Sunday, December 14, 2014

PNN - Professor Jazz (UN) Squared

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

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!

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

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