Santa Clara University

SCU in the News (Feb.10, 2011- Feb. 23, 2011)

SCU in the News (Feb.10, 2011- Feb. 23, 2011)

Report Overview:
Total Clips (170)
Other (170)


Headline Date Outlet Links

Other (170)
Social Networking Can Make Private Info Too Public 02/23/2011 KTVU-TV - Online Text View Clip
Reforming the Criminal Defense System 02/23/2011 National Center For Policy Analysis Text View Clip
Pushing for Diversity as a Benchmark in "US News" Rankings 02/22/2011 Legal Intelligencer, The Text View Clip
Midterm elections shift chairmanship of House's immigration committee from Zoe Lofgren to Elton Gallegly 02/22/2011 Los Angeles Daily News - Online Text View Clip
This Ain't Your Father's Internship! 02/22/2011 About.com: Markets Text View Clip
Another round in the patent wars 02/22/2011 EDN.com Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP - Yahoo! News [del.icio.us] 02/21/2011 Yahoo! Tech Blogs Text View Clip
Analysis: Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/21/2011 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Online Text View Clip
Why we are such irrational investors 02/21/2011 Toronto Star Text
Top 5: Graduate business programs 02/21/2011 Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal - Online Text View Clip
Top 5: Graduate business programs 02/21/2011 Business Review - Online Text View Clip
San Dimas man chronicles his brother's descent into alcoholism and eventual death 02/21/2011 San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Roseman: Why we're such irrational investors 02/21/2011 Moneyville Text View Clip
Is it better to let dictators retire in peace? 02/21/2011 New Statesman Text View Clip
Midterm elections shift chairmanship of House's immigration committee from Zoe Lofgren to Elton Gallegly 02/21/2011 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
Google One Pass Undercuts Apple Subscription Plan 02/21/2011 EWeek Europe Text View Clip
BEFORE WE GET STARTED, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR CO-SPONSORS IN THIS EVENT, THE PALO ALTO BAR ASSOCIATION AND OUR HOST, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW. 02/21/2011 C-SPAN Text
Gig Harbor leader's double duty 02/20/2011 News Tribune - Online Text View Clip
DOUBLE DUTY 02/20/2011 News Tribune - Online Text View Clip
DOUBLE DUTY 02/20/2011 News Tribune Text
IPOs by LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others could alter venture capital landscape 02/20/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
IPOs by LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others could alter venture capital landscape 02/20/2011 American Chronicle Text View Clip
Mid-term election means a different tact on immigration committee 02/20/2011 Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online Text View Clip
Is GOP creating or destroying jobs? 02/20/2011 Grand Rapids Press Text
House immigration panel shift highlights large divide 02/20/2011 Record - Online, The Text View Clip
Website lets customers do the designing 02/20/2011 San Francisco Chronicle - Online Text View Clip
WILL SOCIAL MEDIA BE VC FIRMS' RESCUER? 02/20/2011 San Jose Mercury News Text
Apple Sued Over iPhone Data Privacy 02/20/2011 InformationWeek - Online Text View Clip
Apple In-App Subscription Conflict Raises Antitrust Ghosts 02/20/2011 NewsGang Text View Clip
Apple could face investigation over 'unlawful payment collections for apps' 02/19/2011 Mail Online UK Text View Clip
AP Assaults Boehner With the 'Mainstream Economists' Ploy 02/19/2011 Newsbusters Text View Clip
DEMOCRATS TURN 'WHERE ARE THE JOBS?' CHANT ON GOP 02/19/2011 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Text
Was first mission really in Mission? 02/19/2011 San Francisco Chronicle Text
Two violins and one viola take on Dvorak, Kodaly, Mozart and Prokofiev 02/19/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Gery Chico runs for mayor on his City Hall, business credentials 02/19/2011 Los Angeles Times - Online Text View Clip
CrimProf Blog: Graham on Sentencing, Crack and Meth 02/19/2011 Environmental Law Professors Text View Clip
Dems turn job-killing claims on GOP 02/18/2011 North County Times - Online Text View Clip
FTC looking into Apple subscription terms, while first publishers get on board 02/18/2011 AppleInsider Text View Clip
IS DIGITAL SIGNAGE AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION MEDIUM ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES? 02/18/2011 AV Technology - Online Text View Clip
Mills students join interfaith dialogue at UC Berkeley conference 02/18/2011 Mills College Campanil Text View Clip
The Apple of Antitrust Enforcers' Eyes - Law Blog - WSJ 02/18/2011 Law Blog - Wall Street Journal Blogs Text View Clip
Report: DOJ Eyeing Apple for Antitrust Violations 02/18/2011 DailyTech.com Text View Clip
Political Briefs 02/18/2011 Worcester Telegram & Gazette - Online Text View Clip
Political Briefs 02/18/2011 Worcester Telegram & Gazette Text
Microsoft won't pursue keyword trade mark users in US 02/18/2011 The Register Text View Clip
Microsoft will not pursue keyword trade mark users in US 02/18/2011 Law.com Text View Clip
Making sense of science: introducing the Google Science Communication Fellows 02/18/2011 Silicon Alley Insider Text View Clip
Unprecedented domain seizure shutters 84,000 sites 02/18/2011 The Register Text View Clip
Visual Effects & Animation: A Pair Of Wild Rides: One To A Party, The Other To The Past 02/18/2011 SHOOT Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/18/2011 Seattle Post-Intelligencer Text View Clip
Apple's New Subscription Plan Draws Interest of Federal Antitrust Officials 02/18/2011 TMCnet.com Text View Clip
Apple draws interest of antitrust regulators 02/18/2011 Ilounge Text View Clip
Dems ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?' 02/17/2011 Real Clear Politics Blog, The Text View Clip
Democrats Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On Republicans 02/17/2011 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP budget-cutters, say thousands will lose work 02/17/2011 Chicago Tribune - Online Text View Clip
Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on Republicans budget-cutters, say thousands lose work 02/17/2011 Guardian, The Text View Clip
Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on Republicans budget-cutters, say thousands lose work 02/17/2011 CIWW-AM (1310 News) Text View Clip
Dems ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?' 02/17/2011 Associated Press (AP) Text
Dems ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?' 02/17/2011 MSN Money Canada Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Post-Standard - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 OregonLive.com Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Salon.com Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 KWTV-TV - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 KSLA-TV - Online Text View Clip
Democrats Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP 02/17/2011 KPRC-TV - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Miami Herald - Online, The Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Forbes - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 CNBC - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Boston Globe - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Vida En El Valle Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' c... 02/17/2011 St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Online Text View Clip
'Where are the Jobs?' Talk Aimed at GOP 02/17/2011 Time - Online Text View Clip
US Democrats ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?' 02/17/2011 TheStar.com.my Text View Clip
Subscriptions put Apple in antitrust spotlight again (report) | VentureBeat 02/17/2011 VentureBeat Text View Clip
Subscriptions Put Apple in Antitrust Spotlight Again (Report) 02/17/2011 New York Times - Online, The Text View Clip
'So be it': GOP admits cuts in government spending will cost jobs 02/17/2011 WPEC-TV - Online Text View Clip
Regulators Eye Apple Anew 02/17/2011 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
Now It's Dems' Turn To Ask 'Where Are The Jobs?' 02/17/2011 KJCT-TV - Online Text View Clip
Now It's Dems' Turn To Ask 'Where Are The Jobs?' 02/17/2011 KTVM-TV - Online Text View Clip
Now It's Dems' Turn To Ask 'Where Are The Jobs?' 02/17/2011 WFTV-TV - Online Text View Clip
Interior plan bans mining claims near Grand Canyon 02/17/2011 WXVT-TV Text View Clip
In his run, Chico trusts roots 02/17/2011 Chicago Tribune Text
GOP's Slippery Slope: Create Jobs And Cut Federal Jobs At Same Time 02/17/2011 WMAL-AM - Online Text View Clip
Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on Republicans budget-cutters, say thousands lose work 02/17/2011 CJNI-FM (News 97.5) - Online Text View Clip
Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Today Show - NBC News Network - Online Text View Clip
Dems Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP 02/17/2011 KTVU-TV - Online Text View Clip
Dems Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP 02/17/2011 KGTV-TV - Online Text View Clip
Dems Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP 02/17/2011 KMGH-TV - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Prime Time Newspapers Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Republican - Online, The Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Journal Gazette - Online Bureau, The Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Livingston County Daily Press and Argus Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 FOXNews.com Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Express-Times -- New Jersey Edition, The Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Edge Gay Media Network Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Denver Post - Online, The Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 AARP.org Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Business Journal - Online, The Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Yahoo! Finance Australia Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Washington Post - Online Text View Clip
Democrats Turn 'Where Are the Jobs?' Chant on GOP 02/17/2011 U.S. News & World Report Text View Clip
Democrats turn jobs chant on GOP 02/17/2011 WISH-TV - Online Text View Clip
Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP 02/17/2011 Boston Herald - Online Text View Clip
Democrats put Republicans on the spot over jobs pledge 02/17/2011 CHINAdaily Text View Clip
Monaco Prince, Blogger Trade Charges 02/16/2011 Wall Street Journal Text View Clip
Google Announces 2011 Science Communication Fellows: Some Key Questions I Will Be Examining | Age of Engagement | Big Think 02/16/2011 Big Think Text View Clip
International - Trademarks give Microsoft a smash-and-grab shot at Google search revenue 02/16/2011 World Trademark Review - Online Text View Clip
Why whole grains are everywhere - except on the dinner table. Perhaps because you need a math degree to eat well. BY BETH TEITELL GLOBE STAFF 02/16/2011 Boston Globe Text
Rose Zimmerman: Fil-Am City Attorney for Daly City 02/16/2011 Asian Journal - Online Text View Clip
Some Key Questions I Will Be Examining as Part of the Google Science Communication Fellows Program | Age of Engagement | Big Think 02/16/2011 Big Think Text View Clip
This Ain't Your Father's Internship! 02/16/2011 Morningstar.com Text View Clip
This Ain't Your Father's Internship! 02/16/2011 Bradenton Herald - Online Text View Clip
This Ain't Your Father's Internship! 02/16/2011 Centre Daily Times Text View Clip
Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn 02/16/2011 Vancouver Sun - Online, The Text View Clip
Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn 02/16/2011 Canada.com Text View Clip
Are You Truly Beating the Market? Your PRR Will Tell | MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice 02/15/2011 MintLife blog Text View Clip
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 Tri-Valley Herald Text
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 San Mateo County Times Text
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 San Jose Mercury News - Online Text View Clip
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 Oakland Tribune Text
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 Argus, The Text
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 Alameda Times-Star Text
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 Daily Review, The Text
Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant 02/15/2011 InsideBayArea.com Text View Clip
Apple sent Tim Cook to China after suicides at Foxconn 02/15/2011 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Online Text View Clip
'Fair' is in the eye of the beholder 02/15/2011 Newsday Text
Advice overload 02/15/2011 Boston Globe - Online Text View Clip
Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn 02/15/2011 Bellingham Herald Text View Clip
Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn 02/15/2011 Knoxville News-Sentinel, The Text View Clip
APPLE EYES WORK CONDITIONS 02/15/2011 San Jose Mercury News Text
Why whole grains are everywhere but the dinner table. 02/15/2011 Boston Globe - Online Text View Clip
Got nutrition fatigue? 02/15/2011 Boston Globe - Online Text View Clip
Looking for 'fair' pension reform 02/15/2011 Newsday - Online Text View Clip
Research Reports on Biochemistry from Santa Clara University, Department of Electrical Engineering Provide New Insights 02/15/2011 Science Letter Text
Research Reports on Biochemistry from Santa Clara University, Department of Electrical Engineering Provide New Insights 02/15/2011 Life Science Weekly Text
Official Google Blog: Making sense of science: introducing the Google Science Communication Fellows 02/15/2011 Google Blog Text View Clip
Critics miss deeper truth of a fully human Jesus Christ 02/14/2011 National Catholic Reporter Online Text View Clip
Why telomeres can motivate us to exercise, meditate, and manage stress. 02/14/2011 Psychology Today - Online Text View Clip
Bahraini officials in Phoenix for trade talks 02/14/2011 TucsonCitizen.com Text View Clip
Bahraini officials in Phoenix for trade talks 02/14/2011 AZCentral.com Text View Clip
Bahraini officials in Phoenix for trade talks 02/14/2011 Arizona Republic - Online Text View Clip
Hansel: 'Cars are in our blood' 02/13/2011 Press Democrat - Online Text View Clip
Letters: After the fall of Mubarak, what next for Egypt? 02/13/2011 Guardian.co.uk Text View Clip
Spokeo comes under fire for revealing personal information 02/12/2011 ABC 7 Morning News at 5 AM - KGO-TV Text View Clip
Spokeo comes under fire for revealing personal information 02/12/2011 ABC Local - Online Text View Clip
There's Not an App for That? 02/12/2011 Catholic Register - Online Text View Clip
The Scroller by Peter Kavanagh 02/12/2011 Catholic Register - Online Text View Clip
Daniel Morel reacts to World Press Photo wins 02/12/2011 British Journal of Photography Text View Clip
Preseason injuries mounting for D.C. United 02/12/2011 New England Cable News - Online Text View Clip
ERIC GOLDMAN IS DIRECTOR OF THE HI-TECH LAW INSTITUTE OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 02/12/2011 ABC 7 Morning News at 5 AM - KGO-TV Text
What does a processor do? 02/11/2011 Green Sheet - Online, The Text View Clip
San Francisco city workers flout moonlighting rules 02/11/2011 San Francisco Examiner - Online Text View Clip
Leon Panetta | PERSON 02/11/2011 RoadRunner Text View Clip
Is Google's copying complaint fair or hypocritical? 02/11/2011 Australian PC World Text View Clip
China Rate Hikes: What They Really Mean for Gold 02/11/2011 Seeking Alpha Text View Clip
ERIC GOLDMAN IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE HIGH-TECH LAW INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. 02/11/2011 ABC 7 News at 11 PM - KGO-TV Text
WE SPOKE WITH A PROFESSOR AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND AN EXPERT ON EGYPT. 02/11/2011 NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV Text
Why numbers sometimes lie 02/10/2011 Daily Record - Online, The Text View Clip
Silicon Valley companies face minority hiring complaints 02/10/2011 KGO-TV Text View Clip
Silicon Valley companies face minority hiring complaints 02/10/2011 ABC Local - Online Text View Clip
San Jose Events 02/10/2011 Examiner.com Text View Clip
Salinas-area students weigh options for college 02/10/2011 Salinas Californian - Online, The Text View Clip
Emerging Leadership at COTR 02/10/2011 Golden Star Text View Clip
Press Release: PYO Gallery LA and Estrada Fine Art to Offer Art Appreciation Classes Beginning in February 02/10/2011 American Consumer News Text View Clip
Americans Are Delusional and Lack Willpower When It Comes to Spending 02/10/2011 Bank Systems & Technology Text View Clip
After appointments, PUC presidency still up in the air 02/10/2011 Capitol Weekly Text View Clip
A Tale of Two Celebrations 02/10/2011 Monterey County Weekly Text View Clip
STARTED BY TWO SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY BROTHERS WHO ARE THE SONS OF FORMER SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS HEAD COACH. 02/10/2011 Eye On The Bay - KPIX-TV Text
Is it just a question of habit? 01/24/2011 National Catholic Reporter Online Text View Clip


Social Networking Can Make Private Info Too Public | View Clip
02/23/2011
KTVU-TV - Online

BERKELEY, Calif. -- You may have no idea how much of your life and personal information is online. One Bay Area woman who considered herself cautious was shocked at how many details a thorough internet search found.

Tim King teaches a social media class at UC Berkeley. From his laptop in his living room, it didn't take long for King to dig up a wealth of information on Bay Area marketing coordinator Beryl Anderson using only her name and $85.

"The mission was to see what I could dig up," explained King. "These are screen grabs of all of her address information."

King had found intimate photos of Anderson with her husband and friends and much more.

Anderson was mortified when she learned how much information a complete stranger could unearth in a matter of hours on the internet.

"Oh my goodness. It even has my husband's distant family members on here and their ages," said Anderson.

KTVU showed Anderson the results which included her current cell phone number and a recent satellite photo of her home.

"You can even see the deck we put in," said Anderson. "It's all there."

Private information included her college GPA, her prior job at a local radio station, and the fact that she met her husband in high school.

"That definitely makes it a lot scarier," said Anderson. "It's not just a search result turning up public records. It's information people can easily connect dots about almost your whole back story."

King said the methods he used were not always the most obvious or direct.

"I have found a lot of info on her going through the side door," said King. "Going through her husband."

The information King found included details about Anderson's brother and sister in law and her two nephews.

"Knowing what you can know about them and their kids, that's very scary. Very scary," said Anderson.

A Gallup Poll released this month found a majority of Facebook and Google users surveyed said they were concerned about their privacy.

Assistant Professor of Sociology at Santa Clara University Laura Robinson posts very little online. She tells her students a cautionary tale.

"Email, social networking, IM, anytime there's an electronic record of anything, you have to assume it's going to be there," said Robinson. "My Facebook page is empty. If I don't want the world to see it, I don't put it in email."

KTVU met San Jose father Craig Voight while he was looking to buy a new gun.

Voight said last fall his handgun was stolen out of the trunk of his car. He suspects he was targeted because of photos he posted on Facebook.

Voight said minutes after he uploaded the images, he got an email alerting him someone did an online search for his personal information.

"I got this alert. Zabasphere hit: your name has been searched," said Voight.

The next morning he found his car broken into.

"The trunk was locked. I popped it open," remembered Voight. "The gun case, the gun, gone."

So what can you do to protect yourself from overexposure on the web? You can request to be removed from some database sites such as Spokeo.com, but there is no global opt out for the internet. Experts say that would likely require legislation.

One major part of Beryl Anderson's life was nowhere to be found in these six pages of personal information: her mother. She remains so cautious about the internet that she refuses to shop online.

"She's so very wary of the internet," said Anderson. "I would always give her a hard time about it. She's going to love this one."

This eye opening experience won't keep Anderson offline, but will keep her on guard.

Copyright 2011 by KTVU.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Reforming the Criminal Defense System | View Clip
02/23/2011
National Center For Policy Analysis

Proposals for improvement of the criminal defense system commonly stress the need for more resources and, somewhat less often, the importance of giving indigent defense providers legal independence from the government that funds them. Yet virtually every suggestion for reform takes for granted the feature of the current American system that is most problematic and least defensible -- the fact that the indigent defendant is never permitted to select the attorney who will represent him, say Stephen J. Schulhofer, Robert B. McKay professor of law at New York University School of Law, and David D. Friedman, professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law.

In violation of free-market principles that are honored almost everywhere else, the person who has the most at stake is allowed no say in choosing the professional who will provide him one of the most important services he will ever need.

The government's refusal to honor the defendant's own preferences is compounded by an acute conflict of interest: the official who selects his defense attorney is tied, directly or indirectly, to the same authority that is seeking to convict the defendant.

With pressure for reform rising and with unprecedented Justice Department interest in new initiatives, it would be a simple matter to institute a voucher plan on an experimental basis in a few federal districts. In particular, defense vouchers will improve the quality of legal representation for the poor. Better legal representation will, in turn, produce at least three benefits to the community, says Schulhofer and McKay:

Reduce the likelihood of mistakes -- that is, it will be less likely that innocent persons will be wrongfully convicted of crimes.

Minimize adverse consequences to the innocent persons who would have been acquitted under current systems of indigent defense.

Bring more complete information to the sentencing phase of the criminal justice system -- making it more likely that just punishments will be imposed on those who are guilty of committing criminal offenses.

Source: Stephen J. Schulhofer and David Friedman, "Reforming Indigent Defense: How Free Market Principles Can Help to Fix a Broken System," Cato Institute, September 1, 2010.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=12106

For study:

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa666.pdf

For more on Legal Issues:

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_Category=35

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Pushing for Diversity as a Benchmark in "US News" Rankings | View Clip
02/22/2011
Legal Intelligencer, The

David Koller Related Items Should diversity be a factor in the U.S. News & World Report rankings? The State Bar of California thinks so. Its Council on Access & Fairness essentially a think tank on diversity is finalizing a proposal that calls on U.S. News to adjust its formula so that diversity accounts for 15% of the overall law school rankings. U.S. News publishes a law school diversity index each year that measures the relative diversity of student bodies, but diversity is not a factor in the overall rankings. "The deans care dearly about where they rank," said Craig Holden, a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith and the chairman of the council, which is spearheading the proposal. "The rankings are a real driver for change everybody recognizes that and when you make diversity a sidebar rather than a component of the rankings, you're sidelining the issue." Making diversity a factor in the rankings would create a solid incentive for law school administrators to bolster their diversity efforts, Holden said. Law firms and legal clients have recognized the benefits of diversity among attorneys, but law schools need to do more to create a supply of minority lawyers, he said. For years critics have charged that the U.S. News rankings have a negative impact on diversity because of the weight placed on criteria such as median LSAT scores, since minorities on average score lower on standardized tests. The quest for students with high LSAT scores has also led schools to increase merit-based scholarships at the expense of need-based ones, researchers have found. However, devising a credible measure of diversity is easier said than done, said U.S. News director of data and research Bob Morse. He has yet to see the council's proposal, which is scheduled to be completed in the spring, but one of the problems that consistently crops up in diversity discussions is that there is no clear way to compare the diversity of a student body of a school in an ethically diverse state such as California to the diversity in a largely white state such as Kansas. "What benchmark do you use?" Morse said. "To us, that's not a little point. Should it be relative to the population of the state? How do you deal with private schools? Would the benchmark for UCLA and Michigan be the state they are in, or would it be national? It would be a very sophisticated analysis." But Holden said diversity can be measured in a credible way, and the council has spent several years considering possible methodologies. Its current proposal, which is being circulated among law school deans, other bar associations and bar examiners for feedback, involves changing the weights of all the existing rankings criteria. Under the current ranking formula, the "quality assessment" accounts for 40% of a school's score and is determined by peer reviews and surveys of judges and attorneys. Selectivity accounts for 25%, and is determined by median LSAT scores, median GPAs and acceptance rates. Placement success is 20% of the rankings, and includes graduate employment rates and bar passage rates. Finally, faculty resources such as per-student expenditures account for 15%. The council's proposal recommends reducing the weight of the quality assessment to 20%, and reducing the weight of selectivity to 20%, in part by lowering the weight of the median LSAT score. Placement success would remain at 20% while faculty recourses would increase to 20%. A new category of academic support for students would account for 5% of rankings. The biggest change, however, would be the addition of a new diversity category that would evaluate what schools are doing to promote diversity on campus. "Diversity assessments should not be limited to admissions and student body demographics," the proposal reads. "Instead, diversity should also be measured by the support and resources provided by the institution to foster an inclusive culture and climate in which students from diverse backgrounds can excel." Schools would be rated based on efforts such as participation in minority job fairs, involvement in pipeline programs and implementation of plans to increase faculty diversity. "We decided on weighing diversity at 15% because we didn't want it to be too high, but we didn't want it to receive short shrift," Holden said. "Fifteen percent seemed to be the sweet spot that everyone agreed on." There is a general consensus that diversity is important in law schools and the legal profession, but administrators might not welcome a more complicated U.S. News rankings formula, said Donald Polden, dean of Santa Clara University School of Law and one of the people who has seen the council's proposal. "I doubt that many will agree that we should add more variables in the already notoriously wonky [U.S. News] annual survey," Polden said. "I think that there would be concerns about the question of measuring student diversity since a significant part of it concerns geography schools in highly diverse population areas are more likely to be diverse. Some might argue that much depends on how you define 'diversity.' " Morse said he is willing to discuss the incorporation of diversity into the rankings but cautioned that past calls for the inclusion of diversity have not been accompanied by realistic ideas of how to make that happen. Moreover, there is still a question of whether diversity should be included in the rankings, given that the purpose of the rankings is to identify the best schools, he said. "Another part of the debate is to what degree diversity is linked to academic quality versus being an important social goal," Morse said. The California bar thinks its proposal is the right track, however. The State Bar Board of Governors endorsed the proposal earlier this month. "We believe there is a moral imperative here, as it relates to diversity," Holden said. "I'm optimistic that U.S. News wants to have a ranking system that serves the needs of its audience, and people want this type of information."

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Midterm elections shift chairmanship of House's immigration committee from Zoe Lofgren to Elton Gallegly | View Clip
02/22/2011
Los Angeles Daily News - Online

WASHINGTON D.C. - The upheaval of the 2010 midterm elections shifted the chairmanship of the House's immigration committee from Silicon Valley's Zoe Lofgren to Simi Valley's Elton Gallegly.

Although both representatives hail from the same state, the committee's direction will be strikingly different.

Under Gallegly, a Republican, the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel is likely to focus on enforcement issues - cracking down on immigrants illegally crossing the border, penalizing employers who hire undocumented immigrants and preserving jobs for American workers.

Gallegly has also been a strong proponent of a controversial plan to eliminate automatic citizenship for American-born children of undocumented immigrants.

Lofgren, a Democrat, focused on reforming the immigration system - reducing the backlog of citizenship applications, speeding up the visa process and offering citizenship to immigrant children.

The shift diminishes expectations that comprehensive immigration reform - once a top priority of President Obama - will be enacted in the current Congress.

It also highlights the enormous divide, both nationally and within California, over immigration.

In conservative-leaning Simi Valley, concerns over undocumented workers prompted the city council to mandate a system to check the immigration status of all new city workers. In Democratic-leaning Silicon Valley, where many high-tech firms employ foreign

workers, the San Jose Police Department recently affirmed the city's refusal to arrest residents solely based on their immigration status.

"Californians have passed some of the most restrictive anti-immigrant legislation - Propositions 187 and 227 - while also championing immigrant rights," said Roberto Gonzales, a professor of social welfare at the University of Washington. "As such, Californians see immigration as both a threat and benefit to (their) economy and culture."

California is a microcosm of the nation's debate over immigration. The state has 2.6 million illegal immigrants - more than 20 percent of the nation's total - according to a 2010 Pew Hispanic Center study.

Gallegly and Lofgren - both House veterans - have shared flights home to California during the 16 years they've been colleagues, and Lofgren described their relationship as "cordial and polite."

Nevertheless, they fundamentally disagree on immigration.

Gallegly was named one of "Top Ten Immigration Hawks" by Human Events magazine in 2006. He co-sponsored a bill making English the national language, and in 1996 wrote an amendment allowing states to deny public education to the children of illegal immigrants.

Lofgren, a former professor of immigration law at Santa Clara University, chaired the panel for three years under the Democratic majority. Her tenure brought media attention to the committee, especially during the testimony of television comedian Stephen Colbert who spoke of his one-day experience as a field worker.

"I am confident that we don't see the question of immigration reform in the same way," Lofgren said. "I think that primarily (the Republican leadership's) focus will be on increased enforcement... and I would say you're only enforcing the broken system."

Gallegly declined to be interviewed for this story.

The panel, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, is the hub of all immigration-related legislation in the House. Its members also include Californians Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, and Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles.

Gallegly's first two hearings focused on workplace enforcement. Recently the committee held a hearing about E-Verify, a computer program used by some employers to check the legal status of their employees, which Gallegly would like to see mandatory for all employers.

"I have long said that the way to solve the problem of illegal immigration is fairly simple," he said in a statement. "First, we must enforce our laws and secure the border. Second, we must remove the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. And finally, we must remove the benefits that make it easy for illegals to stay in this country."

In Washington, the transfer of power from Lofgren to Gallegly has pleased groups that advocate tough measures to stop illegal immigration.

"We're feeling very positive about his leadership," said Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"He has consistently supported policies about enforcing (existing laws) and consistently opposed granting amnesty to illegal aliens. We certainly expect that (he will) hold the administration accountable," Mehlman said.

Immigration advocates worry that the new Congress will focus on enforcement and chip away at Constitutional protections.

"The Republican leadership, which is now in charge of the House Immigration Subcommittee, had made it very clear what its priorities are: an enforcement-only approach and to deny U.S. citizenship to babies born in America based on their parents' immigration status," said Maria Machuca, communications director of the United Farm Workers of America.

The 14th Amendment guarantees the right of citizenship to all children born in the U.S., regardless of their parents' immigration status.

The 143-year-old law has become a hot-button issue in the last few months, with TV pundits like Fox News' Glenn Beck warning people about "anchor babies," his term for children of immigrants which stems from a belief that immigrant women use these children as "anchors" or a way to root themselves in the United States.

Gallegly wrote a bill in 2009 that would ensure citizenship only to children whose mothers are U.S. citizens.

Democrats do not believe that the law will be changed. That would involve amending the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote of Congress and approval by three-quarters of the states.

"The 14th amendment was the product of the most damaging war in American history and one of the major positive outcomes of that terrible fight," Lofgren said, describing the idea of amending it as "disturbing."

Bringing up the topic in this Congress, Lofgren said, "only has the capacity to spread division and animosity."

The committee's new direction stems in part from an ideological divide regarding the effect of illegal immigration on the economy.

California has more undocumented immigrants in the workforce than any other state, approximately 1.9 million according to the Pew study. It also has among the highest unemployment rates in the country at 12.5% in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gallegly believes that illegal immigrants are taking jobs Americans would hold.

"Millions of illegal immigrants hold jobs," he said in a statement at the committee's first hearing. "Even when low-skilled Americans can find jobs, their wages are depressed by illegal and other low-skilled immigration."

Lofgren believes that illegal immigrants take jobs Americans won't touch.

"Even though this is a very bad economy we have not seen Americans signing up to be migrant farm workers," she said. "And there are about three other jobs (held by Americans) dependent on that farm worker."

Lofgren does see some areas of compromise, such as fixing a law that makes it difficult for Americans in combat to file for permanent resident status for their immigrant spouses.

"It's hard when you're with your unit on some mountain in Afghanistan to file that paper," Lofgren explained. "It's something and therefore it's worth doing."

Lofgren introduced a measure, co-sponsored by Gallegly, which would provide an extension to the filing period. Asked whether this might be a good example of the two working together, a top aide to Gallegly was unfamiliar with the bill The two have also agreed on the issue of H-1B visas, which allow highly skilled immigrants to stay in the US. Both Gallegly and Lofgren have called for reform of the system while advocating the importance of highly skilled foreign workers.

Even without compromise, Lofgren believes that the minority will have some power.

"Certainly we haven't lost our vote or our voice and we plan to use both," she said.

The California News Service is a journalism project of the University of California Washington Center and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Contact the California News Service at CNS@ucdc.edu.

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This Ain't Your Father's Internship! | View Clip
02/22/2011
About.com: Markets

Santa Clara University business student Katherine King's first internship two years ago was with a well-known insurance company, where she worked on a single project, using procedures that had been tested and honed for years before she ever got there.

At her new internship, with a startup Internet advertising company, she sits steps away from the company's CEO and COO; has done market research to help them win new clients; and has helped the company document new procedures for various operations.

For King, a junior majoring in finance, it's a priceless lesson in how a fast-growing, high-energy Silicon Valley startup operates (complete with a Ping-Pong table in the break room). And she loves it.

“I feel like I'm really having an impact, and the people who started the company really care about how I'm doing,” she says.

With great success, Santa Clara University has been ramping up its startup-internship offerings for students like King. A dozen or so students each quarter take a business practicum course, where they are offered internships at startups of all kinds. The work includes everything from revamping websites, reviewing and shaping business plans to show to venture capitalists, to helping with strategies for growth or new clients.

Other students get internships through the university's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), sometimes by way of the university's entrepreneurship club, the Santa Clara Entrepreneurship Organization (SCEO).

The reaction from startups has been overwhelming. “We now have far more requests for startup interns than we have bodies to fill them,” said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of CIE.

To fix that, this year for the first time the CIE and SCEO have joined forces with the University's career center to offer a Startup Expo internship fair Feb. 22. Dozens of companies – some offering Internet coupons, others hosting online wine reviews, manufacturing lightweight solar panels, or gathering retail intelligence -- will be on hand to woo students to work for them in stints that can be paid or unpaid.

Employers are eager for the interns. “Every company needs that energy,” said George Sollman, chairman of Corticon Technologies, an enterprise-software startup that's hired two of its previous SCU interns as full-time employees.

For the interns, it's an opportunity to impress the right people in a short time frame. “At small companies you are really visible, and students who are strong and confident in their skill sets really blossom,” said Sollman.

Students who take internships at startups get a unique experience in many ways:

*Variety. Students often get exposed to every segment of the startup, from marketing to strategy to finance and sales.

*Visibility. At many companies, interns are one of fewer than a dozen employees, so the CEO and other top executives get to see them in action.

*Respect. With so few resources, startups greatly value the input of their interns.

*Full-time job opportunities.

Reporters are invited to attend the event or contact SCU for more information on startup internships.

WHAT: Startup Expo

WHEN: Feb. 22, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Benson Memorial Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

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Another round in the patent wars | View Clip
02/22/2011
EDN.com

Two of three Intellectual Ventures lawsuits target semiconductor companies.

Apparently the patent-infringement lawsuits recently filed by Intellectual Ventures (IV) were a surprise to no one in the patent market.

Even though this is the first time that the company -- which has raised billions of dollars and amassed some 30,000 patents since it was launched a decade ago by former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold -- has gone to court to assert its patents, many people in the industry felt that the other shoe had finally dropped.

"It was inevitable," said Dan McCurdy, CEO of Allied Security Trust, a non-profit organization that buys patents on the open market in an effort to defend its members from non-practicing entities (NPE). "I was surprised that it took them so long." At some point, IV had to sue in order to show it was serious about enforcing its patents, he noted.  "I suspect that there will be more such cases."

IV filed three suits on December 8, 2010, targeting multiple companies in three different technologies: security software, dynamic RAM and field-programmable gate arrays. The software lawsuit names Checkpoint Software, McAfee, Symantec, and Trend Micro, and alleges infringement of four patents. The dynamic RAM lawsuit names Hynix and Elpidia and alleges infringement of seven patents. The FPGA suit names Altera, Microsemi, and Lattice Semiconductor and alleges infringement of five patents.

Why IV picked these particular companies in these specific areas is a hot topic of speculation. Two of the FPGA companies being sued, for example, are relatively small. (Microsemi has about $500 million in annual revenue, while Lattice has around $300 million.) "It makes sense that IV wouldn't go after the big companies, because many of them are members of IV," said McCurdy. Even if a large company was not a member, "IV knows that big companies have the resources to fight much harder and for much longer."

The other FPGA vendor in the suit, Altera, has more than $1.9 billion in revenue. But the other major FPGA player and Altera's chief rival, Xilinx with about $2.3 billion in revenue, is conspicuous in its absence from the lawsuit, noted Jordan Selburn, principal analyst at IHS iSuppli.

IV does not identify its investors, but it's widely believed they include Microsoft, Intel, Cisco Systems, and Google. Some observers speculate that the big companies have influence over IV's decisions about what companies to sue. If that's true, then investing in IV holds the potential for competitive leverage. Microsoft, for example, just introduced its own security software, called Microsoft Security Essentials, noted Bruce Berman, CEO of Brody Berman Associates Inc, a management consulting and communications firm that focuses on the IP market. A Wall Street analyst recently predicted that Intel might acquire either Xilinx or Altera in order to expand its presence in the embedded and SOC markets.

Beyond specific motivations, however, the lawsuits are yet another sign of how murky the patent marketplace has become. Large companies used to complain about secretive NPEs -- derogatorily called patent trolls -- that surprised large companies with patent assertions designed to wring hefty license fees. Now, those lines have blurred, as large operating companies have co-opted the model.

Traditionally, it was frowned upon for large operating companies to sell patents into the open market, where they could be bought and then used by patent trolls against other companies. But those attitudes have started to change, according to an academic paper written by Colleen V Chien, assistant professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and published in the Hastings Law Journal. The paper, "From Arms Race to Marketplace: The Complex Patent Ecosystem and Its Implications for the Patent System," explains the forces that have changed the patent marketplace over the last several years. Operating companies "increasingly have incentives to sell their unused patents to the marketplace," she wrote.

In late 2009, for example, Micron Technology sold 4500 patents, about a quarter of its patent portfolio, to John Desmarais, who is considered one of the top patent litigators in the country. Desmarais then formed his own patent-holding company, Round Rock Research LLC, and started asserting the patents. Some observers speculate that, in addition to proceeds from the patent sale, Micron might also get a share of the license fees that Round Rock generates by asserting the patents. The Micron sale is the largest corporate patent sale to date to an NPE, according to Chien's paper.  The patents cover semiconductor manufacturing, photo imaging, telecommunications, search engine technology, and radio frequency identification, according to published reports.

In another interesting twist, Desmarais is the attorney that IV picked to handle its lawsuit against the FPGA companies.

Corporations are watching Round Rock carefully. In the first eight months after it was created, the firm generated $200 million to $300 million in licensing revenue, said McCurdy. He believes the Micron portfolio could ultimately generate billions of dollars worth of royalties, an amount that would entice other operating companies to follow.

"It's pure bottom-line profit," McCurdy said. "A CEO and board may say, 'hey, if we could pick up an extra $500 million and not do damage to our patent portfolio, shouldn't we look carefully at doing this?'" After all, patents are assets that will expire. "If you've got a piece of fruit, you'd better know when to pick it and what to do with it, otherwise all you'll have is a rotten piece of fruit," he said.

If more operating companies follow this model, it could flood the market with patents that IV and other NPEs could buy and assert, possibly ratcheting up the amount of litigation. Even if an operating company doesn't sell patents directly to a troll, that's often where they wind up. One of the patents in IV's suit against the FPGA companies, for example, was originally granted to Advanced Micro Devices in the mid-1990s, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office.

One of the biggest impacts of the IV lawsuits may be the opportunity for the industry to learn more about IV, as defendants push for deep discovery into its inner workings. IV has "always been cloaked in significant secrecy," McCurdy said.  "I expect [the defendants] to be both creative and aggressive."

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP - Yahoo! News [del.icio.us] | View Clip
02/21/2011
Yahoo! Tech Blogs

PAY ATTENTION: High court isn't only for highbrow concepts Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP Buzz up! AP – FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2011, file photo House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, with House Majority … By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Charles Babington, Associated Press – Thu Feb 17, 12:56 pm ET WASHINGTON – Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending. The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time. Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that promote both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week. If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke." Addressing critics Thursday, Boehner told reporters, "I don't want anyone to lose their jobs," but "we've got to make tough decisions." Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said. Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs. Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so. With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said. Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment. Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff. The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000." The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others. Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised." The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise." Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts. "The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean." Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs." Follow Yahoo! News on Twitter , become a fan on Facebook Buzz up! Explore Related Content Boehner draws line on spending bill  - House Speaker John Boehner criticized President Obama Thursday, saying he  Full Story Washington Post . Play Video Video: Spending on Boehner's Mind  House Speaker John Boehner Photo in Slideshow: U.S. House Speaker John Boehner , House Majority Leader Eric  Photo in Slideshow: U.S House Speaker John Boehner , House Majority leader Eric  Photo in Slideshow: House Speaker John Boehner watches as  House Speaker John Boehner Photo in Slideshow: President Barack Obama is applauded by House Speaker John  Rep. Ryan: Gov't Shutdown Likely  - Senate Democrats are seeking to cast House Speaker John Boehner as following in  Full Story Fox News House Speaker John Boehner   - The schedule was shot – final votes on a massive bill to fund the government past  Full Story The Christian Science Monitor More on the Republican Party For compromise in Wis., 3 GOP senators are needed AP Herman Cain continues offensive against Wisconsin Democrats Daily Caller Mitt Romney remains front-runner for GOP nomination Intrade More » More... U.S. Video: Mother Confronts Convicted Judge After Trial ABC News U.S. Video: Winter weather works the President's Day holiday AP U.S. Video: Former UofL basketball player dies in Los Angeles WHAS TV11 Louisville 1,764 Comments Show:   Post a Comment Comments 1 - 10 of 1764 First Prev Next Last 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment franz Sat Feb 19, 2011 09:06 pm PST Report Abuse i have the perfect jobs program.lets get rid of most of the government employees then we can hire twice as many private sector employees since government employees get twice as much as private sector employees,and the private sector are actually productive.secondly we could deport all illegal aliens and create another 12 million jobs.that would be like 14 million new jobs.and yes americans would do those jobs the illegals do now. 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment LG. Sat Feb 19, 2011 01:19 pm PST Report Abuse It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then - just to loosen up and be a part of the crowd. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time. That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's. I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius, Camus and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly that we are doing here?" One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..." "I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!" "But Honey, surely it's not that serious." "It is serious," she said, her lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!" "That's a fallacious syllogism," I said impatiently. She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some John Locke. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors. They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.Leaning on the unfeeling glass and whimpering for Emerson, a poster caught my eye, "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster. This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me. Today I took the final step... I joined the Democratic Party 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment jfkr Fri Feb 18, 2011 07:56 pm PST Report Abuse Why is it that whenever there is talks about cuts its always human services that takes the big impact? Congress gets free medical, why not make them pay for their own medical? What other bonuses are they getting that they don't need? What about the money they give to farmers to not grow crops? Growning the extra crops would supply more food and lower food prices. There are companies that hide their money overseas and don't pay taxes, shouldn't that be considered tax evasion and isn't that a federal crime? I hear that the corporations that got help from the bailout is stashing their cash instead of using the money to hire more employees. There are employers that are not hiring anyone who is unemployed, is an older worker, or a minority, isn't that against civil rights? The job advertisement states that you must be employed to apply for the position. A lot of the private sector jobs are only paying minimum wage, who can pay a mortgage, purchase a car, and support a family on that! How about downsizing Congress? If they want to get rid of some of the government employees, that should include them too! Am I pissed? YES!!! I am one of those older workers, who is a minority and is unemployed. When my previous job decided to shutdown, I spent 6 to 7 yrs. in college getting degrees in health service administration. When I applied for jobs, all I ever heard was that I have no experience or that I am overqualified, my education means nothing. Sometimes I feel that it was a waste of my time. 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment AndUC Fri Feb 18, 2011 05:22 pm PST Report Abuse It seems the Republicans are just as ignorant, as the Democrats! Neither group has a clue, yet continue to pretend they do. 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment Joan and Rick Fri Feb 18, 2011 04:34 pm PST Report Abuse Its all political. The politicans are for the issues that will get them reelected. The US companies sent the manufactoring to China and India and other countries because the labor is cheaper. We dont have enough jobs in the US for our population. What would all you you raggers about republicans do aside from asking all of the working taxpayers pay for your existence while you set on on your butts eating foodstamp meals? 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 4 users disliked this comment A P Fri Feb 18, 2011 02:29 pm PST Report Abuse Repubs continue to support and push huge tax breaks for the nation's wealthiest, ergo the national debt that can't be controlled unless they turn against those who earn so much less and punish them by slashing programs that benefit the middle class ... because the wealthiest don't even need them ... Republicans always push the discussion away from this HUGE, overriding truth ... and an increasingly uninformed and unthinking American people can't even recognize this one great truth. 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 5 users disliked this comment Roy S Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:02 pm PST Report Abuse This is just an attempt to right the wrongs they did when they did that 750 Billion dollar bail out for the banking industry, what did that do for Job Stimulation when Bush forced that down everyone's throat? Now the republicans are all panicked and think they need to do drastic cuts which will only fall on the people that have always got avallanched the Middle Class and the poor. I see no good in the Republican take over they don't realize the seriousness of tje jobless problem in this country and how those of us seeking jobs for over 2 years can't find a job because nobody will hire us because we have been out of work for so long. Let's look at this serious problem and stop it a job is a job and a person who can do that job should be considered no matter how long they have been out of work. Time to open the purse strings and start hiring so we can start paying taxes again and then and only then can we reduce the deficit and get this economy rolling again. 6 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment W. Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:41 am PST Report Abuse Apparently all of the jobs are in the government...funded by China via Obama issued debt. Thanks Democrats! 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment DANIEL P Fri Feb 18, 2011 09:43 am PST Report Abuse What the f#$%............get ride of ALL them smal;l sobs ////////// and the idiots who voted for - o-boy-ma. 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment homey1 Fri Feb 18, 2011 09:05 am PST Report Abuse wow what a mess Comments 1 - 10 of 1764 First Prev Next Last Post a Comment Sign in to post a comment, or Sign up for a free account. Most Viewed - U.S. Arrested US official is actually CIA contractor AP US analyzing speech by Gadhafi's son AP Seaweed defense offers clues against malaria AFP INFLUENCE GAME: Aircraft titans spark lobby blitz AP Tennessee teachers fight bill to end collective bargaining Reuters All Most Viewed » Daily Features All Comics » Opinions & Editorials: Diverse views on news from the right, left, and center. All Opinion » Elsewhere on the Web Time.com: Wisconsin Budget Gap: Blame Politicians or Teachers' Unions? ABC News: Govt Shutdown: What Could it Mean ABC News: Watch: Will This Heat Wave End?

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Analysis: Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/21/2011
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Online

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim that they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs.

GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill that House Republicans have been pushing this week. If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Mr. Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers, but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Mr. Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists -- many with conservative backgrounds -- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Santa Clara University economics professor Alexander J. Field said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter that Mr. Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday that the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. But John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge -- because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 that the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million, compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts. "The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said. "And I think now, the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Mr. Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Why we are such irrational investors
02/21/2011
Toronto Star

I manage my own portfolio, buying conservative stocks that pay a decent dividend.

It's a philosophy that works for me. I'd rather earn income on boring bank and pipeline stocks than speculate on fast-growth stocks.

Apple Inc. is up almost 80 per cent in the past year, but its high-flying shares (at $358 U.S. apiece, they're priced at 20 times earnings) scare the heck out of me.

Do you know what you want as an investor?

Meir Statman, an expert in behavioural finance, wants to help you define your personality.

In a new book, What Investors Really Want (McGraw-Hill, $34.95), he looks at the many things you might want - everything from excitement to status to staying true to your values.

A finance professor at Santa Clara University in California, he thinks that rational investors don't exist.

You and I - and even wealthy and famous people, such as Martha Stewart - are all normal investors. We're not stupid, but neither are we rational.

We're reluctant to realize losses, so we hold onto stocks long after the point when we should have sold them.

Stewart, a caterer who built a large fortune, sold shares of ImClone Systems after being tipped off that company executives were dumping their shares. She went to jail for five months for insider trading.

Evidence presented at Stewart's trial showed she was reluctant to sell stocks and realize losses that existed only on paper. It made her stomach turn.

"If Martha Stewart were rational, she would have felt her stomach turn when the prices of her stocks declined and she incurred her paper losses," Statman writes.

"That is when her wealth decreased. But she would have rejoiced when she realized her losses, since the tax benefits of realized losses added to her wealth."

Normal investors sell winners too early and ride our losers too long because we're not rational. We make cognitive errors and we fall sway to emotions, such as pride, regret and lack of self-control.

I first heard of Statman's book when it popped up on a few blogs I follow, such as Canadian Capitalist and Canadian Dream: Free at 45.

The author had done a tour of the finance and investing blogosphere, offering exclusive content to those who wished to host him. What a great way to build a buzz.

Interviewed last week before flying to Tilburg University in the Netherlands, where he's a visiting professor, the Israel-born Statman told me he'd studied investor behaviour since 1980.

"I want to help people look at themselves, as in a mirror, to figure out what they really want and how to go about getting what they really want," he said.

Profit is the first thing most people say when asked why they invest. But if that were the case, they'd buy a diversified portfolio of index funds or ETFs.

But many of us think we can beat the market, so we buy actively managed mutual funds and individual stocks. "It's fun to play around," Statman says, quoting U.S. investment dealer Charles Schwab, "People love doing that. They love to find winners.

"It's human nature to try to select the right horse. It's fun. There's much more sport to it than just buying an index fund."

Institutional investors are no less eager to play the game - and they aren't much better at beating the market than individual investors, he notes.

Status is also an emotional benefit of investing. You might be lucky enough to get into an arrangement available only to a few, such as Goldman Sachs' Facebook deal.

Hedge funds, sold to sophisticated investors with a high net worth, make it easy to brag about your riches without appearing to brag.

Sometimes, the rich subvert the emblems of status, Statman says, pointing to Henry Paulson, a former U.S. treasury secretary and Goldman Sachs partner, who wore a cheap Casio watch.

Investors in low-cost index funds often wear their funds as the equivalent of Casio watches. They're saying, "I'm too smart to pay extra for funds that are likely to deliver lower returns than index funds."

As an index investor himself, Statman doesn't condemn anyone who prefers picking stocks and actively managed funds.

He uses cars as an analogy. You buy a Honda Accord, but your neighbour buys an Acura - a more expensive luxury car from the same maker.

"You don't say your neighbour is an idiot, but his tastes differ from yours. He likes action and pizzazz and he's willing to pay more for that."

Classic finance has rational people in it, but rational people don't exist. Behavioural finance has normal people in it - sometimes smart and sometimes stupid.

"I thought I had something to say to regular investors and I wrote the book in a way that's not condescending," Statman says.

"I hope you can see my smile as you're reading the chapters."

I enjoyed this rich compilation of behavioural quirks, which can help you recognize yourself and make better investing decisions.

Reach Ellen Roseman at eroseman@thestar.ca

Copyright © 2011 Toronto Star

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Top 5: Graduate business programs | View Clip
02/21/2011
Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal - Online

Santa Clara University came out on top in this week's list, which ranked Silicon Valley universities on the number of students enrolled in their graduate business programs. Santa Clara University had 1,047 business students, of which 977 were MBA students. The Business Journal Data gathered data for the list of the largest 16 Silicon Valley business schools using data from surveys sent to the schools themselves. The average school on the list had about 288 students.

Rankings stayed consistent from when the Business Journal last published this list in 2010. No. 2 on the list was Stanford University, with 956 business students. At No. 3 was San Jose State's Lucas Graduate School of Business, with 632 students, followed by Northwestern Polytechnic University, with 427. Finally, coming in at No. 5 was U.C. Berkley's Haas School of Business, Evening and Weekend MBA program, with 393 students. 5. U.C. Berkley Haas School of Business, Evening and Weekend MBA program, 393 students.

For the rest of the top 16 graduate business programs in Silicon Valley, including contact information, number of MBA students, faculty, GMAT scores and top administrators, take a look at the Feb. 18 print edition of the Business Journal. . Want more research like this but don't want to subscribe? Click here to see how to get the in print or digital format, or get access to our interactive database.

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Top 5: Graduate business programs | View Clip
02/21/2011
Business Review - Online

Santa Clara University came out on top in this week's list, which ranked Silicon Valley universities on the number of students enrolled in their graduate business programs. Santa Clara University had 1,047 business students, of which 977 were MBA students. The Business Journal Data gathered data for the list of the largest 16 Silicon Valley business schools using data from surveys sent to the schools themselves. The average school on the list had about 288 students.

Rankings stayed consistent from when the Business Journal last published this list in 2010. No. 2 on the list was Stanford University, with 956 business students. At No. 3 was San Jose State's Lucas Graduate School of Business, with 632 students, followed by Northwestern Polytechnic University, with 427. Finally, coming in at No. 5 was U.C. Berkley's Haas School of Business, Evening and Weekend MBA program, with 393 students.

