Once again the British newspapers bring us what the Democratic-controlled media won't...
The former mayor of Bell, California, was too stupid and uneducated to know his $100,000 salary for the part-time city job was illegal, his lawyer argued today.
...who is a Democrat, though even the Brit papers force you to play "Name That Party!"...
is illiterate, has no high school degree and didn't even finish elementary school, defense attorney Stanley Friedmand told jurors.
One could crack jokes about him being a perfect Democratic mayor, but I shall endeavor to resist the temptation. This defense is pathetic: even an illiterate person knows money. And an illiterate person knows that 100 large is a lot of money.
Hernandez and five former members of the Bell City Council are on trial, accused of stealing $1.3million in exorbitant pay from the working-class city of 35,000. All six elected officials drew salaries of up to $100,000 for serving on boards that seldom met and accomplished little.
Defense lawyers painted the officials as ignorant pawns of city manager Robert Rizzo and city attorney Edward Lee, who both advised them that massive pay raises were legal.
The officials, of course, never bothered to get a second opinion...
The attorneys for the former officials also blamed the city's financial advisory firm, which never advised the town to pare back the salaries, they say.
Were the advisors in on the scam?
Deputy District Attorney Edward Miller, though, said the officials all had important jobs in the community before their election. Hernandez owned a grocery store.
See? You'd best believe he knew money, even if he didn't know his ABCs...
Former council member Teresa Jacobo was a real estate agent and former councilman George Mirabal had worked as a city clerk.
The officials are accused of appointing each other to boards, some of which met only once a year, in order to skirt public pay laws. In the midst of the recession, the officials were earning $100,000 from the city - three and a half times the median income of the citizens they were elected to represent. The average salary for part-time elected officials at other California cities of similar size was $4,800
Too illiterate to know the difference between 10 cents and 10 dollars? Too illiterate to punch in the numbers on a phone? Too illiterate to read traffic signs? Too illiterate to even pass a driving test? /rhet question.
Bell became a charter city in about 2005 when a referendum passed mostly on absentee ballots, some of which were pretty sketchy (because very few people voted). Hernandez became mayor in about 2007-2008 and then also in about 2010. The voters overwhelmingly backed a recall in 2011 which removed some of the nefarious folk from office (including Hernandez).
Posted by: lord garth ||
This...city council...do they:
Have access to the checkbook, and able to sign their own checks?
Able to figure in their withholding and other tax liabilities?
Many municiples have a balance system where any check over a certain amount must be reviewed by the county/city attorney, what is the balance system here?
Wiki; In July 2010, two Los Angeles Times reporters, Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, wrote an investigative journalism article on possible malfeasance in the neighboring city of Maywood, California. In their exposť, they revealed that the city officials of Bell (a small blue collar community) were receiving salaries that were reported as the highest in the nation. Subsequent investigations found atypically high property tax rates, allegations of voter fraud in municipal elections and other irregularities which heightened the ensuing scandal. These and other reports led to widespread criticism and a demand for city officials to resign.
There are still a few real reporters and news types instead of puppets and parrots.
I know its obscene, but was it actually illegal?
They can change the law, but unless it was illegal at the time I don't see why this is even being prosecuted?
Gross injustice to the taxpayers, definitely.
Don't they have to have women police to do that sort of thing? Aren't the feminists worried about the policemen getting their jollies roughing up the tootsies? I mean, what if they accidentally touch something ... sensitive? Won't they get sued for grabbing?
With the ax set to fall on federal spending in five days, the question in Washington is not whether the sequester will hit, but how much it will hurt.
Over the past week, President Obama has painted a picture of impending disaster, warning of travel delays, laid-off firefighters and pre-schoolers tossed out of Head Start. Conservatives accuse Obama of exaggerating the impact, and some White House allies worry the slow-moving sequester may fail to live up to the hype. Oh, dear! And whose hype is that?
In the long partisan conflict over government spending, the sequester is where the rubber meets the road. Obama is betting Americans will be outraged by the abrupt and substantial cuts to a wide range of government services, from law enforcement to food safety to public schools. And he is hoping they will rise up to demand what he calls a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction that replaces some cuts with higher taxes.
