The day for me was energizing, exhausting, exciting, and extra queerly excellent.
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Business Fends Off Tax Hit
BY NEIL KING JR. AND ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON
The Obama administration has shelved a plan to raise more than $200 billion in new taxes on multinational companies following a blitz of complaints from businesses.
A contingent of Silicon Valley chief executives, for example, traveled to Washington in late September to speak out against the proposal to change how the federal government taxes overseas profits. They came away from meetings with key congressmen relieved.
Obama aides say the administration has set the idea aside for now, but may return to it as part of a broader tax overhaul sometime next year.
Regrettably, the conduct of counsel Orly Taitz has crossed these lines, and Ms. Taitz must be sanctioned for her misconduct. After a full review of the sanctionable conduct, counsel's conduct leading up to that conduct, and counsel's response to the Court's show cause order, the Court finds that a monetary penalty of $20,000.00 shall be imposed upon counsel Orly Taitz as punishment for her misconduct, as a deterrent to prevent future misconduct, and to protect the integrity of the Court. Payment shall be made to the United States, through the Middle District of Georgia Clerk's Office, within thirty days of today's Order. If counsel fails to pay the sanction due, the U.S. Attorney will be authorized to commence collection proceedings.In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Taitz said she had no intention of paying the fine. "Are you kidding? Of course not," she said. "This is a form of intimidation."
The United States Chamber of Commerce is comprised of 150,000 companies 2,800 state and local chambers and 850 associations.Mother Jones reports that the business lobbying group builds up its numbers by including the membership of the 2,800 local chambers.
Because the U.S. Chamber is not a parent organization of other chambers, not all state, metro, or local chambers are members of the U.S. Chamber.
WASHINGTON — A Senate committee moved Tuesday toward a pivotal vote on a sweeping health care bill that fulfills President Barack Obama's top domestic priority. "It's time to get the job done," Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus declared as he convened his panel for the long-anticipated action.
"This is our opportunity to make history," the Montana Democrat said. "Let us reform the health care system to control costs and premiums. Let us extend health care coverage to all Americans."( Collapse )
The Finance Committee's top Republican, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, gave voice to the GOP's concerns about the bill, saying it was "moving on a slippery slope to more and more government control of health care."
"There's a lot in this bill that's just a consensus that needs to be done, but there are other provisions of this bill that raise a lot of questions," Grassley said, contending the legislation would mean higher costs for Americans.
One of the biggest unanswered questions is whether the legislation would slow punishing increases in the nation's health care costs, particularly for the majority who now have coverage through employers. The insurance industry insists it would shift new costs onto those who have coverage.
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf, under questioning by Republican senators, acknowledged that the bill's total impact on the nation's health care costs is still unknown. The CBO has been able to establish that the legislation would reduce federal government deficits, but Elmendorf said his staff has not had time to evaluate its effects on privately insured people. Government programs pay about half the nation's annual $2.5 trillion health care tab.
Expanding coverage to the uninsured is likely to lead to more health care spending, Elmendorf said. But other provisions, such as a tax on high-premium health care plans, could push spending down. "We simply have not done the analysis to net that out," he said.
One Democrat expressed misgivings about the legislation. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said the bill doesn't do enough to promote consumer choice and guarantee affordability. "We clearly have more to do," Wyden said, without revealing how he'll vote.
Once the Finance Committee has acted, the dealmaking can begin in earnest with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., working with White House staff, Baucus and others to blend the Finance bill with a more liberal version passed by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Baucus' bill includes consumer protections such as limits on copays and deductibles and relies on federal subsidies to help lower-income families purchase coverage. Insurance companies would have to take all comers, and people could shop for insurance within new state marketplaces called exchanges.
Medicaid would be expanded, and though employers wouldn't be required to cover their workers, they'd have to pay a penalty for each employee who sought insurance with government subsidies. The bill is paid for by cuts to Medicare providers and new taxes on insurance companies and others.
Unlike the other health care bills in Congress, Baucus' would not allow the government to sell insurance in competition with private companies, a divisive element sought by liberals.
