April 13, 2011

CBO: Budget deal cuts this fiscal year’s deficit by just $353 million, not $38 billion touted

The CBO study confirms that the measure trims $38 billion in new spending authority, but many of the cuts come in slow-spending accounts like water-and-sewer grants that don’t have an immediate deficit impact.

A separate CBO analysis provided to lawmakers but not released publicly says that $5.7 billion in savings claimed by cutting bonuses to states enrolling more children and reducing the amount of money available to subsidize health care cooperatives authorized under the new health care law won’t produce a dime of actual savings. CBO believes they are simply cuts to spending authority that is unlikely to be used anyway.

HERE

 

Advertisements
Tags: ,
April 13, 2011

GE Rebuffs Tax Refund Report as ‘Hoax’

General Electric called an earlier media report Wednesday that it would repay a $3.2 billion tax refund to the Treasury Department a “hoax.”

Members of an activist group calling themselves the “Yes Men” claimed responsibility for the hoax, according to a report from Reuters.

Earlier Wednesday morning, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. conglomerate—using “a series of foreign tax havens”—would repay the “enormous” refund it received for the 2010 tax year.

HERE

 

April 13, 2011

Ex-NY mob boss makes history with trial testimony

NEW YORK – A jailed former Mafia boss who once ordered a payback killing in the infamous “Donnie Brasco” case made gangland history Tuesday by becoming the highest-ranking member of the city’s five Italian organized crime families to break their sacred vow of silence and testify against one of their own.

HERE

April 13, 2011

White House visitor logs leave out many

Similarly, the logs are missing the names of thousands of other visitors to the White House, including lobbyists, government employees, campaign donors, policy experts and friends of the first family, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity.

The White House website proudly boasts of making available “over 1,000,000 records of everyone who’s come through the doors of the White House” via a searchable database.

Yet the Center’s analysis shows that the logs routinely omit or cloud key details about the identity of visitors, whom they met with and the nature of their visits. The logs even include the names of people who never showed up. These are critical gaps that raise doubts about the records’ historical accuracy and utility in helping the public understand White House operations, from social events to meetings on key policy debates.

HERE

 

April 13, 2011

GE to return $3.2 billion to US Treasury

Facing criticism over the amount of taxes it pays, General Electric announced it will repay its entire $3.2 billion tax refund to the US Treasury on April 18.

GE uses a series of foreign tax havens that the company says are legal and that led to an enormous refund for the 2010 tax year.

HERE

 

April 13, 2011

OPRAH’S NEWEST FAVORITE THING? CHARGING $1 MILLION FOR 30 SECOND AD!

According to reports filed today, a 30 second spot on the last show will cost $1,000,000. That‘s more than sponsors shelled out for the series finales of hit prime time shows like ’24‘ and ’Lost.’ (If you were wondering, ‘24’ sold spots for a paltry $650,000 per :30 while ‘Lost’ managed to score $900,000 per spot.)

HERE

April 13, 2011

‘WELL LORETTA IT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL’: CA REP. SANCHEZ MOCKS CONGRESSIONAL TEA PARTY REPUBLICANS AS SLOW FOR CARING ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION (WITH BIGOTED SOUTHERN ACCENT!)

AUDIO HERE

April 13, 2011

Pawlenty: ‘I’m running for president’

“I’m running for president,” Pawlenty said in an interview Tuesday on “Piers Morgan Tonight.” “I’m not putting my hat in the ring rhetorically or ultimately for vice president. I’m focused on running for president.”

Pawlenty was responding to a hypothetical question if he would serve as Donald Trump’s vice president if Trump received the GOP nomination in 2012.

Pawlenty, who announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee last month, told Morgan moments later that he will make a formal presidential announcement “in the coming weeks.”

HERE

April 12, 2011

Children’s Lemonade Stand Robbed

Edwards says the pair made off with $130, but what’s worse, she says the money wasn’t for her.

“I was going to raise money from Logan Varnadoe, my cousin,” she says.

Logan is 2-years-old, developmentally disabled, and has a rare intestinal disorder.

His mother, April Varnadoe, says her son will be sent to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital this week for treatment.

She had been raising money to go with him, and her niece Chelsea was helping.

HERE

 

April 12, 2011

Analysis: Budget deal only reduces real discretionary spending by around $15 billion

So the specifics make this an obviously good deal for Democrats — but what were Boehner and his deputies thinking in signing off on it? Are they simply stuck at this point, having already agreed to a climactic compromise last week, and desperate to get the 2011 budget off the table as The One delivers his big response to Paul Ryan tomorrow and the debate shifts to entitlements? Maybe they’re counting on the fact that the caucus simply won’t be willing to desert Boehner with a gigantic vote coming soon on the debt ceiling. He needs all the leverage he can muster to extract concessions in those negotiations with Reid and The One; if this vote collapses in the House and we end up in a shutdown with the GOP bearing the brunt of the blame, he’ll be crippled. No doubt Boehner’s selling this deal to them in those terms too, especially since Hoyer’s being cagey about how many Democratic votes will be there in the end. As much as Pelosi’s caucus might want to protect Obama by approving a compromise that he’s blessed, if they think the party can do better by letting the government shut down, they may very well decide to abandon Boehner and let him choke on the result. Gonna be an interesting couple of days.

HERE

April 12, 2011

Rand Paul at congressional hearing: Let me drop an Ayn Rand truth bomb on you

Not as colorful as last month’s soliloquy on toilets, but still guaranteed to inspire high fives among libertarian C-SPAN junkies everywhere. Enjoy this, because his next big speech in the Senate is likely to be more controversial: He told Sean Hannity this afternoon that he might filibuster Boehner’s budget bill on Thursday when it comes up for a vote, and by “filibuster” I think he’s referring to the old-fashioned talk-til-you-drop version. He surely won’t have 41 votes to block the deal, assuming it even reaches the Senate, so the goal would simply be to register tea party protest of the package by dragging the proceedings out for several hours as the shutdown clock ticks down before relenting. Good retail politics, especially given growing grassroots dissatisfaction with the deal, but the real action will be in the House.

