Friday, January 30, 2009

Does The Stimulous Help Illegal Immigrants?

Some Say No, But Read The Details
Regarding Use Of Alternative Tax Numbers...

During the 1700s and 1800s, immigrants who wanted to come to America were lured by the prospect of streets that were “lined with gold.” Well the streets may not have been lined with gold, but for those who had the will and desire to work hard, the possibilities for success were potentially endless.

The streets still are not lined with gold – but if Washington liberals get their way, the pockets of illegal aliens could be lined with taxpayer dollars. Part of the economic stimulus bill that was just passed by the House (except for House Republicans and 11 Democrats who voted against it), includes “tax credits” of $500 per person and $1,000 per couple. (Note: if the recipients pay no taxes, it’s not a credit, it’s a handout.) Apparently the wording specifically disqualifies “nonresident aliens” – Washington-speak for illegals – people with no Social Security numbers could still get the cashola:

Undocumented immigrants [liberal reporter-speak for illegals] who are not eligible for a Social Security number can file tax returns with an alternative number. A House-passed version of the economic recovery bill and one making its way through the Senate would allow anyone with such a number, called an individual taxpayer identification number, to qualify for the tax credits.
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Franken Vs. Coleman Race Still Unsettled

Minnesota Voters Absolutely Had Their Votes Improperly Taken Away - Recount Seriously Flawed

GOP Sen. Norm Coleman’s attorneys pried a key admission from Minnesota’s assistant secretary of state Wednesday, who said some voters “absolutely” had their votes improperly taken away during the controversial recount that awarded the lead to Democratic challenger Al Franken.

“It’s something I had no control over,” testified election official Jim Gelbmann, referring to a controversial ruling that effectively gave each campaign the right to veto absentee ballots that they didn’t want counted. “It was an order by the Supreme Court.”

Gelbmann’s admission on day three of the election contest, which is being tried in St. Paul before a three-judge panel, appeared to support contentions of the Coleman legal team that the recount process was seriously flawed.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley Right On H-1B Visa Workers

Finally: American Workers First!
Iowa Senator Asserts American Companies Should Layoff Foreign H-1B Visa Workers Before Layoffs Of Qualified American Workers

See previous Blog Post On Microsoft Layoffs...
In a letter sent to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer late last week, Grassley wrote:

"I am concerned that Microsoft will be retaining foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American employees when it implements its layoff plan. As you know, I want to make sure employers recruit qualified American workers first before hiring foreign guest workers."The letter continues:

"Last year, Microsoft was here on Capitol Hill advocating for more H-1B visas. The purpose of the H-1B visa program is to assist companies in their employment needs where there is not a sufficient American workforce to meet their technology expertise requirements. However, H-1B and other work visa programs were never intended to replace qualified American workers.

Certainly, these work visa programs were never intended to allow a company to retain foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American workers when that company cuts jobs during an economic downturn.

It is imperative that in implementing its layoff plan, Microsoft ensures that American workers have priority in keeping their jobs over foreign workers on visa programs."

In 2007, Microsoft petitioned the United States government for 959 H-1B visas, ranking fifth among the top 100 employers -- including U.S. and non-U.S.-based companies -- who requested the temporary visas to hire foreign workers for jobs in the United States.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

State of Iowa To Ask Budget Cuts of 6.5%

Big Cutbacks Coming In State Government Spending
Budget Shortfall Could Be As High As $779 million

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said Monday he will ask the Legislature for a 6.5 percent cut in most state programs and use $200 million in cash reserves to wipe out a huge budget shortfall in the next fiscal year.

"Our state's sound fiscal management does not mean we can avoid cuts in government spending," said Culver. "Simply put, just as families and businesses across the state and around the nation are doing more with less, so too must state government."

The governor spelled out the broad outlines of his proposed budget in a speech Monday evening to the Iowa Business Council. He will send details of his spending plan to the Legislature on Wednesday, but he made it clear in his speech that there will be big cutbacks in state government.
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Monday, January 26, 2009

Microsoft Experiences Layoff For First Time

The Software Giant Posts Falling Profits

Microsoft Corp. last week announced that it will eliminate 5,000 jobs because IT spending in the most recent quarter didn't meet projections.

At the same time, the company reported that its profits for its second fiscal quarter, which ended Dec. 31, fell 11%, to $4.17 billion, from the same quarter a year earlier. But its revenue rose 2% to $16.6 billion.

About 1,400 workers were laid off immediately, with the remainder to be dismissed over the next 18 months. Posts will be eliminated in IT, R&D, marketing and other departments, Microsoft said.
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Economic Crisis Affects Microsoft In Iowa
Microsoft Delays West Des Moines Data Center

Microsoft’s facility in West Des Moines, Iowa dash any hopes that huge data center projects would create jobs in the midst of the economic crisis. Both states each offered significant tax incentive packages to attract these companies, with expectations of a payoff in high-tech jobs.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver “is obviously disappointed by the news that Microsoft has decided to delay their plans for a new data center in West Des Moines,” Culver’s office said in a statement Friday. “This is just one more sign that no one is immune from the economic recession gripping our nation. The Governor remains hopeful that conditions will improve and Microsoft will begin construction on their new facility soon.”
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Guess Who Is Replacing Hillary In New York?

