Sunday, December 16, 2012

Brick TeeVee and The New Corporate Servitude!

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The New Corporate Servitude The Brick TeeVee Crew offers our condolences to everyone affected by the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Almost 18 years ago to the day in our community a man wearing camouflage clothing entered the Wickliffe middle school and opened fire with a shotgun, killing a custodian and wounding three other adults. Most recently last February in nearby Chardon 3 students killed, several hurt in shooting at Chardon High School; suspect in custody. How is it that gun laws have been relaxed everywhere? At Michelle Martinelli and Michelle Merlin report Gun Rights Groups' Political Spending Crushes That of Gun Control Supporters For gun rights groups, 2012 was the most active election cycle since 2000. They contributed a total of $3 million to candidates, 96 percent of them Republicans, through mid-October. That also makes 2012 its most Republican election cycle, with 2000 and 2002 close behind with 93 percent of contributions going to Republicans. By contrast, gun control groups contributed less in this election cycle than in any cycle as far back as OpenSecrets has data (1990) -- again, through mid-October. After campaign spending peaked in 2000 with $581,000, politicians only saw $4,000 from gun control groups this year. All of those recipients were Democrats: Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), losing candidate Lori Saldana (D-Calif.), and Sen.-elect Tim Kaine (D-Va.) The interest group is made up of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and the Violence Policy Center. None of those groups are active enough to warrant their own pages on .... The Sunday Talkies will be wall-to-wall with coverage so see the schedule below. Aviva Shen compiled a partial list and A Timeline Of Mass Shootings In The US Since Columbine at ThinkProgress. George Zornick also compiled Sixteen US Mass Shootings Happened in 2012, Leaving at Least 88 Dead at The Nation.

