Friday, July 29, 2011

TGIF: Are we ready to get mad ?

‪Network - Mad As Hell‬‏ - YouTube#at=82

Lunatics in charge.....why ?

Allen West Blasts Tea Party 'Schizophrenia' Over Debt Ceiling

Tea Party leaders announced Thursday that they will mount primary challenges against four freshmen Republicans who have declared their support for John Boehner's debt ceiling plan.

According to The Hill, the Tea Party groups are calling the four congressmen -- Allen West (Fla.), James Lankford (Okla.), Mike Kelly (Pa.), and Bill Flores (Texas) -- “Tea Party defectors.”

West addressed the accusations on Laura Ingraham's radio show, saying he would continue to support Boehner's plan.

"I think what we have to ask ourselves is, If you're telling me that I need to vote no against the Boehner plan, then what am I voting for?" West said.

"I'm going to stand with this Boehner plan and, once again, if the folks who one minute they're saying that I'm their 'Tea Party hero' and what, three or four days later 'I'm a Tea Party defector' -- that kind of schizophrenia I'm not going to get involved in."

Joe Walsh Sued: "Do as I say, not as I do !

Joe Walsh Sued For More Than $100,000 In Child Support

Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, the tea party-backed Republican who squeaked into office last year by vowing to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington and who has been one of President Barack Obama's most outspoken critics during the standoff over the debt ceiling, is being sued for more than $100,000 in unpaid child support, a newspaper reported.

The freshman congressman's ex-wife, Laura Walsh, filed the claim against him in December as part of their divorce case, saying he owed $117,437 to her and their three children, the Chicago Sun-Times reported in a story published Wednesday. She contends that Walsh loaned his own campaign $35,000 and took international vacations but said he couldn't afford child support payments because he was between jobs or out of work

The congressman's alleged financial problems made headlines while he was campaigning last year, when former campaign field director Richard Cape claimed he would "spend, spend, spend uncontrollably." His campaign manager quit and sued for $20,000 in nonpayment, and two other staffers who quit accused him of not properly disclosing a 2008 home foreclosure and traffic citations to the public, taking their grievances public. Walsh also bounced checks, including one to a Republican fundraiser.

Brian Williams Demands of Mitch McConnell: 'Why Shouldn't Rich Folks Pay More?'

Brian Williams Demands of Mitch McConnell: 'Why Shouldn't Rich Folks Pay More?'

Running a brief excerpt from his Sunday night Dateline special, “Taking the Hill: Inside Congress,” Brian Williams on Thursday evening showcased one and only one question he posed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. He demanded: “Why shouldn't rich folks pay more?”


Williams insisted on NBC Nightly News that’s “a hot topic, no tax increase in any of these plans being discussed” in “what has become a big charge from the left that in any of these debt ceiling deals the poor are likely to get hit while the rich are likely to get a pass.”

McConnell countered, in the interview conducted on Wednesday, with the fact the wealthy “do” indeed already pay more, explaining: “They pay an extraordinary amount more, and in fact about half of Americans don't pay any income taxes at all.”

Edit Photos In the Cloud - Wired How-To Wiki

Edit Photos In the Cloud - Wired How-To Wiki

The death of the hard drive is upon us. As more and more people and internet companies turn to The Cloud (a non-local storage location for data) for their daily computing activities, massive storage systems in personal computers are becoming less and less necessary. But the process of photo editing is still typically done the old fashioned way — by importing pictures onto your computer's hard drive and editing them with a specialty (read: expensive) piece of photo editing software. But that's all starting to change with the advent of cloud photo editing sites and apps. This guide will walk you through how to use our favorite web-based photo editor, Feather, by Aviary.

(Click on link to see features)

Is AT&T considering throttling heavy data users? | Signal Strength - CNET News

Is AT&T considering throttling heavy data users? | Signal Strength - CNET News

AT&T may be looking at new ways to control data hogs on its wireless network.

The company is rumored to be considering throttling super-heavy data users and restricting them to slower speeds in an effort to better manage its network and keep up with demand for mobile data, according to the blog 9to5mac.


The new policy could start the first in October, which is right around the time that Apple is expected to launch its next generation iPhone, the blog said.

AT&T wouldn't be the first wireless operator to employ such tactics. T-Mobile USA, which AT&T is trying to acquire, now slows down network connections for customers who exceeded its bandwidth cap. The company did this instead of charging customers overage fees. And Sprint Nextel's prepaid brand Virgin Mobile USA recently announced it plans to eliminate its unlimited data plans and will instead restrict data speeds when customer exceed more than 2.5GB of data per month.

It's unknown what AT&T's threshold of high-data usage would be. The company already sells wireless data plans for $25 for 2GB of data per month and $45 for 4GB of data. It's likely that customers who pay for a certain tier of service would be throttled if they exceed these usage caps in a month.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jared Bernstein: "It's Unbelievable"

Jared Bernstein: "It's Unbelievable"

I had a busy day Wednesday, talking with progressives from various walks of life, from state-level policy advocates to Democrats on the Hill. Folks seem pretty shell-shocked, and I kept hearing the same phrase regarding the current state of affairs: "it's unbelievable!"

How could it be that we're a less than a week out from a totally self-inflicted wound to our already frail economy?

Why are policy makers spending every waking minute on deficit reduction when jobs are the most immediate problem facing the economy?


How did a relatively small group of far right activists totally highjack the national debate?

An out of touch moron !

Al-Shabaab has recruited more than 40 Americans, congressman says - CNN.com

Wednesday's hearing of the Committee on Homeland Security will focus on al-Shabaab and the results of a committee investigation into the threat it poses to the United States, said King, a New York Republican, according to a transcript of his opening statement. "The committee has been briefed by intelligence agencies and we have interviewed dozens of experts on al-Shabaab," the transcript said.

The committee has learned that more than 40 Muslim-Americans and 20 Canadians have joined al-Shabaab inside Somalia, a finding King called "alarming." The committee has learned at least 15 of the Americans and three Canadians "are believed to have been killed fighting with al-Shabaab, according to King's transcript.

Review & Outlook: The Road to a Downgrade - WSJ.com

Review & Outlook: The Road to a Downgrade - WSJ.com

A downgrade isn't catastrophic because global financial markets decide the creditworthiness of U.S. securities, not Moody's and Standard & Poor's. The good news is that investors still regard Treasury bonds, which carry the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, as a near zero-risk investment. But a downgrade will raise the cost of credit, especially for states and institutions whose debt is pegged to Treasurys. Above all a downgrade is a symbol of fiscal mismanagement and an omen of worse to come if we continue the same habits.

President Obama will deserve much of the blame for the spending blowout of his first two years (see the nearby chart). But the origins of this downgrade go back decades, and so this is a good time to review the policies that brought us to this sad chapter and $14.3 trillion of debt.

California legislators' car perk results in some buyer's remorse - latimes.com

California legislators' car perk results in some buyer's remorse - latimes.com

As of this spring, about 80 of the Legislature's 120 members were taking advantage of the program. But Blakeslee's decision not to take delivery of the car was unusual. It also meant that his $197.21-share of the monthly payments was going unpaid. Taxpayers were footing the rest of the bill.

After being asked about the situation by The Times, Blakeslee's office said he had decided to pay his portion each month going forward, and $986.05 retroactively.

A similar chain of events landed a 2011 Buick LaCrosse, bought for Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), in mothballs in a Sacramento-area warehouse.

Within days of picking up the $39,109 vehicle in January, De Leon tried to return it, said Dan Reeves, his chief of staff. But the dealership wouldn't take it back.

So Schmidt begrudgingly took possession of the sedan and has stowed it in a warehouse under lockand key — "probably a tarp over it," he said — until he can figure out what to do next.

Blakeslee decided to drive his family car after determining that "it was perfectly adequate" for his commute between San Luis Obispo and the capital, his chief of staff, Christine Robertson, said in a statement.

De Leon now uses a Senate pool car, a 2008 Toyota Prius, free of charge, according to his office. He made his portion of the Buick payments, $186.83, for two months.

Both lawmakers declined to comment for this story. Together, their cases of buyer's remorse cost taxpayers close to $80,000.

The tea party’s big moment – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

The tea party’s big moment – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs

Don't be fooled by the tiny turnout at the tea party rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday. The conservative movement doesn't much need rallies anymore. November 2010 changed all of that.

Boasting powerful leaders inside the Senate and big numbers in the House of Representatives, the tea party just might show the world how it might govern come August 2, the nation's deadline for raising the debt ceiling.

"We've got to stand strong. We can't let down the people who elected us last November," Senator Jim DeMint said at Wednesday's rally.

DeMint and newly elected tea party backed Republican Sen. Rand Paul are brushing off Obama administration warnings of a "catastrophe."

"This is an artificial crisis. The President has created and concocted a crisis," Paul told reporters.

Both DeMint and Paul are signaling they may be willing to take debate over the debt ceiling past August 2, if a balanced budget amendment is not attached to a final deal.

Congress to airlines: Pass along savings to passengers or trust fund - CNN

Congress to airlines: Pass along savings to passengers or trust fund - CNN

Airlines benefiting from a unplanned federal tax holiday should save the money for the government or pass it along to the passengers, but should not pocket the money themselves, key congressional leaders said Tuesday.

At issue is millions of dollars in passenger taxes -- taxes ordinarily collected by the airlines. But since Saturday, the airlines have not collected the taxes because of Congress's inability to pass a bill to fund the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airlines could have passed along the savings to air travelers. But instead, most airlines raised their base ticket prices at amounts equal to, or similar to, the expired tax.

The tax holiday could save passengers $25 to $50 on a typical flight. Collectively, the taxes amount to about $200 million a week, the government says.

Last-Ditch 14th Amendment Plan Gains Momentum As Debt Clock Ticks - The Note

Last-Ditch 14th Amendment Plan Gains Momentum As Debt Clock Ticks - The Note

As fears intensify that Congress will not pass a debt limit increase in time to avoid default, some Democrats are pulling out their pocket Constitutions to find a back-up plan.

Assistant Minority Leader Rep. James Clyburn, R-S.C., said today that if a long-term deal is not struck by Aug. 2, President Obama should sign an executive order raising the debt ceiling without Congressional approval. He said this action would be justified because of a section in the 14th Amendment that states that “the validity of the public debt ... shall not be questioned.”

"I am convinced that whatever discussions about the legality of that can continue," Clyburn said. "But I believe that something like this will bring calm to the American people, and will bring needed stability to our financial markets."

The argument is that a default would put the “validity of the public debt” in jeopardy, thus violating the 14th Amendment. And since the president took a vow to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” it would then be his responsibility to ensure that the country does not default.

But constitutional scholars are divided over whether the amendment would, in fact, justify the president to unilaterally take action on the debt ceiling.

Laurence Tribe, a constitutional scholar at Harvard University and one of President Obama’s former professors, told ABC News earlier this month that the 14th Amendment must be upheld by Congress, not by the president.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Farmworker union leader Richard Chavez dies - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

Farmworker union leader Richard Chavez dies - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Richard Chavez, a leader in California's farmworker movement, has died at the age of 82.

A spokeswoman for the United Farmworkers of America says Chavez, who helped his brother Cesar Chavez build the union, passed away at a Bakersfield hospital Wednesday of complications from surgery.

Spokeswoman Maria Machuca says Richard Chavez worked in the fields and as a carpenter, but eventually dedicated himself to the UFW.

Chavez is credited with helping to build the Forty Acres complex in Delano, which became the union's headquarters and where Richard joined his brother in the Delano Grape Strike. Richard Chavez also designed the black Aztec eagle, which to this day flies on the union's flag

Bob Edgar: Our Country Is Crashing. It's Time To Get Mad!

Bob Edgar: Our Country Is Crashing. It's Time To Get Mad!

I'm so angry I can't find words angry enough to express it. I want to hit somebody, anybody. And for the life of me I can't understand why everyone doesn't feel the same way.

Our country is a mess. Millions of us are out of work. Millions more are working as hard as or harder than ever and have less and less to show for it. We're bogged down in a couple of wars we're not really sure we should be fighting and for 10 years we've been paying for them with borrowed money.

Meanwhile, the fortunate few at the top of the economic pyramid are getting richer than ever, more powerful than ever. Some have succeeded thanks to hard work and ingenuity -- good for them. But too many are hoarding their money or exporting jobs by the millions, taking advantage of cheap, overseas labor. They enjoy tax rates less than half as high as those paid by the wealthy in the 1950s and '60s and they whine at the mere suggestion that they should chip in a bit more to help out their country.

"Higher taxes kill jobs," they moan. "Your taxes have been low, historically low, for a long time now. How many jobs are you creating?" I wonder. "Higher taxes on the rich are class warfare," they say. "Seems like the super rich have already gone to war -- and they're winning," I answer.

Meredith Bagby: Throw the Bastards Out: Our Politicians Fail Us on the Debt Ceiling

Meredith Bagby: Throw the Bastards Out: Our Politicians Fail Us on the Debt Ceiling

Most Americans came home Monday night after a long day at work to find President Obama preempting their favorite TV shows. Having reached an impasse with the Congress over raising the debt ceiling, Obama took his case took his case to the American people. This is not the first time the president has reached out to us in the face of partisan stalemate. With this Congress, it is won't be the last.

Like most Americans, I am frustrated by the debate over the debt ceiling. I am irate at the Tea Party for creating the crisis in the first place by linking debt default to deficit reduction. I am perplexed by House leader John Boehner for being unable to control his ranks to bring the freshman agitators to the negotiating table. I am disappointed that the Democrats (and Obama) did not preemptively deal with the debt at a time when they controlled both houses of Congress.

For months, the failure of leadership has been plentiful. And now, in our in final days, compromise is scarce.

Red-light cameras: Who knew L.A.'s red-light camera fines were 'voluntary'? - latimes.com

Red-light cameras: Who knew L.A.'s red-light camera fines were 'voluntary'? - latimes.com

Drivers who paid the tickets, some of which are $476, fume at the disclosure that authorities cannot force violators to pay up. But don't expect to get a refund.

City officials this week spotlighted a surprising revelation involving red-light camera tickets: Authorities cannot force violators who simply don't respond to pay them. For a variety of reasons, including the way the law was written, Los Angeles officials say the fines for ticketed motorists are essentially "voluntary" and there are virtually no tangible consequences for those who refuse to pay.

The disclosure comes as the city is considering whether to drop the controversial photo enforcement program, with the City Council scheduled to vote on the matter Wednesday. Even if the program is shut down, it will be little consolation to the tens of thousands like Brickman who already paid fines.

Wealth gap widens for whites over blacks, Hispanics - Pew - Jul. 26, 2011

Wealth gap widens for whites over blacks, Hispanics - Pew - Jul. 26, 2011

The wealth gap in the United States has grown wider in the wake of the Great Recession, with black and Hispanic American households faring much worse than white households, according to a study published Tuesday.

