Tuesday, November 30, 2010
EPA Fines Chemical Waste Management $300,000 For Cancer-Causing Chemicals At Kettleman Hills Landfill, West's Largest Toxic Dump
EPA Fines Chemical Waste Management $300,000 For Cancer-Causing Chemicals At Kettleman Hills Landfill, West's Largest Toxic Dump: "A vast toxic waste dump at the center of a birth defects controversy in Central California has been fined more than $300,000 for allowing cancer-causing chemicals to leach into the soil, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.
Residents near the Kettleman Hills landfill previously have expressed concerns that the largest hazardous waste dump in the West was linked to a high rate of birth abnormalities among infants."
Smithsonian to Remove Ant-Covered Jesus on Cross Video From Exhibit - FoxNews.com: "The Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery will remove a four-minute video feature that contains an image of Jesus on a crucifix covered in ants, its director said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Martin Sullivan, director of the museum, said the video by David Wojnarowicz shows images that 'may be' offensive to some."
Monday, November 29, 2010
Pence embraces flat tax
The Flat Tax brings down the higher tax rates which have to be covered by increasing all other tax rates. The upper rates go down and the lower rates go up! If the IRS gets rid of the 39% rate, which pays $500 billion, that amount would have to be covered by all other tax payers at lower levels. Thus creating a need for increased rates on those paying the 25% rate.
It doesn’t make sense, who would vote for someone advocating to raise their tax rate. Mike Huckabee stated in 2008 that the Flat tax rate would start at 27%, and then would increase to meet needs. Instant tax increase!
Finally, if the home mortgage tax deduction is eliminated, and the farm subsidies to cotton and cows farms are deleted then it starts to become viable. Wait.. The deductions for race track owners, lottery tickets, and horse breeders, and oil and coal tax deductions are eliminated, that would be a starting point for talks of tax reform.
* The provision, which expired at the end of 2007, was included last October along with more than 35 other so-called extenders in H.R. 3996, a tax relief bill sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the extension of the seven-year recovery period could cost $ 27 million over 10 years. (For the revenue table, see Doc 2007-24353 or 2007 TNT 213-11.)
Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence would scrap the current tax system and replace it with a flat tax for all citizens.
“The best option, the most pro-growth option is a flat tax. I believe it is time that America adopted a flat tax and scrapped the current system once and for all,” he said Monday in at the Detroit Economic Club. “It’s fair, it’s simple, it’s effective. It’s an idea whose time has come,” he said.
Pence is thinking about running for president in 2012, and the Detroit speech was billed as a major economic policy address designed to outline his positions on the economy and job creation. While Pence has enjoyed enthusiastic support from social conservatives, he is working hard to cultivate support among the fiscal conservatives that are driving the tea party.
Federal employees will not receive any pay increases for two years, Obama administration officials announced on Monday.
President Obama's proposed pay freeze for 2011 and 2012 will apply to all civilian workers, including Defense Department employees, but not to military personnel. Workers who are promoted to a higher General Schedule grade still will be eligible for pay raises, officials said.
According to the White House, the freeze will save $28 billion during the next five years. The measure is a continuation of the administration's Accountable Government Initiative, designed to cut cost and save taxpayer dollars.
AFGE DENOUNCES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROPOSAL TO FREEZE PAY
Pay Freeze Proposal Amounts to Symbolic Gesture
WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees today decried President Obama’s proposal to freeze pay for federal civilian employees in 2011 and 2012.
“This proposal is a superficial panic reaction to the draconian cuts his deficit commission will recommend,” stated AFGE National President John Gage. “A federal pay freeze saves peanuts at best and, while he may mean it as just a public relations gesture, this is no time for political scapegoating. The American people didn’t vote to stick it to a VA nursing assistant making $28,000 a year or a border patrol agent earning $34,000 per year.
“President Obama asks federal workers to share the sacrifice, but it’s unconscionable for him to attack the wages of federal working people while the millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street not only get their bailouts and astronomical bonuses; they also get their tax cuts,” concluded Gage.
I kind of agree with the micro chip?
Last year, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposed an unorthodox way to return Guantánamo Bay prisoners to a chaotic country like Yemen without fear that they would disappear and join a terrorist group.
