Business/Economy (News/Activism)

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  • Obamacare’s Christmas surprise

    12/20/2014 8:00:41 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | December 19, 2014 | Rep. Mark Meadows
    If you like your health care plan, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has a Christmas surprise for you! When will this new present arrive? December 25th. In an ongoing effort to keep Obamacare numbers elevated, CMS has embarked on the next step of its government takeover of healthcare. It seems CMS is taking a page from Jonathan Gruber’s book; rather than allowing the “stupid” masses to make a decision on their own health plan, CMS has proposed a new rule that includes an overly reaching provision allowing CMS to re-enroll anyone who has not made the annual...
  • Coming Egg Shortage Will Tax Family Budgets

    12/20/2014 6:50:39 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 75 replies
    The New American ^ | December 19, 2014 | William F. Jasper
    If eggs are a staple in your family’s diet and you’d like to keep it that way, now would be a good time to get a few laying hens. Next month, beginning January 1, 2015, the chicken-and-egg production in the United States is in for a big shock. That’s when California’s new regulations on egg-laying hens goes into effect. And the effects of those regs on eggs will be felt nationally, even globally. The incredible, edible, prolate spheroid-shaped poultry product, which has long been one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein, is certain to become significantly more expensive.In...
  • The Odd Math of Medical Tests: One Scan, Two Prices, Both High

    12/20/2014 5:23:54 PM PST · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    New York Times ^ | 15 December 2015 | Elixabeth Rosenthal
    Testing has become to the United States’ medical system what liquor is to the hospitality industry: a profit center with large and often arbitrary markups. From a medical perspective, blood work, tests and scans are tools to help physicians diagnose and monitor disease. But from a business perspective, they are opportunities to bring in revenue — especially because the equipment to perform them has generally become far cheaper, smaller and more highly mechanized in the past two decades. And echocardiograms, ultrasound pictures of the heart, are enticing because they are painless and have no side effects — unlike CT scans,...
  • Why Cuomo’s New York Fracking Ban Won’t Matter Much

    12/20/2014 5:14:58 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 16 replies
    National Review ^ | 12/20/2014 | Robert Bryce
    Amid the many explanations offered by New York governor Andrew Cuomo and his various lieutenants about their reasons for imposing a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing in the state, one of them made me laugh out loud. “We lack the necessary data,” said New York’s health commissioner, Howard Zucker. I’ll discuss why that claim made me chuckle in just a moment. Before turning to that, let’s be clear: Cuomo’s decision is not surprising, and it’s not very significant either. It’s hardly surprising that a liberal Democratic governor in one of America’s most liberal states chose to ban fracturing. Indeed, in...
  • Cyberattack on German steel factory causes 'massive damage

    12/20/2014 1:07:05 PM PST · by aimhigh · 34 replies
    It World ^ | 12/19/2014 | Loek Essers
    A German steel factory suffered massive damage after hackers managed to access production networks, allowing them to tamper with the controls of a blast furnace, the government said in its annual IT security report. . . . . . Due to these failures, one of the plant’s blast furnaces could not be shut down in a controlled manner, which resulted in “massive damage to plant,” the BSI said, describing the technical skills of the attacker as “very advanced.”
  • Cyberattack on German Iron Plant Causes ‘Widespread Damage’: Report

    12/20/2014 11:49:41 AM PST · by Ray76 · 16 replies
    WSJ ^ | Dec 18, 2014 | Rachael King
    A German federal agency has acknowledged in a report Wednesday that a cyberattack caused physical damage to an iron plant in the country. It was a rare admission by a government tying a cyber action to actual physical destruction. The attackers gained access to an unnamed plant’s office network through a targeted malicious email and were ultimately able to cross over into the production network. The plant’s control systems were breached which “resulted in an incident where a furnace could not be shut down in the regular way and the furnace was in an undefined condition which resulted in massive...
  • The Best-Ever Argument for Federalism

