Friday, December 28, 2012

Letter from Chinese Laborer Pleading for Help Found in Halloween Decorations

Julie Keith was unpacking some of last year's Halloween decorations when she stumbled upon an upsetting letter wedged into the packaging.

Tucked in between two novelty headstones that she had purchased at Kmart, she found what appeared to be a letter from the Chinese laborer, who had made the decoration, pleading for help.

Samsung in hot seat over abusing Chinese workers

The letter reads: "Sir, if you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever."

"I was so frustrated that this letter had been sitting in storage for over a year, that this person had written this plea for help and nothing had come of it." Julie Keith told Yahoo! Shine. "Then I was shocked. This person had probably risked their life to get this letter in this package."

The letter describes the conditions at the factory: "People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month)." That translates to about $1.61 a month.

Keith, a mom who works at the Goodwill in Portland, Oregon, did some research into the letter. "I looked up this labor camp on the internet. Some horrific images popped up, and there were also testimonials about people who had lived through this camp. It was just awful."

Horrified, Keith took to Facebook. She posted an image of the letter to ask friends for advice. One responded with a contact at Amnesty International. Keith made several attempts to alert them about the letter, but the organization never responded.
With no response from various human rights organizations, Keith took her story to The Oregonian. "The reporter, Rachel Stark, got through to Human Rights Watch, but I had no luck."
This is not the first time a letter like this has turned up. Just this week, another plea was found written in Chinese on a toilet seat and posted on Reddit. Commenters on the website have questioned the letters' authenticity.
Though the letter lists the address of the specific camp, officials at Human Rights Watch were unable to verify the authenticity of the letter. However, Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, told The Oregonian that the description was consistent with their research. "I think it is fair to say the conditions described in the letter certainly conform to what we know about conditions in re-education through labor camps."

The concern over the conditions laborers must endure in China and other countries first came to the public eye in the 1980s with the use of sweatshops to make Nike sneakers. Since then, according to an article recently published in The New York Times, Nike "has convened public meetings of labor, human rights, environmental and business leaders to discuss how to improve overseas factories."

Tech companies, like Apple and Hewlett Packard, are being made to be accountable for their labor practices. After receiving a great deal of criticism, Apple is now making public statements that they are aware of the harsh conditions in China and are taking steps to improve them.

As for Julie Keith, she had a general idea about the conditions in Chinese labor camps, but this letter has been a dramatic eye-opener into the stark reality of the issue. "I was aware of labor camps. I knew they had factories but I had no idea of the gravity of the situation. I didn't realize how bad it could be for people."

Finding the letter has made Keith more aware of the origin of many products sold in the United States. "As I was doing my Christmas shopping this year, I checked every label. It's virtually impossible to avoid purchasing things made in China as over 90 percent of our goods are made there. But if I saw 'made in China,' this year I asked myself, 'do I really need this?'"

Gun Related Deaths in America

Q:  How many Americans have been killed in gun related incidents since Newtown?
A:  277

Oh Goodie! Let's hold a meeting!

Yipeeee!!!,,,,Let's hold a meeting at 3pm on a Friday before the New Year's day holiday weekend!

After delaying for sixteen entire months let's now have a conversation!

The morons in this country have elected a bunch of morons.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

For those that fear "global warming" your biggest fears may be what is reflected back at you in the mirror

Gun-Control Today; Fat-Control Tomorrow?

Leaving the highly sensitive topic of "gun-control" aside for the time being, one can't help but wonder if it isn't time that the US government, seemingly hell-bent on regulating virtually everything in its quest to prove (to itself?) that America's population can no longer be trusted with making any responsible decisions on it own (and in the process becoming even bigger), shouldn't be more focused on "fat-control" instead. Why? Because while guns may or may not kill people, the bottom line is that of the 32K or so death attributed to firearms, roughly 20K, or two thirds were suicides, meaning firearm-based homicides were 11,015 in 2010. Putting this number in perspective, every year some 935,000 Americans suffer a heart attack, and 600,000 people die from some form heart disease: 1 in every 4 deaths. Net result to society: the cost of coronary heart disease borne by everyone is $108.9 billion each year. And of all proximal factors contributing to heart disease, obesity and overweight is the main one. But of course one can't make a media spectacle out of 600,000 hospital wards where people quietly pass away, in many cases due to a lifetime of ill decisions relating primarily to food consumption. In fact, some estimate that obesity now accounts for one fifth of the total US health-care bill (the part of the budget which no amount of tax increase can offset). Which is why if the topic of gun-control has managed to promptly tear the country into two (or three, or more), just wait until fat-control (far more than the recent tepid overtures into this field such as Bloomberg's NYC sugary soda ban) rears its ugly head and sends the already polarized (and weaponized) US society into a state of agitated hyperflux.

Some useful observations on this topic from The Economist:
IN 1937 George Orwell suggested that “changes of diet” might be more important than “changes of dynasty or even of religion”. Now he is being proved right in a way he might not have expected. Having spent millennia worrying about not having enough food, mankind’s main concern is now eating too much (see our special report on obesity).

The story of human health in the past few decades is a broadly encouraging one. Life expectancy has increased—globally, by 12 years for women and 11 years for men from 1970 to 2010. But greater longevity means that people spend more years chronically ill (see article). Obesity makes things worse by raising the risk of diabetes, heart disease, strokes and some cancers. In much of the world, being too fat is now the single largest driver of sickness.

In 2008 obesity rates were nearly double those of 1980. One in three adults was overweight, with a body-mass index (BMI) of 25 or more (at least 77kg for a man 175cm tall); 12% were obese, with a BMI of at least 30. In America, ever the world leader, about two-thirds of adults were overweight in 2008. But Britain lumbered close behind, with six in ten too fat. The problem is not confined to rich countries. Thanks to economic growth, people around the world are eating more food. Workers burn fewer calories at their desks than in the fields. Even in China, one in four adults was too fat in 2008. In Brazil more than half were. Obesity rates in Mexico, Venezuela and South Africa matched those of America. The Pacific islands and Gulf states are home to some of the world’s fattest people.

For those (like this newspaper) who believe that the state should generally keep its nose out of people’s private affairs, obesity presents a quandary. “A millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and Ryvita biscuits,” Orwell pointed out; “an unemployed man doesn’t…You want to eat something a little bit tasty.” If people get great pleasure from eating more than is good for them, should they not be allowed to indulge themselves? After all, individuals bear the bulk of the costs of obesity, quite literally. They suffer at work, too: their wages are often lower and, in America, some employers also make fat workers pay more for health insurance.

Yet in most countries the state covers some or most of the costs of health care, so fat people raise costs for everyone. In America, for instance, a recent paper estimated that obesity was responsible for a fifth of the total health-care bill, of which nearly half is paid by the federal government. And there are broader social costs. The Pentagon says that obesity is shrinking its pool of soldiers. Obesity lowers labour productivity. And state intervention is justified where it saves people from great harm at little cost to themselves. Only zealots see seat-belt laws as an affront to personal liberty. Anti-smoking policies, controversial at first, are generally viewed as a success.
So which is it: state intervention? Or, as the Economist correctly asserts for once: individual liberties where people have no choice but to experience the consequences of one or more of their own wrong decisions? But what happens when the entire state is already broke from pre-funding generations of precisely these bad decisions, and there is nothing left in the state's piggy bank for those who wish to behave prudently and sensibly? The Economist has some further thoughts:
In the absence of a single big solution to obesity, the state must try many small measures. Governments, some of which already intervene a lot in the first few months of people’s lives, should ensure that parents are warned of the dangers of overfeeding their babies. Schools should serve nutritious lunches, teach children how to eat healthily and give them time to run around. Urban planners should make streets and pavements friendlier to cyclists and pedestrians. Taxing sugary fizzy drinks—which unlike fatty foods have no nutritional value—and limiting the size of the containers in which they can be sold may work. Philadelphia and New York, for example, have implemented a range of such policies, and have seen child-obesity rates dip ever so slightly.

There is a limit, however, to what the state can or should do. In the end, the responsibility and power to change lie primarily with individuals. Whether people go on eating till they pop, or whether they opt for the healthier, slimmer life, will have a bigger effect on the future of the species than most of the weighty decisions that governments make.
Just like in the sensitive issue of gun-control, there is no easy, or definitive answer when it comes to the world's most overweight nation. Perhaps, however, the best clue to what should happen comes from the WSJ's interview with the 107 year old Irving Khan, one of Wall Street's oldest investors and Ben Graham's research assistant, who made the following remark on unwholesome lifestyles: "Millions of people die every year of something they could cure themselves: lack of wisdom and lack of ability to control their impulses."
And that's really it. Sadly, the government, in its encroaching desire to become the world's nanny state par excellence, already believes it can offset everything else, including human stupidity and impulse control. That it can't will become very apparent in time, but only when everyone finally wakes up from the 150 year old dream that started with Bismarck's 'Welfare State' utopia, and sadly ends in bloodshed. With or without gun control.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Paper releases names/addresses of gun permit holders.

A local New York newspaper is drawing the ire of its readers after publishing an interactive map that shows the names and addresses of thousands of residents who have handgun permits. This is HILARIOUS. Who do you think will get robbed now? The Newspaper just painted a great big fat target on those who don't own guns. Those homeowners might as well have a rob me sign now in their front yard as every thief in New York will have that handy dandy piece of info. Read more:

Best Holiday Wishes to Everyone

Well, for those who came from MW, I believe it is important to continue the holiday tradition  from there where we all wished each other well on the holidays. I try to say from time to time I genuninely wish everyone here well and I hope that is believed. It is one thing to disagree politically or philosophically, and some of you I am diametrically opposite to in views. Still, we are all part of humanity and we are connected; how can we not hope each other does well and is happy?

I write from work today and after visiting with a family who is basically holding a vigil for a loved one who will pass soon, I encourage everyone to not leave things unsaid to anyone you care about, today or any other day.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate that holdiay and may all be at peace today.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pakistan mob burns man for 'blasphemy' Police say man beaten to death and set on fire for apparently desecrating Islam's holy book, Quran.

How Convenient

Russia has taken control of Assad's chemical weapons. Just like it did when it shipped them out of Iraq and in to Syria to begin with. Now Syria will be scrubbed of Iraqi arms and we will never have evidence other than satellite footage.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Has the Cliff been factored in? Plan "B" self destructs and the market sheds less than 1%.

The world didn't end.

The world on Wall Street didn't end.

President Obama, it's been seventeen months since your Fiscal Cliff was invented.

Call us when you get an idea.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Global Warming? Not in Russia... Down to -50C: Russians freeze to death as strongest-in-decades winter hits

Russia is enduring its harshest winter in over 70 years, with temperatures plunging as low as -50 degrees Celsius. Dozens of people have already died, and almost 150 have been hospitalized.
­The country has not witnessed such a long cold spell since 1938, meteorologists said, with temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than the seasonal norm all over Russia.
Across the country, 45 people have died due to the cold, and 266 have been taken to hospitals. In total, 542 people were injured due to the freezing temperatures, RIA Novosti reported.
The Moscow region saw temperatures of -17 to -18 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, and the record cold temperatures are expected to linger for at least three more days. Thermometers in Siberia touched -50 degrees Celsius, which is also abnormal for December.

Twinsdad's comments:

Global Warming is a leverage issue.  The U.N. is using it and the U.S. Democrats and liberals are using it too.  History tells us that our globe has gone thru numerous climate changes, with or without the press and the politicians.  None of us will live long enough to be the judge of this issue, not even the MSM....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What is Hillary Hiding?

"Clinton was diagnosed with a concussion Thursday after fainting at home earlier this week, according to a State Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Clinton's injury publicly. The doctors did not determine it to be a "severe" concussion, the official said."

 "The Senate Foreign Relations Committee said it won't hear from Clinton as planned at a Thursday hearing into the attack at the outpost in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador. The House Foreign Affairs Committee also said Clinton would no longer give scheduled testimony at its hearing Thursday on Libya."

ZiggyStardust 2 days ago

How is there no film on this? Did she fall during the scant 6-7 hours a day that shes not SURROUNDED by press? This is a croc and everybody knows it. A concussion that is serious enough to prevent testimony would have warranted a hospital stay. Anybody that has ever had a concussion (especially a serious one) knows this. I knew DOJ was bad and corrupt, seems DOS is just as bad. Is there no one in O'Bumbles administration with any morals? I guess not. And these libs wonder why we want to bear arms. Beware of the knock on the door and someone proclaiming "We're from the government, and we're here to help you"

"William Burns and Thomas Nides, both Deputy Secretaries of State, will testify before that committee instead."
"Although I respect Bill and Tom, we still don't have information from the Obama administration on what went so tragically wrong in Benghazi," Ros-Lehtinen said. "We have been combing classified and unclassified documents and have tough questions about State Department threat assessments and decision-making on Benghazi. This requires a public appearance by the Secretary of State herself."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dem porkers in DC at work, pork in Sandy Bill...

Conservative groups say the Senate’s $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy supplemental bill is loaded with millions of dollars in spending unrelated to damage from the devastating storm.
The bill includes $2 million to fix museum roofs in Washington, D.C.; $100 million for Head Start centers; $348 million for damage to parks, including the Statue of Liberty’s island; and $4 million to repair the Kennedy Space Center and other launch sites. It also includes funding for commercial fisheries disasters for as far away as American Samoa.

The Club for Growth announced Monday that it would score a vote for the bill negatively because of the unrelated spending.

“When a natural disaster occurs, there is a textbook response by Congress — they cobble together an overpriced bill that isn’t paid for, there’s no accountability or oversight, and it’s filled with pork. This proposal is no different,” the group said in an alert announcing its decision.
The Club called on senators to strip out unnecessary items and fully offset the rest of the package with spending cuts.
Heritage Action for America, a conservative advocacy group, on Monday announced it is also scoring the vote on the Sandy bill.
“While Hurricane Sandy was a major disaster, the majority of the funds being requested are being spent beyond FY 2014, and much of the funding goes toward superfluous programs that have no direct relation to Hurricane Sandy,” it said.
The White House on Monday formally backed the legislation, which closely mirrors President Obama’s request for disaster aid.
A statement says the bill “ensures that funds are invested wisely to improve communities’ long-term resilience and protect against waste, fraud and abuse.” It urges Congress to pass the bill without spending offsets. The Senate begun debate on the measure Monday.
Heritage Action points out that the Senate bill contains $150 million for fishery disasters but the language could allow money to be spent far from the Sandy impact zone in places like American Samoa, which is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Matt Mayer of Heritage said that once unnecessary spending is removed, only $12.8 billion in the funding bill would need to be spent now.
He argued that $3 billion in the bill to repair or replace federal equipment or facilities should be made part of the regular appropriations process.
The bill replaces vehicles for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency, port scanners and other equipment damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Mayer says $28 billion in future storm prevention should also be left for later. Supporters of including mitigation spending say that planning for huge infrastructure projects needs firm funding commitments months in advance.
Steve Ellis, vice president for Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group, said the Senate version of the relief package lowered the bar for Army Corps of Engineers projects to receive government funding. He also noted increased funding for Amtrak in the legislation.
“People are still hurting here, and, yes, they do need help,” Ellis said. “But the more extraneous things that get tacked on, the more it becomes a gravy train for miscellaneous projects rather than a true relief bill.”
Taxpayers for Common Sense released a more detailed analysis of the bill on Monday. It points out that the bill spends $20,000 to buy a new car for the Department of Justice inspector general, allows the government to rebuild or relocate flood-prone state facilities in 30 states, has $821 million for dredging projects nationwide and allows loan cancellations for Hurricane Katrina-related loans.
Lobbyists pushing for the relief package are also worried extraneous items could derail the bill.
“We do not want to have a long shopping list,” said Tony Pratt, vice president of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.
Pratt, who is also the administrator of shoreline and waterway management for the state of Delaware, said he would like the bill to help direct recovery efforts as well as finance coastal towns’ preparation to reduce damage from future storms.
“There’s a concern that things can get tacked on that are not directly related,” Pratt said. “As long as they fall into those two categories — which is repair and building toward resilient communities — I think the comfort level will be pretty high.”
The House Appropriations Committee is continuing to investigate the items in the Senate bill and does not yet know when its work will be completed, Jennifer Hing, a spokeswoman for Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Monday.
If the Senate passes its bill, the next step would be to go to a conference committee with the House. The Senate legislation is attached to a military construction and Veterans Affairs bill that has already passed the House.

Australia proves - Gun bans equals increased crime

Cheers armed robberies rose significantly and home invasions rose as well. Moreover, assaults involving guns rose more than a 25% and murders with a gun rose nearly 20%. And it will be MUCH WORSE in the US

Senate’s Hurricane Sandy relief plan


The Disaster Assistance Supplemental provides $60.4 billion in discretionary funding. The emergency spending contained in this bill is equal to the President’s request, and contains no earmarks. A summary of the legislation is provided below.


Department of Agriculture: $224 million

Emergency Conservation: $25.090 million
The Emergency Conservation Program provides emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures.

Emergency Forest Restoration: $58.855 million
The Emergency Forest Restoration Program provides funding to carry out emergency measures to restore nonindustrial private forest land damaged by a natural disaster.

Emergency Watershed Protection: $125.055 million
The Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program provides financial and technical assistance to undertake emergency measures to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of the watershed.

Emergency Food Assistance: $15 million
The Emergency Food Assistance Program provides USDA commodities to food banks throughout the country in order to provide nutrition assistance to low-income individuals and communities in need.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): $482 million
 $57 million for NOAA to locate, map, identify, track and clean up marine debris.
 $63 million to repair and improve hurricane and severe weather forecasting capabilities.
 $15 million to repair NOAA facilities and ocean observing and coastal monitoring equipment damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
 $150 million for fishery disasters declared by the Secretary of Commerce in 2012.
 $197 million to evaluate, stabilize, restore, and protect coastal ecosystems and habitat impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Department of Justice (DOJ): $15.25 million
$15.25 million to repair DOJ facilities and replace equipment damaged by Hurricane Sandy. These funds include: $4 million for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), $1 million for the Drug Enforcement Administration, $230,000 for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and $20,000 for the DOJ Inspector General.

National Aeronautics and Space Admin. (NASA): $15 million
Funds are provided to repair NASA facilities damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC): $1 million
Funds are provided for technology and disaster coordinators to assist low-income clients eligible for legal aid in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Department of Defense: $88.3 million
The recommendation funds 362 projects to repair damaged facilities and utilities, replace lost equipment, and remove debris in Department of Defense locations directly impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The projects range in size from $22 million to restore the pier complex at Naval Weapons Station Earle in New Jersey to multiple projects under $10,000 to repair damages sustained from water and high winds.


Corps of Engineers: $5.350 billion
Disaster Recovery: $1.838 billion.
 $1.008 billion for Flood Control and Coastal Emergency needs to restore projects to their design profiles rather than the pre-storm condition.
 $821 million for Operation & Maintenance needs.
 $9 million in Construction to repair damages to projects that were under construction at the time of Sandy.

Mitigation: $3.512 billion
 $3.452 billion for Construction needs.
 $50 million for Investigations to conduct studies.
 $10 million for general expenses for the Corps to manage the work.

Small Business Administration: $812 million
$812 million is included to support the Small Business Administration’s response to Hurricane Sandy. Of the total amount for SBA, $760 million is provided for the disaster loan program to support lending to individuals suffering residential physical damage, to businesses of all sizes suffering physical damage, and to small businesses suffering economic injury.

