Posts Tagged ‘Congress’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 7, 2014
The SEC could help tackle corruption in resource-rich countries around the world — but the oil industry is getting in the way.
Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And American oil lobbyists are only making the situation worse: They are exploiting Angola by seeking to delay and weaken the implementation of a crucial U.S. transparency law.
That law, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment, promises a breakthrough in preventing dirty deals and illicit payments being made for natural resources around the world, similar to the shady transaction recently uncovered by Foreign Policy. If implemented fully, the law would make U.S. oil and mining companies disclose the payments they make to governments across the world, including in Angola. However, oil lobbyists have been making misguided arguments that laws in Angola and three other countries prevent the required disclosures.
Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig – MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images
Angolan officials secretly profiting from the country’s oil riches is not a surprise. It is only the latest episode in a sad history that goes back for decades. Global Witness, where we work, began exposing the complicity of the international oil and banking industries in the plundering of state assets during Angola’s 40-year civil war in our 1999 report A Crude Awakening. This was followed by our 2002 report All the Presidents’ Men, which called on the oil companies operating in Angola to “Publish What You Pay” (PWYP). Under this rallying call, Global Witness co-launched the PWYP campaign, which is now an international coalition of more than 790 civil society organizations in over 60 countries, including Angola, advocating for transparency laws such as Section 1504.
These efforts are intended to prevent scandals similar to the Trafigura deal covered in Foreign Policy, which provide a glimpse of the endemic corruption in Angola‘s oil industry. Only a few days before Foreign Policy published its story, media reports about leaked documents relating to other corruption claims caused the share price of SBM Offshore, a Dutch oil services company operating in Angola, to plummet 17.9 percent when markets opened. SBM released a statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts. SBM had also already disclosed to its investors that it was conducting an internal investigation into questionable payments in Angola. However, the dramatic stock drop suggests that SBM investors had not anticipated the scale of the corruption risk exposure.
Another oil services company active in Angola, Weatherford International, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Switzerland, has recently pleaded guilty to violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribery of the executives of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company. It has agreed to pay fines of $253 million to settle the case, one of the largest FCPA settlements ever.
These cases illustrate the urgent need for transparency in Angola’s oil sector. The successful implementation of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, Africa, Angola, BIG OIL, bribe, business, Congress, continent, corruption, Dodd-Frank, Dodd-Frank Act, drill, Energy, enterprise, European Union, Foreign Policy, gas, Global Witness, government, greed, history, human rights, ilicit, illegal, influence, international finance, law, lobby, lobbyist, Mining, money, New York Stock Exchange, news, NYSE, Offshore drilling, oil, politics, power, regulation, resources, SBM Offshore, SEC, Securities & Exchange Commission, Stock Exchange, Switzerland, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, UBS, United States, Wall Street, war, wealth, Weatherford International | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 22, 2014
At the federal level, TEApublican types have decried our national deficit, much – if not most – of which came about as a result of placing the price of a decade of warfare on a proverbial credit card. I refer, of course, to the Persian Gulf War, Gulf War II, Operation Desert Shield/Storm and the invasion of Afghanistan, etc., all of which occurred during the previous administration.
Compounding that problem was that corporate and personal income tax rates upon the wealthiest was cut, while simultaneously, the veritable house of cards was crumbling, having been built upon the miry, sinking sands of Wall Street deregulation & greed gone wild.
Nevertheless, as our nation has struggled and clawed its way back to some semblance of fiscal sanity, there have been voices arising whom assert that the federal government’s “bailout” of banks & other large, corporate enterprise has been a gross mistake, and that such a bailout should have never occurred. And, while there will doubtless be volumes written, and debates held about the good and the bad of the ordeal, what’s been done, has been done, and it’s practically all over, but the crying. So the only thing we can do now, is live & learn, and move on.
And yet, respecting one underlying problem which arose corollary to the matter, is the loss of jobs here at home. Again, it was complicated by ‘globalization,’ which – good, bad, or indifferent – is Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know | Tagged: Alabama, Congress, David Nuttall, Democrats, economic, economic expansion, economic infrastructure, economy, entrepreneurship, Federal government of the United States, government, High-speed rail, history, infrastructure, Interstate Commerce, Interstate Highway System, law, local, maglev, money, monorail, north Alabama, people, politics, private enterprise, Republican, Russia, safety, tax policy, taxes, tea party, train, transportation, United States, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 27, 2013
What does Senator Sessions think about the March 2012 Government Accountability Office report to Congress that found the 96 highest-priority defense programs in the Pentagon acquisitions system represented an estimated total cost of $1.58 trillion, and had actually “grown by over $74 billion or 5 percent in the past year”?
