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Friday October 23, 2015
News Articles

Even Conservatives Realize Hillary Clinton's Benghazi Committee Hearing Was Ridiculous
HP | Marina Fang | 10/22/15

Republicans and Democrats have long been divided on the purpose of the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. GOP lawmakers, particularly the committee's chair, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), have insisted the panel is focused on investigating potential wrongdoing leading up to the attack, while Democrats have alleged that the GOP-led committee is a political stunt targeting Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

But after the former secretary of state's marathon testimony on Thursday, in which she endured 11 hours of questioning, even conservatives admitted the hearing accomplished very little. ... Read more

Should Bush Be Responsible For 9/11, As Hillary Is For Benghazi?
HP | Should Bush Be Responsible For 9/11, As Hillary Is For Benghazi? () [3:44]
USAToday | Hurricane Patricia is strongest ever
USAToday | Hurricane Patricia is strongest ever measured (10/23/15) [1:08]

*Elizabeth Warren And Bernie Sanders Embarrass Hapless Vulture Fund Investors
HP | Zach Carter | 10/23/15

"When you make a risky investment you should not expect to get 100 percent back on your dollar."

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on the federal government Thursday to curb the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico by cracking down on vulture fund investors.

"Wall Street should not be believing that they can get blood from a stone," Sanders said. "When people are suffering and hurting, you cannot continue to squeeze them." ... Read more
HP | Elizabeth Warren And Bernie Sanders Embarrass Hapless Vulture Fund Investors (10/23/15) [4:10]

This Is What Happens After Three Years Of Negative Interest Rates

Property prices in Copenhagen have risen 40-60 percent since the middle of 2012, when the central bank first resorted to negative interest rates to defend the krone's peg to the euro.

Here are 50 despicable things George W. Bush did before and after 9/11
RawStory | Steven Rosenfeld | 10/20/15

Let's look at 50 reasons, some large and some small, why W. inspired so much anger:

1. He stole the presidency in 2000.
3. He covered up his past.
5. He was a corporate shill from Day 1.
7. He embraced global isolationism.
8. He ignored warnings about Osama bin Laden.
11. Squandered global goodwill after 9/11.
14. He flat-out lied about Iraq's weapons.
17. Forced Colin Powell's false evidence at U.N..
20. Bush launched the second Iraq War.
21. Baghdad looted except for oil ministry.
26. Meanwhile, war profiteering surged.
30. Iraq war created federal debt crisis.
31. He cut veterans' healthcare funding.
32. Then Bush decided to cut income taxes.
35. Turned corporations loose on environment.
47. But took the most vacation time.
48. Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld.
Read more
RoF | These Are The Worst Things George W. Bush Ever Did (10/22/15) [2:03]
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Friday, October 23 [13:03]
DN | "Everybody is a Suspect": European Rights Chief on Edward Snowden's Call for Global Privacy Treaty (10/23/15) [5:43]
DN | Shaker Aamer: After 5,000 Days of Torment, Last British Prisoner at Guantanamo is Set for Release (10/22/15) [13:46]
DN | U.S. Ally Saudi Arabia Prepares to Behead, Crucify Pro-Democracy Protester Ali Mohammed al-Nimr (10/22/15) [6:01]
*DN | "Where Does This End?": After Drone Papers Leaks, U.K. Gov't Has a Kill List of Its Own (10/22/15) [2:50]
DR | Friday News -- Domestic (10/23/15) [1hr]
DR | Friday News -- International (10/23/15) [1hr]
Migrants are escorted Thursday by police through Dobova, Slovenia, as they walk to a holding camp. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe's largest migration of people since World War II.
TRNN | Max Blumenthal, author of The 51-Day War: Netanyahu's Record on Inciting Violence Against Palestinians (10/22/15) [14:42]
TRNN | Samah Sabawi: Can Kerry Contain Netanyahu? (10/23/15) [11:40]
TYT | What Do Americans Think Of The Benghazi Investigation? (10/22/15) [3:42]
TYT | Trump Can't Believe Ben Carson Beating Him In Iowa (10/22/15) [8:02]
TYT | Paul Ryan Officially Running For House Speaker Race (10/22/15) [7:41]
RoF | Ring of Fire (E195) - Scott Walker Won't Be President, But Still An Asshole (10/22/15) [29:00]
Thom Hartmann - www.thomhartmann.com/
ThomHartmann | How Canada Just Schooled Americans (10/22/15) [5:33]
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Polling of Likely 2016 Voters
Polling of Likely 2016 Voters.pdf (full)
NPR (National Public Radio) - www.npr.org/
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - www.pbs.org/
MSNBC - Maddow/Hayes - www.msnbc.com/

