"Mr. President, I rise today to talk about our debt crisis. About our short-term debt crisis and our long-term debt crisis. And I come here today to discuss ways to address them and ways not to address them."
Full text of Sen. Franken's prepared remarks may be found here.
042 Timelapse: The City Limits (time-lapse video, May 2011)
Boudreault's goal in this timelapse video is to show the duality of city and nature. Locations include Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, New York City and Chicago. For this project, Boudreault used the following gear:
Capitalism Is the Crisis examines the ideological roots of the "austerity" agenda and proposes revolutionary paths out of the current crisis.
It features academics, activists, and labour representatives, including original interviews with Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen, Michael Hardt, Peter Gelderloos, Leo Panitch, David McNally, Richard J.F. Day, Imre Szeman, Wayne Price, and many more.
An interview with postal workers Jim Kaufman and Jeff Levitt from Albany, New York, during the Capital District of New York Labor Day Celebration, about the alleged financial crisis of the United States Postal Service.
It is an artificially created crisis. It's created by the Congress. In 2006, the Postal Service became an institution that is required to pre-fund future retiree health care costs. It is the only corporate entity in the United States that actually has to pay that at this point. Since 2006 the Postal Service has been paying between 3 and 5 billion dollars out of their receipts from postage for those expenses. No other organization, no other corporate entity, has to pay that. That has created much of the deficit that we now face as a business. Since we are a government service, since service is our most important product, unfortunately the response of the organization has been to cut back on services. They plan on cutting back tremendous amounts of services. All of this is an artificially created crisis because in fact the Postal Service has overpaid into the federal retirement systems -- depending on which figures you use, whether those of the Congressional Budget Office or various unions in the Postal Service -- between 20 and 100 billion dollars. This is the fourth time the Postal Service has been overcharged. In the past, the Postal Service was always reimbursed by the federal government for these overpayments. At the moment, though, since the federal government does not want to have the deficit by a hundred billion if they pay back the Postal Service this money that is owed to the Postal Service, they are balking on reimbursing the Postal Service for these overpayments. As a group, we are asking that the Congress allow the Postal Service to apply these overages from retirement toward the federal requirement for pre-funding health care for future retirees. If they could do the right thing here, they would relieve the Postal Service of that obligation, and our deficit would go away.
"Europeans, and Italians in particular, are celebrating the 100th anniversary of their first aerial bombing ever done in the world. The Italians bombed in Libya in 1911. Now, of course, with 100 years of development of the technology, there have been 20,000 aerial attacks on Libya... They were there from the very beginning: the special forces, both the Americans and British and possibly French were there from the very beginning, well before the National Transitional Council itself came into being. This is a typical pattern of Afghanistan and Iraq, now in Libya. When such overwhelming Western force comes in, how can anybody stand up and fight? Overwhelming Western force comes in, the regime crumbles, the entire military infrastructure of the Libyan forces has been completely destroyed. The news is that half of the rebel force was brought in from the seas into Tripoli by NATO. So, it's really NATO bombing that has done it, and if that is what has done it, then clearly what happened in Afghanistan, what happened in Iraq, would be repeated. One of the things that are also happening in Libya, again after Afghanistan and Iraq, is really a sort of restoration of the ancien regime. That is to say, the very people in Afghanistan who were toppled by the Khalq Revolution of 1978 became the backbone of the American intervention there, and they were the people who were ultimately toppled by the Taliban, and so on. In Iraq, the same thing, it is the ancien regime. Every prominent leader of Iraq today is part of the old Iraqi elite that was overthrown by the Ba'athists. Now, again in Libya, the Senussi tribe and their leaders, old monarchical elements, and all of them are being brought back, so that is one part of what is going on. Regardless of ideology, regardless of anything, one big fight that is going to come is over the distribution of the spoils of war, in terms of tribes, in terms of regions, in terms of religious groupings, and so on. Without NATO arms, this kind of conglomeration is not going to hold together. What bears repeating is that what has defeated Gaddafi are not internal forces. It is NATO that has defeated. And it is only NATO that can stabilize what comes after the war. They have not only invaded a third Muslim country but also made really the first military foray of this kind of this level into Africa. using this kind of NATO license. The subservience of the members of the Security Council is astonishing. At any point, any member of the Security Council, permanent or non-permanent, could have called for a special session saying that the NATO was exceeding its mandate, but they did not. So, there is acquiescence from not only Russia and China but also the non-permanent members of the Security Council, like India for instance. Will this be repeated for Syria? We don't know."
047 Nobody Can Predict the Moment of Revolution (video journalism, 22 Sep 2011)
This video was shot during the 5th and 6th day of the "occupation." Protests began on 17 Sep 2011, when hundreds gathered at Bowling Green Park in Manhattan, home of the iconic charging bull in New York's Financial District. The idea to occupy NYC's financial district is inspired by recent uprisings in Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia. Over 80 people were arrested on Saturday, the 8th day of protest. In spite of the corporate media's silence, muted support, or mockery, the occupation continues. The crowds organizers hoped for have not materialized, but between 200 and 300 protesters remained camped in Zuccotti Park as of this writing.
The case of the anthrax letters has been unfolding for a decade. Some of those involved in preparing these reports covered the story when it broke and were investigating bio-defense issues even earlier:
Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica managing editor and a reporter on these stories, co-authored the book Germs, a history of biological warfare that appeared in September 2001, only days before the first anthrax letters were mailed. The book drew on interviews with many in the bio-defense community, though not Bruce Ivins, the U.S. Army scientist ultimately accused of the mailings.
Gary Matsumoto, a contributor to ProPublica and a reporter on this project, has covered bio-defense for nearly 20 years. His Freedom of Information Act requests in the late 1990s about possible problems with a "second generation" anthrax vaccine irritated Ivins, one of the new vaccine's inventors. Matsumoto says he had cordial relations with Ivins, who figured prominently in his 2004 book, "Vaccine A."
In 2003, Matsumoto also reported stories raising the possibility that the anthrax had been deliberately coated with chemicals to make it flow more efficiently. The FBI and its scientists have long denied this was the case.
Jim Gilmore has worked with FRONTLINE for more than 20 years reporting on national security stories, including films on the threat posed by bioterrorism and cyberwar. He was a producer of the 1998 film Plague War," which looked at the rise and fall of the Soviet Union's vast secret biological weapons program.
Greg Gordon, a McClatchy investigative reporter, has written extensively about bio-terrorism and the anthrax letter attacks. He has spent 34 years covering the nation's capital, including events such as the 9/11 attacks and the hunt for the Unabomber.
Mike Wiser, a FRONTLINE producer, has spent much of the last eight years investigating the American government's response to the 9/11 attacks. His most recent project, "Top Secret America," looked at the growth of government secrecy over the past decade.
The 10th anniversary of the Ivins case has been extensively covered in print and broadcast, including a report by CNN that included interviews with Los Angeles Times reporter David Willman, whose recent book "The Mirage Man" argues that Ivins harbored a dark side and had the means and motive to prepare the letters.
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