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Thursday October 03, 2013
News Articles

Why Can't We Fix Outrageous CEO Pay?
AlterNet | Christopher Key | 10/01/13

In theory, a new proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission would require CEOs to disclose not only how much they make, but how that sum compares to the average worker. In practice, however, don't hold your breath.

A total lack of clear methodology in how exactly companies are meant to calculate this figure gives corporations a blank check to come up with any figure they want. What turned a measure meant to increase transparency and accountability into yet one more way for corporations to obscure truth and cast illusions? A deep and abiding concern on the part of the SEC that following this rule not be too expensive for multibillion dollar corporations. Why are we not surprised? ... Read more

Taibbi's Latest Expose: How Teachers, Cops and Firemen Are Getting Their Pensions Fleeced at Lightning Speed
AlterNet | Amy Goodman, Matt Taibbi | 09/26/13

Taibbi in his latest expose revealing that hedge funds are making millions from public pension funds.

Matt Taibbi reports that Wall Street firms are now making millions in profits off of public pension funds nationwide. "Essentially it is a wealth transfer from teachers, cops and firemen to billionaire hedge funders," Taibbi says. "Pension funds are one of the last great, unguarded piles of money in this country and there are going to be all sort of operators that are trying to get their hands on that money." ... Read more
*DN | Matt Taibbi on How Wall Street Hedge Funds Are Looting the Pension Funds of Public Workers (09/26/13) [7:05]

People Across America Are Waking Up to the Effects of 'Disaster Capitalism' -- a Much Better Way of Life Is Possible
AlterNet | Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers | 09/28/13

In her book Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein explains how crises are used by governments to distract and frighten people so that unpopular and exploitative policies can be pushed through.

It seems that now there is a different reaction disaster capitalism. Rather than disasters providing cover for the implementation of dangerous capitalist policies that lower wages and increase the wealth divide, the disasters being caused by these dangerous policies have woken the public and are leading to a more active and empowered people. ... Read more
The Shock Doctrine 2009 [1:18:38]

Why U.S. Health Care Is Obscenely Expensive, In 12 Charts
HP | Katy Hall | 10/03/13

The U.S. leads the world in health care spending, but we don't live very long, and going to the doctor is so expensive that we don't do it very often. So where is the money going?

Not toward obesity-related diseases or unnecessary tests and treatments, as the writer John Green pointed out in a recent video explainer. From Lipitor to childbirth to colonoscopies -- everything just costs a whole lot. ... Read more
Health Care Costs - Click to zoom

National Debt - Click to zoom
DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, October 03 [11:58]
*DN | Has GOP Already Defeated Obamacare? State Opt-Outs Leave Millions of Poor Without Insurance (10/03/13) [5:35], Part 2 [13:14]
*DN | "Imperialism & Fundamentalism Have Joined Hands": Malalai Joya on 12 Years of U.S.-Led Afghan War (10/03/13) [16:57]
*Ring of Fire | Thom Hartmann: Preventing The Next Economic Collapse (10/03/13) [12:01]
*TRNN | Robert Pollin is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. "There's Absolutely Nothing Resembling A Debt Crisis In The US" (10/03/13) [7:30]
TRNN | Rania Khalek: Government shutdown means halting social services while maintaining NSA spying, deportations and continuing drone strikes in Afghanistan (10/03/13) [6:49]
TRNN | Paul Street is an independent journalist, activist, and author. Gov't Shutdown Reflects Struggle Within Capitalist Republican Elite (10/03/13) [8:02]
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm Washington Dysfunction And U.S. Credibility Abroad (10/03/13) [1hr]
MSNBC Chris Hayes - All In
Chris Hayes | Negotiations stuck at devastating halt (10/02/13) [15:53]
*Chris Hayes | The ugly truth about the 'Clean CR' (10/02/13) [7:18]
Chris Hayes | Governing stunt to stunt (10/02/13) [3:30]
Chris Hayes | Debunking a Republican stunt (10/02/13) [8:42]
MSNBC Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow | Impuissant Boehner puts hope in grand bargin (10/02/13) [13:04]
*Rachel Maddow | On the budget, Republicans already won (10/02/13) [8:04]
Rachel Maddow | House GOP indifferent to shutdown consequences (10/02/13) [8:04]
Rachel Maddow | House GOP despirate to change news narrative (10/02/13) [4:59]

