Archive for March 25th, 2012

Paul Volcker: Obama Socialist Comments Have ‘No Connection With Reality’


Paul Volcker Obama

 

Paul Volcker sounded off on critics of President Obama in an interview with CBS’s Anthony Mason.

 

Asked whether he agrees with accusations that the president is waging class warfare by pushing for Wall Street reforms and higher taxes for the rich, Volcker said, “I don’t understand the depth of that feeling. I really don’t. This business that he’s a great socialist and out to undermine the free enterprise system and so forth, I just think it has no connection with reality.”

 

He balked at the notion that Obama could have taken office without going after the banks.

 

“How could you have a President of the United States taking office in the midst of a financial crisis and a deep recession and not be critical of the financial system? He would have been deaf, dumb and blind,” he said.

 

Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve and Obama adviser, is the namesake for “the Volcker Rule,” a major provision in the Wall Street reforms that could take effect as early as this July.

 

Though Obama has been critical of Wall Street, a survey from the end of last year found that he had approved fewer regulations than President Bush had at the same point in his presidency.

 

As HuffPost’s Jen Bendery reports, Wall Street executives actually thrive under President Obama. Still, most major Wall Street donations are heading to Mitt Romney, who is perceived as much friendlier to banks.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Volcker: Obama Socialist Comments Have ‘No Connection With Reality’.

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Murder Incorporated: the Politics of Violence on the Mexican Border | Digg Topnews


This is the second article in an occasional Truthout series looking at US “immigration” policy and Mexican border policy through a social justice lens, focusing on the lower Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, Texas, area. Mark Karlin, editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout, visited the region recently to file these reports. The first installment was “The Border Wall: The Last Stand at Making the US a White Gated Community.”

Murder Incorporated: the Politics of Violence on the Mexican Border | Digg Topnews.

Relatives of Afghan civilians killed or injured in Robert Bales’ ‘shooting spree’ receive tens of thousands of dollars from US military – NYPOST.com


New York Post

Last Updated:Sun., Mar. 25, 2012, 11:26am

Relatives of victims in Afghan shooting spree paid $900K by US military

Last Updated: 11:15 AM, March 25, 2012

Posted: 10:48 AM, March 25, 2012

KABUL — Relatives of 17 people shot dead in a rampage by a US soldier in southern Afghanistan were paid tens of thousands of dollars in compensation, a tribal chief and government officials said Sunday.

The money — provided by the US military — was handed over at a private ceremony at the Kandahar provincial governor’s office, they said.

“The elders called me and said they were paid $50,000 per person for the dead and $11,000 for the injured per person,” Haji Agha Lalai, a tribal chief and a member of the Kandahar provincial council, said.

The killings — mostly of women and children — in Panjwai district are thought to be the deadliest crime by a US soldier during the decade-long conflict and have tested Washington and Kabul’s already tense relationship.

AP
Afghan villagers pray over the grave of one of the victims of a shooting rampage earlier this month.

The US is keen to draw a line under the massacre earlier this month as far as it can, and the sums — around $900,000 in total — amount to a fortune in rural Afghanistan.

The payments Saturday came a day after Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, 38, of the US 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, was formally accused of 17 premeditated murders for the killings — charges that could carry the death penalty.

He also is accused of six counts of assault and attempted murder.

Afghan government officials speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed the payments but differed slightly on the amounts, citing them as 2.3 million Afghanis ($46,000) each for the families of the dead and 500,000 Afghanis for the injured.

American officers, local government leaders and tribal elders were present at the event, they said.

Local government officials in Kandahar declined to comment.

In Kabul, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) declined to confirm that any payment was made.

“As a matter of policy, ISAF does not make restitution for losses resulting from combat, combat-related activities or operational necessity,” he said.

But he added, “Individual troop-contributing nations may participate in some form of restitution consistent with the cultural norms of Afghanistan.”

Such payments are normally kept confidential, he added.

Fears had been expressed that if the families received compensation, they could be targeted by Taliban militants, who consistently threaten anyone who receives money from the United States or other foreign forces in Afghanistan.

Bales allegedly walked off his combat outpost under cover of darkness March 11 and killed 17 people in two nearby villages, burning some of their bodies before returning to the base and surrendering.

Responding to the charges against the soldier, a spokesman for Afghan president Hamid Karzai said, “We want justice, and we want it as soon as possible.”

Bales is currently being held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, and a spokesman for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, his home station, said it was likely to be 18 to 24 months until any trial.

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Relatives of Afghan civilians killed or injured in Robert Bales’ ‘shooting spree’ receive tens of thousands of dollars from US military – NYPOST.com.