Another Day, Another Riot (Edward L. Daley)


In a press briefing today, President Asshat Obama said he “understands the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown.” I suppose if you’re a racist dirtbag, you’d be angry about somebody who happens to have the same skin color as you getting shot by a cop with different skin color. Then again, if you’re a normal, decent American, you’d probably react like I have to the information made available thus far, which is to not judge the case until all the facts are made known. So, like our glorious leader, I too understand the passions and anger of the rioting cretins in Ferguson; they’re lawless parasites who automatically assume the cops are at fault whenever a black guy is shot dead by a police officer.

Obama also stated that his Justice Department – headed by the most corrupt, racist Attorney General in modern history – has opened a civil rights investigation into the incident. What he doesn’t explain is why he finds it necessary to open any sort of federal investigation into a police shooting where no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the officer involved has yet to be revealed.

Let’s take a look at what we actually KNOW happened, not what we think may have happened.

1. On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson were caught on surveillance video apparently stealing cigars from a convenience store in Ferguson, Missouri a short while before being confronted on the street by police officer Darren Wilson.

2. Michael Brown was an intimidating figure of a man who was over 6’4″ tall and weighed nearly 300 pounds.

3. Officer Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown.

4. Michael Brown had the cigars he allegedly stole on his person when he was killed.

5. A preliminary, private autopsy performed by Dr. Michael Baden – former forensic medical examiner for the New York State Police – found that Michael Brown was shot four times in the right arm and twice in the head.

6. The fatal shot entered through the top of Michael Brown’s head, suggesting that he was bent over when the shot was fired.

7. All the shots came from the front.

8. Michael Brown had marijuana in his system when he was shot.

So, is it possible that the officer in question shot Michael Brown just because he doesn’t like black people? Sure, but it’s also just as likely that the shooting was completely justified, or that it was unjustified but not racially motivated. The fact is we don’t know what happened in this case, and until more evidence comes to light, it is irresponsible for anyone to be speculating about it, or calling for investigations by any entity other than the Ferguson Police Department.

As for the people currently plundering the town of Ferguson, don’t think for a minute that they’re doing so simply to make a political or social point about poor, innocent Michael Brown. No, they’re also doing it because they’re crooks, and crooks are always looking for an excuse to take things that aren’t theirs and destroy other things just for the fun of it.

Trust me on this, normal, law-abiding people don’t go on violent rampages no matter how morally outraged they may claim to be. Only criminals do that.

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Study: Half Of American Public School Employees Are Non-Teachers

Maybe Johnny Can’t Read Because These Workers Crowd Out Teachers – Daily Signal

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Half of America’s public school employees aren’t classroom teachers, according to a new study. Instead, they’re non-teaching personnel such as instructional aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, secretaries, and librarians.

It hasn’t always been this way.

The study from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a nonprofit think tank specializing in education policy, found that the number of non-teaching staff grew by 130 percent from 1970 to 2010. Their salaries and benefits account for one-quarter of current education spending.

To show where each state is on the spectrum between least and most non-teaching personnel per 1,000 students, Fordham created this map:

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So why are non-teachers on the rise? The Fordham Institute left that up to school district and state education officials to explain.

By using national, state, and local data, though, “The Hidden Half: School Employees Who Don’t Teach” attempts to draw attention to what some education experts consider an alarming trend.

By a wide margin, Nevada and South Carolina public schools had the fewest non-teaching workers per 1,000 students, at 26 and 28 respectively, the study found. Virginia, Vermont, and Wyoming had the most at 104, as the chart below shows.

Lindsey Burke, the Will Skillman Fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation, argues for reducing the number of non-instructional and administrative positions in public schools:

States should consider cutting costs in areas that are long overdue for reform and pursue systemic reform to improve student achievement. Specifically, states should refrain from continuing to increase the number of non-teaching staff in public schools.

Michael Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute, told The Daily Signal that the results of the study should encourage policymakers to “raise tough questions about whether these trends are helping or hurting children.”

Among the most significant findings of “The Hidden Half’,” the authors say in a release on the study:

Since 1950, school staffing has increased nearly 500 percent, and non-teaching personnel played a major part in that growth. Passage of several pieces of federal legislation – Section 504, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, and Title IX (Equal Opportunity in Education Act) – likely were instrumental in changing the makeup of schools.

America spends far more on non-teaching staff (as a percentage of education spending) than do most of the nation’s economic peers in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S. spends more than double what Korea, Mexico, Finland, Portugal, Ireland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Spain do. Only Denmark spends more.

States vary in staffing their schools, but much of the variation is because of differences within their borders. States with a large proportion of the population living in cities tend to have fewer workers per student. (See chart below.)

The category of teacher aides has been the largest gainer over the past 40 years. From 1970 to 2010, aides went from nearly non-existent to the largest group of workers other than teachers.

School districts vary greatly in number of employees, but the differences likely stem from staffing decisions made by leaders. Although factors such as location (rural, suburban, urban) and number of students in special education matter, they don’t explain most of the variation across school districts.

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The ‘DALEY GATOR VIDEOS’ Website Is Now Online!


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CLICK ME!

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Statist Disaster Update: Hundreds Of Thousands Of VA Electronic Disability Claims Go Unprocessed

Hundreds Of Thousands Of VA Electronic Disability Claims Not Processed – Nextgov

Hundreds of thousands of disability claims filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ eBenefits portal launched in February 2013 are incomplete and could start to expire this month, Nextgov has learned.

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VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison Hickey touted the new portal in June 2013 as simple as filing taxes online and a way to whittle down the claims backlog.

“Veterans can now file their claims online through eBenefits like they might do their taxes online,” she said, including the documentation needed for a fully developed claim in cooperation with Veterans Service Organizations, or VSOs, such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Gerald Manar, deputy director of the National Veterans Service at VFW, told Nextgov the Veterans Benefits Administration on June 26 briefed VSOs on problems with the eBenefits portal, including the fact that only 72,000 claims filed through eBenefits have been completed and approved since last June, with another 228,000 incomplete.

VA spokeswoman Meagan Lutz said since February 2013, just over 445,000 online applications have been initiated. Of those, approximately 70,000 compensation claims have been submitted and another 70,000 nonrating (add a dependent, etc.) have been submitted, leaving a total of 300,000 incomplete claims. Because a number of claims started are more than 365 days old, they have now expired, totaling an estimated 230,000 unprocessed claims.

Manar said he still is trying to understand why so many vets did not complete their online claims and whether they opted to file a paper claim. Lutz said an important element of the electronic claim submission process is the ability for veterans to start a claim online with limited information to hold a date of claim, while simultaneously providing 365 days to collect data, treatment records and other related information.

Lutz said a veteran simply hits “save” and any information provided is saved in temporary tables. During that 365-day period, a veteran may add additional data or upload documents associated with that specific claim. At any point during that timeframe, a veteran can hit the “submit” button and a claim will be automatically established within the Veterans Benefits Management System, designed to entirely automate claims processing by next year, and documents will be uploaded to the veteran’s e-folder.

Claims submitted in eBenefits may be incomplete because “many users can potentially start a claim as part of their exploration of the system… The VA eBenefits team has no way of actually knowing which claims that might be started within eBenefits are valid and or have been abandoned for any number of reasons

After 365 days, Lutz said, the data is made inaccessible and the initiated claim date is removed from the system. The system was designed to provide the veteran as much flexibility as possible in preserving that start date as well as support the Fully Developed Claim initiative, which gives the veteran the opportunity to accrue additional benefits for providing all the data needed to rate the claim.

Lutz said if vets try to submit electronically hundreds of documents, such as PDFs of medical records, “that volume of documents makes electronic submission very difficult, and we always recommend that they work with a Veterans Service Organization, as the VSOs have the expertise to ensure that the right information is gathered and submitted.”

VSOs have little visibility into the claims filed to date through the eBenefits portal because of design problems with the information technology system set up, the Stakeholder Enterprise Portal, Manar said. That portal only allows for broad searches for claims at the state and the VBA regional office level, and limits any search to 1,000 claims. If the search results in more than 1,000 records, SEP returns a message that the system is not available, rather than the search went over the 1,000 file limit, Manar said.

SEP is also not set up to notify VSOs when a claim is filed through eBenefits, nor does it provide alerts when claims are due to expire, Manar said and urged VA to fix SEP to provide such notifications.

SEP, Manar said, was not “well thought-out” when fielded and “the whole system was not ready for prime time.”

Lutz said VA SEP design team is working as quickly as possible to help VSOs to review more than 1,000 files in SEP without getting an incorrect error message.

She said VA plans a new release of SEP this month to VSOs, which will allow VSOs to submit claims directly to VBMS for veterans who hold power of attorney. This update would eliminate the need for the veteran to submit from the eBenefits portal.

“This, we believe, will be a major milestone in the VSO community that will accelerate acceptance of the electronic process,” Lutz said.

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As Promised, Obama To Impose New EPA Regulations That Will Cause Energy Prices To Skyrocket (Video)

Obama Declares War On Poor & Middle Class; New Rules Will Force Energy Prices To Skyrocket – Gateway Pundit

We were warned…

In January 2008 Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that cost onto consumers.”

He promised that his plan would cause electricity rates to skyrocket.

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He wasn’t kidding.

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On Monday the Obama administration unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants.

FOX News reported:

The Obama administration on Monday unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants, a controversial regulation aimed at fulfilling a key plank of President Obama’s climate change agenda.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants existing plants to cut pollution by 30 percent by 2030, under the plan.

The draft regulation sidesteps Congress, where Obama’s Democratic allies have failed to pass a so-called “cap-and-trade” plan to limit such emissions. The EPA plan will go into effect in June 2016, following a one-year comment period. States will then be responsible for executing the rule with some flexibility.

They are expected to be allowed to require power plants to make changes such as switching from coal to natural gas or enact other programs to reduce demand for electricity and produce more energy from renewable sources.

They also can set up pollution-trading markets as some states already have done to offer more flexibility in how plants cut emissions.

If a state refuses to create a plan, the EPA can make its own.

Obama’s energy policies will disproportionately harm the poor, middle class and minorities.

Real Clear Energy reported:

A study by Eugene M. Trisko for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity reviewed the disproportionate impact of higher energy costs on differing income groups from 2001 to 2011.

The study found that the amount of money spent on energy for half of American households that make less than $50,000 almost doubled rising from 12 percent in 2001 to 20 percent in 2011.

Minorities with lower average incomes than white households are disproportionately harmed by rising energy prices.

For example, in 2009, 67 percent of black households and 62 percent of Hispanic households had average incomes below $50,000 in contrast with only 46 percent of white households.[4]

Since minority households have lower incomes than white households, rising energy prices will take a larger share of their family’s disposable income leaving fewer dollars for housing, medicine and clothes.

Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, new greenhouse gas regulations from the EPA and discussions of a carbon tax provides more evidence that Obama’s anti-fossil fuel agenda will force energy prices higher.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based On The U.S. Constitution (New American)

The Freedom Index: A Congressional Scorecard Based On The U.S. Constitution – New American

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113TH CONGRESS

Alabama
Sen. Jefferson Sessions – 71%
Sen. Richard Shelby – 64%
Dist.2: Martha Roby – 61%
Dist.3: Mike Rogers – 54%
Dist.4: Robert Aderholt – 57%
Dist.5: Mo Brooks – 73%
Dist.6: Spencer Bachus – 53%
Dist.7: Terri Sewell – 15%

Alaska
Sen. Mark Begich – 15%
Sen. Lisa Murkowski – 50%
Dist.: Don Young – 56%

Arizona
Sen. Jeff Flake – 81%
Sen. John McCain – 63%
Dist.1: Ann Kirkpatrick – 23%
Dist.2: Ron Barber – 13%
Dist.3: Raul Grijalva – 29%
Dist.4: Paul Gosar – 75%
Dist.5: Matt Salmon – 73%
Dist.6: David Schweikert – 83%
Dist.7: Ed Pastor – 22%
Dist.8: Trent Franks – 75%
Dist.9: Kyrsten Sinema – 15%

Arkansas
Sen. John Boozman – 55%
Sen. Mark Pryor – 20%
Dist.1: Eric Crawford – 61%
Dist.2: Tim Griffin – 65%
Dist.3: Steve Womack – 58%
Dist.4: Tom Cotton – 60%

