Tell us how you think President Barack Obama has handled the economic crisis so far. What's he done right? And what's he gotten wrong?
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FCC’s regulatory overkill kills 96,000 jobs in blocked AT&T, T-Mobile merger
By Rick Manning — Imagine that a company wants to leave a market and sell their assets to a competitor, who is a willing buyer as they want to invest in expanding their operations.
Imagine that the company that wants to sell has decided to not invest any more resources into the market they are leaving, so their product becomes progressively worth less every passing month as technology moves the marketplace past them.
Imagine that the federal government then intervenes to tell the company that is going to leave the market that they cannot sell their diminishing asset to the willing buyer.
In a nutshell, that is what happened to AT&T in its attempt to purchase T-Mobile.
Deutsche Telekom decided that they are leaving the U.S. mobile telephone market and put their T-Mobile network on the market. They are not going to invest money to upgrade their system to meet the demands for 4G technology.
AT&T, looking to expand its mobile network capability in the U.S., saw the T-Mobile asset as being a great fit to meeting consumer demand for faster, more capable service. The build out of AT&T’s wireless infrastructure that would have resulted if the AT&T/T-Mobile deal had gone through would have resulted in 96,000 new U.S. jobs according to the liberal Employment Policy Institute.
Yet, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided that AT&T could not purchase T-Mobile because they feared that AT&T might do too good of a job of meeting customer demand making it unfair for other providers.
Of course, it is a little more complicated than that, as one of T-Mobile’s primary assets was its spectrum, and that commodity will increase in value as it is a limited resource. Spectrum is the wavelengths of energy that radio, television and cell phones use to transmit images and voices into people’s homes, autos and phones, which the FCC auctions to bidders.
Ultimately, what AT&T wants to buy is T-Mobile’s spectrum which would allow them to significantly increase their service to the U.S. consumer.
And ultimately, the FCC decided to prevent AT&T from buying it out of fear that Verizon, AT&T and Sprint will be dominant players in the market. So, instead, the American consumer will be left with less investment in new technologies and limited choices, all because the Obama Administration doesn’t believe T-Mobile’s German ownership that they are skipping town and aren’t going to invest any more money in upgrading their product in the U.S. market.
When is this Administration ever going to learn?
Oil prices rose to nearly $103 a barrel Tuesday amid concerns about tensions between the West and Iran,and a national strike which could affect oil production in Nigeria.
By midday in Europe, benchmark crude for February delivery was up $1.54 to $102.85 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude was up 97 cents at $113.42 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
Tension between Iran and Western powers over Iran's nuclear program also has helped keep crude above $100. The U.S. has recently enacted new sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and its ability to sell petroleum abroad, and Europe is planning to restrict oil imports from Iran.
Iran has threatened to close the key Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf if the country's oil exports are undermined by U.S. or European sanctions.
Protests and a national strike in Nigeria over soaring fuel prices and government corruption also contributed to higher crude prices. Nigeria produces about 2.4 million barrels of oil a day and remains a top crude supplier to the U.S.
While Nigeria's oil production appeared to be continuing, unions representing oil workers also have pledged to strike.
A 6 percent annual rise in oil imports by China was another bullish factor for crude.
"Because China has recently much reduced its imports from Iran due to disputes over payment, the country will need to source its demand elsewhere, which could drive prices further upward," said a report from Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
Investors will also be monitoring fresh information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products.
Data for the week ending Jan. 6 are expected to show a draw of 1 million barrels in crude oil stocks and an increase of 1.75 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The American Petroleum Institute will release its report on oil stocks later Tuesday, while the report from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration — the market benchmark — will be out on Wednesday.
In other Nymex trading, heating oil gained 2.42 cents to $3.0972 a gallon, and gasoline futures added 2.42 cent at $2.7832 per gallon. Natural gas futures were down 2.7 cents to $2.984 per 1,000 cubic feet..
We may never know for sure the combination of circumstances that brought on the energy crisis of the past. But one factor was almost certainly the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which allowed unprecedented levels of speculation in oil futures by investment banks and pension funds, bringing the familiar boom-bust cycle home to the gas pump. It’s not hard to forget when oil shot up to $147 and gas prices were reaching close to $5.00 gallon.It seems that washington’s regulatory system has failed america. And if we don’t fix it, it’s going to happen again. Today we must answer this question how long is the old lady in maine supposed to pay higher prices for her heating oil to accommodate the asset allocation needs of the world’s pension funds? And how long are the rest of us supposed to sit passively as we watch gas prices zoom up again?
Peter Grier, Staff writer
The 2012 presidential campaign is different from previous election cycles: It’s a lot easier than it used to be for rich people to shovel bags of cash at their favorite candidates.
Yes, we see you rolling your eyes there in the back, but the fact remains it’s true. For a long time it’s been difficult for the megabucks crowd to directly use their assets to help the politicians they want to elect. There's a $5,000 limit on the amount a person can donate to a campaign, and the Federal Election Commission watches that pretty closely. Sure, you can force your nephew to match your donation by threatening to write him out of the will, but that just takes a text message. More effort is required to cajole your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to ante up with you – a practice known as "bundling."
The US Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case has opened up political treasuries for business. The $5,000 limit remains, but this election cycle is the first with "super political action committees" – a fast, legal, and fun way to spend your kids' inheritance.
Super PACs can accept as big a check as a donor wants to write. They can spend it advocating particular candidates, too. The caveat is they are not supposed to directly coordinate with the candidate in question. Wink, nudge, know what I mean?
Here's how this works in practice, as revealed in numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and other watchdog groups. More than 50 people who have contributed to Mitt Romney's campaign have turned around and written big checks to Restore Our Future, a pro-Romney super PAC
The combined amount the super PAC raked in from these double spenders? A cool $6.4 million through 2011's second quarter. That's more than half the cash the group raised.
Democrats do this, too. If anything, they're even more dependent on deep-pocket donors.
Priorities USA Action is a super PAC focused on President Obama's reelection. Only nine people maxed out their giving to Mr. Obama directly and then gave to this super PAC. But together, they accounted for $2.6 million – 82 percent of the money that Priorities took in through the second quarter.
Here's an idea: Let's tax super PAC contributions of $1 million-plus. It wouldn't close the deficit, but it would be a start.
copy and paste posters are to stupid give their own opinion. they have to be told what and how to think. that is where the right wing fox news, hate radio and right wing articles and cartoons comes in. this is supposed to be a discussion site. copy and paste posters could not participate with out articles or by giving one line responses. they also seem to use aliases that do give a opinion but they do nothing but repeat the same thing over and over post after post hour after hour day after day. this brings us back to why they copy and paste.
All I can say is GOOD FOR THIS GUY. He was exercising his right to free speech. Another freedom that is being taken away!
Report: Obama remarks cost MMA fighter
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UPDATED JAN 10, 2012 6:34 PM ET
A mixed martial arts fighter from Minnesota has been suspended from his job as an assistant wrestling coach following comments he made about President Barack Obama last month.
Jacob Volkmann, 31, of White Bear Lake, Minn., told FOXNews.com he was placed on paid administrative leave Friday by the White Bear Lake School District after he invited Obama to make an appointment with him for a "glass-ectomy" on Dec. 30.
"A glass-ectomy is when you cut your belly button out and put a piece of glass in there so when you have your head up your butt you can see where you're going," Volkmann told a reporter following his victory over Efrain Escudero at UFC 141.
Volkmann said at least one parent contacted school officials and complained about his latest comments regarding the commander-in-chief. In 2011, Volkmann was visited by the Secret Service after he said Obama was "not too bright" and that "someone's got to knock some sense into that idiot." No charges were filed.
"I went to practice on Friday and they wanted to meet before practice," he told FOXNews.com. "They said, 'As of now, you cannot be around the kids.'"
Volkmann, who has not been contacted by the Secret Service for his latest anti-Obama tirade, said the comments were intended as a "joke" but stood by the remarks.
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"The thing is, the joke was made to make people look at why I said it," he continued. "I only have a few seconds on air, so I need to make them count. [But] I feel that way. It was just a joke."
Volkmann said he will consider contacting an attorney if his mandated leave lasts longer than two weeks. He has worked as an assistant wrestling coach in the 8,100-student school district for four years, he said.
Marisa Vette, director of communications for the White Bear Lake School District, confirmed that Volkmann has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. It is unclear how many complaints were received regarding Volkmann's comments, she said.
Vette referred additional questions regarding Volkmann's employment to Chris Picha, the school district's director of personnel. She could not be reached for comment early Tuesday
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Almost 200 people opposed to a new method of drilling for natural resources have greeted returning Ohio state lawmakers with a Statehouse protest.
No Frack Ohio on Tuesday called on legislators to ban fracking, which is a process that blasts pressurized water, sand and chemicals underground to release gas and oil reserves. The group also wants a ban on deep injection wells that hold drilling wastewater.
Gov. John Kasich halted wastewater injection at five Youngstown area wells after 11 earthquakes hit the area. However, he says he doesn't want concerns over wastewater disposal to hinder the Ohio jobs promised by shale drilling.
State natural resources officials note dozens of similar injection wells have operated around Ohio for decades without problems. They plan to attend a community forum Wednesday in Youngstown.
200 people did this??? Wow-- Awesome!!
Wednesday is the 10th anniversary of one of the "blackest moments of the war on terror," says Elizabeth O'Shea at the Sydney Morning Herald: The opening of Guantanamo Bay prison camp
It will get much less attention than last year's 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, says Elizabeth O'Shea in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, but Wednesday marks a decade since "one of the blackest moments of the war on terror: The opening of Guantanamo Bay detention camp." Gitmo still holds 171 of the 779 prisoners who have been detained there — without "a fair trial and the presumption of innocence." Eighty-nine of today's detainees have been cleared for release, but are stuck in limbo after Congress blocked their transfer. Gitmo "represents an affront to the bedrock principles that underpin Western legal systems," O'Shea argues, and "as a society, we have paid a hefty price" for this miscarriage of justice. Here, an excerpt:
The prison has become a vortex of shame. Fundamental legal principles such as the right to due process should be respected regardless of circumstances. Yet the fact that these prisoners were supposedly the ''worst of the worst'' became a blank check to ride roughshod over long-standing legal protections. As members of an international community that values the rule of law, we are a lesser society as a result. ...
We know torture was a mainstay of life in Guantanamo, including beatings, the use of stress positions and psychological torment. ... As Tacitus stated: Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity. Despite the outcry, the camp has remained open, the torture has continued to be justified and no official has been held to account.
Oh dear, they're still torturing those poor terrorists? What a shame!!
So, Ms. O'Shea, when do you want the little fellows delivered to your home? You can pamper them with a few good home cooked meals, see to their health needs, provide them with shelter, &etc. All you'd need to do would be to guarantee their good behavior from now on. Deal or no deal???
Supreme Court kills White House’s effort to control church leaders
by Joel McDurmon on Jan 12, 2012
Fox News reports,
Wednesday the United States Supreme Court delivered a knockout blow to the White House in the cause of religious liberty.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a unanimous court swatted away the government’s claim that the Lutheran Church did not have the right to fire a “minister of religion” who, after six years of Lutheran religious training had been commissioned as a minister, upon election by her congregation.
The fired minister — who also taught secular subjects — claimed discrimination in employment. The Obama administration, always looking for opportunities to undermine the bedrock of First Amendment religious liberty, eagerly agreed.
There was just one big problem standing in the way of the government’s plan: the U.S. Constitution. For a long time American courts have recognized the existence of a “ministerial exemption” which keeps government’s hands off the employment relationship between a religious institution and its ministers or clergy.
Here, in this case, the Department of Justice had the nerve to not only challenge the exemption’s application but also its very existence.
But, Chief Justice Roberts pushed back hard, telling the government essentially to butt out:
“Requiring a church to accept or retain an unwanted minister, or punishing a church for failing to do so, intrudes upon more than a mere employment decision. Such action interferes with the internal governance of the church, depriving the church of control over the selection of those who will personify its beliefs. By imposing an unwanted minister, the state infringes the free exercise clause, which protects a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments. According the state the power to determine which individuals will minister to the faithful also violates the establishment clause, which prohibits government involvement in such ecclesiastical decisions.”
Other people asked questions on similar topics, check out the answers they received:
Other people asked questions on various topics, and are still waiting for answer. Would be great if you can take a sec and answer them