Tag Archives: Chuck Schumer

Why govern within your means nationally when there are children to terrorize over a few bucks?

New Tacos at Burger King– Just $0.99!!!

^^Parents will feast on this economic option to help keep kids from the State’s clutches. In its eternal mission to emulate the federal government by creating and solving novel problems at great public expense, Pennsylvania school district Wyoming Valley West is using delinquent lunch money balances to justify seizing children from their parents.

About 1,000 parents got a written reprimand recently that included the passage: You can be sent to dependency court for neglecting your child’s right to food. The result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care.”

Apparently, the school was preparing the children for a lifetime of welfare dependency by feeding them for free when their parents sent them to government-mandated (also under threat of legal penalty) day camp without lunch money. The district is now out a cool $22,000–and planning to collect.

Amidst national backlash, school attorney Charles Coslett (above), who railed against the “nanny-state mentality” in the Philadelphia Enquirer, mused, “Hopefully, [this] gets their attention and it certainly did, didn’t it?”

School district officials say they plan to pursue other legal avenues to get the lunch money, such as filing a district court complaint or placing liens on properties.

La Colombe coffee CEO Todd Carmichael was unable to add to the “Philanthropic Endeavors” section on his Wikipedia page: the district rejected his check for the balance.

Upon speaking with the school board president Joseph Mazur, La Colombe’s “consultant” Aren Platt was also snubbed.

Mazur said that he believed most of the families who owed money could afford the debt, and that it was their responsibility to pay. “His counter was, ‘These are affluent families who just want to get something for free,’” said Platt. “This wasn’t ever about repayment of a debt. It was about shaming people.”

It was also quite the departure from the cushy offerings of Warwick, RI’s school district, which provided non-paying students a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich, a carton of milk, the vegetable of the day and a piece of fruit until their parents settled the balance.

That district’s $77,000 loss was ultimately covered by local citizens Cait Clement and Angelica Penta’s fundraising efforts, with a bump from yogurt manufacturer Chobani.

Enquirer:

Federal law mandates school districts offer children food even when they have unpaid bills for school lunches.

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Sonny Perdue’s Department of Agriculture is reportedly slow-walking politically unpalatable results of climate change studies by discouraging its Agricultural Research Service from promoting the papers. Politico reports USDA casually “sought to prevent dissemination of the findings” by University of Washington of a two-year effort–in collaboration with USDA’s own scientists, as well as those of Japan, China and Australia–that allegedly suggests increased atmospheric carbon dioxide decreases the nutritional content of rice.

This included pulling a planned ARS release of the headline, and warning UW to similarly sit on the results.

Apparently, there are relatively few climate-related articles publicized by ARS to begin with. But Politico notes the only two that warranted a press release under Trump played more to the interests of Big Meat than Average American Who Should Stop Eating Meat for Health Reasons Alone, But Also the Planet.

Of these two, [o]ne found that beef production makes a relatively small contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and another that removing animal products from the diet for environmental reasons would likely cause widespread nutritional problems.

In other agri-news, Vox reported Arkansas is trying to join Mississippi and Missouri in outlawing plant-based imitation meats from being labeled “veggie burger.”

Arkansas, which is being sued by the dream team of Tofurkey/ACLU, also endeavors to ban “soy milk” labels, ostensibly because ignorant consumers might be suddenly hoodwinked into thinking the product–available since 1916, according to soyinfocenter–is actually cow’s milk.


The legislator who introduced the [Arkansas] bill, David Hillman, said that his aim was to “protect the agricultural producers in this state”.

Of the Mississippi bill earlier this year, Vox noted: “This bill will protect our cattle farmers from having to compete with products not harvested from an animal,” said Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation president Mike McCormick in January when the bill passed in the Mississippi state House.

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Trump tweeted Monday evening that oily Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin colluded with Congressional “leadership” to shit out another deficit-expanding, government-growing list of liabilities for the younger generation (discretionary spending measure), just in time to avoid denying Congress their six-week recess that starts Friday.

Democratic leaders Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA) gushed in a statement that the anticipated signing of their fiscal negligence will “invest in middle class priorities and well being of the American people.”

Reason notes the budget could add as much as $2 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a nonpartisan groups that favors balanced budgets.

Pending Trump’s signature, Congress will have “raised the roof” to suspend the debt ceiling until mid-2021. Despite the added trillions, The Hill is casting the monstrosity as “the $320 billion deal,” presumably because that will be this year’s hike in discretionary spending (which pales in comparison to the entitlement spending that consumes most federal confiscation).

Some buzz-worthy provisions of the latest “fuck you” to everyone under age 50 reportedly include over $20,000,000,000 for the VA Mission Act (the Feds’ latest bumbling attempt to provide veterans health care through non-VA alternatives, pushed by Pelosi herself as an extra non-Defense priority); more vague initiatives for the nation to spend its way out of the opioid epidemic; and $2,500,000,000 for the 2020 census (to more accurately round citizens up for confiscation when the creditors come knocking).

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) last month got just 22 votes of the 60 required for cloture to hold a vote on his plan to balance the budget by cutting just 2% of spending. It reportedly would have protected Social Security (currently projected to slash benefits in 2035 due to insolvency, per CRFB), all while keeping the evil Trump tax cuts intact. Presidential aspirants Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were among nine who didn’t show up for the cloture vote.

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/parents-told-could-lose-kids-173048837.html

https://www.inquirer.com/news/school-lunch-debt-foster-care-pennsylvania-todd-carmichael-la-colombe-20190723.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/23/agriculture-department-climate-change-1376413

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/7/22/20706073/arkansas-tofurky-veggie-burger-ban-aclu

http://www.soyinfocenter.com/HSS/soymilk1.php

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/7/3/20680731/mississippi-veggie-burgers-illegal-meatless-meat

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/454206-trump-backs-two-year-budget-deal?userid=115887

https://reason.com/2019/07/22/possible-budget-deal-will-add-2-trillion-to-the-national-debt/

http://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/pelosi-extra-veterans-health-care-funds-needed-in-debt-deal

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/republicans-join-democrats-to-kill-rand-pauls-fiscally-responsible-pennies-plan-because-no-one-cares-about-the-debt-crisis

https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&session=1&vote=00130#position

http://www.crfb.org/papers/analysis-2019-social-security-trustees-report

https://thehill.com/homenews/morning-report/454245-the-hills-morning-report

FEMA Withdraws Aid Withdrawal Amid Backlash, Raises Stakes with Seedy Power Provider and Drops the Ball on Puerto Rican Food Delivery; Congress Shits on Taxpayers Again; Your Location and Face Broadcast to More Federal Agencies

FEMA threatened to cut Puerto Rico off their particular division of the federal teat at the end of January, congratulating themselves for distributing over 30 million gallons of potable water and nearly 60 million meals since the island was largely destroyed by last autumn’s Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico Updates

The agency estimated after pumping $500 million of “public assistance,” and $3.2 million of unemployment aid into the island, just 1% of its inhabitants still require emergency food.

