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Archive for January 22nd, 2010

“Hope For Haiti”: Telethon Tonight

“Hope for Haiti” Telethon Tonight!

Hollywood News- By: Staff

Fri, Jan 22 2010 | Published in FEATURED

The “Hope For Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief,” kicks off tonight for a two hour special that includes performances by some of the biggest names in Hollywood.

“Hope for Haiti Now” will begin accepting donations at 9:00 am PST through the following outlets:

- Online: http://www.hopeforhaitinow.org
– Phone: 877-99-HAITI
– Text: Text “GIVE” to 50555
– Mail: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation,
1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017

The lineup includes: Ben Affleck, Tim Allen, Jennifer Aniston, David Archuleta, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Barkin, Drew Barrymore, Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Russell Brand, Benjamin Bratt, Pierce Brosnan, Gerard Butler, Chevy Chase, Kristin Chenoweth, Sacha Baron Cohen, Common, Cat Cora, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Craig, Cindy Crawford, Penelope Cruz, Billy Crystal, John Cusack, Eric Dane, Ellen DeGeneres, Fran Drescher, Michael Clarke Duncan, Zac Efron, Jenna Elfman, Colin Farrell, Andy Garcia, Mel Gibson, Tyrese Gibson, Selena Gomez, Neil Patrick Harris, Taraji P. Henson, Dijmon Honsou, Vanessa Hudgens, Randy Jackson, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas, Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, Quincy Jones, Diane Keaton, Michael Keaton, Anna Kendrick, Greg Kinnear, Jane Krakowski, John Krasinksi, Jessica Lange, Taylor Lautner, Daniel Day Lewis, Jared Leto, Justin Long, Rose McGowan, Ewan McGregor, Toby Maguire, Ricky Martin, Katharine McPhee, Debra Messing, Alyssa Milano, Jack Nicholson, Keke Palmer, Holly Robinson Peete, Tyler Perry, Chris Pine, Jeremy Piven, Jeremy Renner, Tim Robbins, Ray Romano, Jeri Ryan, Meg Ryan, Zoe Saldana, Adam Sandler, Nicole Scherzinger, Gabourey Sidibe, Kimora Lee Simmons, Russell Simmons, Christian Slater, Steven Spielberg, Molly Sims, Ringo Starr, Charlize Theron, Ashley Tisdale, Marisa Tomei, Amber Valleta, Sofia Vergara, Mark Wahlberg, Joe Walsh, Sigourney Weaver, Forest Whitaker, Olivia Wilde, Rainn Wilson, Robin Williams, Reese Witherspoon, and Noah Wyle.

The foundations that will benefit are Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation, and the newly formed Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation. The proceeds will be split betweent the organizations funds.

The special will be airing on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, CMT, PBS, TNT, Showtime, COMEDY CENTRAL, Bravo, E! Entertainment, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, CENTRIC, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, EPIX, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health, Planet Green, CNN en Espanol, HBO Latino, and Canadian networks including CBC Television, CTV, Global Television, and MuchMusic. The event will be live streamed online globally across sites including YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, Facebook, Fancast, AOL, MSN.com, Yahoo, Bing.com, BET.com, CNN.com, MTV.com, VH1.com, and Rhapsody and on mobile via Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and FloTV.

Earlier we reported a Live from Haiti: Update From Father Rick Frechette on the current situation. Catch up on a report from the front lines of Haiti.

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Bye-Bye Ben Bernanke – Thanks for Burning the House Down

Daily Kos- by Badabing

Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 08:12:35 AM PST

Friday, January 22nd, 2010 was supposed to have been the full Senate vote on the confirmation of Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke. A few months ago, his confirmation seemed like a done deal, but all that has changed quickly over the past few weeks.

The vote has been put off, and the reason that the vote has been put off is because it now appears that Ben Bernanke may not have the votes to be reconfirmed on both sides of the isles>  The election of Scott Brown to not just any seat in the Senate, but a strong held Democratic Senate seat has put a fire under the Senate and apparently President Obama too.  Good…I hope they are all finally getting the message.

I believe that message is this: Americans are sick to death of the critical mass of corruption that has eaten away like an ugly plague of millions of locusts into all 3 branches of our government.

MORE HERE

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Opposition To Bernanke Growing In Wake Of Mass. Vote

Huffington Post- Ryan Grim

First Posted: 01-21-10 11:01 AM   |   Updated: 01-22-10 11:28 AM

UPDATE — JANUARY 22, 11:23 AM ET:

California Democrat Barbara Boxer has become the latest senator to oppose the nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Boxer’s opposition, which she announced in an exclusive statement to the Huffington Post, is a blow to Bernanke. Boxer is no firebreather on economic issues, but considered a more mainstream Democrat from a state that was considered comfortably blue — until Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts, that is.

“I have a lot of respect for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. When the financial crisis hit in late 2008, he took some important steps to prevent what many economists believe could have been an even greater economic catastrophe,” said Boxer.

