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East Coast Pirate

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Member since: Tue May 15, 2012, 02:33 PM
Number of posts: 775

Journal Archives

Marriage Ruling May Give New York a Business Advantage Over New Jersey

Years before the Supreme Court recognized gay marriages on the federal level, many American corporations offered benefits to same-sex couples. They say it's what you have to do to attract the best talent. This means that the high courtís rulings this week may make New York a more attractive place for companies to do business.

One company caught in the middle of this is Goldman Sachs. The global megabank has about 8,000 staff in lower Manhattan - where gay marriage is recognized -and 4,500 right across the water in Jersey City, where it is not.

Edith Hunt, Goldman's chief diversity officer, said the company is prepared to move staff or offer other solutions to make sure employees in same sex relationships have the best possible benefits.

More: http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2013/jun/28/marriage-ruling-may-give-new-york-business-advantage-over-new-jersey/
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Jun 28, 2013, 02:10 PM (0 replies)

Grandma on Why Being Gay Doesn't Matter #ProudToLove

Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Jun 28, 2013, 07:35 AM (0 replies)

Obama's 'Favorite General' May Be the Latest Leaker



President Obama made it clear on Thursday that he has bigger things to worry about than some "29-year-old hacker," but he may be slightly more interested in the latest leak allegations, as they involve the man Bob Woodward described as "Obama's favorite general." Marine Gen. James ďHossĒ Cartwright, who was the second ranking officer in the U.S. military before his retirement in 2011, is the target of an investigation into the leak of classified information about a U.S. cyberattack on Iran's nuclear program. As NBC News notes, few people were more familiar with the program, as Cartwright "conceived and ran the cyber operation, called Olympic Games, under Presidents Bush and Obama."

A senior Obama administration official told the Washington Post that the former deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is being investigated by the Justice Department for allegedly leaking information about the computer virus Stuxnet, which was part of the Olympic Games campaign. In a front page story in June 2012, The New York Times revealed that the joint U.S.-Israeli effort was accelerated by Obama, and set Iran's nuclear program back by up to two years.

Cartwright's potential motives are unclear. He was part of Obama's inner circle of national security matters, and was believed to be one of the leading candidates for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, he was passed over for the promotion in 2011, reportedly because he didn't get along with the Pentagon brass. After the Times report appeared, members of Congress demanded a criminal probe. While Obama said he had "zero tolerance" for "these kinds of leaks," Republicans accused White House officials of leaking the details to beef up the president's national security credentials before the election.

Two sources told NBC that prosecutors managed to track down Cartwright without subpoenaing the phone records of Times reporters. The Times tucked this note into its story on the Justice Department's investigation into its reporting: "Asked about the NBC News report, Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, said, 'We donít comment on our confidential sources.'"

More: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/06/obamas-favorite-general-may-be-latest-leaker.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri Jun 28, 2013, 06:27 AM (3 replies)

U.N. chemical weapons team in Turkey to investigate Syria claims

AMSTERDAM/ANKARA (Reuters) - U.N.-appointed inspectors, blocked from entering Syria, are in Turkey to gather information about possible use of chemical weapons in the civil war, officials said on Thursday.

The Syrian government and rebels fighting it have accused each other of using lethal chemical agents, including sarin gas, in the two-year-old conflict in which the death toll is estimated at more than 100,000.

The United States and its European allies have concluded that the Syrian government used chemical weapons, which Washington called a "red line" that justified providing military aid to the rebels.

Members of the team assembled by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had been on standby in Cyprus since April, unable to enter Syria as Western governments accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of chemical weapons attacks.

More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-syria-crisis-chemicalweapons-idUSBRE95Q0X220130627
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jun 27, 2013, 06:56 PM (0 replies)

The soccer field menace

Is it just my city where it seems almost every park has been turned into a soccer field? At the moment there are neighbors of a park trying to save its trees from being cut down to clear the way for yet another fenced off, sterile, treeless field. I'm sure the builders of these beasts contribute handsomely to local politicians.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:16 PM (41 replies)

Elizabeth Warren: Why is the Government Backing Expensive Private Student Loans?

