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Mar 26 09:34

N. Korea says criticism of rocket launches 'hostile act'

A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman told state media that if rocket launches in the country "are criticized" either by the UN Security Council or collectively, then this would be viewed as a "hostile act."

Mar 26 08:58

S.CON.RES.11... Cries of anti-semitism will not stop the truth

Condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and reaffirming the support of Congress for the mandate of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and for other purposes.

Whereas the United States Government has consistently supported efforts to address the rise in anti-Semitism through its bilateral relationships and through engagement in international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Organization of American States;

Whereas, in 2004, Congress passed the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act (Public Law 108-332), which established an Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, headed by a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism;

Mar 26 08:12

AP Source: 7,500 GM hourly workers decide to leave

Yahoo! Finance - DETROIT (AP) -- A person familiar with the numbers says about 7,500 General Motors Corp. hourly workers have signed up to take buyout and early retirement offers.

DETROIT (AP) -- A person familiar with the numbers says about 7,500 General Motors Corp. hourly workers have signed up to take buyout and early retirement offers.

Mar 26 07:09

Laissez Unfair

Editor’s Note: For decades now, the American people have been fed a steady diet of propaganda about the magic of the markets and how unrestrained capitalism is the best way to organize a society by rewarding the winners and punishing the losers.

But what the current financial crisis has revealed is that this supposedly “free-market capitalism” has been just another form of cronyism in which privileged insiders profit when things go well and are bailed out when they don’t, as Brent Budowsky observes in this guest essay that appeared first as a column in The Hill newspaper:

This is a tale of Washington, Wall Street and wounded troops. It is a story about socialism for the few who game the system and Darwinian capitalism against the many who suffer the pain and pay the cost.

Mar 26 07:03

ISRAELI LOBBY CONCEDE THEY ARE ABLE TO INFLUENCE U.S. ADMINISTRATIONS BUT NEOCONS ARE STILL IN DENIAL.

Freeman’s appointment didn’t collapse just because the pro-Israel right screamed bloody murder, though without the criticism that was heard from that quarter there is little doubt that Freeman might have slipped through. Rather, he’s gone because there are still more than enough pro-Israel Democrats in Congress who want nothing to do with a policy based on hostility to Israel.

Mar 26 06:53

The Real AIG Scandal, Continued!

The AIG scandal is getting ever-more disturbing. Goldman Sachs' public conference call explaining its trading relationship and exposure with AIG established, once again, that Goldman knows how to protect itself. According to Goldman, even if AIG had failed, Goldman's losses would have been minimal.

How did Goldman protect itself? Sensing AIG's weakening capital position through 2006 and 2007, Goldman demanded more collateral from AIG and covered outstanding risk with instruments from other firms.

Mar 26 06:23

G.D.P. Revised Down for 4th Quarter

The New York Times WASHINGTON — The economy shrank at a 6.3 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, and probably isn’t doing much better now.

Mar 26 05:51

Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns - The Bitter Fruits of the Credit Economy

The New York Times - Jesse McKinley - FRESNO, Calif. — Cities Deal With a Surge in Shanty Towns - As the operations manager of an outreach center for the homeless here, Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck. What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center.

At his news conference on Tuesday night, President Obama was asked directly about the tent cities and responded by saying that it was “not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours.”

Mar 26 04:08

Obama Turns to Web to Bypass News Media

President to answer questions from the public in online town hall meeting.

Mar 26 00:54

Usury Remains Untouched

There is a 'solution' floating around out there in the shadows: it's called the 28th Amendment and could, if enacted, eliminate the corporate personhood status, that has caused all this criminality to have such a hugely successful run through this lawless place that it has structured, since that travesty was successfully created out of the 14th Amendment.

The 14th Amendment was used by the corporations to acquire personhood. But the 14th Amendment was intended to protect the then recently-freed African-American slaves from racism-just one more example of the strong-arm legal tactics used to alter this Republic and turn it into just another fiefdom of, by and for, the Super-rich! (3)

Mar 26 00:31

The New California Gold Rush

"I'm here to find gold," said Kevin Brown. "I'm a studio lighting technician in Hollywood, between the writers strike that happened last year, and the Screen Actors Guild, whatever they want to call it. Lately I've had to turn to having to do it for extra cash."

