” The owners of America’s largest family home, the gold-encrusted ‘Palace Of Versailles’, have announced that it will finally be completed in 2015, after 11 years of construction.
Self-made billionaire David Siegel, told CNBC that he’s excited about moving into the property located in Windermere, Florida, although, if someone offered him enough money – $100 million to be exact – he might consider selling out.”
” However, his 47-year-old former beauty queen wife, Jackie, seemed distraught at the thought of letting her dream mansion go and jokingly interjected: ‘Or I could live there and you could sell your half right?’
Work stopped on the 90,000-square-foot build in 2009 after creditors went after Mr Siegel’s timeshare company, Westgate Resorts, but recommenced this year after business bounced back.
Now the finish date is just two years away.”
” The creation myth of American wealth is almost always rooted in the entrepreneur.
It’s the two kids who start a computer company in their garage or dorm room. Or the former standup comic who creates form-shaping undergarments, or the South African immigrant who creates a new electric car and private space program.
But despite the high-profile examples, America may actually be falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to creating entrepreneurial wealth. A new study from Barclays, “Origins and Legacy: the Changing Order of Wealth Creation,” finds developing countries now lead the U.S. when comes to wealth creation by entrepreneurs.
So is America losing its entrepreneurial mojo? There is some evidence that entrepreneurial activity is flagging. The latest data from the Kauffman Foundation found that there were 514,000 new business owners a month in 2012, down from 543,000 in 2011. The 2012 numbers marked the lowest in five years.”
Another one for the Obama record books … killing the entrepreneurial spirit … all is proceeding as Alinsky planned .
” Washington is bickering over whether the Cornyn amendment to the Gang of Eight framework is a deal-breaking and onerous “poison pill,” or a totally inadequate “Trojan horse.” The New York Times published a piece pondering that exact question on Friday. It quoted Chuck Schumer panning the plan as a “nonstarter” and “deal-killer,” without specifying a single policy flaw. How does any of this go “too far”? One Republican Senator is having none of this entire show. Alabama’s Jeff Sessions released a blistering statement Sunday morning preemptively rejecting any “cosmetic fixes” to the legislation (hyperlinks and emphasis his):
When the Gang of Eight first announced their immigration bill they declared it was the toughest enforcement plan in history. They declared enforcement would come before legalization. And they declared that anyone who suggested otherwise didn’t know what they were talking about. Now the bill has been reviewed and there can be no dispute: it weakens current law, undermines future enforcement and puts amnesty—not enforcement—first. So new promises of amendment ‘fixes’ to save the bill should be viewed with great skepticism: every time, on every issue, the promises have not matched with reality. They promised back taxes—but the requirement isn’t there; they promised tight restrictions on welfare benefits—but state and local benefits, as well as tax credits,will be available immediately and federal welfare access is granted to millions of illegal immigrants starting in five years; they promised to protect workers—but this bill would devastate workers by tripling the number of legal immigrants over the next decade and doubling the number of guest workers.
No small cosmetic fix can save this bill, with so many provisions clearly authored by special interests whose chief desires are lower wages and amnesty—rather than a lawful, rational system of immigration. As the ICE officers’ association warned: ‘instead of cracking down on the Administration’s abuse of power, S. 744 places unprecedented new restrictions on interior enforcement—making the current situation much worse and much more hazardous. It is as if S. 744 were explicitly written to handcuff law enforcement officials—binding their hands while giving virtually unchecked authority to executive branch officials to prevent future removals, including removals of criminal aliens.’ And as the USCIS adjudications officers warned: ‘the legislation was written with special interests—producing a bill that makes the current system worse, not better. S. 744 will damage public safety and national security and should be opposed by lawmakers.’ It’s time for the Gang of Eight to start being straight with the American public.” “
” The White House Friday defended the first family’s upcoming weeklong trip to Africa, which could cost taxpayers up to $100 million, as “great bang for our buck.”
“There will be a great bang for our buck for being in Africa because when you travel to regions like Africa that don’t get a lot of presidential attention, you tend to have very longstanding and long-running impact from the visit,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to President Obama.
The excursion will involve military cargo planes airlifting 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines, and three trucks to carry bulletproof glass panels to cover the windows where the first family is set to stay. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship with a fully staffed medical trauma center will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.
Fighter jets will fly in shifts to provide around-the-clock protection over the president’s airspace. The trip will reportedly involve hundreds of Secret Service agents.”
