Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Shift, Feds Target Top Execs For Health Fraud

In Shift, Feds Target Top Execs For Health Fraud

The new tactic is raising the anxiety level – and risks – for corporate honchos at drug companies, medical device manufacturers, nursing home chains and other major health care enterprises that deal with Medicare and Medicaid.

Previously, if a company got caught, its lawyers in many cases would be able to negotiate a financial settlement. The company would write the government a check for a number followed by lots of zeroes and promise not to break the rules again. Often the cost would just get passed on to customers.

Now, on top of fines paid by a company, senior executives can face criminal charges even if they weren't involved in the scheme but could have stopped it had they known. Furthermore, they can also be banned from doing business with government health programs, a career-ending consequence.

Tax audits, Kathy Kristof: With the IRS stepping up income tax audits, here's what you need to know - latimes.com

Tax audits, Kathy Kristof: With the IRS stepping up income tax audits, here's what you need to know - latimes.com

It's almost summer — time to think about bathing suits and vacations. But this summer there's an increased chance you'll open the mailbox to find a thick envelope from the U.S. Treasury.

Welcome to audit season 2011.

Blame federal deficits, wealthy tax cheats and petty larceny, all of which have federal tax authorities clucking over what they believe is a yawning "tax gap" between what people owe and what they pay.

Whatever the reason, the federal government is stepping up income tax audits.


Click on link to view full story....worth your time !

Immigration legislation: California lawmakers weigh opting out of federal immigration enforcement program - latimes.com

Immigration legislation: California lawmakers weigh opting out of federal immigration enforcement program - latimes.com

California lawmakers have taken steps to opt out of a controversial federal immigration enforcement program, joining a growing number of states that say it harms public safety and undermines local law enforcement.

Monday, May 30, 2011

WTF...Selfish Basatardo

Eric Cantor On 'Face The Nation': Disaster Relief For Joplin Tornado Victims Must Be Offset (VIDEO)

On Sunday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reiterated his position that disaster relief funds for the tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri must be paid for with cuts to other programs. "Congress will find the money," Cantor said on CBS' “Face the Nation” "And it will be offset."

"When a family is struck with tragedy -- like the family of Joplin ... let's say if they had $10,000 set aside to do something else with, to buy a new car ... and then they were struck with a sick member of the family or something, and needed to take that money to apply it to that, that's what they would do, because families don't have unlimited money. And, really, neither does the federal government."

HOW TO: Make a 3D YouTube Video

HOW TO: Make a 3D YouTube Video

3D is no longer exclusive to movie studios. If you can scrape together two camcorders, some sticky tape and access to a hooked-up computer, you’re just a few steps away from making your own three-dimensional cinematic works of art.

Click on link for instructions =D

Memorial Day: Something to think about

Executive pay is zooming skyward again after pausing a few years for the recession - latimes.com

Executive pay is zooming skyward again after pausing a few years for the recession - latimes.com


The $6.4 million that Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. paid Chief Executive Craig Martin last year normally wouldn't have raised many eyebrows.

Sure, the amount was a lot more than most of us could ever hope to make for a mere 12 months' work. But it also was well below the average CEO compensation at California's 100 biggest public companies — and less than one-tenth the remuneration of the executives at the top of that ladder.

No-pay loophole: Legislators risk voter backlash from no-pay loophole - latimes.com

No-pay loophole: Legislators risk voter backlash from no-pay loophole - latimes.com

Legislators, we had been told, have until June 15 — their previously ignored constitutional deadline —to pass a state budget or lose pay and expense money.

That hammer was wielded by California voters last November when they approved Proposition 25, the landmark measure that mainly allowed budgets — but not tax increases — to be passed on a simple majority legislative vote.

Now we learn some in the state Capitol are fantasizing that by merely passing a partial spending plan and calling it a budget, this will satisfy the voters' "no budget, no pay" edict.

405 closure: Anticipating a traffic nightmare, officials spread the word about 405 Freeway closure - latimes.com

405 closure: Anticipating a traffic nightmare, officials spread the word about 405 Freeway closure - latimes.com

Warning motorists of potentially massive delays, transportation officials last week announced plans to shut down a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway for 53 hours in July as part of an ongoing project to widen the expressway between the Westside and the San Fernando Valley.

Starting before midnight on Friday, July 15, until early Monday, July 18, the northbound 405 will be closed between U.S. 101 and Interstate 10 so that workers can demolish half of the Mulholland Drive bridge as part of the $1-billion widening project. A four-mile stretch of the southbound 405 will also be closed.

Mysterious fund allows Congress to spend freely, despite earmark ban - CNN

Mysterious fund allows Congress to spend freely, despite earmark ban - CNN

The defense bill that just passed the House of Representatives includes a back-door fund that lets individual members of Congress funnel millions of dollars into projects of their choosing.

This is happening despite a congressional ban on earmarks -- special, discretionary spending that has funded Congress' pet projects back home in years past, but now has fallen out of favor among budget-conscious deficit hawks.

Under the cloak of a mysteriously-named "Mission Force Enhancement Transfer Fund," Congress has been squirreling away money -- like $9 million for "future undersea capabilities development," $19 million for "Navy ship preliminary design and feasibility studies," and more than $30 million for a "corrosion prevention program."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lawndale to offer free CERT training classes - The Daily Breeze

Lawndale to offer free CERT training classes - The Daily Breeze

Free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training will be offered next month in a series of classes in Lawndale.

Class size is limited and reservations are required. Seats can be reserved online at www.fire.lacounty.gov/cert or by calling 310-973-3285 310-973-3285 .

The courses will be from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on June 11, 18 and 25 at the Lawndale Community Services Annex, 14616 1/2 Grevillea Ave.

The training is designed to prepare citizens to assist rescue workers after a major disaster such as an earthquake or fire.

- Sandy Mazza

TGIF...Have a safe Holiday, this one is for those in green, especially the ones they call anchor babies.



THANK YOU !

China’s Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy - NYTimes.com

China’s Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy - NYTimes.com

Officials in this farming area would not sell the hundreds of thousands of acres needed. Undeterred, the Chinese pursued a different strategy: providing credit to farmers and potentially tripling the soybeans grown here to feed chickens and hogs back in China.

“They need the soy more than anyone,” said Edimilson Santana, a farmer in the small town of Uruaçu. “This could be a new beginning for farmers here.”

The $7 billion agreement signed last month — to produce six million tons of soybeans a year is one of several struck in recent weeks as China hurries to shore up its food security and offset its growing reliance on crops from the United States by pursuing vast tracts of Latin America’s agricultural heartland.

We Need Volunteers to Gather Food for the Homeless

We Need Volunteers to Gather Food for the Homeless

The Weingart Center receives a food donation from the Unified Grocers Food Expo every year, but we need your help to gather as much food as possible for the homeless men and women we serve. Getting such a substantial donation helps us reduce our overall food costs to better serve our participants. Volunteers will help us with the leftover packaged food by gathering food and carrying in bags. It’s easy. Guys and girls welcome.

Please contact Shannon at shannons@weingart.org or 213-840-2079

Republicans Packed Defense Spending Bill With Earmarks, Says Sen. Claire McCaskill

Republicans Packed Defense Spending Bill With Earmarks, Says Sen. Claire McCaskill

One of the Senate's top campaigners for good government is charging House Republicans with quietly loading their new defense policy bill with earmarks that are currently banned by the GOP's own rules.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has pledged to keep all earmarks out of the Republican version of the Defense Authorization Act. In a letter to Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the new chairman of the House committee, and its top Democrat, Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.), the Missouri senator claims the proposed bill "has obviously been structured to circumvent the earmark ban adopted by the House of Representatives." And McCaskill writes that if she can't keep those earmarks out of the bill, she'll make each one public.

But McCaskill claims the House committee has proposed a billion dollar "slush fund" called the Mission Force Enhancement Transfer Fund, that would take money cut from other programs and consolidate it in the fund to pay for the "pet projects" inserted into the House defense policy bill.

House Republicans Torn Over Paying For Storm Aid Package

House Republicans Torn Over Paying For Storm Aid Package

House Republicans are increasingly divided over whether to pay for a massive emergency aid package for those hit by the storms pummeling the Midwest -- an intra-party scuffle that comes at a time of a near-obsessive focus on cutting spending on Capitol Hill.

And until it becomes clear if or when President Barack Obama will submit a supplemental request to Congress -- the first step in advancing emergency spending -- Republicans are left squabbling over which to prioritize as a party: ideology or necessity.

Local elections: Vote to replace Jane Harman is Tuesday - latimes.com

Local elections: Vote to replace Jane Harman is Tuesday - latimes.com

Voters will go to the polls Tuesday to pick a replacement for former Rep. Jane Harman and choose one board member each for the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Community College District.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mail-in ballots must be received by the time polls close or can be dropped off at a voting place on election day.

Information about voting in the congressional race is available through Los Angeles County elections officials, http://www.lavote.net or by calling (562) 466-1323.

For help with the runoff elections in the school and college districts, contact the Los Angeles city clerk's office online at cityclerk.lacity.org/election or phone (888) 873-1000 or (213) 978-0444.

Politics: Sacramento lawmakers may not be punished for late budget - latimes.com

Politics: Sacramento lawmakers may not be punished for late budget - latimes.com

Fine print in a ballot measure voters passed last fall may contain a loophole allowing them to keep their pay and perks even if they make no more progress on passing a final spending plan.

Voters were assured that a ballot measure they passed last fall would punish lawmakers when the state budget is late, docking their pay and perks for every day that a spending plan is overdue.

Now the legislators' deadline is less than a month away, and the budget is nowhere near complete — but their checks could keep coming even if they make no more progress.

Government reform: Legislation banning gifts to California lawmakers dies in state Senate - latimes.com

Government reform: Legislation banning gifts to California lawmakers dies in state Senate - latimes.com

Companies lobbying state lawmakers for favorable treatment can continue to shower them with tickets to Disneyland, Dodgers games and rock concerts after legislators scuttled a bill Thursday that would have banned such gifts.

Chagrined supporters of a ban said the lawmakers showed their unwillingness to police themselves and take measures that would help restore public faith in government.

"The score is lobbyists 1, public 0," said Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A David and Goliath Story...update 1

They say a person who represents themselves in court, has a fool for an attorney....Well, I can't do any worse than an frick & frack. SO I decided to experience being a fool.

I am sharing my story, as a lesson on WHAT NOT TO DO!

At 53, what the heck, you've got to live a little.

So far I've had a few email exchanges, with my nemesis. Which were nothing but intimidation, via a reminder that I was way over my head. Silly man, doesn't he know I already knew and THOUGHT about that...dah!

Well I'll keep you posted. Make it a learning lesson with me =D

Daily Journal - Supreme Court upholds Ariz. law punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants

Daily Journal - Supreme Court upholds Ariz. law punishing employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has sustained Arizona's law that penalizes businesses for hiring workers who are in the United States illegally, rejecting arguments that states have no role in immigration matters.

By a 5-3 vote, the court said Wednesday that federal immigration law gives states the authority to impose sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized workers.

GOP Sticks to Plan on Medicare - WSJ.com

GOP Sticks to Plan on Medicare - WSJ.com

Republican lawmakers reaffirmed Wednesday their embrace of a controversial Medicare overhaul despite an electoral setback, ensuring the federal health program will remain a divisive issue through the 2012 election.

Republicans responded to Democrat Kathy Hochul's Tuesday victory in a traditionally Republican New York Congressional district by saying they needed to attack the Democrats' Medicare position more forcefully, rather than back off their own plan.

California prisoners: Computer errors let violent California prisoners go free - latimes.com

California prisoners: Computer errors let violent California prisoners go free - latimes.com

Reporting from Sacramento -- Computer errors prompted California prison officials to mistakenly release an estimated 450 inmates with "a high risk for violence" as unsupervised parolees in a program meant to ease overcrowding, according to the state's inspector general.

More than 1,000 additional prisoners presenting a high risk of committing drug crimes, property crimes and other offenses were also let out, officials said.

No attempt was made to return any of the offenders to state lockups or place them on supervised parole, said inspector general spokeswoman Renee Hansen.

House Refuses To Vote On Abortion Coverage For Military Rape Victims

House Refuses To Vote On Abortion Coverage For Military Rape Victims

The House Committee on Rules blocked an amendment from going to vote on Wednesday that would have allowed military rape victims to access abortion care through their government-provided health plans.

Earlier this week, Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and five other House Democrats submitted an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would reverse the current policy of denying abortion coverage to military women who are raped and become pregnant during their service. As the bill currently stands, servicewomen have to pay out of pocket for an expensive abortion procedure unless they can prove that their lives are in danger.

Sarah Palin Setting Stage For 2012 Presidential Campaign?

Sarah Palin Documentary Setting Stage For 2012 Presidential Campaign?

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has authorized a feature-length film about her rise, added staff and recently said she has "that fire in the belly" for a presidential bid – all steps that fuel speculation she's inching toward a White House run.

Her supporters are putting together a campaign-in-waiting in Iowa, the lead-off nominating caucus, in the hopes the Republicans' 2008 vice presidential nominee decides to join the race.

The hypocrisy continues

Jose Guerena Killed: Arizona Cops Shoot Former Marine In Botched Pot Raid

Jose Guerena Killed: Arizona Cops Shoot Former Marine In Botched Pot Raid

As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department initially claimed (PDF) Guerena fired his weapon at the SWAT team. They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home.

The raids on the other homes carried out that same morning, all part of the same operation, resulted in no arrests and turned up little if any actual contraband.

The government of Pima County has killed one of its own citizens. This is the most serious, solemn, and severe action a local government can undertake. It demands complete transparency. The Pima County Sheriff's Department and other agencies involved in the raid ought to be doing anything and everything to make themselves accountable. Instead, they've shown arrogance, defiance, and obstinacy -- all wrapped in an appeal to public safety.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3 cops under 'America's Toughest Sheriff' Joe Arpaio, busted for role in drug & human smuggling ring

3 cops under 'America's Toughest Sheriff' Joe Arpaio, busted for role in drug & human smuggling ring

Three Arizona cops smuggled drugs and humans and laundered money for a vast narco-trafficking ring, all under the nose of the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff," authorities said.

One of the moles, a female corrections officer, was carrying the love child of a cartel capitán, and all three were accused of leaking sheriff's office tips to help the ring guide smugglers, drugs and cash through the area from Mexico, authorities said.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Deputy Alfredo Navarette, 37, and two corrections officers, Sylvia Najera, 25, and Marcella Hernandez, 28, were among 12 people rounded up in Tuesday's sting.

The early morning raids capped a year-long investigation into the ring, which is suspected of funneling loads of heroin into the Valley area west of Phoenix.

Pictures of Tornado Damage in Joplin, Missouri - TIME

Pictures of Tornado Damage in Joplin, Missouri - TIME


Click on link to view photos

A strong message to the Republican Party

Democrats Capture House Seat in Special Election - NYTimes.com

Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.

The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.

Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare.

“I have almost always voted the party line,” said Gloria Bolender, a Republican from Clarence who is caring for her 80-year-old mother. “This is the second time in my life I’ve voted against my party.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eric Cantor Disaster Relief | Missouri Tornado | Republicans | Mediaite

Eric Cantor Disaster Relief | Missouri Tornado | Republicans | Mediaite

Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is eager to keep a lid on government spending, but in the aftermath of deadly tornados ripping through Missouri, the need for disaster relief funds will likely grow. The budget-conscious Cantor isn’t prepared to hold back granting such funds, but is warning that it will have to be offset with spending cuts elsewhere.

A helpful tweet for Joplin Mo

CajunTechie: Need to file an unemployment claim in #Joplin #Missouri after the #Tornado? Go to the Workforce Investment Office. Call 1-800-320-2519

CajunTechie: Do you want to volunteer in #Joplin #Missouri #Tornado recovery? Call the @RedCross @ 417.624.4411.

House GOP Proposes Budget Cuts To Domestic, Foreign Food Aid

House GOP Proposes Budget Cuts To Domestic, Foreign Food Aid

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans are targeting domestic nutrition programs and international food assistance as they try to control spending in next year's budget.

In a bill released Monday, Republicans proposed cutting $832 million – or 12 percent – from this year's budget for the federal nutrition program that provides food for low-income mothers and children. The 2012 budget proposal for food and farm programs also includes a decrease of almost $457 million, or 31 percent, from an international food assistance program that provides emergency aid and agricultural development dollars to poor countries.

When Companies Refuse to Interview the Unemployed for Jobs - TIME

When Companies Refuse to Interview the Unemployed for Jobs - TIME

"No unemployed candidates will be considered at all," one online job listing said.

The apparent uptick in such incidents couldn't come at a worse time for the unemployed. The Great Recession has produced an unusually large number of long-term jobless. Forty percent of the nation's unemployed — some 4.4 million people — have been out of work for a year or more, the highest level since World War II. The long-term unemployed have far more difficulty finding work than people who have left the workforce more recently. The problem is worst for workers over 50, who often face age discrimination as well.

Some employers argue that they have a perfectly reasonable right to weed out the unemployed and that it is just good business. People who have lost jobs or have never been hired are less qualified as a group than those who are currently working, they say. People who are out of the workforce for a significant period of time may also have fallen behind in skills.

Neal Gabler: America the stony-hearted - latimes.com

Neal Gabler: America the stony-hearted - latimes.com

Scarcely a generation ago, you wouldn't have found many conservatives who would have sneered at compassion or tolerance or fundamental fairness, even if they disagreed with liberals on how these concepts might operate in the real world. Today, open contempt for these values is conservative boilerplate for Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, and even for the Republican Party itself, whose idea of cutting government is always cutting programs that help the weakest and least fortunate Americans and whose idea of compassion is caring about the tax burden of the wealthiest Americans. Beyond politics, these attitudes threaten to make this the first generation that promulgates an individualism untempered by common decency.

Click on link to read full story....worth the time =D

Secure Communities program: A flawed deportation tool - latimes.com

Secure Communities program: A flawed deportation tool - latimes.com

When federal officials first announced the Secure Communities program in 2008, they billed it as a powerful tool in the battle to identify and deport illegal immigrants who had been convicted of violent crimes. Dozens of states, including California, signed on, agreeing that police would submit the fingerprints of all arrestees to be checked against federal databases for criminal convictions and deportation orders.

But the program, once billed as a voluntary partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and localities, is now mired in controversy. The government is investigating whether it has failed to nab dangerous criminals and has instead been used to target low-level nonviolent offenders. Since its launch, more than half of those deported under Secure Communities had minor or no criminal convictions, according to Department of Homeland Security statistics. In Los Angeles County, for example, nearly half of the 11,774 deported under the program from August 2009 to January 2011 had no convictions or had committed misdemeanors. They were targeted for deportation because the program doesn't distinguish between criminals and those who illegally entered the U.S. or overstayed a visa — a civil violation.

Giants fan beating: Second man, woman, sought in Dodger Stadium beating - latimes.com

Giants fan beating: Second man, woman, sought in Dodger Stadium beating - latimes.com

A day after arresting a suspect in the near-fatal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles police detectives pressed ahead Monday with the search for two other suspects, as senior LAPD officials scrambled to mitigate the potential damage done to the investigation by a news leak.

Early Sunday, police took Giovanni Ramirez into custody. Ramirez, 31, a documented gang member, is accused of being one of two men who attacked Bryan Stow on March 31 in the stadium parking lot after the rival teams played. Stow, 42, suffered brain damage in the attack and remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Ramirez is being held on $1-million bail. Prosecutors have not formally charged him.

Still at large is the second assailant and a woman who police said drove the men away from the stadium. Police largely remained silent on the status of the hunt, saying only that detectives were continuing to pursue solid leads on the two individuals.

Prison ruling: California prisons must free tens of thousands of inmates to relieve crowding, U.S. Supreme Court says - latimes.com

Prison ruling: California prisons must free tens of thousands of inmates to relieve crowding, U.S. Supreme Court says - latimes.com

Justice Kennedy cites inhumane conditions, while dissenters fear a crime rampage. Gov. Jerry Brown seeks tax hike to fund transfers to county jails as prison officials hope to avoid freeing anyone.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California must remove tens of thousands of inmates from its prison rolls in the next two years, and state officials vowed to comply, saying they hoped to do so without setting any criminals free.

Administration officials expressed confidence that their plan to shift low-level offenders to county jails and other facilities, already approved by lawmakers, would ease the persistent crowding that the high court said Monday had caused "needless suffering and death" and amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

New York City outdoor smoking ban begins - CNN.com

New York City outdoor smoking ban begins - CNN.com




Smokers in New York City looking to light up in most public places will not be able to without paying a price after an outdoor citywide smoking ban takes effect Monday.

The law, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed in February after it was passed by the New York City Council, will make smoking illegal in New York City's 1,700 parks and on the city's 14 miles of public beaches. Smoking will also be prohibited in pedestrian plazas like Times Square.

The ban is designed to help curb exposure to secondhand smoke as well as reduce litter.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Children unprotected against sex abuse in Arizona

As Banks Hold Foreclosed Homes, a Kink in the Housing Market - NYTimes.com

As Banks Hold Foreclosed Homes, a Kink in the Housing Market - NYTimes.com

The nation’s biggest banks and mortgage lenders have steadily amassed real estate empires, acquiring a glut of foreclosed homes that threatens to deepen the housing slump and create a further drag on the economic recovery.

All told, they own more than 872,000 homes as a result of the groundswell in foreclosures, almost twice as many as when the financial crisis began in 2007, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate data provider. In addition, they are in the process of foreclosing on an additional one million homes and are poised to take possession of several million more in the years ahead.

No-pay loophole: Legislators risk voter backlash from no-pay loophole - latimes.com

No-pay loophole: Legislators risk voter backlash from no-pay loophole - latimes.com

All the Legislature's vacillation and obstinacy on budget-balancing is about to hit home. Literally. In the lawmakers' own pocketbooks.

Legislators, we had been told, have until June 15 — their previously ignored constitutional deadline —to pass a state budget or lose pay and expense money.

That hammer was wielded by California voters last November when they approved Proposition 25the landmark measure that mainly allowed budgets — but not tax increases — to be passed on a simple majority legislative vote.

Now we learn some in the state Capitol are fantasizing that by merely passing a partial spending plan and calling it a budget, this will satisfy the voters' "no budget, no pay" edict.