Remaining supplies were transferred to the island’s own disaster agency, Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency (PREMA)–not to be confused with the floundering state-run power supplier, PREPA.

Some far-flung areas of the island were slated to continue suffering. NPR cited Mayor Carmen Maldonado of Morovis, who was not contacted by PREMA regarding the 10,000 citizens of her municipality still dependent on soon-to-evaporate FEMA rations.

Days after that story broke, the Feds sought to save face:

As the New York Times reports, FEMA now claims that it never intended to end the aid and that it has no plans to at this time. Instead, the Jan. 31 cutoff date was “mistakenly publicized by the agency[.]”

If it really was a mistake, they might have just sacked an employee for pressing the wrong button and promptly reassigned him to continue soaking the taxpayers with his “public service.”

Rather, the hapless agency apparently folds on deadlines at the first hint of (justified) taxpayer discontent. And believe anything disreputable contractors say:

Those millions of FEMA meals may not have included 30 million promised by Tiffany Brown (below) of Tribute Contracting LLC in Atlanta in her October 3 bid. (At $5.10 per meal, Tribute was the lowest bidder.)

Brown bagged (pun alert) one of the biggest contracts for brown bag meals to send to the island (only they didn’t include the required heating pouches, which would have made them fancier than traditional brown bag lunches): $156 million for 30 million meals. At the mid-October deadline for the first 18.5 million, Brown’s one-woman operation had delivered…none. 

Apparently, she farmed the job out to a subcontractor: an eleven-person caterer down the road (who curiously managed anonymity across multiple media outlets). They did have the heating pouches, however:

PHOTO: A photo in Tribute Contracting, LLCs contract with a catering company show examples of self heating meals that include a meal in one pouch with a food heater, water pouch, cutlery, and seasonings.

The caterers weren’t too interested in working either, it appears. Tribute was fired.

“My biggest mistake was not asking for more help.”–Tiffany Brown

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) of the House Oversight Committee noted this is Brown’s sixth terminated Federal contract. Four were failures to deliver food to the Federal Prison System. The fifth fuck-up came in 2016 for the Government Printing Office, who issued a decision in 2016 that “no agency in the executive branch” would enter contracts with Tribute until 2019. But FEMA said […]that exclusion only applied to GPO.

The GPO angle is interesting: the feckless Feds only banned Tribute from contracts over $35,000, and only until January 2019. And all Tribune did to GPO was fail to put the Marine Corps logo on both sides of some tote bags. Wait. New York Times:

An investigation by [GPO]’s inspector general found that Tribute “altered and submitted a false shipping document and subcontracted the predominant production function on two contracts without proper authorization,” according to a 2015 report submitted to Congress.

Which doesn’t explain why GPO returned to Tribute for the tote bags a year later.

FEMA never gave Brown any money. She is now suing the government for $70 million in debt accrued for the 50,000 meals she managed to almost deliver.

Brown told FEMA officials in an email exchange on Oct. 19 that, because of issues with suppliers, all 30 million meals would instead be delivered by November 7 – two weeks after the deadline.

She told ABC News on Friday that the original schedule in the contract was flexible and that she had been communicating with FEMA officials about the changes.

You can check out her website, but we took some screenshots just in case she stumbles upon some shame and takes it down:

Brown, who reportedly lost family in FEMA’s other notable success story, Hurricane Katrina, spoke with ABC on Friday:

“I think there’s a lacking of seeing the human aspect of everyone, the human aspect of the citizens of Puerto Rico and how they feel, the human aspect of the business owners trying to support them just trying to help out maybe that doesn’t have the larger infrastructure but out of the kindness of their own heart they want to be able to help they’re not seeing the human aspect they’re only seeing a lowest possible bid or trying to meet a budget and not about the people.”

She also fingered “a lack of infrastructure, particularly payment infrastructure on FEMA’s part.”

It appears the 50,000 meals (which actually made it to Jacksonville, FL for shipment before FEMA pulled the plug) actually came from Brown’s other partner, the non-profit Breedlove. Not to drag them into this, but their website is here.

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As we noted above, Cobra Acquisitions may be picking up the slack. Nasdaq reported the subsidiary of Oklahoma City-based energy giant Mammoth (which is reportedly flirting with serious self-enrichment if the new Puerto Rico power grid is built to run on fossil fuels)…more than doubled its contract to rebuild the Puerto Rican power grid on January 28, from the $200 million already invested in quarter four of 2017 to a cool $445 million.

PREPA requested FEMA clear the contract as “reasonable” and “in compliance with emergency procurement provisions of Puerto Rico;” the federal agency obliged in late December.

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Everyone knows the only solution to government incompetence is to pour more confiscated taxpayer cash onto the fire. So last week, as the seventeen-day stopgap fizzled out and the Feds ran out of borrowing power for the second time this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) huddled to further destroy the livelihood of their subjects employers.

Wading through the details, the disgustingly unaffordable package funds the Federal government for at least another month.

It blows through the 2011 Budget Control Act‘s limit on domestic spending by $57,000,000,000$117 billion more than Trump requested.

Military spending will swell to $700 billion this year, a monstrous 13% increase from 2016, if our numbers are correct.

In Defense of Defense

It bumps up to $716 billion  for 2019.

$90 billion for hurricane and wildfire relief was shoved in there, which sounds generous if you don’t factor in that the victims of these disasters now have more debt to pay off when McConnell and Schumer are long dead.

Some choice goodies that were slipped in, according to New York Times, include: tax credits to prop up renewable energy (it’ll be cheaper and safer for everyone, just wait); extension of a tax break for racehorse owners; exemption from a new college investment income excise tax for the non-tution-charging Berea College (conveniently located in McConnell’s state of Kentucky); funding for abstinence-only sex ed (can’t trust condoms, guys); repeal of $1.35 billion for an Obamacare public health program; repeal of Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, which ostensibly controls Medicare spending; faster implementation of shrinking the Medicare Part D “doughnut hole;” and extension of temporary subsidies to rural hospitals and underserved areas’ health provider tuition loans.

And also billions for the VA, billions for NIH, billions for community health centers, billions for “infrastructure”…all of which Vox suggests will yield major fiscal stimulus.

