They are meeting almost daily to plot legislative moves while gently persuading skittish rank-and-file lawmakers to back a sweeping bill.
This effort is deliberately being undertaken quietly as Democrats work to focus attention on more-popular initiatives to bring down unemployment, which the president said was a priority in his State of the Union address on Wednesday.
Many have concluded that the only hope for resuscitating the healthcare legislation is to push the issue off the front page and give lawmakers time to work out a new compromise and shift public perception of the bill.
"A little bit of time and quiet could help," said Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, a conservative Democrat who was among a group of centrist Democrats from the House and Senate who met last week to discuss a way forward on healthcare.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
A DOE hearing officer gave him a slap on the wrist -- a week off without pay -- for "conduct unbecoming a teacher." He was cleared to return to teaching.
Instead, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has kept the scruffy 64-year-old in a Brooklyn rubber room, deeming him too dangerous to be near kids, officials said.
The DOE can't fire him.
"We have to abide by the union contract," spokeswoman Ann Forte said.
So Rosenfeld simply collects his $100,049 salary -- top scale for teachers -- plus full health benefits and the promise of a fat pension, about $82,000 a year if he were to retire today.
His pension will grow by $1,700 each year he remains. He could have retired at age 62, but he stays.
CBS News Poll. Dec. 17-22, 2009. N=1,048 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3 (for all adults).
"Using a grade of A, B, C, D and F -- where A is excellent and F is very poor -- and using any of the grades in between, how would you grade the U.S. on the quality of the public schools in this country?"
"In general, do you think the education most children are getting today in public schools is better, is about the same, or worse than the education you received?"
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Mr. Ehnes says CalSTRS has no authority to impose such an increase, unlike pension plans in other states. Instead, he says the California Legislature must approve such an increase, but he concedes that action this year is unlikely given the political climate and California's $20 billion budget deficit.
Mr. Ehnes says CalSTRS plans to continue an education campaign to persuade legislators to take action in 2011.
The thought was, of course that if law were passed that decreased cellphone use, then there should be fewer crashes. But that was not the case.
“You know that there should be fewer,” he said. “We were looking for that, and we aren’t seeing that pattern,” said Mr. Lund, who is also the insurance institute’s president.
This is the first look at crashes in California, New York, Connecticut and Washington since they passed bans on hand-held cellphone use while driving. One reason Mr. Lund was so surprised was that the institute had previously conducted research that showed that drivers talking on cellphones seemed to be four times as likely to crash.
The new study, which was completed in December, looked at crashes (and not just at those involving cellphones) in those four places and found no decrease in accidents, despite the bans’ having reduced the use of hand-held cellphones 41 to 76 percent. The researchers obtained those numbers by going out to street corners and exit ramps to observe how many people had cellphones up to their ears before the bans compared with after the bans.
“We can’t even see a blip in the data for crashes,” said Mr. Lund. Furthermore, there was no indication that increased cellphone use was resulting in more crashes nationwide, despite what studies and common sense would indicate.
The yearlong investigation, set to be released today, found no evidence that the higher pay was a reward for better quality work or for treating sicker patients. In fact, eight of the 10 best-paid hospitals in one insurer’s network were community hospitals, which tend to have less complicated cases than teaching hospitals and do not bear the extra cost of training future physicians.
Coakley’s staff found that payments were most closely tied to market leverage, with the largest hospitals and physician groups, those with brand-name recognition, and those that are geographically isolated able to demand the most money.
“Everybody knows that there is dysfunction in the system, and nobody is happy with it,’’ Coakley said in an interview yesterday. “These rising costs are unsustainable. If we don’t do something about it, the only thing we’ll be able to afford is health care. No one will have money for food or housing.’’
Friday, January 29, 2010
Q: Should the September 11 terror trials be held in Lower Manhattan? Or should they be held somewhere else?
A: Lower Manhattan 23% Somewhere Else 69%
Q: Should the September 11 terror suspects be tried in a civilian court? Or a military court?
A: Civilian 26% Military 69%
Thursday, January 28, 2010
The Republicans haven’t always been against increasing the federal debt ceiling. This is the first time in recent history (the past decade or so) that no Republican has voted for the increase. In fact, on most of the ten other votes to increase the federal debt limit that the Senate has taken since 1997, the Republicans provided the majority of the votes in favor.
Worth noting, of course, is the sudden drop off in Republican support for raising the debt limit as soon as Obama took office. A little number crunching shows that, under Bush, the Republicans provided, on average, 39 of the 50 votes generally needed to raise the limit. But under Obama, the Republicans have provided only 1 vote on average to raise the limit.
If your boss announced plans to freeze spending for three years, you would hold your breath and ask, "What does it mean for me?"
Well, most federal workers, and those who would like to join their ranks, can exhale. The budget freeze proposed by boss-in-chief Barack Obama isn't likely to cost them their jobs, in fact federal employment probably will continue to grow.
The reason: The departments exempted from the freeze -- Defense, State, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs -- are growth areas in the government. Entitlement programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, also will be untouched, meaning the people running them have no worries.
Neither, to a large extent, do job seekers.
Last year's prediction by the administration that Uncle Sam would hire several hundred thousand new civilian employees over a four-year period essentially may be unaffected by the freeze. "The large bulk of those hires will move forward as expected," said one senior government official.
At this point, do you think Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected as President in 2012?
Yes, he deserves to be re-elected
No, he does not deserve to be re-elected
Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,003 American adults, conducted on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23, 2010. Margin of error is 3.1 per cen
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
NASHVILLE - Tennessee Democrats have approved a $25,000 incentive for their top two officials if the party scores major wins in this fall's election.
Two people are dead after a pornographic text message sparked tribal violence in Papua New Guinea's southern highlands.
The violence flared on Saturday when a young man from the Tapo clan in Tari sent a pornographic text message to a woman in the Pipi clan.
The girl was offended and showed the image to her brother, who gathered his clansmen and attacked the Tapos with home-made guns, bush knives and bows and arrows.
One man was killed in the clash and Superintendent Jimmy Onopia says another man was pulled from a bus and killed with an axe yesterday.
"Two people have died, several have been wounded, several houses have been burnt down," he said.
Superintendent Onopia says the situation is now calm and police are helping to negotiate a peaceful resolution.
But the council is now considering charging more for cremations involving bigger coffins to help pay for improvements costing up to £1.7million.
The plan could see families of the deceased asked to pay an additional £40 surcharge for cremations of larger bodies.
The report states: "Given that it is almost inevitable that the costs of taking larger coffins to facilities further afield is passed on to the customer, it is felt reasonable that if the authority incurs additional costs in order to facilitate larger coffins that a charge of £40 is made."
The Local Government Association warned local authorities as far back as 2007 that crematoriums were finding their furnaces too narrow to deal with bigger coffins.
Standard coffins range from 16 to 20 inches in depth. However, increasingly coffins anywhere up to 40 inches are being ordered to fit larger bodies.
Together they generate an estimated $727 million, which has already been budgeted by the 2009 Legislature for public schools and other state services.
The tax measures were strongly supported by the state's teachers and other public employee unions. They argued that schools and public services would face damaging cuts.
A coalition of Oregon businesses, including the state's grocers, mounted a campaign to defeat the taxes, arguing that they would cost jobs at a time when the economy is already struggling.
House Speaker Dave Hunt said he and other supporters "have been hopeful from the beginning that Oregonians would be committed to strong schools, access to services and a healthy business climate."
An $80 billion “jobs package” under consideration in the Senate is stimulating a lobbying rush for federal dollars before the administration tries to cap spending.
Transit and high-speed rail advocates, teachers, community bankers, credit unions and business trade groups are seeking spending and tax provisions in the package, which Democrats hope will revive the economy and improve their electoral prospects after a string of defeats at the polls.
Young portrays Edwards as a self-obsessed, all-around creep in a copy of the book obtained by the Daily News.
Even as he cheated on his wife Elizabeth with campaign videographer Rielle Hunter, Young says, Edwards refused to consider a divorce - partly because he still loved his wife, and partly because voters did, too.
Young says he went along with the paternity scheme out of a cultish loyalty to the candidate - and because he believed Edwards would save his career even as Elizabeth Edwards trashed him. In short, he writes, "I was f---ed."
In 2006, with his wife away, Edwards brought Hunter to the couple's home, Young writes. There, Edwards told her they'd one day marry on a Manhattan rooftop and form a new family.
In New York City IRS agent Robert Rosner asked the head of a small business he was auditing to take him out to lunch and then requested a $5,000 bribe to end the examination. Two days later, Rosner repeated the solicitation in a telephone call to the victim--who had a tape recorder running and took the tape to authorities. Rosner pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two years probation.
