Tag Archive: Dodd-Frank Act


Politics and Legislation

Campaign Spending Shows Political Ties, Self-Dealing

Kim Barker, Al Shaw, ProPublica:

“Our analysis found that more than $306 million has been spent so far by major super PACs and the five leading presidential candidates. In some cases, payees serve both candidates and the super PACs aligned with them, raising the specter that groups may be working together in ways that violate the rules, campaign finance experts said. We also found instances in which overseers of some political action committees directed hefty fees to their own companies, a legal form of self-dealing.”

Read Full article Here

US House of Representatives Approves Plan to Destroy
Medicare, Medicaid and Food Stamps

By Patrick Martin

The US House of Representatives has adopted a budget resolution that calls for privatization of Medicare and the elimination of Medicaid, food stamps and many other federal entitlement benefits. The resolution is part of a bipartisan campaign to slash spending on social programs.

Read Full Article Here

US Anti-terrorism Law Curbs Free Speech and Activist Work, Court Told

By Paul Harris in New York

A group political activists and journalists has launched a legal challenge to stop an American law they say allows the US military to arrest civilians anywhere in the world and detain them without trial as accused supporters of terrorism.

Read Full Article Here

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Economy

Break Up the Big Banks, Says the Dallas Fed

Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

Wall Street’s increasing power remains “difficult to control because they have the lawyers and the money to resist the pressures of federal regulation.” The Dodd-Frank act that was supposed to control Wall Street “leaves TBTF [too big to fail] entrenched.” The Dallas Fed goes on to argue that the Fed’s easy money policy can’t be much help to the U.S. economy as long as Wall Street is “still clogged with toxic assets accumulated in the boom years.

Read Full Article Here

Department of Energy Knew of Solyndra Risks, Former FBI Agent Finds

Ronnie Greene, News Analysis:

“The Department of Energy was fully aware of the risks in backing Solyndra Inc., a start-up company that pocketed a half-billion dollar DOE loan but never turned a penny in profit before shutting its doors, concludes a former FBI agent hired to examine the company’s books. The expert’s report, filed this week in Solyndra’s voluminous bankruptcy case in California  , could embolden critics who say the government ignored financial red flags in supporting the solar panel maker with President Obama’s maiden green energy loan in 2009.”

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While White House Emphasizes Easing Student Debt Burden, Fed Contractors Play Hardball

Marian Wang, News Analysis:

“Under Education Department contracts, collection companies “rehabilitate” a defaulted loan by getting a borrower to make nine payments in 10 months. If they succeed, they reap a jackpot: a commission equal to as much as 16 percent of the entire loan amount, or $3,200 on a $20,000 loan. These companies receive that fee only if borrowers make a minimum payment of 0.75 percent to 1.25 percent of the loan each month, depending on its size.”

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Bank Of America CEO Gets $7.5 Million Pay Package After The Bank Lost More Than Half Its Stock Value

Pat Garofalo, News Report:

“The Wall Street Journal noted this week that that CEO pay lagged behind profits and productivity last year, mirroring a trend that has been occurring with workers’ wages for decades. But even that slight modicum of moderation regarding executive compensation evidently didn’t extend to Bank of America, which gave CEO Brian Moynihan a $7.5 million pay package — six times as much as he made in 2010 — following a year in which the company’s stock plummeted.”

Read Full Article Here

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Wars and Rumors of War

Assad remarks give little hope of peace

By AGENCIES

BAGHDAD: Bashar Assad’s remarks on a UN-Arab plan yesterday gave little hope of peace as the Syrian tyrant called for an end to “terrorist acts” by foreign powers.

“It’s not surprising, but it’s discouraging and disappointing,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Arab leaders, meanwhile, urged a peaceful end to the bloodshed through “serious national dialogue,” at a landmark summit in the Iraqi capital yesterday.

They approved a resolution calling on the “Syrian government and all opposition factions to deal positively with the envoy (Kofi Annan) by starting serious national dialogue.”

Arab leaders said the plan should be implemented “immediately and completely.”

It said “the massacre committed by the Syrian forces against civilians in Baba Amro … can be considered crimes (against) humanity.”

Read Full Article Here

Israel Shields Public From Risks of War With Iran

Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service:

“The message that Iran is too weak to threaten an effective counterattack is contradicted by one of Israel’s leading experts on Iranian missiles and the head of its missile defense program for nearly a decade, who says Iranian missiles are capable of doing significant damage to Israeli targets.”

Read Full Article Here

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Environmental

EPA Climate Proposal Could Limit Coal’s future, at Least in U.S.

Renee Schoof, News Report:

The rules require future power plants to keep their emissions of heat-trapping gases under a limit. Most natural gas plants would meet the standard easily, but coal-fired plants would have to reduce emissions by about half. The equipment to capture and store those emissions underground isn’t commercially viable. “This is not a sudden death for the coal industry by any means,” said David Pumphrey of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a center-right research center.

Read Full Article

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Activism

Fault Lines: History of an occupation Part 1

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 21, 2012

Fault Lines tells the definitive history of Occupy Wall Street from its early days through the movement’s rapid spread up to the brutal crackdown by state authorities.

Fault Lines: Occupy Wall Street: Surviving the Winter Part 2

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 27, 2012

Fault Lines follows key Occupy organisers through the winter as they continue to build a movement even after violent evictions across the country.

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Anti-Austerity Strikes Halted Business in Spain Yesterday, and More

In today’s On the News segment: Supreme Court now deciding the fate of Obamacare, the recall vote of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is set, new oil subsidies sail through Congress, natural gas platform disaster continues to unfold in the North Sea, Egyptian courts censor Internet pornography, and more.

Read Transcripts Here

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Articles of Interest

Russian Proton-M Puts Military Satellite into Orbit

Russia’s Space Forces launched a Proton-M carrier rocket with a Cosmos class military satellite on board on Friday, spokesman Lt. Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.

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Japan orders SDF to intercept DPRK rocket if necessary

China.org.cn

Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka officially ordered the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to intercept a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) rocket launch if necessary on Friday.

Tanaka issued the order after he told SDF on Tuesday to take preparatory measures against the DPRK rocket launch.

Japan and other countries see the rocket launch as a cover for a long-range ballistic missile test, Xinhua reported.

Read Full Article Here

All Parties Ignore the One Way to Reduce Health Care Costs: Single-Payer

David U. Himmelstein MD and Steffie Woolhandler MD, MPH, Truthout:

“Both parties studiously avoid the one health-reform solution that – unlike computers – would actually save money while sparing patients: single-payer, nonprofit national health insurance. Research shows that single-payer reform could save about $380 billion annually that’s currently wasted on insurers’ overhead and the unnecessary paperwork (and screen-work) they inflict on hospitals, doctors and patients.”

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CWA Union Teams Up With Free Press, Consumer Groups to Oppose Telecom Deregulation

Mike Elk, In These Times:

“The Communications Workers of America union has been criticized by progressive consumers groups like Free Press for its positions on net neutrality and the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile merger. Now, though, CWA is teaming up with groups like Free Press to fight two big bills that they say would deregulate the telecommunications industry, help build telecom monopolies and lead to telecom job losses.”

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Exclusive: Soros’ son strikes out on his own

(Hmmmm, Can anyone say Restructuring and SEC?)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The upheaval within billionaire investor George Soros’ firm continues as one of his sons is separating some of his personal fortune to manage it himself.

Jonathan Soros, who stepped down in September from day-to-day management of Soros Fund Management LLC, plans to hire at least one of his father’s key employees, say two people familiar with the situation.

The two sources said Soros’ son intends to set up his own family office – something the Soros Fund converted to last year – with the help of David Kulsar, currently chief risk officer for the Soros Fund.

“Jonathan wants to manage some of his own money so the (Soros Fund) family office has made that accommodation for him,” said a source familiar with the situation but who was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Jonathan Soros, who was a law clerk for a federal judge before joining with his brother Robert in 2002 to oversee the management of Soros Fund, did not return calls or emails seeking comment. He currently is a senior fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal think tank group in New York.

Kulsar, who also did not return a phone call seeking comment, worked in risk management for John Meriweather’s JWM Partners before joining the Soros Fund. Meriweather founded Long-Term Capital Management, the hedge fund whose collapse in 1999 sparked fears of a financial crisis.


