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February 23 2014

08:00

Dark Money Groups to Get Clarity From the IRS; Outrage Ensues

billmoyers.com - By Joshua Holland - Feb. 23 (News Report) - Social welfare organizations are allowed to influence elections to a degree, but can’t make electoral politics their “primary focus.” The problem is that standard hasn’t been well defined. That lack of clarity was at the heart of the IRS’s Cincinnati field office using “inappropriate criteria” to examine these groups’ applications for tax-exempt status. In its report on the “scandal,” the IRS Inspector General’s office wrote, “We also believe that Determinations Unit specialists lacked knowledge of what activities are allowed by” the tax code.

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February 20 2014

08:00

Here's Why Obama Can't Get Democrats To Back His Trade Deal

Huffington Post - By Ryan Grim, Zach Carter - Feb. 20 (News Analysis) - GOP leaders in Congress support the trade pact, which is still being negotiated. But Democratic opposition is broad in both the House and Senate, making Froman's mission critical if the Obama administration hopes to clear the agreement through Congress when it is finished. And if the reception at the Common Purpose gathering is any indication, a lot more charm will be needed. The liberal coalition was unusually unified -- against the administration.

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February 10 2014

08:00

Defying Threats to Journalism, Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Launch New Venture, The Intercept

Democracy Now - By Amy Goodman - Feb. 10 (News Report) - Investigative journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald join us for their first interview upon launching The Intercept, their new digital magazine published by First Look Media, the newly formed media venture started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Greenwald is the journalist who first broke the story about Edward Snowden's disclosures on the National Security Agency. He was previously a columnist at The Guardian newspaper. Scahill is producer and writer of the documentary film "Dirty Wars," which is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. "We are really about a journalistic ethos -- which is not doing things like helping the U.S. continue its targeting of U.S. citizens for death, but by being adversarial to the government," Greenwald says. "Telling the public what it ought to know, and targeting the most powerful corporate factions with accountability journalism." Greenwald and Scahill founded TheIntercept.org with filmmaker Laura Poitras.

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January 29 2014

08:00

"Dirty Wars" Filmmaker Jeremy Scahill on the "Drone President" & Obama's Whitewashing of NSA Spying

Democracy Now - By Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill - Jan. 29 (News Analysis) - In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on the United States to "move off a permanent war footing," citing his recent limits on the use of drones, his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and his effort to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay. Obama also vowed to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs to ensure that "the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated." Jeremy Scahill, whose Oscar-nominated film "Dirty Wars" tackles the U.S. drone war and targeted killings abroad, says Obama has been a "drone president" whose operations have killed large numbers of civilians. On NSA reform, Scahill says "the parameters of the debate in Washington are: should we figure out a way to streamline this and sell it to the American people, or should we do more surveillance?"

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January 20 2014

08:00

Maybe you’ve received this warning, too? (TPP)

The Moderate Voice - By Prairie Weather - Jan. 20 (Opinion) - A Pacific Nafta is about to hit us. This time it’s the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is an expansive, highly secretive international free trade agreement. It’s being negotiated by delegates from twelve Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, along with hundreds of industry leaders. Elected officials, civil society, and the press have [...]

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January 15 2014

08:00

TPP: Poison for Local Community Resilience

Common Dreams - By Richard Heinberg - Jan. 15 (News Analysis) - Now comes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a new trade deal negotiated in secret (only corporations get to contribute to, and look at, the draft language). The point of the Treaty: to double down on globalization at precisely the moment in time when the entire enterprise is beginning to fail as a result of stubbornly high oil prices, worsening climate change impacts (floods, droughts, wildfires), debt deflation, and middle-class fears of losing even more ground.

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January 04 2014

08:00

December 30 2013

08:00

The NSA Can "Literally Watch Every Keystroke You Make"

Democracy Now - By Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman - Dec. 30 (News Report) - The German publication Der Spiegel has revealed new details about a secretive hacking unit inside the National Security Agency called the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO. The unit was created in 1997 to hack into global communications traffic. Hackers inside the TAO have developed a way to break into computers running Microsoft Windows by gaining passive access to machines when users report program crashes to Microsoft. In addition, with help from the CIA and FBI, the NSA has the ability to intercept computers and other electronic accessories purchased online in order to secretly insert spyware and components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer and journalist Glenn Greenwald join us to discuss the latest revelations, along with the future of Edward Snowden, who has recently offered to assist U.S. targets Germany and Brazil with their respective probes into NSA spying.

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December 28 2013

08:00

U.S., British Media Are 'Devoted Servants' To Government

Huffington Post - By Katherine Fung, Glenn Greenwald - Dec. 28 (Opinion) - Greenwald, who reported on the National Security Agency's secret domestic surveillance programs with the help of documents leaked by the former NSA contractor, spoke to the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, via satellite from Brazil. According to Russia Today, he denounced journalists in the United States and Britain, accusing them of failing to challenge those in political power and of discrediting anyone who dared to do so.

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December 20 2013

08:00

Ratner: NSA Surveillance Program Needs to be Torn Apart from Branch to Branch

The Real News - By Michael Ratner - Dec. 20 (Opinion) - And what the judge did is he said that the Fourth Amendment, the right to be free from searches and seizures, applies to the taking of metadata on our phone calls in respect to what the NSA is doing. And he ruled, basically saying, it's likely unconstitutional and I want it stopped. He held the injunction until the court is--until the Court of Appeals gets it. But it's a huge, huge victory. It again demonstrates, of course, what the NSA is doing is crazy, what the 15 dozen or so judges on the secret court is completely, you know, outside of the Constitution. And, finally, we've got a courageous conservative district judge saying that. That's one very important ruling.

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December 17 2013

08:00

ALEC Calls for ‘Guerilla Warfare’ in Weakening Carbon Emissions Standards

ecowatch.com - By Aliya Haq - Dec. 17 (News Report) - ALEC claims it is increasing its transparency, but old habits die hard (if they die at all). Several reporters were refused entry into the conference, including Dana Milbank of The Washington Post and Andy Kroll of Mother Jones. A few handpicked media outlets were allowed to attend the large plenary sessions, but not the task force meetings between lawmakers and corporations.

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December 11 2013

08:00

USW Criticizes TPP Trade Deal Negotiations

DigitalJournal.com - Dec. 11 (Press Release) - Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), today issued the following statement on the lack of transparency and other outcomes being negotiated in the current proposed trade deal with 11 Asian nations known as Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Gerard participated in a media call with Members of Congress and a labor-environmental trade coalition earlier today.

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December 07 2013

08:00

Joe Stiglitz writes open letter to TPP negotiators

keionline.org - By James Love - Dec. 07 (News Report) - Professor Joseph Stiglitz has written an open letter to the TPP negotiators, asking that they resist proposals to weaken consumer rights in intellectual property. The letter identifies 12 specific "grave risks" in the IP Chapter, and calls upon negotiators to publish the investor state dispute resolution text.

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November 25 2013

08:00

Jeremy Scahill: the man exposing the US Dirty War

theguardian.com - By Stephen Moss - Nov. 25 (Review) - as the Edward Snowden furore shows, journalists are under greater pressure than ever before. "Under President Obama the US justice department has authorised the seizure of the phone records of journalists; they are tracking the meta-data of journalists; they're prosecuting whistleblowers in record numbers under the Espionage Act; there really is a war against journalism. For everyone who does this kind of work, where you're taking on powerful institutions, the responsible posture to take is to assume they're monitoring your communications. It's a part of doing this work."

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November 16 2013

08:00

Plutocrats Plan to Dominate the Planet: But the People of Chile Are Fighting for All of Us

AlterNet - By William K. Black - Nov. 16 (News Analysis) - Corporate CEOs view government and democracy as their gravest threats and are constantly seeking to discredit and hamstring both. CEOs are particularly eager to discredit, destroy, or capture regulation and they have enlisted enormous support in both major U.S. parties and many of the world’s dominant parties for these efforts.

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November 15 2013

08:00

Why Do We the People Have to Read TPP on Wikileaks?

nationofchange.org - By Dave Johnson - Nov. 15 (News Report) - We the People finally get to read one chapter of the 29-chapter Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “trade” agreement. If this agreement becomes law it will fundamentally alter the relationship between our government, other governments and giant multinational corporations, so you’d think America’s citizens would want to have a say in the negotiations. But the only reason We the People get to even read it at all is because it was leaked to Wikileaks.

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November 14 2013

08:00

TPP Exposed

Democracy Now - By Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzalez, Julian Assange - Nov. 14 (News Report) - WikiLeaks has published the secret text to part of the biggest U.S. trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the past several years, the United States and 12 Pacific Rim nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on the sweeping agreement. A 95-page draft of a TPP chapter released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday details agreements relating to patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design — showing their wide-reaching implications for Internet services, civil liberties, publishing rights and medicine accessibility.

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November 13 2013

08:00

TPP Uncovered: WikiLeaks releases draft of highly-secretive multi-national trade deal

rt.com - Nov. 13 (News Report) - Details of a highly secretive, multi-national trade agreement long in works has been published by WikiLeaks, and critics say there will be major repercussions for much of the modern world if its approved in this incarnation. The anti-secrecy group published on Wednesday a 95-page excerpt taken from a recent draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a NAFTA-like agreement that is expected to encompass nations representing more than 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product when (Ed. IF) it is finally approved: the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.

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November 09 2013

08:00

Dark Money Groups Are Funded By Dark Money Groups That Fund Dark Money Groups That Fund...

Huffington Post - By Paul Blumenthal - Nov. 09 (News Report) - A recent million-dollar settlement in California has stripped back the curtain on how "dark money" is secretly moved in and around electoral politics. Documents and interviews revealed how a networks of nonprofits passed dark money -- that is, money whose source is not disclosed to the public -- from one to another to another to further obscure the original sources. Examples of similar financial transfers uncovered by The Huffington Post, in addition to a host of examples reported by the Center for Responsive Politics and NPR, demonstrate that the California case is no isolated incident.

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November 08 2013

08:00

How Can the New York Times Endorse an Agreement the Public Can't Read?

eff.org - By Maira Sutton - Nov. 08 (News Analysis) - The New York Times' editorial board has made a disappointing endorsement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), even as the actual text of the agreement remains secret. That raises two distressing possibilities: either in an act of extraordinary subservience, the Times has endorsed an agreement that neither the public nor its editors have the ability to read. Or, in an act of extraordinary cowardice, it has obtained a copy of the secret text and hasn't yet fulfilled its duty to the public interest to publish it.

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