Sunday, December 14, 2014

PNN - Professor Jazz (UN) Squared


1. POLANDS PROTESTS
Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Warsaw to protest recent election results. Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski says the ballots were falsified with almost 20 percent of the votes being declared invalid.
Kaczynski’s supporters are marching under the slogan “in support of democracy.” 
The organizers of the rally claim that over 100,000 people have turned out to protest, which would be the largest demonstration in the history of post-war Poland. However, reports from the Polish newspaper, Wyborcza, say this figure has been significantly inflated. Other estimates have put the figure at around 60,000, the paper adds.
from RT News


2. CIA Funding: Never Constrained by its Congressional Budget
How is it that the CIA has always found ways to spend past the means of its “black budget?” 
In this fourth exclusive excerpt from author Peter Dale Scott’s new book “The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on U.S. Democracy,” the professor emeritus of English at Berkeley and former Canadian diplomat lays out how the CIA has run slush funds since its inception. 
In it, Scott marshals evidence that the proceeds of several U.S.-Saudi arms deals are the common denominator tying together every major “deep state” event involving the U.S. since 1976. 
Scott is considered the father of “deep politics”—the study of hidden permanent institutions and interests whose influence on the political realm transcends the elected. In “American Deep State,” he painstakingly details the facts lurking behind the official histories to uncover the real dynamics in play. 
from Who, What, Why

3.Hundreds of Ex-Obama Staffers Call on Warren to Run
On Friday morning, the group "Ready for Warren" released a letter calling on Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president — with the signatures of over 330 former Obama campaign staffers.
"We believed in an unlikely candidate who no one thought had a chance," the letter begins. "We organized like no campaign had organized before — and won the Democratic primary. We built a movement." 
The letter calls "rising income inequality" the "challenge of our times", and concludes: "We want someone who will stand up for working families and take on the Wall Street banks and special interests that took down our economy … We urge Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016."
Warren's increased prominence
Warren has said repeatedly that she has no intention of running. But the new effort to coax her into the race comes as she's taken an increasingly prominent role in key political battles. 
She has harshly criticized this week's government funding bill because it repeals part of Dodd-Frank, and is going to war with Obama over his nomination of investment banker Antonio Weiss for a position in the Treasury Department. She was also given a role in the Senate Democratic leadership in November.
from RSN


4. Kerry’s Speech In Lima Rings Hollow
Reuters/ Enrique Castro-Mendivil In response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks today at the UN climate change conference in Lima, Peru, Karen Orenstein, senior analyst at Friends of the Earth U.S., issued the following statement: We only wish that the U.S. government acted in accordance with the sense of urgency that Secretary Kerry expressed in his speech today at the climate summit in Lima, Peru. The world is tired of hearing rhetorical, empty boasting about U.S. leadership while the glaciers melt, fires rage and people lose their lives to climate change. Yes, the political climate in Washington, DC is indisputably difficult, but that doesn’t excuse President Obama’s advocacy for a non-science-based, voluntary climate agreement internationally, or his decision at home to give fossil fuel polluters access to publicly owned lands. POPULAR Resistence

5.  Jamie Diamond -  WRITES ITS OWN REGULATION
Jamie Dimon himself called to urge support for the derivatives rule in the spending bill 11 Dec 2014 The acrimony that erupted Thursday between President Obama and members of 'his own party' largely pivoted on a single item in a 1,600-page piece of legislation to keep the government funded: Should banks be allowed to make risky investments using taxpayer-backed money? The very idea was abhorrent to many Democrats on Capitol Hill. And some were stunned that the White House would support the bill with that provision intact, given that it would erase a key provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, one of Obama's signature achievements. But perhaps even more outrageous to Democrats was that the language in the bill appeared to come directly from the pens of lobbyists at the nation's biggest banks, aides said. The provision was so important to the profits at those companies that J.P.Morgan's chief executive Jamie Dimon himself telephoned individual lawmakers to urge them to vote for it, according to a person familiar with the effort.
$1.1T spending bill, a gift to GOP and corporations, slashes EPA, bank, pension, and campaign finance regulations --Republicans won a new concession exempting many agricultural projects from clean water rules 10 Dec 2014 Democratic support for a huge, $1.1 trillion spending bill funding every corner of government faded Wednesday as liberal lawmakers erupted over a provision that weakens the regulation of risky financial instruments and another that allows more money to flood into political parties...Top Democrats were lining up to vote against the measure. "I'm not going to support it. I've already found lots of provisions that are against the public interest," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. "I find it surprising that some people are threatening to shut down the government in order to extract big benefits for big banks at the expense of consumers and taxpayers."

Democrats fail to curb corporate overseas tax-shifting inversions in spending bill 10 Dec 2014 Democratic lawmakers wanted to use a year-end spending bill to punish U.S. companies that moved their tax addresses overseas by barring them from getting government contracts. It didn't work. In the end, all the Democrats got was new language that may not affect any companies and a renewed provision that has proved ineffective in the past. The policy is a victory for companies including Medtronic Inc. and Tyco International Plc, which have millions of dollars in U.S. contracts and will be able to keep their business with the government. Medtronic is moving its tax address to Ireland next year and Tyco completed an inversion in 1997.
Citizens for Legitimate Govt.

6. Senator Elizabeth Warren's recent speech (excerpt)
Democrats don't like Wall Street bailouts. Republicans don't like Wall Street bailouts. The American people are disgusted by Wall Street bailouts
And yet here we are, five years after Dodd-Frank with Congress on the verge of ramming through a provision that would do nothing for the middle class, do nothing for community banks, do nothing but raise the risk that taxpayers will have to bail out the biggest banks once again...

So let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi[group]. I agree with you Dodd-Frank isn't perfect. It should have broken you into pieces!
If this Congress is going to open up Dodd-Frank in the months ahead, then let's open it up to get tougher, not to create more bailout opportunities. If we're going to open up Dodd-Frank, let's open it up so that once and for all we end too big to fail and I mean really end it, not just say that we did.
Instead of passing laws that create new bailout opportunities for too big to fail banks, let's pass...something...that would help break up these giant banks.

A century ago Teddy Roosevelt was America's Trust-Buster. He went after the giant trusts and monopolies in this country, and a lot of people talk about how those trust deserved to be broken up because they had too much economic power. But Teddy Roosevelt said we should break them up because they had too much political power. Teddy Roosevelt said break them up because all that concentrated power threatens the very foundations up our democratic system.
And now we're watching as Congress passes yet another provision that was written by lobbyists for the biggest recipient of bailout money in the history of this country. And its attached to a bill that needs to pass or else we entire federal government will grind to a halt.

Think about that kind of power. If a financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage. That alone is reason enough to break them up.
Enough is enough.
Enough is enough with Wall Street insiders getting key position after key position and the kind of cronyism that we have seen in the executive branch. Enough is enough with Citigroup passing 11th hour deregulatory provisions that nobody takes ownership over but everybody will come to regret. Enough is enough
Washington already works really well for the billionaires and the big corporations and the lawyers and the lobbyists.

But what about the families who lost their homes or their jobs or their retirement savings the last time Citigroup bet big on derivatives and lost? What about the families who are living paycheck to paycheck and saw their tax dollars go to bail out Citi just 6 years ago?

We were sent here to fight for those families. It is time, it is past time, for Washington to start working for them!