The king told a top White House aide, John O. Brennan, that the United States should implant an electronic chip in each detainee to track his movements, as is sometimes done with horses and falcons.
“Horses don’t have good lawyers,” Mr. Brennan replied.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Irish Austerity Plan Stirs Dublin Protest - NYTimes.com: "After a week that brought Ireland a pledge of a $114 billion international rescue package and the toughest austerity program of any country in Europe, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to Dublin’s streets on Saturday to protest wide cuts in the country’s welfare programs and in public-sector jobs.
The protests centered on a milelong march along the banks of the River Liffey in central Dublin to the General Post Office building on O’Connell Street, the site of the battle between Irish republican rebels and British troops in the Easter Uprising in 1916 — an iconic event that many in Ireland regard as the tipping point in Ireland’s long struggle for independence."
Friday, November 26, 2010
Nolan died unexpectedly Sunday in Tucson, Ariz., where he lived, according to a statement released by the party in Washington. His cause of death remained unclear."
All told, U.S. companies will hire an estimated 600,000 temporary workers this holiday season, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. That's more workers added to the holiday payrolls than in the past three years.
Demand is so high for extra help that Amazon.com, the world's largest online retail, has already hired 15,000 temporary workers. It's so many extra employees that the company has even started camps in places such as Kentucky where employees can park their RVs to sleep between 10-hour shifts. They'll work until Christmas Eve for $10 an hour.
Toys R Us is also jumping on the trend, hiring 45,000 temporary employees, a 30 percent increase from last year. UPS is hiring 50,000 extra workers.
There’s Thanksgiving on Thursday, Black Friday, and now some people are promoting "Small Business Saturday."
The idea is to encourage you to use your limited holiday spending power backing independent, locally owned small businesses – whether that means eating at local restaurants instead of chains or buying at independent book stores or boutiques instead of big franchises.
Supporters are using Facebook to spread the word about the first of what may become an annual event to back small business on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The thing is, one of the biggest businesses in the world is promoting the whole small business event. American Express is also giving special incentives to card holders and small businesses to participate.
The money goes to Girls Inc., which teaches young women about becoming entrepreneurs.
What the opposition is doing for politics is wrong. It punishes future generations for GOP obstruction.
If people were paying attention they would see that we always have the Upload Option!
It's not in the flowery language or the fine print of the new U.S.-Russian arms-reduction treaty awaiting Senate ratification. But there's an interesting hedge built in to the new START treaty: If we think the Russians are cheating, we can respond quicker than they can.
It's called the "Upload Option,'' and it seems to answer treaty critics who fret that somehow or other those cunning Russians will find a way around the limits on bombs and missile warheads and surprise us with sudden nuclear war-fighting dominance.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Online Retail Sales Expected To Rise This Holiday Season: "U.S. online retail sales are expected to jump 11 percent year-over-year, according to data released by comScore.
The value of purchases made via the Internet are expected to jump to $32.4 billion in this holiday season, compared to $29.1 billion a year ago."
China: We're No. 1 in emissions - POLITICO.com Print View: "China is finally admitting that it is the world's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Over the past four years, Beijing officials have tried to avoid the No. 1 mantle by saying the pollution data needs more study, or that a better point of analysis was to look at per capita emissions.
But Xie Zhenhua, China's top climate diplomat, didn't skirt the subject when he met with reporters Tuesday to outline his country's negotiation stance headed into U.N.-led climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico."
Chevy Volt's official mileage: 93 mpg on electric
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) official mileage ratings of the Chevrolet Volt have been released and show the car will be capable of 93 "miles per gallon equivalent" when running on electric for combined city/highway driving, and will have a range of 35 miles on the battery. Its total range is 379 miles. When running on gasoline, the car will achieve 37 miles per gallon (mpg), giving a total combined estimate of 60 mpg over the long term, which is 10 mpg better than Toyota's Prius and puts the Volt at the top of the compact car category in fuel economy.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Americans increased spending for a fifth month in October and filed the fewest unemployment claims in more than two years last week, pointing to strength in the largest part of the economy as the fourth quarter began.
Household purchases advanced 0.4 percent after a 0.3 percent gain in September that was larger than previously estimated, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. Incomes climbed 0.5 percent. Jobless claims fell by 34,000 to 407,000 in the week ended Nov. 20, Labor Department figures showed."
