Posts tagged ‘Big Banks’

NSA Report Means More Trouble For 60 Minutes


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On the same day reports circulated that the reporters behind a fatally flawed, retracted 60 Minutes story may return to CBS News’ airwaves as soon as early January, the program again faced criticism for a report that critics are calling a “puff piece” and an “infomercial.”

On December 15, 60 Minutes aired a report on the National Security Agency based on unprecedented access to its headquarters and interviews with Agency staff, including its chief, Keith Alexander, who discussed the concerns many Americans have about its operations since the disclosures by Edward Snowden.

The segment opened with reporter John Miller’s acknowledgement that he had once worked at another federal intelligence agency. It featured no critics of the NSA. Miller explained his thoughts on the story in an interview with CBS News, saying that the NSA’s view is “really the side of the story that has been mined only in the most superficial ways. We’ve heard plenty from the critics. We’ve heard a lot from Edward Snowden. Where there’s been a distinctive shortage is, putting the NSA to the test and saying not just ‘We called for comment today’ but to get into the conversation and say that sounds a lot like spying on Americans, and then say, ‘Well, explain that.'”

Miller’s report was immediately ripped apart by NSA critics and veteran journalists. Some have called the veracity of CBS News’ reporting into question. Others termed the segment a “puff piece” and an “embarrassing” “infomercial,” saying that it filmed was under guidelines that overwhelmingly favored the agency and proved the effectiveness of the NSA’s communications staff.

The NSA report is only the latest of several heavily criticized 60 Minutes stories. Most notably, the network wasforced to retract and remove from the airwaves the reporters responsible for a segment based on a supposed eyewitness to the 2012 Benghazi attacks who apparently fabricated his story. The day after the NSA story ran and less than three weeks after the leaves of absence were announced, Politico reported that those journalists, Lara Logan and Max McClellan, have “started booking camera crews for news packages” and could return to 60 Minutes as early as January. In recent weeks the program has also been criticized for reports onSocial Security disability benefits and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos.

This series of debacles was noted by former CBS News correspondent Marvin Kalb, who was at one time the moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, who wrote that a program that “used to be the gold standard of network magazine programs” is increasingly “under fire.” He concluded:

What’s clear from this episode is that 60 Minutes is not facing another Lara Logan embarrassment. Miller did not get his facts wrong; he just did a story on 60 Minutes that should never have been on 60 Minutes. It was a promotional piece, almost by his own admission. In addition, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley did a story on the 60 Minutes Miller piece to help promote it, as though it were an exceptional exclusive, which it was not.

In a funny way, all of this fresh criticism can be seen as a compliment. People expect 60 Minutes to be a place on the dial for tough questioning and rigorous reporting. When it does anything less than that, it opens itself to snap judgments that may be unfair but should not be surprising. It should, though, suggest strongly that CBS has further need for continuing self-examination.

Politico‘s Dylan Byers similarly opined that 60 Minutes has had “a terrible year” and that the program “is desperately in need of a news package that earns it praise rather than criticism.It needs to put up a hard-hitting investigation, fact-checked to the teeth, that doesn’t come off as a promotional puff-piece. Because its reputation as the gold standard of television journalism has taken some serious hits of late.”

Miller referred questions from Media Matters about the segment to a CBS News spokesperson who declined to comment on the record.

Taibbi: Secret and Lies of the Bailout



Taibbi: Secret and Lies of the Bailout (via Market Shadows)

  Source: Uploaded by user via Lisa on Pinterest   Taibbi: Secret and Lies of the Bailout Courtesy of Jesse's Cafe Americain This is a long piece from Matt Taibbi about the financial crisis and the bank bailout. It is under-reported, too often overlooked, and well worth understanding. I find it…

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34 Reasons The US Has Fallen


The following are 34 signs that America is in decline…

#1 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.  That is not just a decline – that is a freefall.  Just check out the chart in this article.

#2 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988.  Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.

#3 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.

#4 According to the Wall Street Journal, of the 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders, half of them plan to reduce capital expenditures in coming months.

#5 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.

#6 America once had the greatest manufacturing cities on the face of the earth.  Now many of our formerly great manufacturing cities have degenerated into festering hellholes.  For example, the city of Detroit is on the verge of financial collapse, and one state lawmaker is now saying that “dissolving Detroit” should be looked at as an option.

#7 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#9 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.

#10 Sadly, 60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#11 Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

#12 The U.S. trade deficit with China during 2011 was 28 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#13 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been shut down since 2001.  During 2010, manufacturing facilities were shutting down at the rate of 23 per day.  How can anyone say that “things are getting better” when our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted?

#14 Back in early 2005, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was less than 2 dollars a gallon.  During 2012, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has been $3.63.

#15 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#16 As I have written about previously, 61 percent of all Americans were “middle income” back in 1971 according to the Pew Research Center.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are “middle income”.

#17 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#18 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States isabout 22 percent.

#19 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.

#20 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#21 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#22 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.

#23 According to one survey, 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket arestill living with their parents.

#24 Back in 1950, 78 percent of all households in the United States contained a married couple.  Today, that number has declined to 48 percent.

#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

#26 In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income.  Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.

#27 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, 47.1 millionAmericans are on food stamps.

