VOICES FOR CHANGE

Cheap Talk at the Fed
Dean Baker
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Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen made waves in her Congressional testimony last week when she argued that social media and biotech stocks were over-valued. She also said that the price of junk bonds was out of line with historic experience. By making these assertions in a highly visible public forum, Yellen was using the power of the Fed’s megaphone to stem the growth of incipient bubbles. This is an approach that some of us have advocated for close to twenty ...

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Citigroup’s $7 Billion Wrist Slap
Jim Hightower
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When Citigroup accepted what the media hailed as a whopping $7 billion penalty for defrauding its own investors and wrecking our economy, the bank just shrugged.

 

“We believe that this settlement is in the best interest of our shareholders and allows us to move forward and to focus on the future,” Citi CEO Michael Corbat said.

 

Note the lack of any regret, apology, or shame. And the total absence of any pledge that the bankers won’t do ...

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Can a $7 Billion Penalty Be a Good Deal?
Jim Hightower
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Media outlets across the country trumpeted the stunning news with headlines like this: "Citigroup Punished."

At last, went the storyline, the Justice Department brought down ...

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Professor of Chemistry Turns India’s Plastic Trash into Useable Roadways
Christina Sarich
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Scenes from the movie Slumdog Millionaire accurately depict India’s latest consumer-influenced economy. Tree groves are littered with a rainbow color of plastic bags like some kind of ominous carnival wreckage. Plastic bottles, candy wrappers, and other ‘garbage’ liters the streets in a land where city officials have long forsaken their duties of providing a pristine infrastructure to its inhabitants, but a professor of chemistry in Madurai, India ...

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Requiem for the American Century
Tom Engelhardt
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First Paragraphs on Turning 70 in the American Century That Was

* Seventy-three years ago, on February 17, 1941, as a second devastating global war approached, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life magazines, called on his countrymen to “create the first great American Century.”  Luce died in 1967 at age 69.  Life, the pictorial magazine no home would have been without in my 1950s ...

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Citigroup: The Original Gangsta
Robert Scheer
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Barack Obama’s Justice Department on Monday announced that Citigroup would pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with the seamy financial products the bank had marketed to an unsuspecting public, causing vast damage to the economy.

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Border Crisis Tests Religious Faith, and Some Fail Badly
Joe Conason
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Flamboyant piety has long been fashionable on the political right, where activists, commentators and elected officials never hesitate to hector us about their great moral and theological rectitude. Wielding the Scriptures like a weapon, these righteous right-wingers are always eager to condemn the alleged sins of others but reluctant to examine their own. They seem to spend far more time in posturing and preening than spiritual reflection. Rarely does anyone call them out on ...

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A Local Fight for the Future of the Internet
David Sirota
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The business lobby often demands that government get out of the way of private corporations, so that competition can flourish and high-quality services can be efficiently delivered to as many consumers as possible. Yet, in an epic fight over telecommunications policy, the paradigm is now being flipped on its head, with ...

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World Bank and IMF Lies on Parade
Christina Sarich
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Monetary conspiracy? Global trade reset? Cabal inspired one world currency? What exactly is the World Bank and IMF up to?

A World Bank report just issued said that China’s economy was about to dwarf the US economy, and World Bank’s lawyer, Karen Hudes, who supposedly never left, but became a ‘whistleblower’ has been all over Youtube talking about high financial crimes and corruption, yet she was recently in Tokyo and sent ...

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Cargill’s Integrity-Free Soybean Oil
Jim Hightower
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Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?

I don’t think so. But Cargill Inc. is doing its damndest to invalidate the old admonition that eating your cake today means not having it tomorrow.

As a leading producer and user of ingredients that contain genetically manipulated organisms, the food conglomerate with $136.7 billion in yearly sales faces a marketing problem: By huge margins, consumers here and around the ...

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Fun Accounting and the Export-Import Bank
Dean Baker
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The establishment types in Washington have become really worried in recent weeks because one of their major troughs, the Export-Import Bank, may not be reauthorized by Congress. The Ex-Im Bank has long been a favored source of below market loans for Boeing, General Electric, and other major companies. If these companies have to pay market interest rates on their loans, it will cost them ...

