Thursday, May 30, 2013

Obama's Too Fat, Too Big to Manage Government

Why A ‘Too Big to Manage’ Government Should Downsize: " . . . even the President seemed unclear about what he knew and when. At a press conference last week, a reporter asked him when he knew about the IRS abuses toward conservative groups. Barack Obama responded by claiming he didn’t know about the Inspector General report until May 10th – which, as CBS News’ Mark Knoller pointed out, didn’t answer the question about when Obama knew about the abuses themselves."

Is there more to being President than just plausible deniability? See Obama and plausible deniability In the Obama administration, apparently not.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

FTC off on another shakedown of Google

Google Faces Fresh U.S. Scrutiny Over Market Power | "Now, Google is said to be facing another antitrust probe, this time into its dominant position in the market for online display advertising. The Federal Trade Commission has launched a preliminary inquiry into whether Google is unfairly using its display ad market power to curb competition and push companies toward using its other products and services, according to multiple reports."

 After wasting millions in taxpayer funds and almost 2 years, "the FTC ruled unanimously that it lacked sufficient evidence to charge Google with antitrust violations" (source, supra). Now the FTC is off on another government-sponsored shakedown of Google--what a cool way to siphon millions off Google for DC lawyers, lobbyists (don't forget the revolving door at the FTC!). I guess the FTC has completely abandoned its mission to protect consumers in favor of feeding all the "hogs at the trough" in Washington.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

E-gov projects to reduce corruption

Why is technology being resisted by governments? It reduces corruption!--

E-gov projects to reduce corruption and improve entrepreneurship | ZDNet: "In a country where corruption is an accepted norm, e-governance projects are a hope that can change how things operate. One such attempt is by the Passport department of the government of India. Early this year, the Chief Passport Officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi talked about an enforcing online payments for Passports. The initiative will slowly reduce the the number of a people paying "agents" hoping that it will get them a passport due to the agents' relationship within the Passport offices."


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pensions are Relics

New Rule Signals Kiss of Death for Pensions: ""People getting pension checks this week or next month won't be affected," McBride said. "It's the young person of today that has to worry about getting full pension benefits when they retire." While MAP-21 might not be a final nail in the coffin for nongovernment pensions, experts say it does mean future retirees face an even tougher struggle to survive. "Pensions are just not relevant anymore," said Pavlick. "Companies feel overregulated and can't afford them. In today's world, pensions are relics.""

Pensions are over--regardless of whether or not governments recognize that, or stay in denial.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chicago and its parking meter deal

"Lipstick on a pig"--more like "hogs at the trough"--

Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Mayor, parking meter deal - "The mayor acknowledges this proposal is lipstick on a pig. The awful 2008 contract gets worse with every reading of it, but it most likely cannot be undone. And if it could be, the city has already spent the money and doesn't have a spare billion or two to buy out the company anyway. . . . Yes, the city apparently is on the hook to pay $1 billion to a company that paid the city ... $1.2 billion. It sounds like the mayor's team has substantially reduced a frightening city obligation. But here's what keeps gnawing at us. If this deal is so good financially for the city, why would Chicago Parking Meters LLC agree to it? Fool me twice ...."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Gitmo consumes $900,000 per prisoner annually

‘Astronomical costs’: Gitmo consumes $900,000 per prisoner annually — RT News: "Maintenance of Guantanamo has been revealed to cost over $150 million each year, with immediate estimates citing it one of the most expensive prisons in the world. This comes as the hunger strike at the detention facility is far from over. Follow RT’s day-by-day timeline of the Gitmo hunger strike. The prison camp situated at the US naval base in Cuba costs over $900,000 annually per prisoner, placing it far above the country’s maximum security prisons, which in comparison, cost $60,000 to $70,000 per prisoner. With 166 detainees, Gitmo devours over $150 million each year."

Is this stimulus spending?


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Susan Rice Honored With Great American Award Night Before Benghazi Hearing

Susan Rice? What a joke! What an ego, what a liar!

Susan Rice Honored With 'Great American' Award Night Before Benghazi Hearing: "The evening gala and awards ceremony, which included Vice President Joe Biden, came the day before State Department whistleblowers testified at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the terrorist attack that took place at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi last year. "What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video,” Rice erroneously stated on NBC’s Meet the Press--one of the five Sunday talk shows she appeared on five days after the attack."


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Afghan Leader Confirms CIA Cash Deliveries

Money Can't Buy You Love--

Afghan Leader Confirms Cash Deliveries by C.I.A. - "But the cash deliveries to Mr. Karzai’s office are of a different magnitude with a far wider impact, helping the palace finance the vast patronage networks that Mr. Karzai has used to build his power base. The payments appear to run directly counter to American efforts to clean up endemic corruption and encourage the Afghan government to be more responsive to the needs of its constituents. “I thought we were trying to clean up waste, fraud and abuse in Afghanistan,” said Mr. Chaffetz, whose House subcommittee has investigated corruption in the country. “We have no credibility on this issue when we’re complicit ourselves. I’m sure it was more than a few hundred dollars.”"


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Army Says No To More Tanks But Congress Says You Must

Army Says No To More Tanks, But Congress Insists : NPR: "Built to dominate the enemy in combat, the Army's hulking Abrams tank is proving equally hard to beat in a budget battle. Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams. But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, "No thanks." It's the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether. Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt. Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there's a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the experts explicitly say is not needed. . . ."

The military industrial complex+hogs at the trough=pork


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Richie Farmer Indictment

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Public Pensions and Bankruptcy

Stockton, CA: One Of America's Most Miserable Cities Just Got More Miserable - Forbes: " . . . Though some cities’ have traveled unique paths on the way to fiscal hell, in many cases, the pension crisis that was predicted more than a decade ago is upon us, and taxpayers in each of those cities and states will pay for the fiscal mismanagement. At the very minimum, city governments should ensure that local leadership can manage 100% of their revenues, along with their liabilities. A good example of this is the passage of Proposition A in St. Louis, Missouri. The successful effort returned control of the St. Louis Police Department from the state to the city of St. Louis. This move allows for greater efficiencies and accountability in the management of the department. It also saves the state and local taxpayers millions of dollars. When looking to where the next municipal bankruptcies may occur, one key indicator lies with public pensions that exist in an unsustainable environment. Escalating and unmanageable public pensions cannot be fixed overnight. Payouts are guaranteed and therefore cannot be rescinded. . . ." (read more at link above)


Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Pension Progress"

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Moving Ahead with "Pension Progress": "Buried in a transportation bill that President Obama signed on July 6, 2012, was a change to make it appear pension plans are better funded than they really are. The bill was called Map-21 "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act"." (read more at link above)

In other words, "appearances" over the "truth."