Geologists estimate that during the gold rush of 1849 in California, about 80 percent of the gold was never found. Today, with the price of gold soaring and the economy falling, the idea of panning, digging or diving for precious metal has become serious business.

"There's definitely gold nuggets down in the bottom here," Brown said. "Just a matter of getting 30 feet down lower than any old timer or modern prospector has

Mar 25 19:57

How the banks can arbitrage the Toxic asset plan.

How the banks can arbitrage the Toxic asset plan.
I am still not 100% sure of its structure but it would appear to be like this….
1) Private entity bids for toxic asset held by bank.
2) Private entity takes risk on 7.5%
3) FDIC takes 85% and Treasury takes 7.5%

So to arbitrage the scheme;
1) Bank sets up Private entity
2) Private entity bids $100 for an asset that is only worth $50
3) Bank therefore has a windfall of $50
4) Asset returns to its real value of $50 after being transferred, a 50% fall.
5) Private entity looses 50% of its $7.50. Namely $3.75
6) Net the combined Private entity and Bank make $46.25 ($50-$3.75). And obviously the tax payer looses the same

Mar 25 18:05

The 'GIVE' Act Calls for Your Kids to be 'Owned' by the State

Such are the minds of the Jameses, the Deweys, the Obamas, the Emmanuels. They are unnatural, artificial, fake, deceptive, in a word…lying. That they can state their lies articulately and eloquently does not make them not lies. It does though make them Orwellian unlies.

Mar 25 17:54

iiNet exposes the true nature of the Australian internet filter

According to them, the plan is no longer just about stopping child porn, which is what most civil libertarians have been saying all along.

Mar 25 17:48

Places to trim the budget

[charts]

Mar 25 16:45

Moody's downgrades Bank of America - I am shocked!

MarketWatch - Alistair Barr - SAN FRANCISCO - Moody's downgrades Bank of America, Wells Fargo - Banks may need more government support to boost capital, agency says Moody's cut B. of A.'s senior debt rating to A2 from A1, the senior subordinated debt rating to A3 from A2 and the junior subordinated debt rating to Baa3 from A2. The ratings agency also downgraded the bank's preferred stock rating to B3 from Baa1 and Bank of America N.A.'s bank financial strength rating to D from B-.

Bank of America will be ready to return all the bailout money as soon as the nation's financial system is stabilized, he [Lewis] added.

Mar 25 12:31

Bush's 'Lawyer-Shopping' for Torture

In 2005, after pushing out the Justice Department lawyer who had overturned President George W. Bush’s claimed authority to abuse “war on terror” prisoners, his administration reinstated key elements of the memos granting Bush virtually unlimited powers over the detainees, according to a list of still-secret documents

Mar 25 12:25

People say I'm crazy! - You don't know the half of how bad it already is.

Bloomberg - Exxon, Chevron Count $40 Billion Nightly to Protect Cash From Bank Crisis March 25 -- Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., their coffers swollen by last year’s record oil prices, are maneuvering to preserve a combined $40 billion in cash amid a global financial crisis that roiled the banking system.

Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson says he checks in every night with Treasurer Don Humphreys to make sure the money is still there.

Mar 25 11:01

E.U. President Calls U.S. Stimulus the ‘Way to Hell’

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek argued that the Obama administration’s fiscal package and financial bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.”

Mar 25 10:29

Coping: With Med Shortages

“According to a Deputy Sheriff, ammunition will no longer be supplied to retail outlets for the public. What outlets have on the shelves and in stock now, is all they will be getting. Ammunition will be directed to the Military and Police Forces, ONLY.

Mar 25 10:23

Durable Goods Figures Were NOT Good; Even if the Media Wants Them to be

Yes, the media reporting was correct. Orders for durable goods rose 3.4% in February (According to the Commerce Dept.) but somewhere towards the middle of each the news articles we learn that THE GOVERNMENT REVISED DOWN JANUARY’S NUMBERS TO - 7.3% FROM A PREVIOUSLY ESTIMATED - 4.5%.

