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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

John Edwards' Wife Tore Off Her Shirt and Collapsed Over His Affair


GREENSBORO, N.C. — A former adviser to John Edwards recounted Wednesday how the former presidential candidate's now-deceased wife indignantly confronted her husband, baring her chest in front of staff members the day after a tabloid reported that he was cheating on her.


During a session at Edwards' corruption trial that saw his 30-year-old daughter flee the courtroom in tears, Christina Reynolds described how a very upset Elizabeth Edwards stormed away from her husband in October 2007, then collapsed in a ball on the pavement outside a private airplane hangar. Reynolds and another woman guided the anguished wife into a nearby ladies room to compose herself, but she soon returned to the private hangar to again confront her husband.



In front of several staff members, the woman who had endured grueling treatments for breast cancer took off her shirt and bra, exposing her chest.


Edwards is accused of illegally using campaign donations to keep his mistress hidden, but Lowell's questions apparently were intended to bolster the defense's argument that Edwards used the money to keep the secret from his wife, not his campaign.


If convicted, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison.


If Edwards didn't have a strong reaction to his wife's meltdown, he had a much stronger reaction when another of his aides raised questions about his secret relationship with Hunter during Edwards' presidential campaign.


The confrontation with Josh Brumberger took place in a private room at Chicago's O'Hare Airport as Edwards and others were about to take off for a trip to China.



Brumberger said it was a "fairly emotional, heated, somewhat graphic conversation," and Brumberger looked sheepishly at Judge Catherine Eagles and the prosecutor before quoting Edwards.


"What I remember ... 'If he thought I was f***ing her, why didn't he come to me like a man and tell me to stop f***ing her," Brumberger recalled.


"He was really upset. He was red," Brumberger said.


When asked if he was fired, Brumberger replied, "That's the way I understood it. One thing was definitely clear. I was not going to China."


Brumberger's comment drew laughter from the court, which he was able to do repeatedly during the day in a change from the first eight days of the trial that has consisted of often emotional and angry testimony.


Brumberger was 27 when he was part of Edwards staff during the 2007-08 presidential campaign and recalled first meeting Edwards' girlfriend Rielle Hunter when she approached Edwards in the bar of a New York City hotel.


She soon appeared as part of the campaign staff as a videographer, and Brumberger said he looked up on the internet.


"There was a lot of sex, drugs, rock and roll and astrology," Brumberger testified. He said he told Edwards that "Miss Hunter looked a little nutty."


Soon, Hunter was making demands to be allowed at most of Edwards' events and to fly with Edwards on private jets. He noted that Edwards was carrying or wheeling her luggage. 

Florida A&M hazing charges underscore larger problem


ORLANDO, Fla. — Thirteen people were charged Wednesday in one of the biggest college hazing cases ever prosecuted in the U.S., accused in the death of a Florida A&M University drum major who authorities say was mercilessly pummeled by fellow members of the marching band.
The charges came more than five months after Robert Champion, 26, died aboard a chartered bus parked outside an Orlando hotel following a performance against a rival school.

While the most sensational hazing cases have typically involved fraternities, sororities or athletic teams, the FAMU tragedy in November exposed a brutal tradition among marching bands at some colleges around the U.S.
"The death ... is nothing short of an American tragedy," said State Attorney Lawson Lamar. "No one should have expected that his college experience would include being pummeled to death."
Eleven defendants were charged with hazing resulting in death, a felony, and misdemeanor offenses that all together could bring nearly six years in prison. Two others face misdemeanor charges.
It was not immediately clear whether those charged were all students or whether they included faculty members or others involved in the road trip.
By Wednesday afternoon, two students were in custody at the Leon County jail in Tallahassee: Rikki Wills, 24, and Caleb Jackson, 23. Both are charged with felony hazing resulting in death.
Wills, who was also drum major, declined comment when reached by phone. No working phone number was available for Jackson. The names of the 11 others have not been released.
Jackson was serving probation for a felony battery charge, according to state and local records. He was arrested in 2009 by Tallahassee Community College police for battery and resisting without violence and arrested again by Tallahassee police a year later, according to county jail records.



By Wednesday afternoon, two students were in custody at the Leon County jail in Tallahassee: Rikki Wills, 24, and Caleb Jackson, 23. Both are charged with felony hazing resulting in death.


Wills, who was also drum major, declined comment when reached by phone. No working phone number was available for Jackson. The names of the 11 others have not been released.


Jackson was serving probation for a felony battery charge, according to state and local records. He was arrested in 2009 by Tallahassee Community College police for battery and resisting without violence and arrested again by Tallahassee police a year later, according to county jail records.


Champion had bruises on his chest, arms, shoulder and back and died of internal bleeding, Lamar said. Witnesses told emergency dispatchers that the drum major was vomiting before he was found unresponsive aboard the bus.


