Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Something for our brave militias on the Texican border.
Sorry about the New York Yankees cap. Los Cenzontles, David Hidalgo, Andre Thierry - Crei
She's hoping for an Oscar.
Pentagon to try a novel new idea
The concept of the hideously expensive "Jack of All Trade and Master of None" weapons system no longer seems popular in the Pentagon.
A 20-year Air Force strategic forecast, spurred in part by looming budget constraints, also calls for a faster pace, with lower price tags, in developing both airmen and the technology they use, warning that the current way of acquiring warplanes and weapons is too plodding.In addition to the F-35, there is no mention of the other elephant in the room, all the Imperial military outposts in other countries. When you have more bases overseas than you have at home, you might be doing something wrong.
The report, labeled a “call to action” by the Air Force secretary, Deborah Lee James, limits itself to how the country’s most tech-heavy military service can adapt to looming threats and budget constraints. But it is also a warning to and an admission from the entire Defense Department that with military compensation and retirement costs rising sharply, the country may soon be unable to afford the military it has without making significant changes to the way it does business.
“To boil this down, we have to buy things very differently and develop and employ our people differently,” said Maj. Gen. David W. Allvin, the author of the report. “We have to behave more like an innovative 21st-century company.”
Between 1998 and 2014, annual compensation costs per active-duty service member increased by 76 percent, to $123,000, while the overall military budget increased by 42 percent — yet, since 2010, the base Defense Department budget has been declining, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. So far, the military has dealt with the sharp increase in personnel costs by cutting the number of service members, and has managed to keep expensive weapons acquisition and technology at the same percentage of the overall budget — around 30 percent — as personnel and maintenance and training.
But with the Army, the largest branch in the military, now headed to its lowest personnel numbers since before the World War II buildup, Defense Department officials, particularly in the Army, warn that more cuts could bring increased risks to deployed service members. While the Air Force and the Navy, with historic reliance on technology, are widely viewed as more willing to make personnel cuts than their Marine and Army counterparts, even officials in those services say there is a limit to how much more they are willing to cut personnel.
It remains unclear how serious the Air Force is about its call to move away from its focus on big, expensive weaponry, in particular advanced fighters and bombers.
Nowhere in the report is there a mention of scaling back on the trouble-plagued F-35 jet fighter — in development for 14 years so far — which was temporarily grounded last month after another in a series of problems.
I guess God believes in climate change
In hearings held on the new proposed EPA rules on carbon pollution, even Conservative god-botherers are stepping up in support. Apparently they have read the parts about being stewards of the earth and believe them.
The E.P.A. on Tuesday held the first of two days of public hearings on its proposed regulation to cut carbon pollution from power plants, and mixed in with the coal lobbyists and business executives were conservative religious leaders reasserting their support for President Obama’s environmental policies — at a time when Republican Party orthodoxy continues to question the science of climate change.Nice to see that God is not always bent on destruction.
More than two dozen faith leaders, including evangelicals and conservative Christians, are expected to speak at the E.P.A. headquarters in Washington by the time the hearings conclude on Wednesday.
“The science is clear,” said Lisa Sharon Harper, the senior director of mobilizing for Sojourners, an evangelical organization with a social justice focus. “The calls of city governments — who are trying to create sustainable environments for 25, 50 years — that’s clear.”
Ms. Harper was one of about 20 interfaith activists who quietly sang “Hallelujah” and Jewish spirituals in a prayer circle outside the environmental agency’s 12th Street entrance here on Tuesday. Mr. Yearwood and three other faith leaders spoke at the hearings on Tuesday. Some 20 others are to make remarks on Wednesday.
Although many of the faith leaders come from traditionally progressive congregations, like black churches, synagogues and mainstream Protestant denominations, others were more conservative Christians who reflect a growing embrace of environmentalism by parts of the religious right. This week’s hearings on the new E.P.A. rule gives them an opportunity to make their argument that climate change hurts the world’s poor through natural disasters, droughts and rising sea levels, and that it is part of their faith to protect the planet.
“I have been called by God to speak out on these issues and believe it is my conviction as an evangelical Christian that we must be stewards of God’s creation,” the Rev. Richard Cizik, a former top lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals and now president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, plans to say Wednesday at the E.P.A. hearing in Washington, according to his prepared remarks.
The agency is also holding hearings this week on the regulation in Atlanta, Denver and Pittsburgh. About 1,600 people are scheduled to speak.
R.I.P. Theodore Van Kirk
You did your duty and followed your conscience.
One way to support the troops
In this world there are all manner of slime, much of it natural, and the worst forms tend to be man-made. The lowest of the low might well be Rome Finance also known as Colfax Capital Corp. and Culver Capital. Following a much too long history of preying on members of the military, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has brought them to bay.
At first glance, the loans advertised by Rome Finance looked like a good deal for service members who wanted to buy new video game consoles, laptops or flat-screen TVs but didn’t have the cash.It remains to be seen which Republican/Teabagger will step forward as Rome Financial's champion.
The Concord, Calif., company offered special “military financing” to troops: no money down and instant financing on pricey electronics and other goods sold at mall kiosks near military bases.
But a federal consumer watchdog agency says Rome Finance _ also known as Colfax Capital Corp. and Culver Capital _ was profiting from a predatory lending scheme at the expense of military personnel, thousands of whom ended up being hounded to repay debts they didn’t legally owe.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Tuesday that more than 17,800 service members who were victimized by the scheme would receive a total of $92 million in debt relief from Rome Finance.
“Rome Finance’s business model was built on fleecing service members,” Richard Cordray, said director of the bureau, in a statement. “Today, their long run of picking the pockets of our military has come to an ignominious end.”
The company couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
The bureau reached a settlement with the company in coordination with 13 states’ attorneys general in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said in a statement Tuesday that the predatory actions by Rome Finance were unconscionable.
“I’m pleased that this resolution will provide military members here in Kentucky and across the country with the financial relief they are owed,” he said.
Conway said 228 Kentucky service members would receive a total of $1.2 million in debt relief through the settlement. In Florida, more than 800 service members will receive $4 million.
“Our military members sacrifice so much for us, and we will not allow predatory lenders to deceive them,” Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement Tuesday.
More than 1,300 North Carolina military service members _ many of whom took out loans from Rome Finance to buy electronics from Fayetteville-based retailer SmartBuy_will have their credit cleared and $6.8 million in debts forgiven, the state’s attorney general said Tuesday.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Take 3 Canadian women who like to fiddle around
And get them to sing like angels together and you have Miranda Mulholland, Kendel Carson and Stephanie Cadman, collectively known as Belle Starr, here singing "Get Me Through December".
Once upon a time
There's just no getting around it
Lacking papers and English
Some of the small farms have found a way to deal with rising expenses, exploiting undocumented immigrants.
Álvarez, 39, lived in Mexico City until April 2013. He was laid off from his job as a manager at a warehouse run by pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim after the company switched to a mechanical system to manage inventory, and he couldn’t find any work in his hometown.He is not afraid of hard work and can deal with the exploitation, his main worry is La Migra.
Álvarez left his wife and two kids behind for the U.S., spending eight days crossing the desert — including three without food or water. He made his way to Tucson, Arizona, and over the next few weeks to upstate New York, where a friend helped him find a job corralling cows on a dairy farm in Chenango County.
In September, Álvarez was charged by a bull. The animal pushed him up against a metal railing, injuring his shoulder and ribs and giving him a deep cut just below his right eye. His boss, the owner of the farm, pulled the cow away from Álvarez but wouldn’t take him to the hospital for two hours, until after the owner finished milking his cows.
When Rebecca Fuentes, an organizer from the Workers’ Center of Central New York called the hospital to check on Álvarez, the owner’s sister answered the phone and pretended to be a nurse, according to Fuentes and Álvarez. Because his medical team did not speak Spanish and because his employers waited by the phone at the hospital, he wasn’t aware until weeks later that his employers had told authorities that he was just visiting the farm, not working on it, when the accident happened. His workers’ compensation case is now a lot more complicated.
About 15 days after the incident, when it became clear that Álvarez’s ability to perform strenuous manual labor was still impaired, his employer fired him. He searched for work for two months.
“I tried to get out of my head that I had this accident, because it meant I couldn’t provide for my family,” Álvarez said. “It took me three months to tell them because I was ashamed.”
He eventually found work on another dairy farm. He now lives with two other workers in a dilapidated farmhouse at the edge of his employer’s property. He makes $500 a week and sends home 80 percent of that to his wife and kids in Mexico. His son is still finishing college, and his daughter recently landed a job as a lawyer in the Mexican government.
John Oliver on things that go Big Boom
Why do we have all those warheads anyway?
Monday, July 28, 2014
Small Town Talk
From her most recent album, Shannon McNally sings the title cut, "Small Town Talk"
Giving the Devil His Due
You can't rush things
Turnabout is fair play
And three cheers to the Satanists for coming up with a great turnabout.
In a statement, the Satanic Temple said that it will use the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to exempt its believers from state-mandated informed consent laws that require women considering abortions to read pro-life material.Alright worms, time to get out of that can.
Informed consent or “right to know” laws state that women seeking elective abortions be provided with information about alternatives to the procedure, often couched in language that attempts to personify the fetus. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 35 states currently have informed consent laws, and of those, 33 require that the woman be told the gestational age of the fetus.
In some states, that information consists of pro-life propaganda that links abortion to a higher incidence of breast and ovarian cancers, or discusses “post-abortion syndrome,” a mental condition not recognized by any major medical or psychiatric organization.
Because the Satanic Temple bases its belief “regarding personal health…on the best scientific understanding of the world, regardless of the religious or political beliefs of others,” it claims that state-mandated information with no basis in scientific fact violates its “religious” beliefs.
Spokesperson Lucien Greaves said that the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision bolsters their case. “While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling,” he said, “the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when they allowed Hobby Lobby to claim certain contraceptives were abortifacients, which in fact they are not.”
The Satanic Temple set up a website where women seeking an abortion can print out a letter for her healthcare provider explaining why she is exempt from informed consent mandates.
Texas hooter toters Bare all at gunhumpers rally
As one commenter said,"It's open carry. So where is the problem?"
Time for the public to weigh in on EPA power plant rules.
And if you have any thought on the desirability of breathing clean air, now is the time to let the EPA know how you feel. You can be sure that those who believe they have a right to shit where you breathe will do so.
Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are taking their controversial power plant rule to the people this week, with a series of public hearings that could generate 1,600 comments.If you aren't near one of those locations, and most of us are not, you can drop them a comment or two right here.
In a conference call with reporters Monday, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy – who testified before Congress on the rule last week – said that the hearings will give citizens a key opportunity to give their two cents on the proposal, which has generated strong pushback from the power industry and Republicans in Congress.
For McCarthy and the Obama administration, the rule is seen as a necessary step to help reduce the kind of carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. She also said the proposal was written with significant input and that it affords states flexibility to handle carbon pollution emissions within their borders.
“We don’t have to sacrifice a healthy economy for a healthy environment,” she said, seeking to rebut an argument she said is bound to come up in the hearings. “But you don’t have to take my word for it – look at the history.” She added that “we can do this in a way that keeps our energy affordable and reliable” and that “states have the smarts and the skills to pull this off.”
The hearings will be held in Atlanta, Washington, Denver and Pittsburgh, each over two 11-hour days. Speakers get five minutes. EPA officials will be on hand, although McCarthy is not attending any of the hearings.
That Inigo Montoya Moment
Sunday, July 27, 2014
As is traditional for a Sunday
Here is a lovely tune sung by the Rankin Family
In Memory of Raylene Rankin who is featured on this song.
A Seasoned Traveller's tips for Middle East Trips
What you gonna do after they came for you
And put you in prison for a year away from your Amish culture and fully exposed to the modern world? For one, you might consider getting a pool table, if you wife will let you.
Amish farmer Raymond Miller developed a taste for Mountain Dew soda, got his GED, and wonders if he should get a pool table after learning to play in prison.Maybe he can upgrade to a Mennonite?
His wife, Kathryn, who had never ridden a public bus before boarding one last year to go to prison for forcibly cutting the hair of her relatives, was introduced to yoga and step classes while behind bars.
The Millers, members of an Amish breakaway sect from eastern Ohio at the center of shocking 2011 hair-cutting attacks on other Amish followers, are trying to settle back into life at home after being exposed in prison to a world their religion is focused on locking out.
The Amish shun modern technology and regard beards for adult men and uncut hair for married women as sacred. In Bergholz, where the Millers live, they are Old Order, which means no electricity or telephone lines into the house.
Unless, like Raymond Miller, 29, you are on probation and must make daily phone calls to a probation officer and wear an electronic ankle monitor while harvesting hay.
"I’m ready to get rid of it," Raymond said of the telephone installed in his home. "We get salesman calls about electric bills and they don’t believe that we don’t have an electric bill."
Ebola just keeps rolling on
And now the medical profession is being affected as the constant exposure to patients is wearing away their odds against catching the disease.
Dr. Samuel Brisbane is the first Liberian doctor to die in an outbreak that the World Health Organization (WHO) said has killed 129 people in the West African nation alone. A Ugandan doctor working in the country died earlier this month.This is one thing that I am very afraid of since the first transmission to another country by plane occurred. Unlike Republicans, Pseudo-Christians and assholes of every stripe and color this is one thing that has no remedy. The only positive is that the current outbreak is showing a 60% mortality rate rather than the 90% of earlier ones.
Health workers are at serious risk of contracting the virus, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids.
The WHO says the outbreak, which began in February and represents the largest ever recorded, has also killed 319 people in Guinea and 224 in Sierra Leone. There is no known cure for Ebola, which begins with symptoms including fever and sore throat before escalating to vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding.
Brisbane's death comes amid reports of another high-profile death, in Sierra Leone. Saudatu Koroma, 32, succumbed to the virus after her family stormed a hospital in Sierra Leone's capital of Freetown Thursday and forcibly removed her from quarantine.
Koroma, a resident of the densely populated Wellington neighborhood, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, according to Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis.
The motives for removing Koroma from the hospital were not clear, but efforts to combat the disease have met difficulties in a population skeptical of modern medicine and more trusting of traditional remedies.
After authorities launched a brief and frantic search, Koroma showed up at a hospital Saturday, but she later died. Before returning to doctors, she had gone to a traditional healer, according to Amadu Sisi, senior doctor at King Harman hospital in Freetown...
After falling ill with Ebola, Brisbane was taken to a treatment center on the outskirts of the capital, where he died, said Tolbert Nyenswah, an assistant health minister.
Under the supervision of health workers, family members escorted the doctor's body to a burial location west of the city, Nyenswah said. He added that another doctor who had been working in Liberia's central Bong County was also being treated for Ebola at the same center where Brisbane died.
The situation "is getting more and more scary," Nyenswah said.
Doctors Without Borders is one group fighting this outbreak that could surely use your help if you have any spare cash.
The New York Times Stuns The Nation
Is there any other reaction to the editorial, published as part of a series on marijuana, that calls for the national legalization of the blessed herb.
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.You can read the first part of the series here. And may their call to reason be swiftly followed by success.
We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.
There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level.
We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, reducing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use. Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.
But that would leave their citizens vulnerable to the whims of whoever happens to be in the White House and chooses to enforce or not enforce the federal law.
The social costs of the marijuana laws are vast. There were 658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures, compared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives. Even worse, the result is racist, falling disproportionately on young black men, ruining their lives and creating new generations of career criminals.
There is honest debate among scientists about the health effects of marijuana, but we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that addiction and dependence are relatively minor problems, especially compared with alcohol and tobacco. Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults. Claims that marijuana is a gateway to more dangerous drugs are as fanciful as the “Reefer Madness” images of murder, rape and suicide.
There are legitimate concerns about marijuana on the development of adolescent brains. For that reason, we advocate the prohibition of sales to people under 21.
A reminder to help you plan
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Jazz up your Saturday night
With the talented Oleta Adams singing "New York State Of Mind"
Gov. "Nuts of Steel" Perry leads the way
Well this could get Jeebus pissed at him
In a state that wears its Jeebusness on its sleeve, the act of one judge in Dallas could arouse the ire of a shitload of Sunday Christians and Republicans and ruin his career.
Images of protesters trying to stop buses loaded with illegal immigrants may dominate the news, but in the heart of Texas, one county judge is taking on friends and foes by trying to find shelter for child migrants flooding across the U.S. border.It is either a brilliant political move or the death knell of his career. But either way it is something he can be proud of regardless of the outcome.
Dallas Judge Clay Jenkins, 50, offered federal authorities empty buildings to house 2,000 children from Central America in a risky political move as he faces re-election in November for the top political office in Dallas County.
"These children need our help now. If I lose an election over this, so be it," said Jenkins, who has offered the use of two empty schools and a warehouse and has the unilateral power to do so under the way the county commission operates.
His proposal is in stark contrast to Texas governor Rick Perry's tough stance on the recent influx of tens of thousands of illegal migrants, many of them children, fleeing violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Perry has ordered the deployment of National Guard troops to the border with Mexico.
While Perry and fellow Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz have called for compassion for the children, Jenkins is one of the few politicians in the state to offer up a plan to help them.
In other parts of the United States, a few major Democrat-led cities such as Los Angeles and Syracuse, New York have raised their hand to help, but the plan from Dallas County stands out in a state that is a Republican stronghold.
Underscoring the divisiveness of the border issue in Texas, especially in an election year, Jenkins' proposal is opposed by a fellow Democrat, Eric Williams, who is running for Congress. Williams says the buildings earmarked for shelters are in poor communities with high unemployment rates.
Big Business Is the New Big Government So Why Does GOP Love It ?
Bill Maher notes the lack of a free market.
How much is enough?
Well if you are dumping coal ash into your local river, cleaning up 6% will get you a pat on the back if you are a major corporation like Duke Energy.
Nearly six months after a pipe at a defunct Duke Energy coal plant in Eden, North Carolina, leaked at least 30,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River, environmentalists say Duke is walking away from its responsibility to clean up the waterway.So it has spread to thin along the river for a general cleanup but still poses a potential for local problems. Probably the first thing to do would be to secure the 14 other coal ash ponds Duke still has in the state before they get their chance to spill.
Earlier this month, the company announced that it had finished cleaning out the river, saying workers had removed 2,500 tons of coal ash — the toxic byproduct from coal-burning that contains heavy metals and arsenic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has been overseeing the cleanup, approved Duke’s determination that the river was indeed clean.
But, even as North Carolina authorities said that the river is safe to swim in, North Carolina’s environmentalists have warned that the remaining coal ash still poses a threat.
“You don’t have to be an environmental scientist to realize that taking out less than 6 percent of the coal ash means you don’t have a clean river,” said Tiffany Haworth, director of the Dan River Basin Association. “We know the coal ash remains at the bottom of the river. So it depends on how you define ‘clean.’”
Federal and state authorities don't dispute that there are still tons of coal ash left in the Dan River, but ideas differ over what to do about it.
Friday, July 25, 2014
Thanks to that chick-buddy flick
Toni Childs may be best known for writing and singing "House of Hope"
Little Big Brother
Want to help someone get a drink
Of water, that is. A website at DetroitWaterProject.org has been set up to allow people to help Detroit residents who have had their water shut off pay their bills. And best yet, they promise that no country clubs or sports arenas are on their lists.
A canny political move?
We hope so. President Obama has called for an end to inversion which allows US companies to move their corporate headquarters abroad to evade US taxes.
President Barack Obama urged Congress on Thursday to end a controversial practice that allows U.S. companies to relocate abroad to avoid paying billions of dollars in federal taxes.Now it is up to the Democrats to tell the public how the Republicans are working to help large corporations, always everybodys favorites, to evade taxes that ordinary people have to pay.
The practice, called inversion, occurs when large U.S. corporations merge with smaller foreign companies, moving their headquarters to low-tax countries such as Ireland while making only minimal changes to their operations. The U.S. company, though, becomes a subsidiary and saves on taxes.
“They’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship. Some people are calling these companies corporate deserters,” Obama said at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, which helps the unemployed pursue health care professions. “I don’t care if it’s legal. It’s wrong.”
The White House estimates inversions could cost the government as much as $17 billion in lost tax revenue over the next decade. Obama wants the money to be spent on job training programs instead.
“You don’t get to pick the tax rate you pay, and neither should these companies,” the president said.
He initially called for closing the loophole in his budget, and he wants to make the fix retroactive to May to avoid incentives for companies to rush to take advantage of the “loophole.” Bills have been introduced in both the Republican-controlled House of Representative and the Democratic-led Senate to address the issue.
But while some Republicans have expressed support for limiting inversions, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made it clear Thursday he had little interest in a standalone fix for the problem.
Meat, its what you can't afford anymore
Beef have been hit by the drought to the point that prices have been climbing at rates not seen for a long time. Pork producers have had their herds decimated by diarrhea, driving pork prices higher and higher.
Soaring meat prices are hitting producers, suppliers and consumers across the country. The price of beef and veal shot up more than 10 percent from June 2013 to June 2014, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index. Pork prices rose by 12 percent.And chicken will rise as people switch to what looks to be affordable, until it isn't. Enjoy that barbecue while you can.
