Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Pam Stout (Sandpoint Idaho Teaparty) on David Letterman- 3 parts
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
More than a decade ago, Congress set out to squeeze the fraud out of Medicare billing at nursing homes, requiring more precise justifications for costs. It created new "ultra-high" billing categories intended to be used for only 5 percent of the patients needing highly specialized care and rehabilitation.
But within a few years, nursing homes flooded the ultra-high categories with patients, contributing to $542 million a year in potential overpayments, federal analysts found.
Since then, the numbers in the ultra-high categories have quadrupled, and the amount of waste and abuse could reach billions of dollars a year, according to nursing home experts and a Washington Post examination of the program. The billing program is specifically targeted in President Obama's health-care legislation passed last week by Congress, changing two rules that experts said have been exploited by nursing homes to inflate bills.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The nation’s state and local government employee retirement systems totaled $3.2 trillion in holdings and assets in 2008, a loss of $178.8 billion, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
These data come from the 2008 State and Local Government Employee Retirement Systems Survey, which provides an annual look at the financial activity of the nation’s state and local public employee retirement systems, including cash and security investment holdings, receipts and payments.
“Shortfalls in state and local government pension plans may have long-term consequences for some state and local governments,” said Lisa Blumerman, chief of the Census Bureau’s Governments Division. “These data allow the user to annually monitor the characteristics of these retirement systems.”
Sunday, March 28, 2010
LOS ANGELES -- Shomari Jennings was willing to pay the $70 ticket he received for driving without a seatbelt, but not the slew of tacked-on fees and penalties that ballooned the cost more than tenfold.
Every $10 of his base fine triggered a $26 "penalty assessment" for courthouse construction, a DNA identification program, emergency medical services and other programs. Other fees ranged from $1 to $35.
"It's the new tax," Jennings, 30, complained while waiting in traffic court to contest a staggering bill compounded by a $500 fine for missing a court date.
And motorists can only expect more of the same as cash-strapped cities and states consider measures ranging from expansion of red-light camera systems to charging drivers for cleanup after accidents.
Some 3,800 Big Apple motorists were nailed yesterday for using their cellphones while driving in an NYPD crackdown.
The summonses were issued during the first part of a routine 24-hour dragnet designed to stop motorists from chatting or texting up a storm and endangering drivers, passengers and pedestrians, police said.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.
When it comes to those issues, 47% think that their own political views are closer to those of the average Tea Party member than to the views of the average member of
Congress. On this point, 26% feel closer to Congress.
Finally, 46% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is more ethical than the average member of Congress. Twenty-seven percent (27%) say that the average member of Congress is more ethical.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Backers and foes of a proposed sales tax hike came nearly face to face Friday in competing — and simultaneous — rallies at the state Capitol.
Ax The Tax, the group formed to fight against the 1-cent increase that will be on the May 18 ballot, brought in Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber” to buttress their argument that state government is still too big and the only answer to the deficit is to cut further.
TOPEKA — Kansas Senate Democrats said Friday that they will roll out a tax proposal next week that will include raising the income tax to help balance the state budget.
Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said that the plan would also include raising the state sales tax. Gov. Mark Parkinson offered that idea during his State of the State address in January. Democrats are looking at increasing the tax rates for the highest-earning residents.
Friday, March 26, 2010
In modern-day America, some state governments already exhibit disturbing elements of slavery. The state constitutions of New York and Illinois clearly state that government workers' pensions can't be diminished. Thus, taxpayers are responsible for generous compensation that they will not get but are coerced into paying. Historically, the purpose of a constitution is to enumerate and limit the power of government, not to enshrine special privileges for a special class of individuals.
Nearly 2,000 House of Representative staffers pulled down six-figure salaries in 2009, including 43 staffers who earned the maximum $172,500 — or more than three times the median U.S. household income.
Starting salaries on Capitol Hill are still low — many entry-level congressional jobs pay less than $30,000 a year. And many of the most highly paid staffers could make several times the maximum by jumping to lobbying and consulting jobs in the private sector.
But the salary data, compiled for POLITICO by LegiStorm.com, show that it’s possible to make an enviable living in Congress, even without winning an election.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
The Dem party committees have been working hard to pin the scattered intimidation on GOP leaders, with party officials even scouring the local papers for ways of blaming violence on Republican officials. GOP leaders such as John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and now Brown have already condemned the violence.
The whole thing is reminiscent of the summer, when Dem officials worked hard to elevate the town hall “mobs” in order to blame the unruly behavior on GOP rhetoric. It’s unclear, however, whether that effort did anything more than create a general sense in the public mind that the health care bill was deeply unpopular, and it’s equally unclear whether the current effort will accomplish anything more than that this time around.
The problem, he said, is that payments have risen more than expected during the downturn, because jobs disappeared and people applied for benefits sooner than they had planned. At the same time, the program’s revenue has fallen sharply, because there are fewer paychecks to tax.
Analysts have long tried to predict the year when Social Security would pay out more than it took in because they view it as a tipping point — the first step of a long, slow march to insolvency, unless Congress strengthens the program’s finances.
