Category: Cronyism


More Than 100,000 Feds Owe Back Taxes

 

 

 

 

 

” Federal employees owed more in delinquent taxes last year than any year in the past decade, costing the Internal Revenue Service $1.4 billion in 2014.

  The 113,805 civilian government employees who declined to pay all of their taxes last year would be ineligible to work for federal agencies under a House bill introduced last week that would hold officials accountable for evading taxes.

  Four in 100 federal employees owed the IRS last year, according to the tax agency’s annual delinquency report released Tuesday.

  Among cabinet-level agencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs had the highest rate of tax delinquency, with 15,476 of its employees evading all or part of their taxes in 2014.

  VA staff collectively owed nearly $162 million in back taxes, the report said.”

 

Thanks to Sarah Westwood at the Washington Examiner

 

 

   Update: According to Yahoo News the total tax deficiency of federal employees is over $3.5 billion and not the $1.4 billion we previously reported :

 

” Federal workers and retirees owed more than $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes last year, a $200 million increase over the previous year, the IRS said Tuesday.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report: DHS Showed Favoritism To Democrat-Linked Immigrants

 

 

 

 

” Many on the right and the left would concede that America’s immigration system is broken, but few acknowledge that it is also hopelessly corrupt. There should be little doubt about the immorality at the heart of the immigration and naturalization process following an inspector general report released on Tuesday that alleges at least one ranking Department of Homeland Security official showed “an appearance of favoritism” and granted “special access” to those seeking green cards and visas for immigrants associated with Democrat-linked wealthy investors.

“ The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department meddled in three high-profile immigration cases, giving special treatment to applications from wealthy and well-connected immigrants after calls from major Democrats despite the objections of career employees, the department’s inspector general concluded in a report Tuesday,” The Washington Times reported on Tuesday.

  Alejandro Mayorkas, who was elevated from head of the department’s legal immigration agency to be deputy secretary while the investigation was ongoing, also angered many of his colleagues by getting involved in the cases, and “created an appearance of favoritism and special access” for the wealthy immigrants, the inspector general concluded.

  Inspector General John Roth said the cases involved major Democrats: former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Harry Reid, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  In each case, pressure from those individuals helped earn favorable treatment, Mr. Roth said.”

 

 

 

 

   Read more at Hot Air and see read details of the special treatment afforded Tony Rodham and Terry McAuliffe here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Makes Most )f Close Ties To White House

 

 

 

 

” As the federal government was wrapping up its antitrust investigation of Google Inc., company executives had a flurry of meetings with top officials at the White House and Federal Trade Commission, the agency running the probe.

  Google co-founder Larry Page met with FTC officials to discuss settlement talks, according to visitor logs and emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt met withPete Rouse, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, in the White House.

  The documents don’t show exactly what was discussed in late 2012. Soon afterward, the FTC closed its investigation after Google agreed to make voluntary changes to its business practices. (See the FTC document on Google).

  Google’s access to high-ranking Obama administration officials during a critical phase of the antitrust probe is one sign of the Internet giant’s reach in Washington. Since Mr. Obama took office, employees of the Mountain View, Calif., company have visited the White House for meetings with senior officials about 230 times, or an average of roughly once a week, according to the visitor logs reviewed by the Journal.”

 

    No wonder Google seeks to change it’s search parameters to be the arbiter of what constitutes “Truthy” websites , read more of the unprecedented White house access afforded the search engine goliath here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—-

Why I Am A Climate Change Skeptic

 

 

 

 

 

 

” I am skeptical humans are the main cause of climate change and that it will be catastrophic in the near future. There is no scientific proof of this hypothesis, yet we are told “the debate is over” and “the science is settled.”

  My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.”

 

 

 

 

” In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionized civilization.

  The idea it would be catastrophic if carbon dioxide were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.”

 

 

Lest readers doubt the writer’s credentials , the editors thoughtfully provide a brief biography of Dr Moore:

 

 

[Editor’s Note: Patrick Moore, Ph.D., has been a leader in international environmentalism for more than 40 years. He cofounded Greenpeace and currently serves as chair of Allow Golden Rice. Moore received the 2014 Speaks Truth to Power Award at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change, July 8, in Las Vegas. Watch his presentation about this piece at the video player to the left.] (see above)

 

 

Read more on Dr Moore’s epiphany in his own words at the Heartland Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outsourcing In America

 

 

 

 

 

” The work that the 400 SCE IT employees do isn’t disappearing, instead it and their jobs are being taken over by foreign guestworkers here on H-1B visas. Those guestworkers are employed by the two leading India-based outsourcing firms, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys.

  The SCE workers are wondering: “Why should I lose my job when the work still needs to be done? Why is the government doing this to me and my family?”

  Adding to the injustice of losing their jobs, the SCE workers are being forced to do something that is so common in the industry it is a term of art: “knowledge transfer,” an ugly euphemism that means being forced to train your own foreign replacement. The SCE workers are, “demoralized; in disbelief; beyond furious; down in the dumps; feeling anguish; depressed; feeling dehumanized; feeling humiliated; worrying about the future; worrying about paying the bills.”

  The SCE workers rightly place the culpability squarely on SCE executives, the president, and Congress. One worker simply said, “Shame on Edison for doing this and shame on our politicians for enabling it.”

  H-1B visas are temporary work permits issued by the U.S. government that are good for up to six years. The intent is for these visas to be used only when an American worker cannot be found. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor states, “The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that the hiring of a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed.”

  In practice, the H-1B visa has been used for years to undercut American workers with lower-wage, and often lesser-skilled, workers brought in from overseas. How does this happen? Congress sets the wage floors for H-1Bs, and it has set it far below market wages.”

 

The Hill has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Are All 400 Pages Of The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

 

 

 

” The Federal Communications Commission has finally published its full net neutrality rules on its Web site. And they’re not for the faint of heart. Together with the dissents from the agency’s Republican commissioners, the document adds up to 400 pages.

  The release of the rules comes two weeks after the FCC voted to approve them in a historic, polarized vote at the commission. Now begins the next chapter in the story. Expect Internet providers to comb through the publication, probing the rules for legal weaknesses they can take to court.”

 

    The above Washington Post article is surprisingly short on details but the Daily Caller is more forthcoming on which group was cited dozens of times :

 

” New internet regulations finally released by the Federal Communications Commission make 46 references to a group funded by billionaire George Soros and co-founded by a neo-Marxist.

  The FCC received more than 4 million public comments as it was weighing the net neutrality initiative, but Free Press and other activist groups have received the most attention by pressuring the FCC and the White House on behalf of their cause.

  One argument made against the FCC’s regulatory push is that the general public is largely happy with its internet service. Support for net neutrality was seen as the domain of special interest groups like Free Press.

  The activist group has big money behinds its effort. It has received $2.2 million in donations from progressive billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and $3.9 million from the Ford Foundation.”

 

   If you only have time to read one article then choose the Caller’s as you will learn a lot more than you will from the Post .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lew to Congress: US Hits Debt Limit On March 16, Needs To Be Raised ASAP

 

 

” Unless Congress takes action, the U.S. will hit its debt limit on Mar. 16, but would begin taking “extraordinary measures” to finance the government on a temporary basis, according to the U.S. Treasury.

  In a Friday morning letter to House Speaker John Boehner and other House and Senate leaders, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that his office will be forced to suspend the issuance of State and Local Government Series securities on Mar. 13 unless the debt limit is raised.”

” ” Accordingly, I respectfully ask Congress to raise the debt limit as soon as possible,” Lew wrote in his letter.

  The Treasury secretary emphasized that “increasing the debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments,” but rather “simply allows the government to pay for expenditures Congress has already approved.”

  Congress passed the Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act in February 2014, which suspended the statutory debt limit through Mar. 15 of this year.”

 

 

    Read more , to what end we don’t know as it’s a foregone conclusion that with the spineless leadership presently in control of the “fiscally responsible” party nothing will change …

 

 

 

 

    Debt , debt and more debt as far as our children and theirs can see . A changing of the “guard” with the new republican control of both legislative branches amounts to nothing but more of the status quo .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Federal Employment Related To Higher Financial Well-Being

 

Financial Well-Being: Federal Workers vs. Non-Federal Workers

 

 

 

” U.S. federal government workers are thriving in their financial well-being more than the rest of the workforce. On average, 44% of federal government employees are thriving financially, compared with 34% of all other workers in the U.S.

  These findings are based on more than 80,000 interviews conducted with U.S. adults, aged 18 and older, who were employed full time from Feb. 16, 2014-Feb. 15, 2015 as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. For each of the five elements of well-being, Gallup classifies respondents as “thriving” (well-being that is strong and consistent), “struggling” (well-being that is moderate or inconsistent), or “suffering” (well-being that is low and inconsistent).

  Federal pay has been a topic of debate for years, with differing accounts of whether federal employees are paid more, no more or less than non-federal employees. However, financial well-being is not a direct report of salary, benefits or overall compensation. It is a composite of responses to the perceptions of standards of living, affordability of basic necessities and financial woes based on region of country, family size, cost of living, debt and various other factors that go into subjective assessments of financial situations.

  Given this description, it is possible for a person to have a higher salary but experience lower financial well-being. But for those who experience higher levels of financial well-being, they feel as if they can spend time and energy addressing other facets of well-being in their day-to-day lives, including their purpose, social, community and physical well-being. These data show that federal employment is likely associated with higher levels of economic stability and reductions in the stress of providing for a comfortable lifestyle because federal workers report higher financial well-being.”

 

 

    Lest anyone think otherwise , the tables have turned and it is you and I that are working for them . Gallup has the details .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dems Vow To Protect Boehner From Conservative Coup

 

 

 

” Tea Party Republicans contemplating a bid to oust Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) shouldn’t count on Democrats to help them unseat the Speaker.

  And without their support, there is no chance to topple Boehner in this Congress.

  A number of right-wing Republicans, long wary of Boehner’s commitment to GOP efforts attacking President Obama’s policy priorities, have openly considered a coup in an attempt to transfer the gavel into more conservative hands.

  But Democrats from across an ideological spectrum say they’d rather see Boehner remain atop the House than replace him with a more conservative Speaker who would almost certainly be less willing to reach across the aisle in search of compromise. Replacing him with a Tea Party Speaker, they say, would only bring the legislative process — already limping along — to a screeching halt.”

 

 

     Who exactly does this ***hole represent ? Not the republican party that’s for sure … not when his “opponents” promise to watch his six . The fact that Pelosi and co. would prefer to work with Boehner should tell you all you need to know about where that man’s loyalties lie … Read on at the Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FCC Chief Pressed To Release Net Neutrality Rules

 

 

 

 

” A key Republican lawmaker in Congress called for Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to make proposed net neutrality regulations public before a planned Thursday vote on the measure.

  In the latest wrinkle in the Republicans’ battle to quash Wheeler’s proposals, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who’s also the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter today to Wheeler, questioning whether the FCC has been “independent, fair and transparent” in crafting the rules to protect content on the Internet.

” Although arguably one of the most sweeping new rules in the commission’s history, the process was conducted without using many of the tools at the chairman’s disposal to ensure transparency and public review,” he said.

  Chaffetz urged Wheeler to publicly release the 332-page draft order that was given to the other four commissioners nearly three weeks ago and appear at a House Oversight hearing Wednesday before a vote at the FCC’s monthly meeting Thursday.

  Also today, FCC commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly too asked for Wheeler to release the proposal to the public and postpone the Thursday vote to allow for 30 days of public comment.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utah Court Allows Woman To Sue Herself For Wrongful Death Of Her Husband

 

 

 

 

” A Utah woman has been granted the ability to sue herself for negligence in the case of a deadly accident that killed her husband in 2011.

  The Utah Court of Appeals has ruled that Barbara Bagley will be allowed to proceed with a wrongful-death lawsuit against herself for alleged negligence in the Dec. 27, 2011 accident east of Battle Mountain, Nev., that killed her husband, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports. Court documents show that Bagley will be suing the driver of the vehicle, Bagley, for an unspecified amount of money stemming from losses in medical, funeral costs and mental anguish.

  Bagley lost control of a Range Rover while driving in the desert when she hit a sagebrush which caused the vehicle to flip over. Her husband, 55-year-old Bradley Vom Baur, was thrown from the vehicle and suffered severe injuries that ultimately led to his Jan. 6, 2012 death.”

 

 

Continue reading about the absurd state of the “rule of law” in America

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Can’t The Public See Obama’s Proposed Internet Regulations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Republican senators Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, and Rand Paul have all been high profile opponents of the Obama administrations current plan to regulate the internet — in particular, Lee has called the regulation a government “takeover” of the internet and says it amounts to a “a massive tax increase on the middle class, being passed in the dead of night without the American public really being made aware of what is going on.”