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Politics and Legislation

Britain pushes for mass surveillance society

Uploaded by RTAmerica on Mar 15, 2012

Soon you can be watched everywhere you go in the UK. All your emails, texts and phone calls will be monitored and you can even be seen where cameras can’t. This could all be possible with a new anti-terrorism spy plan. Security companies will have real time access to all your personal happenings at the click of a button. Here is our report.

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

http://www.nhpr.org/post/ny-passes-dna-requirement-convicted-criminals

GOP: Obama, Dems need to do more to fight high gas prices

By Molly K. Hooper

Republicans attacked President Obama’s energy policies as the cause of high gas prices in Saturday’s weekly address.

http://thehill.com/video/house/216505-gop-obama-needs-to-do-more-to-fight-high-gas-prices

White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas prices

By Amie Parnes

The White House is shifting its optics on gas prices after struggling in recent days to win the public debate over the issue.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/216499-white-house-changes-optics-in-debate-over-rising-gas-prices

Obama: Fight high gas prices by ending subsidies, fraud

By Jamie Klatell

While saying there is no “silver bullet,” President Obama said Saturday that regulating energy markets and cutting government subsidies to big oil firms will help control spikes in the prices of gas.

http://thehill.com/video/administration/216507-obama-fight-high-gas-prices-by-ending-subsidies-fraud

White House: Colleges must cover birth control for students

By Sam Baker

Most universities will have to cover birth control in their students’ health plans, the Obama administration said Friday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216485-white-house-says-colleges-must-cover-birth-control-for-students

GOP split on health-law repeal strategy

By Julian Pecquet

Two conservative Republicans on Friday blasted House leaders for scheduling a vote to repeal an unpopular provision of the healthcare reform law.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216487-republicans-at-odds-over-health-law-repeal-strategy

If You Took the Greed Out of Wall Street, All You’d Have Left Is Pavement

Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

The Street has only itself to blame. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it lobbied intensely against the new Dodd-Frank Act and refused to resurrect Glass-Steagall. The cost of such cynicism has leached deep into America, finding expression in Tea Partiers and Occupiers and millions of others who think the Street has sold us out.

http://www.nationofchange.org/if-you-took-greed-out-wall-street-all-you-d-have-left-pavement-why-greg-smith-s-critique-way-too-nar

The Power of Recalls in Wisconsin

John Nichols, Op-Ed:

With Wisconsin recall elections looming against four Republican state Senators — as well as Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch — the state’s politics was thrown for another loop Friday when a targeted senator up and quit. State Senator Pam Galloway, a Tea Party favorite and one of Walker’s steadiest backers in the legislature, announced her immediate resignation from the legislature and her decision not to contest the recall election.

http://www.nationofchange.org/power-recalls-wisconsin-1331997712

Economy

Five Charts That Prove We’re in a Depression and That the Federal Reserve and Washington Are Wasting Money

By Graham Summers

Wall Street and mainstream economists are abuzz that we’re seeing a recovery in the US due to the latest jobs data. These folks are not only missing the big picture, but they’re not even reading the fine print (more on this in a moment).

The reality is that what’s happening in the US today is not a cyclical recession, but a one in 100 year, secular economic shift.

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1331571258.php

 

Gas prices still climbing, top $4 in 6 states
Pump prices click higher to national average of $3.83 a gallon, with 6 states above $4.00

Gasoline prices rose again Friday and are now averaging more than $4 in six states and Washington, D.C. Oil had its biggest gain in three weeks and natural gas prices also rose.

Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gas-prices-still-climbing-top-165457157.html;_ylt=Ao1Q5Ln8g6oB0Kdt8qRBnJSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0dnFmNjdlBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYzVlMDc2YjMtNWRmNS0zMmUzLWE5YzgtNjI0NzA1ZWRhOGNiBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzI3NGFjZTk5LTZmYTAtMTFlMS1iZjdhLWM0YTZhNDQyZTAyZA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Oil hits $107 after US denial of crude release
Oil rises past $107 a day after US denies plan to release crude supplies

NEW YORK (AP) — Crude oil prices rose Friday, a day after the government denied reports that the U.S. and the U.K. plan to release some of their strategic crude reserves.

