Tax cheat Charlie Rangel didn’t pay rent on district office for all of 2013

Posted by: ST on April 7, 2014 at 9:32 am
Rangel relaxes

Rangel naps at his ‘tax-free’ Dominican Republic hideaway. Photo via Splash News/Daily Beast

But that’s ok – because the state bailed him out anyway (via):

New York City’s longest-serving congressman won’t pay his rent.

State taxpayers were stiffed out of at least $87,000 when Rep. Charles Rangel stopped paying for the district office he rents in Harlem’s Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, records ­obtained by The Post show.

His staffers’ excuse? They lost the lease, according to state Office of General Services correspondence.

“I finally heard back from Congressman Rangel’s office and it seems we haven’t gotten the signed lease back because they lost it!” OGS real-estate specialist Sydney Allen wrote in a July 30, 2013, e-mail to a colleague that was ­obtained by The Post.

Rangel paid $7,253 in monthly rent on the 125th Street office he has rented since 2000, expense reports from 2012 show. But the payments stopped for all of 2013.

Incredibly, instead of demanding payment of the back rent and late fees from its deadbeat legislative tenant, the state cut him a huge rent break.

The state says it allowed Rangel in March 2013 to enter into a new sweetheart deal in which he could postpone paying six months of rent. That “abatement” money has still not been paid, nor has the other six months of missed rent from 2013, a OGS official said.

The state comptroller approved a $101,000 lease between Rangel and OGS on Dec. 26, 2013, retroactively covering the period back to April 2013 and future months through December 2014, records show. The 21-month deal resulted in a deeply reduced rent of $4,809 a month.

When The Post last week inquired about the year of missing rent, Rangel’s office and OGS blamed federal sequestration, not the lost lease referenced in agency correspondence.

“As everyone knows, the GOP sequester not only constrained our nation’s economy, but also strained the budget of congressional offices,” said Rangel spokeswoman Hannah Kim.

So typical of a Democrat to fail to take personal responsibility for their own actions, isn’t it – and furthermore, to blame Republicans?  Wouldn’t be the first time for Charlie the hypocritical tax cheat, and I doubt seriously it will be the last.

Voters in his district should demand he pay back every red cent for last year’s rent on his district office.  But they won’t – because they’ve had numerous chances to kick this guy out of office, yet keep voting him back in every time.  Oh well.

 

On climate change, Tony Abbott tells Europe to stuff it

Posted by: Phineas on April 6, 2014 at 4:08 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Has no time for nonsense

Has no time for nonsense

Australia is scheduled to host the annual G20 heads-of-state meeting this year. The G20 is an informal grouping dedicated promoting international financial stability, and the host country gets to set the agenda. For some strange reason Tony Abbott, Australia’s Liberal prime minister, has decided that the G20 should stick to its brief and said that global warming/climate change/ritual denunciations of the Demon CO2 will not be on he agenda.

This has made Europe unhappy.

European Union officials say Australia has become completely “disengaged” on climate change since Tony Abbott was elected in September last year.

They are disappointed with the Prime Minister’s approach, saying Australia was considered an important climate change player under Labor.

One well-placed EU official has likened the change to “losing an ally”.

The EU has a long-running emissions trading scheme which was going to be linked to Australia’s market.

But Mr Abbott has pledged to scrap the carbon price in favour of his direct action policy.

Europe is sceptical of Mr Abbott’s replacement plan.

I can hear the Eurocrats’ tongues clucking and their tut-tutting even now. How are they going to live their taxpayer-funded lifestyles and carry out their dreams of “global eco-social justice,” if more nations follow Australia’s lead? They must be so disappointed in Mr. Abbott. I’m sure he’s losing sleep over it. Perhaps from laughing.

The kicker line is this:

Mr Abbott has said he doesn’t want the G20 agenda “cluttered” by topics that would take the focus from his top priority of economic growth.

Imagine that. A national leader actually concerned about his people’s prosperity and not only unwilling to sacrifice it at the altar of eco-statist group-think, but quite willing to openly “call BS” on the whole farcical charade. I’m sure that John “Climate change is a WMD” Kerry is unhappy. You can guess how that prospect makes me feel.

It’s nice to know that, somewhere in the Anglosphere, there are still nations lead by leaders who don’t have their head stuck firmly up their progressive backsides and who know that their first job is protecting their nation’s interests, not winning a popularity contest in Brussels or Turtle Bay. Canada is another.

I can only look on with envy and hope that, someday, we rejoin them.

via JoNova

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

 

Sunday Open Thread

Posted by: ST on April 6, 2014 at 9:38 am

Sorry for the light posting over the last few days. Lots of responsibilities on my plate and not enough time in the day to tackle them all. Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. :)

Keep calm weekend

 

ABC’s GMA runs Westboro video in story on anti-gay marriage @Mozilla CEO

Posted by: ST on April 4, 2014 at 3:06 pm

ABC News

The “high tech lynching” of now-former CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich (and anyone who happens to agree with him) over his stance against gay marraige continues.  Newsbusters’ Scott Whitlock files this report:

According to Good Morning America’Linzie Janis, a CEO who made a donation in opposition to gay marriage is the same as the hateful members of Westboro Baptist. On Friday, Janis reported on Brendan Eich, the former head of the tech company Mozilla. Eich was ousted after liberal groups found out that in 2008 he made a $1000 donation to support Proposition 8 in California.

As  Janis spoke about the six-year-old donation, video footage of Westboro Baptist protesters with “God hates fags” and “soldiers die 4 fag marriage” signs appeared on-screen. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] 

And right after the footage of Westboro they immediately show footage of happy gay couples who have just gotten married, as if there’s no in between – there’s either being on the “side” of Westboro Baptist or rooting for happy gay  couples to be able to marry with the government’s approval.  So everyone who opposes gay marriage is the equivalent to the despicable Westboro Baptist “Church” bigots according to Good Morning America. Make sure to click the Newsbusters link above for the full video segment, which ran on this morning’s GMA.

Talk about stooping to new lows! Make sure to let GMA know what you think of their ridiculously slanted coverage of this story.

 

The thrill is gone: networks refuse prime time slot for Obama speech

Posted by: Phineas on April 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm

**Posted by Phineas

Feeling rejected.

Feeling rejected.

Oh, how this must pain the soul of our Narcissist in Chief. Remember the halcyon days of Hope and Change in his first term, when it seemed like he was making a national address every week? Joint sessions of Congress, prime time press conferences, the networks just couldn’t get enough Obama.

Someone cue B.B. King, because the thrill is gone, baby:

White House officials sought valuable primetime air for a rare, impromptu Tuesday night address to tout the accomplishment of signing up more than 7 million people under the Affordable Care Act.

But network officials refused to make the kind of accommodation they did previously for the announcement that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, for instance, and Obama was left instead cutting into the much smaller audiences of Ellen and other daytime shows.

Three sources familiar with the request confirmed the White House asked for the primetime slot in their effort both to emphasize a bright moment following the challenging roll out and, more important, to try to reintroduce the country to a law that remains unpopular.

Oh, man. “No, you can’t interrupt NCIS. But, hey, we’ll let you cut into Ellen, champ.” How far our modern Icarus has fallen. Could it be even the major networks knew the 7 million sign ups “milestone” was just a bunch of smoke?

Regardless, it’s a sign both of the growing irrelevance of Obama as he moves further into lame-duck status and that the fight over this train-wreck of a law isn’t over, no matter how many they claim to have signed up. The major networks aren’t going to give up valuable commercial revenue just to satisfy Obama’s need to take a victory lap.

This calls for a song. Hit it, B.B.!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

 

QOTD: Andrew Sullivan on the “resignation” of @Mozilla CEO over gay marriage stance

Posted by: ST on April 4, 2014 at 10:39 am
Tolerance

Yep.

First, the back story:

Less than two weeks after drawing controversy over his appointment as CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, Brendan Eich has resigned from the position.

In a post at Mozilla’s official blog, executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker confirmed the news with an unequivocal apology on the company’s behalf. “Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it,” Baker wrote. “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”

The action comes days after dating site OKCupid became the most vocal opponent of Eich’s hiring. Mozilla offered repeated statements about LGBT inclusivity within the company over the past two weeks, but those never came with a specific response from Eich about his thousands of dollars of donations in support of Proposition 8, a California ballot measure that sought to ban gay marriage in the state.

The notice of resignation does not clarify Eich’s future with Mozilla, a company he cofounded in 1998 and became CTO of in 2005. It also stands in stark contrast to an interview Eich gave to The Guardian yesterday, in which he defended his personal, political actions and said they would not get in the way of his work as CEO. “I think I’m the best person for the job and I’m doing the job,” Eich said in the interview.

It’s not often – well, close to never – when I agree with Andrew Sullivan, but he pretty much nails it here (via):

Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

Townhall’s Guy Benson rightly notes that the “live and let live” mantra the activist gay left repeated over and over again in appeals for the “right” to marry has now been replaced by “conform or else”:

Americans’ views on same-sex marriage have shifted dramatically in recent years, with solid majorities now approving of what supporters savvily branded “marriage equality.” The trend is even more pronounced among younger voters; a recent poll of young Republicans measured super-majority support for the practice. One of gay marriage proponents’ most effective and persuasive arguments appealed to many Americans’ “live and let live” sense of fair play. Hey, it’s a free country. The core idea was compelling: “Our love and our marriage doesn’t affect you.” They asked for tolerance, if not acceptance. And they won. Now we’re beginning to see what the disquieting “next step” looks like, at least as imagined by some of the loudest and most radical voices. Tolerance is no longer sufficient. Enforced celebration is the new standard. Those who resist will be labeled bigots, and may be subject to having their lives or livelihoods destroyed. We’re way past “live and let live.” We’ve moved on to coercion in the name of “tolerance.”

Give an inch, take a mile, etc.  This was completely predictable but, of course, the left never listens – and I’m not just talking about the gay left or, as Tammy Bruce calls them, the “Gay Gestapo.” This is what liberals want – no diversity of viewpoints unless it’s within the realm of what they, especially those in positions of power in government, find “acceptable.”  Anyone who denies the creepily fascistic motivations of these types of Democrats at this point is just a delusional ostrich.  Ignore at your own risk.  I won’t.

 

If Paul Ryan’s budget is a “Stinkburger” to Obama, what are Obama’s failed budgets?

Posted by: ST on April 3, 2014 at 10:31 am
King Obama

Image via Salon.com

The Politico reports on a speech our celebrity President made yesterday to a captive audience at the University of Michigan:

President Barack Obama headed out on the road Wednesday still glowing from the latest Obamacare numbers and set his sights on congressional Republicans still working to obstruct his agenda.

The House GOP’s new budget proposal and efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act “should be familiar because it was their economic plan in the 2012 campaign, it was their economic plan in 2010,” he said at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “It’s like that movie ‘Groundhog Day.’ Except it’s not funny.”

Clearly in a good mood a day after announcing that at least 7.1 million Americans had signed up for health insurance through ACA exchanges, Obama followed up one punchline with another. “If they tried to sell this sandwich at Zingerman’s they’d have to call it the Stinkburger or the Meanwich,” he said, referring to the local restaurant where he stopped for lunch before his arrival on campus.

Firstly, let’s all stand up and salute the impressive maturity level of the President of the United States – also the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces.  Because nothing says “take my argument seriously” and “respect the office of the Presidency” like the leader of the free world using sandbox terminology to describe a budget proposal he probably hasn’t even read.

But secondly, and perhaps most importantly – if Rep. Paul Ryan’s good faith budget is such a “Stinkburger”, then what does it make the President’s budgets, which got exactly ZERO votes – none, zilch, nada, not even his own party – when presented?

Thoughts?

 

NC Elections Board: Nearly 36,000 voted in NC & one other state in 2012 (UPDATED)

Posted by: ST on April 2, 2014 at 6:44 pm
Voter ID

The battle continues.

This is a huge story that developed over the course of the afternoon here in North Carolina.  I followed developments via Twitter and my mouth dropped open with each passing Tweet as to what the NC State Elections Board was telling a Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee earlier on issues of double voting, people being registered in more than one state, and …. dead voters whose voting record showed action after they had, um, died.  Bryan Preston summed up over at PJ Tatler (link via Phineas):

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has found thousands of instances of voter fraud in the state, thanks to a 28-state crosscheck of voter rolls. Initial findings suggest widespread election fraud.

  • 765 voters with an exact match of first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in N.C. and the other state in the 2012 general election.
  • 35,750 voters with the same first and last name and DOB were registered in N.C. and another state and voted in both states in the 2012 general election.
  • 155,692 voters with the same first and last name, DOB and last four digits of SSN were registered in N.C. and another state – and the latest date of registration or voter activity did not take place within N.C.

The second point is key, as double voting is election fraud under state and federal statutes. Punishment for double voting in federal elections can include jail time.

[...]

In addition to the above, the crosscheck found that more than 13,000 deceased voters remain on North Carolina’s rolls, and that 81 of them showed voter activity in their records after death.

North Carolina officials are now calling for tighter election security.

“Bbbut I thought there was no such thing as voter fraud – and in the event there was concrete evidence, it was “usually just a small few – not worth implementing raaaacist voter ID laws!” – me, channeling NC liberals after hearing the news.

It’s fascinating, really.  As the information was being tweeted out, liberals who have  a vested interest in getting NC’s supposedly “toughest voter ID laws in the nation” tossed off the books on the grounds that they’re “racist” or something didn’t stop to consider anything but the fact that this seriously underminds their case.  Keep in mind, they don’t even know if most of the people who double voted were Republicans or Democrats. In their mind, the law is racist and voter fraud doesn’t exist (except when the GOP wins elections, of course). Perhaps they assumed it was mostly Democrats who fraudulently voted in two different states and seek to change the direction of the debate.  After what the left has gotten away with here and elsewhere over the last several decades come election time, can you blame them for going on the defensive? :)

Anyway, I suspect there will be much more to come on this story very soon as both “sides” of the debate jockey for position, with the left trying to “debunk” the report as fast as they can.  And it goes without saying that the North Carolina mainstream media, reliably left wing, is “urging caution” on the NCSBE’s findings because the local “real” journos, of course, are the ultimate decoders and deciders of what’s definitively true and not in North Carolina politics – in spite of the fact they’ve been notably partisan in the past against Republican efforts to curtail voter fraud.

Stay tuned!

Thursday AM Update: Per the NC Voter Integrity Group:


In other words, it may not be the full 36,000 that double voted – but many will fall under that category, in addition to the nearly 800 whose names, birthdates and last four digits of social security numbers matched up in two different states.. We’ll find out more as the investigation by the NC Elections Board continues.

 

#Obamacare to cost employers more than $5,000 per employee

Posted by: Phineas on April 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

The American Health Policy Institute did something unusual: rather than estimate the effects of Obamacare from the outside, they went to 100 large employers and asked the directly what their expected costs would be over the next ten years. The results were eye-opening — and disturbing:

Obamacare will cost large companies between $4,800 and $5,900 more per employee and add hundreds of millions to their overhead, according to a new survey.

(…)

Factoring in the health care law’s added mandates, fees, and regulatory burdens, employers anticipate cost hikes between $163 million and $200 million in 2016, a 4.3 percent increase. By 2023, employers will be paying 8.4 percent more than “what they would otherwise be spending” for their employees’ health care.

In the next 10 years, the total cost of Obamacare to all large American employers is estimated to be from $151 billion to $186 billion, according to the study.

“This study is a c-suite diagnosis of how [the Affordable Care Act] ACA is shaping large employer behavior,” Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute, said. “We don’t know yet precisely how employers will react, but the study shows that employers will have to make real changes or incur heavy costs, which means that the ACA will have a significant impact on those in employer-sponsored health care.”

While noting that some will say the results will “lead to more economical use of health care dollars,” the study questions whether the increase in health costs could bring the “end of the employer-sponsored health care system.”

I don’t think there’s any “may” about it: the perverse incentives of Obamacare scream at employers to save money by dumping their insurance plans, pay the fines instead, and let the employees try their luck on the exchanges. (And luck is what they’ll need.)

This, of course, is what was intended all along, part of the Obamacare Trojan Horse that Harry Reid admitted we’re all supposed to ride to the land of single-payer, state-run healthcare. Blowing up the existing health care and insurance industries, which most people were satisfied with, was all part of the plan.

We shall have a chance to comment on said plan next November. I, for one, am looking forward to it. Aren’t you?

Read the rest at the Free Beacon.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

 

Was the Pres. Obama/David Ortiz WH Twitter “selfie” a Samsung promo stunt?

Posted by: ST on April 2, 2014 at 11:28 am
David Ortiz and President Obama

Image via @DavidOrtiz’s Twitter page.

Via The Hill:

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’s selfie with President Obama may have been a promotional stunt as part of the All Star’s recent endorsement deal with cell phone manufacturer Samsung, according to the Boston Globe.

During the championship ceremony Tuesday at the White House, Ortiz presented Obama with a Red Sox jersey and then whipped out his cell phone to take a picture with the president.

“He wants to take a selfie!” Obama said. “It’s the Big Papi selfie.”

The picture was later posted to the slugger’s account, where it had more than 38,000 retweets within 24 hours.

One of those retweets was Samsung’s official account, which also asked Twitter users what kind of camera Ortiz used, highlighting that it was one of the company’s phones.

In a statement, Samsung said that they were “thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3 during his White House visit.”

“It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement. Similar to the selfie Ellen was able to capture during the Oscars, this was an opportunity for David to share the incredible moment with his fans,” the phone manufacturer said.

“When we heard about the visit to the White House, we worked with David and the team on how to share images with fans. We didn’t know if or what he would be able to capture using his Note 3 device.”

The corporate stunt could raise new questions for the White House about the president’s participation in a social media advertising campaign.

While I don’t think the photo being part of a sponsorship deal with Samsung detracts from the “cool factor” of taking a selfie with the President of the United States (no matter who he or she is, ya gotta admit it’s pretty cool to take a self portrait with the POTUS), in my view it does take a bit of the sheen off the “spontaneous” and “pure” aspect of the picture – which some will now speculate was staged rather than a spur of the moment decision.

In any event, I predict the Ortiz selfie with the President is not going to overtake the Ellen’s multi-celeb selfie record from the Academy Awards in terms of the number of retweets.  As of this writing, Ortiz is just short of 40,000 RTs, while Ellen’s stands at over 3,400,000 and counting.  Interestingly enough, there’s also been speculation that her epic selfie pic was also part of a Samsung promotional stunt.

Go figure!