Out in Las Vegas, Fernando Cruz is set for sentencing next month after pleading guilty to accepting a $500 "gratuity" from a couple he was auditing as an IRS tax compliance officer. The tape recorders again were rolling after the couple went to authorities.
The IRS long has had difficulties trying to figure out if a taxpayer correctly reported the tax treatment of sold-off real estate. In Southern California, IRS Revenue Agent Jim H. Liu reported a $4,200 loss on the sale of a home in Pomona, Calif. In fact--as he later admitted in court--he had a profit of $48,000. Liu received two years probation, paid a $4,000 fine and made $38,000 in restitution.
Spotting a business opportunity, New York City IRS agent Harry Willner set up a company out of his home he used to help others--and himself--take phony business deductions. For his efforts Willner received a one-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine.
Why did it take the Commerce Department so long to notify employees that their personal information, including Social Security numbers, had been let loose on the Internet?
On Monday, employees were informed by letters mailed to their homes about "a breach of protocol involving your Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including your Social Security number (SSN) and name."
The breach occurred on Dec. 4 -- more than seven weeks before workers were told. It took Commerce nearly four weeks to prepare the letter, which was dated Dec. 31.
The department took action to protect the information within hours of the breach, an official said. The delay in notification, however, was a bit harder to explain.
The letter was not written until officials gained information about the breach through the investigative process, said the official, who did not speak for attribution. Once the letter was written, it apparently got caught in a backlog of mail to be sent to employees, including W-2 income tax forms.
That's not the kind of explanation employees find comforting.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
"We have actually gone through very carefully and some agencies will be up, some agencies will be down, investments made in key areas balanced by reductions in others," an official said.
"So while there's an overall freeze it doesn't mean that every single program or every single agency is frozen. It's a more sophisticated and nuanced approach than that," the official added.
Monday, January 25, 2010
January 22, 2010 is a day that should live in infamy, at least among believers in limited government. On that day, the federal government added its 2,000th subsidy program for individuals, businesses, or state and local governments.
The number of federal subsidy programs soared 21 percent during the 1990s and 40 percent during the 2000s. The entire nation is jumping aboard Washington’s gravy train. My assistant, Amy Mandler, noticed the recent addition of two new Department of Justice programs, and that pushed us over the threshold to reach 2,001.
There is a federal subsidy program for every year that has passed since Emperor Augustus held sway in Rome. We’ve gone from bread and circuses to food stamps, the National Endowment for the Arts, and 1,999 other hand-out programs from the imperial city on the Potomac.
Seniors in rural Arizona towns and cities with a graying population, such as Yavapai County's Prescott and Prescott Valley, are facing what health officials acknowledge is a troubling trend: doctors who refuse to see new Medicare patients.
White is among the many seniors who have struggled to find a local physician and have turned to hospital emergency rooms, clinics or lengthy car trips to Phoenix for health care. Medicare, some doctors say, pays too little, and the red tape is too much.
Nearly a third of Medicare recipients looking for a new primary-care physician had some trouble securing a regular doctor, according to a June 2008 report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent committee that advises Congress.
"One reason why the economic stimulus bill is no longer popular with the American public is the perception that a lot of the money has been wasted. Six in 10 believe that the projects in the stimulus bill were included for purely political reasons," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
"Nearly three-quarters believe that at least half the stimulus money spent so far has been wasted, and one in five say nearly all of it has been a waste," Holland said.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
ASHLAND — Representatives from newspapers including the Ashland Daily Tidings, Mail Tribune, the Oregonian, the San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal said they are pulling most of their newspaper boxes from downtown Ashland in response to a new $25 annual fee per box being imposed by the city government.
Until this month, newspaper boxes could sit on public sidewalks for free.
Newspaper distributors said it doesn't make financial sense to pay to have their boxes sprinkled around downtown. Some distributors said they will pay the $25 fee to keep a few boxes where newspaper sales can justify the cost, such as near the Mix dessert shop and Geppetto's Restaurant.
The city of Ashland designated one free zone for newspaper boxes in front of Starbucks coffee shop, near the Chamber of Commerce.
A host of free publications also are being charged a $25 annual fee to occupy one shelf space inside new multi-publication racks. The racks were donated to the city by the Daily Tidings and the Mail Tribune and were refurbished by the city.
