Obama climate plan may cost trillions

Obama climate plan may cost trillionsBy the admission of White House staffers, the administration’s climate proposal could cost industry up to $2 trillion, and the Senate has just blocked the efforts to put climate-change legislation on a fast track.

President Obama’s proposal calls for a carbon cap-and-trade system that would set limits on greenhouse gas emissions and force industry to buy permits to pollute. However, it has been blasted by critics as a tax on carbon-emitting companies.

"The last thing we need is a massive tax increase in a recession, but reportedly that’s what the White House is offering," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner.

"And since this energy tax won’t affect manufacturers in Mexico, India and China, it will do nothing but drive American jobs overseas," he added.

Given its potential consequences, the Senate has rejected the administration’s efforts to fast-track the legislation through Congress.

Republican Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska hailed the move by stressing that the climate legislation can have a deep impact on American families and the economy, and as such it should be subject to appropriate scrutiny and open debate.

Reuters has reported Democrats could still try to attach the bill to the federal budget allowing it to be passed by a simple majority, but it says the chances are slim because they do not have enough support.
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Natural remedies for stress

Natural remedies for stressToday, people lead stressful lives, and it is easy to simply reach for pills when symptoms become difficult to control. However, there many natural and efficient techniques that can make a big difference.

Firstly, it is important to know what triggers stress or anxiety and avoid such situations.

However, as this is not always possible and thankfully there are many natural products that have calming effects. These include chamomile, valerian and passionflower extract that can be found in many herbal stores.

Before using them one should always read the attached leaflet to determine if the product is right for them.

Besides herbal supplements, stressed individuals may choose from a range of mind/body techniques such as breathing exercises, physical exercise, yoga, tai chi, hypnosis, massages or meditation.

Popular among some people are alternative therapies such as Ayurveda, massage, Chinese medicines or Thai massage that sooth and help get rid of stress and anxiety. Specialized treatment called Ayurvedic Panchakarma is also said to have beneficial effects on the nervous system.

Interested individuals should inquire about alternative medical centers near them. For example, the American Botanical Council has announced it will open an Ayurvedic Herbal Garden at its Case Mill Homestead location in Texas.

Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest systems of traditional healing. Commonly used Ayurvedic herbs include ginger, turmeric, neem and ashwagandha.
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IRS offers incentives to holders of offshore assets

IRS offers incentives to holders of offshore assetsThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced it will offer leniency to Americans who come forward with assets invested in offshore accounts.

The agency unveiled a plan last month to lower the 50 percent penalty levied on offshore account holders. It also said volunteers will avoid prosecution provided their money has not come from criminal activities, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In addition to that, "the IRS is clearly interested in information about bankers, financial advisers, lawyers and intermediaries," says Scott D. Michel, a lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale, quoted by WSJ.

"Lawyers who go in for voluntary disclosures are being asked to identify any such people with whom their clients interacted," he adds.
However, Bob Bauman, in his blog written for Sovereign Society, warns the government’s move may be "a trap."

He points out the requirement that the government present hard evidence of tax avoidance when asking banks for disclosure of offshore activities, and stresses the "illogical" approach that assumes everyone with an offshore account is a tax evader.

That is because under the U.S. law opening an offshore bank account is completely legal so long as it is reported, he adds.

In conclusion, Bauman, citing opinions of tax experts, cautions that volunteers can still be prosecuted under the proposed "amnesty" and that those who want to come forward should consult a lawyer before contacting the IRS.
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Vitamin B supplements may benefit celiac patients

Vitamin B supplements may benefit celiac patients Scientists believe that people suffering from celiac disease stand to benefit from boosting their dietary intake of vitamins B.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine resulting from intolerance to gluten and manifesting itself through chronic diarrhea and fatigue.

It also leads to vitamin deficiency, which in turn may cause higher levels of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia), an amino acid linked to cardiovascular disease.

Recently, a Dutch research team led by Dr Muhammed Hadithi analyzed the effect of vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 daily supplements on homocysteine levels in 51 adults with coeliac disease and compared them with 50 healthy individuals.

Their investigation found that vitamin B6 and folate were significantly and independently associated with homocysteine levels in the celiac patients taking such supplements.

Based on this study, patients with celiac disease may consider enriching their diet with nutritional supplements that may prevent hyperhomocysteinemia.

Previous studies on vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid linked them to a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration in women, a disease tied to high levels of homocysteine on account of its impact on blood vessel lining.

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Online resaler: Bailout terms will hurt banks

Bailout terms will hurt banksRather than unfreezing the credit markets, regulations that come with the deals will stifle business and perpetuate the crisis, according to some industry insiders.

Foreclosure Warehouse, an online inventory of foreclosed homes for sale, has said the government funds include too many restrictions and controls on how banks should conduct their business.

"Every time the U.S. government gets involved with something, whatever it is becomes slower, costs more, and satisfies less," the company has said in a statement.

It also added that keeping insolvent banks in business further weakens the financial system.

The company has added its voice to the ongoing debate about the merits of the bank rescue plan and the scope as well as extent of banking sector reforms.

