Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Sunday 'Report;' 01/29/2012

What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
How to Get a $106,000 College Education for Free
by Lynn O'Shaughnessy,

CBS MoneyWatch
January 27, 2012
How would you like to go to a private liberal arts college that will give you a full-ride tuition scholarship for four years?
Sounds crazy? Actually, I'm serious.
Antioch College in Yellow Spring, Ohio, is waiving the tuition for all its students, who enroll in the next three years.
How much are these freebies worth? The value of the free tuition for the current year is $26,500. The scholarship, based on that price, makes each scholarship worth at least $106,000.  Some students, who file financial aid applications, will capture an even greater price break. If they qualify, they may get to skip the room and board charges or pay a reduced price. Antioch's room and board is currently $8,628.
Obviously, it's unheard of for a college to offer free tuition to its all students. There is, however, an explanation for the generosity.  Antioch is crawling out of the grave. Antioch College, which was originally founded by abolitionists in 1850, shut its door in 2008 after years of decline. Terrible management decisions, among other reasons, led to the closure, but tremendous financial support [....]

Health Insurance Deductibles Doubled in 7 Years, Study Finds

New York Times
January 27, 2012
    If you've seen your health insurance premiums increase along with your deductible, you're not alone. A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund shows just how much more consumers are paying for employer-provided health insurance.  Total premiums -- the amount paid by both employers and workers combined -- for family coverage rose 50 percent from 2003 to 2010, to nearly $14,000 a year, the study found. (The fund is a private foundation that researches health policy issues. The report includes an interactive map showing premium increases by state.)  Workers, [....]

[Related Content: Interactive Map]
Employer Premiums as a Percentage of Median Household Income, 2003-2010

How Much Has The Taxpayer Recouped From TARP?
by Tim Parker,

November 10, 2011
In 2008, at the brink of the subprime meltdown, President George W. Bush signed in to law a highly controversial bill that provided help to struggling banks who looked to be destined for bankruptcy. Not only did the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) provide aid to the banks, but it was that bill that gave America a new political buzzword: bailout.
TUTORIAL: Credit Crisis
Americans saw a price tag of $700 billion and immediately associated this figure with money lost. Each American citizen would contribute about $2,200 to a fund that would bailout greedy banks. Even today, especially during an election season, TARP has become an American poster child for corporate greed. Is it entirely accurate for Americans to hold such a grudge for TARP? Possibly not. Let's take a look at TARP three years later. (For a look at past government interventions in the market, read Top 6 U.S. Government Financial Bailouts.)
Not Even Close to $700 Billion
Although TARP was authorized for $700 billion, the price tag never came close to it. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), in March of 2011, $432 of the $700 billion [....]

Posted January 12, 2012
8 Questions to Ask Your Tax Preparer

by Robert D. Flach'
January 12, 2012
How to Spot a Pro
More than 60 years ago Albert Einstein observed that the hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax. Sadly, today’s situation is far worse. With the current [....]

A Hezbollah Threat in Thailand?

by Ben West,
January 19, 2012

    On Jan. 12, Thai authorities arrested a man they say was a member of the Lebanon-based Shiite militant group Hezbollah who was plotting an attack in Bangkok. In uncovering the plot, Thai police cite cooperation with the United States and Israel going back to December 2011. Bangkok is indeed a target-rich environment with a history of terrorist attacks, but today Hezbollah and other militant and criminal groups rely on the city as a business hub more than anything else. If Hezbollah or some other transnational militant group were to carry out an attack in the city, it would have to be for a compelling reason that outweighed the costs.
    The suspect was identified as Hussein Atris, who was born in Lebanon but acquired Swedish citizenship and a passport after marrying a Swedish woman in 1996. Atris was arrested on immigration charges as he was trying to board a plane at Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok's main international airport. Police said another suspect is still at large and possibly already out of the country. Atris's arrest on Jan. 12 was followed by a statement the next day from the U.S. Embassy warning U.S. citizens in Bangkok of the potential foreign terrorist threat in the country and encouraging them to avoid tourist areas. Other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Israel, issued similar warnings. Thai police have [....]

Obama awards aircraft contract to firm in Brazil
The Palestine Herald
January 23, 2012
The Obama Administration awarded a $355 million U.S. Air Force light attack aircraft contract in December, 2011, to Embraer, an aircraft company in Brazil.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation, an American owned and American based aircraft company, who has already built more than 14,000 aircraft for the U. S. military, had worked with the Air Force for two years and invested more than $100 million to meet Air Force requirements for the light attack aircraft only to be informed they had been excluded from the bidding competition.  Actually, there was no bidding process at all. The decision was simply made [....]