California
Sen. Dianne Feinstein – 13%
Sen. Barbara Boxer – 14%
Dist.1: Doug LaMalfa – 65%
Dist.2: Jared Huffman – 35%
Dist.3: John Garamendi – 14%
Dist.4: Tom McClintock – 93%
Dist.5: Mike Thompson – 20%
Dist.6: Doris Matsui – 20%
Dist.7: Ami Bera – 10%
Dist.8: Paul Cook – 55%
<Dist.9: Jerry McNerney – 15%
Dist.10: Jeff Denham – 60%
Dist.11: George Miller – 24%
Dist.12: Nancy Pelosi – 17%
Dist.13: Barbara Lee – 28%
Dist.14: Jackie Speier – 23%
Dist.15: Eric Swalwell – 35%
Dist.16: Jim Costa – 18%
Dist.17: Michael Honda – 23%
Dist.18: Anna Eshoo – 20%
Dist.19: Zoe Lofgren – 24%
Dist.20: Sam Farr – 22%
Dist.21: David Valadao – 40%
Dist.22: Devin Nunes – 55%
Dist.23: Kevin McCarthy – 68%
Dist.24: Lois Capps – 21%
Dist.25: Howard McKeon – 51%
Dist.26: Julia Brownley – 10%
Dist.27: Judy Chu – 21%
Dist.28: Adam Schiff – 18%
Dist.29: Tony Cardenas – 31%
Dist.30: Brad Sherman – 21%
Dist.31: Gary Miller – 60%
Dist.32: Grace Napolitano – 22%
Dist.33: Henry Waxman – 19%
Dist.34: Xavier Becerra – 20%
Dist.35: Gloria Negrete McLeod – 33%
Dist.36: Raul Ruiz – 15%
Dist.37: Karen Bass – 24%
Dist.38: Linda Sanchez – 24%
Dist.39: Edward Royce – 73%
Dist.40: Lucille Roybal-Allard – 21%
Dist.41: Mark Takano – 30%
Dist.42: Ken Calvert – 51%
Dist.43: Maxine Waters – 27%
Dist.44: Janice Hahn – 33%
Dist.45: John Campbell – 71%
Dist.46: Loretta Sanchez – 26%
Dist.47: Alan Lowenthal – 30%
Dist.48: Dana Rohrabacher – 76%
Dist.49: Darrell Issa – 52%
Dist.50: Duncan Hunter – 76%
Dist.51: Juan Vargas – 30%
Dist.52: Scott Peters – 15%
Dist.53: Susan Davis – 17%

Colorado
Sen. Michael Bennet – 10%
Sen. Mark Udall – 21%
Dist.1: Diana DeGette – 19%
Dist.2: Jared Polis – 25%
Dist.3: Scott Tipton – 76%
Dist.4: Cory Gardner – 72%
Dist.5: Doug Lamborn – 78%
Dist.6: Mike Coffman – 75%
Dist.7: Ed Perlmutter – 15%

Connecticut
Sen. Christopher Murphy – 15%
Sen. Richard Blumenthal – 10%
Dist.1: John Larson – 21%
Dist.2: Joe Courtney – 17%
Dist.3: Rosa DeLauro – 20%
Dist.4: James Himes – 11%
Dist.5: Elizabeth Esty – 25%

Delaware
Sen. Thomas Carper – 14%
Sen. Chris Coons – 11%
Dist.: John Carney – 11%

Florida
Sen. Marco Rubio – 78%
Sen. Bill Nelson – 14%
Dist.1: Jeff Miller – 69%
Dist.2: Steve Southerland – 73%
Dist.3: Ted Yoho – 85%
Dist.4: Ander Crenshaw – 52%
Dist.5: Corrine Brown – 20%
Dist.6: Ron DeSantis – 85%
Dist.7: John Mica – 57%
Dist.8: Bill Posey – 88%
Dist.9: Alan Grayson – 23%
Dist.10: Daniel Webster – 64%
Dist.11: Richard Nugent – 69%
Dist.12: Gus Bilirakis – 62%
Dist.14: Kathy Castor – 11%
Dist.15: Dennis Ross – 78%
Dist.16: Vern Buchanan – 58%
Dist.17: Thomas Rooney – 73%
Dist.18: Patrick Murphy – 20%
Dist.19: Trey Radel – 70%
Dist.20: Alcee Hastings – 23%
Dist.21: Theodore Deutch – 14%
Dist.22: Lois Frankel – 25%
Dist.23: Debbie Wasserman Schultz – 15%
Dist.24: Frederica Wilson – 21%
Dist.25: Mario Diaz-Balart – 46%
Dist.26: Joe Garcia – 15%
Dist.27: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – 42%

Georgia
Sen. John Isakson – 53%
Sen. Saxby Chambliss – 59%
Dist.1: Jack Kingston – 63%
Dist.2: Sanford Bishop – 28%
Dist.3: Lynn Westmoreland – 73%
Dist.4: Henry Johnson – 17%
Dist.5: John Lewis – 25%
Dist.6: Tom Price – 73%
Dist.7: Rob Woodall – 67%
Dist.8: Austin Scott – 73%
Dist.9: Doug Collins – 68%
Dist.10: Paul Broun – 90%
Dist.11: Phil Gingrey – 65%
Dist.12: John Barrow – 31%
Dist.13: David Scott – 20%
Dist.14: Tom Graves – 82%

Hawaii
Sen. Brian Schatz – 5%
Sen. Mazie Hirono – 12%
Dist.1: Colleen Hanabusa – 20%
Dist.2: Tulsi Gabbard – 40%

Idaho
Sen. James Risch – 85%
Sen. Michael Crapo – 68%
Dist.1: Raul Labrador – 89%
Dist.2: Michael Simpson – 55%

Illinois
Sen. Mark Kirk – 34%
Sen. Richard Durbin – 11%
Dist.1: Bobby Rush – 23%
Dist.2: Robin Kelly – 26%
Dist.3: Daniel Lipinski – 20%
Dist.4: Luis Gutierrez – 21%
Dist.5: Mike Quigley – 16%
Dist.6: Peter Roskam – 69%
Dist.7: Danny Davis – 24%
Dist.8: Tammy Duckworth – 15%
Dist.9: Janice Schakowsky – 23%
Dist.10: Bradley Schneider – 15%
Dist.11: Bill Foster – 13%
Dist.12: William Enyart – 20%
Dist.13: Rodney Davis – 65%
Dist.14: Randy Hultgren – 73%
Dist.15: John Shimkus – 53%
Dist.16: Adam Kinzinger – 59%
Dist.17: Cheri Bustos – 17%
Dist.18: Aaron Schock – 67%

Indiana
Sen. Joe Donnelly – 23%
Sen. Daniel Coats – 71%
Dist.1: Peter Visclosky – 28%
Dist.2: Jackie Walorski – 55%
Dist.3: Marlin Stutzman – 80%
Dist.4: Todd Rokita – 71%
Dist.5: Susan Brooks – 55%
Dist.6: Luke Messer – 65%
Dist.7: André Carson – 16%
Dist.8: Larry Bucshon – 67%
Dist.9: Todd Young – 60%

Iowa
Sen. Thomas Harkin – 14%
Sen. Charles Grassley – 61%
Dist.1: Bruce Braley – 19%
Dist.2: David Loebsack – 17%
Dist.3: Tom Latham – 50%
Dist.4: Steve King – 66%

Kansas
Sen. Pat Roberts – 61%
Sen. Jerry Moran – 64%
Dist.1: Tim Huelskamp – 88%
Dist.2: Lynn Jenkins – 75%
Dist.3: Kevin Yoder – 70%
Dist.4: Mike Pompeo – 66%

Kentucky
Sen. Rand Paul – 94%
Sen. Mitch McConnell – 62%
Dist.1: Ed Whitfield – 52%
Dist.2: Brett Guthrie – 68%
Dist.3: John Yarmuth – 19%
Dist.4: Thomas Massie – 100%
Dist.5: Harold Rogers – 52%
Dist.6: Garland Barr – 65%

Louisiana
Sen. David Vitter – 58%
Sen. Mary Landrieu – 20%
Dist.1: Steve Scalise – 74%
Dist.2: Cedric Richmond – 23%
Dist.3: Charles Boustany – 58%
Dist.4: John Fleming – 82%
Dist.6: Bill Cassidy – 68%

Maine
Sen. Angus King – 15%
Sen. Susan Collins – 40%
Dist.1: Chellie Pingree – 28%
Dist.2: Michael Michaud – 28%

Maryland
Sen. Benjamin Cardin – 17%
Sen. Barbara Mikulski – 13%
Dist.1: Andy Harris – 78%
Dist.2: C. Ruppersberger – 16%
Dist.3: John Sarbanes – 17%
Dist.4: Donna Edwards – 21%
Dist.5: Steny Hoyer – 16%
Dist.6: John Delaney – 21%
Dist.7: Elijah Cummings – 22%
Dist.8: Chris Van Hollen – 18%

Massachusetts
Sen. Elizabeth Warren – 0%
Sen. Edward Markey – 22%
Dist.1: Richard Neal – 20%
Dist.2: James McGovern – 24%
Dist.3: Niki Tsongas – 16%
Dist.4: Joseph Kennedy – 31%
Dist.6: John Tierney – 26%
Dist.7: Michael Capuano – 27%
Dist.8: Stephen Lynch – 25%
Dist.9: William Keating – 24%

Michigan
Sen. Debbie Stabenow – 18%
Sen. Carl Levin – 12%
Dist.1: Dan Benishek – 66%
Dist.2: Bill Huizenga – 75%
Dist.3: Justin Amash – 92%
Dist.4: Dave Camp – 52%
Dist.5: Daniel Kildee – 40%
Dist.6: Fred Upton – 48%
Dist.7: Tim Walberg – 69%
Dist.8: Mike Rogers – 51%
Dist.9: Sander Levin – 17%
Dist.10: Candice Miller – 51%
Dist.11: Kerry Bentivolio – 80%
Dist.12: John Dingell – 21%
Dist.13: John Conyers – 28%
Dist.14: Gary Peters – 17%

Minnesota
Sen. Al Franken – 7%
Sen. Amy Klobuchar – 7%
Dist.1: Timothy Walz – 17%
Dist.2: John Kline – 55%
Dist.3: Erik Paulsen – 69%
Dist.4: Betty McCollum – 21%
Dist.5: Keith Ellison – 23%
Dist.6: Michele Bachmann – 80%
Dist.7: Collin Peterson – 46%
Dist.8: Richard Nolan – 35%

Mississippi
Sen. Thad Cochran – 54%
Sen. Roger Wicker – 52%
Dist.1: Alan Nunnelee – 64%
Dist.2: Bennie Thompson – 26%
Dist.3: Gregg Harper – 67%
Dist.4: Steven Palazzo – 66%

Missouri
Sen. Roy Blunt – 55%
Sen. Claire McCaskill – 17%
Dist.1: Wm. Clay – 24%
Dist.2: Ann Wagner – 63%
Dist.3: Blaine Luetkemeyer – 70%
Dist.4: Vicky Hartzler – 63%
Dist.5: Emanuel Cleaver – 23%
Dist.6: Sam Graves – 56%
Dist.7: Billy Long – 62%
Dist.8: Jason Smith – 75%

Montana
Sen. Max Baucus – 19%
Sen. Jon Tester – 22%
Dist.: Steve Daines – 60%

Nebraska
Sen. Deb Fischer – 70%
Sen. Mike Johanns – 68%
Dist.1: Jeff Fortenberry – 55%
Dist.2: Lee Terry – 56%
Dist.3: Adrian Smith – 69%

Nevada
Sen. Harry Reid – 17%
Sen. Dean Heller – 73%
Dist.1: Dina Titus – 10%
Dist.2: Mark Amodei – 68%
Dist.3: Joseph Heck – 63%
Dist.4: Steven Horsford – 13%

New Hampshire
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen – 9%
Sen. Kelly Ayotte – 68%
Dist.1: Carol Shea-Porter – 18%
Dist.2: Ann Kuster – 20%

New Jersey
Sen. Robert Menendez – 19%
Dist.1: Robert Andrews – 19%
Dist.2: Frank LoBiondo – 45%
Dist.3: Jon Runyan – 50%
Dist.4: Christopher Smith – 45%
Dist.5: Scott Garrett – 72%
Dist.6: Frank Pallone – 24%
Dist.7: Leonard Lance – 60%
Dist.8: Albio Sires – 11%
Dist.9: Bill Pascrell – 24%
Dist.10: Donald Payne – 26%
Dist.11: Rodney Frelinghuysen – 40%
Dist.12: Rush Holt – 26%

New Mexico
Sen. Martin Heinrich – 11%
Sen. Tom Udall – 21%
Dist.1: Michelle Lujan Grisham – 25%
Dist.2: Stevan Pearce – 55%
Dist.3: Ben Lujan – 19%

New York
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – 10%
Sen. Charles Schumer – 14%
Dist.1: Timothy Bishop – 20%
Dist.2: Peter King – 44%
Dist.3: Steve Israel – 18%
Dist.4: Carolyn McCarthy – 19%
Dist.5: Gregory Meeks – 19%
Dist.6: Grace Meng – 15%
Dist.7: Nydia Velázquez – 25%
Dist.8: Hakeem Jeffries – 35%
Dist.9: Yvette Clarke – 23%
Dist.10: Jerrold Nadler – 23%
Dist.11: Michael Grimm – 51%
Dist.12: Carolyn Maloney – 21%
Dist.13: Charles Rangel – 18%
Dist.14: Joseph Crowley – 21%
Dist.15: José Serrano – 23%
Dist.16: Eliot Engel – 18%
Dist.17: Nita Lowey – 15%
Dist.18: Sean Maloney – 20%
Dist.19: Christopher Gibson – 71%
Dist.20: Paul Tonko – 20%
Dist.21: William Owens – 22%
Dist.22: Richard Hanna – 50%
Dist.23: Tom Reed – 65%
Dist.24: Daniel Maffei – 22%
Dist.25: Louise Slaughter – 20%
Dist.26: Brian Higgins – 16%
Dist.27: Chris Collins – 60%

North Carolina
Sen. Kay Hagan – 13%
Sen. Richard Burr – 57%
Dist.1: George Butterfield – 16%
Dist.2: Renee Ellmers – 63%
Dist.3: Walter Jones – 78%
Dist.4: David Price – 19%
Dist.5: Virginia Foxx – 71%
Dist.6: Howard Coble – 66%
Dist.7: Mike McIntyre – 45%
Dist.8: Richard Hudson – 70%
Dist.9: Robert Pittenger – 55%
Dist.10: Patrick McHenry – 72%
Dist.11: Mark Meadows – 75%
Dist.12: Melvin Watt – 23%
Dist.13: George Holding – 68%

North Dakota
Sen. John Hoeven – 56%
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp – 21%
Dist.: Kevin Cramer – 55%

Ohio
Sen. Sherrod Brown – 24%
Sen. Robert Portman – 50%
Dist.1: Steve Chabot – 63%
Dist.2: Brad Wenstrup – 60%
Dist.3: Joyce Beatty – 26%
Dist.4: Jim Jordan – 80%
Dist.5: Robert Latta – 72%
Dist.6: Bill Johnson – 66%
Dist.7: Bob Gibbs – 66%
Dist.8: John Boehner – 53%
Dist.9: Marcy Kaptur – 30%
Dist.10: Michael Turner – 47%
Dist.11: Marcia Fudge – 20%
Dist.12: Patrick Tiberi – 52%
Dist.13: Tim Ryan – 26%
Dist.14: David Joyce – 50%
Dist.15: Steve Stivers – 57%
Dist.16: James Renacci – 61%

Oklahoma
Sen. James Inhofe – 72%
Sen. Thomas Coburn – 82%
Dist.1: Jim Bridenstine – 90%
Dist.2: Markwayne Mullin – 70%
Dist.3: Frank Lucas – 59%
Dist.4: Tom Cole – 53%
Dist.5: James Lankford – 66%

Oregon
Sen. Ron Wyden – 17%
Sen. Jeff Merkley – 13%
Dist.1: Suzanne Bonamici – 29%
Dist.2: Greg Walden – 48%
Dist.3: Earl Blumenauer – 21%
Dist.4: Peter DeFazio – 32%
Dist.5: Kurt Schrader – 23%

Pennsylvania
Sen. Patrick Toomey – 67%
Sen. Robert Casey – 10%
Dist.1: Robert Brady – 21%
Dist.2: Chaka Fattah – 19%
Dist.3: Mike Kelly – 60%
Dist.4: Scott Perry – 70%
Dist.5: Glenn Thompson – 68%
Dist.6: Jim Gerlach – 40%
Dist.7: Patrick Meehan – 56%
Dist.8: Michael Fitzpatrick – 46%
Dist.9: Bill Shuster – 56%
Dist.10: Tom Marino – 57%
Dist.11: Lou Barletta – 60%
Dist.12: Keith Rothfus – 75%
Dist.13: Allyson Schwartz – 12%
Dist.14: Michael Doyle – 30%
Dist.15: Charles Dent – 45%
Dist.16: Joseph Pitts – 63%
Dist.17: Matthew Cartwright – 35%
Dist.18: Tim Murphy – 47%

Rhode Island
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse – 11%
Sen. John Reed – 14%
Dist.1: David Cicilline – 27%
Dist.2: James Langevin – 20%

South Carolina
Sen. Tim Scott – 81%
Sen. Lindsey Graham – 63%
Dist.1: Marshall Sanford – 85%
Dist.2: Joe Wilson – 60%
Dist.3: Jeff Duncan – 85%
Dist.4: Trey Gowdy – 80%
Dist.5: Mick Mulvaney – 78%
Dist.6: James Clyburn – 20%
Dist.7: Tom Rice – 70%

South Dakota
Sen. Tim Johnson – 16%
Sen. John Thune – 57%
Dist.: Kristi Noem – 69%

Tennessee
Sen. Bob Corker – 66%
Sen. Lamar Alexander – 54%
Dist.1: David Roe – 74%
Dist.2: John Duncan – 81%
Dist.3: Charles Fleischmann – 69%
Dist.4: Scott DesJarlais – 78%
Dist.5: Jim Cooper – 23%
Dist.6: Diane Black – 66%
Dist.7: Marsha Blackburn – 63%
Dist.8: Stephen Fincher – 74%
Dist.9: Steve Cohen – 21%

Texas
Sen. John Cornyn – 69%
Sen. Ted Cruz – 95%
Dist.1: Louie Gohmert – 75%
Dist.2: Ted Poe – 71%
Dist.3: Sam Johnson – 65%
Dist.4: Ralph Hall – 60%
Dist.5: Jeb Hensarling – 66%
Dist.6: Joe Barton – 61%
Dist.7: John Culberson – 65%
Dist.8: Kevin Brady – 57%
Dist.9: Al Green – 24%
Dist.10: Michael McCaul – 61%
Dist.11: K. Conaway – 62%
Dist.12: Kay Granger – 51%
Dist.13: Mac Thornberry – 54%
Dist.14: Randy Weber – 70%
Dist.15: Ruben Hinojosa – 21%
Dist.16: Beto O’Rourke – 30%
Dist.17: Bill Flores – 68%
Dist.18: Sheila Jackson-Lee – 24%
Dist.19: Randy Neugebauer – 65%
Dist.20: Joaquin Castro – 25%
Dist.21: Lamar Smith – 54%
Dist.22: Pete Olson – 72%
Dist.23: Pete Gallego – 15%
Dist.24: Kenny Marchant – 68%
Dist.25: Roger Williams – 75%
Dist.26: Michael Burgess – 66%
Dist.27: Blake Farenthold – 71%
Dist.28: Henry Cuellar – 18%
Dist.29: Gene Green – 27%
Dist.30: Eddie Johnson – 19%
Dist.31: John Carter – 58%
Dist.32: Pete Sessions – 61%
Dist.33: Marc Veasey – 25%
Dist.34: Filemon Vela – 25%
Dist.35: Lloyd Doggett – 25%
Dist.36: Steve Stockman – 95%

Utah
Sen. Orrin Hatch – 58%
Sen. Mike Lee – 91%
Dist.1: Rob Bishop – 68%
Dist.2: Chris Stewart – 65%
Dist.3: Jason Chaffetz – 80%
Dist.4: Jim Matheson – 35%

Vermont
Sen. Patrick Leahy – 16%
Sen. Bernard Sanders – 27%
Dist.: Peter Welch – 24%

Virginia
Sen. Mark Warner – 13%
Sen. Timothy Kaine – 0%
Dist.1: Robert Wittman – 66%
Dist.2: E. Rigell – 68%
Dist.3: Robert Scott – 23%
Dist.4: J. Forbes – 57%
Dist.5: Robert Hurt – 71%
Dist.6: Bob Goodlatte – 61%
Dist.7: Eric Cantor – 56%
Dist.8: James Moran – 20%
Dist.9: H. Griffith – 80%
Dist.10: Frank Wolf – 49%
Dist.11: Gerald Connolly – 15%

Washington
Sen. Patty Murray – 11%
Sen. Maria Cantwell – 13%
Dist.1: Suzan DelBene – 30%
Dist.2: Rick Larsen – 18%
Dist.3: Jaime Herrera Beutler – 67%
Dist.4: Doc Hastings – 56%
Dist.5: Cathy McMorris Rodgers – 64%
Dist.6: Derek Kilmer – 25%
Dist.7: Jim McDermott – 25%
Dist.8: David Reichert – 39%
Dist.9: Adam Smith – 20%
Dist.10: Denny Heck – 20%

West Virginia
Sen. Joe Manchin – 35%
Sen. John Rockefeller – 13%
Dist.1: David McKinley – 63%
Dist.2: Shelley Capito – 46%
Dist.3: Nick Rahall – 34%

Wisconsin
Sen. Ron Johnson – 86%
Sen. Tammy Baldwin – 27%
Dist.1: Paul Ryan – 58%
Dist.2: Mark Pocan – 40%
Dist.3: Ron Kind – 23%
Dist.4: Gwen Moore – 24%
Dist.5: F. Sensenbrenner – 77%
Dist.6: Thomas Petri – 61%
Dist.7: Sean Duffy – 63%
Dist.8: Reid Ribble – 72%

Wyoming
Sen. John Barrasso – 80%
Sen. Michael Enzi – 71%
Dist.: Cynthia Lummis – 80%

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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*VIDEO* Private Company SpaceX Unveils Dragon V2 Manned Space Vehicle


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Click HERE to visit SpaceX’s official website.

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Hollywood Leftists Ed Begley Jr. And Mariel Hemmingway Caught In Anti-Fracking Sting Operation (Video)

O’Keefe Strikes AGAIN! Hollywood Progressives Duped In Anti-Fracking Sting Operation (Video) – Gateway Pundit

James O’Keefe strikes again!

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The conservative journalist duped progressives Ed Begley Jr. and Mariel Hemmingway to get involved in an anti-fracking film that was funded by Middle Eastern oil interests.

O’Keefe will unveil the movie at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday!

Via The Hollywood Reporter:

James O’Keefe says he duped Ed Begley Jr. and Mariel Hemmingway into agreeing to get involved with an anti-fracking movie while hiding that its funding comes from Middle Eastern oil interests.

Journalist James O’Keefe, known for his controversial undercover sting operations aimed usually at liberals – is set to unveil at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday the first of a group of videos that he says will reveal hypocrisy among Hollywood environmentalists.

In the video, obtained exclusively by The Hollywood Reporter and embedded below, actors Ed Begley Jr. and Mariel Hemmingway are duped by a man named “Muhammad,” who is looking to make an anti-fracking movie while hiding that its funding is coming from Middle Eastern oil interests.

Muhammad, accompanied by a man pretending to be an ad executive, seemingly has the two actors agreeing to participate in the scheme, even after he acknowledges that his goal is to keep America from becoming energy independent. The meeting, which appears to have been secretly recorded, took place a few months ago at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

And, he’s going to release this Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival!

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Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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83% Of Eighth Graders In DC Schools Not Proficient In Reading Despite $29,349 Cost Per Pupil

DC Schools: $29,349 Per Pupil, 83% Not Proficient In Reading – CNS

The public schools in Washington, D.C., spent $29,349 per pupil in the 2010-2011 school year, according to the latest data from National Center for Education Statistics, but in 2013 fully 83 percent of the eighth graders in these schools were not “proficient” in reading and 81 percent were not “proficient” in math.

These are the government schools in our nation’s capital city – where for decades politicians of both parties have obstreperously pushed for more federal involvement in education and more federal spending on education.

Government has manifestly failed the families who must send their children to these schools, and the children who must attend them.

Under the auspices of the National Center for Education Statistics, the federal government periodically tests elementary and high school students in various subjects, including reading and math. These National Assessment of Educational Progress tests are scored on a scale of 500, and student achievement levels are rated as “basic,” “proficient” and “advanced.”

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In 2013, students nationwide took NAEP reading and math tests. When the NCES listed the scores of public-school eighth graders in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, D.C. came in last in both subjects.

D.C. eighth graders scored an average of 248 out of 500 in reading, and Mississippi finished next to last with an average of 253.

Only 17 percent of D.C. 8th graders rated “proficient” or better in reading. In Mississippi, it was 20 percent.

In math, D.C. public-school eighth graders scored an average of 265 out of 500, and only 19 percent were rated “proficient” or better. Alabama placed next to last with an average math score of 269, with 20 percent rated “proficient” or better.

Some might argue it is unfair to compare, Washington, D.C., a single city, with an entire state. However, D.C. also does not compete well against other big cities.

The Department of Education’s Trial Urban District Assessments program compares the test results in 21 large-city school districts, including Washington, D.C.

In these assessments, the scores of students from charter schools were removed and the average reading score for D.C. public school eighth-graders dropped to 245. That was below the national large-city average of 258, and tied D.C. with Fresno for seventeenth place among the 21 big cities in the TUDA.

In math, minus the charter school students, D.C. public-school eighth graders earned an average score of 260. That was below the national large-city average of 276, and put D.C. in a tie for sixteenth place, this time with Fresno and Baltimore.

The NCES database indicates that in the 2010-2011 school year, Washington, D.C. public schools spent a total of $29,349 per pupil, ranking No. 1 in spending per pupil among the 21 large cities in the TUDA.

New York City Public Schools ranked second among these large cities, spending $23,996 per pupil. That was $5,353 – or about 18 percent – less than the $29,349 the D.C. public schools spent.

Table 236.75 from the NCES’s Digest of Education Statistics compares per pupil spending among the states and the District of Columbia. It indicates that D.C. spent a little bit less per pupil – $28,403 – who enrolled in the fall in 2010-2011 school year. But that still ranks D.C. as No. 1, out-spending all the states.

How did the D.C. public schools spend $28,403 per student?

Among other things, they spent $10,584 per pupil on “instruction,” which “encompasses all activities dealing directly with the interaction between teachers and students.”

Then they spent $5,487 on “capital outlays,” which includes “the acquisition of land and buildings; building construction, remodeling,” etc.

Then they spent $2,321 on “operation and maintenance,” which includes “salary, benefits, supplies, and contractual fees for supervision of operations and maintenance,” etc.

Then they spent $2,124 on “interest on school debt.”

Then they spent $1,613 on “instructional staff,” $1,546 on “school administration,” $1,404 on “student transportation,” $1,208 on “student support,” $866 on “general administration,” $761 on “food services,” $450 on “other support services.”

Congress ought to give every family in Washington, D.C., a choice of whether or not they want a government school to spend this money on behalf of their children. The D.C. public school system should be required to provide every family in the district with school-age children with a voucher for each child that is worth every penny the district now spends per pupil in its public schools. Families should be able to use that voucher at any school they want, anywhere they want.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Leftist Nightmare Update: Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees To Do Nothing (Video)

Obamacare Contractor Pays Employees To Spend Their Days Doing Nothing – Weekly Standard

An eye-opening report from KMOV about an Obamacare contractor using taxpayer dollars to pay their employees to spend all day doing nothing:

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“A billion dollar government contract involving hundreds of local workers at an Obamacare processing center… But now employees on the inside are stepping forward, asking, Is this why we’re broke? Some of them claim to spend most of their day doing nothing,” reports a local St. Louis reporter.

The contractor is called Serco and local reporter discovered that, despite there not being any work to be done, the government contractor is still hiring.

“The company is still hiring,” says a local reporter. “A current employee wonders why… After providing proof of employment, this Serco employee agreed to speak through the phone with their voice altered. The employee says hundreds of employees spend much of the day staring at computer screens, with little or no work to do.”

The reporter asks the employee, “Are there some days where a data entry person may not process one single application?”

“There are weeks when a data entry person would not process an application,” the employee responds.

The reporter explains, “The facility is one of three Serco locations that process paper applications, people seeking to qualify for insurance.”

“It’s no secret, the rollout for the website was a mess. But now that the website is running, this employee says the paper applications are trickling in less and less. Our employee doesn’t appear to be the only one complaining. On April 16, a person claiming to be a former Serco employee posted this online, ‘This place is a JOKE. There’s nothing to do-NO WORK.'”

The reporter adds, “Our employee says every person who works here is happy to have a job, and wants to work hard. But frustration is mounting. Serco’s contract is worth upwards of $1.2 billion.”

The anonymous employee says the contract gets paid by the federal government per employee hired. Which is why it’s in their interest to have a bunch of employees sitting around all day doing nothing.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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2014 NFL Draft Picks – Rounds 4 Through 7

Note: for the following 4 rounds, I have only posted the draft picks of last season’s 4 best teams, which were the Patriots, the 49ers, the Broncos and the Seahawks. Oh, and I’m also including the Steelers’ picks, because PITTSBURGH RULES!

Click HERE for all other draft results from rounds 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Patriots – Stork, Bryan – C – 6’4″ – 315 lbs – Florida State – 5.1

49ers – Ellington, Bruce – WR – 5’9″ – 197 lbs – South Carolina – 5.3

Seahawks – Marsh, Cassius – DE – 6’4″ – 252 lbs – UCLA – 5.2

Steelers – Bryant, Martavis – WR – 6’4″ – 211 lbs – Clemson – 5.3

Seahawks – Norwood, Kevin – WR – 6’2″ – 198 lbs – Alabama – 5.3

49ers – Johnson, Dontae – CB – 6’2″ – 200 lbs – N.C. State – 5.3

Patriots – White, James – RB – 5’9″ – 204 lbs – Wisconsin – 5.1

Seahawks – Pierre-Louis, Kevin – OLB – 6’0″ – 232 lbs – Boston College – 5.1

Patriots – Fleming, Cameron – OT – 6’5″ – 323 lbs – Stanford – 5.3

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49ers – Lynch, Aaron – DE – 6’5″ – 249 lbs – South Florida – 5.1

Broncos – Barrow, Lamin – OLB – 6’1″ – 237 lbs – LSU – 5.3

Steelers – Richardson, Shaquille – CB – 6’0″ – 194 lbs – Arizona – 5.1

49ers – Reaser, Keith – CB – 5’10” – 189 lbs – Florida Atlantic – 5.1

Seahawks – Staten, Jimmy – DT – 6’4″ – 304 lbs – Middle Tennessee State – NR

Steelers – Johnson, Wesley – OT – 6’5″ – 297 lbs – Vanderbilt – 5.3

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Patriots – Halapio, Jon – OG – 6’3″ – 323 lbs – Florida – 5.0

49ers – Acker, Kenneth – CB – 6’0″ – 190 lbs – SMU – 5.0

Steelers – Zumwalt, Jordan – ILB – 6’4″ – 235 lbs – UCLA – 5.2

Patriots – Moore, Zach – DE – 6’5″ – 269 lbs – Concordia – 5.2

Seahawks – Scott, Garrett – OT – 6’5″ – 294 lbs – Marshall – NR

Patriots – Thomas, Jemea – CB – 5’9″ – 192 lbs – Georgia Tech – 5.1

Broncos – Paradis, Matthew – C – 6’3″ – 306 lbs – Boise State – 5.0

Seahawks – Pinkins, Eric – FS – 6’3″ – 220 lbs – San Diego State – 4.9

Steelers – McCullers, Daniel – DT – 6’7″ – 352 lbs – Tennessee – 5.6

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Seahawks – Small, Kiero – RB – 5’8″ – 244 lbs – Arkansas – NR

Steelers – Blanchflower, Rob – TE – 6’4″ – 256 lbs – Massachusetts – 5.0

Broncos – Nelson, Corey – OLB – 6’0″ – 231 lbs – Oklahoma – NR

49ers – Ramsey, Kaleb – DE – 6’3″ – 293 lbs – Boston College – 5.0

Patriots – Gallon, Jeremy – WR – 5’7″ – 185 lbs – Michigan – 5.2

49ers – Millard, Trey – FB – 6’2″ – 247 lbs – Oklahoma – 5.1

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Click HERE to view results of ROUND 1.

Click HERE to view results of ROUNDS 2 & 3.

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2014 NFL Draft Picks – Round 1 (Videos)

Texans – Clowney, Jadeveon – DE – 6’6″ – 266 lbs – South Carolina – 7.5
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: An imposing figure, with strength and size to match his speed. Because of that combination, Clowney can keep tackles and tight ends guessing as to how he will attack. When he gets a step around the edge, even the most agile blockers will find it difficult to recover before he disrupts the pocket. When opponents are in solid position, Clowney can extend his arms, drive his legs and power his way where he wants to go. As the blow-up of Vincent Smith proved, Clowney will lower the boom if he gets the chance – that goes for unaware quarterbacks as well as running backs.
Though dropping him in at a DE spot and leaving him alone might be tempting, Clowney did perform well from various positions up front. He definitely has the strength to drop down inside on pass-rushing downs for a team with multiple outside threats. Much like J.J. Watt, Clowney has the awareness and the length to disrupt aerial attacks even when he cannot break through the line.
Has the athleticism to chase down plays from the backside. Also will be better dropping in coverage than most people expect, should he be tasked with that challenge.
Weaknesses: The concerns regarding his motor and conditioning are overblown, but Clowney can run on fumes at times, which was especially noticeable early in the season versus up-tempo offenses. Rather than come off the field when he was fatigued, Clowney appeared to ease up – thus making himself an easy blocking assignment.
Linebacker skills will need work. Right now, he could handle the most basic of those duties but could be exposed if he somehow winds up in space against a RB or TE. Not going to make many plays on the ball if he’s not at the line (though, the same could be said for most DE-types).
Mentally, can he handle the expectations?
Grade: A

Rams – Robinson, Greg – OT – 6’5″ – 332 lbs – Auburn – 7.4
Video
Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Regardless of position, there is no better run-blocker in this draft class than Robinson – he uses a devastating combination of size and leverage to maul the defenders he’s blocking over and over. When he gets under the pads of the man he’s blocking off the line, it’s not pretty for that poor opponent, because at his best, Robinson can make those one-on-ones look positively comical. When he pushes defenders back, he keeps his hands inside the pads and blows the opponent off to one side, leaving huge lanes. And even when he doesn’t use optimal leverage, he’s strong enough to get away with it – he won’t frequently lose traction based on poor technique.
Didn’t get a lot of tight end help to his side in Auburn’s offense, and he doesn’t need it — especially in the run game. Moves his feet well from gap to gap — though he’s not incredibly fast in a straight line, Robinson is impressively agile in the box. Has the will to assert physical authority over his opponents – he’s not a gentle giant, and any team looking for an ass-kicking offensive lineman should start right here. Will occasionally use a club move as a defensive lineman would to move through lines; Robinson plays very aggressively.
Weaknesses: Where Robinson falls short at this point is in any blocking scheme that requires to do more than fire straight out – in delayed blocking, he struggles to keep his feet under him and can be beaten by quickness and agility. He will occasionally lunge at ends who are looking to cover or move around him, and his hit percentage in those instances is not exceptional. Has the speed to get to the second level quickly but tends to mince his steps at times, and he takes a while to zero in on his target. Basically, in open-field situations, he’s very much a work in progress.
In pass protection, he has a decent straight-back kick step, but he could stand to be quicker with it, and he’s not exceptionally quick to adjust from side to side against edge rushers. And he won’t be able to get away with as many technique flaws in the NFL – at the pro level, you can’t always just bull your way around mechanical issues. Not especially adept with combo blocks and certain zone principles – tends to stay in his lane.
Grade: A+

Jaguars – Bortles, Blake – QB – 6’5″ – 232 lbs – Central Florida – 6.2
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Almost every pro-Bortles argument you hear will start with his size. Even though the Seahawks just won a Super Bowl with the comparatively diminutive Russell Wilson running the show, many teams still want QBs who fit Bortles’ 6-5, 232-pound build. He takes advantage of that height, keeping his eyes downfield and using a steady release to avoid having passes swatted at the line. Bortles also moves better than one might expect, both inside and outside the pocket.
Touch is there, especially in intermediate windows and to the sideline. Bortles really has no issues stepping up and resetting to throw, or sliding to his left or right and throwing with zip. Intangibles all are there, at least if his interviews and comments by his former teammates/coaches are to be believed – all of the latter speak glowingly of Bortles. He was not rattled by any situation, from road games at Ohio State and Penn State to the BCS bowl stage against Baylor.
Weaknesses: Decision-making needs to improve, as his INT numbers (16 total over the past two years) easily could have been higher. Sometimes drifts into a gunslinger-style approach, attempting to thread the needle, and he does not necessarily possess the arm strength to pull off all of those gambles. Can float some deep balls, too, a problem most noticeable when a pass rush rattles him. UCF’s offense will slow his adjustment to the NFL; it did not require him to make a ton of progression reads.
O’Leary’s comments about Bortles as a pro QB will be taken with a grain of salt, but we cannot dismiss completely Bortles’ college coach doubting his abilities to start as a rookie: remember, O’Brien (whose team has the No. 1 pick) has worked with O’Leary, so he is likely to pick the UCF coach’s brain.
Grade: B-

Bills – Watkins, Sammy – WR – 6’1″ – 211 lbs – Clemson – 7.3
Video
Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: One of the things that makes Watkins so captivating as a player is that he is a legit weapon to make a big play from anywhere – from the backfield to the slot to any position in trips or bunch formations. Tremendous after-catch player on bubble screens, and he’s very dangerous on end-arounds. As a backfield weapon, he looks and thinks like a running back with his foot-fakes and acceleration. Has the pure speed and second gear to outrun college cornerbacks to the end zone, but will also gain separation with an estimable array of jukes off the line and in space. Tremendously effective in motion plays, especially out of the backfield – this is how he often creates separation – and his understanding of formation spacing and timing serves him well. He’s very tough to cover when he’s hitting the line with a full head of steam, and his NFL team would do well to use him in these types of “waggle” plays. Blocks with above-average effort and form, though not a lot of power.
Weaknesses: Watkins’ height creates concerns with regards to jump balls and contested catches; he’s simply not big enough to grab some of the balls that more physically imposing receivers might. And while he’s strong, he needs space to operate – he’ll get taken down on first contact a lot if the first contact is a form tackle attempt, though he’ll drive his helmet in and try to gain extra yardage. Watkins said at the combine that he’s comfortable with all manner of route concepts, but he was a quick up-and-out and vertical target at Clemson, and there are times when he appears a step slow on some more angular routes – especially curls and comebacks or anything with really quick cuts. Has the physical talent to master the techniques required and shows it at times, but that could be a process.
To his credit, Watkins addressed specific route issues from the podium at the scouting combine.
“I’ve become a pretty good route runner, but there are areas I can still improve in with getting out of my routes,” he said. “What I’m really focused on is my curl routes and my comebacks. I’ve got to get my transitions, and know when to run full speed or not, and sync my hips and get out of my routes.”
Grade: B-

Raiders – Mack, Khalil – OLB – 6’3″ – 251 lbs – Buffalo – 7.2
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: A 3-4 OLB spot might be ideal, but Mack’s versatility makes him a fit for any scheme – he mentioned at the combine that he had been telling NFL coaches he could play with his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 end if they wanted. Creates constant problems for offensive linemen because of the variety of ways he can get to the quarterback. Speed’s (4.65) a real selling point, but Mack also plays with strong hands at the line, enabling him to get through blocks.
Rarely, if ever, pancaked or driven into the second level. Not a defender who can be chop-blocked either, due to steady balance. Mack does not mind creating contact at the point of attack, an approach that he brings over to an aggressive tackling style.
His three interceptions last season point to competency in pass coverage. Especially when the play develops in front of him – screens, short passes to tight ends, check-downs – Mack reacts rapidly and closes on the football. Confidence is there to succeed, as is that chip-on-the-shoulder intangible that teams will not fail to notice.
Weaknesses: Will need to improve his coverage techniques; even with his speed, he will be a little touch-and-go early when it comes to covering NFL tight ends and RBs. Players like Mack from mid-major schools always will have to answer for the competition level they faced, and Mack had two of his least productive games against Baylor and in that bowl loss to San Diego State.
If Mack is going to play along the line, either as a DE or stand-up rush linebacker, he has to get quicker jumps off the snap. Everything he does when pass-rushing can take a little longer than it needs to, either because of slow reaction time off the snap or because he allows himself to be pushed too wide by a blocker.
Grade: A

