How Kentucky gets it done in recruiting
As one of the elite blue-blood programs in college basketball, Kentucky enjoys the advantage of outstanding resources, facilities, fan following and tradition to excel on the recruiting trail. Kentucky has had many players go onto the …
Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins: 'Too many egos' among last year's freshmen
Kentucky's Final Four Run Through The Eyes Of Jamal Mashburn, The All-American …
Huskies Are Kentucky's Latest Shot At Redemption
Robodawg asks: Chip, I was glad to hear of Georgia basketball’s pickup of Nemanja Djurisic. Is his signing likely to wrap up this year’s class? And can you give a quick run down of how the next class is looking?
Chip: As far as I can tell, recruiting for the 2011 class is likely complete for the Bulldogs. Djurisic, a 6-8 forward from South Kent, Conn., by way of Montenegro, will officially become the fourth member of the class — joining 6-6 guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of Greenville (Ga.) High; 6-10 forward Tim Dixon of Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian School and 7-foot center John Florveus of Hillsborough (Fla.) Community College — when he signs during the spring period later this month. Since they will lose only seniors Chris Barnes and Jeremy Price to graduation, that actually puts them one over the NCAA limit of 13 players on scholarship, depending on what juniors Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins decide to do as far as entering the NBA draft. Georgia did place on
This is horrible.
Protesters angered by the burning of a Koran by a fringe American pastor in Florida mobbed offices of the United Nations in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing ten foreign staff members and beheading two of the victims, according to an Afghan police spokesman. Five Afghans were also killed.
The attack began when hundreds of demonstrators, some of them armed, poured out of mosques after Friday Prayer and headed to the headquarters of the United Nations in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. They disarmed the guards and overran the compound, according to Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for Gen. Daoud Daoud, the Afghan National Police commander for northern Afghanistan.
A spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Kieran Dwyer, said the attack had occurred during a demonstration. “We can confirm there have been casualties, including U.N. personnel, but the situation on the ground remains very confusing,” he said.
The hate industry in this country seems to believe they can fear-monger against Muslims here with no repercussions elsewhere.
It turns out, the globe is not that small.
- “Consular Employee” Charged with Murder in Pakistan
- CNN: Military Investigating Why Brig Commander Put Bradley Manning on Suicide Watch [Update: Or Maybe Not]
- Has the Obama Administration Backed Off Its Plan to Reconsider Aid to Egypt?
At the Aaron’s 499 on April 17 at Talladega, NASCAR veteran Michael Waltrip will have this special paint scheme on his No. 15 Toyota Camry:
(In Debut, Victory Lane @ Too-Big-To-Fail 500)
The design is to honor the Auburn national championship football team.
That’s alotta pressure to put on a Camshaft fabricator!
“President Obama has accepted an award for making the government
more open and transparent — presented to him behind closed doors. No
media coverage or public access was allowed at the ceremony,” the AP reports.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire
Waaaaaaah—waaaaaaaaah-wah. The big bad AARP is beating us senseless with their huge numbers, so the Republican We’ll Show Them Report is out.
And Republican allies have come up with a scary title for AARP to rev up the Right: “AARP is the Death Star of American entitlements.” Through AARP the Right hopes to do a tricky bank shot over to Social Security and Medicare entitlement “reform,” also known as their get out the wingnut vote machine.
Then let’s also take on the NRA on their corporate donations being used for election purposes, which would blow their tax status to smithereens:
Supporters of the carve-out will note—correctly—that NRA cannot take corporate funds specifically to spend on elections; this would void its exemption. But, everyone in politics is familiar with the wink and the nod. Corporations can give general revenue funds which will then free up NRA’s copious individual donor money from their 4+ million members for spending on elections—money they would not have otherwise spent.
I’m not a member of AARP or the NRA. We’re gun owners, my husband an expert on firearms, but I wouldn’t get caught being a part of the NRA, because their notorious mission basically boils down to irresponsible pimping of the gun industry, without any thought to responsibility.
As a side note, the White House set up this showdown with Republicans, while shielding the NRA, because of their support for the DISCLOSE Act, which allowed massive cover for the NRA. Blue Dogs like Heath Schuler made it possible:
North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler, an NRA backer and conservative Democrat, proved to be pivotal to the NRA deal. Shuler was the first to offer an amendment to exempt the NRA and other nonprofits from the legislation, but that move drew objections from campaign watchdog groups.