The report, entitled DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs – may be downloaded from the GAO website: http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/589695.pdf
Or from this blog: GAO 3/12 report – DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs
And then, there are the Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, The Pentagon , Monday, September 10, 2001 entitled DOD Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week Kickoff—Bureaucracy to Battlefield, in which he said “According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.”
How many variety of voices over an extended period of time do we need before we heed their warnings?
His speech, in it’s entirety follows. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $74 billion, abuse, Alabama, Chuck Hagel, Cold War, Congress, defense, Department of Defense, DoD, Donald Rumsfeld, Federal government of the United States, fraud, GAO, GOP, Government Accountability Office, Jeff Sessions, Lockheed Martin, money, Pentagon, Project On Government Oversight, Republican, senate, Senator, spending, taxes, taxpayer, United States, United States Congress, United States Department of Defense, United States Secretary of Defense, USA TODAY, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 13, 2013
Here’s the one-liner you’ll remember, albeit one with significant truth:
“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Smithfield corporate hog farm feedlot in North Carolina.”
Or, if you prefer:
“There’s more pork in the Pentagon budget than a Paula Deen Christmas recipe.”
And if the Pentagon budget were a recipe, it’d be a recipe for disaster.
The budget for the United States Department of Defense accounts for very nearly 6% of our nation’s budget. It is THE SINGLE LARGEST BUDGET ITEM in the entire budget. The amount of money sifting through the Pentagon’s hands is more than the combined defense budgets of the world’s top 15 wealthiest nations. And, it accounts for 4.7% of our nation’s economy. Late former President Dwight David Eisenhower was spot-on accurate in his Farewell Address to the nation 17 January 1961 when he warned us saying:
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
None of this is to say, of course, that any kind of spending on national defense is somehow a bad thing, for it is not. Yet Eisenhower specifically warned about even the spiritual implications of the DoD spending “Gone Wild.” However, the last time the people, the Congress, the President or anyone else – including the Comptroller General, the Office of the DoD Inspector General, or the Secretary of Defense ever said anything about being budget hawks on the use of the people’s taxes was September 10, 2001 when SecDef Donald Rumsfeld spoke to the Department of Defense, and announced that the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” Not only was that money MIA, but he added that…
“The technology revolution has transformed organizations across the private sector, but not ours, not fully, not yet. We are, as they say, tangled in our anchor chain. Our financial systems are decades old. According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. We cannot share information from floor to floor in this building because it’s stored on dozens of technological systems that are inaccessible or incompatible.
“We maintain 20 to 25 percent more base infrastructure than we need to support our forces, at an annual waste to taxpayers of some $3 billion to $4 billion. Fully half of our resources go to infrastructure and overhead, and in addition to draining resources from warfighting, these costly and outdated systems, procedures and programs stifle innovation as well. A new idea must often survive the gauntlet of some 17 levels of bureaucracy to make it from a line officer’s to my desk. I have too much respect for a line officer to believe that we need 17 layers between us.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, September 10, 2001
He discovered $2.3 Trillion in the DoD budget of taxpayer monies which had no accounting. It was “Missing In Action.” The next day, the World Trade Centers suffered terrorist attacks. We never heard anything ever again. [Read the text of his speech here: http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430]
Here’s a video of the CBS news report.
And now, here’s a jet plane that is the veritable aircraft version of a Jack-of-all-Trades-and-Master-of-None, which our nation’s military has previously said they do not need, and already have other more durable, reliable and operable aircraft. And this is a thing that they have continuously said they want, rather than need.
Wants and needs are two entirely different things.
And not only that, but that the entire bidding process related to Defense contracts is fraught with cost overruns, late deliveries and more – all of which would NOT be, and is NOT tolerated in private enterprise. And yet, we somehow think that the sacred cow of Pentagon spending is somehow exempted from the normal rules of operation.
And now, with the budget items heating up again, it would be ludicrously preposterous to presume that the sacred cow of Pentagon slush funds slop trough is in pristine condition.