Falcons – Matthews, Jake – OT – 6’5″ – 308 lbs – Texas A&M – 7.2
Video
Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Matthews is the most technically sound and polished offensive lineman in this draft class, and that shows up on tape in all kinds of ways. As a pass-blocker, he is fluid and consistent in his kick-slide, and he establishes a solid arc of protection back to the pocket with his footwork and low base. Gets his hands inside a defender’s pads and generally keeps them there — he’s very tenacious. As a run-blocker, he excels not with tremendous root strength, but with an understanding of angles and leverage that makes him appear functionally stronger than he really is. Does outstanding work in slide protection because he’s so good at keeping his feet active but efficient – there aren’t a lot of wasted steps for Matthews, and he doesn’t usually have to recover from his own mistakes. Understands and does well in zone concepts like combos and pass-offs – he keeps his eyes forward and his hands moving, and when he has to jump quickly to handle a second defender, he has no problem with that. Gets out of his stance in a hurry off the snap and moves to block, meaning that he gains the advantage of striking the first blow most of the time.
Matthews is a very quick and agile player, and I think this is an underrated aspect of his game – he has the ability to execute tackle pulls to any gap, and all the way across the line, and he’s great when asked to head to linebacker depth and pop a defensive target in space. Matthews would be an especially great pick for any team with a mobile quarterback, because blocking for Manziel trained him to maintain his protection as long as the play is alive.
Weaknesses: Matthews isn’t a dominant physical athlete – he’s not going to physically overwhelm opponents with brute power, and he has to stay straight with his technique as a result. Occasionally gets too high in his stance, and can be moved back and aside as a result. And if he doesn’t get his hands out first, he’s not prone to re-directing after he’s beaten, meaning he’ll lose battles with more aggressive defenders. This is a core strength issue, and something that his NFL team will want him to correct.
Grade: A

Buccaneers – Evans, Mike – WR – 6’5″ – 231 lbs – Texas A&M – 6.4
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Perhaps Evans’ greatest strength is his ability to get free in short spaces on a number of routes – he doesn’t just win vertical battles; he’s also very good at quick cuts for his size (6-foot-5, 231). And with his length, he’s able to expand his catch radius to bring in balls most receivers simply can’t. Catches with his hands – Evans doesn’t wait for the ball to hit him in the chest, which allows him to reach for catches when falling away. He’s also surprisingly fast on straight vertical routes – Evans gets a head of steam going quickly and has a clear extra gear in the open field. He’s not a big, lumbering player; he has outstanding stride length and he knows how to use it. Evans will be a great help to any mobile quarterback, because he’s learned from playing with Manziel that you always have to keep focused on the extended play. When Manziel was running around, Evans was moving with him and getting opening with his physicality.
Excellent blocker who gets his long arms extended and seems to enjoy mixing it up. In that same vein, he’s very comfortable breaking tackles and throwing stiff-arms. Tremendous threat on in-breaking routes (in-cuts, slants, posts) because it’s so hard to keep up with his speed and still deal with his height. Could be a dominant situational slot receiver; more NFL teams are taking their No. 1 targets and looking to create mismatches in this way.
Weaknesses: Focus is an issue at times – Evans drops balls he should catch, and he had to be talked back into the Chick-fil-A Bowl by Manziel after a couple of personal fouls. And like most bigger college receivers, Evans will need to expand his route tree in the NFL. His game, like Manziel’s, was based a great deal on improvisation, and his pro team might not like that prototype. Played against a lot of off-coverage designed to react to his quarterback; Evans will need to develop his foot fakes and hand moves against more aggressive press corners in the NFL.
Grade: A-

Browns – Gilbert, Justin – CB – 6’0″ – 202 lbs – Oklahoma State – 6.3
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Gilbert’s raw speed allows him to cover a ton of ground, plus helps him recover from any mistakes he may make. As he stated at the combine, with the ball in his hands he’s a constant threat to go the distance, be it off an interception or on a kick return. Receivers almost never blow past him on straight-line routes, further evidence that he’s as fast as the 40 time made him look.
Height and leaping ability make Gilbert a menace in the air – the pick-six he pulled off versus Texas came after he planted, then leaped toward the sideline in front of a receiver. Takes advantage of his size when playing in press coverage (though, not always effectively, as we’ll touch on shortly). Tough to beat over the middle because because how well he can get his foot into the ground, then transfer to top speed.
His ability to step in as a return man will earn him extra points. Barring an injury, the worst-case scenario for Gilbert heading into camp is that he competes for a No. 2 or No. 3 cornerback job while contributing heavily on special teams. He is very smooth with the ball in his hands, and made catches on interceptions that some receivers might have struggled to make.
Weaknesses: As with another projected Round 1 cornerback, Darqueze Dennard, Gilbert almost invites officials to flag him with his contact in coverage. Dennard can get himself into trouble attempting to maintain a jam; Gilbert has more issues downfield, where he’ll lunge and put himself in tough positions on deep balls. Some of that could be rectified if Gilbert continues to improve reading plays – right now, he can hang himself out to dry on well-run routes because he’s constantly hunting for an interception.
Effective as a tackler, but not overly eager to get involved, especially in the run game. Considering how physical he can be in man-coverage, it would be nice to see him translate that edge over to tracking ballcarriers. As with a quarterback who tries to overcompensate for poor reads with a strong arm, Gilbert puts almost too much faith in his speed, which may not fly quite as comfortably in the NFL.
Grade: B

Vikings – Barr, Anthony – LB – 6’5″ – 255 lbs – UCLA – 6.5
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Spectacularly quick off the edge, and flashes the ability to bend well when trying to turn the corner around blockers. Puts his speed to use once he works free of blockers, closing on QBs in a hurry. Chases the ball well – 83 tackles in 2012 and 66 in ’13, many coming with Barr pursuing to the far side of the field. Deceptive strength both as a tackler and in fighting off blocks.
Barr’s willingness to shift from running back to receiver to H-back and finally to linebacker highlights his coachability, a factor NFL teams pay very close attention to during the draft process. Barr also speaks honestly about the areas in which he needs to improve.
Coveted size for an edge player. Once he develops a little better feel for his timing, Barr will be difficult to throw passes over or around because of his length. Some room to add bulk, though he said at the combine that he feels most comfortable at his current weight.
Weaknesses: Must become far better utilizing his hands to shed blockers, as he can be dominated at times right now. Along the same lines, Barr has to improve his repertoire when rushing the passer, because a straight speed rush will be less effective in the NFL than it was at UCLA.
By his own admission, Barr’s coverage skills leave something to be desired. UCLA did not ask him to drop with much regularity, but it will be a key component of his game from here out, especially if he lands as a LB in a 4-3 scheme. He also misses more tackles than he should while gunning for the big hit. Barr will run himself out of position against play-action and misdirection, an element of his game that NFL offenses will exploit until he hones his awareness.
Grade: B+

Lions – Ebron, Eric – TE – 6’4″ – 250 lbs – North Carolina – 6.2
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Speed really sets him apart as compared to other tight ends in the 2014 class. Can turn upfield after short-to-intermediate routes but is most dangerous darting into the seam. Even talented slot corners and adept safeties will find it tough to turn and run with him; linebackers can be left in his wake. Improving blocker with a decent amount of experience playing in-line. Better suited to get out into the slot and create mismatches. Can be far more of a red-zone threat than he was in college. Confidence bordering on cockiness, a positive when he can reel it in.
Weaknesses: Dropped nearly 12 percent of the passes thrown his way, an unexpectedly high number that means he’ll leave folks frustrated from time to time. By his own admission, must improve as a run blocker, especially if the team that drafts him wants to use him as a No. 1 tight end. Should be better than he is making grabs in traffic, which could help explain to some extent his very low TD total. Will he be OK with playing a complementary role?
Grade: B

Titans – Lewan, Taylor – OT – 6’7″ – 309 lbs – Michigan – 6.3
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Moves extremely well for a man of his size. Lewan drops very well to protect the passer, while his quick feet could make him a fit in either a man- or zone-blocking scheme. Clears to the second level in a hurry, picking out and hunting down linebackers to block. Plays through the whistle with venom – nearly faced discipline for a series of scraps, including Lewan twisting an opponent’s helmet during a game versus Michigan State. Recovers well when he’s jolted by a push to his chest. Vocal and outspoken leader of the Wolverines offense for multiple seasons.
Weaknesses: Penalized too much… and, honestly, easily could have been flagged for about two or three more holding penalties per game. Can be caught leaning and off-balance, most noticeable when Lewan is trying to push forward late in plays; occasionally shows up when a speed rusher gets a step on him. Carrying some red flags he no doubt has had to answer for during meetings with teams. Lets emotion get the best of him, sacrificing his technique to look for a big hit. Blitzes can cause him problems.
Grade: B

Giants – Beckham, Odell – WR – 5’11” – 198 lbs – LSU – 6.1
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Beckham can excel either outside or in the slot, and his primary attribute is his pure game-breaking speed. In the slot, he drives off the snap with quickness from the first step and can simply outrun safeties to his assigned area. Forces defenses to assign a deep defender and can take the top off a coverage. On the outside, Beckham moves smoothly downfield on routes to the sideline and the numbers, and he exhibits terrific change-of-direction skills. In addition, Beckham has an innate understanding of route concepts that will help him greatly at the NFL level – he has outstanding body control, looks the ball into his hands, gets open in small spaces and is elusive enough to juke defenders who try to grab him after the catch. And if he gets past those defenders, it’s off to the races again.
Kills defenses with comebacks and curls. Can take quick slants and bubble screens upfield in a hurry – he’ll be a great yards-after-catch asset at the next level. Dynamic return man who will change direction and doesn’t need much of an opening to make a big play or take it to the house.
Weaknesses: Beckham’s only real limitations are related to his size – he won’t win a lot of jump-ball battles, he’s not a physical blocker, and though he’s tough in traffic, it’s possible that he’ll be limited by bigger and more physical cornerbacks at the NFL level. Though he’s improved a great deal in his command of the little things, he will occasionally regress and miss a ball he should have caught. However, this isn’t the issue it used to be, and Beckham’s clear tendency to work hard and improve will serve him well when coverages get more complex.
Grade: A

Rams – Donald, Aaron – DT – 6’1″ – 285 lbs – Pittsburgh – 6.3
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Not only experienced at lining up in multiple spots, but productive everywhere. Donald brings a smart, varied rush to the table, which allows him to work with effectiveness from the one-tech spot on out. Most of his victories up front come as result of an explosive first step off the snap. The quickness he flashed for a national audience at the combine was no fluke. Donald also can win with power, if he cannot break through immediately. In that regard, his stature actually can play to his advantage – being a little lower to the ground allows him to get his hands into a blocker’s chest naturally, allowing him to push opponents back.
True to the praise for his work ethic, Donald can stay on the field as a three-down player and rarely downshifts in intensity. He’ll chase the ball whistle to whistle, sideline to sideline, showing enough recognition to keep locked on the right target despite misdirection.
Weaknesses: Can be neutralized when he does not get the first step, with his size occasionally proving problematic against strong guards. Though he more than held his own as a nose tackle at Pittsburgh, his lack of girth makes it difficult to project him there in the pros, potentially limiting his role. Only average arm length plus 6-1 height means that he will not swat many passes at the line if he fails to get home on a rush. May have a tough time if asked to anchor versus the run as a two-gap player.
Grade: A-

Bears – Fuller, Kyle – CB – 6’0″ – 190 lbs – Virginia Tech – 5.9
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Fuller is really good with his feet – he can stick with a receiver through any stutter or foot fake, and he transitions fluidly to coverage. Backpedals well and turns his hips in time to stay on his target. Fuller plays off-coverage like a pro and understands pattern reading, which makes him great outside or in the slot. He might be the best at his position in this draft class when it comes to closing on routes and following through to break up the play. Fuller is fast anyway (ran a 4.49-40 at the combine), but his awareness of technique and his quick closes on angles make him look even quicker on the field. Not a dominant tackler per se, but will sell himself out to stop a play and excels at inline and slot blitzes.
Plays well in the slot and has the size (6-0, 198) to deal with bigger receivers and some tight ends. Extends to inside position and can trail receivers in the slot and outside. Gets vertical very well and knows how to time his jumps. Recovery speed isn’t Olympian, but it’s good enough. Played linebacker depth against Georgia Tech in 2013 and split through different gaps with pass and run blitzes.
Weaknesses: Due to the aggressive nature of his play, Fuller will occasionally bite on play-fakes, play-action and double moves, but this isn’t a major problem. And he addressed the injury concerns with his combine performance.
Grade: A-

Steelers – Shazier, Ryan – OLB – 6’1″ – 237 lbs – Ohio State – 6.3
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: From the line back to linebacker depth and from any gap, Shazier has tremendous closing speed, and he’s very aggressive when looking to stop run plays. He moves through trash very deftly and uses an understanding of angles and tackling technique to stay with backs. Generally patient at the line before he moves to tackle; seems to have a really good sense of play recognition and he tends to overrun plays more than he’s fooled. More impressive is Shazier’s range in coverage; he’s a legitimate asset when dealing with backs, slot receivers and tight ends and can get this done from inside or outside positions. Shazier has the speed to chase from sideline to sideline, and he spies quarterbacks well while reading for possible throws. Tremendous vision and redirection ability allows him to peel off from coverage to tackle at the second and third levels. High-quality blitzer as long as he has space to move – if put on the edge in passing situations he could reward the Steelers with a 10-sack season. By all accounts, a high-quality player and person who will lead and help greatly with defensive calls.
Weaknesses: Shazier’s size shows up as a negative when he gets blocked out pretty consistently in power situations, especially when offensive linemen are plastering him inside or outside on run plays. While he plays inside more than credibly, Pittsburgh may want to keep him outside to allow him to make more plays in space – he’s not a pure “thumper” in the traditional vein. Wraps up well at times, but relies on the potential kill shot too often and misses opportunities to stop plays as a result. Will lose play discipline at times and get misdirected.
Grade: B+

Cowboys – Martin, Zack – OT – 6’4″ – 308 lbs – Notre Dame – 6.2
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Outstanding drive blocker who rises up from a three-point stance quickly, gets his hands inside the defender and uses leverage to push people back. Excellent upper-body strength, which he uses to get his hands forward and in a striking position to keep opponents on their side of the line. Finished his blocks by lifting defenders off their own power. Understands combo blocks and can peel off his first defender to help with a second defender seamlessly and with no trouble. Keeps a low center of gravity and places his feet properly to give himself a wide base. Good speed to the second level when asked to block in space, and Martin has an excellent sense for his targets – if he whiffs, it’s generally more about lack of speed than any awareness issues.
Weaknesses: In pass pro, Martin’s kick slide is a work in progress – he’s more choppy than smooth with his steps. Establishes protection against turning pass-rushers more with technique than fluidity, and can be susceptible to defenders who change directions quickly. Needs an extra split second to come out of his stance to the outside, and you’ll occasionally see speed rushers blow right by him. In a general sense, better when blocking people in front of him than to either side – plays best in the proverbial phone booth. Hasn’t pulled a lot, which he’ll have to do if he switches to guard in the NFL, but seems to have the skills to do so.
Grade: B

Ravens – Mosley, C.J. – LB – 6’2″ – 234 lbs – Alabama – 6.4
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Earned those lofty tackle numbers by showing an exceptional ability to find and chase the football. Moves well sideline to sideline, diagnosing plays quickly while avoiding blockers. Rarely misses a tackle; form is very solid there, with Mosley seldom lunging unless it’s a last-ditch effort. Can take on playcalling/audible responsibilities if the team drafting him so desires – displays great awareness and football intelligence.
Fluid enough to drop into coverage, particularly in a zone look or when tracking a RB out of the backfield. Should be able to move around in a defensive alignment if need be, making him a reliable three-down option. Very few mysteries in Mosley’s game as he heads to the next level.
Weaknesses: If Ravens fans are expecting a pass-rushing linebacker, they’ll have to lower their exectation as Mosley failed to record even a half-sack last season and does not really have those attributes in his arsenal, save for an occasional blitz. Needs to add some bulk – or at least functional strength – if he’s going to play in the middle of an NFL defense. Right now, he has a hard time shedding blockers if he fails to find a free release toward the football.
Better against the run than against the pass; he’ll need to show the ability to cover more ground than he currently does in coverage. Mosley also should be better than he is at getting in front of passes, given his quickness. Size (6-foot-2, 234 pounds) probably will be an issue if he finds himself matched up against tight ends. It may be problematic on the whole, too, if Mosley continues to get banged up as he did at Alabama.
And on those injuries… they’re a clear potential headache. A team will draft Mosley to lock down a starting LB spot from Day 1 through Week 17. Is he physically capable of handling that responsibility?
Grade: A-

Jets – Prior, Calvin – S – 6’2″ – 207 lbs – Louisville – 6.3
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Pryor has tremendous field speed, and he’s able to use it to great effect in all areas of his game. There are times when you simply wonder how he got from here to there so quickly. When he breaks out of coverage to run support, he flies to the ball and is a willing and violent tackler. Sifts through trash pretty well and doesn’t give up on plays – even if he misses the tackle the first time around, he’s a good bet to help pick it up later. Understands angles and leverage as a tackler. When he is asked to cover half-field, he does so with ease – his sideline-to-sideline speed is as good as anyone’s in this draft class at any position. Will move seamlessly from the line to linebacker depth to the back half, which allows him to keep his eyes on his assignments and avoid over-correcting. For such a fast player, Pryor doesn’t get fooled often.
In coverage, Pryor can mirror everything from short angle routes to comebacks to deep vertical concepts, and he has an excellent sense of when to break for the ball. Plays slot receivers very well because of his tenaciousness and agility, and he can break outside to cornerback positioning in a pinch. Has the vertical length and timing to stick with receivers bigger than him, even on jump balls. Sneaks in and breaks on routes as you would expect a better cornerback to do. Legitimate center-field defender on deep posts and other vertical concepts. Comes off the line like a scalded dog on blitzes and can bring a lot of pressure when put in that position. Gives full effort on every play – you just don’t see dropoffs on his tape.
Weaknesses: There are times when Pryor’s size works against him – he will get blocked out of plays, and as aggressive as he is, he may want to peel back a bit and understand that he’ll make even more plays if he avoids contact at times as opposed to putting himself in disadvantageous situations. And he’ll have to watch his physical style of tackling when he hits the NFL, because officials are conditioned to overreact at the best of times.
Grade: A

Dolphins – James, Ja’Wuan – OT – 6’6″ – 311 lbs – Tennessee – 5.7
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Absolutely fits the part of an NFL tackle at 6-foot-6 and 311 pounds. When he is able to control that size by driving it into opposing defenders, he can be a menace up front, both in the run and pass games. Advanced his game enough to project as an early NFL starter, with room to continue growing as a blocker once he gets to the next level. And speaking of the next level, James is quick-footed enough to throw his weight into a defensive lineman, then release to find a linebacker as well. On a team that wants to run the ball, James should be a definite asset.
Weaknesses: There’s work to be done here, mainly with technique. James can be caught too high, allowing defenders to shove him off-balance. He also will have to become more consistent in all aspects of his game – the flashes of dominance up front only come every so often, with some misses on his chart. Almost certainly will have to open his career as a RT, which is where he played throughout college. It’s hard to envision him being able to make the move to the left side with any regularity.
Grade: C

Saints – Cooks, Brandin – WR – 5’10” – 189 lbs – Oregon State – 5.9
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Prolific receiver who gets the whole route tree and has experience in a pro-style offense. Cooks can make plays from just about anywhere in the formation – wide, in the slot, different points in trips and bunch concepts, and as a runner on jet sweeps and quick screens. Tremendous after-catch runner who can break a play wide open with a small opening off a short pass. Cooks has great straight-line speed, and he’s very hard to cover on angular routes (slants, drags, posts) because he’s able to maintain his speed from side to side. Has the downfield quickness to flat-out beat better cornerbacks on all kinds of vertical routes from the seam to the sideline.
Has a great natural ability with route cuts – Cooks can put his foot in the ground, change direction, and get right back up to speed in a big hurry. Very tough to cover on comebacks and curls. He’s practiced with stutters and foot fakes at the line, and at times, that’s all he’s going to need to get free for a long play. Excellent boundary receiver who keeps his eye on the sideline. Quick, gliding runner on sweeps; he could really befuddle defenses with this as Reggie Bush and Percy Harvin have. Doesn’t have the size to win vertical battles, but he’s always up for trying. Despite his size, Cooks hasn’t been injury-prone. Wasn’t asked to be much of a return man in college, but certainly has all the attributes to make that happen.
Weaknesses: Cooks’ size is an obvious limitation in a few ways – he will lose a lot of jump-ball battles against larger defensive backs, he’s not going to out-muscle defenders in traffic, and he can be edged out of erratically-thrown passes – it’s harder for him to fight to avoid interceptions because he’s not built to mix it up. And he’s going to get most of his NFL touchdowns from the field as opposed to beating people in the end zone and red zone. Could suffer when pressed at the line at the next level; Cooks will have to get separation in those situations with short-area quickness as opposed to muscle.
Grade: A

Packers – Clinton-Dix, Ha Ha – FS – 6’1″ – 208 lbs – Alabama – 5.9
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Clinton-Dix has the two things every NFL free safety needs – great feet and impressive quickness. He backpedals and redirects smoothly and with little trouble, which allows him to stick and stay on all kinds of routes. And he’s remarkably quick when it comes to driving down in run support, as well as moving to either sideline. Keeps the action in front of him, and does his best to avoid getting shaken on any kind of misdirection, despite his generally aggressive playing style. Has the size (6-1, 208) and speed to square up on running backs and receivers and bring them down. Understands how to deal with blockers – will rarely take a hit straight on and bounces off to make a play. Tackles with excellent form; looks to wrap more than he goes for the kill shot, and he does a terrific job of extending his body to catch quicker opponents. Gives tremendous effort at all times; he’s never really eliminated from a possible tackle as long as the play is still going. Can play well everywhere from true center field to the slot.
Weaknesses: Though he’s a generally disciplined player, there are inevitable aftereffects of Clinton-Dix’s style that show up on tape. He will flat-out miss tackles at times because he’s trying so hard to get where he needs to be, and better play-fake quarterbacks might have a field day with him at the NFL level. Will occasionally lose track of his target on quick angle routes unless he’s in position to redirect.
Grade: A

Browns – Manziel, Johnny – QB – 6’0″ – 207 lbs – Texas A&M – 6.1
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: With all the folderol about his on-field escapades and off-field persona, it’s quite possible that Manziel is still wildly underrated as a pure quarterback – but he has all the tools to succeed at any level. First, he’s not a run-around guy. He looks to pass first on designed pass plays, even when he’s flushed out of the pocket. He’s very light on his feet in the pocket, and when he has to run, he’s incredibly good at resetting and driving the ball downfield. Has an unusual feel for throwing accurately out of weird positions, which is both a positive and negative. When he drives the ball, he can make any throw from the deep fade to the skinny post to all manner of short and intermediate timing throws. Has a plus-arm, though it’s not a Howitzer, and he’s learned to put air under the ball to help receivers with their timing. He’s a master at extending plays beyond their logical conclusions and directing receivers along the way. Has an innate sense of how to create holes in pass coverage with motion and redirection, and he’s coming into the NFL at a time when this attribute is far more prized than it used to be.
Manziel isn’t just a scrambler, he’s an outstanding pure runner – when he calls his own number on draws, he gets up to speed quickly, reads gaps patiently and has an extra gear in the open field. He’s very quick to set and throw – once he makes his decision to throw, there’s very little delay or wasted motion. Can make deep, accurate throws across his body, even when on the run. In general, he’s a rare thrower when under duress.
Manziel showed specific and impressive improvements at his pro day, which proved that he’s been working hard in the offseason, and taking what performance coaches George Whitfield and Kevin O’Connell are teaching him very seriously. Clearly has the desire to improve, and seems to have an inherent chip on his shoulder when doubted. Despite all the talk about his personality, Manziel appears to be a born on-field leader who can rally his teammates. With words and actions, he seems to inspire belief.
Weaknesses: Manziel’s greatest strength is absolutely tied to his biggest weakness. His improvisational ability, while as impressive as any I’ve seen in a collegiate quarterback, has allowed him to get away with random and unrepeatable plays that won’t have the same shelf life in the NFL. Part of the problem is that he isn’t consistent with his mechanics – when he drives through the throw with his body, he’s as good a passer as there is in this draft class. But there are other times when he’ll miss wildly because he’s throwing off his back foot or off both feet, which limits how much torque he can generate. And though he can go through multiple reads at times, he’ll have to do that more at the NFL level. Right now, there’s a sandlot quality to his field vision that produces compelling results at times, but isn’t sustainable against more complex concepts. At times, his deeper throws hang in the air, which could lead to more picks in the NFL.
Played almost exclusively in shotgun and pistol formations at A&M, and though he displayed an ease with dropping back when playing under center, the NFL team that takes him as a dropback guy would have to cross its fingers at first. Being away from the center gives him a timing edge at the snap and helps him see the field.
Tends to arch back when he throws longer passes with arc – not necessarily a problem, but it’s unusual. It may be an adaptive strategy to counter the issue related to his height; at just under 6-feet tall, Manziel has to work his game in the same ways everyone from Fran Tarkenton to Drew Brees to Russell Wilson has. There are simply some throws he will not be able to make in the pocket because he can’t see what’s happening until he either creates line splits by running, or waits for them to open up. And at 207 pounds, there will be legitimate concerns about how well and how often he’ll be able to make plays on the run in designed situations. If that part of his play is reduced, that puts the pressure on him to do more as a passer – which he has the potential to do, but he’ll have to change some things about his modus operandi to make that happen.
Grade: A

Chiefs – Ford, Dee – DE – 6’2″ – 252 lbs – Auburn – 5.7
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Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: As a pure pass-rusher, Ford comes off the snap with great velocity, which he’s able to turn into impressive power for his size (6-2, 252). Can bring a nascent bull-rush against tight ends and tackles from time to time, and will generally come up well in power battles as long as he gets his hands on blockers quickly. Ford has light feet and will jump gaps to stunt and use an inside counter to stay active and bring pressure. Forces offenses to align their blocking schemes to him pretty frequently; he faces a lot of tight end chips and double teams. Has the bend around the edge (dip-and-rip) to get under the pads of tackles and move quickly to create pocket disruption.
Ford shows estimable body control and discipline when he’s asked to read run plays and cover in short areas – he follows the action well and will adjust as a true linebacker (as opposed to a one-dimensional pass-rusher) might. Wasn’t asked to drop into coverage a lot, but has the potential to do so. Unlike a lot of outside linebacker conversion projects, Ford didn’t get washed out when he wasn’t given free space – he can excel in close quarters. Has long enough arms to pop blockers right off the snap.
Weaknesses: Ford could stand to use his hands better and more effectively – as active as he is, he’d be more purely disruptive if he had the ability to consistently redirect blockers with rip, spin and swim moves. And though his inside moves are decent, he will need to get quicker with his feet on those quick inside cuts and counters. Ford will lose blocks if he doesn’t gain quick leverage, such as plays when he’s chasing opponents. And he’ll need to develop his coverage technique at the next level – he tends to follow, and doesn’t turn his head.
Grade: C

Bengals – Dennard, Darqueze – CB – 5’11” – 199 lbs – Michigan State – 6.1
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Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Receivers have to work to get off the line against Dennard, because he often plays up tight against them and prevents clean releases with his size and strength. Used his hands right up to the line of drawing penalties – jammed well, plus knew when he could and could not latch on downfield. Flips his hips quickly when he needs to. Dennard shows an impressive knack for knowing when to turn for the football, then rarely hesitates in making a play on it. Even when receivers do manage to find openings against him, Dennard can make their lives miserable. He contests passes through the catch, swatting and ripping at the football.-
Plays almost like an extra linebacker against the run. When there was not a receiver on his side of the field, he walked down to the edge of the line pre-snap and threw himself into the pile. If he was engaged on a run play, Dennard worked until the whistle to fend off his blocker. He tackles well for a cornerback, too, eschewing that shoulder-first approach for a shoulders-squared technique.
Dennard is clearly a confident defender, no matter what he is tasked with on the field.
Weaknesses: Clocked in just north of 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine, and that speaks to lingering concerns over his speed. Physical NFL receivers may not be as bothered by Dennard’s press coverage. So even if he shows the continued ability to smoothly turn and run, Dennard may lose some battles on deep balls. The average speed also all but eliminates the possibility that Dennard could work into a lineup as a slot guy (not that any team necessarily would want to play him there).
Issue No. 2 with Dennard’s game concerns his experience with Michigan State – the Spartans utilized almost exclusively man-to-man defenses, so the jury is out on how well Dennard would transition to a zone-heavy approach.
May unfairly be knocked for playing behind the aforementioned, dominant Michigan State front seven. As is often the case with college players who enjoyed such benefits, some will wonder if Dennard can provide the same type of supremacy if he lands on a team less imposing up front.
Grade: A-

Chargers – Verrett, Jason – CB – 5’9″ – 189 lbs – TCU – 5.9
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Excels at finding and playing the football, using those instincts to make up for any height or strength deficiencies. Drives on shorter routes, also gets his head around when running deep with receivers. Almost impossible for receivers to blow past him – Verrett ran a 4.38 40 at the combine, and might be the best CB in this draft when it comes to flipping his hips and breaking downfield. No issues moving around on defense, as TCU used him both in the slot and outside. Plenty capable of helping against the run, too, a nod to his physical nature. Welcomes matchups with star receivers.
Weaknesses: As if his size did not already pose a question mark for NFL teams, Verrett was banged up through much of last season. His willingness to enter the fray as a run defender worked to his detriment in that regard. Likely will have a very difficult time if asked to jam NFL receivers at the line, because of limited strength. Can be blocked out of plays with ease if a receiver/tight end manages to square him up. High-points the football, but will lose jump balls to taller receivers simply because of his limitations.
Grade: A-

Eagles – Smith, Marcus – DE – 6’3″ – 251 lbs – Louisville – 5.6
Video
Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Smith has the size to succeed off the edge and to move inside in certain defensive packages, but his primary value lies in his array of pass-rush moves. He can dip-and rip, move with inside stunts and provide surprising run defense for his size. He can also cover in space decently.
Weaknesses: As with most LEO ends, Smith will struggle against double teams and bigger defenders – he’ll need to stay free in space to be productive.
Grade: B-

Cardinals – Bucannon, Deone – SS – 6’1″ – 211 lbs – Washington State – 5.7
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: May rack up some flags in the NFL simply because of how heavy a hitter he is. Bucannon stands 6-foot-1 and just north of 210 pounds, and he brings the full force of that stature whenever he can from the safety spot. He ran a sub-4.5 40 at the combine, too, so there’s more to his game than just the highlight-reel hits. Bucannon can get to the ball, sideline to sideline, and make the necessary plays from the safety spot. He finished 2013 with six interceptions, and it appeared that he improved as the season went along – a good sign, no doubt, for the team that picks him.
Weaknesses: Bucannon makes more plays on the football than ex-Lion and current Dolphin Louis Delmas, but he plays with a similar mentality, in that his No. 1 goal appears to be to lay the boom. That’s well and good when he does so, yet the approach can leave him out of position and whiffing on tackles. He’s not great dropping, either, a trait that can be problematic for a deep safety, if he spends time there as opposed to in the box. Though his speed allows him to cover a lot of mistakes, faster receivers who run sharp routes will be able to get past him.
Grade: B

Panthers – Benjamin, Kelvin – WR – 6’5″ – 240 – Florida State – 6.1
Video
Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Benjamin has prototypical dimensions (6-5, 240) for the position, and he understands how to use them – he will simply overwhelm defenders at times with his size, leaping ability and strength. And for his size, Benjamin has impressive straight-line speed. He’ll blast off the line quickly, he accelerates smoothly, and he has an extra gear downfield. Snatches the ball quickly and moves upfield just that way for extra yards after the catch, and he’s a load to deal with when he gets a full head of steam. Dominant red zone and end zone target who makes it nearly impossible to cover him in those situations, because all he has to do is get vertical and fight for the catch – and he does those things very well.
Outstanding blocker at all levels when he gives top effort. Can be a special player on simple slants and drags because he combines movement and strength when he does cut to an angle correctly. Played with quarterbacks who struggled to see the field and find him open at times; which could lead some NFL teams to (rightly) consider that he’ll have far more opportunities at the next level.
Weaknesses: For all his physical attributes, Benjamin is far from a finished product. He should be stronger with his hands in traffic than he is; even when he wins physical battles, he can be beaten after the catch with aggression, and he drops too many passes in general. Needs a lot of work on the overall route tree – ran a lot of straight go routes and simple angle concepts. Not always an aware player in space. He’s a bit logy when asked to cut quickly in short areas; this is where his big body (big butt, specifically) works against him. Agility is a question. Doesn’t always dig his foot in and make clean cuts, and as a result, he isn’t always where he needs to be when the ball is thrown with anticipation. Struggles with jukes and foot fakes because he’s still learning body control.
Will probably struggle with option routes for a while, because the ability to time his physical movements to the directions in his head is a process under development. Needs to learn to create separation. The little things – catching the ball with his hands instead of his body; waiting to turn upfield until he’s got the ball securely – are not quite there yet.
Grade: B

Patriots – Easley, Dominique – DT – 6’2″ – 288 lbs – Florida – 5.3
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Easley’s most prominent attribute is that he can play convincingly and at a starter level in so many gaps. There are multiple examples of him blowing up protections everywhere from 1-tech (between the center and guard) to 3-tech (between the guard and tackle) to end. He even has the speed and turn to disrupt from a wide-nine stance. For his size (6-foot-2, 288), Easley flashes tremendous upper-body strength – he plays 20 or 30 pounds heavier than he is in that sense, but he has the field speed and agility of a linebacker when he’s in space or covering in short areas. Gets his hands on blockers right off the snap and uses his hands very well – will use hand-strikes, swim and rip moves, and pure bull-rushes to drive through or get past to the backfield. Didn’t do a lot of stunting and looping for the Gators, but he clearly has the skillset to do so.
When lined up in a stunt formation (at a 45-degree angle against the line), Easley is just about unblockable because he gets through with such explosive speed. Understands leverage and will get under a blocker’s pads, adding to his strength advantage – it’s uncanny how often he’ll push a guy back who seriously outweighs him. Can split and move from gap to gap with great agility; he’s always looking for an opening. And when he gets in the backfield, Easley is very balanced and disciplined – he doesn’t fall for foot fakes and agile moves. At his best, he’s a play destroyer.
Weaknesses: Where Easley’s size shows up in a negative sense is when he’s asked to take on double teams, especially against bigger blockers – he tends to get eaten up and can’t always get through even with all his attributes. And if a blocker gets his hands on Easley first, it’s tough for Easley to recover consistently – his hand quickness is clearly an adaptive strategy, and it works well, but he’s got that issue.
Injury issues will hold him back, to be certain. Though he recovered well from the 2010 ACL tear, the fact that he’s now had serious injuries to each knee will certainly present a red flag that will drop him at least a full round from where he would go otherwise.
Grade: B+

49ers – Ward, Jimmie – SS – 5’11” – 193 lbs – Northern Illinois – 5.4
Video
Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Plays well everywhere in the defensive backfield – from deep center field to slot cornerback. Ward has tremendous range and can cover a lot of ground in a big hurry, and he’s on point when he gets there – he doesn’t overreach as much as you’d expect for a player who’s going all-out at all times. Makes plays in the passing game from inside the seams to outside the numbers and can roll back into deep coverage from linebacker depth. Times his hits exceptionally well to deflect and break up passes. Ward plays a lot of slot coverage, and this may be his most appealing value to NFL teams. His footwork is outstanding, and his backpedal speed really shows up on tape. Doesn’t allow a lot of yards after the catch – if a receiver grabs a catch in his area, Ward is quick to end the play.
Weaknesses: Gets a bit stiff in coverage situations where he needs to turn his hips and run quickly in a straight line; not a natural mover in those circumstances. Though he can get vertical, Ward will be challenged by tight ends and bigger receivers – with his height, there’s only so high he can go. Takes on blockers fearlessly at the line of scrimmage, but needs to put on functional weight to deal with them – he’s a thin guy who struggles in physical battles and needs to shoot through gaps to tackle or blitz. Will occasionally bite on play-action and play-fakes because he’s so aggressive to the ball.
Grade: A+

Broncos – Roby, Bradley – CB – 5’11” – 194 lbs – Ohio State – 6.1
Video
Chris Burke’s analysis:
Strengths: Extremely physical player for his size (5-11, 194) who makes life particularly nightmarish for slot receivers. Uses a long wingspan and terrific timing to move in and bat the ball away just as his receiver is about to make the catch. That physicality extends to his tackling ability, which starts in the backfield – Roby heads to the running back like a missile and understands how to bring bigger players down. He would be an excellent option on cornerback blitzes from the slot because he times them perfectly, and his coverage abilities place him there very nicely. As a pure press cornerback, Roby excels because he can follow his receivers wherever they go, and he also reads the running game as he’s covering. Has the straight-line speed to catch up with just about any runner and make a stop.
Weaknesses: Roby needs work on his off-coverage – it could have been a product of scheme at Ohio State, but he allowed far too many easy completions underneath when in off-coverage by giving up too much of a cushion. Though he has legitimate sub-4.4 speed, Roby struggles with recovery quickness when he’s been beaten; he needs to learn to hit corners and angles with more acceleration. Doesn’t turn his hips as fluidly as he should when playing bail technique. Height disadvantage shows up when he’s playing trail coverage and tries to get vertical against bigger receivers – unless he times it perfectly, he’s going to get out-jumped. Occasionally tries to bat the ball away when he should stick and stay with the target.
Grade: B+

Vikings – Bridgewater, Teddy – QB – 6’2″ – 214 lbs – Louisville – 6.1
Video
Doug Farrar’s analysis:
Strengths: Of all the quarterbacks in this class, Bridgewater has the best and most comprehensive command of the little things that help signal-callers at the next level. He is a true multi-read quarterback who doesn’t have to rely on his first option. He takes the ball cleanly from center, and his footwork on the drop is clean and variable – that is to say, he can drop straight back or seamlessly head into motion throws. And on the move, Bridgewater runs to throw. He keeps his shoulders squared and his eyes active, allowing him to make some difficult deep and intermediate throws on boot-action left, when he’s throwing across his body on the run. And when under pressure in and out of the pocket, he still looks to get the ball out – he’ll elude and throw his way out of trouble (again, for the most part). In a general sense, Bridgewater is a very resourceful player – he looks to make the most of what he’s got. Sees the field peripherally – Bridgewater has a good sense of converging coverage, and he understands the timing of the throw. And though his deep ball is nothing to write home about, he does have a nice arc in his deeper timing throws when he needs to.
Mechanically, there’s nothing that really beguiles Bridgewater on a consistent basis – he’s generally decisive, he has a very quick overhand release (used to have a problem with sidearm, but he’s clearly working on it) and he uses his lower body to gain velocity. Even when he’s throwing off-angle from weird spots, he’s trained himself to keep proper mechanics, which is something you can’t yet say about Johnny Manziel.
Weaknesses: Bridgewater’s desire to make plays on the move occasionally results in needless sacks, as he will at times hold onto the ball too long. Occasional mental and mechanical lapses will lead to erratic throws, and though too much has been generally made of this in the media, it’s an issue that his NFL coach will have to clean up. This is especially true on his deep passes, which will sail wildly at times. And though he’s functionally mobile, he’s not a true runner – he’s going to make a difference as a quarterback, not a slash player.
Grade: A+

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Click HERE to view results of ROUNDS 2 & 3.

