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Another Shoot Em Up–In New Jersey This Time, Senate Passes Gay RIghts Measure, Corporate Fines On The Rise

November 5th, 2013 - by:

•••Sorry: There was a problem in promoting this blog on twitter yesterday: Still looking into it. The link is http://newsdissector.net. There is apparently now a bogus news dissector entry on Twitter. Investigating. Help if you can.

•Tuesday: It’s Election Day In New York City. Vote Early and Often.

•AP: Voters to decide elections coast to coast Tuesday

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – From rural Iowa to urban New York, voters across America will render judgment in a slate of political contests Tuesday, including in New Jersey and Virginia where gubernatorial race outcomes could highlight the Republican Party division between pragmatists and ideologues. Elsewhere, Colorado voters will set a tax rate for marijuana. New York City will elect a new mayor…

•Walt Whitman, Quote of the Day Via Larry Houghteling

Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
I also say it is good to fall, battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
Vivas to those who have fail’d!
And to those whose war-vessels sank in the sea!
And to those themselves who sank in the sea!
And the numberless unknown heroes equal to the greatest heroes known!
- Walt Whitman

Breaking

CLG:11:12 PM Gunman clad in ‘full body armor’ opens fire in New Jersey mall –Multiple shots fired, active shooter in Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey: Bergen County Chief of Staff –Bergen County SWAT team has been deployed –Multiple shots heard inside Garden State Plaza Mall –Helicopter heard overhead –Allegedly one shooter was on scene –NJ State Police: Gunman was firing at security cameras at Garden State Plaza Mall –Lots of police on the scene

•Update, Daily Beast 9:30 AM: NJ Mall Shooter Found Dead

The man suspected of opening fire at a New Jersey mall Monday night was found dead early Tuesday from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Richard Shoop, 20, of Teaneck New Jersey, allegedly fired his weapon at least six times in the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, causing the mall to go on lockdown—with about 400 people inside. There have been no reports of injuries. Police found Shoop’s body around 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, and have found a suicide note at Shoop’s home. The suspect had been known to local police for his alleged drug use, including MDMA or molly.

•CLG: CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds –Doctors were asked to torture prisoners for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes

Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded. The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees”. Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill. The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.

•WP: Gay rights bill clears key hurdle in Senate

The Senate cleared a critical hurdle Monday on legislation banning discrimination against gays in the workplace, demonstrating the latest shift in a dramatic transformation of political views toward homosexual rights over the last decade.

Seven Republicans joined 54 Democrats Monday evening in a vote to formally begin consideration of the bill — virtually guaranteeing passage later this week — on legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace against gays.

Crimes But Not Much Punishment:

•Check out this website on PUNYtive Damages: A Joy To Behold

•Reuters: US Puts SAC Hedge Fund Out Of Business

•NYT: federal prosecutors announced that Mr. Cohen’s firm, SAC Capital Advisors, had agreed to plead guilty to insider trading violations and pay a record $1.2 billion penalty, becoming the first large Wall Street firm in a generation to confess to criminal conduct. The government has also forced SAC to terminate its business of managing money for outside investors.

Insider trading at SAC was “substantial, pervasive and on a scale without precedent in the history of hedge funds,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan. His office has criminally charged eight former SAC employees; six have pleaded guilty.

Mr. Cohen’s apparent nonchalance — even as the firm bearing his initials admitted it was a criminal organization — reflects what is missing from the plea deal. After more than a decade of poring over trading records, interviewing informants and issuing grand jury subpoenas, federal authorities have not been able to build a case against SAC’s billionaire owner.

•J&J: Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines to settle accusations that it improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to older adults, children and people with developmental disabilities, the Justice Department said on Monday.

The agreement is the third-largest pharmaceutical settlement in United States history and the largest in a string of recent cases involving the marketing of antipsychotic and anti-seizure drugs to older dementia patients. It is part of a decade-long effort by the federal government to hold the health care giant — and other pharmaceutical companies — accountable for illegally marketing the drugs as a way to control patients with dementia in nursing homes and children with certain behavioral disabilities, despite the health risks of the drugs.

•Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism: Jamie Dimon, The Lance Armstrong of Finance

Lets go To The Video Tape:

•WSJ: WHere JP Morgan Sits In The History of Corporate Fines

•Business Insider: Corporate Fines And Settlements

•Portside: Time for A Tax on Financial Transactions

WASHINGTON – A series of rallies, briefings and stepped-up lobby efforts rolled through Washington this week in support of legislation that would institute minor new taxes on the trading of stocks, bonds and derivatives, action on which the United States is lagging far behind much of the rest of the world.