  And when Lee says that the American public isn’t aware of what’s going on, that is in no way hyperbole. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has emerged as a hero for those opposed to the regulation because Pai has been taking to the airwaves decrying the fact that the public is not allowed to see 332 pages of proposed internet regulation before they are potentially passed. Pai’s crusade to make the proposed regulations public is the theme of the the latest ad from Protect Internet Freedom: ” (see above)

 

 

Thanks to Mark Hemingway and the Weekly Standard . Whatever happened to Obama’s promise of “all laws will be published on web for five days before a vote” ?

 

 

Promise Broken

 

    Like every other promise from the most “honest , open and transparent” administration ever , it’s bull***t . For those with selective memory the video below contains all the promises on transparency and openness in one convenient location:

 

 

 

All we seem to get from this wondrous administration is lies , lies and more lies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republican FCC Commissioner Slams ‘Obama’s 332-Page Plan To Regulate The Internet’

 

 

Net Neutrality Plan

Click the pic for Mr Pai’s Twitter post and read the comments

 

 

” Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on Friday raised the first of many criticisms to come about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s aggressive net neutrality plan distributed to commissioners Thursday, which Pai described as “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet.”

  In a statement released Friday, Pai lamented the fact that the 332-page plan, which he tweeted a picture of himself holding next to a picture of Obama, won’t be released to the public until after the commission votes on its implementation later this month.

President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.

  In his initial cursory overview of the plan, the commissioner said it would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.

The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market,” Pai said. “As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices. This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get.” “

 

Daily Caller has more on the secret plans for State control of the internet 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Holder’s Justice Department Rocked By Nepotism Charges

 

 

 

” The head of a Justice Department law enforcement office used his position to secure a job for his son and other relatives, the agency’s internal watchdog said Wednesday, the latest in a string of reports that have repeatedly found examples of nepotism at the department.

  The head of the Justice branch of the International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, told employees to “earmark a spot” for his son and “provide extra attention to his processing for obvious reasons,” said the department’s inspector general.

  It’s not the first example of nepotism at Eric Holder’s Justice Department. A November investigation by the inspector general found that certain offices in the department had a “pervasive culture of nepotism and favoritism.” It’s at least the fifth inspector general report since 2004 to find hiring problems at the agency.

“ There is no room for nepotism in the federal government’s hiring practices,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “Those hired to serve taxpayers must earn — not be given — the job. I urge the Department of Justice to take the appropriate disciplinary actions for such an abuse of authority.”

  The INTERPOL office’s Executive Director, Warren Lewis, also abused his position to help three people with connections to his son obtain jobs at the agency — even though he had never personally met two of them, investigators said.

“ Lewis had no personal knowledge of their professional abilities,” the inspector general said. “After the three individuals all failed to make the certified lists of qualified applicants, Lewis took steps to overcome their exclusion.”

  Ironically, Mr. Lewis is listed as the Justice Department’s Ethics Official for his office, according to department records.”

Read all about this latest example of corruption  in Holder’s Justice Dept .

Top 5 NFL Hits To Taxpayers

 

 

 

 

Published on Jan 30, 2015

” Are you ready for some handouts?

Approximately 1 minute.

Produced by Meredith Bragg.

source: Conventions Sports & Leisure (.pdf)
https://cbsminnesota.files.wordpress….

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv/2015/01/30… for downloadable versions and subscribe to Reason TV’s YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton Faces Scrutiny For Use Of Private Jets

 

 

 

” Hillary Clinton took more than 200 privately chartered flights at taxpayer expense during her eight years in the U.S. Senate, sometimes using the jets of corporations and major campaign donors as she racked up $225,756 in flight costs.

  Clinton, 67, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, reported the travel in official filings with the Senate. The records were provided to Bloomberg News by a Republican operative.

  Some of the companies whose planes she used included Coca-Cola Co., Citigroup Inc. and Saban Capital Group Inc.

  While the flights fell within congressional rules and were not out of the ordinary for senators at the time, they could play into the emerging Republican line of attack that Clinton’s wealth and years in government office have left her out of touch with the voters she’ll court on the campaign trail. 

  Republican Mitt Romney, who is considering another bid for president, took a swipe at Clinton’s suggestion to voters that “corporations and businesses” don’t create jobs when he spoke in Starkville, Mississippi, last night.”

