Why Should We Pay Our Taxes if the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of the Treasury Do Not?
I have no idea.
Yes, one could say that I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor because I had to justify his funding, allocate his resources, and evaluate his results. I did not have the authority to give him his annual performance evaluation. He was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind's effect on it). He thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.
My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.
President Barack Obama presented a humble and conciliatory face of America to the Islamic world Monday in the first formal interview since he assumed office, stressing his own Muslim ties and hopes for a Palestinian state, and avoiding a belligerent tone — even when asked if America could "live with" an Iranian nuclear weapon.
The interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya Network was a dramatic piece of public diplomacy aimed at capitalizing on the new American president's international popularity, though it balanced America's traditional commitment to Israel, whose security Obama called "paramount.'
"I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries," Obama said, according to a White House transcript. "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy."
He joined and regularly attended Jeremiah Wright's church in Chicago when it was politically helpful, then left the church and denounced it when it was politically harmful. Likewise for his ties to the terrorist religion. All things to everyone!
And then the racist-in-chief slammed the USA to his muslim audience:
"What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating — in the past on some of these issues — and we don't always know all the factors that are involved," Obama said. "What we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs."
Hey stupid, if you bothered to listen to Hamas and Hezbollah, you would know that all they want to do is wipe Israel off the map.
We are in for a very difficult four years. Our country is being run by a glib, anti-American marxist.
WASHINGTON – Barack Obama opened his presidency by breaking sharply from George W. Bush's unpopular administration, but he mostly avoided divisive partisan and ideological stands. He focused instead on fixing the economy, repairing a battered world image and cleaning up government.
"What an opportunity we have to change this country," the Democrat told his senior staff after his inauguration. "The American people are really counting on us now. Let's make sure we take advantage of it."
In the highly scripted first days of his administration, Obama overturned a slew of Bush policies with great fanfare. He largely avoided cultural issues; the exception was reversing one abortion-related policy, a predictable move done in a very low-profile way.
Liz you ought to get a job in the 0bama administration. You're already doing his work anyway.
I, like many natives of Upstate New York, grew up in a hunting family and own a gun. I learned at an early age how to safely handle a gun and I believe that every law-abiding citizen should always have the right to own arms. The Second Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the federal government from denying law-abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms. And I intend to uphold this right through my votes and actions in Congress.
Our immigration system is broken and hard-working Americans often bear the brunt of the federal government’s failure to secure our borders and provide adequate protections for the American worker and the shrinking American Middle Class. I believe the first step to fixing our immigration system is to stop the flow of illegal immigration. This can be accomplished by securing the Southern border, enforcing the employment laws on the books and ensuring that our farmers and businesses have the adequate number of legal workers after they have exhausted their search for American workers. I am firmly against providing amnesty to illegal immigrants. In my first year in Congress, I passed legislation on the floor of the House of Representatives that would bar employers, who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, from receiving federal contracts.
But of course, she doesn't have to be very good to be better than Her Thighness.
In early 2008, just as Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain was preparing to slash expenses, cut thousands of jobs and exit businesses to fix the ailing securities firm, he was also spending company money on himself, senior people at the firm say.
According to documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, Thain spent $1.22 million of company money to refurbish his office at Merrill Lynch headquarters in lower Manhattan. The biggest piece of the spending spree: $800,000 to hire famed celebrity designer Michael Smith, who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for just $100,000.
Big ticket items included $87,000 for an area rug, four pairs of curtains for $28,000, a pair of guest chairs for $87,000 and fabric for a "Roman Shade" for $11,000.
The other big ticket items Thain purchased include: $87,000 for an area rug in Thain's conference room and another area rug for $44,000; a "mahogany pedestal table" for $25,000; a "19th Century Credenza" in Thain's office for $68,000; a sofa for $15,000; four pairs of curtains for $28,000; a pair of guest chairs for $87,000; a "George IV Desk" for $18,000; six wall sconces for $2,700; six chairs in his private dining room for $37,000; a mirror in his private dining room for $5,000; a chandelier in the private dining room for $13,000; fabric for a "Roman Shade" for $11,000; a "custom coffee table" for $16,000; something called a "commode on legs" for $35,000; a "Regency Chairs" for $24,000; "40 yards of fabric for wall panels," for $5,000 and a "parchment waste can" for $1,400.
The documents also show that Thain signed off on the purchases personally. "Labor to relamp the six wall sconces" cost $3,000, and Thain authorized the payment of another $30,000 to pay the expenses Smith incurred in doing the work. Thain has hired Smith—whose celebrity client list includes Steven Spielberg, Michelle Pfeiffer, Cindy Crawford and Sir Evelyn de Rothschild—to design and decorate his private residences. They include a Manhattan apartment at 740 Park Avenue, and his 10-acre mansion in Rye, NY.