“However, it is time for a change — it is time for Main Street to have a champion at the Fed. Dr. Bernanke played a lead role in crafting the Bush administration’s economic policies, which led to the current economic crisis. Our next Federal Reserve Chairman must represent a clean break from the failed policies of the past.”

MORE HERE

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Lenders are using social graphs to determine how creditworthy you are. (Getty Images)

Banks now checking your Twitter and Facebook activity to see if you’re worthy of getting a loan

AMERICAblog- by John Aravosis (DC) on 1/22/2010 10:29:00 AM

Please write financially secure comments to this post:

Your social networking chit-chat could have an impact on your credit – specifically on whether banks think you are worthy of a loan.

Creditors are checking out what you post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. They’re checking out who your friends are and who the people are in your networks.

The presumption is that if your friends are responsible credit cardholders and pay their bills on time, you could be a good credit customer…

How long until health insurance companies do the same?

The banks claim they’re just checking you out for “marketing” purposes, then they admit it’s actually about whether to give you loans or credit:

Pretty much everything you and your network reveal may be compiled, including status updates, “tweets,” joining online clubs, linking a Web site or posting a comment on a blog or news Web site….

Another reason credit issuers are looking to this data is to reduce lending risk. Social graphs allow credit issuers to know if you’re connected to a community of great credit customers. Creditors can see if people in your network have accounts with them, and are free to look at how they are handling those accounts.

The presumption is that if those in your network are responsible cardholders, there is a better chance you will be, too. So, if a bank is on the fence about whether to extend you credit, you may become eligible if those in your network are good credit customers.

“Credit card companies have been stung very hard during this downturn, and they’re going to work that much harder to avoid extending credit to people with a high level of predictable losses,” says Ken Clark, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Boosting Your Financial IQ.” “Social graphs can preemptively cut the amount of charge-offs by not giving high-risk people a card. It may translate into hundreds of millions of dollars industry wide.”

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. takes on mountaintop mining magnate Don Blankenship

Grist Magazine-  by David Roberts 22 Jan 2010 2:47 AM

On Thursday the University of Charleston in West Virginia hosted a debate between Don Blankenship, CEO of mountaintop-removal mining firm Massey Energy Co., and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmental lawyer and founder of the Waterkeeper Alliance. I kept up a running play-by-play that can be accessed by scrolling back through my Twitter feed, but I didn’t take notes, so this is from memory and I won’t be using direct quotes.

The mystery to me going in was why Blankenship agreed to it. What possible incentive is there for a corporate CEO to put himself in a risky situation, publicly defending a widely reviled product? What’s the upside? Why not just buy some ads or hire more lobbyists?

Having watched the debate, I’m more mystified than ever. If that was supposed to be damage control, I’d hate to see damage. Blankenship had every advantage, with a friendly hometown crowd eager to applaud him and a moderator who helpfully read off pro-coal facts during commercial breaks, but he was painfully and obviously outmatched by Kennedy. I guess it’s easy to get over-confident when you’ve effectively purchased a state government and broken the law with impunity for years.

He didn’t seem even cursorily prepared. Kennedy reeled off fact after fact about declining mining employment in WV, the age of Appalachian ecosystems and the impossibility of recovering them after MTR mining damage, the enormous health and economic impacts of coal on Appalachia, the size of Chinese investments in clean energy, the number of Clean Water Act violations from Massey, and on and on and on. Every fact was geared toward a plea to West Virginians: look, this man is making himself rich by making you poor. He’s sapping your state of jobs, income, health, and a future.

In response Blankenship had nothing but ressentiment and nativism. Over and over he dismissed Kennedy’s facts as “rhetoric” and “just false” claims that “you can find on the internet,” but not once did he refute or even convincingly contest a particular claim. He asked the audience to dismiss them based purely on crude stereotypes about out-of-state environmentalists.

(more…)

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JASON KOUTSOUKIS, The Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 21, 2010

Ruthless … under Hosni Mubarak Egyptians have experienced poverty and had their rights repressed.Ruthless … under Hosni Mubarak Egyptians have experienced poverty and had their rights repressed. Photo: Reuters

The succession of a dictatorial president will be a critical turning point for the repressed nation, writes Jason Koutsoukis in Cairo.

By putting off until tomorrow the problems that cannot be solved today, Egypt has managed to sustain itself through 6000 years of turbulent history.

Today, with an ageing president, and a population of 80 million, many of whom are tired of decades of repressive dictatorial rule, Egypt is on the brink of a far-reaching transformation.

Continues >>

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by Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz/Israel, Jan 21, 2010

The Republican upset in the race for the U.S. Senate seat held for nearly half a century by liberal Edward M. Kennedy reflects a huge victory for opponents of U.S. President Barack Obama – and also for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Scott Brown defeated once-favored Martha Coakley for the Massachusetts seat even after U.S. President Barack Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save her candidacy.

Over the past nine months, Netanyahu has managed to curb pressure from Obama, who enjoys a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. Now, however, Obama will be more dependent on the support of his Republican rivals, the supporters and friends of Netanyahu.

Continues >>

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