Friday, September 30, 2011

.@gop new Tumblr blog showcasing some of the faces of the 99 percent #p2 #tcot fuck the #teaparty #occupywallstreet

I am a realtor. I do not get unemployment. Last year B of A told my clients they did not quoalify for a loan mod, so they listed with me to sell their homes. Two months later, in Nov of 2010, B of A called all of my clients without telling me promising them they could keep their homes if they paid $2500. B of A LIED and took the houses back anyway, thereby costing me $30,000 in commissions which in turn caused me to default on all of my debt- including my home. I was forced to move in with my parents at the age of 32. I am the 99%.

I am a realtor. I do not get unemployment. Last year B of A told my clients they did not quoalify for a loan mod, so they listed with me to sell their homes. Two months later, in Nov of 2010, B of A called all of my clients without telling me promising them they could keep their homes if they paid $2500. B of A LIED and took the houses back anyway, thereby costing me $30,000 in commissions which in turn caused me to default on all of my debt- including my home. I was forced to move in with my parents at the age of 32. I am the 99%.

1st October 2011

Photo with 14 notes

30th September 2011

Photo with 16 notes

My student loans, car payment + CC debt amounts to cost of a home in one of the more affordable cities.  A Master’s degree in this economy seems to be a liability.  I AM THE 99%.

My student loans, car payment + CC debt amounts to cost of a home in one of the more affordable cities.  A Master's degree in this economy seems to be a liability.  I AM THE 99%.

30th September 2011

Photo with 10 notes

I bought my house on a “fixed rate” mortgage.  My payments go up every 6 months because of adjustments in interest and escrow payments.  I’m afraid that I won’t be able to afford my house soon.  I am the 99%

I bought my house on a "fixed rate" mortgage.  My payments go up every 6 months because of adjustments in interest and escrow payments.  I'm afraid that I won't be able to afford my house soon.  I am the 99%

30th September 2011

Photo with 32 notes

website here

Top Tea Partier Steve Stevlic head of the Chicago Tea Party Parties With Hookers #p2 #tcot #teaparty

As maybe the largest-ever gathering of Tea Partiers commences in Illinois this week, congratulations are due to Mr. Steve Stevlic, the activist without whom TeaCon 2011 would be impossible. Stevlic is the head of the Chicago Tea Party, one of the con's primary sponsors. In the words of radio host and National Review columnist Mark Levin, Stevlic's "terrific." According to CBS, he's the "Democrats' nightmare."

But if you're heading to the festivities this weekend and see Stevlic in person, there's one thing you probably shouldn't bring up with the activist and family values man: his arrest for soliciting a prostitute last summer.

Stevlic describes himself as an ordinary guy; a good, decent family man with a wife, two kids, and no pretensions. His humility and ideological fervor have earned him friendly profiles at CTV and the Guardian, and quotes on Fox News and The Hill. At TeaCon, he'll spend the next two days shaking hands, buddying up with Herman Cain, Glenn Beck, Andrew Breitbart and the other assorted big guns flying in for the revelry, and making nice with the hundreds of Tea Partiers who've spent hundreds of dollars to come and be trained in grassroots Tea-Party-foo. It'll be awesome.

Top Tea Partier Parties With HookersSince this is gonna be such a high-profile occasion, perhaps this would be a good time for Stevlic to take the opportunity to apologize for his rank hypocrisy last September, when he took to his Twitter feed to mock and condemn Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., for his two-year-old extra-marital affair. Perhaps because of Twitter's character limit, Stevlic neglected to mention that, two months earlier, he'd been arrested for soliciting a prostitute. See that pic up there? That's his mugshot. It was featured for a few weeks on the Chicago PD website and then removed. Nobody reported on the arrest, and when Stevlic took to his Twitter feed to mock Jackson, Jr., he must've thought nobody noticed.

Surprise, Stev-O!

rest here

Koch brothers spooked by forthcoming story #P2 #tcot Anonymous sources try to discredit Bloomberg article on Koch Industries before it's even published


Occupy Wall Street protesters to focus on NYPD next


Wall Street people in suits drink champagne as protests rage #p2 #tcot @mygeektime


@Boeing workers busted in drug sweep. Don't worry, they were only making aircraft for Iraq, Afghan wars @BoeingAirplanes @BoeingDefense


Washington’s ambassador to Libya re its oil reserves: Libya: “the jewel in the crown” #p2 #tcot


In a recent teleconference with US businessmen, Washington's ambassador to Libya let slip a telling phrase while referring to the North African nation's oil reserves.

