When Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison, they weren’t kidding around. Here’s a screencap of his profile in the U.S. federal prison system database. He’s in the system as scheduled for release in 2139.
Although it has yet to pass into law, the Tennessee Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill that requires creditors to count the postmark date of a payment as the payment date, not the day they say they receive it.
President Obama has had it up to here with poor FDA oversight, particularly of salmonella-infested peanut factories, and he’s called for a review of the underfunded organization, according to U.S. News & World Report.
A former FDIC employee writes that the FDIC’s call center (877-275-3342) is “a tremendously helpful place to get basic referral information if you’re having trouble with your bank, lender, or finance company.” They can’t help you with complaints, but they can route you to the correct agency, provide credit union contact info, and give you the names and numbers of state agencies where your bank is located.
Last week we wrote about the IRS’ free tax filing program and pointed you to a blog that reviewed all 19 services. Only two offer free state filing, but the blog, Flife, pointed out that you could always use your chosen service to prepare your state return—using it as a sort of worksheet—and then switch to one of the totally free services to do the actual filing. But be careful: a reader just wrote in to say free-tax-return.com completely deleted his state filing when he declined to pay the $13.50 fee.
Today California sued the EPA over its refusal to let states enact their own greenhouse-gas laws. “Fifteen states plan to intervene on California’s behalf, including 13 of those that have either adopted or are in the process of adopting the rules. Delaware and Illinois, which have not passed the standards, also are part of the lawsuit.” [New York Times]
To pick up slack from the undersized/overwhelmed CPSC, states are stepping up to help increase toy safety locally. New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Illinois and California have been taking “aggressive measures,” from suing manufacturers to escalating state recalls to the federal level. Newsday describes how New Jersey worked with charities and educators during toy drives to make them aware of recalled toys. The state also assigned 15 state inspectors to a toy safety task force, and over the past month, the inspectors “fanned out across the state with assistance from county health department workers to test products and check for recalled toys.
The Fed’s recent quarter-point rate cut could either mean more or less cash in your pocket, depending on what you accounts you own. Here is the breakdown:
From the “boring but important” category of meat-related news, the Consumer Federation of America has joined with other advocacy groups as well as union and labor groups, under the assistance of men and women in Congress, to work out a compromise in response to July’s ill-conceived attempt by Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson to do away with the federal inspections requirement for interstate meat sales. The new plan augments Peterson’s measure in a way that ensures state-inspection procedures meet or exceed federal ones.
Our earlier post about carding senior citizens was all well and good, but here’s what life’s like from the other side of the register, according to Behind the Counter: “Nearly everyone who works a register and is faced with the prospect of selling tobacco and alcohol ought to be very, very afraid. Why? Because the federal government is watching you and will deliberately try to bust your Wal-Mart khaki-clad behind!”
Let’s say you bought a diet book that was advertised to provide an easy-to-follow diet that you can do at home and that allows you to eat whatever you want—and then, once you buy the book, you find out that it “describes a complex, grueling plan that requires severe dieting, daily injections of a prescription drug that consumers cannot easily get, and lifelong dietary restrictions.” The FTC apparently thinks that’s misleading, and they’re going after Kevin Trudeau (yet again) for it.