Obama ambassadorships bought:
Bailout salary limit evaded:
Sachs behind crashes:
Ultra-rich doing just fine:
EPA global warming censorship fraud:
Sea ice melting:
Melting raises seas:
www.chinaview.cn 2009-07-02 16:07:52
Swine flu mutation escaping notice
Swine flu serious in Argentina
This is PressWatch, counterpropaganda and Left opinion on KBOO community multimedia. I'm Theresa Mitchell; join me for a brief peek behind the video veil, and an examination of the News You're Not Supposed To Know....
I've had an awesome vacation and now I'm back after two weeks' absence, which is a geologic era so far as radio is concerned, especially weekly radio. So I'll re-introduce myself. I am Theresa Mitchell, a transgendered woman, actually a hermaphrodite mutated by Lily Pharmaceutical's now-banned drug diethylstilbestrol. Pleased to meet you. I'm also an anarcho-socialist firebrand, and I come to you once per week to attempt to destroy the manufactured consensus that corporate media produces in order to keep us all in quiet, orderly, grateful lines to the factory farm slaughterhouse.
While I was away I did think about what changes were necessary to the program, and so I'm going to post my comments on the Web in a different way. This time, and subsequently, I'm going to have a little list at the top of the page, which will essentially be a list of topics, with each topic followed by a(n) URL link. So if you're wondering where the hell I get my ideas and facts, the answer will be right there on top, click and voila! --you're there. That is, unless my idea has come merely from the rusting pile of facts and memories in my aging brain, in which case you can use your favorite search engine or just decide what you will.
I hope to have kboo.fm/presswatch working some time today, but failing that, you'll find the list of topics and links, followed by part of today's script, at theresaspresswatch.blogspot.com .
If you ask yourself what it is you really want in health care-- I mean for yourself and for people you care about-- the answer is easy and simple. You want to be able to get medical care when you need it; nor would you deny health care to anyone. That's true for everyone. We all agree that it's cruel to withhold needed care; if someone comes to you with a bleeding cut, and you have a bandage, you give it to them. It's human nature.
We all know, too, that other, more civilized countries have health care. So we insist to our legislators, for decade after decade, that health care must be provided. Sometimes they make more noise in response to our request, and other times they ignore it, but the bottom line is always the same, the same answer: No. No, you can't have health care, America. The rich would be inconvenienced by it. And no, you're certainly not allowed to ask for "single payer" socialized medicine.
Why is this?
It's a free country, after all, as the saying goes, which is odd in view of the fact that this is the world's most imprisoned country, but you're free to participate in politics--and on an equal basis, at that. Your dollar contributed to a politician's media election fund goes just as far as each of the other half-million dollars contributed in bundle by a rich person, and your voice is therefore proportionately considered. One million votes for two rich people, and fifty votes for you and your spouse. Perfectly reasonable, no? Would we expect any rational media-buying politician to act otherwise? They wouldn't get elected if they did. (Of course, some say that media should be forced to run free election ads, and that money should be banned from politics. Those radicals!)
Meanwhile, in the Land of the Free, you can get whatever you want with a half-million dollar contribution, and for that matter, you can stop any group of people from getting what they want, if it goes against your money. Why stop at preserving your health insurance stock investments? Why not leave it all behind, and find yourself a fabulous lifestyle in a foreign country, say as a real Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for the United States of America? Buying ambassadorships is a long American tradition, and it's become even more common since Reagan. According to opensecrets.org:
"...[President] Obama, to date, has nominated 50 individuals for ambassadorships. Of these, 19 have been career officers in the Foreign Service, 26 have given money to political candidates and five are not career diplomats but nor do they have known histories of campaign contributions.
"These 26 individuals, along with their immediate family members, have contributed roughly $3 million to federal candidates, committees and parties since 1989, with 92 percent of that going to Democrats — including more than $139,800 to Obama and $43,100 to former Sen. Hillary Clinton, who now heads the State Department.
"Sixteen of them are also responsible for bundling at least $5 million to Obama's campaign committee and at least $500,000 to the campaign of Obama's Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain. Additionally, according to Public Citizen's records, eight of these bundlers also directed at least $1.78 million toward his inaugural committee."
