Source: Brian Sylvester of The Energy Report
Pinetree Capital’s Marshall Auerback sees a number of supply/demand imbalances in the energy space, particularly in uranium. "We like uranium because . . . → Full Story: Decoding Energy Investment
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Presented without (very much) comment, because who better to tell you what you need to know about the uprising in Egypt than John Bolton?
Don't tell Roger Ailes, but if you want to watch live coverage from the ground, check out Al-Jazeera's live English-language broadcast.
Stephen Robert Morse was a freelance journalist and videographer working as a poll watcher for the local Republican Party in Philadelphia in 2008 when he got the call of his lifetime.
Members of the New Black Panther Party, he was told, were standing outside a polling place in an overwhelmingly African-American section of the city.
He shot a few minutes of video that day. One of the videos, showing two New Black Panther Party members standing outside of the polling place -- and one of them holding a nightstick -- went viral and was the underpinning of a voter intimidation case brought in the waning days of the Bush administration. That case has since exploded into a political controversy for the Obama Justice Department.
A second video shows cops showing up and taking the two men aside. But there was one part of the video that Election Journal, a website focusing on allegations of voter fraud run by a Republican strategist, didn't see fit to post.
In the extended version of the footage, posted by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights this month, a police officer tells Morse to back off. That's when the commotion begins.
The video shows someone off-screen to Morse's left, telling the officer "I got him, I got him." A man who appears to be Chris Hill, a Republican poll watcher who was accused of intimidating voters at the polls by another woman at the location, says "Put it down. You've got enough."
Then Bartle Bull chimes in. "Don't you threaten him with your hands. You're threatening him. Don't you use your hands!"
Soon an individual seems to grab Morse's arm or his camera -- the screen moves erratically. "I'm a fucking professional videographer," Morse tells the person trying to stop him from filming. "I was paid... to come from L.A. today."
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which has doggedly pursued the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case, released the final version of their report this week, complete with responses from all the commissioners on the panel. Two Democratic commissioners who have dissented from the investigation pointed out the additional footage in their reply and note that while the Justice Department handed over a full copy of the video, the Commission didn't see fit to post it online until this month, far after the report had been finished.
The video shows that the white Republican poll watchers who showed up to the majority African-American precinct knew exactly what kind of media sensation they had on their hands.
"We're on the same team," says another Republican poll watcher off screen.
"You're fucking up the story. Don't fuck up the story," one unidentified poll watcher tells Morse.
"You guys are lawyers, I'm a videographer," Morse says.
Morse told TPM in an e-mail that he doesn't think it was Hill who was intimidating him, but says someone was.
"A couple of guys wearing SUITS were were actually intimidating ME at this point," Morse told TPM in an e-mail. "It was certainly not Mr. Hill who told me to put the camera down. It was one or two GOP lawyers, whose names I never got and I never saw again."
"I remember a crowd of maybe 10 lawyers (or seemingly lawyers, suits I should say, since Bull isn't a lawyer) standing around -- in the original (more famous) video -- one lawyer makes it into one of the shots, but im pretty sure it was another guy -- not the bald guy in the shot -- who was being a dick to me," Morse told TPM in an e-mail. "At least one person was being a dick, and I was quite angry at this point when they were telling me to shut the camera -- hence the expletive (which i make no apologies for using!)."
"Again, I am certain that it was a suit who was yelling at me and trying to make me stop filming, not Hill who is not wearing a suit," he added.
Morse said there is more video out there, at least of couple minutes of it. He saw the footage for the first time today, over two years after the incident took place in Philadelphia.
Notably, J. Christian Adams (the conservative lawyer hired into the Civil Rights Division during the Bush administration) argued that poll watchers like Morse should be protected under the same provision of the law which protects voters from intimidation.
The plan to build a mosque in the southern California community of Temecula will go forward after months of protest from area residents afraid that a home for Muslim worship in their town will bring traffic, flooding and terrorists. Following an eight-hour meeting of the Temecula City Council, where the bitter fight between mosque opponents and supporters of religious freedom in the city were laid bare, council members voted 4-0 at around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to allow the mosque project to go forward. That's left opponents -- who once suggested taunting Temecula Muslims with dogs -- scrambling over what to do next.
Reports from the meeting tell the tale of a contentious gathering that was a microcosm of the Islamophobia that has gripped the right in the past couple years, culminating with the epic struggle over the Park51 cultural center, better known by its critics as the "Ground Zero Mosque."
As the North County Times reported, many of the arguments against the Manhattan mosque project made their way to the Temecula meeting.
"Do not get all indignant," said Temecula resident Thelma McClung, to people in the audience who booed when speakers brought up violence committed by Islamic extremists. "You've got brothers and sisters of your own faith doing things to America and other parts of the world."
That statement came despite urgings from the leader of the mosque opponents that his followers keep away from attacking Islam. George Rombach, head of "Concerned American Citizens" told the Los Angeles Times "he opposes the project because it would greatly increase traffic on nearby streets and accused the city of giving the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley "preferential treatment'" by exempting the proposed mosque from a full environmental review."
But it seemed clear to many that much of the opposition to the mosque came from concerns over Islam in Temecula, which has the reputation of being among the redder cities in the the blue state of California.
From the Times:
During the public hearing, Amy Pina, 42, of Temecula said that assurances from Harmoush and other local Islamic leaders would do nothing to dispel fears of more terrorist attacks by radical Muslims.
"We are not racists and bigots because we are speaking out," Pina said as she addressed the council. "You want to come here, and not abide by our laws, then you can just turn around and find another place to live."
As was seen during the failed dog protest against the mosque, plenty of proponents of the project turned up at the hearing as well. And after hearing from many people, the city council voted 4-0 to deny the appeal by opponents that would have stopped the project from going forward.
Opponents are still figuring out what to do next, but it seems that the decision by the city council may be the end of the organized opposition. Rombach told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that his group will "not challenge" the city council's decision in court.
A statement released by Rombach "read that the group 'will continue to conduct educational seminars with the help of nationally renowned experts on Shariah law' and 'broaden its mission nationally to seek reform through the Islamic authorities.'"
Get a look at what the scene was like Tuesday night (and Wednesday morning) in this report from KTLA:
Developments on the ground in Egypt are moving swiftly. For the minute-to-minute news on the protests and political rest, we've set up our Egypt Wire.[...]
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As events accelerate in Egypt, we've opened TPM's Egypt Wire to bring you the very latest developments. Click that link or so the latest updates on the front page to the right just below the feature. [...]
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Should we cut Social Security to "save" it from cuts?
Just two days after the President pledged during the State of the Union address to improve Social Security "without putting at risk current retirees" and "without slashing benefits for future generations" the program is again being subjected to widespread, misleading attacks in the media.
With the headline Social Security fund will be drained by 2037, AP ran a (since-changed, original is still available here. It is worth comparing the original with the revised.)
op-ed story that began,
Sick and getting sicker, Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037, congressional budget experts said Wednesday in bleaker-than-previous estimates.
The CBO story about Social Security is part of a larger overall budget deficit projection, the result of the recent vote to give more tax cuts to the wealthy. The AP story, widely echoed in the media, is instead focusing only on Social Security. But it is not "news" that the trust fund will be exhausted in 2037 (assuming continuing poor economic and wage growth -- read this and everything Bruce Webb writes about Social Security at Angry Bear), it is the projection that had been understood for years. However, using better economic assumptions that could result from policies that increase the wages of working people and reduce the concentration of wealth the trust fund does not run out at all.
Even so, in 2037, under these bad-case scenarios, Social Security will still be able to pay 78% of projected benefits, which are higher than today's benefits. So in this poor-case scenario, if nothing is done, recipients will face a cut of 22%.
Saying that we need to cut Social Security now because it might -- might -- have to be cut 22% in 2037 is saying we need to cut it to "save" it from cuts.
Deficit Commission Recommendations?
The AP story wrongly stated that the "Deficit Commission" had made recommendations to increase the retirement age and cut the program through reduced cost-of-living increases. In fact the commission was unable to agree on any recommendations.
A debt commission appointed by President Barack Obama has recommended a series of changes to improve Social Security's finances, including a gradual increase in the full retirement age, lower cost-of-living increases and a gradual increase in the threshold on the amount of income subject to the Social Security payroll tax.
Obama, however, has not embraced any of the panel's recommendations. Instead, in his State of the Union speech this week, he called for unspecified bipartisan solutions to strengthen the program while protecting current retirees, future retirees and people with disabilities.
To assist with its anti-Social Security formulation the AP story claimed "experts" (plural) are calling for "reform" by quoting one "expert" (singular) from the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.
Running A Deficit?
Conservative outlets are expanding on the CBO report, claiming that Social Security is running deficits -- as long as you don't cont the interest that the program's bonds earn. For example, note the use of the word "effectively" in CNS' CBO: Social Security to Run $45 Billion Deficit in 2011
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that Social Security will effectively run a $45-billion deficit in 2011 and continue to run deficits totaling $547 billion over the coming decade.
National Review, uses the word "broke" in CBO: Social Security Now Officially Broke, and claims the interest is only "camouflage,"
Today?s CBO report has some bad news about the deficit. But CBO has some really, really bad news about Social Security: It?s officially broke.
... But there?s a bit of camouflage attached: If you include the ?interest? that the federal government ?owes? the fictitious Social Security ?trust fund,? then the program is in the black.
And so on...
Cut The Program To Save It From Cuts?
So does it make sense to cut the program to save it from cuts? The real agenda behind calls for cuts is so that the money does not have to be found elsewhere to repay the trust fund. The trust fund masked the harm done by tax cuts, and undoing tax cuts is what will be needed to pay back the money that working people have set aside for retirement,
Claiming that Social Security needs to be cut, or the retirement age raised, so that Social Security needs less funding is like your bank telling you that you need to cut back on food so they won't have to pay you back the money you put into a savings account.
Update - As this was posted AP released an astonishing new attack, Social Security posting $600B deficit over 10 years. Ignoring the program's huge trust fund and that there is no deficit at all when interest paid to that trust fund is counted, AP writes,
Social Security will post nearly $600 billion in deficits over the next decade as the economy struggles to recover and millions of baby boomers stand at the brink of retirement, according to new congressional projections.
This year alone, Social Security is projected to collect $45 billion less in payroll taxes than it pays out in retirement, disability and survivor benefits, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. That figure swells to $130 billion when a new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included, though Congress has promised to repay any lost revenue from the tax cut.
. . . But the new projections show nothing but red ink until the Social Security trust funds are exhausted in 2037.
As Media Matters has previously noted, recently Fox & Friends presented right-wing radio host Brian Sussman as a climate expert so that he could peddle misinformation to cast doubt on global warming. However, Sussman, a former radio show meteorologist, has a history of making inflammatory comments and is a frequent promoter of "birther" and other conspiracy theories.
SussmanPushes Birther Conspiracy: "Show Us The Birth Certificate." On the December 15,2008, edition of San Francisco radio station KSFO's The Lee Rodgers Show,Sussman stated:
SUSSMAN:Yeah, like if someone involved with the Electoral College says, "There'sjust one little issue. We're looking at the Constitution of the United Statesof America and the requirement is 35 years of age residing in the United Statesso many years, and, oh yeah, citizen." Can we prove the citizenship thingright now please, once and for all? ... Show us the birth certificate, man.Show us the money. It's sealed up in Hawaii? Show it to us. ... Show us thebirth certificate. [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 12/15/08]
Sussman Said Katrina Victims Were "Knuckleheads" Who "Didn'tDecide To Evacuate." While guest-hosting the June 29, 2010,broadcast of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Sussmansaid that although he knew it was "callous" to do so, he called Katrina victims"knuckleheads" who "didn't decide to evacuate." [Clear Channel, The War Roomwith Quinn & Rose, 6/29/10]
Sussman Says Obama Was "Running For Antichrist"And Smeared Obama's Faith. Whileguest-hosting The Lee Rodgers Show on July 28, 2008, Sussman said,referring to then-Sen. Obama's July 24 speech in Berlin, "As I was watching, Icould have sworn he was running for Antichrist." On the July 30, 2008, editionof the show, Sussman attacked Obama's faith, saying, "If Barack Obama were ontrial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence for a jury of hispeers to pronounce him guilty? I doubt it. I think Obama would walk." [KSFO, TheLee Rodgers Show, 7/28/08, 7/30/08]
Sussman Said He Would Bet That "Obama Believes[9/11] Was An Inside Job." Whileguest-hosting the September 11, 2008, editionof The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman said while discussing the 9-11terrorist attacks, "I bet you a buck, man to man, that Obama believes this wasan inside job." [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 9/11/08]
Sussman: "GayAnd Lesbian Radicals Actively Recruit Through Our School." During a June 18, 2008,broadcast of The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman hosted theologian CharlieSelf, whom Sussman referred to as "Dr. History." During the interview, Sussman asked Self: "in termsof marriage, societies have said that, yeah, it's between a man and a woman,and in our society we say, here are the rules: man and a woman, you can't marryanyone under this particular age, you can't marry a family member. So, therules are the same for all of us, Dr. History. But, for some reason, the gayswant to change those rules. I just don't understand it. Talk to me about that."During the same interview, Sussman stated that "gay and lesbian radicalsactively recruit through our schools and the media." [KSFO, The LeeRodgers Show, 6/18/2008]
Sussman: "The Mainstream Media Doesn't Support OurTroops." On the March 5, 2007,broadcast of KSFO's Morgan, Sussman, and Vic, Sussman described TheWashington Post's coverage of deteriorating conditions and inadequate careat Walter Reed Army Medical Center as "stupid reporting," and"ridiculous reporting," adding, "[I]t's just another sign thatthe mainstream media doesn't support our troops. They don't support the mission.God forbid, they don't support the commander-in-chief. It's just the same oldnews." [KSFO, Morgan, Sussman and Vic, 3/5/2007]
Sussman On DADT Repeal: Are You Going To House The "Bisexual Guy"In "Solitary Confinement"? On the December 21, 2010, edition of Fox& Friends, during a discussion of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"repeal, Sussman stated, "This is going to cause guys in the military totake an early exit." Sussman also asked: "What are you going to do interms of housing...for the bisexual guy? He likes guys and gals. Are you goingto put him in solitary confinement?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/21/10]
Sussman Claims We're On Our Way To A "One-Child Policy In ThisCountry." On the January 27, 2009, edition of TheLee Rodgers Show, Sussman compared comments about contraception made bythen-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Nazism and claimed that the U.S. is on itsway to a "one-childpolicy in this country." [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 1/27/09]
Sussman: Left Is "Jealous That They Can't Produce A Liberal WomanThat's As Attractive As" Palin; Calls Frank A "Queen." Onthe December 15, 2008, edition of The LeeRodgers Show, Sussman stated: "I'm noticing this --pictures of [Gov.] Sarah Palin. No getting around it: She's a babe. She reallyis an attractive woman. And the left loathes her for that, if nothing else.They're just jealous that they can't produce a liberal woman that's asattractive." Later, Sussman called openly gayRep. Barney Frank a "queen." [KSFO, The Lee Rodgers Show, 12/15/08]
Sussman On The "Immigrants" Who Shop At Costco: "I Really AndTruly Don't Believe That They Give A Rip About This Country." On theJanuary 26, 2009, edition of The Lee Rodgers Show, Sussman discussed"immigrants" who shop at his local Costco and said, "I reallyand truly don't believe that they give a rip about this country." [LeeRodgers Show, 1/26/09]
Sussman: "Islam Is APhony Faith Created By A Charlatan Named Mohammed." On his website,Sussman wrote a blog titled, "Ground Zero Mosque: as they say in Texas,'Bullsh--'" in which he wrote, "I'll tellyou what I believe is happening here. Either the liberals honestly believe thatIslam is a 'religion of peace' and that Muslims present the Democrats with anew voting block [sic], or they are so terrified of radical Islam that theyfeel appeasement is the most effective means of bridge building." Sussmancontinued by attacking Islam:
Islamhas always sought to take over the world--if not by forced conversion, then bydeath to the infidel. Non-believers are sometimes allowed to exist, but eventhen only as second-class citizens.
Froma theological standpoint, Islam is phony faith created by a charlatan namedMohammed. Mohammed was a slick politician who used a popular moon god to rallyhis pagan Arab brothers into a single religion that marginally mimicked themonotheistic faith of their cousins the Jews.
Mohammedwas also a pervert who married a girl when she was six and consummated themarriage when she was nine.
Mohammedwas also a slave trader who made his money buying and selling humans of all agesand race. Rebellious slaves were castrated, flogged, and killed.
Mohammedplunged a cultured Middle East into war, darkness and fear in the name of hisfictitious god, Allah.
Sussman furtherattacked the Park51 project, claiming "The Ground Zero Mosque, probably likemost mosques even in America, will continue in the tradition of Mohammed. Theirgoal is world domination, hatred of the infidel, and a loathing of the Americanway." [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]
Sussman On ElenaKagan: "Our First Gay Supreme Court Justice?" Sussman linked to anarticle by an organization classified as an anti-gay hate group by the SouthernPoverty Law Center. The article was titled, "How Elena Kaganhelped 'queer' Harvard Law School." Sussman linked to it with the headline, "Our First GaySupreme Court Justice?" [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11;Mass Resistance 06/28/10]
Sussman: "Obama'sReal Agenda: Erase Belief In God." Sussman linked to a WorldNetDaily articlewith the headline,"Obama's Real Agenda: Erase Belief In God." [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]
Sussman: "How Many(Horny) Gay Men Work In The White House?" Sussman linked to a YouTube video on agay-related iPhone app called Grindr with the headline, "How Many (Horny)Gay Men Work In The White House? See This Video." [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed01/27/11]
Sussman PromotedFalse "Noah's Ark" Story. Sussman's website linked to a story featured in the UKtabloid The Sun speculating that Noah's Ark had been found in Turkey.That story was later shown to be a hoax. [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11;The Sun, 04/27/10; FoxNews.com,04/30/10]
Sussman: "I Get SickOf The Idiots Who Believe The Phrase 'Separation Of Church And State' Is FoundIn The Constitution." In the"American Must Reads" section of his website, Sussman linked to aWall Builders post and wrote, "I get sick of the idiots who believe thephrase 'separationof church and state' isfound in the Constitution. Click here to read a wonderful article that providesyou with the truth about this critical issue." [GodGunsandGold.com,accessed 01/27/11]
Sussman:"Through A Myriad Of Phony Environmental Policies" Property Rights Are Being"Eroded." In the "American Must Reads" section of his website, Sussmanwrote, "InKarl Marx's Manifesto, he wrote, 'the theory of theCommunists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of privateproperty.'The choice to own property is a fundamental American right, and yet, through amyriad of phoney [sic] environmental policies, this right is being taken eroded[sic]." [GodGunsandGold.com, accessed 01/27/11]
Hearing anything like this from the normal conspiracy crowd is one thing but from two passengers who were on the flight is strange. And yes it's FOX, but it's local FOX which is an entirely different animal than its national parent.
It's the "Day of Anger" in Egypt and the situation is deteriorating rapidly. CNN is now reporting that opposition leader/Nobel Prize Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, who returned to Egypt yesterday and joined the protest, has now been placed under house arrest. A curfew is in effect -- and Mubarak, the target of the protests may speak soon.
CNN's Ben Wedeman and NBC's Richard Engel are reporting and tweeting (when possible) from Egypt.
Dozens of people were wounded as police and demonstrators fought running street battles in Cairo on Friday in unprecedented protests against President Hosni Mubarak's three-decade rule.Al-Jazeera is providing live coverage here.
Security forces fired rubber bullets, teargas and water cannon at the crowds and baton charged them. The protesters hurled stones back and shouted "Down, Down, Hosni Mubarak."
Witnesses saw dozens of Egyptians bruised, bloodied and fainting. Al Jazeera television said at least one person was killed in a square in central Cairo, although the report could not be confirmed.
Tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets after Friday prayers in by far the biggest of four consecutive days of protests by people fed up with unemployment, poverty, corruption and the lack of freedom under Mubarak.