CommunityThe Bullpen

The Roundup for October 29th, 2013

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”350″ height=”263″ align=”right” !}

It’s National Cat Day!

International Developments


– “U.N. efforts to investigate suspicions that Iran has worked on nuclear arms appeared to gain traction Tuesday, with both sides speaking of “very productive” talks after nearly two years of deadlock and agreeing to meet again on Nov. 11 in Tehran.

– Obama Administration admits it can’t control the Middle East

– In UN vote, 118 countries condemn Cuban embargo

– US drone strike kills two in Somalia, both of al-Shabaab

“Israel appeared before the main United Nations human rights body on Tuesday, ending a 20-month boycott of the Geneva forum which it accuses of bias against the Jewish state.”

Middle East

– “Thousands of Syrian civilians have finally been allowed to leave the besieged Damascus suburb of Moadamiya.

– “Syria’s president sacked a deputy prime minister who met Western officials to discuss the possibility of holding a peace conference, saying he acted without permission. The Tuesday decree was the latest blow to diplomatic efforts to bring the country’s warring parties to the negotiating table.

Meet the one-man legal machine that is pursuing justice for Pakistani drone strike victims

– “The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has rejected a group’s bus ad showing Israel’s expropriation of Palestinian land over time, claiming the ad could incite anti-Jewish discrimination and violence. The centerpiece is a series of four maps that show the loss of control of Palestinian land to the Zionist movement and Israel between 1946 and the present. The ad also states:’This is unfair. It is also illegal under international law.’

– Part 2 of Blumenthal interview over ethnic cleansing and Israeli “Center” 


– “Four Frenchmen taken hostage by Islamic extremists in Niger have been released after three years of captivity, President Francois Hollande announced on Tuesday.

– “Tunisia’s army launched a “huge” operation to track down jihadists in the central Sidi Bouzid region Tuesday, the defence ministry said, after militants killed six policemen in the area last week.”

Central bank in Libya falls victim to anarchy as gunmen steal $54 million, installed government losing control


– “The Irish government has announced that it has recovered €4.3m from 19 Irish residents whose details were passed along by French authorities investigating tax evasion.

– “Turkey’s health minister has said unemployed doctors from Greece searching for work abroad should consider Turkey where he claimed there were plenty of openings for them.”

– “Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom demanded Ukraine pay an overdue gas bill urgently on Tuesday, raising fears of a new “gas war” and increasing pressure on Kiev as it tries to build ties with Europe.”

Latin America

– “Argentina’s Supreme Court approved the country’s four-year-old broadcast media law on Tuesday, deciding that the government can force private news media monopolies to break themselves apart if they exceed audience limits.

– “For years they have been excluded from mainstream education and often condemned to a life of prostitution, but Buenos Aires has now opened a school for young transvestites and transsexuals.”

Financial Matters

“JPMorgan Chase & Co’s preliminary $13 billion deal to resolve federal and state probes into its mortgage bond business has hit two stumbling blocks, a person familiar with the talks said on Tuesday.”

– Gallup: The Gallup Economic Confidence Index still ending up in the negative

“A watchdog says the U.S. government expects to lose $9.7 billion on its bailout of General Motors.

– The number of billionaires are growing across the globe as global inequality spreads

“U.S. and European regulators have fined Dutch lender Rabobank $1 billion for rigging benchmark interest rates, making it the fifth bank punished in a scandal that has helped to shred faith in the industry.”

– “Oil company BP has announced it will sell off $10bn of assets in the next two years, a move that sent the shares up over 5% on Tuesday.”

– Dean Baker: “How Alan Greenspan destroyed America

– “Detroit’s emergency manager testified Tuesday that he would have listened to any proposal to preserve retiree pensions before the city’s bankruptcy filing last summer – but that he probably would not have agreed to a deal.”

– August home prices up 1.3% since July

Surveillance Planet

– “President Barack Obama recently ordered the National Security Agency to curtail eavesdropping on the United Nations headquarters in New York as part of a review of U.S. electronic surveillance, according to a U.S. official familiar with the decision.

– Intelligence officials testify on surveillance in Congress live

– “A senior US intelligence official has told a House committee that discerning foreign leaders’ intentions is a key goal of US spying operations.

– “Faced with a flood of revelations about U.S. spying, President Barack Obama and key lawmakers say it’s time to look closely at surveillance programs that may have gone too far. The White House is considering ending eavesdropping on friendly foreign leaders, a senior administration official said.

– Rep. Mike Rogers(R-MI): Scrapping NSA would scrap a program to track terrorists

– “The United States is tapping telephones and monitoring communications networks from electronic surveillance facilities based at its embassy in Athens, according to information disclosed by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

– A former Greek foreign minister states Greece spied on US ambassadors during his tenure

NSA reform bill is gathering steam

– “Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said on Tuesday that his country could still consider an application for political asylum from US fugitive Edward Snowden.

– NSA believes it can spy on everyone’s location based on existing approvals

– France and Spain spied on its own citizens and handed the data over to the NSA

– “Spain’s public prosecutor’s office announced on Tuesday that it had launched a preliminary inquiry into the alleged widespread surveillance of Spanish citizens’ private phone calls and emails by the US National Security Agency, to determine whether it could be prosecuted under Spanish law.”

– Emptywheel: “The White House — Lisa Monaco? — ‘cutting off ties with intelligence community

Labor’s a-Brewing

– “Industry groups hope New York Governor Andrew Cuomo – a presumed presidential aspirant who’s frequently defied liberals on economics – will back their push to “reform” the country’s toughest law holding contractors responsible when workplace falls end in injury or death.”

– “A New York City arbitrator rules that the city’s first casino must pay its employees a living wage. The ruling will raise wages of 1,400 workers.

Politics USA

Washington USA

– White House knew millions could not keep plans with Obamacare

– “The mother of Trayvon Martin appeared before a Senate hearing in Washington on Tuesday to demand changes to the stand-your-ground laws she blames for the death last year of her unarmed son at the hands of a Florida neighbourhood watch leader.

– Nixon proposed today’s ACA

The split between establishment Republicans and Tea Party Republicans over the issue of immigration

– Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for problems with website

– HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius set to testify before Congress, though calls for being fired on both sides — even if Democrats won’t admit to it

– Republican groups pledge to take down Senate Democrats who defended Obamacare and Senate Republicans who didn’t stop it

– Family and friends of drone strike victims testify before Congress. Kevin Gosztola was there.

– Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) to a GOP Congressmen during healthcare testimony: “Are you really serious?!” 

– Sen. Rand Paul plagiarizes anti-abortion speech from a movie from Wikipedia page

– Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): I think Harry Reid is “an absolute asshole

– “The Senate has cleared the way for approval of President Barack Obama’s pick for a top post at the National Labor Relations Board.

Everything Else USA

– Scahill: Will the global war on terror ever end?

– A Nevada Republican Assembly-person stated he would bring back slavery if his constituents said they wanted to. Meanwhile, he forgets that he has a conscious that he can use. What an idiot.

“Activist points to increasing privatization of detention centers as being behind mandatory detention rules in immigration reform bill”

– Bill Moyers: “Technology Is Turning Society into Something We Experience Alone, Together

Inside a White Supremacist conference 

– Noam Chomsky: “In order to understand the rationale behind the fortification of the border and the physical form it has taken in recent years, it is necessary to go back a little first. The US-Mexican border, like most borders, was established by violence – and its architecture is the architecture of violence. ”

– “By exaggerating the mass media’s ability to zombify the public, Adbusters’ “culture jammers” could imagine that they, too, had Svengali-like powers over the public.

When should a young writer write for free?

– Great analysis of the Glenn Greenwald vs Bill Keller debate on the future of journalism

Top Gun! (Stories)

– Gallup: 60% of gun owners in USA state “personal safety” as reason for getting a gun

– “A shooting spree at four homes and a gas station left five people dead [in Texas] and a suspect in custody, local media reported Tuesday.

We Don’t Need No Education 

– Across the nation, students are fighting back against numerous issues in their own way

Health, Hunger and Homelessness

– “Actresses are denouncing Obamacare, slathering on hormones, and urging against vaccines. Why do we listen?

– Sriracha plant in LA sued over toxic fumes 

– 26 countries have banned GMO — why not the U.S.?

– “An estimated 900,000 U.S. military veterans will lose some or all of their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on Friday.

The War on Women

Six myths about female ascendancy in the workplace

– UC Irvine responds to sexist career advice email

“Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Tuesday asked a federal appeals court judge to immediately reinstate a restriction on abortion that a lower court judge had ruled unconstitutional, according to a court filing.”

Planet Earth

Hemp returns to US soil after 56 years

– European storm kills 15 now as winds reach 120 mph

– Call the Autobots, way cheaper. “The UN is forming an international asteroid defense team

Mixed Bag

– “Buffets don’t have to be unhealthy

– “A line of mini-sharks thought to have perished in Earth’s “Great Dying” event some 250 million years ago, in fact lived another 120 million years, said researchers Tuesday who found samples of their miniscule fossil teeth.

– “From the beginning of his career, Reed identified himself as an artist who was determined to explore and explain the great societal taboos. He wrote songs about sex and sexuality, addiction, abuse, disease and communities that refused to conform or capitulate. His 1972 hit, “Walk on the Wild Side,” took AM radio and a generation of young Americans to places they had never been before.

Break Time

Born Under A Bad Sign

Previous post

House Set To Pass Bills Written For And By Wall Street This Week

Next post

Phony MSM Claim that Tsarnaev Defense Will Plead "Evil Older Brother Influence"

Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan

Brandon Jordan is a freelance journalist in Queens, NY and written for publications such as The Nation, In These Times, Truthout and more.