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Click on anything below and be INSTANTLY SMARTER! HSBC, SHELLOIL, FDA Spying We'll get to those issues shortly but first following up on last week's LIBOR LIES ZeroHedge has this Guest Post: The Real Libor Scandal by Nomi Prins and Paul Craig Roberts According to news reports, UK banks fixed the London interbank borrowing rate (Libor) with the complicity of the Bank of England (UK central bank) at a low rate in order to obtain a cheap borrowing cost. The way this scandal is playing out is that the banks benefitted from borrowing at these low rates. Whereas this is true, it also strikes us as simplistic and as a diversion from the deeper, darker scandal. .... Indicative of greater deceit and a larger scandal than simply borrowing from one another at lower rates, banks gained far more from the rise in the prices, or higher evaluations of floating rate financial instruments (such as CDOs), that resulted from lower Libor rates. As prices of debt instruments all tend to move in the same direction, and in the opposite direction from interest rates (low interest rates mean high bond prices, and vice versa), the effect of lower Libor rates is to prop up the prices of bonds, asset-backed financial instruments, and other "securities." The end result is that the banks' balance sheets look healthier than they really are. On the losing side of the scandal are purchasers of interest rate swaps, savers who receive less interest on their accounts, and ultimately all bond holders when the bond bubble pops and prices collapse. We think we can conclude that Libor rates were manipulated lower as a means to bolster the prices of bonds and asset-backed securities. The question is, why do investors purchase long term bonds, which pay less than the rate of inflation, from governments whose debt is rising as a share of GDP? One might think that investors would understand that they are losing money and sell the bonds, thus lowering their price and raising the interest rate. Why isn’t this happening? PCR’s June 5 column, “Collapse at Hand,” explained that despite the negative interest rate, investors were making capital gains from their Treasury bond holdings, because the prices were rising as interest rates were pushed lower. What was pushing the interest rates lower? The answer is even clearer now. First, as PCR noted, Wall Street has been selling huge amounts of interest rate swaps, essentially a way of shorting interest rates and driving them down. Thus, causing bond prices to rise. Secondly, fixing Libor at lower rates has the same effect. Lower UK interest rates on government bonds drive up their prices. In other words, we would argue that the bailed-out banks in the US and UK are returning the favor that they received from the bailouts and from the Fed and Bank of England’s low rate policy by rigging government bond prices, thus propping up a government bond market that would otherwise, one would think, be driven down by the abundance of new debt and monetization of this debt, or some part of it. How long can the government bond bubble be sustained? How negative can interest rates be driven? Can a declining economy offset the impact on inflation of debt creation and its monetization, with the result that inflation falls to zero, thus making the low interest rates on government bonds positive? ...... We have learned that the Fed has been aware of Libor manipulation (and thus apparently supportive of it) since 2008. Thus, the circle of complicity is closed. The motives of the Fed, Bank of England, US and UK banks are aligned, their policies mutually reinforcing and beneficial. The Libor fixing is another indication of this collusion. Unless bond prices can continue to rise as new debt is issued, the era of rigged bond prices might be drawing to an end. It would seem to be only a matter of time before the bond bubble bursts.
Next Reuters' David Cay Johnston explains how Idle corporate cash piles up .... Given the enduring hard times, you might think that corporations have used up their cash since 2009. But real pretax corporate profits have soared, from less than $1.5 trillion in 2009 to $1.9 trillion in 2010 and almost $2 trillion in 2011, data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis shows. That is nearly $1 trillion of increased profits over two years, while actual taxes paid rose less than a tenth as much, BEA reports show. Dividends, wages and capital expenditures all grew less than profits, while undistributed profits rose. The result: more cash. Bigger profits are good news, but it would have been better news had those increased profits been put to work, not laid off in accounts paying modest interest. Hoarding corporate cash in bank accounts, Treasuries and tax-exempt bonds poses a serious threat to the economy, as Congress recognized when it enacted the corporate income tax in 1909...... In short, U.S. companies hold vastly more cash than is needed to finance their operations. For investors, companies holding 11.3 percent of their assets in cash lowers returns. Did you buy shares of American Widget so executives could park profits in savings accounts? For workers, idle cash means idle hands and minds. With one in five Americans unemployed or underemployed, and real median wages in 2010 back down to the level of 1999, this is no time for capital to go on an extended holiday. For taxpayers, untaxed profits subtly reduce corporate tax burdens and increase the tax burden on individuals. Because taxes owed on offshore profits are not adjusted for inflation, they depreciate at the rate of inflation. That means a double whammy for taxpayers as government pays interest on money it borrows while its accounts receivable from multinational corporations lose value. ...... Historically the IRS has levied only privately owned firms or publicly traded companies with few shareholders. But Internal Revenue Code Section 531 applies to all corporations. President Ronald Reagan signed Section 532 (c), which made that explicit, though with an exception for untaxed offshore profits. After reviewing decades of literature on these code sections, I cannot fathom any rational basis for giving multinational companies an exception to the cash hoarding rules, which discriminates against purely domestic firms. Some of the multinational corporations say they will bring home what could be more than a trillion dollars if Congress will give them an 85 percent tax discount. The companies frame this as creating jobs. But as I showed in an earlier column, unless there are strict rules, the money can be used to buy back company stock while destroying jobs. Want to motivate companies to put some of those trillions of dollars of idle cash to work creating jobs, paying dividends or sharing the burden of taxes? Call 1-202-224-3121 and tell your senator or representative you want Section 531 vigorously enforced – now – and the offshore loophole closed immediately. Good advice Johnston! But what are the chances the do-nothing GOPher obstructionist House will do any such thing? What woud the "no tax pledge" congresscritters say to Grover Norquist? UGH. But wait! There's more! Guardian UK's Business Editor Heather Stewart fnds £13tn: hoard hidden from taxman by global elite A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network. James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has compiled the most detailed estimates yet of the size of the offshore economy in a new report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, released exclusively to the Observer.