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PNN is very happy to present two outstanding Jazz Musicians
James Ousley Master Jazz Bass Player and Music Professor at FIU
and 
Melton Mustafa Trumpet Master and Jazz Promoter and Producer 
TUNE IN - JAZZ TALK and JAZZ Music


Sunday, November 30, 2014

PNN - Going Going Going ...Green


PNN - 11/30/14

Dezaray Tampa Food Not Bombs
Drew Martin Sierra Club
Cris  Costello Sierra Club
Jeanie Economos Farm Worker Association Pesticide Trainer 
Jillian Pim - Ft. Lauderdale Food Not Bombs


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1. A Nation of Laws… or
UN Investigators Urge Obama to Release CIA Torture Report
By Robert Evans, Reuters
29 November 14


United Nations human rights investigators called on President Barack Obama to live up to principles preached by the United States around the world and release a long completed report on CIA interrogation methods.

In an open letter issued in Geneva, the seven investigators and academic legal experts, said publication of the report by a Senate committee would be welcomed by victims of torture and their supporters everywhere.

Among the signatories were the world body's special rapporteurs for torture and for freedom of expression.

"As a nation that has publicly affirmed its belief that respect for truth advances respect for the rule of law, and as a nation that frequently calls for transparency and accountability in other countries, the United States must rise to meet the standards it has set both for itself and others," the open letter declared.

The Senate committee spent four years investigating waterboarding and other CIA practices used against terrorism suspects during the administration of former president George W. Bush. In April, it approved its report for release.

But the document has not yet been published, largely because of CIA demands that it be edited to obscure names and patterns of behavior that were crucial "in the system of violations that needs to be understood and redressed," the open letter said.

The investigators, including one American and three Latin Americans who work at U.S. universities and cover areas like torture, arbitrary execution and freedom of expression, said other countries were closely watching the issue.

"Victims of torture and human rights defenders around the world will be emboldened if you take a strong stand in support of transparency," they told Obama.

"On the contrary, if you yield to the CIA's demands for continued secrecy on this issue, those resisting accountability will surely misuse this decision to bolster their agenda in their own countries," the seven added.

The American in the group was David Kaye, a former State Department lawyer and a university professor in California who is special rapporteur on freedom of expression for the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The group also included Juan Mendez, an Argentine former victim of torture under his country's military regime and now U.N. special rapporteur on torture and other cruel or degrading treatment.


2. With Election Over, First Order Of Business Is $450B Corporate Tax Break

The election is over. Congress is back in Washington. The first order of business after the election is to give big tax breaks to the corporations -- $450 billion worth. Fortunately, President Obama is trying to do something about this.

Tax Extenders

Every year Congress renews a package of "temporary" corporate tax breaks. The renewal process is called "tax extenders" because they extend the term of these temporary breaks. So now the Congress is working on this year's extenders package, except this time it wants to just make many of them (the ones that mostly give handouts to giant corporations and campaign donors) permanent. The Washington Post calls this process "a periodic bonanza for lobbyists."

A few of the special tax breaks in the extenders package are really good and serve an important purpose. For example, part of the package is tax credits that provide incentives to invest in renewable energy. But most others are just giveaways and handouts to the already-wealthy, like depreciation tax breaks for people who own racehorses. (Yes, really.) Even worse, some of these are loopholes that actually encourage corporations to shift U.S. profits offshore into tax havens. (Yes, really.)

The good breaks are used to grease the wheels to slip these special favors through -- as in "if you want to get those wind tax credits you're going to have to pass a tax break for Mitt Romney's racehorses."

The media is reporting that Congress is near a deal on these extenders. The deal kills several "good" tax breaks that help working people and the middle class, like an expanded child tax credit for the working poor and expanded earned-income credit. The deal phases out the wind power tax credit after 2017.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) pointed out that companies that renounce their U.S. citizenship would even get special breaks from this deal:
"'The package would provide a permanent boon to large corporations, even those that renounce their U.S. citizenship and invert,' he said. 'And adding insult to injury, the proposed deal chooses to leave behind working families and would make things harder for millions of Americans. The overall package is simply unacceptable and adds more than $400 billion to the debt. We need to grow the middle class, not punish those working hard to get by while always giving preferences and priority treatment to big corporations who can hire high-priced, well-funded lobbyists.'"
Not Paid For
These tax breaks are not "paid for" -- they just add to the deficit. Remember how Congress rejected providing benefits for the long-term unemployed because they were not "paid for"? Congress won't fix the country's infrastructure because doing so is not "paid for." Even disaster relief had to be "paid for"!
But none of these corporate tax breaks and loopholes being considered are "paid for" -- but for some reason this isn't a problem -- this time. Because racehorses. Anyway, we're only talking about $450 billion.
President Says He Will Veto
The President says he will veto this deal if it reaches his desk. Roll Call has the story, in, "Obama Would Veto Corporate Tax Cut Bill":
"President Barack Obama would veto an emerging $450 billion tax cut deal coming together in the Senate because it doesn't do enough for the middle class, according to the White House.
"'The President would veto the proposed deal because it would provide permanent tax breaks to help well-connected corporations while neglecting working families,' said Jen Friedman, deputy White House press secretary."


3.The Fed Under Goldman's Thumb: Carmen Segarra's Picture Gets Senate Hearing
By Ian Katz and Jeff Kearns, Bloomberg News
29 November 14

illiam C. Dudley came under attack today by U.S. senators, who accused the Federal Reserve Bank of New York president of being too cozy with big Wall Street banks.
“I wouldn’t accept the premise that there’s been a long list of failures by the New York Fed since my tenure,” Dudley said in response to an assertion by Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat.
“Is there a cultural problem at the New York Fed? I think the evidence suggests that there is,” Warren said. “Either you need to fix it, Mr. Dudley, or we need to get someone who will.”
The hearing was prompted by allegations by a former New York Fed bank examiner, Carmen Segarra, who said her colleagues were too deferential to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the Wall Street bank where Dudley was chief economist for a decade.
Segarra attended today’s hearing and later released a statement via a spokesman expressing disappointment that she was not given a chance to address the panel.
“She looks forward to publicly testifying if and when the Senate moves forward with additional hearings,” said her spokesman, Jamie Diaferia, in an e-mail.
Senators questioned Dudley, 61, on issues ranging from whether some banks are too big to regulate to the Fed’s role in overseeing their commodities businesses.
Some of the criticism was pointed. Warren, a frequent critic of financial regulators, asked Dudley if he was “holding a mirror to your own behavior.”
Bank Misdeeds 
Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, complained that bank employees involved in misdeeds haven’t been prosecuted and are “too big to jail.”
Dudley repeatedly disagreed with assertions that the New York Fed wasn’t doing enough to regulate banks and said lenders have become stronger and safer in the past few years.
He also took issue with Warren’s description of regulators as the “cop on the beat,” saying the Fed is concerned more with the safety and soundness of the financial system and refers potential crimes to law-enforcement agencies.
“I think of it more like a fire warden makes sure that the institution is run well so that it’s not going to catch on fire and burn down,” he said.
Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat and chairman of the subcommittee that held the hearing, urged the Fed to increase its emphasis on oversight and said only two of the central bank’s 12 regional presidents have “any background in supervision.”
Commodities Businesses 
Brown also asked Dudley if he thought banks should have commodities businesses, the subject of another congressional hearing today at which Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo testified.
“I think there are serious questions of whether they should,” Dudley said. Story: Janet Yellen Can't Say It, but the Republican Win Was Bad for Her
Dennis Kelleher, president of Washington-based Better Markets Inc., a non-profit group that backs stricter bank regulation, said it’s “amazing that there is bipartisan missile heading for the Fed and the people at the Fed appear oblivious to it.”
Republicans, who are poised to control the Senate next year in addition to the House, have proposed legislation to curb Fed discretion on monetary policy and bank supervision.
No Republican members attended the hearing. The Senate adjourned yesterday and isn’t back in session until Dec. 1.
“It’s difficult to make a case that financial regulators, and the Fed in particular, have not gotten more aggressive in their oversight of big banks,” said Stephen Myrow, a former Treasury official who is now managing partner of consulting firm Beacon Policy Advisors LLC in Washington.
Populist Perception 
“Regulators will always have to contend with the populist perception of a cozy relationship between the Fed and Wall Street, and incidents like the ones currently in Congress’s cross hairs don’t help.”
The Fed yesterday announced a broad review of its supervision of the largest banks and asked an internal watchdog to look into whether dissenting views among its bank examiners got sufficient attention within the central bank.
Dudley, responding to a question by Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said he was “definitely not hired and appointed by the people that I regulated.” He also said it was up to Congress to change the law and make the selection of the head of the New York Fed subject to Senate approval.
Reed introduced a bill this week to add the New York Fed chief to the list of central bank officials who must be nominated by the U.S. president and confirmed by the Senate. Regional Fed presidents are currently picked by their own directors, subject to the approval of Fed governors, who are all Senate-confirmed.
Bankers Fired 
Today’s Senate hearing follows reports that Goldman Sachs fired two bankers after one of them allegedly shared confidential documents from the New York Fed within the firm.
A junior banker, who had joined the company in July from the New York Fed, was dismissed a week after the discovery in late September, along with another employee who failed to escalate the issue, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Goldman Sachs confirmed the memo’s contents.
The incident is a fresh embarrassment for Dudley, who has carried on a campaign to overhaul what he calls an errant banking “culture” of misdeeds that has led to more than $100 billion of fines.