Ambassador Gene Cretz, who recently ran the stars and stripes up the flagpole at the previously abandoned US embassy in Tripoli recounted to reporters the contents of the briefing he delivered to representatives of some 150 American businessmen. Joining him in the presentation was Assistant Secretary for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose Fernandez, the State Department's point-man on pursuing US corporate—and particularly oil—interests abroad. The agency has also played a leading role in seeking US investments in Iraq.

"We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources, but even in Gaddafi's time they were starting from A to Z in terms of building infrastructure and other things," said Cretz.

The US ambassador continued: "If we can get American companies here on a fairly big scale, which we will try to do everything we can to do that, then this will redound to improve the situation in the United States with respect to our own jobs."

The "jewel in the crown" is a phrase that is drenched in the history and ideology of imperialism. First employed in the 19th century by the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, it referred to India and its position as the most lucrative source of profits extracted by British imperialism from its worldwide colonial possessions.

That such language creeps into the official briefings of the chief US representative in Tripoli is hardly accidental. It expresses the rapacious aims pursued by American imperialism and its NATO allies, particularly Britain and France, since the outset of a war waged on the phony pretense of "human rights" and protecting civilians.

Now, with NATO warplanes and heavily armed "rebels" continuing a brutal siege of the coastal city of Sirte, where bombs, shells and lack of food and water has already killed hundreds if not thousands of civilians, capitalist interests from all the major powers are engaged in an unseemly stampede to exploit the wealth created by Libya's oil reserves, the largest on the African continent.

Similar meetings of hundreds of businessmen have been convened in London—addressed by the envoy of the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council on Tuesday—and in Paris, as the governments who sent warplanes and special forces operatives to wreck the country are now mobilizing a new invasion of capital to extract profits from it.

On Thursday, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and two other Republican members of the US Senate visited Libya, the highest level US delegation to arrive in the country since the beginning of the NATO war last March.

The purpose of the visit was clear: profits. As the Associated Press reported, "The senators said American companies are hoping to tap into the wealth of oil and natural resources in Libya, which under Gaddafi long faced sanctions that prohibited much business."

"There is a desire here by the Libyan people to make sure that those who helped get paid back," Graham told reporters in Tripoli. McCain added, "I think American investors are more than eager to come invest here in Libya and we hope and believe that they will be given an opportunity to do so."

In the past, the Libyan oil industry has been dominated by European conglomerates, but US corporations such a Conoco, Marathon, Hess and Occidental have been involved in a number of projects in the country and are anxious to increase their grip over Libya's resources.

McCain and Graham are no strangers to Tripoli. In August 2009 they were the guests of Col. Muammar Gaddafi and his son and national security adviser Muatassim. A US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks described the meeting as "positive, highlighting the progress that has been made in the bilateral relationship" and quoted McCain as assuring the Gaddafis that he would work in Congress to expedite US arms sales to the regime.

These contemptible US politicians, who now bray about Gaddafi the "bloodthirsty dictator," are no more concerned now than they were then about the lives of Libyan working people, thousands of whom have been killed in the war they promoted.

Having previously curried favor with Gaddafi to promote the interests of Big Oil and Wall Street, Washington and its European allies saw the mass upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt together with the beginning of anti-Gaddafi protests in Libya as an opportunity to initiate a predatory war aimed at securing semi-colonial control over the oil-rich country.

An indispensable role was played in preparing this criminal venture by a whole layer of middle class ex-lefts and liberal academics who provided a chorus that echoed and embellished upon the cynical claims of the US, French and British governments that their only interest in intervening in Libya was to halt a supposedly imminent massacre and to defend "human rights".

From the New Anti-Capitalist Party in France, to the Nation magazine and the Pabloite International Viewpoint, the glaring contradiction that the same US government that took the lives of approximately one million Iraqis and continues to slaughter civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere was suddenly seized with concern about the fate of civilians in Libya gave them no pause.

A leading voice in this camp was that of University of Michigan professor of Middle Eastern history Juan Cole, who used his reputation as a critic of the Bush administration's war policy in Iraq the better to sell the war on Libya. At the beginning of the war, Cole issued "An Open Letter to the Left," warning that foreign intervention should not be turned into a "taboo" and "anti-imperialism" should not be allowed to "trump all other values".

In this statement, he described the argument that the US and the other imperialist powers were waging the war not to protect the Libyan people, but "to open the way for US, British and French dominance of Libya" as "bizarre".