He shows that at least £13tn – perhaps up to £20tn – has leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks, which vie to attract the assets of so-called high net-worth individuals. Their wealth is, as Henry puts it, "protected by a highly paid, industrious bevy of professional enablers in the private banking, legal, accounting and investment industries taking advantage of the increasingly borderless, frictionless global economy". According to Henry's research, the top 10 private banks, which include UBS and Credit Suisse in Switzerland, as well as the US investment bank Goldman Sachs, managed more than £4tn in 2010, a sharp rise from £1.5tn five years earlier. The detailed analysis in the report, compiled using data from a range of sources, including the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world..... "These estimates reveal a staggering failure: inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people," said John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. "People on the street have no illusions about how unfair the situation has become." Speaking of tax dodgers perhaps right-winger Sheldon Adelson qualifies. PR Watch's Laura Stiegerwald finds Sheldon Adelson, GOP Mega-Donor, Investigated for Bribing Chinese Government Officials Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas casino magnate and GOP mega-donor, is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department under suspicions he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) while dealing with the Chinese government and his Macau casino ventures. The FCPA, introduced in 1977 by U.S. Senator William Proxmire (D-WI), prohibits American companies from bribing foreign government officials. Emails leaked by ex-company employees prompted the investigation and the breaking story by ProPublica and PBS's Frontline. Adelson allegedly instructed a top executive to make a $700,000 payment to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator, member of the advisory board to the chief executive of Macau, and lawyer whose law firm was helping Adelson's Las Vegas Sands casino set up shop in Macau. Adelson and Las Vegas Sands had sought Alves' help in resolving two issues -- a lawsuit by a Taiwanese businessman and permission to sell luxury apartments in Macau -- and he apparently came through. Approximately two-thirds of Las Vegas Sands' income now comes from Macau. See DN Tuesday (below) for an interview with ProPublica managing editor Stephen Engelberg and freelance reporter Peter Stone for more! Remember WellsFargo/Wachovia money laundering scam from last year? According to the Guardian UK from April 2011 How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo. The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller's cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war. Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year's "deferred prosecution" has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine. More shocking, and more important, the bank was sanctioned for failing to apply the proper anti-laundering strictures to the transfer of $378.4bn – a sum equivalent to one-third of Mexico's gross national product – into dollar accounts from so-called casas de cambio (CDCs) in Mexico, currency exchange houses with which the bank did business. "Wachovia's blatant disregard for our banking laws gave international cocaine cartels a virtual carte blanche to finance their operations," said Jeffrey Sloman, the federal prosecutor. Yet the total fine was less than 2% of the bank's $12.3bn profit for 2009. ... Now comes the HSBC money laundering: Labour demands trade minister face Lords reports Rajeev Syal and Jill Treanor at the Guardian UK The trade minister Lord Green is maintaining his silence over the HSBC money laundering scandal despite calls from Labour for him to appear before the House of Lords to answer questions about his tenure at the top of the UK's biggest bank.
Hours after Labour had called for him to make a rare appearance before peers, Green was seen on Thursday afternoon in the office of Lord Strathclyde, the Leader of the Lords. Green was at the helm of HSBC during the period when a Senate committee in the US found it had bust sanctions and moved money for drug barons. ..... Green has refused to comment since the revelations about HSBC laundering money for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states emerged this week during Senate hearings in the US. Green was chief executive of HSBC between 2003 and 2006 and was its chairman until 2010, when he resigned to take up a position of trade minister in the coalition government. His tenure covered the period of the damning Senate report which concluded the bank had a "pervasively polluted" culture which allowed HSBC subsidiaries to move billions of dollars around the financial system from countries such as Iran and Syria. Cash was also moved for Mexican drug cartels. There was no personal criticism of him in the Senate report. The revelations have allowed Labour to put pressure on Green over his record in the Lords where, since he arrived in November 2010, he has spoken just five times. Labour also argued that he has questions to answer because he was chairman of the British Bankers' Association during the Libor-fixing scandal and is also an adviser to the Treasury on banking matters. From the link in the story Nils Pratley writes Being accused by a US Senate committee of operating a money-laundering conduit for "drug kingpins and rogue nations" is as bad as it gets. What happened to the HSBC of legend, the dull bank led by upright conservative types who ensured they employed only similarly good chaps? It seems that, in the period 2004-2010, HSBC's famous federation structure actually meant a management free-for-all. If you were the boss of, say, HSBC's unit in Mexico you were a mini-emperor, answerable to almost nobody. You were even in charge of your own compliance department. The man at head office with the title "head of group compliance" was not allowed to barge into your office to ask what checks you had conducted to discover the true source of the very large dollar deposits coming into the bank. The numbers are extraordinary. According to the Senate committee, HSBC accepted more than $15bn (£9.6bn) in bulk cash transactions from subsidiaries in Mexico, Russia and other countries at high risk of money laundering between mid-2006 and mid-2009 but failed to conduct proper checks.... Time will tell if anybody goes to jail or just gets a slap-on-the-wrist like Wachovia's "settlement" that was "less than 2% of the bank's $12.3bn profit". Grrrrrr.
