RWS - 7pm - 7:10pm
Gayle Faath - 7:11pm - 7:39pm
Communications Director for Stand Up Florida
Toni Rosenburg [FPL]
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Hollie Albert [UNDERTAKER W/OCCUPY]
Ed Wujciak - War vs Human Needs - 7:40pm - 7:50PM
Lee Camp Progressive Comedian - 7:51pm - 7:57PM
EVENTS AHEAD... JUST OVER THE HORIZON
Aug 4th Hands Across the Sand
Aug 18th Women's March on DC
August 24th at 10:00am - Women’s Equality Day Event is going to be at FAU
Any activist organization interested in participating can contact me at President@pbcnow.org.
The direct causes of the accident were all foreseeable prior to March 11, 2011. But the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was incapable of withstanding the earthquake and tsunami that hit on that day. The operator (TEPCO), the regulatory bodies (NISA and NSC) and the government body promoting the nuclear power industry (METI), all failed to correctly develop the most basic safety requirements—such as assessing the probability of damage, preparing for containing collateral damage from such a disaster, and developing evacuation plans for the public in the case of a serious radiation release.
TEPCO and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) were aware of the need for structural reinforcement in order to conform to new guidelines, but rather than demanding their implementation, NISA stated that action should be taken autonomously by the operator. The Commission has discovered that no part of the required reinforcements had been implemented on Units 1 through 3 by the time of the accident. This was the result of tacit consent by NISA for a significant delay by the operators in completing the reinforcement. In addition, although NISA and the operators were aware of the risk of core damage from tsunami, no regulations were created, nor did TEPCO take any protective steps against such an occurrence.
Since 2006, the regulators and TEPCO were aware of the risk that a total outage of electricity at the Fukushima Daiichi plant might occur if a tsunami were to reach the level of the site. They were also aware of the risk of reactor core damage from the loss of seawater pumps in the case of a tsunami larger than assumed in the Japan Society of Civil Engineers estimation. NISA knew that TEPCO had not prepared any measures to lessen or eliminate the risk, but failed to provide specific instructions to remedy the situation.
We found evidence that the regulatory agencies would explicitly ask about the operators’ intentions whenever a new regulation was to be implemented. For example, NSC informed the operators that they did not need to consider a possible station blackout (SBO) because the probability was small and other measures were in place. It then asked the operators to write a report that would give the appropriate rationale for why this consideration was unnecessary. It then asked the operators to write a report that would give the appropriate rationale for why this consideration was unnecessary.
The regulators also had a negative attitude toward the importation of new advances in knowledge and technology from overseas. If NISA had passed on to TEPCO measures that were included in the B.5.b subsection of the U.S. security order that followed the 9/11 terrorist action, and if TEPCO had put the measures in place, the accident may have been preventable.
2. Jolting the Democratic Party from Its Stupor
by Ralph Nader
It is also remarkable how the Democrats keep letting the Senate Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell intone, day after day, the “American people” want, do not want, demand, oppose this and that, to camouflage his plutocratic programs.
In December 2010, with 99 senators agreeing to unanimous consent to pass the auto safety legislation, the Democrats let one Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) sink it. President Obama, ready to sign this life-saving bill, declined to use his powers of persuasion on Coburn, his avowed close friend in the Senate.
It is the Democrats’ defeatism that is the most self-corrosive. Veteran Democratic legislators openly tell those who ask that they don’t think the party will regain control of the House in the November election though, they add, the Republicans have a terrible anti-people record.
Politics are about credibly answering the question “whose side are you on and whose side is your opponent on?” That means drawing a bright line between the two parties. Unfortunately, on military and foreign policy there isn’t much of a difference. So the bright line will have to be on domestic issues.
Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. and two dozen progressive co-sponsors are behind a bill called “Catching Up To 1968 Act of 2012” (H.R. 5901). This would raise the federal minimum wage, depleted by inflation over the years, from $7.25 to $10.00, thereby helping thirty million workers and boosting the recessionary economy. Neither the Democratic leadership nor President Obama have come out in support of such popular (70 percent in the polls) legislation that historically has been identified with the Democratic Party since the first minimum wage law in 1938.
