Bill Maher Grid

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Utah Considers Caffeine Tax

Legislators consider tithing both soda and coffee

(Newser) - After seeing multiple proposals to raise the tax on cigarettes fail, one Utah legislator has set his sights on another addictive substance: caffeine. Rep. Craig Frank has initiated a yearlong study on the impact of such a tax, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. If it can fly anywhere, Utah might... More »

Ponzi Victims Will Be Tax Nightmare for IRS

Service expects to refund $7-$10 billion in taxes paid on fake income

(Newser) - The work of fraudsters such as Bernie Madoff and R. Allen Stanford will complicate the IRS’ job as tens of the thousands of victims attempt to reclaim taxes paid on income that went up in smoke, Time reports. The IRS estimates that refunds due victims to Madoff alone could total... More »

Stewart Owned Cramer

(Newser) - Who won last night’s cable grudge match between Jon Stewart and CNBC’s Jim Cramer? Let’s go to the scorecards:
  • Stewart was the clear winner, clobbering his guest with “homespun, regular-guy relentlessness,” Maureen Ryan writes in the Chicago Tribune. “Cramer didn’t know what hit
... More »

Noonan: Maybe Wall Street Was High on Xanax

Maybe money men were hopped up on anti-depressants

(Newser) - Peggy Noonan has a novel explanation for the crash (“or the great recession, or the collapse—it’s time it got its name”): What if the bankers were all hopped up on happy pills? Antidepressant use became widespread in New York after 9/11, she notes in the Wall ... More »

Anna Nicole Smith Lover, Docs Charged With Supplying Drugs

Beau, docs accused of providing late model with 'thousands of pills'

(Newser) - Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer and boyfriend Howard K. Stern has been charged with felony conspiracy to supply the late model with drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports. Authorities charge that Stern and two doctors "repeatedly and excessively" provided Smith—who died of an overdose in 2007—with addictive prescription... More »

Stewart to Cramer: 'It's Not a Game'

(Newser) - Jim Cramer took his lumps tonight from Jon Stewart in their highly anticipated Daily Show faceoff. "I understand that you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a game," Stewart told Cramer, adding an expletive. "I can't reconcile the brilliance and knowledge that you have of... More »

Madoff's New Home: Much Smaller

(Newser) - Bernie Madoff's new Manhattan home is the size of a walk-in closet, with cinderblock walls, linoleum floors, and a bunk bed. Breakfast will be served before sunrise, and the disgraced financier can stretch his legs outside, but only every other day—in a cage. The Metropolitan Correctional Center took in... More »

Life? Nah. Make Him Work at SEC

(Newser) - Now that Bernie Madoff is guilty, it’s time to talk sentencing. CNBC hosted a contest to come up with the most inventive one for the disgraced financier, and the winner is: working for the SEC, "catching people just like him." But that doesn’t mean the other... More »

For Daily Show Prep, Cramer Consults Martha

(Newser) - In anticipation of his visit with Jon Stewart on tonight’s Daily Show, an admittedly “nervous” Jim Cramer sought counsel today from another Stewart—Martha. “You should be nervous,” the lifestyle maven said on her syndicated show. “He’s fast as lightning.” The Mad Money... More »

Madoff Profiteers Scramble From Threat of Clawbacks

New York law allows those who lost money to reclaim from those who gained

(Newser) - The threat that authorities will seek to recoup profits reaped through their investments in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme have some investors hurrying to put those funds in hard-to-reach places, the Wall Street Journal reports, like homes, trusts or life-insurance policies. So-called “clawback” lawsuits could allow those who were... More »

Judge Orders 'Ashamed' Madoff to Jail on Guilty Plea

(Newser) - Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty this morning to all 11 felony charges against him, saying he was "sorry and ashamed" for his criminal acts. The judge accepted the plea and revoked Madoff's bail, bringing cheers from spectators in the courtroom. Madoff was escorted out in handcuffs and will remain in... More »

Carville's Bush Comments No Comparison to Rush's 'Fail'

Pre-9/11, Dem hoped Dubya didn't 'succeed'

(Newser) - Amid the hubbub over Rush Limbaugh’s open desire for the president to fail, Fox News is claiming a media double-standard: Democratic strategist James Carville made a similar comment referencing Bush 43, and no one heard about it. But the two situations are far from analogous, writes Dave Cook in... More »

Brazil Prez Flouts Church, Backs Abortion Docs

Girl has popular support

(Newser) - Brazil’s president today attacked the archbishop who excommunicated the doctors who performed an abortion on a 9-year-old rape victim. The girl had allegedly been impregnated with twins by her stepfather, who was not disciplined when Jose Cardoso Sobrinho excommunicated the girl’s mother and her doctors. “In this... More »

Russia Starts to Admit Heroin Problem

Some blame West's failures in Afghanistan; others see bad policy

(Newser) - With an estimated 2 million drug addicts in Russia—about one in 50 adults—the nation is finally admitting it has a problem. One ally of PM Vladimir Putin faults the West’s anti-terror efforts in nearby Afghanistan for allowing poppy cultivation to bloom; others say Russia’s sweep-it-under-the-rug policies... More »

Stewart's Right: Screeching CNBC Is Whacked

Shouting heads are so very far off base

(Newser) - It should come as no surprise to fans of Jon Stewart, but CNBC is as hysterical as he says—and worse, Gabriel Winant writes in Salon. After 12 hours watching the network "I was huddled in the corner of my couch, wondering why the angry faces were yelling at... More »

Seattle's Top Cop Picked for Drug Czar

Kerlikowske viewed as reformer, with personal experience of drugs' "devastating effects"

(Newser) - President Obama will officially nominate Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske to be drug czar today, reports the Seattle Times. Though the job is being demoted from its Bush administration Cabinet status, Kerlikowske will have “a direct line to the president and vice president,” says an official. Drug law... More »

Coulter, Maher Duke It Out

(Newser) - Ann Coulter and Bill Maher generated much buzz for their conservative vs. liberal road show last night, and the sparring continues tonight as part of the 2009 Speakers Series. Still, while the two will stake out enemy positions, they confess to being friends, writes Dave Itzkoff in the New York ... More »

Madoff to Plead Guilty on 11 Counts, Faces 150 Years

(Newser) - Bernard Madoff's lawyer told a judge today his client will plead guilty later this week to 11 counts including money laundering, perjury and securities, mail and wire fraud. Prosecutors say the disgraced money manager will face up to 150 years in prison on the charges. More »

Vatican Condemns Obama Stem-Cell Decision

(Newser) - The Vatican is in a tizzy over President Obama’s decision to lift the federal ban on embryonic stem-cell research, the AP reports. A top official called it a “victory of politics over ethics” and said that “probably some drug companies, or some economic interests” influenced the move.... More »

Howard Dean: Dems Must Not Cave on Health Care

(Newser) - Howard Dean didn't get the health cabinet post he wanted, and doesn't want the job that's open—surgeon general—but is pushing President Obama's health-care plan just the same, the Washington Times reports. "Democrats can’t cave," says the former doc. Obama’s plan is "perfect,"... More »

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