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Dronezap greases 6 in N.Wazoo
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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Down Under
Rudd disses Alabama
Posted by: tipper || 03/31/2010 19:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6539 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I resemble that remark! I was born and grew up in Alabama. All of my family are in Alabama. We can out-redneck the Aussies any time.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 03/31/2010 19:55 Comments || Top||

#2  I believe you.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/31/2010 19:58 Comments || Top||

#3  SO.... Robin Williams insults Australia, the least he could do is insult a place Robin Williams is actually _FROM_. I don't think Alabama quite fits.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 03/31/2010 20:04 Comments || Top||

#4  All Australian politicians on the Left think there are votes in anti-Americanism.

Robin Williams is a comedian. Kevin Rudd OTOH is a joke.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/31/2010 20:54 Comments || Top||

#5  I work with an Eyestralian.
He agrees with Williams...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/31/2010 21:07 Comments || Top||

#6  FYI, a 'bogan' in Australian slang pretty much translates to 'redneck', although bogan is less derogatory and also widely used.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/31/2010 22:23 Comments || Top||

#7  Redneck's kinda like that other word, how much of an insult it is depends on who's using it, tone of voice, etc.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 03/31/2010 22:28 Comments || Top||

#8  Yup intent, attitude, and tone tell if the insult is friendly or looking for a spot of trouble.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 03/31/2010 23:04 Comments || Top||

#9  My daughter just got back from LA - college kids in a beach house at Gulf Shores. She loved it. Of course, coming from a Chicago winter helped the impression.

She also liked the stop for dinner in the Birmingham suburbs, but locals warned from stopping in Montgomery. What's up with that?
Posted by: Halliburton - Mysterious Conspiracy Division || 03/31/2010 23:29 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Rep. Maxine Waters: Tea Party Behavior "Outlandish"
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/31/2010 16:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6533 views] Top|| File under:

#1  from a bitter retarded racist bitch, I'd say that's high praise
Posted by: Frank G || 03/31/2010 16:29 Comments || Top||

#2  "The Tea Party emerges as not only outrageous, but they have turned up the volume in ways that even Code Pink have not been able to do."

Sounds like jealousy.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 03/31/2010 16:37 Comments || Top||

#3  I checked out "Going Rogue" by Mrs. Palin today, the closest thing to saying you like teapartiers at the top of your lungs around here in Dem Land

You should have seen the pursed lips on the librarian's faces as she scanned it. And as I walked out one muttered "Going Rouge" under her breath. It was Priceless!!!
Posted by: Richelieu || 03/31/2010 16:49 Comments || Top||

#4  The more the dhimocrats cry, whine and shake their little fists in impotent rage, the more I know the tea party is doing the right thing.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/31/2010 16:52 Comments || Top||

#5  Ya know who's behavior is "outlandish"? Her idiot constituents' who continue to send this incompetent loon back to congress every two years.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/31/2010 16:53 Comments || Top||

#6  Let the Decibel Wars™ begin!

A Teaparty Yagi will beat a Lefti Dipole any day in the week.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/31/2010 17:10 Comments || Top||

#7  Maxine, this is "Outlandish". Your constituents in California do this same activity all the time.

4 Killed, 6 Wounded in D.C. Drive-By Shootings
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/31/2010 17:17 Comments || Top||

#8  Waters...sooooo out of touch...
Posted by: crazyhorse || 03/31/2010 22:21 Comments || Top||


The ObamaCare tax hike that loses five times what it brings in ( Bad news for Patty Murray)
We turn to the Wall Street Journal for the math on what it will cost to raise taxes on corporations' retiree prescription drug coverage. This is the provision that has caused several corporations to take markdowns recently.

