Category: Scams


Feds Play The Race Card To Crush Parents’ Revolt Against Common Core

 

 

” There was a time when Common Core supporters loudly insisted the program — adopted by no fewer than 46 states — was most assuredly not federal, that any allegation that this astounding national uniformity was the result of federal pressure was a nasty, vicious lie. The State Standards Initiative confidently declares as “myth” the assertions that “Common Core State Standards were adopted by states as part of the [federal] Race to the Top grant program” or that the “federal government will take over ownership” of Common Core. The Initiative’s position is clear: “The federal government will not govern the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core was and will remain a state-led effort.” (Emphasis in original.)

  Yet when Common Core is threatened by a large-scale parental revolt, look who moves in to crush the dissenters’ dreams — Arne Duncan, the race-baiting (federal) Secretary of Education.

  Last week an estimated 184,000 New York students (out of 1.1 million) opted out of this year’s Common Core–mandated English tests, a more than three-fold increase from last year’s 60,000 opt-outs. Large-scale opt-outs threaten the validity of the tests, decreasing the likelihood that they fairly measure overall student achievement. In some schools the opt-out rates have crippled the tests. One Manhattan school reported an 85 percent opt-out rate, and other schools — including one in Park Slope, Brooklyn — have reported opt-out rates exceeding 30 percent.”

” With the tests in crisis, Arne Duncan said this week that if the states can’t fix themselves, the federal government will “have an obligation to step in.” This means not just threatening to cut federal funding, but essentially forcing states to withhold their own funds from delinquent schools. ”

 

National Review has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charity Watchdog: Clinton Foundation A ‘Slush Fund’

 

Charity watchdog: Clinton Foundation a ‘slush fund’

 

 

 

” The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its “watch list” of problematic nonprofits last month.

  The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

  The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends.

  On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fund-raising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons are on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the Foundation.

  In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.

  Some of the tens of millions in administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world.

  But that’s still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission.

  Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits, recently refused to rate the Clinton Foundation because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.” 

  Charity Navigator put the foundation on its “watch list,” which warns potential donors about investing in problematic charities. The 23 charities on the list include the Rev. Al Sharpton’s troubled National Action Network, which is cited for failing to pay payroll taxes for several years.

  Other nonprofit experts are asking hard questions about the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings in the wake of recent reports that the Clintons traded influence for donations.

“ It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group once run by leading progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting For Everyday Americans, And Everyday Uranium-Dealing Kazakhs

 

 

 

” It turns out that, while we were all worrying about the mullahs’ nuclear program, the Clintons’ nuclear program was going gangbusters. Kazakhquiddick dominated the conversation on my weekly chat with Hugh Hewitt:

  HUGH HEWITT: I’m looking at an extraordinary article – Cash Flowed To Clinton Foundation As Russians Press For Control Of Uranium Company. It’s by Jo Becker and Mike McIntire from today’s New York Times. It’s almost unfathomable that Hillary Clinton would consider running for president after this article comes out, but what say you, Mark Steyn?

  MARK STEYN: Yes, I agree. And I like Elizabeth Warren, and I want her to run. And when I say ‘like’, don’t get me wrong – I think she would be a disastrous president for this country, and she would want to turn it into a socialist basket case. But she believes in something, and she wants to do something. And Hillary Clinton is an entirely hollow creation. She is basically just an empty vessel in which the dodgiest characters on the planet pour money in return for favors. And I regret to say her daughter is becoming much the same kind of thing, too. Her daughter’s joined the family on stage with this Kazakh oligarch and all the rest of it. In fairness to Bill Clinton, he likes chasing nymphettes – he’s the only Clinton with a human characteristic…

  HH: Now I don’t want to overstate the complexity, but in a nutshell, Russia has cornered the world uranium market.

  MS: Right.

  HH: They have done so through acquiring huge uranium resources in Canada and the United State subject to review by the State Department was given, and Bill Clinton pocketed a half million along the way, and the foundation picked up two and a half million bucks from interested parties…

  I think I’ve mentioned before that, for a while, the US Department of Labor used to call up my assistant once a year and demand to know whether we “worked with uranium”. And once in a while they’d insist on speaking to me personally and I’d say, “Hmm. Let me have a think on that. Did we use any uranium in my Christmas disco single? No, wait, that was bongos…”

  And, when they’d gone away, I used occasionally to wonder how many American businesses the vast federal bureaucracy had to harass before they got a positive response to that question. But it turns out that, if the Department of Labor were to call up the Clinton Foundation, which Hill’s impressionable rubes seem to think is something to do with reducing diarrhea outbreaks in Africa, and ask them, “Do you work with uranium?”, the answer is yes.”

 

Saturday’s must read from Mark Steyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Side Effect Of A Gluten-Free Diet: Scientific Illiteracy

 

 

GLUTEN LIE

 

 

 

” Walk into any grocery store or coffee shop and you’ll find gluten-free muffins, gluten-free chips, and gluten-free bread. Gluten has replaced fat as the ingredient we love to shun.

  And yet, scientists can’t find any good evidence to support this fad. Gluten is a protein composite that gives shape to grains like wheat, rye, and barley. And it’s true that a very small fraction of people have celiac disease, a real medical condition that causes their bodies to violently reject gluten. But that’s only a small fraction of people, and it’s not enough to explain the craze. The rest of us are going gluten-free without any real scientific basis for doing so.

  It’s exactly because the gluten-free diet has surged in popularity recently, despite the science, that Alan Jay Levinovitz, a professor of philosophy and religion at James Madison University, became fascinated by it. I talked to him about his new book, The Gluten Lie, to better understand why we’ve gone against this grain to the tune of more than $10 billion this year. “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive: Clinton Charities Will Refile Tax Returns, Audit For Other Errors

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

  The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

  The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

  The errors, which have not been previously reported, appear on the form 990s that all non-profit organizations must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service to maintain their tax-exempt status. A charity must show copies of the forms to anyone who wants to see them to understand how the charity raises and spends money.”

 

    If you were discovered to have wrongly reported income o your tax returns would the IRS be so kind as to give you a do-over ?

 

Reuters has the whole story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Isn’t Answering Questions About Sketchy Clinton Foundation Donations

 

 

 

 

” The latest installment in the ongoing saga of shady Clinton Foundation finances is a story involving a deal in which Russians took take greater control of a major U.S. uranium company, Uranium One.

  The details are somewhat involved, but the gist is that because the takeover deal involved uranium, a strategic asset, it required approval from then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Around the same time the deal was going through, the Clinton Foundation took millions of dollars in donations from a foundation run by the founder of Uranium One and did not disclose the transaction, in defiance of an arrangement made with the Obama administration to identify Clinton Foundation donors. In addition, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 by a Russian financial firm linked to the Kremlin for a speech in Moscow as the deal was happening. The New York Times has an extensive report, building on work from Peter Schweizer’s book about the Clinton Foundation’s foreign funding, Clinton Cash, here. “

 

Peter Suderman has more at Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash!! Hillary’s Dinner With Ordinary Iowans Was A Fake!!

 

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” Hillary tried to pull a fast one on Iowa voters but was caught in the act.  She was pictured sitting down and having a discussion with 3 “ordinary Iowans.”  Only thing is, they weren’t so ordinary:

  The meeting in a coffee shop in LeClaire, Iowa (Sound familiar?  That’s the home of American Pickers) was supposed to be a chance meeting between Hillary Clinton and three ordinary Iowan citizens.  The three “ordinary” Iowans turned out to be Austin Bird, a former Clinton campaign intern, Carter Bell, University of Iowa College Democrats president, and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland staffer Sara Sedlacek.

  It wasn’t an accident either.  Hillary campaign staffer, Troy Price arranged the entire thing. He called Bird and arranged for the three to meet him at the Village Inn in Davenport, Iowa.”

 

DC Clothesline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch This Homeowner Shoot Down A Drone Flying Over His Property

 

 

 

 

” One video shows a drone hovering over a beautiful home in Southern California and you won’t believe what happened!

  The homeowner ran out of his front door with a shotgun!

  The drone flew away with the guy in hot pursuit. His friend was recording cell phone video of the wild chase.
  The homeowner ran around his house, spotted the drone again, took aim, and fired.

  Larry Breaux of Valencia, California, is the homeowner who shot down the drone. He told INSIDE EDITION he believes the drone was sent over his house in a deliberate act of harassment.”

 

Read more

 

   The whole thing is suspicious as hell when you take into account , the shotgun right at hand and the ground footage of Mr Breaux chasing the drone … Be sure to read the comments from many drone enthusiasts and you will wonder if this whole deal was nothing more than a publicity stunt .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iowa Forfeiture: A ‘System Of Legal Thievery’?

 

 

 

 

 

The plan: Hitch a ride with a family friend to California, visit relatives and check out community colleges there.

  Sanchez-Ratliff, then 20, did something that in hindsight wasn’t the best idea, but isn’t illegal. He took with him his entire life savings, including about $14,000 provided by his grandmother and an additional $5,000 he had saved from working.”

 

 

 

” The much-anticipated trip took an unexpected turn about eight hours in, as flashing lights appeared in the rear-view mirror. A Pottawattamie County sheriff’s deputy stopped the vehicle for traveling 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

  An hour later, the deputy seized Sanchez-Ratliff’s cash. Despite a clean criminal record and a search that turned up no sign of drugs or other illegal activity, the deputy concluded the money must somehow be linked to a crime.

