Category: Monetary Policy


Report: Radio Shack To Sell Customers’ Personal Information In Bankruptcy Sale

 

 

 

 

 

” When you go shopping, you probably think stores will keep your personal information safe and secure.

  But now, a report says Radio Shack is ready to auction off customer information as part of its bankruptcy sale.

  As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, the report says Radio Shack is ready to sell information they have on some 117 million customers, including names, addresses, phone numbers and other details on purchases.

  This despite the Radio Shack privacy policy, which says “We will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information to anyone at any time.” “

 

Continue reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Price Of Ground Beef Hits Record In February: $4.238 Per Pound

 

 

 

” The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high in February, hitting $4.238 per pound, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  A year ago, in February 2014, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.555 per pound. Since then, the average price has increased 19.2 percent in one year.

  Five years ago, in February 2010, the average price of a pound of ground beef was $2.277, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $1.961 per pound, or an increase of 86.1 percent.”

Change you can believe in , which is the only change left after a trip to the grocery store … read on

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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The World’s Next Credit Crunch Could Make 2008 Look Like A Hiccup

 

 

 

 

” We are certainly living in strange times. An unprecedented monetary experiment is coming to a staggered end and no one knows the potential repercussions – a plague of frogs cannot be entirely ruled out.

  For the time being, the markets remain sanguine, expecting, for example, a gentle increase in the Bank of England’s main interest rate to just 1.5pc by the end of the decade. And, who knows, maybe the markets are right.

  But maybe it’s too quiet. Last week, Ray Dalio, the founder of the $165bn (£110bn) hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, wrote a widely-circulated note warning his clients that the US Federal Reserve risked setting off a 1937-style crash when it starts raising interest rates again.

  Then, as now, the central bank had spent years printing money in order to help the American economy recover from the 1929 crash. But the side effect was a stock market bubble, which promptly burst when the Fed prematurely increased rates. Mr Dalio is worried about a repeat performance: “We don’t know – nor does the Fed – exactly how much tightening will knock over the apple cart.”

  It’s true that the policy and regulatory response to the last crisis often sows the seeds for the next. It is not hard to map out a sequence of events in which that proves to be the case again. If it were, a US stock market crash might be the least of our problems.”

 

Read more at the Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why South By Southwest Is A Huge, Exploitative Scam

 

 

 

” The city of Austin is often the only part of Texas that makes sense to solid-blue progressives. It’s a connection that is embodied by the South by Southwest festival currently underway, the annual event to which lovers of music and human inventiveness like to flock.

  It is thus with regret and a sense of intra-tribal disloyalty that I come not to praise the festival but to — well, probably not bury it, because SXSW is a cultural juggernaut and I am not. But I come to call on my fellow lovers of music and human inventiveness, and most especially my fellow liberals, to stop with all the praise. Because the for-profit, privately held entity that is South by Southwest annually turns a handsome profit from nearly immeasurable amounts of unpaid labor.

  In this, SXSW — which started as an itty-bitty thing before becoming a corporate behemoth —is hardly alone. The American cultural scene and labor market writ large are chock-a-block with people profiting from unpaid labor. It’s just that, traditionally, progressives are supposed to oppose that sort of thing. Not pay anywhere from $650 to $1,745 to attend.

  South by Southwest happily touts the financial benefits it brings to Austin (“in 2013, SXSW was responsible for injecting more than $218.2 million into the Austin economy”), but is rather more shy about revealing its own profit margin (“as a privately held company we do not make our financial statements public”).

  However, between ticket sales, merch ($75 “interactive sunglasses,” anyone?), and colossal corporate sponsorships, it seems safe to assume that the margin isn’t slim — and all that bank is made on the backs of thousands of artists and volunteers who are in every meaningful sense unpaid. Volunteers get festival passes; artists get to choose between a tiny honorarium, or festival passes. Neither goes very far at the grocery store.”

