Alternative News Media
Fed (Federal Reserve) Delays Volcker Rule, Giving Wall Street Another Holiday Gift
Christmas came early for Wall Street this year. The Federal Reserve on Thursday granted banks an extra year to comply with a key provision of the Volcker Rule, a move that gives financial lobbyists more time to kill the new regulation before it goes into effect.
The Volcker Rule is a key element of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that bans banks from engaging in proprietary trading -- speculative deals that are designed only to benefit the bank itself, rather than its clients. Thursday's move by the Fed gives banks an additional year to unwind investments in private equity firms, hedge funds and specialty securities projects. The central bank also said it plans to extend the deadline by another 12 months next year, which would give Wall Street a two-year reprieve through the 2016 presidential election. ... Read more
Americans Are Sick to Death of Both Parties -- Why Our Politics Is in Worse Shape Than We Thought
The way many pundits tell it, the Democratic debacle in the 2014 midterm elections sounds like a perfect storm of bad breaks. The President was aloof. The party's message was weak and muddled, in some races focused almost entirely on gender issues. Meanwhile record or near-record breaking waves of political money (for off year elections) cascaded through the political system while voter turnout plunged to levels last seen in 1942.
The real story is much uglier: 2014 was fundamentally a democratic debacle. It likely heralds a new stage in the disintegration of the American political order. Though Republicans jubilate now, the trend is probably as threatening to them as it is to the Democrats. The reason is stark: Increasing numbers of average Americans can no longer stomach voting for parties that only pretend to represent their interests. ... Read more
Krugman says: "Putin's Russia is an extreme version of crony capitalism.
4 Signs the Arctic Is Getting Baked by Climate Change
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the Earth.
If you're looking for the ground zero of climate change, head to the Arctic. Nowhere else on Earth is changing as quickly or as dramatically; air temperatures there are rising twice as fast as at lower latitudes. In the summer of 2012, Arctic sea ice reached the lowest level ever recorded, shrinking to less than half the area it occupied a few decades ago. Ice has rebounded somewhat in the two years since, but it is still on a downward trajectory of about 13 percent per decade and could disappear altogether in summer months by 2030. ... Read more
Paul Krugman Shows How Putin's Burst Economic Bubble Is the Essence of Crony Capitalism
Alas, "swaggering strongman" Putin is hitting a bit of a snag, writes Paul Krugman in his column today. "Mr. Putin never had the resources to back his swagger," Krugman says. "Russia has an economy roughly the same size as Brazil's. And, as we're now seeing, it's highly vulnerable to financial crisis -- a vulnerability that has a lot to do with the nature of the Putin regime."
The ruble started sliding in August when Putin sent troops to Ukraine and has started downright plunging in recent weeks, Krugman points out. "And all indications are that the Russian economy is heading for a nasty recession."
The global plunge in oil prices has not helped, but it does not explain the bottom dropping out of the ruble. So what's going on? ... Read more
Ring of Fire*RingOfFire | Wall Street Thinks Elizabeth Warren Is The Devil (12/18/14) [1:49]
RingOfFire | Another Wall Street Appointee (12/18/14) [8:21]
RingOfFire | Wall Street's War On Pensions Plans (older) [8:27]
Thom Hartmann*ThomHartmann | Politics, Energy and the Fragile World Economy... (12/18/14) [32:19]
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, December 19 [10:38]
*DN | Should Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & CIA Officials Be Tried for Torture? War Crimes Case Filed in Germany (12/19/14) [12:14]
DN | New York Says No to Fracking: State Bans Drilling Following Grassroots Outcry over Public Health (12/19/14) [21:23]
DN | From Free Pre-K to Paid Sick Leave to Pay Raises, NYC Mayor de Blasio Fulfills Progressive Promises (12/19/14) [6:49]
Bill Moyers - http://billmoyers.com/*Bill Moyers | The New Robber Barons (12/19/14) [25:25]
Jon StewartJon Stewart | Jon Stewart Takes On North Korea Over Sony Hack (12/19/14) [3:55]
*TRNN | Ms. Tarachansky talks about her journey from growing up in a settlement to opposition to the Israeli occupation, Part 2 (12/19/14) [22:55]
*TRNN | Ms. Tarachansky says Israel is ripping itself apart and fascism is celebrating in the ruins, Part 3 (12/19/14) [25:26]
*TRNN | Ms. Tarachansky, TRNN Israel - Palestine correspondent and former Israeli settler, tells Paul Jay about her new documentary film, On the Side of the Road, Part 1 (12/17/14) [21:17]TRNN | Constitutional Rights' Michael Ratner: Rights Groups File Torture Charges against Bush-Era Officials in German Court (12/19/14) [12:48]
TYT | Fox News Epic Fail In Attacking Obama Over Sony Hack (12/18/14) [3:06]
TYT | Putin Holds A Show-Stopping, Bear-Loving Press Conference (12/18/14) [9:05]
TYT | Hollywood Cancels Another Film After North Korea Threats (12/18/14) [6:25]
TYT | A True Hero Emerges From The Grief & Anger In Pakistan (12/18/14) [4:31]
*StampStampede.org - http://StampStampede.org
The Stampede is tens of thousands of Americans legally stamping messages on our Nation's currency to #GetMoneyOut of Politics. As more and more stamped money spreads, so will the movement to amend the Constitution.The Stampede is tens of thousands of Americans legally stamping messages on our Nation's currency to #GetMoneyOut of Politics. (current) [2:59]
How Does It Work
Click to zoom - for Larger Image
How Does It Work.
Yes, It's Legal!
Many people assume that it's illegal to stamp or write on paper currency, but that's not the case. It's illegal to destroy paper currency or deface it so much that it's no longer recognizable and has to be taken out of circulation. But that's definitely not what we're up to. You can read what Ben Cohen's lawyer had to say about it, download it here. If your intent is to make the money unusable, it's illegal; but we want our bills to be used over and over again! Also, it is illegal to put a commercial advertisement on money. But we are putting political messages on the bills, not commercial advertisements. Because we all want these bills to stay in circulation and we're stamping to send a message about an issue that's important to us, it's legal!Legal Statement by Ben Cohen's Lawyer.pdf
Handy Dandy Guide to Stamping
Handy Dandy Guide to Stamping.pdf
OccupyGeorge.com - http://OccupyGeorge.com*Wealth Inequality in America [6:25]
CNN Town Hall #Askacop Twitter Question
I have a math question: if 1 black man has zero guns, zero knives and two hands, how many bullets does it take to disarm him?
Jeb Bush's Reverse Midas Touch
A "self-made man"
Eight years ago, Bush -- best known by the acronym "Jeb" -- departed from Florida's governor's mansion determined to boost his $1,288,000 net worth in the private sector. Since, he has made millions in corporate board fees, speaking gigs, and consulting payments -- but, much like his tenure before getting into public life, has done so with a series of companies that have found their way into legal or financial quagmires. ... Read more
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, December 18 [9:39]
DN | Does the Release of the Cuban Five Prove the U.S. Failed to Destroy Cuba After Decades of Trying? (12/18/14) [21:58],
Part 2 [12:06]
DN | "Cut Loose the Shackles of the Past": U.S. and Cuba Announce a New Dawn in Diplomatic Relations (12/18/14) [10:51]
TRNN | Despite the Department of Justice's decision not to compel Risen to reveal his sources, NYT journalist Risen may be forced in the end to implicate sources. (12/18/14) [5:00]
*TRNN | US and Cuba Restores Diplomatic Relations with a Spy Swap (12/18/14) [9:45]
TRNN | expert Eric Toussain: The countries of South America need their alternative to the World Bank to step forward; if not, they will be back in crisis (12/18/14) [11:38]
TYT | Major Shift In US-Cuba Relations - Trade, Diplomacy To Flow (12/17/14) [9:06] TYT | New Cuba Policy Provokes Opponents Into A Frenzy Of Nonsense (12/17/14) [6:43]
TYT | Sony Cancels Release Of "The Interview" After Hacking (12/17/14) [7:45]
Ring of FireRing of Fire (12/14/14) [52:58]
Ring of Fire: Another Corrupt Bush Seeking White House? (12/16/14) [10:19]
Ring of Fire: The Worst Republican Traits In One Package (12/16/14) [3:08]
Thom Hartmann*Thom Hartmann | James Risen - Did Saudi Arabia Finance 9/11 (10/24/14) [12:40]
Thom Hartmann | James Risen - How Billions Meant for Iraq Vanished Without a Trace (10/24/14) [11:20]
Thom Hartmann | James Risen - The Quiet Military Industrial Rich (10/24/14) [12:37]
Money-Hungry Lawmakers Undermine the Will of the People
Just when you thought the influence of big money in politics hit a fever pitch this year with our $4 billion midterm, our lawmakers snuck in a closing reminder that money reigns supreme in Washington.
Congress approved a $1.1 trillion end-of-year spending bill, known as "Cromnibus," full of handouts benefiting the super-rich. It was a glaring power grab by wealthy special interest groups and evidence of their corrupt grip on our lawmakers. ...
... The Stamp Stampede is nearly 30,000 citizens that are mad as hell and doing something about it. We're legally rubber stamping paper currency with messages like "Not To Be Used for Bribing Politicians" in order to create a mass visual demonstration of support for common-sense reform that ends the culture of corruption in Washington. With hundreds of new people joining every day, we're creating a petition on steroids to take back our democracy. ... Read moreBen and Jerry Talk About Stamping Money Out of Politics (11/19/13) [2:58]
Below >> Trust me, this is not a good thing! Despite the NeoCons, i.e. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc., making more people desperate around the world doesn't make for a safer world. We should be setting examples, i.e. stabalizing areas of instability and helping people raise their standard of living.
Russians Rush To Stores As Country Fears Bank Run
Russian consumers flocked to the stores Wednesday, frantically buying a range of big-ticket items to pre-empt the price rises kicked off by the staggering fall in the value of the ruble in recent days.
As the government considered ways to ease the selling pressure on the ruble, which has slid 15 percent in just two days and raised fears of a bank run, many Russians were buying cars and home appliances -- in some cases in record numbers -- before prices for these imported goods shoot higher. ... Read more
The Left Must Derail Hillary Clinton in the Primaries
As a presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush in 2016 appears ever more likely, it's a good moment to ask what alternative exists to lying down and letting such a campaign drown the body politic.
... What about the rest of us? Is it inevitable that we swallow the nomination of the neo-liberal Clinton, whose support of Bush's Iraq madness (not to mention Obama's Afghan and Libyan stupidity) and her husband's recklessly pro-"free trade," pro-banker, pro-deregulation politics ought to send reasonable liberals fleeing? Is it predestined that principled conservatives accept the anointment of the thoroughly fraudulent Jeb, whose support of his brother's interventionist folly, along with his own outrageous meddling as governor of Florida to "rescue" brain-dead Terri Schiavo, should give pause to even the greediest oil baron seeking patronage from a Republican administration? ... Read more
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, December 17 [13:04]
DN | Press Freedom Fight: Reporter James Risen Faces Subpoena in CIA Whistleblower Case (12/17/14) [8:25]
DN | The Destabilization of Pakistan: Tariq Ali on Taliban School Massacre & U.S. Afghan War Blowback (12/17/14) [14:16]
DN | Was Key Grand Jury Witness in Michael Brown Case a Racist, Mentally Ill, Lying Ex-Felon? (12/17/14) [18:45]
BillMoyersBillMoyers | John R. MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper says: The Case for Elizabeth Warren -- She's No Hillary (current) [3:13]
BILL MOYERS:TRNN | Ms. Tarachansky, TRNN Israel - Palestine correspondent and former Israeli settler, tells Paul Jay about her new documentary film, On the Side of the Road (12/17/14) [21:17]
That was a bold cover story you had recently: "Stop Hillary."
JOHN R. MACARTHUR (Harpers Magazine):
Yeah, well, we were, it was our effort to force a debate. And we did. I'm actually quite pleased with the outcome that all our competitors were then forced to do cover stories and commentaries on other candidates who might come into the race: Elizabeth Warren, Jim Webb has already announced an exploratory committee, Bernie Sanders, I wish that Sherrod Brown from Ohio would run. There are a lot of people who would make good candidates, but they're intimidated by the Clinton fundraising machine.
But would she raise a big tent for a lot of Democrats to get under and reverse the Republican wave of the midterm elections?
JOHN R. MACARTHUR:
There's absolutely no room, there's no tent that can hold the working class, the poor, the lower class that I'm talking about, and the Steven Rattners of Wall Street, who go around saying, oh, don't you love us? We're social liberals. We're for civil rights. We're for all the rights that you care about. We're for tolerance, and so on and so forth.
But what they're not for is worker rights. It doesn't matter if you're gay or black or an impoverished white former factory worker. You all have worker rights in common. That's the commonality. Citizens' rights, I would say also, but worker rights. They never talk about worker rights. They just talk about cultural liberalism. That's what they're interested in.
TRNN | Investigative journalist Greg Palast discusses: Hundreds of Thousands of Wrongfully Purged Votes Could Have Cost Dems Midterm Elections (12/17/14) [9:31]
Pull QuoteTYT | Even Other Terrorists Denounce Taliban School Attacks In Pakistan (12/16/14) [11:42] TYT | Americans Polled On Torture & The Result Devastates (12/16/14) [7:16]
Citigroup is a very large bank that has amassed a huge amount of political power. Its current and former executives consistently push laws and regulations in the direction of allowing Citi and other mega-banks to take on more risk, particularly in the form of complex highly leveraged bets. Taking these risks allows the executives and traders to get a lot of upside compensation in the form of bonuses when things go well -- while the downside losses, when they materialize, become the taxpayer's problem.
Citigroup is also, collectively, stupid on a grand scale. The supposedly smart people at the helm of Citi in the mid-2000s ran them hard around -- and to the edge of bankruptcy. A series of unprecedented massive government bailouts was required in 2000-09 -- and still the collateral damage to the economy has proved enormous. Give enough clever people the wrong incentives and they will destroy anything.
TYT | George Clooney Is Arm Candy To The Most Fascinating Person 2014 (12/16/14) [5:46]
TYT | Meathead Cop Whines That Cops Are The Victims In Tamir Rice Shooting (12/16/14) [7:14]
TYT | Shoot First, Question Later: Interrogation Of John Crawford's Girlfriend Released (12/16/14) [5:28]
News ArticlesClick to zoom - for Larger Image
Russia's Economy Is In Big Trouble, Russia's Ruble Slides To Historic Lows
A massive interest rate hike by Russia's Central Bank on Tuesday failed to stem the selling pressure on the ruble, which slid another 20 percent to new historic lows.
The surprise Central Bank decision to raise the rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent came in the middle of the night on Tuesday and represented a desperate attempt to prop up the troubled currency. The ruble has fallen sharply in recent weeks as a result of sliding oil prices as well as the pressure from Western sanctions over Russia's involvement in Ukraine. ...
But, what does this really mean for Russia? Maybe not as much as we all think. Watch the Hudson Report below.TRNN | Hudson Report: Russia Rejects South Steam Pipeline through Europe (12/15/14) [12:31]
Kevin Yoder MIA After Tucking Wall Street Bailout Into Government Spending Bill
For all the anger among progressives about a Wall Street bailout provision that made its way into the just-passed $1.1 trillion government spending bill, there's been little attention on the person who put it in there.
Yoder, a second-term congressman whose largest contributors are in the finance industry, introduced the provision last summer. It was literally written by Citigroup executives, but Yoder took their language and rolled it into an amendment to a spending bill in a House subcommittee meeting. It got swept into the year-end spending package because it "was within the scope of negotiations" on it, according to an Appropriations Committee aide.
The provision, which prompted a fiery speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), undoes a rule that prevents big banks from relying on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to bail them out if things go sour when they trade risky assets. The rule was put into place as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, which overhauled the financial regulatory system after the 2007-2008 financial crisis stemming from banks making extremely risky bets and losing. The government had to bail them out with taxpayer money, and Yoder's provision paves the way for another possible bailout. ... Read more
I just read the above article about the Wall Street bailout provision that made its way into the just-passed $1.1 trillion government spending bill. The one Elizabeth Warren gave a fiery speech about. Well, a 2 term Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) was apparently responsible. I don't even think he knows what he did!
Heck they won't even have to bribe them anymore. Just get them elected, the more illiterate the better.
Massive release of Fukushima radioactive waste being planned -- Gov't Official: I was overwhelmed by amount of contaminated water from reactors, we must dump it into ocean
NRA head signals massive release of tainted water to help decommission Fukushima site -- The head of Japan's nuclear watchdog said contaminated water stored at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant should be released into the ocean… Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, made the comment Dec. 12 after visiting the facility… "I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of tanks (holding water tainted with radioactive substances)," Tanaka told reporters, indicating they pose a danger to decommissioning work. "We have to dispose of the water… We also have to obtain the consent of local residents in carrying out the work, so we can somehow mitigate (the increase in tainted water)… While (the idea) may upset people, we must do our utmost to satisfy residents of Fukushima," Tanaka said, adding that the NRA would provide information to local residents based on continuing studies of radioactive elements in local waters. ... Read more
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, December 16 [9:13]
DN | Mike Gravel to Senator Mark Udall: Make Full Torture Probe Public Like I Did with Pentagon Papers (12/16/14) [10:57]
DN | After Duo Created CIA Torture Methods, Did World's Largest Group of Psychologists Enable Abuses? (12/16/14) [11:55]
DN | "Psychological Torture is Enshrined in U.S. Law": Complicity in Abuses Began Long Before Bush (12/16/14) [13:15]
Elizabeth Warren"Stop Hillary!" was the headline of the cover story in the November issue of Harper's Magazine. (12/12/14) [03:13]
Bill Moyers - http://billmoyers.com/*Bill Moyers | Web Extra: Democrats Bow Down to Wall Street (12/12/14) [17:31]
Jon StewartJon Stewart | Former Vice President Dick Cheney remorselessly defends the CIA torture program that was put in place following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (12/15/14) [9:22] TRNN | 350.org's Co-founder Jamie Henn says: The Lima Accord: A Great Success or Dooming Planet to Climate Catastrophe? (12/16/14) [5:19]
TYT | Cheney & Rove Pin Torture On Their Old Boss - Why Is Amazing (12/15/14) [2:46]
TYT | 'Rectal Feeding' Not Torture, Say Rectal-Feeding Torturers (12/15/14) [8:09]
TYT | Shooter Kills 6, Roams Free & It's Just Another Day In America (12/15/14) [4:16]
Thom HartmannThom Hartmann | The Battle for the Future of America... (12/15/14) [7:29]
Thom Hartmann | Fukushima Radiation Testing Positive on the West Coast (10/22/14) [6:53]
Fukushima News 11/14/14:Tepco Can't Stop Poisoning The Pacific Ocean-"Little Cause For Optimism" (11/14/14) [14:59]
What's in That Huge, Lobbyist-Driven Spending Bill?
Last Sunday, Rebecca Shabad reported for The Hill that good government groups were "bracing for surprises in the massive government-funding bill" that must be passed this week in order to avoid a government shutdown. K Street lobbyists were drooling over the $1 trillion dollar budget authorization, and saw it as "a final chance… to find a vehicle for their priorities."
... The provision that's drawn the most criticism is a measure that would weaken the already watered-down Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. It's a proposal that, according to The New York Times, was essentially written by lobbyists for Citigroup and targets a central provision of Dodd-Frank that limits taxpayers' exposure by requiring banks to isolate some of their riskiest bets in business units that aren't insured by the federal government. The idea was to try to prevent Wall Street from making the kind of reckless trades that fueled the last crisis. ... Read more
The Speech That Could Make Elizabeth Warren the Next President of the United States
Early Friday evening Sen. Elizabeth Warren took to the Senate floor and gave a plain-spoken, barn-burning speech that could make history and put her into serious contention to be the next President of the United States. ...
... "Democrats don't like Wall Street bailouts. Republicans don't like Wall Street bailouts. The American people are disgusted by Wall Street bailouts. And yet here we are, five years after Dodd-Frank with Congress on the verge of ramming through a provision that would do nothing for the middle class, do nothing for community banks, do nothing but raise the risk that taxpayers will have to bail out the biggest banks once again" ...
What the World Is Saying About the CIA Torture Report
The Senate torture report shook up the Washington establishment. But it's an international story -- the CIA's network of black sites was spread around the world, from Thailand to Morocco. Here are some of the comments: ... Read more
Taper Tantrum 2.0: Emerging Currencies Are Crashing
More bloodbath. Wherever we look today, things are not going well. While we have become used to day after day of Oil Producers' FX collapsing, today we see the tumble in Emerging Market FX rates begin to accelerate in a very Taper-Tantrum-esque manner. While the Ruble at 64 is grabbing headlines, Turkish Lira is utterly collapsing along with Indonesia and India overnight. Read moreClick to zoom - for Larger Image
Dodd-Frank Budget Fight Proves Democrats Are a Bunch of Stuffed Suits
Gosh, the Democrats are really pushing hard to save a key portion of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill, aren't they? Like tigers, or Siamese fighting fish they battle! Thrilling to watch!
Oh, wait, that's what they aren't doing. Actually what we're watching in the "Cromnibus" budget fight, is a stage-managed surrender that was inevitable pretty much from the moment the ink began to dry on the so-called sweeping reform of Wall Street the Democrats passed years ago.
The dominant media narrative this past week has been that Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, firmly saddled in her high horse, is trying to hold up the passage of the budget over a trifle. In reality, the so-called "Citigroup" provision to kill a rule designed to prevent future bailouts (so named because it was allegedly written by Citigroup lobbyists) is potentially quite an evil and destructive little thing. But the nitpicking counter-spin is already coming hot and heavy.
"It's a marginal regulation," said Patrick Brennan of the National Review, about the Dodd-Frank rule Warren wants to keep. Brennan bro-ishly dismissed "Liz" as an "indefatigable academic" who is "picking a fight that really can't be said to help or hurt the economy," a political fight that is "hardly a hill to die on."
Republicans like South Carolina Senator Linsey Graham derided Warren's gambit as an immature squabble and blasted Democrats in the House who followed her line of thinking. "Don't follow her lead," he said. "She's the problem." ... Read more
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, December 15 [9:10]
DN | Emissions-Cutting Deal Reached at COP 20 Lima, But Will It Help Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change? (12/15/14) [14:03]
DN | Black Youth-Organized Millions March NYC Draws Tens of Thousands in Movement's Biggest Protest Yet (12/15/14) [15:35]
Bill Moyers - http://www.billmoyers.com/Bill Moyers | John R. MacArthur of Harper's Magazine says: Democrats Bow Down to Wall Street (12/12/14) [25:25]
TRNN | Hudson Report: Russia Rejects South Steam Pipeline through Europe (12/15/14) [12:31]
Europe effort to join the US in isolating Russia has backfired; it makes no sense to build an oil and gas pipeline for Russian exports that would be owned and leased to them by the US and Europe.TRNN | Nader: Federal Budget For Militarism, Against the People (12/15/14) [10:20]
Consumer advocate and activist Ralph Nader says the Democratic party is incapable of defending the American people from the worst Republican party in history.TRNN | John M. Ackerman: A Second Mexican Revolution in The Works? Part 2 (12/15/14) [9:01]
Climate of impunity persists in Mexico and only 6.8 % of the 33 million crimes committed in 2013 were ever investigated says John M. Ackerman, Professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.TRNN | Naomi Murakawa: Will the New Federal Racial Profiling Guidelines have Any Impact? Part 1 (12/15/14) [17:05]
TYT | Politicians Finally Work Together...To Screw College Students (12/14/14) [6:42]
TYT | The Media Handled Torture In Wildly Different Ways (12/14/14) [4:00]
TYT | Obama Losing The Race On Race Relations (12/14/14) [5:42]
TYT | MoveOn Spending A Million To Get Elizabeth Warren To Run (12/14/14) [3:10]
TYT | Torture Report 'Full Of Crap' Growls Dick Cheney (12/14/14) [6:02]
TYT | CIA Director Says Torture Doesn't Work… Sort Of (12/14/14) [7:42]
Thomm HartmannThom Hartmann | Economic & Labor News: December 15, 2014 (12/15/14) [6:59]
Thom Hartmann | The New Way to 'Bribe' an Elected Official... (12/12/14) [6:19]
What a Trillion Dollars Looks Like | National Debt*Demonocracyinfo | US Debt in Physical $100 bills [2:10]
So why are we still calling ourselves a Democracy?Click to zoom - for Larger Image
Presenting The $303 Trillion In Derivatives That US Taxpayers Are Now On The Hook For
Courtesy of the Cronybus(sic) last minute passage, government was provided a quid-pro-quo $1.1 trillion spending allowance with Wall Street's blessing in exchange for assuring banks that taxpayers would be on the hook for yet another bailout, as a result of the swaps push-out provision, after incorporating explicit Citigroup language that allows financial institutions to trade certain financial derivatives from subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, explicitly putting taxpayers on the hook for losses caused by these contracts. ... Read moreClick to zoom - for Larger Image
Click to zoom - for Larger Image
California Storm Hits South After Drenching North
A dangerous storm system blamed for two deaths in Oregon, thousands of power outages in Washington and flooded roadways in the San Francisco Bay Area pushed into Southern California on Friday, causing mudslides and evacuations.
A powerful squall line led the storm's pre-dawn charge, lashing the region with wind-driven rain. Rain fell at the rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour, triggering flash flooding, the National Weather Service said. The main front followed with rain falling at rates of a tenth to about a third of an inch per hour. ... Read more
Bill Moyers - http://www.billmoyers.com/Bill Moyers | John R. MacArthur of Harper's Magazine says: Democrats Bow Down to Wall Street (12/12/14) [25:25]
Who Controls the WorldWho Controls the World: James B. Glattfelder at TED (11/28/12) [14:38]
The Network of Global Corporate Control.pdf
The network of global corporate control (2) .pdf
What a Trillion Dollars Looks Like | National Debt*Demonocracyinfo | US Debt in Physical $100 bills [2:10] Click picture to zoom in - National Budget
Click picture to zoom in - FDIC
Click picture to zoom in - Derivatives and Bank Exposures
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, December 12 [9:01] DN | "We are on a Course Leading to Tragedy": At U.N. Talks, Kerry Delivers Urgent Plea on Climate Change (12/12/14) [6:29]
DN | Pipe Dreams? Labor Researchers Say Keystone XL Project May Kill More Jobs Than It Creates (12/12/14) [13:08]
DN | Former VP Al Gore Urges Obama to Reject Keystone XL as Kerry, Top U.S. Negotiator Stay Mum (12/12/14) [2:22]
DN | Silencing Dissent: U.N. Bars Climate Protesters from Putting "Keystone," "Kerry" or "U.S." on Signs (12/12/14) [5:07]
TRNN | Professor Gerald Epstein says: Federal Budget Guts Most Significant Financial Regulation Since 2008 (12/12/14) [6:54]
TRNN | McClatchy reporter Jonathan Landay says: CIA Director Brennan Retreats on Intelligence and Torture Claims (12/12/14) [8:54]
I guess they are kind of pissed off with all the attention they are getting. Now, does anyone go to jail?Click to zoom - for Larger Image
VICE | The Architect of the CIA's Enhanced Interrogation Program (12/10/14) [25:00]
Democrats Revolt Against 'Wall Street Giveaway' In Deal To Prevent Government Shutdown
Democrats on Wednesday raged against a government funding bill that would provide taxpayer subsidies to risky Wall Street derivatives trading. "The House of Representatives is about to show us the worst of government for the rich and powerful," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on the Senate floor. She urged her colleagues not to support a "deal negotiated behind closed doors that slips in a provision that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system."
... "[It's] an awful invitation for another financial disaster," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, told reporters Wednesday. "A number of us are very concerned." ... Read more
How Wal-Mart Fabricated And Lied About Its "Strong" Chinese Sales For Years
For many, if not most, companies and especially retailers, the great wildcard that is the "massive" Chinese market with the potential of hundreds of millions of buyers in the country's nascent middle class, has been a slam dunk when it comes to boosting stock prices. After all, what can go wrong? America's largest retailer was one of those hoping to capitalize on just this shareholder euphoria for Chinese exposure, and just like everyone else, it milked its Chinese exposure for many years. And then, unexpected everything did go wrong: as Bloomberg explains, "After years of heralding China as one of its best markets, Wal-Mart in August said its performance there was among the worst in its major countries." How is that possible? Read on to find out how Wal-Mart fabricated, lied and misled investors for years using every single trick in the book and then some. ... Read more
CNBC | Millionaires' poll
Thirty-one percent of 500 millionaires polled by CNBC said Hillary Clinton was their top choice to become the next president. Jeb Bush was the runner up with the support of 18 percent of the respondents.
Respondents got to choose among nine potential candidates in the survey: Clinton; Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Vice President Joe Biden; Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.); Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas); Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); former Governor Jeb Bush (R-Fla.); Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Governor Scott Walker (R-Wis.)
Washington's coming budget battles
In Washington's coming budget battles, sacred cows like the tax deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable donations are likely to be on the table along with potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare.Read more PBS Newshour | CIA and Senate Battle Over Interrogation Torture Report 911/01/14) [7:23]
But no one on Capitol Hill believes Wall Street's beloved carried-interest tax loophole will be touched. Don't blame the newly elected Republican Congress.
Democrats didn't repeal the loophole when they ran both houses of Congress from January 2009 to January 2011. And the reason they didn't has a direct bearing on the future of the party.
First, let me explain why this loophole is the most flagrant of all giveaways to the super-rich.
Carried interest allows hedge-fund and private-equity managers, as well as many venture capitalists and partners in real estate investment trusts, to treat their take of the profits as capital gains -- taxed at a maximum rate of 23.8 percent instead of the 39.6 percent maximum applied to ordinary income.
It's a pure scam. They get the tax break even though they invest other peoples' money rather than risk their own.
The loophole has no economic justification. As one private equity manager told me recently, "I can't defend it. No one can."
It's worth about $11 billion a year -- more than enough to extend unemployment benefits to every one of America's nearly 3 million long-term unemployed.
The hedge fund, private equity and other fund managers who receive this $11 billion are some of the richest people in America. Forbes lists 46 billionaires who have derived most of their wealth from managing hedge funds. Mitt Romney used the carried-interest loophole to help limit his effective tax rate in 2011 to 13.9 percent. ...
Robert Reich - What is a good society?Robert Reich | The Politics and Economics of Inequality (06/30/14) [54:49]
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, December 11 [9:37]
*DN | "These Are Crimes": New Calls to Prosecute Bush Admin as Senate Report Reveals Brutal CIA Torture (12/11/14) [17:56]
DN | "We Are Like the Walking Dead": Latin American Indigenous Groups Decry Corporate Destruction of Land (12/11/14) [5:41]
DN | Putting People Before Profit: Thousands March in Peruvian People's Climate March in Lima (12/11/14) [11:17]
DN | From the Streets to the Suites, Protesters Call for Climate Justice at Corporate Gathering in Lima (12/11/14) [6:03]
Elizabeth WarrenDemocrats Revolt Against 'Wall Street Giveaway' In Deal To Prevent Government Shutdown (12/10/14) [6:44]
*Elizabeth Warren on Main Street, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve (12/10/14) [22:54]
Paul Krugman on Main Street, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve (12/10/14) [36:56]
TRNN | Michael Ratner says: The Torturers: Donald Rumsfeld, President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney (12/11/14) [16:16]
TRNN | Congress and Pentagon Shielding Weapons Contracts from Budget Cuts (12/11/14) [11:01]
TRNN | Keep The Oil in the Soil (12/11/14) [6:58]
TYT | Obama Strongly Against Torture & Prosecuting Torturers (12/10/14) [11:01]
TYT | Torture Report Causes Awesome Eruption From Fox News Anchor (12/10/14) [5:27]
TYT | Trillion Dollar Spending Bill Rigs The System More Than Ever (12/10/14) [9:49]
TYT | Teen Jailed 30 Days For Studying History While Black (12/10/14) [5:51]
TYT | Spending Bill Hurts The Poor, Weakens Dems & Does It For $1.1 Trillion (12/10/14) [5:45]
TYT | Afghanistan War Over... So Why Is Obama Sending More Troops? (12/10/14) [3:56]
As I construct My News Pages I constantly run across a lot of NEW videos, and since I find YouTube frustrating trying to re-find videos, I save the links in this section so I can find them again.
Congress reaches deal for $1.1 trillion U.S. spending bill
Congressional negotiators unveiled a $1.1 trillion U.S. spending bill that aims to avoid a government shutdown at midnight on Thursday and punts an immigration showdown between Republicans and President Barack Obama until February.
As the funding deadline loomed, Republicans successfully negotiated a number of policy provisions into the measure, including easing of regulations ranging from the environment to financial derivatives trading. ... Read more
20 Key Findings From the Senate Report on CIA Torture
After months of wrangling with intelligence officials, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a summary of its 6,700-page report on the CIA's detention and interrogation programs under President George W. Bush.
The report paints a portrait of the CIA as an agency gone rogue. It, along with two private contractors, skirted congressional oversight by lying about the severity of the torture techniques being employed, and the value of the information that was gathered in the process. ...
Warren even dared to bring up the demise of the Brown-Kaufman amendment to the Dodd-Frank reform. This would have set a cap on the size of financial institutions, but it failed amid mass opposition, not just from the financial sector but inside the government. "The hand-in-hand between Treasury officials and Wall Street executives on this was not subtle--a senior Treasury official publicly acknowledged it at the time," Warren points out, referring to a long-forgotten admission in New York Magazine. The Treasury official in question boasted that Brown-Kaufman would have passed if Treasury supported it, "but we weren't, so it didn't."
Elizabeth Warren's Latest Wall Street Attack Was Her Boldest Yet
If anyone thought that Senator Elizabeth Warren would ease up on her battle with the White House over Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance nominee Antonio Weiss, they can put such thoughts to bed. In a speech today at the "Managing the Economy" conference in Washington organized by several financial reform coalitions, Warren made clear that her fight is about much more than one nominee at the Treasury Department. She crafted a direct challenge to three decades of bipartisan collusion between government and Wall Street, in a highly unusual manner for any politician, let alone one recently drafted into the Senate Democratic leadership. The Weiss affair has become secondary to this bigger competition for what principles will shape the Democratic Party, and what role Warren will play in it. ...
"It's no less puzzling to nominate an international mergers specialist to handle largely domestic issues at Treasury because he has a background in finance."Read more
Then there's the $21 million "parting payment" Weiss will get from his former employer, Lazard, to take the government job. The AFL-CIO has focused on these payouts for Wall Street executives who rotate into government, wondering how it benefits the bank or its shareholders unless they expect a light touch of regulation in the future.
"Success" in the modern, progressive, world of finance. We have not been "saved from a depression", but rather, the Fed has done a fine job of simply hiding it (and enriching the 1% 400-fold in the process).
"These Are Astonishing Figures, Evidence Of A 1930s-Style Depression"
What is clear is that the world has become addicted to central bank stimulus. Bank of America said 56pc of global GDP is currently supported by zero interest rates, and so are 83pc of the free-floating equities on global bourses. Half of all government bonds in the world yield less that 1pc. Roughly 1.4bn people are experiencing negative rates in one form or another.
These are astonishing figures, evidence of a 1930s-style depression, albeit one that is still contained. Nobody knows what will happen as the Fed tries break out of the stimulus trap, including Fed officials themselves.... Read moreClick to zoom - for Larger Image
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, December 10 [12:20]
DN | Interviews Nigerian Environmental Activist Nnimmo Bassey about U.N. Climate Talks (12/10/14) [10:40]
DN | Brazilian Indigenous Leader: Carbon Trading Scheme "REDD" is a False Solution to Climate Change (12/10/14) [10:36]
DN | As U.N. Summit Enters High-Level Talks, Protesters in Lima Prepare for Historic Climate March (12/10/14) [3:43]
Interesting VideosWhat the UNITED STATES thinks of EUROPE (by Aleix Saló) (10/22/14) [1:56]
How do Europeans really feel about each other? (2011) [2:55]
The bear (Russia) is back (03/25/14) [1:00]
TRNN | Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler says: CIA Torture Report Incomplete as Key Documents Remain Withheld (12/10/14) [6:15]
Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler says the Obama administration is using the CIA to protect itself and Bush-era officials from being legally implicated in war crimes.TRNN | Sean Staars Assistant Professor says: Hong Kong Police Shuts Down The "Umbrellas Revolution" (12/10/14) [10:13]
TYT | Filming Cops On Duty Is Now A Felony In Illinois (12/09/14) [6:13]
TYT | Former Cop Reveals Racism & Violence Within The Force (12/09/14) [7:40]
TYT | Megyn Kelly (of Fox) Freaks On Torture But Her Guest Totally Surprises (12/09/14) [8:27]
TYT | George W Bush Praises The Torturers He Ordered To Torture (12/09/14) [4:51]
TYT | Are Troops REALLY Endangered By Torture Report? (12/09/14) [10:29]
TYT | Torture Report Includes 'Rectal Hummus' & Other Shocking Brutalities (12/09/14) [6:19]
TYT | Torture Report Details Long List Of America's Brutal Crimes (12/09/14) [6:47]
Ring of FireRing of Fire (12/07/14) [51:58]
Thom HartmannThom Hartmann | Bush Torture Report Released... (12/09/14) [9:22]
Thom Hartmann | Latest from UN Climate talks in Peru... (12/09/14) [5:05]
With CIA Torture Report Set For Controversial Release, Washington Braces For Fallout
The White House confirmed Monday that a summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's post-9/11 torture program would be released Tuesday, despite reports that some in the Obama administration had pressured the panel to delay the document's controversial release. ...
... Tuesday's release will mark the end, for now, of the bitterly fought battle over the document waged between the White House, its chief intelligence agency and the Senate panel. Even though the committee voted in April to declassify the report's summary, the public revelation was held up by protracted disputes over information that the White House and CIA wanted to keep secret, but that the Senate committee wanted to publicize. After months of tense negotiations, the two sides came to an agreement last week. ... Read moreCommittee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program.pdf
Fox | Everything the president said above is untrue -- and it appears that the looming Senate Intelligence Committee report on the torture program will soon prove it. (2007) [2:01]
The 30 year mortgage robs your future. […] It simply enabled borrowers to buy more house than they could afford by spreading the payments out over a longer term. On top of that, those homeowners paid tens--even hundreds of thousands of dollars more in interest.
Instead of a 30 year mortgage, Dave recommends getting a 15 year mortgage with "at least a 10% down payment and monthly payments that are no more than 25% of your take-home pay."
Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank to end deposit advance loans, citing tougher regulation
Facing tough new regulations, some of the country's largest banks, including Wells Fargo, said Friday that they are abandoning a short-term, high-interest loan product that consumer groups have called a debt trap.
The exit of Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, Guaranty Bank and U.S. Bank could be a harbinger of things to come as banks anticipate tougher rules on an array of consumer products, including prepaid cards. ... Read more
U.S. Bank refunding customers $48 million for deceptive practices
U.S. Bank, which is the fifth largest in the country, was ordered to pay customers $448 million as part of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's crackdown on deceptive banking practices. ... Read more
Even The BIS Is Shocked At How Broken Markets Have Become
... It started in June of 2013, when Jaime Caruana, certainly the most prominent doom and gloomer at the BIS (who also was Governor of the Bank of Spain from 2000 to 2007 when this happened) asked if "central banks [can] now really do "whatever it takes"? As each day goes by, it seems less and less likely... [seven] years have passed since the eruption of the global financial crisis, yet robust, self-sustaining, well balanced growth still eludes the global economy.... low-interest policies have made it easy for the private sector to postpone deleveraging, easy for the government to finance deficits, and easy for the authorities to delay needed reforms in the real economy and in the financial system. Overindebtedness is one of the major barriers on the path to growth after a financial crisis. Borrowing more year after year is not the cure...in some places it may be difficult to avoid an overall reduction in accommodation because some policies have clearly hit their limits." ... Read more
"Rectal Feeding," Threats to Children, and More: 16 Awful Abuses From the CIA Torture Report
A new report from the Senate intelligence committee says the CIA pureed hummus and put it in a detainee's rectum.
On Tuesday morning, the Senate intelligence committee released an executive summary of its years-long investigation into the CIA's detention and interrogation program. President George W. Bush authorized the so-called "enhanced interrogation" program after the 9/11 attacks. The United States government this week has warned personnel in facilities abroad, including US embassies, to be ready in case protests erupt in response. The full report includes over 6,000 pages and 35,000 footnotes. You can read it here. Here are some of the lowlights: ... Read more
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, December 09 [11:35]
*DN | "They Have Destroyed Our Livelihood": Activists Protest Shell and Chevron at U.N. Climate Talks (12/09/14) [6:16]
*DN | "Corporate Conquistadors": New Report Exposes How Multinationals Drive, Profit From Climate Change (12/09/14) [6:23]
Stephen ColbertStephen Colbert | President Obama Takes Over On 'Colbert Report' () [2:52]
*TRNN | Dr. Thomas O'Donnell of The Free University of Berlin: The sliding oil and gas prices, combined with the sanctions, causes Russia to pivot to Asia for a long-term economic strategy (12/09/14) [12:58]
Chris Hedges REPLAY on TRNNTYT | Conservative Blogger Exposes Gang Rape Victim At University Of Virginia (12/08/14) [8:43]
*TRNN | Chris Hedges: Urban Poverty in America Made Me Question Everything, Part 1 (10/03/14) [17:15]
TRNN | Chris Hedges: Journalism Should Be About Truth, Not Career, Part 2 (10/03/14) [19:19]
TRNN | Chris Hedges: We Must Grasp Reality to Build Effective Resistance, Part 3 (10/03/14) [10:15]
TRNN | Chris Hedges: "America is a Tinderbox", Part 4 (10/03/14) [18:51]
TRNN | Chris Hedges: The Liberal Elite has Betrayed the People They Claim to Defend, Part 5 (10/03/14) [18:25]
TRNN | Chris Hedges: As a Socialist, I Have No Voice in the Mainstream, Part 6 (10/03/14) [14:03]
TRNN | Chris Hedges: Chris Hedges Answers Questions from Viewers, Part 7 (10/03/14) [14:28]
TYT | In One Joke, Stephen Colbert Nails Obama, Rips Dems & Confuses CNN (12/08/14) [8:20]
TYT | Sony Hacking Reveals Profit Surprises You Never Saw Coming (12/08/14) [10:13]
Keiser ReportKeiser Report: Unjust Road to Independence () [25:28]
Christmas Lights - Regular | Mini | LEDThe LED light uses 15% of the energy of a standard incandescent mini-light with a brighter light for a greater impact.
Click to zoom - for Larger Image
Citigroup: The Original Gangsta
Barack Obama's Justice Department on Monday announced that Citigroup would pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with the seamy financial products the bank had marketed to an unsuspecting public, causing vast damage to the economy.Read more
Citigroup is the too-big-to-fail bank that was allowed to form only when Bill Clinton signed legislation reversing the sensible restraints on Wall Street instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt to avoid another Great Depression.
"Today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down those antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority," a beaming Clinton boasted after signing the Financial Services Modernization Act into law in 1999.
Called the Citigroup authorization act by some wags at the time, those antiquated laws, the Glass-Steagall Act primarily, had put a safety barrier between the high rollers in Wall Street investment firms and the staid commercial banks charged with preserving the savings of ordinary folk. The new law permitted them to merge.
Clinton handed the pen that he used in signing the new law to Citigroup Chairman Sanford Weill, whose Citicorp had already merged with Travelers Group before the law was even officially changed. On an earlier occasion, Weill had informed Clinton about his merger plans in a telephone conversation. After hanging up, Weill then bragged to his fellow banking executive John S. Reed, who was on the call, that "we just made the president of the United States an insider," according to Wall Street Journal reporter Monica Langley in her book on the Citigroup merger.
In 2000, just before leaving office, Clinton went much further in radical deregulation of the financial industry when he signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. In one swoop this eliminated from the purview of any existing regulation or regulatory agency the new financial products, including the mortgage-backed securities at the heart of the financial meltdown and the subject of the $7 billion fine levied in what has to be viewed as a copout deal. ...
Japan's Recession Deepens as Election Looms for Abe: Economy
Japan's recession was deeper than initially estimated as company investment unexpectedly shrank, a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he campaigns for re-election on his economic credentials.
The economy contracted an annualized 1.9 percent in the July to September period from the previous quarter, weaker than the 1.6 percent drop reported in preliminary data. The result was also below every forecast in a Bloomberg News survey that showed a median 0.5 percent decrease. Read more
According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, "Four months before 9/11", FBI monitoring overhears Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, Pentagon adviser Richard Perle, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz "discussing with the Turkish ambassador in Washington an arrangement whereby the US would invade Iraq and divide the country.… They were negotiating what Turkey required in exchange for allowing an attack from Turkish soil."
California Drought, High Temperatures Create Worst Conditions In 1,200 Years
A combination of record high temperatures and sparse rainfall during California's three-year drought have produced the worst conditions in 1,200 years, according to a study accepted for publication by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).
The state has gone through numerous periods of dry weather, with as little or less rainfall as the past few years, but scientists looking at the cumulative effects of temperature, low precipitation and other factors said that it all adds up to the worst conditions in more than a millennium. ... Read more
Up Close and Personal With George W. Bush's Horrifying Legacy
The Iraq disaster remains George W. Bush's enduring folly, and the Republican attempt to shift the blame to the Obama presidency is obscene nonsense. This was, and will always be, viewed properly as Bush's quagmire, a murderous killing field based on blatant lies.Read more
This showcase of American deceit, obvious to the entire world, began with the invented weapons of mass destruction threat that Bush, were he even semi-cognizant of the intelligence data, must have known represented an egregious fraud. So was his nonsensical claim that Saddam Hussein had something to do with the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, when in fact he was Osama bin Laden's most effective Arab opponent.
Yet Bush responded to the 9/11 attacks by overthrowing a leader who had banished al-Qaida from Iraq and who had been an ally of the United States in the war to contain Iran's influence in the region. Instead of confronting the funders of Sunni extremism based in Saudi Arabia, the home of 15 of the 19 hijackers and their Saudi leader bin Laden, Bush chose to attack the secular leader of Iraq. That invasion, as the evidence of the last week confirms, resulted in an enormous boon to both Sunni extremists and their militant Shiite opponents throughout the Mideast.
How pathetic that Secretary of State John Kerry is now reduced to begging the ayatollahs of Iran to come to the aid of their brethren in Iraq. Or that the movement to overthrow the secular leader of Syria, a movement supported by the United States, has resulted in a base for Sunni terrorists in Iraq and Syria of far greater consequence than the one previously used to plot the 9/11 attacks from isolated Afghanistan. ...
"Deadly" radioactive material up around 50,000,000% at Fukushima plant in recent months -- Strontium-90 spikes to record level near ocean outside Reactor No. 2
With Q3 Buybacks Surging, These Are The Top 20 Repurchasers Of Their Own Stock
As it turns out our conclusion that it's all over was premature (with the Fed getting some breathing room thanks to desperate corner offices eager to pump up their CEO's equity-linked compensation), and as the just concluded Q3 earnings seasons confirms, what went down, promptly soared right back up, with stock repurchases in Q3 surging by 30% following the 30% drop in Q2, and nearly offsetting all the lost "corporate wealth creation" in the second quarter, with the total amount of stock repurchases by S&P 500 companies jumping from $112 billion to $145 billion, just shy of the Q1 record, and the second highest single quarter repurhcase tally going back to 2007, and before. ...
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, December 08 [12:40]
*DN | As Typhoon Hagupit Wreaks Havoc, Leading Filipino Environmental Voice Silenced at U.N. Climate Talks (12/08/14) [11:07]
DN | At Lima Talks, Nations Worst Hit by Global Warming Say Climate Aid Isn't Charity, But Reparations (12/08/14) [16:08]
DN | The Laundering Machine: How U.S. Corporations Threaten Peru's Forests Through Illegal Logging (12/08/14) [7:11]
Jon StewartJon Stewart | Wednesday night, however, was a rare occasion in the comedian's career when he simply couldn't find a way to laugh about how broken our society is. (12/04/14) [3:38]
CNNCNN | Even George W. Bush Finds the Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision 'Hard to Understand' (12/06/14) [1:10]
*TRNN | Economist Richard Wolff says workers are returning to jobs with lower wages, fewer benefits, and less job security than they had before the financial crisis hit. (12/07/14) [12:12]
Professor Richard D. Wolff website
Pretty good*TRNN | Dr. Thomas O'Donnell discusses: The Russian ruble takes a tumble as the falling oil prices slide, and the geo-politics of it al. (12/08/14) [12:17]
That Film About Money by James Schamus (10/21/14) [6:50]
Part 2 [8:10]
The Debt & The Deficit by Marshall Curry (Animated Film) [6:34]
Recession by Lee Hirsch (10/21/14) [7:01]
Propaganda | fluff | Misleading
Wall Street by Joe Berlinger (10/21/14) [9:33]
*TRNN | Is Congress' Call for ISIS War Debate a Sham? (12/08/14) [16:28]
TYT | Government Debt And Deficit: Obama vs. Bush (12/07/14) [5:07]
TYT | Wall Street Launches Assault On Your Money (12/07/14) [5:11]
TYT | Obama, McConnell Lock Arms In Expanding Corporate Power (12/07/14) [8:59]
More NewsThe Antares unmanned spacecraft, ISS-bound, explodes on takeoff from NASA facility in Virginia (10/29/14) [1:00]
The Antares unmanned spacecraft crashed after a self-destruct signal was sent to it due to a catastrophic anomaly the rocket experienced 10 to 12 seconds after ignition. The $200 million craft was lost along with its payload, which included 2,200 kg of cargo meant for the International Space Station.Click to zoom - for Larger Image
The Story Behind the Story of Those Huge Corporate Tax Cuts
Last week, Igor Volsky reported for Think Progress that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) had struck a deal with House Republicans to give corporate America a massive tax giveaway just weeks after the midterm elections. The agreement, wrote Volsky, "would permanently extend relief for big multinational corporations without providing breaks for middle or lower-income families." Writing in The Washington Post, Jared Bernstein, a former economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, called the package "a dog's breakfast of permanent tax breaks mostly for businesses that would add over $400 billion to the 10-year budget deficit without doing anything for low-income, working families."
He wasn't alone in panning the deal. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Volsky that the cuts would be "fiscally irresponsible." The 10-year, $444 billion package includes a few provisions that were popular with Democrats, but would phase out existing tax credits for clean energy development. Mostly, it's a boon for some of the top corporate tax-avoiders in America. Some 90 percent of the cuts would benefit their bottom lines. One of the biggest beneficiaries would be GE, which, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, claimed tax refunds of $3.1 billion on $27.5 billion in profits between 2008 and 2012. That means the company had a negative tax rate of 11 percent. Other big winners would include Wall Street financial firms, pharmaceutical companies and computer and Internet businesses. ... Read more
So now let's look at the big picture. The final totals are $59 billion, 3 percent of the total federal budget, for regular welfare and $92 billion, 5 percent of the total federal budget, for corporate welfare.
Microsoft Admits Keeping $92 Billion Offshore to Avoid Paying $29 Billion in US Taxes (08/23/14)
10 Corporate Tax Dodgers You Should Know About
Learn more about each company at the Americans for Tax Fairness website or download and read the entire report (PDF).
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, December 05 [55:00]
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | The United States of Ferguson (12/05/14) [23:17]
Jon Stewart*Stupidity of Pink Fracking Fully Exposed on The Daily Show (12/04/14) [4:45]
*TRNN | Michael Klare, the author of The Race for What's Left: The Geopolitics of Tumbling Oil Prices (12/04/14) [15:53]
*TRNN | Journalist Max Blumenthal says: Early Elections Could Result in Most Right-Wing Coalition in Israel's History (12/04/14) [13:27]
TYT | Revenge Porn Lands This Man In Jail For 1 Year (12/04/14) [5:44]
TYT | Couple Mocks Chokehold That Killed Eric Garner On Live TV (12/04/14) [5:19]
TYT | #CrimingWhileWhite Sheds Light On Incredible Racial Stories (12/04/14) [5:15]
TYT | Emotional & Irresponsible, Cop Who Killed Tamir Rice Was Deemed Unfit For Duty 2 Years Prior (12/04/14) [5:28]
TYT | Obesity, Not Cops, Killed Eric Garner Says Politician (12/04/14) [6:12]
Ring of FireRing of Fire | Violent Choke Hold Grounds Enough For Police Indictment (12/04/14) [10:17]
Thom HartmannThom Hartmann | Rep. Peter DeFazio on GMO Labeling & Infrastructure Spending (12/04/14) [15:39]
Corporate Welfare*Corporate Welfare - Click to zoom
Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs
thinkbynumbers.org | author | 2012
When one thinks about government welfare, the first thing that comes to mind is the proverbial welfare queen sitting atop her majestic throne of government cheese issuing a royal decree to her clamoring throngs of illegitimate babies that they may shut the hell up while she tries to watch Judge Judy. However, many politically well-connected corporations are also parasitically draining their share of fiscal blood from your paycheck before you ever see it. It's called corporate welfare. The intent here is to figure out which presents the greater burden to our federal budget, corporate or social welfare programs. ... Read moreOr read the Archived article here:
Click to zoom - for article
STUDY: U.S. Spends $59 Billion on Social Welfare...$92 Billion on Corporate Welfare
A recent blog post by Mike Sinn for Think by Numbers questions if the government spends more on social welfare or corporate welfare. The GOP has attempted to turn the political discussion surrounding the upcoming election into a debate about President Obama and social welfare, while progressives have done the same with Mitt Romney and corporate welfare. But who is right!? There have got to be...facts...haven't there!?
According to analyzed numbers from the year 2006, the government spends $59 billion (3% of its total budget) on social welfare and $92 billion (5% of total budget) on corporate welfare. Perhaps more interesting is that in 1996, when new welfare reforms were signed into law by President Bill Clinton, both caseloads AND child poverty significantly dropped, saving the government gobs of money: ... Read moreOr read the Archived article here:
Click to zoom - for article
Social Welfare*Family Needs vs Poverty By looking at the following graphs I realized that in most families health care and child care take over half the family income. Just imagine if Minimum Wage was raised to a liveable wage, Health Care was reigned in, and Child Care was provided in a efficient way how low income families could have a more positive life.
Budget: Housing, Food, Transportation, Child care, Health care, Taxes, Insurances, supplies (school, household, personal care).Econ4 on the New Economy [7:12]
Observation: It is clear that even in the best of economic times, many parents in low-wage jobs will not earn enough through work to meet basic family needs. A full-time, full-year worker paid $7.25 per hour (the minimum wage) will earn about $15,080 a year before taxes (DOL 2009). This is below the federal poverty line of $15,825 for a single parent with one child -- and far below the income necessary for such a family to attain a secure living standard even in the least expensive family budget area... which stands at $35,132 for that family type in Simpson County, Miss.
Family Needs vs Poverty - Click to zoom
Econ4 on the New Economy
Econ4, a group of heterodox economists, has released a short video and a statement on the "new economy" which they define as more sustainable and equitable forms of organizing "productive" activity and the resources that support them.