[North Jersey] Richard "Buzzy" Dressel -- a prominent and influential North Jersey labor leader who served on the boards of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and Bergen Community College -- was jugged You have the right to remain silent... Thursday on charges of conspiring to steer more than $350,000 in union funds to his wife. "Here ya go, babe!"
"$350,000 in union funds! It's yer birthdy!"
"Why, honey! Youse shouldn'ta!"
Dressel, 63, of Montvale, the business manager and principal officer of Local 164 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was arrested along with John M. DeBouter, 55, of Oakland, the local's president, after a two-year investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor.
An eight-count indictment charged the two officials with conspiring to embezzle funds from the Paramus-based local, which represents about 2,900 electrical workers in Bergen, Hudson and Essex counties, and its Joint Apprentice Training Fund, for the benefit of Kathleen Libonati, Dressel's second wife, and, indirectly, for Dressel himself.
Libonati, who married Dressel in June 2010, was named as a co-conspirator but was not charged in the indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Newark on Oct. 24 and unsealed after both men were arrested at their homes early Thursday.
Libonati, who married Dressel in June 2010, was named as a co-conspirator but was not charged in the indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury in Newark on Oct. 24 and unsealed after both men were arrested
I think that's Dressel and DeBouter, not Dressel and Libonati.
[An Nahar] Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi will not attend the enthronement of the new Coptic pope, a man said to be open to dialogue with Islam but opposed to a religious state, the bishop organizing the ceremony said on Friday.
Who attended last time round?
Instead, Morsi will "send a representative" to Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral for Sunday's enthronement of Bishop Tawadros, Bishop Baula was quoted by state news agency MENA as saying, without saying why the president would not attend.
Bishop Morcos, another senior holy man, said Morsi had been formally invited to attend, as had the members of his cabinet.
Tawadros, 60, was chosen on November 4 to succeed Pope Shenuda II, who died in March after four decades on the patriarchal throne.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Some 113 rebels died in festivities on Thursday between the M23 rebel group and Democratic Republic of the Congo ...formerly the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Zaire, and who knows what else, not to be confused with the Brazzaville Congo or Republic of Congo, which is much smaller and much more (for Africa) stable. DRC gave the world Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Mobutu, followed by years of tedious civil war. Its principle industry seems to be the production of corpses. With a population of about 74 million it has lots of raw material... troops, the regional governor said, as violence flared days after the UN and US imposed sanctions on the group's leader.
The fighting early Thursday near the eastern city of Goma came a day after the UN said gangs in the region slaughtered over 200 people including scores of children between April and September.
Julien Paluku, governor of the resource-rich North Kivu province whose capital is Goma, added that "a few" members of the DR Congo government forces (FARDC) were maimed in the festivities, along with the 113 rebels killed, up sharply from a previous toll.
Government front man Lambert Mende had said earlier that "51 bodies (of rebels) wearing Rwandan army uniforms have been collected".
TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda dissolved the lower house of Parliament yesterday, paving the way for elections. Elections are set for Dec. 16. If Noda's center-left party loses, the economically sputtering country will get its seventh prime minister in six and a half years.
The opposition Liberal Democratic Party, which led Japan for most of the post-World War II era, is in the best position to take over. The timing of the election likely pre-empts moves by more conservative challengers, including former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, to build electoral support.
Campaigning is set to begin Dec. 4, but leaders were already switching into campaign mode.
"What's at stake in the upcoming elections is whether Japan's future is going to move forward or backward," Noda declared to fellow leaders of the Democratic Party of Japan. "It is going to be a crucial election to determine the fate of Japan."
The DPJ, in power for three years, has grown unpopular largely because of its handling of the Fukushima nuclear crisis and its recent doubling of the sales tax.
Noda's most likely successor is LDP head and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He resigned as Japan's leader in 2007 after a year in office, citing health problems he says are no longer an issue.
"I will do my utmost to end the political chaos and stalled economy," Abe told reporters. "I will take the lead to make that happen."
The path to elections was laid suddenly Wednesday during a debate between Abe and Noda. Noda abruptly said he would dissolve Parliament if the opposition would agree to key reforms, including a deficit financing bill and electoral reforms, and Abe jumped at the chance.
Polls indicate that the conservative, business-friendly LDP will win the most seats in the 480-seat lower house but will fall far short of a majority. That would force it to cobble together a coalition of parties with differing policies and priorities.