The Center for American Progress reports on Shell Oil's 37-year-old ship the Artic Challenger grounding as part of SHELLOIL's "fleet" that will "clean up" and "contain" the massive oil spill that WILL happen. In freezing twenty-foot-swells. NOT the warm waters of The Gulf. And we're seeing how that's turning out. ThinkProgress Climate Progress Guest Blogger Kiley Kroh finds Shell Loses Control Of Arctic Drilling Rig In Alaskan Harbor Royal Dutch Shell’s preparedness to drill offshore in the harsh and remote Arctic Ocean this summer has been called into question by a series of recent events. Over the weekend, the company’s drilling rig, the Noble Discoverer, appears to have come dangerously close to running aground near Dutch Harbor, where Shell’s fleet has been assembled. The Noble Discoverer is one of two dozen ships Shell plans to send into some of the most challenging conditions on the planet. According to the US Coast Guard, the vessel slipped anchor and drifted within 100 yards off shore before being pulled back into deeper water by a Shell tugboat. The Los Angeles Times reports:
- The vessel‘s anchor failed to hold and the 514-foot ship began drifting, but its movement was halted when tug boats were called in to assist, Coast Guard spokeswoman Sara Francis told the Los Angeles Times. “We don’t know exactly what happened yet. We do know that the vessel’s anchor didn’t hold, they began to drift, they let out more anchor chain to slow that drift and called for immediate tug assistance,” Francis said.
TOO CHEAP TO METER NEWS: The Pottstown Patch reports NRDC Opposing License Renewal For Limerick Reactors Following last month's appellate court ruling, which called into question the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's claim that spent fuel-rods could be stored safely up to 60 years after a plant shuts down, The National Resources Defense Council has filed a motion with the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board which seeks to put a halt to the license renewal process for both reactors at the Limerick Generating Station. The Exelon Corporation had initially requested a 20-year extension for both units of the Limerick facility during June of 2011, but they now find themselves amongst a growing list of nuclear facilities facing legal action in the wake of the court's decision. ... Since neither protocol deals with the long-term disposal of the nuclear waste, the National Resources Defense Council argues that a license extension should not be granted until a viable long-term storage strategy is in place. Without an extension, the 40-year license for Unit 1 of the Limerick Generating Station is set to expire on October 26, 2024, and the 40-year license for Unit 2 will expire on June 22, 2029.
Climate Progress proprietor JOE ROMM posts My Oral Testimony For House Hearing Today On Bark Beetles, Drought And Wildfires with video! UPDATE: What is below is what was prepared. I added a bio sentence on the fly upfront (in italics) and changed one word. This was my very first piece of testimony using the secrets of the most memorable and persuasive communicators in history that I detail in my forthcoming book. Good Read!
The Weather Channel tells us 2012 Drought Rivals Dust Bowl while the EconomicCollapseBlog.com explains The Corn Is Dying All Over America.
Mark Bitmann opines in the New York Times about The Endless Summer Here’s what American exceptionalism means now: on a per-capita basis, we either lead or come close to leading the world in consumption of resources, production of pollutants and a profound unwillingness to do anything about it. We may look back upon this year as the one in which climate change began to wreak serious havoc, yet we hear almost no conversation about changing policy or behavior. .... The climate has changed, and the only remaining questions may well be: a) how bad will things get, and b) how long will it be before we wake up to it. The only sane people who don’t see this as a problem are those whose profitability depends on the status quo, people of money and power like Romney (“we don’t know what’s causing climate change”), most of his party, and Rex Tillerson, the Exxon chairman, who called the effects of climate change “manageable.” ..... All of this is the tip of the iceberg, and the iceberg is, of course, melting. As Bill McKibben points out in a piece to be published in Rolling Stone on Friday, not only was May the warmest on record for the Northern Hemisphere, not only was it “the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average,” but it was also followed by a June in which some 3,200 heat records were broken in the United States. The first page alone of the Rolling Stone article will scare the pants off you, but the chorus needs to grow bigger, louder and stronger. That’s why the forthcoming book (due July 24) from Climate Central, “Global Weirdness,” is so welcome. “Global Weirdness,” which explains climate change in simple, easy-to-understand language and ultrashort chapters, is intentionally calm because, says Michael Lemonick, one of the authors: “Some people respond well to ‘Big trouble is coming and we must do something immediately,’ but others are overwhelmed and just turn off. We believe that if you look at all the available evidence it’s clear we’re pushing the earth into a regime where it hasn’t been before, and the effects could well be disastrous.” The time to avoid calamitous effects has likely passed. This doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless, but the longer we wait to curb emissions, the worse and longer-lasting the effects. .... Only reducing carbon emissions can keep matters from becoming worse. Thus the argument for a tax on carbon has never been stronger, but neither has the power of the energy companies to compel legislative paralysis on this issue. The way to a carbon tax is through Congress and the White House, but installing a responsible Congress means campaign-finance reform, another challenge of which Americans are aware but clueless about how to address. But feelings of helplessness are practically un-American: we have the opportunity to demand principled and independent leadership, if we will only try. It was just about a year ago that we saw the beginnings of what is now called the Occupy movement. And although income inequality has hardly been “solved,” it’s a bigger part of the conversation now, and that may well spell Romney’s downfall. A similar movement — one that, as McKibben told me, “identifies the fossil fuel industry as the real enemy in the climate fight, which is ultimately a moral battle” — could possibly get things moving.
SURVEILLANCE UPDATE: Here's one we missed last week from WashingtonsBlog (via GlobalResearch.ca) Spying on Americans: Police Scanners Everywhere...Government Will Soon Be Able To Know What You're Thinking.... Gizmodo reports today:
- Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you. And without you knowing it. The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded “in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress.” According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies. Their plan is to install this molecular-level scanning in airports and border crossings all across the United States. *** The machine is ten million times faster—and one million times more sensitive—than any currently available system. That means that it can be used systematically on everyone passing through airport security, not just suspect or randomly sampled people..... *** According to the undersecretary for science and technology of the Department of Homeland Security, this scanning technology will be ready within one to two years, which means you might start seeing them in airports as soon as 2013. In other words, these portable, incredibly precise molecular-level scanning devices will be cascading lasers across your body as you walk from the bathroom to the soda machine at the airport and instantly reporting and storing a detailed breakdown of your person, in search of certain “molecular tags”.
I Heard That … Moreover, as Newsweek, Telegraph, the Daily Record, IEEE and many other mainstream sources have reported on experiments showing that mind-reading machines have gone from the realm of science fiction to engineering fact. ..... Indeed, patents were granted for machines which can read people’s thoughts at a distance 35 years ago, and IBM predicts that mind-reading machines will be everywhere in 5 years. ..... For Good or For Ill? Technology can be used to make us healthier, more prosperous and more interconnected … or it can be used to impose tyranny. n a time age when yawning, having goose bumps, liking liberty and doing just about anything that average, normal people do can get you labelled as a potential terrorist, the risk of the technology being used for repressive purposes has to be taken seriously. Indeed, the government has been spying on many – or most – Americans for years. Indeed, massive spying started before 9/11. The government monitoring efforts will not focus on spying on potential terrorists – or even criminal activity – recording every phone call, email, internet search or other communication in the country. Indeed, the spying isn’t being done to keep us safe … but to crush dissent … and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and here)...... Go read the whole thing! Very scary!
Josh Hersh reports on Drone Wars: Civil Liberties Groups Sue CIA, Pentagon Over Targeted Killings at HuffPoAOL WASHINGTON -- Two leading U.S. civil liberties organizations have filed a lawsuit against David Petraeus, Leon Panetta and other senior CIA and military officials over a series of drone strikes in Yemen that killed three American citizens. The suit, filed Wednesday in Washington and New York by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, alleges that the "targeted killing" of the Americans, including suspected al Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son, violated the Constitution because it took place outside the context of authorized armed conflict. The two groups, who filed the suit on behalf of the family members of the dead Americans, are asking the courts to determine for the first time whether the killings were legal. "While the case is complicated, ultimately it is very simple: our argument is that when the government is killing its own people, it has an obligation to explain it," said Jameel Jaffer, the deputy legal director for the ACLU, in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "The government has said in response that not only does it not have an obligation to explain it, it doesn't even have to acknowledge it, and we think that is a very dangerous proposition." ..... In response, the White House has said next to nothing, except to offer indirect rationales for its internal deliberation process, and off-the-record assurances that the president was not violating the Constitution. ...... The Obama administration has successfully blocked previous efforts by courts to review documents related to the drone assassination program under the state secrets privilege, which permits the executive branch to prevent the review of certain information that could harm national security. The administration declined to acknowledge the existence of the drone program until Obama defended it during a video chat with the public on Google+ earlier this year. .... Glenn Greenwald chimes in with Obama’s killings challenged again .... So, for the moment, let’s put aside the question of whether Obama’s drone assassinations are justified. Shouldn’t we all be able to agree that the power to order people executed (including U.S. citizens) is far too extreme and dangerous to vest in one person without any checks, review, oversight or transparency? After all, it was a consensus among Democrats that George Bush should be forced to obtain judicial review before merely spying on or detaining people, let alone ordering them executed by the CIA. If Andrew and other Obama defenders agree that “judicial scrutiny” is necessary, then they should cheer this lawsuit, which seeks judicial review, and more importantly, should condemn efforts by the Obama DOJ to argue that courts have no role to play here, either in assessing the legality of these actions or in compelling basic disclosure. But the problem is that each time lawsuits have been brought against the Obama administration seeking either an judicial adjudication of the legality and constitutionality of assassinations, or even seeking basic transparency, the Obama administration has invoked secrecy, immunity and other procedural claims to bar courts from having any role to play. They have insisted repeatedly that they have no obligation to show evidence that the people they’re targeting for death are guilty of anything. In other words, Obama officials have insisted — following John Yoo’s vision of executive omnipotence — that these are decisions for the President, and him alone, to make. Back in 2010, The New York Times‘ Charlie Savage wrote about the application of the state secrets privilege even in the context of its presidential assassinations, and quoted the far-right, Bush-supporting, executive-power-revering lawyer David Rivkin as follows:
- The government’s increasing use of the state secrets doctrine to shield its actions from judicial review has been contentious. Some officials have argued that invoking it in the Awlaki matter, about which so much is already public, would risk a backlash. David Rivkin, a lawyer in the White House of President George H. W. Bush, echoed that concern. “I’m a huge fan of executive power, but if someone came up to you and said the government wants to target you and you can’t even talk about it in court to try to stop it, that’s too harsh even for me,” he said.
