Corzine, others settle MF Global lawsuit for $64.5 million

Jon Corzine and other former MF Global Holdings Ltd officials have reached a $64.5 million settlement of litigation brought by investors seeking to hold them liable for the now-defunct futures brokerage’s 2011 bankruptcy.

The all-cash settlement with Corzine, who was MF Global’s chief executive and previously New Jersey’s governor, and nine other defendants resolves the lastCorzine major piece of litigation by MF Global stock, bond and convertible bond investors over the company’s rapid descent into Chapter 11.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan on Tuesday evening granted preliminary approval of the settlement, which was disclosed earlier in the day. He scheduled a Nov. 20 hearing to consider final approval.

The class action accord would boost the investors’ recovery to $204.4 million, including $74.9 million from underwriters and $65 million from the auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers….More

Former state health employees say they were silenced on drilling

Two retirees from the Pennsylvania Department of Health say its employees were silenced on the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling.

One veteran employee says she was instructed not to return phone calls from residents who expressed health concerns about natural gas development.

“We were absolutely not allowed to talk to them,” said Tammi Stuck, who worked as a community health nurse in Fayette County for nearly 36 years.

Another retired employee, Marshall P. Deasy III, confirmed that.

Deasy, a former program specialist with the Bureau of Epidemiology, said the department also began requiring field staff to get permission to attend any meetings outside the department. This happened, he said, after an agency consultant made comments about drilling at a community meeting….READ

Should dual citizen of US/Israel be vice chair of our Federal Reserve Bank?

FisCherTwo weeks back, Forbes and CNBC reported that President Obama plans to nominate Stanley Fischer to be the next vice chairman of the Federal Reserve if the current vice chair, Janet Yellen, is confirmed by the Senate as Fed chairwoman in the new year.

This would be a giant sop for the Israel lobby: Fischer is the former head of the Bank of Israel.

Fischer, a dual-citizen of the U.S. and Israel, served as the head of Israel’s central bank for eight-years before stepping down on June 30 of this year.

Fischer is disliked on the left because of his ruthless neoliberalism, as shown in this documentary about the International Monetary Fund, where he was once an exec. But the dual nationality question is also in play. Matthew Yglesias deemed Fischer extraordinarily well-qualified, but did arch an eyebrow:

This is a bit of a surprising development if only because Fischer didn’t seem to be seriously considered as a contender for the top Fed job. I figured that was either because Fischer wasn’t interested in a government job or because the White House deemed him insufficiently American. If either of those were the case, it would seem to disqualify him for the vice chairmanship too…..Read

EXCLUSIVE: Chase to Charge Customers Fees For Handing Cash Deposits

Beginning August 1st of this year, JP Morgan & Chase Co. will charge their customers for depositing nochasebankcash into their accounts. According to an internal document sent to account holders, in less than a month from now “the fee for all types of Cash Deposit Processing (CDP) will be $0.25 per $100 [deposited]. The CDP fee will only apply after you exceed your account’s cash deposit limit.”  One reason for Chase to charge their customers a fee on cash deposits may reside in the fact that the major banks are “charging customers who deposit lots of cash.” Wherein Chase is charging customers for every $100 in cash deposited, other banks are charging on every cash deposit of $10,000; or $0.20 on every $100 deposited...more

NAFTA’s Impact on US Workers

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NATFA) was the door through which American workers were shoved into the neoliberal global labor market.
By establishing the principle that U.S. corporations could relocate production elsewhere and sell back into the United States, NAFTA undercut the bargaining power of American workers, which had driven the expansion of the middle class since the end of World War II. The result has been 20 years of stagnant wages and the upward redistribution of income, wealth and political power.
NAFTA affected U.S. workers in four principal ways. First, it caused the loss of some 700,000 jobs as production moved to Mexico. Most of these losses came in California, Texas, Michigan, and other states where manufacturing is concentrated. To be sure, there were some job gains along the border in service and retail sectors resulting from increased trucking activity, but these gains are small in relation to the loses, and are in lower paying occupations. The vast majority of workers who lost jobs from NAFTA suffered a permanent loss of income…more

*What’s most interesting is how NAFTA paved the way for China to take over*

Sicko cop Tackles and Arrests Innocent Woman for Walking on the Wrong Side of the Road

