H/T Tell Me Now
H/T Tell Me Now
The Internet company used by Hillary Clinton to maintain her private server was sued for stealing dozens of phone lines including some which were used by the White House.
Platte River Networks is said to have illegally accessed the master database for all US phone numbers.
It also seized 390 lines in a move that created chaos across the US government.
Among the phone numbers which the company took – which all suddenly stopped working – were lines for White House military support desks, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, a lawsuit claims.
Others were the main numbers for major financial institutions, hospitals and the help desk number for T2 Communications, the telecom firm which owned them.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of T2 claims that the mess took 11 days to fix and demands that Platte River pay up $360,000 in compensation.
TROUBLE IN CHAPPAQUA: Hillary Clinton faces new questions and new levels of outrage as messages on her private email server were found to contain top-secret signal intercepts and information from spy satellites
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Platte River Systems was used by Hillary Clinton to maintain her server. Its website boasts that the Denver, Colorado firm, offers to ‘build better networks’
BOAST: The firm’s website describes it as having ‘connections in all the right places’.
National Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough told members of Congress in writing that two of Clinton’s emails were so sensitive that it would have been illegal to show them to any foreigner
The claims raise questions about the competence of Platte River, which is based in Denver, Colorado, to handle Mrs Clinton’s highly sensitive personal information while she was Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State’s emails would have been potentially a target for foreign espionage.
Mrs Clinton installed the system at her home in Chappaqua, upstate New York, and did not even have an official email address until the year she left office.
Earlier this week it emerged that she has handed over the server to the FBI which is investigating her and a number of her top aides.
Mrs Clinton acted after the Inspector General for the intelligence community said that he had found four emails that were stored on it were classified and two of those were Top Secret, the highest level of classification.
DOCUMENTED: The claim made against Platte River Networks and its co-contractors
KEY SECTION: The passage in the claim which makes clear that the White House’s military support desks and the Department of Defense had their phone numbers allegedly taken
Until now Mrs Clinton has insisted that none of the emails were classified at the time she sent or received them.
The lawsuit was filed by T2 in November last year and relates to a deal that went through in June.
By that time Mrs Clinton has left her post as Secretary of State; she was in office between 2009 and 2013.
T2 alleges that it had provided 16 phone lines to an insurance broker called Cambridge until they decided to switch providers and signed up with Windstream Communications, who worked with McLeod USA, a local exchange carrier owned by Windstream, and Platte River.
But instead of taking over the 16 lines, T2 claims that the companies asked for 390 more lines in what they called ‘intentional misappropriation’.
T2 alleges that they did this by illegally accessing the database for the Number Portability Administration Centre, the master agency which manages all US phone numbers.
The lawsuit states: ‘Under NPAC regulations, telecommunications providers are only allowed to access the NPAC data base for the exclusive purpose of routing, rating of calls, billing of calls, or performing maintenance in connection with the provision of telecommunications services.
‘Contrary to these NPAC regulations, Defendants accessed the NPAC database to find T2s 390 telephone lines as well as to obtain T2 and its customers’ proprietary network information for use in marketing T2’s lines to their existing and prospective customers.’
The lawsuit describes at length the chaos that resulted when the 390 numbers used by T2 customers suddenly stopped working.
SAFE FOR NOW? Clinton signed a statement under penalty of perjury, but there’s no indication when or whether her top staffers will follow suit
EYE IN THE SKY: The classification acronym ‘TK’ stands for ‘Talent Keyhole,’ a kind of taskable satellite that delivers high-resolution imagery like this from 200 miles or more above the earth
Among the lines which went dead was that for T2’s main number and its help desk, which meant customers were unable to contact the company at a time when they needed it the most.
THE AGENCY: The CIA’s headquarters campus in Langley, Virginia (shown) is likely buzzing over the former secretary of state’s apparent casual management of sensitive information
T2 employees’ numbers also stopped working as did lines for: ‘The Department of Defense, Department of Energy; multiple medical emergency facilities as numbers used for general, pre- and post-surgical contact, and obstetric or gynecological emergencies; Federal Contract Support Desks; White House Military Operations support desks, several financial institution’s main telephone numbers, multiple Denver-based Charter schools’ main and backdoor phone numbers, a US-Based telephone number for IBM China, multiple other information technology companies and their support and internal telephone numbers, as well as T2’s main telephone numbers’.
The lawsuit states that the lines were dead for at least 21 hours and that it took the company at least 10 days to ‘unwind’ the mess and get the numbers back.
Among the legal documents filed in the case is a third party complaint filed by Thomas W. Snyder, a lawyer, on behalf of Windstream and McLeod.
It goes into more detail about Platte River’s role in the deal and claims that the company worked as the sales agent for Windstream in connection with the Cambridge account.
It says that Platte River was responsible for ‘spotting any red flags’ and for ‘resolving any inaccuracies’ with the deal.
The document states: ‘Platte River acted negligently and breached this duty by failing to identify that the 390 additional lines were improper.’
The lawsuit adds a new twist to the row about Mrs Clinton’s email server that is refusing to go away amid intense pressure from Republicans.
Mrs Clinton has said that she exchanged about 60,000 emails over the four years in office on the system, of which half were personal and were deleted.
Mrs Clinton turned over the other half to the Department of State in December last year and they are being reviewed and slowly released to the public.
She has until now refused to hand over the server – which she has wiped clean – but changed her mind when it emerged that some of the emails were classified.
Mr Snyder declined to comment.
Daily Mail Online has reached out to Barbara Wells, a Denver lawyer who represents Platte River, Mrs Clinton’s campaign and T2’s lawyers for comment. We have not received any response.
The EPA may have been trying to hide the identity of the contracting company responsible for causing a major wastewater spill in southern Colorado, but the Wall Street Journal has revealed the company’s identity.