The ongoing scramble for Libya has put paid to these pathetic apologies for colonial-style conquest. The war itself has served to expose the movement of a whole socio-political layer of ex-lefts and liberals into the camp of imperialism, which they seek to serve by providing a "left" cover for aggression.

The movement of this layer is itself an expression of the deep-going social and class polarization that characterizes US society and, indeed, the entire capitalist world. Like the turn by the major powers to wars of imperialist conquest, it is driven by the historic crisis of the capitalist system and is a harbinger of coming revolutionary struggles of the working class.

Bill Van Auken

More evidence of criminality by Murdoch’s media empire @foxnews


Fresh evidence has emerged on the extent of criminality surrounding Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid and its relations with London's Metropolitan Police (Met).

Last week, the Daily Telegraph reported that the former Deputy Editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallis, was being secretly paid more than £25,000 for supplying News International with "crime exclusives" whilst he was working for the Met. For his so-called "consultancy work" with the Met involving two days a month, Wallis was paid £24,000.

Wallis' employment by the Met led in July to the resignation of then-Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and his deputy, Assistant Commissioner John Yates. In their initial testimony to parliament's home affairs select committee in July, neither Stephenson nor Yates revealed the fact that Wallis had been a paid consultant.

An unnamed MP told the Observer newspaper at the time, "We were assured that Yates and Stephenson weren't taking money from the journalists. What we didn't know was that the journalists were taking money from the cops."

Wallis was among a small number of former News of the World senior figures, who were arrested in July by the Met and released without charge. He was arrested on suspicion of intercepting phone messages.

Wallis, nicknamed the "Wolfman" for his tabloid exploits, was first deputy editor, and then executive editor at the News of the World. He left News International in August 2009 and joined the PR firm Outside Organisation, becoming its managing director in 2010. Wallis also maintained his own PR firm, Chamy Media. It was in this capacity that Wallis was contracted to the Met from October 2009 until September 2010, to "provide strategic communication advice and support."

The Telegraph reported that while at the Met, Wallis received "a payment of £10,000 for a single 'crime' story." The newspaper states he also was also "paid for providing News International with details of a suspected assassination attempt on the Pope during his visit to London last year." The article claims that Wallis sold stories to other newspapers during his stint at the Met.

The Met told the newspaper that, "during his employment, Mr Wallis was not given access to any Metropolitan Police computer systems." This attempt to play down Wallis's activity is a red herring.

Wallis was employed by the Met just months after assistant commissioner John Yates, who was nominally in charge of a "review" of a 2006 police inquiry into serious allegations of phone hacking carried out by the News of the World, closed down any further investigation. In doing so, Yates dismissed the concerns of even then-Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, who claimed that his phone had been hacked.

Yates was also part of a Met committee that vetted Wallis before he was allowed to take on his paid role with the police.

The revelations raise yet again the revolving door between the Murdoch press and the Met. Andy Hayman, who was in charge of the 2006 police inquiry into the allegations, then went on to work for News International as a columnist for the Times. Hayman was the former head of counterterrorism at the Met and a champion of the right wing "law and order" agenda trumpeted by the Murdoch media. During Hayman's period at the Met, he demanded the government pass legislation allowing the detention of people for 90 days without trial on "anti-terror" grounds.

As the phone hacking scandal has proven, all the institutions of the state, including the main political parties, are implicated. The Telegraph story paints a picture of the closest of relationships between Murdoch's UK papers, the Met and the Conservative Party.

Wallis was close friends with Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, who became Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications, first in opposition, and then in office.

Coulson had resigned from the News of the World in 2007, following the jailing of the paper's royal correspondent for involvement in phone hacking. Cameron had consistently defended Coulson against allegations of wrong-doing, but in January he was forced to step down as evidence mounted that he had approved payments for phone hacking. Despite also being arrested in July, Coulson is another News International employee that has been released without charge.

"Mr [Andy] Coulson and Mr [Neil] Wallis were close colleagues and good friends and arranged for senior Metropolitan Police officers to meet the Prime Minister's chief of staff. It is understood that Mr Wallis also made informal representations to Mr Coulson about Scotland Yard's views on Conservative law-and-order policies", states the article.

In a further twist to the scandal, it has been revealed that Coulson has now initiated legal action against News Group, a subsidiary of News International, after the latter stated it planned to stop paying his legal fees.

It has not been explained why News Group would ever have committed to paying these legal fees, four years after Coulson's employment with it ceased. It has also emerged that Coulson continued to receive severance deal payments from News International, even when he was employed by Cameron.

But the legal bill is mounting. As well as the ongoing cases against News International/News Group in Britain, preparations are underway by lawyers in the United States to begin a class action lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch's US-based News Corporation on behalf of victims of its phone hacking activities.

Norman Siegel, formerly the head of the New York civil liberties union, is pursuing legal options in both federal and New York state courts in regard to allegations that News Corp employees bribed police in the UK. He is seeking to establish whether a class action suit can be launched in the US on behalf of the victims. A second New York lawyer, Steve Hyman, is understood to be working with Siegel as is Mark Lewis of the UK firm Taylor Hampton, who represented the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler. It was theGuardian's disclosure in July that the mobile phone of Milly Dowler had been hacked by a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, on behalf of the News of the World, that triggered the current crisis.

Siegel commented, "The allegations of phone hacking and bribery against News Corporation are serious and substantial, and we will approach this initial exploration with that same seriousness".

Siegel represents 20 9/11 families and has advised them regarding an ongoing FBI investigation of allegations, first reported by the Daily Mirror, that News of the World reporters attempted to hack into the phone records of some 9/11 victims.

The Guardian reported that Lewis had asked Siegel to "seek witness statements from News Corp and its directors, including Rupert and James Murdoch, in relation to allegations that News of the World staff may have bribed police."

As the nefarious goings-on between News Corp, the Met and politicians at the highest level continue to unravel apace; it is instructive to contrast the Met's attitude to Wallis with its response to the Guardian and the journalist Amelia Hill.

Only last week, the Met sought silence and intimidate the Guardian, the newspaper that had originally exposed some of the endemic criminality at the News of the World. Acting as a law unto themselves, they attempted to force the newspaper to hand over all its documents in relation to its Milly Dowler revelations in July. A production order from the Met also asserted that Guardian journalist Hill had committed an offence under the Official Secrets Act by "inciting" an officer from Operation Weeting—the Met's own investigation into phone hacking—to reveal information. The Met were eventually forced to back down from such a blatant attack on democratic rights and the freedom of the press.

Yet when it is alleged that Wallis, a former deputy editor at the News of the World, was using his position as an insider with access to information at the Met to sell "crime exclusives" to that very same paper and other newspapers, the response from the police is to do nothing at all.

This is despite, as the Met confirmed to the Telegraph, that "Wallis's contract at Scotland Yard included a confidentiality clause, a data protection act clause and a conflict of interest clause.

"All of these clauses would prohibit him selling any information he was privy to while working at Scotland Yard."

Latest Attack On Michelle Obama: She Went To Target @limbaugh @glannbeck you're idiots #p2 #tcot

Media Matters for America

Latest Attack On Michelle Obama: She Went To Target

Right-wing media have attacked Michelle Obama for going shopping at Target, claiming she went " 'incognito,' Lady Gaga-style" and asking, "Who does she think she's fooling?" Right-wing media have previously attacked the first lady for everything from promoting health initiaitves to wearing a red dress at a state dinner.

Michelle Obama Visits Target ...

Washington Post: "Hey Isn't That...? Michelle Obama At Target." From a September 29 post onThe Washington Post's Reliable Sources blog:

Michelle Obama shopping at Target Thursday. An AP photographer (small world!) happened upon the first lady at the Alexandria store, pushing a cart and carrying bags.


Michelle Obama Target

Michelle Obama, center, with an unidentified aide -- we're assuming, anyway. Who else would be working two BlackBerrys at Target? [The Washington Post, 9/29/11, emphasis original]

... And The Right-Wing Media Attack

Limbaugh: "It Has Gotten So Bad, They Had To Send Moochelle Out There In A Lady Gaga-Type Getup. She Went Shopping At Target." During the September 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh said: "It has gotten so bad, they had to send Moochelle out there in a Lady Gaga-type getup. She went shopping at Target." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 9/30/11, via Media Matters]

Malkin: Obama Went To Target "About As 'Incognito' As Lady Gaga." In a September 29 blog post, Michelle Malkin attacked Obama for shopping at Target, writing that Obama was "about as 'incognito' as Lady Gaga's outfit at her younger sister's graduation." Malkin went on to call the first lady "the glamour queen" and further stated that Obama's Target visit was "[t]o counter the negative diva buzz" and that it "[l]ooks like she left the bling at home." [, 9/29/11, via Media Matters]

The Blaze: "What Luck!" Obama "Wasn't Snapped Without Make-Up, With Messy Hair Wearing Sweatpants To Do Her 'Everywoman' Shopping." A September 30 post on The Blaze stated:

Our First Lady has sooome luck. Not only is her hubby the leader of the free world, but just as the Obama camps [sic] is desperately looking for a way to relate to America's Average Joes, a staff photographer with the Associated Press just so happened to be there to document her recent Target shopping jaunt.