10.23.2015. 11:46

Thursday October 22, 2015
News Articles

House Conservatives Support Paul Ryan For Speaker, But Won't Formally Endorse Him
HP | Mollie Reilly | 10/21/15

According to Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), approximately 70 percent of the group of hardline conservatives agreed to back Ryan for the leadership position instead of Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), who had intended to run for the post. However, the caucus stopped short of endorsing Ryan, and Labrador said it would be up to Ryan to decide if the signal of support was enough. (The caucus needed to reach 80 percent support to grant an endorsement.)

Ryan, after nearly two weeks of indecision, finally agreed to run for House speaker on Tuesday -- on the condition that he receive support from all factions of the party, including the Freedom Caucus. Since he has received that support, Ryan appears to be a lock for the speakership. ... Read more

*Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll

In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil--the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States--Steve Coll reveals the true extent of its power. Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation's recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe--featuring kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin--and the narrative is driven by larger-than-life characters, including corporate legend Lee "Iron Ass" Raymond, ExxonMobil's chief executive until 2005. A penetrating, news-breaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.

SocialJustice | Steve Coll on the "Private Empire" of ExxonMobil (06/18/12) [1:01:57]

US Leading Economic Indicators Tumbles Most In 30 Months
ZeroHedge | author | 10/22/15

Missing expectations for the 3rd month in a row, US Lesading Economic Indicators (LEI) dropped 0.2% MoM. There has not been a bigger monthly drop since March 2013. Ironmically, initial jobless claims (which we have recently explained is now useless) was the largest positive contributor (after the yield curve steepness) but stock prices, average workweek, and building permits weighed heaviest. ... Read more
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Americans' Outlook For The US Economy Plunges Near 2013 'Government Shutdown' Lows
ZeroHedge | author | 10/22/15

Since February, Americans have become less and less confident about the economic future of the country. As Bloomberg reports, National Economy Expectations tumbled to 42.0 - just above Sept 2014 lows and almost as weak as during the 2013 government shutdown. 2015's weakening streak is the worst consistent drop since 2011 (which unleashed moar QE) as Americans' spending attitudes tumble the most since May. ... Read more
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Clean energy IS cheaper than fossil fuels if you remove the subsidies that the U.S. government pays them, which basically keeps the costs artificially low on fossil fuels... Take away the subsidies and the actual price of fossil fuels goes up to where it would normally be, making renewable energy look like a bargain in comparison...
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Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Thursday, October 22 [9:07]
*Prison for Exxon Execs? Lawmakers Seek Probe for Hiding Knowledge of Climate Change, Part 1 (10/22/15) [9:43], Part 2 [11:50]
For decades, Exxon has publicly questioned the science of global warming, contradicting internal findings by the company's own scientists. Recent exposés by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times reveal that Exxon concealed for decades its own conclusions that fossil fuels cause global warming, alter the climate and melt the Arctic. Exxon's climate deception is now sparking calls for a federal probe similar to that which yielded a racketeering conviction of Big Tobacco for hiding the dangers of smoking. We are joined by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California), who is calling for a Justice Department investigation of Exxon, as well as 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, who was just arrested for a one-man protest shutting down his local Exxon gas station. "It's difficult to think of a company that could have set back humanity for decades, and perhaps permanently," Rep. Lieu says. "But that's what happened here."
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InsideClimateNews - Exxon: The Road Not Taken website
DR | Vice President Biden, Congressman Ryan And What's Ahead For Their Political Parties (10/22/15) [1hr]
TYT | Paul Ryan: Want Me To Be Speaker? Here's My List Of Demands... (10/21/15) [6:55]
TYT | Meet Wall Street's Therapist (10/20/15) [6:53]
TYT | Netanyahu's Holocaust Conspiracy Theory Debunked (10/21/15) [3:01]
RT | Keiser Report: Empire of debt (E826) (10/22/15) [25:20]
RT | CrossTalk: Syria: Sulking Superpower (10/21/15) [24:10]
RoF | Ring of Fire (E194) - Throw Away Your Television (10/21/15) [29:00]
Thom Hartmann - www.thomhartmann.com/
ThomHartmann |Exxon Lied and the Planet is Dying... (10/22/15) [12:38]
ThomHartmann | How WE Can Save the Planet (10/22/15) [5:57]
NPR (National Public Radio) - www.npr.org/
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - www.pbs.org/
MSNBC - Maddow/Hayes - www.msnbc.com/

10.22.2015. 12:47

Wednesday October 21, 2015
News Articles

Plutocrats and Their Pets
HP | Richard North Patterson | 10/20/15

Wikipedia defines plutocracy as a society "controlled by the small minority of its wealthiest members." In 2010, the Supreme Court set out to help us join the list. The case, of course, is Citizens United. After an unseemly series of maneuvers by Chief Justice Roberts expanded the case far beyond the issues presented, a five to four majority of Republican appointees held that unlimited expenditures to elect political candidates are "speech " protected from regulation by the First Amendment. Stating bluntly in dissent that "the Court changed the case so it could change the law," Justice Stevens warned: "A democracy cannot function effectively when [voters] believe laws are being bought and sold."

The post-Citizens United conduits for such barter, Super PACs, funnel millions from the ultra-wealthy to support their human vessels -- a counterweight, one supposes, to the parlous effects of letting ordinary people vote. The ads spawned by this money now flood our airwaves: a prominent Democratic consultant estimates that his party's nominee must raise at least $1.5 billion to compete with the tidal wave unleashed by the Supreme Court. This spiraling financial arms race drives candidates away from voters in order to grovel before demanding would-be patrons in big-dollar "money primaries." And there is much groveling to be done. The 2012 campaign produced over $1 billion in soft money. 2016 will see a drastic increase: already a mere 156 families have put $176 million on the electoral table. ... Read more

The Banking Industry's Transparent Attempt to Weaken the CFPB
HP | Sen. Elizabeth Warren | 10/20/15

You'll never guess who's going around Washington, trolling the halls of Congress, talking about the importance of protecting the long-term health of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The banking industry.

That's right: After years of trying to kill, then delay, and then defang the agency, the banking industry and their Republican friends in Congress have launched a new effort to attract Democratic support for their latest attack by claiming that they just want to help the agency and the consumers it protects. Surely Democrats will not be taken in by yet another attempt to weaken the CFPB.

The latest industry-sponsored bill would fundamentally change the structure of the CFPB by replacing the agency's single, independent director with a commission of political appointees. ... Read more

Netanyahu Says Muslim Leader Convinced Hitler To Kill Jewish People | Reuters | 10/21/15
"Hitler didn't want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews," Netanyahu said.
Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Wednesday, October 21 [8:15]
DR | The FAA, Drones And The Safety Of The National Airspace (10/21/15) [1hr]
More than 700,000 hobbyists plan to buy a drone this year, up 63 percent from last year. Now the FAA will require registration of the small aircraft. What does it mean for the safety of the national airspace?
TYT | Trump Rampage Continues, Republican Establishment Starting To Panic (10/20/15) [6:53]
*TYT | Fox News Calls Trump A Truther (10/20/15) [13:28]
TYT | George W. Bush Has Had Just About Enough Of Ted Cruz (10/20/15) [5:45]
RT | Putin & Assad hold surprise meeting in Moscow: Key points (10/21/15) [11:15]
RoF | Ring of Fire (E193) - Saving The American Middle Class (10/20/15) [28:59]
IMF & The World Bank
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Thom Hartmann - www.thomhartmann.com/
NPR (National Public Radio) - www.npr.org/
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - www.pbs.org/
MSNBC - Maddow/Hayes - www.msnbc.com/

10.21.2015. 11:43

Tuesday October 20, 2015
News Articles

*7 Ways Canada's Change Of Government Might Affect The World
HP | Ryan Maloney | 10/19/15

On Monday night, Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party of Canada captured a majority in the 338 seat-Parliament, ending nearly a decade of Conservative governance.

Born in the spotlight, Trudeau is the eldest child of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who led the nation almost continually for more than 15 total years between 1968 and 1984 with a flashy but polarizing style. ...

