TRUMP SUED FOR GET RICH SCHEME

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Michael Gormley of the Associated Press Reported:

ALBANY, N.Y.New York‘s attorney general sued Donald imagesCA4SSSQRTrump for $40 million Saturday, saying the real estate mogul helped run a phony “Trump University” that promised to make students rich but instead steered them into expensive and mostly useless seminars, and even failed to deliver promised apprenticeships….The $40 million he seeks is mostly to pay restitution to consumers.

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No, seriously, aspiring Gordon Gekko’s paid to sit at the Capitalist Guru’s feet to learn “Art of the Deal” ,”How to Get Rich” and , “Think Like a Billionaire.”

Gormley continues:

State Education Department officials had told Trump to change the name of his enterprise years ago, saying it lacked a license and didn’t meet the legal definitions of a university. In 2011 it was renamed the Trump Entrepreneur Institute, but it has been dogged since by complaints from consumers and a few isolated civil lawsuits claiming it didn’t fulfill its advertised claims.

Trump responds to allegations saying that the “Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman suit is politically money_bagmotivated. Claiming that Schneiderman is angry that the Donald has been stingy with his political donations…

State Board of Elections records show Trump has spent more than $136,000 on New York campaigns since 2010. He contributed $12,500 to Schneiderman in October 2010, when Schneiderman was running for attorney general, records show.

imagesCAOW0X3R    Mmkay. The Donald‘s hair seems to be interfering with his brain activity, acting like a “tin foil” conspiracy deflector. He simply cannot wrap his brain (or hair) around the concept of justice. According to WISE GEEK:

According to WISE GEEK:

A state’s attorney general is responsible for enforcing the law in the state where he or she was elected.

It would appear, that Schneiderman is acting within his scope of authority…. investigating FRAUD COMPLAINTS.

Wait for it…

Yellow Sticky Note

Cross posted at All Things Democrat

Arsenic, Texas: Population 0

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Study: Arsenic Found in Water Near Natural Gas Sites
by Neena Satija

A study of water quality in the Barnett Shale region of North Texas has found elevated levels of arsenic in wells that are closer to natural gas extraction sites. But the reasons behind the contamination are far from clear, and the study, published last week in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology, is sure to fuel an already fierce debate over the impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

University of Texas at Arlington researchers tested 100 private water wells in 2011 in Tarrant and surrounding counties in the Barnett Shale region, where oil and gas companies have been injecting a combination of fluid, chemicals and sand to release shale gas from rock formations in a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Those with dangerously high levels of arsenic — about one-third of the wells — tended to be much closer to natural gas wells than those that were not contaminated. Long-term exposure to arsenic is linked to several major diseases, including prostate, lung, skin and liver cancers.

Fracking could have contributed to the elevated arsenic levels, said lead author Brian Fontenot. Faulty gas well casings or excess water pumping could add metals to the water, or the vibrations that come from drilling “can shake the rust on older private water wells,” he said. That rust could contain arsenic.

“We’re not saying that they’ve injected arsenic into these wells,” Fontenot said. But he said the study, which is self-funded, could show “indirect ways” of contamination by drilling activities, especially because the wells his team tested that were far from drilling activities did not contain high levels of arsenic.

Enlarge
This map shows the location of all the wells tested in the Barnett Shale region for the study, and their level of contamination by arsenic.

Rob Jackson, a Duke University scientist who has studied the impacts of fracking in different shale regions, said the study is a valuable contribution to a growing body of research on the issue.

“It’s the first study that I know of looking at the Barnett Shale and water quality,” Jackson said. “The Barnett’s an important place, because this kind of drilling has been happening longest in the Barnett.”

The possibility that arsenic contamination could be linked to fracking also caught Jackson’s attention. His study on Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale found that drinking water near gas wells contained stray gases like methane, the main component of natural gas. And though drilling companies say the recipe of chemicals that they inject into the ground is secret, they do generally use substances that are collectively referred to as BTEX — benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene — but the researchers in the UTA study didn’t find those.

“Where are the metals coming from?” Jackson asked. “Are they coming from the drilling or are they being dissolved from the rock by something leaking out of the top of the well?”

But industry advocates are skeptical. “For all the science that was applied in that study, those kind of conclusions are about as unscientific as you can get,” said Ed Ireland, head of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, a nonprofit based in Fort Worth whose members are oil and gas companies that operate in the region.

If fracking were contaminating the water, he said, the researchers would have found BTEX. “They didn’t find any. To me, that was significant,” he said.