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), demanded that Ed DeMarco, the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), justify why his government agency is supporting the super-high-interest rate private students loans that are drowning many Americans in debt.

For the past few years, one of the Federal Home Loan Banks that DeMarco's agency oversees has been funding Sallie Mae, the largest provider of private student loans in the country. Warren wants DeMarco to explain why.

The Federal Home Loan Banks were "intended to bolster the banks' support for the housing marketónot to be a backdoor way to subsidize highly-profitable private student lenders," Warren wrote in a letter to DeMarco sent Monday. "It is deeply worrisome that the Federal Home Loan Banks may be undermining their mission by extending billions of dollars in cheap credit to private student lenders."

Sallie Mae has an $8.5 billion credit line from one of the FHL Banks at an interest rate between 0.23 and 0.34 percent. But Sallie Mae charges students taking out loans a rate that is 25 to 40 times higher. Sallie Mae "was able to borrow at less than one-quarter of one percent interest because the government's sponsorship of the Federal Home Loan Banks allows them extraordinarily cheap access to capital," and yet took in about $2.5 billion in student loan interest last year, Warren noted.

More: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/elizabeth-warren-ed-demarco-fhfa-sallie-mae
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed Jun 26, 2013, 06:47 AM (3 replies)

Canada Confident Keystone XL Will Be Approved

Canada's natural resources minister said Tuesday he's confident the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada to Texas will be approved because it meets President Barack Obama's requirement that it not lead to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Joe Oliver responded to Obama's comments earlier Tuesday that the pipeline should be approved only if it does "not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."

Oliver pointed to "Obama's very own State Department" which he said concluded in a report this year "that there would be no increase in greenhouse gas emissions."

The long-delayed project carrying oil from Alberta's oil sands requires approval from the State Department because the project crosses the border. Republicans, and business and labor groups, have urged the Obama administration to approve the pipeline as a source of jobs and a step toward North American energy independence.

More: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/canada-confident-keystone-xl-approved-19487489
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Tue Jun 25, 2013, 08:32 PM (2 replies)

Supreme Court rules for adoptive parents in Baby Veronica case

WASHINGTON -- A sharply divided Supreme Court sided with a 3-year-old girl's adoptive parents over the legal claim of her father Tuesday in a case that revolved around the child's 1% Cherokee blood.

In doing so, the justices expressed skepticism about a 1978 federal law that's intended to prevent the breakup of Native American families -- but in this case may have created one between father and daughter that barely existed originally.

While four justices from both sides of the ideological spectrum found no way to deny the father his rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act, five others -- including Chief Justice John Roberts, an adoptive father himself -- said the adoptive parents were the consistently reliable adults in "Baby Veronica's" life. They ordered the case returned to South Carolina courts "for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion."

That the nation's highest court was playing King Solomon in a child custody dispute was unusual to begin with. It had jurisdiction because Veronica is 3/256th Cherokee, and the law passed by Congress 35 years ago was intended to prevent the involuntary breakup of Native American families and tribes.

More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/25/supreme-court-baby-veronica-custody-native-american/2382699/
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Tue Jun 25, 2013, 07:41 PM (45 replies)

Obama: Approval of Keystone XL pipeline depends on not increasing greenhouse gas emissions

-snip-

On the sensitive prospect of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone pipeline, Obama said it would only come about if its development would be in the nation's best interest. The nation's interest, he said, would be served if the project does not significantly worsen carbon pollution.

"The net effect on our climate will be absolutely critical in determining whether this project will be allowed to go forward," he said.

The State Department is in the final stages of reviewing the proposal that has contributed to the partisan divide in Washington.

Proponents of the pipeline, many of them Republicans that Obama is looking to compromise with on key issues, say Keystone will enable U.S. energy independence, create jobs and develop important industrial infrastructure.

More: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/25/politics/obama-climate-change/index.html
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Tue Jun 25, 2013, 06:57 PM (2 replies)

What is a "transit zone"?

Is this unique to Russia or do all countries have them?
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Tue Jun 25, 2013, 12:24 PM (9 replies)
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