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Suing Obamacare is Washington’s Summer Rerun
Froma Harrop
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On television, summer reruns are becoming a thing of the past. Noting a jump in demand for fresh entertainment in the hot months, TV execs are responding with original programming.

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Border Children: ‘They Don’t Speak English, but They Understand Hate’
Amy Goodman
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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas put a prominent, public face on the immigration crisis this week when he was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas. After a number of hours and a national outcry, he was released. He first revealed his status as an undocumented immigrant three years ago in a New York Times Magazine article, and has since made changing U.S. immigration policy his primary work. Vargas was in Texas to support the thousands of undocumented ...

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Vibrations in Vegetables: Energetics in Process of Photosynthesis Could Boost Solar Power Efficiency
Christina Sarich
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For all those who think the adage, ‘everything is vibration’ is a bunch of bunkum, check this out: biophysics researchers have discovered that molecular vibrations deep within our vegetables help them to process light for photosynthesis, the primary way a plant metabolizes energy from the sun. This discovery could lead to more efficient solar arrays and better energy storage.

 

Utilizing short pulses of light to peer inside spinach leaves to see how the ...

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The Rise of the Non-Working Rich
Robert Reich
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In a new Pew poll, more than three quarters of self-described conservatives believe “poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything.”

In reality, most of America’s poor work hard, often in two or more jobs.

The real non-workers are the wealthy who inherit their fortunes. And their ranks are growing. 

In fact, we’re on the cusp of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in ...

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History is Calling
Jim Hightower
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Most of us celebrated July 4 by barbequing, doing a few 12-ounce elbow bends and setting off some fireworks. Some of us might have paused for a moment to reflect on that thing Jefferson wrote about 238 years ago: The Declaration of Independence.

"We the People" are faced — right now — with another of those "when in the course of human events" moments Jefferson wrote about. Not only is this a month to reconnect with our revolutionary heritage but ...

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Monsanto Hides Toxicity Test Results on RoundUp, Calling them ‘Commercial’ Secret
Christina Sarich
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Talking about Monsanto’s latest attempt to obstruct justice, halt transparency, and prevent people from stopping their seed and herbicide businesses from spreading is starting to seem redundant, but the company just keeps acting in increasingly objectionable ways. Now, the company is refusing to release to the public lab tests conducted in St. Louis, Missouri, which gave them authority to use glyphosate in China.

Just months ago, Chinese food safety volunteers ...

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North Carolina’s Moral Freedom Summer
Jim Hightower
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The Moral Monday movement is mobilizing again.

This feisty coalition, based in North Carolina, is an inspiring model of workaday people coming together ...

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Israel is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’
Chris Hedges
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Raul Hilberg in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,” Hilberg wrote.

The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar ...

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Borderline Behavior: GOP Demands Action, Blocks Solutions and Always Complains
Joe Conason
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Listening to Republicans in Washington (and Texas and Arizona) scream about the "crisis" of migrant children arriving from Central America on our southern border, it is puzzling to realize they don't actually want to do anything to solve the problem. Nor do these hysterical politicians — led by that down-home diva Rick Perry, the governor of Texas — want to let President Barack Obama do anything, either.

Except that they insist the president absolutely must ...

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The Bad Boss Tax
Sarah Jaffe
Op-Ed
US Empire Reaches Breaking Point; Time to End It
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Op-Ed
POLITICAL IMAGE
INFOGRAPHICWORLD
Infographic
The Trade Delusion
Adair Turner
Op-Ed
Tea Party Ccandal Brews FOIA Backlog at FEC
Dave Levinthal
News Investigation

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Tax Evasion

U.S. President Barack Obama calls for an end to corporate tax loopholes

Inversion...it could cost the US an estimated $17 billion in revenue over the next decade if we don't change this.

Immigration

Thousands of Unaccompanied Migrants this Year Were Under the Age of 13

It's still mostly teens that travel solo to the United States, but an alarming 7,500 kids under are 13.

Wall Street

Wall Street Reform is Still in Limbo

GOP sabotage and bureaucratic foot-dragging have combined to prevent full implementation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

Obamacare

Lawsuit Over Obamacare Subsidy for Congress Dismissed

A federal judge has thrown out a U.S. Senator’s legal challenge to a part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

Corporate Tax

Giant US Corporations that are Hurting the American Taxpayer

Corporations get enormous benefits, like limited liability, that regular “persons” do not.

