Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder at His Installation Ceremony

27 Mar 2009 17:12 Africa/Lagos

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder at His Installation Ceremony

WASHINGTON, March 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following are remarks as prepared for delivery by Attorney General Eric Holder:

Thank you, President Barack Obama for your remarks and for the trust you have placed in me by asking me to lead this great Department. I also want to thank my wife, Sharon, and my three wonderful children, whose love and support sustain me. I want to say hello to my mother who is recovering from a recent illness but who I know is watching this event. You work hard and you get well. And I want to thank the many career professionals from the Department I see here today. Over my career, you have been my mentors, my colleagues, and my friends. It is your dedication to duty and love of country that gives the Department of Justice its heart and its soul, and ensures that it lives up to the ideals enshrined in our Constitution that are our special duty to protect.

Ours is a nation of laws, guided by principles that reflect the essential goodness of the American people. Many of these values - adherence to the rule of law, equality before the law, and the applicability of Due Process - are as well-known as they are timeless. And yet, these principles can only truly be the animating force of our legal system if we, both individually and collectively, make it so. That is why, Mr. President, I pledge to you, to my fellow Department of Justice employees, and to the American people as a whole that I will lead a Department of Justice that is firmly rooted in, and solely guided by, these sacred principles. In all that we do, in all that requires us to make the difficult judgments that must withstand the scrutiny of the ages, these values will serve as our eternal touchstone.

It will not always be easy to solely let these principles serve as the enduring markers that will guide our path. This will be particularly true when we face unforeseen and even existential challenges. And it won't always be popular, as we apply them to unfamiliar dangers. But it will always be right. There are some who say that we can no longer afford to use these principles as our foundation. There are some who say that the challenges we face are too grave, that the stakes are too high. And there are some who say that these principles weaken us as we meet the challenges of this modern age.

But here is what I say - the power of this nation is at its zenith when the actions of our government are firmly grounded on the bedrock of the rule of law and the values that make our nation unique.

My friends, the true test of our nation's greatness is whether we uphold our most cherished principles, not when it is easy, but when it is hard. Our nation - our Department - has met this test in times past. We will do so again. You - the women and men who compose the Department of Justice - know that there is no contradiction between our ideals and our efforts to enforce the law. Our commitment to the rule of law, to equal protection, and to Due Process are not an obstacle to be overcome, but the foundation upon which you - and generations of our predecessors - have built this Department's long and storied history.

This nation - this Department - has faced novel and difficult challenges before. We have overcome them. And let no one doubt that we will overcome the challenges we face today, and those that will confront us tomorrow. And let no one doubt that we shall do so guided by the principles that gave birth to our great nation and that are enshrined not only on the parchment pages of the Constitution but also in the living spirit of the American ideal and in the halls of the Department that I now call home for a final time.

Here is my commitment to you as the new Attorney General. We at the Department of Justice will protect our people from those abroad - and from those within our borders - who seek to do us harm.

We will protect our nation's markets from fraud and from those who prey on the vulnerable.

We will protect the civil rights of our fellow citizens, all of our fellow citizens - in the workplace, in the housing market, in our educational institutions and in the voting booth, as well as in their day to day lives.

We will protect our environment from depredation, and our public institutions from corruption.

We will be fair and just in all of the things that we do.

And we will zealously protect our Constitution - indeed, the very rule of law itself - from those who would force upon us the false choice between security and liberty, between safety and justice.

During the last eight weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with a number of you, and to thank you for your dedicated work for our Department and for our Nation that we are all so fortunate to serve. In the coming months, I hope to meet many more of you, and to talk about and refine the methods we will use in our common cause.

Please know that I consider it to be a special privilege - the highest honor and the highlight of my life and career- to return to this institution that I love for the last time and to be given the responsibility to lead it. Please also know that I am proud to serve with you.

This is our time. When Americans generations from now look back on the work we will do, let us strive to insure that they say we kept the faith and that we made a superb Department of Justice even greater.

Thank you my friends.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

CONTACT: U.S. Department of Justice, +1-202-514-2007, TDD:

Web Site:

Eric Holder is the first African-American to become the Attorney General of the
United States

NEWSWEEK Cover: Obama Is Wrong

President Barack Obama thinks he is right, but according to the Newsweek Cover story, the famous economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman thinks Obama is wrong.
What do you think?

Video: Obama defends budget and dollar
(02:06) Report
Mar. 24 - President Barack Obama defended his $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, which most Republicans and even some fellow Democrats have criticized for being too costly.

In his second prime-time White House news conference since he took office, Obama said the U.S. dollar is strong. He also said he is continuing to follow the ongoing violence in Mexico very carefully and is prepared to take additional steps to protect the U.S. border. Jon Decker reports.SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama

In the April 6 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands March 30), "Obama is Wrong," Newsweek's Evan Thomas profiles Paul Krugman, who, as the debate over the rescue of the financial system unfolds, has emerged as Obama's toughest liberal critic. Plus: Michael Hirsh on how Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appears to have settled into office; Dan Gross on financial linguistics; a profile of Peter Arnell; Newsweek's Business Roundtable; and the "diva-ization" of kids at a young age. (PRNewsFoto/Newsweek) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES 03/29/2009

29 Mar 2009 16:17 Africa/Lagos

NEWSWEEK Cover: Obama Is Wrong

Paul Krugman Has Emerged as Obama's Toughest Liberal Critic

What if Krugman's Criticism May be Right?

NEW YORK, March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- As the debate over the rescue of the financial system - which is crucial in stabilizing the economy and returning the country to prosperity - unfolds, Paul Krugman has emerged as President Barack Obama's toughest liberal critic, writes Newsweek Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas in his profile of Krugman in the current issue. Krugman, a columnist for The New York Times, a professor at Princeton and a Nobel Prize winner in economics, was a scourge of the Bush administration, but has been critical, if not hostile, to the Obama White House, skeptical of the bank bailout and pessimistic about the economy. As the debate continues, there are worries among the establishment that his "despair" over the administration's bailout plan might be right. "Krugman may be exaggerating the decay of the financial system or the devotion of Obama's team to preserving it. But what if he's right, or part right?," Thomas writes. "What if President Obama is squandering his only chance to step in and nationalize...the banks before they collapse altogether?," he writes in the April 6 Newsweek cover, "Obama Is Wrong" (on newsstands Monday, March 30).

(Photo: )

There is little doubt that Krugman has become the voice of the loyal opposition, taking on the president from the left. In his twice-a-week column and his blog, Conscience of a Liberal, Krugman criticizes the Obamaites for trying to prop up a flawed financial system and he portrays Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and other top officials as tools of Wall Street. The day Geithner announced the details of the administration's bank-rescue plan, Krugman described his "despair" that Obama "has apparently settled on a financial plan that, in essence, assumes that banks are fundamentally sound and that bankers know what they're doing." The administration, naturally does not share Krugman's view, but the Obama White House is also careful not to provoke his wrath any more than necessary.

"Ideologically, Krugman is a European Social Democrat," Thomas writes. "In his published opinions, and perhaps his very being, Paul Krugman is anti- establishment." He hungers for what he calls "a new New Deal," and prides himself on his status as an outsider. Krugman generally applauds Obama's efforts to tax the rich in his budget and try for massive health-care reform. However, on the all-important questions of the financial system, he says he has not given up on the White House's seeing the merits of his argument - that the government must guarantee the liabilities of all the nation's banks and nationalize the big "zombie" banks - and do it fast. "The public wants to trust Obama," Krugman says. "This is still Bush's crisis. But if they wait, Obama will be blamed for a fair share of the problem." The question remains as to whether Krugman is right, which we won't know for a while to come.

(Read cover at


AP Archive:
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN1
PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: Katherine Barna, +1-212-445-4859, of Newsweek

Web site:


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pelosi: President's Comprehensive Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is Right Plan to Protect Americans

27 Mar 2009 16:48 Africa/Lagos

Pelosi: President's Comprehensive Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan is Right Plan to Protect Americans

WASHINGTON, March 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement in support of President Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan:

"I support President Obama's comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The President's plan is the result of a detailed study and is wisely centered on dismantling al Qaeda and denying safe havens in both Afghanistan and Pakistan to those who would attack the United States. This strategy recognizes a point that I have emphasized for years, and one that I shared with the President following my visit last month to Afghanistan, which is that we must have a regional approach to countering terrorism.

"By aiding Pakistan in their efforts to defeat terrorists, investing in and training Afghan Security Forces and their Army, creating conditions to marginalize insurgents and foster democracy, and cooperating with our allies to achieve these goals, we can strengthen our global counterterrorism efforts and prevent another catastrophic attack, such as the horrific one Osama bin Laden launched on September 11th.

"The President's strategic and comprehensive approach is the right plan to stabilize Afghanistan and to protect the American people."

Source: Office of the Speaker of the House

CONTACT: Brendan Daly, Nadeam Elshami, Drew Hammill, all of the Office
of the Speaker of the House, +1-202-226-7616

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zogby/O'Leary Report Poll Finds Majority of American Voters Don't Fault U.S. Gun Laws for Mexican Drug Violence

26 Mar 2009 10:27 Africa/Lagos

Zogby/O'Leary Report Poll Finds Majority of American Voters Don't Fault U.S. Gun Laws for Mexican Drug Violence

WASHINGTON, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has stated that the Obama administration would like to resurrect the Clinton ban on semi-automatic firearms, as well as other gun control laws.

One of the reasons for bringing back these unpopular laws, according to Holder, is that Mexican drug cartels are becoming increasingly violent and warring with Mexican government troops. Holder says that some of the guns being used by the Mexican drug mafia are being obtained illegally from the United States.

Mexico is a country with a reputation for political corruption and a healthy disregard for the individual rights of its citizens. Still, Holder and the Obama administration think that limiting the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens is a cure for drug violence in Mexico.

However, according to a recent poll conducted by The O'Leary Report and Zogby International, a vast majority of the American voting public disagrees.

The poll, which was conducted March 20-23 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points, asked 4,523 likely voters:

"Mexican officials, gun control groups and officials at the Department of Homeland Security claim drug cartels are crossing the U.S. border in order to obtain guns illicitly. Others say that the Mexican drug cartels are equipped with military hardware including grenades, anti-tank missiles and mortars - all weapons that are not available to the American public. Which of the following do you think is the main source for Mexican drug cartel arms?"

Sixty-five percent of voters say that the international black market is the main source for Mexican drug cartel arms; while only 13.5 percent think these arms are coming from U.S. gun stores (3.5 percent think the arms are coming from somewhere else and 18 percent are not sure).

Among voters aged 18-29 years old, one of President Obama's strongest groups of supporters, 73 percent say international black market, and just six percent say U.S. gun stores (two percent say somewhere else and 19 percent are not sure).

A strong majority of self-described Independent voters (66 percent) also say that the international black market is main source of arms for Mexican drug cartels, and only 12 percent say U.S. gun stores (four percent say somewhere else and 19 percent are not sure).

Brad O'Leary is publisher of "The O'Leary Report," a bestselling author, and is a former NBC Westwood One talk show host. His new book, "Shut Up, America! The End of Free Speech," will be in bookstores April 14. To see more poll results, go to

Source: The O'Leary Report

CONTACT: Peyton Knight, +1-202-828-1202

Web Site:

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Americans are TEA'd

Americans are TEA'd
~ by Newt Gingrich (more by this author)
Posted 03/25/2009 ET
Updated 03/25/2009 ET

Americans are used to April 15th being the day you’re told to pay up.

This year, Tax Day is the day to say you’re TEA’d -- Taxed Enough Already.

As you read this, liberals in Congress are beginning the process of forcing passage of the $3.6 trillion, high-spending, high-borrowing and high-taxing Obama budget.

President Obama is even mobilizing teams of his presidential campaign supporters, now a political organization called Organizing for America, who are going door-to-door campaign style to pitch his irresponsibly massive government expansion program that will raise taxes on every single American.

And what could they possibly be saying about a budget that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted last week will lead to deficits $2.3 trillion larger than the Obama White House is telling us?

Once again, we see Washington promoting irresponsible spending and expecting responsible taxpayers to foot the bill.

Here’s what you can do to fight back: On April 15, join your fellow Americans at Tax Day Tea Parties across the nation to say no to the Obama budget. I want to tell you about two groups that are helping to organize the Tea Parties. Why these two groups? I will tell you in a minute and explain how you can participate.

Get Involved in a Tax Day Tea Party on April 15

You won’t read about it in the elite media, but tens of thousands of Americans in hundreds of American communities are organizing Tax Day Tea Parties for this April 15th.

Some communities have already held Tea Parties to fight back against Wall Street and Washington insiders who’d rather taxpayers ask fewer questions and write more checks.

Over 4,000 turned out in Orlando this past weekend.

