Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Sunday 'Report;' 02/19/2012

What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
Boehner Fast And Furious Sellout Controversy Builds
February 18, 2012
On February 7,2012, we published a post entitled “John Boehner To Halt Fast And Furious Investigation, Sell Out To Holder And White House.” Congressman Darrell Issa’s office was quick to issue a denial of our story.
Letters to the editor on the post have also filled this editor’s inbox,including this note from Fritz Mehrtens:
Your article,“John Boehner To Halt Fast And Furious Investigation,Sell Out To Holder And White House”was denied by Congressman Issa’s office in conversation with a Tea Party member who I know to be trustworthy. I suggest you review the basis for this entire story and if it is incorrect or suspect replace the article with a correction. We cannot afford to have false reports bouncing around the internet.
Doug Book,author of the original post,is standing by his allegations,and he e-mailed us this response:
Thanks very much for sending this to me. I emailed Mr. Mehrtens and provided the info he requested. Numerous people have commented on various sites,stating they called Boehner’s office and were told the story is untrue. As I told Mr. Mehrtens,I TOO hope it’s untrue! But given Boehner’s history,we’ll have to wait and see.
It appears this story has made the rounds of the internet. It’s possible that Mike Vanderboegh is responsible for so much flack finding its way to John Boehner’s office;the Speaker might be forced to back off his betrayal!!!!! Now that would REALLY be an example of what we’re all “in business for!”
Also,the post has received [....]

1.8 Million Dead Voters, 24 million Inaccurate Registrations
by Sam Rolley,
Personal Liberty Digest
February 15, 2012

There are at least 1.8 million dead Americans registered to vote.It is no surprise that anytime a major election rolls around many Americans begin to cry foul over voter fraud. A new report by the Pew Center on the States finds that about 24 million active voter registrations throughout the Nation are no longer valid or are wrought with inaccuracies.
Of the 24 million people who are inaccurately registered to vote, about 1.8 million are dead, according to the report. Another problem reported is that nearly 3 million people are registered in more than one State. Election officials blame the inaccuracies on how often Americans move around and lack of communication between the States.
"If a John Smith lives in Maryland and goes to another state, say on vacation, and dies,” Linda Lamone, who runs Maryland’s elections told NPR. “The law of the state where John Smith dies dictates [....]

10 Things Nobody Warned Me about my Twenties
by 'Doctor Quack,'
February 9, 2012

    When I turned twenty, I was under the impression that life was going to be a party for the next ten years. I was sorely mistaken. You see… I was warned about a couple things: my metabolism will decrease, I’ll get fatter, academic work will get harder, I’ll have to pay taxes; but there are a lot of things no one warned me about.  So I have written this list, projecting my personal experiences onto my fellow twenty-something friends and colleagues who are themselves possibly struggling with the same things I struggle with in this deeply confusing decade we call our twenties.
1. Twenties are the new teens.
People in their thirties often tell me that the thirties are the new twenties, so what does that make us? Well, unfortunately, as if we didn’t already suffer enough in the confusing and disorienting teenage years, we have to do it all over again. The sad truth of our generation is that we often move home, and while I [....]

12 IRS audit flags for 2012
by Jill Schlesinger,
CBS News
January 30, 2012
    While the chance of being audited is pretty low (about one in 100), the chance of being touched by the IRS is on the rise, according to my colleague Kathy Kristof. You may be one of the unlucky two percent of taxpayers who are subjected to random audits, but most IRS inquiries arise for specific reasons. Here are the 12 audit flags for 2012. Remember, many of these are legitimate -- just make sure that you have all supporting documentation in case the IRS calls.
1. Not reporting income: Whoops -- forgot about that consulting gig? The IRS receives copies of all 1099s and W-2s you receive, so make sure you report all income on your return. If you receive an incorrect 1099, talk to the issuer and make sure that a corrected form is filed with the IRS.
2. A large change in income: The IRS computers [....]

Actress in controversial ad for Pete Hoekstra’s Senate campaign is ‘deeply sorry’
by Dylan Stableford
Senior Media Reporter, The Cutline
February 16, 2012
An Asian-American actress who starred in the controversial ad produced by Michigan Republican Pete Hoekstra's U.S. Senate campaign has apologized for her participation.
"I am deeply sorry for any pain that the character I portrayed brought to my communities," Lisa Chan, the actress, wrote in a statement on her Facebook page. "As a recent college grad who has spent time working to improve communities and empower those without a voice, this role is not in any way representative of who I am. It was absolutely a mistake on my part and one that, over time, I hope can be forgiven. I feel horrible about my participation and I am determined to resolve my actions."
In the ad, which ran in Michigan during the Super Bowl, Chan portrays [....]

DC man’s ‘NO TAGS’ vanity plate earns him $20,000 in tickets
by Eric Pfeiffer
The Sideshow
February 16, 2012
Washington, D.C. driver Danny White thought he had a really good idea for a joke. But the joke's on him--to the tune of $20,000, reports local affiliate NBC4.  White's prank started 25 years ago when he got a vanity license plate reading, "NO TAGS." He told NBC4 that he was "Just having fun!" and that "D.C. don't get the joke. They don't get it."  The issue? Each time a car without proper identification is cited for a violation, a DMV employee enters "NO TAGS" into their paperwork. Because White's vanity plate is registered with the District of Columbia's DMV, his name and vehicle appear in the computer's system whenever a "NO TAGS" violation is entered. Notices for the fines are then mailed to White's residence.
Vanity tags have a long history of causing trouble for the DMV and other motorists; White is hardly alone in becoming a target for bad ticket karma. In 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported on California driver Nick Vautier, who got into trouble over his personalized license plate, which simply contained his initials, "NV." Unfortunately for Vautier, "NV" is also the California DMV's code for when a vehicle's plates are "Not Visible."  "I started to get random parking tickets from Los Angeles, where my car has never been," Vautier told the LAT. "For every type of car. Except a Mazda. Which is what I drive."
Vautier eventually gave up his vanity plate, which White refuses to do.
White himself drives a Chevrolet Avalanche truck. So, when a ticket arrives at his home citing a non-Chevy vehicle, he doesn't have much trouble getting those dismissed. But White isn't always so lucky when he does get a copy [....]

Glenn to kick off “We are all Catholics now” movement

Staff Report,
February 15, 2012

For the past few weeks Glenn has been focused on raising awareness on the persecution of Catholics being carried out by the Obama administration. According to the new healthcare laws that were a cornerstone of the Obama administration, employers affiliated with the Catholic Church will have to include free birth control in their health insurance plans, a mandate that runs contrary to both Catholic doctrine as well as religious freedoms granted by the Constitution. Today he is going a step beyond raising awareness by providing action steps for what you can do.
On radio, Glenn kicked ”We are all Catholics now” movement [....]

Dying Tax Breaks: Use Them While They're Hot
by Amy Feldman
Reuters News Service
February 10, 2012
Every year, dozens of little bits of the tax code fall by the wayside or, more typically, get ritually renewed by Congress. This half-in, half-out nature of the tax code frustrates accountants, individual taxpayers and businesses, and makes rational long-term tax planning a challenge.
Consider: A report by the Joint Committee on Taxation found that 60 tax breaks expired at the end of 2011 (though they could still be extended retroactively), and another 41 are slated to disappear at the end of 2012.
Many of these are little noticed or cared-about giveaways like [....]

