Rahm Emanuel

10 things you need to know today: April 8, 2015

(AP Photo/Courtesy of L. Chris Stewart)

The Week

1.South Carolina officer charged with murder in man’s death after traffic stop
A white North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting a black man in the back as he ran away after a traffic stop. The officer, Michael Slager, had pulled over the man, Walter L. Scott, for having a broken taillight on Saturday. A foot chase allegedly ensued, and after using a Taser against Scott, Slager said he feared for his life and shot Scott eight times. A film taken by a bystander shows Slager drawing his gun and opening fire once Scott is about 15 to 20 feet away.

Source: The New York Times

2.Rahm Emanuel wins reelection in Chicago mayoral runoff
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won reelection on Tuesday, defeating Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Emanuel, who served as chief of staff for President Obama, had 56 percent of the vote to Garcia’s 44 percent with nearly 99 percent of the vote counted. Garcia conceded defeat but said the hard-fought race sent Emanuel a message that voters are tired of street violence and want a city that “works for everyone.” Emanuel thanked Chicagoans for a “second term and a second chance,” vowing to be a “better mayor.”

Source: CNN

3.UConn beats Notre Dame for third consecutive NCAA women’s basketball title
The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team defeated Notre Dame 63-53 on Tuesday to win its third straight national championship. The title is the 10th overall for coach Geno Auriemma, equaling late UCLA coach John Wooden’s record for the most college basketball titles ever. The Huskies’ unmatched defense held Notre Dame to 33 percent shooting from the floor, the team’s second worst performance of the season. UConn senior Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis single-handedly disrupted two Notre Dame rallies with seven-point runs.

Source: ESPN

4.Rand Paul announces a White House bid to “take our country back”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) launched a campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, vowing to take the country back from a “Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives.” The libertarian Tea Party hero portrayed himself as an anti-establishment hero, and vowed to fight to end NSA surveillance and require a balanced budget. “Both parties and the entire political system are to blame,” he said.

Source: Reuters

5.Shell to buy BG Group for $69.6 billion
Petroleum giant Royal Dutch Shell said Wednesday that it would buy oil and gas explorer BG Group for $69.6 billion in cash and stock. The deal marked the latest sign of the industry’s reaction to a 50 percent drop in oil prices since last summer. Shell will be paying a 50 percent premium on BG shares, which started trading 42 percent higher on the news. The combined company will be the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, BBC News

6.Kansas governor signs bill banning “dismemberment abortion”
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) on Tuesday signed legislation making his state the first to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation. The new law, drafted by the National Right to Life Committee, redefines the method as “dismemberment abortion.” “This is a horrific procedure,” Brownback spokesman Eileen Hawley said. “He hopes the nation follows suit.” Abortion rights groups argue the method is often the safest for women, and say they are considering challenging the law in court.

Source: The Associated Press

7.Job openings rise to highest level since 2001
U.S. job openings increased in February by 168,000 to 5.13 million — the most in 14 years, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday. Analysts said the figure suggested that hiring was holding strong despite a slowdown in March and a cooling economy, as companies. Firings dropped to the lowest level since late 2013. “It’s one of the signs the labor market is strong,” said RBC Capital Markets senior U.S. economist Jacob Oubina.

Source: Bloomberg

8.Researchers say brontosaurus deserves a spot on the dinosaur family tree
The brontosaurus was a distinct type of dinosaur, after all, according to a new paper published in the journal PeerJ. The long-necked “thunder lizard” was discovered in 1879 by Charles Marsh, shortly after he also found the first partial Apatosaurus skeleton. Later findings suggested the two were one and the same, so the Apatosaurus, which Marsh found first, was declared the name of the species. The researchers in the new study, however, found enough differences to set the two apart.

