Sunday, February 5, 2012

Brick TeeVee's Groundhog Day Whack-a-Mole Edition!

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GROUNDHOG DAY WHACK-A-MOLE No matter what the topic or the policy the RW'rs keep coming like moles in a whack-a-mole game, from abortion and education to tax policy and foreign policy. Just when you think they've gone away another pops up somewhere else. And the Left/Liberal/Progressive side is once again on the defense. So to start here are a couple of long essays at tomdispatch. We think they go together. First Our Man in Pipelineistan Pepe Escobar Tomgram: Pepe Escobar, Sinking the Petrodollar in the Persian Gulf then this item posted by Tom Engelhardt Tomgram: Engelhardt, Iran Through the Looking Glass both good important reads. When you're done with those check out MJ Rosenberg Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, Media Matters Action Network who explains at HuffPoAol Why the Term "Israel First" Matters The term "Israel Firster" is my flashlight. I certainly set off a firestorm with my use of the term "Israel Firster ." Other people use it too but I was the guy who popularized it recently and who used it hundreds of times. The others who utilize the term did so occasionally, often citing me. So I am the main "miscreant" on this score. And I am proud that I created the controversy because it is an important one. It is important because the underlying issue is not whether the term is polite (it isn't, merely accurate) but whether or not America is going to end up at war with Iran. Rosenberg makes note This year AIPAC's huge Washington conference will be almost exclusively dedicated to pushing war with Iran. It takes place the first week in March. For those interested see the OCCUPY AIPAC 2012 Schedule! Nice whack-a-mole opportunity! Then Glenn Greenwald reports ACLU sues Obama administration over assassination secrecy The ACLU yesterday filed a lawsuit against various agencies of the Obama administration — the Justice and Defense Departments and the CIA — over their refusal to disclose any information about the assassination of American citizens. In October, the ACLU filed a FOIA request demanding disclosure of the most basic information about the CIA’s killing of 3 American citizens in Yemen: Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan, killed by missiles fired by a U.S. drone in September, and Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, killed by another drone attack two weeks later. The ACLU’s FOIA request sought merely to learn the legal and factual basis for these killings — meaning: tell us what legal theories you’ve adopted to secretly target U.S. citizens for execution, and what factual basis did you have to launch these specific strikes? The DOJ and CIA responded not only by refusing to provide any of this information, but refused even to confirm if any of the requested documents exist; in other words, as the ACLU put it yesterday, “these agencies are saying the targeted killing program is so secret that they can’t even acknowledge that it exists.” That refusal is what prompted yesterday’s lawsuit (in December, the New York Times also sued the Obama administration after it failed to produce DOJ legal memoranda “justifying” the assassination program in response to a FOIA request from reporters Charlie Savage and Scott Shane, but the ACLU’s lawsuit seeks disclosure of both the legal and factual bases for these executions). From a certain perspective, there’s really only one point worth making about all of this: if you think about it, it is warped beyond belief that the ACLU has to sue the U.S. Government in order to force it to disclose its claimed legal and factual bases for assassinating U.S. citizens without charges, trial or due process of any kind. It’s extraordinary enough that the Obama administration is secretly targeting citizens for execution-by-CIA; that they refuse even to account for what they are doing — even to the point of refusing to disclose their legal reasoning as to why they think the President possesses this power — is just mind-boggling. Truly: what more tyrannical power is there than for a government to target its own citizens for death — in total secrecy and with no checks — and then insist on the right to do so without even having to explain its legal and factual rationale for what it is doing? Could you even imagine what the U.S. Government and its media supporters would be saying about any other non-client-state country that asserted and exercised this power? But there’s one abuse that deserves special attention here: namely, the way in which the Obama administration manipulates and exploits its secrecy powers. ........ But when it comes time to account in a court or under the law for the legal authority and factual basis for what they have done — in other words, when it comes time to demonstrate that they are actually acting legally when doing it — then, suddenly, everything changes. When they face the rule of law, then the program is so profoundly classified that it cannot be spoken of at all — indeed, the administration cannot even confirm or deny that it exists — and it therefore cannot be scrutinized by courts at all. Worse, they not only invoke these secrecy claims to avoid the ACLU and NYT‘s FOIA requests, but they also invoked it when Awlaki’s father sued them and asked a court to prevent President Obama from executing his son without a trial. When forced to justify their assassination program in court, the Obama DOJ insisted that the program was so secretive that it could not even safely confirm that it existed — it’s a state secret – and thus no court could or should review its legality (see p.43 of the DOJ’s brief and Panetta’s Affidavit in the Awlaki lawsuit). As the ACLU said yesterday:
    The government’s self-serving attitude toward transparency and disclosure is unacceptable. Officials cannot be allowed to release bits of information about the targeted killing program when they think it will bolster their position, but refuse even to confirm the existence of a targeted killing program when organizations like the ACLU or journalists file FOIA requests in the service of real transparency and accountability. .... There’s only one place in the world where these programs cannot be discussed: in American courts. That’s because, when it comes time to have real disclosure and adversarial checks — rather than one-sided, selective, unverifiable disclosure — and when it comes time to determine if government officials are breaking the law, the administration ludicrously claims that it is too dangerous even to confirm if such a program exists (and disgracefully deferential federal courts in the post-9/11 era typically acquiesce to those claims). So here we have the nauseating spectacle of the Obama administration secretly targeting its own citizens for assassination, boasting in public about it in order to show how Tough and Strong the President is, but then hiding behind broad secrecy claims to shield their conduct from meaningful transparency, public debate, and legal review, all while pretending that they are motivated by lofty National Security Concerns when wielding these secrecy weapons. The only thing worse than the U.S. Government’s conduct of most affairs behind a wall of secrecy is how cynical, manipulative and self-protective is its invocation of these secrecy powers.
You can catch Glenn Greenwald along with Bruce Fein and FFF President Jacob Hornberger LIVE at the Future of Freedom Foundation's discussion The War on Terrorism, the Constitution, and Civil Liberties college tour all this week. Watch LIVE at the link Feb 6-9 or attend at Columbia U. (Mon), Purdue/Indiana Y. (Tue), Middle Tennessee State (Wed), and The Ohio State University (Thu)! See website for details! "SOPA, PIPA, ACTA … What’s Next?" asks Washington's Blog trying to whack the next internet mole in ACTA: “Would Usurp Congressional Authority”, “Threatens Numerous Public Interests”, a “Backroom Special Interest Deal”, a “Masquerade” We just beat back SOPA and PIPA with the web blackout. Now everyone is talking about ACTA. But – because ACTA is complicated, and is just starting to receive coverage – most are not sure exactly what ACTA really is, or why we should be concerned about it. We’ll give you an executive summary of what you need to know. Instead of giving you the specifics about what’s actually in the bill (we provide links at the end for those who want to know), we’ll explain why the procedure used is a recipe for disaster. Why are we stressing procedure over substance? Because, as awful as ACTA is, there are other horrible bills such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement waiting in the wings … which may be even worse than ACTA. Unless we understand the rotten, anti-democratic process which is causing these bad bills to be introduced, we will be caught off-guard by the introduction of one draconian bill after another … and we will lose the fight for Internet freedom. (The problem is that powerful men are making laws in secret to protect their interests.) Please read this important article and see the links at the end including this one at The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA): The Corporate Usurpation of the Internet by Nile Bowie ... The treaty is not limited solely to internet-related matters. ACTA would prohibit the production of generic pharmaceuticals and outlaw the use of certain seeds for crops through patents, furthering the corporate cartelization of the food and drug supply. ACTA would allow companies from any participating country (which include EU member states, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Morocco) to shut down websites without any explanation. .... The further monopolization of the existing resources of communication, exchange and expression is ever present in the form of deceptive new articles of legislation that unanimously call for the implementation of the same austere censorship measures. Even if the ACTA treaty is not implemented, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTP) between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Vietnam and the United States offers more extensive intellectual property regulations. Leaked documents prepared by the U.S. Business Coalition (which have been reportedly drafted by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Motion Picture Association of America) report that in addition to ACTA-style legislation, the TTP will impose fines on non-compliant entities and work to extend the general period of copy write terms on individual products. Under the sweeping regulations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, individual infringers will be criminalized and sentenced with the same severity as large-scale offenders. Within the United States, the recently announced Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) H.R. 3782 regulation seeks to install policies largely identical to SOPA and PIPA. The Obama administration is also working towards an Internet ID program, which may be mandatory for American citizens and required when renewing passports, obtaining federal licenses, or applying for social security. Spreading these dangerous measures to other countries participating in these treaties would necessitate a binding obligation on the US to retain these policies, averting any chance of reform. ACTION: Check out LaQuadrature for How to act against ACTA.
Next Yves Smith discusses ProPublica’s Off Base Charges About Freddie Mac’s Mortgage “Bets” The storyline in this piece is neat, plausible, and utterly wrong. And my e-mail traffic indicates that people who are reasonably finance savvy but don’t know the mortgage bond space have bought the uninformed and conspiratorial ProPublica thesis hook, line, and sinker. This is very long and detailed but go read and pay attention! Of course, armed with ProPublica's disinformation spread throughout the CorporoMedia another RW whack-a-mole pops up Republicans unveil Fannie, Freddie overhaul bills reporting by Ronald D. Orol and Greg Robb, MarketWatch , Charles Mead of Medill News Service A group of Republican lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a package of bills to overhaul the troubled government-seized housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including a measure to force the administration to more quickly raise the fee the two firms charge for guaranteeing mortgage securities they sell to investors. In addition, the group of lawmakers, all members of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced a bill that would limit the pay packages of executives and employees at the two firms, one that would eliminate their affordable housing goals and a provision to expedite an existing White House plan to reduce the size of their trillion-dollar-plus portfolio of mortgages. ... Rep. Spencer Bachus ... Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas ... Rep. Jeb Hensarling ... Rep. Judy Biggert (R., Ill.) ... all whack-a-mole targets.
Now unless you've been living in a cave you may have heard about the Susan G. Komen race halts grants to Planned Parenthood ( in their "lifestyles" section?) Here's the money quote: Planned Parenthood says the move results from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress - a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups. .... this applies to Planned Parenthood because it's the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions. This is astonishing! (but not surprising for the whack-a-mole religious right regressives). Here's karoli at crooksandliars
Susan G Komen Foundation Pulls Breast Cancer Screening Grants From Planned Parenthood Gosh. Right-wing pressure, you say? Here's a look at some of the key players in a decision like this. There is Julie Teer, VP Development, who also was a key Romney fundraiser in 2008. There is Komen's new senior Vice President of Public Policy, Karen Handel, who has stated publicly that she does not support Planned Parenthood and vowed to de-fund screenngs back in 2010.
    First, let me be clear, since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood. During my time as Chairman of Fulton County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a “Healthy Babies Initiative.” The grant was authorized, regulated, administered and distributed through the State of Georgia. Because of the criteria, regulations and parameters of the grant, Planned Parenthood was the only eligible vendor approved to meet the state criteria. Additionally, none of the services in any way involved abortions or abortion-related services. In fact, state and federal law prohibits the use of taxpayer funds for abortions or abortion related services and I strongly support those laws.
Because breast cancer screenings are just like abortions, don't you know?
Their excuse seems to be concerns over this ridiculous and unfounded investigation started by winger Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-CO). But you know, abortions aren't breast cancer screenings, and breast cancer screenings do not result in more abortions. No. This is a charity who claims to be dedicated to women's health acting as a de facto death panel. Of course, it will mostly affect poor women, so what do they care, right? There will be much more from me on this topic, but for now, could you do two things? First, sign this petition protesting their decision. And second, please consider supporting Planned Parenthood with your voice or your dollars as you can spare?
We urge you to spend some time reading at Gayle Sulk's and her book "The Book: In this compelling and provocative work, Sulik shows that while "pink ribbon culture" has brought breast cancer much attention, it has not had the desired effect of improving women's health. It may, in fact, have done the opposite." But wait! There's more! Head On Radio Chatter BENE says "You might want to check out Barbara Ehrenreich's Welcome to Cancerland" (Harper's, 2001). It's about Komen and the marketization of breast cancer." And adds "Think Before You Pink™, a project of Breast Cancer Action, launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the number of pink ribbon products on the market. The campaign calls for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in breast cancer fundraising, and encourages consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions." Head On Radio Chatter sparkydunc adds "Have you heard about this? Pink Ribbons Inc: A Devastating New Film on Komen, Breast Cancer — and Pink Good items in the Head On Radio chat room! And then Judd Legum posts this EXCLUSIVE: Ari Fleischer Secretly Helped Guide Komen Strategy On Planned Parenthood at ThinkProgress Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for George W. Bush and prominent right-wing pundit, secretly helped guide Komen Foundation’s disastrous strategy regarding Planned Parenthood. Fleischer personally interviewed candidates for the position of “Senior Vice President for Communications and External Relations” at Komen last December. According to a source with first-hand knowledge, Fleischer drilled prospective candidates during their interviews on how they would handle the controversy about Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood. Fleischer’s relationship with Komen and the Planned Parenthood controversy was previously undisclosed. Fleischer confirmed to ThinkProgress his recent role in filling key communications positions at Komen. He stressed, however, that another communications firm (Ogilvy PR) was retained by Komen to deal with the explosive controversy over the last few days.... Our own maddy now finds more whack-a-moles Komen Statement on Planned Parenthood is a PR Move, Not A Policy Reversal
February 3 The Susan G. Komen Foundation released a statement moments ago that many are greeting as a reversal of their decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. On Twitter, the Breaking News feed called it a “pledge to continue funding Planned Parenthood,” while Glenn Greenwald called it “an amazing, Internet-driven victory.” But it’s not.
The new statement does not pledge Komen to reverse its funding decision, and it does not promise Planned Parenthood any new funding. Let’s look at the relevant passage (emphasis mine):
    “We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.”
Komen had never intended to renege on its existing grant commitments to Planned Parenthood, as PP themselves noted in their press release announcing the break between the two organizations (again, emphasis mine):
    “In the last few weeks, the Komen Foundation has begun notifying local Planned Parenthood programs that their breast cancer initiatives will not be eligible for new grants (beyond existing agreements or plans).“
Komen’s statement that Planned Parenthood will be “eligible” for new grants is a new development, but it commits Komen to nothing. There’s no reversal of the funding cutoff here, and no promise to reinstate Planned Parenthood funding. This isn’t a victory. Not yet.
  • Update | I want to be really clear about what’s going on here. Obviously, Komen has taken a huge amount of heat in the last few days, far more than they’d anticipated, and they’re scrambling to contain the damage. They’re in disarray, and trying to keep this from becoming an even bigger problem for them than it already is. This statement is a reflection of that, and in that sense it’s a good sign. But what they’re hoping this will do is take the spotlight off, and if it has that effect, they’ll have a lot of room to maneuver later. So folks who want to see Planned Parenthood refunded need to be extremely skeptical, and extremely loud in voicing their skepticism, in the near future. Keep the pressure on, keep pushing for concrete concessions. That’s the next step.
  • Second Update | Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has released a response to the Komen announcement. An excerpt: “In recent weeks, the treasured relationship between the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and Planned Parenthood has been challenged, and we are now heartened that we can continue to work in partnership toward our shared commitment to breast health for the most underserved women. We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grantmaking criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers.” Richards is claiming victory, in other words, without suggesting that PP has been given any specific assurances on funding. All the more reason to keep the heat on. I’ll be sticking with this story as it develops. Feel free to follow me on Twitter for all the latest.
