Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Taxpayers get it coming and going in a new report issued by the Office of the State Auditor. The figures show $9.1 million in property taxes was spent by local governments in 2016 to lobby the Minnesota Legislature, often to increase spending.The self-interest of government.
Some 105 Minnesota cities, counties, school districts, townships and special districts spent public funds on lobbying legislators, four more than in 2015. It added up to an increase of $183,353 (2 percent) in local government lobbying over the previous legislative session.
But in reality the total tops $10 million. That’s if you count–the report does not–local government spending on federal lobbyists in Washington, D.C. A loophole in state law does not require the state to track the hundreds of thousands of dollars local governments pay to federal lobbyists.
Wells Fargo branches across the country deliberately targeted “undocumented immigrants” to open savings and checking accounts in order to meet aggressive sales goals, according to court documents obtained by The Chronicle.Crony capitalism meets the illegals!
In sworn declarations obtained by Burlingame plaintiff’s attorney Joseph Cotchett, former employees describe a scheme in which Spanish-speaking colleagues would visit places they knew were frequented by immigrants (including construction sites and a 7-Eleven), drive them to a branch and persuade them to open an account. Some employees would give the immigrants $10 apiece to start an account. The events described in the declaration go back a decade.
“The conduct we have come up with is scandalous,” Cotchett said. “It’s outrageous to think that regulators let the bank get away with this.”
The alleged scheme appears consistent with earlier reports of a runaway sales culture at Wells Fargo, where branch employees faced pressure to meet high sales quotas. But it raises fresh questions about whether bank employees merely deceived customers by opening accounts in their names — or further crossed a line.
Under federal law, banks must verify the identities of customers. The declarations offer no evidence that Wells Fargo skirted those requirements.
President Trump is backing down from an Affordable Care Act demand, which could pave the way for a spending deal
President Barack Obama considered being homosexual as a young man, according to a forthcoming biography of the president.Information that the New York Times didn't want to publish in 2008 about Black Jesus. No word yet from Larry Sinclair or Pastor Manning on this book.
The biography by David Garrow, “Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama,” is set to come out on May 9. Garrow wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Martin Luther King Jr., and is a regular contributor to The New York Times and The Washington Post.
The vast majority of student loan defaulters have Less Than 10k in debt. 7 more economic facts on higher ed
The Miami Herald reports:
California lawmakers are considering an audacious proposal that would substantially remake the state's health care system by eliminating insurance companies and guaranteeing coverage for everyone.The socialists want to bring VA style medicine to you in California. Notice the monopolist rhetoric of eliminating competition in health care.
The idea known as single-payer health care has long been popular on the left. It's gaining traction with liberals as President Donald Trump struggles with his efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The proposal, promoted by the state's powerful nursing union and two Democratic senators, is a longshot. But the supporters hope the time is right to persuade lawmakers in California, where Democrats have long been willing to push the boundaries of liberal public policy and are now particularly eaaliger to stand up to the Republican president.
Hundreds of nurses are planning to rally Wednesday in Sacramento ahead of a hearing in the Senate Health Committee.
"We have the chance to make universal health care a reality now," Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said last month. "It's time to talk about how we get to health care for all that covers more and costs less."
The measure would guarantee health coverage with no out-of-pocket costs for all residents of California, including people living in the country illegally. Private insurers would be barred from covering the same services, essentially eliminating them from the marketplace. Instead, a new state agency would contract with health care providers such as doctors and hospitals and pay the bills for everyone.
The McDonald’s (MCD) of the future will have fewer people behind the counter taking orders as the fast-food giant modernizes its restaurants by incorporating kiosks, table service, increased mobile app functionality, and curbside delivery into its locations.No word yet from the $15 minimum wage crowd on this story.
On the company’s first-quarter earnings call, CEO Stephen Easterbrook was asked if the so-called “Experience of the Future” initiative would require additional labor or more training.
“Additional labor? No, we’re not seeing additional labor,” Easterbrook said.
After Challenging Red Light Cameras, Oregon Man Fined $500 for Practicing Engineering Without a License. "Anyone should be allowed to talk about the traffic signals without being penalized," says Mats Järlström. He's suing the board.
When Mats Järlström's wife got snagged by one of Oregon's red light cameras in 2013, he challenged the ticket by questioning the timing of the yellow lights at intersections where cameras had been installed.Eventually the regulatory state comes after your right to free speech.
Since then, his research into red light cameras has earned him attention in local and national media—in 2014, he presented his evidence on an episode of "60 Minutes"—and an invitation to present at last year's annual meeting of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
It also got him a $500 fine from the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying.
According to the board, Järlström's research into red light cameras and their effectiveness amounts to practicing engineering without a license. No, really. Järlström had sent a letter to the board in 2014 asking for the opportunity to present his research on how too-short yellow lights were making money for the state by putting the public's safety at risk. "I would like to present these fact for your review and comment," he wrote.
Instead of inviting him to present, the board threatened him. Citing state laws that make it illegal to practice engineering without a license, the board told Järlström that even calling himself an "electronics engineer" and the use of the phrase "I am an engineer" in his letter were enough to "create violations."
Apparently the threats weren't enough, because the board follow-up in January of this year by officially fining Järlström $500 for the supposed crime of "practicing engineering without being registered."
Järlström is now suing the state board over that fine, arguing that it's unconstitutional to prevent someone from doing math without the government's permission. He's getting support from the Institute for Justice, a national libertarian law firm.
Anthem could bolt from Obamacare exchange if subsidies are cut https://t.co/w7BV73mLWW— CNBC (@CNBC) April 26, 2017
Trump: "I'm never surprised by the Ninth Circuit...We'll see them in the Supreme Court" https://t.co/PDTk3Zel3l— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) April 26, 2017
White House officials and several Republican lawmakers claimed Tuesday they were nearing a deal on health-care legislation with the House Freedom Caucus, with at least three leading figures in the hard-line group ready to support an overhaul after the dramatic collapse of talks last month.The struggle against statist medicine.
Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho) — all leaders of the Freedom Caucus and central figures in the latest discussions — signaled Tuesday they are ready to support a new plan, according to two White House officials who were not authorized to speak publicly. A lawmaker close to the Freedom Caucus later confirmed that those members were close to or ready to support the tweaked bill.
Top members of the House Freedom Caucus would say little on Tuesday night about where they stand on the revised measure. Meadows said that he won’t weigh in publicly until after the Freedom Caucus meets Wednesday night, but he praised Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) — co-chairman of the centrist Tuesday Group — and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) for their role in trying to reach consensus.
S&P: These Ten Retailers Will File For Bankruptcy Next https://t.co/Rw8cpieypy— zerohedge (@zerohedge) April 26, 2017
French Mayor Found Guilty Of Incitement For Saying 91% Muslim Classrooms Are a 'Problem' https://t.co/oPU4maYivS— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 26, 2017
The U.S. government garnished the Social Security checks of 173,000 borrowers from student-loan programs in 2015
The U.S. government garnished the Social Security checks of 173,000 borrowers from student-loan programs in 2015https://t.co/8SBO1d0Tzo— Real Time Economics (@WSJecon) April 26, 2017
United Nations Tells Trump He Can't Repeal ObamaCare. The U.N.’s “urgent appeal” asked whether scrapping ObamaCare without a suitable replacement would violate global law.
Skull and Bones member Dana Milbank uses his Washington Post column to report to us that the U.N. thinks they are in charge of American health care:
The United Nations has contacted the Trump administration as part of an investigation into whether repealing the Affordable Care Act without an adequate substitute for the millions who would lose health coverage would be a violation of several international conventions that bind the United States. It turns out that the notion that “health care is a right” is more than just a Democratic talking point.There's more from Patriarch Milbank:
A confidential, five-page “urgent appeal” from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva, sent to the Trump administration, cautions that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act could put the United States at odds with its international obligations. The Feb. 2 memo, which I obtained Tuesday, was sent to the State Department and expresses “serious concern” about the prospective loss of health coverage for almost 30 million people, which could violate “the right to social security of the people in the United States.”
If repealing Obamacare violates international law, wasn’t the country in violation before Obamacare? Puras addresses this by writing that the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights “notes that there is a strong presumption that retrogressive measures taken in relation to the right to health are not permissible.”The House that Alger Hiss built is telling you socialist medicine can never be turned back. Ever. Here's the story from The Hill.
Though of questionable legal value, the U.N. letter is at least a bit of moral support for those defending Obamacare. Those attempting to deny health care to tens of millions of Americans would hurt their own constituents in a way that falls short of the standards we hold for ourselves and other countries.
Four-story Starbucks Roastery, called the "the Willy Wonka of coffee," to replace Crate & Barrel on Mag Mile
For the first time since the riots, there is an uptick in the number of Angelenos who fear that another civil disturbance is likely, according to a Loyola Marymount University poll that has been surveying Los Angeles residents every five years since the 1992 disturbances.Fear , in Blue America.
Nearly 6 out of 10 Angelenos think another riot is likely in the next five years, increasing for the first time after two decades of steady decline. That’s higher than in any year except for 1997, the first year the survey was conducted, and more than a 10-point jump compared with the 2012 survey.
Young adults ages 18 to 29, who didn’t directly experience the riots, were more likely than older residents to feel another riot was a possibility, with nearly 7 out of 10 saying one was likely, compared with about half of those 45 or older. Those who were unemployed or worked part-time were also more pessimistic, as were black and Latino residents, compared with whites and Asians, the poll found.
Researchers theorized that the turnaround may be linked to several factors, including the more polarized national dialogue on race sparked by police shootings in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere, as well as by the tenor of last year’s presidential election. Moreover, many parts of L.A. still suffer from some of the economic problems and lack of opportunities that fueled anger before the riots.
The most energy-wasting landlord in the New York City is the city itself. Officials worry that metering energy use would saddle residents with bills they could not afford.
The most frustrating job in New York City might be curbing energy use at Housing Authority developments, which have 400,000 tenants on their leases but probably house about 700,000. The residents face challenges in their daily lives, but saving energy is not one of them—because the majority get no electric or heating bills.Socialism does mean.... inefficiency. Don't you be a science denier.
It’s safe to say that Earth Day came and went Saturday, April 22, without much fanfare in the projects, which use 40% more energy than similar-size private buildings. The annual tab is $280 million.
Public-housing units tend not to have individual meters to measure electricity use. But some do, and what we know from them is extraordinary: Tenants without meters—who pay the same rent regardless of how much power they use—consume four times as much electricity as tenants who pay their own bills.
The authority’s energy czar, Bomee Jung, is honest about why the agency has not metered every unit: the fear that tenants would run up bills they could not afford. Many own inefficient air conditioners (which are cheaper to buy than Energy Star appliances) and blast them all summer—to keep their pets cool or so they can return home to a chilled apartment—and might not change their ways. Some elderly ones would do the opposite, keeping their units too hot and putting their health at risk.
But that is defeatist thinking. It patronizes tenants and cannot be justified given public housing’s desperate financial situation and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal to cut the city’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. All units should get meters and efficient ACs. This work would soon pay for itself.
The San Diego County median home price reached $515,000 in March, its highest point in a decade and a 7.7 percent increase in a year, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday.No middle class for you !
The median price had been below half a million dollars since October last year, which had some analysts surmising costs had hit an affordability wall. But, the March numbers show some buyers are willing to go higher to get homes.
The San Jose Mercury News reports on Obama mega supporter Marissa Mayer.
California dreaming? Hardly.The great moments of Blue America!
Mattresses on sidewalks, moving vans in driveways and hasty garage sales hint at a trend Bay Area residents have long suspected – exodus.
