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Jurisdiction Still on Target for Supreme Court “Dart” Case

WLF Legal Pulse - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 12:45pm
Although the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on October 7 in a case addressing the scope of removal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)—Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens—Public Citizen has urged the Court to dismiss the case as improvidently granted based on what it views as procedural roadblocks […]
Categories: Latest News

Monday Morning Mojo: Loyal like a Dog

InteroMojo - Mon, 09/29/2014 - 7:30am

In this day and age so many people are looking to make the quick buck…quick fix…the quick/biggest return…especially in the Silicon Valley. They will bounce around from one company/job/thing to another trying to make it happen…there is no loyalty. If someone is willing to pay them a bit more they jump ship…then they do it again and again and again. They are always chasing the next “sweet deal”. It’s not just real estate but really every industry…really everything in life.

In the end it has been my observation that most of those who do that end up missing out on the real big opportunities in business and life…they end up losing in the end because they never create that bond and those longer term relationships that open doors and opportunities in the future that only loyalty can provide. They are so obsessed with the here and now and what’s in it for me today that they lose focus on the long term. Kind of like the difference between a short term investor and a long term investor. 19 out of 20 times the long term investor may not make the most today, but long term, they end up being the winner ten times over.

I often tell people that the reason I have been blessed with the opportunities I have had in my life and business is because I am loyal…loyal like a dog. I owe it to my parents because it was the way I was raised. I am loyal to my Faith, to my Wife and Family, to my Friends, to my Fitness and to my Finances…my F5. When I am committed to something or someone, nothing is going to break that bond. I know, for a fact, it is why I sit in the seat I sit in today professionally and the life I have personally. Yes I worked my butt off, but it was that combined with loyalty that got me here.

Look…I don’t have it all figured out but I am that guy that if you are “one of mine”, you never need to look over your shoulder and wonder if I’ve got your back. You can ask anyone who knows me. I have worked with the same group of people through thick and thin for over a quarter of a decade. Along the way there have been trials and tribulations…fights and disagreements. There were also many opportunities presented to me that on the surface looked sweet…a promotion… more money…more perks…blah blah blah. You know what I am talking about. I have to admit there are times that it was pretty tempting, but you know what…I always turned it down because I was loyal to my company, my friends and my relationships. So, here I sit today as President and CEO of Intero and in many ways I think that is why.

So, here is my recommendation. Don’t make decisions based on what is best for today but make decisions on what is best for a life time or a career…don’t be a short term thinker. When you figure out what it is you want to do and where it is you want to work and who it is you want to work with, be loyal like a dog. Don’t get enticed by all those short term perks because in the end, they will never measure up to the opportunities that only come with being loyal like a dog.

Loyal like a dog

Categories: Latest News

Weekend Wellness: Headaches

InteroMojo - Sat, 09/27/2014 - 9:00am

I’m doing a seminar this week about foods which cause headaches and foods which help reduce headaches. It dawned on me that probably every person alive has had at some point a headache. There are of course, many factors and instigators of why a person has a headache…but if there are certain foods which provoke this painful issue, wouldn’t you want to avoid them? Here’s a simple list of what foods are commonly known to provoke this uncomfortable problem:

First, it’s good to know many headaches are caused by tyramine.

Unfortunately, for cheese lovers, aged cheeses have more tyramine in them than others. Some of these cheeses include blue cheeses, Brie, Cheddar, Stilton, Feta, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, Muenster, Parmesan, Swiss and processed cheese.

Other foods high in tyramine include processed meats, pickles, onions, olives, certain types of beans, raisins, nuts, avocados, canned soups, and even red wine.

Certain food additives, including nitrites and some food colorings, are also common headache triggers. Like tyramine, these additives may increase blood flow to the brain causing headaches in some:

Other common foods which are known to cause headaches in my research are:

  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), Splenda, and other artificial sweeteners; foods with meat tenderizers or yeast or yeast extracts
  • Caffeine in even in small amounts can trigger a migraine in some people
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Alcoholic beverages in addition to red wine, beer, and sherry
  • Aged, canned, cured, or processed meats such as chicken livers and other organ meats, and sardines. Also foods prepared with nitrates (like packaged meats) can cause problems.
  • Cultured dairy products such as sour cream or buttermilk
  • Dried fruits including figs, raisins, and dates
  • Breads and crackers containing cheese including pizza
  • Canned soups, or soups made from bouillon or based with MSG
  • and (drum roll…) Sugar!

The good news is there are certain nutrients and foods which HELP when you have a headache.

One of the most used mineral is magnesium (about 400mg) in a supplement. Deficiency of magnesium interferes with transmission of nerve and muscle impulses, causing irritability and nervousness which might trigger headaches. A lot of headaches/migraines are caused by hormonal changes as well.

Look to add these in if experiencing a migraine or a headache.

More water is number one. Dehydration can cause a plethora of ailments…headaches being the top of the list.

In addition add in…

  1. Fiber rich foods, such as:
    • vegetables, fruits and berries: papaya, avocado, mangos, bananas, apples, carrots, winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, collard greens, turnip greens, yams, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatos, fresh figs
    • legumes: all beans (kidney beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, etc.) and lentils
    • seeds and nuts (walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)
  2. Magnesium rich foods such as almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, brown rice, garlic, leafy vegetables, grapefruit, cantaloupe, sesame seeds, spinach, wild salmon
  3. Potassium rich foods: apricots, avocados, lima beans, bananas, garlic, raisins, nuts, winter squash, yams and yogurt
  4. Vitamin E rich foods: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, watercress, dandelion, flax seed, legumes, seeds and nuts, olive oil

So, next time you experience some pain between the ears, consider if it might be food related and pull out this list!

Categories: Latest News

Cool Apps: Saving Water a Fraction at a Time

InteroMojo - Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:00am

It’s no secret that California is in a pretty severe drought and although we did get a little splash of rain yesterday, we all still need to do our part. A lot can be saved in your yard with our previously highlighted app, Greenbox but what about inside your home?

You may not even notice how much water falls from the faucet while you’re washing your hands, filling the sink to scrub the dishes or spraying out of your shower head while waiting for it to warm up. Each one of those everyday occurrence of wasted water can really add up.

So what can you do to alter your routine ever so slightly to make an impact on this drought? You can start by getting yourself a Waterpebble.

Waterpebble is a device designed to help you save water effortlessly. It monitors the amount of water going down your drain each time you take a shower. To use it all you have to do is place it on the shower floor next to your drain. Don’t worry, it’s super small so you’ll barely know it’s there. The first time you use it, the device will memorize the length and amount of water used. It will use this as your benchmark of water usage.

Each time you shower after that, Waterpebble will automatically reduce your shower time by a small fraction, helping you to save water without even thinking about it. How does it do this you might ask? The device has a series of “traffic lights” which indicate where you are in your shower process. It starts with green, then turns to amber when you’re half way done, then red when it’s time to stop. You’ll be saving water before you know it! You could even up your game and get one for each of your showers and your sinks. Just imagine the difference one household could make with this simple device.

Categories: Latest News

Federal Workplace Police Cast Aside Rules that Inhibit Capitalist Punishment

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 1:58pm
An excellent Economist article critiques the ever-increasing criminalization of the American business community by federal regulators: The formula is simple: find a large company that may (or may not) have done something wrong; threaten its managers with commercial ruin, preferably with criminal charges; force them to use their shareholders’ money to pay an enormous fine […]
Categories: Latest News

WLF Web Seminar to Address Lessons of “Stage-Managed” Litigation in Ecuador Vs. Chevron

WLF Legal Pulse - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:37am
Tomorrow morning from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Washington Legal Foundation will be broadcasting a live Web Seminar program entitled Aguinda v. Chevron: The Remarkable Rise and Fall of a Stage-Managed Litigation & PR Crusade. You can register for free viewing by clicking on the program title. Our speakers will be Paul M. Barrett, Assistant […]
Categories: Latest News

Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: Mastering Mountains

InteroMojo - Thu, 09/25/2014 - 9:00am

In my recent travels to New York, Hawaii and Minneapolis I caught up on several books I’ve had in queue. As many of you know, I usually listen to audio books and then buy the hard copies of my favorites for ongoing reference. Re-reading my hard copy of Unbeatable Mind, by former Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine, I was struck by what the author called “The Five Mountains.” These are domains of intelligence that must be mastered for success in leadership and in life. Here they are:

