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Iceberg Ahead: Are We On The Deck Of A New Titanic? Can Dems Retake House? Fish Massacre In Post BP Gulf

April 20th, 2012 - by:

Guardian: Amazing Photo Of The Day

Today: News Dissector Radio Hour on Progressive Radio Network, (PRN.fm) 1-2 PM: Featured Guests–Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

Latest RadiOWS from Polar Levine OWSRADIO SHow

Join Me Saturday at 3PM: The World Unites for Better World Forum
First global conference and exposition of ideas with participants in six continents virtually

In Case You Missed It:
Memoir of Dancing In The Shadows Of Dick Clark, Challenging Segregation on The Air

Daily Beast: George Zimmerman May Go Free

Democrats Face Uphill Battle To Regain House

NYT: Congressional redistricting, a decennial process that generally allows the party in legislative power in each state to draw new lines, has not created many opportunities for new seats for Republicans, as the party’s leaders once expected. But it has forced multiple House Democrats, viewing their odds in new districts as slim, into retirement. Many of those districts are now either in play or solidly Republican, making the climb for Democrats all that more onerous.

On paper, Democrats need a net gain of 25 seats to take back House control. In reality, the number is closer to 30 or even 35, since the party is likely not only to lose the seats of retiring Democrats in North Carolina, but also to face tougher odds in Arkansas, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois and perhaps in Arizona, in the district once served by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Over all, 15 Democrats have announced their retirements from the House, compared with 10 Republicans. Seven Democrats and eight Republicans have also opted to run for other offices. Among the lot, Republicans leave far more safe seats behind than their Democratic counterparts.

•Fluent: ‘Obama ’08 campaign failed to disclose $2 million in contributions, FEC finds’

•Howard Kurtz on DB: Romney Is Increasingly Running Against The Media because he knows more people hate it than Obama. That’s his issue for now.Refuses to appear anywhere but Fox.

Warning: Economy May Collapse

The New York Times Version:“Fears Rise That Recovery May Falter In The Spring; Global Finance Leader Weigh Solutions With Precarious Europe in Focus”

My Version on AlJazeera: ARE WE ON THE DECK OF A NEW TITANIC?

The US housing bubble is what caused the global economic meltdown, but politicians are still dawdling.

New York, NY – Are we in a countdown to an economic collapse?

The other day, I was in a restroom papered over with pages of the New York Times from the Great Depression. It was very eerie – some of the stories sounded very contemporary.

Every day we seem to be reading about new waves of layoffs and cutbacks, when we hoped to be reading about new jobs and recovery.

Sony just announced it will “shed” ten thousand jobs worldwide (is that like a sheep shedding wool?). That’s six per cent of its staff. Yahoo has also announced thousands of layoffs. Maybe, Facebook will offer us one its pricey new infographics showing where all the jobs are going.

Last week, world stock markets were in the toilet, with European markets leading the descent. Corporate profits are said to be way down.

Not surprisingly, writing in the Financial Times, billionaire moneyman George Soros now sounds like a very worried man:

“Far from abating, the euro crisis has recently taken a turn for the worse. The European Central Bank relieved an incipient credit crunch through its longer-term refinancing operations. The resulting rally in financial markets hid an underlying deterioration; but that is unlikely to last much longer.

“The fundamental problems have not been resolved; indeed, the gap between creditor and debtor countries continues to widen. The crisis has entered what may be a less volatile but more lethal phase.”

That’s another term to worry about – “lethal”.

In the US, the Republicans are about to dump $200 million dollars into partisan TV commercials to blame Obama for the whole crisis, as if one politician can press a button and order the intricate global capitalist system to rise and fall.

At the same time, their failure to pass any legislation that can ameliorate the crisis has been motivated by kamikaze politics driven by the desire to bring Obama down, no matter the cost to the public.

The only new economic initiative they and the Democrats have agreed to is a so-called JOBS act that many experts fear will neutralise financial regulations and lead to a new wave of financial crime.

That doesn’t mean that Obama doesn’t share responsibility by what he’s done, or failed to do.

For example: The total failure of Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to help homeowners in distress. The TARP bill, allegedly, was not just for bank bailouts, but for mortgage relief. Thanks to incompetence, only 30,000 people were helped over two years – despite the millions in, or facing, foreclosure. That is a disgrace.

The International Monetary Fund, aware that it was the US housing disaster that was behind the international financial meltdown, is appealing to Washington to provide mortgage relief as a global economic priority.

Reports the Washington Post: “Ahead of the IMF’s spring meetings next week, agency analysts have been warning that household debt – in particular, mortgages that are in default or that exceed the value of the borrower’s home – is dragging down growth in developed countries at a time when the global economy is struggling to revive.”

Read the Rest at AlJazeera.com

Ml-Implode.com: Derivatives Traders Have Regulators on the Run

Jonathan Weil on “Fuzzy Math,” Bloomberg, Government Fabricated Accounting on Bailouts

The U.S. Treasury Department wants the public to believe the government’s bailouts of the financial sector might make money for taxpayers. It’s easy to see why.

If the government could show an overall profit, the implication would be that bailouts must be a good thing. Put aside the moral hazard they create, by encouraging reckless behavior. Never mind that the country’s largest too-big-to-fail banks are larger today than when the financial crisis began in 2007. The leaders who pulled off this amazing feat would deserve our praise, and everything will have worked out for the best — or so goes this line of thought.

Whatever logic there is to this reasoning falls apart, however, if the prospect of future gains is false. And sure enough, it probably is.

The Treasury Department a week ago released its latest cost estimates for the government’s numerous crisis-response programs. “Overall, the government is now expected to at least break even on its financial stability programs and may realize a positive return,” the report said. Unfortunately this conclusion rests heavily on wishful thinking and creative accounting, which becomes obvious when you dig into the report’s footnotes.

Other News

Daily Beast: Planned Parenthood Under Fire in Ohio

A proposed state budget bill would effectively strip federal funding to the family-planning organization. Sen. Nina Turner tells The Daily Beast’s Abigail Pesta, “It’s a social, racial, and economic attack.”
Read it at The Daily Beast

DN: NORWAY SHOOTER—Breivik Wanted to Decapitate Ex-P.M.

His goal, apparently, was to kill everyone on the island. In the ongoing trial—or, as some critics would call it, “pulpit”—for Norway shooter Anders Behring Breivik, the confessed killer revealed that he wanted to capture former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during the Utøya island massacre. Breivik said he was going to film himself cutting off her head and post the video on the Internet. Fortunately, Brundtland had left the island before the shooting.

NYT: With Election Days Away, Sarkozy’s Outlook Grows Dim

PARIS — The candidate — energetic, bold, indefatigable — is confident, sure he will win, pulling energy from his big crowds.

“Take your destiny in your hands!” Nicolas Sarkozy shouted to the 100,000 or so who came to the Place de la Concorde to see him last Sunday. “People of France! Don’t have fear! They will not win if you decide that you will win!”

But the team around him has quietly started to have doubts about victory, and is debating the best strategy to try to overcome serious odds.

Mr. Sarkozy is in deep trouble and is looking, for now, as if he could be the first one-term French president since 1981. He appears to be running neck and neck with his main challenger, the Socialist candidate François Hollande, in the first round of voting on Sunday, when 10 candidates are competing. But all the opinion polls show Mr. Sarkozy losing to Mr. Hollande in a face-off two weeks later.

His possible defeat carries implications that would radiate far beyond Paris. Mr. Sarkozy has had contentious but valuable relationships with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, a fellow conservative, on European and euro zone issues; with the British on defense issues, including the Libyan war; and with President Obama on issues involving Iran and Israel, NATO and Russia.

Chris Floyd, ICH: The Way of the Drone, Emblem for an Empire of Cowards

“Bugs” being “splattered.” This is what Barack Obama, and all of his brave button pushers and joystick riders think of the defenseless human beings they are killing (including 174 children by last count).

Anna Lekas Miller, ICH: How We’re Footing the Bill for Violent Crackdowns in the Middle East :It’s odd to see an Israeli flag flying in rural Pennsylvania.

Instead of financing affordable healthcare, housing and education, our government is using our money to finesse an international reputation as the power that violently crushes resistance to repression.

Ilan Pappe, ICH: Israel Rides the Rollercoaster of Mass Hysteria

Spending a week in Israel these days is like being trapped within a scene from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, ICH: ‘One-State’ Idea Gains Support Of Some Palestinians

“What we are talking about is a state which represents all of its citizens, where there isn’t preferential treatment given in laws or in policies to one’s religion,”

Chinese Democrats Mourn Fang Lizhi, China’s physicist and dissident, who inspired a generation of Chinese students, died in exile on April 6; he was 76 years of age.