Its about time!!
Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay - once one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress - was convicted Wednesday on charges he illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.
Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts against DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.
After the verdicts were read, DeLay hugged his daughter, Danielle, and his wife, Christine. There was no immediate comment from him or his attorneys.
Prosecutors said DeLay, who once held the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives and whose heavy-handed style earned him the nickname "the Hammer," used his political action committee to illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations into 2002 Texas legislative races through a money swap.
PROMISES, PROMISES: GOP leader reaps $200 million: "Senate Republicans' ban on earmarks - money included in a bill by a lawmaker to benefit a home-state project or interest - was short-lived.
Only three days after GOP senators and senators-elect renounced earmarks, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Senate Republican, got himself a whopping $200 million to settle an Arizona Indian tribe's water rights claim against the government.
Kyl slipped the measure into a larger bill sought by President Barack Obama and passed by the Senate on Friday to settle claims by black farmers and American Indians against the federal government. Kyl's office insists the measure is not an earmark, and the House didn't deem it one when it considered a version earlier this year."
Amid the latest military crisis on the Korean peninsula, U.S. Navy forces in South Korea announced that the USS George Washington carrier strike group would be in the waters west of the peninsula for exercises later this month.
The announcement stated that the exercises, slated for Nov. 28-Dec. 1, had been planned before the assault by North Korea on a South Korean island. The George Washington strike group, the Navy said, had taken part in similar exercises in October 2009
VOA | British Students Protest Tuition Hikes | Europe | English: "Thousands of students angered by government plans to triple university fees are marching in London and other British cities in protests targeting the Liberal Democrat party, which shares power with conservatives in the coalition government."
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Harris caught the attention of Capitol Hill last week when he complained that he would not receive his government-provided health care fast enough. The conservative Maryland doctor was one of many Republicans this year who campaigned against President Obama's health care reforms, so Democrats seized on his complaint and sought toportray Harris and others as hypocrites.
Amid the hand-wringing over the death of "true journalism" in the Internet Age—the din of bloggers, the echo chamber of Twitter, the predominance of Wikipedia—veteran journalists and media critics Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel have written a pragmatic, serious-minded guide to navigating the twenty-first century media terrain. Yes, old authorities are being dismantled, new ones created, and the very nature of knowledge has changed. But seeking the truth remains the purpose of journalism—and the object for those who consume it. How do we discern what is reliable? How do we determine which facts (or whose opinions) to trust? Blur provides a road map, or more specifically, reveals the craft that has been used in newsrooms by the very best journalists for getting at the truth. In an age when the line between citizen and journalist is becoming increasingly unclear, Blur is a crucial guide for those who want to know what's true.
Ways of Skeptical Knowing—Six Essential Tools for Interpreting theNews
1. What kind of content am I encountering? 2. Is the information complete? If not, what's missing? 3. Who or what are the sources and why should I believe them? 4. What evidence is presented and how was it tested or vetted? 5. What might bean alternative explanation or understanding? 6. Am I learning what I need?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Russia agreed to take part in a NATO missile-defense system, promising to expand cooperation between the former Cold War adversaries as President Barack Obama pushes the U.S. Senate to ratify a nuclear-arms reduction treaty.
“Today we have not only buried ghosts of the past that have haunted us for too long,” said North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen after leaders of the 28 alliance members met today with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Lisbon. “We have made a fresh start.”
Whose pro-nuclear weapons?
Obama warned that failure to ratify the treaty would put at risk warming ties with Russia, which has helped impose tougher sanctions on Iran and allowed equipment destined for NATO forces in Afghanistan through its territory.
Speaking during a NATO summit, he showed no sign of backing down from his demand that the Senate move speedily to approve the treaty, despite Republicans saying they do not think there is enough time this year to resolve outstanding differences.
Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said the meeting was put off at the request of Republican leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives due to as scheduling conflict. In the elections Republicans won control of the House and cut the Democratic lead in the Senate.