The study, from 2009 data compiled by the Pew Research Center, found the median wealth of white households was 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households.

Mientras estemos desunidos, nuestros esfuerzos y voz son ofuscadas

Congressman arrested at immigration protest - CNN.com

Rep. Luis Gutierrez and 10 other people demonstrating for immigration reform were arrested Tuesday outside the White House, the U.S. Park Police and a spokesman for the congressman said.

Douglas Rivlin, the press secretary for the Illinois Democrat, said Gutierrez and the other people arrested "were sitting on the sidewalk in front of the White House after being told to leave" the protest, held to mark the more than 1 million people deported since President Barack Obama took office.

"The U.S. Park Police gave them a warning to leave. After the third warning they were put in plastic handcuffs and taken away," Rivlin said.

Park police Sgt. David Schlosser said the 11 people arrested paid a fine for disobeying an official order and were released.

Can we afford to remain silent ?

Phones swamped, servers crash as voters slam Congress - CNN.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

‪Sen. Franken's Floor Statement on the Debt Crisis‬‏ - YouTube#at=39

‪Sen. Franken's Floor Statement on the Debt Crisis‬‏ - YouTube#at=39

Red-light cameras: Motorists can disregard red-light camera tickets in L.A. - latimes.com

Red-light cameras: Motorists can disregard red-light camera tickets in L.A. - latimes.com

Motorists who get tickets under the city's controversial red-light camera program can shrug them off, Los Angeles officials agreed Monday.

That was one of the few points of consensus to emerge from a three-hour City Council committee hearing on the future of the much-debated photo enforcement system. The session ended with a recommendation to stop issuing citations at the end of the month and "phase out" the program.

"The consequence is somebody calling you from one of these collection agencies and saying 'pay up.' And that's it," said committee member and Councilman Bill Rosendahl. "There's no real penalty in terms of your driver's license or any other consequences if you don't pay."

An audit by City Controller Wendy Greuel last year found that the cameras cost the city more than it receives in revenue, and that the program has not "conclusively shown to have increased public safety."

Obama: 'Make Your Voice Heard' | Video - ABC News

Obama: 'Make Your Voice Heard' | Video - ABC News



Monday, July 25, 2011

Tweeters rage against the D.C. machine - What's Trending - CBS News

Tweeters rage against the D.C. machine - What's Trending - CBS News

Spurred by a blogger to vent about gridlock and political posturing in Washington over the debt ceiling crisis, the Twittersphere was burning this morning with citizens' grievances against their government, announced with an expletive-filled hashtag - vulgarity mixed with insight and a lot of common sense.


Jeff Jarvis (of Buzzmachine.com) promoted the flood of Twitter messages with the hashtag #F---YouWashington.

But in addition to tweets blasting Washington (Congress, the White House, SCOTUS), messages were also directed at Twitter, suggesting that there were nefarious forces at work to prevent #F---YouWashington from showing up on Twitter's trends (even though it was appearing - quite boisterously, in fact - on Trendsmap.

Corporate Profits Boom In Second Quarter, While Jobs Remain A Bust

Corporate Profits Boom In Second Quarter, While Jobs Remain A Bust

Strong second-quarter earnings from McDonald's, General Electric and Caterpillar on Friday are just the latest proof that booming profits have allowed Corporate America to leave the Great Recession far behind.

But millions of ordinary Americans are stranded in a labor market that looks like it's still in recession. Unemployment is stuck at 9.2 percent, two years into what economists call a recovery. Job growth has been slow and wages stagnant.

U.S. corporations are expanding overseas, not so much at home. McDonalds and Caterpillar said overseas sales growth outperformed the U.S. in the April-June quarter. U.S.-based multinational companies have been focused overseas for years: In the 2000s, they added 2.4 million jobs in foreign countries and cut 2.9 million jobs in the United States, according to the Commerce Department.

Back in the U.S., companies are squeezing more productivity out of staffs thinned by layoffs during the Great Recession. They don't need to hire. And they don't need to be generous with pay raises; they know their employees have nowhere else to go.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Using 14th Amendment to Raise - NYTimes.com

Using 14th Amendment to Raise - NYTimes.com

A few days ago, former President Bill Clinton identified a constitutional escape hatch should President Obama and Congress fail to come to terms on a deficit reduction plan before the government hits its borrowing ceiling.

On Friday, Mr. Obama rejected the idea, though not in categorical terms.

“I have talked to my lawyers,” Mr. Obama said. “They are not persuaded that that is a winning argument.”

The provision in question, Section 4 of the amendment, was meant to ensure the payment of Union debts after the Civil War and to disavow Confederate ones. But it was written in broader terms.

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion,” the critical sentence says, “shall not be questioned.”

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A QuinceaƱera for The Daily Show

15 Things We Love About 'The Daily Show'

Today marks the 15th anniversary of 'The Daily Show.' Yes, our favorite nightly news parody program is all grown up. Luckily the humor isn't showing its age -- it's often still just as infantile and hilarious as the day the show premiered.

Where we stand

#s280957&title=The_Stock_Market



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

FAA funding ends; almost 4,000 at FAA may be furloughed - CNN.com

FAA funding ends; almost 4,000 at FAA may be furloughed - CNN.com

Almost 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration workers are facing furloughs after Congress adjourned Friday without passing a measure to reauthorize the agency's funding, according to the Transportation Department. A $2.5 billion program providing grants for airport construction projects also will shut down, and thousands of construction jobs could be jeopardized.

In a news release, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he was disappointed that lawmakers did not pass a reauthorization and that funding was set to run out at midnight Friday. "Because of their inaction, states and airports won't be able to work on their construction projects, and too many people will have to go without a paycheck," he said. "This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world."

Air traffic controllers will remain on the job, but the furloughs will affect many FAA engineers, scientists, computer specialists, community planners and others. According to the Department of Transportation, FAA workers could be furloughed in 35 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-West Virginia, heaped blame on House Republicans. In a news release, Rahall said, "The House Republican leadership is willing to lay off tens of thousands of middle class American construction workers and jeopardize billions of dollars in airport construction simply to score a few political points for Tea Party extremists."

Norway Shooting and Bomb Attack Leaves at Least 91 Dead - NYTimes.com

Norway Shooting and Bomb Attack Leaves at Least 91 Dead - NYTimes.com

OSLO — The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center here and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead.

The police said they did not know if the man, identified by the Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik, was part of a larger conspiracy. He is being questioned under the country’s terrorism laws, police said, and is cooperating with the investigation of the attacks, the deadliest on Norwegian soil since World War II.

“We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised news conference, adding: “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” So far Mr. Breivik has not been linked to any anti-jihadist groups, he said.

The attacks bewildered a nation better known for its active diplomacy and peacekeeping missions than as a target for extremists.

For some Norwegians on Saturday, the scale of the attacks, and the fact that they appeared to have been carried out by one of their own, seemed particularly hard to grasp.

“It is difficult to think this is coming from inside our country, not outside,” said Thorborn Jagland, a Norwegian who is Secretary General of the Council of Europe. “This is something surprising for all of us.”

“This is something that is not possible to understand at all,” he told BBC radio.

Friday, July 22, 2011

TGIF: This is getting way 2 serious...time 2 play !