More came out in Cincinnati than at anytime since the Vietnam War protests.

But all of this has been a warm-up act for April 15.

The Reagan Coalition is Reassembling itself to Fight the Obama Budget

Some Tea Party participants call themselves “God-fearing patriots,” and it’s a good description for the movement that is gaining strength.

In outrage against the billions of our dollars being used to pay for the irresponsible behavior of others -- and the trillions more in the Obama budget that will be used to expand government even further into our lives -- the Reagan coalition of the faithful and the fiscally conservative is reassembling.

There’s no super-rich sugar daddy like George Soros pulling the strings.

There’s no special interest group like creating the illusion of a grassroots movement.

And it’s not a taxpayer-funded “protest” group like ACORN.

It’s just ordinary Americans who believe in preserving American values and principles like faith, freedom and smaller government.

That’s why I want to tell you about two groups. Each group is focusing on bringing like-minded people together at the same events.

The first group is, a broad coalition of grassroots groups which has already organized many of the Tea Parties that you probably heard about. They have already confirmed more than 250 locations in all 50 states for the April 15 Tea Parties.

The second group is which is a joint effort by Renewing American Leadership and the American Family Association. They are committed to bringing people of faith and their families to the Tea Parties. Over 10,000 are already signed up.

Get Your Tea Party Tool Kit at

American Solutions has created a Tea Party Tool Kit that you can download and pass out at your local Tea Party. The Tool Kit is designed to communicate, not just that we’re angry, but that we have a bold agenda with better solutions that will actually get our economy growing again. It’s available here.

The Tea Party Tool Kit’s key component is 12 American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity, a pro-growth, pro-freedom alternative to the irresponsible policies of the Obama budget.

April 15 is just 20 days away. Go to now to find a Tax Day Tea Party near you and get involved.

Secretary Geithner Has Lost the Confidence of the American People -- If He Ever Had It to Begin With

Another reason to come out to a Tax Day Tea Party is to let President Obama know that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has lost the confidence of the American people and needs to resign.

The Geithner nomination for Treasury Secretary was tainted from the outset. In the midst of a crisis of trust in our financial institutions and our government institutions, the last person we needed for a Treasury Secretary was a public official who had deliberately failed to pay his taxes.

And since then, the news has only gotten worse. As I wrote last week, from the beginning of the crisis last fall, Geithner has been central to the Bush-Obama policy of corporate bailouts that has enriched Wall Street firms with the taxpayers’ money.

The Joke’s On Us: Goldman Sachs Never Needed a Bailout

The latest revelation is perhaps the worst yet.

Remember how the Paulson-Geithner-Bernanke bailout of AIG was initially sold to the American people? We were told that failing to prop up the firm with taxpayer dollars would let loose a cascading failure of the entire banking system.

It turns out that this was never exactly true.

That’s right. Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar announced last week that his firm never needed the taxpayers’ help after all. Goldman Sachs, it turns out, wouldn’t have failed if AIG had been allowed to fail.

The reason Viniar made the announcement was to divert the public’s attention from allegations that Goldman profited handsomely from the bailout of AIG.

But in trying to tamp down one scandal, Viniar has revealed another: The ground on which Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke sold the $170 billion AIG bailout was -- at least partially -- a lie.

The Top Four Beneficiaries of the AIG Bailout? Goldman Sachs and Three Foreign Banks

So if we didn’t avert a banking crisis with the AIG bailout, what exactly have the taxpayers gotten for their $170 billion? Well, nothing so far. But here’s the list of the top four beneficiaries of the AIG bailout:

1. Goldman Sachs: $12.9 billion
2. Société Générale (France) $11.9 billion
3. Deutsche Bank (Germany) $11.8 billion
4. Barclays (United Kingdom) $7.9 billion

This is the real scandal of the AIG bailout.

Add the other TARP funds Goldman Sachs received to the AIG pass-through money and you get an astounding total of $23 billion from the taxpayers.

All for a company that now says it never needed help to begin with.

If that’s not a reason to come to a Tax Day Tea Party on April 15, I don’t know what is.

See you there.

Your friend,

P.S. Today, I will testify in front of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. Alongside former Justice of the Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor and former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, I will discuss the recommendations in the Alzheimer’s Study Group’s National Strategic Plan to overcome the mounting Alzheimer's crisis. Earlier this month, I appeared on the “Today Show” discussing Alzheimer’s and will be on “Nightline” this evening. In my next newsletter, I’ll provide more details on the recommendations. I want to thank our members of the ASG.

P.P.S. Those of you who follow my “tweets” on Twitter have already heard my call for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to resign. I’m having a lot of fun with this new technology. If you’d like to correspond with me and follow my “tweets” on Twitter, just go to Oh, and you can also follow me on facebook as well.

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of "Real Change: From the World That Fails to the World That Works" and "Winning the Future" (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company). Click here to get his free Newt Gingrich Letter.

Animal Planet Exposes Horrific Billion Dollar Industry in New Special PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED

25 Mar 2009 16:10 Africa/Lagos

Animal Planet Exposes Horrific Billion Dollar Industry in New Special PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED

- Special Presentation of ANIMAL COPS: PHILADELPHIA Takes Viewers Inside Puppy Mills in Pennsylvania and Beyond-

SILVER SPRING, Md., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Boney legs poke out from between harsh metal wires. Food and water dishes remain empty for days. Ailments go untreated as puppies bide their time among the dying and the dead. These are the squalid conditions of puppy mills, where it's estimated more than two million dogs are mass-produced for profit each year. Hundreds of these animals never survive, and the ones who do are permanently scarred, emotionally and physically. No matter how inhumane, over 10,000 puppy mills continue to do business across the country -- many of them legally -- as neglect runs rampant and countless lives are ruined. While respectable breeders cherish their animals by providing safe, clean environments; plenty of food and water; and space for exercise and socialization, puppy mills are run for profit alone, without considering the quality of life of the animals that are born within their confines.

Starting in Pennsylvania, a state which some organizations have dubbed "the puppy mill capital of the east," Animal Planet follows the committed law enforcement officers of the Pennsylvania SPCA (PSPCA) to take viewers inside the world of puppy mills in PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED. Premiering Monday, April 27, at 10 PM (ET/PT), this special episode of ANIMAL COPS: PHILADELPHIA utilizes photographic and video evidence and the firsthand accounts of investigators and employees who brought down some of the largest puppy mill operations in the country. PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED illuminates the horrifying conditions of puppy mills while forcing viewers to ask how this inexcusable business continues to flourish on American soil.