GOP Decision to Cancel White House Meeting Brings Talk of Gamesmanship
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/17/white-house-takes-high-road-puts-gop-awkward-position-delayed-meeting/#ixzz15y7YcDWH
Sherwood Boehlert - Can the party of Reagan accept the science of climate change?: "What is happening to the party of Ronald Reagan? He embraced scientific understanding of the environment and pollution and was proud of his role in helping to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. That was smart policy and smart politics. Most important, unlike many who profess to be his followers, Reagan didn't deny the existence of global environmental problems but instead found ways to address them."
Finally, someone with clout states the obvious. Trickle-Down, or Voodoo Economics, have never worked. President George Bush was right! The numbers state that since the 80s the middle class income levels have gone down, more manufacturing jobs have exited the country, and from 2007 to 2009 government agencies hired more than the private sector.
Starting in 2002 the size of the government expanded under the security needs of the nation - DHS. The Defense industry hired, more airport scanners and customs agents were hired, and a middle-class housing bubble fueled construction hires with secondary jobs created as a result. An obvious link can be made; when the middle-class housing bubble popped the jobs disappeared. The higher-income holders invested in emerging markets, not created jobs.
"They say you have to keep those tax cuts, even on the very wealthy, because that is what energizes business and capitalism," anchor Amanpour said.
"The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we'll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on," Buffett explained.
Ireland Goes for Bailout, Mulls Bank Restructure - Financials * Europe * News * Story - CNBC.com: "Euro zone finance ministers have backed a request from Ireland for an international bailout, a Slovak minister told Reuters on Sunday.
Earlier, Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said Dublin would seek the bailout, ending weeks of speculation that the country would need aid to prop up its banks and help it secure cheaper state funding.
The bailout — which would be the second rescue package for a euro zone country this year —would be less than 100 billion euros, he said, but did not give details of the likely cost."
Saturday, November 20, 2010
This Week With Barack Obama: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all about making Obama a one termer
What’s the deal with Tim Scott.
Rep.-elect Allen West (R-FL) has announced his intention to join the CBC as one of two new Black Republicans elected this year; but, Rep.-elect Tim Scott (R-SC) has opted to reject the invitation which is open to all incoming African American Members of Congress.
As expected, the 42-Member Congressional Black Caucus elected Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) as its Chair for the upcoming 112th Congress which starts in January. The vote was by acclamation and confirmed Cleaver’s new role as the 22nd Chair of the CBC, which was founded in 1969. Currently, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) serves as the Chair of the CBC for the 111th Congress and will maintain that role until January 2011.
Friday, November 19, 2010
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|George Soros Plans to Overthrow America|
Burning questions: should Catholic pols opposing healthcare reform be denied communion? : The Reid Report
Burning questions: should Catholic pols opposing healthcare reform be denied communion? : The Reid Report: "Now that the pope has declared healthcare to be a fundamental human right, does it follow that the church should treat those opposed to that human right — namely people who want to repeal universal healthcare legislation in Washington, or who are suing it in various states — the way the church often treats politicians who support abortion rights?"
ThinkProgress » Pope Calls Health Care An ‘Inalienable Right,’ Urges World Governments To Provide Universal Coverage
ThinkProgress » Pope Calls Health Care An ‘Inalienable Right,’ Urges World Governments To Provide Universal Coverage: "At an international papal conference on health care yesterday at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI and other Catholic church leaders said it is the “moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.” Saying access to adequate medical care is one of the “inalienable rights” of man, the pope said, “Justice in health care should be a priority of governments and international institutions”:"
Sarah Palin’s race-based Michelle Obama slam : The Reid Report: "If you had any doubts that a Sarah Palin presidential run would be a full-on, racially charged assault on the first family, dripping with references to Jeremiah Wright and accusations that the Obamas don’t really love America, this should remove that doubt for good."
Thursday, November 18, 2010
President Obama made remarks during a meeting to discuss the new START treaty in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Thursday.
Obama Pushes G.O.P. on Start Treaty - NYTimes.com: "President Obama escalated the pressure on the Senate on Thursday to approve a new arms control treaty with Russia before the end of the year, saying, “This is not a matter that can be delayed.” But a new survey of Republican senators cast doubt on his chances of success.
The White House is trying to press ahead with a vote on the treaty, known as New Start, even though Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the lead Republican negotiator on the issue, said earlier this week that he opposed voting on the treaty in the lame-duck session of Congress because there was not enough time to work out a deal."
