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Rob Gilmore

IRS Agent Solicits Taxpayer for Sex; Offers Lower Taxes

Taxpayer Gets It On with IRS Agent in Exchange for Lower Taxes. Lucky Bastard.

Dora Abrahamson, a former IRS Agent, is every man’s dream woman.  She is accused of soliciting a taxpayer for sex, according to the Mail Online.  Vincent Burroughs, 40, of Falls Creek, Oregon, would apparently rather pay his taxes than have a good time.  He is accusing Dora Abrahamson, 38, and a former IRS agent, of using her position to solicit him for sex in exchange for a lower tax penalty, in a lawsuit filed last week.

Now Burroughs wants some money to go along with the deal.  The lawsuit states that the U.S. is liable for punitive damages because the IRS did not provide adequate supervision to Abrahamson, allowing her to pursue a sexual relationship with a taxpayer.

If Burroughs refused Abrahamson, the lawsuit alleges, Abrahamson threatened to impose a 40 percent penalty on Burroughs.  In September 2011, after months of secret text messages and phone calls, a proactively dressed Abrahamson arrived at Burroughs home.
Under threat of penalty, Burroughs claims, and not a half-naked Abrahamson begging for it in his doorway, the two had sex. 

The lawsuit states, “She told (Burroughs) that she could be a bitch, or that she could be nice.  She said that she could impose no penalty, or a 40 percent penalty, and that if he would give her what she wanted, she would give him what he needed.”

IRS spokesman Richard Panick told The Register-Guard that IRS officials could not answer questions about Burroughs’s allegations or Abrahamson’s employment history.

As if to rub in his good fortune, the lawsuit states that Burroughs did not report Abrahamson’s advances ‘out of embarrassment and fear that she would cause substantial financial penalties to be imposed upon him.’ 

With the United States and Abrahamson as defendants, Burroughs is asking a jury for unspecified punitive damages. Ahh, “For the Love of Money,” as the O’Jays put it. 

Dan Marino Fathers Love Child with Junior CBS Employee

Dan Marino fathers love child with fellow CBS Employee in 2005

Dan Marino, football legend and current CBS Sports analyst, reportedly fathered a love child with Donna Savattere, a former CBS Sports production assistant in 2004, to whom Marino paid millions to keep the affair a secret.  Their daughter, Chloe, was born in 2005. 

Marino met Savattere as a pregame analyst for CBS, where he has worked since 2003.  Donna Savattere was 35 at the time of the affair, according to the Mail Online.  The birth of their child came in 2005, just two months before Marino was inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

After the birth, Donna Savattere swiftly moved to New York and spent much of her time in the Upper West Side and the Hamptons, where she became a fixture on the social scene, according to the Mail Online.  Their daughter is now being raised by Savattere and her husband, banker Nahill Younis; the couple was married in their home in the Hamptons in 2009. 

Dan Marino will remain a CBS contributor and is still a scheduled commentator for this Sunday’s Super Bowl.  “This is a personal and private matter. I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then,” Marino said in a statement. “We mutually agreed to keep our arrangement private to protect all parties involved.”

Jen Sabatelle, spokeswoman for CBS Sports, told a USA Today reporter, “Dan has said all there is to say on this matter and he’ll be in his usual role on our broadcast Super Bowl Sunday.”  Marino says he, his wife and six children continue to be a strong family.  Marino maintains a relationship with his now seven year-old daughter.

Marino will be part of the CBS Super Bowl telecast Sunday, which starts at 2 p.m. ET, before the game’s 6:30 p.m. kickoff.
 

Jackie Robinson: Remembering a Baseball Legend

Google celebrates Jackie Robinson with doodle.

Jackie Robinson, who broke racial segregation in professional sports when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, would have turned 94 today.  His birthday is being celebrated with a Google doodle, which was posted to the popular search engine’s webpage early this morning.