The mainstream media fails to emphasize that almost half of February’s increase was defense spending. In fact, defense spending jumped 35% from the previous month! Orders for non-defense capital goods, though rising 6.6% in February, was revised down to - 11.3% in January which was TWICE as bad as previously reported.

Mar 25 08:32

Facebook, Bebo and MySpace 'to be monitored by security services'

The private correspondence of millions of people who use social networking sites could be tracked and saved on a “big brother” database, under new plans being drawn up by the UK government.

Ministers revealed yesterday that they were considering policing messages sent via sites such as MySpace and Facebook, alongside plans to store information about every phone call, e-mail and internet visit made by everyone in the United Kingdom.

Mar 25 07:47

AIG is chump change -- let's find corporate America's hidden billions

But what reason other than evasion could there be for Goldman Sachs Group to set up three subsidiaries in Bermuda, five in Mauritius, and 15 in the Cayman Islands?

Mar 25 07:36

WTF! Obama is Considering Monsanto Shill Michael Taylor to Head New Food Safety Working Group

Mr. Taylor is a lawyer who began his revolving door adventures as counsel to FDA. He then moved to King & Spalding, a private-sector law firm representing Monsanto, a leading agricultural biotechnology company. In 1991 he returned to the FDA as Deputy Commissioner for Policy, where he was part of the team that issued the agency's decidedly industry-friendly policy on food biotechnology and that approved the use of Monsanto's genetically engineered growth hormone in dairy cows.

Mar 25 07:34

Obama attempts to appoint another Goldman Sachs exec who worked with Phil Gramm

Mr. Gensler worked with Sen. Phil Gramm and Alan Greenspan to exempt credit default swaps from regulation, which led to the collapse of A.I.G. and has resulted in the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. history. He supported Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which allowed banks like Citigroup to become “too big to fail.” He worked to deregulate electronic energy trading, which led to the downfall of Enron and the spike in energy prices. At this moment in our history, we need an independent leader who will help create a new culture in the financial marketplace and move us away from the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior which has caused so much harm to our economy.

Mar 25 06:29

Mark Twain rises again, and again, and again, and again

BBC - Pete Messent - University of Nottingham They can't keep Mark Twain quiet.

The centenary of his death takes place next year but he is in the news again with the publication of a "new" short story, The Undertaker's Tale in The Strand magazine.

This in turn heralds a new whole new collection of fiction and non-fiction, Who is Mark Twain?, to be published next month.

Mar 25 06:08

A Lesson in Human Nature - Focal Points Speak Loudly Concerning the Delusion of Human Competence

BBC News 60-foot penis painted on roof An 18-year-old has secretly painted a 60ft drawing of a phallus on the roof of his parents' £1million mansion in Berkshire. It was there for a year before his parents found out. They say he'll have to scrub it off when he gets back from travelling.

There IS a picture.

Mar 25 05:57

Media Calls a Bottom as Credit Market Calls for Panic (Charts)

Much has been made (mostly by the mainstream media) over the recent rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Many of the usual suspects, including those that have been wrong for the past 3 years, have been quick to call a bottom. If we look at the credit market, however, we get a much different picture.

Mar 25 05:49

The Rise of the Machine

To counter these forces and repair Israel’s standing, one rightwing commentator this week went so far as to call for an Israeli ministry for PR. Adi Mintz said the ministry should be fitted out with “many dozens of video teams, editors and producers that would generate materials and immediately distribute them to all media outlets”. Israel’s message, he added, should be heard not just in America, but also “on television screens in Romania and China”.

Mar 25 05:42

Nobel Laureate Dr. Joseph Stiglitz Says "The Geithner Plan Amounts To Robbery Of The American People"

From the Reuters interview:

The U.S. government plan to rid banks of toxic assets will rob American taxpayers by exposing them to too much risk and is unlikely to work as long as the economy remains weak, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Tuesday.

"The Geithner plan is very badly flawed," Stiglitz told Reuters in an interview during a Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's plan to wipe up to US$1 trillion in bad debt off banks' balance sheets, unveiled on Monday, offered "perverse incentives," Stiglitz said.

The U.S. government is basically using the taxpayer to guarantee against downside risk on the value of these assets, while giving the upside, or potential profits, to private investors, he said.

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