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nellie On January - 31 - 2010

Hope everyone is having a pleasant weekend.

High Speed Rail Map!

Haiti next steps

Drywall Hunting
January 28, 2010. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today issued guidance on how to identify the presence of metal corrosion, as well as other indicators of problem drywall in homes. The guidance takes into account visual signs of metal corrosion, evidence of drywall installation in the relevant time period, and the identification of other corroborating evidence or characteristics.

More bad lenders get shut down
January 25, 2010. The Federal Housing Administration’s Mortgagee Review Board (MRB) today announced that it is immediately and permanently withdrawing the FHA approval of three mortgage lenders and is suspending a fourth. The MRB withdrew the FHA approval of Strategic Mortgage Corporation (Strategic), ProMortgage Inc., and Americare Investment Group Inc. (doing business as Premier Capital Lending. Additionally, the MRB has suspended the FHA approval of Home Mortgage, Inc. (HMI) of Burr Ridge, Illinois.

Civil rights for patients in mental facilities
Friday, January 29, 2010. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division today announced that it has filed a motion for immediate relief to protect individuals confined in seven state-run psychiatric hospitals in Georgia from the imminent and serious threat of harm to their lives, health and safety. The motion, filed late yesterday, seeks appointment of a monitor who will set binding targets and timetables for reducing the number of residents at the hospitals and expanding appropriate community based services.

Fighting Health Care Fraud
Thursday, January 28, 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today joined private sector leaders, law enforcement personnel and health care experts for a landmark National Summit on Health Care Fraud. The summit is the first national gathering on health care fraud between law enforcement and the private and public sectors and is part of the Obama Administration’s coordinated effort to fight health care fraud.

More than $4 billion remains unclaimed
January 29, 2010. The U.S. Department of Labor today called on states to apply for more than $4 billion in unemployment insurance modernization funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) for those states that expand access to unemployment benefits. These funds can be used by states to pay unemployment insurance benefits and may be used for other defined purposes if appropriated by state legislatures.

Initiatives on women’s security, leadership, education key strategy in Afghanistan
January 29, 2010. Women’s empowerment is inextricably linked to security, economic opportunity, effective governance, and social development. It is up to the Afghan Government and people to work toward a vision we all share: of a country where citizens are free from violence and coercion; where girls can go to school; where parents can find jobs and quality health care is more easily accessible. These will be the greatest barometers of Afghanistan’s progress. Secretary Clinton unveiled the U.S. plan to support women’s initiatives, outlined in the Women’s Action Plan for Afghanistan, at the London Conference on Afghanistan on January 28.

Veterans’ education gets a boost
January 20, 2010. In a coordinated effort to speed up the processing of Post 9/11 GI Bill education benefits this spring, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that it has been reaching out to student Veterans, servicemembers, university officials and other partners to meet its commitment to an aggressive processing goal by Feb. 1, 2010. Feb. 1 is the first date spring payments are due and presently VA has processed over 72,000 of the approximately 103,000 spring enrollments received. Since inception of the historic new program last year, VA has paid over $1.3 billion in benefits to more than 170,000 students.

Distracted driving dilemma
A new study out today irresponsibly suggests that laws banning cell phone use while driving have zero effect on the number of crashes on our nation’s roadways.

Categories: News & Politics

8 Responses so far.

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  1. AdLib says:

    A big fan of this feature, Nellie!

    Love the Rail map!

    The Gov’t is having to chase down states to take a share of $4 billion in unemployment money? Why don’t they ever come to me when they have a problem like this? I’d be happy to help!

    Very pleased to hear about the initiative in Afghanistan, this is indeed critical for women and children to be protected in a harshly religious environment that is so brutal towards them. And a legit government can’t be in place without a minimum respect for life, male and female.

    As for the cellphone laws, maybe one reason they don’t make a difference is that few follow them. I still see many people driving with the cell up to their ear, some just use the Speakerphone function but are still holding it in their hand and distracted.

    Or aren’t calling but are watching YouTube videos of “Funniest Car Crashes By Distracted Drivers” as they drive.

  2. jan4insight says:

    Kudos, nellie! It’s great being able to tune in and find something positive for a change -- and get the facts we can use to disarm the nay-sayers. I know it takes a lot of effort on your part to dig for these gems and write them up. Good job! :)

    Now, how can we get this to go viral 😉

  3. javaz says:

    Driving while talking on cell phones, and even worse, texting, is a huge issue, and there needs to be a real push in education on the danger.
    More Public Service Announcements are needed to educate the public just as they air ads against drunk driving and buzzed driving.
    Driver education classes need to stress the dangers.
    It doesn’t appear that laws make a difference, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t needed.
    Arizona, at least the Phoenix area has some of the toughest laws for drunk and buzzed driving, yet the last holiday season had the most arrests on record for DUIs, and a record-breaking number of extreme DUIs.

    Every single accident that occurs, the news will usually report if seat-belts had been used, and the media need to report accidents due to cell phone use and texting. just as they do drunk or buzzed driving.

    I do believe that I read an article somewhere that promoted technology that could be installed in vehicles that renders cell phones and whatever people use to text useless, and it is geared more for people with teen drivers.
    Perhaps automakers should install that ‘blocker’ in every vehicle sold since people refuse to stop talking or texting while driving.

  4. KQuark says:

    Cheers again nellie. Nellie I’m so happy the federal government is finally doing something to fix the psychiatric facilities in Georgia. They have finally exposed some of the horrendous conditions at Georgia hospitals in some local media elements but the red state has done nothing. Like usual our Republican state government only given this issue some lip service but they are in denial again.

    From the AJC.

    Atlanta Forward / The Editorial Board’s View: Come Jan. 15, Georgia is supposed to be in significant compliance with federally mandated improvements. Reports indicate we

    • nellie says:

      I knew you would pick up on this story, K. We will drag GA into the 21st century yet!

      This is also part of a trend that’s so important to people with difficult brain chemistry — that’s the way I look at what we call “mental illness.” The administration is doing a lot to expand insurance coverage and fight for the civil rights of this group — so abused and misunderstood for so long.

  5. escribacat says:

    Thanks, Nellie. This latest high speed rail map is the first time I’ve seen my area included (under long term). That would be fantastic!!! Where I live, we have nothing but desultory bus service — you can’t survive here without a car.

  6. escribacat says:

    Along the same vein, here’s an interesting article about how the current congress is actually the most productive in modern history. Kind of flies in the face of those who insist that nothing has been done the past year:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/29/AR2010012902516_pf.html

    • nellie says:

      I agree, e. Most people get their news from the teevy, which is a swampland of negativity and hysteria.

      The newspapers do pretty well. But even so, when unemployment is this bad and so many people are losing their homes, the administration is going to get blamed no matter how much they get done.

      I’m so glad this year is going to be Jobs Year. If the GOP tries to stand in the way, the Dems just need to steamroll right over them.


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