Thursday, January 19, 2012

Judge Rules Against NYC Court Protest Organizers

Free speech does not have exceptions because it's inconvenient to some in power. The Constitution says the people have a right "peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." There are no exceptions made for the courts:

A judge has ruled demonstrators don't have a First Amendment right to protest Friday afternoon in front of a New York City federal courthouse that has hosted several major terrorism trials.

Judge Lewis Kaplan said Thursday he wouldn't order the federal government to let an Occupy the Courts demonstration occur outside the lower Manhattan courthouse. He says the space isn't a public forum and the government acted reasonably in denying a permit.

A government lawyer says the courthouse poses unique security concerns in part because of terrorism fears.

Protest organizers had asked the judge to overturn the General Services Administration's rejection of their permit application. Their lawsuit said their First Amendment rights were violated.

The nationwide protest marks the second anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against limits on spending by independent organizations.

USA Today Poll: 30 Percent of Economists Predict New Recession

The economy suffered a heart attack in 2007. Since then we've been eating hamburgers and fries and hoping that our collective heart gets healthy. We live in a fools paradise. It is ironic that we actually face obesity problem as a nation:

A USA Today poll of 39 economists show 30 percent predict a new recession to strike the economy soon, twice as many compared with a similar poll just over three months ago.

Further shocks to the stock market or turns for the worse in the European debt crises could easily throw the U.S. economy back into the depths of economic contraction.

The best-case scenario sees the economy behaving pretty much like it is now — limping along, growing 2.5 percent a year compared with 3.1 percent in the newspaper's last quarterly poll.

Many economists say growth needs to shoot way above 3 percent a year to make a serious dent in high unemployment rates.
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Romney and Gingrich are Tied in South Carolina

Apparently the last debate and negative press stories about Romney's business record lately have helped New Gingrich surge to a statistical tie in South Carolina. If the former Speaker of the House should win on Saturday things all of a sudden look muddled. But very few people think that Gingrich has a chance of winning the nomination; nor are Santorum or Paul, for that matter.

There is talk of a brokered convention. But that hasn't happened in decades. The likely scenario is a long, drawn out primary season in where Romney wins by reason of his superior establishment support and money. The possibility of someone other candidate jumping in is also highly unlikely. Nowadays you have to win primaries to win the nomination.

Revelations about Gingrich's personal life has the potential of stopping the spectacular momentum he is seeing now. But he would certainly continue to make life for Romney difficult in the weeks to come.


In a South Carolina ARG poll conducted January 11-12, Romney was leading Gingrich 29 percent to 25 percent. Gingrich's rise in the poll can in part be attributed to Tea Party supporters -- 28 percent backed Gingrich in the earlier poll, while 43 percent support him now.

Romney is clearly aware of the threat Gingrich poses. At a campaign stop in Charleston, South Carolina today, the former governor accused Gingrich of being in a "fantasy land" for saying he helped create jobs during the Reagan years.

In addition to Romney's attacks, Gingrich will have to overcome any doubts voters may have about his character, particularly since his second wife, Marianne Gingrich, charged in an interview with ABC News that the GOP presidential candidate wanted an "open marriage."

Weather Records 2011: Average Global Temperature Was 11th Hottest On Record

Weather Records 2011: Average Global Temperature Was 11th Hottest On Record - The Huffington Post

The world last year wasn't quite as warm as it was for most of the last decade.

Still, official U.S. weather records say the average global temperature in 2011 was the 11th hottest on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculated the average temperature as 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 0.9 degrees warmer than the 20th century average. In fact, it was hotter than every year in the 20th century except 1998.

The Democratic Party Abandons Occupy Wall Street Movement

The Democratic Party Abandons Occupy Wall Street Movement | Ology

They were never supportive of Occupy in the first place. Let's not forget that most of cities where OWS were kicked out of their sites were by Democratic Mayors.

December ends 3rd poor year for home building

December ends 3rd poor year for home building

Builders ended 2011 with a third straight year of dismal home building and the worst on record for single-family home construction, despite modest improvement at the end of the year.

The data show that the housing market likely remains years away from full health.

ABC’s Brian Ross: Gingrich ‘bombshell’ a request for ‘an open marriage’ with ex-wife

Like I said before, Newt Gingrich is a pig:

A Thursday night, ABC “Nightline” interview with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s second ex-wife, Marianne Gingrich, is set to reveal that Gingrich asked her for an open marriage so that he could carry on an affair with one of his staffers, current wife Calista Gingrich.

