HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Purveyor » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 29 Next »

Purveyor

Profile Information

Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

Journal Archives

Big Retailers And Fast-Food Companies Are The Real ‘Welfare Queens’ In Today’s Economy

By Moyers & Company
Saturday, December 28, 2013 11:05 EST

For the past 40 years, corporate America has spent untold millions convincing lawmakers and the wider public that government intervention in the private sector results in painful unintended consequences that harm us all. At the same time, corporate-backed think tanks and media outlets have advanced the narrative that public benefits create a culture of dependency, and by doing so ultimately do their recipients more harm than good.

The hypocrisy of these claims is becoming increasingly evident as low-wage employers — notably retailers and the fast-food industry — enjoy profits subsidized by their workers’ reliance on public benefits. These firms are the real “welfare queens” in today’s economy.

And that also appears to be the case higher up on the economic ladder — much higher up. This week, Alexis Goldstein noticed a similarity between two headline-grabbing numbers. She writes:

Earlier this year, Bloomberg calculated that the top 10 US banks receive $83 billion a year in subsidies from the government, due to their cheap cost of funding and the preferential treatment creditors give them because they assume the government sees them as TBTF.

In November, a NYT analysis of a Johnson Associates survey found that the top eight US banks set aside $91.44 billion for bonuses in 2013.


MORE...

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/28/big-retailers-and-fast-food-companies-are-the-real-welfare-queens-in-todays-economy/

LGBT Conservatives Divided Over ‘Duck Dynasty’

LGBT people who identify as conservative and are finding themselves divided over the flap surrounding “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson’s controversial remarks about same sex attraction and African-American civil rights. According to USA Today, prominent gay conservatives have very different takes on the issue.

Robertson set off a firestorm of controversy when he opined to GQ magazine reporter Drew Magary that same sex attractions are a “sin” and that’s “not logical, my man.”

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus,” he said. “”That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying?”

Robertson was very briefly suspended by A&E, the network that carries “Duck Dynasty,” but on Friday, the network announced that season 5 of the program will go forward as planned with Robertson’s participation.

“The knee jerk reaction of some on the right to actually defend this kind of ugliness is yet another reminder of just how out of touch these folks are with where America is and where America is going,” said Chris Barron of GOProud to USA Today.

MORE...

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/28/lgbt-conseratives-divided-over-duck-dynasty/

From Pope To Snowden: In 2013, The Smart Guys Won Globally

All the world may have been a stage in Shakespeare's day, but in our time, it's more like an endless sandlot ball game slugged out between two teams — the smart and the stupid. Although 2013 started out looking like a shoo-in for the Stupids, the Smarts took the prize again — though not without a few assists by some half-a-deck heroes.

The first break for the Smarts came in February through an unexpected conversion by Pope Benedict XVI, German starter for the Stupids. Benny broke with five centuries of tradition by deciding to hang up his red shoes early, creating an opening for cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina.

A former nightclub bouncer and tango dancer, the first Latin American pope lost no time in showing off some fancy footwork that gave the smarter elements of the Roman Catholic Church control of the ball for the first time in decades.

Bergoglio, now Francis, broke with recent tradition by actually making sense in some of his pronouncements. Thanks to his clever realization that most Catholics are more concerned with the prosecution of child-abusing priests and money laundering at the Vatican Bank than hearing an old celibate guy rattle on about the evils of homosexuality and the virtues of an all-male priesthood, the popularity of the Church soared by the end of the first quarter.

Momentum for the Smarts seemed to ebb in the second quarter of the game, however. The biggest surprise: Stupid elements in the Palestinian Authority forced the resignation of prime minister Salam Fayyad, punishing him for a rare anti-Stupid programme that cracked down on corruption, improved infrastructure and boosted the economy.

MORE...

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/from-pope-to-snowden-in-2013-the-smart-guys-won-globally/articleshow/28064102.cms

The Year of the ‘Leaker’

December 27, 2013

Exclusive: Critics of “leakers” Manning and Snowden claim that unauthorized disclosures risk lives, but a stronger case can be made that many more lives have been lost due to government deceptions on issues of war or peace, lies that secrecy made possible, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

People who condemn the leaks of classified documents by Pvt. Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning and National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden typically cite the supposed harm done to U.S. diplomacy and say lives have been put at risk. Manning/Snowden defenders counter by noting how government secrecy has been used to conceal government excesses and to stifle meaningful debate.

But there is another factor in this discussion: Secrecy often has empowered U.S. government propagandists to manipulate the people and to trick them into policies that, in turn, have cost lives, inflicted damage to national security and created hatred toward America that its enemies can then exploit. In other words, secrecy is the enabler of deception which has undercut precisely those interests that the Manning/Snowden critics say they want to protect (diplomacy and innocent life).

