Friday, October 24, 2014
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:03 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:58 PM
The Soros Files has the numbers. The democratic socialist magazine The American Prospect took $525,001.00 between 2005 and 2009. Comrade Harold Meyerson of the Democratic Socialist of America sure appreciates the subsidy so has can write of "inequality". What better proof than this , that socialism isn't a movement of the downtrodden ?
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:51 PM
Judicial Watch reports:
President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was a key player in the effort to cover-up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious scandal, according to public records obtained by Judicial Watch.Fast and Furious reaches all the way to the White House.
The information is part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) “Vaughn index” detailing records about the gun-running operation known as Fast and Furious. JW had to sue the agency for the records after the Obama administration failed to provide them under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A federal court ordered the DOJ to provide the records over the agency’s objections. Yesterday JW reported on the broad information in the records, including that Obama asserted executive privilege for Holder’s wife as part of the administration’s efforts to cover up the scandal.
Practically lost in the 1,000-plus pages of records is an index that shows Jarrett was brought in to manage the fact that Holder lied to Congress after the story about the disastrous gun-running operation broke in the media. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ran the once-secret program that allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 12:04 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:32 AM
The Daily Caller reports:
Now Pennsylvania’s largest health insurer is reporting that it’s hiking premiums for individual Obamacare policies by double digits in 2015.When government gets involved: costs go up.
Highmark Inc., Pennsylvania’s Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer, is requesting to increase its prices for 180,000 people in the fall. They’ve requested increases of between 13.4 percent and 15 percent, according to Pennsylvania’s Trib Live.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:30 AM
The American Spectator reports:
The 1971 Supreme Court decision remains largely unknown, but no ruling of the past forty-five years (except for Roe v. Wade) has done more harm to the American way of life. It changed the way companies hire, pay, and promote workers, ensuring that America would be a country defined by credentials rather than merit. Griggs is why we’re wasting money and time on a dubious good like a B.S. degree—pun intended.There's more:
The saga began in 1969 when Willie Griggs, a black man born in the segregated South, decided he was overdue for a promotion. In order to get one, per Duke Power Electric Company rules, he had to pass two aptitude tests and possess a high school diploma. Griggs smelled racism. The tests surveyed employees on basic math and intelligence questions. None of Duke’s fourteen black workers passed. Griggs and twelve others sued the company for discrimination. A district court and federal appeals court accepted Duke’s claim that the tests were designed to ensure that the plant operated safely. Duke bolstered its case by pointing out that it offered to pay for employees to obtain high school diplomas and that white applicants who failed to meet the requirements were also denied promotions.
The Supreme Court wasn’t buying it. This was North Carolina after all. The court compared the tests to Aesop’s fable of the Fox and the Stork, in which a fox offers a dish full of milk to a stork, whose beak prevents it from satisfying its thirst. The implication that black and white workers were of a different species did not strike any of the justices as racist, unlike the objective tests. Griggs found that if blacks failed to meet a standard at a higher rate than whites the standard itself was racist—a legal doctrine known as disparate impact.
“What is required by Congress is the removal of artificial, arbitrary, and unnecessary barriers to employment when the barriers operate invidiously to discriminate on the basis of racial or other impermissible classification,” Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote in Griggs. “Diplomas and tests are useful servants, but Congress has mandated the common sense proposition that they are not to become masters of reality.” Burger may have intended to free America of bureaucracy, but his decision in fact bestowed that title—“masters of reality”—on college administrators.
By the late 1970s, college graduates earned 55 percent more per year than their high school counterparts. The gap shot up to 85 percent in 2012. Fear of litigation plays a role. A company that pays based solely on performance could find itself rewarding the “wrong” person. A compensation manager at a leading technology firm told me that an engineer fresh from graduate school simply has to be paid more than a self-made engineer—the Den Black who learned the business over a twenty-year career, rising from basic laborer to accomplished engineer on his own merit. “There’s too much risk in paying a guy without a diploma more even if he is a better contributor,” she said. “God forbid the college graduate is a woman or a minority: They can sue you and claim that they were paid less because of discrimination, so we designed a system to pay people for their education, not their job.” Thus the credential becomes a force of downward mobility for the educated and uneducated alike.You'll want to read the entire article : twice.
The up-by-your-bootstraps mantra of America wasn’t killed by businessmen; it was killed by the lawmakers and regulators who made the diploma into the bootstrap. So why are the same politicians and pundits who condemn inequality zealously defending credentialism?
Well, for one thing, there’s money in disparate impact for the Department of Labor.
“Essentially it’s a revenue machine for the DoL,” Keith Gutstein, a labor and employment partner at a law firm in Woodbury, New York, said of new federal wage discrimination laws. “In recent years the DoL has started to insist on CMPs—civil money penalties—and that money goes to the government.”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:58 AM
So, maybe you live in a city like Dixon, Illinois, population 16,000 where everyone knows everyone, people are polite, work hard, and they don’t ask their neighbors too many questions.Isn't it great to know that Barack Obama is from Illinois and levitated above corruption?
In 2012, the mayor, everyone else in the city and the national media discovered that Rita Crundwell, the city’s Treasurer and Controller had embezzled $53.7 million from the city over the past 20 years. How could the treasurer of an Illinois town with an annual budget of $6 million to $8 million steal over $50 million in two decades? Here is the toolkit for municipal fraud, as described by attorney Devon C. Bruce, who litigated the Dixon civil case and obtained the largest municipal settlement of its kind, $47 million.
How could this much money be stolen from a city?
Dixon’s mayor and five commissioners were part-time city employees, holding other full-time jobs in town. Dixon had three full-time city employees, including Crundwell whose salary was $80,000 a year. Dixon had no accountants on staff.
Local accounting firm CliftonLarsonAllen worked for the city of Dixon, preparing payroll, paying bills, creating ledgers and preparing the city’s financial statements. Clifton was Dixon’s outside auditor for two decades, collecting $1 million in billings from the town during that time.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:50 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:13 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:11 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:36 AM
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:16 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 4:53 PM
Nate Silver:' As of Wednesday night, the GOP’s chances of a Senate takeover were up to 66 percent, its highest figure on the year.'
Nate Silver explains the odds against the Democrats: today they are 2-1:
The numbers are the numbers. There’s nothing sacred about 51 percent or 72 percent or 95 percent. But certain probabilities, I’ve found, are harder to translate into the right words. For most of 2014, Republicans’ probability of taking over the Senate has been somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 percent, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. The gambler in me says that’s not quite close enough to describe as a “tossup”; you’d make a lot of money over the long run betting on a coin toss weighted 60-40 to your side. But it still represents a highly doubtful outcome. A 60 percent chance of an outcome occurring means there’s a 40 percent chance of it failing to occur. As 60-40 underdogs, Democrats’ chances of keeping the Senate would be about as good as Ted Williams’s chances of getting a base hit in 1941.The odds from the prediction guru.
Over the past week or two, the FiveThirtyEight forecast has drifted slightly more toward Republicans. As of Wednesday night, the GOP’s chances of a Senate takeover were up to 66 percent, its highest figure on the year.
Sixty-six percent might seem a lot different than 60 percent; it tends to read as “2-to-1 favorites” rather than “just slightly better than a coin flip.”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:34 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:31 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 3:27 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 2:59 PM
A dramatic shift in poll numbers has taken place since Governor John Kitzhaber’s campaign became riddled with scandal. A poll commissioned by KATU has Dennis Richardson with a surprising double-digit lead.Some people have had enough.
Even Dennis Richardson himself is surprised by the new numbers “It was just amazing to see that kind of a flip,” Richardson told KXL. “People finally have figured it out, that with cover-ups, waste, investigations, sweetheart deals, and pay-for-play they finally decided that’s not going to work for Oregon’s future.”
Kitzhaber, who was up 13-points before a steady dose of negative press is now down 17-points. With 18% of those polled saying they have shifted allegiances, and were once voting for the governor but are now voting for Richardson.
Richardson says he has met some of those 18% who have switched sides “I met some in the grocery store who said ‘I have been a Democrat all my life and I never thought I would vote for a Republican, but this isn’t about party, this is about integrity, honestly and honor.” Richardson said. “They all have different reasons, but they said ‘we’re voting for Richardson, we want to give him a chance.”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 2:54 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 2:50 PM
Judicial Watch reports:
Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) a “Vaughn index” detailing records about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal. The index was forced out of the Obama administration thanks to JW’s June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)). A federal court had ordered the production over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.Yet, MSNBC wants to talk about Chris Christie's bridge scandal.
The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal. Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act. The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.
This is the first time that the Obama administration has provided a detailed listing of all records being withheld from Congress and the American people about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The 1307-page “draft” Vaughn index was emailed to Judicial Watch at 8:34 p.m. last night, a few hours before a federal court-ordered deadline. In its cover letter, the Department of Justice asserts that all of the responsive records described in the index are “subject to the assertion of executive privilege.”
The Vaughn index explains 15,662 documents. Typically, a Vaughn index must: (1) identify each record withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption. The Vaughn index arguably fails to provide all of this required information but does provide plenty of interesting information for a public kept in the dark for years about the Fast and Furious scandal.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 2:43 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 12:00 PM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:26 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 11:21 AM
Beginning next year, Indiana will limit how long some can get food stamps, and voters nationwide strongly support similar limits in their state. Just over half favor fixing a deadline for how long people can receive federal public assistance benefits of any kind.Limits.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:37 AM
Larry Sabato reports:
With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, the picture in several key races remains hazy. But when the dust settles, the most likely result is a Republican majority, as the Crystal Ball’s outlook of Republicans adding five to eight seats has long indicated.The Crystal Ball speaks.
The GOP needs at least a net gain of six seats to win back Congress’ upper chamber. But the math is complicated by Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R) struggles in Kansas against independent Greg Orman, and even if Roberts wins, the GOP may not get to 51 seats until after Dec. 6 (Louisiana’s runoff) or even Jan. 6, 2015 (Georgia’s runoff), making it difficult to actually call the Senate for Republicans even this close to Nov. 4.
A rundown of the arithmetic at this point: The GOP looks certain to win Democratic-controlled seats in Montana and West Virginia, both of which we rate as Safe Republican. While ex-Gov. Mike Rounds (R) hasn’t had an easy go of it in South Dakota — thus our Leans Republican rating there — he is still in a decent position to beat Rick Weiland (D) and independent ex-Republican Sen. Larry Pressler in a three-way race. A win in the Mount Rushmore State would give the GOP three pickups.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 10:01 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:50 AM
The Hill reports:
According to a memo provided by the RNC, registered Republicans have sent in 305 more absentee ballots or early votes than Democrats. At this point in the election cycle in 2010, the last election with an Iowa Senate seat up for election, the memo says Democrats led by 16,426 ballots.It's still early.
“The momentum has been building for a long time, but this development means Republicans have crossed a major Democrat firewall that had given them a boost going into Election Day in previous election cycles,” Jeff Kaufmann, the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, said in a statement. “Democrats are nowhere near where they need to be, and they are quickly running out of time.”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:46 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:21 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:13 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:12 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:59 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:56 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:51 AM
The L.A. Times reports:
With a grand jury decision looming on whether a white police officer should face charges in the killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., the investigation has sprung a few leaks.Imagine that.
New details from the inquiry into Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 death — all provided by unidentified sources and which seem to support Officer Darren Wilson’s story of what happened that day — have emerged in St. Louis and national news outlets in recent days.
The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”
The details and news reports say that Brown struggled with Wilson in his patrol car and that Wilson’s gun went off in the car before a brief foot chase ensued.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:50 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:45 AM
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:39 AM
The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
A federal judge has agreed to appoint a monitor to oversee hiring decisions at the Illinois Department of Transportation.The story MSNBC will not be covering today... or ever.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier's ruling comes just two weeks before the gubernatorial election and was immediately seized on by Republican candidate Bruce Rauner as evidence that "Pat Quinn is corrupt and cannot be trusted to clean up state government."
But Quinn's camp disputed that, and Schenkier himself used much more measured language Wednesday morning, saying simply that appointing a monitor was "the best way to ensure compliance" with rules over political hiring in state government.
Campaigning lawyer Michael Shakman first asked for a federal hiring monitor to oversee IDOT in 2009 — a move opposed by Quinn.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:36 AM
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pushed down prices for some generic prescription drugs to just $4 eight years ago, setting a new industry standard. Now it is trying to do the same for seeing a doctor.Competition!
On Friday, a Walmart Care Clinic opened in Dalton, Ga., six months after Walmart U.S., the retailer’s WMT, +0.01% biggest unit, entered the business of providing primary health care. It now operates a dozen clinics in rural Texas, South Carolina and Georgia and has increased its target for openings this year to 17.
An office visit costs $40, which Walmart U.S. says is about half the industry standard, and just $4 for Walmart U.S. employees and family members with the company’s insurance. A pregnancy test costs just $3, and a cholesterol test $8. A typical retail clinic offers acute care only. But a Walmart Care Clinic also treats chronic conditions such as diabetes. (Walmart U.S. also leases space in its stores to 94 clinics owned by others that set their own pricing.)
“It was very important to us that we establish a retail price in the health-care industry because price leadership matters to us,” said Jennifer LaPerre, a Walmart U.S. senior director responsible for health and wellness, in an interview.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:33 AM
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to go back on the air in Kentucky after the party has been encouraged by new polls suggesting the race against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is within reach.They are back?
The party committee is reserving $650,000 in airtime to boost Alison Lundergan Grimes after reviewing recent internal and public polling, a DSCC official told POLITICO. The polling, the source says, suggested that undecided voters are moving in the Democrat’s direction.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:15 AM