HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » marmar » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 ... 1151 1152 1153 1154 1155 1156


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 70,152

Journal Archives

Flip Flops -- not good running shoes.

Unfettered Capitalism - Chris Hedges & Michael Moore

Robert Reich: The Remarkable Political Stupidity of the Street

Published on Saturday, December 10, 2011 by RobertReich.org
The Remarkable Political Stupidity of the Street

by Robert Reich

Wall Street is its own worst enemy. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it’s busily shredding new regulations and making the public more distrustful than ever.

The Street’s biggest lobbying groups have just filed a lawsuit against the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, seeking to overturn its new rule limiting speculative trading.

For years Wall Street has speculated like mad in futures markets – food, oil, other commodities – causing prices to fluctuate wildly. The Street makes bundles from these gyrations, but they have raised costs for consumers.

In other words, a small portion of what you and I pay for food and energy has been going into the pockets of Wall Street. It’s just another hidden redistribution from the middle class and poor to the rich. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/10-6

The Warning in Gary Webb’s Death

from Consortium News:

The Warning in Gary Webb’s Death
December 9, 2011

Special Report: Modern American history is more complete because journalist Gary Webb had the courage to revive the dark story of the Reagan administration’s protection of Nicaraguan Contra cocaine traffickers in the 1980s. However, Webb ultimately paid a terrible price, as Robert Parry reports.

By Robert Parry

Every year since investigative journalist Gary Webb took his own life in 2004, I have marked the anniversary of that sad event by recalling the debt that American history owes to Webb for his brave reporting, which revived the Contra-cocaine scandal in 1996 and forced important admissions out of the Central Intelligence Agency two years later.

But Webb’s suicide on the evening of Dec. 9, 2004, was also a tragic end for one man whose livelihood and reputation were destroyed by a phalanx of major newspapers – the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times– serving as protectors of a corrupt power structure rather than as sources of honest information.

In reviewing the story again this year, I was struck by how Webb’s Contra-cocaine experience was, in many ways, a precursor to the subsequent tragedy of the Iraq War.

In the 1980s, the CIA’s analytical division was already showing signs of politicization, especially regarding President Ronald Reagan’s beloved Contras and their war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government – and the U.S. press corps was already bending to the propaganda pressures of a right-wing Republican administration. ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2011/12/09/the-warning-in-gary-webbs-death/

NY: Subway Riders Could Pay for New York Tax Breaks

NY: Subway Riders Could Pay for New York Tax Breaks
By Daniel C. Vock, Stateline Staff Writer, Stateline.org

New York City subways are likely to suffer under an agreement brokered by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to overhaul the state's tax code.

The financially strapped agency that runs the trains, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, stands to lose a key component of its funding in the deal. The subway system would be out at least $250 million a year that it currently derives from payroll taxes paid by employers of New York workers. The state would supposedly make up the shortfall, but many observers are wary about that prospect.

"A measure of skepticism would not be out of line," writes The New York Times. "Albany budget makers have a history of pocketing money intended for transit to cope with their own headaches. A couple of years ago, a subsidy that made MetroCards available to students all but disappeared, and was then only partly restored."The payroll tax for New York and surrounding communities charges employers 34 cents for every $100 they spend on payroll. It was first imposed in 2009, in an attempt to shore up the MTA's finances. Many businesses oppose it, as do suburban Republicans. Phasing out part of the tax was a key component of the compromise Cuomo forged with lawmakers, explains Capital New York.

"The tax is a political dog in those places," the site reports. "So the Long Island Republicans who run the Republican majority in the State Senate, and who therefore control the Senate, have lobbied fiercely to get rid of it. This past June, the Senate voted to phase it out, but the proposal, which would have blown a hole in the MTA budget absent a replacement source of revenue, went nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Assembly." .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/10476922/ny-subway-riders-could-pay-for-new-york-tax-breaks

The Age of Thirst in the American West

from TomDispatch:

The Age of Thirst in the American West
Coming to a Theater Near You: The Greatest Water Crisis in the History of Civilization

By William deBuys

Consider it a taste of the future: the fire, smoke, drought, dust, and heat that have made life unpleasant, if not dangerous, from Louisiana to Los Angeles. New records tell the tale: biggest wildfire ever recorded in Arizona (538,049 acres), biggest fire ever in New Mexico (156,600 acres), all-time worst fire year in Texas history (3,697,000 acres).

The fires were a function of drought. As of summer’s end, 2011 was the driest year in 117 years of record keeping for New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana, and the second driest for Oklahoma. Those fires also resulted from record heat. It was the hottest summer ever recorded for New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, as well as the hottest August ever for those states, plus Arizona and Colorado.

Virtually every city in the region experienced unprecedented temperatures, with Phoenix, as usual, leading the march toward unlivability. This past summer, the so-called Valley of the Sun set a new record of 33 days when the mercury reached a shoe-melting 110º F or higher. (The previous record of 32 days was set in 2007.)

And here’s the bad news in a nutshell: if you live in the Southwest or just about anywhere in the American West, you or your children and grandchildren could soon enough be facing the Age of Thirst, which may also prove to be the greatest water crisis in the history of civilization. No kidding. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175475/tomgram%3A_william_debuys%2C_the_parching_of_the_west/#more (follows a brief intro)

Dean Baker: Will an Incompetent European Central Bank Be Allowed to Wreck the World Economy?

Published on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 by The Guardian/UK
Will an Incompetent European Central Bank Be Allowed to Wreck the World Economy?

by Dean Baker

The world is eagerly waiting to see if the European Central Bank (ECB) will take the steps needed to save the euro. Specifically, is the ECB prepared to act as a central bank and guarantee the sovereign debt of the countries in the eurozone as the lender of last resort ordinarily does in a crisis?

If not, there is little doubt what the outcome will be. The austerity being imposed on country after country will slow GDP growth and throw workers out of jobs. Higher unemployment will worsen deficits, since it means less tax revenue coming in and more unemployment benefits and other transfers being paid out. Higher deficits will cause investors to worry about the solvency of the government, leading interest rates to rise.

This gives us the famous downward spiral that already sank Greece's economy and government. It will soon sink Italy and Spain – unless the ECB starts acting like a central bank. The fallout from disorderly defaults from these two countries will cause banks throughout the eurozone to become insolvent, leading to another post Lehman-type freeze-up of the financial system.

The end result will be a second recession and another sharp spike in unemployment, not just in the eurozone, but almost certainly across the globe. The finances and the economies of the eurozone are too intertwined with the rest of the world to envision a meltdown that doesn't also push the rest of the world into recession. At the end of this story, the euro itself is likely to be placed in the dustbin of history, another failed monetary experiment. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/06-2

Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 1151 1152 1153 1154 1155 1156