May 21, 2013, 12:07 pm EDT
A U.S. Senator from Oregon says he will introduce legislation to repeal part of a spending bill that is widely seen as benefiting biotech giant Monsanto (MON).
On Monday, Jeff Merkley declared that he would offer an amendment to the farm bill currently before the U.S. Senate to cancel the spending bill’s clause that protects manufacturers of genetically modified crop seeds from lawsuits. Merkley, a democrat, called the provision “an outrageous example of a special interest loophole,” Salon noted.
Environmental activists have dubbed the provision the “Monsanto Protection Act.” Advocacy organizations noted that the provision was added to the spending bill without appropriate review in the Senate’s agricultural and judiciary committees. Read
May 21, 2013, 11:08 am EDT
Don’t mess with the state of New York — especially the Department of Agriculture.
Reality star Khloe Kardashian learned this lesson the hard way. Her high-end clothing line Rich Soil recently received a “cease and desist” letter from the state — currently led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration — after one of its New York-themed t-shirts beared a striking resemblance to the state’s Department of Agriculture logo.
The letter warned that “it would sue if Rich Soil did not immediately stop selling the shirt and provide an estimate of how much money it has made off the design,” according to The NY Daily News. Read
May 20, 2013, 8:35 pm EDT
The Supreme Court agreed today to hear arguments from a man who was allegedly kicked out of a frequent flyer program for complaining too much.
Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg sued Northwest Airlines (which ceased operations in 2010 after Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) merged with it) after he was dismissed from their frequent flyer service in 2008.
According to Ginsberg, he was told he was removed from the program because he filed too many service complaints. He was also accused of seeking compensation after booking reservations on full flights, knowing he would be bumped to other flights. Read
May 20, 2013, 1:16 pm EDT
No one likes to pay fees when they have to change flights. With those fees rising, one lawmaker has had enough.
A number of airlines, including AMR‘s (AAMRQ) American Airlines, United Airlines (UAL), U.S. Airways (LCC) and Delta (DAL), have hiked ticket change fees from $150 to $200 in recent months. New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says that unfairly hurts families traveling on fixed budgets, CBS News notes.
Schumer, who has previous called for the reduction in carry-on bagged fees, is urging the airlines to scale back the fee hikes. He called the change of flight fees “out of control.” Read
May 16, 2013, 7:19 pm EDT
In what is fast beginning to sound like a broken record, the Republicans in the House voted to repeal President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act — for the 37th time.
Today’s vote on getting rid of what’s commonly known as Obamacare passed the House by a 229-195 margin. Every Republican in the House voted in favor of the repeal, with just two Democrats crossing the aisle to support it.
Of course, much like the 36 other attempts by the House to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, this one is going nowhere. The Democrats still control the Senate, and there’s no way they’re going to pass it this time. Read
May 16, 2013, 9:58 am EDT
With his administration besieged by a rising wave of scandals, President Barack Obama moved on Wednesday to appease bipartisan anger over the improper singling out of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.
Saying that Americans were “right to be angry about” IRS actions, the president announced that he had requested and received the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller. The president made the statement during a brief appearance in the East Room of the White House, but did not take questions from reporters afterward. He also released a letter sent from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to Miller demanding his resignation, the Washington Post notes.
On Friday, IRS officials admitted that the agency had used words associated with the Tea Party and conservative politics to flag groups seeking tax-exempt status. Those groups were then subjected to greater scrutiny. Obama called the practice “inexcusable” on Wednesday. Read