Published on Jun 6, 2015
” Declaring his foreign policy to be a raging success based on some unnamed “poll,” Barack Obama has invited derision and laughter. Here, Judge Jeanine samples his “accomplishments” and asks how he could possibly make such a claim.”
” Congress is required by law to pass a budget each fiscal year which lays out the framework for allocating taxpayer dollars for all federal programs. Additionally, Congress must pass 12 function and program –related appropriations bills that then distribute the funds to the various departments, agencies, and programs.
Instead, Congress and the administration have relied on last-minute continuing resolutions (CRs) and omnibus spending bills that kick the can down the road by adopting only set levels of funding — providing no oversight over the worthiness of program spending, nor prioritizing spending according to our country’s needs.
As President Reagan famously said: “Government programs, once launched, never disappear…a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”
This broken approach must end if we are to ensure long-term competitiveness and quality of living in America for future generations.
Let’s take a deeper look at the problem:
- Continuing resolutions keep programs on “auto-pilot” from year to year without any assessment of whether the money is being well spent. There have been more than 20 of these resolutions in the past five years.
- Nearly 200 government programs are “fragmented, duplicative, overlapping or just inefficient,” according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
- Congressional committees, charged with scrutinizing how each federal department and agency is actually spending taxpayer dollars, are strapped for time to do so. Committees, on average, hold specific program oversight hearings only a few hours each month and generally focus attention on only one or two programs each year — neglecting many programs under their jurisdiction.
- Without proper legislative oversight, wasteful government spending continues its meteoric climb as more and more power is ceded to the unaccountable executive branch to govern the programs. No oversight translates into a bureaucracy jobs program — paying federal workers billions to implement programs that have outlived their original mission.
Incredibly, it’s been revealed that the government does not actually know the exact number of agencies, offices and government corporations it comprises. (A cursory count on various lists shows the number is in the several hundreds).”
” Bill Clinton was planning a charity trip to Latin America and needed a big plane.
For Frank Giustra, who had never met the former president, this was an opportunity. The Canadian mining magnate and onetime Hollywood studio owner stepped up to let the former president borrow his luxurious passenger jet. There was just one condition: Giustra would come along for the ride.
That 2005 trip was the start of an intense, mutually beneficial friendship — one that has helped propel the Clinton Foundation into a global giant and established Giustra’s reputation as an international philanthropist while helping him build connections in countries where his business was expanding.
Giustra has since committed more than $100 million to the work of the Clinton Foundation, becoming one of the largest individual donors to the family’s charities.
Clinton has also gained regular transportation, borrowing Giustra’s plane 26 times for foundation business since 2005, including 13 trips in which the two men traveled together. The numbers on Clinton’s use of the plane, never previously reported, were provided by a spokeswoman for Giustra.”
” 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.”
” 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.
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.”
” American workers who lost their jobs to foreign replacements are suing the federal government over a new rule that will allow more foreign workers into the job market.
In a stated effort to encourage guest workers to stick around permanently, the Department of Homeland Security will now grant their spouses work permits in addition to visas. DHS estimates more than 100,000 spouses will be eligible to apply when it begins accepting applications May 26.
The complaint, filed by the Immigration Reform Law Institute on behalf of the displaced workers, alleges DHS does not have the authority to make the rule, and that the rule violates federal labor protection law. IRLI is asking the judge to halt implementation of the rule until the case is heard.
“ The larger implication is that Obama is arguing he has the executive authority to allow anyone to work in the United States,” John Miano, the attorney for the displaced workers, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “[He] started with the children, then the parents, and now the spouses of H-1B workers.” “
” 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 ?
” 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. “
” 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.”
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.”
” 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.”
” 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 .
” 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
” 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.”
” 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 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 .
” Tea Party Republicans contemplating a bid to oust Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) shouldn’t count on Democrats to help them unseat the Speaker.
And without their support, there is no chance to topple Boehner in this Congress.
A number of right-wing Republicans, long wary of Boehner’s commitment to GOP efforts attacking President Obama’s policy priorities, have openly considered a coup in an attempt to transfer the gavel into more conservative hands.
But Democrats from across an ideological spectrum say they’d rather see Boehner remain atop the House than replace him with a more conservative Speaker who would almost certainly be less willing to reach across the aisle in search of compromise. Replacing him with a Tea Party Speaker, they say, would only bring the legislative process — already limping along — to a screeching halt.”
Who exactly does this ***hole represent ? Not the republican party that’s for sure … not when his “opponents” promise to watch his six . The fact that Pelosi and co. would prefer to work with Boehner should tell you all you need to know about where that man’s loyalties lie … Read on at the Hill
” A key Republican lawmaker in Congress called for Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to make proposed net neutrality regulations public before a planned Thursday vote on the measure.
In the latest wrinkle in the Republicans’ battle to quash Wheeler’s proposals, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who’s also the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter today to Wheeler, questioning whether the FCC has been “independent, fair and transparent” in crafting the rules to protect content on the Internet.
” Although arguably one of the most sweeping new rules in the commission’s history, the process was conducted without using many of the tools at the chairman’s disposal to ensure transparency and public review,” he said.
Chaffetz urged Wheeler to publicly release the 332-page draft order that was given to the other four commissioners nearly three weeks ago and appear at a House Oversight hearing Wednesday before a vote at the FCC’s monthly meeting Thursday.
Also today, FCC commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly too asked for Wheeler to release the proposal to the public and postpone the Thursday vote to allow for 30 days of public comment.”
” A Utah woman has been granted the ability to sue herself for negligence in the case of a deadly accident that killed her husband in 2011.
The Utah Court of Appeals has ruled that Barbara Bagley will be allowed to proceed with a wrongful-death lawsuit against herself for alleged negligence in the Dec. 27, 2011 accident east of Battle Mountain, Nev., that killed her husband, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports. Court documents show that Bagley will be suing the driver of the vehicle, Bagley, for an unspecified amount of money stemming from losses in medical, funeral costs and mental anguish.
Bagley lost control of a Range Rover while driving in the desert when she hit a sagebrush which caused the vehicle to flip over. Her husband, 55-year-old Bradley Vom Baur, was thrown from the vehicle and suffered severe injuries that ultimately led to his Jan. 6, 2012 death.”
” Republican senators Mike Lee, Ben Sasse, and Rand Paul have all been high profile opponents of the Obama administrations current plan to regulate the internet — in particular, Lee has called the regulation a government “takeover” of the internet and says it amounts to a “a massive tax increase on the middle class, being passed in the dead of night without the American public really being made aware of what is going on.”
And when Lee says that the American public isn’t aware of what’s going on, that is in no way hyperbole. FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has emerged as a hero for those opposed to the regulation because Pai has been taking to the airwaves decrying the fact that the public is not allowed to see 332 pages of proposed internet regulation before they are potentially passed. Pai’s crusade to make the proposed regulations public is the theme of the the latest ad from Protect Internet Freedom: ” (see above)
Thanks to Mark Hemingway and the Weekly Standard . Whatever happened to Obama’s promise of “all laws will be published on web for five days before a vote” ?
Like every other promise from the most “honest , open and transparent” administration ever , it’s bull***t . For those with selective memory the video below contains all the promises on transparency and openness in one convenient location:
Click the pic for Mr Pai’s Twitter post and read the comments
” Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on Friday raised the first of many criticisms to come about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s aggressive net neutrality plan distributed to commissioners Thursday, which Pai described as “President Obama’s 332-page plan to regulate the Internet.”
In a statement released Friday, Pai lamented the fact that the 332-page plan, which he tweeted a picture of himself holding next to a picture of Obama, won’t be released to the public until after the commission votes on its implementation later this month.
“ President Obama’s plan marks a monumental shift toward government control of the Internet. It gives the FCC the power to micromanage virtually every aspect of how the Internet works,” Pai said. “The plan explicitly opens the door to billions of dollars in new taxes on broadband… These new taxes will mean higher prices for consumers and more hidden fees that they have to pay.”
In his initial cursory overview of the plan, the commissioner said it would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.
“ The plan saddles small, independent businesses and entrepreneurs with heavy-handed regulations that will push them out of the market,” Pai said. “As a result, Americans will have fewer broadband choices. This is no accident. Title II was designed to regulate a monopoly. If we impose that model on a vibrant broadband marketplace, a highly regulated monopoly is what we’ll get.” “
” The head of a Justice Department law enforcement office used his position to secure a job for his son and other relatives, the agency’s internal watchdog said Wednesday, the latest in a string of reports that have repeatedly found examples of nepotism at the department.
The head of the Justice branch of the International Criminal Police Organization, or INTERPOL, told employees to “earmark a spot” for his son and “provide extra attention to his processing for obvious reasons,” said the department’s inspector general.
It’s not the first example of nepotism at Eric Holder’s Justice Department. A November investigation by the inspector general found that certain offices in the department had a “pervasive culture of nepotism and favoritism.” It’s at least the fifth inspector general report since 2004 to find hiring problems at the agency.
“ There is no room for nepotism in the federal government’s hiring practices,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “Those hired to serve taxpayers must earn — not be given — the job. I urge the Department of Justice to take the appropriate disciplinary actions for such an abuse of authority.”
The INTERPOL office’s Executive Director, Warren Lewis, also abused his position to help three people with connections to his son obtain jobs at the agency — even though he had never personally met two of them, investigators said.
“ Lewis had no personal knowledge of their professional abilities,” the inspector general said. “After the three individuals all failed to make the certified lists of qualified applicants, Lewis took steps to overcome their exclusion.”
Read all about this latest example of corruption in Holder’s Justice Dept .