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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 12,692

Journal Archives

US advisers in Iraq risk assassination by troops they are trying to train

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2691209/US-advisers-Iraq-risk-assassination-troops-trying-train-claims-classified-report.html

Americans who are assigned to advise Baghdad’s forces could be at risk because so many units are deeply infiltrated by either Sunni extremist informants or Shiite personnel backed by Iran, the report by United States detailed.

If the US does decide to assist in moving back the the advances made by Sunni militants in northern and western Iraq over the past month, the assessment concludes that only about half of Iraq’s operational units are able to carry out the push.

BBC: Executive pay '180 times average', report finds

The High Pay Centre, a think tank, said shareholders were still backing high executive pay deals despite new powers to vote them down at annual meetings.

The pay of the average FTSE 100 chief executive increased from £4.1m to £4.7m last year, said the report.

The government should take action to close the pay gap, it
said.


In October, new rules came into effect forcing listed firms to give shareholders a binding vote on directors' pay.

Executive 'elite'

A firm's remuneration policy now requires the approval of more than 50% of shareholders for a policy to pass.

Business Secretary Vince Cable introduced the shift to make a "clearer link between pay and performance".

The High Pay Centre's report says that, without further action, trust in business will be damaged by the perception that an executive "elite" is reaping all the rewards from economic growth.

http://m.bbc.com/news/28286264

Margaret Thatcher 'personally covered up' child abuse allegations against senior ministers

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-personally-covered-up-3848836

Margaret Thatcher personally covered up child abuse ­allegations made against one of her senior ministers, according to explosive new claims.

The Sunday People reports Tory Prime Minister is said to have held a high-powered meeting with the rising star, who was being tipped for promotion, and told him: “You have to clean up your sexual act.”

It followed an allegation that the minister had sexually abused young boys at the home of one of his political allies in 1982.

The Senate Judiciary Committee Just Backed an Amendment to Overturn ‘Citizens United'

http://m.thenation.com/blog/180605-senate-judiciary-committee-just-backed-amendment-overturn-citizens-united
Leahy's position was echoed by committee Democrats who joined him in backing an amendment that declares:

SECTION 1: To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections. SECTION 2. Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections. SECTION 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.


Don't like the word 'reasonable' in this. I know who will define that. But good news none the less!

Judge Rules G.O.P. Illegally Redrew Florida Districts

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/us/judge-rules-gop-illegally-redrew-florida-districts.html

TAMPA, Fla. — In a sharply worded decision, a Florida judge ruled late Thursday that Republicans illegally redrew the state’s congressional districts, saying they “made a mockery” of an amendment meant to inject fairness into a process that has long been politically tainted.

Judge Terry P. Lewis of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit ordered that two districts be redrawn — one, the 10th District, now held by Representative Daniel Webster, a Republican, and the other, the Fifth District, held by Representative Corrine Brown, a Democrat. In redrawing them, neighboring districts are also likely to be affected.

The state is expected to appeal. The ruling, issued less than two months before Florida’s primary, is unlikely to affect this year’s elections. But if it stands it could have broad implications for the 2016 elections.

FORBES: With An Obamacare Boost, Cigna Latest To Raise Profit Outlook

Cigna (CI) became the latest in a parade of health insurance companies to report they are going to make even more money than they thought they would in 2014 thanks to new business strategies and a surge of younger customers signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

.........

The improved forecast is the latest in a parade of rosy financial projections from health insurance companies benefiting from the health law. Other insurers doing well include Aetna (AET) UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Humana (HUM) and Wellpoint (WLP), a major operator of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans under the Anthem brand that also raised its profit outlook this week.


http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2014/05/01/with-an-obamacare-boost-cigna-latest-to-raise-profit-outlook/


NOTE: this is from 5/1/2014

US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/darpa-social-networks-research-twitter-influence-studies

The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook’s controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds.

Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense’s military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread.

.....

The project list includes a study of how activists with the Occupy movement used Twitter as well as a range of research on tracking internet memes and some about understanding how influence behaviour (liking, following, retweeting) happens on a range of popular social media platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, Kickstarter, Digg and Reddit.

......

However, papers leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicate that US and British intelligence agencies have been deeply engaged in planning ways to covertly use social media for purposes of propaganda and deception. Documents prepared by NSA and Britain's GCHQ (and previously published by the Intercept as well as NBC News) revealed aspects of some of these programs. They included a unit engaged in “discrediting” the agency’s enemies with false information spread online.




It can't happen here, oops.
Posted by grahamhgreen | Tue Jul 8, 2014, 01:09 PM (0 replies)

Iraqi premier Maliki removes key army chiefs, appoints own son

http://ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2014/7/govt2320.htm

"BAGHDAD,— Iraq's embattled Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has pushed his military chiefs into early retirement and placed his own son in charge of the army.

The news was leaked to various Iraqi media outlets on Saturday.

"On the order of the prime minister, the supreme commander of the ground forces, Ali Ghedan, has retired from office," a source with the Iraqi defense ministry said.

The source added that the retirement was "a direct consequence of the fall of Mosul," into the hands of the jihadist militants. "
Posted by grahamhgreen | Mon Jul 7, 2014, 04:32 AM (7 replies)

2014 Job Creation Faster in States that Raised the Minimum Wage

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/cepr-blog/2014-job-creation-in-states-that-raised-the-minimum-wage

As CEPR noted in March and April posts, economists at Goldman Sachs conducted a simple evaluation of the impact of these state minimum-wage increases. GS compared the employment change between December and January in the 13 states where the minimum wage increased with the changes in the remainder of the states. The GS analysis found that the states where the minimum wage went up had faster employment growth than the states where the minimum wage remained at its 2013 level.

When we updated the GS analysis using additional employment data from the BLS, we saw the same pattern: employment growth was higher in states where the minimum wage went up. While this kind of simple exercise can't establish causality, it does provide evidence against theoretical negative employment effects of minimum-wage increases.

In this post, we can now bring these figures up to date with the data from April and May.

The chart below shows the percentage change in employment for each state. The baseline is the average of the employment figures for the last five months of 2013 (August to December), which is measured against the average of the employment levels for the first five months of 2014 (January to May). As was the case with the earlier analyses by GS and CEPR, employment growth is still faster in states where the minimum wage went up.

U.S. troops in Baghdad to fly Apache helicopters, drones

The nearly 500 American troops sent to Baghdad to bolster security for the US embassy are equipped with Apache attack helicopters and small unarmed surveillance drones, Pentagon officials said Tuesday.

President Barack Obama on Monday ordered 200 additional troops to the Iraqi capital to ensure the safety of American diplomats and other personnel working in the city, as Baghdad government forces face a challenge from advancing Sunni extremists.

The reinforcements will include troops to fly and maintain Apache attack helicopters and unarmed surveillance drones, Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference.

The drones were not Reapers or Predators but smaller Shadow robotic aircraft that are launched from a catapult, a senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The Shadow aircraft, which have been heavily used by US forces previously in Iraq and in Afghanistan, are about 14 feet (4 meters) long and can fly at an altitude of 8,000 feet (2,400 meters).


http://news.yahoo.com/us-troops-baghdad-fly-apache-helicopters-drones-222125739.html


Why Obama would do the neo-cons bidding while they sue him is beyond me. I predict his continued escalation in Iraq will result in Dems losing the Senate, and then his own impeachment... But what do I know?
Posted by grahamhgreen | Wed Jul 2, 2014, 12:02 PM (2 replies)
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