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The NeoCons Pushing Obama To Intervene In Syria, Pentagon’s New Spies, Romney Wins Primary Media War

April 24th, 2012 - by:

Apology: Yesterday, I inadvertently posed this blog as a page, not a post, and most readers missed it.

Here’s the essay I did on Occupy’s Plans for a General Strike on MayDay, May l.

Daily News, Judge: DA can subpoena NY Occupy protester tweets

Fox: Zimmerman Back in Hiding, Perhaps In Another State

Fluent: ‘Pentagon creates new espionage unit’

BBC: Murdochs Stand Their Ground,James Insists He Never Saw Email On Hacking

James Murdoch James Murdoch has said he had no knowledge of the scale of hacking at the News of the World

James Murdoch “stands by” testimony he never saw an email revealing phone hacking went beyond a single reporter, the Leveson Inquiry has heard.

The ex-News International chairman said he had thought hacking a “thing in the past” when he took over his father’s UK newspaper operations in 2007.

The Atlantic: The Limits of US Power

New Neo-Con Political Pressure Used On Obama About Syria

Foreign Policy Initiative In a high-profile speech yesterday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, President Obama highlighted new efforts to “prevent and respond to mass atrocities,” including a new Executive Order imposing sanctions against Syrian and Iranian officials for their use of information technologies to track and violently suppress political dissidents. But while the President’s announcement of new human rights sanctions against Syria is a welcome development, it falls far short of the decisive action that is needed to bring an end not only to the Assad regime’s escalating use of indiscriminate violence against Syrian civilians—but to the Assad regime itself.

Since the anti-regime protests in Syria began in March 2011, Syrian security forces have killed well over 10,000 civilians, and wounded and imprisoned many tens of thousands more. News outlets report that the Assad regime killed at least 18 people today in the city of Hama, in addition to the many dozens more slain since a United Nations-backed ceasefire in Syria began on April 12, 2012. Indeed, Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, pointedly asked during his introduction of President Obama: “So in this place we may ask: Have we learned anything from [the West's failure to stop the Holocaust]? If so, how is it that Assad is still in power?”

NOTE: This is one more NeoCon Lobby Group with supporters from those who promoted US intervention in Iraq: Read: “About the Foreign Policy Initiative

FPI is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. FPI seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness. The organization was founded in 2009 and is led by Executive Director Jamie Fly. FPI’s Board of Directors consists of Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor.

HP: President To Address Stafford Loan Interest Rates At CU

Via Flipboard/USA Today: Veterans’ mental health treatment not as timely as contended

Marrvin Kitman:
USA: Drone Protesters Preemptively Arrested Before Reaching Hancock Air Force Base

Frank Rich, New York: Billionaires Against Democracy

Fluent: ‘French ideas you’d never hear in U.S.

Columbia Journalism Review: Press Distorting Social Security Status

Is the press unfairly altering perceptions about Social Security? Drawing on nearly three years of coverage for CJR, Trudy Lieberman writes that “news outlets have given the public a skewed picture of the financial health of this hugely important program.” Lieberman’s latest column suggests that, while Social Security may not be in perfect health, plenty of recent coverage has been sickly.

Campaign For America’s Future: Behind the Spin

Bernie Sanders on Strengthening Social Security: Social Security is Strong

WASHINGTON, April 23 – A new report today by Social Security trustees showed the program’s trust fund has $2.7 trillion in reserves and will grow to $3.06 trillion by 2021, enough to maintain the unbroken record of paying every nickel owed to every beneficiary in full for another two decades.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced legislation to strengthen Social Security and guarantee benefits for 75 years by extending the payroll tax that most Americans already pay to those who earn above $250,000 a year.

“The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the next 75 years is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on income above $250,000. Right now, someone who earns $110,100 pays the same amount of money into Social Security as a billionaire. That makes no sense,” said Sanders, the chairman of the Defending Social Security Caucus. He also chairs the Senate aging subcommittee

Overseas:

AlJazeera: Egypt bars US-based civil society groups

LBN: Dutch Prime Minister Resigns

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cabinet tendered their resignations Monday as budget talks in the Netherlands fell through. Rutte and the Dutch Parliament will meet Tuesday to schedule new elections. Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager told reporters that the government would succeed in making the necessary cuts, saying that for decades the Netherlands have shown a solid fiscal budgetary policy, and this will not change. Budget talks between the government and the right-wing party led by controversial politician Geert Wilders went on for seven weeks before falling to pieces Saturday.

Bahrain’s Media Crackdowns

A string of crackdowns on journalists accompanied Bahrains controversial Grand Prix race over the weekend. As the ruling government locked down opposition neighborhoods during the glitzy Formula One event, it also beat and deported several reporters. Among these was a crew for Britains Channel 4 News. Correspondent Jonathan Miller was arrested on Sunday, along with his crew and their driver, while reporting on a demonstration. The British team was then ejected from the country. The driver was apparently beaten badly.

Turkey bars Israel from attending NATO summit

Turkey will not allow Israel to take part in a NATO summit next month because the Jewish state has not apologized for the 2010 murders of Turkish activists in a raid on a ship taking aid to Palestine, a Turkish official said on Monday.

Relations between the regional powers deteriorated sharply after Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara aid vessel as it headed towards Gaza in May 2010, shooting dead nine Turks.

Last September, Turkey expelled Israel’s envoy and froze military cooperation after Israel again refused to apologize despite a UN report condemning the raid.

“We did not give our consent on that issue,” a Turkish official told Reuters when asked if Turkey was blocking Israel’s participation in a NATO summit in Chicago on 20-21 May.

He said Turkey was still seeking an official apology and compensation for the victims of the Mavi Marmara raid.

Media

Pew: How the Media Covered the 2012 Primary Campaign

April 23, 2012— As the presidential campaign shifts from the Republican primary fights to a general election matchup between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism shows that the president’s media coverage in 2012 has been consistently negative while his Republican challenger has experienced a more mixed narrative.

Obama’s negative coverage exceeded positive coverage in 14 of 15 weeks studied, while positive coverage outweighed negative for Romney in six of the 15 weeks and was fairly evenly divided in four more

The report also finds that so far this year, the media have been less focused on strategy and tactics than they were during the 2008 primary season. In the 2012 primary campaign, 64% of the coverage was framed around strategy and the horserace, compared with 80% in the 2008 GOP primary season. At the same time, there was about twice as much emphasis on personal issues, public record and policy issues in 2012 compared with 2008.

Romney emerged as the conclusive winner of the media narrative after his win in the Michigan primary on February 28, according to the report. From that point, his coverage grew more positive as the media focused more on his delegate math and inevitability while coverage of his rivals, most notably former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, began to shrink and grow more negative.

Via Kent Walton: Little Coverage For Earth Day

So I was thinking a might see something about Earth Day in the LA times, Orange County Register, Wall St Journal (or name your own lame corporate media source) about the events in our land, in D.C. and other spots. But, nada, not a thing in these papers. This gives you some idea of the mentality of the “free” corporate press about what once was, can, and will continue to be a great event on this planet. Aside from the surprising media lack of interest in the “freest country in the world,” the EarthDay.org site reports that:

1 Billion People Celebrate Earth Day in 192 Countries

“More than one billion people in 192 countries took part in the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day. From Cairo to Beijing, Melbourne to Rome, Rio to St. Louis, communities everywhere stood united in their effort to Mobilize the Earth™.
In Iraq, the Ministry of the Education sent Earth Day materials to schools around the country and engaged more than 1 million students in 3,000 schools in Earth Day activities.
In Seoul, South Korea, a local organization mobilized the community gathered to learn about environmental issues and perform acts of environmental service.
In Boujaad, Morroco, a local group of students organized a trash clean up and tree planting to help green their community.
In Salangor, Malayasia, hundreds of people removed debris and litter from a local waterfall in an effort to restore and preserve their natural environment.
In Washington, DC, thousands gathered for the flagship Earth Day event that featured prominent civic leaders, environmental activists, celebrities, and musical acts.

Globally, more than 56,000 university students rallied their campuses in honor of Earth Day to take action and call for a sustainable future. Thousands of faith leaders challenged their communities to become better stewards of the planet. Tens of thousands of schools organized educational activities for kids, and over six hundred elected officials voiced the support for the planet by attending local Earth Day events.”

So, a billion or so got into the swing of things. Very nice, encouraging. But here in the USA, while there may have been some inspiring events around the country, most of us would never know it, given the lack of importance attached to the idea and the Earth Day events in the media. And why isn’t it a holiday?

