This Is What Happens When An Investigation Takes Two Years To Get To The Point

Yesterday The New York Post reported that Hillary Clinton has handed over her server to the Justice Department. Unfortunately, the server is blank.

The article reports:

Clinton said she turned over all her official e-mails to the State Department in December and then wiped clean her server.

Clinton deleted some 30,000 personal e-mails but backed up work ones on thumb drives that were also turned over to federal authorities.

In compliance with a federal court order, lawyers for two top Clinton aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, assured a judge Wednesday the aides won’t delete any of their official e-mails.

The Clinton campaign said Thursday there is nothing on her server left to retrieve. “As David Kendall [Clinton’s lawyer] said in March, we do not believe any e-mails from her time as secretary exist on the server,” the campaign said in a statement.

Platte River says it began work for Clinton in June 2013, after she left office, to upgrade, secure and manage her e-mail server.

The company retrieved the server from her New York home and housed it at a data center in New Jersey, said company spokesman Andy Boian.

My advice on this matter is very simple–if you are an ordinary citizen, don’t try this at home!

Is Death An Excuse For Missing Work?

Is death an excuse for missing work? I don’t mean a death in the family–I mean your own death. Well, not in New York City. The New York Post reported that that Medicaid-eligibility specialist Geoffrey Toliver was fired after not showing up for his hearing where he was to be accused of going AWOL because he had not shown up for his job since November 2013. Toliver died at age 65 on Dec. 8, 2014.

 

The article reports:

“How do you fire a man who is already dead? He deserves better. The agency itself should have known,” said Ted Willbright, who added that he considered Toliver as a brother.

“Some people he worked with were very supportive, so how did HRA the organization not know? He’s dead, and they’re saying he abandoned his job. He didn’t abandon his job, his job abandoned him. He was a good man. Truly, truly a good man.”

HRA officials said they sought to remove Toliver from his $38,000-a-year job after they couldn’t reach him for well over a year.

They marked the start of his absence as Nov. 12, 2013, and said calls and certified letters mailed to his home were never answered.

“We did everything we could to contact him and his family,” said HRA spokesman David Neustadt. “This employee was not paid when he wasn’t working, but we left his job open in case he recovered.”

He said that now that the agency knows of his “unfortunate death,” it would take no further action.

What would be the appropriate further action to take against a dead man?

Losing Your Rights In Your Own Home

Fox News posted an article in late June (I missed it. Sorry) about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s plan to end smoking in apartments. That’s right, if you are renting an apartment in New York City, you would not be allowed to smoke in your apartment.

The article reports:

The mayor’s administration is planning to pay four health-advocacy groups $9,000 apiece to press landlords and developers to prohibit lighting up in their apartment complexes so neighboring tenants don’t breathe in secondhand smoke, according to the New York Post. The city has already banned smoking in bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports venues and parks, but has not moved against smokers who practice their habit in the privacy of their own homes.

City health officials emphasized the initiative is voluntary — at least for now.

“Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing. Residents enjoy breathing cleaner, healthier air in their homes . . . while owners see reductions in property damage and turnover costs,” a Health Department spokesman said.

Dozens of buildings containing hundreds of apartments have already kicked the habit, according to the Health Department. The de Blasio administration is actually accelerating an initiative started at the tail end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure.

I need to make a few things clear here. I am a non-smoker–I never smoked. I grew up in a blue haze in a house with two heavy smokers (both of whom died as a result of smoking-related illnesses). I really hate the smell of cigarettes and love the fact that I no longer have to smell cigarette smoke in restaurants. However, smokers have rights, too. If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their own apartment, it bothers me that a law could be passed that would make that a crime. I thought Republicans were the people always being accused of wanting to make laws about what people did behind closed doors.

I agree with the idea that if a landlord wants to make his apartments smoke-free, he should be allowed to do so. Hotels have smoke-free rooms. The rooms stay cleaner, and it cuts down on the fire hazard of someone falling asleep while smoking. However, this should be the choice of the individual landlord–not the city government.

Meanwhile, many states are moving to legalize marijuana as they limit the rights of tobacco smokers. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Looking Past The Obvious

On Monday, the New York Post posted an article about the push to move the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Contrary to what is true in most case, it isn’t about the money.

The article reports:

A Times editorial last week cheered Los Angeles’ enactment of a $15-an-hour minimum wage — but noted that restaurants, particularly fast-food joints, don’t like it. Said The Times: “The restaurant industry . . . will not go down without a fight.”

We didn’t think that bringing down an entire industry was what the campaign for a $15 minimum was supposed to be about. Oops.

Back in March, we noted that a similar hike in Seattle’s minimum wage was leading to a spate of local restaurant closings, given that labor costs account for 36 percent of the average restaurant’s earnings.

The left has been on a war against McDonald’s for years. I will admit that I do not routinely eat at McDonald’s (although I love their mango smoothies), but that is my choice–just because I don’t eat there doesn’t mean that I have the right to prevent anyone else from eating there.

The article cites one example of the impact of the minimum wage hike:

Case in point: Z Pizza, which has to shut down — putting all 11 employees out of work — because its owner can’t afford the higher labor costs. Ritu Shah Burnham says she tried layoffs, cutting hours, price hikes and not paying herself — to no avail.

And while small businesses have six years to phase in the wage hikes, she has only two, since she’s a franchise of a large chain.

The Times dismissed such concerns, saying minimum-wage hikes can be offset by higher prices and by “paying executives and shareholders less.”

That didn’t work for Burnham, who has no shareholders and is no executive — just a victimized small-business owner whose workers’ hourly wage is about to be cut to zero, thanks to their “advocates.”

It is time to send all of the big government types home. The only way to turn this around is to elect people at all levels of government who believe in freedom from excessive government regulation. The big government types are killing small business, and thus, killing the economy.

Why Many Americans Are Losing Faith In Their Government

Yesterday The New York Post posted a story illustrating one way that some of our politicians exploit their offices. I suspect that what went on here may actually be legal, but that does not necessarily make it right.

The story reports:

The US Postal Service plans to sell 56 buildings — so it can lease space more expensively — and the real estate company of the California senator’s husband (Sen. Dianne Feinstein), Richard Blum, is set to pocket about $1 billion in commissions.

Blum’s company, CBRE, was selected in March 2011 as the sole real estate agent on sales expected to fetch $19 billion. Most voters didn’t notice that Blum is a member of CBRE’s board and served as chairman from 2001 to 2014.

This feat of federal spousal support was ignored by the media after Feinstein’s office said the senator, whose wealth is pegged at $70 million, had nothing to do with the USPS decisions.

It would be nice if, just for the sake of appearances, Mr. Blum chose not to participate in the deal.

An Unnecessary Tragedy

Today’s New York Post is reporting that two policemen have been killed in the Brooklyn while they sat in their police car. Unfortunately, this is the result of much of the media’s and some of our local and national leaders’ ‘war on the police’ that has been going on for the last few months.

May the policemen rest in peace and their families be comforted.

The article reports the response of some of the New York City Police:

The two officers were pronounced dead at Woodhull Hospital, where their colleagues and family members huddled tearfully.

City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio were less than welcome guests at the poignant gathering.

“We’re all in this together,” the mayor told grieving cops, according to a cop who was there.

“No we’re not,” one officer said tersely in response.

Just last week cops began signing a “Don’t Insult My Sacrifice” waiver, distributed by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, that warned the mayor and speaker to stay away from funerals of cops killed in the line of duty.

Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco, like many cops, likened the murders to the 1988 assassination of Police Officer Eddie Byrne.

The 22-year-old rookie cop was alone in a squad car in Jamaica, Queens, guarding the home of a witness in a drug case, when he was shot in the head five times. The hit was ordered by jailed drug kingpin “Pappy” Mason, in retaliation for his arrest.

“I don’t even know how to respond to this,” Turco said. “Twenty-eight years on and I don’t know what to say.”

Another cop, who is black, said he fears that “this is just the beginning.

“There are people out there who will want to be copycats. The tension out there is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

The lack of support shown to the New York City Police recently has not helped the safety of policemen. It is time for those who seek to divide America along racial lines and those who seek to blame the police for those divides to be quiet. Lack of respect for policemen endangers all of us. It will make America less safe and create chaos in our cities.

 

One Perspective On The Mid-term Election

Michael Goodwin at the New York Post posted an article with an interesting perspective on the mid-term elections. Mr. Goodwin noted that even as a daily misstep is coming from the Obama Administration, President Obama seems to be saying that he is blameless in whatever disaster is unfolding.

The article notes:

We are witnessing the total collapse of a bad idea. Obamaism, a quasi-socialist commitment to a more powerful government at home and an abdication of American leadership around the world, is being exposed as a historic calamity. It is fueling domestic fear and global disorder and may well lead to a world war.

If there is a smidgen of a silver lining, it is that the unraveling, complete with Obama’s shameless attempts to duck responsibility, is playing out on the eve of the midterm elections. Fortunately, voters seem ready to respond by giving Republicans control of both houses of congress.

…He was aided and abetted by every Democrat in Congress. They marched in lockstep with his cockamamie policies, from ObamaCare to open borders. They protected corrupt leaders in numerous federal agencies, from the IRS to the Genera Services Administration. They stymied efforts to find the truth about Benghazi and the Fast and Furious gunrunning debacle.

They ceded their constitutional obligations and allowed Obama to crash the system of checks and balances. The vast majority stood silent while he gutted the military and abandoned our allies, including Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and courted Iran, the most menacing nation on earth.

With painfully few exceptions, Democrats put their loyalty to him above their duty to America.

And now they must be punished. All of them.

Mr. Goodwin notes that he is a registered Democrat. However, he suggests that what is happening in the country at this moment is a national emergency and the only solution is to vote Republican for every federal office. I understand where he is coming from–I used to be a Democrat.

Even The Census Bureau Is Fudging Numbers

Yesterday the New York Post reported that workers in the Census Bureau in the Los Angeles area have been have been manipulating the economic data.

The article reports:

Contact information for the veteran Census worker — who reached out to me by e-mail recently and whom I interviewed by phone — has been turned over to congressional investigators who are looking into data falsification in other parts of the country.

“Everybody knows falsification is going on,” the whistleblower told me, adding the malfeasance in the LA region is so obvious that it’s hard to miss.

She said she’s coming forward now because she “applauds” the others who have spoken up already.

Census employees have blown the whistle on the Denver and Philadelphia regions. A Denver whistleblower recently turned over information to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Part of the problem here is that Americans have evidently grown tired of answering surveys and have become very wary of anything that might invade their privacy. Meanwhile, some of the Field Service Areas (FSA’s) are reporting a 100 percent response to their surveys–something that is highly unlikely at any time.

Why does this matter? Aside from the obvious fact that our government is lying to us, why is this important?

The article explains:

The stakes are high, of course. The Bureau of Labor Statistics requires a 90 percent success rate for interviews that go into the Current Population Survey, which Census conducts on BLS’ behalf. It’s those results that are used to calculate the nation’s monthly unemployment rate.

“To be perfectly honest, the BLS should be questioning the data, not just you alone,” the LA whistleblower said.

Who knows what the real unemployment rate actually is.

The Keystone Kops Battle An Epidemic

There is nothing comical about Ebola, but right now it looks as if the Ebola virus is being fought by the Keystone Kops. If you were to make a horror movie about a world-wide epidemic spread by incompetence and a lack of common sense, the current Ebola crisis could easily provide the script.

This article is based on a number of articles. I am only including small parts of each article and strongly suggest that you follow the links back to the original articles to get the full story.

The New York Post is reporting today that a worker in the Texas hospital that cared for the first Ebola patient is now in quarantine on a cruise ship. What in the world was she thinking?

The article reports:

The Carnival Magic was being held off the coast of Belize on Friday until the hospital worker could be removed from the ship and returned to the United States.

“At this time, the guest remains in isolation on board the ship and is not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew,” Carnival said in a statement. “It is important to reiterate that the individual has no symptoms and has been isolated in an extreme abundance of caution.”

The Belize government, however, turned down a request by the United States to evacuate the worker through the international airport in Belize City.

She is not showing any symptoms or feeling ill, but knowing the risk, why are we letting hospital workers who may have had contact in some way with the disease travel?

From the New York Post yesterday:

A passenger died on a Nigeria-to-JFK flight after a vomiting fit Thursday — and a top lawmaker said officials gave the corpse only a “cursory” exam before declaring that the victim did not have Ebola.

How does one detect Ebola after a cursory exam? Again, what is the likelihood of someone vomiting and dying on an airplane other than from some serious illness–whether it be Ebola or something else?

The New York Daily News reported today:

The World Health Organization has admitted that it botched attempts to stop the now-spiraling Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff and a lack of information.

“Nearly everyone involved in the outbreak response failed to see some fairly plain writing on the wall,” WHO said in a draft internal document obtained by The Associated Press, noting that experts should have realized that traditional containment methods wouldn’t work in a region with porous borders and broken health systems. 

Despite the admission, the U.N. health agency officially declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Senegal and the organization commended the country for its diligence in putting a stop to the transmission of the virus.In a statement Friday the WHO said the sole introduced case was confirmed Aug. 29 in a young man who had travelled to Dakar, by road, from Guinea, where he had had direct contact with an Ebola patient. 

The statement called Senegal’s response “a good example of what to do when faced with an imported case of Ebola.”

It said Senegal government’s response included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts of the patient, prompt testing of all suspected cases, stepped-up surveillance at many entry points and public awareness campaigns. 

But the U.N. health agency acknowledged that, at times, the bureaucracy in its organization was a problem.

Note the stepped-up surveillance at many entry points. The bigger the bureaucracy, the less efficient it is.

These are just some of the examples of the departure of common sense in the handling of Ebola. Unfortunately, many people may die because of bloated bureaucracy and a total lack of common sense.

I Guess Everyone Has An Achilles Heel

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article about the ISIS fighters. They do have a weakness–they are afraid that if they are killed by a woman, they will not go to heaven. This is amazing to me. Despite what President Obama says, ISIS is an Islamic organization–they believe in Sharia Law–that is the reason they have no problem with killing infidels. However, it is interesting to me that a religion that treats women as badly as Islam does has spawned men who are afraid that if they are killed by a woman, they will not go to heaven.

The article in the New York Post reports:

A 27-year-old female Kurdish fighter named Tekoshin fighting in northern Iraq recently gloated to AFP: “I think [ISIS] were more afraid of us than of the men.” The Kalashnikov-toting fighter added: “They believe they’ll go to hell if they die at a woman’s hands.”

Some women who have fled the brutal oppression of ISIS have been organized into special Women’s Protection Units in Syria to do battle.

Hend Hasen Ahmed, a 26-year-old female fighter in Syria’s Kurdish region, told Britain’s Telegraph during the ISIS siege of Mt. Sinjar: “We are being trained to use snipers, Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades … For myself and for my people, I will go to [Mount] Sinjar to either die or live there freely.”

Radical imams have invoked interpretations of Koran passages to recruit jihadists, promising them a trip to paradise and 72 brown-eyed virgins if they die in battle or in what’s considered a martyrdom operation.

Seeing a woman staring at them down the barrel of a machine gun apparently isn’t what they had in mind.

I have very mixed emotions about sending women into combat–I think it goes against the natural feminine instinct, but it does make sense to me to see women standing to defend their country–it reminds me of a mother bear protecting her cubs–not something you want to mess with. With superman it was kryptonite; with ISIS it is women fighting to defend their country. We need to find a way to use this to our advantage.

How To Ruin The Last Weekend Of Summer

Today’s New York Post is reporting on President Obama’s plans for Labor Day Weekend. The President will be working hard while people in the northeast who were hoping to take advantage of the last weekend of the summer will be challenged to get to their destinations.

The article reports:

President Obama’s plan to schmooze Wall Street honchos at a Westchester fund-raiser Friday is grounding wealthy weekenders who planned to fly to the Hamptons or Nantucket for the Labor Day holiday.

The FAA has issued a no-fly warning that extends for most of Friday and all day Saturday through Sunday, grounding seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

On Friday, Obama will be feted at the home of one of his top bundlers, 32 Advisors’ Robert Wolf, in the aptly-named Purchase, NY, with 250 high-rollers paying up to $32,000 each to bend Obama’s ear.

To quote a previous article at rightwinggranny.com, “Only in America…could politicians talk about the greedy rich at a $35,000 per plate campaign fund-raising event.”

The article at the New York Post further reports:

Obama will then fly to Newport, R.I. for an event to benefit House Democrats. Melissa Tomkiel, president of seaplane companies, Fly the Whale (which flies from NYC to the Hamptons and Nantucket) and Tailwind (NYC to Boston and DC), told us, “A flight restriction was issued banning operations in the NYC area due to the president’s visit on Friday for practically the whole weekend, causing major business losses and inconvenience for our passengers on the busiest weekend of the year. It is frustrating. We have had to move at least 10 flights and cancel a number of private charters, costing us thousands of dollars. We count on this weekend to get us through the quieter months of the year. This will create a perfect storm on a holiday Friday, creating air space havoc between New York City and Boston.”

President Obama has become the poster child for narcissism. His weekend schedule reflects a total disregard for other Americans attempting to enjoy their last weekend of the summer.

The Experiment Failed, There Is No Reason It Should Continue

Today’s New York Post posted an article about the calls for a cease-fire in the IsraeliGaza conflict. Michael Goodwin, who wrote the article, points out that even with a cease-fire, there is no way to return to the status quo. The discovery of the complex network of tunnels from Gaza for the purpose of attacking innocent Israelis and destroying Israel cannot be ignored.

The article reports:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu already declared that the threat caused by the tunnels means Israel cannot accept a fully sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank.

“If we were to pull out of Judea and Samaria, like they tell us to,” he said in speech four days after the war began, “there’d be a possibility of thousands of tunnels” being dug to attack Israel.

Noting that the West Bank is 20 times the size of Gaza, he said his country would never “create ­another 20 Gazas.”

Veteran Israeli journalist David Horovitz, writing in the Times of Israel, said the speech “spells the end” to any notion the prime minister would ever agree to the kind of free Palestinian state that President Obama and most of Europe, along with the Palestinians, demand.

Gaza has forfeited its right to become an independent state. It has taken the money given to its leaders for infrastructure and used it for weapons.

The article concludes:

It is not lost on Israelis that the tunnels were reinforced with steel and concrete. The supposed shortage of building materials in Gaza, routinely denounced as cruel by ­Israel’s critics, did not stop Hamas from diverting tens of thousands of tons into preparation for war.

That material could have been used to build houses, hospitals or schools. The tunnels even could have served as bomb shelters to protect Gaza’s civilians from Israeli bombs.

Instead, a determination to kill Jews took precedence over every ­aspect of life in Gaza. That included Hamas leaders urging and sometimes forcing civilians to stay in the line of fire, turning them into human shields to protect rockets and ­ammunition dumps. Nothing better illustrates the Hamas culture of ­hatred and death.

And now that nihilism, endorsed by Gazans who elected Hamas as their government, has destroyed any chance of a sovereign Palestinian state in the near future.

Naturally, much of the world will use a new Israeli hard line to accuse it of genocide and apartheid, blah blah blah. But the facts are clear: Once again, the Palestinians have only themselves to blame.

When a man who was in jail for armed robbery gets out of jail, you do not hand him a gun (or the money to buy one). Gaza was given a chance to become a sovereign state. The first thing they did was destroy the greenhouses that would have allowed them to prosper. Until they can behave, they should not be allowed to have a country.

An Invitation To Fraud

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article about fraud in ObamaCare. Because of the way ObamaCare is designed, there are ways that people can sign up using fictitious identities and not be immediately discovered.

The article reports:

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says its undercover investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts. The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony documentation.

The agency’s findings are contained in testimony to be delivered at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday. An advance copy was provided to The Associated Press.

Seto Bagdoyan, head of GAO audits and investigations, will also testify that there’s still a huge backlog of applications with data discrepancies, even though the administration has resolved some 600,000 cases.

The article lists some of the findings of the GAO:

  • Contractors processing applications for the government told the GAO that their role was not to ferret out potential fraud.
  • Five of six bogus phone applications went through successfully. The one exception involved an applicant who refused to provide a Social Security number.
  • Six online applications were snagged by an identity checking system. But investigators just dialed a call center and all six were approved. That seemed to be an open pathway to coverage.
  • The GAO also tried to check the reliability of counselors providing in-person assistance. In five out of six cases, investigators were unable to get help. In the final case, the counselor correctly told the undercover investigator that their stated income would not entitle them to subsidized coverage.

This is what happens when you have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.

 

Have You Seen Penelope?

This article is posted as a public service to the people of Park Slope in Brooklyn, New York. The New York Post reported the following today:

A hairy Mexican red rump tarantula named Penelope is on the loose in Park Slope, and her owner is frantically trying to find her before she pops out her tiny, creepy spawn.

“I know she looks crazy scary but she’s mostly harmless,” the owner says on a missing-pet sign, which includes a photo, posted in South Slope.

“She’s pregnant, so I’m hoping to find her before she has her babies. She’s mostly active at night and she tends to hide in dark corners,” it notes.

“She shouldn’t bite but sometimes she jumps,” it adds.

It has never occurred to me to be concerned about my neighbors’ choice of pets, but maybe it is something I should consider.

This is Penelope’s missing poster:

It would probably be a really good idea to call the owner quickly if you spot this animal.

Islam As A Political Rather Than A Religious Movement

Yesterday’s New York Post posted an article explaining one of the reasons for the unrest Islamists are causing around the world. The title of the article is, “The Mad Dream of a Dead Empire That Unites Islamic Rebels.” Please follow the link above to read the entire article–it is well worth your time.

The article reminds us of the basic history of Islam:

They call themselves the Army of God (Jund Allah) and claim to be fighting to unite mankind under the banner of Islam as “the only true faith.” To achieve that goal, they believe they should revive the Islamic Caliphate, the theocratic empire developed after the death of Prophet Mohammed in 632 AD.

…In recent months, a branch of the movement, known as Da’esh or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has been capturing territory in Syria. Last week, it used its Syrian base as a springboard for conquest in Iraq, ending up in control of the western parts of Mosul, the country’s third-largest city, as well as parts of Saddam Hussein’s native town of Tikrit.

The article goes on to explain that the most effective way to deal with the Islamists is to help countries form governments where Islam is a religion rather than a political system.

The article concludes:

More immediately, the US should do all it could to stop Da’esh and its Saddamite allies from destabilizing Iraq. That could mean drone attacks against Da’esh positions, logistical facilities for bringing elite Iraqi units to the battleground and energetic political action to persuade Iraqi parties to form a government of national unity.

It is time for President Obama to leave the golf course and get involved.

This Is Definitely The Other Side Of The Story

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article at Page Six about Valerie Gatto, Miss Pennsylvania, a contestant in the Miss USA pageant.

The article reports:

Miss Pennsylvania Valerie Gatto, 24, who will compete for the Miss USA crown on Sunday, told NBC’s “Today” show that she wants to use her mom’s rape experience to teach women to be more aware of sexual assault.

“Being a child of a rape, not knowing who my father is, not knowing if he’s ever been found, most people would think it’s such a negative situation,” she told the network.

“Being a voice is life-changing, and I just want to keep going.”

The article goes on the explain that her mother was raped in Pittsburgh–a man attacked her on a busy street and dragged her behind a building. The man had intended to kill her mother, but was frightened off after the rape.

The article concludes:

Now the pageant contestant uses the traumatic experience to teach others about the reality of sexual violence.

“Unfortunately, we have to be aware of these crimes,” Gatto told “Today.”

“I hope to show others how to be proactive, what to do, to be present, to be aware of your surroundings.”

She said that she hopes that winning the Miss USA pageant can provide her with a larger platform to educate and inspire people.

“There’s not that many role models for young women out there today that are actually positive and uplifting,” she told the Tribune-Review.

“That’s why I got into pageantry.”

Gatto graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh, pursued acting opportunities, and most recently won the crown in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant.

Wow.

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Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

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Tax Policies Have Consequences

Today’s New York Post posted an article about the impact of Mayor de Blasio’s proposed tax policies.

The article reports:

Taking a page out of Barack Obama’s playbook, de Blasio casts his push for a tax hike on those earning over $500,000 as a moral imperative.

“I believe it’s time to ask the wealthy to do a little more,” he said last year. He paints taxes as a matter of giving back, as though the money was taken from others.

The article also reports New Yorkers’ response to this idea:

One friend says 10 wealthy people have told him they are leaving and another says disgusted New Yorkers bought $1 billion in residential property in Florida since the November election. The Sunshine State confers an automatic tax cut of about 12 percent because it has no city or state income tax, nor does it have an inheritance tax.

Below is the Laffer Curve. It represents the fact that there is a point where you raise taxes to the point that revenue decreases. There are many reasons for this–people find ways to shield their money from taxes, people relocate to places with lower taxes, and people make a decision to earn less so that they will be taxes less. At any rate, there is a tipping point. It remains to be seen if New York City has reached it.

English: The standard Laffer Curve

English: The standard Laffer Curve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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The Dangers Of An Unjust Judge

Today’s New York Post featured the story of former Judge Mark Ciavarella, a Luzerne County Pennsylvania judge, who is now serving 28 years in prison for accepting $2.2 million as a finder’s fee for the construction of a for-profit prison facility to house the teenagers he was sentencing to jail for minor infractions.

Kids for Cash is a movie that tells the story of some of the families that were impacted by the judge’s dishonesty. The trailer for the movie can be found on YouTube:

The stories of some of the children impacted by this dishonest judge can be found at the website kidsforcashthemovie.com. Please follow the link and read the stories. After you read the stories, take some time to hug your children today.

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About Those Unemployment Numbers

John Crudele at the New York Post has done a number of stories about fraud in the reporting of the unemployment numbers. He posted a story yesterday about the Congressional investigations into this fraud, including an investigation by the House Oversight Committee and Congress’ Joint Economic Committee. He adds that he is also investigating. He is currently waiting for the Commerce Department to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request he has filed for e-mails and text messages between people in the Philadelphia Census office.

The article reports:

At the core of all these investigations is solid evidence that at least one surveyor — a guy named Julius Buckmon, working out of the Philadelphia Census office but polling in Washington, DC — submitted fake household surveys that were used in compiling the Labor Department’s unemployment rate.

Because of the scientific nature of the Labor Department survey, Buckmon’s actions alone would have affected the responses of some 500,000 households.

But as I’ve been reporting, the scam was allegedly much larger than that and included other surveyors (or enumerators as they are called) over many years. And supervisors at least two levels up are said to have known about — and covered up — the scandal.

What the investigators are looking for is that the unemployment numbers were falsified so that they would drop just before the 2012 election. In fact, the unemployment rate did drop before the election.

This is a chart from trading economics.com:

United States Unemployment Rate

Before you get too excited over the fact that unemployment may be dropping, you need to take a look at the labor force participation rate. When people stop looking for jobs, they are no longer counted as unemployed. Therefore, as the number of people who are working drops, the unemployment rate drops. That is not the way it should be, but it is the way it is. The chart below from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows what has happened to our labor force participation rate since 2009:

laborparticipationrate2014Regardless of whether or not there is fraud involved, our current unemployment numbers are very misleading. Please follow the link above to the New York Post to hear the rest of the story. There is a smoking gun. Unfortunately, the person in charge at the time is claiming that he never saw it.

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I Hope This Headline Is True

John Podhoretz posted an article at the New York Post today with the headline, “Congressional Budget Office sends death blow to ObamaCare.”

The article reports the contents of the CBO report:

The one-two punch: Virtually as many Americans will lack health coverage in 10 years as before the law was passed — but 2 million fewer will be working than if the law hadn’t passed.

One killer detail comes on Page 111, where the report projects: “As a result of the ACA, between 6 million and 7 million fewer people will have employment-based insurance coverage each year from 2016 through 2024 than would be the case in the absence of the ACA.”

The irony of the whole ObamaCare program is the fact that ObamaCare was supposedly designed to provide health insurance to some 30 million Americans who are currently without health insurance. The CBO report predicts that in 2024, under ObamaCare, 31 million Americans will be without health insurance. If you consider ObamaCare as  the ‘War on the Uninsured’ in America, it appears that it will be about as successful as the War on Poverty in America.

The article also reports:

If that’s not startling enough, there’s also the telling projection about ObamaCare’s impact on employment — “a decline in the number of full-time-equivalent workers of about 2.0 million in 2017, rising to about 2.5 million in 2024.”

Overall employment will rise, the report says, but not steady, secure, long-term assured employment. The possibility of securing government-provided health-care without employment will give people a new incentive to avoid it. “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,” the report says.

Indeed, overall, between 2017 and 2024, the actual amount of work done in this country will decline by as much as 2 percent.

It really is time to come up with an alternative to ObamaCare. I only hope Congress is up to the task.

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The Only Solution To This Is An Educated Voter Willing To Speak Out

Yesterday the New York Post reported that a leak from the IRS investigation states that the FBI does not expect to file criminal charges in the IRS targeting of conservative groups. As someone who had my taxes audited for the first time ever as a result of the URS targeting conservatives, I object. I really object.

The actions taken by the Obama Administration through the IRS were aimed at limiting free speech during an election cycle. The Obama Administration is currently busy writing a series of laws to make sure conservative free speech will also be squelched in the upcoming election.

Freedomworks reported on January 6th:

“While you were all celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Obama Administration was quietly releasing a new set of draconian IRS regulations that would make it virtually impossible for tea parties that want to participate in the political process to do their business. They’re going after conservative groups, they’re going after libertarian groups, and they’re going after citizen groups that want to organize people based on the values of the constitution; based on the ideas of freedom and have an impact on the political conversation.”

The article further explains:

“If that sounds familiar, what they’re doing is formalizing the same persecution, the same targeting that we saw coming out of the IRS leading up to the 2012 election. We need to do something about this. The time frame is very short; they are trying to jam this through the process. If we don’t make our voices heard, they are going to get away with it.”

Concerned citizens can access the IRS comment page through the website www.IRSTarget.com.

The IRS’s deadline for public responses is February 27, 2014.

If you want your freedom of speech in the future, now is the time to make some noise. Our freedom of speech is truly in danger.

 

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About Those Jobs Numbers

John Crudele at the New York Post has posted a few articles raising questions about how the Obama Administration is calculating unemployment numbers. He posted one yesterday. Mr. Crudele has pointed out that unemployment numbers are coming from the Census Bureau and that in 2010 one of its enumerators was caught fabricating interviews.

The article reports:

The Census Department surveys that went into the November jobless rate actually took place during the week that included Nov. 5 instead of the normal Nov. 12 week.

The Labor Department did put in a note about the survey week change in its November report.

But it should also have included another line that said: “The data for the unemployment rate may have been compromised. Lots of people are looking into the matter right now. We’ll get back to you on whether you should believe these numbers or not.”

John Hinderaker posted a story about the jobs numbers at Power Line today.

The article at Power Line includes the following chart:

120613-600x375

The chart shows what has happened to the labor participation rate since 2008–it dropped like a rock and stayed there.

The article at Power Line quotes James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute:

    1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans today than right before the recession started, despite a potential labor force that’s 14 million larger. And there are 3.6 million fewer full-time workers than back in 2007.

    2. The employment rate, the share of Americans with a job, is 58.6% — exactly where it was in November 2009.

    3. If the labor force participation rate were where it was a year ago, the jobless rate would be 7.9%, not 7% (and 11.3% if the LFPR were at prerecession levels, though closer to 9% if demographics-adjusted).

The article at Power Line concludes:

Back in the heady days of 2008 and 2009, the Democrats were universally confident that the economy would improve dramatically, as it always does after a recession, regardless of the policies the Democrats followed. All they would need to do was take credit when the time came. The bitter lesson of the last five years is that federal policies do matter. The American economy is diverse and resilient, but if our government’s policies are stupid enough, they can blight the prospects of an entire generation.

If you were planning to break out the champagne because of the 7 per cent unemployment rate, you might want to hold off for a little bit. If you want to turn this around, think before you vote.

 

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Changing The Numbers To Fit The Situation

Remember when 5 percent unemployment under George W. Bush meant that we were in horrible economic straits? Remember when gas prices hit $3.00 a gallon under George W. Bush and it was the end of the American economy as we knew it? Anyone else long for those days?

We are being told that the unemployment rate is currently hovering around 7 percent. We are also watching the labor participation rate fall to 62.8 percent (Investor’s Business Daily). This puts the true unemployment rate at about 11.8 percent.

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

When the economy fell into recession in December 2007, the jobless rate was 5% and the labor force participation rate was 66%. As job losses surged, unemployment doubled to 10% in October 2009, a few months after the recession officially ended. The jobless rate slowly began to edge down, but held at 9% or above for nearly two years, and above 8% for nearly three years.

But the drop largely reflected job market weakness rather than strength. During this time, labor force participation steadily fell. In October 2009, when official unemployment peaked, participation was 65%. A year later it was 64.4%. Now, more than four years into the expansion, it’s 62.8%, the lowest in 35 years.

But wait–there’s more. The New York Post reported yesterday that Congress will begin an investigation on how unemployment numbers have been calculated and released particularly during the run-up to the 2012 election.

The article at the New York Post reports:

Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command.

On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election.

In 2009, before the 2010 census was taken, the White House changed the rules on how the census would be reported. The Census Bureau would report to senior White House aides. I will admit that at the time I thought this would result in some population statistics being altered to increase the number of votes in blue states and decrease the number of votes in red states. It didn’t occur to me at the time that these numbers could also be used to skew unemployment data.

The New York Post continues:

Back in 2010, I started getting reports that the Census Bureau had some very unusual hiring practices. Census takers and supervisors — at risk of heavy fines — were reporting to me that large numbers of people were being hired only to be fired shortly afterward. And then rehired.

I theorized at the time that Census was trying to make the job-creation totals look better nationwide in those bleak months leading up to the midterm congressional elections.

This employment policy seemed too coordinated. The regional higher-ups at Census couldn’t be doing this on their own; there had to be a grander plan.

I still don’t know what was going on.

But then I heard about the falsification in Philly. This time, however, it wasn’t the employment numbers that were being doodled with. This time it was the unemployment data, which are gathered at the Census Bureau and handed over raw to the Labor Department.

Please follow the link and read the entire story. Unfortunately most of the media is unaware of this or ignoring it. As voters, all of us need to be aware of what is taking place here.

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Why In The World Should We Support These People???

Today’s New York Post posted an article about a recent beheading by the Syrian rebels.

The article reports:

A group of Al Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels beheaded a fighter then triumphantly waved his head in the air as a trophy — only to discover the poor guy was actually one of their own, London’s The Telegraph reports.

…The rebel group apologized for the gruesome case of mistaken identity on Thursday , asking for “understanding and forgiveness.”

There was no remorse at all about beheading someone–the remorse was that they beheaded one of their own. Is this the level of civilization that we need to encourage or fund?

 

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