The bottom line: by closing this “loophole' — which was originally created to dissuade companies from dumping retirees' prescription costs into Medicare Part D — the government could lose more than five times what it brings in.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute calculates that the 28% subsidy on average will run taxpayers $665 in 2011 and that the tax dispensation is worth $233. The same plan in Medicare costs $1,209. Given that Congress has already committed the original sin of creating a drug entitlement that crowds out private coverage, $233 in corporate tax breaks to avoid spending $1,209 seems like a deal. If one out of four retirees is now moved into Medicare, the public fisc will take on huge new liabilities.

Emphasis mine. Such corporations have four main options: drop or reduce prescription coverage for their retirees, pass new costs along to cash-strapped consumers, lay off workers, or simply bear the tax losses and pass them along to shareholders.

Not good options, are they? As it sucks more and more money out of employers like Caterpillar, John Deere, AK Steel, AT&T, etc., (this provision alone will cause an estimated $14 billion in sudden losses), can we start referring to ObamaCare as the “un-stimulus?'

UPDATE: This particular tax provision will cost Boeing $150 million, the company reports today. Serious bad news for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is about to get a serious challenge from perhaps the one man who can beat her.
Posted by: tipper || 03/31/2010 12:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6499 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I think this pile of legal poo bill will hang around the necks of dhimocrats for a long time. Not to mention that it violates 3-5 of the Bill of Rights amendments.
Posted by: DarthVader || 03/31/2010 12:25 Comments || Top||

#2  How's Obamcare lite working in Massachusetts?

The original estimate in 2006 was $84 million, this year it will be over $900 million. They have the highest healthcare costs in the nation, Emergency room visits are up 17%.

In February 2008, the Boston Globe reported that Commonwealth Care covered 169,000 people and had a projected cost of $618 million for the fiscal year. By June 2011 enrollment is projected to grow to 342,000 people at an annual expense of $1.35 billion. The original projections were for the program to ultimately cover approximately 215,000 people at a cost of $725 million. Enrollment in the Commonwealth Care Health Insurance Program reached approximately 170,000 by April 1 of 2008. Enrollment in the Commonwealth Choice Plans, offered through the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector, was almost 18,000 by the same date. Enrollment in the Commonwealth's Medicaid program, MassHealth, was up by 50,000 by January 2008. Data from the Massachusetts Association of Health plans suggest that enrollment in employer-sponsored health insurance was up by 85,000, but the number of people with individual coverage increased by less than 10,000.

In March 2008, the Boston Globe reported that some "safety-net" hospitals serving low-income individuals in urban areas were facing budget shortfalls due to the combination of reduced "free-care" payments from the state and low enrollment in Commonwealth Care. The reduced state payments anticipated that by reducing the number of uninsured people Commonwealth Care would reduce the amount of charity care provided by hospitals. In a subsequent story that same month the Globe reported that Commonwealth Care faced a short-term funding gap of $100 million and the need to obtain a new three-year funding commitment from the federal government of $1.5 billion. The Globe reported that a number of alternatives were under consideration for raising additional funding, including a $1 per pack increase in the state's cigarette tax. Health care costs in the state were rising at an annual rate of 10%, and the state budget deficit was $1.3 billion.

A paper published to be published in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice analyzes the impact of Massachusetts approach to health financing reform, insurance mandates, on the rate of new business starts in Massachusetts versus New Hampshire. Along with an earlier dissertation published in April of 2008, it finds that new business starts were reduced in Massachusetts by 16%, and that this reduction included displacement of new firm starts across the state line into New Hampshire.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/31/2010 13:10 Comments || Top||


Health care hit didn't take long
While most of the purported benefits of health-care insurance reform are years away, it took only a few days for a serious, unintended consequence to emerge.

Last week, telecommunications giant AT&T, which employs more than 280,000 people, announced it would take a $1 billion, non-cash, first-quarter loss because the bill ends an exemption on benefits for retirees.

Likewise, the largest maker of earth-moving equipment, Caterpillar, claims it will take a $100 million charge. Deere & Company, the world's largest producer of agriculture equipment, will take a $150 million charge. 3M, maker of Scotch Tape and other products, says it will take a hit of as much as $90 million.

