Conservative Maine Government Doubles Down On Successful Welfare Reform Policies Despite Leftist Whining

Maine Doubles Down On Welfare Reform Despite Media Backlash – Daily Signal


Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, knows her politics aren’t always popular.

“I can’t stress enough what an attack campaign it has been from the media for four and a half years,” Mayhew said Thursday at an anti-poverty forum in Washington, D.C., hosted by The Heritage Foundation.

Then there are the more personalized critiques: “There is a poet, or he calls himself a poet, and he sends me poems all the time,” she added. “They are not nice poems.”

Mayhew claims that detractors – who mostly take issue with welfare reforms enacted by Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, since his election in 2011 – have gone so far as to call her “Commissioner Evil,” and her and LePage’s policies a “War on the Poor.”

The irony, according to Mayhew, lies in the fact that her and LePage’s efforts actually aim to empower Maine’s poorest citizens. She says a third of the state is on welfare.

“The welfare hurricane doesn’t just destroy one family; it destroys generations of them,” Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of the Foundation for Government Accountability, said at the event Thursday. “This work is about giving children a better chance for a future.”

To illustrate that point, Mayhew told a story of one of her first days on the job as DHHS commissioner, spent touring a substance abuse treatment facility for adolescents:

I was taken aback by one of the youth who came up to me – it was actually several youth, who were just completely focused on whether I could help them get disability. These were 15-year-old, 16-year-old young men clearly battling addiction, but they had decided that the answer for them was to pursue disability. And, frankly, as we all look at that pathway, that truly is committing individuals to a lifetime of poverty.

Since LePage assumed the governorship, Maine has reduced enrollment in the state’s food stamp program by over 58,000; currently, according to Mayhew, there are 197,000 people on food stamps, down from a high of 255,663 in February 2012.

Mayhew says the decline is due to eliminating the waiver of the work requirement previously attached to food stamps, as also witnessed in Kansas. Under the new legislation, recipients would need to work 20 hours per week, volunteer for about an hour a day, or attend a class to receive food stamps past three months.

LePage and Mayhew have also rolled back Medicaid eligibility through a series of battles Mayhew called “fierce.”

With a population of roughly 1.3 million, Maine had 357,000 individuals receiving Medicaid benefits when LePage took office. Today, 287,000 people are on Medicaid, according to Mayhew.

“What we have done truly has taken the arguments to the public to underscore what has been lost as that program grew out of control, never mind that the resources that had to be devoted to Medicaid were being taken away from education, infrastructure, and reduced tax burden on the state of Maine,” Mayhew said.

In August, Maine DHHS announced they planned to redirect $3.24 million in welfare savings to fund home care services for elderly citizens as well as the Meals on Wheels program.

Lastly, Mayhew touched upon Maine’s efforts to retool the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card programs, stating that Maine had over 15,000 open TANF cases when LePage took office. That number is down to less than 5,000.

LePage’s and Mayhew’s policies, as Mayhew herself highlighted, have not been without controversy.

Earlier this week, amid an ongoing dispute over EBT cards being used to wire money abroad, critics accused the LePage administration of using last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris to justify reforms.

“This proposal is really an example of fear-mongering at its worst,” Robyn Merrill, executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners, told MPBN News.

But Mayhew does not plan to back down – especially if it means reducing her own influence long-term, and shifting that responsibility to local non-profits.

“I can’t underscore enough that part of the issue is government is too big, my agency is too large, and people are trying to preserve their jobs,” she said.

“We have got to reduce the size and scope of these agencies if we are going to have communities really take on the responsibility of supporting these families and these individuals on those pathways [to independence].”



5 Muslim Foreigners Caught On Ohio Turnpike With Credit Card-Making Machine

5 Foreign Nationals Arrested On Ohio Turnpike; Passports Taken – WOIO


Five foreign nationals arrested on the Ohio Turnpike will be back in court on Thursday. The men are scheduled to appear at a pretrial hearing in Newton Falls Municipal Court at 10 a.m.

Jibril Abdiselam, 24; Mohammeddeq Hassan, 27; Mahamoud Mohamed, 26; Zakaria Warsame, 25, and Said Abu were charged with possessing criminal tools and forgery.

The arrests happened Friday, Nov. 13, in Braceville Township near Lordstown in Trumbull County.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said troopers pulled over a car going east on the turnpike for making an improper lane change. During a search, troopers found a machine that helps create and duplicate credit cards, WKBN reported.

They are being held in the Trumbull County Jail on $25,000 bond each. The five men, who are from the Columbus area had to surrender their passports.

Police don’t know what country the men are from or where they were heading.



Leftist Corruption Update: Clinton Foundation Failed To Report $20M In Donations From Foreign Governments

Clinton Foundation Failed To Report $20 Million In Donations From Foreign Governments – Weasel Zippers


Gee, I wonder why she left that out?

Via Free Beacon:

The Clinton Foundation failed to report $20 million in donations from governments to the Internal Revenue Service, newly refiled tax returns show.

Reuters reported that the foundation disclosed the $20 million it received from governments, most of them foreign, between 2010 and 2013 when it and a spin-off organization refiled tax returns from six years to fix errors.

The Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation did not previously separate out its donations from governments on old tax returns as is mandated by the IRS.

The foundation refiled tax returns from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 and a charity spun off from the foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, refiled its own returns from 2012 and 2013 after both were found to have made errors reporting funds from foreign governments. The revelations about inaccuracies came just as Hillary Clinton, a Democratic candidate for president, endured scrutiny for the millions of dollars that her family foundation has received from foreign governments.

Keep reading



*VIDEO* Fox Business GOP Presidential Primary Debate (11/10/15)



11 Of 23 Obamacare Co-Ops Have Collapsed, Leaving Half A Million More Americans Without Health Insurance

Obamacare Doomsday? ‘Collapses’ Drop Half-Million Americans – WorldNetDaily


About half of Obamacare’s Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or co-ops, have imploded, leaving nearly half-a-million Americans looking for new health coverage.

And instead of addressing the problem, the Obama administration is pretending it doesn’t exist.

That’s the assessment of Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee who recently wrote about the spate of failures in the Wall Street Journal.

“When it passed Congress in 2010, the Affordable Care Act offered substantial financial support to create nonprofit health-insurance plans. Today 11 of the 23 such regional Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans have failed – seven since the beginning of October,” Smith wrote.

“They’ve collapsed despite federal startup loans totaling more than $1.1 billion. These loans will likely never be fully repaid, while insurers and consumers will be on the hook for any unpaid claims left behind by failed insurers,” he added.

The congressman estimates 400,00-500,000 Americans lost their coverage in those 11 failed co-ops.

In an interview with Radio America, Smith says the co-ops were doomed from the start.

“I think they were improperly structured. They were allowed to charge too low a premium, not reflecting the actual costs. They thought the original subsidies – or loans if you will, but let’s face it, they’re subsidies, especially since they’re so unlikely to be repaid. That wasn’t enough,” said Smith, who is fuming more as he learns how these collapses transpired.

“The more I am learning about this entire situation, the more offensive it is, and this is just one part of Obamacare,” Smith said.

The congressman said what galls him most is that the government forced many people out of coverage they liked and then left those same people out in the cold.

“The thing that bothers me the most is when a good, upstanding citizen is doing everything they’re supposed to do to be a responsible individual,” Smith said. “Yet they are faced with canceled coverage, or they’re faced with a penalty for taking care of themselves.”

Adding to Smith’s frustrations is what he believes is utter indifference to the problem from the Obama administration.

“We had a hearing earlier this week, and the chief of staff from [the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services] was our witness,” Smith said. “[Dr. Mandy Cohen] sent the message that everything is just fine in the Obamacare co-op arena.”

He said it’s quite obvious that co-ops are not “just fine.”

