In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, January 27, 2022

Colin Powell urges end to ban on gays in military

Colin PowellFormer Secretary of State and retired Army general Colin Powell joined the chorus of officials urging an end to the military’s ban on gays serving openly.

Powell previously opposed allowing gays to serve in the military, opposing former President Bill Clinton’s efforts to end the ban in 1993.

“In the past 17 years since the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” Powell said Wednesday.

“I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week,” Powell said.

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Can health care reform save the American economy?

Columnist David Broder argues that — in effect — what is good for health care is good for America.

Writing in The Washington Post, Broder argues that we need health care reform to save the American economy.

“A chart in the budget shows that the three big entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, now consume 41 percent of the federal spending, aside from interest payments,” Broder says. “On current trends, this will rise to 60 percent by 2030, when all surviving baby boomers will be 65 or older — crowding out almost everything else the country needs from government.”

So what’s the answer?

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NSA teams with Google to fight cybercrime

cybercrimeThe world’s largest Internet search company and the world’s most powerful electronic surveillance organization are teaming up in the name of cybersecurity.

Under an agreement that is still being finalized, the National Security Agency would help Google analyze a major corporate espionage attack that the firm said originated in China and targeted its computer networks, according to cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter. The objective is to better defend Google — and its users — from future attack.

Google and the NSA declined to comment on the partnership. But sources with knowledge of the arrangement, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of Americans’ online communications. The sources said the deal does not mean the NSA will be viewing users’ searches or e-mail accounts or that Google will be sharing proprietary data.

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State Farm bails on Florida homeowners

The largest homeowners insurer in Florida is canceling the policies of 125,000 of its most vulnerable customers beginning Aug. 1, halfway through the 2010 hurricane season.

The company, State Farm Florida, began sending out cancellation notices this week to nearly a fifth of its 714,000 customers, most of them in the state’s hurricane-prone coastal regions.

A spokesman for State Farm said the decision was the direct result of its failure to win a 47.1 percent rate increase from state regulators.

State Farm stopped writing new policies and sought the increase a year ago, saying severe losses from a series of devastating hurricanes in recent years had rendered its business model unworkable. It said that without the large increase, it would be insolvent by the end of 2011.

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Obama gets pissy with Conservative Democrats

President Barack Obama (AFP)Just as President Obama’s appearance before the House Republican caucus last Friday gave him an opportunity to push back against some of the most outlandish conservative caricatures of his presidency, his visit with Senate Democrats on Wednesday morning allowed him to confront, head on and in public, the timidity and centrism from within his own party.

“There was apparently a headline after the Massachusetts election,” Obama declared during the morning meeting, to which cameras were allowed access. “The Village Voice announced that Republicans win a 41-59 majority. It’s worth thinking about. We still have to lead.”

In one key exchange Wednesday, Obama rebuked pleas from Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) that he moderate his agenda and work with Republicans to ease the current state of economic uncertainty.

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Big banks launder dirty money

Among Bank of America’s 50 million customers, Pierre Falcone was far from ordinary. An infamous global arms dealer who unlawfully sold weapons to Angola for its civil war and an international fugitive, Falcone was convicted of tax fraud and illegal arms dealing in 2007 and 2009 and is currently serving six years behind bars. Yet for nearly two decades, Falcone and his relatives freely used 29 different bank accounts to funnel at least $60 million into the US from secretive havens like the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and Singapore, and from shell corporations and secret clients. Despite his criminal record and worldwide notoriety, Bank of America essentially treated him like any other depositor.

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