It's all because a provision in the bill reduces the tax deductions for companies with drug coverage for their retired employees. The tax deduction and the subsequent government subsidies were designed to encourage those companies to keep their retirees covered rather than foisting them onto Medicare.

Now, it's likely those companies and others will simply shuffle those once covered under the private sector to Medicare. If not, corporations could offset the costs with layoffs or shift the cost to consumers.

Some business groups say the provision is a blow to corporate profits, and also could discourage companies from hiring more workers. Reform backers say those charges are overblown.

Verizon already has notified its employees to expect changes to their benefit plans because, it says, the new law "may have significant implications for both retirees and employers." And with more than 3,500 American companies no longer able to benefit from this tax structure, the number of employees affected is only going rise.

The tax exemption, offered as part of 2003's Medicare Part D, was a means of incentivizing companies to keep retirees on their prescription drug coverage plans. The Obama administration claimed that closing this supposed loophole would raise about $4.5 billion over 10 years to help offset the cost of the nearly $1 trillion health care reform.

Yet The Associated Press has reported that a large utility company in Michigan already has stated it would recover all losses from its customers through rate hikes.

Instead of acknowledging that top-down economic planning usually brings with it some unintended costs, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., immediately politicized the news by attacking industry. Without any authority, Waxman demanded that AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, and John Deere justify the "costs the companies plan to book related to the new health-care law."

Many of the hidden costs of this law will be evident soon enough, but we hope this provision doesn't end up costing the country more than it was meant to save.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/31/2010 11:26 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6505 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Instead of acknowledging that top-down economic planning usually brings with it some unintended costs, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., immediately politicized the news by attacking industry. Without any authority, Waxman demanded that AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, and John Deere justify the "costs the companies plan to book related to the new health-care law."

Ain't it amazing? Democrats can "demand" justification for a private enterprise's actions, but feel NO need to justify their own as public servants. C'mon 2010-2012.
Posted by: WolfDog || 03/31/2010 12:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Already putting out the propaganda that repeal is unlikely, that nobody wins elections based solely upon running against an issue. I disagree: Geert Wilders are both winners of elections based on being against 1 issue.

Now if the Kansas Senate could get off its ass and get that bill through that would help and stop piddledicking with their gun bill we'd get somewhere.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/31/2010 13:04 Comments || Top||

#3  It's all because a provision in the bill reduces the tax deductions for companies with drug coverage for their retired employees.

Pensioners, boomers, etc, are evil and the essence the problem. Barry and the gov't will decide who gets life saving drugs and who must.... move along quietly.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/31/2010 13:45 Comments || Top||

#4  I wonder...

Are the big Unions exempt from this? Will they still get the deduction?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/31/2010 15:00 Comments || Top||

#5  Waxman demanded that AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, and John Deere justify the "costs the companies plan to book related to the new health-care law."

I guess Waxman didn't read Sarbanes-Oxley back when he voted for that. Wonder if he reads ANY of the bills he votes for.
Posted by: DMFD || 03/31/2010 18:18 Comments || Top||

#6  "Wonder if he reads ANY of the bills he votes for."

Of course not.

Silly DMFD.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/31/2010 21:08 Comments || Top||


Obama's Nationalization of Student Loans Causes Sallie Mae to Layoff 2,500 Workers
Powerhouse student loan provider Sallie Mae tells Fox News that as a direct result of President Obama's new student loan overhaul, it will have to start cutting jobs... and soon.

"This legislation will force Sallie Mae to reduce our 8,600 person workforce by 2,500," Conwey Casillas, Vice President of Sallie Mae Public Affairs, told Fox in a statement.

The President was at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria Tuesday to sign student loan changes into law. The new bill includes a provision for the government to begin directly lending to students. The loans will bypass financial institutions which have traditionally provided the loans and, Mr. Obama says, soaked up billions in subsidies.

