Sunday, December 4, 2011

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ALL LINKS OPEN A NEW WINDOW!!! Click on anything below and be INSTANTLY SMARTER! $7.7 TRILLION DOLLARS We begin this Sunday's rant with some remarkably good news! Our friends at has the scoop...
Five National Banks Sued by AG Coakley in Connection with
Illegal Foreclosures and Loan Servicing

Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, and GMAC All Named As Defendants;
Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”) Also Sued


MATT TAIBBI is having a party somewhere!

Read on for how "vigorously" the banks' lawyers will "defend" their "position". How bad did it get? Whistleblowers ignored, punished by lenders, dozens of former employees say Mortgage fraud involved many lenders, former employees say by Michael Hudson (No not THAT PROFESSOR Michael Hudson! This is iWatchNews's Michael W. Hudson Our bold, as always. -Ed.) ... Parmer isn’t alone in claiming she was punished for objecting to fraud in the midst of the nation’s home-loan boom. iWatch News has identified 63 former employees at 20 financial institutions who say they were fired or demoted for reporting fraud or refusing to commit fraud. Their stories were disclosed in whistleblower claims with the U.S. Department of Labor, court documents or interviews with iWatch News. “We did our jobs. We had integrity,” said Ed Parker, former fraud investigations manager at now-defunct Ameriquest Mortgage Co., a leading subprime lender. “But we were not welcome because we affected the bottom line.” These ex-employees’ accounts provide evidence that the muzzling of whistleblowers played an important role in allowing corruption to flourish as mortgage lenders and their patrons on Wall Street pumped up loan volume and profits. Codes of silence at many lenders, former employees claim, helped discourage media, regulators and policymakers from taking a hard look at illegal practices that ultimately harmed borrowers, investors and the economy. .... Parker, the former Ameriquest fraud investigations chief, claims that he had few problems when he did “ones” and “twos” — investigating cases that involved an employee or two who could cause only limited damage, he said. But things changed, he said, when he tried to fight systemic fraud by focusing on branches or regions where fraud was so prevalent, workers joked that bogus documents were being produced in the “art department.” .... At a White House press conference in October, ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper asked President Obama why his administration hadn’t pursued criminal cases more aggressively in the aftermath of disasters at Lehman Brothers and other banks. “I don’t think any Wall Street executives have gone to jail, despite the rampant corruption and malfeasance that did take place,” Tapper said. Obama replied that in many instances the government might have trouble making criminal charges stick, because “a lot of that stuff wasn’t necessarily illegal. It was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless.” Obama isn’t alone in suggesting that criminal fraud by banks wasn’t the main cause of the nation’s financial disaster. ..... Many whistleblowers who worked inside major banks counter that it was fraud by lenders — not borrowers — that was the driving force in the growth of toxic loans that caused the mortgage meltdown. “Fraud is fraud,” Parker said. “It’s fraud if someone changes information in a loan file without the borrower’s knowledge or does anything deceptive to get a loan approved and passed through. How can you say those are not criminal acts?” Parker and other former mortgage workers say some borrowers did take part in the fraud, but they usually did so with coaching from sales representatives who knew how to work the system to get deals done. And in many cases, Parker and others say, borrowers weren’t aware of the deception and were fooled by bait-and-switch salesmanship and other tactics used by the mortgage professionals who controlled the process. A two-year U.S. Senate investigation (pdf) found that senior management at Washington Mutual ignored clear evidence that bank employees were engaging in fraud. ... WaMu collapsed in September 2008, a $300 billion institution buried in bad loans. It was the largest bank failure in American history — and one of the biggest casualties of risky practices and missed warning signs stretching back to the start of the last decade. Way too much more so go read at the link. And Watch 60 Minutes after football for their segment "Prosecuting Wall Street" with "two whistelblowers". And here's more good news! Occupy Wall Street: Can filmmaking website unify the movement? On her humming laptop in the media tent, Ms. Clapier navigates to where activists have placed 17 pages (so far) of stamp-sized, clickable links, each taking the user to videos, images, or audio uploaded by participants. Some are of live demonstrations in New York or Los Angeles, others are personalized messages of solidarity by random supporters (or celebrities such as Deepak Chopra), others are merely photographs of protesters having fun. Think YouTube, but better, say its fans. “This is amazing,” says Clapier, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Occupiers. “Now every single person can become their own storyteller with their own cell phone or webcam. They can upload and edit their own content and have it be shared with all the other occupiers around the planet.” By placing all their own content on a “cloud” server – with unlimited storage space that all can access – various encampments can create a universal video, image, and audio database that all can use to create individual messages, using other’s footage as well as their own. Users can create “call outs” – wish lists of footage needed with specific content and specific dates – and will eventually be able to find the return submissions by typing in key words such as “pepper spray,” “chanting,” or “police on horseback.” After three months of beta-testing, the new platform was unveiled Tuesday. Soon to come are complete editing banks and tutorials that teach users how to edit, splice, and mix images and sound. “This is such an advance over the old way, it’s hard to explain,” says Lee Jon Taylor, considered one of Occupy L.A.’s best editors. “I used to have to call people and ask if they had any footage of this and that, and then get permission from them to access their hard drives. Some of them didn’t want to do that, and the process was so cumbersome.” Mr. Taylor and Clapier say the advantages are a quantum leap over such current sites such as YouTube, because the clips can be longer, can be labeled and cross referenced more easily, and the individual shooter retains copyrights. “This is the first, truly free media,” says Taylor. The new platform has been donated by Citizen Global, a Venice, Calif.