Sunday, April 15, 2012

Video: '60 Minutes' (4-15-12)

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google's Sergey Brin

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google's Sergey Brin | Technology | The Guardian

 The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

The 38-year-old billionaire, whose family fled antisemitism in the Soviet Union, was widely regarded as having been the driving force behind Google's partial pullout from China in 2010 over concerns about censorship and cyber-attacks. He said five years ago he did not believe China or any country could effectively restrict the internet for long, but now says he has been proven wrong. "I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle," he said.

Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei says internet censorship will fail

Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei says internet censorship will fail | The Raw Story
Dissident artist Ai Weiwei warned the Chinese government that its attempts to censor the internet would inevitably fail, in an article published in Monday’s Guardian newspaper.
Ai, who was held for 81 days last year as police rounded up dissidents amid online calls for Arab-style protests in China, wrote in the British newspaper that new “real identity” rules to curb troublesome microbloggers would only “push the problem to the next generation”.

More American workers sue employers for overtime pay

There is a lot of talk about the 'war on women.' But what about the war on labor (which obviously affects women). The reason: both parties have declared war on American workers. Why else would things keep getting worse under Republican and Democratic administrations alike:

Americans were pushed to their limit in the recession and its aftermath as they worked longer hours, often for the same or less pay, after businesses laid off almost 9 million employees.

Now, many are striking back in court. Since the height of the recession in 2008, more workers across the nation have been suing employers under federal and state wage-and-hour laws. The number of lawsuits filed last year was up 32% vs. 2008, an increase that some experts partly attribute to a post-downturn austerity that pervaded the American workplace and artificially inflated U.S. productivity.

Workers' main grievance is that they had to put in more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay through various practices:
Full article

Video: 'Meet The Press' (4-15-12)

Growth of Income Inequality Is Worse Under Obama than Bush

Finally we have someone on the Left willing to expose the Obama fraud. There are some who are going to stick to their principals and not sellout:

Yesterday, the President gave a speech in which he demanded that Congress raise taxes on millionaires, as a way to somewhat recalibrate the nation's wealth distribution. His advisors, like Gene Sperling, are giving speeches talking about the need for manufacturing. A common question in DC is whether this populist pose will help him win the election. Perhaps it will. Perhaps not. Romney is a weak candidate, cartoonishly wealthy and from what I've seen, pretty inept. But on policy, there's a more interesting question.

A better puzzle to wrestle with is why President Obama is able to continue to speak as if his administration has not presided over a significant expansion of income redistribution upward. The data on inequality shows that his policies are not incrementally better than those of his predecessor, or that we're making progress too slowly, as liberal Democrats like to argue. It doesn't even show that the outcome is the same as Bush's. No, look at this table, from Emmanuel Saez (h/t Ian Welsh). Check out those two red circles I added.
Full article

Transcript: 'Fareed Zakaria GPS' (4-15-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

ZAKARIA: Tell me, do you feel that the President of the United States picked to head the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim is unqualified in the way that the Economist Magazine editorialized this week?

OKOJO-IWEALA: I have tremendous respect for Jim Yong Kim, the pick of the United States. But the argument is not really about nationality. The development committee of the World Bank, as well as the G20 have signed on to a merit based, open and transparent process of selecting the President of the World Bank.

That means that it should be done based on who is best qualified from anywhere, regardless of nationality. So I think that, you know, we took that seriously. The leaders of the continent of Africa who asked me to be a nominee, I think took this seriously. And that's why I find myself in the contest.

ZAKARIA: So, do you think, for you, is your qualification primarily that you are from Nigeria, a country that has strongly been a recipient of World Bank aid? Or is it your personal characteristics? How do you see your strongest calling card?

OKOJO-IWEALA: No, my qualifications. (It's) not just to do with the fact that I'm from Nigeria, or even African. (INAUDIBLE) world, in almost every region. My qualifications are based on the experience I've had both working and the (world). And what's also very importantly, as (INAUDIBLE) economy, 4 years of experience as Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister in a complex, developing country.

So I've seen the World Bank operates from both inside and outside, importantly outside. But I've also lived poverty. I know what the issues are. I've seen what it means to fetch water from the stream as a young girl growing up in Nigeria. I've see what it means to live in a country that has experienced conflict and that has lost many years (in) development because of that conflict.

