Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wisconsin State Election Board Failed to Review Minutes From Waukesha County "Recount" Before Certifying Supreme Court Election Results

Source: Truthout

Last Monday, May 23rd, Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board (GAB), the state's top election agency, officially certified [PDF] the controversial results of the extraordinarily close April 5th statewide Supreme Court election and its subsequent "recount."

However, as The BRAD BLOG has learned, the agency certified those results without reviewing hundreds of official exhibits documenting wholesale ballot irregularities, on-the-record objections from the attorneys of the candidate who filed for the "recount," and thousands of pages of official transcripts and minutes documenting the entire "recount" process from the election's most controversial county.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Truthout.
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Monday, May 30, 2011

Married Couples Are No Longer a Majority, Census Finds

Source: NYTimes.com

Married couples represented just 48 percent of American households in 2010, according to data being made public by the Census Bureau and analyzed by the Brookings Institution. This was slightly less than in 2000, but far below the 78 percent of households occupied by married couples in 1950. What is more, just a fifth of households were traditional families —married couples with children —down from about a quarter a decade ago, and from 43 percent in 1950, as the iconic image of the American family continues to break apart.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at NYTimes.com.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Obama Didn't Shift U.S. Policy On Israel -- A Look Back At The Record

Source: TPMDC

Bush and Clinton also suggested Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations beginning around 1967 borders along with land swaps.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at TPMDC.
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Lone Star State, a No-Fly Zone? Why Texas Dropped Its Anti-TSA ‘Groping’ Bill

Source: TIME.com

Although Texas is notorious for advocating for states' rights —Gov. Rick Perry has openly suggested secession —state officials had to drop a bid to prevent TSA agents from conducting "invasive searches" after the federal government threatened to shut down all airports in Texas.

Last week the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for TSA agents to "intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person." But as the Texas Senate debated the bill Wednesday, support for its passage began to thin. Why? Because the federal government had intervened to warn that if the bill passed, all airports in Texas could get shut down.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at TIME.com.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fed Gave Banks Crisis Gains on Secretive Loans

Source: Bloomberg

In 2008, many US and international banks borrowed from a Federal Reserve emergency lending program whose details weren’t revealed to shareholders, members of Congress or the public. The $80 billion initiative, called single-tranche open-market operations, or ST OMO, made 28-day loans from March through December 2008, a period in which confidence in global credit markets collapsed after the Sept. 15 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Units of 20 banks were required to bid at auctions for the cash. They paid interest rates as low as 0.01 percent that December, when the Fed’s main lending facility charged 0.5 percent. “This was a pure subsidy,” said Robert A. Eisenbeis, former head of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and now chief monetary economist at Sarasota, Florida-based Cumberland Advisors Inc. “The Fed hasn’t been forthcoming with disclosures overall. Why should this be any different?”

After the Fed created other lending mechanisms and the Treasury Department began distributing money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program in October, ST OMO became “just a way for banks to have at it,” said Michael Greenberger, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore and former director of the division of markets and trading at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. ‘Profit-Making Enterprise’ “At such low interest rates, it’s no longer a rescue, it’s a profit-making enterprise,” Greenberger said. “By December, a lot of money was made off this program.”

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Bloomberg.
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There’s a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says

Source: Danger Room | Wired.com

You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know. Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday.

Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation —an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Danger Room | Wired.com
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Bernanke QE2 Averts Deflation, Spurs Rally, Expands Credit as Program Ends

First, read this quote:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

-- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of US (1743 -1826)

Now read this Bloomberg article..

Was Jefferson right? Is this "great news" really all that great?
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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blackwater Founder Forms Secret Army for Arab State

Source: NYTimes.com

Dozens of Colombian men entered the United Arab Emirates posing as construction workers. In fact, they were soldiers for a secret American-led mercenary army being built by Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater Worldwide.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at NYTimes.com
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Osama bin Laden mission agreed in secret 10 years ago by US and Pakistan

Source: The Guardian

The US and Pakistan struck a secret deal almost a decade ago permitting a US operation against Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil similar to last week's raid that killed the al-Qaida leader. The deal was struck between the military leader General Pervez Musharraf and President George W. Bush after Bin Laden escaped US forces in the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001, according to serving and retired Pakistani and US officials.

Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaida No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.
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Green energy: Orlando produces green energy from sewage -

Source: OrlandoSentinel.com

"We call it poop to power in five minutes." Orlando has partnered with a company to build a reactor that heats sludge to more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit and applies extremely high pressure. The water reaches a supercritical state between liquid and gas, destroys more than 99 percent of organic matter and produces heat that can easily be captured and used to power an electrical turbine.

Apparently sludge holds about as much energy as coal. The reactor leaves behind inorganic salts, clean water and liquid carbon dioxide. Orlando city officials think they can make money from the byproducts. Carbon dioxide could be sold to beverage companies, and the powdery salts are mostly phosphates that could be used by fertilizer manufacturers.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at OrlandoSentinel.com
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Torture May Have Slowed Hunt For Bin Laden, Not Hastened It

Source: Huffington Post

Defenders of the Bush administration’s interrogation policies have claimed vindication from reports that bin Laden was tracked down in small part due to information received from brutalized detainees some six to eight years ago. But that sequence of events --even if true --doesn’t demonstrate the effectiveness of torture, these experts say. Rather, it indicates bin Laden could have been caught much earlier had those detainees been interrogated properly.

"I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden," said an Air Force interrogator who goes by the pseudonym Matthew Alexander and located Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Source: Huffington Post
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Security experts slam Wall Street Journal’s attempt to rival WikiLeaks

Source: RAW STORY

The Wall Street Journal claims that its SafeHouse site is located on secure servers, and it promises potential whistleblowers anonymity and the use of file encryption. However, internet security and privacy experts have already concluded that the site is anything but secure.

... the Journal’s Terms of Use explicitly state, “Except when we have a separately negotiated confidentiality agreement… we reserve the right to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities or to a requesting third party, without notice, in order to comply with any applicable laws and/or requests under legal process, to operate our systems properly, to protect the property or rights of Dow Jones or any affiliated companies, and to safeguard the interests of others.”

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at RAW STORY.
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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Osama Bin Laden Didnt Win But He Was Enormously Successful

Source: Washingtonpost.com

Superpowers are so allergic to losing that they’ll bankrupt themselves trying to conquer a mass of rocks and sand. This was bin Laden’s plan for the United States, too.

“He has compared the United States to the Soviet Union on numerous occasions — and these comparisons have been explicitly economic,” Gartenstein-Ross argued in a Foreign Policy article. “For example, in October 2004 bin Laden said that just as the Arab fighters and Afghan mujaheddin had destroyed Russia economically, al Qaeda was now doing the same to the United States, ‘continuing this policy in bleeding
America to the point of bankruptcy.’ ”

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Washingtonpost.com.
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