Author Archive

The great foreclosure fraud

May 17, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by David Dayen  

"There is a rot at the heart of our democracy, rooted in a nagging mystery that has yet to be unraveled. It gnaws at people, occupies their thoughts, leaves them searching for answers in the chill of the night. Americans want to know why no high-ranking Wall Street executive has gone to jail for the conduct that precipitated the financial crisis. The oddest thing about the predominance of the question is that everyone already assumes they know the answer. They believe that too many politicians, regulators, and law enforcement officials, bought off with campaign contributions or the promise of a future job, simply allowed banker miscreants to annihilate the law in pursuit of profit. But they must not like the explanation very much, because they keep asking why, as if they want to be proven wrong, to be given a different story." [editor's note: From the gitgo, this should have been treated as a fraud case, with the investors (and politicians) who brought it about slapped in irons - SAT] (05/16/16)

http://prospect.org/article/great-foreclosure-fraud  

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The wackiest Donald Trump conspiracy theory yet

May 17, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"The Republican primary campaign revealed (or rather reestablished) that Donald Trump is a bigot and a sexist and a creep. In fairness, this was not entirely a testament to fearless journalism; Trump happily exhibited all of these behaviors in front of live television cameras week after week. But reporters and campaigns did bring incidents of bigotry, sexism, and creepiness from his past to light, which helped feed the public’s exceedingly negative impression of the GOP’s new standard-bearer. Despite months of digging, though, they may have only scratched the surface of Trump’s public and private sordidness. Now that he’s effectively secured the Republican Party nomination, we can expect the full details to pour out in the weeks and months ahead. Before he dropped out of the race, Ted Cruz predicted this would happen." [editor's note: Given how the "media" handled all of this, this conspiracy theory is as good as any - SAT] (05/16/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/133507/wackiest-donald-trump-conspiracy-theory-yet  

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Expert questions Silver Stars for SEALs in Lynch rescue

May 17, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Two Navy SEALs received Silver Star medals in secret after the April 2003 rescue of Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch in Iraq, records obtained by USA TODAY show, although an expert on military commendations called the citations the possible result of 'a race to submit recommendations before the end of perceived combat operations.' Lynch, whose capture and rescue sparked controversy about the Bush administration's attempt to sell the war, had been captured March 23, 2003, after her convoy got lost and was ambushed. Lynch was wounded and taken to a hospital in Nasiriyah, where she was rescued on April 1. Initial reports that Lynch fought her captors viciously turned out to be false; she had been badly wounded in the ambush, and her weapon had jammed." (05/16/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/05/16/expert-questions-silver-stars-seals-lynch-rescue/84285238  

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VA: Conservative candidate caught posting porn screen tabs in “exposing” rival

May 17, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A conservative congressional candidate in Virginia revealed too much about himself in his attempt to criticize his incumbent opponent, Gawker reported. The post on Mike Webb’s campaign Facebook page Monday morning dealt with his encounter with a staffing agency, and contains a shot of the agency’s location. But unfortunately for him, it also reveals two tabs related to porn. ... Webb, who is running as an independent in the state’s 8th congressional district, says in the post that he was contacted by someone claiming to represent a temporary staffing agency in Alexandria, Virginia (where Democratic incumbent Don Beyer lives) last August. When he arrived at the agency for what he thought would be a job interview, he was told that the person with whom he spoke did not work for the company." (05/16/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/oops-virginia-conservative-candidate-caught-posting-porn-screen-tabs-while-exposing-rival  

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Money trail shows China sticking to bad habits

May 17, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rahul Jacob  

"When it comes to reducing its dependence on debt, China’s actions matter more than its words. Last week the state-owned People’s Daily newspaper quoted an unnamed 'authoritative figure' saying that the country’s high leverage was the 'original sin.' Yet official data released over the weekend confirm debt is still rising while infrastructure and property investment are increasing at a rapid pace. Until the numbers show otherwise, it’s safe to assume Beijing is still focused on growth. On the surface, recent credit data suggests that China’s economy has entered debt rehab. New total social financing (TSF), a widely used barometer of investment, was 751 billion yuan ($115 billion) in April, down sharply from 2.3 trillion yuan in March. New loans fell to 564 billion yuan from 1.3 trillion yuan in the previous month. This appeared to confirm speculation that the interview, published in People’s Daily on May 9, had signaled a high-level shift in policy.Yet a closer look at the numbers shows the story remains much as before." (05/16/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/05/16/money-trail-shows-china-sticking-to-bad-habits  

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War on drugs requires new tactics