“There were a number of concerns that the DISCLOSE Act could hinder or penalize the efforts of certain long-standing, member-driven organizations who have historically acted in good faith,” Shuler said…
The Right’s caterwauling about AARP is not only hypocritical, because their outrage is only toward an organization that’s big and effective, which they see as standing up for the health care law, ACA, but also because AARP has been investigated before, going back all the way to 1988.
A source who knows everything there is to know about tax status C 3, C 4, C 6 entities, including AARP, gave me a hand on understanding this stuff, because this subject is crazy complex. This headline going back to 1988 is a classic, but the article isn’t available online, so I’ve got a screen capture of it. The investigative piece that followed left nothing unturned.
A snippet of it is below:
Low dues bring prospects through the door, and the direct-mail maestros move in from there. AARP — which knows the names and addresses of more Americans than any other comparable organization in the U.S. — accounted for as much as 1.5% of the nonprofit third-class mail delivered last year. The volume of incoming mail is so massive that AARP has its own zip code: 20049. Some members report getting three pitch letters a month for AARP’s health insurance alone. The sell is a bit too hard for some. Mark Gilbert, 74, of Durham, N.C., quit AARP last year after eight years. ”They were always pushing some tour or insurance policy,” he says. ”Every week some fat packet would arrive promoting something. The insistence got to me.” The second wave in the marketing blitz is Modern Maturity and the AARP News Bulletin. In the most recent Modern Maturity, AARP and its commercial partners accounted for 35% of the paid advertising pages. (AARP also airs Modern Maturity Television, a weekly public-affairs show carried on 270 PBS channels.) Competing companies are not allowed to buy space in AARP publications, so members never find ads for any mutual funds, health insurance or mail-order pharmacy services other than AARP’s own. And despite a consumerist bent to many of AARP’s lobbying efforts, Modern Maturity publishing director Robert Wood says he cannot recall ever printing comparison-shopping articles that mentioned competitors. Says Wood: ”We aren’t Consumer Reports.” AARP’s other major marketing advantage is its nonprofit status. This does not mean that AARP cannot make money but rather that any earnings — called ”excess revenues” in nonprofit accounting jargon — must be spent to further the purposes of the association. AARP’s lawyers carefully construct each business agreement to ensure that no matter how great the proceeds to AARP, they remain tax-free. In recent years, large financial companies paid an average of 6.2% of their revenues in federal income taxes; applied to AARP’s business revenues, that percentage could yield taxes of more than $ 9 million. Instead, AARP paid no federal income taxes at all last year. The Internal Revenue Service generally allows a tax-exempt organization to avoid taxes on business income as long as the business is ‘’substantially related” to the group’s founding purpose. That permits AARP to keep a tax- free 4% ”administrative allowance” for collecting health insurance premiums and forwarding them to Prudential. Last year that fee came to $ 67 million. The tax exemption also applies to whatever interest the premiums earn while in AARP’s possession — $ 15 million in 1987. In its other businesses AARP typically receives a percentage of its partners’ gross revenues as royalties, which do not usually trigger any taxes for tax-exempt groups. The association last year brought in another $ 30 million tax-free this way. (That includes a small amount from the sale of 32 educational books, co-published by AARP and Scott Foresman & Co., which, like MONEY, is owned by Time Inc.) This strategy could be in jeopardy, however; a House Ways and Means subcommittee is expected to recommend that the tax break for royalty income be repealed. AARP’s nonprofit status qualifies its mailings for cut-rate postage. On average, AARP can churn out 74% more mail for the dollar than a for-profit, bulk-rate firm. The nonprofit postal rate is so low that the Postal Service loses an estimated $ 14 million a year serving AARP, a deficit made up by U.S. taxpayers. Less tangibly, nonprofit status lends AARP the aura of a charitable organization with purer motives than those of its competitors. As a result, AARP tends to inspire uncritical trust among its members. Paul Kerschner, AARP’s chief lobbyist from 1978 to 1983, recalls: ”The staff used to joke that the easiest way to become a millionaire would be to take out an ad in Modern Maturity saying, ‘AARP wants you to send me $ 100.’ ” Many AARP officials, like AARP members, tend to believe that their association holds to a higher standard than conventional corporations. Says former executive director Brickfield: ”AARP enters its ((commercial)) programs only after determining that they will be of special value to % members.” But it is not always possible to identify any special value to AARP’s programs. In some cases, in fact, more efficient for-profit competitors offer comparable services at lower prices. Nevertheless, AARP is unlikely to pull out of these programs. Even if the association were willing to forgo the income they produce, it is still bound by contracts with its business partners to continue offering all of its products, the mediocre as well as the excellent.
But let’s cut to the bone.
The Right wants an investigation of AARP for the same reasons it went after all the other groups that have members who support the Democratic Party. One of the most important organizations to women in this country, Planned Parenthood, is the latest. Now the Right wants to neuter an organization that aids the boomer crowd and senior citizens, because it’s working effectively for its members. AARP supports policy that its members support, not for the sake of helping itself, with all of the royalties it receives going back into their mission. This latest Republican target is about 2012 and elective cycle neutering of progressive interests, which is to further the lives of American citizens.
AARP is non-partisan, but they’re not stupid. There is no reason to only help one party over another, because their power comes from numbers not ideology and the only way you get numbers is to serve the most people, which isn’t going to happen if you push a political agenda over what’s good for the people you service.
That’s the reason Republicans also blew it trying to privatize Social Security. It wasn’t in the interest of the vast majority of people, so the Right lost trying to push their ideology.
Let’s just not pretend this is about anything other than politics. Otherwise let’s put the NRA and their massive money machine under a microscope too.
That high pitched scream you just heard is the soul of the Republican Party, which can’t survive without sucking on the NRA’s teat. Unfortunately, Democrats have also joined in on that party, which is why the DISCLOSE Act looks away from the NRA.
So, tomorrow the AARP folks will sit in front of Congress for a partisan tongue lashing and when it’s over they’ll go back to doing what they do best. Working for American people who benefit from power being in the numbers, not in pushing an ideology over what’s best for their lives.
Taylor Marsh is a political analyst, writer and commentator on national politics. A veteran national politics writer, Taylor’s been writing on the web since 1996. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her blog.
Prompted by privacy concerns, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is circulating draft legislation that would require law enforcement officials to obtain warrants before using data collected from mobile devices for tracking purposes.
If formally proposed as it’s now written, the bill would severely curtail the ability of police to use geolocation information acquired by wireless carriers. Such data is utilized frequently to pinpoint the whereabouts of criminals through items such as cell phones, global positioning systems and computers.
Sorry, I honestly thought protective measures were already in place. I have dealt with the FCC and other communication regulations, and I had no idea. Shows what I know. It appears in the era of spying and then justifying the data once you have it, that your location and other information is up for grabs and not that hard to get. Now for the bit that made my stomach actually churn:
“Law enforcement will say, ‘I don’t have time to get a warrant, so I guess we can’t do that,’” Wormeli said. “That puts the life of [a] victim in danger. There are consequences.”
Wormeli conceded that current law could be revised for clarity and strengthened regarding commercial use of location data. But he was steadfast that Wyden’s bill unduly restricts police from ensuring the public’s security.
“When it comes to public safety, we have a history in this country allowing the law enforcement agencies … to use whatever tools they need as long as they can show that it is a reasonable application of the tool,” Wormeli said. “I much rather see legislation that started from that whole notion of permission.”
To which I humbly reply: I just bet he freaking would.
I am sorry if our rights are an inconvenience to law enforcement, but do your job. If a judge would not justify a warrant, that means there is a reason. The article mentions the reasonable application of the tools, but we also read daily about gross abuses of authority. This is the foundation of checks and balances put in place to protect us, and ones that should never be sacrificed. To let this slip and go unprotested is to allow our privacy to be manipulated by people who just want us to trust them to do what’s right. Kind of ironic, since they’re stomping the hell out of our rights to privacy and control of our private data. Highly abusable private data, who we talk to, what we say, where we are. Already there are “helpful” services that allow remote “technical support” of devices. That means we’re one step away from
New tag: Privacy Stupidity. The war on privacy isn’t going anywhere. I am going to rant on this for a while.
This makes complete sense. At the beginning of a military mission, the American people usually get behind a strong, decisive leader, regardless of whether they have full confidence in the mission itself. When an American can bend global efforts to our objectives — and especially if the leader can overcome high-ranking resistance to achieve those […]
Florida continued to find recruiting success in Metro Atlanta on Wednesday when it landed a commitment from one of the state’s best players.
Quinteze Williams, a two-way lineman for Class AAA state champion Sandy Creek in Tyrone, committed to the Gators around lunchtime on Monday. Williams picked the Gators from an offer sheet that included more than a dozen schools, including Georgia and Georgia Tech. He was rapidly developing into one of the most sought-after prospects in the metro area.
“We just liked it,” Ellis Williams, Quinteze’s father, said of choosing Florida. “We feel like the atmosphere there is right for him. We liked the schemes and feel like the staff down there is just unmatched. [Sandy Creek] Coach [Chip] Walker has had a long relationship with Coach [Will] Muschamp. He says he’s a great guy and
Columbus, Ohio (CNN) – In their bruising fight over collective-bargaining rights with Ohio’s governor, police and firefighter unions have put their battle cry on a bumper sticker, “Help the Middle Class, Ticket Kasich.”
The one-liner is a reference to a 3-year-old routine traffic stop that Gov. John Kasich would rather forget.
“Never before has such a low bar been set for certifying such a gargantuan class”
Judge Sandra Ikuta writing in her dissent against class certification of the Walmart lawsuit in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Walmart is getting sued by 6 women for sex discrimination; this despite the fact that most of the employees are women. The ambulance-chasing shysters fomenting this case succeeded in getting “class” status for their few plaintiffs from the notorious 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. One of the primary tests for certifying a lawsuit as a “class” is for the court to determine whether the named plaintiffs are sufficiently representative of the class. Additionally, the court must determine if actual discrimination occurred and that this discrimination was likely to be widespread and effect a large class; in this case, a half of million female employees.
This sad case began with a few hapless women who couldn’t qualify as managers, but wishing they were managers. These people are rolling the dice with their litigation lottery scam. These women ended up telling sad stories of how they didn’t get their promotions to manager due to discrimination (yes, it’s true, Walmart has a strict policy against promoting morons). This is not a tort, unless those people can show, with evidence, that they were passed over because they were a woman. In the Walmart case, the attorneys for the plaintiffs used a combination of sob stories, anecdotal evidence and statistics. The statistics showed nothing.
The Walmart case, filed in 2001, against the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer by six female workers who claimed the company paid women less than men and gave them fewer promotions. Their evidence? They said that 65 percent of Wal-Mart’s hourly employees were women, while just 33 percent of the company’s management team is female. So what? These statistics are not proof of wrongdoing. They’re the same sort of phony statistics that feminists and their media echo have used for years saying that women only make 70 cents of the dollar compared to men. That’s baloney.
Some studies say just the opposite. Shall we sue every company where women are not equally represented in management, because of a defacto quota system? These Walmart ambulance-chasing lawyers say, “yes”.
Betty Spence, president of the National Association of Female Executives, an advocacy group representing women executives doesn’t think that statistics tell the whole story. “Women may work fewer hours than men or may not be as aggressive in negotiating salaries”, said Spence. Economist Craig Newmark also cites studies that indicate using raw data is deceptive, unscientific and inconclusive. The Wall Street Journal’s reported that according to an analysis of Census Bureau statistics found that younger women make more than men.
The left hates Walmart’s success and that hatred has been a lightning rod driving their organizational efforts. The left has been fighting and coordinating their efforts with a nefarious cabal of tired lefties from the beginning. The City Journal reports that “…unions, activist groups like ACORN and the National Organization for Women, environmentalist groups, even plaintiffs’ attorneys work together in effective alliances. They are fighting the giant retailer not only store by store, but in statehouses, city halls, and courts.”
This Walmart case may be the new poster child case for lawsuit abuse. This case displaces infamous Stella Liebeck, the 79 year old, who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico for $ 2.86 million, later reduced to a still outrageous $ 640,000. She removed the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving.
Frivoulous lawsuit abuse costs consumers billions annually and replaces common sense.
Lawsuit abuse is rampant, one parent who recently sued a school district over an injury her child sustained at a school swing set, forced the school district to remove all swings from all schools in the district.
The US Chamber of Commerce reviewed all state laws to see which states had the best and worst laws fostering lawsuit abuse. California ranked 48 out of 50. So it’s not surprising that the Walmart case was certified as a class-action by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Fortunately, the US Supreme Court has decided to hear the Walmart case to determine if the recent “certification” as a class was appropriate. This is even before the actual torts alleged in the underlying case are heard. This is a hopeful sign, as the US Supreme Court, to no one’s surprise, has overturned more 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cases than any other circuit in the country. We can only hope.
John DiStaso reports that the PAC that’s expected to eventually become the presidential campaign for Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (R) “is gearing up in New Hampshire with the hiring of two prominent local Republican strategists.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire