Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Our friends at Citizens Against Government Waste point out that the fiscal 2012 appropriations for the Defense Department includes $239 million for cancer research, including studies on breast cancer, $5.1 million for autism research, and $3.2 million for bone marrow failure disease research. Research for cures for diseases is a wonderful thing, but one wonders why the Department of Defense is funding it, because the Labor/HHS appropriations bill already set aside $5.1 billion for the National Cancer Institute, $69.1 million for research on autism and $23.4 million for research on bone marrow disease .
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
As the dollar loses the protection provided by its global reserve currency status and countries are no longer required to stockpile dollars for oil trades, the dollar will rise or fall in value based on the strength of the U.S. economy. So will interests rates and inflation. Unfortunately, with deficit spending looming for as far as the eye can see and our debt burden growing more ominous every day, that doesn't bode well for the dollar's ability to compete on an even playing field.
Even more staggering is the amount of credit that China unleashed to finance this investment boom. Since 2007, the amount of new credit generated annually has more than quadrupled to $2.75 trillion in the 12 months through January this year. Last year, roughly half of the new loans came from the "shadow banking system," private lenders and credit suppliers outside formal lending channels. These outfits lend to borrowers—often local governments pushing increasingly low-quality infrastructure projects—who have run into trouble paying their bank loans.
Since 2008, China's total public and private debt has exploded to more than 200% of GDP—an unprecedented level for any developing country. Yet the overwhelming consensus still sees little risk to the financial system or to economic growth in China.
Monday, February 25, 2013
And when Maj. Gen. Curry confirmed these suspicions in his article for The Daily Caller, it became clear that the Obama Administration has not been honest with the public concerning the current mass stockpiling of ammunition.
Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don’t just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body’s organs. Death often follows.
The agency said it has 295 special agents across 66 offices in the country. "These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests," the statement said.
As for concern about the type of bullets -- hollow points, which expand upon impact -- the statement said the type is "standard issue" and is used during "mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions."
(3) Federal loans and loan guarantees: $2.9 trillion in 2011, 19 percent of GDP. The government makes or guarantees loans to college students, farmers, veterans, small businesses and others. The face value of most of these loans don’t show up in the budget, but the government is on the hook if borrowers default. Adding this debt (19 percent of GDP) to gross federal debt produces a total debt ratio of 122 percent of GDP.
(4) Fannie and Freddie: $5.1 trillion, 33 percent of GDP. The government wasn’t legally required to cover the debts of these “government sponsored enterprises” — the major lenders to the housing market — but almost everyone assumed it would if they got in trouble. That happened in September 2008. With Fannie and Freddie, the total debt ratio rises to 155 percent of GDP.
As far as climate statistics go, much perspective is needed. First of all, with respect to 2012 being touted as the warmest year on record for the contiguous U.S., note that the contiguous U.S. covers less than 2% of the earth's surface.
The research continues to affirm it. The statistics highlight it. But actually reading what young people have to say about the reality of missing dads and overworked but caring mothers confirms it. There is no pretense, and the pain is evident.
The case of the phantom ballots: an electoral whodunit - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com#storylink=omni_popular#storylink=omni_popular#storylink=omni_popular
Somebody rigged a computer program to fraudulently obtain more than 2,000 absentee ballots in three races. The plot didn’t work. But it could have.
Should the Senate confirm as treasury secretary a man who was paid $1.1 million by Citigroup after it was bailed out and whose employment contract gave him favorable stock option treatment if he left his job for a high federal government post but not for another governmental or nonprofit job?
Sunday, February 24, 2013
This week, the Labor Department decided to shower Hostess workers with Trade Adjustment Assistance, a multibillion-dollar pork barrel program that was beefed up as a bone to Democrats, who were blocking passage of three free-trade treaties in Congress in 2012.
TAA is a lavish program doled out by the Labor Department for laid-off workers who've lost their jobs due to "global trade."
It provides worker retraining due to the supposed evils of free trade — plus moving expenses, baby-sitting expenses and as much as two years of unemployment pay. If a worker ends up making less than his union salary afterward, Uncle Sam spots the worker for 50% of the supposed lost wages in a "free" subsidy.
- Why are DHS and other federal agencies seeking so much of the more expensive and lethal hollow-point bullets, which are not typically used at the firing range and are outlawed by the Geneva Convention for battlefield use
I've lived in this country my entire life and never heard of government agencies stockpiling millions of rounds of the hollow-point "training ammo" listed in its solicitations or shooting blanks from military aircraft over our neighborhoods and cities. Not until now. None of this makes sense if things are as peachy as the president claims, and I think these circumstances raise enough questions to warrant a congressional hearing
A domestic crisis would also justify the billions of dollars in military surplus the DOD has been gifting to local governments through its Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO). Chicago Channel 7's I-Team has been investigating "weapons of war" that are "ending up in Chicago and the suburbs." Law enforcement is being so broadly defined that M-16 rifles and a humvee went to a Catholic university, and an "arsenal of combat rifles" went to Brookfield zoo. What sense does it make to arm a zoo unless someone envisions a scenario where desperate, starving urbanites are forced to turn it into a hunting ground after grocery shelves run empty?
John Wayne Tucker, blogging at theboldpursuit.com, has posted links to local reports of similar exercises that have taken place in at least 14 cities, most of them over the last twelve months. One in his hometown of St. Louis last summer involved tanks rolling through neighborhoods in what local news reported was a military "driver's ed of sorts." Tucker calls for citizens to demand an explanation from their representatives.
A reader claiming to be a former Marine commented on the CBS Los Angeles news website that he was an infantryman for 20 years and never trained in any city or town with civilians present. Others are skeptical as well.
The Army took over an empty high school in southeast Houston without warning last month in a Department of Defense drill. Terrified residents mistook blank fire for live rounds. At a City Council meeting the next day, Mayor Annise Parker decried "a shocking lack of sensitivity to community concerns" that caught even some in the police department by surprise. About the same time council members were meeting in Houston, "federal law enforcement" agents were rappelling down ropes from military helicopters hovering over the Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
To cut the budget, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is looking under the sea for solutions.
Paul said Thursday he would give President Barack Obama the power to cut the $5.2 million spent on what he called “goldfish studies” and other wasteful military spending as the country inches closer to March 1, when the $1.2 trillion cuts in federal spending over the next decade take effect.
“In the military they have $5.2 million they spent on goldfish — studying goldfish to see how democratic they were and if we could learn about democracy from goldfish. I would give the president the authority to go ahead and cut all $5 million in goldfish studies,” Paul said on Fox News.
A similar jeremiad was heard in 1943 when economist Paul Samuelson, whose Keynesian assumptions have trickled down to Obama, said postwar cuts in government would mean “the greatest period of unemployment and industrial dislocation which any economy has ever faced.”
Federal spending did indeed shrink an enormous 40 percent in one year. And the economy boomed.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Goldhill identifies three major differences between the Singaporean health system and ours. In Singapore, individuals contribute much more money at the point of purchase. The payment mechanism varies according to treatment and patient. Government doctors and facilities compete with private health care workers. Singaporeans are required to contribute to health savings accounts and purchase a catastrophic insurance plan. There is an insurance pool for the severely disabled and a fund to pay their bills. There are subsidies to providers based on their level of service.
The main problem, Goldhill concludes, is the way we pay for health care. “For every hundred dollars spent on health care in the United States,” he writes, “the patient acting as consumer pays only eleven dollars; an intermediary pays the rest.” Having a third-party assume most of the cost of medical services encourages overconsumption, waste, fraud, and inflation. It generates the perverse incentives of moral hazard. The price mechanism is not allowed to function.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
But it would take a self-employed person $2 million in earnings to net $1 million, which could fund an $11,000 pension. It would take just over $9 million for a person in the private sector to fund the pension equal to a Contra Costa County firefighter.
Another thing that is largely misreported: what the actual assets pledged as collateral to new loans are. Because while it is well-known that corporate debt in China is now greater as a percentage of GDP than in any other country, the comprehensive picture is still confusing (albeit GMO did a fantastic summary recently of what is known) as reporting standards are still non-existent, and the government flat out lies about its balance sheet.
Think Americans are the only people in the world toiling under a gargantuan, and unrepayable, debtload, which at last check was a massive $55.3 trillion, or about $175K per person? Think again. Meet Sherry Sheng, a 29-year-old Shanghai policewoman, who bought herself a 4,000 yuan ($642) black fur jacket, splurging for the last time before she starts paying off the mortgage on her first home.
