Tuesday, January 27, 2015

California's New Report Cards For Public School Students :Grit and gratitude join reading, writing and arithmetic on report cards


The Sacramento Bee reports:
Outside Harry Dewey Fundamental Elementary School in Fair Oaks, Amanda Christensen recalled the first time she saw the detailed report card for her three children.

“At first it was very complicated,” Christensen said. “You see all these new things and you don’t understand quite what they mean.”

Case in point: Her kids are now graded on their level of grit.

“What does my child have to do to get a grade in that?” she wondered.

Across the state, report cards are undergoing a sea change in how students are measured for academic performance. Where teachers once graded students on traditional math or English skills, they now judge attributes such as grit, gratitude or being sensitive to others.

Districts are changing their report cards to reflect the new Common Core State Standards, which are intended to move students away from rote learning and memorization.


"Being sensitive to others" and getting away from " rote learning and memorization " means your child will not be ready for calculus or college level material. Public education really is evil. It's time to separate school from state.

Why Oil Prices Will Be "Lower For Longer" In 3 Simple Charts

Zerohedge

Bid to end Keystone debate fails

The Hill reports:
The Senate on Monday failed to end debate on legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, making it likely that a final vote on the measure won't take place until next week.

In a 53-39 vote, the Senate fell six votes short of the 60 needed to end debate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) switched his vote from yes to no, a procedural move that allows him to bring up the motion again.
It's early.

White House: Here’s A Map To Show You How Amnesty Will Help Your State!

The Daily Caller reports:
The White House is embarking on a public relations pitch to raise awareness about President Obama’s executive amnesty, which the administration claims will provide a boost to the economy and have no negative impact on American workers — a claim which Obama himself has disputed in the past.

To help sell Obama’s unilateral action, which he announced in November, the White House has published a U.S. map which shows how much economic output will increase for each state due to amnesty. The amnesty will provide temporary relief from deportation and legal work status to approximately 5 million illegal immigrants.

The White House is also creating a series of eye-catching flash cards for each U.S. state with the hashtag #ImmigrationAction, which show how each will supposedly benefit from amnesty.
The great moments of the Obama regime.

Not News: Only 1.1% of Americans Live in Unemployment Rate-Recovering Counties

Newsbusters

How To Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death: Cholesterol Pills Won’t Do

Bill Sardi

Columbia University pushes for Obama library in Harlem

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
From the platform of the Number 1 subway at 125th Street and Broadway in Harlem, I see the Hudson River and a glass-sided building rising on Columbia University’s new campus, where the school proposes hosting the Obama presidential library and museum.

If President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle pick one of the open parcels on Columbia’s 17-acre Manhattanville site for their project, they will be locating in an iconic African-American community where the Ivy League school is in the midst of a long-term expansion.
A monument for our Glorious Leader.

Actor Gary Sinise Crushes Howard Dean for Insulting 'American Sniper' Moviegoers

Newsbusters

Hay-fever pills in Alzheimer's link

The Daily Mail reports:
Over-the-counter sleeping aids and hay-fever treatments can increase the risk of Alzheimer's, a study has found.

The sleeping aid Nytol and anti-allergy pills Benadryl and Piriton all belong to a class of medication highlighted in a warning from researchers.

Each of these drugs has "anticholinergic" blocking effects on the nervous system that are said to raise the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia significantly at higher doses over several years.

Side effects from these pills?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ron Paul Refutes Washington Posts Attempt to Paint Him As A Secessionist

Historian Tom Woods : What I Told the Washington Post About Secession

Skull and Bones Member Robert Kagan Asks ' Is Democracy in Decline? The Weight of Geopolitics '


The Brookings Institution

Flashback: Congressman Larry McDonald on Crossfire Explains The Drive For The New World Order

Cuba's $6B debt to Americans for seized properties hangs over US talks

Fox News reports:
A $6 billion sticking point could create headaches for the U.S.-Cuba talks.

Though concerns over human rights, press freedoms and U.S. fugitives living free on the island have dominated debate over the Obama administration's negotiations on restoring diplomatic ties, the Castro regime also still owes Americans that eye-popping sum.