  Sanchez-Ratliff is hardly alone.”

 

 

The Register continues …

 

 

” A Des Moines Register investigation into the use of state and federal civil forfeiture laws in Iowa reveals that thousands of people have surrendered their cash or property since 2009. The system is stacked against property owners while raising millions of dollars annually for law enforcement agencies across the state, something critics contend encourages policing for profit over promoting public safety.

  The bulk of forfeitures reviewed by the Register resulted from traffic stops, often for minor violations and involving vehicles with out-of-state plates. But cash or property also was seized after police were called or sent to homes or businesses. In a few cases, police seized cash carried by johns caught up in prostitution stings.

  Among the Register’s findings:

• Law enforcement agencies in all but seven of Iowa’s 99 counties have used the state’s civil forfeiture law since 2009. They have seized cash or other property 5,265 times. At least 542 more cases have used federal forfeiture laws.

• Many of those property owners — including Sanchez-Ratliff — are sent on their way after surrendering their cash or other property. A sampling of about 600 forfeiture cases from the Iowa counties that seized the most property over the past six years revealed dozens of instances with no record of an arrest or criminal charges.

• Iowa police departments and other law enforcement agencies have seized nearly $43 million over the past six years — money divided among agencies involved in each forfeiture case. Under law, the money is supposed to be used to “enhance” their crime-fighting capabilities.

• Most of the money is used to buy equipment, train officers and fund multiagency task forces. But it also has been spent on tropical fish, scented candles, mulch and other items that appear to have little or no direct link to law enforcement activities.

  Local law enforcement agencies generally keep 90 percent of forfeited cash, split among the agencies that seized the property. The rest goes to the state, for use by the Iowa Attorney General’s office and the state’s public safety departments.”

 

 

    The Des Moines Register offers a serious investigation into the blatantly unconstitutional process of stripping law abiding citizens of their money and possessions without due process , otherwise known as “civil” asset forfeiture . Read the whole thing and remember this is not an issue limited to Iowa , your state is doing it too .

Civil asset forfeiture reform now . Every “war” results in a loss of freedoms but none so much as the “war on drugs” .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NBC News Sued For Libel & Slander After Describing Rifle Target Company As Bomb Makers

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” NBC News and a local affiliate have being slapped with a libel and slander lawsuit for March, 23, 2015 report that aired on Today (also known as The Today Show) entitled, “Bombs for Sale? Popular Stores Sell ‘Dangerous Explosives.’”

  Attorneys representing Tannerite Sports filed suit against NBC Universal News Group (NBCU) and Lexington, KY-based WLEX Communications for libel and slander for allegedly defamatory print and video reports from NBC News national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen.

  The video segment (above) on Today ran in conjunction with an equally inflammatory print story on the Today web site with the headline, Bombs for sale: Targets containing dangerous explosive being sold legally. WLEX ran a version of the Today article that also allegedly claimed that it is illegal under federal law to mix the two component parts of Tannerite, which is factually false.

  Bearing Arms debunked these apparently defamatory reports from NBC News national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen the day they aired.”

 

Bearing Arms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judge Jeanine Blasts Obama On Iran – ‘It’s Time To Break Off the Engagement’

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Losing Yemen

 

 

 

 

 

” The last US special forces have been withdrawn from Yemen without exciting much notice from the US press.  Max Boot tweets: “All US SOF evacuating Yemen. Huge win for AQAP, huge defeat for US. How many foreign policy disasters can we handle?” Reuters reports, “the United States has evacuated its remaining personnel, including about 100 special operations forces, from Yemen because of the deteriorating security situation there, U.S. officials said on Saturday.”  This means that the last vestiges of what the Obama administration only recently touted as their model counter-insurgency operation are gone.  The collapse has flown largely under the media radar.

  Last week Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post reported that $500 million dollars in American supplied weapons are now in the hands of “Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda”.  The Islamist blitzkrieg is living off huge quantities of captured US materiel.

  BS News reported that an “Obama administration’s senior counterterrorism official acknowledged Thursday that the U.S. intelligence community was surprised by the collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Yemen.”  Nobody saw it coming, but the very same people assure the public they know what is to come.  They’re in intelligence, right?

  Nick Rasmussen, who directs the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Yemen’s American-funded army failed to oppose advancing Houthi rebels in the same way the U.S.-supported Iraqi military refused to fight Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants last year.

  What happened in Iraq with the onslaught of ISIS “happened in Yemen” on “a somewhat smaller scale,” he said. “As the Houthi advances toward Sanaa took place… they weren’t opposed in many places…. The situation deteriorated far more rapidly than we expected.” “

 

 

   Read more on the latest , of many , foreign policy failures of the Obama administration from Richard Fernandez

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking A Decades-Long Trend, The World Gets More Violent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” If you were watching the news last year, it was hard to escape the impression the world was falling apart. Now the data is in. And yes, it turns out the world’s most violent conflicts got a lot bloodier in 2014 — almost 30 percent bloodier, in fact.

  According to an analysis of data from the world’s 20 most lethal wars last year, at least 163,000 people died in conflict. That compares to just under 127,000 in the 20 worst wars the previous year, a rise of 28.7 percent.”

 

 

 

 

  That’s a pretty disturbing spike by anyone’s terms. And if you look at the first few months of 2015, the violence doesn’t seem to be waning.

  What’s even more worrying is that this seems to be part of an ongoing trend that now goes back eight years. According to the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), global violence — as defined by a range of measures from conflict deaths, to displaced persons, to homicide rates — has been rising since 2007.”

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-22 at 9.14.22 AM

 

 

” This news is in many ways surprising because up to 2007, the data suggested the world was becoming a much safer place.

  According to the IEP, global violence had been broadly subsiding since the end of World War Two. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker traces it back even further. Since the dawn of prehistory, Pinker’s research suggests, mankind has been becoming less violent.

  So what is going wrong now? And how bad could it all get? ”

 

   What could have changed ?  Couldn’t be a lack of competent leadership now could it ? Nah … they’ve assured us we’ve never been safer . Read more at Reuters …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Sets New Record For Denying, Censoring Government Files

 

 

 

For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

  The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

  It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law — but only when it was challenged.

  Its backlog of unanswered requests at year’s end grew remarkably by 55 percent to more than 200,000.

  The government’s new figures, published Tuesday, covered all requests to 100 federal agencies during fiscal 2014 under the Freedom of Information law, which is heralded globally as a model for transparent government. They showed that despite disappointments and failed promises by the White House to make meaningful improvements in the way it releases records, the law was more popular than ever. Citizens, journalists, businesses and others made a record 714,231 requests for information. The U.S. spent a record $434 million trying to keep up.

  The government responded to 647,142 requests, a 4 percent decrease over the previous year. The government more than ever censored materials it turned over or fully denied access to them, in 250,581 cases or 39 percent of all requests. Sometimes, the government censored only a few words or an employee’s phone number, but other times it completely marked out nearly every paragraph on pages.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birmingham 1 Of 6 Pilot Sites In Federal Effort To Restore Police, Community Relations

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Birmingham has been chosen as one of six cities nationwide to serve as a pilot site for a national initiative on restoring relationships between law enforcement and citizens.

  Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement today. The $4.7 million National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice was announced in April and is a partnership between federal officials and criminal justice experts focused on providing training, policy and research to address distrust between citizens and law enforcement.

  The other pilot cities are: Ft. Worth, Gary, Indiana, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Stockton. The initiative comes after several high profile fatal police-involved shootings.”

 

 

    This can only end badly . Considering that the Justice department does not exactly inspire faith in government how is it’s attempt to co-opt the police forces of numerous cities going to restore faith in law enforcement ? It’s just one more step towards the nationalization of police . Read more here 

  A message to the citizens of the FIRST six cities to fall under federal control; if you think your local PD is unresponsive to your pleas and that increasing the bureaucracy with a federal level of “supervision” will help , then you really have not been paying attention these last few years . You , and the rest of us , will rue the day that the Feds take over your law enforcement duties .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Biggest, Most Persistent and Successful Obama Lie Gets Debunked By The Most Unlikely Source

 

 

 

 

” Perhaps the biggest, most persistent and successful lie about Barack Obama is that he’s a nice guy who cares.

  He isn’t. 

  He doesn’t.

  But the last place one expects to hear this myth eviscerated is the New York Times.

  Mr. Obama’s strained association with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, who has clashed with other American presidents as well, has been difficult from the start. But the absence of any real connection between them underscores the rule, not the exception, for Mr. Obama, who has only occasionally invested time in cultivating foreign leaders.

  Even his opponent in the last presidential race bought into the lie, choosing to label Obama as nice, but incompetent. Mitt Romney apparently convinced many. Among voters who most valued a candidate who “cares about people like me,” 8-in-10 picked Obama in 2012. Majorities of people who prioritized a candidate who “shares my values,” “is a strong leader,” or “has a vision for the future” all voted for Romney.

  If there’s one area of the president’s job where being a “nice guy who cares” matters most, and holds the greatest consequences for failure, it’s international diplomacy. Building trusting relationships with allies requires personal engagement, concern about the needs of others, and genuine warmth. The mythical Obama that we were sold embodies all of these qualities.

  But the Times admits that President Obama’s foreign relations display a distinct lack of actual relationships. “

 

Read Scott Ott’s entire piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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