-based firm that creates ways for businesses to communicate with their customers. READ UP OWS'rs! And then dig into Naomi Klein's latest at The Nation Capitalism vs. the Climate. GOOD ITEM! And our TWEET OF THE WEEK goes to Emma Sullivan of Kansas Now for some not-so-good news. First Glenn Greenwald explains the ramifications of Congress endorsing military detention, a new AUMF is worth briefly examining each of the three provisions that are the most significant. These are complex issues that cannot be meaningfully analyzed in a 400-word post. But they are important enough to take the time to understand: ... But, with a few exceptions, the objections raised by the White House are not grounded in substantive problems with these powers, but rather in the argument that such matters are for the Executive Branch, not the Congress, to decide. In other words, the White House’s objections are grounded in broad theories of Executive Power. They are not arguing: it is wrong to deny accused Terrorists a trial. Instead they insist: whether an accused Terrorist is put in military detention rather than civilian custody is for the President alone to decide. Over and over, the White House’s statement emphasizes Executive power as the basis for its objections to Levin/McCain: ... so please read all of Greenwald's post since this version of AUMF codifies much of what GWB and O! have already done to the Bill Of Rights 1st, 4th, 6th, 10th Amendments. See Glenn on DN! below for more info. Next TWO NUMBERS you need to know about: $707,568,901,000,000 AND $7.77 Trillion First Tyler Durden at zerohedge $707,568,901,000,000: How (And Why) Banks Increased Total Outstanding Derivatives By A Record $107 Trillion In 6 Months There is much more than can be said on this topic, and has to be said, because an increase of that magnitude is simply impossible to perceive without alarm bells going off everywhere, especially when one considers the pervasive deleveraging occurring at every sector but the government. All else equal, this move may well explain the massive surge in bank profitability in the first half of the year. It also means that with banks suffering massive losses, and rumors of bank runs and collateral calls, not to mention the aftermath of the MF Global insolvency, the world financial syndicate will have no choice but to increase gross notional even more, even as the market value continues to get ever lower, thus sparking the risk of the mother of all margin calls: a veritable credit fission reaction. But no matter what: the important thing to remember is that "they are all hedged" - or so they say, a claim we made a completely mockery of a few weeks back. So ex-sarcasm, the now parabolic increase in derivatives means that when the bilateral netting chain is once again broken, and it will be (because AIG was not a one off event), there will simply be trillions more in derivatives that no longer generate a booked cash flow stream for the remaining counterparty, until at the very end, the whole inverted credit0money pyramid collapses in on itself.... Much more and cool revealing graphs! Then Bloomberg News finally won their FOIA request and posted this bombshell by Bob Ivry, Bradley Keoun and Phil Kuntz Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks Undisclosed $13B It is very long and detailed so go read the whole thing for yourself but we noticed this snip: $7.77 Trillion 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. Wait there's more! Yves Smith remarks Quelle Surprise! Banks Lied About Bailout Funds and Got $13 Billion in Profit from Them exclaiming, "And the bottom line is everybody close to the process lied like crazy." All this was NOT lost on the U.S. Congress (well at least ONE congresscritter). RAW STORY (with VIDEO!) Kucinich: Federal Reserve has captured control of our government Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) called for the U.S. Federal Reserve to be reformed after Bloomberg reported the central bank secretly loaned nearly $8 trillion to financial institutions from 2007 to 2009. ... "Remember the great debate we had here over the 700 billion in TARP funds?” he said on the House floor Tuesday. “There was no debate over the 7.7 trillion the Fed gave the banks.” “Did Congress have a clue?” he continued. “There is another game going on way over our heads, and our constituents are struggling while the banks with the help of the Feds have captured control of our government.” “Now the rating services are threatening us, if we don’t come up with a deal they’ll downgrade U.S. debt. Could the threat to our national sovereignty be any clearer?” Kucinich has proposed legislation, called the National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act, that would incorporate the Federal Reserve within the United States Treasury and thereby make it accountable to Congress. Listen up teabaggers! Dennis HAS IT RIGHT! Don't believe us? Frequent MAX KEISER guest Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker editorializes Dennis Kucinich: Delete The Fed summarizing "We're about to find out if people like Ron and Rand Paul really stand for what they claim, or if they're empty suits. If they do, then I expect to see them on the Tee Vee within hours demanding passage of this bill, and joining with Mr. Kucinich in making sure that it is immediately reintroduced in the new Congress - and passed. If that does not happen then these two claimants of a demand for "sound money" have been immediately and permanently exposed as FRAUDS, as will any so-called "Tea Party" members of Congress. This is a bill that must become law with the above-mentioned infirmities removed." YES! Nomi Prins explains (cue the Twilight Zone music...) The