Philadelphia Eagles’ Stadium Is Becoming Energy Self-Sufficient - NYTimes.com: "But a growing number of sports buildings from Boston to Los Angeles are becoming efficient in other ways, by saving energy and reducing waste with solar panels, low-flush toilets and composting.
On Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles announced perhaps the most ambitious green initiative yet: the installation of about 2,500 solar panels, 80 20-foot-high wind turbines and a generator that runs on natural gas and biodiesel so that Lincoln Financial Field, the Eagles’ home, will be the first stadium capable of generating all its own electricity."
The ADL has accepted Ailes’ apology for being politically incorrect in using the term Nazis. This is the second time in a week that the ADL has received an apology from Fox News.
First, do Beck and Roger Ailes not know how offensive throwing around the ‘Nazis’ term is to Jews and others? It totally invalidates the extermination of millions of Jews by Nazis. By calling anything that is not liked as ‘Nazis’ downplays the evil unleashed by Nazis, Hitler, and German Fascism. Jews were forced to live in ghettos from Italy to Poland, and Germany. They were rounded up, and forced into camps. It goes beyond decent to play around with Jewish genocide.
Second, do people who listen to Beck, Ailes, and others (in rightwing media) play with the term ‘Nazis’ become desensitize to the term? Do they ignore it? Are they not offended? Do they start to accept the same thought pattern?
Anything that they do not like is Nazi-Socialist-Fascist-ism!
Last, we think it is disguising that Iranian leaders do not believe in the Holocaust. How can we start to accept that old 1960s US history from the Birch Society from the far corners of the rightwing that played with the term and downplayed what happened to Jews. They also believed that the holocaust did not happen! That belief system has risen again in today’s TV and radio.
There is nothing new under the sun! Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Oh yeah, slow but steady growth! The Philly Fed leading indicators
The Dems have to be kicking themselves because of the timing.
Economic Data Show U.S. Recovery Accelerating - Bloomberg:
"The index of U.S. leading indicators rose for a fourth consecutive month, manufacturing surged in the Philadelphia area and jobless claims climbed less than forecast, signaling the world’s largest economy is accelerating."
The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months climbed 0.5 percent for a second consecutive time, capping the biggest back-to-back gains since February- March, the New York-based research group said today. Factories in the Philadelphia region expanded at the fastest pace of the year, and the number of workers seeking jobless benefits over the past four weeks fell to the lowest level in two years.
ThinkProgress » Texas State Rep. Introduces Birther Bill Because ‘People Don’t Know Whether [Obama] Was Born In Kenya’
ThinkProgress » Texas State Rep. Introduces Birther Bill Because ‘People Don’t Know Whether [Obama] Was Born In Kenya’: "Texas State Rep. Leo Berman (R) — a man best known for declaring that “Barack Obama is God’s punishment on us” — is putting his anti-Obama rhetoric into action. Donning his tin foil hat, Berman introduced House Bill 295 yesterday, which would “require any candidate for president or vice president of the United States to show his or her birth certificate to the Texas secretary of state.”"
“If a bank fails, there are a whole lot of issues that are systemically relevant in the economy,” Novick said in an interview yesterday. “If an asset manager fails, there are a line of people who are competitors to that asset manager in one product or multiple products who can step into their shoes.”"
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The FDIC, which is responsible for dealing with bank failures, is probing former executives, directors and employees at failed U.S. banks and is taking efforts to punish alleged recklessness, fraud and other criminal behavior, the Journal said."
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Joe Nocera, co-author of "All the Devils Are Here" with Bethany McLean, talks to Kai Ryssdal about what they discovered about the financial crisis and how everyone played a key -- and villainous -- role.
Obama meeting with congressional leaders postponed - Glenn Thrush - POLITICO.com: "The first post-election meeting between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders has been postponed until Nov. 30th at the request of Republican leaders, the White House announced Tuesday night.
The meeting had been scheduled for Thursday."
A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.
Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.
“He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care,” said a congressional staffer who saw the exchange. The benefits session, held behind closed doors, drew about 250 freshman members, staffers and family members to the Capitol Visitors Center auditorium late Monday morning,”.