Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LA School Teacher Charged with Molesting 23 Children

61-year-old Mark Berndt was arrested on Monday and remains in jail on a $2.3 million bond. He has been charged with committing lewd acts with 23 boys and girls ranging in age from 6-10 years old.

The investigation began when a film processor turned over 40 photos depicting children with their mouths taped shut. The acts were committed over a period of time from 2008 to 2010. Berndt worked for the Miramonte Elementary School in south Los Angeles.

Woman Tries to Offer Sex with Her and Her Daughter for $25

In Southgate, Michigan, the owner of DaSilva's Pawn shop had an unusual proposition regarding a $25 payment on a notebook computer. A woman not only offered herself but also her young daughter to perform a sex act with a clerk in order to pay for a pawned notebook computer.

The owner of the pawn shop called police and protective services after the clerk refused. The woman and her daughter were caught on surveillance footage. According to the clerk, the daughter, after her made the offer to the clerk, said, "just you, mom. Not me."

Who Knows Best about Cutting National Debt and Spending? The Voters

In a recently released book by pollster Scott Rasmussen, The People's Money, he points out that Congress believes that the people would not support change and spending cuts. They, according to him and his research, are wrong.

Listen to what he found out after interviewing a million people for his book.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Raising the National Debt Limit No Longer "Unpatriotic"

In 2008, even presidential candidate Barack Obama called George W. Bush "unpatriotic" and said that his actions were "a sign of leadership failure" for raising the national debt limit to $8.9 trillion in July, 2006.

With the national debt limited raised by another $1.2 trillion, the US senate has gone 1,005 days without a budget. More money to spend with no budget.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Lady Spends $50,000 During a Lingerie Shopping Spree

First Lady Michelle Obama decided to spend some money on new lingerie. In a single shopping spree at Agent Provocateur, she spent $50,000.

Part of Madison Avenue was closed so that the First Lady could shop to her heart's content.

Newt Suggests that Santorum Should Drop Out

In the ABC's Sunday news program, "This Week", Newt suggested that Santorum should drop out of the race so that he can garner more of the conservative vote and beat Romney.

There have been rumors floating around that Santorum would drop out of the race. However, Santorum spoke out on Fox's News Channel and said that he would not drop out and continue his run.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Another Energy Company Bites the Dust

What three things do Evergreen Energy, Ener1 and Amonix, Inc. have in common? All are green companies. All received Stimulus money. All are now belly up.

Once again, green companies are going out of business. Amonix, Inc. will be laying off 200 employees only seven months after opening a factory in Nevada, a state that has an unemployment rate of almost 13%.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated his commitment to renewable energy. With more and more green companies closing their doors, it will be a very difficult to continue a program that has backed one failure after another.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ninth-Grader Suspended for Taking Picture of Sleeping Teacher

In Mustang, Oklahoma, a ninth-grader at Mustang Mid-High School used a cellphone to take a picture of substitute teacher who was sleeping in class. Later, the student was suspended for using a telecommunication device during the school day.

According to school officials, they will also look into the incident regarding the sleeping teacher.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bob Dole Throws Support to Romney and Blasts Gingrich

Bob Dole, former Republican nominee for president, threw his support behind Mitt Romney and said that Gingrich was "one-man-band who rarely took advice."

For Bob Dole's comments, click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

State of the Union Address: Same Tune from the President

The Republican National Committee compiled a video comparing President Obama's previous State of the Union Addresses to the one given last night.

US Citizens Abroad Giving Up their Citizenship over Tax Code

In its 2011 Annual Report to Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate pointed out that more and more Americans working abroad are deciding to give up their citizenship rather than trying to figure out the IRS code.

On page 17 of the report, it states the following:

Many U.S. taxpayers abroad are confused by the complex legal and reporting requirements they face and are overwhelmed by the prospect of having to comply with them. Some are even renouncing their U.S. citizenship for that reason; about 4,000 people did so in fiscal years (FYs) 2005 to 2010. Renunciations increased more than tenfold from 146 in FY 2008 to 1,534 in FY 2010, with 1,024 renunciations in the first two quarters of FY 2011 alone. IRS Publication 4732, Federal Tax Information for U.S. Taxpayers Living Abroad, illustrates the complexity of the filing requirements. It refers to at least eight other relevant IRS publications, totaling 563 pages, and the additional documents referred to by these other publications include 4,727 pages of instructions, 667 pages of forms, and another 1,928 pages of form instructions, or 7,322 total pages. Finally, a recent IRS study of taxpayer needs and preferences showed that international taxpayers may have a “greater current need for IRS services than the general taxpayer population,” and another IRS study identified nine international locations that warranted serious consideration for expansion of tax attaché offices.

1,024 last year alone chose to give up their US citizenship due to the complexity of the tax code.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Under Obama, Prices have Jumped

Under the Obama administration, the price of basic items have gone up.

  • Gasoline up by 83%
  • Ground beef up by 24%
  • Bacon up by 22%
  • Whole wheat bread up by 5%
  • Ice cream up by 19%

Other items have gone as well. Milk and eggs have fluctuated in price, but have gone up overall.

Although some will argue that the global economy has been rough and it is only now that it is picking up a bit, it still hurts at the pump and checkout for most Americans.

Monday, January 23, 2012

CEOs at Fannie and Freddie Get a Pay Cut

The next CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-run housing finance companies, will not be getting large salaries. The current CEOs, who will be leaving later this year, receive an annual compensation packages close to $7 million for 2011.

The pay package for the future executives will be far less than the multi-million dollar deals. Both CEOs earn an annual base salary of $900,000. In addition to that, each will take about $6 million more in deferred pay and bonuses.

Both companies have received taxpayer aid totaling more than $169 billion.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

US Representative Gabrielle Giffords Will Step Down from Congress This Week

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will step down from Congress this week to continue her recovery from a gunshot wound inflicted a year ago this month.
“I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week,” the congresswoman said in a video message released today to her constituents.
Giffords, a third-generation Arizonan who served five years in the state Legislature before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2006, will not seek re-election this fall.
But Giffords vowed that her career in public service has not come to an end.
“I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country,” she said.
In the two-minute video, Giffords looked back on her career and urged her colleagues in Congress to continue her practice of working across party lines for the good of the country.

For the full press release, click here to visit her site.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A "Ghost" Beat My Wife

Michael West, 41, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was charged with domestic abuse of his wife. He was arrested for strangulation, battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Police, responding to a domestic abuse call, found West's wife bleeding from the nose. West told police that his wife had fallen several times which resulted in the injuries. When pressed further by police, an intoxicated West said that a "ghost" was actual responsible for beating and strangling of his wife.

After West made the ghostly claim, he was taken into custody by the police. West remains in custody in lieu of a $1000 bail.

LA Students Reject Healthy Meals

Students of the Los Angeles Unified School District have rejected the healthy menu created to improve nutrition.

Students are throwing the healthy food into the garbage in favor of junk food they bring from home or buy on the campus "black market".

A black market business has opened up on the LAUSD campuses. Students are buying junk food from other students.

In response to the student rejection of the healthy menu, LAUSD are bringing back burgers and healthy pizzas to the menu. According to reports, students have elected to stop eating healthy school lunches and some are suffering from hunger-related ailments.

Unopned cartons of milk are being thrown away daily as well as uneaten entrees.

The LAUSD serves 650,000 meals daily.

NJ Teacher Accused of Having Sexual Affair with 16-Year Old Female Student

Kyle Daniw, a 32-year-old history teacher and basketball and track coach at Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls, NJ, faces charges after allegedly having a sexual affair with a 16-year-old female student.

According to investigators, Daniw met the female student when she was a freshman and allegedly had an affair with her the following year.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Iran Cracks Down on Shops Selling Barbie Dolls

The Iranian police have shut down dozens of toy stores in order to stop the sale of Barbie dolls. The raids of the toys stores are part of the crackdown against "manifestations of Western culture".

In a society where women wear headscarves in public and men and women are not permitted to swim together, Barbie, in her swimsuits and miniskirts, is frowned upon in Iran. In 1996, the government, through its children's agency, called Barbie a "Trojan horse" that was sneaking Western culture into the country and introducing makeup and revealing clothing.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

ABC to Air Inteview with Gingrich's Second Wife, Marianne Gingrich

ABC will be airing an interview of Marianne Gingrich, Newt Gingrich's ex-wife.

According to his second wife, Gingrich wanted an "open marriage" or a divorce.

What's all the Furor over SOPA/PIPA?

Over the past couple of days, you may have heard about SOPA and PIPA and have heard that WIKIPEDIA went dark for 1 day in protest of the bills. The Internet search engine giant, Google, placed a blackout across its name on its main search page.

You may be asking what is all the furor over.

First, let us look at the basics. SOPA stands for "Stop Online Piracy Act". It is US House Bill 3261. The sister legislation in the US Senate, HR 968, is called "PROTECT IP Act" (PIPA).  The full name is "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011".

Both bills do essentially the same thing. They shut down access to illegal web sites that may be enfringing on copyrights. However, the bills may go too far and provide the government with more power over the Internet.

I found this wonderful video by Khan Academy that breaks down the bills and explains why people are upset.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Obama to Say No to Keystone XL Pipeline

The Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline and said that Republicans, by only providing the administration 60 days to assess the environmental impact, are to blame for the answer.

Deputy Secretary of State Williams Burns made the announcement on the President's behalf.

Republicans quickly responded by saying that the decision made by Obama also rejected the creation of thousands of American jobs.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said, "The president won't stand up to his political base even to create American jobs. This is not the end of this fight."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nancy Pelosi: Mitt Can't Win

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday attacked Mitt Romney and the GOP. According Pelosi, the GOP voters are not getting behind Romney.

Pelosi also believes that President Obama will win the 2012 election by beating Romney.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Senior White House Advisor Plugs President from Pulpit

Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett uses the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA to bash Republicans and plug the President and his policies.

After her speech and the pastor's sermon, the church held a voter registration drive.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Huntsman Drops Out of GOP Race

According to a campaign spokesman, Jon Huntsman will announce on Monday that he will be dropping out of the GOP presidential race and will endorse Mitt Romney.

Huntsman plans to make his official announcement at a news conference scheduled for 11AM Monday in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

S&P Downgraded Sovereign Credit Rating of 9 European Countries

Standard and Poor's on Friday, after warning the euro zone that it would downgraded several countries if they did not come to an agreement on the financial crisis and had a plan in place to save the euro zone from a possible recession, downgraded the sovereign credit ratings of nine countries including France and Austria.

Germany, due to it being the healthies economy in the euro zone, was not downgraded.

The following countries had the ratings dropped by one notch: Austria, France, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain dropped by two notches.

Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands had their ratings affirmed and were removed for S&P CreditWatch list, where they were placed with "negative implications" in December.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Iranians Shouting "Death to America and Israel" after Death of Scientist

During the funeral for an Iranian scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, who was killed by a motorcycle assassin in rush-hour traffic, Iranians began to shout "Death to America! Death to Israel!"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

US Department of Homeland Security Monitors Social Network and Blog Sites

In a recent Reuter's article, the US Department of Homeland Security has been monitor large social network sites and blogs for the past 18 months.

Sites include Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and other large sites. According to the Homeland Security document, the program was created to "collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greek Children Dumped in the Streets by Parents

Due to the mounting financial problems and austerity measures taken by the Greek government, parents who can no longer afford to take care of their children are dumping them in the streets.

A four-year-old child, Anna, was found by a teacher clutching a note that simply read: "I will not be coming to pick up Anna today because I cannot afford to look after her. Please take good care of her. Sorry."

Anna is just one of the youngsters who have been abandoned by their parents who are struggling to make ends meet.

In addition to the children being abandoned, the country is running out of medicine. Pharmacists stated that the country had almost run out of aspirin.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doomsday Clock Moves 1 Minute Closer to Midnight

Faced with inadequate progress on nuclear weapons reduction and proliferation, and continuing inaction on climate change, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) announced today that it has moved the hands of its famous "Doomsday Clock" to five minutes to midnight.

The last time the Doomsday Clock minute hand moved was in January 2010, when the Clock's minute hand was pushed back one minute from five to six minutes before midnight.

In a formal statement issued at the time of today's announcement, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists noted: "It is five minutes to midnight. Two years ago, it appeared that world leaders might address the truly global threats that we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed. For that reason, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is moving the clock hand one minute closer to midnight, back to its time in 2007."

Monday, January 9, 2012

$45 Million Homeland Security Boondoggle in Cook County, Illinois

A $45 million dollar security program funded by Homeland Security to make citizens safer has been called a disaster and taxpayers' dollars wasted.

The Cook County program was riddled with equipment that failed to work, missing records and untrained first responders according to a report issued the inspector general of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.

The program consisted of fixed cameras that would send video back to a central command center. In addition to those camera, two police squad cars would be outfitted with cameras to send live video back to the command center. These cameras would be used in the event of a terrorist attack or emergency in Cook County.

The cameras failed due to extreme temperatures and people were poorly trained. Additionally, the report pointed out that there were "missing records, improper procurement practices, unallowable costs and unaccountable inventory items."

The report also points out that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) did not exercise oversight over the program.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Obama's "Alice in Wonderland" Party During the Recession

In an article by the New York Post, the Obamas hosted an "Alice in Wonderland" costume ball with Johnny Depp and Hollywood director Tim Burton in 2009. The party was so over the top that George Lucas sent the original Chewbecca to mingle with invited guests.

The party was kept very quiet for fear that the public would find out about the extravagant party. With unemployment hovering at 10%, banks needing to be bailed out and Obama's health care reform causing heated protests at town hall meetings, the Obamas decided that they needed to have an blow-out party on the taxpayers.

The party was invitation-only and held in the East Room and State Dining Room of the White House.

The fruit punch was served in blood vials.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

More Obamacare Waivers Granted to Labor Unions

Since President Obama signed the health care reform act into law on June 17, 2011, labor unions have been receiving an overwhelming majority of waivers. More have been granted since the administration tightened application rules last summer.

More than 543,812 union workers are now exempt from the law while only 69,813 employees of private companies are. Most of those private employers are small businesses.

Labor unions backed the health care reform and now, over a half million of their members are now exempt.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Something Not Adding Up on Job Numbers

Fox News Business had a segment on the jobs numbers. Listen to Gerri Willis' report.

Need Photo ID to Buy Drain Cleaner

A new Illinois state law now requires individuals to show a state-issued photo ID and sign a log in order to purchase drain cleaner or other caustic chemicals.

In answer to two incidents in which two women were attacked and had drain cleaner poured on them, the state legislature passed a law which requires the customer to show a photo ID and sign a log in order to purchase drain cleaner or caustic chemicals.

Non-compliance would result in a $150 fine for the first offense, $500 for the second and up to $1,500 for a third and subsequent violations.

Some stores estimate that as many as 30 products would have to be reported to the state when sold.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Obama Uses "Signing Statements" to Get His Way

In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barrack Obama criticized President George W. Bush for using "signing statements", which are obscure declarations that allow a president to thwart the intent of laws passed by Congress.

Obama promised, that if elected, he would not use them. Since taking office, Obama has, on at least 20 occasions, used "signing statements" to get his way.

His latest signing statement was in response to the National Defense Authorization Act which funded the military for 2012. In a 13-paragraph memorandum, President Obama stated that his attorneys concluded that there were certain provisions that would interfere with his constitutional duties.

Some of the items he is choosing to ignore are:
  • Restrictions of data transfers to Russia;
  • New authorities to detain suspected members of al Qaeda; and
  • Sanctions against the central bank of Iran.
In addition to this, President Obama has decided to exercise his power of recess appointments once again by appointing Richard Cordray as the head of the New Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new members of the National Labor Relations Board.

The problem with these appointments is that Obama exercised his power of recess appointment while the Senate was open for business. Obama used his open-ended authority to determine whether or not the Senate is in recess without consulting them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rick Perry Tweet: "Here We Come South Carolina!!!"

Texas Governor Rick Perry tweeted, "And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State...Here we come South Carolina!!!" He also posted of a picture of himself in a jogging outfit.

It looks like Perry is staying in the race.

Michele Bachmann Suspends Campaign

After finishing at the bottom of the Iowa Caucuses, Michele Bachmann, in a news conference, has announced that she is suspending her campaign. She, however, vows to continue her case against the Obama administration.

Bachmann and Perry Out?

After yesterday's less than stellar showing by Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry at the Iowa Caucuses, each are facing tough decisions today.

Perry will be returning to Texas to evaluate his campaign and whether or not he will continue. Bachmann has canceled her trip to South Carolina and is planning a news conference this morning. The thought is that Bachmann would announce that she is dropping out of the GOP race.

Each, at one time, were at the top of the list as the Republican candidate that would run against President Obama in this year's election.

Romney Wins Iowa Caucus...Just Barely

With only 8 votes separating the two, Mitt Romney squeaks by Rick Santorum. As one of the closest contests in presidential campaign history, Romney received 30,015 votes and Santorum got 30,007.

Ron Paul came in third, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman.

The surprise is that Rick Santorum has surged in the polls as an alternative to Romney.

According to BuzzFeed, McCain is set to endorse Romney as early as today in New Hampshire. How will this impact Santorum? Political analysts believe that this may be a pivotal point in the campaign and give the GOP rank and file the impression that Romney is uniting the party.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rupert Murdoch Twits Rick Santorum

Media giant, Rupert Murdoch, announced his support for Rick Santorum Monday evening by twitting a message to this followers. Murdoch called Santorum the "only candidate with genuine big vision".

Murdoch controls Fox News Channel and The Wall Street Journal.

Although the twit was not a outright endorsement, it is unclear if Murdoch wants Iowans to think about Santorum or if Iowans were thinking about Santorum.

As a side note, Bill O'Reilly has invited Rick Santorum to appear on the "O'Reilly Factor" show on Wednesday. Prior to his rise in the polls, Santorum was not invited to the show.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Alan Colmes Take Cheap Shot at Santorum

Alan Colmes, Liberal commentator, takes a cheap shot at Rick Santorum during a discussion with National Review Editor Rich Lowry on Fox News.

During the discussion, Colmes mocked how the Santorum family handled the death of their newborn infant, Gabriel.

Colmes said, "get a load of some of the crazy things he’s said and done, like taking his two-hour-old baby when it died right after child birth home and played with it so that his other children would know that the child was real.”

Lowry called Colmes on the comments and said, "To take something that is that personal and that hurtful as losing a child and mocking it like that … that is beneath you, Alan."

On Your Mark. Get Set. Caucus!

With tomorrow's start of the GOP race for the nomination in Iowa, it will be interesting to see who will come out on top.

With Rick Santorum's surge in recent polls, picking a winner in the Iowa Caucus will be difficult. Gingrich, Romney and Paul have been dividing up the voters. However, Santorum's surge in recent polls has been sending a shock wave through the party.

With Rick Santorum's surge, he has also seen a major increase in donations to his campaign. According a senior adviser for Santorum, the campaign has seen a 300%-400% increase in daily donations over the past 10 days.

Could Santorum pull off a January surprise? It will be interesting to see what happens.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Interesting Healthcare Statistics

With health care cost skyrocketing, it is no wonder that it accounts for 18% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Here are some other things to consider.
  • Medicare spends about $50 billion on the last 2 months of a patient's life.
  • Medicare/Medicaid fraud is estimated at $70 billion per year.
  • 23-30% of prescriptions never get picked up at the pharmacy according to a Surescripts study based on 40 million prescriptions from 2008-2010.
  • 80% of health care bills contain errors.
  • Insurance claim errors are estimated at about $17 billion per year.
  • According to the Milliman Medical Index which measures the total annual cost of health care for a typical family of 4 using a Preferred Provider Plan (PPO), costs in 2002 were $9,235. In 2011, the costs were $19,393.
  • By 2025, the average annual cost for family health care insurance will equal the average annual household income.
In my own case, I have watched my health care insurance premiums increase by 25% in less than 2 years.