The researchers’ suggestion that mechanical vibrations may release the chemical, is a “sloppy conclusion,” Ireland said. “With such a small sample size, they really can’t reach a conclusion like that.”

Jackson, the Duke researcher, also said the relatively few number of wells in the study is a big limitation. And the researchers didn’t test the wells before drilling began, so the arsenic could have been there beforehand.

The study’s authors looked at historical data for about 300 wells in the area and found that in the 1990s, not a single one had dangerous levels of arsenic.

“There is good overlap between that historical data and their extraction and nonextraction wells,” Jackson said. “It suggests that the water quality has changed, and oil and gas drilling might be the cause.”

Research on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water has been mixed, and the results hotly contested. While Jackson found evidence of contamination in the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania, he didn’t find any in a study of the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas.

Last week in Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, and other congressmen blasted the Environmental Protection Agency in a hearing that questioned its work on this issue, and the Los Angeles Times on Monday published a report suggesting that an EPA study on fracking and water contamination had been censored. Last year, a UT-Austin scientist at the Energy Institute made headlines when he found no link between fracking and water contamination, but was then heavily criticized for failing to disclose more than $1 million of income that came from a drilling company.

The UTA study’s lead author, Fontenot, said his team is working on another study in the Cline Shale region in the Permian Basin, where drilling has recently begun. Landowners have let them test the water before natural gas activity started so they can compare samples before and after the extraction process.

Fontenot is also a scientist in the EPA’s Dallas office, where his work is not related to oil and gas activities. He said his team chose not to ask for funding for this study from environmental or industry groups, instead using a start-up grant from UTA and paying out of pocket for other expenses.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2013/07/30/fracking/.

ANONYMOUS VS. WESTBORO

ANONYMOUS VS. WESTBORO

The Westboro IDIOTS are at it again.  Just hours after the bombing, Westboro tweeted their plan to protest the funerals of those killed in the Boston blast.

“WestboroBaptist Church to picket funerals of those dead by Boston Bombs! GOD SENT THE BOMBS IN FURY OVER FAG MARRIAGE! #PraiseGod,” the group tweeted at 5:20 p.m. Monday, two hours after news of the first explosion.”  (full story here)

WESTBORO IDIOTS

ANONYMOUS, rallies the nameless to avenge the dead. The hacktivist group Anonymous made it very clear that if the WBC tried anything in Boston, they would feel the full fury of the online community. (Huff Po)

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My money is on Anonymous.

Who Controls the Media?

Corporate interests influencing politics, cable entertainment masquerading as news, and left or right leaning journalists are the single most destructive force in society.

How difficult is it to report  facts, not opinions or speculative  drivel . The polarization of this NATION is a by product of Corporate involvement in policy decisions.

Remember, the most influential cable networks, newspapers, etc. are controlled by the same recycled corporate interests.

The next time you turn on the television, be mindful of who is bankrolling the information.

Who Controls the Media?

Parent Company Networks Owned Cable Interests
General Electric
$100.5 billion
1998 revenuesBackground:
GE/NBC’s ranks No. 1 on the Forbes 500. Prior to its merger with NBC and an alliance with Microsoft, GE specialized in electronics. The peacock owns many New York sports team. It also owns or has equity stakes in many popular websites, including Snap.com and iVillage.
NBC
includes programming, news and more than 13 TV and radio stations
Owns 25-50% of the following:

