Sunday, March 11, 2012

Very Touching: NFL Star Arian Foster Gets Emotional About His Past Financial Hardships During A Press Conference! [Video]

During a press conference to announce his five-year, $43.5 million contract extension with the NFL’s Houston Texans, running back Arian Foster got emotional as a told a story about his past financial hardships during childhood.

Foster broke down in tears while revealing a story of when his mother had to pawn her wedding ring in order to have enough money to buy food for his family one night.

Check out Foster’s emotional press conference below:

Here is another video we found about Foster’s past financial hardships during childhood and how he made it to the NFL.

Press Conference: Ray J Breaks His Silence On The Passing Of Whitney Houston! [Video]

Yesterday, caught up with Ray-J at a press conference for the Mothers In Action/Brotherhood Crusade Charity. During the press conference, Ray-J made a brief statement about the passing of his “good friend” Whitney Houston.

Listen to what Ray-J had to say below:

Photo/Video Credit:

Dionne Warwick Speaks On Whitney’s Death: ‘I Spoke To Her On The Same Day She Past!’

Singing legend Dionne Warwick sat down with “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts to discuss the loss of her cousin and close friend Whitney Houston.

Warwick told Roberts that she spoke to Houston on the morning of her unexpected passing.

Check out the interview below: video platform video management video solutions video player video platform video management video solutions video player

Understanding the “Unemployment Rate”

By Rick Manning

“The monthly unemployment rate has become a meaningless statistic that no longer reflects the reality of America’s economy or even the state of our nation’s employment. Shockingly, the stated rate of 8.3 percent does not include the 4.4 million Americans who have dropped out of the labor force since Obama became president. When you include the dropouts, the real Obama unemployment rate is 10.8 percent,” Bill Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government.

Each month, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the unemployment rate to the breathless anticipation of economic analysts and politicians everywhere. As Wilson points out above, what was once a pretty straightforward calculation has become the source of controversy about whether it is even still a valid economic indicator.
One thing is clear, the unemployment rate no longer accurately reflects the state of the U.S. employment situation as a stand-alone statistic due to its failure to include vast numbers of Americans who no longer are participating in the labor force as unemployed.

To understand how the Labor Department determines the unemployment rate for the nation’s non-institutionalized civilian population and put it into context is not difficult if you are aware of four pieces of the unemployment puzzle: the non-institutionalized civilian population, the labor participation rate, the number of Americans who are employed and the number of people who classify themselves as “not in the labor force.”

There are obviously other very important statistics like the number of unemployed, which shows more than 12.8 million people who want a job and can’t find one cannot be underestimated in terms of the human toll being taken by Obama’s failed economy.
Get full story here.

Europe kicks the can, following the American way

By Bill Wilson

Is the European debt crisis over?

Since the latest €130 billion bailout of Greece was agreed to on Feb. 21, rates on Italian and Spanish debt have seemingly stabilized, dropping from 5.44 percent and 5.11 percent respectively to 4.8 percent and 5.05 percent.
Granted, yields on Greek debt are still climbing upward. 10-year bonds over 36 percent. 1-years are over a gargantuan, ludicrous 1,020 percent.

That is owed largely to the nature of the Greek deal. Although €140 billion of Greece’s €340 billion debt has been guaranteed by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the European Central Bank (ECB), private holders of the remaining €200 billion have “voluntarily” taken a 50 percent haircut, a technical default.

That alone likely explains the rising pressure on Greek yields. But what about the dropping Italian and Spanish rates?

While those have dropped off some since the Greek bailout was agreed to in Feb., the peaks in rates for Italy were actually in early Jan. at 7.16 percent for Spanish debt were actually in late Nov. at 6.7 percent.
That was about when the ECB was stepping in with a massive long-term refinancing operation: over €1 trillion of loans at about 1 percent to financial institutions to purchase higher-yielding government debt.
So, the “solution,” such as it is, was for the central bank to print hundreds of billions of euros to lend to banks, who in turn lent it to the governments, rolling over hundreds of billions of Italian and Spanish debt.
Not that surprising. In the U.S., we’ve been doing that for years. Today, financial institutions — privileged primary dealers — can borrow at close to zero percent from the Federal Reserve and use it to lend to the federal government, earning about 2 percent, the current 10-year yield.
Get full story here.

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Obama playing house with other people’s money

By Rebekah Rast
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.” ― Margaret Thatcher
Sometimes the government will do something and many citizens will think, “Wow. How nice!”

Perfect example: President Obama’s plan to refinance mortgages for 2 to 3 million borrowers.

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), any American with a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) endorsed on or before May 31, 2009, and who is current with their mortgage payments would qualify. This is enforcing a Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) policy from Feb., allowing refi’s up to 125 percent loan-to-value.