What luck! Obama also wasn't snapped without make-up, with messy hair wearing sweatpants to do her "everywoman" shopping... like some of us who will remain nameless.

Exit question: I could see a quick stop in at the local Target store as something that might happen out on the campaign trail.  But who really believes Michelle Obama left the White House to pop in at the Alexandria, Va., Target because the East Wing ran out of paper towels? [The Blaze, 9/30/11, emphasis in original]

Weasel Zippers: "Honestly, Who Does She Think She's Fooling?" A September 29 Weasel Zippers post titled, "Pic of the Day," stated, "See, Mooch is just like us!" and showed a photograph of the first lady at Target. The post went on to ask, "Honestly, who does she think she's fooling?" [Weasel Zippers, 9/29/11]

Beck And Co-Hosts Mock Obama For Going To Target. On his September 30 radio program, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts mocked Obama for going to Target and asked, "Did you see the agonizing photos of Michelle Obama as a Target shopper?" [Premiere Radio Networks, The Glenn Beck Program, 9/30/11]

Right-Wing Media Figures Have Consistently Attacked Michelle Obama

Right-Wing Lip Readers' Michelle Obama Derangement Syndrome. Following a ceremony on the 10th anniversary of 9-11, various right-wing blogs and The Washington Times claimed that Michelle Obama likely disparaged the American flag during a memorial ceremony. [Media Matters, 9/14/11]

Washington Examiner Blamed Obama's "Let's Move!" Campaign For Pedestrian Deaths. A January Washington Examiner story claimed that the first lady's "Let's Move!" campaign could be linked to an increase in pedestrian deaths. The Washington Examiner article was later promoted by numerous right-wing media outlets. [Media Matters1/20/11]

For the truth behind The Washington Examiner's article, SEE HERE.

Wash. Times: Michelle Obama "Doesn't Seem All That Happy With The Man She Married 19 Years Ago." In an August 28 Washington Times op-ed, Joseph Curl wrote that Michelle Obama "doesn't seem all that happy with the man she married 19 years ago." Curl also asked, "Man, how miserable is Michelle Obama?" [The Washington Times, 8/29/11, via Media Matters]

The Blaze Claimed "Michelle Obama Might Have Taken The 'Happy' Out Of McDonald's Happy Meals." A July 26 post on The Blaze stated:

A child could once feel excitement over hearing a parent utter those beautiful words: "honey, we're going to McDonald's for a Happy Meal." But those carefree days are over and that sense of childhood wonderment and abandon is about to be seriously curbed by a new McDonald's policy that cuts an order of fries in half, throws apple slices, raisins and pineapple chunks around as if they were ketchup, and just generally makes Happy Meals "healthier," and, less happy. And even though the apples are reportedly not well-received by customers, guess what? McDonald's is forcing the fruit in its Happy Meals anyway. Whether you want it or not.

And what's more, politics, perhaps even the White House itself, could be to blame.


So after all the years of satisfied customers "lovin' it," it is political pressure, including First Lady Michelle Obama's war on childhood obesity, that reportedly forced McDonald's hands.


McDonald's: another casualty in the Nanny State's war on personal choice, or is the fast food giant bringing this on themselves? Will the new, and perhaps not improved, McDonald's menu affect your decision to patronize the long-time burger institution? [The Blaze, 7/26/11, via Media Matters]

For the truth about McDonald's decision to make its Happy Meals healthier, SEE HERE.

Right-Wing Media Spun "Help From The Media" Comment About Obama Children To Suggest Media Bias.  The Drudge Report and Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism both attacked Michelle Obama's statement during a CNN interview that "we have help from the media" to suggest media bias. Obama was actually thanking the media for respecting her children's privacy. [Media Matters6/25/11]

Right-Wing Media Stooped To Suggesting Michelle Obama Is Fat.  Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing media figures rallied against Obama's "Let's Move!" fitness and nutrition campaign by attacking her eating habits and calling her fat. [Media Matters, 2/14/112/21/11]

Right-Wing Media Attacked Obama's Dress Choice For State Dinner. Right-wing media attacked Obama for wearing a red dress to a White House state dinner, suggesting she did so to honor "Commie Red China." [Media Matters, 1/20/11]

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

PBS reporter jailed while covering "Occupy Wall Street" protests in NYC #p2 #tcot


A Rogue to the Rescue: UBS Scandal Reinforces Need for Strict Volcker Rule #p2 #tcot #gop


E-voting machines vulnerable to remote vote changing


@foxnews Rupert Murdoch sees k-12 education as a $500bil market - worrisome #p2 #tcot

Rupert Murdoch's reputation precedes him—but one thing he's not well known for is his education reform advocacy. But that could soon change. Next month, Murdoch will make an unusual public appearance in San Francisco, delivering the keynote address at an education summit hosted by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has lately been crisscrossing the country promoting his own version of education reform.

The high-profile speech to a collection of conservative ed reformers, state legislators, and educators is just the latest step in Murdoch's quiet march into the business of education, which has been somewhat eclipsed by the phone-hacking scandal besieging his media empire. (On Tuesday, word of Murdoch's appearance at Bush's conference came just hours after reports that News Corp. had agreed to pay more than $4 million to the family of a 13-year-old British murder victim, Milly Dowler, whose voicemail was hacked by reporters for Murdoch'sNews of the World. ) But Murdoch has made it very clear that he views America's public schools as a potential gold mine.

"In every other part of life, someone who woke up after a 50-year nap would not recognize the world around him…But not in education," he remarked in May during a speech at the "e-G8 forum" that preceded the G8 summit in France. "Our schools remain the last holdout from the digital revolution."

Last November, News Corp. dropped $360 million to buy Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn-based education technology company that provides software, assessment tools, and data services. "When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching," Murdoch said at the time.

A few weeks before the deal, News Corp. had hired one of the nation's most prominent education figures, Joel Klein, away from his job as New York City schools chancellor. As it happens, Klein was already familiar with Wireless Generation, which began working with the New York City school system during his tenure.

rest at

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cost of raising middle-income child in USA increases by 40% in ten years #p2 #tcot


.@gop Republican Presidential Debate: Audience Boos Gay Soldier, Sparking Controversy Online (Video) #p2 #tcot #bigots


The Hidden Hands in Redistricting: Corporations and Other Powerful Interests #p2 #tcot @gop


Porn magnate funds $1 million quest to embarrass Perry #p2 #tcot


Former Army Contracting Officials and Defense Contractor Indicted for Bribery and Theft of Government Funds #p2 #tcot @gop


Former Army Contracting Officials and Defense Contractor Indicted for Bribery and Theft of Government Funds 

U.S. Department of JusticeSeptember 22, 2011
  • Office of Public Affairs(202) 514-2007/TDD (202) 514-1888

WASHINGTON—A former member of the U.S. Army employed by a private security firm was arrested at Miami International Airport today on charges of bribery, fraud and theft of government funds, in connection with the award of a contract to provide services to a U.S. government provincial reconstruction team in Farah, Afghanistan.

The arrest and charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; Steven J Trent, Acting Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR); Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Zott of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Central Field Office; and Brigadier General Colleen McGuire, Provost Marshal General of the Army and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Raul Borcuta was arrested in Miami today when he tried to enter the United States from Europe. Upon Borcuta's arrest, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois unsealed a nine-count indictment charging Borcuta and his co-conspirators, Zachery Taylor and Jared Close, with mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy, bribery, and theft of government funds.

According to the indictment, Borcuta, 32, defrauded the U.S. government in connection with a contract to provide two up-armored sport utility vehicles to be used by an official in the government of Farah Province, Afghanistan, who had received death threats from insurgent groups. The indictment alleges that Borcuta bribed U.S. Army contracting officials Taylor, 40, and Close, 40, with $10,000 each to award him the contract and to make full payment to Borcuta before the vehicles were delivered. Taylor and Close, formerly U.S. Army staff sergeants assigned to the provincial reconstruction team in Farah, allegedly authorized a payment of approximately $200,000 in U.S. government funds to Borcuta. According to the indictment, Borcuta received the payment and never delivered the vehicles required by the contract.

The defendants face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each mail fraud count, 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count, 30 years in prison for each conspiracy count, 15 years in prison for each bribery count and 10 years in prison for each theft of government funds count.

An indictment is merely a charge and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by SIGAR, DCIS, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois provided assistance in this investigation.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

.@gop meathead fucking assole bigots - VIDEO: GOP debate audience boos gay active duty soldier serving in Iraq #p2 #tcot


IRS to Begin Fingerprinting Tax Preparers

The Internal Revenue Service plans to start fingerprinting thousands of tax preparers as part of its oversight program and run the fingerprints through an FBI database.

