Feb 03 2013

What We Now Know

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

In his “what we now know” segment of Up with Chris, host Chris Hayes talks about Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who will be investigated by the Senate Ethics Committee for allegations that he took free flights with a political donor and prostitution in the Dominican Republic. Discussing with Chris what they have learned this week are panel guests Hilda Solis, former Secretary of Labor in the Obama administration; Aaron Pena (@AaronPena), founder of The Hispanic Republican Conference of Texas; Jim Antle (@jimantle), senior editor of The American Spectator; and Lorella Praeli (@lorellaluciana), director of advocacy and policy for United We Dream.

Sen. Robert Menendez under growing scrutiny over ethics questions

by Joseph Tanfani, The Los Angeles Times

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is under scrutiny over his ties to a Florida doctor under FBI investigation.

WASHINGTON – Sen. Robert Menendez, the powerful New Jersey Democrat who this week was named chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is facing a Senate ethics probe into whether he accepted inappropriate gifts from a wealthy Florida eye surgeon who is under FBI investigation.

The Senate Ethics Committee is conducting a preliminary investigation of two trips Menendez took to a luxury beach resort in the Dominican Republic in August and September 2010 as a guest of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a longtime friend and political donor.

The review comes on the heels of an FBI raid on Melgen’s medical offices in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday night and Wednesday as part of an investigation into what sources called possible Medicaid fraud.

Israel admits Ethiopian Jewish immigrants were given birth control shots

by Katie McDonough, Salon

An Israeli journalist also found that most of the women given the shots say they were coerced

Israel has admitted that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth control injections, according to a report in Haaretz. An Israeli investigative journalist also found that a majority of the women given these shots say they were administered without their knowledge or consent.

Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu acknowledged the practice – without directly conceding coercion was involved – in a letter to Israeli health maintenance organizations, instructing gynecologists in the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”

Depo-Provera is a hormonal form of birth control that is injected every three months.

Treasury approved big pay raises at bailed-out AIG, Ally and GM, report says

by Danielle Douglas, The Washington Post

The Treasury Department ignored its own guidelines on executive pay at firms that received taxpayer bailouts and last year approved compensation packages of more than $3 million for the senior ranks at General Motors, Ally Financial and American International Group, according to a watchdog report released Monday.

The report from the special inspector general for the Troubled Assets Relief Program said the government’s pay czar signed off on $6.2 million in raises for 18 employees at the three companies. The chief executive of a division of AIG received a $1 million raise, while an executive at GM’s troubled European unit was given a $100,000 raise. In one instance, an employee of Ally’s Residential Capital was awarded a $200,000 pay increase weeks before the subsidiary filed for bankruptcy.

“30 Rock” finale: Comedy series comes to an end

You wanted resolution on the “30 Rock” finale?

You got it. Sort of. At least, the sort befitting “30 Rock,” with its loopy storytelling mixed with joy in spoofing the culture of TV.

Closure, if that’s what it is, came in a two-minute postscript on this hour episode Thursday on NBC. Which, among other things, included this sly touch: a reference to the snowglobe revelation with which the medical drama “St. Elsewhere” famously concluded a quarter-century ago.

But there was more. Just before the final fade-out, NBC President Kenneth the former Page (Jack McBrayer) was pitched a new comedy series taking place right there at network headquarters, 30 Rock.

Hmmm. This was no ending. It was a Mobius strip.

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