Click HERE to view results of ROUNDS 4 THROUGH 7.

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Department Of Veterans Affairs Drops Ball On 1.5M Cases (Video)

Veterans Affairs Drops Ball On 1.5 Million Cases – Reason

If there’s one thing worse than sending men and women overseas to fight for ill-defined reasons, it’s abandoning them in moments of need after they’ve returned to the U.S. Cue the latest story, from the Washington Examiner, about just how rotten the Department of Veterans Affairs really is.

More than 1.5 million medical orders were canceled by the Department of Veterans Affairs without any guarantee the patients received the treatment or tests they needed, the Washington Examiner has found.

Since May 2013, veterans’ medical centers nationwide have been under pressure to clear out 2 million backlogged orders for patient care or services.

They were given wide latitude to cancel unfilled appointments more than 90 days old. By April 2014, the backlog of what the agency calls “unresolved consults” was down to about 450,000.

What happened to other 1.5 million appointments is something that no one, including top officials at the veterans’ agency, can answer.

More here.

A few months ago, Reason TV’s Amanda Winkler asked “Is Government Bureaucracy Failing Our Veterans?” Watch below:

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Whistleblower Exposes Shady Land Deals By Bureau Of Land Management (Video)

WhistleBlower Exposes Shady BLM Land Deals, Interchange To Nowhere In S Nevada – Universal Free Press

BLM has been up to some questionable land transactions and the familiar Reid family name is involved in some of them. Rusty Hill, a former BLM volunteer and Nevada land broker, is interviewed by Gary Franchi and exposes the curious connections.

Hill became involved with land development in Clark County, through the Summa Corporation of Howard Hughes.

When the first reports of trouble came out at the Bundy Ranch, Hill knew it was nothing to do with the desert tortoise.

He talks about a freeway-style interchange west of Bunkerville that has no apparent reason to be there. Hill believes there are other interests at work, both in the acquisition of property, which he details, as well as curious pricing and other factors.

He offers his thoughts as one who is intimately familiar with the entire area as to what might be the impetus behind the determination of the BLM to clear this land of all human activity.

It’s a little long, but intriguing and it provides an interesting perspective that supports the premise that there are some big money, powerful interests at work behind the scenes. Now, they may be forced out into the open.

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Party Of Fraud: CA Democrats Kill Bill To Ban Felons From Working On Obamacare Exchange

California Democrats Kill Bill To Ban Felons From Working On Obamacare Exchange – Breitbart

In a near party-line vote, California state Democratic legislators killed a bill on Tuesday that would have banned the state’s Obamacare exchange from hiring felons convicted of financial crimes.

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Critics of the bill said the legislation was overly restrictive and could be “discriminatory under federal civil rights law,” reports the Los Angeles Times.

The bill’s backer, Assemblywoman Connie Conway (R-Tulare), said she simply intended to help protect California Obamacare customers’ sensitive information from financial crimes.

“I believe in second chances but not giving those convicted of forgery or fraud access to people’s Social Security numbers or tax returns,” said Conway. “Today’s vote by the majority party means that consumers who sign up for a plan through Covered California will still be at risk of having their private information compromised by those who have committed financial crimes.”

California Health Line reports that between June 2013 and November 2013, 31 individuals convicted of felonies or misdemeanors were approved as Obamacare enrollment counselors, including crimes of battery, burglary, forgery, shoplifting, and welfare fraud.

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Corruption Update: Federal Government Spent $26.2M On Medicare Advantage For Illegal Aliens

Feds Spent $26.2 Million On Medicare Advantage For Illegal Immigrants – Daily Caller

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has improperly paid millions of dollars to Medicare Advantage organizations on behalf of illegal immigrants.

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In a new report released Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed that for calendar years 2010 through 2012, CMS provided $26.2 million in improper payments to Medicare Advantage organizations for 1,600 “unlawfully present beneficiaries” – or nearly $16,375 per illegal immigrant.

According to the OIG, CMS did not have policies in place to notify the Medicare Advantage organizations about the legality of potential beneficiaries. Without such data, illegal immigrants were able to enroll with Medicare Advantage organizations.

“In contrast to its fee-for-service (FFS) program, CMS did not have policies and procedures to notify the MA organizations of the unlawful-presence information in its data systems. Had CMS provided this information to the MA organizations, they would have been able to prevent enrollment and to disenroll beneficiaries already enrolled,” the report reads. “CMS would then have been able to recoup any improper payments.”

Illegal immigrants are barred from obtaining federal health-care benefits. Last year, the OIG revealed that from 2009 to 2011, Medicare payments to health care providers for services rendered to illegal aliens totaled more than $91.6 million.

In its April report, OIG recommended that CMS recover the $26.2 million in improper payments on behalf of illegal immigrants, adopt policies to notify the organizations about unlawful-presence information, and recoup improper payments made after the audit period.

The OIG report noted that CMS partially agreed with the recommendations – concurring with OIG’s second recommendation, but said it was unable to agree to the specific OIG estimate because it said it could not confirm the amount.

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Game-Changer: U.S. Navy Turning Seawater Into Fuel (Video)

Could You Soon Be Filling Up With Seawater? US Navy Reveals ‘Game Changing’ Fuel Created From Water – Daily Mail

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The US Navy has developed a radical new fuel made from seawater.

They say it could change the way we produce fuel – and allow warships to stay at sea for years at a time.

Navy scientists have spent several years developing the process to take seawater and use it as fuel, and have now used the ‘game changing’ fuel to power a radio controlled plane in the first test.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as ‘a game-changer’ because it would allow warships to remain at sea for far longer.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.

The predicted cost of jet fuel using these technologies is in the range of $3-$6 per gallon, and with sufficient funding and partnerships, this approach could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years.

Pursuing remote land-based options would be the first step towards a future sea-based solution, the Navy says.

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Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: ‘It’s a huge milestone for us.

‘We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it.

‘We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel,’ added Cullom.

‘Basically, we’ve treated energy like air, something that’s always there and that we don’t worry about too much.

‘But the reality is that we do have to worry about it.’

They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes.

The predicted cost of jet fuel using the technology is in the range of three to six dollars per gallon, say experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who have already flown a model airplane with fuel produced from seawater.

Dr Heather Willauer, an research chemist who has spent nearly a decade on the project, said:

‘For the first time we’ve been able to develop a technology to get CO2 and hydrogen from seawater simultaneously, that’s a big breakthrough,’ she said, adding that the fuel ‘doesn’t look or smell very different.’

Now that they have demonstrated it can work, the next step is to produce it in industrial quantities.

But before that, in partnership with several universities, the experts want to improve the amount of CO2 and hydrogen they can capture.

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‘We’ve demonstrated the feasibility, we want to improve the process efficiency,’ explained Willauer.

Collum is just as excited.

‘For us in the military, in the Navy, we have some pretty unusual and different kinds of challenges,’ he said.

‘We don’t necessarily go to a gas station to get our fuel, our gas station comes to us in terms of an oiler, a replenishment ship.

‘Developing a game-changing technology like this, seawater to fuel, really is something that reinvents a lot of the way we can do business when you think about logistics, readiness.’

A crucial benefit, says Collum, is that the fuel can be used in the same engines already fitted in ships and aircraft.

‘If you don’t want to reeengineer every ship, every type of engine, every aircraft, that’s why we need what we call drop-in replacement fuels that look, smell and essentially are the same as any kind of petroleum-based fuels.’

Drawbacks? Only one, it seems: researchers warn it will be at least a decade before US ships are able to produce their own fuel on board.

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No Rehab For You! ObamaCare Threatening Alcohol And Drug Treatment Services (Video)

Outpatient Drug-Rehab Services May Be Shut Down Because Of Obamacare – Right Scoop

More consequences of Obamacare – this time potentially killing an outpatient substance abuse service that many people rely on:

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The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Is Back

The Hydrogen Car Is Back… Again – Popular Mechanics

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The basic principle behind hydrogen fuel cells is fairly simple: Hydrogen atoms are stripped of their electrons to generate electricity and then combined with oxygen to form water as a by-product. Mainstream deployment of fuel-cell vehicles, though, has proved to be complex. Compared with liquid fuels, hydrogen is tough to transport and store. And without a meaningful number of vehicles on the road, there’s been no incentive to build hydrogen fuel infrastructure. Now new initiatives in California and across the U.S. are pushing for a long-awaited expansion of the refueling network. And with the debut of three promising hydrogen-fuel-cell vehicles from Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota, consumers will have new options beginning in 2014. Are we finally seeing the dawn of the hydrogen age? Not so fast.

WHY NOW?

The current hydrogen push has less to do with consumer demand than with government incentives that treat fuel-cell vehicles (FCV) as equal to or better than electric vehicles. In California the combination of 300-mile range and fast refueling gives fuel cells the maximum available zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) credits. That makes it easy for a manufacturer to meet the state’s ZEV mandate with fewer cars. On the federal level, both FCVs and EVs get an EPA credit multiplier of 2.0 beginning in 2017, which means that sales of either type of car confer a disproportionate benefit on the ledger for an automaker’s entire fleet. In response, manufacturers have formed several high-profile partnerships, including Ford/Daimler/Renault-Nissan, BMW/Toyota, and GM/Honda to develop the vehicles. On the fueling side, a recent infusion of $20 million of funding per year has expanded the California Fuel Cell Partnership’s plan to 100 statewide refueling stations. The Department of Energy’s H2USA organization wants to use California’s efforts as a blueprint for the rest of the nation.

CAN I BUY A FUEL-CELL CAR?

In the past, fuel-cell vehicles have only been available in the hundreds. The three new FCVs slated for production this year and next will increase the volume to thousands, but they will be available primarily in California, where most of the country’s hydrogen stations exist. According to Alan Baum, an automotive analyst at Baum and Associates, even if the stations proliferate, fuel-cell vehicles, like EVs, won’t dominate the market. “It’s not going to be a widespread technology, and for that matter it doesn’t need to be,” he says. “We’re doing an all-hands-on-deck strategy.”

ARE THE PRACTICAL?

Not according to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who says fuel cells are more of a marketing ploy than a realistic solution. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn agrees: “Knowing all the problems we have with charging [EVs], where is the hydrogen infrastructure?” Both men have a bias toward electric vehicles, but the infrastructure issue is a big one. With the current cost of a hydrogen filling station at more than $1 million, neither the government nor the corporate world has any plans for a rapid expansion of the filling network. “We’ve got electricity everywhere,” Baum says. “Putting in 240-volt charging units requires some effort and expense, but it’s not game changing. Putting in hydrogen is.”

WHERE DOES THE POWER COME FROM?

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Here’s the abridged version: Compressed hydrogen from the storage tank (A) is stripped of its electrons in the fuel-cell stack (B), creating electricity. A power-control unit (C) orchestrates the flow of energy from the stack to the battery (D), which powers the electric motor that moves the car. The battery ensures full power during acceleration until the fuel cell reaches peak voltage. Got all that?

ARE THEY SAFE?

Yes. Stringent requirements established by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) ensure that the technology is safe. Automakers are required to build robust hydrogen storage tanks that not only hold the fuel at up to 10,000 psi but also withstand arcane-sounding trials such as “bonfire” and “gunshot” tests by the DOT. Tanks are usually made of several layers of carbon fiber wrapped around aluminum or polyethylene liners, and many are also protected by external layers of steel. Regulations covering PRDs (pressure-relief devices) govern both temperatures and pressures at which gas is released, typically well below what is standard for safe operating conditions.

HOW GREEN ARE FUEL CELLS?

It depends on where you look. The only tailpipe emission from an FCV is water, but the process of creating hydrogen fuel – just like that of formulating gasoline or generating current for an electric vehicle – has an environmental impact. More than 90 percent of hydrogen today is created using a natural-gas-reforming process involving steam and methane, which reduces CO2 emissions from “well to wheel” by approximately 60 percent, compared with the process of creating gasoline. So, carbon dioxide is still released into the atmosphere – it just happens before the liquid hydrogen gets to your tank. Incentives and mandates encourage a cleaner hydrogen-creation process: The state of California requires that 30 percent of H2 supplied for transportation come from renewable sources, which can include wind, solar, and biomass material.

WHAT ABOUT REFUELING?

One advantage of FCVs is that they can travel farther and restore range faster than most current EVs. Refueling is simple: Once a nozzle with a snap collar is securely mated and locked to your car, the transfer of hydrogen begins with a brief hissing sound, followed by a 3- to 5- minute fill-up. However, it takes considerably longer for a filling station to restore the pressure required to service the next vehicle, so current setups can only refuel six or so cars per hour.

SO, IS HYDROGEN HAPPENING?

“When you have several major carmakers saying we’re going to invest in this, that’s significant,” Baum says. But vehicles are just one piece of the puzzle. Every other player in the hydrogen supply chain, such as the service station industry, needs to invest heavily. Until then, refueling options and vehicle choices will remain extremely limited, with no guarantee of expansion. Which is to say that hydrogen-fuel-cell cars will be a minor footnote in terms of overall vehicle sales for the foreseeable future. For all but the earliest of adopters, hydrogen as a prominent fuel alternative remains somewhere on the horizon.

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