The IG has announced that they had contacted the IRS about giving special quick fixes for liberal support group to move ahead with their political agenda. They also informed them that their actions against selected conservative groups was a criminal activity.
Va. postal official sentenced for taking bribes
A former U.S. Postal Service official has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for accepting at least $40,000 in bribes to help a Maryland company receive $6 million in contracts.
Forty-eight-year-old Gene Quarles of Spotsylvania pleaded guilty earlier this year in federal court in Alexandria to bribery of a public official. Prosecutors had sought a two-year sentence.
Court documents say the purchasing specialist regularly received payments between 2010 and 2012 from the owners of AH Computer Consulting, Inc. in Rockville, Md. On at least one occasion he received $3,500 cash in a brown paper bag.
Most voters believe the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups was politically motivated and think most of those involved should be severely punished.
Just 16% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the IRS investigations of these groups were a coincidence.. Fifty-seven percent (57%) think the investigations were politically motivated. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure.
Fifty-five percent (55%) think it is at least somewhat likely that President Obama or his top aides were aware that Tea Party and other conservative groups were targeted by the IRS. Thirty-four percent (34%) consider that unlikely. This includes 36% who believe it is Very Likely the president or his top aides knew of the investigations and 13% who feel it is Not At All Likely. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.
Only seven percent (7%) of voters believe no disciplinary action should be taken against the IRS employees involved in the investigations. Twenty-nine percent (29%) feel they should be formally reprimanded. But most (57%) think those involved should be jailed or fired, with 16% who say they should be put in jail and 41% who believe they should be fired.
While 86% of Republicans and 60% of voters not affiliated with either major party think the IRS investigations were politically motivated, just 33% of Democrats agree.
Sixty-eight percent (68%) of GOP voters, not surprisingly, think it is Very Likely the president or his top aides were aware of the investigations. However, only 13% of Democrats and 34% of unaffiliated voters share that view.
Venezuelans scrambling to find scarce toilet paper-something for nothing is not producing toilet paper
Venezuelans scrambled to stock up on toilet paper Thursday as fears of a bathroom emergency spread despite the socialist government's promise to import 50 million rolls.
After years of economic dysfunction, the country has gotten used to shortages of medicines and basic food items like milk and sugar but the scarcity of bathroom tissue has caused unusual alarm.
"Even at my age, I've never seen this," said 70-year-old Maria Rojas. She said she had been looking for toilet paper for two weeks when she finally found it at a supermarket in downtown Caracas.
Thousands of rolls flew off the store's shelves as consumers streamed in and loaded up shopping carts Thursday morning.
"I bought it because it's hard to find," said Maria Perez, walking out with several rolls of paper.
"Here there's a shortage of everything _ butter, sugar, flour," she said. But the latest shortage is particularly worrisome "because there always used to be toilet paper."
Economists say oil-rich Venezuela's shortages of some consumer products stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government's controls on foreign currency.
President Nicolas Maduro, who was selected by the dying Hugo Chavez to carry on his "Bolivarian revolution," claims that anti-government forces, including the private sector, are causing the shortages in an effort to destabilize the country.
The government this week announced it would import 760,000 tons of food and 50 million rolls of toilet paper.
Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming said "excessive demand" for tissue had built up due to a "media campaign that has been generated to disrupt the country."
He said monthly consumption of toilet paper was normally 125 million rolls, but current demand "leads us to think that 40 million more are required."
"We will bring in 5
Thursday, Joseph Grant, one of Miller's top deputies, announced plans to retire June 3, according to an internal IRS memo. Grant is commissioner of the agency's tax exempt and government entities division, which includes the agents that targeted tea party groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.
Grant joined the IRS in 2005. Before that he was a top official at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. It was not immediately clear whether Grant's retirement was related to the controversy over tea party targeting by the IRS.
Obama says that he does not want an independent counsel to investigate the corruption at the IRS and its leak of information to the media.
If you're looking to raise a glass to veterans this Memorial Day you might consider filling it with wine that will raise funds for them, too. A number of wineries are making the veterans-and-vines connection. And if you're not so fine on wine, there's even a liquor _ Wild Turkey _ that's gotten into the spirit with a Boots and Bourbon campaign.
At the Murphy-Goode Winery in California's Sonoma County wine country, winemaker David Ready Jr. says linking vines and vets was natural for his family. His great-grandfather served in World War I, he had two grandpas in World War II and his late father served in the early days of Vietnam.