    IÂ’m a big fan of federalism for both policy and political reasons.Returning programs to the states is the best way of dealing with counterproductive income-redistribution policies such as welfare, Medicaid, and food stamps.Federalism is also the right way of unwinding bad education schemes likeObamaÂ’s Common Core and BushÂ’s No Bureaucrat Left Behind.And the same principle applies fortransportation, natural disasters, and social issues such as drugs.And I canÂ’t resist pointing out, for the benefit of those who think such things matter, that federalism is also the system that is consistent with ourConstitutionÂ’s restrictions on central government power.Simply stated, federalism is good...
  • "Deflation Warning" vs. "Inflation is Nearly Everywhere"

    12/20/2014 11:19:23 AM PST · by Kaslin · 20 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 20, 2014` | Mike Shedlock
    Theory #1: Break-Even Rates Provide "Deflation Warning"
  • Equities Decouple from Oil

    12/20/2014 10:19:39 AM PST · by Kaslin · 3 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 20, 2014 | Charles Payne
    The 419-point move for the Dow +2.4% is the biggest since November 30, 2011. A lot was short covering, but those covering were not mom and pop investors…but sometimes, smart money throws in the towel. Yesterday, the biggest news was not headline news and most market-watchers were not paying attention either. The decoupling of equities from oil is huge; even after a rebound attempt in oil failed and crude tumbled, stocks kept moving higher.This is big stuff. It clears the way for good news on gas to be good news, not a deflationary red flare.Here’s the technical part of our Special...
  • Fewer US-Born Americans Have Jobs Now Than In 2007

    12/20/2014 8:28:02 AM PST · by RicocheT · 30 replies
    Daily Caller blog ^ | 12/20/2014 | NEIL MUNRO
    Fewer Americans born in the U.S. have jobs now than were employed to November 2007, despite a working-age population growth of 11 million. The amazing drop in employment highlights President Barack Obama’s slow recovery from the deep 2008 shock, but also spotlights many companies’ growing reliance on foreign migrant labor. Almost one in every two jobs added since 2009 have gone to foreign-born workers. In November 2014, one in every five U.S. jobs was held by a foreign-born worker, up from one-in-six jobs in January 2010, according to federal data highlighted by the Center for Immigration Studies. Since November 2007,...
  • Sony CEO Responds to Obama: ‘The President, the Press and the Public Are Mistaken About W

    12/20/2014 6:28:45 AM PST · by rktman · 22 replies
    theblaze.com ^ | 12/19/2014 | Oliver Darcy
    Following pointed criticism from President Barack Obama for shelving “The Interview,” Sony Pictures Entertainment on Friday defended its decision, claiming it had no choice but to cancel the film’s Christmas Day theatrical release. Obama said during a press conference Friday that Sony “made a mistake” in dropping “The Interview.” However, the studio fired back, saying the cancellation happened only because the country’s top theater chains pulled out. “This was their decision,” Sony said in a statement.
  • Pyongyang Shuffle: Hollywood In Dead Panic Over Sony Hack

    12/20/2014 5:54:31 AM PST · by C19fan · 35 replies
    Daily Beast ^ | December 19, 2014 | James Poulos
    In the ebullience that surrounded the supposed end of the Cold War, few analysts worried about the nuggets of communist opposition that the tide of freedom had failed to sweep away. Cuba was harmless. China was capitalizing. Those weird little statelets left in the USSR’s wake? Whatever, bro. ........................................................ In fact, Hollywood has amassed so much undisclosed TMZ fodder that it’s willing to do whatever the North says. There is no margin for error, and no taking of chances. Spend enough time in the right/wrong circles here in L.A., and you’ll pick up a tabloid’s worth of sordid stories. Sometimes...
  • A Documented American Stands Up Against Fences

    12/20/2014 4:37:41 AM PST · by Kaslin · 13 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 19, 2014 | John Ransom
    To make the White House more secure from undocumented visitors who are just seeking the same kind of freedom to be harassed by a government agency with guns that all Americans enjoy, a blue ribbon panel is suggesting that a better fence be built around the White House. “An executive summary of the review released Thursday by the Homeland Security Department,” reports the Associated Press, “also concluded that the Secret Service needs more uniformed officers and plain clothes agents, better fencing at the White House and more training for officers.” The report comes on the heels of several undocumented visits...
  • Congress Again Buys Abrams Tanks the Army Doesn't Want

    12/20/2014 3:29:05 AM PST · by iowamark · 67 replies
    Military.com ^ | 12/18/2014 | Richard Sisk
    The new defense spending bill includes $120 million for tanks that the Army has repeatedly said it doesn't want. For three years, the Army in numerous Congressional hearings has pushed a plan that essentially would have suspended tank building and upgrades in the U.S. for the first time since World War II. The Army suggested that production lines could be kept open through foreign sales. Each time, Congress has pushed back. Last week, Congress won again in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. In a statement, Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said that Congress "recognizes the necessity...
  • Jeb Bush and Tenet Healthcare Corp - "Bush is dragging a land mine behind him.."

    12/20/2014 1:12:40 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 22 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | December 20, 2014 | Robert Potts
    Jeb Bush left the Florida governor’s office in January of 2007, after eight years of service. Three months later, he joined the board of a hospital company that had been pillaging government health programs and abusing patients, in Florida and around the country, for most of the years he sat in the governor’s office. Apart from a very generous compensation package, why did Bush sign on with such a tarnished company? And will whatever explanation he now offers hold up under the microscope of a presidential campaign? Tenet Healthcare Corp. is a national for-profit hospital company with a sordid history....
  • Tourist attraction 'Machine Gun America' opens Saturday in Kissimmee

    12/19/2014 8:25:03 PM PST · by shove_it · 48 replies
    WESH ^ | 19 Dec 2014
    People cannot bring own guns to attraction KISSIMMEE, Fla. —A new tourist attraction promises to give people as young as 13 years old the chance to fire fully automatic weapons. Outside the new attraction, you can hear the unmistakable rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns inside. The automatic weapons are powerful and firing them is intense, but owners are hoping Orlando tourists will want to try the unique experience. "We see this as attractive to someone who might want to go bungee jumping -- adrenaline rush experience," said Bruce Nierenberg, general manager of Machine Gun America Orlando. "There are a lot of...
  • Big Labor Uses Wage Laws to Boost Numbers

    12/19/2014 7:53:20 PM PST · by george76 · 3 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | December 18, 2014 | Bill McMorris
    union carve outs in many minimum wage hikes. Unions may be pushing for resident Obama’s massive minimum wage hike, but many seek special carveouts from existing wage laws, according to a new study. The Chamber of Commerce analyzed dozens of minimum wage laws in cities across the country and found that many of the statutes exempt unionized employees from the requirement. Unions exploit these exemptions in order to make union labor more competitive with non-union shops. “Some local ordinances in particular include an exemption for employers that enter into a collective bargaining agreement with a union,” the report says. “This...
  • Where Did the Jobs Go?

    12/19/2014 7:08:48 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 16 replies
    Powerline ^ | December 19, 2014 | John Hinderaker
    Somewhat remarkably, given that it has presided over the worst recovery–by far–of the post-war era, the Obama administration tries to slice and dice employment numbers to portray itself as a champion of job creation. There are, indeed, a few more jobs today than there were six years ago. Yet for most Americans, the employment scene has gotten worse, not better. Why is that? Senate Budget Committee staff offer data in explanation: According to BLS data, in November of 2007 there were 23.1 million foreign workers in the United States with jobs. Today, the BLS reports, there are 25.1 million foreign...
  • Obama willing to work with GOP on tax overhaul

    12/19/2014 6:20:32 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 25 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 19, 2014 2:27 PM EST
    President Barack Obama says he will try to undertake an overhaul of the tax system with the new Republican majorities in Congress. He says the “devil is in the details.” He says the tax system needs to be simpler and fairer. He says some corporations engage in tax avoidance while others pay full freight. He also says he would like to combine tax changes with money for capital works projects. …
  • Canada Imposes New Sanctions on Russia

    12/19/2014 2:31:53 PM PST · by Berlin_Freeper · 14 replies
    wsj.com ^ | Dec. 19, 2014 | Nirmala Menon
    Canada on Friday imposed a new round of sanctions on Russia, including restrictions on exports of energy technology, as part of its effort to put pressure on President Vladimir Putin for Moscow’s involvement in a continuing conflict in neighboring Ukraine.
  • Texas job growth outpaces rest of U.S. combined

    12/19/2014 2:05:31 PM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 29 replies
    The Washington Examiner ^ | December 19, 2014 | Jason Russell
    .....Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 net jobs have been created in the other 49 states combined......... Only North Dakota has outpaced Texas on percent job growth, thanks to jobs created by the fracking revolution. California, Texas’ biggest economic rival, has created 985,600 fewer net jobs during the same period. California’s 1.5 percent job growth is ten percentage points lower than Texas’ percent job growth.............................
  • Staples confirms data breach; up to 1.2M cards affected

    12/19/2014 1:56:37 PM PST · by John W · 32 replies
    cnbc.com ^ | December 19, 2014 | Evelyn Cheng
    CNBCStaples confirmed on Friday a data breach that may have affected more than 1 million cards. An in-house investigation detected malware at some point-of-sale systems at 115 locations, the company said in a press release. Staples has more than 1,400 U.S. retail stores. About 1.16 million cards may have been affected, the release said.
  • Russian sailors leaving France without warship

    12/19/2014 1:22:02 PM PST · by MeatshieldActual · 19 replies
    Yahoo Finance ^ | December 18th, 2014 | SYLVIE CORBET and ANGELA CHARLTON
    PARIS (AP) — Hundreds of Russian sailors pulled out of a French port Thursday, bearing perfumes for their loved ones but lacking the controversial bounty they came for: a 1-billion-euro, French-built warship that has become a hostage to the biggest East-West conflict since the Cold War. The Vladivostok helicopter carrier is part of a strange and divisive arms deal now on hold — and perhaps on the verge of collapse — because of the conflict in Ukraine. France built it for Russia's navy but is now having second thoughts, notably amid heavy U.S. criticism of the deal. After months training...
  • Does Anyone Even Understand the President?

    12/19/2014 12:51:56 PM PST · by Kaslin · 46 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | December 18, 2014 | John Ransom
    Look if you can’t screw up the economy in this country anymore, the least you can do is help out the one remaining Stalinist regime in the Americas. That’s the take away I get from Obama’s phone and pen ploy to “normalize” relations with Cuba. Since he’s failed at creating jobs here, maybe he’ll do a better job creating jobs in communist Cuba, an economy he better understands. After all, Cuba has all those old cars, and Obama loves those Cash for Clunkers. Or maybe it’s just this: Obama really hates Hillary so much that he’s willing to throw away...
  • Publisher Bitcomposer files for bankruptcy (Video games maker)

    12/19/2014 12:50:34 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 9 replies
    GamaSutra ^ | December 16, 2014 | Phill Cameron
    Bitcomposer, the publisher of games such as Space Hulk and Jagged Alliance, has filed for bankruptcy after having applied for a protective shield procedure back in September. The company also published Shadowrun Returns in German and Russian. The procedure was applied for on September 26th and protected the company from creditors while it organised a plan for insolvency, reports Develop. It was still able to publish titles in the period of time between then and now, and hopes to find an investor at this point to ensure it can continue to operate as a publisher and aid with development. Bitcomposer...
  • Fed and Congress Signal Trouble, Putin Defends Russia, ISIS War

    12/19/2014 12:38:05 PM PST · by GilGil · 7 replies
    USAWatchdog ^ | 12/19/2014 | Greg Hunter
    My top story is the economy, and I think the Fed and Congress just signaled that something is seriously wrong, and it’s going to get worse. First off, the Federal Reserve just came out and said that it was going to be “patient” when normalizing the monetary policy. I know Wall Street is jubilant and the stock market spiked on the news, but I think this is really ominous, and it is nothing to be celebrated. To me, that means don’t expect the Fed to raise interest rates anytime soon because the economy is much worse than what they are...
  • Move to Medicaid: Nearly 10M enrolled since Obamacare launch

    12/19/2014 12:26:32 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 20 replies
    CNBC ^ | December 19, 2014 | Dan Mangan
    While enrollment on government-run Obamacare exchanges gets the bulk of media attention, sign-ups for Medicaid have been even greater, in no small part due to another part of the Affordable Care Act. Since October 2013, enrollment in Medicaid and the related Children's Health Insurance Program had grown by about 9.7 million people as of this past October, according to data released Thursday by the federal government. That's 17 percent higher than what was the average monthly enrollment level seen from July through September 2013. That bump brings total enrollment in the programs that provide coverage without a premium charge to...
  • Chevron, Statoil Announce First Oil Strike In New Gulf Of Mexico Field

    12/19/2014 12:23:47 PM PST · by Lorianne · 14 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 03 December 2014 | Andy Tully
    Two multinational energy giants, Chevron Corp. of the United States and Norway’s Statoil, have begun extracting oil and gas from the large Jack and St. Malo fields in US waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The two fields are among the largest in the Gulf and are expected to yield 94,000 barrels of oil equivalent and 21 million cubic feet of gas per day for an estimated 30 years, Chevron said in a statement on Dec 2. The Jack field’s reserves were discovered in 2004 and the St. Malo oil was discovered a year earlier. The fields are situated about...
  • Federal Reserve delays parts of Volcker rule until 2017

    12/19/2014 12:20:11 PM PST · by Lorianne
    BBC ^ | 18 December 2014
    The US Federal Reserve has given Wall Street banks even more time to comply with parts of the Volcker Rule, a key provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. The rule prevents federally-insured banks from using their own money when investing in certain risky assets. It will now grant an extension to other types of funds. Initially, the Fed had said banks would have until 21 July 2017 to stop trading in collateralised loan obligations, which essentially move the risk of investments in loans off their balance sheets.
  • North Sea oil industry 'close to collapse'

    12/19/2014 12:13:59 PM PST · by Lorianne · 26 replies
    BBC ^ | 18 December 2014 | Ben King
    The UK's oil industry is in "crisis" as prices drop, a senior industry leader has told the BBC. Oil companies and service providers are cutting staff and investment to save money. Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers' association Brindex, told the BBC that the industry was "close to collapse". Almost no new projects in the North Sea are profitable with oil below $60 a barrel, he claims. "It's almost impossible to make money at these oil prices", Mr Allan, who is a director of Premier Oil in addition to chairing Brindex, told the BBC. "It's a huge crisis." "This...
  • The reason oil could drop as low as $20 per barrel

    12/19/2014 12:11:58 PM PST · by C19fan · 68 replies
    Reuters ^ | December 19, 2014 | Anatole Kaletsky
    How low can it go — and how long will it last? The 50 percent slump in oil prices raises both those questions and while nobody can confidently answer the first question (I will try to in a moment), the second is pretty easy. Low oil prices will last long enough for one of two events to happen. The first possibility, the one most traders and analysts seem to expect, is that Saudi Arabia will re-establish OPEC’s monopoly power once it achieves the true geopolitical or economic objectives that spurred it to trigger the slump. The second possibility, one I...
  • Feds set standards to regulate coal ash

    12/19/2014 11:53:50 AM PST · by aimhigh · 9 replies
    Knoxville News Sentinel ^ | 12/19/2014 | Michael Collins
    Six years after a devastating coal ash spill in Roane County, the federal government is putting in place standards to regulate ash from coal-fired power plants as a nonhazardous material, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today. The new rules, the first-ever federal regulations for the storage and disposal of coal ash, would require industries to install liners and put in place other safeguards for new and existing storage ponds. Groundwater monitoring systems would have to be installed to detect pollutants, any existing contamination would have to be cleaned up immediately, and impoundments that are already polluting groundwater above health-safety...
  • Journalist: First Amendment Rights Mean Not Offending The North Korean Dictator, Okay?

    12/19/2014 11:30:47 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 18 replies
    Townhall ^ | December 19, 2014 | Katie Pavlich
    Did you know that having First Amendment rights in the United States comes with the responsibility not to offend dictators from North Korea? Had no idea? Me either. Last night on CNN "journalist" Sharon Waxman, who has worked at a number of media outlets including the Washington Post, argued that having First Amendment rights means we shouldn't be making fun of North Korean dictators because they might get upset. She was of course referring to the recent and massive hack on Sony pictures by North Korea as retaliation for "The Interview," a comedy about assassinating Kim Jong-Un. "I also want...
  • Indiana cop told to stop selling 'divisive' shirts

    12/19/2014 11:30:05 AM PST · by shove_it · 33 replies
    APee ^ | 19 Dec 2014
    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Some officials in the Indiana city of South Bend have called on a police officer to stop selling T-shirts that make light of the "I can't breathe" refrain used in recent protests of the police killing of a New York City man. Mishawaka police officer Jason Barthel this week began selling T-shirts with the message "Breathe easy, don't break the law" at a South Bend store he owns in response to a weekend protest at the University of Notre Dame. [...] South Bend City Council members Oliver Davis, Henry Davis Jr. and Valerie Schey...
  • The most powerful woman in the world without an army

    12/19/2014 10:15:08 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 3 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 12/19/2014 | James Longstreet
    The most powerful woman in the world, without an army, just propelled the Dow Jones to a two-day 700-point spike by saying “patience.”  Janet Yellen said the Federal Reserve, the quasi-agency that neither is “federal” nor has any “reserves," can be “patient” in their rate hikes in 2015. She was quick, and clumsy by other accounts, to confuse the rate hike issue, with language suggesting that it might not happen at all.  In the vein of the famous watering hole sign, “free beer tomorrow,” Yellen essentially gave the message that rates would go up in 2015, but they might...
  • Hambrick removes Fiore from Assembly leadership positions — again

    12/19/2014 10:12:27 AM PST · by redreno · 4 replies
    http://www.reviewjournal.com ^ | December 18, 2014 - 6:51pm | By SEAN WHALEY
    CARSON CITY — Las Vegas Assemblywoman Michele Fiore’s tax liens and problems with the IRS were cited in her second removal from Assembly leadership positions Thursday. Fiore’s removal could clear the way for moderate Republicans to control the Assembly in the 2015 session and eliminate any talk of a GOP-Democratic partnership challenge to the leadership. It could also smooth the way for Gov. Brian Sandoval to win more funding for public education. Assembly Speaker designate John Hambrick reversed course on Fiore for a second time in recent weeks and removed the controversial lawmaker as majority leader. She has also been...
  • Checkmate: Is Russia Selling Oil For Gold?

    12/19/2014 10:05:33 AM PST · by Strategy · 50 replies
    SilverDoctors ^ | December 19, 2014
    Very few people understand what Putin is doing at the moment. And almost no one understands what he will do in the future. No matter how strange it may seem, but right now, Putin is selling Russian oil and gas ONLY for physical gold. How long will the West be able to buy oil and gas from Russia in exchange for physical gold? And what will happen to the US petrodollar after the West runs out of physical gold to pay for Russian oil, gas and uranium, as well as to pay for Chinese goods?
  • Homer Simpson Could School Obama On Castro

    President Obama's deal to normalize relations with Castro reminds us of a fantastic 1998 episode of the long-running animated series The Simpsons, "The Trouble With Trillions." In that episode, we learn that Montgomery Burns had made off with the $1 trillion bill that President Truman printed in 1945 to pay for Europe's postwar reconstruction. When the FBI finally uncovers Burns' deception, he flees the country, looking for an island to buy, and, flying over Cuba, decides that it "has 'freedom' written all over it." Burns, with Homer accompanying him, goes to see Castro, who just moments before was about to...
  • Sony's Pascal to work w/Sharpton against 'cultural blindness' after racially insensitive emails

