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The Scary New Red Scare REGULATORY CAPTURE (wiki)
In economics, regulatory capture occurs when a state regulatory agency created to act in the public interest instead advances the commercial or special interests that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating. Regulatory capture is a form of government failure, as it can act as an encouragement for large firms to produce negative externalities. The agencies are called "captured agencies". Regular readers of BTV know transnational corporations control the U.S. Media. And from this comes the shaping of "public opinion" through their myriad "public relations" parrots think-tanks that blanket our "public" airwaves. Whenever you hear about a "poll of the American people" it is NOT a measure of "public opinion" but more so a measure of "how well the propaganda is working". Who and where are they polling? And who sponsors (read: pays for) these polls? Eh? And if you look at their methodology it's usually around a thousand "potential voters" out of 300 million U.S. citizens and the paid-for pollsters use some abstract "secret formula" to sell their favored transnational corporation agenda to their "clients" that get "the public" in an "uproar" about the daily conflict-du-jour by effect distracting the populace of WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON the "shiny object deflection" technique in spades. Dean Baker (originally on TruthOut.org but they are still recovering their site) lays it out:
'Shock Doctrine': GOP Elites Point a Gun at the Middle Class If there is any doubt that our political system is controlled by an elite who is completely removed from the bulk of the population, this response to the Ryan plan ended it. There is nothing at all serious about the Ryan plan. It is a naked attempt to redistribute yet more money to the country's rich at the expense of everyone else. ... In principle, the country's elite should be laying low right now. After all, their greed and ineptitude has given us the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. But after getting the Wall Street banks back on their feet with trillions of dollars of government subsidized loans, the elite are once again making a full-frontal assault on the living standards of the middle class. Last week it was Medicare, but they promise to be back to attack Social Security in the not too distant future. The ostensible rationale for this attack is the country's huge budget deficit. This is garbage. Garbage indeed. Now right out of the New McCarthy Red Scare playbook The Nation's Ari Berman outlines Journalism Under Siege at Northwestern Medill Innocence Project
On Thursday, March 17, Eric Caine was freed from a maximum-security prison after spending twenty-five years behind bars for a double murder he did not commit. Caine’s release was ordered by a Cook County judge after Northwestern University journalism professor David Protess, director of the Medill Innocence Project, and his students uncovered evidence that Caine had been brutally beaten by a now-disgraced Chicago detective into confessing the crime. Caine was the twelfth wrongly convicted prisoner that Protess and his students help free from prison, including five from Death Row. ... Yet when he should have been celebrating, Protess received some very bad news. On the same day Caine was released, John Lavine, dean of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, curtly informed Protess that he would not be teaching his world-renowned investigative journalism class at Northwestern in the spring quarter. After thirty years of teaching, his career at Northwestern was seemingly over, with no explanation offered for why. For the last three years, Protess has been locked in a prolonged battle with Chicago prosecutors after Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez unveiled an unprecedented subpoena demanding all the records of Protess and his students concerning the case of Anthony McKinney, who Protess alleges has been behind bars for nearly thirty-five years for a murder he did not commit. For the full backstory, read The Nation’s editorial from last year, “Stalling Justice.” After initially defending Protess, Northwestern abruptly turned against him last fall, siding with prosecutors on the subpoena and culminating in Lavine’s sudden suspension of him last week. ... Protess’s suspension from Medill raises very disturbing questions about the future of what has long been regarded as one of the country’s foremost journalism schools. “From day one in my conflict with the university, it was apparent there was virtually no appreciation for in-depth investigative reporting that serves a higher social good,” Protess told me. Just last week, Lavine, whose specialty is media marketing, successfully pushed to change the name of the school from the Medill School of Journalism to the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications (really rolls off the tongue). Many alumni, faculty and media critics scoffed at the name change, but it’s no laughing matter. When he became dean, Lavine spoke of “blowing up the whole curriculum” but, as Thomas Frank of Harper’s noted, “the only thing he seems to have blown up is the division between journalism and marketing.” The Nation's Eric Alterman lays it bare.
Fox: The Liars' Network
Remember, Fox continually insists that while Beck, Hannity and O’Reilly are “opinion” shows, its news programs can be trusted to play it straight. So again, the naïve among us might imagine that its executives would evince some discomfort with the network’s managing editor admitting to being a proud and purposeful liar. Alas, nobody at Fox appeared to notice—not even anchor Bret Baier, who, just a week before Media Matters broke the story of the taped Sammon cruise confession, had gone on The Daily Show to humiliate himself with the argument that at Fox, “we respect the viewers’ ability to discern” between opinion and hard news. These events demonstrate yet again that the problem with Fox is not that it’s conservative. It’s that it lies. Any discussion of its role in American political life is itself a lie if it rests on that foundation. When a “real” journalist—as Baier appears to imagine himself—lends his name to Fox, he is simply empowering these lies. When journalists from media enterprises that profess to value truth defend Fox—as Jake Tapper of ABC News did in response to the Obama administration’s unsuccessful 2009 attempt to isolate it from the other networks—they are enabling its lies. And when politicians, pundits and anyone else not formally employed by Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes appear on Fox without pointing out that they are there to tell the truth for once, then they, too, are participating in a scam at the bottom of which is not only the comforting of the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us but also the undermining of our democracy under the weight of a teetering tower of lies. ALterman continues with
Happy Birthday, Rupert Murdoch!
Of course, this is rather small potatoes compared with the hosts and guests who frequently promote the false and destructive notion that Barack Obama is a Kenya-born Muslim who hates all white people—including, presumably, his mother. (Murdoch, one must recall, said he agreed with Beck’s comments that Obama hates white people.)