Advocates of a U.S. financial transactions tax (FTT) say it would raise desperately needed revenues. Given the gargantuan size of the U.S. financial markets, some estimate such a levy would offer hundreds of billions of dollars per year, which could be used on domestic social programs or global common goods — or to lower individual tax rates.

They also argue that an FTT would lead to a far more stable economy, by cutting down on the impetus for investors to engage in speculation and the high-frequency, computer-run trading that has come to characterize today’s financial sector.

“As someone studying the economics of this, I can say that a financial transactions tax is a policy no-brainer,” Lynn Stout, a professor of corporate law at Cornell Law School, said at a Wednesday briefing on Capitol Hill. “It’s all upside, there’s virtually no downside, and it’s astonishing we don’t have one.”

Stout notes that essentially all products and services in the United States are taxed when they go through a public transaction, from daily necessities to luxury items.

“What is not taxed? Speculating in stocks, bonds and derivatives. That’s crazy! That means we’re essentially subsidizing speculation in financial instruments,” she says.

“For one thing, this leaves a lot of money on the table that could go to taxpayers … But there are other good policy reasons to tax stocks, bonds and derivatives, just like there are good policy reasons to tax tobacco, alcohol and gambling: because speculation is actually harmful to our economy.”

After the crash

The idea of a financial transactions tax has been around in some form for centuries, and indeed, the United States had such a levy until the 1960s. Proponents are quick to point out that, contrary to current concerns from the financial sector, the economy seemed to function just fine under those conditions.

Healthcare

•Reuters: Obama Asks Supporters For Help With Rollout of Obamacare


Spy Scandal: Today’s Edition

Press TV: Press TV has conducted an interview with Danny Schechter, an editor of Media Channel.org, in New York, about the recent revelations of mass US espionage publicized by whistleblower Edward Snowden and its implications for the UK.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Tell us why you believe London is applying pressure on the media that are covering the recent revelations about joint spying activities between the United States and Britain.

Schechter: London has a real press problem. The media on the right, the Rupert Murdock media particularly, is now involved in court battles over hacking – the media hacking phones of people that they were spying on. So you have that embarrassment.

Then you have the Guardian, until recently with Glenn Greenwald as its correspondent breaking story after story about international surveillance by the United States with the assist of the British that really embarrassed the British government because other governments are saying ‘can’t you control all this?’ Somehow it’s their fault that they have a free press in England.

So they are now making noises about shutting down the Guardian in some way or stopping it from reporting on this story. This is something that many human rights organizations are very concerned about. There have been threats, implied threats of action against editors and an effort to try to stop this story from being reported.

And I think that that has led to renewed pressure on David Cameron himself from all over the world.

Press TV: Week in and week out we see more revelations about the espionage program emerging from the reports and revelations from Edward Snowden. Do you think that some of the worst of those revelations are still yet to come?

Schechter: I can’t judge that. That would be speculation. But Snowden has said that he is willing to travel to Germany for example to testify there on the bona fides of the accusations he made about American espionage against Angela Merkel and other German political figures. He is willing to go there, so obviously he is willing to back up what the documents that he released.

And of course Glenn Greenwald, who no longer is with the Guardian, but is now with an independent media force that is just emerging – we don’t know really what it’s going to be, but he is saying that the has many more revelations to come and many more stories to reveal.

And I think this makes the British government – all governments – extremely nervous because they can’t control it and it’s embarrassing to them. I think we’re going to see more not fewer disclosures like this.

•NYT: As U.S. Weighs Spying Changes, Officials Say Data Sweeps Must Continue

•Salon: Lies I Told To Become A Spy

I thought I was an ideal CIA candidate. But I didn’t realize how tricky it would be to hide from the people I love.

Foreign Policy: After publicly shaming the United States for spying on Brazilian government and business electronic communications, Brazil admitted yesterday to spying on international diplomats, including representatives from the United States, Iran, Russia, and Iraq.

•Businessweek: The U.S. Military Takes ‘Iron Man’ Very Seriously

•Fox: The New Spy Plane

While some may view the Mark series of suits in the Iron Man comics and movies as science fiction, the Pentagon sees a real-world goal.

World

• AfPak: ‘Another Fine Mess’ in US Killing of Taliban Chief Readying for Peace Talks?

•BBC: Argentina finds secret junta files

Files dating back to military rule in Argentina from 1976 to 1983 are found in an abandoned wing of the Air Force headquarters in Buenos Aires.

•AP: Tehran rally shakes fist at America and outreach

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – In Tehran’s largest anti-U.S. rally in years, tens of thousands of demonstrators joined Monday in chants of “death to America” as hard-liners directed a major show of resolve against President Hassan Rouhani’s outreach to Washington more than a generation after crowds on the same streets stormed and occupied the U.S. Embassy.

•Truthdig: Israel to Drill For Oil in West Bank

•Chris Hedges, Imploding the Myth of Israel

• Paul R. Pillar, ICH: The Neocons’ Iraq War Mess

The neocons are rewriting more Iraq War history, arguing that if only President Obama had stayed the course on an open-ended US military occupation, the regional situation would be a lot better. But the truth is that it was their invasion of Iraq that set loose the chaos.

• Scott Creighton: Sec. Kerry Praises Brutal Junta Dictatorship in Egypt

The pretense is over. The U.S. backed illegal military coup in Egypt which overthrew the democratically elected government is now codified by the Obama administration as a legitimate government worthy of Sec. John Kerry’s praise.

•Foreign Policy Magazine: Morsi Trial Adjourned For Now

Egypt’s trial of former President Mohamed Morsi was adjourned until January 8, just hours after it began Monday. Morsi appeared in public for the first time since he was deposed on July 3 by the Egyptian military in a courtroom at the police academy. He is being tried on charges of incitement in the killing of protesters along with 14 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Morsi interrupted the proceedings repeatedly, calling the trial illegitimate. He addressed the court saying, “I am Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the president of the republic. I am Egypt’s legitimate president. I refuse to be tried by this court.”

The Muslim Brotherhood called for mass protests on Monday, and authorities have tightened security in response, deploying an estimated 20,000 security personnel. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Egypt for the first time since Morsi’s ouster. On Sunday, Kerry met with Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour and Minister of Defense General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and stressed the leaders should stick to their “road map” for restoring democracy. Kerry said, “The road map is being carried out to the best of our perception.” He maintained that the government should be inclusive and avoid politically motivated arrests. However, he did not bring up Morsi’s trial.

•Watch: Guernica Magazine Films Clip of Film On Drone Victims In Pakistan

•Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett: America’s Lead Iran Negotiator Misrepresents U.S. Policy (and International Law) to Congress

This is the agenda for which Wendy Sherman tells falsehoods to a Congress that is all too happy to accept them.

•Daily Star: Failed US – Middle East Policies

Recognizing that its interests in the region are in jeopardy, the U.S. has quickly abandoned any principles it once claimed to have, whether right or wrong.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36736.htm

•LBN: Millions Eligible for Free Policies Under Health Care Act

Millions of people could qualify for federal subsidies that will pay the entire monthly cost of some health care plans being offered in the online marketplaces set up under President Obama’s health care law, a surprising figure that has not garnered much attention, in part because the zero-premium plans come with serious trade-offs. Three independent estimates by Wall Street analysts and a consulting firm say up to seven million people could qualify for the plans, but federal officials and insurers are reluctant to push them too hard because they are concerned about encouraging people to sign up for something that might ultimately not fit their needs.

Mandela Film At White House Thursday

•The Wrap: President Obama to Host Screening of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ at the White House

Stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris will be in attendance along with Nelson Mandela’s daughters Zindzi and Zenani Mandela

The Weinstein Company will screen its awards hopeful “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” at the White House on Thursday night for an audience that includes President Barack Obama.

Stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris will be in attendance along with Nelson Mandela’s daughters Zindzi and Zenani Mandela.

In June, Obama paid a tribute visit to Robben Island jail, where Mandela was imprisoned for nearly two decades. The film premiered to much acclaim this past Sunday at a gala event in Johannesburg, which was attended by Mandela’s former wife Winnie Mandela.

“Idris Elba brings my father’s essence to life with an exceptional performance as Nelson Mandela. I loved the film, especially how it portrays my father’s life and his global impact from the values of a small village boy through to an international leader,” said Zindzi Mandela.

“The film is amazing and Naomie Harris’ performance is beautiful,” added Winnie Mandela.

“Knowing what a strong relationship President Obama has with President Mandela, it’s an honor for this film to be shown at the White House,” said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.

Justin Chadwick directed “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” which is based on South African President Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name. The book chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society.

The film had its world premiere earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival and it’s set to play the upcoming AFI Festival on Nov. 10. TWC will release the movie in New York and Los Angeles on Nov. 29.

*Thats NewsDissector.net for today. Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org. Read and support Mediachannel.org