Obama Presses Israel to Make ‘Hard Choices’ - NYTimes.com

Obama Presses Israel to Make ‘Hard Choices’ - NYTimes.com

President Obama struck back at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in a speech to a pro-Israel lobbying group on Sunday, defending his stance that talks over a Palestinian state should be focused on Israel’s pre-1967 borders, along with negotiated land swaps, and challenging Israel to “make the hard choices” necessary to bring about a stable peace.

Mr. Obama, speaking before a conference of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, offered familiar assurances that the United States’ commitment to Israel’s long-term security was “ironclad.” But citing the rising political upheaval near Israel’s borders, he presented his peace plan as the best chance Israel has to avoid growing isolation.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The debate on child farm labor

Tip led police to suspect in Dodger Stadium beating | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

Tip led police to suspect in Dodger Stadium beating | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

A tip from a parole agent led Los Angeles police to the man suspected of being one of the two assailants in the brutal beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium, police sources said.

At about 7 a.m. Sunday, a Los Angeles police SWAT team descended on an East Hollywood apartment building with a warrant in hand. Using loudspeakers and with guns drawn, officers called out to the occupants of Apt. 25, said the building’s manager Maritza Camacho.

Inside, along with several other people, was one of the men police suspect in the March 31 beating that left Stow with brain damage. One by one, the occupants emerged, Camacho said. The man taken into custody had a bald head and tattoos on his neck and arms, she said, a description that appeared to match the vague sketches released by police of one of the two suspects. She added that he did not appear to resist being taken into custody.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Deadly horse virus spreads, 34 animals infected - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports

Deadly horse virus spreads, 34 animals infected - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The number of horses infected with the deadly and contagious Equine Herpes Virus-1 continues to grow. The USDA says the outbreak that started at an Ogden, Utah competition has infected at least 34 horses in nine states and Canada.

That's got some owners, like cowgirl Tricia Lynn Crump, taking extra precautions at the height of show season. Crump, who is Idaho's reigning Miss Rodeo, won't be astride a horse in Nampa's annual Parade America on Saturday. Instead she'll be riding in a stagecoach because she's leaving her own horses at home to keep them safe.

Fewer people are showing up to compete on a professional rodeo circuit, and some horse sales, shows and rodeos are being canceled in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Herman Cain, Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Announces His Candidacy - ABC News

Herman Cain, Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, Announces His Candidacy - ABC News

Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination today at a rally at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

"After prayerful consideration with my family and closest friends, I have decided to seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States," Cain said. "I look forward to continuing my travels across the country, engaging in discussions with the American people about the concerns facing our nation and sharing my 'common sense solutions' with them."

More States Toss Costly Immigration Legislation in Final Days of Session » Immigration Impact

More States Toss Costly Immigration Legislation in Final Days of Session » Immigration Impact

As many state legislative session wrap up for the year, more lawmakers are jumping ship on controversial enforcement measures targeting undocumented immigrants. Whether they are under pressure from business groups, conflicted over the bills’ substance, or realize that these measures will cost their state millions in legal challenges, implementation expenses and tourism revenue, lawmakers are not finding the same appetite for “get tough” enforcement legislation as they did last year.

This month, Florida’s Legislature failed to pass SB 2040. This week, Oklahoma’s House shot down HB 1446. Tennessee’s House Budget Committee delayed their “get tough” immigration bill (HB 1380) this week.

And in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder recently told the Chamber of Commerce that an Arizona-style enforcement bill would “encourage a divisive atmosphere” and that the state doesn’t need it. Michigan state Rep. Dave Agema introduced Arizona-style HB 4305 in February.

A David and Goliath story...I suggest you check out =D

I am not an attorney, just a simple hardworking citizen facing my first deposition alone.

I had an attorney, or I should say, I have an attorney IF, I recover any money.

The day before my deposition in which I am the Plaintiff, my attorney called with good news. He had gotten me an offer of $X,000.00 on a case I had already won thru the Labor Board against Seccion Amarilla (google "seccion amarilla complaints) for unpaid commissions. My award was for $XX, XX0.00, but was appealed.

Seccion Amarilla which is owned by Carlos Slim, the richest man, according to Forbes, hired the Law firm of Mayer Brown for the appeal. My attorney which I will name Frick & Frack, abandoned ship when I refused the $X,000.00 settlement and left me to fend for myself, claiming I had a weak case and was lucky to get this money.

I should ask for time to find another suit to represent me, but after 2 years of nothing, I felt, I have nothing to lose. What I will gain may be more valuable than what money can buy, an insight into how wonderful it is to be able to manipulate the Law, if you have money and a GOOD attorney.

I hope to update you later with my horror story on my first deposition.

UPDATE: As I walked in, the plush offices of the lion den, I started to get a little nerves, but took a little time to walk around to re-group and focus.

I walked in ready to face my enemy, who in reality turned out to be a pleasant young man, who could of torn my head off and eaten me alive, but showed restrain, for this I thank him.

I answered the questions truthfully, and probably offered more information than I should, but at this point my objective was no longer to seek justice and what I honestly worked hard for, but rather the experience.

What the outcome will be the courts will soon decide.

Lesson learned and my point in sharing this story is that not all attorney’s are good at what they do, in spite of the time and money invested, so be wise in your selection.

Friday, May 20, 2011

TGIF: Yep another week bites the dust...a little cruising music =D

Who will pay for this ?...Gay LAPD officer wins $1-million judgment in retaliation case

Gay LAPD officer wins $1-million judgment in retaliation case | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

A jury on Thursday awarded $1.1 million to a Los Angeles police sergeant and media relations spokesman who said he had been harassed and suffered retaliation after complaining that a supervisor mistreated him because he is gay.

Sgt. Ronald Crump sued the city last year, alleging that his direct supervisor at the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations Section -- Lt. John Romero -- made derogatory remarks about his homosexuality. Romero, who has since been promoted to captain, allegedly described him as "the new Ruby minus the heels," in reference to the woman he replaced in the unit.

On another occasion, Romero allegedly told him, "I was a religion major at Liberty University. Jerry Falwell would roll over in his grave if he knew I had hired you."

Thursday's decision is the second large judgment against the LAPD in as many months. Last month, a jury awarded $2 million to two Los Angeles police officers in a civil suit against the city and the department, alleging there was a "quota system" for writing traffic tickets on the city's Westside.

Parking ticket audit: 'Gold Card Desk' dismissed some L.A. parking tickets without justification, audit finds - latimes.com

Parking ticket audit: 'Gold Card Desk' dismissed some L.A. parking tickets without justification, audit finds - latimes.com

Approximately 1,000 Los Angeles city parking citations over a two-year period were dismissed — some without justification — through an obscure service known as the "Gold Card Desk" that allows the mayor and other elected officials to fast-track citation reviews, a new audit has found.

The service, which few outside of city government appear to know about, partly involves a plastic parking bureau "Gold Card" that is distributed to city offices. It includes a special phone number to call and on the back side notes that the holder may have an "urgent need to resolve any parking citation matter which requires special attention." It promises "you will be immediately connected to our Gold Card Specialist."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pakistan PM Gilani Blames U.S. for Fraying Ties After Raid - TIME

Pakistan PM Gilani Blames U.S. for Fraying Ties After Raid - TIME

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, in an exclusive interview with TIME — his first since the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden — warned on Wednesday that continuing to work with the U.S. could imperil his government, unless Washington takes drastic steps to restore trust and win over 180 million Pakistanis. Despite the clamor of criticism in Washington alleging Pakistani duplicity over the fact that the al-Qaeda leader had been hiding out in the sleepy garrison town of Abbottabad, Gilani claimed the role of the aggrieved party in a deteriorating relationship. He complained repeatedly throughout the 45-minute breakfast interview about the widening "trust deficit" between the two allies

LinkedIn IPO skyrockets, trades as high as $92.99 a share | Technology | Los Angeles Times

LinkedIn IPO skyrockets, trades as high as $92.99 a share | Technology | Los Angeles Times

LinkedIn shares skyrocketed more than 80% to trade at about $86 a share, and at a high of $92.99 a share, on Thursday as the social networking site launched its initial public offering.