Source: PeerJ, The Washington Post

9. Tiger Woods ends hiatus
Tiger Woods returns to tournament play for the 79th Masters, which beginsThursday, after a two-month hiatus to work on his sputtering game. Woods is a four-time Masters champion, but hasn’t won the storied championship in 10 years, and hasn’t won any major tournament since 2008. Woods dropped off the PGA Tour to focus on practice after shooting an 82 — the highest round of his pro career — and said he got back into good form by practicing from sunrise to sunset. “I worked my ass off,” he said Tuesday.

Source: USA Today

10.Actor who played Dukes of Hazzard sheriff dies at age 88
James Best, the actor who played Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard, died this week after a brief illness. He was 88. Coltrane said he had a blast playing the bumbling country lawman who constantly chased Bo and Luke Duke around Hazzard County on the iconic TV series, which aired from 1979 to 1985. “I acted the part as good as I could,” Best told The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer in 2009. “Rosco — let’s face it — was a charmer.”

Source: USA Today

 

10 things you need to know today: February 25, 2015

The Week

1.DOJ decides no civil-rights charge against George Zimmerman
The Justice Department said Tuesday that investigators had found “insufficient evidence” to charge George Zimmerman in connection with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in 2012. Attorney General Eric Holder said his department would not file federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman because the evidence in the case did not satisfy the “high standard for a federal hate crime prosecution,” although he said the nation needs to “take concrete steps” to avoid more such incidents.

Source: USA Today

2.Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline legislation
President Obama on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Republicans made passage of the bill a top priority after taking control of Congress in last year’s midterms, despite the Obama administration’s lingering concerns about the pipeline’s potential environmental impact. Republicans said they would try to override the president’s veto, although the legislation did not pass with enough “yes” votes to do the job.

Source: The Guardian

3.Routh gets life in prison in American Sniper murder case
Former Marine Eddie Ray Routh was found guilty late Tuesday of killing former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, the author of American Sniper, and his friend Chad Littlefield in 2013. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty, but Texas State District Judge Jason Cashon sentenced him to life in prison, with no possibility of parole. Routh shot and killed Kyle and Littlefield in an outing to a gun range, where they had taken him to help him deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Source: Fox News

4.Cuba honors five freed spies
The Cuban government on Tuesday honored five spies who were convicted in U.S. courts in 2001 and released in a prisoner exchange onDec. 17. Cuban President Raul Castro pinned medals on the so-called Cuban five, whose release was engineered under a plan to restore diplomatic relations between the two former Cold War enemies. Spy network leader Gerardo Hernandez, who had received a double life sentence, called on Cuba to “rise to the challenges facing the revolution,” including modernizing the communist nation’s economy and resuming ties with the U.S.

Source: Reuters

5.Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel forced into reelection runoff
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel fell short of the votes he needed to avoid an April runoff in his bid for reelection. Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, cruised to victory for his first term four years ago. He led the five-candidate field this time, with 45 percent of the vote, and had a big fundraising lead over his lesser known opponents. Now he heads into a riskier head-to-head contest with his closest rival, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who got 34 percent of the vote.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

6.Four Wesleyan students charged after MDMA overdoses
Four Wesleyan University students were arrested Tuesday night in connection with MDMA, or Molly, overdoses that sent a dozen students to the hospital over the weekend. Eric Lonergan, 21; Andrew Olson, 20; Zachary Kramer, 21; and Rama Agha Al Nakib, 20, were suspended from school after their arrests. “The university takes allegations of the distribution of drugs seriously and is cooperating with state and local officials,” Wesleyan President Michael Roth said. The defendants will appear in court March 3.

Source: NBC News

7.Women sue hot-yoga entrepreneur Bikram Choudhury
Hot-yoga empire founder Bikram Choudhury, 69, is facing six civil lawsuits filed by women accusing him of rape or assault, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The most recent accusation was filed on Feb. 13 by a Canadian woman, Jill Lawler, who accused Choudhury of raping her during a teacher-training session in 2010. The first of the complaints surfaced two years ago. It triggered a series of other accusations ranging from assault to harassment. Choudhury denies doing anything wrong.

Source: The New York Times

8.State Department official suspected of soliciting sex from minor
A senior State Department counterterrorism official, Daniel Rosen, was arrested Tuesday at his Washington, D.C., home on suspicion of soliciting sex from a minor. The allegations against Rosen, who is the director of counterterrorism programs and policy at the State Department, stem from an online exchange between him and detectives in the Fairfax County, Virginia, Police Department’s child exploitation unit. A State Department spokesperson said Rosen had been placed on leave and his security clearance suspended pending the resolution of the case.

Source: Los Angeles Times

9. Paris drone sightings increase terrorism concerns
A Paris prosecutor on Tuesday called for a police investigation of unidentified drones spotted flying near the U.S. Embassy, the Eiffel Tower, and several major roads for the second night in a row. At least five sightings were reported Tuesday and early Wednesday, heightening tensions in a country already on high alert following the Charlie Hebdoterrorist attacks in January. Similar reports have been surfacing for months at other sensitive locations, including power plants, government buildings, and a bay that is home to French nuclear submarines.

Source: The Washington Post

10.ESPN benches commentator Keith Olbermann
ESPN suspended talk-show host Keith Olbermann for a week on Tuesdayfor calling a Penn State student effort to raise $13 million to fight pediatric cancer “pitiful.” Penn State challenged Olbermann to make a donation to the cause. Olbermann issued an apology over Twitter, saying, “I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the students there who did such a great fundraising job.”

Source: Pittsburgh Sporting News

10 things you need to know today: December 21, 2014

New York City police

New York City police Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The Week

A gunman kills two NYC police officers, Obama says the Sony hack is not an act of war, and more.

1. Gunman kills two NYC cops in ambush shooting
A lone gunman on Saturday shot and killed two New York City police officers in Brooklyn before taking his own life in an armed standoff. The shooter, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, is believed to have killed his ex-girlfriend in Baltimore earlier Saturday before heading north and vowing on social media to kill police officers, too. Police said Brinsley killed officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos while they sat in a parked squad car, and then fled into a nearby subway station where he shot himself. Police Commissioner William Bratton called the attack an assassination, saying the officers were “targeted for their uniform and for the responsibility they embraced to keep the people of this city safe.” [The New York Times]

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2. Obama: North Korean cyber attack on Sony not an act of war
President Obama on Sunday said the U.S. would weigh whether to add North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terror, though he stopped short of calling the Sony Pictures cyber attack an act of war. “I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive,” Obama said on CNN’s State of the Union. The federal government last week confirmed speculation that North Korea was behind the attack. [The Associated Press]

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3. Castro says Cuba won’t abandon communism
Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday insisted that the island nation would not move away from communism despite a thawed relationship with the U.S. “We must not expect that in order for relations with the United States to improve, Cuba will abandon the ideas that it has struggled for,” he said in a speech. The Obama administration announced last week it was renewing full diplomatic ties with Cuba that had been severed for more than 50 years. [The Washington Post]

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4. Rahm Emanuel’s son robbed in Chicago
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s son was robbed Friday night near the family’s home, police confirmed Saturday. Zach Emanuel was talking on his phone just a few doors down the street from the house when two men assaulted him and made off with his phone. A spokesperson for Emanuel confirmed the incident Saturday and said Zach was not seriously harmed. [The Chicago Tribune]

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5. Kurdish fighters take key town from ISIS
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on Saturday reclaimed control over the Iraqi town of Sinjar, which had been under ISIS control since last summer. ISIS’s siege on Sinjar forced the town’s Yazidi population to flee into the mountains, and prompted the U.S. to step in with airdrops to aid the refugees. [Reuters, CNN]

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6. Boko Haram releases video purporting to show civilian massacre
The Nigerian militant group Boko Haram on Saturday released a video appearing to show gunmen slaughtering civilians in a dorm. “We have made sure the floor of this hall is turned red with blood, and this is how it is going to be in all future attacks and arrests of infidels,” a man says in the video. Last month, Boko Haram denied reports it was nearing a truce with the Nigerian government, claiming instead that it had married off hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls. [The Associated Press]

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7. Protesters shut down parts of Mall of America
Demonstrators protesting recent police killings of unarmed black civilians temporarily shut down parts of the sprawling Mall of America in Minnesota on Saturday. Chanting protesters clogged the mall’s rotunda and ignored a warning from mall officials to disperse, leading some business to close their gates. Rows of police in riot gear cleared the demonstration and made about two dozen arrests. [USA Today]

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8. Al Qaeda condemns Taliban massacre of Pakistani children
A regional Al Qaeda branch on Sunday condemned the Taliban’s slaughter last week of 149 Pakistanis at a school in Peshawar. “Our hearts are bursting with pain and grief over this incident,” Osama Mehmood,  a spokesman for the group’s South Asia chapter, said. While reaffirming its opposition to the U.S. and Pakistan, the group added that the attack — which resulted in the death of 132 students — had “crossed the limit.” [AFP]

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9. Elton John marries longtime partner
Famed musical entertainer Elton John on Sunday formally tied the knot with his partner, David Furnish. The two joined in a civil partnership nine years ago. “That’s the legal bit done,” John wrote in an Instagram post. “Now on to the ceremony!” [The Guardian]

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10. Final Hobbit film cleans up at box office
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies raked in $16.6 million Friday in the U.S., and it’s headed toward a likely haul of $88 million by the end of its opening weekend. The third and final film in the Hobbit franchise blew away the competition over the pre-Christmas weekend, and its release slightly outperformed the debuts for the last two installments in the series. [Variety]

Health insurance lobby throws over $100m at defeating Obamacare

They really want this President and his policies out…

America Blog

It’s really hard to imagine what part of “here are millions of new customers for you” they don’t like, but that’s where we are today. Most of us on the left wanted the public option, which the private health insurers hated, but giving in to their needs wasn’t enough.

But no, heaven forbid the health insurance industry is asked to give a little with the windfall. Millions of new customers and no competition from the public option wasn’t enough money for the bloated and spoiled industry that keeps setting record profits.

So who is more spoiled and thankless between the bankers and the health insurance brats?

According to the National Journal’s Influence Alley, at the very same time the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)—the health insurance industry super lobby—was cutting a deal with the White House leading to its stated support of the proposed Obamacare legislation, they were secretly funneling huge amounts money to the Chamber of Commerce to be spent on advertising designed to convince the public that the legislation should be defeated.

How much money?

A stunning $102.4 million spent over just 15 months.

The brilliant Rahm Emanuel sure did a great job of bargaining, didn’t he? If there is a next time with health care reform, he needs to stay far away from it and the public option has to be there so that consumers get some competition. If that industry can’t show any appreciation, there’s no reason to show mercy in the future.

Obama Campaign Releases Full 17-Minute, First-Term Documentary

I watched this  video below, live at 8:00 pm last night.  It’s seventeen minutes long but it seemed a lot shorter to me.  Perhaps that’s because I’m in awe of President Obama’s accomplishments, even if they haven’t been acknowledged by “the other side”.

You know, in the Black Community, we often say that a Black man or woman has to work twice as hard as their White counterparts at any job in order to get ahead.

The POTUS illustrates this with dignity and determination to become one of the best Presidents ever…in spite of the unprecedented opposition he is experiencing from the GOP, birthers, Tea Baggers and other Obama Derangement Syndrome “haters”.

The Huffington Post

Syncing politics with Hollywood glitz and production, the Obama campaign formally released on Thursday night a much-hyped 17-minute documentary on the president’s first term in office.

The film tells the story of the past few years through a rosy filter and with the deft touch of an accomplished director. Davis Guggenheim, who put together Al Gore’s award-winning “An Inconvenient Truth,” was handed the reins for the project. Actor Tom Hanks is the narrator.

The material is, by now, well-traveled terrain, emphasizing the enormity of the problems that President Barack Obama inherited and bookending his first term with the bailout and subsequent recovery of the auto industry.

But there are some twists. Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel cops to advising Obama that he should consider spending less time and capital on health care reform. Vice President Joe Biden states his belief that the president would have been limited to one term if the Osama bin Laden raid had failed. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau creator Elizabeth Warren, assessing the pro and cons of the auto bailout, says the president could have had “blood on his hands” had the industry and economy imploded. And then there is the president himself, who sat down with the filmmakers to discuss that bin Laden raid.

“I didn’t have time for a lot of feelings at that point because our guys were still in that compound,” Obama says into the camera. “And it wasn’t until I knew they were across the border, safe, everybody was accounted for, including the dog, that I allowed for some satisfaction.”

Continue reading…

VIDEO: WI’s Gov. Scott Walker Meets Occupy Chicago & the People’s Mic…

I’m actually a couple of days late with this report out of Chicago but in my opinion it’s priceless and timeless.

This is what Democracy looks like!

The Brad Blog

Breakfast in America on Thursday, in Chicago, with WI’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker, after Occupiers had recently been rounded up and mass arrested, with the approval of Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel, for exercising their First Amendment rights.

They made up for that on Thursday…

Related articles

Politico’s: The Week In One-Liners

Politico

The week’s top 10 quotes in politics: 

“There is zero chance that Donald Trump would ever be hired by the American people to do this job.”— White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe knocking Trump for 2012 in an interview on ABC News

“There’s 85 cousins in the fourth generation. About half of them say they’re going to go into politics. So I think that there’s, like, a tsunami coming.” — Bobby Kennedy Jr. describing the political aspirations of the rest of his family. 

“I was never sure that I wanted to be there for, you know, four years.” — Former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers opening up about the infamous gate-crashing incident that ended her tenure in the Obama administration. 

“Sounds to me like @ConanOBrien has hair envy #Mitt2012″—Team Romney engaging in a Twitter match with comedian Conan O’Brien.

“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”— Donald Trump explaining his support among African-Americans in an interview with the New York Observer

“He was praying that nobody will find out just how disingenuous they are about actually cutting the expenses…” — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee putting forth the idea that Vice President Joe Biden was praying, not sleeping, during Obama’s speech on the nation’s debt. 

“I sincerely apologize to David Byrne.”—Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist saying sorry to musician David Byrne for using his song without permission in a campaign ad. 

“Yes, he is foul-mouthed. Yes, that finger thing is a little creepy. But I love him anyway.” — President Obama expressing his affection for Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. 

“His remark was not intended to be a factual statement…” —A spokesperson for Jon Kyl addressing an erroneous statement that the senator made about Planned Parenthood. 

“You’re going to have to ask Dennis.” —Congressman (and ventriloquist?) Dennis Kucinich deferring to his puppet in response to a question about how he keeps winning elections on “The Daily Show.”

Barack Obama kicks off 2012 campaign in Chicago

Bring it on, GOP!

Politico

President Barack Obama made his debut as a candidate for reelection on Thursday night by urging hometown supporters to “take ownership” of his infant campaign while he continues his “day job.”

“You’re making me blush,” the president said as he was welcomed with thunderous applause at his first stop.

The campaign’s main message in these early days is that supporters need to generate the opening wave of grassroots excitement, without relying on the president to fire up supporters personally, as he was able to do in 2008.

“Over the next three months, six months, nine months, I’m going to be a little preoccupied,” he told donors at the first of three Chicago fundraisers. “I’m not going to see all of you as often I’d like. It means that I’m not going to be able to make that phone call to you and thank you even though my gratitude is profound.”

“If you are just as fired up now — despite the fact that your candidate is a little older and a lot grayer,” he continued, to laughter and applause, “then I have every confidence that we are going to be able finish the job.”

The trio of fundraisers raked in about $2 million, with tickets starting as low as $100 for a “Generation 44” event that drew 2,300 to the grand ballroom of Chicago’s historic Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. Prices ranged up to as much as $35,800, the legal maximum at a small dinner.

At the president’s second stop, he acknowledged: “Some of the excitement of something new is not going to be there.”

The event at the Navy Pier, the site of many a high-school prom, was designed to look more presidential than political — no banners or balloons. The president appeared in front of a massive blue drape with 10 flags bathed in red and blue light behind him, and a car-dealer-sized flag at stage left.

Obama was introduced by Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, his first White House chief of staff. The two hugged as Obama took the stage. 

Obama’s campaign headquarters will once again be in the Windy City — the first time in modern history, he said, that a sitting president has based a reelection outside Washington. “I decided I don’t want our campaign to be just hearing all the pundits and the power brokers,” he said. “You guys are the ones that got me started.” 

Obama described the fight over this year’s budget as “just an appetizer” ahead of the broader fiscal fight that he staked out in his Wednesday deficit address.

Billionaire self-pity and the Koch brothers

Salon – Glenn Greenwald

Since the financial crisis of 2008, one of the most revealing spectacles has been the parade of financial elites who petulantly insist that they are the victims of societal hostility:  political officials heap too much blame on them, public policy burdens them so unfairly, the public resents them, and — most amazingly of all — President Obama is a radical egalitarian who is unprecedentedly hostile to business interests.  One particularly illustrative example was the whiny little multi-millionaire hedge fund manager (and CNBC contributor), Anthony Scaramucci, who stood up at an October, 201o, town hall meeting and demanded to know:  “when are we going to stop whacking at the Wall Street pinata?”

[…]

That said, this Weekly Standard interview shows how delusional and extreme the Koch Brothers are — though in ways quite representative of other resentful elites.  Let’s begin with this:

Ask Charles Koch what he thinks about Obama and he looks like he’s just bit into a lemon. “He’s a dedicated egalitarian,” Charles said. “I’m not saying he’s a Marxist, but he’s internalized some Marxist models — that is, that business tends to be successful by exploiting its customers and workers.”

David agreed. “He’s the most radical president we’ve ever had as a nation,” he said, “and has done more damage to the free enterprise system and long-term prosperity than any president we’ve ever had.”  David suggested the president’s radicalism was tied to his upbringing. “His father was a hard core economic socialist in Kenya,” he said. “Obama didn’t really interact with his father face-to-face very much, but was apparently from what I read a great admirer of his father’s points of view. So he had sort of antibusiness, anti-free enterprise influences affecting him almost all his life. It just shows you what a person with a silver tongue can achieve.” 

So according to the Kochs,  Barack Obama is a “dedicated egalitarian” who has “internalized Marxist” ideas in the Kenyan socialist tradition.  Just compare that to actual facts:

 From The Huffington Post:

Despite high unemployment and a largely languishing real estate market, U.S. businesses are more profitable than ever, according to federal figures released on Friday.

U.S. corporate profits hit an all-time high at the end of 2010, with financial firms showing some of the biggest gains, data from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show. Corporations reported an annualized $1.68 trillion in profit in the fourth quarter. The previous record, without being adjusted for inflation, was $1.65 trillion in the third quarter of 2006.

Many of the nation’s preeminent companies have posted massive increases in profits this year. General Electric posted worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, while profits at JPMorgan Chase were up 47 percent to $4.8 billion. 

Since Obama was inaugurated, the Dow Jones has increased more than 50% — from 8,000 to more than 12,000; the wealthiest recieved a massive tax cut; the top marginal tax rate was three times less than during the Eisenhower years and substantially lower than during the Reagan years; income and wealth inequality are so vast and rising that it is easily at Third World levels; meanwhile, “the share of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has fallen from 30 percent of federal revenue in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.”  During this same time period, the unemployment rate has increased from 7.7% to 8.9%; millions of Americans have had their homes foreclosed; and the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by many millions, the largest number since the statistic has been recorded.  Can you smell Obama’s radical egalitarianism and Marxist anti-business hatred yet?

