What Do You Get for $766 Million in Afghanistan?

The US in all our wisdom decided that we need to stimulate the economy of Afghanistan…..and we then decided that we would invest $766 million to help in this stimulation…..sound like a good plan?

DoD has stated that they are not sure exactly what we got for the cash spent.

Source: What Do You Get for $766 Million in Afghanistan? DoD Isn’t Sure | Military.com

This is a typical DoD program…you know kinda along the lines of $600 toilet seats and $400 hammers…..or a new attack plane that costs billions and still cannot be flown without the risk of death……

I say it is about time that the DoD be held accountable for the money they throw in the toilet……we will get promises of more controls but that is then flushed down along with the cash…..

What say you?

 The new war on public schools and teachers

Let’s pull out of the geopolitical hole for awhile….shall we?

I remember a few years back when all the rage was the successes of the Charter Schools…..I said then that it was a con job….what it boiled down to was education by lotto.

The media trotted out the successful charter schools for all the world to see….it was then decided by the media) that this was the cause to highlight….the problem was they gave the public a very narrow view of the situation…..they never reported on the crappy job this did at educating our children….

The sell was a slogan…..”return control of public schools back to the local area”…..it is still being used to convince people of the necessity to privatize public education….of course they will not call it what it is……but rather some cutesy slogan that all can remember and repeat ad nauseum…..

Our kids deserve strong schools and great teachers under local control. That’s what the charter fight is all about…..it is a lie.

Source: Our real charter school nightmare: The new war on public schools and teachers – Salon.com

If this is an issue that will be on the ballot in your area…..then please learn everything you can about charter schools or whatever slogan they are using to get you to vote for the privatization of your public schools…..do not let them kill public education……it is a fundamental right of our republic…..do not let it go the way of your voting rights…….or abortion rights.

Seniors: Bend Over And Grab Your Ankles

A friend of IST over at “Lines by Liming” brought this to my attention….I had missed the info thanx to my day in the barrel at the doctor’s office……

It looks like the seniors of this country will once again get bent over a table…..AGAIN! (Will humiliation ever cease?)

The government says there will be no benefit increase next year for millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, and federal retirees. It’s just the third time in 40 years that payments will remain flat, with all three times occurring since 2010. And there’s more bad news: The lack of a benefit increase means that many older people could face higher Medicare costs, an issue that has advocates lobbying Congress. By law, the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is based on a government measure of inflation. This inflation gauge—which measures price changes for food, housing, clothing, transportation, energy, medical care, recreation, and education—came out Thursday, and the main reason for no benefits increase next year is low gas prices. As of Wednesday, AAA said the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.30, about 90 cents less than a year ago.

The announcement will affect benefits for more than 70 million people—more than one-fifth of the nation’s population. Almost 60 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses, and children get Social Security benefits, with an average monthly Social Security payment of $1,224. The COLA also affects those who get Supplemental Security Income, the disability program for the poor. Congress enacted automatic increases for Social Security beneficiaries in 1975, when inflation was high, and since then, increases have averaged 4% a year. But in the past decade, the COLA has been that big only once. “This is going to be another blow to [people’s] retirement income,” says a rep for the Senior Citizens League. “It’s a huge amount over a lifetime.”

Since I am an old fart….this means the day when I am reduced to eating rice and cat food are just a little closer……

I refuse to blame Obama for it all…..I mean this prez that was going to like the this country economically has done a better job than the news reports would have us believe…..(in case you missed that bit of info)…….

The US government’s budget deficit fell to an eight-year low in fiscal 2015, dropping to $439 billion, the Treasury Department announced Thursday.

The cut in the finance gap — which was $1.4 trillion in 2009 — brought the deficit down to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, the lowest level since 2007

That aside……seniors like veterans always have to pay for the stupidity of the system that “cherishes” them…….

I pray that my granddaughter will have a better government when she has to retire…..sadly if this current political climate continues…..she will be screwed…….and I have no one to thank but the stupidity of the American voter.

Take some time and say a few words for our seniors……

Remember All Those Freeloaders?

Sure you do!  All you Right thinking people have bitched and demonized them with every election since Reagan….they have been called “welfare queens” and “freeloaders” and I am sure some others that are not too polite……those people that get those freebies without paying any taxes…..surely you remember all those people that are destroying this country because they get “freebies”.

I am sick of the “freeloader” bullshit!

But let’s be honest…the real cheats are the corporations that do little for this country and in return are allowed to pay little to no taxes……

Apple has skipped out on paying close to $60 billion in taxes on $181 billion it holds offshore, according to a new study. But though the company holds the most profits offshore of any US company, it’s hardly alone: At least 358 American companies hold $2.1 trillion in profits, which would be subject to a 35% corporate tax rate if the funds were to reach the US, according to the review by two left-leaning nonprofits, per Reuters. That means $620 billion could be collected by feds—enough money to eliminate the federal deficit, notes CNBC. Instead, companies move assets to places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, where they pay about 6% in taxes. The report finds 60% of companies with tax subsidiaries had at least one in either country, though the Netherlands had the highest number of subsidiaries.

Think $620 billion in potential tax gains is high? The actual number is likely much higher. The report notes just 57 companies disclosed how much they would owe if they transferred their offshore holdings back home. As “nearly 72% of the Fortune 500 operate subsidiaries in tax haven jurisdictions as of the end of 2014 … Congress can and should take strong action to prevent corporations from using offshore tax havens, which in turn would restore basic fairness to the tax system, reduce the deficit, and improve the functioning of markets,” the study from Citizens for Tax Justice and the US Public Interest Research Group Education Fund found. Just 30 companies account for $1.4 trillion in offshore profits. General Electric was found to hold $119 billion in 18 tax havens, Microsoft has $108.3 billion in five, and Pfizer has $74 billion in 151.

This is one of the reason I will NOT buy any of the crap Apple sells…..that and the fact that they use sweat shops to make their crap……so they can charge $600 for a phone made for $10…….

The very people that bitch and moan about this country and its problems are the very ones that spend hours in line to buy a product for $800 that is basically a “freeloader” dissing its country……

Here is an outrageous idea……how about you stop bitching, whining and blaming poor people for the problems in this country and go after the REAL freeloaders.

Why Am I Not Surprised?

We all have heard the horror stories of our vets and their ordeal to get into the program to get treatment for the diseases they encountered while in service to the country….or the needed rehab work to learn to use artificial limbs…..we know the Congress is a do nothing pack of whores that work the hardest for those with the most cash……

But there is another group that Congress is turning its back on….yet again……the 9/11 first responders…….

A law that provides medical monitoring and treatment for Sept. 11 first responders expired at midnight Wednesday due to the failure of Congress to act. For now, first responders who rushed to the World Trade Center after the 2001 terrorist attacks, worked for weeks, and now suffer from illnesses like pulmonary disease and cancers will still be able to get their health care. But in a letter to the Senate, CDC Director Tom Frieden said if the law isn’t extended, the WTC Health Program “will begin to face significant operational challenges” by February. By next summer, the program’s 72,000 enrolled beneficiaries will have to be notified that they may not receive health care beyond September 2016 and the program will have to start to shut down, a process Frieden says could cause patients additional stress.

The Zadroga Act, named for a responder who died after working at Ground Zero, first became law in 2010 after a debate over the cost. Proponents seek the law’s permanent extension in part because some illnesses may not manifest until years later, after the statute of limitations for worker’s comp or certain state laws may have run out. House Republicans have been supportive of the program but oppose its permanent extension because they want to be able to periodically review it and make sure it’s operating soundly; the Senate hasn’t moved a bill. Letting the program expire creates “enormous anxieties and fears in the minds of very sick people,” says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, who’s been lobbying to make the program permanent and recently was joined by comedian Jon Stewart. “People are dying and suffering, and Congress can easily close this wound,” says one leading advocate. “But they continue to add salt to it.”

Why am I surprised that the pigs in DC let this benefit expire?

They use these people as political props but refuse to do anything that would compensate them for the work they did on that faithful day…..these people did their part now it is time for Congress to do theirs……

It does not surprise me that the American people turn their back on these brave souls…..if they would do it to our valiant vets…..these guys/gals were not safe.

Without Government Safety Net Programs, Millions More Would Be in Poverty | Economic Policy Institute

Every election time we will hear all about those damn people that get government benefits…..you know the ones that get “free stuff”…..

I am one who does not buy into the hate speech of people in poverty that may need assistance……but every election someone on the Right, mostly TPers or GOPers, will set off trying to demonize those people that need help……

Sorry but the rich people are the ones raping the country not the poor……

But read this research piece on those damn entitlements that you hate so much……

In 2014, 48.4 million people (or 15.3 percent of the US population) were in poverty, as measured by the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)—a more sophisticated approach for measuring economic well-being than the official federal poverty line. However, that number would have been significantly higher were it not for government safety-net programs.

Source: Without Government Safety Net Programs, Millions More Would Be in Poverty | Economic Policy Institute

Obama’s Russian Roulette

Russia is once again that looming threat that it was during the Cold War……we hear almost daily about some new antic of Putin to get the world to notice him.

With all the problems in the Middle east why would Russia be a priority right now?

Simple answer….the budget debate.

You see we have allocated the funds for our battle with ISIS in Syria and Iraq,,,,that will not be a point of contention.  But there are still some cuts to military spending pending……and there we have the rub!

We need a good reason to expand the contracts and the spending…….and since we probably could use the Middle east because of the failures that few will openly admit to…..we need a threat to justify lots more money……and what better threat than an ascending Russia?

The case is being made as I type……we will be hearing a lot more about the pending threat from Russia.

Read On………

Source: Obama’s Russian Roulette by Kenneth G. Eade — Antiwar.com