As if that’s not dangerous enough, there is the recent campaign of anti-Semitic slander against Holocaust survivor George Soros on Beck’s show and the ginning up of anti-Arab racism on all Fox programming. It’s impossible to know what, exactly, motivates any act of violence by a disturbed person—say, in the case of the attack on Gabrielle Giffords and those around her by a crazed gunman. But what of Beck fan Byron Williams’s desire to take out the progressive Tides Foundation, a frequent Beck target—a crime foiled only when California Highway Patrol officers pulled Williams over on a DUI charge?
It’s no accident that such tactics are so prevalent at Fox; they are the rule rather than the exception at Murdoch properties. Was it really such a shock, for instance, when it was recently reported that Murdoch’s top honcho, Roger Ailes, allegedly instructed ex-HarperCollins employee Judith Regan to lie to federal investigators in order to protect Rudy Giuliani? As mayor, Giuliani had pressured Time Warner Cable after it initially declined to include Fox News on its menu of channels. And is it really so amazing that the British staff of Murdoch’s News of the World were widely engaged in criminal wiretapping to try to scoop their competition? When you consider all this, you almost want to give ex–New York Post gossip columnist Richard Johnson a Pulitzer Prize. All he did was regularly accept cash bribes in exchange for using his column to promote the properties of those handing over the cash. (Johnson was not publicly disciplined when this corruption was revealed.)
If Murdoch is judged as “first and foremost a journalist,” the inevitable conclusion is that he is an enabler and purveyor of lies, hatred and criminal activity in the service of his ideological, financial and personal interests.Glenn Greenwald tops off the Beltway Bubalas Bash at Salon
The Washington Post's dependence on the government it covers
But what I found most notable is how dependent is this industry -- including The Washington Post Co. -- on staying in the good graces of the Federal Government. Because these schools target low-income students, the vast majority of their income is derived from federal loans. Because there have been so many deceptive practices and defaults, the Federal Government has become much more aggressive about regulating these schools and now play a vital role in determining which ones can thrive and which ones fail. Put another way, the company that owns The Washington Post is almost entirely at the mercy of the Federal Government and the Obama administration -- the entities which its newspaper ostensibly checks and holds accountable. "By the end of 2010, more than 90 percent of revenue at Kaplan’s biggest division and nearly a third of The Post Co.’s revenue overall came from the U.S. government." The Post Co.'s reliance on the Federal Government extends beyond the source of its revenue; because the industry is so heavily regulated, any animosity from the Government could single-handedly doom the Post Co.'s business -- a reality of which they are well aware ... The Post is hardly alone among major media outlets in being owned by an entity which relies on the Federal Government for its continued profitability. NBC News and MSNBC were long owned by GE, and now by Comcast, both of which desperately need good relations with government officials for their profits. The same is true of CBS (owned by Viacom), ABC (owned by Disney), and CNN (owned by TimeWarner). For each of these large corporations, alienating federal government officials is about the worst possible move it could make -- something of which all of its employees, including its media division employees, are well aware. But the Post Co.'s dependence is even more overwhelming than most. How can a company which is almost wholly dependent upon staying in the good graces of the U.S. Government possibly be expected to serve as a journalistic "watchdog" over that same Government? The very idea is absurd. The whole point of the First Amendment's free press guarantee is that adversarial journalism is possible only if journalists are independent of political power. Yet the U.S. now has exactly the opposite dynamic: most major media outlets are owned by corporations that are anything but independent of government: they are quite dependent upon political officials for their profit in countless ways. We have anything but an independent press, which is another way of saying we have anything but a free press. Chilling, isn't it? Speaking of chilling, we go to Will Potter at AlterNet How I Almost Got Put on the Domestic Terrorist List for Handing Out Leaflets
Will Potter explains how confronting animal abuse made the government target him as a terrorist -- and taught him to never hide from those who try to silence him. Through my reporting, I learned that environmental and animal rights activists are being labeled terrorists not because of violence, but because of their beliefs. Corporations and the politicians who represent them have waged a coordinated campaign to push their political agenda. They have sent out press releases accusing mainstream organizations like the Sierra club, PETA, and Greenpeace of supporting “eco-terrorism.” the children’s movie Hoot has been dubbed “soft-core eco-terrorism for kids.” American Idol star Carrie Underwood was smeared as supporting terrorists when she encouraged her fans to support the Humane Society. Examples like this would be funny if they had not worked their way into the top levels of government. In 2006, politicians proposed “eco-terrorism” legislation similar to bills that had been introduced at the state level for years. Because of my reporting, colleagues at the ACLU recommended that I testify at a hearing by the house Judiciary committee. Leading democrats on that committee agreed. Suddenly, the fears that I thought I had overcome began to crawl back into my head. If I challenged this legislation, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, would I be smeared as an “animal rights terrorist”? Would FBI agents fulfill their promises from years ago and tell members of congress that I am on a domestic terrorist list? Would the representative from Wisconsin turn to me and ask, “Mr. Potter, are you now, or have you ever been, a vegetarian?” ...I decided I would not be a token gesture of dissent in their spectacle of democracy. Rather than propose modest tweaks to the bill, I testified that lawmakers must reject it in its entirety. I said that scarce terrorism resources should not be exploited to protect corporate interests. In my testimony, I compared the “eco-terrorist” legislation and scare mongering to one of the darkest periods of U.S. history, the communist witch hunts of the Red Scare. ... Months later, the law was rushed through the House of Representatives with only six members of congress in the room. Most lawmakers were breaking ground for a new memorial honoring Martin Luther King Jr. when legislation was being passed that labeled King’s tactics—including nonviolent civil disobedience—as terrorism. It was a major defeat, and for the corporations who supported the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, it was only the beginning. Since then, similar legislation has been introduced in many other states. ... It can be unsettling and frightening to learn how far the government has gone to attack political activists, and sometimes I wonder if spreading this information simply makes more people afraid. But time and again, in dozens of venues, from the New York City Bar Association to anarchist bookstores, I have seen an incredible thing happen when people learn about these issues and then turn to their neighbors. Their conversations are never about how they are afraid; they are about how they are angry and want to take action. The best way to handle the fear these scare tactics create, I learned, is to confront it head on. “Never turn your back on fear,” Hunter S. Thompson wrote. “It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed.” If