The IRS released more details on its tax preparer oversight program on Wednesday, and said registered tax return preparers would now be required to renew their Preparer Tax Identification Numbers on an annual basis. In addition, the 15-hour continuing education requirement will take effect next year.

As part of the new guidance, the IRS released Notice 2011-80, which provides that PTINs must now be renewed on a calendar year basis. All PTIN holders must renew their numbers using the online PTIN application or paper Form W-12 and pay the required fee, which will be $64.25 for next year, after Oct. 15 and before Jan. 1 on an annual basis.

rest at 

Senators Support Cancer and Asthma Attacks While Raking in Big Campaign Cash from Polluters #p2 #tcot @gop see names


New Bill Prevents Regulations on Airborne Toxics for One Year, Helps Dirty Energy Companies

Senators who want to let polluters off the hook

by Daniel J. Weiss and Matthew Kasper

On September 12, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and 20 of her colleagues introduced the Regulatory Time-Out Act, S. 1538. This bill would establish a one-year moratorium on regulations from the executive branch and independent regulatory agencies. It also would benefit big energy companies by stopping controls on airborne toxic chemicals from major sources. Not surprisingly, these 21 senators received $20 million in campaign contributions from the energy and natural resources sector since 1989.

Sen. Collins said: "Under my bill, no 'significant' final rule that would have an adverse impact could go into effect during a 1-year moratorium." It would apply to rules that cost business more than $100 million annually, which includes most major public health safeguards.

This moratorium would halt the implementation of rules to reduce mercury, dioxin, and other toxic chemicals from coal-fired power plantsindustrial boilers, and cement manufacturing. The American Lung Association noted that allowing these sources to continue unchecked will inflict real harm on Americans, particularly children, seniors, and the sick:

These emissions can make breathing difficult and can worsen asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and other lung diseases. These pollutants can cause heart attacks and strokes, lung cancer and other cancers, birth defects and premature death.

The American Lung Association projects that these two pollution reduction requirements would save at least 51,000 lives and prevent over half a million asthma attacks every year.

S. 1538 would not only block EPA regulations but also other rules that would protect Americans from harm. This includes a proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services that would help the Centers for Disease Control prevent the importation of communicable diseases through on-site inspections at importer facilities, and a Department of Labor regulation that would require chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import.

Blocking EPA's reductions in airborne toxic chemicals would benefit big utilities, coal companies, and other major emitters because they could continue to pollute rather than purchase and install pollution-reduction equipment. In Sen. Collins's home state of Maine, her bill would continue the emission of at least 12,000 pounds of mercury and other toxics from Maine power plants and cement plants. At least 2.6 million pounds of airborne toxics are emitted into Maine's skies every year—or two pounds for every Maine resident. The energy and natural resources companies have contributed over $400,000 to Sen. Collins since she was elected.

But Maine is not the only state that would continue to suffer from airborne cancer-causing and other toxic chemicals. A Center for American Progress analysis of EPA's 2009 Toxic Release Inventory revealed that in the absence of new emission limits, the power plants in states whose senators support Sen. Collins's bill would emit 162 million pounds of mercury, dioxin, lead, acid gases, and other toxic chemicals every year. The states have a combined total of nearly 350 million pounds of hazardous chemicals shot into their skies every year—about three-and-a-half pounds for every man, woman, and child. (see chart above)

Other senators would also carry on their citizens' exposure to millions of pounds of toxic chemicals. For instance, Sens. Saxy Chambliss (R-GA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) are both co-sponsors of the Collins bill. Georgia skies receive nearly 42 million pounds of mercury, lead, and other toxic chemicals from industrial sources every year. That's 4.3 pounds of chemicals per person. Sens. Chambliss and Isakson received a combined total of over $1.3 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas, electric utility, and coal and mining sectors since 2005.

There's even worse news for the Hoosier state. Indiana has almost 40 million pounds of toxic air pollution annually, or an average of 6.2 pounds per person. This includes nearly 27 million pounds from power plantsalone. Yet Sen. Dan Coats's (R-IN) support of S. 1538 makes it more likely that this pollution will continue unabated. Energy and natural resources companies are major campaign contributors to Sen. Coats, providing him with nearly $675,000 or 20 percent of all money he raised since 1989.

Sen. Collins's most recent bill continues her yearlong assault on the health and safety of Mainers and other Americans. In February she targeted the Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule, which would require facilities with large industrial boilers to reduce their emissions of mercury, lead, and other pollutants that harm our health. These chemicals have proven, damaging effects on the heart, lungs, and brain. By clearing the air of these toxics, the boiler MACT rule would save 2,600 to 6,600 lives per year.