Scientists Discover Gassy Liberal Pseudo-Science

by John Ransom, 
January 21, 2012
The science portal New Scientist reported yesterday that the much-publicized risks involved in the natural gas recovery method of “fracking” have been exaggerated according to British geologists.
“Frack away, there's no reason not to,” writes New Scientist. “Two of the main objections to ‘fracking’”- [earthquakes and well-water contamination] - “have been blown out of proportion, according to British geologists… ‘We think the risk is pretty low,’ said Mike Stephenson, head of energy science at the British Geological Survey at a press briefing in London on Tuesday.”  Fracking involves boring into shale deposits with water, chemicals and particulates in order to open seams to allow the escape of natural gas, oil and other fossil gases for recovery as fuel. Huge new reserves of energy have been found in the US over the last decade that can only be recovered by fracking. These reserves have [....]

[Related Content:]
Gas drilling contaminates drinking water

by Sujata Grupta,
May 10, 2011
Drilling for shale gas may pose a safety hazard if there are water wells nearby. But the controversial use of "fracking" does not appear to be a safety risk as regards water contamination.  Over the past decade, the use of fracking – a mining technique involving pumping water and chemicals underground to rupture rocks and bring trapped natural gas to the surface – has skyrocketed in Pennsylvania.  The state sits atop the Marcellus shale, a deposit estimated to harbour over 14 trillion cubic metres of natural gas. Residents have long expressed concerns that fracking could contaminate drinking water.  Now a study has shown that the real safety concern is the proximity of water wells to gas wells, and that fracking does not appear to increase the risk of water contamination.  Rob Jackson of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues analysed water from 68 drinking wells in upstate New York, where fracking is banned, and Pennsylvania. They found that wells located within 1 kilometre of an active shale-gas drilling site contained 17 times as much methane on average as those further away.  The team was also able to confirm that the methane found in the drinking water came from deep within the Earth [....]

[Related Content:]
(Plot Summary for)  GasLand (2010)
It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the "Saudi Arabia of natural gas." Halliburton developed [....]

Justice Department Coordinates Suits with ACORN's Project Vote
by: Examiner Editorial  Staff,
January 19, 2012
Steve Kest, Executive Director of ACORN, talks to a reporter after a news conference October 29, 2008 in Washington DC.(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Remember ACORN, the far-left activist community organizing group that filed for bankruptcy a couple of years ago? That followed revelations that some members were advising pimps and prostitutes on tax evasion, not to mention operating houses of prostitution and smuggling underage girls into the country to work in the sex industry. The Democratic-dominated Congress voted in 2009 to ban ACORN from receiving federal funds. After ACORN's bankruptcy filing, many of its local chapters remained intact by the simple expedient of reorganizing under different names. It's the same tactic used by fly-by-night rug merchants and disreputable used car dealers to stay one step ahead of the law.   Readers will also recall that ACORN activists have long been involved in voter registration fraud, either directly or through its Project Vote affiliate. At least 70 ACORN/Project Vote employees have been convicted of voter registration fraud in a dozen states since 2006. According to a 2009 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report, approximately a third of the 1.2 million new registrations turned in by the two groups in 2008 were fraudulent.  Despite all this, [....]

Bashed teen speaks of terror
by Nicole Cox,
Police Reporter
January 21, 2012
A PERTH teenager has spoken of his terror after he was violently bashed by a gang of thugs who repeatedly kicked him and stomped on his head after being racially taunted.  Perth detectives are hunting up to 20 youths, believed to be of African descent, who were involved in the attack in the city at 11.30pm last night.  Two males - aged 16 and 17 - have already been charged, but police have not ruled out further charges being laid.  This afternoon, 19-year-old James Claxon told how a night out [....]

Buffett Blames Congress for Romney's 15% Rate

by Andrew Frye and Andrea Ludtke
January 23, 2012
Warren Buffett, the billionaire calling for more taxes on the rich, said Mitt Romney's U.S. tax rate of about 15 percent reflects poor laws rather than failings by the candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.   "It's the wrong policy to have," Buffett told Bloomberg Television's Betty Liu in an interview today. "He's not going to pay more than the law requires, and I don't fault him for that in the least. But I do fault a law that allows him and me earning enormous sums to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that's about half what the average person in my office pays."  Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) , supports Democratic President Barack Obama and said Congress needs to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans[....]

Liberal Science: Oil Extraction Could Cause the Globe to Deflate

by John Ransom,
January 15, 2011Lon wrote:
Ransom is right, if you look at the official White House pictures of the function, it is clear that the White House was trying to keep this matter secret. It seems obvious that as the stars posed for their publicity photos they were thinking how clever it was that this was going to be kept a secret.
– in response to The Alice-in-Wonderland President
Dear Lon,
OK. Let’s get this straight: The White House didn’t seek to keep this secret, even though they had discussions about keeping it secret. Yet it remained secret until the revelations in Kantor’s book despite the White House not trying to keep it secret. The secrecy happened just by coincidence?
Obama ought to go by the name Mr. Coincidental, because everything that happens on his watch you all defend by acting like it’s just a coincidence. 
The worst economic recovery since the Great Depression and Obama’s president: That’s just a coincidence.
Obama puts billion of taxpayer money into loan programs for green companies that just coincidentally are tied to his biggest financial supporters.
Every time a financial crisis happens, Obama pals Buffett or Soros just coincidentally happen to be around to buy preferred stock or some other investment that’s backed up by government credit.
The ATF walks guns to violent Mexican criminals with no follow through, coincidentally when the ATF and the Obama administration are pushing for scrapping the 2nd Amendment.  I’ll let the readers [....]

This Gas Company Spin-Off Could Bring Big Returns

by Crista Huff,
January 15, 2012Now that Williams Companies (WMB, $28.00) has spun off WPX Energy Inc. (WPX), let's take a look at Williams to assess its value as a growth and income stock.  Williams Companies owns and operates interstate gas pipelines, runs a large-scale Midstream Canada & Olefins business, owns a substantial portion of Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ), and operates from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. Olefins are organic chemicals suchs as ethylene and propene. The midstream business processes, stores, transports and markets natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs).  In Williams Completes Separation of E&P Business,, Jan. 3, 2012, we learn, "Williams' interstate gas pipeline and domestic midstream interests are largely held through its significant investment in Williams Partners L.P. [WPZ], one of the largest energy [....]

Best Super Bowl Player Bargains

by Brian Reed,
January 25, 2012

    As you count down the hours until the Super Bowl, imagine all of the superstar teams full of expensive free agent acquisitions. Maybe the Philadelphia Eagles or Washington Redskins come to mind. Often, these teams don't emerge as successful as everyone anticipated.  Here's why.  Great football teams are built around three types of players: 1) superstars who carry the team, 2) young signees who bring quality far beyond their paycheck size and 3) journeymen players who fill small but important roles.  The best teams don't rely solely on spending money to acquire players. Instead, they find gems in late rounds of the draft, bargain free agents or even undrafted free agents.  The two teams in this year's Super Bowl, the New York Giants and the New England Patriots each have their share of bargain players.  With the average NFL salary up to $1.9 million and the highest paid players reaching around $20 million, these are six players who really bring maximum value to their team:
New York Giants
1. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE
The Giants expected big things out of Pierre-Paul, the 15th [....]

How Much It Costs To Become President
by Tim Parker,

January 25, 2012
During presidential election seasons, we start hearing a lot of big money figures thrown around but have you ever asked yourself, how much money do you have to spend to become president? If you're planning to make a run for the White House, you'll want to start saving your money now. (For related reading, see Talk Is Cheap: Campaign Promises And The Economy.)
TUTORIAL: Savings Accounts 101
President Obama
Let's start with the current president. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the total amount of money spent by the Obama campaign in 2008 came in at $730 million, far outspending Republican nominee John McCain who spent a mere $333 million. Obama became the first major party candidate to reject public campaign funding, which allowed him to not fall under some campaign finance laws that may have limited his fundraising efforts. How much more was spent in 2008, than previous years? The Obama Campaign raised nearly twice as much money as the Bush campaign in 2004, which, at the time, was the most expensive campaign in history.  This year, once the Obama [....]

WWII destroyer returns to SC home after repairs
Associated Press
January 25, 2012
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — With the blare of air horns, cheers and a champagne toast, "The Ship That Would Not Die" returned Wednesday to its home at a maritime museum on Charleston Harbor on the South Carolina coast.  Just after sunrise, the World War II destroyer USS Laffey was towed slowly down the Cooper River to the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. It was moved more than two years ago to a dry dock so its hull could be repaired at a cost of about $9 million.  A group of about 50 people, including more than a dozen former crew members, gathered on the flight deck of another World War II vessel, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, to welcome the Laffey home.  "This means a lot of years of fighting to get her saved again," said Sonny Walker of Abingdon, Md., who [....]

Your Complete Guide to Free Tax Tools
by Jeanine Skowronski
January 23, 2012
Tax Day tends to stress out a lot of Americans.
Luckily, there are several online tax tools and software programs that let you file your tax returns for free, which can help ease the mental and financial burden of tax time. Of course, each has its own eligibility criteria and none offers a free-file option to taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of more than $57,000. Other criteria may include age, state, eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit and military status.  Here’s a breakdown  [....]
Until Next Sunday....



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