  • A & E (with Disney and Hearst)
  • American Movie Classics (25%)
  • Biography Channel (with Disney and Hearst)
  • Bravo (50%)
  • Bravo International
  • CNBC
  • Court TV (with Time Warner)
  • Fox Sports Net
  • History Channel (with Disney and Hearst)
  • Independent Film Channel
  • MSG Network
  • MSNBC (50%)
  • National Geographic Worldwide
  • News Sport
  • Prime
  • Prism (with Rainbow, a subsidiary of Cablevision, and Liberty Media, a subsidiary of TCI)
  • Romance Classics
  • Sports Channel Cincinnati, Chicago, Florida, New England, Pacific, Ohio, Philadelphia
Time Warner
$26.8 billion
1998 revenuesBackground:
The largest media corporation in the world, Time Warner owns film and music production companies, theme parks, sports teams, magazines, websites and book publishers as well as Turner Broadcasting
TURNER BROAD-CASTING
includes sports teams, programming, production, retail, book publishing and multimediaWB
Television Network
  • HBO (75%)
  • Cinemax
  • HBO Direct Broadcast
  • Court TV (33% with GE)
  • TBS Superstation
  • Turner Classic Movies
  • TNT
  • Cartoon Network
  • Comedy Central (37.5% with Viacom)
  • Sega Channel
  • OVATION (50%)
  • Women’s Information Television (WIN) (partial)
  • TVKO (75%)
  • 4 regional all-news channels
  • CNN
  • CNN/SI (with Sports Illustrated)
  • CNNfn (financial network)
  • CNNRadio
  • Headline News
  • Sportsouth
  • CNN International
  • CNN Airport Network
The Walt Disney Co.
$23 billion
1998 revenuesBackground:
With its 1995 merger with Capital Cities/ABC, Disney has become a fully-integrated media giant. In addition to its theme parks, the company profits from retail outlets, magazines, book publishers, websites, motion pictures, sports teams, TV, cable, radio, music and newspapers.
ABC
includes ABC Radio, ABC Video and ABC Network News
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Television (58 hours/week syndicated programming)
  • Toon Disney
  • Touchstone Television
  • A&E (37.5% with Hearst and GE)
  • Lifetime Network (50%)
  • ESPN (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPN2 (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPN Classic (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPN West (80% with Hearst)
  • ESPNews (80% with Hearst)
  • Buena Vista Television
  • Biography Channel (with GE and Hearst)
  • History Channel (37.5% with Hearst and GE)
  • Classic Sports Network
  • E! (35%)
Viacom
$18.9 billion
1998 revenuesBackground:
Viacom’s purchase of Paramount, CBS and Blockbuster Video enables them to use cable, television, movies, comic books, theme parks, music publishing and book publishing to cross-market their products. Broadcasting alone brings in over $6 billion in revenues.
CBS
includes stations, CBS Radio, CBS Telenoticias and CBS Network NewsUPN
includes programming and TV stations (50%)
  • Nickelodeon
  • MTV
  • M2: Music Television
  • VH1
  • Showtime
  • Nick at Nite’s TVLand
  • Paramount Networks Comedy Central (50% with Time Warner)
  • TNN: The Nashville Network
  • Movie Channel
  • FLIX
  • All News Channel (50%)
  • Sundance Channel (45%)
  • Midwest Sports Channel
  • CBS Telenoticias (30%)
  • Home Team Sports (66% with News Corporation)
News Corporation
$13 billion
1998 revenuesBackground:
CEO Rupert Murdoch’s style has inspired respect and fear, and it has also made his multinational ventures in publishing, television and satellite services very successful. The company owns 20th Century Fox, the New York Post, the London Times, TV Guide, many stadiums, the LA Dodgers and five New York sports teams.
FOX
includes programming and stations
  • Fox Family Channel (50%)
  • Fox News Channel
  • fx (50% with TCI’s Liberty Media)
  • fxM (50% with TCI’s Liberty Media)
  • Fox Sports Net (25% with TCI, GE and Cablevision)
  • The National Geographic Channel (50%)
  • FIT TV Partnership
  • Regional networks, including TV Guide Channel and Fox Sports New York

Other Major Players:

AT&T (TCI) – Recently acquired by AT&T, TCI’s hold on cable, internet and local phone services contributed to $7.6 billion in 1997 revenues. TCI is the second-largest US cable television system provider, and it has 10% ownership of Time-Warner/Turner. The company owns all or part of USA Network, Sci-Fi Network, E!, Court TV, Starz! and Starz! 2, Black Entertainment Television, BET on Jazz, BET Movies/Starz! 3, CNN, TNT, Headline News, Prime Sports Channel, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, QVC, Q2, Fox Sports Net, The Travel Channel, Prevue Channel, Animal Planet, The Box, Telemundo, International Channel, Encore, MSG Network, Action Pay-per-view, and the Home Shopping Network.

Sony – Sony’s main media interests, earning $9 billion in 1997 sales, are in film and television production, movie theaters and music.

Universal (Seagram) – In addition to Universal Studios, with its production facilities and theme parks, the company owns the USA and Sci-Fi cable networks.

http://www.nowfoundation.org/issues/communications/tv/mediacontrol.html

Got Jobs? Not if Republicans Have Their Way…

On the heels of what is being chided as the best National Convention in history, the jobs numbers are out.   Opponents would have people believe that less than expected jobs numbers are   all Obama’s fault.  On the contrary, Obama and Democratic members of congress have repeatedly tried to pass comprehensive job creation legislation.   Republicans have repeatedly voted against them.