Politics

Florida Governor’s Campaign Backed by Private Prison CEO

Rick Scott will attend a $10,000 per person fundraiser at the home of a deep pocketed donor who just happens to make millions on incarcerations.

Gaza Strip

The Crisis in Gaza is Immortal, It’s Time We Talk About It

The death toll in Gaza is unacceptable and it’s time mainstream media talks honestly about it.

California Economy

Six Californias?

The goal remains a mystery.

U.S. Economy

The House Passes Transportation Fund Extension through May 2015

The $10.9 billion extension overwhelmingly passed on Tuesday.

Drought

California’s Drought to Cost the State Billions of Dollars

The state is in a severe drought and the economic terms of the disaster are crippling.

Mortgage Crisis

Citigroup to Pay $7 Billion to Settle Federal Investigation into Subprime Mortgages

The announcement came after it was determined that Citigroup helped bring on the financial crisis.

Military Budget

New Chief of Marine’s Aviation Wants to Curb Spending in Upcoming Budget

Lieutenant General Jon Davis plans to “hold down big wish lists” to upgrade existing warplanes and helicopters.

U.S. History

1914-2014: A Century that Went to Hell

From a failed economy to a collapsed foreign policy, this past century went down in a blaze of shame.

National Security

Top American Intelligence Official Asked to Leave Berlin Embassy

The spying scandal reflects the deep anger Angela Merkel’s government has toward suspected NSA spy programs.

Food Health

Foster Farms Argue Over the Definition of ‘Recall’

After a government-mandate shutdown of one of their plants, Foster Farms is fighting against its London insurers since they constituted a recall under the terms of the company’s insurance.

Immigration

There is a Growing Push Back to the H-1B Visa Program

Many Americans believe that the program has been hijacked by staffing companies who are importing cheaper labor to the U.S.

Immigration

California Residents Continue to Protest Central American Immigrants

Residents of Murrieta, California flocked to the U.S.-Mexico border where some 140 undocumented families from Central America were said to arrive by bus from Texas.

Politics

Founding Fathers Feared a Powerful 1 Percent

While we celebrate Independence Day, remember that our founding fathers warned against income inequality.

Job Creation

Unemployment Rate at Six-Year Low, While Job Growth Surges

U.S. employment growth increased, while the jobless rate decreased in June to closeout on a six-year low.

Gun Rights

Target Rejects Open-Carry in Stores

Target joins a growing list of corporations who rejected the open-carry law in their stores.

FROM THE BLOGS

Richard Fisher, the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, commented on Tuesday [1] of this ...
Last week, WikiLeaks released a single chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. ...
Yes, it is holiday season once again. The stock market has just set /all time /highs. /Black ...
A federal court in New York has recently ruled that in case of wrongful termination of ...
*“If nature were a bank, they would have already rescued it.” – Eduardo Galeano* What do you ...
*The Republican howling about 'Obamacare' continues with little change in emphasis, although ...
*Why it’s good to go green!* Reducing CO2 emissions seems to be a thing of the moment, whether ...
*What happened?* The US government has undergone a partial shutdown recently, based on ...
/People who own the world outright for profit will have to be stopped; by influence, by power, ...
Part I - Going Backward   In the eighteenth century the West shifted from mercantilism to ...
Part I - Poverty   Most of the poverty in the United States is artificially manufactured [1]. ...
I have been deeply troubled by the recent statements that Mel Watt should be confirmed as the ...
You don’t have to search the internet for the truth. Sometimes it is right in front of you… ...
October 17th marked the day that the United States government finally reopened its daily ...
Buying a condo in the DC metropolitan area can be a good decision right now. You have to find ...
The housing market trends continue to be encouraging to home buyers. Now, buyers can find ...
When you are about to sell your home, you intend to get the best prices in the deal. This ...
Appraisals have been a largely contentious issue lately. Many homeowners are always uncertain ...
The Rancho Santa Fe region continues remaining as one of the most expensive housing markets in ...
Real estate is essentially a profession very high in social quotient. In fact, the industry is ...