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Archive for December 3, 2010

Greenpeace Sues Chemical Companies for Corporate Espionage

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Abandoning “Net Neutrality,” FCC Chair Backs Two-Tiered Internet Fees

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

James K. Galbraith – Casting Light on “The Moment of Truth”

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

From New Deal 2.0:

Casting Light on “The Moment of Truth”

Friday, 12/3/2010 – 9:51 am by James K. Galbraith

Where’s the evidence to back up the fear mongering? A challenge to the Fiscal Commission’s report.

The report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, issued on December 1, 2010 by Chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is entitled “The Moment of Truth.” The words appear in block caps on the second page, weighty and portentous. They reappear in the first paragraph of the preamble:

“Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have found the courage to do right by our children’s future. Deep down, every American knows that we face a moment of truth once again.”

These sentences set the tone. The…

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Economist’s View – The Employment Report

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Economist’s View:

The Employment Report

This is not the report we’ve been waiting for. Unemlpoyment has risen from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent, and job growth is very low:

The unemployment rate edged up to 9.8 percent in November, and nonfarm payroll employment was little changed (+39,000)

We should have done something about this months and months ago. But instead, it was easier to rely on the hope that things were getting better and avoid the hard work and difficult politics of trying to spur job creation. What do we hear from the White House now? Are they ready to embrace a less optimistic but more realistic path for employment? Nope. The White House view is that “one month does not a new trend make.” When bad news is always discounted as an aberration, and good news embraced as though it is the trend, this is the policy outcome you get — too little, too late, if at all. The White House needed to push as hard as they could for more help, and it should have started long ago. I realize that they probably wouldn’t have been successful due to opposition in Congress, but you don’t know that unless you try, and the battle itself would have had value even if it wasn’t successful.

[Also posted at MoneyWatch.]

Glenn Greenwald – Joe Lieberman emulates Chinese dictators

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

From Salon:

Joe Lieberman emulates Chinese dictators

By Glenn Greenwald

(updated below – Update II – Update III)

The comparison of these two passages is so telling in so many ways:

The Washington Post, today:

Revelations by the organization WikiLeaks have received blanket coverage this week on television, in newspapers and on Web sites around the globe. But in parts of the world where the leaks have some of the greatest potential to sow controversy, they have barely caused a ripple.

Authoritarian governments and tightly controlled media in China and across the Arab Middle East have suppressed virtually all mention of the documents, avoiding the public backlash that could result from such candid portrayals of their leaders’ views.

In China, the WikiLeaks site has been blocked by the government’s “Great Firewall,” and access to other sources for the documents has been restricted.  Most Chinese are unable to read the contents of the diplomatic cables. . . .

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Also

More Joe Lieberman-caused Internet censorship

By Glenn Greenwald

(updated below – Update II)

Following up on my post from earlier today about Joe Lieberman’s Chinese-replicating Internet censorship efforts (and please read that first for the context), I wanted this to be highlighted separately: The New York Times reports that another company has now capitulated to Lieberman’s demands:  “a Seattle-based software company, Tableau, which provides a free Web platform for interactive graphics, removed charts uploaded by WikiLeaks in response to Sen. Joe Lieberman’s public statement that companies should stop helping the whistle-blowers.”  Tableau issued a statement, which reads in part:

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And

WikiLeaks debate with Steven Aftergood

By Glenn Greenwald

(updated below)

I was on Democracy Now this morning debating WikiLeaks with Steven Aftergood, the long-time transparency advocate with Federation for American Scientists and Secrecy News, and a vociferous critic of WikiLeaks.  Because of his harsh and continuous deunciations of the group, Aftergood has been held up by many media outlets such as Newsweek as evidence that even transparency campaigners condemn them.  This debate, in my view, highlights the core disputes surrounding WikiLeaks quite vividly and is thus worth watching.  One added note:  Democracy Now, unsurprisingly, has been providing some of the best and most informative coverage of the WikiLeaks disclosures; see here (and scroll down) for the links to their superb reporting and interviews all week long:

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Leo W. Gerard – Political Corruption: GOP Embraces the Ken Lay Way

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

From the AFL-CIO Now Blog:

Political Corruption: GOP Embraces the Ken Lay Way

by Leo W. Gerard, Dec 2, 2010

The GOP has adopted the Ken Lay principles—that is obfuscation, false statements and feigned innocence. Republicans are obfuscating about the real reason for their opposition to extending unemployment benefits, the way Enron CEO Ken Lay concealed the truth about billions in losses his corporation racked up.

Lay assured Enron workers the corporation was strong—five weeks before it failed. When the nation’s seventh largest corporation collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001, Lay walked away, by his own estimate, with $20 million. By contrast, Enron’s 4,000 workers and creditors left with debts. The employees lost their jobs and pensions, and the creditors lost $65 billion.

A jury, and a judge in a separate case, convicted Lay in 2006—finding him guilty of fraud, conspiracy and false statements. He obscured Enron’s massive losses with accounting hocus-pocus then lied about it so pervasively and persuasively that in February 2001, 10 months before the bankruptcy, Fortune magazine awarded Enron first place for innovation and second for management quality.

Republican acolytes of the Ken Lay way contend that the federal budget deficit prohibits spending $65 billion to extend emergency unemployment insurance for a year. But, at the same time, they insist the deficit doesn’t constrain extending tax cuts to the richest 1 percent at a cost of $61 billion for the year 2011. It’s masterful. And as corrupt as Ken Lay.

In the past 60 years, Congress has never terminated emergency unemployment benefits when joblessness was this severe. The highest point at which Congress ended the program previously was 7.2 percent, and that rate was declining. Now, unemployment is stuck at a rate significantly higher—9.6 percent. There are 14.8 million unemployed workers, five jostling for every single job opening. They subsist on unemployment checks averaging less than $290 a week, which for too many is insufficient to forestall foreclosure because it’s half of what an average family spends for necessities.

Despite that six-decade precedent, Republicans blocked extension of unemployment benefits on Tuesday, then on Wednesday announced they’d vote on no measure until they got renewal of the Bush tax cuts and a resolution continuing funding for the federal government. As a result, 800,000 jobless Americans lost those small, family-preserving checks. Republicans are holding them hostage, with a ransom demand of tax cuts for the nation’s richest 1 percent. If the GOP doesn’t get what it wants, 2 million will lose unemployment insurance by year’s end.

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Categories: Uncategorized

AlterNet – Shocking: JP Morgan Chase Was On to Madoff for Months, Kept Doing Business With Him

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

From AlterNet:

Shocking: JP Morgan Chase Was On to Madoff for Months, Kept Doing Business With Him

It’s been revealed that JP Morgan Chase suspected Bernie Madoff’s investments were “too good to be true” in the two months leading up to the Ponzi schemer’s arrest, during which time the bank kept doing business with him anyway.

According to ABC News, lawyers representing Madoff’s victims have filed a $6.4 billion lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase, claiming the bank “continued its relationship with Madoff despite having documented suspicions about him.”

Indeed, a “Suspicious Activity Report” shows that the bank’s London office was, well, suspicious of Madoff’s investment returns in October 2008. Madoff was arrested December 11 of that year.    Read more

By Lauren Kelley | AlterNet
Posted on Friday, December 3, 2010 @ 07:21 AM