Iceland

‘Unlike the U.S. and EU, we forced bank bondholders to take losses.’

Start watching at the 3-minute mark. Recorded yesterday.

Iceland’s Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson tells RT’s Marina Portnaya how his country managed to pull itself away from the financial abyss – and offers up a few pointers as to how the Eurozone can do the same.

Corbett administration still playing games with voter ID

They can’t win without stealing, and they always get away with it:

A JUDGE RULED earlier this month that a state-approved voter ID was not needed to cast a ballot in the presidential race Nov. 6, but voter-rights advocates say state billboards about the law are confusing people.


Like the 10 ads placed in predominantly Hispanic communities with a photo of a woman holding up her driver’s license. “Esta jornada electoral si la tienes muestrala,” it reads in Spanish, which means: “This Election Day, if you have it, show it.”


“It’s causing confusion with voters and now a lot of anger in the Hispanic community,” Juan Ramos, a former Philadelphia City Council member and head of the Delaware Valley Voter Registration Education Project, said at a news conference in City Hall on Monday. He said the billboards went up last week. “The state should emphasize that you don’t need it to vote.”


Ramos said that as recent as a few days ago, some radio stations were airing ads stating that voters needed a photo ID before they could cast their ballots.


Court Judge Robert Simpson ruled this month that election officials can ask for identification in November but that voters are allowed to vote without it.

Change.org

Now Cash.org!

And here is the problem with progressives: They (both on the individual and the institutional level) do not support progressive infrastructure. So when you have a staff that needs to get paid, you sell out. You have to, if you want to pay the bills.

Maybe I should become a Republican.

WTF

People seem to have no sense:

HAGERSTOWN, MD. – The highly caffeinated Monster Energy Drink has been cited in five deaths and one non-fatal heart attack, according to reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating.


The reports claim that people had adverse reactions after they consumed Monster Energy Drink, which comes in 24-ounce cans and contains 240 milligrams of caffeine, or seven times the amount of the caffeine in a 12-ounce cola.


Although the FDA is investigating the allegations, which date back to 2004, the agency said the reports don’t necessarily prove that the drinks caused the deaths or injuries.

The new precariat

Finally, a place where I belong!

During the Presidential campaign, Americans have heard endless discussions about unemployment. But neither candidate has said much, at least not directly, about precarious employment or about the new precariat – that growing group (some would even say the growing class) of workers in temporary, part-time, and/or contingent work that often doesn’t pay a living wage.


Who is the precariat? According to Guy Standing, the author of The Precariat: the New Dangerous Class, all of us could be. For now, the precariat involves largely women, the young, the disabled, retirees forced back to work, former prisoners, and migrants. It also includes large numbers of formerly middle-class professionals, skilled and semi-skilled people who have been displaced by economic change. While each of these groups has gotten some attention, Standing argues that as a group, the precariat is still “a class in the making,” united by an overwhelming sense of insecurity and vulnerability.


[…] Just how big is the new precariat? It’s difficult to measure, but the Federal Reserve Board of Cleveland suggests that the ‘Great Recession’ has resulted in increases in self-employment, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 35 million people work part time. While the data on how many people have precarious employment is far from definitive, the precariat clearly seems to be large and growing.


That suggests that the new precariat could have a significant impact on the election. Most of them don’t believe that the government or other institutions can do much to ameliorate their situation. Many consider themselves to be small business people. As Arun Gupta and Michelle Fawcett have suggested, “Republicans have turned small business into a catch-all group the way ‘working class’ once served that function for the left.” That suggests that the precariat may be persuaded by campaign rhetoric about taxes and economic development. On the other hand, many see themselves as anti-capitalist, committed to green values and social justice. So will they vote like those who share their educational backgrounds, who are more likely to be politically independent and have socially progressive leanings, thus revealing themselves to be the fallen faction of the middle class? Or do they, like much of the old white working class, vote on the basis of economic aspiration? Or does the precariat now include so many Americans, from diverse backgrounds and in varied situations, that their political views can’t be easily predicted? In 2012 in states like Ohio, the new precariat could determine the presidential election and America’s future.

Liars get tax-exempt status

Watch Big Sky, Big Money, an investigation with Marketplace on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Of course, we’re surprised. After all, we know these shadowy organizations would never, ever lie about their real agenda, especially when they’re aiming for a legal precedent that will make it easier to reach their political goals. Too bad we don’t have the kind of IRS that will actually enforce the legal distinctions between these groups:

A western nonprofit that played a key role in freeing corporate spending on elections nationwide appears to have misled the IRS when it applied for the tax-exempt status that shields its donors from being publicly disclosed.

Documents obtained by ProPublica and Frontline show that Western Tradition Partnership, now known as American Tradition Partnership, said it would not attempt to sway elections when it asked the IRS to recognize it as a tax-exempt social welfare organization in late 2008.

Shortly before submitting the application, however, Western Tradition Partnership, which bills itself as a “grassroots lobbying” organization dedicated to fighting radical environmentalists, and a related political committee sent out fliers weighing in on candidates for Montana state office. The mailers blitzed districts in Montana days before the Republican primary.

Donny Ferguson, listed as the national director of media of American Tradition Partnership on the group’s website, did not return a call or an email for comment.

Social welfare nonprofits — also called dark money groups because they are not required to identify their donors — have poured tens of millions of dollars into state and federal elections in recent years.
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