An additional $5 million is provided for the Office of Inspector General to conduct oversight on the disaster loan program. For business redevelopment, $20 million is provided for grants to SBA’s partners (such as Small Business Development Centers) to provide immediate technical assistance for restarting businesses and for longer-term redevelopment counseling, and $20 million is provided for grants to states and local economic development entities for long-term redevelopment initiatives, including for regional business “clusters.”

General Services Administration: $7 million
$7 million is included to fund emergency repairs to federal buildings in New York and New Jersey impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The request consists of 24 projects at 12 facilities, including window replacement, roof repair, addressing water intrusion and drainage issues, build-out of space for displaced tenants, and repair of damage to mechanical and electrical building systems.

Department of Homeland Security: $21.8 billion
Federal Emergency Management Agency:
 $11.5 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund to support disaster response and recovery needs;
 $300 million to subsidize Community Disaster Loans for local government operating expenses to prevent a cash flow problem for disaster response and recovery; and
 An increase of $9.7 billion in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) borrowing authority (FEMA is expected to exhaust current borrowing authority by January 7, 2013)

United States Coast Guard: $274.2 million
Rebuilds and restores facilities and property damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Of the 38 shore facility locations in the states of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, 23 sustained damage.

Customs and Border Protection: $1.7 million
Replaces 18 law enforcement vehicles damaged by Hurricane Sandy, including 4 mobile x-ray machines, and replenishes supplies (including generators) and damaged information technology equipment

Immigration and Customs Enforcement: $855,000
Replaces 40 law enforcement vehicles that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy at various locations in New York and New Jersey

United States Secret Service: $300,000
Replaces 8 damaged law enforcement vehicles and the radio communications equipment in each vehicle

Science and Technology: $3.3 million
Repairs work to the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. The Center’s support facilities sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy, including: beach erosion and a major undersea power cable.

Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: $3.9 million
Replaces radiation detection equipment destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Language Issues:
Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Louisiana, Mississippi, and other states struggled with the many cumbersome disaster recovery laws and regulations that simply are inadequate in dealing with a catastrophic disaster. In general, the Stafford Act only allows FEMA to build back the infrastructure that was in place before a disaster or deters communities from building to a higher standard that will mitigate the next disaster. This often creates needless bureaucratic hurdles to state and local governments as they rebuild after a disaster. Senators Landrieu and Cochran were successful in the months and years following Katrina/Rita to enact reforms but those reforms were limited to the Federal response to Katrina/Rita. Consistent with Chairman Landrieu’s statement at the December 5, 2012, Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee hearing, the bill provides similar reforms for Hurricane Sandy and future catastrophic disasters. These reforms are drawn from the Landrieu/Cochran disaster reform bill. Reforms would:
 improve FEMA’s Public Assistance programs to expedite rebuilding that has been well planned and includes mitigation measures for future disasters;
 relieve administrative burdens for very small projects;
 provide a cost effect alternative to contracting services when the local community can provide the service;
 expedite recovery by streamlining federal agency processes that ensure compliance with historic and environmental reviews;
 continue a third party dispute resolution process for major projects;
 require transparency on determinations to provide individual assistance by FEMA;

 allow for coverage of child care costs related to disaster recovery through FEMA individual assistance;
 allow FEMA to complete repair on rental properties as a cost-effective alternative to mobile homes;
 make Tribal governments directly eligible for FEMA assistance instead of assistance being provided through States;
 require a report on the sufficiency of the Community Disaster Loan program.

Department of Interior:
National Park Service, Construction: $348 million
The bill provides $348 million in immediate reconstruction and recovery needs for Park Service units along the Eastern Seaboard that were damaged during the storm. Funds will be used for emergency stabilization needs and to replace or reconstruct facilities, roads and trails. The amount provides needed funding for iconic properties that were damaged during the storm including the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island.

National Park Service, Historic Preservation Fund: $50 million
The bill provides $50 million to fund grants to States that received Presidential major disaster declarations for Hurricane Sandy to fund rehabilitation and restoration of historic properties.

Office of the Secretary, Departmental Operations: $150 million
The bill provides $150 million in flexible funding for the Office of the Secretary for restoration, recovery and mitigation priorities to protect against future storms and natural disasters. Funds provided within this appropriation can be transferred by the Secretary to any departmental program and may be used to fund activities such as restoration and habitat improvement grants to States and coastal restoration projects for national parks and refuges.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Construction: $78 million
The bill provides $78 million for immediate reconstruction and recovery needs for national wildlife refuges on the Eastern Seaboard. Funds will be used for emergency stabilization needs, to replace or reconstruct facilities, roads and trails, and to implement facilities improvements needed to mitigate anticipated damage from future storms.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Oil Spill Research: $3 million
The bill provides $3 million to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement for necessary repairs to the bureau’s oil spill response testing facility in New Jersey.

Environmental Protection Agency:
Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Programs: $810 million
The bill provides $810 million in the EPA State and Tribal Assistance Grants appropriation for clean water and drinking water state revolving funds in states affected by Hurricane Sandy, including $700 million for clean water needs and $110 million for drinking water needs. Funds will flow through the Clean and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds programs and will be used in conjunction with other FEMA and Community Development Block Grant funds to provide targeted funding to upgrade water infrastructure to protect against future flooding, storm damage and other natural disasters.

Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund: $5 million
The bill provides $5 million to the EPA leaking underground storage tank cleanup program to address contaminant releases from federally regulated underground storage tanks.

Hazardous Substance Superfund: $2 million
The bill provides $2 million to the EPA Superfund program to assess, stabilize, and repair the damage at several Superfund National Priority List sites.

Environmental Programs and Management: $725,000
The bill provides $725,000 to assess water quality impact from partially treated or raw sewage and contaminated runoff and fund necessary repairs to damaged EPA facilities.

U.S. Forest Service:
Capital Improvement and Maintenance: $4,400,000
The bill provides $4.4 million for the Service to fund immediate reconstruction and recovery needs for affected national forests.

Smithsonian Institution:
Salaries and Expenses: $2,000,000
The bill includes $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to address repairs to facilities damaged during Hurricane Sandy. Roof repairs will be needed at the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, the National Air and Space Museum and its Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Zoo, the Museum Support Center and the Herndon Data Center.


Department of Health and Human Services: $800 million
Administration for Children and Families, Social Services Block Grant (SSBG): $500 million
SSBG can be used for a wide range of social services. The primary uses of these funds are expected to be child care, including construction for damaged facilities; child and adult health and mental health services; and other human services.