"Now, it probably won't surprise you to learn that the big banks and financial institutions hired a army of lobbyists to protect the status quo," the President said. "In fact, Sallie Mae, America's biggest student lender, spent more than $3 million on lobbying last year alone."
One of those lobbyists was Jamie Gorelick. Once again she failed at her job.
Indeed, Sallie Mae has been outspoken on the plan, calling it a "government takeover" just last month.

"The student loan provisions buried in the health care legislation intentionally eliminate valuable default prevention services and private sector jobs at a time when our country can least afford to lose them," Casillas told Fox.
Posted by: wt || 03/31/2010 10:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6485 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Unintended consequences are damaging, but the intended are diabolic. determination of who gets the loan, what colleges comply with the govt. curriculum, benefits for government job training, on and on.
Posted by: bman || 03/31/2010 12:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Hope and change!
Posted by: Mike || 03/31/2010 13:01 Comments || Top||

#3  The Annointed One will decide who gets student loans and who has to repay them, or gets the loans cancelled and turned into free-ride scholarships, not the evil banks!

Barry and his cadre will also decide what educatioal institutions are appropriate for student loans along with what courses and programs students should be enrolled in.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/31/2010 13:14 Comments || Top||

#4  So, since SLM (Student Loan Marketing, Sallie Mae), a private corp, has been cut out of the loop by the "health" legislation, why do they need 6,100 employees? Just to process the outstanding loans? Doesn't the "government" take over that, also?
Posted by: KBK || 03/31/2010 18:54 Comments || Top||

#5  Not to worry, those people can work for the government along with another 2500 from K mart, Burger King and other assorted job possitions that qualify for the new government jobs. See O is really helping the jobless !
Posted by: Chief || 03/31/2010 20:54 Comments || Top||

#6  What makes you think the consequences are unintentional, bman?
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/31/2010 21:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Anyone else hoping that Ms Gorelick is named to a high position in Obama's re-election campaign?
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 03/31/2010 21:14 Comments || Top||

#8  ION DAILY TIMES.PK OP-ED > THE REPUBLICAN JIHADIS. US-AMer JIhadis are fighting to EXPAND GOVT in America, whilst PAK Jihadis are interested in imposing their brand of DICTATORIAL GOVT.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/31/2010 21:55 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Ex-TSA pick Harding's firm got Army deal after he cited sleep apnea disability
The firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a "service disabled veteran," according to documents and interviews with government officials.

The disability he has cited was sleep apnea, a sometimes chronic breathing disorder that disrupts sleep.
Oh good grief. That's entirely treatable ...
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, who became a federal contractor in 2001 after serving at the highest levels of military intelligence, withdrew his name late Friday at the end of a week in which he had been repeatedly questioned about his contracting activities. His withdrawal also came after The Washington Post raised questions with the White House on Friday about his disabilities status.

The White House declined to comment about the $100 million contract, awarded in July 2008, or about Harding's disability, including its cause, diagnosis or impact on his work.

White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro said in a statement that in "nominating General Harding, the President tapped an individual with more than 35 years of military and intelligence experience who is dedicated to improving the security of our nation. The President is disappointed in this outcome but remains confident in the solid team of professionals at TSA."

Attempts to reach Harding on Saturday at his home were unsuccessful. In a Friday statement released by the White House, Harding did not address the disability questions but said, "I feel that the distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor would not be good for this Administration nor for the Department of Homeland Security."

Harding's turnabout comes two months after another TSA nominee withdrew, following revelations that he provided misleading information to Congress and the White House. Former FBI agent Erroll Southers gave differing accounts about incidents in which he inappropriately accessed a federal database to obtain information about his former wife's new boyfriend, possibly in violation of privacy laws.

Harding's withdrawal means that a security post administration officials have called the most important unfilled job in the government is still in limbo.

In nomination hearings this week, senators on the commerce and homeland security committees questioned Harding about a contract with the Defense Intelligence Agency that was terminated after $6 million worth of work several years ago. That contract was the subject of a federal audit.
Harding Security Associates agreed to return to the government $1.8 million, some of which government auditors found to be duplicate charges. A review after by the Pentagon's inspector general and others found no evidence of intentional wrongdoing.

Harding had a stellar rise through the Pentagon and contracting worlds. From late 1996 to 2000, he served as director of operations for the DIA. He then served as assistant deputy chief of staff for Army intelligence until retiring in August 2001.

Upon leaving government, Harding founded Harding Security Associates, a Virginia firm that received close to $200 million in federal contracts. He sold the company last year. The firm's biggest deal came in 2008. The Army consulting contract, apparently awarded as a "set-aside" for firms designated as owned by a service disabled veteran, had a potential value of $99.7 million and was to end in September 2011, according to federal contracting records. The principal place of work cited is Fort Belvoir and the work was to include tasks related to biometric identification, the records show.

The records show that Harding's company was considered a small "Veteran-owned," "Black owned," "Service Disabled Vet" owned firm that qualified for special contracting set-asides. The contract said the Army received only one bid on the deal.

The program to set aside federal contracts for service disabled veterans has come under fire recently for poor oversight and abuses. Harding's company was not mentioned in the reviews.

Whatever the reasons, Harding's withdrawal was so unexpected that talks with administration officials Thursday anticipated either his confirmation by Easter, or a recess appointment, several industry and federal sources said. Last week, acting TSA Administrator Gale Rossides announced a shuffle of senior staff in anticipation of Harding's arrival, they said.
Yes indeed, "whatever the reason." More affirmative action in contracting.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/31/2010 10:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6509 views] Top|| File under:

#1  General Harding was the best pick for the job.
He pulled himself off. Here is some better speculation of this contracting hubub.
Posted by: newc || 03/31/2010 11:52 Comments || Top||

#2  Career Army officers should have nothing to fear from contracting probes and investigations. If the perception of wrong doing is false, then the investigation will reveal it as such. If there is real smoke in the teepee.... then the back door is a liable option. General officers both active and retired are fully aware of the sensitivities regarding gov't contracting. Failing to seek a LEGAL OPINION (LO) prior to marching off into the sunset can result in a disaster. No LO, then your arse is hanging out. My sympathy meter remains pegged at ZERO.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/31/2010 13:31 Comments || Top||

#3  Nobody in their right mind will put their hat in the ring for the TSA leader position. If you really want to make things more secure with common sense ideas and principles, you will immediately run afoul of the Administration, as they will have a different agenda, based upon their ideological politics.

So it will be business as usual---Thousands Standing Around.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/31/2010 15:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Sleep apnea a disability? Can I file for SS benefits for this?
Posted by: gorb || 03/31/2010 15:40 Comments || Top||

#5  Shouldn't it be the STA?

Security Theatre Agency?

Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 03/31/2010 22:54 Comments || Top||



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Steve White
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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2010-03-31
  Dronezap greases 6 in N.Wazoo
Tue 2010-03-30
  ETA brass hat arrested in Caracas
Mon 2010-03-29
  Two boomers, 38 dead in Moscow metro
Sun 2010-03-28
  Dronezap kills four in N. Wazoo
Sat 2010-03-27
  Allawi wins Iraq election by two seats
Fri 2010-03-26
  B.O. snubs Netanyahu, dines alone
Thu 2010-03-25
  Nativity Church deportee dies alone, unloved in Algeria
Wed 2010-03-24
  Saudis break up 101-strong Al-Qaeda cell
Tue 2010-03-23
  Hekmatyar dispatches peace delegation to Kabul
Mon 2010-03-22
  Boomer kills 10 Helmand picnickers
Sun 2010-03-21
  4 More Dronezapped in N.Wazoo
Sat 2010-03-20
  Al-Shabaab big turban bumped off
Fri 2010-03-19
  David Headley pleads guilty
Thu 2010-03-18
  'Jihad Jane' due in federal court in Philadelphia
Wed 2010-03-17
  N.Wazoo dronezap reduces 10 to component parts

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