Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Was the mafia involved in Michael Jackson's death?

The London Daily News

Fox News goes 10 for 10


New York City Council Honors Michael Jackson, White People Walk Out

The Village Voice reports:
Today the city council held a moment of silence for Michael Jackson and councilmembers Inez Dickens and Helen Diane Foster gave the King of Pop a nice tribute, but just as things got underway several members walked out. Staten Island's James Oddo confirmed to Azi Paybarah that he walked out in response to the tribute. His fellow Staten Islanders Erich Ulrich and Vinny Ignizio also left, though Ulrich said he just wanted to talk to Oddo.

Should all over-50s take anti-cholesterol drug? Statins even cut heart attack risk in the healthy

The Daily Mail

Study: Daily sex could help men with damaged sperm, some doctors say

The Chicago Tribune

San Diego payroll sees big gains in high-income earners

Overpaid Government Worker

Woman's cancer vanishes after prayers to 19th-century Maryland priest

The Baltimore Sun

Junk Bonds Default Rate Could Hit 25 Percent


What's North Dakota's Secret?

Forbes reports:
As the country has tipped into a deep recession over the past two years, North Dakota, under the leadership of the nation's longest-serving governor, John Hoeven, has bucked every trend. In 2008, North Dakota's economy grew 7.3%, twice as fast as any other state except Wyoming, which grew 4.4%. By this point, many states in the industrial Midwest, and housing-bubble states like Arizona, Nevada and Florida, were already shrinking.

Unemployment in North Dakota is the lowest in the nation at 4.4%, less than half the national average. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says North Dakota and Montana are the only two states in the country that still have budget surpluses.
You'll want to read this one.

Norm Coleman concedes Minnesota Senate race to Al Franken

The L.A. Times

Notre Dame to give millions to local towns

The Chicago Sun-Times

Delinquencies Double on Least-Risky Loans, U.S. Says


Chicago Public School's Failed Reform Efforts, Report Claims: Arne Duncan's Disaster

Crain's Chicago Business reports:
Chicago Public School reform largely has failed, with the vast bulk of students either dropping out or unprepared for college and apparent gains at the grade-school level more perceived than real.
That's the bottom line of a blockbuster report released Tuesday by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, a report that directly challenges the legitimacy of one of Mayor Richard M. Daley's major claimed accomplishments.

Titled "Still Left Behind," the report freely uses terms like "abysmal" to describe the true state of public education in Chicago. The report was prepared by committee President R. Eden Martin, a lawyer, with analytical support from Paul Zavitkovsky of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Half of the students drop out by high school, and of those who remain until 11th grade, 70% fail to meet state standards, the report says. In fact, "In the regular (non-magnet) neighborhood high schools, which serve the vast preponderance of students, almost no students are prepared to succeed in college."
Here's the report(PDF). Obama didn't believe in Arne Duncan's Chicago Public School system, that's why he sent his kids to private schools. As you can see, being Barack Obama's basketball buddy is the road to getting a job: not school performance. For more on Chicago's public schools. I guess many Democrats don't mind paying high taxes for bad public schools.

The New Republic's Defense of Mark Sanford

The New Republic reports:
It took place almost 20 years into Mark Sanford's marriage. It caused him to risk his relationship to four sons, to betray his canny, classy, and beautiful wife, to abdicate his responsibility to the state, and to take at least one government-paid trip for private pleasure. He might, nonetheless, have limited the damage in the style of his colleagues in Washington (think David Vitter; think John Ensign) had he been willing to disown Maria once he was discovered, had he been willing to toss her out like an ex-smoker tosses out his cigarette pack once he quits the habit: piously, proudly, unfeelingly, with not a thought for the projectile at the base of the trash bin. But the governor of South Carolina was not willing to do this: Instead, he told a marveling press corps how important and beautiful the relationship was; how he'd flown to Argentina to discuss its fate and had spent the last five days weeping. He apologized not only for hurting his wife but--get this!--for hurting his mistress. He apologized to the Other Woman.

Judge: I'm tired of crooked cops in Chicago

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
An ex-Chicago cop was sentenced today to almost 11 years in prison for robbing drug dealers — a case that prompted the judge to declare he’s tired of the growing pace of wrongdoing by police officers.

“In this city, it seems to me we are bombarded by stories and cases and prosecutions of police misconduct,” said U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman, who imposed the sentence on Richard Doroniuk. “It’s been accelerating . . . It’s very discouraging.”

Last week, Chicago cop Anthony Abbate was sentenced to 18 months probation by a Cook County judge for pummeling a much smaller female bartender while he was drunk, in a caught-on-video beating that drew national attention.

Earlier this month, ex-Chicago cop William Cozzi was sentenced in federal court to three years in prison for the 2005 videotaped beating of a 60-year-old man who was handcuffed and shackled to a wheelchair.
We don't know if former Chicago Police Officer William Cozzi knew the Chicago Mob's long term plant on the force, former Chief of Detectives William Hanhardt. Just think, there are some people who say only police officers should own guns in Chicago!

El Monte , CA weighs bankruptcy to resolve fiscal crisis

Overpaid Government Worker

Cost of British public-sector pensions equal to 85% of GDP, thinktank warns


Mozilla releases Firefox 3.5

CNET reports:

Firefox 3.5, the embodiment of Mozilla's attempt to "upgrade the Web," is now available for download.

Firefox 3.5 has a range of new features, including a new JavaScript engine for faster Web applications such as Google Docs; the ability to show video built into Web pages without plug-ins; a private browsing mode; fancy downloadable fonts; and geolocation technology that can let Web sites know where you are.

"So much is happening on the Web right now, it's a great time for browsers," said John Lilly, CEO of Firefox backer Mozilla, in a statement. And, he boasted, "Firefox 3.5 brings together the most innovative Web technologies and delivers them in the most complete and powerful modern browser."

With the software released, Mozilla programmers and their open-source comrades now can move on to the next round of updates, to encouraging Web developers to build in support for the new features, and to finalizing new standards such as HTML 5.
You'll want to check it out, it's free.

The Republican Barney Frank: Charles Christ

The Wall Street Journal

CA Dem leader: Why do we allow free speech to terrorize politicians?

Hot Air

The end of ID cards: British Government scraps £5billion scheme in its most humiliating U-turn yet

The Daily Mail reports:
British citizens will never be forced to carry ID cards, the Government announced today.

In a humiliating U-turn, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said that a trial scheme that was to force some airport staff to carry the controversial cards has been scrapped.

The massive climbdown means that carrying an ID card will now never be made compulsory for members of the general public.

The move signals the end of one of Labour's most controversial policies, which has been championed by a succession of Home Secretaries, and threatens to further undermine the authority of the Prime Minister.

And the retreat will be seized upon by Opposition parties and campaigners who have argued the £5 billion scheme is unnecessary and excessively expensive.
Let freedom ring.

Treasury sets wide scope for new consumer agency


Lisa Marie Presley on Michael Jackson

The Daily Mail

States brace for shutdowns

The L.A. Times

What to say in awkward social situations


U2 Drummer Larry Mullen: Stop Picking on the Rich

Club For Growth

How Politicians Bankrupted California

Carol Platt Liebau

Did Homeowners Cause The Great Recession?

New Geography

Eric Holder Admits: No Equality Under Hate Bill


Amazon cuts its R.I. ties over sales tax


ACORN Rent-A-Mob Thugs to Harass Lenders in 14 Cities Tuesday

The American Spectator

Home-Price Declines in 20 U.S. Cities Eased in April


Ron Paul’s ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill Gathers Steam

CQ Politics

“Mandatory Vaccinations Are Constitutional/Legal”

Karen De Coster

Public Housing and Condo Owners Clash in Chicago Social Experiment

The Chicago Tribune reports:
Low-income apartment dwellers and middle-class condo owners have shared Westhaven Park Tower since the building opened in 2006 -- an innovative setup that the city hoped would unite residents and exemplify Chicago's $1.6 billion overhaul of public housing.

Proximity, however, has not led to harmony.

The most recent skirmish inside the 113-unit midrise on Hermitage Avenue on the West Side concerned building security. Another flare-up centered on the proper use of the lobby: Public housing residents -- who make up a third of the building -- saw it as a place to hang out; condo owners did not.

Kathy Quickery, president of the building's condominium association, put it bluntly in a letter to the CHA last month: "After living in the building for three years, I consider the project a failure for homeowners."

The struggles of Blue America.

Detroit Public Schools May Declare Bankruptcy

The Detroit News reports:
Detroit Public Schools, struggling with a multiyear deficit, will cut 700 more employees and is even considering bankruptcy, emergency financial manager Robert Bobb said Monday.

But even the cuts, including a work force reduction of 2,451 -- almost 18 percent -- won't eliminate a "legacy deficit" of $259.5 million, said Bobb. He said the district overspent its budget for seven years and that eliminating the deficit in one year would be too harmful to students.
Corruption is a major problem here.

Minn. Blood Samples Raise Questions of Privacy: Some Samples Are Stored and Used For Research Without Parents' Consent

The Washington Post

No sign of California budget with deadline approaching

The San Francisco Chronicle

Monday, June 29, 2009

Scalia breaks ranks, slams Bush officials on bank regulation


Cook County Commissioner Starts Legal Action Against Mayor Daley Over Olympics

No Games Chicago reports:
CHICAGO, IL — Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica today requested that Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Attorney General Lisa Madigan initiate quo warranto proceedings against Mayor Richard M. Daley for committing the taxpayers as guarantors for the cost of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Games.
“I am taking this action on behalf of the taxpayers in response to Mayor Daley’s actions – which were unilateral, without express authority, and without approval from the city council,” said Peraica. “Like most people, I am a fan of the Olympic games, but not if they leave the taxpayers on the hook for a huge price tag that wasn’t even approved by the city council.”
If the Attorney General or State’s Attorney do not respond to Peraica’s request within 30 days, he will petition the Circuit Court of Cook County for leave to file the quo warranto proceedings as an individual on behalf of the People of the State of Illinois. [Quo warranto for “by what warrant?”) is one of the prerogative writs, that requires the person to whom it is directed to show what authority he has for exercising some right or power (or “franchise“) he claims to hold.}
“As a Cook County Commissioner, I have a duty to protect the best interests of the people I represent in the 16th District,” said Peraica. “And right now, those people are hurting, looking for work, and wanting a government that spends their money legally and wisely.”

Could your post office be closing?


Video: Press corps now openly laughing at Obama’s backtracking on taxes

Hot Air

Unfiltered: Chicago IG on Illinois' Reputation of Corruption

Chicago Public Radio

Supreme Court Upholds State Enforcement of Lending Laws

The Housing Wire

VIX Drops to Lowest Level Since Lehman’s Collapse as Fear Ebbs


Ex-U. of I. officer describes start of clout list

The Chicago Tribune

Jackson's Parents Seek Control Of Estate

CBS News

The Death of Macho

Foreign Policy

Downtown Chicago office vacancies hit highest level in 2 years

Crain's Chicago Business

Fannie Mae May Portfolio Grows At 35.1% Annual Rate

The Wall Street Journal

Half of Americans Use Vibrators, Study Claims

Live Science

Chicago Mob's Connection to California

The Examiner

Marriage Makes You Fat


Fiscal crisis puts Prop. 13 up for discussion

The San Francisco Chronicle

Jackson’s mom files for custody of his 3 kids


After Jackson, Fame May Never Be the Same

The New York Times

Urban farming movement 'like a revolution'


Congressman Mark Kirk of Illinois pretends to read the cap and trade bill HR2454

You Tube

L.A. County sheriff considers expanding condom distribution in jail

The L.A. Times

47% of Japanese Males 30-34 Years Old are Unmarried

The Wall Street Journal

Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison

Fox News

Media nervous on new Duke U. rape case

The American Thinker

British Doctors' leader denounces government health reforms


Janet Jackson BET Awards 6/28/09 Michael Jackson Tribute

You Tube

Fed seeks millions from ballplayers in Ponzi scheme

The Washington Times

Acorn Role in Census Challenged

The Wall Street Journal

Swiss Banks Shun Americans as U.S. Compels Disclosure


San Diego's payroll surged in '08

Overpaid Government Worker

The heat’s on Mass. ice cream truck vendors

The Boston Herald

Michael Jackson death was 'foul play', claims father

Daily Mail

Chicago Public Schools lose half of teachers in 5 years

The Chicago Sun-Times

Revealed: Intimate pictures from Michael Jackson's family album seen for first time

The Daily Mail

Will John Conyers Get Caught up in Detroit Bribery Scandal?

The Detroit Free Press reports:
Monica Conyers has admitted accepting bribes in a sludge deal, but the Detroit councilwoman's political adviser and onetime chief of staff told the Free Press she received cash and jewelry for brokering other questionable transactions.

The aide, Sam Riddle, said Conyers even helped draft a letter sent by her husband, Congressman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., to help a man with whom she had financial ties. It is unclear whether John Conyers knew of his wife's alleged link to the businessman.

In that deal, Riddle said, Monica Conyers arranged for Riddle to get a $20,000 contract with Greektown entrepreneur Dimitrios (Jim) Papas in about 2007. Riddle said Papas hired him for crisis consulting and political advising -- but he was never asked to do any work. She then demanded $10,000 of that money as a "finder's fee," Riddle said.

At some point after Papas paid him, Riddle said, John Conyers sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of a controversial hazardous waste injection well in Romulus that one of Papas' companies was seeking to operate.
John Conyers, providing "constituent service".

Court rules for white firefighters over promotions


Leftist leaders hold emergency meeting over Honduras coup

CS Monitor

Tallying up Detroit's absurdities

The Detroit Free Press

To find a job, don't look for one

The Philadelphia Inquirer

How a Loophole Benefits GE in Bank Rescue

The Washington Post reports:

General Electric, the world's largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government's key rescue programs for banks.

At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.

As a result, GE has joined major banks collectively saving billions of dollars by raising money for their operations at lower interest rates. Public records show that GE Capital, the company's massive financing arm, has issued nearly a quarter of the $340 billion in debt backed by the program, which is known as the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, or TLGP. The government's actions have been "powerful and helpful" to the company, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged in December.
You'll want to read the whole article. This is fascist economics.

California Assembly Democrats OK budget package

The L.A. Times reports:
Democratic leaders in the state Assembly, frustrated by the refusal of Republicans to support tax hikes to help balance the state budget, pushed through a proposal Sunday night that uses a series of legal maneuvers to put higher levies in place without any GOP votes.
Here's some of the higher taxes and fees:
Included in the package are a tax increase of $1.50 per pack of cigarettes, a 9.9% extraction tax on oil companies, a $15 vehicle license fee surcharge to fund state parks and a charge on homeowner insurance premiums to pay for emergency response systems.
California prison guards need the money so they can make over 100K a year.

Powerful Chicago Alderman Burke Helps Law Clients on City Deals

The Chicago Sun-Times puts the boss on the front page:
Ald. Edward M. Burke wrote a letter in his official capacity that helped a client of his law firm win City Council approval to develop a blighted stretch of land near Midway Airport.

It's the second time Burke has written such a letter so someone he's done business with could get a zoning change from City Hall. After writing those letters, Burke abstained from voting on both cases to avoid any conflicts of interest.

In the most recent case, Burke wrote a letter July 18, 2007, endorsing a development project for Calvin Boender -- who was indicted last month along with Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) on bribery charges stemming from a different project.
For more on the real Mayor of Chicago.

New HGTV show gives homeowners the cold truth

The San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Public pension time bomb ticking away

Overpaid Government Worker

Detroit Public Schools fraud investigation finds millions in district funds misappropriated

We want to thank the ever alert Beachwood Reporter for this tale of massive corruption and theft of taxpayer dollars. Crain's Detroit Business reports:
The investigation to uncover fraud within the Detroit Public Schools has found evidence that millions of dollars in district funds have been misappropriated, stolen or embezzled. Six district employees have been immediately suspended.

DPS Inspector General John Bell announced the findings at a press conference today detailing “only a few” of the 85 individual fraud investigations launched by his office, created by DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb earlier this year in order to uncover fraud within the state’s largest school district.

“Parents, teachers and everyone ought to be disgusted, as I am,” Bobb said at the press conference.

Even as Bobb’s investigation team, with help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has worked to uncover “every red penny” slated to support education in the district, “people continue to steal from us…creating cesspools of corruption,” Bobb said.
You'll want to read the whole article. The Detroit Public Schools are a greedy monopoly which deserves to be defunded.

Cheating 2.0: New Mobile Apps Make Adultery Easier


Democrats increasingly confident they'll enact health-care plan


Arizona Moves to OK Guns in Bars, Restaurants


US TV prepares for $2bn ad shortfall

The Financial Times

Union leader has Obama's ear

The Chicago Tribune

Madoff sentencing nears, but victims' pain goes on


Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies

Michelle Malkin

Jealous of Farah Fawcett : An New York Times Op-Ed Contributor Comes Clean

Mimi Swartz writes an op-ed piece in The New York Times:
Growing up in Texas, I knew a lot of girls like Farrah Fawcett, and I hated them. They had everything I didn’t: blond hair, blue eyes, the power, seemingly, to get anything and everything they wanted in my small public high school — boys, head cheerleader, the ability to decide, in a twinkling, who was cool and who wasn’t.
An interesting piece to read.

Janet, Brothers May Do Michael Jackson Tribute Tour


Sold! Luxury condos go at deep discounts

The Philadelphia Inquirer

CD, DVD release likely for Michael Jackson's final rehearsal for London show

The Chicago Sun-Times


The New York Post reports:
The four-year college degree has come to cost too much and prove too little. It's now a bad deal for the average student, family, employer, professor and taxpayer.

A student who secures a degree is increasingly unlikely to make up its cost, despite higher pay, and the employer who requires a degree puts faith in a system whose standards are slipping.
You'll want to read the whole , though provoking article. The law of diminishing returns is kicking in for many.

Washington to California: Drop dead


Michiganders flock to Web site for flings with married cheaters

The Detroit Free Press reports:
economic instability forces shaky couples to stay together -- they can't afford to get divorced. Infidelity becomes a more likely option.

Research does indicate that as work demands and stress increase, so do marital conflicts. Financial declines have always triggered an increase in a range of unhealthy behaviors.

Some 43% of U.S. couples said they are arguing more about money because of the recession, according to the recent "Can't Buy Me Love" poll by Internet payment company PayPal.
An article well worth your time.

L.A. is trying to weed out pot sellers

The L.A. Times

Prices sour demand for organic milk

The Boston Globe

How stars so rich and famous can go broke

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Sports Illustrated estimates that 78 percent of former National Football League players, within two years of retirement, are bankrupt or "under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce." Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former National Basketball Association players "are broke." And at least 10 major-league baseball players fell prey to alleged fraudster Robert Allen Stanford, the magazine says.

For each failure, there is usually a reason: a lawsuit, illness, injury, divorce, unexpected tax bill or bad investment. Those are the same things that throw ordinary folks into bankruptcy, but celebrities face challenges most of us don't.

One is that their careers are highly uncertain and often brief. In the business world, it's fairly easy for someone with a seven-figure income to guesstimate their future earnings, says Ken Naehu, a managing director of Bel Air Investment Advisors in Los Angeles.
An interesting article.

Taxpayers last to pay if Olympics loses cash, Daley says

The Chicago Sun-Times

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sony-Jackson Partnership Said to Plan on Keeping Beatles Rights


Health-Care Activists Targeting Democrats

The Washington Post

As economy in Silicon Valley slides, birth control booms

The San Jose Mercury reports:
Nine months after Wall Street tanked, there are signs of an impending baby bust. With the ranks of the uninsured increasing along with unemployment rates, many women are taking steps to avoid having a child.

Gynecologists and family-planning clinics throughout the South Bay have been doing more birth-control consultations since the fall, and women are asking for more reliable, more permanent methods of contraception.

"They want to focus their finances on the one or two kids that they have," said Dr. Savitha Krishnan, an OB-GYN with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation's Fremont center. "Instead of going with condoms or birth-control pills, they want longer-term solutions like the intrauterine device."

Document links Saudi charity to Somalian arms

Philadelphia Inquirer

Government Estimates of Health Care Costs

Peter Schiff reports:
When Medicare was first proposed back in 1966, it cost $3 billion per year, and the projection was for inflation-adjusted annual costs to rise to $12 billion by 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was $107 billion, and the 2009 estimate is a staggering $408 billion! So much for government estimates on health care.
Just a reminder.

Baucus "Pressures" Health Care Industry


Cable departs from Hulu model with 'TV Everywhere'


Key to fitness is good nutrition coupled with cardio exercise


AP Source: Jackson suffered a heart attack


Debbie Halvorson’s Embarrassing Cave

Red State has the scoop how one Illinois Democrat caved on cap and trade.

Deval Patrick signs off on tax hike bill

Overpaid Government Worker

The Silence of the Regulated


Madoff Homes to Be Sold, Wife Forfeits Most of Her Claims


Jackson Estate Has Piles of Assets but Loads of Debt

The New York Times

Energy Bill Sticker Shock

Fox News

For Sale, Still: Grand Homes In Gracious Neighborhoods

The Washington Post

Celebrating Michael Jackson's legacy

The L.A. Times

Charter Schools Win a High-Profile Convert

The Wall Street Journal

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rothschild and Freshfields founders had links to slavery, papers reveal

The Financial Times

8 Miami-Dade home healthcare providers jailed in Medicare fraud scam

Miami Herald

House passes climate-change bill


Michael Jackson's Death: King Of Pop Was Awash in Debt

Huffington Post

Obama Man Can

You Tube

How to Fire an Inept Teacher

Common Good has a chart from Liberty Guys.

N.Y. Fed to Trim AIG Debt, Receive $25 Billion Stake in Two Subsidiaries

The Washington Post

The Albany-Trenton-Sacramento Disease

The Wall Street Journal reports:
From 1998-2007, which included two booms on Wall Street, New York and New Jersey ranked 36th and 31st in job creation. From 2000 to 2007, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association calculates that nine out of 10 new Garden State jobs were in the government.
There's more:
Mr. Obama believes union power is a ticket to the middle class. The middle class is getting creamed in all three of these "progressive" states, where organized labor is king. The unionized share of the workforce is 20% in California, 19% in New Jersey and 27% in New York compared to 13% across the country. All three are non-right-to-work states, have super-minimum wage requirements and provide among the nation's most generous public-employee pensions.

Workers in these paradises are indeed uniting -- by leaving. New York ranks first, California second and New Jersey third in moving vans leaving the state. A study by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research found that over the past decade these and other high-union states (mostly in the Northeast) had one-third the job growth of states with low union penetration.
You'll want to read the whole article.

Phila. judge broke the law, panel rules

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Philadelphia Judge Willis W. Berry Jr. broke the law by running a real estate business out of his court office for more than a decade, a state disciplinary tribunal ruled yesterday.

The finding that Berry committed theft of services was the strongest criticism in a harsh report that concluded that the veteran criminal court judge had put the judiciary in "disrepute."

The Court of Judicial Discipline said Berry had operated a string of North Philadelphia apartments "with absolutely no overhead" by using court computers, telephones, fax machines, envelopes, postage, file cabinets, and the labor of his secretary - and sticking taxpayers with the tab.

To make matters worse, the panel said, the Common Pleas Court judge was a kind of slumlord, pocketing rent from derelict apartments marred by scores of code and safety violations that went uncorrected for years. Those problems were first described in an Inquirer investigation in 2007.
Great moments in Blue America!

Income gap widens among California's taxpayers

The San Francisco Chronicle

Landlord Admits to Peeping on Women Tenants for Decades

Fox News

Michael Jackson autopsy expected Friday


Speaking Truth To Power: A Casualty Of The Obama Administration

New Ledger

The Report that triggered the Weiderhold ‘retirement.’

Moe Lane

Monica Conyers convicted of conspiracy: She faces up to 5 years in prison

The Detroit Free Press reports:
Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers pleaded guilty this morning to conspiring to commit bribery and is free on personal bond.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn said, "The defendant now stands convicted."

The one count of conspiring to commit bribery is punishable for up to five years in prison.
Please read this one.

The story behind Farrah Fawcett's famed poster


Glenn Reynolds and Andy Roth Take the Temperature of Gov't Run Healthcare... and Get Sick To Their Stomachs


The NYT Looks at the John Birch Society

The New York Times

Amid Obama's Change is More of the Same

New Geography

Pensions Apartheid?

Overpaid Government Worker

Will Cap-and-Tax Become Law?

Club For Growth

Fortune At Stake On Michael Jackson London Concerts


Transcript of Rahm Emanuel Monitor Breakfast

The Christian Science Monitor

Chicago Public Schools to test teens for STDs

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
With Cook County boasting the dubious distinction of first in the nation in reported cases of gonorrhea -- and second in reported chlamydia cases -- the Chicago Public Schools will begin testing teens, who represent 60 percent of new reports.

Approved by the Board of Education this week, the pilot education, testing and treatment program will be run by the city Department of Public Health in six high schools at no cost to CPS.
Great moments in Blue America.

Value of commercial real estate is back to 2004 levels

The San Francisco Chronicle

Bill gives billions to save trees in other nations

The Washington Times

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bernanke denies Fed threatened BofA over Merrill deal



NTC News

Another recession casualty: Recent college graduates

McClatchy reports:
The tough economy and tight labor market have tarnished the luster of a bachelor's degree for young college graduates seeking employment.

New monthly survey data from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston finds that during the first four months of 2009, less than half of the nation's 4 million college graduates age 25 and under were working in jobs that required a college degree. That's down from 54 percent for same period last year.

''I've never seen it this low and we've been analyzing this stuff for over 20 years," said center director Andrew Sum.
Just think, the Obama administration says more people need to go to college.

The Dangers of Fannie Mae Health Care

The Wall Street Journal

Illinois NOW joins Chicago NOW in decrying probation rather than prison for Chicago Cop Abbate

All is not well in Obama's Blue City of Chicago. The Chicago branch of the National Organization of Women reports:
The Illinois National Organization for Women decries probation rather than prison for the vicious attack by Anthony Abbate against Karolina Obrycka. “Probation is a slap in the face to Obrycka and any other woman who has been beaten said Bonnie Grabenhofer” President of IL NOW and Executive VP elect of National NOW. It sends a message to men that it is okay to pummel a woman as long as you only do it once and take anger management classes afterward.
The Chicago Council of Lawyers in 1996, didn't much like Judge Fleming who let the Chicago cop walk:
Previous Judicial Duties
1996-1998: Judge, Circuit Court, First Municipal District
Elected to the Circuit Court in 1996.
3/96 Primary Election, Circuit Court: Not Qualified
John J. Fleming, 40, has been practicing law for 14 years. He is currently Director of
Administrative Adjudication, Administrative Hearings, for the City of Chicago. He spent one year
as a solo practitioner and three years with the Chicago Park District as Deputy General Attorney,
Litigation Supervisor. He was an Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney for eight years. We have
received significant reports that Mr. Fleming lacks a responsible attitude and good judgment in
his work. The Council finds him Not Qualified.

Fleming must have got the blessing from this man of immense power in Cook County to become a judge.

Unemployed Hit the Road to Find Jobs

The Wall Street Journal

Michael Jackson: King Of Billboard's Pop Charts


Obey, Waters in noisy floor fight over Monument to Waters

The Hill

Clout used at U. of I. law school, documents show

The Chicago Tribune reports:

University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman forced the law school to admit an unqualified applicant backed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich while arranging for the governor's go-between to seek jobs for five law school graduates, according to new documents released Thursday by the university.

The records suggest for the first time an explicit trading of favors, the most troubling evidence yet of how Illinois' entrenched system of patronage crept into the admissions process of the state's most prestigious public university.

The relative of deep-pocketed Blagojevich campaign donor Kerry Peck appears to have been pushed by trustee Lawrence Eppley, who routinely carried admissions requests from the governor.

Great moments in Illinois government.

I'll end Labour's Big Brother state: Cameron vows to scrap intrusive laws

The Daily Mail

'Simpsons' draws higher ad rates on Web than on TV

The San Jose Mercury News reports:

Television programs such as "The Simpsons" and "CSI" are for the first time commanding higher advertising rates at Web sites including Hulu.com and TV.com than on prime-time TV.

The premium rates in the just-ended 2008-2009 television season are mainly for shows that rank among the most-watched by Nielsen, said David Poltrack, chief research officer at New York-based CBS, which is home to "CSI" and owns TV.com.

Marketers, who are now considering commitments for the 2009-2010 TV season, are willing to pay more because TV.com. and Hulu.com., owned by investors including News Corp., NBC and Walt Disney, provide committed viewers who actively seek out shows. There are fewer commercials, and consumers are twice as likely to recall Web ads, Poltrack said, citing Nielsen.

"The reason people are paying such a high premium for these ads on the Internet is they do have a captive audience," Poltrack said. "You know you have eyes on the screen."
Big story. Those who say the internet can't be monetized should think twice and read this one.

Emilio and Gloria Estefan gain stake in Miami Dolphins

Miami Herald

GM gets OK on bankruptcy financing

The Detroit Free Press

Michael Jackson is dead

The L.A. Times

Suburban Chicago Police Officer Charged with Theft from Union

Overpaid Government Worker

Blago's Trial Set for June 3, 2010

Crain's Chicago Business

New program could reduce student loan payments

The San Francisco Chronicle

Conyers abandons plan to probe ACORN

The Washington Times reports:
"The powers that be decided against it," Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times.

The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass.

Pittsburgh lawyer Heather Heidelbaugh, whose testimony about ACORN at a March 19 hearing on voting issues prompted Mr. Conyers to call for a probe, said she was perplexed by Mr. Conyers' explanation for his change of heart.

"If the chair of the Judiciary Committee cannot hold a hearing if he want to [then] who are the powers that he is beholden to?" she said. "Is it the leadership, is it the White House, is it contributors? Who is 'the power?'"
It's a secret.

Caddying: Coveted jobs in tight summer market

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Liberal Blogger Claims Republicans Leaving Dems in the Dust on Sex Scandals

Prominent liberal blogger Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo reports:
That's not to say that some high profile Dems haven't been found Hiking the Appalachian Trail in recent years. John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer come immediately to mind.

But there's just no denying that in the sex scandal derby Republicans are leaving Dems in the dust. Let's run through the recent list -- Foley, Craig, Vitter, Ensign, Sanford, Gibbons, Fossella, just to hit a few of the highlights. Who'm I missing?
Josh Marshall is a loyal partisan Democrat. I guess it would be nice to believe that only one party, the Republican party, has a monopoly on sex and other scandal. Here's a few sex scandals Josh Marshall "forgot" about.

1) Kwame Kilpatrick the Detroit Mayor who cost the taxpayers big money directly tied to the sex scandal.

2) Who could forget Governor Jim McGreevey the former Democratic Governor of New Jersey?

3)and 4) Senators Dodd and Kennedy?

These are just to name a few. We have a feeling that if the media wanted to they could find some "interesting" information on some present and past clients of David Axelrod. Stuff that wouldn't exactly be for a "family audience" or fit the narrative.



Fed Trims Emergency Lending Programs as Crisis Wanes


2 former top Blagojevich aides eye guilty pleas

The Chicago Sun-Times

Farrah Fawcett Dies at 62

Kansas City Star

Government Health Plans Always Ration Care

The Wall Street Journal

Porn Comes to the iTunes App Store


Goldman Sachs: "Engineering Every Major Market Manipulation Since The Great Depression"

Zero Hedge brings us Matt Taibbi's latest piece in Rolling Stone magazine:
From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression - and they're about to do it again
Goldman Sachs would have been destroyed by a free market.

Obama Plays Hardball With Watchdogs

The American Spectator

U.N. to Emerge as Global IRS


New drugs could transform cancer treatment


Bernanke pushes back on BofA, Merrill deal charges


Obama’s Michael Dukakis moment

Hot Air

Indicted Builder Aided Alderman Burke and His Wife Justice Anne Burke: Developer held fundraiser, later got zoning change for project in city

The Chicago Tribune has a big front page story on Chicago's power couple:
A developer now at the center of a City Hall bribery scandal hosted a political fundraiser for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke in his home, just months before receiving crucial support for his real estate project from her husband, Ald. Edward Burke, a Tribune investigation has found.

Both Burkes got campaign donations from developer Calvin Boender while Boender was pushing to build a $35 million condo and restaurant project on a blighted stretch of Cicero Avenue near Midway Airport.

Several months after the March 2007 fundraiser for his wife and weeks after receiving his $1,500 campaign donation, Edward Burke (14th) gave his all-important backing for Boender's project in his Southwest Side ward.

For years, Boender has quietly forged ties with politicians as he pursued real estate deals around Chicago, but he was indicted in May on charges he bribed a West Side alderman to win backing for another project.
You'll want to read the whole article. Of course, Alderman Burke has no comment. He could care less what people think. For more on Alderman Burke's background. For a look at the sensitive subject of fixing trials and the Burkes.

Is Patrick Fitzgerald's Reputation Worth $ 1 Million in a Book Deal?

Cliff Kincaid reports:
A journalist who has uncovered evidence of al-Qaeda involvement in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 has been threatened with a lawsuit by powerful U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
There's more:
In a curious revelation, one of the letters from Fitzgerald refers to HarperCollins, a subsidiary of News Corporation, having once offered Fitzgerald a “seven figure” sum for the rights to his biography. Fitzgerald calls this an “estimate of the market value of my personal reputation.”

While such a statement may be a reference to a monetary figure that Fitzgerald thinks he can sue to recover because of a book that he thinks damages his reputation, a blogger at the Able Danger site commented, “So, he’s suing Harper Collins after being offered ‘seven figures’ by Harper Collins which he obviously never got, or did I miss the story about a Fitzgerald book deal?”
Imagine that.

Commercial real estate: The day the mall died

The Examiner

500 Lose Jobs with new Tax on Cigars; Tampa plant closes


Is There Hope For Local Newspapers?


Report: Burris didn't disclose stock options


Obama leaves door open to tax on health benefits


Chicago Mob Linked Cop Wants Pension After Conviction at Mafia Trial

Overpaid Government Worker

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

25% of Black Males Suspended at Least Once Last Year in Chicago Public Schools

Catalyst Chicago

S&P Cuts Ambac Assurance, Junking Parent In Process

The Wall Street Journal

Did you hear the one about Obama?


The Faith of Entrepreneurs

Lew Rockwell

Blogger Arrested in Threats to Kill 3 Judges that Upheld Chicago Handgun Ban

The Chicago Tribune reports:
Hal Turner, an occasional talk show host on internet radio and blogger, was arrested today by the FBI in his New Jersey home on charges he threatened to murder three federal appeals court judges in Chicago following their recent ruling upholding handgun bans.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, postings on Turner's web site included photos of the judges and addresses for them, with statements such as: "Let me be the first to say this plainly; These judges deserve to be killed."

The three judges have long served on the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals: Frank Easterbrook, the current chief judge; and Richard Posner and William Bauer.

Author Calls For DOJ's Ethics Watchdog to Probe Patrick Fitzgerald

The Public Record reports:
An Emmy Award-winning journalist whose recent book sharply criticized U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and other officials as being negligent for failing to stop a key al-Qaeda figure during their tenure directing the FBI's elite bin Laden squad, filed a complaint with the Justice Department’s ethics watchdog requesting an investigation into Fitzgerald for allegedly using government resources to try and kill the publication of the book.

Peter Lance, a former investigative correspondent for ABC News, sent a letter last week to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) calling for a wide-ranging probe of Fitzgerald as a result of his “20 month campaign...to kill the hardcover and paperback editions of my Harper Collins investigative book Triple Cross.”
You'll want to read this one.

