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LAW

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  1. Congressman John Adler, one of only 29 Democrats nationwide - and the only Democrat in New Jersey - to receive the National Federation of Independent Businesses' "Guardian of Small Business Award," yesterday spearheaded a letter to House leadership to keep dividends and capital gains tax rates "linked and low." The letter was signed by 47 lawmakers urging leadership to consider a tax policy which will help create private sector jobs and grow our economy. During a recession, it is critical that businesses form the necessary capital to grow and create jobs. It is also essential that middle-class families and seniors are able to save and invest more, and help grow our domestic companies. The letter urges leadership to consider our fragile economy when determining our nation's tax policy. The final version of Congressman Adler's letter to Houser Speaker Pelosi can be found on the attachment below: Dividend_Cap_Gains_Final.pdf
  2. Here is an updated graphic depiction of BP's plan to drill two wells designed to intersect the original wellbore above the oil reservoir and allow heavy fluid to be pumped into the well and stop the oil from flowing, May 6, 2010. The operation is in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill following the explosion, April 20, 2010. Graphic provided by BP.
  3. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act targets investments towards key areas that will save or create good jobs immediately, while also laying the groundwork for long-term economic growth. The charts and numbers below give you an idea of where the money is going. Over the upcoming months, we will provide more information on the distribution of funding by Federal agencies. In order to give small businesses and Americans across the country a chance to apply for recovery dollars to create and save jobs, some funding may not be distributed until this summer. New information on the allocation of funds will be posted on Recovery.gov as it becomes available.
  4. Call 1-877 KIDS NOW (1-877-543-7669) or go to the Web site for your State's Program. When you call our free and confidential hotline, you will be directly connected to your state's program that provides either free or low-cost health insurance for children. The states have different eligibility rules, but in most states, uninsured children 18 years old and younger whose families earn up to $34,100 a year (for a family of four) are eligible. http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/states.asp
  5. Obesity has been linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as diabetes and cancer. Sixty percent of adult Americans are either overweight or obese. Middle-aged folks are not the only ones susceptible to getting a "spare tire" around their waist. The number of overweight adolescents has tripled since 1980. 14% of those aged 12 to 19 are considered to be overweight, and three quarters of them remain overweight as adults. Getting Started * Experts recommend at least three 20 minute sessions of exercise per week. If you are trying to lose a significant amount of weight, 5 times a week may be what you need. * Remember, the elderly or people with health problems should consult with their doctor before doing anything strenuous. * Some winter chores and activities are good forms of exercise, for example, moderate snow shoveling and ice skating (see warning above). * Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. * The President's Counsel on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) has many publications about how to design your own exercise regimen. * Fitness.gov (the website of the PCPFS) also has tips about exercise and weight control. * Make exercise part of your daily routine. With a treadmill or exercise bike at home, you can watch your favorite TV show while you burn those calories.
  6. As the New Year begins, consumers witnessed a spike in crude oil prices and a slight up-tick in retail pump prices across the nation and the region. This morning the national average for regular unleaded is $1.66 a gallon. That’s a vast improvement over the price situation six months ago when the price of gasoline and diesel soared to all-time record highs on the same day. The cost of gasoline hit $4.11 a gallon and the price of diesel zoomed to $4.85 a gallon on July 17. As of Friday, the average price of gasoline has dropped nearly $2.50 a gallon since then. For motorists, that translates into a billion-dollar-a-day drop in pump prices since mid-July. That means we are now only spending $611.5 million per day on fuel purchases, compared to a staggering price tag of $1.613 billion a day back in mid-July. However, when it comes to the prices of gasoline and diesel fuel, 2008 will go down in the annals of history as the most expensive ever. The yearly average price for gasoline in 2008 was $3.25 a gallon. That’s 46 cents higher than the yearly average for 2007, which was the previous record year. For diesel, the yearly average was $3.91 per gallon. That’s an increase of about 95 cents a gallon from the record 2007 number. * How long will cheaper fuel prices remain the status quo? As the Obama era dawns, there are renewed calls for increasing the federal fuel tax. Last year, for the first time in its history, the federal highway trust fund teetered on the brink of insolvency. Only a last-minute emergency appropriation of $8 billion saved it from defaulting on its obligations. As of October 1, 2008, the average fuel tax imposed on gas in the United States was 48.4 cents per gallon. It’s 53.6 cents per gallon for diesel fuel. The White House and Congress have long resisted increasing fuel taxes, last raised in 1994. Motor Gasoline Taxes (includes federal tax of 18.4 cpg) Pennsylvania: 50.7 cents Maryland: 41.9 cents Delaware: 41.4 cents District of Columbia: 38.4 cents Virginia: 38.4cents New Jersey: 32.6 cents The Weekend As the week ended, nervous oil traders were still keeping a watchful eye on international events, including the ongoing tensions in the Middle East and Russia’s threat to cut natural gas supplies to the Ukraine. As a result, the price of crude oil rebounded during trading on Friday. It closed at $46.34 a barrel, after spiking $5.57 Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Markets were closed Thursday. The Week Ahead Motorists returning from their jaunts over the long New Year’s holiday weekend will find prices $1.44 cheaper than they were at this time last year. “The New Year begins on a positive note for motorists, who are paying nearly one billion dollars less for gasoline then they were in mid-July when the price of fuel hit its high-water mark,” said John B. Townsend II, Manager of Public and Government Affairs, AAA Mid-Atlantic. “The average retail price could still move lower in coming days and weeks, possibly as low as $1.50 a gallon between now and the end of February.”
  7. Amidst ongoing Israeli bombings of Gaza, with the death toll of the bombardments up to 537 with another 2,500 people wounded, UN food agencies again warned that the people of Gaza are facing a heavy humanitarian crisis. "The current situation in Gaza is appalling, and many basic food items are no longer available on the market," Said Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, the World Food Program's (WFP) representative in the Palestinian territory, in a statement that was released on Friday. "This area ... is one of the poorest and most heavily affected by the recent conflict," she added. WFP officials said that they have begun to give bread to 15,000 new recipients, a number which added to the already large group of people that had been lining up for bread after two years of Israeli blockades of Gaza, the most recent of which began in early November. The blockades, surely a catalyst for violent Hamas attacks, have been condemned by Human Rights Watch as a "violation of international humanitarian law." Struggling Gazan hospitals say that they are are completely out of even the most basic medical supplies and have little or no capacity to deal with further casualties. In addition, Israeli ground forces entered Gaza on Saturday causing an immediate spike in casualties and even attacks on the hospitals and paramedics themselves. As sewage runs through the streets, many Gazans are trying to flee the area by storming the border with Egypt, a move which Egyptian police blocked on Sunday and are planning to do so again today as Egyptian leaders ordered their policemen to open fire on Gazans trying to flee into Egypt. Hasan Khalaf, Gaza's assistant deputy health minister, described the ongoing assault on Gaza as "an Israeli massacre". "There is no comparison between what we have and what [israel] are doing to us. The international community are standing unable to help us, and yet we know they have been helping Israel for tens of years."
  8. LAW

    America's Auto Crisis

    It is just a matter of time before the remaining TARP money goes to the Auto industry.
  9. Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain 47 percent to 45 percent, well within the poll's 4-point margin of error. With the race essentially tied going into the last lap, Florida's 27 electoral votes remain the biggest battleground prize for either candidate. http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politi...,0,687760.story
  10. LAW

    Third and Final Presidential Debate

    I guess Joe thinks Billionare Warren Buffett is wrong in supporting Obama's economic plan. Obama told the plumber that he would face an increase in his marginal tax rate from 36 to 39 per cent after $250,000 per year. That was the same successful plan Bill Clinton had for our country. Obama also told Joe that his small business would NOT be taxed on Capital Gains. Therefore Joe may end up not paying more taxes at all. In addition, those people who make less than $250,000 per year will be able to better afford Joe the plumber's services. Here is some free financial advice for Joe. If he finds out that he will actually have to pay 3 percent ($750.00 more if he makes $275,000, or $1,500.00 if he makes $300,000) more he should consider purchasing equipment, supplies, or giving a bonus to his employees at the end of the year. This way Joe can and write it off those expenses and only get taxed on the amount he was left with as profit. View the video at YouTube.
  11. Looks like Sen. McCain's staff are about to jump ship if Governor Palin does not clean up her act.
  12. The soon-to-be released report is expected to show Todd Palin's involvement in the dismissal of an Alaska official, reports John Blackstone. Bob Scheiffer discusses the probe's likely effect. Apparently the Alaskan Senate Legislative Panel got the 300-page Troopergate report, along with 1,000 pages of documentation, sometime yesterday. We can expect that either Palin got the report at the same time, or one of the Republican lawmakers from the Panel would have briefed her by now on what is in the report. Just before going into a closed-door meeting, Republican State Rep. Peggy Wilson had this to say: "This is a pretty serious thing and I don't feel comfortable even talking about it until I've got it all read," Wilson said. "I don't know if anyone else, maybe they're speed readers, but I spent hours on it yesterday and I didn't have time to read it all." The committee chairman, Democratic Sen. Kim Elton, did not delay the closed-door meeting.
  13. The price tag, originally about $700 billion, is now believed to be in the vicinity of $1 trillion, after expensive pork goodies were shoved into the bill. Here are some examples: $15 million tax break for any Hollywood movie is made in the U.S.A. $223 million tax break to Alaskan fishermen $192 million for the rum producers of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands $128 million for NASCAR racing tracks $33 million for corporations in the American Samoa $6 million for manufacturers of toy wooden arrows.
  14. In a confidential memo, Worldwide Strategic Partners state to investors consultant Randy Scheunemann can help it win Iraqi oil contracts -- because he was a "key player" in getting the U.S. to invade. a company tells investors consultant Randy Scheunemann can help it win Iraqi oil contracts -- because he was a "key player" in getting the U.S. to invade. Read the Document worldwide_strategic_energy.pdf
  15. Franklin Shelter residents are fed up by daily dismantling of beds at Franklin Shelter, and fed up with Fenty's plan to close the shelter by Oct 1, flip-flopping on earlier promises. Therefore, Shelter residents marched on Fenty's HOME at 4712 17th st NW on August 21. Marchers approach Fenty's home-it's the one in the background with windows like those at the Israeli Embassy Homeless shelter residents face off with the Mayor in front of his posh 17th st home. The Mayor responded by promising to meet with shelter residents at "DHS" on Monday, but REFUSED to discuss the issue in front of his home-even after scrambling home to meet Franklin Shelter residents in the first place! When put to it, he bluntly refused to even stop the daily dismantling of beds at Franklin that are reducing its capacity, down to 249 beds from 300 prior to August 1 as of August 21. Mr Fenty, how would you like it if homeless activists took apart YOUR bed during the day?
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