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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 49,125

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Warning To Journalists Everywhere



Reporter getting water cannoned in Turkey

I've never liked math either...


This is How Citizens United Dies-Feds: Mexican tycoon exploited super PACs to influence US elections

In the wake of the Citizens United case, critics of the ruling, which lifted prohibitions on direct campaign spending by corporations, raised the prospect of this allowing foreign nationals to influence US elections. Very serious people dismissed this trusting the our "robust" election laws would be up to the task of keeping foreign influence out of US elections. They were dead wrong.



Feds: Mexican tycoon exploited super PACs to influence U.S. elections

In a first of its kind case, federal prosecutors say a Mexican businessman funnelled more than $500,000 into U.S. political races through Super PACs and various shell companies. The alleged financial scheme is the first known instance of a foreign national exploiting the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision in order to influence U.S. elections. If proven, the campaign finance scandal could reshape the public debate over the high court's landmark decision.

Until now, allegations surrounding Jose Susumo Azano Matsura, the owner of multiple construction companies in Mexico, have not spread beyond local news outlets in San Diego, where he's accused of bankrolling a handful of southern California candidates. But the scandal is beginning to attract national interest as it ensnares a U.S. congressman, a Washington, D.C.-based campaign firm and the legacy of one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in a generation.


Matsura was able to evade US law by using a shell corporation in order to funnel the donations to US candidates. Pre Citizens United this would have involved finding a large number of US citizens willing to act as straw men. Now these shell games are able to be played by corporations, where determining ownership, let alone citizenship, can be a massive task.

..................

For some critics of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, the San Diego case validates warnings about foreign contributions previously dismissed by supporters of the landmark court case.



The Rest Of The Story Here:
http://www.standard.net/stories/2014/02/12/feds-mexican-tycoon-exploited-super-pacs-influence-us-elections
and here:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/13/1277252/-This-is-How-Citizens-United-Dies
behind firewall:
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/02/11/feds_mexican_tycoon_used_super_pacs_to_influence_us_elections

Jon Stewart: The ambassador racket is so corrupt, why not send Sean Hannity to Russia?

With current ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul set to leave his post at the end of the Sochi Olympic Games, Stewart said, President Barack Obama’s administration should select “someone we aren’t that crazy about, and (send) them away.” When a picture of Hannity showed up behind him — drawing cheers from the audience — Stewart pointed out, “He said he wanted to leave anyway.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/13/jon-stewart-the-ambassador-racket-is-so-corrupt-why-not-send-sean-hannity-to-russia/

Same Dog, Different Owner


From a campaign for the animal welfare non-profit CARA, with the tag-line, “Same Dog, Different Owner”:
http://www.adeevee.com/2014/02/cara-welfare-same-dog-different-owner-print/
via:http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/02/12/cool-ad-watch-106/

Fascinating USA Map


found on the tubes

No Snow In Eastern Sierra

It is frightening really
mr. pete and i have been going up there for 40-0dd years
check this out & tell me there is no global warming:

Season Pre-Oct Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Season
Total
1969-70 22.0 0 0 41.0 78.0 30.5 46.0 27.0 0 0 0 244.5
1970-71 60.0 0 0 109.0 29.0 19.5 24.0 14.0 0 0 0 255.5
1971-72 22.0 0 9.0 139.8 32.2 11.0 1.0 53.5 0 0 0 268.5
1972-73 4.0 0 57.1 64.5 84.9 103.0 43.0 10.0 4.0 0 0 370.5
1973-74 45.0 0 0 45.0 87.5 9.0 82.0 38.0 0 0 0 306.5
1974-75 15.0 0 13.0 58.5 26.0 101.0 90.0 75.0 0 0 0 378.5
1975-76 27.0 0 0 14.5 13.5 54.0 50.0 38.5 0 0 0 197.5
1976-77 4.0 0 0 0 26.0 27.0 37.0 0 0 0 0 94.0
1977-78 6.0 0 26.0 98.0 95.5 97.0 85.5 78.5 1.0 0 0 487.5
1978-79 6.0 0 29.5 51.5 102.5 96.0 78.0 11.5 11.5 0 0 386.5
1979-80 23.0 0 0 56.0 100.0 133.5 66.5 38.0 26.5 1.0 0 444.5
1980-81 4.0 0 0 19.0 71.5 17.5 98.0 15.0 5.0 0 0 230.0
1981-82 0 0 94.0 29.5 130.5 28.5 139.0 74.5 6.5 0 0 502.5
1982-83 13 0 42 105.5 118.5 97.7 112.25 52 5.3 0 0 546.25
1983-84 19 0 60.4 101.6 7.3 32.2 21.8 28.4 2.6 0 0 273.3
1984-85 6 0 51.5 43.05 25.6 45 65.55 0 0 0 0 236.7
1985-86 0 0 94.2 45.1 35.8 168.8 68.35 15.3 5 0 0 432.55
1986-87 5 0 0 0 54.7 69.85 58 8.2 0 0 0 195.75
1987-88 0 0 27 66.05 76.7 9.3 11.1 33.1 6.7 0 0 229.95
1988-89 0 0 34.2 74.7 10.2 35.8 67 12.7 16.8 0 0 251.35
1989-90 0 16 17.85 2 62.5 71.8 23 17.05 4 0 0 214.2
1990-91 0 0 6.75 27.8 11.4 6.3 175.95 5.9 7.8 0 0 241.9
1991-92 17 0 24.2 45.1 16.7 94.9 23.95 4.1 0 0 0 225.95
1992-93 0 23.5 0.5 102.05 161.5 134.5 38.3 11.9 0.2 0 0 472.4
1993-94 0 0 19.2 27.2 27.75 118.4 25.3 39.4 17.8 0 0 275.05
1994-95 0 0 87.3 53.7 182 17.7 139.65 34 25.8 0 0 540.15
1995-96 0 0 0 52.7 76.6 106.4 41.7 40.1 3.7 0 0 321.2
1996-97 5 25.5 33.4 130.2 121.6 6.5 0.1 1.5 0 0 0 323.8
1997-98 1 0 36.5 41.7 98.2 159.3 58.7 35 21 0 0 451.4
1998-99 5 0 40.5 37 78.5 73.8 42.5 55.1 0 0 0 332.4
1999-00 0 0 21.5 3.1 121.4 136.1 48.6 41 11 0 0 382.7
2000-01 0 38 22.8 9 68.8 124.1 60.3 70.9 0 0 0 393.9
2001-02 0 6 43.8 97.1 37.4 28.1 45.5 25.9 15.8 0 0 299.6
2002-03 3 0 25 134.4 8.6 33.9 30.3 96 24.8 0 0 356.0
2003-04 6 0 23 124.9 51.6 108.6 20.9 13.7 0.2 0 0 348.9
2004-05 0 85.6 28.3 109.3 127 72.9 85.6 35.5 25.1 0.8 0 570.1
2005-06 0 0 23.4 107.8 112.4 48.1 164.1 118.4 4.34 0 0 578.54
2006-07 0 4.0 5.5 56.5 11.0 100.5 13.0 26.5 5.0 0 0 222.0
2007-08 10.0 1.0 4.5 65.5 126.5 89.0 16.5 2.5 18.0 0 0 333.5
2008-09 0 10 26.5 120.5 63 144 62.5 30 11.5 2 0 470
2009-10 0 34 21 103 127 108 62.5 84.9 17.5 0 0 557.9
2010-11 0 10 88 209 29 92 177.5 31 27 4.5 - 668.5
2011-12 0 19.5 30 2 56 34.5 79 42 0 0 - 263
2012-13 0 18.0 60.7 147.1 26.0 10.0 29.0 14.0 3.5 0 0 308
2013-14 0 10.0 10.5 24.5 15.0 32.5 0 0 0 0 0 92.5
http://www.mammothmountain.com/Mountain/Conditions/SnowConditions/



GIVE EARTH A CHANCE!!!

The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet -By Matt Taibbi

"The wholesale merger of high finance with heavy industry."
SOUNDS LIKE FASCISM TO ME

The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet
Banks are no longer just financing heavy industry. They are actually buying it up and inventing bigger, bolder and scarier scams than ever

By Matt Taibbi
February 12, 2014 11:00 AM ET

Call it the loophole that destroyed the world. It's 1999, the tail end of the Clinton years. While the rest of America obsesses over Monica Lewinsky, Columbine and Mark McGwire's biceps, Congress is feverishly crafting what could yet prove to be one of the most transformative laws in the history of our economy – a law that would make possible a broader concentration of financial and industrial power than we've seen in more than a century.

But the crazy thing is, nobody at the time quite knew it. Most observers on the Hill thought the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years.


..............

By exploiting loopholes in a dense, decade-and-a-half-old piece of financial legislation, Wall Street has effected a revolutionary change that American citizens never discussed, debated or prepared for, and certainly never explicitly permitted in any meaningful way: the wholesale merger of high finance with heavy industry. This blitzkrieg reorganization of our economy has left millions of Americans facing a smorgasbord of frightfully unexpected new problems. Do we even have a regulatory structure in place to look out for these new forms of manipulation? (Answer: We don't.) And given that the banking sector that came so close to ruining the world economy five years ago has now vastly expanded its footprint, who's in charge of preventing the next crash?

In this Brave New World, nobody knows. Moreover, whatever we've done, it's too late to have a referendum on it. Garrett Wotkyns, an Arizona-based class-action attorney who has spent more than a year investigating the banks' involvement in the metals markets and is suing Goldman and others over the aluminum case on behalf of two major manufacturers, puts it this way: "It's like that line in The Dark Knight Rises," he says. "'The storm isn't coming. The storm is already here.'"







Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-vampire-squid-strikes-again-the-mega-banks-most-devious-scam-yet-20140212

Chris Christie's Piggy Bank: The real reason Christie killed the new NY-NJ commuter tunnel (Esquire)

Chris Christie's Piggy Bank
Chris Christie is hardly the first governor to use the Port Authority for funds. But no other governor in history has been quite so greedy

By Scott Raab on February 12, 2014



Which brings us to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is the agency that built and owns and runs the George Washington Bridge, which is the world's busiest, with two decks, 29 toll lanes (cars $13, trucks $17/axle) -- and more than 100 million vehicles per year. It's a tasty bit of business.

Toss in the take from the Lincoln Tunnel and the Holland Tunnel, plus Newark, LaGuardia, and JFK airports, plus one of the eastern seaboard's busiest seaports -- the list goes on and on. By statute, the PA sells its own bonds and wields the power of eminent domain -- the PA seized 16 acres of downtown Manhattan to create the World Trade Center in the 1960s -- and it operates mostly in secret.

If you're Chris Christie, that's a corner candy store pleading to be plundered. Early in his first term, Christie "borrowed" $2 billion by killing a crucial tunnel project jointly funded by New Jersey, New York, and the federal government, and he used that dough for New Jersey road work that the New Jersey budget couldn't cover without raising the state's gas tax -- second-lowest in the U.S. -- a solution Christie refused to consider. That tunnel project, billed at $9 billion, would've been a godsend to New Jersey rail commuters -- not to mention the thousands of jobs committed to its construction.

Chris Christie not only killed the tunnel, but lied about doing so to save the state from paying for imaginary cost overruns, even after the U.S Department of Transportation, trying to save the tunnel, said it would cover New Jersey's share of any such costs. That was late 2010; Christie's men -- including David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, both of whom resigned in the wake of the Great Ft. Lee Clusterfk -- were beginning to take over the PA. That process accelerated when David Samson, another Christie crony, became Chairman of the Port Authority Board of Commissioners early in 2011.

........


Read more:
http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/chris-christie-port-authority-021214

Ex-Mayor of New Orleans Guilty on Corruption Charges

Source: Fox

Ex-Mayor of New Orleans Guilty on Corruption Charges
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSONFEB. 12, 2014


NEW ORLEANS — Former Mayor C. Ray Nagin of New Orleans was found guilty on Wednesday of accepting payoffs for city contracts, becoming the first mayor in the city’s history to be charged and convicted of corruption.

The jury, deliberated for about six and a half hours in total before finding Mr. Nagin, 57, the Democratic mayor for two terms and the face of the city’s leadership during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, guilty in 20 of the 21 counts against him.

Tania Tetlow, a Tulane University law professor and a former federal prosecutor, said Mr. Nagin could be facing 20 years or more under federal sentencing guidelines. Mr. Nagin will remain free on bond, but will be in home detention, the judge said. Sentencing will be at a later date.

The verdict came after a seven-day trial, during which more than 30 witnesses testified, including some businessmen who had pleaded guilty to bribing Mr. Nagin in return for contracting work with the city. The most compelling days of the trial, and the ones that filled a courtroom that was half-empty most of the time, were those when Mr. Nagin himself took the stand, sparring with the prosecutor and dismissing the charges against him as misleading and misinformed.

With multiple witnesses and an extensive paper trial, federal prosecutors described a sequence of transactions between the mayor and various business interests, all following a similar pattern. The owner of a company would be trying to get city work, and would at some point make contact with Mr. Nagin. Mr. Nagin would ask for a favor, often in the form of payments to the granite countertop business Mr. Nagin ran with his two sons.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/13/us/nagin-corruption-verdict.html
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