Nationwide Medicare Fraud Ring Busted

CBS News

California will have to begin issuing IOUs next week, controller says

The L.A. Times

N. Carolina SBI investigating ex-Gov. Easley


Paul McCartney to play benefit in Atlanta park


Prehistoric flute in Germany is oldest known


Oscars expand the best-picture race to 10 films

L.A. Times

Illegal immigration in Colorado and California: long process of deterioration


Cuomo’s Money Manager Got Funds Linked to Scandal


The Unhealthy Accounting of Uninsured Americans

The Wall Street Journal

Recession puts brakes on America's limos


Too many colleges fail to graduate students

USA Today

Feds arrest head of anti-gang group in LA


Cities and citizens try to reclaim vacant blocks

The AP

Pensions crisis: 96% of final salary schemes are doomed

The Daily Mail

SC Gov. Mark Sanford says he's had an affair


FOMC Statement June 24, 2009

The Fed statement:
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the pace of economic contraction is slowing. Conditions in financial markets have generally improved in recent months. Household spending has shown further signs of stabilizing but remains constrained by ongoing job losses, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Businesses are cutting back on fixed investment and staffing but appear to be making progress in bringing inventory stocks into better alignment with sales. Although economic activity is likely to remain weak for a time, the Committee continues to anticipate that policy actions to stabilize financial markets and institutions, fiscal and monetary stimulus, and market forces will contribute to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth in a context of price stability.

The prices of energy and other commodities have risen of late. However, substantial resource slack is likely to dampen cost pressures, and the Committee expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time.

In these circumstances, the Federal Reserve will employ all available tools to promote economic recovery and to preserve price stability. The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. As previously announced, to provide support to mortgage lending and housing markets and to improve overall conditions in private credit markets, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of up to $1.25 trillion of agency mortgage-backed securities and up to $200 billion of agency debt by the end of the year. In addition, the Federal Reserve will buy up to $300 billion of Treasury securities by autumn. The Committee will continue to evaluate the timing and overall amounts of its purchases of securities in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets. The Federal Reserve is monitoring the size and composition of its balance sheet and will make adjustments to its credit and liquidity programs as warranted.

Exclusive Conversation With Ron Paul: The Future Of The Federal Reserve

U.S. News

Preventive Care is a Sick Idea


Union Favors


Blacks, Latinos in L.A. more conservative than whites, L.A. Times Poll finds

The L.A. Times reports:
In national politics, black and Latino voters are, on average, more liberal than white voters.

But in Los Angeles, not so. The Los Angeles Times poll of 1,500 registered voters in the city, released this week, shows 40% of white voters describing themselves as liberal, 36% moderate and only 22% conservative.

White voters in L.A. are about twice as likely to call themselves liberal as white voters nationwide, based on polling done nationally by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, which also conducted the Times Poll. And note that because this is a poll of voters in the city of Los Angeles, it doesn’t include such heavily liberal, largely white areas as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and West Hollywood.
Great moments in Blue America!

Credit crunch takes toll on super-rich

The Financial Times

N.J. crash victim caught in county-insurer lawsuits

Overpaid Government Worker reports:
Nicholas Anderson should be a multimillionaire.

Instead, he is penniless - and in need of medical treatment he can't afford.

On Dec. 23, 2004, Anderson was driving home to Atco when a tire caught on a six-inch lip on the roadside and he lost control of his car. The car crashed into a guardrail, which impaled the vehicle, severing Anderson's left leg and nearly severing his left arm. He was 18.

He sued Camden County, and last year a jury awarded him $31 million, finding that the county-maintained road was dangerous because of the drop in elevation between the road and shoulder, and because of the guardrail's design.
Great moments in government.

Chicago Turns to Workers to Close Deficit

The Wall Street Journal

Recession generation? Young adults brace for simpler lifestyle

USA Today

Exurban Growth Greater than Central Growth: Census Bureau

New Geography reports:
The US Bureau of the Census has just released an analysis of suburbanization showing that the nation continues to suburbanize, despite the consistent media “spin” that people are leaving the suburbs to move to core cities.

The report, Population Change in Central and Outlying Counties of Metropolitan Statistical Areas: 2000 to 2007, goes further than our previous 2000 to 2008 analysis that showed strong domestic outmigration from central counties to suburban counties and beyond.
You'll want to read this one.

Amazon Tell California to Drop Tax Bill

Club For Growth reports this from the WSJ:
Amazon.com Inc. sent a letter to California legislators on Monday threatening to end its business with marketing affiliates in the state if legislation passes forcing the Seattle e-commerce company to collect sales tax from California customers.

The letter follows similar threats Amazon made last week in North Carolina and Hawaii, after those states moved closer to passing legislation that would force e-commerce companies to collect tax if they have online marketing affiliates – people who get a sales commission from links on their own Web sites – in the state. Amazon won't say how many people are in its affiliates program.

AmeriCorps feared bad press if IG investigation continued

The Washington Examiner

Barney the Underwriter

The Wall Street Journal

Chicago Style Justice: Chicago cop Anthony Abbate sentenced to 2 years probation in videotaped bar beating

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on what Cook County Judge John J. Fleming said:
“If I believed sentencing Anthony Abbate to prison would stop people from getting drunk and hitting people, I’d give him the maximum sentence,”
This man is Chairman of Democratic Party Slating Committee in Cook County. Alderman Burke can be reached here. Someone might ask Alderman Burke if Judge John J. Fleming is going to be slated next time around.

D.A.: Illegal immigrants were playing by rules

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris said Tuesday that half a dozen illegal immigrants whose drug convictions were expunged as part of a job training program that she oversaw were "following the rules" and deserved to be exonerated even after prosecutors learned of their status.
Following the rules!!!

Credit-Card Companies: Who Qualifies Now?

Business Week

700 NYC Teachers Are Paid to Do Nothing

Overpaid Government Worker

Harvard workers stunned by layoffs

The Boston Globe

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

AP Exclusive: Blago’s politics all in day’s work

The AP reports on Blago:
Rod Blagojevich had misplaced a $10,000 campaign contribution. Luckily, his wife found the check at home and told the governor’s secretary, who promised to take care of it.

Soon the money was deposited safely, just after the donor’s daughter began a new job at the state Department of Corrections.
You'll want to read this one. There's more:
“Andy” was assigned other errands — to pick up a book for Chicago Alderman Edward Burke and to deliver whisky to Blagojevich’s legal counsel Susan Lichtenstein’s house for a December 2003 Christmas party.
For more on Alderman Burke.

Democrats cut deal on climate bill


Government Health Care: Arizona Resists

The National Review reports:
As the U.S. government rushes to pull us all into a government-run health-care system, one state is preparing to say "hands off my health care." The Arizona State Senate yesterday approved HCR 2014, a proposed constitutional amendment that forbids the government from forcing any citizen to participate in a government-run health-care system. The resolution will be on the ballot in November 2010. (I was privileged to have testified to the House Health & Human Services Committee on the resolution.)
Very interesting, one wonders if Arizona thinks someone can opt of out Medicare.

Feds charge 37 people, four businesses with mortgage fraud

The Chicago Sun-Times

Emanuel Uses Reporters to Go on the Offensive

The Washington Post reports:
Perhaps no White House chief of staff in modern history has worked the media as aggressively and relentlessly as Emanuel. Drawing on his long-standing relationships with journalists, Emanuel serves up on-the-record quotes, background spin and the sort of capital gossip that lubricates relationships. The former Chicago congressman also seeks their take on events and floats possible administration tactics.
TARP and government licensure of TV outlets works wonders!

MLB Baseball Attendance in 2009


Chicago Cop gets probation for beating bartender

The Chicago Tribune reports:

An off-duty Chicago police officer was sentenced to two years probation today for beating up a bartender.

Anthony Abbate could have gotten up to five years.

