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  • Ronald J. Ryan Claims General Motors Pension Crisis was Avoidable
    ALM Inc Ronald J Ryan has seen more than his fair share of corporations and government offices misreporting the value of their pension funds He worries that accounting practices which inflate the value of pension assets now put the retirement of millions of Americans in jeopardy Speaking on The Costa Report Ryan cited General Motors 2002 pension obligation bond program The auto giant faced a pension deficit of 14 billion with a net worth of only 8 billion Ryan explained that the deficit left the company with two options bankruptcy or a complete overhaul of their pension program GM elected to do the latter issuing pension obligation bonds totaling 14 billion The company s plan was to contribute monies from the sale of the bonds back to the pension a tax deductible move which they would benefit from GM was permitted by law to forecast the long term return on pension assets The company determined the long term return for the pension fund would be 9 in spite of the 5 interest rate offered on pension bonds which were issued The result According to Ryan 560 million in phantom pension earnings were reported every year Ryan went on to discuss how the practice of overstating the value of pension assets has become a common practice He claims pension programs would benefit from the application of a custom liability index a system designed to help workers understand the liabilities and assets associated with pension portfolios The first step is to tell the truth have a scoreboard that provides an accurate up to date market valuation of assets and liabilities Next up ensure that asset allocation is responsive to the funded ratio of the pension assets divided by liabilities Third step asset management Ryan recommends the creation of a core portfolio which

    Original URL path:,904.0.html (2016-02-13)
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  • Eddie Rickenbacker: A Model for Leadership then, and Today
    Costa John F Ross latest book Enduring Courage Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed tells the thrilling story of race car driver World War I ace and entrepreneur Eddie Rickenbacker The book illustrates how courage defined American culture during the 20th century exposing the important relationship between heroism and leadership Rickenbacker is best known for his military record He was the most productive ace fighter during World War I with 26 aerial victories to his credit Following the war he invented the first vehicle to feature a four wheel brake system and founded the Rickenbacker Motor Company In 1927 Rickenbacker purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway successfully operating the racetrack through 1941 During this time Rickenbacker assumed leadership of Eastern Air Lines as the company s first CEO Under his stewardship Eastern not only grew to be highly profitable but also earned a reputation as an innovator throughout the airline industry Rickenbacker is one of the authors of systematic risk management a method used to calculate the dangers associated with untested innovation When race car driving was becoming a popular sport in America Rickenbacker used this methodology to assess the risks and opportunities associated with racing leading him to invent new safety precautions and equipment driving techniques etc which could be adopted industry wide As his professional career moved from working with automobiles to commercial airplanes Rickenbacker perfected his ability to evaluate risk scenarios Ross research reveals that Rickenbacker s ability to quantify risk was key to this American hero s uncompromising courage This was the kind of courage that really built this country Ross said during a recent interview on The Costa Report The leadership ethical makeup and commitment demonstrated by Rickenbacker and other icons of the 20th century is according to Ross sorely

    Original URL path:,899.0.html (2016-02-13)
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  • Ellsberg Says No Defense Case For Snowden Until "Public Accountability Defense"
    Snowden has largely remained the same since 1971 when Ellsberg was charged with 12 felony counts and faced 115 years imprisonment for disclosing classified Defense Department and White House documents to the The New York Times and Washington Post In a recent interview with The Guardian former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for Edward Snowden s return to the U S urging Snowden to defend and debate the charges against him During his interview Ellsberg refuted Clinton s claim that a legal defense was possible pointing to the fact that the Espionage Act of 1917 prevents defendants from presenting their reasons or motive for breaking the law At the present time breaking the law for the greater benefit of the public is not recognized as a legal defense in the United States As a result over four decades ago Ellsberg was prevented by the judge in his case from offering an explanation for why it became necessary to release classified documents to the press a similar quandary to what Snowden and others charged under the Espionage Act now face Referring to Chelsea Manning s 35 year prison sentence Ellsberg remarked Today I have no doubt that I would be facing the same fate as Chelsea Manning According to Ellsberg amending the Espionage Act to include a public accountability defense a term coined by Harvard professor Yochai Benkler in his 2014 study A Public Accountability Defense for National Security Leakers and Whistleblowers would not only allow Snowden to return to the United States but also would offer much needed protection to future whistleblowers Ellsberg stated that the amendment is the only route to a fair trial or to public understanding of what you ve done further asserting that this sort of legislation is needed now more than ever Despite supporting

    Original URL path:,819.0.html (2016-02-13)
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  • Trent Lott Says GOP Reversal of Senate "Nuclear Option" Would Signal Real Change
    an end to gridlock in the nation s capital by tackling systemic changes Lott said one of the changes which would signal a return to regular order would be the reversal of the nuclear option The nuclear option was instituted by Democrats in 2013 to inhibit Republican filibustering of President Obama s judicial nominees The option requires a simple majority to confirm a nominee a parliamentary change which Republicans vehemently objected to when they represented a minority Now that Republicans hold a majority position there is speculation as to whether they will exploit or reverse the nuclear option Lott sided with John McCain s observation that any failure to end the use of the nuclear option would be hypocritical given statements made by Republicans that the procedure would poison the well of the Senate Lott also encouraged the GOP to restore power to Senate committees According to Lott these legislative sub organizations have been largely dormant for the past two years despite consisting of capable experienced people who have a proven history of legislative leadership Lott said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be well advised to reinstate the authority once granted to committee chairs In addition Lott echoes Tom

    Original URL path:,814.0.html (2016-02-13)
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  • Dan Rather Urges President to Host "National Conference on Journalism"...
    an overall degradation in news reporting in the U S According to Rather 4 6 news conglomerates control 80 of all news distribution so No matter where you go on the dial the lead story is the same the format is the same and the lack of quality is the same Rather attributes the erosion in news quality to how journalism is viewed by big business no longer as a public service but rather as programming whose aim is profitability The consequence of the shift leads to a situation in which entertainment and celebrity reporting has overtaken in depth investigation As proof of this Rather points to the elimination of many foreign bureaus as well as the unwillingness to spend the money required to send reporters to the front lines or to pursue long term investigations Rather worries that real investigative reporting has become rare a trend which leads to an uninformed public and voter base An informed citizenry is absolutely essential to a constitutional republic built on the principles of freedom and democracy such as ours said Rather When asked whether the Obama administration s attempt to put government observers inside newsrooms to understand how news stories are selected

    Original URL path:,739.0.html (2016-02-13)
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  • Study Reports Iranian Sanctions Cost U.S. Billions
    quantifies the economic impact Iranian sanctions have had on the U S economy According to the report which Parsi co authored the United States lost between 134 7 and 175 3 billion in export revenue to Iran between 1995 to 2012 Parsi continued Over the last 17 years the United States also lost approximately 1 million job opportunities as a result of the sanctions Despite the shocking figures Parsi stated the report s figures are a very conservative estimation Parsi was disturbed to discover the U S government conducted no studies on the potential economic blowback to the domestic economy in advance of ordering sanctions He believes this is due to the fact that sanctions are considered a necessary political weapon But Parsi argues the use of sanctions comes with a price While sanctions have the illusion of appearing to be free they are anything but Last month the U S Iran and other foreign powers engaged in negotiations regarding Iran s expanding nuclear program Parsi claims that Iran s willingness to negotiate is not a result of economic sanctions as has been portrayed by the U S media Instead Iran s willingness to negotiate has been largely guided by

    Original URL path:,679.0.html (2016-02-13)
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  • U.S. Representative to NATO, Ivo Daalder, In Favor of Arming Ukrainian Military
    get a commitment not only from the United States but from all other members that they will defend you According to Daalder many NATO countries expressed an unwillingness to defend the Ukraine and as a result their application was rejected But with such close proximity to NATO nations the present incursion of Russian troops in the Ukraine now poses a direct threat Nations which once blocked the Ukraine s admission into NATO may find themselves aiding a country they were once reluctant to To hear the full interview with Ivo Daalder visit www thecostareport com Link http www rebeccacosta com blog u s representative to nato ivo daalder in favor of arming ukrainian military 251 htm Randallscrow Newbie Posts 33 Karma 7 0 Re U S Representative to NATO Ivo Daalder In Favor of Arming Ukrainian Military Reply 1 on November 25 2014 11 15 05 PM We re gonna need each other before it s all through October 18 2010 at 6 00pm We re gonna need each other before it s all Through It just is what it is for me and you Now I always did things all on my own Proud of Acomplishment earned all alone Now the tides and seasons have certainly changed and this new worlds order has been rearranged The Strong are now weak and the weak weaker still and the Cup Runneth Over much harder to fill the Emperors are walkin round wearing no clothes they are tellin us Sorry that s just how it goes While they are beating our Plowshares into their Swords Our little girls get shot at in Grocery Stores Now fightin each other can t be what we do cuz we ll be needing each other before it s all through I m no longer living my

    Original URL path:,594.0.html (2016-02-13)
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  • Alan Dershowitz Warns United States: ISIS Likely to Adopt Hamas Tactics
    growing parallel between the threat ISIS poses to the United States and Hamas ongoing war with Israel Every two years there s going to be another war between Israel and Hamas because Hamas wins every war of public relations said Dershowitz whose newest book Terror Tunnels The Case For Israel s Just War Against Hamas exposes the media savvy tactics Hamas employs which complicate Israel s ability to retaliate Among the latest tactics a sophisticated network of over 40 subterranean tunnels The tunnels which were constructed using resources provided to the Palestinians when Israel ended occupation of Gaza in 2005 are equipped with electricity plumbing railroad tracks and cars ventilation systems etc Each tunnel has been carefully designed with multiple exits exits strategically placed near Israeli schools and neighborhoods Complicating Israel s ability to locate and neutralize the tunnels is the fact that tunnel entrances are hidden within civilian Palestinian homes mosques etc According to Dershowitz no technology presently exists for detecting tunnels which are 100 feet below the Earth s surface Israel estimates it would cost over 3 billion dollars to invent a detection system As a result the only way to combat the new subterranean assault is through the use of military ground personnel Dershowitz asserts that Hamas has a long standing tradition of launching attacks whether subterranean or air from densely populated civilian neighborhoods rather than any number of locations in Gaza where few civilians are present Hamas uses its civilians to protect its soldiers said Dershowitz pointing to the fact that rockets are strategically launched and tunnel entrances are placed in civilian neighborhoods near schools shopping areas etc The PR dilemma According to Dershowitz when Israel retaliates Hamas seizes the opportunity to produce photographic and video evidence of Israel s vengeful attack on innocent civilians evidence

    Original URL path:,569.0.html (2016-02-13)
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