VIDEO HERE

April 12, 2011

US lacks credibility on debt, says IMF

To meet the 2010 pledge by the Group of 20 countries for all advanced economies – except Japan – to halve their deficits by 2013, the US would need to implement tougher austerity measures than in any two-year period since records began in 1960, the IMF said. In its twice-yearly Fiscal Monitor, the IMF added that on its current plans the US would join Japan as the only country with rising public debt in 2016, creating a risk for the global economy.

Carlo Cottarelli, head of fiscal affairs at the Fund, said: “It is a risk that if it materialises would have very important consequences … for the rest of the world. So it is important that the US undertakes fiscal adjustment in a way sooner rather than later.”

HERE

April 12, 2011

Democratic senator wants Internet sales taxes

A Democratic senator is preparing to introduce legislation that aims to end the golden era of tax-free Internet shopping.

The proposal–expected to be made public soon after Tax Day–would rewrite the ground rules for Internet and mail order sales by eliminating the ability of Americans to shop at Web sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com without paying state sales taxes.

Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second most senior Senate Democrat, will introduce the bill after the Easter recess, a Democratic aide told CNET.

HERE

 

April 12, 2011

GETTING BOLDER: LIBERAL RADIO HOST SAYS IT‘S TIME TO STOP RUNNING FROM ’SOCIALISM’

His radio show is called “Mad as Hell in America.” And host Adam Klugman is definitely that. Why? Because he’s sick and tired of liberals running from the term “socialism.” According to him, the ideology has done so much good.

HERE

April 12, 2011

Budget deal axes ‘czars’ already gone

House Republicans won a symbolic victory by dethroning four White House “czars” under the contentious federal spending agreement rolled out early Tuesday morning, but symbolism may be all they got.

The language in the short-term budget agreement seeks to put four of President Barack Obama’s policy czars out of jobs — those appointed to assist the president on health care, climate change, autos and manufacturing, and urban affairs.

HERE

 

April 12, 2011

UN document would give ‘Mother Earth’ same rights as humans

UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” — to the point that the “well-being and existence of many beings” is now threatened.

HERE

 

April 12, 2011

AOL, Arianna Huffington Hit with Class Action Suit

Today, a group of bloggers led by union organizer and journalist Jonathan Tasini will file a class-action suit against the Huffington Post, founder Arianna Huffington, and AOL, which acquired the news-and-blogs site in February.

Tasini, the lead plaintiff, has been a blogger for Huffpo since December 2005, when the site was just seven months old. According to his blogger page, however, he stopped posting on February 10, three days after the purchase of the site by AOL was announced. I emailed him for more information about the suit; he responded by inviting me to participate in a conference call later this morning.

HERE

 

April 12, 2011

Trump Will ‘Probably’ Run as Independent If He Doesn’t Win GOP Nomination

As for foreign policy, Mr. Trump said he is “only interested in Libya if we take the oil,” and that if he were President, “I would not leave Iraq and let Iran take over the oil.” He remains sharply critical of the Chinese, asserting that as President, “I would tell China that you’re either going to shape up, or I’m going to tax you at 25% for all the products you send into this country.”

“I’m all for free trade, but it’s got to be fair trade,” he said. “China has taken advantage of this country for a long time.” Regarding the $300 billion he said China stands to make from trade with the U.S. this year, Mr. Trump said, “What’s protectionism? …I want to be protected if that’s the case.” As for pending trade deals with Colombia, Korea and other countries, he said he would only sign them if they were the right deals for the U.S. “If it’s a bad deal, I wouldn’t sign it,” he said.

As for whether his candidacy is an elaborate hoax, or a publicity stunt, Mr. Trump said, “I don’t need to do this for ratings on the Apprentice. This is too important, our country is in trouble, our country is not being properly led. It needs help.”

HERE

 

April 12, 2011

Peter Thiel: We’re in a Bubble and It’s Not the Internet. It’s Higher Education.

Thiel isn’t totally alone in the first part of his education bubble assertion. It used to be a given that a college education was always worth the investment– even if you had to take out student loans to get one. But over the last year, as unemployment hovers around double digits, the cost of universities soars and kids graduate and move back home with their parents, the once-heretical question of whether education is worth the exorbitant price has started to be re-examined even by the most hard-core members of American intelligensia.

Making matters worse was a 2005 President George W. Bush decree that student loan debt is the one thing you can’t wriggle away from by declaring personal bankruptcy, says Thiel. “It’s actually worse than a bad mortgage,” he says. “You have to get rid of the future you wanted to pay off all the debt from the fancy school that was supposed to give you that future.”

HERE

 

April 12, 2011

Japanese Declare Crisis at Level of Chernobyl

“It is quite different from Chernobyl,” said Mr. Nishiyama. “First, the amount of released radiation is about a tenth of Chernobyl,” he said, adding that while there were 29 deaths resulting from short-term exposure to high doses of radiation at Chernobyl, there were no such deaths at Fukushima.

“At Chernobyl, the nuclear reactor itself exploded,” he said, adding that at the Fukushima plant, the pressure vessel and the containment vessel were largely intact.

Still, Fukushima Daiichi operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. warned Tuesday that since the Fukushima Daiichi plant is still releasing radioactive materials, the total level of radiation released could eventually exceed that of Chernobyl, a spokesman said.

HERE

 

%d bloggers like this: