Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Haslam, Alexander Agree they can not waste OUR money Indefinitely

Haslam and Alexander say there are limits to how much of OUR HARD EARNED MONEY they will flush down the toilet...maybe they are worried about using too much water?

This is OUR money and Haslam and Alexander have NO RIGHT to spend it just because they feel good about flaunting their grand good intentions.

How about this Lamar and Bill? I will keep the money in MY FAMILY BUDGET and if I want to buy ethanol, I will buy ethanol. You can keep your good intentions to yourself.

Link
The state made its first investment in the project during the administration of former Gov. Phil Bredesen, and it was hailed as an innovative way for the state to get involved in clean energy. Haslam and Alexander touted many aspects of the program Tuesday, like the fact it doesn’t use a crop you could otherwise eat, such as corn, the fact that it helps Tennessee farmers financially and the fact that a source of energy is nice when it’s not foreign.

But both the governor and the senator were careful about devoting long-term government funding to what they saw.

“The state set aside $70 million back in 2007, and I think this is a great venture to see if that works,” Haslam said. “We can’t keep doing that. As government, we can’t keep investing in it.”

New Reader submitted Bumper Sticker: We've been O - bombed


$300,000 meant for job training diverted to build a "gentlemen's club"

Link


It is my responsibility, and yours, individually...to protect freedom everyday

And what are the greatest threats to freedom? The greatest threats are our fellow human beings who have lost faith in our ability to live our lives in freedom.

The key to the preservation of freedom is a sincere belief that your fellow human beings are capable of living their lives in freedom.

Almost everyone believes they can live their own lives in freedom.

Freedom is truly threatened when you stop believing that other people are capable of living their lives in freedom.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dan Rather on the defeat of Carter, "in the end it was rejection of...liberal orthodoxy"

Dan Rather: "unemployment was the key issue all through this campaign especially in the midwest where Jimmy Carter won only one state, Walter Mondale's home state of Minnesota. And in the end it was rejection of the party and the liberal orthodoxy that had been in command in the 60's and 70's. People simply wanted a change."

Nancy Pelosi has popped her populist stopper

Clearly even she doesn't believe this tripe but she is so dismissive of her crowd's intelligence she doesn't mind testing the limits of their gullibility.

German Street prostitutes taxed via vending machine

Oh, just wait....you just know the local government will soon start taxing by the customer.

Link
As of Monday, prostitutes had to pay the charge of €6 before they start their business, regardless of the number of customers. A notice on the machine defines the prostitute’s working hours with bureaucratic efficiency: Monday to Sunday, 8:15 pm to 6:00 am.

This is the first such vending machine system in Germany. Dortmund also requires street-workers to buy a tax ticket, though it is on sale in nearby petrol stations, rather than vending machines.

The city council justified the move on the grounds of fairness. City spokeswoman Monika Frömbgen pointed out that prostitutes working in establishments like brothels and sauna clubs also have to pay taxes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

School Freedom Watch: Thousands Flee Indiana Public Schools via Vouchers

Giving PARENTS the power of choice is precisely what education improvement is all about. PARENTS, not teacher's unions, should decide which school is best for their child.

Link
Nearly 70 percent of the vouchers approved statewide are for students opting to attend Catholic schools, according to figures provided to The Associated Press by the five dioceses in Indiana. The majority are in the urban areas of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Gary, where many public schools have long struggled.

John Elcesser, executive director of the Indiana Non-Public Education Association, said it's not surprising that Catholic schools are receiving so many of the vouchers, even though they make up fewer than half of the 415 schools in the group.

Most Catholic schools already had state accreditation, which some private schools lack. And they are more established and have more space available, he said.

First Circuit Court upholds right to video public police action

Link
The First Amendment issue here is, as the parties frame it, fairly narrow: is there a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public? Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, answer that question unambiguously in the affirmative.

The German Tea Party is growing every day

More and more German taxpayers are balking at bailing out other failed European Governments. The press won't call it a Tea Party but that is precisely what it is.

Link
The seething discontent in Germany over Europe's debt crisis has spread to all the key institutions of the state. "Hysteria is sweeping Germany " said Klaus Regling, the EFSF's director.

German media reported that the latest tally of votes in the Bundestag shows that 23 members from Mrs Merkel's own coalition plan to vote against the package, including twelve of the 44 members of Bavaria's Social Christians (CSU). This may force the Chancellor to rely on opposition votes, risking a government collapse.

Public Transit has a huge backlog of deferred Maintenance: Solution: Privatizing

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is $75 billion spent each year on Homeland Security making us safer?

Give bureaucrats huge wads of taxpayer money and by gosh, they will find ways to spend it!!

Link
Reporting from Ogallala, Neb.— On the edge of the Nebraska sand hills is Lake McConaughy, a 22-mile-long reservoir that in summer becomes a magnet for Winnebagos, fishermen and kite sailors. But officials here in Keith County, population 8,370, imagined this scene: An Al Qaeda sleeper cell hitching explosives onto a water-skiing boat and plowing into the dam at the head of the lake.

The federal Department of Homeland Security ago gave the county $42,000 to buy state-of-the-art dive gear, including full-face masks, underwater lights and radios, and a Zodiac boat with side-scan sonar capable of mapping wide areas of the lake floor.

Up on the lonely prairie around Cherry County, population 6,148, got thousands of federal dollars for cattle nose leads, halters and electric prods – in case terrorists decided to mount biological warfare against cows.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene: Animated Map of Last 5 hours

Click on Image for animated Map:


Video: How big is the Medicare/Medcaid Fraud Problem? No one knows

Texas Tea Party Members Not Drinking Perry Kool-Aid

Link


View more videos at: http://nbcdfw.com.

Memphis TSA worker says he forgot about Gun in his bag

Link
A Transportation Security Administration employee at Memphis International Airport was arrested by airport police Wednesday after he was accused of carrying a handgun into the main terminal building.