10.03.2013. 12:11

Wednesday October 02, 2013
News Articles

*Matt Taibbi on Wall Street's Campaign to Loot Public Pensions
Bill Moyers | Joshua Holland | 09/30/13

"Five years ago this fall, an epidemic of fraud and thievery in the financial-services industry triggered the collapse of our economy," writes Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi. "Today, the same Wall Street crowd that caused the crash is not merely rolling in money again but aggressively counterattacking on the public-relations front. The battle increasingly centers around public funds like state and municipal pensions." ... Read more

Matt Taibbi | Looting the Pension Funds (09/26/13) (original article)

Fox News Website Trumpets Government 'Slimdown,' Not Shutdown
HP | Jack Mirkinson | 10/01/13

If you were looking at the Fox News website, you might think you were in a different universe than the one where everyone is talking about a government shutdown.   What we have, according to the network, is a "slimdown." The government's not frozen and crippled -- it's just losing a little weight! ... Read more

Interesting news for October 2

  1. U.S. Government Shut Down With No Quick Resolution Seen (BBG)
  2. 12 House Republicans now say they'd back a 'clean' CR (WaPo)
  3. Republicans' 2014 Senate Edge Muddied by Shutdown Message (BBG)
  4. Obama Shortens Asia Trip Due to Government Shutdown (WSJ)
  5. Fed Said to Review Commodities at Goldman, Morgan Stanley (BBG)
  6. Foreign Firms Tap U.S. Gas Bonanza (WSJ)
  7. Behind Standoff, a Broken Process in Need of a Broker (WSJ)
  8. Japan Awaits Abe's Third Arrow as Companies Urged to Invest (BBG)
  9. Microsoft investors push for chairman Gates to step down (Reuters)

How to Kill Goyim and Influence People: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel
AlterNet | Max Blumenthal | 10/01/13

A controversial, racist book sparked a national uproar in Israel.

Upon its publication in 2009, Torat Ha'Melech sparked a national uproar. The controversy began when the Israeli paper, Maariv, panned the book's contents as "230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guidebook for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew." The description was absolutely accurate.

According to the authors, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira and Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, non-Jews are "uncompassionate by nature" and may have been killed in order to "curb their evil inclinations." "If we kill a gentile who has violated one of the seven commandments [of Noah] ... there is nothing wrong with the murder," Shapira and Elitzur insisted. Citing Jewish law as his source. ... Read more

Seymour Hersh: Story About Killing Osama Bin Laden is One Big Lie
AlterNet | Lisa O'Carroll | 09/27/13

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism -- close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn't take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist". ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, October 02 [8:59]
More News
*$16.394 Trillion Dollars US Debt Ceiling Visualized Stacked in $100 dollar bills (2013) [2:11]
Sen Carl Levin confronted Goldman Sachs trader Daniel Sparks: "That Timberwolf Was One Shitty Deal" (04/27/10 old, but good) [2:03]
*TRNN | Kevin Zeese: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has nothing to do with trade or freedom (10/01/13) [10:13]
TRNN | Economist Dean Baker and Dr. Margaret Flowers debate the merits of the Affordable Care Act (10/01/13) [12:49]
*Fukushima Needs World Wide Help Big Time (09/25/13) [53:31]
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm The Federal Government Shutdown And The Power Of The Tea Party (10/02/13) [1hr]
In President Barack Obama's words yesterday, "One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government because they didn't like one law." That one law is the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday a key provision of the law which allows individuals without affordable insurance to shop for policies went into effect. Tea Party Republicans and their supporters in the House demanded that the law be defunded or at least delayed in exchange for averting a government shutdown. Senate Democrats and the president were unwilling to budge. Diane and her guests to discuss what's different about this impasse and where we go from here.
MSNBC Chris Hayes - All In
MSNBC Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow | Republicans in denial over shutdown severity (10/01/13) [15:12], Part 2 [6:54], Part 3 [3:16], Part 4 [6:54], Part 5 [1:37]
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.

