By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
WASHINGTON — The polarized US Senate on Tuesday beat back an attempt to set aside proposed rules on detention of terrorism suspects, defying a White House veto threat and criticisms from the FBI and the Pentagon.
By a 37-61 margin, senators defeated an attempt to strip the proposed regulations from a vast annual spending bill that has yet to pass but is seen as a sure thing because it affects US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Democratic Senator Mark Udall’s amendment would have replaced the rules with a call for US military and intelligence officials to study the plan and offer their own blueprint for how to interrogate and detain alleged extremists.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2011
CONTACT: Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Nathan White (202)225-5871
WASHINGTON – November 29 – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a longtime advocate for reform of the Federal Reserve, is sharply criticizing the Federal Reserve today after Bloomberg news reported that the Federal Reserve secretly committed nearly $8 trillion in support to American and international financial institutions during the 2008 bailout. Kucinich recorded a video for his website before going to the floor of the House of Representatives to call upon Congress to reclaim its Constitution primacy over monetary policy.
Kucinich also called threats by ratings agency to downgrade U.S. debt a threat to our national sovereignty.
See Kucinich on the floor of the U.S. House HERE.
See Kucinich’s web address HERE.
“The Federal Reserve extended extraordinary support to financial institutions that crashed the economy with reckless speculation, and on that support many of the firms made billions in profit and paid obscene bonuses. The Fed asked for nothing from these firms in return and that is because the Federal Reserve works first and foremost for the welfare of private financial institutions, not the American economy.
“The message that emerges from these revelations for Americans who have lost their jobs, lost their homes, or watched their retirement nest eggs disappear is that we have unlimited resources available for the banks, but nothing for the American people,” Kucinich stated.
The Bloomberg report is the result of a court-ordered release of over 29,000 pages of Federal Reserve documents and records of more than 21,000 transactions. Through direct lending, loan guarantees and enhanced lending limits, the Federal Reserve supported national and international financial firms with as much as $7.77 trillion as of March 2009. The $7.77 trillion provided dwarfs the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) cap mandated by Congress.
Congressman Kucinich introduced legislation that would impose transparency on the Federal Reserve. The National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act, HR 2990, would incorporate the Federal Reserve within the United States Treasury. The bill would establish fiscal integrity, reassert Congressional sovereignty and allow the federal government to correct crippling national deficiencies in infrastructure repairs and education nationwide by spending money into circulation without increasing the national debt or causing inflation.
Learn more about the NEED Act here.
Vancouver Ca. From The Provence: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Lethal+salmon+virus+detected+four+species/5652786/story.html
By Sean Sullivan, Postmedia News
November 3, 2011
VANCOUVER — A lethal virus that could pose a new threat to British Columbia’s prized Pacific salmon has now been detected in four wild species, prompting fears about its effect on the multi-billion-dollar fishery.
On Wednesday, biologist and salmon advocate Alexandra Morton learned an infectious salmon amenia (ISA) lab at the Atlantic Veterinary College in P.E.I. found evidence of the virus in three of 10 dead fish — a Chinook, coho and chum — she pulled from the Harrison River on Oct. 12.
Researchers at Simon Fraser University announced last month the virus was found in two of 48 sockeye smolts collected in B.C.’s Central Coast.
“The terrible thing about the work that myself and (SFU researcher Rick) Routledge have done is that it’s tiny,” Morton said. “We looked at 60 fish, and we got it in two different generations, 600 kilometres apart, four different species. That’s a huge red flag.”
ISA’s effect on Pacific salmon — if any — is not known. This is the first time the disease has been found in wild Pacific salmon, raising fears among advocates that the already stressed wild stocks could be further jeopardized.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Morton’s samples are now being tested in Canada’s official ISA lab in Moncton, N.B.
The ultra right wing Republican candidate for President, whose name is synonymous with a by product of anal intercourse, once again shows his arrogant stupidity.