Environmental Restoration (ER) LLC, a Missouri-based firm, was the “contractor whose work caused a mine spill in Colorado that released an estimated 3 million gallons of toxic sludge into a major river system,” the WSJ was told by a source familiar with the matter. The paper also found government documents to corroborate what their source told them.
So far, the EPA has refused to publicly name the contracting company used to plug abandoned mines in southern Colorado, despite numerous attempts by The Daily Caller News Foundation and other media outlets to obtain the information. It’s unclear why the agency chose not to reveal the contractor’s name.
What is clear, however, is that ER has gotten $381 million in government contracts since October 2007, according to a WSJ review of data from USAspending.gov. About $364 million of that funding came from the EPA, but only $37 million was given to ER for work they had done in Colorado.
When contacted by phone, TheDCNF had been informed ER’s offices had closed for the day. The EPA did not return a request for comment on the WSJ’s story revealing the identity of the agency’s contractor.
ER contractors reportedly caused a massive wastewater spill from the Gold King Mine in southern Colorado last week. EPA-supervised workers breached a debris dam while using heavy equipment and unleashed 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into Cement Creek. The toxic plume eventually reached the Animas River where it’s been able to spread even further, forcing Colorado and New Mexico to declare a state of emergency.
The EPA has taken responsibility for the spill and has officials on the ground working with local officials to remedy the situation. Still, local officials and Native Americans are furious with the EPA over the spill, and have not ruled out legal action to make sure the agency remains accountable.
“No agency could be more upset about the incident happening, and more dedicated in doing our job to get this right,” EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a press conference in Durango, Colorado Wednesday. “We couldn’t be more sorry. Our mission is to protect human health and the environment. We will hold ourselves to a higher standard than anyone else.”
According to a report released Sunday by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the $15 minimum wage has caused Seattle restaurants to lose 1,000 jobs – the worst decline since the 2009 Great Recession.
“The loss of 1,000 restaurant jobs in May following the minimum wage increase in April was the largest one month job decline since a 1,300 drop in January 2009, again during the Great Recession,” AEI Scholar Mark J. Perry noted in the report.
The citywide minimum wage increase was passed in June of last year. The measure is designed to increase the city minimum wage gradually to $15 an hour by 2017. The first increase under the plan was to $11 an hour in April. According to the report, Seattle restaurants have already faced severe consequences as a result. In contrast, in the six years since the 2009 financial crisis, the industry has been recovering in areas without the $15 minimum wage.
“Restaurant employment nationally increased by 130,700 jobs (and by 1.2%) during that same period,” the report also noted. “Restaurant employment in Washington increased 3.2% and by 2,800 jobs.”
Supporters of the $15 minimum wage often argue it will help the poor and stimulate economic activity. Opponents, however, argue such policies will actually hurt the poor by limiting job opportunities. How little or how much of either outcome usually depends on the study. Nevertheless, even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) agrees at least some job loss is expected.
Studies also show that industries with low profit margins, like restaurants, are more likely to be hit the hardest. A June report from the investor rating service Moody’s claims the minimum wage doesn’t even have to go up to $15 an hour for negative effects to occur.
From rallies to media marketing campaigns, Fight for $15 has led much of the effort to raise the minimum wage in the past year. Though claiming to be a grassroots workers movement, the group is highly influenced and funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The SEIU has been criticized by some, like Worker Center Watch (WCW), for using the Fight for $15 protests as a way of bypassing labor laws to more easily unionize fast food workers. Additionally, according to a report from the Center for Union Facts, a minimum wage increase would benefit the SEIU directly while hurting non-unionized SEIU competitors.
Fight for $15 and the Seattle City Council did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
When Dan Price announced that he would cut his million dollar pay in order to give his employees a $70,000 minimum wage, all the stupid little progressive morons rushed out to praise his “inspiring” move:
I praise CEO Dan Price for raising the minimum wage of his workers to $70,000 and taking a pay cut himself: http://time.com/money/3831828/ceo-raise-70000-dan-price…
10:12 PM – 24 May 2015
6:50 AM – 1 Jun 2015
So as it turns out, guaranteeing employees a $70,000 salary is great for business. Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price… http://fb.me/1zDoeocyT
9:02 AM – 22 May 2015
Its a good thing what Dan Price of Gravity Payments is doing for his company. Paying a minimum salary of $70,000. Good idea in bad market
5:13 PM – 21 Apr 2015
CEO Dan Price, to their surprise, told his workers “that he thinks a $70,000 minimum wage is what everyone deserves.”
2:55 PM – 17 Apr 2015
Not so fast, proggies!!! Just a few months later, that dude’s business is falling apart! LOL!
From Fox News:
Dan Price, 31, tells the New York Times that things have gotten so bad he’s been forced to rent out his house.
Only three months ago Price was generating headlines – and accusations of being a socialist – when he announced the new salary minimum for all 120 employees at his Gravity Payments credit card processing firm. Price said he was doing it, and slashing his $1 million pay package to pay for it, to address the wealth gap.
“I’m working as hard as I ever worked to make it work,” he told the Times in a video that shows him sitting on a plastic bucket in the garage of his house. “I’m renting out my house right now to try and make ends meet myself.”
The Times article said Price’s decision ended up costing him a few customers and two of his “most valued” employees, who quit after newer employees ended up with bigger salary hikes than older ones.
“He gave raises to people who have the least skills and are the least equipped to do the job, and the ones who were taking on the most didn’t get much of a bump,” Gravity financial manager Maisey McMaster, 26, told the paper.
She said when she talked to Price about it, he treated her as if she was being selfish and only thinking about herself.
“That really hurt me,” she said. “I was talking about not only me, but about everyone in my position.”
Approaching burnout, she quit.
