According to Arizona based consultant Ben Jones, countries like China and Canada could be in for a housing market correction that could shake the globe.
Budget cutting in Congress could lead to the elimination of the low income housing tax credit.
No Criminal Charges Filed by Justice Department after $1.2 Billion Stolen from MF Global Investors, but It is Prosecuting Woman Who Alledgedly Harassed Whales
Did you know the Department of Justice has the whale police? I didn’t until I read this story called “Corzine Steals Billions Sans Charges, Errant Whale Watcher Faces Prison.” Instead of prosecuting the people who stole money from MF Global investors or the people in the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Tobacco who approved and carried out the Fast & Furious plan to violate federal criminal law and sell guns to the Mexican drug cartels, the DOJ is wasting taxpayer dollars prosecuting a woman investigated for harassing whales. Yes, really.
“marine biologist and whale watching ship captain Nancy Black faces 20 years in prison, not for ‘harassing’ whales (which believe it or not is a crime), but because she has been charged with lying to Justice Department prosecutors investing allegations that some of her crew members whistled at a whale to keep it hanging around their boats. . . . Section 1001 charges are both entirely discretionary and subsidiary to any primary charges, making every indictment an act of selective prosecution. In fact, Section 1001 prosecutions are so selective that primary charges are not even necessary, meaning you can go to jail even if there is no underlying crime. Ask Martha Stewart about that.”
Title 18, Section 1001(a) of the United States Code states:
“whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”
The reference above to Martha Stewart refers to the fact she was investigated for possible insider trading, but was never charged with that crime. Instead, she was charged and convicted of the felony of lying to federal agents.
cnn.com: In this video, CNN reveals that workplace bullying may be on the rise. 27% of US workers have felt bullied in the workplace. The rise may be due to the belief by workers that there are no other good jobs available to them. Commentators express that in an environment where people feel overwhelming stress and fear, it is only “inevitable” that some may resort to violence.
reuters.com: The latest in the pink slime controversy: In an ironic twist, the producers of “pink slime,” the filler material used for hamburgers and other fast foods, is likely one reason that lobbying efforts in the agribusiness industry were handsomely rewarded with $123.8 million in 2011 (according to opensecrets.org). Apparently, the money that could be spent to improve the quality of Americans’ food and proportionately lower our health care premiums is spent to hide the ingredients in certain foods. One producer has already declared bankruptcy, which means that it may be judgment proof by the time consumers become aware that they may have potential claims against the manufacturers based on possible health complications caused by the
Huffingtonpost.com: The goal of every taxpayer should be to “get as close to zero as possible,” Bell says. “The wisdom is that every time you’re getting a refund, you’ve really giving the government a loan. I personally try to owe Uncle Sam just a little money; under $100 is my personal goal. That way, I know for sure they got my return when my check clears.”
To read more about what accountants do that you’ll want to do next year, once this year’s tax headache is over, click here.
It was big news last week when prosecutors charged George Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. But Zimmerman could walk free if a judge decides his actions fall under Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which gives broad leeway to people to shoot in self-defense. There is no way to undo what happened in the Zimmerman-Martin encounter, but some good can still come of it: it could lead states to repeal their misguided “stand your ground” laws.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
cnn.com: A ruling is expected in a race discrimination class-action in Iowa based on an update from cnn.com:
The plaintiffs’ attorneys say the discrimination is not necessarily a result of overt racism. They say the discriminatory hiring was often the result of implicit bias – an unconscious preference of the mostly white hiring officials for white applicants over black applicants.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs faced a key obstacle – proving the existence of something that white people might not be able to see. They had to show that discrimination might take place, even if it’s not intentional.
In an interesting subplot, the judge who certified the class action declined to remove the representative after she was convicted of embezzling $43,000 from an employer. His reasoning: It occurred after the alleged discrimination happened. We question whether the prospective employers may make a case for an instinctive, “gut-level” reaction to that particular plaintiff.
forbes.com: According to the latest from Forbes, Fox news employee who provided material to the Gawker to expose the “seedy underbelly” (not our choice of words) of Fox news may have more than a civil lawsuit on his hands. According to New York state law, he may have committed a crime. Fox News says he’s now at the mercy of law enforcement personnel though Fox News no doubt plans to vigorously pursue claims against him, if for no other reason than to make sure that no future employee has the same bright idea.
http://directorsblog.health.azdhs.gov: From the Arizona Department of Health blog, the Arizona Governor has signed HB 2036. The full text is here. Notable provisions include but are not limited to the requirement that for any facility where abortions are performed, the facility must conspicuously post signs outside and inside, where visible to patients, that it is unlawful for a woman to be forced to have an abortion. Another notable is that no contract may require a woman to have an abortion.