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Gender: Male
Hometown: Nokomis, FL
Home country: US
Member since: Wed Nov 5, 2014, 12:58 AM
Number of posts: 27,434

About Me

Retired 3x, living comfortably on the Gulf Coast, biking, beachwalking, lifting free weights, eating mostly properly, keeping my mind active, in my seventh decade, intending to give Methuselah a run for the record...

Journal Archives

Obama's tree not dead, it's only sleeping...

W DELHI — Officials in India want to make one thing clear: The tree that President Barack Obama planted in New Delhi three weeks ago is not dead. It just looks dead.

The peepal tree was awash in leaves when Obama planted it at the New Delhi memorial to Indian independence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi. By Thursday, though, it was just a single lonely stem. Its lack of leaves has been giving Indian officials sleepless nights, with the media here blasting them for allowing the tree to die less than a month after the presidential visit.

But the reality: Peepal trees often lose their leaves this time of year.

“It’s a seasonal phenomenon,” B.C Katiyar, a top regional government horticulturist, said Thursday, after he and other officials visited the tree and pronounced it in good health. “It will send out shoots within the next 10 days.”

The peepal, or ficus religiosa, is seen as holy by many in Asia — the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment under the tree in 589 B.C.

Expect to see a furtive figure late at night, carrying a shovel and a suspicious package with little leaves at the top, heading for the Gandhi Memorial site...

Great Lakes “likely to have the most ice since records began,” says meteorologist

Great Lakes ice is now running ahead of last year and ice will increase with more brutal cold coming,” says meteorologist Joe d’Aleo. “We are likely to have the most ice since records began
“By the end of February the entire country east of the Rockies will have averaged below normal,” says d’Aleo.

“Boston will have either the coldest or second coldest month in their history. It is nearly 13F below normal in Cleveland and all points east for February. Boston has the second most snow for the season and is very likely to be the snowiest ever by the end of the winter. They blew away the all time monthly snow record by 18 inches and could end up with 6 feet if models are right in 1 month. Ice has clogged Delaware Bay and New York and Boston Harbors.”

“Ice is seen as far south as off the New Jersey Coast and will likely clog Boston and New York Harbor in the brutal cold of the next 10 days. Freezing spray warnings are in effect in the waters around NYC this morning.”

Obama administration sent 800,000 customers incorrect tax forms

The Obama administration revealed Friday that it sent about 800,000 customers a tax form containing the wrong information, and asked them to hold off on filing their 2014 taxes. 

The self-inflicted bungle follows weeks of administration officials touting a successful enrollment season -- one that saw far fewer technical glitches than the rocky launch in late 2013. 

About 11.4 million people signed up this season. But errors in tax information mean that nearly 1 million people may have to wait longer to get their tax refunds this year.   

California, which is running its own insurance market, just announced a similar problem affecting about 100,000 people in that state.

Will the Chicago mayoral race rip the Democratic Party apart, nationally?

CHICAGO — The crowd at the Irish American Heritage Center was subdued, some quietly sipping beers. The moderator reminded mayoral hopeful Jesus “Chuy” Garcia that the incumbent, Rahm Emanuel, had a much bigger campaign war chest. “And more fear of me than I of him,” Garcia, a mustached Mexican American upstart, snapped back, and the audience was subdued no more.


Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, has picked up the torch of the economic populist movement embodied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Emanuel is being cast as part of the establishment that includes Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton and has been accused of being too cozy with Wall Street and big banks at the expense of average Americans.

There’s little doubt that Emanuel will finish well ahead of Garcia and three other challengers in Tuesday’s election. But polls show him at risk of falling short of a majority and being forced into a six-week runoff campaign, probably against Garcia. Liberal activists are relishing the opportunity to extend the race.

“I think the broader context is a continuation of what we saw with Bill de Blasio’s win in New York a year ago,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of the liberal group Political Action, which has dispatched a full-time organizer to help Garcia and is raising money for him. “All across the country, particularly in cities, we’re seeing that the progressive economic populist agenda is gaining steam.”

It would seem that Garcia has a chance to excite forces that might in turn bring Elizabeth Warren into the limelight as an actual challenger for Hillary to contend with, rather than as a mere possibility...

Hillary when the cameras are off...

Hillary’s Real Character Revealed by Secret Service Agents

You can tell a lot about a politician’s real character by how they treat others when the cameras are turned off; especially others in subservient positions to them. According to a newly released book by best-selling author, Ronald Kessler, titled The First Family Detail, Hillary Clinton’s treatment of Secret Service agents and military personnel when the cameras aren’t rolling speaks volumes about her true character, and what it says is not good. According to Kessler, the presidents and first ladies Secret Service agents respected most and enjoyed serving most were George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, George W. Bush and his wife Laura, and Ronald Reagan. They did not enjoy Nancy Reagan. Those they enjoyed serving least—no real surprise here—were Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore.

The Bushes and President Reagan were kind, considerate, and respectful toward agents. They treated them like the highly-dedicated, sacrificial professionals they are and made a point of taking care of the agents as the agents, in turn, were taking care of them. Apparently, just the opposite was and is true of Hillary Clinton. According to Kessler, as first lady Hillary Clinton was rude, imperious, inconsiderate, and condescending toward Secret Service personnel and the military. She refused to greet the men and women on her Secret Service detail and had them instructed to not greet or otherwise talk to her. Secret Service agents interviewed for Kessler’s book reported being treated like lowly peons by the first lady. If anything, she treated military aides even worse—demanding they wear civilian suits rather than uniforms when in the White House. Even more revealing of Hillary’s true character were her demands that White House staffers such as those who do routine maintenance and cleaning be unseen when performing their jobs. If she happened to walk by when maintenance or cleaning staff were working, they were instructed to jump behind drapes or step into a closet until the first lady passed so she would not have to be bothered seeing them.