In Pennsylvania, PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED explores the case of Limestone Kennels -- one of the highest profile puppy mill cases the state has ever seen. On July 17, 2008, just outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, investigators rescued more than 80 dogs from Limestone and brought owner John Blank to justice. Unfortunately, victory was bittersweet because what the officers saw inside the puppy mill was astonishing -- multiple dogs packed into cramped cages, food dishes contaminated with feces and animals with multiple birth defects, including dogs with missing eyes. The worst part was the kennel had passed inspections on multiple occasions, calling into question the enforcement of state laws surrounding the welfare of animals in Pennsylvania. Humane Law Enforcement Officer Ashley Mutch followed the lead that led to the warrant and raid of Limestone Kennels.

"We rescued all of the dogs from the appalling environment and conditions they were subjected to, which was the most important thing," say Mutch. "But for the dogs that came before them, we were too late. Whether they survived or not, all of those dogs were victims of a puppy mill and will be forever damaged."

"Puppy mills are a blemish on a country that loves and respects its dogs," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. "PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED tells the truth about these operations -- no matter how disturbing -- in order to incite emotions and action in everyone who watches."

Traveling across the country, PUPPY MILLS: EXPOSED explores similar stories as they unfold in Tennessee and Florida. With the help of a puppy mill employee, who was disgusted by what she saw at work, the authorities in Hickman County, Tennessee, closed Pine Bluff Kennels. The animals were tortured with starvation, kept in disgusting cages covered in inches of feces and left to survive among the corpses of dead puppies. The adult dogs did not fare much better: after being used for breeding, they were no longer considered valuable and were allegedly shot.

Later, viewers travel to Miami where the other side of this horrific reality is exposed. Viewers meet a woman who bought her puppy, Nugget, from a pet store. Shortly thereafter, Nugget became sick. Like most people, the owner had no idea that virtually all pet store puppies come from large commercial breeding facilities -- many of which can be considered puppy mills. The conditions of these facilities would be truly shocking to pet owners, but unfortunately they buy their pets, unaware of their origins.

ANIMAL COPS: PHILADELPHIA is a Granada Anglia production. For Granada Anglia, Marie Thomas is executive producer. Dawn Sinsel is the executive producer for Animal Planet.

Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 95 million homes in the US; online assets, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond;, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.

The Pennsylvania SPCA is dedicated to rescuing animals from abuse and neglect, providing lifesaving care and treatment, guaranteeing a home for every adoptable animal, and reducing pet-overpopulation through low-cost spay-and-neuter clinics and public awareness initiatives. Through these efforts, we prevent cruelty towards animals and promote respect for their welfare, thus enhancing the lives of people and their companion animals throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PSPCA has satellite shelters in Wellsboro, Centre Hall, Danville, and Montrose. The Philadelphia branch houses a full-service animal hospital, obedience training academy, adoption facility and the PSPCA Law Enforcement Department, which is responsible for enforcing Philadelphia and Pennsylvania animal cruelty laws. For more information, call 215-426-6300 or visit

Source: Animal Planet

CONTACT: Erin Pryor for Animal Planet, +1-240-662-6781,

Web Site: Animal Planet

Cricket and Samsung to Bring World's Largest Working Cell Phone to Philadelphia

25 Mar 2009 13:30 Africa/Lagos

Cricket to Bring World's Largest Working Cell Phone to Philadelphia

~Philadelphians Invited to Make the Biggest Calls of their Life on the Guinness World Record-Breaking Samsung Phone~

PHILADELPHIA, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Cricket, a leading provider of unlimited wireless services, and Samsung Telecommunications America, (Samsung Mobile) a leading mobile phone distributor in the U.S., will bring the world's largest working cell phone to the Shops at Liberty Place on 16th and Chestnut Streets in Center City Philadelphia today. To celebrate the unveiling of the monstrous phone, Cricket invites all Philadelphians to make the "biggest calls of their life" on the phone. The life-size replica of the Samsung Messager is approximately 15 feet long, 13 feet high and 3 feet deep and will be in Philadelphia through March 27. Whether celebrating an engagement, pregnancy, or new job promotion, Philadelphians can use the world's biggest phone to share the biggest news of their lives with family and friends across the country.

Cricket is also asking Philadelphians to "Respekt their Voices" and showcase their singing skills on the world's largest "cell phone" stage. During this fun promotion, each person will have the opportunity to sing the "Respect" song in the phone's interactive video booth. Videos will be posted on YouTube for friends, family and loyal Cricket users across the country to enjoy.

"Bringing the world's largest working cell phone to Philadelphia is an exciting way for us to continue to celebrate offering Cricket service, and ultimately, providing value to residents of this great city," said Andy Cook, regional general manager for Cricket in Philadelphia. "Providing free, unlimited calls on the world's largest working cell phone is another way Cricket is delivering unmatched value to the people of Philadelphia."

Cricket and Samsung Mobile will also offer interactive activities onsite. Philadelphians can go hand to hand in a texting competition booth where they can win fun prizes. They can have their pictures taken in front of the phone and have them uploaded to where the photos can be shared with family and friends. There will also be an experiential display area featuring Cricket and Samsung Mobile products.

"The QWERTY keyboard on the Samsung Messager(TM) makes text messaging easy and it is the perfect device to use as the world's largest working cell phone," said Bobby Billman, vice president of marketing for Samsung Telecommunications America. "Samsung Mobile is excited to be a part of this record breaking event, and give Philadelphians the chance to see Samsung's latest products."

The Messager is equipped with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, built-in 1.3-megapixel digital camera and MP3 player, as well as a variety of downloadable applications and games. Available in navy blue and green, the Samsung Messager features multiple Bluetooth profiles, including stereo Bluetooth and file transfer capabilities for easy file and object exchange. The phone also includes a MicroSD slot for a removable memory card that allows customers to easily store their favorite music and photos. The Samsung Messager is sold at Cricket stores throughout the U.S. Visit for more information.

Cricket, which just launched service in Philadelphia on March 10, offers coverage expanding from Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, across South Jersey to Atlantic City and down to Wilmington in Northern Delaware. Cricket rate plans also include unlimited use in all Cricket markets across the U.S., including Pittsburgh and Chicago, as well as Premium Extended Coverage, which allows unlimited use in an even broader area stretching from New York and Boston to California and from Wisconsin to Texas.

