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dkf's Journal
dkf's Journal
February 18, 2013

Actor Charlie Sheen Pays For Injured Teenís Therapy Dog

MILWAUKEE (AP) — There’s a 15-year-old Florida girl who didn’t really know much about Charlie Sheen before this week – but does now.

The actor wired $10,000 to Teagan Marti and her family on Thursday for a therapy dog to help in her rehabilitation from injuries sustained when she plummeted 100 feet from a Wisconsin amusement park ride in 2010.

“I think he’s a very kind person for helping me and my family and very generous,” Teagan Marti said by phone Thursday from her home in Parkland, Fla.

Teagan Marti’s mother, Julie Marti, said they are financially in trouble from the medical bills and her recent divorce. Their house is being foreclosed upon and insurance isn’t covering physical therapy anymore, she said. She had no idea how they would pay for the English Golden Retriever puppy.

“I’m in such disbelief,” Julie Marti said. “I was crying. … What a guy. What a guy.”


February 18, 2013

Fiscal trouble ahead for most future retirees


For the first time since the New Deal, a majority of Americans are headed toward a retirement in which they will be financially worse off than their parents, jeopardizing a long era of improved living standards for the nation’s elderly, according to a growing consensus of new research.

The Great Recession and the weak recovery darkened the retirement picture for significant numbers of Americans. And the full extent of the damage is only now being grasped by experts and policymakers.

There was already mounting concern for the long-term security of the country’s rapidly graying population. Then the downturn destroyed 40 percent of Americans’ personal wealth, while creating a long period of high unemployment and an environment in which savings accounts pay almost no interest. Although the surging stock market is approaching record highs, most of these gains are flowing to well-off Americans who already are in relatively good shape for retirement.

Liberal and conservative economists worry that the decline in retirement prospects marks a historic shift in a country that previously has fostered generations of improvement in the lives of the elderly. It is likely to have far-reaching implications, as an increasing number of retirees may be forced to double up with younger relatives or turn to social-service programs for support.

February 16, 2013


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Citing financial concerns, the Obama administration has begun quietly winding down one of the earliest programs created by the president's health care overhaul, a plan that helps people with medical problems who can't get private insurance.

In an afternoon teleconference with state counterparts, administration officials said Friday the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will stop taking new applications. People already in the plan will not lose coverage.

Designed as a stopgap solution until the law's full consumer protections are in effect next year, PCIP has served more than 135,000 people, a lifeline for patients with serious medical problems such as cancer and heart failure. But Congress allocated a limited amount of money, and the administration's technical experts want to make sure it doesn't run out.

The plan covers people who have had problems getting private insurance because of a medical condition and have been uninsured for at least six months. Premiums are keyed to average rates charged in each state, which means they're not necessarily cheap, often amounting to several hundred dollars a month for middle-aged individuals.


I understand the state plans may be closing soon so if you were considering using this you need to move ASAP.

February 16, 2013

So why no outrage for Jimmy Lee Dykes?

After keeping the kid for days, it doesn't seem like he was about to kill him or anything.

February 16, 2013

Funding is running low for health insurance in state high risk pools (out of $ starting Sat?)

Tens of thousands of Americans who can’t get health insurance due to pre-existing medical problems will be blocked from a program designed to help them because funding for the measure is running low.

Obama administration officials said Friday that the state-based “high risk pools” set up under the 2010 health-care law will be closed to new applicants as soon as Saturday and no later than March 2, depending on the state.


“We’re being very careful stewards of the money that has been appropriated to us and we wanted to balance our desire to maximize the number of people who can gain from this program while making sure people who are in the program have coverage,” said Gary Cohen, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. “This was the most prudent step for us to take at this point in time.”

The program, which was launched in the summer of 2010, was always intended as a temporary bridge for the uninsured. But it was supposed to last until 2014. At that point, the health-care law will bar insurers from rejecting or otherwise discriminating against people who are already sick, enabling such people to buy plans through the private market.


February 15, 2013

Carnival has company

@BuzzFeedAndrew: cc: @CNN RT @rajivwashpost: Carnival has company. Navy facing major toilet problems on the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush

--it would have been more fitting on the George W. Bush if it exists.

February 15, 2013

Obama Gets Emotional In Crime-Ridden Chicago, Calls For Greater Emphasis On Fatherhood

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama delivered an emotional speech Friday in his hometown of Chicago, decrying gun violence and emphasizing the need for a whole-community approach to boost the economy and keep children safe.

Speaking at the Hyde Park Academy on the final stop of his post-State of the Union sales pitch, Obama addressed rampant gun violence in the city, where Hadiya Pendleton was shot earlier this month just a mile from his home — and a week after participating in the inaugural festivities in Washington.

"Last year there were over 443 murders with a firearm in this city and 65 of them were 18 and under," he said. "That's the equivalent of a Newtown every four months."

"This is not just a gun issue but also an issue of the communities that we're building,' Obama added, returning to his roots as a community organizer and decrying "the self-destructive impulses and the senseless violence."


February 15, 2013

Meet The Icahnator: This Is What Happens When You Piss Off A Billionaire On Prime Time TV

Everyone recalls the slow motion trainwreck from the afternoon of January 25, when in an epic bitchfest, hedge fund titans Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn screamed at each other telephonically for about an hour on CNBC in what was nothing but one big pissing match. Just over two weeks later, Icahn forced a major squeeze in the stock when as we wrote previously and as we predicted, he disclosed a massive 13% stake, or some 14 million shares in the company built up through stock and calls (essentially costless thanks to Icahn's recent profits on Netflix). What many may not know however, is that for Icahn, the HLF stake was nothing more than a $500 million dollar impulse buy. Why? Because as the chart below, which breaks down the cumulative purchases of HLF stock by various Icahn's funds, shows, the billionaire only held some 1.7 million shares until the January 25 afternoon of his screamfest with Ackman. Then the Monday after the feud Icahn went ballistic, and proceeded to buy some 120,000 shares on Monday and 197,459 option-equivalent shares, after which he tapered off his stock purchases while ramping up the call buys, and buying an epic 10 million share-equivalent calls in the next two weeks, without pause, compassion or remorse, and with just one thought: crush, mangle and destroy Ackman!


February 15, 2013

Manny Pacquiao prefers to fight Juan Manuel Marquez in China because of high U.S. taxes

Manny Pacquiao's chief adviser insisted Monday that the Filipino superstar's preference is for his next bout – a fifth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez – to take place away from Las Vegas, with the off-shore Chinese gambling resort of Macau emerging as the "favorite."

Michael Koncz told Yahoo! Sports that the 39.6 percent tax rate Pacquiao would face if he were to fight again in the U.S. makes a fall bout in Las Vegas "a no go."
Promoter Bob Arum is hopeful of arranging a fifth match between Pacquiao and Marquez in the fall, potentially on Sept. 14. Arum's preference is for the fight to be at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, which is his company's home base.

But Arum and Koncz say Pacquiao is balking at the additional money he'd lose to the government if the fight were held in Las Vegas. Arum said Pacquiao would not have to pay taxes if the fight takes place in casinos in either Singapore or Macau.

"Manny can go back to Las Vegas and make $25 million, but how much of it will he end up with – $15 million?" Arum said. "If he goes to Macau, perhaps his purse will only be $20 million, but he will get to keep it all, so he will be better off."

While avoiding a huge tax bill would be a benefit to Pacquiao, it would hurt Arum in terms of pay-per-view sales. Arum said a detailed review indicates that a pay-per-view bout emanating outside of North America would do about 50 percent fewer sales.


February 15, 2013

Congressmanís Wayward Tweets Reveal Daughter, Not Lover

When Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tweeted, and then deleted, several effusive messages to a young blonde woman during the State of the Union address earlier this week, some people got Anthony Weiner flashbacks.

But Cohen has now come forward with an unusual explanation for the tweets: the young woman is his daughter, who the Congressman only found out about three years ago.

“When she let me know she was watching the State of the Union address I was thrilled that she wanted Steve Cohen to be part of her,” Cohen told NBC News on Thursday. “I had such joy, that I couldn’t hold back from tweeting her.”

Cohen made the admission after press reports raised questions about the tweets Cohen traded with a 24-year-old woman named Victoria Brink during President Obama’s address on Tuesday. That night, Brink wrote “just saw you on tv!” to Cohen less than midway through the speech, to which Cohen responded “pleased u r watching .ilu” and “nice to know you were watchin SOTU(state of the union).Happy Valentines beautiful girl. ilu.” (“ilu” is short for “I love you” or “I like you.”) The tweets were later deleted, and Cohen’s spokesperson at first told reporters they were meant to be private direct messages, and that Brink was the daughter of one of Cohen’s longtime friends.


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