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Thurs: Inequality Eats American Dream, Palast: Government Busts Scapegoat in BP Disaster, Real Killers Walk,

April 26th, 2012 - by:

Posted Wednesday Night, Traveling Thursday Morning

t/h Aaron Krowne: Abbie Hoffman’s Levitating the Pentagon Finally A Reality—sort of

Greg Palast: Government Finds Scapegoat in BP Disaster, Killers Walk

The Hill: White House threatens to veto House’s CISPA cybersecurity bill 


The White House threatened to veto a controversial House cybersecurity bill on Wednesday, saying the measure would fail to protect critical infrastructure systems and would undermine Internet privacy.
The House is expected to approve the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) on Friday.
“Legislation should address core critical infrastructure vulnerabilities without sacrificing the fundamental values of privacy and civil liberties for our citizens, especially at a time our Nation is facing challenges to our economic well-being and national security,” the White House said

The Hill: Rubio auditions for VP slot with call for hawkish foreign policy 


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a rising conservative star, delivered a major foreign policy speech Tuesday in what may serve as an audition to become Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Rubio used the address to revive former President Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy legacy in the Republican Party. He outlined a hawkish view of America’s role in world affairs and chided some Republicans for adopting a softer approach.

LBN: OVER AND OUT: Newt Gingrich plans to formally leave the Republican presidential race next Tuesday, senior campaign aides told Fox News, after struggling for months to turn around his sagging bid for the White House. The former House speaker will more than likely endorse Mitt Romney when he makes his announcement to either suspend or end the campaign, a source said.

My Latest Essay on AlJazeera.com: The Inequality that Ate American Democracy

New York, New York: In July of 1936, Langston Hughes, the great lack American poet first published in Esquire some lines that have never been forgotten.

Among them was this: “Let America Be America Again,” a salute to the American dream that had, until then, left poorer Americans and minorities behind.

So memorable was his phrasing that, in 2004, John Kerry adopted it as a campaign slogan in his failed bid for the presidency, Not be outdone, none other than Rick Santorum used a variant on his website—”Fighting to make America America again”.

Sadly, the reality of the disappearing dream Hughes was challenging at the height of the depression is still relevant in this age of the Great Recession. According to two French economists, Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Pikettyn, who study inequality worldwide, America is back at Depression levels.

Reports the New York Times, ”their work shows that the top earners in the United States have taken a bigger and bigger share of overall income over the last three decades with inequality nearly as acute as it was before the Great Depression.”

Financial journalist Max Keiser, a former stockbroker, who now does hard-hitting financial shows on TV says deep inequality has been building for many years but has not been acted on:

“… the inequalities in the US have been building up for decades, just recently they’ve reached really outrageous proportions–but you have to understand also that theres the inequality between the 1% and the 99%, but within the 1% there’s an inequality between the top 1% of the 1% and the bottom 99% of the top 1% and they’re also at each others throats trying to change laws and pass legislation to make it easier for them to make more money.

So it’s not really–the 1%, it’s not there are a millions of people in the 1%–you only need an income of something like $500,000 or $600,000 or $800,000 dollars a year to be in the 1% That this is–there are ten or eleven millionaires in the United States, there are millions of millionaires in Europe, theres millions, the world is glutted with millionaires and billionaires, there’s fifteen-hundred billionaires in the United States, thirty years ago there was maybe 1.”

Former Wall Street executive, and, briefly, President Obama’s “Car Czar, Steven Rattner goes even further, writing “New statistics show an ever more startling divergence between the fortunes of the wealthy and everybody else and the desperate need to address this problem.”

“Desperate” is not a term that pops up in most writing about the economy.

“Still more astonishing,” he adds, “was the extent to which the super rich got rich faster than the merely rich…The bottom 99 percent received a microscopic $80 increase in pay per person in 2010 after adjusting for inflation, The top 1 percent whose average income Is $1, 018, 089 has an ll.6 percent increase in income.”

Read the rest at AlJazeera.com

Immigration: Supreme Court May Rule For Tough State Laws

Comment by Margaret Hu of the Duke Law School.

