Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pakistani sentenced; China buys AMC; Obama

Pakistani doctor who helped US track down Usama bin Laden is reportedly sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.  [I'm not sure he appreciated the security breach coming from Joe Biden, who told the world that it was Seal Team 6 who did it.]
(Fox News)

 China's Dalian Wanda Group and AMC Entertainment announced Monday a $2.6 billion deal to take over the U.S. theater group, forming the world's largest cinema chain, according to a new release on the deal.
The move is the latest in a raft of deals between U.S. entertainment companies and Chinese firms, linking the world's largest theater market with the world's fastest growing.
Richard Nixon ordered the IRS to conduct tax audits of those on his infamous “Enemies List.” Now, a spate of investigations and leaks coming out of President Obama’s IRS raises concerns that this administration may also be using the power of the nation’s most feared agency to silence its political opponents.
Today, more than six dozen grassroots citizens groups seeking to gain 501(c)(4)—and in some cases 501(c)(3)--tax status today find themselves facing unexpectedly invasive investigations and onerous procedural hurdles. All these groups have received non-profit recognition at the state level. Yet their requests for IRS recognition have been left in bureaucratic limbo for months—in some cases, for more than two years.

-Two senior Senate Republicans on Monday blasted plans by judges in the 9th Circuit to hold a conference in Hawaii this August that they said could run up a tab of $1 million or more, and includes a schedule of sport fishing, yoga, surfing lessons and Zumba dancing lessons.

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) last week wrote to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Alex Kozinski to warn that the Hawaii meeting does not appear to fit with the 9th Circuit's own opinion that the federal budget is tight. The letter was sent just weeks after Republicans took the General Services Administration (GSA) to task for a notorious $800,000 conference that led several GSA officials to resign.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The other day, I called a friend and interrupted her mid-cry. She'd just returned from putting her only son on a plane to China, where he was moving after giving up on getting a job here.
The next day in the supermarket, I bumped into another friend, looking downcast. She told me her only son was planning his move to Hong Kong, after a fruitless year-long search for a job in the financial sector.
"Obama's destroying the economy," she told me; then she looked nervously around at our hyper-Blue State neighbors.  "I feel like I have to whisper, or they're going to come and arrest me."
Welcome to Obama's America 2012, a joy-free zone in which the best and brightest youth are flocking to a Communist dictatorship, because they see more hope of economic opportunity there.
But many of the most driven, entrepreneurial types -- the kind of unstoppable hustlers who built America -- are bolting and may never return.
Why should they when they might land a fine job with that quintessential American company, Procter & Gamble? Its beauty unit is slamming the door on Ohio, and moving its headquarters to Singapore.
Or maybe they'll get a piece of Eduardo Saverin's next venture. He's the billionaire co-founder of Facebook who just tore up his U.S. citizenship.
Back in the halcyon pre-Obama days, Saverin emigrated here from Brazil, looking for opportunity.  Well, he found it -- and now he's following it to Singapore.

