TV News LIES

Friday, Apr 18th

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Why Aren’t More Americans Fired Up About Inequality?

Inequity in the USWith news of record corporate profits and increased bonuses for those at the top of the financial heap — and on-going income stagnation, job loss, and rising poverty for those in the middle and bottom of the ladder—it’s maddening for progressives to hear our political elites continuing to promote austerity as a means for growth.

Just a year and half ago, Occupy Wall Street was all anyone could talk about.  President Obama won a historic second term running on these themes and announced a new era of liberal governance in his recent Inaugural address.  Yet, even with strong evidence out of Europe that austerity is failing, and public opinion polls in the U.S. showing clear opposition to rising inequality, the political class in Washington is collectively trying to convince itself that America can cut its way to prosperity and economic opportunity for the middle class.

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Bernie Madoff: 'The Banks Had To Know What I Was Doing'

Bernie MadoffMadoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009 for his multi-billion dollar scheme, has made this claim before. He told The New York Times in an interview from prison in 2011 that the banks "had to know" he was committing fraud, but chose to turn a blind eye.

Madoff had dealings with a variety of banks and hedge funds, and burned Madoff investors have tried to recoup funds from some of them. Madoff held an account at JPMorgan Chase that he used to shuffle money between offices in London and New York. In 2011, two Madoff investors sued the bank for $19 million, claiming they aided in his fraud, according to CNN. At the time, a JPMorgan spokesman dismissed the lawsuit as “meritless.”

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How robots are eating the last of America’s—and the world’s—traditional manufacturing jobs

Baxter, the robotBaxter, the affordable, humanoid industrial robot recently unveiled by Rethink Robotics, is so easy to program that I once did it one-handed and drunk. We were at a party at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and he was standing in the corner, looking lonely. No, really—Baxter has expressive eyes projected on a touchscreen where you’d expect it to have a face, virtually guaranteeing that you’ll anthropomorphize it.

Drink in hand, I walked over and, with only the vaguest sense of how to get it to respond to my touch, grabbed it by the wrist. I guided its “hand” over to a box full of small objects. Its caliper-like fingers closed on a widget. Then I moved its hand, which offered almost no resistance at all, to another position on the table. It dropped the object.

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Facebook Is Getting a $429 Million Tax Refund This Year

facebookFebruary really is the cruelest month because, on top of all this snow, one is forced to start contemplating death, or at least filling out one's taxes. (The distinction was always lost on us.) You might be left scratching your head, and wishing you had a better accountant, when you hear how Facebook is getting hundreds of millions in a tax refund this year.

Thanks to a statement from Citizens for Tax Justice, Bloomberg Businessweek's Peter Coy brought an interesting little nugget of information from Facebook's public filing to our attention. Because of the way Facebook treats stock options distributed to investors and employees instead of cash compensation on its balance sheets, the company is able to claim paying a tax liability worth hundreds of millions of dollars when the reality is they're getting paid:

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S&P expects to be sued by Department of Justice over ratings on mortgage-backed bonds

Standard and PoorStandard & Poor’s says the government plans to file a lawsuit alleging wrongdoing by the agency when it gave high ratings to mortgage-backed securities that later plunged in value and fueled the 2008 financial crisis.

S&P said Monday that it has been told by the Department of Justice that it intends to file a civil lawsuit focusing on S&P’s ratings on some mortgage-backed securities in 2007.

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Chinese firm wins A123 despite U.S. tech transfer fears

Chinese buy A123China's largest auto parts maker won U.S. government approval to buy A123 Systems Inc (AONEQ.PK), a maker of electric car batteries, despite warnings by some lawmakers that the deal would transfer sensitive technology developed with U.S. government money.

The sale of the lithium-ion battery maker to a U.S. unit of Wanxiang Group was approved by a U.S. government committee on foreign investment, according to a statement from the Chinese company.

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Report: Treasury approved excessive pay for executives at bailed-out AIG, GM and Ally

US Treasury The U.S. Treasury Department disregarded its own guidelines by allowing large pay increases for executives at three firms bailed out during the financial crisis, a report released Monday says.

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program said Treasury approved all 18 requests it received for executive raises at American International Group Inc., General Motors Corp. and Ally Financial Inc. Of those requests, 14 were for $100,000 or more. One raise, for the CEO of a division at AIG, was for $1 million.

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