Shares for LinkedIn's IPO were priced at $45 a share on Wednesday, putting the company at a valuation of about $4.3 billion.

Many analysts expected shares in the largest social network aimed at professionals to rise as LinkedIn traded on the New York Stock Exchange for the first day, using the symbol LNKD.

Chess takes root in Central Valley farm town, blossoms into a state title for Latino boys high school team

Chess takes root in Central Valley farm town, blossoms into a state title for Latino boys high school team

Each week, at least a third of the town's families receive a bag of fruit and vegetables — and, if it's a good day, a chicken — provided by churches and food banks. In this city of 10,000, unemployment hovers around 45%.

So when a group of high school boys, each with his own world of worries and yearning and coached by a man in ill health, brought a state championship home, the reaction was joyous astonishment.

"In Mendota, we're known for the wrong things: not having water, being such a poor community. We're surrounded by abundance — we're the cantaloupe capital of the world. But still, it's dust, it's dirt, it's hard out here. And for the Mendota chess team to be the best in the state after playing affluent communities — kids with private chess tutors — it's unfathomable," he said.

Click on link for full story...worth the read =D

Navy names ship after labor activist Cesar Chavez - CNN.com

Navy names ship after labor activist Cesar Chavez - CNN.com

The U.S. Navy has named one of its newest ships after Mexican-American labor organizer Cesar Chavez, officials said Wednesday.

The decision was an ideal fit for the latest in the Lewis and Clark class of ships, which bear the names of legendary pioneers and explorers, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said in a statement.

"Cesar Chavez inspired young Americans to do what is right and what is necessary to protect our freedoms and our country," he said. "The Cesar Chavez will sail hundreds of thousands of miles and will bring support and assistance to thousands upon thousands of people. His example will live on in this great ship."

In 1962, Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association, which grew into the United Farm Workers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How The richest man makes his money-Seccion Amarilla

Bad habits are hard to break... Seccion Amarilla’s yellow-pages “en español” was a brilliant and profitable move, and what could of been a useful tool for the Hispanic community. The vision was there.

Unfortunately in Mr. Carlos Slim’s (the richest man in the world) case so was greed. Telmex de Mexico aka:Seccion Amarilla, brought yellow pages in Spanish to the USA, along with it's shady business practices, billing issues and an almost non-existing customer service, among other shady business tactics.

Carlos Slim Helu’s fortune and success, was achieved at the expense of hard working citizens in Latin countries he invaded with his screw the customer and the people. Bleed them to death, was, and is his motto.

Knowing that their complaints would end up in his pocket and in those of corrupt bureaucrats eager to please the richest and influential man, in there country.

With several lawsuits pending, unsatisfied customers, billing issues, and a slew of angry ex-employees, along with companies of all sizes, along with governmental agencies like FEMA,they seem to be above the law and untouchable. Even here in the good ole USA.

But don't take my word for it, just google “Seccion Amarilla complaints” and see for yourself. And if they come knocking on your door….Run !

Some Links of interest:


Analysis of Carlos Slim’s monopoly:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkVV3Ode3Ok

Plataforma Carlos Slim:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLvUhsMG0DY&feature=related

Caso telmex-Columbia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2Sdhi3XgEA&feature=related

Pima Co. Sheriff blasts media questions concerning SWAT shooting - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports

Pima Co. Sheriff blasts media questions concerning SWAT shooting - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Pima County Sheriff's Department has broken its silence about the SWAT shooting that resulted in the death of a Tucson man; however, the department has maintained that it will not release any further details about the shooting until the investigation is complete.
Click on link to view Pima County Sheriff's statement


http://www.kgun9.com/story/14669725/attorney-demands-answers-in-fatal-swat-shooting-case

A Pause, to Give Thanks - NYTimes.com

A Pause, to Give Thanks - NYTimes.com

There’s a philosophical train of thought along these lines called “determinism,” whose subscribers believe that all events are connected in such a way that every event is determined by the events which came before it (thanks, fourth-period philosophy class).

Taken to its logical conclusions, determinism implies a lack of free will, an idea that I’m either unable or unwilling to entirely accept, but there’s undoubtedly truth in the premise that our lives are in large part a product of the past, bound tightly to the wills and rhythms of the world around us.

The influence that the actions of other humans have on us is vast and incalculable, a tremendous net of kind words, criticisms, gifts and advice.

With that in mind, and with my high school graduation looming, I feel that a great deal of gratitude is in order.


I’m grateful for a family that not only tolerates my insane dream of becoming a professional actor, but encourages it, and is willing to shell out an absurd amount of money to help make it possible. My character would be nothing without them.

While some teenagers may balk at hearing that they’ve picked up the mannerisms and habits of their parents, I see it as a compliment, and as a point of pride.

Smartphone dating apps link users by proximity - latimes.com

Smartphone dating apps link users by proximity - latimes.com

Sitting in the stands at Dodger Stadium, Steve Bergmann began checking out nearby women he might hit on. But his eyes weren't scanning the seats — they were fixed on his smartphone.

Bergmann tapped into an app that uses GPS to locate prospective dates in the vicinity. He scrolled through photos and profiles till one young woman caught his eye, then shot her an instant message. Half an hour later, Bergmann and Meg Riely, both 25, were sipping beers together at a concession stand.

"She was one of the closest girls in my vicinity, and her picture was pretty cute," said Bergmann, a personal wealth manager. "So I sent her a message about the game and basically tried to be as charming as I could."

Forget online dating services and their scientific personality tests. This is courtship in the smartphone era, driven mainly by photos and proximity.

Skout, which is the largest of the location-based dating apps, claims 5 million subscribers and says the average age of users is about 26.

Smart grid: Some Glendale and Burbank residents want to opt out of new smart-grid system - latimes.com

Smart grid: Some Glendale and Burbank residents want to opt out of new smart-grid system - latimes.com


Glendale and Burbank officials are touting their new "smart meters" project as an exciting technological advancement that will help the utilities and customers track real-time water and electrical use.

But a small group of residents is resisting, saying they're worried about the health effects of the radio waves emitted by the meters. They also say the utilities' ability to view electricity and water usage as it occurs is intrusive and could change the rate structure.

9OYS Extra: The secret side of Sheriff Joe - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News

9OYS Extra: The secret side of Sheriff Joe - KGUN9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports

‘Gang of Six’ Collapses on Itself : Roll Call News

‘Gang of Six’ Collapses on Itself : Roll Call News

Hopes for a grand bipartisan debt limit deal took a big hit Tuesday after Sen. Tom Coburn pulled out of the “gang of six” talks.

“I’m not planning on participating at this time,” the Oklahoma Republican told reporters, citing an impasse on entitlement spending.

Fellow GOP gang of six member Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) said the group would not go on as a “gang of five.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Plastic Bags to be Tossed Out of Long Beach Grocery Stores - Los Angeles News - The Informer

Plastic Bags to be Tossed Out of Long Beach Grocery Stores - Los Angeles News - The Informer

Following the footsteps of the County of L.A, the city of Long Beach tonight will likely ban plastic bags at grocery stores -- meaning it will be bring-your-own reusable bag or pay for paper ones.