(Whitehouse, TX) — Melissa Bonnette was on her usual morning walk when a costumed creep pulled up next to her on his motorcycle.
“I thought that maybe he was flirting,” she said. “I just thought it was odd, I thought it was odd. I wasn’t really sure but I felt uncomfortable because there wasn’t anyone around.”badcop
She says she was worried he might not even a real cop, so she refused to stop and began jogging away from him, according to CBS 19 News.
That’s when Bonnette says he got off his bike, chased her down, tackled her and threw her in handcuffs.
“I just was crying and I was saying ‘Please sir, please sir. Why are you doing this?’ It was like I was in a nightmare. I hadn’t done anything wrong,” she said

Government of the Rich, by the Rich and for the Rich: It’s Time for ‘Militant Nonviolent Resistance’

We now live in a two-tiered system of governance. There are two sets of laws: one set for the government and its corporate allies, and another set for you and me.

The laws which apply to the majority of the population allow the government to do things like sending SWAT teams crashing through your door in the middle of the night, rectally probing you during a roadside stop, or listening in on your phone calls and reading all of your email messages, confiscating your property, or

monty1

Coming Soon Neo-Feudalism

indefinitely detaining you in a military holding cell. These are the laws which are executed every single day against a population which has up until now been blissfully ignorant of the radical shift taking place in American government.

Then there are the laws constructed for the elite, which allow bankers who crash the economy to walk free. They’re the laws which allow police officers to avoid prosecution when they shoot unarmed citizens, strip search non-violent criminals, or taser pregnant women on the side of the road, or pepper spray peaceful protestors. These are the laws of the new age we are entering, an age of neo-feudalism, in which corporate-state rulers dominate the rest of us, where the elite create the laws which can result in a person being jailed for possessing a small amount of marijuana while bankers that launder money for drug cartels walk free. In other words, we have moved into an age where we are the slaves and they are the rulers.

In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

WASHINGTON — In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions….more

IG: IRS credit cards used for wine, pornography

Poor oversight by the Internal Revenue Service allowed workers to use agency credit cards to buy wine for an expensive luncheon, dorky swag for managers’ meetings and, for one employee, romance novels and diet pills, an agency watchdog said Tuesday.

Two IRS credit cards were used to buy online pornography, though the employees said the cards were stolen. One of the workers reported five agency credit cards lost or stolen.

IRS employees used agency credit cards to make more than 273,000 purchases totaling nearly $108 million in 2010 and 2011, according to the report by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration….more

Corzine Officially Charged By CFTC For Filing False Reports, Commingling Funds And Other Violations

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed an enforcement action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against MF Global Inc. (MF Global), a registered futures commission merchant (FCM), MF Global Holdings Ltd. (Holdings), former Chief Executive Officer of MF Global and Holdings Jon S. Corzine, and former Assistant Treasurer of MF Global Edith O’Brien based on, among other violations, MF Global’s unlawful use of customer funds that harmed thousands of customers and violated fundamental customer protection laws on an unprecedented scale….more

BofA Gave Bonuses to Foreclose on Clients, Lawsuit Claims

Bank of America Corp. is being sued by homeowners who didn’t receive permanent loan modifications after making payments under trial programs, according to court papers. Photographer: Davis Turner/Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second-biggest U.S. lender, rewarded staff with cash bonuses and gift cards for meeting quotas tied to sending distressed homeowners into foreclosure, former employees said in court documents.

Mortgage workers falsified records and were told to delay U.S. loan-assistance applications by requesting paperwork that the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank had already received, according to statements from ex-employees filed last week in federal court in Boston. The lender improperly disqualified applicants to the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, according to a May 23 statement from Simone Gordon, a loss-mitigation specialist who left the company in 2012…more

JACK BOGLE: The Financial Industry Has Too Much Power Over Corporate America

Vanguard’s John Bogle criticized the financial industry and said it has too much power over corporate America, when speaking at the Morningstar Investor Conference in Chicago. Advisor One quoted Bogle saying, “the mutual fund industry owns 35% of the stock in America. …But it’s actually much more than that because the big firms run institutional money as well. So it’s probably 50% of stock. So we control corporate America.” He added that “executive compensation is a disgrace,” and said the  legal system wasn’t aggressive enough in pursuing securities fraud...more

State Department accused of covering up sex and prostitution investigation

The U.S. State Department’s ability to investigate wrongdoing by its staff is under question after a report that the agency tried to cover up several crimes committed has surfaced. Some of the allegations are against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail who allegedly hired prostitutes, a U.S. ambassador accused of trolling public parks for paid sex and a security official in Beirut committing sexual assaults on foreign nationals….more

Whopper of the Day

Pelosi: “I Don’t Remember Saying that Everybody in the Country Would Have a Lower Premium.”….Just a few weeks ago the honorable Congresswoman from San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi, made the stunning claim that health insurance in America would be cheaper than ever before. “Many of the initiatives that he passed are what are coming to bear now, including the Affordable Care Act,” she said at a recent press conference about legislation championed by the President. “The Affordable Care Act is bringing the cost of health care in ourcountry down inboth the public and private sector.” Of course, days later we found out what the future of  ”affordable” health care and lower costs actually meant, when the IRS admitted that prices would top $20,000 per year for the average American family. It seems that these are the ramifications for passing a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care industry without having first read the bill to find out what was in it….more

New Revelations of Torture and Murder of Afghan Civilians by US Special Forces

Zakaria Kandahari, a member of a US Special Forces “A Team,” has been accused by Afghan officials of carrying out and directing the torture of 15 civilians detained in recent raids in Warduk province. Afghan officials say Kandahari is an American of Afghan descent and a leader of the Special Forces unit. Of the 15 prisoners, seven are confirmed dead, with the other eight missing. The body of one of the prisoners, Mohammad Qassim, was found dumped in a trash pit outside a US installation shortly after the detentions. US forces have long conducted bloody counter-insurgency operations in the province, just west of Kabul, prompting repeated accusations by local villagers that they torture and murder civilians. In February, responding to popular outrage, President Hamid Karzai demanded Special Forces cease operations in province. The latest accusations are based on a video recording of Kandahari conducting a torture session on Afghan civilian Sayid Mohammad. Afghan officials have said a voice can be heard in the background of the recording speaking American English while Kandahari tortures Mohammad. Kandahari, who speaks fluent English with an American accent, was working closely with US special forces to carry out missions…more

Liberals Find Out Eric Holder is Who We Said He Was

Now that the election is past us, perhaps liberals and conservatives can agree on a bipartisan measure of reform that’s sorely needed in Washington: Obama needs to remove Eric Holder from his spot as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. As a conservative, I have been outraged by the selective prosecutions, subversions of the laws to protect political power, the disregard of constitutional checks and balances, along with the general arrogance of the Arrogant General, Eric Holder. And now, it seems, liberals are starting to have the same concerns that conservatives do…more

Evangelical Lutheran Church elects gay bishop

“More than 600 congregations have left the denomination since the change.”

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America elected its first openly gay bishop to a six-year term at an annual assembly in Southern California, officials said. The election of Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin came on Friday after the church’s controversial rule change in 2009 that allowed gays and lesbians to be ordained in the largest US Lutheran denomination. More than 600 congregations have left the denomination since the change. “The ELCA is a church that belongs to Christ, and in it there is a place for all,” said church spokeswoman Melissa Ramirez Cooper. “The election of Pastor Erwin illustrates what many in the 4 million-member church believe: that God calls each of us by name.”….more

‘Monsanto is the metaphor for genetic manipulation, food chain control’

In order to take full control of the global food chain the world’s largest owner of patents on seeds Monsanto is lobbying, bribing, suing small farmers out of business and altering scientific research, geopolitical analyst F. William Engdahl told RT. Hundreds of thousands around the world gathered on Saturday in a global move dubbed ‘March Against Monsanto’. Activists are calling for labeling of food containing GMOs and further scientific research of the effects of GMO crops that while banned in several countries over alleged health threats still remain legal in many others.…more

The Clinton Scandal Playbook and Benghazi

The punditocracy is pulling out its collective hair, wanting to know why there have apparently been multiple layers of cover-ups in the evolving Benghazi story.  An early scandal from the Clinton administration, the so-called “Travelgate” scandal, may be instructive. Recall that in the 1993 firings of employees at the White House Travel Office, a determination was made early on by the new president Bill Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton that the Travel Office workers, who served at the pleasure of the president, could be fired and that the Travel Office business, and the commissions that came with it, given to a cousin of President Clinton’s, Catherine Cornelius, who had a travel agency of her own. But simply handing over government business to a relative would have been politically embarrassing, so the Clintons concocted a story whereby the Travel Office was rife with corruption and the workers there needed to be fired.  An audit was conducted on Travel Office finances, and while the record-keeping at the office was found to have been pretty inadequate, there was no smoking gun of corruption or embezzlement.  No matter.  The FBI was pressured to make arrests, and the local US Attorney was charged with prosecuting the employees for corruption….more

Former BlackRock fund manager arrested in insider trading probe

Asset manager BlackRock said on Tuesday that one of its former employees was arrested in April by City of London police on suspicion of insider dealing.  BlackRock did not name the individual but a source with knowledge of the matter said it was Mark Lyttleton, one of the firm’s longest serving British-based fund managers who left the company in March. The source said Lyttleton was one of the people to whom Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority referred on May 3, when it said it had arrested and questioned a man aged 41 and a woman aged 37 on April 30 in West London, in connection with an investigation into insider dealing and market abuse….more

**…and he’s the only one?**

 

Obama Fires IRS Boss — (who was leaving anyway)

President Obama announced Wednesday that acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller would resign in the wake of the agency scandal in which conservative groups were targeted — though Miller was apparently set to step down anyway.
An official close to Miller told Fox News, shortly after Obama’s brief announcement, that the IRS chief was “set to resign the position of acting commission as of early June.” He was planning to leave the IRS entirely a “couple of months later, regardless of the current controversy,” the source said.
These details were not mentioned by the president as he announced Wednesday evening Miller was resigning. Obama spoke following a meeting with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew  and other top department officials in which they reviewed a highly critical inspector general’s report on the practice. The report concluded poor management allowed agents to improperly target Tea Party and other groups for more than 18 months, starting in 2010.
Obama said Lew asked for the resignation and Miller agreed, after being on the job since November 2012. “Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” Obama said from the White House. The president is expected to name a new acting commissioner later this week….more

An abortion fundraising group held its annual “Bowl-a-Thon” in April, raising more than $500,000 to “help women and girls pay for abortions they couldn’t otherwise afford.” The fourth annual “National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon” broke fundraising records with a total of $552,498 raised. “THANK YOU for making the Fourth Annual National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon such a success!” the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), which sponsors the event, wrote on its website.  “Together, you raised over a HALF A MILLION DOLLARS for abortion access—nearly $50,000 more than the initial goal”. As CNSNews.com previously reported, the group raised $466,014 from the Bowl-a-Thon in 2012….more

**…and they actually call themselves “Human.”  Dispicable**

‘Gun violence’ plummets, and ‘gun control’ groups demand course change; but why?

As Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman noted yesterday, new findings published by the DoJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics show that violent crime, including “gun crime,” has experienced a sustained and dramatic decline between the years of 1993 and 2011 (the time period over which the study was conducted). A Pew Research Center analysis, also just released, came to very similar conclusions….more

Also see:  “Gun violence plummeted, but people think it increased” http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/08/study-gun-violence-plummeted-but-people-think-it-increased/?print=1

Ad Effort Selling State as a Business Haven Is Criticized

cuomo1**People still living in tents from Hurricane Sandy**

ALBANY — The Cuomo administration has set aside nearly $140 million for an advertising campaign called “New York State Open for Business,” with the money drawn largely from a state authority created to lower electricity bills and from federal disaster aid, records show.

Much of the money spent has been used to buy television ads, half of which are being broadcast outside New York, celebrating the state’s economic success stories as part of an effort to lure and keep business here.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, which began the campaign, says the ads are a valuable tool for recruiting businesses, but critics say they are a backdoor way of elevating the governor’s stature, even though they do not mention his name and he is prohibited from appearing in them. “We are doing everything we can to level the playing field to bring businesses and jobs to the state of New York, and will continue to double down on those efforts as long as this governor is in office,” Melissa DeRosa, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cuomo, said….more

Detroit’s Economic Crisis and the Role of the Banks: Part of a Global Crisis

Since late March the city of Detroit has been under a so-called “financial emergency” where right-wing multi-millionaire Gov. Rick Snyder designated Kevyn Orr, a bankers’ agent, to head this municipality in total contravention of the political will of people not only here but around the state. When the announcement of emergency management was made, the corporate media never bothered to mention that a large majority of people within Michigan had just voted against Proposal II which would have changed the constitution to ensure payments to the banks irrespective of the interests of the people of this area….more

Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy. But a seemingly spontaneous admission this week by a former FBI counterterrorism agent provides a rather startling acknowledgment of just how vast and invasive these surveillance activities are….more

Afghan president confirms he received tens of millions of dollars from the CIA in suitcases and sacks ‘for access to Karzai’s inner circle’

Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed today that his national security team had been receiving payments from the U.S. government for the past 10 years. Karzai revealed the payments when he was asked about a story published in The New York Times. The article said the CIA had given the Afghan National Security Council tens of millions of dollars in monthly payments delivered in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags in return for access to his inner circle. The cash payments are the first known to be given directly to President Karzai…Read more

Philadelphia abortion clinic horror

Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations?

It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.

NBC-10 Philadelphia reported that, Stephen Massof, a former Gosnell worker, “described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, ‘literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body.” One former worker, Adrienne Moton, testified that Gosnell taught her his “snipping” technique to use on infants born alive.

Massof, who, like other witnesses, has himself pleaded guilty to serious crimes, testifiedIt would rain fetuses. Fetuses and blood all over the place.” Here is the headline the Associated Press put on a story about his testimony that he saw 100 babies born and then snipped: “Staffer describes chaos at PA abortion clinic.”…more

Everything is Rigged: The Biggest Financial Scandal Yet

Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.[Image]

You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which at least three – and perhaps as many as 16 – of the name-brand too-big-to-fail banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process messing around with the prices of upward of $500 trillion (that’s trillion, with a “t”) worth of financial instruments. When that sprawling con burst into public view last year, it was easily the biggest financial scandal in history – MIT professor Andrew Lo even said it “dwarfs by orders of magnitude any financial scam in the history of markets.”

That was bad enough, but now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world’s largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world’s largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps.

Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. It’s about a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget.

It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates….more

*De Profundis Clamo ad te domine*

Philadelphia abortion clinic horror: Column

Kirsten Powers 8:49 p.m. EDT April 11, 2013

Infant be headings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven’t heard about these sickening accusations?

It’s not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell’s former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart….more

MF Global’s Trader That Will Go To Prison – Brent Dooley

In a NY Times piece, Teresa Tritch wrote about Louis Freeh’s recently released investigative report of what went wrong when MF Global collapsed in October 2011 due a wayward trade strategy on European debt.  At the firm’s helm was former Senator and Governor of NJ Jon Corzine who has not been heard from since (save a few congressional hearings where he said little).  Freeh’s report summarized that Corzine “knew, or should have known” about weaknesses in the firm’s internal risk controls.  Tritch wrote that the report suggests that “Mr. Corzine passive-aggressively let those weaknesses endure, because stronger controls would have put an end to his bigger-is-better trading strategy.”  While Corzine was not criminally prosecuted, and most likely never will be, those loose internal controls that were tolerated within the company cost one young man years in prison … Evan Brent Dooley….more

Nev. buses 1,500 mental patients out of state since ’08

Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas is Nevada's primary state hospital for the mentally ill.

Faced with deep budget cuts, Nevada’s main public psychiatric hospital has bused more than 1,500 patients from Las Vegas to other states during the past five years, a Sacramento Bee investigation has found.  Some patients apparently had no family in or connections to the 176 cities in 45 states where Greyhound buses deposited them after one-way trips from Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital. About one third wound up in California….more

KPMG Plans Review Amid Trading Case

KPMG LLP said it plans to reassess its internal safeguards, the latest fallout from an insider-trading case that has led to the firing of a senior partner and the accounting firm’s resignation as the auditor for two companies.

The company has also reached out to many clients in recent days to reassure them in the wake of the allegations against ex-partner Scott London, KPMG and clients say. Mr. London allegedly gave a friend confidential information that led to $1.2 million in illicit trading profits in exchange for at least $50,000 in cash and gifts. The case is among the most prominent violations of client confidentiality by an employee of a major accounting firm in years….more

Philadelphia Bars Public From Mayor’s Investor Meeting

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, whose municipality has the lowest credit rating of the five most-populous U.S. cities, will address investors at a conference financed by underwriters and closed to the public and the press.  The invitation bills tomorrow’s meeting as a chance to hear “Philadelphia leaders and investors discuss building the city’s future.” In addition to Nutter, a 55-year-old Democrat, speakers will include finance director Rob Dubow and Mark Gale, chief executive officer of Philadelphia International Airport, according to the agenda.  Philadelphia is hoping to attract investors for the city, which is rated three steps above junk by Standard & Poor’s. The city and its authorities have $8.75 billion in outstanding debt as of September, according to bond documents. Philadelphia’s pension system is 47.6 percent funded this year, the documents say.  Tours of city assets are set for the second day of the conference, including the Philadelphia Gas Works, the largest municipally owned natural-gas utility in the U.S. The city plans to hire a broker to steer the sale of the system, which may fetch as much as $496 million, according to Lazard Ltd. (LAZ)more

Black Helicopters

“Kinda scary man, the black helicopter crowd is really upset,” Biden said, criticizing the National Rifle Association for promoting a “misinformation campaign” on background checks.