    12/19/2014 9:32:20 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 35 replies
    The Guardian & Observer ^ | December 19, 2014 | Ben Beaumont-Thomas
    Sony executive at the heart of the leaked emails met with the civil rights activist to discuss battling an ‘exclusionary, almost all-white hierarchy’ in Hollywood.Amy Pascal, the embattled executive whose personal emails were exposed by the hack on Sony Pictures, has met with civil rights advocate Al Sharpton to discuss white bias in Hollywood. The meeting was prompted by leaked emails from Pascal to producer Scott Rudin, in which the pair joke about Barack Obama’s likely taste in films. “Would he like to finance some movies?” Rudin asked, ahead of Pascal meeting the president. “I doubt it. Should I ask...
  • The rise of the populists: Could Warren, Cruz and Sessions change Washington?: opinion

    12/19/2014 7:58:42 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 26 replies
    The Birmingham News ^ | December 19, 2014 | Cameron Smith
    For many conservatives, agreeing with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is a rare occurrence. Warren is a pure collectivist who views strong government control as a critical mechanism for politicians to "improve" the lives of Americans as they see fit. Her liberal voting record and view that individual financial success creates a social obligation to pay heavy taxes reinforce those perspectives. Yet, in her recent opposition to federal spending legislation, Warren correctly noted that reinstituting federal insurance for riskier financial products like credit default swaps was a concession to the largest banks in America contrary to the interests of most taxpayers....
  • US stripper well operators eye closures amid low oil prices

    12/19/2014 6:30:24 AM PST · by thackney · 30 replies
    Financial Times ^ | 14 DEC 2014 | Gregory Meyer
    Analysts examining the effect of the oil price’s precipitous decline on companies should spare a thought for stripper well operators, the mom-and-pop businesses that coax the last trickles of crude from long-ago drilled holes. Although tiny in isolation — the average stripper well yields less than 2 b/d — there are more than 400,000 such wells in the US supplying about 11 per cent of US oil production. They produced 700,000 barrels per day in 2012, the latest year for which data are available — as much as the OPEC member Qatar, according to data from the Interstate Oil &...
  • U.S. Companies Clamor to Do Business in New Cuban Market

    12/19/2014 5:42:55 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 30 replies
    New York Times ^ | 12/19/2014 | By JULIE CRESWELL
    PepsiCo wants in. So do Caterpillar and Marriott International. Within hours of President Obama’s historic move to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba, companies in the United States were already developing strategies to introduce their products and services to a market they have not been in for the better part of 50 years — if ever. “Cuba is a potential market for John Deere products and services,” Ken Golden, a spokesman for Deere & Company, a leading maker of farm and construction equipment based in Illinois, said by email. But while there may be robust opportunities for some companies, especially...
  • CBS poll showing health-care cost pressures increasing on Americans

    12/19/2014 5:38:57 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 14 replies
    Hotair ^ | 12/19/2014 | Ed Morrissey
    It’s been almost five years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act and its promise to “bend the cost curve downward” for Americans and their health care. More than five years have passed since the technical start of the recovery and the Obama administration’s bragging about jobs and economic expansion. The two combined should produce noticeable improvement in the lives of Americans, yes? According to the latest CBS News poll, no (via Jeff Dunetz): Fifty-two percent of Americans say they find basic medical care affordable, but that’s down from 61 percent last December. Today, for 46 percent of...
  • Al Sharpton to have say over how Sony makes movies (Shakedown Street)

    12/19/2014 5:37:49 AM PST · by dennisw · 28 replies
    nypost ^ | December 18, 2014 | 4:04pm | By Reuven Fenton, Lia Eustachewich and Richard Johnson
    Coming to a theater near you: Al Sharpton.​ Hollywood ​came to the Rev. Al Thursday as embattled Sony exec Amy Pascal ​met ​privately with the ​black leader for 90 minutes ​in a bid to fix the fallout from the ​cyberhacking ​leak of embarrassing, racially charged emails. Pascal agreed to let Sharpton have a say in how Sony makes motion pictures, in an effort to combat what he called “inflexible and immovable racial exclusion in Hollywood.” “We have agreed to having a working group deal with the racial bias and lack of diversity in Hollywood,” said Sharpton. He said Sony would...
  • EPA: Time to Abolish, Not Merely Restrict

