Saturday, April 21, 2012

ACORN founder says Barack Obama helped bring down group

Obama has thrown all his biggest supporters under the bus. Unfortunately, there are still fooled by this fraud:

Conservative videographer/activist James O'Keefe, and the late Andrew Breitbart, a right-wing Internet publisher, still get the credit for toppling ACORN. But ACORN founder Wade Rathke of New Orleans said President Barack Obama deserves credit for an assist.

In an online book salon on the left-wing site, Firedoglake, Rathke, who relinquished the ACORN helm before the O'Keefe/Breitbart controversy, said the group's fall also had something to do with the fact that the former community organizer that ACORN helped put in the White House buckled under the pressure mounted by Breitbart and O'Keefe.

"I'm not saying (ACORN"s leadership) thought they were going to be sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom, but unlike an old, cynical street organizer like myself, they may have thought unrealistically that they would have some access and some input," said Rathke.

"When Obama turned tail and ran from them in the election and then threw them under the bus on the video ... I think that sucked the soul out of some of the folks who had strategized a new role for ACORN and its members from his presidency. That was clearly never going to happen anyway, but to the degree some were betting heavily on that as a way to pull out of the spiral, it was clearly not going to occur."

BofA board $20 million settlement called inadequate


Bank of America Corp directors, who were sued by shareholders for allegedly paying too much for Merrill Lynch & Co in 2008, must defend a proposed $20 million settlement of the claims in federal court in New York, court papers show.

Calling the settlement "grossly inadequate," lawyers in a similar Delaware case have asked P. Kevin Castel, the judge overseeing the New York matter, to order the parties agreeing to the deal to justify its terms.

Castel directed that parties submit necessary documents by May 4.

The New York Times first reported that the Delaware plaintiffs objected to the settlement in New York as inadequate.

Damages in the case could reach $5 billion, according to the plaintiffs in the case being handled in Delaware Chancery Court, the paper said.

Larry Grayson, spokesman for BofA, declined to comment on the matter.

Lawyers in the Delaware case complained that if the settlement in New York were approved, their clients' damages claims would be wiped out ahead of a scheduled October trial, the newspaper said.

1 Out of 3 G.I. Deaths Are Suicides, a New U.S. Epidemic Among Veterans

1 Out of 3 G.I. Deaths Are Suicides, a New U.S. Epidemic Among Veterans

 For every two American combatants killed by enemy action, one more dies by suicide. The Department of Defense reports that in the last 10 years 4,989 military personnel have been killed in action in Afghanistan and Iraq, while in the same period 2,293 active duty personnel have taken their own lives. American veterans of these and other wars account for 20% of U.S. suicides. The reality is that this country is now facing an epidemic of dire national security and humanitarian consequences as an increasing segment of our military population is turning to suicide.

Direct causes of this upward trend largely stem from issues of mental health which include traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, survivor’s guilt as well as increased drug and alcohol dependency. These are often exacerbated by the transition to civilian life that removes many of the previous support networks of service life.

Economic issues are also prevalent, as veterans often find themselves in trying financial situations as they attempt to reintegrate into a civilian society with high unemployment where the few jobs available have little demand for military skills. It does not help that the while the Veteran’s Administration budget of $138 billion has almost quadrupled since the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is still woefully inadequate to serve expanding veteran numbers and requirements.

Wal-Mart Hushed up vast Mexico Bribery Case

Wal-Mart hushed up vast Mexico bribery case

 In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.

The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico.

Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. In a confidential report to his superiors, Wal-Mart’s lead investigator, a former F.B.I. special agent, summed up their initial findings this way: “There is reasonable suspicion to believe that Mexican and USA laws have been violated.”

The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation.

Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.

Neither American nor Mexican law enforcement officials were notified. None of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s leaders were disciplined. Indeed, its chief executive, Eduardo Castro-Wright, identified by the former executive as the driving force behind years of bribery, was promoted to vice chairman of Wal-Mart in 2008. Until this article, the allegations and Wal-Mart’s investigation had never been publicly disclosed.

But The Times’s examination uncovered a prolonged struggle at the highest levels of Wal-Mart, a struggle that pitted the company’s much publicized commitment to the highest moral and ethical standards against its relentless pursuit of growth.

Afghan plot foiled, 11 tons of explosives seized

Afghan plot foiled, 11 tons of explosives seized

Officials said they have foiled a plot for a major attack by militants on the Afghan capital.

They said five Taliban fighters - Afghans and Pakistanis - were arrested in connection with the plan.

Afghan security forces seized almost 11 tons of explosives hidden in a truckload of potatoes from Pakistan.

Authorities said Saturday another three people were arrested in connections with another planned attack, an assassination attempt against the vice president.

Your Computer may be at Risk, FBI Warns


For computer users, a few mouse clicks could mean the difference between staying online and losing Internet connections this summer.

Unknown to most of them, their problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of infected computers around the world. In a highly unusual response, the FBI set up a safety net months ago using government computers to prevent Internet disruptions for those infected users. But that system is to be shut down.

The FBI is encouraging users to visit a website run by its security partner, , that will inform them whether they're infected and explain how to fix the problem. After July 9, infected users won't be able to connect to the Internet.

Most victims don't even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their Web surfing and disabled their anti-virus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

Study: 26% of Americans Had Health Insurance Gap Last Year

So much for Obamacare:

As common Americans wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of health care reform laws, a new study was released that shows that a large minority of Americans had a gap in their coverage in 2011. According to the Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Tracking Survey of U.S. Adults, the equivalent of 48 million Americans were uninsured at some point during 2011.

The primary driving factors in the gap in health insurance was causes by losses or changes in jobs of either the individual or the spouse. The survey includes 2,100 adults in the United States from the ages of 19 to 64.

Of the people who reported a health insurance gap, 69% said that they did not have insurance for more than a year, while 57% reported that they didn't have health insurance for more than two years. The survey found that almost 50% of those who tried to get insurance over the last three years did not purchase a plan on the individual insurance market. Nearly two-thirds of them reported that the premiums were too expensive, while one-third reported that they were turned down for insurance, had prices raised or were excluded for a pre-existing condition.

Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor

Another example of how our basic freedoms are under attack by the government. And this administration has central to that attack on our rights:

A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites.

Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names.

The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY's reporting on the military's "information operations" program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan — campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored.

For example, Internet domain registries show the website was created Jan. 7 — just days after Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook first contacted Pentagon contractors involved in the program. Two weeks after his editor Ray Locker's byline appeared on a story, someone created a similar site,, through the same company.

If the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption.

"We're not aware of any participation in such activities, nor would it be acceptable," said Lt. Col. James Gregory, a Pentagon spokesman.

A Pentagon official confirmed that the military had made inquiries to information operations contractors to ask them about the Internet activity. All denied it, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the inquiries were informal and did not amount to an official investigation.

The websites were taken down following those inquiries. Various other sites and accounts were removed for violating their providers' terms of service.

"I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility," Vanden Brook said.
Full article from USA Today

UN probes claim China broke N. Korea sanctions: report

UN probes claim China broke N. Korea sanctions: report

 United Nations officials are investigating allegations that China supplied technology for a North Korean missile launcher in a possible breach of UN sanctions, a leading defence journal said Thursday.

IHS Jane's Defence Weekly quoted a senior official close to a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee as saying that an associated panel of experts was "aware of the situation and will pursue enquiries".

The committee is tasked with monitoring breaches of sanctions against the North's missile and nuclear programmes. It is advised by the expert panel.

The 16-wheel launcher, carrying an apparently new medium-range missile, was on show Sunday at a big military parade in Pyongyang to mark the centenary of the birth of the North's founder Kim Il-Sung.

IHS Janes's reported earlier that China appeared to have supplied either the design or the actual vehicle to the North.

Obama‘s Video Message Booed at Boston’s Fenway Park

Obama‘s Video Message Booed at Boston’s Fenway Park |