Last-minute changes made subsidies more generous and softened the penalties for those who don't comply with a proposed new mandate for everyone to buy insurance. The latter change drew the ire of the health insurance industry, which said that without a strong and enforceable requirement, not enough people would get insured and premiums would jump for everyone else.
A major question mark for Reid's negotiations is whether he will include some version of a so-called public plan in the merged bill. Across the Capitol, House Democratic leaders are working to finalize their bill, which does contain a public plan, and floor action is expected in both chambers in coming weeks. If passed, the legislation would then go to a conference committee to reconcile differences.
Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.
Remember Rachel from Real World: San Francisco? She co-hosted The View today-with a conservative attitude that makes Elisabeth Hasselbeck look liberal—opining that President Obama wasn't qualified to win the Nobel Peace Prize because of his "radical" abortion stance.
Black writer Bonnie Greer will appear on next week's controversial edition of BBC1's Question Time, which will feature British National Party leader Nick Griffin.
The Anglo-American playwright and critic has been confirmed as a guest panellist by the BBC today, along with Justice Secretary Jack Straw, due to appear on the programme on Thursday 22 October.( Collapse )
A Geneva High School teacher is being accused of making anti-gay and racist comments in his classroom.
Dave Burk, who teaches consumer education, is accused of making the comments by his students during an Oct. 5 lecture on tax money involving the National Endowment for the Arts.
"How would you feel about your tax dollars going to pay some black fag in New York to take pictures of other black fags?" Burk allegedly asked, according to student Jordan Hunter.
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The U.S. Marshals Service is charged with protecting the 94 United States District Courts. Lubinski will be in charge of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota if approved by the U.S. Senate later this year.
Lubinski is openly lesbian and has served in law enforcement for more than 30 years and is one of the highest ranking LGBT members of law enforcement in the country.
If confirmed, Lubinski would also be the second female U.S. Marshal currently serving in that capacity and would be the 13th female Marshal in U.S. history.
President Obama praised Lubinski in a press release Tuesday afternoon. “Assistant Chief Lubinski has dedicated her career to the noble cause of protecting her fellow Americans. She has displayed exceptional courage in the pursuit of justice, and I am honored to nominate her today to continue her selfless work as a U.S. Marshal for the District of Minnesota.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar recommended Lubinksi earlier this summer. She wrote:
Sharon Lubinski’s mix of experience managing a large, urban police department and working in a more rural sheriff’s office sets her apart and makes her uniquely qualified to serve in this new role. During my eight years as Hennepin County Attorney, I had the opportunity to work with Sharon on an almost daily basis. I observed firsthand the strength of her leadership abilities and the respect she commands from people at every level of law enforcement and in the larger community.
According to her bio, Lubinski has served in the Minneapolis Police Department for 20 years and has held a command post for 10 years. She started her law enforcement career as a member of the force at the Dane County Sheriff’s Department in Madison, Wis., and she is a member of the faculty at Metropolitan State University School of Criminal Justice.
A Democratic source with knowledge of Wexler’s plans said he is likely to take a public policy job that deals with the Middle East.Oh? Like, perhaps, as one Mideast watcher speculated to me, U.S. ambassador to Israel? An ambassadorship currently held by a caretaker? Wexler was one of President Obama’s earliest prominent Jewish supporters in the Democratic primaries. It might make sense, and having someone as progressive and solidly pro-Israel as Wexler in the position might shake up the seemingly stalled peace process.
The case involving lawmaker Paul Farrelly had threatened the rights of journalists to report anything debated in Parliament. British law allows the media to report any comments made in Parliament without fear of running afoul of Britain's often draconian privacy and libel laws.
Farrelly had posed written questions to the government Monday that concerned Trafigura, a Netherlands-registered oil trading company accused of dumping waste at sites throughout Abidjan, the main city in the Ivory Coast, but Trafigura's lawyers had obtained an injunction from Britain's High Court that prevented The Guardian newspaper from reporting any details of Farrelly's questions.
The Guardian honored the injunction, but put a story on its Web site Monday and in Tuesday's editions of the newspaper reporting that it has been prevented from discussing parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds — without naming the players in the case.
The blogosphere erupted in outrage.( Collapse )