  • Third Update | A little more explication. First, on the eligibility question: yes, Komen has restored Planned Parenthood’s “eligibility” to apply for grants, but all that means is that PP can submit a request for funding. Without knowing what criteria Komen will use for evaluating those grant requests, and whether they’re actually committed to restoring the PP revenue stream, it’s impossible to say what significance this has. Again, yes, it’s a victory, but so far it’s a victory of spin and messaging, not of actual dollars and cents.Second, there’s the question of whether the new Komen position indicates that PP is likely to be reinstated as a Komen grantee. I don’t have any particular inside info, but from where I sit, yes, it’s likely, particularly given the media (mis)reading of the statement as well as PP’s (very savvy) response. It seems clear that cutting off PP down the line would be a PR disaster for Komen, and my guess is they’d rather put this behind them. But likelihood isn’t certitude, and things can change. We just don’t know what Komen’s plans are. All we have is what they’ve said. And what they’ve said so far is carefully crafted to leave the option of defunding PP very much alive.
BTV contributor Jen pronounces "Excellent catch, mad! Someone needs to alert the liberal blogosphere. More updates!" Yep BTV is ALERTING THE BLOGOSPHERE RIGHT NOW! Can you tell?
  • Fourth Update | The president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute calls Komen’s statement “nothing new. We have known and have reported that they are continuing five grants through 2012. This is a reference to that. The second clause about eligibility is certainly true. Any group can apply for anything. It does not mean they are going to get anything.”
  • Fifth Update | It’s worth remembering that according to one Komen staffer, the group’s new “grant-making criteria were adopted with the deliberate intention of targeting Planned Parenthood.”
  • Sixth Update | Greg Sargent of the Washington Post got a Komen board member on the phone, and he said that “it would be highly unfair to ask us to commit to any organization that doesn’t go through a grant process that shows that the money we raise is used to carry out our mission. … Tell me you can help carry out our mission and we will sit down at the table.”
    “It would be highly unfair to ask us to commit to any organization.” That’s pretty cold, particularly in contrast with Cecile Richards’ “we look forward to continuing our partnership.”
More crooksandliars Komen Apologizes; Pledges To Continue Planned Parenthood Grants - Updated ....Update: Just as this news broke, I was putting together a petition to call for Karen Handel's resignation and for Komen to publicly commit to continuing to fund Planned Parenthood and stem cell research centers. If you want to sign it as a way to affirm the call for a right-wing ideologue to leave decisions about women's health to more objective people, please feel free. Here it is. And more from karoli Crooks and Liars Friday Update #3: A Komen board member confirms that there is no guarantee future grants will be awarded to Planned Parenthood. On its face, this isn't an unusual statement for a foundation to make. After all, grants are for finite periods of time and must be renewed with new applications from time to time. However, in this case it's troubling, given the political motives for their original decision. What would stop them from finding any small excuse not to fund grants? Nancy Brinker's remarks on Andrea Mitchell's show gave a preview of a panoply of excuses. Everything from "grant excellence" to the claim that they want to 'eliminate third parties' in the screening process. For this reason, it seems prudent to keep the pressure on NGKF to be transparent and accountable for their decisions. It's not enough to issue a statement to take the heat off. They need to back up their words with actions. John Aravosis: If Komen is serious, they can simply approve the application Planned Parenthood has already submitted. Yes, they turned it down once, supposedly because of the now-old rule about investigations. Fine. If the rule is gone, then approve the grant. More America's Blog this time Gaius Publius What will progressives do about apparent right-wing "fog shops" like Komen? ... Let's step back for a moment. First, we "knew" that the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which ostensibly supports breast cancer research and treatment, was "non-partisan, apolitical." How did we "know" this? Because "everyone knows that." Peeling back the veil, however, reveals what everyone (conveniently) doesn't know. ...[Publius names whack-a-mole names here]... I'm starting to believe, until proven otherwise, that the Susan G. Komen enterprises are dangerously close to becoming a right-wing "fog shop" — i.e., a Movement Conservative operation that functions on the surface as a "woman's rights"–friendly do-gooder op, while harboring within it the nasty seed of wicked right-wing intentions. ... In my opinion, if you bought the cover as the primary story, you're lost in the fog. Komen seems to think the fact that they do indeed do good, means that you'll be all a-muddle when their knife come out. Don't be confused by the do-gooder chocolatey cover story. It was designed to confuse you. Folks, always ignore the deflection and watch the hand with the knife. Which leads to my question: What will progressives do about this? Walk away, withdrawing their support as they leave? Ask nicely by sending petitions? Pull out your own metaphorical knife and, in effect, say Bring it? I know what the other side would do. How? Because they've already done it. That knife in Planned Parenthood's back is theirs. PHEW! Did you absorb all that? In a related matter Nobel Peace Prize Winner 0 gets on his knees and genuflects at the annual WH Prayer Breakfast, Obama Ties Economic Message to Christian Values (NYT's The Caucus) and see CSM's IN PICTURES: Obama prays. SURVEILLANCE ALERT: Brain waves from thoughts of sounds used to move cursor hmmmm. Coming to an O.R. near you? LOOK! We found a DAVOS link! AP Interview: Wikipedia founder hails role in US Associated Press By FRANK JORDANS | Associated Press – Thu, Jan 26, 2012 DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The founder of Wikipedia hailed the online encyclopedia's role in helping halt U.S. legislation aimed at cracking down on Internet piracy, saying the proposed bills needed to be stopped because they were flawed. So ya got dat. For yet another whack-a-mole moment we go to Zach Carter at HuffPoAOL who reports 'Gasland' Journalists Arrested At Hearing By Order Of House Republicans (UPDATES) with Republican Chairman Andy Harris as the mole. In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Initial reports from sources suggested that an ABC News camera was also prevented from taping the hearing; ABC has since denied that they sent a crew to the hearing. Josh Fox, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Gasland" was taken into custody by Capitol Hill police this morning, along with his crew, after Republicans objected to their presence, according to Democratic sources present at the hearing. The meeting of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment had been taking place in room 2318 of the Rayburn building. HuffPost has obtained exclusive video of the arrest of Josh Fox. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, can be heard at the end of the clip asking Republican Chairman Andy Harris (R-Md.) to halt the arrest and permit Fox to film the public hearing. Harris denies Miller's request as Fox is escorted out of the hearing in handcuffs. Go watch the video NOW! WOW! Josh Fox released this statement (courtesy
    I was arrested today for exercising my First Amendment rights to freedom of the press on Capitol Hill. I was not expecting to be arrested for practicing journalism. Today's hearing in the House Energy and Environment subcommittee was called to examine EPAs findings that hydraulic fracturing fluids had contaminated groundwater in the town of Pavillion, Wyoming. I have a long history with the town of Pavillion and its residents who have maintained since 2008 that fracking has contaminated their water supply. I featured the stories of residents John Fenton, Louis Meeks and Jeff Locker in GASLAND and I have continued to document the catastrophic water contamination in Pavillion for the upcoming sequel GASLAND 2. It would seem that the Republican leadership was using this hearing to attack the three year Region 8 EPA investigation involving hundreds of samples and extensive water testing which ruled that Pavillion's groundwater was a health hazard, contaminated by benzene at 50x the safe level and numerous other contaminants associated with gas drilling. Most importantly, EPA stated in this case that fracking was the likely cause. As a filmmaker and journalist I have covered hundreds of public hearings, including Congressional hearings. It is my understanding that public speech is allowed to be filmed. Congress should be no exception. No one on Capitol Hill should regard themselves exempt from the Constitution. The First Amendment to the Constitution states explicitly "Congress shall make no law...that infringes on the Freedom of the Press". Which means that no subcommittee rule or regulation should prohibit a respectful journalist or citizen from recording a public hearing. This was an act of civil disobedience, yes done in an impromptu fashion, but at the moment when they told me to turn off the cameras, I could not. I know my rights and I felt it was imperative to exercise them. When I was led out of the hearing room in handcuffs, John Boehner's pledge of transparency in congress was taken out with me. The people of Pavillion deserve better. The thousands across the US who have documented cases of water contamination in fracking areas deserve their own hearing on Capitol hill. They deserve the chance to testify in before Congress. The truth that fracking contaminates groundwater is out, and no amount of intimidation tactics --either outright challenges to science or the arrest of journalists --will put the genie back in the bottle. Such a brazen attempt to discredit and silence the EPA, the citizens of Pavillion and documentary filmmaking will ultimately fail and it is an affront to the health and integrity of Americans. Lastly, in defense of my profession, I will state that many many Americans get their news from independent documentaries. The hill should immediately move to make hearings and meetings accessible to independent journalists and not further obstruct the truth from being reported in the vivid and in depth manner that is only achievable through long form documentary filmmaking. I will be thinking on this event further and will post further thoughts and developments. I have been charged with "unlawful entry" and my court date is February 15. Josh Fox, Washington D.C. 2/1/12