"The good news is, the world doesn't end March 2. The bad news is, the world doesn't end March 2," said Emily Holubowich, a Washington health-care lobbyist who leads a coalition of 3,000 nonprofit groups fighting the cuts. "The worst-case scenario for us is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens. And Republicans say: See, that wasn't so bad." As long as the Trunks don't cave in.
Adding to the liberal angst is concern that the scale of the cuts may be overstated, at least in the short term. While the sequester orders the White House to withdraw $85 billion in spending authority from affected agencies in the fiscal year that ends in September, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that agencies will reduce actual spending by only about $44 billion, with the remaining cuts carried over into future years. The White House has to withdraw the money? What if The One doesn't want to? Can't he just issue another Executive Command?
Compared with total 2013 discretionary spending, that's a cut of less than 4 percent. I wish I could lose 4% of my body fat.
The impact will be magnified, however, because of certain exemptions -- military payrolls, for example -- and because it must be compressed into seven months rather than being spread out over 12. As a result, some agencies, notably the Pentagon, are contemplating cuts to nonexempt accounts of as much as 17.5 percent.
Still, managers at many agencies have been bracing for the cuts, postponing purchases and new hires so they can protect employees and the public from the very disruptions to core services that would draw headlines. My wife lost a real estate sale this week when the buyer got a furlough notice.
"This is the Catch-22," said Richard Kogan, a former Obama budget official now at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "The problem would be solved faster if it was literally a disaster. But making it a disaster is not what agency managers really want to do." Really? We'll see about that. I bet the White House gives bonus points for the biggest disaster.
Liberals complain that the White House has been slow to raise the alarm. Four months ago, Obama said during the final presidential debate that the sequester "will not happen." Throughout his reelection campaign, the White House refused to discuss the cuts or plan for their implementation. More like slow to solve the problem; slow to lead.
The WaPo goes on at some length to describe the coming pain.
On Thursday, the National Parks Service announced that furloughs would curtail services at such popular destinations as Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. And on Friday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released a list of airfields that could close due to Federal Aviation Administration furloughs.
Conservatives were unimpressed. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan "fired more than 10,000 air traffic controllers. There could have been massive disruption. But there wasn't," said Chris Edwards, a budget expert at the libertarian Cato Institute.
Meanwhile, the screaming from state officials and private industry has also been muted. Governors in Washington for their annual winter meeting bemoaned the cuts, but while Democrats demanded an end to them, Republicans merely asked for more flexibility.
Chicken farmers in Delaware and Maryland are lobbying against cuts to food safety inspectors; the American Hospital Association is pushing to ease cuts to medical research; and defense industry executives have been prowling the halls of the Capitol for months. Everybody is too important to have their trough reduced.
But there's no grand stop-the-sequester movement. And unless the public starts complaining, the AEI's Makin said Democrats' best hope for persuading Republicans to reconsider the sequester may be a new recession. What's the Pubs best hope for convincing the Dims?
The sequester is forecast to slice 0.6 percentage points from economic growth this year, and destroy 750,000 jobs. But just think how many would have been destroyed without the sequester! It doesn't work that way?
"By summertime, if the economy gets much weaker, then the pressure to do something starts to grow," Makin said. "Then the blame game will really get exciting, because Democrats will say if Republicans hadn't been so awful and mean, we wouldn't be having a recession now. And the Republicans will all panic." Panic, unless they have a plan and a mouthpiece. And a platform to speak from.
With Congress headed back to Washington Monday, Republicans so far seem to be having no second thoughts. The Senate plans to vote this week on its proposal to replace the sequester through January in part with higher taxes on millionaires, but Democrats acknowledge the measure has no chance of passing. Grandstanding, if the Pubs were doing it.
"Having no cuts at all is far, far, far worse," said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). "So I see no alternative right now." The Sequester - Halfway There.
Cuts will be implemented so as to inflict serious pain to the maximum number of people so they will demand their representatives 'fix' things by restoring spending cuts. It's how budget 'cuts' have been done for decades (that I know of) at all levels of government.
I have a simple solution: return all federal spending, social security excepted, to 2007 levels.
You remember how heartless 2007 was, right? How we weren't spending nearly enough money? Oh, right, that was Dubya's last full budget before the financial crisis, and even the Democrats were lamenting the spending and the $300 billion deficit.
Fact is, we managed to get by in 2007, and we could get by on 2007 spending today. We'd cinch a few belts.
The biggest complaint I have about the deficit and the spending today is this: not the amount of spending, not the size of the deficit, but the fact that I can't tell what we're getting for all that extra spending. We have a trillion-dollar plus deficit. Where's it all going?
If I max'd all my credit cards, took a signature loan, blew through all my savings, and cracked open my 401k, eventually I'd be flat busted and have to pay up. But at least I'd know where all the money went and what a good time I had before that day.
Where's all the money going? I'm reasonably good at reading a budget sheet, I do it at work frequently enough. But I look at a summary of the federal budget and then I look around me. The roads are a mess. The poor are still poor. The environment isn't any cleaner. The military is getting downsized. We have no green cars or green anything. Inflation is up, unemployment is up, personal and business spending are down.
Where's all the federal spending?
Posted by: Steve White ||
Steve - The money has mostly been flushed down every rathole in every blue state mismanaged big city or its been blown away by a windmill stimulus investment thats why if you are a working person you can't see any evidence of it.
Myself, Steve, I like 1969. We had a large army fighting a war to protect us from Communism, landed a man on the moon, and were smack in the middle of the largest public works project in history - the Interstate Highway System. But the Feds only built the Interstates (80%) - the states have to maintain them. That's why they're falling apart.
Another big difference is that 1969 was - more or less - the start of the War on Poverty.
Many things cost more today - not just from inflation. Building and making things was a lot easier in 1969. Now the environment is a lot cleaner, but that cost goes to - who else? - the consumer. How many permits would it take to build an oil refinery? That cost, and the cost of all the extra hardware, also come to the consumer.
It's so easy to spend other people's money. That's the real problem.
Bobby I'm thinking it's high time we went to the peace table with Poverty. Poverty's getting too damn expensive to fight and is a fierce foe.
Let's learn to co-exist with poverty, maybe even have a detente of some sort.
"The money has mostly been flushed down every rathole in every blue state mismanaged big city"
Don't forget into the pockets of Bambi's cronies, warthogswife. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara ||
All it will really hurt is the Federal Employee. A few of which are overpaid, most of which are suitably paid, and more than a few that are underpaid for the type of work they are doing.
Contractors, politicians and the usual pack of rent seekers, ticks and interlocutors will still be right up front to slop around in the trough. So I'm a little confused why everyone is soooo excited about this. Mark my words, there will be no "savings" in monies spent, it will just go out another door as "entitlements" or some other horseshit giveaway. The muslim brunderband may get an aircraft carrier next year or something.
Other than that, you may well succeed in lowering the bar and making a Federal job as shitty as the lowest paying equivalent in the private sector, but then you'll get the same quality employee for the money.
Supporting your agency's mission is great and all, but it wont pay the rent in and of itself.
Be careful what you (collectively) wish for, it looks like you may just be going to get it.
Be careful what you (collectively) wish for, it looks like you may just be going to get it.
Unfortunately, bigjim-CA, this is one of those pay now/pay later thingies. Or pain now/pain later, if you will. We've been borrowing from the kids for a couple of generations now, and the debt has gotten too big for the kids to absorb. We as a nation are going to finally have to make some decisions about what we are no longer willing to have the government do, and either turn it over to the private sector or give it up altogether. Unfortunately, the good, hardworking government workers like you, who are not responsible for the situation, happen to be the ones caught in the avalanche.
The alternative being to become a Greece, laughingstock of the world.
This is wrong on a lot of levels. It strains the notion of "due process." This happened to a Marine Viet vet friend who served two tours in Nam. He was also a cop for quite a few years. He was later diagnosed with PTSD. Once you are determined "incompetent," you play hell getting off that list. It is like a no fly list--once on, it is hard or impossible to get off. Losing your Constitutional rights is a disincentive to seeking help.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
Well, it isn't actually true, either. What the letter says is that IF you are found mentally incompetent, you could be prevented from owning firearms. It goes on to explain to the veteran how to PREVENT being declared incompetent. This goes back to 2006, I think.
Basically the deal is this: If you are unable to manage your finances, you could be declared incompetent. If that happens, someone else will be designated to receive any veterans benefits you are entitled to and will be in charge of spending that money for you. They will be designated your "guardian". If this happens, your ability to own firearms could be impacted.
You might want to read this, particularly the last paragraph just before the comments start.
Yeah, It's a bit alarmist.
If the language gets any stronger it will be a real problem, but in essence I think most people would agree that a mental incompetent should not be buying guns.
Problem is, the govt would find about 99.3% of us "incompetent" if they could use that as a wedge.
As per FOX NEWS this AM, may be in line wid newly proposed legislation to emplant ANY + ALL FED EMPLOYEES WID SO-CALLED RFID = "BIO-CHIPS".
As Fed retirees, these Personages could be recalled to duty or employment in times of contingency.
[INFAMOUS USDHS, FEMA BULK AMMO PURCHASES here].
ALso good for ANTI-US GLOBALISTS + ALIGNED AS PER OWG + NAU 2015, ETC. RELATED - once again, the USA is intended to suborned under ANTI-NATIONALIST, ANTI-SOVEREIGN, ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL WHERE SO-CALLED "BORDERS" IS JUST A LINE ON KIDDIE, ARCHAIC, OR "QUAINT" SCHOOL + UNIVERSITY TEXTBOOKS + CLASSROOM AIDS.
IOW, Washington needs to "mark" for SkyNet-Matrix any + all de facto legal US Citizens-Residents as opposed to any + all non-US residing + working widin the post-2015, OWG/NAU-suborned USA.
D *** NG IT, HOW CAN THE DRONES = GLOBAL SPAWAR MONITOR + ARREST YOU, OR FIRE A LR HELLFIRE, IFF THEY DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU + YOURS ARE AT 24-7-365 - INQUIRING CYLONS = "THE MACHINES/DALEKS" WANNA KNOW???
By law, on Friday the executive must begin to cut $85 billion from federal spending. Though, as is his wont, the president is blaming the Republicans for what he claims is a draconian measure. No less a Washington chronicler of events than Bob Woodward of the Washington Post considers that a gross distortion of the truth
[T]he automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of [Treasury Secretary nominee Jack] Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors -- probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.
Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.
Lying about who's responsible is only part of the story; the president, with the connivance of the press, is trying to scare the public about the effects of the necessary cuts and proposes yet another expensive, pointless program.
Lucianne.com characterizes the scare effort as threatening: "Dead babies in the water, poisoned milk, catburgers at Mickey Dee's -- anything is possible." That wisecrack's not far off the mark. Here's Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chair of the DNC.
Well, everything is -- everything would be delayed. You're going to have massive indiscriminate cuts to education, to health care research, you're going to have research grants that won't get funded. I mean, the decisions that we make now, letting the sequester kick in, have short-term effects that affect people's daily lives, but they also have significant long-term effects. If a university isn't able to hire a researcher or -- because the grant doesn't come through -- that researcher never does groundbreaking work that could save thousands of lives later on down the road. I mean, this is dramatically irresponsible. It's irresponsible for our economy and the impact on it. It's irresponsible to, in terms of the impact it would leave on the middle class and working families. The only ones who get protected are the wealthiest, most fortunate Americans. But that appears to be the Republicans' goal. And it's just baffling. How could they possibly continue to only care about people who are already doing really well who are the only ones that would be shielded from the impact of sequester cuts?
It's not as if the trillions in debt racked up by the administration have accomplished much more than feeding Obama's cronies and buying him political support with our money. The examples are too numerous to do the topic justice in this space. Let's review some that even the media has not been able to fully erase from the short-lived memories of a significant number of voters, so that Republicans who need to make a more forceful case for necessary cuts can credibly note the monumental waste.
Need to organize the Citizens Brigade again to flood the internet with counter images (photo and textual) of stupid and inappropriate stuff the government is continuing to spend money on when the WH and the Media make the big propaganda push of the 'effects' of the cuts with the usual 'poor and suffering' lies. Time to pull the curtain away to show the real wizard at work manipulating the story.
$85 million? That is chicken feed by Washington standards. What is that about a day's worth of spending? You'd think the world was coming to an end with all the hype and hysteria the Donks are putting out.