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Home country: USA
Current location: Southern California
Member since: Sun Mar 20, 2011, 12:05 PM
Number of posts: 18,098

Journal Archives

Aaron Osmond, Utah State Senator, Calls For End To Mandatory Education

A Republican state senator in Utah is calling for the end of mandatory education in the state.

State Sen. Aaron Osmond (R-South Jordan) wrote on the state Senate blog Friday that mandatory education in the state has forced teachers and schools to take on parenting responsibilities. Prior to the mandate taking effect in 1890, he wrote, education was "an opportunity" and parents were more engaged. He also wrote that teachers were more respected. The Deseret News first reported Osmond's blog post on Tuesday.

Osmond is the nephew of entertainers Donny and Marie Osmond. His father, Virl, was not a member of The Osmonds.



Ah yes, we need to go back to 1890, for the sake of the children and the teachers. It's neanderthals like this that really make me miss EarlG's weekly "Top Ten Conservative Idiots" on the old DU.

State revenue beats estimates by $1.2 billion in June

The state collected about $1.2 billion more in tax revenue last month than Gov. Jerry Brown projected, ending the fiscal year about $2 billion ahead of expectations, the state controller reported today.

Controller John Chiang put tax revenue in June, the last month of the budget year, about 10 percent higher than Brown estimated the previous month, with revenue for the full year up about 2 percent.

"Rising employment, economic expansion and voter-approved tax increases have generated revenues outperforming even the rosiest of projections," Chiang said in a prepared statement. "However, California's history of boom or bust revenue cycles should be a cautionary tale that informs our spending decisions and incentivizes policymakers to prudently pay down accumulated debt."

Chiang said the state ended the fiscal year with a cash deficit of $2.4 billion - a deficit being covered by internal borrowing from special funds. The cash deficit was down from $9.6 billion at the end of 2011-12.

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/07/california-tax-revenue-beats-projections-chiang-says.html _____________________________

Another case of Democrats fixing what Republicans broke.

Moms ‘moo-ving’ on gun control push

Next week, members of MomsRising will go to Capitol Hill with their children dressed in cow costumes to deliver small cow toys to Senators with the message that they should not be “cowed” by the gun lobby and to get “moo-ving” on gun policy. Last February, they roamed the halls of the Hill with a children’s choir. For the July 4th holiday, another group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is marching in parades across the country.

“We have found that most politicians do listen when moms and children speak, and that they do take time out to hear the stories and to look at the messages,” Rowe-Finkbeiner said.

But it’s not just cute kids in cow costumes. These mothers groups are planning to have some serious political influence on the 2014 midterm elections, creating PACs, registering themselves as 501(c)4 organizations and running ads on the local level.

“We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with in the 2014 midterms, moms are so engaged in this they’re just not going away,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, a group formed after December’s Newtown, Conn. shootings that killed 20 first graders and six adults.



Sorry about the Politico link; couldn't find this story currently on another site.

Maddowblog: France's spying complaints suddenly appear 'somewhat hollow'

The timing could certainly be better. French President Francois Hollande has complained bitterly in recent days about U.S. international surveillance programs, concerns that were echoed as recently as yesterday by France's Interior Minister at a Fourth of July event hosted by the U.S. ambassador in Paris.

And yet, here we are.

Days after President François Hollande sternly told the United States to stop spying on its allies, the newspaper Le Monde disclosed on Thursday that France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media activity, that come in and out of France.

Le Monde reported that the General Directorate for External Security does the same kind of data collection as the American National Security Agency and the British GCHQ, but does so without clear legal authority.

The French government records data, stores it for an indeterminate period of time, all for the purposes of helping government officials trace who talks to whom using French telecommunications systems. The French surveillance programs include collection from American systems such as Google and Facebook.


The New York Times report added that the revelations "appeared to make some of the French outrage about the revelations appear somewhat hollow."

You think?


U.S. says Chinese wind turbine firm stole trade secrets

Source: cnn.com

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged a Chinese wind turbine firm and two of its employees, alleging the group stole trade secrets from an American supplier in an act of "attempted corporate homicide."

The Chinese company -- Sinovel -- is one of the country's largest producers of wind turbines. It is accused of encouraging an employee of U.S.-based AMSC to steal copyrighted source code from a computer in Wisconsin for use in its turbines.

"The fact that Sinovel has exported stolen American intellectual property from China back into the United States -- less than 40 miles from our global headquarters -- shows not only a blatant disrespect for intellectual property but a disregard for international trade law," AMSC CEO Daniel McGahn said in a statement.

PM3000, the software in question, helps regulate the flow of electricity from turbines to electrical grids. The theft resulted in a loss of $800 million for AMSC, according to the indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Wisconsin. Some 500 AMSC employees have lost their jobs following Sinovel's "egregious and unlawful behavior," McGahn said.

Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/28/news/companies/china-wind-sinovel/index.html

President Obama delivers speech on climate change 6/25/2013.

10-minute version:

Here is the link to the Georgetown University web page with the full 36-minute video:

Bill to raise CA minimum wage to $9.25 clears Assembly

A bill to raise California's minimum wage to $9.25 over the next three years won approval Thursday in the state Assembly. Assembly Bill 10 by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, passed 45-25 mostly along party lines. It would be the first bump in minimum wage since 2008, when it was raised by 50 cents to $8. "The last time the minimum wage was increased, gas was $3.25 a gallon in California," Alejo said. "I don't know about you, but I haven't seen gas prices at that level in a long time."
The California Chamber of Commerce listed Alejo's bill on its annual list of "job killers," saying it unfairly raises employers' costs of doing business in the state.
Alejo disagreed that his bill would slow the economic recovery. "When minimum wage workers have more money, they spend it," he said. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2013/05/bill-to-increase-states-minimum-wage-passes-assembly-floor.html#storylink=cpy

LA Times lies that average effective corporate tax rate is 27%

In a particularly creepy article by Jim Puzzanghera, entitled "Quiz: Do U.S. corporations pay too little in taxes?" Puzzanghera invites readers to take a "quiz" that could have been written be a Koch brother.


It is basically designed to tell you that U.S. corporations are the most taxed in the developed world (that is the 1st question!). Then, to prove it, they lie. Question #4 asks "What is the average effective tax rate for U.S. corporations?" The choices are: 17%, 22%, 27%, or 32%. As any Google search would tell you ALL of those choices are wrong. It is 13.4% at best. The U. S. corporate tax burden is smaller than average for developed countries. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=784. But the LA Times says you'd be wrong if you picked anything other than 27%.

Looks like Rupert Murdoch already bought the paper...

The "black widows" of Dagestan

The Russian terror defense lawyer interviewed asserts that female suicide bombers "are not a criminal problem, it's a social problem." He explains that "when a woman's husband is dead, she has no rights: she can't make decisions, or have a lover or boyfriend." That is why "if a woman is religious, she becomes an easy target for suicide recruiters."

Obama: 'Planned Parenthood Is Not Going Anywhere'

President Barack Obama became the first sitting president Friday to address Planned Parenthood's national conference, where he reassured the organization and its supporters that he will continue to fight on their behalf.

"When politicians try to turn Planned Parenthood into a punching bag, they're not just talking about you," he told the crowd of 1,200. "They're talking about the millions of women you serve. When they talk about cutting off your funding, let's be clear: They’re talking about telling many of those women, 'You're on your own.' They're talking about shutting those women out at a time when women need it most, shutting off communities that need more health care options for women, not less."

Obama was originally scheduled to address Planned Parenthood's annual gala Thursday night, but he rescheduled the speech in order to attend a memorial service in West, Texas. The scheduling change fueled some speculation that Obama was distancing himself from the family planning provider, but he dispelled those rumors Friday.

"I'm sorry I could not be at the party yesterday," he said during his speech at a Marriott in Washington, D.C. "I understand it was a little wild. But as all of you know, obviously, we've gone through a pretty tough week and a half. I was down in Texas letting the people of West, Texas, know that we love them and care about them in their time of grieving."

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