The $6 billion figure represents the value of all the assets seized from thousands of U.S. citizens and businesses after the Cuban revolution in 1959. With the United States pressing forward on normalizing relations with the communist country, some say the talks must resolve these claims.
Can the Castro brothers come up with the money they stole?

Mark Levin: ‘This President’s Anti-Semitism is Catching On’

CNS News

Illinois pays millions to keep inmates who can't find homes

The AP reports:
Illinois spends as much as $25 million a year to keep inmates in prison because they can't find suitable places to live that meet the terms of their parole.

Nearly 1,250 inmates are held beyond their release dates each year, the Chicago Tribune reported. The issue mostly affects sex offenders, who face housing restrictions, as well as those subject to electronic monitoring as part of parole.

Corrections officials say the practice began about a decade ago. They're frustrated by delays, but say they're tied by restrictions on how close sex offenders can live to schools, parks and other places there are likely to be children. Just nine beds in Illinois halfway houses are reserved for sex offenders, none of them in Cook County, according to officials.


Jail ... plus extra time.

Obama's Fed Nominee, Who Was Busted And Quit For "Impropriety", Reports Up To $40 Million In Assets

Zerohedge

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report


The Daily Mail

Gay Ala. Lawmaker Threatens To Out Colleagues' Affairs


TPM

What Is a Full-Time Employee? Senate Panel Hears It’s Not 30 Hours a Week

TLNT

St. Paul district spent $60k attending ‘white privilege’ conferences last school year

Eag News reports:
Taxpayers naively accept the explanations of public officials far too often.

For instance, when the St. Paul, Minnesota school district unveiled its proposed 2013-14 budget, it included a plan to use $12.6 million in fund reserves.

That’s supposed to be rainy day money, and district officials said it was indeed raining, due to a projected shortfall between expenditures and revenues.
The great moments of public education.

Another Obama Admin Lie Exposed: Barack’s Diss of Bibi Has Nothing to Do with Pending Israeli Election

Gateway Pundit

Facebook Censors Blasphemous Pages To Comply With Turkey’s Demand, But Won’t Publish It

Tech Crunch

Rahm's Son Attacked By Chicago Alderman Running For Mayor

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
Mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti on Monday cranked up the rhetoric in Chicago’s mayoral contest, saying that Mayor Rahm Emanuel “failed us again” by not filing any charges in the assault on the mayor’s own teenage son.

“It sends the wrong signal,” Fioretti said, comparing the mayor’s actions in the robbery case to the general problem of community members afraid to give police information to help solve crimes.

Fioretti made the comments following his appearance before the City Club of Chicago, where he read from prepared remarks about his vision for the city.

In a question and answer session with reporters, however, Fioretti let loose on the mayor, bringing Emanuel’s 17-year-old son into the picture when talking about Chicago crime. Fioretti accused Emanuel of not pursuing charges against the suspects in the December attack, which happened on Emanuel’s block.
The political mysteries of Chicago.

Obama Campaign Team Arrives in Israel to Defeat Netanyahu in March Elections

Big Government reports:
Just days after the Obama White House accused House Speaker John Boehner of “breaking protocol” by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, a team of up to five Obama campaign operatives has reportedly arrived in Israel to lead a campaign to defeat the Israeli Prime Minister in upcoming national elections scheduled for March 17.

The anti-Netanyahu, left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports a group called “One Voice,” reportedly funded by American donors, is paying for the Obama campaign team. That group is reportedly being lead by Obama’s 2012 field director Jeremy Bird.

As Jerusalem Post columnist and putative Knesset candidate Caroline Glick reported on her Facebook page, “Obama won’t meet Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington when he addresses the Joint Houses of Congress in March because of Netanyahu’s visit’s proximity to the Israeli elections. And Obama, of course believes in protocol and propriety which is why he won’t get involved.” And yet, Glick adds, “He’s just sending his 2012 field campaign manager to Israel to run a campaign to defeat Netanyahu.”

For all the harsh accusations of foreign interference currently being leveled against GOP Speaker John Boehner, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, reports of Obama operatives actively working to unseat a democratically elected leader of a strong U.S. ally is hardly the news it might appear to be.
Interests.

Beyond JFK The Question of Conspiracy

The Fallacies of Public Finance | Walter Block

Jonathan Gruber Faces Questions About ‘Phantom Billing’ and Tax Reporting

Big Government reports:
Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer is not the only one raising questions about Jonathan Gruber’s billing practices.

On Monday Darcie Johnston, head of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, told Breitbart News that Gruber may have a “phantom billing” problem.

“Jonathan Gruber has failed to provide any evidence that the $80,000 he’s been paid by the state of Vermont for 800 hours of work he claimed was performed by unidentified research assistants was actually performed, or that these research assistants even exist and were paid,” Johnston told Breitbart News.

“There’s a term in health care for the practice of billing for services not provided. It’s called ‘phantom billing,’ and when doctors or health care providers do this, they face criminal charges.”
The great moments of the Welfare State.

Koch Brothers Will Spend $889 Million on 2016

Political Wire

California Mom Had Sex With Daughter's 16-Year-Old Ex: Cops

The Huffington Post

Video: Americans Want Obama to Repeal the Bill of Rights- Respondents blithely agree that liberties should be completely eviscerated in the name of fighting ISIS

Infowars

Russia Credit Rating Cut to Junk by S&P First Time in Decade

Bloomberg

Berkeley buzzes with filming of Steve Jobs movie

The San Jose Mercury News

Sen. Tammy Baldwin ousts aide over VA controversy

The Milwaukee Journal reports:
Under fire for her office's inaction over alleged overmedication at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin abruptly ousted one of her top state staffers late last week.

Marquette Baylor — deputy state director for Baldwin and chief of her Milwaukee office — was let go on Thursday without explanation. Baylor has been offered a cash payout as part of a severance package if the former aide agrees to keep her lips zipped.

"It looks like they're trying to pin the blame on her," a source said of Baylor's dismissal by Baldwin.

But Ryan Honl — a former Tomah VA employee who has acted as a whistle-blower — said Sunday that Baylor is just one of several Baldwin staffers who mishandled the matter and should be let go.

He said he talked with Baylor for two hours in late November about the problems at the Tomah medical center and that the Baldwin aide discouraged him from going public with his concerns, saying that doing so might get her and others fired.

Honl said he was not happy that Baldwin was offering Baylor a severance deal.

"I get run out of my job and she gets a golden parachute for (expletive) veterans?" Honl asked incredulously.
The great moments of socialized medicine.

Super Bowl ticket list prices blowing out records

CNBC reports:
The "current average list price for the Super Bowl is $6,459.21" as of Jan. 25, according to TiqIQ, up from last year's average of $3,015.99 on this date—a 114.17 percent increase.

And data show this year's asking price is likely to rise, with the site's previous reports showing an average of $5,188.30, only last Friday. The current average actual sale price stands at $4,152.19.
Demand.

You’re going to have to spare more than a square: Toilet paper is shrinking

The Washington Post

The top 1 percent of bands and solo artists now earn about 80 percent of all revenue from recorded music


The Atlantic

Deficit in U.S. to Narrow to $468 Billion This Year, CBO Says

Bloomberg reports:
The U.S. budget deficit this year will shrink more than previously forecast and unexpectedly narrow again next year as falling unemployment helps increase revenue, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The fiscal 2015 deficit will decline to $468 billion, or 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, compared with $483 billion in the year ended Sept. 30 and $469 billion forecast in August, the CBO said today in Washington. Next year the gap will be $467 billion, compared with $556 billion seen in August, according to CBO.

The nonpartisan agency said lower oil prices and consumer spending will help drive growth this year. Monetary policy will help underpin the economy for the next few years and by smaller degrees over the longer term, it said.
Still a long way to a balanced budget.

