Saturday, January 28, 2012

Romney backed by Goldman Sacks

By Andrew Henry

The top donor to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs, received over $10 billion in emergency lending and bailouts from the Federal Reserve after the 2008 financial meltdown, according to public sources and published reports.

Goldman backed Obama for election in 2008, and the firm, like many Wall Street institutions, is now backing Mitt Romney for president.

Romney has long had a close relationship with Goldman Sachs. In 1999 Romney purchased initial IPO shares in Goldman that netted him $1.1 million in profits when he sold them in 2010.

And The New York Times recently reported that “many of the assets in Romney’s blind trust” are managed by Goldman.

Today, Goldman is Romney’s largest donor.

And nine of Romney’s top 20 campaign contributors are big Wall Street Banks like Goldman. But Goldman leads all Romney contributors, having donated $367,200 to his campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Six of those nine top contributors received over $161 billion in taxpayer bailouts, reports ProPublica, the independent, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative organization.

Goldman doesn’t contribute directly to candidates like Romney, but does so through its employees.

Romney’s ties to Goldman have already become a campaign issue. During Thursday’s CNN debate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich stated that Romney profited from millions he invested in a Goldman Sachs fund that relied heavily on investments in the mortgage-backed securities linked to the 2008 implosion on Wall Street. Romney said he personally didn’t direct the investment, which he said was made through his trust.

Still, Romney’s close ties with Goldman will continue to nag his campaign.

ProPublica says that the The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., received over $782 million in emergency lending from the Federal Reserve. On Jan. 17, the investigative site reported that the total of taxpayer bailouts received by Goldman tallied a whopping $10 billion.

The relationship between Goldman and Romney goes far beyond its patronage of his campaign. The firm has reportedly managed significant assets of Romney’s in his blind trust.

Read more on Romney Backed by Goldman Sachs, Bailout Banks
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Romney’s relationship with Goldman dates back at least to 1999, when he purchased 7,000 shares of Goldman’s initial public offering. The release of those shares was tightly held, and were largely unavailable to ordinary investors.

According to a May 1999 BusinessWeek story, “few of the public shareholders were folks who happened to be lucky enough to snare a few shares.”

One potential political landmine for Romney: Personal financial disclosures from May 2011 indicating he and his family invested millions in a Goldman Sachs fund that invested heavily in mortgage-backed debt obligations.

There have been growing indications that Romney’s ties to Wall Street would be subjected to intense scrutiny in a general election campaign especially the Goldman Sachs fund he invested in that benefited from the housing collapse.

Romney’s disclosure forms show that he invested between $1 and $5 million in the fund, and his wife Ann invested another $1 million plus.

The report is based on Romney’s May 2011 personal financial disclosures, which indicates significant investments in the “Goldman Sachs Strategic Income Fund (institutional class).” Approximately 24.5 percent of that fund is reportedly invested in mortgage-backed obligations.

Romney’s profit taking through his Goldman fund investment remains a sensitive subject in Florida, one of the states hardest hit by the housing meltdown. Romney’s Goldman fund invested in some of the biggest culprits in the housing meltdown, including Bear Stearns, Countrywide, IndyMac and Washington Mutual.

In October, Romney ran into trouble on the foreclosure issue, when suggested the remedy to the turmoil in the real estate market is “don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.”

On Tuesday, Romney stood before a foreclosed home and promised a small crowd of Floridians that he would encourage financial institutions to help homeowners. But he also partially defended banking institutions’ role in the mortgage crisis.

“In this case, it’s because of the banks,” he said, according to a report. “Well, the banks aren’t bad people. They’re just overwhelmed.”

By comparison, only one of the top 20 contributors to GOP rival Newt Gingrich’s campaign is a bank: Wells Fargo donated $5,900 to the Gingrich campaign through Sept. 30.

Then-candidate Barack Obama received strong support from Wall Street in the 2008 cycle. But so far this cycle, the only financial institution listed among his top 20 donors is Goldman Sachs. It contributed $50,124 to his re-election campaign.

Analysts say Wall Street’s lackluster financial support for the president’s reelection campaign reflects the pinch they’re feeling on profits due to the Dodd-Frank financial regulations reforms he has championed.

Read more on Romney Backed by Goldman Sachs, Bailout Banks
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Twitter Censorship

Susan Brannon
Is the censorship by Twitter connected to the recent SOPA/PIPA proposal?  It seems strange that once everyone blacked out and petitioned the SOPA deal, Twitter decided to censor tweets.  Who is to really decide what tweets are approved and which ones are not?

As we know, Twitter was a major resource for the gathering of thousands in the Arab Spring and a resource for thousands to keep people on the outside involved in the situation.

As a journalist, twitter is a main aspect for me to follow issues and concerns and I sure that it is the same for activists. So now what? Will I not be able to follow a tweet from Syria because, the U.S. government decides that I, an American should not know what it going on over there?  Will I not be allowed to really know what is going on over there?