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ZeroHedge has another important Guest Post: On Jamie Via John Aziz Of Azizonomics blog Warren Buffett wants to give Jamie Dimon a job: On the Charlie Rose show [last month], Buffett was asked what kind of message it would send if President Obama picked Jamie Dimon or another Wall Street banker to succeed Timothy Geithner, who has expressed a desire to leave the post after Obama’s first term. “I think he’d be terrific,” said Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, about Dimon. “If we did run into problems in markets, I think he’d actually be the best person you could have in the job.” Buffett added that Dimon would have the confidence of world leaders if he were appointed to the Treasury post. Warren Buffett is one of America’s biggest bailout beneficiaries, having profited hugely from buying into firms whose assets were subsequently bailed out. Shortly after the crisis began in 2008, Warren Buffett loaned money to, and bought options from, Goldman Sachs, seemingly with the knowledge the bailout of AIG — a counterparty to which Goldman had massive, massive exposure — would take place. Dimon as Treasury Secretary would intend more of the same. Dimon and Buffett and others like them believe in having their cake and eating it. They seem to believe that the U.S. taxpayer should provide a liquidity lifeline to their fragile and risky too-big-to-fail businesses, but without at the same time demanding any regulatory oversight to prevent too-big-to-fail banks from acting irresponsibly. ..... What this really amounts to is a lack of skin in the game. Big banks can gamble and speculate without remorse and without risk — if they win they keep the proceeds, and if they lose the taxpayer will pick up the pieces. This destroys the market mechanism, and any hope of self-regulation. Were lessons learned from 2008? If the antics of Corzine, Kweku Adoboli and the London Whale — just three big financial blowups in the last year — are any guide, big finance is acting just as irresponsibly and self-destructively as before the crisis. Buffett and Dimon surely have in mind more cronyism, bailouts and free lunches, but the reality of the next four years and beyond may be very different indeed. While it is impossible to predict exactly when the next crisis will emerge, the current slump in capital goods orders, the intractable debt overhang, and the general trend of ditching the dollar as a reserve currency do not look good. As one of the architects (both practically and ideologically) of the current mess, Dimon as Treasury Secretary would at least get all the blowback and blame when the bubblecovery finally implodes into a currency or supply chain crisis that cannot be bailed out through liquidity injections.
HSBC RECORD FINE: We think Notre Dame University law professor Jimmy Gurul explained it best on NPR's All Things Considered Tuesday HSBC Officials Knowingly Dealt With Iranian Banks
    GURUL: Well, the bank has an obligation to monitor financial transactions through the bank to determine whether or not they're suspicious of criminal activity, including money laundering and terrorist financing. And if the bank determines that the transaction is suspicious, then they have a legal obligation to report that transaction to the Treasury Department. It's difficult work. It's complicated work and banks are not required to be perfect, but they are required to act with due diligence and that was not done in the case of HSBC. SIEGEL: Difficult, complicated, I assume also expensive, especially if it might result in turning away money. Is this the case of a bank saying we'd rather ignore the law than lose some money? GURUL: I think that's exactly the case here. I think that bank officials at HSBC made a knowing calculation and that they would prefer to do business with Iranian banks, make a profit from those illegal transactions and in the process ignore their obligations under the law. SIEGEL: There is a criticism often made of prosecutions for various corrupt practices. The corporations pay huge fines, but individual officers of the corporations are not prosecuted. In this case $1.9 billion is a huge sum, but as of June of this year, HSBC had assets of $2.6 trillion. I figure that's like fining somebody with a net worth of $3 million about $2,000. How much of a deterrent is that if you're not going to prosecute some individual for letting this happen? GURUL: Well, I think the HSBC settlement makes a mockery of justice, of the criminal justice system because I don't think until a bank official or bank officials are indicted, prosecuted and sent to jail are bank officials going to take their obligations seriously to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing......
Listen to the entire interview at the link!
Bill Black asks Why Did Obama and Cameron Save a Criminal Enterprise Like HSBC? Why is HSBC still in operation? On the same day (December 10, 2012) that the Barack Obama administration leaked the story of the HSBC settlement, a story ran in the New York Times that was full of self-praise by the Obama and David Cameron (U.K.) governments for their "cooperative approach" to cracking down on systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs). SDIs are treated as "too big to fail" because they pose a global systemic risk when they fail. The HSBC settlement puts the lie to the Obama/Cameron crack-down on the SDIs for it revealed a disgrace -- Obama and Cameron treat the SDIs as too big to prosecute. Indeed, HSBC demonstrates that the SDIs' senior officers are treated by Obama and Cameron as too elite to prosecute. The propaganda meme of the NYT story -- that the SDIs would never again be given special favors due to reforms being adopted by Obama and Cameron -- lasted four hours before it was destroyed by the disgraceful reality of the Obama and Cameron governments' refusal to prosecute HSBC and its officers for their tens of thousands of felonies. ...... The article acknowledges that trying to prevent an SDI from causing a systemic, global financial crisis once it fails is likely to fail. First, the regulators are not at all sure that they can prevent a systemic crisis with their "cooperative" proposals. Second, few regulators would risk a global systemic crisis when the alternative of bailing out the failing SDI inherently exists. Regulators have seen the disastrous results of failing to bail out Lehman. The obvious alternative (to everyone except the reporter, the U.S. and U.K. regulators, and the Obama and Cameron governments who have implicitly assumed it out of existence) is to shrink the SDIs to the point that they no longer pose a systemic risk and to conduct the shrinkage now before they fail. That alternative would vastly reduce the economic WMD and make the banks more efficient -- a win-win solution. ..... Beyond their inefficiency, SDIs pose grave risks to a nation when they are profitable and growing. SDIs make "free markets," integrity and justice impossible to maintain, they create the perverse political power that produces crony capitalism, and they drive the "competition to laxity" that drives regulatory failure. I have explained most of these points in prior writings, so I will summarize...... The current settlement addresses only three of the many scandals HSBC has committed over that time period. HSBC is a recidivist of epic proportions, but the Obama and Cameron governments have failed to prosecute HSBC or any of its officers. When powerful corporations and their controlling officers grow wealthy through massive frauds and do so with impunity from criminal sanction integrity and justice are eaten away. Effective financial regulation, supervision, and prosecutions are essential to "free" financial markets...... Read on! And check out Black's interview Guaranteed to Loot: The Perverse Incentives of Systemically Dangerous Institutions' CEOs with NPR's Robert Siegel. Let's remember HSBC is NOT the first bank caught laundering money AND getting off with a slap-on-the-wrist fine. Last year we told you about Wachovia's dealings with the Mexican drug cartels. See Clarence Walker's American Banks 'High' On Drug Money: How a Whistleblower Blew the Lid Off Wachovia-Drug Cartel Money Laundering Scheme: .... With U.S. Federal law enforcement backing him up, Martin Woods investigation assisted the Feds to build an airtight case against Wachovia. Starting off, the Feds discovered that $13 billion dollars in drug money was transferred by the CDC into correspondent bank accounts at Wachovia to purchase airplanes for the use of trafficking drugs from Colombia to Mexico and then the drugs were shipped to the U.S. This high-profile investigation ultimately revealed that from 2004-2007, a staggering amount of illegal drug proceeds totaling $378.4 billion dollars were transferred into Wachovia by the Mexico-based Casa Cambios that violated U.S. government anti-money laundering compliance. ...... As part of the agreement Wachovia agreed to pay the government a fine of $110 million dollars with an additional fine of $50 million dollars to be paid to the U.S. Treasury Department. The total fine of $160 million dollars was less than 2% of the bank's $12.3 billion dollars in profit made in 2009. By the time Wachovia agreed to pay the hefty fine, Wells Fargo purchased Wachovia during the banking crisis for $12.7 billion. Then Well Fargo reaped a windfall from the government, a gift of $25 billion dollars of taxpayers money as part of President Obama stimulus package in 2009. ..... Do you see a pattern here? Wait! There's more! Former Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program Neil Barofsky explains at The New Republic Too Big to Jail: Our Banking System's Latest Disgrace You can be forgiven if you watched the Department of Justice’s announcement yesterday of a $1.92 billion settlement with HSBC with a sense of disappointment--and déjà vu. The event checked all the boxes in a theatrical routine that has become all too familiar. Descriptions of breathtaking misconduct involving the facilitation of massive drug trafficking and transactions with rogue terror-sponsoring nations? Check. Broad boasts about the "historic" nature of the settlement that will certainly end the type of criminal misconduct alleged? Check. Mea culpas from the offending institution with promises that it has really learned its lesson this time and will never ever engage in dastardly conduct again? Yep, that too. Nothing, however, was quite as it appeared. Sure, HSBC paid a record fine, but there was something vitally important missing from yesterday's press conference: actual criminal charges for obvious criminal conduct. ..... Why no criminal charges? Why instead only some remedial measures and a "historical" fine that can be measured in weeks -- not years -- of earnings? It certainly wasn’t for lack of evidence. No, instead the government determined that HSBC is not only too big to fail, but also too big to jail. As the New York Times first reported, even though there were strong voices within DOJ pushing for criminal charges, the big banks' best friends within the government (the Treasury Department, of course, and other unnamed regulators) were too fearful that an indictment could destabilize the global financial system. Yes, it's 2008 all over again. In the name of systemic stability, a megabank again escapes accountability for its actions, rescued by compliant officials. ..... DOJ's actions with regards to HSBC are beyond unfair: They are downright terrifying for weakening the general deterrence for megabanks, both foreign and domestic, which could rationally interpret yesterday's actions as a license to steal. The enduring presumption of bailouts in our banking system already drives the largest banks to take on too much risk with too little disclosure and too much leverage, a toxic cocktail that will inevitably lead to another financial crisis. Yesterday's action now spikes the punch with a new toxin, confirmation that criminal penalties are off the table, leaving a worst-case scenario of a fine totaling far less than even a single quarter's earnings. Given the potential profits of criminal behavior and the unlikelihood of personal consequences for the executives directing it, the message is clear: Crime pays. This will inevitably lead to more reckless risk-taking that will further undermine systemic stability and lead to an even greater financial meltdown down the road. There is, of course, a solution for our emerging two-tier system of justice. The largest banks need to be broken up, the only realistic way to truly end both too big to fail and too big to jail. But since our government has demonstrated a reluctance to do so, perhaps the next time a megabank presents HSBC's argument that it should not be criminally charged because it would destabilize the financial system, instead of capitulating to this threat, DOJ should require at a bare minimum that in return for allowing the bank to survive, it must break itself up, ensuring that it could never hold the justice system hostage again. Otherwise, we can look forward to many more press conferences that are long on drama but short on impact.
Then at Bob Moon reports UBS targeted in interest-rate rigging scandal Swiss bank UBS is reportedly close to a $1 billion settlement with regulators over the LIBOR rate-rigging... Watch MATT TAIBBI on DN! Thursday (link below) and read TaibbiBlog at Rolling Stone Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke and Taibbi, Spitzer Fume Over HSBC Settlement appearing on Eliot Spitzer's Viewpoint.
NEXT Peter Foster reports for CIA 'black jail' interrogations were torture, European court rules The US suffered a significant legal rebuff on Thursday after its use of "extraordinary rendition" and interrogations in CIA black jails was condemned as "torture" in a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The ruling came in the case a German-Lebanese car salesman who was seeking compensation after being the victim of a mistaken "extraordinary rendition" in 2003 at the height of the CIA's campaign of abductions and interrogations after the September 11 attacks. It was hailed by civil rights groups as an "historic ruling" that would serve as a warning to European governments and put renewed pressure on the United States to acknowledge it had committed torture in its policy of 'rendition'. Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, described the 92-page judgment as a "key milestone" in the struggle to secure accountability for "human rights violations committed by the Bush administration." ...... Lawyers from the New York-based civil rights group which took Mr Masri's case to the European Court, hailed the judgment as "historic", saying it was the first time that court had formally recognized that the practice of "extraordinary rendition" amounted to torture. "It is an historic ruling that puts the United States to shame for its failure to even acknowledge, let alone compensate, its torture victims," said Amrit Singh, a lawyer with the Open Society Justice Initiative. "This is a country that prides itself in being a leader in the field of human rights and the rule of law and this is a judgment that unequivocally demonstrates that United States' moral standing in the world is severely diminished," she added. The ruling also puts pressure on European governments to "fully account for their complicity" in the CIA's rendition program, added Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union which has also worked to seek legal redress for Mr Masri. Barack Obama banned the CIA from using of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" just two days after his inauguration in 2008, however his administration has made no efforts to hold to account those responsible for torture in the Bush era. .... In a related matter Senate-approved CIA torture report kept under wraps report Natasha Lennad at Although the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted Thursday to approve a 6,000-page report on the use of torture and extraordinary rendition by the CIA, the investigation will for now remain classified. According to the Guardian, Republican senators could push for the extensive report to stay under wraps, despite pressure from human rights advocates to make the information public. .... The investigation is believed to conclude that the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” practices did not glean significant intelligence information. In contention with the narrative depicted in new film “Zero Dark Thirty,” which has renewed the debate over the role of torture in the hunt for Osama bin laden, the Senate report is believed to conclude that effective torture did not play a central role in finding the al-Qaida leader..... The judge presiding over Manning's court-martial, Colonel Denise Lind, now has a mountain of transcripts and admitted evidence to wade through before she can issue her ruling on the defence motion. The earliest she is likely to do so would be in the next pre-trial hearing scheduled for 8 January.
BRADLEY MANNING UPDATE: Ed Pikington of the reports Bradley Manning: pre-trial hearing ends as case goes to military judge The epic courtroom battle between the WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning and the US government over his alleged pre-trial punishment has drawn to a close, with the soldier's lawyer accusing the military of treating him like a zoo animal and the prosecution countering that in its view he was entitled to have just seven days removed from any eventual sentence. The two-week hearing at Fort Meade, Maryland, lasted far longer than intended and turned into a dramatic spectacle in which Manning effectively turned his court-martial on its head and put the US military on trial. In his closing argument, the soldier's main civilian lawyer, David Coombs, said that the most amazing element of his nine-month solitary confinement under suicide-prevention restrictions at the marine brig in Quantico, Virginia, was that his spirit had remained unbroken.'s Bill McKibben opines at the Daily Beast Clinton’s Environmental Failure ...... That would be the ones who worry about climate change. Young people, they’re called. Also people who have their houses flooded or their farms baked. They’re more of them all the time, somehow—in fact, pollsters find 68 percent of Americans “very worried” about global warming, up from 46 percent in 2009. That’s what happens when the warmest year in American history ends with the widest storm (Sandy) ever measured.
But the rumor is that Clinton’s State Department is nonetheless about to recommend approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which the top climate scientists in the nation have unanimously called a terrible idea. As far as I know, though, Clinton’s subordinates haven’t reached out to ask them why. For more than a year now, it’s been one of Washington’s worst-kept secrets that Clinton wants the pipeline approved. And why not? Its builder, TransCanada, hired her old deputy campaign manager as its chief lobbyist and gave lobbying contracts to several of her big bundlers. Leaked emails show embassy officials rooting on the project; it’s classic D.C. insiderism. (And, weirdly, her rumored successor is just as involved—Susan Rice has millions in stock in TransCanada and other Canadian energy companies.) And in one sense it doesn’t make much difference. Everyone in the capital’s also known that the Keystone decision, in the end, will come down to President Obama, who will weigh State’s findings and then rule whether the pipeline is in the national interest. When that happens, we’ll find out if he’s a more modern politician than Hillary, or if he’s still fighting yesterday’s wars too. ..... “Under my administration,” he boasted last March, “America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the earth and then some.” And he’s right—he’s shown no interest in leaving any carbon anywhere in the ground. Hey, he watched the Arctic melt at a record pace and then he let Shell head up to the open water and drill. ..... So Keystone will test whether the second term will be more of the same. In his case, of course, he never has to worry about voters, or donors, again. But one guesses that 50 years from now the only item on his legacy list anyone will still care about is what he did on global warming. Will he nibble around the edges, or will he actually take on the oil companies? Keystone will tell the tale. .....

MORE KEYSTONE: From Stephen C. Webster at Texas landowner secures temporary restraining order against Keystone XL A Texas landowner in Nacogdoches County secured a temporary restraining order on Tuesday against the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline by arguing that tar sands is not actually a type of oil. Judge Jack Sinz granted the order without first notifying TransCanada, the company behind the ambitious pipeline that aims to transport Canadian tar sands to the Texas gulf coast for further refinement. In his ruling, Judge Sinz noted that the order was granted immediately because construction had already begun on the plaintiff’s property and any delay could potentially result in further damages. A hearing on the matter is set for Wednesday, December 19. “You can’t argue the science,” 64-year-old Michael Bishop, the plaintiff in the case, told Raw Story on Tuesday. “That’s number one. TransCanada has defrauded the American people into thinking this is crude oil coming in from Canada and is going to be the savior of America. It’s just beyond me. This has been totally misrepresented. The people have been misled. Landowners have been coerced and bullied into thinking the company has the power of eminent domain.” Bishop, who’s representing himself in the case, has filed several lawsuits in an effort to stop TransCanada’s pipeline, but unlike other land owners who’ve sued over abuse of eminent domain — or protesters who’ve taken to physically blocking construction or simply living in east Texas trees — Bishop has a different strategy. “He believes that TransCanada has defrauded the people of Texas and of the United States in misrepresenting this as a crude oil pipeline, when it’s not,” Christine Wilson, consultant for Public Citizen Texas, told Raw Story. “He feels that he has a good case. He’s asked for a jury trial for his ultimate permanent injunction case. He intends to prove that diluted bitumen is not crude oil.” The difference, she explained, is worth about a billion dollars or so, which is roughly how much the tar sands refinery on the Texas gulf coast is worth. That’s why Bishop targeted the Texas Railroad Commission, which is supposed to regulate oil companies. Bishop argues that the commission essentially rubber-stamped the pipeline even though TransCanada is committing fraud by classifying tar sands as crude oil. .... Bishop, a retired chemist, insisted that crude oil, by state and federal definitions, is fundamentally different than bitumen, which produces tar sands. “You have to physically mine it; it is a solid material,” he explained. “If it looks like crap, if it smells like crap, the chances are pretty good that it’s crap.”....
MICHIGAN 'RIGHT TO WORK FOR LESS': Go watch this at HuffPoAOL Steven Crowder, Fox News Contributor, Punched During Right-To-Work Protests (VIDEO) UPDATE: Dec. 12 -- On Twitter, Steven Crowder claimed that a protester threatened to kill him, which can be overheard off-camera in the video he posted. That video appears to be edited. Another video posted on YouTube by FTRMediaLive suggests that protesters were confronting a person possibly in possession of a firearm who may have been associated with the Americans For Prosperity. Electablog authored a post that also questions the sequence of events shown in the video.
Also at HuffPo Mark Schauer, Former Michigan Lawmaker, Pepper Sprayed As Thousands Protest Right To Work .... Mark Schauer, a Democrat who previously represented the state in the U.S. House, told Lansing news service MIRS that he was pepper sprayed while protesting. He was one of more than 12,000 people who came to the state capitol to protest the legislation that detractors call an attack on unions. "Unfortunately while people were exercising their first amendment rights, I among them got pepper sprayed by police officers," Schauer said in a MIRS video. "We were not endangering the building in any way but we wanted to make sure, since the Republicans have not provided for any public hearings or opportunities for people to speak on these bills, that they can hear how the people really feel. Unfortunately, some of us are paying a price for it." ..... Curious that police unions were conspicuously left out of the bill, eh? Talk about buying protection!
Over at The Nation John Nichols explains how
Michigan Adopts the ALEC Model for Diminishing Democracy
Michigan legislators did not write the so-called “right to work” legislation that they have enacted in a mad rush of anti-democratic excess. They simply did as they were told. The ideas, the outlines and the words themselves came from the American Legislative Exchange Council, the right-wing “bill mill” that produces “model legislation” at the behest of Koch Industries, Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, ExxonMobil and the corporate cabal that is always looking to “buy” states. As the Center for Media and Democracy’s “ALEC Exposed” project revealed (in conjunction with The Nation), ALEC has developed binders full of “model legislation” that assaults the rights of working people, consumers and communities. ALEC’s package of “model legislation” includes numerous bills and resolutions that, by any reasonable measure, would be referred to as “no rights at work” schemes. Those measures formed the basis for HB 4003, the Michigan “Right-to-Work Act” that has provoked mass demonstrations in Lansing and other Michigan communities. Section after section, line after line, of the Michigan legislation mirrors the ALEC model legislation, as revealed by the “ALEC Exposed” project. “The legislation is straight out of the Koch-funded ALEC playbook,” explains Brendan Fischer, the staff counsel with the Center for Media and Democracy. At some points, the Michigan lawmakers shifted words, from “resign or refrain from…a labor organization” in the ALEC model legislation to “refrain or resign from…a labor organization” in one of the two Michigan bills. ...... This is about warping democracy so that corporations have a consistent upper hand, with the result being that those politicians who are willing to do the bidding of corporations and wealthy donors are more likely to prevail. In this sense, the best way to understand the recent rush to enact anti-labor legislation is as part of the same initiative that has produced restrictive Voter ID laws, schemes to limit early voting and proposals to eliminate same-day registration. ..... Ultimately, however, the end result of the assault on labor rights is the same as a direct assault on voting rights: a diminished democracy. ...... Much more so go read all of Nichols!
This didn't happen by overnight or by accident. How Republicans Systematically Destroyed Unions In Michigan by Nick Carey, Bernie Woodall, Reuters via .... the transformation had been in the making since March 2011 when Colbeck and a fellow freshman, state Representative Mike Shirkey, first seriously considered legislation to ban mandatory collection of union dues as a condition of employment in Michigan. Such was their zeal, they even went to union halls to make their pitch and were treated "respectfully," Colbeck said. The upstarts were flirting with the once unthinkable, limiting union rights in a state that is the home of the heavily unionized U.S. auto industry and the birthplace of the nation's richest union, the United Auto Workers. For many Americans, Michigan is the state that defines organized labor. But in a convergence of methodical planning and patient alliance building - the "systematic approach" - the reformers were on a roll, one that establishment Michigan Republicans came to embrace and promised to bankroll. Republicans executed a plan - the timing, the language of the bills, the media strategy, and perhaps most importantly, the behind-the-scenes lobbying of top Republicans including Snyder. ..... Together with Jack Hoogendyk, a former Republican member of the Michigan House who supported right-to-work, and a small group of other activists, they founded the "Michigan Freedom to Work" coalition, which sought to capitalize on Republican control of the state legislature and the governorship. They held press conferences in June 2011 and in September 2011 took their show to the Republican Leadership Conference on Michigan's Mackinac Island. In attendance were Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Perry as well as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. As a sign of growing support among conservatives for right-to-work, Hoogendyk says that there were hundreds of activists in attendance wearing yellow "Freedom To Work" T-shirts. A group linked to the conservative billionaire Koch Brothers, owners of an energy and trading conglomerate who are reviled by unions and Democrats, held three conferences in Michigan in early 2012 on right-to-work featuring renowned conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart. Three Republican presidential candidates including Romney and some 1,500 activists attended the last conference on February 25 sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, four days before Breibart's death. The right-to-work campaign gathered momentum when the activists linked up with Dick DeVos, the son of Richard DeVos, co-founder of Michigan-based Amway, and Ronald Weiser, former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and ambassador to Slovakia under President George W. Bush. ....
Greg Sargent's The Morning Plum at WaPo: A way out for labor in Michigan? .... NBC’s Michael O’Brien reports that labor operatives believe they may have it on a new procedural way to force a vote on the legislation. If the major unions avail themselves of this option — and if it pans out legally — this means the Dem threats to turn this into an extended all-out war could come to pass. Republicans have tried to protect the law from going before the voters by attaching an appropriation to it; spending bills can’t be overturned by legislative referendum in Michigan. But union operatives think there is another mechanism by which the law can be challenged. According to one good government group’s analysis of the state constitution, there exists the option of the “statutory initiative,” which would be forced by the collecting of signatures equal to at least eight percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. Will unions and Michigan Democrats avail themselves of this option? Eddie Vale, a spokesman for the labor-funded Workers’ Voice, which played a big role in the Ohio and Wisconsin labor wars, tells me it’s being seriously considered. “The Michigan Constitution allows two other ways to let the people decide this issue on the ballot, and whether it’s one of those options or the 2014 Governor’s election itself, Michiganders will be heard loud and clear,” Vale says. (There may also be another referendum option as well.) ......