The gun was found during a security check at the terminal’s “A” concourse in a bag belonging to TSA employee Richard Banks III. He told airport police that he forgot the handgun, a 9mm Glock 17, was in the bag.

John Greaud, vice president of operations at the airport, said bringing the gun to the airport was not intentional.

Interview with Gibson CEO about seizure of property - Dana Loesch Show

Spanish Socialists agree to amend Constitution to limit Debt

Link
The ruling Socialists and the opposition center-right Popular Party cut a deal after hours of frantic negotiations to propose a law under which, starting in 2020, the national deficit cannot surpass 0.4 percent of the country's GDP.

That threshold can be surpassed only in cases of natural disaster, economic recession or other extraordinary circumstances that will have to be declared formally by a vote in Parliament.

The constitutional amendment is expected to be voted on Sept. 2 in the lower house of Parliament, while the actual law is due to be passed by July 2012.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Here is an Economic Development Idea for Gov Haslam, Give Freedom a Chance

I know it sounds quaint but I am old enough to remember a time when businesses wanting to buy land and develop a new plant did just that...they negotiated with a private landowner, bought a piece of land, obtained all the zoning and codes permits they needed, just like everybody else, and then they built a new plant and hired new workers. Except for writing the codes and regulations, which should apply to everyone equally, the politicians allowed individual citizens to make decisions about their private property without interference.

I know that politicians just love to have corporate bigwigs come to them, hat in hand, and negotiate in secret over how much taxpayer money the bigwigs will get. It makes the pols feel very important and in many cases they have come to believe they are the gatekeepers of economic growth....poppycock, they are vote-seeking politicians who have created a privileged position for themselves and mucked up a process which private citizens can handle much more efficiently when allowed to LIVE IN FREEDOM.

Governor Haslam, you are not the gatekeeper or the arbiter of economic decisions. You are hired to run State Government efficiently as a trustee for the taxpayer's money. We can take care of the other economic decisions just fine.

Camden NJ Pays Students $100 Each to Not Skip School

Link


View more videos at: http://nbcphiladelphia.com.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The 1000 most-visited sites on the web via Google

Link

Bill Frist says Obamacare is 70% Good, 30% Bad and is Here to Stay

Link
The health care reform law will survive even if the Supreme Court declares the individual mandate unconstitutional, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Wednesday in Sioux Falls.

"It's going to survive. It's not going to be repealed," Frist said.

Frist, a heart surgeon and Republican from Tennessee, spoke to 500 people at an Avera Health conference at the Convention Center.

Understanding 9/11: Explore 3,000 hours of international TV News

Explore 3,000 hours of international TV News from 20 channels over 7 days, and select analysis by scholars.

This is video from CNN at 8:49AM when they first broke the news.

And here is the first report on the BBC.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Harvard Prof Jeffrey Myron: Top 3 Common Myths of Capitalism

Calif. Assembly passes cell-phone privacy bill requiring search warrant

Link
Sacramento -- The state Assembly unanimously approved a bill Monday that would force law enforcement officers to secure a warrant before they can search the contents of a cell phone.

South Korea to Lower Corporate Tax Rate...their unemployment rate is 3.3%

South Korea Commits To Lower Corporate Taxes


S. Korea's jobless rate falls to 3.3 pct in July

Monday, August 22, 2011

VA spent $717 million on a drug deemed as effective as a placebo

Link
That paper, whose lead author is Dr. John H. Krystal, director of the clinical neurosciences division of VA's National Center for PTSD, concluded: "Overall, the data do not provide strong support for the current widespread prescription of risperidone to patients with . . . military-related PTSD symptoms, and these findings should stimulate careful review of the benefits of these medications in patients with chronic PTSD." The study included 193 Vietnam veterans and 63 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

While the paper focused on risperidone, it also questioned the effectiveness of other second-generation anti-psychotic drugs, including Seroquel, also known by its generic name quetiapine. VA told Nextgov it spent $846 million on Seroquel over the past decade for more than 6.6 million prescriptions.

Besides prescribing Seroquel for use as an anti-psychotic drug, both VA and Defense Department physicians prescribe it as a sleep aid, despite the fact the drug has been implicated in the deaths of two Marines who took large doses of it.

Sociologist says his research shows the Tea Party fears change...not nearly as much

as liberals fear the Tea Party.

All of this pseudo-research is not necessary, it's a big waste of time. I will provide the Carte Blanche that liberals need so they can invest their time and effort elsewhere, here is your absolution liberals:
It's OK if you want to feel intellectually and morally superior to what you regard as Tea Party neanderthals. You don't have to jump through all these hoops, you have our permission to come right out and assert your superiority. There, now don't you feel better.
Link
A sociology researcher says tea party voters are more likely than other voters to fear change and harbor negative attitudes toward immigrants.

The study, called "Cultures of the Tea Party," is being presented Monday in Las Vegas at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting.

Sociology professor Andrew Perrin of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is the lead author of the study.

He says researchers noted that voters who felt favorably toward the tea party movement also valued deference to authority and libertarianism.

The voters also told the researchers that they felt "things are changing too fast."

The findings are based on a telephone poll of registered voters in North Carolina and Tennessee conducted last year.
The researchers also conducted interviews at a tea party rally in North Carolina.

A TIME reporter visited Nagasaki 3.5 years after the Bomb, here is his report

If you ever doubt the human spirit or our ability to overcome then doubt no more. The citizens of Nagasaki provide ample inspiration. They not only carried on, they thrived after a horrific event. Here are pictures of present day Nagasaki.

Link
The second A-bomb used in war, much less publicized but far more powerful than the first bomb dropped on Hiroshima, fell on Nagasaki (pop. 250,000). Last week, 3½ years after the city's fiery ordeal, TIME Correspondent Sam Welles paid it a visit. His report:

Nagasaki is surprisingly full of smiles and surprisingly empty of hate. The A-bomb epicenter is a small park of less than an acre around a low, earthen mound topped by a plain wooden shaft. Seven young arborvitae trees circle the mound. A sign in English and Japanese states that 18,409 homes were destroyed, 29,739 people killed and 91,081 injured when a compact mass of plutonium "exploded in the air just above here" on Aug. 9, 1945.

