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Friday, June 29, 2012

Another President Obama Solar Firm goes Bankrupt Fed energy loan $400 million

WASHINGTON - A Colorado-based solar panel maker that received a $400 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration said Thursday it will file for bankruptcy, the latest setback for an industry battered by the recession and stiff competition from companies in China.
Abound Solar of Loveland, Colo., said it will suspend operations next week, after talks with potential buyers broke down. The company received about $70 million from the Energy Department before officials froze its credit line last year.
Abound is the third clean-energy company to seek bankruptcy protection after receiving a loan from the Energy Department under the economic stimulus law. California solar panel maker Solyndra and Beacon Power, a Massachusetts energy-storage firm, declared bankruptcy last year. Solyndra received a $528 million federal loan, while Beacon Power got a $43 million loan guarantee.
Abound said about 125 workers will be laid off.
Abound received the federal loan guarantee in 2010 to expand a plant in Longmont, Colo., and build a new plant in Tipton, Ind., promising to create more than 1,200 jobs.
But the company ran into difficulties when the price of solar panels collapsed, leading the Energy Department to suspend its line of credit in September 2011 - the same month Solyndra declared bankruptcy.
Abound cut its workforce by about 70 percent in February, firing about 180 full-time workers and 100 part-time employees.

Election 2012 Starts

List of Laws Passed during President Obama Term

President Obama Health-Reform 21 New Taxes for "America"

Fox Business News

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court upheld the president’s signature health-care reform in a 5-4 decision. The court ruled the most controversial aspect of the law, the individual mandate, as constitutional, labeling it a tax and within lawmakers’ power.

So now that the legal uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act has been eliminated, it’s time to delve into the tax implications and when they go into effect.

Refundable tax credit: This is intended to be a form of assistance with the cost of premiums paid under a qualified health plan. Eligible individual’s incomes must exceed 100% but not more than 400% of the poverty level. The Treasury Department is tasked with prescribing rules for calculating the poverty level. Dependents aren’t eligible, and if married, you must file jointly otherwise you don’t qualify. This credit takes effect after Dec. 31, 2013.

Excise tax:  This 2.3% tax on manufacturers, producers or importers on the sold price of a medical device is intended to help cover the cost of the sweeping legislation, but some experts worry it will create more paperwork and increase the costs of the goods. The tax goes into effect after Dec. 31, 2012.

Affordable choices of health benefit plans:  Employers will be required to provide at least minimal benefits via a health plan to their employees , and additional benefits will be provided to individuals. In order to pay for the requirements, the federal government will make payments to states to set up exchanges. Then the states must make payments to plans on behalf of individuals to defray the cost of the additional benefits. There will be a reporting requirement from the states to the Secretary of the Treasury. A list of all taxpayers who qualify for the premium tax credit generated by plans that don’t provide essential minimum coverage or are not affordable will be provided to the Feds. This is a fail-safe to prevent fraud under the refundable tax credit listed above.

Reduction in deductibles: Individuals with incomes between 100% and 400% of the poverty level will enjoy reductions to their out-of-pocket health-care expenses by two-thirds, one-half, or one-third, depending on their income. These tax breaks go into effect after Dec. 31, 2013.

Small business requirement:  The reform requires small business owners with more than 50 employees provide health insurance or face an “assessable payment” equal to one-twelfth of $2,000 times the number of full-time employees. Employers must also file a return documenting whether or not they have complied. Small business must be in compliance or face the fine beginning after December 31, 2013.

Patient-centered outcomes research trust fund: This organization was created to review pharmaceutical medicines to determine if they have sufficient quality and are relevant to patients’ needs.   Funding for the organization will come from a $2 fee imposed on each health insurance policy or self-insured plan whose plan year ends after Sept. 30, 2012. The fee is then multiplied by the average number of participants covered in the plan, and will extend to Sept. 30, 2019.

More fees and excise taxes: According to a report generated by the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA), a whopping “40% excise tax will be imposed on high-cost, employer-sponsored coverage if the value of coverage exceeds $10,200 (self-only) or $27,500 (not self-only),” to be paid by the coverage provider. The tax on distributions from Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts for payment of unqualified medical expenses increased to 20% from 10% prior to 2011. A hospital insurance tax of 0.9% will be levied on high-income taxpayers ($250,000 married filing joint, or $125,000 single) effective after Dec. 31, 2012.

Beginning in 2013 the deduction for expenses allocable to Medicare Part D will be eliminated. Also the threshold for deducting medical expenses will increase to 10% from 7.5% of adjusted gross income. So if your medical expenses total $10,000 and your adjusted gross income is $100,000, your medical deduction will be zero. Prior to 2013 you would have enjoyed a $2,500 tax deduction.

Friday, June 22, 2012

GAY Activists flipping bird to Reagan portrait at White House

Two guests of the White House invited to a reception Friday to mark gay pride month were photographed giving the middle finger below Reagan's portrait.

Last Friday, an attaché of important gay people from Philadelphia made a trip to Washington D.C. as invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception. There, they danced to the sounds of a Marine Corps band; they dined on crab cakes and canapés; they hand-delivered letters from concerned citizens like this 18-year old who has had four people close to him gunned down, and noted rhyming raconteur CA Conrad; and some of them took advantage of photo opportunities to give the late President Ronald Reagan the middle finger.

“It’s not a gesture that I would use in the White House when representing our city and our community,” opines Philadelphia Gay News publisher Mark Segal (center), who opted for a sarcastic thumbs-up pose in front of the portrait of George W. Bush over the more vulgar one demonstrated by his Reagan-loathing peers, Matthew “Matty” Hart (left), and self-taught photographer turned toast-of-the-town Zoe Strauss (right).

“I have friends who work in that building,” Segal explains. “I’m not going to do something that could embarrass them or that could somehow damage a campaign that is so important. ‘Be on your best behavior,’ my staff told me.’ I think they know me too well.”

This wasn’t Segal’s first trip to the White House, having twice visited during Bill Clinton’s gay-friendly tenure. “One of the things on my bucket list was to dance with my boyfriend at the White House,” remarks Segal.”And this is the second time I got to do it. We come up to the main foyer, and what do they play? Barbra Streisand. ‘The Way We Were.’ And I thought, Are they going to play nothing but Barbra, Bette and Lady Gaga? I was waiting for ‘Over the Rainbow.’ I mean, this is the Marine band!” Clearly, Segal, a dedicated activist but also an astute political hobnobber, wants to be invited back.

But his counterparts couldn’t seem to care less. Hart posted his photo on Facebook with the caption, “Fuck Reagan.” Strauss simply posted hers without commentary. After all, the murderous facial expression and double-barreled bird-flipping seem to speak for themselves. Comments ranged from “you forgot to add with a chainsaw” on Hart’s “Fuck Reagan” note, to my personal favorite, “star wars … up yours,” on Strauss’s.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CBO Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees

How does the compensation of federal civilian employees compare with that of employees in the private sector?

Employees of the federal government and the private sector differ in ways that can affect compensation. Federal workers tend to be older, more educated, and more concentrated in professional occupations than private-sector workers.

CBO's study compares federal civilian employees and private-sector employees with certain similar observable characteristics (described below). Even among workers with similar observable characteristics, however, employees of the federal government and the private sector may differ in other attributes, such as motivation or effort, that are not easy to measure but that can matter a great deal for individuals' compensation. This analysis focuses on wages, benefits, and total compensation between 2005 and 2010.


Differences in wages between federal employees and similar private-sector employees in the 2005-2010 period varied widely depending on the employees' level of education.

Federal civilian workers with no more than a high school education earned about 21 percent more, on average, than similar workers in the private sector.

Workers whose highest level of education was a bachelor's degree earned roughly the same hourly wages, on average, in both the federal government and the private sector.

Federal workers with a professional degree or doctorate earned about 23 percent less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts.

Overall, the federal government paid 2 percent more in total wages than it would have if average wages had been comparable with those in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.


The cost of providing benefits—including health insurance, retirement benefits, and paid vacation—differed more for federal and private-sector employees than wages did, but measuring benefits was also more uncertain.

Average benefits for federal workers with no more than a high school diploma were 72 percent higher than for their private-sector counterparts.

Average benefits for federal workers whose education ended in a bachelor's degree were 46 percent higher than for similar workers in the private sector.

Workers with a professional degree or doctorate received roughly the same level of average benefits in both sectors.

On average, the benefits earned by federal civilian employees cost 48 percent more than the benefits earned by private-sector employees with certain similar observable characteristics.