In a related matter FDA’s spying campaign wider than previously believed reports MSPB Watch at FDL. In a story that almost defies comprehension, the New York Times is reporting that the Food and Drug Administration’s suspected surveillance of whistleblowers is bigger than previously reported, and includes tracking of sources outside the agency.
The FDA reportedly has developed an “enemies list” to push back against negative coverage of its oft-criticized review of drugs and medical devices. The list includes not only scientists employed within the FDA, but also congressmen, journalists, and outside medical researchers. These efforts have resulted in the collection of some 80,000 pages of documents that include private emails to Congress, draft whistleblower retaliation complaints, and communications with journalists and attorneys.
The FDA contracted with an outside firm to install “key logging” software in employees’ computers, which can record every key stroke and thus intercept draft letters and email passwords. The software was originally set up to collect and analyze surveillance results, but FDA officials used it to provide new leads and to map out new surveillance targets and issues of concern. .... Read the NWC Response to Article Documenting Illegal FDA Surveillance at the National Whistelblowers Center then TAKE ACTION HERE! Why is this surveillance illegal? NYT's Scott Shane explains in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition Steve Inskeep FDA Monitors Scientists' Critical Emails
INSKEEP: I suppose this is a reminder, and employers do say this to their employees from time to time, if you're at a company computer, and you send out an email or receive one, the company claims the right to look at that, and I guess the FDA as the employer of these scientists claimed that right and used it, as it's entirely legal.
SHANE: That's absolutely right. That part of it is legal, and in fact, the FDA pointed out that when an employee signed on to his or her FDA laptop, there was a sort of warning that flashed up that said this is FDA property and everything is subject to monitoring. But the problem is that there are also laws that protect the privacy of, for example, attorney-client privilege and some of these FDA employees were communicating with their lawyers. There are laws protecting the privacy of communications - sort of whistle-blowing communications with Congress, with a whistle-blowing office within the government, and those are not supposed to be interfered with. So it seems that there are two interests in conflict, and that perhaps the FDA's operation went a little bit beyond where it really should have gone in terms of just looking for a leak of proprietary information.
- MacDailyNews Note: According to Cellebrite’s website, their system can scan over 3,000 handset models, with monthly software updates for newly released devices prior to carrier launch. The system includes more than 85 data cables for connecting 95% of all handset models worldwide. Cellebrite has exclusive carrier agreements and works directly with cellular phone manufacturers to receive pre-production handsets prior to retail launch. Cellebrite’s system claims complete extraction of mobile phone data – Contacts, SMS Messages, photos, videos, call logs (dialed, received, missed), ESN/IMEI, audio files, and deleted SMS/Call History from the SIM/USIM.
So after all that happy news you think it's over? We're doomed? Think again, wabbit. GO NOW TO community-wealth.org a project of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland Community-Wealth.org brings together, for the first time, information about the broad range of community wealth building activity. Featuring Community Wealth Building in Action: The Cleveland Model Something important is happening in Cleveland. The Democracy Collaborative—the host of C-W.org—in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Shorebank Enterprise Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, and the city's major hospitals and universities—is helping to implement a new model of large-scale worker-owned and community-benefiting businesses. The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is beginning to build serious momentum in one of the cities most dramatically impacted by the nation's decaying economy. Increasingly, this model is being referred to nationally as The Cleveland Model. Initial planning is now underway to assist other cities in Ohio and nationwide to replicate and adapt this innovative approach to economic development, green job creation, and neighborhood stabilization. Find more many resources at community-wealth.org! DO IT! Of course the country is gripping over the Batman Movie Murders so the Beltway Bubalas will once again invoke FEAR to justify MORE SURVEILLANCE while completely ignoring the INSANITY of U.S. gun laws crafted by the N.R.A. featuring Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on This Snufagopolis, State of the Candy and Meet The David plus his Roundtable with MICHAEL "death eater" CHERTOFF. Somehow they managed to snag Israeli Prime Minister BENJAMIN NETANYAHU for Face the Bob, Candy and FAKE SNOOZE, a guy who knows a thing or two about repressive surveillance. So good luck with all that. Instead check out Sam Seder with STEVE KOHN, CLIFF SCHECTER, DDAY and BlackAgendaReport's GLEN FORD, Brad Freidman with JACK ABRAMOFF, Peter B with CHRIS HEDGES and Max with GERALD CELENTE! Good Stuff! And don't miss the new Ring of Fire Radio VIDEO! THE HISTORY OF CORPORATE CORRUPTION & FRAUD with Robert Kennedy Jr & Mike Papantonio. Click anything and be instantly smarter! You literally CAN'T MISS! Oh wow look at the time! That's a wrap for this Sunday. Occupy somewhere! Like community-wealth.org!
BRICK TEEVEE ALERTS!©
Monday, July 16, 2012
- Author Greg Muttitt @ Democracy NOW! "Fuel on the Fire": Author Greg Muttitt on Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq, Arab Spring
- Robert Notzon & Ari Berman @ Democracy NOW! Texas, Justice Dept. Square Off over Voter ID Law as Part of Dispute That Could Decide 2012 Election
- Gar Alperovitz @ Democracy NOW! Gar Alperovitz’s Green Party Keynote: We Are Laying Groundwork for the "Next Great Revolution"
- Executive Director of the National Whistleblowers Center Stephen Kohn @ Democracy NOW! Spying on Scientists: How the FDA Monitored Whistleblowers Who Raised Concerns over Radiation
- Chris Hayes @ Democracy NOW! Twilight of the Elites: Chris Hayes on How the Powerful Rig the System, from Penn State to Wall St.
- Patrick Seale, leading British writer on the Middle East @ Democracy NOW! Bomber Strikes Syrian Regime in Damascus, Killing Assad’s Defense Minister, Brother-in-Law
- Stephen Engelberg, managing editor of ProPublica @ Democracy NOW! As Senate GOP Blocks DISCLOSE Act, Top Donor Sheldon Adelson Probed for Bribery and Mob Ties
- Christopher Rowland, Washington bureau chief for the Boston Globe @ Democracy NOW! Romney Dogged by Questions on Bain Tenure, Tax Returns as Obama Deems Him "Outsourcer-in-Chief"
- SYRIA COVERAGE @ Democracy NOW! Syrian Activist in Hiding: "We’re Not Looking for Intervention, We’re Looking for Support" AND Back from Syria, Reporter David Enders Says Assad Regime Crumbling to "Grassroots Rebellion" PLUS Assad Biographer: After Initial Hopes of Reform, Syrian Ruler Has Succumbed to Delusions of Power
- MATT TAIBBI @ Democracy NOW! Matt Taibbi: Libor Rate-Fixing Scandal "Biggest Insider Trading You Could Ever Imagine"
- Mary Kershner founding member of Nurses Advocating Gun Safety @ Democracy NOW! Denver Shooting Rampage Leaves 12 Dead, 50 Wounded in Latest of Unparalleled U.S. Gun Attacks
- Subhankar Banerjee @ Democracy NOW! Subhankar Banerjee: Looming Deadline Creates Window for Protests to Stop Shell’s Arctic Drilling
- Mark Hertsgaard @ Democracy NOW! Climate Parents: For Kids’ Future, Mark Hertsgaard Urges Families to Take On Global Warming
- 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.
- 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.
B R I C K T E E V E E image ©2006 arkysue THEY report. YOU throw bricks. © Get your Foam Bricks at ThrowThings.com HERE! The essential guide for watching government propaganda IRAQ: 4,486 US Military Dead as of April 21, 2012 AFGHANISTAN: 2,050 US Military Dead as of July 13, 2012 The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises Considering Democracy: 8 Things to ask your Representative
- This Week (ABC) anchor George Stephanopoulos
• Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
• Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan
• Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey
• ROUNDTABLE: former Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, author of the new book "A Nation of Wusses," ABC News' George Will, ABC News' Cokie Roberts, TIME Magazine political columnist Joe Klein, and The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin.
- Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer
• The latest on the investigation of the movie theater shooting from Aurora, CO
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
- 60 Minutes (CBS) Summer reruns....
• Evidence of Innocence - Michael Morton was finally freed when DNA evidence exonerated him after 25 years in prison; he speaks out in his first interview. As Lara Logan reports, Morton's case is one of a series of high profile wrongful convictions that have cast a harsh light on prosecutors. Andy Court and Anya Bourg are the producers.
• India's Gold - The demand for gold in India accounts for an amazing 32 percent of the worldwide market for the precious metal. And no wonder. The most important tradition at nearly all the 10 million annual weddings in India is the lavish gold jewelry. Byron Pitts reports. David Schneider is the producer.
- Meet the Press (NBC) Host David Gregory
• Gov. Hickenlooper on Colorado Tragedy
• "SECURITY" ROUNDTABLE" Former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, former chief of police for the Los Angeles Police Department William Bratton, and gun-control advocate Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY).
• ROUNDTABLE: New York Times columnist David Brooks, former DC public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, former senior adviser to the 2004 Kerry presidential campaign, Bob Shrum, and former senior strategist to the 2008 McCain presidential campaign, Steve Schmidt.
- 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.
• Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
• Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
• Virginia Senate Candidates Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine
- 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 Conversation Radio 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 during the show!
• FRONT PORCH FRIDAY!!!!! Bob is BACK!! And he's pretty pissed about the Bat Man Shooting and specifically the NRA. Listen HERE (mp3) NOW! Amen to the White Rose Society! Donate to Head On HERE! And join Coal River Mountain Watch at www.crmw.net!
- YOUR GREEN NEWS REPORT
The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment! BOOKMARK greennews.bradblog.com NOW!
