DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Archive for the 'Your tax dollars at work – and play.' Category

S.F. Teachers Miss More School Than Students on Average

20th August 2014

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While absenteeism is usually considered a student matter, in San Francisco – and many other districts – the average teacher misses more school than the average child.

If last year’s numbers hold steady, the 4,100 teachers in San Francisco, on average, will each be absent about 11 times this school year, about once every three weeks. That’s four to five days more than a typical student, out of 180 days total.

About seven of those days were for sick or personal leave, and the rest were training days offered or required by the district.

While the teacher absentee rate is about average, or even a smidge below average, for large urban districts across the country, it’s a lot higher than other industries, where the typical worker takes about four sick or personal days over an entire year.

Look for … the Union label….

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Employers Hiring More Part-Time Workers Due to Obamacare

20th August 2014

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Employers were also asked what effects Obamacare is having on their labor forces. Over 21% of manufacturers and nearly 17% of service firms say they reduced the number of employees because of the law, while only about 2% of each have hired more workers. What’s more, nearly 20% of both manufacturers and service firms say that Obamacare has pushed them to increase their proportion of part-time workers, but just under 5% of each type of firm said they have lowered them. Presumably this is due to the perverse incentives from Obamacare’s employer mandate.

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DREAMer Who Killed Two Girls in Hit and Run Won’t Be Deported, Still Protected by DACA

20th August 2014

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Cinthya Garcia-Cisneros, an illegal immigrant who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child and was shielded from deportation by DACA, was convicted of two counts of felony hit and run after she killed two Forest Grove, Oregon stepsisters — Anna Dieter-Eckerdt and Abigail Robinson ages 6 and 11 respectively — playing in a leaf pile last October.

Last week, as OregonLive.com reported Tuesday, a judge dismissed a deportation case against Garcia-Cisneros and as a result of the ruling, her attorney says she is able to go back under the protections of DACA — meaning she can obtain a work permit and Social Security number.

How about that for Diversity?

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The Meltdown

20th August 2014

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In July, after Germany trounced Brazil 7–1 in the semifinal match of the World Cup—including a first-half stretch in which the Brazilian soccer squad gave up an astonishing five goals in 19 minutes—a sports commentator wrote: “This was not a team losing. It was a dream dying.” These words could equally describe what has become of Barack Obama’s foreign policy since his second inauguration. The president, according to the infatuated view of his political aides and media flatterers, was supposed to be playing o jogo bonito, the beautiful game—ending wars, pressing resets, pursuing pivots, and restoring America’s good name abroad.

Instead, he crumbled.

The term “feckless” seems invented specifically to describe the Obama administration.

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ObamaCare Tax Not Meeting Revenue Target Because Companies Not Paying, Audit Finds

20th August 2014

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The audit by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration says the IRS needs to do a better job policing the tax. The tax agency, however, doesn’t have adequate tools to identify which companies owe it, the audit said.

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Power Plant Regs Spur New Union Rebellion for Obama Administration

19th August 2014

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Labor unions for years have hounded the Obama White House over allegations that officials are dragging their feet in making a final decision on the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline.

But labor organizations are now piping up regarding an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The rules are intended to curb global warming.

Last week, Edwin Hill, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), penned an op-ed claiming the plan would “have a dramatic impact on the American economy but only a minimal effect on global carbon emissions.”

Hill claimed the EPA plan is a “classic example of federal tunnel vision—focusing on a single goal with little heed for the costs and dangers.” He predicted the plan would kill roughly “52,000 permanent direct jobs in utilities, mining and rail and at least another 100,000 jobs in related industries” – losses that would fall particularly hard on rural communities.

The E.P.A. is one of the reasons that Richard Nixon will burn in Hell for all eternity.

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Westerners Fear Monumental Land Grab by Obama Administration

19th August 2014

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Utah officials are scrambling to prevent the Obama administration from locking down thousands of acres of land in their backyard, as federal officials consider up to a dozen possible national monument designations – all in western states.

