Britain's George Galloway, a former member of the House of Commons, is running for mayor of London. Before you yawn and move to another post watch how Galloway handled a U.S. Senate committee hearing in 2005, when he was unjustly accused of profiting from the war in Iraq. It's a real smack down. Galloway calls out then Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) on his committee's 'oil-for-food' charges against him, referring to the claims as "The Mother of All Smokescreens." Galloway is calling out Sen. Coleman and his colleagues for going after him in an effort to distract from the fact that the GOP and the Bush administration built their case for war on a "pack of lies."
In an op-ed discussing his run for mayor Galloway promises that "a stream of the very richest ... bankers" will end up "heading for the coast– that’s [the] Cote d’Azure, of course, where most of them have salted away their millions." They'll be leaving because Galloway's chief economic advisor "Max Keiser strikes terror into the hearts of the ‘banksters’ and the cheats whose recklessness, malfeasance and even theft took Britain to the brink of national bankruptcy" in 2008-2009. If you want to watch the entire Senate hearing with Galloway - and it's worth it - click here (the money quote from this YouTube clip begins at 20:39). In all cases, London's race for mayor in 2016 promises to be fun to watch. - Mark
The Pentagon has released a 1,1776-page 'law of war' manual that says journalists can be labeled as 'unprivileged belligerents.' This is another way of saying journalists can be named as 'enemy combatants.'
Now compare this with ISIS, which demands that journalists not only "cooperate" in the territories it controls, but that media workers send all reports for pre-approval to its media office. Media workers also have to swear allegiance to ISIS.
So, yeah, in the process of rewriting the rules of war the Pentagon is effectively giving the middle finger to the U.S. Constitution - which clearly states that the freedoms of the 'the press' cannot be abridged. Go ahead, check it out.
Look, if our most basic freedoms are up for interpretation, debate and rewrites by a growing national security state and a military-industrial complex, that seems calibrated to be in a perpetual state of war, we need to ask one simple question: Just what is our military supposed to be protecting?
NOTE: The story of former CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson is instructive here. She filed a $35 million lawsuit against the Obama administration's Justice Department, claiming that she was spied on for her reports of the Obama administration's Fast and Furious program. This suggests being targeted by the government can also happen when critical reporting goes beyond the battlefields of war.
Most knowledgeable and sentient Americans know that Social Security has been running surpluses, and that the federal government actually owes the the program trillions. Then we have Jeb Bush, who apparently didn't get the memo. Jeb Bush recently said that we need to raise the retirement age on Social Security in order to "lower the deficit" ...
What Jeb is actually doing is engaging in the con game of the century. He wants people to believe that Social Security is in trouble so that he can help out his Wall Street friends (again). Specifically, Jeb wants to start the conversation that Social Security is in trouble so that you and I start thinking that it needs to be "saved" by shoveling the programs resources into the "private sector." Put another way, he and his GOP friends want to take the trillions in Social Security funds and payments and then send them to Wall Street. While this option sounds sexy and exciting for many, all it does is create a perpetual source of cash for our bailout dependent Wall Street friends to play with. What Jeb Bush and his Republican friends want you to ignore - or never learn - is how Social Security actually stacks up against private retirement accounts. Consider this: If you and your spouse contribute $598,000into social security over a 40 year period and retire at 65 you can expect to collect $556,000 (i.e. if the man lives to 82 and if the women lives to 85). Conversely, if a married couple contributes enough into their private retirement account and build a $500,000 retirement nest egg things don't turn out quite so well. They are more than likely to end up with about $350,000 after deducting for "private" administrative and management fees. For details you can check out my three part series on The Stock Market vs. Social Security here: Part I: Which pays more ... Stock Market or Social Security? Part II: Worst case scenarios ... Stock Market vs. Social Security. Part III: Social Security Privatization ... Bailout in Perpetuity. So, thank you Jeb for encouraging me to bring out my Stock Market vs. Social Security series again. - Mark