Saturday, December 22, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Inability to Obtain Advertisers, Donations Forces Shut Down
Yes, I'm afraid it's true. My dream of building one of the most popular independent news and information sites in America has come to an end. Due to a lack advertisers and/or donations, I can no longer continue to publish breaking or original news stories, special features and exclusive interviews or maintain the site's base of operations.
This decision was excruciatingly painful because I absolutely loved what I was doing, especially for young people that became fans of the site, but I was left with no choice.
In the nearly four years that From The G-Man has been operating, I have never received compensation or anything in the way of funding for the enormous amount of work generated on a daily basis. My goal has always been to obtain major advertisers, sponsors or substantial donations so I could pay myself a salary and manage the site as a full-time job. I held on to the belief that people of influence would take notice of my effort and help me in my quest to maintain my creation. For whatever reason, this never came to pass.
In 2011, I edited and published nearly 1,699 news stories. With under two weeks to go in 2012, I've already published 3,686 news items, which roughly breaks down to 10 news stories/features or more a day, every day, since the beginning of 2012! Moreover, this was accomplished with no staff!
Yes, I was solely responsible for analyzing and editing all news content provided by numerous sources, configuring HTML codes for all news videos that are posted, writing breaking and original news stories and exclusive features, and conceiving, editing, directing and writing all segments for "The G-Man Interviews" series.
The effort was painstaking, but I continued with the thought that if it happened for Matt Drudge and Arianna Huffington, it could happen for me, too. Again, for whatever reason, it never came to pass. Nonetheless, I thank Drudge and Huffington for serving as sources of inspiration.
On December 31, I will post a special farewell video in honor of all the people who stood by me and offered daily encouragement, moral support and praise. The undertaking has not been easy, but I have no regrets. Creating and managing this site has been one of the true highlights of my life, and maybe, just maybe, something will happen prior to December 31 that will allow From The G-Man to remain operational. After all, the Christmas season is a time of miracles, right? (Smiles) If not, I'll be happy knowing From The G-Man ended its run with the respect of many.....in and outside of the news industry.
Special acknowledgements to Tom Osborne, Les Payne, Mike Hodge, Herb Boyd and Jim Flink, five journalism greats that helped me stand strong during the storm.
This message is from the heart and.....from "The G-Man"
In the days since the tragedy in Newtown, Americans from all over the country have called for action to deter mass shootings and reduce gun violence, and hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions on whitehouse.gov's We the People platform. In this video message, President Obama responds, explaining a comprehensive effort to come up with a broader set of serious proposals and encouraging Americans to continue their participation in this important process.
This week, the President addressed the national tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and promised meaningful action to address gun violence, while the White House invited some of its newest Pinterest followers, and the President spread some holiday cheer.
Moyers & Company
Air date: December 20, 2012
Bill urges us to remember the victims of the Newtown tragedy, to reject doubling down on guns and armor, and to work toward moral solutions.
Air date: December 20, 2012
David Ingram talked about President Obama’s for tightening gun control laws with or without congressional action, and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. He explained the gun violence task force President Obama announced the previous day, and reviewed the Justice Department’s prior research into potential gun law changes.
As more victims of the Newtown school shooting are laid to rest, there's been an increase in gun sales in some parts of the United States. President Barack Obama is promising stricter gun laws by early next year, but any federal effort could be at odds with laws in each state. Al Jazeera's John Hendren reports from Chicago.
Jacob Zuma is under pressure by South Africans to do things differently now after major disappointments in his first term as ANC leader. He has pledged to do more to end poverty in his country, but South African's are losing patience with the party's leaders despite support. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Bloemfontein in South Africa.
Clashes have broken out in northern Egypt between Islamist supporters and opponents of the country's highly contentious draft constitution. The two sides hurled rocks and stones at each other on Friday in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, prompting police to fire tear gas to separate them.
Iraq - once written off by foreign businesses - is now attracting them in large numbers. And oil is the main magnet. Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Baghdad on how the global financial turmoil is also working its way into the equation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that a draft bill banning US adoptions of Russian children is a legitimate response to a new U.S. law that calls for sanctions on Russians deemed to be human rights violators. But he has not committed to signing it. At his annual marathon news conference on Thursday he said that the measure, which has received preliminary approval in parliament, is also a response to an alleged U.S. failure to protect the rights of adopted Russian children. Many Russians have been angered by cases of adopted children who have died or suffered abuse at the hands of their adopted parents. They also complain that US courts have been lax about punishing abusers. Robin Forestier Walker reports from Moscow.
India is hosting a summit of South East Asian countries in an attempt to improve trade with the region, and Myanmar seems to be top of their agenda. During the summit, officials are expected to focus on building stronger economic ties with Myanmar. As Myanmar opens up to foreign investors, it is changing the lives of many of its citizens. Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reports from Yangon in Myanmar.
In Thailand, two million undocumented migrant workers are facing deportation after a registration deadline passed earlier this month. Many of them could not afford the increased application fees to be documented. Thailand's labor minister is seeking to delay deportations in a country that has a significant reliance on migrant workers. Al Jazeera Scott Heidler reports from the port town of Mahachai.
Thursday, December 20, 2012
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 6684 – Spending Reduction Act of 2012
(Rep. Cantor, R-VA)
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 6684, the "Spending Reduction Act of 2012." The bill's unbalanced provisions fail the test of fairness and shared responsibility. At the same time that the House is advancing a bill to extend tax cuts for wealthy individuals while raising taxes on 25 million students and working families, H.R. 6684 would impose deep budget cuts that cost jobs and hurt middle class and vulnerable Americans – especially seniors, veterans, and children. The President has made clear that the Congress can and must act to avoid the sweeping impacts of sequestration by passing a balanced deficit reduction package.
The bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) included a sequestration mechanism with mutually disagreeable cuts to both defense and non-defense funding. This sequestration, scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013, would have destructive effects on national security; on important domestic investments such as education, research and development, and rebuilding the Nation's crumbling infrastructure; and on core government programs from air traffic control to law enforcement. The threat of these destructive cuts under the BCA was intended to force action by the Congress on deficit reduction.
In contrast, the approach put forward in this bill, virtually identical to earlier legislation, eliminates the defense portion of the pending sequester and does so in a way that imposes far greater cuts in the non-defense part of the budget than the existing sequester would entail. H.R. 6684 would do nothing to address the reductions in discretionary spending and the sequestration in mandatory programs after 2013.
Rather than pursuing a comprehensive, balanced deficit reduction package to replace sequestration, H.R. 6684 undermines the intent of the BCA to bring both sides to compromise by proposing a short-term, one-sided solution. This approach sharply undermines critical domestic priorities, such as efforts to prevent hunger and support low-income families and communities; to make health care more affordable through the implementation of the health care law; to protect consumers and implement the Wall Street Reform Act; and to support homeowners struggling to stay in their homes. The Administration strongly opposes both the principles of this approach and specific legislative proposals included in the bill.
If the President were presented with H.R. 6684, he would veto the bill.
Continue the Administration's work to develop policy proposals as part of the Administration's response to Newtown and other tragedies, Vice President Joe Biden meets with law enforcement leaders from across the country who are on the front lines every day protecting our communities to discuss an effective path forward, as well as Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.
Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 2467, H.R. 2838, H.R. 3319, H.R. 4014, H.R. 4367, S. 1998, and S. 3542
On Thursday, December 20, 2012, the President signed into law:
H.R. 2467, the "Bridgeport Indian Colony Land Trust, Health, and Economic Development Act of 2012," which transfers approximately 39 acres of Federal land in Mono County, California, currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management, into trust status for the benefit of the Bridgeport Indian Colony;
H.R. 2838, the "Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2012," which authorizes FY 2013 and FY 2014 appropriations and amends laws related to the Coast Guard; authorizes FY 2013 appropriations and amends laws related to the Maritime Administration; and amends various other maritime-related provisions of law;
H.R. 3319, which amends current law to allow the Pascua Yaqui Tribe to determine the requirements for tribal membership;
H.R. 4014, which provides that legal privileges related to information are not waived: when information is submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the course of any supervisory or regulatory process; nor when information is transferred by the CFPB to other Federal agencies;
H.R. 4367, which eliminates the requirement that automated teller machine (ATM) operators post notice of a service fee on or at the ATM equipment, while retaining the requirement that such a notice be posted on the ATM screen or by a paper notice issued from the ATM;
S. 1998, the "DHS Audit Requirement Target Act of 2012" or the "DART Act," which requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to: ensure that DHS consolidated financial statements are ready in a timely manner and in preparation for an audit as part of preparing required performance and accountability reports; and submit a report to the DHS Secretary and the Office of Management and Budget on its plans to obtain an unqualified opinion on the full set of financial statements; and
S. 3542, the "No-Hassle Flying Act of 2012," authorizes the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration to determine whether checked baggage on flights originating at foreign airports that has been screened in accordance with an aviation security preclearance agreement must be re-screened in the United States by an explosives detection system before continuing on any additional flights.
Event Will Take Place the Morning of December 21st
New York State will observe a moment of silence on Friday, December 21, 2012 at 9:30 AM in remembrance of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT.
“Last Friday, 26 innocent lives were lost to a senseless and horrific act of violence,” said Governor Cuomo.
“One week later, we will honor those victims—many of whom were young children—with a moment of silence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Newtown as we continue to mourn the loss of these precious lives. During this time of tragedy, I, along with all New Yorkers, stand together with Governor Malloy and the people of Connecticut to remember the victims and help bear the pain of their community.”
This week, Governor Cuomo received a letter from Governor Malloy asking New York to join Connecticut in honoring the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
In addition, Governor Cuomo has requested that places of worship and government buildings in New York that have the capability, to ring bells twenty-six times in honor of each life that was lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Air date: December 20, 2012
Susan Ferrechio spoke by phone about negotiations on the “fiscal cliff” impending tax increases and budget cuts at the end of 2012 if Congress failed to reach a budget agreement.*She also previewed the House vote later in the day on Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
Thousands of tourists are flocking to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula to be part of the so-called "Mayan Apocalypse". Many of them believe the world is coming to an end this Friday, when a major cycle of the Mayan calendar ends. Some say the 5000-year-old Mayan civilization is entering a new era. So what do the Mayan people think themselves? Al Jazeera's David Mercer visited a Guatemalan highland village to find out.
Almost twenty years since the end of apartheid, education in South Africa remains unequal. The ruling party the African National Congress is struggling to provide quality education to all children. Haru Mutasa reports from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Nearly a thousand people, including members of a banned Christian group, have been arrested in China for allegedly spreading end of the world rumors a state-owned newspaper is reporting. More than 400 members of the "Almighty God," were detained in the northwest province of Qinghai, the China Daily said on Thursday. Another 350 people were also arrested in the southwestern province of Guizhou. Al Jazeera's Omar Saleh reports.
South Korea's first female president-elect is promising a new era for the Korean peninsula. Conservative Park Geun-hye also says that North Korea's recent rocket launch shows the grave security situation in the area. Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett reports from Seoul.
A shooter killed 35 people in a single day in a 1996 shooting spree at a popular tourist spot in Tasmania. The Australian government seized this tragedy to bring in tough new gun control laws. The country does not have the world's toughest gun laws, nor the lowest rate of gun-crime. However, the chance of being murdered is one-thirtieth of that of the United States. Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reports from Sydney.
Armed men have killed three more people working on a polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan, officials said, as the nationwide drive against the crippling disease suffered a third day of bloodshed. A female health worker and her driver were shot dead in Charsadda, near Peshawar, the main town of northwest Pakistan, police official Wajid Khan told AFP news agency on Wednesday. A second police officer confirmed the incident. Another worker shot and critically wounded in an earlier attack on the outskirts of Peshawar also died, doctor Ahmad Saqlain of the city's Lady Reading Hospital said. Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab reports from Islamabad.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
President Obama delivers a statement from the Brady Press Briefing Room about the policy process the Administration will pursue in the wake of the Newtown tragedy to reduce and prevent gun violence. President Obama also answered questions from the press about the fiscal cliff negotiations.
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to
H.J. Res. 66 – Middle Class Tax Cut Act
(Rep. Boehner, R-OH)
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (the Congressional Republican "Plan B" legislation), which would continue large tax cuts for the very wealthiest individuals while raising taxes on 25 million students and working families by an average of $1,000 each. In addition, the House amendment would immediately cut off unemployment assistance to two million Americans struggling to find a job, end critical tax incentives for the Nation's businesses such as the Research and Experimentation tax credit, and cut reimbursements for doctors treating Medicare patients. The deficit reduction is minimal and accomplished solely through tax increases, with no spending cuts. This approach does not meet the test of balance.
The House amendment would extend all of the high-income tax cuts on the first $1 million of annual income. The legislation would continue large tax cuts for the very wealthiest individuals – on average, these individuals would see a tax break of $50,000. Under the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, 25 million working families – including tens of millions of parents of children and millions of college students, all of whom earn less than $250,000 a year – would see their taxes increase next year by an average of $1,000 each. Additionally, two million Americans trying to find jobs would lose their emergency unemployment benefits in January. The House amendment would fail to continue critical tax incentives for business and would heighten uncertainty for families and businesses by leaving in place the threat of default on the national debt. The deep and indiscriminate spending cuts under sequestration would be allowed to take effect in January, undermining national security and devastating key national priorities like research and education. In addition, reimbursements for doctors seeing Medicare patients would be cut by nearly one-third.
