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Debt

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11Footage Reveals Woman Pushed Into Manhole By Her Boyfriend (Video)

Shocking footage reveals the moment when a woman from Haiku City, China was stuffed down a manhole by her boyfriend. She remained there for 60 hours.

The woman, Guo, was rescued wearing only her underwear and was swollen from prolonged exposure to water in the 10-foot manhole.

Guo had attempted to construct a cloth ladder from her own clothing to escape the hole, but found she was not strong enough to lift the lid. Instead, she was lifted from the ground by pedestrians who finally heard her pleas for help.

“I did not sleep at all the first night I fell in the manhole,” Guo later told police. “I could see the darkness around me. I thought that I would not be choked to death if I looked up.”

Guo told police she had been shoved into the manhole during the night by her boyfriend, who owed her around $16,500.

Police eventually arrested the man, who they suspect is a gambling addict, and who admitted to attempting to murder his girlfriend in order to erase his debt.

Sources: DailyMail, Miami Newsday


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11Martin Bashir Apologizes For Sarah Palin Slam (Video)

MSNBC host Martin Bashir apologized Monday on his show after his “deeply offensive” comments about Sarah Palin.

On Friday, Bashir responded to Palin’s comments about borrowing money from China to pay American debts.

“This isn’t racist,” Palin said. “But it’s going to be like slavery when that note is due.”

Bashir responded by mentioning the diary of a Jamaican plantation owner who was known for “Darby’s Dose”, an inhumane punishment.

In 1756, the diary mentioned a slave named Darby who was caught “well flogged and pickled, then made Hector, another slave, sh** in his mouth.”

Bashir continued that when Palin discussed slavery she proved her ignorance and confirmed herself as a prime candidate for Darby’s Dose.

During his aired apology, Bashir made it clear that he wanted to seek forgiveness from Palin as well as his viewers.

"My words were wholly unacceptable,” Bashir said. “They were unworthy of anyone who would claim to have an interest in politics.”

Bashir has caused controversy in the past with his remarks, including one instance in which he compared the NSA to Hitler.

Sources: The Huffington Post, Fox


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11U.S. Releases $1.6B to Pakistan Despite Government Shutdown Over Budget

Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of middle class federal employees were unable to work and get paid while the government was shut down for over two weeks because Congress couldn’t pass a budget, the elected lawmakers somehow found it in the budget to quietly send $1.6 billion to Pakistan to help them out.

The United States has reportedly been sending military and economic aid to Pakistan for a while, but the assistance was reportedly stopped due to bad blood after the Osama Bin Laden raid and a number of US air strikes against Pakistani soldiers.

Now, just days before new Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is set to visit the White House for talks, the US has resumed sending money to the country. Officials say the aid should begin being disbursed to Pakistan early next year.

"Funding was notified to Congress following a rigorous planning process over multiple months, to ensure it was in line with both US and Pakistani interests, and would deliver important results for both countries," said spokesman for the State Department Marie Harf.

Reports show that this past summer, Congress was informed by the State Department that it planned to resume aid to Pakistan. They feel that it is a necessary thing to do because it will help Pakistan fight terrorism while troops are returning home from neighboring Afghanistan next year.

"Pakistan's long-term stability is of critical national security interest to the U.S.,” said Dan Feldman, deputy special representative for the State Department, “so we remain committed to helping achieve a more secure, democratic and prosperous state, including through continued civilian and military assistance.”

Pakistani leaders have reportedly pushed hard for the money to be released to their country. $1.6 billion seems like a lot, but government officials say that it’s only a small portion of the U.S. aid package.

A lot of the federal employees who were unable to work during the government shutdown are probably wishing that $1.6 billion could have gone to paying their salaries instead of being sent to another country.


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11Rep. Louie Gohmert Says Debt Default is 'An Impeachable Offense By the President'

Rep. Louie Gohmert noted Friday that a debt default could lead to the impeachment of President Obama.

In an interview with a reporter from The Young Turks during the Values Voter Summit, Gohmert was asked whether he would allow the government to default on its debt.

"No," he said, "that would be an impeachable offense by the president."

When the reporter asked Gohmert whether he would support a deal to raise the debt ceiling, the representative replied that the word “deal” concerns him.

Gohmert has continuously avoided blaming himself for everything that's gone wrong in government, despite not really accomplishing much of anything to date.

During a Friday interview with Glenn Beck, he said that the Republican party has been put in a tough position.

“We didn’t want the government shutdown,” Gohmert said.

He added that Democrats are holding a gun to America’s head, asking for all the Treasury’s money and threatening to burn down the country.

During an interview with Newsmax last week, Gohmert went so far as to propose that Obama is conspiring not to pay the nation’s debts.

Sources: The Huffington Post, Raw Story


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11The Democratic National Committee Struggling To Pay Off $20 Million Debt From 2012 Election

According to the Democratic National Committee’s latest finance report, the committee is struggling to pay off its debt from the 2012 election.

After last year’s elections, the DNC was $20 million in debt. 10 months later, the DNC’s situation is not much better, as they find themselves $18.3 million in debt. In comparison, the Republican National Committee has $12.5 million in cash reserves and no debt. While the DNC managed to raise $3.9 million over the last several months, they spent even more -- $5.4 million – over that same time period.

In a recent piece, CNN writer Tom Newmyer cites several DNC strategists and donors that are worried about the committee’s ability to pay off its debt.

"They really thought they could get this money raised by the summer," one strategist said, "but the fact is, from talking to people over there, they have no real plan for how to solve this."

One significant problem with the DNC’s funding model is Organizing for Action (OFA), the non-profit organization created by former Obama campaign staffers last election cycle. OFA elicits donations from many of the same people that would be donating to the DNC.

"Donors are being pulled in two directions, and there's absolutely no doubt it's impacted the DNC's fundraising," one Democratic source told Newmyer. "I'm hearing it from donors regularly that they're being told to help one and not the other."

The numbers back up this claim: of the 13 donors who wrote six-figure checks to OFA, only three gave to the DNC over the same time period.

DNC committee spokesperson Michael Czin is insisting that the committee will not be restrained by their debt in the upcoming elections. Czin spoke to the media recently about the DNC’s decision to spend big in the 2012 election and their financial plans for future elections.

"We put that into a field. We won a whole bunch of states nobody thought we would win, and we’re proud of that," Czin said. "The sky’s not falling."

Speaking about OFA donors, Czin said "Of course there's competition, but the Democratic family is a big one, and at the end of the day we are all on the same team, our work compliments each other's, and there are enough resources for all of us.”

One committee that is a part of the Democratic family Czin is referencing is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). The DCCC raised $4.4 million in July alone, has $14.6 million in surpluses, and no debt. 

Sources: Fortune, Washington Post


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11New Study Suggests U.S. Debt Six Times Greater Than Officially Declared

A new study released on Monday found that the United States has accumulated an off-balance-sheet debt amounting to $70 trillion—over six times the debt amount declared by the federal government.

The study, which was conducted by University of California-San Diego professor James Hamilton and released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, looked at five categories of unreported federal liabilities, including government-funded support for “housing, other loan guarantees, deposit insurance, actions taken by the Federal Reserve, and other government trust funds.”

The U.S. federal debt skyrocketed after the 2008 economic crash, with the U.S. National Debt Clock placing the current debt at $16.8 trillion. Paying off the interest on the federal debt has become increasingly difficult, with taxpayers required to pay about $220 billion per year in interest alone.

But according to the recent study, these numbers are actually far larger than previously reported. The 2008 recession prompted the federal government to take out large loans from the U.S. Federal Reserve in an attempt to invigorate the rapidly sliding economy. Combined with shockingly high costs of Medicare and Social Security—which, according to the report, amounted to $27.6 trillion and $26.5 trillion, respectively—the federal debt is much higher than the government would suggest.

“These numbers are so huge it is hard even to discuss them in a coherent way,” said Hamilton in his report. “The U.S. population is aging, and an aging population means fewer people paying in and more people expecting benefits. This reality is unambiguously going to be a key constraint on the sustainability of fiscal policy for the United States.”

Along with Medicare and Social Security, the federal debt has suffered from the economy’s failure to produce new jobs for college graduates, which in turn makes it difficult for many college students to repay their federally funded loans.   

Hamilton maintained that the $70 trillion in unreported debt found by the study does not necessarily point to economic disaster. According to the economist, it “may or may not translate into significant on-balance-sheet problems.”

“But one thing seems undeniable—they are huge,” he wrote. “And implicit or explicit commitments of such a huge size have the potential to have huge economic consequences, perhaps for the better, perhaps for the worse.”

Sources: RT, Washington Examiner


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11Oregon's Innovative Pay-it-Forward College Tuition Program

Some high school seniors worry about the freshmen fifteen. Many students, however, worry about making it to college at all. The average tuition for both public and private schools has increased by 27% (adjusted for inflation) since only 2008.

Students at state universities in Oregon, however, can rest at ease, at least about paying their tuition. In late June, both houses of the state legislature unanimously passed a bill known as "Pay it Forward, Pay it Back." Under the law, students go to a state school for free but sign a contract forfeiting a small, fixed percentage of their annual post-graduation income. Four-year degrees will pay 3% and two-year degrees, only 1.5%.

Appropriately, the bill was thought up by students at Portland State University and presented it before state legislators. Ironically, the bill was passed the same day interest rates doubled on federally subsidized loans.

As for the next step, Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission will develop a pilot program and, if successful, the program will be applied statewide. Though novel and exciting, it is not abundantly clear that the project is financially feasible. It is certainly a high-risk operation but may induce greater college enrollment in the long run.

Perhaps one of the more appealing aspects of the bill is degree to which schools will be accountable for the quality of jobs their undergraduates find. With a tangible financial stake in their students’ professional future, schools will certainly be directed towards a more technical approach. However, students seeking a liberal arts degree may be disappointed, feeling pressured to find a high-wage job.

Sources: ABC News


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11Jay-Z's Former Partner Damon 'Dame' Dash Is In Debt, Facing Eviction

Damon 'Dame' Dash, the former head of Roc-A-Fella Records, is reportedly deep in debt and facing eviction from his Carmel, N.Y., home.

Dash, 42, claimed in a 5-page court filing this week that he is overwhelmed financially. He reportedly lost two multimillion-dollar lofts in Tribeca to foreclosure in 2010. He still owes $7.3 million on the mortgages. He also owes $24,000 in alimony to his ex-wife, designer Rachel Roy.

“I am currently several months behind in paying my personal bills,” Dash wrote Tuesday in the court filing. “For instance, I am currently over $100,000 behind in rent for the only home in which I live and at risk of being evicted.”

The court filing says he also faces possible prosecution in the state of New Jersey for non-payment of taxes. He currently owes more than $2 million in New York state taxes, and admitted to owing federal income tax as well.

Former partner with hip-hop legend Jay-Z, Dash was a part of a $50 million empire including Roc-A-Fella Records and the Rocawear clothing line. By 2004 reports of Dash’s indulgent lifestyle were becoming extreme.

Jay-Z allegedly grew weary of his extreme spending habits and offered him $22 million to buy out his share of the empire, including $7 million in cash, in December 2004.

After the buyout, Dash started an unsuccessful label of his own.

In 2009 he split up with his wife Rachel Roy. Her fashion line is now a favorite among celebrities like Kate Hudson, Jennifer Gardner, and even First Lady Michelle Obama. He owes Roy $24,000 every four months as alimony.

In a sworn statement, he asked a New York judge not to garnish his wages. He cited the need to pay alimony as well as child support. In 2012, Dash claimed he paid about $20,000 in garnished wages for other debts.

In addition to foreclosed homes, Dash lost an SUV in 2008 when he failed to pay a $714.99 note.

The NY Daily News reported that as of 2011, an article showed Dash was still living large. His Carmel home boasted a full music studio, pool, hardwood floors and an incredible view.

Sources: Daily Mail, NY Daily News


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11Trustee Wants to Sell Rights to Casey Anthony Story to Settle Debts

The trustee overseeing Casey Anthony’s bankruptcy case has filed a motion to sell the rights to her life story.

Trustee Stephen Meininger asked for permission to sell the "exclusive worldwide rights" of Anthony's life story from Judge K. Rodney May in Tampa federal court Friday.

In 2011, Anthony, who turns 27 years old today, was acquitted of the 2008 murder of her two-year-old daughter Caylee.

Anthony claims she has been unemployed since the acquittal, living off funds from her attorney Jose Baez and unsolicited gift cards donated by strangers. According to court documents she is currently $792,000 in debt with only $1,000 in assets. Her loose-fitting clothing at her bankruptcy hearing in early March led to tabloid speculation that she might be pregnant, but that apparently isn't true.

Anthony’s story has value and should be auctioned to the highest bidder, Meininger said through his attorney, calling it the "best way to maximize the value for the Estate and its creditors."

He wrote that one man has offered to pay $10,000 for Anthony's story so that she would not be able to publish or profit from it in the future.

Selling the rights to Anthony's story would not require her approval. In Meininger's motion, the intimate details of Anthony’s life, including her childhood, is referred to as “the Property.” It reads: "Due to the intense public interest in Debtor and the Property, the Trustee believes that there will be interest from others in purchasing the Property."

A lot of time in court racked up some hefty debt for Anthony, including $500,000 in attorney fees and costs for Jose Baez, $145,600 for the Orange County Sheriff’s office for investigative fees and costs, $68,540 for the Internal Revenue Services, and $61,505 for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for court costs.

Sources: Huffington Post, Fox News


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Good News: America Can Keep Borrowing Money

The Senate today passed a measure temporary extending the federal government’s borrowing authority through May. The president is expected to sign it and the U.S. government is expected to keep borrowing.

The U.S. debt clock has the national debt approaching $16.5 trillion and the federal government spends about two dollars for every dollar it receives. The path doesn’t seem sustainable at all, and once again talk of default fills the air in Washington. And as Al-Qaeda makes its latest threat against America, it’s worth rewinding to a bin Laden tape released in 2004. From a CNN article dated November 2, 2004:

The Arabic-language network Al-Jazeera released a full transcript Monday of the most recent videotape from Osama bin Laden in which the head of al Qaeda said his group's goal is to force America into bankruptcy…

"We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. Allah willing, and nothing is too great for Allah," bin Laden said in the transcript.

Despite President Obama’s protestations that America paid for two wars on a credit card, he hasn’t shown any desire to stop using those cards. This week’s confirmation hearings for John Kerry (concluded) and Chuck Hagel (ongoing) have so far displayed the continuing popularity of an ever expanding interventionist foreign policy among the political establishment. “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt,” Admiral Mike Mullen said in 2010. And while Politico reports that the sentiment has gained a life of its own in Washington, the complete lack of substantive effort by the powers-that-be to rein in federal spending by any significant measure betrays the lack of seriousness among our political class in facing that threat. In fact, so long as budgets keep rising, the threat can’t even be considered acknowledged, political posturing to the contrary notwithstanding.

Spending vs. revenue since 1998:

threat matrix it

 


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