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n2doc

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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Obama to push cyber issues ahead of State of the Union address

President Obama will spend next week laying out new proposals to improve Americans' cybersecurity, broaden access to the Internet and guard against identify theft, the White House said Saturday.

The shift in focus will lay the foundation for Obama's upcoming State of the Union address on Jan. 20, and follows trips around the country this week in which Obama emphasized manufacturing, housing issues and the improving economy.

Obama will spend most of the week in Washington, with events scheduled at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday and the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center on Tuesday.

He is expected to announce new efforts to increase voluntary collaboration between industry and government on cybersecurity. At the FTC, he'll focus on ways to fight identify theft and improve consumer and student privacy, a White House official said on background.


more

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/229123-obama-to-push-cyber-issues-next-week

The Warren Commission

In a new focus group, voters agreed about one thing: Elizabeth Warren is one of the most intriguing contenders for 2016.

By John Dickerson

When 12 voters gathered in Aurora, Colorado, for a political focus group on Thursday night, it wasn’t surprising to hear them compete to see who could bash politicians more. “If we got rid of every member of Congress and elected new people tomorrow who had no experience, I don’t think we could do any worse,” said Charlie Loan, who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. When the group was asked to come up with phrases members of Congress should wear on wrist bracelets, they suggested “Don’t trust me, I lie,” “Looking out for me,” and “Two Faced.”

But one politician escaped the voters’ ire: Elizabeth Warren. Six of the 12 said they would like to have Warren over to their house to talk, more than any other possible 2016 presidential contender they were asked about. They said she was “down to earth” and “knowledgeable.” When asked a separate question about which politician they would like to have live next door, they picked Warren over every other contender as well. Jenny Howard, an accountant with student-loan debt who voted for Romney in 2012 and Sen. John McCain in 2008, also liked Warren: “If she ran, she could be the next president because she is personable and knowledgeable and has a good handle on what’s going on in the country.”

Peter Hart organized this Colorado focus group. Hart, a Democratic pollster for more than 40 years, helps conduct the Wall Street Journal/ NBC poll and has been holding these kinds of sessions for the past four presidential elections. The focus group was the first of a series of such two-hour interviews of swing voters that Hart will do leading up to the 2016 presidential election, for the Annenberg Public Policy Center to track how voter sentiment changes.

These people do not represent metaphysical certitude about the country’s political opinion—it’s only 12 people after all—and we are still far from the next election so much can change, but they offer glimpses of the current stirring in the public. Their desire for change, concerns about the economy (despite news that things are better), and interest in a candidate who cares about the middle class have appeared consistently in polls and other voter forums.

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http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/01/elizabeth_warren_does_well_in_peter_hart_focus_group_voters_not_excited.html

SC pays $1M+ to inmate's estate. Inmate died after being kept naked for 11 days in solitary confinement

The state has paid $1.2 million to the estate of an inmate with mental retardation who died in 2008 after being kept naked for 11 days in solitary confinement and developing hypothermia.

Records from the state Insurance Reserve Fund also show the state paid an additional $199,000 to its private lawyers in the case, which was cited last year by former state Circuit Judge Michael Baxley in his landmark, 45-page order finding the state Department of Corrections had violated the rights of inmates with severe mental illness.

The estate of Jerome Laudman sued individual officers in the case in federal court and filed suit against the prison system in state court. Both cases were settled last year, records show, with the federal suit being dismissed and the state agreeing to pay $1.2 million in the state case.

“We settled the case for 1.2 million,” Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said. “Corrections continues to make significant changes and improvements for the safety and security of officers and staff, inmates and the community.”

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2015/01/10/3918834/sc-pays-1m-to-inmates-estate-after.html

Elizabeth Warren's Warnings About Financial Reform Are Already Coming True

By Danny Vinik

hen Congress passed legislation in December to fund most of the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, Senator Elizabeth Warren and liberal Democrats nearly killed the bill over a policy rider that rolled back a piece of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill. It was a sign, they warned, of what’s to come.

Just a few days into the 114th Congress, those warnings are proving prescient. On Thursday afternoon, the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which expired at the end of 2014 and allows the federal government to backstop commercial insurance companies up to $200 million in the case of a terrorist attack. But the bill, which the House passed on Wednesday, also eliminates another provision in the financial regulatory bill. Wall Street’s strategy to dismantle Dodd-Frank is only picking up speed.