Peter Quince, local distributor of the New York Times and USA Today, said he has already pulled most of his newspaper boxes from downtown. Depending on its location, he said a newspaper box earns about $5 to $30 per month in profit.
You pushed the Convention Center through the Council knowing that a large majority of taxpayers opposed it. Hey, go ahead and double down.
2009 Tax Rate
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Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
The recession has caused enrollment in the health program for the needy to soar. Medicaid rolls for low-income residents have jumped 7.7 percent from June 2009 to 2010 to more than 1 million people.
Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars in federal stimulus money are about to dry up.
The state has few options. To participate in Medicaid, it must provide services to the aged, blind, disabled and low-income children. And because Georgia accepted stimulus cash from Washington it cannot cut back eligibility on optional programs such as dental coverage and prescription drugs, Medows said.
"We are in a box," Medows told a joint budget panel of state legislators on Thursday.
"I cannot find $506 million to fill that hole through cuts, program reductions, layoffs."
Gov. Sonny Perdue has put forward a proposal which would charge hospitals and health insurance plans a 1.6 percent fee on their total revenues.
What happened to her lasted only 20 seconds, but she says they were the longest 20 seconds of her life.
After pulling her laptop out of her carry-on bag, sliding the items through the scanning machines, and walking through a detector, she went to collect her things.
A TSA worker was staring at her. He motioned her toward him.
Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on - the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder.
She remembers his words: "Where did you get it?"
Two thoughts came to her in a jumble: A terrorist was using her to sneak bomb-detonating materials on the plane. Or a drug dealer had made her an unwitting mule, planting coke or some other trouble in her bag while she wasn't looking.
She'd left her carry-on by her feet as she handed her license and boarding pass to a security agent at the beginning of the line.
Answer truthfully, the TSA worker informed her, and everything will be OK.
Solomon, 5-foot-3 and traveling alone, looked up at the man in the black shirt and fought back tears.
Put yourself in her place and count out 20 seconds. Her heart pounded. She started to sweat. She panicked at having to explain something she couldn't.
Now picture her expression as the TSA employee started to smile.
Just kidding, he said. He waved the baggie. It was his.
And so she collected her things, stunned, and the tears began to fall.
As Senate leaders continue to hash out a deal on amendments to the debt limit bill, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Thursday said he plans to offer a measure rescinding $120 billion in funding by consolidating more than 640 government programs he believes are duplicative.
In a statement, Coburn said the cuts would "alleviate the need to increase the national debt limit," which would rise by $1.9 trillion if the bill is passed. A vote on the amendment would likely come next week, according to his office.
Of the $120 billion in cuts, roughly $100 billion would come from rescinding discretionary funding that has been available for more than two years but not designated for a particular purpose, the statement said.
Undercover ATF agents in Virginia have funneled more than 250 million cigarettes onto the nation's streets in the past three years through black market sales targeting smugglers, an Associated Press review has found.
Authorities say the flood of government-provided smokes - a pack and a half for every man, woman and child in New York City, the smugglers' main destination - leads them to organized crime rings and can even cut off financing for terrorists. The stings by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have yielded about five dozen federal arrests, albeit none on terror charges.
Many of those cigarettes undoubtedly wind up in the mouths of minors, since black market vendors have no reason to turn away teenage purchasers.
Despite that, government auditors and anti-tobacco groups want the ATF to do even more.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Opposition research, or "oppo," will be an integral component in scores of Texas races this year from courthouses to the statehouse. But nowhere are the fruits of oppo more apparent than in the Republican gubernatorial primary race between Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Since the race began unfolding more than a year ago, the two campaigns have battered each other with a litany of charges and countercharges that reflect extensive digging into each candidate’s background and lengthy record of public service.
Hutchison’s camp cried foul when The Dallas Morning News reported in February that an opposition research firm working for Perry — John Doner & Associates — was filing open records requests to fish for information about Hutchison’s husband, Dallas bond attorney Ray Hutchison.
The Austin consulting firm is regarded as the state’s premier Republican oppo company and received at least $13,250 from the Perry campaign last year, according to disclosure statements filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. Doner, who declines to discuss his operations, has the reputation of a no-stone-unturned researcher after 18 years in the business.
The Hutchison campaign reports $66,400 in payments to a Little Rock public affairs firm headed by former U.S. prosecutor Tim Griffin, who once directed opposition research for the Republican National Committee and later worked in the White House under Karl Rove.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Senate Education Committee approved the measure sponsored by Sen. Brian Kelsey that establishes a pilot program whereby students in failing schools would receive scholarships or vouchers to use for a private school education. The bill is written so that the pilot program could only be launched in the Memphis school district, and it was amended so that students in only one school in that district would get the vouchers. (Kelsey had originally proposed including students from the district’s 10 worst schools in the pilot program.)
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has asked to remove from the Senate health reform bill an unpopular deal he secured on Medicaid funding for his state, according to a report by Kaiser Health News.
Sen. Nelson has written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) asking to extend the deal to every state, but if that request were not granted, he would want the Nebraska deal removed.
Under the deal, the federal government would pay 100 percent of Nebraska's expenses in a Medicaid expansion mandated by the health reform bill.
But now we've learned that Georgia Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham mailed letters to more than a dozen lawmakers last Friday about why they did not file in 2009.
Under a new ethics law passed on the final day of last year's General Assembly, those lawmakers have 30 days to respond to Graham's letter.
At the end of that time, he will then hand over their names to the House and Senate Ethics Committees for possible disciplinary action.
State law already limits a homeowner’s property tax bill to 1 percent of the assessed value of the home. The caps are 2 percent for farmland and rental property and 3 percent for businesses.
The caps are expected to save taxpayers more than $400 million this year. But they also mean local governments and schools have less money available to provide basic services.
Schools are allowed to raise taxes through a referendum, and those increases are held outside the cap.
Local units of government such as counties and cities also can generate additional revenue with local option income taxes.
Gov. Mitch Daniels and many Republican legislators have been pushing to put the provision into the Indiana Constitution for two reasons: to ensure it isn’t challenged in court and to reduce the likelihood that future lawmakers would eliminate the caps.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
HAVANA – Cuba’s communist government announced Friday that administrators found to blame for the hypothermia-related deaths of 26 patients at a state psychiatric hospital in Havana will face charges.
“The principal people responsible for these events will be brought before the appropriate courts,” President Raul Castro’s government said in a statement read on state television, the first mention of the deaths in Cuba’s state-controlled media.
“In the Havana psychiatric hospital, which has 2,500 beds, there has been an increase in patient mortality during the last week. Twenty-six deaths were reported in total,” the communique said.
While acknowledging the fatalities were linked to prolonged temperatures of 3.6 C (38 F) earlier this week, the statement noted that some of those who succumbed to the cold were elderly and suffered from cancer or chronic heart problems.
“In the face of the situation described, the Ministry of Public Health decided to create a commission to investigate what happened, which as of the time of this report has identified various deficiencies,” the government said.
Syracuse, NY -- Another crazy idea popped into Bill Comiskey’s head: What if the tax department required banks to turn over their customers’ mortgage applications?
Homebuyers fill them out at a time when they want to impress the bank with their incomes. They sometimes are not in the same mood when they fill out their tax returns. Investigators could compare the two records, look for clues.
Comiskey, the state’s lead tax enforcer, called Nonie Manion, director of the audit division, from the car. He was zipping across New York state to deliver another speech at another tax preparers convention.
“Would this work?” he asked.
Every piece of personal information is on the table these days at the tax department, where a desire to collect taxes on the underground economy is prompting new and aggressive tactics. Comiskey, a one-time Mafia prosecutor, has been armed by lawmakers with new powers. His staff is for the first time pulling information from third parties into a continuous river of information about businesses and individuals.
China Mobile said on its website that the automatic rating is based on "key words" provided by police. And the standard for determining whether a message is unhealthy or not is based on 13 criteria handed down by nine central government departments. No details of the criteria were given.
When a suspected unhealthy message is detected, China Mobile will temporarily suspend the message function of the user and wait for the evaluation from police authorities, it said.
In Memphis Unionized Sanitation workers have an inclement weather clause and they won't show up if its cold outside.
In Nashville Unionized Bus Drivers say that firing them after eight unexcused absences is too restrictive.
SACRAMENTO — About half of the 37 students in teacher Jeanne Kirchofer's Laguna Creek High School classroom, who span nearly every combination of race and ethnicity, have joined the growing number of California studentsn who decline to state a race on official forms and tests.