Mixed Feelings. Of many new houses near the park, the closest belongs to straggle-bearded Akira Yamamoto, 37, a sewing-machine merchant whose back stoop is only 80 feet from the shaft. During the war Yamamoto worked in a munitions plant ten miles away, while his wife and older children were in the country, but his parents lived in the target area and were killed.

BET:Apparently Maxine Waters hates the Tea Party but respects the Tea Party

Link
“The Tea Party discovered something. That is if they organize, if they talk loud enough, if they threaten, if they register to vote and elect a few people, they can take over the Congress of the United States,” said Rep. Maxine Waters. “They called our bluff and we blinked. We should have made them walk the plank.”

Great Video: The key to prosperity is not class warfare, it is productivity

Ticket prices on the Music City Star commuter train would increase 6-fold if...

they reflected the real cost of running the train? According to the Tennessean article below, the total annual cost of the train is $4.5 million. Current ticket prices cover $700,000 of that cost. Am I calculating that correctly?

Link
The Regional Transporation Authority has asked Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Wilson County to increase funding to $50,000 each, but so far, only Lebanon is on track to pay that amount. Metro Nashville contributes $1.5 million, and Mt. Juliet and Wilson County contribute $30,000 and $10,000, respectively.

The increases might not sound like much compared with the Music City Star’s $4.57 million annual operating budget. The federal government funds the train at 80 percent, with 20 percent matching funds from state and local governments.

[...]

Single-trip fares for the Music City Star, which range from $2 to $5 at the platform, cover about $700,000 of the train’s annual operating cost. Federal money covers $1.5 million, and the state contributes $600,000.

No longer a Nation of Laws, we are now governed by Executive Dictate

Duncan: States Don't Need to Join Common Core for Waiver

Obamacare waivers approach 1,500 mark

Medicaid Waivers by State

White House: Presidential Executive Orders

More States want to replace Income Tax with Sales Tax

Link
While all the attention this summer was focused on the federal debt and tax policy in Washington, some lawmakers and activists closer to home were quietly moving toward achieving a long-term goal: eliminating income taxes in Missouri and Kansas.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flippin JFK's script: I am "asking what the country can do for me"

In the same townhall where Maxine Waters said the "Tea Party can go straight to hell", one lady said she would like to flip JFK's script, "asking what can the country do for me..."

Link

Lemonade sellers defy DC police to sell their illegal wares

AP: Social Security disability on verge of insolvency

Link
The trustees who oversee Social Security are urging Congress to shore up the disability system by reallocating money from the retirement program, just as lawmakers did in 1994. That would provide only short-term relief at the expense of weakening the retirement program.
Claims for disability benefits typically increase in a bad economy because many disabled people get laid off and can't find a new job. This year, about 3.3 million people are expected to apply for federal disability benefits. That's 700,000 more than in 2008 and 1 million more than a decade ago.

"It's primarily economic desperation," Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said in an interview. "People on the margins who get bad news in terms of a layoff and have no other place to go and they take a shot at disability,"

Video: Johnny Carson as the 'Honest' politician hooked up to a Lie Detector

HT: Theo




Update: Also, here is Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live as a used car salesman hooked up to a lie detector.

Maxine Waters: ‘The tea party can go straight to hell’

Link

Truckers "Convoy of No Confidence" protests Aussie Carbon Tax

Link


Costco, citing a lack of use, pulls the plug on electric car chargers

Ok, Greeny authoritarians, are you going to stand by and allow this to happen. Clearly you must pass a law requiring people to buy electric cars and USE them whether they want to or not. Tyranny in the name of saving the world is no vice!!

Link
“We were early supporters of electric cars, going back as far as 15 years. But nobody ever uses them,” said Dennis Hoover, the general manager for Costco in northern California, in a telephone interview. “At our Folsom store, the manager said he hadn’t seen anybody using the E.V. charging in a full year. At our store in Vacaville, where we had six chargers, one person plugged in once a week.”

Professor tells other Profs: Get out while you can

Link
I'm far from certain that the higher education market will disintegrate. But the reasonable chance that it might should be enough to get young and middle-aged tenured professors to think about what we would do if forced out of academia. And bear in mind that if academia suddenly collapsed, the job market would be flooded with former professors, making it extraordinarily challenging for us to get jobs, such as editing and teaching high school, that are well-suited to many professors' skills

Networking is the key to career management. Professors do much networking, but mostly with other professors. I suggest that professors network outside of academia with a goal of having a set of contacts we could use to acquire a nonacademic position. The best way to do this is to use Facebook and Linkedin to keep in touch with some of our former students, especially those who would make good bosses.