Joe Palermo writes at HuffPoAOL The Oligarchs' Coup in Michigan ... The only thing these new labor laws in Michigan accomplish is to create conditions where the majority of working people in the state toil just as hard and just as productively as they did before the laws were passed, but for less money. Reducing the incomes of most people in the state only means that the tax base of local communities will take a hit, the schools will be crummier, the services and infrastructure will be crappier, the industrial accidents will be more frequent and workplace safety conditions will be more dangerous. But the big corporations will be happy as jaybirds because they can pay their non-union workers poverty wages. I guess in the coming months we'll see how many people in Michigan really have accepted the Republicans' disingenuous and bogus notion that it would be a good thing for the state to force everyone to earn less money. The pro-oligarchy propaganda spewing forth from Michigan's corporate overlords and their front groups like "Americans for Prosperity" must have been pretty effective to convince enough people last month to defeat a union-backed measure that would have protected collective bargaining rights. States are "laboratories" and the data is in: In the now 24 "right-to-work" states in this great nation, the average earnings of citizens drops about $6,000 a year, the average spending per pupil in public schools falls about $2,700, and the number of workplace accidents increases about 50 percent. ...... In short, the whole thing is just a big scam to line the pockets of the wealthy and the corporations, most of which are headquartered outside of Michigan (or outside the United States). The "right-to-work" push we're now dealing with across the nation has been the Republican/corporate wet dream for decades. They've cynically used the disorientation and weakening of workers' position due to the economic crisis and high long-term unemployment to fuck workers. We've seen this movie before: It's called the 1890s. So, the fight is on. The reversion to 19th-century labor practices in Michigan shows us that at this moment in time the labor unions in this country have their backs pressed up against the wall. If a state like Michigan, the birthplace of industrial unionism in America, can ram through this kind of anti-union legislation, then it can happen anywhere. .....
Speaking of the "Republican/corporate wet dream" WalMart's CEO must have a full-on woody! Walmart CEO Mike Duke: 'We Do Pay Competitive Wages' Apparently, all those protests by Walmart workers over pay and benefits aren’t getting through to CEO Mike Duke. At a recent event, Bloomberg LP President Dan Doctoroff pointed out to the Walmart chief executive that even though his company paints itself as "serving an emerging middle class," many of its employees aren’t paid enough to lead a normal life and some even resort to food stamps to make ends meet, as previously reported by The Huffington Post. This is what Duke had to say in response: "Retailing is the most competitive industry out there, and we do pay competitive wages," Duke told Doctoroff, according to Business Insider, noting that around 165,000 Walmart employees were promoted from entry-level positions last year. “Our associates are a great source of pride and personal inspiration for me," he added. But maybe that’s simply because he’s getting away with paying them so little. According to market research firm Ibis World, the average wage for a Walmart employee is $8.81 per hour, barely over the minimum wage in some states. Walmart executives say average rates are higher, with estimates including $11.75 per hour and $12.40 per hour. In contrast, Duke made $18.7 million in 2010. With a CEO-to-employee pay ratio of 717-to-1, that ranks Duke second among a list of 50 CEOs who are paid significantly more than their employees. Watch this clip from Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story' - Wal-Mart 'Dead Peasants' Scene and read about Dead Peasants Insurance Policies at
WHAT IT ALL MEANS: Our LAST WORD goes to George Lakoff who explains how Michigan’s New 'Corporate Servitude Law' Takes Away Worker Rights at .... The deeper truth about unions is that they don't just create and maintain rights for workers; they work for and create crucial rights in society as a whole. Unions created weekends, the eight-hour workday, and health benefits. And through their politics, they have been at the center of support for civil rights and other social justice issues. In short, unions don't just work for their members. They work for all of us. Including businesses: workers are profit creators. Since Democratic candidates tend to support the same progressive views, defunding unions would take away their power to campaign for Democratic candidates. The new Michigan law is thus also a partisan law supporting the Republican party. ... Language matters. Republicans understand this better than Democrats. Republicans have called their corporate servitude law a “right to work” law, as if the law conferred a right instead of taking many away. The first principle of political and social communication in cases of conflict is: Avoid the other side’s language. The Democrats keep violating this principle, using the Republicans’ name for this law. In this way they are helping Republicans, because using the Republican language activates Republican framing, not just for this law, but for conservative ideology at the deepest level. ..... It is a deep truth about our democracy: our freedom depends on such public provisions and the private depends on the public. Unions both defend these freedoms and add to them the worker rights unions have created. Conservatives don't accept this truth, if they perceive it at all. They tend to see democracy as providing “liberty”—the liberty to pursue one’s own interests and well-being through personal responsibility, without being responsible for the interests or well-being of others and without others being responsible for them. From this conservative perspective, businessmen should have the liberty to run their businesses as they please to maximize their profit, and workers should rely on only their personal responsibility to get and keep a job. Unions, for conservatives, thus violate (1) the liberty of business owners to offer workers what is most profitable for the business, (2) the personal responsibility of workers, and (3) the liberty conservatives think workers should have to work without paying union dues. From the progressive perspective, the new Michigan law is a corporate servitude law, while from the conservative perspective, the law is a “right to work” law. Language works so that the conservative name “right to work” evokes the conservative political ideology in the brains of those who hear it without wincing. The more an idea is activated in the brain the stronger it gets. Thus, the use of the conservative name strengthens the conservative ideology in the brains of the public. The press is not being neutral in using the Republican name for the law. Journalists too, in just using the name, are supporting both the Republican framing of the law and conservative ideology. The press is not being balanced — which is what journalists typically claim to be. Balance would be to use both the names “corporate servitude law” and “right to work law” and to explain the differences in the progressive and conservative understanding of what the law is and does. Of course, to do so would change a false view of language that journalists too often internalize, namely, that language is neutral. To see that it isn’t, just try speaking or writing of “Michigan’s corporate servitude law” and listen to conservatives scream bloody murder over a truth that does fit their view of democracy. And listen to them keep screaming because it is important to keep repeating the true name of the law if the public is to understand what the law really does.
Here are a few items of interest you should check out too:
  • Prarie2News "Oh Neville..." The rich and their corporations are sitting on trillions in cash just waiting for an asset price collapse to buy up stuff for pennies on the dollar.
  • Jeremy Scahill documentary: In Dirty Wars - investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill chases down the truth behind America’s covert wars. Dirty Wars is one of 16 films selected for the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival 2013.
  • Juan Gonzalez documentary: Harvest of Empire - Harvest of Empire, a feature-length documentary that examines the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today. Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist Juan González, Harvest of Empire takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.
  • 'Everyone in US under virtual surveillance' - NSA whistleblower The FBI records the emails of nearly all US citizens, including members of congress, according to NSA whistleblower William Binney. In an interview with RT, he warned that the government can use this information against anyone.
  • Top 10 ways to avoid being tracked online at Marketplace Tech
  • Assange to RT: Entire nations intercepted online, key turned to totalitarian rule WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says all the necessary physical infrastructure for absolute totalitarianism through the internet is ready. He told RT that the question now is whether the turnkey process that already started will go all the way.
  • The Government, Corporations or the People -- Who Should Control the Internet? by Timothy Karr - Alternet. This question is at the center of debates this week at the World Conference on International Telecommunications.
With all the sorrow emanating across the country from the tragedy of Friday's senseless executions in Sandy Hook, CT (except the NRA-types who think kindergarteners should have had a gun too) we wonder in the larger picture how is this different from the collateral murder and unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers or the countless drone strike 'wedding' murders. The psychopathology essentially lines up the same, whether for an individual or a nation-state, provoked or not. How does one condone the bombing of scores of innocent children in far-away countries and show zero empathy whatsoever but in the next breath be able to have grave concern for the families and children when a mass murder happens in a school or mall or post office or army base here? We recommend a revisit to Bowling for Columbine from TEN YEARS AGO as a refresher and then fill in everything relating to weapons that's happened since, from Glocks to drones. BillORightsMan

Democracy NOW!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 Wednesday, December 12, 2012 Thursday, December 13, 2012 Friday, December 14, 2012

GRITtv »»» GRITtv @ with Laura Flanders »»» FEATURED SHOW Austerity: A Violation of Human Rights? Renowned feminist economist Radhika Balakrishnan explains why cuts to healthcare, education and other social services are a threat to human dignity and a violation of human rights. more....

BRICK TEEVEE SPORT!© »»» Football Night in America on NBC Lions @ Packers 8:20 pm et »»» Monday Night Football on ESPN Texans @ Patriots 8:30 pm et »»» NBA on ESPN TUESDAY Doubleheader! Knicks @ Nets 7 pm et then Clippers @ Bulls 9:30 pm et »»» NBA on TNT THURSDAY Doubleheader! Lakers @ Knicks 8 pm et then Spurs @ Trailblazers 10:30 pm

BRICK TEEVEE ACTION!© 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.

STOP the ACHE Appalachian Community HEALTH EMERGENCY Advocating for government action and protection of the public from the health crisis in mountain top removal communi ties

    Lawmakers concerned about the health effects on humans from mountaintop removal coal mining set forth legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives today. Representatives Dennis Kucinich (OH), Louise Slaughter (NY), Maurice Hinchey (NY), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), John Yarmuth (KY), Lynn Woolsey (CA), Judy Chu (CA), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), James Moran (VA), Michael Honda (CA), John Conyers (MI), and Keith Ellison (MN) introduced the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency (ACHE) Act H.R. 5959 which would place a moratorium on permitting for mountaintop removal coal mining until health studies are conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services. The ACHE coalition presently consists of participants from Coal River Mountain Watch, Mountain Health and Heritage Association, and Christians for the Mountains. “We encourage you, if you’re concerned about mountaintop removal’s effect on your community’s health, to join us in making your voice heard,” said Allen Johnson, executive director of Christians for the Mountains. “Please contact us, learn about the issue, and take action to protect your community.” a project of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland 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—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!

NET NEUTRALITY! Declaration of Internet Freedom Tired of fighting bad bills like SOPA, PIPA and CISPA? Want to stand up against those who are trying to control what we do and say online? It's time for something different. A group of more than 1,500 organizations, academics, startup founders and tech innovators has come together to produce a Declaration of Internet Freedom, a set of five principles that put forward a positive vision of the open Internet. Our goal: Get millions of Internet users to sign on to this Declaration. Build political power for Internet users to make sure that we get a seat at the table whenever, and wherever, the future of the Internet is being decided. It's time to stop playing defense and start going on the offensive. The open Internet is central to people’s freedom to communicate, share, advocate and innovate in the 21st century. But powerful interests want to censor free speech, block the sharing of information, hinder innovation and control how Internet users get online. And all too often, people in power are making political decisions behind closed doors about how the Internet should operate — and they're doing this without the involvement of actual Internet users. The result: policies that could close down the open Internet and destroy our freedom to connect. It’s time for us to reclaim the Internet for its users. Take action now and sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom.

NEW!!! Stop the Net Grab! Petitioning Voting members of the World Conference on International Telecommunications The internet as we know it is at risk. Unless we act now, our right to freely communicate and share information could change forever. In less than four weeks’ time, the International Telecommunications Union (or ITU), a United Nations agency, is planning to adopt new rules to clamp down on the fundamental freedoms of citizens online. Big telecommunications corporations have joined with countries including China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, countries that already impose heavy restrictions on internet freedoms, to put forward a treaty to the UN World Conference on International Telecommunications in December. So far the proposal has flown under the radar, but its implications are so serious that we must act quickly to show the ITU and its member countries that citizens will not stand by while our right to communicate freely is undermined. .... Add your name to the global petition and ask your government representatives who will attend this conference to reject these changes that will seriously and permanently restrict internet freedoms. Act now, before it’s too late. We need a new process where the voice of the people is properly heard. Make your voice louder by connecting with us on Facebook. AND Click HERE to view our infographic!

