Monday, August 22, 2011

Millionaires are vanishing; Change we can believe in - at CBS; EPA's regulatory trainwreck; Bused-in union workers held demonstration outside CEO's home; September 17 "Day of Rage"; Possible attacks on military funerals; EPA rules lead to higher electricity costs; Americans sentenced to 8 years in Iranian jail; Tax dollars to farmers to restore habitat of unthreatened bird; Nasa official warns of alien attack over greenhouse gases; Sheriff Arpaio to investigate validity of long-form birth certificate; Maxine Waters isn't afraid; It's all about saving $10 million per week for unions

The Wall St. Journal writes: Speaking of "millionaires and billionaires", the real tax news is that there are fewer of both these days. This month the IRS released more detailed tax data for 2009, and the nearby table records the decline of the taxpaying rich.
In 2007, 390,000 tax filers reported adjusted gross income of $1 million or more and paid $309 billion in taxes. In 2009, there were only 237,000 such filers, a decline of 39%. Almost four of 10 millionaires vanished in two years
As blatant proof that media is biased in the President's favor, failing to do it's historical job, the Blaze reports: There‘s some curious merchandise for sale in CBS News’ online store.*
Alongside a travel mug, tote bag and T-shirt that all bear the CBS News logo, the store also includes the following:
  • “Dreams From My Father,” by Barack Obama
  • “Dreams From My Father,” by Barack Obama (hardcover)
  • “Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama‘s Plan to Renew America’s Promise”
  • “The American Journey of Barack Obama,” by Life Magazine
  • “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs”
  • “The Official Inauguration Celebration DVD”
  • In fact, out of the 13 items for sale, seven are Obama-related, in addition to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s memoir, “True Compass.” The only CBS-related item is a DVD copy of “60 Minutes Presents — Obama: All Access – The Road to the White House.”
    There is so much merchandise that a side bar on the site even has a separate “Barack Obama” tab for quick browsing:
    All of this raises a simple question: Why is CBS selling it?
    A note at the bottom of the site says the merchandise has “national importance
  • When The Blaze reached out to CBS for comment, no one initially knew who was in charge of the store, or indeed, that one existed. One woman even asked, “There’s a CBS News online store?”
    After several hours being bounced around through various departments, CBS directed The Blaze to a spokesman for CBS Interactive, the arm that manages the network’s online content.
    So what’s the reason for the items?
    In a statement, the spokesman said the merchandise posted for sale was a mistake by the store’s third-party provider and would be taken down:
    “It has come to our attention that merchandise unrelated to CBS News was inadvertently made available by our third-party provider on the webpage that is located in the CBS Interactive online store. The items will be removed. We’d like to thank The Blaze for their vigilance in this important matter.”
    Important, indeed.
    *UPDATE: Minutes after publication, CBS removed the items from the website. Note that “Change We Can Believe In” is still visible in the lower-left corner under “recently viewed.”
    Cowboy Byte writes: Over the next 18 months, the Environmental Protection Agency will finalize a flurry of new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. Mercury, smog, ozone, greenhouse gases, water intake, coal ash—it’s all getting regulated. And, not surprisingly, some lawmakers are grumbling.
    Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 percent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs. 
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  • The Blaze reveals: Hundreds of striking Verizon workers sporting red shirts and holding candles while chanting of  ”No contract, No peace!“ and ”What’s disgusting? Union busting” held a vigil outside the Mendham, New Jersey home of CEO Lowell McAdam. The strikers were bused in by their union in an effort to highlight the differences between executives and blue collar workers.  [Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals in action......]
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What, exactly, is a “US Day of Rage?” Well, on September 17th we may find out for certain, but until then, The Blaze is revealing what information does exist about this very nefarious-sounding campaign.
US Day of Rage is the title given to a day of ostensibly “non-violent” civil disobedience orchestrated by a group of radicals — that reportedly include SEIU’s Stephen Lerner and ACORN founder Wade Rathke (who, coincidentally, formerly served as president of SEIU’s local New Orleans branch) — targeting Wall Street and U.S. capitalism. It’s worth noting that the title of the movement — if its intentions are indeed non-violent in nature — appears to contradict itself slightly.
The Blaze reports: Al Qaeda continues to plot horrific violence against civilians in the West, and now their strategy may include attempts to bomb U.S. military funerals here at home.
According to information obtained by the private SITE intelligence network, a posting on the jihadist-associated Ansar al-Mujahideen internet forum suggested that American military funerals posed a unique opportunity to maim and kill U.S. military and political leadership through suicide bombings.
The poster explained why he believed the plan to attack military funerals would be both effective and simple.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel writes: Two state utilities said this week new federal pollution rules will lead to higher electricity costs come January.
Reuters writes: Two Americans held in Iran for more than two years have been convicted as spies and sentenced to eight years' jail, Iranian TV reported on Saturday, a verdict that will further strain already very poor relations with Washington.
 "In connection with illegal entry into Iranian territory each was given three years in jail and in connection with the charge of cooperating with American intelligence service, each was given five years in jail," a state TV website said, quoting what it called an informed judiciary source.
They have 20 days to appeal, it said.
The United States, which does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, said it was trying to confirm the report through the Swiss Protecting Power, which handles U.S. diplomatic interests with Tehran.
CNS News reports: The U.S. Department of Agriculture is paying $112 million in tax money to farmers and ranchers in 11 Western states to restore the habitat of the Sage Grouse, a bird that has not been listed as either threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species law because the government says there are too many of them.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced last week that the USDA would dedicate $21.8 million to pay eligible ranchers and farmers in the state of Wyoming to encourage conservation practices that preserve the numbers of Sage Grouse.
That will bring to $112 million the total amount that the USDA has distributed over the last two years to eligible farmers and ranchers in 11 states as part of its Sage Grouse Initiative.
The UK Guardian reports: It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.
Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth's atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.
This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.
World Net Daily reports: At the request of tea party leaders in Arizona, famed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has promised to investigate the validity of Barack Obama's purported long-form birth certificate in a determination of the president's eligibility for the county's 2012 election ballot.
Tea party leaders in Surprise, Ariz., met with Arpaio and WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi Thursday morning to express concern that a fake birth certificate would be used to document the president's eligibility to run in Maricopa County, where Arpaio is the chief law enforcement officer.
The Daily Caller reports: I’m not afraid of anybody,” Maxine Waters, the California congresswoman, told constituents in footage that appeared on ABC affiliate KABC in Los Angeles, not backing down from comments made about President Obama earlier in the week. “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned — the tea party can go straight to hell.”
That proclamation was met with cheers from the audience, including attendees sporting purple SEIU T-shirts.
Read more:
RedState reports:  After two weeks of striking, it appears that the red shirts at the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are heading back to work without a contract in hand.  This back to work agreement comes just before the CWA would begin paying up to $300 per week in strike benefits to its striking members, saving the union up to $10 million per week out of its union treasury.

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