Senior staffers in the House complain on behalf of their bosses that the President does not communicate with them. “Boehner will give us nothing,” was one staffer’s inadvertent summing up of the party’s defeatism. Imagine Gingrich talking in that supplicant manner when he was in the House minority. He toppled House Speaker Tom Foley (D-Wash.) and took control of the House of Representatives in 1994.
Perhaps one story is most telling: President Obama has been more reticent in his nomination of federal judges than his predecessors. In meetings between outside support groups and White House-Justice Department staff, the nominees hailing from the ranks of labor and public interest lawyers, as well as law professors, are received coolly. The Obama staff want what they call “stealth candidates,” – that is corporate lawyers with some enlightened pro bono tendencies. Why directly take on the Republicans for the future of the federal judiciary when you can settle for the corporate status quo?
Who’s fooling whom? The coming days await a new and open jolting push by prominent outside Democrats who fervently want to wrench their party back from the abyss, from its own self-imposed sense of dread before a devastating, self-inflicted November defeat.
A coalition of housing advocates that supported the state/federal investigation into securitization abuses that accompanied the foreclosure fraud settlement has turned against it sharply, charging the Justice Department with stonewalling the investigation and denying it critical resources that could move prosecutions against leading banks for their role in the housing crash and subsequent economic crisis.
The coalition, including Campaign for a Fair Settlement, the New Bottom Line, and members of the Campaign for America’s Future, have been frustrated with the agonizingly slow pace of the investigations into the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS) working group for some time. But the focus on DoJ, and Eric Holder in particular, is new, and frankly a bit implausible.
It was fairly clear to some of us when the RMBS working group was announced inside a revived financial fraud enforcement task force that it would be a repository for existing investigations that could be re-branded as “going after the banks” in an election year. Indeed, masaccio has found the task force taking credit for investigations having nothing to do with securitization abuses. So the slow-walking of investigations should really come as no surprise: “task force” is what people in Washington create when they don’t want to do anything about a particular issue. Delaying the investigations also serves the purpose of allowing statutes of limitations to run out on various financial frauds.
But the CFS/New Bottom Line argument, made on a conference call today, is that the investigation is nearing a critical point, and the Justice Department specifically is blocking progress by denying resources. Most of the arguments come from this report from Richard Eskow of CAF, citing anonymous sources:
Confidential sources say that the President’s much-touted Mortgage Fraud Task Force is being starved for vital resources by the Holder Justice Department. Political insiders are fearful that this obstruction will threaten Democrats’ chances at the polls. Investigators and prosecutors from other agencies are expressing their frustration as the ever-rowing list of documented crimes by individual Wall Street bankers continues to be ignored [...]
A growing number of people are privately expressing concern at the Justice Department’s long-standing pattern of inactivity, obfuscation, and obstruction. Mr. Holder’s past as a highly-paid lawyer for a top Wall Street firm, Covington and Burling, is being discussed more openly among insiders. Covington & Burling was the law firm which devised the MERS shell corporation which has since been implicated in many cases of mortgage and foreclosure fraud.
Nobody we talked to wanted to publicly demean a public official’s reputation. Few of the people who are criticizing Holder privately want to fuel the right-wing witch hunt against him, which recently led to in the Republican House’s shamefully politicized contempt citation. But more of them expressed concerns about Holder, and expressed them strongly, than we expected [...]
One source familiar with the task force said that other Federal agencies were actively participating in the process, but that the Justice Department was preventing the group from getting even the relatively meager resources promised to it by the Justice Department.
While nobody provided precise numbers, several sources said the Task Force could show concrete results with twenty or thirty more staff members.Yet Holder’s Justice Department won’t make them available, said one source. By contrast, Republican officials allocated more than one thousand people to investigate the savings and loan scandal.
The objections are annoyingly vague, but I recognize in dealing with these matters that nobody wants to go on the record or get into much detail. This shift toward Holder, however, deserves scrutiny. There have been plenty of documented stories of reluctance toward investigation from Treasury and the SEC and HUD. This centers all the attention on DoJ, however. It’s not entirely credible that Holder is operating independently to slow-walk an investigation that has been slow-walked by virtually every official in the Obama Administration at one point or another. It feels as if Holder has become the “rotating villain” in this scheme, someone to deflect attention away from the whole policy framework to let the banks off for their crimes. Ultimately, the buck has to stop at the very top, with the President.
When pressed on this by me, everyone on the call insisted this was not the case. Brian Kettenring of CFS pointed to several protests his organization put on at Obama campaign fundraising events, and said that they would not ignore holding the President accountable. Tracy Van Slyke of NBL concurred. Richard Eskow insisted that his confidential sources all pointed to DoJ and DoJ alone as stopping progress on the working group. All involved said they would continue challenging the Administration as well as federal agencies to show proof that the investigation constitutes more than lip service. In particular, the New Bottom Line has tried to organize the 16 million underwater homeowners, many in swing states, as a constituency, to give the campaign an electoral bite.
It’s true that the resource allocation is pretty pitiful. Kettenring made the point that DoJ devoted 93 investigators to the failed Roger Clemens investigation for lying to Congress about taking steroids, but promised about the same amount to prove the biggest consumer financial fraud in American history. And according to Eskow, they aren’t even providing those meager resources, when they can be put to use.
But there’s a sense here where the train has already left the station. The working group was announced on January 27 and it took four months to name an executive director. The signs that nobody associated with this task force wants to really do the work are pretty obvious. And if we’re still talking about resource allocation this deep into the process, you have to suspect that the entire enterprise was a chimera from the start.
And ultimately, Eric Holder is not the sole actor responsible for that. In fact, by putting himself in a position to be denied resources, the leading individual in this mess outside of Washington, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, deserves plenty of scrutiny. Kettenring said that he didn’t want to do any “post-game analysis” as he believed there was still a window to be effective and force the investigation forward. But he added that “everyone associated with this should know that their reputation is on the line.”
4. iraqi constitution articles 30-34
First: The state guarantee to the individual and the family -- especially children and women -- social and health security and the basic requirements for leading a free and dignified life. The state also ensures the above a suitable income and appropriate housing.
Second: The State guarantees the social and health security to Iraqis in cases of old age, sickness, employment disability, homelessness, orphanage or unemployment, and shall work to protect them from ignorance, fear and poverty. The State shall provide them housing and special programs of care and rehabilitation. This will be organized by law.
First: Every citizen has the right to health care. The state takes care of public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and medical institutions.
Second: Individuals and institutions may build hospitals or clinics or places for treatment with the supervision of the state and this shall be regulated by law.
The State cares for the handicapped and those with special needs and ensure their rehabilitation in order to reintegrate them into society. This shall be regulated by law.
First: Every individual has the right to live in a safe environment.
Second: The State undertakes the protection and preservation of the environment and biological diversity.
First: Education is a fundamental factor in the progress of society and is a right guaranteed by the state. Primary education is mandatory and the state guarantees to eradicate illiteracy.
Second: Free education is a right for all Iraqis in all its stages.
Third: The State encourages scientific research for peaceful purposes that serve man and supports excellence, creativity, invention and the different aspects of ingenuity.
Fourth: Private and public education is guaranteed. This shall be regulated by law.
5. Laser Scanners at a Molecular Level
New Homeland Security Laser Scanner Reads People At Molecular Level
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The Department of Homeland Security will soon be using a laser at airports that can detect everything about you from over 160-feet away.
Gizmodo reports a scanner that could read people at the molecular level has been invented. This laser-based scanner – which can be used 164-feet away — could read everything from a person’s adrenaline levels, to traces of gun powder on a person’s clothes, to illegal substances — and it can all be done without a physical search. It also could be used on multiple people at a time, eliminating random searches at airports.
The laser-based scanner is expected to be used in airports as soon as 2013, Gizmodo reports.
The scanner is called the Picosecond Programmable Laser. The device works by blasting its target with lasers which vibrate molecules that are then read by the machine that determine what substances a person has been exposed to. This could be Semtex explosives to the bacon and egg sandwich they had for breakfast that morning.
The inventor of this invasive technology is Genia Photonics. Active since 2009, they hold 30 patents on laser technology designed for scanning. In 2011, they formed a partnership with In-Q-Tel, a company chartered by the CIA and Congress to build “a bridge between the Agency and a new set of technology innovators.”
Genia Photonics wouldn’t be the only ones with similar technology as George Washington University developed something similar in 2008, according to Gizmodo. The Russians also developed something akin to the Picosecond Programmable laser. The creators of that scanner claim that “it is even able to detect traces of explosives left by fingerprints.”