Though lately the federal “fiscal cliff” and itsconsequences have garnered national attention, Americans have paid comparatively little notice to the fiscal cliffs in their own backyards. Estimates of unfunded liabilities for state and local pensions vary, depending on who’s tabulating, but numbers like$1.4 trillion or $4.4 trillion are in the realm of possibility.
And it is probably unlikely to do so just now as even if Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke fails to confirm a new hawkish stance in policy, the U.S. currency should still find support from the rising popularity of monetary easing elsewhere.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Smitty's has the best brisket, Black's has the best ribs, and that if you're looking for the least touristy of the four and want other Texas dishes like chicken-fried steak and fried okra, well, Chisholm is for you (plus they do drive-thru).
Why didn't Lincoln feel the same about Southern secession? Following the money might help with an answer. Throughout most of our history, the only sources of federal revenue were excise taxes and tariffs. During the 1850s, tariffs amounted to 90 percent of federal revenue. Southern ports paid 75 percent of tariffs in 1859. What "responsible" politician would let that much revenue go?
“The purpose of tearing down the projects was to regentrify the neighborhoods. And now, where there had been projects, you have chain stores, exclusive restaurants, delis, everything people want. But it also sent those gangs out into the neighborhoods, into new places in the city and the suburbs, places where they had not been.” He estimates that about 80 percent of Chicago’s homicides are gang-related.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
When researchers try to explain why AIDS is much more prevalent among blacks than whites, they point to the consequences of incarceration, which disrupts steady relationships and can lead to high-risk sexual behavior.
An Air Force simulation says researchers are at work on killer robots so tiny that a group of them could blend into a cityscape.
Science writer John Horgan's feature on the many ways drones will be used in coming years is interesting throughout, and terrifying in the passage where he describes an effort to build micro-drones that are, as the U.S. Air Force describes them, "Unobtrusive, pervasive, and lethal."
"Yes, I voted twice," Richardson told WCPO-TV. "I, after registering thousands of people, certainly wanted my vote to count, so I voted. I voted at the polls."
Authorities also are investigating if she voted in the names of four other people, too, for a total of six votes in the 2012 presidential election.
Derivatives, because of all their interconnections, have made that job tougher. Moreover, the interconnections frequently lead to securities firms and other nonbanks, to which government safety nets might have to be extended if the banking establishment is to be protected. Without precisely conceding that point, Corrigan says that ''for these purposes, the distinction between banks and nonbanks is hardly relevant. If something bad happens, everybody's just got to do the right thing.''
Most chillingly, derivatives hold the possibility of systemic risk - the danger that these contracts might directly or indirectly cause some localized or particularized trouble in the financial markets to spread uncontrollably. An imaginable scenario is some deep crisis at a major dealer that would cause it to default on its contracts and be the instigator of a chain reaction bringing down other institutions and sending paroxysms of fear through a financial market that lives on the expectation of prompt payments. Inevitably, that would put deposit-insurance funds, and the taxpayers behind them, at risk.
That possibility must be entertained because derivatives have grown with stunning speed into an enormous, pervasive, and controversial financial force. Derivatives are contracts whose value is derived - the key word - from the value of some underlying asset, such as currencies, equities, or commodities; from an indicator like interest rates; or from a stock-market or other index. The derivative instruments that result - variously called swaps, forwards, futures, puts, calls, swaptions, caps, floors, collars, captions, floortions, spreadtions, look-backs, and other neverland names - keep bursting into the news, as they did recently when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and share prices sank, costing some traders of derivatives huge amounts that in some cases surely ran into many millions.
“The new health care law created powerful incentives for smaller employers to self-insure,” said Deborah J. Chollet, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research who has been studying the insurance industry for more than 25 years. “This trend could destabilize small-group insurance markets and erode protections provided by the Affordable Care Act.” …
Insurance regulators worry that commercial insurers — and the insurance exchanges being set up in every state to offer a range of plan options to consumers — will be left with disproportionate numbers of older, sicker people who are more expensive to insure.
Deportation of German homeschool family affects US homeschool freedom | Washington Times Communities
The Romeikes’ case is now before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, with the US government seeking to revoke their asylum and force them to return to Germany. And the details of Attorney-General Holder’s arguments in the brief for Romeike v. Holder are sinister, to say the least.