Then there are those whom Obama has empowered.  His first chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is a business-revering corporatist who made close to $20 million in 3 short years as an investment banker, while his second, Bill Daley, served for years as JP Morgan’s Midwest Chairman.  His Treasury Secretary is undoubtedly the most loyal and dedicated servant Wall Street has ever had in that position, while Goldman Sachs officials occupy so many key positions in his administration that a former IMF and Salomon Brothers executive condemned what he called “Goldman Sachs’s seeming lock on high-level U.S. Treasury jobs.”  Obama’s former OMB Director recently left to take a multi-million-dollar position with Citigroup.  From the start, Obama’s economic policies were shaped by the Wall Street-revering neo-liberal Rubinites who did so much to serve corporate America during the Clinton years.  Meanwhile, the President’s choice to head his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness — General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt — heads a corporation that “despite $14.2 billion in worldwide profits – including more than $5 billion from U.S. operations – [] did not owe taxes in 2010”:  an appointment the White House still defends.          More…

A brief perspective on the Koch brothers

The billionaire brothers whose political action committee gave Gov. Scott Walker $43,000 and helped fund a multi-million dollar attack ad campaign against his opponent during the 2010 gubernatorial election have quietly opened a lobbying office in Madison just off the Capitol Square

Who are the Koch Brothers?   Few people know that they were instrumental in organizing the “Tea Party“.   

Their father, Fred Koch was a founding member of the radical right-wing   John Birch Society

The same group that may have attributed to the assassination JFK:

(M1) Wanted for Treason, a handbill published by supporters of the John Birch Society and handed out in Dallas before President John F. Kennedy arrived on his visit (November, 1963)

1. Betraying the Constitution (which he swore to uphold). He is turning the sovereignty of the US over to the Communist controlled United Nations. He is betraying our friends (Cuba, Katanga, Portugal) and befriending our enemies (Russia, Yugoslavia, Poland).

2. He has been WRONG on innumerable issues affecting the security of the US (United Nations, Berlin Wall, Missile Removal, Cuba, Wheat deals, Test Ban Treaty, etc.).

3. He has been lax in enforcing the Communist Registration laws.

4. He has given support and encouragement to the Communist-inspired racial riots.

5. He has illegally invaded a sovereign State with federal troops.

6. He has consistently appointed Anti-Christians to Federal office. Upholds the Supreme Court in Anti-Christian rulings. Aliens and known Communists abound in Federal offices.

7. He has been caught in fantastic LIES to the American people (including personal ones like his previous marriage and divorce).

Why were members of the John Birch Society angry with John F. Kennedy in 1963?

Like father like sons?

Charles was a co-founder of Cato in 1977 and David helped to launch Citizens for a Sound Economy in 1986. This, says Moore, is the brothers simply following in “dad’s footsteps: Fred Koch was a charter member of the ultraconservative John Birch Society in 1958.”   

Dance with the Devil

The good news in 1929 for young MIT chemical engineer Fred Koch was that he had successfully developed a superior oil refinement process with a business partner.  The bad news is that he had a bitter lesson to learn about his laissez-faire competitors when virtually every major US oil company smacked him with 15 year’s worth of patent infringement lawsuits.  The net effect was that one cease-and-desist order after another was issued from the judge’s bench, and until the legal process could sort itself out, Fred Koch was – for all practical purposes – aced out of the US oil market.  And the bills still needed to be paid.

So what to do?  Fortunately, the Unseen Hand pointed the way to Soviet Moscow, where totalitarian dictator Josef Stalin was rolling out his first Five Year Plan for sweeping industrialization.  And he was especially interested in oil engineers.

“We are the world’s greatest market, and we are prepared to order a large amount of goods and pay for them,”  – Josef Stalin, 1932

Fred Koch answered the call, and signed a $5 million deal in 1929 to build 15 refineries in the Soviet Socialistic Republic, thus providing a substantial wet kiss to the cause of worldwide socialism everywhere.  Koch and his partner provided equipment and oversaw construction and installation, and quickly became Comrade Stalin’s number one go-to refinery contractor.