You might ask who would slate a judge who would allow rogue cops to get away with this? This man slates the judges in Cook County.

Why your laptop runs out of juice so fast


Home Sales Keep Rising, Prices Keep Falling


Daschle's Wife Hired as GE Lobbyist

GE might not make goods that consumers want but they hired Tom Daschle's wife to be a lobbyist. Great moments in rent seeking.

States Fight Medicaid Expansion

The Wall Street Journal

State Budget Deficits (2010 Estimates)

Many Eyes

Vallejo To Consider Merging Law Enforcement

Overpaid Government Worker

Why The Left Is Questioning Its Hero

Joel Kotkin

Does Silicon Valley Still Matter?

Business Week reports:
The region may lose its edge as a tech hub as entrepreneurs focus on short-term gains and VCs increasingly look abroad for innovation
An article well worth your time.

Chicago Has 4 of Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Chicago is home to four of the top 25 most dangerous "neighborhoods" in the country, including a sliver of Washington Park that ranked No. 2, a recently released study of FBI crime statistics shows.

Folks who lived near 55th and State -- less than two miles from President Obama's house and the possible site of a future Olympic stadium -- had a 1-in-4 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime each year between 2005 and 2007, according to NeighborhoodScout.com.
No word yet from the International Olympic Committee on this one. Also, no word yet from the handgun banners on why Chicago is so unsafe after years of a handgun ban.

Bernanke Set to Defend Record as Reappointment Debate Begins


Illinois Fixed for Corruption

Dan Proft

Broker aided Madoff, US says

The Boston Globe

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Unfit Survive Through Government Takings

Mark Steyn reports:
When the going gets tough, the tough get bailed out. Your car business operates on a failed business model? Don’t worry, the taxpayers will prop that failed business model up forever. You went bananas on your credit card and can’t pay it back? Don’t worry, we’ll pass a law to make it the bank’s fault. Your once golden state has decayed into such a corrupt racket of government cronyism that the remaining revenue generators are fleeing your borders faster than you can raise taxes on them? Relax, we’re lining up a federal bailout for you, too. Your unreadable newspaper has just woken up from its 96-page Obama Full Color Inaugural Souvenir bender to discover that its advertising revenue has collapsed with the real-estate market and GM dealerships? Hey, lighten up, Senator Kerry’s already been pleading your case in the Senate. Is it really so hard to picture President Obama calling the mayor next spring to assure him he has no plans to move the New York Times out of New York?
Imagine that.

Texas Smart Growth Bill Vetoed

New Geography

SEC Files Fraud Charges Against Cohmad, Co-Founder in Madoff Case

The Wall Street Journal

State Spending Increases

Instapundit reports:
“In 2002 total combined state revenue was $1.097 trillion…. In 2007 this figure had risen to almost $2 trillion. That’s an 81 percent increase, at a time when prices plus population increased 19 percent. .
You'll want to read the whole thing.

Low fat vegan diet cures woman diagnosed with cancer


Worried About Wrinkles? Then Stop Eating Sugar

Amanda Ursell

Chicago Alderman Blew Up When Barred From Governor's Reception

Huffington Post

Blagojevich fundraiser gets 37 months in jail

The Chicago Tribune

Despite house arrest, godfather finds love

The Boston Herald

DVD vending machine leader Redbox looms as budget alternative to Netflix

The Chicago Tribune

Cash goes to districts of legislators directing corps funds

USA Today reports:
Most of the $2.2 billion in economic stimulus money for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects will be spent in the home districts of members of Congress who oversee the corps' funding, a USA TODAY analysis found.

Two-thirds of the money will be spent in states or districts represented by members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that direct how the Corps of Engineers spends its money, the analysis found. The corps is spending its stimulus money on construction projects in 43 states for building or fixing water and sewer lines, dams, reservoirs, levees and harbors.
Imagine that.

$250,000 Earmark for a Private Club

Club For Growth

High court rules narrowly in voting rights case

The L.A. Times

The Jack Welch MBA Coming to Web

The Wall Street Journal

Apple Sells More Than 1 Million iPhones, Well Above Forecasts


Tax credit for home purchase could rise

USA Today

Phila. VA errors went uncorrected for years

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Almost as soon as the Philadelphia VA Medical Center began offering radiation seed therapy to prostate cancer patients in 2002, questions arose about the quality of the treatment, federal investigators said.

Yet it wasn't until a year ago that anything happened. The Philadelphia VA suspended the "brachytherapy" treatment program and began examining whether more than 100 veterans had received inadequate radiation doses.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees such radiation therapy, launched an investigation and published some results this month in the Federal Register.

In recent news reports, the extent of the problems with the brachytherapy program became public. Of 92 mismanaged cases, 57 men got significantly less radiation than prescribed, and 35 received excessive doses, including 25 who received too much radiation to the rectum.
Great moments in socialized medicine!

Toronto city workers on strike

Overpaid Government Worker

Barney Frank Wants Fannie, Freddie to relax condo loan rules

Reuters reports:
Two U.S Democratic lawmakers want Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax recently tightened standards for mortgages on new condominiums, saying they could threaten the viability of some developments and slow the housing-market recovery, the Wall Street Journal said.

In March, Fannie Mae (FNM.N)(FNM.P) said it would no longer guarantee mortgages on condos in buildings where fewer than 70 percent of the units have been sold, up from 51 percent, the paper said. Freddie Mac (FRE.P)(FRE.N) is due to implement similar policies next month, the paper said.

In a letter to the CEO's of both companies, Representatives Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Anthony Weiner warned that a 70 percent sales threshold "may be too onerous" and could lead condo buyers to shun new developments, according to the paper.
Mr. Leverage Barney Frank is back for the sequel of mayhem and destruction through the lack of collateral. We are sure Barney Frank will have all sorts of recommendations for health care once the government controls that sector.

San Francisco D.A.'s program trained illegal immigrants for jobs they couldn't legally hold

Overpaid Government Worker

Is Government Health Care Constitutional? The right to privacy conflicts with rationing and regulation

The Wall Street Journal

Fed plans repo markets revamp

The Financial Times

Chapter 11 is allowing Chrysler, GM to shed hundreds of injury and death claims

The Detroit News reports:
The new Chrysler can't be held liable for incidents involving the estimated 10 million cars and trucks sold by the automaker before June 10, when the company emerged from bankruptcy. Victims and their survivors with pending and future lawsuits against the old Chrysler are in the least protected class of creditors, and are likely to get nothing.

The same rules could apply to General Motors' estimated 30 million vehicles already on the road when it emerges from bankruptcy, perhaps in July.

On Friday, attorneys general from eight states opposed the provision in GM's bankruptcy plan. They filed an objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York.
An article well worth your time.

Former Blagojevich fundraiser to be sentenced today


Broader Fed role provokes wide dissent

The Washington Times

Law firms may provide clerks for courts: Proposal raises ethical issues

The Boston Globe reports:
The Massachusetts judiciary has withdrawn offers for dozens of highly coveted law clerk jobs as a result of expected budget cuts. Instead, the court system is considering filling the vacancies, at no cost to the state, with newly hired private lawyers whose firms have pushed back their start dates because of the bad economy.

Some legal specialists say the unusual proposal raises ethical questions, including whether firms that donate their fledgling associates might expect preferential treatment from the court system. But the plan has already cleared one hurdle, receiving approval with conditions from an ethics panel that advises the state’s highest court. The plan will now be reviewed by the State Ethics Commission.

