Sunday, October 28, 2012

Swiss Bankers, BIS & The House Of Rockefeller

Swiss Bankers, BIS & The House Of Rockefeller

This morning Rudolf M. Elmer, former head of the Cayman Islands office of the prominent Swiss bank Julius Baer, announced that he has handed over to Wikileaks information on 2,000 prominent individuals and companies that he says engaged in tax evasion and other criminal activity.  Elmer described those exposed as “pillars of society”.
The utilization of Eurodollar offshore bank accounts by the super-rich costs cash-strapped governments around the world trillions of dollars in annual revenue.  In 1963 the Eurodollar market was worth around $148 million.  By 1982 it was worth $2 trillion, while the US M-1 money supply stood at $442 billion.
In 1950 US corporations footed 26% of the total US tax bill.  By 1990 they were covering only 9%, contributing to massive budget deficits and the current $14 trillion US debt.  In 2009 corporate leviathans such as Bank of America, General Electric and Exxon Mobil paid no US federal taxes.  Exxon’s net profit for that year was over $45 billion.  It utilized subsidiaries in the British Crown-controlled Bahamas, Bermuda and Cayman Islands to dodge the IRS.
These opaque offshore Eurodollar markets also launder Saudi petrodollars, CIA drug money and Mossad arms profits.  Illicit funds come out squeaky clean on the balance sheets of the global mega-banks.  Secretive Swiss banks play a key role.  The most powerful is the Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
BIS was established in Basel, Switzerland in 1930.  It is the most powerful bank in the world, a global central bank for the Eight Families who control the private central banks of nearly every nation. The first President of BIS was Rockefeller banker Gates McGarrah- an official at Chase Manhattan and the Federal Reserve.  McGarrah is the grandfather of former CIA director Richard Helms.  The Rockefellers and Morgans- had close ties to the City of London.  Author David Icke asserts in Children of the Matrix that the Rockefellers and Morgans were just American “gofers” for the European Rothschilds.
BIS is owned by the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Bank of Italy, Bank of Canada, Swiss National Bank, Nederlandsche Bank, Bundesbank and Bank of France.  Historian Carroll Quigley says BIS was part of a plan, “to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole…to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert by secret agreements.”
The US government had a historical distrust of BIS, lobbying unsuccessfully for its demise at the 1944 post-WWII Bretton Woods Conference.  Instead the Eight Families’ power was exacerbated, with the Bretton Woods creation of the IMF and the World Bank.  The US Federal Reserve only took shares in BIS in September 1994.  BIS holds at least 10% of monetary reserves for at least 80 of the world’s central banks, the IMF and other multilateral institutions.  It serves as financial agent for international agreements, collects information on the global economy and serves as lender of last resort to prevent global financial collapse.
BIS promotes an agenda of monopoly capitalist fascism.  It gave a bridge loan to Hungary in the 1990’s to ensure privatization of that country’s economy.  It served as conduit for Illuminati funding of Adolf Hitler- led by the Warburg’s J. Henry Schroeder and Mendelsohn Bank of Amsterdam.  Many researchers assert that BIS is at the nadir of global drug money laundering.
It is no coincidence that BIS is headquartered in Switzerland, favorite hiding place for the wealth of the global aristocracy and headquarters for both the P-2 Freemason Alpina Lodge and Nazi International.
Bretton Woods was a boon to the Eight Families.  The IMF and World Bank were central to this “new world order”.  In 1944 the first World Bank bonds were floated by Morgan Stanley and First Boston.  The French Lazard family became more involved in House of Morgan interests.  Lazard Freres- France’s biggest investment bank- is owned by the Lazard and David-Weill families- old Genoese banking scions represented by Michelle Davive.  A recent Chairman and CEO of Citigroup was Sanford Weill.
In 1968 Morgan Guaranty launched Euro-Clear, a Brussels-based bank clearing system for Eurodollar securities.  It was the first such automated endeavor.  Some took to calling Euro-Clear “The Beast”.  Brussels serves as headquarters for the new European Central Bank and for NATO.  In 1973 Morgan officials met secretly in Bermuda to illegally resurrect the old House of Morgan, twenty years before the Glass Steagal Act was repealed.  Morgan and the Rockefellers provided the financial backing for Merrill Lynch, boosting it into the Big 5 of US investment banking.  Merrill is now part of Bank of America.
John D. Rockefeller employed his oil wealth in acquiring Equitable Trust, which had gobbled up several large banks and corporations by the 1920’s.  The Great Depression helped consolidate Rockefeller’s power.  His Chase Bank merged with Kuhn Loeb’s Manhattan Bank to form Chase Manhattan, cementing a long-time family relationship.
The Kuhn-Loebs and Rothschilds financed Rockefeller’s quest to become king of the oil patch.  National City Bank of Cleveland provided John D. with the money needed to embark upon his monopolization of the US oil industry.  The bank was identified in Congressional hearings as being one of three Rothschild-owned banks in the US during the 1870’s, when Rockefeller first incorporated as Standard Oil of Ohio.
One Rockefeller Standard Oil partner was Edward Harkness, whose family came to control Chemical Bank.  Another was James Stillman, whose family came to control Manufacturers Hanover Trust.  Both banks are now part of JP Morgan Chase.  Two of James Stillman’s daughters married two of William Rockefeller’s sons.  These two families control Citigroup.
In the insurance business, the Rockefellers control Metropolitan Life, Equitable Life, Prudential and New York Life.  Rockefeller banks control 25% of all assets of the 50 largest US commercial banks and 30% of all assets of the 50 largest insurance companies.  Insurance companies- the first in the US was launched by Freemasons through their Woodman’s of America- play a key role in the Bermuda drug money shuffle.
As their oil wealth amassed the family moved into downstream investments, buying companies which manufactured oil-based products.  For example, according to Nexus New Times magazine, the Rockefellers control 40% of the global pharmaceutical industry.
Other companies under Rockefeller control include Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, BP Amoco, Marathon Oil, Freeport McMoRan, Quaker Oats, ASARCO, United, Delta, Northwest, ITT, International Harvester, Xerox, Boeing, Westinghouse, Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, International Paper, Pfizer, Motorola, Monsanto, Union Carbide and General Foods.
The Rockefeller Foundation has close financial ties to both Ford and Carnegie Foundations.  Other family philanthropic endeavors include Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, General Education Board, Rockefeller University and the University of Chicago- which churns out a steady stream of far-right economists such as Milton Friedman, who serve as apologists for international capital.
The family owns 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where the national Christmas tree is lighted every year, and Rockefeller Center.  David Rockefeller was instrumental in the construction of the World Trade Center towers.  The main Rockefeller family home is a hulking complex in upstate New York known as Pocantico Hills.  They also own a 32-room 5th Avenue duplex in Manhattan, a mansion in Washington, DC, Monte Sacro Ranch in Venezuela, coffee plantations in Ecuador, several farms in Brazil, an estate at Seal Harbor, Maine and resorts in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
The Dulles and Rockefeller families are cousins.  Allen Dulles created the CIA, assisted the Nazis, covered up the Kennedy hit from his Warren Commission perch and struck a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood to create mind-controlled assassins.  Brother John Foster Dulles presided over the phony Goldman Sachs trusts before the 1929 stock market crash and helped his brother overthrow leftist governments in Iran and Guatemala.  Both were Skull & Bones, CFR members and 33rd Degree Masons.
The Rockefellers were instrumental in forming the depopulation-oriented Club of Rome at their family estate in Bellagio, Italy.  Their Pocantico Hills estate gave birth to the Trilateral Commission.  The family is a major funder of the eugenics movement which spawned Hitler, human cloning and the current DNA obsession in US scientific circles.  John Rockefeller Jr. headed the Population Council until his death.
His namesake son is a Senator from West Virginia.  Brother Winthrop Rockefeller was Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas and is the most powerful man in that state.  In an October 1975 interview with Playboy magazine, Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller- who was also Governor of New York- articulated his family’s patronizing worldview, “I am a great believer in planning- economic, social, political, military, total world planning.”
But of all the Rockefeller brothers, it is Trilateral Commission (TC) founder and Chase Manhattan Chairman David who has spearheaded the family’s fascist agenda on a global scale.  He defended the Shah of Iran, the South African apartheid regime and the Chilean Pinochet junta.  He was the biggest financier of the CFR, the TC and (during the Vietnam War) the Committee for an Effective and Durable Peace in Asia- a contract bonanza for war profiteers.
Nixon asked him to be Secretary of Treasury, but Rockefeller declined the job, knowing his power was much greater at the helm of the Chase.  According to writer Gary Allen, in 1973, “David Rockefeller met with twenty-seven heads of state, including the rulers of Russia and Red China.”  Following the 1975 Nugan Hand/CIA coup against nationalist Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, British Crown-appointed successor Malcolm Fraser sped to the US, where he met with President Gerald Ford only after conferring with David Rockefeller.
The documents which Mr. Elmer has turned over to Wikileaks will shed some light on certain “pillars of society”.  But don’t be surprised if the really big fish swim away with the bait.

