“Economists have said that failing to raise the debt ceiling could be catastrophic for the U.S. economy, but at least one lawmaker stands to gain financially if the country defaults on its debts. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) latest financial disclosure statement indicates that he owns up to $15,000 of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20 Year Treasury EFT, a fund that will likely skyrocket as U.S. debt becomes less desirable. "If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, investors would start fleeing U.S. Treasuries," Motley Fool's Matt Koppenheffer told Salon. "Yields would rise, prices would fall, and the Proshares ETF should do very well. It would spike." "Cantor's involvement in the fund and negotiations is not ideal," he added. "I don’t think someone negotiating the debt ceiling should be invested in this kind of an ultra-short... It looks pretty bad.”—Cantor could rake in windfall if debt ceiling isn’t raised - The Raw Story
Obama's Harsh Treatment For Manning Is Due To A Conflict of Interest
In 2010, WikiLeaks released private government documents which revealed that Obama supported the coup in Honduras in 2009, the first successful Latin American coup in a decade and half. Since then, Honduras become the murder capital of the world. The coup dramatically increased drug trafficking, violence and state repression. At least 34 members of the opposition have disappeared or been killed, and more than 300 people have been killed by state security forces since the coup, according to the leading human rights organization Cofadeh. At least 13 journalists have been killed since Mr. Lobo took office, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. 89 LGBT persons were also murdered over three and a half years in the country which has a population less than 8 million.
Pfc. Manning, the whistleblower responsible for the largest leak of state secrets in U.S. history which included the documents that tied the president to the military coup in Honduras, is currently in prison and being prosecuted by the Obama Administration despite the obvious conflict of interest.
Obama has made it clear that he wants to make Manning’s life a living hell. After the press published stories about Manning’s harsh treatment in prison, which included: being stripped naked every night before bed, confined to a cell for all but an hour a day, allowed only 20 minutes of “sunshine call”, was given no more than five minutes in the shower, denied access to sufficient exercise and given a pair of running shoes to walk without laces that fell off due to the leg shackles, Obama replied by saying Manning is being held in conditions that are “appropriate and meeting our basic standards.”
In case the information above wasn’t enough to convince you that the current administration has a personal vendetta against the whistleblower, consider this. Manning was in prison without trial for 1,005 days before pleading guilty to 10 (of the 22) charges against him in a bid to secure a reduced sentence. Those 10 charges alone could carry a sentence of up to 20 years. But instead of accepting that plea, military prosecutors announced Friday they will seek to imprison Manning for life without parole on charges that include aiding the enemy. And after more than three years of imprisonment, including nine months of torture, Nobel Peace Prize nominee B. Manning’s trial is finally scheduled to begin June 3, 2013, at Fort Meade, Maryland. That is 1,105 days, or 3 years and 9 days, since he was arrested. So much for a speedy trial.
It should also be noted that Obama’s Justice Department has prosecuted more whistle-blowers than the combined total of every President who preceded him. So when it comes to Manning, who personally caused the PODUS deep embarrassment, I’m not to optimistic that Manning will win this case.
“Ties between offshore oil and gas companies and the agency that regulates them are so pervasive that a year after new ethics rules took effect, as many as a third of inspectors in some Gulf of Mexico offices have been disqualified to avoid potential conflicts of interest.”—via CNBC
Conflict of interest - Sigyn/Týr
Týr needed some time to get his Mind clear about everything that happened since he was back and he took his time. One Problem after another and he would try to stay objective with everything. He was about to visit Sigyn, talking about the competition and her view about that. Cause yes, he wanted to win and to gain her Hand but he also wanted to know her feelings. He was still full with jealousy but since either fenrir or Sigyn gave him a direct answer he still had no Place on the chessboard. But to be honest, he would not give in as long there’s a tiny chance for him to gain her heart. She was sweet around him and he hoped that meant something. He knocked at her door when he reached her chamber, looking down to check his clothes. He had no idea why he choose his best combination of asgardian clothes. Okay yes he knew he looked good in it and yes he wanted to impress her.
“TechCrunch is a different property and they have different standards.”—
Tim Armstrong, chief executive of AOL, to the New York Times in response to news that TechCrunch founding editor Michael Arrington has started a $20 million venture fund that will invest in technology startups.
TechCrunch is an AOL property.
Arrington, and TechCrunch by extension, has often come under fire for conflict of interest. Arrington’s response is usually that he’s transparent about his investments in technology companies that TechCrunch covers.
Still though, say what, huh? Transparency is a key value in today’s news environment but running a leading technology publication while heading up a venture fund that invests in technology companies is, how should we say, beyond problematic for TechCrunch as a trustworthy brand.
Perhaps sensing that, Business Insider just reported that Arianna Huffington has told them that Arrington no longer works for TechCrunch and will not report to her at the AOL Huffington Post Media Group.
However, Business Insider says they are getting mixed signals about the veracity of that claim.
Update: Kara Swisher chimes in at AllThingsD:
And so it goes in Silicon Valley.
In fact, the creation of a $20 million investment kitty that Arrington has dubbed CrunchFund is simply the formalization of a long-standing arrangement that has already been going on since he founded his popular tech blog.
That is to say, in which the basic standards of journalism are first warped by calling it newfangled truth-telling and then endlessly corroded by using a wily and unusually aggressive combination of favors and threats to extract, from start-ups and VCs in need of press, both exclusive access and information.
And now, inevitably, money.
Anthony Weiner: Clarence Thomas' Conflict of Interest
Clarence Thomas’ wife earned $700,000 from half the radical right-wing ideologues in Washington. Opposing health care reform was her specialty. For 13 years, Thomas didn’t disclose a penny of that income.
He’s trying to conceal a blatant conflict of interest. His family is getting rich off an issue that’s very likely to come before the Supreme Court.
May 15 was another big financial disclosure deadline – and the beginning of the next round of our fight.
These financial forms are a matter of public record, typically made available within 30 days of the filing deadline. But when a Supreme Court justice has broken the public trust repeatedly for over a decade, we deserve to know right away what conflict he has.
Stand with me to force Clarence Thomas to release his disclosure ASAP. We need to know how big a conflict Thomas is bringing every day to our Supreme Court. [emphasis his]
The Libya Negs: Tim Hetherington's Last Images
As Magnum now have representational rights over Tim Hetherington’s archive of images, the work he was making in Libya has surfaced. A selection of 31 images from the 53 rolls of film Hetherington shot on his Mamiya 7II. Below is the text Magnum have provided to explain the work and a few of my favourite images, the only question left is when do we see the other 499 images he shot before his death?
In April of 2011, Tim Hetherington travelled to Libya to photograph the ongoing uprising against the government. His goal was not to photograph the “news” of the day, but rather to focus on the idea of what he described as the “Theater of War” and young men acting out what they must imagine as the Hollywood version of how a rebel soldier looks and acts. He did not use a digital camera like other news photographers on the ground. Instead, he made these pictures with a medium format film camera giving the images much greater detail and clarity. When he was killed on April 20th by a mortar in the city of Misurata, he had photographed some 53 rolls of film. These are the images from those rolls, the last pictures Tim Hetherington would make.
You can see the other images on Magnum’s Website here.
Further reading on Magnum’s acquisition of Hetherington’s archive here.