Chicago spends $22 million on rent : Powerful Alderman Ed Burke and Mayor Daley's Brothers John and William Make News

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
The city of Chicago spends more than $22 million a year leasing property, usually from clout-heavy landlords and often at higher rents than other tenants pay, a Chicago Sun-Times investigation has found.
Who's involved?:
The city has three leases with landlords who are clients of the insurance brokerage run by the mayor's brother, Cook County Commissioner John Daley.

• • Two of the city's landlords have hired the law firm of Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) -- in one case to win a cut in their real estate taxes on property leased to the city.
For a look at John Daley's ties to the Chicago Mob and this
. For Alderman Burke's ties to the Chicago Mob. For Alderman Burke's views on Jewish electoral prospects in Chicago.

Goldman to make record bonus payout


Sunday, June 21, 2009

U.S. Cities Where It's Hardest To Get By


GOP senator: Obama’s public healthcare plan is dead

CS Monitor

Top Italian Mafia fugitive arrested in Caracas


FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments


PBGC Assumes Pensions at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc


Massachusetts Pension Abuse

Overpaid Government Worker

Dodge facts, skip details, govern Chicago-style

Michael Barone reports on Barack Obama :
he does business Chicago-style. His first political ambition was to be mayor of Chicago, the boss of all he surveyed; he has had to settle for the broader but less complete hegemony of the presidency. From Chicago he brings the assumption that there will always be a bounteous private sector that can be plundered endlessly on behalf of political favorites. Hence the government takeover of General Motors and Chrysler to bail out the United Auto Workers, the proposal for channeling money from the private nonprofits to the government by limiting the charitable deduction for high earners, the plan for expanding government (and public employee union rolls) by instituting universal pre-kindergarten.

Chicago-style, he has kept the Republicans out of serious policy negotiations but has allowed left-wing Democrats to veto a measure upholding his own decision not to release interrogation photos. While promising a politics of mutual respect, he peppers both his speeches and impromptu responses with jabs at his predecessor. Basking in the adulation of nearly the entire press corps, he whines about his coverage on Fox News. Those who stand in the way, like the Chrysler secured creditors, are told that their reputations will be destroyed; those who expose wrongdoing by political allies, like the AmeriCorps inspector general, are fired.

Obama entered the presidency with what seemed like supreme self-confidence. He had, after all, advanced from the Illinois state Senate to the presidency of the United States in just four years — a steeper and more rapid ascent than any president since Woodrow Wilson. The success of his long-range campaign strategy seems to have made him confident that his long-range policy strategies would work as well.
An article well worth your time.

GM, Business, and The Age of Small

New Geography

NYT/CBS Stock Pro-Obamacare Poll With Obama Voters


Ex-Radio Host to Face Charge of Inciting Violence Against Lawmakers

Fox News

Driving on L.A.'s Westside: 10 miles in 60 minutes

L.A. Times

U.S. Tops List of Countries with the Largest External Debt

Seeking Alpha

Mass Transit can ruin your hearing


The Salonkeeper and Gambler Who Started the Chicago Democratic Machine: Mike McDonald

Here's a podcast on the man who started the Chicago Democratic Machine. You'll want to listen to this one.

SBA Chief's Priority Is Helping Next Apple


The Left's Collapse in Europe

The Wall Street Journal

Lower California home values mean lower tax revenue

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents will receive a pleasant surprise in the mail this summer - a notice that their property taxes are being cut because real estate values have dropped.

But this boon for homeowners will mean the loss of millions of dollars in property tax revenue, a pot that gets divvied up among K-12 schools, counties, cities, redevelopment agencies, community colleges and special districts - all already squeezed by California's financial crisis and the economic downturn.

Every Bay Area county assessor is doing downward revisions for big swaths of homes. And for some counties, it will be the first time anyone can remember that property tax revenue has dropped from the previous year.

In Contra Costa County, 150,000 homes will have their property tax bills reduced. The county expects to take a tax hit of about 7.6 percent, meaning its total property tax receipts will be about $134 million less than last year's.
You see the built in bias for artificially high real estate prices.

Obama's Approval Index Goes Negative for the First Time

Rasmussen reports:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 32% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -2. That’s the President’s lowest rating to date and the first time the Presidential Approval Index has fallen below zero for Obama
The beginning of a trend?

Amid Fears Of New Restrictions, Gun Sales Surge


Philadelphia Teachers cite intense push to promote

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
The pressure to pass students - even those who rarely go to class or can't read - is pervasive in the Philadelphia School District, teachers around the city say.

The push comes in memos, in meetings, and in talks about failure rates that are too high, the teachers say. It comes through mountains of paperwork and justification for failing any student. It comes in ways subtle and overt, according to more than a dozen teachers from nine of the city's 62 high schools.

"We have to give fake grades," said a teacher at Mastbaum High in Kensington. "The pressure is very real."

A teacher at University City High described getting pressure from the school's administrators to pass a student who had 89 absences over a half-year.
Public sector fraud.

Public Pension a bounty shared

Overpaid Government Worker

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Obama's Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Mention in University of Illinois Admissions Scandal

The Chicago Tribune's investigation in University of Illiinois' admissions grows. The Lincoln Courier reports:
The university’s admissions practices have been in the spotlight recently because the Chicago Tribune reported in May that some academically shaky students got admitted through the influence of government officials and university trustees.

One of those students was a relative of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the onetime fundraiser for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich who was convicted on federal corruption charges, the Tribune said.

The school maintained a “Category I” list that tracked certain students, as well as the names of lawmakers and trustees who expressed interest in whether those students got admitted. The names of several area elected officials appeared on the list, which actually consists of multiple documents covering the past few years.

The documents mention Republicans and Democrats, including Leitch; former U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, who is now U.S. transportation secretary; former state Rep. Aaron Schock, who now is a congressman; state Reps. Dan Brady, Rich Brauer and Frank Mautino; and state Sens. Dan Rutherford, Larry Bomke and Deanna Demuzio.
The Tribune has been quite, quiet on former State Senator Barack Obama's presence in the admissions scandal.

Treasury’s Got Bill Gross on Speed Dial

The New York Times reports:
Newport Beach, Calif.

Every day, Bill Gross, the world’s most successful bond fund manager, withdraws into a conference room at lunchtime with his lieutenants to discuss his firm’s investments. The blinds are drawn to keep out the sunshine, and he forbids any fiddling with BlackBerrys or cellphones. He wants everyone disconnected from the outside world and focused on what matters most to him: mining riches for his clients at Pimco, the swiftly growing money management firm.

Mr. Gross, 65, has long been celebrated for his eccentricities. He learned some of his lucrative investing strategies by gambling in Las Vegas. Many of his most inspired ideas arrived while he was standing on his head doing yoga. He knows he has to be well dressed for client meetings or television — but instead of keeping his Hermès ties neatly knotted, he drapes them around his neck like scarves so he can labor with his collar open.

And with the collapse of Wall Street, Mr. Gross has emerged as one of the nation’s most influential financiers. His frequent appearances on CNBC draw buzz, as do his wickedly humorous monthly investing columns on the Pimco Web site. Treasury secretaries call him for advice. Warren E. Buffett, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman, and Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, sing his praises.
You'll want to read the whole, long article. As the U.S. runs bigger deficits : Bill Gross will have a bigger say on taxes and spending.