In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Sunday, July 21, 2024

Personal bankruptcies soar in September

Consumer bankruptcies soared 41 percent in September from a year before and climbed from August, as high unemployment and the housing market crash took their toll, the American Bankruptcy Institute said on Friday.

September filings totaled 124,790, the fourth-highest month since the bankruptcy law changed in 2005.

Filings also rose 4 percent from August, even as recent reports have indicated that the U.S. housing market might be stabilizing and consumer confidence appears to be recovering.

September’s filings pushed 2009 consumer bankruptcies to about 1.05 million, the highest for the first nine months of a year since 1.35 million in 2005.

The American Bankruptcy Institute said it expects consumer bankruptcies to climb to more than 1.4 million this year.

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Health care bill could increase Medicare costs

Medicare recipients could see higher premiums for prescription drug coverage as a result of changes to complex provisions in a Senate health care bill, a senior Republican said Friday.

At issue are marching orders for a powerful new commission that would recommend annual Medicare savings to Congress. Those recommendations would go into effect unless overruled by lawmakers.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said an amendment approved by the Finance Committee in the pre-dawn hours Friday would allow the commission to recommend changes leading to higher Medicare prescription drug premiums. The Democratic amendment was approved on a 13-10 party line vote.

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Big city cops back watch program

The nation’s big city police chiefs are backing an anti-terrorism community watch program to educate people about what behavior is truly suspicious and ought to be reported to police.

Police Chief William Bratton of Los Angeles, whose department developed the iWATCH program, calls it the 21st century version of Neighborhood Watch.

Using brochures, public service announcements and meetings with community groups, iWATCH is designed to deliver concrete advice on how the public can follow the oft-repeated post-9/11 recommendation: “If you see something, say something.” Program materials list nine types of suspicious behavior that should prompt people to call police and 12 kinds of places to look for it.

Among the indicators:

  • If you smell chemicals or other fumes.
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Obama’s Olympics failure will haunt him in future

OK, so it wasn’t health care, climate change or war. Still, President Barack Obama’s high-profile failure to win the Olympics for Chicago could feed negative narratives already nipping at his heels — that he’s a better talker than closer, more celebrity than statesman.

And this could hamper his efforts on the weightier issues.

Despite Obama’s fabled charm and powers of persuasion, his in-person plea for Chicago to host the 2016 Summer Games fell flat. It was a hugely embarrassing defeat. His adopted hometown — considered a front-runner heading into Friday’s voting — didn’t just lose, it took last place, shocking nearly all by getting knocked out in the first round while the remaining three contenders moved on.

The defeat could soon be a distant memory, and may never be more than a quixotic-blip trip. But if, for whatever reason, bigger losses start piling up in Obama’s corner, his performance in this case could be regarded as emblematic.

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