For more information about the world's largest working cell phone, rate plans or the Philadelphia launch, please visit a local Cricket retail location, or visit For more information on the Samsung Messager or other mobile devices, visit

About Cricket

Cricket is the pioneer of simple and affordable unlimited wireless services with no long-term commitments or credit checks required serving more than four million customers in 30 states. Cricket offers wireless voice and broadband Internet services over the latest technology, high-quality, all-digital 3G CDMA2000 1X and 1xEV-DO wireless network. Cricket's wireless voice service plans include unlimited anytime minutes, unlimited U.S. long distance, unlimited text and picture messaging, unlimited text to Mexico, unlimited Mobile Web, unlimited directory assistance, as well as a variety of calling features and feature-rich mobile applications such as popular games, ringtones and wallpapers. Cricket Broadband provides unlimited Internet access anywhere within Cricket's coverage areas at speeds comparable to DSL. For more information on Cricket, visit Cricket is offered by Leap Wireless International, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, Calif. For more information on Leap, visit

Leap is a U.S. registered trademark and the Leap logo is a trademark of Leap. Cricket, Jump, the Cricket "K" and Flex Bucket are U.S. registered trademarks of Cricket. In addition, the following are trademarks or service marks of Cricket: Cricket By Week, Cricket Choice, Cricket Connect, Cricket Nation and Cricket PAYGo. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About Samsung Telecommunications America

Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets and telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2007 consolidated sales of US$105 billion. Employing approximately 150,000 people in 134 offices in 62 countries, the company consists of two main business units: Digital Media & Communications and Device Solution. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:
MWW Group for Samsung Mobile
Makenzie Blythe

Braithwaite Communications for Cricket
Meredith Joseph
215-564-3200 x119

Cricket Communications, Inc.
Courtney Prato, Media Relations

Source: Cricket Communications

CONTACT: Makenzie Blythe, MWW Group for Samsung Mobile, +1-214-414-3331,; or Meredith Joseph, of Braithwaite Communications for
Cricket, +1-215-564-3200 x119,; or Courtney Prato,
Media Relations, of Cricket Communications, Inc., +1-858-882-6335,

Web Site:

Confidence Levels Increase Among Democrats and Independents, Decrease Among Republicans After Viewing Obama's Press Conference

25 Mar 2009 04:37 Africa/Lagos

Confidence Levels Increase Among Democrats and Independents, Decrease Among Republicans After Viewing Obama's Press Conference

FLEMINGTON, N.J., March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Results of a national study among 1,375 Americans revealed that while confidence levels increased among Democrats and Independents regarding President Obama's approach to the nation's critical issues, confidence levels decreased among Republicans.


The study was conducted by HCD Research during the President's press conference earlier this evening among a nationally representative sample of self-reported Democrats, Republicans and Independents. To view detailed results go to

After watching the press conference, participants were asked if they felt more confident, less confident or the same regarding major national issues that were discussed during this evening's press conference.

Among the findings:

After viewing the press conference this evening, do you feel more confident, less confident or the same in regards to the following areas?

Condition of US economy

Democrats Republicans Independents
More confident 54% 18% 37%
The same 40% 51% 48%
Less confident 6% 31% 15%

Federal budget

Democrats Republicans Independents
More confident 41% 12% 22%
The same 49% 39% 51%
Less confident 10% 49% 27%

Health care

Democrats Republicans Independents
More confident 43% 15% 29%
The same 49% 51% 53%
Less confident 8% 35% 19%

Foreign policy

Democrats Republicans Independents
More confident 34% 10% 23%
The same 59% 55% 57%
Less confident 6% 35% 20%

Energy supply and creation

Democrats Republicans Independents
More confident 44% 19% 32%
The same 51% 54% 56%
Less confident 5% 28% 12%

The nation's education system

Democrats Republicans Independents
More confident 44% 16% 29%
The same 52% 58% 59%
Less confident 5% 26% 12%

The Media Curves web site provides the media and general public with a venue to view Americans' perceptions of popular and controversial media events and advertisements.

HCD Research is a communications research company headquartered in Flemington, NJ. The company's services include traditional and web-based communications research. For additional information on HCD Research, access the company's web site at or call HCD Research at 908-788-9393.

Editors/Reporters: For more information on the study, or to speak with
Glenn Kessler, president and CEO, HCD Research, please contact Vince McGourty,
HCD Research, at .
First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

AP Archive:
PRN Photo Desk,
Source: HCD Research, Inc.

CONTACT: Vince McGourty of HCD Research, +1-908-483-9121,

Web Site:

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Raising America's Infrastructure GPA: A 'Study Guide'

25 Mar 2009 05:01 Africa/Lagos

Raising America's Infrastructure GPA: A 'Study Guide'

New Report Details Impact of Crumbling Infrastructure, Offering State-by-State Perspectives and Solutions for the Future

WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's infrastructure picture certainly looks bleak. In urban areas, roadway congestion tops 40 percent. The number of high hazard dams - dams that, should they fail, pose a significant risk to human life - has increased by more than 3,000 just since 2007. Thirty percent of America's children attend school in overcrowded classrooms. However, a report released today by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) shows that with ingenuity and the right amount of commitment on the part of the nation's leaders and the American people, the infrastructure crisis we face is a solvable problem.

On January 28, 2009, ASCE released the most recent grades from its Report Card for America's Infrastructure, assigning the nation's roads, bridges, water systems and other critical foundations a cumulative grade of D and noting a five-year investment need of $2.2 trillion. Today's comprehensive Report Card examines the basis for those failing grades, while at the same time offering an array of solutions - national, local and personal - for how the nation can repair and revitalize the infrastructure systems it depends on. The report is accompanied by an in-depth Web site ( that offers state-level infrastructure data on a variety of subjects, including needed drinking water investment, number of deficient bridges and number of high hazard dams that lack an emergency action plan, as well as suggested ways for individuals to take action.

"The problems our nation's infrastructure faces are significant, and their impact on our personal and economic health is incredibly serious. However, this crisis is solvable," said ASCE president D. Wayne Klotz, P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE. "Increasing our investment in infrastructure is important, but the solution will involve more than just money. It will take sound technology, wise community planning and involved citizens willing to partner with the government and private sector to make real change. I believe the American people are up to that challenge."

While the comprehensive Report Card provides a great deal of information on the impact of failing infrastructure, it also focuses on ways the nation can begin addressing these critical deficiencies.

Each category of infrastructure, from aviation and bridges to transit and wastewater, includes not only a list of sector specific solutions, but also a series of case studies on how individual communities are already addressing the needs of their residents. For example, in the Roads category solutions include: reforming the federal highway program to emphasize performance management, cost-benefit analysis and accountability, as well as addressing the long-term viability of fuel taxes for transportation funding, and exploring the viability of the most promising options to strengthen this funding. In the Levees category, solutions include: phasing in the mandatory purchase of flood insurance with risk-based premiums for structures in areas protected by levees, and requiring the development and exercise of emergency action plans for levee-protected areas.

In the Drinking Water category, the case studies include: Orange County California, where a new groundwater replenishment system is taking treated sewer water and purifying it to meet state and federal drinking water standards. Case studies in the Aviation category include: Newark Liberty International Airport, where, by the end of 2008, a new satellite navigation technology designed to reduce delays will begin testing. And, in the Schools category the case studies include: Cincinnati, where a $985 million commitment has been made to modernizing the 70 schools that make up the state's third-largest public school district.

"Whether it's sitting in traffic every morning or suffering through a summertime blackout, no matter where you live in this country, failing infrastructure has an impact on your daily life," said Andrew Herrmann, P.E., F.ASCE, Report Card for America's Infrastructure Advisory Council chair. "However, it is equally obvious that when national leaders, community leaders and individuals commit to being a part of the solution, addressing the nation's infrastructure problems becomes far less daunting of a task."

Finally, the report also presents detailed breakdown of the investment needs across all 15 categories assessed, including current spending estimates, five-year needed investments, funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the remaining shortfall. For example, in the Drinking Water category, the five-year investment need equals $255 billion, the estimated actual spending (over five years) equals $140 billion and the ARRA funding equals $6.4 billion, leaving a five-year investment shortfall of $108.6 billion.

The 2009 Report Card was developed by an advisory council of 28 civil engineers representing each of the infrastructure categories, as well as a broad spectrum of civil engineering disciplines. Each category was evaluated on the basis of capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety and resilience. For more information, including solutions for solving America's infrastructure problems and ASCE's Principles for Economic Stimulus Investment, visit

Founded in 1852, ASCE represented more than 146,000 civil engineers worldwide, and is America's oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit

Source: American Society of Civil Engineers

CONTACT: Anthony Reed, +1-703-295-6413,, or Joan Buhrman,
+1-703-295-6406, Cell: +1-571-213-3812,, both of American
Society of Civil Engineers

Web Site:

Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan

The Wall Street Bailout Plan, Explained

The Bail Out Plan

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Top-Ranked Hospitals in America

24 Mar 2009 16:05 Africa/Lagos

AARP The Magazine Unveils Top-Ranked Hospitals Across The Country

Plus: Doctors' Hospital Picks by Specialty and Tips to Determine If and

WASHINGTON, March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with more than 34 million readers, today debuted a new interactive map listing the top-ranked hospitals in the U.S. by geographic area. This list (available at was compiled by Consumers' Checkbook, a nonprofit organization, and coincides with the release of the May/June issue of AARP The Magazine, which features new information and advice for consumers deciding whether or not to travel away from home for medical care. The magazine article also features the results of a national survey in which doctors were asked to give their top picks for out-of-town hospitals based on specialty. With several of the largest U.S. hospitals reporting significant increases in the number of out-of-state patients in the past decade, it's clear that more patients are venturing further from home for care.


Consumers' Checkbook surveyed doctors from across the country and collected 140,000 ratings of hospitals in their own communities and also asked the doctors whether, and where, they would recommend patients seek care in other communities for extremely difficult cases of heart conditions, cancer, and other ailments. The resulting list will help guide patients to appropriate hospitals if they decide they need to travel outside their hometown for care. When asked where they were most likely to send patients with extremely difficult cases, doctors surveyed by Consumers' Checkbook named the following hospitals:

Heart, General
-- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
-- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
-- Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
-- New York-Presbyterian/Columbia, New York, NY
-- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
-- Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
-- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
-- Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA
-- Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, Houston, TX

Cancer, General
-- The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
-- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
-- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
-- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
-- City of Hope, Duarte, CA
-- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
-- Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
-- Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Mystery Diagnoses
-- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
-- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
-- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
-- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
-- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

-- Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
-- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
-- University of California San Francisco Medical Center, San Francisco,
-- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
-- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
-- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
-- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

-- Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miami, FL
-- Wills Eye Institute, Philadelphia, PA
-- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
-- Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

This survey was part of the research for a new book from Consumers' Checkbook ( called Consumers' Guide to Hospitals, which uses volumes of government safety statistics and data on death and complication rates, along with survey results, to compare and rank hospitals in the country's 53 largest metro areas. To see the interactive map of Consumers' Checkbook's top 125 hospitals, visit

About AARP The Magazine

With more than 34 million readers nationwide, AARP The Magazine ( is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. Reaching over 24 million households, AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through in-depth celebrity interviews, health and fitness features, consumer interest information and tips, book and movie reviews and financial guidance. Published bimonthly in print and continually online, AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is the flagship title of AARP Publications.About AARPAARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 34 million readers; AARP Bulletin and AARP Bulletin Today, the go-to daily news source for AARP's 40 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our Web site, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

PRN Photo Desk,
Source: AARP

CONTACT: Meghan Holston, +1-212-382-4450,,
or Michelle Alvarez, +1-202-434-2555,, both of AARP

Web Site: AARP Magazine
Top-Ranked Hospitals

Job Loss Means Fewer Americans Have Health Care Coverage: How Will the Economic Downturn Affect the Small-Joint Implant Market?

24 Mar 2009 13:07 Africa/Lagos

Job Loss Means Fewer Americans Have Health Care Coverage: How Will the Economic Downturn Affect the Small-Joint Implant Market?

Procedure growth and average selling prices to be affected into 2010, according to Millennium Research Group

WALTHAM, Mass., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Millennium Research Group's (MRG's) US Markets for Small-Joint Implants 2009 report, which includes arthroplasty implants (shoulder, elbow, digit, ankle, and wrist) and arthrodesis devices (ankle, digit, and wrist), the double-digit market growth seen in recent years will continue despite the global economic downturn. Although the current recession will reduce growth in procedure volumes and average selling prices (ASPs) through 2010, the US small-joint implant market will grow to almost $900 million by 2013.

Given the level of job loss in the US over the past several months and the subsequent loss in health care coverage, procedure growth across many implant segments will be negatively affected. Nevertheless, although a continued lack of confidence for a quick economic recovery is leading to slight deferment in small-joint procedures, growth will remain positive and will continue to increase gradually in most segments.

ASP growth for small-joint implants will also be limited as a result of the global economic slowdown. As healthcare budgets are cut by private insurers, government insurers, and hospitals, device manufacturers will be forced to adjust prices in order to maintain share.

"Once the economy recovers, numbers will pick back up. We're seeing an almost 14% compound annual growth in market revenues through 2013," says Kevin Flewwelling, Manager of the Orthopedics division at MRG. "With the COBRA act and President Obama's 65% COBRA subsidy, we expect the economic downturn to only have a minimal effect on the long-term outlook of the small-joint implant market."

MRG's US Markets for Small-Joint Implants 2009 report provides coverage of key industry competitors, including Ascension Orthopedics, Biomet, DePuy, Integra LifeSciences, Small Bone Innovations, Stryker, Synthes, Tornier, Wright Medical Technologies, Zimmer, and many more.

About Millennium Research Group

Millennium Research Group (, a Decision Resources, Inc. company (, is the global authority on medical technology market intelligence and the leading provider of strategic information to the health care sector. The company provides specialized industry expertise through published reports, ongoing Marketrack(TM) projects, and customized solutions.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information, and insights on important sectors of the health care industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:

Amy Krohn
Millennium Research Group
416-364-7776 x101

Elizabeth Marshall
Decision Resources Inc.

Source: Millennium Research Group

CONTACT: Amy Krohn of Millennium Research Group, +1-416-364-7776, Ext.
101,; or Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources Inc.,

Web Site:

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Monday, March 23, 2009

NEWSWEEK Cover: The Thinking Man's Guide to Populist Rage

22 Mar 2009 17:42 Africa/Lagos

NEWSWEEK Cover: The Thinking Man's Guide to Populist Rage

Newsweek Looks at Perils of Populist Rage in a Series of Essays

The Best Way To Respond is To 'Treat Americans as Partners in the Grand Enterprise of Governance,' Writes Michael Kazin

Robert J. Samuelson, Eliot Spitzer, Rick Perlstein, Robert H. Frank, Joel Kotkin Look at Whether Populism is Threat to Capitalism or Opportunity

NEW YORK, March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- At its core, populism in the United States remains what it has always been: a protest by ordinary people who want the system to live up to its stated ideals - fair and honest treatment in the marketplace and a government tilted in favor of the unwealthy masses, writes Michael Kazin in an essay in the current issue of Newsweek. "The best way for big men, and big women, to respond to such protests is to try to do what is moral, as well as popular -- and treat Americans as partners in the grand enterprise of governance."

(Photo: )

Kazin, an author and professor of history at Georgetown University, writes that as Congress and President Obama rush to balance solidarity with a new wave of populist anger alongside the need for smart policy during a crisis, "they might reflect on how well previous politicians fared at the task. History does not repeat itself. But sometimes it does hum a familiar tune." Kazin's essay is one of several that make up the March 30 cover package "The Thinking Man's Guide to Populist Rage" (on newsstands Monday, March 23). The package examines how populist rage, while it can be cathartic, can also lead to bad decisions. But it can also present opportunity. In the cover package:

-- Author Rick Perlstein writes that populist anger in America is the
anger of dispossession. "That's how most Americans are thinking now
about the bonuses paid to feckless financial engineers," Perlstein
writes, adding that we "do not like to reward those who do not
produce." He writes that the meltdown is complex as is the decision
making. But if it happens only in "antiseptic back rooms, government
experts negotiating with corporate experts, proud to tune out the
public's righteously simplifying indignation, those policies will
fail... Take away taxpayers' sense of ownership stake in an issue
(especially, as with AIG, when taxpayers literally own the company)
and their rage will not go away. It festers ... And that's when the
'bad' kind of populism -- the hateful kind; the violent kind; the
demagogic kind -- can flourish."

-- Newsweek Contributing Editor Robert J. Samuelson writes that great
reform waves often proceed from scandals and hard times and that the
outcome of the present populist backlash may not be benign. "The
parade of big companies to Washington for rescues, as well as the
high-profile examples of unvarnished greed, has spawned understandable
anger that could veer into a vindictive retribution... If companies
need to be rescued from 'the market,' then why shouldn't Washington
permanently run the market? That is a dangerous mindset. It justifies
punitive taxes, widespread corporate mandates, selective subsidies and
more meddling in companies' everyday operations."

-- Author Robert H. Frank writes that anger over the AIG bonuses is
spilling onto a broader range of targets. "And unless we're careful,
we'll shoot ourselves in the foot. Even before AIG's moment in the
spotlight, angry populists had begun calling for executive pay caps at
20 to 25 times the average American worker's salary. If applied to the
financial-industry executives who steered the economy into the ditch,
such caps would be defensible." There are also many executives in
other industries whose pay, at least in hindsight, was vastly greater
than any reasonable measure of their value added. "Yet any broader
effort to cap executive salaries would do more harm than good."

-- Chapman University presidential fellow Joel Kotkin writes that
populism is far from dead and "represents a force that could shape our
political future in unpredictable ways... The critical issue facing
the new administration is finding useful ways to channel this
disenchantment." He writes that populist rage creates the political
support for taking far bolder steps against Wall Street. "A good first
step would be to allow the TARP - backed giant banks to come under
some sort of federal control, or bankruptcy process, effectively
wiping out the holdings of the financial malefactors and decimating
any hopes for future bonuses."

-- Former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, writes that "anger-fed
populism now is no better a policy compass than libertarianism
masquerading as capitalism was during the Bush administration. This
may become evident all too quickly as public rage -- generated by the
catastrophic risk-taking of many Wall Street traders -- is fanned by
Washington legislators desperate to make up for their own decade of
neglect." He writes that the economic cataclysm we are living through
now is the consequence of 30 years of intentional destruction of the
rules needed to keep capitalism on track. "Just as democracy needs
rules or it descends into anarchy, so capitalism needs rules to guide
the behavior that becomes wealth creation. What we should be seeking,
and what has not emerged from the cacophony of Washington, is a
principled guide to the intersection between government and the

(Read all essays at Michael Kazin essay - Rick Perlstein essay - Robert J. Samuelson essay - Robert H. Frank essay - Joel Kotkin essay - Eliot Spitzer essay

AP Archive:
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN2
PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: Jan Angilella, +1-212-445-5638, of Newsweek

Web Site:


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Saturday, March 21, 2009

U.S. Government Offers 'How-To' Help for Businesses Looking to Export

21 Mar 2009 00:12 Africa/Lagos

U.S. Government Offers 'How-To' Help for Businesses Looking to Export

Commerce Department Releases 10th edition of "A Basic Guide to Exporting"

WASHINGTON, March 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. businesses looking to boost their bottom line by making new sales abroad now have an important resource at their disposal, the U.S. Department of Commerce's 10th edition of A Basic Guide to Exporting.

