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Santorum Is Out, Obama Slams Tax Breaks For Rich, Trayvon Lawyers Quit, Iran In A Nutshell

April 11th, 2012 - by:

NYTeXaminer.com: Commenting on New York Times Coverage of Spike in Police Killings

No Miracles For Rick Santorum; Romney Will Wrap It Up

The Daily Beast reports

The former senator, who has fallen further behind Romney, suspends his campaign after his 3-year-old daughter is hospitalized again.

Writes Howard Kurtz: The confluence of a sagging campaign, the possibility of losing his home state in two weeks and the continuing illness of his daughter combined to create a moment in which Santorum decided to give up his increasingly long-shot pursuit of Mitt Romney.

Bella, who was born with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18, was released from the hospital Monday after a bout with pneumonia. It was not the first time she has been hospitalized during this campaign.

The former senator frequently talks about Bella on the campaign trail, and her condition has no doubt weighed on him. As he has fallen further behind Romney in delegates, it must have weighed on Santorum that he is spending enormous amounts of time on the road, away from his family, in pursuit of an increasingly distant goal.

National Journal: Sayonara Santorum

Rick Santorum’s sudden decision today to exit the GOP race was a best-case scenario for the Republican Party and for Santorum personally. His chances of capturing the GOP nomination had already dwindled to nothing, and he was facing the prospect of losing to Mitt Romney in his home state. Now Romney finally has a clear path to the nomination and a free pass to focus entirely on President Obama.

•Boston Globe: Santorum Pushed GOP to the Right

•View In Daily Kos On Santorum’s Impact

•Humor: The Onion: Romney To Travel Back In Time To Kill Liberal Versions Of Himself

Obama Sounds Almost Like A Populist

The Hill: Obama makes case for higher taxes on wealthy

BOCA RATON, Fla.— President Obama intensified his populist pitch Tuesday, aggressively making the case that the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes and taking Republicans to task for opposing the “Buffett Rule.”
Speaking just minutes after Rick Santorum dropped out of the GOP presidential contest, Obama drew a distinct contrast with Mitt Romney without mentioning the GOP frontrunner by name, and attempted to portray himself as more in touch with middle class voters at a time when some doubt that his policies have helped the economy.
Romney’s campaign sought to fight back at the president even before he made his remarks, setting up a conference call with reporters where surrogates for Romney blasted Obama’s handling of the economy while pointing at job losses under his administration.

The back and forth in the shadow of Santorum’s announcement highlighted the fact that the 2012 election has firmly shifted from GOP primaries to a general election battle between Obama and Romney.

You Pay Taxes: They Don’t

Working Family Party: Despite making $19.6 billion between 2008 and 2011, GE paid negative $3.7 billion in federal taxes. That’s right, the rest of us taxpayers handed billions of dollars of our money to GE — all while they continue to send thousands of good jobs overseas.

GE is among the worst offenders, but they’re not alone. Boeing has paid negative $812 million since 2008. And everyone’s favorite electricity company, ConEd, paid negative $525 million over four years

Unmentioned: The CEO of GE was named as an Obama advisor on creating jobs

Mother Jones: McDonald’s Says It Has Dumped ALEC

Add another name to the list of corporations who’ve ditched the American Legislative Exchange Council: McDonald’s.

The fast food giant tells Mother Jones that it recently decided to cut ties with ALEC, the corporate-backed group that drafts pro-free-market legislation for state lawmakers around the country. “While [we] were a member of ALEC in 2011, we evaluate all professional memberships annually and made the business decision not to renew in 2012,” Ashlee Yingling, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, wrote in an email. Yingling didn’t mention any specific campaign or outside pressure as playing a role in the company’s decision to leave ALEC.

An ALEC spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

Another Trayvon’ Protest in NY Last Night

I was reminded about the phone logs. I am sure you must know about that!

AP: Latest: Zimmerman’s Lawyers Withdraw From Case

•SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Two attorneys for the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin said Tuesday that they have withdrawn as his counsel because they haven’t heard from him in days and he is taking actions related to the case without consulting them.

Attorney Craig Sonner and Hal Uhrig said at a news conference they haven’t heard from George Zimmerman since Sunday. They said that against their advice, Zimmerman contacted the special prosecutor who will decide if he should face charges. A spokeswoman for Angela Corey’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email and two phone calls.

