen euro stocks that are attractive ... there are stocks I like and wonderful businesses.

Help Wanted USA: Hiring hotspots emerge, but mobility an issue

By Jilian Mincer

NEW YORK | Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:51am EST

(Reuters) - It's not like the people in Fort Wayne, Indiana aren't sympathetic with America's unemployed. It's just that they're not seeing as many of them as the rest of us.

While most of the country is saddled with stubbornly high unemployment, numerous new construction projects and thousands of new jobs have made this Midwestern city of nearly 250,000 a pocket of relative prosperity.

"We've gotten not only a lot of jobs, but a lot of good-paying jobs," says Andi Udris, president of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance, "Sometimes you get lucky."

Fort Wayne added 8,000 jobs in the past year, almost half of the 18,000 it lost during the recession, including many in manufacturing. Its jobless rate has dropped by 1.3 percentage points to 8.1 percent.

That all helped to propel it to the top of the Fiscal Times' 10 Best Places to Find a Job list.
Now there's a business idea, helping people relocate for jobs.

Lawmakers abandon deficit-cutting effort

By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON | Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:50pm EST

Reuters) - Lawmakers abandoned their high-profile effort to rein in the country's ballooning debt on Monday in a sign that Washington likely will not be able to resolve a dispute over taxes and spending until 2013.

The admission of defeat by Republicans and Democrats on a 12-member congressional "super committee" is likely to cement perceptions among voters and investors that politicians are too divided to tackle trillion-dollar budget deficits and a national debt that now is roughly equal to the U.S. economy.

"Despite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve," Republican Representative Jeb Hensarling and Democratic Senator Patty Murray said in a joint statement.

But lawmakers will be less willing to compromise as they shift their attention to the November 2012 presidential and congressional elections. The finger-pointing began within minutes of the announcement. READ MORE

Study rejects "faster than light" particle finding

By Robert Evans

GENEVA | Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:35pm EST

(Reuters) - An international team of scientists in Italy studying the same neutrino particles colleagues say appear to have travelled faster than light rejected the startling finding this weekend, saying their tests had shown it must be wrong.

The September announcement of the finding, backed up last week after new studies, caused a furor in the scientific world as it seemed to suggest Albert Einstein's ideas on relativity, and much of modern physics, were based on a mistaken premise.

Greenberg sues U.S. for $25 billion over AIG takeover

Former CEO of American International Group Inc., Maurice ''Hank'' Greenberg, (C) leaves a building in downtown New York after being deposed by the Attorney General's office March 10, 2010.

By Jonathan Stempel

Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:43pm EST

(Reuters) - A company run by former American International Group Inc Chief Executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg sued the U.S. government for $25 billion, calling the 2008 federal takeover of the insurer unconstitutional.

The lawsuit marks an unusual effort to force the government to pay shareholders, who have seen AIG's stock price tumble 98 percent since the middle of 2007, when the insurer's risky bets on mortgage debt through credit default swaps began to falter.

Greenberg's company, Starr International Co, also filed a lawsuit against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose president at the time of the takeover was Timothy Geithner, now U.S. Treasury Secretary.

Once AIG's largest shareholder, Starr said the government took a roughly 80 percent stake in AIG and charged an "punitive" 14.5 percent on federal loans without seeking a shareholder vote, hoping to provide a "backdoor bailout" for AIG trading partners such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. READ MORE

Herman Cain Was Elated When He Learned That His Muslim-Sounding Doctor Wasn’t Muslim

Photo: "God forbid a Muslim doctor try to save Herman Cain's life".

By Dan Amira

When Herman Cain made an appearance at a Jesus-themed amusement park in Florida recently, he made an effort to connect with the pious Christians who had decided to spend their day there instead of someplace even remotely fun. And what better way to ingratiate yourself to your Christian brothers and sisters than telling an anecdote about how much you hate Muslims! As Yahoo's Chris Moody reports:

He did have a slight worry at one point during the chemotherapy process when he discovered that one of the surgeon's name was "Dr. Abdallah." READ MORE

(HolyLand where you can have your picture taken with Jesus on a Harley.
Good Grief!

Study Finds There Is ‘Something About Watching Fox News’ That Leaves Viewers Misinformed About the World

By Dan Amira

Maybe it's the constant lying about things?
Some News Leaves People Knowing Less

By Dan Amira

According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll, some news sources make us less likely to know what going on in the world. In the most recent study, the poll asked New Jerseyans about current events at home and abroad, and from what sources . if any . they get their information. The conclusion: Sunday morning news shows do the most to help people learn about current events, while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who say they don't watch any news at all.

