Saturday, February 27, 2010
The federal government fell further into the red in 2009, with its financial position hitting a deficit of $11.46 trillion.
That figure is 12.3 percent higher than the previous year, according to a new report issued by the Treasury Department on Friday.
The annual report shows that the government's big entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare are facing a deficit over the next 75 years of $45.88 trillion, an increase in that deficit of $2.9 trillion in just one year.
The $11.46 trillion deficit in the government's net financial position in 2009 represents an increase of $1.25 trillion over 2008. The position reflects the government's assets, such as cash, property and investments, minus liabilities, such as the federal debt held by the public.
The new figures are included in the "2009 Financial Report of the United States Government." For more than a decade, Congress has required the executive branch to produce the report to provide a more accurate picture of the government's liabilities. It uses the accrual method of accounting rather than the cash system used in reporting the federal government's annual budget deficits.
Hey Wen Jiabao, do you guys have an extra 45 Trillion laying around so we can pay off some debt?
Kind of funny how the government uses a form of accounting very similar to Enron. You may know Enron as the company where many people went to prison for fraud and many people lost their life savings as a result.
In this case we just call that business as usual in Washington DC.
A late-night demonstration over turned violent in Berkeley when protesters broke into a campus building, torched trash cans, smashed windows and threw rocks and bottles at police, authorities said Friday.
Police arrested two people near the University of California, Berkeley campus, said Officer Andrew Frankel, a spokesman for the.
The unrest began around 11 p.m. Thursday after a crowd of more than 100 people gathered on campus for an open-air dance party to build support for an upcoming statewide protest over education funding cuts.
Students and activists have staged demonstrations in recent months at public colleges across California to protest deep budget cuts that have led to steep tuition hikes, enrollment cuts, faculty furloughs and reduced .
In Berkeley, about 50 people broke through a fence surrounding Durant Hall, which is closed for renovation, and about 20 entered and occupied the building, said Cpt. Margo Bennett of the UC Police Department.
The group smashed windows, sprayed graffiti, damaged construction equipment, knocked over portable toilets and hung up a banner promoting the March 4 rally, UC officials said. Others blocked police from entering the building.
UC police is investigating the incident, Bennett said. It's unclear how many of the people involved were UC Berkeley students.
The crowd later marched to nearby Telegraph Avenue, where protesters broke the glass doors of a Subway restaurant and set fire to trash bins, Frankel said.
More than 40 police officers from several local agencies arrived to subdue the crowd, which pelted the riot gear-clad officers with rocks, beer bottles and other projectiles, Frankel said. Two officers suffered minor injuries.
The two people arrested were 28-year-old Marika Goodrich and 26-year-old Zachary Miller, Frankel said. They were booked on charges that includeand inciting a riot.
Yesterday, I posted about the greek riots, noting that they'd beat California by about 80 days in violent riots against the state. I guess I was off by about 79 days.......
What's so "progressive" about riots against the state?
Friday, February 26, 2010
Ouch...... from a democrat no less.
Rep. Charles Rangel, the influential chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, was publicly admonished by the House ethics panel Thursday for taking trips to the Caribbean that were paid for by private corporations.
Rangel, a New York Democrat and 39-year veteran of Congress, has been at the center of multiple ethics probes. At a Capitol Hill news conference, he said that he was "disturbed" by the result of the panel's eight-month investigation and that he would let the "community make its own judgment."
The trips, to Antigua in 2007 and St. Maarten in 2008 were sponsored by a foundation with ties to a Caribbean newspaper, according to the panel's report. The committee said it could not determine the source of all of the money used for the trips.
It's pretty clear that USA Today needs to hire better fact checkers. Because we all know that democrats are working for the little guys. They would never take money for such extravagances like caribbean vacations.
Well maybe if he loses his job he'll have time to get his tax returns in line with the laws he actually votes on....
Well things aren't exactly hoppin' right now for the Greeks......
Violence marred a day of strikes in Greece as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Athens to protest wage freezes and tax increases.
Riot police wielding shields and batons patrolled the demonstrations in Syndagma Square, and were attacked by protestors throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.
Many rioters carried red flags on wooden sticks, and used these to beat back at the police.
Tear gas was also used by police to subdue students who they say tried to storm the University building.
The strike was called by public and private unions across the country, and shut down public transportation, hospitals, schools, airports and government offices.
I will say this for the Greeks. They beat the US by about 10 years. They beat California by about 80 days.
Mayor Dave Bing said Wednesday he "absolutely" intends to relocate residents from desolate neighborhoods and is bracing for inevitable legal challenges when he unveils his downsizing plan.
In his strongest statements about shrinking the city since taking office, Bing told WJR-760 AM the city is using internal and external data to decide "winners and losers." The city plans to save some neighborhoods and encourage residents to move from others, he said.
"If we don't do it, you know this whole city is going to go down. I'm hopeful people will understand that," Bing said. "If we can incentivize some of those folks that are in those desolate areas, they can get a better situation.""If they stay where they are I absolutely cannot give them all the services they require."