Canada Election 2015
  1. Liberals form majority
  2. Harper to resign
  3. Election results and map
  4. Tory cabinet ministers lose seats
  5. NDP loses key members
  6. Huge gains for Liberals in Quebec
  7. Liberals' Atlantic results
7 Ways This Might Affect The World
  1. Liberals vow to end Canada's combat mission in Iraq and Syria
  2. A more generous approach to refugees
  3. Yes, Trudeau wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline
  4. Support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (most likely)
  5. Liberals aim to make Canada the latest country to legalize pot
  6. A fresh face at the Paris climate conference
  7. An inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women
Read more

Canadian Election HBO | John Oliver - Canadian Election (HBO) (10/19/15) [15:20]
The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government by David Talbot

"What follows," David Talbot boasts in the prologue to his new book The Devil's Chessboard, "is an espionage adventure that is far more action-packed and momentous than any spy tale with which readers are familiar." Talbot, the founder of Salon.com and author of the Kennedy clan study Brothers, doesn't deal in subtlety in his biography of Allen Dulles, the CIA director under presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, the younger brother of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and the architect of a secretive national security apparatus that functioned as essentially an autonomous branch of government. Talbot offers a portrait of a black-and-white Cold War-era world full of spy games and nuclear brinkmanship, in which everyone is either a good guy or a bad guy. Dulles--who deceived American elected leaders and overthrew foreign ones, who backed ex-Nazis and thwarted left-leaning democrats--falls firmly in the latter camp.

How U.S. Created Mayhem in the Rest of the Middle East
AlterNet | Rebecca Gordon | 10/20/15

This year's Nobel Peace Prize went to Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy... in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011." The Quartet is a group of four organizations -- two national labor unions, a business group, and a lawyers' association -- whose work helped prevent Tunisia from sliding into civil war in the years following that "revolution."

Seeing the peace prize go to an organization that actually seems to have kept the peace is cheering news in a month that witnessed the military of one former Nobel laureate destroying a hospital run by another winner. Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) certainly earned its 1999 Peace Prize by providing medical services to people in more than 80 countries, often working in some of the most dangerous places on earth. On the other hand, as far as anyone can tell, a weary Nobel committee gave Barack Obama his prize in 2009 mostly for not being George W. Bush. ... Read more

Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines forTuesday, October 20 [10:20]
DN | Canadians Oust Stephen Harper, Right-Wing PM Who Ignored Climate Change & Shunned First Nations (10/20/15) [25:10]
*DN | Inside Allan Dulles' Reign as CIA Director, from '54 Guatemala Coup to Plotting Castro's Overthrow, Part 2 (10/19/15) [10:46]
DN | A CIA Tie to JFK Assassination? Book on Ex-Director Allen Dulles Questions Agency's Role, Part 3 (10/19/15) [5:22]
TYT | Did George W. Bush Keep Us Safe On 9/11? Trump Thinks Not (10/19/15) [7:38]
TYT | Bernie Sanders Preparing A Speech Defining Democratic Socialism (10/19/15) [9:16]
TYT | How Politics In Canada Work Differently Than USA (10/19/15) [6:23]
RT | Keiser Report: Those Confused Investors! (E825) (10/20/15) [25:41]
Thom Hartmann - www.thomhartmann.com/
ThomHartmann | Full Show: Trump is Right Again (This Time on Bush & 9/11) (10/20/15) [57:19]
Diane Rehm Show - http://thedianerehmshow.org
NPR (National Public Radio) - www.npr.org/
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - www.pbs.org/
MSNBC - Maddow/Hayes - www.msnbc.com/

10.20.2015. 15:03

Monday October 19, 2015
News Articles

China Tried To Hack American Companies Since Agreeing To Cyber Pact, Security Firm Says
Reuters & HP | Joseph Menn | 10/19/15

CrowdStrike said it notified the White House of its findings but declined to identify the targeted companies.