The Antiquities Act gives U.S. presidents the authority to unilaterally declare public lands as national monuments at the stroke of a pen, with no input from the public unless they choose to seek it.

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Report: Big Government Is to Blame for Soaring College Costs

18th August 2014

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But you knew that.

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The People Designing Your Cities Don’t Care What You Want

18th August 2014

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What is a city for?

It’s a crucial question, but one rarely asked by the pundits and developers who dominate the debate over the future of the American city.

Their current conventional wisdom embraces density, sky-high scrapers, vastly expanded mass transit and ever-smaller apartments. It reflects a desire to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers. It’s city as adult Disneyland or “entertainment machine,” chock-a-block with chic restaurants, shops and festivals.

Overlooked, or even disdained, is what most middle-class residents of the metropolis actually want: home ownership, rapid access to employment throughout the metropolitan area, good schools and “human scale” neighborhoods.

In 2013, Houston alone had more housing starts than the entire state of California.

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Store Owners ‘Use Their Own Guns’ as Police Back Away in Ferguson

17th August 2014

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Looters in Ferguson, Missouri, were “met with little police resistance” as business owners say they “were forced to protect their businesses with their own guns” on Friday.

A reporter from Fox2Now even said “police cars were seen driving past some of the stores being looted and did not respond.”

Makes you wonder where all that tax money is going. If the police are being militarized, it’s hard to figure out what military they’re emulating.

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Rick Perry and the Democrats’ pattern of “lawfare” against rising Republicans

17th August 2014

Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine gives a lawyer’s  perspective.

The Perry indictment also fits a pattern of harassment via the legal process of prominent Republican governors: Sarah Palin, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and now Perry.

What do these four have in common? Why, they all are (or were) potentially viable candidates for the national office.

Invocation of the legal process against Christie may well be warranted. (So too with Bob McDonnell, whom I didn’t include in my list because, although once vaguely mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, his prospects never approached those of the other four). In the cases of Palin, Walker, and Perry, the charges seem plainly to have been ginned up in the hope of derailing the governors’ prospects for national office.

This sort of thing is standard operating procedure in countries like Russia and China. Now it is becoming part of the Democrats’ playbook.

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This Indictment Of Rick Perry Is Unbelievably Ridiculous

17th August 2014

Jonathan Chait, liberal columnist, can even see it.

They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry. The “crime” for which Perry faces a sentence of 5 to 99 years in prison is vetoing funding for a state agency. The conventions of reporting —  which treat the fact of an indictment as the primary news, and its merit as a secondary analytic question —  make it difficult for people reading the news to grasp just how farfetched this indictment is.

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Texas Democrats vs. the Rule of Law

17th August 2014

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It is only logical that it is a bad thing to have a state official whose job is to investigate corruption charged with drunk driving. Yet because she is a Democrat and the governor is a Republican, Lehmberg refused to resign for strictly partisan reasons. The governor then exercised his prerogative in an effort to force Lehmberg to do the right thing — and Democrats then decided that the governor’s exercise of lawful authority was a crime.

 

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Report: Tax Credits Meant to Help Poor Communities Spent on Doggie Day Care, Sculptures, Breweries

14th August 2014

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Hey, it’s free money, right?

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Immigrant Children to Be Classified as ‘Homeless’ to Avoid School Enrollment Documentation Requirements

14th August 2014

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By hook or by crook, they will.

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Report: Companies Desperate to Avoid ObamaCare ‘Cadillac Tax’ Shifting Costs to Workers

14th August 2014

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When will politicians learn that businesses don’t pay taxes, they merely act as an unwilling tax collection agent for the government; the people who actually pay the taxes are their customers, their employees, or their shareholders.

The “Cadillac tax” was originally intended to take effect sooner, but unions and other groups convinced officials to delay it until 2018, reducing the anticipated income from $137 billion to $80 billion over ten years. But many analysts predict it will be far less than that.

Henry Aaron of the Brookings Institution said, before then, it’s expected that most of the businesses that offer that form of insurance will back off and make the insurance less generous, so the tax won’t bite.”

And this is one of the ways Obamacare is supposed to improve health care coverage….

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Study: You Have ‘Near-Zero’ Impact on U.S. Policy

13th August 2014

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My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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Immigrant Students Flood Georgia School Registration Office

13th August 2014

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The report comes as the Department of Education has made it clear that illegal immigrant students are “entitled to” public eduction and the southern border is in crisis with tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally — many of whom are later placed with a sponsor in the U.S. as they await immigration hearings.

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New book: Being assigned to Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service detail “a form of punishment”

13th August 2014

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Ronald Kessler’s book, “First Family Detail,” is filled with salacious revelations about the secret personal lives of the nation’s most high-profile political leaders. But the authenticity of those revelations has been called into question over factual inaccuracies in the book, as well as its reliance on anonymous Secret Service agents.

“She is so nasty to agents that being assigned to her detail is considered a form of punishment,” Kessler told “Top Line” of Clinton, who continues to receive Secret Service protection as a former first lady.

Hey, at least with Bill there’s a chance of some nookie….

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65 Promises President Obama Broke

13th August 2014

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Kid’s got talent.

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Portland Transit Implodes

13th August 2014

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Portland’s first light-rail line is only 28 years old, but it is already wearing out. Moreover, the most worn-out part happens to be a segment that all of Portland’s light-rail lines use. Shutting down this segment means shutting down the entire system.

TriMet, Portland’s transit agency, planned to have shuttle buses move passengers around the work, but the plan apparently didn’t work very well. To make matters worse, Portland temperatures rose above 90 degrees, leading TriMet to issue slow orders for all of its trains to avoid damage to wires or derailments due to kinks in the tracks. Funny; buses don’t have to slow down when the mercury rises.

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Nancy Pelosi, Tom Steyer’s Hedge Fund, and a Billion Taxpayer Dollars

12th August 2014

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A top House Democrat to whom billionaire liberal Tom Steyer has donated campaign funds steered more than a billion dollars to an infrastructure project that benefitted his hedge fund.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Motto of the Crust: One hand washes the other.

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White House Loses War With Washington’s Revolving Door

12th August 2014

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(Assuming that there ever was one, in more than words, with which this Administration is profligate.)

President Barack Obama has failed to stop Washington’s revolving door despite his promise that lobbyists would not find a place in his White House, according to Politico.

Politico found that the Obama administration has hired 70 previously registered lobbyists to hold some of its most senior positions. The outlet also found was that “at least two dozen Obama administration veterans can be found all over town in advocacy, strategy or consulting gigs.”

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Obama Surpasses 400 Fundraiser Events As President

11th August 2014

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Guess we know where his priorities are.

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The Un-Midas Touch

11th August 2014

Victor Davis Hanson points out some inconvenient truth.

Everything that Barack Obama touches seems to turn to dross. Think of it for a minute. He inherited a quiet Iraq (no American combat deaths at all in December 2009). Joe Biden bragged of the calm that it would be the administration’s “greatest achievement.” But by pulling out all U.S. peacekeepers — mostly for a 2012 reelection talking point — Obama ensured an ISIS wasteland. He put his promised eye on Afghanistan at last, and we have lost more soldiers there than during the Bush administration and a Taliban victory seems likely after more than a decade of lost American blood and treasure. The message seems to be that it is better for Obama to have his eye off something than on it.

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Obamas Go on 12-Day Martha’s Vineyard Vacation Amid Global Crises

8th August 2014

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‘King Putt’ at his finest.

He just wants to be President, he doesn’t want to be bothered to do President.

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$11 Billion Later, High-Speed Rail Is Inching Along

8th August 2014

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — High-speed rail was supposed to be President Obama’s signature transportation project, but despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009 to develop faster passenger trains, the projects have gone mostly nowhere and the United States still lags far behind Europe and China.

Don’t look at me, YOU voted for him.

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Maine Regulators Shutter Boat-Based Small Business

8th August 2014

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Yet another example of how heavy-handed regulations are killing small businesses.

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Inspectors General: Watchdog Investigations Stymied by Federal Agencies

8th August 2014

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At least three government agencies obstructed independent investigations into alleged wrongdoing, according to a letter sent to congressional oversight leaders Tuesday by 47 independent federal watchdogs.

The 47 Inspectors General (IG) said the Justice Department, the Peace Corps, and the Chemical Safety Board withheld information from their offices, citing various privileges.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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$11.3 Million Worth of Democrat

7th August 2014

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THE GOVERNOR’S State House digs just underwent “a museum quality” makeover.

It cost $11.3 million, ran $2 million over budget, and brings Deval Patrick’s interior decorating muse full circle.

When Patrick first took office, he was criticized for spending $27,000 of taxpayer money on new curtains and furniture. As he exits eight years later, he leaves behind a renovated suite that features historically accurate crown moldings and paint color, along with six plasma screen TVs and the equipment necessary for not-yet-installed facial recognition security cameras.

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New Name for Obama: ‘King Putt’

7th August 2014

I like it.

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In 1997, the FDA Set Out to Regulate Tic Tacs. They’re Still at It.

7th August 2014

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Begun in 1997, the push to regulate the labels on Tic Tacs, Certs, and other breath fresheners has recently been restarted with a new 145-page document after the first one was withdrawn for being outdated. But that first document spawned a host of other documents from a rogues gallery of agencies about the all-important question of portion size.

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Obama’s Corporatist Constitution

6th August 2014

Mickey Kaus blows the whistle.

Corporatism’s easy — you just get the leaders of society’s various bodily organs in a room and work the sucker out.  It’s especially easier to impose regulations on a few big players, who can foot the bill or pass it on, than on a near-infinite number of small players. That’s one reason modern liberals tend to accept corporatism when they should know better.

Maybe we shouldn’t read too much into a press conference, but Obama certainly seems to be groping for a formal argument here that would set out the circumstances in which he is justified in bypassing the legislature described in the Constitution — Congress — and acting on his own. The argument would be: “Where the key interest groups of society — business, labor, religious organizations and the MSM (who else is going to anoint a bill “common sense … legislation”?) — are lined up behind a policy, then if Congress doesn’t act, the President can.

In short, it’s an argument for bypassing archaic elected legacy institutions when they stand in the way of modern government by interest group elites.

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

5th August 2014

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A Denver bar has been cited by the state’s Division of Civil Rights for discrimination because it refused to let a gay man dressed in drag enter. The bar is the Denver Wrangler, and despite what its name might suggest, it is not some Country Western joint. It is, in fact, a gay bar. So the state has determined that a gay bar has discriminated against a gay person.

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The Real Cost of Ethanol

5th August 2014

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In Delaware, the poultry and petroleum industries have been hammered by the ethanol mandate.

Because corn and soybeans are more expensive thanks to the biofuels industry, the cost of livestock feed has gone up.

It creates “a very uneven playing field for chicken companies to compete for necessary feedstuffs,” said Tom Super, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, the poultry industry trade group based in Washington, D.C.

The bottom line: over $44 billion nationally in higher actual chicken feed costs, Super said.

“Adding together the higher cumulative feed costs for chicken, turkey, table eggs and hogs, the total is almost $100 billion in additional feed costs,” he said. “Also higher feed costs for other agricultural animal producers, such as dairy and beef cattle, would add measurably to the $100 billion cost.”

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Barney Frank on the White House Rollout of Obamacare: “They just lied to people.”

4th August 2014

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Well, there you have it: Straight from the Democrat’s mouth.

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NY Port Authority Claims to Own The NYC Skyline: Tells Store to Destroy Skyline-Themed Plates

3rd August 2014

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What is it with insane NY-related bureaucrats and their attempts to “own” things? In the past, we’ve covered how New York State is a pretty big trademark bully over the “I ? NY” phrase, and did you know that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) claims ownership over the phrase “If you see something, say something”? And, now, we find out that the controversy-ridden Port Authority of NY and NJ appears to be claiming ownership of the NYC skyline. No joke. It apparently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Fishs Eddy, a housewares store in Manhattan that is selling some city themed dishes.

Well: (a) New York, and (b) bureaucrats. ‘Nuff said.

Bet: These guys are mostly, if not all, Democrats. This is the way Democrats think. ‘All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.’

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Millman: The Sailer v. Florida Strategies

1st August 2014

Steve Sailer blows the whistle.

For a long time I’ve been pointing out that a number of liberal cities and suburbs that vote Democratic in Presidential elections adopt policies that have negative disparate impact on blacks and Hispanics, making housing expensive and diminishing the number of lower end jobs. Noah Millman has now christened this the Sailer Strategy in contrast to the Florida Strategy of the (confusingly named) Richard Florida.

But of course, my contribution has been less advocacy of these liberal measures but exposure of what they are up to. My moral stance is that everybody all across the country is entitled to be aware of what’s going on in liberal cities.

For example, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to drive out a sizable fraction of poor black Chicagoans and have them resettle in small towns in the Midwest. Any small town / small city opposition to his ethnic cleansing strategy can be denounced as racist, and Rahm’s former colleagues in the Justice Department can be sicced upon the recalcitrant. It’s a giant game of Hot Potato that is being played, and my view is that everybody is entitled to know what’s going on.

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Former Employees Allege Widespread Illegality at Taxpayer-Backed Solar Company

1st August 2014

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A solar company backed by billions in stimulus funds routinely violated U.S. immigration law, workplace safety codes, and environmental regulations, replaced American workers with foreigners, and may be on the verge of bankruptcy, former employees tell the Washington Free Beacon.

The employees describe a pervasive culture of illegality and irresponsibility at the highest levels of the politically connected Spanish solar firm Abengoa.

Despite receiving $2.6 billion in taxpayer backing through President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, they say, the company brazenly flouts U.S. laws that could slow production or hurt its bottom line.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

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House Committee Investigating FCC Waiver to Obama Donor

1st August 2014

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A House committee will investigate the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to allow a waiver granting favorable status in wireless auctions to an Obama donor, the committee announced Thursday.

Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton (R., Mich.) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asking for information and documents relating to the designation of Grain Management, LLC as a “designated entity” last week.

The status will allow the company to receive discounts designed for small businesses when bidding for wireless licenses. David Grain, a major bundler for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, owns the firm.

Democrats: The best political party that money can buy.

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5 Ways the ‘Billionaires’ Club’ Runs the EPA

31st July 2014

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According to a new report from the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, a “club of billionaires” including Tom Steyer and Hank Paulson has effectively hijacked the Environmental Protection Agency for its own purposes – to grow the EPA and regulate the economy from stem to stern.

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How Obamacare Made Health Insurance Industry ‘Villains’ Into White House Partners

30th July 2014

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Recall, for a moment, how health insurers were treated by Democrats in the Obamacare debate. They were the bad guys, in no uncertain terms. “They’ve been immoral all along,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), then the House Majority Leader said in July 2009, as the debate over the government-run public option raged. “They [insurers] are the villains in this. They have been part of the problem in a major way.”

Democrats found some success in casting insurers as the antagonists, and made a show of targeting health insurers. “It is well known to the public that the health insurance companies are the problem,” Pelosi said in October as she warned insurers how much the health law would cost them.

So, how did Obamacare end up punishing the big, bad insurance company villains? By creating a federal program to help cover their costs in the event of higher than anticipated spending—and then expanding that program at the request of the insurers following the launch of the health law’s exchanges last year.

They just wanted them on board. The National Socialists had this “join us or die” tactic down to a science.

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Government-Funded Study: Why Is Wikipedia Sexist?

30th July 2014

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is spending over $200,000 to find out why Wikipedia is sexist.

The government has awarded two grants for collaborative research to professors at Yale University and New York University to study what the researchers describe as “systematic gender bias” in the online encyclopedia.

I’m a sexist, you’re a sexist, he’s a sexist, she’s a sexist, wouldn’t you like to be a sexist too?

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One Box of Sudafed Over the Line: Florida Woman Arrested for Trying to Relieve Allergy Symptoms

29th July 2014

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While shopping with her husband in Quincy, Florida, on July 19, 2010, Mickey Goodson stopped by a Winn-Dixie drugstore to pick up some allergy pills. The pharmacist on duty suggested she buy two boxes of Sudafed, which she did. Thus began Goodson’s entanglement with the criminal justice system, which featured searches of her car and home, along with drug charges that were not dropped until September 2011.

My advice: Avoid Florida.

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Illegal Immigrants Protest Outside White House, With Little Fear of Repercussions

29th July 2014

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Illegal immigrant demonstrators were protesting outside the White House on Monday – but don’t expect America’s immigration officers to intervene.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official indicated that even if the protesters end up getting arrested by D.C. police, they’d have to be serious criminals for ICE to get involved.

“Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case,” the official told FoxNews.com.

Gee, I thought that apprehending criminals wherever found was an ‘enforcement priority’ for any law enforcement agency. Guess I was wrong.

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Intervention Leads to More Intervention

28th July 2014

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Shipping oil by train is much more dangerous than shipping by pipeline. But the federal government has a number of regulations that slow or even prevent building of pipelines. One intervention–preventing the construction of pipelines–leads oil to be carried in more hazardous ways. In response, the government does not reduce the regulation that slows the building of pipelines. Instead it regulates shipping by train.

High taxes motivate businesses to move their operations overseas. The government’s response is not to improve the tax climate, but rather to make it illegal to move operations overseas. Same principle.

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Is Detroit’s New Light Rail Line America’s Greatest Boondoggle?

27th July 2014

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Hint: Quite possibly.

A $137 million three-mile train is coming to a nearly deserted avenue in a bankrupt city.

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Sun, Wind and Drain

27th July 2014

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SUBSIDIES for renewable energy are one of the most contested areas of public policy. Billions are spent nursing the infant solar- and wind-power industries in the hope that they will one day undercut fossil fuels and drastically reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere. The idea seems to be working. Photovoltaic panels have halved in price since 2008 and the capital cost of a solar-power plant—of which panels account for slightly under half—fell by 22% in 2010-13. In a few sunny places, solar power is providing electricity to the grid as cheaply as conventional coal- or gas-fired power plants.

But whereas the cost of a solar panel is easy to calculate, the cost of electricity is harder to assess. It depends not only on the fuel used, but also on the cost of capital (power plants take years to build and last for decades), how much of the time a plant operates, and whether it generates power at times of peak demand. To take account of all this, economists use “levelised costs”—the net present value of all costs (capital and operating) of a generating unit over its life cycle, divided by the number of megawatt-hours of electricity it is expected to supply.

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Obama Rejects Kurds’ Plea for Help Against ISIS

26th July 2014

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President Obama famously failed to act when warned that ISIS was preparing to mount an offensive in Western Iraq. This left ISIS free to conquer, with virtually no resistance, city after city in the defense of which American soldiers have shed blood.

Now Obama is receiving new warnings, this time from the Kurds in Northern Iraq. In fact, according to the Washington Post, the Kurds are “pleading for U.S. military aid.”

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the Obama administration has rejected Kurdish pleas for arms with which to fight ISIS. Its rationale is that assistance must come through the central government.

But the central government is (a) dysfunctional and (b) unwilling to lift a finger to help the Kurds in any case. In fact, the Iraq government’s unwillingness to “play nice” with the Kurds has been part of the Obama administration’s rationale for not doing more to help the government.

 

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Convicted Ex-Los Angeles Councilman Will Continue Collecting Six-Figure Pension

25th July 2014

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Hey, he stole that money fair and square.

Former Los Angeles Councilman Richard AlarcónCredit: SEIU International / photo on flickrRichard Alarcón’s was convicted of four felonies this week, including voter fraud and perjury. It turned out he lied about where he lived in 2007 and 2009 in order to represent the city’s District 7. His wife was also convicted of three counts.

But he will keep his pension, which totals $116,000 a year for that short stint on the City Council.

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