Lullaby, The Hamas Version

Monday, October 22, 2012

Aust: Gillard's Misogyny Speech Sparks a War of Words

A fifteen-minute parliamentary speech rarely gets local attention, much less a massive global audience. On 8 October 2012, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s attack on Opposition leader Tony Abbott as sexist and misogynist was a rare exception. The YouTube versions have had nearly 2.5 million views, with countless others on other websites, and has started an online debate about changing dictionary definitions.

Read more on Global Voices »

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The week the Earth stood still - Noam Chomsky

How should JFK's relative moderation in the management of the crisis be evaluated against the background of the broader considerations just reviewed? But that question does not arise in a disciplined intellectual and moral culture, which accepts without question the basic principle that the US effectively owns the world by right, and is by definition a force for good despite occasional errors and misunderstandings, one in which it is plainly entirely proper for the US to deploy massive offensive force all over the world while it is an outrage for others (allies and clients apart) to make even the slightest gesture in that direction or even to think of deterring the threatened use of violence by the benign global hegemon.
That doctrine is the primary official charge against Iran today: it might pose a deterrent to US and Israeli force. It was a consideration during the missile crisis as well. In internal discussion, the Kennedy brothers expressed their fears that Cuban missiles might deter a US invasion of Venezuela, then under consideration. So "the Bay of Pigs was really right", JFK concluded.
These principles still contribute to the constant risk of nuclear war. There has been no shortage of severe dangers since the missile crisis. Ten years later, during the 1973 Israel-Arab war, National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger called a high-level nuclear alert (DEFCON 3) to warn the Russians to keep their hands off while he was secretly authorising Israel to violate the ceasefire imposed by the US and Russia. When Reagan came into office a few years later, the US launched operations probing Russian defences and simulating air and naval attacks, while placing Pershing missiles in Germany with a five-minute flight time to Russian targets, providing what the CIA called a "super-sudden first strike" capability. Naturally this caused great alarm in Russia, which unlike the US has repeatedly been invaded and virtually destroyed. That led to a major war scare in 1983. There have been hundreds of cases when human intervention aborted a first strike minutes before launch, after automated systems gave false alarms. We don't have Russian records, but there's no doubt that their systems are far more accident-prone.
Meanwhile, India and Pakistan have come close to nuclear war several times, and the sources of the conflict remain. Both have refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, along with Israel and have received US support for development of their nuclear weapons programmes - until today in the case of India, now a US ally. War threats in the Middle East, which might become reality very soon, once again escalate the dangers.
In 1962, war was avoided by Khrushchev's willingness to accept Kennedy's hegemonic demands. But we can hardly count on such sanity forever. It's a near miracle that nuclear war has so far been avoided. There is more reason than ever to attend to the warning of Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, almost 60 years ago, that we must face a choice that is "stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?"
Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. A TomDispatch regular, he is the author of numerous best-selling political works, most recently, Hopes and Prospects, Making the Future, and Occupy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Bruce Springsteen in Ohio Campaign for President Barack Obama Part 2

SCOTUS Allows Early Voting in Ohio

Supreme Court hands Obama an Ohio victory on early voting

People cast their ballots for the U.S. presidential election at an early voting center in Columbus, Ohio, on October 15, 2012. (Jewel Samad / AFP) The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal Tuesday against an appeals court ruling which prevents Ohio lawmakers from restricting early voting in the state.

Nine States to Overturn Citizens United

New Jersey Becomes Ninth State to Back Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

- Common Dreams staff
New Jersey became the ninth state to back a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United on Thursday.
photo: Public Citizen The state assembly signed the resolution Thursday afternoon that "Expresses strong opposition to U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission; calls upon Congress to propose amending U.S. Constitution."
“In passing this resolution, New Jersey is casting its vote in support of people power over corporate power,” said Aquene Freechild, organizer with Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People campaign.
“The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and related cases have opened the floodgates to corporate and special interest spending in our elections, placing our democracy on the auction block for the highest bidder," adds Diallo Brooks, Director of Field Mobilization at People For the American Way.  "Citizens United must be overturned. The American people understand this and are taking action through their local and state governments, by calling on Congress to send the states an amendment to overturn this terrible decision. Today, New Jersey will join a growing chorus of voices demanding that this necessary change becomes a reality,” stated Brooks.
New Jersey follows California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont, which have already signed similar state resolutions.

Austerity Fight in Europe

Austerity Fight in Europe: EU Meets, Greeks in the Streets

Battlelines drawn as EU bailouts demand more and more from struggling nations

- Common Dreams staff
Riot police and protesters face off on the streets of Athens as fight against austerity continues. (Photograph: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)As ministers and heads of state from EU member countries met in Brussels on Thursday, tens of thousands of Greeks—including angry citizens, students, and workers—took to the streets of Athens marking the clear division lines between one Europe demanding ever deeper social cuts and those poised to continue their fight against a top-down austerity regime that has frayed the very notion of a unified Eurozone.
The Guardian is providing ongoing live coverage of the day's events, already reporting that riot police have attempted to clear Syntagma Square, firing off toxic teargas cannisters. Some protesters have responded with molotov cocktails and petrol bombs.
"Enough is enough. They've dug our graves, shoved us in and we are waiting for the priest to read the last words," Konstantinos Balomenos, a 58-year-old worker at a water utility whose wage has been halved to 900 euros and has two unemployed sons, told Reuters.

"This austerity is making all of Europe's south rebel, the euro will be destroyed," he said.
Reuters adds:
Greece is stuck in its worst downturn since World War Two and must make at least 11.5 billion euros of cuts to satisfy the "troika" of the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF, and secure the next tranche of a 130-billion-euro bailout.

"Agreeing to catastrophic measures means driving society to despair and the consequences as well as the protests will then be indefinite," said Yannis Panagopoulos, head of the GSEE private sector union, one of two major unions that represent about 2 million people, or half of Greece's workforce.

The Red Line

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Watch Romney react to Crowley’s instant fact-checking — MSNBC

Watch Romney react to Crowley’s instant fact-checking — MSNBC

At Tuesday night’s town hall debate, Mitt Romney inferred that President Obama did not initially refer to the September 11th attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi as an act of terror. CNN’s Candy Crowley, the debate’s moderator, instantly fact-checked Romney’s question, recalling that the President did, in fact, refer to the attack as an act of terror in his Rose Garden speech the following day.
Few debate moments are so tense and, frankly, mortifying to watch. “Mitt Romney was sort of hanging tough there,” said NBC’s Chuck Todd after the debate, “And then the Libya moment happened…At that point it seemed that Mitt Romney got rattled.”
“I think the point on Libya,” Rachel Maddow added, “was also in part about the apparent excitability of Mitt Romney on that subject. President Obama had just finished his strongest moment of the debate…Mr. Romney came out stuttering and excited to get out his big attack on the Rose Garden speech, and that it failed in that moment is, I think, what made it so devastating.”
During the live broadcast, viewers at home were able to see the moment of Romney confronting the President on this issue in a powerful close-up. But when Candy Crowley fact-checked Romney, all we saw were the backs of both candidates.
We went back into the isolated footage of the debate to find a camera that was locked on Mitt Romney’s face as Candy Crowley corrected him on this sensitive issue. Take a look at the clip above to see the uninterrupted shot.

Major Damage Done by Economists

There is an old story from the heyday of the Soviet Union. As part of their May Day celebrations they were parading their latest weapon systems down the street in front of the Kremlin. There was a long column of their newest tanks, followed by a row of tractors pulling missiles. Behind these weapons were four pick-up trucks carrying older men in business suits waving to the crowds.
Seeing this display, the Communist party boss turned to his defence secretary. He praised the tanks and missiles and then said that he didn't understand the men in business suits. The defence secretary explained that these men were economists and "their destructive capacity is incredible".
People across the world now understand what the defence secretary meant. The amount of damage being inflicted on countries around the world by bad economic policy is astounding. As a result of unemployment or underemployment, millions of people are seeing their lives ruined. The current policies have led to trillions of dollars of lost output.
Bad policy
From an economic standpoint this loss is every bit as devastating as if it building had been destroyed by tanks or bombs. And people have lost their lives, due to inadequate healthcare, food and shelter, or as a result of the depression associated with their grim economic fate.

 US economy struggles to regain footing
If an enemy had inflicted this much damage on the United States, the countries of the European Union, or the countries elsewhere in the world that have been caught up in this downturn, millions of people would be lining up to enlist in the military, anxious to avenge this outrage. But, there is no external enemy to blame. The villains are the economists, still mostly men, in business suits.    
The New York Times reported last month that formerly middle class workers in Spain are now picking through dumpsters looking for food. There are similar accounts from Greece. Both countries have unemployment rates hovering near 25 per cent, with youth unemployment rates that are nearly twice as high.
And, the expectation is that things will only get worse. The latest projections from the IMF show the economies of both countries continuing to shrink through the rest of 2012 and for the whole of 2013. It is also important to remember that the IMF's growth projections have consistently been overly optimistic.
There are similar stories across the euro zone and now also in the United Kingdom as that nation's leaders have pursued economic policies that have thrown it back into recession. And of course the US is also losing close to $1 trillion in output each year, with close to 23 million unemployed, underemployed or out of the workforce altogether because of poor job prospects.
The economists in policy positions are doing their best to convince the public that the economic catastrophe that they are living through is a natural disaster that is beyond human control. But that is what Vice-President Biden would call "malarkey". This is a disaster that is 100 per cent human caused and is being perpetuated by bad policy.
Social wreckage
The original collapse was the result of central bankers who were at best asleep at the wheel, or at worst complicit in the financial sectors' wheeling and dealing, ignoring the risks that massive housing bubbles obviously posed to the economy. However, the response to the downturn has made a bad situation far worse than necessary.
As the evidence keeps telling us, the basic story is about as simple as it gets. The housing bubbles were driving demand prior to the collapse both directly through building booms and indirectly from the consumption generated by bubble generated housing equity. When the bubbles burst the construction booms went bust. And when the bubble generated housing equity vanished so did the consumption for which it provided a basis.
"The economists are instead steering the world toward more years of stagnation and rising unemployment and poverty."
The basic economic problem in this context was finding a way to replace the lost demand. The right-wing politicians and their allied economists can repeat all the nonsense the like about promoting business confidence and tax breaks for job creators, but there is no remotely plausible story in which it would be possible to generate enough demand from investment to make up for the demand lost from the collapse of the bubbles.
This means that in the short-term the only way to make up the demand is from the government budget deficits. This is not even economic theory, it is simply accounting.
In the longer term, the shortfalls in demand will have to be made up from a rebalancing across countries. Countries with large trade deficits, like the United States, Greece and Spain will have to move toward more balanced trade.
In the case of the US this can only plausibly be done with a decline in the value of the dollar. In the case of the euro zone, there is no plausible alternative than to have the surplus countries, most importantly Germany, have more rapidly rising wages and prices in order to allow the deficit countries to regain competitiveness.
All of this is pretty straightforward, but the economists are instead steering the world toward more years of stagnation and rising unemployment and poverty. The human and social wreckage they have caused puts our enemies to shame.  
Dean Baker is a US macroeconomist and co-founder of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

The wrecking society: Economics today - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

The wrecking society: Economics today - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

"Soon, we won't even be allowed to rape our wives!"

Following are excerpts from a TV show featuring Muhammad Saad Al-Azhari, a member of the Egyptian Constituent Assembly, which was broadcast on Al-Nas TV on September 24, 2012.

Muhammad Saad Al-Azhari: We were discussing a clause [proposed for the constitution] prohibiting forced labor and sex trafficking in women and children. I and some other members objected to this clause. We said that "trafficking in women" in the UN covenants refers to child marriage.
There were continuous efforts to make me specify an age at which girls may marry. They asked: When? At the age of 9, 10, 11? I said to them: Even in Egypt, girls begin to menstruate only at the age 11-13. In most cases, it doesn’t happen at the age of nine. There is however, a cultural and social heritage in this country. In the cities, it is very difficult to marry before the age of 18, but in the rural areas – in Siwa, in the Sinai, and among the Nubians – things are different. We should bear in mind the climate and the economic and social heritage. The important thing is that the girl is ready and can tolerate marriage.
Then they wanted to add an article protecting women from violence. With such a clause, you wouldn't be allowed to say anything to her, let alone touch her. And there were things worse still...

TV Host Sheikh Khaled Abdallah: The people of Egypt should know what those secularists are trying to do. The man is a member of the Constituent Assembly. It's not me saying this. "Child protection" means that if your child goes astray, you cannot discipline him, beat him, or even say a word to him, or else he might call 911 like they do in America. Your wife will act insolently, and you won't be able to say a word to her. Forget about your manhood. If you dare to say anything to her, she will call the police on you. They want to exclude the Islamists from formulating the constitution, and do things that contradict the shari'a and the teachings of our Prophet. Go ahead.

Muhammad Saad Al-Azhari: If your wife claims that you were intimate with her without her consent, it will be considered rape according to the law. This is part of women's protection from violence. If you have full sexual relations with your wife against her will, she will be able to file a complaint against you. That's where things are headed.
Judging from the way he looks, I think that Al-Azhari can already forget about his manhood.

How to Rig an Election, by Victoria Collier, OEN

For the first time in 6 years, computerized election theft is being a covered by a major American print publication. The November issue of Harper's Magazine features a cover story that relates some of the history, tells stories, and describes the extent to which American elections are being systematically shifted to the Right. Modern voting systems are completely un-verified and un-verifiable. Millions of votes can be shifted from a central location by modifying the software that reports the count. This alone is insane. But it is also true that most voting equipment is manufactured by companies that have deep Republican ties, and are controlled by people with criminal pasts. This is not just a potential danger. There are stories and lots of statistics to indicate that every Federal election of this century has been shifted to the right, and that corruption is entrenched and centralized.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jay-Z: The Power of Our Voice

Romney's Bain Selling Out American Workers to China

Romney and Bain Capital continue to move good, American jobs overseas for big profits. Watch and share the story of Sensata workers in Freeport, Ill., to see how selling out American workers and moving jobs to China continues to line Romney's pockets.

Sweden: Iran sanctions and Swedish greed (Zvi)

Posted: 14 Oct 2012 06:30 AM PDT
From Zvi:

Ha'aretz reports:
The Swedish government is trying to prevent the European Union from imposing further sanctions on Iran for fear of losing a lucrative deal for Swedish communications company Ericsson, according to a Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.
Why does the EU refuse to take effective action to halt Iran's march toward nuclear weapons? That march will, if not stopped, lead to the slaughter millions of people in an instant. It will allow the IRI to realize its genocidal ambitions. It will allow Iran to terrify its neighbors into submission. It will poison the air, water, land, and of course everything that lives on them. It will destroy any hope of peace in the middle east for decades.

And why does the EU drag its feet? Are EU countries afraid?

No, it's not about fear.

It's all about greed..

The greed of European politicians, who are in the pockets of European corporations.

The greed of European consultants, who are paid water carriers for European corporations and for middle eastern dictators.

The greed of European businessmen, whose companies grow bloated on the profits that they gain by helping dictators to clamp down on their own people and by providing dual-use technology.

It's not just about fear of terrorists, as bad an excuse as that would be.

It's about rampant greed - in this case, centered in Stockholm.

The Swedish government is evidently an ethics-free zone in which the most incredible hypocrisy is king.

Care about peace? Not if it means that Ericsson doesn't score a deal with a pack of thugs.

Care about human rights? Not if it involves losing an Ericsson deal.

Care about the environment? Not if it involves paying a real price.

Care about minorities? Not if they're Jews.

Swedish politicians must evidently check their consciences at the door before they enter government.

Does the Swedish king have anything to say about this? About the terror of Jews in Malmo? About the Swedish government aiding and abetting the regime in Tehran, a regime that stole elections, murdered Nada and her fellows and beat the protesters into the dirt? A regime that sends heavily-armed soldiers to slaughter Syrians and occupies Lebanon?

Why not?

Why NOT?

Iraq: The Toxic Legacy Continues

US Bombing of Iraq: The Toxic Legacy Continues

New study links heavy bombing of Falluja and Al Basrah to staggering rise in birth defects, miscarriages

- Common Dreams staff
A new study links the U.S. bombardment of Iraq to a toxic legacy of birth defects in two of the country's heavily hit cities.
There has been a staggering rise in the number of birth defects in Iraq following U.S. bombardment. (photo: james_gordon_losangeles via flickr) The study published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology looked at the southern city of Basra and the central city of Fallujah and found a staggering rise in miscarriages and birth defects including Anencephaly and Spina Bifida in the years following heavy bombardment of 2003 and 2004.
The authors of the study found elevated levels of mercury and lead -- "an integral part of war ammunition and are extensively used in the making of bullets and bombs," according to U.S. forces -- in the children.
The Independent adds:
Dr. [Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, one of the lead authors of the report and an environmental toxicologist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health] said that for the first time, there is a "footprint of metal in the population" and that there is "compelling evidence linking the staggering increases in Iraqi birth defects to neuro-toxic metal contamination following the repeated bombardments of Iraqi cities". She called the "epidemic" a "public health crisis".
"In utero exposure to pollutants can drastically change the outcome of an otherwise normal pregnancy. The metal levels we see in the Fallujah children with birth defects clearly indicates that metals were involved in manifestation of birth defects in these children," she said. "The massive and repeated bombardment of these cities is clearly implicated here. I have no knowledge of any alternative source of metal contamination in these areas." She added that the data was likely to be an "underestimate", as many parents who give birth to children with defects hide them from public view.
Professor Alastair Hay, a professor of environmental toxicology at Leeds University, said the figures presented in the study were "absolutely extraordinary". He added: "People here would be worried if there was a five or 10 per cent increase [in birth defects]. If there's a fivefold increase in Fallujah, no one could possibly ignore that; it's crying out for an explanation as to what's the cause. A rapid increase in exposure to lead and mercury seems reasonable if lots of ammunition is going off. I would have also thought a major factor would be the extreme stress people are under in that period; we know this can cause major physiological changes."
Percentage of birth defects and percentage of miscarriages among 56 Fallujah families who had come to Fallujah General Hospital for treatment or delivery between May and August 2010 (source: Metal Contamination and the Epidemic of Congenital Birth Defects in Iraqi Cities)

Global Noise #o13 2012 28

'Global Noise' Against Austerity Sweeps Cities Worldwide

Day of action against policies hurting the global 99%

- Common Dreams staff
"They have the power. We have the stength to take it from them." Protesters in Malaga, southern Spain, October 13, 2012. (photo: Reuters/Jon Nazca)
Saying "we will not be silent" against austerity measures, thousands took to the streets across the world to join in a "Global Noise" pot banging protest march on Saturday.
From New York to Buenos Aires, Helsinki to Melbourne, the global 99% brought a loud message against the world's corporate elite.
While the focus of each march was locally decided, Global Noise explains that "one common theme running through all the #GlobalNoise events is the targeting of political and financial elites who are held responsible for destroying our communities and the planet, resonating the ongoing wave of anti-austerity protests in Europe and around the world. At the same time #GlobalNoise is a symbol of hope and unity, building on a wide variety of struggles for global justice and solidarity, assuring that together we will create another world."
Describing the motivation for the protests, Caleb Maupin from the International Action Center told RT in an interview, "Austerity is a crime against the people," and says that austerity has struck the U.S. as well as countries like Spain. With banks being rewarded while people suffer, "we are going to rise up and demand a change to that situation," said Maupin, because "people don’t have to pay for the crisis the bankers created."
But why a casserole or pot banging march?  Occupy Wall Street states that "Historically, banging on a pot has been a universally understood means to gain attention. The casserole march has its origins as a means to call attention to problems facing the community that the power structure is not addressing, using a method that is hard to ignore."
OWS participating in Global Noise, October 13, 2012. (photo: Global Noise)
Global Noise protesters at the IMF and World Bank meetings in Tokyo. (photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)
Global Noise in Amsterdam:
Protestors shout slogans as they bang pots during a protest against the public payment of banks' debts as part of the global noise initiative to condemn the global debt in Malaga, southern Spain October 13, 2012. (Reuters/Jon Nazca)

Riverdance the final performance

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Irish Dancing Flashmob in Essex by Aer Lingus Regional and London Southe...

Is This the Last Thing the Human Race Will Ever See?

Is This the Last Thing the Human Race Will Ever See?

Gizmodo, Jesus Diaz

stronomers at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) observatory have observed something very surprising for the very first time: a weird tridimensional spiral structure inside of a dying star, one that is just like our very own Sun.
Is this the last thing that the human race will ever see (if we manage to survive five billion years)?
That question is part of what ALMA—the largest astronomical project in existence—is trying to uncover from the Chajnantor plateau, in the Atacama Desert, Chile. According to Shazrene Mohamed, co-author of the study on this weird star, "ALMA is giving us new insight into what's happening in these stars [coincidentally, alma means soul in Spanish] and what might happen to the Sun in a few billion years from now."
However, we will probably not see the 3D spiral structure of R Sculptoris when the Sun dies. According to the study published in the journal Nature, the reason for this surprising structure may be an unseen companion object, a smaller star orbiting around this red giant. This companion body, however, hasn't been observed yet and this theory hasn't been confirmed.
But what is even more important than knowing how the Sun is going to end 5 billion years from now is the information that this spiral tell us about where we come from.

The real important question

The research team used half of the 66 high precision antennas that compose the revolutionary ALMA telescope to get right inside the guts of this red giant, located 1,000 light years away in the constellation of Sculptor. R Sculptoris is big and near enough to be observed with an amateur telescope. In fact, you can even track "its slow variations in brightness"—its heart pulsing as it dies.
The astronomers were surprised by the spiral found inside R Sculptoris' external shell for two reasons. One, because this structure allows them to follow how the star ejected its material as it expanded from something like the Sun to its current giant red form. According to the lead author of the paper—Matthias Maercker, from the Argelander Institute for Astronomy, University of Bonn, Germany—"we've seen shells around this kind of star before, but this is the first time we've ever seen a spiral of material coming out from a star, together with a surrounding shell."
To understand this, the deformations caused by the companion star give them something similar to a map that allows them to go back in time. It's like reading into the rings of a tree, looking for years that were better or worse for its growth. According to the study "the new observations of R Sculptoris show that it suffered a thermal pulse event about 1800 years ago that lasted for about 200 years."
The other surprising finding is that this star has ejected far more material than any model predicted before for these kind of stars.
This is important to understand how we got here in the first place. Like the Sun, R Sculptoris didn't have enough mass to go supernova. Instead, it started to grow, sputtering heavy materials out into space. According to Maercker, these heavy elements are the raw materials that make future stars and planets like ours, the very basic physical building blocks that, at least in one occasion, have combined to create a planet capable of harboring life:
In the near future, observations of stars like R Sculptoris with ALMA will help us to understand how the elements we are made up of reached places like the Earth.
The video above shows the internal structure of the star, taken by ALMA in a way similar to how a CT scanner works, showing slices through data taken at a slightly different frequency. The "clear spiral structure in the inner material that it best seen about half-way through the video sequence," according to the scientists. [ALMA Observatory]

Up w/ Chris Hayes: The consequences of using the term ‘illegal immigrant’

Up w/ Chris Hayes: The consequences of using the term ‘illegal immigrant’

Up w/ Chris Hayes: Income inequality, climate change missing in debate

Up w/ Chris Hayes: Income inequality, climate change missing in debate

Up w/ Chris Hayes: What caused Obama’s poor debate performance?

Up w/ Chris Hayes: What caused Obama’s poor debate performance?

Up w/ Chris Hayes: Topics omitted in presidential debate

Up w/ Chris Hayes: Topics omitted in presidential debate

Up w/ Chris Hayes: Myths in job creation under small business

Up w/ Chris Hayes: Myths in job creation under small business

Up w/ Chris Hayes: The truth about small business

Up w/ Chris Hayes: The truth about small business

Canada: Fake Gaza art on display

Fake Gaza “Art” at Canadian Public Library
"The unanimous opinion of experts is that these drawings – which depict various scenes of alleged “Israeli brutality” – are far too sophisticated to have been drawn by children. Contrary to CJPME President Thomas Woodley’s claims as published in the Hamilton Spectator, this artwork cannot be considered “authentic”. The symbolism, detail, colouring and motifs all indicate the work of trained artists imitating the style of a child."

Swedish government body funds book on Israeli ‘apartheid’

Member of country’s Art Council praises ‘high quality’ of work that claims Herzl sought to increase Jewish suffering
The book contains a quote attributed to Theodor Herzl which the Stockholm-based Swedish Israel Information Center claims is a forgery: “It is essential that the sufferings of Jews become worse. This will assist in the realization of our plans. I have an excellent idea. I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth.”
Lisa Abramowicz, the center’s secretary general, has said the book reminded her of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
[The quote in the title of the book has also been proven false - EoZ]

Pakistani teen activist moved to Rawalpindi for treatment

Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban is in critical condition and has slim chances of recovering, a source in the hospital where she is being treated has told Al Jazeera.
The source said on Sunday the next 12 hours were critical for 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who is hospitalised in the city of Rawalpindi.
Yousafzai has "very limited chance of life left", said the source, declining to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
"[The] face and head swelled alot. Face complexion [has] become dark. She could be removed from ventilator within a few hours," he said.
The Pakistani military said on Saturday people continued to pray for Yousafzai recovery.

The shooting of Yousafzai, who campaigned for the right for women to have an education, has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than $100,000 for the capture of her attackers.

The military had said Yousafazi was making "satisfactory" progress and that her "vitals are okay" although they said she was on ventilator.
"A board of doctors is continuously monitoring her condition," the army added.
Inside Story: Who in Pakistan should have protected Malala?
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Malala on Friday, paying tribute to her and two friends who were also wounded when a gunman boarded their school bus on Tuesday and opened fire.
"It was not a crime against an individual but a crime against humanity and an attack on our national and social values," he told reporters, pledging renewed vigour in Pakistan's struggle with so-called Islamist militancy.
Kainat, one of the other two girls injured in the attack, is in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery within two weeks. She was shot in her upper right arm.
Shazia, the third victim, is due to be released from the combined military hospital in Peshawar and return to swat soon, her family told Al Jazeera.
The attack has sickened Pakistan, where Malala won international prominence with a blog that highlighted atrocities under the Taliban who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until a 2009 army offensive.
Activists say the shooting should be a wake-up call to those who advocate appeasement with the Taliban, but analysts suspect there will be no seismic shift in a country that has sponsored radical Islam for decades.
Schools opened with prayers for Malala on Friday and special prayers were held at mosques across the country for her speedy recovery at the country's top military hospital in the city of Rawalpindi.
Local police officials told Al Jazeera that the investigation into who was responsible for the attack was ongoing. The perpetrators were witnessed escaping into a nearby slum.
Police had taken in 60 to 70 suspects for questioning, but all were subsequently released. No one is currently being held in the Swat region in connection to the shooting.
Schools open
Schools in Afghanistan opened Saturday with special prayers for the quick recovery of Yousafzai, in a move officials said was to show solidarity with her.
Witness: A documentary on Malala's work in Swat
"To show sympathy to Malala Yousafzai around 9.5 million students all over the country in 15,500 schools and education centres offered prayers for her quick recovery," education ministry spokesman Amanullah Iman told the AFP news agency.
"The students also expressed their solidarity to their sister [Malala] because the attack on her was an attack on education," he said.
"Malala is just a girl and student like us, she shouldn't have been shot," Freshta, a 10 grade pupil told AFP.
"Today we recited Quran and prayed for her recovery," she said.
Clerics on Friday declared the attempt on her life, made by Pakistani Taliban gunmen while the 14-year-old girl was on her way home from school in the Swat valley, to be "un-Islamic".
The joint fatwa, or religious edict, was issued by at least 50 scholars associated with the Sunni Ittehad Council, and appealed to worshippers to observe a "day of condemnation" on Friday.
"Islam holds the killing of one innocent person as killing the entirety of humanity," Hamid Saeed Kazmi, a former religious affairs minister in Pakistan, told reporters.
-- With additional reporting from Hameedullah Khan and Asad Hashim in the Swat Valley

Syria bans Turkish flights as ties plummet - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syria bans Turkish flights as ties plummet - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

ria has announced a ban on Turkish civilian flights over its territory, as relations between the former allies continues to sink to new depths.
A Syrian foreign ministry statement, carried by the state news agency SANA, said the ban will take effect on Sunday. It said the move was in retaliation for a similar Turkish ban on Syrian flights.
The suspension came after Turkey and Syria engaged in sporadic cross-border shelling last week.

The decision, "in accordance with the principle of reciprocity", was in retaliation for Turkey's decision to stop Syrian civil aviation flights over its territory, SANA said.
On Wednesday, Turkey intercepted a Syrian passenger jet carrying what it said were Russian-made munitions for the Syrian army.
Syria has denounced the interception as air piracy, while Russia said the cargo was radar parts that complied with international law.
In-depth coverage of escalating violence across Syria
Ankara has not yet announced a similar ban but said it will ground Syrian civilian planes again if it suspects they are carrying military equipment for the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Growing tensions
Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, met Arab and European leaders in Istanbul on Saturday amid the growing tensions with the country's neighbour.
Davutoglu held talks with the Guido Westerwelle, German foreign minister, before the pair met Abdelbaset Sieda, the head of the Syrian National Council opposition group.
"The Syrian government is trying to export the crisis to the neighbouring countries so that the pressure on them will lessen," Sieda said.
Davutoglu also met Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy to Syria, and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby. Brahimi is due in Tehran on Sunday for talks with Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranian state television channel's website reported, a day before heading for Baghdad to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The envoy is on a regional tour aimed at finding a solution to the conflict in Syria after Damascus rejected a UN call to implement a unilateral ceasefire.
At a joint news conference with Westerwelle on Saturday, Davutoglu said Turkey was prepared to use force again if it was attacked, just as it did last week when a shell fired across the border from Syria killed five Turkish villagers.
Westerwelle praised Turkey's "calm attitude" during recent events with its war-torn neighbour, and said Germany wanted to help Ankara "cope with the refugee flow from Syria".
SANA reported that Syrian government officials and Russia's ambassador in Damascus discussed ways to establish a joint Syrian-Turkish security committee that would "control the security situation on both sides of the border in the framework of respecting the national sovereignty of the two countries".
Turkey has made no comment on the proposal, and it is unclear whether Moscow has presented it to the Turkish government yet.
Sieda said that "instead of suggesting a dialogue between Turkey and Syria, Moscow should pressure the Syrian regime they have been supporting and prevent them from massacring its own people as well as ceasing arms shipment to Syria".

Iran: Why Iran will KICK Israeli ASS!

2012 Camp FEMA

he year is 2012 and we have officially entered the American Police State. President Barack Hussein Obama just signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and now every innocent American is a potential enemy of the state.

FOR RENT: Millions of Americans Homes in Foreclosure

SHTF Scenario WWIII: Every Man For Himself

The Lie of Government Debt


Despite violent protests everywhere that the heads of the European oligarchy go, the Nobel prize committee saw it fit to reward the continent, where the democratic process has been usurped in every country and replaced with banker imposed technocratic puppets, with this year's peace price. The reasoning, according to Thorbjørn Jagland, head of the Nobel committee, is that Europe shrugged off the euro's woes and said the EU had been a force for "peace" both after the second world war, binding Germany and France together, and following the bloody slaughter of the 1990s in the Balkans. Too bad Yugoslavia is neither part of the EU nor, of the Eurozone, but details. He added: "The main message is that we need to keep in mind what we have achieved on this continent, and not let the continent go into disintegration again." The collapse of the EU could lead to a resurgence of the "extremism and nationalism" that had led to so many "awful wars", he warned bluntly." Maybe he is referring to the surge of nationalism now seen in Greece, where the neo-nazi Golden Dawn is now the third most popular political power and rapidly rising, soon to be followed by like nationalistic "successes" in other countries, where secession referenda are next on the agenda..
The truth is that a vast majority of Europe's people now want the grand experiment, which merely enriches a small subset of participants while impoverishing everyone else, over and done with: it is this endless pursuit of power and money at all costs that starts wars - not whether Germany and France share a fake currency, that is the cause of the endless bloodshed in Europe. The only reason why wars not only in Europe, but in the world, were avoided for the past several decades, is due to the incursion of globalization which merely allowed the encumberance of every global assets with layers upon layers of additional debt, creating money in the process and keeping the oligarchy happy. But it is this oligarchic 'subset' that calls the shots, and the same subset is now realizing the ability to create debt out of thin air in Europe has now ended...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Ed Show: Greetings from Bainport

The Ed Show: Greetings from Bainport

The Ed Show: Ryan flunks math test

The Ed Show: Ryan flunks math test

The Ed Show: Bidens greatest hits in debate with Ryan

The Ed Show: Bidens greatest hits in debate with Ryan

Romney/Ryan debate with falsehoods

Romney and Ryan Have Resorted to Lying as a Form of Debating

Romney's criticisms of Obama -- on full display during the debates -- don't even make sense.
The hallmark of Republican thinking these days, especially as expressed in Romney/Ryan rhetoric, is just the sheer laziness of it. That’s presumably a consequence of having developed an amazingly efficient partisan press. There’s just very little incentive remaining to develop actual policies or even a real critique of Barack Obama’s administration. After all, if the president is a Kenyan socialist intent on destroying the United States, it’s hardly necessary to explain exactly where his policies are going wrong or why.
That often shows up in the way that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan dissemble. Every presidential campaign lies, but what distinguishes this crowd is a lazy mendacity in which there’s not even an attempt to make their falsehoods plausible (here’s another recent, excellent example).
But it also shows up in their basic rhetoric. Why put together a critique of Barack Obama’s foreign policy when they can just refer to unspecified disasters and know that anyone watching Fox News will nod in agreement? And thus we get Paul Ryan’s astonishingly substance-free line that “What we are witnessing, as we turn on our television screens these days, is the absolute unraveling of the Obama foreign policy.”
Ryan trotted out “unraveling” three times in the vice-presidential debate.
The first one was at the end of a scattershot answer that was mostly about Libya:
And with respect to Afghanistan and the 2014 deadline, we agree with a 2014 transition. But what we also want to do is make sure that we’re not projecting weakness abroad, and that’s what’s happening here. This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself. But unfortunately it’s indicative of a broader problem, and that is what we are watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy, which is making the world more — more chaotic and us less safe.
Apparently something is happening “on our TV screens” that’s self-evident to Ryan. Now, I have no doubt that on certain TV screens – the ones permanently set to Fox News – all sorts of terrible things are happening as a direct result of Obama’s incompetence. Or, perhaps, Obama’s deliberate preference for those horrible outcomes. But it would be nice for Ryan to give us some sort of clue about it. His critique is that the U.S. is “projecting weakness abroad” (how?), and that’s resulting in … something. What? No idea.
So that’s one try. Next:
Look, this was the anniversary of 9/11. It was Libya, a country we knew we had al-Qaeda cells there. As we know, al-Qaeda and its affiliates are on the rise in northern Africa. And we did not give our ambassador in Benghazi a Marine detachment? Of course there is an investigation so we can make sure that this never happens again. But when it comes to speaking up for our values, we should not apologize for those.
Here is the problem. Look at all the various issues out there and that’s unraveling before our eyes. The vice president talks about sanctions on Iran.
At which point he was asked a question about Iran and answered it. “Unraveling”? There’s surely plenty of room for criticizing Barack Obama’s Iran policy, either that it’s too hawkish or not hawkish enough, but it’s really hard to understand an argument that Iran policy is “unraveling before our eyes.” Unwise? Perhaps. Short-sighted? Maybe. Unraveling before our eyes? How? The only obvious news out of Iran is the collapse of their currency, which, for better or worse, is awfully hard to cast as an unraveling of a tough sanctions policy. Indeed, it seems suspiciously like the consequences of a successful tough sanctions policy! Again, one can criticize the policy, but how is it unraveling before our eyes?
Otherwise, all we get here is a vague reference to “the various issues out there,” as if we all knew what they were. Presumably because they’re on our TV screens. And therefore not worth mentioning.
That’s two strikes. The third? It’s in response to a question about staying in Afghanistan beyond 2014:
We want to make sure that 2014 is successful. That’s why we want to make sure that we give our commanders what they say they need to make it successful. We don’t want to extend beyond 2014. That’s the point we’re making.
You know, if it was just this, I feel like we would — we would be able to call this a success, but it’s not. What we are witnessing as we turn on our television screens these days, is the absolute unraveling of the Obama foreign policy. Problems are growing at home, but jobs — problems are growing abroad, but jobs aren’t growing here at home.
So Afghanistan would be a success, but it’s not for some unspecified reason, which goes back to that “absolute unraveling of the Obama foreign policy” that we can see “on our television screens.” The best example of which appears to be something about jobs.
Strike three.
It’s easy to spin this as an example of Paul Ryan’s inexperience with foreign policy and national security issues, but I think that’s wrong. The truth is that he’s merely reciting a standard Republican talking point here. And why not? On the Rush Limbaugh program or any of the other Republican-aligned talk shows, it’s obviously true that Obama’s foreign policy is a total failure. That’s good enough for the hosts, and it appears to be good enough for the audiences. So why bother developing anything more?
A minor problem with all of this is that it leaves Republicans ill-equipped to convince anyone of anything unless they’re already within the conservative closed-information feedback loop. Minor, because most voting decisions are more about retrospective evaluations of incumbents than about careful examination of the logic in campaign statements, to the sheer laziness of the critique probably doesn’t matter very much at that point. The major problem, however, is that all of this lazy thinking leaves Republicans ill-equipped to govern – as seen in the problems encountered by the Gingrich Congress, the George W. Bush administration and now the Boehner/Ryan House. And that matters a lot.

Good Moms Occupy

Jimmy Fallon Stars In What Mister Rogers’ Show Would Be If Mitt Romney Gave It A Makeover | MoveOn.Org

Jimmy Fallon Stars In What Mister Rogers’ Show Would Be If Mitt Romney Gave It A Makeover | MoveOn.Org

Romney: Americans Don’t Die from Lack of Health Insurance

President Obama’s challenger Mitt Romney is facing criticism over his remarks Thursday that uninsured Americans are able to have their healthcare paid for if they simply go to the hospital.
(photo: Steve Rhodes via flickr) Romney told the Columbus Dispatch newspaper people do not die from lack of insurance, saying: "No, you go to the hospital, you get treated, you get care, and it’s paid for, either by charity, the government or by the hospital. We don’t have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don’t have insurance." In fact, a 2009 study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found 45,000 people die in the United States each year due largely to a lack of health insurance and inability to access quality care. That comes out to one death every 12 seconds.

Why Biden Won

  1. "Why Biden Won"
  2. by Robert Reich

  3. I thought Biden won last night's debate because he came off as genuine, passionate, and brimming with conviction. Ryan, by contrast, seemed like a wooden marionette, a kid out of his depth relative to someone who not only knew the facts but lived them.

    On taxes, Ryan couldn't come up with any details about what loopholes he and Romney would close, or how their magic arithmetic (giant tax cut for the wealthy plus $2 trillion more for the military than the Joint Chiefs of Staff want) can possibly be paid for without socking it to the middle class.

    By contrast, Biden made the case for average working people whose wages have barely risen in thirty years but who are bearing a higher total tax burden (payroll, sales, property, income) on a higher percent of their income than high rollers like Romney — and why the well off should do more.

    On Medicare, Ryan couldn't explain why his plan wasn't a voucher program that "saved" money only by shifting the costs on to seniors who would end up holding the bag as medical costs rose. Biden effectively defended the President's plan to save Medicare by cutting excessive payments to providers.

    Biden also pointed out that Ryan and his allies had tried to privatize Social Security. Score another one for Joe.

    On abortion, Ryan had to admit he and Romney would work to prevent women from having the right to choose an abortion if they needed and wanted one. Biden made it clear his religious beliefs about when life began should not, in his view, force anyone who didn't share them to follow them.

    I thought Biden's closing could have been tougher, drawing a sharper contrast between the Romney-Ryan "you're on your own" worldview, and the "we're in it all together" belief that has built America — and which Obama and Biden represent.

    But overall it was Biden's night. He not only trounced Ryan, but also, in the process, trounced Romney. Joe Biden is an average Joe solidly grounded in America's working middle class — nothing pretentious or devious about him — in contrast to the plutocrat who heads the Republican ticket, and the billionaires who are backing him.

Real Debate Winner? Martha Raddatz

The Real Debate Winner? Martha Raddatz

ABC correspondent was firmly in charge at the contentious VP faceoff

Martha Raddatz took control at the outset and never let go.
From her opening question to Joe Biden—Was there a “massive intelligence failure” in Libya?—she asked smart, informed questions, followed up aggressively and kept things moving in the vice-presidential debate.
When Raddatz told Biden and Paul Ryan “let’s move on,” they did.
Martha Raddatz
Win McNamee / Getty Images
Raddatz says her approach was to “try to react to what they’re saying.” On Good Morning America Friday morning, the ABC correspondent said, “Sure, I had a lot of follow-ups written, I had a lot of questions written. But when you’re there, you’re in the moment, you really have to go with what’s happening. So when they were talking to each other, when they were going after each other, you do, you want to step back from that. Yet when I hear things, I think, I gotta jump in there, I gotta jump in.”
That she did.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Raddatz’s moderation in Kentucky on Thursday night was the way she used her knowledge as a veteran foreign affairs correspondent and onetime White House reporter to pin down the candidates. When Biden dismissed Ryan’s indictment of the Obama foreign policy as “a bunch of malarkey,” Raddatz pressed  him to “be specific”—an admonition she repeated several times. And she could be a stern schoolmarm: “I want to move on here to Medicare and entitlements. I think we’ve gone over this quite enough.” You could imagine her ready to rap knuckles with a ruler.
Unlike Jim Lehrer’s minimalist approach in the first presidential debate, where he threw out topics and let the candidates go at it, the Raddatz style was to ask sharply pointed questions: “What’s worse…another war in the Middle East, or a nuclear-armed Iran?” Yet she never made the debate about her or choked off disagreements between Biden and Ryan.
Raddatz, who has flown on combat missions with U.S. troops, drew on her experience in posing this query about Afghanistan:
“We just passed the sad milestone of losing 2,000 U.S. troops there in this war. More than 50 of them were killed this year by the very Afghan forces we are trying to help.
“Now, we’ve reached the recruiting goal for Afghan forces, we’ve degraded Al Qaida. So tell me, why not leave now? What more can we really accomplish? Is it worth more American lives?”
Ryan paid tribute in his response, saying: “You’ve been there more than the two of us combined.”
And she came back with this for Biden: “I have talked to a lot of troops. I’ve talked to senior officers who were concerned that the surge troops were pulled during the fighting season, and some of them saw that as a political move.”
That’s what you get when a correspondent, rather than an anchor, runs a debate.
Raddatz also produced the debate’s most poignant moment—and sharpest disagreement--when she asked both Catholic candidates how their faith influences their lives and their views on abortion.
There was a lot of chatter about a breakthrough for women when Raddatz and Candy Crowley were picked as moderators. But on Thursday night, what mattered wasn’t Raddatz’s gender but her determination.

Did Ryan Steal Cobain’s Anecdote?

A brazen act of plagiarism—or a ridiculous conspiracy theory? During Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate, Paul Ryan defended his stance on abortion by telling a story about how his daughter earned the nickname “Bean”: she resembled one on her ultrasound. Skeptics were quick to point out that it’s the same anecdote late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain told when explaining how his daughter, Frances, got the middle name Bean. Ryan is a “devoted” Nirvana fan, so the theory could be true. Although on the other hand, Ryan and Cobain can’t be the only two people to compare an ultrasound photo with a bean.

Big Banks Report Big Earnings

Two of the U.S. largest banks, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, reported big quarterly profits on Friday—with JPMorgan Chase having a third-quarter profit of $5.7 billion, up 34 percent from last year. The economy is adding jobs, the housing market is recovering, and the Federal Reserve provides money for free. Which means it is a great time to be a bank. Earnings at Wells Fargo were up 22 percent for the third quarter, or $4.9 billion profit. Chase’s profits come in the aftermath of the “London whale” trading debacle.

Egypt: Protesters Clash

Egyptian Protesters Clash
An altercation broke out at a rally in Egypt on Friday between two groups within the several hundred protesters after one faction began chanting perceived insults against new Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. The protest was organized to demand more action from the fledging leader after his first 100 days in office. Specifically, activists were calling for more diversity on the panel writing Egypt’s new constitution, which they say is stacked with Islamists and members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Brotherhood members were in the square protesting the acquittals of 24 loyalists of former president Hosni Mubarak on manslaughter and attempted-murder charges.

Joe Biden's Big F**king Win

Biden and Paul Ryan clashed repeatedly in a fast-paced and contentious debate on Thursday night, with the vice president more aggressively interrupting and dismissing his fact-filled opponent.
AP Photo
The Kentucky faceoff was a clash of generational styles, Biden the sometimes exasperated lecturer, Ryan the serious-minded student. Biden proved the superior debater, raising his voice, directly addressing the audience and rising above the wonky arguments with greater effectiveness. But by going toe to toe against a graying incumbent, the Wisconsin congressman held his own and blunted some, but not all, of his rival’s attacks.
Biden showed considerable passion when the debate turned to the economy, getting in more attack lines in two minutes than President Obama did against Mitt Romney in an hour and a half: Romney wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt. Romney wrote off 47 percent of the country. Romney pays a lower effective tax rate than Biden’s parents and neighbors.
Ryan was rather flat in response, ticking off a five-point economic plan, then lurching into a tale about Romney financially aiding a family whose four kids were killed in a car crash—touching, perhaps, but a total non sequitur. That, however, prompted Biden to recall the 1972 car accident that killed his wife and daughter, as if he had to match the emotional card that Ryan had thrown down.
Ryan’s best line was an attempt to defuse Romney’s fundraising comments about the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes: “I think the vice president knows, sometimes words don’t come out of your mouth the right way.” Biden had to smile.
They each spewed numbers about Medicare, with Ryan accusing Democratic critics of trying to “scare people” about a plan that would give future retirees a choice, including vouchers. He also accused the administration of  turning Medicare “into a piggy bank for Obamacare.”
That’s when Biden started speaking to the camera, saying the Ryan vouchers would cost the average senior citizen $6,400 a year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. He touted higher prescription drug benefits for seniors as well. “Folks, who do you trust on this?” Biden asked.
When the talk turned to taxes, Biden ripped the Republicans for pushing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, saying “they’re holding hostage the middle-class tax cut to the superwealthy,” calling this “unconscionable.” Ryan responded by saying the administration would raise the effective tax rate on small businesses to more than 40 percent and that he and Romney would cut taxes for everyone without hurting the middle class.
“Not mathematically possible,” Biden interrupted.
“It is mathetmatically possible,” Ryan insisted.
Biden took the fight to Ryan in the opening minutes, interrupting his indictment about “the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy” by saying—with “all due respect,” of course—“that’s a bunch of malarkey.” He landed a jab as Ryan was decrying the fatal attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya by saying that his opponent’s House budget cut embassy security $300 million below what the administration had requested.
The vice president had finessed a tough question about the attack from moderator Martha Raddatz by promising that any “mistakes” would not be repeated and quickly pivoting to the successful mission against Osama bin Laden. Ryan scored a moment later by saying “it took the president two weeks to acknowledge that this was a terrorist attack.”
Ryan remained on offense by charging that the administration “has no credibility” on Iran, which he said in “racing toward a nuclear weapon.”
“Incredible,” Biden said with a laugh, dismissing the “bluster” about Iran and saying Obama had imposed “the most crippling sanctions” in history.
Ryan tried to seize the initiative, even ripping President Obama for going on The View rather than meeting with Bibi Netanyahu—and Biden counterpunched, sometimes with derision. In short, he did precisely what his boss failed to do against Romney.
The discussion of Afghanistan was a wash, with Ryan conceding that his ticket supports Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops by 2014 and, when pressed by Raddatz, acknowledging: “We don’t want to stay.”
Biden took the fight to Ryan, interrupting his indictment about “the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy” by saying—with “all due respect,” of course—“that’s a bunch of malarkey.”
The debate may have served as a preview of 2016, with Biden not ruling out a run for the top job and Ryan considered a contender if Romney loses.
The debate wound toward a close on a solemn note, with Raddatz asking the candidates about the role of their Catholic faith in their views on abortion. Ryan said he believes the church’s teaching that life begins at conception, and that a Romney administration would oppose abortion except in cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Biden said he too accepts the church’s position on abortion, “but I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, Muslims and Jews.” He also noted, correctly, that Ryan has opposed the exceptions for rape and incest, and that Romney would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade —an important part of the Democrats’ appeal to women.
The pressure heading into the Danville event was largely on Biden, in large measure because Obama, by his own admission, had “a bad night” at the first debate. With the president having failed to challenge Romney’s agenda, the task fell to his running mate to do so—and without seeming overbearing or condescending.
There was also lots of pregame chatter that the voluble Biden might be gaffe-prone, which managed to overlook his history as an experienced debater.
Ryan, who has never played on the national stage, faced lower expectations, which mainly involved defending Romney on his embrace of the congressman’s budget-slashing and Medicare reform plans. As the House Budget Committee chairman, Ryan is practiced in facts-and-figures discussions but not at playing to a television audience.
In the end, few vice-presidential debates matter much. One exception may have been when Sarah Palin held her own against Biden four years ago, quieting, at least temporarily, doubts about her candidacy. But the main function of the running mates in their single encounter is to serve as surrogates for the top of the ticket, and both men did that effectively on Thursday night.