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Battery maker got nearly $1 million from feds day of bankruptcy filing PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:08
Friday, Nov. 16, 2012


Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. John Thune made the following comment on information provided by A123 Systems, Inc., in response to the senators’ Oct. 9 inquiry about a federal stimulus grant provided by the Department of Energy:

“The very day A123 filed for bankruptcy, the Department of Energy sent the company a check for nearly $1 million. The Department of Energy was aware of A123’s pending transaction with a foreign company, Wanxiang.  In fact, the Energy Department was informed on August 3 and still gave the company more federal tax dollars. In addition, A123 confirms it has a federal government contract with a ‘secret’ security classification.  All of this paints a disturbing picture.  One, the Department of Energy is writing checks to a company literally as it is declaring bankruptcy.  Two, a private company and federal grant recipient has provided more disclosure about its operations and assurances about intellectual property and national security than our own Department of Energy.  The Department of Energy needs to answer for why it appears to put federal grants on auto-pilot to the detriment of U.S. taxpayers.  This can’t stand.”

A123 Systems, Inc.’s response to the senators is available here.

The senators’ letter to A123 Systems is available here.

 
Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Lorraine Carli   
Friday, 16 November 2012 15:05

Three times as many fires occur on Thanksgiving

November 16, 2012 – While most people consider overeating the greatest peril of Thanksgiving, cooking the day’s feast presents its own risks, too.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year. In 2010, there were 1,370 fires on Thanksgiving, a 219 percent increase over the daily average.

“Thanksgiving is a fun, festive holiday, but it’s also very hectic,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “All the entertaining and distractions make it easy to forget about what’s cooking on the stovetop.”

Video – “Kitchen for Trouble” stars cartoon character Dan Doofus. Dan has to learn the hard way how to prevent cooking fires.

Sparky’s Safety Spots – Kitchen Fires – World renowned chef (the late) Julia Child cooked up some memorable advice about how to prevent fires in your kitchen.

Home cooking fires peak on major U.S. holidays that traditionally include cooking, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and Easter.

Overall, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 156,400 home fires involving cooking equipment in 2010. These fires caused 420 civilian deaths, 5,310 civilian injuries, and $993 million in direct property damage.

By recognizing the risks of the holidays and making simple adjustments, people can greatly reduce their chance of home cooking fires.

NFPA recommends the following safety tips:

1.       Always stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you have to leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

2.       When simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

3.       Stay alert. If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop.

4.       Keep anything that can catch fire such as oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire…

1.       Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

2.       Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.

3.       If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear path out of the home, and that someone has called the fire department.

4.       Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

5.       For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA’s website at www.nfpa.org for more information.

 
To Mark National Adoption Day, Braley Calls for Extension of Adoption Tax Credit PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Amanda Bowman   
Friday, 16 November 2012 11:24

Adoption Tax Credit set to expire at end of 2012

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of National Adoption Day, observed tomorrow, Saturday November 17th, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) renewed his call to Congressional leaders to extend the adoption tax credit.  National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent families.  If Congress fails to act, the current adoption tax credit of $12,360 will expire at the end of 2012.

“There are thousands of kids out there that deserve good homes, and we need to ensure that loving families who make the decision to adopt find that the financial cost isn’t a barrier,” said Braley. “With all the talk of the fiscal cliff, it’s important to remember that the adoption tax credit saves taxpayers money by getting kids into loving homes and out of the costly foster care system.  It’s a win-win.  We can’t afford to let this tax credit expire.”

In April, Braley introduced the Making Adoption Affordable Act that would permanently expand the federal adoption tax credit to $13,360 and make it refundable, which would allow more families to take full advantage of the incentive.

Adoption is preferable to foster care not only because it results in better outcomes for children, but because it is far less costly for taxpayers.  As of 2010, foster care costs to taxpayers averaged $47,000 per child, per year.

The adoption tax credit is a proven incentive to promote adoptions.  Before its last expansion in 1998, the tax credit was claimed after only 50,400 adoptions.  After expansion, in 2004, the tax credit was claimed in nearly 87,000 adoptions, representing a nearly 50 percent increase.

Braley has worked to help Iowa families, like the Craig family of Des Moines, navigate bureaucratic red tape and realize their adoption dreams: http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/braley-visits-family-he-helped-with-adoption/article_7ec49e76-e896-11e0-9125-001cc4c002e0.html

More information about the act can be found at the following link: http://go.usa.gov/yo0

More information about National Adoption Day can be found at the following link: http://www.nationaladoptionday.org/about

 

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Iowa Supreme Court Opinions November 16, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Iowa Judical Branch   
Friday, 16 November 2012 11:19
Notice: The opinions posted on this site are slip opinions only. Under the Rules of Appellate Procedure a party has a limited number of days to request a rehearing after the filing of an opinion. Also, all slip opinions are subject to modification or correction by the court. Therefore, opinions on this site are not to be considered the final decisions of the court. The official published opinions of the Iowa Supreme Court are those published in the North Western Reporter published by West Group.

Opinions released before April 2006 and available in the archives are posted in Word format. Opinions released after April 2006 are posted to the website in PDF (Portable Document Format).   Note: To open a PDF you must have the free Acrobat Reader installed. PDF format preserves the original appearance of a document without requiring you to possess the software that created that document. For more information about PDF read: Using the Adobe Reader.

For your convenience, the Judicial Branch offers a free e-mail notification service for Supreme Court opinions, Court of Appeals opinions, press releases and orders. To subscribe, click here.

NOTE: Copies of these opinions may be obtained from the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Judicial Branch Building, 1111 East Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319, for a fee of fifty cents per page.

No. 11–1484

HENRY A. BAGELMANN, JR. and MARY JO BAGELMANN vs. FIRST NATIONAL BANK and IOWA BANKERS MORTGAGE CORPORATION

No. 12–0098

MICHELLE POSTELL vs. AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE CO.

 
Grassley Presses Holder, Mueller for Answers on FBI’s Handling of Petraeus Matter PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 16 November 2012 11:18
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight jurisdiction of the FBI, is pressing Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller for details about the roles of the Department of Justice and the FBI in the investigation that revealed an extramarital affair by the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, General David Petraeus.

In a letter sent today to Holder and Mueller, Grassley asked for a full briefing on the matter, as well as answers to several questions including a timeline of events, an explanation as to how the FBI got involved, information on the legal authority used to pursue electronic communications involved in the investigation, if the FBI shared information regarding the investigation with military criminal investigation organizations, and the legal analysis conducted to determine if the White House, including the President, should be notified.

“A number of questions have been raised about the FBI’s actions during the course of its investigation of the Petraeus matter.  It would be best for the administration to be forthright and transparent so the country can feel comfortable that our chief domestic law enforcement agency is doing everything properly under the law to protect national security,” Grassley said.

Here is a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter.  A signed copy can be found here.

 

November 15, 2012

Via Electronic Transmission

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.                            The Honorable Robert S. Muller, III

Attorney General                        Director

U.S. Department of Justice                        Federal Bureau of Investigation

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.                           935 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20530                          Washington, DC 20535

 

Dear Attorney General Holder and Director Mueller:

 

I write today regarding the recent resignation of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) General David Petreaus and the involvement by the U.S. Department of Justice (Department), including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in uncovering information that revealed an extramarital affair cited by General Petreaus as a reason for his resignation.  On Tuesday, my staff received a very brief preliminary call with an official from the FBI who declined to discuss the matter, citing its ongoing nature.  However, the FBI official suggested my staff issue a formal request to the Department.

 

Yesterday, the Director provided a closed door briefing to members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Chairman Leahy of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.  As the Ranking Member of the authorizing committee of jurisdiction for the Department and the FBI, and given the numerous press reports on this matter, including information alleged to have been provided by government sources, I request a detailed briefing to discuss this matter and provide concrete facts surrounding this resignation and the Department’s involvement.

 

Specifically, I would ask that any briefing include the following information:

 

(1)   a timeline of events from initial contact with FBI personnel through the current status of the inquiry,

 

(2)   an explanation of how and why the FBI opened the inquiry,

 

(3)   a detailed list of personnel who signed off on the investigation,

 

(4)   a detailed account of the legal authorities used to obtain each of the electronic communications of those involved, and the role, if any, of any U.S. Attorneys’ Offices,

 

(5)   an explanation of timing and circumstances of how you and the FBI Director first learned of this inquiry and when the White House was notified of the inquiry,

 

(6)   a description of Department employee’s contacts with Congress prior to the election and whether the Department considers those contacts protected whistleblower disclosures,

 

(7)   an explanation of whether the FBI shared information regarding the investigation with investigators from various military criminal investigation organizations (including Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), or Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)) and when that information was shared,

 

(8)   a description of the status of any related reviews being conducted by the FBI Inspections Division, the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Deputy Attorney General’s Office, or the Office of Inspector General, including any related to public reports of alleged communications between an FBI agent and a witnesses that involved inappropriate photographs or text,

 

(9)   an explanation of whether the extramarital affair was uncovered during the initial background investigation conducted by the FBI prior to General Petreaus’ confirmation as DCI

 

(     10)                       an explanation of any legal analysis conducted by any component of the Department, including the FBI, regarding whether you or the FBI Director were obligated by law to report the investigation of DCI Petreaus to the President or any other government official.

 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.  To address the questions raised by this matter, I ask that you provide a briefing no later than November 28, 2012.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Charles E. Grassley

Ranking Member

 

 

Cc:       The Honorable Patrick Leahy

Chairman

 
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