Administration for Children and Families, Children and Families Services (Head Start): $100 million
This funding will pay for repairing approximately 265 Head Start centers that were damaged in the hurricane and other supplemental costs associated with continuing services to affected children

Office of the Secretary, Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund:
$200 million
Most of this funding will be used to support NIH research grant programs that suffered major damage.

Department of Labor: $50 million
Employment and Training Administration, Training and Employment Services:
$50 million
This funding will go to the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker National Reserve, which will fund the temporary expansion of training and employment programs to help dislocated workers and worker protection activities.


Military Construction: $24.2 million
Army National Guard: $24.2 million to replace eight damaged facilities at Sea Girt National Guard Training Center in New Jersey. The buildings experienced significant structural damage as a result of the storm surge and must be demolished and replaced.

Department of Veterans Affairs: $235.6 million
Major Construction: $207 million for the renovation and repair of key departments and systems at the VA Manhattan Medical Center. The facility experienced severe flooding and remains closed.

Medical Services: $21 million to replace damaged or destroyed medical equipment at the Manhattan Medical Center.

Medical Facilities: $6 million to repair or replace medical equipment and building systems at VA facilities throughout New York, including the Manhattan and Montrose VA Medical Centers.

National Cemetery Administration: $1.1 million to repair storm-related damages at three national cemeteries: Beverly, NJ; Cypress Hills, NY; and Long Island, NY.

Information Technology (IT): $500,000 for the repair or replacement of damaged IT equipment at the Manhattan Medical Center.

Department of Transportation: $12.070 billion

Federal Aviation Administration Facilities and Equipment Program: $30 million
The funds will pay for the most urgently needed repairs to facilities and equipment located at airports impacted by Hurricane Sandy and owned by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Emergency Relief Program: $921 million
The Emergency Relief Program pays for the repair of roads and bridges damaged by disasters.

National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak): $336 million
The funding will pay for property damage, operating losses, and improvements necessary to protect Amtrak’s tunnel system against future flooding and increase capacity into New York City. These enhancements will improve the resiliency of the rail and transit systems that serve the nation’s largest metropolis and financial capital.

Emergency Relief for Public Transportation: $10.783 billion
The funding will be provided through the Public Transportation Emergency Relief program to pay for the repair and restoration of public transit systems in the areas most affected by Hurricane Sandy, and to support mitigation projects that make transit systems better able to resist future storms and the rise in sea levels. Of the amount provided in the bill, up to $5,383 million may be transferred to other agencies at the Department of Transportation to support mitigation projects in other modes of transportation.

Department of Housing and Urban Development: $17 billion
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): $17 billion
The funding provided in this account includes $15 billion for disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The bill includes an additional $2 billion for mitigation to reduce future risk. The bill requires the Secretary to establish a minimum award for all of the states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
The bill language provides flexibility so that funds can be awarded and used quickly in impacted areas, while also ensuring accountability. Recipients of disaster CDBG funding will be required to submit plans for approval on how funding will be used to ensure funds are addressing the most pressing needs of impacted areas. The bill includes $10 million for HUD to conduct oversight and provide technical assistance to grantees. Specifically, the bill requires HUD to ensure grantees are placing appropriate performance requirements in contracts. In addition, $10 million is provided for HUD’s Office of Inspector General to monitor the use of these funds.

The Right to bare arms is not so you can go Quail hunting

The Right to bare arms is not so you can go Quail hunting The right to bare arms is about self defense from other people and other countries.

1998 Teamster Beating Victims Demand Unions Stop the Violence; Call Lansing, Michigan Union Assault Disgraceful and Criminal

Philadelphia, PA (December 14, 2012) -- Teri Adams and Don Adams, Co-Founders of the Independence  Hall Tea Party Association, who were viciously beaten by members of Teamsters Local 115 while protesting Bill Clinton at the height of the Lewinsky scandal in 1998, are calling on Unions and their supporters to stop employing violence or threats of violence as they did in Lansing Michigan this past Wednesday. 
(Click youtube video link of 1998 assault below.)

"The Union assault, which occurred this week in Lansing, fits a pattern of Union violence that takes place in Democrat controlled cities during Democrat Presidential Administrations after prominent local elected officials give the signal," said Teri Adams.

"In 1998, during the Clinton administration, Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell commanded Teamsters to 'drown out [Clinton] protesters' before a rally outside Philadelphia's City Hall.  The Teamsters then proceeded to assault several protesters, including my brother and I, who were jumped and viciously beaten.

"Two days ago, during the Obama Administration, Michigan Democrat State Rep. Douglas Geiss threatened, 'there will be blood, there will be repercussions,' if Right to Work legislation were to pass in Michigan.  Sure enough, within hours of the bill's enactment, several Right to Work supporters were assaulted at a rally.

"The Union behavior in Lansing was both disgraceful and criminal.
"Of course, just last year in Detroit, none other than Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. declared 'war' on the Tea Party Movement and told a pro-labor crowd to 'take out those sons of b-----s before introducing President Obama,'" said Ms. Adams.  

"President Obama should have condemned Mr. Hoffa's remarks. Instead, he thanked the IBT President--which can only mean one thing. Mr. Obama agreed with the 'war' premise.

"My brother, Don, and I fought the Teamsters, for over a decade, in order to keep union thuggery in check.  As a result of our actions, five members of Local 115 were eventually convicted of assault and, in 2008, the 
Teamsters were forced to settle a civil law suit in which Mr. James Hoffa, Jr. was named," said Ms. Adams.

"But the wheels of justice were particularly slow to move as the Democrat Administrations controlling Philadelphia and Washington, DC, were reluctant, or downright hostile towards prosecuting the Teamster thugs."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ever wonder why the Jews didn't fight back?

Their weapons were taken from them a few years before the Nazi atrocities began in earnest. Now Obama wants to take our arms right before our economy collapses. That makes a dictatorship easier when the time comes. The Government isn't joking with these Zombie Apocalypse exercises. They guy was mentally ill. You want to stop these attacks? get the mentally ill off the street. Better for a few people to lose their rights than an entire country.

Sadly, this is still relevant 44 years later

"This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity, my only event of today, to speak briefly to you about the mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one - no matter where he lives or what he does - can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on and on in this country of ours.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of reason.
Whenever any American's life is taken by another American unnecessarily - whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of the law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence - whenever we tear at the fabric of the life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.
"Among free men," said Abraham Lincoln, "there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far-off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire whatever weapons and ammunition they desire.
Too often we honor swagger and bluster and wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach non-violence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some look for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is the slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man's spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all.