- Begin The Golden Sneaker Program, which will help teachers incorporate physical activity and health eating into the curriculum.
- Create a bike rental around Nashville so people can see the city and get exercise at the same time.
- Promote health eating by putting fresh foods in corner stores and neighborhoods markets.
PLEASE JOIN us at a meeting on Tuesday March 30 at the Milan VFW at 7PM to get all the information you need. WTJS's Mike Slater will be there along with members of the Gibson County Patriots and TN Tax Revolt.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
In all, 37 per cent of Americans agree with the core policies of the National Tea Party movement, while 24 per cent disagree. Republicans (62%) and Independents (46%) are more likely to endorse these policies than Democrats (21%).
One-in-four Americans (23%) foresee the National Tea Party movement having a positive effect on American politics—including 47 per cent of Republicans—while 14 per cent believe it will have a negative effect.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- If you thought Tea Party activists were mad before, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Instead of being discouraged by passage of health care reform, tea party activists across the country say the defeat is a rallying cry that makes them more focused than ever on voting out any lawmaker who supported the measure.
"We're not going to stop. Obviously, the whole tea party movement started because we're about smaller government and less spending and less taxes. There is absolutely no way we can pay for this," said Denise Cattoni, state coordinator for Illinois Tea Party, an umbrella group for about 50 groups from around Illinois.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
With the critical nature of a looming Congressional decision, a broad coalition of Tea Party organizations and leadership is launching the final push before a possible vote by the House. These events are being coordinated across the US and are aimed at communicating the frustration of the people while demanding the termination of this health bill legislation. While the DNC and the administration continue to obfuscate and confuse, this coalition is focused on getting activists involved prior to Pelosi's maneuvering.
The following actions are planned for the next 72 hours:
· Calling campaigns to the House by constituents to vote no on the bill
· "Talk to Washington" healthcare town halls in Mississippi, Pennsylvania and other states
· Code Red rally in Washington, DC at 12 noon on Saturday at Upper Senate Park
· Nationwide "Virtual Vigil" on BlogTalk radio sponsored by DoctorsandPatients.org
· Candlelight vigil around the Capitol on Saturday night
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"At the end of the day, you have to vote -- and vote for candidates. Rallies can only get you so far," said Mark Skoda, who in July founded the Memphis Tea Party PAC, the first federal PAC on record to bear the "tea party" moniker. "Creating political action committees is a good thing for us. It's a logical outcome of the growth of the movement."
For Kimberly Curtis, who last month founded the North Carolina-based Tea Party PAC of the USA, contributing more than $1,000 a month to PAC-endorsed candidates' campaigns ranks high among her goals.
"We're small, but everybody on both sides of the aisle better take a step back and take notice to what's happening here," she said. "The PAC will help us get the word out and allow us to seek, endorse and support conservative candidates."
Curtis acknowledged thinking twice before creating a PAC, explaining that her local tea partiers "were struggling to figure out the best way to move forward this year -- should we start a PAC, or should we stay decentralized?"
In the end, she said, a PAC seemed to be the best vehicle to promote candidates in whom they believed.
The federal PACs founded by Skoda and Curtis are joined by five others:
· Tea Party PAC of New York City, N.Y. (December 17)
· Tea Party PAC Inc. of McLean, Va. (December 29)
· Tea Party Patriots PAC Inc. of McLean, Va. (January 15)
· Independence Hall Tea Party PAC of Chelteham, Pa. (February 19)
· Tea Party Coalition of Clarence, N.Y. (February 25)
Toronto, ON – The majority of Canadians (59%) ‘agree’ (14% completely/45% somewhat) that ‘as a result of the increasing cost of providing universal healthcare in Canada, governments will not be able to continue to afford the current health care system while continuing to provide other services...
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The case — which puts the state in the unusual position of arguing against its own law and calling part of its constitution unconstitutional — began last fall after then-Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells rejected the committee’s notice that it intended to begin a recall effort against Menendez. The removal process requires the secretary of state to approve such a notice before a recall committee can begin generating petitions.
The archives, at C-SpanVideo.org, cover 23 years of history and five presidential administrations and are sure to provide new fodder for pundits and politicians alike. The network will formally announce the completion of the C-Span Video Library on Wednesday.
Monday, March 15, 2010
A wave of new tax hikes hit Greece on Monday, raising the cost of consumer goods despite recession and high unemployment, as European Union finance ministers gathered in Brussels to discuss the country's debt crisis.
The centre-left government has increased the main sales tax from 19 to 21 per cent, as part of a €16-billion ($22-billion) austerity package intended to cut the budget deficit by almost a third this year.
The tax hike raised the cost of fuel and most consumer goods and services, although many retailers have said they will try to minimize the effect on shelf prices.
Central Athens green grocer Vangelis Tangalos said the sales tax increase would further damage weak sales.
“We're already 30 to 40 per cent down,” he said. “Now with the increase there will be even more of an effect.”