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Bartering For Health Care: Yardwork For Treatment

Deb Barth is raking leaves for Lesley Jones. But Barth isn’t earning money for her yardwork, at least not in physical currency. She’s earning “time dollars” — for every two hours she spends doing odd jobs, she’ll earn a free visit with her doctor.

As a struggling artist, Barth’s income qualifies her for the program at True North, a nonprofit health care clinic in Falmouth, Maine. She’s one of 33 patients who pay with time dollars there.

Saudi women get political role, but no driving privileges

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Although they are still not allowed to drive, Saudi Arabian women will be appointed members of the parliament, and be allowed to run and vote in the municipal elections, King Abdullah said Sunday.

“In Islamic history, women have had roles that cannot be marginalized,” Abdullah told members of the parliament, known as the Shura Council.

Obama Says GOP Would ‘Cripple’ America

President Obama charged Sunday that the GOP vision of government would “fundamentally cripple America” as he tried out his newly combative message on the liberal West Coast.

Aiming to renew the ardor of Democratic loyalists who have grown increasingly disenchanted with him, the president mixed frontal attacks on Republicans with words of encouragement intended to buck up the faithful as the 2012 campaign revs up.

IRS, U.S. Banks at Odds Over $1 Billion in Tax Credits From Barclays Deals

U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz of Minnesota is an educated man. He earned his law degree from Harvard, won a coveted clerkship for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and taught the law for more than a decade before joining the bench in 2006.

But when Wells Fargo, the retail banking giant, and the U.S. Justice Department squared off in his courtroom last year over the legality of a fiendishly complicated tax scheme known as “STARS,’’ even Schiltz quickly realized he was not equipped to parse the facts.

Pentagon plans to transmit Guantanamo trials to U.S. points

The Obama administration’s choice to run prosecutions at the Guantanamo war crimes court is pledging a new era of transparency from the remote base, including the nearly simultaneous broadcast of the proceedings to locations in the United States, where reporters and families of victims would be able to view them.

Fox Pundit Blasts Senate For Doing ‘Nothing’ On Disaster Aid, 10 Days After It Passes $7 Billion Disaster Aid Bill

This week, after continually claiming that they wouldn’t hold disaster aid hostage for budget cuts, the House GOP did just that, voting down a continuing resolution that included the aid, and only approving it after $100 million more in cuts were added to the package.

House Republicans then turned around and blamed Senate Democrats for holding disaster aid hostage, with a spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) saying “any political games from Senate Dems will only delay FEMA money that disaster victims desperately need.” Fox pundit Brit Hume picked up on this theme today on Fox News Sunday:

Government Claims AIG ‘Gamed the Tax System’

The STARS transactions are not the only foreign tax-credit deals that have been targeted by the Internal Revenue Service. A lawsuit between the Justice Department and American International Group, filed in the Southern District of New York, involves transactions of more than $2 billion in financing with foreign banks that resulted in $62 million in tax credits.

Participants in the structured-finance market say AIG was a pioneer in the area, and some documents in the case read like a primer for the cross-border finance market.

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