Friday, August 30, 2013

Twitter, Washington DC, hogs at the trough

Unfortunately, to have any influence with the Hogs at the Trough, you have to get into the slop with them --

Twitter joins Washington’s influence economy, forms PAC - The Washington Post: "The firm, along with Google and other tech companies, has called for greater transparency from federal spy agencies. Twitter has criticized the secrecy shrouding the requests the government makes of tech companies when officials want them to assist in surveillance efforts, saying non-disclosure rules should be lifted."


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Good News! Postal Service Quarterly Loss Narrows to ONLY $740 Million!

Only in Washington DC is losing $740 million good news -- what's the answer?

Shut it down! This money-losing dinosaur of government corruption is no longer needed!

Postal Service Quarterly Loss Narrows to $740 Million - Bloomberg: "Cost cutting and a one-time revenue windfall helped the U.S. Postal Service narrow its loss in the third quarter to $740 million. The Postal Service said even with the improved results, it won’t make a $5.6 billion payment due by Sept. 30 for future retirees’ health-care costs. It said the results also don’t lessen the need for Congress to overhaul the system."


Monday, August 26, 2013

Civil Forfeiture, another government confiscation scheme

Police and the legal system out of control in the USA--

Sarah Stillman: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture : The New Yorker: "Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?" (read this unbelievable expose in the New Yorker at the link above)


Friday, August 23, 2013

Public Stench, Democratic Establishment, Washington DC

Frank Rich writes about the Hogs at the Trough in Washington, DC --

Frank Rich on 'This Town' and Washington's Dysfunctional Bipartisanship -- New York Magazine: "Washington may be a dysfunctional place to govern, but it’s working better than ever as a marketplace for cashing in. And that’s thanks, more than anything, to the Democratic Establishment."---Frank Rich (read more at link above)


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Answer to pension woes that plague the US

Nobody wants to see the elephant in the living room --

Pandemic of pension woes is plaguing the nation: ". . . . But even as the economy and housing markets have recovered, most states are still falling behind in closing their pension funding gaps. In the last year, 34 states have seen their pension funds stretched further as they've failed to make the full contributions needed to meet the projected cost of retirement promises. . . . Nine states—Hawaii, Alaska, Kansas, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Connecticut, Kentucky and Illinois—have now set aside less than 60 percent of what they need. Illinois has saved just 43 cents to cover every dollar of what it needs to pay 350,000 retirees and 500,000 current plan participants who are counting on a pension check. In Detroit, city officials argue that pension payments to retirees simply have to be cut because the money just isn't there to pay them. But union officials there and in other cash-strapped cities say that's the city's problem. . . . Without a pension check, public sector workers face a bleak retirement. Many are ineligible for Social Security. . . ." (read more at the link above)

What's the Answer? Put everyone on Social Security (and expand benefits), abolish all pension programs, allow individuals to have (in addition to social security) one self-funded, federally-approved and guaranteed, retirement account in a federally supervised financial institution into which each individual can deposit up to 10% of each year's earnings (tax-sheltered and immune from third-party garnishment).


Monday, August 19, 2013

Federal Election Commission Staff "out-of-control" - another Obama administration scandal

Kimberley Strassel: Another IRS Scandal Waiting to Happen - "The Obama administration claims it wants to ensure that the rank political abuse perpetrated by the Internal Revenue Service is never repeated. Ask Donald McGahn how that's going. Mr. McGahn is a Republican appointee to the Federal Election Commission, an agency with every bit as much potential for partisan meddling as the IRS. Due to leave the agency soon, Mr. McGahn's parting gift is a campaign to rein in an out-of-control FEC bureaucracy. But the left is fighting that oversight and is determined to keep power in the hands of unaccountable staff. . . ."


Friday, August 16, 2013

US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses

Idiot US government agency doesn't stop its madness until it "runs out of money"--what does that tell you? Cut off the money if you don't want Hogs at the Trough!

US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses | Ars Technica: " . . . . EDA's CIO, fearing that the agency was under attack from a nation-state, insisted instead on a policy of physical destruction. The EDA destroyed not only (uninfected) desktop computers but also printers, cameras, keyboards, and even mice. The destruction only stopped—sparing $3 million of equipment—because the agency had run out of money to pay for destroying the hardware. The total cost to the taxpayer of this incident was $2.7 million: $823,000 went to the security contractor for its investigation and advice, $1,061,000 for the acquisition of temporary infrastructure (requisitioned from the Census Bureau), $4,300 to destroy $170,500 in IT equipment, and $688,000 paid to contractors to assist in development of a long-term response. Full recovery took close to a year. . . ."