So then, many of us missed a chance to again understand and renew the ethic, the mission, and partake of an uplifting Earth Day event in our depressed and depressing lives. Even Obama’s speech was a lifeless, energy-oriented, same-same, stump speech without much inspiring vision into the natural world we inherit and inhabit.

Google Under Fire (T.h To William SHanley)

In 2010, then-CEO Eric Schmidt gave an interview to the Atlantic where he stated, “Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.” Exactly what that creepy line is was never precisely defined, but he did indicate that implanting people with Google microchips was probably across it. Tellingly, though, Schmidt also pointed out that given the amount of information people willingly give to the information trafficker each day, without even typing a word Google can “more or less know what you’re thinking about.” These words coming from a frequent attendee of the annual Bilderberg conference should at the very least give one pause for thought.

By: Bob Chapman, The International Forecaster

The following are some snippets from the most recent issue of the International Forecaster. For the full 23 page issue, please see subscription information below.

For a company whose corporate motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” Google Inc. certainly has found itself at the receiving end of its share of lawsuits, claims and controversies. Still, even by Google’s standards this past week has been a difficult one.

A strange press release touting a company calling itself “Planetary Resources”–which promises to combine the “space exploration and natural resource” sectors and is being backed by a who’s who of technorati and big-name investors including Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin–is providing plenty of fodder for speculation in the press (“Is asteroid mining in our near future?”). But not even an announcement that Google itself was about to go interplanetary would be enough to keep the company’s legal woes off the business pages of the newspapers (let alone its own online news service).

Dominating the attention of the tech world at the moment is Oracle’s lawsuit against Google over an alleged misuse of Oracle’s programming platform, Java. The claim: Google used some Java in Android, their mobile offering, without licensing. The stakes: Oracle is seeking $1 billion and an injunction from further Android sales until the issue is settled. The hype: Testimony by both Larry Page and Larry Ellison, the CEOs of Google and Oracle respectively, earlier this week generated plenty of buzz and press attention. The bottom line: Oracle’s original $6.1 billion claim was thrown out of court because the judge determined that they were essentially making up their calculations, and no one really expects that they will receive the $1 billion they are now asking. In fact, it’s far from clear they will be awarded damages at all, although an injunction against the use of Java in Android could be an important and precedent-setting outcome.

EJC: Google spent USD 5m on political persuasion during 1st quarter amid various government probes

Google’s U.S. lobbying bill more than tripled to USD 5m during the first three months of the year amid increased government scrutiny of the Internet search leader’s business and privacy practices. The first-quarter expenses for political persuasion are by far the highest that Google Inc. has rung up for any three-month period since the company opened a lobbying office in Washington seven years ago. At the same time last year, Google spent USD 1.48m trying to make its points with U.S. lawmakers and regulators. The company, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., disclosed the figures in documents filed late Friday with the U.S. Senate secretary’s office. The total for the most recent quarter is more than the combined lobbying bills among four of Google’s biggest rivals. Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Facebook Inc. spent a combined USD 3.6m in the first quarter. Microsoft, one of the technology industry’s biggest spenders for years, had been spending more on lobbying than Google until the second quarter of last year. Google’s lobbying expenses have been rising steadily against a backdrop of government inquiries triggered by complaints from some of its rivals and privacy watchdog groups. (Washington Post)

•Wired: Tech Billionaires Plan Audacious Mission to Mine Asteroids

FBI Warning: PC users infected with a strain of malware called DNS Changer will face their own personal Internet doomsday in July unless they disinfect their computers, the FBI warns.

Norman Solomon: What Makes a Healthy Progressive Ecosystem

Letters

Doc McCoy writes:

A slow journey to say the least…

Americans however are a people who are always seeking “instant gratification.” They want things NOW – regardless of the consequences. That is part of the American culture and psychic. Further compounding things is that according to some accounts, the situation is dire.

Alan McDonald writes

Hey, Danny, is the 99% Spring supporting Occupy?

I would almost be tempted to support this other “99% Spring”
movement, if their training, strategy, and ‘activism’ included the
aggressive, but non-violent, ‘calling-out’ of the
corporate/financial/militarist (and media) Empire that now occupies our
country, with signs such as “Occupy the Empire”

Guardian: Photo Of The Day From North Korea

Your comments and suggestions and help welcome. Write: dissector@mediachannel.org