We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for April 4th, 2011

That would never happen here

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:45 am by HL

That would never happen here
The son succeeding the father without first winning an election, preposterous!

supreme court by afagen at flickr.com

This sounds vaguely familiar:

Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s son Seif el-Islam is proposing a resolution to the Libyan conflict that would entail his father relinquishing power for a transition to constitutional democracy under his son’s direction, a diplomat with close ties to the Libyan government said Sunday, citing “eminent people” in Tripoli.

See that’s not democracy. Having some spoiled brat born into wealth take over the reigns of government from his father after a short period of time — without actually winning an election? No self-respecting nation would ever legally sanction that sort of crap without five Supreme Court justices available to rubber-stamp it. Learn how its done properly Tripoli.

Bombs away then I guess.


Wachovia and the Mexican Drug Money

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

Wachovia and the Mexican Drug Money
A new Guardian exposé  points an accusing finger at Wachovia Bank, which was recently purchased by Wells Fargo, for its alleged negligence in allowing the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel to launder billions of dollars through the U.S. banking system. —JCL The Guardian: On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel. During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo. The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller’s cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war. Read more

A new Guardian exposé? points an accusing finger at Wachovia Bank, which was recently purchased by Wells Fargo, for its alleged negligence in allowing the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel to launder billions of dollars through the U.S. banking system. —JCL

The Guardian:

On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.

During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.

The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller’s cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war.

Read more

Related Entries



HuffPost Radio: Both Sides Now w/ Huffington and Matalin: Libya-Iraq, Birthers-Church, Social-Fiscal

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

HuffPost Radio: Both Sides Now w/ Huffington and Matalin: Libya-Iraq, Birthers-Church, Social-Fiscal
Mary and sit-in Wayne Barrett debate how March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion — Shutdown Washington? Shutdown nuclear? Shutdown Gaddafii?

Robert Kuttner: Changing the Tone in Washington
“I ran for president to do two things — to change the tone of bitter partisanship in Washington, and to accomplish constructive economic change so that more Americans can share the blessings of prosperity.” That’s what the leader I thought I was voting for would say. When Obama eventually gets a budget deal, it doesn’t matter to him that it’s mostly on Republican terms. The bounce in the polls that he enjoyed in the aftermath of a craven tax cut deal is used as the object lesson in the value of the president as compromiser in chief. But that bounce has pretty well evaporated.

Tobias Barrington Wolff: Labor and the LGBT Community
Labor rights is an LGBT issue. Showing up to help labor in their current struggle is not an act of altruism, it is the satisfaction of a reciprocal obligation.


Pro Gun Group Claims Obama Has Secret ‘Freedom Crushing Plan’ For Second Amendment

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Pro Gun Group Claims Obama Has Secret ‘Freedom Crushing Plan’ For Second Amendment
When it comes to the thorny issue of guns, President Barack Obama is finding it difficult to please anyone. Gun control groups are dissatisfied with his progress on the issue, though a recent meeting with Obama administration officials about reducing…


Lawyer For Ex-ACORN Employee To James O’Keefe: You’re No Ashton Kutcher
A lawyer for a former employee of the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) who was secretly recorded by James O’Keefe is calling bull on O’Keefe’s claims that the First Amendment protected his actions.


911 Call Alleges Bradley Manning Threatened Stepmom With Knife
A Frontline investigation reveals that alleged Wikileaks source Pfc. Bradley Manning threatened his stepmother with a knife in 2006. Manning’s father, Brian Manning, in an interview with Frontline said the incident spawned from a discussion of Bradley Manning needing to…



Clowns Without Pity No. 2: Michele Bachmann

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Clowns Without Pity No. 2: Michele Bachmann


Early Polls Still Matter

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Early Polls Still Matter
Nate Silver makes the case that “contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, national polls of primary voters — even this far out from the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary — do have a reasonable amount of predictive power in informing us as to the identity of the eventual nominee. That doesn’t mean that these polls are the only thing you should look at, or even necessarily the first thing, but they are a perfectly valid way to do some initial handicapping.”

Huckabee Wins Straw Poll in South Carolina
Mike Huckabee won a presidential straw poll in South Carolina over the weekend, despite showing few signs of wanting to mount another bid for the nation’s highest executive office, CNN reports.

