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Noted with Interest, September 2008

Oct 01, 2008
Here are a few items noted with interest over the past month:

Bankruptcy Filings Near Million Mark for 12-Month Period Ending June 30, 2008
Business and non-business filings were up 28.9 percent from the 12-month period ending June 30, 2007; business filings were up 41.6 percent. (From U.S. Courts.gov. Accessed August 30, 2008)

Bringing Pell Grants to My Eyes
Just a great little essay on what it means to be a Democrat. (Free registration may be required.) (From The New York Times, Op-Ed Contributor Sarah Vowell. Accessed August 31, 2008)

Capturing CO2 from Coal-Fired Plants: Challenges for a Comprehensive Strategy
The world gets a quarter of its energy from coal, including almost half of its electricity. In a carbon-constrained future, carbon from coal must be captured and sequestered. Competing and conflicting political, technological, and economic factors combine to delay development of sequestration technology, as explained in this Congressional Research Services report. (From OpenCRS. Accessed September 2, 2008)

Father Knows Best
A funny antidote to the endless speeches of the Democratic and Republican conventions. By Matt Mendelsohn (From The New York Times, September 7, 2008 (free registration required). Accessed September 7, 2008)

FDIC Report Highlights Suggestions for Expanding Mortgage Loans to Low- and Moderate-Income Households
Hard to believe, but the FDIC is out there telling banks how to get back into the mortgage business, lending to low- and moderate-income customers. Their main suggestion: Don’t get greedy. Sell the customer a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and make sure they can pay it back. (From Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Accessed September 8, 2008)

Virtual Fence for Mexico Border Is Put Off
The border fence is $400 million over budget, the wire mesh portion (the people-stopper) is costing $3.5 million more per mile than the $4 million it was expected to cost, the program is way late, and is about to shelve—in favor of the physical portion of the fence—the “virtual fence” portion Boeing is building at a cost that could reach $24 billion all by itself. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. (by August Cole, from the Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2008, p. A3. Accessed September 10, 2008)

More to Give: Tapping the Talents of the Baby Boomer, Silent, and Greatest Generations
Local, state, and national guidelines and recommendations for putting more “Experienced Americans” to work as volunteers. (From AARP, in association with Civic Enterprises. Accessed September 12, 2008)

So far like the present...
Find updates here on three recent civil rights violence matters: Luis Ramirez, Baron Pikes, and LaVena Johnson. (From All Together Now, July 30, 2008.)

On Stupidity
College professor Thomas H. Benton presents a slew of recent books which he says suggests that it is time to reverse the customer-service mentality plaguing academe.(From The Chronicle of Higher Education. Accessed September 13, 2008)

CREW releases fourth annual most corrupt members of Congress report
See if yours made the top 20 this year. (From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), September 12, 2008. Accessed September 14, 2008)

Employer Health Benefits 2008 Annual Survey
Employer-sponsored health insurance rose five percent in 2008 to $12,680 for family coverage. Employees on average pay $3,354 out of their paychecks to cover their share of the cost. (From the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust. Accessed September 27, 2008)

Salaries Set for Fannie, Freddie CEOs
The base salary of $900,000 will probably exceed $1 million with bonuses. That is one-tenth of what the CEOs were receiving who drove Fannie and Freddie to bankruptcy. Still, it’s nice work if you can get it. (From AARP Bulletin Today. Accessed September 27, 2008)

FactChecking Debate No. 1
Check out the muddled facts in the first Obama/McCain debate. (From FactCheck.org. Accessed September 27, 2008)

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