Abraham Lincoln or the Progressives: Who was the real father of big government?
by Allen Guelzo
February 10, 2012Abstract: Early Progressives co-opted Abraham Lincoln’s legacy to justify their program of expansive government powers over American life. In so doing, they obscured how their philosophy of government broke with Lincoln and the Founding to which he was heir. Nevertheless, much conservative and libertarian thinking today has assumed, at once and without serious reflection, that the Progressives’ appropriation of Lincoln (and the continued appropriation of Lincoln by the American Left) was legitimate—rather like mistaking a hostage taken by terrorists to be one of the terrorists himself. But Abraham Lincoln is not, and nor was his Administration, any model for what today seems so objectionable in the modern welfare state. His unwavering commitment to natural rights and the Constitution’s framework of limited government, as well as the comparatively limited forces he called into the defense of the nation during the Civil War, not only place him in philosophical opposition to the Left, but dispel any notions that he set the stage for the expansion of government in [....]

'Hot for Teacher' Essay Lands Student in Trouble

ABC News
February 15, 2012
A Michigan college student is crying foul after he was kicked off campus for writing a sexually suggestive journal entry about his teacher for a class assignment.  Joseph Corlett, a 56-year-old countertop refinisher who is pursuing a degree in writing and rhetoric at Oakland University, wrote the essay as a part of a creative writing journal assignment in a writing course.
In his essay, which he said was inspired by the 1984 Van Halen hit "Hot for Teacher," he wrote about his first impressions of his professor, Pamela Mitzelfeld, describing her as "tall, blonde, stacked, smart, articulate."  Corlett said he was under the impression that [....]

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Super-President-Constitutional-Law-Professor!

by Daniel J. Mitchell
February 15, 2012
Given what’s happened to the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, and Fifth Amendment in recent years, and considering what the President would like to do to the Second Amendment, let’s enjoy some humor.
Faster than a writ of habeas corpus!
More powerful than the Tenth Amendment!
Able to leap the enumerated powers clause in a single bound!
(“Look! Up in the sky!” “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s SuperPresident!”)…
Yes, it’s SuperPresident … strange visitor from corrupt Chicago, who came to Washington with powers and hubris far beyond those of the Founding Fathers! SuperPresident … who can change the course of the Constitution, bend the Bill of Rights in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Barack Obama, mild-mannered uniter who stops the rise of the oceans and heals the planet, fights a never-ending battle for redistribution, statism, and the French way! And now, another exciting episode, in The Adventures of SuperPresident!
And look what SuperPresident is doing now!
In the interests of [....]

Jihadist Opportunities in Syria

by Kamran Bokhari,

February 14, 2012
    In an eight-minute video clip titled "Onward, Lions of Syria" disseminated on the Internet Feb. 12, al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri expressed al Qaeda's support for the popular unrest in Syria. In it, al-Zawahiri urged Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to aid the Syrian rebels battling Damascus. The statement comes just days after a McClatchy report quoted unnamed American intelligence officials as saying that the Iraqi node of the global jihadist network carried out two attacks against Syrian intelligence facilities in Damascus, while Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi said in a recent interview with AFP that Iraqi jihadists were moving fighters and weapons into neighboring Syria.  Al Qaeda's long-term goal has been to [....]

If Newt’s Divorce is Fair Game, So is Obama’s Cocaine Use Staff
(by Gwilym McGrew)
January 24, 2012CNN’s John King was correct to bring up Newt Gingrich’s divorce and his ex-wife’s comments about “open marriage.” Discussions of the candidates personal life are fair game to allow the public to fully understand the character of those that want to run in this next Presidential election.
    But Barack Obama’s prior Cocaine use MUST also be viewed as fair game for press inquiries, and the press should begin probing now. The public has not had this character flaw fully vetted due to the “Main Stream Media” fawning over Obama in the last election cycle. It is now time to have the press ask the following questions of Barack Obama so voters can fully understand this candidates background and character.
- When was the last time Obama used cocaine and over what span of time did he use this illegal drug?
- How often did he use it?
- Did he purchase it or sell it and thereby commit a felony?
- What other illegal substances has he used, when, and for what span of time?
- When was the last time?
It is time reporters such as NBC News [....]

Economics: A Science About which Paul Krugman Knows Very Little

by Peter Schiff, 
February 15, 2012
    Advocates of government stimulus are running victory laps on recent developments that appear to vindicate their strategy. In particular, Paul Krugman compares the sluggish growth in Europe to the somewhat-less-sluggish growth in the US to prove that stimulus was more effective than austerity. Other economists are using government inflation measures to defend Fed Chairman Bernanke's easy-money policy. The only problem is, they're calling the race before the finish line is even in sight.
    As usual, Paul Krugman overlooks basic economics (which, despite his Nobel Prize, is a science about which Mr. Krugman really knows very little). The reason stimulus is so politically popular is that it appears to work in the short-term. However, appearances can often be deceiving, as they are right now in the US. Stimulus merely numbs the pain of economic contraction, as the underlying trauma gets worse. Austerity might slow an economy down, but at least the wounds are able to heal. America has chosen the former and Europe the latter, albeit not quite as large a dose as needed. The fact that in the short-run Europe is suffering more than the US does not vindicate Washington's approach. On the contrary, this is exactly what is to be expected.
    What we're seeing is like a race where each runner has a broken ankle. One has a coach who tells him to pace himself and not worry so much about winning this one, while the other coach gives his runner a shot of painkillers and tells him to give it all he's got. Of course, early in the race, the doped-up runner is going to be flying down the track like nothing's wrong, while the other runner might be limping at half his normal speed. However, when the drugs wear off, the sprinter is liable to collapse from pain, leaving the better-coached runner to limp across the finish line.  The true test is not [....]

Maine's Electoral Funny Business

by Bob Livingston,
Personal Liberty Digest
February 15, 2012

Ron Paul was expected to finish first or second in Iowa.
The mainstream media are working in lockstep with the Republican establishment to defeat Ron Paul.
The MSM reported the official tally in Maine’s caucus had Mitt Romney beating Paul 39 percent to 36 percent — but by only 194 total votes — on Saturday. But the “official” tally contained only 84 percent of the votes.  The vote does not include Washington County totals. That caucus — in an area Paul was expected to dominate — was canceled because of snow. Caucuses in other areas expecting as much snow as Washington County were not canceled, nor were other events in that county.  Maine State GOP Chairman Charlie Webster said caucuses that reported their results after Saturday would not be counted.  By denying Paul a victory — and a fourth straight defeat for Romney — the establishment is proving it is terrified of Paul’s message of liberty and doing its best to prop up a Romney campaign that is not resonating with conservatives.
    This is not the first time the MSM and the establishment have conspired to prop up Romney in a caucus in which Paul was expected to do well. In Iowa, Paul was expected to finish first or second. But Republican insiders vowed that they would do all they could to thwart Paul’s campaign.  As a [....]

Meth in Mexico: A Turning Point in the Drug War?

by Ben West,
February 16, 2012

    Mexican authorities announced Feb. 8 the largest seizure of methamphetamine in Mexican history -- and possibly the largest ever anywhere -- on a ranch outside of Guadalajara. The total haul was 15 tons of pure methamphetamine along with a laboratory capable of producing all the methamphetamine seized. While authorities are not linking the methamphetamine to any specific criminal group, Guadalajara is a known stronghold of the Sinaloa Federation, and previous seizures there have been connected to the group.
    Methamphetamine, a synthetic drug manufactured in personal labs for decades, is nothing new in Mexico or the United States. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has led numerous crusades against the drug, increasing regulations on its ingredients to try to keep it from gaining a foothold in the United States. While the DEA's efforts have succeeded in limiting production of the drug in the United States, consumption has risen steadily over the past two decades. The increasing DEA pressure on U.S. suppliers and the growing demand for methamphetamine have driven large-scale production of the drug outside the borders of the United States. Given Mexico's proximity and the pervasiveness of organized criminal elements seeking new markets, it makes sense that methamphetamine would be produced on an industrial scale there. Indeed, Mexico has provided an environment for a scale of production far greater than anything ever seen in the United States.
    But last week's methamphetamine seizure sheds light on a [....]

