In a major power grab of dubious constitutionality, the U.S. military last week claimed for itself the power to act unilaterally—without the authorization of the President—in case of “civil disturbances,” threatening a 200-year-old system that strictly forbids the military from becoming involved in civilian law enforcement. Seemingly innocuous in its brevity and simplicity, the new rule's chief danger lies in its vagueness. Read More
The bill would amend federal labor law that mandates the payment of time-and-a-half for those working more than 40 hours in a week. Instead of only offering money for overtime, employers could allow compensatory time off.
Opponents of the measure say there is nothing in it to prevent companies from discriminating against those who prefer payment by cutting back on their overtime hours.
The company that actually owns the petcoke that is befouling the Detroit waterfront is Koch Carbon, a subsidiary of Koch Industries (annual revenues: $115 billion), the company Charles and David Koch inherited from their father. Koch Carbon sells petcoke to countries like China, India, Mexico and others that burn it to generate electricity and hasten global warming. It is useful to recall that the Koch brothers have spent literally millions of dollars bankrolling the denial of climate change. Read More
Making peer-to-peer communication software “wiretap ready,” however, would seriously jeopardize Internet security for everyone, because any modifications would be targeted by hackers and Internet fraudsters, who could use the technology for a variety of nefarious purposes, including against the government itself. Read More
Pritzker was chair of a bank that failed because of subprime loans, Hyatt is a staunchly anti-labor hotel chain, and many believe that the murky overseas investments of the secretive Pritzker family fortune represent a form of offshore tax evasion—a practice criticized by Obama during the 2012 campaign. Read More
The study authors examined 11,944 abstracts published in peer reviewed science journals from 1991 to 2011 that included the words “Global Climate Change” or “Global Warming.” Categorizing each abstract according to its apparent position on global warming, they found that 66.4% expressed no position, 32.4% expressed acceptance, 0.7% rejection, and 0.3% uncertainty as to the cause of warming. Read More
Monsanto sees the international market as the source of enormous potential profit, if only foreign governments would let Monsanto make inroads into their agricultural economies. And, in a major example of corporate welfare, the State Department has marshaled its resources to lobby for Monsanto. Read More
The reason that the IRS has instead pursued the small outfits is because many don’t have legal counsel and therefore make for an easier target, Chris Ashby, a lawyer to conservative groups, told the Times. “The big groups are generally well-advised, lawyered up,” he said. “Their tax forms are artfully drawn.” Read More
Inexplicably, Nazaire’s appeal to the Georgia court failed to cite Judge Wright’s extensive use of Star Trek references in characterizing Prenda’s behavior. Wright began his written ruling by quoting Spock from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” And then his legal opinion took flight.
“Resistance is futile.” Read More
Holly Van Voast has been arrested at least 10 times for showing off her chest. She recently filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the department to challenge such apprehensions.
Her litigation reminded authorities that New York’s Supreme Court ruled decades ago that baring one’s chest in public— noncommercial activity—is as legal for a woman as it is for a man.
Her wrongdoing infuriated Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Lester Nauhaus, who ordered Melvin to pose before a photographer, in handcuffs, and send the image, along with a written apology, to all 500 members of Pennsylvania’s judiciary “who have been tarnished by your behavior,” he said.
In addition, Melvin will be confined to house arrest for three years. She also received two years of probation, and must spend three days a week working at a soup kitchen.
The worst overcharging hospital was Bayonne Medical Center in New Jersey, which charged the highest amounts for almost one-quarter of the treatments. Bayonne Medical typically charged $99,689 for treating a case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 5.5 times more than other hospitals and 17.5 times more than Medicare paid in reimbursement. Read More
The state paid more than $5 million to defend education requirements for students who are not proficient in English, according to The Arizona Republic.
In the case of SB 1070, the controversial anti-illegal immigration law, more than $3.2 million has gone towards defending it. This money was raised by Governor Jan Brewer through private contributions to her Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund.
The three activists managed to cut through not one, not two, not three, but four fences and reach the uranium enrichment facility on foot before one of the plant’s security guards. The government pays $1.2 billion for security at Oak Ridge every year.
Rice, Boertje-Obed and Walli were not armed. They carried Bibles, peace banners, flowers and spray paint, which was used to put up peace messages.
Wells Fargo placed Delassus into default after the bank incorrectly charged him for back property taxes, which it turned out was really owed by his neighbor, not Delassus.
Even after Delassus pointed out the mistake, which Wells Fargo acknowledged, the bank refused to correct the situation or help him bring his account current, resulting in the condo being seized and sold off.
Instead of using dealerships, Tesla markets and sells its automobiles through the Internet or by phone. This new business model of selling vehicles has upset owners of car dealerships who see Tesla as a threat to the traditional way of making deals.
That is why the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association sponsored a law that would make it illegal for any carmaker to bypass dealerships and sell directly to customers.
The controversy centers on Pagan Island, part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), which is itself made up of 14 islands, three of which are inhabited (Saipan, Tinian and Rota). American forces intend to occupy all of Pagan Island for live-fire training and military exercises.
Pagan was inhabited for more than 3,000 years, but the population was evacuated during a volcano eruption in 1981. Read More
The state adopted the Cuba Amendment, which banned businesses from receiving state and local contracts if they had dealings in Cuba or Syria, or maintained connections with companies that did so.
The law also required companies to certify that they did not have business operations in any of the two countries when bidding on a government job or renewing a contract with a government agency.
To some observers, there may be more to the story than meets the eye because so much of it strains credulity—such as the unlikely use of a cheap-looking disguise, a recruitment letter written in such a potentially compromising way, and the fact that Russian authorities and media—already on the scene of the arrest—moved with lightning speed to plaster photos, video and information across the media landscape. Read More
Although Froman lost touch with Obama after Harvard, he advised Obama on policy during Obama's 2004 Senate campaign and introduced him to Robert Rubin, eventually serving on the 12-member advisory board of the Obama campaign’s transition team. Froman also functioned as a prodigious fundraiser for Obama, especially among younger Wall Street Democrats, bundling at least $200,000 in contributions. Read More
Watt's work on the Finance Committee and his reliance on contributions from the banking industry to fund his political campaigns have generated criticism. Since he entered Congress in 1992, Watt has received more campaign money—$1.33 million—from financial interests than any other industry or special interest. Critics charge that Watt's financial dependence on the finance industry and his cozy relationship with Bank of America have led him to be more less consumer-oriented on related issues. Read More
Although the available public record is sketchy regarding Djoumbe's activities during the chaotic years after the 1990 coup that put Idriss Déby in power (where he remains today), Djoumbe emerged as deputy general director of the Foreign Ministry from 1999 to 2001. Djoumbe was ambassador to Belgium from 2007 to 2010,
In an odd career twist, he then served as Minister of Mines and Geology from 2010 to 2011.