Grant Moran, 29, also quit, saying the new pay-scale was disconcerting
“Now the people who were just clocking in and out were making the same as me,” he told the paper. “It shackles high performers to less motivated team members.”
Price said McMaster and Moran, or even critic Rush Limbaugh, the talk show host, were not wrong.
“There’s no perfect way to do this and no way to handle complex workplace issues that doesn’t have any downsides or trade-offs,” he said.
The Times said customers who left were dismayed at what Price did, viewing it as a political statement. Others left fearful Gravity would soon hike fees to pay for salary increases.
LOL! I LOVE IT! This is almost as good as the Seattle minimum wage debacle! I really can’t say which is more satisfying – if y’all want to debate in the comments, be my guest. Now excuse me, I have a glass of delicious liberal tears to enjoy.
Just kidding, that would probably be disease-ridden.
Another tech giant that says it must import foreign workers because there aren’t enough skilled American workers in the industry is laying off thousands of workers.
Qualcomm – a major producer of smartphone chips – announced last week it’s eliminating 15 percent of its workforce or about 4,500 employees, just weeks after fellow tech giant Microsoft announced a massive round of layoffs.
Both companies are top beneficiaries of the H-1b visa program, which backers say allows companies to temporarily hire foreign workers for jobs they can’t find qualified Americans workers to fill. Critics contend the program is really used to cut costs.
Microsoft and Qualcomm were in the top 15 users of H-1b visas in Fiscal Year 2013, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data obtained by Computer World. They’re part of a major tech lobbying effort to increase the cap on these temporary workers, on the grounds there is a shortage of Americans with science, technology, engineering and math degrees.
“Qualcomm has been engaged within the technology industry in highlighting the ‘skills deficit’ in all areas of today’s workforce, especially engineering,” a spokeswoman for Qualcomm told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is an industry-wide problem, and we are committed to working to build the pipeline of students studying STEM fields.”
One in five of the new Qualcomm hires in Fiscal Year 2013 were foreign workers with H-1b visas, according to an analysis of SEC filings by Ron Hira, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology who is an expert in offshoring. Those 900 foreign workers hired in 2013 triple the total number of workers Qualcomm hired in 2014.
“Qualcomm and other tech firms have argued that they turn to H-1Bs because there is a significant shortage of American talent available,” Hira told TheDCNF. “Given the recent large layoff announcements by Qualcomm, Microsoft, Intel, and Cisco, how can the tech industry continue to argue there’s a shortage of American workers?”
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hira also analyzed the skills of H-1b workers Qualcomm hired from Fiscal Year 2010 through 2012, and found most of the workers weren’t the highly skilled, U.S.-trained workers lobbyists imply make up the majority of H-1b holders.
Thirty-five percent of the 1,265 workers Qualcomm hired at that time held only a bachelors degree, and just 32 percent held advanced U.S. degrees. Only 44 of them held Ph.Ds from U.S. universities.
“This is very different than the carefully constructed, and misleading, narrative constructed by the tech industry that the H-1b program is primarily a vehicle for keeping people from abroad that the U.S. trained, and paid for,” Hira told TheDCNF.
Thanks to Obamanomics the US economy is plodding through the worst recovery in decades.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
The economic expansion – already the worst on record since World War II – is weaker than previously thought, according to newly revised data.
From 2012 through 2014, the economy grew at an all-too-familiar rate of 2% annually, according to three years of revised figures the Commerce Department released Thursday. That’s a 0.3 percentage point downgrade from prior estimates.
The revisions were released concurrently with the government’s first estimate of second-quarter output.
Since the recession ended in June 2009, the economy has advanced at a 2.2% annual pace through the end of last year. That’s more than a half-percentage point worse than the next-weakest expansion of the past 70 years, the one from 2001 through 2007. While there have been highs and lows in individual quarters, overall the economy has failed to break out of its roughly 2% pattern for six years.
It’s even worse than we thought.
Obama looks even worse, ranking dead last among all presidents since 1932 – over 80 years.
The Daily Caller reported:
Over the first five years of Obama’s presidency, the U.S. economy grew more slowly than during any five-year period since just after the end of World War II, averaging less than 1.3 percent per year. If we leave out the sharp recession of 1945-46 following World War II, Obama looks even worse, ranking dead last among all presidents since 1932. No other president since the Great Depression has presided over such a steadily poor rate of economic growth during his first five years in office. This slow growth should not be a surprise in light of the policies this administration has pursued.
An economy usually grows rapidly in the years immediately following a recession. As Peter Ferrera points out in Forbes, the U.S. economy has not even reached its long run average rate of growth of 3.3 percent; the highest annual growth rate since Obama took office was 2.8 percent. Total growth in real GDP over the 19 quarters of economic recovery since the second quarter of 2009 has been 10.2 percent. Growth over the same length of time during previous post-World War II recoveries has ranged from 15.1 percent during George W. Bush’s presidency to 30 percent during the recovery that began when John F. Kennedy was elected.
A man living in St. Petersburg, Florida says he has been banned from Starbucks for life because he called out customers who illegally parked in handicapped parking spaces.
According to the man, Rob Rowen, he recently received a letter from the business saying he had been “disrupting business and threatening customers.”
When Rowen initially received the letter from Starbucks, he thought they were writing to apologize for a manager who banned him from his local store. But instead, he told WTSP that Starbucks wrote to inform him that he wasn’t ever allowed to step foot in another Starbucks again:
“I get this letter, which shocked me.”
Rowen says his motivation behind asking people who aren’t handicapped to move their cars elsewhere is personal:
“My son-in-law has muscular dystrophy and is in a power wheelchair. I’ve seen so many times, the issue of him trying to find a parking space.”
After several confrontations with customers, Rowen says his local Starbucks manager accused him of “harassing” customers, which is why she banned him, according to Bay News 9:
“She said to me, you’re harassing my customers. I said, I’m one of your customers. I’m a regular customer and I’m trying to help you protect your other customers who might not be able to park anywhere else.”
When Rowen tried to appeal the manager’s decision, the local Starbucks district manager said the store manager’s decision would stand.
A Starbucks spokeswoman confirmed to WTSP that Rowen was banned from Starbucks because he became “confrontational” with customers, adding that they understand his concerns and they are speaking with the store’s landlord to improve the parking situation.
In the wake of two videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal body parts, Republicans in Congress are working to ensure that Planned Parenthood is stripped of its federal funding.
However, it’s not only the government that fills Planned Parenthood’s coffers. According to 2nd Vote, a website and app that tracks the flow of money from consumers to political causes, more than 25 percent of Planned Parenthood’s $1.3-billion annual revenue comes from private donations, which includes corporate contributions.
2nd Vote researched the corporations and organizations to find which supported Planned Parenthood and found that more than three dozen donated to the group. Some companies donated directly, while others matched employee gifts.
Forty-one corporations and organizations directly contribute to the group.
Planned Parenthood has come under heavy fire following the release of videos from the Center for Medical Progress.
The first video, released last week, showed Planned Parenthood senior executive Dr. Deborah Nucatola meeting with actors portraying buyers from a “human biologics company.” The “buyers” discussed the sale of fetal body parts with Nucatola over lunch.
In the second video, released today, Dr. Mary Gatter, president of Planned Parenthood’s medical directors council, is seen negotiating the price of aborted fetal body parts.
Here are the 41 companies that have directly funded Planned Parenthood.
2. American Cancer Society
3. American Express
6. Bank of America
7. Bath & Body Works
8. Ben & Jerry’s
12. Deutsche Bank
17. Fannie Mae
21. Johnson & Johnson
22. La Senza
23. Levi Strauss
24. Liberty Mutual
26. March of Dimes
28. Morgan Stanley
35. Susan G. Komen
38. United Way
40. Wells Fargo
And yes, when he said that John McCain is only considered a war hero because he got caught by the enemy, that was not only douchey, it was untrue. John McCain is a hero because he was offered a chance to be released early from captivity and refused to go, knowing that to do so would mean taking the place of another POW who had been there longer and deserved to be set free ahead of him.
What Trump said was petty and ignorant, and he owes McCain an apology for it, but that doesn’t mean he’s been wrong about practically everything else he’s said about McCain, nor does it mean he has gone out of his way to intentionally insult every POW in American history.
Let’s face it, the guy is a carnival barker who’s made his living in recent years firing people on television for fun and profit. To suspect that he thinks with greater depth than a mud puddle about most issues before commenting on them during an interview is unrealistic, to say the least. Furthermore, to suppose that he hates all POWs because he made an off-the-cuff statement designed to hurt John McCain’s feelings is a stretch, but if he has any brains in his head he will man-up and beg the forgiveness of every former POW still alive (except Bowe Bergdahl) for talking out of his ass about something he is completely unqualified to discuss.
If he does so, perhaps in time people will start to remember that the only things Trump has said about our veterans with any forethought at all is that they’ve been treated like third-class citizens by our federal government for decades, and that the V.A. health care system is a disgraceful joke. The Donald has said these things over and over again, so why aren’t most of the other GOP candidates talking about them? I mean, it’s not like these opinions aren’t firmly anchored in the truth!
Trump has also made illegal immigration a front-page news story again, something that I guarantee most of the other Republicans in the race want to ignore like Bruce Jenner’s twitter account. In fact, I can only think of a few of the current 15 who wouldn’t have put that issue on the back-burner this campaign season had it not been thrown in all their faces so forcefully.
So why did Donald Trump even bring these subjects up in the first place? I believe it’s because he’s a populist who will say pretty much whatever he thinks people want to hear to get elected, but then I’m a cynical bastard when it comes to the thought processes of politicians.
No matter what his motives may be, however, at least he’s talking about things that genuinely matter; things that the vast majority of conservatives have been begging their elected representatives to deal with since forever, only to have those issues dropped like hot potatoes over and over again.
Yes, Trump is a blowhard and a media whore, but the fact that he’s also the only GOP candidate who has repeatedly proclaimed Hillary Clinton to be an out-and-out criminal – which she clearly is – has caused many millions of people to perk up their ears and say: IT’S ABOUT FREAKIN’ TIME SOMEBODY SAID THAT!
When The Donald points out that America consistently loses untold billions of dollars to it’s trade partners year after year, and that we are essentially building China’s infrastructure and military while ours goes to hell in a handbag, people stand up and cheer because they know he’s right. And when he says he would do a lot better than the inept clowns we’ve put in charge of our trade policies since the 1980s, folks tend to believe him. Why? Because despite his arrogant public demeanor and mockable hair style, he probably would!
Moreover, when Trump gives a speech on practically any topic, his audiences take heart in the fact that, despite his many, MANY flaws, at least he won’t be another squishy, establishment Republican who will play Mr. Nice Guy when confronted by the Clinton political machine and Hillary’s leftist minions in the Jurassic press.
The main reason why Trump has gained so much momentum in recent weeks is because people don’t see him as a pushover or a loser, and the GOP base is sick to death of getting their heads handed to them by a pack of socialist dirtbags who are more than happy to arm Islamic terrorists while simultaneously disarming American citizens. They are tired of seeing their top political candidates fold like paper kites in a hurricane every time they are confronted by the left over some invented media controversy about something they said that no right-winger would ever consider controversial.
In essence, Republican voters are begging their candidates to grow some balls and tell these Marxist parasites to go pound sand once and for all, and the only one they see with a bulge in his pants right now is Donald Trump.
A lady friend of mine asked me the other day what I thought of The Donald, and my answer was basically this: I don’t like him very much at all. I think he’s a self-centered, loud-mouthed prick who probably knows a lot less about the issues he discusses than he wants you to believe. Yet, despite all his negative attributes, I’d still vote for him if he were to win the GOP nomination because at least he has some positive leadership qualities, and I don’t see him becoming the sock-puppet of any special interest group anytime soon. What does Hillary Clinton have to offer, other than a closet full of pantsuits and a long history of corruption and failure?
Would I rather see somebody like Ted Cruz or Scott Walker win the primary election? Of course, who in their right mind wouldn’t? That having been said, whoever becomes the Republican nominee had better damned well take a page from the Trump campaign handbook and start hammering Hillary relentlessly over genuine scandals like Benghazi and e-mailgate because if they don’t, you can stick a fork in this once-great nation of ours. It’s all done!
Edward L. Daley
Macy’s spat with Donald Trump seems to be costing the company dear – sources close to the department store say it is being inundated with complaints by customers.
Apparently the company has already received letters, phone calls and online messages from around 30,000 Trump supporters, many of whom have claimed to have cut up their store card.
The irate customers are accusing the company of being against free speech after it cut ties with the Republican presidential candidate two weeks ago over his inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants.
His supporters believe Macy’s – which sold Trump’s menswear collection for 11 years – is unjustly punishing him for his views on immigration, sources told TMZ.
The complaints include countless messages on Facebook and Twitter. Sue Reymann Garrett wrote: ‘I will be boycotting Macy’s. If they don’t want Trump I don’t want Macy’s. I will cut up me [sic] Macy’s card!’
Jake Graham posted: ‘I will no longer shop at your store. Chicago. Trump will be our next President. Shame on you Macy’s!!!!!’
Nino Castilano said: ‘I will be cutting up my macy’s card and you guys will no longer get me or my friends’ business any more for what you guys did to Donald J. Trump… I’ve been a proud customer for 20 years… well not any more…’
Ken Sheets added: ‘Apparently as far as I can tell, Macy’s supports illegal immigration, a fact pointed out by dismissing D Trump due to his stance on illegal immigration, and in turn I am dismissing Macy’s by not patronizing this establishment any further.’
Trump, who called for the boycott of Macy’s, has been thanking his supporters over Twitter for doing just that.
‘I am so happy that people are boycotting Macy’s,’ he said in a tweet yesterday.
In an earlier message he wrote: ‘Thx [sic] to all the people who called to say they are cutting their Macy’s credit card as a protest against illegal immigrants pouring into US.’
A Macy’s spokesman told TMZ: ‘Our Facebook page is often times used by our customers to express their feelings or points of view. Many times it does not correlate to any action.’
Trump began his tirade against Mexican immigrants when he announced on June 16 that he would be entering to race to become the Republican presidential candidate.
He said then: ‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.
‘I will built a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.’
Macy’s isn’t the only corporation to have severed ties with Trump. Mattress giant Serta, for instance, has said it will stop selling Trump-branded products, while Univision and Comcast’s NBCUniversal have cancelled plans to broadcast Trump’s Miss Universe beauty pageant.
Trump is suing Univision for $500million and has threatened legal action against NBC, among others.
No fines for charging smokers a higher premium. Single payer here we come.
A health insurance company will refund roughly $1.7 million to Montana customers who have been forced to pay what the state calls unfairly high prices.
Wisconsin-based Assurant Health finalized a settlement with the state this week agreeing to pay the restitution and a $25,000 fine.
An investigation by Montana’s Insurance Commissioner found Assurant charged lower prices for healthy customers and higher prices for about 1,600 sicker customers with the same coverage.
State law prohibits health insurance companies from imposing higher prices based on any factor other than age.
“Our allegation is that they discriminated against people who were in poor health,” said Jesse Laslovich, deputy state auditor.
The commissioner’s office found Assurant subsidiaries John Alden Life Insurance Co. and Time Insurance Co. offered a “healthy discount” of 10 percent off premiums to Montana policyholders who claimed less than $500 the previous year and completed a questionnaire.
“That $1.7 million, that represents the amount that the other people who didn’t get the discounts should have gotten,” Laslovich said. “These folks don’t know they’re getting a check in the mail, so that’s something we’re excited about.”[..]
The company announced in April that it will be leaving the national health insurance market amid declining revenue. Montana customers were notified last month.
Assurant Health’s profit began dropping when the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2010. The company attributed its projected first-quarter losses of $80 million to $90 million to higher customer claims under the ACA and a reduction in what Assurant could recover through the health law’s risk mitigation programs.
These Are The Republican Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 90 Or Above Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Joe Barton – 92
Representative Marsha Blackburn – 96
Representative John Boehner – 94
Representative Steve Chabot – 92
Representative Mike Conaway – 92
Senator John Cornyn – 92
Senator Tom Cotton – 100
Senator Mike Crapo – 92
Senator Ted Cruz – 100
Representative Ron DeSantis – 100
Representative Scott DesJarlais – 100
Senator Jeff Flake – 92
Representative Trey Gowdy – 92
Senator Chuck Grassley – 92
Representative Tom Graves – 92
Representative Jeb Hensarling – 96
Representative George Holding – 96
Representative Tim Huelskamp – 96
Senator Jim Inhofe – 92
Senator Ron Johnson – 96
Representative Doug LaMalfa – 96
Senator James Lankford – 94
Representative Kenny Marchant – 96
Representative Tom McClintock – 100
Representative Jeff Miller – 92
Representative Randy Neugebauer – 96
Representative Robert Pittenger – 92
Representative Mike Pompeo – 100
Representative Tom Price – 92
Senator James Risch – 92
Representative Ed Royce – 92
Senator Marco Rubio – 96
Representative Matt Salmon – 96
Representative Steve Scalise – 96
Representative David Schweikert – 100
Senator Tim Scott – 96
Representative Austin Scott – 92
Representative Jim Sensenbrenner – 100
Representative Marlin Stutzman – 96
Representative Randy Weber – 100
Representative Roger Williams – 100
These Are The Democrat Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 0 Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Ami Bera
Representative Susan Davis
Representative John Delaney
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Tim Kaine
Senator Patty Murray
Senator Bill Nelson
These Are The Republican Governors Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Robert Bentley – Alabama
Terry Branstad – Iowa
Sam Brownback – Kansas
Phil Bryant – Mississippi
Mary Fallin – Oklahoma
Gary Herbert – Utah
Susana Martinez – New Mexico
Mike Pence – Indiana
Pete Ricketts – Nebraska
Brian Sandoval – Nevada
Rick Scott – Florida
Scott Walker – Wisconsin
These Are The Democrat Governors Who Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Steve Beshear – Kentucky
John Hickenlooper – Colorado
These Are The Conservative Organizations That Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
60 Plus Association
Advance Arkansas Institute
American Conservative Union
American Enterprise Institute
Americans For Job Security
Americans For Tax Reform
Cardinal Institute For West Virginia Policy
Center For Individual Freedom
Citizens For Limited Taxation
Club For Growth
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Conservative Reform Network
Council For Citizens Against Government Waste
Frontiers Of Freedom
Georgia Center Right Coalition
Institute For Liberty
Institute For Policy Innovation
Minnesota Center-Right Coalition
National Taxpayers Union
Property Rights Alliance
R Street Institute
Rio Grande Foundation
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Jeffersonian Project
Thomas Jefferson Institute For Public Policy
These Are The Leftist Organizations That Support The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Progressive Coalition For American Jobs
These Are The Republican Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 90 Or Above Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Jim Bridenstine – 96
Representative Michael Burgess – 92
Representative Jeff Duncan – 100
Representative John Fleming – 96
Representative Scott Garrett – 96
Representative Louie Gohmert – 96
Representative Paul Gosar – 92
Representative Jim Jordan – 100
Senator Mike Lee – 100
Representative Cynthia Lummis – 92
Representative Mark Meadows – 96
Representative Mick Mulvaney – 95
Senator Rand Paul – 96
Representative Scott Perry – 96
Representative Bill Posey – 92
Representative Dana Rohrabacher – 96
Senator Jeff Sessions – 96
These Are The Democrat Members Of Congress With An American Conservative Union Rating Of 0 Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Representative Alma Adams
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Representative Tim Bishop
Representative John Carney
Representative William Clay
Representative Emanuel Cleaver
Representative Jim Clyburn
Senator Dick Durbin
Representative Bill Foster
Representative Steny Hoyer
Representative Tim Johnson
Representative Marcy Kaptur
Representative Ann Kuster
Senator Pat Leahy
Senator Barbara Mikulski
Senator Chris Murphy
Representative Patrick Murphy
Representative Donald Norcross
Representative David Price
Representative Cedric Richmond
Senator Brian Schatz
Representative Brad Sherman
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Tom Udall
These Are The Republican Governors Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Chris Christie – New Jersey
Bobby Jindal – Louisiana
These Are The Democrat Governors Who Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Jay Nixon – Missouri
These Are The Conservative Organizations That Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Americans For Limited Government
Heritage Action For America
These Are The Leftist Organizations That Oppose The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Act.
Association Of Flight Attendants – CWA
American Federation Of Government Employees
American Foreign Service Association
American Federation Of State, County And Municipal Employees
American Federation Of Teachers
Alliance For Justice
Air Line Pilots Association
American Postal Workers Union
International Union Of Bricklayers And Allied Craftworkers
Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers And Grain Millers’ International Union
Commonwealth Association Of School Administrators
Chicago Federation Of Labor
Civil Service Employees Association
Communications Workers Of America
Democracy For America
Doctors Without Borders
Farm Labor Organizing Committee
Global Trade Watch
Glass, Molders, Pottery International Union
International Association Of Fire Fighters
International Association Of Machinists And Aerospace Workers
International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees
International Brotherhood Of Boilermakers
International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers
International Brotherhood Of Teamsters
International Federation Of Professional & Technical Engineers
International Longshoremen’s Association
International Longshore And Warehouse Union
International Union Of Operating Engineers
International Union Of Painters and Allied Trades
Laborers’ International Union Of North America
North America’s Building Trades Unions
National Association Of Letter Carriers
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Natural Resources Defense Council
National Education Association
National Football League Players Association
National Nurses United
National Postal Mail Handlers Union – LIUNA
National Taxi Workers’ Alliance
Operative Plasterers’ And Cement Masons’ International Association
Office And Professional Employees International Union
Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Retail, Wholesale And Department Store Union
The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists
Service Employees International Union
Seafarers International Union
International Association Of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail And Transportation Workers
Transportation Communications International Union-IAM
Transport Workers Union Of America
United Automobile Workers
United Brotherhood Of Carpenters
United Food And Commercial Workers International Union
United Mine Workers Of America:
Utility Workers Union Of America
You’ve probably heard by now that bees are mysteriously dying. In 2006, commercial beekeepers began to witness unusually high rates of honeybee die-offs over the winter – increasing from an average of 15 percent to more than 30 percent. Everything from genetically modified crops to pesticides (even cell phones) has been blamed. The phenomenon was soon given a name: colony collapse disorder.
Ever since, the media has warned us of a “beemaggedon” or “beepocalypse” posing a “threat to our food supply.” By 2013, NPR declared that bee declines may cause “a crisis point for crops,” and the cover of Time magazine foretold of a “world without bees.” This spring, there was more bad news. Beekeepers reported losing 42.1 percent of their colonies over the last year, prompting more worrisome headlines.
Based on such reports, you might believe that honeybees are nearly gone by now. And because honeybees are such an important pollinator – they reportedly add $15 billion in value to crops and are responsible for pollinating a third of what we eat – the economic consequences must be significant.
Last year, riding the buzz over dying bees, the Obama administration announced the creation of a pollinator-health task force to develop a “federal strategy” to promote honeybees and other pollinators. Last month the task force unveiled its long-awaited plan, the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. The plan aims to reduce honeybee-colony losses to “sustainable” levels and create 7 million acres of pollinator-friendly habitat. It also calls for more than $82 million in federal funding to address pollinator health.
But here’s something you probably haven’t heard: There are more honeybee colonies in the United States today than there were when colony collapse disorder began in 2006. In fact, according to data released in March by the Department of Agriculture, U.S. honeybee-colony numbers are now at a 20-year high. And those colonies are producing plenty of honey. U.S. honey production is also at a 10-year high.
Almost no one has reported this, but it’s true. You can browse the USDA reports yourself. Since colony collapse disorder began in 2006, there has been virtually no detectable effect on the total number of honeybee colonies in the United States. Nor has there been any significant impact on food prices or production.
How can this be? In short, commercial beekeepers have adapted to higher winter honeybee losses by actively rebuilding their colonies. This is often done by splitting healthy colonies into multiple hives and purchasing new queen bees to rebuild the lost hives. Beekeepers purchase queen bees through the mail from commercial breeders for as little as $15 to $25 and can produce new broods rather quickly. Other approaches include buying packaged bees (about $55 for 12,000 worker bees and a fertilized queen) or replacing the queen to improve the health of the hive. By doing so, beekeepers are maintaining healthy and productive colonies – all part of a robust and extensive market for pollination services.
Economists Randal Rucker and Walter Thurman have carefully documented how these pollination markets work and how they respond to problems like bee disease. As it turns out, they work pretty well. A 2012 analysis by Rucker and Thurman found almost no economic impact from colony collapse disorder. (If anything, you might be paying 2.8 cents more for a can of Smokehouse Almonds.) They conclude that beekeepers are “savvy entrepreneurs” who have proven able to “adapt quickly to changing market conditions” with almost no impact on consumers.
Rebuilding lost colonies takes extra work, but so far most beekeepers seem adept at doing so. Rucker and Thurman find that the prices for new queen bees have remained stable, even with increased demand due to higher winter losses. Pollination fees, the fees beekeepers charge farmers to provide pollination services, have increased for some crops such as almonds. But these higher pollination fees have helped beekeepers offset the additional costs of rebuilding their hives.
The White House downplays these extensive markets for pollination services. The task force makes no mention of the remarkable resilience of beekeepers. Instead, we’re told the government will address the crisis with an “all hands on deck” approach, by planting pollinator-friendly landscaping, expanding public education and outreach, and supporting more research on bee disease and potential environmental stressors. (To the disappointment of many environmental groups, the plan stops short of banning neonicotinoids, a type of pesticide some believe are contributing to bee deaths.)
This is not to deny that beekeeping faces challenges. Today, most experts believe there is no one single culprit for honeybee losses, but rather a multitude of factors. Modern agricultural practices can create stress for honeybees. Commercial beekeepers transport their colonies across the country each year to pollinate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. This can weaken honeybees and increase their susceptibility to diseases and parasites.
But this is not the first time beekeepers have dealt with bee disease, and they do not stand idly by in the face of such challenges. The Varroa mite, a blood-sucking bee parasite introduced in 1987, has been especially troublesome. Yet beekeepers have proven resilient. Somehow, without a national strategy to help them, beekeepers have maintained their colonies and continued to provide the pollination services our modern agricultural system demands.
“What are we doing on bees?” the president reportedly asked his advisers in 2013. “Are we doing enough?” With U.S. honeybee colonies now at a 20-year high, you have to wonder: Is our national pollination strategy a solution in search of a crisis?
Almost a decade ago, as Hillary Clinton ran for re-election to the Senate on her way to seeking the presidency for the first time, the New York Times reported on her unusually close relationship with Corning, Inc., an upstate glass titan. Clinton advanced the company’s interests, racking up a big assist by getting China to ease a trade barrier. And the firm’s mostly Republican executives opened up their wallets for her campaign.
During Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied the department on a variety of trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family’s foundation. And, last July, when it was clear that Clinton would again seek the presidency in 2016, Corning coughed up a $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak.
In the laundry-whirl of stories about Clinton buck-raking, it might be easy for that last part to get lost in the wash. But it’s the part that matters most. The $225,500 speaking fee didn’t go to help disease-stricken kids in an impoverished village on some long-forgotten patch of the planet. Nor did it go to a campaign account. It went to Hillary Clinton. Personally.
The latest episode in the Clinton money saga is different than the others because it involves the clear, direct personal enrichment of Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, by people who have a lot of money at stake in the outcome of government decisions. Her federally required financial disclosure was released to media late Friday, a time government officials and political candidates have long reserved for dumping news they hope will have a short shelf life.
Together, Hillary and Bill Clinton cleared $25 million on the lecture circuit over the last 16 months, according to a Hillary Clinton’s personal financial disclosure required of presidential candidates. A lot of the focus will naturally go toward the political argument that Clinton’s wealth makes her out of touch. The US has had plenty of good rich presidents and bad rich presidents. What’s more important is whether they are able to listen to all of the various interests without being unduly influenced by any of them.