Perfect Xmas Gift for that Oppo Researcher friend: Digital Binoculars

Link


Childhood story of the great leader, Kim Jong Il, North Korean Propaganda




This is a time for great general Kim Jong Il's childhood story. This time we will talk about when Great leader Kim Jong Il played a game of soldier. Everyone played soldier outside, right? Yes! The Great leader Kim Jong Il, also played soldier with his comrades, frequently. Everyone look here~. This is a picture of General greatly leading the troops. The one on a tall boulder is the Great Leader K. This great man wore his general uniform, as he carried pistol and binoculars. Do you know binoculars are? This is a binocular. If you look at it like this~, you can see far away things closer and smaller things look bigger. That's why bosses use this to look for enemies far away to command the front. Look at these comrades. What do they have on? Han Ban Gun child~. They are wearing grass and sticks! Why are they wearing them? To camouflage themselves! You guys seen this on movies, right? Yes! That's why they have these on~. With camouflage and wooden gun, they look like child army, right? Yes! Comrades considered the Great Leader (North Korean meaning) placed him in high regard. Someday, these comrades wanted to pick sides everyone wanted to be on Great Leader's side, so they couldn't pick a fair team. Why do think everyone wanted to be on his side? Because everyone knew he was a Great Leader! Because they knew Great Leader's team always wins! Yes, because Great Leader always won. Great Leader then picked the comrades, whom never been on a team with Great Leader. Only 4 were picked. All other became the other team. Others were astounded. Do you know why? Because team needed to be equal, but Great Leader's team only had 5 members. How can they win with only 5 comrades? General's comrade was worried. General said, "Comrades, our North Korean army went against with many! Imperialist army and Won! That is the real winner." Game started. They used pinecones as bullets. Yes, whoever gets hit, they die. General placed one kid on a tree, other to lore them in, and 2 others to hide behind a rock. Waited 'til they got close, kid on tree shoot them. They were confused. HAHAHA. They ambushed them left and right. Who do you think who won!? Kim Jong Il General!! Yes, Great General won! Look over here. Comrades were happy, so they cheered, by waving a NK flag and by waving a gun. Even the other team was so happy they cheered on also. Great general he always won on the soldier game. There are countless victory stories of Kim Jong Il. That's why he is highest ranking general country, no matter what; he protects this country from imperialist. From water, land and sky, he protects us with iron wall on every front. To thank him, lets all sing a song for him~~~.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Over 100 former staffers of Super Committee are now Lobbyists

Link
And while it is unclear now which staff members the six Republicans and six Democrats will choose to assist them in the work of cutting the deficit, about a dozen former lobbyists are currently employed in key positions, the group has found.

The legislation that created the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction authorizes the committee co-chairmen to appoint and set salaries for staff according to guidelines for Senate employees and to jointly hire a staff director.

Can ANYONE find how much corporate welfare is costing TN Taxpayers?

NO, it is a SECRET dear taxpayer.

Taxpayers are treated like kids who can't afford to get into a baseball game so they are limited to looking through a hole in the fence while our elected officials and corporate fat cats play ball.

Nashville Business Journal has some good info which they have gathered from "various agencies."

University of Tennessee wants taxpayers to know how wonderful they are

The bureaucratic skills that are most highly rewarded in government are 1- organizational self-glorification and 2- expansion of stated role and staff.

So, even when bureaucrats are touting cost cutting they use it to expand their mission...good grief.

Ironically, UT Prof Glen Reynolds has been leading the charge exposing just how bloated higher ed has become.

Link
"Anytime you can get in front of policy makers and provide them a perspective how the place runs and how we do pay attention to effectiveness is a good thing," said UT President Joe DiPietro after the meeting.

Trustee Charles Anderson asked for a fact sheet that trustees and university officials could have on hand to streamline their mission that not only does the university operate efficiently, but that it also has a positive impact on the state's economy.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My new favorite term for Congress: "career elitists"

Link
Earlier, in Langley, Coburn partially deflected criticism of President Barack Obama - and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke - by blaming the country's financial woes on Congress. He described his colleagues as "a class of career elitists" and "cowards," and at one point, talking about his frustrations, said, "It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor."

Transparency Check List for Local Tennessee Governments

This should be the absolute minimum starting point for information on local government web sites.

Link
1. Elected & Administrative Officials: Contact Information
2. Meeting Information: Calendar (Future) Minutes & Board Packets (Past)
3. Public records: FOIA submission & FOIA Officer Contact Information
4. Budgets: General Fund and Special Projects
5. Financial Audits: Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports
6. Expenditures: Checkbook Register and Credit Card Receipts
7. Salary & Benefits: Wages, Salary, Overtime, Health, Dental, Life, Pension, etc.
8. Contracts: Union, Private Contractors, Vendors
9. Lobbying: Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Associations
10. Taxes & Fees: Sales, Property, Income, and Miscellaneous Taxes, fees on residents & businesses

Does Peyton Manning "deserve" $23 million for one Year??

Heck, its not even a full year....more like 6 months since he didn't go the Super Bowl last year.

Link
Manning, a four-times most valuable player in the NFL who agreed to a five-year $90-million contract with the Colts last month, is expected to earn $23 million in total compensation for 2011.

St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is second on the list with expected earnings of $18.4 million and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is third at $18 million.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

If he wants to pay more, why isn't Warren Buffett paying his inheritance tax?

Warren Buffett is depriving the federal treasury of billions in inheritance taxes by leaving his huge wealth to charity and encouraging other rich people to do the same. If he is so keen to pay more in taxes, why not do so in the form of inheritance taxes? Come ON Warren, you could be a big help....don't you believe government can spend your money better than some charity??

Video: Barack Obama is convinced that we can not live our lives in Freedom

Like most far left authoritarians, for Barack Obama government is a tool to force other citizens to conform to what he believes is his clearly superior moral and intellectual orthodoxy. For him Government is the civilizing force in society and he is the guiding moral light.

Obama has no concept of the individual citizen as the foundation of a moral and a just society. In this construct, foreign to Obama, Government's sacred task is to preserve the freedom of individuals to make the moral decisions about their lives and family and property.

Special interests line up to feed at the Obamacare trough

Patients will be the LAST special interest group to be heard from. Healthcare Freedom is dying a slow death.

Link
At a suburban Sacramento auditorium normally reserved for tax matters, the new California Health Benefit Exchange board attracted a who's who of health care lobbyists when it convened in April.

Among those represented: Insurers, doctors, drug companies, low-income patients, small businesses, HMOs and information technology firms.

It was a clear indication of the billions of dollars at stake based on how the state builds its new public health insurance marketplace.

"I think people ignore it at their own peril," said Dustin Corcoran, CEO of the California Medical Association, which represents more than 35,000 physicians. "In short order, the exchange is going to be one of the largest insurers in the state."

As part of last year's federal health care overhaul law, the health exchange is expected to help more than 2 million state residents obtain health coverage, starting in 2014. Federal officials awarded California a $39 million initial planning grant last week.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thousands to Protest Carbon Tax in Australia

Link
THOUSANDS of demonstrators will gather in front of Parliament House tomorrow and next week scores of trucks will blockade the building as the Government faces a season of protests over its carbon pricing scheme.

Tomorrow's Election Now No Carbon Tax Rally is expected to be bigger than the March protest which Opposition Leader Tony Abbott addressed in front of signs attacking "Bob Brown's Bitch", Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

WSJ: Rick Perry's Crony Capitalism Problem (Sounds like TNInvestco)

Link
The Emerging Technology Fund was created at Mr. Perry's behest in 2005 to act as a kind of public-sector venture capital firm, largely to provide funding for tech start-ups in Texas. Since then, the fund has committed nearly $200 million of taxpayer money to fund 133 companies. Mr. Perry told a group of CEOs in May that the fund's "strategic investments are what's helping us keep groundbreaking innovations in the state." The governor, together with the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the Texas House, enjoys ultimate decision-making power over the fund's investments.

Among the companies that the Emerging Technology Fund has invested in is Convergen LifeSciences, Inc. It received a $4.5 million grant last year—the second largest grant in the history of the fund. The founder and executive chairman of Convergen is David G. Nance.

In 2009, when Mr. Nance submitted his application for a $4.5 million Emerging Technology Fund grant for Convergen, he and his partners had invested only $1,000 of their own money into their new company, according to documentation prepared by the governor's office in February 2010. But over the years, Mr. Nance managed to invest a lot more than $1,000 in Mr. Perry. Texas Ethics Commission records show that Mr. Nance donated $75,000 to Mr. Perry's campaigns between 2001 and 2006.

Great Column by Tom Humphrey...Republicans luv that "free" Federal Money

He is absolutely correct. Republicans talk about fiscal austerity but in many cases their solution is to replace state money with "free" money from the feds because it doesn't "cost" anything....BULL FEATHERS!

The same family budget that is the source of State taxes is also the source of Federal taxes...it is NOT FREE!!

Link
What we have here is a mixed message. Our politicians, particularly the Republicans now running the state show, roundly denounce federal deficit spending while happily handing out federal checks to hometown folks.

Cartoon: Obama: Excuse me, could you row a little bit faster


Vote seeking politicians + "incentives" = Huge Waste of Taxpayer Money

Great investigative article by the Tennessean. So-called economic development is a black hole for taxpayer money.

If politicians knew how to create jobs they would be in the private sector earning big bucks.

Ok, class lets review: Politicians are not morally or intellectually superior to their constituents. They have no special economic insights or knowledge. They are just like you and me and they should NOT be making economic decisions for us.

Link
With jobless rates above 9 percent in much of Middle Tennessee, local governments are turning more often to tax incentives and other perks to attract new jobs, reigniting a fierce debate over how much cities and counties should pay for progress.

It’s not just a philosophical argument.

There’s a lot at stake — at least $248.3 million in today’s dollars in Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties alone, according to a Tennessean analysis of available records for 10 incentive-based projects since 2006 for which tax packages are fully known.

In return, the county governments hope companies deliver on promises to create several thousand new jobs with call centers, headquarters buildings and distribution centers.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cartoon: "He has erected a multitude of new offices..."


Castro takes a page out of Obama's Book....tax the entrepreneurs

Obama is not satisfied that the top 20% of earners are paying 80% plus of Federal Income Taxes, he wants more, much more. The Castro bros are catching the wave.

Link
After five decades under Fidel and Raul Castro, the concept of a personal tax is practically unknown in a society where the government controls nearly the entire economy and salaries average about $20 a month. Quite the opposite, islanders have grown accustomed to the Communist government providing for them: food rations, universal education and health care, pensions, even free lunches.

But under Raul Castro's crusade to cure an ailing economy, those basic subsidies face cutbacks and many Cubans are being pushed out of state jobs into the private sector, where they face tax rates that can total more than half their earnings.

Govabuse.org protests Tennessee DCS abuses in Johnson City

Link
Ruth Cummins, the local protest coordinator for Govabuse, said the goal is to reform laws governing how child-protection services — the Department of Children’s Services in Tennessee — investigates claims of child abuse and the process used to find a suitable home while an investigation takes place.

“There are no longer family rights in this country. These social workers can commit perjury and fraud upon the court ... to take our children and grandchildren away from us,” Cummins said.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Washington DC Council Members funnel money to favored Charities

Link
D.C. Council members have used an independent nonprofit organization to steer millions of taxpayer dollars to favored charities, often with ties to friends or campaign donors, a Washington Post review shows.

The organization, the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., was created by the council to decide independently which local charities best address problems facing city youths. But The Post’s review found that council members often influence those decisions, sometimes without public bids and despite a council ban on earmarks.

2,200 Indiana students admitted to Voucher program for private schools

Link
INDIANAPOLIS (WTW) — Indiana's new school voucher program has admitted more than 2,200 grade-school students who will receive state-funded scholarships to attend religious or private schools this school year, the Department of Education said Monday.

The program, which was part of the broad education overhaul the Legislature passed this spring and which is being challenged in court, has accepted 2,230 students since it began accepting applications last month, the Education Department said. The amount of scholarship aid students receive is based on family income.

"In just one month, thousands of Hoosier families have signed up to participate, demonstrating tremendous interest in this new opportunity. We couldn't be happier with the progress," Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett told The Associated Press.

The state has approved about 250 religious or private schools for the program, making them eligible to enroll voucher students.

76% of Top 20 Political Donor money went to Democrats 1989-2010

Links


Top 20 Political Donors, 1989-2010
RankOrganizationTotal Donations, 1989-2010Dem %Rep %
1ActBlue$52,572,08199%0%
2American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees$45,238,10394%1%
3AT&T Inc$41,314,44445%54%
4National Assn of Realtors$39,717,41047%49%
5National Education Association$36,312,89581%5%
6Service Employees International Union$36,043,78977%2%
7American Assn for Justice$33,983,67189%8%
8Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers$33,476,65597%2%
9Laborers Union$31,335,26789%7%
10American Federation of Teachers$31,023,60390%0%
11Teamsters Union$30,632,30989%6%
12Carpenters & Joiners Union$30,523,43786%9%
13Communications Workers of America$29,468,93495%0%
14American Medical Association$27,431,40539%59%
15United Auto Workers$27,108,18298%0%
16United Food & Commercial Workers Union$26,788,20993%0%
17National Auto Dealers Association$26,664,99232%67%
18Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union$26,407,37498%1%
19United Parcel Service$24,505,22237%62%
20American Bankers Assn$24,190,46439%60%
Average76%20%

Shelby Cnty Court Employee suspected of embezzling $1 million

Link
Losses from an embezzlement scheme at Chancery Court exceed $1 million, according to a claim Shelby County government has filed against its insurance carrier.

Officials said Thursday that they can recall no other theft claim as large.

The county is optimistic that Travelers Insurance will cover most of the loss, said Chief Administrative Officer Harvey Kennedy. The county likely will be stuck absorbing a $138,000 loss because of a $25,000 deductible and a maximum $900,000 coverage in its $1,063,000 claim, he said.

And for the first time, the county is officially naming a suspect: Former bookkeeper Brandon Gunn is listed in the 57-page claim as the employee responsible for the thefts.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All Six Dems on the Super Committee have a ranking of F from NTU

Link


  Members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and Their NTU Rates Congress Scores

Harry Reid's Selections 
 Max Baucus (MT) F
 John Kerry (MA) F
 Patty Murray (WA) F
  
Mitch McConnell's Selections 
  
 Jon Kyl (AZ) A
 Rob Portman (OH) B (2004)
 Pat Toomey (PA) A (2004)
  
 Nancy Pelosi's Selections 
  Xavier Becerra (CA) F
  James Clyburn (SC) F
  Chris Van Hollen (MD) F
   
John Boehner's Selections 
 Dave Camp (MI) B+
 Jeb Hensarling (TX) A
 Fred Upton (MI) B


TN Taxpayers are getting hosed TWICE, 1-Their Own IRA, 401ks are tanking AND 2-

Taxpayers will have to make up losses to the guaranteed benefit pensions of State Employees. No matter how much the stocks in the State retirement fund go DOWN, TN taxpayers are still on the hook to pay guaranteed benefits.

ALL new state employees should have defined contribution retirement plans just like the taxpayers who fund state government.

The answer to Ridiculous TN Tuition Hikes: Charter Universities?

Link
COLUMBUS — Ohio’s 14 universities, including Wright State, would be automatically relieved of some state regulations and they could qualify for even more autonomy if they take less state money, according to an executive summary of a plan to be released today.

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro today will walk university officials through his plan to create charter or enterprise universities and change the way the state oversees higher education.

“By allowing our universities to operate as an enterprise of the state instead of a bureaucratic behemoth, the state stands to gain from the increased efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness that will help drive a 21st century economy,” the summary said.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

$20,000 of your taxpayer stimulus money to teach alligator wrestling

Link
The Miccosukee Corporation, the business arm of the Miccosukee Indian Tribe, pocketed a $20,785 stimulus handout to subsidize a summer youth employment program. The program hired five kids to perform jobs including cashier, handyman and alligator wrestler at the Tribe’s Miccosukee Indian Village.

The Socialist Greek GOVERNMENT continues to spiral out of control

Link
Greece’s central-government deficit widened 28 percent in the first half of the year as both revenue and spending missed targets set out in the 2011 budget plan.

The shortfall, which excludes outlays by state-owned institutions and companies, increased to 12.8 billion euros ($18 billion) from 10 billion euros a year earlier, preliminary data released today by the Athens-based Finance Ministry showed.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

ALL Tennessee Taxpayers should have known about the Amazon Deal

There is much talk today about the fact that Comptroller Justin Wilson was informed about the details of the Amazon deal during the negotiating process.

These "deals" should NEVER be negotiated in secret. ALL Tennessee taxpayers should know about these "deals." They should be open, arms length transactions if they take place at all.

In no other area of government do we allow our State elected representatives to negotiate in complete secrecy to give away huge wads of taxpayer money to large corporations. We sure as hell should not allow it for so-called economic development.

Street Videos from the London Riots

Clapham Junction looting


Police Overrun in Woolwich


Rioters steal from injured boy

53% say Federal Govt more of a threat to individual rights than a protector

Link
Over half (53%) of Americans now believe the federal government is more of a threat to individual rights than a protector.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 33% of Adults believe the government is more of a protector of those rights. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

In a survey nearly a year ago, 48% believed the government was a threat to individual rights, while 37% saw the government as a protector.

Obama: You can opt out of NCLB but forget opting out of Obamacare

Link
The Obama administration effectively gutted the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law Monday, giving states a way out of a decade-long policy that focused on holding schools accountable but labeled many of them failures even if they made progress.

To get a waiver from the program, however, states must agree to a host of education reforms the White House favors — from tougher evaluation systems for teachers and principals to programs tackling the achievement gap for minority students.

Monday, August 08, 2011

30,000 college students kicked off Food Stamps in MI

This is going to harm their self-esteem and their faith in socialism!!!

Link
Cutting off the students is part of what Corrigan says is an effort to change the culture of the state's welfare department and slash tens of millions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse.

"Maybe (students) could go get a part-time job — that's what I did," said Corrigan, a former justice of the Michigan Supreme Court who attended Detroit's Marygrove College and University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

"We want to encourage people to be self-sufficient, not to be dependent on the government," she said in an interview with The Detroit News.

80 yr old paid $60k into Medicare,Social Security, Got $1.3 million back

Ok, let's ask the question again: Is Medicare Sustainable?

How two PA stay-at-home Moms became Tea Party stars

Link


Obama's answer: Blame the Tea Party and Keep Geithner in Charge


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Tired of bailing out failed EU Countries, Is Germany going all Tea Party?

Link and Link
The euro zone looks set to evolve into a transfer union as it struggles to overcome the debt crisis. There are a number of options for the institutionalized shift of resources from richer to poorer member states -- and Germany would end up as the biggest net contributor in every scenario.

Epic Rant from Small Business Owner who is tired of being demonized by Pres

Saturday, August 06, 2011

CBO: Federal Budget Deficit $1.1 Trillion for the First 10 Months of the Year

Link
Revenues through July increased by $141 billion to nearly $1.9 trillion. That growth in revenues reflects a significant increase in receipts from individual income taxes combined with small changes in other receipts. Withheld income and payroll taxes rose by $53 billion (or 4 percent). Nonwithheld income and payroll taxes also increased (by $47 billion, or 17 percent); the bulk of that gain came from higher final payments made with 2010 individual income tax returns that were filed earlier this year. Receipts from unemployment insurance taxes rose by $10 billion as states replenished their trust funds, which were substantially depleted because of high unemployment. Revenues also rose because refunds of individual income taxes were down by about $21 billion (or 8 percent) during the past 10 months.

Friday, August 05, 2011

USPS, Fannie Mae and Social Security: 3 Depressing Headlines

Question of the Day: Why do we allow the Government to manage ANYTHING?

USPS reports $3.1 billion Loss

Fannie Mae Needs $5.1 billion

Latest CBO Social Security Long Term Projections

Rick Santelli's rant revisited - a refreshing rejection of coerced collectivism

NY State Senator apologizes for calling Tea Party the "new mafia"

Link
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Spurred in part by an Advance editorial that criticized her, state Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) today apologized for referring to Tea Party members as "the new mafia" on her personal Facebook page.

In a posting on her Facebook page, Ms. Savino said, “when you use language that upsets people it muddies your message. So, if the term mafia is offensive to anyone, I offer my apology.”
Ms. Savino said “leaders should be able to admit when they are wrong.”

CA unions using ID theft scare tactics to trick voters?

Link
The drama unfolded last week when a curious radio campaign and web site emerged, telling voters that signing petitions in support of state and local ballots increases the risk of personal identity theft. The new group disseminating this message — Californians Against Identity Theft (CAIT) — is under fire for allegedly exploiting citizen fears and misleading the general public.

Gallup: Tea Party Supporters Oppose Debt Agreement, 68% to 22%

Link
PRINCETON, NJ -- Tea Party supporters overwhelmingly disapprove of the agreement reached by President Obama and Congress to raise the federal debt ceiling, by a 68% to 22% margin. A majority of Tea Party opponents approve of the agreement, while those who are neither supporters nor opponents of the Tea Party have mixed views.

Teachers union disavows internal memo endorsing deception of parents

Link
American Federation of Teachers officials have disavowed an internal report after it was posted on the union's website following its annual conference, embedded on each of its 19 pages with the union's logo and signed by a union official.

The report, titled "How Connecticut Defused the Parent Trigger," was replaced on AFT's website with a note saying "we have received complaints about these materials and have removed them because they do not represent AFT's position."

Education activist RiShawn Biddle copied the report before it was removed from the AFT website. The report describes in detail AFT's strategy for subverting school reform legislation in Connecticut, a strategy that relied greatly on deceiving legislators and interested parents.

Truth telling from Obama: "The White House doesn't create jobs"

Now, if other pols will follow suit, we can dispense with the fantasy.

Link
"The White House doesn't create jobs," Carney said, adding "the government, together — White House, Congress — creates policies that allow for greater job creation."

Asked whether the White House could do more, Carney said "there is no silver bullet" to creating jobs — but he didn't answer the question.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Alabama DOUBLES food stamp usage in one Month? 36% of pop on Foodstamps?

Will someone please check the data!!

Link

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

More Tsunami Video: He escaped from the car just before it was crushed

Al Gore calls for "American Spring" uprising in response to Tea Party

Link

It is time to close ALL national parks, they are killing machines

We try to allow our citizens the freedom to enjoy the national parks and they just go out and get killed and injured. Clearly, the Congress must close all national parks immediately while a Congressional committee studies this alarming trend. Our citizens simply don't have the ability to safely enjoy the national parks. At the very least we should making hiking and mountain climbing a felony before too many others die or are horribly injured.

What is wrong with you people in Congress? When will you stop this senseless massacre?

Dangerous week in the national parks

WI-FI with a 62 mile range

Link

Save a Woodpecker and get fined $500 by a Federal Bureaucrat

Link

The question never answered: How much MORE should the Rich Pay?



How much of Each Federal Tax paid by each income quintile (20%)

CBO Income Share Stats Page

National Taxpayer Union Stats

Tax Foundation Stats

Heritage Stats

US Compared to other Countries

Romanian Witches use cat poop to curse Politicians in Tax Protest

Link
"It's bizarre way of protesting against taxes, and a bit scary too -- Romanian witches are threatening to use cat excrement and dead dogs to cast spells on the country's government, for introducing taxes on those practicing the paranormal," the Independent reports. "They went to the country's southern plains and the Danube river yesterday and hurled the poisonous mandrake plant into the river to cast a spell 'so evil will befall them' said a witch named Alisia."

"'What is there to tax, when we hardly earn anything? The lawmakers don't look at themselves, at how much they make, their tricks; they steal and they come to us asking us to put spells on their enemies,' she added."

Before the "cuts" looks a hell of a lot like after the "cuts"

Link

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Expiring gas tax may be next battle on the Hill

Link
“The White House is going to make a move to renew it. We’ll see — but there will be Republicans who will be resistant to that.” said Doug Heye, former spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

Gas prices, said Heye, are “really affecting families. If you have to drive 20 miles to work every day, those are real costs.”

With the debt debate paralyzing Congress, the expiring gas tax has been off the radar — so far off the radar that some are getting nervous. Procedural delays could cause the tax to lapse even if a sizable majority would vote for renewal, as with the FAA’s shutdown.