that's not chilling enough, Mark A. Adams reported at DailyCensored.com back in January Attorneys Attack Rights of Citizen Journalists The Florida Bar has proposed a new rule to eliminate coverage of court proceedings by citizen journalists. The Bar’s proposed rule prohibits anyone other than an official court reporter or an employee of a traditional media outlet, as defined by Florida Statutes § 90.5015, from using any device which can make video or audio recording from being brought into a court including laptop computers. Of course, the proposed rule allows the courts to continue to record you, but unfortunately, the courts usually don’t want to give up their own recordings without a fight even though they are required to do so. ... As usual, the people who control the Florida Bar didn’t bother to consider any case law before trying to create a lower class of journalists. If they had bothered to look anything up (assuming that they are actually attempting to uphold the law), they would have found that the Florida Supreme Court previously held: "Freedom of the press is not, and has never been a private property right granted to those who own the news media." TruthDig's Chris Hedges explains Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System
Teachers, under assault from every direction, are fleeing the profession. Even before the “reform” blitzkrieg we were losing half of all teachers within five years after they started work—and these were people who spent years in school and many thousands of dollars to become teachers. How does the country expect to retain dignified, trained professionals under the hostility of current conditions? I suspect that the hedge fund managers behind our charter schools system—whose primary concern is certainly not with education—are delighted to replace real teachers with nonunionized, poorly trained instructors. To truly teach is to instill the values and knowledge which promote the common good and protect a society from the folly of historical amnesia. The utilitarian, corporate ideology embraced by the system of standardized tests and leadership academies has no time for the nuances and moral ambiguities inherent in a liberal arts education. Corporatism is about the cult of the self. It is about personal enrichment and profit as the sole aim of human existence. And those who do not conform are pushed aside. .... The truly educated become conscious. They become self-aware. They do not lie to themselves. They do not pretend that fraud is moral or that corporate greed is good. They do not claim that the demands of the marketplace can morally justify the hunger of children or denial of medical care to the sick. They do not throw 6 million families from their homes as the cost of doing business. Thought is a dialogue with one’s inner self. Those who think ask questions, questions those in authority do not want asked. They remember who we are, where we come from and where we should go. They remain eternally skeptical and distrustful of power. And they know that this moral independence is the only protection from the radical evil that results from collective unconsciousness. The capacity to think is the only bulwark against any centralized authority that seeks to impose mindless obedience. There is a huge difference, as Socrates understood, between teaching people what to think and teaching them how to think. Those who are endowed with a moral conscience refuse to commit crimes, even those sanctioned by the corporate state, because they do not in the end want to live with criminals—themselves. Those who can ask the right questions are armed with the capacity to make a moral choice, to defend the good in the face of outside pressure. And this is why the philosopher Immanuel Kant puts the duties we have to ourselves before the duties we have to others. The standard for Kant is not the biblical idea of self-love—love thy neighbor as thyself, do unto others as you would have them do unto you—but self-respect. What brings us meaning and worth as human beings is our ability to stand up and pit ourselves against injustice and the vast, moral indifference of the universe. Once justice perishes, as Kant knew, life loses all meaning. Those who meekly obey laws and rules imposed from the outside—including religious laws—are not moral human beings. The fulfillment of an imposed law is morally neutral. The truly educated make their own wills serve the higher call of justice, empathy and reason. Socrates made the same argument when he said it is better to suffer wrong than to do wrong. “The greatest evil perpetrated,” Hannah Arendt wrote, “is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.” Some items we missed last week...Yves Smith writes at naked capitlism Banks Win Again: Weak Mortgage Settlement Proposal Undermined by Phony Consent Decrees
and in a releated story
ACLU Taking Aim at Florida’s
Kangaroo Foreclosure Courts
Per Lisa Epstein and April Charney, the ACLU has announced it is contesting the procedures used in Florida’s recently created foreclosure courts: The irony is that robosigning has taken care of the Florida court docket; many cases have been withdrawn and not refiled as banks try to get a grip on their paperwork. So the ACLU’s might serve to get a now-pointless court system dissolved. ACLU Florida Petition April 7, 2011 (scribd) & (ACLU pdf) plus ACLU's press release ACLU Challenges Lack of Due Process in Florida’s “Foreclosure Courts” (scribd)
Seems the Florida ACLU must read Rolling Stone: Invasion of the Home Snatchers - Matt Taibbi on how foreclosure courts are helping big banks screw over homeowners James Kowalski [a former homicide prosecutor who is now defending homeowners] has seen hundreds of cases like the one he's presenting this morning. It started back in 2006, when he went to Pennsylvania to conduct what he thought would be a routine deposition of an official at the lending giant GMAC. What he discovered was that the official — who had sworn to having personal knowledge of the case — was, in fact, just a "robo-signer" who had signed off on the file without knowing anything about the actual homeowner or his payment history. (Kowalski's clients, like most of the homeowners he represents, were actually making their payments on time; in this particular case, a check had been mistakenly refused by GMAC.) Following the evidence, Kowalski discovered what has turned out to be a systemwide collapse of the process for documenting mortgages in this country. If you're foreclosing on somebody's house, you are required by law to have a collection of paperwork showing the journey of that mortgage note from the moment of issuance to the present. You should see the originating lender (a firm like Countrywide) selling the loan to the next entity in the chain (perhaps Goldman Sachs) to the next (maybe JP Morgan), with the actual note being transferred each time. But in fact, almost no bank currently foreclosing on homeowners has a reliable record of who owns the loan; in some cases, they have even intentionally shredded the actual mortgage notes. That's where the robo-signers come in. To create the appearance of paperwork where none exists, the banks drag in these pimply entry-level types — an infamous example is GMAC's notorious robo-signer Jeffrey Stephan, who appears online looking like an age-advanced photo of Beavis or Butt-Head — and get them to sign thousands of documents a month attesting to the banks' proper ownership of the mortgages. This isn't some rare goof-up by a low-level cubicle slave: Virtually every case of foreclosure in this country involves some form of screwed-up paperwork. "I would say it's pretty close to 100 percent," says Kowalski. An attorney for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid tells me that out of the hundreds of cases she has handled, fewer than five involved no phony paperwork. "The fraud is the norm," she says. Matt Taibbi's latest in RS asks The Real Housewives of Wall Street:
Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?