Hackers associated with the Chinese government have tried to penetrate at least seven U.S. companies in the three weeks since Washington and Beijing agreed not to spy on each other for commercial reasons, according to a prominent U.S. security firm. ... Read more

More News
  1. Great News: China's GDP Growth Beats Forecasts as Stimulus Supports Spending (BBG)
  2. Oh wait, maybe not: China GDP: Deflategate Comes to Beijing (WSJ)
  3. Actually, definitely not: Shanghai rebar falls to record low after weak China GDP (Reuters)
  4. But who cares: European Shares Gain on Earnings as Bonds Drop, Metals Decline (BBG)
Kill Chain: The Rise of the High-Tech Assassins by Andrew Cockburn

Assassination by drone is a subject of deep and enduring fascination. Yet few understand how and why this has become our principal way of waging war. Kill Chain uncovers the real and extraordinary story; its origins in long-buried secret programs, the breakthroughs that made drone operations possible, the ways in which the technology works and, despite official claims, does not work. Taking the reader inside the well-guarded world of national security, the book reveals the powerful interests - military, CIA and corporate - that have led the drive to kill individuals by remote control. Most importantly of all, the book describes what has really happened when the theories underpinning the strategy -- and the multi-billion dollar contracts they spawn -- have been put to the test. Drawing on sources deep in the military and intelligence establishments, Andrew Cockburn's Kill Chain unveils the true effects, as demonstrated by bloody experience, of assassination warfare, a revelation that readers will find surprising as well as shocking.

Paul Krugman Stands Up for Sanders, Dismantles Right-Wing Lies About Denmark's Economic Success Story
AlterNet | Janet Allon | 10/19/15

It's refreshing that presidential candidates are discussing what we might learn from other countries.

Krugman takes on the hoary right-wing myth that Denmark, the country touted by the Sanders campaign as getting a lot of things right, is somehow a dangerous example of runaway socialism in Monday's column.

He began by mentioning that that fact that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton even discussed what we might learn from Denmark in last week's debate. "Such an exchange would have been inconceivable among Republicans, who don't seem able to talk about European welfare states without adding the word 'collapsing,' he said. ... Read more

Yes, The US Government Really Is Bankrupt
...isn't it a little bit scary to consider that the government's #1 asset is its ability to steal money from you?
Canadian Election HBO | John Oliver - Canadian Election (HBO) (10/19/15) [15:20]
HBO | John Oliver - Real Quotes (10/19/15) [4:22]
HBO | John Oliver: Televangelists (older, but funny(or sad) 08/16/15) [20:05]

Untangling the Overlapping Conflicts in the Syrian War
NYTimes | Sergio PeÇanha | 10/18/15

What started as a popular uprising against the Syrian government four years ago has become a proto-world war with nearly a dozen countries embroiled in two overlapping conflicts.

Rebel groups supported by the United States are focused on toppling the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, not rooting out the Islamic State. ... Read more

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Democracy Now! U.S. and World News Headlines for Monday, October 19 [10:58]
*DN | Drone War Exposed: Jeremy Scahill on U.S. Kill Program's Secrets & the Whistleblower Who Leaked Them (10/17/15) [14:06]
The Drone Papers website
DN | "The Drone Papers" Reveals How Faulty Intel & Secret "Kill Chain" Mark Suspects, Civilians for Death (10/17/15) [11:18]
DR | The Future of U.S. Policy in Afghanistan (10/19/15) [1hr]
President Obama has changed course on Afghanistan, saying he'll keep thousands of U.S. troops there until 2017. We discuss what's behind the new White House strategy, the growing Taliban insurgency and the presence of ISIS in that country.
TRNN | Does the US Have a Plan in Afghanistan? Part 1 (10/19/15) [7:40]
TYT | Politician: We Need Gun Control...For Black People (10/15/15) [4:28]
TYT | Did Media Declaring Hillary Won Debate Influence Polls? (10/16/15) [9:18]
RT | CrossTalk: Russia's Outlook (10/19/15) [24:58]
RT | Hamid Karzai : 'US not interested in winning War on Terror' (10/19/15) [25:14]
RoF | Ben Carson -- Is It Possible To Be Very Smart and Very Stupid At The Same Time? (10/17/15) [2:35]
Thom Hartmann - www.thomhartmann.com/
ThomHartmann | Full Show: How Reaganomics is Still Hurting the Middle Class (10/16/15) [56:35]
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-- More graphs --
NPR (National Public Radio) - www.npr.org/
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) - www.pbs.org/
MSNBC - Maddow/Hayes - www.msnbc.com/

10.19.2015. 11:08

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