•Washington Times: A Florida advocacy group spearheading protests over the racially charged Trayvon Martin shooting has welcomed the intervention of the United Nations’ human rights chief, who has called for the shooter to be put on trial and “reparations for the victims concerned.”

• Dave Lindorff: The Killers All Around Us

I’ve often wondered why so many innocent people who are shot by police end up dead.
Granted that police officers spend a fair amount of time training with their service revolvers, and are thus likely to be better shots with a pistol than your average gun-owner. But even so, in so many cases where some unarmed person is shot by police, the result is death, and it makes you wonder how cops, often in the dark and on the run, manage with their notoriously hard-to-aim pistols to hit a vital organ with such depressing regularity.

The answer, I’ve learned, is that police in most jurisdictions these days routinely use hollow-point bullets, which are designed to do maximum damage to soft tissue targets. Because the tip of the projectile is composed of hollowed-out lead, it flattens on impact and spreads out, vastly enlarging the hole made upon entry into a body, causing catastrophic damage to vital organs, internal bleeding and wounds that are hard to repair even in an emergency room.

Can the NDAA be Repealed?

New legislation introduced in the Senate two weeks ago by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) fully repeals sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act. These are the sections that allow indefinite imprisonment of American citizens and legal residents by the military without habeas corpus, evidence, trial or legal representation. The bill is THE DUE PROCESS AND MILITARY DETENTION AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2012, sponsored by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) in the Senate and Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) in the House. It has 40 co-sponsors in the House, and no co-sponsors in the Senate. The bill number is S2175 and HR4192. This NEW bill amends the NDAA to :

1) Repeal section 1022 altogether (the bill nullifies the requirement of military custody of civililans; and

2) Guarantee that any person detained within the United States shall ONLY be remanded to a civilian court and that all persons will be guaranteed all due process rights guaranteed in the constitution.
(Read the bill here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.2003.IS: ) This bill officially nullifies sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA, the sections pertaining to indefinite detention by the military of American citizens and legal residents.

This is NOT the same bill as Senator Feinstein’s Due Process Guarantee Act, a bill I have, until today, been supporting with a petition. Senator Feinstein’s bill does not repeal the NDAA. It amends the Authorization to Use Military Force of 2001, and says that for any future authorizations of military force, or any future declarations of war, citizens cannot be indefinitely detained without due process – unless Congress passes new legislation stating so. It also does not protect citizens from military custody, and does not define due process as trial in a civilian court, but as any criminal process the military sees fit.

Charles Glass, Harper’s Magazine: “The Warrior Class”: The Blackwater Videos

The April 2012 issue of Harper’s Magazine includes “The Warrior Class,” a feature by Charles Glass on the rise of private-security contractors since 9/11. The conclusion to the piece describes a series of videos shown to Glass by a source who had worked for the private-security company Blackwater (now Academi, formerly also Xe Services) in Iraq. Clips and photos from the videos are shown below, introduced by Glass’s descriptions:

The first , identified as “Baghdad, Iraq, May–­September 2005,” showed Blackwater convoys racing through town. Suddenly, the door of a Blackwater SUV opened and a rifle fired at passing traffic. “They opened the door,” my companion said. “You should never break the seal.”

Occupy The Justice Department

Major Protest and Civil Disobedience Planned at the
U.S. Department of Justice: April 24, 2012, 11:00 am (WDC)

New York, NY – - A broad coalition of community organizers, activists, artists, students, scholars, celebrities, and concerned individuals will hold a national rally and protest at the headquarters of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 at 11:00 am in Washington, DC (located at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW). The purpose of the protest is to call for the release of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the day that is his 58th birthday. Renowned activists Frances Fox Piven, and Norman Finkelstein; actor Danny Glover; hip hop artist M-1 (of the duo dead prez); and others will engage in acts of civil disobedience at the protest. Organizers hope that the planned civil disobedience will dramatize their formal request that US Attorney General Eric Holder meet with a delegation to discuss systemic police corruption and civil rights violations in Abu-Jamal’s case and in the cases of hundreds of others across the nation.

Truth Out: Photos–Chicago Spring Takes The Steets

Global News From Information Clearing House

Patrick Cockburn: Syrian Cease-Fire Looks like a Long Shot

Assad needs to make a show of moderation to keep Russia and China on side.

Josh Rogin: Israel’s Useful Idiots–McCain and Lieberman Meet With the Free Syria Army

Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are on a surprise trip to the Turkish-Syrian border to meet with leaders of the Free Syria Army and visit Syrian refugees.

Eli Clifton, Poll: 84% of US Public Believe Iran is Trying to Develop a Nuclear Weapon

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that the US public, by a sizable margin, opposes military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Political Scientist Michael Brenner: The realities of the Iran situation are these, in a nutshell.

· Iranian leaders of all stripes will not give up the nuclear weapons option unless there is a credible, comprehensive set of multi-party security agreements for the Persian Gulf. They must accommodate Iranian security concerns as well as those of antagonistic states.

· Coercion via economic sanctions will not change that reality.

· Out mode of address that humiliates them exacerbates matters.

· Intimidation via spotlighting the prospect of an Israeli attack will not work – for a number of reasons. It is not technically credible; the United States – rightly – will be held accountable by Teheran; the reaction will be severe and endanger both American forces and American interests; it will not eliminate the spectre of a “nuclear” Iran.

· An all-out American assault could work technically. It is logical were Washington prepared to accept the adverse consequences and could take on the burden of dealing with an aggressively hostile Iran thereafter.

If the United States is not ready for all-out war and its aftermath, then it should make the necessary intellectual, emotional, political and diplomatic adjustments

•Franklin Lamb: Iran/Israel Locked in Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) Deterrence Status

One pillar of the current mutual deterrence status between the growing Resistance alliances confronting Israel is the weapons ambiguity of Hezbollah.

•Fluent: ‘Iran Claims Arrests of Israeli ‘Terrorists”

Media

EJC: Iran denies plans to cut country’s internet

Iranian officials have laughed off speculation that the country plans to replace its internet services with a state-run and monitored intranet, calling the reports a hoax. The Associated Press (AP) reported that the country’s ministry of communication and information technology has issued a formal statement clarifying it will not shut down the internet in August. Reports that Iran was planning to shut down its internet surfaced earlier in January, and resurfaced this week when the International Business Times claimed to have received confirmation that Iran would close its internet services in August. The Iranian communication ministry’s statement described those reports as “completely baseless”, dismissing the claims as part of a wider smear campaign against the country and its regime. The statement was published on the ministry’s website, which is not viewable outside of Iran. Despite denying the intranet plans, the country is still set to instigate several new controversial cyber policies. Chief among them is the country’s new “national information network”, which aims to make Iran’s internet a closed system – officials have not clarified what exact measures this entails. The network adds to the country’s ongoing censorship campaign, which has seen it block access to a number of popular internet services including Gmail and Hotmail. (V3.co.uk)

Daily Show: Jon Stewart Demolishes Fox Again

World Affairs: AlJazeera English Comes Of Age Thanks To Arab Spring

Salon: From War On Journalists is War On Whistleblowers by Attorney Jocelyn Raddach

In the most extreme proof yet that the war on whistleblowers is also a war on journalists, Glenn Greenwald’s explosive piece last night detailed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) repeatedly detaining and interrogating Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentarian Laura Poitras, who has filmed three of my NSA clients for the third installment of her War on Terror trilogy. Not surprisingly, her latest film will be about the government’s ever-expanding secret domestic surveillance, NSA treating our nation like a foreign country for spying purposes, and the war on whistleblowers.

In yet other examples, for the Espionage Act prosecution of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, the government has subpoenaed New York Times journalist James Risen three times to testify about whether Sterling was his source. The issue is on appeal in the 4th Circuit from a lower court ruling that Risen had a “qualified reporter’s privilege” not to do so. Going after the media is also evidenced by last week’s Indictment of CIA officer John Kiriakou, which is laced with thinly-veiled references to “Journalist A” (Matthew Cole of ABC News) and “Journalist B” (Scott Shane of the New York Times). “Journalist C” (Richard Esposito of ABC News), mentioned in the charges, mysteriously disappeared from the indictment.

