Added to the expanding catalog of federal embarrassments, such as gunrunning scandals and bankrupt green energy companies, are taxpayer-funded trips taken by a Justice Department official to "facilitate a physical relationship with a woman in Florida." Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, wrote U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on September 28, asking why a federal official, Darryl Foster, was not required to reimburse the government for money he spent visiting an unidentified woman in Miami, including expenses for hotels and rental vehicles.
Grassley wanted to know why Foster, a supervisor in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division at the time, was able to squander thousands of taxpayers’ dollars for wining and dining in Florida — without ever paying the money back — even though the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found out about the romantic excursions in late 2007 or early 2008. It has been reported that Foster took more than 10 taxpayer-funded trips to Miami in 2008 alone.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left) has used a legislative political maneuver to change the rules of the Senate so as to benefit the majority party, to the chagrin of Republican lawmakers. The ploy will make it harder for Republicans to force procedural votes on controversial amendments after the Senate votes to move to final passage of a bill.
The Blaze reports, “Reid’s initiative passed by a vote of 51-48 and left key Republicans irate.”
Reid was motivated to employ the strategem when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to force a vote on President Obama’s jobs bill by offering the bill as an amendment to the China currency bill, which seeks to punish China for undervaluing its currency.
Reid’s move came just hours after President Obama called out the Senate’s top Republican for trying to derail his jobs plan. Earlier that day, Obama called a press conference “to make the best arguments and mobilize the American people” to support his jobs package. During that conference, Obama targeted House Speaker John Boehner and Mitch McConnell directly, declaring that McConnell’s “number-one goal was to beat me — not put Americans back to work, not grow the economy, not help small businesses expand — but to defeat me. And he’s been saying that now for a couple of years.”
President Obama and the First Lady are continuing their war against so-called "unhealthy" food, particularly in the nation’s school cafeterias. After first targeting chocolate milk, they are now turning their attention to limiting the use of potatoes in school menus. The endeavor is prompting growers of potatoes to rally against such efforts before the rules are scheduled to take effect next year.
Under the new guidelines, students would be permitted only one serving of potatoes, peas, lima beans, or corn during lunch each week. If, for example, a student consumes a cup of peas or corn on the cob on Monday, the school cannot serve any of the other items for the remainder of the week. Additionally, serving potatoes in any form for breakfast — whether hash browns or home fries — will likely be outlawed under the new guidelines.
Unsurprisingly, the rules have drawn a sizeable backlash. The Washington Times reports,
The regulations, which are now under internal review after the Agriculture Department was flooded with more than 100,000 comments from opponents and supporters, would apply to students who qualify for low-or-no-cost meals under the federal School Lunch Program and would greatly limit what schools could serve up each day.
Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson has issued his opinion: The Tea Party is racist. In his assessment, he follows other stars of the silver screen such as Morgan Freeman, Jon Hamm, and Janeane Garofalo, as well as a former top executive of National Public Radio and members of the American Political Science Association and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Jackson, who convincingly played a racist in Lakeview Terrace, has now spoken: All tea party members are racists who oppose Obama’s policies not because they continue 75 years of globalist lefitsm, but simply because the President is black.
What Jackson Thinks
Jackson commented on the Tea Party after New York magazine asked him what he thought of the Washington Post’s article labeling Rick Perry as a racist. The Post divulged that Perry’s family once held a lease on a hunting lodge whose entrance was adorned with a rock bearing the word “N*****head.” Perry’s father painted over the offensive slur, but that didn’t matter to the Post, which tracked down a variety of “sources” whose recollection of the rock and what the Perrys did about it seemed a bit vague.
An awful lot of readers will be angry at some of the things I have to say today. So before the shouting begins, let me tell you where I’m coming from, as the kids like to say.
I was raised with a profound respect for the fact that we are a nation of laws, not men: That “no one is above the law,” that a jury of our peers will decide our guilt or innocence, that we are guaranteed the right to face our accusers, that “our home is our castle,” and that we will be protected in our persons and our property.
Does that sound like the America you were taught to love and revere when you were young?
It is promises like these that made our country the inspiration of the world. They are some of the reasons we became the wealthiest nation this planet has ever seen. Even the poorest among us lived better than the majority of citizens in other countries. No wonder people dreamed of becoming Americans — so many, in fact, that we had to establish a lottery to decide who could get in.
Yes, the United States of America that you and I were born into was a very special place. We knew it and were profoundly grateful for it. We gave thanks that we were lucky enough to be born here, because we knew that no other place on earth enjoyed our freedoms, our protections and our prosperity.
The U.S. economy added 103,000 new jobs in September with the unemployment rate holding steady at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported October 7. Most U.S. stock indexes rallied on the news in the early morning hours of the announcement, as the job growth was better than expected and stronger than the average of the past three months.
The 103,000 new jobs figure included the return of some 45,000 striking Verizon employees to work. But even discounting the Verizon striking workers, the total increase 94,000 new private sector jobs in September was still above average compared to the past three months. Government employment continued its downward trend in September, with 34,000 jobs cut. While the U.S. Postal Service cut their payroll by 5,000 in September, nearly all of the reduction in government jobs occurred in state and local governments. State and local governments, many of which are required to have balanced budgets, have cut employment by more than 500,000 as the recession reduced tax revenue. Other than the U.S. Post Office, federal employment remained steady.
Most economists estimate that the U.S. economy must add approximately 100,000 new jobs per month in order to keep pace with growing population. This is why the economy added approximately 100,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate remained stable at 9.1 percent.
The BLS also revised upward new job creation estimates for July and August, writing: "The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +85,000 to +127,000, and the change for August was revised from 0 to +57,000."
The people of Scandinavia have historically been among the healthiest in the world. Their diet includes a great deal of fish, which is good for the cardiovascular system and high in proteins. An outdoor life is also popular in northern Europe, and a disproportionate number of famous explorers come from this region. There are some serious health problems among these people — alcoholism is high — but by and large, the Scandinavians live long and healthy lives.
Now the government of Denmark has decided that some food choices made by Danes are bad for their health and, consequently, fair game in this socialist-leaning nation. On October 1 the average price of a half-pound of butter rose by the equivalent of $.45 and the average price of a pound of cheese increased by $.50. Lard went up $.70 per half pound. In fact, almost any spread for bread jumped in October because of the new “fat tax” imposed by the Danish government, which specifically targets saturated fats from animals, such as butter, cream, and meat.
Writing for the left-wing blog ThinkProgress, Matthew Yglesias noted his difficulty in coming up with a suitable slogan representing what the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators really wanted.
My view is that the best demand of all … is “free money for the rest of us.” There are a lot of different specific ways this can be implemented, but the ... Powers That Be … have been willing to provide all manner of free money to players in the banking system. Debt cancellation is a form of free money for the indebted. But why give free money only to banks? And why give free money only to the indebted? Why not free money for everyone? “Everyone,” of course, includes the indebted. But it also includes ordinary people who didn’t happen to avail themselves of the credit binge. It’s an idea so good that it sounds almost silly.
"Everyone knows” that you can’t just hand out free money to everybody. Except actually you can … in the short term, free money for everyone impacts prices … [but] it would do so in a useful way. I don’t know what the best way to turn this into a slogan is, but the point is that if the different institutions that together constitute “the government” worked together, they could put more dollars into our hands. Creditors won’t like it because doing this will devalue their existing debt claims, but so what?