The Administration believes this moment presents an opportunity to reach a significant, balanced deal that is good for American families, the economy, and the Nation's future. In contrast to the minimal and unbalanced deficit reduction envisioned by the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, the President has offered a balanced, reasonable proposal that achieves significant deficit reduction and reflects real compromise on revenue increases and spending cuts. The parameters of a deal are clear, and the Administration is willing to continue to work with Republicans to reach a bipartisan solution that averts the fiscal cliff, protects the middle class, helps the economy, and puts the Nation on a fiscally sustainable path.
The Administration will not accept a deal that asks too little of the very wealthiest to increase revenue and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors. Instead of working together to find a balanced approach that can pass both Houses of the Congress, the House amendment will not protect middle class families and does little to address the Nation's fiscal challenges as it includes no spending cuts. The Administration believes that it can work together with the Congress to resolve remaining differences and not miss this opportunity to avert the fiscal cliff.
If the President were presented with the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J. Res. 66, he would veto this legislation.
Senator Responds to Governor Cuomo's Veto of OTB Retirees Benefits Bill
New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens) today issued the following statement on the Governor's veto.
I strongly disagree with the governor’s veto yesterday of the OTB retirees benefits bill. When these retirees took employment with the New York City OTB, they did their jobs, paid their taxes, raised their families, contributed to our economy and had every expectation they would continue to receive the health coverage promised to them. That all ended when the OTB went bankrupt, leaving some 1,000 dedicated former employees with a broken promise and no health care coverage. It was a travesty then, and it’s a travesty now.
Some of these retirees are now paying thousands of dollars out of pocket for private health care coverage, often exceeding their pension payments. Others are simply going without health care, which should cause a greater health care concern for the state. I am deeply saddened that this legislation, which would have provided a desperately needed solution for these retirees, has once again failed to clear the governor’s desk.
In both the New York City Council and the New York State Senate, I have been in the position to make very hard decisions in the face of serious economic downturns. Right now, in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, our economy has clearly taken another beating, which is second only in its seriousness to the utter devastation suffered by the storm victims, many of whom live in my district.
However, even during our worst fiscal times, I--and many of my colleagues in government—had tried our best to spare our most vulnerable residents from further harm when we were charged with making tough choices to address our economic woes. The OTB retirees fall into that category and they need and deserve our help.
While I am greatly disappointed that the OTB retiree legislation has been vetoed, I will continue my efforts to ensure that this issue is dealt with in our state budget, so that our state can honor its promise to these retirees.
Image courtesy of http://vernondownscasino.blogspot.com.
Died in Logar Province, Afghanistan
Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Friday, December 21, 2012 in honor of a soldier from Baldwin who died Dec. 14 in Logar Province, Afghanistan.
Sgt. 1st Class Kevin E. Lipari, 39 as assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Bamberg, Germany.
"On behalf of all New Yorkers, I send my deepest sympathy to the friends, family, and fellow soldiers of Sgt. 1st Class Lipari," Governor Cuomo said.
"We regret his death, but we will remember and honor his service to our nation and his dedication to duty."
From The G-Man would like to take this opportunity to honor Sgt. 1st Class Kevin E. Lipari, his love of country, and his service with the following video tribute. May he forever rest in peace.
Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 3187, H.R. 6582 and S. 3486
On Tuesday, December 18, 2012, the President signed into law:
H.R. 3187, the "March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2012," which requires the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue coins in recognition of the March of Dimes;
H.R. 6582, the "American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act," which modifies the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, with regard to energy efficiency standards for appliances and National Energy Conservation Policy Act provisions on advanced electricity metering; and
S. 3486, the "Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012," which amends Federal patent law to implement two treaties: the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, which would allow an applicant to obtain an international registration of an industrial design with a single application; and the Patent Law Treaty, which would harmonize and streamline various formal procedures related to patent applications and patents.
State Tax Department Adopting Measures to Cover Late Filings and Provide Support to Businesses
On December 18, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a series of tax relief measures for New Yorkers still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.
Under the new measures outlined by the Governor, New Yorkers affected by the storm will have their tax returns counted as on-time even if they file late, businesses temporarily relocating to New York to help with recovery efforts will not have to pay several state taxes, and employers will be granted a tax exemption for the value of leave they donate to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
"We are delivering tax support and relief to the many New Yorkers who are still rebuilding following Hurricane Sandy’s unprecedented devastation," Governor Cuomo said.
"These provisions will help affected individuals and business, as well as many of those providing assistance to New Yorkers, during this time of recovery."
The guidelines and details on eligibility for each of these relief provisions can be found on the State Tax Department’s Hurricane Sandy Tax Relief web page.
The Tax Department will treat returns and payments that are late due to Hurricane Sandy as filed on time – and they won’t be subject to penalty and interest.
The process is very easy for impacted taxpayers. When online filers start to enter their return, they’ll be asked whether it is late or incomplete for the following taxes: sales tax, highway use tax, metropolitan commuter transportation mobility tax, and withholding tax (Form NYS-45). Paper filers simply need to write "Hurricane Sandy" at the top of the return in large letters.
Businesses and individuals relocating to the State on a temporary basis as a result of the storm won’t be assessed corporate taxes, withholding taxes and personal income taxes.
Typically, the taxes would be triggered based on corporate nexus and/or employees located in New York. The policy covers the period from October 26 through December 31, 2012.
When employers adopt an approved Leave Donation Program, employees can forgo vacation, sick, or personal leave in exchange for cash payments to qualified tax-exempt organizations engaged in the Sandy relief effort. Employees are not required to include such payments for income tax purposes.
The policy applies to payments made before January 1, 2014 and aligns with federal regulations issued by the IRS (IRS Notice 2012-69).
Drop-Off Locations Set Up Across the State to Help Bring Holiday Cheer
An on-going statewide holiday giving drive has been enacted to benefit families hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
The Office of General Services (OGS) has set up drop-off locations across the state for businesses and individuals to bring the toys which will be distributed to children in communities affected by the storm.
Governor Andrew Cuomo will visit affected areas to deliver toys and other donated supplies.
"In times of hardship, New Yorkers have always come together to support their neighbors and lend a hand to those in need," Governor Cuomo said.
"By donating a toy, all New Yorkers have a chance to bring some much-needed holiday cheer to a child in a community that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy."
Several toy producers and companies have agreed to join the Toy Drive. Toys R Us is providing $5,000 worth of gift cards to purchase toys, and Carnegie Hall has agreed to donate 200 musical toys. The Toy Drive began last week.
The drop-off locations are as follows:
Alfred E. Smith Building
80 South Swan Street, Albany NY
New York State Capitol
Washington Avenue, Albany NY
Empire State Plaza Main Concourse
Empire State Plaza, Albany NY
Harriman Campus Building 8
Harriman Campus, 1220 Washington Ave., Albany 12226
Harriman Campus Building 12
Harriman Campus, 1220 Washington Ave., Albany 12226
Senator Hughes State Office Building
333 E. Washington Street, Syracuse NY 13202
Dulles State Office Building
317 Washington Street, Watertown NY 13601
Perry B. Duryea State Office Building
250 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building
163 West 125th Street, New York NY 10027
Shirley A. Chisholm State Office Building
55 Hanson Place, Brooklyn NY 11217
328 State Street
328 State Street, Schenectady NY 12305
NYS Lottery Office
One Broadway Center, Schenectady NY 12305
NYS Dept of Transportation
50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12205
NYS Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233
Eleanor Roosevelt State Office Building
4 Burnett Blvd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Image courtesy of http://www.freeclipartnow.com.
Barack Obama, the U.S. president, has had to make speeches like this three times already during his tenure, consoling communities where mass killings had taken place.
The said mass murders took place in Tucson in Arizona, Fort Hood in Texas and Aurora in Colorado.
But it was only after last week's killing of 20 children aged six and seven in Connecticut that Obama said it was time for action.
29-year-old Chris Hughes co-founded Facebook, helped coordinate Obama's online campaign for presidency and now he's taking on print media. Hughes speaks to the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts about his risky new venture.
Doctors say former South African President Nelson Mandela is making sufficient progress as he recovers from treatment for a lung infection and gallstones. Mark Phillips reports.
Air date: December 18, 2012
President Bill Clinton impeached; General George Washington opens camp at Valley Forge; Charles Dickens' novel "A Christmas Carol" is first published; Apollo 17 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean; 'The Music Man' opens on Broadway.
The White House has said that President Barack Obama is "actively supportive" of efforts in the U.S. Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban. White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday that Obama would also support legislation to close the gun show "loophole", which allows people to buy guns from private dealers without background checks. The president has pledged to address gun violence in the coming weeks following Friday's deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that killed 26 people, including 20 children and six adults. Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports.
A government appointed panel has accused the U.S. State Department of not doing enough to protect its diplomats in Libya. The panel investigated a series of attacks on the US mission in Benghazi in September, including one that killed the US ambassador to Libya and three members of his staff. But firing someone was not on the panel's list of 29 recommendations. Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan reports from Washington.