African News From Norway: Kory Creator Was A Spy

Uganda: Kony video maker spied for Ugandan security forces, Wikileaks cables show

Kampala (Uganda) – Leaked cables of secret diplomatic notes by American officials in Uganda to Washington reveal that Invisible Children, the makers of the controversial film, Kony 2012, shared intelligence information with Ugandan security operatives that led to the arrest of a number of suspected regime critics.

•Related: Newspaper that released Kony Story Hacked

Statement From Black Star News Publisher Milton Allimadi

At about 4:30 PM today The Black Star News’s Website, www.blackstarnews.com went down and we couldn’t access our news site.

We immediately contacted our hosting company’s technical department and informed them of the problem. We were informed by the hosting company that the website was being “DDosed,” a word from the term “distributed denial-of-service attack” (DDoS attack).

On April 8, 2012, we published a story of interest “Invisible Children, Makers of KONY2012, Spied For Ugandan Regime” which was subsequently reposted by several other news sites and blogs around the world.

Our expose cited memos written in 2009 by U.S. embassy officials in Uganda, including then Ambassador Steven Browning, crediting Invisible Children with providing

Economy

RSN: GM Corn Liked To Agent Orange Stays on Market

Summary: “The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition to ban the sale of the 2,4-D pesticide, a major ingredient in the Vietnam-era defoliant ‘Agent Orange.’ Despite its current widespread availability, use of 2,4-D could skyrocket soon because its main manufacturer, Dow Chemical, is hoping to receive approval to sell genetically modified corn seeds that are resistant to 2,4-D.”

Naked Capitalism: Obama Mortgage Deal Unravelling: Woefully Underresourced Investigation Not Fully Staffed Yet

Eric Schneiderman is finding out he sold out to the Administration for far too little. The New York state attorney general torpedoed the opposition to the mortgage settlement via joining a newly-established mortgage fraud investigation and then going silent on where he stood on the settlement.

It was easy to see this task force wasn’t a serious effort. Schneiderman was only a co-chairman. The co-chairman, Lanny Breuer, was from the heretofore-missing-in-action Department of Justice. No one on the task force was head of a Federal agency.

The idea that this effort was all for show and would at most deliver a few suits conveniently close to the election was confirmed by its staffing. Schneiderman looked foolish when he said he’d have hundreds of investigators at his disposal, when Breuer announced it would be a mere 55. Those numbers are so paltry it begged the question as to what if anything Schneiderman was getting from this deal. If he has stuck with his earlier plan of a combined state AG effort, they probably could have mustered up this level of staffing among the 15 states that were considering breaking with the Administration prior to the Schneiderman betrayal.
And in further proof of what bad judgment Schneiderman demonstrated, Dave Dayen highlighted this find in an e-mail from Credo:

And now we’re hearing from insiders in Washington DC, that the full complement of 55 promised investigators — which is already not nearly enough — haven’t even been deployed to the task force.

Credo stresses the point made here and elsewhere, that other investigations of financial fraud have had much higher staffing levels, with 1000 FBI agents tasked to the savings and loan crisis and over 100 to Enron.”

eWallStreeter: The Return Of Economic Weakness

The Return Of Economic Weakness Here is a number for you: 70% That is roughly how many economic reports have missed their mark in the last month. Why is this important? Believe it or not – It has a lot to do with the weather. We have written many times recently about the weather related effects skewing the seasonal adjustment figures in everything from the leading indicators and retail sales to employment numbers. Now those weather related boosts are beginning to run in reverse as weather patterns return to normal and realign with the seasonal adjustments. This resurgence of economic weakness is only just beginning to appear in the fabric of the various manufacturing reports.

Your Letters

“Fina Parkinson” writes:

George Zimmerman, murderer of Trayvon Martin, is missing. By the time you read this, speculation about his wherabouts will be on every tongue. This is why, in a civilized nation, if you shoot someone at point blank and kill them, they put you in jail until there’s a trial, or until you convince a judge you’re not likely to flee. You don’t get to parade around like a hero or sell your story to tabloids. You sit in a cell until they figure out what you’ve done. Living in a civilized nation must be nice. I’ll try it sometime.

Lawrence Feiner writes;

To see my videos go to youtube and search for ”lawrence feiner”. the video without a date next to it is the video about the fall of communism and its impact on race relations. the other two videos are my interviews with Harold Channer.

Finally, from the Atlantic: Viva Bonnie Raitt

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