Category: Spending


Black Friday Is Here, And You All Look Like Morons

 

 

black friday fights

Click pic for Vines Video

 

 

” It’s Friday 28th November, a day that most people consider as ‘the start of Christmas shopping’. But in the States , they call it Black Friday.

  For many years, the day following Thanksgiving in America is known as Black Friday, a day where chaos ensues all over the country. Why? Because most items in most shops are about 1 dollar cheaper than the day before.

  Fast forward to 2014, and obviously, the UK has decided to adopt this tradition. Why? I don’t know. There seems to be a sale on everywhere nowadays, in most shops. Couches are pretty much free for the first decade and every high street clothing shop has a maze of rails full of price cut shite. “

 

    UniLad provides a host of video idiocy taking place as we speak . Watch shoppers battle it out and display a decidedly unchristian side of the holiday season .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Fired Is Mission: Impossible For Federal Bureaucrats In The Obama Era

 

 

 

 

” Federal managers have fired fewer bad employees each year since President Obama took office.

  Fewer than 4,900 career civil servants were fired in fiscal year 2013 out of 1.4 million — about one out of every every 300 employees — according to Office of Personnel Management data.

  The figures were 5,700 in 2010, 5,500 in 2011, and 5,200 in 2012. Only partial data was available for fiscal 2014, but it was on track for 4,800, the lowest in recent memory.

  There are also about 7,700 senior executives in the federal government, who are held to a higher standard than those in the General Schedule rank and file.

  But only five in the Senior Executive Service were fired in 2012, seven in 2013 and none in the first half of 2014.

  Both of Congress’ new top bureaucracy watchers — Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. — have identified the inability to get rid of bad federal employees as a top reform target.”

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fiscal Cost Of Unlawful Immigrants And Amnesty To The U.S. Taxpayer

 

 

Immigration Costs 2013 - Table 4

 

” Unlawful immigration and amnesty for current unlawful immigrants can pose large fiscal costs for U.S. taxpayers. Government provides four types of benefits and services that are relevant to this issue:

  • Direct benefits. These include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
  • Means-tested welfare benefits. There are over 80 of these programs which, at a cost of nearly $900 billion per year, provide cash, food, housing, medical, and other services to roughly 100 million low-income Americans. Major programs include Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Public education. At a cost of $12,300 per pupil per year, these services are largely free or heavily subsidized for low-income parents.
  • Population-based services. Police, fire, highways, parks, and similar services, as the National Academy of Sciences determined in its study of the fiscal costs of immigration, generally have to expand as new immigrants enter a community; someone has to bear the cost of that expansion.

  The cost of these governmental services is far larger than many people imagine. For example, in 2010, the average U.S. household received $31,584 in government benefits and services in these four categories.

  The governmental system is highly redistributive. Well-educated households tend to be net tax contributors: The taxes they pay exceed the direct and means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services they receive. For example, in 2010, in the whole U.S. population, households with college-educated heads, on average, received $24,839 in government benefits while paying $54,089 in taxes. The average college-educated household thus generated a fiscal surplus of $29,250 that government used to finance benefits for other households.

  Other households are net tax consumers: The benefits they receive exceed the taxes they pay. These households generate a “fiscal deficit” that must be financed by taxes from other households or by government borrowing. For example, in 2010, in the U.S. population as a whole, households headed by persons without a high school degree, on average, received $46,582 in government benefits while paying only $11,469 in taxes. This generated an average fiscal deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of $35,113.

  The high deficits of poorly educated households are important in the amnesty debate because the typical unlawful immigrant has only a 10th-grade education. Half of unlawful immigrant households are headed by an individual with less than a high school degree, and another 25 percent of household heads have only a high school degree.

  Some argue that the deficit figures for poorly educated households in the general population are not relevant for immigrants. Many believe, for example, that lawful immigrants use little welfare. In reality, lawful immigrant households receive significantly more welfare, on average, than U.S.-born households. Overall, the fiscal deficits or surpluses for lawful immigrant households are the same as or higher than those for U.S.-born households with the same education level. Poorly educated households, whether immigrant or U.S.-born, receive far more in government benefits than they pay in taxes. “

 

Read the entire study at Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renewable Energy ‘Simply Won’t Work': Top Google Engineers

 

 

 

” Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilization: such a thing is impossible.

  Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. These aren’t guys who fiddle about with websites or data analytics or “technology” of that sort: they are real engineers who understand difficult maths and physics, and top-bracket even among that distinguished company. The duo were employed at Google on the RE<C project, which sought to enhance renewable technology to the point where it could produce energy more cheaply than coal. 

  RE<C was a failure, and Google closed it down after four years. Now, Koningstein and Fork have explained the conclusions they came to after a lengthy period of applying their considerable technological expertise to renewables, in an article posted at IEEE Spectrum.

  The two men write:

  At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope …

  Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach. “

 

Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans Rate Two Agencies Worse Than The IRS

 

 

 

 

” What’s America’s favorite federal agency? Apparently it’s the U.S. Postal Service. Beyond the rate hikes, job cuts, hemorrhaging finances, processing center closures, union tensions and persistent calls for reform, a large majority of people—72 percent—think USPS does an “excellent” or “good” job. That’s a significantly higher rating than the next highest runner up, the FBI, at 58 percent, according to a new Gallup poll assessing American’s perceptions of 13 agencies.

  Four of the 13 agencies included in the poll—Postal Service, the Secret Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Veterans’ Affairs Department—were rated for the first time.

  Perhaps most striking was the fact that two agencies rated lower in Americans’ esteem than the scandal-plagued Internal Revenue Service, which may have the most onerous mission among federal agencies—parting people from their money. While only 41 percent of respondents thought IRS was doing a good to excellent job, fewer thought the Federal Reserve Board or Veterans Administration were doing excellent to good work, 38 percent and 29 percent, respectively. “

 

Story continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bunny Mellon’s Blue Diamond Sells For More Than $32.6 Million, Sets Two World Auction Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon sold for more than $32.6 million, shattering its high estimate of $15 million at Sotheby’s New York Thursday. The price set a world auction record for any blue diamond; and at more than $3.3 million per carat, it set a world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond.

  The pear-shaped diamond was sought after by seven bidders who competed for 20 minutes for the gem, Sotheby’s said. It ultimately sold to a Hong Kong private collector who named it “The Zoe Diamond.”

“ From the moment I saw this diamond, I knew that it would be one of the most important stones that I will ever have the privilege of presenting at auction,” said Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York. “Mrs Mellon’s diamond absolutely deserves the place in the record books that it achieved tonight.” “

 

Forbes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here Is Where Homes Are Most Affordable For The Middle Class

 

middle class homes

 

 

 

 

” If you’re struggling to buy a home in San Francisco or New York, you may want to consider Dayton or Rochester.

  Those are two of the U.S. cities where middle-class buyers are most likely to find an affordable home, according to a new report by the real-estate website Trulia.

  In Trulia’s map below, the bubbles represent the size of a metropolitan area’s housing market. The colors represent the percentage of housing in that market that Trulia considers affordable to the middle class.

  By Trulia’s definition, a city is affordable if “the total monthly payment, including mortgage, insurance, and property taxes, is less than 31% of the metro area’s median household income.” Thus, what’s affordable varies from city to city. “

 

 

The least affordable areas come as no surprise …

 

 

least affordable markets

 

 

Huffington Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$4.15 Per Pound: Ground Beef Climbs To Another Record High

 

 

beef

 

 

 

” The average price for a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high$4.156 per pound — in the United States in October, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

  In August, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time, hitting $4.013, said the BLS.  In September, the average price jumped .083 cents to $4.096 per pound, an increase of 2.1 percent in one month.

  In October, which is the latest data from the BLS, the average price for a pound of ground beef ($4.156) increased 1.4 percent from September.

  A year ago, in October 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.389 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 76.5 cents, or about 22.6 percent in one year.

  Five years ago, in October 2009, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $2.177, according to the BLS. The price has since climbed by $1.977 per pound, or 90.8 percent. “

 

CNS News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency: Floods, Failures, And Federalism

 

 

” The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the lead federal agency for disaster preparedness, response, and relief. FEMA’s budget fluctuates from year to year, but spending has trended sharply upwards in recent decades. The agency spent $22 billion in fiscal 2013 and $10 billion in fiscal 2014. The main activity of FEMA is distributing aid to individuals and state and local governments after natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. In addition, the agency provides ongoing grants to the states for disaster preparedness, and it operates the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

  FEMA’s response to some major disasters has been slow, disorganized, and profligate. The agency’s actions have sometimes been harmful, such as when it has blocked the relief efforts of other organizations. FEMA’s dismal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 dramatized the agency’s bureaucratic dysfunction. FEMA’s grants for disaster preparedness are known for wastefulness. As for the NFIP, its insurance subsidies are spurring development in flood-prone areas, which in turn is increasing the damage caused by floods. The NFIP also encourages an expansion of federal regulatory control over local land-use planning.

