Wednesday, December 31, 2008

CIETC's Queen Of Government SCAM Appeals Sentence

Ramona Cunningham Appeals
Diverts Attention From $2.4 Million In Restitution

Ramona Cunningham, former chief executive officer of the Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium, apparently disagrees with the judgment made by Chief District Judge Robert Pratt during a hearing on Dec. 15. He told Cunningham that the sentence, which includes prison time followed by three years supervised release, was meant to "send a signal" to private and public CEOs who abuse the public trust.

Cunningham's daughter, Kelly Ayers, signed a notice of appeal to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals just a couple of days after the sentencing hearing.

Telephone messages left at a number listed for Ayers, and for Cunningham's attorney, Bill Kutmus, on Monday seeking comment weren't immediately returned. The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on the appeal.
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Governor Sarah Palin Now A Grandmother

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston Now Have A Son

The 18-year-old daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has given birth in Alaska to a son.

People magazine reports that Bristol Palin gave birth to Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston on Sunday. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces.

Relative Colleen Jones tells the magazine the baby is fine and Bristol is "doing well." Jones is the sister of Bristol's grandmother.

The father is Levi Johnston, a former hockey player at Alaska's Wasilla High School. He has said he and Bristol plan to marry.
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Note: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was a strong second among the
most-admired women, behind Hillary Clinton but ahead of television host Oprah
Winfrey, when the USA Today/Gallup poll was conducted Dec. 12-14.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Economics At The Close of 2008

Dow Jones Lowest Since The Great Depression

The ongoing recession and global economic shock pummeled stocks this year, with the Dow Jones industrial average slumping 36.2 percent. That's the biggest drop since 1931 when the Great Depression sent stocks reeling 40.6 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index is set to record the biggest drop since its creation in 1957. The index of America's biggest companies is down 40.9 percent for the year.

With these statistics ready to play out this week, it is little wonder why investors are all too happy to close the books on 2008. Analysts are already looking toward January as a crucial period for the market as it tries to recover some of the $7.3 trillion wiped from the Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 index, the broadest measure of U.S. stocks.
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Internet Surpasses Newspapers For Source Of News

Television Still The Preferred
Medium For Americans

The Internet has surpassed newspapers as the main source for national and international news for Americans, according to a new survey.

Television, however, remains the preferred medium for Americans, according to the survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Seventy percent of the 1,489 people surveyed by Pew said television is their primary source for national and international news.

Forty percent said they get most of their news from the Internet, up from 24 percent in September 2007, and more than the 35 percent who cited newspapers as their main news source.

Only 59 percent of people younger than 30 years old prefer television, Pew said, down from 68 percent in the September 2007 survey.

The latest survey was conducted December 3-7 and released on Tuesday. Pew did not provide the margin of error.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chris Matthews Wins “Quote of the Year”

Media Biased and Proud Of It:
Listening to Obama, “I felt this thrill going up my leg!”
- Chris Matthews of MSNBC -

The Media Research Center today announced its Best Notable Quotables of 2008: The 21st Annual Awards for the Year’s Worst Reporting, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews “won” the dubious honor of Quote of the Year for gushing over a Barack Obama speech back in February: “I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often….And that is an objective assessment.”

Top runner-up for Quote of the Year went to Reuters for this ridiculous post-election headline: “Media bias largely unseen in U.S. presidential race.”
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Southern and Western States to Gain Seats in Congress

People Are Migrating To The South and the West
With Such Cold, Who Can Blame Them?

Southern and western states are poised to snatch more congressional seats from the rest of the country as Americans pursue open spaces and warmer climates.

The nation's migration west and south has slowed, according to new government population estimates. But states in the Northeast and Midwest are still projected to lose political clout in Washington after the 2010 census, when the nation apportions the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, based on population.

Texas stands to be the biggest winner, picking up as many as four seats, while Ohio could be the big loser, giving up as many as two seats, according to projections by two firms that specialize in political apportionment. California is in danger of losing a seat for the first time since it became a state, though experts disagree on the likelihood of that happening.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cost Of Gasoline Down

Lowest Price Of Gas Per Gallon In Five Years

The average price of regular gasoline Friday was $1.66 a gallon, oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said. The price of mid-grade was $1.80 a gallon and the price of premium was $1.92 a gallon.

The last time gas prices dipped so low was in February 2004, Lundberg said, when the national average for regular was also around $1.66 a gallon. The all-time high was on July 11, 2008, when the price peaked at $4.11 a gallon.

Of cities surveyed, the nation's lowest price was $1.37 in Cheyenne, Wyo. The highest price was $2.41 in Anchorage, Alaska. In the continental United States, the highest price was on New York's Long Island, at $1.92.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Minnesota Senate Recount Difference - Five Votes

Coleman Leads Franken By Just Five (5) Votes
Initial Challenges and Improperly Rejected
Ballots Yet To Be Counted

According to a tally by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Franken has taken the lead as the state’s Board of Canvassers continues to review ballots challenged by both campaigns during the state's hand recount.

Franken led early Friday afternoon by nearly 200 votes, according to the paper. While Coleman led Franken by 188 votes at the conclusion of the hand recount, the board's review of thousands of challenged ballots has yielded a lead – which could again narrow – for Franken on Friday.
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Original Post:

More than six weeks after the Nov. 4 election, Democratic challenger Al Franken threatened to take his first lead Thursday over incumbent GOP Sen. Norm Coleman in the recount of votes in the hotly contested Minnesota Senate race.

The State Canvassing Board ended its day Thursday with Franken having moved within just five votes of Coleman.

If Franken ultimately emerges the winner, he will be the 59th Democratic vote in the U.S. Senate, putting President-elect Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just one vote away from being able to cut off a filibuster on any issue, as they work to push Obama’s ambitious legislative agenda through Congress.

Coleman began Thursday with a 358-vote lead. But by 1 p.m., his advantage had dwindled to just 195 votes out of nearly 3 million votes cast on Election Day. The slide continued until about 6 p.m. Eastern time, when the board called it a day, with Coleman clinging to a five-vote margin.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

No Vampires In Ankeny During Christmas 2008...

Ankeny Uses Scented Ice Melt On Roads
- Garlic Salt -

Don't Cook With The Snow...

Slush has never smelled so spicy. City crews in the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny are using garlic salt to melt snow and ice on streets from Tuesday's storm. The salt was donated by Tone Brothers Inc., a top spice producer headquartered in Ankeny.

Public Works Administrator Al Olson said the company donated 18,000 pounds of garlic salt to use on its 400 miles of roads.

Olson doesn't have details, but he said the salt would have ended up in the landfill, so the company donated it. A telephone call Wednesday to Tone Brothers wasn't immediately returned.

Olson said the city mixed the garlic salt with regular road salt and it works fine. He said some road workers say it makes them hungry, but Olson doesn't recommend it to spice up lunch or dinner.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Canada Ready For Auto Bailout - Contingent On U.S. Bailout

582,000 Direct and Indirect Auto Industry
Jobs Could Be Lost In Canada

A whopping 582,000 direct and indirect jobs would be lost in Canada over the next five years if the ailing Big Three US auto makers shut down their Ontario operations, said a study Tuesday. If output is reduced by 50 percent, 296,000 jobs would be lost nationally, said the 11-page report prepared for the Ontario Manufacturing Council.

The auto sector and parts industry employ roughly 219,000 Canadians nationwide. The Big Three directly employ about 34,000 workers while overseas car makers employ just under half that number.

On Friday, the Canadian and Ontario governments reached a tentative deal for a 3.4-billion Canadian dollar (2.8 billion US) bailout of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford's operations in Ontario province.

But a payout is contingent on Washington's approval of a 14-billion-dollar US aid package.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ramona Cunningham Get 7 Years In The Slammer

The Queen Of CIETC Goes To Jail
Pleaded Guilty To 8 of 30 Charges

Former Central Iowa Employment and Training Consortium CEO Ramona Cunningham was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. She was accused of being the mastermind behind a scam that involved misspending more than $1.5 million on huge executive bonuses and salaries from January 2003 to April 2006.

She pleaded guilty in June to 8 of the 30 federal charges she faced.
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Ramona Cunningham: Iowa's Most Famous Scandal Poster Girl...

Monday, December 15, 2008

State of Iowa Budget In Deficit

$40 Million + $60 Million = $100 Million in Cuts
- To Get Iowa Through Until Next Month -
More Cuts May Come Next Month...

$60 million cut in state spending is on the way after a panel of budget experts projected state revenue for the current budget year may fall nearly $100 million short of previous estimates.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver’s office said the cuts will include reductions in administrative spending, transfers of unused funds and calls for the Legislature to retract spending it had previously approved.

Culver will unveil specifics on the cuts next week, according to a release from his office on Friday.

The new cuts will come in addition to $40 million in spending reductions Culver announced earlier in the week. A gloomy projection from the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference on Friday is forcing Culver to trim deeper into the budget.
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