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Saturday protest

I can see a certain conflict arising in the online community over this one:

On Saturday, May 14th, Philly Uncut will be staging actions against Apple’s refusal to pay its fair share.

Apple, one of the largest corporations in the world, had a pretax income of $18.54 billion in 2009. It dodged 2 billion dollars in income taxes, avoiding more than 10% of the taxes it owed to the Federal Government. That 2 billion dollars could pay for every single cut being proposed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. Reading this on a Mac? Own an iPod? Make up for it by coming out to protest Apple!

We will be meeting at Rittenhouse Square, and then walking to the Apple Store.

Entitled twit

Rand Paul:

“With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses. … You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.”

Did I mention his practice consisted mostly of Medicare patients?

Hedge funds

How they lie, cheat and steal.

R.I.P.

John Walker, 67.

Charging the poor

I love how Tennessee thinks: Hey, we’re not ripping them off as much as the check-cashing places were, so that makes us the good guys!

WASHINGTON — Many states shortchange the jobless by distributing unemployment benefits on debit cards loaded with obnoxious fees, according to a new study by the National Consumer Law Center.

Of the 40 states that have switched from paper checks to prepaid debit cards, 22 states’ cards charge ATM fees, 24 charge balance inquiry fees, and 28 charge inactivity fees. The cards in Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, Ohio, and Oregon come with overdraft fees ranging from $10 to $20.

And in Connecticut, Iowa, Rhode Island, and Tennessee, cardholders “must pay for every ATM inquiry or pay a denied transaction fee if they request cash when their balance is insufficient,” the study says.

Tennessee stands out for having the card with the most “junk fees,” the study says. Tennessee’s card, provided by JPMorgan Chase, charges $1 for initial ATM withdrawals, 40 cents for balance inquiries, and 25 cents whenever someone swipes the card at checkout. It’s one of just four states that doesn’t provide even one free ATM withdrawal per deposit.

Tennessee doesn’t think its card’s fees are junk.

“I’m not sure calling them ‘junk fees’ is a fair statement,” said Jeff Hentschell, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Workforce Development, which distributes Tennessee Automated Payment cards for jobless benefits. “When you look at the context of where we were and where we are today, the fees are actually minimal compared to where people were going to cash paper checks before.”

I wonder which politicians are paying off which banker friends with these contracts?

Bedbugs

Oh dear. This isn’t good:

Anyone who has ever had a bedbug infestation knows full well what a nuisance the pests can be. Unlike ticks and mosquitoes, however, bedbugs, which feed on human blood, are not known to spread disease and are generally not viewed as a major public health threat.

But a peer-reviewed study published online Wednesday in a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the pests could play a role in disease transmission. In a tiny sample of bedbugs, collected from a small number of residents living in crowded conditions in a poor neighborhood in Canada, researchers found the drug-resistant bacterium known as MRSA.

Revolving door

Who could have predicted this from the rat’s nest that is Washington, D.C.?

Republican Federal Communications Commission commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is planning to leave the agency for a job at Comcast Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Ms. Baker is expected to announce her departure as soon as this week for an unknown position at the Philadelphia-based cable giant. Comcast declined to comment, a company spokeswoman said.

Ms. Baker did not respond to several emails and phone calls for comment.

[...] Baker’s move to Comcast comes just four months after she voted, along with three of the agency’s other FCC commissioners, to approve Comcast’s $13.75 billion deal to acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.

She’s funny that way

Erroll Garner:

How can you mend a broken heart

Al Green:

The first time ever I saw your face

Roberta Flack with the Ewan McColl classic:

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