4. My Letter to Ft. Lauderdale’s Mayor

Mayor Seiler, sir I protest

Fort Lauderdale is not just beaches, and it isn't just yachts its also made up of children and immigrants and the poor. 
While public safety is important its a JOB CREATOR. Pretending that hygene and health is the reason to prevent and criminalize the poor is not just inefficient it is immoral.

Whether you studied the Bible or the Koran or the Talmud or the Ramayana as a child, the law givers and the moralists never proclaimed that the poor should be locked up and those good people who take time to notice and feed them do no criminal act. When they are harassed and arrested for feeding the poor we turn our faces from a moral life and to a colder and less humane way of life.

Please find the spirit of charity in your heart. Find the compassion that your mother and father taught you. The stony hearted will always council the cold dark way. The sun and the city are for all rich and poor alike. We serve our rich and our poor every day. 
Let us not favor one at the expense of the other.

I ask you be enlightened by the HOLIDAY SEASON, give thanks that your family is not destitute. Give thanks that you father did no sustain, a horrible health condition that drove his family to the street, living without shelter.

Take food out to the street yourself. See a needy person receive that plate from your hand, and decide how you might best serve all of the people of Fort Lauderdale.

Richard W. Spisak
former Broward County Resident


5. SOME EVENTS FOR PROGRESSIVES IN BROWARD & PALM BEACH COUNTIES-291

Saturday November 29, 11 a.m. Mass Rally in defense of the rights of the homeless; in protest against homeless criminalization laws across the United States; and demanding permanent housing and services for those in need.
Over the past seven months the Fort Lauderdale City Commission, led by Mayor Jack Seiler, has waged an unprecedented assault on the very existence of homeless persons within its borders.  This mayor’s repeated claims about the existence of alternatives to the newly criminalized outdoor food sharing sites have been exposed as false by local media.  
The icing on this bitter cake, which is layered with prohibitions against camping, publicly storing personal belongings and panhandling, has been Ordinance C-14-42, which effectively criminalizes public food sharing.  More than a dozen summonses—including at least three given to 91-year-old “Chef Arnold” Abbott—have been issued since this law’s implementation on October 31.  The backlash against this legal denial of human decency has attained global proportions, with condemnations ushering from thousands on social media and from mass media outlets on every continent (Antarctica excluded). 
Homeless advocacy organizations both locally and nationally—e.g., the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty—have condemned the criminalization of homelessness for decades as a non-solution and a bar to attaining the goal of ending homelessness.  The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness concurs that providing permanent supportive housing and services to the chronically homeless, as opposed to criminalizing their life-sustaining activity, is both humane and cost-effective.  Even Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has decried laws which criminalize homelessness as wrongheaded.
Speakers/Endorsers (more TBA): Arnold Abbott, The Rev. Canon Mark Sims,
Rev. Craig Watts, Rabbi Barry Silver, Rev. Gail Tapscott, Rev. Dwayne Black, National Coalition for the Homeless, Broward Coalition to End Homelessness,
The Homeless Voice, Project Downtown Fort Lauderdale, REMAR USA, Broward Homeless Campaign, Community Outreach Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale
United States Federal Courthouse
299 East Broward Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale

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PNN - Going Green
Nov. 30th 7pm - 9pm (Eastern)
Join News Director Rick Spisak and his Green Green very Green Guests:
Marty Baum River Keeper to discuss current issues regarding St. Lucie River and the Lake Okeechobee effluent.
Drew Martin Palm Beach Water Board and Sierra Club Leader
Cris  Costello Sierra Club water activist
Jeannie Economos - Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator at Farmworker Association of Florida
Tune in for a wide-ranging discussion of Florida's Environmental State here at the end of 2014
Solidarity & Peace
Rick Spisak, News Director Progressive News Network


http://www.blogtalkradio.com/newmercurymedia/2014/12/01/pnn--going-green

Sunday, November 23, 2014

PNN _JAZZ Artists and a side of Producer

PNN - 11/23/14

Nicky & Debbie Orta 7:15 - 8:05pm

Tony Sinatra              8:06 - 8:55pm
==============================


1. FLORIDA NUCLEAR PLANT FLOODING… OOPS!

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is stepping up oversight of one of two units at Florida Power & Light Co.’s St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant after about 50,000 gallons of water entered a reactor auxiliary building during heavy rains in January, according to the NRC.
The incident at the nuclear plant on Hutchinson Island occurred Jan. 9, when more than 7 inches of rain fell on the site, a report states. A blocked storm drain system played a role.
“During the event, stormwater entered the reactor auxiliary building … through degraded electrical conduits that were later found not to have internal flood seals,” a report states.
Both units were operating at 100 percent at the time.
By comparison, 50,000 gallons is about the amount held by a 25-by-45-foot swimming pool with an average depth of 6 feet.
The finding was described as being “of low to moderate safety significance.”
On a color-coded scale of green, white, yellow and red, with red being the most significant and green the least, this classified as white.
FPL didn’t argue with the significance of the findings, and agreed to make corrections.
Joey Ledford, NRC public affairs officer, said the auxiliary building houses safety-related equipment. He described it as equipment, such as pumps and valves, important to safely shut down the reactor in the event of an accident.
“Fifty thousand gallons of water sounds like an immense amount, and it is a pretty large amount, but none of the safety equipment was damaged,” Ledford said.
Greg Brostowicz, FPL spokesman, said the issue didn’t present any risk to the health and safety of workers or the public.
“In an abundance of caution, in some areas we’ve gone so far as to protect to twice the height of the flooding protection required,” he said.
The NRC also found a violation related to failing to provide “complete and accurate information on the condition of the flood barriers at St. Lucie,” a release states.
Ledford, who said two NRC inspectors are at the St. Lucie plant, said that after the 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan, the NRC “issued a number of orders and requests for more information.”
“One of the things that St. Lucie and other plants were asked to do, was to assess their plants’ ability to handle floods, as well as other events like seismic (events),” he said. “In their walk downs and their inspection, they should have identified this problem before this happened, and they did not.”
Ledford said the stepped-up oversight means additional inspections “until they return to normal oversight in a period to be determined.”
Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

2. GERRYMANDERING CONSULTANTS NO LONGER ABLE TO SHEILD
EMAIL/Consultations

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/newmercurymedia/2014/11/24/progressive-news-network--jazz-and-the-producer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — After a bitter legal tussle that has veered between federal and state courts, hundreds of pages of documents and emails that could expose the role that Republican consultants played in drawing new Florida congressional districts will likely finally be made public.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Friday turned down an emergency request from a GOP consultant to block the release of documents from Florida's redistricting process. The Florida Supreme Court has already ordered the unsealing of the documents on Dec. 1.
Pat Bainter and his Gainesville-based firm Data Targeting had filed an emergency petition to Thomas asking that the documents remain sealed until at least February.
But Thomas, who is responsible for handling emergency appeals from Florida, turned down the request without comment on Friday.
A circuit judge cited the 538 pages of documents and emails as one reason why he ruled this summer that the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature violated voter approved standards that say congressional districts cannot be drawn to favor any political party or incumbent.
Bainter's lawyers maintained release of the documents would violate his First Amendment rights as well as trade secrets. But the state Supreme Court rejected that argument, pointing out that Bainter had engaged "gamesmanship" and had waited until the last moment to assert that releasing the documents would violate First Amendment rights. The high court ruling noted that at one point Bainter had maintained he had no real role in redistricting and that he had an "after the fact interest."
Media organizations, including The Associated Press, had asked in a friend of the court brief for the documents to be released.
Lawyers who represented the groups challenging the districts said the records will reveal the "shadow process" they said existed between the consultants and legislators to violate the "Fair Districts" standards adopted by voters in 2010.
Judge Terry Lewis in July agreed there was enough evidence to show that consultants helped manipulate the process and ruled that two districts were invalid. Legislators in August adopted a new map that alters seven of the state's existing 27 districts and shifts nearly 400,000 voters in central and north Florida. Those changes, however, will not take effect until the 2016 elections.
___
A previous version of this story stated the entire U.S. Supreme Court turned down the request. The request was turned down by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

3. texas regulation (fail)
Four workers died at DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte after being exposed to a chemical called methyl mercaptan. Federal and state officials have launched an investigation. Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, in La Porte. ( Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle )

4. Japan's nuclear cleanup stymied by water woes
OKUMA, Japan (AP) - More than three years into the massive cleanup of Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant, only a tiny fraction of the workers are focused on key tasks such as preparing for the dismantling of the broken reactors and removing radioactive fuel rods.
Instead, nearly all the workers at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are devoted to an enormously distracting problem: a still-growing amount of contaminated water used to keep the damaged reactors from overheating. The amount has been swelled further by groundwater entering the reactor buildings.
Hundreds of huge blue and gray tanks to store the radioactive water, and buildings holding water treatment equipment are rapidly taking over the plant, where the cores of three reactors melted following a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Workers were building more tanks during a visit to the complex Wednesday by foreign media, including The Associated Press.
"The contaminated water is a most pressing issue that we must tackle. There is no doubt about that," said Akira Ono, head of the plant. "Our effort to mitigate the problem is at its peak now. Though I cannot say exactly when, I hope things start getting better when the measures start taking effect."
The numbers tell the story.
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6,000 WORKERS
Every day, about 6,000 workers pass through the guarded gate of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on the Pacific coast - two to three times more than when it was actually producing electricity.
On a recent work day, about 100 workers were dismantling a makeshift roof over one of the reactor buildings, and about a dozen others were removing fuel rods from a cooling pool. Most of the rest were dealing with the contaminated water, said Tatsuhiro Yamagishi, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, the utility that owns the plant.
The work threatens to exhaust the supply of workers for other tasks, since employees must stop working when they reach annual radiation exposure limits. Experts say it is crucial to reduce the amount and radioactivity of the contaminated water to decrease the risk of exposure to workers and the environmental impact before the decommissioning work gets closer to the highly contaminated core areas.
5. Strong Earthquake strikes japan
A strong earthquake in the mountainous area of central Japan that hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics destroyed more than half a dozen homes in a ski resort town and injured at least 30 people, officials said.
The magnitude-6.8 earthquake struck Saturday near Nagano city shortly after 10 p.m. (1300 GMT) at a depth of 10 kilometres, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake's magnitude at 6.2. Since the quake occurred inland, there was no possibility of a tsunami.
Ryo Nishino, a restaurant owner in Hakuba, a ski town west of Nagano, told Japanese broadcaster NHK that he had "never experienced a quake that shook so hard. The sideways shaking was enormous." He said he was in the restaurant's wine cellar when the quake struck, and that nothing broke there.


6. Ferguson police email deletion and search questioned
ST. LOUIS - For the past weeks, 5 On Your Side Investigates has been pouring through more than 2,000 pages of Sunshine Law requests concerning Ferguson, looking for information you haven't heard before.
Missouri has a public records law – the "Sunshine Law" -- so you can find out what public officials are doing – and how your tax dollars are being spent.
5 On Your Side is trying to examine what local officials were saying to each other in emails after the shooting in Ferguson.
The documents we've uncovered raise new questions about what has – and has not been released.
It's something concerned citizens have wondered about since the day Michael Brown died.
Would emails between Ferguson police and other officials shed any light on the shooting, the protests, law enforcement and National Guard reaction?
We reviewed copies of open records requests from reporters and private citizens across the country, and around the world, that flooded Ferguson in the days and weeks after the shooting.
Many of them asking for those emails.
But one request stands out, from a reporter whose name may forever be associated with Ferguson's open records searches, Jason Leopold.
"I wanted every officer's inbox to be searched," Leopold said in an interview with 5 On Your Side. "I had assumed all the email boxes were searched."
Leopold, with the international online news channel Vice News filed, an open records request asking for "any and all emails" police sent about Brown and the protests in the five weeks that followed.
He made national headlines when he had to pay $1200 for the search which produced seven email exchanges he published.
That's right, just seven emails, in more than a month.
When we asked about the city's search procedures, Ferguson's city manager issued a statement.
"The City has instructed the contractor to search all emails on the system," said Ferguson City Manager John Shaw. "Including deleted emails for the keywords provided by the requester."
But we started asking more questions when we discovered a report on the email search.
It's from Acumen Consulting, the St. Louis-based company the city hired to do the email search.
One line describes the search process.
"Per City of Ferguson policy, it is assumed at this time that no one has violated the 'no email deletions' policy," the document sent by Acumen to Ferguson says.
What's that mean? Two computer experts we consulted called it unusual.
"This does not appear to be a thorough search," said Minneapolis based cyber-security expert Mark Lanterman.
Lanterman says although the consultant may have searched for some deleted emails, the only comprehensive way to do a search is to look for deleted – and purged deleted - emails, too.
That's because even after you hit delete – and clean out your trash box – they sometimes survive deep in a computer's memory.
But if you check the email search contract, there is a section called "Assumptions and Conditions."
The "Assumptions and Conditions" clause from Acumen states: "It is our understanding that no one has intentionally deleted or purged email."
St. Louis computer expert Vinnie Troia says making an assumption like that is like putting blinders on the search, and in his professional opinion, the Ferguson email search was not complete.
"It isn't," Troia said. "As you're looking at a forensic process, the first thing you're looking at is deleted items."
No one knows for sure whether there were any deleted emails, but it raises the possibility that a hidden pool of them went undetected, a possibility Vice News' Leopold said Ferguson officials didn't explain, and that he didn't know until 5 On Your Side contacted him.
"No, no idea at all," Leopold said. "I'm absolutely suspicious about what was deleted in the aftermath of Michael Brown's death."
And when you read the consultant's report carefully, you discover even he thought additional searches could have been done.
"It is possible to perform a 'per computer deleted item search,'" the consultant told Ferguson officials it would "require 30 minutes per computer request."
The report goes on…
"Per our discussion regarding budget control, I have stopped the search at five hours and am presenting the results," Acumen said in its final report to Ferguson officials on the search.
That has the reporter who paid big bucks for what he thought was a complete search – wondering:
"I do believe there is a smoking gun out there someplace and it's likely in someone's trashbin," Leopold said. "I'm outraged, and I think the public should be as well."
We contacted the consultant, Acumen, multiple times trying to get clarification about all of this. No one responded, but no one has suggested the consultant is a fault.
Without a complete search, experts say there is no way to know whether there are any deleted emails.
To find out, 5 On Your Side Investigates filed an open records request for every deleted Ferguson email since August.
The city wants a down payment of $500 before they start. We'll let you know what we discover.
WE ASSUME NO ONE HAS VIOLATED THE erased the NO EMAIL DELETIONS 
ASSUMPTIONS AND CONDITIONED
no one has "intentionally" deleted or purged any emails.
stopped at 5 hours.

FROM CLG NEWS
New secret authorization also allows American jets, bombers and drones to support Afghan troops on combat missions 21 Nov 2014 President Obama signed a secret order in recent weeks authorizing a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year. In an announcement in the White House Rose Garden in May, Mr. Obama said that the American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that the missions for the 9,800 troops remaining in the country would be limited to training Afghan forces and to hunting the "remnants of Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]." But Mr. Obama's secret order allows American forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government, a broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year, according to several administration, military and congressional officials with knowledge of the decision.

White House, C.I.A. Working Together to Thwart Release of Agency's Torture Report - Senate Democrats 21 Nov 2014 In a tense confrontation with President Obama's closest adviser on Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats accused the White House of trying to censor significant details in a voluminous report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency. During a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill with Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff, the senators said that the White House was siding with the C.I.A. and trying to thwart negotiations over the report's release. The negotiations have dragged on for months because of a dispute over the C.I.A.'s demand that pseudonyms of agency officers [war criminals] be deleted from the report. The C.I.A., supported by the White House, has argued that even without using the real names of the officers, their identities could still be revealed.

CIA wants to destroy thousands of internal emails covering spy operations and other activities 20 Nov 2014 A CIA plan to erase tens of thousands of its internal emails -- including those sent by virtually all covert and counterterrorism officers after they leave the agency -- is drawing fire from Senate Intelligence Committee members concerned that it would wipe out key records of some of the agency's most controversial operations [aka war crimes; torture; the 9/11 inside job; creation and perpetuation of al-CIAduh and I-CIA-SIS]. The agency proposal, which has been tentatively approved by the National Archives, "could allow for the destruction of crucial documentary evidence regarding the CIA's activities," Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein and ranking minority member Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., wrote in a letter to Margaret Hawkins, the director of records and management services at the archives.

Utah Considers Cutting Off Water to the NSA's Monster Data Center 20 Nov 2014 The legislation, proposed by Utah lawmaker Marc Roberts (R), is due to go to the floor of the Utah House of Representatives early next year, but it was debated in a Public Utilities and Technology Interim Committee meeting on Wednesday. The bill, H.B. 161, directs municipalities like Bluffdale to "refuse support to any federal agency which collects electronic data within this state." Lawmakers are considering a bill that would shut off the water spigot to the massive data center operated by the National Security Agency in Bluffdale, Utah.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

PNN 's PROGRESSIVES ADVANCE We've (NO TIME TO RETREAT)

PNN's Guests

Mark Pafford
Steve Horn
Rhana - in the steps of Granny D 
Debbie Jordan
Charles Messina
Rachel Pienta
Meredith Ockman
Anita Stewart

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events

Nov 21 - 23 at the Friends Quaker Meeting House, 823 North A Street, Lake Worth.

Three days of movie screenings and discussions focusing on the environment and the activists fighting to protect it!

Each day will include documentaries and short films throughout the day, and will end with a feature film and discussion. A complete schedule of each day's films and start times will be posted shortly.

Schedule and Features:

Friday, November 21: 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Feature film: Bidder 70
Description: Economics student Tim DeChristopher makes a startling bid to save 22,000 acres of Utah wilderness at the 2008 BLM Oil and Gas Lease Auction.
Watch the trailer: 

Saturday, November 22: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Feature film: Wrenched
Description: The film Wrenched captures the passing of the monkey wrench from the pioneers of eco-activism to the new generation which will carry Edward Abbey's legacy into the 21st century. The fight continues to sustain the last bastion of the American wilderness - the spirit of the West.
Watch the trailer: http://wrenched-themovie.com/

Sunday, November 23: 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Kids day! Child care will be provided. We'll be watching environmentally-focused kids movies throughout afternoon and evening. Call us at 561.320.3840 or email us at collective[at]earthfirstjournal.org for more information.

Feature film: Hoot
Description: Roy Eberhardt moves from Montana to Florida's Gulf Coast, and when he and his new friends learn that a restaurant will be built where burrowing owls live, the three decide to enlist the help of a local policeman to save the birds.

Suggested donation: $10 per day, or $25 for the weekend. All money raised supports the Earth First! Journal. No one turned away for lack of funds. 

Questions? Email us at: collective[at]earthfirstjournal.org
Or call us: 561.320.3840

For the Wild!

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NEWS:
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what is the end state: rep. walter jones $5-6 billion (how does it end)
we had to do it - rummy said

general demsey  - we'll have to have a branch plan

Google is amassing huge amounts of personal user data while simultaneously accruing big-time political clout, a new report from Public Citizen confirms.
1. "Mission Creep-y: Google Is Quietly Becoming One of the Nation’s Most Powerful Political Forces While Expanding Its Information-Collection Empire" (pdf) looks at the ways Google is accumulating political power—through high-powered lobbying and sizable campaign donations—as well as massive amounts of personal information that make the company a "treasure trove for agencies like the NSA."
"Google is becoming exponentially more powerful in federal and state governments," said Sam Jewler, author of the report and communications officer for Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch. "At the same time, it’s pushing boundaries in technology, and it has shown that it can’t always be trusted to do the right thing with people’s information. When we see such massive influence, it raises the question, will regulators and lawmakers be reluctant to rein in Google?"
While the company admittedly provides popular and useful services, Jewler continued, its business model and "history of questionable practices indicate that, if left to its own devices, it may not always do what’s best for the public."
The report states that Google "is becoming the most prolific political spender among corporations in the United States, while providing less transparency about its activities than many other of its politically active peers."
Over the first three quarters of 2014, Google ranked first among all corporations in lobbying spending, according to OpenSecrets.org, and is on pace to spend $18.2 million on federal lobbying this year. In fact, it has spent $1 million more on lobbying than PhRMA, the trade association of the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2012, no company has spent more money on federal lobbying than Google.
In addition, the company's political action committee (PAC) spent $1.61 million this year, according to Federal Election Commission records, surpassing PAC expenditures by Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs.
Meanwhile, the company's "qualms about peering into people’s lives seem to have steadily diminished," the report says. In September, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Google's practices are "almost identical" to those of the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the GCHQ. The company's business model "is to spy," Assange said. 
For example, Google has recently acquired new technologies such as Skybox, which owns satellites that capture high-definition images and video around the planet multiple times per day; Nest and Dropcam, home devices that monitor things like temperature, energy usage, proximity of the owner to the house, and take video in the home; and Emu, which could be used to monitor and advertise in online chats and text messages.
The combination of expanding technology and exploding political influence could be dangerous, Public Citizen warns.
"Google has essentially responded to concerns about its practices by saying 'just trust us'," said Taylor Lincoln, research director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division and editor of the report. "But Google is gaining so much power that regulators may find it difficult to act if it turns out that the public’s trust has been misplaced."
A new survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that public trust is already pretty weak.
On Wednesday, Pew's "Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era" (pdf) showed that the majority of Americans lack confidence that they have control over their personal information. A full 91 percent of adults surveyed said they "agree" or "strongly agree" that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.

LISTEN

Since there has been a lot of media focus on Jonathan Gruber’s recently uncovered remarks about the American voters, I want to put it in the proper historic context. During the 2008 election a major attack line from candidate Obama was pointing out that John McCain planned to tax employer-provided health insurance. It was very effective so Obama repeatedly used it during debates, appearances, and inmultiple campaign ads. Obama spent months convincing the American public that any change to the tax exempt status of employer-provide health insurance was a Republican idea. Yet almost immediately after getting elected President Obama became determined to end the full tax-exempt status of employer-provided health insurance.
Instead of Obama being honest with the public by saying he changed his mind or was wrong during the campaign, Democrats came up with this contrived “Cadillac tax.” While technically it was an excise tax on insurers, every economists know it was designed to effectively be a tax on individual insurance.
When Gruber says ending the tax-exempt status of employer-provided health insurance wasn’t political viable so they needed to come up with a plan utilizing the “exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” he is referring to the fact Obama wanted to break one of his biggest campaign promises and still be able to lie about it.
While experts at the time saw through this fiction, it is refreshing to see a key architect so openly admit Democrats did it solely to con the public. Democrats embraced an idea they campaigned against, but in an attempt to trick the public they made it an even worse and needlessly more complex policy.

LISTEN


The meteoric rise to power of Barack Obama in 2008 was propelled by one of the greatest demagogic US Presidential campaigns of all time: To millions of young Americans, he promised to end the US wars in the Middle East. To millions of working and middle class voters, he promised to end the economic crisis by confronting Wall Street. To women, he promised to protect and expand their social rights and end the gender gap in wages and salaries. To human rights and civil liberties activists, he promised to end police state surveillance and torture, and to close the Guantanamo concentration camp, which had denied political prisoners a fair and open trial. To blacks, he promised higher living standards and greater racial equality in income. To Latino-Americans, he promised immigration reform facilitating a path to citizenship for long-term residents. Overseas he spoke in Cairo of a “new chapter” in US policy toward the Muslim world. To Russia, he promised President Putin he would ‘reset relations’ – toward greater co-operation.
Obama’s rhetorical flourishes attracted millions of young activists, women and minority voters  and leaders to work for his election and the Democratic Party. He won a resounding victory! And the Democrats took control of the House and Senate.
Obama Embraces the Rightwing Agenda
The rhetorical exercise was a massive smoke screen. For his electoral campaign Obama raised over one billion dollars from the ‘1%’ – Wall Street bankers, Hollywood media moguls, Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Chicago Zionists and the Mid-Western business elite. Obama was clearly playing a double game – talking to “the people” and working for ‘the bosses’.
A few analysts cut through the demagogy and identified Obama as the ‘Greatest Con-Man of recent times”, the Washington counterpart of the great contemporary Wall Street swindler Bernard ‘Bernie’ Madoff.
According to the somewhat more skeptical liberals and progressives, Obama would have to ‘choose’ between those who elected him and those who groomed and bankrolled him.
Obama quickly and decisively resolved the progressives’ ‘dilemma’. He re-appointed the two central officials who designed disgraced President Bush Jr’s war policy and Wall Street bailout: Robert Gates was confirmed as Secretary of Defense and Timothy Geithner was renewed as Treasury Secretary. Obama followed by teaming up with the head of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Shalom Bernacke and Treasury Secretary Geithner to launch a multi-year trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street, while hundreds of thousands of Obama voters had their mortgages foreclosed and millions of workers, who voted Democratic were fired and remained unemployed, because Washington prioritized Wall Street recovery of profitability over funding job-creating public works.
In response, millions of indignant citizens repudiated the Washington bailout and Congress temporarily shelved approval. However, the White House and the Democratic majority in both Houses, reversed course and approved the biggest State –to- Bankers handout in US – or for that matter, world – history.
If the Obama’s ‘First Wave of Reaction’ appointed powerful Wall Street clones and Pentagon war hawks to his cabinet and the ‘Second Wave of Reaction’ led to sacrificing workers’ incomes, employment and living standards, so that Wall Street could return to profitability, and the ‘Third Wave of Reaction’ was the escalation of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama has dispatched tens of thousands of US combat troops to ‘end the war by expanding the war’!
The Democratic Electorate Strikes Back: 2010
By the end of 2010, sufficient masses of Obama and Democratic voters were disenchanted to the point of notvoting in the Congressional elections: The Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives.

The most lucid and clearheaded progressives understood that nothing more was to be gained by waiting patiently ‘at the gate, like benighted pilgrims’ for their president Obama’s gaze to ‘turn left’ or for the Democrats to reverse course in Congress. Hundreds of thousands of citizens shook off the trickster’s spell and took to the streets blocking financial districts‘Occupy Wall Street’ – direct action in the streets, citizens clearly targeted the principle source of the economic crisis and the real power behind the demagogic rhetoric of the White House confidence man.

Federal, state and local police broke up, arrested and incarcerated the peaceful activists. The Occupy Wall Street movement, under massive and coordinated police-state siege, and without political direction, dispersed and disintegrated.
The ‘Fourth Wave of reaction’ was illuminated by the Snowden revelations of National Security Agency (NSA) intrusive spying into the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans as well as allied leaders in four continents – and unimaginable numbers of citizens in countries around the world. The White House gave unconditional backing to the entire, gargantuan police state apparatus and its unconstitutional intervention into everyday life of individuals and their families. Hundreds of thousands of civil libertarians, human rights activists and attorneys and millions of liberal democrats were shocked by Obama’s blatant refusal to rein-in or even acknowledge the enormous scope of illegal domestic spying.
TheFifth Wave of Reaction was the cumulative impact of five years of nurturing Wall Street profits and ignoring working and middle class income and declining living standards. Thanks to virtually free federal ‘bailout’ money, Wall Street borrowed and invested overseas  -reaping returns triple the miniscule interest rates in the US. They speculated on the stock market. The ‘D-J boom’ continued for five years while real incomes of most Americans continued to decline. Young Democratic voters, who had believed the con-man, remained mired at entry level jobs barely paying room and board. The ‘Audacity of Hope’ became the ‘Humiliation of Return’ into their parents’ homes for millions of young workers unable to support themselves…
Disenchantment Deepens
            Millions of Latino citizens, who were conned into believing that Obama would provide a ‘road-map to citizenship’ for twelve million fellow immigrants, discovered that the real Obama  policy toward immigrants was a ‘road map to violent arrest, incarceration and deportation’: A record two million immigrants were expelled in five years, exceeding the totals of all previous Presidents, even the most rabid rightwing Republicans.
Probably the most egregious and cynical con-job of all was the mega-con Obama perpetrated on Afro-Americans. More than any other group in the US, Afro-Americans have supported Barack Obama:  Ninety-five percent voted for the ‘First Afro-American President’.