‪Marc Anthony - I Need To Know‬‏ - YouTube

Debt Ceiling Crisis Threatens State Budgets, Credit Ratings, Governors Furious

Debt Ceiling Crisis Threatens State Budgets, Credit Ratings, Governors Furious

This week, Moody's Investors Service warned that it probably will lower the credit rating on five states if it downgrades the U.S. government's credit rating. The firm concluded that Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee and New Mexico would be most at risk.

"I'm very unhappy. In fact, we're furious," said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. The Republican pointed out that the state's triple-A credit rating has been in place since 1938, and that it potentially could be lowered through no fault of the state's.

While state officials said the actual cost of a downgrade won't break the bank, they're not happy about the possibility of paying higher borrowing costs after years of budget cuts. They also worry about the economic impact of federal employees potentially not getting paid, or the government not going ahead with contracts or being able to make Medicaid payments.

Cartoon in Murdoch's Paper Calls Hacking Inquiry a Distraction From African Famine - Insensitive ?

Cartoon in Murdoch's Paper Calls Hacking Inquiry a Distraction From African Famine - NYTimes.com

On Thursday, that idea was expressed clearly, and controversially, on the pages of Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London, in the form of an editorial cartoon with the headline “Priorities.” The cartoon showed a starving Somali child holding his distended stomach and saying, “I’ve had a bellyful of phone-hacking.”

Big Bear Middle School: Lawsuit accuses teacher of ethnic remark against Big Bear Middle School student - latimes.com

Big Bear Middle School: Lawsuit accuses teacher of ethnic remark against Big Bear Middle School student - latimes.com

In June 2010, the suit says, the teacher asked Coral if she was Mexican after the girl entered a performing arts class wearing a soccer jersey with "Mexico" on it. The girl replied that she was.

"Why are you here? Why are you in my country?" Carpenter asked Coral, according to the lawsuit. "Because this is my country. And because of people like you, I pay high taxes, and because of people like you, my insurance is sky high."

Coral fled the room crying. She went to the principal's office and later returned to class. She continued crying, and Carpenter told her to leave, the suit alleges.

The next day, Coral said, she spent the class period helping the custodian pick up trash.

"When I learned she spent her class period picking up trash, when she should have been learning," said her mother, Diana Aviles, who started to cry, "I was outraged."

The girl, who ultimately changed classes, said at a news conference Thursday that the experience left her feeling "hurt and humiliated."

2 new suspects held in connection with beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow - latimes.com

2 new suspects held in connection with beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow - latimes.com

Los Angeles police Thursday arrested two men in connection with the brutal beating of a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium and have concluded that the suspect they took into custody in May was not involved in the attack, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.

Police officials refused to publicly release details about the dramatic turn of events in the case, which has attracted international attention and placed city and Dodger officials under intense pressure to reassure fans it is safe to attend games at the storied venue in Chavez Ravine.

The conclusion that Giovanni Ramirez, 31, is not responsible for the March 31 assault in the stadium parking lot on Bryan Stow, 42, a Santa Clara County paramedic, raises serious questions about the Los Angeles Police Department's investigation and why Police Chief Charlie Beck has repeatedly expressed confidence that Ramirez was the primary culprit.

Officials steadily increased the amount of reward money being offered to more than $200,000, hoping it would eventually be enough to persuade someone with information about the attack to come forward.

States preparing for debt ceiling default - Jul. 21, 2011

States preparing for debt ceiling default - Jul. 21, 2011

Just the threat of a federal default is prompting California to get a $5 billion loan to make sure it can pay its obligations.

States around the nation are drawing up contingency plans in the event that federal policymakers don't resolve the debt ceiling impasse by Aug. 2. They are preparing for chaos in the municipal debt markets and delays in federal payments for Medicaid, education and other services, which could happen if the federal government defaults on its obligations.

California, for instance, planned to sell $5 billion in revenue-anticipation notes in the bond market in late August. Now, Treasurer Bill Lockyer plans to get a bridge loan so the state can have cash on hand in case the markets are in turmoil and the state is unable to borrow. It would repay the bridge loan once it sells the notes.

Also, Golden State officials are concerned about delayed federal payments for Medicaid, education, transportation and other services.

"If the federal government starts prioritizing payments, the states could get short-shrift," said Tom Dresslar, the treasurer's spokesman.

State of AZ launches fundraising for border fence - Home

State of AZ launches fundraising for border fence - Home

The State of Arizona has set up a website to collect donations for one of the hot button issues in border politics---building a border fence.

"How far would the money go?" KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked him. "Do you have any estimate on cost per mile?"

"Sure. The Government Accountability Office puts it at anywhere between $400,000 to up to a million and a half, $2 to $3 million depending on what kind of fence you want per mile," Sen. Smith responded. "One of the provisions I put in the bill is to use inmate labor and that's to help all the construction costs associated with it. That's gonna drastically reduce those numbers because we'll use inmate labor at about 50 cents an hour."

Not everyone, however, supports the idea of raising funds to build a border fence. To the Border Action Network, the whole idea sounds like a political stunt.

The site went live at 12:01a.m. Wednesday. A Republican spokesman says as of mid-afternoon Wednesday the site had pulled in about $32,000.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Allen West: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Apology 'Not Happening' (VIDEO)

Allen West: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Apology 'Not Happening' (VIDEO)


The e-mail said: "Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up."

House ethics panel brings in outside counsel for Waters case - CNN.com

House ethics panel brings in outside counsel for Waters case - CNN.com

The House ethics committee announced Wednesday it has hired a prominent Washington attorney to review and help complete its investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California.

The panel -- comprised of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans -- voted unanimously to bring in Billy Martin, a partner in the firm of Dorsey & Whitney. Martin represented former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, NFL quarterback Michael Vick and the parents of murdered Washington intern Chandra Levy, among others.

Waters has been accused of seeking federal assistance in 2008 for OneUnited Bank, a minority-owned bank in which her husband held a financial interest. The bank ultimately received $12 million in bailout funds.

Waters, an 11-term Los Angeles congresswoman, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. She has repeatedly demanded a conclusion to the committee's roughly two-year investigation.

Deadly heat wave to remain Thursday - CNN.com

Deadly heat wave to remain Thursday - CNN.com

A blistering heat wave gripping much of the country is expected to remain Thursday as officials blamed nearly two dozen deaths on the high temperatures.

This heat wave could go into the weekend, forecasters say.

"After several days of deadly heat and humidity as many as 22 people have died," the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

Across the United States, about 141 million people are under heat advisories and warnings.

Almost half of the country continues to sizzle in triple-digit temperatures, with Missouri officials investigating whether 13 deaths could be heat-related.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Last-minute help for desperate homeowners - CBS News

Last-minute help for desperate homeowners - CBS News

ComplainApp shames companies into helping their customers | Rafe's Radar - CNET News

ComplainApp shames companies into helping their customers | Rafe's Radar - CNET News

Since a good part of the content on the Web is whining and complaining, it stands to reason that there's a nice, perpetual business here. People love to kvetch, and companies will always giving us reasons to do so.

A new mobile app, ComplainApp, harnesses this fundamental human behavior and uses social media platforms (mostly Twitter) to help consumers get the help (they feel) they deserve.

With the app, you get, first, a hot list of other users' recent complaints. If one resonates with you, you can retweet it with a single click, which should help the complaint get noticed by the offending companies. ComplainApp founder Noam Gordon says this is a critical step in getting a complaint resolved today. "Most modern CRM systems use Twitter," he says, and companies have people monitoring Twitter and other social platforms. Make a big enough stink on a social network and you're likely to get a personal response from the company.

Cut, Cap And Balance: House Passes Tea Party-Backed Debt Ceiling Plan

Cut, Cap And Balance: House Passes Tea Party-Backed Debt Ceiling Plan

House Republicans easily passed their "Cut, Cap and Balance" fiscal plan on Tuesday, a proposal that boosts their standing among Tea Party supporters but has no chance of becoming law.

The bill passed, 234 to 190, on a largely partisan vote.

Five Democrats, including Reps. Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Health Shuler (N.C.) and Dan Boren (Okla.), sided with Republicans in passing the measure. Nine Republicans opposed the bill, including Tea Party favorite and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). In a statement issued after the vote, Bachmann said the bill "does not go far enough" and should have included provisions to defund health care reform.

Other Republican defectors included Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.), Francisco Canseco (Texas), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Connie Mack (Fla.) and Ron Paul (Texas). Paul said he has never voted for a debt ceiling increase and never will. In addition, he took issue with Republicans for not including defense cuts in the mix of discretionary cuts.

"All spending must be deemed discretionary and reexamined by Congress each year," Paul said in a statement. "To allow otherwise is pure cowardice."

Can we afford this ? ?

L.A. City Hall: L.A. Council explores legal options beyond city attorney - latimes.com

A Los Angeles councilwoman unhappy with City Atty. Carmen Trutanich's handling of billboard issues persuaded her colleagues Tuesday to seek a report on other ways of obtaining legal services at City Hall.

In a direct challenge to Trutanich, the council voted 13 to 0 to ask for a report on how cities across the nation put together their legal teams –- and on the possibility of separating the city attorney's misdemeanor criminal prosecutions from the work of crafting legislation and representing the city in lawsuits.

The push for a study was spearheaded by Councilwoman Jan Perry, who has repeatedly criticized Trutanich and his staffers over planning issues in and around her downtown district.

Memphis to delay start of school year over money dispute - CNN.com

Memphis to delay start of school year over money dispute - CNN.com

School officials in Memphis, Tennessee, say they will not open the public schools until the school district gets the $140 million the city owes to it.

The school board of Memphis City Schools made the decision Tuesday night, said Dorsey Hopson, an attorney for the school system.

"MCS Board of Education voted to indefinitely delay the opening of our schools, pending the resolution of a long-standing funding dispute with the City of Memphis," Hopson said in a statement to CNN.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

President Obama Gingerly Embraces Ideas Behind Gang of Six (Seven) Deficit-Reduction Plan - ABC News

President Obama Gingerly Embraces Ideas Behind Gang of Six (Seven) Deficit-Reduction Plan - ABC News

Source: At least 14 arrested in operation targeting Anonymous - CNN.com

Source: At least 14 arrested in operation targeting Anonymous - CNN.com

At least 14 people have been arrested as part of an ongoing operation targeting the notorious hacking collective known as Anonymous, a federal government official said Tuesday.

The arrests have taken place in locations including Florida, the San Francisco area in California and New Jersey, the official said.

Earlier, a senior federal law enforcement official said up to 15 total arrests are expected following the execution of more than 15 search warrants.

The warrants were being executed in New York and several other states Tuesday by the FBI as part of the investigation, according to the federal government official.

FBI agents spread out to about a half dozen locations on Long Island, in Brooklyn and in the Bronx, where they seized computers and other records, according to the federal government official, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the investigation.

Mitch McConnell Debt Ceiling Plan Splits Republican Party

Mitch McConnell Debt Ceiling Plan Splits Republican Party

Senator Mitch McConnell's plan to avert an imminent U.S. debt default could lead to a day of reckoning for his Republicans as they weigh the prospect of fiscal disaster against the demands of Tea Party activists.

With other efforts to raise the federal government's debt ceiling at a standstill, McConnell's "Plan B" to avoid default is increasingly seen as "Plan A" in Washington.

The proposal by the top Republican in the Senate would dump the task into the laps of President Barack Obama and his Democrats, forcing them to back a $2.4 trillion increase in borrowing before the November 2012 elections as recession-weary voters worry about the country's growing mountain of debt.

Pinning the debt increase on Obama and the Democrats could help McConnell pick up the four seats needed to win Republican control of the Senate and further his stated goal of making Obama a one-term president.

It also may ensure his party avoids getting blamed for an August 2 default that could push the United States back into recession and upend financial markets across the globe.

President Obama Spurns Elizabeth Warren, But Confirming Richard Cordray Will Likely Be No Easier

President Obama Spurns Elizabeth Warren, But Confirming Richard Cordray Will Likely Be No Easier

President Obama may have rid himself of a high-profile confirmation fight by shunning Elizabeth Warren and picking former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to run the nation's new consumer finance watchdog.

But even with conservative lightning rod Warren out, the fight remains. Obama still must try to figure out how to get his nominee confirmed, and Republicans signaled Monday that they were not softening their opposition to naming anyone to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"Senate Republicans still aren't interested in approving anyone to the position until the president agrees to make this massive new government bureaucracy more accountable and transparent to the American people," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor Monday.

He reminded Obama that 44 senators had signed a letter that warned "we will not support the consideration of any nominee, regardless of party affiliation, to be the CFPB director until the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reformed."

Murdoch's problem isn't PR but culture - CNN.com

Murdoch's problem isn't PR but culture - CNN.com

The story is moving fast, and ironically Rupert Murdoch is caught in a web of his own making.

Find the basis for a story that will make headlines and spare no effort to dig up any information that will get and hold readers' attention -- the bolder the headline the better. Go for the jugular. If there's a seamy angle to it, so much the better. Oh, and by the way, don't hesitate to use whatever sources you can, and use your own judgment about methods. But create the story. That's your job. The more sensational, the better. That's what sells newspapers, that's what makes us profitable.

So how does the media baron handle himself when he becomes the object of the reporting culture he has helped to create, when his own empire is operating in crisis mode, when what he has so carefully and successfully built is in danger of unraveling?

‪Russell Pearce Put Your White Sheet Back On‬‏ - YouTube

‪Russell Pearce Put Your White Sheet Back On‬‏ - YouTube

Monday, July 18, 2011

Anonymous To Build Its Own Social Network Called AnonPlus

Anonymous To Build Its Own Social Network Called AnonPlus

Hacker collective Anonymous is preparing to launch its own social network called AnonPlus. The move comes after Google banned Anonymous’s Google+ account called “Your Anon News” due to a violation of its community standards.

Details about the project are scarce. Currently, AnonPlus.com is merely a splash page, containing a message that explains the group’s motives behind the project. “Welcome to the Revolution,” it says, “a new social network where there is no fear…of censorship…of blackout…nor of holding back”.

Another message on the site explains that the project is for “all people not just anonymous,” adding that the actual site will go up soon but it will not happen overnight.

A link to the developer forum, where a possible user interface and design ideas are discussed, shows that the project is indeed in a very early stage.

Daily Kos: Arpaio: I can't be racist, I've got Spanish pink underwear

Daily Kos: Arpaio: I can't be racist, I've got Spanish pink underwear

For more than 17 years Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has forced inmates of his correctional facilities, like Tent City where it reached 145 degrees last week, to wear pink underwear. Arpaio said he started the program because he wanted to stop the theft of regular white underwear by prisoners. It makes sense when you are a law official whose screw-ups have cost County taxpayers more than $50 million in lawsuits that saving a few bucks on swiped skivvies would be a top priority.

However, for those of you who think Joe Arpaio might be a racist, and who knows where in the world you could've gotten that idea, he's got news for you: Today he kicks off a new line of pink underwear for his Spanish-speaking friends. Hell, why make Mexicans wear boxers labeled "Go Joe," which is the name that's been stenciled on them since the beginning. That would be insulting, that would be insensitive.

And so today Arpaio will be introducing his new line of "Vamos Jose" undies at Valle Luna Restaurant on Bell Road in Phoenix.

It's super keen Joe to see you reaching out to your Hispanic brethren this way, but aren't you in violation of the state's English Only law? Just askin', since you're such a law 'n order guy.

Herman Cain: Americans Have The Right To Ban Mosques In Their Communities

Herman Cain: Americans Have The Right To Ban Mosques In Their Communities

Herman Cain said Sunday that Americans should be able to ban Muslims from building mosques in their communities.

"Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state," Cain said in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” "Islam combines church and state. They're using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it."

Last week, the Republican presidential candidate expressed criticism of a planned mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, telling reporters at a campaign event that "This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Sharia law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that."

“This isn't an innocent mosque," Cain said.

Freaks in charge ?

Tea Party Debt Plan Takes Center Stage, Vote Expected This Week

Congressional leaders are giving tea party-backed Republican freshmen the run of the House this week with a plan to let the government borrow another $2.4 trillion – but only after big and immediate spending cuts and adoption by Congress of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

This "cut, cap and balance" plan is set to pass the House on Tuesday but is sure to stall in the Senate, where majority Democrats say it would lead to decimating budget cuts and make it harder to pass tax increases on the wealthy. And even if the scheme could pass, there's no way Congress will adopt a balanced budget amendment, which requires a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate.

But tea party lawmakers are insisting on the effort to try to put their stamp on the debate over the so-called debt limit, and GOP leaders – lacking other ideas that might win a majority in the Republican dominated House – were quick to give their OK at a spirited closed-door meeting on Friday.

How Google+ Works - Video - TIME.com

How Google+ Works - Video - TIME.com

Cordray Picked to Head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - NYTimes.com

Cordray Picked to Head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - NYTimes.com

President Obama said Sunday that he would nominate Richard Cordray, the former attorney general of Ohio, to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, passing over Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who was the driving force behind the agency’s creation.

Mr. Cordray came to national attention for his aggressive investigations of mortgage foreclosure practices while he was attorney general. He is already an employee of the watchdog agency, which starts formal operations on Thursday, as the leader of its enforcement division.

“Richard Cordray has spent his career advocating for middle-class families, from his tenure as Ohio’s attorney general to his most recent role as heading up the enforcement division at the C.F.P.B. and looking out for ordinary people in our financial system,” Mr. Obama said in a written statement. He is expected to formally announce the nomination on Monday.

Stand up, America! Demand a deal on debt - CNN.com

Stand up, America! Demand a deal on debt - CNN.com

Watching Republicans and Democrats squabble from their ideological battle lines over the debt ceiling is the same as watching a bratty child fall out in the middle of the floor with a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way.

On one hand, Republicans are desperately trying to hold on to their purely insane ideological position that there must be no revenue and/or tax increases. It is as if these idiots refuse to believe any data that make clear that the massive tax cuts put in place by President George W. Bush have increased the federal deficit.

Then there are the Democrats, who have this equally insane belief that we can reduce the deficit and not touch Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Those three areas, along with the billions we continue to spend on national defense, constitute most of the dollars we spend on the federal budget. And those costs are spiraling out of control. So, of course, we must make some hard choices, and yes, that will mean making adjustments that might upset seniors.

At the end of the day, this ludicrous standoff is doing severe damage to America's credibility in the financial markets. Even toying with not increasing the debt ceiling could have severe repercussions for all of us. When clueless lawmakers like Rep. Michele Bachmann suggest that nothing will happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling, they only prove that they will destroy this nation in order to preserve an ideological purity.

'Carmageddon' ends early, while Los Angeles drivers change habits - CNN.com

'Carmageddon' ends early, while Los Angeles drivers change habits - CNN.com

Friday, July 15, 2011

TGIF: Rupert Murdoch

‪Peter Griffin - Cant Touch Me‬‏ - YouTube

405 closure: 405 Freeway could reopen early if work goes smoothly - latimes.com

405 closure: 405 Freeway could reopen early if work goes smoothly - latimes.com

If demolition work on the Mulholland Drive bridge goes smoothly this weekend, the 10-mile section of the 405 Freeway might reopen early, though officials said Thursday they did not know how much sooner traffic could be moving again on one of the nation's busiest interstates.

All ramps, freeway connectors and lanes on the 405 are set to be back in operation by 6 a.m. Monday. Officials said the freeway could reopen earlier if contractor Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. can finish and clean up the pavement ahead of schedule.

"We don't know if we will be able to do it or when," said Dan Kulka, a community relations manager for Kiewit. "We will keep our eye on this throughout the weekend. Come Sunday afternoon or evening, we should have a good idea what we can do."

The 405, which handles an average of 281,000 vehicles per day, is scheduled to be shut down for about 53 hours from the 10 Freeway to the 101 Freeway on the northbound side and from the 101 Freeway to Getty Center Drive on the southbound side.

Debt Ceiling Talks: Republicans Their Own Worst Enemy

Debt Ceiling Talks: Republicans Their Own Worst Enemy

Republican leaders use a telling phrase when they reject Democratic proposals: any deal that includes taxes "can't pass the House." Junior lawmakers have not been afraid to let their leaders know where they stand and even undercut them at times.

At times it's not clear who's in charge.

Dozens aren't interested in any sort of deal at all. That means Boehner will have to rely on Democratic votes to get a deal passed, which is weakening his hand at the bargaining table even as he takes an increasingly hard-line stance.

Obama Gives Lawmakers 24-36 Hours On Debt Debate: 'It's Decision Time'

Obama Gives Lawmakers 24-36 Hours On Debt Debate: 'It's Decision Time'

President Barack Obama gave lawmakers 24 to 36 hours to finalize the path forward for raising the debt ceiling during the latest high-stakes White House meeting on Thursday.

"It’s decision time," the president told attendees, according to the notes of a Democratic official. "We need concrete plans to move this forward."

As the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline approaches, Obama and congressional leadership from both parties met for their sixth straight day of talks. There were no verbal altercations between the president and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), as there had been the day before. In fact, multiple Democratic sources relayed that Cantor barely spoke.

#s303541&title=March_2002

#s303541&title=March_2002

The hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch's British news empire keeps growing and growing and growing.

But if you've been wondering what exactly all the fuss is about, fear not! Below, we have assembled a detailed timeline of all the major events and key players of the scandal, leading right up to the latest events.

Click on link to view timeline

Man Released From Hospital After His Penis Is Cut Off « CBS Los Angeles

Man Released From Hospital After His Penis Is Cut Off « CBS Los Angeles

The Garden Grove man whose genitals were mutilated with a kitchen knife has been released from the hospital.

His estranged wife, Catherine Kieu Becker, is accused of cutting off his penis and putting it in the garbage disposal. She has been charged with torture and aggravated mayhem.

Investigators say she was angry because he allowed guests to stay at their condo. He filed for divorce several months ago, but allowed her to continue living there.

Mexico's version of Rupert Murdoch...Greed and corruption

Mexico reviews Telmex satellite deal | Global Telecoms Business

Mexico’s federal competition commission, Cofeco, is probing the alliance between Telmex and satellite TV service Dish Mexico to see if the deal helped Telmex chief executive Carlos Slim enter the television market without authorisation. Slim had been denied a television licence.

A number of rivals, including Televisa, its telephone and cable TV allies, and TV Azteca, had complained that the deal, providing a low-cost television service, is improper. The authorities are examining if the alliance has breached and fair business rule, says Reuters.
Telmex says the deal with Dish Mexico only encompasses printing a single bill for shared services. Financial reports, however, show that Telmex, controlled by Slim, has an interest in the enterprise which could breach rules.

Cofeco is also investigating alleged monopolistic practices among telecoms firms bundling TV and phone services. The regulator, however, did not say which companies it is looking at. GTB

Thursday, July 14, 2011

China Urges U.S. to Take Responsible Action on Debt - NYTimes.com

China Urges U.S. to Take Responsible Action on Debt - NYTimes.com

HONG KONG — China, one of the United States’ biggest creditors, urged American policy makers on Thursday to act to protect investors’ interests, highlighting rising concerns around the globe about the protracted budget talks taking place in Washington.

Officials in Washington are locked in tense negotiations over the government debt limit, which the Obama administration says must be raised from its current level of $14.29 trillion to allow the government to pay its daily bills and service any debt coming due.

Any failure to pay due debt would effectively amount to a default, which, however brief, could shake confidence in the American economy and severely unsettle global financial markets.

‪Congressman On Illegal Aliens- 'I'll Do Anything Short Of Shooting Them'‬‏ - YouTube

‪Congressman On Illegal Aliens- 'I'll Do Anything Short Of Shooting Them'‬‏ - YouTube

Source: Obama says he'll risk job for debt deal - CBS News

Source: Obama says he'll risk job for debt deal - CBS News

Amid new warnings and fresh signs of strain, President Obama and congressional leaders are entering a perilous debt-limit endgame. The president, declaring "enough is enough," is demanding that budget negotiators find common ground by week's end even as the Senate's top Republican gained followers for his own last-ditch scheme to avoid a government default.

Source: Obama says he'll risk job for debt deal - CBS News

Source: Obama says he'll risk job for debt deal - CBS News

Amid new warnings and fresh signs of strain, President Obama and congressional leaders are entering a perilous debt-limit endgame. The president, declaring "enough is enough," is demanding that budget negotiators find common ground by week's end even as the Senate's top Republican gained followers for his own last-ditch scheme to avoid a government default.

Murdoch refuses to go before UK parliament - Times LIVE

Murdoch refuses to go before UK parliament - Times LIVE

Rupert Murdoch has refused a demand from Britain's parliament to answer questions over alleged crimes at one of his newspapers, leaving a senior executive from his media empire to face lawmakers keen to break the media mogul's grip on politics

Murdoch's son James, chairman of News Corp's UK newspaper arm who the company said had dual U.S./UK citizenship, said he could not appear before parliament until next month.

Report: Unauthorized phone charges cost Americans $2 billion a year - CNN.com

Report: Unauthorized phone charges cost Americans $2 billion a year - CNN.com

A key Senate chairman says Congress needs to pass legislation to protect customers from unauthorized third-party charges on their phone bills because the telephone industry has failed to prevent the practice.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia, said a one-year study by the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee shows about $2 billion a year in "mystery fees" show up on the landline phone bills of Americans, a problem known as cramming.

The Commerce Committee's report says phone companies receive a small fee -- often just a dollar or two -- for allowing charges from third-party vendors to appear on their bills. But due to the large number of customers the charges eventually add up.

AT&T, Verizon and Qwest made $650 million during the past five years, according to the report.

"My office has yet to see a legitimate third-party charge on a bill," said Madigan, who added most customers don't detect the charges on their bills.

When third-party vendors are contacted they claim the charges were authorized by customers and they often say they have audio recordings of the customer giving the OK, Madigan said.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fox News...fair and balanced ?

CNN Confirms: Fox News Watch Admitted Avoiding Parent Company's Hacking Scandal | Media Matters for America

As Kaiser Workers Face Cuts, Execs Have Enjoyed Lavish Benefits

As Kaiser Workers Face Cuts, Execs Have Enjoyed Lavish Benefits

Proposed cuts include freezing employees' defined-benefit pension plan and switching to a less desirable defined-contribution plan, according to a flier circulated by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Workers are being asked to accept a more costly employee health insurance plan and cuts to their retirement health benefits, the union says.

While those cuts get debated, Kaiser executives have been living well. Pay and perks for high-ranking officials at the nonprofit have been generous in recent years, according to disclosure forms.

Social Networking Gone Wild: Foreclosure via Facebook | Moneyland | TIME.com

Social Networking Gone Wild: Foreclosure via Facebook | Moneyland | TIME.com

The most distressing content most of us have ever seen on Facebook falls within the realm of the overshare: your boss’s Vegas stag party pics, or your new boyfriend’s status change from single to “it’s complicated.” But there’s a trend toward much more distressing messages being delivered via the social network: foreclosure notices.

Congress Increasingly Staffed By Former Lobbyists

Congress Increasingly Staffed By Former Lobbyists

The number of former lobbyists working as key congressional staffers has more than doubled since the Republican Party took control of the House, a new report finds.

The Center found that 128 former lobbyists work in key staff positions in this Congress, compared to 60 in the last one. Researchers also determined that two House committees -- Financial Services and Energy and Commerce -- "have the highest cumulative number of former lobbyists employed by their members." Each have 14.

Among the other companies with more than five former lobbyists now on congressional staffs: Lockheed Martin, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Verizon and Microsoft.

Lobbyists are sometimes suspected of writing legislation for sympathetic members of Congress. But now, increasingly, they are actually getting paid to do exactly that -- though as Kevin Bogardus and Rachel Leven wrote in The Hill last month, "many of those lobbyists agreed to substantial reductions in their annual salary for a chance to work for members of Congress."

A Mexican Rupert Murdoch

Special report: New Mexican TV probe hits embattled Slim | Reuters

First they handed him a record fine. Then they denied him a television license. Now Mexican regulators are investigating whether business tycoon Carlos Slim has already snuck into the TV market by the back door.

Three years since Slim's phone giant Telmex and satellite TV firm Dish Mexico formed a powerful alliance to offer a cut-rate television service, regulators are giving the deal a second look.

Telmex rivals have complained loudly for years that the partnership is improper and runs against rules that bar Slim's company from putting a foot into the TV market. Now a Reuters investigation has discovered that the Mexican competition regulator is questioning whether the world's richest man's joint enterprise with Dish Mexico is legitimate.

In the last three months, regulators have launched four drives to curb Slim's power in the telecoms market, including a record $1 billion fine from Cofeco against America Movil for allegedly abusing its power.

Slim's lawyers, who are challenging the fine, won a small battle last month when they convinced competition commissioners to remove the commission's chief from the panel reviewing the fine.

Senator denies pointing gun at reporter

Senator denies pointing gun at reporter

A first-term state lawmaker denied Monday she deliberately pointed a loaded gun at a newspaper reporter during an interview last month at the state Senate.

Sen. Lori Klein, R-Anthem, admitted in a statement she took her .380 Ruger out of its carrying case during an interview with Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas during an interview in the lounge outside the Senate chamber.

But Klein, who refused to comment beyond her written statement, said she took the gun out for the benefit of the photographer who wanted to see it and its laser sight. She said Ruelas sat down in the path of the laser.

Pearce recall vote is OK'd for Nov. 8

Pearce recall vote is OK'd for Nov. 8

PHOENIX - Voters in west Mesa will decide on Nov. 8 whether Senate President Russell Pearce gets to remain in office.

Gov. Jan Brewer formally called the election for that date after the Secretary of State's Office certified on Friday that foes of the Senate president had gathered enough signatures to force a recall.

At this point the only thing that could short-circuit the vote would be a successful challenge of the signature verifications by Pearce.

Hahn Holds California Seat for Democrats : Roll Call Politics

Hahn Holds California Seat for Democrats : Roll Call Politics

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn won Tuesday’s surprisingly competitive special election for California’s 36th district, keeping the seat in Democratic hands.

Hahn defeated Republican small-businessman Craig Huey, who outperformed expectations by just making it to the runoff in the solidly Democratic district. Hahn took 55 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting by early Wednesday, compared with 45 percent for Huey, according to the California secretary of state’s office.

YIKES !: Woman jailed after cutting off husband's penis - CNN.com

Police: Woman jailed after cutting off husband's penis - CNN.com

A Southern California woman was in jail Wednesday after allegedly drugging her husband, cutting off his penis, throwing it into the garbage disposal and turning it on, Orange County police said.

Catherine Kieu Becker put a drug or poison in her husband's dinner Monday evening to make him sleepy, according to the initial police investigation.

"The victim went to lie down and he woke up tied to the bed with his wife tugging his clothes off," police said. "The suspect grabbed the victim's penis and cut it off."

Becker told police he "deserved it"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Guttierez...An asset or a liability for Latinos ?

Hispanics Waiting for DREAM Act : Roll Call Politics

"We came out in record numbers when we voted for Obama on a promise that he has broken," said Emma Lozano, executive director of the Chicago-based Centro Sin Fronteras, an immigration advocacy group. "And now he has to shore up, otherwise he won't get a second term. So we're going to lock up our votes until he does."

"People want to be for him. They really want to be for him, but he's really going to have to give them a reason," Gutierrez said in an interview after giving a rousing speech to the crowd of nearly 500 attendees.

"People think it's a little late — that he didn't do anything when we were in the majority," he added. "Now they're a bit more cynical, after these two years, when he says, 'I want to bring Democrats and Republicans together."

How I Saved My Company - NYTimes.com

How I Saved My Company - NYTimes.com

Almost every successful small-business owner has survived a near-death business crisis. Today, we are beginning to collect these personal stories in a series of video contributions called How I Saved My Company.

We are looking for business owners who have struggled and survived and who are willing to submit a short video telling about their experience. The following video explains what we have in mind.

If you have a survival story that you would like to share on video, please contact us by e-mail at smallbusiness@nytimes.com. Tell us how you saved your company. We’ll get back to you with more details.

Jaycee Dugard... A brave little girl turns into an amazing women

ABC's Jaycee Dugard Interview Draws Huge Ratings

The story of a California woman kidnapped and held prisoner by a sex offender for 18 years has proven compelling for television viewers.

The Nielsen Co. says 14.8 million people watched ABC's Diane Sawyer interview Jaycee Dugard in a two-hour special Sunday. Dugard, who was 11 when she was kidnapped and is now 31, has a memoir about her experience being published on Tuesday.

News Corp. Shareholders Amend Lawsuit Amid Tabloid Scandal

News Corp. Shareholders Amend Lawsuit Amid Tabloid Scandal

The original suit focused on charges of "nepotism" relating to News Corp.'s decision to purchase the Shine production company and the amended one continues to direct such claims at Rupert Murdoch. "Officer and controlling shareholder -- habitually uses News Corp. to enrich himself and his family members at the Company's and its public shareholders' expense," the suit reads. "Plaintiffs bring this shareholder derivative and class action because recent self-interested transactions and revelations about News Corp.'s operations giving rise to this action are the proverbial straws that break the camel's back."

Lori Klein, Arizona State Senator....A fool with a gun

Lori Klein, Arizona State Senator, Pointed Loaded Gun At Reporter Richard Ruelas's Chest

Arizona state Sen. Lori Klein (R), a gun-rights champion, keeps a loaded raspberry-pink handgun in her purse, and during an interview with Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas, she took it out and pointed it at him.

"Oh, it's so cute," Klein said, before aiming the gun at Ruelas's chest to show off the red beam of the laser sight. Klein's gun, a .380 Ruger, has no safety, but the senator assured Ruelas that he wasn't in danger.

Orrin Hatch Rips 'Perverse' Tax System That Spares Lower Middle Class

Orrin Hatch Rips 'Perverse' Tax System That Spares Lower Middle Class

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) pushed back Monday on criticism that he wants to tax the poor, but called it "perverse" that people on the bottom half of the income ladder pay little or no federal income tax.

Hatch attracted heavy criticism last week for saying the poor need to "share some of the responsibility" for lowering the deficit while complaining that the rich already pay too much in taxes.

Hatch backtracked somewhat on Monday, but still suggested that the rich have an unfair share of the load.

"I don’t want to tax the truly poor, those who would help themselves if they could," Hatch said. "But you can’t tell me that 51 percent of all households are the truly poor. Really, I don’t want to tax them either to be honest with you, but it’s apparent we’re going to have to find a better way broadening the base of the tax system."

Crazy kittle man.. ‪Cain's plan to secure border Great Wall + moat + alligators‬‏

YouTube - ‪Cain's plan to secure border Great Wall + moat + alligators‬‏

Monday, July 11, 2011

YouTube - ‪Facundo Cabral - Pendejos‬‏

YouTube - ‪Facundo Cabral - Pendejos‬‏

Food pantries: Demand at Los Angeles, Orange County food pantries continues to grow - latimes.com

Food pantries: Demand at Los Angeles, Orange County food pantries continues to grow - latimes.com

Repeated cutbacks in government funding for programs that assist the needy are also contributing to the growth in demand while reducing the available resources to help those in need, he said.

The Los Angeles food bank is receiving about 800,000 pounds less food a month from the USDA's Emergency Food Assistance Program than it was at the beginning of the year. The organization also receives funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Food and Shelter Program, but allocations were delayed this year by protracted budget negotiations.

The high cost of a low car tax - latimes.com

The high cost of a low car tax - latimes.com

Republican legislators have been taking credit justifiably for cuts in sales and car taxes. But they're disingenuously denying any responsibility for soaring university tuitions, the closing of state parks or the shredding of grandma's safety net.

They can't have it both ways.

"It was a Democratic budget, not ours," asserted Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway of Tulare. "They are the ones who made the priorities. So if people are suffering and hurting, they need to contact the people who did that to them. Our agenda was to put the money back in the taxpayer's pocket."

The cost of doing business with Rupert Murdoch

Lawyer: Murdoch hasn't apologized for hacking of murdered girl's phone - CNN.com

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Despite Violence, Mexico Plants Hum at Border - NYTimes.com

Despite Violence, Mexico Plants Hum at Border - NYTimes.com

MATAMOROS, Mexico — When the latest bloody headlines from the drug war in Mexico reach headquarters in New York, Ken Chandler, the manager of an American electronics manufacturing plant here, jumps on the phone.

He is not begging to come home. He is begging to stay.

Not that his employer, Spellman High Voltage, needs much assurance. Like a crop of other manufacturers at the border, including six companies in this city alone, Spellman is expanding its operations, with a new plant under construction after making a calculation that offers one of the starker paradoxes of these violent days in Mexico.

Despite the bleak outlook the drug war summons, the Mexican economy is humming along, not without warning signs, but growing considerably faster than that of the United States.