So (INAUDIBLE) situations that World Bank is trying to grapple with. (I've actually) lived them and manage them every day. So I think that (INAUDIBLE) qualifications. I have the (INAUDIBLE), I have the experience, I have the training and I also have the ability to get up and go and move (INAUDIBLE).

ZAKARIA: If you do not get it, Ngozi, do you think that the credibility of the World Bank will suffer in that it almost irreparably that the United States was able to put somebody up and all the experts are saying you're more qualified, but at the end of the day the U.S. pick still wins?

CNN 'State of the Union' Transcript (4-15-12)

Interview With Sam Brownback; Interview With Reince Priebus; Interview with Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Carolyn Maloney - Transcripts

ABC 'This Week' Transcript: Timothy Geithner (4-15-12)

'This Week' Transcript: Timothy Geithner - ABC News

Bill Cosby: Trayvon Martin Case About Guns, Not Race

It's both. Cosby deserves credit for speaking up:

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby says the debate over the killing of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer should be focused on guns, not race.

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" aired Sunday, Cosby said calling George Zimmerman a racist doesn't solve anything. Cosby says the bigger question is what Zimmerman was doing with a gun, and who taught him how to behave with it.
Full article

9th And 10th Companies Drop ALEC

Police: Attackers take over Kabul hotel

Tea Party Movement Looks Stalled; Half Like it Less as they Hear More

Tea Party Movement Looks Stalled; Half Like it Less as they Hear More - ABC News

Fix income inequality with $10 million loans for everyone!

Great idea. The only problem is that you have to be a large corporation that donated to Congress and the Obama administration. Most of us don't qualify:

Are you concerned about growing income inequality in America? Are you resentful of all that wealth concentrated in the 1 percent? I’ve got the perfect solution, a modest proposal that involves just a small adjustment in the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy. Best of all, it will mean that none of us have to work for a living anymore.

For several years now, the Fed has been making money available to the financial sector at near-zero interest rates. Big banks and hedge funds, among others, have taken this cheap money and invested it in securities with high yields. This type of profit-making, called the “carry trade,” has been enormously profitable for them.
Source: Sheila Blair, Washington Post

Tucson Widow Calls for Gun Control

The problem is the politicians don't care. If one of their own got shot down and didn't take action then they never will. Only by taking on the NRA could we get gun laws that protect the American people:

Mavy Stoddard and her husband, Dory, were independent voters who decided to meet their Democratic Representative, Gabby Giffords, at one of her "Congress On Your Corner" events on a Saturday morning last January 8, 2011.

They were the ninth and tenth people in line when the shooting started. Mavy thought she had heard a firecracker. Then she saw a young man with a gun raised about 20 feet away.

"My eyes lit on the shooter as he was pulling the trigger in a shooting stance," Stoddard recalled in an interview at St. Louis City Hall.
Full article

Rumours link Neil Heywood's China death to Cyanide

BBC News - Rumours link Neil Heywood's China death to cyanide

There are unconfirmed rumours that a British businessman thought to have been murdered in China was poisoned.

The allegation appears to have come from a report on a Chinese-language website based outside the country.

The Chinese authorities have made no comment on the rumours.

However he died, the death of Neil Heywood has sent shockwaves through China's political establishment.

White House Opens Door to Big Donors, and Lobbyists Slip In

So really think Obama listens to you? Not unless you have thousands of dollars lying around to give to him. And if you plan to donate $100 to the campaign forget about getting invited to the White House. You ain't a player. Although, there is the occasional lottery-drawing-type invite for the little people:

Although Mr. Obama has made a point of not accepting contributions from registered lobbyists, a review of campaign donations and White House visitor logs shows that special interests have had little trouble making themselves heard. Many of the president’s biggest donors, while not lobbyists, took lobbyists with them to the White House, while others performed essentially the same function on their visits.

More broadly, the review showed that those who donated the most to Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party since he started running for president were far more likely to visit the White House than others. Among donors who gave $30,000 or less, about 20 percent visited the White House, according to a New York Times analysis that matched names in the visitor logs with donor records. But among those who donated $100,000 or more, the figure rises to about 75 percent. Approximately two-thirds of the president’s top fund-raisers in the 2008 campaign visited the White House at least once, some of them numerous times.
Full article