Monday, September 30, 2013

Mainstream Media, Government, Revolving Door

Richard Stengel leaving Time for State Department - Joe Pompeo and Dylan Byers - "Richard Stengel, the top editor of Time magazine for the past seven years, is planning to step down as managing editor for a new job at the U.S. Department of State, sources familiar with the situation tell POLITICO and Capital New York. If confirmed, Stengel will serve as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs." (read more at link above)


Friday, September 27, 2013

American Colleges, Supersizing

The Supersizing of American Colleges: " . . . The supersizing of American higher education has led to a flurry of articles, reports, and sound bites about college that use the most feared words in America: “crisis” and “bubble.” Citing the increase in spending, debt, and default, their authors argue that college is a bum deal, profile students graduating to waiter jobs that offer no hope of paying off loans, and predict the bursting of the college debt bubble once we realize college is not as valuable as we thought. The Economist compared American universities to Detroit’s car companies in the 1950s: universally admired as the best in the world and on the cusp of a fall. . . ." (read more at link above)


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Syria, Contractors, State Department

Who funds Syrian rebel advocate O’Bagy and her 'Task Force?' | The Daily Caller: "State Department contracting firms like “ARK [Access Resources Knowledge], Chemonics, Creative [Associates International]—a number of the big contractors” set up the contracts and pay the Syrian Emergency Task Force, O’Bagy told TheDC. With each contract, O’Bagy made more money. This revelation raises serious questions about her incentives to support American involvement in Syria. Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain cited O’Bagy’s work in the push for military action but did not disclose her ties to the rebel groups." (read more at link above)


Monday, September 23, 2013

States, Incentives to Promote Disability Fraud

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: States Have an Incentive to Promote (Not Stop) Disability Fraud; So How Much Fraud Is There?: I suspect fraud is in the neighborhood of 25-50% (and higher would not surprise me one bit). The reason is that States Have an Incentive to Promote (Not Stop) Disability Fraud. This all goes back to 1996 when president Bill Clinton promised to "end welfare as we know it". He did indeed do just that, and fraud is the result. Why? The federal government pays disability, but states pay part of welfare costs. This creates a huge incentives for states to actively promote disability fraud (simply to get people off state-sponsored welfare programs). (read more at link above)


Friday, September 20, 2013

Mortgages, Foreclosures, Bully Tactics

Invasive Tactic in Foreclosures Draws Scrutiny - " . . . Even some homeowners who never missed a mortgage payment have collided with the property-management firms. Linda Haddad, 55, bought her home last June in Garden City, Mich., after JPMorgan Chase repossessed the foreclosed home from the previous owner. Ms. Haddad said she was shocked when two months later she got a call from her neighbor. “He told me an agent from Safeguard was emptying the contents of the place and changing the locks,” Ms. Haddad said. Frantic, she contacted the Safeguard agent, who, she said, advised her “to straighten it out” with the bank, which had told Safeguard to cease work on the property. By the time she did, though, Ms. Haddad said Safeguard had done tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to her property."


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Savings, Americans, Retirement

An Open Letter to Everyone Under Age 30: "Less than 60% of Americans are saving anything, and two-thirds of those who are have less than $25,000 salted away, according to ConvergEx. Almost half of Americans couldn't come up with $2,000 in the next month if they had to, accord to the National Bureau of Economic Research. According to Nielsen Claritas, Americans age 55 to 64 have a median net worth of $180,000 -- less than they'll likely need for health care spending alone during retirement."


Monday, September 16, 2013

Police Officer Indicted on Charges of Lying About Photographer’s Arrest

Cop lied, got himself a 3 felony count indictment -- at least in New York, they are fed up with lying cops, and cops who don't like to be photographed (God forbid there be "accountability" -- what are they trying to hide?) --

Officer Is Indicted on Charges of Lying About Photographer’s Arrest - "A New York City police officer who had arrested a photographer working for The New York Times has been indicted on three felony counts and five misdemeanors accusing him of fabricating the reasons for the arrest, the Bronx district attorney announced on Monday."

Money quote: "The officer, Michael Ackermann, 30, claimed that the photographer interfered with an arrest last year of a teenage girl by repeatedly discharging his camera’s flash in Officer Ackermann’s face. But the officer’s account unraveled after the office of Robert T. Johnson, the Bronx district attorney, examined photographic evidence and determined that the photographer, Robert Stolarik, did not use a flash and did not have one on his camera at the time. Prosecutors added that no other police officers or civilian witnesses reported seeing a flash." (read more at link above)


Friday, September 13, 2013

Miami-Dade Jail, US Justice Department, Unfit for Human Habitation

Another inmate death at Miami-Dade’s jail psychiatric ward - Miami-Dade - "The U.S. Justice Department is monitoring the jail system. In 2011, the department concluded a three-year probe, saying the nation’s eighth-largest jail system engaged in a “pattern and practice of constitutional violation” of the rights of inmates housed in deplorable living conditions under abusive, inadequate or limited care. In April, Miami-Dade County and Jackson Health agreed to a long and expensive list of improvements to how the system treats inmates, particularly those who are mentally ill or suicidal. As part of the deal, the county agreed to build a new mental-health facility, long championed by Judge Leifman, to replace the ninth-floor psychiatric ward. So far, supporters still are waiting for ground to be broken for the facility. Besides the deaths, the county jail system has had other troubling issues in recent months. Inmates and guards also have complained repeatedly about rats in the main jail. . . . ”

The US Justice Department is monitoring the jail? They are not doing their job -- where's Obama and Holder? They love to hog the camera, except when it actually comes to doing their jobs!

Hogs at the Trough

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Greed in Washington (video)

Mark Leibovich on Glitz and Greed in Washington from on Vimeo.
Bill talks with journalist Mark Leibovich about his latest book, This Town, a city where money rules the day and status is determined by who you know and what they can do for you. "If you can sell yourself as someone who knows how Washington works, someone who has these relationships," Leibovich explains, "that's a very marketable commodity.  If you're seen as someone who knows how this town works, someone who is a usual suspect in this town, you can dine out for years -- that's why no one leaves."

Hogs at the Trough.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Police Seize Cash, Cars, and Homes from Innocent Americans

In the US, the police are out to seize your cash, cars, and homes -- for no reason other than you are an easy mark --

Are Innocent Citizens at Risk of Police Seizure of Their Cash, Cars and Homes? | PBS NewsHour | Aug. 19, 2013 | PBS: "RAY SUAREZ: Has anybody successfully fought back against the seizure of their property without trial and without due process? SARAH STILLMAN: Absolutely. And that -- one of the surprising things is actually that when people did get it together to push back, often, the cases were just dropped. And it sort of indicated this was really often preying upon people who didn't know how to fight back or didn't have the resources to or had reasons to be scared to. And in cases where people really did bring a case, including in Tenaha after this happened to hundreds -- perhaps even 1,000 were stopped in this drug interdiction program there -- it's a very small town. It's mostly people who were driving through in rental cars from out of state. They actually brought a successful -- or they had a settlement in class action lawsuit recently." (read more at the link above)


Friday, September 6, 2013

Delaware Official Retires, Joins Firm Making Millions From Delaware

Hog of the Year Award?

Delaware Job Hop Stirs Flap - The CFO Report - WSJ: "A top Delaware finance official sent out 125 audit notices this year to companies incorporated in the First State. Three weeks ago, he retired and joined the auditing firm expected to do the lion’s share of those audits in exchange for millions of dollars in fees."


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

US Companies that make money by keeping America scared

Hogs at the Trough - it ain't about terrorism --it's about the money --

5 companies that make money by keeping Americans scared - " . . . . What it all adds up to is a massive industry profiting off government-induced fear of terrorism, even though Americans are more likely to be killed by a car crash or their own furniture than a terror attack. Here are five private companies cashing in on keeping you afraid.1. The Chertoff Group . . . CBS and ABC did not see fit to inform viewers that both Hayden and Chertoff are employees of the Chertoff Group, a private firm created in 2009 that companies hire to consult on best practices for security and combatting terrorism. Some of the companies the firm advises go on to win government contracts. Chertoff is the founder and chairman of the group, while Hayden serves as a principal. So they profit off a war on terror they say is crucial to keeping Americans safe. . . . After the failed attempt in 2010 to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day with a bomb hidden in underwear, Chertoff pushed for better airport security procedures. One of the suggestions Chertoff made was for the Transportation Security Administration to use full-body scanners like the ones Rapiscan, one of the Chertoff Group’s clients, made. And sure enough, after the Christmas Day plot, the TSA ordered 300 Rapiscan machines. The Huffington Post reported that Rapiscan made $118 million from the government between 2009 and 2010. 2. Booz Allen Hamilton . . ." (read more at link above)

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Will the US government continue its "stripping and looting"?

America 3.0: The Coming Reinvention of America — The American Magazine: "Without some sort of major shock, external or self-inflicted, an unreformed America might drift on for quite a while — certainly another 25 or 30 years — without facing and tackling the fundamental problems facing it. The institutions of America 2.0 can survive a while longer by borrowing irresponsibly, defaulting silently on creditors through inflation, squeezing taxpayers with more thorough intrusion and coercion, confiscating the private savings of Americans in the guise of “rescuing” them, eating our seed corn by confiscating medical facilities and running them down without proper reinvestment, and in general stripping and looting the country."