Friday, April 1, 2011

Crisis? What Crisis? Average Bank Pay Kept Rising at the Same Rate

It doesn't appear that the banking sector has been suffering like the rest of the country since the subprime mortgage crisis triggered the "Great Recession," according to this report from ProPublica.

Fukushima update: Frustration, tragedy, heroism and spreading contamination

Greenpeace has done an excellent job following the continuing nuclear disaster in Japan and filed this update on several aspects of the tragedy. It is truly a horrifying situation that continues to get worse with radiation leaking into the ocean and terrible human suffering.

This photo is of the damaged reactor Unit 3 at the Fukushima nuclear compound, and was taken by an unmanned drone.

As Voter ID Laws Spread Across Statehouses, House GOP Telegraphs Anti-Voter Fraud Bill

TMP reports that there are at least 27 state-level Voter ID laws being introduced by GOP lawmakers in what appears to be an effort to reduce Democratic turnout in the next general election. Students in particular are being targeted by restrictions that would deny University-issued Student IDs to qualify voters at the polls in Wisconsin and Ohio, requiring DMV-issued ID instead.

Evidence Undercuts Oil Companies’ Argument That Disclosures Would Violate Foreign Laws

ProPublica reports on efforts by Oil and Mining companies to avoid disclosure of their payments to foreign governments as required by Dodd-Frank reforms.

Who Blocked the Whistleblower Protection Act?

Apparently the Whistleblower Protection Act was blocked with a 'secret hold' by an unnamed US Senator, and The Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch has been trying to identify the politician ever since.

Republican attack on unions costing them big with Republican-leaning union members

If the police and firefighter unions threatened by the extremist GOP anti-labor agenda in Ohio under Gov. Kasich (above), join with others to fight for collective bargaining and other labor rights that are being stripped away by Republican legislatures all over the country, it would be a huge boost to the movement to remove the zealots from office.

Many Conservatives reject the Tea Party's paranoid views...'s_paranoid_views/?page=1

Where the Bailout Went Wrong

Neil M. Barofsky was the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program from 2008 and resigned on Monday, the 29th. His assessment is that broken promises by the Treasury Department to protect homeowners and Main Street interests have resulted in the TARP program being nothing more than a handout to the nation's banks. Meanwhile, the biggest banks are 20% larger than before the bailout and control more of our economy than ever. Promises to begin lending again have been broken and the home mortgage modification program was undermined by the preference of banks to foreclose rather than modify troubled mortgages. And, yes, millions of Americans continue to face foreclosures at the hands of the banks that were saved with public funds.

Obama and American exceptionalism

Glenn Greenwald argues that the concept of "American exceptionalism" is often applied to various US military interventions, and questions whether the concept is true, well-grounded, and should serve as a premise for actions around the world.

In The Public Interest: An Unacceptable Risk, Two Decades of "Close Calls," Leaks and Other Problems at U.S. Nuclear Reactors

Is the danger of widespread essentially permanent nuclear contamination worth the risk of continued investment in nuclear power plants? I don't think so.

Regulators Aware For Years Of Understated Seismic Risks To Nuclear Plants in the U.S. 

US had 'near-miss' accidents at Indian Point and 13 other reactors last year.

Farmers Sue Monsanto Over GMO Seeds

Farmers seek to restrain Monsanto's ability to sue organic farmers whose crop have been contaminated by their patented GM seeds. You see, when the wind blows GM seeds onto your field companies like Monsanto, Syngenta and BayerCropLife have the right to sue for patent infringement. Through contamination of non-GM crops, Monsanto's 'intellectual property' could wipe out organic farms. Hundreds of such suits have already put many farmers out of business.

Consolidation of the seed market reduces the availability of conventional non-GMO seeds.

Supreme Court’s June 2010 ruling on Monsanto’s GE alfalfa gives consumer groups a new legal weapon, "gene flow."

This ten-minute YouTube video does a good job of illustrating the risks posed to health by Monsanto and other biotech company's reckless proliferation of genetically modified organisms.

Factory Fish Farming Set for Expansion - Why This is a Bad Idea

Food & Water Watch details the legion of issues that make factory farm fishing a potential menace to the renewable resource that the factory fishing fleets are already decimating: fish in the oceans of the world.

Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions

The growing GOP assault on voters rights is not limited to anti-labor measures that strip workers of bargaining rights, or anti-regulatory measures that weaken the EPA, but extend, naturally, to social issues such as renewed attempts to weaken women's right to choose.

Florida tries to make it illegal to mention 'wombs' on the state house floor.

Anger and abandonment in a Japanese nuclear ghost town,0,6683638.story?track=rss&utm_