In California, the unemployment rate may be above 10.2%, and the state debt may be above $16 billion, the state's GDP may be in serious trouble and businesses may be leaving in droves due to ever-increasing tax rates, but that isn't going to stop the gravy train for the state's poor and dispossessed. The California Public Utilities Commission is all set to greenlight a new program that would give homeless and low-income people free cell phones -- call them Obamaphones -- with free service. The idea is to help them reach out to possible job opportunities and stay connected with family.
San Francisco's head of homeless initiatives, Bevan Dufty, was overjoyed: "This is great -- it is transformative for homeless and low-income people. I expect San Francisco to be in the forefront and a model city for this program. Fundamentally, to be in the mainstream of our society you have to have a phone. And really, for the homeless population, you need a cell phone because they don't have a home to hard-wire one into. We really need this plan." Dufty is pushing an effort to allow the homeless to call 311 to find out where there's an available bed at a homeless shelter.
The state has funded phones for the poor for years, but they were always hardline phones, not cell phones. The new program will give beneficiaries some 250 minutes of time and 250 free text messages every month.
We met this guy last week...
After his arrest, 62-year-old Trotter claimed that he had the gun, a .25 caliber Berretta, due to his second job as a security guard. His job as state senator pays $67,000 per year plus lucrative per diem when the Illinois Senate is in session.
Trotter has been in the Illinois Assembly for 24 years. But while the company he claims employs him as a security guard, All Points Security and Detective Company, lists him as an employee, he never disclosed this employment on any of his campaign finance records. He is not answering questions about the second job. Neither is All Points. "Nothing! We know nothing! Tell them, Hogan!"
But All Points has large government contracts. Trotter's mysterious employment with the company, plus his failure to disclose said employment as the law requires on his campaign finance documents, raises the possibility that his security guard job is a payoff scheme. No! Re-e-e-e-e-ally? My faith in politicians (as crooks) has been restored.
Trotter is among the Democrats vying for the US House seat recently vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr. From Gus Savage to Mel Reynolds to Junior to Trotter. What a legacy for the 2nd district... The virtue of democracy is that it gives the pee-pul the government they deserve.
Years ago security company employees who carried firearms had to undergo a licensing regime. The firearms licensing required that any arrests of a licensed security guard had to be reported through the employer to the State or municipal agency that issued the firearms license. If in fact Trotter was licensed, I suppose all of those unsightly details were seen to by the arresting officer...........
[CS Monitor] Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's ... Formerly the Republican governor of Florida, now reinvented as a Democrat party hack... decision to formally join the Democratic Party -- making the announcement via Twitter after a fist bump from President B.O. -- suggests to his critics a savvy political chameleon prepping for a 2014 gubernatorial run against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
But Mr. Crist's steady move to the left -- he ran for the Senate as an independent in 2010 -- is also clearly a natural curve, boosted by hardball GOP politics, including allegations Crist himself has leveled that GOP hardliners willfully suppressed the vote last month, albeit to no avail.
To be sure, Crist, who served as an Obama surrogate and spoke at the Democratic National Convention, has set himself up as an ideal foil for Republicans both in Florida and nationally, none of whom were surprised at his decision.
Yet Crist's formal declaration as a Democrat, after telling the DNC that "I didn't leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me" (echoing Ronald Reagan when the former president left the Democratic Party), still highlights a central GOP post-election conundrum: How to become more, not less, appealing to middle America.
In an interview after the election, Crist pointed to deliberate moves by Republican leaders, including Gov. Scott, to curtail early voting and voter registration efforts, which independent analysts have calculated led to a cumulative 20 percent decrease in early voting hours in some Florida counties.
"After I signed the executive order in  expanding [early voting hours]," Crist told The Palm Beach Post last Sunday, "I heard from Republicans around the state who were bold enough to share it with me that, 'You just gave the election to Barack Obama.'?" The campaign's over, John...
[Weekly Standard] Tax increases have nothing to do with the debt. Tax increases have to do with the fact that the Publicans as a group have publicly promised not to raise taxes. Therefore taxes must be raised, and when they are raised the Publicans will own the increase, which will be loudly pointed to in the next Congressional election, which is only two years from now.
The debt itself is an abstract thing. There ain't really no such number as a trillion, much less sixteen of them. We're never really, truly gonna run out of money. But the money we have will become less and less valuable (even though we're assured that inflation's at historic lows) until a 15 cent hamburger costs $3.69... Oh. Wait. We're already there. I mean until a $3.69 hamburger costs $15.95.