Together with Liu Binyan (journalist and writer), and Wang Ruowan (writer), Fang caught the ire of Deng Xiaoping, China’s paramount leader, when their writings and speeches influenced protests in 1986 demanding political reforms. It was Hu Yaobang, then Party General Secretary, who refused Deng’s demand to expel these three from the Communist party and who himself was later forced to resign. Hu Yaobang’s death in April, 1989 triggered the students’ protest slogan “Those who should die did not; and those who should live have gone”, leading to the largest pro-democracy movement in the history of

Barney Frank Cites Citigroup Vote as a 
Win for Shareholder Democracy

WASHINGTON – Congressman Barney Frank, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to reports that the shareholders of Citigroup have rejected the executive pay packages put forth by its board.

The vote by the shareholders of Citigroup to disapprove the pay package for its top executive is one more piece of evidence of the beneficial effect of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which Congress passed in 2010. The say-on-pay provision of that act – unanimously opposed by House Republicans – has been falsely characterized as an example of government intrusion. It is, as the Citigroup shareholders’ vote shows, exactly the opposite. It is an empowerment of those who own the corporations of America so that they can control the entities in which they own shares.

Public unhappiness at the clearly excessive compensation levels for top executives in the financial world is undeniable, and the contrast between large compensation packages and the record of many of these institutions is very troubling. Congress rejected the notion that the federal government should directly intervene by setting pay levels, but we did believe that it was important for shareholders to be able to voice their opinions. In fact, had corporate America been willing on its own truly to honor the principal of shareholder democracy, our legislation would not have been necessary. But we believe that it was necessary, and we think it is now clear that it is also beneficial.

Anthony Gucciardi
, Infowars.com
: Blamed for Bee Collapse, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm

Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company being blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, has bought up one of the leading bee collapse research organizations. Recently banned from Poland with one of the primary reasons being that the company’s genetically modified corn may be devastating the dying bee population, it is evident that Monsanto is under serious fire for their role in the downfall of the vital insects. It is therefore quite apparent why Monsanto bought one of the largest bee research firms on the planet.

It can be found in public company reports hosted on mainstream media that Monsanto scooped up the Beeologics firm back in September 2011. During this time the correlation between Monsanto’s GM crops and the bee decline was not explored in the mainstream, and in fact it was hardly touched upon until Polish officials addressed the serious concern amid the monumental ban. Owning a major organization that focuses heavily on the bee collapse and is recognized by the USDA for their mission statement of “restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination” could be very advantageous for Monsanto.

In fact, Beelogics’ company information states that the primary goal of the firm is to study the very collapse disorder that is thought to be a result — at least in part — of Monsanto’s own creations. Their website states:
While its primary goal is to control the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) infection crises, Beeologics’ mission is to become the guardian of bee health worldwide.’

AlJazeera: BP Disaster Related Fish Disaster In The Gulf

Fluent: ‘Etan Patz Search Leads to Handyman’s Basement 33 Years Later’

Forbes: FBI Seizes Activists’ Anonymizing Server In Probe Of Pittsburgh’s Bomb Threats

Occupy: May Day Concert in LA

Call To Insure On Line Access in Europe

EJC: The European commissioner responsible for regulating the Internet, Neelie Kroes, warned Web service providers on Thursday against tampering with customers’ Internet access based on how much they pay or which services they use. Some Internet service providers (ISPs) want fast and slow lanes for Web traffic, allowing them to charge more for services which use up more space on the radio frequencies carrying the Internet, such as online television or video chat. In an effort to preserve what they call “net neutrality”, European Union governments have considered enforcing laws preventing providers from offering differentiated tiers of access, but so far only the Netherlands has succeeded. Evidence from European regulators and Internet activists shows that some Web-based companies such as Skype have been blocked or stalled by mobile Internet operators because they discourage customers from using the phone to make calls.

Fluent: ‘Rupert and James Murdoch to testify once more’

SACSIS:There were calls for Swedish Minister of Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, to resign after she participated in a bizarre performance art act at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm to commemorate World Art Day on April 15. Gillian Schutte describes the performance: “Liljeroth performed a clitoridectomy on the sculpted vulva of a human sized cake, which took the shape of an African woman undergoing forced genital mutilation (FGM). She then fed it to the black-faced artist who screamed in agony as she sliced through the baked labium – much to the amusement of the white guests.” According to Schutte, the tastelessness of this gastronomic protest art – rather than highlighting the plight of FGM victims – actually makes a disturbing point about the construct of whiteness in our world.

In Memorium: Musician Levon Helm of the Band

Your comments and help needed. If you have any interest in support this blog, contact me at dissector@mediachannel.org. Danny Schechter