Other agencies, like American businesses and families throughout, have learned to live within their means, and make do with less.
Why can’t the Pentagon?
By Tony Capaccio – Jan 12, 2013
Durability testing on the most complicated version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s (LMT) F-35 was halted last month after “multiple” cracks were discovered in the fighter jet, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.
The previously undisclosed halt in high-stress ground testing involves the F-35B, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: $2.3 Trillion, abuse, Congress, cooking, Defense Department, Donald Rumsfeld, faith, fraud, Lockheed Martin, Marine, morals, Paula Deen, Pentagon, pork, recipe, religion, spirituality, United States, United States Department of Defense, United States Secretary of Defense, waste, World Trade Center | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 31, 2012
This Do-Nothing Congress is, without question, the absolutely WORST Congress EVER!
More filibustering & taxes, less law-making, less-governance.
That must be what they mean when they talk about “smaller government,” or “less laws.”
By Alan Bjerga & Derek Wallbank – Dec 31, 2012 12:01 AM ET
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow are backing a short-term extension of a farm law that lapsed Sept. 30 as the Obama administration warns that without congressional action, retail milk prices could almost double.
“I would hope that as soon as is humanly possible, a decision will be made to allow us to take action” on the extension, Lucas told reporters off the House floor. “We need to take positive action, put this issue to rest, and make sure that it is clear to everybody in this country that the farm bill policy has certainty and that we will not have $8 or $9 milk.”
The proposal is one of three farm-related draft bills released over the weekend in the House of Representatives; all of them would stave off the potential jump in consumer milk prices should government commodity programs begin to lapse tomorrow. Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images
The proposal is one of three farm-related draft bills released over the weekend in the House of Representatives; all of them would stave off the potential jump in consumer milk prices should government commodity programs begin to lapse tomorrow. Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images
The draft bill would extend current law, along with disaster aid for producers affected by this year’s U.S. drought and changes to current milk policy, through Sept. 30. It would reduce mandatory outlays by $30 million through fiscal 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The bulk of the spending would come in the first year, and as such it would actually increase spending by an estimated $555 million through fiscal 2017.
The proposal is one of three farm-related draft bills released over the weekend in the House of Representatives; all of them would stave off the potential jump in consumer milk prices should government commodity programs begin to lapse tomorrow.
The second measure would extend most of the current law through Jan. 31, and the third would protect only against possible dairy-price spikes. Those two are opposed by House and Senate Democratic agriculture leaders. Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, called a 30-day extension a “poor joke on farmers that offers no certainty.”
The most recent farm law, enacted in 2008, expired after attempts to pass a new five-year proposal failed. Without that plan, agricultural programs automatically return to rules passed in 1949, the basis of all subsequent legislation.
The effects of that transition have been delayed because of the growing seasons of different crops. Dairy production, a year-round business, is the first major commodity affected. In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: commodity, Congress, economy, federal, Fiscal Cliff, food, GOP, government, House, indecision, lawmakers, milk, policy, politics, prices, Republican, senate, spending, taxes, Washington DC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 8, 2012
Not too long ago, I asked someone – just an average person, someone unknown to me – what they thought were Alabama’s two greatest problems.
Their amazing response was “I don’t know, and I don’t care.”
Naturally, that was the correct answer.
The problem was, that those were the problems – ignorance and apathy.
Of course, that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: 80th United States Congress, Alabama, apathy, Congress, education, email, friends, Harry Truman, ignorance, Mitch McConnell, politics, problems, reason, Roy Moore, United States, United States Constitution, United States Supreme Court | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Regardless whether global climate change is man-made, or cyclical… it’s going to affect us all, and we would be wise to DO SOMETHING to PRESERVE, PROTECT and DEFEND ourselves NOW!
Milk-Cow Drought Culling Accelerates as Prices Jump: Commodities
U.S. milk production is headed for the biggest contraction in 12 years as a drought-fueled surge in feed costs drives more cows to slaughter.
Output will drop 0.5 percent to 198.9 billion pounds (90.2 million metric tons) in 2013 as the herd shrinks to an eight- year low, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Milk futures rose 45 percent since mid-April and may advance at least another 19 percent to a record $25 per 100 pounds by June, said Shawn Hackett. The president of Boynton Beach, Florida-based Hackett Financial Advisers Inc. correctly predicted the rally in March.
Dairies in California, the top milk-producing state, are filing for bankruptcy, and U.S. cows are being slaughtered at the fastest rate in more than a quarter century. Corn surged to a record in August as the USDA forecast the smallest crop in six years because of drought across the U.S. Global dairy prices tracked by the United Nations rose 6.9 percent last month, the most among the five food groups monitored, and that will probably mean record costs next year, Rabobank estimates.
“Farmers can’t afford to buy as much grain and protein, and that affects milk production,” said Bob Cropp, an economist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who has been following the industry since 1966. “In California, there’ve been some foreclosures and some sell-off of cows quite heavily. You’re going to see that in other parts of the country.”
Class III milk, used to make cheese, jumped 22 percent to $21.05 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange this year. That’s more than 21 of the 24 commodities in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index, which rose 1.8 percent. The MSCI All-Country World Index (MXWD) of equities climbed 12 percent, and Treasuries Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Bank of America, beverage, business, California, cheese, Chicago, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, children, climate, Climate change, Congress, corn, dairy, Dairy cattle, draught, drink, economy, entrepreneur, family, farmer, farmers, farming, food, grocery, jobs, market, milk, news, production, profitability, science, Starbucks, trucking, United Nations, weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Let’s get lobbyists to pay for a trip to Israel where we can eat fancy food, drink Dom Pérignon champagne, and swim nekkid!
You know, it’d be funny if it weren’t first so sad… because it’s all true.
Every Dogdamn bit of it.
August 21, 2012
Skinny-Dipping in Israel Casts Unwanted Spotlight on Congressional Travel
WASHINGTON — The trip was much like any of the hundreds hosted in recent years by a nonprofit offshoot of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful Washington lobby, and the purpose was much the same: to solidify the support of American lawmakers for Israel at a time of Middle East tumult.
For eight all expense-paid days, House Republicans visited Israel’s holiest sites, talked foreign policy with its highest officials and dined at its most famous restaurants, including Decks, known for its grilled beef, stunning views of the Sea of Galilee, and now, for an impromptu swim party.
With hundreds of Washington lawmakers having gone to Israel courtesy of the program, the trips have a reputation as being the standard-bearer for foreign Congressional travel. “We call it the Jewish Disneyland trip,” said one pro-Israel advocate in Washington.
But for lawmakers, the attention surrounding last summer’s trip — thanks to reports of a skinny-dipping Kansas lawmaker who was part of the delegation — has Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated | Tagged: abuse, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, asshole, bastards, be merry, Benjamin Netanyahu, Congress, drink, eat, Eric Cantor, fraud, GOP, holiday, hypocrite, Israel, Kansas, Kevin Yoder, liar, Member of Congress, Mitt Romney, Mitt Romneyhood, naked, nekkid, Paul 'Weinermobile' Ryan, Paul Ryan, Paul Weinermobile, Republican, Republicans, Romneyhood, Shimon Peres, travel, United States, waste, Weinermobile | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The United States has spent billions up on billions in the so-called “Drug War” which was started by Richard Nixon, and over the years, the only thing it’s gotten us, is deeper in debt.
All the while, murdering narcotrafficking international criminal enterprises have arisen and grown by leaps and bounds. With them, hundreds of thousands of lives have been unnecessarily lost in the process, both innocents and those directly involved in trafficking.
Prisons have been overcrowded – worse even than sardines in a can. And that has cost us equally dearly.
Again, there are few signs that use of illicit narcotics have declined, but rather, they have increased.
And that is just in the United States, which is perceived by many – and very well may be – to be the world’s major consumer of illicit narcotics. Further, the sale of illicit narcotics – including marijuana – has funded international terrorism, including alQaeda.
We must embark upon a path which will decrease use of illicit narcotics, which ultimately harms everyone. And to embark upon that path, we must engage in honest, and forthright dialogue. The greatest obstruction to that, is the current level of impasse in our Congress – House and Senate.
We must change.
Change, we must.
Or, we shall all perish.
Uruguay plan to let gov’t sell marijuana
By PABLO FERNANDEZ, Associated Press – 2 hours ago
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay’s national government said Wednesday it hopes to fight a growing crime problem by selling marijuana to citizens registered to buy it, and will send a bill to Congress that would make it the first country in the world to do so.
Under the plan, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana and only to adults who register on a government database, letting officials keep track of their purchases over time.
Minister of Defense Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro told reporters in Montevideo that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: addiction, Allen St. Pierre, Congress, crime, dope, Drug War, Latin America, marijuana, mental health, Montevideo, narcotics, narcotics Drug War, narcotrafficking, National Organization, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, pot, Richard Nixon, United States, Uruguay | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 27, 2012
In conversation with local entrepreneurs yesterday, they mentioned to me someone known by, and close to them. His political sensibilities – if they could be described as such – have almost destroyed his personal life.
His attitudes, which guide his behavior, have alienated family members, his spouse, and other loved ones in his life. He was described as a very negative and vitriolic individual, whom is almost paranoid delusional in his political beliefs. Not only has his thoughts and behaviors almost destroyed his personal life, but it has taken a significant toll on his professional life, as well – that is, the way he makes his money, which is as an entrepreneur.
You see, when one becomes almost nothing but a venomous, fuming, boiling pot of vitriolic negativity, which neither has anything good to say about anyone or anything… well, no one wants to be around people like that.
Not surprisingly, he was described as a Republican Tea Party type, who religiously listened to ilk like Rush Limbaugh, and the like.
Bear in mind, that does not accurately describe all Republicans.
There’s a saying which is apropos in this instance, and in the story below: “You can catch more flies with honey, than you can with vinegar.”
Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.
Rep. Allen West, a Florida Republican, was recently captured on video asserting that there are “78 to 81” Democrats in Congress who are members of the Communist Party. Of course, it’s not unusual for some renegade lawmaker from either side of the aisle to say something outrageous. What made West’s comment — right out of the McCarthyite playbook of the 1950s — so striking was the almost complete lack of condemnation from Republican congressional leaders or other major party figures, including the remaining presidential candidates.
It’s not that the GOP leadership agrees with West; it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted.
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Chuck Hagel, Congress, Democratic, Gingrich, GOP, Grover Norquist, John Danforth, Mickey Edwards, Newt Gingrich, Norman J. Ornstein, Republican, Rush Limbaugh, senate, Thomas E. Mann, Washington | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
It’s not looking good for the petitioners.
And to give Mr. Paul D. Clement his props, he has a phenomenal presentation, and has a wonderful presence, has a very rapidly keen response to the Justices questions. He is definitely on top of his game. However, as good as his performance may be, it is my opinion that his arguments will not sway the court.
Mr. Clement was formerly Solicitor General of the United States 2004-2008.
The Court heard arguments today, Wednesday, March 28, 2012, on the Severability issue and Medicaid issue of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases.
1. Does Congress Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: Affordable Care Act, Antonin Scalia, Barack Obama, Congress, Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Individual mandate, law, National Federation of Independent Business, Oral argument in the United States, Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, Paul Clement, Sonia Sotomayor, South Dakota, South Dakota v. Dole, Stephen Breyer, United States, United States Congress, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Supreme Court | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I’m not sure if you ever saw the actual video taped testimony of Miss Sandra Fluke.
Not once did she ever mention herself.
Not even once.
The transcript of her testimony may be downloaded via Google Docs here: http://j.mp/GK9nqY
Anywho… when you think about it, it’s a strange irony that Read the rest of this entry »
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Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Merry Christmas, everyone!
“Now, back on your heads.”
Thus goes the punch line to a very good, albeit old – yet timeless – joke.
It seems that a few poor souls were condemned to spending eternity in Hades, yet were also given the luxury of a guided tour and a choice. They viewed three vile rooms, each one littered and strewn with broken glass, shards of metal, and infested with vermin, roaches, excrement, garbage and all variety of filth.
The only difference between the rooms was the depth of the waste and debris.
In one room, everyone was standing around in waist-deep filth. In another, everyone was standing around in chest-deep filth. And in the third and final room, all were standing around in knee-depth filth, drinking coffee.
To the condemned, it seemed a no-brainer, so they told their Satanic tour guide they chose the third and final room, where they saw everyone standing around in knee-depth filth, drinking coffee.
Poof! They were in the room quicker than the blink of an eye – each one holding a cup of coffee, in knee-deep filthy excrement.
No sooner had they taken their first sip of coffee, than a cursing demon came in the room, cracking a whip in his hand and and screaming, “Coffee break’s over! Now back on your heads!”
And so, how does this cute joke relate to the story that follows?
Sometimes, things don’t appear as they really are. A particular case in point is Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News, - Uncategorized II | Tagged: Beverly Hillbillies, Congress, Gary Myers, Mike Kelly, Net worth, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Republicans, United States, United States Congress, University of Michigan, Washington Post | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 3, 2011
It’s 2011 – very nearly 2012 – and the world seems in an uproar.
The Greek/Euro banking/debt crisis looms. The American banking/debt crisis looms larger yet.
Unemployment is at an all-time high in the United States and abroad. The Arab Spring uprising has deposed dictators in Egypt, Libya and the Middle East. Terror and anti-terror wars in Pakistan, Afghanistan & Iraq have gone on for very nearly a decade.
And the stateside Occupy Wall Street movement has become an international phenomenon with sit-ins/camp-outs/protests/demonstrations in Canada, and other nations, while general labor strikes in London have been, or will be ongoing amidst riotous demonstrations and worldwide unrest which have the potential to destroy any nation’s status quo.
Climatological changes never before witnessed have the scientific community hotly debating whether such changes are cyclical, or whether they’re induced. All the while, the polar ice caps continue a highly-documented and steady erosion by melting directly underneath an ever-increasing hole in the ozone layer – which layer protects the Earth from harmful solar radiation.
Earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan and Southeast Asia – brought about by deep sub-oceanic earthquakes – have destroyed nations’ shore lines and cities in the Far East and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the intensity and frequency of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts have wreaked havoc at home in the U.S. and abroad.
And fracking – the geological practice of rupturing the Earth very deeply to force out petroleum – is rapidly becoming a commonplace practice in oil exploration efforts in the United States – which practice will doubtlessly spread worldwide.
The increasing democratization of the world enabled by the Internet and social networking tools – among them the almost ubiquitous smartphone – have brought Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: Arab Spring, behavior, Congress, crisis, debt, Euro, food, fracking, global unrest, history, hunger, love, news, oil exploration, Pakistan, politics, Psychology, safety, sex, unemployment, unrest, war | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 1, 2011
Congress, it has been recently noted, has the lowest approval rating since record-keeping of that type has begun. In fact, it was noted with significantly ironic disdain, that more Americans favor the United States becoming a Communist nation than approve of Congress. Disapproval of congressional action – or inaction – has been duly noted by all members of congress, house and senate.
Regular readers of this blog will recognize that I have excoriated Republicans and their presidential nominee wannabes for numerous reasons, not the least of which is their blind obedience to their corporate masters – which in essence, makes them high-powered prostitutes – whores, if you prefer – and for the greatest part towed the line refusal to modify or raise – even slightly – of the rich, which has been the proposal of “some random person,” otherwise known as Grover Norquist. The reader may be interested to know that Mr. Norquist was “promoter of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” which was signed by 95% of all Republican Congressmen and all but one of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates – in which the signer promises to never, under any circumstances, support an increase in taxes.” That pdf document may be downloaded here.
Human nature what it is, many will be loyal to those whom sign their paychecks, particularly when powerful strings are attached to those checks.
And yet, while we respect loyalty, we also honor those whom stand upon principle, and whom are motivated and guided by selflessness and a genuine desire to help others – with liberty and justice for all – not just an elite cadre.
In that sense – especially in this Op-Ed – Senator Tom Coburn, R-OK, seems to be the voice of reason in the GOP. The reader may also be interested to note that Sen. Coburn was a signatory to that random lobbyist promulgated document. The lobbyist being none other than the Born-with-a-silver spoon-in-his-mouth-Harvard-educated Grover, whom federally-convicted felon-lobbyist Jack Abramoff also fingered in his recent tell-all. It is interesting to note that Sen. Coburn has chosen the high road.
End welfare for the wealthy
By Tom Coburn, Special to CNN
updated 2:10 PM EST, Thu December 1, 2011
(CNN) — The debate in Congress this week about whether to pay for extending the payroll tax cut by imposing a new tax on millionaires will have nothing to do with solving our nation’s economic challenges and everything to do with election-year politics. Senate Democratic leaders have already signaled they will use the debate as a purely partisan exercise designed to embarrass Republicans into opposing tax cuts for the poor while defending tax cuts for the rich.
I intend to offer an alternative. Instead of punishing the rich with higher taxes, I will give Congress the option of helping pay for extending the payroll tax cut by ending welfare to the wealthy. Read the rest of this entry »
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