 

The Week has more liberal whining about the profitability of SXSW 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diplomatic Disaster: Obama Humiliated By Allies’ Rush To Join China’s New Bank

 

 

 

 

 

” The battle of wills between Beijing and Washington over a China-sponsored development bank for Asia is turning into a rout, and the Obama administration has found itself isolated and embarrassed as its top allies lined up this week to join the proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

  In what one analyst dubbed a “diplomatic disaster” for the U.S., Britain became the first major European ally to sign on as a founding member of the Shanghai-based investment bank, joined quickly by France, Germany and Italy, which dismissed public and private warnings from the U.S. about the bank’s potential impact on global lending standards and the competition it could provide to existing institutions such as the U.S.-dominated World Bank.

  Luxembourg, a major global financial center, revealed this week that it would sign up. China is also wooing Australia and South Korea, two of America’s closest Asian allies, to join before the March 31 deadline. A South Korean wire service reported Wednesday that Seoul was “seriously considering” the offer.

   With 32 countries on board and more expected in the coming days, Chinese state media have begun to gloat about the failure of the Obama administration to rally even its closest allies and trading partners to shun the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. They noted that U.S. officials have long lectured China, now the world’s second-largest economy, to take a more active “stakeholder” role in global economic affairs, but then tried to undermine the investment bank almost from the time Chinese President Xi Jinping floated the idea of an Asian development fund during a trip to Indonesia in October 2013.”

    We challenge anyone to inform us of even one single thing that the present administration has accomplished that has benefitted the United States . Continue reading about the latest failure of Obama/Clinton “smart diplomacy” here .

Some Police Revenue Streams Are More Outrageous Than Others

 

 

 

 

 

” There has been a lot of news out of Ferguson lately.

  You had the release of the Justice Department report that, while clearing officer Wilson and debunking “Hands up don’t shoot,” hit the police department for racial practices which led to protests, resignations, the shooting of two police officers and, last  weekend, the arrest of Jeffrey Williams, the shooter.

  But in all the news coverage, protests, and resulting spin, there is one aspect of this story that, for several reasons, is worthy of a lot more attention before it’s forgotten:  the outrageous use of policing as a city revenue stream.

 

   From the report:

  The City’s emphasis on revenue generation has a profound effect on FPD’s approach to law enforcement.  Patrol assignment an schedules are geared toward aggressive enforcement of Ferguson’s municipal code, with insufficient thought given to whether enforcement strategies promote public safety or unnecessarily undermine community trust and cooperation.

 

  This practice sets up a perverse reward system if you are a cop, the report explained:

  Officer evaluations and promotions depend to an inordinate degree on “productivity” meaning the number of citations issued.

 

  And the courts aren’t helping either:

  The municipal court does not act as a neutral arbiter of the law or a check on unlawful police conduct.  Instead the court primarily uses its judicial authority as the means to compel the payment of fines and fees that advance the City’s financial interests.

 

  This is not a new issue to some. Rand Paul,for example, has talked about it for a while, most recently at Bowe state university in Maryland: “

 

Read more from DaTechGuy at Watchdog.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pentagon Cannot Account For $500M In US Military Aid To Yemen

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. has lost track of weapons and ammunition worth millions donated to the Yemeni government, an American defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Washington Post. The situation in Yemen, which has been in a state of turmoil over the last few years, deteriorated rapidly in January, when the government led by Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was toppled by Shia Houthi rebels.

  The lost equipment, which includes small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats and vehicles, is reportedly worth $500 million. This is a sizeable chunk of the military aid provided by the U.S. to the strife-torn nation since 2007, when Ali Abdullah Saleh was the president.

We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone,” an unnamed U.S. legislative aide told the Post. While acknowledging that the Pentagon had lost track of the arms and equipment, a defense official reportedly said that there is no evidence that the items have been looted.”

 

 

International Business Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incredible New 3D Printing Technique Looks Like Sci-Fi

 

 

 

 

 

” A new innovation by Carbon3D, unveiled Monday at the TED2015 conference, could finally move 3D printing out of the hobby shop and onto every factory floor.

  Imagine you’re in an emergency room with a blood vessel blockage. To save your life, a surgeon will first insert a tube, and carefully guide it through the clog. Then she might insert a stent, a piece metal or fabric mesh, to keep the vessel open. But that piece of hardware isn’t made to fit your body. Carbon3D can make one that does.

” The idea that you could produce a biodegradable stent that takes in your own anatomy and the tributaries of your blood vessels while you’re on the catheter table in an emergency room — that’s an amazing new future that is now in reach,” said Joseph DeSimone, CEO and co-founder of Carbon3D and a chemistry professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

  It all started in Japan with a tiny house that took 4.5 hours to build. It was made of plastic and measured 2.5 inches across and 2 inches high and had “partitions, furniture, and stairs.” It was one of the first 3D printed items to ever exist. That was 1981.”

 

 

 

   Popular Mechanics brings the news of revolution in the micro-printing area of additive manufacturing while from the more macro side of the technology comes news of cheap 3D printed homes for the third world

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Back in July, the WASPProject unveiled to us their plans to 3D print homes in 3rd world countries using nothing but a 3D printer and clay made from native soil. The idea is a tremendous one, one which could be extraordinarily groundbreaking when it comes to creating shelter for poverty stricken nations.”

 

 

waspextruder2

 

 

” Clay is abundant, and these 3D printers are quite affordable compared to other machines on the market. Providing a single 3D printer to small communities where there is little to no structurally sound housing, could provide for a solution to one of the world’s biggest problems.  The fabrication of multiple homes in a short amount of time, is exactly what WASP is hoping to accomplish.”

 

 

Read all about the WASPProject here and here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Bill Would Ban Congress From Using Taxpayer Funds For First-Class Travel

 

 

 

 

” Legislation introduced by a freshman congresswoman would ban lawmakers from using taxpayer funds for first-class flights and personal car leases.

  Rep. Gwen Graham, D-Fla., announced the Congressional Travel Perks Elimination Act in a recent statement.

“ Nine months ago, I pledged I would work to end wasteful Congressional perks. Today, I’m following through on that promise,” Graham said. “It’s a common sense idea that Republicans and Democrats can both agree on: members of Congress shouldn’t be able to charge taxpayers for first-class airfare or long-term personal car leases.”

  According to her statement, the legislation would also ban the use of taxpayer funds for personal car leases, some of which are “as high as $825 a month.” “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s The World’s Biggest House For Sale – And It’s Top Secret

 

Castle for sale near Siena

 

 

” It says something about London’s affluenza that for the price of a five-bedroom penthouse in Connaught Place, Hyde Park, you could buy a whopping Italian estate with a 12th-century medieval castle and a sprinkling of Tuscan farmhouses in the grounds, where the number of bedrooms adds up to 115, with 100 bathrooms on the side. The first costs £20m and the second €28m (£19.8m).

  This castle just east of Siena, wrapped in 630 hectares planted with 1,500 olive trees producing award-winning olive oil, is thought to be the largest property in the world currently on the market. But the Italian market is as keen on discretion as the Mafia is on anonymity, so even the name of this prize piece of history is being kept firmly under the estate agent’s pillow.

  The setting in Tuscany, the medieval courtyard with tower and chapel, the Italianate gardens with palms and box hedges, the interiors with marble floors and elaborate painted ceilings, make it so romantic that it is sometimes hired for weddings. It goes without saying that there is plenty of room for guests to sleep, as well as pools for them to swim in.

“ It is exceptionally beautiful. There are many castles in Tuscany but very few are medieval,” says the agent John Jonk of Sotheby’s International (0039 05507 51888; sothebysrealtycom). “The approach to it is wonderful and you go into another world. There are thousands of wild boar and roe deer, magical woods, vineyards, olive groves and grain fields. On the estate it is always silent. The castle was built at a time just before Giotto, when the Renaissance lay around the corner and Siena was at war with Florence.”

 

Telegraph 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans Name Government As No. 1 U.S. Problem

 

Trends in Top "Most Important" U.S. Problems, March 2014-March 2015

 

 

 

” Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans’ mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place.

  Though issues such as terrorism, healthcare, race relations and immigration have emerged among the top problems in recent polls, government, the economy and unemployment have been the dominant problems listed by Americans for more than a year.

  The latest results are from a March 5-8 Gallup poll of 1,025 American adults.

  While the ranking of the top two problems is similar to what Gallup found in February, mentions of the economy dropped from 16% to the current 11%. In a separate measure, Americans’ confidence in the economy had been dipping further into negative territory in late February and early March, but has been improving in recent days. “

 

 

    Read it all and rejoice as the truth finally begins to dawn on the general public …

 

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obamacare Exchange Customers Set For Significant Premium Spikes, CBO Predicts

 

 

 

 

” Obamacare exchange customers are about to see spikes in their premiums, the Congressional Budget Office predicted Monday, saying insurers that offer plans are facing twin pressures from the government and the marketplace that will mean hikes of more than 8 percent a year through 2018.

  Now in the second year of full operation, the exchanges are critical to the success of the law. The government is using tax subsidies to attract more customers to help offset costs for the rest of the system.

  Nearly 11.7 million Americans bought plans on the exchange in the second enrollment period, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced Monday afternoon, hours after the CBO’s analysis was released.

  The CBO said premiums for the key “benchmark” exchange plans will rise an average of 8.5 percent per year from 2016 to 2018, faster than the rest of the health care market.”

Washington Times

IG Audit: 6.5 Million People With Active Social Security Numbers Are 112 Or Older

 

 

 

 

” Many people are living longer, but not to age 112 or beyond — except in the records of the Social Security Administration.

  The SSA’s inspector general has identified 6.5 million number-holders age 112 — or older — for whom no death date has been entered in the main electronic file, called Numident.

  The audit, dated March 4, 2015, concluded that SSA lacks the controls necessary to annote death information on the records of number-holders who exceed “maximum reasonable life expectancies.”

” We obtained Numident data that identified approximately 6.5 million numberholders born before June 16, 1901 who did not have a date of death on their record,” the report states.

  Some of the numbers assigned to long-dead people were used fraudulently to open bank accounts.

  And thousands of those numbers apparently were used by illegal immigrants to apply for work:

” During Calendar Years 2008 through 2011, SSA received 4,024 E-Verify inquiries using the SSNs of 3,873 numberholders born before June 16, 1901,” the report said. “These inquiries indicate individuals’ attempts to use the SSNs to apply for work.”

“ It is incredible that the Social Security Administration in 2015 does not have the technical sophistication to ensure that people they know to be deceased are actually noted as dead,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Tens of thousands of these numbers are currently being used to report wages to the Social Security Administration and to the IRS. People are fraudulently, but successfully, applying for jobs and benefits with these numbers. Making sure Social Security cleans up its death master file to prevent future errors and fraud is a good government reform we can all agree on,” Johnson said.

  Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the committee’s ranking member, called the findings a “major problem” that wastes taxpayers’ money, exposes citizens to identity theft and undermines confidence in government:

“It is simply unacceptable that our nation’s database of Social Security numbers of supposedly living people includes more than six and a half million people who are older than 112 years of age, with a few thousand having birth dates from  before the Civil War. Preventing agency errors by keeping track of who has died is a relatively simple problem that the government should pursue as a high priority.”

  According to the IG, the Social Security Administration matches death reports received from various sources against its payment records, then records the date of a number-holder’s death in its Numerical Identification System, or Numident.

  Information from Numident is then used to create SSA’s “Death Master File,” which is used by financial institutions and various government entities to prevent identity fraud. If a death is not recorded on the Numident, it will not appear in the DMF.

  The IG made four recommendations for resolving the discrepancies and improving the accuracy of the Death Master File to “prevent future misuse of these SSNs.” “

 

 

Thanks to CNS News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man Acquitted Of Crime, Cops Still Take His Cash

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Iowa State troopers can keep more than $30,000 in cash taken during a traffic stop, even though the owner was found not guilty, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled last week.