Mass students lose jobs to foreign workers who are more ambitious

Link
Though the Massachusetts unemployment rate of 7.6 percent stands well below the 9.1 percent national one, it is still high enough to raise questions about just why Cape businesses are in such desperate need of foreign labor. The reason, according to both the foreign workers and the business owners who employee them, has to do with work ethic. Ceperkovic, for instance, works 70 hours a week doing two jobs ("I got them like this," he says, snapping his fingers), though some foreigners he knows work over 100 hours a week.

His multiple languages come in handy; in what sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, three ladies -- a French, German and American -- recently entered his store, and he was able to communicate with each of them in her native tongue. "They don't ask about pay, overtime, take long breaks. They just do it," Alexandra Ivanov, a 21-year-old Bulgarian currently spending her third summer in Provincetown working at a fudge shop and a clothing store, tells me about her fellow foreign laborers. "I don't think Americans could do it like us."

Judge Judy - Here's Who You Support With Taxes

Monday, August 01, 2011

This Debt Deal does NOTHING to solve our debt problem

It is, at best, a tortured, belated, begrudging acknowledgement of the problem, nothing more. It is not a solution and it certainly signifies no change in DC.

Our dysfunctional Congress is still dysfunctional. Every Federal Government Department will still have mission creep as its primary goal.

The liberals still see Government as an authoritarian moral guide for an American people completely incapable of leading their lives in freedom. An American people hopelessly xenophobic, homophobic, racist, sexist, predatory and environmental defilers whose lives must be micro-managed by an army of bureaucrats.

Bill to Allow States to Opt Out of Federal Highway Program

Link
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and 11 more Senate Republicans have introduced legislation which would empower states to free themselves from "wasteful mandates and heavy-handed interference from the federal government" by enabling them to opt out of the Federal-Aid Highway and Mass Transit Account (MTA) programs.

Under the current system, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) often spends more than it receives in user taxes, which has resulted in Congress bailing out the fund three times since fiscal year 2008 for a total of $35 billion. Hatch said a large part of the problems with the fund is due to the fact that Congress keeps expanding the type of projects eligible for HTF revenues. Further exacerbating matters, Congress often links the release of the funds to mandates – beautification projects, museums and landscaping projects, for example – that are unrelated to transportation needs. This causes significant delays and drives up the cost of transportation projects.

States opting out of the HTF under the State Transportation Flexibility Act would give up their annual authorization from that fund in exchange for their share of the 18.3 cents per gallon federal gas taxes collected within their boundaries. The states would then be free to use that money to set and finance their own transportation priorities, subject only to their pledge to abide by certain federal safety and maintenance standards.

Tennessee Congressional Twitter Directory

Senator Lamar Alexander
Senator Bob Corker 
Representative Phil Roe
Representative Chuck Fleischmann 
Representative Scott DesJarlais 
Representative Jim Cooper 
Representative Diane Black 
Representative Marsha Blackburn
Representative Steve Cohen

The Big, Intrusive Government Legacy of George W Bush

Link

  • No Child Left Behind. Forget about abolishing the Department of Education. Bush made the federal government a much more intrusive and costly part of local schools.
  • Project Safe Neighborhoods. A draconian law that further guts the 2nd Amendment, like 20,000 other unconstitutional gun laws before it.
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. This the largest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ and will cost the already bankrupt Medicare system trillions more.
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Possibly the most expensive and restrictive change to the securities laws since the '30s. A major reason why companies will either stay private or go public outside the U.S.
  • Katrina. A total disaster of bureaucratic mismanagement, featuring martial law.
  • Ownership Society. The immediate root of the current financial crisis lies in Bush's encouragement of easy credit to everybody and inflating the housing market.
  • Nationalizations and Bailouts. In response to the crisis he created, he nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and passed by far the largest bailouts in U.S. history (until OBAMA!).
  • Free-Speech Zones. Originally a device for keeping war protesters away when Bush appeared on camera, they're now used to herd in opponents.
  • The Patriot Act. This 401-page bill, presented for passage only 45 days after 9/11 (how is it possible to write something of that size and complexity in only 45 days?) basically allows the government to do whatever it wishes with its subjects. Warrantless searches. All kinds of communications monitoring. Greatly expanded asset forfeiture provisions.
  • The War on Terror. The scope of the War on Drugs (which Bush also expanded) is exceeded only by the war on nobody in particular but on a tactic. It's become a cause of mass hysteria and an excuse for the government doing anything.
  • Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush started two completely pointless, counterproductive, and immensely expensive wars, neither of which has any prospect of ending anytime soon.
  • Dept. of Homeland Security. This is the largest and most dangerous of all agencies, now with its own gigantic campus in Washington, DC. It will never go away and centralizes the functions of a police state.
  • Guantanamo. Hundreds of individuals, most of them (like the Uighurs recently in the news) guilty only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, are incarcerated for years. A precedent is set for anyone who is accused of being an "enemy combatant" to be completely deprived of any rights at all.
  • Abu Ghraib and Torture. After imprisoning scores of thousands of foreign nationals, Bush made it a U.S. policy to use torture to extract information, based on a suspicion or nothing but a guard's whim. This is certainly one of the most damaging things to the reputation of the U.S. ever. It says to the world, "We stand for nothing."
  • The No-Fly List. His administration has placed the names of over a million people on this list, and it's still growing at about 20,000 a month. I promise it will be used for other purposes in the future…
  • The TSA. Somehow the Bush cabal found 50,000 middle-aged people who were willing to go through their fellow citizens' dirty laundry and take themselves quite seriously. God forbid you're not polite to them…
  • Farm Subsidies. Farm subsidies are the antithesis of the free market. Rather than trying to abolish or cut them back, Bush signed a record $190 billion farm bill.
  • Legislative Free Ride. And he vetoed less of what Congress did than any other president in history.