 

Read more at Bloomberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Law Firm At Center Of Silver Scandal Donated Huge Sums To Dems

 

 

Weitz & Luxenberg Federal Donations 2011-2012 (influenceexplorer.com)

 

” The plaintiffs law firm Weitz and Luxenberg, which employed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, is said to have provided Mr. Silver with $5.3 million in referral fees, despite his having “never performed any legal work whatsoever,” according to the prosecutors.

  If millions of cash for no work sounds like a generous arrangement, it’s not the first time the firm has shown its generosity. According to the Observer’s research, over the last two cycles, members of the law firm has given at least $600,000 to federal candidates, with over 99% of that going to Democrats. The top three recipients in 2013-2014 included Harry Reid ($44,400), Bruce Braley ($39,675) and Kay Hagan ($10,050); in 2011-2012, the top three were Barack Obama ($29,421), Heidi Heitkamp ($22,400) and Mazie Hirono ($22,400). The top ten recipients in both cycles were all Democrats.

  But even these amounts, capped by federal law, pale next to the dollars showered upon candidates for office in New York State. And although no wrongdoing has thus far been attributed to the law firm, it’s at least worth noting that two of the biggest recipients were both involved with the Moreland Commission, which was mysteriously and abruptly disbanded by the governor in March 2014 after less than a year on task of probing public corruption.”

 

New York Observer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients

 

 

 

” Lillian Palermo tried to prepare for the worst possibilities of aging. An insurance executive with a Ph.D. in psychology and a love of ballroom dancing, she arranged for her power of attorney and health care proxy to go to her husband, Dino, eight years her junior, if she became incapacitated. And in her 80s, she did.

  Mr. Palermo, who was the lead singer in a Midtown nightclub in the 1960s when her elegant tango first caught his eye, now regularly rolls his wife’s wheelchair to the piano at the Catholic nursing home in Manhattan where she ended up in 2010 as dementia, falls and surgical complications took their toll. He sings her favorite songs, feeds her home-cooked Italian food, and pays a private aide to be there when he cannot.

  But one day last summer, after he disputed nursing home bills that had suddenly doubled Mrs. Palermo’s copays, and complained about inexperienced employees who dropped his wife on the floor, Mr. Palermo was shocked to find a six-page legal document waiting on her bed.

  It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Mrs. Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

  Few people are aware that a nursing home can take such a step. Guardianship cases are difficult to gain access to and poorly tracked by New York State courts; cases are often closed from public view for confidentiality. But the Palermo case is no aberration. Interviews with veterans of the system and a review of guardianship court data conducted by researchers at Hunter College at the request of The New York Times show the practice has become routine, underscoring the growing power nursing homes wield over residents and families amid changes in the financing of long-term care.

  In a random, anonymized sample of 700 guardianship cases filed in Manhattan over a decade, Hunter College researchers found more than 12 percent were brought by nursing homes. Some of these may have been prompted by family feuds, suspected embezzlement or just the absence of relatives to help secure Medicaid coverage. But lawyers and others versed in the guardianship process agree that nursing homes primarily use such petitions as a means of bill collection — a purpose never intended by the Legislature when it enacted the guardianship statute in 1993.

  At least one judge has ruled that the tactic by nursing homes is an abuse of the law, but the petitions, even if they are ultimately unsuccessful, force families into costly legal ordeals.”

     Before you commit your loved one to a nursing home/elder care facility be sure to read this entire piece from the NY Times . This is a shameful abuse of the law , no different than “civil asset forfeiture” .

Silver’s Law Firm Rakes In Millions From Judges He Controls

 

 

 

 

His law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, gets its asbestos cases — and paydays — moved more quickly than those of other attorneys, and reaps a fortune from favorable rulings by friendly judges, charge lawyers and tort-reform advocates.

  Silver’s East Village firm handles more than half the cases in a special section of Manhattan Supreme Court called NYCAL (New York City Asbestos Litigation). So dominant is the firm, the court’s Web site refers to cases as “Weitz” or “non-Weitz.

  The chief asbestos judge, Sherry Klein Heitler — also Manhattan’s chief civil judge — has handled dozens of Weitz & Luxenberg cases.

They’ve taken over a section of the courthouse, and the people in charge of the courthouse run it for them,” said a disgusted lawyer who files personal-injury cases in Manhattan. “It pours money into the firm.”

