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Pierce

Eviscerates David Brooks, the Times’ favorite conservative.

The origin of Occupy Wall Street

How it all began.

Top 10 tips to stop rape

What a refreshing change!

Fed audit

Numerous conflicts, you say? Who’d a thunk it?

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 – A new audit of the Federal Reserve released today detailed widespread conflicts of interest involving directors of its regional banks.

“The most powerful entity in the United States is riddled with conflicts of interest,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said after reviewing the Government Accountability Office report. The study required by a Sanders Amendment to last year’s Wall Street reform law examined Fed practices never before subjected to such independent, expert scrutiny.

The GAO detailed instance after instance of top executives of corporations and financial institutions using their influence as Federal Reserve directors to financially benefit their firms, and, in at least one instance, themselves. “Clearly it is unacceptable for so few people to wield so much unchecked power,” Sanders said. “Not only do they run the banks, they run the institutions that regulate the banks.”
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COLA raise

This translates to an average $39 per month:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some 55 million Social Security recipients will get a 3.6 percent increase in benefits next year, their first raise since 2009, the government announced Wednesday.

The increase, which starts in January, is tied to a measure of inflation released Wednesday morning.

Goldman Sachs

Oh dear, apparently not so profitable anymore.

Oh dear

This deficit supercommittee may very well blow up in Obama’s face. At the time the deal was made, the administration and Congress were successfully pushing the “OMG, we need to save the country from the BIG BAD DEFICIT!!!!” narrative. Now, not so much. Instead, thanks to Occupy Wall Street, the economy and the effect it’s had on the 99% is dominating the news cycle, and should continue to do so indefinitely.

So when these handmaidens of the 1% come out with their wonderful new austerity plan, I suspect the response will be very, very negative:

WASHINGTON — With just five weeks until its deadline, a secretive Congressional committee seeking ways to cut the federal deficit is far from a consensus, and party leaders may need to step in if they want to ensure agreement, say people involved in the panel’s work.

The 12-member committee is just over halfway through the 76-day interval from its first meeting to the date its final report is due on Nov. 23, but has not gained much traction. The lawmakers have not agreed on basic elements like a benchmark against which savings will be measured.

The panel’s members, evenly divided between the two parties, spent most of September in a standoff. Republicans refused to budge from their position against new taxes. Democrats said they would not discuss cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare unless Republicans made a firm commitment to accept additional revenues.

The two leaders of the panel, Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, and Representative Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas, have told committee members not to talk publicly about their work. But other lawmakers and Congressional aides privy to the panel’s effort have provided a remarkably consistent picture of the deliberations as the committee tries, in a matter of weeks, to find fiscal answers that have eluded Congress and the White House for years.

A Republican who has worked on Capitol Hill for more than two decades said: “Basically we are going in circles. It’s going very, very slowly. The only way this will work is if the leaders decide they want to get a deal and lay down parameters. Everybody is sitting around sucking their thumb until they get some guidance on what to do.”

The happiest place on earth

Using an electronic monitor to increase production for hotel laundry workers. Yes, that’s what makes your family vacation so affordable – they’re screwing the workers!

The partisan and the political

An excellent piece on what the Occupy Wall Street probably means when they say they’re neither right nor left.

Greece

This, really, is where we’re headed:

ATHENS, Greece – A two-day general strike that unions vow will be the largest in years grounded flights, disrupted public transport and shut down everything from shops to schools in Greece on Wednesday, as at least 50,000 protesters converged in central Athens.

All sectors, from dentists, state hospital doctors and lawyers to shop owners, tax office workers, pharmacists, teachers and dock workers walked off the job ahead of a Parliamentary vote Thursday on new austerity measures.

Flights were grounded in the morning but were to resume at noon after air traffic controllers scaled back their initial strike plan from 48 hours to 12. Ferries remained tied up in port, while public transport workers staged work stoppages but were to keep buses, trolleys and the Athens metro running for most of the day.
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