Tuesday, November 30, 2010
By James Rowley and Alan Bjerga
(Adds comment from Representative Perlmutter, details from legislation starting in third paragraph.)
Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The House gave final congressional approval for $4.6 billion to settle discrimination claims by black farmers and allegations that the government cheated American Indians out of land-use royalties.
The Senate approved the funding last week, signaling an end to an impasse that had thwarted White House pledges to resolve the complaints. In one lawsuit, filed in 1997, black farmers alleged racial discrimination in U.S. Department of Agriculture lending programs, while in a separate legal action, 300,000 American Indians said they were cheated out of land royalties dating to 1887. The House vote was 256-152.
“Passing this measure will bring closure to hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been mistreated,” Representative Edwin Perlmutter, a Colorado Democrat, said before the vote. “The bill will fully fund America’s obligations.”
The legislative logjam was broken when lawmakers agreed to offset the entire cost of the measure with spending cuts and new revenue. The bill would raise about $2.7 billion by empowering the Treasury to deduct overpayment of unemployment benefits from tax refunds. An additional $2.14 billion would be generated by extending the collection of customs user fees into 2019.
About $562 million in unused money from a feeding program for poor mothers and their young children also would be reallocated to finance the legislation.
The Obama administration announced a negotiated $1.15 billion settlement of the black farmers’ lawsuit in February. Qualified claimants could collect as much as $50,000, plus debt relief. It also provided monetary damages of up to $250,000. The White House had requested $1.15 billion in its 2010 budget, on top of $100 million that Congress approved in the 2008 farm bill, to finance the settlement.
The legislation approved today will finance compensation for as many as 66,000 black farmers not included in the original settlement of the 1997 litigation who filed claims by June 2008. In the farm bill passed that year, Congress authorized farmers who had missed an earlier filing deadline to have their claims considered.
The American Indians’ 1996 lawsuit was one of the largest class-action cases ever filed against the U.S. The plaintiffs accused the Interior Department of mismanaging trust funds that collected royalties for grazing rights and the extraction of minerals, oil and natural gas from tribal lands. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the $3.4 billion settlement of the case in December.
Water Systems Financed
The settlement will also finance construction of water systems that will serve seven Indian reservations in Arizona, New Mexico and Montana. These projects were part of water-rights agreements negotiated by states and the federal government.
The House had included the funding to settle the suits in war-supplemental legislation approved this summer. In the Senate, the money was removed after Republicans objected to the proposed financing method, saying it added to the deficit.
At least seven times this year, Senate Republicans blocked the legislation, objecting to its cost.
--Editors: Daniel Enoch, .
To contact the reporters on this story: James Rowley in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Alan Bjerga in Washington at email@example.com.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
02. Legacy [prod. J. Lee]
03. Represent 2010 (Freestyle)
04. This or That [prod. Statik Selektah]
05. My Word (ft. Dynas & Jon Hope) [prod. Rain]
06. What it Is (Freestyle) (ft. Truck North, STS & Phonte) [prod. Statik Selektah]
07. Succesful Girl (ft. BK Cyph) [prod. Statik Selektah]
08. Feel It Baby [prod. Soul Theory] (Snippet)
09. Different Breed [prod. OhNo] (Snippet)
10. Pray for U (Homicide Note) [prod. Statik Selektah]
11. Outta Control (Egos) (ft Strong Arm Steady) [prod. Statik Selektah]
12. Money & Power (ft. Sonic & Termanology) [prod. Statik Selektah]
13. Eff U [prod. Nottz]
14. Get Rowdy (ft. Sha Stimuli & Reef the Lost Cauze) [prod. the Bassheadz]
15. No Hooks (Uppercuts) [f/ Lucky Dice & Chi Knox] [prod. MoSS] (Snippet)
16. In My Lane (ft. Ras Kass & Ekko) [prod. Hazardis Soundz]
17. Getting Ugly [prod. Frank Dukes]
18. Eat or Starve [prod. Statik Selektah]
19. 6 AM ( f/ Slaine, JFK & Steven King) [prod. Statik Selektah]
20. Setting it Off (ft. Slaine, Jfk, Jaysaun & Steven King) [prod. Statik Selektah]
21. Window Pane [prod. Blaze P & Bing]
22. The Etc. (ft. Kali) [prod. Statik Selektah]
23. Night Sky (ft. S.O.L) [prod. Dom Dirtee]
24. Hooked on Whateva (ft. Blaze p & J Tronius) [prod. Blaze P]
25. Lighters (ft. Ea$y Money & Sonic) [prod. Scotty B]
26. Hindu Kush (GHOST) (f/Lucky Dice & Steis [prod. The Lion]
27. Rapanomics (f. Termanology & Sha Stimuli) [prod. Rain]
28. Strays (ft. Saheed) [prod. Hazardis Soundz]
29. Brainstorm [prod. ATG]
30. My Dark Skin (Willie Lynch Theory) [prod. Soul Theory] (Snippet)
Thursday, November 25, 2010
SAN DIEGO (AP) - U.S. authorities have discovered a sophisticated tunnel used to smuggle drugs between Mexico and San Diego.
The federal San Diego Tunnel Task Force says the half-mile passage was found early Thursday and runs from a Tijuana residence to a warehouse in San Diego's Otay Mesa area.
Several arrests were made and an undetermined amount of marijuana was seized in a tractor-trailer on U.S. soil. Authorities believe there is more marijuana inside the tunnel. No other details were released.
It is the second major drug tunnel discovery in the area in less than a month. Earlier this month, American authorities confiscated 20 tons of pot they say was smuggled through another tunnel, while Mexican authorities seized more than four tons south of the border.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Hell Razah(Red Hook, Brooklyn)
AZ(East New York, Brooklyn)
Lupe Fiasco(Westside Chicago, Ill)
Curren$y(New Orleans, LA)
Big K.R.I.T.(Meridian, Mississippi)
Mos Def(Bushwick, Brooklyn)
Jay Electronica(New Orleans, LA)
The U.S. Senate has unanimously approved a combined $4.55 billion in settlements to black farmers and Native Americans, ending years of litigation on charges of racial bias and mismanagement.
The $1.15 billion allocation to black farmers represents the largest civil rights settlement in U.S history.
The federal government was accused of a decades-old practice of denying and underpaying loans to black farmers because of their race.
The $3.4 billion settlement for Native Americans also spans several years. The government was charged with mismanaging American Indian trust funds.
Under the settlement agreement, a trust and scholarship fund will be set up, and the government will buy back tribal lands sold to individuals.
President Barack Obama applauded the Senate's action and urged the House of Representatives to continue on its path of approval, so he can sign the measure into law.