The method Republicans have used to block all jobs legislation in the past two years is the same. A jobs bill comes up, it is filled with positive things for the economy, Republicans filibuster debate, this shields them from having to make floor speeches on why they don’t want tax breaks for small businesses… etc.

Why? Well, if the economy recovers too strongly before an election, Republicans will lose power. If jobs numbers look too good, people will want to keep the same party. By Republicans blocking all jobs legislation and keeping jobs numbers from improving they believe this is their ticket to power.

In other words, if you and other Americans suffer just long enough it will pay off for Republicans.

They sacrifice the citizens’ jobs with the hopes that they will create more Republican jobs in Congress.(FULL STORY HERE AT Policy MIC).

Republicans tout their patriotism.  Patriotism is defined as devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.  

OH, I get it, this is how Republican’s show their love for this nation.

Cross Posted on All Things Democrat

Wall Street vs. Main Street (Revisited)

Politicians have been selling out to the highest bidder for years. Who are the benefactors? It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure it out. The GOP represents Wall Street; Democrats represent Main Street. Republicans may reign supreme from time to time. But, for many, many years–Democrats controlled congress…

Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for 60 years between 1933-1995 (in all but four years); and, they controlled the Senate in all but ten years. If you wanted something done, you needed the support of the Democrats. Those were the good ol’ days- a time when Congressional leaders upheld public interest. Somewhere, along the way, things changed:

Republicans seized power in 1994 by raising massive amounts of campaign cash. Between 1994-1998, Republican candidates raised a record breaking $1 BILLION+ dollars (Kaiser, 2009. So Damn Much Money, p. 272).

In 1994 (for the first time since 1954), Republicans gained control of both houses. The power shift gave the Neo-Cons a taste of how much power they stood to lose, if they didn’t keep their sponsors happy. Perhaps, this could explain why the power hungry Neo-Cons turned their collective focus away from public interest, to their corporate bedfellows. After all, they had $1 billion+ favors to repay. But, the Democrats would not go quietly- between 1995 and 2010, congressional power shifted as many times in fifteen years as it had in the past forty-five years (Lessig,L. 2011. Republic Lost, p.94).

In 2008, Republicans were dumping campaign cash at any contender they thought could beat a Democrat (Hillary or Obama). It didn’t take long for Democrats to learn that in order to beat Republicans (and BIG MONEY), you’ve got to raise a lot of cash, too. Presidential Candidates – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain – together spent more than $1 billion, an unprecedented figure. But, Obama didn’t win because of the massive amounts of campaign cash alone, he had a message. Of course, the cash helped Obama, no doubt, but he inspired Americans at a time when many of us had had a belly full of Bush, Cheney, the Industrial Military Complex, and failed Republican policies.

And, just when we thought we’d be able to loosen the Neo-Con stranglehold on humanity, enter the DRAGON: Citizens United.

The Citizens United ruling in 2010, was the proverbial nail in the coffin of public interest. All hail BIG BUSINESS. The landmark decision allows corporations and unions to throw endless amounts of cash at politicians. (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S.08-205 (2010), 558 U.S., 130 S. Ct. 876 (January 21, 2010)).

As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Therefore, I am duty bound to open up my checkbook and throw as much cash as possible toward QUALIFIED Democrats who do not worship at the altar of Wall Street, but work with us folks down here on Main Street. Please feel free to do the same, Main Street depends on it.

Cross posted on: www.definedontdefend.com and www.allthingsdemocrat.com

A VERY POWERFUL MESSAGE: About Four People.

Matthew Modine’s very short film with a VERY POWERFUL MESSAGE.
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done. The best way to create hope is to create opportunity.

It’s easy to bemoan our political leaders and we no doubt expect way too much from them. They are, after all, no more than elected public officials. We vote them into office to represent us. When they fail to represent the will of the people and the nation, we need to replace them and find those that will. This democratic process is but one of the goals of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. OWS can now be found in 951 cities in 83 countries including Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa. OWS is a people-powered movement that began in the financial district of New York City and has grown into a global occupation. It’s people from all over the world asking for better management. People asking this from their leaders and nations. People recognizing that governments commitment to the future is short-sighted. People exercising their right to demonstrate — which is the most basic emblem of democracy. Everybody is each of us. If you think you’re too small to make an impact, remember how annoying it is to try and sleep with a mosquito in your bedroom. I made this film to demonstrate.

EXCLUSIVE: WWW.OWSPR.COM
WWW.WORKHOUSEPR.COM
Media Contact Workhouse, CEO Adam Nelson via nelson@workhousepr.com