By Michael Collins
Rupert Murdoch is in big trouble. It is not a perfect storm but we're getting there.
British attorney Mark Lewis is in New York to take legal action in behalf of clients who may have had their phones hacked in the United States.
More significantly, News Corp withdrew its bid to buy the remaining 61% of BSkyB, the highly profitable British cable TV franchise (£1.1 billion 2011, News Corp owns 39% now). (Murdoch images: left, right)
Last week, James Murdoch stepped down as chairman of BSkyB after surviving a challenge to his position just weeks ago.
By Michael Collins
The current focus on Pennsylvania State University, its football program, and former coach Joe Paterno will be replaced by a more pervasive sexual assault scandal in the coming days and weeks. At-risk children and their often disadvantaged single parents were delivered up to a relentless sexual predator with exhibitionist tendencies as described in the findings of a special Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grand jury. (Image: from video)
The relentless deviate, former PSU defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, is accused of sexually assaulting children for years. According to the grand jury, he gained easy access to children and early adolescents through a foundation he founded in 1977, the Second Mile Foundation. He continued the assaults at his home and in the PSU showers on at least one occasion. The foundation serves over 100,000 at-risk youth. Sandusky started the foundation as a group home for "troubled boys" in 1977. Since hiring Jack Raykovitz, PhD, a licensed psychologist, as president, the foundation has grown into a multimillion enterprise serving over 100,000 children throughout the state.
A picture of alleged serial abuser Sandusky came into clear focus in the Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury release of findings about victims 1 through 8. Sandusky selected the eight boys from the population of those served by the Second Mile Foundation, it is alleged. He would start with mentoring, move onto hosting the boys for overnights in a bedroom at his home, and initiate oral copulation and anal sex, according to the grand jury report.
By Michael Collins
"George Osborne insisted that the government would stick unwaveringly to its austerity plans, despite admitting that the long-term damage caused to the economy by the credit crunch was forcing him to revise down estimates for growth that were already weak." The Guardian, September 6
A former Madame and dominatrix, Natalie Rowe, made high profile news yesterday in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ms. Rowe said that her phone was hacked in 2005 just before the Daily Mirror did a story about her use of cocaine and other vice activities with Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. The drug use and girls-for-hire action occurred, it is claimed, during and shortly after the time Osborne was a student at Oxford University and involved members of the elite Bullingdon drinking club.
Shut down in shame in July, Rupert Murdoch's News of the World (NoW) got the intel on the Mirror story through a phone hack on Rowe's phone. That resulted in what the Financial Times called a spoiler story. As the Mirror story broke, NoW's campaign to discredit Rowe was in full swing.
by Michael Collins
Transitory omnipotence mistaken for eternal dominance.
The House of Commons committee investigating Rupert Murdoch’s United Kingdom media properties released new evidence this week. The evidence elaborates on themes generated at the committee hearing of July 19 and adds new information to the toxic brew that threatens to drown the largest media company in the world. (Images: Hubert Burda Media, L, World Economic Forum)
At the July 19 hearing of the House of Commons Media, Sport and Culture Committee (Commons committee), Member of Parliament (MP) Tom Watson asked both Rupert and his son James Murdoch if either was aware of the “for Neville” memo concerning the 2008 phone hacking settlement by the News of the World (NoW). The Murdoch paper’s on-staff private detective, Glenn Mulcaire, was caught tapping the voicemail of Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association.
By Michael Collins
The Murdoch's and their former chief executive of News International testified before a House of Commons committee yesterday. Their hours of explanations can be summarized in a phrase: we knew nothing. (Image)
Rupert Murdoch was too busy flying around the world milking his cash cow media properties to be at all involved.
Number two son James was the executive in direct command and he heard nothing.
Rebekah Brooks, editor of the News of the World at the time of the Milly Dowler hacking, completed the trifecta of ignorance. Since she knew nothing, her very frequent contact with the Murdoch father-son team had to be, as the Fugs said, "a whole lot of nothing."
If you're in the retail business, it's all about packaging. If you're in wholesale, it's about volume. If you're Congressman Anthony Weiner, it's about the double game of liberal packaging without the throw weight to justify the image.
I managed to get through the last few days without much information on Weiner's Tweets. etc. As I exited the corporate media's fantasy land a few days ago, I saw a clip of Weiner with a shit eating grin on his face. He was trying to act like an “adult” (i.e., a pol like Cheney who lies without blinking).
Weiner asked that people not make more out if his situation than was actually there. I thought he's lying as I left the virtual world for some pressing business. Upon my return, I saw just enough to let me know that the congressman was the subject of the much discussed underwear shot heard round the world.
Should Elena Kagan be approved as a justice to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States?
As it turns out there's a supremely simple method of testing her suitability. Once applied, citizens of any political persuasion will see that her nomination should be rejected outright.
As Solicitor General of the United States, Kagan argued against an appeal to the Supreme Court by former Alabama Governor, Don Siegelman in November, 2009. The Siegelman prosecution is viewed by many as one of the gravest injustices of the modern era, a purely political prosecution initiated by the Gonzales Justice Department.
Forty four former state attorneys general were so concerned that they issued a public petition on Siegelman's behalf in 2007. The petition to the United States House of Representatives urged prompt investigation of the many shady dealings in the Siegelman case, before, during and after his trial. They framed their petition in this simple sentence: "The U.S. justice system should be above reproach." It wasn't.
Citizens carry the load for bad loans by Wall Street
In a February regulatory filing with the SEC, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now owned by the federal government, say they intend to return $21 billion in home mortgages to banks in 2010. Four commercial banks now dominate the home mortgage market: Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, and they will receive the bulk of these repurchases. Since the banks sold these mortgages to these agencies for full value, they must buy them back at full value, but at least one bank, JP Morgan Chase, says these mortgages will then be immediately written down by 50%.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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