  1. The Physical Mountain: methodically developing the ability to use your body fully and functionally. This builds confidence and self-esteem and makes you more useful in life and to your team. This includes the physical skills of strength, stamina, work capacity, endurance and durability, as well as properly fueling the body, sleep and recovery.
  2. The Mental Mountain: cultivating mental control for a positive contribution to the world, the mental toughness to stay in the fight, and the creativity for more potent work. This includes learning to tap into and rewire subconscious programming and to master the skills, knowledge and expertise necessary to your personal or professional calling.
  3. The Emotional Mountain: understanding, harnessing and controlling your vast emotional power, transmuting negative emotional baggage into powerful drivers, and forging resiliency in the face of great challenges.
  4. The Intuition (and Awareness) Mountain: becoming an aware and intuitive leader by learning to look within and develop your sixth sense, to listen with your belly, and get “sheepdog strong.”
  5. The Kokoro Mountain: the word kokoro has Japanese origin and means to merge one’s heart and mind in action. This mountain is about learning to lead and act with heart, authentically connecting with others, and striving for an integrated worldview and inclusive consciousness that benefits all mankind. Kokoro can also be described as positive willpower, a non-quitting spirit, and is associated with your spiritual development.

As the old saying goes, the view is always best from the top of the mountain.

Categories: Latest News

Not so “Grrr-eat”: The Response Nutrition Nannies Have Grown to Love

WLF Legal Pulse - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 11:01am
Nice, but not good enough. That is the near-Pavlovian response professional activists routinely offer whenever their targets announce some voluntary action that, to the casual observer, seems to advance the activists’ agenda. Consider, for instance, a September 23 Politico story, “Food, Beverage Firms to Dial Back Marketing to Kids.” The story reported on voluntary commitments […]
Categories: Latest News

GSA Reviews New Version of LEED

GSA news releases - Wed, 09/24/2014 - 1:00am
GSA releases review of LEED Version 4

Second Circuit Overturns Law that Compelled Businesses to Advertise their Competitors’ Services

WLF Legal Pulse - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 9:28am
On September 4, with Safelite Group, Inc. v. Jepsen, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit made an important contribution to the jurisprudence of compelled speech (an area of growing disharmony in the federal courts, as we’ve noted recently). The court unanimously struck down a Connecticut law that permitted certain businesses to promote […]
Categories: Latest News

Monday Morning Mojo: F5 and Your Schedule

InteroMojo - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 7:30am

Whenever someone is struggling in their business or life and they come in to meet with me to get some advice the first question I always ask is “let me see your schedule.”  Inevitably 99% of the time I get this blank stare back at me…then they look to the ground and tell me either they don’t have a schedule or their schedule has nothing in it.

Not having a schedule or having a schedule with nothing in it is a success killer.  It is amazing to me how people can expect to do all of the things you need to do to be successful in business and life but not operate a schedule.  It’s just not going to happen.   Some people seem to think they can just remember all of the stuff they need to do in their head.  If that is the case then either they don’t have enough stuff going on to have an amazing life and business or they are going to have to spend 24 hours a day to get just 6 to 8 hours of work done because most of their time they are running around in circles trying to remember what they need to do.  It’s like you need to run a bunch of errands to different places you have never been before and instead of googling directions and an efficient route how to get where you need to go you just jump in your car and start driving…driving in circles.  Sure you might eventually get all of your errands done, but it is going to take you way way longer and you are going to waste a bunch of time that could be put towards doing other important things.

I know some people that don’t have a bunch of appointments in the day tend to think that they don’t need a schedule, but they are wrong.  Here is my recommendation on how to get started if you are one of those who is not using a schedule, your schedule is blank, or you are using a schedule but still can’t seem to get everything done you need to get done.  You have all heard me talk about your F5 (Faith-Family-Friends-Fitness-Finance).  I put F5 in that order because in my opinion that is the order of importance in living a successful and fulfilling life…each one builds on top of the other.  Unfortunately what a lot of people do is get their priorities wrong and end up putting finance/work first and in the end everything suffers…including their finances because they are out of balance and are not working from a solid foundation.

So here is what I would do.  Start with Faith…what is the 1, 2, or 3 things you need to do each week to strengthen your Faith?  It could be going to church, donating some time to a non-profit, working at your kids’ school, praying and giving thanks.  Whatever it is you need to do, put those 1, 2 or 3 things in your schedule first.  Then go to Family…what is the 1, 2 or 3 things you need to do each week in this equity of your life?  It could be date night with your spouse, playing catch with your kids, attending your kids’ events, calling your mom and dad, etc.  Then go to Friends, then Fitness, and then your Finances.  Do this with each area of your life.  Now don’t put so much stuff in your schedule you don’t have room to maneuver.  Just put the 1 to 3 most important things in each equity.  I like a lot of white space in my schedule, because I know if I am doing all of these other things that white space will get filled up with opportunities.  White space is opportunity time.

Does all of that make sense?  I hope it does.  I know it may be hard in the beginning to get started, but once you do it I promise it will be a very freeing feeling and in the end you will get way more accomplished, you will be way less stressed, you will have a much more balanced life and business, and you will have a way more amazing life and business.

Schedule it!!!!!!

Categories: Latest News

Weekend Wellness: The Bully

InteroMojo - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 9:00am

Have you noticed a topic quite “popular” in the media these days is bullying? It’s in the news, the papers, sporting circles, schools and on many levels in the home. It was even brought up by one of my teachers this past week. When we think of bullying, we think of someone hurting another by means of physical force and/or verbal abuse. Both can be debilitating emotionally and physically.

But how about our self talk? How often do we get disappointed in our performance, our thoughts and our reactions? When we get frustrated, do we kick ourselves? Do we tell ourselves we didn’t do well or we should have done better? Do we speak to ourselves sometimes with disgust? Are we our own worst bully?

You go for the 1st workout in weeks, feeling tired and tell yourself after 30 minutes into your regiment, you are lazy, too uncoordinated, feel out of place and have no business being there…you kick yourself out and leave. Forget the fact that you actually did 30 minutes and started your program, that you actually made it to the gym! Day 1!

Then there’s the run you did with your coworkers to raise money and you couldn’t keep up with them.   You tell yourself you are out of shape, over weight, had no business being there…that you are kidding yourself thinking it would be good to run in an event, let alone walk one!   Forget the fact you raised funds for a worthy cause, that you got outside in nature and enjoyed doing something “bigger than yourself” that morning.

What about that diet you started? After several days of being focused, you received some bad news and you completely caved, eating your way through a pizza, chicken wings and 5 oversized cookies. You tell yourself you have no willpower or discipline, that you can never get healthy, you are never going to lose the extra weight and should just throw in the towel. You don’t remember that you did 4 days of really healthy eating and it was just one “blunder”. You forgot you are like thousands of others, made a detour and can get back on the right track; you have the means, you have the drive and you really do know what to do.

Do any of these sound familiar in one way or another? Do you beat yourself up in other areas of your life? Possibly business, the way you parent, or your relationships? Consider that bullying starts from within…and so does change. How we talk to ourselves can give us bruises and broken spirits, or it can empower us and transform our lives from the inside out.

Watch your self talk. Notice what you say. Consider yourself to be someone who can change everything about your performance and reactions either by knocking yourself down, or lifting yourself up.   Change the bully into the advocate.

Categories: Latest News

Federal Court “Shall” Hear Challenge on EPA’s Failure to Assess Job-Loss Impact of its Rules

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:57pm
Section 321(a) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), titled “Continuous Evaluation of Potential Loss or Shifts of Employment,” states plainly: The Administrator shall conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and applicable implementation plans, including where appropriate, […]
Categories: Latest News

In FDA’s Revised Animal Food Safety Proposal, Common Sense Prevails on Brewers’ Spent Grains

WLF Legal Pulse - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:31pm
This past spring, we highlighted a provision in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed implementation of the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) that would effectively stop brewers, distillers, and wine makers from sharing the byproducts of their production with farmers for use as animal feed.  Such a practice has deep roots in the […]
Categories: Latest News

Cool Apps: Sending Gifts Has Never Been Easier

InteroMojo - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:14pm

So your sister’s turning 40 this year. It’s quite the milestone and you’d really like to get her something you know she’ll love but it’s hard when she lives across the country. I’m sure you could find something great on amazon, but having something shipped can get so costly. Not to mention your recent conviction to shop local as much as possible so why should this purchase be any different? Well, with Yiftee your conscience can hold strong.

Yiftee lets you send a real gift via your phone for any occasion. The recipient can then pick up their gift wherever you bought it from.

In literally 5 minutes you can send a gift without leaving your house. All you have to do is select the recipient, pick out a gift from their favorite local shop (that’s right, their local shop – you can choose from thousands), write a quick note and you’re done! Your recipient will receive a message via email, Facebook or text. You can even schedule a gift delivery for a future date so when you remember a birthday, you can set up your Yiftee to be sent on a specific date and forget about it.

It’s so easy you’ll be surprising everyone with little gifts for every occasion; the dinner they hosted last night, the favor they did for you, the successful meeting you had, anything!

To see how easy Yiftee really is, check out the below video.

Click here to play video

 

Categories: Latest News

Thursday’s Thoughts on Leadership: Inspired by Hawaiian Legends

InteroMojo - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:57pm

Just this week, on a business trip to Hawaii to meet with my friend, Bill Chee, local legend and CEO of Prudential Locations LLC, I learned the amazing story of another local legend, Duke Kahanamoku. A gold-medal-winning Olympic swimmer and champion surfer, Kahanamoku may have been best known for his aquatic accomplishments but as I read more about this champion athlete, I was struck by his selflessness, strength of character, kindness of spirit and humility; all qualities every great leader should possess.

“The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun,” he famously said, and whether commanding the waves of the Pacific or a team of real estate agents, Kahanamoku is right. Always remember why you chose to lead, what you enjoy so much about the real estate business and why you want to inspire your team to succeed. Have fun. If you’re having fun, others will, too.

We can also take a lesson from Kahanamoku’s humble nature. When he became a household name in Hawaii, many people thought he was royalty, (his name, after all, was Duke). However, he was the first to remind his fans that he was one of them, a citizen of Hawaii and a man who worked hard for every award and accolade he received.

When Duke passed in 1968 at the age of 77, he left a lasting legacy behind him. Today, restaurants and statues bear his likeness and name, as symbols of a local hero who prospered through a powerful combination of talent, diligence and perseverance. We can learn so much from such a great man and as I left the Aloha state this week, I couldn’t help but think how we should all feel similarly inspired to apply the lessons of Kahanamoku’s success to our own careers.

Categories: Latest News

Bloomberg BNA: CMS Needs to Provide Congress SHOP Data On Enrollments, Rep. Collins Says at Hearing

House Small Business Committee News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 12:00am

Bloomberg BNA: CMS Needs to Provide Congress SHOP Data On Enrollments, Rep. Collins Says at Hearing
By Sean Forbes
 September 18, 2014

 

Republican members of a subcommittee of the House Committee on Small Business insisted at a hearing on Affordable Care Act small business exchanges that the administration must provide hard data to Congress in order to have an unbiased discussion about the effectiveness of the exchanges.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health and Technology, said that the Small Business Committee sent letters in January and June to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requesting enrollment figures for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), but the HHS hasn't supplied any data yet.

Collins several times asked Mayra E. Alvarez, director of the state exchange group in the CMS Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, about whether the information is available and when the Congress can expect to receive the data. Alvarez didn't have a precise date, but promised that, after the CMS collected the data from the state SHOPs, it would give the information to Congress and the public “as soon as it's available.”

“As soon as it's available,” Collins repeated.

The CMS data will take the bias out of the debate over the SHOPs, but until then people “are just talking past each other,” Collins said.

After the Sept. 18 hearing, Collins told Bloomberg BNA that, “I'm not holding my breath” for the data to arrive soon.

The 90-minute hearing was titled Update on the Small Business Health Options Program: Is It Working for Small Businesses?

Fixing the SHOPs

All the members of the subcommittee, Republicans and Democrats, agreed that the SHOPs aren't perfect and are in need of repair, but differed as to their effectiveness.

Ranking Member Janice Hahn (D-Calif.) said that Medicare, enacted in 1965, also wasn't perfect and is still being improved today, “but that doesn't mean it was bad.” The same can be said for the ACA, she said.

Other witnesses differed on how to fix the SHOPs.

Roger Stark, health care policy analyst for the Seattle-based Washington Policy Center, an independent, nonprofit think tank, said that insurance rates and benefit levels should be set by the insurance market and not by government regulations, and that the state marketplaces should be able to offer an array of insurance plans without having to include the essential health benefits required under the ACA in order to make the market more competitive.

Alvarez disputed that claim, and said that the “biggest problem” with Stark's solution is that it would lead to adverse selection, which would in turn lead to higher costs for employers and plan participants.

Jon Gabel, senior fellow at the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, agreed with Alvarez and said that plans in the exchanges must at least provide a minimum benefits package. Prior to the ACA, many offered plans had very low actuarial value, he said.

Rather than setting limits on copays, coinsurance and deductibles, the ACA established four actuarial value levels of coverage on plans—bronze, silver, gold and platinum—which represent the share of health-care expenses the plan covers for a typical group of enrollees. Most plans prior to the ACA provided less than 80 percent of actuarial value, the level of a gold plan, Gabel said.

Temporary Subsidies

The ACA allows employers with fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees to apply for a temporary subsidy, called the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit, under which they will only have to pay up to half of the premium for their full-time employees.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) asked Alvarez for the basis upon which the CMS made its decisions on whether an employer could get the temporary subsidy.

Alvarez said the decisions are based on flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of the market.

“But what's the basis?” Luetkemeyer asked.

“I can definitely get back to you with that information,” Alvarez said.

 

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