Under President Obama, Afro-Americans have lost more personal wealth than under any president since the Great Depression. Many key indicators show that the economic conditions of Afro-Americans have worsened dramatically under Obama.

According to the US Federal Reserve’s survey of consumer finances, between 2009-2014, non-white household incomes have declined by nearly a tenth to $33,000 a year. Median incomes fell by five percent.  Data on net wealth – assets minus liabilities – tells an even more brutal story. The median non-white family today has a net worth of just $18,100 – almost a fifth lower than it was when Obama took office. In contrast, white median wealth increased by one percent to $142,000. In 2009 white households were seven times richer than blacks; that gap is now eightfold. Both in relative and absolute terms, black Americans are doing much worse under President Obama. His ‘Wall Street First’agenda (bailing out the banksters and mortgage swindlers) has relegated Afro-Americans to last place. Racial inequalities have deepened because Obama, who may have ‘shot some hoops’ on an urban ghetto playground and dressed up as a  ‘black role model’, in fact, oversaw an increasingly segregated and deteriorating school system. In Washington, he marginalized African-American concerns about double digit rates of unemployment in Detroit and other urban centers, while offering pompous, stern ‘moral’ lectures to unemployed blacks about their ‘family responsibilities’.

Obama’s demagogy and deceptive populist posturing  bamboozled most progressive voters for a period of time, but after five waves of reaction, many of the activists ‘wised up’ – first in the streets and then in the elections – by refusing to vote for Democrats running in the Congressional elections of 2014.

The Democratic Debacle of 2014
The major reason for the Democrat’s debacle in the ‘mid-term elections’ was the high rate of abstention and lack of activists getting out the vote.In many states, where the Democrats lost, the overall rate of abstention among eligible voters approached seventy percent. And there is reason to believe that the vast majority of non-voters (aka – the ‘none of the above’ voters) were Democrats, people disenchanted or hostile to Obama’s betrayals and, in particular, voters who believed that he had deceived or ‘conned them’.

Young people’s participation in this election, a major factor in mobilizing voters for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and doubly deceived, were notable by their absence: Young voters’ share of the electorate declined from 19% in 2012 to 13% in 2014. Parallel declines were documented in Latino-American and Afro-American turn-outs.
For those who voted, nearly half (45%) said that the ‘economy was the key consideration’ and by economy they didn’t mean Wall Street’s booming profits, or record high Dow Jones Stock quotes, which White House Democrats had hailed as their ‘economic success’. For the American middle and working class voters ‘ the economy’ that drove some to vote on November 4, 2014, was measured in the deterioration of affordable health insurance coverage and pension plans, the decline of living standards and the growth of ‘dead-end’ low-paid, contingent employment that rendered the lives and future increasingly unstable.

Most former Obama voters did not defect to the Republicans: They realized that both Democrats and Republicans were responsible for the domestic economy-busting decade-long wars and Wall Street hand-outs. They didnot vote: Most abstained!  Some former Democrats and Independents, and not a few Republicans, turned their anti-Obama animus into a rabid racist rant against the black President and extended their anger toward people of color in general. Obama’s con game has aroused deep racist undercurrents in US politics.
If his image as the first African-American President inspired a moment of hope and promise for greater racial equality in this country, his reactionary economic policies in practice allowed rightwing politicians to divert white worker and middle class economic discontent away from the criminals and swindlers on Wall Street to racist hostility toward the beleaguered black communities.

Post-Elections:  The Con-Man is Cornered
The new Republican Congressional majorities will continue to implement the fundamental economic and foreign policies of the Obama regime. Wall Street profits will continue to grow, income disparities between capital and labor will continue to sharpen and the highly militarized foreign policy of the last six years will become more overtly bi-partisan. The Democratic President will join with the Republican Congress in pursuing military confrontations in the Ukraine and in sending more US troops to Syria and Iraq.  Under pressure from Israel and its powerful US supporters, increased sanctions against Iran will scuttle US negotiations with Tehran. 

Obama’s blockade of Cuba will continue, as will bi-partisan hostility to center-left governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina. The grotesque narco-state terror and mass murder in Mexico and Central America will continue to fuel the massive refugee pressure on the US border and expose the hypocrisy of Washington’s humanitarian military missions in the Middle East.

The Republicans rode to power by exploiting discontent with Obama’s ‘Five Waves’ of reactionary policies; they will now co-operate with him in launching a ‘6th Wave’The Republican Congressional majority will embrace Obama’s proposal to ‘fast-track’ free trade treaties covering Asia and Europe, currently blocked by House Democrats and opposed by US trade unions.

The Republicans will join with Obama in backing corporate tax ‘reform’, which substantially reduces the tax on US multinational corporations’ overseas earnings in order to end the hoarding of profits in low tax countries – while intensifying austerity on American workers and the poor.
In other words, Obama will now openly coordinate with his Republican counterparts on an agenda they have shared from the first day he took office. This time Barack Obama, the Con-Man, will have to play it straight and cut the populist palaver –  Republicans and their business partners demand economic payoffs and overseas military victories. Obama, the ‘cowering Con-Man’, has been unmasked by progressives and is cornered by the Republicans … and they have no further use for his confab
James Petras latest book is the Politics of Empire:The U.S, Israel and the Middle East 

LISTEN

4. SENDING MORE VETERANS to FIGHT to make the World Safe for the POPPY PLAYERS
Posted: 14 Nov 2014 10:47 AM PST

Though the US has already sent about 1,000 soldiers into Iraq after ISIS took over a large swath of the country, President Obama continues to claim he hasn’t/won’t send in ground forces. The rationalization for that claim is that those new troops are not designated as combat troops but as advisors and guards. But now even that fiction may have to melt away as the Pentagon has flatly said they may need to send straight up combat troops to help the fledgling Iraqi army fight ISIS.
The announcement comes as ISIS and Al-Qaeda have reportedly reached an agreement to fight together rather than against each other. There was already a non-aggression pact and local collaborations but a meeting recently conducted in Syria appears to have concluded with both militant groups agreeing to a more comprehensive alliance. More bad news for the “moderate” Syrian rebels who now mostly serve as anunintended source of US weapons for ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
In Washington, U.S. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress on Thursday that the United States would consider dispatching a modest number of American forces to fight with Iraqi troops as they engage in more complex missions in the campaign against ISIS militants.

“I’m not predicting at this point that I would recommend that those forces in Mosul and along the border would need to be accompanied by U.S. forces, but we’re certainly considering it,” Dempsey told the House Armed Services Committee.
You had to see this one coming. Was there ever any doubt that the US was going to eventually send troops back in? It’s imperialism by numbers at this point – “advisors” go in first, air power, a small detachment to help locals with combat and then comes the big numbers. Only real question is when not if.
The US will be reoccupying Iraq soon enough, the only mystery left is how hilarious Obama’s backtracking will be when he has to send the troops in given his absolutist rhetoric earlier on in this fiasco. If you like your troop withdrawal, you can keep your troop withdrawal.

LISTEN


Posted: 14 Nov 2014 07:01 AM PST

Here we go again. The Department of Justice has been using a legally questionable program to target criminal suspect’s cell phone data. The program involves flying small Cessna planes equipped with a device known as a “dirtbox” which mimics cell towers in order to trick cellphones into giving out their registration information. Like the now notorious NSA programs exposed by Edward Snowden, the dirtbox program scoops up large amounts of data from entirely innocent people in order to look for those suspected of wrongdoing.
The use of this electronic dragnet is, according to an anonymous Justice Department official that spoke to The Wall Street Journal, legal and done with a judge’s approval. How a general warrant program gets by Fourth Amendment protections is an open question and one that could face some scrutiny now that the program has been revealed.

Cellphones are programmed to connect automatically to the strongest cell tower signal. The device being used by the U.S. Marshals Service identifies itself as having the closest, strongest signal, even though it doesn’t, and forces all the phones that can detect its signal to send in their unique registration information. Even having encryption on a phone, such as the kind included on Apple Inc.’s iPhone 6, doesn’t prevent this process.

The technology is aimed at locating cellphones linked to individuals under investigation by the government, including fugitives and drug dealers, but it collects information on cellphones belonging to people who aren’t criminal suspects, these people said. They said the device determines which phones belong to suspects and “lets go” of the non-suspect phones.
The value of the program for law enforcement beyond getting everything and the deciding what to disregard (rather than building from the ground up) is that using the dirtboxes cuts out the phone companies altogether. Instead of getting authorization to have the telcom companies track someone on their system – requiring legal justification and a paper trail – the government bypasses them and snatches up all the cell phone information in a given area itself.

What does DOJ do with all the information related to innocent people it grabs? It remains unclear. In theory that information should be disregarded as not relevant to the suspect they are pursuing, but we all know how hard it is for the government to give up data once it has it. Looks like DOJ may have its own metadata program.

Right now small Cessnas are being used to run the dragnet creating some technical limitations on time in the air and area that can be covered, but we all know this technology is going to be part of the domestic drone program, don’t we? A domestic drone fleet could fly all day and night in every corner of the country. Can you locate me now?

LISTEN

6. XL Pipeline BACK AGAIN - This one's for (Mary? [Landrieu?] Not for BIG OIL)
There are myriad reasons to oppose the expansion of the already-existing Keystone system.
Tar sands, tar sands pipelines and related issues are vast and complex with literally thousands of reports and articles on the subjects. We’ve tried to distill this information in a digestible form by coming up with a simple list of the ten reasons why you should oppose this pipeline project–and join our action to stop it.
1. CLIMATE CHANGE – NASA’s leading climate scientist, Dr. James Hansen has called the Keystone XL pipeline “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.” Hansen has said that if all the carbon stored in the Canadian tar sands is released into the earth’s atmosphere it would mean “game over” for the planet.
2. SPILLS – All pipelines spill. According to TransCanada the Keystone 1 pipeline was predicted to spill once every seven years. It spilled 12 times in its first year and it has spilled more than 30 times over its lifetime. The Keystone XL pipeline is built to spill, and when it does it will have a devastating effect upon employment and the economy, according to Cornell University.
The oil firm Enbridge ignored warning signs for more than five years along its 6B Line, and when it spilled in July of 2010 in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River it caused the most damaging onshore oil spill in US history.
3. EMINENT DOMAIN ABUSE – TransCanada has intimidated landowners along the pipeline route into signing contractual agreements for their land. TransCanada fraudulently steals land from private citizens through eminent domain.
A recent Texas Supreme Court case ruled that the application process for common carrier status, the status that allows private companies to seize property, does not not conclusively establish eminent-domain power.
4. WATER CONTAMINATION – The Keystone XL pipeline threatens Texas’ Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer which supplies drinking water to more than 12 million people living across 60 counties in drought-stricken East Texas.
TransCanada has indicated that up to 700,000 gallons of tar sands crude could leak out of the Keystone XL pipeline without triggering its real time leak-detection system.
The pipeline’s cross-border section also threatens the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest aquifer in the western North American region, upon which millions of people and agricultural businesses depend for drinking water, irrigation and livestock watering.
5. THE JOBS MYTH: KEYSTONE XL WILL DESTROY MORE JOBS THAN IT CREATES – According the Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute, the pipeline project will actually destroy more jobs than it creates.
While proponents of the Keystone XL keep repeating the mantra of job creation in the media, it has become clear that the numbers they continue to project are patently false.
Far more jobs could be created by the development of a clean energy economy and infrastructure.
6. GAS PRICES – The Keystone XL pipeline will drive up gas prices, not lower them, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
7. TAR SANDS FOR EXPORT – TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline will not reduce American dependence on foreign oil. The pipeline will carry tar sands from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Port Arthur, Tex. to be sold on the global market to the highest bidder. This is a for-profit for export pipeline.
8. THE PIPELINE VIOLATES TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY – The Indigenous Environmental Network has drafted the Mother Earth Accord with traditional treaty councils to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline and preserve the integrity of First Nations and tribal lands across Canada and the Untied States.
9. UNDISCLOSED TAR SANDS DILUTANTS – TransCanada refuses to disclose a comprehensive analysis of its mixture of chemical dilutants used to transport the otherwise viscous tar sands oil through the pipe, as well as human health and environmental risks associated with this secret mixture.
The Pipeline Hazardous Material Safety Administration told Congress that pipeline regulations were not designed for raw tar sands crude, that regulators had not yet evaluated what measures would be necessary to ensure that raw tar sands pipelines could be built and operated safely, and that PHMSA had not been involved in the environmental review.
10. FRAUDULENT ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW – The Environmental Impact Statement done of the Keystone XL pipeline was conducted by the State Department, not the EPA. Controversy erupted last fall over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ties to one of TransCanada’s top lobbyists, Paul Elliot. Elliot was one of Clinton’s top campaign officials during her 2008 presidential bid. The EIS found that the pipeline would have minimal impact on the environment, failing to properly analyze direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the pipeline project.
The “Gulf Coast Project” or southern portion of the Keystone XL does not have its own environmental review despite the fact that many issues unique to Texas and Oklahoma, such as wild fires and drought conditions, have yet to be analyzed.
Read more key facts on Keystone XL.

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7. War with the Sioux
House Vote in Favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline an Act of War
Lakota News
Rosebud, SD – In response to today’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, the Rosebud Sioux Tribal President announced that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) recognizes the authorization of this pipeline as an act of war.
The Tribe has done its part to remain peaceful in its dealings with the United States in this matter, in spite of the fact that the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through Tribal land, and the concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed.
“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” said President Scott of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. “We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such. We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people.”
In February of this year, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and other members of the Great Sioux Nation adopted Tribal resolutions opposing the Keystone XL project.
“The Lakota people have always been stewards of this land,” added President Scott. “We feel it is imperative that we provide safe and responsible alternative energy resources not only to Tribal members but to non-Tribal members as well. We need to stop focusing and investing in risky fossil fuel projects like TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. We need to start remembering that the earth is our mother and stop polluting her and start taking steps to preserve the land, water, and our grandchildren’s future.”
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, along with several other South Dakota Tribes, stand together in opposition to risky and dangerous fossil fuel projects like TransCanada’s Keystone XL. The proposed route of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline crosses directly through Great Sioux Nation (Oceti Sakowin) Treaty lands as defined by both the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties and within the current exterior boundaries of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

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PNN 's PROGRESSIVES ADVANCE We've (NO TIME TO RETREAT)
Join News Director Rick Spisak as he welcomes a group of Progressive Activists evaluate the 2014 Election as we discuss how we can continue to advance the PROGRESSIVE AGENDA.
NO SENSE Counting Coup - We're building a FUTURE!
Our Guests: 
Steve Horn    Progressive Journalist with DeSmog Blog
Mark Pafford    Progressive Legislative leader 
Ray Seamans    Progressive leader / Education Activist
Debbie Jordan    former candidate for County Commission
Charles Messina    former candidate for the Legislature
Rachel Pienta    Progressive Democratic Consultant
Meredith Ockman    NOW SouthEast Regional Director / Human /Women's Rights ACTIVIST
Tune in Sunday Nov 16th 7pm - 9pm