But if you want to get a true sense of what the "shadow budget" is all about, all you have to do is look closely at the taxpayer money handed over to a single company that goes by a seemingly innocuous name: Waterfall TALF Opportunity. At first glance, Waterfall's haul doesn't seem all that huge — just nine loans totaling some $220 million, made through a Fed bailout program. That doesn't seem like a whole lot, considering that Goldman Sachs alone received roughly $800 billion in loans from the Fed. But upon closer inspection, Waterfall TALF Opportunity boasts a couple of interesting names among its chief investors: Christy Mack and Susan Karches. Christy is the wife of John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley. Susan is the widow of Peter Karches, a close friend of the Macks who served as president of Morgan Stanley's investment-banking division. Neither woman appears to have any serious history in business, apart from a few philanthropic experiences. Yet the Federal Reserve handed them both low-interest loans of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars through a complicated bailout program that virtually guaranteed them millions in risk-free income. The technical name of the program that Mack and Karches took advantage of is TALF, short for Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. But the federal aid they received actually falls under a broader category of bailout initiatives, designed and perfected by Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, called "giving already stinking rich people gobs of money for no fucking reason at all." If you want to learn how the shadow budget works, follow along. This is what welfare for the rich looks like. ... It's hard to imagine a pair of people you would less want to hand a giant welfare check to — yet that's exactly what the Fed did. Just two months before the Macks bought their fancy carriage house in Manhattan, Christy and her pal Susan launched their investment initiative called Waterfall TALF. Neither seems to have any experience whatsoever in finance, beyond Susan's penchant for dabbling in thoroughbred racehorses. But with an upfront investment of $15 million, they quickly received $220 million in cash from the Fed, most of which they used to purchase student loans and commercial mortgages. The loans were set up so that Christy and Susan would keep 100 percent of any gains on the deals, while the Fed and the Treasury (read: the taxpayer) would eat 90 percent of the losses. Given out as part of a bailout program ostensibly designed to help ordinary people by kick-starting consumer lending, the deals were a classic heads-I-win, tails-you-lose investment. So how did the government come to address a financial crisis caused by the collapse of a residential-mortgage bubble by giving the wives of a couple of Morgan Stanley bigwigs free money to make essentially risk-free investments in student loans and commercial real estate? The answer is: by degrees. The history of the bailout era reads like one of those awful stories about what happens when a long-dormant criminal compulsion goes unchecked. The Peeping Tom next door stares through a few bathroom windows, doesn't get caught, and decides to break in and steal a pair of panties. Next thing you know, he's upgraded to homemade dungeons, tri-state serial rampages and throwing cheerleaders into a panel truck. It was the same with the bailouts. And h/t to our own Badger donjo for this item at HuffPo
Goldman Sachs Chief Blankfein Could Face Criminal Prosecution For Role In Financial Crisis
Carl Levin, chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, will recommend that Goldman executives who testified before his panel, including chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, be referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution, the Michigan Democrat announced Wednesday. Members of the subcommittee will now deliberate Levin's proposal. ... But the firm was just one target of a sweeping, 639-page report (pdf) by the Senate panel into the causes of the crisis. Hardly a fluke occurrence, the meltdown was the product of a deeply corrupt financial system, one fueled by profit-hungry banks that deceived their clients, and overseen by lax regulators who were complicit in the firms' chronic abuse of the most fundamental rules of the game, the report concludes. The investigation found a "financial snake pit rife with greed, conflicts of interest, and wrongdoing," Levin said. ... Investigators pored over millions of pages of internal Goldman documents and correspondence. They found evidence of traders boasting about how they sold their clients "shitty" deals, and discovered documents that detailed how the storied investment bank -- which has long maintained it didn't make a firm-wide bet against American homeowners -- reversed course over a three-month period in late 2006 through 2007, shedding bets that the value of subprime mortgage-linked investments would rise. .... The firm wanted "to cause maximum pain," Michael Swenson, a head mortgage trader at Goldman, wrote in a May 25, 2007 email documented in the report. ... By that point, many Wall Street players were betting on homeowners to default. The price of placing such bets was rising. Goldman wanted a cheaper way in. As part of the plan, another Goldman unit was to buy those positions at a lower price, enabling them not only to add to their growing bet that the American homeowner would eventually default, but to do so at a lower price. ...The panel caught one of its former traders, Greg Lippmann, referring to such securities over email as "crap" and "pigs," according to the report. ... The banker who oversaw Lippman's unit, Michael Lamont, told a colleague at another firm how Deutsche was rushing to sell these financial instruments "before the market falls off a cliff," according to a February 2007 email Lamont sent. Meanwhile, buyers of the securities were never told.At one point, Lippman described the creation and selling of such instruments as a "Ponzi scheme." He also said he would "try to dupe someone" into buying a particularly risky mortgage-linked security he himself was being asked to purchase, according to the report. See Taibbi's interview with CENK UYGUR of the Young Turks below via MAX KEISER. We'd like to see the Obama Justice Department try using their infamous "national security" rationale for this one haha! Let's face it if ANY of US came to court with FALSIFIED DOCUMENTS we would be charged with FRAUD and sent away to make small rocks out of big ones for a long time, RIGHT? Seems PAUL KRUGMAN is equally baffled: The President Is Missing What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular? ... But let’s give the president the benefit of the doubt, and suppose that $38 billion in spending cuts — and a much larger cut relative to his own budget proposals — was the best deal available. Even so, did Mr. Obama have to celebrate his defeat? Did he have to praise Congress for enacting “the largest annual spending cut in our history,” as if shortsighted budget cuts in the face of high unemployment — cuts that will slow growth and increase unemployment — are actually a good idea? ... You might have expected the president’s team not just to reject this proposal, but to see it as a big fat political target. But while the G.O.P. proposal has drawn fire from a number of Democrats — including a harsh condemnation from Senator Max Baucus, a centrist who has often worked with Republicans — the White House response was a statement from the press secretary expressing mild disapproval. What’s going on here? C'mon Paul! As a Nobel Economics Laureate YOU KNOW what's going on: REGULATORY CAPTURE following the evangelical "free-market" Milton-Friedman-fantasy Chicago-school Raygun "trickle down" economics. And President Not Sure is sure about maintaining the status quo for the transnational corporations who fight for their "right" to pollute we citizens' air, water, land and airwaves while Obama will raise $billions!$ for reelection which will only feed their (HIS?) media owners' bank accounts to further the transnational corporate agenda AGAINST us from workers' rights to global climate change. We want a dollar for every time The Great O! mentions "clean coal" or "nuclear energy" as a "solution"! Of course the Sunday Bobbleheads will speak endlessly about "the budget" with the WH Limo shuttling Timmy Giethner on Meet the David and This Anampout who then has a panel of Reptiles to tell us it's all organized labor's fault (teachers) and "entitlement spending" (your gramma and grampa and homeless or disabled people) for the depression not off-the-books ILLEGAL war-spending accounting by their hero gwb. Face the Bob gets MARK WARNER to confront the idiot-savant PAUL RYAN on his ridiculous smoke-n-mirrors budget proposal (listen to PAUL KRUGMAN on NPR Looking At Ryan's Budget Blueprint for a great smackdown!) while State of Candy lets RAND PAUL and ANTHONY WEINER battle it out before The Donald tells Candy why he should be president. Lots more sense below in the BTV Alerts and our regulars, including another interview with Our Man in Pipelineistan PEPE ESCOBAR at AntiWar Radio, DN!'s Fukushima coverage, and PBC's "interview" with President Not Sure and GARETH PORTER. Good items! Click on SOMETHING, ANYTHING and be instantly smarter! The Brick TeeVee Crew is enjoying the new baseball season with the Tribe in FIRST PLACE, something that hasn't happened since 2007. Their Single-A club the Lake County Captains (2010 champs of the Midwest League) opened their home season with a NO-HITTER spread among three pitchers! Take THAT Midwest League! It's still too cold and rainy to begin the garden so the Crew is looking forward to the NBA playoffs first round coverage, as the Cavaliers finally ended one of their worst seasons beating up on the Wizards to end the season and said good-bye to their 39-year play-by-play broadcaster JOE TAIT. As Joe would say, "Have a good night everybody!"
BRICK TEEVEE ALERTS!©
JAPAN IN CRISIS JAPAN IN CRISIS Democracy Now! reports on the disaster in Japan following a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami and the resulting nuclear crisis.
»»» Economist Jeffrey Sachs @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW "Don’t Punish the Poor" Economist Jeffrey Sachs Slams Obama-GOP Budget Deal April 11, 2011
»»» Thomas Breuer, head of the Climate and Energy Unit for Greenpeace Germany @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Nuclear Catastrophe in Japan “Not Equal to Chernobyl, But Way Worse” April 12, 2011
»»» Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat reports from Cairo @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW The Army vs. the People?: A Democracy Now! Special Report from Egypt April 12, 2011
»»» Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and the City College of New York @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Expert: Despite Japanese Gov’t Claims of Decreasing Radiation, Fukushima a "Ticking Time Bomb" and Dr. Michio Kaku on "Physics of the Future: How Science Will Change Daily Life by 2100" April 13, 2011
»»» Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW While Obama Touts Compromise with GOP, Progressive Lawmakers Unveil "People’s Budget" April 14, 2011
»»» Democracy Now! Budget Roundtable @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Roundtable: Assessing Obama’s Budget Plan & State of U.S. Economy with Author Thomas Frank, Rev. Jim Wallis, and Activist/Philosopher Grace Lee Boggs To discuss President Obama’s budget talk and the state of the American economy, we are joined by three guests: Thomas Frank, a columnist at Harper’s Magazine and the author of several books, including The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Ruined Government, Enriched Themselves, and Beggared the Nation; Rev. Jim Wallis, the founder of the Sojourners Community and editor of Sojourners magazine, who has been on a hunger fast since March 28 to protest congressional budget cuts; and Grace Lee Boggs, 95-year-old activist, author and philosopher based in Detroit. She has been involved with the civil rights, Black Power, labor, environmental justice, and feminist movements over the past seven decades. Her new book The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, has just been published. April 14, 2011
»»» British journalist Nicholas Shaxson @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Offshore Banking and Tax Havens Have Become Heart of Global Economy April 15, 2011
»»» Author Mark Hertsgaard @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW As Congress Slashes EPA, Climate Funding, Author Mark Hertsgaard on "Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth" April 15, 2011
»»» GRITtv @ www.grittv.org with Laura Flanders
»»» FEATURED SHOW @ GRITtv WATCH Janus Metz: Armadillo, Kill Teams, and the Savagery of War
»»» National Conference for Media Reform @ GRITtv National Conference for Media Reform This weekend, GRITtv headed to Boston with lots of our favorite media makers, activists, and thinkers for the National Conference for Media Reform. Laura was the emcee for the opening plenary, and then stuck around all weekend, talking about money, media and politics with movers and shakers. Check out some of what we saw at the conference!
»»» Frances Fox Piven & Cornel West @ GRITtv Frances Fox Piven & Cornel West: Teaching to Fight Back
»»» Independent Journalist Nancy Goldstein Nancy Goldstein: Losing Sleep over Bradley Manning
»»» Longtime environmental reporter Mark Hertsgaard Mark Hertsgaard: Still Not Getting the Message on Nuclear Power
»»» The F Word @ GRITtv The F Word: Time For Obama To Join the Fight
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SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT See CourageToResist.org EMAIL UPDATE! Help us reach our goal of a half million by signing the petition, and passing it on. Add your name! AND Vote for Bradley in the 2011 Time Magazine 100 Poll here! UPDATE! 250 of the US's most eminent legal scholars have signed a letter protesting the treatment of accused Wikileaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning. Manning is accused of passing thousands of secret government documents to WikiLeaks and has been charged with "aiding the enemy", a capital offense. As reported in the Guardian, the letter says that Manning is being held in "degrading and inhumane conditions" that are not only illegal and unconstitutional, but could amount to torture. The letter was published in the New York Review of Books and written by Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School and Yochai Benkler of Harvard Law School. Add your name to this petition Eminent US legal scholars protest 'torture' of Bradley Manning.
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The essential guide for watching government propaganda
IRAQ: 4,447 US Military Dead as of April 17, 2011
AFGHANISTAN: 1,534 US Military Dead as of April 17, 2011
The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises
Considering Democracy: 8 Things to ask your Representative
- This Week (ABC) with Christiane Amanpour - JAKE TAPPER sits in
• Fact Checking ABC's "This Week" at NPR "On the Media" - Jake Tapper, interim host of ABC's "This Week," liked the idea of fact-checking his guests' comments, so he set up a partnership with Politifact, a non-partisan fact-checking organization. See Politifact Statements ABC News 'This Week'
• Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
• Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill)
• Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fl)
• Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
• Rep. Allen West (R-Fl)
• Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen
• ROUNDTABLE: George Will, economist Alice Rivlin of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, political strategist Matthew Dowd and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
- Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer
• Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
• Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
- 60 Minutes (CBS)
• The Case of Beckett Brennan - The government recently sent out guidelines on how college judicial review boards should handle the rising incidence of campus sexual assault. Beckett Brennan says the University of the Pacific's board bungled her case, spurring her to come forward to say she was sexually assaulted by three of the school's athletes. Katie Couric reports. Graham Messick and Ashley Velie are the producers.
• The Co-Founder - Lesley Stahl speaks to Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen in his first interview about his upcoming book in which he criticizes his Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates. Shachar-Bar-On is the producer.
- Meet the Press (NBC) Host David Gregory
• Meet the Facts at NPR "On the Media" - Last December, NYU professor Jay Rosen proposed something simple yet revolutionary: why don't the Sunday morning chat shows fact check their guests? After "Meet the Press" host David Gregory declined, two college students launched a website to do it for him. One of them, Chas Danner, explains what they're trying to accomplish. See their website MeetTheFacts.com updating soon!
• Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
• Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
• ROUNDTABLE: Fmr. chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan; Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Fmr. Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI); author Jon Meacham; and author of the new book "Fail Up," PBS’s Tavis Smiley.
- State of the Union With Candy Crowley (CNN)
At 9 AM ET, Candy talks to the power players: politicians, business leaders and international newsmakers who will make Monday morning's headlines. At NOON ET, Candy wraps it all up with fresh interviews and the best of the earlier hours.
• Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
• Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner
• Former CIA Director, Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.)
• former president of Shell Oil, John Hofmeister
• Donald Trump
- HEAD ON RADIO with Bob Kincaid
Headon Radio with Bob Kincaid 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific, 2300 GMT. Duration: 3 hrs. To be part of the conversation on Head-on Radio, call toll-free (877) 443-2366, or use our Liberal community line at 304-658-3333. Email: bob [at] headonradio [dot] com.
• PRAYER MEETIN' WEDNESDAY!!!!!! Uber-Pope Bob exposes the latest antics by the Regressive Religious Right. Listen HERE (mp3)!
Amen to White Rose Society! Donate HERE!
- NEW! GREEN NEWS REPORT
The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment!
Go see greennews.bradblog.com!
• 'Green News Report' - April 14, 2011 IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: California doubles down on clean energy; Obama vows to continue the fight as well in budget speech ... PLUS: Renewables vs. Nukes: More jobs in renewables, so why hasn't the President mentioned that? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see link): Should kids be exposed to more or less toxic pollution?' Loss of penguins tied to loss of krill; Shooting badgers to be legal under plans for 'big society cull'; BP executives brace for a stormy shareholders' meeting; Times Square air cleaner now that cars are gone; Iowa's topsoil washing away; Australia: Energy giants face new tax bill; Brazil ethanol prices surge 65% in one month; Mother Earth to be given rights equal to humans; Study: Algae Could Replace 17% of U.S. Oil Imports; MN to pass law banning undercover farm videos; Studies begin to reveal effects of Gulf Oil Spill; Coal co. agrees to install pollution controls; Meet the Gulf 'Spillionaires' ... PLUS: Surprise!: Leaked talking points show oil companies don't give a frack about the truth....Links to STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT' at Green News Report! Visit BradBlog.com to see who counts yer votes! Reference yer background/research at Who's Counting? too.
- The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!
Listen at PeterBCollins.com!
The Peter B. Collins Show covers American news and politics from the Left Coast. Veteran talk radio personality Peter B. Collins, based in San Francisco, delivers fresh interviews, commentary and analysis on a range of important topics, with views and voices you don’t often find in the corporate media.
• PBC Live! Weekly on KGO PBC Live! Weekly on KGO Your humble host has been remiss in keeping you apprised of his other media activities. Since February, I’ve been hosting a regular weekly show on KGO, the leading San Francisco talk station with a huge coverage area–at night, you can hear it anywhere on the West Coast. TFN (till further notice), you can hear me every Friday night–or, more precisely, Saturday morning, from 1-5 am (PDT) on 810-AM or streaming at www.kgoradio.com. If you’d like to be alerted each week, sign up on Facebook as a fan of “Peter B. Collins Show” or you can follow me on Twitter, @pbcsf
• PBC Podcast 235 Journalist Porter Asks: Does Obama Want to Keep Troops in Iraq?? Tom Hayden on Libya and “Humanitarian Hawks” Journalist and historian Gareth Porter says Obama has signaled Iraq that we’ll keep thousands of troops there–IF Iraq asks us to stay! And Tom Hayden discusses his article in The Nation, identifying Samantha Power as a major influence on Libya.
• PBC Podcast 236 Author/Radio Host Brian Kahn on “Real Common Sense”; Radio Host Jon Elliott Has Launched His Podcast! Montana public radio host Brian Kahn’s new book, Real Common Sense offers an incisive analysis of the radical right and how we can counter their moves; Jon Elliott, former Air America host, has launched his podcast!
• PBC Podcast 237 Andy Worthington on Obama’s Capitulation on Gitmo and Trials; Robert Parry on Acquittal of Terrorist Posada Two great journalists: Andy Worthington, author of Guantanamo Files comments on Obama’s cave-in on trials of 9/11 suspects, offers new info on our prisons in Afghanistan, and compares Britain’s political struggles to our own; Robert Parry offers history and context on the recent trial of CIA asset and Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles.
• PBC Podcast 238 Special Guest: Barack Obama PBC talks back to the President. In this podcast, you will hear a major portion of Obama’s speech on April 13 at George Washington University, interspersed with critical commentary. Will Durst comments on the budget battle.
- Ring of Fire Radio
Find us at http://ringoffireradio.com and http://goleft.tv/ hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder
Ring of Fire Radio - GoLeft TV - Robert F. Kennedy, Mike Papantonio, Sam Seder - Politics, Commentary, and News.
This Week on Ring of Fire! April 14, 2010
• Stepping into the Ring of Fire this week: Mark Mattson from the Lake Ontario Waterkeepers will be here to talk about the ongoing debate over whether nuclear energy will ever be safe enough for widespread use.
• Attorney Peter Mougey will be here to tell us why there are still no federal regulations that require investment bankers to put the interests of their clients above their own financial interests.
• Chris Hunt from Sustainable Table will be joining us to talk about the dangers of the bovine growth hormones that farms across the country are injecting into cattle.
• We’ll be talking with attorney and consumer advocate Ed Blizzard about why the FDA allowed Johnson & Johnson to keep a faulty hip implant on the market for years, even when their own research showed that it was causing damage to patients.
• You Can Listen to Ring of Fire on These Stations HERE.
• VIDEO! Papantonio: Obama Caves to GOP on Budget Congress might have been able to prevent a complete government shutdown last week, but that won’t stop President Obama from giving the GOP everything that they want when it comes to the budget. He’s already discussing cuts to Medicare and Social Security, destroying a safety net that millions of Americans rely on. Mike Papantonio talks with Ed Schultz about why Obama always seems to cave to Republican pressure.
• Join our blog at www.ringoffireradio.com. You can now SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST by clicking on the “Podcast” tab at the top of the Ring of Fire blog. Please help support progressive radio by signing up!
Ring of Fire Radio Ring of Fire, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder: Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts Sunday nights at 8 pm (4 pm on XM 167) featuring The PAP Attack! "We’ll bring you the stories that the mainstream media didn’t feel like reporting this week."
- Majority Report with Sam Seder Streaming LIVE weekdays 11:30 am et @ Majority.fm!
• Live From Vegas Peter Mougey Talks Obama, Financial Regulation & More [04•14•11]
• Slate Senior Editor Dahlia Lithwick on the Courts [04•12•11]
• Digby of Hullabaloo on the Budget Deal [04•11•11]
MORE Podcast Interviews at majorityreport.official.fm!