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! And check out more actions on the Move to Amend Calendar featuring David Cobb's Barnstorming Tour! Also visit Rep Alan Grayson's site GET INVOLVED! And Alan Grayson is running again in FL-8! Help out at

SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT See and Bradley Manning Support Network UPDATE! Natasha Lennard, assistant news editor at Salon Nobel Peace Laureates condemn prosecution of Bradley Manning Nov 15, 2012: Nobel Peace laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Nobel Peace Prize, 1984), Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace Prize, 1977) and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Nobel Peace Prize, 1980) have published a letter in support of Pfc. Bradley Manning in The Nation, following news that the soldier is willing to take responsibility for leaking information to WikiLeaks. The Peace Prize winners wrote against the government’s treatment of the soldier, who has been in prison for over 900 days.......more.....

DONATE YOUR OLD CELL PHONES TO T.J. MARTELL FOUNDATIONHelp save lives. Donate your old & used iPhone, Blackberries, Droid and other phones to help the T.J. Martell Foundations fund life-saving cancer & AIDS research. For more information, go to CELLULAR PHONE TASK FORCE EDUCATION, ADVOCACY, SUPPORT at The Cellular Phone Task Force is dedicated to halting the expansion of wireless technology because it cannot be made safe. We provide: education to the public concerning electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog); advocacy for an electromagnetically cleaner environment; support for individuals disabled by radiation from wireless technology and other sources.



image ©2006 arkysue

The essential guide for watching government propaganda! THEY report. YOU throw bricks.©

Get your Foam Bricks at HERE!

IRAQ: 4,486 US Military Dead as of April 21, 2012

AFGHANISTAN: 2,168 US Military Dead as of Dec 14, 2012

The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises

Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read

  • This Week (ABC) Host George Stephanopoulos
    • Top Connecticut political officials, including Gov. Dan Malloy, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen.-Elect Chris Murphy, and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra join George Stephanopoulos to discuss the latest on the shooting investigation, and how the Connecticut and Newtown community are coping with the tragedy.
    • ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser join George Stephanopoulos to discuss how families in Newtown – especially the parents and children directly impacted – will grapple with this unprecedented violence in their community.
    • ROUNDTABLE: Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, TIME Magazine political columnist Joe Klein, ABC News' George Will, and Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile.

  • Face The Nation (CBS) Host Bob Schiefer
    • The latest on the Newtown Shooting
    • CT Governor Malloy & State Police Lt. Paul Vance

  • 60 Minutes (CBS)
    • Newtown - Scott Pelley reports the latest details on the Connecticut elementary school massacre and talks to the school's nurse who survived it despite seeing the shooter. He will also interview former U.S. Secret Service members who have studied assassins and school shooters and will try to explain the mindset of the alleged gunman, Adam Lanza. A former classmate of Lanza tells Pelley about the boy she knew in high school who is accused of killing 20 first-grade children, six adults and his mother and himself in the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.
    • Costa Concordia - When the 951-ft.-long luxury liner hit a rock 11 months ago off the Italian Coast, it was the biggest passenger ship ever to capsize. Now, the salvage operation to float and tow away the huge vessel is the biggest maritime salvage operation ever undertaken. Lesley Stahl reports. Richard Bonin is the producer.

  • Meet the Press (NBC) Host David Gregory
    Microsoft, NBC News Dissolve Joint Venture NBC is buying Microsoft's 50 percent interest in the MSNBC website for an undisclosed amount. will be rebranded as, and readers who logged into late Sunday were automatically redirected to Microsoft is preparing to launch its own news service this fall. Although he declined to provide many details about the operation general manager of Bob Visse said the news staff will be about the same size as the roughly 100 people who created original content for the "There is no question that we are going to have more flexibility to make our own decisions," said Vivian Schiller, NBC News' chief digital officer. "This is really an amicable breakup. We think competition will make us better." Okay then.
    • EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Bloomberg on Guns & Violence
    • Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy
    • ROUNDTABLE: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); NY Times columnist David Brooks; President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten; Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge; Former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett; and Sociologist Michael Eric Dyson.

  • 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.
    • Candy Crowley will anchor “State of the Union” from Connecticut. We’ll have the latest developments on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

  • 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!
    • THORN IN THE SIDE THURSDAY!!!!! Listen HERE NOW! Keep Bob on the air HERE ya hear? Amen to the White Rose Society! Donate to Head On HERE! And join Coal River Mountain Watch at!

    The Green News Report with Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen: 6 minutes of green news, politics, analysis & snarky comment! BOOKMARK NOW!
    'Green News Report' - December 13, 2012 IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Massive pipeline explosion melts WV highway; More bad news for wolves, this time courtesy of MI Republicans; Judge lifts Keystone XL pipeline restraining order; PLUS: There they go again: House GOP threatens to hold Hurricane Sandy recovery funds hostage ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
    • IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see link): No 'Get-Out-of-Jail-Free' Card on Sea Level; Colorado River water supply to fall short of demand: study; Hundreds rally against PacNW coal trains; Interior Dept. delays fracking rules; UK lifts ban on fracking; Feds open CA lands to fracking development; Is A123 battery sale to China a threat to US security? PLUS: Question posed at AGU: “Is Earth F**ked?”... and much, MUCH more! ...
    • BRADBLOG UPDATE! VIDEO! 'The Daily Show' on Fox 'News' and Gun Violence: 'Shut Up and Shut Up' We've had plenty to say about the lackeys who mindlessly carry out the dishonest work of the terrorist-enabling NRA and the campaign to make sure nobody is ever allowed to even discuss gun violence or what, if anything, can or should be done about it. Now Jon Stewart and The Daily Show have something to say about it all, whether Fox "News" likes it or not. (Note: The video is broken into two parts for some reason, so be sure to watch through to Part 2!)
    • BRADBLOG UPDATE! 'Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale' The video was created by the California Federation of Teachers and is narrated by our pal Ed Asner. Enjoy! Better yet, share it with your kids!
    • BRADBLOG UPDATE! Guns Don't Kill People. They Kill LOTS of People. Merry Christmas from the White House and the NRA... UPDATES: Weapons used in mass murder legally purchased and registered; Newtown, CT elementary school shooting 2nd deadliest in U.S. history, most came since NRA helped loosen laws; Tearful President speaks in Brady Press Room, calls for 'meaningful action regardless of politics', fails to offer specifics...