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Great Britain shows way for privatized mail service

Thomas Lucente: Great Britain shows way for privatized mail service - Local News: "The problems are easy to see. Email and other digital communication have undermined the Postal Service’s mail monopoly; the unions, putting self-interest above all else, have created excessive labor costs; and Congress, also putting self-interest above all else, is often unwilling to allow the service to take measures to operate efficiently. If the Postal Service were privately run, customers would be able to pick and choose what they wish to pay for. Private businesses have a profit incentive to tailor services to satisfy customers and to seek new cost-effective delivery methods. Prices would be higher or lower depending on what customers want as is the case in any other private business. As Great Britain and other European nations move toward an enlightened privatized system of mail delivery, the United States continues to lag behind and all our wallets will eventually suffer for it."


Monday, August 12, 2013

Chicago, Mayor Daley, Police Torture

Ex-Chicago Mayor Daley called to testify on police torture claims | Fox News: "The now 60-year-old Wrice has always claimed he was innocent. He says he only confessed because he was tortured by Chicago cops after his arrest in 1982. A medical report written shortly after Wrice confessed states "there were too many bruises on his body to list on the report," said defense attorney Jennifer Bonjean.  After years of legal wrangling, Wrice is now scheduled for an evidentiary hearing in September, where a judge will take another look at his case and the torture claims. Daley has been subpoenaed to take the witness stand and talk about what he knows, or knew, under oath.  His testimony could have wide-ranging implications for this and other cases.  Bonjean argues that, as the state's attorney, "Daley knew or should've known the torture was taking place." "


Friday, August 9, 2013

Miami-Dade County pays millions to employees who work full time for labor unions

Miami-Dade County pays millions to employees who work full time for labor unions - Miami-Dade - "More than 40 Miami-Dade County public employees are collecting $2.65 million-plus in salaries from taxpayers so far this year — but they don’t have to do their county jobs, the Miami Herald has learned. The 42 employees are excused from their work duties to serve as union representatives, and they cannot be fired for not doing county work under Miami-Dade’s agreements with the 10 unions representing workers. On paper, the exempt union workers hold a variety of positions, from six-figure police and firefighters to lesser-paid public-transit workers."

Miami Hogs at the Trough.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chicago bond rating, negative outlook

"There's no way to sugarcoat this," said Brian Battle, director at Chicago-based Performance Trust Capital Partners, an investment adviser specializing in fixed-income products. "This is bad for Chicago." In its analysis, Moody's found Chicago's pension plight much more severe than the city has estimated. Rachel Cortez, the lead analyst on the Chicago report, said Moody's calculates that the city's pension funds at the end of 2012 possessed only 22 percent of the assets they needed to meet obligations. The city pegged the amount at 35 percent.

Chicago bond rating takes big hit - "Moody's also slapped a "negative" label on the future outlook for Chicago's rating." (read more at link above)


Monday, August 5, 2013

Government programs and the push to waste money

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Obama's HAMP Program a Stunning Success:  . . .  HAMP is certainly a failure compared to stated goals. However, as government programs go, it's easy to make a case that HAMP was a tremendous success. Here's why. "As part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Treasury allocated $19.1 billion to the HAMP program. So far, it has spent $4.4 billion". The typical government program wastes far more than initially allocated. This government program only wasted $4.4 billion out of a projected waste of $19.1 billion. It does not get much better than this! Unfortunately, there is still a big push to waste more money. Christy Romero, the head of SIGTARP says "Treasury pulled out all the stops for the banks, they should do the same for homeowners". This same "two wrongs make a right" genius also says "Treasury needs to research why so many borrowers are dropping out of the program." Really? What's to research? People are underwater in their homes (still), without a job, or struggling in minimum wage part-time jobs. But hey, give a bureaucrat money to waste and they will. . . . (read more at link above)


Friday, August 2, 2013

Moody's downgrades Chicago, pension debt to blame

Here's the Recipe for Municipal Bankruptcy: Democrats + Government Unions + Public Pensions

It's already happened in Detroit and several California cities and elsewhere--Chicago is headed that way soon--

Moody's downgrades Chicago's credit rating, pension debt to blame - – Rockford’s News Leader: "Moody's Investors Service says it's making the move because of "formidable legal and political barriers to pension reform" in the state. The downgrade affects $8.2 billion in debt and means it will cost the city more to borrow money. According to Moody's Chicago has $19 billion in unfunded pension liability and faces a "tremendous strain" in meeting their budget and paying law enforcement"