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Archive for November, 2009

U.S. Chamber of Commerce refuses reality of global warming and loses members, like Apple Inc. and PG&E Corp., as a result

November 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Fande = Fact & Evidence; Cande = Conjecture & Exaggeration

Bring your Fande, leave your Cande!

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/19/business/energy-environment/19CHAMBER.html?_r=1&ref=businessspecial2

EXCERPTS:

“The companies that resigned this fall — Apple, Levi Strauss & Company, Mohawk Paper and the utilities Pacific Gas and Electric, Exelon and PNM Resources — cited the chamber’s climate policy as counterproductive. All said that some form of greenhouse gas regulation or legislation was coming and that they did not want to pay dues to an organization that appeared to be standing in its way….

The chamber didn’t help its cause this summer when one of its senior policy analysts, William L. Kovacs, called for the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a new “Scopes monkey trial” on the science of global warming, reprising the famous 1925 confrontation over the scientific basis of evolution.”

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Thomas Friedman…”We Believe!”

November 19, 2009 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18friedman.html

“We believe that in a world getting warmer and more crowded with more ‘Americans,’ the next great global industry is going to be E.T., or energy technology based on clean power and energy efficiency. It has to be. And we believe that the country that invents and deploys the most E.T. will enjoy the most economic security, energy security, national security, innovative companies and global respect. And we believe that country must be America. If not, our children will never enjoy the standard of living we did. And we believe the best way to launch E.T. is to set a fixed, long-term price on carbon — combine it with the Obama team’s impressive stimulus for green-tech — and then let the free market and innovation do the rest.”

* Read the whole article. It’s a great one!

http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2009/11/18/opinion/18friedman.html?sort=oldest&offset=3

Tom, I love you. Thank you for standing up for reason & sense…if we make our own energy at home (solar, wind, et al.) then we’re a more stable society.

Well said, my man. Your words inspire me.

Money, money, money, money…From the Lobbyist’s keyboard to the floor of Congress…$$$$

November 15, 2009 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/15/us/politics/15health.html?hp

EXCERPTS:

“In separate statements using language suggested by the lobbyists, Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri and Joe Wilson of South Carolina, both Republicans, said: ‘One of the reasons I have long supported the U.S. biotechnology industry is that it is a homegrown success story that has been an engine of job creation in this country. Unfortunately, many of the largest companies that would seek to enter the biosimilar market have made their money by outsourcing their research to foreign countries like India’….

In the standard Democratic statement, Representative Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania said: ‘Let me repeat that for some of my friends on the other side of the aisle. This bill will create high-paying, high-quality jobs in health care delivery, technology and research in the United States.’

Mr. Brady’s chief of staff, Stanley V. White, said he had received the draft statement from a lobbyist for Genentech’s parent company, Roche.”

Lil’ Penny: “I know my spot, fool.”

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment
Categories: Comic Relief Tags:

More Cande than you know what to do with…Bernard Madoff’s financial fakery

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Fande = Fact & Evidence; Cande = Conjecture & Exaggeration

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Computer-programmers-accused-apf-1922510175.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=4&asset=&ccode=

EXCERPTS:

The SEC brought similar charges against the men on Friday in a parallel civil complaint.

O’Hara and Perez were hired by Madoff’s firm in the early 1990s to develop and maintain programs using a computer known as “House 17.” The programs allowed Madoff to generate account statements for thousands of clients “that purported to confirm the purchases of securities that, in fact, had not been purchased,” the complaint said….

“Their subterfuge was designed to conceal the fraud from regulators and others, and when they told Madoff they would no longer lie for him, their continued complicity was bought for a price,” Joseph Demarest, head of the FBI’s New York office, said in statement.

Madoff, 71, was sentenced in June to 150 years in prison for orchestrating a decades-long Ponzi scheme in which investors are paid with other investors’ money rather than actual profits on their investment. The scheme destroyed thousands of people’s life savings and wrecked charities.

O’Hara, 46, and Perez, 43, face up to 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Government working on behalf of the majority of Americans

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Thank you Democrats! Thank you Barack Obama! Thank you Independents! Thank you Joe Lieberman! Thank you Republicans! Thank you Olympia Snowe!

Along with the other 300 million Americans we can clean up the mess left behind by the Bush administration.