But what makes Genia Photonics’ version so special is that the machine is more compact compared to the other devices and can still maintain its incredible range.
Although the technology could be used by “Big Brother,” Genia Photonics states that the device could be far more beneficial being used for medical purposes to check for cancer in real time, lipids detection, and patient monitoring.
6. Drilling Strategies, Sensible and Fantastical
The Republicans and Mitt Romney have relentlessly accused President Obama of not moving swiftly enough to tap the nations’ considerable offshore reserves of oil and natural gas.
It is a tired complaint. Except for a necessary drilling ban in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill in 2010, Mr. Obama has always embraced offshore oil and gas exploration as an important component of a rounded energy strategy. What he has not embraced is the drill-now-drill-everywhere approach of President George W. Bush, now embodied in a House bill that would open the entire continental shelf and all of Alaska’s waters to drilling.
The Obama administration’s latest drilling plan, which covers the years 2012 to 2017, would allow 12 large lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and three smaller, carefully selected lease sales in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and the Cook Inlet in Alaska. There would be preliminary seismic testing, but no leasing, in the Atlantic. The approach is broadly similar to the leasing program announced in March 2010 and put on hold after the BP spill.
The Republicans, however, are in a lather. Representative Doc Hastings, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, called the Obama plan “a giant step backward for American offshore energy production.” Mr. Hastings has unveiled a bill that would allow drilling rigs on the coasts of Maine, California, Oregon and Washington, and in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, a rich commercial fishery that even President George H. W. Bush chose to protect.
7. INSURANCE COMPANIES should be allowed to discriminate
Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) said that insurance companies should be allowed to discriminate against people with brain tumors during a House Rules Committee debate of the GOP’s bill repealing the Affordable Care Act. The law, which Republicans will vote to eliminate on Wednesday, includes a provision prohibiting insurance companies from turning away sick people.
DREIER: And I believe my state of California has a structure in place to deal with pre-existing conditions. It’s a pooling process, which I think is one worthy of consideration, because while I don’t that think someone who is diagnosed with a massive tumor should the next day be able to have millions and millions and millions of dollars in health care provided, I do believe that there can be a structure to deal with the issue of pre-existing conditions.
8. Civic Liberties - lost in partisan unanimity
“Republicans already succeeded in backing him into a corner where he was unwilling to veto legislation that granted the military the power to indefinitely detain US citizens suspected of terrorism without charge.”
Ah, it was those dastardly Republicans that forced the President to do all this. As usual, Democrats would *prefer* to do the right thing, but their hands are tied. They’re just too weak, you see, to stand up for the Constitution and their own beliefs, and so we need to put more of them in office. Or something.
In reality, of course, it was President Obama himself — not the Republicans — who had indefinite detention inserted in the NDAA. It’s Obama himself (along with Axelrod) who oversees the Kill List. And so on.
9. Blowback we don't believe in no Stinking Blowback [history & karma]
Based on incident inside the US, there are no terrorists in North America (outside the one who work for the Government).
When the IRA were busy in the UK (funded by citizens of the US) there were three to five incidents on the streets every week.
OTOH Arbusto@1 has a very good point that is completely unaddressed by our dear beloved leader in DC. All we are doing is multiplying enemies. We know how well that works, look at Israel.
Based on the US’ logic the UK should have come over to the US and leveled Boston, and invaded NY, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, for the third or fourth time.
10. Kill or Capture, Torture & Detain Indefinitely: Partisan Disagreement on the ‘War on Terrorism’
By: Kevin Gosztola Monday July 9, 2012 5:33 pm
The presidency of Barack Obama has entrenched many of the counterterrorism policies of President George W. Bush in the national security state and helped to further cement bipartisan consensus on these policies. However, there is one vile aspect about which conservatives and center-left individuals disagree, and that is on whether to outright kill terror suspects or not. But it’s not about the absence of due process. Republicans or conservatives contend intelligence is being lost and it would be better to capture, torture and hold terror suspects indefinitely.
This disagreement was highlighted on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC this morning, when Tom Junod appeared on the program to talk about his latest article for Esquire magazine, “The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama.” Appearing on the show to discuss Obama’s escalated use of drone executions or lethal force against “terrorists” with him were centrist Democratic hack Harold Ford Jr. and neoconservative pundit Dan Senor.