While one could take note of the secrecy and lies that cleared the paths into the disastrous wars in Vietnam and Iraq, let’s look at a less known case that I faced in 1988 as a correspondent at Newsweek: At the time, the Reagan administration – having suffered political damage from the Iran-Contra scandal – was trying to get its proxy war against Nicaragua’s Sandinista government back on track.

President Ronald Reagan’s skilled propagandists seized on what they claimed was Sandinista repression of Nicaragua’s Catholic Church and its Cardinal Obando y Bravo. All right-thinking Americans, especially Catholics, were incited to outrage over affronts to religious freedom. Because of this Sandinista behavior, the White House put political pressure on Congress to send more money and weapons to the Contra rebels who were killing thousands of Nicaraguans in towns near Honduras and Costa Rica.

But there was another side of the story that was hidden behind a veil of U.S. government secrecy. For years, the CIA and the White House had been funneling money through the Catholic Church into Nicaragua to destabilize the government. In effect, the Reagan administration had an inside-outside game going, Cardinal Obando and a group of right-wing Catholic priests were spreading around money to subvert Nicaragua from the inside while the Contra rebels were inflicting bloody havoc from the outside.

more...

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/27/the-year-of-the-leaker/

The Stock Market Has Officially Entered Crazytown Territory

It is time to crank up the Looney Tunes theme song because Wall Street has officially entered crazytown territory. Stocks just keep going higher and higher, and at this point what is happening in the stock market does not bear any resemblance to what is going on in the overall economy whatsoever. So how long can this irrational state of affairs possibly continue? Stocks seem to go up no matter what happens. If there is good news, stocks go up. If there is bad news, stocks go up. If there is no news, stocks go up. On Thursday, the day after Christmas, the Dow was up another 122 points to another new all-time record high. In fact, the Dow has had an astonishing 50 record high closes this year. This reminds me of the kind of euphoria that we witnessed during the peak of the housing bubble. At the time, housing prices just kept going higher and higher and everyone rushed to buy before they were "priced out of the market". But we all know how that ended, and this stock market bubble is headed for a similar ending.

It is almost as if Wall Street has not learned any lessons from the last two major stock market crashes at all. Just look at Twitter. At the current price, Twitter is supposedly worth 40.7 BILLION dollars. But Twitter is not profitable. It is a seven-year-old company that has never made a single dollar of profit.

Not one single dollar.

In fact, Twitter actually lost 64.6 million dollars last quarter alone. And Twitter is expected to continue losing money for all of 2015 as well.

But Twitter stock is up 82 percent over the last 30 days, and nobody can really give a rational reason for why this is happening.

Overall, the Dow is up more than 25 percent so far this year. Unless something really weird happens over the next few days, it will be the best year for the Dow since 1996.

more...

http://michaelsnyder.mensnewsdaily.com/2013/12/the-stock-market-has-officially-entered-crazytown-territory/

Reports: Israel To Defy US With New Settlements

Source: The Hill

Israel plans to announce construction plans for more Jewish settlements next week, when it releases two dozen Palestinian prisoners, according to multiple reports.

"Israel will declare new building in the settlements next week," an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Wednesday.

The announcement will likely draw sharp criticism from the United States, which recently warned Israel not to engage in such projects in the near future. Palestinian negotiators have said it could damage already weak negotiations.

One of Israel’s major news outlets, Channel 2 TV, also reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to make an announcement for “massive construction” next week.
The official who spoke to Reuters did not indicate how many units would be included in the plan, or where.


Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/middle-east-north-africa/194003-reports-israel-to-announce-new-settlements



Gal-On: Netanyahu's Giving Obama The Finger

Meretz leader expresses disappointment in Netanyahu's announcement to expand settlement construction amid upcoming prisoner release.

By GIL HOFFMAN
12/26/2013 13:37

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to announce construction tenders in settlements ahead of the third round of Palestinian prisoner releases is an attempt to create facts on the ground and prevent the American administration from advancing a diplomatic agreement, Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On said Thursday.

"Netanyahu is giving the American administration the finger," Gal-On said. "There does not need to be a connection between building in the territories and releasing prisoners. As long as there is no agreement with the Palestinians on the future of the settlements, expanding settlements is adding insult to injury."

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin agreed that construction and prisoner releases should not be connected.

"Construction in Judea and Samaria in exchange for terrorists perverts the value of settlement," Feiglin wrote on Twitter.

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Gal-On-Bibis-giving-Obama-the-finger-336230

Fundamentally Freund: Ignore Obama’s Lame-Duck Quacking

As the great comedian Bob Hope once noted, “The only thing chicken about Israel is their soup.” Let’s keep it that way.

By MICHAEL FREUND, 12/25/2013 22:30

If the various rumors and reports are true, January may prove to be one tough month for US-Israeli relations.

According to several accounts, the Obama administration is said to be gearing up to push Israel into a corner by offering its own proposals regarding how to shape a deal with the Palestinians.

With the clock ticking on the nine months allotted for an agreement to be reached, US Secretary of State John Kerry likely will be twisting Israel’s arm, and applying pressure to other anatomical parts, to coerce the Jewish state into capitulation.

--CLIP--
But these are not normal circumstances, and it behooves Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stand firm and spurn any pressure that may be applied.

For although Barack Obama still has another three years in office, he is already starting to look a heck of a lot like a lame duck, one whose quacking can and should be ignored.

MORE...

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/Fundamentally-Freund-Ignore-Obamas-lame-duck-quacking-336150

Our 'friend and ally' israel...indeed.

Gal-On: Netanyahu's Giving Obama The Finger

Meretz leader expresses disappointment in Netanyahu's announcement to expand settlement construction amid upcoming prisoner release.

By GIL HOFFMAN
12/26/2013 13:37

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to announce construction tenders in settlements ahead of the third round of Palestinian prisoner releases is an attempt to create facts on the ground and prevent the American administration from advancing a diplomatic agreement, Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On said Thursday.

"Netanyahu is giving the American administration the finger," Gal-On said. "There does not need to be a connection between building in the territories and releasing prisoners. As long as there is no agreement with the Palestinians on the future of the settlements, expanding settlements is adding insult to injury."

Likud MK Moshe Feiglin agreed that construction and prisoner releases should not be connected.

"Construction in Judea and Samaria in exchange for terrorists perverts the value of settlement," Feiglin wrote on Twitter.

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Gal-On-Bibis-giving-Obama-the-finger-336230

UPS and FedEx Ruin Christmas and Prove Republicans Wrong About Killing the Post Office

By: Jason Easley
Thursday, December, 26th, 2013, 1:41 pm


People across the country got a look at what package delivery will look like if the Postal Service is privatized after both UPS and FedEx ruined Christmas by being unable to delivery holiday packages on time.

UPS admitted that some children would not receive their Christmas gifts on time because their system could not keep up with demand, “We understand the importance of your holiday shipments. However, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network.” A spokesperson for Fed Ex said, “We’re sorry that there could be delays and we’re contacting affected customers who have shipments available for pickup.” Fed Ex’s solution was to make customers who paid for Christmas delivery go to their local Fed Ex store and pick up their packages on Christmas Day. If you didn’t have a local Fed Ex store, you were out of luck.

Things were so bad at Fed Ex that local depots were overwhelmed with packages to the point where they didn’t attempt to make deliveries. The AP confirmed that the delivery issues impacted Alabama, California, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Some people will blame the customer for waiting until the last minute to place their order, but the problems at UPS and Fed Ex illustrate why the Republican plan to kill the USPS would be a total disaster. As private companies, UPS and Fed Ex have no incentive to make sure that they have the amount of capacity needed to handle a last minute holiday flood of orders. Their main incentive is to maximize profit, not serve the public.

Both companies are blaming the weather for their inability to deliver as promised, but the United States Postal Service was able to deliver in time for Christmas, so the weather excuse appears to be a bit flimsy. If Republicans got their way, and the Postal Service was privatized, the horror stories from UPS and Fed Ex would become the norm for every American 365 days a year.

more...

http://www.politicususa.com/2013/12/26/ups-fedex-ruin-christmas-prove-republicans-wrong-killing-post-office.html

Grad Student Proves NSA Can Link Metadata To Your Identity With ‘Marginal Effort’

A Stanford graduate student has shown just how easily names can be matched with phone records, contradicting some of the legal justification offered by federal authorities for the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone data.

President Barack Obama said in June that the surveillance captured only which telephone numbers were connected to others. “There are no names … in that database,” Obama said.

Just last week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said cell phone customers had no reasonable expectation to privacy because the data collected by the NSA because it did not contain their names.

But researcher Jonathan Mayer and co-author Patrick Mutchler reported that they’d gathered thousands of phone numbers from volunteers and checked various public online directories to link some of the 5,000 numbers chosen at random from their database to individuals.

With “marginal effort,” they matched more than 27 percent of the numbers using just Yelp, Google Places and Facebook.

MORE...

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/26/grad-student-proves-nsa-can-link-metadata-to-your-identity-with-marginal-effort/
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 29 Next »