1. Santa Clara University, 1,047 students.

2. Stanford University, 956 students.

3. San Jose State Lucas Graduate School of Business, 632 students.

4. Northwestern Polytechnic University, 427 students.

5. U.C. Berkley Haas School of Business, Evening and Weekend MBA program, 393 students.

For the rest of the top 16 graduate business programs in Silicon Valley, including contact information, number of MBA students, faculty, GMAT scores and top administrators, take a look at the Feb. 18 print edition of the Business Journal. The full list is only available in print. Click here to subscribe to the paper, in print or digital form.

Want more research like this but don't want to subscribe? Click here to see how to get the Book of Lists in print or digital format, or get access to our interactive Book of Lists database.

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San Dimas man chronicles his brother's descent into alcoholism and eventual death | View Clip
02/21/2011
San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Online

"I loved my brother, even though he probably didn't think so, I simply didn't like what he'd become. I will not miss the drunken, angry, thug Ted had become, that was not my brother."

Those might sound like the words to a eulogy, but they are not. Nor are they an excerpt from a meeting of a grief support group.

They come from the blog of a San Dimas man whose brother was found dead behind a Covina strip mall Feb. 10.

John Sausedo, 59, said his brother, Ted Sausedo, 49, suffered from alcoholism and probably drank himself to death.

Sausedo, a counselor at San Dimas High School, has put his sadness, his memories, his anger and his love online at

sausedo.net for the whole world to see.

Sausedo said he's received the occasional complaint for sharing such intimate information with the public, but he shrugs off such criticism.

"As far as it being personal, well that's life," he said. "If I share something, maybe it will help someone else."

He also said writing in his blog is "therapeutic" and the feedback he's gotten from friends and family has largely been positive.

"Everyone in my family is looking at it and reading," he said. "For the most part, they enjoy it. Normally they comment to me and personally let me know."

As of Feb. 12, Sausedo had received about 30 responses of support for his Feb. 11 entry, "My Brother Ted's Dead." Sausedo said all but one was positive, and

he has since added a commemoration page for his brother to the blog.

"We are so sorry to hear of Teddy's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Our love and condolences to all," wrote one friend.

Another lauded Sausedo for doing his best to help his brother.

"There are no words to describe how touched I am by your love for your brother and how difficult life has been throughout the years," she wrote.

Dale Larson, professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, said "e-mourning," online cemeteries and digital tombstones like these have become increasingly common in the last four to five years.

"It's become quite a phenomenon with many people sharing their emotional and other reactions to the loss of someone online," he said. "There's a human need, I believe, to process loss and we can do it in a variety of ways."

Larson said a considerable amount of research has been dedicated to writing journals and diaries as therapy, but blogging as therapy has a different twist.

"It's a very interesting," he said. "Grief is often hidden but this is reversed. I would think it would be a different kind of disclosure. You're writing for a different audience."

He said there are some dangers to putting one's heart out there for everyone to see, especially if they not prepared to received negative responses.

Still, Larson said there is a lot of potential for healing in such disclosures.

"I wouldn't underestimate the value that his has for making sense of the loss of his brother," Larson said, but added that eventually, Sausedo will have to stop telling his brother's story.

Sausedo wasn't sure when or how the end of that story would come, but on Thursday he posted his brother's eulogy.

In it, he wrote of the good times and the bad times they had together. He praised his brother's artistic talents and wrote of the tough love he employed during his brother's low points.

But more than anything, it seems, he was showing the love he has for the brother he's lost.

"I will miss the kind and considerate brother he could be, the big hearted teddy bear full of hugs, love and laughter. The little brother I hoped and prayed he would one day be again. It is that brother that I will truly miss.

I love you little brother, You will always be in my heart.

I hope you have found peace at last.

Give mom a hug for me."

626-962-8811, ext. 2230

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Roseman: Why we're such irrational investors | View Clip
02/21/2011
Moneyville

I manage my own portfolio, buying conservative stocks that pay a decent dividend.

It's a philosophy that works for me. I'd rather earn income on boring bank and pipeline stocks than speculate on fast-growth stocks.

Apple Inc. is up almost 80 per cent in the past year, but its high-flying shares (at $358 U.S. apiece, they're priced at 20 times earnings) scare the heck out of me.

Do you know what you want as an investor? Meir Statman, an expert in behavioural finance, wants to help you define your personality.

In a new book, What Investors Really Want (McGraw-Hill, $34.95), he looks at the many things you might want — everything from excitement to status to staying true to your values.

A finance professor at Santa Clara University in California, he thinks that rational investors don't exist.

You and I — and even wealthy and famous people, such as Martha Stewart — are all normal investors. We're not stupid, but neither are we rational.

We're reluctant to realize losses, so we hold onto stocks long after the point when we should have sold them.

Stewart, a caterer who built a large fortune, sold shares of ImClone Systems after being tipped off that company executives were dumping their shares. She went to jail for five months for insider trading.

Evidence presented at Stewart's trial showed she was reluctant to sell stocks and realize losses that existed only on paper. It made her stomach turn.

“If Martha Stewart were rational, she would have felt her stomach turn when the prices of her stocks declined and she incurred her paper losses,” Statman writes.

“That is when her wealth decreased. But she would have rejoiced when she realized her losses, since the tax benefits of realized losses added to her wealth.”

Normal investors sell our winners too early and ride our losers too long because we're not rational.

We make cognitive errors and we fall sway to our emotions, such as pride, regret and lack of self-control.

I first heard of Statman's book when it popped up on a few blogs I follow, such as Canadian Capitalist and Canadian Dream: Free at 45.

The author had done a tour of the finance and investing blogosphere, offering exclusive content to those who wished to host him. What a great way to build a buzz.

Interviewed last week before flying to Tilburg University in the Netherlands, where he's a visiting professor, the Israel-born Statman told me he'd studied investor behaviour since 1980.

“I want to help people look at themselves, as in a mirror, to figure out what they really want and how to go about getting what they really want,” he said.

Profit is the first thing most people say when asked why they invest. But if that were the case, they'd buy a diversified portfolio of index funds or exchange-traded funds that guarantee market returns.

But many of us think we can beat the market, so we buy actively managed mutual funds and individual stocks.

“It's fun to play around,” Statman says, quoting U.S. investment dealer Charles Schwab, “People love doing that. They love to find winners.

“It's human nature to try to select the right horse. It's fun. There's much more sport to it than just buying an index fund.”

Institutional investors are no less eager to play the game — and they aren't much better at beating the market than individual investors, he notes.

Status is also an emotional benefit of investing. You might be lucky enough to get into an arrangement available only to a few, such as Goldman Sachs' Facebook deal.

Hedge funds, sold only to sophisticated investors with a high net worth, make it easy to brag about your riches without appearing to brag.

Sometimes, the rich subvert the emblems of status, Statman says, pointing to Henry Paulson, a former U.S. treasury secretary and Goldman Sachs partner, who wore a cheap Casio watch.

Investors in low-cost index funds often wear their funds as the equivalent of Casio watches. They're saying, “I'm too smart to pay extra for funds that are likely to deliver lower returns than index funds.”

As an index investor himself, Statman doesn't condemn anyone who prefers picking stocks and actively managed funds.

He uses cars as an analogy. You buy a Honda Accord, but your neighbour buys an Acura – a more expensive luxury car from the same maker.

“You don't say your neighbour is an idiot, but his tastes differ from yours. He likes action and pizzazz and he's willing to pay more for that.”

Classic finance has rational people in it, but rational people don't exist. Behavioural finance has normal people in it — sometimes smart and sometimes stupid.

“I thought I had something to say to regular investors and I wrote the book in a way that's not condescending,” Statman says.

“I hope you can see my smile as you're reading the chapters.”

I enjoyed this rich compilation of behavioural quirks, which can help you recognize yourself and make better investing decisions.

Reach Ellen Roseman at eroseman@thestar.ca

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Is it better to let dictators retire in peace? | View Clip
02/21/2011
New Statesman

The moral answer is obvious -- dictators should be prosecuted -- but granting amnesty has some advantages.

Egypt's deposed dictator, Hosni Mubarak. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

While attention has been focused over whether the changes in Egypt represent the beginning of the end for Middle East autocracy, a rearranging of the guard or even an Islamist revival, the question of what happens to the deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak and others remains open. Although Mubarak has vowed to remain in Egypt for the moment, rumoured destinations for him and his family range from Saudi Arabia, to where Tunisian tyrant Ben Ali has already fled, to Britain. This raises the question over whether it is better to allow dictators to retire peacefully, and enjoy their ill-gotten gains, in return for standing aside, or whether it is important to fully prosecute them, even if this means that they are more likely to cling to power.

From a moral perspective the answer is relatively straightforward. If the international community is at all serious about enforcing human rights then those who have engaged in repression and unlawful usurpation of power, like Hosni Mubarak and other Arab autocrats, should face punishment. Furthermore, the obligation to bring former tyrants to justice is so great that it overrides any considerations of sovereignty, jurisdiction or amnesty. The House of Lords' judgment in 1998 that Augusto Pinochet could be extradited to Spain, and the establishment of the International Criminal Court four years later, followed this principle.

In contrast, some theorists, such as Professor Jane Curry of Santa Clara University, have argued that such a hard-line approach is too simplistic, and may prolong crises, by discouraging autocratic leaders from leaving office lest they face prosecution. Indeed, Professor Bruce Bueno de Mesquita of New York University, and author of the forthcoming book The Dictators Handbook, contends that, "the ability to grant amnesty in the face of a credible threat that the dictator is about to be overthrown is the smart thing to do". Bueno de Mesquita argues that presenting autocrats with a face-saving alternative to clinging to power might even save lives since they would then have "less reason to be severely oppressive".

However, even when viewed solely in utilitarian terms, such "pragmatism" comes with its own set of drawbacks. Game theory suggests that encouraging current dictators to leave office by making retirement more attractive will also encourage future dictators to seize power, by lowering the risk that they will face prosecution. Given that 60 countries, representing nearly a third of the World's population, are (according to Freedom House) only "partly free", and therefore at risk of moving further into totalitarianism, this should be a serious concern. There is also the possibility that lenient treatment may allow dictators to regroup and mount a comeback, like Joaquín Balaguer in the Dominican Republic.

Even Bueno de Mesquita admits that his suggestions need to be treated cautiously. In particular he warns that allowing leaders to leave with their ill-gotten gains may give them a green light to plunder during their stay in office. He also confesses that on a personal level he "would not be happy" with dictators enjoying an opulent retirement. He also believes that immunity from arrest should come only if they fulfil conditions, such as a speedy and painless exit, rather than be offered as a matter of course.

Ultimately, Mubarak's failing health may mean that the debate over whether he should be prosecuted for the crimes committed during his regime becomes moot. However, any impression that Britain and the United States are happy to let dictators enjoy an opulent life after office will not be viewed positively by the region, and may encourage those in the military and security services to make their own bid for power.

Matthew Partridge is a freelance journalist and a PhD student at the London School of Economics.

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Midterm elections shift chairmanship of House's immigration committee from Zoe Lofgren to Elton Gallegly | View Clip
02/21/2011
InsideBayArea.com

WASHINGTON D.C. - The upheaval of the 2010 midterm elections shifted the chairmanship of the House's immigration committee from Silicon Valley's Zoe Lofgren to Simi Valley's Elton Gallegly.

Although both representatives hail from the same state, the committee's direction will be strikingly different.

Under Gallegly, a Republican, the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel is likely to focus on enforcement issues - cracking down on immigrants illegally crossing the border, penalizing employers who hire undocumented immigrants and preserving jobs for American workers.

Gallegly has also been a strong proponent of a controversial plan to eliminate automatic citizenship for American-born children of undocumented immigrants.

Lofgren, a Democrat, focused on reforming the immigration system - reducing the backlog of citizenship applications, speeding up the visa process and offering citizenship to immigrant children.

The shift diminishes expectations that comprehensive immigration reform - once a top priority of President Obama - will be enacted in the current Congress.

It also highlights the enormous divide, both nationally and within California, over immigration.

In conservative-leaning Simi Valley, concerns over undocumented workers prompted the city council to mandate a system to check the immigration status of all new city workers. In Democratic-leaning Silicon Valley, where many high-tech firms employ foreign

workers, the San Jose Police Department recently affirmed the city's refusal to arrest residents solely based on their immigration status.

"Californians have passed some of the most restrictive anti-immigrant legislation - Propositions 187 and 227 - while also championing immigrant rights," said Roberto Gonzales, a professor of social welfare at the University of Washington. "As such, Californians see immigration as both a threat and benefit to (their) economy and culture."

California is a microcosm of the nation's debate over immigration. The state has 2.6 million illegal immigrants - more than 20 percent of the nation's total - according to a 2010 Pew Hispanic Center study.

Gallegly and Lofgren - both House veterans - have shared flights home to California during the 16 years they've been colleagues, and Lofgren described their relationship as "cordial and polite."

Nevertheless, they fundamentally disagree on immigration.

Gallegly was named one of "Top Ten Immigration Hawks" by Human Events magazine in 2006. He co-sponsored a bill making English the national language, and in 1996 wrote an amendment allowing states to deny public education to the children of illegal immigrants.

Lofgren, a former professor of immigration law at Santa Clara University, chaired the panel for three years under the Democratic majority. Her tenure brought media attention to the committee, especially during the testimony of television comedian Stephen Colbert who spoke of his one-day experience as a field worker.

"I am confident that we don't see the question of immigration reform in the same way," Lofgren said. "I think that primarily (the Republican leadership's) focus will be on increased enforcement... and I would say you're only enforcing the broken system."

Gallegly declined to be interviewed for this story.

The panel, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, is the hub of all immigration-related legislation in the House. Its members also include Californians Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, and Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles.

Gallegly's first two hearings focused on workplace enforcement. Recently the committee held a hearing about E-Verify, a computer program used by some employers to check the legal status of their employees, which Gallegly would like to see mandatory for all employers.

"I have long said that the way to solve the problem of illegal immigration is fairly simple," he said in a statement. "First, we must enforce our laws and secure the border. Second, we must remove the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. And finally, we must remove the benefits that make it easy for illegals to stay in this country."

In Washington, the transfer of power from Lofgren to Gallegly has pleased groups that advocate tough measures to stop illegal immigration.

"We're feeling very positive about his leadership," said Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"He has consistently supported policies about enforcing (existing laws) and consistently opposed granting amnesty to illegal aliens. We certainly expect that (he will) hold the administration accountable," Mehlman said.

Immigration advocates worry that the new Congress will focus on enforcement and chip away at Constitutional protections.

"The Republican leadership, which is now in charge of the House Immigration Subcommittee, had made it very clear what its priorities are: an enforcement-only approach and to deny U.S. citizenship to babies born in America based on their parents' immigration status," said Maria Machuca, communications director of the United Farm Workers of America.

The 14th Amendment guarantees the right of citizenship to all children born in the U.S., regardless of their parents' immigration status.

The 143-year-old law has become a hot-button issue in the last few months, with TV pundits like Fox News' Glenn Beck warning people about "anchor babies," his term for children of immigrants which stems from a belief that immigrant women use these children as "anchors" or a way to root themselves in the United States.

Gallegly wrote a bill in 2009 that would ensure citizenship only to children whose mothers are U.S. citizens.

Democrats do not believe that the law will be changed. That would involve amending the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote of Congress and approval by three-quarters of the states.

"The 14th amendment was the product of the most damaging war in American history and one of the major positive outcomes of that terrible fight," Lofgren said, describing the idea of amending it as "disturbing."

Bringing up the topic in this Congress, Lofgren said, "only has the capacity to spread division and animosity."

The committee's new direction stems in part from an ideological divide regarding the effect of illegal immigration on the economy.

California has more undocumented immigrants in the workforce than any other state, approximately 1.9 million according to the Pew study. It also has among the highest unemployment rates in the country at 12.5% in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gallegly believes that illegal immigrants are taking jobs Americans would hold.

"Millions of illegal immigrants hold jobs," he said in a statement at the committee's first hearing. "Even when low-skilled Americans can find jobs, their wages are depressed by illegal and other low-skilled immigration."

Lofgren believes that illegal immigrants take jobs Americans won't touch.

"Even though this is a very bad economy we have not seen Americans signing up to be migrant farm workers," she said. "And there are about three other jobs (held by Americans) dependent on that farm worker."

Lofgren does see some areas of compromise, such as fixing a law that makes it difficult for Americans in combat to file for permanent resident status for their immigrant spouses.

"It's hard when you're with your unit on some mountain in Afghanistan to file that paper," Lofgren explained. "It's something and therefore it's worth doing."

Lofgren introduced a measure, co-sponsored by Gallegly, which would provide an extension to the filing period. Asked whether this might be a good example of the two working together, a top aide to Gallegly was unfamiliar with the bill The two have also agreed on the issue of H-1B visas, which allow highly skilled immigrants to stay in the US. Both Gallegly and Lofgren have called for reform of the system while advocating the importance of highly skilled foreign workers.

Even without compromise, Lofgren believes that the minority will have some power.

"Certainly we haven't lost our vote or our voice and we plan to use both," she said.

The California News Service is a journalism project of the University of California Washington Center and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Contact the California News Service at CNS@ucdc.edu.

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Google One Pass Undercuts Apple Subscription Plan | View Clip
02/21/2011
EWeek Europe

With One Pass Google is aiming to provide a subscription model that is more lucrative for publishers

Publishers' eyes may have lit up when Google unveiled its One Pass subscription service for tablets, smartphones and websites, as the service provides a more price-friendly alternative and more control over consumer data than Apple's own subscription service.

However, analysts agree that it is too early to tell which billing platform publishers will prefer. Moreover, Google's arrival in the market may help Apple counter arguments that its plan violates the spirit of antitrust law in the US and Europe.

Apple subscription service

Apple on 15 February unveiled its subscription service to allow publishers to sell customers digital magazines, newspapers and other content for Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

To be clear, Apple's terms for the new service do not prohibit companies from selling digital subscriptions on Apple devices on their own. Publishers who bring an existing subscriber or lure a new one to an application keep 100 percent of subscription sales. When customers subscribe to an application via Apple's iTunes App Store, Apple collects 30 percent of the fee.

While some publishers balked at the prospect of kicking 30 percent of sales to Apple for the pleasure of soliciting consumers on an iPad or iPhone, Apple hedged the process further. Publishers who do opt to use Apple's platform must also make content available for sale through applications at the App Store for the same price.

Because subscribing to content through Apple's App Store is much simpler – requiring just a few clicks – publishers are upset because they claim Apple is attempting to funnel users toward buying content through its App Store.

Apple seems to be steering consumers away from making transactions where Apple doesn't get a cut, so regulators in the US and Europe have taken notice. In the US, the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are studying Apple's terms of service, while the European Commission is monitoring the situation.

Enter Google, as potential savior and/or beneficiary of the discontent Apple created. The company on 16 February unveiled One Pass to allow readers to purchase content from publishers using a single sign-on with an email account and password. Publishers can offer subscriptions, metered access, and other custom content from their websites or mobile applications.

One Pass vs. Apple

While Apple takes a 30 percent cut from publishers, Google collects 10 percent of sales One Pass publishers collect, leaving publishers with a much more palatable 90 percent of sales on every transaction.

Perhaps most importantly, Google doesn't appear to be placing restrictions that shuttle consumers to use One Pass. This is clearly a deliberate attempt to undercut Apple's bid.

Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey applauded Google for stepping up to challenge Apple. However, McQuivey argued in a blog post that the publishers' fees are still too high, compared with, say, single-digit percentage payment processing fees incurred by credit card companies such as American Express or Visa.

“The market desperately needs some competition to emerge to guide Apple away from such autocratic decisions,” McQuivey told eWEEK. “It will be to everyone's long-term benefit to see some real competition emerge here, and Android is the only shot we have at that competition in 2011.”

He ultimately expects more players to emerge, driving down subscription fees.

Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said it was too early to say whether Apple's subscription model or Google One Pass will rule the day.

For one, there are still too many unanswered questions surrounding One Pass, such as whether a subscriber can redirect consumers to their own billing system without having to go through Google.

Lucrative demographic

Moreover, Gartenberg said Apple's 30 percent fee might seem cheap to publishers, relative to the cost of acquisition of new customers today.

“Over time, the question is going to be how many publishers are going to be able to afford not to want to deal with Apple's customers,” he told eWEEK. “Apple's customers are a pretty lucrative demographic.”

In any case, it's too early to predict a winning platform yet without seeing both rev up in action.

As for the antitrust issues, One Pass may have helped Apple in that regard because it offers a viable alternative to a system some publishers find untenable, according to Eric Goldman, associate professor, Santa Clara University School of Law.

“Google's entree into the publisher aggregation business is good evidence of competition in that niche,” Goldman told eWEEK.

However, without the benefit of understanding Apple's situation fully, he noted that even if Google poses a serious threat in the publisher aggregation business, it's possible that Apple may still be crossing antitrust lines.

Read more about Apple, Desktops & Notebooks, Google, One Pass, subscription.

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BEFORE WE GET STARTED, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR CO-SPONSORS IN THIS EVENT, THE PALO ALTO BAR ASSOCIATION AND OUR HOST, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW.
02/21/2011
C-SPAN

THIS SYMPOSIUM IS DEDICATED TO OUR FOUNDER. LATE JUDGE INGRAM, WHOSE PORTRAIT HE MAY HAVE FOUND IN THE LOBBY. THE JUDGE EXEMPLIFIED NOT ONLY THE VALUES OF OUR END, PROFESSIONALISM, SERVICE AND COLLEGIALITY AS WELL AS ABILITY. HE SERVE D AS A MENTOR TO MANY OF US, MYSELF INCLUDED. I HAD A GREAT HONOR OF OF A SERVING AS A JUDICIAL EXTERN WHEN I WAS IN LAW SCHOOL. I LEARNED MORE IN THAT SUMMER ABOUT BEING A LAWYER THAT I DID IN MY ENTIRE TENURE AT LAW SCHOOL. HE WAS A GREAT INFLUENCE ON ME AND MANY, MANY OTHERS. BEFORE WE GET STARTED, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK OUR CO-SPONSORS IN THIS EVENT, THE PALO ALTO BAR ASSOCIATION AND OUR HOST, SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW. THEY ARE CELEBRATING THEIR 100TH ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR, SO THAT IS QUITE A MILESTONE. A COUPLE OF QUICK HOUSEKEEPING NOTES. CARDS ARE BEING PASSED OUT SO THAT YOU CAN WRITE QUESTIONS AND DIRECT THEM TO THE PANELISTS. WHAT WE WOULD LIKE FOR YOU TO DO IS WRITE YOUR QUESTIONS OUT AND PASS THEM TO ONE OF THESE TO CENTER AISLE WAYS HERE. WILL HAVE PEOPLE SORT THEM OUT AND BRING THEM UP HERE SO THEY CAN BE ADDRESSED. ONE OTHER QUICK HOUSEKEEPING NOTES. FOR THOSE OF YOU INTERESTED IN MCLE CREDIT, THIS EVENT DOESN'T QUALIFY. AS I ALWAYS SAY, IF YOU DID NOT SIGN IN, YOU WERE NOT HERE. LET ME INTRODUCE OUR DISTINGUISHED PANEL. WE ARE THRILLED HERE TONIGHT TO WELCOME OUR NEWEST CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT . [APPLAUSE] BEFORE I GIVE YOU A BRIEF BACKGROUND HONOR, LET ME JUST SAY THAT I HAVE TO ADMIT I WAS A LITTLE NERVOUS WHEN I WAS ASKED TO INTRODUCE HER HERE TONIGHT. LET'S FACE IT, IT'S NOT EVERY DAY YOU HAVE TO INTRODUCE A CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, AT LEAST NOT FOR ME. MORE TO THE POINT, I WILL BE HONEST, I WAS CONCERNED I WOULD BICHIR NAME. LET'S FACE IT, IT'S NOT LIKE BROWN. I DID WHAT WE ALL DID IN THE 21ST CENTURY, I GOOGLED HER TO FIND OUT HOW SHE PRONOUNCED SURNAME. I WAS NOT SURPRISED THERE WERE SEVERAL SITES THAT MENTIONED EXACTLY HOW HER NAME IS PRONOUNCED AND SINCE MOST OF THEM SEEM TO AGREE WITH EACH OTHER, I FIGURED I WAS PROBABLY GOING TO BE OK. BUT WHAT SURPRISED ME WAS WHEN I DID AND GOOGLE ARE, THERE WAS AN ENTRY FROM PHARMACY. COM . I CLICKED ON THAT AND I WAS SURPRISED TO LEARN I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP. I BROUGHT THIS BECAUSE I KNEW THAT NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE ME. AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS LONG LIST OF ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT MEDICATIONS, I WAS SURPRISED TO READ THAT "SHE MAY CAUSE DIZZINESS, AND DROWSINESS, OR LIGHTHEADEDNESS THAT MAY BE WORSE IF YOU CONSUME ALCOHOL. " TONIGHT, YOU GET TO BE THE JUDGE. OUR NEW CHIEF JUSTICE WAS BORN AND RAISED IN SACRAMENTO AND RECEIVED HER UNDERGRADUATE AND JD DEGREES FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DAVIS. SHE WAS APPOINTED BY GOV. SCHWARZENEGGER IN 2005. HER TERM AS CHIEF JUSTICE BEGAN JUST NINE DAYS AGO ON JANUARY 3RD. SHE ALSO CHAIRS THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA AS WELL AS THE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS. WELCOME, MADAM CHIEF JUSTICE. [APPLAUSE] WE ARE EQUALLY THRILLED TO HAVE OUR NEXT PANELIST WITH US, THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE US COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT. [APPLAUSE] HE WAS BORN IN ROMANIA AND RECEIVED HIS DEGREE FROM UCLA. IF I AM NOT MISTAKEN, I BELIEVE HE WAS THERE DURING THE GREAT BASKETBALL ERA FOR UCLA. I DON'T THINK HE WAS ON THE TEAM, THOUGH. INSTEAD, HE WAS BUSY STUDYING. HE SERVED AS A LAW CLERK FOR JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY BEFORE THEN CLERKING FORD CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN BURGER AT THE SUPREME COURT. HE WAS NOMINATED BY PRESIDENT REAGAN IN 1985. AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF 35.

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Gig Harbor leader's double duty | View Clip
02/20/2011
News Tribune - Online

Terry Lees legacy intertwined with his future prospects late last year as his time on the Pierce County Council was nearing an end.

The Gig Harbor Republican, a county councilman since 2003, had heard frequent complaints from constituents that Pierce County wasnt adequately funding its parks west of the Narrows.

With term limits chasing him out, Lee made one last push in 2010 to give 141 acres of county land from Narrows Park to Sunrise Beach to the Fox Island Fishing Pier to the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District.

Lee had lobbied five years for the property transfer. He wanted local control, and now it was about to happen. In one move, the park district would increase its land holdings by more than one-third while accepting new liabilities and long-term costs.

Around the same time last summer, Lee made an additional pitch: to be the new executive director of PenMet Parks.

He was hired Oct. 18, working part time in November and December and drawing two paychecks as he finished his term as county councilman. He started full time with PenMet on Feb. 1 after taking an unpaid monthlong break in Hawaii.Theres no sign that Lee acted illegally. He and the PenMet board are open about the facts. He is hardly the first Pierce County Council member to get another government job after leaving office. Many have done so by election, appointment or hire.What makes Lees case unusual is how he wore two professional hats at the same time for several weeks. And while both Lee and the elected PenMet board say there was no quid pro quo, the countys ethics code bars county employees from using their office for any private purpose, including financial gain, or present or future employment. could not determine if anyone has filed an ethics complaint against Lee. County ethics commission officials say they are prohibited from disclosing complaints under investigation. Lee said he was unaware of any complaint filed against him.

At the very least, Lee risked the perception that he unduly influenced a decision that could benefit him or his new employer.

In a recent interview, the 64-year-old Lee said he has enough money to retire comfortably. He said he used his pull as a two-term councilman to help seal the deal on the parks transfer and burnish his legacy before leaving office. But he insists he didnt use the transfer to promote himself for a new job.While the timing is, I suppose, somewhat suspect, I think you should find some comfort in the fact that I didnt do it for financial gain, he said of the transfer. I did it for the community, and I think that we will be better off because of it. Lee said he consulted twice with Susan Long, the County Councils legal and operations administrator, to check on what could constitute a conflict of interest: first, when he began negotiations for the PenMet executive director post, and second, when the parks transfer came to a vote of the County Council, after hed accepted the PenMet job.

He said he was advised he could hold both jobs but abstain from the vote, which he did.

An authority on government ethics who was told the circumstances by cited an appearance of impropriety because of Lees interest in the executive director job while he was in a position to influence a decision on the parks transfer.It certainly appears he was trying to serve two masters, said Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

Lee was aware last spring when he first applied for the PenMet post, then withdrew his name that holding the two jobs at once might not play well in public. A friend and former campaign adviser warned him about it.Im concerned how holding two government positions in the fall might look in the press, Kirk Kirkland wrote in an April 15 e-mail to Lee. The TNT has been confrontational and I dont want you to get caught sideways if it can be avoided.The e-mail is one of hundreds of pages of PenMet and Pierce County documents requested and reviewed, including e-mails, written board minutes, meeting recordings, and other correspondences and records.

The records and interviews show that PenMets board of directors quickly switched course last summer after the withdrawal of the executive director it had hired from North Carolina.

The board loosened the jobs minimum qualifications for a position that had already drawn more than 70 applicants and seven finalists with professional parks credentials. It settled with laser-like focus on a politically connected administrator whose Peninsula roots date back nearly four decades.

Terry Lee was their man. His interest in the job had been rekindled.

After they scaled back the qualifications, they interviewed nobody else.He can open doors that most people cant, Commissioner Curtis Hancock said in an interview.

QUESTIONABLE TIMING

PenMet park commissioners say the land transfer wasnt a factor in their decision to hire Lee.Ill be the first to admit that the process looks bad from the outside, Hancock said. But I stand fully behind the decision because of the quality of the person we got. The timing raised the eyebrows of at least one county resident. Bob Neilson of Puyallup learned about it in mid-December from a county employee and e-mailed Lee to verify what he called an outrageous and preposterous arrangement.Lee responded that the transfer would save the county money. His recruitment, he said, was a separate matter.

The County Council officially approved the land transfer Dec. 14, Lees final meeting as councilman. But the county and PenMet had been talking about it since 2005, and some parks commissioners say it would have happened regardless of Lees involvement last year.

A transfer was consistent with the countys master park and recreation plan, which called for the county to divest itself of parks located within local cities and park districts.

Negotiations stalled because PenMet officials and then-County Executive John Ladenburg couldnt agree on conditions.

The district sought an annual fixed subsidy from the county of $200,000 for an initial 10-year period and $100,000 annually thereafter, waiver of permit fees for development, and detailed surveys of the properties.

Lee thought a transfer made sense and lobbied for it. The two agencies, however, were entrenched in their positions.

In the waning months of his last term, Lee was determined to close the deal.

There had been some movement between the county and PenMet after Pat McCarthy took office as county executive in January 2009. She was open to offering three years of funding support, which PenMet recommended at $166,000 a year.

But a letter from PenMet in December 2009 continued to seek additional conditions, including guarantees that the properties were free of permitting, legal or environmental problems.

Meeting minutes show Lee started discussing the land transfer with the parks board on Sept. 28, 2010.

His message around this time was clear: Take it or leave it. Securing the properties at no cost and receiving a total of nearly a half-million dollars from the county to subsidize the parks was a great deal, he told them.

He raised the possibility that the funding might not be there after he left office, he said.The only way that I could feel comfortable that it was going to occur in the best scenario was to be somewhat in the drivers seat, somehow having the opportunity to make this happen for the community, he said. This has nothing to do with me getting a job for PenMet Parks.Lee said he didnt lobby other County Council members to support the transfer. But he started his final push for PenMet to accept the parks while he was also negotiating to become its executive director.

Two key decisions were made at the Oct. 18 PenMet board meeting: Lee was hired, and the board agreed informally to go forward with the parks transfer, according to meeting minutes.

That same day, Lee received a congratulatory e-mail from the county parks director. Lee responded that the PenMet board was receptive to the parks transfer.

The board officially decided to proceed with the transfer Dec. 6, by a unanimous vote. The Pierce County Council approved the transfer by a vote of 6-0 on Dec. 14, which was Lees final meeting as councilman.

Lee recused himself from the vote. But in a news release, McCarthy and Lees fellow council members recognized Lee for his work over the past five years to promote these property transfers. BLOSSOMING AGENCYLees ascendance begins a new chapter for a park district that has gone through rapid growth in a short period.

Voters approved PenMets formation in 2004 with a mission of providing parks and recreation services in a 58-square-mile area in unincorporated Pierce County west of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and east of the Purdy Bridge.

It succeeds the Peninsula Park and Recreation District, which formed in 1984 but continuously struggled to raise money.

PenMet has independent taxing authority. Its estimated to receive more than $3.7 million in dedicated property and sales tax revenue this year, budget figures show.

With stable funding, the agency has blossomed. It started out more than six years ago with two parks totalling 38 acres. In 2005, it hired its first full-time employee, the executive director. Today it has more than 11 full-time-equivalent employees and owns, leases or holds an interest in 17 parks totaling 544 acres, including the recent transfer.

Much of the growth happened under the watch of Marc Connelly, PenMets original executive director. Early last year, the district began recruiting a replacement for Connelly, who would retire Aug. 31. It hired Clover Park Technical College to screen more than 70 applicants and recommend finalists.

Lee learned of the opening in February and decided to apply.

He had worked closely with PenMet over the years, in ways such as: Sponsoring the legislation that asked voters to form the park district. Working with the district to provide funding that enabled the transfer of the Tacoma Narrows Airport from the City of Tacoma to Pierce County in 2008. PenMet secured Madrona Links Golf Course through a separate but related transaction. Securing funding for the second phase of the Cushman Trail, a prominent walking and biking path on the Gig Harbor peninsula.

The PenMet job also aligned with Lees personal interests. He has summited Mount Rainier three times, finished the annual bike ride from Seattle to Portland 11 times, and run 31 marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1987.What could be better than building fun for people? he said.In consulting with his wife, Donna, however, Lee said he became convinced that retirement was a better fit and thought it would be unfair to continue the process if he wasnt fully committed.He withdrew his name in May.

The minimum qualifications initially established by the board were a four-year degree in parks, recreation, landscape architecture or a closely related field, and a preference for a minimum of eight years of experience in that field.

Lee had earned a bachelors degree with a double major in chemistry and zoology in 1970. He said his lack of a degree in one of the specified fields did not factor into his decision to withdraw his application.

Lee acknowledged that there is a public perception about double-dipping but added that it didnt play into his decision to withdraw his original candidacy.

FINDING A DIRECTOR

In June, the PenMet board and a community panel interviewed seven candidates for parks director. Three were from out of state; four were in-state candidates, including Commissioner Curtis Hancock, who works as a project manager with Metro Parks Tacoma.

The total cost of the recruitment process was about $8,000, according to district figures.

The board hired its top choice, Daniel Hopkins, the recreation superintendent in Asheville, N.C., on Aug. 2. He was scheduled to start Sept. 1.

Four days before his first day, however, Hopkins notified the district that he couldnt fulfill the commitment for a personal reason.It was my decision, again, revolving around the health of a family member, Hopkins told .He later accepted a job in Cary, a town west of Raleigh, N.C.

The PenMet board met Aug. 31 and charted a different path as it started a second recruitment. The audiotape reviewed by makes clear the board members wanted to bring in someone with more administrative experience. (Lees name was not specifically mentioned.) They felt they leaned too heavily on parks expertise in the first round.We wanted a different dynamic, board member William Sehmel explained later.

They had people on staff with the skills to maintain and develop parks and run recreation programs. The board now wanted a CEO with connections, vision and big-picture thinking.

Neither state law nor district policies establish minimum qualifications for the executive director position, and board members said the districts attorney advised them they had the authority to make changes.

They decided to review the initial pool of applicants again. To help them, they loosened the minimum qualifications to graduating with a four-year degree with no specific emphasis. They said they preferred, but did not require, professional parks and recreation experience, and they suggested no minimum years of experience.

After an hourlong discussion Sept. 7, the board settled on contacting seven candidates from the original pool to see if they were interested in the job. They also directed Sehmel, who had approached Lee the week before about reapplying, to ask Lee to consider an interview. Sehmel was a friend of Lee and, along with Commissioner Todd Iverson, had run for Lees seat on the County Council last year. Neither Sehmel nor Iverson advanced past the August primary.

Lee was identified as Applicant 20. (Applicants were given numbers to protect their confidentiality.) Board members liked his connections but raised concerns about his lack of parks experience and about how long hed serve, if hired, according to a tape of the meeting.

During the next few days, the districts administrative assistant contacted the other seven candidates by e-mail, with five saying they were still interested, according to district records.

The board never interviewed them.

THE HIRE

Lee accepted the interview offer. His wife was leading a Bible study group, and that limited the couples ability to travel, something she wanted to do when he retired.

He said he was growing more concerned about the next chapter of his life as the end of his council term approached.I wanted to somehow play a role, somehow play a part, somehow make a difference, he said. I think thats what really kept my interest. It wasnt the additional money, although money is important. I think it was still being a player in the community. The board interviewed Lee on Sept. 20, and he assuaged their concerns. The board voted unanimously to begin contract negotiations later that evening. Sehmel, whom Lee had informally endorsed for his council seat, abstained.

Lee was hired Oct. 18 with a 3-0 vote. (Two commissioners were absent.)

Lee could have avoided holding two jobs at once. He said he didnt consider resigning his council seat early and doesnt recall considering a later start date with PenMet.

During negotiations with the board, he said he raised the idea of drawing no salary for his part-time work. He said PenMets attorney told him it couldnt accept that offer.

Lee will earn $74,833 this year about $20,000 less than Connelly did in his last full year as director and about $30,000 less than Lee made as a county councilman. (Lees salary reflects 11 months of work because of his time off in January.)

SOME DOUBTS

One commissioner wasnt completely sold on the decision. Before he voted with the others to start negotiating with Lee, Iverson had sought to reopen the search process.I wanted to take the time and make sure that Terry was the right guy, Iverson said, but the rest of the board felt they had the right guy then and there and jumped on him.Commissioner Jon Ortgiesen said Lees skills as a politician are of inestimable value.He knows everybody in the county, Ortgiesen said. When we go out and apply for grants or we need to get some projects done, he can go out there and sell for us.Added Hancock: Hes gotten proven bridge-building and partnership-building skills, and hes done it over and over and over. Hes a good person to bring people together.Already, Lee is putting those skills to use, planning to work with the Peninsula School District on an agreement to jointly use its space. He also approached the City of Gig Harbor about working together, and even raised the idea of annexing the citys parks into PenMet.

If the board decides to keep him beyond his one-year contract, Lee said, he plans to stay three more years. He wants to make PenMet the envy of every park district in the state.

Lee makes it clear he would have run for a third term on the County Council if not barred by consecutive term limits. He said he has conflicted feelings but hasnt ruled out running in 2014, when the seat comes up again.

Christian Hill: 253-274-7390 christian.hill@thenewstribune.com

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DOUBLE DUTY | View Clip
02/20/2011
News Tribune - Online

Terry Lee's legacy intertwined with his future prospects late last year as his time on the Pierce County Council was nearing an end.

The Gig Harbor Republican, a county councilman since 2003, had heard frequent complaints from constituents that Pierce County wasn't adequately funding its parks west of the Narrows.

With term limits chasing him out, Lee made one last push in 2010 to give 141 acres of county land – from Narrows Park to Sunrise Beach to the Fox Island Fishing Pier – to the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District.

Lee had lobbied five years for the property transfer. He wanted local control, and now it was about to happen. In one move, the park district would increase its land holdings by more than one-third while accepting new liabilities and long-term costs.

Around the same time last summer, Lee made an additional pitch: to be the new executive director of PenMet Parks.

He was hired Oct. 18, working part time in November and December and drawing two paychecks as he finished his term as county councilman. He started full time with PenMet on Feb. 1 after taking an unpaid monthlong break in Hawaii.

There's no sign that Lee acted illegally. He and the PenMet board are open about the facts. He is hardly the first Pierce County Council member to get another government job after leaving office. Many have done so by election, appointment or hire.

What makes Lee's case unusual is how he wore two professional hats at the same time for several weeks. And while both Lee and the elected PenMet board say there was no quid pro quo, the county's ethics code bars county employees from using their office for any private purpose, including “financial gain, or present or future employment.”

The News Tribune could not determine if anyone has filed an ethics complaint against Lee. County ethics commission officials say they are prohibited from disclosing complaints under investigation. Lee said he was unaware of any complaint filed against him.

At the very least, Lee risked the perception that he unduly influenced a decision that could benefit him or his new employer.

In a recent interview, the 64-year-old Lee said he has enough money to retire comfortably. He said he used his pull as a two-term councilman to help seal the deal on the parks transfer and burnish his legacy before leaving office. But he insists he didn't use the transfer to promote himself for a new job.

“While the timing is, I suppose, somewhat suspect, I think you should find some comfort in the fact that I didn't do it for financial gain,” he said of the transfer. “I did it for the community, and I think that we will be better off because of it.”

Lee said he consulted twice with Susan Long, the County Council's legal and operations administrator, to check on what could constitute a conflict of interest: first, when he began negotiations for the PenMet executive director post, and second, when the parks transfer came to a vote of the County Council, after he'd accepted the PenMet job.

He said he was advised he could hold both jobs but abstain from the vote, which he did.

An authority on government ethics who was told the circumstances by The News Tribune cited “an appearance of impropriety” because of Lee's interest in the executive director job while he was in a position to influence a decision on the parks transfer.

“It certainly appears he was trying to serve two masters,” said Judy Nadler, senior fellow in government ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

Lee was aware last spring – when he first applied for the PenMet post, then withdrew his name – that holding the two jobs at once might not play well in public. A friend and former campaign adviser warned him about it.

“I'm concerned how holding two government positions in the fall might look in the press,” Kirk Kirkland wrote in an April 15 e-mail to Lee. “The TNT has been confrontational and I don't want you to get caught sideways if it can be avoided.”

The e-mail is one of hundreds of pages of PenMet and Pierce County documents The News Tribune requested and reviewed, including e-mails, written board minutes, meeting recordings, and other correspondences and records.

The records and interviews show that PenMet's board of directors quickly switched course last summer after the withdrawal of the executive director it had hired from North Carolina.

The board loosened the job's minimum qualifications for a position that had already drawn more than 70 applicants and seven finalists with professional parks credentials. It settled with laser-like focus on a politically connected administrator whose Peninsula roots date back nearly four decades.

Terry Lee was their man. His interest in the job had been rekindled.

After they scaled back the qualifications, they interviewed nobody else.

“He can open doors that most people can't,” Commissioner Curtis Hancock said in an interview.

QUESTIONABLE TIMING

PenMet park commissioners say the land transfer wasn't a factor in their decision to hire Lee.

“I'll be the first to admit that the process looks bad from the outside,” Hancock said. “But I stand fully behind the decision because of the quality of the person we got.”

The timing raised the eyebrows of at least one county resident. Bob Neilson of Puyallup learned about it in mid-December from a county employee and e-mailed Lee to verify what he called an “outrageous and preposterous” arrangement.

Lee responded that the transfer would save the county money. His recruitment, he said, was a separate matter.

The County Council officially approved the land transfer Dec. 14, Lee's final meeting as councilman. But the county and PenMet had been talking about it since 2005, and some parks commissioners say it would have happened regardless of Lee's involvement last year.

A transfer was consistent with the county's master park and recreation plan, which called for the county to divest itself of parks located within local cities and park districts.

Negotiations stalled because PenMet officials and then-County Executive John Ladenburg couldn't agree on conditions.

The district sought an annual fixed subsidy from the county of $200,000 for an initial 10-year period and $100,000 annually thereafter, waiver of permit fees for development, and detailed surveys of the properties.

Lee thought a transfer made sense and lobbied for it. The two agencies, however, were entrenched in their positions.

In the waning months of his last term, Lee was determined to close the deal.

There had been some movement between the county and PenMet after Pat McCarthy took office as county executive in January 2009. She was open to offering three years of funding support, which PenMet recommended at $166,000 a year.

But a letter from PenMet in December 2009 continued to seek additional conditions, including guarantees that the properties were free of permitting, legal or environmental problems.

Meeting minutes show Lee started discussing the land transfer with the parks board on Sept. 28, 2010.

His message around this time was clear: Take it or leave it. Securing the properties at no cost – and receiving a total of nearly a half-million dollars from the county to subsidize the parks – was a great deal, he told them.

He raised the possibility that the funding might not be there after he left office, he said.

“The only way that I could feel comfortable that it was going to occur in the best scenario was to be somewhat in the driver's seat, somehow having the opportunity to make this happen for the community,” he said. “This has nothing to do with me getting a job for PenMet Parks.”

Lee said he didn't lobby other County Council members to support the transfer. But he started his final push for PenMet to accept the parks while he was also negotiating to become its executive director.

Two key decisions were made at the Oct. 18 PenMet board meeting: Lee was hired, and the board agreed informally to go forward with the parks transfer, according to meeting minutes.

That same day, Lee received a congratulatory e-mail from the county parks director. Lee responded that the PenMet board was receptive to the parks transfer.

The board officially decided to proceed with the transfer Dec. 6, by a unanimous vote. The Pierce County Council approved the transfer by a vote of 6-0 on Dec. 14, which was Lee's final meeting as councilman.

Lee recused himself from the vote. But in a news release, McCarthy and Lee's fellow council members recognized Lee “for his work over the past five years to promote these property transfers.”

BLOSSOMING AGENCY

Lee's ascendance begins a new chapter for a park district that has gone through rapid growth in a short period.

Voters approved PenMet's formation in 2004 with a mission of providing parks and recreation services in a 58-square-mile area in unincorporated Pierce County west of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and east of the Purdy Bridge.

It succeeds the Peninsula Park and Recreation District, which formed in 1984 but continuously struggled to raise money.

PenMet has independent taxing authority. It's estimated to receive more than $3.7 million in dedicated property and sales tax revenue this year, budget figures show.

With stable funding, the agency has blossomed. It started out more than six years ago with two parks totalling 38 acres. In 2005, it hired its first full-time employee, the executive director. Today it has more than 11 full-time-equivalent employees and owns, leases or holds an interest in 17 parks totaling 544 acres, including the recent transfer.

Much of the growth happened under the watch of Marc Connelly, PenMet's original executive director. Early last year, the district began recruiting a replacement for Connelly, who would retire Aug. 31. It hired Clover Park Technical College to screen more than 70 applicants and recommend finalists.

Lee learned of the opening in February and decided to apply.

He had worked closely with PenMet over the years, in ways such as:

• Sponsoring the legislation that asked voters to form the park district.

• Working with the district to provide funding that enabled the transfer of the Tacoma Narrows Airport from the City of Tacoma to Pierce County in 2008. PenMet secured Madrona Links Golf Course through a separate but related transaction.

• Securing funding for the second phase of the Cushman Trail, a prominent walking and biking path on the Gig Harbor peninsula.

The PenMet job also aligned with Lee's personal interests. He has summited Mount Rainier three times, finished the annual bike ride from Seattle to Portland 11 times, and run 31 marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1987.

“What could be better than building fun for people?” he said.

In consulting with his wife, Donna, however, Lee said he became convinced that retirement was a better fit and thought it would be unfair to continue the process if he wasn't fully committed.

He withdrew his name in May.

The minimum qualifications initially established by the board were a four-year degree in parks, recreation, landscape architecture or a closely related field, and a preference for a minimum of eight years of experience in that field.

Lee had earned a bachelor's degree with a double major in chemistry and zoology in 1970. He said his lack of a degree in one of the specified fields did not factor into his decision to withdraw his application.

Lee acknowledged that there is a public perception about “double-dipping” but added that it didn't play into his decision to withdraw his original candidacy.

FINDING A DIRECTOR

In June, the PenMet board and a community panel interviewed seven candidates for parks director. Three were from out of state; four were in-state candidates, including Commissioner Curtis Hancock, who works as a project manager with Metro Parks Tacoma.

The total cost of the recruitment process was about $8,000, according to district figures.

The board hired its top choice, Daniel Hopkins, the recreation superintendent in Asheville, N.C., on Aug. 2. He was scheduled to start Sept. 1.

Four days before his first day, however, Hopkins notified the district that he couldn't fulfill the commitment for a personal reason.

“It was my decision, again, revolving around the health of a family member,” Hopkins told The News Tribune.

He later accepted a job in Cary, a town west of Raleigh, N.C.

The PenMet board met Aug. 31 and charted a different path as it started a second recruitment. The audiotape reviewed by The News Tribune makes clear the board members wanted to bring in someone with more administrative experience. (Lee's name was not specifically mentioned.) They felt they leaned too heavily on parks expertise in the first round.

“We wanted a different dynamic,” board member William Sehmel explained later.

They had people on staff with the skills to maintain and develop parks and run recreation programs. The board now wanted a CEO with connections, vision and big-picture thinking.

Neither state law nor district policies establish minimum qualifications for the executive director position, and board members said the district's attorney advised them they had the authority to make changes.

They decided to review the initial pool of applicants again. To help them, they loosened the minimum qualifications to graduating with a four-year degree with no specific emphasis. They said they preferred, but did not require, professional parks and recreation experience, and they suggested no minimum years of experience.

After an hourlong discussion Sept. 7, the board settled on contacting seven candidates from the original pool to see if they were interested in the job. They also directed Sehmel, who had approached Lee the week before about reapplying, to ask Lee to consider an interview. Sehmel was a friend of Lee and, along with Commissioner Todd Iverson, had run for Lee's seat on the County Council last year. Neither Sehmel nor Iverson advanced past the August primary.

Lee was identified as Applicant 20. (Applicants were given numbers to protect their confidentiality.) Board members liked his connections but raised concerns about his lack of parks experience and about how long he'd serve, if hired, according to a tape of the meeting.

During the next few days, the district's administrative assistant contacted the other seven candidates by e-mail, with five saying they were still interested, according to district records.

The board never interviewed them.

THE HIRE

Lee accepted the interview offer. His wife was leading a Bible study group, and that limited the couple's ability to travel, something she wanted to do when he retired.

He said he was growing more concerned about the next chapter of his life as the end of his council term approached.

“I wanted to somehow play a role, somehow play a part, somehow make a difference,” he said. “I think that's what really kept my interest. It wasn't the additional money, although money is important. I think it was still being a player in the community.”

The board interviewed Lee on Sept. 20, and he assuaged their concerns. The board voted unanimously to begin contract negotiations later that evening. Sehmel, whom Lee had informally endorsed for his council seat, abstained.

Lee was hired Oct. 18 with a 3-0 vote. (Two commissioners were absent.)

Lee could have avoided holding two jobs at once. He said he didn't consider resigning his council seat early and doesn't recall considering a later start date with PenMet.

During negotiations with the board, he said he raised the idea of drawing no salary for his part-time work. He said PenMet's attorney told him it couldn't accept that offer.

Lee will earn $74,833 this year – about $20,000 less than Connelly did in his last full year as director and about $30,000 less than Lee made as a county councilman. (Lee's salary reflects 11 months of work because of his time off in January.)

SOME DOUBTS

One commissioner wasn't completely sold on the decision. Before he voted with the others to start negotiating with Lee, Iverson had sought to reopen the search process.

“I wanted to take the time and make sure that Terry was the right guy,” Iverson said, “but the rest of the board felt they had the right guy then and there and jumped on him.”

Commissioner Jon Ortgiesen said Lee's skills as a politician are of inestimable value.

“He knows everybody in the county,” Ortgiesen said. “When we go out and apply for grants or we need to get some projects done, he can go out there and sell for us.”

Added Hancock: “He's gotten proven bridge-building and partnership-building skills, and he's done it over and over and over. He's a good person to bring people together.”

Already, Lee is putting those skills to use, planning to work with the Peninsula School District on an agreement to jointly use its space. He also approached the City of Gig Harbor about working together, and even raised the idea of annexing the city's parks into PenMet.

If the board decides to keep him beyond his one-year contract, Lee said, he plans to stay three more years. He wants to make PenMet the envy of every park district in the state.

Lee makes it clear he would have run for a third term on the County Council if not barred by consecutive term limits. He said he has conflicted feelings but hasn't ruled out running in 2014, when the seat comes up again.

Christian Hill: 253-274-7390 christian.hill@thenewstribune.com

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DOUBLE DUTY
02/20/2011
News Tribune

A NEWS TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE Gig Harbor's Terry Lee held one public job while negotiating for another, and he used both to secure local control of parks. Insiders and outsiders alike say it doesn't look good.

Terry Lee's legacy intertwined with his future prospects late last year as his time on the Pierce County Council was nearing an end.

The Gig Harbor Republican, a county councilman since 2003, had heard frequent complaints from constituents that Pierce County wasn't adequately funding its parks west of the Narrows.

With term limits chasing him out, Lee made one last push in 2010 to give 141 acres of county land – from Narrows Park to Sunrise Beach to the Fox Island Fishing Pier – to the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District.

Lee had lobbied five years for the property transfer. He wanted local control, and now it was about to happen. In one move, the park district would increase its land holdings by more than one-third while accepting new liabilities and long-term costs.

Around the same time last summer, Lee made an additional pitch: to be the new executive director of PenMet Parks.

He was hired Oct. 18, working part time in November and December and drawing two paychecks as he finished his term as county councilman. He started full time with PenMet on Feb. 1 after taking an unpaid monthlong break in Hawaii.

There's no sign that Lee acted illegally. He and the PenMet board are open about the facts. He is hardly the first Pierce County Council member to get another government job after leaving office. Many have done so by election, appointment or hire.

What makes Lee's case unusual is how he wore two professional hats at the same time for several weeks. And while both Lee and the elected PenMet board say there was no quid pro quo, the county's ethics code bars county employees from using their office for any private purpose, including "financial gain, or present or future employment."

The News Tribune could not determine if anyone has filed an ethics complaint against Lee. County ethics commission officials say they are prohibited from disclosing complaints under investigation. Lee said he was unaware of any complaint filed against him.

At the very least, Lee risked the perception that he unduly influenced a decision that could benefit him or his new employer.

In a recent interview, the 64-year-old Lee said he has enough money to retire comfortably. He said he used his pull as a two-term councilman to help seal the deal on the parks transfer and burnish his legacy before leaving office. But he insists he didn't use the transfer to promote himself for a new job.

"While the timing is, I suppose, somewhat suspect, I think you should find some comfort in the fact that I didn't do it for financial gain," he said of the transfer. "I did it for the community, and I think that we will be better off because of it."

Lee said he consulted twice with Susan Long , the County Council's legal and operations administrator, to check on what could constitute a conflict of interest: first, when he began negotiations for the PenMet executive director post, and second, when the parks transfer came to a vote of the County Council , after he'd accepted the PenMet job.

He said he was advised he could hold both jobs but abstain from the vote, which he did.

An authority on government ethics who was told the circumstances by The News Tribune cited "an appearance of impropriety" because of Lee's interest in the executive director job while he was in a position to influence a decision on the parks transfer.

"It certainly appears he was trying to serve two masters," said Judy Nadler , senior fellow in government ethics at Santa Clara University in California.

Lee was aware last spring – when he first applied for the PenMet post, then withdrew his name – that holding the two jobs at once might not play well in public. A friend and former campaign adviser warned him about it.

"I'm concerned how holding two government positions in the fall might look in the press," Kirk Kirkland wrote in an April 15 e-mail to Lee. "The TNT has been confrontational and I don't want you to get caught sideways if it can be avoided."

The e-mail is one of hundreds of pages of PenMet and Pierce County documents The News Tribune requested and reviewed, including e-mails, written board minutes, meeting recordings, and other correspondences and records.

The records and interviews show that PenMet's board of directors quickly switched course last summer after the withdrawal of the executive director it had hired from North Carolina.

The board loosened the job's minimum qualifications for a position that had already drawn more than 70 applicants and seven finalists with professional parks credentials. It settled with laser-like focus on a politically connected administrator whose Peninsula roots date back nearly four decades.

Terry Lee was their man. His interest in the job had been rekindled.

After they scaled back the qualifications, they interviewed nobody else.

"He can open doors that most people can't," Commissioner Curtis Hancock said in an interview.

QUESTIONABLE TIMING

PenMet park commissioners say the land transfer wasn't a factor in their decision to hire Lee.

"I'll be the first to admit that the process looks bad from the outside," Hancock said. "But I stand fully behind the decision because of the quality of the person we got."

The timing raised the eyebrows of at least one county resident. Bob Neilson of Puyallup learned about it in mid-December from a county employee and e-mailed Lee to verify what he called an "outrageous and preposterous" arrangement.

Lee responded that the transfer would save the county money. His recruitment, he said, was a separate matter.

The County Council officially approved the land transfer Dec. 14, Lee's final meeting as councilman. But the county and PenMet had been talking about it since 2005, and some parks commissioners say it would have happened regardless of Lee's involvement last year.

A transfer was consistent with the county's master park and recreation plan, which called for the county to divest itself of parks located within local cities and park districts.

Negotiations stalled because PenMet officials and then-County Executive John Ladenburg couldn't agree on conditions.

The district sought an annual fixed subsidy from the county of $200,000 for an initial 10-year period and $100,000 annually thereafter, waiver of permit fees for development, and detailed surveys of the properties.

Lee thought a transfer made sense and lobbied for it. The two agencies, however, were entrenched in their positions.

In the waning months of his last term, Lee was determined to close the deal.

There had been some movement between the county and PenMet after Pat McCarthy took office as county executive in January 2009. She was open to offering three years of funding support, which PenMet recommended at $166,000 a year.

But a letter from PenMet in December 2009 continued to seek additional conditions, including guarantees that the properties were free of permitting, legal or environmental problems.

Meeting minutes show Lee started discussing the land transfer with the parks board on Sept. 28, 2010.

His message around this time was clear: Take it or leave it. Securing the properties at no cost – and receiving a total of nearly a half-million dollars from the county to subsidize the parks – was a great deal, he told them.

He raised the possibility that the funding might not be there after he left office, he said.

"The only way that I could feel comfortable that it was going to occur in the best scenario was to be somewhat in the driver's seat, somehow having the opportunity to make this happen for the community," he said. "This has nothing to do with me getting a job for PenMet Parks."

Lee said he didn't lobby other County Council members to support the transfer. But he started his final push for PenMet to accept the parks while he was also negotiating to become its executive director.

Two key decisions were made at the Oct. 18 PenMet board meeting: Lee was hired, and the board agreed informally to go forward with the parks transfer, according to meeting minutes.

That same day, Lee received a congratulatory e-mail from the county parks director. Lee responded that the PenMet board was receptive to the parks transfer.

The board officially decided to proceed with the transfer Dec. 6, by a unanimous vote. The Pierce County Council approved the transfer by a vote of 6-0 on Dec. 14, which was Lee's final meeting as councilman.

Lee recused himself from the vote. But in a news release, McCarthy and Lee's fellow council members recognized Lee "for his work over the past five years to promote these property transfers."

BLOSSOMING AGENCY

Lee's ascendance begins a new chapter for a park district that has gone through rapid growth in a short period.

Voters approved PenMet's formation in 2004 with a mission of providing parks and recreation services in a 58-square-mile area in unincorporated Pierce County west of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and east of the Purdy Bridge.

It succeeds the Peninsula Park and Recreation District, which formed in 1984 but continuously struggled to raise money.

PenMet has independent taxing authority. It's estimated to receive more than $3.7 million in dedicated property and sales tax revenue this year, budget figures show.

With stable funding, the agency has blossomed. It started out more than six years ago with two parks totalling 38 acres. In 2005, it hired its first full-time employee, the executive director. Today it has more than 11 full-time-equivalent employees and owns, leases or holds an interest in 17 parks totaling 544 acres, including the recent transfer.

Much of the growth happened under the watch of Marc Connelly , PenMet's original executive director. Early last year, the district began recruiting a replacement for Connelly, who would retire Aug. 31. It hired Clover Park Technical College to screen more than 70 applicants and recommend finalists.

Lee learned of the opening in February and decided to apply.

He had worked closely with PenMet over the years, in ways such as:

• Sponsoring the legislation that asked voters to form the park district.

• Working with the district to provide funding that enabled the transfer of the Tacoma Narrows Airport from the City of Tacoma to Pierce County in 2008. PenMet secured Madrona Links Golf Course through a separate but related transaction.

• Securing funding for the second phase of the Cushman Trail, a prominent walking and biking path on the Gig Harbor peninsula.

The PenMet job also aligned with Lee's personal interests. He has summited Mount Rainier three times, finished the annual bike ride from Seattle to Portland 11 times, and run 31 marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 1987.

"What could be better than building fun for people?" he said.

In consulting with his wife, Donna, however, Lee said he became convinced that retirement was a better fit and thought it would be unfair to continue the process if he wasn't fully committed.

He withdrew his name in May.

The minimum qualifications initially established by the board were a four-year degree in parks, recreation, landscape architecture or a closely related field, and a preference for a minimum of eight years of experience in that field.

Lee had earned a bachelor's degree with a double major in chemistry and zoology in 1970. He said his lack of a degree in one of the specified fields did not factor into his decision to withdraw his application.

Lee acknowledged that there is a public perception about "double-dipping" but added that it didn't play into his decision to withdraw his original candidacy.

FINDING A DIRECTOR

In June, the PenMet board and a community panel interviewed seven candidates for parks director. Three were from out of state; four were in-state candidates, including Commissioner Curtis Hancock , who works as a project manager with Metro Parks Tacoma.

The total cost of the recruitment process was about $8,000, according to district figures.

The board hired its top choice, Daniel Hopkins , the recreation superintendent in Asheville, N.C., on Aug. 2. He was scheduled to start Sept. 1.

Four days before his first day, however, Hopkins notified the district that he couldn't fulfill the commitment for a personal reason.

"It was my decision, again, revolving around the health of a family member," Hopkins told The News Tribune .

He later accepted a job in Cary, a town west of Raleigh, N.C.

The PenMet board met Aug. 31 and charted a different path as it started a second recruitment. The audiotape reviewed by The News Tribune makes clear the board members wanted to bring in someone with more administrative experience. (Lee's name was not specifically mentioned.) They felt they leaned too heavily on parks expertise in the first round.

"We wanted a different dynamic," board member William Sehmel explained later.

They had people on staff with the skills to maintain and develop parks and run recreation programs. The board now wanted a CEO with connections, vision and big-picture thinking.

Neither state law nor district policies establish minimum qualifications for the executive director position, and board members said the district's attorney advised them they had the authority to make changes.

They decided to review the initial pool of applicants again. To help them, they loosened the minimum qualifications to graduating with a four-year degree with no specific emphasis. They said they preferred, but did not require, professional parks and recreation experience, and they suggested no minimum years of experience.

After an hourlong discussion Sept. 7, the board settled on contacting seven candidates from the original pool to see if they were interested in the job. They also directed Sehmel, who had approached Lee the week before about reapplying, to ask Lee to consider an interview. Sehmel was a friend of Lee and, along with Commissioner Todd Iverson , had run for Lee's seat on the County Council last year. Neither Sehmel nor Iverson advanced past the August primary.

Lee was identified as Applicant 20. (Applicants were given numbers to protect their confidentiality.) Board members liked his connections but raised concerns about his lack of parks experience and about how long he'd serve, if hired, according to a tape of the meeting.

During the next few days, the district's administrative assistant contacted the other seven candidates by e-mail, with five saying they were still interested, according to district records.

The board never interviewed them.

THE HIRE

Lee accepted the interview offer. His wife was leading a Bible study group, and that limited the couple's ability to travel, something she wanted to do when he retired.

He said he was growing more concerned about the next chapter of his life as the end of his council term approached.

"I wanted to somehow play a role, somehow play a part, somehow make a difference," he said. "I think that's what really kept my interest. It wasn't the additional money, although money is important. I think it was still being a player in the community."

The board interviewed Lee on Sept. 20, and he assuaged their concerns. The board voted unanimously to begin contract negotiations later that evening. Sehmel, whom Lee had informally endorsed for his council seat, abstained.

Lee was hired Oct. 18 with a 3-0 vote. (Two commissioners were absent.)

Lee could have avoided holding two jobs at once. He said he didn't consider resigning his council seat early and doesn't recall considering a later start date with PenMet.

During negotiations with the board, he said he raised the idea of drawing no salary for his part-time work. He said PenMet's attorney told him it couldn't accept that offer.

Lee will earn $74,833 this year – about $20,000 less than Connelly did in his last full year as director and about $30,000 less than Lee made as a county councilman. (Lee's salary reflects 11 months of work because of his time off in January.)

SOME DOUBTS

One commissioner wasn't completely sold on the decision. Before he voted with the others to start negotiating with Lee, Iverson had sought to reopen the search process.

"I wanted to take the time and make sure that Terry was the right guy," Iverson said, "but the rest of the board felt they had the right guy then and there and jumped on him."

Commissioner Jon Ortgiesen said Lee's skills as a politician are of inestimable value.

"He knows everybody in the county," Ortgiesen said. "When we go out and apply for grants or we need to get some projects done, he can go out there and sell for us."

Added Hancock: "He's gotten proven bridge-building and partnership-building skills, and he's done it over and over and over. He's a good person to bring people together."

Already, Lee is putting those skills to use, planning to work with the Peninsula School District on an agreement to jointly use its space. He also approached the City of Gig Harbor about working together, and even raised the idea of annexing the city's parks into PenMet.

If the board decides to keep him beyond his one-year contract, Lee said, he plans to stay three more years. He wants to make PenMet the envy of every park district in the state.

Lee makes it clear he would have run for a third term on the County Council if not barred by consecutive term limits. He said he has conflicted feelings but hasn't ruled out running in 2014, when the seat comes up again.

Christian Hill : 253-274-7390

Copyright © 2011 McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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IPOs by LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others could alter venture capital landscape | View Clip
02/20/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Against the backdrop of a moribund market for initial public stock offerings and a venture capital industry hobbled by a recession, the half-dozen social-networking companies expected to go public in the coming year -- likely candidates include Groupon, Twitter, LinkedIn and, the granddaddy IPO of all, Facebook -- could be silver-winged angels.

Some venture capital investors stand to make a killing from these IPOs -- though those that missed these deals could close up shop amid a VC industry downturn. At the same time, a wave of successful IPO launches may trigger a ripple effect, fattening the coffers of the survivors so they can fund a new slew of social-media derring-do.

This anticipated IPO flurry comes at a time when Silicon Valley's once high-flying club of venture capitalists has been rattled and cut down in size. As deals dried up over recent years, the National Venture Capital Association said the number of VC firms dropped from about 1,000 in 2007 to about 400 today, with more firms winding down. And the VC industry, whose funds typically have a 10-year contractual life, saw its long-term returns turn negative in 2010 after years of stellar returns, due to the full impact of the dot-com bust.

"The general state of the IPO market was a disaster in 2008 and 2009, with only 18 venture-backed IPOs in two years compared with between 150 and 200 in the early 2000s," said the association's president, Mark Heesen. He added that things

started to improve in 2010 with 45 companies going public, and that an additional 50 already are lined up do so this year.

"We're definitely happy with that increase," Heesen said, "but we're certainly not jumping for joy."

While the IPO market is finally showing signs of life and the big VC firms stand to cash in nicely, no one's quite sure what these looming IPOs may mean for the larger VC landscape.

Randy Komisar, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which has invested $150 million in Twitter, said the eventual debut of Facebook and others would "be a good shot in the arm for the valley. The valley just is irrepressible -- whenever you think it shows the makings of being the next Detroit, it reinvents itself."

Yet, Komisar cautions that there's danger of an investment bubble inflating around social media, especially for venture investors late to the party. He said early investors stand to reap outsize profits, but venture firms that have lost investors because of lousy returns may now resort to making "gambler's bets," pumping up valuations for startups and possibly tempting another bubble.

Harvard University business professor Bill Sahlman, a noted expert in entrepreneurial finance, said in an e-mail that the Internet "is a platform that supports the potential for explosive, enduring growth. A few remarkable winners have emerged and the rewards to the early, and even late, investors will be shocking."

Sahlman believes Accel Partners could make several hundred times its $21.3 million investment in Facebook. Greylock Partners, which Sahlman says invested when the firm had a $500 million valuation, could rake in more than 100 times the approximately $1 million it initially put into Facebook. (Accel and Greylock both declined to comment for this report.)

In addition, there's now a booming "secondary market" for pre-IPO shares of Facebook and other successful startups, where VC firms that have purchased shares early on can turn around and sell them to later-stage investors, sometimes at a much higher price than they paid.

While the earlier investors stand to do well, Sahlman also sees danger brewing as these secondary markets help to drive up a company's estimated worth as shares keep changing hands. "The money the investors make," said Sahlman, "will amplify the bubble in Internet investing."

This recent growth of secondary trading could actually prove to be a drag on the IPO market. San Jose State business professor Randall Stross, who in 2001 wrote "eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists At Work," said that compared with the go-go IPO days of the late 1990s, "today's most promising startups are able to raise huge sums in late rounds at very high valuations without going public. They're also able to give their founding employees the opportunity to cash out with these very active secondary markets. That's new; in the late '90s the only way anyone would get their money out was with an IPO."

So the IPO assembly line could remain sluggish, even with successful debuts by the half-dozen big-name social-networking startups. So far, LinkedIn is the only one of them that's actually filed to go public. Others may not feel the pressure to file quickly because the secondary market, said Stross, "gives a company breathing room for delaying the IPO. There's strong preference to operating out of the purview of the SEC and having to tell the world what you're doing." Just ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the poster child for foot-dragging before a looming IPO.

Yet even as the VC shakeout continues, there surely will be big winners. Santa Clara University law professor Steve Diamond said "the big payoffs will be for guys like (angel investor and PayPal co-founder) Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook."

Early investors in Zynga, the San Francisco-based social-networking developer of games that can piggyback on Facebook, "will do very well," said Scott Sweet with Florida-based advisers IPO Boutique. "They're in bed with Facebook. And anything directly or indirectly connected with Facebook is gold. The earlier you got in the better, sure. Because you'll have options for shares at dimes on the dollar. Windfalls of 100 times investment are entirely possible."

Zynga board member William "Bing" Gordon, the Kleiner partner who runs the sound investing in social-networking startups, said: "We think there's a whole round of companies that'll be built on social media. Facebook's rewiring relationships and the way people spend their time. So you're seeing investors starting to believe Facebook might be an even more important company than they'd previously thought. With our fund strategy, we think social networking is just getting started."

Mercury News staff writer Peter Delevett contributed to this report. Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689. Follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc.

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IPOs by LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others could alter venture capital landscape | View Clip
02/20/2011
American Chronicle

Feb. 20--Against the backdrop of a moribund market for initial public stock offerings and a venture capital industry hobbled by a recession, the half-dozen social-networking companies expected to go public in the coming year -- likely candidates include Groupon, Twitter, LinkedIn and, the granddaddy IPO of all, Facebook -- could be silver-winged angels.

Some venture capital investors stand to make a killing from these IPOs -- though those that missed these deals could close up shop amid a VC industry downturn. At the same time, a wave of successful IPO launches may trigger a ripple effect, fattening the coffers of the survivors so they can fund a new slew of social-media derring-do.

This anticipated IPO flurry comes at a time when Silicon Valley's once high-flying club of venture capitalists has been rattled and cut down in size. As deals dried up over recent years, the National Venture Capital Association said the number of VC firms dropped from about 1,000 in 2007 to about 400 today, with more firms winding down. And the VC industry, whose funds typically have a 10-year contractual life, saw its long-term returns turn negative in 2010 after years of stellar returns, due to the full impact of the dot-com bust.

"The general state of the IPO market was a disaster in 2008 and 2009, with only 18 venture-backed IPOs in two years compared with between 150 and 200 in the early 2000s," said the association's president, Mark Heesen. He added that things

started to improve in 2010 with 45 companies going public, and that an additional 50 already are lined up do so this year.

"We're definitely happy with that increase," Heesen said, "but we're certainly not jumping for joy."

While the IPO market is finally showing signs of life and the big VC firms stand to cash in nicely, no one's quite sure what these looming IPOs may mean for the larger VC landscape.

Randy Komisar, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which has invested $150 million in Twitter, said the eventual debut of Facebook and others would "be a good shot in the arm for the valley. The valley just is irrepressible -- whenever you think it shows the makings of being the next Detroit, it reinvents itself."

Yet, Komisar cautions that there's danger of an investment bubble inflating around social media, especially for venture investors late to the party. He said early investors stand to reap outsize profits, but venture firms that have lost investors because of lousy returns may now resort to making "gambler's bets," pumping up valuations for startups and possibly tempting another bubble.

Harvard University business professor Bill Sahlman, a noted expert in entrepreneurial finance, said in an e-mail that the Internet "is a platform that supports the potential for explosive, enduring growth. A few remarkable winners have emerged and the rewards to the early, and even late, investors will be shocking."

Sahlman believes Accel Partners could make several hundred times its $21.3 million investment in Facebook. Greylock Partners, which Sahlman says invested when the firm had a $500 million valuation, could rake in more than 100 times the approximately $1 million it initially put into Facebook. (Accel and Greylock both declined to comment for this report.)

In addition, there's now a booming "secondary market" for pre-IPO shares of Facebook and other successful startups, where VC firms that have purchased shares early on can turn around and sell them to later-stage investors, sometimes at a much higher price than they paid.

While the earlier investors stand to do well, Sahlman also sees danger brewing as these secondary markets help to drive up a company's estimated worth as shares keep changing hands. "The money the investors make," said Sahlman, "will amplify the bubble in Internet investing."

This recent growth of secondary trading could actually prove to be a drag on the IPO market. San Jose State business professor Randall Stross, who in 2001 wrote "eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists At Work," said that compared with the go-go IPO days of the late 1990s, "today's most promising startups are able to raise huge sums in late rounds at very high valuations without going public. They're also able to give their founding employees the opportunity to cash out with these very active secondary markets. That's new; in the late '90s the only way anyone would get their money out was with an IPO."

So the IPO assembly line could remain sluggish, even with successful debuts by the half-dozen big-name social-networking startups. So far, LinkedIn is the only one of them that's actually filed to go public. Others may not feel the pressure to file quickly because the secondary market, said Stross, "gives a company breathing room for delaying the IPO. There's strong preference to operating out of the purview of the SEC and having to tell the world what you're doing." Just ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the poster child for foot-dragging before a looming IPO.

Yet even as the VC shakeout continues, there surely will be big winners. Santa Clara University law professor Steve Diamond said "the big payoffs will be for guys like (angel investor and PayPal co-founder) Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook."

Early investors in Zynga, the San Francisco-based social-networking developer of games that can piggyback on Facebook, "will do very well," said Scott Sweet with Florida-based advisers IPO Boutique. "They're in bed with Facebook. And anything directly or indirectly connected with Facebook is gold. The earlier you got in the better, sure. Because you'll have options for shares at dimes on the dollar. Windfalls of 100 times investment are entirely possible."

Zynga board member William "Bing" Gordon, the Kleiner partner who runs the sound investing in social-networking startups, said: "We think there's a whole round of companies that'll be built on social media. Facebook's rewiring relationships and the way people spend their time. So you're seeing investors starting to believe Facebook might be an even more important company than they'd previously thought. With our fund strategy, we think social networking is just getting started."

Mercury News staff writer Peter Delevett contributed to this report. Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689. Follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc.

-----

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Copyright (c) 2011, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.

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Mid-term election means a different tact on immigration committee | View Clip
02/20/2011
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Online

WASHINGTON -- The upheaval of the 2010 midterm elections shifted the chairmanship of the House's immigration committee from Silicon Valley's Zoe Lofgren to Simi Valley's Elton Gallegly.

Although both representatives hail from the same state, the committee's direction will be strikingly different.

Under Gallegly, a Republican, the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel is likely to focus on enforcement issues -- cracking down on immigrants illegally crossing the border, penalizing employers who hire undocumented immigrants and preserving jobs for American workers.

Gallegly has also been a strong proponent of a controversial plan to eliminate automatic citizenship for American-born children of undocumented immigrants.

Lofgren, a Democrat, focused on reforming the immigration system -- reducing the backload of citizenship applications, speeding up the visa process and offering citizenship to immigrant children.

The shift diminishes expectations that comprehensive immigration reform -- once a top priority of President Barack Obama -- will be enacted in the current Congress.

It also highlights the enormous divide, both nationally and within California, over immigration.

In conservative-leaning Simi Valley, concerns over undocumented workers prompted the city council to mandate a system to check the immigration status of all new city workers. In Democratic-leaning Silicon Valley, where many high-tech firms employ foreign

workers, the San Jose Police Department recently affirmed the city's refusal to arrest residents solely based on their immigration status.

"Californians have passed some of the most restrictive anti-immigrant legislation -- Proposition 187 and 227, while also championing immigrant rights," explained Roberto Gonzales, a professor of social welfare at the University of Washington. "As such, Californians see immigration as both a threat and benefit to their economy and culture."

California is a microcosm of nation's debate over immigration. The state has 2.6 million illegal immigrants -- more than 20 percent nation's total -- according to a 2010 Pew Hispanic Center study.

Gallegly and Lofgren -- both House veterans -- have shared flights home to California during the 16 years they've been colleagues, and Lofgren described their relationship as "cordial and polite."

Nevertheless, they fundamentally disagree on immigration.

Gallegly was named one of "Top Ten Immigration Hawks" by Human Events magazine in 2006. He co-sponsored a bill making English the national language, and in 1996 wrote an amendment allowing states to deny public education to the children of illegal immigrants.

Lofgren, a former professor of immigration law at Santa Clara University, chaired the panel for three years under the Democratic majority. Her tenure brought media attention to the committee, especially during the testimony of television comedian Stephen Colbert who spoke of his one-day experience as a fieldworker.

"I am confident that we don't see the question of immigration reform in the same way," Lofgren said. "I think that primarily the Republican leadership's focus will be on increased enforcement ... and I would say you're only enforcing the broken system."

Gallegly declined to be interviewed for the story.

The panel, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, is the hub of all immigration-related legislation in the House. Its members also include Californians Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, and Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles.

Gallegly's first two hearings focused on workplace enforcement. Last Thursday the committee held a hearing about E-Verify, a computer program used by some employers to check the legal status of their employees, which Gallegly would like to see mandatory for all employers.

"I have long said that the way to solve the problem of illegal immigration is fairly simple," he said in a statement. "First, we must enforce our laws and secure the border. Second, we must remove the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. And finally, we must remove the benefits that make it easy for illegals to stay in this country."

In Washington, the transfer of power from Lofgren to Gallegly has pleased groups that advocate tough measures to stop illegal immigration.

"We're feeling very positive about his leadership," said Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"He has consistently supported policies about enforcing existing laws and consistently opposed granting amnesty to illegal aliens. We certainly expect that he will hold the administration accountable," Mehlman said.

Immigration advocates worry that the new Congress will focus on enforcement and chip away at Constitutional protections.

"The Republican leadership, which is now in charge of the House Immigration Subcommittee, had made it very clear what its priorities are: an enforcement-only approach and to deny U.S. citizenship to babies born in America based on their parents' immigration status," said Maria Machuca, communications director of the United Farm Workers of America.

The 14th Amendment guarantees the right of citizenship to all children born in the U.S., regardless of their parents' immigration status.

The 143-year-old law has become a hot-button issue in the last few months, with TV pundits like Fox News' Glenn Beck warning people about "anchor babies," his term for children of immigrants which stems from a belief that immigrant women use these children as "anchors" or a way to root themselves in the United States.

Gallegly wrote a bill in 2009 that would ensure citizenship only to children whose mothers are U.S. citizens.

Democrats do not believe that the law will be changed. That would involve amending the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote of Congress and approval by three-quarters of the states.

"The 14th amendment was the product of the most damaging war in American history and one of the major positive outcomes of that terrible fight," Lofgren said, describing the idea of amending it as "disturbing."

Bringing up the topic in this Congress, Lofgren said, "only has the capacity to spread division and animosity."

The committee's new direction stems in part from an ideological divide regarding the effect of illegal immigration on the economy.

California has more undocumented immigrants in the workforce than any other state, approximately 1.9 million according to the Pew study. It also has among the highest unemployment rates in the country at 12.5 percent in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gallegly believes that illegal immigrants are taking jobs Americans would hold.

Lofgren believes that illegal immigrants take jobs Americans won't touch.

Lofgren does see some areas of compromise, such as fixing a law that makes it difficult for Americans in combat to file for permanent resident status for their immigrant spouses.

Lofgren introduced a measure, co-sponsored by Gallegly, which would provide an extension to the filing period. Asked whether this might be a good example of the two working together, a top aide to Gallegly was unfamiliar with the bill

The two have also agreed on the issue of H-1B visas, which allow highly skilled immigrants to stay in the U.S. Both Gallegly and Lofgren have called for reform of the system while advocating the importance of highly skilled foreign workers.

The California News Service is a journalism project of the University of California Washington Center and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Contact the California News Service at CNS@ucdc.edu

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Is GOP creating or destroying jobs?
02/20/2011
Grand Rapids Press

WASHINGTON -- Republicans scored big in November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans as they shift their emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private job growth.

Many economists challenge that claim, noting that government helps pay for research, infrastructure, education and other job-providing programs.

GOP leaders acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under their cost-cutting bill in the House.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

His allies say those workers eventually will recover.

"They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga.

"They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists -- many with conservative backgrounds -- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending."

The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

But economists differ on the idea. With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton's Alan Blinder.

If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire might displace a private-sector hire.

But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded.

Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge -- because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House predicted.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright © 2011 The Grand Rapids Press

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House immigration panel shift highlights large divide | View Clip
02/20/2011
Record - Online, The

WASHINGTON - The upheaval of the 2010 midterm elections shifted the chairmanship of the House's immigration committee from Silicon Valley's Zoe Lofgren to Simi Valley's Elton Gallegly.

While both representatives hail from California, the committee's direction will be strikingly different.

Under Gallegly, a Republican, the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel is likely to focus on enforcement issues - cracking down on immigrants illegally crossing the border, penalizing employers who hire undocumented immigrants and preserving jobs for American workers.

Lofgren, a Democrat, focused on reforming the immigration system - reducing the backlog of citizenship applications, speeding up the visa process and offering citizenship to immigrant children.

The shift diminishes expectations that comprehensive immigration reform - once a top priority of President Barack Obama - will be enacted in the current Congress.

It also highlights the enormous divide, both nationally and within California, over immigration.

The panel, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, is the hub of all immigration-related legislation in the House. Its members also include Reps. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, and Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles.

In conservative-leaning Simi Valley, concerns over undocumented workers prompted the City Council to mandate a system to check the immigration status of all new city workers. In Democratic-leaning Silicon Valley, where many high-tech firms employ foreign workers, the San Jose Police Department recently affirmed the city's refusal to arrest residents solely based on their immigration status.

"Californians have passed some of the most restrictive anti-immigrant legislation, Propositions 187 and 227, while also championing immigrant rights," said Roberto Gonzales, a professor of social welfare at the University of Washington. "As such, Californians see immigration as both a threat and benefit to (their) economy and culture."

California is a microcosm of nation's debate over immigration. The state has 2.6 million illegal immigrants - more than 20 percent of the nation's total - according to a 2010 Pew Hispanic Center study.

Gallegly and Lofgren - both House veterans - have shared flights home to California during the 16 years they've been colleagues, and Lofgren described their relationship as "cordial and polite."

Nevertheless, they fundamentally disagree on immigration.

Gallegly was named one of "Top Ten Immigration Hawks" by Human Events magazine in 2006. He co-sponsored a bill making English the national language, and in 1996 wrote an amendment allowing states to deny public education to the children of illegal immigrants.

Lofgren, a former professor of immigration law at Santa Clara University, chaired the panel for three years under the Democratic majority. Her tenure brought media attention to the committee, especially during the testimony of television satirist Stephen Colbert, who spoke of his one-day experience as a field worker.

"I am confident that we don't see the question of immigration reform in the same way," Lofgren said. "I think that primarily (the Republican leadership's) focus will be on increased enforcement, ... and I would say you're only enforcing the broken system."

Gallegly declined to be interviewed for this story.

Gallegly's first two hearings focused on workplace enforcement. This month, the committee held a hearing about E-Verify, a computer program used by some employers to check the legal status of their employees, which Gallegly would like to see mandatory for all employers.

"I have long said that the way to solve the problem of illegal immigration is fairly simple," he said in a statement. "First, we must enforce our laws and secure the border. Second, we must remove the magnets that encourage illegal immigration. And finally, we must remove the benefits that make it easy for illegals to stay in this country."

In Washington, the transfer of power from Lofgren to Gallegly has pleased groups that advocate tough measures to stop illegal immigration.

"We're feeling very positive about his leadership," said Ira Mehlman, media director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

"He has consistently supported policies about enforcing (existing laws) and consistently opposed granting amnesty to illegal aliens. We certainly expect that (he will) hold the administration accountable,'' Mehlman said.

Immigration advocates worry that the new Congress will focus on enforcement and chip away at constitutional protections.

"The Republican leadership, which is now in charge of the House Immigration Subcommittee, had made it very clear what its priorities are: an enforcement-only approach and to deny U.S. citizenship to babies born in America based on their parents' immigration status," said Maria Machuca, communications director of the United Farm Workers of America.

The 14th Amendment guarantees the right of citizenship to all children born in the U.S., regardless of their parents' immigration status.

The 143-year-old law has become a hot-button issue in the past few months, with TV pundits like Fox News' Glenn Beck warning people about "anchor babies," his term for children of immigrants which stems from a belief that immigrant women use these children as "anchors," or a way to root themselves in the United States.

Gallegly wrote a bill in 2009 that would ensure citizenship only to children whose mothers are U.S. citizens.

Democrats do not believe that the law will be changed. That would involve amending the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote of Congress and approval by three-quarters of the states.

"The 14th Amendment was the product of the most damaging war in American history and one of the major positive outcomes of that terrible fight," Lofgren said, describing the idea of amending it as "disturbing."

Bringing up the topic in this Congress, Lofgren said, "only has the capacity to spread division and animosity."

The committee's new direction stems in part from an ideological divide regarding the effect of illegal immigration on the economy.

California has more undocumented immigrants in the work force than any other state, approximately 1.9 million, according to the Pew study. It also has among the highest unemployment rates in the country at 12.5 percent in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The jobless number is even higher in San Joaquin County, jumping to 18 percent in December. Thirty-eight percent of the county's 675,000 residents are Latino.

Gallegly believes that illegal immigrants are taking jobs Americans would hold.

"Millions of illegal immigrants hold jobs," he said in a statement at the committee's first hearing. "Even when low-skilled Americans can find jobs, their wages are depressed by illegal and other low-skilled immigration."

Lofgren believes that illegal immigrants take jobs Americans won't touch.

"Even though this is a very bad economy, we have not seen Americans signing up to be migrant farm workers," she said. "And there are about three other jobs (held by Americans) dependent on that farm worker."

Lofgren does see some areas of compromise, such as fixing a law that makes it difficult for Americans in combat to file for permanent resident status for their immigrant spouses.

"It's hard when you're with your unit on some mountain in Afghanistan to file that paper," Lofgren explained. "It's something and therefore it's worth doing."

Lofgren introduced a measure, co-sponsored by Gallegly, that would provide an extension to the filing period. Asked whether this might be a good example of the two working together, a top aide to Gallegly was unfamiliar with the bill

The two have also agreed on the issue of H-1B visas, which allow highly skilled immigrants to stay in the U.S. Both Gallegly and Lofgren have called for reform of the system while advocating the importance of highly skilled foreign workers.

Even without compromise, Lofgren believes that the minority will have some power.

"Certainly we haven't lost our vote or our voice, and we plan to use both," she said.

The California News Service is a journalism project of the University of California Washington Center and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Contact the California News Service at CNS@ucdc.edu.

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Website lets customers do the designing | View Clip
02/20/2011
San Francisco Chronicle - Online

For just over five years, San Francisco's Zazzle.com has operated a website that lets users customize and design their own T-shirts, postage stamps and mugs. It has expanded its product line to include hats, cards, binders, shoes and even iPhone cases - basically anything on which you can slap a photo of your beloved dog Lulu or your cute 4-year-old nephew Quinn.

They also offer licensed products for Disney, DC Comics, Star Wars and Harry Potter. Ever wanted a Green Lantern iPad case? Yup, they sell those, too.

Zazzle has aggressively expanded overseas as well, opening 15 international sites in, among other places, Germany, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Japan.

The Chronicle chatted recently with Zazzle co-founder and chief product officer Jeff Beaver about his company.

Q: How would you describe the typical Zazzle user?

A: There's really two major distinctions for the user of Zazzle: The first is customers who make their own stuff. It's so incredibly diverse. We literally have soccer moms making stuff with their kids, to artists making high-end prints for shows.

The second is sellers who use it as a way to design products for their artwork, for their ideas, and then sell it. Especially in the last few years, we've had a really massive acceleration in sellers who found out it would be a great way to monetize their content. We get stories every week of people quitting their day job and actually focusing on Zazzle full time for their income.

We really feel what we're building here is a platform that is going to be part of commodity-based e-commerce. Ultimately Zazzle's vision is to be the destination for anything and everything that can be made for on-demand purposes.

Q: OK, so a user goes to Zazzle.com, uploads an image or two, makes a few clicks, pays online and, wham, their product appears on their doorstep. Tell us about the process the user doesn't see, what goes on at your digital printing plant.

A: We have a 130,000-square-foot production facility in San Jose, right next to the airport and Santa Clara University. We have several hundred employees down there. We manufacture and ship lots of products on a daily basis - tens of thousands - and that number is growing fast. From what we know, it's likely that Zazzle is actually the largest shipper by unit volume in the Bay Area.

We currently have 48 overarching product lines, which vary from fine art prints to shoes to skateboards. In terms of the total number of distinct products within those lines - after counting all types, styles, options - it's around 3,000 different individual (products) you can customize to your heart's content. What's most compelling about all of this is that every single product is different. We're talking real mass customization here versus mass production. It's also not just printing and embellishment.

Q: What surprises people most when you mention the top-selling products at Zazzle?

A: Well, apparel is still the biggest overall category for us, but over time it is representing less of the overall pie.

Walking the production floor and seeing everything that our customers have designed, it's just unbelievable. When you give consumers the tools to do whatever they want, they go wild.

What tends to blow people away are the shoes, when they hear the depth of the customization that's possible. You can design every single aspect of Keds and PRO-Keds shoes - even down to the stitching - and also print any graphic on any surface.

The hottest new product line for us at the moment is iPhone and iPad cases. In the span of just a few weeks after launching it during the last quarter, there were over 250,000 designs created.

Q: Tell us about the evolution of Zazzle's international businesses.

A: We operate in about 15 international websites that are all completely localized and translated for different languages. What's really so fun about Zazzle is that because it's so open, we left it open to that particular country to decide what Zazzle becomes. We just provide the tools and products and let the community take over.

We have noticed some surprising trends as our international sites have grown. Skateboards and shoes, for example, are both far more popular on Zazzle's German site than they are on any other site. Customers on Zazzle's Japanese site purchase a disproportionately large share of products featuring content from our partnership with Warner Bros.

Perhaps somewhat surprising has been the relatively low popularity of products related to British elections and politics on the Zazzle.co.uk website, but the overwhelming popularity of products related to the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The British care much more for their royals than they do for their politics!

E-mail Jason W. Lloren at jlloren@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page D - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

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WILL SOCIAL MEDIA BE VC FIRMS' RESCUER?
02/20/2011
San Jose Mercury News

Against the backdrop of a moribund market for initial public stock offerings and a venture capital industry hobbled by a recession, the half-dozen social-networking companies expected to go public in the coming year -- likely candidates include Groupon, Twitter, LinkedIn and, the granddaddy IPO of all, Facebook -- could be silver-winged angels.

Some venture capital investors stand to make a killing from these IPOs -- though those that missed these deals could close up shop amid a VC industry downturn. At the same time, a wave of successful IPO launches may trigger a ripple effect, fattening the coffers of the survivors so they can fund a new slew of social-media derring-do.

This anticipated IPO flurry comes at a time when Silicon Valley's once high-flying club of venture capitalists has been rattled and cut down in size. As deals dried up over recent years, the National Venture Capital Association said the number of VC firms dropped from about 1,000 in 2007 to about 400 today, with more firms winding down. And the VC industry, whose funds typically have a 10-year contractual life, saw its long-term returns turn negative in 2010 after years of stellar returns, due to the full impact of the dot-com bust.

"The general state of the IPO market was a disaster in 2008 and 2009, with only 18 venture-backed IPOs in two years compared with between 150 and 200 in the early 2000s," said the association's president, Mark Heesen. He added that things started to improve in 2010 with 45 companies going public, and that an additional 50 already are lined up do so this year.

"We're definitely happy with that increase," Heesen said, "but we're certainly not jumping for joy."

While the IPO market is finally showing signs of life and the big VC firms stand to cash in nicely, no one's quite sure what these looming IPOs may mean for the larger VC landscape.

Randy Komisar, a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which has invested $150 million in Twitter, said the eventual debut of Facebook and others would "be a good shot in the arm for the valley. The valley just is irrepressible -- whenever you think it shows the makings of being the next Detroit, it reinvents itself."

Yet, Komisar cautions that there's danger of an investment bubble inflating around social media, especially for venture investors late to the party. He said early investors stand to reap outsize profits, but venture firms that have lost investors because of lousy returns may now resort to making "gambler's bets," pumping up valuations for startups and possibly tempting another bubble.

Harvard University business professor Bill Sahlman, a noted expert in entrepreneurial finance, said in an e-mail that the Internet "is a platform that supports the potential for explosive, enduring growth. A few remarkable winners have emerged and the rewards to the early, and even late, investors will be shocking."

Sahlman believes Accel Partners could make several hundred times its $21.3 million investment in Facebook. Greylock Partners, which Sahlman says invested when the firm had a $500 million valuation, could rake in more than 100 times the approximately $1 million it initially put into Facebook. (Accel and Greylock both declined to comment for this report.)

In addition, there's now a booming "secondary market" for pre-IPO shares of Facebook and other successful startups, where VC firms that have purchased shares early on can turn around and sell them to later-stage investors, sometimes at a much higher price than they paid.

While the earlier investors stand to do well, Sahlman also sees danger brewing as these secondary markets help to drive up a company's estimated worth as shares keep changing hands. "The money the investors make," said Sahlman, "will amplify the bubble in Internet investing."

This recent growth of secondary trading could actually prove to be a drag on the IPO market. San Jose State business professor Randall Stross, who in 2001 wrote "eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists At Work," said that compared with the go-go IPO days of the late 1990s, "today's most promising startups are able to raise huge sums in late rounds at very high valuations without going public. They're also able to give their founding employees the opportunity to cash out with these very active secondary markets. That's new; in the late '90s the only way anyone would get their money out was with an IPO."

So the IPO assembly line could remain sluggish, even with successful debuts by the half-dozen big-name social-networking startups. So far, LinkedIn is the only one of them that's actually filed to go public. Others may not feel the pressure to file quickly because the secondary market, said Stross, "gives a company breathing room for delaying the IPO. There's strong preference to operating out of the purview of the SEC and having to tell the world what you're doing." Just ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the poster child for foot-dragging before a looming IPO.

Yet even as the VC shakeout continues, there surely will be big winners. Santa Clara University law professor Steve Diamond said "the big payoffs will be for guys like (angel investor and PayPal co-founder) Peter Thiel, an early investor in Facebook."

Early investors in Zynga, the San Francisco-based social-networking developer of games that can piggyback on Facebook, "will do very well," said Scott Sweet with Florida-based advisers IPO Boutique. "They're in bed with Facebook. And anything directly or indirectly connected with Facebook is gold. The earlier you got in the better, sure. Because you'll have options for shares at dimes on the dollar. Windfalls of 100 times investment are entirely possible."

Zynga board member William "Bing" Gordon, the Kleiner partner who runs the sound investing in social-networking startups, said: "We think there's a whole round of companies that'll be built on social media. Facebook's rewiring relationships and the way people spend their time. So you're seeing investors starting to believe Facebook might be an even more important company than they'd previously thought. With our fund strategy, we think social networking is just getting started."

Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689. Follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc.

Copyright © 2011 San Jose Mercury News

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Apple Sued Over iPhone Data Privacy | View Clip
02/20/2011
InformationWeek - Online

The disclosure of Unique Device Identifiers associated with Apple's mobile devices represents a privacy law violation, the complaint claims.

sued in San Jose, Calif., for alleged privacy and state business law violations arising from its disclosure of iPhone device identifiers and personal information.

Plaintiff Anthony Chiu, a resident of Alameda, Calif., claims that Apple knowingly transmits data to third parties that can be used to identify users of Apple's mobile devices, without user consent and in violation of various laws. The legal filing also targets 50 unnamed "John Doe" defendants, raising the possibility that third-party developers of apps that use the data in question could wind up in court.

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At CES 2011, David Berlind caught Lenovo showing-off a hybrid tablet/notebook (the tablet snaps out of the clamshell which is more like a dock). At the flick of a switch, the tablet instantly changes from Windows 7 to Android (they run side-by-side).

The case hinges on Apple's use Unique Device Identifiers (UDIDs), serial numbers associated with every mobile device. The complaint states that Apple allows UDIDs to be displayed to application developers and allows downloaded apps to access the user's browsing history whenever the user clicks on an ad or application using his or her mobile device.

"Consequently, anyone who has used a mobile device to browse the Internet to obtain advice about hemorrhoids, sexually transmitted disease, abortion, drug rehabilitation, or care for the elderly; to search for jobs, seek out new romantic partners, engage in political activity; in fact, to do more or less anything; can be reasonably sure that the browsing history created by such investigation has been incorporated into a detailed dossier for sale to marketers," the complaint says.

The complaint goes on to cite a

Wall Street Journal investigation that found 56 out of 101 iOS and Android apps tested transmitted UDID numbers without authorization or consent. It also cites an academic paper published last year that found 68% of apps tested transmitted UDIDs.

The UDID is effectively a "super-cookie," the complaint alleges, and Apple fails to inform users about it in its privacy policy. In fact, the complaint states, Apple specifically disavows the sharing of personal information with third-parties for marketing purposes. As such the company's privacy policy would be more accurately described as a disclosure policy, the complaint suggests.

The key issue here is whether UDID numbers are actually deemed to be personal information. It's not entirely clear that they are.

Eric Goldman, associate professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, said in an e-mail that there has been a flood of lawsuits in recent months over the disclosure of unique identifiers. He pointed to Facebook, which is being sued over its disclosure of Facebook's user ID numbers in its URLs. (In response to privacy concerns, Facebook has proposed encrypting user ID numbers.)

Goldman says that before the merits of the case can be evaluated, a number of questions have to be answered. "Does disclosing a unique ID actually disclose anything 'private' or otherwise legally protected?" he asked in an e-mail. "Did the users expressly or impliedly consent to the disclosures? Perhaps most importantly, did the users suffer any legally cognizable harm? Courts have been suspicious of privacy lawsuits where the consumer's only 'harm' is that the company made a contrary promise."

According to Andre Rado, a partner at

Milberg LLP, the firm representing the plaintiff, UDID numbers do represent protected personal information.

"Privacy is 'protected' under the California constitution," Rado wrote in an e-mailed statement. "Transmission of the UDID would allow the recipient to identify exactly what a user is browsing and, together with other information, where they are at any given time. In addition, there are are disclosure-based and contract-based claims in the action."

Now in its fifth year, Web 2.0 Expo is for the builders of the next-generation Web: designers, developers, entrepreneurs, marketers, and business strategists. It happens March 28-31 in San Francisco. .

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Apple In-App Subscription Conflict Raises Antitrust Ghosts | View Clip
02/20/2011
NewsGang

Apples in-app subscription plan could encounter resistance from a source much bigger than streaming-music companies or book publishers: the U.S. government.

According to a Feb. 18 Reuters report, Department of Justice regulators have kicked off an early-stage inquiry into Apples change of policy. The European Commission is apparently pursuing a similar course, with a spokesperson telling the wire service: We are monitoring market developments carefully.

Apples in-app subscription policy comes with certain requirements. Our philosophy is simplewhen Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote in a Feb. 15 statement announcing the model. When the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing.

Apples policy comes with an additional caveat, according to Jobs: All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one click right in the app.

The Department of Justice, along with the Federal Trade Commission, is reportedly interested in whether those terms violate antitrust regulations by forcing publishers to play Apples gameor risk banishment from one of the worlds most popular device ecosystems. But regulators may have to drill deeper into Apples practices before they can launch a full-on investigation.

Whats less clear to me is: a.) Is Apple unfairly leveraging its strengths in its hardware or software business to improve its competitive posture in the publisher aggregation business? Eric Goldman, an associate professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK Feb. 18. Secondly, are Apples efforts to control behavior outside of its App Store (such as through its requirements that publishers give App Store customers the best deal) impossibly skewing competition?

Nonetheless, some companies are already crying foul.

Our philosophy is simple tooan Apple-imposed arrangement that requires us to pay 30 percent of our revenue to Apple, in addition to content fees that we pay to the music labels, publishers and artists, is economically untenable, Jon Irwin, president of streaming-music company Rhapsody, wrote in a Feb. 15 statement circulated widely around the Web. The bottom line is, we would not be able to offer our service through the iTunes store if subjected to Apples 30 percent monthly fee vs. a typical 2.5 percent credit card fee.

Apples historic insistence on keeping its devices and services a walled garden, with tight regulations over third-party developers and other vendors, has threatened to lead the company into antitrust problems before.

In May 2010, federal regulators reportedly debated whether to launch an investigation into Apples revised mobile-applications policy, which forbade the use of third-party development tools in the creation of applications for Apples App Store. A clause in the developer agreement for the then-new iPhone OS 4 stipulated applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs, and that applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs.

That excluded applications built with tools such as Adobe Flash CS5, potentially forcing developers to choose between building applications exclusively for Apple or for a smartphone ecosystem supporting those tools. However, a public investigation never materialized.

Around the same time, other reports indicated the FTC had taken an interest in iAd, Apples mobile-app advertising platform, in the context of potentially unfair competitive practices. Those queries never manifested into an actual investigation, either.