In 1913 the Federal Reserve replaced the national bank system, and Federal Reserve notes were issued with a promise to redeem them in gold on demand (at about $35. per ounce). *Parenthesis my entry
Then, in the year 1933, the United States abandoned the gold standard. These were the circumstances:
1.On April 5, 1933, one month after his inauguration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a national emergency and ordered all gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates to be turned in to the Federal Reserve banks by May
1. This order applied only to those residing in the United States. It did not apply to foreigners living abroad. Within the United States, only those who had special gold collections or needed the gold for industrial or professional use were allowed to retain quantities of the yellow metal.
2.As gold coins, gold bullion, or gold certificates were turned in, the American people received Federal Reserve notes redeemable in silver.
3.On May 22, 1933, Congress enacted a law (48 Stat. 31) declaring all coin and currencies then in circulation to be legal tender, dollar for dollar, as if they were gold. It also empowered the President to reduce the gold content of the dollar up to 50 percent.
4.On June 5, 1933, Congress enacted a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) that all gold clauses in contracts were outlawed and no one could legally demand gold in payment for any obligation due him.
The price of an ounce of gold on Friday's market was just over $1707. A circulated Morgan Silver Dollar is worth about $34. From the FDR era until today, the correlation between gov't borrowing and repayment with programmatically devaluated currency is inescapable. All of this might explain the challenge "The Forgotten Man" currently has with..... saving paper dollars (which earn no bank interest) for retirement. With the scheme loaded against us, it really is remarkable we've done as well as we have.
Fred's right. Tax increases will not solve the debt. The public sector knows that the end is near and will want to do whatever it takes to keep the gravy train going, willfully avoidning thoughts about complete system collapse. Furthermore, it is now apparent that they have no conscience about how much financial damage they are willing to do to private businesses and their workers in order to maintain the magic checks. What happened in Greece is only presaging what is happening here.
How to stop the madness? Ten years of hard work and change.
Pubs cut taxes. Dems raise them. It is the spending where things must change. That means millions losing their jobs and some services being scaled back. We MUST do this and bull through the consequences or we lose it all. Times will be ugly, but the cost of not doing so will be worse.
Deport every illegal alien, decrease the size/cost of the public sector workforce by 40-75% (Charles Murray has been advocating this for years) and have them do those jobs, roll the regulatory burden back to what is was in 1980, and let the prime rate rise to a number that represents the actual cost of borrowing money.
Immediately disband departments of education, EPA, ATFE, NMFS, and TSA and the like at the federal level. If the states or municipalites wish to do those things, let them. Cut other alphabet agencies to a ghost of what they are now.
Pass laws to the effect that public workers belonging to or organizing unions amounts to treason (conspiring against the public interest) and apply the law accordingly.
While this is happening, phase out the home mortgage interest deduction over a ten year period and privatize all student college loans. Also move to a consumption vs a productivity tax. And pass a balanced budget amendment that only allows borrowing in the case of a declared war or natural disaster (a "war" on poverty will not qualify). Simultaneously pass an amendment making it unlawful to pass any law or regulation that is unfunded at the level of the legislature and executive who pass it (no unfunded mandates on states/ municipalities/ businesses/individuals from the feds).
Raise the minimum age for SS to 70 immediately. If lifespan continues to increase, raise it more. When people go on SS, everyone should get what they put in plus interest. When that point is reached, means test every recipient. If they have plenty of assets/ income drop them from SS. If not, continue to pay them what they have been getting but have the honesty to call it what it is at that point - welfare - and fund it accordingly, from the general welfare fund. Make the penalties for trying to cheat this system by misrepresenting or hiding wealth extremely severe. Whatever money is not disbursed to someone because they die before they go on the program or during it before they use up what they put in will be used to administer the program. Revisit the rules for SSI and throw the bums off of the rolls.
We may not be completely fixed at the end of those ten years, but we will be well on our way out of this mess.
Posted by: no mo uro ||
Posted by: no mo uro ||
We will not deport the illegal aliens. They are here illegally, to be sure, but we will not deport them.
How could you?
And would you want to live in the kind of country where the federal government, led by Barack Obama, could make that happen?
Not me, thanks.
Posted by: Steve White ||
Some say that if you end welfare for illegals, and free medical (except in immediate life-threatening situations) and education bennies and they will self-deport.
Also go after businesses and individuals hiring them - make it *much* more expensive (in penalties) to hire them.
"And would you want to live in the kind of country where the federal government, led by Barack Obama, could make that happen?"
-Yes, I would. As it is his job to uphold the laws of the country. Not just the ones he agrees with. I took an oath of office, he took an oath of office. We could deport many more folks, our leaders lack the will.
In all fairness, I have read that BHO has deported more illegals in the same amount of time vs GWB.
Under the YJCMTSU - if you wish to marry a foreigner [or sponsor their children and families] and import them to the country you have to sign an agreement, I-864, with the State Dept [the Feds] that you're financially responsible for them and they will not become a 'burden' upon government support.
Yet, if one violates the law and the immigration processes and comes in illegally, you're entitled to exactly those welfare and support programs.
#4 We will not deport the illegal aliens. They are here illegally, to be sure, but we will not deport them.
How could you?
Simple: any employer that cannot prove his working is a citizen is fined $100K. start by checking hotels, food chains, construction companies. As the jobs dry up the illegals will deport themselves. and by the way as the jobs open up US unemployment will go down as folks are moved off the 99 week program.
Under OWG + proposed NAU, etc. related, IFF ANYTHING TO EMPOWER THE SAME IMO THE US JUST-UNDER-$16.4 TRILYUHN MUST UNFORTUNATELY GROW HIGHER, NOT LOWER.
INTER-STATE protractive, common = shared chaos + mutual survival, just in case one or a number of sovereign nations don't want to voluntarily give up their state-specific sovereign power-n-authority to the desired future OWG + "Global Federal Unions".
THERE IS LITTLE TO NO SIGN THAT THE US + INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIY ARE N-O-T WORKING OR PUSHING TOWARDS OWG = GLOBAL GOVERNANCE INCLUDING REGIONAL OR TRANS-REGIONAL "UNIONS".
The Pols can deny, whitewash, or spin things all they want, but they're not fooling anyone.
[NJ] One week to the day after he was indicted on federal corruption charges, Mayor Tony Mack will unveil a bust of President Barack Obama My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it... in City Hall, his administration announced today.
The bust, which Mack said was purchased through donations, will sit directly in front of the wall that bears pictures of Mack and the city's other chief executives. Mack's color photo will be just feet away from the Obama likeness.
In a statement, Mack said the piece is being dedicated to honor the nation's first African-American president.
"The Barack H. Obama Presidential Bust recognizes the efforts of a great American who went on, against all odds, to change the course of American history," Mack said. "I can think of no more fitting a tribute in one of America's oldest cities; Trenton."
[CBS News] Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker did not skirt the question nor pause for a moment when asked if he had aspirations for higher office. Booker said he is considering running for either the New Jersey Senate seat or governor.
"I am absolutely considering running for governor, as well as giving other options some consideration." Booker said on CBS News' "Face the Nation." He added that he is also considering a run for Senate.
Booker, should he be the Democratic nominee for governor, would run against current governor Chris Christie, who's approval ratings reached 67 percent in a Monmouth University poll last week.
Booker, however, said he needs to decide "in the next few weeks" if he is going to make the move. "[T]here are a lot of very good candidates for governor in New Jersey on the Democratic side and I have to give my party and be a part of my party's push forward, whether me as a candidate or supporting other candidates for that office."
If he instead chooses to run for Senate, it would be for current Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg's seat. Lautenberg is the oldest sitting senator and would be 90 years old on Election Day in 2014, but he has not announced plans to retire.
Democrats consider Booker a rising star - a young African-American politician who has made national news for a range of reasons, including his efforts to turn around crime in his city and for running into a burning building to save a neighbor. He is also an avid conversationalist on Twitter, which led him to a food stamp challenge in which he is currently living off $30 dollars worth of food for one week, the amount the average 46 million food stamp recipients receive. He called it "very challenging."
[Washington Times] Officials in Virginia and Ohio, once reliably red states that have gone for President B.O. in the past two elections, have discussed the idea of apportioning their electoral votes by congressional district -- a system some say would more accurately reflect the will of the states' voters but one that others dismiss as an unnecessary political ploy.
The talks come as demographic shifts have pushed the GOP's reliable bastions to more exurban and rural areas, allowing Democrats to win such states by sufficiently running up their margins in a comparatively small number of densely-populated cities and counties.
To that end, Virginia state Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr., Grayson Republican, has introduced a bill that would award one electoral vote to the winner of each of the state's 11 congressional districts, and the state's two at-large votes to the candidate that wins the majority of the districts.
Mr. Carrico cited the results in the southwestern 9th Congessional District -- where Willard Mitt Romney ...former governor of Massachussetts, the Publican nominee for president in 2012. He is the son of the former governor of Michigan, George Romney, who himself ran for president after saving American Motors from failure, though not permanently. Romney has a record as a successful businessman, heading Bain Capital, and he rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from the midst of bribery and mismanagement scandals.... won 63 percent of the vote -- as part of the reason he introduced the bill.
"People in my district -- they feel discouraged by coming out because their votes don't mean anything if they're outvoted in metropolitan districts," Mr. Carrico said. "It can go either way -- it doesn't necessarily mean that one political party is going to be favored over another. When they come out to vote, they know their vote counts instead of a winner-take-all. I'd love to see other states to do this because I don't feel the Electoral College right now is a fair system."