The administration’s actions, including the economic stimulus bill that will cost over $1 trillion and several rounds of financial institutions bailouts, have attracted much criticism.

Recently, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called on the government to return to capitalism’s basics by allowing failed companies to go into bankruptcy instead of pumping taxpayers’ money in to keep them afloat.
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G20 may spell trouble for offshore investors

G20 may spell trouble for offshore investors Politicians gathered at the G20 summit in London have vowed to crack down on tax havens by introducing cross-border regulation.

Blaming offshore tax havens for the current financial crisis, G20 leaders, with the exception of China, pushed for more regulation and compliance on the part of countries with favorable tax laws.

Media sources have reported that President Obama was instrumental in bridging disagreements between the Chinese and the French, in particular.

"There will be no guarantee about the safety of funds there," commented British prime minister Gordon Brown.

"If tax information is exchanged on request, as these countries have agreed to, then the benefits from being in these countries will diminish every day," he added.

According to a commentary on the Radio Free Europe website, governments have a variety of options to enforce such rules, including the freezing of assets of independents states if they refuse to comply.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has estimated that $1.7 trillion to $11.5 trillion dollars are being held in tax havens around the world.
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President’s budget proposal faces new criticism

President's budget proposal faces new criticismAmerican Issues Project (AIP) has added its voice to the growing chorus of criticism against President Obama’s proposed new budget.

The organization, which represents a coalition of conservative activists, is launching a telephone campaign against the proposal and the wasteful spending trend it claims characterizes the new Congress.

"Just when you think they’ve done their worst, Congress and [the] administration continue to amass debt beyond our control," says Ed Martin, president of AIP.

"President Obama has already spent more than [any] other president before him, [and his] is budget is just the latest move to weaken the American economy and the American entrepreneurial drive," he adds.

The phone calls will be made in many states including Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and urge people to oppose the proposal. The program will also give citizens the option to transfer directly to their senators and congressmen to voice their concern.

In recent weeks, many organizations spoke against Obama’s spending plans. For example, the Republican National Committee blasted the administration’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal as too lavish and based on unrealistic economic expectations.
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Gutierrez’s tour continues to anger anti-immigration group

Gutierrez's tour continues to anger anti-immigration group As Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez tours the country to promote illegal alien amnesty, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has issued a new statement reminding Americans of possible consequences of such a bill.

The congressman will be in Philadelphia on Saturday, the latest stop on his a five week Family Unity Immigration Outreach Tour visiting 16 American cities.

He has described the journey as "an effort to document the harm caused to citizens across our nation in the absence of comprehensive immigration reform."

FAIR has been following his moves and stressing the economic harm mass amnesty would cause to American workers.

"While Pennsylvanians are looking for work and facing increased competition for jobs and mounting economic burdens from illegal immigration, [Gutierrez} is in Philadelphia peddling his special interest-driven amnesty agenda and calling for the abandonment of immigration enforcement," says Dan Stein, president of FAIR.

He adds that Pennsylvania’s illegal alien population has increased to 140,000, costing state taxpayers $285 million every year, at a time when the state is facing a $2.3 billion deficit.

FAIR was founded in 1979 and is the country’s largest immigration reform group. Its goal is to promote the idea that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is enforced.
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New study draws attention to importance of stress management

New study draws attention to importance of stress management New research from UCLA scientists linking stress during teenage years to heart disease in adult life provides yet another lesson in the importance of stress control and management.

Based on a study of otherwise healthy adolescents who reported negative interpersonal interactions, such as conflicts with family and friends or peer harassment, the researchers found greater frequency of stress was associated with higher levels of an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein.

"[This is] consistent with the emerging body of evidence that points to the link between stress and increased inflammation, which places individuals at risk for the later development of cardiovascular disease," says Dr. Andrew J. Fuligni, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA.

The study also found that the association of stress with inflammation existed regardless of individual teens’ subjective evaluation of stressful experiences, he added.

The study appeared in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Alternative medicine therapies such as meditation, massage or acupuncture have been known to relieve symptoms – including headaches, muscle aches and fatigue – in those suffering from high levels of stress and anxiety.
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Foundation aims to challenge gun ban proposal

Foundation aims to challenge gun ban proposal The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has vowed to sue the mayor of Seattle if he goes ahead with his plan to ban legally-carried firearms from city property.

Seattle Weekly, a local newspaper, revealed the plan sponsored by Mayor Greg Nickels on March 24. The mayor’s office told SW the ban may be enacted as soon as May.

"Mayor Nickels thinks he can enact this ban merely by executive order," says SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. "He’s not even thinking of putting this before the city council as a proposed ordinance, because he knows it would never pass."

He adds that that Nickels’ office has been warned by the state’s attorney general that neither he nor the city have the authority to enact such a ban under state preemption.

Gottlieb also revealed that at a public hearing late last year there was much interest in pursuing a lawsuit if the ban is enacted, and SAF expects to be joined in a legal action by other gun rights organizations.

Founded in 1974, SAF is the nation’s oldest and largest education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the constitutional right to privately own and possess firearms. It has more than 600,000 members and conducts programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
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