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Last fall, a woman went to court in the Bronx to testify that she had been violently assaulted by a top aide to Gov. David A. Paterson, and to seek a protective order against the man.
In the ensuing months, she returned to court twice to press her case, complaining that the State Police had been harassing her to drop it. The State Police, which had no jurisdiction in the matter, confirmed that the woman was visited by a member of the governor’s personal security detail.
Then, just before she was due to return to court to seek a final protective order, the woman got a phone call from the governor, according to her lawyer. She failed to appear for her next hearing on Feb. 8, and as a result her case was dismissed.
Many details of the governor’s role in this episode are unclear, but the accounts presented in court and police records and interviews with the woman’s lawyer and others portray a brutal encounter, a frightened woman and an effort to make a potential political embarrassment go away.
The case involved David W. Johnson, 37, who had risen from working as Mr. Paterson’s driver and scheduler to serving in the most senior ranks of the administration, but who also had a history of altercations with women.
On Wednesday night, in response to inquiries from The New York Times, Mr. Paterson said in a statement that he would request that Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo investigate his administration’s handling of the matter. The governor also said he would suspend Mr. Johnson without pay.
Where's BJ Clinton or Ted Kennedy when you need them?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Here's what Terry buddy doesn't tell the news.
1) He might have been current on his mortgage but his residence was put up as collateral for a business loan which he defaulted on. He might have been current on his mortgage but if he used money from his business to pay his mortgage and not his business loan, what's the difference?
2) Good citizen Terry also fails to mention that he owes over $30,000 in delinquent real estate taxes. How long should Terry here be allowed to live in a place without paying for the schools and infrastructure in his community?
3) He claims to have several liens on his property from the IRS. For all the issues I might have with the government, the IRS doesn't make it a habit to slap liens on property for late personal income taxes (unless it's something extremely egregious).
They do make it habit to bitch slap business owners who owe back payroll taxes. See the way the IRS sees it, those taxes are not your money or the government's money but the money of Joe Employee who gave it to you via payroll withholdings to forward to the government. In essence, you stole from your employee. The feds get very pissy about that.
To hear Terry tell it, he built that property with his own blood, sweat and tears. What he doesn't tell you is that he borrowed from lot's of resources, some illegal, to build up his property.
Now that he's bulldozing his building it's no different than him holding up the bank for $350,000. He basically stole that money to pay his mortgage before forwarding it to the government and the bank.
There's several bloggers who support this douche bag. The lefties because he's sticking it to the bank; the righties because he's sticking it to the feds. But who's really getting shafted here is the American public.
See, the public will pay for this guy's sins either through higher bank fees, higher insurance premiums, higher taxes, etc. The bottom line we'll pay for this asshole.
So if you are someone who thinks this is funny or support it; you are an asshole too.
So let me ask, on November, 2008 did this guy pull the lever for The One or The Maverick?
I haven't seen the details of the bill but apparently the biggest piece of this is a tax credit for hiring unemployed workers.
This is a blatant display of senatorial ignorance. Why?
Let's take a landscaper as an example. Because business is slow (and landscapers give me lots of campaign money), Senator Gekko would like to propose a tax credit to all homeowner's willing to hire a landscaper to mow lawns in the month of February.
If you are an Ohio homeowner, do you take advantage of the credit given that most this month lawns have been covered in snow?
If your answer is yes, then you are as mentally deranged as a US senator.
Now let's apply this credit nationwide. People who need lawn care in Coastal Florida this time of year will use the credit because they are already using lawn services. Not one job was created, it was simply subsidizing what would would happen naturally if demand for goods and services were there.
So congratulations Senator Shit for Brains, you'll take credit for all those landscaper jobs in March when those companies would have been hiring anyway.
Reports that the FBI is preparing to file new corruption charges against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his father shocked the Michigan political establishment over the weekend and may prove damaging to Democratic candidates facing a hostile electoral climate this fall.
Let's get one thing straight. If the media printed a picture of Kwame and friends clubbing baby seals in the arctic, they'd still get reelected. The only thing keeping Kwame from his run as mayor are his indictments.
This is how government for entrenched democrats works.....
Both Detroit newspapers reported Sunday that the feds have evidence the Kilpatricks took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Karl Kado, a little-known city contractor. Kilpatrick resigned from office and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges on Sept. 4, 2008, following an investigation that showed he used city resources to cover up a romantic affair with his chief of staff Christine Beatty. He served 99 days in jail and was ordered to pay restitution of $1 million to the city.
That scandal looms large over Michigan politics and observers say the Kilpatrick name has become toxic with voters, who may look to punish the Democratic party this fall. The most obvious impact will be on the former mayor’s mother, Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, who is facing an uphill battle to defend her seat in the 13th District. But the scandal’s impact may also extend to Lansing, where at least two of the leading candidates for governor will have to face questions about their connections to the Kilpatrick regime.