- On the Edge with Max Keiser Podcasts and more @ MaxKeiser.com!
"HI Y'ALL! Tell the people! Tell the people!"
WHO IS MAX KEISER? Max Keiser is a financial expert, Prediction Markets analyst, inventor and filmmaker. He is the creator of the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) the first Prediction Market. Max Keiser co-hosts “The Truth About Markets” on ResonanceFM 104.4 in London. He also produces and presents documentary films covering markets and finance for Al Jazeera’s “People & Power” series. Max Keiser started his career on Wall Street in 1983. He is the creator of KarmaBanque a site that enables activists to challenge corporate power.
• VISIT PirateMyFilm.com!!! Crowd Funding for Pirates!
• Meanwhile, across the pond: “If you missed CNN’s In The Arena on Thursday evening, then you missed the fireworks. Eliot Spitzer challenged investment banker Goldman Sachs: “Sue me. You lied to the public. You should be prosecuted” READ Did Goldman Sachs Lie? Story and video at zerohedge.com
• Silver Terrorist JP Morgan’s role in the Madoff scandal gets some lawsuits rolling READ Meet The JPMorgan Employees Named In Irving Picard’s Devastating Madoff Lawsuit By Jeff Berwick at BusinessInsider.comStory and video at zerohedge.com
• “If you keep your money or savings in US dollars inside of the United States, you are a risk taker of epic proportions. Have you not been paying attention to what is going on? Read more: The War on Money” READ The War on Money By Jeff Berwick at DailyReckoning.com
• Tide (of sewage) turning against JP Morgan in Alabama? READ MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A Jefferson County lawsuit may proceed against investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. and others over some of the county’s ruinous sewer system financing deals, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled today. at market-ticker.com
• VIDEO! HUGE! Smart money is dumping SLV (paper silver) and buying REAL SILVER (crash jp morgan buy silver) This was said today; 15 April 2011 (1:59 min. long) Interviewed mad that took out his silver coins after paying storage fees since 2003. Sounded like the man was not amused with the ordeal! Priceless! $43.05 closing!!!!!! on a FRIDAY!!!!
• VIDEO! Too bad UK residents are blocked from viewing this video directly from c4 PLEASE NOTE: This video is BLOCKED by Channel 4 to everyone in the UK, it is veiwable to everyone NOT in the UK.
• VIDEO! Cenk Uygur, Matt Taibbi, Why isn’t Wall Street in jail?
• KEISER REPORT Keiser Report: Banking XXX Interview with Jim Rickards
• KEISER REPORT [KR138] Keiser Report – For a Few Billion Dollars More We talk to Cory Doctorow.
• THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS  The Truth About Markets – 16 April 2011 Download mp3 HERE Donations to ResonanceFM here.
• ON THE EDGE [OTE105] On the Edge with Jerry Robinson We interview Jerry Robinson of FTMDaily.com
- ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton
LIVE (9-11am Pacific, 12pm - 2pm Eastern) Plenty of archives too!
Listen at antiwar.com/radio
• Johann Hari April 13, 2011: Johann Hari, columnist for the London Independent, discusses his article We’re not being told the truth on Libya; the weapons deals with Mideast dictators pushed by David Cameron, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama right up through the “Arab Spring;” the US drone attacks in Pakistan that have killed thousands of civilians, yet failed to elicit calls for a protective no-fly zone like Libya’s; the brutal war in Congo, propelled by western corporations extracting rare earth minerals, that could be stopped without dropping a single bomb; and the deal that sent convicted (rightly or not) Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi back to Libya in exchange for BP’s access to Libyan oil.
• Ali GharibApril 15, 2011: Ali Gharib, New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy and LobeLog writer, discusses the neocon effort to keep war with Iran on the front burner, while the news cycle overwhelms their tired talking points; the old propaganda line that Iranians want us to bomb them, to give them a chance for regime change; the WikiLeaks documents that show Israel’s threats to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites (if the US doesn’t) are just hot air; and how observing the fates of N. Korea and Libya could lead Iran to conclude the best defensive strategy is building nuclear weapons and ceasing negotiations with the West.
• Pepe Escobar April 15, 2011: Pepe Escobar, Asia Times columnist and author of the article If the US Doesn’t Pull Every Soldier from Iraq by Midnight, Dec. 31, 2011, Expect Serious Trouble discusses the endgame in Iraq, where the US can either acquiesce to the people’s will, or restart the war all over again; how a stable post-occupation Iraq depends on Saudi Arabia not funding/arming another Sunni insurgency; the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia playing out in the Gulf states; a little lesson on politics and the potential for reform in Algeria and Morocco; how successful democratic transitions in Tunisia and Egypt will encourage reformers in other autocratic ME/NA countries; and the EU divide between neocolonialist France and non-interventionist Germany.
• Matt Southworth April 16, 2011: Matt Southworth, Campaigns Program Assistant at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), discusses his transition from Army soldier to peace activist; the work done by the diverse membership of the Friends Committee (they aren’t necessarily Quakers); the Congressional Research Service’s report “The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11;” how a diversion of war funds for one year could pay off all US state deficits; why it’s hard to calculate the level of Pentagon fraud and waste, while they remain exempt from financial audit; the increased number of generals and high-ranking officers compared to levels during WWII; and why economies based on war are unsustainable and will eventually collapse.
Many more interviews at Antiwar Radio!
• Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation
• Sen. Tom Coburn, (R) Oklahoma
• Rep. Chris Van Hollen, (D) Maryland / Ranking Member, Budget Committee
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