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Sunday, Apr 20th

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Who Rules America?

What do you suppose it is like to be elected president of the United States only to find that your power is restricted to the service of powerful interest groups?
 
A president who does a good job for the ruling interest groups is paid off with remunerative corporate directorships, outrageous speaking fees, and a lucrative book contract.  If he is young when he assumes office, like Bill Clinton and Obama, it means a long life of luxurious leisure.

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U.S. Will Pay $2.6 Million to Train Chinese Prostitutes to Drink Responsibly on the Job

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.

TVNL Comment: No comment!!!

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America's growing surveillance state

DHS has become an albatross of surveillance choking American necks. Internal documents such as the lexicon and the rightwing extremism report, combined with previous examples of DHS helping state fusion centres watch over antiwar protesters under the Bush administration, show that DHS is not only actively undermining American civil liberties but is also politicised by whichever party is running the country. This isn't a left-right issue, it's an American issue.

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The Curious Case of the Establishment Liberal: Condemning Torture, Condoning Mass Murder

The idea that war crimes and civil liberties violations are strictly conservative affairs is particularly comforting to wide-eyed Democrats in awe of America’s First Black President ™, and it affords the heirs to the same liberal establishment which brought us Vietnam and Hiroshima another opportunity to grandstand about their commitment to human rights even as the noble humanitarian Barack Obama continues to extra-judicially murder foreigners with unmanned drones. Unfortunately for partisan Democrats – and even more so the victims of U.S. exceptionalism – American imperialism and its associated evils have long enjoyed bipartisan backing, though liberals tend to be somewhat more sheepish about their support for killing, torturing and maiming poor people overseas.

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Human noses too cold for bird flu

Bird flu may not have become the threat to humans that some predicted because our noses are too cold for the virus to thrive, say UK researchers.

Tests in a laboratory recreation of the environment in the nose found that at 32 degrees Celsius, avian flu viruses lose function and cannot spread.

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The New York Fed is the most powerful financial institution you've never heard of. Look who's running it.

So who selected Geithner back in 2003? Well, the Fed board created a select committee to pick the CEO. This committee included none other than Hank Greenberg, then the chairman of AIG; John Whitehead, a former chairman of Goldman Sachs; Walter Shipley, a former chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, now JPMorgan Chase; and Pete Peterson, a former chairman of Lehman Bros. It was not a group of typical depositors worried about the security of their savings accounts but rather one whose interest was in preserving a capital structure and way of doing business that cried out for—but did not receive—harsh examination from the N.Y. Fed.

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Shadowy Bilderberg group meet in Greece — and here’s their address

Don’t tell anyone, don’t breathe a word, but the world’s most powerful men are meeting secretly again to save the planet from economic catastrophe.

This year the club is going to talk about depression. “According to the pre-meeting booklet sent out to attendees, Bilderberg is looking at two options,” says the Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin — “either a prolonged, agonising depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty — or an intense but shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”

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What Social Security's Underfunding Means for Your Retirement

Social Security and Medicare's annual checkup revealed that the recession and longer life expectancies are taxing the health of the entitlement system. The Social Security Board of Trustees report found that program costs will exceed tax revenues

in 2016, a year sooner than predicted in last year's report. The trust fund will be exhausted in 2037, four years sooner than the 2008 estimate. Here's a look at how the projections could affect your retirement plans.

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Senate Rejects Limit on Credit-Card Interest Rates

Despite complaints that banks and credit card companies are gouging customers by charging outrageous interest rates, the Senate on Wednesday easily turned back an effort to cap interest rates at 15 percent.

The effort by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent, drew only 33 votes and needed 60, with a bipartisan group of 60 senators opposing it as the Senate pushed its credit card overhaul toward the finish line. Some Democrats and consumer groups have said that an interest cap is needed to put real teeth into an otherwise solid bill.

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