The deal did not address protections for DACA recipients, the catalyst for last month’s Federal shutdown (and a vote McConnell had promised Schumer to end the impasse). Like the rest of the country, these people appear to be utterly disregarded by McConnell’s rabid lust for accumulating debt. Schumer forgot his earlier advocacy as well:

“After months of legislative logjams, this budget deal is a genuine breakthrough,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “After months of fiscal brinksmanship, this budget deal is the first real sprout of bipartisanship.”

He proclaimed the deal has consigned “the pointless and arbitrary sequester caps to the ash heaps of history.”

A speed bump emerged when Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) forced a procedural delay because the leadership would not allow any amendments to the fiscal depravity. While railing against idiotic government grants (including $700,000 studying whether Neil Armstrong inserted an extra “a” in his famous moon landing line, and coming up empty), Paul pointed out Republicans famously struck the Budget Control Act merely to slow down the rate of spending growth, and decried each and every deficit from the Obama administration.

The 2018 deficit, with this added $300 billion, is projected at $955 billion. Trillion-dollar deficits have become typical since George W. Bush in 2008. TheBalance.com shows how much we’ve added to our over $20,600,000,000,000 in national debt in each of recent years (which is slightly divorced from deficit).

“The reason I’m here tonight is to put people on the spot,” Paul said. “I want people to feel uncomfortable. I want them to have to answer people at home who said, ‘How come you were against President Obama’s deficits, and then how come you’re for Republican deficits?'”

Paul’s fellow Republicans were pissed, as several are up for re-election this year and all reportedly wanted to start the weekend early. The most bone-headed reaction to Paul’s pragmatism came from our favorite crony cow, Lindsey Graham:

“It appears ‘General’ @RandPaul is at it again. He just called for the immediate withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan as a way to give the US military a pay raise,” Graham tweeted. “Fortunately, only ‘General’ Paul — and the Taliban – think that’s a good idea.”

[America has been in Afghanistan, killing and being killed, without declaring war, for over 16 years.]

CNBC noted:

The vast majority of the Republican lawmakers who are opposing the budget agreement, including Paul, voted for the GOP tax law. The massive tax cuts are estimated to add more than $1 trillion to budget deficits over 10 years, even after economic growth is taken into account, according to the CBO.

The bill eventually passed early Friday morning, 71-28, and technically shuttered the government for several hours before the House could ram it through and get it to Trump to sign. It’s unclear if anyone read all of the nearly 700 pages.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave a House-record eight-hour speech advocating for DACA protections, largely reading testimony from Dreamers (DACA recipients) threatened with deportation next month, as the program was not extended by the crooked Schumer-McConnell generational theft. Pelosi voted against the bill, but it passed the House 240-186.

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As we boosted the defense budget with fake money we don’t have, it emerged as the Pentagon undergoes its first-ever audit that its own Defense Logistics Agency (annual budget: $40 billion) lost track of $800 million in construction projects.

Image result

The outside firm Ernst & Young who discovered the glaring errors (and warned more will be uncovered) are just one of the third party consultants who comprise $367 million of the nearly $1 billion audit. Politico reports the rest is to go back and fix broken accounting systems that are crucial to better financial management.

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Customs and Border Protection continues to safeguard your liberties…by expanding locations at which it scans your face. To better patrol the U.S.-Mexican border, the McAllen, TX checkpoint will now catalog the face of every driver and passenger. About time:

The agency will use the results of the South Texas effort to set the stage for a wider rollout along the southern and northern borders, where the technology someday could be used to identify fugitives or wanted terror suspects. Customs and Border Protection already operates facial recognition exit programs at nearly a dozen international airports, including Houston’s, aimed at making sure travelers are who they say they are.

Traveler acceptance is really high, and we can thank the Apples and the Googles for that,” said Colleen Manaher, CBP executive director of planning, program analysis and evaluation, in an interview at the Border Security Expo in San Antonio, where she revealed the Anzalduas project. “It’s a game-changer.”

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! March 10, 19 and 22–Genes, Tattoos and Faces

[our emphasis]

Colleen Manaher

Manaher (above) called the prospect of getting her grubby fingers on identification of just 50 percent of faces crossing the Port Anzalduas bridge “a home run.”

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And in the wonderful state of Kansas,

Kansas: Helpful Public Servants and Meddlesome Neighbors

December Debacle: Stories from the Freezer!!! December 12: Kansas Lawsuit Settled

 

the two-party duopoly cracked down on attempts by the country’s debt-laden youth to gain representation.

After six teenage boys filed to run in this year’s gubernatorial election, the state House committee swiftly passed a bill from Rep. Blake Carpenter (R) requiring candidates to be “qualified electors”–that is, at least 18 years old, and able to vote.

The bill, which would not take effect until after the election, was reportedly co-drafted by Libertarian candidate Ethan Randleas (who happens to be 18). It is lauded as TRIGGER WARNINGcommon sense” by 17-year-old Tyler Ruzich (Republican candidate) and slammed as “reactionary” and “disenfranchis[ing]” by Jack Bergeson, 17 (Democratic candidate).

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It’s turning into a rocky year even for Kansans who are eighteen or older: renewing a drivers license may require residents to obtain new social security cards if their middle initial, not their full middle name is currently displayed; new state-issued birth certificates if all they have is a hospital document; and a marriage license, if they’ve ever changed their name. This will transform one’s license into a Federal Real ID.

Secure driver’s licenses and identification documents are a vital component of a holistic national security strategy.

–DHS website, our emphasis

The Federal Real ID Act was passed over 12 years ago on recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, but, like Common Core, has faced massive public opposition. It mandatory compliance has therefore been extended for various states (yellow, below).

On October 10, residents of non-compliant states will no longer be granted access to airports or military bases with their state-issued drivers license.

The veil is sliding off DHS’s threat to states refusing to funneling all your passport, birth certificate, marriage license and other ID info into a single police state card with a literal TRIGGER WARNING gold star  (they’re calling it a yellow star, for obvious reasons) that can pool all surveillance of your life at the filthy fingertips of the Federal agent manning the bar code reader:

It has been 12 years since the REAL ID Act was passed and half of all the states have already met the REAL ID minimum standards. It is time that the remaining jurisdictions turn their commitments to secure identification into action.

[our emphasis]

Fortunately, according to Charlotte Observer in 2016:

By 2010, more than 25 state legislatures had passed laws criticizing or refusing to comply with the law.