The latest revelations came when Kado, who has been cooperating with the FBI for almost five years, told the feds he paid $100,000 in cash directly to the then-mayor in 2002. He also claims to have paid hundreds of thousands more to Bernard Kilpatrick, the mayor’s father. Kado is awaiting sentencing for paying bribes to protect multi-million dollar contracts connected to the city’s Cobo Center, which is home of the North American International Auto Show.
“No one’s surprised, it’s sort of par for the course,” said Dennis Darnoi, a political operative in Oakland County who runs Densar Consulting. Darnoi said a number of Oakland County businessmen interested in doing business with the city said they were given Bernard Kilpatrick’s number and told to call it to set up a meeting with the mayor. Bernie Kilpatrick would then allegedly request $10,000 to guarantee a meeting with City Hall. “It was just kind of how business was done,” Darnoi said.
Read the rest
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Ballooning debt is likely to force several countries to default and the U.S. to cut spending, according to Harvard University Professor Kenneth Rogoff, who in 2008 predicted the failure of big American banks.
Following banking crises, “we usually see a bunch of sovereign defaults, say in a few years,” Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said at a forum in Tokyo yesterday. “I predict we will again.”
The U.S. is likely to tighten monetary policy before cutting government spending, sending “shockwaves” through financial markets, Rogoff said in an interview after the speech. Fiscal policy won’t be curbed until soaring bond yields trigger “very painful” tax increases and spending cuts, he said.
Global scrutiny of sovereign debt has risen after budget shortfalls of countries including Greece swelled in the wake of the worst global financial meltdown since the 1930s. The U.S. is facing an unprecedented $1.6 trillion budget deficit in the year ending Sept. 30, the government has forecast.
“Most countries have reached a point where it would be much wiser to phase out fiscal stimulus,” said Rogoff, who co- wrote a history of financial crises published in 2009. It would be better “to keep monetary policy soft and start gradually tightening fiscal policy even if it meant some inflation.”
You know what would be a good idea. For each of you to buy government bonds and buy credit default swaps from me and I'll insure that you get your money back from the bonds.
It seemed to work great for the mortgage business.
In this case, welfare and food stamps. If you work for a living this will get your blood pressure up..........
This may be the saddest passage you read about American culture this week. In a story from the New York Times headlined, "Once Stigmatized, Food Stamps Find Acceptance," we learn that the government has been using your tax dollars to market the giving away of your tax dollars in the form of food stamps to more and more people of higher and higher incomes.
As with any social program, there are many people on it who are indeed needy, but the article makes clear that the revival of food stamp popularity has more to do with state and local officials who are glad to curry favor with local constituents using federal dollars.
Since they're not paying for it, local officials and a network of aid organizations happily aid the federal government in recruiting more food-stamp recipients, regardless of how much they actually need the assistance. Meet Juan Diego Castro, who demonstrates how the system works:
Juan Diego Castro, 24, is a college graduate and Americorps volunteer whose immigrant parents warned him “not to be a burden on this country.” He has a monthly stipend of about $2,500 and initially thought food stamps should go to needier people, like the tenants he organizes. “My concern was if I’m taking food stamps and I have a job, is it morally correct?” he said.
But federal law eases eligibility for Americorps members, and a food bank worker urged him and fellow volunteers to apply, arguing that there was enough aid to go around and that use would demonstrate continuing need. “That meeting definitely turned us around,” Mr. Castro said.
You are already paying a 24-year-old, able-bodied, college graduate a $2,500* monthly stipend to organize tenants as part of Americorps (a service that should be donor-supported, but Constitutional objections aside...). You are paying more than $5,000 toward his education, as a reward for his "volunteer" work with Americorps. You are subsidizing his student loan forgiveness, as a condition of his volunteer work in this government program. You are now paying for his food, even though he himself thinks the money should probably go to those less fortunate than himself.
The question I love to ask liberals is this one "Should it suck to be poor"? Because if the answer is no then what exactly would be anyone's motivation to not be poor anymore?
Let's face it. My life this time of year consists of working 12 hours a day, going home and watching TV until I fall asleep. Why the hell am I stupid enough to work the 12 hours when I can just eat, drink, crap and screw for 12 hours and then go home and watch tv until I fall asleep?
Read the rest and shake your head.
Thanks reader Tim for the link.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Scientists have been forced to retract a paper that claimed sea level were rising thanks to the effects of global warming, after mistakes were discovered that undermined the results.
The study was published in Nature Geoscience and predicted that sea levels would rise by as much as 2.7 feet by the end of the twenty-first century.
The paper also highlighted that it reinforced the conclusions of the U.N.'s controversial Fourth Assessment report, which warned of the dangerous of man-made climate change.
However, mistakes in time intervals and inaccurately applied statistics have forced the authors to retract their paper -- the first official retraction ever for the three-year-old journal, notes the Guardian. In an officially published retraction of their paper, the authors acknowledged these mistakes as factors that compromised the results.
Pretty sad when we actually have to get this news from a liberal rag in the UK
Read the whole thing..........