Companies can turn to the newly revised publication for nuts-and-bolts information on maximizing overseas success. In addition, each of its 17 chapters features a case study of a successful U.S. company that exports. The book also provides samples of forms needed to export, and points businesses to government-offered assistance from the U.S. Commercial Service.

"Exports make an important contribution to the U.S. economy, and A Basic Guide to Exporting will help additional businesses profit by going global," said Michelle O'Neill, acting under the secretary of commerce for international trade. "More than 70 percent of the world's purchasing power is beyond our borders."

The challenges of exporting can seem daunting, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Currently, only about a quarter-million U.S. firms -- out of the nation's total of 27.2 million companies -- are exporters. A Basic Guide to Exporting shows that even the smallest business can find overseas markets, as risks are very manageable thanks to advances in logistics, banking, and market intelligence.

First-time exporters will find discussion of topics such as:
-- Identifying markets for their products
-- Financing export transactions
-- Best methods of handling orders and shipments
-- Sources of free or low-cost export counseling.

A Basic Guide to Exporting (stock number #003-009-00733-0) is available for $19.95 from the Superintendent of Documents (1-866-512-1800). Review copies are available to the news media upon request. For more information, visit the U.S. Commercial Service at

The U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion unit of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA), has a network of offices in more than 100 U.S. cities and in American embassies and consulates in nearly 80 countries. Last year, the U.S. Commercial Service helped facilitate more than 12,000 export successes worth nearly $70 billion in sales, supporting jobs across the country.


Tim Truman (202) 482-3809

Source: U.S. Commercial Service

CONTACT: Tim Truman of the U.S. Department of Commerce, +1-202-482-3809

Web Site:

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Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget

20 Mar 2009 16:16 Africa/Lagos

New York Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget

Organizing for America Canvassers Call on Neighbors to Help Rebuild and Renew America by Passing President's Budget

WASHINGTON, March 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Saturday, Organizing for America (OFA), the grassroots and volunteer network which came together to help elect President Obama in November, will launch a nationwide canvassing effort in support of President Obama's proposed budget plan. Citizens across New York will canvass their communities to let their friends and neighbors know about the President's plan to invest in America's future, improve health care and education, create green jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and cut the deficit in half over the next four years. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have already signaled their support for the Organizing for America Pledge Project - part of an OFA project to identify and mobilize support for the economic vision President Obama outlined in his budget. OFA is also encouraging Americans to call their Members of Congress and urge them to support the plan.


"Across the nation, people are suffering," said Mitch Stewart, Director of Organizing for America which is a project of the Democratic National Committee. "The President has a bold plan to invest in America's future and get our economy moving again, and now he needs our help to turn his budget into law. That's why it's so important for Americans on Saturday to go door-to-door and talk to their neighbors about the President's plan and ask them for their support. The President has made great strides in turning the economy around with passage of his jobs and economic recovery package. However, to ensure long term economic growth, we must make health care more affordable, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and improve education - all priorities the President has outlined in his budget plan and which are part of the change he promised to bring to Washington. The vast majority of Americans support the President on these issues because they know they are critical to long term economic growth and to creating jobs. The canvasses on Saturday, the pledge drive and the calls to Congress are all designed to put our elected officials in Washington on notice that Americans expect that the change President Obama campaigned for becomes reality."

The canvasses are open to the press and public.

WHAT: Organizing for America's Pledge Project Canvass Kick Off in Support of President Obama's Budget

Suggested canvasses to attend below:

FORT GREENE PARK, (Cumberland DeKalb Entrance)
Brooklyn, NY
1 p.m.

UNION SQUARE, E. 14th St., New York, NY 10010
1 p.m.

HUE-MAN BOOKSTORE, 2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, NY 10027
12:30 p.m.

Paid for by Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee -- 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

PRN Photo Desk
Source: Organizing for America

CONTACT: Caroline Ciccone or Michael Czin, both of Organizing for
America, +1-202-863-8148

20 Mar 2009
Indiana Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
New York Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Connecticut Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Kentucky Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Michigan Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Georgia Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Missouri Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Wisconsin Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
North Carolina Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Utah Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Tennessee Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Alabama Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Florida Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Arizona Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
South Dakota Residents Go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
South Carolina Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
Washington Residents go Door-to-Door in Support of President Obama's Budget
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Pelosi Statement on AIG Legislation on House Floor Tomorrow

19 Mar 2009 01:05 Africa/Lagos

Pelosi Statement on AIG Legislation on House Floor Tomorrow

WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement tonight on legislation the House will vote on tomorrow to hold companies, including American International Group, AIG‎ (NYSE) accountable for the bonuses that were paid to their executives. The legislation will recover the bulk of these bonuses by taxing them at a rate of 90 percent. Below the Speaker's statement is a brief fact sheet on HR 1586 and click here to view the text of the bill.

"We must stabilize the financial system in order to strengthen our economy and create jobs. We must also protect the American taxpayer from executives who would use their companies' second chances as opportunities for private gain.

"Because they could not use sound judgment in the use of taxpayer funds, these AIG executives will pay the Treasury in the form of this tax. I urge all my colleagues to vote in favor of this legislation and in favor of recovering taxpayer dollars and protecting Americans from the continued poor judgment of some of America's largest companies."

* * * * * *

As a result of extraordinary abuses of the public trust by companies rewarding employees with excessive compensation while receiving billions in taxpayer assistance, Congress introduced legislation to recover taxpayers' dollars.

The bill would apply a separate income tax rate of 90 percent to bonuses received by individuals from companies which have received at least $5 billion from TARP. It would also apply to bonuses paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

For this purpose, bonuses will be defined as any retention payment, incentive payment, or other bonus which is in addition to regular employee compensation payable on a periodic basis.

The special tax rate only would apply to individuals and families with overall income (including income other than bonuses) in excess of $250,000.

The bill applies to payments received after December 31, 2008.

Source: Office of the Speaker of the House

CONTACT: Brendan Daly, Nadeam Elshami or Drew Hammill, all of the Office
of the Speaker of the House, +1-202-226-7616

Web Site:

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