Apple is likely hoping history will repeat itself with this latest bit of antitrust whispers.

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Apple could face investigation over 'unlawful payment collections for apps' | View Clip
02/19/2011
Mail Online UK

Apple is under fire over its subscription terms for selling content through its iPhone and iPad.

Anti-trust regulators are considering whether the technology giant is breaking the law by forcing publishers to use its own subscription system to collect user payments.

New terms say publishers can't offer links within apps to websites where customers could purchase their products or offer a better deal from outside of the App Store.

The U.S. Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are looking into concerns from app makers that Apple wants to take a 30 per cent cut on revenue from online subscriptions, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Apple decides what applications can run on its devices' music and video player, which only works with content from its own iTunes store.

It does not stop media firms from selling digital subscriptions, but restrictions could make that less attractive to consumers and channel sales through its own system.

Buying something through the iTunes store requires a few clicks and uses saved billing details, which makes it easier for consumers to use the system.

Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute, said banning apps from linking to external sites is a ‘pretty aggressive position'.

‘It seems like that's purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don't get a cut from,' he told the Wall Street Journal.

Apple is attracting growing anti-trust scrutiny worldwide, but the inquiry is only at a ‘preliminary' stage and may not produce a formal investigation with action.

The European Commission said it is ‘monitoring market developments carefully' but commissioners are believed to be happy with increasing rivalry in the sector.

Jon Irwin, of online music subscription firm Rhapsody International, said his company would suffer if it had to pay royalties and the 30 per cent cut to Apple.

‘The costs don't leave any room for a sensible business model,' he added.

Apple announced last month that more than 10 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store by 160 million iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users worldwide.

Apple refused to comment, as did the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission.

The two agencies must decide between themselves which one should take the lead in any investigation, as they both enforce federal anti-trust law.

Apple boss Steve Jobs, who is thought to be gravely ill with pancreatic cancer, met with U.S. President Barack Obama last week.

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AP Assaults Boehner With the 'Mainstream Economists' Ploy | View Clip
02/19/2011
Newsbusters

In a piece biased enough to appear on The Huffington Post, AP writer Charles Babington goes after House Speaker John Boehner, asserting that the Democrats are aligned with "many mainstream economists" -- and the economists cited are liberals, with no label. The "mainstream" apparently favors cutting nothing from the enormous deficit, and adding more "stimulus."

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists – many with conservative backgrounds – saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder.

Wait, wait! Alan Blinder served on President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, and was an economic adviser to the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry. Couldn't Babington be honest and say "Democrats and Democrat economists dispute GOP claims"? Instead, he stresses an independence and "mainstreaminess" that Blinder doesn't have.

Who's up next among "mainstream economists"?

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Unlike Blinder, Field's resume doesn't seem to have any Democrat political appointments on it. However,this article in the Juneau Empireestablishes he's an Obamanomics man:

The Obama administration deserves credit for championing the stimulus bill even if it widened the deficit. The time to pay down the federal debt is when the economy is strong, not when it is weak. Indeed, if the Obama administration is to be criticized, it should be for not having pushed to make the stimulus bill larger...

The preponderance of blame for the current anemic economy does not lie with the Obama administration. Its origins actually are to be found in a process of deregulation that extends back at least to the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

Babington started this charade in paragraph three: "Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that promote both public- and private-sector jobs."

Later, he brings in the Economic Policy Institute, and identifies them as "liberal," but also works to establish how mainstream their measurements are:

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The EPI's most prominent economist in recent years, Jared Bernstein, is now the chief economic adviser to Vice President Biden. Why can't reporters be honest and call liberal economists liberals instead of "mainstream"? Instead, they use "mainstream" as an descriptive term for "what should be accepted as wise."

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DEMOCRATS TURN 'WHERE ARE THE JOBS?' CHANT ON GOP
02/19/2011
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim that they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs.

GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill that House Republicans have been pushing this week. If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Mr. Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers, but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Mr. Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists -- many with conservative backgrounds -- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Santa Clara University economics professor Alexander J. Field said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter that Mr. Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday that the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. But John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge -- because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 that the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million, compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts. "The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said. "And I think now, the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Mr. Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright © 2011 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Was first mission really in Mission?
02/19/2011
San Francisco Chronicle

Research by a Bay Area scientist has called into question one of the earliest legends of San Francisco - that the city was founded when Spanish settlers established a mission on the shores of a lake they named Dolores, for Our Lady of Sorrows.

The founding of Mission San Francisco de Asis, or Mission Dolores, as it is usually called, on June 29, 1776, near an Indian village was the beginning of the city of San Francisco.

It is in most history books. It is also commemorated in a bronze plaque at the corner of Camp and Albion streets, two Mission District alleys where the original mission was supposedly built.

The plaque contains a map of a good-size lake, nearly five city blocks long and three blocks wide, named Laguna de Dolores. The old lake exists only in legend; it was supposedly filled in, covered over by the houses and streets of what is now the Mission District.

Christopher Richard, an expert in aquatic biology at the Oakland Museum of California, thinks the lake never existed at all.

"It is a misconception that San Francisco was founded on the shores of a now-vanished lake," Richard said. "As most commonly depicted, it did not exist."

The wrong site Richard also thinks that the history books are wrong about the location of the first site of the mission. It was not in what is now called the Mission District, he argues.

Instead, he said, his research shows that San Francisco was founded on the other side of Market Street, near the present-day corner of Duboce and Sanchez streets in the heart of what is now called the Duboce Triangle. There was a little spring there, Richard said, and it was the real location of what Spanish army Col. Juan Bautista de Anza and Franciscan friar Pedro Font called an "ojo de agua," or spring of water.

Richard came up with what he concludes was the actual location of the first Mission Dolores after going over the old maps and written accounts, like a detective looking for clues. He also studied the lay of the land in pre-settlement San Francisco.

His revised history "sounds plausible," said Santa Clara University Professor Robert Senkewicz, an expert on the history of the California missions.

Richard "can make a good case" for his views, Senkewicz said. "It is very, very plausible."

There is no dispute that the first mission was a brush hut - the first European structure in the Bay Area. Mission Dolores was later moved to its present location near the intersection of 16th and Dolores streets. That mission structure was built in 1791, and is the oldest intact building in San Francisco.

Spanish settlement The story of San Francisco began in 1769, when members of a Spanish exploring party led by Don Gaspar de Portola climbed to the top of a ridge in San Mateo County and sighted a huge body of water - an immense bay, large enough, they said, to hold all the ships of the King of Spain. It was San Francisco Bay.

Worried about expansion by the Russians and other European powers, the Spanish sent other expeditions to scout the harbor, and in 1775, a ship, named San Carlos, became the first European vessel to enter the bay.

The next March, a party led by Anza checked out the region with an eye to establish a military presidio and a mission. Anza camped at Mountain Lake, in what is now the Richmond District, and scouts found sites they thought suitable.

Anza and Font, the expedition chaplain, looked at a site Font called "a beautiful creek." In his account, Anza described what he called a "laguna de manatial," or a lagoon fed by a spring. Because it was March 29, the feast day of Our Lady of Sorrows, they called the spot "Dolores," or "sorrows" in Spanish.

In June, another officer, Jose Joaquin Moraga, led a party of colonists to the sites picked out by Anza and established the mission and presidio several miles apart.

The question that bothered Richard was where these places were. He is an expert on the hydrology of the bay region and noted that much of San Francisco in the 18th century was sand dunes. There were not many sites for a European settlement, where the colonists could grow crops to feed the soldiers at the new presidio.

One of them was at the little spring, along the stream the Spanish called a "beautiful creek." The creek ran down what is now 18th Street to the edge of the bay at a saltwater tidal estuary not far away from what became Mission Creek.

No Laguna Dolores Richard thinks that the so-called Laguna Dolores, a freshwater lake, did not exist, though it showed up on later maps. What happened, he thinks, is that later mapmakers mistook a spring for a lake.

They were also helped by the Spanish missionaries, who wanted to convince their superiors of the Franciscan religious order that their brand-new Mission San Francisco, named for St. Francis himself, was on the shores of a lake. St. Francis himself often spoke of lakes; a lake named for Our Lady of Sorrows sounded better than a nice little creek. A bit of holy spin, all in a good cause.

The terms used by the Spanish - on maps and in journals - made up a historical account. "It was hard to follow," said Richard. "A very difficult story to figure out."

Eventually, the story was all simplified, and in 1912, Zoeth Eldredge's book "The Beginnings of San Francisco" came with a map showing the mythical lake. And that became the accepted view. Until now.

Richard explained his ideas to Andrew Galvan, the curator of Mission Dolores. Galvan himself traces his own roots back to the Ohlone and Miwok Indian peoples of the Bay Area; one of his own Indian ancestors was baptized into the Catholic faith at Mission Dolores in 1794.

Galvan does not sound as if he is entirely convinced that Richard is right. He notes that a Safeway store stands near the site Richard favors.

"If I go up there to buy some oranges," he said, "I'll think, well, maybe this is where those undocumented illegal Spanish immigrants first came here."

"It is a misconception that San Francisco was founded on the shores of a nowvanished lake. ... It did not exist."

Christopher Richard

Copyright © 2011 San Francisco Chronicle

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Two violins and one viola take on Dvorak, Kodaly, Mozart and Prokofiev | View Clip
02/19/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Pacifica Tribune arts correspondent

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HOME . NEWS . SPORTS . ENTERTAINMENT . COMMUNITY . EDUCATION . OBITUARIES . COLUMNS . MILESTONES . BUSINESS

Debra Fong (Photo courtesy of artist)

In the second week of January, 1887, Antonin Dvorak's began and completed "Terzetto, Opus 74 For Two Violins and Viola." Considered to be the most popular piece in the small repertoire for this instrumentation, the four-movement piece travels from the lyrical, to lullaby, to folk and finally to a fourth movement with a fragmented theme with ten variations, in which C Major triumphs in the end. It will be one of several pieces presented Saturday night at Pacifica Performances Mildred Owen Concert Hall.

The performers are Robin Sharp on violin, Debra Fong on violin and Sharon Wei on viola. Additional pieces on the program are Zoltan Kodaly's "Serenade," Mozart's "Duo in G Major for Violin and Viola, K. 423," and Prokofiev's "Sonata for two Violins in C Major, Op. 56." (P.S. rumor has it that Mozart wrote his piece in just one summer day in the summer of 1783.)

Fong said that the intimate sonority of the two violins and one viola present a fresh perspective on the evening's pieces.

"The two trios (Dvorak and Kodaly) are staples of the chamber music repertoire for two violins and viola. The Mozart and Prokofiev duos add the balance of Classical and 20th century musical time periods to the trios, making an interesting and exciting journey for the listener."

All three musicians are members of Stanford University's faculty. Violinist Sharp is a full-time Lecturer in Violin and Chamber Music at Stanford University. She has additionally

taught at the San Francisco Conservatory, Sacramento State University and Santa Clara University. She is also on the faculty of California Summer Music at Sonoma State University. She has performed at many prestigious venues which include New York's Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and Taipei's National Music Hall. Concertmaster of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Sharp has played several seasons and toured internationally with the San Francisco Symphony. She also maintains private violin studios in Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Violinist Debra Fong performed an extremely well-received Schulhoff, Rachmaninoff and Ravel program at the Mildred Owen Concert Hall this past September with her husband Christopher Costanza, long-time cellist for the highly acclaimed St. Lawrence String Quartet and pianist Christine McLeavey. Fong, who is a Lecturer in Violin and Chamber Music at Stanford University, has also taught at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and The Music Institute of Chicago. A featured guest artist with Chicago Chamber Musicians, Chamber Music Albuquerque and Stanford's Pan-Asian Music Festival, Fong is the principal second violin of the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. During the summer, she is first violinist at The Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. She has a private violin studio in Palo Alto.

Violist Sharon Wei has taught viola and coached chamber music in Yale's undergraduate department and is currently teaching viola and chamber music at Stanford University. An honors scholar at University of Western Ontario, the Curtis Institute, and Yale University, Wei has appeared as recitalist and soloist in the United States, Canada and Europe and has served as principal violist of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, New York String Orchestra and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. She has also served as guest violist of the Cincinnati Symphony, Toronto Symphony and National Arts Centre Orchestra. Frequently performing in Canada with her piano quartet, "Made in Canada," Wei was named one of "80 Women to Watch" by Chatelaine Magazine.

The three women met before they became faculty colleagues at Stanford. When Fong and her family moved to the Bay Area in 2004, her daughter needed a violin teacher. "We were fortunate that Robin accepted her as a private student." Sharp also recommended Fong for the position of Principal Second Violin with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the two have performed together in SFCO since. Wei also performs with SFCO.

"And Sharon Wei and I are practically 'sisters-in-law,'" Fong laughed, "as we are both married to members of the St. Lawrence String Quartet!"

Fong believes the evening's program will be a compelling listen.

"Chamber music is collaborative musical communication," the violinist said. "The three of us have the good fortune to have closely intertwined lives already, we're all good friends, and our musical communication is also easy, genuine, and supportive. We have a terrific time making and sharing the music, and we hope our audience is swept up in that enthusiasm."

If you go:

Where: Pacifica Performances Mildred Owen Concert Hall, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd.

When: Saturday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $20 general. $17 seniors (62+) and students with current ID. $15 members. $12 senior/student members. Under 18 FREE. Available at door 30 minutes before show or in advance online at www.pacificaperformances.org by Friday, noon.

Reserved seats: Available by phone. Minimum purchase six tickets.

Contact: call 355-1882 or email info@pacificaperformances.org

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Gery Chico runs for mayor on his City Hall, business credentials | View Clip
02/19/2011
Los Angeles Times - Online

Gery Chico walks into the frigid workshop of a North Side green-energy startup company and looks over the half-built wind turbines and workers in coveralls toiling over them.

He laments the scarcity of reporters in the room but eventually steps to the lectern and reels off about a dozen ideas for promoting such businesses and what they could do for Chicago: jobs, prestige, savings in the city budget.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is achievable. By practical actions," said Chico, who noted that at the park district, he switched the lawn mowers from gasoline to methane power. "We may not be the hog-butcher to the world anymore, we may not be the candy capital of the world anymore, but there's absolutely no reason we can't be the energy capital of the world."

Whether it's adding 2,000 police officers or making business permits a one-day process, Chico's campaign has been a series of make-no-small-plans promises. And he believes that if Chicagoans would just look at his track record as a problem solver who sprouted from the city's own gritty neighborhoods, they would see that he's the man for the job.

Yet Chico's greatest strength — City Hall experience and knowledge — also has opened him up to his biggest criticism. Opponents point to millions that have flowed to Chico's law firm from clients seeking help navigating government. The legal practice has afforded him a $2.4 million house in Scottsdale, Ariz., a vacation home in Beverly Shores, Ind., and residences on the Near West Side and Michigan Avenue in the Loop.

Chico has run a vigorous campaign, piling up union endorsements and airing ads to promote his agenda and blast his chief opponent. Running second, Chico's goal is an April 5 runoff against front-runner Rahm Emanuel.

He says he'll sit down with unions to negotiate reforms of a city pension system that is largely viewed as unsustainable. He's also willing to listen to public workers seeking to eliminate the city's residency requirement.

And he's proposed hiring a deputy mayor for job creation. With the city facing huge financial problems, Chico acknowledged a property tax increase should remain on the table but said his record in putting together government budgets shows that raising taxes is a last resort.

But he's also floated some populist ideas, trotting out former Chicago Bears on the campaign trail and suggesting Chicago should try to land the Super Bowl.

"Imagine if it snowed in a Super Bowl," he said. "The more disastrous, the better. People would love it. I wish it would snow so heavy, you couldn't even see the ball."

There is no doubt Chico is real Chicago. Born at St. Anthony's Hospital on the Southwest Side to parents with Mexican, Greek and Lithuanian immigrant roots, he was raised in McKinley Park but spent a lot of time in Back of the Yards, where his grandparents often cared for him while his parents worked.

His political baptism came when he was a senior political science student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. City Hall-types told him he needed a reference to get an internship. His precinct captain took him to the 11th Ward Democratic Organization headquarters.

Chico recalled the man sitting behind the committeeman's desk was Tom Donovan, who had been Mayor Richard J. Daley's patronage chief and went on to head the Chicago Board of Trade. He got the internship, $3 an hour to start. The four-month job lasted almost three years because he would stay after hours.

In 1980, Chico learned of an opening at the City Council Finance Committee and won the job analyzing budgets, revenue projections and tax legislation. During the Council Wars era, Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, became the new chairman. Now he's a strong ally in Chico's bid for mayor.

Chico took night law classes at Loyola University and graduated in 1985. Two years later, he moved on to Sidley & Austin. Five years later, he became a top Daley deputy and then mayoral chief of staff. It proved to be his most formative position.

"It is every possible issue under the sun comes across that desk. Hunger. Strikes. Police. Schools. Poverty. International visitors. You name it. That's on that desk and that job has no boundaries," Chico said.

He said he sent the city in a new direction in fixing streets after water and sewer repairs to help assuage local homeowners by doing more than just patching over the holes.

"Go curb to curb," Chico said. "The citizens felt better. I felt better. The mayor felt better. And it was a better city because of taking that look at the detail. That's the way I operate. I like to get down there and see what's going on."

In 1995, Daley chose him to be school board president at a time when Chicago's public schools were labeled the worst in the nation. Teaming up with schools chief Paul Vallas, the two built dozens of new schools, renovated hundreds of others, turned a financial deficit into cash in the bank, made peace with labor unions and nudged test scores upward.

"If you watched Vallas and I operate in those days: Boom, boom, boom," Chico said.

But it was at Chicago Public Schools where Chico's private law practice collided with his public service. Joining Altheimer & Gray, Chico abstained from hundreds of votes because the school board was considering contracts with the law firm's clients. In his first four years as board president, the law firm's clients received more than $577 million in school contracts, a Tribune review showed. Chico said many, including Commonwealth Edison, had longstanding contracts before he arrived.

Vallas, who has endorsed Chico, said the candidate never stood in the way when Vallas wanted to jettison contracts held by the politically connected.

"If people think you're a person of influence, they gravitate toward your firm," Vallas said. "Gery abstained from a lot of votes, but at the end of the day, when we awarded contracts, we awarded them by a competitive process."

The early years of the decade provided pivotal for Chico. He advanced to the position of senior partner and chairman of the firm's executive committee. He got divorced in 2001 and launched a U.S. Senate bid. A total of 75 people employed by the firm gave more than $90,000 to the campaign, federal election records show.

Then the firm imploded. He'd been a potent rainmaker, but as a Senate candidate his business dropped precipitously. The 88-year-old firm had rapidly expanded just as the economy tanked. Chico acknowledged it's the one piece of his resume that he regrets but contended it's the result of the downturn hurting the firm's merger and acquisition business. Chico said he paid $1.2 million to help settle the firm's debts.

The crash of Altheimer also did little to advance his Senate bid, which was won by then-state Sen. Barack Obama.

A month later, Chico founded his own law firm with partner Marcus Nunes. They met at the city Planning Department. Chico's personal income has ranged from $2 million and $3 million a year as the law firm has thrived, partly from high-profile clients the firm represents on city business.

Chico said clients hire the firm because of the quality of work, not political connections. He insists he's never given a client an unfair advantage in winning city contracts but makes no apologies for connections that have paid off, both personally and politically.

One relationship that illustrates the nexus between Chico's public service, political ambition and private success involves F & B Construction.

The small South Side masonry contractor, and its owner, Lloyd Fuller, have been among Chico's largest campaign contributors for mayor, giving him $55,000. It's a relationship that began with minority contracts back when Chico was at the Board of Education.

"I'm sitting in my Senate campaign office in 2002 or 2003, this guy walks in with a plaid shirt. Never met him. He said, 'Mr. Chico I'd like to meet you, my name is Lloyd Fuller. I owe the start of my company to what you did at the Board of Education,'" Chico said last week.

The man explained that the school building projects and minority contracting initiatives put his little firm on the map, and he was grateful. The firm donated $46,500 to Chico's Senate bid.

"I'd never met him prior to that day. Lloyd has become a client and a friend, ever since. I was gone from the Board of Education for years before I hooked up with Lloyd as a client. Years," Chico said. "You can't deny being a human being and meeting people along the way. And I don't think we should. … I don't see anything that's not proper about that."

Fuller did not return phone calls.

Such relationships may not violate the law, but some government ethics experts said Chico's dual career paths can undermine public confidence in public servants.

"Straddling the line is really not the best practice," said Judy Nadler, a senior fellow at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. "This is why the public starts to first lose confidence and then become cynical. The question becomes, who are you there to serve?"

Chico said the mix of public service and private work is not about money.

"Those of us who've been in the private sector and make a lot of money, you go into government for lots of reasons, but it's mostly a dedication. It's not the money. I'll tell you that right now," he said. "It's not what drives me. It's not about the money. So, people that do (public service) are looking for something else. They're looking for some other purpose."

dheinzmann@tribune.com

rap30@aol.com

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CrimProf Blog: Graham on Sentencing, Crack and Meth | View Clip
02/19/2011
Environmental Law Professors

Kevin Cole
Dean & Professor of Law
Univ. of San Diego School of Law SSRN Page

Contributing Editors

Lawrence A. Alexander
Warren Distinguished Professor of Law SSRN Author Page

Donald A. Dripps
Professor of Law
Univ. of San Diego School of Law
Distinguished Professor of Law
Univ. of San Diego School of Law
Professor of Law
Brooklyn Law School

Professor of Law
Univ. of San Diego School of Law TypePad

Notices

© Copyright All Rights Reserved Main

February 19, 2011

Graham on Sentencing, Crack and Meth
Kyle Graham (Santa Clara University School of Law) has posted Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word: the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Crack, and Methamphetamine (University of Richmond Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract: Vazquez on Advising Noncitizen Defendants on Immigration Consequences of Conviction

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Dems turn job-killing claims on GOP | View Clip
02/18/2011
North County Times - Online

WASHINGTON ---- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pay for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that promote both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Addressing critics Thursday, Boehner told reporters, "I don't want anyone to lose their jobs," but "we've got to make tough decisions."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists ---- many with conservative backgrounds ---- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge ---- because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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FTC looking into Apple subscription terms, while first publishers get on board | View Clip
02/18/2011
AppleInsider

Regulator concerns In a followup to an earlier report, The Wall Street Journal said the US Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are looking into Apple's terms, though interest is at "a preliminary stage" and a formal investigation has yet to be launched, according to people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, the European Commission said Thursday it was "carefully monitoring the situation." Apple drew criticism earlier this week when it unveiled its iOS App Store subscription service, which will take a 30 percent share of revenue and requires that digital subscriptions for an iOS app sold outside of the app also be available for the same price or better through iTunes. One developer called the announcement "a huge dick move" on Apple's part, while distributor Rhapsody called the terms "economically untenable." "The costs don't leave any room for a sensible business model," said Rhapsody president John Irwin. At the time, legal experts chimed in, saying Apple could be subject to antitrust scrutiny, though the iPad maker would need to have a "dominant market position" for its actions to count as antitrust violations. Representatives of the Justice Department and the FTC declined to comment. Since both agencies enforce federal antitrust laws, the two would have to decide who would take the lead in the event of an investigation, the report noted. Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute, told the Journal that forbidding apps from linking to external sites "sounds like a pretty aggressive position. "It seems like that's purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don't get a cut from." The clauses in Apple's terms of service that require pricing on iTunes to match external sites, also known as "most favored nation" clauses, could draw investigator scrutiny. According to the report, the Justice Department recently sued a Michigan health-insurance company, alleging that the company used similar clauses to block competitors. The day after Apple announced the details of its in-app subscriptions, Google revealed a competing service called "One Pass" that will take just 10 percent of revenue. The service also would allow publishers access to subscribers' personal data, while Apple's model lets users decide which personal information publishers can see. Publisher adoption Despite attracting a largely negative response from publishers and developers, Apple has several high-profile publishers to its subscription feature. Men's magazine Maxim will take advantage of the new feature, the Journal reports. We understand that Maxim can be consumed in many different ways and on many different platforms and it is our job to serve our audience wherever and however they choose, said Ben Madden, Maxims chief revenue officer. Elle, Nylon and Popular Science also revealed earlier this week that they will incorporate the new service into their apps. News Corporation negotiated exclusive access to the feature and will utilize it in its The Daily iPad periodical. For an in-depth comparison of Apple's new subscription plan with those of Google and Amazon, see the AppleInsider feature:

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IS DIGITAL SIGNAGE AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION MEDIUM ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES? | View Clip
02/18/2011
AV Technology - Online

Black Box Corporation, a provider of voice communications, data infrastructure, and networking products, has released an independent study of how college administrators can communicate better with students on their campuses. The research study, Communication Effectiveness in Higher Education, looks at the various communications methods and technologies used by schools to inform and alert students.

West Chester University in Pennsylvania

Prepared by the Platt Retail Institute (PRI), a marketing research, consulting, and analytics firm, the detailed research report advances key findings about how to enhance the administrator-to-student communication process on campus.

According to Steven Keith Platt, Director and Research Fellow at PRI, “This investigation into campus administrator-to-student communication is the first study that addresses the effectiveness of communication that considers different types of information being delivered via various channels.”

Research involved interviews with various universities to gauge the different approaches, as well as surveys of students querying their preferred delivery method. Researchers established methods of comparison to define and evaluate perceived communications impact and usage gaps.

“This study confirms that students prefer to receive information through newer digital media channels, including text messages, digital signage, e-mail, and a school's Web site,” Platt said. “Use of these channels is helpful when addressing another research finding, which is that universities often relay too much irrelevant information to students, with the unintended consequence that relevant, important messages tend to get crowded out.”

Application in academic settings

It is clear that University students prefer to receive information through digital channels. Of these, digital communication networks (DCN) offer various unique properties, which are discussed here.

A DCN, like other communication channels, is able to relay various types of information. Yet, there are several major advantages associated with a DCN. The first is its flexibility to display a vast range of targeted digital messages. That is, messages can easily be changed based upon the needs of the school at any particular time. For example, at Santa Clara University, the DCN distributes information about campus events, class updates and safety concerns to the campus community using video, scrolling text, and static text formats. The second major advantage is that messages delivered by a DCN can be altered and displayed real-time. Messages in response to unanticipated events and critical information can be distributed almost instantly to a specific screen or campus-wide. This is a major advantage when compared to other communication platforms. For instance, consider the following in terms of communicating an emergency message on a campus of 40,000 students:

• It can take up to two hours for an emergency e-mail to be sent.

• 20 to 40 minutes for this same message to be sent via text message (which is a voluntary sign-up service that not all students have access to).

• Just a few minutes to enter a username and password to log on and publish a message via a DCN.

Other benefits associated with a DCN include the ability to instantly connect to a large number of dispersed screens campuswide, and the ability to display dynamic content that captures audience attention.

A college campus can be viewed either as one massive audience or can be divided into various target audiences. While some messages may be relevant to the university as a whole, it is often necessary to communicate to a specific student demographic.

A closer look

A different way to use cross-campus messaging is by creating an emergency alert system with digital displays. When West Chester University in Pennsylvania deployed a 22-screen digital signage network, one of their major reasons for doing so was to increase campus safety. The screens are installed in 13 different locations across campus and run on software that allows emergency information to override all other content. Similarly, at East Carolina University, its 100-screen deployment can be taken over quickly in an emergency situation.

Santa Clara University uses a communication system that has the flexibility to incorporate various communication media. The school's digital screens are used primarily to display real-time content such as last-minute class changes, emergency notifications, and event information.

University of Bedfordshire uses shared corporate branding on screens at all five of its campuses to ensure a professional look throughout.

The key success factor of a network, however, is the ability to deliver relevant messages. Message relevancy is dependent, in turn, on the ability to understand your audience and to constantly create new and updated content. This can be expensive if outsourced, so many schools are allocating network content responsibilities to school staff.

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Mills students join interfaith dialogue at UC Berkeley conference | View Clip
02/18/2011
Mills College Campanil

As part of its mission to attempt to increase awareness of different religions and faiths on campus, Mills' Student Diversity Program (SDP) attended the first Interfaith Leadership Conference held in the Bay Area on February 12th and 13th at UC Berkeley. The event, hosted by Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) is one way SDP hopes to address religious and spiritual identity on campus, a goal it set for the Spring Semester.

Fifteen students and 3 staff members from Mills College were in attendance along side students and faculty from UC Davis, USF, and Santa Clara University.

Those in attendance were of many faiths, such as Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Baptist, Evangelical, Buddhist and atheist.

The Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago based non-profit, is an institute that trains youth of diverse faiths or atheism to work together on social justice issues.

IFYC started the national campaign, Better Together, where college students work together on social justice causes both locally and globally. The Better Together campaign has been instated at 72 college campuses with 1,636 attendees at its conferences and with 16 social action issues, according to the program's website.

The Interfaith Youth Core received a $60,000 grant from the Walter and Elise Haas Fund to fund interfaith work within the San Francisco Bay Area.

The grant started in July of 2010 and will be in effect until July of this year. It was this grant that allowed IFYC to host the Interfaith conference at Berkeley.

“I joined (the Interfaith Youth Core) because I care about social justice and want to see a massive change in the world,” said IFYC Campus Engagement Associate NAME? who worked at the conference as one of the trainers. “We can be better.”

One of the Mills staff in attendance at the Interfaith conference was the newly appointed Director of Spiritual and Religious Life Laura Engelken.

“My goal was to get a sense of where folks' (Mills students) energy was around interfaith dialogue on campus,” Engelken said. “(And to) get a chance to know (Mills students). Both of my expectations were met.”

Sabrina Kwist, the Associate Director of Student Diversity Programs at Mills College, explained at the event students were able to reflect on social justice and to discuss

religious oppression.

“For me, the memory I will walk away with is the image of Mills leaders strategizing during their conference lunch break on how they want to make Mills and the greater community better,” she said.

Mills students that attended the Interfaith Conference discussed their feelings about their personal faith on campus at the conference.

“(This is) the first time since I've been at Mills (that) I've said I am a Christian,” said Mills senior Ciera Cummings while at the Interfaith Leadership Conference.

Another Mills student, sophomore Maria Mejia, agreed with Cummings. She said she has felt uncomfortable about discussing her Catholic faith with others at Mills.

“How can you say, I'm proud of a religion that has been oppressive,'” said Mejia.

Mills graduate student, Adriana Hutchinson, talked about Interfaith work, during the conference, and acceptance of one's faith while not judging other people's beliefs.

“I'm very lucky to go to a church that is very social justice oriented…I can't judge anybody for where they are or what they believe,” said Hutchinson. was published on February 17, 2011 in Featured - News, News

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The Apple of Antitrust Enforcers' Eyes - Law Blog - WSJ | View Clip
02/18/2011
Law Blog - Wall Street Journal Blogs

First comes the business announcement, then the antitrust inquiry. It must seem that way, at time, for the big tech firms, which always seem to have pesky government regulators sniffing around their market shares.

The latest news: U.S. antitrust enforces have begun looking into the terms of Apple's new subscription service for media companies that want to sell their content on iPads, iPhones, and other devices. (

Here's another from the NYT.)

At issue: Apple is taking a 30% cut of subscription payments and it has erected obstacles to publishers selling digital subscriptions outside of Apple's orbit.

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, WSJ reports, are interested in examining whether is running afoul of U.S. antitrust laws by funneling media companies' customers into the payment system for its iTunes store-and taking that 30% cut.

But the agencies interest in the matter is at a preliminary stage and it might not develop into a formal investigation. Apple declined to comment.

Apple would prohibit media companies' apps from linking to stores outside its App Store or from offering better terms to subscribers elsewhere, making it difficult for them to attract buyers to their own sites, WSJ reports.

Banning apps from linking to external sites "sounds like a pretty aggressive position," said

Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute. "It seems like that's purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don't get a cut from."

Still, antitrust officials in the U.S. and abroad may be hard-pressed to conclude that Apple's 30% commission is excessive, antitrust experts said, partly because it will be difficult to determine a benchmark commission rate for digital subscriptions.

"The European Commission has been reluctant in the past to second-guess pricing as it is a complex exercise, and the commission does not want to become a price regulator," said Damien Geradin, a professor of competition law at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog covers the notable legal cases, trends and personalities of interest to the business community. Ashby Jones is the lead writer of the blog, which includes contributions from reporters of the WSJ's Law Bureau, led by Joanna Chung. Ashby, who has covered the legal and business worlds for over a decade as a journalist, has also worked as a litigator at a law firm and clerked for a federal judge. Have a comment or tip? Write to

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Report: DOJ Eyeing Apple for Antitrust Violations | View Clip
02/18/2011
DailyTech.com

12:17 PM Recipient E-mail Sender E-mail Please input the letters/numbers that appear in the image below. (not case-sensitive) U.S. Department of Justice investigators are considering whether Apple is violating antitrust laws by committing anticompetitive practices and abusing its dominant position in the tablets market and other key markets. (Source: Ross Schultz) Apple CE Steve Jobs, seen here to the left of President Obama, attended a dinner at the White House last night along with other titans of the tech industry. (Source: White House) Big Brother is watching Apple Apple's evangelizing in the cell phone market has earned it the scrutiny of the U.S. Department of Justice. Even as the European Union its latest victim of antitrust fines, the DOJ is mulling over whether to launch a formal investigation into the Cupertino hardware and software giant. The company recently announced rules to outside Apple. App makers who violate the rule may see their apps dropped from the App store. The DOJ investigation is in its very preliminary stages, with no formal investigation filed, according to sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal. Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute describes Apple's decision to ban apps from linking to services outside Apple's "sounds like a pretty aggressive position." He warns, "It seems like that's purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don't get a cut from." Most view Apple's moves as the latest in the company's concerted effort to lock developers? revenue into an ecosystem in which it gets a 30 percent cut. Apple claims it doesn't make any money off the app store, but if nothing else, by forcing developers to use its services it makes developers more reliant on it and less likely to port to other platforms. The problem for antitrust investigators is that while Apple's moves may be anticompetitive, most believe it lacks a dominant position. It only has approximately 16 percent market share in the cell phone market, currently, and is dwarfed in sales by Android OS. One angle investigators could attack from is apps and tablets. At last count Apple apps outnumber Android ones approximately 2-to-1. And Apple owns approximately 75 percent of global tablet sales. Both of these are markets where it arguably has a "dominant" position. The result may be the launch of a formal DOJ investigation and Apple being forced to back down from its anticompetitive practices. This was what happened in the case of the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission's investigation of . In both cases Apple backed down and the investigations were closed. Google is likely highly interested in how this investigation plays out, as it has , albeit with more lax restrictions and lower fees.

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Political Briefs | View Clip
02/18/2011
Worcester Telegram & Gazette - Online

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) announced two personnel moves for his congressional staff in the Worcester District Office:

Kathleen Polanowicz, who previously served as district representative for McGovern, has been named district director. Polanowicz will oversee all operations and staff in McGovern’s four district offices. In addition, she will continue to provide constituent services in the areas of municipal relations, federal grant support, and select casework. Polanowicz graduated from Marymount College with a bachelor’s degree and Santa Clara University School of Law with a juris doctorate. Prior to joining Congressman McGovern, she was a practicing attorney, most recently as a trial attorney with the Naughton Law Office in Clinton. Polanowicz grew up in Worcester, and currently resides in Northboro with her husband, John, and their two children.

Scott Zoback, of Worcester, has been named the district press secretary and new media director. A graduate of Clark University, with a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s in public administration, Zoback previously served as the director of new media for McGovern’s 2010 re-election campaign, and as the communications director for Massachusetts State Senator Harriette Chandler. Zoback will coordinate local media outreach, as well as enhance McGovern’s online presence.

Rep. Steven L. Levy (R-Marlboro) was elected class president by his fellow freshman legislators last week.

At a meeting held last Thursday evening, Levy and three other new state representatives were elected to the honorary positions of class officers.

“This is a great honor,” said Levy on his election. “I am hopeful that as a freshman class, we will be able to have a significant impact on shaping policy this legislative session.” With 38 freshmen, the class represents almost one-fourth of the House of Representatives.

Levy wants his fellow freshman Representatives to “remember why we were elected,” and hopes to keep them focused on putting “the needs of our constituents and the citizens of the Commonwealth above partisan politics.”

Levy’s district includes Berlin.

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Political Briefs
02/18/2011
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) announced two personnel moves for his congressional staff in the Worcester District Office:

Kathleen Polanowicz, who previously served as district representative for McGovern, has been named district director. Polanowicz will oversee all operations and staff in McGovern's four district offices. In addition, she will continue to provide constituent services in the areas of municipal relations, federal grant support, and select casework. Polanowicz graduated from Marymount College with a bachelor's degree and Santa Clara University School of Law with a juris doctorate. Prior to joining Congressman McGovern, she was a practicing attorney, most recently as a trial attorney with the Naughton Law Office in Clinton. Polanowicz grew up in Worcester, and currently resides in Northboro with her husband, John, and their two children.

Scott Zoback, of Worcester, has been named the district press secretary and new media director. A graduate of Clark University, with a bachelor's degree in history and a master's in public administration, Zoback previously served as the director of new media for McGovern's 2010 re-election campaign, and as the communications director for Massachusetts State Senator Harriette Chandler. Zoback will coordinate local media outreach, as well as enhance McGovern's online presence.

Rep. Steven L. Levy (R-Marlboro) was elected class president by his fellow freshman legislators last week.

At a meeting held last Thursday evening, Levy and three other new state representatives were elected to the honorary positions of class officers.

"This is a great honor," said Levy on his election. "I am hopeful that as a freshman class, we will be able to have a significant impact on shaping policy this legislative session." With 38 freshmen, the class represents almost one-fourth of the House of Representatives.

Levy wants his fellow freshman Representatives to "remember why we were elected," and hopes to keep them focused on putting "the needs of our constituents and the citizens of the Commonwealth above partisan politics."

Levy's district includes Berlin.

Copyright © 2011 Worcester Telegram & Gazette Corp.

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Microsoft won't pursue keyword trade mark users in US | View Clip
02/18/2011
The Register

Microsoft will no longer investigate complaints that words used to trigger search adverts constitute trade mark infringement in the US.

The change to its search advert policy in the US mirrors Google's existing policy. The rules governing search adverts in the UK remain unchanged and forbid the use of keywords in a way that infringes trade mark law.

Keywords are terms which companies bid on so that their adverts appear when users of search engines search for that word or phrase. Trade mark owners have sought to have courts rule that one company using another's trade mark as an ad trigger breaches trade mark law.

Those companies have been largely unsuccessful. A number of US lawsuits have failed, and in a case involving Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that trade mark rights are only infringed by ads that cause confusion about the identity of the advertiser.

Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law in the US, reported the change to Microsoft's US policies for its adCenter search ads system.

"Starting March 3, 2011, adCenter will no longer review trademark keyword complaints. However, adCenter will continue to investigate brand owner complaints related to trademark use in ad text," said an email from Microsoft,  [1].  [2] states that it will still investigate complaints about the misuse of trade marked terms in the text of an advert.  [3] says that it will still look into UK instances of trade mark use in keywords.

"You may not bid on as a keyword, or use in the content of your ads, any term whose use would infringe the trademark of any third party or otherwise be unlawful or in violation of the rights of any third party," it said.

The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution calling for search engine companies to be prevented from allowing one company to bid on keywords that were trade marked by another company.

"[The Commission should] modify the limited liability regime for information society services in order to make the sale by search engines of registered brand names as advertising keywords subject to prior authorisation from the owner of the brand name in question," said the Parliament resolution [4].

[5]Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com [6]

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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Microsoft will not pursue keyword trade mark users in US | View Clip
02/18/2011
Law.com

OUT-LAW News, 18/02/2011

Microsoft will no longer investigate complaints that words used to trigger search adverts constitute trade mark infringement in the US. The change to its search advert policy in the US mirrors Google's existing policy.

The rules governing search adverts in the UK remain unchanged and forbid the use of keywords in a way that infringes trade mark law.

Keywords are terms which companies bid on so that their adverts appear when users of search engines search for that word or phrase. Trade mark owners have sought to have courts rule that one company using another's trade mark as an ad trigger breaches trade mark law.

Those companies have been largely unsuccessful. A number of US lawsuits have failed, and in a case involving Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that trade mark rights are only infringed by ads that cause confusion about the identity of the advertiser.

Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law in the US, reported the change to Microsoft's US policies for its adCenter search ads system.

"Starting March 3, 2011, adCenter will no longer review trademark keyword complaints. However, adCenter will continue to investigate brand owner complaints related to trademark use in ad text," said an email from Microsoft, according to Goldman.

Microsoft's policy for the US states that it will still investigate complaints about the misuse of trade marked terms in the text of an advert.

The company's UK policy says that it will still look into UK instances of trade mark use in keywords.

"You may not bid on as a keyword, or use in the content of your ads, any term whose use would infringe the trademark of any third party or otherwise be unlawful or in violation of the rights of any third party," it said.

The European Parliament recently adopted a resolution calling for search engine companies to be prevented from allowing one company to bid on keywords that were trade marked by another company.

"[The Commission should] modify the limited liability regime for information society services in order to make the sale by search engines of registered brand names as advertising keywords subject to prior authorisation from the owner of the brand name in question," said the Parliament resolution.

See also:

European Parliament demands change to keyword rules , OUT-LAW News, 17/12/2010

European Parliament joins French traders in opposing use of rival brands as keywords , OUT-LAW News, 15/11/2010

Google to allow trade marks as keywords across Europe , OUT-LAW News, 04/08/2010

ECJ outlines trade mark grounds for keyword objections , OUT-LAW News, 09/07/2010

Google AdWords cleared by European Court but advertisers warned over trade mark abuse , OUT-LAW News, 23/03/2010

Google's AdWords given trade mark all clear by ECJ advisor , OUT-LAW News, 22/09/2009

Google sued by Rosetta Stone over AdWords , OUT-LAW News, 16/07/2009

Software firm launches Google suit over AdWords and search listing , OUT-LAW News, 02/07/2009

ECJ rulings on Google keywords might not resolve controversy, warns High Court , OUT-LAW News, 26/05/2009

Google changes AdWords policy to allow trade marks in text of US adverts , OUT-LAW News, 18/05/2009

Google lets advertisers buy rivals' trade marks as keywords in 194 countries , OUT-LAW News, 07/05/2009

Google's sale of trade mark as keyword may be 'use in commerce', says US Court of Appeals , OUT-LAW News, 07/04/2009

French court fines Google over trade marked keywords , OUT-LAW News, 03/02/2009

Google wins AdWords ruling on US trade mark , OUT-LAW News, 03/10/2006

Google and GEICO settle AdWords dispute , OUT-LAW News, 08/09/2005

Judge clarifies Google AdWords ruling in the US , OUT-LAW News, 12/08/2005

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Making sense of science: introducing the Google Science Communication Fellows | View Clip
02/18/2011
Silicon Alley Insider

Google's Blog | Feb. 15, 2011, 8:00 AM | 0 |

(Cross-posted on the Google.org Blog)

In an effort to foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue, we've started a new effort aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences. Initially, we'll focus on communicating the science on climate change.

We're kicking off this effort by naming 21 Google Science Communication Fellows. These fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated by leaders in climate change research and science-based institutions across the U.S. It was hard to choose just 21 fellows from such an impressive pool of scientists; ultimately, we chose scientists who had the strongest potential to become excellent communicators. That meant previous training in science communication; research in topics related to understanding or managing climate change; and experience experimenting with innovative approaches or technology tools for science communication. This year's fellows are an impressive bunch:

Brendan Bohannan, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, University of Oregon

Edward Brook, Professor, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University

Julia Cole, Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona

Eugene Cordero, Associate Professor, Meteorology and Climate Science, San Jose University

Frank Davis, Professor, Landscape Ecology & Conservation Planning, University of California-Santa Barbara

Andrew Dessler, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University

Noah Diffenbaugh, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University

Simon Donner, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Nicole Heller, Research Scientist, Climate Central

Brian Helmuth, Professor, Biological Sciences, University South Carolina

Paul Higgins, Associate Director, Policy Program, American Meteorological Society

Jonathan Koomey, Consulting Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

David Lea, Professor, Earth Science, University of California-Santa Barbara

Kelly Levin, Senior Research Associate, World Resources Institute

David Lobel, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University

Edwin Mauer, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Santa Clara University

Susanne Moser, Research Associate, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California-Santa Cruz

Matthew Nisbet, Associate Professor, School of Communication, American University

Rebecca Shaw, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, CA Chapter

Whendee Silver, Professor, Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry, University of California-Berkeley

Alan Townsend, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado

At our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters in June, the fellows will participate in a workshop, which will integrate hands-on training and facilitated brainstorming on topics of technology and science communication. Following the workshop, fellows will be given the opportunity to apply for grants to put their ideas into practice. Those with the most impactful projects will be given the opportunity to join a Lindblad Expeditions & National Geographic trip to the Arctic, the Galapagos or Antarctica as a science communicator.

Congratulations to all of the fellows! And we'll keep you posted on more ideas and tools emerging for science communication.

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Unprecedented domain seizure shutters 84,000 sites | View Clip
02/18/2011
The Register

The federal government's unprecedented practice of confiscating internet domain names in secret court proceedings took a new and ominous turn last week when it resulted in the closure of as many as 84,000 website addresses.

The power grab came last Friday, when the mooo.com, an address a service called  [1] was  [2]. Sites that relied on mooo.com soon displayed a banner that said the domain name had been seized by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the main investigative arm of the US Department of Homeland Security. The banner went on to include this creepy nugget: "Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution."

Speculation has abounded ever since that mooo.com was one of almost a dozen domains confiscated under  [3], in which the government obtained a secret court order to seize addresses allegedly involved in child pornography without first giving the owners a chance to defend themselves before a judge.

By Sunday evening, mooo.com was restored, but by then the damage was done. Not only had 84,000 websites been silenced for 72 hours (a term lawyers call prior restraint) with no legal authority, but it was going to take another day or so for the world's domain name servers to reflect the change in tables most people use to access the sites. Condemnation of the move by ICE, which is overseen by Director John Morton, was swift and scathing.

"Mr. Morton, with all due respect: 'fuck off,' one  [4]. "Pulling a total domain, sweeping up innocent people along the way, feeling that you don't have to comply with due process of law and indicating that you don't give a damn is wrong. It's not as wrong as child pornography or counterfeiting, but it's still wrong."

Department of Homeland Security officials didn't respond to an email and phone calls seeking comment.

Lawyers and civil libertarians say the act was unprecedented and a naked affront to Free Speech guarantees at the heart of the US Constitution.

"You don't take down speech unless you have some sort of justification for it, and that's why, over and over, courts have said if you're going to take down a website, or take down speech anywhere, that take-down has to be narrowly tailored to a specific objective," Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director for Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Register. "This is basic constitutional law." comes on the heels of a separate ICE initiative dubbed Operation in our Sites, which seizes domain names for websites accused of offering pirated or counterfeited content or products. Like last week's operation, it didn't afford any prior notice to the owners, many of whom are located outside US borders.

The latest initiative came about the same time US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the Egyptian government for pulling the plug on the internet. The irony hasn't been lost on critics.

"Our government has gone rogue on us," Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law said. "Our government is going into court with half-baked facts and half-baked legal theories and shutting down operations. This is exactly what we thought the government couldn't do. I'm scratching my head why we aren't' grabbing the pitchforks." ®

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Visual Effects & Animation: A Pair Of Wild Rides: One To A Party, The Other To The Past | View Clip
02/18/2011
SHOOT

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If you are already a paid subscriber, you may login. Huggie's “Soiree”

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Category: Feature Story

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Huggies' "Soirée" And National Basketball Association's "Nash" Top SHOOT's Quarterly Chart Kicking Off 2011

February 18, 2011, A SHOOT Staff Report --- A baby runs amok through a party full of adults. Yet paradoxically his fast-paced reckless abandon is depicted via freeze frames in a commercial entitled "Soirée" for Huggies. The still images create a sense of frenetic motion that captures the elusiveness of the baby whose dad is in hot pursuit but to no avail.

Meanwhile in another spot we open on a fresh-faced Steve Nash back in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1996, prior to his being drafted by the Phoenix Suns and becoming the basketball superstar he is today. This archival footage shows Nash wearing a Santa Clara University jersey as he practices on a hardwood court at a gym. All the while, we see a modern-day element inserted into this footage and interacting with the young Nash--that contemporary element is a youngster who purports to be from the future.

The time-traveler begins, "You're going to be a two-time MVP, seven-time all star, and you break your nose, like, a dozen times." Incredulous, Nash smiles and drives toward the hoop and makes a lay-up.

The boy from the future continues, "Come on, Steve. Okay, okay. How 'bout this: ten years from now, you'll visit my school and it'll help turn my life around."

Not buying it, Nash steals the ball from the boy who says, "Still don't think I'm from the future, huh?" Nash sinks a three-point shot, prompting the boy to declare, "They're gonna love that shot in Phoenix," and the scene cuts to the NBA logo and tag, "Where amazing happens."

These two spots are distinctly different wild rides which top this quarter's SHOOT Visual Effects and Animation Chart. MassMarket, New York, was the visual effects house on the number one entry "Soirée" while right behind it was NBA's "Nash" for which a52, Santa Monica, was the effects studio.

Chris Sargent of Park Pictures directed and shot the NBA Entertainment :30 for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. In a nutshell, a52 was tasked with designing a visual effects pipeline that would enable Sargent and the Goodby ensemble to get a genuine performance from the "future kid" and not have the youngster hindered by static cameras and by having to hit marks. Working with Sargent and editors Matt Murphy and Michael Wadsworth of Final Cut, the a52 coterie of talent--headed by VFX supervisor Pat Murphy--choreographed a sequence of actions that could be split into different shots so that the focus wasn't on getting one complete performance, but rather a series of shots that when cut together told the story Sargent and Goodby envisioned. Prior to shooting, a52 cleaned the archival footage to remove Nash's high school coach and create a clean plate that the future kid could be composited into. After the edit was refined, tracking and lighting played a big role in the overall composite. There were nuances in the archival footage that a52 had to replicate in order to make the composite feel believable.

Now here's a more detailed backstory on the number one entry for Huggies:

"Soirée"

Directed by Fredrik Bond of MJZ and featuring the VFX work of MassMarket, the Huggies' :30 "Soirée" for JWT New York centers on a baby who wreaks havoc at an upscale loft party.

The spot was designed to promote Huggies Little Movers diapers, which are shaped to fit in a way that allows babies to move faster and more freely. That insight led the creative team at JWT to wonder, could Huggies have created a diaper that has babies moving so fast they can't be caught? From that question came the idea of producing a spot that finds a baby in overdrive. But rather than have the baby whizzing around at full tilt speed, which would seem like an obvious route to take, the creative team, including copywriter Daniel Gonzalez and art director David Suarez, created a sense of speed through a series of frozen vignettes. While the baby is a whirlwind of destruction, whipping around the party and knocking over everything from a plate of spaghetti to an aquarium with his dad in hot pursuit, the action is depicted in a series of intricate still moments.

At the outset of the project, senior integrated producer Owen Katz was confident his creative colleagues at JWT had conceptualized a brilliant spot, but he confessed he wasn't sure Bond would even look at the brief given that it was for a diaper commercial.