Sure, I figure 200 gallons of 98% oil of vitrol per head, if that's not reasonable let me know. 535 times 200 = 535 times 100 twice which is umm...535000 times 2 which is um... 107000 gallons of oil of vitrol. Which is pretty much a heap.
DeaconMan you got a price per gallon FOB Washington DC on Oil of Vitrol?
The unemployment rate in California inched down slightly in October as the state Employment Development Department issued a dire warning that federal help for the long-term unemployed may soon run out.
Is this 'unexpected' or 'little noticed'?
The unemployment rate dipped to 10.1 percent in October -- down from 10.2 percent a month earlier -- after 45,800 jobs added to payrolls, according to the EDD's Loree Levy.
"It certainly looks like the job creation engine is picking up some speed as we go toward the end of the year, so it's good news," Levy said.
Levy added the number of jobs created far outstripped the traditional rate of population growth -- about 20,000 -- during the same period.
Retail posted some of the biggest gains, with another 20,500 jobs added slightly ahead of the start of the busy Christmas shopping season.
"Normally we would expect a pretty strong gain in November," Levy said. "To give you an idea, last October for instance, we saw a 2,000-job gain in retail trade, so [it was] certainly much stronger this year."
But the otherwise positive data was overshadowed by a looming Congressional deadline at the end of the year, when the federal extension of unemployment benefits expires.
"That means no matter what kind of balance anyone has left on any kind of federal extension claim, no further payments can be made after the week ending December 29," she said.
Levy estimated the deadline could mean a "very sudden stop" to benefits for as many as 400,000 unemployed statewide.
Its a shame that a majority of voters in the last election were economically ignorant, and that the press has done little to help maintain an informed electorate that is vital for a functioning democracy. Their "covering" for Obama and the left has actually hurt democracy by keeping people ignorant of basic economic truth, and many adverse things they should know about, as well as being very uncritical of the administration that has doggedly continued actions that have produced these conditions.
As for these folks that are losing their "safety net" money, the current administration gets a bonus: when they drop off unemployment benefits, they tend to not be counted in the U3 unemployment rate - the "official" rate that is usually the one reported by the press and federal government.
The U3 is not an accurate sign of economic health or dysfunction anymore. The U6 is a more expressive number because it also includes so-called "discouraged workers", and part time workers who want to be full time but cannot get full time work. The U6 used to run 2-3 points higher than the U3, but during the Obama regime, it has ballooned to a 6-8 point gap. For instance, the U3 was reported nearly at 8, but the U6 remained nearer to 15%.
A better number to look at would be labor force size and participation rate- that is the total number of workers the government counts as working and available for work and what percentage of them are actually active. We now have a larger population, and original projections in 2009 by the Labor Dept had a growth in the labor force between then and now of 5 million workers based on demographics (people coming of age and entering the workforce, immigrants, etc). Despite that growth, the participating labor force is somehow smaller now than it was at the beginning of the current administration. Labor force participation has dropped from 66% to 63.2%. The numbers do not lie: the rate of participation had its most precipitous drops 6 months into the current administrations's tenure, and the rate (which dropped slightly between 2003-2008) has accelerated its decline during this administration. What happened to the missing 5 million who were expected to grow the labor force, as well as the hundreds of thousands who were working and are now "dropped" from the labor force? Furthermore, why is nobody publicizing this when economic conditions are discussed, especially when it is in relation to the actions the current administration has taken and plans to take (Obamacare, taxes, etc).
This is basic economics: labor participation is tied to economic growth, insofar as each worker is involved in producing economically beneficial outputs. More labor participation = more economic benefit produced = economic growth. A decline in labor participation is a bad thing when the reasons for that decline are that people are exiting the workforce because there are no jobs available.
As is well known by many people in various professions, relying on faulty or distorted data to make important decisions is a sure path to failure. So is rank ignorance of the real data. Yet that is what we will continue to see by this administration, thanks to a fawning press and economically ignorant voters, much to the detriment of the whole country.
Shorter Version: If the participation rate had not been falling, the unemployment rate today would be much higher. And it would be obvious even to the oblivious people that it is Obama's policies which have accelerated this damage, along with the aid of henchmen Reid and Pelosi.
I think it is also possible that many people "leaving" the job market are 2nd wage earners in the household who worked when it was convenient to bring in a 2nd income. I don't know how else you can just "leave" the labor force. Unemployment doesn't last forever and single men can't get welfare, so, are we going back to the days of a single breadwinner in a household? I know several middle aged couples associated to my family that have retired the wife in the last few years. In these cases the wife's income was used more for extras like vacations, not critical core income.
Still, it will mean they purchase less.
Lots of people are quietly selling homemade crafts on Ebay or Etsy to supplement their wages or generate some sort of income, the modern version of hawking apples on Broadway. Many are not passively waiting for the hiring machine to be started up again.
Separately, what odds the illegal population of California drops when the benefits run out?
California (my home state) is the "Greece" of the USA. There is no doubt that benefits spending must be curtailed - no matter how much that clashes with agendas. Some type of crash in living standards and schooling is probably guaranteed. A rise in crime is also guaranteed.
i agree with OldSpook by the way that the labor force participation rate is a good measure - and it is sinking. The USA is caught in a long-term economic shift ... not simply a business recession. Real solutions will be very hard. I see no sources of high-paying jobs on the horizon ... no new technological miracle to generate that. So these changes will be rough.
I'm with OS and others here, but one point should be made: it may be that even when (if) the economy comes back, the labor participation rate will not, and unemployment will remain high.
The reason is structural: for the last 300 years humans have been learning to do more and make more per unit of labor. We're more productive than ever, and one thing businesses learn in every downturn is that they really DON'T need all those employees. Then the economy heats up and businesses decide they have to hire.
Well this time they won't: Obamacare and the Obama-led regulations will put the clamps on that. Businesses then will discover that the employees they didn't need during the downturn, they still don't need when the economy improves.
A lot of the jobs that disappeared over the last four years just aren't coming back.
Posted by: Steve White ||
Well obviously Father Fed should put a freeze on emmigration, and transfer our underemployed komrades to locations where there is industry and business, and assign them positions in that field. Thought crime racists will be transferred to collective farms across the high plans for sustainable agriculture studies. Volunteers can join the FEMA Youth Corps, serving from 10 to 24 months of emergency calls and security. Any remaining persons will hired by the Federal Housing Authority and tasked to construct green hub cities where the government provided apartments will streamline expenses such as the mail and medical calls and checkups.
Voluntary compliance is mandatory. Failure will result in you entering the Federal Education and Betterment for All (FEBA) program. Transportation and housing will be arranged.
See, 0% unemployment right there, 100% participation.
(what Steve said, since the trend is to basically unionize the private worker I am afraid that the next step would be to put a freeze on business releasing employees, or at least a pile of paperwork and approval required. I think they are looking for a quick experiment and had Hostess been a healthier food brand we might have seen a pilot program. Its been done, especially with the recovery act, it has just had enough of a veneer to be sold, I'm talking about a blunt and obvious move, perhaps with a cereal company)
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Defence Secretary Leon Panetta ...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta 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.... ordered US military commanders on Thursday to carry out a review of ethics training among senior officers amid a widening sex scandal that cost CIA chief David Petraeus his job. Troops are coming home, so we can dump the horny war-fighters and retain the bloodless but politically reliable yes men...
Recent cases of misconduct involving the top brass had "the potential to erode public confidence in our leadership and in our system for the enforcement of our high ethical standards", Panetta, on a tour of Asia, wrote in a memo to the military's top-ranking officer, General Martin Dempsey.
"Worse, they can be detrimental to the execution of our mission to defend the American people," he wrote.
The announcement comes in the wake of a scandal that prompted the resignation of the former four-star general and CIA director Petraeus, as well as a litany of allegations and disciplinary action against other senior military leaders.
Panetta directed Dempsey and the chiefs of the armed services to examine "existing ethics training programmes to determine if they are adequate" and to report back with their findings within a few weeks.
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" - Captain Renault
Well Mr Panetta, you and your boss wanted to make the military look more like the general society. So what's wrong with generals who act like Senators and Presidents with loose zipper disease just across the Potomac or interesting ethics in insider trading? And while we're at it, you all decided that sexual behavior wasn't grounds for punishment unless it effected military readiness. Has it in these cases?
"Your winnings, sir." - Croupier
"Oh Lord, please make my enemies ridiculous" - Voltaire
Local guy and I were talking the other night. He was going on and on about how skewed we are now. We went on about that for a bit, asked him who he voted for in local election, SOB said he didn't vote. At all.
I don't usually do much chest pointing, and not to get banned, that any person allowed to vote, who does not vote, is de facto tied to the winner of the election and if he didn't have the dignity to take the nothing amount of time to go voice his opinion at the ballot box, then he has no business expressing his opinion in my garage about such subjects.
The House science committee is demanding the White House explain why top administration officials are using secret e-mail accounts and other techniques to conceal their taxpayer-paid activities from public oversight.
The evidence of officials' efforts to evade transparency laws includes EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's use of the fake name "Richard Windsor", and hidden e-mail accounts, according to a Nov. 16 letter sent by the committee to several White House officials, including Jackson.
A concert scheduled on Veterans Day at the First Congregational Church in Traverse City Michigan was to include a recording of the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, played in the church during a display of a video. This had been arranged by the church's music minister and Jeffrey Cobb, the director of the public school chorus which was also to perform during the event. Does anything else think that the term 'clueless' applies to that music minister?
Senior church official refused to allow the playing of the Adhan weeks before the performance. Cobb knew of this ban but kept it to himself until the last minute. He said he had previously hinted to the choir the prayer might be cut. He delayed the final announcement to stem controversy and because he held out hope the church would relent, or at least agree to offer an explanation to the audience, he said. Disingenuous, to say the least.
Church officials stood firm. That Sunday, with hundreds in the audience, the video showed Muslims bowing to Allah, but with no accompanying prayer, only silence.
The church's decision to ban the prayer sparked protest by choir and community members. Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) officials held an impromptu meeting hours before Sunday's concert and said the college would withdraw as an official supporter of the event.
College officials chastised Cobb for failing to inform them sooner so they could have tried to avert the problem, NMC Vice President Marguerite Cotto said. Is 'chastise' a new synonym for 'fire'?
David Walls, First Congregational's senior minister, said he and other church leaders rejected the prayer because they did not want to offend audience members.
"We were concerned that there was potential that some of our active military personnel, military families with sons or daughters in Iraq, who have even lost their lives there, would find it much too hard to handle," he said. No mention, of course, made that the Adhan contains the basic formula by which one converts to Islam. Would any mosque allow the chanting of the Nicene Creed?
"A prayer in Arabic, addressed to Allah, with references to Muhammad for an event that was intended to honor veterans," Walls said.
Doug Bishop, vice president of the church council and an NMC board member, agreed with Walls and does not consider the decision a form of intolerance.
"From a Christian viewpoint, a Christian's acceptance of other people's rights have nothing to do with requiring their views to be espoused from your pulpit," he said.
"Given the realities of what's going on in the world and then to have it start out with a Muslim Call to Prayer," he said. "We are clearly a Christian church and we don't apologize for that. We have the right to control our content." I rewrote this article, omitting a fair amount of hoo-ha and hurt feelings.
University of Michigan Wolverines Alumni and Students to be honored today by a surprise visit by the Michigan State marching band, where they will play 30 minutes of viva la Spartans music and team chants. All alumni and students will be expected and required to wear the supplied spartan mohawk helmuts and cheer vigerously.
If you want to hold a touchy-feely multi-cultural religious celebration, hold it in an auditorium or a pole barn somewhere, not a Christian church. Or do it in the local mosque. Of course, the wimmens have to sit in back, being unclean and all. Long live religious diversity!
Seriously folks, when will the in-your-face acts of the mooselimbs finally piss you off. Not only now but a bitch-slap for even asking such an insulting and presumptious question. Time to get thin skinned, since being civil has worked so well in the past decades.
Barack Obama on Saturday left for his fifth trip to Asia since becoming president, part of a long-term re-balancing of US strategy away from Europe and the Middle East.
The highlight of the trip will be a potentially emotional meeting with the Burmese dissident and human rights campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi at her home in Rangoon, a visit few in America would have thought possible when Obama was first voted into office in 2008.
Just as important as trying to help Burma emerge as a fully-fledged democracy are his trips to Thailand and Cambodia, which is hosting a meeting of east Asian leaders, including those of Japan and China.
The Obama administration has been open about the dangers to US dominance posed by the rapid rise of China.
The long-term US aim is to contain it, to prevent it becoming the pre-eminent power in the region, and to compete on at least equal terms economically and militarily.
"We have in every context made clear to Beijing that there's a cost to coercive behaviour, problematic conduct, whether that's on the economic front or on the security front," Danny Russel, senior director for Asia on the White House's national security council, told reporters in a conference call ahead of Obama's trip.
"Our objective is to shape the environment in the Asia-Pacific region in which the peaceful rise of important countries, including China, contributes to the common good, is fundamentally stabilising and not destabilising."