“As the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Arizona v. U.S., one of the main legal questions it considered is this: Whether Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070) is preempted by federal immigration law under the Supremacy Clause. This is a statutory-driven inquiry that misses the constitutional mark. The more relevant question is this: Whether SB 1070 poses a threat to the vertical separation of powers. …

“The recent tidal wave of thousands of immigration control efforts proposed by state and local governments can best be characterized as ‘reverse-commandeering’ laws. Setting migration policy at the national level, like establishing a national currency, falls within the sole power of the federal government. Reverse-commandeering by the states is an effort to usurp the federal government’s sole prerogative. This growing movement represents an attempt to control the terms of what federal resources and officers must be appropriated to accommodate a myriad of state immigration enforcement programs. It is a deliberate attempt to skew the immigration enforcement power in favor of the states. …

“Given the impact of immigration policy on foreign and interstate commerce, international treaties, and foreign relations, the Court has concluded that controlling migration patterns is strictly the prerogative of the federal government. Consequently, the growing proliferation of thousands of proposed state and local immigration laws should be examined doctrinally within a commandeering jurisprudential frame. To fail to do so — to continue to accept mirror image theory carte blanche as a favored method of statutory interpretation under the existing preemption doctrine — threatens federal sovereignty. Put another way, it eviscerates the federal government’s ability to develop and implement a coherent, efficacious, and uniform immigration policy at the national level.” http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/sb-1070-and-reverse-commandeering-immigration-laws

ICH Global Views

•Robert Fisk, The Children of Fallujah – Sayef’s Story

The phosphorus shells that devastated this city were fired in 2004. But are the victims of America’s dirty war still being born?

•Gary D. Barnett: Thank You for Your Service? No Thanks!

It would be very difficult for me to think of any term that disgusted me more than those words uttered continuously in the presence of virtually any soldier in the United States: “Thank you for your service.”

• Bill Van Auken, Obama Invokes Holocaust to Ratchet Up War threats on Iran, Syria

President Barack Obama used a visit to Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum Monday to unveil a set of new sanctions against Iran and Syria and to promote the administration’s use of “human rights” as a pretext for aggressive war and regime change.

Holocaust Museum: Watch Obama’s Speech:

Economy:

Did Repeal of Glass Steagal Cause Crisis?

News From Ml-implode.com

•Irish Bank Evicts Pensioner After $155 Billion Losses: Mortgages


T
The country’s 10 largest banks, including four overseas- owned lenders, lost more than $155 billion on soured loans, mainly in commercial real-estate, in the past four years, according to Bloomberg calculations. Now lenders and the government are grappling with how to handle failing mortgages while avoiding widespread evictions amid concern that banks may need more money than they raised following a third round of stress tests last year. …

• Cost of Spain’s Housing Bust Could Force a Bailout
Wed,

But since the frenzy drove Spanish home prices to a peak in 2007, they have fallen by at least one-fourth, and the bottom seems nowhere in sight. As Spain endures its second recessionin three years and unemployment nears 25 percent, an increasing number of debt-heavy Spaniards can no longer meet monthly payments on the mortgages that their banks were all too eager to give. …

• Housing Declared Bottoming in U.S.
Wed,


Robert Shiller, a Yale University economics professor and co-creator of the home-price index, also said prices may be poised to fall further. …
ay. They want to monitor every transaction you make and they want to monitor you. … Click here to read more
Bernanke Successfully Re-Inflating Housing, Unbeknownst To Shiller

Testing, Testing: Foreign Policy Reports

Top story: Pakistan announced on Wednesday that it had successfully tested an intermediate-range, nuclear-capable ballistic missile, less than a week after archrival India test-fired a long-range missile that can also deliver a nuclear warhead. The Pakistani military said the Shaheen-1A launched into the Indian Ocean today has a longer range than its predecessor, the Shaheen-1 (pictured above).

Pakistani defense analyst Mansoor Ahmed tells the New York Times that the test was not in response to India’s and that “Pakistan is only concerned with maintaining a minimum credible deterrent capability vis-a-vis India.” India, for its part, framed its test as an effort to counter China’s regional power.

Meanwhile, speculation is mounting that North Korea may carry out a third nuclear test after a failed rocket launch.

Independent: Japanese Debris From Nuclear Disaster Reaching Alaska

Julian Assange’s The World Tomorrow Featuring. Slavoj Zizek and David Horowitz

Must Watch Video Interview

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek and David Horowitz debate the left-wing influence on global politics, the Israel-Palestine question, the future of Europe and the WikiLeaks controversy.

Joshua Holland. Alternet: Noam Chomsky on America’s Declining Empire

Support the dictator and the regime as long as possible. When it becomes impossible, for example if the army turns against him which is what happened in Egypt, then send him out to pasture, issue ringing statements about your love of democracy, and then try to restore as much of the old regime as possible.

•Steven Greenhouse: NYT labor reporter’s take on Guild-Times talks

Note: This is a truncated blog posted Wednesday night for Thursday. I am traveling early on Thursday, but will be back in time for Friday’s Progressive Radio Network News Dissector Radio Hour (PRN.fm) Friday, 1-2 PM. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org