The Long Beach City Council already approved the rule 6-2 but will have to affirm it at tonight's meeting in order for it to go into effect Aug. 1 at large chain stores.

Smaller stores will have until Jan. 15 to phase out their own plastic bags.

About 315 business will be affected.

Review & Outlook: Gingrich to House GOP: Drop Dead - WSJ.com

Review & Outlook: Gingrich to House GOP: Drop Dead - WSJ.com

The Republican Presidential campaign is off to a slow start, but judging by the last week not slow enough. First Mitt Romney defends his ObamaCare prototype in Massachusetts, and now Newt Gingrich has decided to run against House Republicans on Medicare. They must be loving this at the White House.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday about Paul Ryan's reform plan, Mr. Gingrich chose to throw his former allies in the GOP House not so much under the bus as off the Grand Canyon rim.

The Ryan program "is too big a jump," he said. "I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options. Not one where you suddenly impose upon you—I don't want to—I—I'm against ObamaCare, which is imposing radical change. And I would be against a conservative imposing radical change."

Citizens United Lawyer James Bopp Jr. Sets Up Super PAC - NYTimes.com

Citizens United Lawyer James Bopp Jr. Sets Up Super PAC - NYTimes.com

While the comedian Stephen Colbert’s plan to form a so-called Super PAC to raise money for federal elections attracted some attention last week, another Super PAC formed by a key Republican campaign lawyer filed registration papers with the Federal Election Commission. The Republican Super PAC Inc., formed by James Bopp Jr., an Indiana lawyer, and Roger Villere, chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, is designed to be a vehicle for unlimited contributions toward independent expenditures in support of Republican candidates at the national and state levels.

COMMENTS:

seattlesh-Seattle:Funny how Republicans have no problem tapping their wealthy private and corporate benefactors for millions to form a superfund PAC for re-election but can't ask them to pay their fair share of taxes to help cover budget shortfalls. For this they turn to the elderly on Social Security and Medicare.

eof-austin tx: Well, I suppose it's one way to pry some money from the rich.

Jon Stewart And Bill O'Reilly Debate Common's White House Appearance (VIDEO)

Jon Stewart And Bill O'Reilly Debate Common's White House Appearance (VIDEO)


FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defends move to Comcast as backlash grows | Company Town | Los Angeles Times

FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defends move to Comcast as backlash grows | Company Town | Los Angeles Times

Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defended her decision to leave the regulatory agency to take a job at Comcast Corp. just months after voting yes on the cable giant's heavily scrutinized acquisition of General Electric Co.'s NBCUniversal.

In a statement, Baker said, "I have not only complied with the legal and ethical laws, but I also have gone further. I have not participated or voted any item, not just those related to Comcast or NBCUniversal, since entering discussions about an offer of potential employment." She said Comcast approached her about a job last month, which was when Bob Okun, the longtime head of NBC's D.C. lobbying office, announced his departure.

Since her hiring was announced earlier this week, Baker has taken lots of heat from media watchdogs.

"This is just the latest -- though perhaps most blatant -- example of a so-called public servant cashing in at a company she is supposed to be regulating," said Craig Aaron, president and chief executive of Free Press, a nonprofit media reform organization.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Final Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour

Mexico Violence Making U.S. Companies Reluctant

Mexico Violence Making U.S. Companies Reluctant

MCALLEN, Texas -- Dozens of Mattel Inc. employees were on their way to another day of work making Power Wheels in Mexico's industrial heartland when gunshots erupted around them and a grenade ripped into one of their buses, killing one worker and wounding five.

The battle between drug traffickers and the army near the city of Monterrey last week was the sort of violence that is frightening U.S. companies away from new investments south of the border, where organized criminals are increasingly turning to kidnappings, extortion and cargo thefts despite a government offensive against drug cartels.

Blog | Americas Voice en Español

Blog | Americas Voice en Español

WASHINGTON - United We Dream, una de las redes que agrupa jóvenes estudiantes indocumentados que abogan por el proyecto de legalización DREAM Act, le solicitó a la campaña de reelección del presidente Barack Obama que remueva de su página oficial y de Facebook un anuncio que emplea el tema del DREAM Act y solicita contribuciones de campaña.

WASHINGTON - United We Dream, una de las redes que agrupa jóvenes estudiantes indocumentados que abogan por el proyecto de legalización DREAM Act, le solicitó a la campaña de reelección del presidente Barack Obama que remueva de su página oficial y de Facebook un anuncio que emplea el tema del DREAM Act y solicita contribuciones de campaña.

RIM recalling up to 1,000 PlayBook tablets | Digital Media - CNET News

RIM recalling up to 1,000 PlayBook tablets | Digital Media - CNET News


RIM confirmed the recall in a statement sent today to CNET and said few of the defective units had made it past the distribution stage and into the hands of customers.

"RIM determined that approximately 1,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets (16GB) were shipped with an OS build that may result in the devices being unable to properly load software upon initial set-up," the company said in its statement. "The majority of the affected devices are still in the distribution channel and haven't reached customers. RIM is working to replace the affected devices."

Computer glitch voids green card lottery results - CNN

Computer glitch voids green card lottery results - CNN

Tens of thousands of would-be immigrants to America are sure to be disappointed after a computer glitch prompted the State Department to invalidate results of the most recent green card visa lottery.

What they did not know is that a computer programming error caused more than 90 percent of selected applicants came from the first two days of the period -- October 5 and 6 -- and did not represent a fair and random choice, as mandated by federal law.

"These results are not valid because they did not represent a fair, random selection of the entrants as required by U.S. law," said David Donahue, a deputy assistant secretary of state. "We sincerely regret any inconvenience or disappointment this problem might have caused."

Sony to start gradual restoration of its PlayStation services - CNN

Sony to start gradual restoration of its PlayStation services - CNN

Sony plans to start a gradual restoration of its PlayStation services Sunday as the company works to resume normal operations following a security breach that exposed personal details of 77 million users.

"I'd like to send my sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you all for the kind patience you've shown as we worked through the restoration process," said Kazuo Hirai, the executive deputy president of Sony Corp.

"I can't thank you enough for your patience and support during this time."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

405 closure in July to affect half million drivers

405 closure in July to affect half million drivers | abc7.com

A busy section of the 405 Freeway is slated to shut down for an entire weekend in July.

All north and southbound lanes through the Sepulveda Pass will be closed from Saturday, July 16 until the morning of Monday, July 18.

Crews will be tearing out the Mulholland Drive overpass.

This is the biggest planned freeway closure in California since the San Francisco Bay Bridge was closed two years ago.

It is expected to affect approximately 500,000 drivers.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Stephen Colbert at the FEC? Really. - Kenneth P. Vogel - POLITICO.com

Stephen Colbert at the FEC? Really. - Kenneth P. Vogel - POLITICO.com


In a speech to a crowd of several hundred fans gathered outside the commission’s offices – including an activist in apanda costume – Colbert explained his move was motivated by his belief in “the American dream. And that dream is simple. That anyone, no matter who they are, if they are determined, if they are willing to work hard enough, someday they could grow up to create a legal entity which could then receive unlimited corporate funds, which could be used to influence our elections.”

