Stuart G's Journal
By Rob Lovitt, msnbc.com contributor
Annual traffic deaths in the U.S. have fallen to their lowest level in six decades, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Released on Thursday, the figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that highway deaths fell to 32,885 in 2010. That's the lowest figure since 1949 and represents a 2.9 percent drop from 2009 — despite the fact that Americans drove almost 46 billion more miles during the year. Americans collectively drove about 3 trillion miles in 2010.
"While we have more work to do to continue to protect American motorists, these numbers show we're making historic progress when it comes to improving safety on our nation's roadways," said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement.
Once in a while there is good news. This is one to be happy about.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn finally has some political ammunition to use the next time Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker mocks the Land of Lincoln's economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois added the most jobs in the nation in October, while Wisconsin saw a "significant decline" in employment.
As the Capitol Fax Blog pointed out Monday, Wisconsin lost 9,700 jobs in October compared with their September numbers. The report came out just weeks after Walker, who eliminated collective bargaining rights in his state by saying it would improve the state's economy, spoke at Chicago's Union League Club about his alleged success "taking on powerful political interests" in Wisconsin.
Illinois' economy adding 30,000 jobs is encouraging during this challenging period of economic recovery,” Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell told Crain's Chicago Business. “Consumer confidence is critical to a growing economy, and a growing economy creates jobs.”
As for Wisconsin's floundering numbers, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development told Channel 3000 they didn't think it would be a trend.
By Herb Weisbaum, The ConsumerMan
Edgar Dworsky, a nationally-respected consumer advocate and founder of the website ConsumerWorld.org, made that claim Thursday. Sears said on Friday that it will change the way its website operates.
Dworsky says he went on the site on Black Friday weekend looking for a refrigerator. He found a model he liked, put it in his cart and noticed that a five-year service contract for $469 had been added without his consent.
"I'm really upset and I think it's a very sneaky practice,” Dworsky tells me. “A consumer should not have to opt-out of buying something they never asked for to start with.”
Dworsky points out that the charge for the service plan is easily removed from the cart if the customer spots it. If not, they could overpay from $110 to $550.
"How many shoppers have in their mind, 'Oh, I'd better check the cart just to make sure they haven't slipped something in there that I didn't order?' "
Dworsky shopped for various appliances on Sears.com and he says the same thing happened every time: an expensive five-year extended warranty turned up in the shopping cart.
Back in 1971, I worked a precint in a local election. We used paper ballots. It was in the City of Chicago, and I was working for
an independent candidate for alderman. It was an off season election and in that particular precint there were about 220 votes that day.
Not much. My candidate, whose name I do not remember, got about 50 votes,and the organization cadidate got 3 times that. But I said to
the organization precint captain, "I want to count the votes." He said Ok. So, even though I wasn't a judge, the judges said ok,
I took the 220 paper ballots, and counted them. 3 piles. My cadidate, his, and a third. It took maybe 5 to 10 minutes and it was over. ..It was legal, his candidate had about 150, mine about 50. 20 for the other. It was fair. no cheating. No machines, no diebolt..etc. The ballots were easy to read. There were xs in boxes.
He knew the people in the neighborhood, they voted his way, he didn't need to cheat, my person lost. Fair and square. It didn't take all night to count the votes. The judges said I could count. Big deal..5 to 10 minutes. It isn't rocket science..
We didn't lose a lot of time for that election. I think it was over by 7:30 pm. For Presidential elections it could be that simple. Screw the machines, just use paper ballots.
Let everyone count em. It won't really take long. It is fair, easy, simple. Just do it. Enough.
Source: Talking Points Memo.
Jillian Rayfield- November 30, 2011, 12:37 PM 601647
Jan Schakowsky says that former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince has “attempted intimidation” of her in response to Schakowsky’s campaign to reduce U.S. reliance on private military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Schakowsky spoke on the House floor Wednesday about a letter from Prince’s attorneys, dated October 7, 2011, that was delivered by hand to Schakowsky’s office. The letter accuses Schakowsky of making “false and defamatory” statements against Prince.
The letter cites a September 8 article published by the Independent in London about Prince’s Blackwater video game. The article quotes Schakowsky as saying: “If Mr. Prince had not emigrated to the United Arab Emirates, which does not have an extradition agreement with the US, he too would now be facing prosecution.”
"Your statement to
Blackwater has received more than $1 billion in federal contracts in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and became infamous after four employees were charged with the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians after allegedly opening fire in Nisour Square in Baghdad in 2007. In December 2009, a judge dismissed the charges citing missteps by the Department of Justice, but earlier this year an appeals court panel ordered the judge to reconsider the case.
Read more: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/...
First Posted: 11/22/11 06:19 PM ET Updated: 11/23/11 11:33 AM ET
GOP 2012 contender Mitt Romney's recent ad has gotten a ton of attention from the press because it contains a brief clip of President Barack Obama saying these words, consecutively, in order: "If we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." BOOM! What a clip, right? Why did Barack Obama say such a thing in public? Oh, that's right, he said those words consecutively and in order because back in 2008, an aide to John McCain said those words consecutively and in order, and Obama quoted that aide to use the words against McCain -- whose campaign, if you recall, did not exactly handle the 2008 economic collapse all that well.
As everyone points out, Romney's use of the words out of context is misleading. But it seems that what very few people are willing to say, as Too Much Joy once sang, is: "That's a lie. You're a liar."
I think that accounts for much of what's going on. People in the political media just doesn't take well to calling people liars, probably because if they did, they'd spend so much time doing that that people might get cynical or something! And anyway, a lot of these people will at some point want access to Mitt Romney, and if he's going to hold it against you for pointing out that he lies and is a liar, you may not get that ratings-goosing sit down with a major candidate for office.
Sarah Palin's decision to announce that she would not seek the presidency on a talk radio program - as opposed to Fox News - "infuriated" Fox chief Roger Ailes and prompted Ailes to consider pulling Palin from the network, according to New York Magazine.
After flirting with a run for much of 2011, Palin went on conservative radio host Mark Levin's show in October to say she would not seek the Republican presidential nomination.
The former Alaska governor's choice of venue was striking in light of the fact that Palin earns $1 million per year as a contributor to Fox News.
A Palin adviser told New York that Palin decided to make the announcement on Levin's show because she was upset Fox News was regularly showcasing former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove. In October 2010, Rove questioned whether Palin has the "gravitas" to be president, and the two have long had a rocky relationship, with Palin dismissing Rove as a "professional pundit" seeking to "mislead the American public" in August.
Ailes was reportedly livid at Palin's decision to take the announcement to Levin, a Palin booster, complaining to a Fox executive that he had "paid her for two years to make this announcement on my network." He was angry enough that he even considered pulling her off the air, according to New York, despite the fact that Palin's contract runs through 2013 and Fox News would still have to pay her. Palin reportedly apologized after her agent made Ailes' displeasure known to her.
Pass this one on..to those intended..
While John Pike is not delineated as a possible defendant, Occupy UC Davis issued a news statement late yesterday that a lawsuit is imminent. Injured protesters reportedly met swiftly with civil rights attorneys, have reportedly retained counsel, and are seeking to pursue two possible defendants. Occupy UC Davis reports “Protesters will be engaging civil rights attorneys to pursue legal action against the University and City of Davis for excessive force and for violating their civil and constitutional rights.”
The Lt John Pike pepper spray scandal has drawn international outrage from the Occupy movement. But Occupy UC Davis is telling supports that letters to UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi are ineffective. Rather organizers are asking donors to cut future donations to the UC Davis......................
What Occupy UC Davis recommends,
“If you are an alumni or corporate sponsor, don’t write the UCD police or just Katehi. Strike fear in their hearts and pledge never to donate a dime to UC Davis, and to contact your classmates to encourage them to do the same.”
Organizers are telling supporters to inform the University that donations should be halted swiftly. “Tell Shaun Keister, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org ) that she won’t see a red cent of your money until Officer Pike is off the payroll and Katehi is gone. CC Katehi, of course. It’s just polite to let her know.”
The above story is from this link:
Skip to about 2:28 to hear his positive views on Occupy Wall Street.
He also says "It is the American Way"
Original Source was Think Progress,and Street TV, comments below Think Progress..
"Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Says Protesting Wall Street Is ‘The American Way’ | The Street TV interviewed Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) about a variety of topics in an interview posted today. Towards the end of the segment, the interviewer asked Quinn about Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Chicago. “I think it’s healthy,” replied Quinn. “I think it’s very important sometimes to walk, to assemble, to use the power of speech, press, that’s the American way. It’s very healthy I think to have people let Wall Street know that some mistakes were made in the past that hurt a lot of Americans, we’re not going to let them do it again.”
link to Think Progress Story:
Apparently, feeding your child is something to be ashamed of -- at least according to one district court judge. Michigan resident and mother of a 5-month-old baby, Natalie Hegedus, was reportedly "called out" for breastfeeding in front of an entire courtroom, leaving her humiliated and in tears
Writing on the community forum, BabyCenter, after the incident, Hegedus said she only brought her son to court in the first place because he had an ear infection. As they were waiting to be called, he got hungry -- and so naturally, she decided to feed him. Hegedus says her breasts were fully covered and she was sitting at the back of the courtroom.
When the court bailiff noticed what she was doing, WoodTV reports that he wrote a note to the judge about it. Hegedus was called up, and the judge asked her whether she believed it was appropriate to be breastfeeding in court. She shared her response with WoodTV:
"Considering the fact that my son is hungry, and he's sick, and the fact that it's not illegal, I don't find it inappropriate ... And the judge said something to the effect of 'It's my court, it's my decision and I do find it inappropriate.'"
two separate articles about this subject............
, Huffington Post and,
... original articles at...
Spencer Bachus, Rogue Trader
By David Weigel
Posted Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, at 10:30 AM ET
Last night, 60 Minutes ran a report on the shocking normalcy of stock trades by members of Congress. The world's greatest deliberative bodies are exempt from insider trading laws, even though its members get quicker access to market-moving information than almost anyone else. If you're one of those 9 percent of Americans who still trust Congress, well, avert your eyes.
Steve Kroft's report was based largely on a new book, Throw Them All Out, written by the conservative scholar/sometime Palin speechwriter Peter Schweizer. I'm working my way through it now, and one of the ugliest revelations so far -- prodded in the Kroft story -- is the degree to which Rep. Spencer Bachus, then ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, bet against the market as it collapsed in 2008. Schweizer finds "no less than forty options trades" in Bachus's records from July 2008 to November 2008. The trades made him wealthier; almost nobody else had the information he had, and could have made them. Take this example, from the bottom of the collapse.
On the evening of September 18, at 7 p.m., Bachus received private briefing for congressional leaders by Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke about the current state of the economy. They sat around a long table in the office of Nancy Pelosi, then the Speaker of the House. These briefings were secretive. Often, cell phones and Blackberrys had to be surrendered outside the room to avoid leaks.
What Bachus and his colleagues heard behind closed doors was stunning. As Paulson recounts, “Ben
Democrats Benefited from 2008 Trades, Too
By David Weigel
| Posted Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, at 2:25 PM ET
Please don't get the impression that Rep. Spencer Baucus was the only member of Congress who attended closed-door sessions about the 2008 economic crisis, then called his broker. In another part of Peter Schweizer's book, he checks the schedules of other attendees at a September 16, 2008 meeting with Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke. It's a pure mixture of Democrats and Republicans.
"September 17, 2008, was by far Rep. Jim Moran’s ( Dem Virgina 8th Cong Dist) most active trading day of the year," writes Schweitzer. "He dumped shares in Goldman Sachs, General Dynamics, Franklin Resources, Flowserve Corporation, Ecolabs, Edison International, Electronic Arts, DirecTV, Conoco, Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Apple, CVS, Cisco, Chubb, and a dozen more companies." Schweitzer actually counts ninety companies that Moran dumped, helping him avoid big losses.
Also at the meeting: Rep. Shelley Capito.(Republican West Virgina 2nd Cong Dist) "She and her husband dumped between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citigroup stock the day after the briefing," reports Schweitzer. And then there was Dick Durbin, then and now the assistant majority leader of the Senate. "He sold off $73,715 in stock funds" after the September 16 briefing. "Following the next terrifying closed-door briefing, on September 18, he dumped another $42,000 in stock."
comment.......these jerks should be in jail..now and forever..using info from Congressional closed sessions to bet against the
Someone said the bail was very low, and that he did not pay a penny for it. Is that true?
Terrific interviw with Scott Campbell and what happened there.
State Sen. Russell Pearce, the controversial architect of Arizona's immigration law, was voted out of office on Tuesday evening in a special recall election. He was defeated by Jerry Lewis, a fellow Republican who does not support the immigration crackdown and has vowed to reject gifts from special interest groups and work to ban gifts for legislators.
Lewis won with roughly 54 percent of the vote, state officials announced on Tuesday evening.
Pearce is the top Republican in the state senate, and a 10-year state legislator. He pioneered S.B. 1070, an immigration law passed in Arizona in 2010 that quickly prompted a lawsuit from the federal government. The law, which would have allowed police to ask for immigration papers at stops if they had "reasonable suspicion" someone was undocumented, was predominantly blocked before it went into effect.
His critics rallied behind Lewis as the most viable alternative to Pearce, forming an unexpected coalition between Republican critics of Pearce and immigration reform supporters. Petra Falcon of Promise Arizona, an immigrant organizing group, said Pearce's loss reflected the public's distaste for Pearce's "extremist positions."
By Pat Garofalo on Nov 3, 2011 at 9:15 am
One of the driving forces behind the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests is the fact that corporations have not been paying their fair share in taxes. A new report from Citizens for Tax Justice will no nothing to alleviate the protesters’ frustration.
CTJ looked at 280 companies, all of them members of the Fortune 500, and found that “while the federal corporate tax code ostensibly requires big corporations to pay a 35 percent corporate income tax rate, on average, the 280 corporations in our study paid only about half that amount.” And those who paid even half the statutory corporate tax rate paid far more than many of their competitors.
In fact, in the last three years, 78 corporations had at least one year where they paid no federal income tax at all, while 30 corporations paid not a dime over the entire three years. Those 30 corporations paid nothing, even though they made $160 billion in profits over that period
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"You stay, I go.." from The Iron Giant, a truly wonderful film about peace.
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