We need MORE not LESS of these kinds of actions! And now an UPDATE on the Mortgage Robo Signing fracas. Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism asks Why is the Normally Astute Taibbi Sounding Like a Hopey Dopey Liberal on the Mortgage Settlement? I hate taking issue with Matt Taibbi. I’m a huge fan of his writing and think he has done more to cause the big bd banks discomfort than any single writer. But even someone as skilled as Taibbi occasionally has the writing equivalent of a bad hair day. And his post, “A Victory for the Public on Foreclosures?” is an example. And his misreading matters precisely because he has so much cred with the public that is unhappy with Big Finance. .... As we will discuss in due course, even a narrow deal around robosigning is in fact NOT a good deal. I need to get a bit granular since quite a few folks on what passes for the left have gone into hopey dopey liberal mode. This is EXACTLY what the Administration wanted. A mere gesture, appointing Schneiderman to a part time job co-chairing an under-staffed investigation, when the committee members who are likely not to be on the same page as him have the advantage of being in DC where the troops will be located and knowing their way around the relevant bureaucracies. The ONLY hope Schneiderman has of pulling this off is lots of very noisy, sustained pressure, NOT going all gooey-eyed at a blast of Administration PR. ... Go read the "granular" part. Very interesting. And then there's THIS from NC: Schneiderman Files Civil Fraud Lawsuit Against Three Major Banks for Use of MERS New York filed a lawsuit against various units of JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells, MERSCORP and MERS over their use of MERS in foreclosures. This civil suit alleges that the use of MERS has “resulted in a wide range of deceptive and illegal practices,” most importantly, over 13,000 foreclosures in MERS name where MERS “often” lacked standing to foreclose. The suit claims that an undetermined number of foreclosures that were not made in the name of MERS were also deceptive by virtue of MERS “certifying officers” making improper assignments prior to the foreclosure. The suit includes the use of robosigners who failed to review the review the underlying records as required, and served to disguise gaps in the chain of title. The section of the filing with background on MERS will be familiar to most NC readers, but it does include the juicy factoid that MERS members have saved over $2 billion in recording fees. ... The suit states that 1800 foreclosures were filed in New York in MERS’ name since 2006, of which 95 were made by Bank of America, 85 by Chase, and 110 by Wells. Given the numerous reports of MERS sloppiness and dubious corporate governance (cited in this case) it is quite probable that these foreclosures were defective. However, these are not large numbers by themselves. New York does not have a statue like that of Alabama which multiplies the actual damages (the loss of the home) in the event of wrongful foreclosure. If you take 100 homes and multiply that by $250,000, you get $25 million. Now the suit would presumably enlarge the number of foreclosures by identifying other homes on which the use of MERS had resulted in wrongful foreclosures, but query how the attorney general would do that efficiently (as in the facts of particular foreclosures are so varied as to make this a labor-intensive exercise). The attorney general might be able to establish defective pattern and practice by deposing servicer employees or records, which would make for an easier way to establish that a much larger number of foreclosures were defective, but how threatening a suit this is in some measure depends on how easy it would be to establish bad practices at the servicers (note these suits will be settled; the question is whether the AG begins meaningful discovery to enable him to include more homes as being candidates for damages). The suit does discuss a number of defective practices, such as MERS falsely claiming to be the holder or even the owner of the note in court filings (MERS never owns the note), creating improper affidavits and notarizations, assigning mortgages when it lacked authority to do so, and failing to disclose the identity of the true owner of the note. It finally alleges that the MERS database is not accurate, current, or reliable. .... Update: Per Dave Dayen’s report , this Schneiderman filing is a carve-out from the settlement and hence does NOT represent a precedent as far as the other state AGs are concerned. It thus may not have broader ramifications as far as the settlement talks are concerned, save maybe making some of the AGs that were thinking of not signing on worry that they look bad by joining the deal.In addition, the long section on What MERS Did That is Bad has first a discussion of foreclosures in the name of MERS, then a discussion of bad practices that took place in foreclosures that used MERS but did not have MERS as the plaintiff in the foreclosure (out of time assignments, MERS certifying officers making assignments when they did not have authority, robosigining, etc). While this is all heinous, the big concern I have here is how you prove how many bad actions a particular bank engaged in. ... Finish reading at NC! Lots more details to be sure! The moles are clever aren't they? And at Taibbi's employer we find Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview By Michael Hastings. Yes THAT Michael Hastings. Just a snip... "From the glory days of American radicalism, which was the American Revolution, I think that Madison's view on government is still unequaled," he tells me during the three days I spend with him as he settles into his new location in England. "That people determined to be in a democracy, to be their own governments, must have the power that knowledge will bring – because knowledge will always rule ignorance. You can either be informed and your own rulers, or you can be ignorant and have someone else, who is not ignorant, rule over you. The question is, where has the United States betrayed Madison and Jefferson, betrayed these basic values on how you keep a democracy? I think that the U.S. military-industrial complex and the majority of politicians in Congress have betrayed those values." Go there before it goes behind the RS firewall (accessible to PRINT RS subscribers for FREE!) MORE ASSANGE from John Pilger (h/t maddy again!) In the Assange case we are all suspects now... lots to read so GO READ PILGER NOW! Our LAST WORD goes to Prairie2's Friday post Our turn to sweat, cry and bleed
    A third of million new jobs were created in January according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s household survey. This exceeds the quarter million job gain shown by the employer survey. Historically these two surveys confirm one another except when unusual growth is seen. The household survey had been diverging from the employer survey by larger and larger numbers over the past year. This divergence probably indicates exceptional growth in small business activity and among new entrepreneurs not adequately represented in the employer survey. This could be tied to the sharp growth in manufacturing jobs with 50,000 new workers added last month as reported by employers. Manufacturing is what is known as a “cluster economy”, the “finished product job” tends to support numerous other jobs that are somewhat off the grid. These can be everything from the small machine shop that does tool and die work, or a specialized factory with a few employees that makes small parts that don’t justify a major factory operation, and all manner of service and support jobs. It can’t be stressed enough how important this kind of up tick in jobs in mid-winter really is. An economy has momentum, like a ship rising to meet the crashing waves or the wreck being driven to the bottom by it. Currently the ship of the economy is rising despite all efforts from the Republicans to drill holes in the hull. Red State Republicans eliminated 14,000 teachers, firefighters, police and highway maintenance workers just last month, crippling the recovery of their own states, and putting a drag on the national economy. That’s the good news; the bad news is that real wages were down 2% last year as major corporations deliberately assaulted the wages of employees to tighten their grip on the economy and society in general. The six million long term unemployed have no chance of ever being employed by any major corporation as the universal corporate policy is to never hire them. The excuse is that their skills “are stale”, but really it is to make them an example for all who might resist. A large scale recovery would throw this policy out the window of course. Obama made a point of chiding Republicans not to get in the way of the recovery saying, “don’t muck it up”. (according to the right Obama can read the tele-prompter, but he seems to confuse his m’s and f’s) That’s not to say we don’t have huge problems with insane trade policies, a lack of enforcement of anti-trust laws, and a long laundry list of laws and policies that have been gutted, ignored or decriminalized over the past 30 plus years. It speaks to the potential of American that it has taken the 0.1 percent this long to steal and corrupt enough of the economy to reverse the New Deal, and still they haven’t quite done it. We can have it back again. All those thing our liberal grandparents gave sweat, tears and blood to accomplish can be ours again. All the things our liberal ancestors fought died for in order to wrest this continent from the British East India Company can be ours again. It’s our turn to sweat, cry and bleed to have these things again, or they will be gone forever.
Well said, Prairie2, well said. As always OCCUPY SOMEWHERE! BTW the Brick TeeVee Crew sez take the Pats, give the 3 and take the over! Giants 20 Patriots 44. And enjoy the commercials especially those by anti-abortion anti-women whack-a-mole Randall Terry's Graphic Anti-Abortion Ads During Super Bowl XLVI. The Crew took a pass on the bet Madonna would have a "wardrobe malfunction" but put a few bucks on "Madonna kissing another girl" during the halftime show. Haha! Enjoy the game and your week!

Democracy NOW!
»»» Kori Cioca, Trina McDonald & Kirby Dick @ Democracy NOW! The Invisible War: New Film Exposes Rape, Sexual Assault Epidemic in U.S. Military Jan 30, 2012
»»» Maria Lewis, Occupy Oakland activist, John Hamilton, KPFA news anchor & Brandon Jourdan contributed footage @ Democracy NOW! Occupy Oakland: Over 400 Arrested as Police Fire Tear Gas, Flash Grenades at Protesters Jan 30, 2012
»»» Razan Zaitouneh, lawyer and human rights activist in Damascus, Syria & Karam Nachar, cyber-activist who is working with Syrian protesters via social media platforms @ Democracy NOW! Syrian Activist Speaks from Hiding: The Bloodshed is Continuing Despite International Criticism Jan 30, 2012
»»» former U.S. marine Arturo de los Santos & ProPublica's Jesse Eisinger @ Democracy NOW! Ex-Marine Reoccupies His Own Foreclosed Home in Fight Against Freddie Mac, JPMorgan Chase Jan 31, 2012
»»» Director Eugene Jarecki @ Democracy NOW! "The House I Live In": New Documentary Exposes Economic, Moral Failure of U.S. War on Drugs Jan 31, 2012
»»» Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch @ Democracy NOW! Baltasar Garzón, Trailblazing Judge Who Pursued War Criminals, Faces Trial of His Own in Spain RELATED: Is Former Haitian Dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier Off the Hook for Human Rights Crimes? Feb 1, 2012
»»» Josh Fox @ Democracy NOW! "Gasland" Director Josh Fox Arrested at Congressional Hearing on Natural Gas Fracking RELATED: Obama’s Support for Natural Gas Drilling "A Painful Moment" for Communities Exposed to Fracking Feb 2, 2012
»»» Patrick Hurd, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, Betsi Hurd, a veteran of several Susan G. Komen for the Cure fundraising races who is currently battling breast cancer & Jodi Jacobson, editor-in-chief of RH Reality Check @ Democracy NOW! After Right-Wing Campaign, Leading Breast Cancer Charity Komen Drops Funding for Planned Parenthood Feb 2, 2012
»»» Tithi Bhattacharya, an associate professor of South Asian History at Purdue University @ Democracy NOW! Occupy the Super Bowl: Indiana’s New Anti-Union Law Sparks Protest at Sport’s Biggest Spectacle Feb 3, 2012
»»» GRITtv @ with Laura Flanders
»»» FEATURED SHOW Where are the Peace Pundits? President Obama's 2012 State of the Union opened and closed with a celebration of the US military. That was his choice; the media chose not to raise a peep of critique. Yet US military targets proliferate—abroad—with unmanned drones assassinating unconvicted suspects in innumerable undeclared wars. And at home. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act makes indefinite military detention without charge or trial a permanent feature of the American legal system. It’s kind of the critics not to mention that—or the president's four-year-old pledge to close Guantánamo, and to restore the “rule of law.” If only peace activists were invited to contribute to those post-show pundit panels! Long time peace-builder and GRITtv regular, Kathy Kelly joined Laura in studio in June 2010 to discuss the consequences of a "robotized" U.S. military. She described the devastation she had seen and the way people are forced to live, and she questioned the logic of continuing to spend so much money on war. You can read Laura's column on the president's speech ("Not a Peep") in full at .
»»» Superbowl XLVI Giants vs. Patriots! Coverage begins NOW!
»»» NBA on TNT! Double-header Thursday! Lakers @ Celtics 8 pm et then Thunder @ Kings 10:30 pm et
The 1st Amendment is Our Permit 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. Sign the Petition to Get the 99% Deficit Proposal Heard in Congress
    Please SIGN THE PETITION in support of the "99%'s Deficit Proposal" and plan direct actions to tell the Super Committee that the 99% have better solutions to our nation's crises. You can plan your own action at your Congressmember's office or join us in Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC for marches to Capitol Hill. Check our calendar for announcements.

