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Will Bush’s midnight rules be reversible?

By Joaquin Sapien
ProPublica
November 19, 2008

Whether it’s relaxing pollution control standards for power plants or
allowing loaded weapons into national parks, the Bush Administration is scrambling
to approve or change as many federal rules as it can before it hands off power
to President-elect Barack Obama. This surge of “midnight regulations”
presents a thorny question for the next administration: What can it do to void
rules it thinks should be undone?

An Obama spokesman told ProPublica that the transition team can’t comment
on the new administration’s strategy yet. However, John Podesta, a leading
member of the transition team, has said Obama will use his “executive
authority without waiting for congressional action” to reverse many of
Bush’s policies.

But that authority has its limits.

While executive orders and rules that are not yet in effect can swiftly be
reversed or altered by Obama’s appointees or his own executive orders,
rules that go into effect before he takes office will be extremely difficult
to undo. Rescinding a rule would require the new administration to re-start
the rule-making process, which can take years and prompt legal challenges. Another
strategy that has been talked about lately — getting Congress to disapprove the rules through the Congressional Review Act — carries political risks and has been used only once before.

“The problem with what the Bush administration is doing is that these rules are extremely cumbersome to adopt, and they are every bit as cumbersome to undo,” said David Vladeck, an administrative law… Continue reading

Surviving a financial panic — lessons from the past

October 13, 2008
by Philip Brewer
Wisebread.com

Financial panics used to be quite ordinary. In the century or two prior to
the great depression, there was a panic every 15 or 20 years. Since the great
depression we haven’t had a classic financial panic, until now. There’s
a thing or two that we can learn from panics past to help us survive the current
one.

To begin with, there’s a reason why we haven’t had financial panics
for the past 75 years–fiat currency.

Panics and gold

Panics used to begin when people decided to get their hands on actual, physical gold. That could happen for a lot of different reasons. Often it was because there had been inflation–banks issuing bank notes far in excess of the gold they had on deposit–and people decided that they didn’t trust their bank. Sometimes, though, it happened without any particular malpractice by the banks, simply because there was a demand for gold someplace else–an economic boom in Europe or South America could drain gold from the United States or vice versa.

Since issuing banknotes was literally printing money, the temptation to go overboard was immense, and individual banks that did so used to collapse all the time. A prudent bank, though, could be modestly profitable and a great boon to its community, but in a panic, even prudent banks would fail. (You could, in theory, create a panic-proof bank that held enough gold to pay off every banknote, but it would be a money-losing… Continue reading

Top Trend Forecaster Predicts Revolution

November 12, 2008
from Georgewashington2.blogspot.com

Gerald Celente has been a leading trend forecaster for years:

“When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.”
~ CNN Headline News

“A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many
university faculties.”
~ The Economist

“Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right.”
~ USA Today

“There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The
man knows what he’s talking about.”
– CNBC

“Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research
Institute.”
~ The Wall Street Journal

“Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily
on the mark … he’s one of the most accurate forecasters around.”
~ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Mr. Celente tracks the world’s social, economic and business trends
for corporate clients.”
~ The New York Times

“Mr. Celente is a very intelligent guy. We are able to learn about trends
from an authority.”
~ 48 Hours, CBS News

“Gerald Celente has a solid track record. He has predicted everything
from the 1987 stock market crash and the demise of the Soviet Union to green
marketing and corporate downsizing.”
~ The Detroit News

“Gerald Celente forecast the 1987 stock market crash, ‘green marketing,’
and the boom in gourmet coffees.”
~ Chicago Tribune

“The Trends Research Institute is the Standard and Poors of Popular Culture.”
~ The Los Angeles Times

“If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with
Gerald Celente.”… Continue reading

Reflections and Hope on Veterans Day

DNC.jpgfrom IVAW.org
November 11, 2008

While it is fitting that our nation reserves a special day to honor the sacrifice and commitment of our warriors, it also serves to highlight how we, as a country, have fallen short of caring for our veterans, reintegrating them back into our communities, and demanding that our military be used responsibly and only as a last resort. Over 1.7 million men and women of the U.S. military have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many of them now struggle to cope with physical and emotional injuries, with family relationships strained because of prolonged separation, and with finding employment during an economic recession.

Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War know that in order to truly honor our veterans, we must listen to them, not just on Veterans Day, but on the other 364 days as well. It is for each other, our military brothers and sisters, and for our country that IVAW works every day to share our experiences, to challenge the predominant narrative of war as heroic and glorious, and to expose people to the brutal reality and true human costs of modern warfare.

Over the past four and a half years, IVAW has been working to transform our military experiences into a force for positive change. Be it at Winter Soldier this past March, Winter Soldier on the Hill in May, or at regional Winter Soldier events in Rochester, NY, Seattle, WA, Madison, WI, and others, IVAW has been dedicated to making… Continue reading

Undercover cops were among the unruly at DNC

By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 11/06/2008 05:34:24 PM MST

DNC PROTEST

* Read
the ACLU’s letter to the Office of the Independant Monitor (PDF) .
* Watch
video from the August, 2008 standoff between DNC protesters and police at
15th & Court in Downtown Denver.
* Watch
video of protesters getting sprayed with pepper spray, from the August, 2008
standoff .

When a Jefferson County deputy deployed pepper spray into a crowd during the
first night of the Democratic National Convention, he did not know that his
targets were undercover Denver police officers.

During a melee that occurred Aug. 25 between protesters, police and bystanders
near Civic Center Park, undercover Denver detectives staged a struggle with
a police commander in order to get out of the crowd undetected.

A Jefferson County deputy, unaware of the presence of undercover police, thought
that the commander was being attacked and deployed the pepper spray, according
to a police use-of-force report obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union
of Colorado.

The report does not say whether the pepper spray used on the undercover police
officers was the first deployment or whether the melee already was underway.

About 106 people were arrested during the incident that took place at 15th
Street and Court Place.

Denver police have testified during court trials that they deployed officers
to the area that night because they had gathered intelligence that anarchists
had planned to gather in Civic Center Park, then move toward the 16th Street… Continue reading

Libertarian Party UK ’1984′ campaign

++++ PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ++++

November 4th 2008

A COPY OF ORWELL’S ‘NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR’ SENT TO EVERY MP

An Internet grass-roots campaign will this week deliver a copy of George Orwell’s
prophetic novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ to every Member of Parliament.

The books will be inscribed with the words, ‘This book was a warning, not a
blueprint’, and will arrive at Parliament on or before November 5th — a date
of well known historical significance for that building.

—————

Outraged by the continual attack upon civil liberties within our nation, a
fortnight ago the Libertarian Party proposed reminding those in Westminster
who they were elected to serve, and in whose interests the laws that they pass
are meant to function.

Spread purely by word of mouth, a campaign to send each Member of Parliament
their own copy of Orwell’s dystopian classic met with overwhelming support on
the Internet, with many more books pledged than the 646 required to ensure that
every one of our elected representatives receive a personal copy. The Libertarian
Party contributed just 75 books itself, with the remainder coming (directly,
or via campaign donations) from people of all political parties, and of none.

The UK Libertarian Party leader, Ian Parker-Joseph, explained, “As the
people of Britain become ever more spied upon and ever more heavily taxed, as
the government attempts to control how much we should smoke, eat and drink,
as the state legislates to regulate ever more the minutiae of our lives, the
Libertarian… Continue reading

Judge Orders Mike Connell To Submit To Deposition 24 Hours Before Election

November 1, 2008
from Velvet Revolution blog

Yesterday, after a contentious three hour hearing in an Akron, Ohio federal
court, the judge ordered Bush/Rove IT
expert Michael Connell to submit to a two hour deposition
less than 24 hours
before the start of the 2008 election. The Court ruled that Ohio attorney Cliff
Arnebeck can question Connell under oath about Man in the Middle computer manipulations,
the use of Trojan horses to control election results from a remote location,
and the role of Triad in election manipulations.