  Federalism is supposed to undergird America’s system of handling disasters, particularly natural disasters. State, local, and private organizations should play the dominant role. Looking at American history, many disasters have generated large outpourings of aid by individuals, businesses, and charitable groups.

  Today, however, growing federal intervention is undermining the role of private institutions and the states in handling disasters. Policymakers should reverse course and begin cutting FEMA. Ultimately, the agency should be closed down by ending aid programs for disaster preparedness and relief and privatizing flood insurance. “

 

All The Best Black Friday Tech Deals

 

 

 

 

” Get your shopping list in order–the Black Friday deals are popping up already. We’ve scoured them for the most interesting bargains, and we’ll be updating more great deals as we see them.

  Call it 50-inches of entertainment nirvana for less. Best Buy has announced its Black Friday deals, and one of them is a massive Panasonic 50-inch HDTV for only $199. It’s an LED model so it won’t suck up as much power. Other deals include a DigiLand 7-inch tablet that runs Android but won’t deplete your pocketbook—it’s only $40. We also should point out that the iPad Air 2, which almost never gets price cuts, is also on sale. Best Buy is taking $100 off any model. “

   There is much more on tech deals at Popular Mechanics … 

   Meanwhile over at The Verge you can find lots more impending Black Friday deals from Apple , Amazon ,Walmart and more …

” Black Friday is the best time of the year to get great deals on all kinds of electronics, games, and gadgets. We’ve culled through the best deals around to bring you everything that matters and nothing that doesn’t. This stream will be updated all season, so be sure to check back often.”

$1 Million Hospital Bill For Canadian Woman Who Gave Birth In US

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A Canadian mother is stuck with a $1 million hospital bill after she gave birth prematurely while on vacation in the U.S. last year. 

  Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel, at six months pregnant, thought she and husband Darren had taken all the right steps before taking a trip to Hawaii. She got approval from her doctor and even purchased travel insurance from Blue Cross, the Toronto Sun reported.

  But her water broke while she was on vacation, leading to an emergency C-section and a lengthy hospital stay for the couple’s premature daughter, Reece.

” Blue Cross said that because I had a bladder infection at four months and hemorrhaged because of that, that they would not cover the pregnancy,” Huculak-Kimmel said. “We thought we had done everything right. We thought we had covered all avenues and we thought we were covered. We thought we were safe to go.”

  The hospital bill added up to about $950,000, including $40,000 for medical evacuation to a Honolulu hospital; $160,000 for Huculak-Kimmel’s hospital stay; and $750,000 for the care of the baby in a neonatal intensive care unit. Saskatchewan Health paid about $20,000 of the bill and the United States paid $12,000, leaving the couple with a staggering $918,000 bill.”

 

This is the Canadian healthcare system that we are supposed to aspire to ?

NewsMax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New CBO Study Shows That ‘The Rich’ Don’t Just Pay Their ‘Fair Share,’ They Pay Almost Everybody’s Share

 

 

cbo1

 

 

 

” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its annual report on “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes” analyzing data through 2011 on American household’s: a) average “market income” (a comprehensive measure that includes labor income, business income, and income from capital gains), b) average household transfer payments (payments and benefits from federal, state and local governments including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance), and c) average federal taxes paid by households (including income, payroll, corporate, and excise taxes). Some of the key findings of the CBO analysis are displayed in the table above, with the data organized by household income quintiles. The data in the first five rows above appear in the CBO report (from Tables 1 and 4), and rows 6-8 above have been calculated separately based on data from the first four rows in the table.

  The CBO report received attention and commentary this week from John Merline at Investor’s Business Daily (“New CBO Report Explodes Tax Fairness Myths”), Reason’s Nick Gillespie (“3 Charts About Income Inequality, Transfers, and Taxes”), AEI’s Jim Pethokoukis (“Here is what’s really happening to middle-class incomes and inequality”), Heritage Foundation’s Curtis Dubay (“The Richest 1 Percent of Americans Pay 24 Percent of Federal Taxes”) and former economist Paul Krugman (“Why the One Percent Hates Obama”).