Monica Lewinsky reclaims public attention thanks to PBS ‘Clinton’ film

by Claudine Zap
The Upshot
February 18, 2012
    Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern made famous for her sexual encounters with President Bill Clinton, is again in the spotlight thanks to a four-hour PBS documentary, "Clinton," which will air in a pair of segments on the evenings of February 20th and 21st as part of the network's 'American Experience' program.  As news of the television special spread last week, Yahoo! searches on "Monica Lewinsky" spiked. Search terms also included "bill and monica," "monica Lewinsky now," and "Monica Lewinsky photos."  As many readers will remember, when [....]

This letter was sent by OpenCongress user justincase on December 02, 2011 in support of S.1176 American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011.
Privacy setting: PUBLIC To:

Sen. Charles Schumer [D, NY]-the "Putz of Park Avenue
Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle [R, NY-25]
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY]-the "Invisible Senator
S.1176 American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011
    I am writing as your constituent in the 25th Congressional district of New York. I am writing as your constituent in the 25th Congressional district of New York. I support S.1176 - American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, and am tracking it using, the free public resource website for government transparency and accountability.
Justin Case
This letter was a reply from the office of Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle [R, NY-25] on December 02, 2011.
Acknowledgement from Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle
Thank you for your email.
I wish to confirm that I have received your message and look forward to responding.
I make a conscious effort to read and respond to all the letters that come to my office.
I believe it is of the utmost importance to learn of my constituents' opinions and concerns
directly from them. Let me assure you that my staff and I are constantly striving to
improve our process in responding to constituents. I greatly appreciate your patience in
awaiting a response.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.
Ann Marie Buerkle
Member of Congress
Dear Mr. Case,

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 2966, the American Horse
Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011. I appreciate your taking the time to
share your concerns and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
    As you may know, H.R. 2966 was introduced by Representative Dan Burton (IN-R)
on September 19, 2011. This bill would prohibit the transportation, sale, or donation
of horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. This bill gives the Department of
Agriculture the authority to investigate such transactions when there is probable cause
that horses are being bought and sold for the purpose of slaughter for meat.
    H.R. 2966 has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee, and the House
Energy and Commerce Committee. While I do not have the privilege of serving on these
committees, I will be sure to share your views with my colleagues who do.
Should H.R. 2966 come to the House floor for a full vote, I will consider it with
your views in mind.
Thank you for contacting me. If you have an opportunity, please visit my website at .
We update our site daily and it is a great resource to learn about constituent services,
legislative updates and my work in Congress. I hope you will continue to utilize the
website and let me know what you think about it. For more information on current
issues and legislative updates, you can also follow me on Facebook.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with further concerns or questions you may have.
Ann Marie Buerkle
Member of Congress

The New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment
Welcome to the Task Force's Website
    The Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment was established by Chapter 45 of the New York State Laws of 1978 to research and study the techniques and methodologies to be used by the U.S. Commerce Departments' bureau of the Census in carrying out the decennial federal census. The Task Force aids the Legislature by providing technical plans for meeting the requirements of legislative timetables for the reapportionment of Senate, Assembly and Congressional districts. It also conducts research projects relating to the collection and use of census data and other statistical information.  The Task Force consists of [....]

Top 10 Worst US Airports

by (Blogger) Ambra,

May 13, 2009    I spent the better part of the last three years of my life on airplanes and in airports. No really. For like three years straight I was on a plane almost every month (and multiple times a month) of the year. Some of it was business. Some of it was pleasure. All of it was annoying. Is it even possible to travel anywhere on earth anymore without suffering major annoyance at the hands of TSA? Maybe outer space? Nope. Even there you have people monitoring your bowel movements with biomedical censors.
    Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those people who has issues with airplanes or airports in general. I'll hop on a plane in a heartbeat and with no trepidations. My parents made sure that by the time I was 12, I'd already racked up a couple hundred thousand miles. I used to thoroughly enjoy airports and the experience of flying.  Unfortunately, traveling is no longer the bliss it was once was. Post September 11th travel is an entirely different breed full of gratuitous hoops we're forced to jump through to sell us the idea that somehow flying is safer now than [....]

