The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
December 31, 2011
Image by SS&SS via Flickr
Statement by the President on H.R. 1540
Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed. In hundreds of separate sections totaling over 500 pages, the Act also contains critical Administration initiatives to control the spiraling health care costs of the Department of Defense (DoD), to develop counterterrorism initiatives abroad, to build the security capacity of key partners, to modernize the force, and to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations worldwide.
Behind a mysterious December 22 Associated Press story about “finding of fact” by a District judge in Manhattan Friday that Iran assisted al Qaeda in the planning of the 9/11 attacks is a tapestry of recycled fabrications and distortions of fact from a bizarre cast of characters.
The AP story offers no indication of the nature of the evidence in the case except that former members of the 9/11 Commission and three Iranian defectors provided testimony. Continue reading →
The corporate state of California, ever ready to seize its ideological and commercial hour during a recession, has a chokehold on California’s public universities. With its tax-coddled plutocracy and a nod to further corporatization, the state government has taken the lid off tuition increases big time.
Students of the University of California at Berkeley may pay a proposed $23,000 in tuition by the 2015-2016 school year, up from $11,160 this year (2011) that in turn is up from $2,716 in the academic year 2001-2002. In short, tuition for resident undergraduates has more than quadrupled in ten years.
DemocracyNow.org – Communities along Nigeria’s Niger Delta have been put on alert following a major oil spill from the oil giant, Shell. The massive oil slick is making its way to the Nigerian coast, threatening local wildlife and massive pollution along the shore. Much of the available information about the spill comes from the company responsible for it, Royal Dutch Shell, which says less than 40,000 barrels have leaked so far. Continue reading →
Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky demolish one of the central tenets of our political culture, the idea of the “liberal media.” Instead, utilizing a systematic model based on massive empirical research, they reveal the manner in which the news media are so subordinated to corporate and conservative interests that their function can only be described as that of “elite propaganda.”
I don’t remember much about my high school years. Some of the highs (few in number) come back to me but it was mostly lows which probably explains why I don’t remember much. It’s not that I was dumb, I just had no motivation, but I was interested in history, jazz and politics (thanks to my parents) and even won a prize for a history essay as well as starting up the school’s first jazz appreciation society (not appreciated by the school I might add, the head of music tore down my posters).
The world’s attention is increasingly focused on Syria and Iran as the region continues to move toward military confrontation. Less noticed, however, is that the pieces are being put into place for a truly global conflict, with military buildup taking place in every region and threatening to draw in all of the world’s major powers.
The Bush-Obama War on Iraq, based on lies and “fixed” intelligence, funded continually by BOTH Corporatist-Militarist Parties in Congress, and hardly ever questioned by what Ray McGovern aptly calls “the Fawning Corporate Media”, is one of the first massive war crimes of this new century (the War on Afghanistan is another). As McGovern reminds us, it is the “supreme international crime,” differing from other war crimes only inasmuch as it contains within itself the “accumulated evil of the whole.”
Cutting through the disinformation and spin, Sibel Edmonds and Pepe Escobar reveal back stories about the conflict in Syria that are not reported in the mainstream media. Edmonds has deeps sources in Turkey, Iran, Syria, and the US policy community, and has broken a number of recent developments at Boiling Frogs Post. Pepe Escobar has also done great enterprise reporting and analysis at Asia Times. Continue reading →
“I like Latin America; I view South America as the underdog in this situation. As a moviemaker I tend to make movies about people who don’t get a fair shake.” – Academy Award winning filmmaker, Oliver Stone
“One of the hemisphere’s great democratic leaders.” – George H.W. Bush on Carlos Andres Perez
Obama sounds very ignorant and uniformed and shortsighted, when he speaks on the issue of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Continue reading →
An American past in an Israeli future for an ever present and brutal occupation
Happy Christmas Mr President or may I call you Barack this Yule Tide? As you know “Christmas is the day that holds all time together” (Alexander Smith) certainly as you rustle through your Christmas stocking and wrestle with your conscience perhaps to find as you dig deep in both and past ‘hegemonic imperatives’ an olive twig or a so-called ‘peace process’? Perhaps not. But as you dig, can you hear the whispers? No. They are not the whispers from the Presidents of Christmas past, we will come to them; no? Continue reading →
Well 2011 has been nothing if not eventful but frankly, in spite of all the #Occupy this and #Occupy that, it’s not been a good year for us progresssives or the planet. The Empire acts with increasing, not decreasing impunity, desperate now to try and keep ahead of events lest events take control of it.
Are we living in a fool’s paradise?
A question keeps nagging at me: Are all of us, including the left, reacting to an entirely engineered reality, fed to us via an all-embracing media? Continue reading →
Rick Rozoff of Stop NATO, a web-based information campaign against the alliance, points out a recent, dangerous pattern of events in North Africa.
“We have to recall that three countries in North Africa – Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – have experienced regime change so far this year, and that the process seems well under way in Yemen and Syria. So what we are looking at is a pattern. What may initially start as a peaceful protest could end up being quite violent as in the case of Libya, with NATO intervening on behalf of the opposition, and there is a very real prospect of the replication of that model being employed in Syria.”
Ron Paul is “the best-known American propagandist for our enemies”, writes Dorothy Rabinowitz in a recent Wall Street Journal hit piece. To support the charge, she writes that Dr. Paul “assures audiences” that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 “took place only because of U.S. aggression and military actions”. It’s “True,” she writes, that “we’ve heard the assertions before”, but only “rarely have we heard in any American political figure such exclusive concern for, and appreciation of, the motives of those who attacked us”—and, she adds, he doesn’t care about the victims of the attacks.
The number of people in the U.S. who are officially poor or “near poor” has become a matter of controversy.
The Census Bureau has changed the method by which it measures official poverty. Now, regional differences are taken into account when calculating the costs of maintaining a family, as well as adding any government assistance — like food stamps — to a family’s income while subtracting medical, transportation, childcare and other expenses.