Eat carbs with EVERY meal, drink coffee and don't over-exercise: New fitness regime that promises a new body in four weeks (and includes a hot chocolate before bed)

The Daily Mail

Ohio sues over Obamacare taxes on state, local governments

Reuters reports:
The state of Ohio filed a lawsuit on Monday that says Obamacare tax assessments against state and local governments for public employee health plans are unconstitutional.

The suit by Attorney General Mike DeWine involves the federal government's ability under the Affordable Care Act's Transitional Reinsurance Program to levy taxes against health insurance companies and certain employers who offer self-insured group health plans.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has said it is assessing this tax on state and local governments for their public employee health plans, DeWine's office said. DeWine said this would destroy the balance of authority between the federal government and the states.

"This action simply protects a tradition as old as our republic that governments do not tax each other," DeWine, a Republican, said in a statement about the lawsuit.
Federalism.

Preet Bharara's Speech at Harvard Law School Class Day 2014

Pelosi searches for a game plan. Heading into a retreat in Philadelphia, some House Democrats are grumbling about their leader.

Politico

9 Republicans launch House Freedom Caucus

Politico

The EPA Channels Its' Inner "JOSEPH GOEBBELS "- Exposed EPA Memo: Tie Fighting Global Warming To Americans’ ‘Personal Worries’

The Daily Caller reports:
An Environmental Protection Agency memo sent to top officials implored the agency to build up support for its agenda by tying its regulatory agenda to the “personal worries” of Americans.

“Polar ice caps and the polar bears have become the climate change ‘mascots,’ if you will, and personify the challenges we have in making this issue real for many Americans,” reads a memo sent around to top agency officials in March 2009, just months after President Barack Obama took office.

“Most Americans will never see a polar ice cap, nor will most have the chance to see a polar bear in its natural habitat,” the memo reads. “Therefore, it is easy to detach from the seriousness of this issue. Unfortunately, climate change in the abstract is an increasingly – and consistently – unpersuasive argument to make.”

“However, if we shift from making this about the polar caps and about our neighbor with respiratory illness we can potentially bring this issue home to many Americans,” the memo adds. “There will be many opportunities to discuss climate-related efforts this year. As we do so, we must allow the human health argument to take center stage.”
The EPA channels its' inner Joseph Goebbels.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Outlines Corruption Charges Against Speaker Silver (Video)

Democrats begin to abandon Sheldon Silver

Crain's New York Business

Why Law School Is A Waste Of Money Unless You Get Into A Top School

The Business Insider

Did Slanted NPR Story Lead to Hasty, Illegal Education Department Sexual Harassment Rules?

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Are You Middle or Upper Income?


Economic Policy Journal

Feds’ unemployment benefits made job recession worse: Study

The Washington Times reports:
If you pay people not to work, they won’t work — and cutting off their payments sends them scurrying back into the job market, according to new research by three academics who looked at the federal government’s extended unemployment benefit program and concluded that it actually deepened, rather than helped, the jobs recession.

Once the benefits ended at the end of 2013, the jobs picture began to rebound, trouncing even some of the rosier predictions for the year, the academics said in a new National Bureau of Economic Research paper released this month.

Nearly one million workers who would have sat it out and taken unemployment benefits instead got jobs in 2014 because their benefits ended, the researchers said. And when knock-on effects are included, “nearly all” of last year’s new jobs can be attributed to the end of the federal program, the researchers, led by Marcus Hagerdorn, an economist at the University of Oslo, said.


Yet again, mainstream neo-classical economists confirm the supply of labor is an upward sloping curve.

Low Gas Prices, Falling Gas Tax Revenue Has CA Lawmakers Considering Plan To Impose Mileage Tax

CBS News

Anti-Koch activists tolerate academic programs with liberal strings attached

The College Fix on climate research with strings attached from the left.

Eddie Van Halen Turns 60 Years Old

Eddie Van Halen turns 60 years old today.

The Senate’s Keystone debate was downright miserable for Democrats.

Slate's haunting fear.

The Typical American's Net Worth By Age: Here's Where You Stand


Motley Fool

Inside Hillary Clinton’s 2016 plan. New campaign takes shape, with ‘big-tent mentality’ and ‘good cop’ for press.

Politico

Documentary says Tom Cruise had Nicole Kidman’s phone tapped


The New York Post

Detroit offers home discount to city workers

The Detroit Free Press reports:
City of Detroit employees, retirees and their immediate families will receive half off homes sold in a city auction designed to save fixable homes in stable neighborhoods as part of a new incentive Mayor Mike Duggan's administration is to announce this morning.

Current city workers — those on the city payroll or working on contract with the city — and retirees will be eligible for 50% off the final auction price of homes put up to bid through the Detroit Land Bank, spokesman Craig Fahle told the Free Press.

Factoring in immediate relatives — which include siblings, children and parents of the city's current and retired work force — adds a potential pool of buyers far beyond the city's current workforce of about 9,000, along with 23,000 retirees.

The incentive is designed as both a reward to city workers, past and present, and as a way to lure more people back to the city through one of the Duggan administration's signature efforts to arrest blight.
Special privileges.

Hospitals full of empty beds

Crain's Chicago Business reports:
On its busiest day in 2013, 60 percent of the patient beds at Roseland Community Hospital on Chicago's Far South Side sat empty.

It was the worst performance of the 95 hospitals in the Chicago area, but Roseland's plight is hardly unique. Dr. John Warner Hospital, in a small town south of Bloomington, has an average daily census of 1.5 patients and an occupancy rate of 12 percent, the lowest in Illinois. Statewide, 76 hospitals routinely fill less than 50 percent of their beds.

Buffeted by population shifts and changes in health insurance, the hospital industry in Illinois has far more capacity than it needs. More than 12,000 of the roughly 33,000 beds staffed by doctors, nurses and other providers in 2013 were empty even when hospitals were at their busiest, according to state records. That's nearly 4 of every 10 beds lying vacant.

“I think it's clear that there are more beds than necessary right now and that the need for inpatient beds is declining, not increasing,” says Arnie Kimmel, CEO of Franciscan St. James Health, which has hospitals in Olympia Fields and Chicago Heights. “That raises a whole host of unpleasant questions, like which hospital should close or be consolidated.”


Hospitals often are major employers in areas that may not have many other jobs. In addition to reducing access to care for the poor and elderly, closings could severely damage the local economy. And there's no mechanism for coordinating consolidation across separate ownership groups.
Excess supply? Time to lower prices?

The EPA Uses Children (and Adults) as Guinea Pigs

The American Thinker

Hedge Funds Bet Oil Will Fall Further

Bloomberg reports:
Hedge funds boosted bearish wagers on oil to a four-year high as U.S. supplies grew the most since 2001.

Money managers increased short positions in West Texas Intermediate crude to the highest level since September 2010 in the week ended Jan. 20, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Net-long positions slipped for the first time in three weeks.

U.S. crude supplies rose by 10.1 million barrels to 397.9 million in the week ended Jan. 16 and the country will pump the most oil since 1972 this year, the Energy Information Administration says. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, the new ruler of the world’s biggest oil exporter, said he will maintain the production policy of his predecessor despite a 58 percent drop in prices since June.
The odds.

Why Israel rankles Europeans so much

The Washington Examiner

Michael Moore A Little Upset With American Sniper Success

Vitamin D may fight multiple sclerosis

We re-link this article from The Boston Globe by popular demand. We encourage everyone to read it.

The Federal Reserve Has Declared The Winner In The Generational Financial War


Zerohedge

CBS Panel Blasts Obama's 'Extraordinary Disconnect,' 'Question if WH Knows What's Going On'

Mark Dice- American Sniper EXPOSED - American LIAR - Bradley Cooper's War Propaganda Film Debunked

Why Government Money Can't Fix Poverty

Sheldon Silver to Temporarily Relinquish Speaker Duties

The New York Times

Build Yourself Up To Live Longer
: 5 easy steps to improve your flexibility, strength, and balance

Dr. Victor Marchione reports:
There are easy steps to improve your flexibility and balancing. Taking some time out of your day to stretch will help with flexibility.

