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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 06:37 AM
Number of posts: 26,538

Journal Archives

Blunt, McCaskill Step Up Concerns About Proposed National Guard Cuts

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are joining forces as they raise concerns about the Defense Department’s proposed cuts in spending for the National Guard.

The trims would have a $34 million economic impact on Missouri through 2016, Blunt told reporters Thursday. The reduced spending would primarily affect Guard operations in Springfield, Warrensburg and St. Joseph, he said.

Blunt questioned whether it was wise to cut National Guard at all, considering the Defense Department’s plan to reduce the number of full-time personnel. “It would seem to me, if you are going to cut the full-time force, you should actually be thinking about increases in the Reserves and the Guard, instead of cutting the force everywhere,’’ he said.

McCaskill made a similar argument in an early telephone interview this week. “We have to be careful about making a mistake” and making a cut “that hobbles our ability’’ to protect the nation, she said.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/blunt-mccaskill-step-concerns-about-proposed-national-guard-cuts

Missouri House Passes Photo ID Requirement For Voting

The Missouri House has passed two pieces of legislation that would usher in photo ID requirements for voters.

First, the House passed HJR 47, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for photo ID requirements at the polls. This proposed amendment would also need voter approval.

About 45 minutes later, the House passed House Bill 1073 to implement those requirements. During floor debate Thursday, state Rep. Jay Houghton, R-Martinsburg, asked HB 1073's sponsor, Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, how easy it is to commit voter impersonation fraud in Missouri.

"So I could be walking down a street, walking by somebody's trash can, pick up their electric bill, go walking down the street again, hand that electric bill to you, and ask you to go vote," Houghton asked.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-house-passes-photo-id-requirement-voting

Some kit-bashed lighting ideas

These are from a posting by Popular Photography Magazine. I originally saw them in the last issue then spotted them online. Haven't tried any as of yet, but I did save a Pringles can and will be picking up some straws to do the first one.


Think you need thousands of dollars for a great lighting setup? You don’t. We've picked three of the eight projects and made stop-action videos demonstrating the exact steps for constructing each. We have also provided links to step-by-step instructions for the other five accessories. So get that gaffer tape ready, it's time to create your own DIY photo studio.

http://www.popphoto.com/DIYLighting?src=SOC&dom=fb

Thought they were interesting enough to pass along.

Missouri Chamber Endorses Bill Expanding Medicaid To Low-Income Workers

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce is lauding a new proposal to expand Medicaid. The business group says it would allow Missouri to take advantage of the $2 billion a year in federal subsidies that it currently has declined to accept.

The chamber says the proposal, filed by state Rep. Noel Torpey, R-Independence, would increase the state’s eligibility standards for Medicaid to cover working adults who earn less than the federal poverty level, which is now $11,670 a year for a single person. Missouri currently provides Medicaid coverage only to adults who earn no more than 19 percent of the federal poverty level.

“We urge lawmakers to consider this legislation, not only for the thousands of additional Missourians that we would be able to help by securing billions in federal funding,” said Missouri Chamber President/CEO Daniel P. Mehan in a statement. “But also to help us keep the doors open in the health-care facilities of our rural and urban communities, which, quite frankly, have been put in jeopardy" by the Affordable Care Act.

Mehan noted that the Affordable Care Act recommends that states expand Medicaid to all Americans earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Under the act, the federal government pays all the expansion costs for the first three years and at least 90 percent thereafter.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-chamber-endorses-bill-expanding-medicaid-low-income-workers

Walmart Ramping Up Small-store Growth

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it would significantly accelerate its capital plan for U.S. small store openings for the current fiscal year. Having expanded its original capital forecast from last October, the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer now expects to add about 270 to 300 small stores during the fiscal year, doubling its earlier forecast of 120 to 150 locations. Additionally, Walmart U.S. will keep to its plan to open around 115 new supercenters this year.

“Customers’ needs and expectations are changing,” noted Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO. “They want to shop when they want and how they want, and we are transforming our business to meet their expectations. Customers appreciate the broad assortment of our supercenters for their stock-up trips, as well as our small-store formats for fill-in trips. By unlocking this growth opportunity and further combining our supercenters and small store formats with an unlimited selection available through ecommerce, we provide our customers with anytime, anywhere access to our brand.”

Exemplifying the success of the company’s small-format stores, comparable-store sales for its Neighborhood Market locations rose about 4 percent for fiscal year 2014, spurred by fresh and pharmacy.

“Neighborhood Market is performing comparable or favorable to leading grocers,” observed Simon. “Our small-store expansion, in addition to providing customers access to a wide variety of products, including fresh, pharmacy and fuel, will help us usher in the next generation of retail. This will combine thousands of points of physical access with digital retail experiences that include initiatives such as Site to Store and Pay with Cash.”


http://www.progressivegrocer.com/top-stories/headlines/national-supermarket-chains/id41049/walmart-ramping-up-small-store-growth/

China soldiers too big for outdated tanks: report

Beijing (AFP) - Chinese soldiers have become so much taller and fatter in recent years that they often find themselves cramped in tanks designed three decades ago, state media reported.

A survey found that People's Liberation Army troopers were on average two centimetres (0.8 inches) taller and five centimetres (two inches) fatter around the waist than 20 years ago, the military's official PLA Daily reported Tuesday.

As a result, it is harder for soldiers to squeeze into a tank designed for smaller personnel 30 years ago, it said.

Rifle stocks are also too short for some, limiting their accuracy, it added.

http://news.yahoo.com/china-soldiers-too-big-outdated-tanks-report-062507074.html

UFCW President Hansen Statement on Gap’s Decision to Raise Wages

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following in response to the Gap’s announcement that it would raise wages for its workers.

“Today’s announcement by the Gap that the retail chain is raising hourly wages for its 65,000 hourly retail workers serves as a challenge to Walmart. The Gap realizes that paying its hourly workers enough to support themselves is an investment in their business and in our economy.

“It is time for Walmart to stand up and lead by investing back into its 1.4 million U.S. workers with hourly pay increases. Academics at the University of California-Berkeley estimated that Walmart could well-afford a wage increase to at least $12.00 an hour for workers with minimal impact on consumer prices. DEMOS researchers outlined a clear plan for Walmart to cut back on its stock buy back program and raise wages in a way that benefits workers and shareholders alike.

“The time is now for Walmart to show leadership and responsibility to its workers and our communities-follow the Gap’s example and raise wages for every hourly Walmart worker.”

http://www.ufcw.org/2014/02/19/ufcw-president-hansen-statement-on-gaps-decision-to-raise-wages/

Ticket sold in Calif. wins $425M Powerball jackpot

MILPITAS, Calif. (AP) — The lone winning ticket for the $425 million Powerball jackpot was sold at a convenience store in central California, but there was no immediate word on who may have won one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history.
The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night were: 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 and a Powerball of 34.
California lottery officials said the ticket was sold at Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas, a city about 10 miles north of San Jose. The business will receive $1 million for selling the winning ticket.
Rajwinder Singh, an employee at the Chevron store, said late Wednesday that he believed he was probably the person who sold the winning ticket.


http://news.yahoo.com/ticket-sold-calif-wins-425m-powerball-jackpot-054842776.html


Placing my plans for a new BBQ Grill on hold for now!

Consumers Restrain Spending; Recessionary Mindset Lingers

The effects of the recession and curbing retail spending are still top of mind for many cash-strapped Americans, according to the results of a Nielsen survey.

“Spending setbacks for many Americans translated to weaker-than-expected holiday sales at retail,” said James Russo, SVP, Global Consumer Insights, Nielsen. “Online intentions during the holiday season, however, fared better, as 46 percent said they shopped on Cyber Monday, an increase from 30 percent last year. As we enter 2014, the U.S. consumer remains bifurcated, cautious and pragmatic.”

Although U.S. consumer confidence declined four index points in the fourth quarter of 2013, it was up five points from the same period last year, according to the survey.

Q4 also saw a decline in discretionary spending from Q3 for buying new clothes (24 percent) and paying off debts, credit cards and loans (31 percent).

Compared to Q3, spending on home improvements (19 percent) and out-of-home entertainment (18 percent) also saw 5-percent and 6-percent decreases, respectively. Meanwhile, stashing cash into savings (39 percent) decreased four percentage points and buying new technology (17 percent), also saw a four-point decline.

http://www.progressivegrocer.com/top-stories/headlines/market-trends/id41012/consumers-restrain-spending-recessionary-mindset-lingers/

Missouri Voters Would Have To Approve Photo IDs Before Details Are Worked Out

Before Missouri legislators can enact any sort of photo ID requirement for voters, they first must get voter approval to change the state constitution.

Until the General Assembly approves a separate resolution to place the amendment before voters, any debate over specifics doesn't matter much.

In fact, Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones predicts that the proposed constitutional amendment to allow photo-ID requirements for voters will likely be the only piece of photo ID legislation to pass this year.

“A wise path on this is to pass the constitutional question, for the voters to decide,’’ Jones said in a interview. "And that’s all we should likely do this year.”

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-voters-would-have-approve-photo-ids-details-are-worked-out
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