“It’s not a win,” Smith said. “Nearly half of the co-ops have collapsed and that’s from New York to Nevada. Ours, with Nebraska and Iowa together, we were the first to collapse a year ago. Now we see them collapsing at a much quicker pace.”

How can the Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, say all is well when almost half the co-ops have failed?

“In a very dismissive manner, I have to say, and it’s disappointing,” Smith said. “I started asking questions almost a year ago and HHS is not offering any answers.”

Not only is the government doing little to help, in some circumstances it is actually pushing co-ops to their deaths.

“The administrators of the Nebraska-Iowa plan saw a larger number of people sign up for their plan than they originally anticipated,” Smith said. “So they requested permission from HHS to suspend enrollment, to basically cap that at a number they figured was more manageable. They were prohibited by HHS from capping the number of enrollees.”

The congressman said that hastened the demise of the Nebraska-Iowa co-op. He said HHS did give permission for the Tennessee co-op to cap enrollment, but it collapsed anyway.

In the meantime, Smith is sponsoring legislation that would protect those who lost coverage with the failure of the co-ops from being fined by the IRS for not having coverage as mandated by federal law.

He believes all of Obamacare will eventually crater, but he hopes too many people aren’t hurt in the process.

“Ultimately, I think it collapses under its own weight,” he said. “I just want to do everything I can to minimize the damage in the ensuing time. That’s what weighs heavy on my mind is that the heavy hand of the federal government is actually hurting the very people Barack Obama was saying he was wanting to help.”



Looks Like Governor Moonbeam Has Committed An Impeachable Offense

Analysis: Jerry Brown’s Oil Scandal Is An Impeachable Offense – Big Government


California Gov. Jerry Brown appears to have committed an impeachable offense in using state experts to study the potential for oil development on his private property, as uncovered by the Associated Press on Thursday.

California public ethics laws forbid elected officials from using state resources for personal or political gain.

Section 8314 of the California Government Code indicates: “It is unlawful for any elected state or local officer… to use or permit others to use public resources for… personal or other purposes which are not authorized by law.”

The term “public resources” includes equipment, vehicles, computers, and “state-compensated time.” The lawsuit that first exposed Gov. Brown’s personal use of state experts alleges that he diverted scarce state resources.

Violations are to be punished by civil penalties of $1,000 per day for each day of the offense, plus triple the value of the diverted resources.

Though not a criminal offense, Brown’s apparent violation would be an impeachable offense.

California Government Code Section 3020 specifies: “State officers elected on a statewide basis, members of the State Board of Equalization, and judges of state courts are subject to impeachment for misconduct in office.”

Another, more difficult option would be to recall the governor, who has enjoyed high approval ratings until now.

Just as in federal impeachment, articles of impeachment have to be filed in the lower house, the State Assembly, before moving to trial in the State Senate.

However, the Lieutenant Governor, not the Chief Justice, would preside.



Harvard Law Students OUTRAGED That School Was Built With Slaveowner’s Money… Just Not Enough To Quit Harvard

Harvard Law School Was Built Using A ‘Brutal’ Slaveowner’s Money, And Students Are Starting To Protest – Business Insider


Slave owner Isaac Royall Jr.’s gift to Harvard college upon his death in 1781 allowed the formation of Harvard Law School.

Now, students at the law school are calling for the removal of the law school’s seal, which is the Royall family’s coat of arms, The Harvard Crimson reported.

The movement is being called “Royall Must Fall” and formally began on campus at the end of October with a rally of about 25 people.

“These symbols set the tone for the rest of the school and the fact that we hold up the Harvard crest as something to be proud of when it represents something so ugly is a profound disappointment and should be a source of shame for the whole school,” Alexander J. Clayborne, one of the law students involved, told The Crimson.

More largely, the students aims seem to draw attention to and correct the legacy of slave-owning on Harvard’s campus.

“We demand the removal of the Harvard family crest as the crest of the law school and we demand that the Royall Chair of Law be renamed as well,” Students for Inclusion, a student group on campus, wrote on its Tumblr page.

“We also demand that systemic oppression be recognized as pervasive and endemic to the law school and we demand that it be addressed by the faculty and by the student body at large.”

However, there are dissenting opinions on whether the school should change its seal.

Visiting law school professor, Daniel R. Coquillette, recently published a book called “The Saga of Harvard Law School,” which details the relationship between the Royall family and Harvard.

While he calls Royall “a coward, and a brutal slaveholder,” he doesn’t believe Harvard should change its seal.

“As a historian… you just deal with the fact that this guy founded the school and tell the truth about it,” he said. “To change things is to act like [they] didn’t happen, and that’s a mistake.”



Marco Rubio’s Newest Billionaire Backer Is Big-Time Amnesty Proponent

Marco Rubio’s New Billionaire Backer Top Funder For Open Borders – Breitbart


Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer’s decision to throw his financial weight behind the donor-class 2016 favorite, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), has sparked fresh questions about Rubio’s coziness with the financial interests funding his career.

Singer was a major financial force behind the Rubio-Obama amnesty and immigration expansion push in 2013.

As Politico reported at the time, Singer “quietly go[t] involved in the fight for immigration reform, making a six-figure donation… to the National Immigration Forum” – a George Soros-backed organization that lobbied for Rubio’s legislation to issue 33 million green cards to foreign nationals in the span of a single decade. The announcement of Singer’s endorsement highlights an intra-party tension that has emerged with new strength since Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s inauguration as Speaker of the House.

There is a growing chasm between the more than 9 in 10 GOP voters, who want to see future immigration rates cut, versus GOP donors that are desperately seeking to install leaders in the White House and Congress who will further expand the nation’s already record breaking immigration rates that are transforming the country’s economy and electorate.

Upon the announcement of the Singer’s decision, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump tweeted:

I see Marco Rubio just landed another billionaire to give big money to his Superpac, which are total scams. Marco must address him as ‘SIR’!

Even though Rubio’s donors stand to make an enormous profit from a surge of low-wage migrant labor, Rubio has repeatedly denied that his wealthy backers have influenced his agenda. “People buy into my agenda. I don’t buy into theirs,” Rubio has said.

However, a review of several of Rubio’s top donors reveals that many of them have benefited from the Floridian’s rise to power.

Perhaps one of the most widely-criticized areas of Rubio’s campaign pledge to create “A New American Economy” on migrant labor is his support for tripling the controversial H-1B visa program.

Throughout his brief time in Washington – noted primarily for pushing the La Raza and Obama-backed amnesty bill through the Senate – Rubio has co-authored two pieces of legislaton that would massively expand the wage-depressing H-1B visa program used to replace American workers in white-collar jobs. His most recent bill – known as I-Squared – would triple the number of H-1B visas imported into the United States despite the fact that the U.S. Census Bureau reports 3 in 4 Americans trained in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) are not employed in those fields. The Walt Disney Company used H-1Bs to lay off hundreds of American workers and forced them to train their low-wage foreign H-1B replacements. Disney’s CEO has endorsed Rubio’s I-Squared bill.

Trump, who has called on Disney to hire back all of Rubio’s laid-off constituents, thundered:

Lobbyists write the rules to benefit the rich and powerful. They buy off Senators like Marco Rubio to help them get rich at the expense of working Americans by using H-1B visas – so called “high tech” visas – to replace American workers in all sorts of solid middle class jobs… Senator Rubio works for the lobbyists, not for Americans. That is why he is receiving more money from Silicon Valley than any other candidate in this race. He is their puppet.

According to open-secrets, Goldman Sachs has been one of Rubio’s biggest financial boosters. Since 2011, Goldman Sachs was the top donor to Rubio’s campaign committee, contributing $53,200. Interestingly, Goldman Sachs is also among the top 50 corporate users of the H-1B visa, which labor experts call an “indentured servitude” program. According to USCIS data analyzed by Computerworld’s Patrick Thibodeau, Goldman Sachs is the ranked number 33 among the biggest users of the program.

Behind Goldman Sachs, Microsoft is the second largest contributor to Rubio’s campaign committee since 2011, donating $33,100. Similarly, Microsoft is the 12th biggest user of the H-1B program, having brought in 1,048 foreign workers on H-1Bs in 2013. Last year, Microsoft announced its plans to lay off 18,000 workers at the same time the company was lobbying to increase the H-1B program, prompting strong condemnation from U.S. Senator Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a top opponent of Rubio’s H-1B expansion plan.

Morgan Stanley has also been one of Rubio’s top financial contributors – having donated $47,564 to Rubio throughout his career. Morgan Stanley is the ranked 66th among the biggest H-1B users.

Larry Ellison, the founder and executive chairman of the Oracle Corporation, has been another one of Rubio’s financial boosters. In July, the WSJ reported that Ellison gave $3 million to the pro-Rubio super PAC. In June, Ellison hosted a $2,700 per-person fundraiser for Rubio. Oracle is the 20th biggest users of H-1B and has endorsed Rubio’s Gang of Eight and I-Squared immigration bills.

Beyond the controversial H-1B expansions, however, critics allege that Rubio’s donors have benefited in other ways from his immigration legislation. For instance, according to open-secrets, Carnival Corporation is one of the top 20 contributors to Rubio’s campaign committee since 2011, having donated $14,500.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Section 4606 of the Rubio-Obama immigration bill included a “backroom deal” that, “creates a new nonimmigrant Z visa to admit individuals who possess ‘specialized knowledge’ to perform maintenance on airlines and cruise ships” in place of American labor. Rubio’s top immigration lawyer during the Gang of Eight push was Enrique Gonzalez. Prior to working for Rubio, Gonzalez had formerly made his living, in part, by bringing foreign workers into the country on behalf of large corporations. Gonzalez had been a partner at the nation’s largest immigration firm Fragomen, where, as Bloomberg reports, “he helped Carnival, Viacom, and other companies obtain visas for their foreign workers.” Gonzalez features this Bloomberg article on his profile on Fragomen’s website.

Yet beyond Rubio’s legislative action on immigration, reports document how Rubio’s donors may have shaped many more of his policy platforms.

For instance, according to OpenSecrets, Fanjul Corporation is the fourth biggest contributor to Rubio’s campaign committee since 2011, donating $25,200. The Fanjul family has boosted Rubio throughout his career. As Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman reports, the Fanjul’s sugar empire “includes Domino and Florida Crystals… Donors associated with Florida Crystals have given Rubio at least $81,100 since 2009.” The Washington Post has described Jose “Pepe” Fanjul as part of Rubio’s “inner circle”: “Over the years, Fanjul has played a key role in raising money for Rubio and introducing him to well-heeled donors.” In April, the Fanjuls hosted a fundraiser in Palm Beach for Rubio. The cost of attending the reception and lunch was $2,700. Rubio’s closeness with the family has been well-documented, as The Daily Caller’s Joanne Butler notes, “It’s been reported that one of the first people Rubio greeted after making his presidential campaign announcement was Pepe Fanjul, Sr.”

The Fanjul family benefits from the federal government’s policies that protect of the sugar industry. The Daily Caller writes these protections have come at a cost to Americans:

While the Fanjul family has reaped the benefits of a protected sugar industry, other Americans have paid a price in lost jobs… What we have is a special interest group with lots of political muscle to protect its industry – to the detriment of 120,000 U.S. jobs lost over the past fifteen years.

Multiple reports have documented how the Fanjuls may have influenced Rubio’s votes. For instance, the Washington Post has described Rubio as a “major player” and one of sugar industry’s “names to know”.

Rubio, an outspoken defender of the sugar program… courted the Fanjul family during his 2010 Senate campaign. In his 2012 memoir, “An American Son,” Rubio credited a Fanjul fundraiser on Labor Day weekend in 2009 for helping him surpass a critical early fundraising goal. This year, 60 supporters paying $10,000 each gathered on the terrace of Pepe Fanjul’s Palm Beach home to toast Rubio.

“The Fanjuls might be considered the First Family of Corporate Welfare… they benefit from federal policies that compel American consumers to pay artificially high prices for sugar,” says a report by Time Magazine’s Donald Bartlett and James Steele.

While Rubio’s campaign rhetoric decries corporate welfare, he does not seem to mind it when it comes to the Fanjuls. As the Washington Examiner has observed, “In June 13, 2012, Rubio cast a very odd vote: he voted to save the indefensible federal sugar program… [It’s] relevant that the biggest sugar family in Florida, the Fanjuls, was supporting Rubio early in his long shot Senate race in 2010.”

The news of Singer’s endorsement may bring Rubio additional endorsements. Another donor Rubio has actively courted is Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Reports have questioned whether Rubio’s support for Sheldon Adelson’s bill to stop Americans from gambling online was intended to woo the GOP megadonor.

“Rubio signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill… raising eyebrows and prompting questions from reporters,” the Washington Post wrote. “The Florida senator has assiduously courted the billionaire casino mogul.”

Shortly after the news broke that Adelson was considering endorsing Rubio, Trump declared, “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!”

Adelson stands to benefit financially from Rubio’s policy of expansive immigration as well. Indeed, Nevada has the largest share of illegal immigrants of any state in the country (4.7 percent), and roughly one in five Nevada residents is foreign-born.

In a recent piece in New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait writes that Rubio is the candidate best positioned to enact the donor-class agenda. Chait writes: “Rubio has carved out a valuable niche in the Republican field as the candidate who will carry out the agenda of the party’s donor base, but who has the identity and communication skills to sell that agenda more effectively.”

Rush Limbaugh has similarly warned that “the donor-class push” is to “get rid of Trump, and have Rubio or Jeb win the White House.”

Limbaugh predicts that, with Paul Ryan as Speaker and Rubio as President, in the “first 12-to-18 months, the donor-class agenda [will be] implemented, including amnesty and whatever else they want.”



Cruz Campaign Raises $1.1M In First 22 Hours Following CNBC Debate

Ted Cruz Campaign Announces How Much Money It Raised In The 22 Hours After The CNBC Debate – The Blaze

The Ted Cruz campaign on Thursday announced it had raised $1.1 million in the 22 hours after the CNBC Republican presidential debate.

The average donation was $54, the Cruz campaign said.


Speaking to the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” the Texas senator said “this level of support shows just exactly how energized and excited people are by our campaign.”

“Whether it’s on the stage or on the stump, we are telling the truth to the American people about how broken and unaccountable Washington is, and how it’s going to take consistent conservative leadership to get America back on track,” Cruz said. “We are seeing conservatives begin to coalesce around my campaign.”

“It’s Tea Party groups, libertarians, evangelicals, social conservatives, and millions more who have been disappointed by the career politicians and lobbyists of the Washington Cartel,” he added. “People want to unite behind someone who will take on Washington and I believe that’s why we’re seeing such tremendous support.”

Most political pundits said that Cruz performed well during the Wednesday debate. He earned the largest applause from the crowd when he blasted the moderators for their conduct and came in first in TheBlaze’s online poll.



EPA Pisses Away Another $1.2M In Taxpayer Money On “Environmental Justice” Grants

EPA Doles Out $1.2 Million In Environmental Justice Grants To Prepare Poor Neighborhoods For Climate Change – CNS


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the recipients of nearly $1.2 million in grants to non-profit and tribal organizations “to address environmental justice issues nationwide.”

“The grants enable these organizations to conduct research, provide education, and develop solutions to local health and environmental issues in minority and low-income communities overburdened by harmful pollution,” the Oct. 8 press release stated.

“EPA’s environmental justice grants help communities across the country understand and address exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks at the local level,” Matthew Tejada, director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, said in the press release.”