Kansas is currently “in compliance” until 2020. The Feds are signaling that for other, less obedient states that later this year,

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/29/581511023/fema-to-end-food-and-water-aid-for-puerto-rico

https://www.theroot.com/fema-cutting-off-food-and-water-aid-to-puerto-rico-1822558738

https://www.theroot.com/tiffany-brown-head-of-the-one-woman-company-which-deli-1822897056

http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/cobras-puerto-rico-contract-increased-to-approximately-445-million-update-on-puerto-rico-activities-20180129-01030

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fema-contractor-scapegoat-controversy-canceled-contract/story?id=52915221

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/372748-senate-leaders-agree-to-two-year-budget-deal?userid=115887

https://www.wsj.com/articles/house-democrats-split-on-budget-deal-1518115903

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/budget-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/rand-paul-analysis/index.html

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/07/news/economy/rising-deficits/index.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/shutdown-news-rand-paul-holds-up-senate-budget-vote.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/05/pentagon-logistics-agency-review-funds-322860

https://www.mystatesman.com/news/facial-recognition-scanners-tested-soon-texas-mexico-border/K5zgnDYPlrvASb1k5c2vIP/

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article198664404.html

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/feb/11/new-drivers-license-requirements-causing-headaches/

https://www.dhs.gov/real-id

NSA’s FISA Festivities Extended with Bipartisan Support; Rest of Government Fights for Funding–Updated with Related FBI Dereliction of Duty

In a two-hour marathon vote January 16,  a visibly humiliated Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell scraped together 60 votes to vote on the six-year re-authorization of FISA Section 702 without allowing amendments.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 gives the NSA authority to ignore the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and collect phone logs of all Americans, as revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013, because they could all be terrorists.

Claire McCaskill (D-MO), up for re-election this November, fought flu symptoms to cast the sixtieth vote to forgo any debate of the re-authorization and advance to a final vote.

That January 18 vote exceeded the simple majority required, flipping four senators who had advocated debate to “yea”–Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jerry Moran (R-KS),  Chuck Schumer (D-NY)–and picking up Dan Sullivan (R-AK), who missed the filibuster vote:

Trump signed the bill January 19, proclaiming on Twitter: “Just signed 702 Bill to reauthorize foreign intelligence collection. This is NOT the same FISA law that was so wrongly abused during the election. I will always do the right thing for our country and put the safety of the American people first!”

This represented quite a reversal from his January 11 tweet, in which he quoted a headline: “[‘]House votes on controversial FISA ACT today.[‘] This is the act that may have been used, with the help of the discredited and phony Dossier, to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?”

In an exclusive Fox News interview, chief of staff John Kelly assumed credit for changing his boss’s mind:

“I see a man who can change his mind when the facts and data and staff … bring him to a different conclusion.”

The House had passed the matching version of the bill on January 11 by 256-164, after rejecting an amendment by Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) to add the barest of privacy protections for American communications “incidentally” caught up in the surveillance of foreign agents for which the secret FISA court that now allows stockpiling all American communications by the Federal Government was originally established.

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On January 19, Politico reported NSA was sitting on some surveillance data pertaining to pending lawsuits, “accidentally” destroyed that data, and misled a federal court about their actions.

Related:

Summer Part 2: August Agony!!! Looking Back: May 12: NSA, “Exploits,” WannaCry and Whistleblowers

Apparently, in addition to hoarding all our phone logs, NSA is obligated to preserve their ill-gotten, privacy-destroying goodies from our internet traffic, since 2007 when George W. Bush was slammed for warrantless wiretaps of foreigners. How far we’ve come.

But Dr. Mark O. and Elizabeth B. (they’re your employees and they watch you, but you’re not allowed to know their real names) revealed–apparently hours before the above-detailed FISA renewal–that legally-mandated logs of intercepted internet traffic from years 2001 through 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2016 were all deleted. And the backup tapes. Oops.

“The NSA sincerely regrets its failure to prevent the deletion of this data.”

In 2014, Miriam P. reassured the court that legally-must-be-retained data was safe:

The NSA is “preserving magnetic/digital tapes of the Internet content intercepted under the [PSP] since the inception of the program,” she wrote, adding that “the NSA has stored these tapes in the offices of its General Counsel.”

The agency now says, “regrettably,” that the statement “may have been only partially accurate when made.”

The latest NSA filing says the ongoing investigation indicates that officials did a “physical inspection” in 2014 to confirm the tapes’ presence in the counsel’s office storage space. However, “those tapes largely concerned metadata,” not the content of communications the NSA intercepted.

[our emphasis]

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The continued collection of all Americans’ communications without a warrant (despite petty assurances from McConnell, after dragging the bill over a bipartisan filibuster, that the six-year renewal “does not allow the targeting of American citizens”) took precedence over shielding DACA participants from deportation. And funding the government itself, which shut down all “non-essential functions” on January 20.

Obama Proposes Addressing Debt After He’s Gone and Collecting Pension in Hawaii

Image result

Members of Congress, hiding behind the 27th Amendment, will continue to cash paychecks.

The House passed a band-aid bill to fund the government for four weeks and renew CHIP, a recently-expired insurance program for children ineligible for Medicaid, but the Senate rejected it, largely at the behest of of Democrats, leading to many Republicans, including Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, dubbing the debacle the “Schumer Shutdown,” despite the minority leader (below) offering Trump two bipartisan deals Friday morning (after assuring all citizens’ phone and email data was still open for Federal probing).

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, after meeting with President Donald Trump on Friday.

Schumer even admitted on the Senate floor he had offered to entertain Trump’s border wall in one proposed bill in exchange for the DACA protections.

Priority one: taking. Priority two: watching.

BuzzFeed, incidentally, spoke with a former NSA employee, who lamented that the agency’s contractor morale will suffer, because they could be vacationing in nicer weather if not for the uncertainty of furlough. The headline literally used the word “suffering.”)

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UPDATE 1/21/18:

It was quite a weekend for government security dropping the ball. Reuters noted the FBI lost some text messages probing Hillary’s Secret Server.

Agent Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page reportedly dragged on a text convo from just after Trump’s election through last May. The FBI fingered its “technical system” for “failing to preserve” missives that may have focused D.C. on the newly-inaugurated president–and away from the criminal behavior of his rival.

Republicans have said the texts, which referred to Trump as an “idiot” and a “loathsome human,” raised concerns the FBI is biased against Trump and may have given Clinton favorable treatment after deciding not to recommend criminal charges in connection with the probe into her use of a private email system while she was secretary of state.

Page and Strzok (below) both did time on Robert Mueller‘s squad to investigate Trump’s possible collusion with Russia to win the White House. Strzok was reassigned as soon as Mueller learned of the texts; Page finished work for the probe in July. It’s unclear whether either was vetted for impartiality to work for the Special Counsel.

peter strzok, lisa page

Fox News reported Page texted Strzok following Loretta Lynch‘s sleazy meeting with Hillary’s husband during the investigation:

“It’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since [Lynch] knows no charges will be brought.”

Days later, Hillary was cleared by then-FBI director James Comey.

BREAKING NEWS

According to Heavy:

“God Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0,” Strzok wrote to Page, according to one message obtained by Politico. “Also did you hear [Trump] make a comment about the size of his d*ck earlier? This man can not be president,” Page responded, Politico reported.

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article195420669.html

https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=115&session=2&vote=00011#top

https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/20/16913534/president-donald-trump-signed-fisa-amendments-reauthorization-act-of-2017-section-702

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/18/senate-votes-to-approve-reauthorization-controversial-fisa-surveillance-provision.html

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/12/politics/fisa-surveillance-weird-politics/index.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/19/nsa-deletes-surveillance-data-351730

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/20/16912726/trump-shutdown

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/369889-schumer-says-he-offered-to-discuss-wall-as-part-of-trump-deal

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fbi-clinton/senator-says-fbi-lost-crucial-texts-tied-to-clinton-probe-idUSKBN1FA15O?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/01/21/newly-released-texts-between-ex-mueller-team-members-suggest-knew-outcome-clinton-email-probe-in-advance.html

Peter Strzok’s Texts & Emails to Lisa Page Revealed: READ

Summer Part 1: Stories We Shelved!!! April 7–Neil Gorsuch

SENATE GOES NUCLEAR!!!

Demented DC fixture Senator John McCain (R-AZ) had some hateful speech for the Senate majority as he joined his colleagues in changing the body rules to confirm U.S. Tenth Circuit appellate judge Neil Gorsuch (below) to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Gorsuch official portrait.jpg

Democrats had filibustered the nomination of Gorsuch, 49. Republicans, who hold 52 Senate seats, were unable to muster a supermajority of 60 votes to break the filibuster. Instead, they held a 52-48 party-line vote to implement a “nuclear” option: the Senate will now require just 51 votes to allow a vote on Supreme Court justice appointments.

Yahoo! had more:

“It’s a bad day for democracy,” McCain said before entering the Senate chamber, where he later voted with fellow Republicans to change the rules. “I think it’s a terrible mistake that we will regret for many, many years to come.

[…]

There’s not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster, not one,” he told reporters Tuesday. “We all understand that’s what makes the Senate the Senate.”

McCain speaks to reporters after the Senate voted to remove the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees on Thursday. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

[McCain (above) was re-elected in November with 53.7% of the vote.]

“I find myself torn between protecting the traditions and practices of the Senate and the importance of having a full complement of justices on the Supreme Court,” he said. “I’m left with no choice. I will vote to change the rules an [sic] allow Judge Gorsuch to be confirmed by a simple majority.”

[our emphasis]

According to Yahoo!, McCain’s April 4 statement on the matter was even more patronizing to the American people who are apparently supposed to stomach the notion that the six-term senator, 80, has any integrity at all:

I would like to meet that idiot, I’d like to meet the numskull that would say [changing the rule for Gorsuch is a good thing]. Whoever says that is a stupid idiot, who has not been here and seen what I’ve been through and how we were able to avoid that on several occasions. And they are stupid and they’ve deceived their voters because they are so stupid.”

[our emphasis]

Democrats, led by then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV), similarly changed filibuster rules in 2013, requiring only a 51-vote majority in the Senate to break filibusters on all presidential nominees except Supreme Court justices (i.e., executive branch and all other judicial appointments). Once the filibuster is broken, these nominees can be confirmed by a similar, simple majority vote.

USA Today notes Reid and the Democrats felt unrelenting Republican filibusters of Obama nominees for necessitated the rule change:

The turning point in the decades-long debate over Senate filibuster rules was Republicans’ decision to block all three of Obama’s latest nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the nation’s second-most-powerful court with vast jurisdiction over federal agencies and regulations.

April’s was therefore the second “nuclear” rule change for the U.S. Senate in four years.

“The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I believe they are right. The need for change is so very, very obvious.”–then-Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

Reid (above; thanks, galleryhip.com) retired in 2016.

Then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)famously warned the Democrats: “You will no doubt come to regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think.”

Fifty-two of the fifty-five Democrats and their common-caucusing Independents voted for the 2013 rule change. Of the three Democrats in opposition, only Joe Manchin (WV) remains in the Senate today.

At the time, Dianne Feinstein noted: “I’ve sat on the Judiciary (Committee) for 20 years and it has never, ever been like this. You reach a point where your frustration just overwhelms and things have to change. I think the level of frustration on the Democratic side has just reached the point where it’s worth the risk.”

McCain, per USA Today, called the decision “foolish” and squarely blamed junior Democratic senators. “There are members that have never been in the minority who have been here a short time who basically drove this,” he said.

And Obama praised Reid’s maneuver: “A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to re-fight the result of an election is not normal, and for the sake of future generations, we can’t let it become normal[.]”

*

For Mr. Gorsuch’s confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer shamelessly misled the public by attempting to goad the Republicans into “changing the nominee” to allow Democrats to contribute at least eight votes to reach a 60-vote threshold. This is the number needed to end the filibuster Schumer orchestrated. Washington Post:

“If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes — a bar met by each of President Obama’s nominees and George Bush’s last two nominees — the answer isn’t to change the rules. It’s to change the nominee.”

Also according to Post, Schumer decided to lead a filibuster because “[Gorsuch] was unable to sufficiently convince me that he’d be an independent check” on Trump, and Mr. Gorsuch was “not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology[.]”

Washington Post was complicit in Schumer’s fantasy that all Senate proceedings require 60 “yes” votes to break a filibuster (a sort of holdover from the Obama administration when Republicans filibustered ruthlessly and lead Dirty Harry to change the rules, as above) and not a simple majority of 51:

Among recent Supreme Court nominees, the 60-vote threshold has not caused a problem. President Barack Obama’s choices of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena ­Kagan each received more than 60 confirmation votes. Samuel A. Alito Jr., chosen by President George W. Bush, was confirmed 58 to 42 in 2006, but 72 senators voted to defeat a possible filibuster and allow his confirmation vote to go forward. Indeed, only Alito — among the last 16 Supreme Court nominees — was forced to clear the supermajority hurdle to break a filibuster.

President Obama had nominated chief justice of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit Merrick Garland in March 2016 following the unexpected death of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans, who held the Senate majority, refused to hold a confirmation vote for Garland, leaving an eight-member court for about one year and prompting allegations they “stole” an additional Obama-appointed Supreme Court seat. The issue became more of a sore spot for liberals with Trump’s unexpected capture of the presidency, ensuring Hillary would not make the next nomination.

After the rule change, Gorsuch was confirmed 54-45 with 51 Republicans (led by now-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) joined in the affirmative by three Democrats: Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Manchin, and Joe Donnelly (IN). All three are up for re-election in 2018. Republican Johnny Isakson (GA) did not vote.

We were unable to find a quote from Obama reacting to the rule change and ensuing Gorsuch confirmation.

Thanks to our sources:

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-06/gop-begins-nuclear-rule-move-to-advance-trump-high-court-pick

https://www.yahoo.com/news/mccain-filibuster-change-bad-day-democracy-172058093.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Arizona,_2016

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/gorsuch-confirmation-hearing-to-focus-today-on-testimony-from-friends-foes/2017/03/23/14d21116-0fc7-11e7-9d5a-a83e627dc120_story.html?utm_term=.a9fa2a9f85fa

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/11/21/harry-reid-nuclear-senate/3662445/

March 1-3: Breaking: Sessions Spoke to Sergey

Washington Post originally reported on March 1 that polarizing new Attorney General Jeff Sessions communicated with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Trump campaign last year, and proceeded to lie about it during his confirmation hearing. Oops.

During his confirmation hearing, Sessions was asked what he would do if he learned a member of Trump’s campaign had communicated with the Russian government over the course of the 2016 campaign. He responded: “I’m not aware of any of those activities. … I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

Image result for jeff sessions confirmation status

[emphasis ours]

Sessions (R-AL) was one of the only sitting members of Congress to endorse Trump prior to his victory.

He believes “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and plans (planned?) to use the country’s top law enforcement post to accelerate civil asset forfeiture and the War on Drugs.

“It’s unthinkable that we would make it harder for the government to take money from a drug dealer.”

–Jeff Sessions

Just the day before the Russian revelation, Sessions announced his Justice Department would decrease investigation of police departments around the country, according to Marie Claire:

“Rather than dictating to local police how to do their jobs, or spending scarce federal resources to sue them in court, we should use our money, research, and expertise to help them figure out what is happening and determine the best ways to fight crime.”

*

Lindsey Graham, who advocates massive deficit spending to bomb other countries without declaration of war, tried to stay relevant by casually denouncing the powerful deputy of his former 2016 presidential rival. The Hill:

“There may be nothing there,” Graham said in a CNN town hall event. “But if there is something there, that the FBI believes is criminal in nature, then for sure you need a special prosecutor.”

“If there were contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, they may be legitimate; they may be OK. I want to know what happened between the Trump campaign, the Clinton campaign and the Russians.”

The Democrats, led by demented House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, are forcefully calling for Sessions to end his session in Washington.

“Jeff Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing before the Senate. Under penalty of perjury, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee, ‘I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.’ We now know that statement is false.”

–Pelosi (D-CA)

“The information reported last night makes it clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that Attorney General Sessions cannot possibly lead an investigation into Russian interference in our elections or come anywhere near it. […] Because the Department of Justice should be above reproach, for the good of the country, Attorney General Sessions should resign.”

–Schumer (D-NY)

*

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) waded into the fray:

I’ve been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for 10 years, and in that time, have had no call from, or meeting with, the Russian ambassador. Ever. That’s because ambassadors call members of Foreign Relations Committee. Attorney General Sessions should resign.”

[our emphasis]

It didn’t take too long for multiple media outlets to seize on the hypocrisy of McCaskill, who is up for re-election in 2018. Good Morning America:

[I]n light of tweets that surfaced today showing McCaskill had, in fact, met with the ambassador in a group setting, the senator clarified that she has never had a one-on-one meeting with Kislyak, as Sessions did.

She responded on Twitter about her old tweets, arguing that “4 years ago went to meeting of many Senators about international adoptions. Russian Amb also attended,” and, “Again, As senior member of Armed Serv, never received call or request from Russian Amb for meeting. Never met one on one w/him.”

Sessions, also according to Good Morning America, commented Wednesday night:

“I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”

*

According to New York Times, Sessions recused himself from an investigation into the contact on March 2, displaying all the integrity of Tom Brady allowing an impartial NFL investigator to go through the Gillette Stadium equipment room video tapes from the 2014 AFC championship game.

*

Meanwhile on March 3, renowned Hillary campaign strategist Robby Mook gave a guarded response to MSNBC as to whether his disgraced and defeated “champion” had any Russian contacts during her campaign.

As we have covered extensively, Hillary campaign chair John Podesta and his brother Tony served as unregistered de facto lobbyists for Putin’s Kremlin until three months before the Clinton campaign’s stunning defeat by Trump.

Panama Papers

Thanks to our sources:

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/321930-sessions-spoke-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-campaign

https://reason.com/blog/2016/11/21/trumps-pick-for-attorney-general-is-a-dr

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/democrats-call-sessions-resignation-amid-reports-contact-russians-055106241–abc-news-topstories.html

http://www.marieclaire.com/politics/news/a25692/jeff-sessions-rolls-back-lawsuits-police/

http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/politico-influence/2016/09/art-museums-win-protection-for-borrowed-art-216348

DNC Updates

UPDATED 8:00 PM

Thomas Perez will receive the backing of four Democratic governors this evening, according to CNN. This is significant because only 17 of the 50 state governors are Democrats.

Terry McAuliffe (Virginia) and  John Hickenlooper (Colorado) are two Democratic bagmen with some shady respective dealings in the past:

Hillary Quilts; Associates Don’t Quit

Blast From the Past

 

Virginia and Colorado had margins of victory for Hillary in the 5% range for the 2016 Presidential election. (Libertarian Gary Johnson got over 5% of the vote in Colorado.) Although both states have now gone blue three consecutive election cycles, their governors will officially wield the influence–and sleazy connections–endemic of “swing state governors.”

Much less consequential will be Governor Gina Raimondo (Rhode Island…?) and John Bel Edwards of Louisiana.

Perez’s (rumored “more progressive”) competitor Keith Ellison, meanwhile, has the following high-profile endorsements: Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Georgia representative John Lewis, and Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard.

Original post continues below:

The Hill reported that Keith Ellison‘s adversaries are working to sink his credibility and ensure a more “establishment” candidate, like Thomas Perez, will become the next DNC chair.

Re-ignited issues that were reportedly raised to derail Ellison in his first national campaign, when he won a four-way Congressional race to represent Minnesota’s 5th district with 56% of the vote, include  past tax troubles, campaign finance violations and minor legal issues that once led to his driver’s license being suspended.

Ellison’s wife at the time claimed responsibility for all the issues, according to The Hill:

At the time, Kim Ellison said that memory loss associated with her multiple sclerosis was the reason for the unpaid traffic tickets, late campaign finance reports and household bookkeeping errors.

[our emphasis]

 

Related:

Hillary Updates

Mr. Ellison, since divorced from Kim, paid over $18,000 to “settle a federal lien against him over unpaid income taxes from between 1992 and 2000,” according to The Hill.

The drivers license was suspended “multiple times” due to unpaid tickets, which Ellison acknowledged in 2006.

Ellison’s potential DNC voters are not impressed in some cases. The Hill:

Bob Mulholland, a DNC member from California and one of 447 who will vote in the February election, says he has not backed a candidate yet but will not support Ellison.

“One Republican said to me, ‘You’re going to elect a tax cheat who drives without a license?’” Mulholland said. “It’s absurd.”

“If Ellison were running as a Republican, Democrats would attack him as a tax cheat, so I have no idea why Washington insiders are urging the grassroots to elect another insider. If you can’t drive or pay taxes, you can’t organize your life, so I concluded early on that he can’t organize for this job.”

[our emphasis]

*

An anonymous DNC member who supports Thomas Perez noted the appearance of impropriety may be more damaging “across the aisle” politically than anything Ellison has actually done, and reportedly told The Hill:

“Every time he makes a statement about Donald Trump’s irresponsible policies, Republicans will come back and say, ‘Who is he to talk about being irresponsible? He couldn’t even get his finances in order and got sued by the state of Minnesota, or he can’t even hold on to his driver’s license without getting it suspended.’”

“Layer on that the statements he made about Israel — a lot of this stuff is blown out of proportion, but Republicans will never hesitate to blow things out of proportion. It will diminish his credibility significantly and take the focus away from where it needs to be.

“Look — these things happened a long time ago and sometimes young people do things incorrectly and that’s probably a large part of this. But the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter. Republicans went after Hillary Clinton for something out of law school 50 years ago in Arkansas. That’s what they do. It is a problem to have someone with baggage from the get-go.”

[our emphasis]

[According to Wikipedia, Hillary graduated from Yale law school in 1973, which was 43 years ago.]

Ellison’s support for the Nation of Islam is under scrutiny. Among charges of anti-Semitism, NOI is dealing with current leader Louis Farrakhan‘s rumored past characterization of Adolf Hitler as a “great man.”

Ellison denounced the NOI in 2006. CNN:

Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, publicly renounced his association with the Nation of Islam in 2006 after it became an issue during his run for Congress, when local Republican bloggers began publishing his old law school columns and photos connecting him to the organization.
“I have long since distanced myself from and rejected the Nation of Islam due to its propagation of bigoted and anti-Semitic ideas and statements, as well as other issues,” Ellison wrote at the time.
From our research, Ellison’s action with the NOI and writings supporting the African-American Muslim religious and political movement was mostly throughout the 1990s.
The Hill:
This is the same bullshit as people pulling up his past comments to try and paint him as an anti-Semite,” said Minnesota Democratic chairman Ken Martin, an Ellison supporter who also has a vote in the DNC race.

See most of our recent news on the race here:

Dean Drops Out

Thanks to our sources:

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/311270-old-finance-woes-haunt-ellisons-dnc-bid

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/01/politics/kfile-keith-ellison-nation-of-islam/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/22/politics/tom-perez-dnc-chair-four-governors/

Trump Goes to War with Old People

War on Women War on Seniors Planned by Republicans

Above: Schumer (left) looks on with fellow Democrat Harry Reid. Schumer was re-elected to a fourth consecutive Senate term in November. Reid, 76, chose to retire after representing Nevada in the Senate since 1987.

RHYME TIME

Another election after years of two or four, another instigation of a partisan class war!!

CNS News reports that Chuck Schumer (D-NY), heir-apparent to retiring Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, sounded the alarm on them evil Republicans this week when President-elect Donald Trump announced his nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary: Tom Price, M.D.

Tom Price official photo.jpg

The New York Democrat said he was “so disappointed” that Trump has nominated Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to be his Health and Human Services secretary. “When it comes to issues like Medicare, the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood, Congressman Price and the average American couldn’t be further apart,” Schumer told a news conference on Capitol Hill.

[our emphasis]

Source that we cannot paste under the table at the bottom of the article where source would normally belong because it would mess up the “table format” pulled from Wikipedia:

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/schumer-republicans-are-plotting-war-seniors

HHS is a very important position that controls other agencies. See below.

Peering through his pedophile librarian glasses, Schumer reportedly gave the following dirty details for C-SPAN [our emphasis]:

“Between this nomination of an avowed Medicare opponent and Republicans here in Washington threatening to privatize Medicare, it’s clear that Washington Republicans are plotting a war on seniors next year. Every senior, every American should hear this loudly and clearly Democrats will not let them win that fight.”

God forbid government entitlements become privatized and get any shot at efficiency and sustainability. We must keep everything at the success rate of the VA.

Government Cares

VA Shortcomings

Another VA Parking Lot Suicide

We have reproduced the rest of Schumer’s ill-informed tirade from CNS because it’s just that comical:

Schumer said Republicans tried to privatize Social Security after the 2004 elections: “And now, after the 2016 elections, it seems that they’re intent on trying the same trick on Medicare. Just as their efforts failed then, they will fail now. We say to our Republicans that want to privatize Medicare — go try it, make our day.

Related image

“Democrats from blue states, purple states, red states are going to link arm in arm to protect Medicare for our seniors and ensure that Republicans don’t succeed in putting our senior’s healthcare at risk. As we have said many times, there will be issues where we can work with the President-elect and his party, but privatizing Medicare is not — certainly not — one of those issues.

“We’re going to fight tooth and nail any attempt to privatize, voucherize [sic] or any other “ize” you can think of when it comes to Medicare. To Republicans considering going down this path, my advice is simple, turn back.”

Image result for tooth and nail

Although Trump has said he will not cut Medicare, he did campaign on a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, and on that topic, Trump and Price see eye to eye.
Price, an orthopedic surgeon, has sponsored legislation called the Empowering Patients First Act, which calls for individual health insurance pools, expanded health savings accounts, tax credits for the purchase of coverage and lawsuit abuse reforms.

Price also has called the current Medicare system “broken and unsustainable.” He advocates a voucher-type system that would provide subsidies for older Americans who choose to purchase private health insurance. He also would raise the Medicare eligibility age from the current 65 to 67.

*

Clearly, Price, 62, SARCASM ALERT doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Medicare is fully sustainable!

It is unclear if Schumer, 66, has signed up for the Medicare benefits that are expected to “exhaust reserves” by 2028. Bill the taxpayers Bill the taxpayers more!

Medicare Is Going to Run Out of Money a Lot Sooner Than Expected

 

Dr. Price’s EPFA has over 50 co-sponsors in the Republican-controlled House, but apparently has not received a vote since its introduction in 2014. Fucking Paul Ryan.

As we reported from Forbes in July, [u]nder the [Affordable Care Act], insurers cannot charge their oldest policyholders more than three times their youngest customers’ rates. But the average 64-year-old consumes six times as much health care, in dollar value, as the average 21-year-old. [our emphasis]

Obamacare Updates

Health and Human Services, a Federal Government Agency, throws around a lot of Federal money. (It’s their money, not yours.)

Their logo is also a lot like one of them Animorphs:

 

Seal of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.svg

Redistributing “health care” since 1953.

 

$1010 billion in outlays

HHS has a budget in excess of $1,020,000,000,000 (over one trillion dollars) and 79,540 employees. Its main function is to administer “mandatory programs” (entitlements from the Federal Government like Medicare and Medicaid), but the cabinet-level secretary is also responsible for overseeing FDA, Indian Health Service, NIH, CDC and other agencies.

In 2015 the vast majority of the budget (which increases, along with number of full-time employees, every year…what $20,000,000,000,000 national debt???), over $900,000,000,000, went to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to dole out the Medicare and Medicaid. (Obamacare is a third, separate, unconstitutional and insolvent “entitlement.”)

Apparently, since Federal confiscation starts with one dollar of annual income or greater, the HHS budget is funded by our “Federal Withholding,” as the actual Medicare dollars our funded by our separate Medicare Tax.

We don’t have to give up our welfare benefits if we choose to get a job, do we?

Sylvia Mary Mathews Burwell (below) is the current HHS Secretary.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell official portrait.jpg

Burwell was appointed by Obama and confirmed by the Senate after Kathleen Sebelius (below, angry then mocking) bungled the launch of the $2,000,000,000-website healthcare.gov and resigned in disgrace.

Image result for kathleen sebelius dummies

Image result for kathleen sebelius laughing

*

SARCASM ALERT:

Why did everyone gang up on the old people and send them to their doom by electing Trump??

The breakdown of self-reported presidential votes by age group demographic is reproduced below (%TOTAL refers to the percent of the electorate that age group comprised), according to exit polls compiled by Wikipedia:

Age                                                                        CLINTON Trump    other   %Total
18–24 years old 56 35 9 10
25–29 years old 53 39 8 9
30–39 years old 51 40 9 17
40–49 years old 46 50 4 19
50–64 years old 44 53 3 30
65 and older 45 53 2 15

Senators High on Private Fly(ing)

Which Senators Spent the Most Taxpayer Money Flying in Private Planes?

gillibrand Gillibrand Wants Tax Credit for Fertility Treatments

Hillary’s not a U.S. Senator from New York any more, but her Empire State colleagues have kept up her high-priced “private plane” habits.

American Media Institute reported this month that of the country’s 100 Senators, the top two private airplane plutocrats who blew public money on charter flight were the two members from New York: heir-apparent to Senate majority rule in November Chuck Schumer (D) (below) and Kristen Gillibrand (D) (above). They dropped $292,000 and over $150,000 respectively (2015 fiscal year).

Senator—and likely future Majority Leader—Charles Schumer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) came in third with over $75,000.

Schumer and Gillibrand also accumulated the largest “credit card late fees” among any of the Senate’s members.

Schumer disclosed $2,600 and Gillibrand $3,474 in fees and charges to JP Morgan over the past fiscal year – usually a sign that the offices were late paying their credit card bills.

A Senator gets an annual office budger from $3,008,288 to $4,760,211, “based on a formula that considers the state’s population and distance from Washington, D.C., according to a Congressional Research Service study of office accounts released in February,” AMI reports.

AMI found really easy ways the Senators could have traveled like the little people and saved some money.

Schumer spent $4,707 in taxpayer funds to fly round-trip from New York to Albany in March of 2015, but United Airlines regularly makes that flight for less than $600 even if the ticket is purchased a few days before the trip.

Even more complicated flights – such as New York to Syracuse, Albany, Rochester and returning to New York in one day – cost $1,000 to $1,500, but Schumer regularly spent between $5,000 and $6,000 on such trips, records show.

Mr. Schumer employs Air Charter Express, LLC, based out of Rome, NY, for campaigning and constituent service. It has one plane, which seats six people. Michael Ezzo is the owner, and pilot.

The campaign flies for about half the cost as Schumer and his entourage do for campaign business.

The 37 flights listed on his campaign documents dating back to 2009 averaged $2,531, while the flights picked up by taxpayers from his Senate account last year averaged $5,524. The records do not list locations of travel, so a direct comparison is not possible.

Schumer’s campaign only paid for nine flights that cost more than $3,000 while the office account shows all the flights cost more than $3,000.

“Scheduling conflicts”were apparently a big deal for the busy New Yorker as well. A $3,269.50 flight in May 2015 was cancelled (but still paid for) at the last minute.

Sen. Gillibrand only flies in Zen Air planes. They have a variety of aircraft, but her records do not specify if she’s using the Cessnas or the jumbo jets. Her typical trip usually involves a $10,000 bill to taxpayers, however. This includes staff members who fly with her.

A trip in April 2015 for Gillibrand and two staffers from Washington, D.C. to Plattsburg, Rochester, Buffalo and back to D.C. cost taxpayers more than $15,000 – about $5,000 for her travel and $10,000 for staff. A similar itinerary on a travel website shows an economy fair of about $1,600 per person, a total of $4,800 with just a two-day advanced purchase.

Senator Barrasso notes long distances across the large state of Wyoming. But unlike his GOP colleague Mike Enzi (who used about $10,000 in total private planes in F.Y. 2015), Barrasso loves expensive charter flights.

Senator John Barrasso.

In the year ending last September, Barrasso charged taxpayers for $75,411 in charter flights. The charges included a $10,760.75 bill for a March 2015 flight around a half-dozen small cities in Wyoming and a $5,219.13 flight from Cody to Casper and back in September.

Travel websites show regular flights between Cody and Casper for less than $800 last-minute and even a direct flight by Linear Air Taxi for less than $2,000.

Also:

The most frugal senator was Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, who regularly sends an unspent portion of his annual appropriation back to the U.S. Treasury, keeping his staff small and his travel to a minimum. The taxpayers’ total cost for Shelby’s upkeep in 2015 came to about $1.7 million, records show.

Thanks to our source:

Flying High on the Taxpayer Dime: These Three Senators Bust the Budget on Air Travel