Born near the town of Cairo, Georgia, the son of parents who lived on a plantation and born as the Spanish Flu ravaged the South, Jackie Robinson was an unlikely candidate for a successful life, let alone national fame.  But after a friend persuaded him to leave a neighborhood gang, Jackie Robinson attended John Muir High School and lettered in four varsity sports.

After graduating from high school, a young Jackie Robinson attended Pasadena Junior College and later transferred to UCLA, where he became the first athlete to varsity in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track.  He left college just shy of graduation and took a job as the assistant athletic director with the government’s National Youth Administration in California. 

After time in the Negro League, Robinson was brought up from the Minor Leagues to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.  Jackie Robinson led the Dodgers to win six pennants over 10 seasons.  Robinson was named National League MVP in 1949, leading the loop in hitting (.342) and steals (37), while knocking in 124 runs. 

Baseball fans also voted him the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game, which was the first All-Star Game to include black players.  In 1955, Robinson would earn his only World Championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees. 

In 1957, after suffering numerous physical ailments, Robinson retired from baseball.  He would be diagnosed with diabetes later that year.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, the first year he was eligible, and became the first black player to be inducted into the hall of fame.

On October 24, 1972 Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack in his Connecticut home.  He was 53 years old.

Defense Department Allows Women in Combat

Women in Combat: Military Continues Tradition of Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Continuing its tradition of promoting equal treatment of minorities and women before popular society catches on, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Thursday that the U.S. military will remove its ban on women serving in combat roles, opening about 230,000 positions to women and making good on a commitment he made upon taking the office.

Due to personnel shortages, the Continental Army first lifted the ban on black enlistment in 1776. Now, from the same folks who ended the infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prohibited gays from revealing their identities to fellow service people, the ban on women fighting in combat situations has been lifted.

“Women have shown great courage and sacrifice on and off the battlefield, contributed in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission and proven their ability to serve in an expanding number of roles,” Panetta said at a Pentagon news conference. “The department’s goal in rescinding the rule is to ensure that the mission is met with the best-qualified and most capable people, regardless of gender.”

Since 1994 women were not permitted to be enlisted below the brigade level, a force of about 3,500 troops, to fight on the ground.  That rule had officially barred women from all infantry, artillery, armor, combat engineers and special operations units of battalion size, about 700 troops, or lower, according to USA Today. 

President Obama fully supports the policy change. “Earlier today I called Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to express my strong support for this decision, which will strengthen our military, enhance our readiness, and be another step toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals of fairness and equality,” the president said in a prepared statement.

The military will have until January 2016 to implement the changes.  Leon Panetta and the joint chiefs, who whole heartedly endorsed the changes, had been working on implementing the policy for more than a year, according to USA Today.  Panetta is preparing to leave as Secretary of Defense, soon after President Obama nominated Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Vietnam combat veteran, to assume the position. 
 

Rand Paul Fuming over Secretary Clinton’s Handling of Benghazi Attack

Apparently Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) never heard the old adage, “If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.”  The well-known senator, son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, had no kind words for Secretary Hillary Clinton Wednesday during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American were killed.

“I’m glad that you’re accepting responsibility, said Rand Paul.  “I think ultimately with your leaving that you accept the culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11.”  As if to rub it in, he added, “And I really mean that.”

“Had I been president and found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi and from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post.  I think it’s inexcusable,” Paul said.  Secretary Hillary Clinton has admitted that she did not read all of the documentation surrounding the attack. 

Critics of Paul’s abrasive commentary are already speculating that his comments were engineered to cast a spotlight on a possible 2016 run for the presidency.  Rick Unger, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, blames him for scoring tea party political points from an American tragedy. 

Miki Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, defended him, “Rand Paul was bringing up a point.  You may not have liked the way he brought it up.  But if an ambassador in a hot zone cannot communicate with the Secretary of State on the issue of security, there is something to be looked at.”

Clinton responded to Rand Paul’s criticism of her performance, “I am the Secretary of State.  And the [Accountability Review Board] made very clear that the level of responsibility for the failures that they outlined was set at the Assistant Secretary level and below.”
 

‘American Horror Story’ Freaks Out Fans for Third Season, Creator Reveals Season Three Hints

“American Horror Story,” two seasons now complete, has garnered Fox record ratings, so it didn’t take the network too long to order up a third season.  What’s better?  The show’s creator is dropping hints about what’s in store for Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s hit television program.

Coming off the deaths of two major characters in episode ten: ‘The Name Game’ of “American Horror Story” fans are wondering what the Falchuks have in store for the third season.  In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Murphy discussed many aspects of the current season, entitled ‘Asylum’ but also revealed some hints about the third.

The current season is better known for its far-more removed, kind-of-totally crazy plotlines and cliff hangers that have left audience members engaged, entertained, stupefied and addicted.  Among the most surprising of Murphy’s intentions with season three is his desire to return to a more personal and romantic story, much like the one fans saw between Violet and Tate in season one.

“I want something like that again and we’re doing something like in the third season.  And we’re contemplating shooting the show in a different place… where true horror has been,” Murphy told a reporter of Entertainment Weekly.  There’s no word yet on where Murphy might send his cast and crew.

In addition to season three’s lighter tone, fans will be happy to know that the Emmy Award winning star, Jessica Lange will return.  She played the seventies housewife, wanna-be starlet turned creepy neighbor, Constance Langdon for season one and the troubled nun, Sister Jude for season two. 

There will not, however, be any more extraterrestrial visitors.  Murphy appreciated the plot point for season two but conceded that their presence polarized the audience.  They won’t be returning.

For all the changes coming to season three, one thing will remain the same for this Fox Network fan favorite.  The mini-series show format will remain the same, unfolding in three cities, in different time periods and with a distinct beginning, middle and end.

Secretary Clinton Prepares for Replacement by John Kerry, One Day after Grilling over Benghazi Attac

Just one day after facing Republican critics over the September terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton is gearing up to introduce Senator John Kerry for his Senate confirmation hearing for Secretary of State. 

Hillary Clinton has been the subject of much news coverage over the past few weeks, beginning when she hit her head after fainting from a stomach virus that caused serious dehydration. 

But she was back to work yesterday, focused, determined, angry and emotional at times, in front of Senate Republicans critical over her department’s handling of the attack on Benghazi, according to a report by CNN.  Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in the attack, and the safety of American tourists and military personal has been uncertain since the scandal broke.

“As I have said many times since September 11, I take responsibility,” said Clinton as she faced two congressional hearings on the attack, both of which totaled nearly five hours. 

However, placing blame wasn’t enough for conservative Republicans, who were concerned over the level of security at the Benghazi compound during the attack.  They questioned Hillary Clinton about the now infamous report by U.N. Secretary Susan Rice four days later that blamed a spontaneous protest gone wrong for the attack on the Benghazi compound.  Secretary Rice had previously blamed the attack on a protest over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States.  Intelligence would later show that the attack was, indeed, a coordinated attack by extremists. 

At both hearings, Clinton acknowledged the “systematic breakdown,” according to an Accountability Review Board appointed by her to analyze the causes leading up to the attack.  Hillary Clinton accepted all 29 of the board’s recommendations, adding her department was taking additional steps to increase security at U.S. diplomatic facilities around the world, according to a report by CNN. 

In response to the erroneous talking points released to the media on September 16 by Secretary Rice, Secretary Clinton said that she was more focused on ensuring the safety of American personnel at other international facilities where protests were taking place, adding, “I wasn’t involved in the talking points process.”
 

Apple Stock Plummets Amid Concerns over iPhone Sales

Apple is the second burliest company in the world, a close number two to Exxon-Mobile, but the stock’s ‘mojo’ took quite a hit this morning, as its price plummeted nearly 10 percent by 10:00 a.m. eastern time.  
Investor concerns over iPhone and iPad sales are overshadowing the debut of the iPhone 5 in China.  The stock has fallen to its lowest level this morning since the launch of the iPhone 5, dropping to about $465 this morning.  That’s down more than $200 from its last all-time high of $705.07.

Concerns over iPhone 5 production falling short of demand, the infamous failure of its Apple Maps launch and an executive shake-up have combined to inspire caution in the hearts of aapl investors everywhere, according to Mercurynews.com, a Silicon Valley based tech publication. 

Waning international enthusiasm for the release of the iPhone 5 is also to blame for the stock’s dismal performance the last few days, according to UBS analyst Steve Milunovich.  He reported last Thursday night that his sources say the iPhone 5 will not be as successful as the iPhone 4S in China, and reports of short lines for the phone’s release seem to support that idea.

The news is so awful  for Apple that its bad fortune has spread to the entire Nasdaq and Standard and Poor’s 500, as stock indexes have failed to advance.  Reuters also reported declines in the stocks of six Apple suppliers.

School Closings as Frigid Temperatures Grip MidWest, East Coast

School closings across the midwest are providing students a much appreciated day off, due to a cold front that is delivering the region some of the most frigid winter weather in two years.  Get out the ice scraper and bundle up because some parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes region are expected to see about 45 degrees below zero today.
  A whopping fourteen public schools were closed today in Minneapolis, Minn., due to low temperatures more than 40 degrees below zero.  In Cleveland dozens of schools filled local 3 WKYC’s school closings page as the city fights temperatures so frigid that the air outside feels 10 to 25 degrees below zero.
Midwesterners can blame the frigid weather on the arrival of bitterly cold Northwest winds, which originated in the Arctic Circle.  Forecasters in Chicago expect wind gusts of 30 mph, making the air outside feel like 20 degrees below zero.
Other parts of the midwest have it even worse.  International Falls, Minn., Green Bay, Wis., and Minneapolis all reported subzero temperatures while Chicago remained at 9 degrees, Tom Skilling, WGN-TV’s chief meteorologist, told the Chicago Tribune.  Grand Marais, Minn., on the north side of Lake Superior, saw a low temperature of 54 degrees below zero.
In Chicago, five local schools have already closed or are opening late, according to the Emergency Closing Center.  Three schools have closed in Detroit, one with no night classes.
Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo all feel like 10 to 25 below zero today, and another pocket of cold air is keeping temperatures in the twenties in New York, northern Vermont and New Hampshire until the end of the week.
“When we hear about the (extreme) weather we sort of go into high alert,” said Sandy Ramsey, executive director of the Cornerstone Community Outreach homeless shelter, to a Chicago Tribune reporter.  In response to the frigid weather, Chicago city officials opened one of their six warming centers Monday.  All six centers are open on weekdays when temperatures fall below 32 degrees. 

Beyonce Always a Crowd Pleaser, This Time with National Anthem at Obama's Inauguration

Beyonce’s performance of the national anthem would draw her loudest cheers, but the applause began when she took her seat with husband, Jay-Z, at the Capitol to watch President Obama take the oath of office for his second term.
President Obama took his second oath of office Monday at the capitol, with a crowd of about 800,000 on the National Mall.  That’s about 1,000,000 people fewer than four years ago,when President Obama was the first African-American to take the oath of office.  But Beyonce’s performance of the national anthem was no letdown.
Her performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” drew much appreciation from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who clapped enthusiastically as she offered R&B-esque vocal flavor to her performance of the national anthem.  She wore a stunning black black velvet Pucci, floor-length gown, perfect shoes and emeralds, as the crowd enthusiastically approved of her rendition.
Beyonce wasn’t the only to perform at the inauguration.  Kelly Clarkson, who is a multiple nominee at next month’s Grammy Awards, performed “My Country Tis of Thee,” and James Taylor sang “My Country the Beautiful,” on the west front of the Capitol Monday. 
The first time Beyonce performed for the president she was a surprise guest with Etta James’s “At Last” for the president and Mrs. Obama’s first dance.  This time around, singing the “Star Spangled Banner” has once again propelled her into the national spotlight.