Dems continue to seek ways to accomplish internet political censorship...

Dems on FEC open to new regs on donors, Internet

Claiming that thousands of public comments condemning “dark money” in politics can’t be ignored, the Democrat-chaired Federal Election Commission on Wednesday appeared ready to open the door to new regulations on donors, bloggers and others who use the Internet to influence policy and campaigns.

During a broad FEC hearing to discuss a recent Supreme Court decision that eliminated some donor limits, proponents encouraged the agency to draw up new funding disclosure rules and require even third-party internet-based groups to reveal donors, a move that would extinguish a 2006 decision to keep the agency’s hands off the internet.


If you produce a rule that says we are going to start regulating this stuff, including the internet and so on, I think you will see a lot more than 32,000 comments come in and I don't think staff will analyze them and find that 75 percent are favorable to more regulation,” said Bradley Smith, now with the Center for Competitive Politics.

Democratic Chairwoman Ann Ravel, who called the hearing, has said she wants to regulate politicking on the Internet, though she has pulled back amid a public outcry, especially among conservatives who see her move as a bid to silence center-right websites and Internet based conservative groups and news sites.

From Oregon... maybe news, maybe not...

The longest-serving governor in Oregon history is coming under mounting pressure to resign, over a series of scandals involving his fiancée.

The Oregonian, the largest newspaper in the state, said in an editorial on Thursday that Gov. John Kitzhaber "can no longer lead Oregon effectively and should resign."

Kitzhaber, a Democrat in his fourth term as governor, has been under attack since revelations that his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, was being paid to lobby on behalf of the clean energy industry while at the same time holding the title of Oregon's first lady and filling the role of unpaid policy adviser in the Kitzhaber administration. The Oregon Government Ethics Commission is investigating whether Hayes' consulting work was a conflict of interest, but the Oregonian says the evidence is clear.

"Whether through gross inattention or complicity, Kitzhaber has broken faith with Oregonians. His career in Oregon politics is one of great accomplishment, but his past success does not excuse the mess he has made of the office with which Oregonians entrusted him. He is now less a governor than a source of unending distraction," The Oregonian wrote.

Congratulations Californians! Your state recognizes your efforts to save gasoline and diesel...

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — With an increase in electric and hybrid vehicles along with better fuel-efficient vehicles, changing Bay Area drivers habit are posing a serious problem for state coffers.

As motorists use less and less gas, gas tax revenues to pay for state highways, roads and bridges shrink. Meanwhile, as gas prices fall, so does the sales tax generated by fuel sales. In California, among the taxes collected on fuel is a 2.25% sales tax on gasoline and a 9.67 percent tax on diesel.

Some state lawmakers feel a mileage tax is the best solution.

To pay for the shortfall, California officials are considering a plan that would replace California’s gas tax with a fee for each mile motorists drive. Drivers who log the most miles will end up paying the most, no matter how fuel efficient their car is.


Every Sharpton business known has been dissolved for failure to comply with tax rule

So far, every for-profit enterprise started by Al Sharpton and known to National Review Online has been shut down in at least one jurisdiction for failure to pay taxes, a review of public records in New York and Delaware reveals.

Records show that Sharpton’s beleaguered for-profit entities often overlap and intertwine, some sharing ties with the reverend’s nonprofit organization, National Action Network. Their financial records are copious, confusing, and sometimes outright bizarre, and together, they depict persistent financial woes for Sharpton, who also personally owes New York State nearly $596,000, according to active tax warrants.

“He clearly appears — based on the information that’s available to us — to have a history of noncompliance with tax obligations,” says Bernadette Schopfer, the director of taxation at New York’s Maier Markey & Justic, a certified public-accounting firm that has had no dealings with Sharpton or National Action Network. “It appears that does not file , and then opens up something else. At all the entities we see he has opened up, he has not been compliant with the obligations of the owner of a business. . . . He’s either willful in his behavior, or he’s just sloppy.”

Sharpton, who was traveling internationally, was unavailable for an interview, despite NRO’s numerous queries over several days.

At retreat, Dem staffers escort reporters to restroom

Reporters covering the House Democrats' retreat in Philadelphia this week are having a much different experience than when they’re on their home turf on Capitol Hill. Reporters are being escorted to and from the restroom and lobby and are being barred from entering the hotel outside of scheduled events, even if they've been invited by a member of Congress.

During Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at the retreat Friday, reporters were required to have a staff member, usually a junior member of the press team, escort them when going to the bathroom or to the lobby. The filing center for reporters was at a separate hotel from where the retreat was taking place, so access was limited to members of Congress specifically made available to the press.

“It was a police state. It was absurd how heavy handed the capitol police and Democratic staff were in trying to control everywhere the press went,” New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters said in an interview.

Peters said at one point he was also barred from entering the hotel where the retreat was taking place, despite the fact he had an invitation to eat breakfast with a member of Congress.
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