Sen. Collins has also sponsored the Clearing Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens Act and the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. Both acts target regulations that would reduce emission of hazardous air pollutants.

Sen. Collins says she is proposing S. 1538 in order to give U.S. companies a "sensible breather" from the regulations that suppress job creation. But this would make breathing harder for children, seniors, and the ill by prolonging emission of millions of pounds of toxic pollution.

The moratorium on health protections imposed by S. 1538 may be opposed by state medical professionals, moms, and senior citizens. It is, however, championed by antiregulatory groups such as the U.S. Chamber of CommerceNational Federation of Independent Business, and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. These senators should be ashamed for helping big companies win once again while the public suffers.

– Daniel J. Weiss is a Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy and Matthew Kasper is an intern at the Center for American Progress. You can find the original post at the CAP website.

Almost 1 million young adults get health insurance new federal health care law for made that possible #p2 #tcot


Forbes: Koch Brothers Now Worth $50 Billion


Marines Hit the Ground Running in Seeking Recruits at Gay Center #p2 #tcot

Tulsa, Oklahoma - Master Sgt. Anthony Henry, a top Marine recruiting trainer for the southwestern United States, pulled up to Tulsa's biggest gay community center on Tuesday morning and left his Chevy where he could make a fast getaway. "I have an exit strategy," he said. "I know where my choke points are, I've strategically parked my car right on the curbside, I have an out."

But as it happened, one of the strangest days in the history of theUnited States Marine Corps unfolded without the protests and insults that Sergeant Henry had feared. Sergeant Henry, who had been invited to set up a recruiting booth on the first day of the end of "don't ask, don't tell" at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center in downtown Tulsa, instead spent it in quiet conversation with a trickle of gay women who came in to ask about joining the Marines.

"It's your business and you don't have to share it," Sergeant Henry told Ariel Pratt, 20, who asked whether she would face discrimination in the military as a lesbian serving openly. "But you're also free to be at the mall with your girlfriend."

Ms. Pratt, 20, asked Sergeant Henry what he liked about the Marines.

"It's like a little family," he said. "We get mad at each other, we joke with each other, but we don't let anybody else make fun of us."

"That's pretty cool," she said.

The Marines were the service most opposed to ending the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, but they were the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar at the center Tuesday morning. Although Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also ferociously promote their view of themselves as the best. With the law now changed, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting gay, lesbian and bisexual service members.

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Truth About "Class War" in America: @gop has won and middle-income and poor Americans lost #p2 #tcot

Republicans and conservatives have done us a service by describing federal policies in terms of "class war." But by applying the term only to Obama's latest proposals to raise taxes on the rich, they have it all backward and upside down. The last 50 years have indeed seen continuous class warfare in and over federal economic policies.

But it was a war waged chiefly by business and conservatives. They won, as we show below, and the mass of middle-income and poor Americans lost. Obama's modest proposal for tax increases on the rich does not begin a class war. On the contrary, it is a small, modest effort to reduce the other side's class war victories.

Big business and conservatives have worked to undo the regulations and taxes imposed on them in the wake of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Then, an upsurge in labor union organization (the Congress of Industrial Organizations sweep across basic US industries) and in membership in both the socialist and communist parties gave Franklin Delano Roosevelt the support and the pressure to tax business and the rich. He took their money to pay for the massive federal hiring program (11 million federal jobs filled between 1934 and 1941) and to start the Social Security Administration etc. He regulated their business activities to try to prevent devastating capitalist depressions from recurring in the nation's future.

Since the end of the Great Depression - and especially since the 1970s - the class warfare waged by business and its allies (most conservatives in both parties) was successful. For example, at the end of World War II, for every dollar Washington raised in taxes on individuals, it raised $1.50 in taxes on business profits. In contrast, today, for every dollar Washington gets in taxes on individuals, it gets 25 cents in taxes on business. Business and its allies successfully shifted most of its federal tax burden onto individuals.

Over the same period, the tax rates on the richest Americans fell from 91 percent in the 1950s and 1960s, and 70 percent in the 1970s to the current low rate of 35 percent. The richest Americans won that spectacular tax cut. Middle- and lower-income Americans won no such cuts, while paying a higher proportion of their income for Social Security that the rich were required to do.

In plain English, the last 50 years saw a massive shift of the burden of federal taxation from business to individuals and from rich individuals to everyone else. Class war policies, yes, but a war that victimized the vast majority of working Americans.

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