    12/19/2014 5:11:51 AM PST · by HomerBohn · 17 replies
    The New American ^ | 12/18/2014 | William F. Jasper
    (EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy) The federal SWAT team of nearly two dozen heavily armed agents from the EPA, FBI, and other agencies descended on the Canal Refining Co. in Church Point, Louisiana. Their target: Hubert P. Vidrine, Jr., the plant manager. His crime? Allegedly storing hazardous materials. His employees were herded up and treated like criminals. They were prevented from using the restrooms for several hours, as well as being denied the right to call their homes and daycare centers to make plans to have their children picked up. That was in September 1996. It took the federal government...
  • The West Should Not Let Russia Fall Apart

    12/19/2014 3:23:15 AM PST · by edpc · 14 replies
    Fortune ^ | 18 Dec 2014 | Cyrus Sinati
    The West shouldn’t stoke the fires engulfing Russia’s wounded economy. Talk in Washington and Brussels this week of levying further economic sanctions on Russia seems counterproductive and will only make matters worse for all parties involved. Like it or not, Russia’s economy has grown simply “too big to fail,” and its political and military might is too dangerous to ignore. The West might have better luck in advancing its goals in the region by helping, not hurting, the Russian bear in its time of need.
  • Chinese Firm Buys Los Angeles Airport Marriott For $160 million

    12/18/2014 8:52:39 PM PST · by Steelfish · 23 replies
    LATimes ^ | December 18, 2014 | ROGER VINCENT
    Chinese Firm Buys Los Angeles Airport Marriott For $160 million The Los Angeles Airport Marriott, which sold for $160 million, has 1,004 rooms in 18 stories. The buyer is expected to make about $35 million worth of improvements. (Asia Pacific Capital Co.) By ROGER VINCENT The Airport Marriott is one of the largest hotels in Los Angeles County XLD Group also bought the 487-room Torrance Marriott South Bay hotel from DiamondRock late last year A Chinese real estate developer has purchased the vast Los Angeles Airport Marriott for $160 million and vowed to make substantial improvements. It was the largest...
  • EU Court Rules That Fatness 'Can Constitute A Disability’

    12/18/2014 8:33:32 PM PST · by Steelfish · 24 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | December 18, 2014 | Bruno Waterfield
    EU Court Rules That Fatness 'Can Constitute A Disability’ EU court ruling means that British bosses will be required to treat obese workers as "disabled" providing them with larger seats, special parking spaces and other facilities The judgment means British companies will be required to treat obese workers as "disabled", providing them with larger seats, special parking spaces and other facilities Photo: PA By Bruno Waterfield 18 Dec 2014 Fatness "can constitute a disability" for the purposes of European Union equality at work legislation, Europe's highest court has ruled. The judgment means British companies will be required to treat obese...
  • Delaney favors toll lanes for Interstate 270

    12/18/2014 7:02:33 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 41 replies
    The Gazette ^ | December 18, 2014 | Ryan Marshall
    U.S. Rep. John K. Delaney said Thursday that toll lanes might be needed to ease traffic and congestion on Interstate 270, a corridor vital to the future of Montgomery and Frederick counties. Leaders in the region must make sure the highway operates as efficiently as possible, Delaney (D-Dist. 6) of Potomac told legislators and business leaders from the two counties Thursday in Frederick at a meeting on the I-270 corridor. Del. Michael Hough (D) of Brunswick, an incoming state senator from District 4, said Virginia has done a good job of combining ideas such as high-occupancy toll lanes and private...
  • Faith in Apple’s future as Woz becomes an Aussie

    12/18/2014 2:58:24 PM PST · by Star Traveler · 41 replies
    Financial Review ^ | Thursday, December 18, 2014 | Paul Smith
    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has officially become an Australian resident, is planning to make the Apple Isle his home – appropriately enough – and says one day he’d like it said he lived and died an Australian. The man who formed Apple with Steve Jobs in California back in 1976 has just had ­“permanent residency” stamped in his passport. He originally applied for Australian citizenship in 2012. He’s since taken steps to move more aspects of his life Down Under; in October he became an adjunct professor at the University of Technology in Sydney. He says he’s thinking about a...