10.02.2013. 11:40

Tuesday October 01, 2013
News Articles

BP Trial Set To Enter Second Phase
HP | Michael Kunzelman | 09/29/13

Top kill. Junk shot. Cofferdam. Top hat. Capping stack. Those terms -- obscure industry jargon before BP's massive 2010 oil spill -- became familiar buzzwords as the company scrambled to find a way to plug its blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.

More than three years later, the methods that BP employed during its 86-day struggle to stop the gusher will be the focus of a trial resuming Monday in the high-stakes litigation spawned by the nation's worst offshore oil spill. ... Read more

BP Gulf Oil Spill Maps
thedailygreen.com | author | 06/02/10 older, but good

Maps of the BP Gulf oil leak show the extent of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; fishing closures; the devastation facing bird, turtle and fish habitats; forecasts of how far the oil could travel, the Gulf of Mexico loop current and more.

The BP Gulf Oil Spill, which began with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon April 20, and which now covers an area about the size of Connecticut, and which is probably already larger than the Exxon Valdez spill, is imperiling birds, fish, turtles, mammals, seafood, fishermen and some of the world's most productive wildlife habitat.   Here's a look at some of the most useful and interesting maps showing the extent of the Gulf Oil Spill. ... Read more
Effects of the BP Spill - Click to zoom

BP Spill Images - Click to zoom

This Is What's Happening To Your Congressman's Paycheck Thanks To The Government Shutdown
HP | Nick Wing |10/01/13

The clock struck 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday with congressional lawmakers incapable of reaching an agreement on a short-term measure to fund the government. The failure led to the first government shutdown since 1996, and stood as another low point for a Congress that's pretty much only had low points.

With the historically unpopular Congress now responsible for losing the paychecks of as many as 800,000 federal workers -- at least until it can come up with an agreement to end the shutdown -- many would think it only fair to expect lawmakers to feel some of the financial pain of their latest embarrassment. Instead, this is happening:

Your representatives will still be getting their paychecks, constitutionally protected at $174,000 a year. For many of the massively wealthy individuals that serve in Congress, this amount may be inconsequential. ... Read more