So when he and his team came across Operation Homefront, a national organization that provides emergency financial assistance to military families, they knew they had a fit. "It's an organization that's just simply there to help out our active military families or veterans that need little things or big things," he says.
Since fall 2011, the winery has donated more than $100,000 to Operation Homefront and is on track to donate $300,000 this year, partly through the release of a special wine, Homefront Red, scheduled for the holiday season. A portion of the winery's profits will be donated to Operation Homefront and distributors also have agreed to donate part of their profits.
In a second initiative, the winery ran a "grill sergeant" campaign, looking for a veteran to serve as winery chef and tour the country for barbecue events. Meanwhile, the winery is wrapping up a Facebook campaign, "A Few Goode Heroes," in which people nominated local heroes and winners got $1,000 donated to their charity of choice while the winery donated another $1,000 to Operation Homefront. The contest ends in June with a grand prize winner who will get to have the Murphy-Goode Grill Sergeant visit their town and throw a July 4th party in their honor.
"Wine is a lifestyle," says Ready. "It's not just a beverage
'Food THEN Fuel' paper showcases biodiesel's benefits
REG releases whitepaper countering the fallacy that increased biodiesel production raises food prices
By Ron Kotrba | April 17, 2013
Renewable Energy Group has published a whitepaper turning on its head the fallacious argument that biodiesel production takes food out of the mouths of the hungry, increases food prices and hurts consumers’ pocketbooks. Titled, “Food THEN Fuel: How the American Biodiesel Industry Is Strengthening Food Security,” the authors cite sources for the information contained in the paper.
“[C]ritics of biofuels have [tried] to convince the public that biodiesel is merely part of an amorphous group of energy sources that share the same alleged disadvantages,” the paper states. “Indeed, they would have the public believe that biodiesel not only depletes the food supply by creating a competing use in fuel, but that it also contributes to higher prices at the grocery store. In reality, biodiesel is playing a vital role in strengthening America’s food security and reducing rising pressures on food prices. Rather than competing with food, biodiesel production applies a “food THEN fuel” approach by adding economic value for food industry byproducts and sending economic signals to the market to produce more. Biodiesel production helps make the food and agricultural sectors more profitable, incentivizes the production of protein and generally helps keeps grocery items, like meat, from increasing in price more than they already would due to inflation and petroleum energy costs.”
As most biodiesel industry stakeholders are aware, soybean oil has historically been the primary feedstock for U.S. biodiesel production and still today makes up the largest single feedstock used. The bean is only around 20 percent oil or less, with meal making up the gross majority of crushed soy. Thus, the more soybeans planted and crushed, the more protein meal is available for livestock. REG’s paper states, “With a larger supply of U.S. soybean meal, a 2011 study found the prices paid by U.S. poultry, livestock and fish farmers decreased between $16 and $48 per ton. In short, without the biodiesel industry, livestock producers would have paid $4.8 billion more in feed costs over a five-year period.” Interestingly, more than 85 percent of REG’s biodiesel produced in 2012 was made from feedstocks other than soy oil, according to the company’s annual report.
The paper goes on to note that as biodiesel productions have diversified by incorporation of more animal fats, the livestock industry clearly benefits through higher demand for its byproducts and, hence, higher value. “In 2011, biodiesel demand for beef tallow is estimated to have added approximately $300 million to the U.S. beef cattle industry,” the paper says. “This is basic economics: when farmers make more money, they produce more. When there is more meat or soybean meal supply available, it relieves rising pressures on food prices.”
After benefiting livestock producers, the paper indicates that consumers also fare well by increased biodiesel production. “Biodiesel’s advantages also translate to consumers’ household finances. The margin relief livestock producers realize from lower feed costs and higher revenue acts as a restraint on consumer meat prices. This means that while plenty of other factors—such as petroleum prices—are contributing to price hikes in the grocery aisles, biodiesel production is not one of them. In fact, biodiesel is not only providing long-term relief for such price pressures, it is diversifying our nation’s fuel mix at the same time.”
New Jersey---flight of high school graduates to other states sets new records. The state had more high school graduates leaving its own native state for out of state colleges than any other. Out of state fees are now slowing down the migration.
Texas is experiencing a surge in traffic from other states and from Mexico that are in search of work. Many are finding work; but some experience delays. Until they find work, the surge in food stamps has been a common practice. But, due to the surge in economic activity in the state and the slow down in California, a decline in overall food stamps in Texas has taken place. The reverse is true in California, more people are lined up in California applying for food stamps---even with thousands of citizens leaving for a better life else where.
