Howdy!

International Developments

US moving “advanced missile system” to Guam.

NATO’s International Security Assistance Force is “braced for ‘high-profile’ attacks and assassination attempts by Taliban militants” as summer approaches and Western armies withdraw.

❖ “A suicide bomb and gun attack on a courthouse in western Afghanistan . . . more than 50 people dead and 90 injured,” mostly civilians.

❖ Over half of Pakistanis 18-29 years old polled reported “democracy had not been good for them or the country.”  “Sharia law and military rule were favoured”.

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s woes continue with almost 500 al-Azhar University (Cairo) students protesting after being taken to hospital for food poisoning.

Several newspaper publishing sites in Iraq were attacked by mobs furious over a story critical of a particular Shiite cleric.

International Finance

❖ “Investigators from Germany’s central bank are scheduled to fly to New York next week [to look into] allegations that . . . Deutsche” Bank hid some “$12bn in losses, helping it avoid a government bailout.”

❖ Oh, how the mighty are falling!  Inaki Urdangarin, married to Spain’s Princess Cristina, is charged with misusing “millions of euros of public money.”

Money Matters USA

Great article by Bill Black:  “Third Way is Wall Street on the Potomac.  It is funded secretly by Wall Street . . ., it is openly run by Wall Street, and it lobbies endlessly for Wall Street.”  So what does a New York Times reporter call it?  A “center-left policy research organization”.  Go here to click through to many Third Way connections.

Matthew Marshall Taylor, Goldman Sachs trader, has been rather expensive for Goldman Sachs to have around, what with losses and penalties due to his actions. Anyhow, he’s turned himself in to the FBI.

J.C. Penney’s CEO had his pay cut, coinciding with a 60% plunge in shares.

❖ Another reason to consider moving to a credit union: “Bank website attacks reach new high: 249 hours offline in past six weeks”.

Politics USA

Assistant US Attorney Jay Hilerman “has withdrawn from a large federal racketeering case against alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang”, citing “security reasons”.

❖ Remember Colin Small, that Republican who discarded VA voter registration forms in a dumpster last year?  He was “charged with 13 criminal counts including eight felony charges.”  The felony charges were dropped yesterday.  Why?

Elizabeth Warren interview:  “Will [she] Be a Dragon Slayer or a Deal Maker?”  Or both?

Anti-Constitutional fever has seized some NC GOP politicians: they’re pushing a bill allowing the state to declare an official religion.

A bill in the NC state senate would impose a tax penalty on “parents whose children register to vote at their college address”.  It’s called the “Equalize Voter Rights” act.

Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford (R-Appalachian Trail) “Calls For More Humility In Washington.”

A Brooklyn judge fined a birther $177,000 for filing lawsuits in an attempt to disqualify presidential candidate Barack Obama. The judge characterized the claims as “The Manchurian Candidate Meets The Da Vinci Code.”

That Roman Catholic priest in CT who’s accused of raking in $300,000+ peddling meth is pleading guilty to one charge.  The church has suspended him, btw.

Gun Corner

Mingo County, WV’s sheriff was shot earlier today.  He has died. A suspect is in custody.

NY Representative Carolyn Maloney (D) is receiving death threats after introducing a bill last week requiring “weapons owners to hold liability insurance”.

Grieving family members and others of Newton, CT were in attendance as the CT house and senate prepared to vote on gun control measures.  Update: CT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) is expecting the bipartisan comprehensive gun control bill to be on his desk for signing tomorrow.

❖ “Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and executive vice president of the National Association for Gun Rights, said that he was looking forward to November because it will be ‘time to hunt Democrats’.”

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

❖ “Expanding Medicaid is the healthcare law’s single best tool for reducing out-of-pocket healthcare costs”, per the Robert Wood Johnson Fundation.

❖ “Senior citizens may stand to pay a substantial cost in lost services if Gov. Tom Corbett [(R)]‘s effort to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery’s management goes nowhere.”

The War on Women

❖ “We are talking about the status of women and whether you can add fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses to the Constitution without subtracting pregnant women from it.  You cannot.”

❖ “Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis:  . . . regime soldiers are said to be sexually violating women and men from the opposition, destroying families and, in some cases, taking lives.”

Working for A Living

❖ “An Ingham County [MI] judge this morning rejected Attorney General Bill Schuette [(R)]‘s request to dismiss a lawsuit by labor supporters who alleged Michigan’s new right-to-work laws were passed in violation of the state’s Open Meetings Act.”  Yes!

Heads Up!

❖ “A senior Swedish judge said Wednesday that the sex crime allegations in his country against fugitive WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are ‘a mess’.”

Recently released Dept of Homeland Security documents, heavily redacted, seem to reveal “a secret political police force [used] against people participating in lawful, peaceful free speech activity”, or trying to.  Interesting stuff.

Planet Earth News

58% of Republicans “believe that global warming is a ‘hoax’”.  Only 11% of Democrats do.

❖ There’s the  bitumen ’technicality’, and now news that the Federal Aviation Administration has established a no-fly zone over Mayflower, citing “Hazards”.

More trouble at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in WA:  Underground tanks, holding “a stew of toxic, radioactive waste . . . pose a possible risk of explosion”.

There’ve been “several thousand fewer cancer deaths in the region” since Sacramento, CA voters shut down Rancho Seco nuke plant in 1989.

Children born in AK, CA, HI, OR and WA between 1 to 16 weeks after the Fukushima meltdown were “28% more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism” than were children born in those places a year earlier.

❖ Will ending nuclear power decrease CO2 emissions?

Break Time

Stunning images.