"Bruce J. Oreck, [nominated] for ambassador to Finland. Oreck, a lawyer who previously served as general counsel and vice president of his family's famous vacuum company, bundled more than $500,000 to Obama's presidential campaign. He and his wife, Charlotte, also bundled another $75,000 Obama's inauguration. (Existing disclosure requirements for inauguration bundlers don't make it clear whether that includes his personal contribution of $50,000.) Along with his wife and children, he has contributed $261,550 to federal Democratic candidates, parties and committees since 1989. That includes $9,200 to Obama and $1,000 to Hillary Clinton last cycle.
(more at http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/07/another-batch-of-obamas-ambass.html )
But it's not fair to say that the ultra-rich are simply buying whatever items they want on the Washington menu. Not fair at all. In fact, the situation is far worse than that--they've been buying whatever they want for so long that the waiters--excuse mean, I mean the elected representatives, Senators, President, and appointees--rush to the table with an eager smile, and a little white towel, and know without being told exactly how to act. Take this whole business of executive pay caps--you didn't really think that the ultra-rich were going to let you, the stingy know-nothing tax payer, get away with limiting their annual bonus to half a million dollars, did you? Oh, sure, you can whine away about it being your tax money being used in a bailout, and that you intended it to stimulate the economy not line their pockets when they're obviously failing in their jobs, yada yada yada. God, you little people can be annoying. But rest assured it's not going to happen.
From an article in Too Much online by Sam Pizzigati :
"Geithner’s new directives essentially erase the executive pay cap President Obama announced in February. Geithner's new rules, in effect, turn that $500,000 maximum into a minimum.
Under these rules, a new federal pay czar will “automatically approve” any pay package the nation’s most troubled enterprises dish out that doesn’t top half a million."
In the same article, we read:
"How high above this half million can these pay packages now go? The original White House $500,000 cap on cash compensation did allow execs to collect additional stock awards, on an unlimited basis, so long as they didn’t cash those awards out until their firms had paid back their bailouts.
"But the bonus restriction that Congress then passed — limiting bonuses to one-third of total pay — effectively placed a lid on these additional awards at $250,000, a figure that would translate into one-third of total pay if cash compensation were limited to $500,000.
"The new regs Geithner released last week knock this lid off. They turn full responsibility for executive pay at firms now getting “exceptional assistance” — a group that now includes AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, Chrysler, GM, GMAC, and Chrysler Financial — over to a new pay czar, Washington superlawyer Kenneth Feinberg.
"Feinberg, for his part, spent last week reassuring Wall Street how reasonable his pay judgments will be. He even urged reporters not to call him a “czar.”
“It makes it sound as if my goal is to impose certain restrictions on the private marketplace,” Feinberg explained, “whereas I am much more interested in working with these companies.”
But surely this confindence is justified! From Raw Story today:
Rolling Stone expose: Goldman Sachs behind every market crash since 1920s
Goldman Sachs has played a crucial role in creating every market bubble since the 1920s -- and has profited from not only the bubbles, but from the crash that followed as well, says a new expose in Rolling Stone magazine.
An article in the July 9-23 issue of the magazine, written by Matt Taibbi, lists five asset bubbles that the 140-year-old investment bank helped create -- and one that Taibbi asserts the firm is currently working to make happen.
The five bubbles the article says Goldman was central to creating are the Wall Street stock bubble in the 1920s, which led to the Great Depression; the tech-stock bubble of the late 1990s, which ended in the 2001 recession; the housing bubble of the past decade, which resulted in the current economic crisis; the oil price run-up last summer, when oil shot up to $140 a barrel, likely helping tilt the entire world into recession; and what Taibbi describes as "rigging the bailout," when Goldman Sachs' well-placed alumni inside the U.S. government engineered last fall's bank bailout in such a way that the company profited massively.
But wait a minute, am I being to harsh on the ultra-rich? Didn't they take it hard in the stock crash? Not according to Pizzigati:
"The world’s high net worth individuals turn out to have ended 2008 with $32.8 trillion in wealth, not much less than the $33.4 trillion they held at the end of 2005. In other words, 2008’s great meltdown cost the world’s wealthy the gains they registered in 2006 and 2007 — and nothing more.
"These wealthy, especially those individuals who fall into the World Wealth Report “ultra” high net worth category, continue to hold a stunningly disproportionate share of the world’s wealth.
"About 80,000 individuals worldwide qualify as ultras. These super rich make up roughly 0.001 percent of the world’s population. They hold, even after the 2008 economic collapse, 10 percent of our planet’s entire wealth.
"These wealthy, to be sure, did “scale back” some on their personal spending in 2008. In the United States, home to 28.7 percent of the world’s high net worth individuals, fine art auction sales totaled only $2.9 billion in 2009, “down $1 billion from 2007,” the new World Wealth Report relates, and U.S. sales of Lamborghini luxury cars dropped 21 percent last year.
"But the amount of cash sloshing in wealthy pockets, meltdown notwithstanding, remains enormous. In December 2008, the new World Wealth Report observes, one historic diamond gaveled off in London for $24.3 million, “the highest price for any diamond or jewel ever sold at auction.”
Remember when the head of NASA was officially silenced by the Bush Administration, so that he could not talk about global climate change from a scientific perspective? Evidently someone in the corporate Right's propaganda mill does, because they've been trying to create an opposite story to stick in your ear.
By Zachary Roth - July 1, 2009, 8:43AM
"Conservatives are jumping up and down over a report by an EPA analyst expressing skepticism about climate change, which, they claim, was suppressed by agency brass because it didn't conform to Obama administration orthodoxy on global warming. The story has sparked explosive claims, on Fox News and other right-wing outlets, that the EPA censored scientific data for political reasons. And Monday, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called for an outright criminal investigation into the matter.
"But [Roth writes,] it's hard to blame EPA for not paying much attention to the study. And it's more than a little ironic that DC Republicans have chosen its author as their new standard-bearer in the defense of pure science against politics. Because the author, EPA veteran Al Carlin, is an economist, not a climate scientist. EPA says no one at the agency solicited the report. And Carlin appears to have taken up the global warming topic largely as a hobby on his own time. In fact, a NASA climatologist has called the report -- whose existence was first publicized last week by the industry-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) -- "a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at."
The question is, may we please have some serious action against the devastation promised by global climate change? And the answer is No. Raising this question has alerted your handlers that there is some agitation en route to the slaughterhouse platform, and so you are being goaded with the ideological cattle pod. Git along there, little dawgies, nothing to see here. Unless it's this:
"A reconstruction of sea ice reveals the lowest levels in 800 years, according to new research published in the journal Climate Dynamics.
"Researchers modeled sea ice levels between Greenland and Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of Europe, from the 13th century to present using data from a natural climate "archive" and from historic human records.
"We have combined information about the climate found in ice cores from an ice cap on Svalbard and from the annual growth rings of trees in Finland and this gave us a curve of the past climate," Aslak Grinsted said in a press release. Grinsted is a geophysicist with the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. "We see that the sea ice is shrinking to a level which has not been seen in more than 800 years."
"The scientists also combed through harbor records and logbooks of ships that traveled the area to record human observation of sea ice levels. Then they pieced together a picture of how much sea ice has existed through this time period.
"Sea ice melting and re-freezing is a complicated process that is influenced by a number of factors such as wind patterns, ocean currents, and how much ice has frozen or melted in recent years. The authors did not point to any causes for the changes in sea ice levels in their study.
"The scientists noted that even though the 13th century was a relatively warm period and ice levels were low then, 20th century sea ice levels are still the lowest. The "Little Ice Age," from 1700 to 1800 had the greatest cover of sea ice, according to their data.
"Other studies have found that Arctic ice is getting thinner over time, so that when the normal summer melt occurs, the entire polar cap is retreating compared to decades past. Last year, this melting opened up the fabled Northwest Passage, as a substantial amount of older ice melted. Climate scientists say the North Pole could be ice-free during summer within a few decades.
--Aaaaand what effect might that have?
NZ scientist warns of Antarctic ice melt, sea rise
www.chinaview.cn 2009-07-02 16:07:52 Print
WELLINGTON, July 2 (Xinhua) -- A New Zealand scientist warned on Thursday of rising sea levels due to Antarctic ice melt.
Tim Naish said new evidence showed that changes to Antarctica's most vulnerable element, the West Antarctic ice sheet, could raise global sea levels by up to 5 metres (16 feet).
The Director of Victoria University's Antarctic Research Centre will present this new evidence at his inaugural professorial lecture on July 7 at Victoria University.
"Polar ice sheets have grown and collapsed at least 40 times over the past 5 million years, causing major sea-level fluctuations," he said in a media release. "The most recent ' interglacial' has lasted 10,000 years, during which time global sea-level and atmospheric temperatures have remained more or less constant, and human civilisation has flourished."
Professor Naish said much of his research has focused on the international drilling program in the sedimentary layers of the West Antarctic ice sheet.
"Evidence shows that this sheet is expected to melt first, along with Greenland. West Antarctica sits below sea level, so as the ocean warms, the ice sheet also warms. ... [....]
Here's the latest on the swine flu pandemic from Dr. Henry Niman:
...[A] patient ...[in Denmark has] developed a pandemic H1N1 infection while taking a prophylactic dose of oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The [reported lapse of] five days suggests the patient was infected after her contact, who was infected overseas, returned. The patient was given Tamiflu because of her infected contact, and developed flu-like symptoms while taking Tamiflu, which led to the isolation of the virus and sequence data (generated in Denmark and England), showing [that her infection had developed] resistance ...[to Tamiflu]).
The ... [foreign press] description [of the infection incident] made no mention of [the existence of] an isolate from the patient who traveled overseas, and no indication that an isolate was collected. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that a wild type sequence from the overseas traveler or the patient with resistant H1N1 exists. This absence was also signaled by statements from Roche and other agencies who used the qualifiers of "appears" and "probably" when describing the development of resistance, because there is no evidence that resistance developed in the patient in Denmark.
A more likely scenario involves the silent spread of oseltamivir resistant H1N1. Denmark, like most countries in Europe, has focused on detection of H1N1 in travelers and contacts. Consequently, the number of H1N1 positive cases has been low.
The publicity associated with the Danish case will likely lead to more isolates and more sequences, and the explosion of cases in England may lead to a more serious approach toward testing for community spread in European countries like Denmark, which are focused on airport travelers and contacts.
Airport screening will only detect a small subset of infected patients, because those infected shortly prior to travel will not yet have symptoms, and about 30% of infected patients don't develop a high fever. Moreover, others take medication for flu-like symptoms, which lowers fevers. Thus, infected patients have been flying into these countries undetected for months, and community spread is significant, but not reported because of a lack of testing.
The detection of H274Y in pandemic H1N1 has parallels with H274Y in seasonal H1N1. The resistance was widely reported in early 2008 in Norway, but subsequent testing demonstrated that the resistance was widespread in the fall of 2007 and had silently circulated for months prior to detection. The limited number of NA sequences for most countries outside of North America allows for a repeat of [the] silent spread of Tamiflu resistant pandemic H1N1 at this time. [....]
Buenos Aires (AFP) - the number of dead by h1n1 influenza in Argentina has registered a great increase in the last five days, elevating from 26 to 43 , according to the minister of Health, Juan Manzur. " Between 43 and 44 deaths" , Manzur responded, referring to the swine influenza in this South American country, where official data had not been reported on the evolution of the disease from the past Friday. With this number, Argentina is the third country of the world in number of died by pig influenza, behind the United States and Mexico. The situation by the pig influenza is serious, diffícult" , the civil servant said, and warned that " we are attending a curve that still is in ascension" , in relation to the austral winter period and the seasonal increase of the influenza and the respiratory diseases. In its first contact with the press, Manzur announced a series of measures, among them, the creation of a special account in the scope of the ministry of Health with an allocation of 1,000 million pesos (263.1 million dollars) to fortify the sanitary structure in all the country. The civil servant anticipated in addition the decision to protect vulnerable social groups, like pregnant women, and informed that they will be able to ask for a preventive license in his works as of this Thursday and by a lapse of 15 days. Mazur summoned to the sectors of the health public, deprived and of union social works to face the pandemic and explained that any patient who enters a state hospital and needs internment, could be derived to any private hospital, and the cost will be confronted by the State. Before the advance of the epidemic, the provincial cities presented/displayed during the day an almost total paralysis and 17 of the 24 districts of the country advanced receso winter student they extended and it until July end. The governments of the Argentine capital and the province of Buenos Aires (center-this), the majors districts with almost 18 million inhabitants and where the greater amount of deaths was concentrated, declared the sanitary emergency. The Buenosairean provincial government announced the call to 2,000 professionals of the health, even retired and advanced Medicine students, to contain the increase of the demand for services. " We have a 40% of absenteeism within the system of health due to the contagion by A" influenza; , it said the minister of Buenosairean Health, Claudius Zin. ....
(breaking) --biggest US operations since Fallujah