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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What class are you? To figure out where people are, Scott Rasmussen, whom John Fund calls America's Insurgent Pollster, asks three questions.

America's Insurgent Pollster
Understanding the tea party is essential to predicting what the country's political scene will look like.

By JOHN FUND
San Diego, Calif.

You can tell it's a volatile political year when a balding, middle-aged pollster gets a standing ovation from hundreds of state legislators after delivering the news that only 23% of the people in this country believe today's federal government has the consent of the governed.

"Americans don't want to be governed from the left or the right," Scott Rasmussen tells the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conference of 1,500 conservative and moderate legislators. "They want, like the Founding Fathers, to largely govern themselves with Washington in a supporting—but not dominant—role. The tea party movement is today's updated expression of that sentiment."

Mr. Rasmussen tells the crowd gathered around him after his speech that the political and media elites have misread the tea party. He believes this strongly enough that he's teamed up with Doug Schoen—a pollster for both President Bill Clinton and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg—to publish a new book that will seek to explain the movement's significance. "Mad as Hell" will be out early next month.

Thanks to the shifting tectonic plates of American society, polls have come to dominate our politics as never before, and Mr. Rasmussen is today's leading insurgent pollster.Click here to continue.
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In this piece by Jon Coupal, an ominous heading. Spot on. But will the subjects heed the foretelling? Or will they go on, business as 'usual, oblivious to the public's awareness, indignation, and fury?'

For Whom the Bell Tolls

August 23, 2010 By Jon Coupal

This is a warning to all local government officials throughout the state of California: Do not ask for whom the Bell tolls, it tolls for thee.

The scandal surrounding Bell -- a mostly low-income community of 40,000 in Los Angeles County -- where the city manager was taking down an eye-popping salary of almost $800,000 a year and city council members were paid $100,000 annually for part time work that consisted primarily of one meeting per week, has outraged taxpayers, not only in California, but across the nation and throughout the world.

Almost daily there are new revelations of self-enrichment and misconduct by Bell officials. Turns out, additional pay and benefits for the now-forced-out $800,000 city manager brought the value of his annual compensation package to $1.6 million and, now that he is retired, he may draw nearly $30 million in pension benefits. Besides the astoundingly lavish pay, the city was providing nearly a million dollars in loans to top officials. To get approval for these self-serving schemes it appears that city officials may have committed election fraud. To pay for all this booty, the city imposed an accelerated program of parking enforcement -- including impounding vehicles – as well as levied an illegal property tax.

What may be the most distressing is that city leaders were able to hide their compensation from public scrutiny for a number of years -- even a recently appointed council member who was being paid one tenth of what his insider colleagues were receiving was unaware of the criminal behavior going on at city hall. For Whom the Bell Tolls continued, click here to read more | Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Flew out of and into San Jose Intl's newly open Terminal B this weekend:

Must be a popular template--a lot of glass letting in lots of light, sweeping ceilings, a sail of gleaming metal, and windows, with warm touches of wood and soft white walls. Big negative, they ran out of money so you better wear comfortable shoes and have any heavy carry-ons on wheels or you'll be sorry if your gate is far from security or baggage claim. Also nixed due to budget overruns was the bridge that would have connected patrons to the parking lot or curb across from the terminal. Instead, it's like LAX, where you have to navigate the traffic of pickup and drop off of passengers, to get to the short term parking or pick up stops for shuttles.
If you're athletic and active, you'll be fine, no matter how far you have to walk, but I don't know how those folks carrying small children, or adults with disabilites or simply out of shape are going to deal with no people movers for the long treks they may encounter. Here are some cool pics of the new Terminal B.
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Obvious Message of Jerry Brown’s Pension: He's up to his armpits in the cookie jar, and that's being conservative!

A kerfuffle surrounding a clandestine Jerry Brown pension is generating a lot of Drudge action on this lazy August Friday. Servers at the Watchdog blog (Click here to read the story) of the Orange Country Register that broke the story are bogging down. Keep clicking on it. The report is amusing. In fact, it’s a bit more than that….

It seems California’s one-time and now aspiring governor Jerry Brown has been drawing down a healthy pension from the state — perhaps double-dipping — causing a mild embarrassment to Jerry that could grow into something more than mild. At the moment he is locked in a tight race with Meg Whitman.

(This is just the tip of the iceberg, and yes, CA is the Titanic--but we're not sunk--yet.)
Click here to read more of this article by Roger Simon at Pajama TV
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sheriff Richard Mack vs. Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Freedom Watch 06/26/10

I love the Judge!
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Why We're In So Much Debt

The Federal Reserve System is designed to create, increase, and perpetuate debt, and simultaneously reduce the real value of your money, income, savings, and investments. This 1-hour seminar provides, in simple terms, the essential information that every American needs to know if we are to restore the American Dream. Watch, then get your family and friends to do the same.
SilentNoMorePubs
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why I'm Not Hiring When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits.

With unemployment just under 10% and companies sitting on their cash, you would think that sooner or later job growth would take off. I think it's going to be later—much later. Here's why.
Meet Sally (not her real name; details changed to preserve privacy). Sally is a terrific employee, and she happens to be the median person in terms of base pay among the 83 people at my little company in New Jersey, where we provide audio systems for use in educational, commercial and industrial settings. She's been with us for over 15 years. She's a high school graduate with some specialized training. She makes $59,000 a year—on paper. In reality, she makes only $44,000 a year because $15,000 is taken from her thanks to various deductions and taxes, all of which form the steep, sad slope between gross and net pay.

 Before that money hits her bank, it is reduced by the $2,376 she pays as her share of the medical and dental insurance that my company provides. And then the government takes its due. She pays $126 for state unemployment insurance, $149 for disability insurance and $856 for Medicare. That's the small stuff. New Jersey takes $1,893 in income taxes. The federal government gets $3,661 for Social Security and another $6,250 for income tax withholding. The roughly $13,000 taken from her by various government entities means that some 22% of her gross pay goes to Washington or Trenton. She's lucky she doesn't live in New York City, where the toll would be even higher. 
Click here to continue reading more.
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Monday, August 9, 2010

This is rich. First they cause the most expensive costs in the Country to live, and then they give privelege and exemption to the voters of the pols who caused the highest costs of living.

The Blue State Blues
Taxing the rich, except in my district.
Aug 4, 2010, WSJ

One irony of the tax increase that arrives on January 1 is that the it will hit residents of high-income, Democratic-leaning states like California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York the hardest. This is a problem for pro-tax Democrats.

Enter New York Representative Jerrold Nadler, who wants to exempt his own six-figure constituents from the tax hike he supports. Mr. Nadler's bill would "require the IRS to adjust tax brackets proportionally in regions where the average cost of living is higher than the national average."

In other words, the various tax brackets would apply to residents in certain regions at higher income levels versus other parts of the country. A family with an income of $50,000 or even $1 million in Manhattan would pay less federal income tax than a family with the same earnings in Omaha. The bill is called the Tax Equity Act, but a more accurate title would be the Blue State Tax Preference Act.
To read more, click here
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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