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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 72,744

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Obama holds solid lead in Michigan heading into DNC, poll says


from the Detroit Free Press:


CHARLOTTE –- A new poll shows President Barack Obama with a solid lead in Michigan as he heads into this week’s Democratic National Convention, leading native Michigander Mitt Romney 51% to 44% in the state.

The poll results are somewhat at odds with other recent in-state polls that showed the race tightening. Last week, Lansing-based EPIC-MRA released the results of an automated survey showing Obama led by only three points, 49% to 46% with 5% undecided.

Public Policy Polling released a survey Monday evening after contacting 815 likely voters in Michigan Friday through Sunday. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

One key difference between the EPIC-MRA poll and that done by PPP was the disparity of the support among independents. EPIC-MRA showed independents swinging toward Romney 51% to 38% while PPP showed the opposite --- Obama leading among independents 54% to 38% for Romney. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20120904/NEWS15/120904010/Obama-holds-solid-lead-Michigan-heading-into-DNC-poll-says



Obama holds solid lead in Michigan heading into DNC, poll says


from the Detroit Free Press:


CHARLOTTE –- A new poll shows President Barack Obama with a solid lead in Michigan as he heads into this week’s Democratic National Convention, leading native Michigander Mitt Romney 51% to 44% in the state.

The poll results are somewhat at odds with other recent in-state polls that showed the race tightening. Last week, Lansing-based EPIC-MRA released the results of an automated survey showing Obama led by only three points, 49% to 46% with 5% undecided.

Public Policy Polling released a survey Monday evening after contacting 815 likely voters in Michigan Friday through Sunday. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

One key difference between the EPIC-MRA poll and that done by PPP was the disparity of the support among independents. EPIC-MRA showed independents swinging toward Romney 51% to 38% while PPP showed the opposite --- Obama leading among independents 54% to 38% for Romney. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20120904/NEWS15/120904010/Obama-holds-solid-lead-Michigan-heading-into-DNC-poll-says



Corporate Crime Does Pay

from OnTheCommons.org:


Corporate Crime Does Pay
Major businesses repeatedly break the same laws over again to boost profits

August 28, 2012 | by David Morris


Almost daily we read about another apparently stiff financial penalty meted out for corporate malfeasance. This year corporations are on track to pay as much as $8 billion to resolve charges of defrauding the government, a record sum, according to the Department of Justice. Last year big business paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $2.8 billion to settle disputes.

Sounds like an awful lot of money. And it is, for you and me. But is it a lot of money for corporate lawbreakers? The best way to determine that is to see whether the penalties have deterred them from further wrongdoing.

New Yorkers paid $300 million extra in utility bills due to a Morgan Stanley price fixing scheme. Morgan Stanley was paid $21 million in the deal. The financial penalty they paid was an unconceivably low $4.8 million, and they did not have to admit any wrongdoing.


The empirical evidence argues they don’t. A 2011 New York Times analysis of enforcement actions during the last 15 years found at least 51 cases in which 19 Wall Street firms had broken antifraud laws they had agreed never to breach.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, among others, have settled fraud cases by stipulating they would never again violate an antifraud law, only to do so again and again and again. Bank of America’s securities unit has agreed four times since 2005 not to violate a major antifraud statute, and another four times not to violate a separate law. Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America acquired in 2008, has separately agreed not to violate the same two statutes seven times since 1999. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/corporate-crime-does-pay



Trouble from the US ‘Terrorism List’


from Consortium News:


Trouble from the US ‘Terrorism List’
September 4, 2012

Over the years, the U.S. “terrorism list” has become less an objective assessment of groups that use violence against civilians than an ideological battlefield littered with blatant hypocrisies and outdated hatreds. The list has even complicated strategies for reducing political violence, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar


The common American tendency to view the outside world in starkly divided Manichean terms between friends, allies and good guys on one side and adversaries and evil-doers on the other side arises in many circumstances but seems especially marked in discussions of terrorism.

The tendency is most visible in how the lists that have become mainstays of counterterrorist policy are widely perceived. The U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations had an almost mundane purpose when it was established by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.

One of the principal features of that legislation was to criminalize the provision of material support to any foreign terrorist organization. This made necessary clear definitions not only of material support but also of foreign terrorist organizations. Hence the creation of the list, entries on which are determined by the secretary of state with the participation of other executive departments and according to criteria specified in the statute.

Notwithstanding this purpose — support to the enforcement of a criminal law — the list of foreign terrorist organizations gets regarded as if it were a more general act of condemnation that embodies what overall U.S. policy toward a given group is or ought to be. It is taken as a declaration of who is in the bad guys’ camp and who is not. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2012/09/04/trouble-from-the-us-terrorism-list/



Frankenstein's Monsters, otherwise known as the big banks



(Bloomberg) Shareholders of Wall Street banks who agree with former Citigroup Inc. (C) Chief Executive Officer Sanford “Sandy” Weill that the companies should be broken up face an obstacle: bondholders.

That’s because trading on Wall Street relies on borrowed money, or leverage, that can be obtained cheaply as long as the traders belong to a conglomerate such as Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) or Citigroup that gets federally insured deposits. Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF), a securities firm that isn’t part of a bank and can’t turn to the Federal Reserve for help, currently is charged more to borrow in the credit markets.

“If you divorce them from the mother ship, you’d also be divorcing them from the government at the same time, and that’s where the subsidy is,” Cornelius Hurley, director of the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University, said in a telephone interview. “The funding advantage is the key.”

With stock prices at or below liquidation value, Wall Street’s biggest banks are fending off calls to break up from stockholders, analysts and industry veterans including Weill. The firms are too complex to manage, over-burdened by regulation, and a risk to taxpayers, their critics say. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-03/breaking-up-banks-is-hard-with-traders-hooked-on-deposits.html



Record West Nile Cases Make World Diseases a U.S. Problem


(Bloomberg) With increasing numbers of mosquitoes in the U.S. carrying the West Nile and dengue viruses, it’s getting a little scary to go outside.

West Nile is poised to break records this year. Almost 1,600 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so far, including 66 deaths. The virus has been in the U.S. since 1999, sickening 30,000 altogether; this year the worst outbreak has been centered around Dallas.

West Nile’s cousin, dengue, also a sometimes fatal infection, has been in the U.S. since 1980, with outbreaks in Texas, Hawaii and Florida, most recently in 2010.

These are growing public-health problems, but they can also serve as opportunities to pull the U.S. squarely into the global fight against these mosquito-borne viruses. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-03/record-west-nile-cases-make-world-diseases-a-u-s-problem.html



China Boosts Rail Spending for Third Time to Revive Growth





(Bloomberg) China boosted plans for spending on railway construction this year to 496 billion yuan ($78 billion), according to China Railway Group Ltd. (601390), as the government seeks to revive flagging economic growth.

Spending on new railways will total at least 67 billion yuan a month until the end of the year, Bai Zhongren, president of state-controlled China Railway Group, told reporters in Hong Kong today. The ministry has funding for the new plan, which is an increase from 470 billion yuan, he said.

“This all shows the government’s determination to boost rail development,” Bai said. “The government and leaders have stressed many times that the nation should have a scientific and sustainable development of railways.”

The new figure, 7.6 percent more than last year’s 461 billion yuan spending, is at least the third increase since the start of July when Premier Wen Jiabao said promoting investment growth is key to stabilizing economic expansion that has fallen to the slowest pace in three years. It also marks a renewed focus on building railways after a fatal crash last year prompted safety concerns and a construction slowdown. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-04/china-boosts-rail-spending-for-third-time-to-help-revive-growth.html



Samsung Tokyo Win Shows U.S. Jury Verdicts Don’t Sway Judges


(Bloomberg) Samsung Electronics Co. (005930)’s victory over Apple Inc. (AAPL) in a Tokyo court shows that global judges won’t automatically heed a $1.05 billion U.S. jury verdict issued in California a week earlier.

A Tokyo judge ruled Aug. 31 that Samsung smartphones and a tablet computer didn’t infringe an Apple invention for synchronizing music and video data with servers. Apple won the verdict in the U.S. on Aug. 24, with a jury finding that its Suwon, South Korea-based rival infringed six patents for mobile devices.

While the rulings dealt with different patents, courts outside the U.S. tend to discount jury verdicts because they lack legal reasoning typically included in judges’ rulings, lawyers said. The companies are battling over the smartphone market, estimated by Bloomberg Industries to be worth $219 billion last year, with patent lawsuits on four continents.

“German patent judges do take notice of rulings from the U.K. or the Netherlands,” said Peter-Michael Weisse, an intellectual-property attorney at the Wildanger law firm in Germany, where there are at least three hearings and one ruling in Apple-Samsung patent cases this month. “The farther away you get from Europe, the less influence foreign rulings have.” .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-03/samsung-tokyo-victory-shows-u-s-jury-verdicts-don-t-sway-judges.html



Manufacturing index slides for 3rd straight month


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Activity for the nation's manufacturers showed contraction for the third straight month in August, the Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday. The ISM index fell slightly to 49.6% in August from 49.8% in July. This was weaker than expected. The consensus forecast of estimates collected by MarketWatch was for the index to rise to 50.2%. Readings below 50 indicate contraction. This is the first three months of contraction since the summer of 2009, when the recession was ending. The new-orders index slipped to 47.1% in August from 48.0% in the prior month. The employment index slipped to 51.6% in August from 52.0% in July. Production fell 4.1points to 47.2% while prices surged 14.5 points to 54.0%.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ism-factory-index-weakens-to-496-in-august-2012-09-04?link=MW_home_latest_news


Action needed to prevent food price catastrophe: UN


(Reuters) - World leaders must take swift, coordinated action to ensure that food price shocks do not turn into a catastrophe that could hurt tens of millions of people in coming months, the United Nations' food agencies said in a statement on Tuesday.

Global alarm over the potential for a food crisis of the kind seen in 2007/08 has escalated as drought in the U.S. Midwest has sent grain prices to record highs, fuelling a 6 percent surge in the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) July food price index.

FAO said in a joint statement with the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that swift international action could prevent a renewed food crisis.

It said leaders must tackle both the immediate issue of high food prices, as well as the long-term issue of how food is produced and consumed at a time of rising population, demand and climate change. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/04/us-food-prices-idUSBRE8830A020120904



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