You are browsing the archive for 2015 March 21.

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This Week In Weird News: Horrible Human Slaps Elderly Woman For Sneezing

March 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Colin Gorenstein,

Also, a lawmaker wants to get pets high.

A police search is underway for a man who slaps people who sneeze

Police in northwest England are hunting for a middle-aged man who has allegedly been slapping residents of the borough Carlisle when they sneeze. One of the reported incidents involved the man smacking an 82-year-old woman in broad daylight. God bless you? (MirrorA teenager woke up from a coma with a cheese addiction and (much to his mother’s delight) couldn’t stop swearing

A 15-year-old boy by the name of Kai Thomas was in a coma for nine days, recovering from a brain bleed. When he woke up at Sheffield Hospital,  he was left with some very bizarre side-effects: His mother told The Daily Mail that he can’t stop eating cheese (“he munches on several blocks of it a day”) and occasionally tosses it in his cereal. Also, he apparently can’t stop shouting expletives: “Kai was a good-natured, well-manned young man,” his mother said. “He didn’t swear and minded his manners.” (The Daily Mail)

A Nevada lawmaker proposed a bill that grants pets access to medical marijuana Democrat Tick Segerblom, a Nevada lawmaker, proposed a bill in state legislature Tuesday that would allow for the access of medical marijuana for pets. According to Reuters, the bill would let owners obtain the marijuana only if they were able to get their veterinarian to confirm their pet’s “chronic or debilitating medical condition.” (Reuters)

A 104-year-old woman is claiming Dr. Pepper is what has kept her alive for so long

A 104-year-old woman from Texas gave Dr. Pepper some pretty great publicity on Wednesday: In a segment with Fort Worth’s local CBS station, she claimed that the beverage was to thank for her longevity. “People try to give me coffee for breakfast. Well, I’d rather have a Dr. Pepper,” she told the station. “I started drinking them about 40 years ago. Three a day. Every doctor that sees me says they’ll kill you, but they die and I don’t. So there must be a mistake somewhere.” (CBS-DFW)

 In Thailand, taking “underboob …read more


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How the U.S. Export-Import Bank Taxes Oklahoma's Manufacturers and Workers

March 21, 2015 in Economics

By Daniel J. Ikenson

Daniel J. Ikenson

If you count yourself among the majority of Americans fed up with the unsavory, business-as-usual, back-room dealing that continues to define Washington, take heart in the fact that the charter of the scandal-prone U.S. Export-Import Bank is set to expire on June 30. If you are among the misinformed or privileged few who support the bank’s reauthorization, how do you justify the collateral damage Ex-Im inflicts on companies in Oklahoma and across the country?

Ex-Im is a government-run export credit agency, which provides below market-rate financing and loan guarantees to facilitate sales between U.S. companies and foreign customers. In 2013 roughly 75 percent of Ex-Im’s subsidies were granted for the benefit of just 10 large companies — including Boeing, Bechtel, and GE — that could easily have financed those transactions without taxpayer assistance.

Supporters characterize the bank as a pillar of the economy, undergirding U.S. export sales, which allegedly create more and higher-paying U.S. jobs. But a fatty sheath of willful ignorance has insulated the bank from the scrutiny it deserves. Like all Washington subsidy programs, Ex-Im gives to the few, but takes from the many.

When the government subsidizes your competitor’s sales but not yours, you are made worse off because your competitor can now offer lower prices or better sales terms than he otherwise could. Call these the “intra-industry” costs. Likewise, when the government subsidizes your suppliers’ sales to your competitor, you are made worse off because your competitor’s costs are artificially reduced, enabling him to charge lower prices or offer better sales terms than he could without the subsidy. Call these the “downstream” costs.

Ex-Im’s management and its Washington-savvy supporters have been running a shell game.”

Ex-Im’s management and its Washington-savvy supporters have been running a shell game, dazzling Congress with the shiny new export sales it finances, while drawing policymakers’ attention away from the costs those activities impose on everyone else. Last year, Delta Airlines finally had enough and complained about Ex-Im loans to Air India, which were granted to enable the foreign carrier to purchase aircraft from Boeing. Delta officials demonstrated how those taxpayer subsidies, made for the benefit of Boeing’s bottom line, put Delta at a competitive disadvantage by reducing Air India’s capital costs, enabling it to lower fares and compete more effectively with Delta for international travelers. Why should taxpayer dollars be used to promote the interests of one U.S. company …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Ohio Man, Who Was Wrongfully Imprisoned for Almost 40 Years, Gets a Million Dollars

March 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Michael Arria, AlterNet

According to a recent report, 125 falsely accused prisoners were exonerated in 2014.

A 59-year-old Ohio man, named Ricky Jackson, was recently rewarded with a million dollars, after being released from prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Jackson spent 39 years in jail after being hit with a murder charge in 1975. Recently, the only witness to the crime recanted his testimony. Many years ago, Jackson was offered freedom in exchange for an admission of his guilt but he refused to take responsibility for a killing that he didn't do.

It's not yet known how much of the million dollars Jackson will actually be able to see or what the payments will look like.



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