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Archive for November 17, 2010

Climate Progress – Energy and Global Warming News for November 17th

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Kaiser Health News – Scorecard: How Health Industry PACs Placed Their Election Bets

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Kaiser Health News:

Scorecard: How Health Industry PACs Placed Their Election Bets
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with Politico, Bara Vaida and Christopher Weaver write: “Health-sector PACs – ranging from doctors to hospitals to drug companies – generally favored Democrats. Of the $42 million that 122 health sector PACs gave to congressional candidates this cycle, 58 percent went to Democrats and 41 percent to Republicans, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics” (Kaiser Health News). See the related chart.

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David Corn – Bush Photoshops Rove out of Plame Scandal

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Mother Jones:

Bush Photoshops Rove out of Plame Scandal

By David CornIn his new book, George W. Bush repeatedly challenges the charge that he misled the country into the Iraq war. He writes, “I didn’t like hearing people claim I had lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” But while defending his integrity, he presents assertions that are outright false: for instance, that Iraq had a WMD infrastructure and was pursuing such weapons at the time of the invasion (it did not and was not), and that Saddam Hussein had refused to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors (he was not fully cooperating with inspectors, but the inspectors had reported Iraq’s cooperation was increasing).

His account is often selective—such as when he recounts a 2003 meeting with Tony Blair and fails to mention that at this session he (Bush) raised the possibility of kick-starting the Iraq war with a phony provocation. But Bush’s selectivity is glaringly apparent when he recounts one of the dark moments of his presidency: the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. [READ MORE]

The Independent – How Sellafield ‘mutilated’ its workers’ bodies

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From The Independent:

How Sellafield ‘mutilated’ its workers’ bodies

By Jonathan Brown

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The inquiry looked at the deaths of 64 Sellafield workers

The inquiry looked at the deaths of 64 Sellafield workers

Organs and bones were illegally harvested from the bodies of dead nuclear industry workers at Sellafield without their consent over a period of 30 years, an inquiry found yesterday.

The relatives of 64 staff, many of whom only discovered their loved ones had been stripped of livers, tongues and even legs decades after they were buried, said the inquiry’s findings proved the existence of an “old boys’ club” among pathologists, coroners and scientists around Sellafield prior to 1992 which prioritised the needs of the nuclear industry above those of grieving family members.

Related…

From Boing Boing:

UK gov’t apologizes for decades of secret nuclear power industry corpse-mutilation

Cory Doctorow at 4:32 AM Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010

The UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has apologized for 40 years’ worth of clandestine, illegal mutilation of the corpses of British nuclear energy workers. When these workers died, pathologists and coroners colluded with the energy authority to remove their organs without the consent or knowledge of their families, in part to remove the possibility of a lawsuit for cancer caused by their work environment, but partly out of a seeming cavalier, better-safe-than-sorry approach that had them scooping out organs that had no diagnostic value. The corpses were then stuffed with random detritus from around the shop to disguise their mutilation; for example, broomsticks were used in place of bones removed from workers who’d died of leukemia.

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The Independent – The human cost of the Irish crash

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From The Independent:

A man begs outside Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin's city centre

A man begs outside Anglo Irish Bank in Dublin's city center

The human cost of the Irish crash

Michael Savage and Donald Mahoney: They stand empty across Ireland: 300,000 unoccupied homes, a silent reproach to those who built them believing that the country’s economic boom would never end.

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Noam Chomsky – US role in Haiti destruction

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Noam Chomsky – Obama Administration and US Foreign Policy

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Noam Chomsky on The Young Turks

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Noam Chomsky on The Real News

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Richard Charnin – 2010 Midterms Analysis: House Generic, Senate RV/LV Polls, Exit Polls vs. Recorded Vote

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Richard Charnin:

2010 Midterms Analysis: House Generic, Senate RV/LV Polls, Exit Polls vs. Recorded Vote

Nov. 16, 2010

The 2010 midterms are history. The typical reaction of the pundits is to promote the conventional wisdom that it was a GOP blowout of epic proportions – even bigger than 1994. Yes, the party in power nearly always loses seats in the midterms. The unconventional wisdom is that the Democrats do significantly better than the recorded vote indicates in every election. There is no reason to suspect that 2010 was any different.