To Mr. Carrico's point, Mr. Obama won a slightly higher percentage of Virginia's vote in 2008 than President George W. Bush did in 2000 -- 52.62 percent to 52.47 percent -- but won just 48 of the state's 134 localities, compared to Mr. Bush's 104. He won even fewer this year -- 46 -- but still carried the state with 51 percent of the vote.
Under Mr. Carrico's proposal, Mitt Romney would have won nine electoral votes to Mr. Obama's four, as Democrats are largely clustered in the state's population hubs of Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads. President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 had been the last Democratic presidential candidate to win Virginia before Mr. Obama broke through in 2008.
Forty-eight states, plus the District of Columbia, use winner-take-all systems to distribute their electoral votes. In Nebraska and Maine, each district gets one vote and the statewide winner receives two at-large votes. In 2008, Mr. Obama actually benefitted from the quirk, picking up an extra vote by winning Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District by 3,000 votes -- marking the only time in history that either of the two states have not awarded all their votes to one candidate.
POTUS-Relect Bammer + SecState Susan Rice? + post-Biden? African-Amer VPOTUS makes three - four iff the Speaker of the House or the Senate???
Again, 2013-2016 = POTUS Bammer second term may be the only opportunity for a long long while as per an all-Black US Admin, or in alternate a more realistic all-Black Top 3-5, plus vee the National Command Authority + US Constitution???
[FT] An unexpected new proposal for international regulation of the internet drew warnings over the weekend of a spread of online censorship and left a global conference on the issue on the edge of collapse. Y'see, the internet is entirely too wild and wooly. Sombody's gotta be in charge!
The deep divisions over treatment of the internet came after a group of Arab states put forward a plan late on Friday that would require countries around the world to explicitly regulate internet companies. So don't even think about making fun of the Profit (PTUI!)...
The proposal, made at a conference in Dubai to agree a new international telecoms treaty, has also won the backing of Russia and China, along with a group of other countries. "Da, da! Can't have counterrevolutionaries... erm... forces of anarchy undermining stability!"
The pitch for direct regulation came as an unwelcome surprise to delegations from the US and other countries that have supported the current light system of regulation for the internet. Just a few days ago they were saying this sort of thing wasn't gonna happen...
"The conference has been hijacked by a group of countries that want to extend regulation of the internet," said one person familiar with the US position. "This is completely unacceptable to the US point of view." "If they take over it'll be no more dirty pictures, you betcha!"
Although countries are already free to impose national regulations, the US and its allies argue that enshrining the approach in a treaty would extend international legitimacy to repressive regimes that want to limit internet communications, while also making it easier for countries to co-operate on censorship and other restrictive practices. If "regulating" the internet is a prerogative of governments, then the UN, as the world's sooper-dooper übergovernment, should be in overall charge. That means a new bureaucracy, by Gosh and by Goo.
Tariq al-Awadhi, head of the Arab states delegation, said that it made sense for internet companies to be included in the regulations since this would help force them to work together with network operators. "They need to come to commercial agreements with one another anyway," he said. "Tut tut! A mere minor adjustment to procedures already in place. Nothing to get worked up about!"
A number of countries in the Arab world and in Africa have argued that internet companies should hand over more of their revenues to the communications networks that carry their traffic in other countries. "They gotta be allowed to wet their beaks, too! It's just basic fairness!"
Traffic agreements are currently reached through direct negotiations between internet and network companies, an approach that the US maintains already allows for rates to be set at a fair level.
DUBAI (Reuters) - A Russia-led coalition on Monday withdrew a proposal to give governments new powers over the Internet, a plan opposed by Western countries in talks on a new global telecom treaty.
An ITU spokesman said this plan had now been scrapped.
"It looks like the Russians and Chinese overplayed their hand," said American cyber security expert Jim Lewis of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
U.S. ambassador Terry Kramer welcomed the decision to withdraw the Russia-led plan. But he also said: "These issues will continue to be on the table for discussion in other forms during the remainder of the conference."
China, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates had co-signed the aborted proposal. The UAE insisted the document had not been withdrawn.
"It may come down to the wire," said a Western delegate on condition of anonymity. "There are a lot of other (similar) proposals so I don't think this represents a substantial conclusion and could be just maneuvering."
The ITU usually takes decisions by consensus, but the intransigence of both sides means it could come to a vote in which the United States and its allies might be in the minority.
Russia and its allies have insisted they need new powers to fight cyber crime and protect networks.
Countries can opt out of parts of the revised treaty when it is finalized or even refuse to sign it