Bond did look at it and was impressed by the possibilities and challenges offered by the concept. The director not only executed what he read on paper, but he "took it the next mile. He added value. He pushed the boundaries. He pushed the budget," Katz said with a laugh. "He made the spot better, and you don't always get that when you hire a director."

Given the complexity of what JWT and Bond wanted to pull off, MassMarket executive producer Justin Lane felt it was important to get everyone involved in the project in one room together to plot out a course of action. Going low-tech, Lego toys were spread out on a conference table, serving as representations of the people in the spot, and a camera phone was flown through the setup to show how the camera would move within the environment. MassMarket used the resulting video to create an animated pre-vis.

Just over a week later, Bond and DP Hoyte van Hoytema shot "Soirée" on location at a Manhattan loft. "We shot all of it for real," Bond said.

Each vignette was arranged and lit, and shot individually, a motion control camera snaking through the scene. For the most part, the actors, which included Rod Luzzi as the dad and Bond's friend Emil Moller, whom he described as an amazing pantomime, had to make an expression and hold it. Some were standing, while others hung from the air on wires. (A mannequin stood in for the baby.) But Bond didn't require total stillness. "If you look closely, they are all moving slightly," Bond shared, explaining that the movement—you'll see one girl's eyes darting toward the end of "Soirée"—gave the spot life.

As far as postproduction, MassMarket touched every frame of the spot, rotoscoping the individual vignettes and marrying them together; adding 3D elements, including the cake and cake bits we see hanging in the air and the water in the fish tank; completely removing the ceiling of the loft and replacing it with a 3D ceiling; and speeding up or slowing down certain segments. Massive amounts of rig and wire removal were also performed.

When it came to marrying the vignettes, "Something that worked to our advantage was the spot was shot on RED," sr. Flame artist Jamie Scott said. "Shooting digitally meant the motion control shots lined up a lot better than if it had been shot on film."

The biggest challenge was the 3D head replacement on the baby, according to lead Flame artist David Parker. Katz credited MassMarket with developing a camera rig that—as unobtrusively as possible—swung around a real baby and captured numerous facial expressions from varying angles. MassMarket's 3D department then used those stills to create CGI baby heads.

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/18/2011
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2011, file photo House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., right, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington. Friday night, Feb. 11, House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of government programs in a $61 billion savings package, which is expected to reach the House floor for a vote next week. From education to job training, environment and nutrition, few domestic programs are untouched. In it Americorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are targeted for elimination; spending on defense and veterans' programs are protected. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that promote both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Addressing critics Thursday, Boehner told reporters, "I don't want anyone to lose their jobs," but "we've got to make tough decisions."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Apple's New Subscription Plan Draws Interest of Federal Antitrust Officials | View Clip
02/18/2011
TMCnet.com

Federal regulators are scrutinizing Apple's (News - Alert) recently-launched digital subscription service to see if its terms violate any antitrust laws, sources close to the situation told the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that the inquiry is in a "preliminary stage" and may not result in any legal action or even a formal investigation.

The potential drama surrounding Apple's new service, which enables media companies to offer paid subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, videos and music through its App Store, is based primarily on the conditions and stipulations that accompany the offering.

When a publisher signs up with Apple to offer its content through the App Store, it can still sell subscriptions through other sites, including its own. However, Apple has demanded that these companies make the subscription available through iTunes at the best available price. For every subscription that is billed through iTunes, Apple takes a whopping 30 percent cut.

Furthermore, Apple has stipulated that publishers that sign up with the service are not allowed to link their apps to stores outside of its App Store.

The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission are looking into the matter because the narrow terms take away nearly any incentive for a consumer to purchase a media subscription through any place but the App Store. iPad, iPhone (News - Alert) and iPod Touch users already have their billing information stored with Apple and can access the content with just a few clicks to the screen.

Not allowing apps to link to other sites "sounds like a pretty aggressive position," Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute, told the Wall Street Journal. "It seems like that's purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don't get a cut from."

Online music subscription service Rhapsody said that it could not support a business model where it needs to pay royalties to musicians as well as a 30 percent fee to Apple.

"The costs don't leave any room," he told the Journal.

This is not the first time that antitrust regulators have probed Apple terms. In 2010, the Federal Trade Commission began looking into Apple's policy that precluded developers from using tools made by Adobe. Apple changed the policy soon after the investigation began.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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Apple draws interest of antitrust regulators | View Clip
02/18/2011
Ilounge

Both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have started looking at the new terms Apple set this week for media companies that want to sell content on the iOS platform, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that the groups? interest in Apple is only at a preliminary stage, and won?t necessarily develop into a formal investigation or action against the company. Beyond the U.S., a spokesperson for the European Commission has said the commission is aware of Apple?s new policies and is ?carefully monitoring the situation.? Earlier this week, Apple issued a press release announcing its new subscription service for the App Store, in which it that forbid companies from including links in their apps to sell content outside the app, force them to offer the same subscription price via In-App Purchase?of which Apple gets a 30 percent cut?as they do outside the app. Banning apps from linking to external sites ?sounds like a pretty aggressive position,? said Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University?s High Tech Law Institute. ?It seems like that?s purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don?t get a cut from.? « » If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a , or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do.

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Dems ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?' | View Clip
02/17/2011
Real Clear Politics Blog, The

Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists _ many with conservative backgrounds _ saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House Republican plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The Obama administration's massive 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

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Democrats Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On Republicans | View Clip
02/17/2011
Huffington Post, The

WASHINGTON Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists many with conservative backgrounds saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP budget-cutters, say thousands will lose work | View Clip
02/17/2011
Chicago Tribune - Online

2:33 a.m. CST, February 17, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on Republicans budget-cutters, say thousands lose work | View Clip
02/17/2011
Guardian, The

Published on February 17, 2011 Published on February 17, 2011

Topics : Republicans , Democrats , Bill House of Representatives , WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 per cent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House Republican plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The Obama administration's massive 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Return to Top



Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on Republicans budget-cutters, say thousands lose work | View Clip
02/17/2011
CIWW-AM (1310 News)

WASHINGTON - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 per cent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House Republican plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The Obama administration's massive 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Return to Top



Dems ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?'
02/17/2011
Associated Press (AP)

WASHINGTON_Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists _ many with conservative backgrounds _ saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House Republican plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The Obama administration's massive 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Dems ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?' | View Clip
02/17/2011
MSN Money Canada

WASHINGTON - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 per cent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House Republican plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The Obama administration's massive 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Post-Standard - Online

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
OregonLive.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Salon.com

Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists -- many with conservative backgrounds -- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge -- because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
KWTV-TV - Online

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
KSLA-TV - Online

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Return to Top



Democrats Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
KPRC-TV - Online

CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Miami Herald - Online, The

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Forbes - Online

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
CNBC - Online

WASHINGTON - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Boston Globe - Online

WASHINGTON The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists -- many with conservative backgrounds -- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge -- because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Vida En El Valle

(Published Thursday, February 17th, 2011 12:12AM)

WASHINGTON Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' c... | View Clip
02/17/2011
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Online

Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists _ many with conservative backgrounds _ saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge _ because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



'Where are the Jobs?' Talk Aimed at GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Time - Online

(WASHINGTON) � Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time. See TIME's special "Out of Work in America."

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists � many with conservative backgrounds � saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

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US Democrats ask Republicans 'Where are the jobs?' | View Clip
02/17/2011
TheStar.com.my

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House Republican plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The Obama administration's massive 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

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Subscriptions put Apple in antitrust spotlight again (report) | VentureBeat | View Clip
02/17/2011
VentureBeat

Subscriptions put Apple in antitrust spotlight again (report)
Federal regulators are looking once more into how Apple's control over the applications available on the iPhone and iPad,

The problem wasn't the subscription plan per se, in which Apple takes the same 30 percent cut that it does on App Store purchases, but rather the restrictions that Apple put around it. The company said that any app offering a subscription plan elsewhere has to offer it within their iOS app too, and at the same price. In addition, publishers cannot include links inside their app to purchase content or subscriptions elsewhere.

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are both in the preliminary stage of their investigations, according to the Journal's sources (who are "people familiar with the matter"), so they may not take any action against Apple or even launch a formal investigation. Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute, told the Journal that the prohibition on links sounds like "a pretty aggressive position." And the restriction on offering a better price elsewhere could be considered anti-competitive too if it distorts pricing.

It's widely believed that the FTC was investigating Apple last year for its ban on tools that converted non-native apps into iPhone apps, and

It's also interesting to see that much of the opposition to Apple's plan seems to be coming from music startups.

Rhapsody said yesterday that its subscription model won't work if Apple takes 30 percent, and today L ast.fm's co-founder said Apple "fucked over music subs for the iphone." The Journal article also includes complaints from music startups, including Axel Dauchez, president of French startup Deezer, who says giving Apple 30 percent of a subscription is "so obviously anticompetitive that it will never survive in Europe."

It's not surprising that Apple is facing some of its loudest opposition from these companies, since

the royalty costs for music make it notoriously difficult for startups to make money Not even popular Internet radio app Pandora expects to make a profit Anthony Ha

Anthony is a senior editor at VentureBeat, as well as its reporter on media, advertising, and social networks. Before joining the site in 2008, Anthony worked at the Hollister Free Lance, where he won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association for breaking news coverage and writing. He attended Stanford University and now lives in San Francisco. Reach him at anthony@venturebeat.com. (All story pitches should also be sent to tips@venturebeat.com) You can also

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Subscriptions Put Apple in Antitrust Spotlight Again (Report) | View Clip
02/17/2011
New York Times - Online, The

Federal regulators are looking once more into how Apple's control over the applications available on the iPhone and iPad, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. This time it's Apple's subscription feature for apps (which the company unveiled yesterday) that's attracting antitrust scrutiny.

The problem wasn't the subscription plan per se, in which Apple takes the same 30 percent cut that it does on App Store purchases, but rather the restrictions that Apple put around it. The company said that any app offering a subscription plan elsewhere has to offer it within their iOS app too, and at the same price. In addition, publishers cannot include links inside their app to purchase content or subscriptions elsewhere.

The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are both in the preliminary stage of their investigations, according to the Journal's sources (who are “people familiar with the matter”), so they may not take any action against Apple or even launch a formal investigation. Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute, told the Journal that the prohibition on links sounds like “a pretty aggressive position.” And the restriction on offering a better price elsewhere could be considered anti-competitive too if it distorts pricing.

It's widely believed that the FTC was investigating Apple last year for its ban on tools that converted non-native apps into iPhone apps, and that the investigation pressured Apple into backing off. So if this investigation gets real momentum, we may see another about-face.

It's also interesting to see that much of the opposition to Apple's plan seems to be coming from music startups. Rhapsody said yesterday that its subscription model won't work if Apple takes 30 percent, and today Last.fm's co-founder said Apple “fucked over music subs for the iphone.” The Journal article also includes complaints from music startups, including Axel Dauchez, president of French startup Deezer, who says giving Apple 30 percent of a subscription is “so obviously anticompetitive that it will never survive in Europe.”

It's not surprising that Apple is facing some of its loudest opposition from these companies, since the royalty costs for music make it notoriously difficult for startups to make money. Not even popular Internet radio app Pandora expects to make a profit this year.

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'So be it': GOP admits cuts in government spending will cost jobs | View Clip
02/17/2011
WPEC-TV - Online

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Regulators Eye Apple Anew | View Clip
02/17/2011
Wall Street Journal

...media companies to attract subscriptions buyers to their own sites. Legal experts say some of those rules could pose antitrust problems Banning apps from linking to external sites "sounds like a pretty aggressive position," said Eric Goldman, director of Santa Clara University's High Tech Law Institute. "It seems like that's purely in the interests of Apple trying to restrict people doing transactions they don't get a cut from." Apple's condition that its own customers should get the best deal...

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Now It's Dems' Turn To Ask 'Where Are The Jobs?' | View Clip
02/17/2011
KJCT-TV - Online

Highlights: Obama's Budget Plan

Interactive: Track Corporate Bailouts

Interactive: Where Did The Stimulus Go?

Interactive: State-By-State Earmarks

Graph: Federal Debt History

Survey: How Is Obama Doing?

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Now It's Dems' Turn To Ask 'Where Are The Jobs?' | View Clip
02/17/2011
KTVM-TV - Online

Highlights: Obama's Budget Plan

Interactive: Track Corporate Bailouts

Interactive: Where Did The Stimulus Go?

Interactive: State-By-State Earmarks

Graph: Federal Debt History

Survey: How Is Obama Doing?

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Now It's Dems' Turn To Ask 'Where Are The Jobs?' | View Clip
02/17/2011
WFTV-TV - Online

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to noneistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an etra federal hire or ependiture might displace a private-sector hire or ependiture. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said. Aleander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of eplaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Interior plan bans mining claims near Grand Canyon | View Clip
02/17/2011
WXVT-TV

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Return to Top



In his run, Chico trusts roots
02/17/2011
Chicago Tribune

Gery Chico walks into the frigid workshop of a North Side green-energy startup company and looks over the half-built wind turbines and workers in coveralls toiling over them.

He laments the scarcity of reporters in the room but eventually steps to the lectern and reels off about a dozen ideas for promoting such businesses and what they could do for Chicago: jobs, prestige, savings in the city budget.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is achievable. By practical actions," said Chico, who noted that at the park district, he switched the lawn mowers from gasoline to methane power. "We may not be the hog-butcher to the world anymore, we may not be the candy capital of the world anymore, but there's absolutely no reason we can't be the energy capital of the world."

Whether it's adding 2,000 police officers or making business permits a one-day process, Chico's campaign has been a series of make-no-small-plans promises. And he believes that if Chicagoans would just look at his track record as a problem solver who sprouted from the city's own gritty neighborhoods, they would see that he's the man for the job.

Yet Chico's greatest strength -- City Hall experience and knowledge -- also has opened him up to his biggest criticism. Opponents point to millions that have flowed to Chico's law firm from clients seeking help navigating government. The legal practice has afforded him a $2.4 million house in Scottsdale, Ariz., a vacation home in Beverly Shores, Ind., and residences on the Near West Side and Michigan Avenue in the Loop.

Chico has run a vigorous campaign, piling up union endorsements and airing ads to promote his agenda and blast his chief opponent. Running second, Chico's goal is an April 5 runoff against front-runner Rahm Emanuel.

He says he'll sit down with unions to negotiate reforms of a city pension system that is largely viewed as unsustainable. He's also willing to listen to public workers seeking to eliminate the city's residency requirement.

And he's proposed hiring a deputy mayor for job creation. With the city facing huge financial problems, Chico acknowledged a property tax increase should remain on the table but said his record in putting together government budgets shows that raising taxes is a last resort.

But he's also floated some populist ideas, trotting out former Chicago Bears on the campaign trail and suggesting Chicago should try to land the Super Bowl.

"Imagine if it snowed in a Super Bowl," he said. "The more disastrous, the better. People would love it. I wish it would snow so heavy, you couldn't even see the ball."

There is no doubt Chico is real Chicago. Born at St. Anthony's Hospital on the Southwest Side to parents with Mexican, Greek and Lithuanian immigrant roots, he was raised in McKinley Park but spent a lot of time in Back of the Yards, where his grandparents often cared for him while his parents worked.

His political baptism came when he was a senior political science student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. City Hall-types told him he needed a reference to get an internship. His precinct captain took him to the 11th Ward Democratic Organization headquarters.

Chico recalled the man sitting behind the committeeman's desk was Tom Donovan, who had been Mayor Richard J. Daley's patronage chief and went on to head the Chicago Board of Trade. He got the internship, $3 an hour to start. The four-month job lasted almost three years because he would stay after hours.

In 1980, Chico learned of an opening at the City Council Finance Committee and won the job analyzing budgets, revenue projections and tax legislation. During the Council Wars era, Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, became the new chairman. Now he's a strong ally in Chico's bid for mayor.

Chico took night law classes at Loyola University and graduated in 1985. Two years later, he moved on to Sidley & Austin. Five years later, he became a top Daley deputy and then mayoral chief of staff. It proved to be his most formative position.

"It is every possible issue under the sun comes across that desk. Hunger. Strikes. Police. Schools. Poverty. International visitors. You name it. That's on that desk and that job has no boundaries," Chico said.

He said he sent the city in a new direction in fixing streets after water and sewer repairs to help assuage local homeowners by doing more than just patching over the holes.

"Go curb to curb," Chico said. "The citizens felt better. I felt better. The mayor felt better. And it was a better city because of taking that look at the detail. That's the way I operate. I like to get down there and see what's going on."

In 1995, Daley chose him to be school board president at a time when Chicago's public schools were labeled the worst in the nation. Teaming up with schools chief Paul Vallas, the two built dozens of new schools, renovated hundreds of others, turned a financial deficit into cash in the bank, made peace with labor unions and nudged test scores upward.

"If you watched Vallas and I operate in those days: Boom, boom, boom," Chico said.

But it was at Chicago Public Schools where Chico's private law practice collided with his public service. Joining Altheimer & Gray, Chico abstained from hundreds of votes because the school board was considering contracts with the law firm's clients. In his first four years as board president, the law firm's clients received more than $577 million in school contracts, a Tribune review showed. Chico said many, including Commonwealth Edison, had longstanding contracts before he arrived.

Vallas, who has endorsed Chico, said the candidate never stood in the way when Vallas wanted to jettison contracts held by the politically connected.

"If people think you're a person of influence, they gravitate toward your firm," Vallas said. "Gery abstained from a lot of votes, but at the end of the day, when we awarded contracts, we awarded them by a competitive process."

The early years of the decade provided pivotal for Chico. He advanced to the position of senior partner and chairman of the firm's executive committee. He got divorced in 2001 and launched a U.S. Senate bid. A total of 75 people employed by the firm gave more than $90,000 to the campaign, U.S. election records show.

Then the firm imploded. He'd been a potent rainmaker, but as a Senate candidate his business dropped precipitously. The 88-year-old firm had rapidly expanded just as the economy tanked. Chico acknowledged it's the one piece of his resume that he regrets but contended it's the result of the downturn hurting the firm's merger and acquisition business. Chico said he paid $1.2 million to help settle the firm's debts.

The crash of Altheimer also did little to advance his Senate bid, which was won by then-state Sen. Barack Obama.

A month later, Chico founded his own law firm with partner Marcus Nunes. They met at the city Planning Department. Chico's personal income has ranged from $2 million and $3 million a year as the law firm has thrived, partly from high-profile clients the firm represents on city business.

Chico said clients hire the firm because of the quality of work, not political connections. He insists he's never given a client an unfair advantage in winning city contracts but makes no apologies for connections that have paid off, both personally and politically.

One relationship that illustrates the nexus between Chico's public service, political ambition and private success involves F & B Construction.

The small South Side masonry contractor, and its owner, Lloyd Fuller, have been among Chico's largest campaign contributors for mayor, giving him $55,000. It's a relationship that began with minority contracts back when Chico was at the Board of Education.

"I'm sitting in my Senate campaign office in 2002 or 2003, this guy walks in with a plaid shirt. Never met him. He said, 'Mr. Chico I'd like to meet you, my name is Lloyd Fuller. I owe the start of my company to what you did at the Board of Education,'" Chico said last week.

The man explained that the school building projects and minority contracting initiatives put his little firm on the map, and he was grateful. The firm donated $46,500 to Chico's Senate bid.

"I'd never met him prior to that day. Lloyd has become a client and a friend, ever since. I was gone from the Board of Education for years before I hooked up with Lloyd as a client. Years," Chico said. "You can't deny being a human being and meeting people along the way. And I don't think we should. ... I don't see anything that's not proper about that."

Fuller did not return calls.

Such relationships may not violate the law, but some government ethics experts said Chico's dual career paths can undermine public confidence in public servants.

"Straddling the line is really not the best practice," said Judy Nadler, a senior fellow at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. "This is why the public starts to first lose confidence and then become cynical. The question becomes, who are you there to serve?"

Chico said the mix of public service and private work is not about money.

"Those of us who've been in the private sector and make a lot of money, you go into government for lots of reasons, but it's mostly a dedication. It's not the money. I'll tell you that right now," he said. "It's not what drives me. It's not about the money. So, people that do (public service) are looking for something else. They're looking for some other purpose."

- - -
The Chico file

Current job: Attorney
Personal: 54, born in Chicago. Remarried to Sunny Chico. Five children: Michelle, Rebecca, Sarah,
Alyssa and Michael
Education: Bachelor's degree in political science from University of Illinois at Chicago (1978); law degree from Loyola University School of Law (1985)
Campaign website: gerychicoformayor.com
Previous positions: Chairman of City Colleges of Chicago (2010); president of Chicago Park District (2007-2009); president of Chicago Public Schools (1995- 2001); chief of staff to Mayor Richard Daley (1992-1995); senior partner at Chico & Nunes law firm (2004?present); attorney at Arnstein & Lehr (2003-2004); senior partner Altheimer & Gray law firm (1996-2003); attorney at Sidley & Austin (1995-1996); staffer for City Council Finance
Committee (1980-1987); staffer at city planning department (1977-1980)

----------

dheinzmann@tribune.com

rap30@aol.com

This week, the Tribune tells the stories of candidates in the Chicago mayoral race.

Election center: chicagotribune.com/elections

Photo: "My grandparents lived across the street from here for 65 years, and as a small child I grew up in
large part here as my grandmother would watch me, my brothers and my cousins. I went to
kindergarten over here, my father and mother met over here, I played a lot here in Davis Square
Park, and this area means a lot to me. This is where my roots are on the South Side of Chicago."
? Gery Chico, in Davis Square Park. BRIAN CASSELLA/TRIBUNE PHOTO
Photo: Politics, service, private success:  Gery Chico's greatest strength also has opened him up to his biggest criticism. He has valuable City Hall experience, but some question how much connections have paid off for him, both personally and politically. (News section, Page 1)

Photo: Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins
Photo: William "Dock" Walls
Photo: Miguel del Valle
Photo: Carol Moseley Braun
Photo: Gery Chico
Photo: Rahm Emanuel

Copyright © 2011 Chicago Tribune Company

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GOP's Slippery Slope: Create Jobs And Cut Federal Jobs At Same Time | View Clip
02/17/2011
WMAL-AM - Online

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on Republicans budget-cutters, say thousands lose work | View Clip
02/17/2011
CJNI-FM (News 97.5) - Online

WASHINGTON - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 per cent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House Republican plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

The Obama administration's massive 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

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Dems turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Today Show - NBC News Network - Online

WASHINGTON — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs.

GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Some economists dispute GOP claims

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis.

John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Promoting jobs by ending spending binge

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Dems Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
KTVU-TV - Online

Republicans Want Deep Cuts In Federal Spending

Obama Unveils Proposed Budget

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US BUDGET, DEFICIT

Highlights: Obama's Budget Plan

Interactive: Track Corporate Bailouts

Interactive: Where Did The Stimulus Go?

Interactive: State-By-State Earmarks

Graph: Federal Debt History

Survey: How Is Obama Doing?

CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Dems Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
KGTV-TV - Online

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week. IBSYS.ad.AdManager.registerPosition(); If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Dems Turn 'Where Are The Jobs?' Chant On GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
KMGH-TV - Online

Highlights: Obama's Budget Plan

Survey: How Is Obama Doing?

Republicans Want Deep Cuts In Federal Spending

CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Prime Time Newspapers

CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Updated 04:39 a.m., Thursday, February 17, 2011

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2011, file photo House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., right, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington. Friday night, Feb. 11, House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of government programs in a $61 billion savings package, which is expected to reach the House floor for a vote next week. From education to job training, environment and nutrition, few domestic programs are untouched. In it Americorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are targeted for elimination; spending on defense and veterans' programs are protected. Photo: Charles Dharapak / AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Republican - Online, The

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Journal Gazette - Online Bureau, The

National Weather Service

WASHINGTON – Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Battles continue on House GOP spending bill

Conservatives are trying to cut arts funding while Democrats seek to restore family planning and health research funds as the House enters a third day of debate on a sweeping spending bill cleaning up last year's budget mess.

Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP

Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep

Rising wholesale prices spur inflation concerns

Steady improvement in the economy may soon come at a price - faster inflation.

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Livingston County Daily Press and Argus

WASHINGTON — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists -- many with conservative backgrounds -- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge -- because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Posted 2/17/2011 11:38 AM ET

by Charles Dharapak, AP

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2011, file photo House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, center, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., right, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington. Friday night, Feb. 11, House Republicans called for cuts in hundreds of government programs in a $61 billion savings package, which is expected to reach the House floor for a vote next week. From education to job training, environment and nutrition, few domestic programs are untouched. In it Americorps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are targeted for elimination; spending on defense and veterans' programs are protected. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
FOXNews.com

WASHINGTON ? Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists many with conservative backgrounds saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Express-Times -- New Jersey Edition, The

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Edge Gay Media Network

Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Denver Post - Online, The

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists—many with conservative backgrounds—saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge—because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
AARP.org

CHARLES BABINGTON

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2011 (AP Online delivered by Newstex) --

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that promote both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Addressing critics Thursday, Boehner told reporters, "I don't want anyone to lose their jobs," but "we've got to make tough decisions."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Return to Top



Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Online

WASHINGTON — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Business Journal - Online, The

(AP) — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Yahoo! Finance Australia

Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP budget-cutters, say thousands will lose work

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists -- many with conservative backgrounds -- saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge -- because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

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Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Washington Post - Online

WASHINGTON -- Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge - because their `stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Return to Top



Democrats Turn 'Where Are the Jobs?' Chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
U.S. News & World Report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicanswon sweeping victories last November by taunting Democratswith "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

[See the 10 best cities to find a job.]

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobsto reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week. [Read more stories about the deficit and national debt.]

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so. [See editorial cartoons about the economy.]

With unemploymentat 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000." [Read about how unemployment may impact the 2012 presidential race.]

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

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Democrats turn jobs chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
WISH-TV - Online

Conservatives are trying to cut arts funding while Democrats …

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is able to laugh at jokes, recognize …

Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting …

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President Barack Obama won a showdown vote Wednesday in the …

Democrats turn jobs chant on GOP

Attacks catch Republicans at awkward moment

Published : Thursday, 17 Feb 2011, 7:28 AM EST

CHARLES BABINGTON,Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

Besides, Kingston said, government workers "tend to justify their jobs by coming up with more regulations on the private sector, and that kills jobs."

Copyright Associated Press, Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Democrats turn 'Where are the jobs?' chant on GOP | View Clip
02/17/2011
Boston Herald - Online

WASHINGTON — Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting Democrats with "Where are the jobs?" Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who will knock thousands of Americans out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public- and private-sector jobs. GOP leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say that it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but that those workers eventually will recover. "They found their way into public jobs," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "They can find their way into private jobs" as the economy improves, he said.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute GOP claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists — many with conservative backgrounds — saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending." The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent," said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy," he said.

Alexander J. Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would probably increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said Wednesday the House GOP plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in Title I grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs." Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

The liberal Economic Policy Institute says that overall, the House GOP plan "would likely result in job losses of just over 800,000."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., criticized the group's use of a "fiscal multiplier" in its analysis. John Irons, an economist and chief researcher for the Economic Policy Institute, said the multipliers are a standard, broadly accepted tool used by the Federal Reserve, Wall Street analysts and others.

Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said, "Our goal is to create the environment for private-sector job creation by ending Washington Democrats' spending binge — because their 'stimulus' has utterly failed to create the jobs they promised."

The Obama administration's 2009 stimulus plan failed to keep unemployment at levels the White House had predicted. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in late 2009 the stimulus "lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.3 and 0.9 percentage points and increased the number of people employed by between 600,000 and 1.6 million compared with what those values would have been otherwise."

Republican Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia said his party needs to do a better job of explaining the need for government job cuts.

"The private sector has had to reduce the number of jobs in order to be competitive," he said, "and I think now the public sector is going to have to reduce some of their jobs in order to stay lean, or try to get lean."

WASHINGTON — A House committee has approved eliminating a program that subsidizes...

ATLANTA — Home Depot Inc. will hire more than 60,000 seasonal workers to help...

WASHINGTON — She says what she wants, does what she wants and makes no apologies....

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Democrats put Republicans on the spot over jobs pledge | View Clip
02/17/2011
CHINAdaily

WASHINGTON - Republicans won sweeping victories last November by taunting the Democrats' handling of high unemployment by asking "Where are the jobs?"

Democrats are now throwing those taunts back, saying it's Republicans who knock thousands of US citizens out of work with their demands for deep cuts in federal spending.

The attacks have caught Republicans at an awkward moment, as they shift their chief emphasis from creating jobs to reducing the size of the government and its deficits. They are finding it hard to claim they can do both at the same time.

Republicans say a smaller government eventually will spur private-sector job growth. Many economists challenge that claim, noting that the government helps pays for research, infrastructure, education and other programs that provide both public and private sector jobs. Republican leaders already acknowledge that thousands of government workers would lose their jobs in the short run under the $61 billion cost-cutting bill House of Representatives that Republicans are pushing this week.

If that happens, "so be it", said Republican House Speaker John Boehner. "We're broke."

Boehner's allies say it's impossible to trim federal spending without laying off government workers but say those workers eventually will recover.

Democrats and many mainstream economists, however, dispute Republican claims that deep federal spending cuts will lead directly to more private-sector jobs.

Boehner forwarded a letter to the White House from 150 economists - many with conservative backgrounds - saying: "To support real economic growth and support the creation of private-sector jobs, immediate action is needed to rein in federal spending."

The three-paragraph letter did not seek to document a link between lower government spending and increased jobs, and some rival economists said it would be hard to do so.

With unemployment at 9 percent, the evidence that federal spending hurts job growth "is thin to nonexistent", said Princeton economist Alan Blinder. If the economy were running at full capacity, he said, Republicans would have a valid argument in saying that an extra federal hire or expenditure might displace a private-sector hire or expenditure. But there's a lot of "slack in the economy", he said.

Alexander J Field, an economics professor at Santa Clara University, said he had "very little sympathy for the sentiments" in the letter Boehner forwarded. Spending cuts should be pursued when economies are strong, not weak, he said, and the House Republicans' agenda would likely increase unemployment.

Senate Democrats said on Wednesday the House Republican plan would eliminate nearly $700 million in grants to schools with disadvantaged students, and about "10,000 teachers and aides could lose their jobs".

Congressional offices circulated White House budget office estimates saying the Republican bill would cut Head Start by more than $1 billion, leading to the layoffs of about 55,000 teachers and staff.

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Monaco Prince, Blogger Trade Charges | View Clip
02/16/2011
Wall Street Journal

...of a Monaco-based hotel venture. He said he was also keeping his U.S. citizenship and is continuing to pay U.S. taxes. Defamation suits against bloggers are still relatively rare despite the explosion of postings on the Internet, said Eric Goldman, a Santa Clara University law professor. Nonetheless, he said, the threat of litigation has succeeded in getting writers to remove material in a number of instances. But Mr. Eringer, a former journalist, is hardly a casual critic of Monaco's monarch....

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Google Announces 2011 Science Communication Fellows: Some Key Questions I Will Be Examining | Age of Engagement | Big Think | View Clip
02/16/2011
Big Think

Google Announces 2011 Science Communication Fellows: Some Key Questions I Will Be Examining

announced their 2011 class of Science Communication Fellows. This year's program focuses on climate change and I am excited to say that I was one of the selected participants.

Here's a summary of some of the things I am interested in pursuing as part of the fellowship experience:

I am particularly interested in learning about Google's variety of computational tools and data sources that can be used to better understand how people are seeking out, finding, using, discussing, and contributing to news and information about climate change and energy insecurity.
I am also interested in how these patterns of online behavior relate to traditional media use, face-to-face interactions, and political and social identity.
In addition, there is important analysis to be done on how online behavior is shaped by contextual factors such as changes in the economy, the environment, or in politics, especially in relationship to an individual's local community.
These questions not only apply to the general public, but also to experts and their organizations. In particular, I am interested in how environmental organizations, think tanks, scientists, and advocates have created a self-referencing network of online content that often reflects a commonly shared set of assumptions about policy approaches to climate change and who or what is to blame for inaction.

I want to apply this knowledge to the creation and promotion of new online media platforms, applications, and initiatives that interactively engage users not just on the science of climate change but also on the political and social dimensions. These applications include:

Non-profit models of creating and disseminating local and regional news in partnership with public media and universities.
Other areas of community investment that are needed as part of the effort to adapt to climate change and energy insecurity and to transform the economy. These include examining the processes and institutions available for direct public input to policymakers and key decision-makers such as environmental organizations.
How we teach students about the scientific, social, and political dimensions of climate and energy and how we effectively educate students -- as well as older adults -- to navigate and use the world of online information and media.
The production and use of documentary techniques in the form of online video that effectively communicate complex ideas and that inspire as a result wider participation and a greater diversity of voices and perspectives.
The use of digital tools to forge stronger cross-disciplinary partnerships that merge the expertise, wisdom, and skills of scientists, social scientists, ethicists, journalists, creative professionals, and individuals outside of the academy.
The use of digital media to convene dialogue, discussion, and constructive debate among the coalition of groups and thought leaders working on policy approaches to climate change and energy, breaking up the tendency towards convergence on silver bullet approaches such as cap and trade and instead elevating focus on a wider scope of policies that because of their smaller scale are not only likely to be more effective but also much more politically viable.

There will be a fellows workshop and meeting in June and other related initiatives that I am looking forward to writing about here at Age of Engagement and Big Think.

Google blog.

In an effort to foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue, we've started a new effort aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences. Initially, we'll focus on communicating the science on climate change. We're kicking off this effort by naming 21 Google Science Communication Fellows. These fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated by leaders in climate change research and science-based institutions across the U.S. It was hard to choose just 21 fellows from such an impressive pool of scientists; ultimately, we chose scientists who had the strongest potential to become excellent communicators. That meant previous training in science communication; research in topics related to understanding or managing climate change; and experience experimenting with innovative approaches or technology tools for science communication. This year's fellows are an impressive bunch:

Brendan Bohannan, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, University of Oregon
Edward Brook, Professor, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University
Julia Cole, Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona
Eugene Cordero, Associate Professor, Meteorology and Climate Science, San Jose University
Frank Davis, Professor, Landscape Ecology & Conservation Planning, University of California-Santa Barbara
Andrew Dessler, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University
Noah Diffenbaugh, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
Simon Donner, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Nicole Heller, Research Scientist, Climate Central
Brian Helmuth, Professor, Biological Sciences, University South Carolina
Paul Higgins, Associate Director, Policy Program, American Meteorological Society
Jonathan Koomey, Consulting Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
David Lea, Professor, Earth Science, University of California-Santa Barbara
Kelly Levin, Senior Research Associate, World Resources Institute
David Lobel, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
Edwin Maurer, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Santa Clara University
Susanne Moser, Research Associate, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California-Santa Cruz
Matthew Nisbet, Associate Professor, School of Communication, American University
Rebecca Shaw, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, CA Chapter
Whendee Silver, Professor, Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry, University of California-Berkeley
Alan Townsend, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado

At our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters in June, the fellows will participate in a workshop, which will integrate hands-on training and facilitated brainstorming on topics of technology and science communication. Following the workshop, fellows will be given the opportunity to apply for grants to put their ideas into practice. Those with the most impactful projects will be given the opportunity to join a

Posts
Since 2006

Age of Engagement examines how trends in media and communication have altered politics, science, culture, faith, education, business, and other sectors of society. The blog is written by Matthew Nisbet,

associate professor in the School of Communication at American University. Nisbet wrote an influential blog called Framing Science that is now part of Age of Engagement; all the archival posts for Framing Science are included here.

Original content is for Non-commercial use under Creative Commons. Except where otherwise noted.

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International - Trademarks give Microsoft a smash-and-grab shot at Google search revenue | View Clip
02/16/2011
World Trademark Review - Online

Microsoft's in-house counsel are tight-lipped regarding Bing's position on trademark use in keyword ads. At the recent trademark symposium they hosted, the most they said was that the policy was “fluid”. But now Microsoft has announced that Bing is to adopt a Google-like trademark policy: advertisers on ‘Bingle' will be able to purchase keywords relating to trademark terms. This is a huge shift in search: simultaneously a vindication of Google's business model and a nod of admiration for the company that monetised other peoples' trademarks.

Microsoft's plans are detailed in the following text, sent to Eric Goldman, the Santa Clara University School of Law professor who studies technology and the law:

We are writing to alert you to some pending changes to the trademark policy within the Microsoft Advertising adCenter IP Guidelines. Starting March 3 2011, adCenter will no longer review trademark keyword complaints. However, adCenter will continue to investigate brand owner complaints related to trademark use in ad text.

We want to make it easier for you to manage your search advertising campaigns. By aligning the adCenter trademark policy with the current industry standard, we hope to help simplify your marketing efforts across the various online advertising programmes.

This is a fascinating, if not unsurprising, change. At Redmond's recent trademark symposium, a number of delegates discussed Bing's hitherto reluctance to allow bidding on trademarks, especially given Google's collection of favourable judgments for this practice and the discovery that Google's ads confused even its own in-house counsel. The consensus among non-Microsoft employees seemed to be that, since Microsoft was not a search company, it did not need to take the apparent risk in order to generate the profits seen at Google. But how exactly the business calculated risk versus potential profit with reference to Bing's trademark policy was unclear. Now we know that, thanks to Google's court success, that risk has diminished.

As Goldman comments: “Given that Google has done all of the hard legal work for Microsoft, Microsoft can free-ride on its results. On the other hand, we still have a major pending appeal in the Rosetta Stone v Google case, and the appeals court could issue a ruling that casts doubt on both Google's and (now) Microsoft's trademark policies. I guess Microsoft is willing to take that risk.”

The Rosetta Stone case is not the only element of risk remaining; the other, more abstract risk is posed by Microsoft's standing among other in-house trademark counsel. Hardly any other news channel will consider this aspect, so let's outline it here on WTR.

Google is a power brand with an innovative service funded by an amazingly simple business model; in that sense, it is admired by any smart trademark counsel. Lawyers also praise Google's ability to protect its business model in the courts, and its contribution to the development of the law around technology and trademarks. However, Google has also derived revenue from monetising the trademarks owned and managed by other companies. This had never been done before. It's a remarkable and entirely unforeseen development in trademarks. However, for many trademark owners it is a major pain. Just ask LVMH, Rosetta Stone, Interflora and all the businesses that have received aggressive cease-and-desist letters from their competitors and, rather than take a legal risk, have amended or scaled back their keywords marketing campaigns. This has left Google in a sticky situation in the world of trademarks: it wins respect in the courtroom but causes major headaches at the desk of trademark counsel.

On the other hand, Microsoft is a trademark lawyer's unmitigated success story. It has built one of the world's most valuable brands around innovation. Before tech was cool, other tech companies struggled to differentiate themselves in an apathetic market; Microsoft cut through them all with life-changing technology and handy trademarks that helped us to understand them. Just think about the power of the WINDOWS marks in helping us to understand our new interface with computers. Microsoft therefore has enormous goodwill among trademark counsel. Unlike Google, it is untainted. So among trademark counsel – ie, those who will have to deal with the sharp end of competitors bidding on trademark keywords – Microsoft has more to lose.

Microsoft has obviously decided that the potential revenue this new policy could bring and the argument that trademarks-as-keywords is now the “industry standard” are enough to cancel out this risk. Trademark owners have failed to stop Google monetising their rights. After 3 March, will they dare to take on Microsoft?

Business strategy Confusion Keywords

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Why whole grains are everywhere - except on the dinner table. Perhaps because you need a math degree to eat well. BY BETH TEITELL GLOBE STAFF
02/16/2011
Boston Globe

AMERICANS MAY BE having a whole-grain moment

A case can certainly be made: The first lady has become such a fan she is practically a nag; new federal guidelines urge us to consume half of all our grains as whole grains; Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is working to lower prices on whole grains to encourage consumption. Once just for health fanatics, whole grains have gone so mainstream they are now in Duncan Hines chocolate chip muffins and Lucky Charms.

Among attributes played up on food packaging, whole grains rank 19th, behind kosher and gluten-free, but ahead of vegetarian and vegan, according to Mintel International, a research company. The marketing surge has led to consumers expressing refined-grains shame. "I do feel guilty," said Tess Wagner, an unemployed administrative assistant from Cambridge, after she was caught tossing a package of Thomas's white English muffins into her cart at Target in Watertown. "You keep hearing about how healthy whole grains are."

But despite the buzz, whole grains have not quite arrived. As Harry Balzer, a vice president with the NPD Group, a market research company, put it: "We have aspirations. Getting there is a whole different story." Part of the challenge, apparently, is getting past our self-delusion. While only 5 percent of Americans eat the recommended 48 grams of whole grains per day, according to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recently released by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 60 percent of Americans believe they are eating enough, according to a survey by General Mills

Tina Kurkjian, a Weston mother, is one of the confused. "I try to use flax," she said as she grocery shopped recently, "but I don't know why." Surrounded by a number of products that play up their whole grains - and, look, there they are in Wonder bread and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish - Kurkjian pronounced herself baffled. "I don't know where I would start."

A recent study by the NPD Group found that 68 percent of Americans are trying to get more whole grains in their diet today, compared with 63 percent in 2005. But the other third? They may be suffering from nutrition fatigue. With calories, carbs, and sodium to count, eating has become like math class. "It's just one more thing to think about," Christine Stacchi of Arlington said as she shopped at Target

Considering their potential advantages, the federal government says there is some evidence that whole grains can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, among health benefits. Why is eating a slice of whole-grain bread so difficult?
Start with the fear factor, as explained by Heather Forrest, a financial adviser from Newton. A recent weekend found her shopping for her 5-year-old daughter's birthday party, and loading her cart with white pasta. "I don't know what picky kids will eat," she said. "I'm afraid."

Then, let's be frank. Whole grains have a bit of a reputation to overcome. Even Cynthia Harriman, the director of food and nutrition strategies for the Whole Grains Council, part of the Boston-based nonprofit Oldways, acknowledges that they were often dense and daunting. "Some people say, 'Back in the hippie days I was burned by whole grains.' But you try them today, and they're really good."
WHAT TO COOK
To find whole-grain recipes, go to www.boston.com/food.

Harriman explained that manufacturers have started to see potential in whole grains and are now putting research and development money into reformulating recipes. "You can't just take the white stuff out and put the whole grain in."
Since 2005, about 3,700 new whole-grain products have been introduced, according to Mintel. A number of those are General Mills products. In 2005, the company announced that its entire line of Big G cereals would contain 8 grams of whole grains in every serving. Having identified what it calls a "whole grain gap," the company advertises the whole grain content of its Big G cereal lineup separately from its advertising for individual cereal varieties and will spend 20 percent more on whole grain advertising this year

Some people, like Forrest, the Newton mother, see sugary cereals such as Count Chocula and Trix boasting whole grains and ask "why bother?"
But Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, takes a slightly more nuanced view: "You could look at it either way," she said. "If you were buying Lucky Charms anyway, you are slightly better off getting Lucky Charms with whole grains. The problem is when people think they are getting a truly healthy cereal, and any cereal that is [high sugar] is not particularly healthy. You're better off with a whole-grain, low-sugar cereal like Wheaties or Cheerios in the yellow box."

Here is another factor making it harder for Americans to get enough whole grains: restaurants. While whole grains call out to consumers from the cereal and bread aisles, they're hard to find in restaurants, Harriman said. "Restaurants have been a bit slow to realize that the whole-grain train was leaving the station without them. But that's improving fast."
What might really boost consumption would be tweets. Jerry Burger, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University who was invited to speak at the Whole Grains Council's recent conference, said that people often base their food choices on what they think others are eating. "It's not the same thing as conformity or peer pressure . . . which is people changing their behavior because they are worried about what others will think of them," he said. "Social norms can be a very effective tool for changing behavior."

But don't underestimate peer pressure, either, whether from colleagues, roommates, or spouses. Harriman said she recently returned home to find her husband wearing a "bad boy" look. After a moment he confessed: "I had white rice."
Harriman said she should be happy he was not with another woman. But here's what truly brought her joy: "He said it tasted kind of bland."

Beth Teitell can be reached at bteitell@globe.com.

Copyright © 2011 Globe Newspaper Company

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Rose Zimmerman: Fil-Am City Attorney for Daly City | View Clip
02/16/2011
Asian Journal - Online

FOR the past four years, Fil-Am Rose Zimmerman has been serving her hometown of Daly City as city attorney.

As City Attorney, Zimmerman provides legal representation to the Mayor, City  Council, City Manager, various departments in the City, City Boards and Commissions.

Zimmerman became the first female city attorney in Daly City's history when the city's council appointed her to the post in 2007.

A graduate of Santa Clara University, Zimmerman succeeded retiring City

Attorney Stan Gustavson.

Prior to her appointment, Zimmerman served as Daly City's Assistant City

Attorney since 2002. She also became a trial attorney for the San Francisco Public Defender's Office.

Then Mayor Fil-Am Michael Guingona said the city council selected a tremendously talented lawyer. “Her legal prowess, creative problem solving ability and enthusiasm will be invaluable to Daly City for many, many years,” Guingona told US Asian Wire.

She's also an active member of the Fil-Am community.  She is a former president  and vice president of the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC).

She is a long-standing member of the Asian American Bar Association.

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Some Key Questions I Will Be Examining as Part of the Google Science Communication Fellows Program | Age of Engagement | Big Think | View Clip
02/16/2011
Big Think

Some Key Questions I Will Be Examining as Part of the Google Science Communication Fellows Program

announced their 2011 class of Science Communication Fellows. This year's program focuses on climate change and I am excited to say that I was one of the selected participants.

Here's a summary of some of the questions I will be pursuing as part of the fellowship experience:

I am particularly interested in learning about Google's variety of computational tools and data sources that can be used to better understand how people are seeking out, finding, using, discussing, and contributing to news and information about climate change and energy insecurity.
I am also interested in how these patterns of online behavior relate to traditional media use, face-to-face interactions, and political and social identity.
In addition, there is important analysis to be done on how online behavior is shaped by contextual factors such as changes in the economy, the environment, or in politics, especially in relationship to an individual's local community.
These questions not only apply to the general public, but also to experts and their organizations. In particular, I am interested in how environmental organizations, think tanks, scientists, and advocates have created a self-referencing network of online content that often reflects a commonly shared set of assumptions about policy approaches to climate change and who or what is to blame for inaction.

I want to apply this knowledge to the creation and promotion of new online media platforms, applications, and initiatives that interactively engage users not just on the science of climate change but also on the political and social dimensions. These applications include:

Non-profit models of creating and disseminating local and regional news in partnership with public media and universities.
Other areas of community investment that are needed as part of the effort to adapt to climate change and energy insecurity and to transform the economy. These include examining the processes and institutions available for direct public input to policymakers and key decision-makers such as environmental organizations.
How we teach students about the scientific, social, and political dimensions of climate and energy and how we effectively educate students -- as well as older adults -- to navigate and use the world of online information and media.
The production and use of documentary techniques in the form of online video that effectively communicate complex ideas and that inspire as a result wider participation and a greater diversity of voices and perspectives.
The use of digital tools to forge stronger cross-disciplinary partnerships that merge the expertise, wisdom, and skills of scientists, social scientists, ethicists, journalists, creative professionals, and individuals outside of the academy.
The use of digital media to convene dialogue, discussion, and constructive debate among the coalition of groups and thought leaders working on policy approaches to climate change and energy, breaking up the tendency towards convergence on silver bullet approaches such as cap and trade and instead elevating focus on a wider scope of policies that because of their smaller scale are not only likely to be more effective but also much more politically viable.

There will be a fellows workshop and meeting in June and other related initiatives that I am looking forward to writing about here at Age of Engagement and Big Think.

Google blog.

In an effort to foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue, we've started a new effort aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences. Initially, we'll focus on communicating the science on climate change. We're kicking off this effort by naming 21 Google Science Communication Fellows. These fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated by leaders in climate change research and science-based institutions across the U.S. It was hard to choose just 21 fellows from such an impressive pool of scientists; ultimately, we chose scientists who had the strongest potential to become excellent communicators. That meant previous training in science communication; research in topics related to understanding or managing climate change; and experience experimenting with innovative approaches or technology tools for science communication. This year's fellows are an impressive bunch:

Brendan Bohannan, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, University of Oregon
Edward Brook, Professor, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University
Julia Cole, Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona
Eugene Cordero, Associate Professor, Meteorology and Climate Science, San Jose University
Frank Davis, Professor, Landscape Ecology & Conservation Planning, University of California-Santa Barbara
Andrew Dessler, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University
Noah Diffenbaugh, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
Simon Donner, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Nicole Heller, Research Scientist, Climate Central
Brian Helmuth, Professor, Biological Sciences, University South Carolina
Paul Higgins, Associate Director, Policy Program, American Meteorological Society
Jonathan Koomey, Consulting Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
David Lea, Professor, Earth Science, University of California-Santa Barbara
Kelly Levin, Senior Research Associate, World Resources Institute
David Lobel, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
Edwin Maurer, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Santa Clara University
Susanne Moser, Research Associate, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California-Santa Cruz
Matthew Nisbet, Associate Professor, School of Communication, American University
Rebecca Shaw, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, CA Chapter
Whendee Silver, Professor, Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry, University of California-Berkeley
Alan Townsend, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado

At our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters in June, the fellows will participate in a workshop, which will integrate hands-on training and facilitated brainstorming on topics of technology and science communication. Following the workshop, fellows will be given the opportunity to apply for grants to put their ideas into practice. Those with the most impactful projects will be given the opportunity to join a

Posts
Since 2006

Age of Engagement examines how trends in media and communication have altered politics, science, culture, faith, education, business, and other sectors of society. The blog is written by Matthew Nisbet,

associate professor in the School of Communication at American University. Nisbet wrote an influential blog called Framing Science that is now part of Age of Engagement; all the archival posts for Framing Science are included here.

Original content is for Non-commercial use under Creative Commons. Except where otherwise noted.

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This Ain't Your Father's Internship! | View Clip
02/16/2011
Morningstar.com

Santa Clara University business student Katherine King's first internship two years ago was with a well-known insurance company, where she worked on a single project, using procedures that had been tested and honed for years before she ever got there.

At her new internship, with a startup Internet advertising company, she sits steps away from the company's CEO and COO; has done market research to help them win new clients; and has helped the company document new procedures for various operations.

For King, a junior majoring in finance, it's a priceless lesson in how a fast-growing, high-energy Silicon Valley startup operates (complete with a Ping-Pong table in the break room). And she loves it.

“I feel like I'm really having an impact, and the people who started the company really care about how I'm doing,” she says.

With great success, Santa Clara University has been ramping up its startup-internship offerings for students like King. A dozen or so students each quarter take a business practicum course, where they are offered internships at startups of all kinds. The work includes everything from revamping websites, reviewing and shaping business plans to show to venture capitalists, to helping with strategies for growth or new clients.

Other students get internships through the university's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), sometimes by way of the university's entrepreneurship club, the Santa Clara Entrepreneurship Organization (SCEO).

The reaction from startups has been overwhelming. “We now have far more requests for startup interns than we have bodies to fill them,” said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of CIE.

