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
DemocracyNow - http://www.democracynow.org/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]
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 News - http://therealnews.com/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]
TRNN | Investigative journalist Greg Palast discusses: Hundreds of Thousands of Wrongfully Purged Votes Could Have Cost Dems Midterm Elections (12/17/14) [9:31]
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 News - http://www.tytnetwork.com/TYT | 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]
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
DemocracyNow - http://www.democracynow.org/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 News - http://therealnews.com/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]
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TYT | 'Rectal Feeding' Not Torture, Say Rectal-Feeding Torturers (12/15/14) [8:09]
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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]
United States owes a lot of money, with its debt equal to the size of the economy as of 2012. See the Statue of Liberty & WTC being dwarfed by the debt.
Five Banks Account For 96% Of The $250 Trillion In Outstanding US Derivative Exposure; Is Morgan Stanley Sitting On An FX Derivative Time Bomb?
Zero Hedge | Author | 09/24/11
The latest quarterly report from the Office Of the Currency Comptroller is out and as usual it presents in a crisp, clear and very much glaring format the fact that the top 4 banks in the US now account for a massively disproportionate amount of the derivative risk in the financial system. Specifically, of the $250 trillion in gross notional amount of derivative contracts outstanding (consisting of Interest Rate, FX, Equity Contracts, Commodity and CDS) among the Top 25 commercial banks (a number that swells to $333 trillion when looking at the Top 25 Bank Holding Companies), a mere 5 banks (and really 4) account for 95.9% of all derivative exposure (HSBC replaced Wells as the Top 5th bank, which at $3.9 trillion in derivative exposure is a distant place from #4 Goldman with $47.7 trillion). The top 4 banks: JPM with $78.1 trillion in exposure, Citi with $56 trillion, Bank of America with $53 trillion and Goldman with $48 trillion, account for 94.4% of total exposure. As historically has been the case, the bulk of consolidated exposure is in Interest Rate swaps ($204.6 trillion), followed by FX ($26.5TR), CDS ($15.2 trillion), and Equity and Commodity with $1.6 and $1.4 trillion, respectively. Read more