Biden insisted that there would be no central registry for background checks allowing government to keep records on gun owners.

“No way that Uncle Sam can go find out whether you own a gun because we’re about to really take away all your rights and you’re not going to be able to defend yourself and we’re going to swoop down with Special Forces folks and gather up every gun in America,” Biden added mockingly. “It’s bizarre. But that’s what’s being sold out there.”

What Shotgun Joe’s talking about

“Here Come the Black Helicopters” by Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

Corporations Profit From $75 Billion Tax Payer Funded Food Stamps Program

“Boomtown 1: Washington, The Imperial City” exposed the cronyism and luxurious lifestyle of Washington, DC’s power elite. On Friday “Boomtown 2: The Business of Food Stamps” Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon exposed how politicians and corporations have used the country’s food stamps program to profit on the backs of tax payers.…more

National Shame: Death of Industry.

**The Furniture industry in America is ancient history.  The best analogy is to compare it to is the Detroit auto industry; It’s been a mess ever since Bill Clinton rented out the Lincoln Bedroom. Most industry insiders have NO idea where the industry’s going because they had no idea ten years ago when sales started to steadily decline.  This is a case study of how the country was and is being gutted by our career minded leaders. **

ST. LOUIS — Hoping to keep its stock price above $1 per share and preserve its New York Stock Exchange listing, Furniture Brands International is asking shareholders to approve a reverse stock split.

Shareholders were notified in a recent proxy statement that two such proposals will be voted on at the company’s annual meeting May 2. One authorizes a 1-for-5 reserve split and the other a 1-for-7 reserve split.

here…

CURL: The Obamas live the 1 percent life

Dig much?

That’s why presidential candidates always hit Philadelphia for a cheesesteak during campaigns (Democrats to Pat’s, Republicans to Geno’s). Sure, they’re running billion-dollar operations trying to win the White House, but one picture of them wolfing down a Cheez Whiz-covered glob of meat on a Philly street hits home with millions of voters: “Hey, that guy’s just like me! He loves him a Pat’s [or Geno’s] cheesesteak, too!” (Unless you’re John F. Kerry and order Swiss cheese — then everyone hates you.)

Sometimes, that perception cuts to the core. Like when President George W. Bush stopped playing golf in 2003, at the height of the Iraq War.Read more.

Big depositors in Cyprus to lose far more than feared

Customers queue up outside a branch of Laiki Bank as they wait for the reopening of the bank in Nicosia March 28, 2013. REUTERS-Yorgos Karahalis

(Reuters) – Big depositors in Cyprus’s largest bank stand to lose far more than initially feared under a European Union rescue package to save the island from bankruptcy, a source with direct knowledge of the terms said on Friday.

Under conditions expected to be announced on Saturday, depositors in Bank of Cyprus will get shares in the bank worth 37.5 percent of their deposits over 100,000 euros, the source told Reuters, while the rest of their deposits may never be paid back.…more

Cyprus Deal Turns Bank Depositors into Lenders, Abolishes National Sovereignty

Late Sunday night the president of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, was officially informed of the deal the unelected Eurogroup had come up with in order for Cyprus to receive its bailout from the European Central Bank. Anastasiades flew to Brussels on Sunday to meet with Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and José Barroso, the president of the European Commission (EC)….more

60 Completely Outrageous Ways The U.S. Government Is Wasting Money

Is there anyone better at wasting money then the U.S. government?  Despite the sequester and all of the talk about “deep cutbacks”, the federal government continues to waste money in some of the most outrageous ways imaginable.  For example, does the U.S. government really have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the size and shape of the reproductive organs of ducks?  Does the U.S. government really have to spend 1.5 million dollars to study why so many lesbians are overweight?  There is so much waste that could still be cut out of the federal budget, and yet the very small sequester cuts that just happened are being described as “catastrophic” by many of our politicians.  But you know what?  The federal government will still spend more money in fiscal year 2013 than it did in fiscal year 2012 even after the sequester cuts are factored in.  So if this is how much whining our politicians will do even though government spending is still going up, what would they do if we were actually forced to start living within our means at some point?  That is something to think about.  In any event, please show this article to anyone that believes that the U.S. government is actually “tightening the belt”.  Sadly, the truth is that the federal government is still wasting our money in some of the most frivolous ways that you could possibly imagine….more