TGIF....Time to step back and decompress, with a Latin beat =D

Immigrants for Sale | The Nation


The three largest corporate players in the industry -- CCA (the Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations -- reap annual profits of more than $5 billion a year at the same time as they dole out more than $20 million annually in lobbying to (mostly rightwing) state legislators to ensure the approval of the regional anti-immigrant laws that fill their coffers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Report: Google to sell Chrome laptops | Business Tech - CNET News

Report: Google to sell Chrome laptops Business Tech - CNET News

Google is getting ready to begin selling a laptop running its Chrome operating system in a $20-per-month "student package" that combines hardware and online services, according to a Forbes report that cited an unnamed senior Google executive.

Google representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The package is likely a precursor of similar products for businesses and developers in the offing, as the executive reportedly hinted at.

HBO Go app hits 1 million downloads in first week | The Digital Home - CNET News


HBO's mobile app has apparently caught on quickly.

Speaking yesterday at the Streaming Media East conference, HBO co-President Eric Kessler said HBO Go's mobile application, which is available on iOS- and Android-based devices, was downloaded over 1 million times during the first week of availability. The free app launched April 29.

HBO Go itself launched on the Web last year. The service offers a wide range of HBO content, including movies, original series, and documentaries. Currently, it has about 1,400 titles available. However, the service is not available to everyone.

AT&T, Dish, Verizon, and DirecTV customers, among others, can access the free HBO Go. Time Warner Cable customers are, most notably, not allowed to sign up. And HBO is a Time Warner-owned company.

Senate Democrats Target Tax Breaks for Big Oil

Senate Democrats Target Tax Breaks for Big Oil - WSJ.com

Several Senate Democrats Tuesday proposed repealing about $2 billion in annual tax breaks for big oil companies as a debate over such incentives gained momentum amid rising gasoline prices and strong quarterly profits by oil giants.

Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Claire McCaskill of Missouri unveiled legislation Tuesday that would strip away several types of credits and deductions used by big oil and gas companies. The legislation would affect Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC, Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, and Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

The oil industry has warned that gasoline prices would climb even higher and U.S. energy production would decline if the companies' tax incentives are removed.

San Francisco might crack down on business phone books


In the age of the online consumer, who needs the Yellow Pages?

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors concluded Tuesday that although some people may still prefer to let their "fingers do the walking," two directories for every man, woman and child in this high-tech city is excessive.

The 10-1 vote puts San Francisco in line to be the first government in the nation to restrict delivery of the hefty books to only those residences and businesses that want them. The legislation, which faces a customary second reading next week but is expected to pass handily, was embraced by environmentalists, some small business groups and apartment managers who struggle with the detritus left in their building lobbies.

The president's speech as seen through the eyes of illegal immigrants

Steve Lopez: The president's speech as seen through the eyes of illegal immigrants - latimes.com

Rounding up and deporting the estimated 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants now in the country would cost billions and deal a blow to the economy, in her opinion. She supports proposals that would require illegal immigrants to pay a $1,000 fine, learn English, pass a U.S. history test and apply for legal status that could take three years to earn.

As it is, she said, families are paying about $2,500 for various legalization application forms. And many families are losing thousands more to scammers who promise to handle the paperwork and then disappear.

Dominguez let me sit in on part of her conference Tuesday with Daniel, a U.S. citizen from Riverside who was with his undocumented wife, Leticia, and their two sons. Leticia came to California illegally in the 1990s to attend a wedding and never went home to Mexico.

No matter what Obama promised in the way of a pathway to legalization, said Daniel, there's no history of follow-through by anyone in Washington.

"We just don't have confidence that the government will act on this," he said.

Daniel said immigration agents entered a supermarket in Riverside recently and asked shoppers for their papers. It could happen to his wife at any moment, he said, and their family would be ripped apart.

Donald Trump: Developer has thrived with government's generosity - latimes.com

Donald Trump: Developer has thrived with government's generosity - latimes.com

In his disdain of big government, however, Trump glances over an expensive irony: He built his empire in part through government largesse and connections.

From his first high-profile project in New York City in the 1970s to his recent campaigns to reduce taxes on property he owns around the country, Trump has displayed a consistent pattern. He courted public officials, sought their backing for government tax breaks under extraordinarily beneficial terms and fought any resistance to deals he negotiated.

He has boasted of manipulating government agencies, misleading officials in one case into believing he had an exclusive agreement to develop a property and then retroactively changing the development's accounting practices to shrink his tax bill. In New York, Trump was the first developer to receive a public subsidy for commercial projects under programs initially reserved for improving slum neighborhoods.

Such incentives have now become the norm in the powerful New York real estate community.

Karen Burstein, a former auditor general of New York City, reviewed a major Trump project in the 1980s and concluded he had "cheated" the city out of nearly $2.9 million. Decades later, Burstein said she was still appalled at the way Trump operated

U.S. welfare: U.S. Senate welfare proposal mirrors California restrictions

U.S. welfare: U.S. Senate welfare proposal mirrors California restrictions - latimes.com

Welfare recipients nationwide would be barred from using their government-issued debit cards at casinos, strip clubs and liquor stores under a bill to be introduced Wednesday by leaders of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

A co-sponsor of the measure says he was inspired by the fact that nearly $5 million in cash benefits issued in California and meant to help struggling families feed and clothe their children, was spent or withdrawn from ATMs at casinos and poker rooms between January 2007 and May 2010.

Tens of thousands of dollars in Temporary Aid for Needy Families assistance was accessed or spent with the debit cards at Los Angeles-area strip clubs in the same period.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The President's speech on Immigration

Microsoft to Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion to Add Web Calls - Businessweek

Microsoft to Buy Skype for $8.5 Billion to Add Web Calls - Businessweek

Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy Skype Technologies SA for $8.5 billion, using a growing cash pile to gain the world’s most popular Web-calling service and help it catch up in online and mobile advertising.

Microsoft will acquire Luxembourg-based Skype, with 170 million active users, from investors led by private equity firm Silver Lake, the companies said in a statement today. The deal will add to Microsoft’s profit in the year after it closes, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said in an interview.

The takeover may help Ballmer lure Skype users to Microsoft’s phones and software and narrow Google Inc.’s lead in Internet advertising. Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft will connect Skype to its Outlook e-mail, Xbox game console, Windows mobile phones and corporate-phone software. The acquisition, Microsoft’s largest, is also the biggest Internet takeover in more than a decade.

John Boehner: 'Trillions' In Spending Cuts Loom On Debt Ceiling Vote

John Boehner: 'Trillions' In Spending Cuts Loom On Debt Ceiling Vote

The top Republican in Congress wants trillions of dollars in spending cuts as part of must-pass legislation allowing the federal government to continue borrowing to keep it operating and meeting obligations to investors. It's a new, ambitious marker in a battle over the budget that's expected to consume Congress for much of the summer.

House Speaker John Boehner also said that any legislation to raise the so-called debt limit beyond its current $14.3 trillion cap should be accompanied by spending cuts larger than the amount of the permitted increase in the debt.

The Ohio Republican made the comments in a speech Monday night to the Economic Club of New York. Boehner's comments come as investors and business groups have been seeking assurances that the GOP-controlled House will join with President Barack Obama and the Democratic-led Senate to enact the must-pass debt limit measure, which is needed to prevent a market-roiling, first-ever U.S. default on its obligations.

Riverside County's homeless numbers up dramatically, new tally shows

Riverside County's homeless numbers up dramatically, new tally shows L.A. NOW Los Angeles Times

The number of people in Riverside County who are homeless on any given day has increased an estimated 84% in the last two years, officials said Monday.

A countywide tally Jan. 24 found 6,203 people living in emergency shelters, transitional housing or places not fit for human habitation, such as sidewalks, cars and abandoned buildings. The last count in 2009 put the figure at 3,366.

