Posts Tagged ‘government’
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 6, 2015
UPDATE: Tuesday, 11 August 2015
In my first & earlier calculations, I inadvertently overlooked multiplying the Annual Medicaid Spending in Alabama figure (which is a TOTAL of $5,241,269,869) by 70%, which would represent the portion paid for by the Federal government. Alabama’s 30% share of that figure (the share paid for by the state) would be $1,572,380,960.70. It would also be reasonable to expect that Expanding Medicaid in Alabama to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level would increase total economic activity (through Medicaid spending) in the state at least 38%. So to Expand Medicaid, the baseline figure for TOTAL Medicaid spending (combined Federal and State funds) would approximate $7,232,952,419. According to the provisions of the law, Alabama’s sharing portion (if Governor Bentley chose to Expand Medicaid) would still be 2016-100%; 2017-5%; 2018-6%; 2019-7%; 2020 and beyond-10%. The corrections to the figures herein are dollar amounts only (based on the $7,232,952,419 total expanded figure), not the %ages. Data & figures are now also shown in table format.
Folks, it may (or may not) surprise you to know a sampling of the collective thoughts of our wrong-wing friends, and relatives on matters political in Alabama, especially as they pertain to Medicaid.
Here’s a verbatim excerpted sampling of what I came across today.
• No one want increased entitlements. Too much waste and abuse. get a job folks. no to medicaid
• Medicaid is a lifestyle
• scare tactic. nursing homes overcharge. working people of Alabama are tired of taking care of lazy people
• ask any hospital administrator or physician in private practice. Medicaid devalues services. Reject medicaid
I dare say, MOST are clueless about the genuinely tangible economic and public health benefits Medicaid provides to this state, and the revenue and jobs it creates. All they hear are the wails and moans of representatives and/or senators – mostly of whom, if not exclusively, are Republican.
Where does Alabama’s Medicaid money come from?
Where does it go?
Source: Alabama Medicaid Agency Annual Report – FY 2012
Medicaid is a Federal/State matching/sharing program which provides (pays for) healthcare services for the impoverished wherein states pay a minority matching portion, while the Federal Government through CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) pays the majority portion. Within reasonable guidelines, the states have broad discretion and liberty to operate Medicaid according to the way they see fit, and the needs of the residents they serve. There are, however, certain minimums standards to which every state must adhere.
Under the provisions of the OLD law, the states that do NOT Expand Medicaid pay a higher %age rate for their services than they would if they were to Expand Medicaid to provide services to those whom are at 138% of the Federal Poverty guidelines – which is what the PPACA provides. The PPACA is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act- though it’s more often called the ACA “Affordable Care Act,” and colloquially referred to as “ObamaCare.”
Under the provisions of the PPACA, states that choose to Expand Medicaid will have 100% of those costs paid-for by the CMS beginning 2014, until 2016. The incentive for expansion is based upon Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Alabama, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, children, Children's Health Insurance Program, CHIP, CMS, Expand Medicaid, GOP, government, governor, Governor Bentley, healthcare, kids, legislature, Medicaid, money, politics, poverty, Republican, Robert Bentley, taxes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 4, 2015
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control, abortions are performed at a significantly higher rate in racial/ethnic minority communities (Negro & Hispanic) than in the White/Anglo majority community.
Having read an item on the website Black Community News about legislation sponsored by Ohio State Representative Bill Patmon (D, 10th House District, Cleveland) that would “block state funding” to Planned Parenthood, I thought it important to share some notes, observations and thoughts on the topic presented therein.
The legislation of which he is author and principle sponsor, HB 294, is “To enact section 3701.034 of the Revised Code to require the Department of Health to ensure that state funds and certain federal funds are not used either to perform or promote elective abortions, or to contract or affiliate with any entity that performs or promotes elective abortions.”
The Columbus Dispatch reported on a pro-life event at the Ohio state capitol and wrote that Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Do you feel like we do, Dr. Who?, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abortion, adoption, cadaver, care, Clothing, Constitution, contraception, education, faith, food, forced birth, Foster care, government, healthcare, human rights, life, love, maternity, policy, politics, Pregnancy, pro-choice, pro-life, religion, rights, shelter, Sister Joan Chittister, surgery, taxes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 31, 2015
Kroger Tools for Schools Drive sign
It infuriates me to see signs & posters like these, because THAT is what taxes are for!
And, if there aren’t enough taxes collected from the wealthy (and obviously, there aren’t), then we see “drives” and other collection points like this.
Just this evening, in conversation with my neighbor, she shared with me about how her co-worker – a young, single mother – recently confided in her, and said that she didn’t earn enough money to make ends meet – to pay the rent, keep the lights turned on, and feed her family and that she regularly has to go to a local food pantry (which itself often runs out of food because the need is so great) to augment her meager ability to purchase food – and that she, herself, didn’t have supper because she chose to feed her children, instead.
My neighbor remarked, Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Air Force, Airmen, Alabama, Armed Forces, Army, children, Christianity, Coast Guard, faith, families, family, food, food stamps, GOP, government, home, hunger, laws, Marines, mercy, military, national, Navy, politics, reason, religion, Republican, sailors, servicemen, SNAP, soldiers, taxes, USA, women | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 27, 2015
How accurate, or true are Right Wing memes?
Regardless of one’s political beliefs, party affiliation, or ideological inclination, it’s always good to consider the truth of statements in memes that – like flotsam and jetsam – are dispersed throughout the Internet… particularly upon Social Media sites such as FaceBook, and Twitter. And unfortunately, in many cases, they are the veritable garbage, the effluent detritus of communication.
So… let’s examine some of the argument in the meme seen here, and see if it still holds water.
Government has necessary services, and provides the same.
Consider road construction as one example.
To create & build roads (which themselves increase opportunity) government must purchase things – raw materials, and manpower, among them.
Now… exactly where is any “government factory” for that, eh?
That’s correct – there is NONE.
EVERYTHING “we the people” by and through our government – at ALL LEVELS, Federal, State, and Local – purchase comes from the Private Sector!
Consider also what may be the greatest example of Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Did they REALLY say that?, - Even MORE Uncategorized!, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: 2006, Art, Beisser Lumber, business, claim, claims, Company, contracts, Coralville, David Lienemann, enterprise, entrepreneurship, flakes, free enterprise, GOP, government, history, image, Iowa, Joe Biden, lumber, meme, money, nuts, odd, official, peculiar, photograph, photographer, politics, Republican, rhetoric, right wing, strange, suspect, The Gazette, truth, Vice President, VP Joe Biden, wealth, White House, wrecking ball | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 3, 2015
What’s wrong with Alabama?
How much time do you have?
That’d be an entirely accurate response, of course.
How much bad does it take before the sweet turns sour?
To be certain, criticizing the machinations and politics of Alabama is somewhat like criticizing one’s family – only family members can do it with complete immunity. Outsiders stand the risk of getting punched out.
Here’s one well-known complaint: The Legislature.
Sure, even Washington politicians get lambasted, as, I suppose, does every other politician in our union, at every level – federal, state, county, and local.
But here’s the rub: In Alabama, the legislature takes great pride in calling themselves “part-time” legislators, and boast of having full-time jobs “back home” in the community of their residence. Sure, that sounds nice, but what does it really look like?
By law, in Alabama, the Legislature can meet for NO MORE than 30 days Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: AL, Alabama, ALpolitics, Bentley, education, employees, GOP, government, Governor Bentley, income, lazy, legislature, money, pay, Republican, salary, shiftless, state, superintendent, Superintendent of Education, taxes, teachers, Tommy Bice, worthless | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 5, 2014
There’s a meme which circulates on FaceBook and presumably, in other places as well, which appears similarly as this:
Drug Test Public Assistance Recipients Meme
Honestly, the idea is a failure.
But you’d rarely – if ever – hear about it’s failures.
Florida was the first state to tread that path. What they learned was surprising. And then, the law was struck down by a Federal court. The states that embark upon Florida’s path will be wa$ting their citizen$ taxe$.
Only 2.6% of Florida applicants failed the drug test.
“Because the Florida law requires that applicants who pass the test be reimbursed for the cost, an average of $30, the cost to the state was $118,140. This is more than would have been paid out in benefits to the people who failed the test. As a result, the testing cost the government an extra $45,780.”
The purported savings in Florida’s program will be negligible after administrative costs and reimbursements for the drug tests are taken into account.
But it wasn’t limited to Florida. 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. | Tagged: abuse, business, economy, family, Florida, food, fraud, GOP, government, Minnesota, Missouri, money, Oklahoma, policy, politics, Republicans, TANF, taxes, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Tennessee, Utah | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, August 7, 2014
Every single word in this OpEd is spot-on.
Alabama is on the verge of a complete takeover of it’s prison system. That is a VERY sad indictment, and fact. Further, most Alabamians are COMPLETELY unaware of the dangers the state faces.
Alabama is a state in crisis.
Fiscal crisis from a failure of long-term management, unwise, unsound policy, unnecessary prolonged and costly legal battles at the state and federal levels over inane laws which have had no positive effect upon the state, from policies and procedures which have only burdened the people, tax giveaways to corporations, funded corporate welfare, an inequitable personal income taxation system which has hampered and hamstrung state growth, and further placed the state’s citizens into poverty.
Face it folks… I don’t give a damn about what political colors you wear, or how or what you describe yourself as politically in Alabama… if everything were peaches and cream in the state, then why in the Hell is the state’s poverty level 18% – 4 percentage points ABOVE the national average?
Why is the state sick in their persons? Of all states, Alabama continually ranks high in rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc., even among CHILDREN!
Why does the state have a high crime rate?
Why are Alabamians largely “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command”?
Why Alabama Cannot Wait on Prison Reform: Guest Opinion
Guest opinion By Alabama State Senator Cam Ward
August 06, 2014 at 9:00 AM, updated August 06, 2014 at 9:05 AM
By Cam Ward
Prisons are an issue that would never rank high on any list of priorities for the people of Alabama and understandably so. With unemployment hovering near 7 percent and many schools in need of repair, people ask me why prison reform should be a major subject at this time. The answer is simple – because our failure to maintain a good corrections system is going to push over a fiscal cliff that we may never recover from.
For years as our corrections system became more crowded the political leadership in Montgomery turned their eyes to issues more palatable to the voters during election time. The general feeling for decades has been “let’s wait and deal with that when we have more money.”
As we waited our system grew to 192 percent capacity and despite this incarceration rate our state has the 8th highest violent crime rate in the country. Both of these statistics point to a failing system of corrections.
In addition to allowing for a broken system to continue down a path of inefficiency we have also created a fiscal nightmare of the likes our state has never seen before. While we spend 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: abuse, ADOC, AL, Alabama, Alabama Department of Corrections, Alabama Senate, Cam Ward, Corrections, Democrats, Department of Corrections, geotag, geotagged, GOP, government, governor, Kim Thomas, money, policy, politics, prison, Prison reform, prison system, prisoners, reform, Senator, state, takeover, Taxation, taxes, United States | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 28, 2014
“How much is enough?” is a qood question to ask many folks, especially some among the Wall $treet crowd.
And to be certain, the two principles of “the worker is worthy of their hire,” and “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain” are equally compelling ethics.
As those two ethics concern our nation’s economy, we can point to times in history where various nations suffered revolution, and the most common causes of revolution.
In fact, I wrote at length about it in this blog in 2011, and observed in part that, “…it’s not as if uproars have never happened before. They happen with great regularity and frequency. In fact, they’re quite predictable. Yes, predictable. It’s called “history.” The maxim goes something like this: “Those who forget the lessons of history are condemned to repeat them.” And so, any reasonable or prudent person should ask, “What are the lessons of history?””
Just remember this: Food, Clothing, Shelter. If you can’t get them with what you have, you’ll fight, kill, go to war, or civil insurrection, to obtain the basic necessities of life.
The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats
By NICK HANAUER
Nick Hanauer is a Seattle-based entrepreneur.
Memo: From Nick Hanauer
To: My Fellow Zillionaires
You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about. In 1992, I was selling pillows made by my family’s business, Pacific Coast Feather Co., to retail stores across the country, and the Internet was a clunky novelty to which one hooked up with a loud squawk at 300 baud. But I saw pretty quickly, even back then, that many of my customers, the big department store chains, were already doomed. I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.
With over 30 years of experience across a broad range of industries including manufacturing, retailing, e-commerce, digital media and advertising, software, aerospace, health care, and finance. Hanauer’s experience and perspective have produced an unusual record of serial successes. Hanauer has managed, founded or financed over 30 companies, creating aggregate market value of tens of billions of dollars. Some notable companies Include Amazon.com, Aquantive Inc., (purchased by Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion), Insitu group (purchased by Boeing for $400 million), Market Leader (purchased by Trulia in 2013 for $350 million). Some other companies include Marchex, Newsvine, Qliance, Seattle Bank and Pacific Coast Feather Company. – Photo by Robbie McClaran
Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos. I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller. The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht.
But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?
I see pitchforks.
At the same time that people like you and me are 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: Amazon.com, aQuantive, billionaire, business, Capitalism, capitalist, Civil War, Clothing, Congress, creative, Economic inequality, economy, employees, entrepreneur, food, Franklin D. Roosevelt, government, healthcare, Henry Ford, House, House of Representatives, housing, income, income taxes, insurrection, iphone, Jeff Bezos, middle class, millionaire, Minimum wage, money, Nick Hanauer, Occupy, occupy movement, Pacific Coast Feather Company, peace, plutocrat, policy, politics, polity, poverty, Qliance Medical Management, representative, Seattle, senate, shelter, taxes, United States, Wage, wealth, wealth gap, wealthy multi-billionaire | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 22, 2014
“For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”“
Lately, much has been made of raising the Minimum Wage, which does nothing more than establish a minimum standard.
But who cares about minimums?
We should strive to exceed!
Some well-known, publicly-traded, highly profitable firms, however, revel in greed, and wallow in the slop, when they can do far better for the employees who operate their businesses.
The question is often asked “why pay unskilled workers $10 or even more per hour?”
It’s a valid question, and deserves a genuinely thoughtful response.
So, let’s pose that question to BIG OIL COMPANIES in Williston, North Dakota, where…
“oilfield companies pay unskilled 19 year-olds $80,000 a year.”
by Dan Weissmann
Monday, June 16, 2014 – 15:21
Williston, North Dakota, has the nation’s highest rents. Thanks to the fracking boom, a basic apartment in Williston costs more than something similar in New York or San Francisco. And it comes with a lot fewer amenities.
For instance, shopping. If Walmart doesn’t have it, the nearest outlet is at least two hours away. Now, a Swiss investment firm has announced plans to Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - 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: BIG OIL, BP, BP PLC, business, Chevron, Chevron Corporation, Christianity, ConocoPhillips, ConocoPhillips Company, economy, employees, ExxonMobil Corporation, ExxonMobile, faith, fracking, geotag, geotagged, government, greed, hamburger, income, jobs, labor, Laborer, manufacturing, Marketplace, McDonald's, minimum, Minimum wage, money, North Dakota, oil, practice, raise the wage, religion, rent, restaurant, Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Skill (labor), Total SA, United States, unskilled, unskilled labor, Wage, Wall $treet, Wall Street, Walmart, wealth, workers | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, April 12, 2014
When campaigning for the office of Alabama’s Governor, Robert Bentley – a retired dermatologist physician who at the time was an elected representative from Tuscaloosa County – promised if elected governor that, “I will forgo a salary as state representative for the rest of my term and will not accept a salary as Governor until Alabama reaches full employment.”
When pressed on the matter, he later defined “full employment” as having state unemployment somewhere around 5%. It is a promise to which, as of the date of this entry – 12 April 2014 – he has kept. In other words, Alabama has NOT reached “full employment,” and he has not been paid a salary. He has, however, been compensated for out-of-pocket expenses (the governor’s office has a budget, so why would he personally have any such expenses for work in an official capacity?), though he has received – as legislator, a legally-mandated $1.00 per month salary. Since his election to the governorship, he has not received a salary.
Let’s examine Governor Bentley‘s employment record.
During Governor Robert Bentley’s watch, International Paper – the large paper mill formerly known as Champion Paper, in Courtland, and the largest employer in Lawrence County – closed and cost the area economy & state 1100 jobs. Those jobs were Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home. | Tagged: Alabama, ale, American City Business Journals, analysis, Balch & Bingham, Barack Obama, beer, Bentley, business, craft brew, Democrats, economy, entpreneurship, facts, Fail, fail blog, failure, Florence City Schools, GOP, government, Governor Bentley, health, healthcare, International Paper, jobs, loss, microbrew, Microbrewery, money, news, Oakwood University, Pilgrim, policy, politics, record, Republican, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, Sara Lee Corporation, tax, taxes, Terry Sewell, university, Wall Street, Wayne Farms | 1 Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 4, 2014
It occurred to me recently in a couple conversations I had with friends in various parts of our United States, that equal representation is a matter with which we still struggle.
While on occasion I’ve opined about injustice through inequality – the United States’ Constitution guarantees Equal Protection and Equal Rights under law via the 14th Amendment – it occurred to me recently that there are some who “just don’t get it.”
More to the point, I was spurred by a photograph sent to me by a friend in one of our Northern sister states – the Land of the Frozen Chosen, sometimes also referred to as “The Great White North.”
In gentleness, I refer, of course, to Minnesota.
It was a photograph of my friend’s co-worker which sparked my interest, and subsequent curiosity.
The co-worker was Afro-American, aka “Black.”
I was somewhat surprised to see a Black person in Minnesota, so I queried the Census Bureau for some Quick Statistics about our United States.
Here’s what I found:
Only 5.5% of Minnesota’s population is Black.
In comparison to the United States at large, 13.1% of our American population in general is Black. And in Alabama, 26.5% are Black, while in neighboring Mississippi, 37.4% of that state’s residents are Black. Alabama’s Eastern neighbor Georgia has a closely similar percentage with a 31.2% Black population, while Tennessee is nearly half, with a 17% Black population.
Examining some other states, I found that Alabama’s Southern neighbor, Florida has a very closely similar Black population with 16.6%, while Louisiana’s Black population is just about double with 32.4%. The “Natural State” of Arkansas has a 15.6% Black population, while North and South Carolina are almost evenly tied with 22 & 28% respectively.
On the other hand, Texas has a lower Black population than either Tennessee or Arkansas with only 12.3%.
Kentucky? Only 8.1% of Kentuckians are Black.
Interestingly, of the 16 players on the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team, only 6 are not Black. In other words, 62.5% of the team is Black – a clear majority. And yet, the state’s general population is completely and disproportionately unrepresentative of the team.
What about Virginia? With a 19.7% Black population, Virginia stands in distinct contrast to West Virginia, which only has a 3.5% Black population – a very stark contrast, indeed.
But what about some of the other Midwestern states?
Missouri has an 11.7% Black population, while only 3.2% of corn-fed Iowans are Black.
From Minnesota moving West, South Dakota has a mere 1.7% Black population, while Montana…
Well.. there just about no Black folks in that state, at all. Only a mere 0.6% – 6/10ths on one percent – of that state’s residents are Black.
A casual observation would be that it’s mighty White up North.
But let’s bring it back on home to Mississippi…
In a recent post shared by someone else on Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - 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: 2d Amendment, Alabama, anglers, animals, arrow, basketball, bball, bill, black, boat, bow, break, capitol, Chris W. Cox, eating, equality, FaceBook, family, fishermen, fishing, Florida, food, friends, fun, Georgia, geotag, geotagged, government, governor, groceries, guns, hunters, idiot, inequality, Iowa, Jackson, Kentucky, killing, law, line, Louisiana, meat, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, National Rifle Association, net, news, North Carolina, Orange, outdoor, people, PETA, Phil Bryant, pole, politics, race, racism, Republican, rifles, sb, Senate Bill 2425, September, shooting, shotgun, shotguns, South Carolina, sportsmen, tax break, Tax holiday, taxes, Tennessee, Texas, United States, Virginia, West Virginia, White, Wildcats | Leave a Comment »
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 Friday, December 20, 2013
Did you know? (No, you probably didn’t.)
In a report dated August 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) conducted a criminal and administrative investigation and found that Alabama claimed, and was paid millions in unallowable performance bonus payments under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIRPA).
This FRAUD was because of INCOMPETENCY in Alabama governance.
The HHS OIG found that the Alabama state agency overstated its FYs 2009 and 2010 current enrollment in its requests for bonus payments. The State agency overstated its current enrollments because, rather than Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: abuse, ACA, Alabama, Alabama Legislature, Associated Press, Barack Obama, Bentley, budget, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, children, CHIP, CHIRPA, CMS, Crimson Tide, defraud, federal, Federal government of the United States, fraud, GOP, government, governor, health, HHS, incompetence, incompetency, insurance, Medicaid, Mississippi, money, Montgomery Alabama, news, Obamacare, OIG, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, politics, PPACA, quiet, Republican, Robert Bentley, Robert J. Bentley, State Children's Health Insurance Program, United States, waste | 2 Comments »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Your Tax Dollars at Work: U.S. Air Force Mothballs $1.6 BILLION of New Aircraft
Nearly 13 years ago, in a speech given at the Pentagon, Monday, September 10, 2001, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in part that, “We cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions. 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.”
As part of the Joint Cargo Aircraft Program, the Air Force ordered $1,600,000,000 worth of 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: 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, abuse, Air Force, Alenia Aeronautica, Alenia C-27J Spartan, Arizona, boneyard, Davis–Monthan Air Force Base, Department of Defense, DoD, Donald Rumsfeld, Forestry Service, fraud, government, Manhattan, Pentagon, SecDef, Secretary of Defense, Special Operations, Tucson, United States Air Force, United States Coast Guard, United States Special Operations Command, USAF, video, waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr (R, Decatur) has proposed eliminating the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board‘s retail outlets statewide.
Senator Orr represents the Third District, which includes Morgan, Madison and Limestone counties in the Alabama State Senate.
He attempts to justify his position by asking a rhetorical question, on pretense of being modern: “The fundamental question, I think, for us as legislators and as a state, is, should the state of Alabama Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Lost In Space: TOTALLY Discombobulated, - My Hometown is the sweetest place I know, - Politics... that "dirty" little "game" that first begins in the home., - Uncategorized | Tagged: ABC, Alabama, Alabama Senate, Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Alcoholic beverage control state, Arthur Orr, Bentley, business, California, competition, Decatur, Distilled beverage, employment, Free Market, government, jobs, merchant, Mississippi, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, Orr, Republican, retail, sales, United States, Washington | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, August 24, 2013
I may step on a few toes with my next remark, but I can always apologize, and ask forgiveness if it so be the case that my remarks are found offensive.
However, suffice it to say, that our nation’s Congress, has, for at least the past 20 years, or so – and even moreso in the past decade plus – embarked upon a very Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Did they REALLY say that?, - Faith, Religion, Goodness - What is the Soul of a man? | Tagged: Africa, Ancient, Ancient Egypt, Big Business, business, corporation, Democrat, Egypt, employees, enterprise, entrepreneurship, faith, Golden Parachute, GOP, government, Hebrew, Hebrew language, Hebrews, history, jobs, money, Moses, people, Pharaoh, policy, politics, profit, prophet, religion, Republican, Seychelles, tax, United States, values | Leave a Comment »