Article 43



Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sprint’s Merger Washout

Sprint May Record $31 Billion Writedown

The Associated Press
January 31, 2008

Sprint Nextel Corp., the nation’s third-largest wireless provider, said today it may have to writeoff up to $31 billion in value. 

The company said an annual review of its goodwill what a company is worth beyond its assets ח determined that the actual value of its wireless goodwill was less than what is recorded on its books, currently valued at $31 billion.

Now the company is determining how much of a blow the balance sheet will take.

Based on the work completed to date, Sprint Nextel will be required to record a material, non-cash impairment charge that will represent a substantial portion, and potentially all, of the goodwill recorded on its balance sheet,Ӕ the company said in a securities filing.

The charge would be reported as part of its fourth-quarter financial results, expected to be released on Feb. 28.

Sprint Nextel said a writedown wouldnt affect the companyҒs cash balance or future cash flows or leave the company in danger of violating its debt covenants.

The company, based in Reston, Va., with operational headquarters in Overland Park, has struggled SINCE BUYING Nextel Communications Inc. in 2005, falling far behind rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless to attract and retain customers.

The problems led to the resignation of Chief Executive Officer GARY FORSEE in October. The company in December appointed DAN HESSE, the former chief executive officer of Sprints local telephone service spinoff Embarq Corp., to take over and attempt to revive the company.


Posted by Elvis on 02/07/08 •
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Sunday, January 27, 2008

RIP Our Best Chance For Democracy In 2008


Dennis Kucinich Quits Race
January 24, 2008

Democrat Dennis Kucinich told a newspaper on Thursday he would end his race for the U.S. presidency after registering little voter support in the early state contests.

Kucinich, 61, a liberal member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Cleveland, Ohio, told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer he would make his withdrawal announcement in that city on Friday.

“I want to continue to serve in Congress,” he said.

His campaign issued a statement saying he would announce plans on Friday for “transitioning out of the Democratic presidential primary race.”

Kucinich is an outspoken Iraq war critic who has consistently voted against funding the war and led anti-war efforts in Congress.

He said he would not endorse another candidate in the race for the Democratic nomination to contest November’s presidential election.

Kucinich attracted ardent supporters and stayed in the race even after it became clear that his campaign was going nowhere. His 30-year-old wife, Elizabeth, who stands a head taller than her husband, was generally at his side on the campaign trail.

Kucinich was ridiculed for saying at a Democratic debate that he had seen a UFO, a fact that was revealed in a book by actress Shirley MacLaine.



Posted by Elvis on 01/27/08 •
Section News • Section Dying America
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Friday, January 25, 2008

Missing The Target


The Bush Tax Rebate Fails On Effectiveness And Fairness Criteria

By Jared Bernstein
Economic Policy Institute
January 23, 2008

Many policy makers and economists now agree that an economic stimulus package is needed to offset the slowdown in the U.S. economy. The Bush administration has floated a $145 billion plan, with $100 billion devoted to a tax rebate and the remainder earmarked for businesses. Final details have yet to be formally announced, but indications are that the president will propose a temporary elimination of the 10% federal income tax bracket. While such a rebate can help boost lagging demand by putting more money in consumers’ pockets, the White House plan suffers from very poor targeting, and thus fails on two critical criteria: efficiency and equity.

Over 70% of the rebate goes to the top 40% (income above $47,000) and less than 10% reaches the bottom 40% (income below $27,000). According the analysis by the Brookings-Urban Institute Tax Policy Center, 55.9 million households get no rebate at all from the plan, in part because many households pay no federal income tax. Most of these households, however, do pay other forms of taxes, such as payroll taxes on their earnings.

The economic research on effective stimulus is quite clear on this point: there is a greater bang-for-the-buck from rebates targeted at lower-income households than higher-income ones. As the Congressional Budget Office put it in a recent report:[PDF] “Lower-income households are more likely to be credit constrained and more likely to be among those with the highest propensity to spend. Therefore, policies aimed at lower-income households tend to have greater stimulative effects.” Given the well-documented increase in income inequality in recent years, excluding low-income households from the rebate also fails on the criterion of fairness.

For a tax rebate to be both more effective and more equitable, it should be targeted at low- and moderate-income households. One way to do this is to provide a rebate to all taxpayers, including those that have payroll tax liability, not just to those who pay federal income tax.



Statement by EPI President Lawrence Mishel

Economic Policy Institute
January 24, 2008

With news media reporting that the administration and Congress have reached agreement on an economic stimulus package, Economic Policy Institute President Lawrence Mishel issued a statement sharply critical of the contents of that deal.

The real test of any anti-recession plan is whether it helps working Americans to keep earning their paychecks and paying their bills.

This deal gets it half right by providing broad-based payments to individual workers and for children, with the administration backing off its ineffective, inequitable approach. It is scandalous, however, to throw about $50 billion at businesses for investments that have already been made. It is common sense and established economics that businesses invest and hire when they have customers, not when they get tax subsidies for equipment to make things they can’t sell.

Missing from the package is any effort to help the LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED or to help state governments avoid cutting public services [or PUBLIC PENSIONS ed.] and increasing taxes - actions that will only deepen the downturn. Moreover, we could create millions of jobs by rebuilding and repairing public schools, bridges, and highways.

At a time when unemployment is expected to increase to at least 6% by the end of the year, we don’t have a day or a dollar to waste. So far, the negotiations between the Democratic and Republican leaders have been a missed opportunity.


Posted by Elvis on 01/25/08 •
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lying Dubya


Study: False Statements Preceded War

By Douglass K. Daniel, Associated Press Writer
January 23, 2008

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements “were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively GALVANIZED PUBLIC opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”

The study was POSTED Tuesday on the Web site of the CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration’s position that the world community viewed Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

“The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world,” Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

“It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida,” according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. “In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.”

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq’s links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell’s 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

“The cumulative effect of these false statements amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts ח was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war,” the study concluded.

“Some journalists indeed, even some entire news organizations ח have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, ‘independent’ validation of the Bush administration’s false statements about Iraq,” it said.



Posted by Elvis on 01/24/08 •
Section News • Section Dying America
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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Universal National Service Act of 2007

HR 393: Universal National Service Act of 2007

To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the favorable treatment afforded combat pay under the earned income tax credit, and for other purposes.

Posted by Elvis on 01/15/08 •
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