Real estate brokerage site Redfin released its annual "migration report" on Monday and found that those residing in San Francisco Metro are the most likely to leave. The catalyst for moving – high housing costs – should surprise no one.
Analyzing a sample of 1 million Redfin users, the site found that 19.4 percent of potential homebuyers in San Francisco searched outside of the region for houses.
San Francisco also recorded the highest "net outflow" – the number of potential homebuyers looking to move to San Francisco Metro subtracted from the number of those who want to leave. The region's outflow was double that of New York.
The Department of Justice is not worried about a federal court decision Tuesday that temporarily blocks enforcement of Trump’s executive order that targeted federal funding of “sanctuary cities.”Judge Orrick , in the news.
A spokesman said the DOJ will continue on with its efforts to restrict federal law enforcement grants from jurisdictions that restrict the federal government from accessing information about the immigration status of an individual.
The judge sided with the city of San Francisco and Santa Clara County, California, which both were worried about potentially losing billions in federal money. The DOJ lawyers argued that Santa Clara would have lost less than $1 million in funding. However, the judge said that the order was written too broadly.
Judge William Orrick, an Obama-appointee, also pointed to public comments from Trump administration officials which made the order “unclear.” He said that the administration took a “schizophrenic approach.”
Orrick did uphold the government’s ability to enforce conditions of existing grants and 8 U.S.C. 1373, the federal statute which pertains to sanctuary cities. Ian Prior, a Department of Justice spokesman, said in a statement that the “department will continue to enforce existing grant conditions and will continue to enforce 8 U.S.C. 1373.”
'They have blood on their hands': Furious Trump blasts the 'egregious overreach' of San Francisco judge who blocked his sanctuary city crackdown and says liberal lawmakers are responsible for DEATHS of Americans
The White House has blasted a judge for blocking his sanctuary city crackdown and criticized opponents of its immigration policies in the strongest terms yet, saying anti-ICE lawmakers have 'the blood of dead Americans on their hands.'Obama bundler ,Judge Orrick in the news.
In a statement released on Tuesday night the Trump administration claimed US District Judge William Orrick's decision to block a ban on funding for sanctuary cities was 'a gift to criminal gangs and cartels.'
It went on to invoke the death of Kathryn Steinle, the 32-year-old woman shot dead by an illegal immigrant in Orrick's city of San Francisco in 2015.
'San Francisco, and cities like it, are putting the well-being of criminal aliens before the safety of our citizens, and those city officials who authored these policies have the blood of dead Americans on their hands,' the statement said.
Muslims are 5% of UK. But 90% of those involved in organized rape of schoolgirls. pic.twitter.com/0F6vPl9Snc— Peter McLoughlin (@pmclauth) April 26, 2017
This is rich: House GOP exempt themselves, their health insurance from their latest ACA repeal plan.
This is rich: House GOP exempt themselves, their health insurance from their latest ACA repeal plan. https://t.co/XKzGPNdMN9— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 26, 2017
President Trump is reviving the so-called Laffer curve as he announces the broad outlines of a tax overhaul
1980s feminists went on Reclaim the Night marches. Feminists now silent when told "You are under sharia curfew". Where's the Slut March?
1980s feminists went on Reclaim the Night marches.— Peter McLoughlin (@pmclauth) April 26, 2017
Feminists now silent when told "You are under sharia curfew".
Where's the Slut March? pic.twitter.com/WkLwN1sXZS
Jewish community 'saddened and revolted' as Bucharest cemetery vandalized on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Jewish community 'saddened and revolted' as Bucharest cemetery vandalized on Holocaust Remembrance Day https://t.co/8rpGC1vXyp— RT (@RT_com) April 26, 2017
EXPOSED!!!— Zvi Lando (@zlando) April 26, 2017
The Muslim Plan to Flood the US With as Many Refugees as Possible https://t.co/RrXnEKkatK 26Apr@12:14pm