The firm told investigators it hired Silver, who has no experience in asbestos cases, in 2002, because it hoped to “increase the firm’s prestige and perceived power,” according to last week’s federal indictment charging Silver raked in about $4 million in bribes and kickbacks.

  That perceived power has paid off, critics say.

  Last year, at Weitz & Luxenberg’s request, Heitler reversed a 20-year rule barring punitive damages in asbestos cases, paving the way for much bigger jury awards and putting pressure on defendants to settle.

  Another judge, Joan Madden, consolidated unrelated asbestos cases. Joining up to seven plaintiffs has resulted in huge increases in NYCAL jury verdicts — from an average of $7 million to $24 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014, data collected by Bates White Economic Consulting show.

  Last year, Weitz & Luxenberg won a record $190 million in a consolidated trial for five mesothelioma victims who worked in different jobs for different employers.

  Of 15 mesothelioma verdicts in the last four years, Silver’s firm won $273.5 million of $313.5 million awarded by NYCAL juries. Law firms usually take a third.

  The average award for a NYCAL asbestos case — nearly $16 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014 — is two to three times larger than those in other courts nationwide, Bates White reported last month at an asbestos law conference in New York.”

 

NY Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

N.Y. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Accused Of $4 Million Bribery And Kickback Scheme, Dems Continue To Support Him

 

 

 

 

 

” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver declared his innocence Thursday after facing bombshell federal corruption charges of soliciting $4 million in dirty money over the last 15 years.

“ I am confident that after a full hearing and due process, I will be vindicated of these charges,” a relaxed Silver announced after his release on $200,000 bond following a Manhattan Federal Court hearing.

  Silver, spied earlier taking an uncomfortable ride to the courthouse alongside an FBI agent, made his brief appearance after U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara blasted him as the epitome of a corrupt politician.

“ For many years, New Yorkers have asked the question, ‘How could Speaker Silver, one of the most powerful men in New York, earn millions of dollars in outside income without deeply compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents?’” said Bharara.

“ Today we provide the answer: He didn’t.” “

 

Be sure to read it all at The Daily News … this moment has been a long time coming …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Center For American Progress, Poised To Wield Influence Over 2016, Reveals Its Top Donors

 

 

 

 

” The Center for American Progress, the preeminent liberal think tank in Washington, is poised to exert outsized influence over the 2016 president race and — should Hillary Clinton win it — the policies and agenda of the 45th President of the United States. CAP founder John Podesta is set to run Clinton’s presidential campaign, and current CAP president Neera Tanden is a longtime Clinton confidante and adviser. CAP recently rolled out a major blueprint for combat wage stagnation and inequality that many view as a template for a Clinton economic agenda, and there are surely more major policy statements to come.

  So interest in CAP’s funding sources — and its internal workings in general — is likely to intensify and take on a political cast.

  Today, CAP is revealing its major 2014 donors, after taking some criticism for lack of transparency. The organization provided me two lists of its donors, which you can read right here and right here. The first is for the C (3), the nonpartisan think tank arm; the second is for the more political, issue-advocacy-oriented c (4).

  Perhaps most notably, given CAP’s advocacy for an economically progressive agenda, is that CAP’s top donors include Walmart and Citigroup, each of which have given between $100,000 and $499,000. Other donors to CAP — a leading advocate of health care reform — include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents leading biotech and bio-pharma firms, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, both of which have given up to $49,000.”

 

 

Here is the list of “evil corporations” that are supporting CAP and by extension , Hillary Clinton …

 

 

” $1,000,000 or more

Anonymous (3)
Ford Foundation
The Hutchins Family Foundation
Sandler Foundation
TomKat Charitable Trust

 
$500,000 to $999,999

Anonymous (2)
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Joyce Foundation
Not On Our Watch
Open Square Charitable Gift Fund
Embassy of United Arab Emirates
Walton Family Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

 
$100,000 to $499,999

Anonymous (10)
A.L. Mailman Family Foundation
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME
American Iron and Steel Institute
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Apple Inc.