Furthermore, during a press conference on this topic, President Obama stated:
“Today we’re taking it a step further — we are cutting by more than half the refinancing fees that families pay for loans ensured by the Federal Housing Administration. That’s going to save the typical family in that situation an extra $1,000 a year, on top of the savings that they’d also receive from refinancing. That would make refinancing even more attractive to more families. It’s like another tax cut that will put more money in people’s pockets. We’re going to do this on our own. We don’t need congressional authorization to do it.”
This is the part where you say, “Wow. How nice!” (Never mind he is superseding congressional authority that only allowed refi’s for up to 90 percent loan-to-value and never mind that qualifiers will have to pay the other half of the refinancing fees up front.)

Now here’s the real catch: The borrowers who qualify for the refinanced mortgage do not have to go through the typical underwriting process — meaning no credit check, no employment verification and no verification of income, reports CNS News.

And the cherry on top: because FHA will surely take a hit on covering these refinanced loans, guess who gets to pay the government back after it adds this bill to the federal debt?
Get full story here.

Ex-Ohio Commissioner Convicted of Bribery and Taking Gifts Including Prostitutes

Jimmy Dimora
By Allan Lengel

Make that number 50.

Ex-Cuyahoga County, Ohio, commissioner Jimmy Dimora was convicted Friday on public corruption charges that involved taking bribes and gifts and prostitutes.
He becomes the 50th person  convicted in an ongoing  federal investigation into corruption in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland.

A federal jury convicted him of racketeering, bribery, conspiracy, Hobbs Act conspiracy, tax charges and other crimes. Co-defendant Michael Gabor, 52, was also conviced.
Both men were ordered detained.

Authorities said that Dimora took more than $166,000 worth of bribes in the form of cash, home improvements, lavish meals at high-end restaurants, services from prostitutes, gambling trips to Las Vegas and Canada, and other items, according to testimony.

In exchange, he Dimora helped steer contracts to allies, get jobs and raises for associates, intercede with judges on pending cases, lobby for grants and favorable loans for people who paid him and other official actions, according to testimony.

NCAA Contacts FBI About Point Shaving Allegations at Auburn University

Allan Lengel

The NCAA and Auburn University have contacted the FBI about point-shaving allegations involving the school’s men’s basketball program, CNN reported.

“We are very concerned by the point-shaving allegations involving Auburn University men’s basketball program and have been in contact with the school and the FBI since the issue arose in February,” the NCAA said this week in a statement, according to CNN

“The NCAA takes any allegation of point shaving very seriously because sports wagering threatens two of our core principles — the well-being of student-athletes and the very integrity of intercollegiate sport.”

FBI Kept File on Christopher Hitchens

By Allan Lengel

The FBI kept a file on the  late outspoken writer Christopher Hitchens, the website Historiographic Anarchy reports.

The website reported that the FBI released through the Freedom of Information Act, 19 pages on Hitchens, some which show he was the subject of an FBI Foreign Counterintelligence probe. He died in December at age 62 after a long fight with cancer.

The site reported that the first two pages involve a check requested by the Immigration and Naturalization in March 2005.

The next five pages reveal that he was the subject of a foreign counterintelligence probe and there is a discussion of his socialist-Trotskyist activities in Oxford and that he was traveling in the U.S. on a student scholarship.

Files also pertained to a Secret Service request for info in 1983 after Hitchens requested a White House press pass.
To read more click here.

Ex-Secret Service Agent Trashes Hillary Clinton in Book; Calls Her Aloof

By Allan Lengel

A tell-all book by an ex-Secret Service agent who worked the President Clinton detail is bound to ruffle some feathers inside the Beltway.

The  Examiner newspaper reports that ex-Secret Service agent Dan Emmett has written a self-published book “Within Arms’s Length” that “savages the Clinton White House staff as arrogant and rude, suggests former first lady Hillary Clinton was aloof and charges that Bill Clinton endangered himself and agents for a ‘totally pointless photo op’ on the South Korea-North Korea border.”

Emmett also wrote that Clinton’s young staff was rude and arrogant, the Examiner wrote

“Most of these youngsters were from wealthy families, and many viewed Secret Services agents as the hired help,” Emmett writes in “Within Arms’s Length,” an autobiography that provides new details of the inner Secret Service.
Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service told the Examiner:

“We do stress to all our employees the importance of not sharing anecdotes about the personal, private moments of the protectees.It causes concern because we don’t want to erode the trust that we have with our protectees.”

