Posted by Dale Buss on September 4, 2013 03:51 PM
If you're going to trade punches with Uncle Sam, you'd better be able to pack a wallop. It isn't clear yet if Standard & Poor's Ratings Services will prove to bring a haymaker in its new action against the federal government, but it clearly is engaged in a heavyweight fight.
To wit: S&P has sued the government because the feds filed a $5 billion lawsuit against S&P in what S&P is calling "retaliation" for the company's downgrade of America's debt in 2011. The United States had accused S&P of misrepresenting its rating process in the years before the financial crisis to federally insured banks and credit unions that were buying debt, a charge that S&P has called "meritless."
Now S&P, a unit of McGraw-Hill Cos., alleges that the governent's suit amounts to an attempt to breach free speech, which a Justice Department spokeswoman called a "preposterous" charge, according to the Wall Street Journal. So the sides can be considered even in their "well-I-never" rhetoric.Continue reading...
see you in court
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 26, 2013 05:37 PM
Billy Crystal once joked that Donald Trump was the only person who could look at the New York City skyline and say, “Got it. Got it. Ain’t got it. Got it. Need it. Got it." Nowadays, though, the business magnate known for his strong personality (and other, whispier things) seems to pile up problems as quickly as real-estate deals.
His latest is a lawsuit from New York state’s attorney general, who is seeking $40 million in damages after over 5,000 people paid money to learn Trump's business acumen at his Trump Entrepreneur Institute, once known as Trump University (before it was discredited as such).Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 14, 2013 07:16 PM
First Lady Michelle Obama has leant her lean muscle and healthier living initiative “Let’s Move!” to a hip-hop album with Partnership for a Healthier America and Hip Hop Public Health.
The 19-track album, “Songs for a Healthier America,” features multi-genre artists including Ashanti, DMC, Jordin Sparks, Doug E. Fresh, Matisyahu, Ariana Grande and Blink-182's Travis Barker, as well as the New York Knicks Iman Schumpert and Nils Lofgren of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2013 03:02 PM
With 200 million active users, Twitter, a self-described "digital town square" is taking its views to Washington with its first political action committee, appropriately dubbed Twitter#PAC.
Joining Google, Facebook and Microsoft, the microblogger will lobby on privacy, internet freedom, net neutrality, and copyright and patent reform, according to a Lobbying Registration form filed by William Carty, who will be Twitter’s first lobbyist, based in the company's D.C. office.
Carty was most recently a policy director in the Senate's commerce committee and will be joined by Nu Wexler as the company's policy spokesperson, most recently a staffer with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 9, 2013 04:44 PM
Just as Twitter launches its own PAC (Twitter#PAC, naturally) and hires its first lobbyist (Will Carty) in Washington, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's super-PAC, FWD.us, has had a rough go of it since its launch.
With the backing of numerous Silicon Valley big-wigs and a hard focus on immigration reform, the group has fielded criticism from liberal grassroots organizations including Progressives United, CREDO, the Sierra Club, the Daily Kos and Democracy for America, all of which pulled their ads from Facebook after FWD.us began running ads for the Keystone Pipeline, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and attacks on Obamacare.
It's been said that the super-PAC "doesn’t understand the tech industry,” and in turn is alienating the core of the Democratic party. In response, the group has tried to revamp its image through enlightening TV spots and videos. The latest, "Serve," follows immigrant Alejandro Morales and his fight to join the US Marines—an ambition which is blocked by his undocumented status.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 30, 2013 03:42 PM
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, has been dealt yet another blow on his warpath to ban oversized, sugary drinks. The four judges from New York state's Supreme Court Appellate Division unanimously ruled Tuesday that the city’s attempt to stop larger-size sodas from being sold in the Big Apple’s restaurants is unconstitutional.
Mayor Bloomberg, who has taken on the cause personally, is prepared to carry on the fight to ban sodas 16 ounces and larger from being sold in NYC eateries. "Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic," Bloomberg said in a statement.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 30, 2013 02:47 PM
Thomson Reuters' corporate Twitter account is the latest victim of the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of hackers that are pro-president Bashar Al-Assad. The group is the same one that claimed responsibility for Twitter hacks on NPR, CBS' 60 Minutes, Al Jazeera and the Associated Press—a hack that caused a drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
For about 45 minutes Monday night, the hackers took over, posting offensive political cartoons—all of which Buzzfeed managed to capture before Twitter suspended the @ThomsonReuters account, which has about 83,000 followers and is seperate from the @Reuters breaking news account.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 8, 2013 06:38 PM
A mostly European coalition of 70 leading clothing brands, retailers and trade unions backed by the International Labor Organization and the IndustriALL and UNI global trade unions has announced the next steps for their precendent-setting, five-year Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
In a joint statement, EU Commissioner Karel de Gucht, ILO Director General Guy Ryder, and Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dupi Moni "welcome(d) the fact that over 70 major fashion and retail brands sourcing RMG from Bangladesh have signed an Accord on Fire and Building Safety to coordinate their efforts to help improve safety in Bangladesh’s factories which supply them. In this context, they encourage other companies, including SMEs, to join the Accord expeditiously within their respective capacities.”
Their remarks were targeted at the brands that are holdouts from the European-dominated IndustriALL coalition. Indeed, only a handful of North American brands have signed the global accord, including PVH (owner of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and other apparel brands), Abercrombie & Fitch, Zac Posen and Sean John, as well as Canada's Loblaw, which owns the Joe Fresh fashion label now sold in JCPenney stores across America.
By signing the finalized plan, which was released on Monday, the signatories vow to submit a list of names and addresses of all Bangladeshi factories used by July 15. The list, which is expected to total near 1,000 factories, will be made public along with inspection reports.Continue reading...