Sunday, July 31, 2011

Our latest Tennessee Tax Revolt T-Shirt: Please Don't Feed the Animals

GM got $17 mil of TN Taxpayer money...and then said bye, bye, bye

Great Tennessean investigative piece by Chas Sisk. One of the many money pots controlled by State politicians is the Fast Track Job Training fund. It is another ridiculous attempt to out guess the free market by our vote seeking politicians. (always doomed to failure) The pols always screw up such schemes but always justify them with their good intentions to "create jobs."

The very BEST way for them to create jobs is to be completely IRRELEVANT when it comes to business decisions. PLEASE. Mr politician, what we need is for you to retract your nose from unwanted places...that's all we ask.

HERE is the complete database.

Using OUR tax money to lobby for more..of course it ought to be illegal

University of Tennessee Spends Millions to get more taxpayer booty

Buying influence: State, local governments spend more than $1 billion to lobby Washington

Rubio's extraordinary Senate Floor Speech: Delay IS the Democratic Plan

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Patients struggle even to get on waiting lists in UK

Link
One woman waiting four months for a knee operation was told by a hospital that her name would drop off the list unless she replied to a letter, while a man had to pay £11,000 for a replacement hip after his doctors repeatedly refused to refer him for treatment. A multiple sclerosis sufferer claimed he had had to wait 18 months just to be added to a waiting list.

The examples emerged after The Daily Telegraph disclosed how health service funding bodies are artificially increasing waiting times as they wait for patients to die or go private.

The row prompted Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, to accuse the Primary Care Trusts that currently pay for treatment of “cynically” trying to “game” the system, and promise that under his reforms patients’ needs will be the priority.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Other Welfare - SSI for Children

Link
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for children was created mainly for those with severe physical disabilities. But the $10 billion in federal benefit checks now goes primarily to indigent children with behavioral, learning and mental conditions. Qualifying is not always easy -- many applicants believe it is essential that a child needs to be on psychotropic drugs to qualify. But once enrolled, there is little incentive to get off. And officials rarely check to see if the children are getting better.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

NO, NO, NO on the Boehner Compromise, not just no, HELL NO!!

Cut, Cap and Balance has been approved, that is the plan.

If the Democrats have a plan, let them present it. Cut. Cap and Balance is the very LEAST we should expect in response to a Federal Government that is Completely out of fiscal control. The ratings agencies can kiss my hairy hound dog, we are already in defacto bankruptcy when you factor in the unfunded liability of SS and Medicare. This is NOT the time for compromise.

Cartoon: Let's Compromise

Irish Government introduces "Household Tax" to pay for debt bailout

The politicians screw up and the citizens bail them out....sounds right.

Link
The Irish government has introduced a levy on the majority of households in order to pay for local services and meet commitments made to its bailout creditors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

75% of applications for government sick benefits in UK are fradulent

Link
Only seven per cent were assessed as completely incapable of work, qualifying for unconditional state support.

Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s shocking that so many of those trying to claim this benefit are in fact well enough to do some kind of work.

“Reform is needed so those who can work are helped to find a job and not left trapped on benefits.

Rhode Island City can not pay pensions, has to restructure

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What can you do when a State or Local official violates your Constitutional Rights?

Allen Barrett runs a great blog in Giles County, Giles Free Speech Zone. Its a good example of a Tennessee Citizen using a blog to get the word out about local politics.

Allen believes his free speech rights may have been violated by local officials and he cites a section of the US code that allows citizens to pursue legal action because of the violation of constitutional rights.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sorry Food Police: It's Time to deflate the Salt/Sodium dogma

Link
This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease. These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Will Rahm Emanuel's kids go to Public Schools? Are you kidding me

They are going to the same exclusive private school Sasha and Malia Obama attended.

Video Link

"Default" is unthinkable but Fed is planning for it

This is all just a big wad of orchestrated soap opera. "Default" is the ONLY way to get the federal government to say: "THIS spending is more important than THIS spending."

Link
The Treasury has repeatedly said default was unthinkable and that there was no alternative to raising the debt ceiling. Plosser's remarks marked the most extensive public comments yet on preparations for a default from a U.S. official.

A Treasury spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.

One aspect of the Fed's contingency planning is purely operational: the Fed is developing procedures about how the Treasury would notify it on which checks would get cleared and which wouldn't, Plosser said.

The Fed effectively acts as the Treasury's bank -- it clears the government's checks to everyone from social security recipients to government workers.

"We are developing processes and procedures by which the Treasury communicates to us what we are going to do," Plosser said, adding that the task was manageable. "How the Fed is going to go about clearing government checks. Which ones are going to be good? Which ones are not going to be good?"

Fear mongering ratchets up as debt ceiling "deadline" approaches

Threats of debt rating reductions at the state level like this are ridiculous and irrelevant and transparent propaganda.

Increasing debt is NEVER the solution to a debt problem.

The rising chorus of fear mongering propaganda is coming from the big government crowd.

Their real fear: Government will be smaller.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Teens in horseplay incident must register as sex offenders

Link via Radley Balko
Call it bullying or call it horseplay. Either way, a state appellate court panel says roughhousing with a sexual connotation by a pair of 14-year-old Somerset County boys was a crime that requires them to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

In a decision handed down Monday, the three-judge panel acknowledged the severity of its decision, but said it was bound to uphold the law.

"We are keenly aware that our decision may have profound lifelong ramifications for these two boys as well as others similarly situated," Judge Jose Fuentes wrote.

One of the boys, whose case went to trial, said he had sat on the faces of a pair of 12-year-old schoolmates with his bare buttocks in November 2008 "cause I thought it was funny and I was trying to get my friends to laugh," he told a family court judge.

WOW! Miami-Dade rolls back property taxes to 2009 levels

Link
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Miami-Dade County commissioners have voted to rollback property taxes to 2009 levels, but now they must look at painful cuts to the budget in order to make up for those cuts while filling a huge budget gap.

Commissioners spent the better part of Tuesday afternoon trying to strike a balance between heeding the call of Miami-Dade County voters looking for tax relief with the human toll of those working for the county. After a couple of hours of serious debate, commissioners would approve new Mayor Carlos Gimenez's proposed tax rate by a 9-to-1 margin.

Now commissioners must prepare for some contentious negotiations as jobs, worker salaries and more are on tap to be cut in order to close a huge budget gap in the county.

Another poll shows overwhelming opposition to raising debt ceiling

Link
July 20, 2011 – The Chicago Booth/Kellogg School Financial Trust Index released today finds that 69 percent of Americans with a view on the issue are against raising the debt ceiling, with the remaining 31 percent in favor.

Counterrevolution: GOP Elite Revolts Against Tea Party

Link
Mainstream Republicans are increasingly nervous about their party's hard-line stance in the debt limit debate. They think it is likely to backfire, and are blaming the tea party.

Wealthy GOP donors have been in contact with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) encouraging him to accept tax increases as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling and lower the deficit, POLITICO reports. Cantor is among the most outspoken congressmen in opposition to new revenues, and any shift by him would dramatically change the political calculus of a debt deal.

Britain's National Health Service privatizing more services

Link
The government will open up more than £1bn of NHS services to competition from private companies and charities, the health secretary announced on Tuesday, raising fears it will lead to the privatisation of the health service.

In the first wave, beginning in April, eight NHS areas – including musculoskeletal services for back pain, adult hearing services in the community, wheelchair services for children, and primary care psychological therapies for adults – will be open for "competition on quality not price". If successful, the "any qualified provider" policy would from 2013 see non-NHS bodies allowed to deliver more complicated clinical services in maternity and "home chemotherapy".

Andrew Lansley – admitting that the government's initial plans for competition in the NHS were too ambitious, and stung by criticism from Steve Field, the senior doctor called in by David Cameron to review the reforms, that the proposals were "unworkable" – has slowed down the rollout of competition. The health secretary said his plans would now "enable patients to choose [providers] … where this will lead to better care".

Labour questioned the policy, which the shadow health secretary, John Healey, said was "not about giving more control to patients, but setting up a full-scale market".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fraud Investigation: Multicultural Chamber of Commerce in Chattanooga

Link1

Link2

Amazon gets OK to collect signatures on CA Sales Tax Referendum

Link
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. says the California Attorney General's Office has approved its petition for a referendum that would let voters decide whether to overturn a new law that forces online retailers to collect sales taxes in the state.

Monday, July 18, 2011

New James O'Keefe Video takes on Medicaid Fraud

Link

The highest salary funded by Metro Nashville Taxpayers?

If you look at the 2008 Tennessean salary database for Metro Nashville it was $257,421.

However, last October News Channel 5 Investigates found the President of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau makes about $400,000. Most of the budget of the CVB comes from Metro taxpayers.

Could be worse...the tourism guy in LA makes half a mil.

From North Korea: "Tell the world we are starving"

Link
"I went up to see what they were looking at," recalled 63-year-old Lee Sun Ok, a North Korean farmer who had come to the city to sell some small rice-cakes she had made to earn money. "And then I saw it was the body of an old man with a piece of cloth placed over his face.

"I asked if he had fallen down because he was sick, but the people shook their heads and said, 'No, he was just too hungry and died for lack of something to eat.'"

Mrs Lee's account is among shocking first hand testimony about the dramatically worsening living conditions in the secretive Stalinist state obtained by The Sunday Telegraph last week.

GOP leaders teaching Tea Party members to compromise?

Link
Slowly, senior Republicans have been walking their newer colleagues off that position. Boehner, McConnell and the rest know what will happen if Republicans and Democrats cannot work out a deal; what's more, they believe voters will ultimately blame them for obstruction, rather than Democrats. "The leadership uniformally understands the need to reach some kind of agreement that will avoid default," said a senior House Republican aide.

McConnell has publicly made the case that a default will have serious negative political fallout for the GOP. In an interview on conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham's program on Wednesday, McConnell said Democrats "want to blame the economy on us and the reason default is no better an idea today than when Newt Gingrich tried it in 1995 is that it destroys your brand. It would give the president an opportunity to blame Republicans for a bad economy."

Privately, House Republicans have been driving home the message that a failure to increase the debt ceiling would be a disaster. Sources said Boehner has been "aggressive," in one aide's words, in articulating the need to reach a deal.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Obama rides by the nursing home: "Stop here, I want to scare some old people"

Aug 2 will indeed be a drop dead date for Republican credibility if they cave

This is NOT the time to waiver, it is time to declare freedom from profligate government. Don't let them wear you down with phony crisis fatigue. Damn Moody's, damn Geithner, damn AP, and damn WaPo.

To all the Congressional Republicans: NEVER forget, the strength of this country is NOT in DC. All we need is the chance to be freely productive without the burden of crushing government debt and an army of bureaucrats who long ago lost confidence in free people. Get them off our backs and then come home and join us in the REAL work of America. NOT ONE MORE DIME OF DEBT!!!

Why Medicare Patients See the Doctor Too Much

Link
Almost all discussions about Medicare reform ignore one key factor: Medicare utilization is roughly 50% higher than private health-insurance utilization, even after adjusting for age and medical conditions. In other words, given two patients with similar health-care needs--one a Medicare beneficiary over age 65, the other an individual under 65 who has private health insurance--the senior will use nearly 50% more care.

Several factors help cause this substantial disparity. First and foremost is the lack of effective cost sharing. When people are insulated from the cost of a desirable product or service, they use more. Thus people who have comprehensive health coverage tend to use more care, and more expensive care--with no noticeable improvement in health outcomes--than those who have basic coverage or high deductibles.

In addition, Medicare's convoluted benefit structure encourages the purchase--either individually or through an employer--of various forms of supplemental insurance. Medicare covers roughly three-fourths of total costs, but about 85% of the Medicare population has expanded coverage with small to limited cost sharing. This additional cost insulation pushes seniors' out-of-pocket costs toward zero, thereby increasing overall utilization.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hey MOODY'S, know what you can do with your debt review??

You can put it where the sun don't shine!

I am sick and tired of these pitiful scare tactics from Moody's and Bernanke and Obama and Geithner and "Wall Street" et al.....save that crap for Halloween and don't waste the time of adults.

More debt is NEVER a solution to a DEBT problem. If you want to be taken seriously then act seriously.

NO MORE DEBT!!! Shut it DOWN!! Last one to leave DC, leave the key under the mat

Why are Greece and Portugal and Italy and Ireland and Spain and the US in trouble???

They are in trouble because of the gross incompetence of their GOVERNMENTS!! 

Incompetent legislative buffoons who borrowed and borrowed and borrowed and borrowed until they outspent the productivity of the private sector from whence all creditworthiness originates. These government fools managed to crush the private sector underneath a mountain of debt which was created to buy votes by subsidizing every tom dick and corporate harry, by promising to let granny retire with all her healthcare paid by fewer and fewer children and grandchildren. The budgetary numbers simply don't make any sense. Until the Congress decides to prioritize:

ENOUGH!! ENOUGH!! ENOUGH!! No MORE DEBT!! Shut it down!!

Caylee's Law and the Specter of Civil Breakdown

Link
The calls for lawmakers to "do something" in the wake of the Casey Anthony "not guilty" verdict shows the limits of our impersonal age. Lacking confidence in the remnants of the social norms (not legalisms) upon which those kinship cultures were based, we turn now to the law to instruct fellow citizens how to behave with their children. The passage of such laws, far from indicating a triumph of our greater civility, reveals its unceasing attenuation and even breakdown. Our anxieties will only be stoked, not relieved, and each "solution" will only exacerbate the root causes of our deeper alienation.

DC Gym encourages Pols to get in shape for that next scandal photo

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Former Social Security employee sentenced for accepting $25,600 in bribes

Link
Diaz, while earning a $67,000 annual salary, accepted cash from nearly a dozen people in exchange for authorizing them for a Social Security program that provides immediate benefits for individuals who suffer from severe disabilities.

It often takes as long as six months for the payments to be authorized.
One person gave Diaz $5,000 cash, and another $4,000 to use her position to approve immediate payments for them, according to federal officials.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Marion Berry makes a PERFECTLY reasonable proposal

This sounds like George Bush's compassionate conservatism: DC Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry wants to encourage home ownership. His solution: you simply ban the construction of apartments.

Link
According to Barry, it's all about encouraging homeownership, which stands at only 24 percent of residents in Ward 8. Instead of developing apartment buildings, he wants to get all the boarded-up houses renovated and occupied, with city-subsidized home loans to help people buy them. Because it's homeowners, not renters, who help improve the area.

"Renters, by their very nature, don't keep up their neighborhoods like homeowners would," Barry tells me. "Renters will allow drug dealers in the neighborhood. It's a fact. It's a doggone fact."

NJ Tea Party Group Wants to Eliminate Public Education

Link
There was a time when advocating the elimination of public schools was so politically toxic that even those who harbored the desire stayed in the closet. That may be changing.
"We think public schools should go away,’’ says Teri Adams, the head of the Independence Hall Tea Party and a leading advocate — both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania — of passage of school voucher bills. The tea party operates in those two states and Delaware.

They should "go away," she says, because "they are hurting our children.’’

"The program will embed federal officials inside city government."

Link
Memphis is one of six cities chosen for a White House pilot project called "Strong Cities, Strong Communities," designed to allow local officials to dictate what they need from the federal government, said John Porcari, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, who was in Memphis for the announcement Monday.

"We bend programs to fit local needs, not the other way around," Porcari said. "It's a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down approach."

The program will embed federal officials inside city government. Representatives from the departments of Education, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Justice, Treasury, Labor and the Small Business Administration will live and work in Memphis as part of the project.

Monday, July 11, 2011

OBAMA in 2009: “The LAST THING We Want to Do Is Raise Taxes During a Recession”

Link

Have the fools in DC pushed us too close to the edge of the cliff?

I certainly hope not but, of course, no one knows how fast the snowball is rolling.

Link
The Greek 2 year yield is up to a record 31.1%.

The Portuguese 2 year yield is up to a record 18.3%.

The Irish 2 year yield is up to a record 18.1%.

And the big jump ... the Italian 2 year yield is up to a record 4.1%. Still much lower than Greece, Portugal and Ireland, but rising.

Atlas (small business owner) is saying to hell with you

Link
The new study, the next in a continuing series on firm formation and economic growth, found that the new businesses that continue to generate the bulk of the economy's net job gains in recent years have been starting up with fewer workers than historic norms and are also adding fewer workers as they grow. Starting Smaller; Staying Smaller: America’s Slow Leak in Job Creation said its analysis of government data shows that since the middle of the last decade and perhaps longer, the growth path and survival rate of new businesses means they are generating fewer and fewer new jobs. The cohort of new firms that started in 2009, for example, is on course to contribute one million fewer jobs in the next decade than historical averages would suggest.

"While the recession certainly deepened the jobs deficit, the U.S. economy stopped producing enough new jobs well before the downturn," said Robert Litan, Kauffman Foundation vice president of research and policy and study co-author. "Historically, startups are the key to long-term employment growth, and they have been hiring fewer people for the last several years. We won’t fix our core unemployment problem in the United States until young businesses get back on track."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

U -- S -- A, US Women's Soccer Team scores amazing last-minute goal

"tea party patriots...flocked to (Rand) Paul like tweens to a Justin Bieber concert."

Link
But something extraordinary happened.

McConnell looked around at the gathering and realized that he didn't recognize many of the excited faces, a rarity for a lawmaker known in Kentucky political circles as a kingmaker. He peered closer. These tea party patriots, as they called themselves, flocked to Paul like tweens to a Justin Bieber concert.

McConnell, a shrewd tactician, made a quick decision: He stayed with Paul for the rest of the day.

New Iowa Tea Party Legislator Kim Pearson, she is NOT about compromise

Link

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Amazing 3d Printer replicates a working adjustable wrench

New Hamspshire's undercover business stealer goes stealth in Mass

Link
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire pays Michael Bergeron to be a full-time thief, sending him across the border in an unmarked black sedan to poach Massachusetts companies.

To help keep his missions undercover, the business recruiter even scraped the New Hampshire state seal off his Ford Fusion. Equal parts real estate agent, financial adviser, and deal fixer, Bergeron has lured dozens of Massachusetts companies to the Granite State over the past few years with promises of lower tax bills, cheaper office and industrial space, and fewer regulations.

John Hancock Financial and Liberty Mutual Group are among the high-profile firms that recently moved significant parts of their operations over the state line - partially because of Bergeron’s pitches. And an increasing number of small and midsize firms are considering migrating as a way to reduce costs in uncertain economic times.

“New Hampshire has become an easier place to do business as Massachusetts has become more difficult,’’ said Bergeron, who works as a business development manager for the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Eco nomic Development. “It’s a lower cost to do business here and you still have the availability of the skilled workforce in Massachusetts.’’

His PowerPoint presentations highlight what New Hampshire officials say is Massachusetts’ bad-business reputation. They cite expensive real estate, drawn-out permitting processes, and higher taxes.

There are no official statistics from Massachusetts or New Hampshire on the number of companies that have moved north. But Bergeron estimates that at least 5,000 new jobs have been created over the past five years as a result of Massachusetts businesses moving to his state.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Mt Pleasant Voters reject sales tax hike meant for "little nagging things"

Link
Mt. Pleasant voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to increase the city’s sales tax to the maximum amount allowed by state law.

After ballots were counted Tuesday night, almost 75 percent of voters opposed raising the tax from 2.25 percent to 2.75 percent.

The increase was expected to generate about $60,000 in additional revenue. The extra money, said City Manager Steve Huffer, could have paid for “little nagging things that need to be addressed that we didn’t have the money available for in our regular budget,” such as maintaining ball fields and patching up sidewalks and roads.

Is Obama setting a trap? The Professor thinks so

Link
That’s my impression of the “drama” unfolding in the budget talks. Obama now is the one purporting to demand bigger cuts, a more long term agreement, and so on and so on, provided there also are commensurate tax increases.

It’s an interesting ploy, and tied solely to Obama’s 2012 campaign. Obama, who just months ago proposed a budget with runaway deficits, now wants to grab the title of deficit hawk.

It’s all a game. Obama knows that Democrats in the Senate would block any bill which actually addressed the structural problem of entitlements. So Republicans will agree to tax increases, entitlements will not be touched, and Republicans will be blamed when the whole deal craters.

This is all very Clintonian.

Bachmann ad: "I will not vote to increase the debt ceiling"

$2 Trillion in spending CUTS...not nearly as impressive as you might think

Portugal's Drug Decriminalization Program 10 years later

Link
LISBON — Health experts in Portugal said Friday that Portugal's decision 10 years ago to decriminalise drug use and treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked.

"There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal," said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

The number of addicts considered "problematic" -- those who repeatedly use "hard" drugs and intravenous users -- had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

Other factors had also played their part however, Goulao, a medical doctor added.
"This development can not only be attributed to decriminalisation but to a confluence of treatment and risk reduction policies."

Taxpayers paid $349,234 to get Broadband to one "unserved" home

Link
So how much did it cost per unserved household to get them broadband access? A whopping $349,234, or many multiples of household income, and significantly more than the cost of a home itself.

Sadly, it’s actually worse than that. Take the Montana project. The area is not in any meaningful sense unserved or even underserved. As many as seven broadband providers, including wireless, operate in the area. Only 1.5% of all households in the region had no wireline access. And if you include 3G wireless, there were only seven households in the Montana region that could be considered without access. So the cost of extending access in the Montana case comes to about $7 million for each additional household served.

Government Transparency Revolution marches on in UK

Link
He added: 'Having this data available will help people find the right doctor for their needs or the best teacher for their child and will help frontline professionals compare their performance and effectiveness and improve it.'

Mr Maude said the move would also help stimulate the economy, creating a multi-billion pound industry which would translate raw information into user-friendly formats - such as 'good hospital guides'.

David Cameron, in a letter to Cabinet colleagues ahead of the Government's public services white paper, to be published next week, said: 'As you know, transparency is at the heart of our agenda for Government.

'We recognise that transparency and open data can be a powerful tool to help reform public services, foster innovation and empower citizens.

'We also understand that transparency can be a significant driver of economic activity. These commitments represent the most ambitious open data agenda of any government in the world.'

Study: 77% lift themselves out of poverty over 3 years

Link
But if you're a typical American, the truth is that poverty, for you, will be a short-lived experience. But you don't have to take our word for it. The U.S. Census, whose job it is to count all Americans regardless of their economic situation, says so!

In Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Poverty, 2004-2006, Robin J. Anderson finds that for the people who were counted as being in poverty at different times during this three year period, some 77% lifted themselves out of poverty.

Remarkably, for all those who were in poverty for two or more consecutive months in the time from 2004 to 2006, the typical duration of being in poverty was 4.5 months, with 47.7% getting out of poverty in four months or less, but with 12.4% lasting more than 24 months.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ohio Tea Party submits 550,000 signatures for healthcare amendment

Link
On Wednesday afternoon, a coalition of Ohio conservatives will flex their
muscles in a show of force against President Obama's health-care reform law.
Activists opposed to a health-insurance mandate will submit nearly 550,000
signatures to Ohio's Secretary of State in order to place a constitutional
amendment - known as the Healthcare Freedom Amendment - on the state's
November 2011 ballot. The sweeping effort, which appears to have easily
exceeded the 386,000 valid signatures required to put the amendment on the
ballot, caps a 15-month effort highlighting how opposition to health-care
reform - and particularly the individual mandate, its most controversial
provision - remains one of the Tea Party movement's best organizing tools.
"It's the biggest thing one of these new grassroots tea party-type groups
has undertaken," says Chris Littleton of the Ohio Liberty Council, a network
of more than 75 "liberty-minded" groups sprinkled throughout the state.

Hey, this sounds reasonable...taxpayers pay ALL of AFGE union operating costs

Link
In this article, we’ll look at the same negotiation with another union proposal addressing AFGE’s demand that all its operating costs be covered by the Agency. (The proposal is at the bottom of this article.) Well, that’s no surprise but the scope of the proposal certainly is. Congressmen have questioned the cost of official time at over $100 million per year. While that is certainly a low ball estimate (coming from OPM), it doesn’t scratch the surface of the funds unions demand in the form of office space, conference space, equipment and services. I don’t think the Federal labor law was designed to subsidize union organizing, political activity or whatever but that appears the effect. Let’s see what AFGE expenses it wants us to cover.

NY Woman fined $100 for putting day old newspaper in trash receptacle

Link
A representative for the Sanitation Department said street baskets are
for pedestrian use only but added Pitofsky can challenge the ticket if
she thinks there has been a mistake.

Litter baskets across the city are marked with stickers that read “no
household trash” or “no business trash,” along with a warning of a
$100 fine for violation. The Sanitation Department has a platoon of
enforcement agents tasked with enforcing litter basket laws. Their
duties even include doing detective work on trash suspected of being
illegally dumped.

Thousands getting Free and Reduced Cost School Lunches not eligible

Link
Thousands of students getting free or reduced-cost school lunches may not be eligible for the program, a report released by the state auditor this week finds. But school districts have little incentive to question applications because a higher participation rate also increases their state aid, the report states.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Louisiana Switchgrass experiment yields a total FAIL

Politicians almost ALWAYS believe their good intentions are grander and more worthy and more virtuous than the good intentions of ordinary mortals.

Link
Knox said for biomass to be an effective fuel, NRG needed a crop of consistent quantity and quality. The plants had to produce a consistent amount of energy; they did not.

CBO: Medicare payments to Docs will be reduced 29.4% in 2012

Link More HERE
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, under current law, payment rates for
physician services will be reduced by 29.4 percent in 2012. That large reduction called for under
current law follows several years of legislative action to either maintain or increase physician
payment rates under the Medicare program when those rates were otherwise scheduled to
decrease under the provisions of law known as Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)
mechanism. Such legislative actions have overridden the SGR.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Feds say $17 billion in fraudulent Unemployment Claims last year

Link
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A nationwide crackdown is coming for people fraudulently drawing unemployment payments - those who were never eligible and workers who keep getting checks after they return to work - a $17 billion benefits swindle last year alone, say federal officials.

With the poor economy lingering and the jobless rate remaining high, Rhode Island and other states are stepping up efforts to stop the fraud and improper payments.

Will You Raise Taxes, Grover Norquist, if your grandmother's life hangs in the balance

An American Hero - Reckless the $250 Mare Horse

We pay for Social Security at the cost of liberty

A Beautifully written Op/ed by Lipscomb Prof Richard J. Grant.

Link
It has become easy to believe that we can vote ourselves into financial security, but there is no substitute for work and saving. It is easy to believe that we can force people to save for their old age and to administer those savings through governmental programs, even though we know that centrally planned economies are less prosperous and less secure than those that are free from governmental interference.

Several American generations have traded their liberty to save and invest for the hoped-for safety of the Social Security system. In so doing, they have made themselves dependent on the benevolence and financial competence of Congress and have imposed an economic burden on future generations. This burden consists of wealth that was never produced, economic progress that was never made, and a moral obligation that is increasingly less likely to be accepted.

Ohio kills the Death Tax - Good Riddance

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The end of the death tax, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, will help stop the hemorrhaging of small businesses and jobs from the Buckeye State. Ohioans had suffered long enough with the levy on inheritances, with a 6% tax on personal and business assets above the $338,333 exemption, up to $500,000, and a 7% tax on assets above $500,000. The death tax was a major reason that business, jobs and capital have fled the state.

Ohio's nearly 200,000 small businesses employ some 2.3 million people—about half the civilian labor force—and support annual payrolls exceeding $77 billion. But businesses and jobs have been leaving Ohio for years, many to the 28 states without a death tax.

The stampede for the exits comes as no surprise: Dying in Ohio was expensive. When federal (35% on all assets exceeding $5 million) and state taxes are combined, an Ohio family with a successful business could lose up to 40% of everything they had worked for.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Kia Commercial - Soul - A new Way to Roll

Republicans caving on Balanced Budget Amendment

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WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won't support a proposal to include a balanced-budget amendment in a deal to raise the debt ceiling.

The Hill reported Saturday McConnell has come under fire from Tea Party leaders to include the amendment in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, but McConnell has said he won't do so because it has no chance of passing.

VA Tea Party fights city on Search Warrants for code violations

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The Lynchburg Tea Party is reaching out to community groups all across
the city and across political lines to fight an issue that will
directly effect you and your neighbors.

The City of Lynchburg is trying to give the planning commission
(building permits, code enforcement, etc) the ability to issue search
warrants if they suspect “code” violations.

Scotland moves closer to separation from England

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The Scottish First Minister told the Queen for the first time in public that Scotland should become an “equal” but separate nation to England while retaining the Union of the Crowns.
In a pointed message to the monarch that she has implicitly backed separation, he quoted back to her a speech she gave at Dublin Castle in May in which she said Britain and Ireland are “firm friends and equal partners”.

Mr Salmond delivered his strident warning that the UK’s days are numbered during an address to the Scottish Parliament at the Royal opening of its fourth session since devolution began in 1999.
The Queen is understood to have told David Cameron of her anxiety the 304-year-old Union between England and Scotland will be broken in the wake of Mr Salmond’s landslide election victory two months ago.

The Scottish National Party leader intends to hold an independence referendum in the second half of his five-year term, but yesterday attempted to reassure the monarch she will remain head of state in Scotland regardless of the result.

NBA Teams in low Tax States Win More Often

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There is a clear pattern of talented players migrating to, or staying with, teams in states with little or no personal income tax. Since they can more easily attract and keep better players, teams in states with lower taxes have consistently performed better on the court than teams in highly taxed states in recent seasons.

Fla Doc Guilty in $200 million Medicare Fraud

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On Thursday, Gumer, 64, of Tamarac pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud for his crucial role in a massive, $200 million scheme. The racket enabled Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp. to bill the government program for psychotherapy that was unnecessary for thousands of patients who faked suffering from depression, schizophrenia or bipolar conditions.

Justice Department lawyer Jennifer Saulino said Gumer was responsible for $19.3 million in false claims filed on behalf of the patients, who were paid kickbacks by the American Therapeutic chain of South Florida clinics. Asked by U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz why he pleaded guilty, Gumer said: "It's the right thing to do."

Gumer became the first doctor among three psychiatrists indicted in the American Therapeutic case to admit playing such a dominant part in the seven-year scam, which netted $83 million in Medicare payments for the company. He and two other psychiatrists, Dr. Mark Willner of Weston and Dr. Alberto Ayala of Miami-Dade, served as the company's medical directors.