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May – Week 3 Summary

20 May

May 16, 2011

  • If you live in Indiana and a police officer attempts to enter your home unlawfully (i.e. without a search warrant or reasonable suspicion) you can no longer resist their attempts. In a 3-2 decision the Indiana Supreme Court, in the Richard L. Barnes v. Indiana case, destroyed its citizens Fourth Amendment rights against illegal search and seizure. The author of the news article put forth a rather frightening scenario, imagine a crooked police officer attempts to enter a home with the intent of robbing or raping its inhabitants. If the inhabitants resist this entry in any way they could be arrested, based on the ruling of this case, in fact even so much as shouting at the officer could be considered interfering with a police officer. Stay classy Indiana. (Full story on The New American)
    • Change.org has started a petition to request the overturning of this unacceptable ruling, sign it here.

  • Phew, dodged a bullet. Considering a majority of Americans were finding it extremely difficult to take Donald Trump seriously, ever, he has chosen to step down from the 2012 Presidential running. But just to show how arrogant and overly inflated his ego is he had this to say, “I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. (followed shortly by the collapse of the entire nation)I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business (or ruining business) is my greatest passion (that and telling people they’re fired) and I’m not ready to leave the private sector (I hear enough jokes about hair as it is).” I emphasized a few of his statements, just to be helpful. (Full story on ABC News Blog)

  • Insurance companies, yet again, are threatening to increase their rates as much as 22 percent. This news comes around just as research has begun showing that between 2008 and 2010, the number of insured employees with annual deductibles of at least $2000 doubled. This increase in the number of high deductible insured has lead to an increase of patients postponing or not seeking medical care when they need it. Is this what they were envisioning when they passed that half-assed reform into law? Newsflash, healthcare is still broken. Insurers are profiting from policyholder’s reluctance to pay out-of-pocket costs because of the high deductibles, so why do they need to raise rates? They’ll tell you that there is a very serious risk of a rebound in healthcare utilization and costs. The author of the linked entry below made an interesting observation, an upcoming health care reform bill, if implemented, will require that everyone get health insurance. This works in their favor regardless of the direction it goes, if its passed, lots more people are getting on insurance which means more profit and the possibility of lowering your prices to what they were before and looking like heroes. If it isn’t passed, the clients you already have still contribute more to your pockets. PROFIT! (Full story on The Consumerist)

May 17, 2011

  • The Republicans have been up to their usual antics, mainly, protecting their alternate sources of greasy income, by filibustering the majority’s attempt to repeal $21 million in subsidies for the big five oil companies. If you recall, these are the same oil companies that have recorded over $30 billion in profits within the first three months of this year (so they don’t need these subsidies).  Only two Republicans actually voted in favor of ending these subsidies, the other 48, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, have received over $21 million in oil contributions. The 52 who were in favor of ending the subsidies received only $5.4 million. Don’t even pretend for a moment that this action is a mere coincidence, these oil companies have our government in their pockets and they’re pulling all the strings in their favor, this kind of behavior must stop. (Full story on ThinkProgress)

May 18, 2011

  • The Huffington Post revealed a set of confidential federal audits accusing the nation’s five largest mortgage companies of defrauding taxpayers in their handling of foreclosures on homes purchased with government backed loans. How did they defraud taxpayers? By overvaluing their losses on foreclosed homes and submitting faulty and defective documents to get federal reimbursement. The accused include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial. The Department of Justice has been notified, but it has been yet to be seen whether they will be prosecuted or not. Here’s the two most likely scenarios. First and most likely is that they’ll be brought to justice but somehow will get off with a seemingly paltry sentence, like a pathetic little fine which will be far less than their daily profit intake. The second and less likely scenario is that the DOJ throws the book at them and reams them out like a clogged toilet, if this happens, the customers that do their banking with these banks will be the ones paying the fine. Heaven forbid they learn from their punishment and take a loss for a few months because of it, got to maintain those profit margins. (Full story on AlterNet)
  • A Charter Cable representative talking to a tornado victim from Alabama told him that, “If your house was destroyed, and you have looked around the neighborhood for our cable box and cannot find it, you owe us $212 and you need to either pay us or make an insurance claim on our behalf.” Okay, I get the fact that this is their equipment and they need to be reimbursed for it at some point. But holy crap, do you think you might be able to be a little more tactful about it, these people have experienced a serious natural disaster and most likely lost pretty much everything but their lives and you’re worried about your $212 cable box. I’m sure you can float that a few months with your ludicrous profits while these customers of yours sort their lives out. (Full story on Stop the Cap)

May 20, 2011

  • Ann Myers, a 16-year-old resident of Cherry Hill, NJ on April 29 politely and respectfully requested a public forum debate with Michele Bachmann on the topics of The Constitution of the United States, United States History and United States Civics. Ann was prompted to write the letter requesting this debate after hearing numerous “statements regarding The Constitution of the United States, the quality of public school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted.” (See her original request on the Colorado Independent) After the expected media attention began, unfortunately, commenters on tea party websites have threatened to publish her home address and some have threatened violence. Coming straight from the mouth of Ann herself she stated that several commenters have called her a “whore.” Stay classy Tea Party, not to worry though, in an effort to keep from looking like a complete fool against a 16-year-old, Bachmann’s office has claimed it will not be responding to the debate challenge. (See the full story on KARE 11)
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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in Weekly Summary

 

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