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The Roundup for August 14, 2012

Good Evening!

International Developments

? “Egypt’s military council signaled it won’t oppose President Mohamed Mursi’s decision to retire the nation’s two top generals . . .. ”

? “Forty-eight people have been killed and more than 130 others wounded in a series of bombings in the south-west and north of Afghanistan.”

? The Syrian Prime Minister who defected to Jordan recently has said “the Syrian government is collapsing ‘morally, financially and militarily’.”

? US officials are fighting to keep information secret about the alleged torture site the CIA used in Poland. Poland’s “former interior minister and intelligence chief [has been charged] with unlawful detention and corporal punishment for allowing the CIA to operate” at the site.

International Finance

? Seems major GOP donor Sheldon Adelson’s main man in China, Yan Saixin, is now “a focus of a wide-ranging federal investigation into potential bribery of foreign officials and other matters in China and Macau . . ..”

? “Chinese firms leave US stock markets amid complaints about price, accounting scrutiny”

Money Matters USA

? Enough of the US population went shopping in July to result in the largest gain in retail sales in 5 months.

? The Commodity Futures Exchange Commission has indicted “Peregrine Financial Group founder and CEO Russell Wasendorf Sr . . . on charges of lying to regulators . . ..” Possible “maximum sentence of 155 years in prison, a $7.75 million fine, and 93 years of supervised release”.

? The Partnership for a New American Economy reports that immigrant-owned “businesses employ one in 10 U.S. workers in private companies and contribute more than $775 billion to the U.S. economy . . ..”

? Remember David Stockman, Reagan’s finance guy? He’s got a rather searing op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan”

? Interesting interview with Alan Viard, “a tax and entitlement scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, to ask what was fair and not fair to criticize in the Ryan Roadmap.”

Politics USA

? Ya think? Republican “strategists are worried that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) addition to the presidential ticket will cost their party House and Senate seats this fall.”

? “How Paul Ryan Will Screw You.”

? Oh, those nuns! “Sister Simone Campbell . . . executive director of NETWORK on Monday blasted Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) over his budget plan. “It is totally antithetical to either scripture or sanity . . ..”

? President Obama’s executive order granting 2-year deportation deferrals and work permits for illegal immigrants brought to the US when children, starts Wednesday but throngs have been pouring into nonprofit offices providing help with applying.

? Hand Count Votes Now is “conducting a Citizen Audit of June 5th Recall” in Wisconsin. Guess which county clerk “has illegally denied our open records request to view ballots . . . and . . . is illegally planning on destroying Waukesha’s ballots as early as THIS Monday [Aug 13} at NOON . . . .” Yep, Kathy Nickolaus.

? That Utah GOP activist, Greg Peterson, has now been charged with attacking yet another woman, bringing the total to five women accusing him of sexual assault. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for this week on charges by the first four.

? A federal judge in San Diego has “refused to throw out claims that [James O’Keefe] violated the privacy of an ACORN worker who was taped counseling” O’Keefe who was pretending he needed legal advice on having his house full of underage prostitutes.

? It’s still got to make it through the Senate, but a bill just passed the CA Assembly which would “fund college scholarships by eliminating a corporate tax break.” That corporate tax break is already set for elimination, with the increased tax revenues to be used for alternative energy projects, if the voters approve Proposition 39 this November.

? A Nevada House candidate has accused his Democratic opponent of “pretending to be black and taking the African-American community for granted.”

? CA Democrat House member Dennis Cardoza “has tendered his immediate resignation from the House of Representatives.” His resignation takes effect midnight tomorrow.

The War on Women

? Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest had a flash mob Saturday in Idaho’s capitol, reminding politicians “against attacks on reproductive rights.”

? Paul Ryan’s anti-abortion bill would have made it a criminal offense to dispose of embryos, and yet that does happen in cases of in vitro fertilization when some embryos are not used. Turns out, one of Romney’s sons used the IVF procedure.

? Bloomberg article by a National Review editor argues that “the pay gap is exaggerated, discrimination doesn’t drive it, and it’s not clear that government can eliminate it–or should even try.” It’s all women’s fault anyway since they are “more likely to seek part-time work, . . . to have gaps in their employment history and to enter lower-paying fields.”

Planet Earth News

? CA Gov Jerry Brown’s office has put up a new web page aimed at climate change denialists: “Climate change: Just the facts.” Web page is here.

? Wow! “The US wind energy industry is now providing enough capacity to power 13 million homes, equivalent to all of Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama and Connecticut combined.”

? BP is trying to unload “assets following its 2010 spill” in the Gulf of Mexico, including $7.9 billion for oilfields in the Gulf.

? Oil spill in Nigeria, near the ExxonMobil site–“but the cause and size of the leak remained unclear.”

Latin America

? “An indigenous spiritual leader (Lisandro Tenorio of the Nasa tribe) has been killed in south-western Colombia amid mounting tensions between his tribe and left-wing rebels [FARC]”.

? The mind reels: “Members of Colombia’s security forces are under investigation for the extrajudicial execution of almost 3,000 civilians . . ..” During former President Alvaro Uribe’s rein.

Mixed Bag

? RIP Ron Palillo, famous for his Arnold Horshack role in the “Welcome Back, Kotter” series.

? Penn State has been put on notice by the accrediting organization, The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, because of Jerry Sandusky-child sex abuse revelations.

? Rome police noticed a distinctive odor emanating from a Mussolini-era abandoned metro tunnel. Sure enough, the half-mile tunnel was being used to cultivate cannabis and mushrooms (presumably the magic kind).

? No “stand your ground” defense for George Zimmerman, his attorney has said. He’ll go the usual self-defense route instead.

? Fareed Zakaria is again accused of plagiarism, this one dating back to his 2008 book, “The Post-American World”.

Break Time

? Human jukebox

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