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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 13,630

Journal Archives

America F*ck You & No Fascism


Photo from Donetsk, Ukraine:

"THIS EXTREME ANTI AMERICAN SIGN IS HANGING FROM THE DONETSK REGIONAL HQ, OCCUPIED BY "'DONETSK PEOPLES REPUBLIC"

Obama signs ban on public funding of presidential campaigns into law

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/04/obama-act-public-funding-signs-aw

A ban on public funding of presidential conventions was quietly signed into law by Barack Obama on Thursday in a move that could further increase the dependency of US political parties on wealthy donors.

A day after the supreme court removed aggregate limits on how much wealthy individuals can spend supporting candidates, the White House agreed to enact legislation dismantling what was left of an alternative public financing model set up after the Watergate scandal.

US taxpayers could previously elect to earmark $3 (pdf) each year to help support presidential candidates, primaries and conventions in a bid to reduce their reliance on donors, but the amount spent has dwindled in recent years as parties increasingly ignore the subsidies on offer because they require agreeing to some limits on overall spending.
Posted by grahamhgreen | Fri Apr 4, 2014, 02:45 PM (3 replies)

U.S. Is Said to Open Criminal Investigation Into Citigroup Fraud

Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation into a recent $400 million fraud involving Citigroup’s Mexican unit, according to people briefed on the matter, one of a handful of government inquiries looming over the giant bank.

The investigation, overseen by the F.B.I. and prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, is focusing in part on whether holes in the bank’s internal controls contributed to the fraud in Mexico. The question for investigators is whether Citigroup — as other banks have been accused of doing in the context of money laundering — ignored warning signs.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/dealbook/2014/04/02/crime-inquiry-said-to-open-on-citigroup/
Posted by grahamhgreen | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 12:56 PM (3 replies)

Ukrainians Get IMF’s Bitter Medicine

Exclusive: Though lacking legitimacy from national elections, Ukraine’s coup regime has approved a harsh IMF austerity plan that hits Ukraine’s “99 percent” the hardest and asks little from the country’s “1 percent,” including the corrupt “oligarchs,” reports Robert Parry....

What is also striking about the IMF plan is that it puts virtually all the pain on average Ukrainians. There is nothing in the economic “reform” package that extracts some of the ill-gotten gains from Ukraine’s ten or so “oligarchs,” the multimillionaires and even billionaires who largely plundered Ukraine’s wealth after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.There is no plan for demanding that these “oligarchs” kick in some percentage of their net worth to help their own country. Instead, hard-pressed citizens of the United States and Europe are expected to carry the financial load....

As the New York Times reported, “Senior Western officials said on that the loans from the United States and from the I.M.F. would be structured to get the government through its first few months without undue political upheaval, putting off some of the more difficult changes until after the May election. The West has also chosen not to press for early parliamentary elections, one senior official said, because ‘the priority now is stabilization in Kiev and de-escalation with Moscow.’”

Given such bleak economic prospects — and evidence of Western manipulation of the political process – is it any wonder that more than 90 percent of the voters in Crimea opted to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia?

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/04/02/ukrainians-get-imfs-bitter-medicine/
Posted by grahamhgreen | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 12:51 PM (7 replies)

Hepatitus C Cure: $84,000 in USA, $900 in Egypt:

Sovaldi, a new hepatitis C treatment, can cure up to 90 percent of patients within three months. There's just one problem: The drug costs $1,000 a day. That price tag has thrown the biotechnology world into turmoil, as lawmakers and insurance companies complain that Sovaldi's maker is trying to milk desperate patients.

.....
Lawmakers: Perhaps motivated by the high costs to taxpayers, lawmakers are pushing Gilead to explain why it charges so much. It doesn't help that Gilead is offering Sovaldi in Egypt at a 99 percent discount to U.S. prices, or about $900 for a full course of treatment.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/1000-a-day-miracle-drug-shocks-us-health-care-system/



Time for bulk negotiations of drug prices, obviously.

CIA TORTURE: It Was Worse Than Anyone Knew


(Reuters) - The Central Intelligence Agency misled the U.S. government and public for years about aspects of its brutal interrogation program, concealing details about harsh treatment of detainees and other issues, according to a report in the Washington Post.

U.S. officials who have seen a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA interrogation program described damning new information about a network of secret detention facilities, also called "black sites", the Washington Post said.

___________

At the "black sites", prisoners were sometimes subjected to harsh interrogation techniques even when analysts were sure they had no more information to give, said the report, which the Post said was based on interviews with current and former U.S. officials.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/r-cia-misled-public-on-interrogation-program-newspaper-reports-2014-01#ixzz2xfNNNxiA



Torture should always be prosecuted. Not prosecuting makes one complicit in the torture, right?

Please take 5 seconds to understand that LBJ + NO WAR = NO NIXON.

We didn't need this to get Medicare & the Great Society reforms, in fact, we would have beat Nixon without it:

One-Third of Texas Was Running on Wind Power This Week

On Wednesday, March 27th, the largest state in the contiguous United States got almost one-third of its electricity by harnessing the wind. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the bulk of the Lone Star State's power grid, a record-breaking 10,296 MW of electricity was whipped up by wind turbines. That's enough to provide 29 percent of the state's power, and to keep the lights on in over 5 million homes.

ERCOT notes in a statement issued today that "The new record beats the previous record set earlier this month by more than 600 MW, and the American Wind Energy Association reports it was a record for any US power system."

The landmark is further evidence of one of the nation's unlikeliest energy success stories. Conservative politicians have a renowned aversion to clean energy (though Republican voters favor it overwhelmingly), and Texas is still deep red. Yet wind farms are cropping up in there faster than almost anywhere else. ERCOT points out as much, as it boasts of the sector's recent growth:
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/one-third-of-texas-was-running-on-wind-power

Ukraine: "The package is very unpopular, complex, hard reforms that have long needed to be done"

Here comes austerity, privatization of public assets, and Monsanto:

LONDON — After three weeks of urgent negotiations with the interim government of Ukraine and in an atmosphere of great power competition, the International Monetary Fund announced on Thursday an agreement to provide up to $18 billion in loans over two years to prevent the country’s default.

snip

Posting later on Twitter, Mr. Yatsenyuk wrote: “The government will not allow the bankruptcy of Ukraine. The package is very unpopular, complex, hard reforms that have long needed to be done, submitted to Parliament.”Senior Western officials said on Wednesday that the loans from the United States and from the I.M.F. would be structured to get the government through its first few months without undue political upheaval, putting off some of the more difficult changes until after the May election.

Poll: We are All Working to Transform the ACA into for Medicare for All, or Better, Right?

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