  In June 2012, Robert Pardee was riding in a car through Powesheik County, Iowa on I-80, when an Iowa State trooper pulled the driver over for a non-working taillight and tailgating. During the stop, state troopers found “a small amount of marijuana” and $33,100 in cash. Pardee was arrested and charged with possessing cannabis. In Iowa, first-time offenders can face up to six months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines.

  One year later, a district court found him not guilty. As the criminal case proceeded against Pardee, the state also filed a civil forfeiture case against his seized cash. Despite his acquittal, first the district court and then the Iowa Court of Appeals ordered Pardee to forfeit his cash to the state.

  Unlike criminal forfeiture, which does require a conviction to take the ill-gotten gains from criminals, civil forfeiture lets law enforcement seize and keep property from people without a criminal conviction, or even without filing charges.

  Since civil forfeiture cases proceed in civil court, the state has to meet a far lower burden of proof to win. While criminal cases require proving “beyond a reasonable doubt,” for civil forfeiture in Iowa, the government need only show by a “preponderance of the evidence,” or “more likely than not,” that property was used to help facilitate a crime or are the proceeds of crime.”

 

 

    Could anything possibly be more unAmerican than “civil” asset forfeiture ? It is nothing more that legalized theft and constitutes an arbitrary abuse of power , totally ignores the rule of law and demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are well on our way to tyranny . The Founders must be rolling in their graves .

Surely this case deserves to be taken all the way to the Supreme Court … Read the rest at Forbes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Men Make Up Top 8 Most Highly Compensated Clinton Foundation Employees

 

 

 

 

” In late February, Hillary Clinton, a self-proclaimed champion of women’s rights and gender equity, came under fire for a Washington Free Beacon analysis that showed women on Mrs. Clinton’s staff during her tenure in the Senate were paid an average of 72 cents on the dollar compared to male staff. Now, an analysis of the latest IRS filing for the foundation that bears her name, the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, shows a similar compensation disparity between men and women employees. Although compensation figures are available for only a limited number of Foundation personnel, the 2013 Form 990 filed with the IRS shows that out of eleven highly compensated individuals listed, the top eight are all men.

  While the Clinton Foundation regularly posts annual reports and financial statements on its website, there is no requirement that the organization list compensation for all employees. The 990 form, however, asks for a list of directors, officers, trustees, and “key employees,” as well as the next five most highly compensated employees not in those other categories. For 2013, this list is comprised of twenty-three names, eleven of whom received compensation (members of the board of directors are not paid, except for the chairman, who also served as CEO). When sorted by total compensation, the first eight names on the list are men, followed by three women … “

 

 

Weekly Standard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ford GT Will Cost $400,000, Sell 250 Per Year

 

 

Ford GT prototype  -  2015 Chicago Auto Show live photos

 

 

” Revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show to a shocked and awed audience, the Ford GT has lit the world afire with its dramatic styling and promised performance. Now, it has a price tag to match the heat of its debut: about $400,000.

  The word comes from Dave Pericak of Ford Performance at the Geneva Motor Show. Pericak said the price of the Ford GT would be near that of the Lamborghini Aventador, which stickers at a brisk $397,500, base.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” With “more than” 600 horsepower on tap from a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6, a carbon fiber and aluminum structure, and serious aerodynamics, the Prototype-racer in production form should prove to be among the world’s most impressive sports cars—if not quite on par with the $1-million-plus hypercars from McLaren, Porsche, and Ferrari.”

 

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Running Out Of Room To Store Oil; Price Collapse Next?

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it, and that could drive oil and gasoline prices even lower in the coming months.

  For the past seven weeks, the United States has been producing and importing an average of 1 million more barrels of oil every day than it is consuming. That extra crude is flowing into storage tanks, especially at the country’s main trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, pushing U.S. supplies to their highest point in at least 80 years, the Energy Department reported last week.

  If this keeps up, storage tanks could approach their operational limits, known in the industry as “tank tops,” by mid-April and send the price of crude — and probably gasoline, too — plummeting.

” The fact of the matter is we are running out of storage capacity in the U.S.,” Ed Morse, head of commodities research at Citibank, said at a recent symposium at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.”

 

Continued

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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