Archive for April 26, 2011



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The share of renters who spend more than half their income on housing is at its highest level in half a century and it’s no longer just low-income tenants who are feeling the pain, according to a Harvard University study scheduled for release Tuesday.

About 26 percent of renters — or 10.1 million people — spent more than half their pre-tax household income on rent and utilities in 2009. That’s because incomes slipped dramatically from their peak at the start of the decade even as rents kept rising.  read more

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Team B II Letter to Congressional Leaders on the Muslim Brotherhood Influence in and Penetration of the US Government

Dear Leaders of the House and Senate:

We recently published a competitive analysis of the politico-military-legal doctrine that animates those who wage jihad: Shariah: The Threat to America. Among the most important findings of our “Team B II” report was the fact that, pursuant to this doctrine, shariah’s adherents are using stealthy techniques – as well as violent means – to achieve their goal of imposing shariah worldwide and reestablishing the theocratic Caliphate.

Shariah is the crucial fault line of Islam’s internecine struggle. On one side of the divide are Muslim reformers and authentic moderates – figures like Abdurrahman Wahid, the late president of Indonesia and leader of the world’s largest libertarian Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama – whose members espouse the Enlightenment’s embrace of reason and, in particular, its separation of the spiritual and secular realms. On this side of the divide, shariah is a reference point for a Muslim’s personal conduct, not a corpus to be imposed on the life of a pluralistic society.  read more

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Organized labor in Florida is asking its members to pull their funds out of major banks that are supporting what labor leaders call a union-busting bill in that state’s legislature.

The AFL-CIO campaign is targeting Bank of America, Wachovia, Regions and other big banks and asking its members to “find a local community bank or credit union that deserves our business.”

At issue is the Florida Chamber of Commerce support for a proposed “Paycheck Protection Act” before the state Senate, which would bar the collection of union dues from public employees and the use of those dues for political purposes.

“This bill is a blatant attempt at ‘union busting’ and silencing the voice of our Middle America members to engage in the political process,” charged state AFL-CIO leaders joined by representatives of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the Fraternal Order of Police, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Service Employees International Union. read more

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Supporters of ObamaCare acknowledge it will have some unintended consequences. Yet surprisingly little attention has been focused on the law’s most problematic provision: government subsidies to help individuals and families purchase health insurance.

This new entitlement—which the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates will cost more than $100 billion per year once it is fully implemented—will damage the country’s long-term fiscal outlook. It also will introduce far-reaching negative effects on rewards to work and bizarre new inequities into American life.

The health law establishes insurance exchanges—regulated marketplaces in which individuals and small businesses can shop for coverage—and minimum standards for the insurance policies that can be offered. Because the policies will be so costly, there’s a subsidy for buyers that phases out as family income rises. This sounds reasonable—but the subsidies required to make a “qualifying” insurance policy affordable are so large that their phaseout creates chaos. read more

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