NET NEUTRALITY! A Push for Privacy in the Wake of the Carrier IQ Controversy Remember Carrier IQ, the company that makes the secret spying software that’s installed on more than 140 million phones? You know, the software that can record our most sensitive personal data? ... Thanks in part to the 22,000 people who joined Free Press’ call for a congressional investigation, some of those questions are closer to being answered and mobile users are closer to being protected. The protection comes in the form of a bill from Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey. Markey released a draft of a bill called the “Mobile Device Privacy Act” that would require phone companies to disclose to users just what is being done with all of their data. If the bill passes, an opt-out provision would go into effect a year later and would require companies to allow users to opt out of data-collection schemes like the one developed by Carrier IQ........
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! BRADLEY MANNING UPDATE: Robert Parry Exclusive America’s Debt to Bradley Manning So, it was useful to examine the WikiLeaks documents regarding the election of the new IAEA leader in 2009 to understand why this flip may have occurred. What those classified State Department cables show is that the IAEA’s new director general, Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano, credited his victory largely to U.S. government support and promptly stuck his hand out for U.S. money. Further, Amano left little doubt that he would side with the United States in its confrontation with Iran and that he would even meet secretly with Israeli officials regarding their purported evidence on Iran’s nuclear program, despite the fact that Israel is arguably the world’s preeminent rogue nuclear state and rejects IAEA inspections of its own nuclear sites. According to U.S. embassy cables from Vienna, Austria, the site of IAEA’s headquarters, American diplomats in 2009 were cheering the prospect that Amano would advance U.S. interests in ways that outgoing IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei wouldn’t. ..... In private, Amano agreed to “consultations” with the head of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission, Pyatt reported. (It is ironic indeed that Amano would have secret contacts with Israeli officials about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, which has yet to yield a single bomb, when Israel possesses a large and undeclared nuclear arsenal.) In a subsequent cable dated Oct. 16, 2009, the U.S. mission in Vienna said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded ambassador [Glyn Davies] on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. “More candidly, Amano noted the importance of maintaining a certain ‘constructive ambiguity’ about his plans, at least until he took over for DG ElBaradei in December” 2009. In other words, the emerging picture of Amano is of a bureaucrat eager to bend in directions favored by the United States and Israel, especially regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Amano’s behavior surely contrasts with how the more independent-minded ElBaradei resisted some of Bush’s key claims about Iraq’s supposed nuclear weapons program, denouncing some documents as forgeries. Today, with some Republican presidential contenders falling over themselves to bond with Israel over its desire to attack Iran, this sort of detail puts the IAEA report into a fuller context that can help American voters judge whether another war is necessary or whether they’re being misled again by hyped allegations. More at link...
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The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises
Considering Democracy: 8 Things to ask your Representative