According to Holder, parents have no fundamental right to home-educate their children.
HSLDA founder Mike Farris warns,
“[Holder’s office] argued that there was no violation of anyone’s protected rights in a law that entirely bans homeschooling. There would only be a problem if Germany banned homeschooling for some but permitted it for others.
US retailers and restaurants chains that employ millions of low-wage workers are considering cutting working hours or paying fines rather than enrolling employees in health insurance plans under Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law.
Employers are concerned that the law increases the cost of insuring employees on existing plans, partly by broadening the range of benefits. It also requires companies to insure some employees not previously covered.
The Higgs boson came about because although the Standard Model holds together neatly, nothing requires the particles to have mass; for a fuller theory, the Higgs - or something else - must fill in that gap
Monday, February 18, 2013
the plunge in the Yen was an indirect, "unexpected" consequence of BOJ monetary policy (when in reality as Richard Koo explained it is merely a ploy to avoid the spotlight falling on each and every other G-7/20 member, all of which are engaged in the same type of currency wars which eventually will all morph into trade wars), Europe's energy powerhouse Norway quietly entered into the war. From Bloomberg:
“Four years after President Obama signed his $821 billion taxpayer funded stimulus bill into law, American taxpayers are still paying the tab for the broken promises, and all we have to show for it are higher unemployment, higher debt, and higher taxes,” said Rep. Stephen J. Scalise (R-La.), who became the RSC chairman at the beginning of the 113th Congress.
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Obama fails climate science in his State of the Union address -- Climate Depot's point-by-point rebuttal to the President's global warming claims | Climate Depot
Here's the offending part of Obama's speech.
Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.
And here's Marc Morano's unanswerable point by point rebuttal. Obama's war on climate change is a war against a chimera. He is enlarging the state, holding back the economic recovery, restricting freedoms, driving up the price of energy and killing jobs in order to deal with a problem which only exists in the discredited computer projections of a shameless cabal of grant-troughing activist scientists increasingly out of touch with real world data.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
For the welfare state to accomplish its purpose, everyone must be brought down to a level of single sameness as much as possible, submerging the individual to the group, and no one must be allowed to strive to achieve more for himself than is beneficial to the whole group. In the welfare state, there is no place for individual nobility, heroism, courage, or virtue. Since risk, reward, courage, and virtue are essential to manliness, it follows that the presence of such virtue in the male population is a major impediment to the establishment of the welfare state
But a virtuous man would support the removal of the FDIC program to save the Constitution, because that man understands that a necessary part of virtue is the freedom to fail -- the very antithesis of the welfare state. For without the freedom to fail, there is no element of risk, which is fundamental to the development of the courage, virtue, and self-reliance -- all of which underlie what makes a man a man in the sense understood by our founding fathers and many earlier cultures.
While running regional giant BB&T for two decades, John Allison had an insider's view of the factors behind the crisis. A burst of greed wasn't one of them, he says. Nor was deregulation.
"The financial industry was not deregulated, it was misregulated," he asserted.
In his new book, "The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure," Allison says at every step of the way, Washington politicians and regulators brought on the crisis and then made things worse during the panic.
Insurers point to several reasons that premiums will rise. They will soon be required to offer more-comprehensive coverage than many currently provide. Also, their costs will increase because they will be barred from rejecting the sick, and they will no longer be allowed to charge older customers sharply higher premiums than younger ones.
Supporters of the law counter that concerns about price hikes are overstated, partly because federal subsidies will cushion the blow.
Many young, healthy Americans could soon see a jump in their health insurance costs, and insurance companies are saying: It’s not our fault.
The nation’s insurers are engaged in an all-out, last-ditch effort to shield themselves from blame for what they predict will be rate increases on policies they must unveil this spring to comply with President Obama’s health-care law.
Emails uncovered last year show Schmaler worked with Media Matters to smear people trying to uncover details about Justice Department scandals. As far back as 2010, Schmaler worked with the George Soros-funded media hit squad to attempt to defame whistleblowers from the New Black Panther Party scandal with regard alleged voter intimidation at a Philadelphia polling place on election day in 2008.
Tracy Schmaler, Attorney General Eric Holder’s top press defender, will resign her position on March 8. This reporter recently caught Schmaler colluding with far leftwing advocacy organization Media Matters for America to attack the reputations of whistleblowers, members of Congress, and people in the new media.
The program, which was launched in summer 2010, was always intended as a temporary bridge for the uninsured. But it was supposed to last until 2014. At that point, the health-care law will bar insurers from rejecting or otherwise discriminating against people who are already sick, enabling such people to buy plans through the private market.
From the start, analysts questioned whether the $5 billion that Congress appropriated for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan — as the program is called — was sufficient.
Even though Facebook (FB) reported $1.1 billion in pre-tax profits from U.S. operations in 2012, it will probably pay zero federal and state taxes—and even receive a federal tax refund of about $429 million—according to a Feb. 14 statement from Citizens for Tax Justice.
Mr. Cruz was among the 22 senators who voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, among the 34 who voted against raising the debt ceiling, among the 19 who tried to cut off military sales to Egypt, among the 36 who opposed a relief package for the regions hit by Hurricane Sandy, and among the three senators who voted against Mr. Kerry’s confirmation.
In just two months, Mr. Cruz, 42, has made his presence felt in an institution where new arrivals are usually not heard from for months, if not years. Besides suggesting that Mr. Hagel might have received compensation from foreign enemies, he has tangled with the mayor of Chicago, challenged the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat on national television, voted against virtually everything before him — including the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state — and raised the hackles of colleagues from both parties.
With presidential center’s opening fast approaching, Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection continues to grow | Dallas-Fort Worth Communities - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News
She recounted her upbringing and the problems that have long afflicted her native country. She discussed the importance of Nobel Peace Prize winner and opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi. And she chronicled her 11 years of isolation as a political prisoner.
At the end of the interview, she spoke directly to fellow activists and offered guidance on how to persevere.
“Somebody can imprison your body, but not your mind,” she said, before repeating the advice in Burmese. “Keep going.”
The other option is for banks to devise ways to reduce housing risk. When Weller worked as a banker in Germany in the 1980s, the bank would set up a savings account with automatic deposit for every mortgage customer. That way, the client would build up a cash reserve to pay the mortgage in a bad month. This remains a common practice in Germany, where banks hold on to their mortgages rather than securitize and sell them.
Trading in the options gives the right to buy the underlying shares and profit when the stock rises. The timing and size of the trades were deemed highly suspicious by the SEC because the accounts through which the traders purchased the options had no history of trading Heinz securities in the last six months.
The financing is the biggest a company plans to fund an acquisition since Energy Future Holdings Corp. took on $24.5 billion in debt when KKR & Co. and Texas Pacific Group purchased it in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Fitch Ratings today cut its grade for Heinz to junk saying the company’s debt levels could double and put its existing noteholders at risk.
Friday, February 15, 2013
“There's no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families, which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood,” said Mr Obama.
Hailing his “heroic” late mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, “who gave everything she had to raise me”, Mr Obama said in one of the most candid statements of his presidency: “At the same time, I wish I had had a father who was around and involved”.
“His focus was the nature of the strategic talks and what kind of negotiating positions might be put forward,” Dr. Baron said. “It was not a polemical paper — not arguing that the U.S. should have this or that position. It was how to get from here to there and avoid misperception and conflict.
“He got an A,” recalled Dr. Baron, who now runs a digital media business. Later, he wrote Mr. Obama a recommendation for Harvard Law School.
First off, he held a conference call with supporters across the nation. Thousands of activists were gathered at SOTU parties and are part of the new highly controversial activist organization, "Organizing for Action," that is designed as part PR, part campaign effort to enact and promote the president's agenda. The president's conference call was designed to mobilize the troops in the same way that he mobilized friends and neighbors in community organizing efforts in Chicago. In other words, he unleashed a nationwide community organizing effort to sell his policies for his second term: a scheme of radically transforming the governance of the nation, which will persist long after his second term ends.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Rand Paul for the Tea Party: Only in D.C. could $7 trillion more spending be called a cut by Andrew Malcolm - Investors.com
The President does a big “woe is me” over the $1.2 trillion sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans are joining him. Few people understand that the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. It just slows the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.
Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.