36 Million Pounds of Cargill Turkey Recalled as Budget Cuts Weaken Oversight of Food Safety

Food safety advocates say this latest outbreak shows how budget cuts have hampered the ability of federal and state health agencies to effectively protect public health.
August 5, 2011

AMY GOODMAN: In one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history, this week the food giant Cargill ordered the recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey. The recall comes after at least one person has died of Salmonella, and another 76 have fallen ill. The turkey products were traced to Cargill’s processing plant in Springdale, Arkansas. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Salmonella outbreak involves a strain of the bacteria known as Salmonella Heidelberg, which is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics. READ MORE

How a Corporatist Supreme Court Cabal Joined Forces With Right-Wing and Kochs to Quietly Sell Out Our Democracy

Corrupt, right-wing Supreme Court justices are abusing their power, fraternizing with the Koch brothers and fixing elections (among other horrors).
August 5, 2011

Bill Watterson is Mark Twain--with a drawing pen. He is a master cartoonist, but also a sharp-witted observer of the absurd, with an impish sense of humor. From 1985-1995, Watterson penned "Calvin and Hobbes," the truly marvelous comic strip that featured six-year-old Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes. In Calvin's inventive and iconoclastic mind, Hobbes was a genuine tiger (and his best friend) and they shared boundless adventures that challenged conventional thinking and defied authority, often crashing right through the prescribed social order of the 'real' world.

Do We Need a Militant Movement to Save the Planet (and Ourselves)?

Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Aric McBay call for new strategy to stave off environmental catastrophe. READ MORE

Monday, November 21, 2011


I just happened across this one, there wasn't much more to the site than this video I hadn't seen.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

BBC News Global economy

10 November 2011 Last updated at 06:58 ET
Making it clear... in 60 seconds

Eurozone in trouble

Eurozone crisis: The possible resolutions
What's the matter with Italy?
Q&A: How Greek crisis affects UK
Timeline: Eurozone crisis
Q&A: Greek debt crisis
Q&A: Bonds and eurobonds
The big threat: domino effect
Comparing euro economies
Is the euro crumbling?


What Drugs Was Your Thanksgiving Turkey On?

Antibiotics and other drugs are common in the turkey that thousands of Americans eat every day.
November 20, 2011

So far, 2011 has not been a great year for turkey producers. In May, an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases reported that half of U.S. meat from major grocery chains--turkey, beef, chicken and pork--harbors antibiotic resistant staph germs commonly called MRSA. Turkey had twice and even three times the MRSA of all other meats, in another study.

Of course no new job killing regulations are needed! Enjoy the turkey,
eat up!!!

Gingrich proposes replacing janitors with children, gets mic checked by Occupy Boston

By Andrew Jones
Sunday, November 20, 2011

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich proposed Friday evening that public school janitors be replaced by children in order to help solve the income gap in America.

Gingrich, as usual, took many shots at the left during his speech at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.

“This is something that no liberal wants to deal with,” Gingrich said, according to Politico.“Core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization against children in the poorest neighborhoods, crippling them by putting them in schools that fail has done more to create income inequality in the United States than any other single policy. It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid.”
Yeah, way to go Newt, start poor children out with the humiliation of holding jobs, while their more fortunate classmates play. Hey, while you're at it, why not have them wear "Kick Me" signs as well? Wouldn't that instill courage in them? Newt you're too good for us!

Bank lobbying firm sends out memo to undermine ‘Occupy Wall Street’

By Andrew Jones
Saturday, November 19, 2011

In an exclusive from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and the Huffington Post, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm has prepared a memo for its Wall Street bank clients informing them of ways to deal with “Occupy Wall Street” and the political fallout the movement may cause.

The memo was written by the firm Clark, Lytle, Geduldig, and Cranford (CLGC), warning the the American Bankers Association (ABA) that Republicans could turn on them as a strategic move in next year’s elections due to Democratic pressure. CLGC proposed to the ABA an $800,000 price tag on receiving “opposite research” from the firm in order to create “negative narratives” about Occupy Wall Street and the politicians who support them.

Hayes notes in his show Saturday morning that two of the firm’s members, Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, were aides for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh).

The move by several banks early in the month to cancel on their plans of charging debit card fees has been partially credited to the pressure the Occupy protests have placed on the banks.