The regulation that TRIA rolls back is not pivotal to Dodd-Frank. It gives the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) oversight over collateral and margin requirements for certain financial trades—known as derivatives—with commercial end users. It’s not as important to Dodd-Frank as Section 716, which prevented banks from using taxpayer-backed money to trade in certain high risk financial products and was eliminated in the year-end funding bill known as the CROmnibus. But it still weakens the law. “The oversight of margin and collateral for derivatives transactions is a basic regulatory safeguard,” Americans for Financial Reform wrote in an open letter opposing the provision. “Even though regulators have not proposed to require any margin of commercial end users at this time, it is inappropriate to completely eliminate the ability of central derivatives market regulators to take action in this important area.”

The regulation has nothing to do with terrorism risk insurance; it was slipped into the bill so that it would pass without much fanfare. New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has been one of the leading advocates for TRIA, called the provision “a pound of flesh in a must-pass piece of legislation.” In other words, it’s not a good change but it’s the price liberals must pay to pass TRIA.

more

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120733/democrats-pass-terrorism-risk-insurance-bill-weakens-dodd-frank

Kicking Dodd-Frank in the Teeth

The 114th Congress has been at work for less than a week, but a goal for many of its members is already evident: a further rollback of regulations put in place to keep markets and Main Street safe from reckless Wall Street practices.

The attack began with a bill that narrowly failed in a fast-track vote on Wednesday in the House of Representatives. It is scheduled to come up again in the House this week.

The bill, introduced by Representative Michael Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, has three troublesome elements. First, it would let large banks hold on to certain risky securities until 2019, two years longer than currently allowed. It would also prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from regulating private equity firms that conduct some securities transactions. And, finally, the bill would make derivatives trading less transparent, allowing unseen risks to build up in the system.

Of course, you wouldn’t know any of this from the name of the bill: the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act. Or from the mild claim that the bill was intended only “to make technical corrections” to the Dodd-Frank legislation of 2010.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/business/kicking-dodd-frank-in-the-teeth.html?_r=0

Weekend Toon Roundup 2- The rest

GOP








Obama




Bombing


Weekend Toon roundup 1- Cartoonists continue to respond































Wealthiest Americans say the poor have it easy

The nation's wealthiest think that the poor have it pretty easy.

A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 54% of those with the greatest financial security believe that "poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return."

Only 36% of the wealthiest say "poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently."

Those struggling the most financially believe that the poor need more help by more than a two-to-one margin.

more

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http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/09/news/economy/wealthy-view-of-poor/index.html?iid=HP_LN

Yet they never want to trade places with a poor person to have 'the easy life'…..

Deputies: Man brings shovel to gunfight, and wins


A gun versus shovel fight at a Pasco County nightclub has led to attempted murder charges.
According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the fight happened just after 2 a.m. Friday outside the Player's Club Bar at 18728 U.S. 19 in Hudson.
Deputies said Jonathan Luis Crespo, 22, is facing charges of attempted murder and armed robbery.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, Thomas Allopenna, 26, had left the club and was in his truck when Crespo approached the driver's side and, without warning, fired five shots from a handgun into the window, hitting Allopenna three times.

Allopenna got out of the truck and grabbed Crespo, who yelled, "Give me all your ," deputies said.

A bystander saw what was happening and ran to help. Deputies said the bystander had a shovel, which he used to hit the suspect, and then Allopenna took the shovel and continued to beat Crespo.

more

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2015/1/9/man_brings_shovel_to.html

180 Marijuana Dispensaries Pop Up In Detroit: ‘This Is The Next Big Thing In The City’

One of the fastest growing businesses in the Motor City has many residents raising concerns: Medical marijuana dispensaries.

“This is the next big thing in the city of Detroit,” said Councilman James Tate. “It’s quiet for folks who are not really paying attention, but everyday it seems like another business is opening up.”

Tate told WWJ’s Charlie Langton the number of medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits is “staggering.”

“The estimate is 180 medical marijuana dispensaries within the city of Detroit,” he said. “I’ve counted 13 in District One myself. We see some locations, certainly along 8 Mile and other border streets, where you have four, five, six kind of clustered together.”

more

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/01/08/180-marijuana-dispensaries-pop-up-in-detroit-this-is-the-next-big-thing-in-the-city/
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