Daily Archives: March 14, 2011

Wisc. protesters shout ‘shame’ at Gov. Walker

Raw Story

Protesters in Wisconsin shouted “recall Walker” and “shame” at Gov. Scott Walker as he went to a fundraiser Sunday.

This video is from The Associated Press, March 14, 2011.

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Filed under Wisconsin, Wisconsin Protesters

Anonymous to Leak Bank of America Documents Monday

Photo of Bank of America ATM Machine by Brian ...
Image via Wikipedia

 Although Gawker is somewhat skeptical about this new offering of email leaks from “Anonymous”, apparently the activist group  is planning to expose Bank of America documents sometime today.   If I were those folks in the financial industry, I’d be very afraid of what may be about to hit the proverbial fan…

Gawker

A member of the activist collective Anonymous is claiming to be have emails and documents which prove “fraud” was committed by Bank of America employees, and the group says it’ll release them on Monday. The member, who goes by the Twitter handle OperationLeakS, has already posted an internal email from the formerly Bank of America-owned Balboa Insurance Company.

Anonymous to Leak Bank of America Documents Monday

The email is between Balboa Insurance vice president Peggy Johnson and other Balboa employees. (Click right to enlarge.) As far as we can tell, it doesn’t show anything suspicious, but was posted by OperationLeaks as a teaser. He also posted emails he claims are from the disgruntled employee who sent him the material. In one, the employee says he can “send you a copy of the certified letter sent to me by an AVP of BofA’s [HR department] telling me I am banned from stepping foot on BofA property or contacting their employee ever again.”

OperationLeaks, which runs the anti-Bank of America site BankofAmericasuck.com, says the employee contacted the group to blow the whistle on Bank of America’s shady business practices. “I seen some of the emails… I can tell you Grade A Fraud in its purest form…” read one tweet. “He Just told me he have GMAC emails showing BoA order to mix loan numbers to not match it’s Documents.. to foreclose on Americans.. Shame.”

An Anonymous insider told us he believes the leak is real. “From what I know and have been told, it’s legit,” he said. “Should be a round of emails, then some files, possible some more emails to follow that.” The documents should be released Monday on Anonleaks.ch, the same site where Anonymous posted thousands of internal emails from hacked security company HBGary last month. That leak exposed a legally-questionable plot to attack Wikileaks and ultimately led to the resignation of HBGary CEO Aaron Barr.

There are lots of reasons to be skeptical about this latest supposed leak. For now, it’s a guy who hates Bank of America and posted a single internal Balboa email and some seriously outrageous claims to Twitter. (When emailed for comment he posted our email to Twitter with “Fuck you, Gawker.”) It’s unclear what he’s actually got. And the whole incident echoes the time Wikileaks claimed to have its own Bank of America bombshell leak, which turned out to be a dud.

But those we’ve spoken to in Anonymous are convinced there’s something to this. Anonymous has a proven track record with leaks, and Bank of America has been in their crosshairs since they cut off payments to Wikileaks in December. If it’s real, it could be big. Keep your eye on anonleaks.ch: It should hit Monday.

Update: The leak will drop at 12:00am on Monday morning. According to Reuters, a Bank of America spokesman has confirmed the existence of a leak, saying it consists of “non-foreclosure related clerical and administrative documents stolen by a former Balboa Insurance employee.” The spokesman told Reuters, “We are confident that his extravagant assertions are untrue.”

UPDATE: It appears some of the emails may have been leaked already.
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Filed under U.S. Politics

The Latest News From Japan

Gawker – Jeff Neumann

As Japan struggles to contain partial meltdowns at two nuclear reactors, over 200,000 people have been evacuated from the immediate area. An explosion is feared at another reactor, and both were experiencing some level of core melting. Meanwhile, officials said the death toll in Miyagi prefecture is over 10,000. The prime minister has doubled the number of deployed troops to 100,000. Here’s a roundup of the latest news, with updates throughout the day.

As Japan struggles to contain partial meltdowns at two nuclear reactors, over 200,000 people have been evacuated from the immediate area. An explosion is feared at another reactor, and both were experiencing some level of core melting. Meanwhile, officials said the death toll in Miyagi prefecture is over 10,000. The prime minister has doubled the number of deployed troops to 100,000. Here’s a roundup of the latest news, with updates throughout the day.

Japanese officials say two nuclear reactors have likely suffered partial meltdowns, and an explosion is feared at another reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which experienced a previous explosion yesterday in another reactor. Last night, seawater was used in a desperate effort to cool reactor No. 1. Today, cooling also failed at reactor No. 3. According to the Times, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said: “The possibility that hydrogen is building up in the upper parts of the reactor building cannot be denied. There is a possibility of a hydrogen explosion.”

The AP reports that the police chief of Miyagi prefecture warned that the death toll there would top 10,000.

Severe power outages are expected throughout the country, as about one third of Japan’s electricity is drawn from nuclear power. Gasoline and other types of fuel are also in very short supply.

The Guardian, reporting from the coastal town of Shintona, recalls a woman’s frantic effort to save her elderly parents: ‘They were still in the living room when the surge hit. Though she gripped their wrinkled hands, it was too strong. Her elderly mother and father were ripped from her grasp, screaming “I can’t breathe” before they were dragged down.’