I have been covering war, physically from the inside and I know that what makes it into mainstream news, is not really the reality many times over and over.  I can understand the global governments are concerned on the Arab Spring spreading onto other revolutions in different countries.  Well, it already has. 

What about our own 99% vs the 1% Wall Street Occupy sit ins?  I believe that this censorship should be scraped, done with and it should not have been a nano second of a thought or consideration for Twitter.  Here is why:

This takes away from our freedom of expression
The freedom of the right to assemble and organize
The freedom to communicate with those we want to communicate with from any border
Twitter is selling people out who need a place to have a voice
Twitter is committing social suicide
If censorship starts to happen, then we all loose.
Twitter is putting themselves in the place of the government's mercy.  Not run by them, but in the end will be run by the government.

Twitter said, "no plans to remove tweets unless it receives a request from government officials, companies or another outside party that believes the message is illegal."

Okay, so the government can tell us what, who and where we can speak. 
There will be a Twitter for Democratic countries and a Twitter for the other.

Monday, January 23, 2012

USA in decline while the war machine rages on

I am so sick of our politicians talking about war during the elections. These guys are just ignoring reality, what the American needs are, ignoring our economical frustrations and just talk the same garbble.

CIA sifts social media sites

SOPA & PIPA: No Thanks

SOPA It's Not Dead

January 13, 2012 - In an incredible turn of events, six Republican Senators have asked Majority Leader Harry Reid not to hold a vote on PIPA (The Protect IP Act), and the Senate version of SOPA. The Protect IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA), also known as Senate Bill 968 or SB968, is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed to pass in 2010.

They write...

"Prior to committee action, some members expressed substantive concerns about the bill, and there was a commitment to resolve them prior to floor consideration. That resolution has not yet occurred."

And as an amazíng validation of the grassroots response to SOPA, led by groups like Fight for the Future, EFF, Public Knowledge, and Demand Progress, they write, "Since the mark-up, we have increasingly heard from a large number of constituents and other stakeholders with vocal concerns about possible unintended consequences of the proposed legislation, including breaches in cybersecurity, damaging the integrity of the Internet, costly and burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights."

January 15, 2012 - Various news outlets reported that President Barack Obama said he would not support SOPA. The Obama administration said that it is opposed to the way the bill is currently written because it limits Internet freedom.

January 18, 2012 - Strike! The Internet Goes Dark

In what is being called the largest online protest in history, Wikipedia, Reddit and several other major sites went "dark" to protest SOPA. And while Google didn't go black, it blackened its logo.

How was it done?

A simple piece of code called STOP SOPA, replaced a site's landing page with a black screen. Moving your mouse over the screen revealed a message explaining the need to kill SOPA and a link to anti-SOPA site

You can see a complete list of confirmed SOPA strike participants at

January 19, 2012 - Striking a Obviously Partisan Tone, Senate Minority Leader McConnell Tells Majority Leader Reid to Kill PIPA

"Looks like the next domino in the SOPA/PIPA fight just fell. Tony Romm is reporting that Senate minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell is calling on Democrats to drop PIPA.

That has a high likelihood of killing off what little Republican support is left for PIPA, because where McConnell goes, so go most Republican Senate votes." (Source: Techdirt)

January 20, 2012 - SOPA and PIPA Postponed Indefinitely After Protests

"When the entire Internet gets angry, Congress takes notice. Both the House and the Senate on Friday backed away from a pair of controversial anti-piracy bills, tossing them into limbo and throwing doubt on their future viability.

The Senate had been scheduled to vote next week on the Protect IP Act (PIPA) -- a bill that once had widespread, bipartisan support. But on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was postponing the vote "in light of recent events."

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives said it is putting on hold its version of the bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The House will "postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said in a written statement." (Source: CNN/Money)


While the current versions of SOPA/PIPA may, in fact, be dead, politicians on both sides continue to work on a viable solution to combat Internet piracy. In fact, CNN/Money is reporting, alternative legislation has already been proposed.

"A bipartisan group of senators introduced the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) on January 18 -- the same day as the Wikipedia site blackout.

Among other differences, OPEN offers more protection than SOPA would to sites accused of hosting pirated content. It also beefs up the enforcement process. It would allow digital rights holders to bring cases before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent agency that handles trademark infringement and other trade disputes."

Stay tuned...this thing is far from over.

David Jackson

03 "How are you feeling?" CUT BACK: facing ageism

Difficult finding work after 50

The Professor's Compliant Against Age Discrimination

Forced to joke about age...333 years old. McDonald's advertise hiring older people, but ask the age on the application.
He interviewer asked the person to leave or he will call the police, because the man, could not remember his real age.

The Zimmers "My Generation" Released: 28/05/07


Aging. Little money, no help, no advocacy. This is in the UK, where they have more involvement with the aging. How is it in the U.S?