President Obama has been fired for his incompetence and for his action of influence in the political agenda in the United States.
The Empire State manufacturing survey, which measures manufacturing strength in the New York region, turned negative in May, missing economist expectations. A negative reading means more survey participants expect conditions to worsen.
The Huffington Post has received the highly personal data from the IRS about who was giving money in support of traditional marriage. The organizations are not a church with many just formed in 2007.
Bing won't seek re-election as Detroit mayor-"I am out of here"
A visibly frustrated Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced Tuesday that he won't seek a second term and ripped Michigan officials for not giving him enough time to solve the financially strapped city's problems on his own.
His announcement came just seven weeks after the city's checkbook was handed over to an emergency manager, making it the largest U.S. city placed under state oversight.
Detroit has a budget deficit approaching $380 million and long-term debt over $14 billion. The city could run out of cash before the end of the year, and bankruptcy hasn't been ruled out.
Known for his cool as a former NBA basketball player, Bing spoke in a measured tone during a news conference where he announced he'll step down after his term ends in December. He spent the first 15 minutes touting his own accomplishments while blasting Gov. Rick Snyder and other Michigan officials for failing to cooperate with city leaders on a solution.
"Change takes time and hard work," Bing told supporters at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. "However, when Gov. Snyder didn't feel progress was occurring fast enough, he made the decision to appoint an emergency manager with the power to immediately fix some of the city's longstanding financial problems."
The roles of the mayor and the elected City Council were reduced after Snyder appointed Washington-based bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr in March as emergency manager. Orr has final say on all the city's financial matters.
Although Bing long resisted the appointment of an emergency manager, he decided not to pursue a lawsuit to block it and referred to the arrangement as a "partnership" after Orr was appointed. He didn't directly criticize Orr on Tuesday either, pointing out that some of Orr's findings about the city's situation were similar to his own.
In a statement Tuesday, Orr commended Bing on his se
Dear General Holder:
I am writing to object in the strongest possible terms to a massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice into the newsgathering activities of The Associated Press.
Last Friday afternoon, AP General Counsel Laura Malone received a letter from the office of United States Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. advising that, at some unidentified time earlier this year, the Department obtained telephone toll records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to the AP and its journalists. The records that were secretly obtained cover a full two-month period in early 2012 and, at least as described in Mr. Machen's letter, include all such records for, among other phone lines, an AP general phone number in New York City as well as AP bureaus in New York City, Washington, D.C., Hartford, Connecticut, and at the House of Representatives. This action was taken without advance notice to AP or to any of the affected journalists, and even after the fact no notice has been sent to individual journalists whose home phones and cell phone records were seized by the Department.
There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.
That the Department undertook this unprecedented step without providing any notice to the AP, and without taking any steps to narrow the scope of its subpoenas to matters actually relevant to an ongoing investigation, is particularly troubling.
The sheer volume of records obtained, most of which can have no plausible
— The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.
In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than a hundred journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.
Reaction was swift. Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus called on Attorney General Eric Holder to resign over the episode. The House minority whip, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said "this is activity that should not have happened and must be checked from happening again." The American Society of News Editors called the action "outrageous" and "appalling."
In a letter of protest sent to Holder on Monday, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said the government sought and obtained information far beyond anything that could be justified by any specific investigation. He demanded the return of the phone records and destruction of all copies.
"There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the teleph
IRS Commissioner is under attack for his willful allowance to pursue citizens of the US for a political gain.
The White House is using all means possible to find the person that is passing the information to the AP about their under handed practice of telling the IRS that they must go after the Tea Party-Cincinnati Ohio has already been identified as major source for going after Ohio voters.
The executive branch of government is now using all means possible to find out how the AP was able to find out the secret information from the White House to the IRS about the orders to go after the conservative groups. The discovered wire taps of cell phone, land lines and all sources of information coming into the AP was process being used. The scandal of attacking a news service that was not corrupt to following orders from other news services is now under fire. The Judicial Department has called it a black mark that we have never experienced in this country.
A Saudi man arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after federal agents said he lied about why he was traveling with a pressure cooker is due in court.
Hussain Al Khawahir is scheduled to appear Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit for a hearing to determine whether he will be released on bond or detained.
Al Khawahir was arrested Saturday on allegations of lying to agents and using a passport with a missing page. His nephew, Nasser Almarzooq, told The Associated Press Monday the case was a misunderstanding about the device he wanted for cooking