So we lucky taxpayers get to pay for the wonderful Michael Smith to redecorate the white house for the 0bamas too!
This is why I have no confidence in our federal government whatsoever. The people who are calling the shots in Washington are pure scum. And now they are about to hire man to run the US Treasury who cheated on his taxes!
"Serious bad blood appears to exist between B of A's CEO Ken Lewis and Thain, with Lewis feeling like Thain was not up front about the problems at Merrill Lynch when the deal was announced back in September," said Jaime Peters, an equity analyst at Morningstar.
Peters also noted that Thain decided to accelerate bonus payments at Merrill, giving out somewhere between $3 billion and $4 billion to employees before the Bank of America deal closed.
"Considering the company's large fourth-quarter loss and the $20 billion of capital B of A got from the government in order to prop up its balance sheet following the deal, this is simply outrageous and one of the more extreme examples of poor corporate governance we can think of," Peters said.
While we mere mortals are sucking the fuzzy end of the lollipop, the wall streeters are earning 3 to 4 billion in early bonuses ---- bonuses that are not normally paid until January or February.
Thain spent $1.2 million to redecorate his office at New York-based Merrill, CNBC reported today.
Ah yes, we can't let this poor guy have an undecorative office, can we? Why not give Bank of America/Merrill another $50 billion to make sure all executive offices are tastefully decorated?
As we know, a “Nazi” these days is not one of the many Muslims and their Leftist cheerleaders who shout “Death to Jews! in the streets of Europe; it’s any white person who doesn’t lie down and die on command. If we don’t lie down and die, we must be Nazis. We are after all Europeans.
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba -- Military judges on Wednesday will consider motions by the Obama administration to suspend the Guantanamo war crimes trials for 120 days during a review of the system for prosecuting suspected terrorists.
The motions, filed late Tuesday at the direction of President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, will be heard in the cases of five men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks and of Canadian Omar Khadr, who is accused of killing an American soldier with a grenade in Afghanistan in 2002.
Obama has said he will close the military detention center in Cuba, where the U.S. holds about 245 men, and he had been expected to halt the widely criticized war-crimes trials created by former President George W. Bush and Congress in 2006.
Here's the best part:
Eric Holder, the president's nominee for attorney general, has said the so-called military commissions lack sufficient legal protections for defendants and that they could be tried in the United States.
And what next, Eric? Are you going to pursuade your boss to pardon the al Qaeda terrorists? Just like you pursuaded Clinton to pardon the FALN terrorists?
Biodiesel fuel woes close Bloomington schools
The schools are closed today because the buses' biodiesel fuels aren't cooperating with the cold weather.
By LORA PABST, Star Tribune
All schools in the Bloomington School District will be closed today after state-required biodiesel fuel clogged in school buses Thursday morning and left dozens of students stranded in frigid weather, the district said late Thursday.
Rick Kaufman, the district's spokesman, said elements in the biodiesel fuel that turn into a gel-like substance at temperatures below 10 degrees clogged about a dozen district buses Thursday morning. Some buses weren't able to operate at all and others experienced problems while picking up students, he said.
The decision to close school today came after district officials consulted with several neighboring districts that were experiencing similar problems. Bloomington staffers tried to get a waiver to bypass the state requirement and use pure diesel fuel, but they weren't able to do so in enough time, Kaufman said. They also decided against scheduling a two-hour delay because the temperatures weren't expected to rise enough that the problem would be eliminated.
In 2005, a new requirement went into effect that all diesel fuel sold in Minnesota had to contain 2 percent biodiesel. Kaufman said that some school districts keep their buses in temperature-controlled garages, and that the First Student bus service, which contracts with several metro-area school districts, keeps its buses in garages or idles them through the night.
Has anyone seen reporting of htis in the national leftist media? I haven't.
Mason school officials said they are taking a proactive educational approach in advance of next week's planned Inauguration Day activities.
"Inappropriate comments that may make other students, staff or families feel unwelcome or uncomfortable in school or on the bus will not be tolerated," Superintendent Kevin Bright said in an e-mail sent to parents Monday, Jan. 12.
The district, he said, expects students and staff to show respect for President-elect Obama and the incoming administration, as well as President Bush and the outgoing administration, and recognize that "while the election is a competitive process, our nation's greatness is displayed when all sides come together for a united country."
Jeff Schlaeger, Mason High School's psychologist, said "inappropriate comments" occurred around election week when doctored pictures of Obama appeared at the school, including "derogatory caricatures" of him dressed like a terrorist and signs that read "Obama '08/Biden '09."
"There were groups of students that were worked up over the results of the election," said Schlaeger, who is a member of the district's racial equity committee and curriculum organizer for MHS Freshman Diversity Week.
The hyper-PC left, many of whom dominate our schools and universities, are the most repressive element of society.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is to attend the inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama in Washington on Tuesday.
Mr Adams said his party was looking forward to working with the new president, who officially takes over during the lavish swearing-in ceremony in the US capital.
"President-elect Obama has already committed to continuing US support for the Irish peace process," Mr Adams said.
"The Obama administration will present many positive new opportunities and challenges."
A Sinn Fein spokesman said Mr Adams had been invited by Congressman Richard Neal, a vocal supporter of the peace process and personal friend of the leader.
The Ulster Unionist Party has dismissed Mr Adams' attendance at the event, saying it was not surprising given links between the Democratic Party and Sinn Féin.
A spokeswoman said: “Amongst the thousands of guests attending president-elect Obama’s inauguration, Gerry Adams will be a rather insignificant figure – and one from whom most other guests will keep their distance in view of Sinn Féin’s terrorist past in Northern Ireland and its ongoing support for international terrorist organisations such as Farc in Colombia, and Hamas and Hizbullah in the Middle East.”
The DUP has confirmed their party will not be represented at Mr Obama's inauguration.
A senior Sinn Fein politician has compared Ireland’s only Jewish TD and the Israeli ambassador to a notorious Nazi propagandist.
Aengus O’Snodaigh launched the attack on the pair during an Irish parliamentary committee hearing into the conflict in Gaza.
The Sinn Fein justice, equality and international affairs spokesman accused Ambassador Zion Evrony and Fine Gael’s Alan Shatter of indefensible attempts to justify the Israeli bombing campaign.
He likened their defence of the invasion to the arguments of Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
“Goebbels would have been proud of the twisted logic and half truths,” he said.
Ambassador Evrony branded the remarks despicable and demanded an apology, although Mr O’Snodaigh said there would be none. Mr Shatter branded the comment from Mr O’Snodaigh obscene.
“In the context of me being the only Jewish member of the Irish parliament, I think many would be appalled at what Deputy O’Snodaigh said,” the TD said.
Hey Aengus, if you want to see a Nazi sympathizer, go look in a mirror. It was your party that helped the Nazis during World War II.
Although it has been dismissed by some observers as a “hiccup” in an otherwise smooth confirmation process, treasury secretary-designate Timothy Geithner’s failure to pay self-employment taxes during the years he worked at the International Monetary Fund is causing some Republicans on Capitol Hill to ask serious questions about his actions. First among those questions is why he accepted payment from the IMF as restitution for taxes that he had not, in fact, paid.
Documents released by the Senate Finance Committee strongly suggest that Geithner knew, or should have known, what he was doing when he did not pay self-employment taxes in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. After his failure to pay was discovered, first by the IRS and later during the vetting process, Geithner paid the federal government a total of $42,702 in taxes and interest.
The IMF did not withhold state and federal income taxes or self-employment taxes — Social Security and Medicare — from its employees’ paychecks. But the IMF took great care to explain to those employees, in detail and frequently, what their tax responsibilities were. First, each employee was given the IMF Employee Tax Manual. Then, employees were given quarterly wage statements for the specific purpose of calculating taxes. Then, they were given year-end wage statements. And then, each IMF employee was required to file what was known as an Annual Tax Allowance Request. Geithner received all those documents.
The San Francisco Housing Authority has agreed to allow its residents to own guns in a settlement of a National Rifle Association lawsuit that followed last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the right to bear arms.
In papers filed Monday with a federal judge, the Housing Authority agreed not to enforce a provision it added to tenant leases in 2005 prohibiting the possession of guns and ammunition. The ban will now apply only to illegal gun ownership, like possession of a machine gun or possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The National Rifle Association filed the suit on behalf of an unidentified San Francisco tenant a day after the Supreme Court's June 2008 ruling that declared the Constitution's Second Amendment gave Americans the right to possess guns for self-defense. It was one of a number of suits filed by gun advocates against local firearms restrictions around the nation after the court struck down a Washington, D.C., handgun ban.
Tim Larsen, a lawyer for the Housing Authority, said Tuesday the agency never intended to enforce its 2005 ban against law-abiding gun owners and has never done so, even though the lease provision covered legal as well as illegal weapons.
"Our intention was to go after people who were engaged in criminal activity," Larsen said.
So tell us something, Mr. Larsen. If you never intended to enforce your ban against law-abiding gun owners, why did you have that provision in your leases in the first place?
Rasmussen polled Americans on the Gaza War and found this:
Forty-four percent (44%) say Israel should have taken military action against the Palestinians, but 41% say it should have tried to find a diplomatic solution to the problems there, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.
This striking split might be explained in terms of two factors. First: for America, this is the era of diplomacy. Obama has successfully convinced Americans that the time for talking has arrived and the age of aggression is over. The poll shows the results of this new American ethos as applied to the realities of the Middle East.
Schmuel, you don't have the slightest idea why Obama won in November. In spite of the fact that many Republicans had serious misgivings about McCain, he was ahead of 0bama in the polls until the Wall Street meltdown in September and the foolish federal bailout of many financial institutions. Many Republicans stayed home rather than vote for McCain, who supported the bailout.
The success of the surge in Iraq has taught many Americans that military force, when properly applied, can be quite effective against those who would do us harm.
Campaigns to lobby for a united Ireland could tap into the huge Irish populations living in the US and in Britain, Sinn Fein said today.
Later this month the party is to stage a major event at Dublin's Mansion House marking the sitting of the first Dail, which followed the rise of Sinn Fein nearly a century ago.
But 90 years after the events that led to the war of independence in Ireland, modern republicans hope to build on the current peace process to lobby internationally for Irish unity.
While the Good Friday Agreement ensured Northern Ireland's constitutional position within the UK cannot change without the consent of a majority of voters, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said his party wanted to encourage debate towards ending partition.
“All of this is part of a process,” he said.
“If you consider what things were like here [across Ireland] 40 years ago, in terms of both the Orange state, the conservative, impoverished state in the south, the fragmented and very minimalist republican development.
“And then you fast forward to now — without for a moment minimising all the tragedies and difficulties that have occurred in between — you can see how things have moved ahead.
“That's what's going to happen in the up-coming period. It's an incremental process of building the republic day-by-day.”
He conceded the international media had moved on from focusing on Ireland.
“But the Irish diaspora haven't,” he said.
“And if you move outside the diaspora and talk to anyone, they will tell you — and I defy anyone to contradict this — that most people who know anything about Ireland know the British government should have no claim or jurisdiction.”
It is quite easy to contradict you, Mr. Adams. It is clear that Northern Ireland should be under the jurisdiction of the British government so long as the majority of the people in Northern Ireland want it to be so.
Mr Adams added that they have “to engage in a way which makes unionists comfortable with a new Ireland” and with an Ireland where the people who live here, would be sovereign.
It will not be possible for you to make the unionists 'comfortable' with your vision of a new Ireland because for the last 40 years you have waged a war on them. These people, whether they are referred to as Irish Protestants or Ulster Scots or Ulstermen know you and your despicable band of baby-killers all too well.
And furthermore, if Sinn Fein were to govern your "new Ireland". The people would definitely not be sovereign. The country would be governed by a handful of people in the Irish version of the Politburo, consisting of yourself, Mr. McGuinness, and a select few others. There would be no democratic elections nor any civil rights nor private property at all.
The Sinn Fein president also touched on the Celtic Tiger economic boom, describing the Irish governments that presided over that period as lottery winners who ‘went on the tear’ and squandered their money.
Mr Adams said republicans had called for better use of the wealth and believed those warnings were now being fulfilled in the economic crisis gripping the Republic.
Prior to the last election pollsters had predicted major gains for Sinn Fein, but in the end it lost one of its five Dail seats, claiming it had been squeezed out in the major battle between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.
But Mr Adams said: “The message that we had in the election — I think you can see now given what has happened since.
“The unprecedented wealth was not used in a sensible, egalitarian way to build public services, to plan strategically for when there was going to be a decline in the economy.
“It was as if you won the lotto and went off on the tear and treated all your friends, then you woke-up one morning and your money had all gone, but in this case it was public money.”
The people of the Republic of Ireland don't want you running their country either. They know that however bad things may be right now, they would be much worse off in a Sinn Fein regime. Your socialist ideals have been tried in various forms in many countries all over the world. In every case, the results have been dismal.
White families on the country's poorest estates believe they have been 'betrayed' and 'abandoned' by politicians who favour newly-arrived immigrants, a Government report acknowledged today.
It found that people on council estates think they always come second to immigrants for housing and benefits.
Many feel they have been shoved aside by politicians who use political correctness and allegations of racism to stifle honest discussion, it said.
Just like the USA. Whenever anyone tries to speak up against the racist, so-called 'affirmative action' policies, they get branded a racist themselves.
From what I have seen in academia, members of ethnic minority groups are often given preference in hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. Ironically, many of these 'disadvantaged minorities' are actually recent foreign immigrants who often come from wealthy and privileged families in their home countries.