Although the NLRB’s so-called ambush election rule was recently (and temporarilystruck down by a federal court, as long as unions control the NLRB, its return is only a matter of time.
One decision, though, that the NLRB issued last year that has been discussed with little understanding by the general public (including many small businesses) is the ability for unions to now unionize “micro unions (or units).”
Simply put, the NLRB now allows small, distinct groups of employees to unionize within a workplace, even if the vast majority of employees working around the small group don’t want to unionize. Further, under the NLRB’s new, micro-union concept, it is very easy for multiple unions to now unionize multiple small distinct groups of employees.
Now, under a recent decision under the NLRB’s Region 2 in New York City, the NLRB has ruled that the shoe salespeople within a large department store are eligible to vote to unionize, despite the fact that the entire store is populated by salespeople. 
While the election has yet to be held and, therefore, its outcome unknown, if the union does win, Bergdorf Goodman’s shoe shoppers will be entering a union shop on the second and fifth floors and union-free shops on the first, third and fourth when shopping for everything else.
Imagine Mom & Pop’s Diner, which has six employees—two waitresses, two cooks, and two dishwashers. Under the Obama NLRB’s “micro-union” ruling (under last year’s Specialty Healthcare decision), each job classification (or unit) can become unionized separately. Each can have their own union, or each could be unionized into separate bargaining units, with their own individual contracts…or their own separate labor dispute (i.e., a strike or lockout).
With separate unions, the waitresses could be unionized by the Teamsters, the cooks unionized by the Culinary Union (UNITE-HERE), and the dishwashers could be unionized by the Steelworkers.
For Mom & Pop’s owners, it could very quickly become a costly, company-killing (and job destroying) nightmare.
In a May 26, 2011 Mackinac Center article...." For instance a May 12, 2008, Memorandum of Understanding between Michigan and the United Kingdom pledged that the state and the UK would “work jointly to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and increase climate-friendly commerce”.
And just lately Gov. Synder has entered into an interstate offshore wind energy MOU with the  Obama Administration. Even though a study by Global Warming Policy Foundation in London concludes that wind power is simply too expensive to be worth using.
President Obama last night spent time at the Park Avenue apartment of Blackstone Group (BX) [the world's 2nd largest private equity firm] president Tony James, to press the Wall Street flesh and collect $35,800 per plate. It came just hours after his campaign launched its first formal attack on Mitt Romney's record running Bain Capital -- a private equity firm not terribly dissimilar from Blackstone. Talk about awkward!
While an Obama spokeswoman had been careful to say "no one is... questioning private equity as a whole," she also added that "it's legitimate to question whether those are the values America needs in a president." That's right private equiteers: Obama isn't questioning your right to make money. He's questioning your adherence to American values.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Not long after the Blackstone Group bought Travelport Ltd. last August, workers at the company's office campus here began feeling the squeeze.
Two months after the deal closed, scores of employees were lugging boxes of personal belongings to their cars, having lost their jobs. Under Blackstone's ownership, the travel-reservations conglomerate has laid off 841 people, about 10% of its work force. Blackstone, a private-equity firm, has already recouped all of the money it invested in Travelport.
The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.
The decision, announced in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, overturns the position of former President George W. Bush's administration, which had opposed such a treaty on the grounds that national controls were better.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States would support the talks as long as the negotiating forum, the so-called Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, "operates under the rules of consensus decision-making."  [Am I the only one here who recalls that part of the implementation of the UN Agenda 21 is that in communities decisions are made not be votes, but by "consensus", or general opinion? 
However, they said insisting that decisions on the treaty be made by consensus "could fatally weaken a final deal."
"Governments must resist US demands to give any single state the power to veto the treaty as this could hold the process hostage during the course of negotiations. We call on all governments to reject such a veto clause," said Oxfam International's policy adviser Debbie Hillier.
China can now bypass Wall Street when buying U.S. government debt and go straight to the U.S. Treasury, in what is the Treasury's first-ever direct relationship with a foreign government, according to documents viewed by Reuters.
The relationship means the People's Bank of China buys U.S. debt using a different method than any other central bank in the world.

[In Kentucky] With 99.8 percent reporting, Barack Obama has 119,245 votes, while 'Uncommitted' has 86,789 votes. That is, Obama has 57.9 percent of the vote, while 'Uncommitted' has 42.1 percent.)
Facebook just joined a “troubled club,” warns the Economist. Now it’s just another “endangered public company.”
Yes, endangered. The number of public companies has declined 37% since 1997. The number of IPOs has dropped from 311 annually before 2000 to 99 the past decade. Meanwhile, the smart CEOs and the Super Rich are “going private,” to avoid government red tape restricting capitalism.
For the latest Republican ad, visit the following site for 54 seconds: 
Some of the stuff the Barack Obama campaign is selling to raise money for the re-election effort is pretty unusual.
They would like you to get your pets involved with the campaign by offering doggie sweaters and “I Meow for Michelle” cat collars.
These items may be unique but do they highlight what’s memorable about his past few years in office?
I don’t think so, so I’m offering up a few suggestions.
How about an ‘Obama crucifix cover-up’? It’s to commemorate Obama’s April 2009 visit to Georgetown University when the White House requested that religious symbols be covered up for his speech.
The various green energy companies that have gone bankrupt since receiving government subsidies could offer up some of their equipment to be recycled into campaign pins. There must be something to salvage from Solyndra, Beacon Power, Ener1, Solar Trust of America and the other bankrupt energy companies that received taxpayer cash.
Instead of raffling dinners with the president, raffle exemptions from Obamacare instead. Many unions have received exemptions – don’t you want to take a chance? Besides, if the Catholic Church wins some of those raffles the administration may save money from not having to defend the HHS contraception mandate.
It’s hard to imagine how [Cory] Booker could get that sort of publicity even if he was trying to — and, to be clear, we don’t think he was trying to. (He offered this introspective tweet on Tuesday: “In your most difficult times, hope is generated on the inside. This is the essence of inner strength.”)
And what has Booker been talking about during his time in the national spotlight? Mostly about how negative campaigning is a terrible thing that makes people cynical about American politics, which, of course, is an opinion held by the vast majority of voters.

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