There’s a reason government officials can’t accept gifts: They tend to have a corrupting effect. True, Hillary Clinton wasn’t a government official at the time the money was given. But it is very, very, very hard to see six-figure speaking fees paid by longtime political boosters with interests before the government – to a woman who has been running for president since the last time she lost – as anything but a gift.
Who gave and gave and gave and lobbied?
Corning’s in good company in padding the Clinton family bank account after lobbying the State Department and donating to the foundation. Qualcomm and salesforce.com did that, too. Irwin Jacobs, a founder of Qualcomm, and Marc Benioff, a founder of salesforce.com, also cut $25,000 checks to the now-defunct Ready for Hillary SuperPAC. Hillary Clinton spoke to their companies on the same day, October 14, 2014. She collected more than half a million dollars from them that day, adding to the $225,500 salesforce.com had paid her to speak eight months earlier.
And Microsoft, the American Institute of Architects, AT&T, SAP America, Oracle and Telefonica all paid Bill Clinton six-figure sums to speak as Hillary Clinton laid the groundwork for her presidential campaign.
And that list, which includes Clinton Foundation donors, is hardly the end of it. There’s a solid set of companies and associations that had nothing to do with the foundation but lobbied State while Clinton was there and then paid for her to speak to them. Xerox, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, in addition to Corning, all lobbied Clinton’s department on trade matters and then invited her to earn an easy check.
By this point, most Clinton allies wish they had a button so they didn’t have to go to the trouble of rolling their eyes at each new Clinton money story. The knee-jerk eye-roll response to the latest disclosure will be that there’s nothing new to see here. But there’s something very important to see that is different than the past stories. This time, it’s about Hillary Clinton having her pockets lined by the very people who seek to influence her. Not in some metaphorical sense. She’s literally being paid by them.
That storyline should be no less shocking for the fact that it is no longer surprising. The skimpy fig leaf of timing, that the speeches were paid for when she was between government gigs, would leave Adam blushing. And while most Democrats will shrug it off – or at least pretend to – it’s the kind of behavior voters should take into account when considering whether they want to give a candidate the unparalleled power of the presidency. It goes to the most important, hardest-to-predict characteristic in a president: judgment.
Read Clinton’s full financial disclosure report here.
The cost of federal regulation neared $2 trillion in 2014, according to a new report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State, a report by Clyde Wayne Crews, CEI’s vice president for policy, also reveals that the U.S. debt now exceeds the size of China’s economy.
“Federal regulation and intervention cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in 2014 in lost economic productivity and higher prices,” amounting to roughly $15,000 per household, the report said.
The report found that the federal bureaucracy – made up of 60 agencies, departments, and commissions – has 3,415 regulations in the process of being finalized, meaning that the number of regulations far surpasses the number of laws passed by Congress.
“In 2014, agencies issued 16 new regulations for every law – that’s 3,554 new regulations compared to 224 new laws,” the report said.
CEI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, found that the Departments of the Treasury, Commerce, Interior, Health and Human Services (HHS), Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) account for 48 percent of all federal regulations.
The EPA issued 539 final rules in the Federal Register last year, up 12.5 percent in five years.
Enforcing regulations alone cost the government $59.5 billion in 2014.
Government regulation has led to a hidden “tax” for Americans, the report said, as businesses pass along compliance costs to consumers.
“Economy-wide regulatory costs amount to an average of $14,976 per household – around 29 percent of an average family budget of $51,100,” the report said. “Although not paid directly by individuals, this ‘cost’ of regulation exceeds the amount an average family spends on health care, food and transportation.”
Aside from passing costs onto consumers, the report said, regulation is a way for the federal government to further agendas without relying on the legislative system.
“Rather than pay directly and book expenses for new initiatives, federal regulations can compel the private sector, as well as state and local governments, to bear the costs of federal initiatives,” the report said.
Regulations hit small businesses the hardest, averaging $11,724 per employee for firms that employ fewer than 50 people in 2012. The overall cost per employee for all companies comes to $9,991.
The cost of regulation has grown so large, according to the report, that if it was a country “it would be the world’s 10th largest economy, ranking behind Russia and ahead of India.”
The regulatory state has been growing for decades. The report notes that 90,836 rules have been issued since 1993.
The Federal Register, the government’s official record for all federal regulations, was
77,687 pages long at the end of 2014, the sixth-highest page count in history.
“Among the six all-time-high Federal Register page counts, five have occurred under President Obama,” CEI said.
The report also noted that the national debt, which currently stands at $18.152 trillion, is now larger than China’s economy. China surpassed the U.S. to become the largest economy in the world last December.
“The national debt topped $18 trillion in December 2014,
the same month the International Monetary Fund calculated China’s economy to
be worth $17.6 trillion in terms of purchasing power parity, making it the world’s largest economy (albeit still significantly lagging the United States on a per capita basis),” CEI said.
The long feared “retail apocalypse” may be hitting with little or no fanfare if a growing list of store-closing plans by major chains is any indication.
Major U.S. retailers have announced the closing of more than 6,000 stores from coast to coast. The list includes only those retailers that have announced plans to close more than 10 outlets this year and next.
For example, 1,784 Radio Shack stores are vanishing, 400 stores in the Office Depot/Office Max chain by 2016, and 340 Dollar Tree/Family Dollar stores.
The growing list of stores getting shuttered coincides with the decline in discretionary consumer spending over the past six months.
“Expect to see more storefronts closed at malls across the country,” one retail watcher told WND. “It’s getting ugly out there.”
Another factor, the source said, is that Americans’ credit is maxed out – a problem that will impact holiday season sales later this year. Add the demand of rising taxes, housing and health-insurance costs and you’ve got a formula for belt-tightening across the board.
Expected to be hit hardest by the trend are poorer- and lower-middle class neighborhoods. The recent riots in Baltimore are expected to make retailers even more skittish.
See the big list: