Home · News · News Aug 2013
Friday August 30, 2013
News Articles

US intelligence spending has doubled since 9/11, top secret budget reveals
TheGuardian | Ewen MacAskill | 08/29/13

US Spending on intelligence has doubled since 9/11, with the National Security Agency and the CIA taking the biggest share, according to the top secret budget leaked by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Details of the $52.6bn request for 2013 by America's 16 spy agencies were revealed by the Washington Post on Thursday. The NSA has requested $10.45bn from Congress, while the CIA is asking for $14.7bn. The NSA has long been regarded as the most productive of the spy agencies, so the higher spending by the CIA is one of the biggest surprises in the four-volume, 1,452-page budget. ... Read more

Leaked Pakistani report confirms high civilian death toll in CIA drone strikes
BIJ | Chris Woods | 07/22/13

A secret document obtained by the Bureau reveals for the first time the Pakistan government's internal assessment of dozens of drone strikes, and shows scores of civilian casualties.

The United States has consistently claimed only a tiny number of non-combatants have been killed in drone attacks in Pakistan -- despite research by the Bureau and others suggesting that over 400 civilians may have died in the nine-year campaign. ... Read more

Hypnotized by Ayn Rand and Reaganomics, Republicans Have Completely Lost Touch with Economic Reality
AlterNet | Bob Burnett | d08/23/13

On September 9th, when Congress returns from its summer vacation, negotiations will begin on a new Federal budget and a U.S. debt limit increase. As a quid pro quo Republicans will demand restrictions on Obamacare. Once again, this raises the specter of the GOP pushing the government into default. Why don't Republicans understand that's a terrible idea that would crater the economy?

Once upon a time, the GOP stood for responsible economic policy. I grew up in a middle-class family in Southern California, where my father and grandfather ran a small business. They were Republicans, as were most of the people we knew. In those days, the GOP attracted the middle class because it was the Party of common sense: it understood business and the economy.

Over the ensuing years the Republican Party abandoned the middle class and become the party of the wealthy -- the one percent. In the '80s, Republicans fell under the spell of Reaganomics. Conservative economists infused American political discourse with three malignant notions: helping the rich get richer would inevitably help everyone else; markets were inherently self correcting; and, "government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem." Reagan's ideology produced deregulation, tax cuts for the rich and powerful, and monopoly capitalism. It resulted in unprecedented income inequality. The American ethos changed from "we're in this together" ("I am my brother's keeper") to "you are on your own." ... Read more

Ocean Acidification Happening at 10X Rate Than Ever Before
AlterNet | Alex Kane| 08/26/13

"Studies have shown that a more acidic environment has a dramatic effect on some calcifying species, including oysters, clams, sea urchins, shallow water corals, deep sea corals, and calcareous plankton," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states."When shelled organisms are at risk, the entire food web may also be at risk. Today, more than a billion people worldwide rely on food from the ocean as their primary source of protein. Many jobs and economies in the U.S. and around the world depend on the fish and shellfish in our oceans."   Poertner told The Guardiannewspaper that the ocean is already suffering because of global warming, but that acidification is going to exacerbate problems. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, August 30 [14:31]
DN | Juan González: Growing Charter School Chain Suspends Special Needs Kids in Bid to Raise Test Scores (08/30/13) [3:12]
DN | U.S. Prepares to Strike Syria Over Alleged Chemical Weapons as British Vote Not to Back Int'l Action (08/30/13) [13:56]
Edward Snowden and Security State - NSA
*Edward Snowden reveals the US 'black budget' of secret intelligence spending (08/30/13) [3:39]
A history of NSA wiretapping, Prism, Edward Snowden, William Binney and Thomas Drake (06/18/13) [10:42]
*Who are The Carlyle Group, and how are they connected to bin Laden? (08/16/13) [9:18]
*What you're not being told about Booz Allen Hamilton and Edward Snowden (08/06/13) [7:18]
Snowden's suspected encrypted email service forced to close (08/09/13) [3:10]
Who Really Controls Your Government
Serco and the private companies running your country (08/26/13) [6:02]
The Big Four and how they are helping tax avoidance (07/29/13) [4:25]
Drone Wars
CIA drone war - How has the US got away with it? (06/17/13) [4:59]
How many kids have US drones killed in Pakistan? (07/23/13) [3:32]
TRNN | US Prepares For Syria Intervention Without UN Approval (08/29/13) [12:24]
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm Domestic News - Friday (08/30/13) [1hr]
International News - Friday (08/30/13) [1hr]
*Vacationing at Alberta's Oil Sands
Very Ethnic | author | date

Forget the Stampede and Niagara Falls. Instead visit Fort McMurray and behold the fulcrum of 21st century Canada. ... Read more
Sand Tars Oil Extraction [11:39]
Click to zoom
Click to zoom
Oil has always been a messy job

Other Videos and Documentaries I Ran Across
Note: I don't endorse any of the videos in this section.
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 at a later time.

08.30.2013. 12:52

Thursday August 29, 2013
News Articles

*Taxpayer Dollars Paid A Third Of Richest Corporate CEOs
HP | Zach Carter | 08/28/13

More than one-third of the nation's highest-paid CEOs from the past two decades led companies that were subsidized by American taxpayers, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal think tank.

... IPS has been publishing annual reports on executive compensation since 1993, tracking the 25 highest-paid CEOs each year and analyzing trends in payouts. Of the 500 total company listings, 103 were banks that received government bailouts under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, while another 62 were among the nation's most prolific government contractors. ... Read more

For the record... Japanese CEO's are paid approximately 15X as much as their overage worker. In the U.S., CEO's are paid X1500 times as much their average worker. Perhaps we should get in step with less greedy nations.

*How Highly Paid CEOs Rip Off Their Companies and the Public Via Fraud and Walk Away With Their Pockets Bulging
AlterNet | Sarah Anderson | 08/27/13

After exposing CEO scoundrels for 20 years, it's hard to keep them all straight. The guy who cooked the books to buy a golden shower curtain blends together with the one who used ill-gotten Iraq war windfalls to pay for his wife's racehorses and plastic surgery and the one who cashed in on subprime mortgages and sailed off on a yacht before the bubble burst. But then you stumble into a story that makes you realize you can still get riled up

... Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) Report: "performance review" of CEOs who made the annual top 25 highest-paid lists over the past 20 years. Theoretically, these CEOs should be the cream of the crop of American corporate leadership. But instead of stellar performance, we found that nearly 40 percent were bad performers -- even by the most narrow, incontrovertible definitions.   Twenty-two percent led firms that crashed or got bailed out in the 2008 crisis. Another eight percent had to pay massive settlements for fraud. And yet another eight percent wound up getting fired. Even the guys who got the boot didn't suffer too much. The size of their average golden parachute: $48 million. Read more
Report: Executive Excess 2013: Bailed Out, Booted, and Busted Report.pdf

War Games: The Syrian Military Theater Of Operations In Two Charts
ZeroHedge | author | 08/28/13

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says that US forces are "ready to go" if the administration decides to strike against alleged Syrian chemical weapon use. As Bloomberg notes in the infographic below, US Navy guided missile destroyers in the Mediterranean Sea are within range of Syrian targets.. and the ships have a combined inventory of more than 200 cruise missiles. On the other side, the Syrian Air Defense system is very robust, and as Stratfor notes, with an estimated 54,000 personnel, Syria's air defense network is twice the size of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's air force. ... Read more
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22 Reasons Why Starting a War In The Middle East Is A Really Bad Idea
ZeroHedge | author | 08/28/13
Read more

*Undercover at the Tar Sands: What It's Really Like Working for Big Oil
Rolling Stones | author | 08/28/13

In recent months, many climate activists have focused their efforts on Canada's tar sands and the companies set on extracting fossil fuels from them. With the debate raging louder than ever, Rolling Stone is in contact with one of the workers helping to build a pipeline to bring oil from the tar sands to the U.S. Read on for that anonymous correspondent's second dispatch from one of the world's most controversial jobs.

On its surface, Fort McMurray, Alberta, looks like any other small Canadian city, with rows of new houses, condo developments and a Wal-Mart. Recycling bins line the streets, and residents schlep cloth bags to the store because the community banned plastic bags. But there's one big difference between Fort Mac and other towns: This is ground zero for Canada's controversial tar sands operations. Like tens of thousands of others, I saw green in the tar-like bitumen-drenched sand, and I came here to cash in. (I'm writing anonymously to protect my colleagues, my friends and myself.) ... Read more
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Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
Rolling Stones | Bill Mckibben | 07/19/13 older, but good

... Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation -- in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the "largest temperature departure from average of any season on record." The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet's history. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, August 29 [12:37]
*DN | Syria Debate: Does U.S. Have the Evidence & Authority to Hit Assad for Alleged Chemical Attack? (08/29/13) [13:40], Part 2 [20:59]
Environment - Tar Sands
*The Alberta Tarpits Abomination [6:31]
*Peak oil, energy, growth & the future (02/11/12) [34:53]
Comment: The above video is long and you could easily dismiss it because it contains a lot of animation. But, I think it is one of the best videos I have seen in a long time, because it covers ALL the issues facing civilization, what caused them, and uses animation skillfully to make the issues understandable by ALL of us.
Aljazeera News
Aljazeera | To the Last Drop: Canada's Dirty Oil Sands (07/27/11) [23:31], Part 2 [24:04]
Executive Excess
Executive Excess 2013: Bailed Out, Booted, and Busted (08/17/13) [2:19]
Over two decades, Institute for Policy Studies researchers have examined how extremely high levels of compensation affect executive behavior. Such massive jackpots, we've found, give executives incentives to behave in ways that may boost short-term profits and expand their own paychecks at the expense of our nation's long-term economic health. Tax dodging, mass layoffs, reckless financial deals, offshoring jobs, "creative accounting" --all of these appear to boost CEO pay. But they have dealt one body blow after another to the American middle class, leaving a deeply skewed distribution of income and wealth.
Executive Excess 2013: Bailed Out, Booted, and Busted Report.pdf
TRNN | Vijay Prashad: Allowing big firms to enter your country to modernize agriculture is very dangerous because essentially you are losing sovereignty over your food (08/29/13) [9:37]
TRNN | Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor: If Dr. King Was Alive Today He Would Be In The Streets Holding Leaders Accountable (08/28/13) [8:53]
TYT News
TYT | NYPD: Mosques Are Terrorist Organizations (08/28/13) [11:50]
TYT | Martin Luther King Jr Was A Republican (Say Republicans) (08/28/13) [7:32]
TYT | Science Vs Religion: Which Makes You Moral? (08/28/13) [7:20]
More News Articles

*6 Facts About the Rich
AlterNet | Paul Buchheit | 08/25/13

First of all, who are they? Mostly the 1%. But the top 2-5% have also done quite well, increasing their inflation-adjusted wealth by 75 percent from 1983 to 2009 while average wealth went down for 80 percent of American households. The rest of the top 20% have been prosperous, realizing a 32 percent gain in inflation-adjusted wealth since 1983

  1. Accumulating almost all the wealth - As evidence of the extremes between the very rich and the rest of us, the average household net worth for the top 1% in 2009 was almost $14 million, while the average household net worth for the bottom 47% was almost ZERO. For nearly half of America, average debt is about the same as average asset ownership.
  2. Creating their own wealth - In another alarming testament to wealth at the top, the richest 10% own almost 90 percent of stocks excluding pensions. Consider what that means. The stock market has historically risen three times faster than the GDP itself. Since the recession, as the U.S. economy has "recovered," 62 percent of the gain was due to growth in the stock market, which surged as much in four years as it did during the "greatest bull market in history" from 1996 to 2000.
  3. Taking ALL the income gains - If the richest 1% had taken the same percentage of total U.S. income in 2006 as they did in 1980, they would have taken a trillion dollars less out of the economy. Instead they tripled their share of post-tax income. And then they captured ALL the income gains in the first two years of the post-recession recovery.
  4. Donating a smaller share than the poorest Americans
  5. Making enough to feed 800 million people - In 2012, three members of the Walton family each made over $4 billion just from stocks and other investments. So did Charles Koch, and David Koch, and Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg, and Jeff Bezos.
  6. Taking two-thirds of a trillion dollars in subsidies - Even all that is not enough for the very rich. About two-thirds of nearly $1 trillion in individual "tax expenditures" (tax subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes) goes to the top quintile of taxpayers. An astounding 75 percent of dividend and capital gain subsidies go to the richest 1%.
Much of Congress wants to cut the $4.35 a day food benefit to hungry Americans, almost half of them children, so that money can keep flowing to the top. Read more

Other Videos and Documentaries I Ran Across
Note: I don't endorse any of the videos in this section.
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 at a later time.

08.29.2013. 13:52

Wednesday August 28, 2013
News Articles

*Colin Powell Worried U.S. Got Steamrolled Into Iraq War, Calls Out Dick Cheney
HP | Danny Shea | 08/26/13

In a new documentary airing Monday on the National Geographic Channel, former Secretary of State Colin Powell opens up about the U.S. invasion of Iraq and claims that he warned President Bush that the U.S. was being steamrolled into war. In the clip from National Geographic's "America vs. Iraq," by Paul Mitchell which was previewed Monday on HuffPost Live, Powell is also heard calling out former Vice President Dick Cheney. ... Read more
Executive Producer Paul Mitchell Talks about new documentary, 'America Vs. Iraq.' (08/26/13) [3:12]

NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests
WSJ | author | date

NSA officers on several occasions have channeled their agency's enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests, U.S. officials said.   The practice isn't frequent -- one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade -- but it's common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT. ... Read more

Loose Lips on Syria
WSJ | author | 08/27/13

U.S. leaks tell Assad he can relax. The bombing will be brief and limited.

An American military attack on Syria could begin as early as Thursday and will involve three days of missile strikes, according to "senior U.S. officials" talking to NBC News. The Washington Post has the bombing at "no more than two days," though long-range bombers could "possibly" join the missiles. "Factors weighing into the timing of any action include a desire to get it done before the president leaves for Russia next week," reports CNN, citing a "senior administration official." ... Read more

Rachel Maddow Calls For Congress To Debate Syria Before Attack
HP | author | 08/28/13

Rachel Maddow called on Tuesday for Congress to debate and vote on a potential American attack on Syria before President Obama takes any action.

... She read from an interview with former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix which appeared on The Huffington Post. Blix, who oversaw the UN's aborted inspection of Iraq's (ultimately non-existent) weapons program in 2003, said he saw echoes of those days now. ... Read more
Rachel Maddow | Rachel Maddow Calls For Congress To Debate Syria Before Attack (08/26/13) [22:03]

*U.S. Bank Legal Bills Exceed $100 Billion
Bloomberg | Donal Griffin |08/28/13

The six biggest U.S. banks, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Bank of America Corp., have piled up $103 billion in legal costs since the financial crisis, more than all dividends paid to shareholders in the past five years.   That's the amount allotted to lawyers and litigation, as well as for settling claims about shoddy mortgages and foreclosures, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The sum tops the banks' combined profit last year.

... "They've crossed the point of no return when it comes to the effects that these expenses are going to have on earnings," said Jeffrey Sica, who helps oversee more than $1 billion as head of Sica Wealth Management LLC in Morristown, New Jersey, and doesn't recommend bank stocks. "This is going to keep on hurting them, and people will start paying more attention." ... Read more

Forest Fires | Fire Fighting
Click to zoom
DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, August 28 [8:08]
DN | As Strikes on Syria Loom, Is U.S. Ignoring a Diplomatic Track That Could Prevent More Violence? (08/28/13) [21:55]
DN | As Fukushima Raises Severity Level, Nuclear Expert Warns Radioactive Leaks Will Only "Get Worse" (08/28/13) 3:35]
*DN | "Inside Job" Director Charles Ferguson: Wall Street Has Turned US Into a "Predatory Nation" (05/29/12 older, but good) [21:51]
*"Inside Job" by Director Charles Ferguson [1:48:39]
*"No End in Sight: Iraq's Descent Into Chaos" by Director Charles Ferguson [1:41:54]
*Lone Gunmen March 4, 2001 PILOT EPISODE [44:31]
Remember the X-Files and these three characters. Well, there was a spin-off from the X-Files called the Lone Gunmen and this episode aired 1/2 year before 9/11.   As President Bush said "I don't think anyone could ever imagine anyone flying a couple of airplanes into the side of buildings" ... yeah right!
TRNN | Phyllis Bennis: US policy should emphasize direct diplomacy to negotiate a ceasefire with all sides including Syrian President Bashar Assad, but direct military intervention will lead to more bloodshed and Obama fighting on the side of an Al-Qaeda affiliated organization (08/28/13) [14:02]
TRNN | America's Water Problem (08/23/13) [2:57]
TYT News
TYT | NSA Spying Powers Abused For Sex & Love Interests (08/27/13) [4:35]
TYT | Your Facebook Friends May Harm Your Credit Score (08/27/13) [5:29]
TYT | How US Media Is Pushing For War With Syria (08/27/13) [3:19]
TYT | US About To Intervene In Syria (08/27/13) [5:01]
Hedgehogs | Sloths
Hedgehog Boat [2:24]
How to Pick Up and Hold a Hedgehog [5:16]
Before You Buy A Hedgehog Watch This! [5:46]
Sloth Prince and her best friend Daisy [4:15]
Why Did the Sloth Cross the Road? [1:20]
Other Videos and Documentaries I Ran Across
Note: I don't endorse any of the videos in this section.
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 at a later time.

08.28.2013. 14:05

Tuesday August 27, 2013
News Articles

*Book Excerpt: The Evolution of "This Town"
Bill Moyers | Mark Leibovich | 08/23/13

A hundred pages into his study of Washington's elite "Club," Mark Leibovich pauses to "proffer a brief tutorial on the recent history of the Washington entourage." This excerpt recounts the evolution of the entourage -- back some four decades, to the days when "Big Money" first rolled into town

The biggest shift in Washington over the last forty or so years has been the arrival of Big Money and politics as an industry. The old Washington was certainly saturated with politics, but it was smaller and more disjointed. There were small and self-contained political consultancies that worked on campaigns or raised money for elected officials or contracted a service (i.e., direct mail). ... Read more

France 'Ready To Punish' Syria Over Gas Attack
HP | author | 08/27/13

French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that his country is prepared to take action against those responsible for gassing people in Syria.

"France is ready to punish those who took the heinous decision to gas innocents" in Syria last week, Hollande said at a conference with France's ambassadors. He did not elaborate. ... Read more

Invasion of Iraq: How the British and Americans got it wrong [1:19:36]

*On The Global QE Exit Crisis
ZeroHwdge | author | 08/27/13

The global economy could be in the early stages of another crisis. Once again, the US Federal Reserve is in the eye of the storm.   As the Fed attempts to exit from so-called quantitative easing (QE) -- its unprecedented policy of massive purchases of long-term assets -- many high-flying emerging economies suddenly find themselves in a vise. Currency and stock markets in India and Indonesia are plunging, with collateral damage evident in Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey.

The Fed insists that it is blameless -- the same absurd position that it took in the aftermath of the Great Crisis of 2008-2009, when it maintained that its excessive monetary accommodation had nothing to do with the property and credit bubbles that nearly pushed the world into the abyss. It remains steeped in denial: Were it not for the interest-rate suppression that QE has imposed on developed countries since 2009, the search for yield would not have flooded emerging economies with short-term "hot" money. ... Read more

*Flashback On May 15, 2008 Keith Olbermann Blasted George Bush For WMD Lies (05/15/08) [12:08]
"This Country is Finished" George Carlin on Countdown (older) [7:40]

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, August 27 [15:54]
DN | Civil Rights Pioneer Gloria Richardson, 91, on How Women Were Silenced at 1963 March on Washington (08/27/13) [15:12]
Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers | The End Game for Democracy (08/23/13) [3:15]
*Bill Moyers | Mark Leibovich new book "This Town on Glitz and Greed in Washington (08/23/13) [49:02]
Mark Leibovich of The New York Times has written a book "This Town" about the city's bipartisan lust for power, cash and notoriety in a book that everyone who's anyone in the nation's capital is talking about.
60 Minutes
60 Minutes | Did she really just say that? China's Xin on democracy (08/11/13) [5:16]
*TRNN News
TRNN | Part 1 | Vijay Prashad: Jobless growth wasn't an accidental product it was indeed how the rules were framed (08/26/13) [9:11]
TRNN | Part 2 | Vijay Prashad: North South Trade Negotiations: The relationship between trade rules and the operations of multinational corporations (08/27/13) [9:26]
PBS Frontline
PBS Frontline | Sex Slaves Kidnapping and Prostitution Rings (05/13/13) [55:27]
TYT News
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm Battling Wildfires In The West (08/27/13) [1hr]
MSNBC Chris Hayes All - In
Chris Hayes | Kerry: There must be accountability for chemical attack in Syria (08/26/13) [13:21]
*Chris Hayes | Hospial costs are incredibly out of line in America (08/26/13) [3:39]
MSNBC Rachel Maddow
*Rachel Maddow | US preps for military rebuke to Syria chemical weapons (08/26/13) [15:39]
Rachel Maddow | Defense of voting rights spread nationally (08/26/13) [9:35], Part 2 [4:58]
Rachel Maddow | Landmark ruling for marriage equality in New Mexico (08/26/13) [1:12], Part 2 [5:40]

08.27.2013. 12:25

Monday August 26, 2013
News Articles

Nuclear Operator Raises Alarm on Fukushima Crisis
NYTimes | Hiroko Tabuchi | 08/23/13

The operator of Japan's tsunami-hit nuclear power plant sounded the alarm on the gravity of the deepening crisis of containment at the coastal site on Friday, saying that there are more than 200,000 tons of radioactive water in makeshift tanks vulnerable to leaks, with no reliable way to check on them or anywhere to transfer the water.

The latest disclosures add to a long list of recent accidents, leaks and breakdowns that have underscored grave vulnerabilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site more than two years after a powerful earthquake and tsunami set off meltdowns at three reactors. ... Read more

Alternative to a Military Response to 9/11
costsofwar.org/ | author | date

Comparisons have been made between states that have used military responses to terror tactics (for example, France in Algeria in the 1950s and 1960s) and states that have taken alternative policing and political approaches (for example, Italy in the 1970s in response to the Red Brigades).

A Rand report made systematic examination and comparison of 268 groups using terror tactics in the period from 1968 to 2006. It showed that several approaches have been much more effective than military responses at eliminating future attacks. They include criminal justice responses and attempts to address the well-being concerns of both combatants and the broader populace that might support them. ... Read more
Click to zoom

Corporate Power and Profiteering
costsofwar.org | author | date

Large defense contractors have played a central role in fighting the post-9/11 wars, as well as in arming and supplying coalition forces and the new Iraqi and Afghan governments. Their involvement raises major economic and security concerns among critics.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with an increase in the Pentagon's budget, have led to an increase in total military contracts to nearly $400 billion, their highest levels since World War II. Private contracting has grown to such a level that, by 2011, there were more private contract employees involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than uniformed military personnel. Pentagon contracts awarded in the 2000s have been concentrated in the hands of just five contractors- Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics. These five companies account for over one-third of all Pentagon contracts. ... Read more
Click to zoom

Halliburton's Iraq gravy train
Salon | Farhad Manjoo | 02/27/04 old, but good

Bunting, who has recently been telling his story to congressional Democrats, says that Halliburton, which has been awarded billions of dollars of contracts for work in Iraq, routinely purchased the most expensive equipment and services on the government's tab. Bunting claims that Halliburton managers frowned on any attempts to save the military any money. They had no incentive to do so: taxpayers would pick up the cost. In fact, they had an incentive to bill high: the more they spent, the more money their company would make.

Bunting worked as a buyer for Halliburton's "Logcap" contract with the U.S. Army, a $3.7 billion deal under which Halliburton provides the military with logistics support -- it builds bases, runs mess halls, does the laundry, supplies water and performs dozens of other tasks necessary to keep the Army running. The contract is a "cost-plus" contract, meaning that the military reimburses Halliburton for all of its expenses, and then gives it an extra percentage as a profit. Experts have long criticized cost-plus contracts as being economically inefficient; companies that work under cost-plus deals have no reason to reduce their expenses, meaning that the government may end up paying more than it should for services. ... Read more

Comment: Remember, the "Too Big To Fail" banks are acting just like big hedge funds.
Colorado Republican Legislator, State Sen. Vicki Marble said: "Blacks Are Poor Because They Eat Too Much Fried Chicken".

Right-Wing Wannabe Obama Impeachers Are Living in Dreamland
AlterNet | Joan Walsh | 08/23/13

Tom Coburn, Ted Cruz and other crackpots can't stand up to their base and face reality. Can this party ever change?

Read more

Will the American Right Kill Us All?
AlterNet | Robert Parry | 08/21/13

That is because the scientific consensus continues to solidify that human activity is causing global temperatures to increase dangerously, possibly causing a catastrophic rise of three feet in sea levels by the end of the century. Yet, right-wing obstructionism, which deems federal environmental activism unconstitutional, has hobbled any effort to enact a timely response to the emergency.

... From the Tea Party to the "libertarians," oil money from fossil-fuel energy tycoons, such as Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries. has fueled "populist" propaganda challenging the case for global warming, first by funding "scientists" who quibble with the research or who assert that the warming will be modest and manageable. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, August 26 [12:17]
DN | 50 Years After March of Washington, Tens of Thousands Say Struggle for MLK's "Dream" Continues (08/26/13) [10:44]
DN | Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (2007) [31:00]
Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, by William Blum (website)
Military Industrial Congress Complex (article)
We Are Living in the World Dick Cheney Made
TRNN | Ring of Fire hosts Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder discuss more NSA Revelations Emerging (08/24/13) [3:56]
TRNN | Paul Bucheitt: From healthcare to education, research shows an increase in privatization leaves the public with the losses and corporations with the gains (08/26/13) [12:00]
Giant sinkhole swallows trees in Assumption Parish, Louisiana (08/22/13) [2:02]
FIRE burning near Yosemite
INSANE! FIRE burning near Yosemite grows to 15 square miles (08/24/13) [5:31]
Wildfire rages near Yosemite National Park (08/22/13) [1:22]
Yosemite Wildfire Near National Park Growing || Alert As California Wildfire Grows (08/23/13) [1:19]
Wildfire near Yosemite park sends tourists fleeing (08/23/13) [1:23]
MSNBC Chris Hayes - All In
Chris Hayes | Matt Taibbi: How can the nation deal withthe scary cost of college? (08/23/13) [13:27]
Chris Hayes | Ex-McDonald's CEO battles Chris Hayes over minimum wage (08/23/13) [6:33]
Chris Hayes | Russia and the the LGBT community (08/23/13) [3:27]
Chris Hayes | The march on Washington, and MLK's "I have a dream" speech (08/23/13) [8:45], Part 2 [6:31]
Note: Al Jazeera America has changed their video EMBEDDING policies. So for right now please scroll down .5 - 1 inch to see the video.
Duke University researchers are using one deadly disease to eradicate another (08/20/13) [2:54]
Massive sinkhole makes Louisiana town uninhabitable (08/22/13) [3:06]
Aljazeera | Faultlines: Made In Bangladesh (08/20/13) [2:52]
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm Growing Pressure On The U.S. To Respond To Events In Syria (08/26/13) [1hr]
Judith Flanders: "The Invention Of Murder" (08/26/13) [1hr]
More News Articles

America's New Landlords
Aljazeera | Kristyn Martin | 08/23/13

It's a new phenomenon sweeping across the nation: big institutional investors buying up foreclosed homes by the hundreds -- even thousands -- in distressed communities.

"Looking back a year and a half ago, not one institution owned more than 1,000 single family rental homes," says David Bragg, Managing Director at Green Street Advisors. "However, today the top six players combined own 80,000 single family rental homes."

"Hedgefunds across the country are realizing that our market is going from what they refer to as an owner nation, to a renter nation…so the rental market is huge," says Sheree Villar, a local realtor with ERA Atlantic Realty in Gwinnett County, Georgia. She buys homes for two large institutional investors every month at the foreclosure auction from the steps of the Gwinnett County courthouse. "What they're doing is buying these homes in blocks to turn around, put on the rental market, and resell when the market really is strong." ... Read more

The Surprising Reason Americans Are Far Less Healthy Than Others in Developed Nations
AlterNet | Sam Pizzigati | 08/20/13

Back in 1990, shouts a new study just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the United States ranked a lowly 20th on life expectancy among 34 major industrial nations. The United States now ranks 27th -- despite spending much more on health care than any other nation.

Media reports on this new study blamed all the usual suspects for America's disappointing health: poor personal health habits, inadequate access to health care, and just plain poverty.   If Americans exercised more and ate and smoked less, this conventional wisdom holds, the United States would surely start moving up in the global health rankings.

But many epidemiologists -- scientists who study health outcomes -- have their doubts. ... Read more

Interesting Videos
One of the best Tatoo I've ever seen
Other Videos and Documentaries I Ran Across
Note: I don't endorse any of the videos in this section.
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 at a later time.

08.26.2013. 14:14

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Special Interest

On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists attacked the Unites States. They hijacked four airplanes in mid-flight. The terrorists flew two of the planes into two skyscrapers at the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact caused the buildings to catch fire and collapse. Another plane destroyed part of the Pentagon (the U.S. military headquarters) in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Officials believe that the terrorists on that plane intended to destroy either the White House or the U.S. Capitol. Passengers on the plane fought the terrorists and prevented them from reaching their goal. In all, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks.
Wall Street and Banksters
Wall Street and Banksters

Wall Street is an eight-block-long street running roughly northwest to southeast from Broadway to South Street, at the East River, in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry (even if financial firms are not physically located there), or New York-based financial interests.
The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone & Petere Kuznick

The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone & Petere Kuznick | 2014 | 10 Episodes

Oliver Stone and American University historian Peter J. Kuznick began working on the project in 2008. Stone, Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham cowrote the script. It covers "the reasons behind the Cold War with the Soviet Union, U.S. President Harry Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, and changes in America's global role since the fall of Communism." Stone is the director and narrator of all ten episodes.
Kuznick Interviews

Kuznick Interviews

Historian Peter Kuznick says Eisenhower called for decreased militarization, then Dulles reversed the policy; the Soviets tried to end the cold war after the death of Stalin; crazy schemes involving nuclear weapons and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba put the world of the eve of destruction - with host Paul Jay

The Untold History of the United States by Kuznick, Peter.mobi | Book | 6.99 MB
The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides--Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.
China Valley of Tunnels

China Valley of Tunnels

A report written by a Georgetown University team led by Phillip Karber conducted a three-year study to map out Chinas complex tunnel system, which stretches 5,000 km (3,000 miles). The report determined that the stated Chinese nuclear arsenal is understated and as many as 3,000 nuclear warheads may be stored in the underground tunnel network.

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