The prosecutor gave no motive for the beating. But witnesses said Champion might have been targeted because he opposed the routine hazing that went on in the marching band or because he was gay, according his family's attorney.


Legal experts had predicted more serious charges, such as manslaughter or second-degree murder.


Champion's mother, Pam, said she was glad charges were brought but disappointed they weren't more severe. "I thought it should send a harsher message," she said.


Lamar said prosecutors didn't have the evidence to bring more serious charges.


"The testimony obtained to date does not support a charge of murder, in that it does not contain the elements of murder," he said. "We can prove participation in hazing and a death. We do not have a blow or a shot or a knife thrust that killed Mr. Champion. It is an aggregation of things which exactly fit the Florida statute as written by the Legislature."


Hazing in Florida was upgraded to a felony in 2005 following the death of a University of Miami student four years earlier. Chad Meredith was drunk and died trying to swim across a lake at the behest of his fraternity brothers. No charges were filed, but a civil jury ordered the fraternity to pay Meredith's parents $12 million.


Champion's death has jeopardized the future of FAMU's legendary marching band, which has performed at the Grammys, presidential inaugurations and Super Bowls and represented the U.S. in Paris at the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. FAMU, based in Tallahassee, has suspended the band and set up a task force on curtailing hazing.

'The Scream' fetches record $119.9M at NYC auction


NEW YORK -- Sometimes beauty is trumped by the beast. After bullish expectations and an aggressive marketing campaign for an image considered the quintessential expression of modern horror, Sotheby'sNew York sold Edvard Munch's 1895 “The Scream” for $119.9 million on Wednesday night, setting a record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction.


The top spot was previously held by Picasso's 1932 “Nude, Green, Leave and Bust” -- a painting of his much-younger lover Marie-Therese Walter that sold at Christie’s in 2010 for $106.5 million.



The identity of the buyer, who was bidding by phone during the 12-minute auction, has not been confirmed. Bidding started at $40 million, with at least five bidders. Rumors before the sale, not confirmed, focused on interest from the royal family of Qatar.




The image has become part of pop culture, "used by everyone from Warhol to Hollywood to cartoons to teacups and T-shirts," said Michael Frahm of the London-based art advisory service firm Frahm Ltd. "Together with the Mona Lisa, it's the most famous and recognized image in art history."
A buzz swept through the room when the artwork was presented for auction as two guards stood watch on either side. Bidding started at $40 million with seven buyers jumping into the competition early.
The battle eventually boiled down to two phone bidders as the historic hammer price was finally achieved after more than 12 minutes. The record price includes the auction house's fee.

Sotheby's said the pastel-on-board version of "The Scream" is the most colorful and vibrant of the four and the only version whose frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem, detailing the work's inspiration.
In the poem, Munch described himself "shivering with anxiety" and said he felt "the great scream in nature."
Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist, said he sold the piece through Sotheby's because he felt "the moment has come to offer the rest of the world the chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work."
"I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time," Olsen said.
Proceeds from the sale will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbors.
The director of the National Museum in Oslo, Audun Eckhoff, says Norwegian authorities approved the Munch sale since the other versions of the composition are in Norwegian museums. One version is owned by the National Museum and two others by the Munch Museum, also in Oslo.
Frahm had predicted the sale would break a record. He said it will show that great quality artworks can still come up for sale; that the top end of the market is driving further away from the rest of the market and that it's a global market now where Asia and the Middle East are playing a more significant role than Europe and America.

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" fetches $120M at auction


Edvard Munch's iconic painting "The Scream" fetched nearly $120 million from an unknown buyer Wednesday at Sotheby's in New York, setting a new world record for a work of art sold at auction.
Experts had expected the piece to break new ground at the famed New York auction house; its presale estimate of at least $80 million was the highest ever listed at Sotheby's.
It sold for $119,922,500, which includes the premium paid to Sotheby's.
Previously, the most expensive painting ever sold there was Pablo Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust," which brought in $106.5 million two years ago. The previous record for a Munch work of art was just over $38 million.
The version of "The Scream" on the block Wednesday was one of four painted between 1893 and 1910, and is one of the best-known images in modern art.
It's also the only version a private collector can get their hands on at public auction. The other three are housed in the National Gallery of Oslo and the Munch museum in the Norwegian capital.



The image has become part of pop culture, "used by everyone from Warhol to Hollywood to cartoons to teacups and T-shirts," said Michael Frahm of the London-based art advisory service firm Frahm Ltd. "Together with the Mona Lisa, it's the most famous and recognized image in art history."


A buzz swept through the room when the artwork was presented for auction as two guards stood watch on either side. Bidding started at $40 million with seven buyers jumping into the competition early.


The battle eventually boiled down to two phone bidders as the historic hammer price was finally achieved after more than 12 minutes. The record price includes the buyer's premium, an additional amount the buyer pays the auction house.