Fed’s European “Rescue”: Another back-door US Bank / Goldman bailout? Ya think? In the wake of chopping its Central Bank swap rates today, the Fed has been called a bunch of names: a hero for slugging the big bailout bat in the ninth inning, and a villain for printing money to help Europe at the expense of the US. Neither depiction is right. The Fed is merely continuing its unfettered brand of bailout-economics, promoted with heightened intensity recently by President Obama and Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner in the wake of Germany not playing bailout-ball. Recall, a couple years ago, it was a uniquely American brand of BIG bailouts that the Fed adopted in creating $7.7 trillion of bank subsidies that ran the gamut from back-door AIG bailouts (some of which went to US / some to European banks that deal with those same US banks), to the purchasing of mortgage-backed–securities, to near zero-rate loans (for banks). ...... Similarly, today’s move was also about protecting US banks from losses – self inflicted by dangerous derivatives-chain trades, again with each other, and with European banks. Now, consider this: the top four US banks (JPM Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs) control nearly 95% of the US derivatives market, which has grown by 20% since last year to $235 trillion. That figure is a third of all global derivatives of $707 trillion (up from $601 trillion in December, 2010 and $583 trillion mid-year 2010. ) Breaking that down: JPM Chase holds 11% of the world’s derivative exposure, Citibank, Bank of America, and Goldman comprise about 7% each. But, Goldman has something the others don’t – a lot fewer assets beneath its derivatives stockpile. It has 537 times as many (from 440 times last year) derivatives as assets. Think of a 537 story skyscraper on a one story see-saw. Goldman has $88 billon in assets, and $48 trillion in notional derivatives exposure. This is by FAR the highest ratio of derivatives to assets of any so-called bank backed by a government. The next highest ratio belongs to Citibank with $1.2 trillion in assets and $56 trillion in derivative exposure, or 46 to 1. JPM Chase's ratio is 44 to 1. Bank of America’s ratio is 36 to 1. (So much for fractional reserve banking eh? 10:1 would seem quaint today... -Ed.) Separately Goldman happened to have lost a lot of money in Foreign Exchange derivative positions last quarter. (See Table 7.) Goldman’s loss was about equal to the total gains of the other banks, indicative of some very contrarian trade going on. In addition, Goldman has the most credit risk with respect to the capital it holds, by a factor of 3 or 4 to 1 relative to the other big banks. So did the Fed's timing have something to do with its star bank? We don't really know for sure. Sadly, until there’s another FED audit, or FOIA request, we’re not going to know which banks are the beneficiaries of the Fed’s most recent international largesse either, nor will we know what their specific exposures are to each other, or to various European banks, or which trades are going super-badly. But we do know from the US bailouts in phase one of the global meltdown, that providing ‘liquidity' or ‘greasing the wheels of ‘ banks in times of ‘emergency’ does absolute nothing for the Main Street Economy. Not in the US. And not in Europe. It also doesn’t fix anything, it just funds bad trades with impunity. Last week also saw a massive public workers one-day protest in Great Britain while Merkel and Sarkozy try to stave off the inevitable crash of The Euro with some sort of austerity-banking hocus-pocus combo. NakedCapitalism also has a guest post Philip Pilkington: The Coming Age of Neocla describing "neoclassical economics whenever it comes to truly occupy a real seat of power; that is, when this set of ideas takes control over peoples’ lives in a wholly unmediated manner" as it is happening right now in the Eurozone. But we are now seeing the birth of a new centre for neocla policymaking in Europe that I fear will be far more difficult for its victims to do away with. We see this new centre – let us call it the ‘Politeuro’ – emerge slowly through the centralisation of fiscal policy that is currently taking place in Europe; as yet its constitution is indeterminate, but even now we can start to make out its general shape and nature. We can see a broad sketch of it here, as written by Professor Bill Mitchell:
    Basically it is setting up a centralised surveillance unit to further usurp the fiscal capacity of the member states without at the same time establishing a fully-fledged “federal” fiscal capacity to meet asymmetric aggregate demand shocks (across the region). The plan would require all member states (17 nations) to send draft budgets to the EC by October 15 each year. The Commission could then reject the plan and force the nation to alter the spending and taxation proposals. There would also be stricter rules under the “Excessive Deficit Procedure” which would seek to enforce the Stability and Growth Pact more closely. All member states would be forced to set up “independent fiscal councils” which would be involved in the preparation of budgets and official forecasts. If a nation needed financial assistance there would be federal support it would have to be obedient under these rules. Short conclusion: it would be a total disaster.
And that doesn’t even take into account the subcommittees of neocla that will enforce privatisation and various other microeconomic policies on governments that cannot comply with their impossible demands. Soon a bunch of neocla policymakers will have significant control over the minutiae of government policy in the peripheral countries. And, since they are unchecked by the populations – not being subject to democratic control – and basically have free rein to implement their policies from a distance, we can be sure that they will concoct a most outlandish and stupid grab-bag of neocla policies which they will then force down the necks of the periphery governments. They will tinker with taxes and impose privatisations, all of which will fly in the face of common sense – and all of which will be undertaken in reverence to a ‘free market’ that only exists in the foggiest corners of their own minds. The economies and the societies of the periphery will suffer to no end, but these neocla technocrats will be particularly difficult to get rid of. They will be allied neither to a single government, nor will they be tied to a strictly international institution like the IMF. Instead they will be built into the European ‘chain of command’. The Politeuro will be listened to by governments in the periphery and the citizens that elect these impotent governments will pay for it in real living standards. Meanwhile, these citizens will not have within their grasp any lever of power that they can pull to change the rules of the game.