LAPD and FBI Agent Killed Unarmed Suspect

By Allan Lengel
An investigation is underway in the fatal shooting of an unarmed double murder suspect, who was shot and killed last week by Los Angeles Police and an FBI agent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Initially, authorities said the man was armed. On Wednesday, the LAPD and FBI clarified the matter, the Times reported.

The incident happened last Thursday when three LAPD cops and an FBI agent were serving an arrest warrant for Frank Martinez, 27, the LA Times reported.

The paper reported that authorities initially said that officers and residents claimed they saw Martinez fire a handgun, but a further investigation found he had no gun. Authorities shot him on the roof of his garage.

“These are very chaotic scenes and the officers all reported they believed they were being fired on,” LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said, according to the Times “That’s why we have our Force Investigation Division, to sort through all the information, evidence and witnesses statements.”
To read more click here.

Manning arrives at Cardinals’ facility with coach

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Peyton Manning arrived at the Arizona Cardinals‘ headquarters Sunday, the second stop for the star free agent in his search for a new team.

Manning waved and nodded to photographers and reporters from the passenger side of a white SUV driven by coach Ken Whisenhunt as it passed through the facility’s security gate in the morning.

Larry Fitzgerald, one of the best receivers in the game and considered a prime reason Manning might choose Arizona, arrived a few minutes ahead of Manning. General manager Rod Graves and offensive line coach Russ Grimm were already at the facility when Manning got there.

Team president Michael Bidwill arrived after Manning.

“Get it done, Michael,” a fan yelled. “Come on, buddy.”

A smattering of fans filtered in as news got out that Manning was there.

Among the earliest to arrive was 26-year-old Jarred Light, an Indianapolis Colts fan who moved to the Phoenix area 1 1/2 years ago.

“I pretty much grew up around him,” he said. “When I was 12 is when he came to Indy. Now I’m 26, so pretty much ever since I’ve been interested in football he was my favorite everything. I’ve seen.

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Afghan president: American kills 16 in shooting

By The Associated Press
A U.S. soldier, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), stands outside a military base in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, March. 11, 2012. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says a U.S. service member has killed more than a dozen people in a shooting including nine children and three women.

— An American soldier opened fire on villagers near his base in southern Afghanistan Sunday and killed 16 civilians, according to President Hamid Karzai, who called it an "assassination" and demanded an explanation from Washington.

Nine children and three women were among the dead.

"This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven," Karzai said in a statement. He said he has repeatedly demanded the U.S. stop killing Afghan civilians.

An U.S. official in Washington said the soldier, an Army staff sergeant, was believed to have acted alone and that initial reports indicated he returned to the base after the shooting and turned himself in.
Five people were also wounded in the pre-dawn attack in Kandahar province.

NATO officials apologized for the shootings but did not confirm that anyone was killed, referring instead to reports of deaths.

L.A. School Denies Racial Tension Led To Massive Brawl

CARSON, Calif. — Classes are proceeding normally amid heightened security at a Los Angeles-area high school where eight students were injured in a courtyard brawl.

Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman Monica Carazo says that 10 extra patrol cars from the district’s police department are at the campus of Carson High School on Thursday, but there have been no further incidents.

A melee involving about 30 students erupted Wednesday during the school’s midmorning snack break. The cause of the fight is still under investigation by the school police.

Carazo says that first period attendance Thursday was 83 percent, lower than normal 90-plus percent.
A brawl involving dozens of students that left eight students injured at a Los Angeles-area high school was an unusual incident for the normally peaceful campus and was not racially motivated, contrary to initial reports from authorities, school district officials and police said.

“Descriptions of these fights as racially motivated have not been substantiated,” LA schools police Chief Steven Zimmerman said in a statement on the melee at Carson High School Wednesday. “This campus has no current racial issues.”

Principal Windy Warren said student leaders at the ethnically diverse campus of more than 3,000 students assured her of the same thing.

“This is a very unusual incident for the Carson campus, which has been very peaceful this entire school year,” she said.

At least 30 students traded punches and kicks in a series of fights that erupted in a campus courtyard during a 10 a.m. snack break, said Monica Carazo, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
School police, with assistance from sheriff’s deputies, quelled the disturbance.

The brawl left eight students injured, Warren said. Four were taken to hospitals and four were treated by the school nurse. The extent of the injuries of the hospitalized students was not clear.

Seven students were arrested or suspended, the principal said.

The district said in a statement that despite earlier reports, investigators couldn’t substantiate that the Wednesday melee at Carson High School was brought on by racial conflict.

Schools police Chief Steven Zimmerman says the ethnically diverse campus of more than 3,000 students “has no current racial issues.”

The school was placed on modified lockdown with students confined to their classrooms, but they were allowed to go to lunch and were dismissed at the usual time.