May 17, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by staff  

"With an average 78 Americans dying each day from overdoses of prescription opioid painkillers and heroin, it’s clear that the U.S. is losing the war on drugs. The epidemic has spread to suburbia and rural areas. The death toll from heroin has more than tripled since 2010. And the nation is desperate for answers. Congress is working on bipartisan measures that would give states, localities and non-profit groups money to finance an array of education, treatment and law enforcement programs. Final passage can't come a moment too soon. But it's all rather standard fare." [editor's note: So their solution to Prohibition II's failure is to let the states control it; even though the "therapeutic model" is better than the punitive one, it's still statist - SAT] (05/16/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/16/heroin-safe-injections-vancouver-opioids-overdose-editorials-debates/84421772  

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CO: City uses cannabis tax money to help the homeless

May 17, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"While Colorado’s legal cannabis program has helped in lifting the state’s economy and education system, taxes from marijuana sales will now be used to aid the homeless. The city of Aurora, Colorado recently announced that they will allocate $1.5 million in recreational marijuana tax revenue for programs to support the city’s homeless population, the Huffington Post reports. The Colfax Community Network, a nonprofit that helps low-income and homeless families temporarily living in motels, will receive $200,000 from the special fund. Pot taxes will also be spent to supply several other nonprofit organizations with vans to be used for homeless outreach." (05/16/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/05/16/colorado-city-uses-marijuana-tax-money-to-help-the-homeless  

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What’s killing the American middle class?

May 17, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future Blog
by Richard Eskow  

"A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about 'the dying middle class.' But the word 'dying' might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work. We’re not. We’re seeing the fruits of deliberate action (and sometimes of deliberate inaction) at the highest levels of power. The great American middle was never large enough, even at its height. It always excluded too many people -- sometimes, shamefully, merely for their skin color. And now, instead of growing and becoming more inclusive, it’s fading away instead. It’s true that the middle class is dying, but not from natural causes. It’s being killed. What (and, for that matter, who) is responsible for its slow death?" (05/16/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160516/whats-killing-the-american-middle-class  

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Clinton’s crimes and Comey’s choice

May 17, 2016
posted by

Town Hall
by Kurt Schlichter  

"FBI Director James Comey knew he had to make a decision that would change his life, and maybe the history of his country, as he surveyed the piles of papers spread out in his office. The Deputy Director in charge of the investigation of Hillary Clinton (a criminal investigation, not some benign 'security review' as the Clintonistas had tried to spin it) sat quietly, letting his boss think. The evidence was overwhelming. Hillary Clinton was clearly guilty of multiple felonies, and the Obama Department of Justice was not going to prosecute her. Now, it fell to Director Comey to decide what he would do about it." (05/16/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2016/05/16/clintons-crimes-and-comeys-choice-n2163202  

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Report: Gluten not toxic for most people, gluten-free diet unhealthy

May 16, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Lots of people have to adopt gluten-free diets because they suffer from celiac disease. That said, gluten-free diets have also become a trendy fad diet in recent years among people who believe that eliminating gluten from your diet will inevitably make you healthier. A recently published article in The Journal of Pediatrics shows that this is not the case, however. In the article, gastroenterologist Norelle Rizkalla Reilly laid down some facts about gluten-free diets that should make you think twice before deciding to forever swear off your favorite local bakery. First, she notes that a lot of gluten-free products actually have more calories and fat than their gluten-filled counterparts." (05/16/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/gluten-isnt-toxic-for-most-people-and-your-gluten-free-fad-diet-is-unhealthy  

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100-year-old borders drawn by two Europeans still define Middle East

May 16, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"One December morning in 1915, with World War I not yet 18 months old, a young diplomat stalked into the offices of the British prime minister in London, carrying with him a map and a bold plan for the future of the Middle East once the allies had defeated Germany and the Ottoman Empire. Standing before Britain’s top leaders, Sir Mark Sykes slashed his finger across his map of the region and, according to James Barr’s book A Line in the Sand, said, 'I should like to draw a line from the "e" in Acre [in then-Palestine, on the Mediterranean] to the "k" in Kirkuk [in what would become Iraq].' Britain, he said, would retain control of the territory to the south of the line, while the French would have Greater Syria north of the line. That blunt proposal to divide the Middle East into British and French spheres of influence was the seed that would lead a few years later to the birth of the modern Middle East and with it decades of political turmoil, wars, sectarian bloodletting, socioeconomic disparities, and the interminable Arab-Israel conflict." (05/16/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2016/0516/Why-100-year-old-borders-drawn-by-two-Europeans-still-define-the-Middle-East  

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Panama Papers reveal Soros ties to secretive weapons, intel investment firm

May 16, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Billionaire George Soros, who has spent millions of dollars financing Democrats and left-wing causes, used a controversial Panamanian law firm to establish a web of offshore investment partnerships that operate around the world and out of the scrutiny of U.S. regulators, according to leaked documents. The so-called Panama Papers, a trove of 11.5 million financial documents tracing the Mossack Fonseca law firm’s efforts to help politicians, celebrities and criminals shield their money from taxes, contain links to Soros, who funds the journalism group that is disseminating the information. So far, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has been silent on its benefactor’s ties to the law firm. Three offshore investment vehicles controlled by Soros are catalogued in the Panama Papers. Soros Finance, Inc. was incorporated in Panama; Soros Holdings Limited was set up in the British Virgin Islands and a limited partnership called Soros Capital was created in Bermuda." (05/16/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/05/16/panama-papers-reveal-george-soros-deep-money-ties-to-secretive-weapons-intel-firm.html  

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Venezuela: Maduro threatens seizure of closed factories

May 16, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, has threatened the seizure of factories that have stopped production and the jailing of their owners. In a speech to supporters in the capital Caracas, he said the country had to recover the means of production, to counter its deep economic crisis. On Friday, he introduced a new, nationwide state of emergency. Opposition protesters have been rallying in Caracas to push for a recall vote to eject him from power. Mr Maduro said the state of emergency was needed to combat foreign aggression, which he blamed for Venezuela's problems." (05/15/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36294939  

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Needed: More Snowdens

May 16, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Dan R Sendik  

"I was an active duty United States Marine working in Signals Intelligence in 2013 when Edward Snowden exposed the mass surveillance programs of the National Security Agency. Snowden’s alleged espionage had a lasting effect both on my work and on my attitude toward it. As a cryptologic linguist and intelligence analyst, my day-to-day activities were directly compromised when I was suddenly unable to use certain methods and tools due to the leak. Not only that, Snowden’s action created a moral dilemma for me as a member of the intelligence community. I began questioning the morality of my work. If the public was outraged by what Snowden leaked, would they be outraged by how the United States is fighting terrorism?" (05/13/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/05/12/edward-snowden-was-right-ex-military-intelligence-analyst-column/84295452  

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CO: Pot shops on pace to exceed $1 billion in 2016

May 16, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle Smell the Truth    

"Marijuana is becoming a billion-dollar business in Colorado alone. The state’s recreational and medical marijuana shops are expecting to generate over $1 billion in sales for the year, according to a report from KRDO.com. Figures from Colorado’s Department of Revenue show that the state’s dispensaries have sold over $270 million in cannabis and related products in just the first three months of 2016. Shops sold nearly $90 million in March alone, according to the Cannabist. Colorado’s annual pot sales continue to grow since legalization took place in 2014." (05/13/16)

http://blog.sfgate.com/smellthetruth/2016/05/13/colorado-pot-shops-on-pace-to-exceed-1-billion-in-2016  

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Clinton turns up heat on Trump tax holdout

May 16, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Hillary Clinton continued to turn up the heat Saturday on Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns. Her campaign released a video online Saturday titled 'What's Donald Trump Hiding?' that includes a series of clips over the years of Trump being asked whether he plans to release his returns. Trump says he won't release his returns until an audit of his taxes is complete." (05/14/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/05/14/hillary-clinton-turns-up-heat-donald-trump-tax-holdout/84377718  

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WA: Protesters block train tracks to two refineries

May 16, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Hundreds of climate activists on Saturday marched to the site of two refineries in northwest Washington state to call for a break from fossil fuels, while a smaller group continued to block railroad tracks leading to the facilities for a second day. Protesters in kayaks, canoes, on bikes and on foot took part in a massive demonstration near Anacortes, about 70 miles north of Seattle, to demand action on climate and an equitable transition away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal. A day before, about 150 activists had pitched tents and set up camp on nearby railroad tracks to block the flow of oil flowing to the nearby Shell and Tesoro oil refineries." (05/14/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Protesters-block-train-tracks-to-2-Washington-7468756.php  

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America’s other epidemic: Chronic untreated pain

May 16, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"The death of Prince, who apparently had a Percocet problem, and a 2016 presidential primary peppered with New England town halls that delved into increased heroin overdoses and prescription drug abuse have converged to create what CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta calls 'a public health epidemic.' Drug addiction is 2016's big nonpolitical story. CNN aired a special, 'Prescription Addiction: Dead in the USA.' The Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to provide grants for treatment and improved monitoring. The House also is working on legislation, with funding expected later in the year." (05/15/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/05/15/americas-other-epidemic-chronic-untreated-pain-n2162807  

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Is there hope for the Chicago Police Department?

May 16, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation    

"For a long time, Chicago officials have been writing checks, big checks, to families of people victimized by city cops. According to the nonpartisan, nonprofit Better Government Association, the City of Chicago shelled out over half a billion dollars between 2004 and 2014 for acts of police misconduct: false arrests, perjury, wrongful convictions, racial bigotry and discrimination, reckless vehicle pursuits, excessive force, torture, and unjustified killings. That figure does not reflect a staggering 500 additional claims in the pipeline." (05/15/16)

http://www.thenation.com/article/is-there-hope-for-the-chicago-police-department  

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Spanking children: Worse behavior, health problems, antisocial behavior

May 16, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story
by Elizabeth Gershoff & Andrew Grogan-Kaylor  

"Spanking remains a common parenting practice in the U.S. A nationally representative, long-term study of children beginning in kindergarten found that 80 percent of children had been spanked by the time they reached third grade. While we all may have our opinions about whether spanking 'works' as a method of disciplining children, what does science tell us? And what are the average outcomes for children who are spanked? Recently, we conducted a 'meta-analysis' (a review of existing research on spanking) to answer these questions. We found that spanking significantly increases the risk of detrimental outcomes for children. While this finding does not mean that every child will experience problems as a result of spanking, it does mean that a large body of research has shown it significantly increases the risks for problems." (05/14/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/study-spanking-children-leads-to-worse-behavior-health-problems-antisocial-behavior  

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Is this why US “gunboat diplomacy” is serving corporations?

May 15, 2016
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Colombia is allowing local production of a generic form of a cancer drug that is ultraexpensive because of a government-granted monopoly handed to a giant, multinational pharmaceutical corporation. The U.S. government is stepping in on the corporation’s side with a modern form of 'gunboat diplomacy' -- even though the giant corporation isn’t even 'American.' In November 2014, a group of public health advocacy organizations called on the Colombian government to declare that the public interest warrants that the country can produce a generic version of the ultraexpensive cancer drug Gleevec, produced by the 'Swiss' giant Novartis. According to a March, 2015 report in Intellectual Property Watch, 'Colombia Asked To Declare Excessive Price For Cancer Drug Contrary To Public Interest, Grounds For Compulsory License.'" (05/13/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160513/is-this-the-return-of-us-gunboat-diplomacy-serving-corporations  

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IL: Emanuel to replace police review board with more independent watchdog

May 15, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to scrap a police review board and replace it with a more independent and better-funded watchdog to investigate police shootings and other misconduct cases, he wrote in a newspaper column. The decision to abolish the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) comes a month after a task force released a scathing report recommending a new board to help mend strained relations between Chicago's police force and the city's minority communities. The task force report said IPRA was underfunded and staffed by former law enforcement officials whose findings were routinely reversed by the body's leaders." (05/14/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-chicago-police-idUSKCN0Y50S1  

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FDA warns against common antibiotics with debilitating side effects

May 15, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday that it will require manufacturers of fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs, a commonly used class of antibiotics, list new warning labels that explicitly outline the serious and damaging side effects. The medications, which include well-known brand names like Bayer AG’s Cipro and Johnson & Johnson’s Levaquin, boast side effects so disabling that they outweigh the benefits, federal officials said. Patients are often given these drugs to treat sinusitis, bronchitis, or urinary tract infections, and as a result may damage tendons, joints, and the central nervous system. If this is the case, patients might feel a 'pins and needles' tingling or pricking sensation, confusion, and/or hallucinations." (05/14/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/fda-warns-against-common-antibiotics-that-have-debilitating-side-effects  

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The wrath of Khan

May 15, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley  

"Sadiq Khan, London’s recently elected mayor, is eager to build trans-Atlantic urban partnerships. An energetic fan of great cities around the world, Khan has expressed admiration for such stateside peers as New York’s Bill de Blasio and Houston’s Annise Parker. He’s also impressed his American counterparts. The U.S. Conference of Mayors is so enthusiastic about the 45-year-old former minister of transport that the group invited him to give a keynote address at its annual conference this summer." (05/13/16)

http://prospect.org/article/wrath-khan  

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India: Journalist arrested over Muslim yoga ban report

May 15, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A journalist in India is facing charges over a report he wrote saying Muslims were banned from being yoga teachers under government policy. Pushp Sharma's report appeared in March in the Milli Gazette, a newspaper aimed at India's Muslim community. It quoted what was said to be a government document that banned Muslims from travelling abroad to teach yoga for last year's World Yoga Day. Mr Sharma faces charges of fabricating the document, which he denies. His report was based on what he said was an official reply from a government ministry that promotes yoga and ayurveda medicine." (05/14/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-36293836  

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