Next go read this Guest Post: Unleashing The Future: Advancing Prosperity Through Debt Forgiveness (Part 1) and (Part 2) Submitted by Zeus Yiamouyiannis, from Of Two Minds at zerohedge. About this series: Given accelerating conditions and trends in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, debt will be renounced, forgiven or written down, and how that process unfolds is now of paramount importance. Will private entities who dined so gloriously on their profits now eat their losses? Can the public who has seen its fortunes commandeered mount an effective response? Will there be convincing practical alternatives to a rigged world economy based in debt expansion and servitude? The answer is "yes" to all three, contends this five-part series by longtime contributor Zeus Yiamouyiannis. The series offers practical analyses and blueprints for liberating the world from debt and thus freeing its people to pursue greater, more productive purposes. CHS Last week our Last Word went to Naomi Wolf The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class's venality. This week Alternet's Josh Holland refutes Naomi Wolf Naomi Wolf’s ‘Shocking Truth’ About the ‘Occupy Crackdowns’ Offers Anything but the Truth: Naomi Wolf's latest theory veers wildly from the known facts who is immediately shredded in the comments section as a Vichy "Change you can believe in" Dem apologist he apparently is. This week our last word goes to Journalist SAM HUSSEINI Legitimacy of Saudi Regime Challenged, National Press Club Membership Suspended Sam Husseini questioned the LEGITIMACY of the REGIME running Saudi Arabia. And Prince Turkey Al Gibblets and Gravy immediately REVERSED Sam's question making it out as questioning the LEGITIMACY of the COUNTRY NOT THE REGIME. Sam writes in How Questioning the Saudi Regime's Legitimacy Got Me Suspended by the National Press Club There's a serious question of double standards about when tough questioning is encouraged and when it is discourage or even prevented. For example, when Jörg Haider, the Austrian neo-Nazi, was at the Press Club several years ago, I was allowed by Peter Hickman, the same moderator at the recent event, to ask several follow-ups in a very similar, rigorous manner and gave me his congratulations. I've been unable to obtain a transcript or video of the event, but I recall being visibly angry when questioning him -- realizing I was talking to someone who, if he were ever to actually come to power, could commit unspeakable evil, and I was at least as tough with him as I was with Amb. al-Saud. Real journalism is asking tough questions of all the players. Or, more appropriately, asking the toughest questions of the most powerful. Too often, I've seen reporters fawn over a figure more the more powerful they are. That I think is exactly the wrong instinct. And he further explains in his own blog An Open Letter to the Ethics Committee of the National Press Club Mr. Hughes has written me: "On the journalism front, please give a complete explanation of what makes you a journalist. If you are an advocate/consultant/pr representative in addition to doing some kind of journalistic enterprise, please explain the amount of time you spend on each one, who your clients are, and where most of your income comes from. These are the questions the Press Club must sort out all the time, because as you know we have journalist and non-journalists members. As a journalist, are you credentialed by the congressional press gallery, or any others?" Again, why raise this if Communicator members have the same rights to ask questions as journalist members as Mr. Hughes states? But to answer directly: Mr. Hughes, while much more professional in tone, seems to have the same misunderstanding about my work at the Institute for Public Accuracy that Mr. McCarren has. IPA does not have "clients." We do not do consulting or even advocacy per se, though of course we give voice to advocates, as any media enterprise does. As stated on our webpage, we take no money from anyone for putting them on a news release. IPA is funded largely through foundations. In addition to my IPA work, I do some journalism work for various independent outlets, occasionally participating in talk radio program journalist round tables, writing for various webpages, my personal blog, and the project I founded. The Press Club immediately suspended Sam for two weeks but soon came to its senses. Sam explains in Ethics Committee Rescinds National Press Club Suspension I've been informed by the chair of the Ethics Committee that my suspension at the National Press Club has been lifted. I welcome this decision and aim to ask ever tougher and sharper questions. I hope others will as well. I had asked the Saudi ambassador about the legitimacy of his regime, but if tough questions are not welcome at the Press Club, or at other media institutions, then their legitimacy is also undermined. I particularly welcome this decision as it allows me to attend the debate for the Press Club presidency this evening. It's a rare contested election -- with the Let's Press Ahead slate having issued a strong statement on my behalf. I hope it will mark a meaningful step forward. BRAVO SAM HUSSEINI! THIS IS WHAT REAL JOURNALISM LOOKS LIKE! The Brick TeeVee Crew has been painting and fixing and cleaning all week in preparation for a new tenant so it's surprising we got THIS MUCH in this week! We hope you read as much as you can from our links and spread the word! We hear NEWT "Children should be janitors" GINGRICH is weighing Cain's "endorsement" from one womanizer to another we're told. Haha! Go check out everything below and as always click on ANYTHING and be INSTANTLY SMARTER! Have a great week!

Democracy NOW!
»»» Glenn Greenwald @ Democracy NOW! NATO Kills 24 Pakistani Troops in 2-Hour Assault on Pakistani Base, Tensions Flare in Region & Glenn Greenwald: Is Obama Fulfilling the Neocon Dream of Mass Regime Change in Muslim World? Nov 28, 2011
»»» Julian Assange @ Democracy NOW! WikiLeaks, Julian Assange Win Major Australian Prize for “Outstanding Contribution to Journalism” Nov 28, 2011
»»» Daphne Eviatar, Senior Associate, Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program @ Democracy NOW!
Battlefield America: U.S. Citizens Face Indefinite Military Detention in Defense Bill Before Senate Nov 29, 2011
»»» Kamran Loghman @ Democracy NOW! Pepper-Spray Creator Decries Use of Chemical Agent on Peaceful Occupy Wall Street Protesters Nov 29, 2011
»»» Pamela Brown & Andrew Ross @ Democracy NOW! Occupy Student Debt: Students Urged to Refuse to Pay Off Loans As Schools Hike Tuition Nov 29, 2011
»»» OWS @ Democracy NOW! Occupy Wall Street Camps in Los Angeles, Philadelphia Dismantled in Massive Police Raids Nov 30, 2011
»»» Peter Van Buren @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW State Dept. Veteran Peter Van Buren Defies U.S. Censors to Recount Failed Reconstruction in Iraq Nov 30, 2011
»»» Rena Steinzor, professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and President of the Center for Progressive Reform @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Report: Obama Has Weakened More Lobbyist-Opposed Health, Public Safety Regulations Than Bush Nov 30, 2011
»»» Democracy Now! Correspondent Anjali Kamat @ Democracy NOW! Democracy Now! Correspondent Anjali Kamat on Reporting the Revolutions in Egypt and Libya Dec 1, 2011
»»» Ramsey Clark, lawyer and former U.S. attorney general & Harry Murray, one of the Hancock 38 Drone Resisters @ Democracy NOW! "Hancock 38" Defendants Found Guilty for Bold Army Base Protest Against U.S. Drone Attacks Abroad Dec 2, 2011
»»» Richard Wolff @ Democracy NOW! Richard Wolff: Eurozone Woes Result from Mating of Our "Dysfunctional" Political, Economic Systems Nov 30, 2011
»»» GRITtv @ with Laura Flanders
»»» FEATURED SHOW The Maldives Face Rising Waters and Despondancy at Durban Climate Conference As the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, popularly known as COP-17, takes place in Durban, South Africa, Nov 28 - Dec 9, I think of this man: Dr. Mohammed Waheed Hassan, with whom I had a chance to speak this September in New York. Waheed, as he prefers to be called, is Vice President of the Republic of the Maldives, the lowest country on the planet. An archipelago of coral atolls in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives have seen the sea waters around their low-level homeland rise almost 8 inches in the last 100 years and accelerating rates of warming threaten their nation's future. Read the full story at .
»»» Football Night in America on NBC Lions @ Saints! Kickoff at 8:20 pm et
»»» Monday Night Football on ESPN Chargers @ Jaguars! Kickoff at 8:30 pm et
The 1st Amendment is Our Permit WASHINGTON - October 14 - This is an emergency appeal. Spread it widely. Our permit to occupy is called “The First Amendment.” This morning, Occupy Wall Street protesters celebrated when New York authorities beat a last-minute retreat from clearing Liberty Plaza – as hundreds of labor and other activists rushed to defend the square. But at the same time this morning, dozens of state troopers in riot gear cleared out Occupy Denver protests. In cities across the country, Occupy protesters have faced police violence and arrests. Some occupations have been forcibly removed while others have stood their ground successfully. The authorities say we don’t have the proper permits to occupy public spaces. Our permit to occupy is The First Amendment. Quickly sign the following statement which will be delivered to mayors, police chiefs and major media across the country:
    Our permit to occupy public squares and parks is in The First Amendment, which affirms “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” When people across the Middle East occupied public squares, leaders in Washington mostly cheered those protesters and warned Middle Eastern governments not to use force to clear them. Those other societies don’t have a First Amendment. Yet Washington affirmed the universal right to assembly and protest. We do have a First Amendment. The force being used to clear nonviolent protesters from public squares in our country is unacceptable. It must stop.
Action for a Progressive Future (the organization that runs RootsAction) is a nonprofit, progressive, public policy advocacy group that will engage citizens in the democratic process and help make sure legislators hear their voices.
(h/t jen) October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions. Take this pledge at
    "I pledge that if any U.S. troops, contractors, or mercenaries remain in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 6, 2011, as that occupation goes into its 11th year, I will commit to being in Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., with others on that day or the days immediately following, for as long as I can, with the intention of making it our Tahrir Square, Cairo, our Madison, Wisconsin, where we will NONVIOLENTLY resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources be invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. We can do this together. We will be the beginning."
Do it NOW!
NET NEUTRALITY! SOPA If you've been living under an Internet-free rock the past couple of weeks, you might have managed to miss the steady drumbeat of opposition to HR 3261, the so-called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Then again, if you've been living under an Internet-free rock, you've already had a preview of what we're facing if SOPA goes into effect. has pulled together an infographic that explains in very basic terms the services and sites that are at greatest risk from SOPA here: Infographic: Effects of the Internet Blacklist Bill (SOPA). More info at American Censorship Day READ Internet Censorship: Not Today, Not Tomorrow SIGN NOW! Internet censorship is coming to America. It’s in the form of a bill in Congress that gives corporations unprecedented power to blacklist websites at will. If passed, the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” or SOPA (HR 3261), could rip apart the open fabric of the Internet. People could see their websites disappear from the Internet for a “crime” as innocent as posting a video of themselves singing along to a favorite song. Sign this petition NOW! Keep BTV and YOUR blog alive! Listen to Sam Seder with Tim Karr of Free Press on Net Neutrality [11•10•11]
CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE American Majority Rejects Washington Austerity Consensus – And We Demand Media Coverage by Roger Hickey, President, Campaign for America's Future: No more silent majority. The Campaign for America’s Future is joining with the Center for Economic and Policy Research (whose Co-Director, Dean Baker blogs regularly about economic bias in the media) and with FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) to monitor the media’s coverage and representation of the American Majority views as they go into covering the big deficit fight. But we want to enlist YOU too. Send us accounts of unbalanced coverage in the national media and in your local newspapers and television. Call up reporters, editors, assignment people and tell them when they are under-representing the views of the American Majority. We should have at least half the experts, pundits, quotes and real people represented in their coverage. In a debate as important as the one we are going into, we can’t allow the media to ignore the American Majority. Much more at
MOVE TO AMEND! SIGN HERE NOW! Also visit Rep Alan Grayson's site And Alan Grayson is running again in FL-8! Help out at
SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT See UPDATE! Manning-Lamo Chat Logs Revealed at plus The Deeply Personal Details in New Bradley Manning Chat Logs and Bradley Manning Support Network Much more at link.
UPDATE! Kim Zetter WIRED.COM's Threat Level - Feds Withholding Evidence Favorable to Bradley Manning, Lawyer Charges The civilian lawyer for Bradley Manning, the Army private who allegedly leaked tens of thousands of classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, is seeking to question the severity of the leak by requesting the government’s own internal damage assessments that reportedly contradict statements that Manning irreparably damaged national security. Manning’s defense attorney, David E. Coombs, is attempting to get evidence from the government to defend Manning in his upcoming pre-trial hearing on Dec. 16, but says the government is stonewalling him. “The defense has repeatedly requested the below discovery in this case, but the government has consistently responded with a blanket denial of the defense request,” Coombs wrote in the partially redacted filing. ... The filing also sheds light on other likely avenues Coombs will use to mitigate or challenge the charges against Manning, including questioning the actions of President Barack Obama and Manning’s betrayer, Adrian Lamo. ... Coombs’ filing also addresses issues around Manning’s alleged mistreatment in prison, asking the government to hand over copies of all audio and video surveillance of the visitation booths at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia, and at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, where Manning was moved earlier this year. Coombs requested a video the military apparently took of Manning when he was ordered to surrender his clothing while in custody earlier at Quantico. More at
UPDATE at AntiWarRadio: Jeff Patterson December 1, 2011: Jeff Paterson, Project Director of Courage to Resist, discusses whistleblower Bradley Manning’s December 16th court hearing, his first after a year and a half long pretrial detention; Manning’s lawyer’s complaints about the government’s refusal to disclose evidence; the life-sentence facing Manning for allegedly leaking information embarrassing – but not harmful – to the government and military; how Manning’s treatment at the Quantico Marine brig clearly violated the UCMJ; and how you can donate to Manning’s legal defense and/or participate in a demonstration supporting him at Fort Meade on December 16th and 17th. LISTEN NOW HERE (mp3)
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The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises
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  • This Week (ABC) with Christiane Amanpour
    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'
    • Rick Santorum crazy
    • Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
    • actress Angelina Jolie
    • ROUNDTABLE: George Will, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, AOL Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, and Major Garrett of National Journal.

  • Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer
    • Robert Gibbs, Obama campaign adviser
    • Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee

  • 60 Minutes (CBS)
    • Prosecuting Wall Street - Two whistleblowers tell Steve Kroft that their warnings about fraudulent and substandard mortgages were ignored by their companies, offering a rare window into the root causes of the subprime mortgage meltdown still holding back the struggling U.S economy. James Jacoby 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 updating soon!
    • Obama re-elect chief strategist David Axelrod
    • RNC Chair Reince Priebus
    • ROUNDTABLE: Publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader Joe McQuaid, the BBC's Katty Kay, Fmr. Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) and TIME's Mark Halperin

  • State of the Union With Candy Crowley (CNN) Our special coverage begins at 9 a.m EST on CNN with the dedication beginning at 11 a.m. EST.
    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.
    • Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)
    • Rep. Michele Bachmann crazy
    • Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona)
    • "Expert" Panel: Alice Rivlin, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and Ron Brownstein.

  • 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.
    • Front Porch Friday!!!!! Bob wraps up the week! Listen now HERE (mp3)!
    Amen to the White Rose Society! Donate to Head On HERE!

    The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment!
    'Green News Report' - December 1, 2011 IN TIN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Newt makes stuff up; Historic drought in TX now worst in a century; This week's newest oil spill, now in CO; Extreme weather disasters will cost even more due to global warming; One step forward, two steps back in UN climate negotiations; PLUS: House GOP wins another courageous battle in the fight against imaginary regulations ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see link): In spite of Solyndra, military solar project a GO; How to slash CA's greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; Abrupt climate change possible from melting permafrost; Study: Renewables can reduce pollution at no cost to the economy; Running dry on the Great Plains; Algae bloom baffles scientists; Study Shows Worse Picture of Meltdown in Japan ... PLUS: The end of world as we know it: a surprisingly uplifting documentary... and much, MUCH more!
    BRADCAST UPDATE: Brad LIVE on KPFK every Wednesday 3:30 pm pt OccupyLA Live-Streamers 'OakFoShow' and 'OccupyFreedomLA' Join Me In-Studio on KPFK...
    Visit to see who counts yer votes! Reference yer background/research at Who's Counting? too.

  • The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!
    pbc show
    Listen at!
    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 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 320 Boiling Frogs: Andrew Gavin Marshall, Part 1 of New World Order Series This is part 1 of our interview series on the New World Order, part of the Boiling Frogs interview series, co-hosted with Sibel Edmonds.
    • PBC Podcast 321 Boiling Frogs: F. William Engdahl, Part 2 of New World Order Series This is Part 2 of our interview series on the New World Order, part of the Boiling Frogs interview series, co-hosted with Sibel Edmonds

  • Ring of Fire Radio
    Find us at and 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! December 2, 2011
    • This week on Ring of Fire: best-selling author Thomas Frank joins us to talk about how the federal government can help put Americans back to work.
    • Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, will tell us about the latest study confirming that Fox News viewers are still the most misinformed.
    • Author Greg Palast will discuss the oil industry vultures that are fighting over the remains of Alaska’s oil fields.
    • Frances Beinecke, the president of the NRDC, will be joining us to discuss an under-reported side effect of climate change: The effects it will have on human health.
    • And activist Jesse LaGreca will be here to give us the latest developments with Occupy Wall Street.
    • VIDEO! Sam Seder: The Problem of Republican Stupidity Both the mainstream media and the Republican Party have been going down the drain for decades. And if you turn on network news or tune into the Sunday morning political pundit shows, you’ve probably noticed that the problems with the media and the GOP are not getting any better. In fact, about the only word you could use to describe both, is “stupid.” Sam Seder discusses the problems that arise from this stupidity with Eric Alterman, Professor of Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and contributing writer for The Nation.
    • VIDEO! Papantonio: The Dimwit Republican Circus Freaks March Again Mike Papantonio appears on MSNBC’s The Ed Show to discuss a Republican campaign season that has brought us: Donald Trump telling us Obama wasn’t born in America. Gingrich’s $500,000 credit line at Tiffany’s. Rick Perry’s lack of knowledge on every issue. Michele Bachmann’s “pray away the gay” clinic and her chronic mythomania. Mitt Romney’s flip flops. Herman Cain’s endless trail of sexual trysts. These people are making George Bush look like Dwight Eisenhower
    • Join our blog at 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 @!

    Thomas Frank on his books Pity the Billionaire & What’s the Matter with Kansas, Occupy Wall Street and More [11•28•11]
    David Segal of Demand Progress on the PROTECT IP Act & SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) [11•29•11]
    Jeff Madrick on the European debt crisis, crony capitalism + more! [11•30•11]
    Tina Dupuy's First Hand Account of the Occupy LA Eviction [11•30•11]
    Sarah Jaffe on Student Debt and Possible Future Debt Strike [12•01•11]
    Cliff Schecter and Sam Seder discuss the GOP Candidates, OWS & more! [12•02•11]
    MORE Podcast Interviews at!

  • On the Edge with Max Keiser Podcasts and more @!
    "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!!! Crowd Funding for Pirates!
    • NEW! MaxKeiserTV on YouTube! MaxKeiserTV
    “Issues that should be decided in open court are being decided in back rooms in Washington.” by maxkeiser. READ Internet now a ‘surveillance machine’: Julian Assange (nationalpost)
    Ye Olde Debtor’s Prison by maxkeiser. READ America's Modern-Day Debtor's Prison (theatlantic)
    Wall Street has been taken over by sociopaths – Propublica READ Wall Street Is Already Occupied The financial industry has strayed far from being an intermediary between companies that want to raise capital so they can sell people things they want. Instead, it is a machine to enrich itself, fleecing customers and exacerbating inequality. When it goes off the rails, it impoverishes the rest of us. When the crises come, as they inevitably do, banks hold the economy hostage, warning that they will shoot us in the head if we don’t bail them out. “There have been repeated fines and malfeasance at literally all the investment banks, but it doesn’t seem to affect their behavior much,” he said. “So I have to conclude it is part of strategy as simple cost/benefit analysis, that fines and legal costs are a small price to pay for the profits.
    • VIDEO! Max Keiser on Europe’s Brave New Debt by maxkeiser. Technocrat governments, like the ones in Italy and Greece, will not provide any solutions to the ongoing eurozone crisis, claims financial analyst Max Keiser. Instead, as Keiser told RT, they will only drag Europe into deeper recession. “You have to understand, this is a systemic problem that requires a total re-architecting of the system and a total execution, in one way or another, of these banksters that are just predatory leeches; a cancer on the system”, said the host of RT’s Keiser Report.
    • KEISER REPORT [KR216] Keiser Report: Kleptocrats Go for Gold We discuss lunatics for Italian gold and another failed debt auction in Germany. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Mark O’Byrne of about the European debt crisis and Ireland’s gold.
    • KEISER REPORT [KR217] Keiser Report: Überdebten We discuss Überdebten, financial eugenics and secret Fed loans. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Karl Denninger about MF Global, pepper spraying banksters and Occupy Wall Street.
    • KEISER REPORT[KR218] Keiser Report: Big Bazookas, Dead Whistleblowers & Hanging Paulson Metaphorically speaking, of course. We also discuss big bazookas, Pol Pot and dead whistleblowers. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Jon Thorisson about the new Eva Joly Institute and Iceland’s ongoing fight for justice.
    • ON THE EDGE [OTE132] On the Edge with Dan Collins of The China Money Report This guy, Dan Collins, has a great new site, The China Money Report, which covers all the local news in China, especially gold and silver!
    • ON THE EDGE [OTE134] On the Edge with Yanis Varoufakis We interview David DeGraw
    • THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS [TaM-1227] The Truth About a Paris Cafe Stacy Summary: Truth About Markets from Prague. 26 November 2011. FYI, tomorrow I will be posting the live Truth About Markets from last week in London. Download show HERE (mp3)
    • Donate to ResonanceFM here!

  • ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton
    antiwarradio.jpg LIVE (9-11am Pacific, 12pm - 2pm Eastern) Plenty of archives too!
    Listen at
    Marcy Wheeler December 1, 2011: Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses the McCain-Levin and Udall amendments to the Defense Authorization Act; how the Supreme Court allowed American citizens to be labeled “enemy combatants” and subject to indefinite detention by the Hamdi decision in 2004; why a more restrictive – or revoked – Iraq War AUMF (as proposed by Rand Paul) would more effectively protect citizens than the Udall amendment; why “enhanced interrogation” may be making a (legalized) comeback; and the Obama administration’s opposition to language in the Act that limits Executive power and “flexibility.”
    Jeb Sprague December 2, 2011: Jeb Sprague, author of Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti, discusses his article “WikiLeaks Reveal: U.S. and UN Officials Oversaw Integration of Ex-Army Paramilitaries into Haiti’s Police Force ;” a brief overview of Haiti’s history, from colonial slave state to current times; Aristide’s democratic election following “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” Duvalier dictatorships; and how international aid agencies have destroyed Haiti’s domestic rice production and spread cholera.
    Trevor Timm December 2, 2011: Trevor Timm, Activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, discusses his article “Cablegate One Year Later: How WikiLeaks Has Influenced Foreign Policy, Journalism, and the First Amendment ;” how the WikiLeaks revelation of an Iraqi family’s massacre by US soldiers (and the attempted coverup with an airstrike) hastened the end of the war; why WikiLeaks deserves some credit for the Arab Spring, especially in Tunisia; who is and who isn’t bound by government classified documents; and the grand jury convened to indict WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for somehow violating the Espionage Act of 1917.
    James Bovard December 2, 2011: James Bovard, author of Attention Deficit Democracy, discusses his article “Dying to Corrupt Afghanistan;” Hamid Karzai’s empty promises of reform as Afghanistan claims the title of most corrupt government in the world; Mitt Romney’s eager prostrating to the military in a time when “support the troops” has exempted the whole institution from public reproach; and why it’s no coincidence every country the US is about to go to war with has a (supposedly) crazy ruler who can’t be negotiated with.
    Many more interviews at Antiwar Radio!

  • fauxnews
    • Michele Bachmann crazy
    • Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
    • Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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