Bakersfield, CA--A former director of an insurance agency that sells policies to Kern County's largest public employee union is under investigation for allegedly embezzling $350,000 from the agency, according to a search warrant filed in Kern County Superior Court.
Brandi Marcella Madewell, also known as Cobb, 37, admitted the embezzlement, the warrant says, but she has not been charged with any crime.
The Service Employees International Union Local 521 received reports earlier this year that Valley Benefits Inc., an agency that sells insurance to the local's members, had complaints about premiums not being paid to vendors, union spokeswoman Khanh T. Weinberg said. The union notified Bakersfield police, which opened an investigation, Weinberg said.
The search warrant says the union discovered a loss of $95,000, but Bakersfield police Sgt. Jeff Watts said in the warrant that a forensic audit revealed the loss was more than $350,000.
Madewell told police she used most of the embezzled money for Internet gambling, the warrant says.The union is working with police and has no further comment until the investigation is complete, Weinberg said. Valley Benefits Inc. was set up in the late 1980s, the union said. It offers casualty, life and disability insurance to the union's members.
When Barack Obama came to prominence as a presidential candidate, his Chicago background—in particular, his efforts as a "community organizer"—reignited an interest in Saul Alinsky (1909-72), the hard-charging activist whose 1971 book, "Rules for Radicals," was said to have had a formative influence on Mr. Obama's thinking.(from online.wsj.com)
Some critics worry that Alinsky's ideas guide Mr. Obama even today, in the White House.
About such matters Nicholas von Hoffman cares little. But about Alinsky himself Mr. von Hoffman cares a great deal. He knew Alinsky, worked with him for 10 years in Chicago community groups and now offers a portrait of him in "Radical."
• Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
• 'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com
Baltimore, Maryland--The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) gathered the nation's leading exploiters of decades-old American history for this year's National Race Card Tournament in Baltimore, Maryland.(crossposted from optoons.blogspot.com)
"We've brought together some of the best race card players the country has to offer," said one event organizer, "including Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and a number of Members of Congress."
This year's players are competing for the chance to smear as racists anyone associated with a loosely-organized Tea Party coalition consisting of a wide cross-section of the American public dedicated to reducing the massive federal debt and preserving individual freedom from government control.
"I'm in it to win it," said one member of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, which recently called for Hallmark to recall a talking space-based graduation card because they heard its reference to "black holes" as "black whores."
Already one player has been disqualified from the competition for trying to play the race card against the "CP" in the NAACP's own name.
Associated video: ABC News; associated articles: Kansas City Star; Politico
The steel strike of 1959 begins, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history
U.S. President Jimmy Carter gives his famous "malaise" speech, where he characterizes the greatest threat to the country as "this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation." (1979)
b: Walter Benjamin (1892), John Thomas Dunlop (1914); d: Anton Chekhov (1904), Set Persson (1960)
Community Organizing for the New Progressive Era