WATCH: Video from MSNBC, which was broadcast on November 19, 2011.

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Failing miserably in GOP debates, Perry challenges Pelosi instead

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, November 17, 2011

After a string of high profile failures the likes of which are rarely seen in presidential-level politics, Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a rare debate challenge on Wednesday to a politician he’s not even running against: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Perry, notorious in his own state for avoiding debates with strong Democratic challengers, sent an open letter to Pelosi on Wednesday, offering to debate his own plan to reformat Washington, D.C., “versus the congressional status quo.” READ MORE

Bill O’Reilly’s new Lincoln book ‘an insult to scholars’

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean slammed Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Monday over his latest book about the assassination of President Lincoln.

The official Lincoln Museum at Ford’s Theatre has refused to sell the book because it is riddled with factual errors and lacks proper documentation.

“I stopped counting at 12 serious errors,” Dean said on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

He said the book was an insult to “serious” writers who attempt to show scholarship in their work.

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below:



Teacher at Christian school charged for masturbating in class

By David Edwards
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Authorities in Schaumburg, Illinois have charged a teacher at a Christian school for repeatedly masturbating in class over a period of 10 years.

Schaumburg Christian School fired math teacher Paul A. LaDuke, 75, on Friday after a student reported that she saw him masturbating, according to NBC Chicago.

After conducting an internal investigation, school officials contacted Schaumburg police Monday. On Tuesday, LaDuke was charged with sexual exploitation of a child.

Several students reportedly told police that they were present in the classroom when LaDuke unzipped and lower his pants and then masturbated.

“Through the course of our investigation, our detectives have come to believe that this has happened several times per year for 10 years or more, possibly,” Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebel told the CBS affiliate in Chicago.

College Repub. calls Obama assassination ‘tempting’

By David Ferguson
Thursday, November 17, 2011

According to ABC news, yesterday Lauren E. Pierce, president of the University of Texas at Austin College Republicans posted an alarming message to her Twitter feed that read, “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”

She was responding to news of the man arrested for allegedly shooting at the White House with a semiautomatic weapon. READ MORE

Interrupted Karl Rove curses, challenges ‘Occupy Baltimore’ to fight

Reminds of the Joker from Batman, eh?

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Former Bush political adviser Karl Rove seemed a bit flustered Tuesday night after his speech to Johns Hopkins University
was interrupted by a group of about 15 protesters connected to “Occupy Baltimore,” who got under his skin enough to get him cursing.

As he spoke about public debt and attempted to pin America’s economic pain on the Obama administration, a woman shouted out, “Mic check?”

A chorus of voices replied, “Mic check!”

“Karl Rove! Is the architect!” they shouted. “The architect of Occupy Iraq! The architect of Occupy Afghanistan!”

“Here’s the deal,” he replied. “If you believe in free speech then you had a chance to show it.”

“If you believe in right of the First Amendment to free speech then you demonstrate it by shutting up and waiting until the Q & A session right after,” Rove trailed off as supporters applauded.

“You can go ahead and stand in line and have the courage to ask any damn question you want, or you can continue to show that you are a buffoon…” he said, as the group of protesters descended into random shouting. One woman called him a “murderer, ” while others chanted, “We are the 99 percent!”

“No you’re not!” Rove replied, chanting it back at them. “No you’re not! No you’re not! No you’re not!”

A reporter for The Johns Hopkins News-Letter said Rove even challenged one of the protesters to a fight.


Wisc. Lt. Gov. Kleefisch urges voters not to sign ‘expensive’ recall petitions

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R) is urging voters not to sign recall petitions against herself and Gov. Scott Walker (R) because the special election would cost “about 7.7 million dollars.”

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin and United Wisconsin PAC launched a recall campaign against Walker and Kleefisch on Tuesday.

“There might be a day when someone asks you for your signature,” Kleefisch says in an ad released Tuesday. “Signing a recall petition is like saying you’re O.K. with spending $7.7 million on another recall election, 7.7 million that may already be allocated to merit raises for teachers or health care for the poor, or school books for your kids.”

“Signing a recall petition is like saying you’re O.K. with taking money away from those things and spending it on another special election,” she continues.

Here's the video:

Willie Nelson: It’s time for the rich to pay up

By David Edwards
Thursday, November 17, 2011

Country music legend Willie Nelson said Wednesday that he is “proud” of the Occupy movement.

“Once the people have had enough, they start speaking and they’ll start doing what they’re doing,” Nelson told KSAT’s Paul Venema. “I’m proud of them for doing it.”

“I pay my taxes and some of those guys up there [on Wall Street] don’t,” he noted. “And those are the ones that I’m pissed off at, the ones that make millions of dollars a year and don’t pay any taxes.” READ MORE

Here's the video:

Newt Gingrich Pocketed Millions to Shill for Health Care Industry--But Didn't Register as a Lobbyist

Another day, another story about Gingrich profiteering. Well, three stories, actually.
November 20, 2011

The Washington Post reported this morning that a Gingrich “think tank,” the Center for Health Transformation, collected at least $37 million from health care industry groups, who were promised “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction” in exchange for their cash. Also in exchange for their cash, perhaps, Gingrich took some interesting positions on health care reform: He supported the “individual mandate” that Americans buy insurance (or post a bond to cover unanticipated illness) as well as measures to encourage “end of life” planning. He ditched both positions, of course, once he realized they were unpopular with the Republican base.

Here's the video:

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Failure of the Super Committee Might Be the US's Best Hope for Economic Recovery

"Drawing blood” from the economy by cutting government expenditures at a time of high unemployment and underused resources will only ensure the patient’s death, not recovery.
November 19, 2011

The bipartisan super committee will probably fail to meet the self-imposed November 23rd deadline to enact $1.2trillion of cuts over the next ten years. That failure, as Paul Krugman notes in the New York Times, is a good thing: “Any deal reached now would almost surely end up worsening the economic slump. Slashing spending while the economy is depressed destroys jobs, and it’s probably even counterproductive in terms of deficit reduction, since it leads to lower revenue both now and in the future.”

The 5 Most Toxic Energy Companies and How They Control Our Politics

Energy companies continue to rake in massive profits. They use this wealth to leverage elections, write legislation, scale back regulations and escape accountability.
November 20, 2011

Four days after the April 5, 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, the 300 family members keeping vigil finally learned that the last of the missing miners had been found and there were no survivors among them. The explosion killed 29 men, and severely injured one. The mine was run by Performance Coal Company, a subsidiary of Massey Energy. Massey's Chairman Bobby R. Inman called it a "natural disaster," but it was anything but natural. READ MORE

Karl Rove Calls #OccupyBaltimore Protesters Fascists After They Interrupted His Speech at Johns Hopkins

I think someone needs to explain to Karl Rove what the definition of fascism is. Poor Karl wasn't much happier when he appeared on Sean Hannity's show on Fox this Thursday than he was when interrupted by some Occupy Baltimore protesters the other night during a speech he gave at Johns Hopkins University.

Karl Rove Flips Out At Protesters: ‘Who Gave You The Right To Occupy America?’:


Monday, November 21, 2011


also: mysticdave666

Penn State and the Culture of Rape

By Cliff Schecter

In May of 2009, as President Barack Obama prepared to replace retiring Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, he let something terrible slip--something that could threaten the very fabric of our civilization! He would try and pick a new judge for our highest court that possessed "empathy," or the ability to identify “with people’s hopes and struggles” when making decisions that would intimately affect their lives.

In other words, slightly different than how Justice Clarence Thomas does it, which generally involves applying lessons learned from all-expenses covered, first-class corporate speaking gigs and serial viewing of the wacky antics of Long Dong Silver.

Is Pizza a Vegetable? Well, Congress Says So

Congress this week blocked USDA proposals requiring more tomato sauce on school lunch pizzas to justify its designation as a 'vegetable portion.' (photo: Linda Nylind/Guardian UK)

Lizz Winstead, Guardian UK
Winstead writes: "I knew big Pharma and the NRA had powerful lobbies, but apparently, the frozen food industry's 'partially hydrogenated, tomato-ish sauce-coated, food-like cardboard substance' lobby is more influential than I had initially realised. And these big food giants have done wonders convincing us all fresh produce is insurmountably inconvenient and, like lemmings, we go along with it, buying pre-packaged versions of these clearly inedible options."

Charles M. Blow | Decline of American Exceptionalism

Reagan leaves the White House on the last day of his administration, 01/20/89. (photo: Bettmann/CORBIS)

Charles M. Blow, The New York Times
Blow begins: "Is America exceptional among nations? Are we, as a country and a people and a culture, set apart and better than others? Are we, indeed, the 'shining city upon a hill' that Ronald Reagan described? Are we 'chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world' as George W. Bush said?"