Huckabee got 23% of the vote in the straw poll. Following him were Newt Gingrich with 11% support and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) with 10%.


The Truth About the Economy that Nobody In Washington Or On Wall Street Will Admit: We’re Heading Back Toward a Double Dip

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

The Truth About the Economy that Nobody In Washington Or On Wall Street Will Admit: We’re Heading Back Toward a Double Dip
Why aren’t Americans being told the truth about the economy? We’re heading in the direction of a double dip – but you’d never know it if you listened to the upbeat messages coming out of Wall Street and Washington. Consumers…


Why Gov. LePage Can’t Erase History, And Why We Need a Fighter In The White House
Maine Governor Paul LePage has ordered state workers to remove from the state labor department a 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labor history. Among other things the mural illustrates the 1937 shoe mill strike in Auburn and Lewiston. It also…



VIDEO: Fox?s Brit Hume Is Left Speechless When Asked About G.E. Paying Zero Federal Taxes

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

VIDEO: Fox?s Brit Hume Is Left Speechless When Asked About G.E. Paying Zero Federal Taxes
While any sober solution to the country’s deficit problem should include both revenue enhancement and spending cuts, conservatives have been completely unwilling to even consider tax increases, proposing steep cuts that will do little to solve the deficit, while doing much to hurt the middle class and the most vulnerable. Toeing that conservative line on […]

While any sober solution to the country’s deficit problem should include both revenue enhancement and spending cuts, conservatives have been completely unwilling to even consider tax increases, proposing steep cuts that will do little to solve the deficit, while doing much to hurt the middle class and the most vulnerable. Toeing that conservative line on Fox News Sunday today, Fox personality Brit Hume argued that cutting taxes will actually lead to increased tax revenue. Fox analyst Juan Williams responded by noting this is often not the case, citing the fact that G.E. — the nation’s largest companypaid nothing in taxes last year. Williams’ response flummoxed Hume, who appeared dumbfounded and at a loss for words. Host Chris Wallace had to jump in to smooth things over with a joke:

WILLIAMS: You’re going on as if, you know what, we don’t know how in America how to help our own deficit problem. We do! We just have to tax people.

HUME: Juan, Juan. What we need is not higher tax rates. What we need is higher revenue. And how do you get higher revenues? You get higher revenues from an expanding economy. That’s where the big money comes from.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, and G.E. paying no taxes? That’s good for America? Come on, you know that’s not right.

[Pause]

WALLACE: I just want to say, I pay all my taxes!

Watch it:

Paul Ryan Dodges Fox News’ Questions About Whether He’ll Eliminate Tax Breaks For Oil Companies
On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) plans to lay out his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. Promoting his plan on Fox News Sunday this morning, Ryan made clear that his plan for deficit reduction would demand drastic spending cuts shouldered on the backs of low- and middle-income Americans without asking […]

On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) plans to lay out his proposed budget for the next fiscal year. Promoting his plan on Fox News Sunday this morning, Ryan made clear that his plan for deficit reduction would demand drastic spending cuts shouldered on the backs of low- and middle-income Americans without asking for similar sacrifice from the wealthy. Asked repeatedly by host Chris Wallace whether he’ll eliminate tax breaks for oil companies, Ryan hemmed and hawed without giving a clear answer:

WALLACE: A lot of Democrats that are already saying, even before they’ve seen your budget, that you do all of this balancing of the budget on the spending side, and unlike the President’s debt commission, you don’t do it on the revenue side. Do you eliminate tax breaks? Do you bring in new revenue by eliminating, for instance, tax breaks for oil companies?

RYAN: We don’t have a tax problem. The problem with our deficit is not because Americans are taxed too little. The problem with our deficit is because Washington spends too much money. … So we’re not going to down the path of raising taxes on people. […]

WALLACE: But for instance, you will not eliminate tax breaks for Big Oil and Gas?

RYAN: Those are the kinds of details that we’ll come out later with, that the Ways and Means Committee will work on. We’re not going to go into the little details of which tax expenditure goes and which tax expenditure stays.

Watch it:

Ryan has no problem discussing details of his budget plan that impose higher taxes on 90 percent of Americans and relies on cutting Social Security and squeezing Medicare and Medicaid. But when pressed on details about cutting corporate welfare, he had nothing to say. But previously, he’s been more blunt, calling the idea of ending taxpayer handouts to oil and gas companies “ridiculous economics.”

