line from Bernanke's testimony this morning is getting some folks all
First he was asked by Ron Paul whether he thinks gold is money: He said
Then he Ron Paul asked him why Central Banks hold so much: He answered
Now this is the classic gold bug argument: Because gold has been used as
a store of wealth for eons, it still should have value.
Read Full Story
News Link • Revolutions, Rebellions & Uprisings 07-14-2011 • arclein Word of the
building pressure against Gadhafi came as France's foreign minister
reported that Gadhafi was prepared to leave power, citing Libyan
emissaries who have approached the French government. It was not
immediately clear how credible the offer was. Gadhafi has refused to
leave or give up power since U.S. and NATO forces launched a bombing
campaign in support of rebels who rose up against the gov Read Full Story
jobs are not coming back, then we as a nation need a conversation about
poverty in America. The Status Quo assumption is that this is just
another garden-variety recession, and that employment will bounce back,
along with the "animal spirits" that drive borrowing and spending.
As of August 2011, it will be three years since the global financial
meltdown. In three years, the Savior State has borrowed and blown $6
trillion maintaining the Status Quo, and the Federal Reserve has printed
almost $3 trillion and shoveled that vast sum into "risk assets" to
keep housing on life support and the stock market rising. The Fed has
also devalued and debased the dollar, stealing wealth from the citizenry
and holders of U.S.-denominated debt in the process, to serve two
goals: 1) spark inflation and thus avoid deflationary deleveraging of
the nation's fast-growing mountain of debt, and 2) to enable servicing
that debt with cheaper dollars.
None of these grandiose manipulations has healed the economy or fixed
the structural problems which made the meltdown inevitable. The irony
here (among many) is that so many people believe the Power Elites
controlling the nation have some sort of god-like ability to maintain
their grip on the levers of power.
While it's certainly true that the wealth of the Power Elites has
increased as a result of the meltdown and Fed/Savior State response,
ultimately the Financial and Political Elites' power depends on the
passivity and complicity of the citizens. This means the Power Elites
must buy off or co-opt the majority of citizens to keep them politically
neutered and mallable.
The Status Quo has two basic methods of buying the citizen's complicity:
a vibrant economy that supports a middle class that thus has a stake in
maintaining the Status Quo, and cash bribes to everyone else to keep
quiet, i.e. "social benefits" a.k.a. entitlements and welfare. This
renders everyone either dependent on cash payments from the Savior State
or a stakeholder in the Status Quo. Read Full Story
If congressional Republicans never had any intention of using the
increase in the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling as leverage to extract big
spending cuts from the Harry Reid-led Senate and the Obama
Administration, they had ample opportunity after the 2010 elections to
They could have just said, “That’s crazy talk!” and left it at that.
Fiscal conservatives may have still called for the debt ceiling to be
used in exchange for cuts, but other avenues would have been pursued to
bring the nation’s fiscal house in order.
Instead, Republican leaders, emboldened by the decisive result of the
2010 elections, stoked the embers for this idea and really were the
ones who got the ball rolling.
McConnell added, “The American people want it, they expect it. That
was a big issue in yesterday’s election.”
Later on, House
Speaker John Boehner, speaking to the Economic Club of New York, said,
“Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt,
there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater
than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given.
We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions.”
The American people have since rallied to the idea. According
to Gallup, a 51 percent majority of Americans, including 52
percent of Independents and 57 percent of Republicans, are more
concerned about the debt ceiling being raised without big cuts than
they are of the risk of an economic crisis if it is not raised.
That means, in spite of the talking heads and big corporate lobbies
pushing for a no strings attached increase in the nation’s credit limit,
Republicans have been winning this debate. Not even the White House’s
fear mongering and shameless class warfare has penetrated that much.
Get full story here.
What if you were to learn that a massive Saudi Arabia sized supply of
oil was available just 500 miles north of our border?
What if this supply of oil was controlled by an ally of the United
States who wanted to develop it and ship it south?
What if this supply of oil did not require any off-shore drilling?
Wouldn’t it make sense to allow that oil to reach the U.S. market
rather than having it drilled and transported to China instead?
Ironically, this oil exists in Canada near the NHL hockey town of
Edmonton, where vast reserves are available to be delivered to the U.S.
So what is the hold up in bringing it to the United States?
The U.S. State Department!