• 'Green News Report' - July 19, 2012 IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hot town, summer in the city --- and in the country, and in the mountains, and on the farms, and in the desert; GOP goes to bat for Monsanto; FDA bans BPA - sort of; Greenland calves new iceberg; PLUS: Australia's new carbon tax FAILS... to cause economic catastrophe ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
• IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see link): GOP Seeks to Kill Black Lung Reform; Tea Party Blocks Pact to Restore a West Coast River; Appeals Court Upholds EPA Air Quality Rule; White House Weakened EPA Soot Proposal; Geo-Engineering Experiment to Trap Carbon Deep in the Ocean; Climate scientists call for 'serious' Keystone XL review; Oil jumps on Mid-East worries; Climategate investigation closed; Smart meters bad for your health? ... PLUS: “You can’t run your SUV on cute. Let’s Go.” ... and much, MUCH more! ...
• BRADBLOG UPDATE: BMN GOP's Photo ID Ballot Initiative Faces State Supreme Court Constitutional Scrutiny This week, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard the League of Women Voters' argument against language set to be used in a ballot initiative this November which, if passed by the electorate, would amend the state's constitution to require that valid, Government-issued Photo ID be presented at the polling place before voters are allowed to vote. The initiative was placed on the ballot by the GOP majority in the state legislature, but, as we detailed earlier this month, the League has filed suit charging that the language used in the ballot question is extremely deceptive and that it fails to accurately explain how the constitutional amendment would change the voting system in Minnesota, while putting the legal rights of voters at risk.
• BRADCAST UPDATE! BRAD'S EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH JACK ABRAMOFF The world's most notorious former GOP lobbyist, now out of jail, joins Brad on KPFK to answer some tough questions...
• Visit BradBlog.com to see who counts yer votes! Now up to 9,200+ Election Protection posts! Find out who's counting your votes and how at ElectionIntegrity.org too.
- The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!
Listen at PeterBCollins.com!
The Peter B. Collins Show covers American news and politics from the Left Coast. Veteran talk radio personality Peter B. Collins, based in San Francisco, delivers fresh interviews, commentary and analysis on a range of important topics, with views and voices you don’t often find in the corporate media.
• Holiday Break and Website Changes
- To my valued listeners: 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 email@example.com, 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 Standard Podcast July 18, 2012 Journalist/Activist Chris Hedges Returns to Talk About His Challenge to Obama Detention Law, and His Powerful New Book
• PBC Standard Podcast July 20, 2012 Journalist Charles Glass on the Civil War in Syria; Prof. David Vine Reports US Now
- Ring of Fire Radio
Find us at http://ringoffireradio.com and http://goleft.tv/ hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder
Ring of Fire Radio - GoLeft TV - Robert F. Kennedy, Mike Papantonio, Sam Seder - Politics, Commentary, and News.
This week on The Best of Ring of Fire July 5, 2012
• The Huffington Post’s Washington bureau chief Ryan Grim will give us the latest on the Libor scandal.
• Author Chauncey DeVega will tell us why Mitt Romney is having big problems with minority voters.
• Truthout.org’s lead investigative reporter Jason Leopold will tell us how the Department of Defense drugged terror suspects to illicit confessions.
• And progressive internet radio host Matt Filipowicz makes his return to the Ring of Fire to talk about some of the biggest stories of the week.
• VIDEO! THE HISTORY OF CORPORATE CORRUPTION & FRAUD with Robert Kennedy Jr & Mike Papantonio “Call us if you have a personal story about Fraud on Taxpayers or False Claims for Payment made by Corportations at 1-866-389-FIRE (3473)or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have evidence of fraud that robbed taxpayer dollars. If our government is paying too much due to fraud by a corporation, Ring of Fire wants to do a story on it.”
• RT VIDEO! The Bain Connection to Death Squads A new report out this week details the deadly care being given at numerous different clinics owned by Bain Capital – clinics that still provide a financial benefit to GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Mike Papantonio appears on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann to talk about Romney’s dirty finances.
• VIDEO! Papantonio: US Chamber Faces Heat For Political Spending The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United allowed for seemingly endless corporate money to sway our election process. But what it didn’t allow was for tax exempt, so-called non-partisan groups to get involved in political activities. But that’s exactly what some of these organizations, like the US Chamber of Commerce, have been doing over the years. Luckily, we have people like New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman in office, and Mike Papantonio recently spoke with Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll about what Schneiderman is doing to help stop the Chamber from destroying our democracy.
• 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.
• Join our blog at www.ringoffireradio.com. You can now SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST by clicking on the "Podcast" tab at the top of the Ring of Fire blog. Please help support progressive radio by signing up!
Ring of Fire Radio Ring of Fire, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder: Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts 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 @ Majority.fm!
• July 16, 2012 Tom Junod on Obama’s Lethal Presidency
• July 17, 2012 David Dayen, California’s War on Unions
• July 18, 2012 Stephen Kohn, FDA Spies on Whistleblowers
• July 19, 2012 Glen Ford, Obama More Effective Evil?
• July 20, 2012 Cliff Schecter, News & Isabel Gillies with Movie Picks
• MORE Podcast Interviews at Majority.fm!
- On the Edge with Max Keiser Podcasts and more @ MaxKeiser.com!
"HI Y'ALL! Tell the people! Tell the people!"
WHO IS MAX KEISER? Max Keiser is a financial expert, Prediction Markets analyst, inventor and filmmaker. He is the creator of the Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX) the first Prediction Market. Max Keiser co-hosts "The Truth About Markets" on ResonanceFM 104.4 in London. He also produces and presents documentary films covering markets and finance for Al Jazeera’s "People & Power" series. Max Keiser started his career on Wall Street in 1983. He is the creator of KarmaBanque a site that enables activists to challenge corporate power.
• VISIT PirateMyFilm.com!!! Crowd Funding for Pirates!
• NEW! MaxKeiserTV on YouTube! MaxKeiserTV PLUS here is Max Keiser’s official Facebook page And here is the official Keiser Report page
• The “Keiser Report” has been begging europe to do this for years by maxkeiser READ European Banks Preparing To Boycott Big Three Rating Agencies zerohedge(nakedcapitalism)
• CNBC’s Admission, yes: Silver market is manipulated (skip to 9:30) by maxkeiser READ CNBC Host States Silver Manipulation is a Fact, NOT a Conspiracy! sliverdoctors.com with VIDEO! Once Barclays pointed the finger at BoE as colluding on Libor manipulation (instead of denying it), the roof got ripped off decades of blatant manipulation in these markets. The dollar and U.S. bonds have been protected with Fed interference and outright manipulation; same thing in the UK. And to bolster the price for sovereign bonds, the price of Gold and Silver has been manipulated down alongside the upside price movements of worthless paper. Ratings at CNBC have been plummeting this year – as the audience is way ahead of their talking heads on these points. When CNBC admits that markets, especially silver, are rigged, the few remaining viewers they have collectively sigh; ‘I heard that on Keiser Report three years ago.’ READ CNBC: Silver and Financial Markets Are Manipulated, But So What? Jesse's Crossroads Cafe
• KEISER REPORT [KR311] Keiser Report: JP Enron We discuss why nobody is freaking about LIBOR in America, while JP Morgan caught doing an Enron on US energy markets and GlaxoSmithKline pays 10% of their ill-gotten gains for bribing doctors and scientists across America. In the second half of the show Max talks to Kevin Sara of the TuNur solar export project of Tunisia about solar exports from the Middle East and toxic derivatives exports from the City of London.
• KEISER REPORT [KR315] Keiser Report: Cotton Candy Fraud We discuss how market participants are never more than a few milliseconds away from the next act of fraud and how a teaspoon of collateral leads to economic martial law. They also discuss German economists proposing that the wealthy be forced to buy bonds while in Spain the government and EU force bank losses on cooks and pensioners. In the second half of the show, oil analyst, Chris Cook, about how, despite sanctions, oil will always find a home; the Enron technique of pre-pay now being used by Enron’s former counterparties; and how stability is the death for the oil market middlemen.
• KEISER REPORT [KR316] Keiser Report: Alien Bankers, Leave Earth Alone! We demand that Jamie Dimon leave Earth alone! They also discuss the global Jim Jones like cults surrendering to the derivatives with hostile intent. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Jim Rickards, author of Currency Wars, about ‘Singapore on the Mediterranean’ and how the U.S. Congress will intervene in the Libor case to avoid the Son of Tarp.
• KEISER REPORT [KR317] Keiser Report: Where Money Goes To Die We discuss the Irish government being so terribly ‘embarrassed’ that they hired two dirty bankers to ‘clean up’ their financial system and they remind David Cameron over in ‘Grim Britain’ of the ‘dreadful backgrounds’ of Bob Diamond, Jamie Dimon and their ilk. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Wolf Richter of the Testosteronepit.com about the wine bubbles and where money goes to die.
• ON THE EDGE On the Edge with Gerald Celente
• THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS [TaM370] The Truth About Markets – 21 July 2012 Download show HERE (mp3)
• Donate to ResonanceFM here!
- ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton
LIVE (9-11am Pacific, 12pm - 2pm Eastern) Plenty of archives too!
Listen at antiwar.com/radio
• Pepe Escobar June 30, 2012: Globetrotting journalist Pepe Escobar discusses his article “Syria and Turkey’s Phantom War;” Turkey’s violation of Syrian airspace in a purposeful, measured provocation and test of Syria’s defenses; the near-invocation of NATO Article 5 and a wider war (an attack on one NATO country is an attack on all); looking for ways to bypass the UN on Syria, since China and Russia won’t let an interventionist resolution pass the Security Council; grand plans for NATO expansion in the official “Assured Security, Dynamic Engagement” plan; counterrevolutions in the Middle East and South America, as the US looks to rebuild its portfolio of client states; and how Qatar has become the new superpower in the Middle East, surpassing even Saudi Arabia.
• SCOTT HORTON July 5, 2012: Scott says goodbye to Antiwar.com. Scott Horton is the former host of Antiwar Radio. Visit his blog Stress. Due to budget cuts Scott lost his gig at AntiWarRadio.com! Whoa! See ScottHortonShow.com for archives! Send emails to Scott at scotthorton.org to help Scott keep his podcast going!
• Many more interviews at Antiwar Radio!
• Senator Dianne Feinstein, a staunch supporter of gun control
• Senator Ron Johnson, a gun rights advocate
• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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We're here because you're there. ©First brick is on us! Get your Foam Bricks at ThrowThings.com HERE!
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