I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we know what must be done. When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies, to be met not with cooperation but with conquest; to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this, there are no final answers.

Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is not what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others. We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again."

Robert Kennedy 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How many here have Facebook accounts?

I do, would it be appropriate to share with your friends this blog, via Facebook and perhaps grow the commenting and topic creator quantities? Social media is current, timely and even political too...


Obama has chosen John Kerry as Secretary of State


Sneed had tipped previously that Kerry is Clinton’s first choice for her old job-- and that Obama is interested in U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska for either secretary of state or defense.
Hagel, a Republican, is currently the top candidate for secretary of defense.

One less Republican vote in the Senate... perhaps...?

Friday, December 14, 2012

How long must this go on?

A heavily armed man invaded a Newtown, Conn., elementary school today, killing his mother and 26 others, mostly children, federal and state sources tell ABC News.
The gunman, identified as Ryan Lanza, 24, of New Jersey, was killed inside of the school.
In addition to the casualties at the school, a dead body was also found in his home, officials said. Sources said Lanza was armed with four weapons and wearing a bullet-proof vest when he opened fire in the elementary school.
Among the dead was the gunman's mother, found in the school, sources told ABC News.
"The shooter is deceased inside the building," Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said at a news conference.

You are going to love this letter!

Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming , calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation, as he compared "Social Security" to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.

Here's a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana ... I think she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is!
"Hey Alan, let's get a few things straight!

1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY YEARS.

2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).

3. My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukesdecided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.

4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.
5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the bills.
6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.

To add insult to injury, you label us "greedy" for calling "bullshit" on your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU.

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?
It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the "greedy" ones. It is you and your fellow nutcases who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what?Votes! That's right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it.

And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.
If you like the way things are in America delete this. If you agree with what a fellow Montana citizen Patty Myers says, PASS IT ON!!!!

NOT sorry about the language.....
She tells it like it is...

Post Election Blues?

I see that a few of us cruise through here and comment every now and then.  The Obama supporters are hoping for a miracle and seem satisfied enough that the giant social programs will continue their expansion.  The Romney supporters seem shell shocked and amazed that better than half of the voting public is willing to trade their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms for the unending support of Big Brother.  There are definitely 2 Americas developing.  It used to bother some of us.  Now, it seems that we are growing weary of arguing about it.  Will we let the giant wave of government wash over us without much of a fight any more? Posting our thoughts on a message board was probably never going to make much of a difference anyway.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hillary Clinton to testify on Benghazi on "Get Away Day."


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. / AP Photo

Amid ongoing questions about the September violence in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Capitol Hill next week to testify on the matter, appearing before both House and Senate committees to answer questions about the sequence of events that led up to the attacks, and how the State Department hopes to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Later in the day, Clinton will testify to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the findings of a State Department review of the circumstances surrounding the attacks.
To date, Clinton has largely stayed above the fray of controversy that has dogged the Obama administration surrounding the attacks, even while UN ambassador Susan Rice, a top contender to take her place as Secretary of State, has become mired in criticism.

Okay, bitches, I was holding out for a while, but here you go (the secrets to the economic universe):

Twinsdad DID NOT create the title of this topic...

The principles of economics explained by the gang from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Grade The Recessiovery....

Here, for your comparative studies analytical viewing pleasure, is the current recession recovery in context. Across activity indicators, consumer behavior, labor market developments, and housing & construction, there is a little here for everyone. From vehicle sales to disposable income and from durable goods to industrial production, it seems grading this economy's performance is a matter of 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'.

Extra Credit:
  • Can you spot the government-sponsored segment of the economy?
  • Compare and Contrast Unemployment Rate and Initial Claims with average hours worked and ISM employment.
  • Grade the housing recovery.
Each chart compares the current business cycle with four prior ones: the mild recession/recovery episodes of 1991 and 2001 and the deep V-shaped cycles of 1973 and 1981.
As always, we suspect, we see what we want to see - but here is the chart extravaganza comparing the current to the previous...

Senator employs illegal immigrant sex offender

  December 13, 2012 10:13 am

It’s not always easy to know who’s who these days, especially for employers. Knowing if you’re employing a criminal or illegal alien isn’t always the easiest thing find out.  So, the fact that a Democratic US Senator from New Jersey accidentally allowed an illegal immigrant sex offender to be an intern isn’t really that crazy of an issue …mistakes happen.  The AP writes:
Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender, now under arrest by immigration authorities, The Associated Press has learned.
Obviously, Senator Robert Menedez would never want to employ an illegal immigrant sex offender considering the damage that could do to a bid for reelection.  In addition, the report makes it absolutely clear that the Senator would never have been able to find out the legal and criminal status of Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, the intern, because none of his incriminating information ever showed up in databases that the Senator’s staff would have checked.  However, that still is not where the problem lies…
[Click to read Double Standard: Mexico Imprisons Ex-Marine After Border Dispute]
According to the same AP report, The US Department of Homeland Security didn’t direct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to arrest the criminal until after the election.  While the DHS denies this, the AP’s unnamed sources at ICE say that they were frustrated, because the DHS told them to stand down multiple times:
Authorities in Hudson County notified ICE agents in early October that they suspected Sanchez was an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender and who may be eligible to be deported. ICE agents in New Jersey notified superiors at the Homeland Security Department because they considered it a potentially high profile arrest, and DHS instructed them not to arrest Sanchez until after the November election, one U.S. official told the AP. ICE officials complained that the delay was inappropriate, but DHS directed them several times not to act, the official said.
The fact that the DHS ‘instructed them not to arrest Sanchez until after the November election’, blatantly says that the DHS was directly involved in influencing the outcome of an election.  Had this information come out in a timely, ethical manner as it should have, the outcome of the election may have been different.
So, why was the DHS going through all that trouble to protect Sen. Menedez in the first place?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book Review: Bailout Nation, by Barry Ritholtz

I have not finished reading this book completely, but am at the point in the book where the author expresses a little more opinion then not. In the preceding 19 chapters, however, the author provides a stunningly descriptive and factually accurate portrayal of what lead up to the housing mess and the ensuing bailouts that the author is strongly against. As I have droned on here and MW many times, I had a front row seat for the debacle until the end of 2004. I'm no genius, but by the time I left the bond market, I, and my customers, had absolutely no doubt the blowup was going to come. The only thing I didn't know was how it would actually shake out and which firms would go bankrupt. Though I was too young to remember the bailouts of Lockheed and Continental bank (sorta remember Continental as I lived in Chicago), I definitely remember the S&L debacle and worked with brokers who did business for Long Term Capital. (BTW, I also highly recommend the book, When Genius Failed about THAT fiasco) I watched and felt the effects of deregulation tear through the financial industry and I watched Greenspan endlessly stroke himself on TV only to later admit he "Found a flaw in the model".  This book gives a great timeline and though it has a lot of information, it is easy to follow and explains in simple terms what the hell happened.

That I am encouraging you to read this book, of course, implies there is something that appeals to my twisted libtard thinking. And there is. While the author of the book is not in any way making a case against capitalism, he does draw many straight lines from specific deregulations to bank failures that could not have occurred without such deregulation. At one point, he makes the comment that regulation is not aimed at regulating markets, rather it is aimed at regulating the behavior of the participants. While the author is no fan of excessive regulation, he clearly spells out the difference between the push back against excessive regulation in Reagan's day to the completely deregulated casino of today that Wall Street has become. Unlike those of us who like to claim both parties are responsibly while we secretly maintain only one side is to blame, the author makes  a pretty concise list of who deserves blame for what and that list is rather lengthy and decidedly bipartisan.

Surely, there are several good books out there on this subject, but none I have seen to date offer such a tight and descriptive timeline and dare I say it, some objectivity. Clearly, this author supports letting bad firms fail and does not favor bailouts. Yet, he also makes a good case of why some regulation is needed and why banks and individuals should not be allowed to leverage themselves so deeply. Which has been something I have harped about for a long time. Anyway, I highly recommend this book to anyone who hates Greenspan and hates Bailouts.

Romney's Newest Distinction?

ABC, NBC and CBS Ignore Union Thugs' Attack on Crowder in Michigan

"ABC, CBS and NBC covered the protests but only ABC made mention of
police having to deal with protesters. None of them mentioned the attack
on Crowder or showed the videos of that attack and the thugs tearing
down a tent with people in it, both widely available on the Internet
hours before the evening news show broadcast."
ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” correspondent Alex Perez did
slightly hint at the escalation, but showed nothing at all scary. “The
anger boiling over, officers turning to pepper spray to control the
crowd, at last 10,000 deep,” he told viewers as one man was shown
rubbing his eyes. Anchor Sawyer referred to the law as one that
supporters “believe could be an ominous sign for unions and worker
paychecks everywhere.”

Read more:

The media is bought and paid for.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Government over reach?

Just another case of Government over reach???


Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Sues Federal Government

Ken Salazar said he didn't make his decision regarding the environment, but on law and policy


Less than a week after the U.S. Interior Secretary announced he would shut down a historic Northern California oyster farm along the Point Reyes National Seashore to designate it a wilderness area, the owner of Drakes Bay Oyster Co. filed a lawsuit  challenging that decision.
Kevin Lunny filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Monday, just days after Ken Salazar announced that he would not renew the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. lease, which expired Friday.
The suit, taken up by Cause of Action attorneys along with the Stoel Rives and SSL law firms, are alleging that Salazar and the National Park Service "ignored the U.S. Constitution, violated the National Environmental Policy Act and countless other pieces of legislation." In a statement sent on Tuesday, the lawyers also claim that Salazar "often misrepresented data" in the decision to shut down the farm. Lunny's suit is based on his assertions that his operation disturbs the estuary. In fact, according to Lunny, the scientific studies he is pointing to have shown oysters may actually improve the health of the water.
Salazar was not available for immediate comment, but he had said he based his decision not on the environment, perse, but on law and policy.
The move was thought to have brought a close to a years-long environmental battle over the site. But this suit obviously changes all that. While environmentalists had cheered Salazar's decision to return Drakes Estero to the "state of wilderness that Congress designated for it in 1976," many oyster lovers have been standing behind Lunny.
Salazar's decision came despite the company's powerful allies, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who said the facility should be saved because it is a key part of the rural economy.
Feinstein and the National Academy of Sciences had claimed the National Park Service was trying to get rid of the oyster farm by exaggerating its negative impacts on the environment. During the impasse, more than $1 million in taxpayer money was spent on environmental assessment studies, according to records. 
The company was seeking a 10-year extension of its lease. Lunny, whose family also operates a cattle ranch in the park, had said the history of the national seashore is one that saw commercial interests and environmentalists work together.
"It's part of the history, the community and the tradition of a coastal community,'' Lunny told NBC Bay Area in a previous interview. "It's a national seashore where working landscapes, agriculture and farming were meant to co-exist.'' Environmentalists and park officials said farm's operations threatened nearby harbor seals and other native species.
Lunny has been fighting the battle to save his business for seven years. "We just want to be farmers,"  Lunny, who grew up nearby in West Marin, told NBC Bay Area earlier. "We had no idea we were going to find ourselves in this kind of battle, that's actually turned into a national debate."
The debate has been between Lunny and environmentalists, who have squared-off in a vicious debate over science that's split the otherwise tranquil Point Reyes community.
"This has been very divisive locally," said Amy Trainer of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin, which had successfully lobbied for the oyster company to be shut down. The roots of the brouhaha were planted in 1976, when Congress passed legislation designating Drakes Bay as the first marine wilderness area on the West Coast. Trainer's group was "ecstatic" after Salazar's ruling last week.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thank you New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Tea Party Praises Gov. Christie for Health Insurance Exchange Bill Veto

Philadelphia, PA (December 6, 2012) -- The Independence Hall Tea Party, with thousands of members and friends in Central and South Jersey, is praising Governor Chris Christie, today, for vetoing the latest Health Insurance Exchange bill to reach his desk.

Governor Christie vetoed the bill with hours to spare before the deadline. 

"At least 21 states are now refusing to set up exchanges and we are glad 
Governor Christie has joined Governors John Kasich (R-OH), Scott Walker
(R-WI), and others in rejecting this burdensome feature of ObamaCare," said Association President Teri Adams.  

"The Governor has heeded the calls of our members and others throughout the state."  (See letter below.)

"Implementing a state Health Insurance Exchange could have prove extremely costly--especially when one considers the federal mandates that could apply," said Burlington County resident and Association Board Member Bill Green.

"We realize the Federal government will attempt to set up exchanges for states that refuse to do so.  But state refusal to implement exchanges will make the implementation of ObamaCare much more difficult."

"Without the assistance of the states, it's possible ObamaCare will be crushed by the weight of its own enormous burden," added Ms. Adams.

In the words of President Calvin Coolidge, "It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones."

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Let's see. A proven dictator now holds the Egyptian Presidency. There are pro-Democracy supporters protesting in the streets. The Egyptian military has been called in. pro-Democracy supporters are dying in the streets. WHERE'S OBAMA? ISN'T THIS IDENTICAL TO THE ARAB SPRING? Shouldn't the United States be supporting these students and pro-Democracy advocates? Obama's answer to that is no. Now radical Islamists have been ensconced in power and Sharia law is the basis of their new Constitution. No longer is Egypt secular. Morsi prays for the destruction of Israel. Evidently that is more favorable than supporting the pro-Democracy protesters in Egypt.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Why would anyone want to be president???

Obama family 'costs taxpayers $1.4BILLION per year'

The White House contains a movie theatre which is manned by projectionists 24 hours a day in case one of the family feels like a trip to the cinema.

And even the Obamas' dog Bo costs the taxpayer thousands of dollars - his handler is reportedly paid over $100,000 a year.

Another huge presidential outgoing comes in the form of staff members who can be appointed by the commander-in-chief at his own personal discretion.

226 members of Mr Obama's staff are apparently paid over $100,000 - and the President can increase their salaries at any time.

 But the amount of money  spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.

Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”

“There is no mechanism for anyone’s objection if a president were to pay his chief of staff $5,000,000 a year,” he told TheDC. “And nothing but a president’s conscience can dissuade him from buying his own reelection with use of some public money.”
Aside from a salary, the president gets a $50,000 a year expense account, a $100,000 travel account, $19,000 entertainment budget and an additional million for “unanticipated needs,” he notes.

I want to be president.

It's not just Obama, but he has taken it to a new level.

Marketplace Fairness Act

Durbin Looks to Include Online Sales Tax Provision in Defense Bill

"Dick Durbin (Ill.), the Democrats' assistant majority leader in the Senate, filed an amendment on Friday to include the Marketplace Fairness Act with the defense bill"

"They would get rid of state borders from the perspective of tax law," Brian Bieron, eBay's senior director of U.S. government relations and global policy, said of the sales-tax bills that have been proposed in a video outlining his company's position. "They would make a small business retailer collect and file sales taxes in every state. We think for a small business, that's an especially negative change and we oppose that change."

Bieron added: "All small businesses and entrepreneurs who use the Internet to engage in any kind of retail business should be concerned about these bills. Right now, only a really giant retailer with stores or distribution centers all across the country (has) to collect sales taxes basically everywhere. Those giant retailers are trying to change the law so that every small business has that same tax burden. That would directly increase costs for small retailers. It also means that small business retailers could actually face audits and law enforcement action from any state where they have customers."

If it is such an important piece of legislation why are they trying to hide it in a defense bill?


At the end of October, Hurricane Sandy inflicted a massive amount of damage on New Jersey and the northeast -- homes destroyed, gas and food shortages, millions of citizens without power.

While visiting cleanup efforts with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Barack Obama declared "We are not going to tolerate red tape. We are not going to tolerate bureaucracy."

Apparently, Barack Obama's words do not apply to Big Labor.

You see, according to news reports, volunteer electrical workers from Alabama were turned away from New Jersey because they dared to exercise their rights under Alabama's Right to Work law to remain free from forced unionism.

This is outrageous to say the least.

Even during a time of crisis, Big Labor's top priority remained expanding its forced-dues power over workers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Home mortgage deduction elimination

Lot's of talk about getting rid of it. Sure, hold down interest rates to near zero where the deduction is nice but not necessary. Kill the deduction then let interest rates zoom up and screw the another American asset.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rick Majerus dies

I've noticed that 65 is about the maximum age people reach if they are obese. Seemed like a nice guy.

Fiscal Cliff negotiations.

Since the Republicans are willing to generate 1 Trillion in taxes on the top 2%, the Dems should be willing to compromise on HOW those revenues are generated. i.e. limit deductions. In fact raising the marginal rates may do little to generate new revenue as people move towards tax free muni's OR capital gains tax. In that way, the Republican offer is superior. Geithner is being a complete A-hole. Obama is giving himself zero negotiating room by campaigning for higher marginal rates. Oh entitlement reform? Geithner says the Dems are offering entitlement reform.But social security and medicare are off the table, so exactly what reform are they talking about. The Obama admin wants to nail family farmers and their "subsidies" in red states to the tune of 1 trillion dollars. Such a nice guy. BTW, Warren Buffet has lost his marbles. He should demand entitlement reform. BTW, Entitlement reform is just another way to screw the rich so he should be all for it. Means testing, later retirement age, higher medicare premiums for the "wealthy" i.e. those who earn more than $250,000 a year.(or maybe it will be lower)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lowering the unemployment rate.

In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments. In 2011, the number was 8,600,000. In 1960, the percentage of the economically active population aged 18 to 64 years old receiving disability benefits was 0.65 percent. In 2010, it was 5.6 percent.

 Things have changed. Americans have grown healthier, and significantly lower numbers die before 65 than was the case a half-century ago. Nevertheless, the disability rolls have ballooned.
One reason is that the government seems to have gotten more openhanded with those claiming vague ailments.

In 1960, only one-fifth of disability benefits went to those with “mood disorders”  and “musculoskeletal” problems. In 2011, nearly half of those on disability voiced such complaints.
“It is exceptionally difficult — for all practical purposes, impossible,” writes Eberstadt, “for a medical professional to disprove a patient’s claim that he or she is suffering from sad feelings or back pain.”

Many people are gaming or defrauding the system. This includes not only disability recipients but health-care professionals, lawyers, and others who run ads promising to get you disability benefits.

Between 1996 and 2011, the private sector generated 8.8 million new jobs, and 4.1 million  people entered the disability rolls.  The ratio of disability cases to new jobs has been  worse during the sluggish recovery from the 2007–09 recession. Between January 2010 and December 2011, there were 1,730,000 new jobs and 790,000 new people collecting disability.

This is not just a matter of laid-off workers in their 50s or early 60s qualifying for disability in the years before they become eligible for Social Security old-age benefits.

In 2011, 15 percent of disability recipients were in their 30s or early 40s.  The government transfers  $130 billion obtained from taxpayers or borrowed from purchasers of Treasury bonds to disability beneficiaries every year.

The human cost:   Consider the plight of someone who at some level knows he can work but decides to collect disability payments instead.  That person is not likely to ever seek work again, especially if the sluggish recovery turns out to be the new normal.  He may be gleeful that he was able to game the system or just grimly determined to get what he can in a tough situation. But he will not be able to get the satisfaction of earned success from honest work that contributes something to society and the economy.

 Is the government helping Americans that have questionable disabilities or is this one way to lower the unemployment rate.

Michael Barone