Start by attempting to touch your toes. If you can’t, reach as far as you can, and hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. Slowly, you will be able to go further until you can get right down to your toes.

Other good stretches to try are reaching your arms across your body or over and back from your head. But remember, anything less than 20 seconds in position and you won’t target the muscles to loosen up and get a full stretch.

For balance, start with trying to stand on one foot at a time. A good practice is beginning with 10 seconds per leg and increasing the duration over time.

To build strength, it’s best to start with a squat which is essentially being in a seated position without actually sitting down. For beginners, practice hovering over a chair in case you lose balance or need a break. The stronger your legs get, the less likely you’ll need the chair underneath you. Also, as you become stronger, you can hold this position for much longer.

To improve strength in your arms, try some simple exercises with light weights. In a standing position, hold the weights facing forward and curl your arms up so you are bringing the weights up to your chest. Repeat an up-and-down motion five times, then take a break until your next set. Once again, the more times you practice this, the more you can increase the weight.
An article well worth your time.

GOP's New Social Security Playbook: Pit The Disabled Against Retirees

TPM reports:

Conservatives have long searched for an effective message against Social Security. Now, they seem to have found a new one to try as they set up a fight over the 80-year-old program in the coming Congress: The disabled are robbing the retired.

Social Security advocates describe it almost invariably as the "divide-and-conquer" strategy: Pit the program's two funds -- the retirement and disability programs -- against each other. The disability fund won't be able to pay its full benefits starting in late 2016, and House Republicans passed a rule earlier this month stating that they won't allow a transfer of tax revenue from the retirement fund to cover the shortfall, as has been done multiple times on a bipartisan basis, most recently in 1994, unless Social Security's overall solvency is improved.

Republicans have been clear that they intend to use the need for reallocation as leverage to force a debate about the disability program -- and perhaps, some conservatives hope and Democrats warn, Social Security as a whole.

It's widely acknowledged among Social Security experts and advocates that the disability program is easier to target politically because it needs the revenue infusion and it doesn't have the built-in political support that the retirement program does. It's simple math: 48 million people receive retirement benefits versus 11 million receiving disability. People are less likely to balk if the disability fund is the hostage being taken.
The end game of the welfare state: competition of victim status. Also know as "tear jerk" appeal.

Conservative backlash in Iowa against Bush, Romney

McClatchy reports:
Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney face big trouble in Iowa – influential conservatives have had enough of them.

Disdain for the party’s center-right powerhouses, who are both considering seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nominations, could have implications well beyond the nation’s first caucus state.

Iowa conservatives mirror the views of like-minded activists nationwide, and having the party’s vocal right wing blasting away could stagger either candidate throughout 2016. And it’s uncertain conservatives would actively work in a general election for Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, or Bush, the former Florida governor.

“This could be a big problem,” said Craig Robinson, editor-in-chief of theIowaRepublican.com, a partisan web site.


Problems, big problems.

Hillary's poll numbers are collapsing

IBD reports:
Well, that didn't take as long as expected.

In just the past month, when no one with a real life was thinking about the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton's massive poll lead over every single potential Republican opponent has collapsed.

In a hypothetical match-up, her margin over Jeb Bush, the closest GOP president, was cut in half to eight points this month, 45%-37%, according to Zogby. That's down from a whopping 15-point lead in December. Similarly, the former first lady's 15-point margin over Mitt Romney slid to nine points, 46%-37%.

Still sizable margins, to be sure. But trending uncomfortably in the wrong direction even before an announcement, as Clinton goes to ground to plot her campaign, assemble staff and devise a credible rationale other than gender for why Americans should let her move back into the White House, this time in the West Wing.

Hillary inevitable ?

Obama's grand plan playing out, with Hillary Clinton as the first victim

The American Thinker

Union Membership Rate Falls to 100-Year Low

The Daily Caller

Rahm Emanuel's fundraising nears $30 million

The Chicago Sun-Times

Endlessly slapped by ObamaCare

The New York Post