With his students, Mr. Winnegrad uses drills that involve smelling vials of raw materials over and over again until identification becomes ingrained. Many of the fragrances he uses can be found in a home kitchen, including clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, celery and carrots. Pencil shavings can provide a cedar note. A leaf broken off a house plant can provide a green, herbal note.
Mr. Winnegrad suggests keeping each ingredient in a separate small jar and smelling the collection once a day for about a half-hour. Rather than take one deep sniff, take two or three short inhalations and then exhale. "That way you will avoid nose fatigue," he says.
Scott Carney, master sommelier and director of wine education at the International Culinary Center based in New York, teaches students to visualize the scent notes found in wine. If someone is struggling to identify an individual note—say, guava—he will send the student to the grocery-store produce aisle to find a guava. "Go smell it," Mr. Carney will say. "See what you can invoke when smells come close to that one again."
Mak, 31, grew up in Westchester, graduated from the University of Chicago and toiled in publishing in New York during his 20s before moving to Baltimore last year with a meager part-time blogging job and prospects for little else. About half of his friends in Baltimore have been getting food stamps since the economy toppled, so he decided to give it a try; to his delight, he qualified for $200 a month.
Title of that article? “Hipsters on Food Stamps.”
A Michigan-based company slated to produce lithium-ion polymer batteries for electric vehicles has instead kept production overseas, has failed to meet job targets outlined in a $150 million grant from the federal government, and has been reimbursed by the government for $842,000 in wasted work time, according to a U.S. Department of Energy Special Report released Wednesday.
The DOE says Holland, Mich.-based LG Chem Michigan misused part of a $150 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds and has decided not to shift production from its plant in South Korea to Michigan. It painted a stark picture of wasted U.S. federal dollars.
"Until the shift in production takes place or some alternative use for the plant is developed, U.S. taxpayers will receive little direct benefit from a plant for which they provided up to half of the funding," the report said.
The LAPD fired Dorner in 2009 after a disciplinary panel found that he had falsely accused his training sergeant of kicking a homeless man during an arrest; his credibility, said the board’s chairman, was “damaged beyond repair.” Three witnesses testified that they did not see the sergeant kick the man. If Dorner was fired because of racism, presumably other black officers would have been unfairly treated as well. Where are they? Or did the department’s disciplinary apparatus erupt in bias in just this one case, and if so, why? Dorner had full opportunity to press his case: after his dismissal, he sued the department for wrongful termination. He lost at trial and again on appeal. The idea that bigotry or a lack of integrity tainted each of those fora strains credulity.
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Americans don’t eat horsemeat, but we do export horses for slaughter. Most end up on dining tables in Europe and China. While California is one of the few states that bans the exports, some activists have said the ban isn’t working.
We recently visited a Northern California Auction. Horses were on the block and selling cheaply; Prices were as low as $50 to $100, even former racehorses.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
daily kos obama/said in remick
cashill on edward said
obama's listen to edward said
commencement address, said careful reader of texts
macarthur and obama myth
and obama needs to be dumped
said and benghazi, tablet, weekly standard
la times obama and palestinians, said
phil boerner my roommate bo
and in nyt with directory for bo
cashill on missing year
In planning your life, and spanning the gap between "wants" and "needs", build a budget after analyzing your spending patterns keep your committed expenses at or below 60% of your gross income. That's right – that leaves 40% of your gross income just hanging out in the wind, but more on that in a moment.
In the run-up to his State of the Union speech, Obama was running around telling everyone how we've already "cut our deficit by more than $2.5 trillion," and are now "more than halfway towards the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists . .. say we need to stabilize our debt."
Last year, Chicago had 512 homicides; Detroit had 411; Philadelphia had 331; and Baltimore had 215. Those cities are joined by other dangerous cities — such as St. Louis, Memphis, Tenn., Flint, Mich., and Camden, N.J. — and they also lead the nation in shootings, assaults, rapes and robberies. Both the populations of those cities and their crime victims are predominantly black. Each year, more than 7,000 blacks are murdered. Close to 100 percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation's population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it's 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation's homicide victims, blacks are also most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery. The magnitude of this tragedy can be seen in another light. According to a Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute study, between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data, compiled from income tax returns, as reported by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that in 2009 the top 1% of income earners paid 39% of all federal income taxes. That was three times their share of national income at 13%. It was also more than double the 17.6% of federal individual income taxes paid by the top 1% when President Reagan entered office in 1981, and all the historic tax rate cutting began.
Yet, the IRS data also shows that in 2009 the middle class, as represented by the middle 20% of income earners, paid just 2.7% of all federal income taxes as a group on net, while earning 15% of the national income. As a result, the top 1% paid almost 15 times as much in federal income taxes as the entire middle 20%, even though the middle 20% earned more income.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Commissioner Scott explained how Texas analyzed the Common Core Standards and determined it was a bad financial deal in spite of the “bribe” money.
Scott explained that the State of Texas was wooed by the federal government with a promise of $700 million to sign onto Race to the Top and Common Core. However, after his calculations, he realized that scrapping his State’s current standards and implementing the terms of the grant would cost between $2.5 to $3 billion. In his eyes, it was a sorry trade to shackle Texas to federal mandates, rob Texas citizens of their right to control educational standards, and then stick taxpayers with a bill of at least $2 billion to make up the difference. To add insult to injury, that amount did not include the ongoing maintenance of the system for the years ahead beyond the four years of the grant.
Adjusted for cost of living, Texas’s per-capita income is higher than California’s and nearly as high as New York’s. Factor in state and local taxes, and Texas pulls ahead of New York.
President Obama repeatedlydeclared that, with enough federal aid, we can put a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. His administration has invested about $5 billion in grants, guaranteed loans — including $465 million for Tesla — and tax incentives to buyers.
Yet Americans bought just 71,000 plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles in the past two years, according to GreenCarReports.com. That’s about a third as many as the Energy Department forecast in a 2011 report that attempted to explain why Obama’s goal was not preposterous.
In fact, the French TV producers showed a talent for propaganda that would make their American counterparts look amateurish. Every person they interviewed outside Notre Dame that day said something awful about the new Pope. As to the thousand or so cheering faithful, they must have all left by a side exit.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Sunday, February 10, 2013
This is why in February of 2013, “adjusted” first week unemployment rate was reported at 366,000 – a 5000 person drop from the week before. A seeming improvement in the trend. But, unadjusted numbers came in at 386,176 – a 16,000 person spike from the week before. When one examines real unemployment numbers, he finds that the divergence between the adjusted and unadjusted statistics is growing larger with each passing quarter. That is to say, the contradiction is becoming so blatant between the hard numbers and the Labor Department’s fantasy numbers that one must question whether or not the government is lying to us outright about the state of the economy (hint – they are lying).
Cummings: Postal Service cuts would hurt minority groups, single mothers - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room
Cummings also pointed out that 40 percent of postal employees are female and warned that many are single mothers.
"So you have a lot of women, many of whom are single women — head of household, and they depend upon that decent wage, decent working conditions and benefits to take care of their families," he said. "So, yes, it would have a devastating effect in an economy that is already very, very fragile."
Murphy and co-author Brandon Webb also revealed that the September 11 Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, was retaliation by Islamist militants who had been targeted by covert U.S. military operations.
The book claims that neither Stevens nor even Petraeus knew about the raids by American special operations troops, which had 'kicked a hornet's nest' among the heavily-armed fighters after the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Hamburg said the agency needs new, stronger and clearer legislation to oversee “firms engaged in large-scale distribution” of custom-mixed, or compounded, drugs, some of which were highlighted in the Post article. The current patchwork of federal and state laws is too weak to protect patients in all 50 states from high-risk compounding operations, she said in a statement.
“We’ve reached a critical point on this issue,” Hamburg said.
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who released a report last fall showing uneven oversight by state authorities, said Friday that the FDA needs greater authority. He plans to reintroduce legislation that would allow the agency to regulate compounders that act more like drug manufacturers.
“These compounding pharmacies have been operating under the radar for too long,” he said in a statement.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
A high school basketball player, Obama also was a regular at the lunchtime pick-up games played by students and faculty in Rush Gym. Eric Newhall ’67, professor of English and comparative literary studies, also played in those informal but fiercely competitive “noonball” games. “I think Occidental’s greatest contribution to American politics lies in persuading Barack Obama that his future did not lie in basketball,” Newhall says.
Humankind’s common ancestor with other mammals may have been a roughly rat-size animal that weighed no more than a half a pound, had a long furry tail and lived on insects.