To fix that, this year for the first time the CIE and SCEO have joined forces with the University's career center to offer a Startup Expo internship fair Feb. 22. Dozens of companies – some offering Internet coupons, others hosting online wine reviews, manufacturing lightweight solar panels, or gathering retail intelligence -- will be on hand to woo students to work for them in stints that can be paid or unpaid.

Employers are eager for the interns. “Every company needs that energy,” said George Sollman, chairman of Corticon Technologies, an enterprise-software startup that's hired two of its previous SCU interns as full-time employees.

For the interns, it's an opportunity to impress the right people in a short time frame. “At small companies you are really visible, and students who are strong and confident in their skill sets really blossom,” said Sollman.

Students who take internships at startups get a unique experience in many ways:

*Variety. Students often get exposed to every segment of the startup, from marketing to strategy to finance and sales.

*Visibility. At many companies, interns are one of fewer than a dozen employees, so the CEO and other top executives get to see them in action.

*Respect. With so few resources, startups greatly value the input of their interns.

*Full-time job opportunities.

Reporters are invited to attend the event or contact SCU for more information on startup internships.

WHAT: Startup Expo

WHEN: Feb. 22, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Benson Memorial Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California's oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

SCU Media Relations

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This Ain't Your Father's Internship! | View Clip
02/16/2011
Bradenton Herald - Online

Santa Clara University business student Katherine King?s first internship two years ago was with a well-known insurance company, where she worked on a single project, using procedures that had been tested and honed for years before she ever got there.

At her new internship, with a startup Internet advertising company, she sits steps away from the company?s CEO and COO; has done market research to help them win new clients; and has helped the company document new procedures for various operations.

For King, a junior majoring in finance, it?s a priceless lesson in how a fast-growing, high-energy Silicon Valley startup operates (complete with a Ping-Pong table in the break room). And she loves it. ?I feel like I?m really having an impact, and the people who started the company really care about how I?m doing,? she says. With great success, Santa Clara University has been ramping up its startup-internship offerings for students like King. A dozen or so students each quarter take a business practicum course, where they are offered internships at startups of all kinds. The work includes everything from revamping websites, reviewing and shaping business plans to show to venture capitalists, to helping with strategies for growth or new clients.

Other students get internships through the university?s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), sometimes by way of the university?s entrepreneurship club, the Santa Clara Entrepreneurship Organization (SCEO).

The reaction from startups has been overwhelming. ?We now have far more requests for startup interns than we have bodies to fill them,? said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of CIE.

To fix that, this year for the first time the CIE and SCEO have joined forces with the University?s career center to offer a Startup Expo internship fair Feb. 22. Dozens of companies ? some offering Internet coupons, others hosting online wine reviews, manufacturing lightweight solar panels, or gathering retail intelligence -- will be on hand to woo students to work for them in stints that can be paid or unpaid.

Employers are eager for the interns. ?Every company needs that energy,? said George Sollman, chairman of Corticon Technologies, an enterprise-software startup that?s hired two of its previous SCU interns as full-time employees. For the interns, it?s an opportunity to impress the right people in a short time frame. ?At small companies you are really visible, and students who are strong and confident in their skill sets really blossom,? said Sollman. Students who take internships at startups get a unique experience in many ways:

*Variety. Students often get exposed to every segment of the startup, from marketing to strategy to finance and sales.*Visibility. At many companies, interns are one of fewer than a dozen employees, so the CEO and other top executives get to see them in action.*Respect. With so few resources, startups greatly value the input of their interns.*Full-time job opportunities.

Reporters are invited to attend the event or contact SCU for more information on startup internships.

WHAT: Startup ExpoWHEN: Feb. 22, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.WHERE: Benson Memorial Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053

About Santa Clara University Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California?s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master?s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master?s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California?s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

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This Ain't Your Father's Internship! | View Clip
02/16/2011
Centre Daily Times

SANTA CLARA, Calif. Santa Clara University business student Katherine King?s first internship two years ago was with a well-known insurance company, where she worked on a single project, using procedures that had been tested and honed for years before she ever got there. At her new internship, with a startup Internet advertising company, she sits steps away from the company?s CEO and COO; has done market research to help them win new clients; and has helped the company document new procedures for various operations.

For King, a junior majoring in finance, it?s a priceless lesson in how a fast-growing, high-energy Silicon Valley startup operates (complete with a Ping-Pong table in the break room). And she loves it.?I feel like I?m really having an impact, and the people who started the company really care about how I?m doing,? she says.With great success, Santa Clara University has been ramping up its startup-internship offerings for students like King. A dozen or so students each quarter take a business practicum course, where they are offered internships at startups of all kinds. The work includes everything from revamping websites, reviewing and shaping business plans to show to venture capitalists, to helping with strategies for growth or new clients.

Other students get internships through the university?s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), sometimes by way of the university?s entrepreneurship club, the Santa Clara Entrepreneurship Organization (SCEO).

The reaction from startups has been overwhelming. ?We now have far more requests for startup interns than we have bodies to fill them,? said Daniel Aguiar, executive director of CIE.

To fix that, this year for the first time the CIE and SCEO have joined forces with the University?s career center to offer a Startup Expo internship fair Feb. 22. Dozens of companies ? some offering Internet coupons, others hosting online wine reviews, manufacturing lightweight solar panels, or gathering retail intelligence -- will be on hand to woo students to work for them in stints that can be paid or unpaid.

Employers are eager for the interns. ?Every company needs that energy,? said George Sollman, chairman of Corticon Technologies, an enterprise-software startup that?s hired two of its previous SCU interns as full-time employees.For the interns, it?s an opportunity to impress the right people in a short time frame. ?At small companies you are really visible, and students who are strong and confident in their skill sets really blossom,? said Sollman.Students who take internships at startups get a unique experience in many ways:

*Variety. Students often get exposed to every segment of the startup, from marketing to strategy to finance and sales.*Visibility. At many companies, interns are one of fewer than a dozen employees, so the CEO and other top executives get to see them in action.*Respect. With so few resources, startups greatly value the input of their interns.*Full-time job opportunities.

Reporters are invited to attend the event or contact SCU for more information on startup internships.

WHAT: Startup ExpoWHEN: Feb. 22, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.WHERE: Benson Memorial Center, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053

About Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California?s Silicon Valley. Santa Clara offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master?s degrees in a number of professional fields, law degrees, and engineering and theology doctorates. Distinguished by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master?s universities, Santa Clara educates leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion grounded in faith-inspired values. Founded in 1851, Santa Clara is California?s oldest operating institution of higher education. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

Have the CDT delivered to your home. . Get the TV Book delivered to your home. .

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Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn | View Clip
02/16/2011
Vancouver Sun - Online, The

SAN JOSE, Calif. — After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, now the company's acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers, which was released Monday.

That report, which is similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices.

One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up and say, 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you anymore.' "

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

—Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

—Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

—Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

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Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn | View Clip
02/16/2011
Canada.com

SAN JOSE, Calif. ?€? After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, now the company's acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers, which was released Monday.

That report, which is similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices.

One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up and say, 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you anymore.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

- Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

- Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

- Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 per cent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

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Are You Truly Beating the Market? Your PRR Will Tell | MintLife Blog | Personal Finance News & Advice | View Clip
02/15/2011
MintLife blog

(iStockphoto)

How are your investments doing?

I don't know you personally, but judging by the available data, I have some unflattering guesses:

1. You have no idea how your investments are doing.

2. If you think you know, you're probably overestimating your performance by several percentage points.

Here are the sorry facts. First, most investors behave so badly, we make Lindsay Lohan look like a choirgirl. Every year, DALBAR publishes a

study showing the performance of investors compared to their mutual fund investments. And every year, investors earn much less than they should, because we're like jittery chihuahuas jumping in and out of the hot asset class of the moment. Bonds are going up? Let's buy in! The stock market is tanking? Quick, get out! This kind of behavior costs us several percentage points of return, on average, per year. Over a lifetime of investing, that adds up to a lot of dog food. Carl Richards calls this the "behavior gap." The problem is, nobody wants to believe they are that guy. We're all the life of the party and above-average investors. "The research shows, if you ask people how well they've done, their estimate of their own returns isn't even in the ballpark with their actual results. They're not even close," says Larry Swedroe, chief of research at Buckingham Asset Management and author of the Wise Investing series.

Want some numbers? In a 1997 study published in the Journal of Financial research, investors overestimated their performance by 3.4 percentage points. In related news,

I think I can beat Mike Tyson.

But what if there were one number, sort of a "bozo index," that would tell you how you're actually doing? There is.

Getting personal

Unfortunately, if you think about it for a minute, calculating your own rate of return isn't easy. You can't just compare how much money you have now with how much you had a few years ago, because that doesn't take into account cash inflows and outflows. In other words, it's easy to calculate your rate of return if you never move money into or out of your account. But that's no way to live, man!

To calculate your PRR, you need to know how each of your contributions (monthly investments, stock purchases, etc) performed over the time you held it. If you're saving for retirement and putting away $500 a month, to calculate your PRR you'd have to consider each $500 separately, look up its return (how many shares did you buy for that particular $500, and what are they worth now?), and average them all together. If you buy multiple stocks or multiple funds, it gets that much more complicated.

That's why, if you're lucky, your brokerage web site or 401(k) statement will display your personal rate of return over several periods (1 year, 3 years, 5 years). Vanguard, for example, offers the feature to all customers, and it covers everything: taxable accounts, stock trades, 529 plans, and retirement accounts. Fidelity offers it to customers who trade frequently (over 10 times per month) or have over $250,000 in assets, and prints it on 401(k) statements. Schwab doesn't offer it now but says it's coming soon. Other discount brokerages (including E*Trade and ShareBuilder) tend to show only gain or loss based on the original purchase price of the security, which is helpful but not quite as good as a true PRR calculation.

"If your personal rate is lower than the rate of the funds themselves, then it simply tells you that you are trading too much," says Meir Statman, a finance professor at Santa Clara University and author of What Investors Really Want. "I know my number is pretty identical to the return of the fund, because I don't trade."

Comparing with a benchmark

Let's look a specific example: me. Nearly all of my investments are at Vanguard, which makes it easy to look up my personal rate of return. I've been with Vanguard for about four years, and my PRR over the last three years is 13.5% per year. (You know the old joke with the punchline, "I'm telling everybody"? The same principle is at work here.) Here's how it looks:

Turning to the portfolio analysis page, I see that my assets are 85% stocks, 15% bonds. (This is not my family's entire portfolio; my wife holds the less-risky stuff.) If I can find a fund with approximately the same allocation, I can compare. Well, the Vanguard Target Retirement 2030 fund holds 81% stocks, 19% bonds. Close enough. (This is not an exact science.) Its three-year annualized return: 1.44%.

Slam dunk! Of course, this disparity between my performance and the fund performance could be good or bad. It could mean that I've been trading a lot and am either very skilled or very lucky-and my luck could run out anytime. Or it could mean that I continued to add money to my account during a severe bear market, and the shares I bought at a discount have grown rapidly. That happens to be the case here: I buy on a regular schedule; I never sell. (Unfortunately, my outperformance now will probably be mirrored by underperformance when I'm taking withdrawals in retirement. Such is life.)

What if your brokerage won't talk?

Only a few brokerages make it easy to find your personal rate of return, and many don't publish it at all. It's possible to calculate it yourself, but that requires lots of math or a whole afternoon with a spreadsheet and historical market data. If your brokerage isn't talking, give them a call and tell them you want to see your dollar-weighted internal rate of return (the nerdy term for it). "Hey, Vanguard and Fidelity have it," you can add.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant
02/15/2011
Tri-Valley Herald

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

* Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

* Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

* Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

* A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at or follow him at . Contact Brandon Bailey at or follow him at .

Copyright © 2011 Tri-Valley Herald. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant
02/15/2011
San Mateo County Times

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

* Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

* Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

* Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

* A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at or follow him at . Contact Brandon Bailey at or follow him at .

Copyright © 2011 San Mateo County Times. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant | View Clip
02/15/2011
San Jose Mercury News - Online

Apple's acting CEO Tim Cook visited China last year after nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at an Apple contract manufacturing facility in China. Cook pressed the company to improve its working conditions, Apple said in a report Monday. (Courtesy Apple)

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's

leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at pmay@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc. Contact Brandon Bailey at bbailey@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/BrandonBailey.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant
02/15/2011
Oakland Tribune

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

* Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

* Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

* Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

* A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at or follow him at . Contact Brandon Bailey at or follow him at .

Copyright © 2011 The Oakland Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant
02/15/2011
Argus, The

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

* Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

* Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

* Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

* A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at or follow him at . Contact Brandon Bailey at or follow him at .

Copyright © 2011 The Argus. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant
02/15/2011
Alameda Times-Star

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

* Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

* Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

* Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

* A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at or follow him at . Contact Brandon Bailey at or follow him at .

Copyright © 2011 Alameda Times-Star. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant
02/15/2011
Daily Review, The

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

* Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

* Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

* Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

* A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at or follow him at . Contact Brandon Bailey at or follow him at .

Copyright © 2011 The Daily Review. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

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Apple sent top exec to China after rash of suicides at supplier plant | View Clip
02/15/2011
InsideBayArea.com

Apple's acting CEO Tim Cook visited China last year after nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at an Apple contract manufacturing facility in China. Cook pressed the company to improve its working conditions, Apple said in a report Monday. (Courtesy Apple)

More Apple coverage

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's

leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at pmay@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc. Contact Brandon Bailey at bbailey@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/BrandonBailey.

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Apple sent Tim Cook to China after suicides at Foxconn | View Clip
02/15/2011
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - Online

By Patrick May and Brandon Bailey

Click photo to enlarge

Apple's acting CEO Tim Cook visited China last year after nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at an Apple contract manufacturing facility in China. Cook pressed the company to improve its working conditions, Apple said in a report Monday. (Courtesy Apple)

More Apple coverage

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's

leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at pmay@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc. Contact Brandon Bailey at bbailey@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/BrandonBailey.

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'Fair' is in the eye of the beholder
02/15/2011
Newsday

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is joining the chorus of public officials nationwide who have had to bring their constituents a dose of painful reality: There must be significant reform in the public pension system. In the current economic climate, states must choose between funding pensions and funding road and bridge repairs, schools and social services. There's no fat to trim, no pork to un-barrel, no back to stop scratching.

This dilemma has led to a deep divide between public employees and legislators, as both sides try to control the debate. Underlying this divide is the issue of fairness, but that means very different things to different parties.

One notion of fairness - the position taken by most unions - is that once you've negotiated salary and benefits with employees, they have a lifetime right to what they've been promised. In this view, threats to change the terms of pensions by raising the retirement age or reducing benefits - changes that in New York would require a change to the state constitution - are seen as a betrayal.

The flip side of this idea is the "all bets are off" approach to pension fairness, given the current financial emergency facing state and local governments. From this perspective, whatever terms have been negotiated are trumped by the crisis. Proponents argue that if municipalities and states face bankruptcy or draconian reductions of public services because they cannot meet their pension obligations, then pension benefits - even those earned to date - should be reduced.

A number of states, including New York and Illinois, embrace another definition of fairness: a multitiered pension system. Under this scenario, all new employees are subject to a different formula when hired. Gov. David A. Paterson instituted a Tier 5 for public employees in 2009. And Cuomo campaigned last fall on the idea of creating a less expensive Tier 6. This system preserves the promises made to current employees but raises other fairness problems when people performing the same jobs are rewarded differently.

A final fairness argument would give current public employees the benefits they have earned to date, but would change the contract going forward to reflect economic realities, resulting in reduced final benefits. Many citizens point out that their own pensions in the private sector have changed with the deteriorating economy, and that, in fairness, public employees should be subject to similar adjustments.

All sides of this issue make arguments based on the ethical principle of fairness - but they all choose their own definitions of fairness.

What might bring the sides together is a recognition that blame for the current state of affairs must be shared by everyone - government officials who offered generous benefits as an alternative to raising salaries or as a recruitment tool (and as a means of securing political support), public employees who ran up regular and overtime pay before retirement to boost their payouts, unions who refused to consider any changes in pensions to accommodate new economic realities, and citizens who would not vote to tax themselves adequately to cover the rising costs of the services they demanded.

Because we share this responsibility, the fair approach to pension reform will also share the pain. No one is going to like the solution to this problem. In fact, the best solution will be characterized by the fact that all sides are unhappy with some of its provisions.

There is only one solution that is ethically unacceptable: dumping the problem on the next generation - forcing our own children to pay for our failure to act.

Judy Nadler, former mayor of Santa Clara, Calif., is a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Copyright © 2011 Newsday, Inc.

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Advice overload | View Clip
02/15/2011
Boston Globe - Online

Americans may be having a whole-grain moment.

A case can certainly be made: The first lady has become such a fan she is practically a nag; new federal guidelines urge us to consume half of all our grains as whole grains; Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is working to lower prices on whole grains to encourage consumption. Once just for health fanatics, whole grains have gone so mainstream they are now in Duncan Hines chocolate chip muffins and Lucky Charms.

Among attributes played up on food packaging, whole grains rank 19th, behind kosher and gluten-free, but ahead of vegetarian and vegan, according to Mintel International, a research company. The marketing surge has led to consumers expressing refined-grains shame. "I do feel guilty,'' said Tess Wagner, an unemployed administrative assistant from Cambridge, after she was caught tossing a package of Thomas's white English muffins into her cart at Target in Watertown. "You keep hearing about how healthy whole grains are.''

But despite the buzz, whole grains have not quite arrived. As Harry Balzer, a vice president with the NPD Group, a market research company, put it: "We have aspirations. Getting there is a whole different story.'' Part of the challenge, apparently, is getting past our self-delusion. While only 5 percent of Americans eat the recommended 48 grams of whole grains per day, according to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recently released by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 60 percent of Americans believe they are eating enough, according to a survey by General Mills

Tina Kurkjian, a Weston mother, is one of the confused. "I try to use flax,'' she said as she grocery shopped recently, "but I don't know why.'' Surrounded by a number of products that play up their whole grains � and, look, there they are in Wonder bread and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish � Kurkjian pronounced herself baffled. "I don't know where I would start.''

A recent study by the NPD Group found that 68 percent of Americans are trying to get more whole grains in their diet today, compared with 63 percent in 2005. But the other third? They may be suffering from nutrition fatigue. With calories, carbs, and sodium to count, eating has become like math class. "It's just one more thing to think about,'' Christine Stacchi of Arlington said as she shopped at Target.

Considering their potential advantages, the federal government says there is some evidence that whole grains can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, among health benefits. Why is eating a slice of whole-grain bread so difficult?

Start with the fear factor, as explained by Heather Forrest, a financial adviser from Newton. A recent weekend found her shopping for her 5-year-old daughter's birthday party, and loading her cart with white pasta. "I don't know what picky kids will eat,'' she said. "I'm afraid.''

Then, let's be frank. Whole grains have a bit of a reputation to overcome. Even Cynthia Harriman, the director of food and nutrition strategies for the Whole Grains Council, part of the Boston-based nonprofit Oldways, acknowledges that they were often dense and daunting. "Some people say, 'Back in the hippie days I was burned by whole grains.' But you try them today, and they're really good.''

Harriman explained that manufacturers have started to see potential in whole grains and are now putting research and development money into reformulating recipes. "You can't just take the white stuff out and put the whole grain in.''

Since 2005, about 3,700 new whole-grain products have been introduced, according to Mintel. A number of those are General Mills products. In 2005, the company announced that its entire line of Big G cereals would contain 8 grams of whole grains in every serving. Having identified what it calls a "whole grain gap,'' the company advertises the whole grain content of its Big G cereal lineup separately from its advertising for individual cereal varieties and will spend 20 percent more on whole grain advertising this year.

Some people, like Forrest, the Newton mother, see sugary cereals such as Count Chocula and Trix boasting whole grains and ask "why bother?''

But Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, takes a slightly more nuanced view: "You could look at it either way,'' she said. "If you were buying Lucky Charms anyway, you are slightly better off getting Lucky Charms with whole grains. The problem is when people think they are getting a truly healthy cereal, and any cereal that is [high sugar] is not particularly healthy. You're better off with a whole-grain, low-sugar cereal like Wheaties or Cheerios in the yellow box.''

Here is another factor making it harder for Americans to get enough whole grains: restaurants. While whole grains call out to consumers from the cereal and bread aisles, they're hard to find in restaurants, Harriman said. "Restaurants have been a bit slow to realize that the whole-grain train was leaving the station without them. But that's improving fast.''

What might really boost consumption would be tweets. Jerry Burger, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University who was invited to speak at the Whole Grains Council's recent conference, said that people often base their food choices on what they think others are eating. "It's not the same thing as conformity or peer pressure . . . which is people changing their behavior because they are worried about what others will think of them,'' he said. "Social norms can be a very effective tool for changing behavior.''

But don't underestimate peer pressure, either, whether from colleagues, roommates, or spouses. Harriman said she recently returned home to find her husband wearing a "bad boy'' look. After a moment he confessed: "I had white rice.''

Harriman said she should be happy he was not with another woman. But here's what truly brought her joy: "He said it tasted kind of bland.''

Beth Teitell can be reached at bteitell@globe.com.

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Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn | View Clip
02/15/2011
Bellingham Herald

SAN JOSE, Calif

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers, which was released Monday.

That report, which is similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices.

One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up and say, 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you anymore.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

-Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

-Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

-Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

Return to Top



Apple sent COO to China after suicides at Foxconn | View Clip
02/15/2011
Knoxville News-Sentinel, The

Knoxville News Sentinel

SAN JOSE, Calif. — After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook, now the company's acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers, which was released Monday.

That report, which is similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices.

One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level," said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up and say, 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you anymore.' "

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

—Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

—Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

—Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Return to Top



APPLE EYES WORK CONDITIONS
02/15/2011
San Jose Mercury News

After nearly a dozen workers committed suicide at a contract manufacturing facility in China last year, Apple sent then-chief operating officer Tim Cook, now its acting CEO, to visit Foxconn International Holdings and press the company to improve working conditions there, Apple said in a report Monday.

Cook made the trip in June. Details of the visit were contained in the company's annual survey of contractors and suppliers.

That report, similar to reports issued by other big tech companies that do business around the world, has taken on increasing significance as international labor and environmental organizations continue to aggressively monitor Apple's business practices. One expert on overseas business said Cook's presence on the team that visited Foxconn was undoubtedly intended to send a significant message.

"It's very unusual for someone at that high level" said Anna Han, a Santa Clara University law professor who has advised U.S. companies on doing business in China. "It allows Foxconn to know that Apple is taking this very seriously."

Although labor abuses and poor working conditions are not uncommon in China, Han said U.S. companies can help improve those conditions by putting pressure on their contractors. "But you have to back it up, and say 'If you don't do this, we're not going to use you any more.'"?"

In its survey, Apple said Cook's visit to Foxconn in the southern China city of Shenzhen came after the company's leaders were "disturbed and deeply saddened" by the suicides, which involved nearly a dozen workers, some of whom jumped from buildings. The report said Cook was accompanied by "two leading experts" in suicide prevention who had been recruited by Apple.

"Apple then commissioned an independent review by a broader team of suicide prevention experts," the report said. The team surveyed more than 1,000 employees, reviewed the facts of each suicide and evaluated Foxconn's response.

Foxconn's response included hiring counselors for a 24-hour care center and even attaching large nets to the factory buildings, Apple said. But the Apple team also recommended the contractor take additional steps, such as increased training and monitoring of staff at the care center.

Apple's report also describes several other steps the company took during its stepped-up audit of suppliers' facilities around the world, including:

(box) Working with suppliers to improve their age-verification practices after Apple said it discovered 91 underage workers in the facilities it visited.

(box) Stepping up efforts to make sure minerals such as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold used by suppliers are not coming from smelters that obtain their materials from regions where armed conflict or human-rights abuses are known to be occurring.

(box) Tightening up hiring processes to protect the rights of newly hired facility workers, often immigrants who are sometimes charged exorbitant fees by third-party recruiters to land a job at an Apple supplier. Apple reported that it had required companies to reimburse $3.4 million in fees to these foreign workers in 18 facilities over the past two years.

(box) A coalition of Chinese environmental groups issued a report critical of Apple last month, contending the company had not taken responsibility for health and environmental issues at its suppliers and contractors in China. One example cited by the coalition involved the use of a toxic chemical, n-hexane, which is alleged to have caused nerve damage to workers at a plant operated by Wintek Corp.

In its own report, Apple said it required Wintek to stop using n-hexane after it learned last year that 137 workers had suffered health problems following exposure to the chemical. Apple said it also required Wintek to improve its procedures. Under Chinese law, Apple said, Wintek paid for the workers' medical treatment and Apple is monitoring their medical reports.

A representative said Apple completed 97 first-time audits in 2010 and 30 repeat audits. The company also said that 40 percent of suppliers told Apple it was the first company ever to audit their facilities.

Contact Patrick May at pmay@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc. Contact Brandon Bailey at bbailey@mercurynews.com or follow him at Twitter.com/BrandonBailey.

Copyright © 2011 San Jose Mercury News

Return to Top



Why whole grains are everywhere but the dinner table. | View Clip
02/15/2011
Boston Globe - Online

Americans may be having a whole-grain moment.

A case can certainly be made: The first lady has become such a fan she is practically a nag; new federal guidelines urge us to consume half of all our grains as whole grains; Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is working to lower prices on whole grains to encourage consumption. Once just for health fanatics, whole grains have gone so mainstream they are now in Duncan Hines chocolate chip muffins and Lucky Charms.

Among attributes played up on food packaging, whole grains rank 19th, behind kosher and gluten-free, but ahead of vegetarian and vegan, according to Mintel International, a research company. The marketing surge has led to consumers expressing refined-grains shame. "I do feel guilty,'' said Tess Wagner, an unemployed administrative assistant from Cambridge, after she was caught tossing a package of Thomas's white English muffins into her cart at Target in Watertown. "You keep hearing about how healthy whole grains are.''

But despite the buzz, whole grains have not quite arrived. As Harry Balzer, a vice president with the NPD Group, a market research company, put it: "We have aspirations. Getting there is a whole different story.'' Part of the challenge, apparently, is getting past our self-delusion. While only 5 percent of Americans eat the recommended 48 grams of whole grains per day, according to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recently released by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 60 percent of Americans believe they are eating enough, according to a survey by General Mills

Tina Kurkjian, a Weston mother, is one of the confused. "I try to use flax,'' she said as she grocery shopped recently, "but I don't know why.'' Surrounded by a number of products that play up their whole grains � and, look, there they are in Wonder bread and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish � Kurkjian pronounced herself baffled. "I don't know where I would start.''

A recent study by the NPD Group found that 68 percent of Americans are trying to get more whole grains in their diet today, compared with 63 percent in 2005. But the other third? They may be suffering from nutrition fatigue. With calories, carbs, and sodium to count, eating has become like math class. "It's just one more thing to think about,'' Christine Stacchi of Arlington said as she shopped at Target.

Considering their potential advantages, the federal government says there is some evidence that whole grains can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, among health benefits. Why is eating a slice of whole-grain bread so difficult?

Start with the fear factor, as explained by Heather Forrest, a financial adviser from Newton. A recent weekend found her shopping for her 5-year-old daughter's birthday party, and loading her cart with white pasta. "I don't know what picky kids will eat,'' she said. "I'm afraid.''

Then, let's be frank. Whole grains have a bit of a reputation to overcome. Even Cynthia Harriman, the director of food and nutrition strategies for the Whole Grains Council, part of the Boston-based nonprofit Oldways, acknowledges that they were often dense and daunting. "Some people say, 'Back in the hippie days I was burned by whole grains.' But you try them today, and they're really good.''

Harriman explained that manufacturers have started to see potential in whole grains and are now putting research and development money into reformulating recipes. "You can't just take the white stuff out and put the whole grain in.''

Since 2005, about 3,700 new whole-grain products have been introduced, according to Mintel. A number of those are General Mills products. In 2005, the company announced that its entire line of Big G cereals would contain 8 grams of whole grains in every serving. Having identified what it calls a "whole grain gap,'' the company advertises the whole grain content of its Big G cereal lineup separately from its advertising for individual cereal varieties and will spend 20 percent more on whole grain advertising this year.

Some people, like Forrest, the Newton mother, see sugary cereals such as Count Chocula and Trix boasting whole grains and ask "why bother?''

But Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, takes a slightly more nuanced view: "You could look at it either way,'' she said. "If you were buying Lucky Charms anyway, you are slightly better off getting Lucky Charms with whole grains. The problem is when people think they are getting a truly healthy cereal, and any cereal that is [high sugar] is not particularly healthy. You're better off with a whole-grain, low-sugar cereal like Wheaties or Cheerios in the yellow box.''

Here is another factor making it harder for Americans to get enough whole grains: restaurants. While whole grains call out to consumers from the cereal and bread aisles, they're hard to find in restaurants, Harriman said. "Restaurants have been a bit slow to realize that the whole-grain train was leaving the station without them. But that's improving fast.''

What might really boost consumption would be tweets. Jerry Burger, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University who was invited to speak at the Whole Grains Council's recent conference, said that people often base their food choices on what they think others are eating. "It's not the same thing as conformity or peer pressure . . . which is people changing their behavior because they are worried about what others will think of them,'' he said. "Social norms can be a very effective tool for changing behavior.''

But don't underestimate peer pressure, either, whether from colleagues, roommates, or spouses. Harriman said she recently returned home to find her husband wearing a "bad boy'' look. After a moment he confessed: "I had white rice.''

Harriman said she should be happy he was not with another woman. But here's what truly brought her joy: "He said it tasted kind of bland.''

Beth Teitell can be reached at bteitell@globe.com.

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Got nutrition fatigue? | View Clip
02/15/2011
Boston Globe - Online

Americans may be having a whole-grain moment.

A case can certainly be made: The first lady has become such a fan she is practically a nag; new federal guidelines urge us to consume half of all our grains as whole grains; Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, is working to lower prices on whole grains to encourage consumption. Once just for health fanatics, whole grains have gone so mainstream they are now in Duncan Hines chocolate chip muffins and Lucky Charms.

Among attributes played up on food packaging, whole grains rank 19th, behind kosher and gluten-free, but ahead of vegetarian and vegan, according to Mintel International, a research company. The marketing surge has led to consumers expressing refined-grains shame. "I do feel guilty,'' said Tess Wagner, an unemployed administrative assistant from Cambridge, after she was caught tossing a package of Thomas's white English muffins into her cart at Target in Watertown. "You keep hearing about how healthy whole grains are.''

But despite the buzz, whole grains have not quite arrived. As Harry Balzer, a vice president with the NPD Group, a market research company, put it: "We have aspirations. Getting there is a whole different story.'' Part of the challenge, apparently, is getting past our self-delusion. While only 5 percent of Americans eat the recommended 48 grams of whole grains per day, according to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, recently released by the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services, more than 60 percent of Americans believe they are eating enough, according to a survey by General Mills

Tina Kurkjian, a Weston mother, is one of the confused. "I try to use flax,'' she said as she grocery shopped recently, "but I don't know why.'' Surrounded by a number of products that play up their whole grains and, look, there they are in Wonder bread and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Kurkjian pronounced herself baffled. "I don't know where I would start.''

A recent study by the NPD Group found that 68 percent of Americans are trying to get more whole grains in their diet today, compared with 63 percent in 2005. But the other third? They may be suffering from nutrition fatigue. With calories, carbs, and sodium to count, eating has become like math class. "It's just one more thing to think about,'' Christine Stacchi of Arlington said as she shopped at Target.

Considering their potential advantages, the federal government says there is some evidence that whole grains can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, among health benefits. Why is eating a slice of whole-grain bread so difficult?

Start with the fear factor, as explained by Heather Forrest, a financial adviser from Newton. A recent weekend found her shopping for her 5-year-old daughter's birthday party, and loading her cart with white pasta. "I don't know what picky kids will eat,'' she said. "I'm afraid.''

Then, let's be frank. Whole grains have a bit of a reputation to overcome. Even Cynthia Harriman, the director of food and nutrition strategies for the Whole Grains Council, part of the Boston-based nonprofit Oldways, acknowledges that they were often dense and daunting. "Some people say, 'Back in the hippie days I was burned by whole grains.' But you try them today, and they're really good.''

Harriman explained that manufacturers have started to see potential in whole grains and are now putting research and development money into reformulating recipes. "You can't just take the white stuff out and put the whole grain in.''

Since 2005, about 3,700 new whole-grain products have been introduced, according to Mintel. A number of those are General Mills products. In 2005, the company announced that its entire line of Big G cereals would contain 8 grams of whole grains in every serving. Having identified what it calls a "whole grain gap,'' the company advertises the whole grain content of its Big G cereal lineup separately from its advertising for individual cereal varieties and will spend 20 percent more on whole grain advertising this year.

Some people, like Forrest, the Newton mother, see sugary cereals such as Count Chocula and Trix boasting whole grains and ask "why bother?''

But Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, takes a slightly more nuanced view: "You could look at it either way,'' she said. "If you were buying Lucky Charms anyway, you are slightly better off getting Lucky Charms with whole grains. The problem is when people think they are getting a truly healthy cereal, and any cereal that is [high sugar] is not particularly healthy. You're better off with a whole-grain, low-sugar cereal like Wheaties or Cheerios in the yellow box.''

Here is another factor making it harder for Americans to get enough whole grains: restaurants. While whole grains call out to consumers from the cereal and bread aisles, they're hard to find in restaurants, Harriman said. "Restaurants have been a bit slow to realize that the whole-grain train was leaving the station without them. But that's improving fast.''

What might really boost consumption would be tweets. Jerry Burger, a professor of psychology at Santa Clara University who was invited to speak at the Whole Grains Council's recent conference, said that people often base their food choices on what they think others are eating. "It's not the same thing as conformity or peer pressure . . . which is people changing their behavior because they are worried about what others will think of them,'' he said. "Social norms can be a very effective tool for changing behavior.''

But don't underestimate peer pressure, either, whether from colleagues, roommates, or spouses. Harriman said she recently returned home to find her husband wearing a "bad boy'' look. After a moment he confessed: "I had white rice.''

Harriman said she should be happy he was not with another woman. But here's what truly brought her joy: "He said it tasted kind of bland.''

Beth Teitell can be reached at bteitell@globe.com.

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Looking for 'fair' pension reform | View Clip
02/15/2011
Newsday - Online

Judy Nadler, former mayor of Santa Clara, Calif., is a senior fellow in Government Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is joining the chorus of public officials nationwide who have had to bring their constituents a dose of painful reality: There must be significant reform in the public pension system. In the current economic climate,...

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Research Reports on Biochemistry from Santa Clara University, Department of Electrical Engineering Provide New Insights
02/15/2011
Science Letter

Data detailed in 'Optical switch probes and optical lock-in detection (OLID) imaging microscopy: high-contrast fluorescence imaging within living systems' have been presented. According to recent research from the United States, "Few to single molecule imaging of fluorescent probe molecules can provide information on the distribution, dynamics, interactions and activity of specific fluorescently tagged proteins during cellular processes. Unfortunately, these imaging studies are made challenging in living cells because of fluorescence signals from endogenous cofactors."

"Moreover, related background signals within multi-cell systems and intact tissue are even higher and reduce signal contrast even for ensemble populations of probe molecules. High-contrast optical imaging within high-background environments will therefore require new ideas on the design of fluorescence probes, and the way their fluorescence signals are generated and analysed to form an image. To this end, in the present review we describe recent studies on a new family of fluorescent probe called optical switches, with descriptions of the mechanisms that underlie their ability to undergo rapid and reversible transitions between two distinct states. Optical manipulation of the fluorescent and non-fluorescent states of an optical switch probe generates a modulated fluorescence signal that can be isolated from a larger unmodulated background by using OLID (optical lock-in detection) techniques," wrote Y. Yan and colleagues, Santa Clara University, Department of Electrical Engineering (see also ).

The researchers concluded: "The present review concludes with a discussion on select applications of synthetic and genetically encoded optical switch probes and OLID microscopy for high-contrast imaging of specific proteins and membrane structures within living systems."

Yan and colleagues published their study in The Biochemical Journal (Optical switch probes and optical lock-in detection (OLID) imaging microscopy: high-contrast fluorescence imaging within living systems. The Biochemical Journal, 2011;433(3):411-22).

For additional information, contact Y. Yan, Santa Clara University, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, CA 95053 USA.

Copyright © 2011 Science Letter via NewsRx.com

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Research Reports on Biochemistry from Santa Clara University, Department of Electrical Engineering Provide New Insights
02/15/2011
Life Science Weekly

Data detailed in 'Optical switch probes and optical lock-in detection (OLID) imaging microscopy: high-contrast fluorescence imaging within living systems' have been presented. According to recent research from the United States, "Few to single molecule imaging of fluorescent probe molecules can provide information on the distribution, dynamics, interactions and activity of specific fluorescently tagged proteins during cellular processes. Unfortunately, these imaging studies are made challenging in living cells because of fluorescence signals from endogenous cofactors."

"Moreover, related background signals within multi-cell systems and intact tissue are even higher and reduce signal contrast even for ensemble populations of probe molecules. High-contrast optical imaging within high-background environments will therefore require new ideas on the design of fluorescence probes, and the way their fluorescence signals are generated and analysed to form an image. To this end, in the present review we describe recent studies on a new family of fluorescent probe called optical switches, with descriptions of the mechanisms that underlie their ability to undergo rapid and reversible transitions between two distinct states. Optical manipulation of the fluorescent and non-fluorescent states of an optical switch probe generates a modulated fluorescence signal that can be isolated from a larger unmodulated background by using OLID (optical lock-in detection) techniques," wrote Y. Yan and colleagues, Santa Clara University, Department of Electrical Engineering (see also ).

The researchers concluded: "The present review concludes with a discussion on select applications of synthetic and genetically encoded optical switch probes and OLID microscopy for high-contrast imaging of specific proteins and membrane structures within living systems."

Yan and colleagues published their study in The Biochemical Journal (Optical switch probes and optical lock-in detection (OLID) imaging microscopy: high-contrast fluorescence imaging within living systems. The Biochemical Journal, 2011;433(3):411-22).

For additional information, contact Y. Yan, Santa Clara University, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, CA 95053 USA.

Copyright © 2011 Life Science Weekly via NewsRx.com

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Official Google Blog: Making sense of science: introducing the Google Science Communication Fellows | View Clip
02/15/2011
Google Blog

Making sense of science: introducing the Google Science Communication Fellows Google.org Blog)

In an effort to foster a more open, transparent and accessible scientific dialogue, we've started a new effort aimed at inspiring pioneering use of technology, new media and computational thinking in the communication of science to diverse audiences. Initially, we'll focus on communicating the science on climate change.

We're kicking off this effort by naming 21 Google Science Communication Fellows. These fellows were elected from a pool of applicants of early to mid-career Ph.D. scientists nominated by leaders in climate change research and science-based institutions across the U.S. It was hard to choose just 21 fellows from such an impressive pool of scientists; ultimately, we chose scientists who had the strongest potential to become excellent communicators. That meant previous training in science communication; research in topics related to understanding or managing climate change; and experience experimenting with innovative approaches or technology tools for science communication. This year's fellows are an impressive bunch:

Brendan Bohannan, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, University of Oregon
Edward Brook, Professor, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University
Julia Cole, Professor, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona
Eugene Cordero, Associate Professor, Meteorology and Climate Science, San Jose University
Frank Davis, Professor, Landscape Ecology & Conservation Planning, University of California-Santa Barbara
Andrew Dessler, Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University
Noah Diffenbaugh, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
Simon Donner, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia
Nicole Heller, Research Scientist, Climate Central
Brian Helmuth, Professor, Biological Sciences, University South Carolina
Paul Higgins, Associate Director, Policy Program, American Meteorological Society
Jonathan Koomey, Consulting Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
David Lea, Professor, Earth Science, University of California-Santa Barbara
Kelly Levin, Senior Research Associate, World Resources Institute
David Lobel, Assistant Professor, Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
Edwin Mauer, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering, Santa Clara University
Susanne Moser, Research Associate, Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California-Santa Cruz
Matthew Nisbet, Associate Professor, School of Communication, American University
Rebecca Shaw, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, CA Chapter
Whendee Silver, Professor, Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry, University of California-Berkeley
Alan Townsend, Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado At our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters in June, the fellows will participate in a workshop, which will integrate hands-on training and facilitated brainstorming on topics of technology and science communication. Following the workshop, fellows will be given the opportunity to apply for grants to put their ideas into practice. Those with the most impactful projects will be given the opportunity to join a

Congratulations to all of the fellows! And we'll keep you posted on more ideas and tools emerging for science communication.

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Critics miss deeper truth of a fully human Jesus Christ | View Clip
02/14/2011
National Catholic Reporter Online

VIEWPOINT

What if those on the Catholic right most concerned today with defending the faith in fact have an inadequate grasp of the most central Christian doctrine? Not the doctrinal ban on artificial contraception: The Catholic right has that teaching down cold.

I'm talking about the claim that God became one of us.

The controversy last December at the Smithsonian in Washington over the withdrawal from an exhibit of a video featuring ants crawling on a crucifix evokes such a question. Of course, the question also arises at a time when the Catholic right, inside and outside of formal church structures, is increasingly linking Catholic faith to a series of boundary-marking litmus tests.

One must oppose the legalization of abortion and gay marriage. One must think that Christ explicitly forbade women priests. One must appreciate the redemptive profundity of Mel Gibson's boring, bloody film “The Passion of the Christ.”

Usually, the theological justification for such tests rests on two things. First, there is an appeal to an abstract Christ, sacred but detached from our messy world and lacking in human soul. Second, there is an appeal to this conception of Christ as justification for the authority of actions undertaken by the church's hierarchical teaching office.

But the Smithsonian controversy offers an occasion to see the theological weakness of such arguments -- and of such litmus tests. The controversy began when the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights questioned why government funds were used to display a video that the League claimed was offensive to Catholics. Although the League did not ask to have the video removed, the museum proceeded to do so anyhow. The allegedly offensive footage was a brief segment of a much longer video by the late gay Catholic artist David Wojnarowicz that was a reflection on his own dying from AIDS.

New York Times art critic Holland Cotter said of the video, called “A Fire in My Belly,” that Wojnarowicz “felt, with reason, mortally embattled, and the video is filled with symbols of vulnerability under attack: beggars, slaughtered animals, displaced bodies and the crucified Jesus. In Wojnarowicz's nature symbolism -- and this is confirmed in other works -- ants were symbols of a human life mechanically driven by its own needs, heedless of anything else. Here they blindly swarm over an emblem of suffering and self-sacrifice.”

The central claim in all of Christian doctrine is that the Son of God became fully human. This means not only that Christ entered the world as a helpless infant. But it also means that Christ assumed the complex burdens of human freedom and embodiment, even to the point of freely accepting death. And when we consider that core doctrine, we arrive at two surprising conclusions. First, the Wojnarowicz video easily passes the test of this orthodox belief.

Second, the Catholic League and its allies appear to be operating from an inadequate grasp of this core Christian conviction.

The controversy over the Wojnarowicz video turns on the acceptance of the full humanity of Christ. In particular, the doctrinal issue at stake is represented by the ancient Christian maxim: “What is not assumed is not healed.” Or, in other words, unless the Son of God was understood to have taken on the depths of human experience -- including the fear and loneliness of death -- it could not be said that Christ also redeemed this experience.

This is a hard maxim because it requires seeing Jesus Christ not as an abstract, sacred figure whose power over sin is matched by his distance from all that might taint him. Rather, it requires seeing him as a figure whose sacredness is gained in and through his presence to whatever is tainted.

And here we can see the roots of the tension over the video at the Smithsonian. For a group like the Catholic League, the video is an attack on -- or, in their preferred term, a “bashing” of -- something sacred: that ants crawl over a statue of Christ signals an indifferent sullying of what is holy and pure.

But for Wojnarowicz, the allegedly offending imagery represents a powerful way to imagine a compassionate Christ, a companion to the dying artist and all others in the helplessness and shame of death. In a lawsuit he won against Donald Wildmon, an earlier generation's moral scold, Wojnarowicz spoke of such theological convictions animating his art.

We can see a related theological problem in Catholic culture warriors' appreciation of Mel Gibson's “The Passion of the Christ.” In their eyes, the movie's extended, brutal portrayal of the crucifixion made clear the degree of Christ's sacrifice. But their praise of the film was founded on the subtle but significant mistake of thinking the sheer capacity of Jesus to endure physical pain testified in itself to his soulful commitment to accept the burden of an agonizing death.

Pain, in their view, proved love. To be sure, this judgment can be correlated with the best critical assessment of the film as a film: Gibson oddly succeeded in creating the vivid sights and sounds of a crucifixion in a dramatically flat way. It was a parade of gore on display -- not the portrayal of the destruction of a man.

But this way of prizing pain as proof of love has affinities with a heresy rejected in its first centuries by the church. That heresy held that Christ took on a human body but did not take on a fully human soul with all the freedom, emotion and rationality of a person.

The Catholic theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper has spoken of this “subliminal heresy” persisting into the present day among those who consider the redemption of Good Friday only in terms “of Jesus' physical pains and scarcely of his personal obedience and his complete surrender to the Father.”

In all likelihood, we can expect more litmus tests of Catholic faith in the years ahead. The increasingly conservative hierarchy favors such brinksmanship over pastoral solicitude. And the always vigilant Catholic League needs no prompting to pronounce another case of bashing.

But we would do well to probe into the theological commitments behind these litmus tests. A defense of Catholic faith animated by an abstract conception of Christ detached from the world leads to taking offense where none has been given -- and to missing the point altogether of a video like Wojnarowicz's.

Similarly, a defense of faith animated by a conception of Christ with a diminished human soul leads to prizing the merely physical at the expense of the spiritual.

We should also recall another admonition by Kasper to be wary of those who invoke this abstract Christ as an ideology to uphold as eternal the humanly-made structures of the church and who, in the process, mistake the fixed boundaries of litmus tests for the deeper Catholic truth that we are always on the way to Jesus Christ.

[David DeCosse is director of campus ethics programs at Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California.]

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Why telomeres can motivate us to exercise, meditate, and manage stress. | View Clip
02/14/2011
Psychology Today - Online

Last week my university (Santa Clara University) had the privilege of a several day visit by the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in medicine/physiology Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn from the University of California, San Francisco. She has conducted remarkable and ground breaking laboratory research on telomeres (the ends of our chromosomes). In listening to her talks and speaking with her over lunch and dinner I was struck by how further evidence is unfolding to support the view that biopsychosocialspiritual factors appear to be associated with quality of life as well as longevity. When I asked her what appears to be the one thing that we can do to increase the size of our telomeres (a good thing for longevity and health according to her research and those of her colleagues) she said one word, ‘exercise." When asked what the one thing to avoid for smaller telomeres (a bad thing), she said " childhood traumas " such as ongoing stress at young ages. Additionally, she reported on very preliminary research that suggested that contemplative practices, such as meditation and prayer, may result in increase telomeres as well (again, a very good thing) as well as fish oil . Of course she was very careful to explain that her laboratory research must be viewed cautiously when considering the implications for health, disease, and expanding life span and that much of the actual real world field research has a long way to go when looking at the relationship between telomeres, health, and quality of life. Find a Therapist Search for a mental health professional near you. Find Local: Acupuncturists Chiropractors Massage Therapists Dentists and more! We have known for many years that we need to attend to biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual factors to enhance our lives in terms of quality of life and quantity of years. It is truly remarkable when Nobel Prize winning lab research dove tails with more marco levels of behavioral and population research as well, pretty much all singing the same song. That is, exercise, managing stress well, contemplative practices all may assist in our efforts to maximize our chances of a long and high quality healthy life. Of course, we can't control all of the variables when it goes to disease and death. Yet, we can control some of them. Perhaps the challenge is can we really do it? Can we do the right thing for ourselves by engaging in health promoting (rather than health damaging) behaviors? Exercise, contemplative practices, stress management all should be taken seriously... very seriously. This is perhaps the challenge for most of us. At least we might have additional motivation to do so when research, even at the molecular level, encourages us to do so. What do you think? Tweet Have a comment? Start the discussion here! Tags: exercise , longevity , meditation , prayer , stress management , telomeres

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Bahraini officials in Phoenix for trade talks | View Clip
02/14/2011
TucsonCitizen.com

A delegation of Bahraini economic officials, investors and business leaders will meet today and Tuesday for trade talks with Valley industry leaders.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is leading the effort with help from a private Washington, D.C., firm that has hired his girlfriend's company, Mullany Wunder Works, to do consulting for the visit.

Gordon and Elissa Mullany said there is nothing wrong with the arrangement, but at least one expert and former mayor said it might have the public asking questions about whether there is an ethical conflict.

Bahraini officials and local businesses will meet to discuss economic development in the renewable-energy, finance and technology sectors locally and in Bahrain.

Gordon is heading efforts for more than 100 Arizona business leaders to meet with His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and others from the island nation in the Persian Gulf.

“Our biggest problem as a city is getting people here, no matter where they're from, to see that our cost of living is so remarkable compared to what most people come from in the world,” Gordon said. “It's a unique opportunity.”

BGR Government Affairs represents the Bahrain Economic Development Board and has hired Mullany to organize events and arrange the business meetings.

Mullany told The Arizona Republic that her contract is for $8,000 and that she has been consulting on the visit for four months.

Mullany said she sees no ethical conflict in the arrangement, and she doesn't stand to benefit from any deal made.

“People might think that I'm abusing my role with him (Gordon),” Mullany said. “I might get his attention more than someone else, but I'm not asking him to do something that isn't good for the city and isn't benefiting anyone else.”

Foreign-investment deals

Bahrain is one of the 20 wealthiest countries in the world based on gross domestic product per capita. Bahraini officials were in Phoenix in December to organize this month's trip.

Rudy Vetter, senior vice president of international business development at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said Bahrain is attractive because the country's plentiful supply of oil provides a stable economic base to generate investment capital that could be directed to the Valley. The country's arid environment also provides chances to grow the renewable-energy industry for both parties.

Vetter said Gordon has been instrumental in getting Phoenix on the radar for increased foreign investment. The mayor has traveled to the Middle East, China and Mexico to make business contacts in recent years to increase international business.

“A deal is not done overnight,” Vetter said. “It's about creating relationships and trustworthy connections that would lead to a landing.”

The investment capital Bahrain can inject into Phoenix also will be critical to luring new projects and jobs to the state, he said.

The most important work taking place today and Tuesday will be during more than 30 private, one-on-one meetings between Valley companies and Bahraini officials, Mullany said. To protect the confidentiality of business dealings, Mullany wouldn't disclose the names of companies involved in face-to-face meetings. But Bahraini delegates will meet with representatives from several business sectors, including real-estate development, construction, health care, renewable energy and the aluminum industry.

Bahrain also is interested in attracting small- to medium-size businesses, such as engineering firms and restaurant franchises, to the country, Gordon said.

Gordon: Nothing wrong

The Bahrain connection started about a year ago at a United States Conference of Mayors meeting, Gordon said, where he met BGR and Bahraini officials to talk about setting up meetings in Phoenix.

The firm needed a liaison to work out meeting logistics in Arizona, and “I gave them a couple names, including Elissa's” because the city didn't have funds to do the work, Gordon said.

Gordon said he doesn't see any ethical conflict with Mullany's involvement, saying no city money is being used to pay for Mullany's services or any of the coming week's events.

When asked where his interests lie – in bringing business to the city or bringing business to someone close to him – Gordon said, “I'm not going to go down that road. Everybody that's doing business here at the city is close to me.”

The city's Community and Economic Development Department was not involved in arranging any of the events for the Bahraini visit, city spokeswoman Sina Matthes said. The department only helped identify physical space for the delegation's meetings.

The arrangement does raise some concerns, said Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

It doesn't matter whether Mullany is getting paid $800 or $8,000, said Nadler, who served two terms as mayor in Santa Clara, Calif. It's about fairness and unseen benefits.

“The money may not be much now, but trust me, if you get a reputation based on one small job, it will turn into something larger,” she said. “You're building your resume and making contacts with people that other individuals couldn't ever hope to talk to.”

The appearance of a conflict is also just as damaging as an actual legal conflict, Nadler said.

“The public is just so cynical, and there's such a high level of distrust that I think people in public office have to really go beyond what they might normally do to ensure there is openness, honesty and impartiality in all business dealings,” she said.

Vetter, however, said that no one had asked him about Mullany's involvement.

“It personally doesn't matter to me,” Vetter said. “The whole event is very professionally organized, and no one else has addressed concerns with me.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 at 6:00 pm and is filed under Arizona Republic News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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Bahraini officials in Phoenix for trade talks | View Clip
02/14/2011
AZCentral.com

A delegation of Bahraini economic officials, investors and business leaders will meet today and Tuesday for trade talks with Valley industry leaders.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is leading the effort with help from a private Washington, D.C., firm that has hired his girlfriend's company, Mullany Wunder Works, to do consulting for the visit.

Gordon and Elissa Mullany said there is nothing wrong with the arrangement, but at least one expert and former mayor said it might have the public asking questions about whether there is an ethical conflict.

Bahraini officials and local businesses will meet to discuss economic development in the renewable-energy, finance and technology sectors locally and in Bahrain.

Gordon is heading efforts for more than 100 Arizona business leaders to meet with His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and others from the island nation in the Persian Gulf.

"Our biggest problem as a city is getting people here, no matter where they're from, to see that our cost of living is so remarkable compared to what most people come from in the world," Gordon said. "It's a unique opportunity."

BGR Government Affairs represents the Bahrain Economic Development Board and has hired Mullany to organize events and arrange the business meetings.

Mullany told The Arizona Republic that her contract is for $8,000 and that she has been consulting on the visit for four months.

Mullany said she sees no ethical conflict in the arrangement, and she doesn't stand to benefit from any deal made.

"People might think that I'm abusing my role with him (Gordon)," Mullany said. "I might get his attention more than someone else, but I'm not asking him to do something that isn't good for the city and isn't benefiting anyone else."

Bahrain is one of the 20 wealthiest countries in the world based on gross domestic product per capita. Bahraini officials were in Phoenix in December to organize this month's trip.

Rudy Vetter, senior vice president of international business development at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said Bahrain is attractive because the country's plentiful supply of oil provides a stable economic base to generate investment capital that could be directed to the Valley. The country's arid environment also provides chances to grow the renewable-energy industry for both parties.

Vetter said Gordon has been instrumental in getting Phoenix on the radar for increased foreign investment. The mayor has traveled to the Middle East, China and Mexico to make business contacts in recent years to increase international business.

"A deal is not done overnight," Vetter said. "It's about creating relationships and trustworthy connections that would lead to a landing."

The investment capital Bahrain can inject into Phoenix also will be critical to luring new projects and jobs to the state, he said.

The most important work taking place today and Tuesday will be during more than 30 private, one-on-one meetings between Valley companies and Bahraini officials, Mullany said. To protect the confidentiality of business dealings, Mullany wouldn't disclose the names of companies involved in face-to-face meetings. But Bahraini delegates will meet with representatives from several business sectors, including real-estate development, construction, health care, renewable energy and the aluminum industry.

Bahrain also is interested in attracting small- to medium-size businesses, such as engineering firms and restaurant franchises, to the country, Gordon said.

The Bahrain connection started about a year ago at a United States Conference of Mayors meeting, Gordon said, where he met BGR and Bahraini officials to talk about setting up meetings in Phoenix.

The firm needed a liaison to work out meeting logistics in Arizona, and "I gave them a couple names, including Elissa's" because the city didn't have funds to do the work, Gordon said.

Gordon said he doesn't see any ethical conflict with Mullany's involvement, saying no city money is being used to pay for Mullany's services or any of the coming week's events.

When asked where his interests lie - in bringing business to the city or bringing business to someone close to him - Gordon said, "I'm not going to go down that road. Everybody that's doing business here at the city is close to me."

The city's Community and Economic Development Department was not involved in arranging any of the events for the Bahraini visit, city spokeswoman Sina Matthes said. The department only helped identify physical space for the delegation's meetings.

The arrangement does raise some concerns, said Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

It doesn't matter whether Mullany is getting paid $800 or $8,000, said Nadler, who served two terms as mayor in Santa Clara, Calif. It's about fairness and unseen benefits.

"The money may not be much now, but trust me, if you get a reputation based on one small job, it will turn into something larger," she said. "You're building your resume and making contacts with people that other individuals couldn't ever hope to talk to."

The appearance of a conflict is also just as damaging as an actual legal conflict, Nadler said.

"The public is just so cynical, and there's such a high level of distrust that I think people in public office have to really go beyond what they might normally do to ensure there is openness, honesty and impartiality in all business dealings," she said.

Vetter, however, said that no one had asked him about Mullany's involvement.

"It personally doesn't matter to me," Vetter said. "The whole event is very professionally organized, and no one else has addressed concerns with me."

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Bahraini officials in Phoenix for trade talks | View Clip
02/14/2011
Arizona Republic - Online

A delegation of Bahraini economic officials, investors and business leaders will meet today and Tuesday for trade talks with Valley industry leaders.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is leading the effort with help from a private Washington, D.C., firm that has hired his girlfriend's company, Mullany Wunder Works, to do consulting for the visit.

Gordon and Elissa Mullany said there is nothing wrong with the arrangement, but at least one expert and former mayor said it might have the public asking questions about whether there is an ethical conflict.

Bahraini officials and local businesses will meet to discuss economic development in the renewable-energy, finance and technology sectors locally and in Bahrain.

Gordon is heading efforts for more than 100 Arizona business leaders to meet with His Excellency Shaikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, and others from the island nation in the Persian Gulf.

"Our biggest problem as a city is getting people here, no matter where they're from, to see that our cost of living is so remarkable compared to what most people come from in the world," Gordon said. "It's a unique opportunity."

BGR Government Affairs represents the Bahrain Economic Development Board and has hired Mullany to organize events and arrange the business meetings.

Mullany told The Arizona Republic that her contract is for $8,000 and that she has been consulting on the visit for four months.

Mullany said she sees no ethical conflict in the arrangement, and she doesn't stand to benefit from any deal made.

"People might think that I'm abusing my role with him (Gordon)," Mullany said. "I might get his attention more than someone else, but I'm not asking him to do something that isn't good for the city and isn't benefiting anyone else."

Foreign-investment deals

Bahrain is one of the 20 wealthiest countries in the world based on gross domestic product per capita. Bahraini officials were in Phoenix in December to organize this month's trip.

Rudy Vetter, senior vice president of international business development at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, said Bahrain is attractive because the country's plentiful supply of oil provides a stable economic base to generate investment capital that could be directed to the Valley. The country's arid environment also provides chances to grow the renewable-energy industry for both parties.

Vetter said Gordon has been instrumental in getting Phoenix on the radar for increased foreign investment. The mayor has traveled to the Middle East, China and Mexico to make business contacts in recent years to increase international business.

"A deal is not done overnight," Vetter said. "It's about creating relationships and trustworthy connections that would lead to a landing."

The investment capital Bahrain can inject into Phoenix also will be critical to luring new projects and jobs to the state, he said.

The most important work taking place today and Tuesday will be during more than 30 private, one-on-one meetings between Valley companies and Bahraini officials, Mullany said. To protect the confidentiality of business dealings, Mullany wouldn't disclose the names of companies involved in face-to-face meetings. But Bahraini delegates will meet with representatives from several business sectors, including real-estate development, construction, health care, renewable energy and the aluminum industry.

Bahrain also is interested in attracting small- to medium-size businesses, such as engineering firms and restaurant franchises, to the country, Gordon said.

Gordon: Nothing wrong

The Bahrain connection started about a year ago at a United States Conference of Mayors meeting, Gordon said, where he met BGR and Bahraini officials to talk about setting up meetings in Phoenix.

The firm needed a liaison to work out meeting logistics in Arizona, and "I gave them a couple names, including Elissa's" because the city didn't have funds to do the work, Gordon said.

Gordon said he doesn't see any ethical conflict with Mullany's involvement, saying no city money is being used to pay for Mullany's services or any of the coming week's events.

When asked where his interests lie - in bringing business to the city or bringing business to someone close to him - Gordon said, "I'm not going to go down that road. Everybody that's doing business here at the city is close to me."

The city's Community and Economic Development Department was not involved in arranging any of the events for the Bahraini visit, city spokeswoman Sina Matthes said. The department only helped identify physical space for the delegation's meetings.

The arrangement does raise some concerns, said Judy Nadler, a senior fellow in government ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

It doesn't matter whether Mullany is getting paid $800 or $8,000, said Nadler, who served two terms as mayor in Santa Clara, Calif. It's about fairness and unseen benefits.

"The money may not be much now, but trust me, if you get a reputation based on one small job, it will turn into something larger," she said. "You're building your resume and making contacts with people that other individuals couldn't ever hope to talk to."

The appearance of a conflict is also just as damaging as an actual legal conflict, Nadler said.

"The public is just so cynical, and there's such a high level of distrust that I think people in public office have to really go beyond what they might normally do to ensure there is openness, honesty and impartiality in all business dealings," she said.

Vetter, however, said that no one had asked him about Mullany's involvement.

"It personally doesn't matter to me," Vetter said. "The whole event is very professionally organized, and no one else has addressed concerns with me."

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Hansel: 'Cars are in our blood' | View Clip
02/13/2011
Press Democrat - Online

Walter Hansel pauses in front of Yosemite Falls. He was said to be one of the earliest visitors to drive into the valley.

Walter Hansel was among the first people to drive an automobile into Yosemite Valley in the early 1900s, and there's a vintage photo by Ansel Adams hanging on the wall at Hansel Ford to prove it.

A century later, his descendents oversee the largest group of car dealers in Sonoma County, a business with $288 million in sales last year.

Walter Hansel, who started out selling bicycles, sold his first automobile, a steam-powered model, in 1899 and two years later opened California's first Cadillac dealership in Stockton.

His son, Walter C. Hansel, came home from World War II and in 1946 obtained a new Ford dealership in Vacaville, the location literally drawn from a hat.

In 1961, Hansel moved to Santa Rosa and bought former Mayor Robert Bishop's Ford agency, located where the Macy's at Santa Rosa Plaza stands today.

“Cars are in our blood,” said Henry Hansel, son of Walter C. Hansel and president of the Hansel Auto Group, with four dealerships in Santa Rosa and three in Petaluma. Hansel Ford, the flagship of the group, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Justin Hansel, one of two group general managers, is Henry's son and the fifth generation in the transportation business.

Justin's great-great-grandfather, Joseph Hansel, started a carriage business in 1851 in Stockton, where it was succeeded by Walter Hansel's auto agency.

Neither of two latter Hansels jumped into the car business right away.

Henry Hansel, 62, attended prep school in San Jose, graduated from Santa Clara University in 1970 and went to work selling huge commercial computers for Memorex in Silicon Valley, well before the desktop PC era.

Hansel said he “learned a lot about competitive selling” in that job, but in 1973 accepted his father's offer to join Hansel Ford, trading the congestion of San Jose for the beauty of Sonoma County.

On sunny days, Hansel said, he enjoys the scenery tooling about in a 1965 blue Mustang convertible that he bought for $750 in 1974. “It's a great car,” he said, with a mere 80,000 miles on it.

In 1979, Hansel said he “began knocking on doors” and built the auto group by acquiring other dealerships. Today, the Hansel Auto Group sells Fords and nine other brands.

Kirk Veale, who sold his VW, Porsche, Audi and BMW dealership to Hansel in 1990, called the deal a “win-win” for both parties.

“I can't say enough how much I respect the way they do business,” said Veale, a Santa Rosa businessman who retained ownership of the dealership property and has rented it to Hansel for two decades.

Justin Hansel, 36, grew up in Santa Rosa, graduated from Cardinal Newman High in 1992 and then Santa Clara University in 1996. Hansel went to work for Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco, not giving the family business much thought.

“I wanted to prove myself,” Justin Hansel said, noting there was no pressure from his father to maintain the family dynasty.

But like his father before him, Justin Hansel returned to Santa Rosa in 2002 and sold cars at every dealership before moving into management.

Despite 50 years in business, Hansel Ford is nowhere close to a longevity record for California Ford dealers.

Tiffany Motor Co. in Hollister, the sixth-oldest Ford agency in the nation, turned 100 last year.

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Letters: After the fall of Mubarak, what next for Egypt? | View Clip
02/13/2011
Guardian.co.uk

The popular call for a fundamental change in Egypt's politics may have many drivers ( Egypt's new dawn , 12 February). One thing that has not prevented the protests has been Egypt's impressive economic growth. Egypt has one of the largest economies in north Africa, yet the benefits have failed to trickle down to ordinary Egyptians, millions of whom spend hours every week queuing for subsidised bread to feed their families. Unemployment is 9% – 90% of the unemployed in the country are young people and university graduates unable to find work. In an age of the knowledge economy this is a double tragedy for these individuals and the nation as a whole. With double-digit consumer price rises in the past few years the poor, the unemployed and the middle classes are finding the going tough.

Oxfam supports the right of the Egyptian people to be heard and we therefore see that it is vital for the future success of the country that the outcome of the crisis ensures security of Egyptians' political rights and that they benefit from the fruits of economic growth, especially the most vulnerable of the society.

Olga Ghazaryan

Regional director, Middle East, Oxfam

• Amid all the comments on the situation in Egypt, there has been one small corner of silence in the UK. Why hasn't Ed Miliband articulated the revulsion of British people at Mubarak and all he stands for? A great chance has been missed by Labour to be seen to be leading a popular cause. Surely the dead hand of Mubarak's pal Tony Blair can't have stifled his voice?

Tim Webb

London

• The attempt by some commentators to analogise recent events in Egypt and Tunisia with Polish Solidarity is misstated. Polish Solidarity of 1980-81 was killed off by the imposition of martial law (I was there in the 80s, meeting with activists and saw the impact). What re-emerged in 1989-91 as Stalinism collapsed was a far weaker organisation unable to withstand the neoliberal regime being imposed globally. So, the Polish working class was defeated not victorious over a 20-year period, and thus it is not such an appealing model, despite the heroism and inspiration the 1980-81 period provided to the entire eastern European democracy movement.

In Egypt and Tunisia the strike wave has emerged in the wake of the attempt to impose neoliberal reforms. Thus, these new unions face directly not just questions of union freedom, but of economic and political structure in their societies. Certainly if they do not move beyond ordinary bread and butter trade unionism, they will once again find themselves under the yoke of global economic forces – but with new bosses who use Facebook and Google instead of torture and repression.

Stephen Diamond

Santa Clara University, California, USA

• The old guard running the Egyptian army and, with the help of the secret police, still ruling the country, have a world power they can turn to for help in remaining in power. They can now play China off against the US and a feeble and unorganised Europe, just as Nasser and Hafez al-Assad did with the Soviet Union.

It is astonishing that among the countless words that have been printed about the developments in Tunisia, Egypt and the Arab world, there has been no informed speculation about what China has been up to during the last three weeks. One thing for certain is that this ubiquitous oil, trade and dollar-hungry nation won't have been idle.

Richard Wilson

Oxford

• The apologists for the decades-long support by US and European governments for the dictatorships in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria argue this support was justified by these governments' suppression of Islamist movements. But this interpretation is contradicted by the west's shifting attitude to Saddam Hussein. The west supported Saddam diplomatically and militarily in his 10-year war against Islamic Iran in the 80s, and in his suppression of Islamists within Iraq. But this did not stop the west overthrowing him in 2003.

The crucial difference between Saddam and the dictators of the Magreb was (and is) that Saddam ran a statist economy, whereas Mubarak et al have run neoliberal economies open to western corporations. We can be sure that the main current concern of western governments, who now speak so eloquently about democracy, will be to ensure that Egypt remains neoliberal and "open for business".

Jamie Gough

Sheffield

• I scanned your reports of Mubarak's departure for the words Saudi Arabia. As Saudi King Abdullah desperately tries – and fails – to shore up his Egyptian ally, is it too much to hope the Riyadh regime's days are also numbered? Or will the west intervene to keep the oil flowing?

Bruce Whitehead

Edinburgh

• Although the removal of despotic power in any country must be applauded, the fact that the west may have lost an ally in this part of the world must be taken into account. Mubarak has been a positive force regarding both the US and Israel, holding strong ties with each, even attacking Iran's nuclear programme. The west now seems rather fickle in drastically switching its support.

Michael Dunn

Newcastle Upon Tyne

• Middle East regime change without the hand of Bush and Blair? Barely credible.

Roger Blow s

London

• Thank you for reminding us that 11 February, when Mubarak resigned, was also the date Thatcher succeeded Heath and Sarah Palin was born. It's a pity you didn't mention it was also the birthday of King Farouk , the last king of Egypt.

Bassem Abdallah

London
Egypt Hosni Mubarak Middle East Protest China Tunisia Ed Miliband Algeria US foreign policy Saddam Hussein
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Spokeo comes under fire for revealing personal information | View Clip
02/12/2011
ABC 7 Morning News at 5 AM - KGO-TV

jackie speier, ACLU, technology, lisa amin gulezian

More: Bio, E-mail, News Team

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, introduced a package of privacy bills on Friday to protect your personal information online. Her legislation comes as the online aggregator Spokeo is creating a firestorm of complaints. It calls itself as a social networking site, collecting and releasing information about you, but the information released isn't what most people want made public.

Spokeo prides itself on not being your grandma's white pages. On the site you just type someone's name and you can find their address, phone number, marital status, siblings, home value, and hobbies. For a fee, you can get their credit information, income, photos, and religion.

"The potential of harm, personal harm, financial harm, to any of us is really severe," said Nicole Ozera from the ACLU.

The ACLU is concerned Spokeo violates people's privacy, but that's not all. Some users filed suit against Spokeo claiming the company violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act by making people's financial data public, but not allowing them to correct inaccuracies. A judge ruled in favor of Spokeo this week.

"One judge said the plaintiffs that were complaining about their practices had no basis to complain because they couldn't show how they'd been hurt by Spokeo," said Eric Goldman.

Goldman is the director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. He offered to search himself on Spokeo. He pointed out that they published an old address of his, they had old information, and that he thought they had nothing valuable on there. And that was why Goldman doesn't consider Spokeo a threat. He also doesn't see anything illegal about it.

"Assuming it's all public information that's already been published somewhere else, it's not illegal to put it in a new context," said Goldman.

But web users ABC7 spoke with disagree.

"Its kind of breaking the privacy issues because people can find out where I live or my family lives," said Duc Lam, a San Jose resident.

ABC7 asked one woman if the information about her was correct and she said it was. She pulled up the information about herself and found they had her gender, age, and marital status. The site also revealed that she lives in an apartment worth $295,000 and that you could pull up a picture of her apartment.

Now a consumer privacy group is trying a different route by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, also claiming Spokeo's information is inaccurate.

If you want to opt out of Spokeo, here is the link: www.spokeo.com/privacy

jackie speier, ACLU, technology, lisa amin gulezian

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Spokeo comes under fire for revealing personal information | View Clip
02/12/2011
ABC Local - Online

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, introduced a package of privacy bills on Friday to protect your personal information online. Her legislation comes as the online aggregator Spokeo is creating a firestorm of complaints. It calls itself as a social networking site, collecting and releasing information about you, but the information released isn't what most people want made public.

Spokeo prides itself on not being your grandma's white pages. On the site you just type someone's name and you can find their address, phone number, marital status, siblings, home value, and hobbies. For a fee, you can get their credit information, income, photos, and religion.

"The potential of harm, personal harm, financial harm, to any of us is really severe," said Nicole Ozera from the ACLU.

The ACLU is concerned Spokeo violates people's privacy, but that's not all. Some users filed suit against Spokeo claiming the company violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act by making people's financial data public, but not allowing them to correct inaccuracies. A judge ruled in favor of Spokeo this week.

"One judge said the plaintiffs that were complaining about their practices had no basis to complain because they couldn't show how they'd been hurt by Spokeo," said Eric Goldman.

Goldman is the director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. He offered to search himself on Spokeo. He pointed out that they published an old address of his, they had old information, and that he thought they had nothing valuable on there. And that was why Goldman doesn't consider Spokeo a threat. He also doesn't see anything illegal about it.

"Assuming it's all public information that's already been published somewhere else, it's not illegal to put it in a new context," said Goldman.

But web users ABC7 spoke with disagree.

"Its kind of breaking the privacy issues because people can find out where I live or my family lives," said Duc Lam, a San Jose resident.

ABC7 asked one woman if the information about her was correct and she said it was. She pulled up the information about herself and found they had her gender, age, and marital status. The site also revealed that she lives in an apartment worth $295,000 and that you could pull up a picture of her apartment.

Now a consumer privacy group is trying a different route by filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, also claiming Spokeo's information is inaccurate.

If you want to opt out of Spokeo, here is the link: www.spokeo.com/privacy

(Copyright ©2011 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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There's Not an App for That? | View Clip
02/12/2011
Catholic Register - Online

Sometimes the media gets two or more kicks at the same can and that clearly is the case with the ‘Confession: A Roman Catholic App' developed for the iPhone and the iPad.

Earlier this week there was a flurry of stories detailinghow the Catholic Church had approved a ‘confession app'. Developed by Patrick Leinen of LittleiApps, the BBC reported that Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend had given his approval to the project.

What everyone seemed to miss was that no one ever actually said that the App replaced confession. That didn't stop people from proclaiming that ‘confession app brings the catholic church into the 21st century' nor confusing non-Catholics in numerous ways as noted by Joe Carterat First Things. Cathleen Falsani of Huffington Post on the other hand surveyed the muddy watersof serious vs comic confession apps (Confession is just one of a dozen apps available that touch on the subject of confession, expiation, and forgiveness) in her essay “iConfess: Apps for Coming Theologically Clean” which raises some intriguing issues about the increasing popularity of shortcuts to wiping the slate clean.

So after a flurry of cute, bizarre and just wrong stories theVatican issued a clarification. Which of course simply led to aflood of storieswith headlines such as “Vatican Says iPhone Apps Won't Forgive Your Sins”. This of course led to a series of ‘gentle chidings' of the Church suggesting that giving people an easy way to confess might be a service, asSholto Byrnes of the New Statesmanargued in his essay “The God App: Vatican Should Rethink its Ban” Note there are a number of misconceptions flooding the headline so don't be surprised that there are a few in the piece itself.

But a number of columnists actually decided to turn the whole story on its head and used the flurry of attention to raise an intriguing point about the age of twitter and the sense of the important. Nigel Farndale of the Daily Telegraphwonders if we have just lost our sense of the importance of certain rituals and ceremonies in his essay “The Confession App Tells Us Exactly Where We're Going Wrong”. And Elizabeth Drescher, a religion writer and scholar at Santa Clara University takes the matter to a whole different and important level when she ponders what effects technology might be having on our sense of the sacred in her essay “Confession Fail: iPhone Controversy Muddies Sacramental Waters”. Both are truly worth checking out and mulling over.

Peter Kavanagh has been a journalist for 25 years. He has written for the , Commonweal and The Tablet.

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The Scroller by Peter Kavanagh | View Clip
02/12/2011
Catholic Register - Online

Peter Kavanagh has been a journalist for 25 years. He has written for the , Commonweal and The Tablet.

Sometimes the media gets two or more kicks at the same can and that clearly is the case with the ‘Confession: A Roman Catholic App' developed for the iPhone and the iPad.

Earlier this week there was a flurry of stories detailinghow the Catholic Church had approved a ‘confession app'. Developed by Patrick Leinen of LittleiApps, the BBC reported that Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend had given his approval to the project.

What everyone seemed to miss was that no one ever actually said that the App replaced confession. That didn't stop people from proclaiming that ‘confession app brings the catholic church into the 21st century' nor confusing non-Catholics in numerous ways as noted by Joe Carterat First Things. Cathleen Falsani of Huffington Post on the other hand surveyed the muddy watersof serious vs comic confession apps (Confession is just one of a dozen apps available that touch on the subject of confession, expiation, and forgiveness) in her essay “iConfess: Apps for Coming Theologically Clean” which raises some intriguing issues about the increasing popularity of shortcuts to wiping the slate clean.

So after a flurry of cute, bizarre and just wrong stories theVatican issued a clarification. Which of course simply led to aflood of storieswith headlines such as “Vatican Says iPhone Apps Won't Forgive Your Sins”. This of course led to a series of ‘gentle chidings' of the Church suggesting that giving people an easy way to confess might be a service, asSholto Byrnes of the New Statesmanargued in his essay “The God App: Vatican Should Rethink its Ban” Note there are a number of misconceptions flooding the headline so don't be surprised that there are a few in the piece itself.

But a number of columnists actually decided to turn the whole story on its head and used the flurry of attention to raise an intriguing point about the age of twitter and the sense of the important. Nigel Farndale of the Daily Telegraphwonders if we have just lost our sense of the importance of certain rituals and ceremonies in his essay “The Confession App Tells Us Exactly Where We're Going Wrong”. And Elizabeth Drescher, a religion writer and scholar at Santa Clara University takes the matter to a whole different and important level when she ponders what effects technology might be having on our sense of the sacred in her essay “Confession Fail: iPhone Controversy Muddies Sacramental Waters”. Both are truly worth checking out and mulling over.

Written by Peter Kavanagh Saturday, 05 February 2011 17:57

It clearly is the little things that preoccupy us.

While Catholics around the world are riveted by events in Egypt, struggle with issues such as the proposed Justice reformsin this country, wrestle with questions of chastity, or a host of other serious issues, the mainstream media is fixated on the question of whether Benedict XVI's organswill be donated on the occasion of his death. Now this is an issue that the Churchhas been clear about since as long ago as 1956 and we have to thank rumours out of Germany for the ‘controversy'. But given that organ donors are such a small proportionof the population it seems odd to pounce on the story of the Pope. This headline from the British Newspaper, The Independent, gives a sense of how anything can be twisted into a slam: “ Pope's Organs are Too Holy to Donate to Mortals says Church”. A cynic might ask how many national leaders, including Britain's Prime Minister, carry organ donor cards. One thing we do know is that the trend worldwide is downand making the issue about the Pope is actually silly.

This weekend events in Egypt continue to evolve and anxiety amongCatholicsand Christians continues toremain high, especially after the appearance of the Muslim Brotherhoodlate this week at demonstrations and the Iranian government put its seal approvalon what it saw as ‘an Islamic Renaissance in the Middle East'. But as and othersare reporting, the issue is clearly not yet about religions with ‘leaders of Egypt's Christian minority increasingly are joining the calls for historic change and reform'. Rumours of the bombingof a Christian Church in the Sinai on Saturday didn't help clarify matters nor calm worries. And the anxiety is not confined to Egypt. Secretary Hilary Clinton's description of region wide unrestas evidence of ‘ a perfect storm' simply hints at the truly complex nature of what is unfolding anda Saturday story from the Catholic News Service featuring the thoughts of Muhammad al-Sammak, secretary general of Lebanon's Christian-Muslim Committee for Dialogue went to the heart of what everyone is contemplating when he noted that "It is true that the situation of Christians in the Middle East is not good". Commonweal Magazine has two fascinating pieces on events this week in Egypt and well worth a read, though as with much that is being written about this rapidly unfolding and confusing situation, be prepared to come away with more questions than answers.

Written by Peter Kavanagh Sunday, 30 January 2011 20:57

As the situation in Egypt intensifies, the worry at the turn of the year that Christians were under assault everywhere in the middle east becomes that much more serious. It doesn't help in the least that Vatican-Egyptian relationsare at a low point. And this week's odd contribution to conspiracy theory thinking about Christian intentions in the Middle East is bound to make things worse.

The story of how legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hershprovoked one of the oddest controversies in some time, and re-animated one of the hoariest conspiracy theories normally found in the pages of a Dan Brownnovel, might actually be an object lesson in how the mainstream media can truly lose its way.

In a speech (you can read the speech here) in Doha, Hersh slammed the Bush administration and the Obama administration for entrusting a military leadership in its wars; in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Special Forces skirmishes in Yemen and in contention with Iran; to a group of officers and advisers who are members of The Knights of Maltaand other ‘dangerous Catholic organizations'.

"Many of them are members of Opus Dei. They do see what they're doing -- and this is not an atypical attitude among some military -- it's a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They're protecting them from the Muslims s in] the 13th century. And this is their function."

What might be even more sad than Hersh's comments has been the reaction to the speech. Foreign Policy Magazine first spottedthe speech and made mock of it at the same time, even going so far as to explore just who the Knights of Maltawere and the role they play in conspiracy thinking. For many this was just evidence that Hersh was on to something which led to some intriguing interplay between on-line pundits, summarized in this piece entitled “Seymour Hersh The Knights of Malta and Me”. Whereas FP magazine saw the comments as evidence of a journalist losing it others took the assertions more straight on as evidenced in this posting to the Huffington Post “Seymour Hersh: Military branch Being Run by Crusaders”.What seemed to matter to no one is whether mere membership in the Knights or Opus Dei was proof of anything let alone a conspiracy of incredible magnitude.

Clearly suggesting that American Forces are on a crusade in the Middle East only adds fuel to the fire of Christain-Muslim antagonism, a fire that grew hotter this month in the square off betweenthe Vatican and Egyptover attacks on Coptics. While the Vatican makes no link between the current unrest and the possible suspension of on-going dialogue, the Vatican is making clear that it hopesit can continue to hold mutually beneficial talks on religious freedom, an issue of vital importance to Benedict.

Given the upheavels in Tunisa, Lebanon and now Egypt and Yemen and the on-going violence in Iraq, this is a story that will continueto preoccupy many.

Written by Peter Kavanagh Sunday, 23 January 2011 23:33

Sometimes events seem to simply conspire to come together and given that Monday is the Annual World Day of Social Communicationsand the Vatican is still scrambling to deal with the fallout of the RTE report of a Letter to the Bishops of Ireland in 1997dealing with the question of what to do and how to deal with the then emerging Sexual Abuse Scandal this would seem to be one of those times. At the same time theApostolic Visitation ordered by the Vatican(See the Catholic Register Report on Archbishop Collins, who plays a key role in the Visitation) seems to be doing significant good in terms of turning a page in the whole tragic affair.

This is the 45th Annual World Day of Social Communicationsand as has been the case in the past the Papal message for the day confronts the issue of truth and media, especially in the digital age. The day chosen for the meditation is thefeast day of Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists, and Benedict XVI has some truly apt thoughts about the role of journalists in bringing to light the truth of the world: “To approach the truth and to take on the task of sharing it requires the "guarantee" of an authenticity of life from those who work in the media, and especially from Catholic journalists; an authenticity of life that is no less required in a digital age.”

Key to the AWDSC message is the question of authenticity and motivation of the journalists and their organizations in the reporting of the news. Given that much of last week's ‘news' about the Church dealt with the revelations concerning the ‘letter' broadcast by RTEas the Apostolic Visitation was underway (some cynics have remarked on the choice of the ‘hook'in the timing of the broadcast given that RTE was in possession of the letter for some time) it is apt to try and link the two. The immediate reactionto the news of the letter was that it was “the smoking gun” that linked the abuse scandal to the Vatican itself. TheNew York Timescertainly took that slant, as did the BBCand other news outlets while the Vatican immediately insistedthat the media was misinterpreting the letter.

In some of the more sober and knowledgeable second day analysis the actual ‘truth' of the matter becomes somewhat clearer but not necessarily more comforting. John Allen Jr of the National Catholic Register takes on the idea that this letter is a ‘smoking gun' and concludes it is not. That's an assessment that Phil Lawler of Catholic Culturesigns off on while noting that the letter does speak to the issue of ‘secrecy' within the Church at the time, something he finds as troubling. David Gibson writing at the Commonweal Blogaccepts Allen's analysis but suggests that smoking gun or not the Vatican is once again engaging in a clumsy communications strategy.

That may be but that clearly doesn't seem to be the case with the Apostolic Visitation going on in Ireland, and given that it is about the present and moving forward maybe this is ultimately the more important story here. The news reportsand statements by victimsmeeting with the Visitation suggest for the most part that this stage of dealing with the Abuse Scandal seems to be going well. As reports Collins has “urged the Irish to be thankful for the work of journalists who brought the scandals of sexual abuse to light. "What does the most persistent journalist who reports priestly evil-doing have in common with St. John Vianney, the holy Curé of Ars, patron of parish priests? They both expect priests to be holy." Archbishop Collins maybe touching the heart of the Social Communications Day message, after all finding some sense of reconciliation maybe the true heart of authentic communications.

Written by Peter Kavanagh Tuesday, 18 January 2011 17:15

The speculation proved true, (watch the videohere or read the Catholic Register storyhere) and the date set.

TheBeatification of John Paul II will take place on May 1stand the celebrations have already begun. It is possible that no one is as overjoyed asSister Marie Simon-Pierre, the French Nun who was miraculously cleared of Parkinson's. Within days of Benedict XVI's announcement, different groups expressed their own excitement and perspectives on the decision; The Pontifical Academy for Lifewas quick off the mark describing the Pope as “a great lover of life and defender” of the unborn.”, The Pontifical Council for the Laitywas as excited and announced that for the up coming World Youth Day in Madrid“the future Blessed Pope John Paul would be one of the official patrons of the gathering.”, which seems particularly apt given that John Paul created World Youth Day, and the John Paul Centerannounced that a church being built in Krakow will feature “A vial containing blood drawn from Pope John Paul II shortly before he died…installed as a relic in a Polish church soon after his beatification this year.”

Not everyone is pleased with the speed at which the former Pope is being Beatified. Cathy Lynn Grossman in USA Todaycanvasses verious opinions within the Church objecting to the decision on a variety of grounds, as doesJohn Allen Jr at the National Catholic Register, whileJimmy Akinat the National Catholic Register and his colleague Pat Archbolddebate whether the speed of this beatification is perhaps too swift. Phil Lawlor of Catholic Cultureis firing back at the critics, Father Raymond J. de Souza of the Catholic Registerhas a nicely argued take on the question of a rush to judgement that is well worth reading. William Oddie at the Catholic Heraldsquares the circle so to speak in an essay enitled “The beatification of Pope John Paul has surprised no one: but it is a great day for the Church: By the time of his death, his greatness had become universally perceived”.

It is still early days in the planning process of the ceremony itself but some details are trickling out. This report fromEWTN newshas the latest details.

More Articles...

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Daniel Morel reacts to World Press Photo wins | View Clip
02/12/2011
British Journal of Photography

Image © Daniel Morel/Photomorel, courtesy of the photographer.

Freelance photographer Daniel Morel, who has found himself in the middle of a legal fight after his images of last year's Haiti earthquake were distributed by Agence France Presse without authorisation, won two World Press Photo awards

Author: Olivier Laurent

12 Feb 2011 Tags: Afp v. morelWorld press photoPhotojournalismGetty imagesAgence france-presse...

Daniel Morel has received First Prize in the Spot News Stories category, as well as Second Prize in the Spot News Singles for his iconic images of the Haiti earthquake - the same images that appeared, more than one year ago, on Agence France Presse's feed without authorisation and are now at the centre of an intense legal fight with Agence France Presse, and other parties.

Speaking to BJP, Morel says: "My thoughts go to Haiti and all the victims of the earthquake and their families. It is a great honor to have received this recognition from my peers."

He adds: "Our role is important as independent photojournalist to tell the story as it is. I was there to document accurately this tremendous tragedy for future generations."

Aidan Sullivan, vice president of photo assignments for and a member of this year's World Press Photo jury, also praised the images. "They are very fine images," he told BJP on Friday 11 February. "Legally, I couldn't comment more - I judged the images put in front of me, not how they got there."

Morel's World Press Photo's recognition comes a year after the photographer started a legal fight against Agence France Presse, and other parties such as CBS, CNN and ABC, for using, without authorisation his Haiti images.

What follows is an account of this case, and its most recent developments, as published in BJP's February issue (available now from your nearest newsstand).

Morel free to fight on in copyright case, by Olivier Laurent.

On 12 January 2010, after a powerful earthquake wrecked havoc on Haiti, freelance photographer Daniel Morel spent most of the day photographing. That night, a friend helped him create a Twitter account and he posted 13 of the images he had taken.

Within hours, the "iconic images", as they are now referred to, had appeared on Agence France Presse's feed, without Morel's permission, and went on to be used on the front pages of hundreds of newspapers around the world as a result. But when Morel wrote to AFP's clients asking for the images to be removed, the wire agency hit the courts, accusing Morel of engaging in "an antagonistic assertion of rights".

Morel countersued, accusing AFP of distributing and selling his images without prior permission, as well as alleging that AFP had violated the Copyright Act of 1976, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Lanham Act. Morel also brought those claims against , which has a worldwide distribution deal with AFP, CBS, ABC and CNN. AFP requested that Morel's claims be dismissed but, in a court order issued on 23 December 2010, Judge William H Pauley of the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York refused, in most part, to do so.

He found that the photographer could go ahead with the claims based on the Copyright Act and the Millennium Copyright Act, significantly strengthening his case. However, Morel won't be able to pursue his claim that AFP and its co-defendants violated the Lanham Act, which regulates trademarks in the US.

Victory for Twitter users

At the centre of this case are Morel's 13 "iconic images", which he uploaded on Twitpic and Twitter on 12 January under the handle PhotoMorel. Morel's action led to criticism from personalities such as Visa Pour l'Image's director Jean-François Leroy, who argued that by uploading his images on the internet, he was exposing himself to theft. Judge Pauley has found otherwise. In his court order, he writes that "by posting photos on the internet, Morel wanted to break the news of the earthquake, retain his copyrights, and receive credit and compensation for licensing his photos".

In fact, several news organisations also saw it this way. As Morel pointed out in his counter-claim, and as Judge Pauley writes in his recent court order, "numerous American and foreign news outlets emailed Morel and posted on Twitpic asking to purchase his photos for publication".

And, as BJP has previously reported in April 2010, "within an hour of Morel's posting, Vincent Amalvy, an AFP photo editor, placed a link on his Twitter page to Morel's photographs". In that timeframe, one Twitter user, Lisandro Suero in the Dominican Republic, copied the photographs and posted them on his own Twitpic page, claiming ownership of them. As Judge Pauley points out, "Suero is not a photographer and was not in Haiti during the earthquake", while Morel is a known freelance photographer who used to work with AFP and is now licensed by Corbis.

AFP's photo editor Vincent Amalvy continued to send messages to Morel asking if he had pictures of the earthquake but Morel was unreachable, so AFP downloaded the 13 images from Suero's Twitpic page, distributing them with the credit line "AFP/Getty/Lisandro Suero".

Morel argues that, in their rush to obtain credit for the photographs, AFP and Getty "wilfully or recklessly failed to follow standard journalistic practices or use due diligence to verify Suero's authorship and the photographs' authenticity". In fact, he claims, "AFP and Getty trusted the images' authenticity because they knew Suero ‘stole' them from Morel, a well-known resident Haitian photographer".

AFP issued a wire instructing that the photographer credit should be changed from Suero to Morel a few hours later, but Judge Pauley writes that "Getty continued to sell licences to charities, relief organisations, and news outlets that variously credited AFP, Suero or Morel as the photographer" [See remains silent].

On 13 January, Morel sent his photos to Corbis, which posted them for licensing that afternoon. Corbis emailed Getty the following day, asserting exclusive rights to Morel's photos, and prompting the AFP to issue the "kill" instruction - for eight of the 13 images. But, as Judge Pauley writes, "AFP and Getty failed to observe or enforce the credit change instruction or the ‘kill', continued to license and sell Morel's photographs, and ‘derived a direct financial benefit' as a result".

AFP asserts that it had an "express licence to use Morel's images or, alternatively, they were third-party beneficiaries of a licence agreement between Morel and Twitter", but Judge Pauley disagrees with this interpretation in his court order. He writes that "AFP and the Third-Party Defendants do not meet their burden to establish that they had a licence to use Morel's photographs", or were even "third‑party beneficiaries" of the services' terms and conditions.

As a result, Judge Pauley denied AFP and Getty's request to dismiss the "contributory infringement claims against them on the sole ground that there is no primary infringement by reason of licence". He writes that: "Morel's allegations that AFP and Getty knew the images were his, disregarded his rights, and licensed his images to third parties are sufficient to plead knowledge and inducement of infringement."

Metadata protected

Judge Pauley has also ruled that AFP and Getty could be sued for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in relation to Copyright Management Information (CMI), as Morel alleges. Section 1202 of the Act defines CMI as any information conveyed in connection with a work in digital form - such as title, name of the author of the work or any other identifying information.

In this case, Morel claims that an AFP photo editor viewed his photos before asking about identical photos on Suero's Twitpic page, and that "when Morel failed to respond to the editor's email, AFP downloaded the pictures from Suero." Morel also alleges that AFP knew the photos were his, because "he is a well-known photographer and AFP had no reason to believe that Suero took the photos. However, AFP credited Suero without inquiry", as Judge Pauley summarises.

As to Getty, Morel alleges that even after AFP issued a wire to change the photographer credit from Suero to Morel, the stock agency continued to license photos crediting Suero. Moreover, writes Judge Pauley: "Getty sought to obtain credit for the photographs even though it knew of Morel's reputation and had not investigated Suero's authorship." According to the judge, "these allegations sufficiently plead knowledge and intent".

The judge has also quashed AFP's request to dismiss Morel's claim that it "intentionally" removed or altered Copyright Management Information (CMI). Judge Pawley rejected the "movants' argument that CMI must be removed from the photograph itself to state a claim for removal or alteration of CMI", as the Act defines CMI as information "conveyed in connection with copies" of a work. This was the case in this particular situation, as the names "Morel" and "by photomorel" appeared next to the images. In effect, Judge Pauley argues that copyright information doesn't have to be embedded in the image to be valid.

With this ruling, Judge Pauley hands all photographers an extra legal weapon against copyright infringers and, as Eric Goldman, an Associate Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, points out, it's not the first time that a court has found that "failing to capture and republish metadata outside the file itself could violate 1202".

This could impact all US photographers and international photographers that have registered their images with the US Copyright Office, because if they find that an organisation with a legal presence in the US has used their images without authorisation and credit, they will be able to argue violation of section 1202 of the Act, and use Judge Pauley's comments to support their claims. For example The Daily Mail, which is currently being sued for $1.5m after using images captured by Mavrix Photo without authorisation, could be found to have violated section 1202, as it failed to credit the images to Mavrix Photo in some instances.

If Morel's case goes to a full trial, it could become jurisprudence. But if not - and AFP is hoping to settle out of court before it reaches that stage - it will still raise awareness of the fact that images found online aren't free to use, even if they're on Twitter.

For more on the case, visit www.bjp-online.com/tag/afp-v-morel.

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Preseason injuries mounting for D.C. United | View Clip
02/12/2011
New England Cable News - Online

D.C. United Page | D.C. United Videos

Washington, D.C. (February 10, 2010) - D.C. United announced Thursday that goalkeeper Steve Cronin has suffered a broken left wrist in training and will be sidelined for several weeks during his recovery.

The injury came during a club training session on Tuesday, February 8 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and will not require surgery. Additionally, midfielder Junior Carreiro sprained his left ankle in yesterday's friendly match against Florida International University. The 19-year-old Brazilian will undergo an MRI upon return to Washington.

Cronin is currently in his second stint with D.C. United, coming to the Black-and-Red from the Portland Timbers on December 17, 2010 in a deal that sent fellow goalkeeper Troy Perkins to Oregon. Cronin started 28 matches for Portland in the USSF Division-2 Pro League in 2010, anchoring a backline that ranked second in the league in goals allowed. The California native ranked among the league leaders in shutouts (12), minutes played (2,509), and third in goals against average (0.79). In 2009 Cronin was named USL First Division Goalkeeper of the Year with the Timbers, leading the club to a record 24-match unbeaten streak during the regular season.

During his time in Portland, Cronin was loaned to D.C. United at the end of the 2009 campaign, making his first appearance on October 17 in a shutout victory over Columbus. Cronin started two regular season matches for United, posting a 1-0-1 record, while appearing in a CONCACAF Champions League match against Mexican side Toluca on October 20. Prior to 2009, Cronin spent four seasons with the Los Angeles Galaxy, earning his first career victory on April 29, 2006 in a 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake. His best year in Los Angeles came in 2008, when Cronin started 22 matches before injuring his hand on August 30 against New England.

Cronin was selected tenth overall by San Jose in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft after a three-season college career with Santa Clara University. After leading the Broncos to West Coast Conference titles in 2001 and 2003, Cronin did not see any first team action in his first and only MLS season with the Earthquakes.

The younger brother of former United winger Fred, Carreiro officially joined D.C.'s first team on September 15, 2010 after an extended trial that spanned the majority of the season. The young Brazilian midfielder featured for United as a guest player in international friendlies with El Salvador on June 19 and Portsmouth on July 24, and he made three appearances as a substitute in MLS competition late in the year, accumulating 43 minutes of League action. Prior to joining the Black-and-Red, Carreiro spent one season with Náutico of the Brazilian Série A before the club was relegated to the second division in 2009.

Tags: mls, united, goalie, dc, dc united, steve cronin, broken wrist

Preseason injuries mounting for D.C. United

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ERIC GOLDMAN IS DIRECTOR OF THE HI-TECH LAW INSTITUTE OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
02/12/2011
ABC 7 Morning News at 5 AM - KGO-TV

WELCOME BACK. CONGRESSWOMAN JACKIE SPEIER HAS INTRODUCED A PACKAGE OF PRIVACY BILLS TO PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ONLINE. HER LEGISLATION COMES AS THE ONLINE WEBSITE SPOKEIO IS CREATING A FIRE STORM OF COMPLAINTS. IT CALLS ITSELF A SOCIAL NET WORKING SITE RELEASING INFORMATION ABOUT YOU. BUT AS ABC 7 LISA AMIN GULEZIAN EXPLAINS, THE INFORMATION RELEASED ISN'T WHAT MOST PEOPLE WANT MADE PUBLIC. SPOKE IO PRIDES ITSELF ON NOT BEING YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S WHITE PAGES. YOU CAN FIND THEIR ADDRESS, HOME VALUE AND HOBBIES. FOR A FEE YOU CAN GET THEIR CREDIT INFORMATION, INCOME, PHOTOS AND RELIGION. THE POTENTIAL OF HARM, PERSONAL HARM, FINANCIAL HARM TO ANY OF US IS REALLY SEVERE. THE ACLU IS CONCERNED SPOKEIO VIOLATES PEOPLE'S PRIVACY. THAT'S NOT ALL, SOME USERS FILED SUIT AGAINST THEM CLAIMING THE COMPANY VIOLATED A FEDERAL FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT BY MAKING PEOPLE'S FINANCIAL DATA PUBLIC BUT NOT ALLOWING THEM TO CORRECT INACCURACIES. A JUDGE RULED IN FAVOR OF SPOKEIO THIS WEEK. ONE JUDGE SAID THAT THE PLAINTIFFS THAT WERE COMPLAINING ABOUT THEIR PRACTICES HAD NO BASIS TO COMPLAIN BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T SHOW HOW THEY HAD BEEN HURT BY THEM. ERIC GOLDMAN IS DIRECTOR OF THE HI-TECH LAW INSTITUTE OF SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. HE OFFERED TO SEARCH HIMSELF ON SPOKE IO. THIS IS MY OLD ADDRESS, OLD INFORMATION. THIS IS WHY GOLDMAN DOESN'T CONSIDER SPOKEIO A THREAT. HE ALSO DOESN'T SEE ANYTHING ILLEGAL ABOUT IT. ASOUL BEING THAT IT'S ALL PUBLIC INFORMATION BEING PUBLISHED SOMEWHERE ELSE, IT'S NOT ILLEGAL TO PUT IT IN A NEW CONTEXT. BUT WEB USERS WE SPOKE WITH DISAGREE. BREAKING THE PRIVACY ISSUE. LIKE PEOPLE FIND OUT WHERE I LIVE OR MY FAMILY LIVES. IS IT TRUE THAT YOU'RE A FAMILY IN YOUR MID, 50s OR SINGLE IN AN APARTMENT, THE APARTMENT'S WORTH $295,000? YES. IT LOOKS LIKE THAT. YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE MY APARTMENT. NOW A CONSUMER PRIVACY GROUP IS TRYING A DIFFERENT ROUTE. IT FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ALSO CLAIMING SPOKEIO'S INFORMATION IS INACCURATE. LISA AMIN GULEZIAN, ABC 7 NEWS. YOU CAN OPT OUT OF SPOKEIO BUT IT'S A TRICKY PROCESS. WE POSTED A LINK THAT WILL LET YOU OPT OUT ON abc7news. com UNDER "SEE IT ON TV. " I HAVE TO ADMIT I DID IT RIGHT AWAY AFTER I FOUND OUT ABOUT THAT. SO LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR WEATHER THOUGH. THAT'S BEAUTIFUL, GREAT NEWS TODAY, RIGHT? SQUEEZING IN ONE MORE DRY WEEKEND. WHICH DAY WILL BE THE WARMER DAY? I'LL GIVE YOU A HINT: TODAY! CLEAR SKY ALREADY BEGINNING ACROSS THE BAY AREA. THE VIEW FROM MOUNT TAM. HERE'S WHERE THE NUMBERS ARE CHILLIEST IN OUR VALLEYS OF THE NORTH BAY AND PANNING AROUND TO SHOW YOU WHAT A BEAUTIFUL START TO THE DAY. OFFICIAL SUNRISE 7:03, SETTING AT 5:45. WE WILL PERHAPS SEE MORE RECORD WARMTH TODAY BEFORE INCREASING CLOUDS AND A BIG CHANGE IN OUR WEATHER PATTERN TOMORROW. GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY IT, ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY. TEMPERATURES ARE PRETTY DARN COLD AROUND THE DELTA. 35 THERE. BUT LOOK AT LIVERMORE, 34 DEGREES. 35 IN SANTA ROSA WITH UPPER 30s ON THE PENINSULA. 39 REDWOOD CITY. LOW 40s FOR MOUNTAIN VIEW. CONCORD WAKING UP TO 38 DEGREES. GOOD MORNING, SAN FRANCISCO. 49 FOR YOU. 24 HOURS AGO WE WERE MUCH COOLER. IN FACT, A LITTLE BIT OF A FROST YESTERDAY, A HARD FROST THE DAY BEFORE AND TODAY REALLY NOT THAT BAD BECAUSE NUMBERS WILL BEGIN TO RISE 8:00, 9:00. WE SHOULD BE OUT OF THOSE 30s. SO SUNSHINE AND MILD TODAY. CLOUDY AND COOLER TOMORROW. TEMPERATURES DOWN AS MUCH AS 5 TO 7 DEGREES FOR YOUR SUNDAY WILL STAY DRY BUT IF YOU HEAD BACK TO WORK, MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE LOOKING WET AND THAT'S GOING TO LAST PRETTY MUCH ALL WEEK LONG.

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What does a processor do? | View Clip
02/11/2011
Green Sheet - Online, The

ecently, someone asked me, " " Misunderstanding about this subject abounds, even among ISOs who have been in the payments industry for a while. I hope this article will clarify the role of processors in our realm.

Some time ago, I was involved in building an acquiring business for a small bank that ultimately became a top 25 acquirer. The chief executive officer had made a decision early on that the bank would be an acquirer, which was an adventurous decision at the time.

(This was before the card companies, which were organized as card associations at the time, decided they did not want small banks as principal members, either on the issuing or acquiring side, and forced them to use a service bureau or consolidator.)

The lure of processing

In the course of my calling efforts, I visited with someone who later became an ISO for us, creating and then selling two of the most successful ISOs for upward of $100 million (yes, really). I will never forget his reply when I commented about his business model: "Yes, but I want to be a processor; that's where the real money is."

I also remember the first time I saw the monthly statement from our processor. Coming from a large bank, cash management environment, I was familiar with how an account analysis works, since I had to explain it to large enterprise clients.

However, I was unprepared for our processor's statement. It was probably 50 pages of undecipherable, coded entries. Our CEO's most memorable comment at the time was that the good thing about our processor was that it treated all its "clients, big or small, equally badly."

What is it that is so mysterious about being a processor, and why, in an industry as large as the acquiring industry, are there only a handful of players? What are the implications for ISOs?

Two types of processors

First, there are two types of processors: front-end, and back-end. The front-end processor handles the capture, authorization and settlement with the acquiring banks; has connectivity to all the card companies; and routes transactions to the appropriate network for authorization.

When a merchant submits a batch of payments, it goes to the front-end processor, which routes it to the back-end processor.

A back-end processor accepts the settlement from the front-end processor and then moves the money from the issuing bank to the acquiring bank.

When it gets settlement batches, it groups them by bank identification number range and submits them to the issuing banks within a scheduled time frame.

Some companies are both front-end and back-end processors; some large acquiring banks can be processors too.

The front-end process works as follows:

The consumer either swipes a card at the POS or submits it online to a website.

The merchant requests authorization by sending a file with the credit card information and purchase amount to the acquirer.

The acquirer sends the request to the issuing bank.

The issuing bank checks the status of the card and the amount open to buy; then it issues an approval or a decline.

The acquirer sends the authorization code to the merchant, and the consumer signs a receipt (real or virtual).

Settlement is a subsequent process consisting of the following five steps:

The merchant sends a request for settlement to the acquirer (also known as the merchant bank processor).

The acquirer submits the request to the credit card network for processing, clearing, and settlement, and routes this to the issuing bank.

The issuer declines or approves the transaction and passes it back to the credit card network, which gives the results to the acquirer and posts the debit to the consumer's account.

The issuing bank sends the funds to the credit card network, which passes the funds to the acquirer (usually minus some fees). Typically, the transaction funds are deposited into the merchant's settlement account within two to four business days.

At a predetermined statement date, the issuing bank sends a statement to the consumer.

The role of gateways

A payment gateway may be in the loop, too. This is typically the case for web-based transactions. A processor cannot always connect to every payment application a merchant wants to use.

But a gateway might do that, interfacing to different POS systems, Internet providers, and other types of input besides traditional POS devices such as call centers and MO/TO and mobile devices.

The gateway is the front-end connection to the card companies, but gateways can do more than bridge transactions. For example, they can provide detailed, customized reporting; fraud control; reconciliation tools; customer support; scalability; and compliance.

Authorize.Net (owned by Visa Inc. subsidiary CyberSource Corp.) explained the role of gateways in its marketing materials as follows: "Connecting a website to the payment processing networks is exceptionally difficult and typically beyond the expertise and technical resources of most online merchants. Instead, merchants can connect to the gateway, which provides the complex infrastructure and security necessary to ensure fast, reliable and secure transmission of transaction data, using the Internet instead of a telephone line."

Obviously, we are transitioning to an environment where consumers will increasingly pay with cell phones or online via the Internet (another card-not-present scenario). This is where processors can differ dramatically from a pricing standpoint. When the card brands increase their fees (historically in April and October), some processors take advantage of this to raise their fees, too.

An array of fees

Processor fees can include security, membership, access and compliance fees. I have a list of 28 fees you might find in a processor statement (contact me if you want to see it).

Sometimes a statement will not show these fees until the month after a given transaction occurred.

Robert O. Carr, CEO of Heartland Payment Systems Inc., mentioned several other questionable processor practices:

Charging inflated rates for lower-cost transactions

Listing "total card fees" that don't represent the real statement total

Quoting low, introductory rates that most transactions will not qualify for

Assessing "bill-backs" and surcharges without any justification

Randomly charging miscellaneous fees, such as "authorization" and "batch-out" fees

Charging inappropriately for using the Address Verification Service

Since most merchants never read their statements (a bold proclamation, but I stand behind it), they never see these charges, nor do they understand the true cost of what they are buying. I have asked hundreds of merchants what they are paying for credit card processing, and the answer is invariably a figure like 1.5 percent. It's just like when I buy a used motor from the wrecking yard: I ask how many miles it has, and the answer is always, "Eighty thousand." You can bet on it.

Financial and security barriers

One of the most important things a processor can provide is data security. A lot of data flows through a large enterprise, particularly one with multiple consumer touch points. Everyone talks about end-to-end encryption, but some of what occurs is just point-to-point encryption. True end-to-end encryption starts when the card is swiped and continues through the terminal, the wires and the host processing network until the processor hands it off to the card networks.

Until recently, the card brands didn't want to receive encrypted files, but they are now able to handle them. Encryption also applies when loading applications into terminals. Up to now you could usually add any application you wanted, but inherent weaknesses in the process tend to be in the software and can only be remedied by using the right hardware, such as tamper resistant security modules or hardware security modules. This is something to discuss with your processor.

Fewer than a dozen processors handle almost all of the credit card transactions in the United States. Starting a processor takes years, not months, and the programming and data processing requirements are well beyond the range of most ISOs.

Another consideration: significant capital is required to convince the issuing and acquiring banks and the card companies that you can be responsible not only for delivering files timely and accurately, but also securely. The cost of not doing so can be in the tens of millions of dollars.

The ISO alternative

At this point, the barriers to entering the processing field are formidable. My advice is to focus on building a better ISO instead, and educate yourself on the distinctions among the existing processors.

We are about to see some of the biggest changes to the payments system in recent years. Each processor will respond differently and, as an ISO, you will need to know the details - for the sake of your merchants and for yourself, too.

Brandes Elitch, Director of Partner Acquisition for CrossCheck Inc., has been a cash management practitioner for several Fortune 500 companies, sold cash management services for major banks and served as a consultant to bankcard acquirers. A Certified Cash Manager and Accredited ACH Professional, Brandes has a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University. He can be reached at brandese@cross-check.com.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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San Francisco city workers flout moonlighting rules | View Clip
02/11/2011
San Francisco Examiner - Online

Police Officer Alvin Louie's LinkedIn profile online says he's the president of Hana Zen Yakitori restaurant, but his wife says he is not involved with any of its operations. (Getty Images file photo)

San Francisco city workers are required to disclose when they moonlight, but the departments whose employees are most likely to work elsewhere have no record of these potential conflicts of interest.

Since 2009, about 100 city employees have formally notified their superiors about other jobs. But employees of the Fire and Police departments have not done so once, according to city records.

“We don't really track secondary employment,” Fire Department Lt. Mindy Talmadge said. “It's the individual's responsibility to report secondary employment or to request permission for secondary employment, and we're not aware of any forms that have been submitted.”

Civil-service rules define failure to comply with these regulations as “insubordination, subject to disciplinary action.” But while it is an open secret that many public safety employees work second jobs, there is no evidence of anyone doing anything about it.

For instance, firefighter James Bustamante earned $117,000 with $21,000 in premium pay last fiscal year, according to city records. Yet he is a defense attorney as well.

Bustamante has taken on high-profile legal cases, including defending the head of the Hells Angels Frisco chapter on narcotics and marijuana charges and clearing a man of conspiracy in the 1971 killing of police Sgt. John Young.

Meanwhile, the LinkedIn profile of police Officer Alvin Louie identifies him as president of Hana Zen Yakitori restaurant. Yet his wife, Angie, said she runs the restaurant and Alvin does not play any part in its operations.

Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said she has been told the rules do not apply to workers who are self-employed or own their own business. But the rules do not say that, and they clearly state they apply to compensated duties performed “for another employer or appointing officer.”

In 2009, the Department of Human Resources tried to change this interpretation but ran into opposition. The department is expected to try again soon.

In the meantime, once an HR director receives a moonlighting form, they must find that an employee has “economic need” or another special reason to approve the request. Also, moonlighting is impermissible where “substantial unemployment exists,” and employees are not allowed to work more than 20 hours a week or three hours a day.

The forms that have been filed by city employees disclose second jobs as diverse as preparing taxes or coaching girls' volleyball, and the range of workers includes building inspectors and sheriff's deputies.

Just because a city worker takes a second job does not mean there is a conflict of interest, said Judy Nadler, a former Santa Clara mayor and government ethics expert at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

But Nadler said a firefighter or police officer could use their stature in the community to gain an unfair advantage over competitors.

“I think that if you're a public employee, a best practice would be that you certainly alert your supervisor and you make sure that you check with the city attorney or the ethics commission that there is no conflict,” Nadler said.

For instance, many of Bustamante's cases involve the seizure of drugs and money. Money seized in drug raids goes directly into The City's coffers, which goes to pay his salary as a firefighter. Bustamante did not return calls for comment.

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Leon Panetta | PERSON | View Clip
02/11/2011
RoadRunner

Leon Edward Panetta (born June 28, 1938, in Monterey, California) is an American Democratic politician, lawyer, and professor. He served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993. He is the founder and director of the Panetta Institute, serves as Distinguished Scholar to Chancellor Charles B. Reed of the California State University System and is a professor of public policy at Santa Clara University. On January 5, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Panetta for the post of Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Is Google's copying complaint fair or hypocritical? | View Clip
02/11/2011
Australian PC World

Analysts are split on whether Google will be helped or harmed by accusing Microsoft of copying its search results

When involved in a spat over allegations of unauthorized copying or misappropriation of content and ideas, Google -- fairly or not -- usually plays the villain, accused of parasitically overstepping boundaries to profit from someone else's work.

It's been accused of that many times informally. At times, it has faced copyright lawsuits over services like its Books search engine, Google News site and YouTube video sharing site.

But on Tuesday, Google's role was reversed. It irately charged Microsoft with sneakily capturing the top Google results for various queries and grafting them into the Bing search engine. It lobbed its complaint in an article on the Search Engine Land blog and continued it during an onstage panel at a search event.

While the merits of Google's accusation are up for debate -- Microsoft denies the charge -- the fact that Google chose to complain in such a loud and agitated manner has become fertile ground for analysis and comment by industry observers.

Opinions range from those who view Google's actions as hypocritical to others who say the company did the right thing by airing its grievance.

Between the two extremes is plenty of speculation. For example, some wonder if the incident reflects a new, more reactive attitude toward slights emanating from Larry Page, the Google co-founder who will become CEO in April and is considered more volatile and less diplomatic than outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt.

"Google's complaint is the height of hypocrisy. The company's entire business model is built on the use of other people's content usually without bothering to seek permission," said John Simpson, from Consumer Watchdog's Inside Google research team.

Google's allegations are an attempt to make Microsoft look bad for doing what every search provider does constantly: analyze competitors' search engines, he said.

"Google's effort to 'trap' Microsoft was a stupid waste of energy that would have been better spent figuring out ways to give consumers true options to protect their online privacy," Simpson said via e-mail.

In a blog post, Roughly Drafted Magazine publisher Daniel Eran Dilger sounded a similar note. "Google copies every original idea it can find, like a massive information sponge, sucking up business models and innovative creations and forming its own duplicates, often with little success," he wrote.

"Google is the world's largest information thief, steamrolling partners, content creators and competitors alike under its concept of the wheels of progress, justifying its dealings as being a free remix and expression of ideas. That's all fine and good if you don't complain about other people also taking the information you publicly offer without a license and then remixing it themselves," he added.

Others have a harder time establishing a direct parallel between the times Google has been accused of copying and Tuesday's incident.

"Although there are parallels, I think this situation is a bit different. In past instances -- YouTube, book search, news headlines -- Google was not copying from a competitor in order to beat that competitor," said Gartner analyst Ray Valdes via e-mail.

Eric Goldman, an associate law professor at Santa Clara University, said it's noteworthy that Google apparently has no plans to sue Microsoft over this. Google likely realizes that in business, it's fair game for companies to copy competitors, as long as what's being copied isn't legally protected under copyright, trademark, patent or other laws, he said.

However, according to Goldman, Google may have set the stage for end-user lawsuits against Microsoft alleging privacy violations. Google said it believes Microsoft is capturing Google user queries inappropriately via Internet Explorer and the Bing toolbar. Microsoft also denies this charge, saying users allow it to capture this "clickthrough" data.

Ultimately, Goldman sees the spat as the latest in a long string of public opinion battles between the two companies. "They look for every opportunity to tweak each other," he said in a phone interview.

Whether coincidental or not, the controversy erupted on the same day of a Microsoft-sponsored search event via an exclusive article on the Search Engine Land blog, which got briefed by Google on its allegations. Google search software engineer Matt Cutts brought up the issue during a panel in which he participated in the event, triggering a verbal scuffle with fellow panelist and Microsoft Vice President Harry Shum.

Some point out that even in the search arena specifically, Google has been itself accused of copying features from competitors, including Bing and Ask.com.

"Google has certainly borrowed from others. I wouldn't say it has stolen outright but it has heavily borrowed at times," said industry analyst Greg Sterling, from Sterling Market Intelligence, in a phone interview.

In this it is not alone, especially among search engines, where "there's widespread watching of competitors and of duplicating things that are seen to be best practices and desirable features," Sterling said.

In addition, in instances such as defending its wholesale digitizing and indexing of library books without always asking for the permission of copyright owners, Google has also relied heavily on the fair use principle, which allows for the unauthorized use of copyright material under certain circumstances and limitations.

"Google has benefitted from a liberal interpretation of fair use," Sterling said. "There is definitely some irony here in Google pointing out that someone else is copying them."

Google didn't respond to a request for comment for this story.

IDC analyst Hadley Reynolds is one of those who questions if the incident is a sign of a new Google attitude in the marketplace with Page at the helm.

"I wonder if this came directly from Larry Page, and thus signals a kind of taking off the gloves and setting up what will be a more aggressively competitive stance [regarding] Microsoft/Yahoo and other tech competitors in the future," Reynolds said via e-mail.

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China Rate Hikes: What They Really Mean for Gold | View Clip
02/11/2011
Seeking Alpha

by: Hyperinflation February 11, 2011 | about: FXI / UDN / UUP

Submit an

I have repeatedly come across the same headlines in the media regarding “China's rate hikes are bearish for gold.” There are several reasons why this couldn't be further from the truth, two of which I consider to be very obvious and able to be deduced via basic logic, yet overlooked by the mainstream.

The first, which I won't focus on in this article, is the fact that the real rate of interest is still negative. The second is much more obvious, yet the continuous banter from the masses indicates they have a complete lack of deductive reasoning ability. So the story goes that China's rate hikes are bearish for gold, as they will prevent inflation. But let's rationalize these rate hikes and their effects and revisit this statement.

How does a central bank hike rates? It sells bonds (treasuries) to the public, thereby contracting the supply of money (a.k.a. open market operations). But because the yuan still retains a rather hard peg to the USD, central banks are then limited in their ability to hike rates to any meaningful degree. Why is this? Selling a large quantity of bonds on the open market would contract the money supply, thus causing the purchasing power of the yuan to rise if the U.S. did not do the same. In other words, this would cause the yuan to rise against the USD, weakening the peg.

What are the effects of a rising yuan? In our case, because we have abandoned our manufacturing base and have a massive trade deficit -- coupled with the fact we import a significant quantity of lower order goods from China (both input products as well as finished goods) -- our input cost would necessarily have to rise. I know that everywhere I look, I see a tag saying “Made in China” -- but maybe I'm just delusional.

Given the massive increase in the real money supply (that which is immediately available for use in exchange), we have already created an inordinate amount of inflation which has in part been masked by artificially low input costs, as the Chinese have taken inflationary pressures off our hands by accepting a reduction in the purchasing power of the yuan.

So should the yuan begin to de-peg to a meaningful degree, we would see a sharp spike in input costs which would be passed along to the consumer. This would then propel inflation expectations to rise, causing a rise in the demand for an inflation hedge (precious metals). Below is the same argument using purchasing power parity

Purchasing Power Parity and China

1. Equation of Exchange à MV=PQ

a. P is the price level

b. M is the money Supply

c. V is the velocity of money

d. Q is Output

Or àMV = (Ppresent*Qpresent)+[(fe^it)*Qfuture] = PQ

2. Purchasing Power Parity à

a. S is the exchange Ratio

China is currently hiking interest rates. This entails a decrease in M£ and will cause the exchange ratio (S) to increase, but a peg entails holding S constant. One of the other variables must change to offset the decrease in the money. For instance, the peg will be maintained if an increase in Chinese velocity (or fall in U.S. velocity) offsets the decrease in M£.

3. Money Supply à M = C + D

4. Demand Deposits à D = (1/r)R

5. Combining Equation 2 and 3, Money Supply à C + (1/r)R

6. Combining Equation 2 and 5 à

[Click to enlarge]

Where: S = Exchange Rate, M = Money Supply, V = Velocity of Money, Y = National Income, C = Currency in Circulation, D = Demand Deposits, r = Reserve Ratio, R = Reserves.

In conclusion, these negligable BOC rate hikes are of little to no significance.

Once again, some asset strategies:

Physical Gold and Silver, or ETFs such as PSLV or PHYS, whose shares are redeemable for the physical bullion or SLV and GLD.

Royalty Companies: A leveraged play in the equity arena with greatly reduced mining risk: Royal Gold (RGLD), Silver Wheaton (SLW), Franco-Nevada (FNNVF.PK) and Sandstorm Resources (SNDXF.PK).

Mining Companies: El-Dorado Gold (EGO), Yamana Gold (AUY), Randgold (GOLD), Alexco (AXU) and Agnico-Eagle (AEM), among many others.

Disclosure: I am long RGLD, FNNVF.PK, SLW, SNDXF.PK, EGO, AXU.

About the author: Hyperinflation

Long time student of Austrian Economics Worked at Morgan Stanley as a Financial Analyst B.A of Finance - Santa Clara University Masters of Accounting - Bond University Co-Founder of Marchese & Fuller LLC

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ERIC GOLDMAN IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE HIGH-TECH LAW INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY.
02/11/2011
ABC 7 News at 11 PM - KGO-TV

CONGRESSWOMAN JACKIE SPEAR INTRODUCED A PACKAGE OF PRIVACY BILLS TO PROTECT HER INFORMATION ON-LINE. HER LEGISLATION COMES AS THE ON-LINE AGGREGATE HAS A FIRESTORM OF COMPLAINTS. THEY CALL THEMSELVES A SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE, COLLECTING AND RELEASING INFORMATION ABOUT YOU. AS LISA AMIN EXPLAINS, THE INFORMATION RELEASED ISN'T WHAT MOST PEOPLE WANT MADE PUBLIC. THEY PRIDE THEMSELVES ON NOT BEING YOUR GRANDMOTHER'S WHITE PAGES. HERE YOU TYPE SOMEONE'S NAME AND YOU CAN FIND THE ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, MARITAL STATUS, HOME VALUE AND HOBBIES FOR A FEE YOU CAN GET THEIR CREDIT INFORMATION, INCOME, PHOTOS AND OTHER INFORMATION. PERM PERSONAL HARM, FINANCIAL HARM IS SEVERE. THEY ARE CONCERNED THAT THEY VIOLATE PEOPLE'S PRIVACY. THAT'S NOT ALL. SOME USERS FILED SUIT AGAINST THEM CLAIMING THE COMPANY VIOLATED THE FEDERAL FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT BY MAKING PEOPLE'S FINANCIAL DATA PUBLIC. BUT NOT ALLOWING THEM TO CORRECT INACCURACIES. A JUDGE RULED IN FAVOR OF SPOKIO THIS WEEK. ONE JUDGE SAID THE PLAINTIFF THAT WERE COMPLAINING HAD NO BASIS TO COMPLAIN BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T SHOW HOW THEY WERE HURT. ERIC GOLDMAN IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE HIGH-TECH LAW INSTITUTE AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY. HE OFFERED THE SEARCH HIMSELF ON SPOKE OO. THIS IS MY OLD ADDRESS. THERE IS NOTHING AVAILABLE THERE. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY GOLDMAN DOESN'T CONSIDER S POKEO A THREAT AND DOESN'T SEE ANYTHING ILLEGAL ABOUT IT. ASSUMING IT IS ALL PUBLIC INFORMATION THAT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED SOMEWHERE ELSE, IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO PUT IT IN A NEW CONTEXT. BUT WEB USERS WE SPOKE WITH DISAGREE. IT IS BREAKING THE PRIVACY ISSUE. PEOPLE CAN FIND OUT WHERE I LIVE OR MY FAMILY LIVES. IS IT TRUE THAT YOU ARE A FEMALE AND YOU LIVE IN AN APARTMENT AND IT IS WORTH $295,000? YES. WE CAN ACTUALLY SEE MY APARTMENT. NOW A CONSUMER PRIVACY GROUP IS TRYING A DIFFERENT ROUTE. THEY FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, ALSO CLAIMING SPOKEO'S INFORMATION IS INACCURATE. LISA AMIN GULEZIAN, ABC NEWS. YOU CAN OPT OUT OF SPOKEO, BUT IT IS A COMPLICATED PROCESS. WE POSTED THE LINK AT AB ABC7NEWS. COM. YOU CAN FIND IT UNDER SEE IT ON TV.

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WE SPOKE WITH A PROFESSOR AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND AN EXPERT ON EGYPT.
02/11/2011
NBC Bay Area News at 11 PM Weekend - KNTV-TV

FOR THE LAST THREE WEEKS AND ESPECIALLY TONIGHT, SCHOLARS ARE WEIGHING IN ON THESE EXTRAORDINARY DEVELOPMENTS IN EGYPT. WE SPOKE WITH A PROFESSOR AT SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY AND AN EXPERT ON EGYPT. HE MARVELS AT HOW FAST THIS ALL HAPPENED AND SAYS NO ONE IS SURE WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT. THE QUESTION OF WILL THE MILITARY ALLOW FOR A PEACEFUL AND FREE AND FAIR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS TO ENSUE? MOST SUGGEST YES, IT WILL. BUT STILL NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE. AND SO IT'S NOT CLEAR AS TO WHEN THIS TRANSITION WILL CONTINUE UNTIL FINALLY WE HAVE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. HE ALSO SAYS THE UNITED STATES HAS SOME CATCHING UP TO DO POLITICALLY SPEAKING SINCE THE US BACKED MUBARAK AND HIS REGIME FOR SEVERAL DECADES. STAY WITH NBC NEWS AND NBC BAY AREA FOR CONTINUING COVERAGE OF THE REVOLUTION IN EGYPT AND AFTERMATH IN THE DAYS TO COME. IN OUR WEBSITE, NBCBAYAREA. COM, EGYPT AND HOME VIDEO FROM HERE IN THE BAY AREA AS SAN FRANCISCO CELEBRATES WITH THE EGYPTIANS.

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Why numbers sometimes lie | View Clip
02/10/2011
Daily Record - Online, The

At the end of 2010, the results of international standardized tests through the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released. Chinese students came out on top, and 2010 was the first year that they participated in the global testing program. But what does this seemingly impressive feat actually mean about the Chinese education system?

An article by NPR notes that Shanghai's success may only have provoked deeper realizations that their educational system — which stresses memorization and largely ignores critical thinking — is in need of reform. Going back to Professor Chua's incendiary book regarding Eastern versus Western parenting styles, I'd like to share a relevant excerpt that touches on these very concerns:

[I]f done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something — whether it's math, piano, pitching, or ballet — he or she gets praise, admiration, and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.

The “practice, practice, practice” is exactly what is required for high school students in China to succeed on the final high school exam that allows them admission into college. This exam, the gaokao, simply requires the memorization of subject matter. Parents, principals, and teachers can't afford to really experiment with a kind of learning that encourages independent thinking, and perhaps, learning from mistakes. A principal for a Shanghai school states, “Why don't Chinese students dare to think? Because we insist on telling them everything. We're not getting our kids to go and find things out for themselves.”

A virtuous circle indeed.

While the Chinese students and teachers praise the “west” for the implementation of problem-solving and creative thinking in its schools, this rote repetition is not only emphasized in Asian education systems. The U.S. still bases a large part of college admissions on ACT and SAT scores. Law schools still make admission decisions through LSAT scores. Aside from getting the highest score possible on a standardized test, where do the skills required to succeed on these exams play into our everyday success in college, graduate programs, or our future careers?

Almost every applicant to law school knows — a great G.P.A. is going to get you nowhere unless you have an equally great score on the LSAT. Does the LSAT prepare you for what you need to do in law school? Heck no.

Almost every law graduate who took the bar exam knows — an A for effort in the grueling two-day exam is not going to get you licensed to practice law. But is passing the bar exam a worthy indicator of how successful you will be working in the actual profession? I really doubt it. So why do we still adhere to this seemingly arbitrary scale of numbers?

Last month, an ABA panel proposed changes to the ABA's law school accreditation standards, which includes dropping the requirement for law school applicants to take the LSAT.

“A substantial portion of the committee believes that provision should be repealed,” said committee Chairman Donald Polden, who is the dean at Santa Clara University School of Law. The committee noted that about 10 law schools already have waivers from the ABA allowing them to admit some students who haven't taken the LSAT.

The committee focused on the proper role of the ABA in the regulation of law school admissions, as well as the more important question: Is taking a standardized test the only way to determine if someone should be able to go to law school?

In a recent article, Karen Sloan, a writer for Law.com, asked if the LSAT was “the best way to gauge who will succeed in law school, or is it a barrier to diversity in the legal profession and a far too influential component of the rankings game?” After all, the strongest argument in favor of continuing the 40-year reign of LSAT administration is that it acts as the best predictor of success during the first year of law school.

(Translation: Judging you based on a number is a heck of a lot easier than actually trying to find out more about you in a well-rounded manner.)

Well, the LSAC claims that LSAT scores predict first-year law school performance more successfully than solely considering one's undergraduate GPA, but then admits that considering both your LSAT score and GPA is more accurate. The LSAC encourages all law schools to review every aspect of an applicant, but everyone knows that the top-tier schools place significant (if not all) weight on your LSAT score.

In fact, a 2009 study by two sociologists from the University of Iowa and Northwestern University concluded that the rankings play a significant part in admissions decisions and have prompted some schools to put more money toward merit-based scholarships to attract students with high LSAT scores — often at the expense of need-based scholarships. This seems to create a large disparity between law schools in the top tier, and those in the remaining lower ranks.

Gail Ellis, dean of admissions at Suffolk University Law School, describes the obsession with LSAT scores and rankings as “demoralizing for schools that take a broader view of applicants and admit students who will make good lawyers but don't necessarily score highly on the test. There is so much pressure. Everybody wants to be in the top tier. The top 25 schools don't care, but it's the rest of us who are feeling it. It's really frustrating to be in the last tier because you give students a chance and look at assessments beyond the LSAT.”

Having graduated from a lower-ranked law school, I wholeheartedly agree with Dean Ellis' assessment. While eliminating LSAT scores may make the admissions process more time-consuming, mechanisms used in lieu of numbers – such as an admissions essay (which tests writing ability and analytical reasoning) and in-person interviews – prove to be useful tools in evaluating applicants. In my opinion, an applicant's ability to write effectively and thoughtfully, and how they reflect their personality in a face-to-face interview, are much more important factors to consider than an LSAT score (or even one's GPA).

John Nussbaumer, an associate dean at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, is a frequent LSAT critic, and has been studying the effects of the LSAT on minorities since 2005. For a forthcoming law review article, he and fellow Cooley professor and ABA Standards Review Committee member Christopher Johnson Jr. analyzed 10 years of law school application data.

The results reflected that blacks had a “shutout” rate of 60 percent – the majority of applicants received no admission offer. Hispanics had a shutout rate of 45 percent; whites had a shutout rate of 31 percent. These percentages closely correlated with the average LSAT score for each group (whites having the highest average LSAT at 153 and blacks the second lowest, 142).

So, what does this mean?  Top-ranked law schools like the University of Michigan and University of Illinois have started to admit small groups of students who have not taken the LSAT. But, given that these alternative admissions procedures have only begun in the last few years, I guess it is too early to tell whether my opinion will hold true.

However, I have confidence that evidence released in the next five to 10 years will vindicate the mantra I have held all along — screw the numbers!

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Silicon Valley companies face minority hiring complaints | View Clip
02/10/2011
KGO-TV

mountain view, silicon valley, google, business, david louie

More: Bio, E-mail, Twitter, News Team

MOUNTAIN VEIW, Calif. (KGO) -- Silicon Valley high tech firms are on the hot seat over accusations that they're not hiring enough minorities. Three non-profit groups targeted Google for a protest because it wouldn't provide a breakdown of its workforce by race or ethnicity.

"The only way we can solve the problem is finding out what is your employment, what is your diversity? Then we can figure out are you really doing the right job? Are you really serving the community?" said Faith Bautista from the National Asian American Coalition.

Twelve out of 34 high tech companies did respond, including Cisco, eBay and Intel. The numbers indicate African-Americans are only 3 percent of workers, while making up 7 percent of the state's population. Latinos made up 4 percent of the workforce, yet they are 38 percent of the state population. Companies reported half of their work force was Asian-American, while making up 20 percent of the Bay Area population.

Professor James Lai, Ph.D., director of ethnic studies at Santa Clara University, says it appears foreign workers on H1B visas were aggregated with Asian-Americans.

"These are high-tech workers typically from China and India into the Asian American U.S. born sample, and that is in some ways misleading when we're focusing, this report is focusing on the hiring of U.S. workers, domestic workers, that becomes a problem," said Lai.

The findings bolster efforts by Silicon Valley leaders to train and recruit more minority workers. Shellye Archambeau is CEO of Metricstream in Palo Alto. We interviewed her via Skype from Washington, D.C.

"We are leaders in so many ways, but it's just disappointing that when it comes to harnessing the knowledge, the skills, the creativity that comes from a broad base of people that we're not leaders when it comes to building diverse teams," said Archambeau.

Google Global Communications representative Jordan Newman responded, saying that "...a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures means better products for our users. That's why we have an inclusive work environment and constantly promote diversity at Google."

All three groups behind the study are based outside the Bay Area.

mountain view, silicon valley, google, business, david louie

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Silicon Valley companies face minority hiring complaints | View Clip
02/10/2011
ABC Local - Online

MOUNTAIN VEIW, Calif. (KGO) -- Silicon Valley high tech firms are on the hot seat over accusations that they're not hiring enough minorities. Three non-profit groups targeted Google for a protest because it wouldn't provide a breakdown of its workforce by race or ethnicity.

"The only way we can solve the problem is finding out what is your employment, what is your diversity? Then we can figure out are you really doing the right job? Are you really serving the community?" said Faith Bautista from the National Asian American Coalition.

Twelve out of 34 high tech companies did respond, including Cisco, eBay and Intel. The numbers indicate African-Americans are only 3 percent of workers, while making up 7 percent of the state's population. Latinos made up 4 percent of the workforce, yet they are 38 percent of the state population. Companies reported half of their work force was Asian-American, while making up 20 percent of the Bay Area population.

Professor James Lai, Ph.D., director of ethnic studies at Santa Clara University, says it appears foreign workers on H1B visas were aggregated with Asian-Americans.

"These are high-tech workers typically from China and India into the Asian American U.S. born sample, and that is in some ways misleading when we're focusing, this report is focusing on the hiring of U.S. workers, domestic workers, that becomes a problem," said Lai.

The findings bolster efforts by Silicon Valley leaders to train and recruit more minority workers. Shellye Archambeau is CEO of Metricstream in Palo Alto. We interviewed her via Skype from Washington, D.C.

"We are leaders in so many ways, but it's just disappointing that when it comes to harnessing the knowledge, the skills, the creativity that comes from a broad base of people that we're not leaders when it comes to building diverse teams," said Archambeau.

Google Global Communications representative Jordan Newman responded, saying that "...a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures means better products for our users. That's why we have an inclusive work environment and constantly promote diversity at Google."

All three groups behind the study are based outside the Bay Area.

(Copyright ©2011 KGO-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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San Jose Events | View Clip
02/10/2011
Examiner.com

You're a writer. You're looking for advice on the best ways to write and get paid for it. You're interested in freelance. You want to read examples of freelance writing. Well, you're in the right place! Writing can be a difficult profession or hobby. Many can only claim it to be a hobby when they really want it to be their career. This column will explore these issues. Some articles will be solely looking at Freelance Writing itself - advice, avenues, career options, tax information, etc. Some articles will be examples of my own freelance writing - coverage on events, news, journalism, politics, etc.

If you have any areas that you'd like to get more information on, feel free to send me an email at writtebyangela@yahoo.com.

Angela Schiavone graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and an English minor. Her published work can be found at...

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Salinas-area students weigh options for college | View Clip
02/10/2011
Salinas Californian - Online, The

Officials urge students to apply for college, financial aid as deadlines approach

From top, Everett Alvarez High School seniors Crystian Reyes, Fernando Chavez, Yuriksi Andrade and Alfonso Ayon apply for college online Wednesday. / Scott MacDonald

Public universities and colleges operate in whole or in part on state or federal funds. Here are some examples of public school systems and colleges, according to the respective university system ®websites:

With a total of 10 campuses, the UCs have a more-selective admissions process, accepting the top one-eighth of high school graduates. Admission rates are about 50 percent, and the enrollment average is 25,000 students per campus. Most UCs are in the quarter system and have more research-based campuses.

The largest university system in the U.S., it has ®23 campuses and a less-selective admissions process than the UCs. Most CSUs are on the semester system. Enrollment per campus varies but can go as high as 35,000 students per campus.

These local, two-year schools offer the cheapest route to a higher education. At community colleges, students can earn associate's degrees and transfer to a four-year universities. Here is a sampling of local community colleges: Hartnell Community College in Salinas, Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey and Gavilan Community College in Gilroy.

These schools are funded mostly on large endowments and do not rely on government funds. Private schools usually have smaller campuses and smaller class sizes. Here are some examples of private universities: Stanford, Duke, Georgetown, Notre Dame de Namur, Saint Mary's College, Santa Clara University, University of Southern California, Loyola Marymount, Pomona College and Holy Names University. To learn more about independent universities and colleges in California, visit www.aiccu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=95&Itemid=43.

These eight East Coast colleges are known for their academic prestige and history. These include Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania and Yale. Website: www.go4ivy.com/ivy.asp.

To fill out a college application, students should be prepared with the following: transcripts, test scores (SAT Reasoning Test and two SAT subject tests), annual income for 2009-10, Social Security Number, student identification card number, credit card and personal essay.

Everett Alvarez High School senior Joel Munoz gets help applying for college Wednesday from counselor Diana Basurto. / Scott MacDonald

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline is March 2; officials recommend students file it as soon as possible.

Financial aid technicians at Hartnell College assist all high school seniors and transfer students, regardless of the schools to which they decide to apply, with any FAFSA application questions and corrections. Workshop dates: Nov. 15, 2:30 — 3:30 p.m.; Nov.17, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Nov. 22, 2:30-3:30 p.m.; Nov. 29, 2:30-3:30 p.m.; Dec. 1, 3:30-4:30 pm. The financial aid office is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Contact: 755-6806.

> Nov. 15: Deadline for spring 2011 applications to California State University campuses

> Nov. 30: Deadline for fall 2011 applications to State University campuses.

To apply online to any of the 23 CSU campuses, visit www.csumentor.edu/.

> Nov. 30: Deadline for fall 2011 applications for all UC campuses.

The UC application fee is $60 per campus, and fee waivers are available for those who qualify. For questions about the application process call 800-523-2048 Monday-Friday, 1-6 p.m. To apply to any of the 10 UC campuses visit www.universityofcalifornia.edu/®admissions/how-to-apply/apply-online/index.html.

> Nov. 19: SAT late registration deadline for SAT Reasoning Test and SAT subject tests.

> Dec. 4: Last day for freshman fall 2011 applicants to take these tests.

The cost for registration is $71 for the SAT Reasoning Test and $21 per subject test; fee waivers are available. Website: http://sat.collegeboard.com/register.

With application deadlines for California's public universities approaching at the end of the month, school officials are urging graduating high school seniors and others to apply as soon as possible.

The deadline for both California State University and University of California campuses is Nov. 30. Most private colleges and universities have later deadlines, with community colleges allowing enrollment right up to the start of the 2011 fall semester.

But with a hike in tuition costs at CSU campuses approved earlier this week and an anticipated jump in fees at UC campuses, officials say students applying to college for fall 2011 should learn about their options — and sooner rather than later.

California State University campuses — all 23 of them — are set to have a 15.5 percent jump in tuition next fall, after CSU officials approved the increase earlier in the week as a way to offset state budget shortfalls. An undergraduate student will pay $654 more, on average, for an annual cost of $4,884 in 2011-2012.

Scott Faust, spokesman for California State University, Monterey Bay, said about one-third of CSUMB students are completely covered by financial aid. That group of students will continue to receive full tuition coverage, even after the increase.

"Certainly CSUMB, and CSU as a whole, recognizes that the cost of education is a challenge for students," Faust said.

The new tuition hikes will raise about an additional $175 million annually for the CSU system. And a third of that revenue is planned to be set aside for financial aid.

"That money will support additional students, advising faculty, other student services and increased courses where needed," Faust said.

In addition, he said, there will be an effort to seek money through legislation to "buy out" the 10 percent increase.

"There is a possibility the state will cover that needed increase so that students won't have to pay for it," Faust said.

Public universities boost cost and aid

Meanwhile, the University of California system is also in the process of approving an 8 percent jump in its tuition to offset its budget deficit. Students would pay $822 more per year under a proposal by UC President Mark Yudof. Tuition costs would increase to $11,124 a year. Adding other student fees, the annual total cost totals $12,150.

The proposed fee increases would generate about $180 million in annual revenue for the UC system. And nearly $64 million would be set aside for financial aid.

Moreover, UC officials say the possible expansion in financial aid and an increase in Cal Grant awards will provide enough funding to cover the fee increases of 55 percent of UC's 181,000 undergraduates.

But for second-year University of California, Santa Cruz undergrad Wendy Thach, the increase in tuition next year means more money out of her parents' pockets. Thach's financial aid package includes the Cal Grant and loans.

"The tuition increase will definitely affect me," the 19-year-old business management economics major said. "There is more pressure on me to finish school earlier."

But Thach, an Oakland native, said she has had a good experience at UCSC, so far.

"If classes are full, students who want to add usually get in," she said. "My friend at San Jose State University has had trouble getting into classes. Like most CSU schools, San Jose State has cut classes offered."

Thach said her advice to incoming freshmen is to apply for scholarships.

"Even though it's a drag [to fill out scholarship applications], it's free money."

Admission officials at UC Santa Cruz said students should start their applications as soon as possible. Required application materials include transcripts from high schools and in some cases community colleges, the completion of the system's "A-G requirements": SAT scores and two SAT subject test results, as well as a personal essay — all of which must arrive at the admissions office of the applicant's chosen campus by Nov. 30.

FAFSA application difficult, important

Jim Burns, spokesman for UC Santa Cruz, like representatives of other universities and colleges, urged students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

"Students who are interested in the quality education that the university represents, even with questions about what their financial aid packages will amount to, should apply," Burns said. "Students will be surprised as to the amount of support the university can provide for their education."

Nathan McGriff, financial aid technician at Hartnell College in Salinas, said high school and transfer students, regardless of what schools they apply for, can attend any of the FAFSA workshops offered at the community college. Earlier this week, McGriff assisted a line of about 10 students with FAFSA questions at the campus' financial aid office.

"The [FAFSA] application is the same for all students regardless what schools they chose to apply to," McGriff said. "All students have to do is add the school codes of their choice in the application."

He said most of the high school students he has helped have never seen tax questions, such as those asked in the FAFSA application.

"If you are going to a community college, fill out the application as soon as possible," McGriff said. "We are in November, and a lot of these students haven't received their money this semester."

He said the reasons behind the backlog include late application filing, an increase in enrollment and a short-handed staff.

Community colleges: an education bargain

Community college is an option for students who are not quite ready for a four-year college, prefer to stay closer to home or are interested in the cheapest source of higher education. After taking the required transferrable units, students earn an associate's degree and can transfer to a four-year school to obtain a bachelor's degree.

Nineteen-year-old Nathan Velez, a third-year student at Hartnell, said high school students should be careful to choose the right classes, with transferrable units.

"It's good to know what your major is early on," said Velez, of Salinas. "You can only transfer a certain amount of units."

Besides being a full-time student, Velez also works full time. But he said he plans to get his associate's degree this spring and is now looking into a couple of CSU campuses and out-of-state colleges as possible transfer schools.

Stephanie Blancas, a second-year student at Hartnell, said she decided to attend Hartnell to save money and stay closer to home.

The 18-year-old is now weighing her options to transfer to a four-year university.

"I was looking into San Francisco State University and the UC campuses," Blancas said. "There is a big difference in tuition between the two systems. I don't know if I will have enough financial aid or financial assistance from my parents to go to a UC."

Private schools offer financial aid to some

While the deadline for public schools is approaching, students have an additional two weeks or a month to apply to private colleges or universities. Although private schools are more costly — with $30,000 to $50,000 annual tuition costs — admission advisers say there is financial aid available for students who qualify.

"Some students are intimidated by the big price tag," said Lorenzo Gamboa, associate director of undergraduate admissions at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara. "But as long as the student merits financial aid, Santa Clara, and any private university, can become more affordable."

Private schools fund their own scholarships through large endowments and do not rely on the federal government for money. However, private schools, like public schools, can make financial aid offers to students that include government dollars if the student qualifies.

Gamboa said about 80 percent of the students at Santa Clara have some sort of financial aid including scholarships, grants and loans.

"Private schools generally place an emphasis on the admissions application to determine whether a student receives a scholarship or grant," he said.

In addition, Gamboa said, parents and students should be careful about what loans they decide to apply for. Private bank loans usually have a higher interest rate when compared to federal government educational loans. Government loans come in two types: subsidized and unsubsidized. While both have lower interest rates than a private loan, Gamboa said, a subsidized loan is more favorable.

"With a subsidized loan, the federal government pays the interest rate while the student attends school," he said. "And with an unsubsidized loan, the student is paying the interest while attending school."

For private schools, Gamboa said, students are usually only required to take the SAT Reasoning Test. Public schools require two additional SAT subject tests.

Advisers: Pick college by following heart

Although the price tag of a college or university often determines what schools students will apply to, most officials and students agree that it comes down to what schools a student sees him or herself at.

"[Students should] apply to where their heart wants them to go," Gamboa said. "I encourage all students to visit schools so they have access to a real-life setting."

Moreover, college officials agree that California's two university systems and community colleges remain relatively affordable when compared to other schools across the country.

"The biggest concern we have is that people will see that fees are proposed to increase, and then they are discouraged to apply," said UCSC spokesman Burns.

Walter Rodriguez, a second-year student at Hartnell, said he has his heart set on a UC.

"I'm currently working on my personal statement," said Rodriguez, 19. "Regardless of the tuition increase, UC campuses have credibility."

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Emerging Leadership at COTR | View Clip
02/10/2011
Golden Star

Laurie Dalzell started her Emerging Leadership presentation at the Rockwater with a short video of a talk by Ben Zander, author, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and well-known public speaker on leadership.

This is what he had to say:

“I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people. Once I realized that I wanted to know if I was doing that. Do you know how you find out? You look at the eyes of the players; and if their eyes are shining you know they're doing it right. And if the eyes are not shining, you get to ask the question: who am I being that my players' eyes are not shining?”

It is Dalzell's goal to have the participants in this upcoming course complete the 4 week program with shining eyes.

“Anyone can be a leader,” said Dalzell. “Whether you're picking up garbage on the street or helping out at your child's school, it's all leadership. Leadership can happen anywhere and anytime.”

Dalzell has recently completed her Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership. She has been teaching, advising and coaching in the professional context for over 15 years.

Her new course, Emerging Leadership, will take place from February 15th to March 12th on Monday and Thursday evenings at the College of the Rockies. The course will identify where to find leaders in our organizations and communities, where leadership comes from within ourselves and where various roles of leaders fit in organizational, community and personal life.

“Because leadership development is first and foremost self-development, we will look inward to bring out and strengthen our own leadership qualities,” said Dalzell.

Next, she explained, students will analyze personality and conflict resolution styles in the context of interpersonal communication and employee relations. The course will cover subjects like time management skills, communication styles — which include written, verbal and non-verbal — teamwork and team building, hiring, training and motivating employees.

Dalzell also explained that people look for a few key things in leaders: honesty, forward-looking, inspiration and competence.

The course will use the Leadership Challenge book by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, which works off five tenants of leadership.

“What we have discovered, and rediscovered, is that leadership is not the private reserve of a few charismatic men and women,” writes Kouzes, chairman emeritus of the Tom Peters Company, and Posner, dean of the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, in the book. “People make extraordinary things happen by liberating the leader within everyone.”

Dalzell finished her presentation by telling the group what she believed to be the core of leadership.

“Leadership is about relationships, about credibility, and about what you do.”

The course is $395 for chamber members and $495 for non-chamber members for the eight sessions. Funding may be available. Please contact the College of the Rockies Golden Campus for more information.

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Press Release: PYO Gallery LA and Estrada Fine Art to Offer Art Appreciation Classes Beginning in February | View Clip
02/10/2011
American Consumer News

Los Angeles, CA, February 10, 2011 –(PR.com)– PYO Gallery LA & Estrada Fine Art Collaborate on Discovering Art Lecture Series.

PYO Gallery LA, an international, cutting-edge, contemporary art gallery and Estrada Fine Art, a Los Angeles-based business dealing in private art sales are collaborating on an exciting new lecture series entitled Discovering Art. The series will be presented at PYO Gallery LA, 1100 S Hope Street #105, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

This art through education lecture series is designed to train the curious eye how to understand and appreciate fine art. The exciting, informative program will provide participants with the tools they need to feel comfortable in the world of art. Students will develop an expertise and confidence that will enable them to talk about art, view art and begin to develop the necessary skills for collecting and investing in art.

Lecture I – Intro to Art will begin with information on art institutions and an overview of the functions of museums, galleries, auction house, and art fairs. Participants will learn the visual elements of art including line, space, light and color. In addition, the many different mediums of fine art will be explored.

Lecture II – Intro to Art History. In this course, we will discuss examples of ancient art through the Baroque period, the modern world including 18th, 19th and early 20th century art as well as explore contemporary art.

Lecture III – The Contemporary Art Scene & Collectorship. In addition to investigating the contemporary art scene, this lecture will examine the understanding of market values, how to develop an aesthetic judgment and why art lovers and investment-minded people collect art. The lectures will also present the vocabulary of artistic terms that can be utilized while discussing and assessing art.

One Day Seminar: Condensed Version of Lecture I, II & III. This condensed version of the three lectures is designed for those who have minimal time to spend discovering art. This course does not contain all of the information taught in Lectures I, II and III.

For more information and to register, go to www.pyoartconsulting.com.

Class Details:

When: Lecture I – Intro to Art

Saturday, Feb. 12, 11A – 12:30P

$30

Lecture II – Intro to Art History

Saturday, Feb. 19, 11A – 12:30P

$30

Lecture III – The Contemporary Art Scene & Collectorship

Saturday, Feb. 26, 11A – 12:30P

$30

One Day Seminar – Condensed Version of Lecture I, II, III

Saturday, March 12, 2 – 4P

$48

Where: PYO Gallery LA

1100 S Hope Street #105

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Lecturers:

Heidi Chang of PYO Gallery LA

Heidi Chang, owner of PYO Gallery LA and VP of PYO Gallery Corp. studied art and art history at UCLA. She began her career in the curatorial department of a museum in 1998. She has joined the PYO Gallery Corp. in 2002. Since the start of her career in the PYO Gallery Corp, she has brought numerous world class artists' exhibitions to the Asian art community and vice versa. Her latest projects included the placement and installation of a 98 foot outdoor sculpture in Korea as well as in the Beijing Olympic Park in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She launched PYO Gallery Beijing in 2006, PYO Gallery South and PYO Gallery LA in 2008. She was chosen as one of the top 100 most powerful people in the art community, in Art in Culture Magazine in 2008 and is featured in People of Downtown in DTLAX Magazine in 2010. She is currently a member of the Fine Art Dealers Association, Fellows of Contemporary Art and Bruin Professionals.

Geneen Estrada of Estrada Fine Art

The founder and owner of Estrada Fine Art, Geneen Estrada, studied painting and art history at Santa Clara University and California State University, Sacramento, where she obtained her BA in painting. After living in San Francisco for a few years, in 1979 Estrada was compelled to relocate to the art capital of the world, New York City. She soon made a name for herself among her contemporaries, and in the 1980s, Estrada's works were included in selected exhibitions. She began working at NBC in 1987 but continued to paint and exhibit during her 18 years in the corporate world of entertainment. As the Director of International Marketing, she traveled extensively internationally while conducting business. As the millennium approached, Geneen moved back to California to pursue her dream of bringing art into people's lives. Inspired by her love of the arts and artists, she opened Estrada Fine Art in 2005. Estrada Fine Art deals in private art sales and consulting as well as having occasional art exhibits in different locations in LA. She has written articles on art for the American Society of Interior Designer's LA Design as well as being interviewed by local media including internet radio and the L.A. Daily News.

Media Contact: Geneen Estrada

323-839-7496

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Americans Are Delusional and Lack Willpower When It Comes to Spending | View Clip
02/10/2011
Bank Systems & Technology

A Chase survey finds that when people think they're in control of their spending or have stuck to a budget, they're often wrong.

By Penny Crosman More from this author

This may come as no surprise, but according to recent research Chase has conducted, American consumers are delusional about their ability to stick to a budget and lack the willpower to spend less. Chase surveyed about 1,000 consumers recently in support of its Blueprint program, which its cardholders (of the Slate, Freedom, Sapphire and Ink cards) can sign up for to help them budget and spend more responsibly, by creating plans for paying down large purchases (e.g. paying for a set of branches within two years) that Chase enforces with its monthly statements.

The results of the survey, which was conducted before and after the December 2010 holidays, found that the 92% of those who set or planned to set a holiday shopping budget were confident they would stick to it. In January,