Ryan is wrong about one key point — there is, in fact, “a tax problem.” Federal tax receipts are at the lowest levels since 1950. As this graph produced by CAP’s Director for Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden demonstrates, tax receipts as a percentage of GDP dropped precipitously following the Bush tax cuts:

taxchart

According to the Office of Management and Budget, corporate tax receipts will account for just 7.2% of federal revenues in 2010, with large corporations contributing less than one-sixth as much as small business and individual taxpayers to the federal treasury. Exxon-Mobil, for instance, paid $15 billion in taxes in 2009, but not a penny of those taxes went to the American Treasury. Because oil and gas companies receive generous tax subsidies, the U.S. government loses about $4 billion in revenue a year.

Paul Ryan’s budget will demand that working Americans give up health care and pension benefits that they’ve earned, while asking nothing from hugely profitable corporations that are failing to meet their tax responsibilities.


President Obama announces re-election bid

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

President Obama announces re-election bid
President Obama announced his plans to seek re-election in 2012 via an email and web video sent to supporters this morning, a move designed to allow him to begin raising money for 2012 nearly 20 months before the election.

Obama aide Melody Barnes linking education and economic policy
The White House has no shortage of people working on economic policy — former executives, high-profile academic economists, masters of the budget.

Mitt Romney’s tactical errors
In 2008, Mitt Romney desperately tried to run from his record as a pro-choice governor. The story of his change of heart didn’t exactly hold together, social conservatives never trusted him and he acquired the “flip-flop” label. He lost Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and was done for.

British spy files show Nazis sought to use saboteurs, spies and poisoned sausages to win war
LONDON — The four men wading ashore on a Florida beach wearing nothing but bathing trunks and German army hats looked like an unlikely invading force.

An excerpt from Joel Achenbach’s “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea”
On April 20, 2010, BP’s mile-deep Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico blew out, exploding in an inferno that killed 11 men, sank the huge drilling rig Deepwater Horizon and led to America’s worst oil spill. In this excerpt from his new book, “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher” (Simon & Schuster), which will be published Tuesday, Washington Post staff writer Joel Achenbach describes the Obama administration’s attempts to persuade a skeptical public that it was fully in command of the effort to kill the well — even as that effort was going dismayingly awry.


Obama’s Energetic War on the Young

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 4th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Obama’s Energetic War on the Young
Robert Knight, Washington Times
President Obama needs to reinvent reality, so where does he go? A college campus. And why not? With gas doubling in price toward $4 a gallon, what better place to talk energy than to backpacking cyclists at trendy, urban Georgetown University? It’s a far friendlier crowd than, say, one composed of truckers, commuters or laid-off workers.Besides, the last time Mr. Obama spoke at Georgetown, on April 14, 2009, college officials complied with a White House request to cover up pesky Christian symbols behind the presidential podium. Georgetown is a very friendly place for the O…

Is It Better to Save No One?
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
Critics from left and right are jumping all over President Obama for his Libyan intervention, arguing that we don’t have an exit plan, that he hasn’t articulated a grand strategy, that our objectives are fuzzy, that Islamists could gain strength. And those critics are all right.But let’s back up a moment and recognize a larger point: Mr. Obama and other world leaders did something truly extraordinary, wonderful and rare: they ordered a humanitarian intervention that saved thousands of lives and that even Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s closest aides seem to…

Obama Campaign Targets Big Donors
Eggen & Bacon, Washington Post
Facing an energized Republican Party and deep-pocketed conservative groups, President Obama is kicking off his 2012 reelection campaign with a concerted push for help from wealthy donors and liberal groups unbound by spending limits.The strategy — which could begin in earnest as early as Monday with the formation of an official presidential committee — suggests a notable shift in emphasis for a president who has long decried the outsize role of money in politics.

Was a Bloodbath Really Looming?
Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune

The Larger Game in the Middle East: Iran
David Sanger, New York Times
On a Tuesday afternoon in mid-March in the White House Situation Room, as President Obama heard the arguments of his security advisers about the pros and cons of using military force in Libya, the conversation soon veered into the impact in a far more strategically vital place: Iran.The mullahs in Tehran, noted Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser, were watching Mr. Obama’s every move in the Arab world.