Total Compensation

Differences in total compensation—the sum of wages and benefits—between federal and private-sector employees also varied according to workers' education level.

Federal civilian employees with no more than a high school education averaged 36 percent higher total compensation than similar private-sector employees.

Federal workers whose education culminated in a bachelor's degree averaged 15 percent higher total compensation than their private-sector counterparts.

Federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate received 18 percent lower total compensation than their private-sector counterparts, on average.

Overall, the federal government paid 16 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.


CBO's analysis compared federal civilian employees with private-sector employees who resembled them in the following observable characteristics:

Level of education,

Years of work experience,


Employer's size,

Geographic location (region of the country and urban or rural location), and

Demographic characteristics (age, sex, race, ethnicity, marital status, immigration status, and citizenship).

Further Reading

This study presents an overview of CBO's findings. More-technical explanations of CBO's methodology, including a discussion of the ways in which CBO's methods differ from those of other major studies, are presented in CBO working papers on wages and on benefits.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

China imposes tariff on U.S chicken imports

No comment from our U.S President

Change we can all believe in "Witness the November Storm 2010"

A new video chronicling how Americans feel and what they should do about it in November is out today. However, this video doesn't come from any large organization but, instead, it comes from a small business owner and conservative activist.

For more information and some thoughts on this video check out this post at the Eyeblast blog.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stimulus didn't save the nation from depression

The worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression hurt more than half of Americans

Life during the Great Depression – Lessons Learned

First-hand recollections of life during the Great Depression must not be disregarded. Those “children’s” voices now plead with us to recognize the symptoms of an economic CRASH and to react in time.

“Don’t spend money you don’t already have in your pocket.”

“Don’t pay someone else to provide something that you can learn to do or to make yourself.”

Abandonment of traditional values and frugality. “Never buy anything you can use – only what you can’t live without.”

Self-Indulgence and self-gratification by immediate acquisition of possessions. “Don’t buy anything until you have twice the purchase amount.”

High Expectations by gambling in the stock market. “It’s doesn’t matter how much money you can make, but how much money you can save!”


Son of Robert Kennedy speaks out against Ayers on emeritus status

Famed Obama 'Hope' poster artist losing hope

Fairey, who at 40 is no kid himself, said it's easy to see why young voters are down on Obama and the Democrats. He lamented that health care reform was watered down, Tea Party activists have been emboldened, and his man has fallen short on bold campaign promises like closing Guantanamo Bay.

Russian diplomat warns North and South Korea on the brink of war

Monday, September 20, 2010

U.S Goverment looking to china and others to invest in GM

The U.S. Treasury loaned GM about $50 billion to help it through bankruptcy protection last year. GM has repaid $6.7 billion. The rest of the bailout money was converted to a 61 percent government stake in the company. The government hopes to get the remaining $43 billion back with stock sales that could start in mid-November.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Little fan fare from news outlets on our 5,000 new U.S citizens at Fenway Park

Nice too see our new citizens who worked so hard to be apart of the American Dream, get there dream without the Goverment Having to change the Immgartion Laws.

The new citizens came from 151 countries, from Afghanistan to the United Kingdom.

“I’m so proud, so excited,’’ the newly christened Abraham-Lincoln said. “I see this as a door, an opportunity, a gateway to become someone I want to be, and something I can transfer to my children and grandchildren. This is such a great opportunity, and now I have a say in what happens here.’’

“This means freedom to me,’’ he said. “Also, if I go to Arizona now, I know I’m going to be OK,’’ he said, referring to that state’s controversial new law authorizing police to check whether someone they stop is legally in the country.

Raymond L. Flynn, former mayor of Boston, whose son-in-law was sworn in, having moved to the United States from Ireland 12 years ago. He said his son-in-law, Gerard O’Doherty, probably knows more about US history than he did after studying for the citizenship test.

“He has been looking forward to this day for a long time,’’ said Flynn, noting the process became more difficult after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Katyalina Barbosa moved to Leominster from Brazil 12 years ago and said she became a citizen as quickly as she could. The 31-year-old mother of two said she hopes to give her children more opportunities.

“This just gave us a lot more security,’’ she said. “It’s like I have achieved something I’ve been awaiting for a long time. It’s a great feeling to be 100 percent American.’’
Boston News Story

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Consumer Reports