Not A Kennedy... Not A Cuomo,
It's Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, a second-term congresswoman from upstate New York, was Gov. David Paterson's pick to fill Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate seat a day after Caroline Kennedy abruptly withdrew from contention.

A Paterson aide said Friday that the 42-year-old Hudson Valley Democrat will be named by the governor at an announcement Friday in Albany. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement hadn't been made. Gillibrand was considered one of the top three or four contenders in Paterson's secretive selection process, where the front-runners were considered to be Kennedy and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama Takes Oath Of Office Again...

Oath Number #2
From Drudge Report:

At 7:35 pm, Roberts administred the oath of office again to obama in the map room. Robert Gibbs said the WH counsel, Greg Craig, believes the oath was fine Tuesday, but one word was out of sequence so they did this out of a "an abundance of caution." "

We decided it was so much fun..." Obama joked while sitting on a couch. Obama stood and walked over to make small talk with pool as Roberts donned his black robe. "Are you ready to take the oath?" Roberts asked. "I am, and we're going to do it very slowly," Obama replied.

Oath took 25 seconds. After a flawless recitation, Roberts smiled and said, "congratulations, again." Obama said, "thank you, sir." Smattering of applause. "All right." Obama said. "The bad news for the pool is there's 12 more balls."
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We Wish Our New President Well

The 44th President Of The United States
Barack Obama

On a day rich in history, Barack Obama took office Tuesday as the 44th president of the U.S., urging Americans to stand together amid the "gathering clouds and raging storms" of war and recession.

The inauguration of the first African-American to lead the world's most powerful country drew a crowd of well over one million to the National Mall here. In his 18-minute address, Mr. Obama called on Americans to return to the values of "hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity" that have seen the country through past crises
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The End Of The Bush Era

He Kept America Safe...
Yet Said To Have Decimated The Republican Brand

George W. Bush leaves the White House with one of the lowest approval ratings in history. According to Gallup, only Richard Nixon and Harry Truman, who suffered the double whammy of a bad economy and the unpopular Korean War, had lower approval ratings when they left the White House.

Today, Bush’s legacy to his successor is two unresolved wars, a global image that is deeply tarnished, and the greatest economic crisis in modern times.

Conservatives who backed Bush in two successive elections have little to show for their efforts. Bush, in fact, has decimated the Republican brand.
Read Article...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Churches Feeling Effects From Economic Downturn

Reductions in Giving Include Non-Profits

Tens of millions of Americans have already suffered substantial financial losses in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and subsequent financial challenges. A new survey from The Barna Group shows that more than 150 million adults said they have been affected by the economic turbulence, and most of them expect it to take several years before the nation fully recovers. Americans are now passing on their financial pain to churches and other non-profit organizations by cutting back substantially on their giving during the fourth quarter of 2008. Those reductions - occurring during the most important quarter of the year for donor-driven organizations - will cripple thousands of smaller and less stable donor-supported organizations.
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Friday, January 16, 2009

IBM To Create 1,300 Jobs In Dubuque

Good News For Northeast Iowa:
A New Service Center For Dubuque

Amid a daily stream of layoff notices by companies across the nation, IBM stood out Thursday by announcing it would bring a new service center and up to 1,300 jobs to Dubuque.

IBM officials said the company was responding to demand from its business clients by establishing the new technology service delivery center in the northeast Iowa city.

"IBM is making a determination that it can best meet the needs of its business clients in the U.S. by being in Dubuque, Iowa," IBM spokesman Jim Larkin said. "It's really about what our clients are telling us they need right now. We are adapting to the needs of our clients."
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200 at Featherlite to lose their jobs...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Frigid Temperatures In Des Moines Metro Area

So Cold Even Schools Are Closed

Most metro-area public school districts will be closed, Thursday, January 15, due to dangerously cold weather.

This decision is being made jointly by area superintendents who have collaborated with their district staff, meteorologists and the national weather service.

Weather information confirmed a forecast of 15 - 20 degrees below zero air temperature, with a predicted wind-chill of 35 - 40 degrees below zero. At 35 degrees below (wind chill) skin can freeze in a matter of minutes. Because of this, it is important that children be kept inside during this unprecedented severe weather.

In addition, extremely low temperatures of this nature affect the ability to start and keep buses running reliably.
Read Article...

Note: Keep your vehicle's gas tanks over a half tank...
Consider using gas antifreeze additives...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Teens Find New Use For SMS On Mobile Cell Phones

Not Just Talking and Texting on Cell Phones...
Sexting: Sending Nude Photos Of Themselves

Teens here are taking nude photos of themselves or others, sending them on their cell phones or posting them online.

Some teens do it as a joke.

For others, it's the new bold pickup line to get a date.

A year ago, a 19-year-old Goshen cheerleading coach was charged and prosecuted for a misdemeanor, contributing to the unruliness of a child, for taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl. A Glen Este Middle School boy was taken to juvenile court during the last school year for taking explicit photos of his girlfriend.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and last month revealed results of a study that showed 20 percent of teens say they have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves.
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