"We shouldn't be judged by our race," said senior Jessica Mae Belcher, 17, whose roots are African and Cherokee. She prefers "none of the above" because "we're all different, but we're all the same, too."
She likes sharing her classmates' unique American journeys from Mexico, China, Japan, Laos, India, Vietnam, Italy and the Philippines.
"I'm not saying we're going to forget where we came from, but we can all see similarities from different hardships," Belcher said. By eliminating racial categories – and racial consciousness – "we can make racial hatred go away," she said.
“Some say taxes must be raised, it’s unavoidable. Here’s what I say. I will work with you — Democrats, Republicans and independents. We will meet and negotiate; there will be disagreements, and there will be compromises,” he said.
But if a bill passes with a tax increase, “I will veto it,” he said. “And if you pass a budget embedded with those same tax increases, I will not approve it.”
Monday, January 18, 2010
"I would describe bankruptcy as the inability to pay one's bills," says Jim Nowlan, senior fellow at the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. "We're close to de facto bankruptcy, if not de jure bankruptcy."
Legal experts say the protections of the federal bankruptcy code are available to cities and counties but not states.
While Illinois doesn't have the option of shutting its doors or shedding debts in a bankruptcy reorganization, it seems powerless to avert the practical equivalent. Despite a budget shortfall estimated to be as high as $5.7 billion, state officials haven't shown the political will to either raise taxes or cut spending sufficiently to close the gap.
Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc. www.TnTaxRevolt.org
For Immediate Release Contact: Ben Cunningham
Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc. offers to assist
Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc., (TTR) an all-volunteer, non-profit, non-partisan, statewide taxpayer advocacy group, today offered to help Davidson County Taxpayers recall Council Members who vote in favor of the Convention Center project and the huge, new, associated debt.
“The Members of the Metro Council have no right to put the family budgets of Nashville Taxpayers at risk by forcing them to co-sign this huge, new debt. The economy is in recession and family budgets of
“The recall process is very straight forward and easy to follow for a small group of motivated taxpayers.” said Cunningham. “Approximately 1,000 signatures are required to initiate a recall in a Council district and these signatures can be gathered by direct mail or door to door canvassing.”
“The recall process was used successfully in 2009 for the first time to recall a member of the Nashville Metro Council and we are happy to work with taxpaying citizens who believe their representative on the Metro Council will betray the will of the people by voting for this huge, new debt.” said Cunningham.
“Tennessee Tax Revolt is proud of our six year record of assisting the citizens of
A recent independent poll by WSMV TV and an earlier poll by the Nashville City Paper both showed very strong opposition to the Convention Center project by citizens of
“Nashville-Davidson County Taxpayers deserve a loud and clear voice in the Metro Council and if the recall process is the only way for the voices of taxpayers to be heard then we are happy to be part of that process.” said Cunningham. “Nashville Citizens may contact us by calling 615-852-8298 or by emailing TennesseeTaxRevolt@yahoo.com.”
A sample recall petition is attached.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
CARACAS -- President Hugo Chavez ordered Sunday the seizure of a French-owned retail chain on accusations that it raised prices after Venezuela devalued the currency by half.
"Until when are we going to allow this to happen?" Mr. Chavez asked during his Sunday television program in reference to the alleged price increase by Almacenes Exito, headquartered in Colombia and controlled by French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon S.A.
The Venezuelan leader said that a new law could be needed to carry out the nationalization. "I'm waiting for the new law to begin the expropriation process," he said. "There's no going back," he added.
Almacenes Exito saw some of its stores closed this week by government authorities on accusations that it was increasing prices regardless of Mr. Chavez's threats to retailers to freeze prices after he devalued the currency to 4.3 bolivars per dollar from the previous rate of 2.15 bolivars.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
We're at the first anniversary of the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and the slug, the word that captures its essence, is "Disconnect."
This is, still, a surprising word to use about the canny operatives who so perfectly judged the public mood in 2008. But they haven't connected since.
The real story is that his rhetorical and iconic detachment are harped on because they reflect a deeper disconnect, the truly problematic one, and that is over policy. It doesn't really matter how he sounds. It matters, in a time of crisis, what he does. That's where the lack of connection comes in.
The people are here, and he is there. The popularity of his health-care plan is very low, at 35% support. Someone on television the other day noted it is as low as George Bush's popularity ratings in 2008.