sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review of the News



A Review of the News for July 29, 2013
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The Benghazi Scandal


Glen Doherty's Libya assignment was supposed to be his last for the CIA. He had been offered a more comfortable job in the private sector that would have allowed him to get out of the line of fire. He told his future employer that he had one last job to do. That job was in Libya. On Sept. 11, his last assignment was in Benghazi -- Clinton lied, Obama lied and people died.

The only way that the Democratic Party can get Hillary (What does it matter?) Clinton elected as president is if they can convince people that the Benghazi Massacre didn't happen - or if it did, "who cares"?

It's a SNAP!

SNAP, the U.S. food stamp program, has become a conduit for redistributing wealth in the socialist/progressive program to fundamentally transform America. That's not news. The interesting statistics that fall from this: At the end of January 2009, 32.2 million Americans received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid. As of April 2013, there were 47.5 million Americans on food stamps. Using the White House's job growth number, the 15 million increase in recipients means more than two people went on food stamps for each job the administration says it has created. (Source: IBD)
The US Department of Agriculture estimates that 101 million people take part in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal 2012. That compares with America's 97.2 million full-time private-sector workers in 2012. 
Food Stamp Nation is now larger than the entire U.S. private-sector work force. That's food for thought.
The Obama Job Numbers

The unemployment statistics in America only measure people who are receiving unemployment insurance and disregard the self-employed who lost work and those who fell off the unemployment payment rolls since they never did find work. Since February 2009, the first full month of Obama's presidency, 9.5 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force. Nearly 90 million working-age Americans are not working today. Doing the math, 1.3 Americans have dropped out of the labor force for every job the administration claims to have created. (IBD ibid) The Obama Administration fails to report how many jobs created are part time (particularly do to the disastrous ObamaCare program).

And nobody in the mainstream media calls them on it. How convenient.

Hollywood Report: Series Review - The Bridge (FX)

The new television series, The Bridge (on FX) follows two police detectives in their efforts to investigate a series of murders along the border of El Paso, TX/Juarez, CH. Diane Kruger plays Detective Sonya Cross, a homicide detective from El Paso with Asperger syndrome. Demian Bichir plays her partner, Marco Ruiz, a homicide detective from the Chihuahua State Police.
Verdict: Worth Watching!
Obama Lies

Yes, ordinarily this would not be news. And I realize that the New York Times, sion of the Mainstream Media, usually does not criticize their hero, but -- they have changed their tune only slightly and only occasionally as with this piece. (NY Times) President Obama pledged not to take campaign money from lobbyists. He lets his bundlers, who supervise lobbyists but are not registered lobbyists themselves, take money on his behalf (PAY TO PLAY!). Remember that in this second term, Obama needs to rape, pillage and plunder because he gets to pocket all of the campaign money in his war chest when he leaves office. If you need a favor from Obama, you need to get a hold of a "bundler", and pay them. They will take a "commission" since they're friends of the President and then Obama will act on the bribe.

It just makes me so proud to be an American.

Demonstration

This is how you're supposed to share a picture of a weiner with your friends (see left). The concept would seem to be lost on residents of New York City (the Big Apple) as they continue to give their unflagging support to disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner, who is running for mayor and is famous for showing pictures of his "weiner" to women that he meets on-line.

We know that Anthony is mighty proud of his penis, but he needs to stop running for public office and get a job as a Boy Scout Camp Counsellor. Under their new guidelines, he'd fit right in.

Burning Man 2013

The event begins on Monday, August 26. To some, Burning Man is an art show. To others, an opportunity to share sexually transmitted diseases. However the participants decide to enjoy it, the Burning Man will be launching -- yet again.

Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.  It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in art and radical self expression.




Exploring Public Safety Pensions (Part 3)

Exploring Public Safety Pensions (Part 1) explored how public safety pensions came into being, the forces that influenced the process, etc. It is not intended to be a polemic, only an overview. In Part 2, we turned to the recent case of Orange County California vs The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. In Part 3, we look at the core problem more specifically and discuss what can be done to curb pension abuses, with a specific eye on California, since the problem there is so acute.

For most of the voting public, public safety pensions for police officers, state troopers, and deputy sheriffs is not really the core problem.

In California, as with other states and jurisdictions, other groups who were not front line law enforcement saw that police officers were getting generous pensions and wanted in on the action. Prison guards, probation officers and others wanted the same deal that the police got, and they pushed for it even though they didn't fit in the same category.

Whether or not they were successful was largely a measure of how much of their salaries they were willing to give up on the front end to pay politicians who would reward them on the back end.
It always comes down to quid pro quo - pay to play.
California was particularly beat up by this situation since the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), the prison guard's union is very powerful. Again, the members figured out early on that if they wanted better pay and benefits, the only way to do it was to legally pay off legislators in Sacramento. There are over 31,000 prison guards in California and they all contributed generously to their political action committees. The result was that they received the same generous pension arrangement that the California Highway Patrol/State Police received. Even though the public wouldn't have gone along with it, their representatives in the legislature passed it into law because they were paid by the union to do so.
Lobbying efforts and campaign contributions by the CCPOA have helped secure passage of many legislative bills favorable to union members, including bills that increase prison terms, member pay, and enforce current drug laws. The CCPOA takes the position that correctional officers perform an essential public service that puts in great danger, and strives for a safer California. The flip side is that the more people are in prison, the more secure the jobs are for the prison guards. I'm not being a cynic. This is the source of behind the scenes money pushing the effort to enact many tougher laws in California. Is it really better for California? The guards don't care. And yes, the tail wags the dog.
The only solution to out-of-control unions is to create legislation that curbs the ability of politicians to receive contributions from people upon whose salaries they vote. This problem will end when politicians are not able to vote in conflict of interest. For example: If you want to build a freeway off-ramp somewhere and pay your politician to vote public funds to do that so that your company gets the contract, that is a felony. It's a bribe. It's wrong. The same standard needs to be applied to politicians who vote on employee pay and benefits. The solution is not complicated.