#28 Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#29 As I wrote about the other day, according to one calculation the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

#30 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.

#31 In 2001, the U.S. national debt was less than 6 trillion dollars.  Today, it is over 16 trillion dollars and it is increasing by more than 100 million dollars every single hour.

#32 The U.S. national debt is now more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#33 According to a PBS report from earlier this year, U.S. households that make $13,000 or less per year spend 9 percent of their incomes on lottery tickets.  Could that possibly be accurate?  Are people really that foolish?

#34 As the U.S. economy has declined, the American people have been downing more antidepressants and other prescription drugs than ever before.  In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

Read the full article at » 34 Signs That America Is In Decline Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

Texas-isms

Posted on December 1, 2012

boots and hat

God Bless Texas!

1. A possum (or an armadillo) is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.

2. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in Texas.

3. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in Texas.

4. If it grows, it’ll stick ya. If it crawls, it’ll bite’cha.

5. ‘Onced’ and ‘Twiced’ are words.

6. It is not a shopping cart, it’s a buggy.

7. ‘Jaw-P?’ means, ‘Did y’all go to the bathroom?

8. People actually grow and eat okra.

9. ‘Fixinto’ is one word.

10. There is no such thing as ‘lunch.’ There is only dinner and then there is supper.

11. Iced tea is appropriate for all meals, and you start drinking it when you’re two. We do like a little tea with our sugar.

12. Backwards and forwards means, ‘I know everything about you.’

13. The word’jeet’ is actually a phrase meaning, ‘Did you eat?’

14. You don’t have to wear a watch, because it doesn’t matter what time it is. You work until you’re done or it’s too dark to see.

15. You don’t PUSH buttons, you MASH EM.

16. ‘No.Jew?’ is a common response to the question, ‘Did you bring any beer?’

17. You measure distance in minutes.

18. You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.

19. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect or animal.

20. You know what a ‘DAWG’ is.

21. You carry jumper cables in your car — for your OWN car.

22. You only own five spices: salt, pepper, Texas Pete, Tabasco and Ketchup.

23. The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local gossip and high school football.

24. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.

25. You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit ‘a bit warm.’

26. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.

27. Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite past time known as’goin’ Wal-Martin’ or ‘off to Wally World.’

28. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good stew weather.

29. Fried catfish is the other white meat.

30. We don’t need no dang driver’s ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive, dag- nabbit.

31. “All y’all” is more than one person.

Parting Company…

 Reblogged from AMERICAN BLOGGER: GUNNY.G ~ WEBLOG & EMAIL:

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For decades, it has been obvious that there are irreconcilable differences between Americans who want to control the lives of others and those who wish to be left alone. Which is the more peaceful solution: Americans using the brute force of government to beat liberty-minded people into submission or simply parting company? In a marriage, where vows are ignored and broken, divorce is the most peaceful solution.

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I’m of the opinion that in order for both to have the govt they want that a division between the two is the right and only true solution. Sentiment aside for the common roots and symbols, we are and remain two people with very different visions of America. Had the Fed remained chained to the Constitution these differences could have been expressed at the state level with little consequence, but that has not been done. Secession is not the death of the Republic, but rather an effort to preserve, even if in part, all that made us America!

Christmas!

The message of Christ is rightfully embedded in the songs of Christmas, the message of the Gospel in the power of lyric and notes, proclaiming the magic and majesty of what was done for us.  Thank you Jesus!  Enjoy this version of O Holy Night by Martina McBride, and the blessings of Christ the Lord be with you all this Christmas as we wait in joyful anticipation for His Glorious Return!

The Republican Madness On Financial Disaster



Obama ups campaign on fiscal cliff, irks Republicans (via AFP)

So much for the misty eyed, pre-election nostalgia over President Barack Obama's last-ever campaign. A few weeks on, the re-elected US leader is dusting off just retired retail politics skills, hoping to outflank Republicans over the "fiscal cliff" -- an impasse over tax hikes and spending cuts that…

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Senators hope to end Federal Reserve’s conflicts of interest



Senators hope to end Federal Reserve’s conflicts of interest (via Raw Story )

Three U.S. Senators proposed a bill on Tuesday that would prevent the nation’s most powerful banking executives from simultaneously running the very institutions intended to keep them playing by the rules, with one of the bill’s sponsors saying that JP Morgan’s recent billions in losses are indicative…

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WASHINGTON (AFP) Wed Nov 14 2012 16:38:04 GMT-0700 (US Mountain Standard Time) Jim Watson/AFP US President Barack Obama speaks during a press conference at the White House in Washington, DC. Obama told opposition Republicans they would have to accept tax increases for the rich if the country was to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. US President Barack Obama told opposition Republicans on Wednesday they would have to AFP (http://s.tt/1trIO)



Obama stands firm on taxes in fiscal cliff showdown (via AFP)

US President Barack Obama told opposition Republicans on Wednesday they would have to accept tax increases for the rich if the country was to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. Obama said he wanted to extend tax cuts set to expire at year-end for 98 percent of Americans to mitigate the impact of the…

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Obama White House Blocks Oil Production On 1.6 Billion Acres



Obama Administration Blocks Oil Production on 1.6 Billion Acres (via NewsLook)

The Obama Administration proposes a new plan to close off federal land the Bush administration laid out for oil production.

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