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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,632

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Repugnuts ask Loretta Lynch if she will be "a political arm of the White House as attorney general?”

Loretta Lynch assures GOP she is not Eric Holder, again and again
Cornyn, in the same line of questioning ... wondered if Lynch would consider herself “a political arm of the White House as attorney general.”

Lynch answered, diplomatically: “No, Senator, that would be a totally inappropriate view of the position of attorney general,” Lynch said.


Too bad Lynch didn't become quite frank and say:

"Senator the question is outrageous, insulting, and innappropriate .. unless your a fucking ass-hole." (she knows she's talking to a Republican doesn't she?)

No, she wouldn't have said that ... but how about:

"Do you mean in the manner of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales who, at the behest of the WH and Karl Rove, dismissed 9 U.S. Attorney's because they did not pursue with sufficient enthusiasm political prosecutions of bogus cases of vote fraud against Democrats? Or in the case of U.S. Attorney, Carol Lam, who nailed corrupt Republican Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham and his partners in crime and was replaced by Karen Hewitt who had a résumé with “almost no criminal law experience” and is a member of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. .. is that the kind of 'political arm of the White House' you are talking about?"



Oh well, in a perfect world, or at least in one where fascists aren't at the throat of our Democracy.


Inside Bush’s prosecutor purge
(emphases my own)

Ever since the Bush administration shocked the legal community by dismissing eight U.S. attorneys in December, Justice Department leaders have vigorously denied that the firings were politically motivated. “I would never, ever make a change in the United States attorney position for political reasons,” Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said in Senate testimony in early January.

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Suspicions about the unusual purge of eight U.S. attorneys in December exploded into the open across the legal community and on Capitol Hill after McNulty conceded in Senate testimony on Feb. 6 that the U.S. attorney in Arkansas, Bud Cummins, was pushed out for no reason other than to give someone else a shot at the job. Using a little-noticed provision in the Patriot Act allowing interim appointments, Gonzales gave the post to Timothy Griffin — who had been both an operative for the Republican National Committee and a deputy to senior White House advisor Karl Rove — in what many believe was a maneuver to sidestep the traditional Senate confirmation process for U.S. attorneys.

~~
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Former officials, legal scholars and U.S. lawmakers from both parties have publicly questioned the administration’s stated rationale for the firings and have suggested troubling theories about the real reasons for the purge, which experts say is without precedent. Some former Justice Department officials say they believe the administration’s moves are a politically driven power grab — aimed not only at a tighter grip on policy from Washington, but also at creating openings with which to reward their friends and build up a bench of conservative loyalists positioned to serve in powerful posts in future administrations.

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Experts see a continuing pattern that began long ago: A Bush White House seizing greater executive power to the detriment of democratic principle.

“No doubt this is a threat to the independent stature that the Justice Department as an institution has enjoyed over the years,” said Sam Buell, an associate professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and a former federal prosecutor under the current President Bush. “It goes against the ‘hands off’ tradition, which has insulated U.S. attorneys from criticisms of politics influencing their choices and handling of cases. This doesn’t look like a decision that’s been made in the best interest of law enforcement.”

Richest 1% Is Likely to Control Half of Global Wealth by 2016 - Oxfam Study

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/19/business/richest-1-percent-likely-to-control-half-of-global-wealth-by-2016-study-finds.html?_r=0
The richest 1 percent are likely to control more than half of the globe’s total wealth by next year, the charity Oxfam reported in a study released on Monday. The warning about deepening global inequality comes just as the world’s business elite prepare to meet this week at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The 80 wealthiest people in the world altogether own $1.9 trillion, the report found, nearly the same amount shared by the 3.5 billion people who occupy the bottom half of the world’s income scale. (Last year, it took 85 billionaires to equal that figure.) And the richest 1 percent of the population, who number in the millions, control nearly half of the world’s total wealth, a share that is also increasing.

The type of inequality that currently characterizes the world’s economies is unlike anything seen in recent years, the report explained. “Between 2002 and 2010 the total wealth of the poorest half of the world in current U.S. dollars had been increasing more or less at the same rate as that of billionaires,” it said. “However since 2010, it has been decreasing over that time.”