In New York trading, benchmark oil for April delivery rose $1.95 a barrel, or about 2 percent, to finish at $107.06, the biggest gain since Feb. 24.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/oil-hits-107-us-denial-203308690.html;_ylt=Aomo5PjMW6oZV0lJwGXaEKSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0bzllaW1tBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnA2E1NDFjNTU0LTdlNGQtMzc0NC1iMjk1LWZkMjYxZWZmZWQzMwRwb3MDNQRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDYzA0MmI5NjAtNmZhOS0xMWUxLWJhZGEtNmQ5MmYzZWE2NjFk;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

 

Doomsday Survey: 51% of Americans Believe a Financial Collapse Is Imminent; 85% Say Country Is Overwhelmingly Under-Prepared

A recent survey of 1,007 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over suggests that most of us believe a doomsday scenario of some kind will occur in the next twenty five years.

With three million preppers in the U.S. getting ready for widespread disaster, gun sales sky rocketing, and retail precious metals purchases at unprecedented levels, the results of the survey performed by Kelton Research on behalf of National Geographic shouldn’t be surprising.

http://learnhowtobeprepared.com/2012/03/doomsday-survey-51-of-americans-believe-a-financial-collapse-is-imminent-85-say-country-is-overwhelmingly-under-prepared/#.T2VkYLRZfe8

 

The Fed Isn’t Providing Monetary Morphine; Its Spreading Financial Cancer That Is Killing the Markets And Democratic Capitalism In General

CONTRIBUTOR: Graham Summers.

~ Phoenix Capital Research While the vast majority of commentators look at the market action of the last three months and celebrate, I cannot help but shudder. The reason is that the stock market has been propped up solely by Central Bank and/or Federal Government intervention or the hope…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1903/390/The_Fed_Isnt_Providing_Monetary_Morphine;_Its_Spreading_Financial_Cancer_That_Is_Killing_the_Markets_And_Democratic_Capitalism_In_General.html

Preventing the Fall of Rome

Gar Alperovitz, Op-Ed:

How far continuing financial and political pressures may lead other officials to attempt to secure revenues by selling off public assets is an open question. Public resistance to such strategies, although less widely publicized, has been surprisingly strong in many areas. Toll road sales have been held up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently voiced his opposition to an attempt to privatize Midway Airport as previously attempted by Daley.

http://www.nationofchange.org/preventing-fall-rome-1331994900

 

Senate Bill Could Roll Back Consumers’ Health Insurance Savings

Lena Groeger, News Report:

This is the first year that companies are required to send out rebates. According to a report by state insurance commissioners, if rebates had been handed out last year, insurers would have had to pay consumers almost $2 billion. If they had carved out the broker fees, as proposed in the two current bills, consumers would have gotten only about $800 million. The rebates have gotten relatively modest attention. Only 38 percent of the public is even aware of the rule’s existence, according to a Kaiser poll.

http://www.nationofchange.org/senate-bill-could-roll-back-consumers-health-insurance-savings-1331996903

 

Wars and Rumors of War

Panetta Disarms Marines in Afghanistan Amid Fears of Possible Rogue Marine Shooting

Uploaded by ObamaBC on Mar 14, 2012

It has been denied that Secretary of Defense Panetta’s disarming of Marines in Afghanistan March 14 had anything to do with a rogue Army sniper’s killing of sixteen Afghan civilians earlier in the week, but many are calling the move highly unusual, and one source states disarming Marines in a combat zone is contrary to military protocol. Approximately two hundred Marines were told to leave their weapons outside a tent while listening to Panetta’s speech, but many state disarming the Marines will lead to a morale problem due to a high official distrusting his own troops. Sources state the Marines felt uncomfortable being without their weapons in what is essentially a war zone. What many considered a rush to judgement given the the rogue U.S. sniper’s history of PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury), Leon Panetta had stated almost immediately that the soldier could face the death penalty. This was odd and hypocritical to many, given that many feel the Obama administration ostensibly armed drug cartels with Fast and Furious weapons that were used to kill hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two U.S. citizens, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, and no one has called for the death penalty in these cases, let alone actual charges being filed.
3/14/12 By Kris Zane

 

How Mossad Justified Its Murder of an Innocent Iranian Electrical Engineer

By Gareth Porter

On July 23, 2011, a 35-year-old Iranian electrical engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad was gunned down as he and his wife, who was also wounded in the attack, waited for their child in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30850.htm

 

America and the Middle East:
Psycho Warriors Who Deceive Humanity

By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD

Global peace, humanity and security of the Middle East region are the net causality of Obama’s egomaniac rhetoric.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30849.htm

 

Top diplomat: Saudi Arabia is smuggling arms to Syria:

Arab diplomat says Saudi Arabia is delivering military equipment to Free Syrian Army ‘to stop bloodshed by Assad’s regime’.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51267

U.S. ‘Concerned’ About Iranian Flights to Syria:

The United States has expressed concern that Iranian cargo planes overflying Iraq may be shipping weapons to Syria.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120317/172223863.html

 

Turkey urges citizens to leave Syria, set to cut consular services:

Move comes as reports indicate 4 members of the Gulf Cooperation Council will close their embassies in Syria over the ongoing political crisis.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-urges-citizens-to-leave-syria-set-to-cut-consular-services-1.419083

 

Environmental

 

The Department of Homeland Security Plans to Build a High-Risk Virus Research Center in the Heart of America

J. D. Heyes, News Report:

“The United States works on the frontline of livestock animal health research to defend against foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases that could threaten the U.S. livestock industry, food supply, and public health,” says Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology Tara O’Toole, in a departmental risk assessment posted online. “To address congressional requirements, this detailed, updated risk assessment reaffirms that we can build a safe and secure facility to meet this important mission.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/department-homeland-security-plans-build-high-risk-virus-research-center-heart-america-1331990145

 

The True Cost of the Tar Sands

Video Report:

“Garth Lenz is an award winning conservation photographer whose work has been seen in shows around the globe. Recently he appeared at a TEDx event in Victoria, BC Canada with his exhibition, The True Cost of Oil. Through Lenz’s photography, this exhibit showcases the beauty of some of Canada’s pristine environments—and the dire impact that tar sands oil extraction has on them.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/photos-true-cost-tar-sands-1331993923

 

 

Misc

‘Kony 2012’ director hospitalized

Published on Mar 16, 2012 by CNN

CNN’s Erin Burnett reports that one of the men behind the “Kony 2012” video was found in the street in his underwear.

 

US soldier accused of shooting Afghan civilians identified

By Carlo Munoz

The U.S. soldier accused of going on a shooting rampage that left 16 Afghan civilians dead on Sunday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a U.S. official confirmed to The Hill.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216503-us-soldier-accused-in-afghan-shootings-identified

 

Big Pharma’s Evil Motives Exposed (video)

CONTRIBUTOR: BARRACUDA.

Former Scientist, and Pharma Executive Speaks Out On The True Motives of Big Pharma Dr. John Virapen has worked more than three decades in the pharmaceutical industry. As an insider, former scientist and whistleblower, he is now dedicated to expose and create awareness on how the pharmaceutical industry is operating with…

 

Democrats Push New Obama US Flag: Here Is A Picture Of It (Shocking?) (Shocking?)

 

CONTRIBUTOR: RidgeRunner.

Some Democrats are flying, selling and proposing an Obama faced American Flag. How do you feel about this? What feeling does this picture evoke in you as an American? …

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1892/295/Democrats_Push_New_Obama_US_Flag:_Here_Is_A_Picture_Of_It_Shocking.html

 

Foreclosure Victim Wins $18 Million as Part of Federal Mortgage Settlement

Travis Waldron, News Report:

“Fraudulent foreclosures have reached near-pandemic levels since the collapse of the housing market. At banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, fraudulent practices like robo-signing were approved by upper-level management, and employees with no banking experience were given vice-president level titles so they could sign foreclosure documents (one Wells Fargo ‘Vice President’ came to the bank from a pizza restaurant).”

http://www.nationofchange.org/foreclosure-victim-wins-18-million-part-federal-mortgage-settlement-1331996983