  • This Week (ABC) anchor George Stephanopoulos

    UPDATE: CNN reported today that renowned international correspondent Christiane Amanpour will be returning to CNN with a weekday program on its International network, while continuing at ABC News as a global affairs anchor. Former “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos will return to the program on 8 January, while continuing his role as an anchor for “Good Morning America”. FULL STORY

    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'

    • Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex

    • ECONOMIST DEBATE: architect of President Obama's plan, former advisor Lawrence Summers, top Romney economic advisor Glenn Hubbard, and Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial.

    • ROUNDTABLE: George Will, political strategist and ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, AOL Huffington Post Media Group president Arianna Huffington, and radio host and editor Dana Loesch

  • Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer this Sunday: Live from Miami

    • Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich

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    • ROUNDTABLE: Michael Kranish, the Boston Globe editor and co-author of The Real Romney, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell and CBS News Political Director John Dickerson.

  • 60 Minutes (CBS) "60 Minutes Presents: Three Remarkable Women," a special hour hosted by Morley Safer

    • Dolly Parton, Anna Wintour & Meryl Streep

  • 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!

    • Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich

    • Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D), New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R).

    • ROUNDTABLE: Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), NY Times columnist David Brooks, GOP strategist Alex Castellanos, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

  • 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.

    • Virginia Governor and Republican Governors Association Chair Bob McDonnell

    • Maryland Governor and Democratic Governors Association Chair Martin O’Malley

    • Family Research Council President Tony Perkins

    • Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey

    • House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI).

    • "expert" panel: Former CBO Directors Alice Rivlin, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and CNN Senior Political Analyst 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 reviews the week's news especially the Komen disaster! And of course the rest of the H.O.R.N. family chimes in! Listen HERE (mp3) NOW

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    The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment!


    'Green News Report' - January 31, 2012 IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Republicans taking hostages over Keystone XL pipeline --- again; Banner year for Big Oil profits --- again; Chevy Volt cleared of all charges; Florida invaded by snakes (no, not the GOP primary); PLUS: The Muppets Strike Back (at Fox 'News') ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see link): World lacks enough food, fuel as population soars: UN; Carmakers support CA's new clean car regulations; Illinois tops nation in new wind turbines; Will W.Va. prepare for a post-coal future?; Canada urged EPA to disregard oilsands emissions; New faux renewable energy scandal engulfs GOP; Debunking Murdoch's Daily Mail, Wall St. Journal climate denials; GMO crops spreading in the wild; TX heat, drought caused by global warming: Hansen ... PLUS: Saudi Oil Minister Calls Global Warming "Humanity's Most Pressing Concern"... and much, MUCH more! ...

    Visit to see who counts yer votes! Reference yer background/research at Who's Counting? too.

  • The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!

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    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.

    Holiday Break and Website Changes
      To my valued listeners: We are on a holiday break until the first week of January. You have my warm holiday wishes and best for the New Year. If you are in the Bay Area, I will be on KGO 810 AM 12/24 from 8-11am and 1/7 from 11am to 2pm. Others can catch the stream at We are making some changes to the website and our terms, effective in January. We will continue to offer free podcasts–my new daily news and commentary. Our in-depth interviews will be available for $1 per episode, or to subscribers who pay $5 per month or more. Loyal listeners who simply can’t afford it should send an email to, as we will be offering a limited number of scholarships to our friends who are hurting during these tough times. More information will be posted as we complete the revisions. I’m grateful to each of you for listening and supporting this work, and hope that the new model will enable us to keep it going well into the future. All the best, -pbc
      • PBC Podcast 367 Boiling Frogs: Journalist Rick Rozoff Pulls Back the NATO Curtain Ray McGovern, 27-year intelligence veteran, slams New York Times for its coverage of Iran; Nancy Talanian, founder of No More Guantanamos, talks about Obama’s failed promise to close Gitmo.
      • PBC Podcast 370 Komen Foundation Joins Right Wing Assault on Planned Parenthood; Author Richard Forer, Former Zionist, Speaks Truth About Israel Preview Heather Estes, CEO of Planned Parenthood Shasta/Pacific, talks about Komen Foundation’s move to cut off grant money; Richard Forer, an American Jew, talks about Breakthrough: Transforming Fear Into Compassion.
      • PBC Standard Podcast Boiling Frogs: Prof. James Petras Analyzes the “Arab Spring” and U.S. Interests
      • PBC Standard Podcast Barry C. Lynn of Harper’s on the New Monopolies; Prof. Elaine Hagopian on the Syrian Civil War Barry C. Lynn of New America Foundation talks about his cover story in February Harper’s; Prof. Hagopian offers detailed hystory of Syria and her views on the civil war.

  • 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! February 3, 2012

    • Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect and senior fellow at Demos, will tell us about the Obama administration’s decision to finally get serious about prosecuting Wall Street criminals.

    • Former GOP staffer and Truthout contributor Mike Lofgren will join us to discuss his theory on why the super rich have abandoned the United States.

    • Investigative journalist Daniel Denvir will tell us how the GOP is trying to mask their class-warfare with their race-baiting language.

    • And environmental scientist and author Maxwell Boykoff will tell us why progressives have almost completely abandoned talking about climate change.

    • VIDEO! Papantonio: How Will The Occupy Movement Evolve? When the Occupy Wall Street protesters first went down to Wall Street, they could have never imagined how far their message would spread. Since that first day last fall, the movement has spread across the globe, with Occupy groups showing up in major cities all over the world. The movement has also evolved to include Occupying foreclosed homes, occupying Washington, D.C., and occupying the ideals and vision of people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Everyday, the movement grows larger and more powerful, and Mike Papantonio spoke with author and contributor Maria Armoudian recently about how the movement will continue to evolve in the coming months.

    Support Those Who Support Progressive Media! 2011 has certainly been a great year for Ring of Fire, and we’ve had some great sponsors that have helped support the show throughout the year. We wanted to take the time to personally thank each and every one of them, and we encourage all of our listeners to take the time to support those who have support us.

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    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 8-11 et Sunday evenings on Chicago's Progressive Talk WCPT AM & FM and 4 pm et on Sirius/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 @!

    Fran Lebowitz on Occupy Wall Street

    Citizen Journalist Spencer "OakFoSho" Mills on Occupy Oakland [02•01•12]

    Jeff Smith of the OWS Press Team with Occupy Wall Street Updates [02•01•12]

    Gasland's Josh Fox on His Arrest at Public Fracking Congressional Hearing [02•02•12]

    Cliff Schecter and Sam Seder Discuss Komen's Decision Reversal on Planned Parenthood [02•03•12]

    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 PLUS here is Max Keiser’s official Facebook page And here is the official Keiser Report page

    Jamie Dimon to MF Global clients: “Let them eat shit.” READ MF Global Clients May Lose in $700M Fight (bloomberg)

    Mr. Volcker’s statement that, “to the best of his knowledge, the U.S. has not intervened in the gold market in more than 40 years” is a patent lie. READ Manifest Destiny Derailed: Treason from Within

    • KEISER REPORT [KR242] Keiser Report – State of the Banana Don’t miss Lloyd & Jamie pole dancing Artwork by WilliamBanzai7

    • KEISER REPORT [KR243] Keiser Report: Starving the Economy We discuss banking zombies and clowns and their magical thinking on zero rates while starving the economy of interest income. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Ned Naylor-Leyland about the silver, gold, backwardation, manipulation and more.

    • KEISER REPORT [KR244] Keiser Report – Chutzpah Economics We discuss chutzpah economics, unrequited transfers and shakedowns. In the second half of the show, Max talks to economist, Saifedean Ammous, about the standoff between Egypt and the IMF debt pushers as well as the war against the online free market by Hollywood middlemen.

    • KEISER REPORT [KR245] Keiser Report – The Vaporized and the Deleted We discuss the vaporized and the deleted – the new American soap opera in which the assets, wealth, jobs and economy of the 99% have been stolen. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Daniel Collins of about China’s imports of gold and their recent purchases of Germany’s legendary mittelstands.

    • ON THE EDGE On the Edge with Michael Hudson Posted on January 29, 2012 by stacyherbert

    • THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS [TaM-351] The Truth About ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and Falkvinge Stacy Summary: Great interview with Rick Falkvinge in today’s Truth About Markets. My favourite part though is when we have to bleep him just as he says, “censorship bullshit.” Because, of course, the Brits can murder millions in the Middle East and William Hague is probably on some tv programme as I type this arguing to the population that we now need to go bomb some Persians and that’s an a-okay morality for the tender young ones to absorb, but one cannot expose those same children to swearing, no no no. Download show HERE (mp3)

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  • ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton

    antiwarradio.jpg LIVE (9-11am Pacific, 12pm - 2pm Eastern) Plenty of archives too!

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    Michael Klare February 1, 2012: Michael Klare, professor and author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet, discusses his article “No Exit in the Persian Gulf ;” how closure of the Strait of Hormuz would impact the global oil market and the already-stressed European and American economies; the tough talk and military brinksmanship of the American and Iranian governments; why the Carter Doctrine of US Mideast dominance has outlived its usefulness; and the difference between nuclear “breakout” capability and actual weapon production (and why nobody talks about Japanese nukes).

    Adam Morrow February 2, 2012: IPS News journalist Adam Morrow discusses the Egyptian revolution’s one-year anniversary; the continued demonstrations by leftist groups who were trounced by Islamist parties in parliamentary elections; how Egypt’s June presidential election will (potentially) complete the transition from military to civilian-run government; why the Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate/conservative political party, not a radical terrorist organization; how Egypt could repeal the Camp David Accords in bits and pieces through popular referendums, especially the parts limiting military deployments in self-defense; and the Egyptian raids on foreign NGOs, including the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute.

    Gareth Porter February 2, 2012: Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist specializing in U.S. national security policy, discusses Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s warning to Israel’s government that the US would not be dragged into war with Iran by a unilateral Israeli attack; why Iran might hold the US accountable for an Israeli strike anyway, and counterattack US targets in the region; Mossad’s general agreement with the US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran (that there is no evidence Iran has decided to pursue a nuclear weapons program); and why Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak seems to think Israel isn’t ready for military action.

    Many more interviews at Antiwar Radio!

  • fauxnews

    • presidential candidate Rick Santorum

    • Romney Supporter, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

    • Gingrich backer, former Congressman J.C. Watts.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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