"If you look at the billionaires, there are only so many private islands they can buy, private jets, private yachts. There's only one Scream," said Sue Prideaux, who wrote a book about Munch and was in the room during the auction.


Sotheby's said the pastel-on-board version of "The Scream" is the most colorful and vibrant of the four and the only version whose frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem, detailing the work's inspiration.


In the poem, Munch described himself "shivering with anxiety" and said he felt "the great scream in nature."


Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist, said he sold the piece through Sotheby's because he felt "the moment has come to offer the rest of the world the chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work."



"I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time," Olsen said.


Proceeds from the sale will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbors.


The director of the National Museum in Oslo, Audun Eckhoff, says Norwegian authorities approved the Munch sale since the other versions of the composition are in Norwegian museums. One version is owned by the National Museum and two others by the Munch Museum, also in Oslo.


Frahm had predicted the sale would break a record. He said it will show that great quality artworks can still come up for sale; that the top end of the market is driving further away from the rest of the market and that it's a global market now where Asia and the Middle East are playing a more significant role than Europe and America.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Teri Hatcher


Teri Lynn Hatcher (born December 8, 1964) is an American actress, writer, and presenter. She is known for her television roles as Susan Mayer on the ABC comedy-drama series Desperate Housewives, and Lois Lane on the ABC comedy-drama series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. In 2005, her Desperate Housewives work won her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actress in a Comedy Series, as well as a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2005.


Hatcher married Marcus Leithold on June 4, 1988; they divorced the following year.[citation needed] On May 27, 1994, she married actor Jon Tenney; they had a daughter, Emerson Rose, on November 10, 1997, and divorced in March 2003.
In June 2007, Hatcher appeared on UK chat show The Paul O'Grady Show, where she revealed she writes a column in Glamour.
In February 2008, Hydroderm sued Hatcher for breach of contract, claiming she had promoted the beauty products of other companies. She insisted her promotion of CityLips' lip plumper did not affect the Hydroderm deal. Her attorney Alan Wertheimer called the lawsuit an "unjustified and public assault" on her "good name, reputation and celebrity." Her lawyer persuaded a judge in Los Angeles to move the case to arbitration.
On September 13, 2009, she finished the Malibu Triathlon (0.5 mi/0.80 km ocean swim, 18 mi/29 km out-and-back bike course, and 4 mi/6.4 km out-and-back run course) in 2h 6mn 50.7s. She returned to the event in 2010 to complete only the swim portion as a fundraiser.


Hatcher landed a starring role of Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane (opposite Dean Cain) in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman from 1993 to 1997. At the height of the show's popularity in 1995, a picture of Hatcher wrapped in a Superman cape was reportedly the most downloaded image on the Internet averaging 20,000 downloads each month for a six-month period. "It's a great shot," she told Entertainment Weekly. "Not so much because it's me. It's just cool looking.
In "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," the cast was worried that she would be taller than Superman in heels as she was 5'81⁄2" and Dean Cain was 6". Hatcher beat out Monica Bellucci for the role of Paris Carver in the 1997 James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. Hatcher was three months pregnant at the filming's start, by her then husband, Jon Tenney. An ABC publicist said the pregnancy did not affect the production schedule. Hatcher later regretted playing Paris Carver, saying, "It's such an artificial kind of character to be playing that you don't get any special satisfaction from it." She was voted the world's sexiest woman by readers of popular men's magazine FHM in the same year. Hatcher also appeared in films such as Spy Kids (2001), Dead in the Water (1991), 2 Days in the Valley (1996) and The Cool Surface (1994). She co-starred with Alec Baldwin in Heaven's Prisoners (1996), which failed at the box office. ABC cancelled Lois & Clark in 1997.


Hatcher made a much-discussed guest appearance on a 1993 episode of Seinfeld, in which her character, Sidra, breaks up with Jerry because she believes that Jerry was trying to have Elaine surreptitiously determine whether Sidra had breast implants. ("They're real... and they're spectacular.") She returned to play Sidra in two subsequent episodes, The Pilot, and The Finale (Part 2).
Hatcher appeared in a series of Radio Shack television commercials alongside NFL player Howie Long. They remain close friends and together have bought farm land on the outskirts of Los Angeles, with the intent of eventually raising endangered species.
Hatcher hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live in 1996. She beat out four other actresses for one of the lead roles on ABC's Desperate Housewives,[citation needed] on which she stars as Susan Mayer, a role for which she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Golden Globe Award in January 2005 In 2005, Hatcher won the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award in the same category. In July 2005, she was nominated for an Emmy award as Best Actress in a Comedy Series for the role, along with costars Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman.
As of April 2006 Hatcher is one of the highest paid television actresses in the United States. She reportedly earns $285,000 per episode of Desperate Housewives. In May 2006, she released her first book, Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life.

Teri Hatcher: The End of Desperate Housewives Is Finally Hitting Me


LOS ANGELES - Ask Teri Hatcher to select her favorite moment from eight seasons of "Desperate Housewives," and she'll most likely reminisce about the time she bared it all.


"There was a new wardrobe girl and at 6 in the morning she came over to me, introduced herself and said, 'Can we please take some gaffer's tape and cover your nipples and crotch?'" said Hatcher of the Season 1 episode in which her character, Susan, locked herself out of the house without a stitch of clothing.


As "Housewives" heads toward its May 13 finale with three new episodes beginning Sunday, it's been making more headlines for ugly lawsuits than steamy scenes. Give the show credit, though, for showing a different kind of nakedness - an honest depiction of the challenges of creeping into middle age without losing one's job, sexual drive or sanity.


In the first episode's most riveting scene, Lynette (Felicity Huffman) breaks down in a public park, thinking she's failed her four children.


"I love my kids," she says while being consoled by her friends. "I'm so sorry they have me as a mother."


Those kind of grown-up conversations were welcomed by women who couldn't relate to the Cosmo-slugging, shoe-shopping gals of "Sex and the City," which had ended its TV run about eight months before "Housewives" premiered, said Leah Wilson, a Dallas-based editor of a collection of essays called "Welcome to Wisteria Lane: On America's Favorite Desperate Housewives."


"I feel like [the finale] does a pretty good job at honoring all the different characters and their sort of unique wheelhouses that they brought ... to Desperate Housewives," she explains. 


"Whether it be comedy or drama or physical comedy, I feel like the stories make sense. I think it will be better than some other big finales." 


Although some of the stars on the show had reported drama over its eight seasons on the air, the relationship between Hatcher and her small-screen daughter, played by Andrea Bowen, is totally solid. 


"I say a lot about her and I mean this so much – my [real-life] daughter could not have a better role model than Andrea," Hatcher says. "She doesn't have a big sister and Andrea will be the big sister." 


As Bowen agrees, Hatcher goes on to say the young actress will be there "for all the big conversations" for her daughter Emerson Rose, 14. 


"[Andrea] is just beautiful and talented and totally sane and grounded and fabulous," Hatcher continues to gush. "I really had the best [on-camera] kids – her and Mason Vale. I had the best kids to work with."

Avengers' triumphs overseas

 LOS ANGELES — The superhero saga "The Avengers" lived up to its blockbuster buzz with $178.4 million in overseas ticket sales days before it opens in U.S. theaters.


Domestic audiences generally passed on a bunch of new flicks as fans seem to be in anticipation mode for Disney's "The Avengers," which debuts Friday in the United States after launching in 39 other countries a week earlier.


The huge overseas launch will help fan the frenzy already in place for "The Avengers," the superhero mash-up of Marvel Comics idols whose cast includes Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson.


"You hope that the magnitude of this kind of opening sends a signal that this is a for-everyone film," said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Disney. "You can't put up these kinds of numbers if it's just for guys or just for the fans. These numbers say that it is for everyone, 8 to 80."


Domestic audiences generally passed on a bunch of new flicks as fans seem to be in anticipation mode for "The Avengers," which opens Friday in the United States after launching in 39 other countries a week earlier.


The ensemble comedy "Think Like a Man" was No. 1 domestically for the second-straight weekend with $18 million.


Four movies were bunched up for the No. 2 spot in the $11 million range: "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" with $11.4 million; romantic drama "The Lucky One" with $11.3 million; "The Hunger Games" with $11.25 million; and rom-com "The Five-Year Engagement" with $11.2 million.

Joe the Plumber' attributes Obama's presidency to Christianity, discusses own faith


Samuel Wurzelbacher, the conservative activist popularly known as “Joe the Plumber,” is circulating a letter praising President Barack Obama‘s life story and crediting Christianity with his “miraculous” ascent to the presidency.


Wurzelbacher is the Republican candidate challenging longtime Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur. He gained national fame during the 2008 election after he confronted Obama on tax policy during a campaign stop.


The letter, provided to The Daily Caller, strikes a respectful tone, at one point saying that Obama “came to Christ and he is my brother.” Fringe Obama opponents often claim that the president is secretly a Muslim.


“It’s not … well, Christian” to question Obama’s religious faith, wrote Wurzelbacher.


“One of the reasons I really dig Christianity is that it’s so incredibly powerful and amazing,” he wrote. “The lives of millions of people have been given meaning by their faith in Christ. And what better confirmation of that strength do we have than the life story of President Obama?”


Wurzelbacher says he dislikes it when others question whether Obama is a Christian, and says the president should be given "the love and respect the Golden Rule" puts forth.


But the letter hardly constitutes an endorsement of Obama, whose clash with Wurzelbacher at a 2008 campaign appearance thrust the plumber into the political spotlight:


"Imagine being the child of a mixed-race marriage – especially in the turbulent 60’s and free-wheeling '70s. And when you throw in that dad was a Muslim and mom an atheist – you know it could not have been easy – and they were Communists for crying out loud! At age six, young Barry was shipped off to Indonesia and exposed to Islam for several years. His parents divorced, he returned to the U.S. and Barack was placed with his grandparents. By the time he got to college, he was experimenting with cocaine, marijuana and even thought about using heroin."


"Hardly sounds like one who would become President of the United States, the most powerful man in the greatest, most powerful country in the history of the world, does it? It seems against all odds… … almost miraculous?"


Wurzelbacher told the Christian Broadcasting Network that he plans to distribute the letter at churches during his upcoming congressional race. The network also revealed that Wurzelbacher will describe his conversion to Christianity in an upcoming broadcast of the network's "700 Club" television program.


"Not that long ago, I became a Christian," Wurzelbacher's letter said. "It was a magnificent event in my life that transformed me."


The letter also ascribes Obama's election as president to his sudden conversion to Christianity.


"After Barack Hussein Obama suddenly cast-off his Muslim roots, rejected his mother’s disbelief in God, turned tail on the Islam of his early life and converted to Christianity -- BLAM -- he’s elected President. Anyone who believes the two things are not connected is being disingenuous at best. I don’t know how or when it happened, whether when he was partying at college or five minutes before he first decided to run for office, but it doesn’t matter -- he came to Christ and he is my brother."

Tim Kaine calls for completion of Dulles rail line


Front-runner George Allen did not have to dodge many arrows Saturday when he shared a stage with the three Republicans who are competing with him for the party's U.S. Senate nomination.


There was nothing dramatic about Allen's performance during an hour-long debate at the Sheraton Roanoke Airport Hotel and Conference Center — the first of three debates that the state Republican Party will stage before the June 12 primary.


The former governor and U.S. senator didn't quarrel with his Republican rivals and aimed much of his fire at the Democrat he hopes to face this fall, former Gov. Tim Kaine.


"This election coming up in six months is going to determine the trajectory of our country, whether we're going to continue declining or whether we're going to be ascending," said Allen, who is running to regain the Senate seat he lost to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006. Webb is not seeking re-election.


The only candidate who directly challenged Allen was Jamie Radtke, the former head of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots, who criticized him for supporting spending and debt increases during his previous Senate term.


Kaine made one argument in favor of Dulles rail that carried a veiled partisan tone, arguing that the current tendency of politicians to neglect infrastructure investment is a big mistake.


“I see an anti-investment, anti-infrastructure mentality that has crept into politics,” he said. Kaine also weighed in on the sticking point for Loudoun County’s support of the project’s second phase, which is a labor agreement that opponents say is more pro-labor than the language of the Phase One agreement. Kaine said Friday that he thinks the language of the Phase One contract appears to be working — putting himself at odds with at least one member of the Metropolitan Airports Authority, Dennis Martire, whom Kaine appointed while governor. MWAA is the governing body overseeing the rail project.


That fact was not lost on Republicans, who issued a statement Friday about Kaine’s appearance accusing the candidate of bearing responsibility for the project’s cost overruns and “mismanagement.”


“Will Tim Kaine call upon his appointee and other board members to comply with Virginia law, which requires that Virginia workers get to compete for jobs on a level playing field?” asked state Del. Barbara Comstock (R-Fairfax) in a statement issued by the state Republican Party. “Or will he stick with his union cronies and biggest fundraisers, who want to leave Virginians with higher taxes and higher tolls while sending more of our jobs to Maryland and D.C.?”


Kaine said he would consider it a huge priority if elected to the Senate to see the rail project through.

Krugman Debunks Claim That Businesses Pay ‘The Single Highest Tax Rate In The World’


Channel: 7 ABC's "This Week" - John Brennan, President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser; Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard; former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.; Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google; David Walker, former comptroller general. 8 a.m.


Channel: 11 NBC's "Meet the Press" - Robert Gibbs, adviser to Obama's re-election campaign; Ed Gillespie, adviser to Mitt Romney's campaign; Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. 8 a.m.


Channel: 5 CBS' "Face the Nation" - Former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss.; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; California Gov. Jerry Brown. 8 a.m.


CNN's "State of the Union" - Brennan; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Govs. Bob McDonnell, R-Va., and Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont. 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.


FIORINA: We now have the single highest business tax rate in the world. Guess what, with the highest tax rate in the world, we see the same thing around the world as we see in states. States with lower tax rates have more jobs, more people. People leave states with higher tax rates. The data is crystal clear.
KRUGMAN: Nothing you said about business taxes is actually true. …. If you look at the actual tax collections in the United States on business, they’re lower than other advanced countries. And if you look at the alleged finding that high business taxes cause job loses in states, it goes away. Kick the tires even slightly and the whole thing falls apart. It’s just not true.
Watch it:


Indeed, a recent study from the Center for Tax Justice (CTJ) found that “the U.S. is already one of the least taxed countries for corporations in the developed world.” As a share of GDP, the U.S. had the second lowest tax rate, behind only Iceland. In 2009, U.S. corporate taxes had fallen to only 1.3 percent of GDP, from 4 percent in 1965.
The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts concluded that “the worst fears of the policy debates over raising additional revenue from high-income households to sustain spending on public services are unlikely to materialize.” Millionaires will attempt to avoid higher taxes by changing the composition of their incomes, but don’t, in fact, move to avoid the higher fees.

Ron Paul wins Louisiana


The Paul campaign said the candidate won “four and a half of six congressional district caucuses, securing 111 of 150 — or 74 percent — of (the) delegates” allocated as part of Saturday’s district caucus process.


“Ron Paul’s victory shows his delegate-attainment strategy is working and demonstrates that the media and Washington pundits are underestimating his influence in the nominating process,” said Ron Paul 2012 national campaign manager John Tate.


Tate predicted that “the Louisiana win forecasts a prominent role for Ron Paul” at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. “It also signals that the convention will feature a spirited discussion over whether conservatism will triumph over the status quo, all in relation to the end game of defeating President Obama.”


The Paul campaign claimed victory in Louisiana’s Congressional Districts 1, 2, 5 and 6, and a split decision in District 4.


“Yesterday’s result shows the changing dynamic among grassroots conservative activists dedicated to promoting a Republican platform that adheres to the Constitutional values Dr. Paul represents,” Paul’s Louisiana state director, Pete Chamberlain, said today. “Back-room dealing and insider politics are no match for the grassroots enthusiasm that is the hallmark of the Ron Paul campaign. Yesterday, Ron Paul’s dedicated Louisiana supporters showed what passionate, persistent activism can achieve when centered around a consistent message of freedom and prosperity.


Saturday night, he claimed another caucus victory. Louisiana announced that approximately 74 percent of its delegates will go to GOP Convention as Paul supporters.
However Paul still remains far behind Republican Mitt Romney in the delegate count. As for Newt Gingrich, he's expected to drop out of the race on Wednesday.

Hardly a Close Ally, Clinton Teams With Obama to Raise Cash and Votes

MCLEAN, Virginia (Reuters) - Former U.S. president Bill Clinton campaigned alongside Barack Obama for the first time in the 2012 race on Sunday, making an impassioned appeal to re-elect the White House incumbent and helping his fellow Democrat raise more than $2 million.


A white-haired and noticeably svelte Clinton, 65, pounded the podium with his fingers and palms and gestured vividly while addressing about 500 Obama supporters outside the Virginia home of his friend and Democratic advisor Terry McAuliffe.


"Barack Obama deserves to be re-elected," Clinton told the crowd in his signature raspy voice, warmly introducing the man who was the main rival to his wife Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential primaries.


"I think he's done a good job," Clinton said. "We are moving this country forward, we are going the right direction under President Obama's leadership."


When he took the outdoor podium, Obama, 50, noted Clinton's "remarkable" economic record in his two White House terms and referred frequently to the political powerhouse standing behind him, who stands to be a huge fundraising force in the final months of this year's campaign.


David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s longtime strategist, said the joint efforts show that the two men have forged a strong relationship over the last four years. “When you’re president, there are very few people to whom you can turn who really ‘get’ what the job demands,” Mr. Axelrod said. “President Clinton has been the source of very good advice, and very meaningful support.”


Privately, Democrats portray the evolving alliance as more utilitarian. “Once Obama’s out of office, I doubt they’ll take family vacations together,” said a former Clinton aide who has also worked for Mr. Obama and asked not to be named to avoid offending either man. “But Clinton thinks it’s critical for the country that he gets re-elected, and will do whatever he can to see that that happens.”


Another Democrat who has worked for both men said: “There’s no love lost. But Bill Clinton is not stupid. He knows if he can give a little of his 60-percent-plus approval rating halo to Obama, and Obama does well, that only helps Clinton. And it helps the missus if she wants to run.”


Hillary Rodham Clinton, who lost the Democratic nomination to Mr. Obama in 2008 only to join his cabinet as secretary of state, has made clear that she will step down after this term no matter what happens in the fall election. But in recent months, people in the Clinton orbit said she has left the door more open to running for president again in 2016, a campaign that would benefit from Mr. Obama’s good will.


By many accounts, the president and the secretary of state get along fairly well despite their epic clash four years ago. He felt comfortable enough teasing her during his comic performance at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday night, referring to pictures of her drinking a beer during a recent trip to Colombia.


“Four years ago, I was locked in a brutal primary battle with Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Obama said. “Four years later, she won’t stop drunk-texting me from Cartagena.”


Paradoxically, it has been the relationship between the two presidents that has been more awkward. At times, Mr. Obama has kept Mr. Clinton at a distance; at others, he has called on him for help, as he did after Democrats lost the House in the 2010 midterm elections.


A classic example of the complicated dynamic came last year when Mr. Clinton published a book titled “Back to Work,” offering very public advice about how to fix the economy. At first, the book rankled the Obama camp, which felt blindsided by its publication and privately complained that it made it seem as if the current president needed guidance. Eventually, after reading it, though, the irritation dissipated and the president’s advisers concluded that it was O.K. for them.

China Eastern Airlines says to buy 20 Boeing aircraft

 HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--China Eastern Airlines Corp. (0670.HK) said Monday it has agreed to purchase 20 B777-300ER aircraft from Boeing Co. (BA) for US$5.94 billion.


The Shanghai-based airline said the new aircraft, which will be delivered in stages from 2014 to 2018, will help satisfy the increasing demand on international long-haul routes.


"The purchase of the Boeing aircraft will further strengthen the company's competitiveness in the international civil aviation market and increase its operational capacity in international routes of the company," China Eastern said in a statement.


Meanwhile, the company has agreed to sell five Airbus A340-600 aircraft, in a deal worth CNY4.47 billion (US$707 million), it said in the same statement. The sale will help the airline cuts costs.


Boeing said on Friday that China Eastern Airlines had agreed to buy the 20 aircraft, pending Chinese government approval.


The Chinese carrier also said it would sell five Airbus A340-600 aircraft, with an unaudited book value of about 4.47 billion yuan ($708 million), to Boeing.


China Eastern said the A340-600 aircraft, which mainly serve long-haul international routes such as Shanghai-to-New York and Shanghai-to-Los Angeles, had high operation costs and relatively weak route competitiveness.


The Airbus aircraft began service in 2003 and 2004 and had an average usage of about 8.3 years.


China Eastern said the purchase of the Boeing aircraft and disposal of the Airbus planes would lower its unit operation costs and optimize the fleet structure for long-haul air transportation routes.

How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes


Apple uses subsidiaries in Ireland, the Netherlands and other low-tax nations in a strategy that enables the technology giant to cut its global tax bill by billions every year, a report says.
The New York Times outlined legal methods used by Cupertino, California-based Apple to avoid paying billions of dollars in government and state taxes.
One approach highlighted in the report is even though the company is based in California, Apple has set up a small office in Reno, Nevada, to collect and invest its profits. The corporate tax rate in Nevada is zero, but in California, it is 8.84%.
While many major corporations try to reduce their tax bills, technology companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and others have more options to do so. That is because some of their revenue comes from digital products or royalties on patents, which makes it easier for them to move profits to tax-friendly states or countries, the Times said.
In contrast, it is tougher to shift the collection of profits from the sale of a physical product - like groceries or a car - to a tax-friendly haven.
The 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor's 500, including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell, reported paying global cash taxes over the past two years at a rate that is, on average, one-third less than other S&P 500 companies, the Times said.
Apple has legally allocated about 70% of its profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower than in the US, according to company filings.


However, Apple’s accountants have found legal ways to allocate about 70 percent of its profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower, according to corporate filings.



Neither the government nor corporations make tax returns public, and a company’s taxable income often differs from the profits disclosed in annual reports. Companies report their cash outlays for income taxes in their annual Form 10-K, but it is impossible from those numbers to determine precisely how much, in total, corporations pay to governments. In Apple’s last annual disclosure, the company listed its worldwide taxes — which includes cash taxes paid as well as deferred taxes and other charges — at $8.3 billion, an effective tax rate of almost a quarter of profits.


However, tax analysts and scholars said that figure most likely overstated how much the company would hand to governments because it included sums that might never be paid. “The information on 10-Ks is fiction for most companies,” said Kimberly Clausing, an economist at Reed College who specializes in multinational taxation. “But for tech companies it goes from fiction to farcical.”


Apple, in a statement, said it “has conducted all of its business with the highest of ethical standards, complying with applicable laws and accounting rules.” It added, “We are incredibly proud of all of Apple’s contributions.”


Apple “pays an enormous amount of taxes, which help our local, state and federal governments,” the statement also said. “In the first half of fiscal year 2012, our U.S. operations have generated almost $5 billion in federal and state income taxes, including income taxes withheld on employee stock gains, making us among the top payers of U.S. income tax.”


The statement did not specify how it arrived at $5 billion, nor did it address the issue of deferred taxes, which the company may pay in future years or decide to defer indefinitely. The $5 billion figure appears to include taxes ultimately owed by Apple employees.


The sums paid by Apple and other tech corporations is a point of contention in the company’s backyard.


A mile and a half from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters is De Anza College, a community college that Steve Wozniak, one of Apple’s founders, attended from 1969 to 1974. Because of California’s state budget crisis, De Anza has cut more than a thousand courses and 8 percent of its faculty since 2008.


Now, De Anza faces a budget gap so large that it is confronting a “death spiral,” the school’s president, Brian Murphy, wrote to the faculty in January. Apple, of course, is not responsible for the state’s financial shortfall, which has numerous causes. But the company’s tax policies are seen by officials like Mr. Murphy as symptomatic of why the crisis exists.

Lindsay Lohan makes waves at the 98th Annual White House Correspondents' weekend


Celebrities expected at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner include Hollywood legends George Clooney and Steven Spielberg, troubled starlet Lindsay Lohan, leading ladies Reese Witherspoon and Charlize Theron, plus hot up-and-comers Josh Hutcherson, Zooey Deschanel and Viola Davis. Some famous funny people are going, too, like Jimmy Kimmel, the evening’s headliner, and members of the “Modern Family” cast. Entertainers Stevie Wonder and Mary J. Blige are also on the guest list, in addition, of course, to President Barack Obama and a bevy of Washington journalists.


Happy to see her or not, Lohan arrived with smiles a plenty and invitation in hand on Saturday (April 28) in Washington, D.C. and although Celebrity Gossip reported that she arrived late due to a missed flight, she started her weekend off by attending the 19th Annual White House Correspondents' Garden Brunch.


Lindsay enjoyed the event with her ever busy lawyer, Shawn Holley, and Susan Axelrod, who is the chair and founding member of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).


After brunch, Lindsay adorned a black halter ballroom gown that not only gave her a great elegant look for the night but also fit in well, according to Socyberty because Elle Macpherson, Reese Witherspoon, and Sofia Vergara also attended the event dressed in dark flattering colors. Before the end of the night, Lindsay enjoyed the company of many at the dinner, and made the most of her invite to the event.


Is this the start of a more professional Lindsay, or a brief period of peace for hurricane Lohan?


One thing can be certain, if her behavior and demeanor at this affair was any indication of the future, things are truly looking up for her.

Jimmy Kimmel


James Christian "Jimmy" Kimmel (born November 13, 1967) is an American comedian, actor, voice artist and television host. He is the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk show that airs on ABC. Prior to that, Kimmel was best known as the co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Win Ben Stein's Money. Kimmel is also a television producer, having produced shows such as Crank Yankers, Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, and The Andy Milonakis Show.


Kimmel has performed in several animated films, often voicing dogs. His voice appeared in Garfield and Road Trip, and he portrayed Death's Dog in the Family Guy episode "Mr. Saturday Knight"; Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane later presented Kimmel with a figurine of his character on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Kimmel also did voice work for Robot Chicken. Kimmel's cousin "Sal" (Sal Iacono) has accepted and won a wrestling match with WWE superstar Santino Marella. On January 14, 2010, in the midst of the 2010 Tonight Show host and time slot conflict, Kimmel was the special guest of Jay Leno on The Jay Leno Show's "10 at 10" segment. Kimmel derided Leno in front of a live studio audience for taking back the 11:35 pm time slot from Conan O'Brien, and repeatedly insulted Leno. He ended the segment with a plea that Leno "leave our shows alone," as Kimmel and O'Brien had "kids" while Leno only had "cars".
Kimmel also made a brief appearance in the TV commercial "There's A Soldier In All Of Us" promoting the 2010 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops, along with Kobe Bryant. He is seen taking cover from bullets, then firing an RPG-7 with the words PROUD N00b on it, with the aftershock from the weapon sending him tumbling backwards.
He has been asked to host the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards which will air on September 23, 2012, marking his first time hosting the event.
[edit]Personal life


Kimmel and his then girlfriend, Gina, married in June 1988. They have two children, Katie (born 1991) and Kevin (born 1993). Katie Kimmel is an art student in Chicago. The marriage ended in separation in early 2002. Kimmel then dated comedian Sarah Silverman for five years, splitting with her in March 2009. He started dating current girlfriend, Molly McNearney, in October 2009. McNearney is also a co-head writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live
Kimmel plays the bass clarinet. He got a chance to showcase his talent during a July 20, 2008, concert in Costa Mesa, California, featuring the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, when he took the stage and played bass clarinet on their hit song "The Impression That I Get.
Kimmel has spoken publicly of being a narcoleptic.
Kimmel co-founded the annual LA Feast of San Gennaro, which celebrates Italian culture through entertainment, music and cuisine. The festival also honors outstanding members of the Los Angeles community and raises funds to aid needy children and families in the city. He hosted Los Angeles' eighth annual feast of San Gennaro from September 28 to 30, 2009. Kimmel served as Master of Ceremonies for the National Italian American Foundation's 34th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2009.
He resides across the street from actor John Krasinski (known for his role as Jim Halpert on The Office) and his wife, actress Emily Blunt, in Los Angeles.