Winnie Byanyima, the charity’s executive director, noted in a statement that more than a billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day.
(more)

Employers are Stealing Billions of Dollars from their Workers

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119410/economic-policy-institute-wage-theft-could-total-50-billion-year

As the economy slowly recovers, it’s become increasingly clear that it’s not just unemployed Americans who need help from the government. It’s those that are employed as well.

That’s the main finding of a new report from the Economic Policy Institute on wage theft. What is wage theft? It’s when employers refuse to pay their workers their rightful wages and benefits, such as refusing to pay overtime. It’s a major problem across the United States. One study, which EPI cites, examined three cities (New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) and found that two-thirds of workers in low-wage industries had experienced a pay-related offense in any given week in 2008. Those violations cost workers more than $2,600 a year on average—nearly 15 percent of their total earnings. If wage theft is as prevalent in the rest of the United States as it is in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, then it costs workers more than $50 billion a year.

It’s tough to calculate how widespread wage theft is because much of it goes unreported. But not all. The U.S. Department of Labor, state departments of labor, state attorneys general, and private attorneys file cases on behalf of workers to recover lost wages. No single database collects this information so EPI consulted with state labor departments and attorneys general and researched private civil litigation cases to estimate the total amount that workers recovered in wages. In 2012, it totaled at least $933 million. In fact that understates the total since the researchers didn’t receive data from six state departments of labor and five attorneys general.

Remember, the actual amount recovered is only a fraction of the total wage theft. In other words, wage theft totals billions of dollars every year. EPI puts these numbers in perspective to show just the significance of these pay-related offenses. For instance, in 2012, people and companies reported $341 million in lost property from robbery, all forms of it. These are just reported instances of robbery, so that certainly understates the true extent of it. Even so, workers recovered three times as much in stolen wages as Americans lost in reported robberies. That's a massive loss for low-wage workers.
(more)

Strange Object Near Milky Way's Black Hole Stirs Scientific Debate

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/strange-object-milky-way-debate_n_6401402.html


Astronomers may be a step closer to solving the mystery of a strange object seen orbiting the massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Dubbed G2, the object was first spotted in 2011 and was thought initially to be a gas cloud on the verge of being ripped apart by the black hole, which is known as Sagittarius A*. But when the object stayed intact, some scientists suggested G2 was something else: a pair of binary stars.

But now a team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany have sparked new debate, offering more evidence to support the gas cloud theory.

For their research, the team used a computer model to compare the orbit of G2 to that of G1, another object observed near Sagittarius A* a decade ago.

“We explored the connection between G1 and G2 and find an astonishing similarity in both orbits,” team member Dr. Stefan Gillessen said in a written statement.
(more)

The Economy in 2014 -

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/16/economy-2014

The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones. American businesses set a new record for the most consecutive months of job growth: now 57 straight months and counting. By November, the economy had already added more jobs than in any full calendar year since the 1990s. And crucially, the pickup in job growth during 2014 occurred primarily in higher-paying industries, while nearly all of the employment gains have been in full-time positions. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell below 6 percent for the first time since 2008.

(click on image to see slideshow)
click on image to see slideshow


Despite this progress, it is still too hard for many families to get ahead. Further reductions in long-term unemployment and faster wage growth are still needed, but the data from 2014 show that trends are clearly moving in the right direction.

The President’s policies have contributed to this progress in a number of ways, including setting the stage for the recovery in 2009 and taking further steps to accelerate several favorable underlying economic trends. Some critical policies include:

•The Recovery Act and Subsequent Fiscal Measures: The United States has come further in its recovery than most other advanced economies around the world, in part because of the President’s aggressive policy response that included the Recovery Act, the payroll tax cut, and about a dozen additional fiscal measures. Indeed, since 2010 the increase in employment in the United States exceeds that in Europe, Japan, and every other advanced economy combined.

•Response to the Financial Crisis: Even when it was not popular, the President took steps to rescue the auto industry, implement historic consumer protections, recapitalize the financial sector, and institute strict new rules for Wall Street. The President’s policies have also helped millions of families stay in their homes and weather the storm, and today we are seeing rising home prices lift millions back above water on their mortgages.

•Affordable Care Act: Changes in the health care system, in part due to the Affordable Care Act, are creating major savings for households, businesses, and the Federal government. In 2014, employer health insurance premiums grew at a rate tied for the lowest on record, reflecting in part the lowest health care price inflation in nearly half a century.

•All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy: The United States is leading the world in both oil and natural gas production, contributing to a roughly 40 percent drop in oil prices over the second half of 2014, which means lower gas prices for families. At the same time, solar energy is up tenfold since 2008, while wind energy is up threefold. In addition to this energy boom, the United States has also made great strides in energy efficiency, contributing to a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2007 to 2013 -- the largest absolute emissions reduction of any country in the world. These developments signal that the President’s All-of-the-Above energy strategy is having a key impact.

•Catalyzing Technological Innovation: The United States is the most innovative economy in the world, and to continue this tradition into the 21st century, the President signed into law the most sweeping patent reform in decades, made significant investments in research and development, and will nearly double the amount of wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband. Indeed, we are currently seeing the most successful wireless spectrum auction ever, a sign of the tremendous potential that stands to be unleashed as a result of these steps.

•Reducing the Deficit: The Budget Control Act, the Affordable Care Act, and returning to Clinton-era tax rates for upper-income households will contribute to nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Reflecting these policies, the additional revenues associated with an improving economy, and the aforementioned slowdown in health care costs, the deficit in fiscal year 2014 fell to 2.8 percent of GDP, below its average for the past forty years and down by about two-thirds from its peak. A shrinking deficit has boosted national saving and set the stage for more sustainable and balanced growth in the coming years.

To build on this progress, the President will continue to push for steps that support further growth of middle-class jobs and reward those who work hard and play by the rules, including investments in infrastructure, reforms to the business tax code and immigration system, expanded overseas markets for America’s goods and services, and an increase in the minimum wage.

Take an in-depth look at the progress our economy made in 2014 here.

Good page for historical economic data - pertaining to Gov (e.g. revenues/Recpts as % of GDP) - it

enables you to downloas Excel SSs of the data.


http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

for example:

Table 1.2—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-) as Percentages of GDP: 1930–2019

(note: Excel file download symbol will appear at bottom of window. Click on it to call Excel to open file)







If interested in tracking political contributions by various industries/sectors here's a good

summary .... shows totals and % to each party...

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/

anybody have experience with AMPK Activator or Nicotinamide riboside (NAD+ Cell Regenerator)?

AMPK Activator
http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/item01907/AMPK-Activator

NAD Cell Regenerator
http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/item01904/NAD-Cell-Regenerator


... wondered if they might produce a "burned out" feeling.

Why you shouldn't drive slowly in the left lane - Vox (Finally! this is one of my pet peeves!)

http://www.vox.com/2014/6/16/5804590/why-you-shouldnt-drive-slowly-in-the-left-lane

There are basically two types of drivers: those who get worked up about people driving slowly in the left lane, and those who do it all the time and have no idea they're upsetting everyone else.

In case you're in the second group, some background: every state has some sort of law that discourages people from traveling in the left lane on multi-lane roads and highways. It's not that you're never allowed in the left lane, just that you should only use it when necessary, for passing, then get back over.

That's because even if you're driving fast, there's always someone going faster. If you promptly get back over after passing, that car will be able to pass you, allowing everyone on the road to get to their destinations as quickly as possible. If you don't, it'll inevitably lead to buildups of traffic and likely raise the chance of accidents.

The system works best when people aren't hogging the left lane. That's one reason why National Motorists Association has declared June Lane Courtesy Month in an effort to to raise awareness about the importance of getting out of the left lane.
(more)


need help finding lobbying dollars by industy BY PARTY - OpenSecrets obviously isn't making it easy

to see how much each industry gives to each party.

I"ve been able to do this in the past but now it seems nearly impossible to find this info. can anybody help me out here?



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