Morning Bell: Obama’s Continuing Assault on the Constitution

by Mike Brownfield
February 14, 2012

    With tens of millions of Americans watching, Barack Obama stood at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2009, with his left hand on the Bible and his right hand held aloft, swearing to God and country that he would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Yet despite that pledge, President Obama has time and time again taken actions contrary to the principles of the founding document he swore to uphold, setting forth on a heretofore uncharted path of unconstitutionality that will fundamentally change the character of this Republic for the worse, not for the better.
    Last week, America erupted in protest against one of those actions — the White House’s determination to force all insurance plans to cover, at no charge, contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization as part of Obamacare. That mandate includes employers like Catholic hospitals, Christian schools, and faith-based pregnancy care centers, all of which must offer the coverage, regardless of their beliefs. This assault on the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberties met with opposition from all corners, prompting the president on Friday to address the American people and pledge his commitment to protecting religious liberties by offering an “accommodation” to these institutions — forcing insurance companies to offer free contraception so religious institutions don’t have to.  The trouble is, that “accommodation” was merely hypothetical and Obama’s commitment to protecting religious liberties was illusory. Obamacare’s anti-conscience mandate did not change in a final rule that was posted later that day. And even if the president’s hypothetical became reality, Heritage’s Jennifer Marshall explains that the religious liberty problem still remains:
It does not disentangle religious employers, since insurers will shift the burden back to religious groups through higher premiums in one form or another. Nor does it address the potential religious liberty concerns of other employers or individuals.
This is only the beginning of the problems Americans will continue to see as the Obamacare ‘essential benefits’ package takes shape. The anti-conscience mandate is a warning sign for us all of how one-size-fits-all health care requirements will trample religious liberty as well as individual liberty.
    Yesterday at The Heritage Foundation, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) spoke of his opposition to this latest Obamacare mandate. Afterward, in an exclusive interview with Heritage, Blunt called the move a “genuine assault on First Amendment freedoms” and dismissed the president’s [....]

Richest cities where no one wants to move

by Charles B. Stockdale and Michael B. Sauter,
February 9, 2012
    Many Americans still are holding off on buying homes in some of the country’s most expensive cities. While home prices fell 23% on average in the largest cities since the housing crisis began, for many home buyers the drop was not enough. Based on a new report released by Trulia, 24/7 Wall St. identified the metropolitan areas to which people least want to move.  Trulia ranked the 100 largest metropolitan areas by their Metro Movers ratio, which compares the number of online searches of local residents looking to buy elsewhere with the number of out-of-town homebuyers looking for real estate in the area. According to the report, a ratio of two means that there are twice as many home searches by people looking to leave the area as to move in. All of the cities no one wants to move to have a ratio higher than two.
    The cities that attract few buyers experienced modest home price declines since the recession began, especially relative to their high home value. As a result, home prices in these areas are forecast to decline further, and homebuyers [....]

Russia's Inevitable Customs Union in Central Asia

Staff Report,
February 17, 2012

    Kyrgyzstan has officially applied to become the next member of the Russia-led Customs Union, an institution designed to entrench Russia's economic and political influence in its former Soviet territory. Although joining the union will harm the Kyrgyz economy in many respects, not joining could motivate Russia to use any of the several levers it has in Kyrgyzstan. Other Central Asian countries are watching Kyrgyzstan carefully, as its membership in the Customs Union likely will lead to their eventual membership.
Kyrgyzstan has applied for membership in the Customs Union, an economic and geopolitical entity Russia is using to expand its influence in its former Soviet territory (current members are Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan). In some ways, Customs Union membership will hurt the Kyrgyz economy -- higher tariffs will be imposed, and Kyrgyzstan will lose some autonomy in making foreign trade decisions. However, abstaining from the Customs Union would be riskier than joining because Moscow already has a great deal of leverage over Bishkek. More important, Kyrgyzstan's membership will enable Russia to more easily pressure other Central Asian countries -- Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- into joining the union.
Effects on the Kyrgyz Economy
Unlike the other Customs Union members with [....]

States with the most homes in foreclosure

by Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale, and Ashley C. Allen,
February 13, 2012
    Five major U.S. banks accused of foreclosure abuses have agreed to a $26 billion settlement with the government, the largest payout from banks arising from the financial crisis. The amount, which will include aid from banks in the form of loan forgiveness and refinancing, is intended to help homeowners avoid mortgage default and foreclosure. Most economists believe this is a step in the right direction, albeit only a small one.
    Homeowners in at least 49 states represented in the agreement will benefit, though some states have more homes in trouble than others. California, one the hardest-hit states in the foreclosure crisis, will reportedly receive mortgage relief of up to $18 billion. Based on Corelogic’s national foreclosure report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the highest foreclosure rates.  Many of the states with the highest foreclosure rates experienced the worst of the housing crisis. However, analysis by 24/7 reveals that the primary driver of higher foreclosure rates is a lengthy foreclosure process.
    Nearly all of the states with the highest rates also have the longest foreclosure periods. The average foreclosure process for the nation is 140 days. The average foreclosure process for the eleven states with the highest foreclosure rates is 220. As a result, many homes foreclosed in 2011 in these states were actually at the end of a process that began more than a year ago. New York, one of the states with the worst foreclosure rates, has an average processing period of 445 days.  The reasons why [....]

Somali Piracy Update: The End of Monsoon Season

Staff Report,
February 17, 2012

    Monsoon season in the Indian Ocean is set to end sometime in late February. Somali pirates will take advantage of the calmer waters to enlarge their presence in the area. But several factors -- including armed contractors on commercial vessels, land-based security clampdowns and a more sophisticated international military response -- may limit the pirates' success.
    An article from Somalia Report, a news agency specializing in Somali affairs, has suggested that Somali pirates are readying their boats for the end of monsoon season around Feb. 20, nearly coinciding with an international conference to be held Feb. 23 in the United Kingdom on Somalia and counterpiracy efforts. Indeed, calmer seas present [....] 

Tech Billionaire Reid Hoffman:
College Is Worth the Cost, Just Be Smart About It

by Stacy Curtin
Daily Ticker
February 16, 2012
Is college worth the cost?
    There is an on going debate in this country on just that question given the skyrocketing costs of higher education and the lingering debt burden that can take years for students to repay. The student who graduated in the class of 2009 had an average of $24,000 in student loans. But that's just the average. Some students are accountable for sums totaling $100,000. (See: The Economic Agony of Today's Twenty-Somethings)
    A college degree was historically the bedrock of any successful career. High school students were expected to go to college after graduating. But then along come the famed success stories of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and more recently Mark Zuckerberg. The three tech titans were college dropouts, yet [....]

The Corruption of America

by:  Porter Stansberry,
Stansberry Research
December, 2011 IssueThe numbers tell us America is in decline... if not outright collapse.
    I say "the numbers tell us" because I've become very sensitive to the impact this kind of statement has on people. When I warned about the impending bankruptcy of General Motors in 2006 and 2007, readers actually blamed me for the company's problems – as if my warnings to the public were the real problem, rather than GM's $400 billion in debt.
The claim was absurd. But the resentment my work engendered was real.
So please... before you read this issue, which makes several arresting claims about the future of our country... understand I am only writing about the facts as I find them today. I am only drawing conclusions based on the situation as it stands. I am not saying that these conditions can't improve. Or that they won't improve.  The truth is, I am optimistic. I believe our country is heading into a crisis. But I also believe that... sooner or later... Americans will make the right choices and put our country back on sound footing.
Please pay careful attention to the data I cite. And please send me corrections to the facts. I will happily publish any correction that can be substantiated. But please don't send me threats, accusations against [....]
Until Next Sunday....



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