The largest price increases in three years are driven by one main thing: supply. Drought has thinned herds of cattle. Disease has struck pork.
While demand is high and technology allows more producers to get more meat than ever out of cattle, the domestic beef supply is at a 63-year low, according to beef industry experts and U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Meanwhile, pork farmers in over 40 states have reported cases of a pig virus called porcine epidemic diarrhea (PEDv), an illness most fatal to newborn pigs. The virus has hit many pork farmers in Midwest states and North Carolina harder than others. The nation’s pig population is at its lowest since 2006.
Although swine populations probably will rebound soon, experts said, the beef supply could be a problem for several years.
“We’re seeing unprecedented price levels,” said Derrell Peel, an agricultural economics professor at Oklahoma State University. He added: “Ultimately, everyone will pay part of that impact.”
The drought that started in 2011 in many major cattle-producing states, especially Texas, cut down the grazing space for cattle. That forced farmers to sell animals to feed lots to be slaughtered. The economic recession and price shocks in cattle feed also contributed to the beef supply problem, Peel said.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
It's hard to keep it real
With people who aren't real, as Morgan Frazier sings about in "Yellow Brick Road"
Hell, even Jesus is an immigrant here.
Lyin' Paul Ryan wants states to screw the poors for him
In a reshuffle of the usual worthless clap-trap Republicans pass off as financial savvy, self proclaimed economic whizz Lyin' Paul Ryan has come up with a new way to screw the poors and exalt his Goddess Ayn Rand.
Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, outlined a plan to combat poverty Thursday that would consolidate a dozen programs into a single “Opportunity Grant” that largely shifts anti-poverty efforts from the federal government to the states.The beauty of this plan lets Lyin' Paul make a big show of giving funds to the states like the good Christian he is and let's the states short change the needy and siphon off large amounts to favored supporters. He remains above all the sordid details and can appear Christ like in his "efforts" for the unfortunate.
Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and a leading voice in his party on fiscal matters, said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute that the federal government represents the “rear guard — it protects the supply lines. The people on the ground, they’re the vanguard. They fight poverty on the front lines.”
Mr. Ryan’s proposal gives new policy backbone to Republicans’ recent promises to address poverty and is part of a broader political strategy to increase the party’s appeal. This has given Mr. Ryan, the Republican nominee for vice president in 2012, the opportunity to show that he and his party are as concerned about the poor as Democrats are while offering a dramatically different approach to addressing poverty.
His plan includes a mix of both traditional Republican tax proposals to expand the earned-income tax credit and reduce regulations and some new commitments to reducing criminal sentencing and recidivism.
Other Republicans, like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who, like Mr. Ryan are considering a 2016 presidential run, have echoed his broad call to broaden their party’s appeal. Mr. Rubio spoke about broken families at Catholic University in Washington yesterday, and Mr. Paul will address the National Urban League in Cincinnati tomorrow.
Mr. Ryan tumbled somewhat awkwardly into the anti-poverty discussion this year when he said a “tailspin of culture in our inner cities” perpetuated poverty, a comment that Democrats and some African-American groups called racist. But since then, Mr. Ryan has appeared to try to make amends, traveling the country to listen to Americans in poorer cities as he prepared to unveil this proposal.
1st National Bank and Post Office?
One of the ideas floated to "save" the Post Office, other than repealing that destructive pension requirement, is to offer financial services through your local post office. None of the services suggested are major but the nationwide network of post offices would bring them to many financially underserved areas.
Perhaps the most high-profile proponent of the inspector general’s proposal is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts, who laid out her case for “postal banking” last week at a conference hosted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington research center.Opposition from banks and folks like Congressfelon Darrell Issa mark this as a positive idea for people. However, those same people mean that the idea has little to no chance of passage until we consign the Republican/Teabaggers to the garbage heap of History.
Warren said the post office was an ideal venue to provide affordable financial products for families of moderate means whose needs weren’t met by the traditional banking system.
In 2012, the senator noted, a quarter of U.S. households _ 68 million people _ spent an average of 10 percent of their incomes on interest and fees for check cashing and payday lending, about the same amount they spent on food.
If post offices teamed up with nearby credit unions or community banks, Warren said, they could provide similar services for less, potentially funneling millions more people into the traditional banking system.
“That’s a win-win,” she said.
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