  • The Peter B. Collins Show PODCAST!
    pbc show
    Listen at!
    The Peter B. Collins Show covers American news and politics from the Left Coast. Veteran talk radio personality Peter B. Collins, based in San Francisco, delivers fresh interviews, commentary and analysis on a range of important topics, with views and voices you don’t often find in the corporate media.
    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, 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 December 13, 2012 Attorney Carl Mayer Files Emergency Appeal to Supreme Court on NDAA; Former Iranian Hostage Sarah Shourd Decries Solitary Confinement in US Prisons
    • PBC Standard Podcast December 14, 2012 Author Anat Shenker-Osorio Critiques the Lingo of the Fiscal Cliff Soap Opera; Columnist Ray Buursma of Holland, Michigan on Radical Republicans and Right to Work Laws

  • 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.
    December 15th, 2012 Ring of Fire Lineup
    • Journalist Dan Froomkin will join us to discuss the failures of the mainstream media this past year.
    • David Dayen from Fire Dog Lake will be here to talk about the disastrous plan to gut the social safety net as part of a grand bargain.
    • Investigative journalist Josh Eidelson will tell us about Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s assault on organized labor.
    • Democratic strategist and consultant Eric Burns will be here to tell us about the fight to fix the filibuster.
    • Author Nancy Cohen will discuss the reasons behind the GOP’s decision to vote against an international treaty to help protect the disabled.
    • And Paul Waldman, contributing editor at The American Prospect, will tell us if the GOP has gone too far into the fringe to ever be able to move back to the center.
    • 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 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.”
    • VIDEO! Papantonio: How Wall Street Sabotages Economic Growth (VIDEO) Talk of the Fiscal Cliff has been dominating the airwaves for the last weeks, with Republicans hoping to cut social programs, and Democrats attempting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. But beyond the partisan bickering lies the real problem facing our economy – Wall Street greed, and Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio spoke with author Les Leopold recently about how unmitigated Wall Street greed has helped push Americans over the fiscal cliff.
    • VIDEO! Papantonio: The Union War Has Just Begun Against Rick Snyder (VIDEO) Mike Papantonio appears on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann to discuss Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s signing of so-called “Right to Work” bills in his state, and how this legislation will negatively impact his state’s economy.
    • Join our blog at You can now SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PODCAST by clicking on the "Podcast" tab at the top of the Ring of Fire blog. Please help support progressive radio by signing up!
    Ring of Fire Radio Ring of Fire, hosted by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Mike Papantonio and Sam Seder: Saturdays at 3 o’clock Eastern, rebroadcasts 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 @!

    • December 10, 2102 Digby On the Elites Drive to Privatize Medicare
    • December 11, 2012 Worse Than Wisconsin
    • December 12, 2012 Ken Burns & Becky Bond
    • December 13, 2012 Max Blumenthal Live From Egypt
    • December 14, 2012 Casual Friday Cliff Schecter & Janeane Garofalo
    • 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
    The official Facebook pages for Max Keiser & Keiser Report STACY SUMMARY: For once and for all, here are our real Facebook pages, the other ones are fake. But if you feel like chatting to the fake ones, by all means, go ahead. Max Keiser & Keiser Report PLUS Stacey Herbert
    • VIDEO! Monkeys & Cocaine: HSBC money laundering case by staceyherbert
    "The banks' laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space." by maxkeiser - READ Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke (
    Sandy's Silver Lining by Max Keiser - READ Poll: Supermajority of Americans finally support climate action
    Financial war report: All is not quiet on the bond front by staceyherbert - Stacy Summary: Financial war report. All is heating up on the bond front. Two VERY important stories unfolding on this Saturday. The final outcome of each of these two stories will have major ramifications for all. READ FLASH: U.N. Court in Germany orders Ghana to release Argentine naval ship detained on bond holders' behalf (reuters) AND Pension fund slams San Bernardino for “sham” bankruptcy (reuters)
    • KEISER REPORT [KR378] Keiser Report: Whammies of Wall St. Witches and Alice in Switzer-land We look at the latest BIS warning of a global credit bubble caused by zero percent interest rate policies meant to appease the angry hidden people in the shadow banking system. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to David Smith of about the Swiss currency peg, the global game of honesty limbo in the financial sector and hoping that midnight never comes for Alice in Switzer-land.
    • KEISER REPORT [KR379] Keiser Report: Too Big To Jail We look at HSBC being fined rather than criminally charged in order to avoid destabilizing the system, while JP Morgan and others are being sued for about a trillion in bad mortgages investors were duped into buying. They also look at "1001" under which bankers who lied to the federal housing authorities could be criminally tried for lying to a federal official. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to Kyra Maya Phillips of about democracy aboard pirate ships of the 18th century on which No Plunder, No Pay was the name of the game and innovation happened on the fringe. Max proposes banksters walk the plank in a specially built platform in Trafalgar Square.
    • KEISER REPORT [KR380] Keiser Report: High Frequency Scalping We look at central banking meth heads and low level broker-dealer-thieves drinking the hand sanitizer that is the high frequency scalping of the last dregs of equity left in the markets. They also ask whether the US has it in for British banks. In the second half, Max Keiser talks to Peter Antonioni, author of the Economics for Dummies, about the policy of quantitative easing as economic homeopathy – it only works on the grounds that you believe it works and about the UK monetizing its debt after transferring QE 'surpluses' from the Bank of England to the Treasury
    • ON THE EDGE On the Edge with Greg Hunter An interview with Greg Hunter of USA Watchdog.
    • THE TRUTH ABOUT MARKETS [TaM-1260] The Truth About Markets – 08 December 2012 Download show HERE (mp3)
    • Donate to ResonanceFM here!

  • ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton
    antiwarradio.jpg LIVE (9-11am Pacific, 12pm - 2pm Eastern) Plenty of archives too!
    Listen at
    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 Scott Horton is the former host of Antiwar Radio. Visit his blog Stress. Due to budget cuts Scott lost his gig at! Whoa! See for archives! Send emails to Scott at to help Scott keep his podcast going!
    • Many more interviews at Antiwar Radio!

  • fauxnews
    • Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT)
    • Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
    • Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
    • ROUNDTABLE: Bill Kristol, Brit Hume, Nina Easton, Liz Marlantes

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