The increase in the county’s chronically homeless population was even more significant: from 969 people in 2009 to 2,515 in 2011, a 160% jump. The county defines chronically homeless as people with a disabling condition who have been without a roof over their heads for a year or longer, or who have experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the last three years.

L.A. schools: L.A. Unified plans major staff shakeup at Huntington Park High - latimes.com

L.A. schools: L.A. Unified plans major staff shakeup at Huntington Park High - latimes.com

Top Los Angeles school officials vowed to move quickly to bring sweeping change to the nation's second-largest school system, and, starting this week, Huntington Park High School is expected to become the laboratory for just how fast things can go.

On Tuesday, the Board of Education is expected to approve a plan to replace at least half the school's staff by July — in about six weeks — the start of school for the year-round campus.

The move arises primarily out of the frustration felt by school board member Yolie Flores over the pace of progress at her alma mater, located in an area she represents. But it's also a signal from freshly installed Supt. John Deasy, who promised that he would move swiftly upon taking the helm of the Los Angeles Unified School District in mid-April.

In all, officials are requiring faculty to reinterview for jobs at five low-performing schools. The other schools are Clay and Muir middle schools in South Los Angeles, Burbank Middle School in Highland Park and Jordan High School in Watts. Those schools will open in the fall, after having six months or more to revamp.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Calderón busca dialogar con organizadores de la Marcha Nacional por la Paz


El presidente mexicano, Felipe Calderón, invitó este lunes al poeta Javier Sicilia y a los promotores de la Marcha Nacional por la Paz, celebrada la víspera, a un diálogo “franco y abierto” sobre la inseguridad del país.

En una reunión sostenida entre Calderón y empresarios, en la residencia de Los Pinos, el presidente aseguró que había dado instrucciones a su equipo de organizar una reunión con los impulsores de la marcha que movilizó a decenas de miles de mexicanos, en rechazo a la ola de violencia derivada del narcotráfico que ha cobrado unas 40 mil vidas desde diciembre de 2006.

Donald Trumps Bankruptcy History

Newt Gingrich For President Campaign Announcement Expected Wednesday

Newt Gingrich For President Campaign Announcement Expected Wednesday

ATLANTA — A spokesman for Newt Gingrich says the former House speaker will announce Wednesday he is running for president.

Rick Tyler said Gingrich will make the announcement by Facebook and Twitter. He will give an interview to Fox News later that night.

Gingrich will offer his first speech as a presidential candidate at the Georgia Republican Party Convention on Friday.

Mexico's greedy bastard


MEXICO CITY — In the two decades that Carlos Slim Helú has turned a crumbling Mexican phone monopoly into a continental telecom giant, he has successfully fought off competitors and challenged authorities who wanted to limit his companies’ control.

But over the last few weeks, a series of developments is threatening to chip away at Mr. Slim’s dominance.
First, Mexico’s antitrust agency imposed a $1 billion fine on the wireless company Telcel, the local unit of Mr. Slim’s pan-Latin company América Móvil. Then, at the end of last month, the Mexican congress approved a tough new antimonopoly law that raises fines for monopolistic practices and permits prison terms for executives who have been found to engage in them.

Last week, a Supreme Court ruling halted a legal maneuver that Mr. Slim’s companies had used to fight lower tariffs. The decision gives new heft to the country’s telecom regulator as it begins to slash the high interconnection fees that América Móvil charges other companies.

As States Battle for Cash, Insurance Concerns Grow - NYTimes.com

As States Battle for Cash, Insurance Concerns Grow - NYTimes.com

Vermont, and a handful of other states including Utah, South Carolina, Delaware and Hawaii, are aggressively remaking themselves as destinations of choice for the kind of complex private insurance transactions once done almost exclusively offshore. Roughly 30 states have passed some type of law to allow companies to set up special insurance subsidiaries called captives, which can conduct Bermuda-style financial wizardry right in a policyholder’s own backyard.

Holder to oil fraud panel: Report if gas prices don't fall - CNN

Holder to oil fraud panel: Report if gas prices don't fall - CNN

Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday ordered the newly formed government working group investigating oil and gas prices to make sure gasoline prices are dropping after this week's sudden decline in crude oil prices.

In a statement issued at the Justice Department, Holder made clear he wants the multiple-agency task force to be alert for fraud both when oil prices are rising and when they are falling.

If only they would, lower the prices as easily as they raise them !

Arizona's governor to reveal plans for immigration law - CNN.com

Arizona's governor to reveal plans for immigration law - CNN.com

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne will announce Monday what legal steps, if any, they're prepared to take following an injunction of the state's controversial immigration law, which is opposed by the Obama administration.

Among other things, the legislation would have required local law enforcement in Arizona to apprehend and help deport illegal immigrants. The Justice Department sued, arguing that only the federal government has that authority.

Last month, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with the U.S. Justice Department and against Brewer, who signed the measure known as SB 1070 into law last year.

Brewer's legal team could ask the full 9th Circuit to revisit the issue, take the case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, or choose to do nothing at all, said Matthew Benson, Brewer's spokesman.
Brewer and Horne have scheduled an 11 a.m. (2 p.m. EDT) news conference on the matter.

HP unwraps 3G mobile broadband service | Wireless - CNET News

HP unwraps 3G mobile broadband service Wireless - CNET News

Hewlett-Packard announced this evening that it is jumping in to the mobile data plan business with a service called DataPass.

Much like a prepaid cell phone, DataPass offers users of 3G-enabled HP laptops a 3G mobile broadband service on Sprint's EVDO network without worrying about lengthy contracts, set-up fees, or locating the closest hot spot.

The plans start at $5 for 75MB during a seven-hour period.

Pakistan Rejects U.S. Criticism - WSJ.com

Pakistan Rejects U.S. Criticism - WSJ.com

Pakistan's army chief and a top diplomat warned against a repeat of this week's U.S. raid against Osama bin Laden, strongly suggesting American forces could next time face military resistance and see its intelligence cooperation with Pakistan sharply curtailed—a development that would threaten the Afghan war effort and global counter-terrorism operations.

Salman Bashir, the country's foreign secretary, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that a repeat of Monday's raid could lead to "terrible consequences." Pakistani and U.S. officials have said Pakistan was not told about the attack that killed bin Laden until after the fact, which has led to Pakistani protests that their sovereignty was violated.

Immigration: Fixing the guest-worker program - latimes.com


Growers say the current H-2A program is tooexpensive and cumbersome, requiring them to file multiple applications with state and federal labor officials to help meet their needs for legal labor. They are asked to predict months or even a year in advance how many workers they will need, even though crop yields? and harvest times can vary from season to season. They also must demonstrate that they tried to hire U.S. workers by posting online ads before they can apply for the visas.

Now growers are asking Congress to roll back changes made to the program last year by the Obama administration. They say the new rules, including an increase in the average pay of field workers and a requirement that government officials inspect worker housing, have made the program impractical and left them with little choice but to hire illegal workers or watch their crops rot.

Capistrano schools: Capistrano school board violated open-meeting law, prosecutor says. - latimes.com

Capistrano schools: Capistrano school board violated open-meeting law, prosecutor says. - latimes.com

An Orange County school district that for years has been embroiled in scandal and controversy is under scrutiny again, this time by county prosecutors who contend that school board members illegally discussed raising teachers' salaries and restoring furlough days in a closed-door meeting.

Board members in the Capistrano Unified School District also allegedly violated California's open-meeting laws by discussing school business during a break in a public meeting, according to a notice of violation from the Orange County district attorney's office.