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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Obamas and Bidens File Taxes

President Obama

Taxes are the pits, but at least they don't discriminate — everybody has to pay 'em. And that includes the leader of the free world and his right-hand man.

The tax returns for President Obama and Vice President Biden were recently released to the public. Quicker than you can say "spread the wealth," searches on both documents skyrocketed.

Now, normally tax returns don't inspire a lot of buzz. But when it's the Obamas' and the Bidens', the 1040s are actually pretty interesting. According to an article from Reuters, President Obama (who filed jointly with his wife, Michelle), reported an adjusted gross income of $2,656,902. They paid roughly $855,000 in federal income taxes and almost $78,000 in state income taxes.

Now hold up—since when do (honest) politicians make millions of dollars? Well, normally they don't. But Mr. Obama is also a best-selling author. The majority of his 2008 income came from sales of his two memoirs, "Dreams of My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope." Interestingly, the Obamas' income took a substantial drop in 2008. According to Fox News, the couple actually pulled in $4.2 million in 2007.

In comparison to his boss's return, Vice President Biden's 1040 looked downright modest. The VP and his wife reported an income of $269,256 for 2008. That's roughly a tenth of what the Obamas declared. Still, a good portion of that came from sales of Mr. Biden's memoir, "Promises to Keep." UPI reports that the Bidens reported donations of $1,885 to charity in 2008, but the White House notes that the Bidens made additional donations to their church that weren't included (lest you think they're stingy).

If you'd like to take a gander at the actual tax returns, you can click here for the Obamas', and here for the Bidens'.

2009 New York Auto Show Scion iQ Concept
Scion iQ Concept

Scion unveiled a wild concept at the New York Auto Show, called the iQ concept. This car is based on the small production hatchback sold in Japan. No official word yet if it is headed for our shores as a Scion, but we predict that chances are good. If it does, whether we'll see this souped-up version remains to be seen. The Scion iQ concept was, in fact, created by Five Axis of Huntington Beach, California, a company that has dabbled with Toyota products before. As you can see, this vehicle takes the "subcompact economy" perception and adds originality and customization to an entirely new level.

The first thing to jump out at you are the wheels. These are 18-in. custom wheels on a micro-subcompact vehicle. The wheels are pushed out toward the corners to make it look stable and race-ready. Darkened aero headlights highlight the face while a roof spoiler adds flair to the car's rear. And like almost every Scion showpiece, this one is bathed in a flamboyant color, which goes from yellow to green depending on how the light hits the body.

Inside, there's a retractable 10-in. LCD screen that houses the entertainment and navigation systems. When not in use, the screen lays flat on the dash with a translucent cover that emits a colorful array of lights. If you want to open the screen, you can do so with a push of the button.

The Japan-market production iQ, which won Japan's prestigious Car of the Year, comes with a 93-bhp 1.3-liter inline-4 replete with Toypta's VVT-i variable valve-timing. No engine tweaks were made, but a custom stainless-steel exhaust system should give this four-banger a few extra bhps, but the car is sure to handle better, thanks to a retuned suspension system, with Tein dampers.

writer: jamal uddin

Connecticut Huskies (UConn) 2009 NCAA Women's Basketball National Champions Navy Blue Playoff Schedule Long Sleeve T-shirt
Connecticut Huskies (UConn) 2009 NCAA Women's Basketball National Champions Navy Blue Playoff Schedule Long Sleeve T-shirt


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (centre, in shadow) in Isfahan, 9 April 2009
Iran's president opens the country's first nuclear fuel production plant, in defiant mood despite fresh moves on talks.

Supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr rally in Baghdad against the US presence in Iraq, six years after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Some 74% of voters took part in Algeria's elections despite an opposition boycott, officials say, as results are expected.

Little escape or progress in Gaza aftermath
The foreign policy faultlines behind Obama's magic
Bouteflika tipped to win Algeria poll, but resentment festers







Compiled by BBC Monitoring

Jews celebrates "dawn of creation" in Jerusalem
Lebanon schools struggle to teach the 'right' history
Monthly motor-racing on Iraqi capital's outskirts

Maersk Alabama (File image) How can pirates be stopped?
Artist delivers poll message on India politicians' clothes
McCartney: With love from me - to who?
At-risk dolphins make comeback in Bangladesh

Piracy problem

Suspected Somali pirates

Could 19th-Century advice offer solution?