Now that we’re on the right track, let’s get going on a solar-electric, CO2-Free, RE-NEW-AH-BULL En-er-gee Infra-struck-shure.

Take the BULL by the horns and make it RE-NEW-AH-BULL!

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ap

Fed: banks need customer consent on overdraft fees

New Fed rule will bar banks from charging overdraft fees without customer consent

  • By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer
  • On 7:58 pm EST, Thursday November 12, 2009

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Fed-banks-need-customer-apf-264768985.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=1&asset=&ccode=

WASHINGTON (AP) — Banks will have to secure their customers’ consent before charging large overdraft fees on ATM and debit card transactions, according to a new rule announced Thursday by the Federal Reserve.

The rule responds to complaints from consumer groups, members of Congress and other regulators that the overdraft fees are unfair because many people assume they can’t spend more on a debit card than is available in their account. Instead, many banks allow the transactions to go through, then charge fees of up to $25 to $35.

For small purchases, such as a cup of coffee, the penalty can far exceed the actual cost of the transaction.

Under the Fed’s new rule, which will take effect July 1, banks will be required to notify new and existing customers of their overdraft services and give customers the option of being covered. If customers don’t “opt in,” any debit or ATM transactions that overdraw their accounts will be denied, Fed officials said.

Many consumers do want checks and regular electronic bill payments to be covered in the event of an overdraft, Fed officials said. As a result, those transactions aren’t covered by the rule.

Banks earn as much as $25 billion to $38 billion annually from overdraft fees, Fed officials said, but that total includes check overdrafts.

Many larger banks, including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo & Co. began instituting similar “opt-in” plans in late September after coming under fire for the fees.

But consumer groups and other regulators, including Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, said new rules were still necessary to ensure smaller banks followed suit.

Many lawmakers have criticized the Fed for failing to provide sufficient consumer protection in the past, a defect they say contributed to last year’s financial crisis. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., on Tuesday introduced a bill that would strip the Fed of its consumer oversight.

Dodd also proposed legislation last month that would have imposed limits similar to the Fed’s on the banks’ ability to charge overdraft fees.

War like the Greeks

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/theater/12greeks.html?_r=1&hpw

EXCERPTS:

“Now officials at the Defense Department are turning to the Greeks to explore the psychic impact of war….

The scenes from ‘Ajax’ show the title character plotting to murder Greek generals who have disgraced him. Under a trance by the goddess Athena, he ends up slaughtering farm animals he thinks are the officers. Ajax’s concubine is depicted as trying to bring him to his senses; the final scene shows Ajax in agony, committing suicide.

The ‘Philoctetes’ segment portrays Greek military leaders plotting to trick the hero into leading an attack on Troy, and shows Philoctetes struggling with both physical and emotional pain….

The investigation of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 at Fort Hood in Texas, loomed over the reading, though it was mentioned only a few times during the post-performance discussion. Still, there were echoes of Fort Hood, especially in the story of Ajax — in the pain that soldiers and their loved ones faced then and now, and in the questions raised by the play about whether war can drive warriors to acts of evil.

‘These plays are part of a 2,500-year history of mental and emotional pain for soldiers that run up to the present day,’ said Mr. Strathairn, an Academy Award nominee for his portrayal of Edward R. Murrow in the 2005 film ‘Good Night, and Good Luck.’

Bryan Doerries, a writer and director who founded Theater of War, said the performances were not psychotherapy, noting, for instance, that the efficacy of his group’s work had not been studied in clinical trials. He described the effort as a public health project to help service members and relatives overcome stigmas about psychological injuries by showing that some of the bravest heroes suffered mentally from battle….

General Sutton was on hand Monday night at St. Vincent’s, where she told the audience after the performance that Theater of War was an important vehicle for ‘sharing pain and the promise of learning and growing and healing.’

‘We knew that never in the history of our republic have we placed so much on the shoulders of so few on behalf of so many,’ she said….

Sgt. First Class Tony Gonzalez, an Iraq combat veteran from Brooklyn who was on the panel, recalled that post-traumatic stress disorder was rarely discussed when he first joined the Army. He described his own pain after his platoon captain was killed and he went to pay respects to the man’s wife, also a friend and member of the military.

And he praised the use of theater to help put a spotlight on trauma.

“I’ve been Ajax,” he said. “I’ve spoken to Ajax.”