“Addressing the impacts of climate change is a priority for EPA and the projects supported by this year’s grants will help communities prepare for and build resilience to localized climate impacts,” Tejada said.

“Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies,” thedocument announcing the recipients of the grant funding stated.

“Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal, and commercial operations or the execution of federal state, local, and tribal programs and policies,” the documents stated.

One of the recipients is the Green Jobs Corps in New Haven Connecticut for “Creating a New Generation of New Haven Environmental Justice Leaders.”

The Greater Northeast Development Corporation in Virginia will use a “community-based participatory approach for southeast community resilience and adaptation to address lung health impacts exacerbated by climate change.”

In certain neighborhoods in Baltimore, Md., the grant funding will “mitigate the impacts of climate change on these communities by increasing the area of ‘green’ spaces…”

The Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago will help make the Chatham neighborhood “rain ready” to prepare for an increase of “rain events” from climate change.

Some other projects being funded include:

• A program will install solar panels in the homes of low-income residents in Colorado.

• Teaching Washington state residents about producing “locally grown food with a low-carbon footprint.”

• Educate residents of the Chickaloon Native Village in Alaska about “the connection between coal surface strip mining, transporting, exporting, and consumption in relation to climate impacts, how climate impacts are being experienced locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. “

• Ground Water New Orleans will be “teaching students to design, build, and install solar powered charging benches on or near bus stops in underserved communities.”

This grant funding dates back to 1994, according to the recipient document.

“In 1994, the Office of Environmental Justice established the Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants Program whose purpose is to assist communitybased/grassroots organizations and tribal governments that are working on local solutions to local environmental problems. Funding specifically supports affected local communitybased efforts to examine issues related to a community’s exposure to multiple environmental harms and risks.”

The document stated that the funds are divided equally between organizations in 10 regions across the country designated by EPA.



Leftist Corruption Update: Obama Regime Hides Secret List Of 11 Crumbling Obamacare Insurers

Feds Hide Secret List Of 11 Staggering Obamacare Insurers – Daily Caller


Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.

Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.

All 24 received 15-year loans in varying amounts to offer health insurance to poor and low income customers and provide publicly funded competition to private, for-profit insurers. Among the co-ops to announce closings were those in Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia, Louisiana, Nevada, Tennessee, Vermont, New York and Colorado.

Nearly half a million failing co-op customers will have to find new coverage in 2016. More than $900 million of the original $2 billion in loans has been lost.

The 11 unidentified co-ops appear to be still operating but are now on “enhanced oversight” by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which manages the Obamacare program. The 11 received letters from CMS demanding that they take urgent actions to avoid closing.

Aaron Albright, chief CMS spokesman, said 11 co-ops “are either on a corrective action plan or enhanced oversight. We have not released the letters or names.” He gave no grounds for withholding the information from either the public or Congress.

CMS officials have stonewalled multiple congressional inquiries into the co-op financial problems. The latest congressional inquiry came in a September 30 letter to CMS acting administrator Andy Slavitt demanding transparency over the troubled program.

“We have long been concerned about the financial solvency of CO-OPs,” three House Ways and Means committee members wrote to Slavitt. “Which plans have received these warnings or have been placed on corrective plans,” the congressmen asked. To date, they have received no reply.

Insurance commissioners in Vermont were the first to refuse to license the federally approved co-op there in 2013 because they feared those financial plans were unrealistic. But then the dominoes began to fall this year, resulting in at least eight co-op failures. And if CMS officials are to be believed, more failures may be on the way.

Sen. Chuck Grassley , a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee who has been an outspoken critic of the troubled co-op program, said transparency should be a top priority for the faltering program.

“Since the public’s business generally ought to be public, CMS should have a good reason for not disclosing which co-ops are troubled,” he said.

Rep. Adrian Smith , is a member of the House Ways & Means health subcommittee who has been pressing to know which co-ops are in trouble.

“It’s time for CMS to stop shielding these failures from the public and start identifying faltering co-ops. Taxpayers deserve more accountability and consumers deserve to know whether the insurance they are forced to buy will still exist at the end of next year,” he said.

In creating the co-ops under Obamacare, Congressional Democrats exempted the co-ops from public disclosure rules that apply to publicly traded insurance companies and other publicly traded corporations on such exchanges as the New York Stock Exchange. Those rules require immediate disclosure of materially important financial details.

Any materially “significant event” by publicly traded corporations have to be disclosed in “real time,” according to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

The Securities and Exchange Commission identifies 18 “mandatory disclosure items,” for private corporations including “any material impairment of a company’s asset.”

The double standard rankles critics of the co-op experiment undertaken by the Obama administration. “The nonprofit co-ops advertise themselves as having a ‘market approach,’” said Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. “But if it’s a market approach, they are responsible to their shareholders and to the taxpayers to reveal the status of their business.”

Grassley agreed, saying “disclosure requirements on publicly traded companies would be a good guidepost for CMS on co-ops.”

Pipes said taxpayers are stockholders in the non-profit health insurance co-ops. “We are paying for it. We have a right to know. They don’t like to release things unless they’re forced to, particularly if it shows them in a bad light or their program to be in a bad light.”

Taxpayer groups also expressed anger over the government secrecy.

“There is no excuse why taxpayers should not know the names of the people and groups who misspent and wasted tax dollars on publicly financed health insurance co-ops,” said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

“When anybody receives tax dollars, they have a responsibility to spend those dollars wisely and be held accountable for the expenditures. Transparency is the first step. CMS has a responsibility to all Americans to publish this information,” Williams said.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said “as Obamacare continues to fail, those failures point right back to CMS. They don’t want people to see that failure and think if they hide it somehow we won’t hear about it.”



Maine Sees 22% Decrease In Food Stamp Recipients Thanks To Republican Work Requirement

What’s Behind Maine’s 22% Decrease In Food Stamp Recipients Since 2012 – Daily Signal


The Maine Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the state has fewer than 200,000 recipients enrolled in its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for the first time since February 2009.

Enrollment in the state’s food stamp program has decreased to 199,157, a 22-percent decline from a high of 255,663 recipients in February, 2012.

“This is an important milestone for Maine’s economy and safety net,” DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said in a statement. “People on food stamps are living in poverty, and more food stamps does not equal less poverty. This administration is focused on incentivizing employment rather than trapping people in generational poverty and welfare dependency.”

“We need a workforce that is ready and willing to work if we are to attract and retain employers in this state,” Mayhew added. “Today, there are employers around the state who cannot find applicants for their jobs. Doling out assistance with no focus on employment is destructive to individual productivity and detrimental to our efforts to improve Maine’s economy and future. Today, Mainers who support commonsense welfare reform can rest assured that Governor LePage’s efforts are paying off.”

LePage’s administration re-implemented a work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents enrolled in the program.

According to Maine’s DHHS, “[t]he rule required simply that those adults work for 20 hours per week, volunteer for about one hour per day, or attend a class in order to maintain food stamps beyond three months.”

Rachel Sheffield, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation, said, “Work requirements serve to ensure that assistance is going to those most in need.”

“They act as a gatekeeper,” Sheffield said. “Welfare is available to those who truly need it, but people are directed first towards work. Able-bodied adults should be required to work, prepare for work, or look for work in exchange for receiving assistance. Maine is a strong example of promoting work and reciprocal obligation.”

Some were critical of the news.

Chris Hastedt, a policy director with Maine Equal Justice Partners, told Maine’s WCSH, “I hear language that says this is a good thing because it is forcing people to work.”

“People don’t need to be forced to work. People need to be helped to find a job,” Hastedt said.



The Donald Accidentally Raises Almost As Much Money As Marco Rubio; Spends Nothing On Ads

Donald Trump Accidentally Raised Almost As Much As Rubio – Big Government


Donald Trump’s campaign collected $4 million in the third quarter, roughly the same as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). The real difference, though, is that Trump’s campaign hasn’t conducted any fundraising efforts.

Almost all of that $4 million total is from “unsolicited” donations. People simply sent his campaign money without being asked for it.

Few stats better explain the topsy-turvy nature of this political season than that fact. Trump has repeatedly said that he wouldn’t be actively seeking donations from supporters to fuel his campaign. He has often implied that he is willing to spend money from his considerable personal fortune, but, to date, hasn’t had to open his checkbook very wide.

Donald Trump contributed $100,000 to the campaign in the third quarter. The more interesting fact, though, is that almost 75,000 people also sent his campaign money, with an average contribution of $50, without any fundraising outreach, solicitation, or even obvious ways to do so.

The result is that Trump, without trying, raised far more than Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY and was largely in-line with major challengers Rubio and businesswomen Carly Fiorina.

Trump has obviously altered the political landscape by maintaining a strong polling lead for over three months with very little campaign spending. He has not spent any money on advertising while others, especially Jeb Bush, have spent millions.

He also doesn’t seem to have spent a great deal on building a campaign organization, although that is likely to change in the coming weeks as voting gets near.

All other candidates for the GOP nomination have large campaign infrastructures. According to the most recent FEC filing, Jeb Bush’s campaign was spending more than $3.5 million each month during the Summer.

Donald Trump has spent the least amount of any of the major candidates. Through the entire campaign so far, Trump has spent just over $5 million total. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who lead some polls in the spring, spent over $7 million in his aborted 71-day campaign.

“While our original budget was substantially higher than the amount spent, good business practices and even better ideas and policy have made it unnecessary to have spent a larger sum,” Trump said in a release.

“To be number one in every poll, both state and national, and to have spent the least amount of dollars of any serious candidate is a testament to what I can do for America,” Trump continued. “This is what our country’s leaders should do for the United States – spend money wisely and win!”

How a candidate conducts their campaign, and spends their resources, says far more about them then statements on the stump.

Walker’s campaign arrogantly got far ahead of its actual support. Jeb has relied on family connections to fuel a very large and expensive organization. Rubio’s impressive turns on the debate stage has so far failed to ignite enthusiasm with voters. Cruz has stuck to a steady, consistent path that has turned in impressive fundraising numbers.

Whatever happens in the nomination fight, Trump has broken new ground in this political campaign. His support, though, may be even deeper and more enthusiastic than the polls suggest. If his campaign can raise $4 million without asking anyone for money, the mind reels to consider what he would raise if he did.



Obamanomics Update: Feds Take In Record $3,248,723,000,000 In Tax Revenues; Still Run $438,899,000,000 Deficit

$3,248,723,000,000: Federal Taxes Set Record In FY 2015; $21,833 Per Worker; Feds Still Run $438.9B Deficit – CNS

The federal government took in a record of approximately $3,248,723,000,000 in taxes in fiscal 2015 (which ended on Sept. 30), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

That equaled approximately $21,833 for every person in the country who had either a full-time or part-time job in September.

It is also up about $212,927,100,000 in constant 2015 dollars from the $3,035,795,900,000 in revenue (in 2015 dollars) that the Treasury raked in during fiscal 2014.


Even as the Treasury was hauling in a record $3,248,723,000,000 in tax revenues in fiscal 2015, the federal government was spending $3,687,622,000,000. So, the federal government ran a deficit of $438,899,000,000 for the fiscal year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total seasonally adjusted employment in the United States in September (including both full and part-time workers) was 148,800,000. That means that the federal tax haul for fiscal 2015 equaled about $21,832.82 for every person in the United States with a job.

In 2012, President Barack Obama struck a deal with Republicans in Congress to enact legislation that increased taxes. That included increasing the top income tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, increasing the top tax rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent, and phasing out personal exemptions and deductions starting at an annual income level of $250,000.

An additional 3.8 percent tax on dividends, interest, capital gains and royalties – that was embedded in the Obamacare law – also took effect in 2013.

The largest share of fiscal 2015’s record-setting tax haul came from the individual income tax. That yielded the Treasury $1,540,802,000,000. Payroll taxes for “social insurance and retirement receipts” took in another $1,065,277,000,000. The corporate income tax brought in $343,797,000,000.



Syrian Rebel Training Program Ends After Obama Regime Spends Half A Billion Dollars To Train 5 People

Another Foreign Policy Failure For Obama: Pentagon Training For Syrian Rebels Ends – Daily Signal


After the grim announcement last month that only four or five Syrian rebels trained by U.S. military personnel remained inside Syria, the Obama administration has decided to call it quits on the program altogether. There were supposed to be roughly 5,400 trained fighters this year and 15,000 within 3 years in order to effectively combat ISIS in Syria.

While some Defense Department officials have masked the ending of the operation as “an operational pause,” others have confirmed that the program has been halted and may soon be replaced by a smaller program focused on supporting existing rebel forces fighting ISIS, rather than trying to create new ones. A covert CIA program to train Syrian rebels has been more successful. But after a pricey $500 million dollar expenditure, it’s easy to see why so many observers are disgusted with yet another Obama foreign policy failure.

The failure of the Pentagon’s plan to train the rebel groups has been looming for months; even Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged in February that the president needed a better – or different – strategy in the region. The administration’s feckless policy in Syria and its initial dismissal of the threat that ISIS poses to the west, and particularly to America, is proving to be one of President Barack Obama’s most costly strategic blunders. As the Islamic State recruits more foreign fighters and gains more territory, it becomes harder for Obama to simply write off the radical terror group as he has done so many times before.

In addition to the mushrooming humanitarian catastrophe inside Syria and the flood of millions of Syrian refugees, the White House’s passivity emboldened Vladimir Putin’s Russia to actively intervene in the crisis. To make matters worse, Russian warplanes have launched airstrikes targeting rebels that the U.S. is trying to support, while Russian officials are falsely claiming that their attacks are aimed at ISIS. Putin’s actions in Syria have further raised the costs and risks of Obama’s hapless foreign policy. Obama’s inaction has provided an opportunity for Putin to seize the initiative and exploit the deteriorating situation to establish Russian presence in the region, as well as affirm Russia’s alliance with Syria and Iran.

There has been heavy criticism of the equip-and-train program in recent months with mounting pressure from Congress. The hesitant halfway measures that have been dispensed by the Obama administration in its efforts to address the Syrian crisis have achieved minimal benefits.

The Obama administration will mask the suspension of the program with a cloud of rhetoric, but the facts remain clear. The Pentagon’s plan to train the rebels has been a disaster from the start, complete with zero accountability on behalf of the government. The formal end of the Pentagon’s program to train Syrian rebels is just an example of the Obama administration’s true foreign policy legacy: one empty promise after another.



Sweden: ‘No Apartments, No Jobs, No Shopping Without A Gun’ (Ingrid Carlqvist)

Sweden: ‘No Apartments, No Jobs, No Shopping Without A Gun’ – Ingrid Carlqvist

* The Swedes see the welfare systems failing them. Swedes have had to get used to the government prioritizing refugees and migrants above native Swedes.

* “There are no apartments, no jobs, we don’t dare go shopping anymore [without a gun], but we’re supposed to think everything’s great… Women and girls are raped by these non-European men, who come here claiming they are unaccompanied children, even though they are grown men… You Cabinet Ministers live in your fancy residential neighborhoods, with only Swedish neighbors. It should be obligatory for all politicians to live for at least three months in an area consisting mostly of immigrants… [and] have to use public transport.” – Laila, to the Prime Minister.

* “Instead of torchlight processions against racism, we need a Prime Minister who speaks out against the violence… Unite everyone… Do not make it a racism thing.” – Anders, to the Prime Minister.

* “In all honesty, I don’t even feel they [government ministers] see the problems… There is no one in those meetings who can tell them what real life looks like.” – Laila, on the response she received from the government.

The week after the double murder at IKEA in Västerås, where a man from Eritrea who had been denied asylum grabbed some knives and stabbed Carola and Emil Herlin to death, letters and emails poured into the offices of Swedish Prime Minister (PM) Stefan Löfven. Angry, despondent and desperate Swedes have pled with the Social Democratic PM to stop filling the country with criminal migrants from the Third World or, they write, there is a serious risk of hatred running rampant in Sweden. One woman suggested that because the Swedish media will not address these issues, Löfven should start reading foreign newspapers, and wake up to the fact that Sweden is sinking fast.


During the last few decades, Swedes have had to get used to the government (left and right wing parties alike) prioritizing refugees and migrants above native Swedes. The high tax level (the average worker pays 42% income tax) was been accepted in the past, because people knew that if they got sick, or when they retired or otherwise needed government aid, they would get it.

Now, Swedes see the welfare system failing them. More and more senior citizens fall into the “indigent” category; close to 800,000 of Sweden’s 2.1 million retirees, despite having worked their whole lives, are forced to live on between 4,500 and 5,500 kronor ($545 – $665) a month. Meanwhile, seniors who immigrate to Sweden receive the so-called “elderly support subsidy” – usually a higher amount – even though they have never paid any taxes in Sweden.

Worse, in 2013 the government decided that people staying in the country illegally have a right to virtually free health and dental care. So while the destitute Swedish senior citizen must choose between paying 100,000 kronor ($12,000) to get new teeth or living toothless, a person who does not even have the right to stay in Sweden can get his teeth fixed for 50 kronor ($6).

The injustice, the housing shortage, the chaos surrounding refugee housing units and the sharp slide of Swedish students in PISA tests – all these changes have caused the Swedes to become disillusioned. The last straw was that Prime Minister Löfven had nothing to say about the murders at IKEA.

Gatestone Institute contacted to the Swedish government, to obtain emails sent to the Prime Minister concerning the IKEA murders. According to the “principle of public access to official documents,” all Swedes have the right to study public documents kept by authorities – with no questions asked about one’s identity or purpose. The government, however, was clearly less than enthusiastic about sharing the emails: It took a full month of reminders and phone calls before they complied with the request.

What follows are excerpts from emails sent from private citizens to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven:

From Mattias, a social worker and father of four, “a dad who wants my kids to grow up in Sweden the way I had the good fortune of doing, without explosions, hand grenades, car fires, violence, rape and murder at IKEA”:

“Hi Stefan. I am a 43-year-old father of four, who is trying to explain to my children, ages 6-16, what is going on in Sweden. I am sad to say that you and your party close your eyes to what is happening in Sweden. All the things that are happening [are] due to the unchecked influx from abroad. You are creating a hidden hatred in Sweden. We are dissatisfied with the way immigration is handled in Sweden, from asylum housing to school issues. And it takes so long to get a job, many people give up before they even get close. Mattias”

Marcus, 21, wrote:

“Hi Stefan, I am one of the people who voted for you. I live in Helsingborg, still with my parents because there are no apartments available. I can see where I live that as soon as an old person moves out, eight foreigners immediately move in: they just bypass us young, Swedish people in line. With all that is going on in Sweden – rapes, robberies, the IKEA murders and so on – why aren’t non-Swedes sent back to their countries when they commit crimes? Of course we should help refugees, but they should be the right kind of refugees… I’m sorry to say this, Stefan, but the Sweden Democrats should be allowed to rule for four years and remove the people who do not abide by the laws, and who murder or destroy young women’s lives. It is horrible, I have a job that pays poorly because there are no jobs. Sweden has more people than jobs.”

Peter wrote:

“Esteemed Prime Minister. I am writing to you because I am very worried about the development in Swedish society. I am met daily by news of shootings, exploding hand grenades/bombs, beatings, rapes and murders. This is our Sweden, the country that, when you and I grew up, was considered one of the safest in the world.

“You, in your role as Prime Minister, have a responsibility to protect everyone in the land, regardless of whether they were born here or not. Unfortunately, I can see that you are not taking your responsibility seriously. I follow the news daily, and despite our now having suffered another act of madness, this time against a mother and son at IKEA, I do not see any commitment from you?…

“You should emphatically condemn the violent developments we see in this country, allocate resources to the police, customs and district attorneys to slow and fight back (not just build levees and overlook) criminal activity.”

Sebastian wrote:

“Hi Stefan! After reading about the horrible deed at IKEA in Västerås, I am now wondering what you are going to do to make me feel safe going to stores and on the streets of Sweden. What changes will there be to make sure this never happens again? Will immigration really continue the same way?”

Benny wrote:

“Hi, I’m wondering, why is the government quiet about such an awful incident? The whole summer has been characterized by extreme violence, shootings, knifings and explosions. The government needs to take vigorous action so we can feel safe.”

Laila’s subject line reads: “Is it supposed to be like this?”

“Are we supposed to go outside without arming ourselves? Rape after rape occurs and no one is doing anything about it. I was born and raised in Vårby Gård, but seven years ago, we had to move because we couldn’t take the dogs out in the evenings due to the non-Europeans driving on the sidewalks. If you didn’t move out of the way, they would jump out of the car and hit you. If you called the police, they do nothing – in a suburb of Stockholm. When my brother told some of these men off, a rocket (the kind you use at New Year’s) appeared in his mailbox. You can imagine how loud the blast was. Women and girls are raped by these non-European men, who come here claiming they are unaccompanied children, even though they are grown men…

“It is easy to get weapons today, I wonder if that is what we Swedes need to do, arm ourselves to dare to go shopping. Well, now I am getting to what happened at a major department store: Two people were killed and not just killed, there is talk online of beheading.

“The Prime Minister will not say a word, but resources are allocated to asylum housings, a slap in the face for the relatives who just had two of their kin slain. Swedish newspapers will not say a word, but fortunately, there are foreign newspapers that tell the truth. We Swedes can’t change apartments, we live five people in three bedrooms. Two of us are unemployed, looking, looking and looking for work. The only option is employment agencies. I’m 50 years old, on part-time sick leave because of two chronic illnesses, I cannot run around from one place to another. But more and more asylum seekers keep coming in. There are no apartments, no jobs, we don’t dare go shopping anymore, but we’re supposed to think everything’s great.

“Unfortunately, I believe the Prime Minister needs to start reading foreign newspaper to find out that Sweden is going under. I found out that the mass immigration costs billions every year, and the only thing the immigrants do is smoke waterpipes in places like Vårby Gård. This is happening in other places too, of course. Now it’s starting to spread; you will see that in the opinion polls, next time they are published. Soon, all Swedes will vote for the Sweden Democrats. They are getting more and more supporters every day.

“You Cabinet Ministers do not live in the exposed areas, you live in your fancy residential neighborhoods, with only Swedish neighbors. It should be obligatory for all politicians to live for at least three months in an area consisting mostly of immigrants, the car should be taken from you so you’d have to use public transport… After three months, you would see my point.

“I am scared stiff of what is happening in this country. What will the government do about this?”

Anders wrote:

“Hi Stefan, why don’t you, as our Prime Minister, react more against all the violence that is escalating in our country? [Such as] the double murder at IKEA in Västerås. Add to that the bombings and other things happening in Malmö. Instead of torchlight processions against racism, we need a Prime Minister who speaks out against the violence, who says that it’s wrong no matter which ethnic group is behind it or at the receiving end of it.

“Because all the people living in Sweden are Swedish, right? A torchlight procession against racism only highlights the fact that it’s immigrants committing these crimes. What we need now is a clear signal from our popularly elected [officials] that violence needs to stop now. Sweden is supposed to be a haven away from violence.

“I’m asking you as our Prime Minister, take a stand against the violence. Unite everyone in Sweden into one group and do not make it a racism thing.”

Some of the people received a reply from Carl-Johan Friman, of the Government Offices Communications Unit; others have not received any reply at all. A typical response goes:

“Thank you for your email to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. I’ve been asked to reply and confirm that your email has reached the Prime Minister’s Office and is now available for the Prime Minister and his staff. It is of course not acceptable that people should be exposed to violence and criminal activities in their everyday life. Many efforts are made to counteract violence, and quite correctly, this needs to be done without pitting groups against each other. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your views, they are important in shaping government policies.”

Gatestone Institute contacted Laila, one of the people who emailed, and asked her if she was satisfied with the answer she got. Laila replied:

“No, I’m not satisfied with the answer, because they didn’t even respond to what I was talking about. In all honesty, I don’t even feel they see the problems. They’re talking about what it looks like when they have their meetings, but there’s no one in those meetings who can tell them what real life looks like. It feels like the answer I got was just a bunch of nonsense. They understand that people are scared. They talk about demonstrating against racism; they seem to be completely lost. The politicians do not understand how things work in Swedish society, because they live in their safe, snug neighborhoods where things are quiet. But a lot of Swedes are forced to live in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, because they cannot afford an apartment somewhere else.”

The anger at the government’s non-reaction to the IKEA-murders also led to a demonstration at Sergels Torg, Stockholm’s main public square, on September 15. Hundreds of protesters demanded the government’s resignation, and held a minute of silence for the slain mother and son, Carola and Emil Herlin. The organizers plan to hold similar protests every month throughout Sweden.



Global Warming Nutbag Caught In ‘Largest Science Scandal In U.S. History’

Climate Alarmist Caught In ‘Largest Science Scandal In U.S. History’ – Big Government


The plan by climate alarmists to have other scientists imprisoned for their ‘global warming’ skepticism is backfiring horribly, and the chief alarmist is now facing a House investigation into what has been called “the largest science scandal in US history.”

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Space, Science and Technology, has written to Professor Jagadish Shukla of George Mason University, in Virginia, requesting that he release all relevant documents pertaining to his activities as head of a non-profit organization called the Institute of Global Environment And Society.

Smith has two main areas of concern.

First, the apparent engagement by the institute in “partisan political activity” – which, as a non-profit, it is forbidden by law from doing.

Second, what precisely has the IGES institute done with the $63 million in taxpayer grants which it has received since 2001 and which appears to have resulted in remarkably little published research?

For example, as Watts Up With That? notes, a $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to one of the institute’s offshoots appears to have resulted in just one published paper.

But the amount which has gone into the pockets of Shukla and his cronies runs into the many hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2013 and 2014, for example, Shukla and his wife enjoyed a combined income in excess of $800,000 a year.

Steve McIntyre, the investigator who shattered Michael Mann’s global-warming ‘Hockey Stick’ claim, has done a detailed breakdown of the sums involved. He calls it Shukla’s Gold.

In 2001, the earliest year thus far publicly available, in 2001, in addition to his university salary (not yet available, but presumably about $125,000), Shukla and his wife received a further $214,496 in compensation from IGES (Shukla – $128,796; Anne Shukla – $85,700). Their combined compensation from IGES doubled over the next two years to approximately $400,000 (additional to Shukla’s university salary of say $130,000), for combined compensation of about $530,000 by 2004.

Shukla’s university salary increased dramatically over the decade reaching $250,866 by 2013 and $314,000 by 2014. (In this latter year, Shukla was paid much more than Ed Wegman, a George Mason professor of similar seniority). Meanwhile, despite the apparent transition of IGES to George Mason, the income of the Shuklas from IGES continued to increase, reaching $547,000 by 2013. Combined with Shukla’s university salary, the total compensation of Shukla and his wife exceeded $800,000 in both 2013 and 2014. In addition, as noted above, Shukla’s daughter continued to be employed by IGES in 2014; IGES also distributed $100,000 from its climate grant revenue to support an educational charity in India which Shukla had founded.

The story began last month when, as we reported at Breitbart, twenty alarmist scientists – led by Shukla – wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to use RICO laws to crush climate skeptics.

Shukla’s second big mistake was to send the letter not from his university address but from his non-profit, the IGES.

But his first, far bigger mistake, was his hubris in organizing the letter in the first place. It drew the attention of Shukla’s critics to something which, presumably, he would have preferred to keep secret: that for nearly 14 years, he, his family and his friends have been gorging themselves on taxpayers’ money at IGES; and that this money comes on top of the very generous salary he receives for doing much the same work at George Mason University (GMU).

It’s the latter detail which has led former Virginia State Climatologist Pat Michaels – one of the skeptics who might have been affected by Shukla’s proposed RICO prosecutions – to describe this as “the largest science scandal in US history.”

Under federal law, state employees may not be remunerated for doing work which falls under their state employee remit. As a Professor at GMU, Shukla is definitely an employee of the state. And the work for which he has most lavishly been rewarding himself at IGES appears to be remarkably similar to the work he does at GMU as professor of climate dynamics.

If GMU was aware of these extra-curricular payments, then it was in breach of its own policy on “financial conflicts of interest in federally funded research.”

If it wasn’t aware of them, then, Shukla legally may be required to send half of that $63 million in federal grants to his employer, GMU.

For many readers, though, perhaps the biggest take-home message of this extraordinary story is: Who do these climate alarmists think they are?

Perhaps $63 million in federal grants is just peanuts if you’re gorging on the climate-change smorgasbord, but for most of the rest of us, that constitutes a serious sum of money. Especially when we know it is being taken from us in the form of taxes.

Do they really feel under no obligation to spend it well?

Do they actually feel so sanctified by the rightness of their cause that they deserve to be immune from scrutiny or criticism?



The ‘Affordable Housing’ Fraud (Thomas Sowell)

The ‘Affordable Housing’ Fraud – Thomas Sowell


Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of “affordable housing,” as among politicians and others in coastal California. And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters.

A recent survey showed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was just over $3,500. Some people are paying $1,800 a month just to rent a bunk bed in a San Francisco apartment.

It is not just in San Francisco that putting a roof over your head can take a big chunk out of your pay check. The whole Bay Area is like that. Thirty miles away, Palo Alto home prices are similarly unbelievable.

One house in Palo Alto, built more than 70 years ago, and just over one thousand square feet in size, was offered for sale at $1.5 million. And most asking prices are bid up further in such places.

Another city in the Bay Area with astronomical housing prices, San Mateo, recently held a public meeting and appointed a task force to look into the issue of “affordable housing.”

Public meetings, task forces, and political hand-wringing about a need for “affordable housing” occur all up and down the San Francisco peninsula, because this is supposed to be such a “complex” issue.

Someone once told President Ronald Reagan that a solution to some controversial issue was “complex.” President Reagan replied that the issue was in fact simple, “but it is not easy.”

Is the solution to unaffordable housing prices in parts of California simple? Yes. It is as simple as supply and demand. What gets complicated is evading the obvious, because it is politically painful.

One of the first things taught in an introductory economics course is supply and demand. When a growing population creates a growing demand for housing, and the government blocks housing from being built, the price of existing housing goes up.

This is not a breakthrough on the frontiers of knowledge. Economists have understood supply and demand for centuries – and so have many other people who never studied economics.

Housing prices in San Francisco, and in many other communities for miles around, were once no higher than in the rest of the United States. But, beginning in the 1970s, housing prices in these communities skyrocketed to three or four times the national average.

Why? Because local government laws and policies severely restricted, or banned outright, the building of anything on vast areas of land. This is called preserving “open space,” and “open space” has become almost a cult obsession among self-righteous environmental activists, many of whom are sufficiently affluent that they don’t have to worry about housing prices.

Some others have bought the argument that there is just very little land left in coastal California, on which to build homes. But anyone who drives down Highway 280 for thirty miles or so from San Francisco to Palo Alto, will see mile after mile of vast areas of land with not a building or a house in sight.

How “complex” is it to figure out that letting people build homes in some of that vast expanse of “open space” would keep housing from becoming “unaffordable”?

Was it just a big coincidence that housing prices in coastal California began skyrocketing in the 1970s, when building bans spread like wildfire under the banner of “open space,” “saving farmland,” or whatever other slogans would impress the gullible?

When more than half the land in San Mateo County is legally off-limits to building, how surprised should we be that housing prices in the city of San Mateo are now so high that politically appointed task forces have to be formed to solve the “complex” question of how things got to be the way they are and what to do about it?

However simple the answer, it will not be easy to go against the organized, self-righteous activists for whom “open space” is a sacred cause, automatically overriding the interests of everybody else.

Was it just a coincidence that some other parts of the country saw skyrocketing housing prices when similar severe restrictions on building went into effect? Or that similar policies in other countries have had the same effect? How “complex” is that?



The Donald Reveals His Tax Plan (Video)

Trump Plan Cuts Taxes For Millions – Wall Street Journal


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious tax plan Monday that he says would eliminate income taxes for millions of households, lower the tax rate on all businesses to 15% and change tax treatment of companies’ overseas earnings.

Under the Trump plan, no federal income tax would be levied against individuals earning less than $25,000 and married couples earning less than $50,000. The Trump campaign estimates that would reduce taxes to zero for 31 million households that currently pay at least some income tax. The highest individual income-tax rate would be 25%, compared with the current 39.6% rate.

Many middle-income households would have a lower tax rate under Mr. Trump’s proposal, but because high-income households generally pay income tax at much higher rates, his proposed across-the-board rate cut could have a positive impact on them, too. For example, an analysis of Jeb Bush’s plan – taxing individuals’ incomes at no more than 28% – by the business-backed Tax Foundation found that the biggest percentage winners in after-tax income would be the top 1% of earners.

Mr. Trump’s plan appears designed to help him, as the GOP front-runner, cement his standing as a populist – though that message is complicated by the fact that the billionaire, like other Republican leaders, would eliminate the estate tax.

“My plan will bring sanity, common sense and simplification to our country’s catastrophic tax code,” Mr. Trump said in an interview. “It will create jobs and incentives of all kinds while simultaneously growing the economy.”

But Mr. Trump will face a challenge in convincing skeptics that his aggressive tax cuts can be implemented without adding to the federal deficit.

To pay for the proposed tax benefits, the Trump plan would eliminate or reduce deductions and loopholes to high-income taxpayers, and would curb some deductions and other breaks for middle-class taxpayers by capping the level of individual deductions, a politically dicey proposition. Mr. Trump also would end the “carried interest” tax break, which allows many investment-fund managers to pay lower taxes on much of their compensation.

A significant revenue gain would come from a one-time tax on overseas profits that could encourage U.S. multinational corporations to return an estimated $2.1 trillion in cash now sitting offshore, largely to avoid U.S. taxes. His proposal would impose a mandatory 10% tax on all of that money, even if the money stays overseas, but allow a few years for the tax to be paid. The Trump campaign estimates that many companies would choose to bring their money back home, boosting jobs and investment in the U.S.

Mr. Trump also would impose an immediate tax on overseas earnings of American corporations; currently, such tax payments can be deferred. All told, the campaign says the plan would be revenue neutral – neither raising nor lowering federal revenues – by the third year and then begin adding revenue.

With the tax plan’s release, Mr. Trump is moving to quell criticism that his campaign has been more style and less substance. This tax proposal follows his well-known immigration plan in the summer and one on gun rights last week.

Mr. Trump saves some money and fiscal headaches by skipping some of the big but complicated and costly changes that other candidates have embraced, such as business-expensing breaks and so-called territorial taxation for multinational corporations.

On the individual side, Mr. Trump would consolidate the current seven rates to four, of 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%. Those changes alone would exempt all married couples making $50,000 or less from the income tax, as well as singles making $25,000 or less.

The 10% bracket would apply to incomes from $50,000 to $100,000 for a married couple; the current 10% bracket has a ceiling of $18,450. The new 25% top bracket would apply to married couples’ incomes in excess of $300,000, which currently are subject to rates as high as 39.6%. Mr. Trump also would cut the top capital gains rate to 20%, from the current 23.8%. And he would eliminate the alternative minimum tax.

But the candidate doesn’t propose to end taxation of individuals’ investment income, as some other Republicans propose, nor would he expand the standard deduction, child-credit and other middle-class breaks as some other GOP candidates have suggested.

For businesses, Mr. Trump’s 15% rate is among the lowest that have been proposed so far. Rand Paul has proposed a 14.5% flat-tax rate for all types of income. Marco Rubio, another candidate with a detailed plan, would tax all business income at no more than 25%. Mr. Bush has proposed a 20% top corporate rate. The current top corporate tax rate is 35%, and small business income is subject to rates of as much as 39.6% (although many small businesses pay out a lot of their profits as lower-taxed dividends or capital gains). The campaign argues the rate would be among the lowest among industrialized nations, giving U.S. companies an edge to compete.

The lower corporate rates would provide “a tremendous stimulus for the economy,” the campaign’s plan argues. Mr. Trump would not, however, allow businesses to expense all their new equipment purchases, as some other Republicans do.

The plan proposes to simplify tax filing for many lower- to middle-income households. The plan says that some 42 million households that currently file tax forms to establish that they don’t owe any federal income tax now will be able to file their returns on a single page.

The 31 million households that have been paying some taxes but now won’t have any tax liability can use the same single-page, and keep an average of $1,000 in tax savings, the Trump campaign says. Today, 36% of American households today pay no income taxes, and that number would grow to 50%.

The Trump plan would raise revenues in at least a couple of significant ways. It would limit the value of individual deductions, with middle-class households keeping all or most of their deductions, higher-income taxpayers keeping around half of theirs, and the very wealthy losing a significant chunk of theirs. It also would wipe out many corporate deductions.

All taxpayers would keep their current deductions for mortgage-interest on their homes and charitable giving.

The plan also proposes capping the amount of interest payments that businesses can deduct now, a change phased in over a long period, and would impose a corporate tax on future foreign earnings of American multinationals.

Click HERE to view the entire Trump tax plan.



Rebels Trained And Armed By Obama Regime Hand Weapons Over To Al-Qaeda Immediately After Entering Syria

Syrian Rebels Trained And Armed By U.S. Betray Obama By Handing Weapons Over To Al-Qaeda Immediately After Entering Syria – Weasel Zippers


Nice job “vetting,” Barack.

Via Telegraph:

Pentagon-trained rebels are reported to have betrayed US and handed weapons over to an al-Qaeda affiliate immediately after entering Syria.

Fighters with Division 30 surrendered and handed over “all its weapons” to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, sources alleged on Monday.

The moderate rebel group was the first faction to graduate from a US-led training programme in Turkey which aims to forge a fighting force on the ground in Syria to fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

“A strong slap [in the face] for America… the new group from Division 30 that entered yesterday hands over all of its weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra after being granted safe passage,” tweeted Abu Fahd al-Tunisi, who purports to be a member of the al-Qaeda affiliate.

“They also handed over a very large amount of ammunition and medium weaponry and a number of pick-ups.”

Abu Khattab al-Maqdisi, who also claims to be a Nusra member, added that Anas Ibrahim Obaid, Division 30’s commander, had explained to al-Nusra’s leaders that he had tricked the coalition because he needed weapons.

“He promised to issue a statement… repudiating Division 30, the coalition, and those who trained him,” tweeted Maqdisi on Monday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a pro-opposition UK-based watchdog, reported on Sunday that 75 Division 30 fighters had crossed into Syria from Turkey the previous morning with “12 four-wheel vehicles equipped with machine guns and ammunition”.