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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 12,603

Journal Archives

Price for new prison at Guantanamo rises to $69 million

The proposed price of an exclusive new prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, rose by $20 million in a year because designers added meeting rooms and a medical clinic for 15 former CIA captives, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a military spokesman saidMonday.

Last year, the military estimated it would cost $49 million to build a new Camp 7, Guantanamo's name for its clandestine high-value detainee lockup. Last week, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee earmarked $69 million in its proposed budget for 2015 Defense Department spending to build the new prison.

Construction is not assured because the full Congress has yet to take up the budget.

"The original estimated cost was made pre-site-selection," said Army Col. Greg Julian, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command, which oversees the detention center that holds 154 terrorism suspects and a 2,200-member staff.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/05/12/227251/price-for-new-prison-at-guantanamo.html?sp=/99/117/#storylink=cpy

Deficit deficit deficit, oh wait, let's build a new prison at Gitmo instead of closing it like the American people want us to do...

Replacing fossil fuels with renewables will save the global economy 71 trillion by 2050.

Replacing fossil fuels with renewables as the world’s primary source of energy will not only save the planet from dangerous levels of warming – it will also save the global economy US$ 71trillion by 2050.

This is the finding of a report, Energy Technology Perspectives 2014, released today by the International Energy Agency, which looks at the direction of the energy sector over the next 40 years.

The changes needed to keep the world within 2C of warming— a widely agreed target in efforts to tackle climate change – will benefit the global economy, confirms the report, although a “coordinated policy approach” will be required to unlock these savings.

“The USD 44 trillion additional investment needed to decarbonise the energy system in line with the 2DS by 2050 is more than offset by over USD 115 trillion in fuel savings – resulting in net savings of USD 71 trillion,” its says.


House Committee Votes Unanimously to Rein In the NSA

Source: Mother Jones News

It's pretty hard to find non-depressing news out of Washington DC these days, but this genuinely qualifies:

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted 32-0 to approve an amended version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would require the National Security Agency to get case-by-case approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before collecting the telephone or business records of a U.S. resident.

....The USA Freedom Act, introduced last October, would prohibit bulk collection under the business-records provision of the Patriot Act, the law cited by NSA and Department of Justice officials as giving them authority for the telephone records collection program exposed by leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The bill would also prohibit bulk collection targeting U.S. residents in parts of another statute, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which the NSA has used largely to target overseas communications. The bill would take the phone records database out of NSA control and leave the records with carriers.

Remarkably, support for this bill has stayed bipartisan despite the fact that President Obama supports it. And although it's true that several provisions have been watered down a bit recently, the heart of the bill has stayed intact: a ban on bulk collection of phone records by the NSA. This is a pretty big deal, and it's supported by Democrats, Republicans, and the president.

This represents the first time in decades that the national security establishment has been restrained in any significant way. And no matter what else you think of Edward Snowden, this never would have happened without him.

Read more: http://m.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/05/house-committee-votes-unanimously-rein-nsa

Vermont becomes first state to call for Constitutional convention to reverse Citizens United!

Plus, call to action:

We’ve just made history. The first state has called for a convention of the states in order to propose an amendment restoring free and fair elections.

Vermont has passed our resolution through the state legislature, making it the historic first state to call for a convention to fix Citizens United. This is what winning feels like.

When I first started this organization, I was told that amending the Constitution was impossible and we would never win through our strategy. The victory in Vermont proves that the cowardly cynics were wrong all along. We will win this fight for free and fair elections. More than ever, I know that is true today.

The first domino has fallen and our momentum will only grow going forward, as more states follow suit and pass additional applications for a convention. Every mountain climbed begins with one simple step. We have now taken that step and need you to join us for this epic journey.

Every generation of Americans has amended the Constitution and now it’s our turn. Get in on this - come join us while we’re still writing the story of how we won the fight for free and fair elections - become a part of history in the making.

Future generations will call us patriots, and you’ll be proud of every hour you invested or every dollar you gave to participate in reclaiming our representative democracy. Thank you for your support.

See you at the convention,

Cenk Uygur, Wolf-PAC

Posted by grahamhgreen | Tue May 6, 2014, 09:47 PM (5 replies)

FCC Commisioner's email addresses:

Please write these folks and ask them to declare the internet a common carrier (like phone lines), and support net neutrality... Simple as that!

To Contact the Commissioners via E-mail

Chairman Tom Wheeler: Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov

Commissioner Ajit Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: Mike.O'Rielly@fcc.gov
Posted by grahamhgreen | Fri May 2, 2014, 11:54 AM (1 replies)

War in Ukraine is Insane. Not one dime for this idiocy. NT

America F*ck You & No Fascism

Photo from Donetsk, Ukraine:


Obama signs ban on public funding of presidential campaigns into law


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.

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?

Posted by grahamhgreen | Thu Apr 3, 2014, 12:51 PM (7 replies)
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