Virtually Speaking Thursday

This will be a really good one!

Virtually Speaking with Jay Ackroyd: 6pm pacific|9pm eastern. Listen live or later on BlogTalkRadio:

Reuters columnist David Cay Johnston is the president of Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), an education organization with 4,200 members. A 13-year veteran of The New York Times, David won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for enterprise reporting that uncovered loopholes and inequities in the U.S. tax code. He wrote the best selling tax books Perfectly Legal, which won an IRE medal, and Free Lunch.

With Jay Ackroyd, David discusses his latest book, The Fine Print:How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind

Follow @DavidCayJ @JayAckroyd

BP to pay record fine

This is good, but when will ex-CEO Tony Hayward and other BP big shots be held personally accountable, i.e., charged with crimes? From Huffington Post:

BP said Thursday that it will pay $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government over the massive 2010 oil spill and will plead guilty to felony counts related to the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress.

The figure includes nearly $1.3 billion in criminal fines – the largest such penalty ever – along with payments to several government entities.

A person familiar with the settlement said two BP employees will also face manslaughter charges over the deaths of 11 people in the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that triggered the massive spill. The person was not authorized to discuss the matter on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.N. is coming

Just plain batshit crazy:

President Obama is using a Cold War-era mind-control technique known as “Delphi” to coerce Americans into accepting his plan for a United Nations-run communist dictatorship in which suburbanites will be forcibly relocated to cities. That’s according to a four-hour briefing delivered to Republican state senators at the Georgia state Capitol last month.

On October 11, at a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus convened by the body’s majority leader, Chip Rogers, a tea party activist, told Republican lawmakers that Obama was mounting this most diabolical conspiracy. The event—captured on tape by a member of the Athens-based watchdog Better Georgia (who was removed from the room after 52 minutes)—had been billed as an information session on Agenda 21, a nonbinding UN agreement that commits member nations to promote sustainable development. In the eyes of conservative activists, Agenda 21 is a nefarious plot that includes forcibly relocating non-urban-dwellers and prescribing mandatory contraception as a means of curbing population growth. The invitation to the Georgia state Senate event noted the presentation would explain: “How pleasant sounding names are fostering a Socialist plan to change the way we live, eat, learn, and communicate to ‘save the earth.'”

Agenda 21 Full Video from Bryan Long on Vimeo.

It was the 47 percent’s fault

Mitt Romney, in a conference call to donors, blamed the usual suspects for his loss to Barack Obama:

…Obama, Romney argued, had been “very generous” to blacks, Hispanics and young voters. He cited as motivating factors to young voters the administration’s plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest and the extension of health coverage for students on their parents’ insurance plans well into their 20s. Free contraception coverage under Obama’s healthcare plan, he added, gave an extra incentive to college-aged women to back the president…

Nothing from Romney about the possibility that voters came to know he’s a shameless liar with no core beliefs.

Private life in the public eye

Jon Bon Jovi’s 19-year-old daughter OD’d on heroin yesterday. This makes me feel really bad for their family, because Bon Jovi is a real good guy (he was here in Philly the other day, breaking ground on low-income housing sponsored by his foundation). The man’s been working his tail off, getting food to the workers and families displaced in Hurricane Sandy. He really does believe in giving back.

So it’s not as if anyone’s family ever deserves to have a kid in trouble — and who knows? Sometimes having a parent who’s out doing good things is part of the problem — but when I heard this on the news yesterday, I said, “Oh no!” and meant it. He’s good people.

Hope it all turns out for the best.

Patraeus scandal really about ‘surveillance state run amok’

So Gen, David Petraeus, ex-CIA chief, was screwing around with his biographer Paula Broadwell, was was sending mildly harassing e-mails to “socialite” Jill Kelley, who was sexting with another four-star general. Kelley got mad about the e-mails to her and called in an FBI friend to investigate. Result: instant scandal. Glenn Greenwald’s perspective on this circle jerk:

…So not only did the FBI – again, all without any real evidence of a crime – trace the locations and identity of Broadwell and Petreaus, and read through Broadwell’s emails (and possibly Petraeus’), but they also got their hands on and read through 20,000-30,000 pages of emails between Gen. Allen and Kelley.

This is a surveillance state run amok. It also highlights how any remnants of internet anonymity have been all but obliterated by the union between the state and technology companies..

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