That’s right. Hillary Clinton’s State Department has been sitting on
the approval of a pipeline to move the oil from Canada to the United
States for more than three years.
The problem? Environmental
groups don’t want the Alberta oil sands field developed because
they believe that getting the oil out of the ground will cause
increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the Obama Administration
consistently sides with the powerful enviro lobby over the economic
interests of the nation. So, these environmental groups are lobbying
against building a pipeline that will bring this oil to the U.S.
The most amazing thing in this equation is that it assumes that
failure to give the U.S. markets and consumers access to this oil will
stop the development of the oil field. Nothing could be further from
The Chinese are investing billions of dollars in the development of
an oil pipeline from these very fields to a Pacific Ocean port facility
in British Columbia. So, the oil is going to be taken out of the
ground whether it is piped into the U.S. or not.
Get full story here.
Romney on Global Warming: Troubling on an International Climate
By Victor Morawski
December of 2009 was a tense time for libertarians, conservatives and
global warming skeptics worldwide, the month of the UN Climate
Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Members of the environmental left across the globe had high hopes
going into that conference that this would be where they would finally
get it done, would reach a worldwide legally-binding climate agreement
on the limitation of greenhouse gases (GHG) to curb global warming — an
improved version of the Kyoto Protocol — with nearly all of the world’s
nations as signatories. These emissions across the globe would then
be regulated by the UN, backed by the force of international law.
That agreement would make national cap and trade laws — like the one
liberals had proposed for the US — largely irrelevant and redundant.
As a signatory, the U.S. would have been legally bound to pursue the
GHG emissions mitigation targets laid out in the international
agreement, while also participating in a global cap and trade scheme
Readers may recall that the Copenhagen Conference delegates came up
far short of the sought-after agreement. Deep-seated differences
prevented them from bringing anything that was legally binding to the
table. Failing to reach consensus even on a considerably weakened
non-binding resolution, they finally voted to at least “take note” of it
as a way of saving face and justifying their air fares and hotel
Fearing the worst at the time, Conservatives were greatly concerned
that if such a legally-binding international agreement were reached at
the Conference, world citizen Barack Obama would sign it, thus
surrendering US sovereignty over the management of GHG emissions to the
UN and committing our nation for years to come to a schedule for paying
tens of billions of dollars to developing nations as reparations for
the harm that we have supposedly done them by having such a large
carbon footprint over the years.
Get full story here.
The federal judge in the Roger Clemens perjury case this morning
declared a mistrial over a defense contention that prosecutors presented
evidence to jurors the judge had deemed inadmissible.
Prosecutors, according to The Washington Post, played
a video to jurors this morning that referenced an affidavit from
the wife of government witness Andy Pettitte, the former Yankees pitcher
and Clemens teammate.
Pettitte, a key witness for the prosecution, reportedly confided in
his wife information that Clemens told him about drug use. The video
played today featured congressional testimony in which a congressman,
Elijah Cummings (D-MD), quoted from an affidavit Pettitte’s wife
Laura Pettitte provided a three-paragraph affidavit to the U.S. House
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in connection with the
investigation of Clemens, court records show. The affidavit noted two
conversations between Pettitte and his wife about Clemens.
A courthouse official confirmed that U.S. District Judge Reggie
Walton declared a mistrial. Walton, according to published reports, said
he was “troubled” that prosecutors presented evidence he said was not
allowed at trial.
“We’ve spent a lot of money to reach this point. Government counsel
should have been more cautious about what was presented so we are not in
this situation,” said Walton, according to published reports.
Clemens' lawyers, including Russell "Rusty" Hardin, in recent court
papers had urged Walton to block prosecutors from introducing evidence
from Laura Pettitte regarding conversations between she and her husband
about Clemens. The defense lawyers called any such evidence inadmissible
"Testimony regarding Mrs. Pettitte’s second-hand conversations
regarding Mr. Clemens is
classic hearsay to which no exception appears to apply," Clemens'
attorneys said in the court papers.
Walton's admonition today of the prosecution was the second in two
days. During the government's opening statement Wednesday morning,
Walton told jurors to disregard a statement Assistant U.S. Attorney
Steven Durham made about the use of performance-enhancing drugs among
Clemens is charged with perjury and other crimes for allegedly lying
to Congress in 2008 when he denied ever using performance-enhancing
drugs. Hardin yesterday in court said the defense plans to attack the
credibility of Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, a government
Jury selection in the Clemens case last several days. Walton does not
use a jury questionnaire.
By BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The bottomless cesspool that was Rupert Murdoch’s London
tabloid News of the World is gone, but the ruthless corporate politics
of its master still hold sway in the U.S. and Britain. Murdoch is the
great vampire of media corruption and consolidation on both sides of the
Atlantic. But he is not a solitary villain. ‘Murdoch was not the only
media beneficiary when the FCC allowed him and others to consolidate
their power and influence.’ All corporate media are truth thieves.
‘Murdoch felt he had nothing to fear from politicians and that he was
probably right to be so unconcerned.’
If it can be said that there is one lord
of world wide corporate media, that person is Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch’s
News Corporation reigns supreme in television and print media in his
native Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Americans are most familiar with News Corporation ownership of the
Fox news cable channel, the New York Post, Dow Jones Inc., the Wall
Street Journal, and Twentieth Century Fox film studio among others. The
Murdoch organization is not just big, but has a distinct political point
of view. Despite the claim of being ‘fair and balanced’ Fox news and
other Murdoch outlets blatantly promote and protect conservative
interests and politics.
One of Murdoch’s British newspapers, the News of the World, is
embroiled in a scandal so overwhelming that it caused the mogul to close
down that publication. Over a period of years, the News of the World
hired private investigators to hack into the voice mail messages of
members of the British royal family, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown,
celebrities, and other prominent people.
‘Fox news and other Murdoch outlets blatantly promote and protect
conservative interests and politics.’
The News of the World settled out of court with some of those injured
by the invasion of privacy. In other cases, a reporter and an
investigator were sentenced to jail for their actions. These cases are
not new, and have been percolating just below the surface with the News
Corporation successfully minimizing bad publicity. The ability to keep
this sordid news from affecting the conglomerate until recently is just
one indicator of the very corrupt relationship between corporate media
British Prime Minister David Cameron tapped Andy Coulson, a former
News of the World editor, to be his communications director. This
appointment came about despite the emerging scandal. Coulson eventually
resigned as the story unfolded, and he has since been arrested, but his
hiring proved that Murdoch felt he had nothing to fear from politicians
and that he was probably right to be so unconcerned.
As with all wrong doing however, some truth came eventually to light
that changed the equation. A story broke which involved not just phone
hacking but police misconduct and interference with a kidnapping and
murder investigation. In 2002 a British teenager was abducted and later
found murdered. During the time she was missing and still not accounted
for, her voice mails were deleted and her family was given false hope
that she was still alive.
It was a News of the World private investigator who deleted the voice
mails and compromised an ongoing police investigation. Some police
officers were misdirected in their investigation of the case, while
others were on the take and gave News of the World backchannel
information in an effort to keep a good relationship with the corporate
‘Murdoch received a permanent waiver of FCC rules that prohibit
ownership of a newspaper and television station in the same city.’
The recognition of this conduct caused immediate and universal
revulsion among the British public, frightened advertisers, and caused
politicians to outdo one another in condemning the publication.
All of this makes good fodder for the rest of the media, but no one
is talking about what all of this says about government and press
relations and not just in Britain but in this country as well. Murdoch
received a permanent waiver of FCC rules that prohibit ownership of a
newspaper and television station in the same city. The New York Post and
WNYW television are all allowed to remain in his hands, and give him a
disproportionately large voice in the media capital of the United
States. The media are controlled by many wealthy individuals and
corporations, and our ability get useful information is compromised in
Money is a corrupting influence and corruption in the media is
particularly pernicious. Throughout history, the press have influenced
public opinion, and by doing so shape events and influence popular
thought on the important issues of the moment. When the media are
concentrated into fewer and fewer and wealthier hands, the potential for
abuse is enormous. Murdoch was not the only media beneficiary when the
FCC allowed him and others to consolidate their power and influence. He
is just one of the most prominent.
Bad publicity aside, there is every reason to believe that Murdoch
will succeed in purchasing Britain’s Sky News Service. He may be delayed
by these events, but he is rich and powerful and will eventually emerge
triumphant. Depending upon which way the political winds blow, more
reporters, editors and corrupt police officers may suffer, but it is the
man with the gold who makes the rules.
Politicians in London, New York and Washington will still dance to
the tune of the Murdochs of the world. It is they who decide who will
and won’t be in the power in the first place.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and
is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog
as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com.
Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at