King Cove sits 11 miles southeast of Cold Bay in Alaska, a distance that often takes a lifetime, under current conditions, to travel. That’s because there is no road between the two towns, only an over-water boat path, and a small airport in King Cove that’s weather-closed a third of the year. Cold Bay has an all-weather airport, though.
The residents of King Cove want—need—a road connecting the two towns, and they’ve been fighting the Federal government for one for 30 years. The Feds get the veto authority because the land route for the gravel road (all that the locals are asking) runs through Federal land.
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For Progressives, Some Lives are More Important than Others
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Included in President Barack Obama’s latest budget proposal was a 1% raise for Federal employees. Of course, in this time of profligate spending and exploding debt, that’s not enough for public service unions.
David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the nation’s largest federal employee union, said Monday that the 1% increase is “pitiful” and fails to compensate for sacrifice by government workers.
“Federal employees have endured years of pay freezes and cuts in retirement benefits,” Cox said in a statement. ”Federal employees deserve a meaningful pay raise, not a token increase that will be more than eaten up by rising living costs, including higher retirement and healthcare costs.”
…driven by Big Government.
JP Morgan Chase & Co said Tuesday it will cut more jobs at bank branches and its mortgage unit this year than previously planned, as the largest US lender adjusts to slowing home-loan demand and customers’ growing preference to bank online.
That’s one aspect of the restructuring. JPM says they’ll lose some 8,000 employees from its branches and its mortgage unit. However, they’re looking to increase their “controls staff” by some 3,000. A company’s controls staff are the folks dedicated to ensuring company compliance with government laws and regulations, as well as with its own internal rules.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is spouting more of them. And with a straight face, too; it’s like she actually believes what she’s saying. Which would be even worse.
There is absolutely no evidence and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act.
Leaving aside the well-documented instances of reduced hours, delayed (or canceled) hiring, canceled plant expansions, and so on that are occurring as a direct result of Obamacare, Sebelius is having a negative impact on jobs with her own Departmental edicts. She’s already ordered, for instance, the Obamacare-maximum allowed cuts to funding for home health care services.
“…in order to see what’s in it….”
Here’s another of those tidbits that’s in it that Pelosi and her gang chose not to know about before passing Obamacare:
Tucked deep in the Affordable Care Act is language requiring all restaurants with at least 20 locations to list nutritional information alongside each and every item on their menu.
Sit-down restaurant chains, with their menus now required to be cluttered with “nutrition” information instead of letting their patrons see a readable menu—because Big Government knows better—are also faced, unfortunately, with a rapid-fire alteration of their menus as this “nutrition” information gets frequently “updated:” recall how rapidly the USDA’s food pyramid has been changing over the last several years.
Here are a couple of types of spending increases that will appear in upcoming Federal budgets:
[A] CBO report finds that mandatory spending, which includes Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, is projected to rise $85 billion, or 4%….
Interest on the debt is worse. It is projected to increase 14% per year, almost quadrupling in dollar terms between 2014 and 2024.
DoD Secretary Chuck Hagel’s proposed budget cuts Defense spending by $75 billion over the next two years.
The “mandatory” spending problem could be cured over those same two years, with a proper reform package.
William Kristol in The Weekly Standard:
Kiev is ablaze. Syria is a killing field. The Iranian mullahs aren’t giving up their nuclear weapons capability, and other regimes in the Middle East are preparing to acquire their own. Al Qaeda is making gains and is probably stronger than ever. China and Russia throw their weight around, while our allies shudder and squabble.
Having withdrawn from Iraq, and seeing it now fall apart, the administration is nonetheless determined to get out of Afghanistan. Its Russia “reset” is a joke, and its “pivot to Asia” an empty slogan. Secretary of State John Kerry huffed and puffed when Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons last year, and asserted it was a Munich moment. How right he was! Kerry came back brandishing a piece of paper, and Assad remains in power.
Erin Ching ’16, of Swarthmore College, without a trace of irony:
What really bothered me is, the whole idea is that at a liberal arts college, we need to be hearing a diversity of opinion. I don’t think we should be tolerating [Christian thinker Robert George's] conservative views because that dominant culture embeds these deep inequalities in our society.
Sandra Korn, ’14, of Harvard:
[T]the liberal obsession with “academic freedom” seems a bit misplaced to me. After all, no one ever has “full freedom” in research and publication. Which research proposals receive funding and what papers are accepted for publication are always contingent on political priorities.
In years past, Obama had offered to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs—known as chained CPI. Not anymore.
The Obama administration also has taken to making this claim:
Social Security has not contributed one penny to the deficit.
This, of course, is mendaciously false—it’s government spending, and the government is spending more than it takes in. The only thing is the bookkeeping fiction that it’s off-budget, and so (so the claim goes) that deficit spending doesn’t exist. But this meme depends on a carefully distorted definition of the official “deficit”—that of being only an on-the-books deficit, and not including the off-the-books spending that is Social Security (and Medicare).
Susan Rice, currently President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor, said this on Sunday to NBC Meet the Press‘ David Gregory:
[W]hat I said to you that morning, and what I did every day since, was to share the best information that we had at the time. The information I provided, which I explained to you, was what we had at the moment. It could change. I commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning ….
Compare that with this transcript of a conference call in which a State Department official described real-time reporting of the events in Benghazi by folks present in and during the attack.