Friday, November 19, 2010

GM Chicanery Revealed - More BS From the RightWingNuts (Mystery of Who Funded Right-wing "Radical Islam" Campaign Solved)

(News Flash!) Will the overwhelming egoism that was biblically visited on the Israelis/Zionists (your choice) perhaps provide the end of their plans for world domination? I'm not really overspeaking as you will infer after reading the article from today's New York Times below. (And, yes, I'm very surprised that they published it written with that specific paragraph included.) (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Experts dissecting the computer worm suspected of being aimed at Iran’s nuclear program have determined that it was precisely calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges wildly out of control. Their conclusion, while not definitive, begins to clear some of the fog around the Stuxnet worm, a malicious program detected earlier this year on computers, primarily in Iran but also India, Indonesia and other countries.

The paternity of the worm is still in dispute, but in recent weeks officials from Israel have broken into wide smiles when asked whether Israel was behind the attack, or knew who was. American officials have suggested it originated abroad.

Read on to see exactly how deadly this worm could have been and how frightened we should be of these non-terrorists. So, while Wall Street was celebrating GM's turnaround, guess what the real story is? Not only did the GM bigwigs pay back the taxpayer loans/investments with more borrowed taxpayer funds, but . . . (emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Steven L. Rattner, the financier who oversaw the federal rescue of the auto industry, was formally accused by New York’s attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, on Thursday of engaging in a kickback scheme involving the state’s pension system.

On the same day that Mr. Rattner was being celebrated on Wall Street for his role in turning around General Motors, he found himself embroiled in a bitter public battle with Mr. Cuomo, he settled similar charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and he escalated a separate legal fight against his former investment firm.

Busy day for this son of a gun, huh? And, connected? Oooheee, baby. How else to make the deal go down? (They steal billions, pay back millions in fines!)

Even as a resurgent G.M. went public again in a huge stock sale on Thursday, Mr. Cuomo sought to banish Mr. Rattner for life from the securities business in New York. The civil fraud claims, which Mr. Rattner fiercely contested, came within moments of news that the financier had settled a related dispute with the S.E.C. In that case, Mr. Rattner accepted a two-year ban from certain Wall Street businesses and, without admitting or denying wrongdoing, agreed to pay a $6.2 million fine.

Mr. Cuomo, New York’s Democratic governor-elect, is seeking stiffer penalties, including $26 million. While other major figures in the pension investigation had already resolved their cases and Mr. Rattner had been expected to reach a settlement with the S.E.C., the charges from the attorney general’s office amounted to a public showdown between Mr. Cuomo and a man who is not only a prominent figure on Wall Street but also a powerful Democratic fund-raiser.

Have you at least started wondering (if you hadn't before) yet exactly what funding/whose money was responsible for promulgating the Faux News' rightwingnutters' campaign to heighten the fear of uneducated Americans about all Muslims? Because if we weren't so terrified of those scary Moooslems, we'd be able to fly comfortably again and not worry that someone was tracing our every movement (as if we were the Mooooooslems they were trying to find). Turns out to be one of the "usual suspects." (h/t to Christopher McQuarrie and Bryan Singer)
Mystery of Who Funded Right-wing "Radical Islam" Campaign Deepens
A document obtained by Salon creates new speculation about who paid for a right-wing campaign to stoke Islamophobia November 18, 2010

Salon In the heat of the 2008 presidential election, an obscure nonprofit group called the Clarion Fund made national news by distributing millions of DVDs about radical Islam in newspaper inserts in swing states.

The DVDs, 28 million in all, were a boost to Republican candidates who were trying to paint Democrats as weak on terrorism - and they arguably helped fuel the anti-Muslim sentiment that boiled over in the "ground zero mosque" fight last summer. The film, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War With the West," was widely criticized for its cartoonish portrayal of Muslims as modern-day Nazis.

But who put up the money to send out all those millions of DVDs? Clarion, which has strong links to the right-wing Israeli group Aish HaTorah and is listed in government records as a foreign nonprofit, would never say.

Indeed, the group does not have to release detailed donor information because of its nonprofit tax status. We knew only that there was serious money behind the effort: Clarion spent nearly $19 million in 2008, the year it sent out the DVDs.

Now, just as Clarion is gearing up to release a new film hyping the threat of Iran, the money mystery has deepened: According to a document submitted to the IRS by Clarion and obtained by Salon, a donor listed as Barry Seid gave Clarion nearly $17 million in 2008, which would have paid for virtually the entire "Obsession" DVD campaign.

Nonprofit groups must submit financial information including the identity of donors to the IRS - but ordinarily only basic revenue and spending data are made available to the public. In the case of Clarion, an extra page with donor information seems to have been inadvertently included in its public filing. See it here. (It was previously available on public websites that collect IRS forms submitted by nonprofits.)

There's only one Barry Seid Salon could find who might fit the profile of a $17 million donor to Clarion. That would be businessman Barre Seid (note the different spelling) of Illinois, a longtime contributor to right-wing and Jewish causes. But his representative flatly denied to Salon that he has ever given money to Clarion. The elderly and press-shy Seid is president of Tripp Lite, a large Chicago-based manufacturer of power strips that got into the personal computer market on the ground floor back in the 1980s.

Seid has personally poured millions of dollars into Republican campaigns and conservative causes, and his foundation has given generously to the Cato Institute, the Americans for Limited Government Foundation, and the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This year, Seid received an honorary degree from Bar-Ilan University outside Tel Aviv for his work "supporting those organizations which will fortify Israel's position in the world."

But Seid assistant Joan Frontczak told Salon in an e-mail: "Mr. Seid did not make any contributions to the Clarion Fund." And she added: "Mr. Seid is a very private person and doesn't seek publicity of any kind." Furthermore, Clarion Fund spokesman Alex Traiman denied that the inadvertently released document is accurate.

"The sources of anonymous donations to the Clarion Fund in 2008 have been incorrectly identified," Traiman said in an e-mail to Salon. "As like many other not-for-profit organizations, we respect the right of private donors to remain anonymous." But there's another wrinkle here. As first reported by Counterpunch, a right-leaning Alexandria, Va.-based outfit called Donors Capital Fund revealed in its 2008 IRS filing that it gave $17.7 million to Clarion that year, the same year the DVDs were sent out.

Donors Capital Fund is what's known as a donor-advised fund: It offers various tax and other advantages to people who want to make large donations to nonprofits.

Whitney Ball, president of Donors Capital Fund, told Salon that the group acts as a charitable vehicle for individuals who give Donors Capital Fund money and tell it where they would like the money to go.

"One of our clients made a recommendation for Clarion and so we did it," she said. Ball declined to identify the client or comment on Seid. Seid's private foundation has in the past made at least one donation to Donors Capital Fund. Seid's assistant did not respond to a request for comment about whether he had made a donation to Donors Capital Fund and recommended that the money go to Clarion. So, for now, it's impossible to say for sure why the name "Barry Seid" showed up on Clarion's tax forms.

Finally, here is the trailer for Clarion's new film, "Iranium." It will be interesting to see if any donor steps forward to pay for wider distribution. Justin Elliott is a Salon reporter. Reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

The move to "conservatize" the US away from its liberal origins has also been a funding venture of the rightwingnutter contingent acting at the behest of the rest of the "usual suspects." And you thought there weren't that many working against our mutual interests? (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

Rush Limbaugh skewered me (or some fantasy female version of me) for arguing that President Obama believes that government can, if used wisely, be a force for good in society.

The vehemence of Limbaugh’s objection struck me. It seems to me the reason for his fury lies in the fact that opposition to good governance is now a fundamental tenet of conservative politics - and, more particularly, of the multinationals and the lobbyists for business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Manufacturers’ Association, which spent so much money pushing GOP candidates and their message in the recently completed election cycle.

It’s easy to frame in populist terms - sticking it to the bureaucrats and career politicians who want to pen useless laws to interfere in ever more areas of our lives - and, because of that, it’s a perfect vehicle for faux-populists like Limbaugh to deliver a broader package to mass audiences. After all, once the very notion of the possibility of “good governance” is seen as an oxymoron, then support for cohesive government institutions starts to evaporate.

For, if good governance is an illusion, why would voters tolerate an expansion of the alternative: bad governance? The answer, is they wouldn’t; and that response, once coaxed out of them, makes them far more likely to support politicians who call for an ill-defined, but purportedly panacea-inducing reversion to “small government.”

The singular flaw, however, is that when one bothers to think about what the derisive, knee-jerk hostility to good governance actually means, it doesn’t take long to realize there’s nothing populist in the outcome. To the contrary, today’s anti-regulatory zeal, expressed so forcefully by the incoming GOP leadership of the House, is going to stir up a heap of trouble for millions of American families over the coming years.

Warren Buffett, who made out of the subprime fiasco just like any other regular stock market bandit, thanks us (US) for saving his bacon. I guess they've been looking for someone for the whole last two years to sugarcoat exactly what happened between Paulson, Bernanke, Bush and the poor taken-in taxpayers in September of 2008, and have finally found a famous dupe to do the job right. You're not welcome, Warren. Many of us think that these crooks should have paid a steep price for their criminality, and not been bailed out without a lot of strings attached to any money invested in these nefarious deal makers. Make the thieves give back the scandalous bonuses, and we'll think better of your "thanks" to those who helped you continue to play (confuse) the markets and take advantage of the unknowing.

Just over two years ago, in September 2008, our country faced an economic meltdown. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the pillars that supported our mortgage system, had been forced into conservatorship. Several of our largest commercial banks were teetering. One of Wall Street’s giant investment banks had gone bankrupt, and the remaining three were poised to follow. A.I.G., the world’s most famous insurer, was at death’s door.

Many of our largest industrial companies, dependent on commercial paper financing that had disappeared, were weeks away from exhausting their cash resources. Indeed, all of corporate America’s dominoes were lined up, ready to topple at lightning speed. My own company, Berkshire Hathaway, might have been the last to fall, but that distinction provided little solace.

Nor was it just business that was in peril: 300 million Americans were in the domino line as well. Just days before, the jobs, income, 401(k)’s and money-market funds of these citizens had seemed secure. Then, virtually overnight, everything began to turn into pumpkins and mice. There was no hiding place. A destructive economic force unlike any seen for generations had been unleashed.

Only one counterforce was available, and that was you, Uncle Sam. Yes, you are often clumsy, even inept. But when businesses and people worldwide race to get liquid, you are the only party with the resources to take the other side of the transaction. And when our citizens are losing trust by the hour in institutions they once revered, only you can restore calm. When the crisis struck, I felt you would understand the role you had to play.

But you’ve never been known for speed, and in a meltdown minutes matter. I worried whether the barrage of shattering surprises would disorient you. You would have to improvise solutions on the run, stretch legal boundaries and avoid slowdowns, like Congressional hearings and studies. You would also need to get turf-conscious departments to work together in mounting your counterattack. The challenge was huge, and many people thought you were not up to it.

Well, Uncle Sam, you delivered. People will second-guess your specific decisions; you can always count on that. But just as there is a fog of war, there is a fog of panic — and, overall, your actions were remarkably effective. I don’t know precisely how you orchestrated these. But I did have a pretty good seat as events unfolded, and I would like to commend a few of your troops. In the darkest of days, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, Tim Geithner and Sheila Bair grasped the gravity of the situation and acted with courage and dispatch.

Sure they did. With their arms tied behind their backs. In exactly the position you had to have them in to do your bidding.

But what's new?

Suzan _____________

No comments: