Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Albany, NY (AP/WBEN) -- The Senate and Assembly have passed the bulk of the state budget that was due April 1, but Gov. Paterson has already vetoed one of the 6,900 budget additions and pork-barrel projects that they approved Monday night, and says he will kill the rest soon.
The Democratic governor called the major elements of the budget approved by the Democrat-led Assembly irresponsible, unbalanced and "worse than continuing a miserable fiscal status quo." Paterson says the day of reckoning has come for the state to stop gimmicks and for the Legislature to stop pandering to voters and special interests that help drive New York into fiscal crisis.
Officials said that as many as a dozen of the rodents were set loose in the City Council chambers on Tuesday night, when union workers showed up to protest looming layoffs — a showdown that ultimately included expletive-filled taunts and squealing, scurrying rats.
"It borders on not only disobedience in terms of disorderly conduct ... but criminal mischief, because I think there were some things that were broken in the chambers," said Adam Brill, a spokesman for council President Chuck Lesnick.
The incident came as dozens of Teamsters and other union members gathered outside City Hall to demonstrate against job cuts and included the appearance of a giant inflatable rat that is common at union rallies.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
The Italian Tea Party Meets TODAY. Here is an interview with the founder.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management. June 17-20, 2010. N=1,009 adults nationwide. MoE ± 4.
"Thinking about the economic stimulus passed by Congress last year, do you think the stimulus has helped the job situation, or has it NOT helped the job situation?"
|Has helped||Has not|
"And, thinking about the loans the federal government provided to troubled banks and financial institutions, which statement comes closer to your view? The loans HELPED prevent a more severe economic crisis. OR, The loans did NOT help prevent a more severe economic crisis."
Thursday, June 24, 2010
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Most people in Venezuela are hoping to see president Hugo Chávez leave in 2012 when his current term expires, according to a poll by Hinterlaces. 64 per cent of respondents want Chávez to step down in two years, up three points since October 2008.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
To avoid the tax hike, board members made several cuts, including slashing road paving costs in half by about $225,000 and deciding to add seven instead of nine new police cruisers.
The board even decided to slice in half the number of annual contributions it makes to various boards, clubs and organizations, such as the Maury Alliance and the city’s Chamber of Commerce. Those cuts resulted in about $33,000 worth of savings.
Lay said another $230,000 was saved in the general fund that would have been used to pay off debt in the water and sewer account. Instead, the city was able to take that amount from a portion of adequate facilities tax collections that the city normally uses to pay off its share of costs for the Williamson County Longview Recreation Center. Because the county refinanced the payment plan on the Recreation Center, Lay the city was able to save on its payments for the project.
Democrats are looking at the possibility of raising taxes on families below the $250,000-a-year threshold promised by President Barack Obama during the election.
The majority party on Capitol Hill does not feel bound by that pledge, saying the threshold for tax hikes will depend on several factors, such as the revenue differences between setting the threshold at $200,000 and setting it at $250,000.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Yet while 83% of Republicans and 69% of voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties oppose higher taxes to lower the deficit, just 56% of Democrats agree. Twenty-six percent (26%) of those in the president’s party say they’re willing to pay more in taxes to help bring down the deficit.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of Americans say the size of the federal budget deficit is due more to the unwillingness of politicians to cut government spending than to the reluctance of taxpayers to pay more in taxes.
Sixty-six percent (66%) of Americans already believe the country is overtaxed, but 46% expect their taxes to go up under the Obama administration. Just 12% think they will go down.
Shelby County commissioners voted on second reading Monday to set the county tax rate at $4.02 per $100 of assessed property, with Democrats overcoming the efforts of Republicans who wish to reduce the rate.
The County Commission voted to approve the budget earlier this month, and the tax rate had already passed the first of three readings.
The 7-6 Democratic majority on the commission makes it unlikely that a reduced tax rate will pass. The measure must go through one more vote to become final.
Republican Joyce Avery joined Democratic colleagues Henri Brooks, Sidney Chism, J.W. Gibson II, James Harvey, Deidre Malone and Steve Mulroy in approving the tax rate.
Voting no were Republicans Wyatt Bunker, Mike Carpenter, John Pellicciotti and Mike Ritz.
Friday, June 18, 2010
"They need to cut in many many areas that we've told them in the past. And the economy now says you have to do it," said Linda King. King is an organizer with the group, Citizens for Blount County's Future.
"It's just spending like there's no tomorrow," said Tona Monroe-Ball. Ball and other local activists protested before a public hearing, opposing a property tax increase that could have helped Blount County balance a difficult budget.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Cancelled shows and tours by usually reliable marquee artists like Christina Aguilera, the Eagles, U2 (due to Bono's back surgery), Sarah McLachlan's Lilith Fair, Rhianna, John Mayer, Limp Bizkit, and the Go-Go's seem to belie the fact that the live music business is taking a beating this summer. Multi-act festivals like Bamboozle and the Country Throwdown Tour pulled the plug on some dates, while other tours by what were considered hot acts are experiencing slumping sales, among them Jonas Brothers and Kings Of Leon, according to sources.
Rumblings of a tough year for touring began a couple of months ago, with predictions ranging from "mediocre" to "bloodbath." Two main culprits may be at fault in what is shaping up as possibly the worst summer for touring since the mid 1990s: ticket prices and traffic. At the center of the storm is Live Nation, which controls the majority of summer touring, particularly at the amphitheater level.
Ticket prices have been a thorn in the industry's side for years, and ticket prices are a direct function of how much the act is being paid. Live Nation's detractors say the company pays artists unreasonably high guarantees in order to gain market share and keep its amphitheaters programmed and tap into ancillary revenues like concessions, sponsorships and parking. When an estimated 70% of touring traffic occurs during the warm months, ticket prices become more sensitive, as fans are forced to make choices as to which shows they will see.
The French government Wednesday unveiled a controversial plan to gradually raise the age at which workers can retire with pension benefits from 60 to 62 over the next eight years, whittling away the long retirements that are a coveted part of the country's way of life.
The government hopes the new measures, which still require the approval of Parliament, will eliminate the retirement system's nearly $40-billion deficit by 2018.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Just hearing the sound of a man's voice, no matter what he is saying, communicates all of this information and more, according to the study, published in the latest Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The findings put men on vocal par with red deer, common loons, baboons, croaking gourami fish, owls and other animals whose calls also directly communicate body strength and fighting ability.
"Ancestrally, a man's fighting ability would have been much more important to know as archaeological and anthropological evidence indicates that men were much more likely to engage in aggression than women were," Aaron Sell, lead author of the paper, told Discovery News.
"For that reason, it's very important to know how formidable a man is," added Sell, a researcher in the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
What we find is that since January 1982, the average daily oil consumption for individual Americans living in the United States has averaged 2.56 gallons per person. More remarkably, we see that Americans have dramatically reduced their consumption of oil and its derivative products since July 2007.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Lesson 1: The Massachusetts plan does not control costs.Lesson 2: Community rating, guaranteed issue and mandated benefits swell costs.Lesson 3: Huge subsidies for low-to-medium earners could prove extremely expensive.Lesson 4: The exchanges reward people for working less and earning less.Lesson 5: The generous plans and added mandates give employers an incentive to drop health insurance.