The Arcus Foundation
Avatar Alliance Foundation
The Barkley Fund
Blackstone
Blue Moon Fund
Citigroup
The Crimson Lion Lavine Family Foundation
Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
Deloitte Consulting
David desJardins
Blair Effron
Joanne and Paul Egerman
Embrey Family Foundation
Gill Foundation
Google
The Henry Luce Foundation
Irving Harris Foundation
Joan and Irwin Jacobs
Tony James
Embassy of Japan
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Kresge Foundation
Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Linden Trust for Conservation
Mars Incorporated
Microsoft Corporation
Constance J. Milstein
The Murphy Family Foundation
National Education Association, or NEA
New Venture Fund
New York Community Trust—BDEK Fund
The Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation
Open Society Foundations
Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Robert W. Roche
The Rockefeller Foundation
Sixteen Thirty Fund
Steve Silberstein
Jay T. Snyder
Stoneman Family Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Walmart 

 

$50,000 to $99,999

Anonymous (3)
Altman Kazickas Foundation
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Fomento Social Banamex
Bank of America
Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Daimler
Mark Gallogly
Goldman Sachs
Sanjay Govil
Agnes Gund
Hagedorn Foundation
Hunt Alternatives
Israel Institute
Johnson Family Foundation
Fred Khosravi
Orin S. Kramer
LaSalle Adams Fund
McGraw Hill Financial
Rebecca and Nathan Milikowsky
National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Nordic Council of Ministers
Palantir
PepsiCo
Steven Rattner and Maureen White
Rockefeller Family Fund
Robert E. Rubin
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, or TECRO
Time Warner Inc.
Henry van Ameringen
Visa Inc.
Waitt Foundation
WhyNot Initiative “

 

    Take note of the foreign donors as well as all the “evil corporate” money gathered by these hypocritical liberals .The list goes on as does the story at the Washington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly Speaker, Faces Arrest On Corruption Charges

 

 

 

 

” Federal authorities are expected to arrest Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, on corruption charges on Thursday, people with knowledge of the matter said. The case is likely to throw Albany into disarray at the beginning of a new session.

  The investigation that led to the expected charges against Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, began after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013.

  Details of the specific charges to be brought against Mr. Silver were unclear on Wednesday night, but one of the people with knowledge of the matter said they stemmed from payments that Mr. Silver received from a small law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes. The total amount of the payments was unclear, but another person has said they were substantial and were made over several years.

  Mr. Silver failed to list the payments from the firm, Goldberg & Iryami, on his annual financial disclosure filings with the state, as required.”

     God bless Preet Bharara and the Federal prosecutor’s office . It looks like Gov Cuomo’s shutdown of the Moreland commission was not enough to save one of the Dem’s favorite sons . Heres hoping Silver finishes his days in an 8×8 cell . Wishful thinking , I know , but one can hope .

Read more at the NY Times

1,700 Private Jets Descend On Davos For World Economic Forum

 

 

 

 

” Billionaires, world leaders and pop stars are clogging up the skies with their private jets as they descend on the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to liaise over issues such as terrorism, the central banks and growing economic inequality.

  Over the course of this week, approximately 1,700 private jets are expected to fly into the region, resulting airport traffic increasing by 10% which means that landing spots are in short supply.

  The Swiss Armed Forces have even opened up one of their military air bases for the first time to try and accommodate the increase in traffic. For private jet companies like PrivateFly, Netkets and VistaJet, this is by far their busiest time of year. “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of More Than 3,000 U.S. Counties, Just 65 Have Recovered From Recession, NACo Says

 

 

NACo 4 indicators

 

 

” Seven years after the recession began, only one in 50 U.S. counties has fully bounced back, according to a study the National Association of Counties released Monday.

  The 2014 County Economic Tracker shows that 65 of the nation’s 3,069 counties have met or surpassed prerecession levels in four measured categories: jobs, unemployment rate, economic output and home prices.

  Those places range from Anderson County, S.C., to McKenzie County, N.D., to Kodiak Island, Alaska.

  National employment surpassed 2007 levels during 2014 and the U.S. gross domestic product had fully recovered from the recession by 2011. But the national unemployment rate was 5.6% in December compared with 5% when the recession began seven years earlier. And housing values in much of the country have yet to fully return.

  The recovered counties are largely located in energy-rich areas and have small populations. Of the 65 recovered counties, 24 are in Texas and 16 are in North Dakota. The others are generally in the middle of the country, including nine in Minnesota and eight in Kansas.

  None of the recovered counties has more than 500,000 residents.”

 

     This article , more than any other demonstrates that the nearly $3 Trillion in government stimulus spending was nothing more than wasteful cronyism handed out to favored unions , interest groups and corporations . Little or none trickled down to benefit the taxpayers actually footing the bill .

Wall Street Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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