The allegation was revealed by ABC’s Brian Ross on “Morning Majority,” a radio show on WMAL in Washington, D.C. The interview, set to air on Thursday night, could perhaps have an immediate impact on the contest for the Republican presidential nomination.
Gingrich is not denying the charge:
Newt Gingrich sought an "open marriage," his former wife, Marianne, told ABC News in an interview airing tonight.

Marianne Gingrich told ABC's Nightline that the former House speaker asked her if he could remain married to her while also seeing another woman, Callista Bisek, his current wife.

Marianne Gingrich added that she doesn't think Gingrich has the moral character to be president.

Before excerpts were released, Gingrich dismissed the interview airing tonight as an old story that isn't particularly newsworthy.

The former House speaker told NBC's Today show this morning: "I'm not going to say anything negative. I think the people who have known me a long time are credible on my character."
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Best-Paid Pastors Make Hundreds Of Thousands To Millions Of Dollars Annually

This is disgusting. Like eveything else in America, religion is big business:

Even before the recession, most spiritual leaders of small towns and big cities across the United States earned meager salaries, with annual pay for Catholic priests and imams ranging from $25,000 to $30,000 and the average Protestant pastor making $40,000 a year, according to a recent survey.

Yet, even in difficult times, some churches and pastors are soaring. While not a definite guide nor complete, HuffPost Religion has has compiled a slideshow of some of the best-paid pastors in America. For several, their high income comes not only from employment as pastors, but also from TV appearances, book sales and charity management.
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Video: Markos Moulitsas "Embarassed" by the Democrats' Support for SOPA, PIPA

The founder of Daily KOS shows honesty that is rare coming from the pro-Democrat press. He decries the fact that it's Democrats in Congress that are still fighting for SOPA when the Republicans are running away from the issue. It's all that Hollywood money. That's all they care about.

'Current TV' Video Link

Bank of America reverses loss and earns $2 billion

You see. The banking fees weren't needed. You made a profit anyway.

Bank of America made $2 billion in the last three months of last year, reversing a loss from a year earlier. It offset legal expenses over mortgages and losses in its investment banking business by selling debt and its stake in a Chinese bank.

[...]Bank of America, one of the largest credit card issuers, said customers who paid bills a month late declined for the 11th consecutive quarter. New credit card accounts also grew 53 percent, and the division posted a profit of $1 billion.

Already dealing with an image problem after the 2008 financial crisis, Bank of America caused an uproar last fall when it announced a $5 monthly fee for its debit cards. The bank quickly backed off.

Banks have been raising all types of customer fees. They say they need to make up lost revenue because a federal law that took effect last year caps what banks can charge stores for purchases paid for with the swipe of a debit card.
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Santorum edged Romney in Iowa, final tally shows

It is irrelevant. The Iowa Caucus is not a winner take all. It will have no impact since Santorum way behind in South Carolina. But it will matter to the media. They'll make a big deal out of it. It fits with the current trend lately of the press' piling on Romney as they did with the other frontrunner candidates. In the end, Romney will still be the nominee:

Republican officials say the final count of the Iowa caucuses puts Rick Santorum ahead of Mitt Romney by 34 votes, but no winner will be declared because votes from eight precincts are missing.

Romney, the front-runner in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, initially had been considered the winner by 8 votes in the event's closest finish ever.

Iowa Republicans are to announce the tally Thursday morning.

Republican officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to pre-empt the announcement , said Santorum would end up with 29,839 votes to Romney's 29,805.

News Corp. Admitted Phone Hacking Cover-Up, Hacking Victims Say

So why isn't Murdoch being prosecuted:

The British newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has acknowledged to victims that executives covered up the scale of illegal activity by destroying evidence and lying to investigators, victims' lawyers said on Thursday.

In a statement that could further damage the company's reputation, lawyers for victims who have reached settlements said the agreements were based on News Group Newspapers acknowledging senior executives tried to hide evidence.

"News Group has agreed to compensation being assessed on the basis that senior employees and directors of NGN knew about the wrongdoing and sought to conceal it by deliberately deceiving investigators and destroying evidence," the statement said.

The lawyers issued the statement on Thursday as they prepared to tell a judge in a London court that many of the most high-profile victims - who include sports stars, actors and politicians - were ready to settle their claims.

The court was told that 19 of the first 26 cases have entered into formal settlement agreements.
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