” Europe’s struggles prove that “austerity” fails!
With a condescending sigh, they explain that Europe made deep cuts in government spending, and the result was today’s high unemployment. “With erstwhile middle-class workers reduced to picking through garbage in search of food, austerity has already gone too far,” writes Paul Krugman in The New York Times.
One problem with this conclusion: European governments didn’t cut! If workers pick through garbage, cuts can’t be a reason, since they didn’t happen.
Some European countries tried to reduce deficits by raising taxes. England slapped a 25 percent tax increase on the wealthy, but it didn’t bring in the revenues hoped for. Rich people move their assets elsewhere, or just stop working as much.
Iceland was hit by bank collapses — but government ignored street protests and cut real spending. Iceland’s budget deficit fell from 13 percent of gross domestic product to 3. Iceland’s economy’s is now growing.
Canada slashed spending 20 years ago and now outranks the U.S. on many economic indicators.
Around the same time, Japan went the other way, investing heavily in the public sector in an attempt to jump-start its economy, much as the U.S. did with “stimulus” under President Obama. The result? Japan’s economy stagnated.”
” We are now nearly five years into the Age of Obama, and I think pretty much everyone understands that, economically speaking, the record is poor. If you think unprecedented levels of unemployment and poverty, declining labor force participation, booming food stamp use and so on are the signs of a healthy economy, then you should be satisfied with the Obama administration. Otherwise, not.
It must have hurt the New York Times to report this, but report it they did: “Many Rival Nations Surge Past the U.S. in Adding New Jobs.”
[C]ontrary to the widespread view that the United States is an island of relative prosperity in a global sea of economic torpor, employment in several other nations has bounced back more quickly, according to a new analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
” The Farm Bill is currently moving through Congress, and it’s bigger and more bloated than ever. This year’s version will spend nearly a trillion dollars on broken food and farm welfare over the next decade. Unfortunately, Congress is poised to rubber-stamp this bloated welfare bill known as the Farm Bill.
Americans For Prosperity strongly encourages Capitol Hill to consider real reforms and meaningful savings to the 2013 Farm Bill.”
Related articles :
” A warehouse maintained by contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches, according to an internal audit.
EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located in Landover, Md. The warehouse — used for inventory storage — is owned by the General Services Administration and leased to the EPA for about $750,000 per year.
“The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces created by and for the workers that included televisions, refrigerators, radios, microwaves, chairs and couches,” the IG report said. “These spaces contained personal items, including photos, pin ups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos.”
- Secret Man Caves Found in EPA Warehouse (sdvosbsdb.wordpress.com)
- Outstanding: Government Workers Now Creating Secret Man Caves in EPA Warehouses… (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: Secret Man Caves Found In EPA Warehouse. “‘The warehouse contained mul… (pjmedia.com)
- A $5.3 million dollar man cave built by the EPA hidden away in a warehouse. Maybe worst of all, why does the EPA need a box of passports? (1newsjunkie.blogspot.com)
- Our Tax Dollars At Work… Secret “Man Caves” Found In EPA Warehouse (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Secret ‘mancaves’ carved out in EPA warehouse, audit says (foxnews.com)
” The IRS spent $135,350 on 15 guest speakers at a single conference in Anaheim, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General’s report, released by the House Government Oversight Committee Tuesday. The report states that the IRS spent $50 million on such conferences between 2010 and 2012.
A breakdown of spending from the report:
• The IRS reported that it expended $50,187 on videos for the conference, but was unable to provide any details supporting this cost.
• IRS management contracted with 15 outside speakers for presentations at a total cost of $135,350. Costs for outside speakers included a $17,000 fee for a keynote speaker whose presentation included creating six paintings of famous people to reinforce his message of finding creative solutions to challenges. Two of the paintings were given away at the conference, three were donated to charity, and one was lost, according to IRS management. Another keynote speaker was paid $27,500 which included a $2,500 fee authorized for first class airfare.
• IRS employees made three planning trips at a cost of approximately $35,800 prior to the conference.
• The IRS also paid over $30,000 for 45 IRS employees who reside in the local area to stay at the hotels and incur per diem expenses while at the conference.
• Numerous gifts/promotional items were provided to attendees at an estimated cost of more than $64,000.”
Who in their right mind can justify these blatant wastes of taxpayer funds ? Add to this waste the current politicization of this alleged non-partisan agency and even liberals should be ashamed of this typical example of big government .
By now all of our readers have most likely heard of some of the other recently publicized efforts by the IRS … we refer to the movies that were produced with your hard earned money , the Star Trek and the Gilligan’s Island “parodies , but in case you haven’t had a chance to see these pieces of expensive trash we include them below .
Words fail us as to what genius thought that these films were money well spent , but given the arrogant climate that appears to dominate the IRS and the rest of Obama’s federal government it really should come as no surprise . If you are not outraged you are either not paying attention or have overdosed on the Kool-Aid .
” In August of 2009 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agreed to a labor contract with the National Treasury Employees Union. But Article 4 “Protections Against Prohibited Personnel Practices” contains sections that seem to indicate that in targeting organizations applying for tax-exempt status, IRS agents were required to break the terms of their union contract.”
Another reason to fire them , as if anymore were needed . This is another example of why government employees have no business being unionized .
” Section 8 of the preamble states that “Employees should be protected against arbitrary action, personal favoritism, or coercion for partisan political purposes; and prohibited from using their official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for election.”
While this contract was agreed to in Aug. 2009, by March 2010, IRS agents were clearly being directed to target organizations based on their political persuasion in an apparent effort to silence people who didn’t agree with the administration.”
Why should the civilian employees of the government enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining when the one department of the government that is constitutionally authorized ( the military ) has no such right ?
” A broader look at the values espoused in IRS agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union reveals a list of things Americans want government to stand for, but in light of recent incidents it reads more like a Saturday Night Live skit.
The introduction includes a short list of six IRS Values:
• Honesty and Integrity: We uphold the public trust in all that we do; we are honest and forthright in all of our internal and external dealings.
• Respect: We treat each colleague, employee and taxpayer with dignity and respect.
• Continuous Improvement: We seek to perform the best that we can today, while embracing change, so that we can perform even better in the future.
• Inclusion: We embrace diversity of background, experience, and perspective.
• Openness and Collaboration: We share information and collaborate, recognizing that we are a team.
• Personal Accountability: We take responsibility for our actions and decisions and learn and grow from our achievements and mistakes. [emphasis added]“
All employees of all branches of government , whether they be federal , state , county or municipal should be subjected to the same employment rules as the various branches of the military are . If you want to live off of the public dime then you should have to take the job with predetermined benefits , salary , job security and possibility of advancement .
There should be a predetermined ( by the various government budgetary departments ) pay/benefits scale as the military utilizes and when you sign on to the job it is a take it or leave it proposition … No negotiation with the taxpayer’s money . Job x receives salary x , job y receives salary y , no ifs ands or buts … If the prospective employee does not like the pay scale they are free to find a job in the private sector just like the rest of us producers .
It is time to enact a major draw-down of the looters and eliminate the power of the public employee unions . There is something inherently corrupt with unions negotiating salaries and benefits with the very politicians whose pockets they line year after year .
As long as government employment , union membership and it’s clout continue to grow and maintain it’s symbiotic relationship with the Democratic party we should expect nothing but partisanship from the State .
” The under-30 crowd doesn’t think much of most Democrats, but it’s got an even lower opinion of Republicans.
Earlier this year, Bobby Jindal, the GOP governor of Louisiana, surveyed the wreckage of Mitt Romney’s sad-sack presidential campaign and told his fellow Republicans that if they ever want to capture the White House again, “We must stop being the stupid party.”
The young of this country have an even greater stake in future government than do we older citizens , after all , they are the ones that are being saddled with a seemingly insurmountable debt . Given the past two presidential disasters brought on by the GOP’s strict adherence to the “Old Boy” network one would think that the establishment would be open to some fresh ideas .
” … a new report from the College Republican National Committee(CRNC) strongly suggests that another tack would be even more successful: The GOP should embrace its small, youthful, and increasingly influential libertarian caucus that focuses on cutting government spending – even or especially on old-age entitlements — and quit fretting over gay marriage or the need to invade and occupy foreign countries.”
It’s not enough to pretend to represent smaller government in public then behind closed doors vote for ever more spending . It’s time to actually walk the walk .
” Despite its endless small-government rhetoric, such a change may be too radical for a Republican Party whose last two candidates were a combined 138 years old when they ran for the Oval Office. But it’s the best way forward for a GOP that’s even less exciting than your father’s Oldsmobile.”
While much is made of the impact of “low information” voters , they are merely a scapegoat and the failure of the Republican leadership to recognize the fact that the millenial generation holds the key to the future of this country’s governance can do nothing but ensure the GOP’s marginalization .
” Millenials, says the report, don’t care much about abstractions such as that favorite Republican bogeyman, “big government.” But they are into cutting government spending and reducing national debt, as they realize both things are strangling their future before it begins. Fully 90 percent agree that Social Security and Medicare need to be reformed now, 82 percent are ready to “make tough choices about cutting government spending, even on some programs some people really like,” and 72 percent want to cut the size of government “because it is simply too big.” “
The choice is clear , Libertarianism IS the future … at least it is if one wants to win elections and be in a position to bring about the real change that is necessary to restore the principles that our Founders believed in and that made America what it once was . It is not a radical departure … on the contrary , it is a return to our roots .
While the present GOP pays lip service to the greatness of our forefathers it is the youth and their attitudes , despite generations of public school indoctrination , that would make Thomas Jefferson and James Madison proud .
The median wealth of a House member is $765,010… For a senator it’s $2.38 million. Yet, incredibly, they still enjoy all of this:
- $174,000 salary
- Free company car
- Free gas
- Free parking (even at airports)
- Free flights almost anywhere in the world
- Per diem travel allowance… up to $3,000 a trip
- A month’s paid vacation
- 3-day work-weeks
- Free membership to a top-flight gym
- Pension plan and 401K plan
- Full retirement benefits (including up to 44% of their six figure salaries) at age 62
- Free top of the line health insurance with 10 plans to choose from
- Fully covered – even with pre-existing condition
” Being a member of Congress is the most lucrative “Public Service” job in the world. Are our representatives officially out of touch with the real America? Should Congress live like the rest of us?
Vote now to make your voice heard and receive a stunning report that shows the full scope of congressional abuse of power. You won’t believe how well members of Congress live – all at our expense.”
” This poll is being conducted by Money Morning, the nation’s fastest growing source for independent financial news, research and advice. We’re on a mission to keep our readers’ money safe and growing. When you submit your vote, you’ll receive a full report on congressional abuse, up-to-the minute poll results, as well as daily strategies for building wealth and taking control of your finances. Make your voice heard by voting above and passing this important vote to a friend. “
” The House Oversight Committee is holding another hearing on the IRS — but not one dealing with the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.
The panel, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), will hear on Thursday from Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration about “excessive spending” at IRS conferences.
“The IRS is an agency in crisis,” Issa said in a statement. “The American people expect that their tax-dollars will be used responsibly and not for financing lavish hotel suites and entertainment for government employees. The Oversight Committee will examine these egregious abuses of the public trust and an IRS culture that shuns accountability.” “
The entire federal government is one giant culture of corruption the time for “reform” is well overdue .
As the most recent data show, the United States has inherited from Japan the dubious distinction of imposing the highest corporate income tax rate (39.1 percent) in 2013. This year also marks the 15th consecutive year in which the U.S. corporate tax rate has exceeded the average OECD rate.”
” High corporate tax rates are a drag on the US economy and encourage companies to shift investments and jobs abroad to lower-tax jurisdictions. The combination of high-rates and a worldwide tax system makes the US corporate tax system even more punishing than it seems.”
” One of the most serious flaws with Obamacare is that its blizzard of regulations and mandates drives up the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own. This problem will be especially acute when the law’s main provisions kick in on January 1, 2014, leading many to worry about health insurance “rate shock.”
If you’re a 25 year old male non-smoker, buying insurance for yourself, the cheapest plan on Obamacare’s exchanges is the catastrophic plan, which costs an average of $184 a month. (That’s the median monthly premium across California’s 19 insurance rating regions.)
In other words, for the average 25-year-old male non-smoking Californian, Obamacare will drive premiums up by between 100 and 123 percent.”
- California health insurance rates to increase between 64% and 146% (thisgotmyattention.wordpress.com)
- Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare to Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums by 64-146% – Forbes (quinnscommentary.com)
- “If you like it, you can keep it”: ObamaCare set to trigger insurance policy cancellations (hotair.com)
- The Obamacare Shell Game (Part 1) (economicpolicyjournal.com)
- California Regulators Hide Obamacare Rate Shock With Misleading Comparison (reason.com)
- Three major health insurers flee California’s ObamaCare exchange (hotair.com)
- Obamacare Fan Says He’s Shocked Over How Low the California Exchange Prices Are (iowntheworld.com)
” The top 50 highest paid state employees collectively earned more than $10 million last year and include a university president and a controversial department administrator, as well as nurses, corrections officers, and athletic coaches.
The highest paid state employee is David Dooley, the president of the University of Rhode Island, at a salary of $320,000 last year. Second highest is the men’s basketball head coach at the school, Daniel Hurley, who earned $295,481 in 2012, according to state payroll records provided in response to a records request.
The list is as notable for who it includes as who it doesn’t. Governor Lincoln Chafee, who earned $129,210 last year, isn’t on it. Neither are any of the other general officers or their top staffers.
Only two department heads show up. Ranking 14th overall is Paul Suttell, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court. He earned $219,601 last year. Several spots below is state Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, at $204,600. Her contract is currently up for renewal.”
” President Obama’s gun control express is quickly losing steam, at least according to a new poll conducted by Reason-Rupe which found that approximately two-thirds of Americans want the Senate to drop the gun control debate and “move on to other issues.”
The Reason-Rupe national poll surveyed 1,003 adults nationwide on mobile (503) and landline (500) phones and found that only 33 percent of respondents believed that the “Senate should debate and vote on gun control legislation again,” while the majority, 62 percent, would like the Senate to “move on to other issues.”
As for how the numbers breakdown across party lines, unsurprisingly a greater percentage of Republicans, 83 percent, favored “moving on” than compared with Democrats, 30 percent, wanting to “move on to other issues” and 51 percent wanting “to debate and vote again.” A majority of independents, 66 percent, also wanted the Senate to take up other issues.
A recent Gallup poll found that only 4 percent of Americans mentioned guns as the nation’s top problem compared to 56 percent of Americans who viewed the current economic malaise as the nation’s number one problem.”
Fight Or Flight – Behind The Scenes – The Secret State Music
Published on Apr 9, 2013
” Behind-the-scenes peek into the new music video for THE SECRET STATE’s “Fight Or Flight.”
The official music video was shot at Fort Irwin in California on the U.S. Army’s National Training Center (NTC) and stars active duty soldiers. This type of access and clearance has never before been granted by the military and they have given their full support for this project. All footage featured in the “Fight Or Flight” video was shot exclusively for the music video.
This song and video are very personal to THE SECRET STATE. The Baltimore-based fivesome includes three members who’ve served in the military. The drummer and violinist, MIKE MARX-GIBBONS, enlisted in the Army on September 12, 2001 and has stayed in the Army National Guard. He served in Iraq from Dec 2003-May 2005 as a Combat Medic. Two other band members, guitarist JOSH JONES and digital performer DANNY ESPINOSA, were in the Coast Guard and later served in Afghanistan as defense contractors.”
” Despite the sequester, the federal government is still hiring! They posted a whopping 27,000 job openings, some with pretty fat pay checks. The median salary for the openings tops out at $76,000 a year. The Defense Department is now recruiting dozens of bartenders and waiters, and if they work full-time, these employees could earn more than $3.4 million a year combined.”
Click through to watch the video … shameful .
- What sequester? Feds in the market for 27,000 employees (rare.us)
- Sequester is fed speak for Now Hiring; government posts 27,000 high-paying job openings (nalert.blogspot.com)
- Great news: Sequester not impacting federal bonuses (hotair.com)
- The sequester ‘misery’ index: Cut the nonsense (triblive.com)
- In Time of Sequesters, Federal Government Posts 27,000 Job Openings (joemiller.us)
” The big story in markets over the past few weeks has been the sell-off in the Treasury bond market and the accompanying rise in bond yields to their highest levels in over a year.
Goldman strategists are out with a call declaring the sell-off “for real” this time after a number of false starts.”
- Why The US Treasury Market Has Been Getting Smashed (businessinsider.com)
- Treasuries Fall as Bonds Worldwide Drop Most in Almost a Decade (bloomberg.com)
- To Cheer or Fear Rising Bond Yields? (blogs.wsj.com)
- Why this time ‘the bond sell-off is for real’ (business.financialpost.com)
- Global Macro: U.S. Yield Curve Steepens and Risk Assets Benefit (thestreet.com)
- What the Stock Charts Say Now, Plus 6 Takeaways on the 30-Year Bond (minyanville.com)
- The Treasury Bond Selloff Is ‘For Real’ And The Volume Is Gigantic (businessinsider.com)