However, in a strange twist, the judge agreed with demands from Connell’s
attorney to keep under seal any testimony about threats and intimidation of
Connell by others including Karl Rove. This is seen as necessary to protect
possible criminal charges against those who may have engaged in obstruction
of justice in this case.

A couple of notes here: We believe that Connell should not pull an Alexander
Butterfield by waiting for a direct question from Mr. Arnebeck as to what he
knows about rigged elections. Instead, Connell should be prepared to come clean
from the start knowing that this is just the beginning of the inquiry. We have
lots of names and lots of people providing us information about these rigged
elections. Connell is not longer under the protectorate of the Bush family.
There is a new dynamic here and Connell can either fight it and go down with
the ship or get out in front and cooperate with full immunity for him… Continue reading

Rolling Stone – Block the Vote

rollingstone

October 20, 2008

By ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALAST

“I
don’t think the Democrats get it. All these new rules and games … could flip
the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states.”

Rolling Stone Magazine is making this important investigative story
available on the net in its entirety, free of charge.

Read this excerpt, then read it all on-line at RollingStone.com.
Or download it all, with the Kennedy-Palast voter guide, Steal Back Your
Vote
, at StealBackYourVote.org.

“The new registrations thrown out, the existing registrations scrubbed,
the spoiled ballots, the provisional ballots that were never counted —
and what you have is millions of voters, more than enough to swing the presidential
election, quietly being detached from the electorate by subterfuge.

“Jim Crow was laid to rest, but his cousins were not,” says Donna
Brazile. “We got rid of poll taxes and literacy tests but now have a second
generation of schemes to deny our citizens their franchise.” Come November,
the most crucial demographic may prove to be Americans who have been denied
the right to vote. If Democrats are to win the 2008 election, they must not
simply beat John McCain at the polls — they must beat him by a margin
that exceeds the level of GOP vote tampering.

- From the current Rolling Stone

These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more
than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare… Continue reading

The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism–Andrew Bacevitch on Bill Moyers ‘Journal’

Andrew J. Bacevich

As campaign ads urge voters to consider who will be a better “Commander in Chief,” Andrew J. Bacevich — Professor of International Relations at Boston University, retired Army colonel, and West Point graduate — joins Bill Moyers on the JOURNAL to encourage viewers to take a step back and connect the dots between U.S. foreign policy, consumerism, politics, and militarism.

Bacevich begins his new book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM, with an epigraph taken from the Bible: “Put thine house in order.” Bacevich explained his choice to Bill Moyers:

I’ve been troubled by the course of U.S. foreign policy for a long, long time. And I wrote the book in order to sort out my own thinking about where our basic problems lay. And I really reached the conclusion that our biggest problems are within.

I think there’s a tendency in the part of policy makers — and probably a tendency in the part of many Americans — to think that the problems we face are problems that are out there somewhere beyond our borders, and that if we can fix those problems, then we’ll be able to continue the American way of life as it has long existed. I think it’s fundamentally wrong. Our major problems are here at home.

Bacevich sees three crises looming in the United States today, as he explains in the introduction to THE LIMITS OF POWER.

The United States today finds itself threatened by three interlocking crises. The first of these crises is economic and cultural, the second political, and the third military.

Continue reading

Live Broadcast Tonight: Presidential Debate between Obama and McCain LIVE on No Lies Radio.

noliesmeterClick To Listen: http://noliesradio.org
or http://67.18.54.205/~nolies
LIVE Broadcast Tuesday, Oct 7th at 5pm Pacific – 8pm Eastern – 00:00 GMT
Repeat Broadcast: Saturday, Oct 11th at 9am Pacific – 12noon Eastern – 16:00 GMT
Will be archived HERE after
the broadcasts.

SECOND PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: Barack Obama versus John McCain
LIVE BROADCAST from Nashville, Tennessee !!

Pacifica’s National Network Coverage

No Lies Radio will carry Pacifica Radio Network‘s broadcast of the "Town
Hall" Presidential Debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, taking
place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee on Oct 7, anchored by Larry
Bensky and Aimee Allison. Pacifica’s debate broadcast will emanate from KPFA’s
studios in Berkeley.

SCHEDULE:
Pre-show – 5-6pm PDT / 6-7pm MDT / 7-8pm CDT / 8-9pm EDT
Debate – 6:00-7:30pm PDT / 7:00-8:30pm MDT / 8:00-9:30pm CDT /9:00-10:30pm EDT
Post-show – 7:30-9:00pm PDT / 8:30-10:00pm MDT / 9:30-11:00pm CDT /10:30p-12:00m
EDT

Listen to the Debate and then consider the ALTERNATIVE PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES:
Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party, Ralph Nader of the Independent Party, Chuck
Baldwin of the Constitution Party, and Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party. Then
act to support the party of your choice and be sure to vote in November!

Not familiar with their positions or history? All the alternative parties have
been barred from this debate, but you can access Cynthia McKinney’s position
on a wide variety of issues at http://votetruth08.com,
Ralph Nadar’s position at http://www.votenader.org/index.html,
Chuck Baldwin’s position at http://baldwin08.com/IssuesList.cfm,
Bob Barr’s position at http://www.bobbarr2008.com/.

Spoonamore Reveals the Plan to Steal the Next Election

September 30, 2008
Marc Crispin Miller

Here, in this shattering new interview, Stephen Spoonamore goes into harrowing
detail about the Bush regime’s election fraud, past, present and–if we don’t
spread the word right now–to come. Since he’s the only whistle-blower out there
who knows the perps themselves, and how they operate, we have to send this new
piece far and wide.

Here Spoon tells us that McBush’s team–i.e., Karl Rove and his henchpersons–
have their plan in place to steal this next election: by 51.2% of the popular
vote, and three electoral votes.

He also talks about the major role played by the Christianist far right in
the electronic rigging of the vote.

And he defines our electronic voting system as a major threat to US national
security, calling for it to be junked ASAP, in favor of hand-counted paper ballots.

Since Spoon is a Republican and erstwhile McCain supporter, as well as a noted
specialist in nosing out computer fraud, his testimony is essential–not only
for its expertise, but, no less, for the impact that his views will surely have
on those Republicans who have been loath to see what Bush & Co. has done
to our election system.

That whole story’s just about to break. In fact, tomorrow there will be a number
of articles appearing, on a recent breakthrough in the lawsuit that Spoon’s
testimony has enabled, and on other aspects of that all-important case.

MCM

9/26/08: New Spoonamore Interview – E-voting Machines are a National Security… Continue reading

Statement of September 11th Advocates Regarding the Release of the NIST Final Draft of Collapse of WTC7

For Immediate Release
September 26, 2008

NIST has finally released its long awaited investigative report regarding the
collapse of World Trade Center 7. WTC 7 was the third building in the World
Trade Center Complex to collapse at 5:20 PM on September 11, 2001. However,
this building was not hit by an airplane.

As family members of 9/11 victims, we were extremely interested in the findings
of this report. We had hoped that NIST’s report would serve to explain
the cause of a total collapse of a conventional steel building and be able to
refute the rampant conspiracy theories. We also hoped that this report, in conjunction
with NIST’s final reports on WTC 1 and 2, would offer recommendations
for improved building and fire codes to ensure public safety in ALL buildings
going forward.

While we feel that technical experts should review, critique and replicate
the findings within this report, we also feel that we must express our concerns
based on public comments by NIST regarding their findings.

Over the past seven years, the Families of the 9/11 Victims have been repeatedly
told by fire experts, engineers and architects that we should NOT FOCUS our
efforts on advocating for building and fire code changes based on the collapse
of the WTC 1 and 2 towers. We were continuously reminded that the crashing of
airplanes into buildings was a unique event. Additionally, we were told that
the design and construction of WTC Towers 1 and 2 was unique and that there… Continue reading

Now is the Time to Resist Wall Street’s Shock Doctrine

by Naomi Klein
September 22, 2008

I wrote The Shock Doctrine in the hopes that it would make us all
better prepared for the next big shock. Well, that shock has certainly arrived,
along with gloves-off attempts to use it to push through radical pro-corporate
policies (which of course will further enrich the very players who created the
market crisis in the first place…).

The best summary of how the right plans to use the economic crisis to push
through their policy wish list comes from Former Republican House Speaker Newt
Gingrich. On Sunday, Gingrich laid out 18 policy prescriptions for Congress
to take in order to “return to a Reagan-Thatcher policy of economic growth
through fundamental reforms.” In the midst of this economic crisis, he
is actually demanding the repeal of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which would lead
to further deregulation of the financial industry. Gingrich is also calling
for reforming the education system to allow “competition” (a.k.a.
vouchers), strengthening border enforcement, cutting corporate taxes and his
signature move: allowing offshore drilling.

It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the right’s ability to use this
crisis — created by deregulation and privatization — to demand more of the
same. Don’t forget that Newt Gingrich’s 527 organization, American Solutions
for Winning the Future, is still riding the wave of success from its offshore
drilling campaign, “Drill Here, Drill Now!” Just four months ago,
offshore drilling was not even on the political radar and now the U.S. House
of Representatives has… Continue reading

Seize the Time!

An essay by Cynthia McKinney
September 19, 2008

We the people must now seize the time! We have always had the capability of
determining our own destiny, but for various reasons, the people failed to elect
the leaders who provided the correct political will. There was always some corporate
or private special interest that stood in the way of the public good. And they
always seemed to have the power of the purse to throw around and influence public
opinion or our elected officials. The very foundation of the U.S. economy is
crumbling underneath our feet. This represents a unique moment in U.S. history
and we must now seize the time for self-determination–for health care, education,
ecological wisdom, justice, and all the policies that will make a difference
in the lives of the people including an end to all wars, including the drug
war!

The crisis was staved off for a time for some of our major finance engines
when they were able to obtain bridge funding from certain sovereign wealth funds.
That option grows increasingly dim as The Federal Reserve is becoming the lender
of last resort. This means that the people are becoming the owners of the primary
instruments of U.S. capital and finance. This now means that the people have
a say in how these instruments are to be used and what their priorities ought
to be. The people should now have more say in how their tax dollars are spent
and what the priorities of government… Continue reading

The Army’s Totally Serious Mind-Control Project

Sunday, Sep. 14, 2008
By Mark Thompson / Washington

Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That’s why the U.S.
Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing "thought
helmets" that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication
among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will "lead to direct
mental control of military systems by thought alone."

If this sounds insane, it would have been as recently as a few years ago. But
improvements in computing power and a better understanding of how the brain
works have scientists busy hunting for the distinctive neural fingerprints that
flash through a brain when a person is talking to himself. The Army’s initial
goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software
that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops
in the field. "It’d be radio without a microphone, " says Dr. Elmar
Schmeisser, the Army neuroscientist overseeing the program. "Because soldiers
are already trained to talk in clean, clear and formulaic ways, it would be
a very small step to have them think that way."

B-movie buffs may recall that Clint Eastwood used similar "brain-computer
interface" technology in 1982′s Firefox, named for the Soviet fighter plane
whose weapons were controlled by the pilot’s thoughts. (Clint was sent to steal
the plane, natch.) Yet it’s not as far-fetched as you might think: video gamers
are eagerly awaiting a crude commercial version of brain wave technology —
a $299 headset… Continue reading

Andover law school convenes Bush War Crimes Conference – WATCH LIVE

by Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, September 13, 2008

PROGRAM WILL RETURN SUNDAY, 9 A.M. Eastern

Saturday morning, the dean of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover will convene
a two day planning session with a single focus: To arrest, put to trial and
carry out sentence on criminals in the Bush Administration.

The conference, arranged by Lawrence Vevel, cofounder of the Andover school,
will focus on which of Bush’s officials and members of Congress could be charged
with war crimes. The plan also calls for "necessary organizational structures"
to be established, with the purpose of pursuing the guilty "to the ends
of the Earth."

"For Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo to spend years
in jail or go to the gallows for their crimes would be a powerful lesson to
future American leaders," Velvel said in a media advisory.

In a published document entitled "The Long Term View" (PDF link),
Vevel argues, at the very least, "there is no question" George W.
Bush is guilty of conspiracy to commit torture, a war crime.

"He is a former drunk, was a serial failure in business who had to repeatedly
be bailed out by daddy’s friends and wanna-be-friends, was unable to speak articulately
despite the finest education(s) that money and influence can buy, has a dislike
of reading, so that 100-page memos have to be boiled down to one page for him,
is heedless of facts and evidence, and appears not even to know the meaning
of truth," said Vevel.…

Continue reading

What I Heard LAX Security Officials Say During the 9/11 Attacks

Charles E. Lewis

Introduction
Although I was no longer employed at LAX on September 11, 2001, I had worked
there until about two months before as the Quality Control Manager for Kiewit
Pacific Construction on the Taxiway “C” project. A large part of
my work involved security in the Air Port Operations, or APO (but now called
the “Airport Operations Area,” or “AOA”), which is where
the planes are. On the morning of September 11, 2001, I listened with great
interest to LAX Security officials in the APO discussing the attacks and trying
to get more information.

“LAX Security” involves the Los Angeles World Airport Police Department,
the Los Angeles Police Department, and sometimes the FBI and/or the California
Highway Patrol. I can, incidentally, testify that LAX Security performed very
professionally on 9/11. Despite extreme pressure, confusion, and fear (they
had received information that LAX was a target), they executed the emergency
procedures flawlessly.

After describing what I heard while listening to LAX Security, I will suggest
ways in which my account could be corroborated.

My Account

On the morning of 9/11, I was working as Deputy Inspector representing the
City of LA Building and Safety Department for the seismic retrofit of the LA
Hilton Towers Hotel, only a few minutes by car from where I had worked at LAX.
When I realized, after the second strike on the WTC, that the country was under
attack, I decided that I should go to the APO, because I was one of only a few
persons who would know how to fix certain parts of the new security systems
if problems developed.…

Continue reading

NY Times confirms US involvement in Nuclear Black Market

by Luke Ryland
September 5, 2008
LetSibelEdmondsSpeak.blogspot.com

In last Monday’s New York Times, David Sanger and William Broad wrote
a front-page article
about the CIA’s involvement in the nuclear black market.

The article demonstrates (again) that the New York Times, Sanger &
Broad in particular, has simply become a mouthpiece for the government (see
my previous articles 1,
2,
3)
but they did let one fact slip through to the readership. I can only presume
that the slip was accidental, because they don’t appear to have understood the
ramifications of what they reported:

The US Government is covering up the fact that US citizens and entities are
involved in the nuclear black market.

Background

Three members of the Tinner family in Switzerland were key suppliers to AQ
Khan’s nuclear black market ring. They were arrested in 2004 and have been awaiting
trial but the US government has been trying to sabotage the Swiss trial because
“compromising and embarrassing information about the CIA’s activities with the
Khan network” would be exposed if the trial were to proceed.

High-Level Visit

The New York Times reported that in July 2007, the Swiss Justice
Minister came to the US to discuss the case with high-level US officials, apparently
to find a mutually-acceptable arrangement regarding how to deal with the Tinner
case.

According to an anonymous former Bush administration official:

“The State Department wanted the bomb plans destroyed as a way to stem nuclear proliferation, while the C.I.A. wanted to… Continue reading