  Some additional analysis and commentary will be provided here that reveal a yet-to-be discussed major implication of the CBO report – almost the entire burden: a) of all transfer payments made to American households and b) of all non-financed government spending, falls on just one group of Americans – the top one-fifth of US households by income. That’s correct, the CBO study shows that the bottom three income quintiles representing 60% of US households are “net recipients” (they receive more in transfer payments than they pay in federal taxes), the second-highest income quintile pays just slightly more in federal taxes ($14,800) than it receives in government transfer payments ($14,100), while the top 20% of American “net payer” households finance 100% of the transfer payments to the bottom 60%, as well as almost 100% of the tax revenue collected to run the federal government. Here are the details of that analysis.”

 

Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barack Obama’s Security Team Strips Floor Of Marriott Hotel Ahead Of G20 In Brisbane

 

Mr Obama and his staffers will occupy multiple floors of the Marriott Hotel in Brisbane this weekend

 

 

” Barack Obama’s security team ordered the stripping of an entire floor of the Marriott Hotel and investigated installing their own wiring to keep the world’s most powerful man safe while he is in Brisbane for the G20.

  Bedding and furniture, including mirrors, have been ­removed from rooms, while others have been left with just desks and chairs as part of the elaborate security operation to ensure he cannot be spied on.

  Secure communication lines will be established and rooms will be swept for bugs to ensure he can conduct confidential business and make private phone calls from within the hotel.

  The hotel will sit inside a cordoned off ­security zone, where only those with accreditation will be allowed to enter.

 The President is expected to arrive on Saturday and will stay at the Marriott for at least one night while he attends the G20. “

 

 

    This man sure knows how to piss away our money . How is it that he seems to require so much more in the way of precautions , special treatment and taxpayer funds for his travels than any previous president ?

 

 

Courier-Mail.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawmakers Aim To Fire More Federal Employees In 2015

 

 

 

” Some lawmakers are looking to the new Congress to pass legislation to ease the firing of federal employees, with hopes the Republican-controlled Senate will be friendlier to the idea.

  Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., in July introduced a bill to mitigate the hurdles in firing and suspending senior executives at federal agencies. The Senior Executive Service Accountability Act cleared the House in September. Despite receiving no resistance in the lower chamber, the Senate has yet to take up the bill.

  A spokeswoman for Walberg told Government Executive it is unlikely the Senate will move on the bill before the new session begins in January. Walberg plans to start from scratch next year, however, and expects future Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring it up for a vote after the House once again passes the measure.

  The bill, as currently written, would allow agencies to suspend SES employees for 14 days or less without pay, require the executives to pay back any paid leave used during investigations if they result in a guilty verdict, increase the SES probationary period to two years and expand the definition of fireable offenses.”

 

GovExec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Did Healey Get 22% In R.I. Governor’s Race With Just $36?

 

 

 

 

” In 2010, Frank T. Caprio ran as the endorsed Democratic candidate for governor. He outspent his opponents, pouring $2.6 million into the race. And he finished third with 23 percent of the vote, taking three cities and towns: Johnston, North Providence and Central Falls.

  On Tuesday, Robert J. Healey Jr. ran as the Moderate Party’s last-minute substitute candidate. He spent $36.29 (including two stamps), while his opponents spent millions. And he finished third with 22 percent of the vote, taking two towns: Warren and Bristol.

  So what in the name of the Cool Moose is going on here? I mean, Healey ran for governor three times before this year, but the best he ever did was 9 percent in 1994. So what catapulted him into the Caprio-sphere this year? “

 

Providence Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The US Government Doesn’t Want You To Know There’s A Run On Silver Bullion

 

 

Gold Coin Demand US Mint

 

 

 

” It looks like the entire world is spitting out gold and silver as an investment or hedge, as the prices of both precious metals were tumbling in the past few weeks. Well, at least the demand for gold and silver ‘paper’ isn’t anymore what it used to be, but the demand for physical silver is really booming.

  Reports have reached us from Germany that the demand for silver is really surging, and this is an interesting sentiment meter because Germany usually acts as one of the main distribution centers for the European Union. Several large bullion dealers have seen the demand for silver increase, and in just the next few days after last week’s crash, almost all dealers sold as many silver coins in just three days as they usually do in an entire month.

  Now you can try to dismiss this easily by saying that the Germans and the rest of the European Union are simply preparing for an upcoming implosion of the Eurozone, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The US Mint recently had to announce that there were no more silver Eagles in inventory, and that it would have to suspend deliveries for new orders. This announcement hasn’t been made public (why not, US Mint? Are you trying to keep the people dumb?) but was only sent to larger bullion dealers in the USA. “

 

Zero Hedge has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World’s Largest Solar Plant Applying For Federal Grant To Pay Off Federal Loan

 

 

” After already receiving a controversial $1.6 billion construction loan from U.S. taxpayers, the wealthy investors of a California solar power plant now want a $539 million federal grant to pay off their federal loan.

” This is an attempt by very large cash generating companies that have billions on their balance sheet to get a federal bailout, i.e. a bailout from us – the taxpayer for their pet project,” said Reason Foundation VP of Research Julian Morris. “It’s actually rather obscene.” “

 

 

Ivanpah Bailout

 

 

 

” The Ivanpah solar electric generating plant is owned by Google and renewable energy giant NRG, which are responsible for paying off their federal loan. If approved by the U.S. Treasury, the two corporations will not use their own money, but taxpayer cash to pay off 30 percent of the cost of their plant, but taxpayers will receive none of the millions in revenues the plant will generate over the next 30 years.

” They’re already paying less than the market rate,” said Morris, author of a lengthy report detailing alleged cronyism and corruption in the Obama administration’s green energy programs. “Now demanding or asking for a subsidy in the form of a grant directly paying off the loan is an egregious abuse.” “

 

Cronyism at its worst . If anyone can afford to pay the taxpayers back for their forced largesse it is certainly Google .

Fox News

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Climate Flops Out

 

 

 

 

 

” I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Steyer, Big Climate’s Daddy Warmbucks, woke up this morning with the all-time worst dose of “climate depression“. Sample headline:

Tom Steyer Spent $74 Million on the Election. He Didn’t Get Much to Show for It.

  He blew through that $74 million in order to make “climate change” the winning wedge issue for beleaguered Democrats. How’d that work out?

  Colorado was a prime battleground for Steyer’s Super PAC and other environmentalist groups, but Gardner bested Udall by a 4.2 percent margin on Tuesday.

  Udall was one of the few vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents who refused to publicly back the Keystone XL pipeline, opposition to which was Steyer’s litmus test for his sizable financial support… Steyer’s Super PAC poured money into the Colorado Senate race, the bulk of which was used to attack Gardner.

  NextGen Climate Action, one of the election cycle’s most active and well-funded Super PACs, spent more than $5.5 million in the race, nearly 15 percent of all outside spending on Udall’s behalf.

The group had 68 staffers working in the state.

Wow. Sixty-eight staffers just in Colorado! Maybe Tom Steyer could redeploy them to Michael E Mann’s legal team in the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century. Or at least buy him a couple new hashtags. Dr Mann today:

How much does it cost to buy the U.S. Senate? $1Billion, apparently. #KochMachine “

Saturday’s must read from Mr Steyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

De Blasio Is A Superb Mayor, Says Taxpayer-Funded YouTube Videos

 

 

 

 

 

” The mayor’s taxpayer-funded p.r. machine has spit out 250 YouTube videos since he took office — including some slickly produced messages that look a lot like campaign ads.

  Complete with voice-overs, soaring music and interviews with New Yorkers waxing poetic about Hizzoner, the videos are created by former de Blasio campaign workers now employed by City Hall.

“ I feel like Bill de Blasio and [wife] Chirlane [McCray] have brought the love back to New York City,” an unnamed woman gushes in one video while waiting to tour Gracie Mansion three days after his inauguration.

  Another video celebrates his first 100 days in office with staged testimonials from New Yorkers, including one by a carwash employee applauding the mayor’s signing a paid-sick-leave law.”

 

NY Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Reasons President Obama Is Wrong About Stay-At-Home Mothers

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Charlie Spiering reports on a speech President Obama made in Rhode Island today. You know things are rough for President Obama this election season when he is relegated to a state so small CNN thinks it’s a city.

  Anyway, he was painting a picture of how he’d like to expand the administrative state to include government pre-school. Because public schools are doing such a good job generally. Anyway, he then took an absolutely bizarre swipe against stay-at-home mothers:

“ Sometimes, someone, usually Mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result,” he said. “That’s not a choice we want Americans to make.”

  Here are three problems with his argument. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Government Made $20 Billion In Secret Purchases In Recent Months

 

Federal Starbucks Secret purchases

 

 

” The federal government has spent at least $20 billion in taxpayer money this year on items and services that it is permitted to keep secret from the public, according to an investigation by the News4 I-Team.

  The purchases, known among federal employees as “micropurchases,” are made by some of the thousands of agency employees who are issued taxpayer-funded purchase cards. The purchases, in most cases, remain confidential and are not publicly disclosed by the agencies. A sampling of those purchases, obtained by the I-Team via the Freedom of Information Act, reveals at least one agency used those cards to buy $30,000 in Starbucks Coffee drinks and products in one year without having to disclose or detail the purchases to the public.

  A series of other recent purchases, reviewed by internal government auditors, include wasteful and inappropriate purchases by government employees — including a gym membership and JC Penney clothing — that were not detected or stopped until after the purchase was completed.”

Read more

Did You Hear The Koch Brothers Just Gave A Million Bucks To NPR To Cover Healthcare?

 

 

 

” No, you didn’t hear about that Koch gift to NPR, because it never happened. 

  But now that I have your attention, let me ask you whether you heard that a different funder, who also has a strong agenda on healthcare, just gave $1.3 million to NPR to report on this topic?

  No, you probably didn’t hear about that gift either, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—a grant that has caused zero controversy. 

  Come to think of it, I didn’t recall any controversy when RWJF gave National Public Radio $5.6 million to report on healthcare between 2008 and 2011, during a period when this was among the most politicized of all topics. 

  You’d think that somebody would at least have raised an eyebrow, given that RWJF is a strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act, as well as other healthcare policy positions on the progressive side of the spectrum.

  God bless that foundation, if you ask me. But as a thought experiment, imagine if the Koch brothers had given the same amount of money to NPR to cover healthcare. 

  People would have gone nuts. “

 

Read all about the “progressive” funding hypocrisy at Inside Philanthropy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government Gold-Plating

 

 

 

 

 

” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released his annual Wastebook this past week. It contains a laundry list of doozies. The U.S. government’s gold-plating operations included $190,000 to study compost digested by worms, $297 million for the purchase of an unused mega blimp, and $1 million on a Virginia bus stop where only 15 people can huddle under a half-baked roof. These questionable (read: absurd) expenditures only represent the tip of the iceberg.

  Just consider the following: the Speaker of the House currently receives an annual salary of $223,500, and will receive a payment of roughly that amount, depending on the years of service, for life. An annual payment of this magnitude amounts to about five times the average annual wage in the United States. But that’s not all. For those who have had different positions in Congress, their retirements can be augmented. For example, Nancy Pelosi will not receive $223,500 for life, but roughly double that. Why? Because she is a member of Congress, currently the House of Representatives’ Minority Leader, and a retired Speaker of the House. For purposes of computing retirement pay, Congress adds and accumulates. They do not net.”

 

Read more at Cato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those Ebola Vaccines in Testing Now? You Can Thank Dick Cheney for That

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Democrats looking to blame Republicans for the lack of an Ebola vaccine may owe Dick Cheney an apology.

  It turns out that as vice president, Cheney was the driving force behind more funding for the National Institutes of Health that helped lead to the development of Ebola vaccines being tested today.

  From the time scientists first discovered the deadly virus in 1976 to 2012, two dozen outbreaks of Ebola claimed the lives of roughly 1,500 people–far less than the nearly 5,000 killed in the current outbreak in West Africa.

  Bloomberg News reports that little money had been available to scientists to work on finding a cure to the disease. But after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Cheney, anticipating the potential for bioterrorist attacks, became the Bush White House’s point man advocating more spending to protect the nation from deadly pathogens.

  Cheney told Bloomberg:

 It has ramifications when the source of the problem you’re dealing with is something like an outbreak of Ebola, but our prime motivation was to make certain we were prepared to deal with an attempt to use those substances in an attack. “

 

  Since 2001, the National Institutes of Health’s budget to study biodefense measures has increased from $53 million to $1.6 billion. “

 

Daily Signal has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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