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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 71,324

Journal Archives

Tom Ricketts threatens to take his toys and go home

The owner of one of the most profitable teams in Major League Baseball threatened to walk away from one of MLB's most profitable venues if the city didn't approve a $300-million renovation plan for Wrigley Field.

The Cubs have floated a renovation plan for Wrigley Field that would expand concourses, expand the ballpark footprint, build a new hotel across Clark, construct a new parking ramp in the area, and add video signage to the outfield wall. The city, in the form of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, has already agreed with the Cubs on the broad terms of the deal, which still must receive approval from other city departments. The main opposition: owners of rooftop bleachers, who have a revenue-sharing deal with the Cubs, though so far their opposition has been muted, with Ald. Tom Tunney -- normally an advocate for the rooftop owners -- participating in discussions with Emanuel and the team.

Today Tom Ricketts, part of the Ricketts family ownership of the Cubs, answered a question about the team's future in a rather surprising way: after weeks of good publicity and a deal with the city, he threatened to move the team if approvals weren't ultimately granted. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://ballparkdigest.com/201305016240/major-league-baseball/features/ricketts-brings-hammer-down-threatens-cubs-move



Billionaires Flee Havens as Trillions Pursued Offshore


(Bloomberg) Billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Russia’s 14th-richest person, and his wife, Elena Rybolovleva, have been brawling for almost five years in at least seven countries over his $9.5 billion fortune.

In a divorce complaint originated in Geneva in 2008, Rybolovleva accused her husband of using a “multitude of third- parties” to create a network of offshore holding companies and trusts to place assets -- including about $500 million in art, $36 million in jewelry and an $80 million yacht -- beyond her reach.

She has brought legal action against the 48-year-old Rybolovlev in the British Virgin Islands, England, Wales, the U.S., Cyprus, Singapore and Switzerland, and is seeking $6 billion.

The suits provide a window into the offshore structures and secrecy jurisdictions the world’s richest people use to manage, preserve and conceal their assets. According to Tax Justice Network, a U.K.-based organization that campaigns for transparency in the financial system, wealthy individuals were hiding as much as $32 trillion offshore at the end of 2010. Fewer than 100,000 people own $9.8 trillion of offshore assets, according to research compiled by former McKinsey & Co. economist James Henry. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-29/billionaires-flee-havens-as-trillions-pursued-offshore.html



Professor Richard Wolff talks about the profit motive and Bangladesh





Happy May Day !!! ..... A little Howard Zinn for inspiration:





Howard Zinn on class in America Pt4: A reinvigorated labor movement needed for a great social upheaval


Star Trek’s George Takei: Putting Facebook Fame to Good Use


from YES! Magazine:


Star Trek’s George Takei: Putting Facebook Fame to Good Use
Famous for his role as Dr. Sulu on Star Trek, today George Takei uses the popularity of his kitchy humor to promote discussion about the rights of women and LGBT people.

by Mark Engler
posted Apr 30, 2013


[font size="1"]George Takei at the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Pride. Photo by Zesmerelda.[/font]


I was a relative latecomer to Facebook—and a skeptic, too. Well into the Obama era, I was parroting the standard criticisms that people who haven’t actually spent time on the platform like to recycle: chiefly, “Why would I want to know what a bunch of my old classmates and distant acquaintances just had for breakfast?”

I’ve come around. It’s always unnerving to be hooked to a giant corporation, and I still keep my guard up a little. But once I got to using Facebook it quickly became clear why it has a mass following. It’s a fun way to keep in touch with friends, a useful source of interesting links (link up with some media-savvy users and you’ll have a customized news feed that’s hard to beat), and an effective means of affectionately razzing extended family members (when a cousin’s March Madness bracket started doing far worse than mine, I somehow made time in my busy schedule to gloat).

And then there’s the joy of seeing posts from George Takei.

Takei—a seventy-five-year-old actor most famous for playing Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek—is friendly and warm-hearted, matter-of-factly out of the closet, always ready with a pun, and unabashedly nerdy (items that combine or conflate the Star Wars and Star Trek universes are a subspecialty of Takei’s). If there is a more beloved personality in the world of social networking, I haven’t met him or her. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/star-trek-george-takei-fighting-for-equality-funny-cat-photos



Wall Street Is Killing Dodd-Frank One Regulation at a Time


from truthdig:


Wall Street Is Killing Dodd-Frank One Regulation at a Time

Posted on Apr 30, 2013
By Thomas Hedges, Center for Study of Responsive Law


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a letter this month outlining the changes it would like to see made to the Dodd-Frank Act, whose full implementation has been delayed for almost three years now. The chamber’s Fix, Add, Replace (FAR) agenda to alter Dodd-Frank insists that Congress’ already compromised attempt to avoid another financial meltdown is too ambitious. The law is failing, the chamber says, because it aimed to tackle too much.

“Trying to eliminate all risks and risk taking will hinder our ability to fund new ideas, startups, and expansion in our Main Street economy,” chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue wrote on the group’s Free Enterprise website. “Reasonable risk taking drives innovation, jobs and growth.”

The FAR plan advises Congress to “establish checks and balances for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” which means the chamber wants bipartisan leadership at a regulator the group fears could be headed by someone like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or former Commodity Futures Trading Commission head Brooksley Born, both of whom are critical of Wall Street.

The chamber also wants to weaken whistle-blower laws that it believes “undermine strong corporate compliance programs” and to “streamline regulators through consolidation,” in essence downsizing regulatory agencies and banning mandatory audit firm rotations—a measure that prevents auditors from getting too comfy with the companies they oversee. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/wall_street_is_killing_dodd-frank_one_regulation_at_a_time_20130430/



Right-wing derangement over Jason Collins


from Right Wing Watch:



Deace: Jason Collins Coming Out Shows 'How Indoctrinated an Aspect of our Culture Has Become'
Submitted by Brian Tashman on Monday, 4/29/2013 1:40 pm


Conservative talk show host Steve Deace seems to be upset that NBA player Jason Collins’ decision to come out of the closet is being warmly received by his fellow players and fans, and posted on his Facebook page that his story demonstrates “perfectly how indoctrinated an aspect of our culture has become.” Deace goes on to say that gay rights supporters “are basically fascists” and is angry that he is being labeled “intolerant.”



Deace also lamented that while Tim Tebow, who today was released by the New York Jets, “gets killed by liberal sportswriters” while Collins received praise: “Apparently preferring to have sex with other guys is a profile in courage nowadays.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/deace-jason-collins-coming-out-shows-how-indoctrinated-aspect-our-culture-has-become



"The Rich Don't Always Win" - But They Usually Do


"The Rich Don't Always Win" - But They Usually Do

Thursday, 25 April 2013 09:27
By Salvatore Babones, Truthout | Op-Ed


Once upon a time there was a land of milk and honey called the United States of America. America was a great country, but it faced a powerful enemy, the evil Soviet Union. In 1959, there was a trade exhibition of American products in Moscow, the capital of that evil empire. The vice president of America, one Richard Milhous Nixon, attended the exhibition on America's behalf.

A 29-year-old future journalist named William Safire was there at the exhibition representing the American building industry. Doing his job very well, he steered Nixon and his Soviet nemesis, Nikita Khrushchev, toward a walk-through display of the typical American home.

As they toured the model American home, Nixon and Khrushchev debated the relative merits of the American and Soviet systems. The debate came to a climax in the kitchen, and so it went down in history as the "kitchen debate."

Khrushchev argued that the Soviet Union had surpassed America in rockets and high technology. Nixon responded by showing Khrushchev around the model American kitchen with its modern 1950s appliances. Nixon told Khrushchev how any ordinary American, a military veteran or a steelworker earning $3 an hour (worth $24 today), could afford a brand-new home with modern appliances. And he was right. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15991-the-rich-dont-always-win-but-they-usually-do



You Should Care That Obama Is Going to Pick Tom Wheeler to Head the FCC


via truthdig:




You Should Care That Obama Is Going to Pick Tom Wheeler to Head the FCC
Posted on Apr 30, 2013


Forget the CIA. The Federal Communications Commission is like the fourth branch of American government, and its officials are not elected.

President Obama is reported to want venture capitalist, telecommunications executive and former Obama campaign volunteer Tom Wheeler to chair the commission. So why should you care?

Think about it this way: The Bill of Rights has a lot of pull in this country and the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, but that doesn’t stop the FCC from fining anyone who uses speech it deems inappropriate. The commission can not only fine, it can revoke licenses. CBS? Here today, gone tomorrow. Broadcasters are so intimidated by the FCC’s power to censor, even those that are exempt from traditional rules police themselves and mind their manners.

Think about it another way: The telecommunications industry controls the pipes and airwaves over which all of our communications—whether TV shows or emails—are sent, and it bows to whom? The FCC commissioners. ...........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/you_should_care_that_obama_is_going_to_pick_tom_wheeler_to_head_the_fcc_201/?ln



Wall Street Is Killing Dodd-Frank One Regulation at a Time


from truthdig:


Wall Street Is Killing Dodd-Frank One Regulation at a Time

Posted on Apr 30, 2013
By Thomas Hedges, Center for Study of Responsive Law


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a letter this month outlining the changes it would like to see made to the Dodd-Frank Act, whose full implementation has been delayed for almost three years now. The chamber’s Fix, Add, Replace (FAR) agenda to alter Dodd-Frank insists that Congress’ already compromised attempt to avoid another financial meltdown is too ambitious. The law is failing, the chamber says, because it aimed to tackle too much.

“Trying to eliminate all risks and risk taking will hinder our ability to fund new ideas, startups, and expansion in our Main Street economy,” chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue wrote on the group’s Free Enterprise website. “Reasonable risk taking drives innovation, jobs and growth.”

The FAR plan advises Congress to “establish checks and balances for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” which means the chamber wants bipartisan leadership at a regulator the group fears could be headed by someone like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren or former Commodity Futures Trading Commission head Brooksley Born, both of whom are critical of Wall Street.

The chamber also wants to weaken whistle-blower laws that it believes “undermine strong corporate compliance programs” and to “streamline regulators through consolidation,” in essence downsizing regulatory agencies and banning mandatory audit firm rotations—a measure that prevents auditors from getting too comfy with the companies they oversee. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/wall_street_is_killing_dodd-frank_one_regulation_at_a_time_20130430/



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