This analysis utilizes final likely and registered state and national pre-election polls along with preliminary and final exit polls. Likely voter (LV) polls are a sub-sample of registered voter (RV) polls. Since 2000, LV polls have closely matched the recorded vote while RV polls closely matched the unadjusted and preliminary exit polls.

It is standard operating procedure for the exit pollsters to force the Final to match the recorded vote. Obama’s recorded vote margin was 52.9-45.6%. The 2010 Final National Exit Poll indicated that 45% of the electorate were returning Obama voters and 45% were McCain voters. Of course, the pundits will claim that the 7.3% discrepancy was due to millions of unenthusiastic Democrats who did not return to vote in 2010.

The pundits always assume that the Final NEP returning voter mix is legitimate even though it is always forced to match the recorded vote. As usual, their implicit assumption is that election fraud was not a factor. But it always is.

In 2008 the National Election Pool, a consortium of six mainstream media giants which sponsors the exit polls, decided not to release unadjusted (or preliminary) state and national exit poll data. And they won’t in 2010, either. They don’t want anyone to see the adjustments they had to make  to the return voter mix and/or the vote shares in order to match the recorded vote.

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Joe Conason – Why Mitch McConnell is worse than Charles Rangel

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Salon:

More Joe Conason

Meet the leader of the Obama witch hunt
If past is prologue, Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa will aim low and cheap — by probing stimulus road signs!

Obama should push back — like Bill Clinton
It’s true that Clinton compromised after 1994 — but first he fought the Gingrich GOP to a standstill

The predictable tsunami of sewer money
Was the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United naively mistaken — or cynically partisan?

Why Mitch McConnell is worse than Charles Rangel

Both men misused their power — but the Senate leader gave corrupt BAE Systems $17 million in 2010 earmarks

By Joe Conason

Why Mitch McConnell is worse than Charles Rangel

On the same day that the House Ethics Committee convicted Rep. Charles Rangel of nearly a dozen violations of congressional rules, Sen. Mitch McConnell announced that under pressure from fellow Republicans, he will surrender his beloved earmarks. This is a notable coincidence because, like Rangel, McConnell has rewarded corporate donors to an academic center named after him — and used earmarks for that purpose. The top corporate recipient of earmarks from the Kentucky Republican in the 2010 budget not only happens to be a donor to the McConnell Center for Political Leadership at the University of Louisville, but one of the largest and most corrupt defense contractors in the world.

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Zach Carter – The Fed’s New Foreclosure Predator Bailout

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From AlterNet:

The Fed’s New Foreclosure Predator Bailout

Posted by Zach Carter on @ 8:49 am

Article printed from speakeasy: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy
URL to article: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/11/16/the-feds-new-foreclosure-predator-bailout/

Despite escalating outrage over rampant foreclosure fraud, the Federal Reserve now appears ready to eviscerate a key mortgage regulation in an effort to spare banks the losses from their own wrongdoing. Even as bank executives preposterously claim to have wronged nobody in the foreclosure process, they’re pushing hard to unwind the only serious federal rule that protects borrowers from predatory loans and improper foreclosures. As if the last decade of abuse wasn’t bad enough, banks are once again mobilizing to screw borrowers in the pursuit of epic bonuses. And once again, it appears that the Federal Reserve has become an accomplice to this nationwide mortgage scam.

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Joshua Holland – Seriously, Jail the Bankers or This Economy Will Never Fully Recover

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From AlterNet:

Seriously, Jail the Bankers or This Economy Will Never Fully Recover

By refusing to hold the corporate criminals at the heart of the housing crisis accountable for their crimes, we’re creating powerful incentives for future malfeasance.

By Joshua Holland

November 17, 2010

The Great Recession showed the world that the crimes that create the most victims are not committed by terrorists, gangbangers or drug traffickers, but by well-heeled crooks in Wall Street’s executive suites. Tens of millions of people have seen their jobs disappear and their pension funds fleeced, and had their homes taken out from under their feet as a result of the crash of Wall Street’s Great Casino. Yet so far, the culprits have been given little more than a slap on the wrist.

Failing to prosecute Wall Street’s high-flying crooks doesn’t only represent a great miscarriage of justice. Powerful voices within the economic establishment are now making the case that holding the bankers criminally culpable is necessary if we ever hope to stop our national economy from moving from one speculation-driven bubble to the next.

Nobel-prize winner Joe Stiglitz recently told AOL’s Daily Finance that major damage resulting from the financial disaster “has not really been taken on board, and that is confidence in our legal system, in our rule of law, in our system of justice.” His prescription? “I think we ought to go do what we did” in the wake of similar financial crises in the past, and “actually put many of these guys in prison.”

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AMERICAblog – Wall Street on track for 4th most profitable year

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From AMERICAblog:

Wall Street on track for 4th most profitable year

by Chris in Paris on 11/16/2010 03:55:00 PM

How’s everyone doing with their retirement plans? Some economic crisis we have, isn’t it? Reuters:

Wall Street may earn $19 billion in 2010, its fourth-most profitable year, even as regulatory changes and a weakened economy limits its ability to generate profit, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said.

In a report released Tuesday, DiNapoli said profit might decline 69 percent from last year’s record $61.4 billion, but may have settled near levels more in line with pre-crisis amounts.

DiNapoli said Wall Street had lost $54 billion in 2007 and 2008, but has benefited from a series of federal bailouts as well as low interest rates.

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The Ancient World – The Spartans – 1/15 (playlist)

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment
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Ironweed 1/14 (playlist)

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Blade Runner – I’ve seen things

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Tina Fey Censored By PBS

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Kaiser Health News – New Deficit Report Recommends Seniors Pay More For Medicare

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Kaiser Health News:

New Deficit Report Recommends Seniors Pay More For Medicare
A blue ribbon bipartisan panel of experts, chaired by former budget director Alice Rivlin and former Sen. Pete Domenici, recommends major changes to the way the government pays for health care.

Ralph Nader – Bush At Large

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Common Dreams:

Tuesday November 16, 2010

Bush At Large

by Ralph Nader

George W. Bush is on a roll-a money roll with a $7 million advance for his book Decision Points and a rehabilitation roll to paint his war crimes as justifiable mass-slaughter and torture.

His carefully chosen interviewers-NBC’s Matt Lauer and Oprah Winfrey-agreed to a safe pre-taping to avoid demonstrations and tough questions. Requests for him to speak are pouring in from business conventions and other rich assemblages willing to pay $200,000 for “the Decider’s” banalities. This is “Shrub’s” month in the sun. In his first week of book promotion, he was asked about anything he would have done had he known then what he knew now-especially regarding Iraq and its encircled dictator. Well, he deplored receiving “false intelligence” about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction which was one of several false claims he fed the American people before invading Iraq in 2003. But he has no regrets, saying that “the world was undoubtedly safer with Saddam gone.”

But was it safer for over a million Iraqis who lost their lives due to the invasion, over 4 million refugees, 4500 American soldiers lost, 1100 amputees, tens of thousands injured, sick and tens of thousands more GIs coming back with trauma to lost jobs, broken families and permanent damage to their health.

Was it worth a trillion dollars to blow apart the country of Iraq and incur many more enemies? Was it worth starting a war paid for by a massive debt handed to our children so that George W. and Dick Cheney could give themselves and their rich buddies a massive tax cut? Ex-presidents possess self-excusing delusions, but this is non compos mentis run amuck.

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Henry A. Giroux – Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia

November 17, 2010 Leave a comment

From Truthout:

Henry A. Giroux | Living in the Age of Imposed Amnesia
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: “We live in an age in which punitive justice and a theater of cruelty have become the defining elements of a mainstream cultural apparatus that trades in historical and social amnesia. How else to explain the electoral sweep that just put the most egregious Republican Party candidates back in power? These are the people who gave us Katrina, made torture a state policy, promoted racial McCarthyism, celebrated immigrant bashing, pushed the country into two disastrous wars, built more prisons than schools, bankrupted the public treasury, celebrated ignorance over scientific evidence (‘half of new Congressmen do not believe in global warming’) and promoted the merging of corporate and political power.”
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