DemocracyNow Daily News
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Tuesday, October 01 [12:48]
DN | Tea Party Forces Government Shutdown With Obamacare Revolt; How Will it Impact Ordinary Americans? (10/01/13) [14:04]
DN | "The Lawbreaking is Ongoing": Louisiana Levee Board Sues BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron For Coast Damage (10/01/13) [12:53]
DN | Holding BP Accountable: Environmental Justice Struggle Continues in Gulf Region After 2010 Spill (10/01/13) [14:56]
More News
Bill Moyers | Matt Taibbi and Chrystia Freeland on the One Percent's Power and Privileges [49:06]
TRNN | Arnie Gundersen: Nuclear Engineer: Japan's PM "Lying to the Japanese People" About Safety of Fukushima (10/01/13) [7:01]
Effects of Fukushima - Click to zoom
TRNN | Why Climate Deniers Are Plain Wrong. Subhankar Banerjee an environmental humanities scholar and activist. He founded ClimateStorytellers.org. (10/01/13) [4:46]
TRNN | James Boyce: What is the Social Cost of Carbon Emissions? (10/01/13) [6:33]
Diane Rehms Show
Diane Rehm The Federal Government Shuts Down (10/01/13) [1hr]
For the first time since 1996, the government has shut down. Starting today, more than 800,000 federal workers are likely to be furloughed. That includes 90 percent of the Treasury Department, nearly all of NASA and all but 1,000 employees at the EPA. The House and Senate spent Monday voting on resolutions that would temporarily fund the government. But the impasse in Washington isn't over spending. It's over Obamacare, which opens for enrollment today.
MSNBC Chris Hayes - All In
MSNBC Rachel Maddow
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.
TRNN | A leading Scottish think tank reveals: Young Scots trapped in low paying jobs with poor prospects (10/01/13) [10:47]
Matt Taibbi Articles in RollingStone
Greed, Power, Romance, Desperation and the Great Stock Market Crash: Nomi Prins & Matt Taibbi (2011 older, but good) [1:20:55]
Wall Street Journal | Wall Street Wins Big: Matt Taibbi - Financial Regulation and Economic Crisis Prevention (05/17/1? older, but good) [44:38]
Matthew C. "Matt" Taibbi (born March 2, 1970) is an American author and journalist reporting on politics, media, finance, and sports for Rolling Stone and Men's Journal, often in a polemical style. He has also edited and written for The eXile, the New York Press, and The Beast.

Taibbi joined Mark Ames in 1997 to co-edit the controversial English-language Moscow-based, bi-weekly free newspaper, The eXile. Of Exile, Taibbi said, "We were out of the reach of American libel law, and we had a situation where we weren't really accountable to our advertisers. We had total freedom." In the U.S. media, Playboy magazine published pieces on Russia both by Taibbi and by Taibbi and Ames together during this time.

In 2002, he returned to the U.S. to start the satirical bi-weekly The Beast in Buffalo, New York, which he eventually left declaring that "Running a business and writing is too much." Taibbi continued as a freelancer for The Nation, Playboy, New York Press (where he wrote a regular political column for more than two years), Rolling Stone, and New York Sports Express (as Editor at Large). Taibbi said being a journalist was a "career failure. I wanted to be a novelist," he announced at an NYU lecture.

Taibbi left the New York Press in August 2005, shortly after his editor Jeff Koyen was forced to quit over issues raised by Taibbi's column "The 52 Funniest Things About The Upcoming Death of The Pope". "I have since learned that there would not have been an opportunity for me to stay anyway," Taibbi later wrote.

Taibbi became a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone, penning feature-length articles on domestic and international affairs, along with a weekly political online column titled "The Low Post" for the magazine's website. Taibbi writes for the print edition of Rolling Stone, and contributes to their website in his current blog, "Taibblog". A later online column titled "Year of the Rat" was meant to document the 2008 election season, but it ended after only a few postings.

Taibbi covered the 2008 presidential campaign for Real Time with Bill Maher, and he has made several guest appearances on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and other MSNBC programs. He also has appeared on Democracy Now! and served as a contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Taibbi is an occasional guest on the Thom Hartmann radio and TV shows.

His July 2009 Rolling Stone article "The Great American Bubble Machine" described Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money".

Tackling the assistance to banks given in foreclosure courts, Taibbi traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to observe the "rocket docket" to process foreclosures without regard to the legality of the financial instruments being ruled upon, speeding-up the process to enable quick resale of the properties while obscuring the fraudulent and predatory nature of the loans, and a reluctance to allow public observance of the court proceedings. "Invasion of the Home Snatchers" was published in the November 25, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.

As financial scandals continued to rock the world during 2012, Taibbi's analyses of the machinations garnered him invitations to nationally broadcast television programs as an expert who could explain the events as they unfolded and their importance to viewers and moderators alike. In a discussion of the Libor revelations, Taibbi's coverage in Rolling Stone was singled out by Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, Inc., as most important on the topic, that had become required reading to remain informed.

Matt Taibbi in Wikipedia

10.01.2013. 07:17

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