According to Reports in the Bloomberg News,
By Richard Teitelbaum
Nov 29, 2011
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson stepped off the elevator into the Third Avenue offices of hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP in Manhattan. It was July 21, 2008, and market fears were mounting. Four months earlier, Bear Stearns Cos. had sold itself for just $10 a share to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)
Now, amid tumbling home prices and near-record foreclosures, attention was focused on a new source of contagion: Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac, which together had more than $5 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and other debt outstanding, Bloomberg Markets reports in its January issue.
Paulson had been pushing a plan in Congress to open lines of credit to the two struggling firms and to grant authority for the Treasury Department to buy equity in them. Yet he had told reporters on July 13 that the firms must remain shareholder owned and had testified at a Senate hearing two days later that giving the government new power to intervene made actual intervention improbable.
“If you have a bazooka, and people know you have it, you’re not likely to take it out,” he said.
Offers some interesting points in the CV of this life long Republican and his various appointments as well as his role under various administrations.
In late September 2008, Paulson, along with Bernanke, led the effort to help financial firms by agreeing to use $700 billion dollars to purchase bad debt they had incurred. He faced criticism from economists for initially refusing to consider injecting large amounts of cash into financial institutions directly by purchasing stock, an option which other countries in similar circumstances had pursued. This was the option favored by Bernanke, and the one that was eventually followed.
On September 19, 2008, Paulson called for the U.S. government to use hundreds of billions of Treasury dollars to help financial firms clean up nonperforming mortgages threatening the liquidity of those firms. Because of his leadership and public appearances on this issue, the press labeled these measures the “Paulson financial rescue plan” or simply the Paulson Plan.
With the passage of H.R. 1424, Paulson became the manager of the United States Emergency Economic Stabilization fund.
Paulson agreed with Bernanke that the only way to ‘unlock’ the frozen capital markets were direct injections into financial institutions (nationalization to republicans and bailouts to democrats) so the banks would have more capital to lend as they “waited” for the bad loans on their asset sheets to rebound. The government would take a non-voting share position, with 5% dividends for the first year on the money ‘lent’ to the banks and then 9% thereafter until the banks stabilized and could payoff the government loans. According to the book “Too Big To Fail”, Paulson, NY Bank Chairman Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernake and Sheila Bair (FDIC Chairman) were at the meeting below on Oct. 13, 2008.
Documents obtained by government watchdog group Judicial Watch reveal that in an October 13, 2008, meeting with executives from 9 major American banks, Paulson told bankers that they would be forced to accept government bailout money, whether they wanted it or not. One of the documents, a talking points memo, gave bankers the ultimatum: “If a capital infusion is not appealing, you should be aware that your (FDIC) regulator will require it in any circumstance.” The logic was that if everybody were forced to accept the money, then stakeholders in the market would not be able to identify which banks really needed the money, as opposed to those that did not, thereby making it harder for depositors, investors, or analysts to identify which banks were most vulnerable.
Henry Paulson is one of the Masters of the Universe, who have pushed us into end stage capitalism.
I find it ironic how the über rich have accomplished what Lenin and all the other revolutionaries have failed to accomplish.
The killed the gold egg laying goose and had it for dinner.
Because of their ultra greed they wound up with all the marbles and now the game is just about over.
Unfortunately for them… They are the 1% and we are the 99%. In a democracy that means we can vote to redistribute their ill gotten gains.
And maybe send this bastard to prison forever.
By Travis Waldron
Nov 28, 2011
In the lead-up to the financial crisis that crippled the American economy and plunged the country into a recession, the Federal Reserve made trillions in undisclosed loansto struggling banks and financial institutions, according to official documents obtained by Bloomberg News. Six of the country’s largest banks then turned those loans into more than $13 billion in previously undisclosed profits.
The total cost of the Fed loans amounted to $7.77 trillion, and unlike the funds made available by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the loans came with virtually no strings attached for the banks:
The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.
“TARP at least had some strings attached,” says Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, referring to the program’s executive-pay ceiling. “With the Fed programs, there was nothing.”
In one month, Morgan Stanley — one of the most vulnerable financial companies at the time — took $107 billion in secret loans, enough to pay off a tenth of the nation’s delinquent mortgages. The loans, like those made to other institutions, were never reported to Morgan Stanley’s shareholders or the taxpayers who subsidized them.
By Tom Philpott
Tue Nov. 29, 2011
Yet again, scientists have looked at populations routinely exposed to the widely used herbicide atrazine and found trouble.
The latest: In a study published by Envionmental Research (summarized here), researchers found evidence that atrazine could be causing menstrual irregularities and low estrogen levels in women, even when it appears in drinking water at levels far below the EPA’s limit of 3 parts per billion.
The study compared women ag-intensive areas of Illinois, where atrazine has been shown to leach into drinking water from farm fields, were significantly more likely to experience menstrual irregularities and low estrogen levels than women in ag-intensive areas of Vermont, where atrazine use is much lower.
The Vermont/Illinois paper comes on the heels of an analysis of the Agricultural Health Study—an ongoing look at people who regularly apply pesticides and their spouses—that found similar trends among women exposed to atrazine; as well as a 2009 study finding that atrazine levels in drinking water tracked with low-weight birth incidences in Indiana.
Meanwhile, as I reported three weeks ago, an independent scientific panel convened by the EPA found “strong” evidence linking atrazine to thyroid cancer and “suggestive” evidence linking it to ovarian cancer, also based on studies of human populations exposed to the poison through drinking water. The panel declared that the EPA had been seriously underestimating the cancer risk posed by atrazine in drinking water.
Continue reading at: http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/11/atrazine-causes-menstrual-trouble
From The Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/espn-syracuse-bobby-fine-molestation-266641
by Sofia M. Fernandez
ESPN sat on a 2002 taped conversation between Laurie Fine, the wife of recently fired Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, and Bobby Davis, the man accusing Fine of molesting him, for nearly a decade. The sports network says it did not broadcast the phone call until this Sunday because it did not have corroboration on the charges.
Syracuse fired Fine Sunday after ESPN’s Outside the Lines played the tape.
University Chancellor Nancy Cantor said in a statement addressed to students, faculty and staff on Sunday: “I am writing to let you know that Bernie Fine’s employment at the University has been terminated effective immediately. Frankly, the events of the past week have shaken us all. The taped phone call that ESPN revealed today was not provided to the university by Mr. Davis during the 2005 investigation by our legal counsel.
Davis is one of three men that has said Fine molested them during his tenure as the Orangemen’s coach. Davis was a ball boy for the team for six years and told ESPN that the abuse “occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.”
An excerpt of the conversation between Davis and Mrs. Fine indicated that she was aware of her husband’s crimes:
Continue reading at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/espn-syracuse-bobby-fine-molestation-266641
From The World Socialist Web Site: http://wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/poor-n29.shtml
By Debra Watson
29 November 2011
One hundred million US residents—one third of the US population—live in households with perilously low incomes, according to a recent report from the US Census Bureau. The shocking figures were derived from the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), an alternate measure of poverty and income that was released in November.
The SPM has been under development by the Census Bureau, working with the National Academy of Sciences, since the mid-1990s. This is the first year it has been formally released. By law, it is not allowed to replace the official poverty level in determining funding levels for existing social programs.
Under the alternative measure the portion of the US population that is poor or near poor rises to 33 percent, up from 25 percent under the Census Bureau’s official measure.
In a comment to the New York Times, Trudi J. Renwick, the bureau’s chief poverty statistician, said, “These numbers are higher than we anticipated. There are more people struggling than the official numbers show.”
The term “near poor” designates those with incomes above 100 percent but below 150 percent of the poverty level. A comparison released in September of the official poverty measure released and the November SPM report showed the count of poor in America rise from 15.2 percent to 16 percent of the population. But the measure of near poor rose much more substantially using the more scientifically based measure, from 10 percent under the official poverty statistics to nearly 17 percent with the supplemental measure.
Under the alternate measure, the portion of the population making up the near poor was 51.4 million, or 16.8 percent of the population. This more than doubles the estimate of families in distress when added to the 16 percent considered living in poverty under the SPM data analysis released earlier.
Continue reading at: http://wsws.org/articles/2011/nov2011/poor-n29.shtml
At least six people have died in Britain after being told they had been healed of HIV and could stop taking their medication, Sky News has discovered..
by Kyle Mantyla
November 28, 2011
Last week, James Dobson released Family Talk’s November newsletter and suffice it to say that he is more worried about the impending collapse of America than he has ever been.
Dobson notes that he spent a great deal of time watching the news while recovering from his recent horse-riding accident and became convinced that we are seeing an “undeniable decline in the American culture” that will spell doom for this nation if it is not quickly reversed.
Dobson extensively cites and quotes Pat Buchanan’s new book “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” as he concludes that efforts to secularize our society are at the root of the nation’s impending collapse, which is demonstrated by the fact that President Obama has shown support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is “Marxist in tone and implementation”:
We are witnessing an unprecedented campaign to secularize our society and “de-moralize” our institutions from the top down. The effort, now in its fifth decade, has been enormously successful. Most forms of prayer have been declared unconstitutional in the nation’s schools. The Ten Commandments have been prohibited on school bulletin boards. Secular universities are blatantly hostile to Christian precepts, and the media screams “Foul!” whenever someone speaks openly of his beliefs. In this wonderful Land of the Free, we have gagged and bound all of our public officials, our teachers, our elected representatives, and our judges. Since we have effectively censored their expressions of faith in public life, the predictable is happening: a generation of young people is growing up with very little understanding of the spiritual principles on which our country was founded. And we wonder why so many of them can kill, steal, take drugs, and engage in promiscuous sex with no pangs of conscience. We have taught them that right and wrong are arbitrary – subjective – changing. They learned their lessons well.
One week after arrests and beatings of students at CUNY and pepper-spraying at UC Davis, students plan bigger actions to fight tuition hikes and policing of education.
By Manissa McCleave Maharawal
November 27, 2011
Today, Monday, is not only a day of action against university budget cuts in New York City but also around the country, at places like UC-Davis, where last week students were violently pepper sprayed during a peaceful protest. Here these same students are courageously calling for a student strike that will shut down the campus and in which rallies and teach-ins about budget cuts, police brutality and non-violent action will replace normal campus activities. At UCLA there are planned protests at the Board of Regents meeting in order to force that body to change their agenda to better reflect student concerns like increasing tuition and decreased funding for the entire UC system. These actions will be done with the solidarity and support of students around the country, from Tufts University in Massachusetts to the rural Kentucky-based Owensboro Community and Technical College. These actions also occur in the context of a global student movement: for weeks in Chile protesters, spearheaded by students demanding more affordable education, have been expressing dissent against President Pinera’s capital market reforms. In solidarity with these protests students around Latin America, in Argentina, Columbia, and Peru have come together to demand education reforms and stand in support of the Chilian students. Earlier this month, students in Ireland, Italy and the Phillipines staged massive protests and walk-outs over increased tuition.
Let me start by being very clear about who I am and what I do: I am a graduate student at the City University of New York in the Anthropology Department and I teach Anthropology 101 at Baruch College twice a week on Monday and Wednesday evenings. My students are younger than me and older than me. They are impressively diverse, they are mostly women of color, they work all day long and then come to class in the evening. They are tired by the time they sit down in my class and I respect this tiredness, I respect and understand that many of them have to leave early or get there late because of their job or their family and because I, just like them, am a student and a worker in a public university system.
The public university system that we are in is the third largest in the country and one that has had values of free education, accessibility and inclusivity in its inception and embedded in its history. I want to be very clear about this because in many ways our histories create our visions for the future and the history of CUNY is a history of struggle that gets to the core of what we think higher education is as well as who we think higher education should be for. Founded in 1847 as the Free Academy, the City University of New York was explicitly created to educate the poor and working class of New York City. Students fought for open admissions in 1969, a struggle that was about forcing the University to accept more non-white students and create Black and Puerto Rican Studies Departments. This struggle was won. In 1976 the University, amid years of student protests against it, imposed tuition for the first time since its foundation. Since then almost every year has been punctuated by protests over increasing tuition and proposed budget cuts. This year is the same.