Tag Archive: Super PAC


Politics and Legislation

The Hill: Obama shifts healthcare defense

By Sam Baker

The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president’s healthcare law before the Supreme Court.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216361-obama-shifts-healthcare-defense

The Hill: Republican bill would enroll seniors in same health plans as lawmakers

By Julian Pecquet

A group of Senate Republicans has introduced legislation that would end traditional Medicare and sign seniors up for the same private healthcare plans received by members of Congress.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/216303-gop-medicare-bill-would-enroll-seniors-into-lawmakers-plans

Washington elites queue up to see nine justices on hot seat

By Janet Adamy and Jess Bravin

The hottest ticket in the capital is for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283631472580966.html?mod=ITP_AHED

Tape A Cop, Face A Felony Charge

Well, now the news is that in Chicago the police will continue to
enforce, arrest, and prosecute citizens under this law as long as
it remains on the books.

Coming to Chicago in May is an upcoming NATO summit and it is
expected to bring with it huge numbers felonious camera carrying
members of the public, and you can bet the police will have their
own cameras trained on them.

Supreme Court rules out television cameras for healthcare arguments

By Sam Baker

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected calls to allow television cameras into its chambers during arguments over President Obama’s healthcare law.??

The court said it would release same-day audio recordings of the arguments, scheduled for March 26-28. It cited the “extraordinary public interest” in the case, which could lead to President Obama’s signature domestic achievement being struck down in the midst of the campaign season.

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/legal-challenges/216447-supreme-court-no-cameras-in-healthcare-case

GOP Super PAC Men Seek to Overturn Donation Limits

Michael Beckel, News Report:

McCutcheon is a 44-year-old general contractor in Alabama. He’s the owner, founder and president of Coalmont Electrical Development. He’s a member of the Republican Party who admits he may have a bit of a libertarian streak. And he’s also the treasurer of a super PAC called the “Conservative Action Fund.” That’s a group that spent more than $43,000 opposing House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) in Tuesday’s GOP primary in Alabama, although it has mostly targeted Democrats with its attacks.

http://www.nationofchange.org/gop-super-pac-men-seek-overturn-donation-limits-1331907498

Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act

For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public – or even others in Congress – knew about it. On Thursday, two of those senators – Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado – went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained. The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/politics/democratic-senators-warn-about-use-of-patriot-act.html?_r=1

Economy

UK could lose coveted AAA rating, warns Fitch

Britain’s hopes of retaining its prized triple-A credit rating were dealt a blow last night after Fitch said the country was more likely than not to be downgraded.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9144551/UK-could-lose-coveted-AAA-rating-warns-Fitch.html

The Global Economy is Now More Vulnerable to Oil Prices than Ever

This paper examines the impact of oil price changes on global economic growth. Unlike some recent studies, this paper finds that oil price rises have had significant negative impacts on world economic growth. A time-series analysis of the data from 1971 to 2010 finds that an increase in real oil price by 10 dollars is associated with a reduction of world economic growth rate by between 0.4 and 1% in the following year. As oil prices approach historical highs, the global economy may be vulnerable to another oil price shock.

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/The-Global-Economy-is-Now-More-Vulnerable-to-Oil-Prices-than-Ever.html

Gold “Vulnerable” as U.S. Treasury Bond Market Sell-Off Worsens

The WHOLESALE-MARKET gold price twice rose within a few cents of $1650 per ounce in London Thursday morning, adding 0.9% from yesterday’s fresh 8-week low as industrial commodities ticked lower again.

The price of silver bullion rallied 2.3% to $32.40 per ounce, but remained over 5% down for the week so far, being “very much influenced” by the gold price according to one Swiss precious-metals dealer.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33621.html

Europe’s Economic Crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Belgium Following Greece

It isn’t over until it is over. Of course, we are referring to Europe and its version of 1984. We find it profound that the bankers, politicians and bureaucrats of Europe can do what they have done with a straight face. Investor had a haircut shoved down their throats and the ECB, the European Central Bank and the IMF were exempt.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33614.html

Retail sales suggest consumers shrugging off gas prices

Dave Prokupek doesn’t like the high price of gasoline either. But business is good enough at Smashburger that the chain where Prokupek is CEO opened its 150th restaurant Wednesday, and plans to open up to 75 this year, even though eating out is theoretically the first thing gas-strapped consumers would trim.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-03-14/gas-prices-consumer-spending/53536216/1

S&P 500 ends best week since December with quiet day

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 closed out its best week in three months with a slim gain on Friday as investors continued to propel equities near four-year highs.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/p-ends-over-1-400-024934926.html;_ylt=ApQL0mCH094ssRZYbqrtjyiiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQzcjhzN29wBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIEp1bWJvdHJvbiBMaXRlBHBrZwM4NmU2MDcwOC1mNmVhLTNkMDUtYWUzZC0yMjI0OWUzZjI0MjIEcG9zAzEEc2VjA2p1bWJvdHJvbgR2ZXIDZTc4ODAwZDAtNmYxMi0xMWUxLTk2NmItNzIxM2Q2ZDI2ZmJl;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Jobless claims fall, manufacturing holds up

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economic growth showed signs of becoming more self-sustaining as the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing activity in the Northeast picked up this month.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jobless-claims-fall-manufacturing-holds-025406890.html;_ylt=AvsoQHMJwEqo4vsQWGfhQHqiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0NWxhc2xjBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYTFkNjVjNjktNjY3Ny0zY2RmLTg4MzQtYjdkODNjY2NkZTQ0BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzk4YWNmOGMwLTZmMTMtMTFlMS1iNWZmLWZmOTYwOTBjZDY4OA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

Secret “Occult Economy” Coming Out of the Shadows?

During December 2011 and January 2012, I wrote two articles dealing with the announcement of two different lawsuits being filed in U.S. District Courts regarding astronomical amounts of money in the forms of U.S. Bonds, Federal Reserve Notes, foreign government-issued bonds, and other financial instruments.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/secret-occult-economy-coming-out-of.html

Appropriators warn legislative agencies of further funding cuts

By Debbie Siegelbaum

Members of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on The Legislative Branch are warning congressional agencies that the current atmosphere of economic austerity will likely not abate any time soon.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/216321-senate-appropriators-warn-legislative-agencies-of-further-funding-cuts

CBO finds Obama budget adds $3.5T to deficits

By Erik Wasson

President Obama’s 2013 budget would add $3.5 trillion to annual deficits through 2022, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

It also would raise the deficit next year by $365 billion, according to the non-partisan office.

The CBO estimate is in sharp contrast to the White House claims last month that the Obama budget would reduce deficits by $3.2 trillion over the next decade.?

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/216397-obama-budget-adds-35-trillion-in-deficits-cbo-finds

Fourth straight monthly fall in FDI

Foreign direct investment (FDI) shrank in February from a year earlier, the fourth straight fall, while investment from Europe witnessed a sharp decline, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Experts were not optimistic about the inflow of foreign investment into China as the European debt crisis continues and domestic economic growth slows down.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-03/16/content_14847086.htm

The View From Muppetland

Veena Trehan, Op-Ed:

Banks relentless search for profits has racked up immense “collateral damage”. Investment banks have injured individuals and institutions of every stripe. Institutions include the country Greece whose books Goldman cooked; Jefferson County, Alabama, and many European cities devastated by risky derivatives; colleges like the University of Virginia and Harvard who have held cut-rate sales on private equity; and pension funds and others who sued for fraudulent trades.

http://www.nationofchange.org/view-muppetland-1331903343

Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks’ Mortgage Shenanigans

Cora Currier, News Analysis:

“Buried in the sweeping mortgage settlement with banks, for which final documents were filed this week, are five whistleblower cases that shed light on the litany of foreclosure abuses by the banks. According to one suit, Bank of America allegedly passed bad loans on to the Federal Housing Administration. According to another, the bank allegedly denied qualified homeowners access to HAMP, the government’s loan modification program.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/four-whistleblowers-who-sounded-alarm-banks-mortgage-shenanigans-1331912410

Wars and Rumors of War

Azerbaijan arrests 22 of their own citizens for allegedly being Iranian spies

The Azerbaijani government has announced the arrest of 22 of their own citizens who they claim are Iranian spies.

The tensions between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have only increased over recent months and this latest announcement is, without a doubt, not going to make anything less heated.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Azerbaijan_arrests_22_of_their_own_citizens_for_allegedly_being_Iranian_spies/18467/0/38/38/Y/M.html

GOP senator dismisses ‘CliffsNotes’ explanation for killing citizens abroad

By Jordy Yager

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday demanded that the White House hand over documents that detail the administration’s legal case for killing U.S. citizens abroad who are believed to be terrorist threats.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/216263-gop-senator-dismisses-holders-cliffs-notes-explanation-for-killing-citizens-abroad

Obama: Window for diplomacy in Iran shrinking

US President says administration will do “everything we can” for diplomatic solution, but urges Tehran to negotiate.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=261878

U.K’s Cameron: No justification for Israeli attack on Iran

In interview to NBC’s Brian Williams, British Prime Minister says Iran could maintain a civilian nuclear project if it did away with the military aspects of its program.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-k-s-cameron-no-justification-for-israeli-attack-on-iran-1.419068

US admits Israel is arming and training terrorist groups to create terrorism

Uploaded by 91177info on Feb 9, 2012

So much for this War on Terror! It is actually War OF Terror. This is proof THEY are creating terror directly and indirectly. This was shown live on US television !!

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.
The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

The attacks, which have  U.S. Embassy in Tehran since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

Currency Wars: Iran’s banks to be blocked from global banking system

Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran’s banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17390456

78 Percent of Americans Oppose Invading Syria

Strong Opposition Also Seen to Arming Rebels

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/15/78-percent-of-americans-oppose-invading-syria/

Environmental

Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance

Most people have no idea that the United Nations has been drafting an environmental constitution for the world that is intended to supersede all existing national laws. This document has a working title of “Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development” and you can read the entire thing right here. Work on this proposed world environmental constitution has been going on since 1995, and the fourth edition was issued to UN member states on September 22nd, 2010. This document is intended to become a permanent binding treaty and it would establish an incredibly repressive system of global governance.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/proposed-un-environmental-constitution-for-the-world-would-establish-an-incredibly-repressive-system-of-global-governance

Activism

Occupy-Monsanto to Wear Bio-Hazmat Suits as They Protest a Genetically Modified Congress

News Report: The GCU will arrive at the metro station wearing bio-hazmat suits to assess whether Members of Congress and their staff have been victims of genetic crimes. The GCU will hold a banner that reads, “Congress is Genetically Modified,” as they circulate on Capitol Hill sidewalks. This day of action is part of a larger international call to ‘Occupy Monsanto’ taking place all over the globe including Spain, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and at least 28 cities throughout the US.

http://www.nationofchange.org/occupy-monsanto-wear-bio-hazmat-suits-they-protest-genetically-modified-congress-1331912438

The American Spring: A Time for Occupy to Blossom

Kevin Zeese, News Report:

The weekend of March 31st and April 1st includes a two day “Bail Out America” direct action training organized by the Backbone Campaign which will provide information on strategies and tactics and developing creative actions that advance the causes of Occupy.

http://www.nationofchange.org/american-spring-time-occupy-blossom-1331906460

Cyber Space

House Dems demand meeting with Apple over privacy policy for iPhone, iPad apps

By Brendan Sasso

Two prominent House Democrats demanded a briefing with Apple over its privacy policies for mobile device applications in a letter to CEO Tim Cook on Thursday.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

LulzSec-linked STRATFOR hacker appears in court

The Chicago-based hacker who took credit for a devastating computer attack on intelligence company Stratfor made his first appearance in a New York federal courtroom, after his March 5 arrest. Hammond, 27, faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, computer hacking and access device fraud… Hammond chuckled when his attorney, Liz Fink, asked a prosecutor if today was the Ides of March and said, “Et tu Brutus?” a possible reference to the betrayal Hammond might have felt at learning he and other hackers were undone by LulzSec leader-turned government informant [traitor] Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu.” Monsegur’s FBI handler was present but declined to comment after the proceeding.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/15/lulzsec-linked-hacker-who-threatened-to-burn-white-house-appears-in-court/

Radiation

4 more steam tubes fail in tests at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant’s Unit 3 reactor

Four more tubes that carry radioactive water at a Southern California nuclear power plant failed pressure tests, prompting new safety concerns, officials disclosed Friday. The four tubes in a massive steam generator failed Thursday in the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre coastal plant in northern San Diego County, Southern California Edison said. Three other tubes failed earlier tests, the company said Wednesday, bringing the total to seven.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/4-more-steam-tubes-fail-in-tests-at-troubled-southern-calif-nuclear-plant-unit-3-reactor/2012/03/16/gIQAhcoHGS_story.html

Heavy tube wear a mystery at Calif. nuclear

Forty-five days after a radioactive water leak prompted a Southern California utility to shut down a nuclear reactor, investigators Friday sought to pinpoint why tubing in the plant eroded at an alarming rate while the prospect of an extended repair job raised questions about summertime power supply. Tests on massive steam generators at the troubled Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which was shut down as a precaution after the leak on Jan. 31, revealed seven alloy tubes that carry radioactive water are in danger of rupturing under high pressure. Traces of radiation escaped during the January leak.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/16/2697689/4-more-tubes-fail-in-tests-at.html

UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows

As many as 12 of Britain’s 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change global warming, according to an unpublished government analysis obtained by the Guardian. Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as being vulnerable now, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future. The sites include all of the eight proposed for new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/07/uk-nuclear-risk-flooding

Misc

The Obama Flag: Who Decided That It Was Okay To Replace The Stars On The American Flag With The Face Of Barack Obama?

Democrat Party headquarters in Lake County, Florida has been flying an American flag with a face of Barack Obama on it. Yes, you read that correctly. The “Obama flag” features a huge picture of the face of Barack Obama in the area where the stars are usually located. To many Americans today, the American flag may be “just a piece of cloth”, but when I was young I was taught that one must never desecrate the American flag. The American flag is our highest national symbol. Millions of Americans have fought and died defending freedom and liberty under that banner. To see a photo of Barack Obama plastered on it is an absolute disgrace. Sadly, there are lots of these flags floating around. In fact, you can buy them online for $12.95. Down in Florida, the chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party took down the “Obama flag” after a group of veterans protested, but she also said that she is not promising that she will not put it back up and that she is going to consult an attorney about all of this.

Needless to say, a lot of veterans had steam coming out of their ears when they heard about the Obama flag. Korean war veteran Don Van Beck said that he was absolutely furious when he saw what they had done to the American flag….

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-obama-flag-who-decided-that-it-was-okay-to-replace-the-stars-on-the-american-flag-with-the-face-of-barack-obama

GRIME WAVE

It’s a dirty job: Police nationwide take on soaring Tide detergent theft

Law enforcement officials across the country are puzzled over a crime wave targeting an unlikely item: Tide laundry detergent.

Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.

http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/03/12/031212-news-tide-theft-1-4/

McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending

By Carlo Munoz

The Navy’s push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of planes and warships could devolve into a “Solyndra situation” for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216261-mccain-warns-navy-biofuels-plan-could-become-another-solyndra

Department of Agriculture to offer beef without ‘pink slime’ to schools

By Mike Lillis

Facing increasing pressure over its embrace of “pink slime,” the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will offer schools ground beef absent the controversial product.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

Norway Military Plane Lost During Exercise
C-130 presumed crashed; 5 missing

AP) – A Norwegian military transport plane with five people on board went missing today during an exercise and was feared to have crashed in northern Sweden, officials said. The C-130 was heading from Evenes in northern Norway to the Swedish city of Kiruna where it was supposed to pick up personnel. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it was about 50 miles west of Kiruna, a Norwegian military spokesman said.

http://www.newser.com/story/141930/norway-military-plane-lost-during-exercise.html

Lawyer wants WikiLeaks case dropped

A lawyer for an army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information has asked a military judge to dismiss the charges, arguing the government bungled the handover of documents to the defence. The request came during a pre-trial hearing for Private Bradley Manning at a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, asked that charges against his client be dismissed because the government has “hopelessly” messed up the document turnover in the nearly two years Manning has been held.

http://www.theage.com.au/world/lawyer-wants-wikileaks-case-dropped-20120316-1vaky.html

State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort

Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote an unflattering book about his year leading two reconstruction [sic] teams in Iraq, was stripped of his security clearance, banned from State Department headquarters for a time and transferred to a telework job that consists of copying Internet addresses into a file. Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information. Van Buren called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” was published last fall.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/state-dept-moves-to-fire-peter-van-buren-author-of-book-critical-of-iraq-reconstruction-effort/2012/01/31/gIQAiXNSCS_blog.html

CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” – that is, wired devices – at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.” All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/

HAZMAT situation: ‘Non-emergency significant event’ declared at Los Alamos –DP Road open after HAZMAT situation on Los Alamos property

With sirens blaring, emergency management vehicles raced down DP Road Wednesday, responding to a Hazmat situation at Enclosure 12 in TA-21. For two hours, DP Road was closed as the LANL Hazmat team, Los Alamos Fire and Police Department and FEMA assessed the situation. Most of DP Road was reopened around 1:45 p.m. as LAPD decreased its perimeter. Capt. Randy Foster said the initial call came into dispatch at 11:53 a.m. The road was closed east of 272 DP Road until the all-clear from the LANL Hazmat teams came in Wednesday evening. The situation has been categorized as a “non-emergency significant event” by the laboratory… Police said a voluntary evacuation was taking place on DP Road. Police said for those who are working on DP Road to remain inside if they chose to stay. Businesses along DP Road still were waiting for an all-clear signal as of 7:30 p.m. An automated 911 call was received at the Los Alamos Monitor at 1:05 p.m. advising all people on DP Road to shelter in place until the all-clear signal is sounded.

http://www.legitgov.org/HAZMAT-situation-Non-emergency-significant-event-declared-Los-Alamos

Whistleblower details unreported mercury spill at Hill AFB

A whistleblower’s claim that a 2007 spill of more than 60 pounds of mercury was not properly reported or cleaned up at this military base, where more than 24,000 military personnel and civilians work and live, has prompted a federal criminal investigation. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has backed that claim, concluding after an investigation in September and October that the base violated permits because it failed to report the spill and cleanup, improperly stored the cleaned-up material, improperly labeled storage containers that were also not in good condition and failed to inspect containers storing the hazardous waste.

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627&title=whistleblower-details-unreported-mercury-spill-at-hill-afb

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

‘Media – West proxy to fuel Syria conflict’

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 14, 2012

Syria’s turmoil has been laid bare on our TV screens for more than a year, but some networks are being accused of affecting rather than reflecting the conflict. Maria Finoshina reports now, on how there’s more to the coverage on the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV channel, than meets the eye.

Politics and Legislation

GOP Promises of Lower Gas Costs Belied by Dwindling Supply of World’s Oil

Amy Goodman, Video Report:

“Looking at rising fuel costs, one of the major issues raised by the Republican contenders in the 2012 presidential campaign. Since the beginning of the year, the average of price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 16 percent to more than $3.80. Earlier this week, President Obama partially blamed his Republican rivals, saying one reason for the increase is rumors of war with Iran.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/gop-promises-lower-gas-costs-belied-dwindling-supply-world-s-oil-1331743269

Donors to conservative super PAC masked by nonprofit

Super PACs are the perceived demons of the 2012 campaign. But a shadowy sideshow that’s gone largely unnoticed is the set of nonprofits affiliated with them, which often provide money to the cash cows — and they don’t have to publicly disclose their donors. Case in point: FreedomWorks for America.

http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/03/11/8360/donors-conservative-super-pac-masked-nonprofit

The New York Times: Delegate system gives small states outsize clout at convention

By Michael Cooper

Both Democrats and Republicans have long used formulas that award a state’s delegates based not just on population, but also on party loyalty in previous elections.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/us/politics/delegate-system-gives-small-states-clout-at-convention.html?_r=2&ref=politics

France’s Upcoming Election Means Euro Devaluation—and a Pop In Gold

On May 6, France is holding its second round of Presidential elections, where the Socialist François Hollande is fully expected to win.

I’m pretty sure two things will happen immediately following the election: The first is, Carla Bruni will leave Nicolas Sarkozy (because everyone knows that a professional courtesan never stays when the going gets tough for her patron).

http://gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2012/03/frances-upcoming-election-means-euro.html

Economy

10 reasons Wall Street will hit bottom, crash

Commentary: Gambling-addicted banks need a Betty Ford Center

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, Wall Street will crash. Has to. They’re gambling addicts. Dodged the bullet in 2008. But learned nothing. Now killing reforms. Teamed up with the Super Rich, CEOs, lobbyists, and crony politicians. It’s only a matter of time.

Yes, they’ll crash, again. No matter how anemic the recovery. No matter how much more debt they pile on taxpayers. No matter who’s president. Crash.
The Betty Ford Center, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

How do I know Wall Street will hit bottom? First off, most American know somebody who’s trapped in addictive behavior. I got a front-row seat years ago as a professional helping a few hundred addicts, alcoholics and gamblers getting help from the Betty Ford Center and others like it.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-reasons-wall-street-will-hit-bottom-crash-2012-03-13?pagenumber=1

The Truth About Gas Prices

Bill Scher, Op-Ed:

Conservatives are betting that a President Obama can’t succeed in talking straight about gas prices the way Candidate Obama did. First, they are exaggerating the price spike itself, saying that under Obama’s presidency, prices have jumped from $1.83 to $3.70 per gallon. That is technically true, but remember, in the summer of 2008 gas was over $4 a gallon. Prices briefly plummeted below $2 per gallon right before Obama’s inauguration because there was this little cataclysmic global economic meltdown that shattered consumer demand.

http://www.nationofchange.org/truth-about-gas-prices-1331731751

Four large US banks fail stress tests

Citigroup was one of four large US banks that flunked stress tests aimed at seeing how they would hold up in a new economic crisis, Federal Reserve data showed Tuesday.

Three others — Ally, Suntrust and MetLife — also failed the tests, while 15 other large bank holding companies passed the exercise, the Fed said.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/citi-ally-suntrust-metlife-fail-stress-tests-205649742.html

Oil price spike on Iran is beyond control: OPEC

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Top exporter Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf producers say surging oil markets are beyond their control and prices could spike higher unless tensions between the West and Iran subside.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri are expected to focus on high oil prices in their addresses to the International Energy Forum gathering of oil ministers and executives on Wednesday, several OPEC sources said.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/economy-and-business/96366-oil-price-spike-on-iran-is-beyond-control-opec-

Wars and Rumors of War

What A War With Iran Really Means: Proceed

By Barry Rubin

It is quite right to be worried and hesitant about entering a war with Iran. War, as recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan show, is a dangerous, bloody, often dirty mess in which things go wrong, civilians are killed inadvertently, your own side loses people, and goals are not necessarily achieved.

Sometimes war is necessary. That was clearly true in Afghanistan in 2001 but less clear regarding Iraq in 2003. What are the goals? How are they to be gained? In what way can a war be brought to an end? How is victory defined? These are all serious issues.

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1885/416/NL/What_A_War_With_Iran_Really_Means:_Proceed.html

IDF official: Army ready for ground op in Gaza

The current round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups could prompt Israel to launch a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, a senior IDF official said Monday.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4201983,00.html

Russia says it won’t stop selling weapons to Syria

MOSCOW: Russia has no intention of curtailing military cooperation with Syria despite calls from the West to stop arming President Bashar Assad’s regime, a senior Russian government official said Tuesday.

Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Russia will abide by existing contracts to deliver weapons to Syria despite Assad’s yearlong crackdown on the opposition, during which the UN says over 7,500 people have been killed.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article587163.ece

Israel sends air force into Gaza

Gaza has been pounded for a second day by Israel’s air strength. In the worst bombing raid in the region for almost a year at least 15 militants have been killed on the Gaza side. Israel has said the air strikes are in retaliation to the firing of more than 100 rockets from the Palestinian side.

http://feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/?sid=204108507

US terror drones kill 30 in southern Somalia

At least 30 people have been killed and a dozen injured in an attack by US assassination drones in southern Somalia, Press TV reports. The unmanned aircraft fired several missiles at al-Shabab positions in the Dayniile district of south Mogadishu on Tuesday. Sheik Ibrahim Jaabar, a senior al-Shabab official, confirmed the attack, saying the aerial strike caused major damage to the group’s positions.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/231562.html

Hague to be sued for aiding US drone attacks in Pakistan

A rights group and a law firm are set to take legal action against British Foreign Secretary William Hague over his alleged the contribution of intelligence in assisting US assassination drone strikes in Pakistan. The London-based charity Reprieve and the law firm Leigh Day & Co. confirmed on Monday that they will issue formal proceedings at the High Court on behalf of Noor Khan, a Pakistani man whose father was killed by a US strike. The law firm says it has credible evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to American forces planning attacks in Pakistan. Lawyers claim that civilian staff at Britain’s electronic listening agency (GCHQ) could be liable as “secondary parties to murder” as they provided “locational intelligence” to the CIA in directing its drone attacks.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/231297.html

Environmental

Our New ‘Tough Oil’ World

Michael T. Klare, Op-Ed:

“Oil prices are now higher than they have ever been—except for a few frenzied moments before the global economic meltdown of 2008. Many immediate factors are contributing to this surge, including Iran’s threats to block oil shipping in the Persian Gulf, fears of a new Middle Eastern war and turmoil in energy-rich Nigeria. Some of these pressures could ease in the months ahead, providing temporary relief at the gas pump. But the principal cause of higher prices—a fundamental shift in the structure of the oil industry—cannot be reversed, and so oil prices are destined to remain high for a long time to come.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/our-new-tough-oil-world-1331732593

Senate Rejects Plan to Open Arctic Refuge to Drilling

Sean Cockerham, News Report:

“The Senate on Tuesday resoundingly rejected a sweeping measure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other protected areas to oil drilling, as well as to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline project. Tuesday’s vote was the first time in four years that the Senate has voted on a measure including ANWR drilling, and it failed miserably. The proposal needed 60 votes to pass; it only received 41 votes in favor, with 57 senators against.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/senate-rejects-plan-open-arctic-refuge-drilling-1331733615

Why Pennsylvania’s Act 13 May Be the Nation’s Worst Corporate Giveaway

Suvendrini Kakuchi, News Report:

“It’s absolutely crushing of local self-government,” said Ben Price, project director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which has helped a handful of local communities-including the city of Pittsburgh-adopt community rights ordinances that elevate the rights of nature and people to block the drilling. “The state has surrendered over 2,000 municipalities to the industry. It’s a complete capitulation of the rights of the people and their right to self-government. They are handing it over to the industry to let them govern us. It is the corporate state. That is how we look at it.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-pennsylvania-s-act-13-may-be-nation-s-worst-corporate-giveaway-1331733276

The shape of things to come

Miami FL (SPX)

When oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico in late April 2010, friends asked George Haller whether he was tracking its movement. That’s because the McGill engineering professor has been working for years on ways to better understand patterns in the seemingly chaotic motion of oceans and air. Meanwhile, colleagues of Josefina Olascoaga in Miami were asking the geophysicist a similar questio ..

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/The_shape_of_things_to_come_999.html

Toxic acid release again draws federal investigators

Again drawn by a leak of toxic hydrofluoric acid, federal investigators are back at a Texas oil refinery they examined three years ago. A Center investigation last year found that 50 refineries use the acid despite the availability of safer alternatives.

http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/03/08/8354/toxic-acid-release-again-draws-federal-investigators

Activism

Think Locally, Occupy Globally: Our Fight Is The World’s – And Vice Versa

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Op-Ed:

We’ve known for a long time that local protest movements carry an international message. The people here in South Africa gave hope and inspiration to the entire world during their own struggle for political freedom. Then, as now, genuine change seemed like an impossible dream. The apartheid regime had enormous wealth and was backed by some of the world’s most powerful corporate interests. The greatest governments in the world, including our own, were more than willing to ignore the regime’s worst human rights abuses in order to benefit from its trade.

http://www.nationofchange.org/think-locally-occupy-globally-our-fight-world-s-and-vice-versa-1331741531

Cyber Space

Google’s New ‘Spy’ Policy

Robert Jain, News Report:

Google has also made headlines recently regarding its new privacy policy, which Consumer Watchdog reports is a blatant misnomer, and actually describes the new invasive ways Google wants to gather information about individuals internet usage. Many of these techniques include methods for circumventing the privacy policies of Internet browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Apple’s Safari, which is used on iPhones and iPads around the country

http://www.nationofchange.org/google-s-new-spy-policy-1331740571

Teenager arrested for comments made on Facebook page

A teenager has been arrested for allegedly making comments on Facebook about the deaths of six British soldiers in Afghanistan last week.
According to Sky News, Azhar Ahmed of Ravensthorpe (19) posted comments on his profile page, criticizing the level of attention British soldiers who died in a bomb blast received, compared to that received by Afghan civilians killed in the war.

http://digitaljournal.com/article/321102#ixzz1pAiCFNlL

US wins the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer over UK-based website

Sheffield – A 23-year old UK student is to be extradited to the USA to face trial for operating a UK-based website linking to copyright materials.

http://digitaljournal.com/#ixzz1pAizxCzz

Vatican confirms second Anonymous hack

A Vatican spokesman on Tuesday downplayed the impact of the hack on the Vatican Radio database, saying the hackers had gained access to an old server “shortly after 2pm” on Monday. Anonymous claimed to have hacked Vatican Radio in protest against the Vatican Radio… in a Pastebin post on Monday. AnonOps Communications, a recognised mouthpiece of the hacktivist collective, published a link to the Pastebin post on Tuesday. Comments on the post called for alleged LulzSec members arrested last week by the FBI and international law enforcement to be freed.

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/security-bullet-in-10000166/vatican-confirms-second-anonymous-hack-10025615/

Radiation

Rense & Dr Blaylock – Radiation What We CAN Do

Uploaded by JRense on Apr 24, 2011

World famous Dr Russell Blaylock gives real advise on how we can protect ourselves from radiation, and a sober assessment of how our governments go for “covering up” the reality.

Misc

Speaking Truth About Power

Jim Hightower, Op-Ed:

A willingness to speak truth to power is an essential civic virtue for the well-being of a democratic-republic. Davis became a whistleblower, daring even to call out Gen. David Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who now heads the CIA. Last year, Petraeus had told Congress that the Afghan Taliban’s momentum had been “arrested,” that our progress there was “significant,” and that the mission was “on the right azimuth,” to succeed.

http://www.nationofchange.org/speaking-truth-about-power-1331730900

Fed To Take Propaganda To The Schoolroom: Will Teach Grade 8-12 Students About Constitutionality Of… The Fed

Back in September we noted a peculiar RFP by the Fed which sought to become a secret ‘big brother’ to the social media world, and to “monitor billions of conversations and generate text analytics based on predefined criteria.” The Fed’s desired product should be able to “determine the sentiment of a speaker or writer with respect to some topic or document”… “The solution must be able to gather data from the primary social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube. It should also be able to aggregate data from various media outlets such as: CNN, WSJ, Factiva etc.” Most importantly, the “Listening Platform” should be able to “Handle crisis situations, Continuously monitor conversations, and Identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/fed-take-propaganda-schoolroom-will-teach-k-8-12-students-about-constitutionality-fed

FBI Urges Coffee Shops To Report Cash-Paying Customers To Authorities

Use of paper money is a terrorist trait — if you don’t want to be considered suspect, the government commands you to use corporate-issued debit and credit cards, rather than its own currency. Via Boing Boing:

According to a set of guidelines sent out by the FBI as part of its Communities Against Terror program, ordinary citizens need to be on the lookout for suspicious characters who follow patterns of behavior of a covert operative.

http://www.disinfo.com/2012/03/fbi-urges-coffee-shops-to-report-cash-paying-customers-to-authorities/

Classified documents contradict FBI on post-9/11 probe of Saudis, ex-senator says

By Anthony Summers and Dan Christensen
Special to msnbc.com

Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has seen two classified FBI documents that he says are at odds with the bureau’s public statements that there was no connection between the hijackers and Saudis then living in Sarasota, Fla.

“There are significant inconsistencies between the public statements of the FBI in September and what I read in the classified documents,” Graham said.

http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/13/10656262-classified-documents-contradict-fbi-on-post-911-probe-of-saudis-ex-senator-says

Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely

How would you feel if you worked for a state or local government for 20 or 30 years only to have your pension slashed dramatically or taken away entirely? Well, this exact scenario is playing out from coast to coast and in the years ahead millions of elderly Americans are going to be affected by broken promises and vanishing pensions.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/broken-promises-pensions-all-over-america-are-being-savagely-cut-or-are-vanishing-completely

Bringing Down the Empire: Challenging the Institutions of Domination

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

We have come to the point in our history of our species where an increasing amount of people are asking questions, seeking answers, taking action, and waking up to the realities of our world, to the systems, ideas, institutions and individuals who have dominated, oppressed, controlled, and ensnared humanity in their grip of absolute control. As the resistance to these ideas, institutions, and individuals grows and continues toward taking action – locally, nationally, regionally, and globally – it is now more important than ever for the discussion and understanding of our system to grow in accord. Action must be taken, and is being taken, but information must inform action. Without a more comprehensive, global and expansive understanding of our world, those who resist this system will become increasingly divided, more easily co-opted, and have their efforts often undermined.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Bringing_Down_the_Empire%3A_Challenging_the_Institutions_of_Domination/18434/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Politics

Democratic lobbyists giving cold shoulder to Obama super-PAC

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/212909-democratic-lobbyists-giving-cold-shoulder-to-obama-super-pac-

‘Not for Pub’: US drew up secret Assange charges – Stratfor leak

http://rt.com/news/us-assange-charges-indictment-stratfor-425/

Homeland Security Dept. Pays General Dynamics to Scour Internet for Criticism of its Policies

http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Homeland_Security_Dept_Pays_General_Dynamics_to_Scour_Internet_for_Criticism_of_its_Policies_1202Economy

US ‘ties North Korea food aid to nuclear progress’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17201046

Obama using Espionage Act to ‘silence and prosecute federal workers’ – NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/business/media/white-house-uses-espionage-act-to-pursue-leak-cases-media-equation.html?_r=1

US tax dollars at work: War games: Tel Aviv missile drill

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4195662,00.html

McCain Charges White House With Israel Leaks

Sen. John McCain charges that the Obama administration is intentionally undermining Israel in its standoff with Iran.

Economy

S&P Declares Greece in Default

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833004577249831718108646.html

Venezuela to Keep Syria Fuel Exports, Deepen Ties With China

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-28/venezuela-to-keep-syria-fuel-exports-deepen-ties-with-china.html

Irish leaving in droves to work abroad:  More people will leave Ireland to find work abroad, than at any time since the 1980s

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/02/2012228103831963169.html

Durable goods orders drop by most in 3 years:  U.S. businesses slashed spending on machinery and equipment in January after a tax break expired, pushing orders for long-lasting manufacturing goods down by the largest amount in three years

http://news.yahoo.com/durable-goods-orders-drop-most-3-years-133644833.html

Democratic leaders intensify blame on Wall Street for rising oil prices

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/213013-dem-leaders-keep-pressure-on-wall-street-over-rising-oil-prices

20 Signs That Dust Bowl Conditions Will Soon Return To The Heartland Of America

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/20-signs-that-dust-bowl-conditions-will-soon-return-to-the-heartland-of-america

Dow crosses 13,000, first time since crisis

http://www.usatoday.com/money/markets/story/2012-02-28/stocks-february-28/53283088/1

HSBC could face US criminal charges and ‘significant’ fines over ‘money-laundering’

HSBC has admitted for the first time it may face criminal charges that could see it hit with “significant” penalties stemming from a US investigation into alleged money-laundering by Britain’s biggest bank.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9111850/HSBC-could-face-US-criminal-charges-and-significant-fines-over-money-laundering.html

America 1950 vs. America 2012

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/america-1950-vs-america-2012

Iran’s crude oil price exceeds $124 in Asian markets

http://www.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1545637

Wars And Rumors Of Wars

Israel Won’t Warn U.S. Before Strike On Iran: AP Source

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/israel-wont-warn-us-befor_n_1305601.html?1330398253&ncid=webmail2

Britain leads dash to explore for oil in war-torn Somalia:  Government offers humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in country’s future energy industry http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/25/britain-oil-dash-somalia

NATO airstrike kills four Afghan civilians –The victims were reportedly bombed twice while herding sheep in the snow.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/228735.html

Misc

Anonymous hackers: Police arrest 25 in four countries

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17195893