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Tag Archive: GOP


By Tom Howell Jr.

The Washington Times

Nearly 40 House Democrats defied President Obama and helped the Republican majority pass a bill Friday that lets Americans keep, for one year, health plans that do not comply with Obamacare.

The defections from 39 members of Mr. Obama’s party highlighted the pressure on Congress to help people who lost coverage because of the president’s signature law, as balky websites keep a veil over alternative plans and pressure mounts on the Democrat-led Senate to forge a remedy.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform


“Let’s face it, millions of people right now have a cancelled policy,” Rep. Ron Barber, Arizona Democrat, said before voting for the Keep Your Health Plan Act.

The House passed the bill, 261 to 157, despite a veto threat from Mr. Obama and objections from Democrats who said the legislation was an insidious attempt to rot the Affordable Care Act from the inside out.

Four Republicans voted against the bill, perhaps because it could be viewed as an attempt to smooth over Mr. Obama’s controversial reforms.

Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, offered the bill at the height of furor over Mr. Obama’s oft-repeated promise that people who liked their health plans could keep them. Millions of Americans received cancellation notices because their plans did not meet the health care law’s coverage requirements, forcing the president to apologize as vulnerable Democrats scrambled to find a legislative solution.

Rampant glitches on the HealthCare.gov website — a federal portal that connects 36 states with plans under Obamcare — have intensified the problem, because people losing their policies cannot explore their options.

Mr. Barber said some Arizonans are “beside themselves.”

“Because by December 31 they don’t have health coverage, and they can’t get on the exchange to find out what’s available,” he told reporters.

Mr. Obama announced an administrative remedy on Thursday that permits insurers to offer a one-year renewal to people who hold noncompliant plans, and Senate Democrats are pushing legislation that would let existing enrollees hold onto their plans indefinitely.

The Republican-led bill goes further, allowing new enrollees to gain current health plans that do not comply with Obamacare.

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House passes Republican health bill with 39 Democratic votes

WASHINGTON Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:15am EST

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with health insurance chief executives at the White House in Washington November 15, 2013. REUTERS-Kevin Lamarque

1 of 5. U.S. President Barack Obama meets with health insurance chief executives at the White House in Washington November 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

(Reuters) – In the most significant legislative rebuke to President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, 39 members of his Democratic Party voted for a Republican bill in the House of Representatives on Friday aimed at undermining his signature domestic policy.

The measure, which would allow insurance companies to renew and sell inexpensive, limited-coverage policies that have been canceled because they don’t meet the standards of the new healthcare law that took effect on October 1, passed 261-157.

The 39 Democrats who supported the bill – nearly one-fifth of the party’s caucus – reflected the alarm that spread within Obama’s party this week over the political damage from the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Republicans have vowed to make Democratic support for the troubled law the top issue in the 2014 elections. Twenty-nine of the 39 Democrats who voted for the Republican bill are running for re-election in competitive races, according to rankings by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Obama’s approval ratings have plunged during the past six weeks, as the rollout of the healthcare program that is his top domestic achievement has been beset by technical glitches with the federal online insurance website designed to allow consumers to shop for policies.

In recent days, HealthCare.gov’s problems have been overshadowed by reports that insurance companies were canceling the policies of millions of Americans whose policies did not meet the new law’s requirements that policies cover emergency treatment, hospital stays and prescription drugs, among other things.

For years, Obama had promised that Americans would be able to keep their policies if they liked them.

But the wave of cancellations has fueled the biggest political crisis of Obama’s presidency and led to an extraordinary scene at the White House on Thursday, as a contrite Obama took the blame for the healthcare program’s dismal start.

He said he believed that he had to win back the confidence of the American people, and offered an administrative “fix” that would allow some people to retain their non-conforming insurance policies for at least a year.

Obama’s plan dismayed some of his supporters who say that the cheap, limited-coverage plans that the new law aims to phase out often give consumers a false sense of having meaningful health coverage.

It also created concern in the insurance industry – which for years had planned the health insurance exchanges created by Obamacare – and among state insurance commissioners.

Industry advocates warned that Obama effectively was tinkering with the delicate and complex funding behind the healthcare law, and that premiums could begin soaring in 2015 if millions of consumers who were projected to be in Obamacare’s health exchanges continued to hold limited-coverage policies instead.

Read More Here

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politics

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/06/2013 4:16 pm EST  |  Updated: 11/06/2013 4:54 pm EST

marco rubio chris christie

WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s landslide reelection has led some observers to declare him all but certain to seize the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. But Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another likely Republican contender for president, on Wednesday cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the significance of Christie’s victory.

“I think we need to understand that some of these races don’t apply to future races. Every race is different — it has a different set of factors — but I congratulate [Christie] on his win,” Rubio told CNN’s Dana Bash.

“Clearly [Christie] was able to speak to the hopes and aspirations of people within New Jersey. That’s important,” he added. “We want to win everywhere and Governor Christie has certainly shown he has a way of winning in New Jersey, in states like New Jersey … so I congratulate him on that.”

But Rubio stressed that New Jersey, a decisively blue state, has its own distinctive traits and a race in the Garden State wouldn’t play out the same as it would elsewhere.

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File:John Boehner.jpg

Image Source :  Wikimedia .Org

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politics

John Boehner To Ask House GOP For Short-Term Debt Ceiling Increase

Posted: 10/10/2013 10:08 am EDT  |  Updated: 10/10/2013 1:01 pm EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP aides say House Speaker John Boehner will ask House Republicans to approve a short-term extension of the government’s ability to borrow to meet its bills.

The Ohio Republican is slated to urge his staunchly conservative GOP colleagues to act before the government runs out of borrowing authority next week.

Republicans have been insistent that budget cuts and other measures be added to the so-called debt ceiling legislation but the aides wouldn’t say whether he’ll seek to add other material to the measure.

The aides required anonymity to reveal the information before Boehner makes an announcement after a closed-door meeting with his GOP colleagues.

Read More and Watch Video  Here

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NBC News

House GOP, White House to keep up fiscal talks after ‘useful’ meeting

House Republicans are continuing closed-door talks after meeting with President Barack Obama for almost 90 minutes Thursday to discuss a possible short-term extension of the nation’s debt limit. Those negotiations – the most serious talks to date on the fiscal impasse – were expected to continue into Thursday evening.

“We had a very useful meeting, it was clarifying for both sides as to where we are,”  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters after the White House meeting. “Our teams are going to be talking further tonight. We’ll have more discussion. We will come back to have more discussion. The President said that he would go and consult with the administration folks and hopefully we can see a way forward after that.”

In a statement, the White House called it a “good meeting,” although “no specific determination was made” about how to fix the fiscal impasse.

“The President looks forward to making continued progress with members on both sides of the aisle.  The President’s goal remains to ensure we pay the bills we’ve incurred, reopen the government and get back to the business of growing the economy, creating jobs and strengthening the middle class.”

“The president didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no,” Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., told NBC News. “It was a useful conversations. We’re now going to negotiate.”

GOP leaders are proposing extending the nation’s debt limit for six weeks to allow for budget negotiations, but the plan would do nothing to end the ongoing federal shutdown.

Obama met with 20 top House Republicans for over an hour at the White House Thursday to address the GOP proposal.  The government is slated to run out of borrowing power on October 17, the Treasury Department says.

Republicans were tight-lipped about the meeting, avoiding a gaggle of press after the leaving the White House.

Earlier Thursday, the prospects for compromise looked somewhat bright.

White House press secretary Jay Carney called the GOP proposal “encouraging” and told reporters Obama would likely sign such legislation.

“The president is happy that cooler heads at least seem to be prevailing in the House,” Carney said at the daily press briefing. He added: “I think the president said the other day, if they were to send him a clean debt ceiling extension, no partisan strings attached he would sign it.  But we don’t know that’s what we’re going to get here.”

Stocks were up sharply Thursday morning amid the signs of potential progress on the debt ceiling extension, something Wall Street has been paying close attention to as next week’s expected October 17 debt ceiling deadline looms.

 

Read More and Watch Video Here

 

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The Hill Newspaper

House GOP unveils six-week debt hike that continues shutdown

 

By Russell Berman and Erik Wasson 10/10/13 12:14 PM ET

House Republican leaders will offer President Obama a six-week extension of the nation’s debt limit that would not end the government shutdown now in its 10th day.

In exchange, Republicans want a commitment from the White House to negotiate a longer-term budget plan that would reopen the government.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) presented the proposal to rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door meeting Thursday, hours before more than a dozen GOP lawmakers head to the White House to meet with Obama.“It is our hope that the president will look at this as an opportunity and a good-faith effort on our part to move halfway, halfway to what he’s demanded in order to have these conversations begin,” Boehner told reporters after the meeting.

Boehner said the ending of the shutdown would depend on how the president responded.

“That’s the conversation we’re going to have with the president today,” he said.

The Speaker acknowledged that the fiscal crisis that has gripped the capital could come back if no agreement is reached by Nov. 22, the date that Republicans would set as the new debt-limit deadline.

“Clearly, you could end up back in the same place, and we don’t want to be here,” Boehner said.

The House hopes to move quickly on the plan, but a vote would not occur before the White House meeting, scheduled for 4:30 p.m., aides said.

The debt limit bill would also restrict the Treasury Department from using “extraordinary measures” to increase borrowing after Nov. 22, aides said.

“The date in the bill is the real date — no more monkeying around,” a leadership aide said.

A separate resolution would appoint Republican negotiators for a House-Senate budget conference committee, which Democrats have demanded for months.

It is far from clear that the Speaker’s plan would succeed, either with Democrats or with members of his own conference.

The White House on Thursday reiterated Obama’s demand that the GOP both lift the $16.7 trillion debt limit and reopen the government before negotiations begin.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced plans for a procedural vote Saturday on legislation to raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion and through the end of 2014.

The White House backs the longer extension, but it is unclear whether Reid can muster the 60 votes necessary to pass it.

A White House official said Thursday that the administration was “willing to look at any proposal Congress puts forward,” while again insisting that Obama would “not pay a ransom” and preferred a longer debt-ceiling extension.

“It is better for economic certainty for Congress to take the threat of default off the table for as long as possible, which is why we support the Senate Democrats’ efforts to raise the debt limit for a year with no extraneous political strings attached,” the official said.

The official also said that Obama would be willing to negotiate a broader budget agreement only after Republicans pass a debt-ceiling increase and reopen the government.

Read More and Watch Video Here

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POLITICO

John Boehner’s offer puts President Obama on the spot

 

 

 

President Barack Obama may get the clean debt limit extension he’s been demanding, but it wouldn’t be a clean victory.

By adopting the House GOP plan to raise the debt ceiling, Obama would avoid a potentially crippling blow to the economy and, in the White House’s view, finally break Republicans of their habit of seeking concessions each time the debt ceiling needs to be raised.

But the downsides are significant. The federal government might not immediately reopen, there’s no guarantee Republicans would stop using the debt limit as leverage in the future and Obama could find himself in the same position once the temporary extension expires.

And yet, Obama may have little choice but to accept House Speaker John Boehner’s offer because it delivers what the president wanted: a debt limit hike with no ideological strings attached.

“If a clean debt limit bill is passed, he would likely sign it,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. “The key is they don’t get anything in exchange.”

The big question for the White House and Republicans in Congress is the definition of the word “clean.” It may be that the White House has to look at yesterday’s shirt — presentable, if not just-starched — as clean enough.

Read More Here

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ReasonTV

Published on Sep 22, 2013

“The reason that Republicans cannot win Latinos – or other minorities for that matter – is because Republicans counter liberal ‘Santa’ version of big government with what I call the ‘Darth-Vader’ idea of big government, ” says Shikha Dalmia, senior analyst at the Reason Foundation, during FreedomFest 2013 in Las Vegas.

“What Republicans show Latinos and other voters is not the humane and kind version of limited government.”

Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, joined Dalmia in discussing how the GOP’s anti-immigration rhetoric and political position is pushing minority voters to the left.

About 36 minutes.

Edited by Amanda Winkler. Camera by Paul Detrick and Alex Manning.

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Battle Between  The  GOP photo Battlebetweenthegop_zps68d06c95.jpg

Social conservatives warn Priebus they could abandon GOP

Thirteen social conservatives, representing various influential groups, wrote Priebus ahead of the RNC’s quarterly meeting this week in Los Angeles to sternly rebuke the conclusions of a post-election report that advised Republican elected officials to adopt a softer tone toward social issues.

“We respectfully warn GOP Leadership that an abandonment of its principles will necessarily result in the abandonment of our constituents to their support,” concludes the letter, which was obtained by and independently verified by NBC News in advance of the meeting this week.

The letter further asks GOP committeemen to pass a resolution at their meeting this week re-affirming the party’s 2012 national platform, which includes language calling for bans on abortion and same-sex marriage.

“Chairman Priebus agrees that we must stand up for our conservative principles while we work together to grow our party and win elections and has been traveling the country with that message,” said Kirsten Kukowski, an RNC spokeswoman. Furthermore, she said that a resolution re-affirming the platform was currently being drafted, and would likely win approval from the full RNC this Friday.

The Growth and Opportunity Project report, commissioned by Priebus in the wake of Republicans’ losses in last fall’s elections, offered a number of recommendations for the party to broaden its appeal and be more competitive in future national elections.

Among its recommendations were that Republican officials speak with a more welcoming tone on social issues, particularly abortion rights and gay rights, the latter of which the report said had become a “gateway” for whether young voters decide whether to identify as Republicans.

To that end, several high-profile Republicans have emerged in recent weeks (along with a slew of elected Democrats) to back marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, including Sens. Rob Portman, Ohio, and Mark Kirk, Ill.

Much of the conservatives’ letter to Priebus stresses the issue of gay rights, and challenges the logic of the Growth and Opportunity Project’s advice to broaden the party’s appeal. Holding the line against same-sex marriage, the letter argues, would allow Republicans to make better inroads, for instance, into more traditionally-minded corners of the African American community.

Read Full Article Here

By Deirdre Walsh, CNN Senior Congressional Producer
updated 6:40 PM EST, Mon February 4, 2013
CNN Politics

Washington (CNN) — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is giving the Republican party a message makeover.

In a sharp departure from the GOP’s emphasis on slashing federal spending, bringing down the deficit and moving legislation to assist the “job creators,” the No. 2 House Republican is rolling out a more personal appeal in a speech on Tuesday with an agenda to “make life work.”

Cantor is hoping to put last year’s bruising fiscal battles that pit House Republicans against President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats behind and turn the page to a new approach that demonstrates the GOP cares about problems Americans confront in their daily lives.

The speech comes one week before Obama is expected to outline his second term agenda in the State of the Union address.

According to prepared remarks released by Cantor’s office on Monday, the majority leader will highlight four main areas – education, health care, job growth, and innovation.

“Our solutions will be based on the conservative principles of self reliance, faith in the individual, trust in the family, and accountability in government,” Cantor is expected to say in his speech to the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

Cantor’s tone and the substance of his speech are a departure from previous major speeches he’s delivered that centered on helping small businesses expand the economy.

“He’s going to be talking about bread and butter issues — from one parent to another,” a senior Cantor aide familiar with the speech told CNN.

But Cantor’s office stressed that these policy proposals are not in lieu of the House Republican’s goal of enacting major spending cuts and reducing the nation’s deficit.

They are meant to compliment that focus and show that the GOP understands the challenges of families, not just businesses.

This aide said this message focuses on those areas Republicans believe should be given a priority and where the federal government has a role.

Some of the proposals include items that the GOP-led House has already tackled in legislation in the last Congress, including an immigration bill for so-called “STEM” visas that would allow students born outside the United States who are enrolled in American universities studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to stay after they graduate and get jobs with U.S. companies.

 

Read Full Article Here

Politics and Legislation

 

 

All Da King’s Men

Holder Making Congress Furious Fast

By David King Published

Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder provided congressional testimony for the seventh time regarding Operation Fast And Furious, the illegal, dangerous, and idiotic ATF plan to let guns “walk” across the border into the hands of Mexican drug cartels, allegedly to allow the guns to be tracked back to subsequent criminal activity and then apprehend those responsible. One of the many problems with the hairbrained plan was that the ATF couldn’t track the weapons once they went into Mexico, and in fact neither ATF agents in Mexico nor the Mexican government was even made aware of the existence of the Fast And Furious plan. Thousand of guns went across the border in violation of federal law and in violation of the ATF’s own mission statement, and as a result, the guns were used in numerous violent criminal activities in Mexico and an American border patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed with Fast And Furious weapons. Mexican officials are understandably furious, and congressional investigators, headed by Darrell Issa (R-CA), are trying to get to the bottom of who knew what and how high knowledge of the gun walking went.

The reason AG Holder is being questioned is, the ATF works under the Department Of Justice, which is headed by Holder, and Fast And Furious began in 2009, during the Obama administration, for whom Holder works.

A previous and much smaller ATF gun walking operation, called Operation Wide Receiver, began in 2006 during the Bush administration. That smaller flawed operation didn’t work, and was shut down in 2007. Write it down as a very bad idea, a failed experiment….so why would the ATF greatly expand upon the same failed strategy again in 2009 with Fast And Furious ? Enquiring minds would like to know.

Holder has been using the Sergeant Schultz “I know nothing” excuse. He claims no high ranking officials at Justice knew about Fast And Furious, including himself. When asked in April 2011 when he first became aware of  Fast And Furious gun walking, Holder told Congress he found out just a few weeks earlier when the news became public.  That was disproven by e-mails showing Holder had been informed at least ten months earlier. After his previous statement was disproven, Holder hilariously claimed he didn’t understand the question he was being asked. He then admitted he knew about Fast And Furious, but not the gun walking. I’ll repeat Issa’s question and answer here just to illustrate how ridiculous Holder’s new response was:

ISSA: Mr. Attorney General, we have two Border Patrol agents who are dead, who were killed by guns that were allowed, as far as we can tell, to deliberately walk out of gun shops under the program often called Fast and Furious. This program, as you know — and the President’s been asked about it, you’ve been asked about it – allowed for weapons to be sold to straw purchasers, and ultimately, many of those weapons are today in the hands of drug cartels and other criminals. When did you first know about the program, officially, I believe, called Fast and Furious? To the best of your knowledge, what date?

HOLDER: I’m not sure of the exact date but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.

There was nothing at all unclear about Issa’s question, and it was about gun walking in particular. Holder lied. Again.

When that excuse didn’t fly, the ever creative Holder made the odd claim that he didn’t read all his e-mails. In effect, Holder was saying, “I’m not a liar. I’m just inept at my job”.  Obama should have fired Holder the second those words came out of Holder’s mouth.  Who wants an AG who doesn’t even read his e-mails, for chrissakes ?

Btw, during the Bush years, VP Cheney’s assistant, Scooter Libby, was sentenced to jail for being wrong about the date he found out the CIA identity of Valerie Plame, and Libby was only off by one month. And Libby didn’t even divulge Plame’s identity to the press. Holder was off by a minimum of ten months, and then gave two followup explanations that defy credulity.

That brings us to yesterday’s’ hearing. The date-challenged, question-misunderstanding, e-mail non-reader Holder had the following exchange with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT):

“You claim with passion that nobody at the senior levels at the Department of Justice prior to the death of [border patrol] agent Brian Terry knew that  guns were walking, and I’ve got an email from Jason Weinstein using the term ‘guns walking,'” Chaffetz said.

Holder ducked the question, saying that the email referred to a different operation.

“That refers to Wide Receiver, not Fast and Furious,” balked Holder.

Chaffetz fired back “That is not what the February 4 letter that was sent to the United States Congress said. that’s not true.”

Holder stood his ground, compelling Chaffetz to read every email verbatim to the committee.


“The email says Fast and Furious, you say it doesn’t. I’ve got it in black and white,” Chaffetz said.

“I have superior knowledge,” answered Holder.

Once again, Holder seems to be avoiding honesty. Here’s what the e-mail in question actually says:

“It’s not clear how much we’re involved in the main F and F [Fast and Furious] case,” reads the email, “but we have Tucson [Wide Receiver] and now a new unrelated case with [redacted] targets. It’s not any big surprise that a bunch of US guns are being used in MX [Mexico], so I’m not sure how much grief we get for ‘guns walking.’ It may be more like ‘Finally, they’re going after people who sent guns down there.’”

Clearly, the e-mail refers to BOTH Fast And Furious and Wide Receiver, and it also references a “bunch of US guns” in Mexico,  as was the case with Fast And Furious.

So now we have Holder’s latest excuse – Fast And Furious doesn’t mean Fast And Furious. No wonder Issa is ready to blow his top, and Congress is considering a contempt citation against Eric Holder.
 

 

 

 

Rubio’s effort to reach out to Hispanic voters could backfire on Senate floor

By Alexander Bolton

Republicans hope Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) can help them reach out to Hispanic voters but any debate on immigration reform could end up alienating the bloc they are courting.

Groups that want to stem the flow of illegal immigration say a bill Rubio has crafted could become a vehicle for other proposals, such as legislation requiring employers to verify the immigration status of workers and revoking birthright citizenship.

Votes on these controversial proposals could hurt Republicans with Hispanic voters but may also rally the GOP base, which wants the federal government to do more to combat illegal immigration.

Rubio will soon unveil a plan to grant legal residency to illegal immigrants who came to the country as children if they meet certain requirements. It would serve as an alternative to the Democrats’ DREAM Act, which grants a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age.

“I suspect it will become a vehicle for all sorts of amendments,” said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, in reference to Rubio’s bill.

Rubio said he is waiting to get “final figures from the Congressional Budget Office” about how much the bill would cost and how many immigrants it would affect.

Read Full Article here

GOP governors bolster sales tax push

By Bernie Becker and Kevin Bogardus

Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa this week became the latest in a string of top Republican state officials to back federal legislation giving states more freedom to collect online sales taxes.

Branstad’s letter of support, obtained exclusively by The Hill, comes not long after another prominent Republican governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, also urged Congress to get moving on sales tax legislation.

But despite the increasingly vocal push from Republican governors and retail groups for a federal solution, supporters of online sales tax legislation face a heavy lift in getting a measure through Congress this year.

Christie and Branstad are among about a dozen GOP governors to back the push for online sales tax legislation. Other state leaders who are on board include Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Paul LePage of Maine and Rick Snyder of Michigan.

Branstad, who was Iowa governor in the 1980s and 90s and who won a fifth term in 2010, heads a swing state that plays a prominent role in nominating presidential candidates.

In a letter sent Thursday, Branstad encouraged his home-state senators to support a solution that he said would close a longstanding loophole.

“I understand that the coalition supporting this legislation is now very broad which gives me hope that, under your leadership, this legislation can be passed yet this year,” Branstad wrote to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R) and Tom Harkin (D).

“The Internet is now a robust, mature and dynamic marketplace that does not warrant special protections,” he added. “The application of sales taxes only to ‘brick-and-mortar’ retailers, many of which are small businesses, puts those very entities at a competitive disadvantage.”

That’s the same argument other GOP governors have made — that the legislation would level the playing field between online operations and brick-and-mortar shops while giving states more tools to balance budgets and enforce tax laws.

Read Full Article Here

Russia says it’s not opposed to US calls for Assad to step down

By Julian Pecquet

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters Saturday that Russia isn’t against a negotiated deal for Syrian President Bashar al Assad to step down, a hopeful sign that the Obama administration’s approach might work.

“If the Syrians agree (about Assad’s departure) between each other, we will only be happy to support such a solution,” Lavrov told reporters, according to Reuters.

Lavrov’s comments, while encouraging to the U.S., weren’t without caveats however.

“But we believe it is unacceptable to impose the conditions for such a dialogue from outside,” he added.

A key Syrian ally, Russia has been seen as an impediment to Assad’s removal because his government hosts Russia’s sole naval base outside the former Soviet Union, at Tartus on the Mediterranean. Russia has twice vetoed United Nations resolutions that just hinted at sanctions against Syria.

Read Full Article Here

Future ‘VP?’ Rand Paul Compromised by NWO Puppets Robama aka Obomney? Time4Real 3rd Party?

Published on Jun 8, 2012 by

http://whynotnews.eu/?p=1002 ~sub: http://youtube.com/RonPaulRevolt2012

http://whynotnews.eu/?p=830 ~sub: http://youtube.com/RonPaulRevolt2012 ~credits video edit: http://youtube.com/channel4truth2012

The Difference Between “Obomney” and “Robama” Is Only Skin Deep: http://goo.gl/vocdI

Comparing side by side the words and political stances of Republican and Democratic presidential candidates Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Includes topics like universal health care, gun rights, energy, NDAA, the Patriot Act, Iran, sanctions, economic stimulus. bank and auto bailouts, civil rights, TARP, the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, campaign donations, and more. Thanks for watching & please share! Compiled with videos from news, interviews, rally footage, and more, IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE FAIR USE ACT.

~Google Trends shows Evidence that Ron Paul Supporters beats Mainstream Media: 12 moths: http://goo.gl/d9iUW & 2004 upto now: http://goo.gl/Db2WG (study ‘News Reference Volume” graph vs “Search volume index” graph) … Mainstream knows Alternative Media is on the Rise faster and faster! They Fear That we Know we are not “powerless”. BACKUP SCREEN-SNAPSHOT: http://goo.gl/bzIbF (to expose possible Google Trends future censorship)

Free Thinkers Network Co-Creating Alternative Timeline towards 2012 & Beyond!

When Freedom Radiates & Truth Resonates, Tyranny Falls.

Big Brother Surveillance Society is NOT there to “protect” you, but to protect the NWO Mafia, they know YOU gonna be -Mad as Hell- about their abuse of power !

Hijacked Governments Legalize Corporate Crimes & Criminalizing Real Solutions: Suppressed inventions & Alternative Cures, google “When Healing Becomes a Crime” & “Hemp Revolution”

“corporatism” = police enforcing more & more totally insane unconstitutional laws & regulations

Nobody knows what all know together THAT is why we need to consider all options. Those who silence or downplay messengers are not part of the Spiritual rEvolution.

A “master” can only be a master, if the slave acts, thinks or believes he is a “slave”.

NWO Mafia loves Power of Perception more than Power over information.

Most conspiracy researchers walking in a hall of mirrors, quicksand here & there, you’ve got a minefield added for free.

Vital information CAN stand on it’s own feet, does not need any confirmation from any (corrupt) “authority”. YOU are the only one that can convince oneself in doing research, cross-reference check mentioned sources, names-places-dates research gov. declassified archives, authors, documentary makers etc.

If you “hate” you BECOME what you’re fighting against.

Radiating True Freedom you inspire & trigger others to do the same with more effect than wanting to “change” the other.

Part of Spiritual rEvolution is “Planting Seeds of Considerations”, CONSIDER THIS:

You are always MORE than the limited thoughts you’re having about yourself and you know it, maybe afraid for the consequences & responsibilities.

You are always MORE than the limited thoughts other people claim who you “suppose to be”.

Learn to trust your unlimited potential, gifts, intuitions, talents if YOU are not standing in the way of who you truly are, you do not need to projecting (broadcasting) distrust of yourself towards the future. Be kind to yourself.

If you live in the now and ACT what you feel, sense what is really necessary in the moment, without self-censorship, sabotage thoughts & self-limitations, allowing yourself to surprise yourself and LIVING it, you experience what Spiritual Freedom is all about and do not need any “book wisdom” or workshops.

John Kuhles

Rand Paul’s Support for the NDAA

Source: Sacred Fire of Liberty

John Aziz of Azizonomics notes that Rand Paul supports the destruction of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments by supporting Mitt Romney:

Perhaps that’s Rand’s idea of playing politics? Come to the table, strike a deal, get what you can. Trouble is, it’s tough striking a good deal when the guy on the other side of the table believes that the government should be allowed to claim – without having to produce any evidence whatsoever – that certain people are terrorists, and therefore should be detained indefinitely without any kind of due process.

Aziz quotes Romney’s explicit support of the criminal NDAA:

Yes, I would have [signed the NDAA]. And I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of al Qaeda. Look, you have every right in this country to protest and to express your views on a wide range of issues but you don’t have a right to join a group that has killed Americans, and has declared war against America. That’s treason. In this country we have a right to take those people and put them in jail. If I were president I would not abuse this power. But people who join al Qaeda are not entitled to rights of due process under our normal legal code. They are entitled instead to be treated as enemy combatants.

The Fifth Amendment deserves to be cited:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Neocons and conservatives would likely argue that we are currently at war and the detainment without trial of alleged members of al-Qaeda and other supposed terrorist groups is legal. But this underscores yet another violation of the Constitution – none of the conflicts initiated by the United States following the attacks of September 11, 2001, were official declarations of war under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution and are thus illegal (and impeachable offenses).

The NDAA is probably the most egregious violation of the Constitution in the modern era. It was struck down by Judge Katherine Forrest.

Naomi Wolf notes:

Forrest asked repeatedly, in a variety of different ways, for the government attorneys to give her some assurance that the wording of section 1021 could not be used to arrest and detain people like the plaintiffs. Finally she asked for assurance that it could not be used to sweep up a hypothetical peaceful best-selling nonfiction writer who had written a hypothetical book criticizing US foreign policy, along lines that the Taliban might agree with. Again and again the two lawyers said directly that they could not, or would not, give her those assurances. In other words, this back-and-forth confirmed what people such as Glenn Greenwald, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the ACLU and others have been shouting about since January: the section was knowingly written in order to give the president these powers; and his lawyers were sent into that courtroom precisely to defeat the effort to challenge them. Forrest concluded: ”At the hearing on this motion, the government was unwilling or unable to state that these plaintiffs would not be subject to indefinite detention under [section] 1021. Plaintiffs are therefore at risk of detention, of losing their liberty, potentially for many years.

It is unfortunate to admit that if we ever have the chance to arrest and put on trial Obama, Romney (if he is elected) and others responsible for subverting the Constitution by enacting the NDAA and other laws, Rand Paul will be forced to stand in the docket with them as accused traitors.

As lamentable and sad is the fact that in order to clear his good name and prestige, Ron Paul will be obliged to denounce his own son.

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Economy

Propaganda Alert: U.S. debt load falling at fastest pace since 1950s

Rex Nutting
MarketWatch

© Unknown

Everyone knows America has too much debt. What they don’t know is that things are getting better, not worse.

Little by little, our economy is reducing its debt burden, slowly repairing the damage caused by 10, 20 or 30 years of excess.

If you want to know why economic growth has been so tepid, here’s your answer. Four years after the storm hit, the economy is still deleveraging. And it’s very hard for any economy to grow when everyone is focused on increasing their savings.

Total domestic – public and private – debt as a share of the economy has declined for 12 quarters in a row after surging over the previous decade.

The rapid rise in federal debt over the past four years has distracted us from the big picture. The level of public debt is indeed worrisome, but it’s not as big a worry as the economy’s total level of debt – public and private.

Although we have a whole cottage industry devoted to warning us about the dangers of too much public debt, we don’t have any comparable Cassandras telling us about the dangers of too much private debt. Yet the history of the past 30 years (or 300) clearly shows that too much debt, of whatever variety, can pose a systemic risk to the national and global economies.

As much as we hear politicians, pundits, tea-party patriots and the Congressional Budget Office obsessing about government debt, it was excessive private debt – not public debt – that caused the 2008 financial meltdown. And it was private debt – some of it since transferred to the public – that lies behind the current European debt crisis. (Greece is unique in having a public sector that ran up spending while its private sector is rather conservative.)

As the political rhetoric about the federal deficit has heated up, we’ve lost sight of the progress that’s been made in bringing total debt back under control. The U.S. is actually doing much better than you’d think if you just listened to the conventional fears about how we’re rushing headlong into a debt Armageddon.

In fact, since the recession ended in June 2009, total U.S. debt has risen at the slowest pace since they began keeping records in the early 1950s. While Washington has taken on a lot of debt since then, the private sector has paid off, written off or dumped on the government almost as much.

As a share of the economy, debt has plunged as a consequence of rapid deleveraging by families, banks, nonfinancial businesses, and state and local governments. The ratio of total debt to gross domestic product has fallen from 3.73 times GDP to 3.36 times.

In the 11 quarters since the recession officially ended, total domestic debt has risen by just $702 billion, or 1.4%. By contrast, in the 11 quarters before the recession began, in those bubble years of 2005, 2006 and 2007, total debt increased by $10.7 trillion, or 28%.

And it wasn’t just the U.S., other advanced economies were adding on to their debt loads as well, with most of the debt taken out by the private sector.

Debt was growing at an unsustainable pace, but it was fueling the U.S. and global economies.

Economists who have studied the impact of indebtedness have found that low levels of debt are essential to growth, but that high levels of total outstanding debt can hurt an economy. Beyond a tipping point, adding on more debt will reduce growth over the long run, even if it inflates a bubble in the short run.

“At low levels, debt is good. It is a source of economic growth and stability,” concluded Stephen Cecchetti, M.S. Mohanty and Fabrizio Zampolli, economists for the Bank of International Settlements, in a paper presented at the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole conference last August. “Beyond a certain point, debt becomes dangerous and excessive,” and can lead to increased volatility, financial fragility and slower growth. It can even bring down the real economy with it, as we have seen. Read the BIS paper, “The Real Effects of Debt.”

Cecchetti and his co-authors found that growth can be impaired once nonfinancial corporate debt hits about 90% of GDP, or when household debts hit 85% of GDP, or when public debts hit about 85%.

In the U.S., household debt has now fallen to 84% of GDP from a peak of 98%. Nonfinancial corporate debt has fallen to 77% from a peak of 83%. Financial sector debt has plunged from 123% of GDP to 89%. Public debt has risen to 89% from 56%.

The deleveraging process in the private sector still has a ways to run, not based on some economists’ rule of thumb, but based on what real people are actually doing. Banks and households are still slashing their debt, while nonfinancial companies are beginning to borrow again, but only a little, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve’s flow of funds report. Take a look at the flow of funds.

According to a study by McKinsey published earlier this year, U.S. households may have two more years of deleveraging left before their debts are sustainable again.

If McKinsey is right, the U.S. economy may have to endure a couple more years of slow growth.

Rex Nutting is a columnist and MarketWatch’s international commentary editor, based in Washington.

Comment: . The author of this article is either clueless, or cynically spinning the statistics. The global economy is obviously getting worse, while within the above article there is a claim of an official end to the recession.

For example: “The ratio of total debt to gross domestic product has fallen from 3.73 times GDP to 3.36 times.”

If the quote is correct total debt is the U.S. total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is the amount of money created per year is 3.36 times over. This means that if all U.S. government spending stopped (military, subsidies, programs, loans etc..) it would take 3.36 years just to go from deep in the red to black. And remember this has been compounding year after year.

The Outstanding Public Debt as of 08 Jun 2012 is: $15,741,952,559,067.93
The estimated population of the United States is 312,915,536
so each citizen’s share of this debt is $50,307.35.The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.93 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

A city struggles to keep the lights on while The Economy Comes Unglued.

Spain Agrees To “Unconditonal” Bank Bailout

Submitted by Tyler Durden

Just out from Bloomberg:

  • SPAIN AGREES TO SEEK BANK BAILOUT, EL PAIS REPORTS
  • IMF WILL SUPERVISE SPAIN BANK RESCUE PLAN, EL PAIS SAYS

And the funniest:

  • SPAIN RESCUE DOESN’T CARRY ECONOMIC POLICY CONDITIONS: MUNDO

So Spain has shockingly agreed to a bank bailout without conditions. Has Germany? The chips will commence falling, where they may, shortly. In the meantime, we are days from finding out just what Germany thinks when it has to ratify (that’s right, the ESM has still not been ratified by the one country which will fund the Spanish bailout) the direct rescue of the Spanish banks. Without conditions.

From El Pais:

All ready to rescue the fourth largest economy in the eurozone. Ministers of Economy and Finance of the euro area have concluded a few minutes of the meeting by teleconference 19.00 convened to decide on the future of Spain and, according to AFP, it was agreed that the Government seek the rescue, which will be IMF involvement. The agenda of the meeting, as previously reported in European officials left no doubt: “The approval of a statement that highlights Spain’s intention to seek help and support of the Euro”. In fact, according to these same community sources during the meeting that has lasted nearly three hours, and figures have been considered a rescue that could reach 100,000 million euros, an amount which is well above what had speculated. However, the stakes ensure that clean once and for all Spanish banks, first, to restore confidence in Spain after and bring stability to the entire euro area, immersed in its worst crisis since the launch the euro.

Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos, has called on the media in the Ministry of Economy at 19.30, which indicates that it has come to some agreement. The purpose of it, detailing the department, is to explain “the results of the Eurogroup meeting” and “actions on the recapitalization of the Spanish financial system.”

“The figure we are discussing now would be up to 100 000 million, but not yet closed “and is a cap, have stated the sources consulted by AFP. Reuters also agrees with these figures, more than double that manages the IMF, estimated at 40,000 million injection needed for Spanish banks . The managing director of this institution, France Christine Lagarde, is also participating in the teleconference.

The final amount, however, probably will not be known today and will be implemented once they know the results of two independent audits commissioned by the Spanish government. Thus, the figure will be decided “according to the results of needs analysis” of Spanish banks. In this respect, the Euro is expected to meet again in the near future to confirm the figure, while EU sources indicate that although the request for assistance is made this weekend, which is as safe, they add, the Government can wait a few days to provide a specific figure. At the end of the process, will the ECB and the European Commission have to quantify the aid will reach the Spanish banks.

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Wars and Rumors of War

KILLING THE TRUTH: Syrian Rebels Set Trap for British Journalists

Source: Tony Cartalucci

While the New York Times publishes Goebbels-esque war propaganda pieces titled, “Assad, the Butcher,” presuming to know the details about an unconfirmed “massacre” the UN is just now in the beginning stages of investigating – a disturbing and very telling incident unfolded that is very much confirmed. British Channel 4’s Alex Thomson, one of the few Western journalists not only in Syria legally, but attempting to cover both sides of the conflict, was purposefully led by rebels into a trap designed to have him and his team killed by government troops.

Image: UK’s Channel 4 News’ Alex Thomson narrowly escaped a trap set for him and his team in Syria, by rebels hoping to use his death as propaganda. Ironically, it would have been Thomson’s own countrymen and colleagues, particularly BBC, who would have maximized the effect of the rebels’ insidious plot had they succeeded. Killing journalists and carrying out manufactured atrocities, then blaming it on a targeted government is a pastime for Western media houses.

 ….

Set up to be shot in Syria’s no man’s land?” featured on Thomson’s personal Channel 4 blog describes a tale of violence on both sides – very uncharacteristic of Western and particularly British media coverage. While BBC was busy posting fake pictures for their one-sided Houla Massacre coverage, Thomson was busy trying to interview belligerents on both sides of the Syrian conflict.

Thomson’s narrative describes what appears to be a bifurcation between “rebel” forces. On one hand, there are organized fighters that appear to solely committed to fighting the Syrian Army. On the other hand, there appears to be a more insidious “third party” involved, a third party implicated by Thomson as having intentionally led him and his team into a deadly trap. This is a narrative that corroborates statements made by the Syrian government itself, as well as independent geopolitical analysts from around the world – that there exists a substantiation third party, consisting of foreign mercenaries and sectarian extremists carrying out the bulk of the violence and atrocities.

Thomson describes his ordeal after accompanying UN monitors out to “Free Syrian Army” held territory:

Read Full Article Here

John Hudson 392 Views Jun 8, 2012

Israel’s officials have a message for anyone praising the CIA for its sophisticated cyber attack on Iran: It was our baby. The Stuxnet computer worm, described by David Sanger in The New York Times last week as an invention by the Bush administration, was actually developed by Mossad, according to Israeli officials speaking with Haaretz journalist Yossi Melman on condition of anonymity:

The Israeli officials actually told me a different version. They said that it was Israeli intelligence that began, a few years earlier, a cyberspace campaign to damage and slow down Iran’s nuclear intentions. And only later they managed to convince the USA to consider a joint operation — which, at the time, was unheard of.

The irony of course is that both U.S. and Israeli officials spent years denying knowledge of who carried out the attacks, which reportedly destroyed thousands of Iran’s centrifuges, ever since it became public in 2010. Now that it’s out, it’s time to claim credit! Of course, if you read Sanger’s account, he certainly doesn’t diminish the expertise of Israel’s spies:
Israel’s Unit 8200, a part of its military, had technical expertise that rivaled the N.S.A.’s, and the Israelis had deep intelligence about operations at Natanz that would be vital to making the cyberattack a success.
Regardless, these Israeli officials say Sanger’s account was too generous to the CIA. Amusingly, one of the officials tries to play it cool, in his remark to Melman:

My Israeli sources understand the sensitivity and the timing of the issue and are not going to be dragged into a battle over taking credit. “We know that it is the presidential election season,” one Israeli added, ”and don’t want to spoil the party for President Obama and his officials, who shared in a twisted and manipulated way some of the behind-the-scenes secrets of the success of cyberwar.”

Translation: We don’t need to tell anyone we’re the ones responsible for Stuxnet, but just so you know, we’re responsible for Stuxnet.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author at jhudson@theatlantic.com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

Bloodthirsty Americans Remain Loyal to War Criminal

Margaret Kimberley
Eurasia Review

© unknown

What can one say about people who continue to support war criminals among their elected representatives? It is easy to blame the presidents and the Congress and the media for endless war and rising body counts around the world. They are indeed responsible for promoting mass killing as an acceptable, indeed beneficial means of living among the world’s people.It is true that Americans have far less input into their government’s decisions than they seem to think. They play a very small role in choosing elected officials, including the president. The power of money means that rich people and corporations call the shots to a greater extent than citizens of a so-called democracy are willing to admit.

But the people do still have the right to their own opinions. We can proclaim what we do and do not like. When the president feeds a story to the New York Times which proclaims that he gladly accepts responsibility for killing people, he believes that said story will increase his support among voters.

That is what Barack Obama did last week. His advisers sat down with New York Times reporters in order to tell the world that he decides who will live and who will be blown to bits by drones in Afghanistan or Pakistan or Somalia. The Obama marketing juggernaut knows that the killer president image can only be helpful in a country so certain of its right to be violent.

The anniversary of his assassination of Osama bin Laden was celebrated and turned into an argument for a second Obama term in office. Nor was the gloating limited to the president and his campaign team. His supporters were also beside themselves as they made the case for the killer president, using his navy seal hit as one more reason to love Barack Obama.

Condemnation should not just be directed towards Barack Obama and his henchmen and women, but at the American people too. Americans love to make war and revel in their nation’s military superiority. Politicians surmise, correctly, that being on the side of war is a surer path to victory than working for peace.

To be sure, there is better fundraising to be had for the hawk than for the dove, but there is also a visceral level of support for invasion, occupation and drone strikes. The oldest and strongest form of propaganda in this country is the belief that white America has the right to dominate everyone else on the earth, and as president Obama functions as the whitest man in the country. The siren song of Manifest Destiny outlived the 19th century and is still alive now in the 21st. It has been called many things, anti-communism during the Cold War, and the war against terror now, but it all amounts to the same thing.

We are told to fear the communist, or militant Islam, or whatever the enemy du jour happens to be. The end result is the same from a people who are convinced of their own goodness and paradoxically their right to have their violent way in the world. It is never very difficult to get support for killing and maiming among people who think themselves morally superior.

If anything Americans are morally inferior to people in the rest of the world. Barack Obama was certain that news of his personal “kill list” would benefit his chances of being re-elected, and he was not wrong.

He solved the problems presented by Guantanamo by not taking any prisoners at all. He just kills people and any innocent bystander is labeled as a militant, all so that the president can look good and the people in his country can feel good. According to the well orchestrated story, the president even invokes theological theories of just war, as he pours over a “nominations” list of those marked for death.

These revelations did not cause outrage or inspire people to take to the streets. It was left to the usual suspects who are truly progressive and proudly leftist to point out the evil inherent in a president who thinks he should be judge, jury and executioner.

It seems that our president is a totally amoral psychopath, and the revelation of his condition has not hurt his popularity. Apparently the president governs psychopaths too, because too few of them will say or do anything to oppose his commitment to breaking the law, violating the Constitution, and the word of the god he claims to believe in.

The evil is not limited to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but can be found on Main Street U.S.A. just as easily. Obama is giving most Americans exactly what they want, a world living in fear of them.

UN monitors smell ‘burnt flesh’ in Syria’s Qubayr

Published on Jun 8, 2012 by

UN observers in Syria who went to the massacre village of Al-Qubayr said they saw blood on the walls and were hit by a “stench of burnt flesh” but could not confirm how many died.

While the government has denied responsibility, Martin Nesirky, a UN spokesman, said on Friday the observers saw armored vehicle tracks around the village and homes that were damaged by rockets, grenades and various weapons.

Al Jazeera’s Tarek Bazley reports

‘Pentagon sanitizes movies to make Americans warlike’

Published on Jun 9, 2012 by

Normally in the film making process, script changes are made all the time. But few realize it’s the Pentagon frequently calling the shots. RT talks to writer and former journalist for Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, – David L. Robb. He shares his thoughts and sheds light on the approval process.

Transcript: http://on.rt.com/m3lk7g

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Articles of Interest

More U.S. Soldiers Dying from Suicide Than Combat

Robert Burns
ABC News

soldier

© AP

Suicides are surging among America’s troops, averaging nearly one a day this year – the fastest pace in the nation’s decade of war.

The 154 suicides for active-duty troops in the first 155 days of the year far outdistance the U.S. forces killed in action in Afghanistan – about 50 percent more – according to Pentagon statistics obtained by The Associated Press.

The numbers reflect a military burdened with wartime demands from Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken a greater toll than foreseen a decade ago. The military also is struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other misbehavior.

Because suicides had leveled off in 2010 and 2011, this year’s upswing has caught some officials by surprise.

The reasons for the increase are not fully understood. Among explanations, studies have pointed to combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription medications and personal financial problems. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of committing suicide, although a substantial proportion of Army suicides are committed by soldiers who never deployed.

The unpopular war in Afghanistan is winding down with the last combat troops scheduled to leave at the end of 2014. But this year has seen record numbers of soldiers being killed by Afghan troops, and there also have been several scandals involving U.S. troop misconduct.

The 2012 active-duty suicide total of 154 through June 3 compares to 130 in the same period last year, an 18 percent increase. And it’s more than the 136.2 suicides that the Pentagon had projected for this period based on the trend from 2001-2011. This year’s January-May total is up 25 percent from two years ago, and it is 16 percent ahead of the pace for 2009, which ended with the highest yearly total thus far.

Suicide totals have exceeded U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan in earlier periods, including for the full years 2008 and 2009.

The suicide pattern varies over the course of a year, but in each of the past five years the trend through May was a reliable predictor for the full year, according to a chart based on figures provided by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.

The numbers are rising among the 1.4 million active-duty military personnel despite years of effort to encourage troops to seek help with mental health problems. Many in the military believe that going for help is seen as a sign of weakness and thus a potential threat to advancement.

Kim Ruocco, widow of Marine Maj. John Ruocco, a helicopter pilot who hanged himself in 2005 between Iraq deployments, said he was unable to bring himself to go for help.

“He was so afraid of how people would view him once he went for help,” she said in an interview at her home in suburban Boston. “He thought that people would think he was weak, that people would think he was just trying to get out of redeploying or trying to get out of service, or that he just couldn’t hack it – when, in reality, he was sick. He had suffered injury in combat and he had also suffered from depression and let it go untreated for years. And because of that, he’s dead today.”

Ruocco is currently director of suicide prevention programs for the military support organization Tragedy Assistance Programs, or TAPS. She joined the group after her husband’s suicide, and she organized its first program focused on support for families of suicide victims.

Jackie Garrick, head of a newly established Defense Suicide Prevention Office at the Pentagon, said in an interview Thursday that the suicide numbers this year are troubling.

“We are very concerned at this point that we are seeing a high number of suicides at a point in time where we were expecting to see a lower number of suicides,” she said, adding that the weak U.S. economy may be confounding preventive efforts even as the pace of military deployments eases.

Garrick said experts are still struggling to understand suicidal behavior.

“What makes one person become suicidal and another not is truly an unknown,” she said.

Dr. Stephen N. Xenakis, a retired Army brigadier general and a practicing psychiatrist, said the suicides reflect the level of tension as the U.S. eases out of Afghanistan though violence continues.

“It’s a sign in general of the stress the Army has been under over the 10 years of war,” he said in an interview. “We’ve seen before that these signs show up even more dramatically when the fighting seems to go down and the Army is returning to garrison.”

But Xenakis said he worries that many senior military officers do not grasp the nature of the suicide problem.

A glaring example of that became public when a senior Army general recently told soldiers considering suicide to “act like an adult.”

Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of the 1st Armored Division, last month retracted – but did not apologize for – a statement in his Army blog in January. He had written, “I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act.” He also wrote, “”I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us.” He did also counsel soldiers to seek help.

His remarks drew a public rebuke from the Army, which has the highest number of suicides and called his assertions “clearly wrong.” Last week the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, said he disagrees with Pittard “in the strongest possible terms.”

The military services have set up confidential telephone hotlines, placed more mental health specialists on the battlefield, added training in stress management, invested more in research on mental health risk and taken other measures.

The Marines established a counseling service dubbed “DStress line,” a toll-free number that troubled Marines can call anonymously. They also can use a Marine website to chat online anonymously with a counselor.

The Marines arguably have had the most success recently in lowering their suicide numbers, which are up slightly this year but are roughly in line with levels of the past four years. The Army’s numbers also are up slightly. The Air Force has seen a spike, to 32 through June 3 compared to 23 at the same point last year. The Navy is slightly above its 10-year trend line but down a bit from 2011.

As part of its prevention strategy, the Navy has published a list of “truths” about suicide.

“Most suicidal people are not psychotic or insane,” it says. “They might be upset, grief-stricken, depressed or despairing.”

In a report published in January the Army said the true impact of its prevention programs is unknown.

“What is known is that all Army populations … are under increased stress after a decade of war,” it said, adding that if not for prevention efforts the Army’s suicide totals might have been as much as four times as high.

Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, the senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently issued a video message to all military members in which he noted that suicides “are sadly on the rise.”

“From private to general, we shoulder an obligation to look and listen for signs and we stand ready to intervene and assist our follow service member or battle buddy in time of need,” Battaglia said.

The suicide numbers began surging in 2006. They soared in 2009 and then leveled off before climbing again this year. The statistics include only active-duty troops, not veterans who returned to civilian life after fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor does the Pentagon’s tally include non-mobilized National Guard or Reserve members.

The renewed surge in suicides has caught the attention of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. Last month he sent an internal memo to the Pentagon’s top civilian and military leaders in which he called suicide “one of the most complex and urgent problems” facing the Defense Department, according to a copy provided to the AP.

Panetta touched on one of the most sensitive aspects of the problem: the stigma associated seeking help for mental distress. This is particularly acute in the military.

“We must continue to fight to eliminate the stigma from those with post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues,” Panetta wrote, adding that commanders “cannot tolerate any actions that belittle, haze, humiliate or ostracize any individual, especially those who require or are responsibly seeking professional services.”

AP broadcast correspondent Sagar Meghani contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press

RFID CHIP UNLEASHED ON USA UTAH NEWS!!!!! MAY 29 2012

Published on May 29, 2012 by

On May 29 2012 the news in Utah aired this segment on the RFID chip. The government wants chip kids to get them to go to school. They say that it’s to bring revenue to the school district. People in Mexico are already using it on their kids beause of kidnappers. Meny people think that the tchnology is not a good idea. Proof that kids that are in school means more money for district.

MICROCHIPS FOR THE WORLD COMING SOON.

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  • [In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

UK minister denies colluding with Murdochs

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Britain’s culture minister has denied having inappropriate contacts with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire in testimony before a public inquiry, as pressure continues to mount on Prime Minister David Cameron’s government over the issue.

Jeremy Hunt, appearing before the Leveson media standards inquiry on Thursday, admitted that he was “sympathetic” towards US-based News Corporation’s failed bid to control British satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

Al Jazeera’s Peter Sharp reports from London.

GOP 2012 Voter Suppression Begins in Florida

Published on May 31, 2012 by

From the Majority Report, live M-F 12 noon EST and via daily podcast at http://Majority.FM:
Thousands upon thousands of eligible voters are being told they cannot vote in Florida…

‘ACTA could turn honest citizens into criminals by mistake’

Amazing  how  they  can see through  this move in  Europe  and no one  can seem  to  see their way  clear  of the  subterfuge hidden  within  this legislation here  in the United  States!  Makes  you  wonder  huh ?

Published on May 31, 2012 by

The controversial ACTA anti-piracy agreement has been dealt a blow by the European Parliament. Three key committees have voted against the treaty, citing concerns over its legality. ACTA sparked Europe-wide protests, with activists saying online freedom of speech is being put at risk.

Rick Falkvinge from the Swedish Pirate Party says the treaty is confused at best.

FISA: US under total surveillance

Published on May 31, 2012 by

On Thursday, US lawmakers discussed whether or not the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act should be renewed. FISA gives government the power to monitor phone calls, emails and other forms of electronic communication. Critics believe that FISA can now be used to target citizens all in the name of homeland security. Andrew Blake, RT’s web producer, joins us with more on the controversial legislation and discusses other legislation such as CISPA, SOPA and PIPA.

 

 

House rejects bill penalizing doctors for sex-selective abortions

By Pete Kasperowicz

The House on Thursday rejected a Republican bill that would impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions for the sole purpose of controlling the gender of the child, a practice known as sex-selective abortion.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), H.R. 3541, was defeated in a 246-168 vote. While that’s a clear majority of the House, Republicans called up the bill under a suspension of House rules, which limits debate and requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. In this case, it would have required more support from Democrats.

 

Twenty Democrats voted for the bill, while seven Republicans opposed it. The bill would have needed 30 more yeas to pass.

Suspension votes are normally used for noncontroversial bills, but the GOP-backed measure was clearly controversial. Republicans have occasionally put controversial bills on the suspension calendar in order to highlight that Democrats oppose certain policies.

In some cases, Republicans have rescheduled these bills for regular consideration after they have failed, allowing for passage by a simple majority. But Republicans gave no sign that they would try again with PRENDA.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that the issue of stopping sex-selective abortion is important enough that they would try again, but he was not specific.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Economy

Who Will Benefit From Haiti’s Gold Rush? Haitian Govt Embraces U.S., Canadian Mining Firms

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Democracynow.org – After years of rumors that mining companies were exploring in Haiti, Canadian and U.S. corporations now confirm they have permits to mine gold in more than 1,000 square-miles in northern Haiti. Haiti’s new prime minister says the estimated $20 billion worth of minerals in Haiti’s hills could help liberate it from dependency on foreign aid, and rebuild from the devastating 2010 earthquake. But many worry the mines will be a boom for foreign investors and a bust for local communities. We speak to Jane Regan, lead author of “Gold Rush in Haiti: Who Will Get Rich?” The report by Haiti Grassroots Watch was published Wednesday in The Guardian and Haïti Liberté. “You have a perfect storm brewing where you have giant pit mines in the north in a country that is already environmentally devastated and giant pit mines being run by Canadian and American companies,” Regan says. “Most of the money and gold dug up will go straight north.”

To watch the complete weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit http://www.democracynow.org/

Indian anger over economic woes

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Thousands of labourers have walked off the job in India in protest over fuel prices.

The strike on Thursday was organised by the country’s main opposition party after the government announced a new set of price hikes.

Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri reports from New Delhi, India.

 

Moody’s cuts ratings for 9 Danish banks

LAST UPDATE
Moody’s Investors Service has cut its credit ratings for nine Danish banks, citing the impact of the ongoing eurozone crisis on bank loan quality and on their fund-raising capacity.

The ratings agency lowered the debt ratings of the banks, along with the Finnish subsidiary of one of the banks, by up to three notches on Wednesday, AFP reported.

The banks are Danske Bank, Jyske Bank, Sydbank, Spar Nord Bank, Ringkjobing Landbobank, Nykredit, Realkredit, DLR Kredit, and Danmarks Skibskredit. Moody’s also downgraded Danske Bank’s Finnish arm Sampo Bank.

“Danish financial institutions face sluggish domestic economic growth, weakening real estate prices, and higher levels of unemployment, as well as the risk of external shocks from the ongoing euro area debt crisis,” Moody’s said.

“Asset quality is deteriorating, and these pressures are expected to continue,” it added.

The agency also noted that the significant reliance of most of the financial institutions on market funding has enhanced their vulnerability to the eurozone crisis.

“Structural changes to that market have increased refinancing risk, posing a particular concern for mortgage credit institutions whose access to alternative funding is limited,” Moody’s stated.

Europe was hit by a serious financial crisis in 2008 and the situation has intensified over the past few months.

GJH/MHB/AS/HN

 

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Wars and Rumors of War

Freed Bahraini Activists Nabeel Rajab & Zainab Alkhawaja Urge End to U.S.-Backed Crackdown

Published on May 31, 2012 by

DemocracyNow.org – We go to Bahrain to speak with two recently released political prisoners, Zainab Alkhawaja and Nabeel Rajab, both jailed for protesting the U.S.-backed monarchy. Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was released on bail after being held for nearly a month. “We always thought that America and Bahrain’s good relations would benefit our fight for freedom and democracy in our region, but it has turned out to be opposite,” he says. “They are supporting a dictator here, the oppressive regime. … We have to suffer for being a rich region.” Alkhawaja, who was jailed in April after protesting the detention of her father, Abdulhadi, vows: “We are going to carry on protesting … It doesn’t matter if we get arrested five, six, 10 times, it’s not going to stop. In the end, we have sacrificed a lot for democracy and freedom.”

To watch the complete weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit http://www.democracynow.org/

Rwanda ‘training rebels to fight Congo army’

Published on May 31, 2012 by

A group of defectors fighting for the M23 rebel movement against the Congolese army say that they were recruited and trained in neighbouring Rwanda against their will.

The revelations come after weeks of fighting in the east of the country and would be the first direct evidence that Rwandan troops are involved in the fighting that has displaced thousands from their homes.

The allegations made by the rebel defectors across the border in Congo will strain relations with Rwanda, but so far officials from both sides have held back, and are talking about a joint investigation to get to the bottom of the matter.

Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb reports from Kigali.

Israel returns remains of Palestinians

Published on May 31, 2012 by

The bodies of 91 Palestinians who died in Israel have been handed over to the Palestinian Authority.

The remains had been buried in unmarked graves in a cemetery controlled by the Israeli army. Some had been there for more than three decades.

Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton reports from Ramallah.

‘Rebels behind Houla massacre, US plan to destabilize & save Syria in full swing’

Published on May 31, 2012 by

The Syrian government says the massacre of more than a hundred people in the Syrian town of Houla was the work of armed terrorist gangs. This, as the U.S. Secretary of State admits military planning for action in Syria is already going ahead, but Moscow has vowed to block any moves for outside interference at the UN.

Activist Sara Flounders talks to RT. She says Washington was never interested in a diplomatic solution in Syria.

 

 

Mosaic News: Egypt’s Shafiq vows to crush revolution and restrain Islamists if he wins election

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Egypt’s Shafiq vows to crush revolution and restrain Islamists if he wins the election, Sudan pulls troops from Abyei amid new bombing accusations by the South, prominent Bahraini activist Zainab al-Khawaja released on bail, and more.

Today’s headlines in full:

Egypt’s Shafiq vows to crush revolution and restrain Islamists if he wins election
Al-Alam, Iran

Sudan pulls troops from Abyei amid new bombing accusations by South
Dubai TV, UAE

Prominent Bahraini activist Zainab al-Khawaja released on bail
BBC Arabic, UK

Afghan rage over sharp increase in civilian casualties
Press TV, Iran

Israel lacks courage to wage war on Iran, says Supreme Leader’s aide
Press TV, Iran

Iran’s foreign ministry in talks with Saudi Arabia over jailed Iranians
Press TV, Iran

Iran hit by ‘Flame’ computer virus as Israel keeps mum on speculated involvement
IBA, Israel

Turkey authorizes arrest warrants for ex-IDF chiefs over 2010 flotilla deaths
IBA, Israel

Israeli forces turn Palestinian family home into prison
Palestine TV, Ramallah

Mood ‘deeply disturbed’ by executions in Syria
Future TV, Lebanon

Iraqis rally for national unity as government faces no-confidence vote
Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq

Image: Flyers of Egyptian presidential candidate and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq are seen on the ground outside his campaign headquarters in Cairo May 29, 2012:L REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Mosaic is a Peabody Award-winning daily compilation of television news reports from the Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Authority, Iraq and Iran. Watch more Mosaic at http://www.linktv.org/mosaic

 

 

 

Syrian ‘rebels’ (CIA, Mossad, MI6) issue ultimatum to Assad: Capitulate or we blow your country apart

Irish Times

Syrian ‘rebels’ pose for the camera

Syrian rebels have given president Bashar al-Assad a 48-hour deadline to comply with an international peace plan otherwise they would renew their battle to overthrow him.

The ultimatum was issued after UN observers reported the discovery of 13 bodies bound and shot in eastern Syria, adding to the world outcry over the massacre last week of 108 men, women and children.

The latest developments emphasised how the peace plan drafted by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan has failed to stem 14 months of bloodshed or bring the Syrian government and opposition to the negotiating table.

Col Qassim Saadeddine of the rebel Free Syrian Army said its leadership set a deadline of 9am tomorrow for Mr Assad to implement the peace plan, which includes a ceasefire, deployment of observers, and free access for humanitarina aid and journalists.

If it fails to do so “we are free from any commitment and we will defend and protect the civilians, their villages and their cities,” Mr Saadeddine said in a statement posted on social media.

Both sides in the conflict have violated a tenuous ceasefire over the past two months but Mr Assad’s forces have been by far the worst offender, according to UN monitors.

Outrage at last Friday’s massacre in the town of Houla, led a host of Western countries to expel senior Syrian diplomats on Tuesday and to press Russia and China to allow tougher action by the UN Security Council.

Major-general Robert Mood, the Norwegian head of the observer mission, said the 13 corpses found yesterday in Assukar, about 50 km (east of Deir al-Zor, had their hands tied behind their backs. Some had been shot in the head from close range.

Mr Mood called the latest killings an “appalling and inexcusable act” and appealed to all factions to end the cycle of violence.

He did not apportion any blame but Syrian activists said the victims were army defectors killed by Mr Assad’s forces.

Video footage posted by activists showed the bodies face down on the ground, hands tied behind their backs, with dark pools of blood around their heads and torsos.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said in New York on Tuesday that the Syrian army and “shabbiha” militiamen supporting Assad were probably responsible for killing the 108 people in Houla with artillery and tank fire, guns and knives.

The government denied any responsibility and blamed Islamist “terrorists” – its term for rebel forces.

The uprising began last March with street protests against Mr Assad, who succeeeded his late, authoritarian father Hafez al-Assad 11 years ago to perpetuate the family dynasty.

While initially a pro-democracry movement, the struggle has grown into an armed struggle increasingly involving sectarian rivalries pitting the Sunni Muslim majority against the Alawite sect, to which the Assad clan belongs.

Mr Assad’s forces have killed 7,500 people since it began, according to a UN toll. The government, which says the unrest is the work of foreign-backed terrorists, says more than 2,600 soldiers or security agents have been killed.

Mr nnan, trying to save his peace plan from collapse, told Mr Assad in Damascus on Tuesday that Syria was at a tipping point.The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that more than 100 people were killed in Houla the same day.

Diplomats said the UN Human Rights Council would meet in Geneva on Friday to consider the Houla massacre, the fourth time Syria has faced such scrutiny since the anti-Assad revolt broke out in March 2011.

Mr Assad has so far proved impervious to international scolding and Western sanctions for his crackdown and has failed to return troops and tanks to barracks, as required by the Annan plan.

However, the UN observers sent in to monitor a notional ceasefire were able to verify the horrors in Houla, which produced a wave of world revulsion.

Mr Assad’s heavyweight international allies, China and Russia, stuck to their rejection of any intervention or UN-backed penalties to force him to change course.

The West is itself averse to military intervention, although French president Francois Hollande said on Tuesday this could change if the UN Security Council backed it. But that is not possible unless veto-wielding members Russia and China allow it.

Turkey joined other countries including the United States, Britain, France and Germany in expelling Syrian diplomats in protest at the Houla massacre, saying unspecified international measures would follow if crimes against humanity continued.

Stung by the expulsions, Syria told the Dutch chargee d’affaires to leave. She was one of the few senior Western diplomats left in Damascus.

Despite the diplomatic deadlock, Mr Annan, a former UN secretary-general and Nobel peace laureate, is pressing on with his mission.

“It is important to find a solution that will lead to a democratic transition in Syria and find a way of ending the killings as soon as possible,” he said after talks in Jordan yesterday.

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Articles of Interest

New Yorkers Sound Off on Bloomberg’s Drink Ban

Published on May 31, 2012 by

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined a plan Wednesday to ban the sale of sugary soft drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, movie theaters, street carts and other venues.

Reason.tv’s Anthony Fisher took to the streets to ask New Yorkers what they thought about Bloomberg and the ban.

Approximately 2 minutes.

Camera by Kaplan Akincilar. Produced by Anthony Fisher

 

 

Propaganda Alert! Iran site buildings completely razed: US think-tank

Fredrik Dahl
Reuters
Print

A U.S. security institute has published satellite images which it said increased concerns that Iran was trying to “destroy evidence” of suspected past research relevant for developing a nuclear weapons capability, a charge Tehran dismisses.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) posted them on its website hours after diplomats said the U.N. atomic watchdog showed what appeared to be similar imagery at a closed-door briefing in Vienna.

Western envoys who attended Wednesday’s briefing earlier told Reuters that two small side buildings at the Parchin military facility had been removed, and ISIS said its pictures from May 25 showed that they “have been completely razed”.

The disclosure followed inconclusive talks between Iran and six world powers in Baghdad last week to address concerns about the nature of its nuclear activities, which Iran says are aimed at generating electricity.

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly asked Iran for access to Parchin as part of a long-stalled probe into suspicions that Tehran may be seeking the ability to assemble nuclear bombs, should it decide to do so.

The Islamic state has so far refused to let inspectors visit the facility – which it describes as a conventional military complex – saying there must first be a broader framework agreement on how to address the IAEA’s questions.

The new satellite images will add to Western suspicions that Iran is “sanitizing” the site of any incriminating evidence before allowing the IAEA to go there.

Iran’s IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, dismissed such accusations by Western officials, telling reporters after the briefing at IAEA headquarters that “this kind of noise and allegations are baseless”.

ISIS, which tracks Iran’s nuclear programme closely, said there were visible tracks in the images “made by heavy machinery used in the demolition process”, adding that the two buildings had been intact in early April.

No Parchin Access?

“Heavy machinery tracks and extensive evidence of earth displacement is also visible throughout the interior as well as the exterior of the site’s perimeter,” the think-tank said.

The Parchin complex is at the centre of Western allegations that Iran has been conducting research and experiments that could serve a nuclear weapons development programme. The Islamic Republic has repeatedly denied any such ambition.

Last week, the IAEA said in a report issued to member states that satellite images showed “extensive activities” at the facility southeast of Tehran.

Western diplomats said this was an allusion to suspected cleaning at Parchin. They have earlier cited other images showing recent activity at the site, including a stream of water, as suggesting Iran is trying to remove evidence.

Iran, which denies Western accusations it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability, has dismissed charges aired about Parchin as “childish” and “ridiculous”.

“The newest image raises concerns that Iran is attempting to raze the site prior to allowing an IAEA visit. The razing of the two buildings may also indicate that Iran has no intention to allow inspectors access soon,” ISIS said.

An IAEA report last November said Iran had built a large containment vessel in 2000 at Parchin in which to conduct tests that the U.N. agency said were “strong indicators of possible (nuclear) weapon development.”

It said a building was constructed around a large cylindrical object, a vessel designed to contain the detonation of up to 70 kg of high explosives. Diplomatic sources say the suspected tests likely took place about a decade ago.

Last week, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying the IAEA had not yet given good enough reasons to visit Parchin.

Comment: Images and words about tracks in dirt made by heavy machinery is offered as proof. No mention of earlier International Atomic Energy Agency Reports where the IAEA clearly said Iran is not a nuclear threat and has no nuclear ambitions in any military capacity.

Things are starting to take a repeat roll of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The obvious target: Iran.

But, first things first: NATO’s ‘Civil War’ Machine Rolls Into Syria

By the way, construction in and around nuclear sites is not uncommon. In simple terms; a construction company who did work inside the facility leveled the lunchroom they built for their workers, since work at the site was complete. Leave it to the West to always conclude (for us) the worst, while bastardizing free decent people, whose resources the 1% intend on plundering.

 

 

 

WikLeaks Founder Assange Loses U.K. Extradition Appeal

The Vancouver Sun

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden, but put his deportation on hold to give his lawyers a final chance to reopen the case.

The court, which handed down its decision after an 18-month legal marathon, rejected Assange’s argument that the Swedish prosecutor who issued the arrest warrant over sex crime allegations was not entitled to do so.

Julian Assange

© unknown
Julian Assange

“The request for Mr Assange’s extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed,” Supreme Court president Nicholas Phillips said as he delivered the ruling to a hushed courtroom.

The seven judges were split five to two but their majority ruling was that the prosecutor was a rightful judicial authority, and therefore allowed to issue the warrant for the Internet whistleblower.

But in a new twist, Assange’s lawyer Dinah Rose asked for 14 days to consider whether to apply to reopen the case, on the grounds that the judgment referred to material that was not mentioned during the last hearing in February.

The judge granted the request, which is highly unusual in the three-year history of the Supreme Court.

“With the agreement of the respondent, the required period for extradition shall not commence until 13th June 2012,” the Supreme Court said in a statement.

Assange, a 40-year-old Australian national, was not in the central London court for the judgment. One of his supporters, journalist John Pilger, said he was “stuck in traffic” with his mother, who flew in from Australia for the verdict.

The Swedish lawyer for the two women who accuse Assange of rape and sexual assault said he would be extradited eventually.

“The decision was what we expected . . . It’s unfortunate that it has been delayed further, but he will ultimately be extradited,” Claes Borgstroem told AFP.

Assange is at present wanted for questioning over the sex crime allegations, but Borgstroem said he expected an indictment perhaps within a month after he gets to Sweden.

Australia said it would closely monitor the case and added that consular officials were available to help him if he wished.

“The Australian government cannot interfere in the judicial processes of other governments but we will closely monitor the proceedings against Mr Assange in Sweden,” said a spokeswoman for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

Assange, whose website enraged Washington by releasing a flood of state and military secrets, has been living under tight restrictions on his movement for 540 days, including wearing an ankle tag and reporting daily to police.

He has said he fears his extradition would eventually lead to his transfer to the United States, where U.S. soldier Bradley Manning is facing a court-martial over accusations that he handed documents to WikiLeaks.

Outside court, Assange’s principal lawyer Gareth Peirce confirmed that the extradition was stayed while his legal team considers whether to apply to reopen the case, although the judgment still stands.

The point in question is the interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties, “which was never addressed in the hearing, one way or another, by either side,” Peirce added.

If Assange fails to have the case reopened in Britain, he still has the option of a last-ditch appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The white-haired Assange does not deny that he had sex with two WikiLeaks volunteers in Sweden while attending a WikiLeaks seminar, but insists the sex was consensual and argues there are political motives behind the attempts to extradite him.

Assange’s mother Christine told Australian television ahead of the judgment: “It’s a 24-hour nightmare because we know he is not safe and the biggest governments in the world are gunning for him.”

The former computer hacker has been fighting deportation since his arrest in London in December 2010 on the European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.

The Supreme Court is his final avenue of appeal under British law, after two lower courts ruled he should be sent to Sweden for questioning.

 

 

 

UK doctors set first strike date in 40 years

Press TV

The British Medical Association has decided to delay non-urgent patient care on June 21 after doctors voted with an overwhelming majority for the first industrial action in the profession in 40 years.

The BMA said in an open letter published in UK newspapers that the “reluctant” day of action is not meant to harm anyone and those with the most severe situations will still have access to medical care.

“On that day, doctors will be in their usual workplaces but providing urgent and emergency care only”, wrote the BMA.

“We will be postponing non-urgent cases and although this will be disruptive to the NHS, rest assured, doctors will be there when our patients need us most and our action will not impact on your safety,” it added.

The letter said the doctors are keen to have their “voice heard by the government.”

The action comes after BMA warned ministers against pushing ahead with “totally unjustified” pension contribution rises and a simultaneous increase in doctors’ retirement age.

The move puts doctors alongside a host of other public sector workers including teachers, civil service personnel and even police officers who have already announced or launched strikes in reaction to the austerity measures and changes to their pension schemes.

“We are taking this step very reluctantly, and would far prefer to negotiate for a fairer solution,” said chairman of council at the BMA, Dr Hamish Meldrum.

“But this clear mandate for action – on a very high turnout – reflects just how let down doctors feel by the Government’s unwillingness to find a fairer approach to the latest pension changes and its refusal to acknowledge the major reforms of 2008 that made the NHS scheme sustainable in the long term,” Meldrum added.

 

 

 

 

Bruce Springsteen lashes bankers during Berlin concert

The Guardian

© Britta Pedersen/EPA
Bruce Springsteen tapped into Europe’s anger at bankers while performing at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Rocker taps into anger at financial world, dedicating anti-bank song to ‘those who are struggling in Europe and Berlin’

Bruce Springsteen has touched on a nerve of widespread discontent with financiers and bankers while performing a concert in Berlin.

Springsteen played to a sold-out crowd at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, singing from his album Wrecking Ball and speaking about tough economic times that have put people out of work worldwide and led to debt crises in Greece and other countries.

“In America a lot of people have lost their jobs,” said Springsteen, 62, who performed for three hours to 58,000 fans in the stadium that hosted the 1936 Olympics and 2006 World Cup final.

“But also in Europe and in Berlin, times are tough,” he said, speaking in German. “This song is for all those who are struggling.” He then introduced Jack of All Trades, a withering attack on bankers that includes the lyrics: “The banker man grows fat, working man grows thin.”

Europe has been especially hard hit since 2008’s financial meltdown that sparked an enduring sovereign debt crisis. Unemployment on the continent has risen to levels not seen since the 1990s.

Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball tour began on 13 May in Spain, which is struggling with its crushing debt load, and runs for two and a half months with 33 stops in 15 countries before concluding on 31 July in Helsinki.

Berlin has been a special place for Springsteen since his July 1988 concert behind the old Iron Curtain in East Berlin.

Watched by 160,000 people, it was the biggest rock show in East German history, and The Boss spoke out against the “barriers” keeping East Germans prisoners in their country. Some historians have said the concert fed into a movement gaining moment at the time that contributed to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall 16 months later in November 1989.

“Once in a while you play a place, a show that ends up staying inside of you, living with you for the rest of your life,” he told the crowd on Wednesday after being handed a poster from a fan thanking him for the 1988 concert. “East Berlin in 1988 was certainly one of them.”

Germany has weathered the financial crisis well so far but Berlin itself is struggling with double-digit unemployment, low wages and a high incidence of poverty.

“The financial world has caused us all a lot of our problems and Springsteen has always been a critical spirit – that’s what I like about him,” said Kathleen Wapp, a 42-year-old doctor’s assistant from Wolfsburg who was at the show. “I like the way he’s not afraid to put a critical light on the key issues.”

“I think it’s great the way he’s taking on the banking industry – he’s got it dead right,” said Matthias Beck, 46, a carpenter from Leipzig. “There’s hardly anything good about banks. They take advantage of the little people and it’s always hard to find someone who’ll take responsibility when it all goes wrong.”

Source: Reuters

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

Discord over West Bank outpost threatening Netanyahu coalition

Visiting Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood, Likud minister Yisrael Katz says Barak has ‘taken the Defense Ministry and made it a political tool at the expense of the settlers.’

By Yossi Verter

The future of the little Ulpana neighborhood of the West Bank settlement of Beit El, whose legality is in doubt, seems to be driving the government to distraction. Aides to Defense Minister Ehud Barak Saturday released a statement accusing two of their boss’s cabinet colleagues, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon of adopting the rhetoric of the extreme right.

Katz visited Ulpana on Friday and said Barak had “taken the Defense Ministry and made it a political tool at the expense of the settlers.”

The Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El . The Ulpana neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Beit El.
Photo by: Emil Salman

On Saturday, Ya’alon half warned, half threatened that the government could fall if Ulpana’s residents were forced to leave. In response aides to Barak, who is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest confidant, said Katz and Ya’alon had been struck with “a serious case of Feiglinism,” referring to the extreme right-wing Likudnik Moshe Feiglin.

These are not trivial matters. When Ya’alon, speaking at a cultural event in Be’er Sheva Saturday, suggested the government was in danger of collapse he seemed resigned to the prospect. His statements probably added fuel to the fire of the settlers.

Read Full Article  Here

 

 

 The National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) will be stepping into the breach the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) left this week when it disbanded its voter suppression arm. Because having as many people vote as possible is very dangerous to Republicans, who aren’t so popular, the Right has to make sure that someone is in charge of returning the nation to Jim Crow days, and now the NCPPR is it.

It’s forming a “Voter Identification Task Force,” according to a press release obtained by PR Watch.

NCPPR’s press release scolds the 11 corporations, as of yesterday, that have recently announced they had dropped out of ALEC, which has come under intense scrutiny as a result of the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALEC Exposed investigation and along with the efforts CMD, Color of Change, Common Cause, People of the American Way, Progress Now!, and other groups plus Daily Kos bloggers as well as concerned citizens speaking up across the country.

NCPPR even set up an email for corporations to reach out to them if they “regret” their decision to cut ties with ALEC under the theme “we are not yellow.” NCPPR asserts that corporations have succumbed to the “left-wing” which is supposedly using a “trotskyite strategy of making relentless demand-after-demand.”

Don’t know much about the NCPPR? PR Watch has the details about this “think tank,” including the assistance the group gave to Jack Abramoff in essentially laundering millions of dollars and the fundraising tactic of “bombarding senior citizens with ‘fright mail.'” They use that money to do things like help Exxon Mobil fight against efforts to address climate change.

In other words, they’re another cog in the extreme right-wing agenda-making machine propping up the Republican Party. They’re not going to let voter suppression efforts stop.

By Joan McCarter | Sourced from Daily Kos

Trustees say Medicare, Social Security funds running out quickly

By Sam Baker – 04/23/12 05:03 PM ET

Medicare and Social Security are on a fast track to deep fiscal problems, trustees for the two programs warned Monday.

The Medicare trust fund will be “exhausted” — meaning it won’t have enough money on hand to cover the benefits it’s supposed to provide — by 2024, the trustees said, the same time frame anticipated in a report last year. Social Security will reach that tipping point in 2033, three years earlier than predicted last year.

“Under current law, both of these vitally important programs are on unsustainable paths,” Trustee Robert Reischauer said Monday.

Both parties looked to score political points on the news, with Obama administration officials saying Medicare’s woes would be far more severe without the 2010 healthcare law, while Republicans used the new estimates to argue that President Obama isn’t serious about entitlement reform.

The trustees called on Congress to repair the entitlements quickly, saying a prompt approach would leave more options on the table and allow lawmakers to make changes gradually.

But even at the trustees’ press conference, the deep political divisions over Medicare were on full display.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner took a pre-emptive shot at Republican-led proposals to partially privatize Medicare.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Economy

J K Galbraith: Inequality and Instability Part 1 – Part 2, 3 and 4 pls see links in intro

Published on Apr 18, 2012 by

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qX8sLB4ZNw&feature=plcp&context=C4a97… Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=605lUlAJGj8&context=C4a063a4ADvjVQa1PpcFMG… Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyguJPYjDBc&context=C4d2c0faADvjVQa1PpcFNC…
Further informations about topics addressed are available in favourites, play lists on my channel and complementary video responses. Mirrored: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRealNews “James K. Galbraith presents his study of the world economy just before the great crisis.”

 

Canada, U.S. refuse to give IMF cash for crisis

By Bradley Bouzane, Postmedia News

Canada was among the countries Friday that declined to contribute additional emergency resources for the International Monetary Fund to assist the economic crisis gripping some European nations, insisting more emphasis should be placed on the eurozone to help relieve its own issues.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told a news conference in Washington that Canada, along with the United States, were not supportive of providing further funds for Europe and said that region should be able to assist itself in a greater capacity.

“A number of countries have agreed to provide the fund with additional resources now,” Flaherty said Friday evening in Washington. “With respect to the Canadian position, Canada has always supported the IMF. At the current juncture, however, we believe the fund has adequate resources to deal with imminent needs. This is particularly true, given the capacity of Europe to deal with its sovereign debt crisis.”

Flaherty, in Washington for meetings of the IMF and G20 finance ministers, said officials have noted the progress Europe has made in terms of some fiscal structure reforms, specifically in Italy and Spain, but said “we encourage our European partners to implement these reforms and make use of financial resources in Europe to stabilize the situation.”

The IMF is seeking $400 billion in commitments for world financial leaders to help backstop eurozone nations in the event of a debt emergency, a drive made urgent by rising borrowing costs in Italy and Spain.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Wells Fargo Insiders Detail Foreclosure Fraud Practices: ‘It’s Exactly Like An Assembly Line’

That Wells Fargo has fraudulently processed mortgage documents using a process called robo-signing has been evident for nearly two years, since scandal enveloped the mortgage industry in 2010. That it kept doing it even after the scandal broke has been known for months. The practice, at Wells Fargo and other Wall Street banks, has led to waves of improper foreclosures and a $25 billion settlement with the federal government and state attorneys general.

new report from MSNBC, however, provided an inside account of how Wells Fargo’s robo-signing department works. Unqualified employees with salaries ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 are given titles like “vice president of loan documentation” so they can sign foreclosure documents. Actual supervisors institute quotas on employees, forcing them to sign a certain number of foreclosure files each day — sometimes telling them they can’t eat breakfast or take lunch until they’re done. Documents required for homeowners to avoid foreclosure were ignored, left sitting on an unattended fax machine……

 

Read Full Article Here

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Wars and Rumors of War

‘Israel strike on Iran ill-advised, given our nuclear intel’

Iran should ‘play by rules’ over nuclear issue

Iran should play by the rules if it wants to have legitimate access to peaceful nuclear energy, stressed General James L. Jones, former national security advisor to US President Barack Obama, in an exclusive interview with RT.

­RT: There are IAEA experts who say the nuclear threat of Iran is not what it used to be, and if they abide by the law, Iran should have a peaceful nuclear program. How can we move forward without encouraging double standards?

General James L. Jones: We always said that Iran should have access to peaceful nuclear power if it wishes. We offered to replace fuel in medical reactors in Tehran. It is not an issue of peaceful nuclear power.

Iran has declared rather openly what it would do [to its neighbors] if it became a nuclear power.

If Iran seriously wants to play according to the game rules, we all play and sign documents that guarantee certain behavior, there is no reason why Iran should not have nuclear power for peaceful use.

The pressure and responsibility is not upon Russia or the US to make Iran do anything that it does not want to do. It is up to Iran to say: we do not want to be like North Korea ten years from now, living in a world of isolation.

That is a great civilization and great people. We happen to know that the Iranian people want more freedom. They look upon the west and countries outside their borders as inspiration, they see the freedom of our societies and they want to live like that.

They are going to figure out how they can get that a little bit more, but as far as the nuclear question goes, both Russia and the US have sent signals to Iran that there is a perfectly reasonable pathway that preserves their dignity and their respect to get to peaceful use of nuclear power. So it is really up to them.

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US military fights negative perception of “pain ray”

Published on Apr 22, 2012 by

In order to gain stronger public perception of new crowd control technology, the US miltary has been showcasing a new weapon dubbed the “pain ray”.
The system cost more than $120m developing the technology and was deployed in Afghanistan two years ago

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Articles of Interest

 

Egypt ends natural-gas agreement with Israel

The 2005 Egypt-Israel gas deal has come under strident criticism from leaders of the popular uprising that began early last year in Egypt.

By Avi Bar-Eli

Egypt has canceled its natural gas contract with Israel, claiming “violations of contractual agreements,” with Israeli officials calling the move a blatant violation of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

The 2005 Egypt-Israel gas deal has come under strident criticism from leaders of the popular uprising that began early last year in Egypt. Critics charge that Israel was getting a bargain price for the gas, while cronies of former President Hosni Mubarak allegedly skimmed millions of dollars off the proceeds.

A Bedouin tribesman inspecting the section of the Egypt-Israel gas pipeline that was hit by an RPG. A Bedouin tribesman inspecting the section of the Egypt-Israel gas pipeline that was hit by an RPG in the northern Sinai last month.
Photo by: Reuters

Nevertheless, Egyptian officials had been saying that they planned to honor the agreement.

The pipelines carrying natural gas to Israel in Jordan have been sabotaged 14 times since the uprising began, resulting in the suspension of the gas supply for about 70 percent of the time since February 5, 2011.

Israel called the Egyptian decision “unlawful and in bad faith” and said Egypt has failed to meet its supply obligations.

Egypt, meanwhile, says Israel hasn’t paid for its gas for four months, a charge Israel denies.

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Billions in Fines Don’t Matter — Here’s How BP Should Be Punished for the Gulf Disaster

What is missing is a criminal prosecution that holds responsible the individuals who gambled with the lives of BP’s contractors and the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico.
 

This story was published as an op-ed in The New York Times.

Two years after a series of gambles and ill-advised decisions on a BP drilling project led to the largest accidental oil spill in United States history and the death of 11 workers on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, no one has been held accountable.

What is missing is the accountability that comes from real consequences: a criminal prosecution that holds responsible the individuals who gambled with the lives of BP’s contractors and the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. Only such an outcome can rebuild trust in an oil industry that asks for the public’s faith so that it can drill more along the nation’s coastlines. And perhaps only such an outcome can keep BP in line and can keep an accident like the Deepwater Horizon disaster from happening again.

BP has already tested the effectiveness of lesser consequences, and its track record proves that the most severe punishments the courts and the United States government have been willing to mete out amount to a slap on the wrist.

Read Full Article Here

 

Bill Maher’s New Rules segment last night hit on a key aspect of today’s GOP: they’re pro-anything the Democrats (particularly president Obama) are against, even if it’s as disgusting as “Pink Slime.” There should at least be bipartisan agreement on that, said Maher. They’ve come out against children eating their vegetables because Michelle Obama is for it, after all.

If the Democrats came out against arsenic, would the GOP introduce a friendly arsenic mascot?

http://www.hbo.com/bin/hboPlayerV2u.swf?vid=1251784

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

Democrats deny parallels between Presidents Obama and Carter

By Alexander Bolton

Democrats say the political prognosis for President Obama is much better than it was at the same point in former President Jimmy Carter’s first term, even though the pace of the nation’s job growth has slowed.

Obama was set back Friday by disappointing jobs numbers but the economy still created jobs at a faster pace than under Carter or former President George H.W. Bush, two of only four presidents to lose re-elections in the last 100 years.

Jobs are growing at a substantially faster clip than they did in 1980, when Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in a landslide, and 1992, when Bush lost narrowly to Bill Clinton.

Obama’s three-month average for 2012 is also better than the job growth former President George W. Bush saw when he was re-elected in 2004.

The economy is creating more jobs than it did in 2000, when former Vice President Al Gore (D-Tenn.) fumbled the handoff of the White House from Clinton, or 2004 when George W. Bush held off a strong challenge from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

But jobs are not growing as fast as 1988, when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush successfully ran on Reagan’s economic record, or 1996, when Clinton won a second White-House term. Bush and Clinton won easily in those years.

While many political experts predicted this year’s presidential election would come down to the economy, the middling nature of the recovery signals that campaign tactics and the candidates’ performances may prove more decisive…..

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GOP: Obama, Democrats view energy as ‘hazardous waste’

By Vicki Needham

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said President Obama’s policies are the cause of rising gas prices, not a lack of energy resources.

Fallin said Saturday that the problem stems from a lack of leadership and questioned Obama’s role in increasing the nation’s energy output and in the hold up of the Keystone XL pipeline, especially as gas prices hover near an average of $4 a gallon.

In the weekly Republican address, Fallin said “our pro-energy policies stand in stark contrast though to the policies supported by President Obama and the Washington Democrats, who seem to view American-made energy as a hazardous waste rather than a resource.”

“Millions of Americans remain out of work, but President Obama continues to propose job-killing tax hikes and obstruct the basic energy infrastructure projects that would lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs, not to mention more revenue in state budgets,” she said…..

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The Best Congress the Banks’ Money can Buy

Bill Moyers, Op-Ed:

It’s happening right now with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — passed two years ago in the wake of our disastrous financial meltdown. Just last week, for example, both parties in the House overwhelmingly approved two bills that already would change Dodd-Frank’s rules on derivatives — those convoluted trading deals recently described by the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as “the largest dark pool in our financial markets.”

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Germany throws weight behind Iran’s nuclear energy program

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has underlined Iran’s right to develop its nuclear energy program as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

According to a commentary by the top German diplomat in the Sunday paper Bild am Sonntag, Westerwelle stressed “Iran’s right to have nuclear energy for civilian use.”

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Economy

Mild winter may have artificially inflated jobs data, economists fear

By Ylan Q. Mui,

As most Americans basked in the warmest, sunniest March in half a century, economists stared at the skies with dread:

Could good weather portend bad news for the economic recovery?

Economists say the mild winter has artificially inflated job growth. February alone stole as many as 72,000 positions from March and future months, according to Macroeconomic Advisers.

Translation: The surge in hiring early in the year may not be as strong as it appeared.

The unusual weather began in January, which was the fourth warmest in more than a century. February ranked in the top 20, according to government data. Weather consulting firm Planalytics said several major cities experienced their warmest March in 118 years, including Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis and Oklahoma City, where temperatures were about 15 degrees higher than average.

For many people, that meant an early debut of open-toed shoes and dinners al fresco, and early mulching and spring cleaning. It also meant more jobs for construction workers and retail employees to keep pace with demand. Planalytics said demand jumped 40 percent last month for lawn mowers, 17 percent for sun care and 5 percent for bottled water…..

Read Full Article Here

Regulators: JP Morgan illegally let Lehman Bros. count customers’ funds as its own

By David S. Hilzenrath,

JP Morgan Chase illegally allowed Lehman Brothers, the investment bank whose 2008 bankruptcy brought the financial system to the brink of collapse, to count customers’ money as its own, according to federal regulators.

The arrangement boosted the amount that Lehman could borrow from JP Morgan, where the customers’ money was deposited, regulators charged Wednesday.

Then, at the height of the financial crisis, JP Morgan refused to release the customer funds for about two weeks, until regulators ordered it to do so, regulators charged.

The charges were spelled out in an enforcement action against JP Morgan by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Read Full Article Here

What Today’s Job Numbers Mean

Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

American consumers, in short, are hitting a wall. They don’t dare save much less because their jobs are still insecure. They can’t borrow much more. Their home values are still dropping, and many are underwater – owing more on their homes than the homes are worth. The economy has been growing but almost all the gains have gone to the very top. As I’ve noted, this is the most lopsided recovery on record.

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Oil prices fall 2 percent

Oil drops below $102 per barrel on concerns of economic recovery

NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices fell Monday on concerns about the economic recovery.

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, fell $1.92 to $101.39 per barrel. Brent crude, which is used to price oil imported by U.S. refineries, slipped $2.13 to $121.30 per barrel.

The U.S. economy added just 120,000 jobs in March— half as much as each of the previous three months. The government reported the disappointing data on Friday, but Monday was the first day oil markets were open. Stocks also fell.

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Egan Jones Downgrades US Credit Rating

 

Another Credit Agency Downgrades US

by William Bigelow

Credit rating agency Egan Jones downgraded the United States Thursday on concern over the sustainability of public debt. Egan Jones is one of the most important ratings firms in the world; they lowered our credit level from AA+ to AA. The firm reduced America from AAA to AA+ in July 2011, just before Standard & Poor’s did the same.

Egan Jones warned. “Without some structural changes soon, restoring credit quality will become increasingly difficult . . . without some structural changes soon, restoring credit quality will become increasingly difficult.” They added that there was a 1.2% probability of U.S  default in the next 12 months.  The company cited the fact that the US’s total debt, which now equals its total GDP, is rising and soon will eclipse the national GDP; the company sees the debt rising to 112% of the GDP by 2014.

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Wars and Rumors of War

S.Korea, U.S. Practice Stabilizing N.Korea in Civil War

The annual joint South Korean and U.S. exercises dubbed “Key Resolve” last month for the first time practiced deploying more than 100,000 South Korean troops in North Korea to stabilize the country in case of regime collapse.

The two countries “practiced deploying a large contingent of troops to bring stability in the North in case of civil war in the wake of sudden change there,” a government source said on Thursday. “Seoul and Washington practiced preparing for sudden change in the North for the first time during last year’s Key Resolve drill, but this was the first time we went on the assumption that South Korean troops would be deployed in the North.”

Read Full Article Here

“More Than Three Days Of Nonstop U.S. Backed Air Bombardment Of Southern Yemen”

5 days before talks, Iran rejects key demands

US, Israeli demands on Iran very similar; Barak urges world powers not to “lower the bar” during talks.

With critical talks on the Iranian nuclear program set to begin Friday, Tehran already rejected two key demands on Sunday by the world’s powers: Closing the Fordow underground uranium enrichment facility near Qom and stopping the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent.

Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, called the Western diplomats’ demands “irrational,” according to AFP.

AFP quoted Davani as saying in an interview with the Iranian ISNA news agency that the Fordow facility had to be built underground because of the West’s threats to attack the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.

“If they do not threaten us and guarantee that no aggression will occur, then there would be no need for countries to build facilities underground.

They should change their behavior and language,” he said.

Davani added that Iran would continue to produce uranium enriched to 20%, but not “more than we need, because it is not in our benefit to produce it and keep it.”

Iran claims it needs 20% enriched uranium to produce medical isotopes in its Tehran Research Reactor, while the West believes the 20% enriched uranium is a stepping stone to creating nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ridiculed the isotopes claim during his speech to the America Israel Public Affairs Committee Policy Conference last month, saying: “A country that builds underground nuclear facilities, develops intercontinental ballistic missiles, manufactures thousands of centrifuges and absorbs crippling sanctions, is doing all that in order to advance… medical research. So you see, when that Iranian ICBM is flying through the air to a location near you, you’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s only carrying medical isotopes.”

Getting Iran to suspend its high-level uranium enrichment and close the bunker at Fordow are “near-term priorities” for the United States and its allies, a senior US official said on Sunday, confirming an earlier New York Times report.

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

The BBC Film That Exposed Israel’s Secret Illegal Nuclear Weapons (FULL Documentary)

No More Rule By Slogans And Brands: Public Confidence In The PR State In D.C. Is Collapsing

The brand of Barack Obama is collapsing.

“Heaven smiles, and faiths and empires gleam,
Like wrecks of a dissolving dream.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley.

“He who abhors and shuns the light of the Sun,
He who refuses to behold with respect the living creation of God,
He who leads the good to wickedness,
He who makes the meadows waterless and the pastures desolate,
He who lets fly his weapon against the innocent,
An enemy of my faith, a destroyer of Thy principles is he, O Lord!” – Zarathustra.

The Obama brand is collapsing and nothing can save it. This was inevitable because the Obama brand is all surface and no substance. Barack Obama is a pseudo president of a propaganda state that has committed atrocities against innocent people in America and around the world. Obama’s name, image, authority, and charisma were all artificially created by the mind controllers in the mass media.

As the legendary journalist John Pilger said in April 2009, “No one knew what the new brand actually stood for.” Since it stands for nothing, the Obama brand is falling into oblivion. Obama, who was sold as the defender of the rule of law and the rights of the American people, is now being exposed to be a liar and a fraud…..

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Meet the ALEC Staffers Who Help Corporations Write Our Laws

Zaid Jilani, Republic Report:

“ALEC is accustomed to hiding its agenda and its legislation behind closed doors. At secretive conferences and over e-mail chains the public never sees, the organization allows its corporate donors to manufacture bills and then send them to be passed in state legislatures without the public ever knowing about their origin. But these ALEC staffers can’t hide who they are, and what they do for an organization that harms almost every area of American life.”

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Sheriff Arpaio says Obama’s birth certificate is forged

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is not authentic.

Arpaio revealed the findings of a investigation into the president’s birth certificate at a 1 hour and 20 minute news conference Thursday, calling the certificate “suspect.”

Arpaio’s team of investigators said they found that the long-form birth certificate was created electronically and never existed in paper form.

The president’s Selective Service card was also questioned.

Arpaio’s investigators claimed the document has “failed every test we put it through.”

At Thursday’s news conference, investigators said they will request a criminal investigation. They also said they have identified a person of interest in the forgery of the birth certificate.

Arpaio said he is not accusing the president of the crime. He said they will investigate who is behind the “possible forgery and fraud.”

“I haven’t decided where to go with this yet,” Arpaio said. “I just wanted to get the facts of this situation. We haven’t accused anyone of anything.”

The controversy over the certificate has been widely debunked, but it remains alive in the eyes of some conservatives, namely members of the Tea Party who urged Arpaio to look into the matter.

For the past six months, Arpaio’s “Cold Case Posse” has been investigating the authenticity of those documents to see if there’s been any fraud or forgery involved.

“We conducted a very professional investigation; we have come up with I feel some probable cause, some evidence,” Arpaio said Wednesday.

Arpaio said the investigation was done at no cost to taxpayers.

“Just let me say the results may be interesting without using the word ‘shocked,'” Arpaio said prior to the conference. “I think it will reveal some information no one else has really developed in a professional law enforcement manner.”

The Cold Case Posse comprises volunteers who are former police officers and lawyers.

Arpaio is facing problems of his own, including a federal grand jury probe over alleged abuse of power and Justice Department accusations of racial profiling.

Rather than seek cover, Arpaio is moving into the spotlight in a fashion that has helped boost his career as a nationally-known law officer. http://www.kpho.com/story/17053035/arpaio-to-reveal-results-of-birther-probe

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]