Speaking to reporters today, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said of the disaster, “This is Japan’s most severe crisis since the war ended 65 years ago.” Millions of quake and tsunami survivors are without water, food and basic supplies.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said today that a 7.0 magnitude quake was likely within the next three days, as increased tectonic activity has been reported.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has horrifying before and after aerial images of the tsunami zone along Japan’s north coast. (via Felix Salmon)

Miraculously, a 60-year-old man was rescued 9 miles off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture this morning. He was found clinging to a piece of his home’s roof.

As of 12:36 ET, the official death toll from the earthquake and tsunami was 1,597, authorities said.

Previous Updates

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Filed under Japan - Tsunami 2011

Wisconsin Goes National

Politico

The first round is over. Republican Gov. Scott Walker delivered a crushing defeat to government employee unions in their fight over labor rights in Wisconsin.

But the passage of a law stripping away collective bargaining rights for public-sector workers has touched off a much larger political battle that threatens to spread over Wisconsin’s borders and across the 2012 landscape.

Democrats in Wisconsin are vowing to transform virtually every upcoming state and local election there into a referendum on Walker’s administration. Party leaders from Madison to Washington are gearing up for a major fight in the hope of sending an unmistakable signal to other ambitious GOP state executives.

Their efforts to make Walker and his supports pay a high political price for their victory has led Republicans to activate their own campaign machinery. Few expect the conflict will stay contained in Wisconsin.

“What you’re seeing is a reaction from the national Democratic Party to try and hold the line because they realize that if we’re successful in Wisconsin, there will be a national impact,” said Republican State Leadership Committee president Chris Jankowski, whose group supports GOP candidates in state-level campaigns.

Already, the national parties and their House, Senate and gubernatorial campaign committees have sought to capitalize on the Wisconsin struggle through fundraising appeals, press releases and television and online ads.

Leaders in both camps are describing the next phase of the struggle in Wisconsin in dire terms.

Wisconsin state Senate President Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican who shepherded the labor law to passage, touched off a small firestorm when he told Fox News that ending collective bargaining would affect the outcome of the 2012 presidential race.      More…

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Assembly, Wisconsin Democrat Senators, Wisconsin Protesters, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Capitol

Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami

The devastation in the aftermath of the 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami is simply beyond comprehension to moth of us. 

The New York Times has before and after pictures that are simply remarkable and shocking all at once…

H/t Gilligan of  The Regulator  (My favorite spot when I’m not blogging.)

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Filed under U.S. Politics

King Hearing Casts Muslim Americans as Clueless, ‘Not Intellectually Equipped’

The fact is, it is Rep. King who is clueless and not intellectually equipped!

The Nation

When Representative Keith Ellison, one of just two Muslim members of Congress, broke down during Representative Peter King’s hearing on “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response,” you could feel the entire room holding its breath. “He’s crying,” whispered Haris Tarin, director of the Washington, DC, office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), who was sitting next to me. Ellison began sobbing as he recounted the heroism and patriotism of Muhammad Salman Hamdani, a first responder and a Muslim, who died on 9/11 attempting to rescue his fellow Americans in the World Trade Center.

If King felt moved to weep or mourn or possibly salute, he neither said anything about it nor showed any reaction to his colleague. King has no problem with exploiting the emotional potency of 9/11; in fact the hearing room had been adorned with framed photographs, including a poster-sized photograph of the Twin Towers in flames. But King wasn’t going to let the heroism of a Muslim in the face of terrorism get in the way of a good witch hunt. He’s on a mission to establish that Muslims aren’t patriotic, that they don’t engage with law enforcement and that Muslim “radicalization” poses a risk to the homeland and our way of life.

Before his testimony, Ellison made his presence felt in the hearing room, greeting members of the public, grinning and saying “shalom” to Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. Schneier is a member of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Steering Committee, an interfaith group that has condemned the hearings, accusing King of “bearing false witness” against America’s Muslims by asserting “that Muslims as a broad group are not deeply devoted to America’s safety and the peaceful interaction of its entire citizenry.”      More…

 

 

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Filed under Islam, Islamophobia, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Peter King

Madison Rally Bigger Than Biggest Tea Party Rally

The Madison rally is bigger than any tea party rally because they are REAL grassroots people.  They are not corporate shills.  The Tea Party was conceived and implemented by powerful corporate lobbyists and as such cannot stand up to scrutiny when it comes to protesting from the heart and not from the purse.

Think Progress

Police estimated up to 100,000 people turned out in Madison, WI yesterday to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) assault on unions, making it bigger than any protests the city has witnessed, even those during the Vietnam War. The Madison rally is part of a much larger Main Street Movement of average Americans demanding fairness in labor laws, social spending, and taxation that has emerged in Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and elsewhere. But yesterday’s rally in Madison is noteworthy because at 85,000-100,000, it was bigger than the biggest tea party protest, the September 12, 2009 rally in Washington, D.C., which turned out only an estimated 60,000-70,000. A photo of the Madison rally yesterday:

For two years, tea party activists and their allies in the GOP have claimed that the hard-right movement represents the true beliefs of the American people. But the crowd in Madison and numerous polls tell a different story.

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Filed under Madison, Madison Wisconsin Portesters