Google in Talks to Buy Groupon – WSJ.com

Google Inc. has been in talks to buy Groupon Inc., a fast-growing website offering daily deals at businesses in the U.S. and abroad, according to a person familiar with the matter.

No deal is imminent between Google and Groupon, said people familiar with the matter. One of these people said that other parties recently offered to finance Groupon at a valuation of more than $3 billion.

Spokespeople for Google and Groupon declined to comment. The website All Things D earlier reported that Google has offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, with a $700 million earnout. News Corp. owns All Things D and The Wall Street Journal.

A deal to buy Groupon would boost Google’s position in the race to win local business-ad dollars online, an area coveted by other large Web companies including Facebook Inc.

A deal between Google and Groupon likely would also eclipse Google’s $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2007—its largest to date—which has since helped the Internet search giant in its push in the market for online graphical ads, among other things

Interesting…

Defecting: At Least 13 Lawmakers Switch to GOP Post Election | The Blaze

ATLANTA (AP) — Staggering Election Day losses are not the Democratic Party’s final indignity this year.

At least 13 state lawmakers in five states have defected to Republican ranks since the Nov. 2 election, adding to already huge GOP gains in state legislatures. And that number could grow as next year’s legislative sessions draw near.

The defections underscore dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party — particularly in the South — and will give Republicans a stronger hand in everything from pushing a conservative fiscal and social agenda to redrawing political maps.

In Alabama, four Democrats announced last week they were joining the GOP, giving Republicans a supermajority in the House that allows them to pass legislation without any support from the other party. The party switch of a Democratic lawmaker from New Orleans handed control of Louisiana’s House to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction

A few have come to their senses.

Pork Survives: Senate Rejects Earmarks Ban | The Blaze

WASHINGTON (The Blaze/AP) — The Senate has rejected a GOP bid to ban the practice of larding spending bills with earmarks — those pet projects that lawmakers love to send home to their states.

Democrats and a handful of Republicans combined to defeat the effort, which would have effectively forbidden the Senate from considering legislation containing earmarks like road and bridge projects, community development funding, grants to local police departments and special-interest tax breaks.

Earlier this month, Republicans bowed to tea party activists and passed a party resolution declaring GOP senators would give up earmarks. House Republicans have also given up the practice, but most Democrats say the earmarks are a legitimate way to direct taxpayer money to their constituents.

The legislation would have established an earmark moratorium for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, and also would have covered the fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, The Hill reports.

“I believe I have an important responsibility to the state of Illinois and the people I represent to direct federal dollars into projects critically important for our state and our future,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) said.

The eight GOP senators who voted to preserve earmark spending include: Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), James Inhofe (Okla.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Richard Shelby (Ala.), retiring Sen. George Voinovich (Ohio) and defeated Sen. Bob Bennett (Utah) also voted against it.

Six Democrats voted for the earmark moratorium, including: Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Colorado Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, as well as retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) and defeated Sen. Russ Feingold (Wis.).

Too bad… things must change.

Are You Selling Yourself Short? :: Mental Toughness Blog

By Steve

Critical thinking questions are the heart and soul of the mental toughness process. These emotionless, objective reality, logic-based questions are designed to fuel the introspective process. In this post, taped in front of the world-famous Sydney Opera House, I ask the mother of all critical thinking questions. This is a question every great performer should be asking him or herself on a regular basis. Watch this short post and I’ll look forward to your comments.   Steve Siebold  (2:48 )

Are you??

PGATOUR.COM – Five players nominated for TOUR’s Player of Year award

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The PGA TOUR released its nominees Tuesday for the 2010 PGA TOUR Player of the Year. Nominees for the Jack Nicklaus Trophy as the PGA TOUR Player of the Year are Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.

Players were nominated by the PGA TOUR Player Advisory Council (PAC) and Player Directors. The awards are determined by a member vote, with PGA TOUR members who played in at least 15 official money events in 2010 eligible to vote.

The winner will be announced on Saturday, Dec. 4.

None of the five nominees has ever been named as the TOUR’s Player of the Year. Tiger Woods has won the award 10 times since 1997. The only other players to win during that span were Mark O’Meara in 1998, Vijay Singh in 2004 and Padraig Harrington in 2008.

Here is a closer look at the five nominees:

I vote for…

PGATOUR.COM – ‘Tiddlywinks’ blunder costly for Poulter in Dubai

DUBAI (AP) — Whoever knew dropping a golf ball could cost a player $400,000?

That’s just what happened to Englishman Ian Poulter on Sunday when he went to replace his ball on his marker and dropped it from a few inches above the ground, falling victim to one of golf’s more arcane rules.

The blunder cost Poulter a shot and helped Swede Robert Karlsson win $1.25 million at the Dubai World Championship, the final event of the European Tour season.

Poulter’s second prize is impressive nonetheless at $833,000.

Poulter and Karlsson were locked in a playoff on the 18th hole of the Dubai Earth course after four rounds in the desert where both finished at 14 under. The first playoff hole was tied and on the second playoff hole — again on the 18th — Poulter left himself with a massive 40-foot putt while Karlsson’s chip to the green landed within 4 feet of the pin.

But as the English golfer marked his ball, it slipped from his grasp and fell on the marker, which jumped in the air and turned over.

Poulter let the match referee know immediately.

“Ian Poulter called me over just after he had marked the ball on the 18th and told me he had dropped his ball onto the ball marker which caused the ball marker to move, it just flipped over,” chief match referee Andy McFee said. “This incurred a one stroke penalty.”

So instead of trying to force another playoff hole, Poulter realized his putt was for a 5. Poulter shrugged, putted and missed, while Karlsson holed his short putt. The gallery of a couple of thousand spectators was unaware of the drama.

Rule 20-1/15 is the one that impacted Poulter.

“Any accidental movement of the ball marker which occurs before or after the specific act of marking, including as a result of dropping the ball, regardless of the height from which it was dropped … results in the player incurring a one stroke penalty,” McFee said in a statement.

Karlsson said after the tournament ended that Poulter had told him of the ruling before they finished the second playoff hole, but he had not been sure the ruling would stand. Regardless, Karlsson’s putt was much shorter.

“These things happen in golf. It’s not the way you want to win,” the 41-year-old Swede said. “The rules are there for a reason but some of them can be tough.”

Poulter’s friend and rival Rory McIlroy was quick to see the funny side, even if Poulter’s mistake cost him more than $400,000.

He tweeted: “Poults may not have won the Dubai world championship, but he could be in with a shout for tiddlywinks world championship.”

Whoa… one expensive mistake — but s@%t happens.

Rangel‘s ’Last Stand’: Congressman Wants House to Reject Censure | The Blaze

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Charles Rangel is ready to make a last stand to salvage his reputation and tell the House that a censure should be reserved for crooked politicians.

AP

He will argue that he’s not one of them.

The 80-year-old Democrat from New York’s Harlem neighborhood wants his punishment for ethics violations downgraded to a reprimand, according to congressional and nongovernment sources who are in touch with Rangel but are not authorized to be quoted by name.

Rangel will ask the House ethics committee chairman, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., for time to plead his case on the floor of the House, where he has served for 40 years, including a stint as chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

The ethics committee voted 9-1 on Nov. 18 that Rangel should be censured for committing 11 counts of fundraising and financial misdeeds that violated House rules.

There is precedent for Rangel’s argument that censure — the most severe punishment short of expulsion — is too harsh in his case. It won‘t be easy because he’ll have to overcome the overwhelming vote of a committee that has an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.

Rangel plans to argue that censure has been imposed for violations including bribery, accepting improper gifts, personal use of campaign funds and sexual misconduct; none is present in his case.

The ethics committee, in explaining its recommendation, agreed in a report that the discipline usually is reserved for lawmakers who enrich themselves. In Rangel’s case, the committee said, its decision was based on “the cumulative nature of the violations and not any direct personal financial gain.”

He should just go away.