Category Archives: Government

A Major Shift From West To East Is Occurring As The Dollar Dies. Are You Prepared?

Americans need to shake off their FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and start taking real steps to protect their wealth before the $USD is no longer the world’s dominant reserve currency. This involves converting USD denominated paper assets into physical Gold, Silver and a little Cryptocurrency to preserve your purchasing power … before the multi-polar world of tomorrow arrives.  

A big part of life on the other side of this event will involve dealing with wide spread shortages (including food) that accompany the high cost of imported goods that follow a credit and currency collapse, until America’s domestic manufacturing base can be brought back up. Think decades, not months or years to fully recover. This means you should be accumulating resources necessary to more easily stretch through this period while they are relatively cheap and plentiful in today’s dollars. Otherwise, you might find yourself living like the 99% are in Venezuela today.  

Enjoy the show …

 

Michelle Obama Top School Lunch Ally Charged with Embezzlement

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A top school lunch reformer for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), who received praise from former first lady Michelle Obama, has been charged with 15 felony counts, including embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds.

David Binkle, 55, a former chef who ultimately oversaw a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars as he implemented Michelle Obama’s school lunch program in the LAUSD, pleaded not guilty to all the counts during an appearance in court on Tuesday and posted $220,000 bail, reports the L.A. Times.

Prosecutors allege that Binkle – who railed against childhood obesity with appearances on Tedx Talks – illegally directed about $65,000 of the school district’s funds into his private consulting firm, some of which eventually ended up in his own pocket.

The news report continues:

According to court documents, Binkle repeatedly misappropriated district funds in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 between 2010 and 2014. Prosecutors also allege that he forged an application to become a vendor with the district and failed to disclose outside financial interests.

Binkle, who became known for his use of the phrase “nasty, rotty” food, led the former first lady’s unpopular school lunch reform in the district even as students established their own black market of favorite – albeit “unhealthy” – foods.

In his efforts to implement the school lunch reform, Binkle offered lengthy contracts to providers such as Tyson Foods Inc., Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, Goldstar Foods, and Five Star Gourmet Foods. Some of the vendors also agreed to annual donations of $500,000 to a healthy eating marketing program in the school district.

Problems with Binkle’s management, however, were noted as early as 2011 by George Beck, a former food-services deputy branch budget director, who reportedly brought his concerns to the district but was ignored and then laid off.

Nevertheless, in 2014, the LAUSD’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) accused Binkle of failing to disclose his ownership of California Culinary Consulting or payments from vendors who appeared at school nutrition events.

The OIG audit noted his firm presented “at minimum an appearance of a conflict of interest,” and his marketing program was “being mismanaged and at worst being consistently abused” by Binkle, who said he was “frustrated and baffled” by the allegations.

“I have done nothing wrong and have nothing to hide, since my actions were approved and encouraged from senior district officials, general counsel or the ethics office,” Binkle emailed the Times. “I am confident the truth and facts will show the allegations are unsubstantiated.”

Beck, however, reportedly said Binkle’s activity was a symptom of larger problems within LAUSD:

He negotiated these contracts with these firms with no oversight, nobody else participating. It was a huge procurement bureaucracy. There was one contract for vegetarian entrees, and I remember sitting in a meeting with 35 people. Binkle was there. He had one entrée that was $2.25 per item, and our reimbursement was less than the cost of the meal. Every meal that we sold, we were losing money.

Beck added he was surprised it took so long for prosecutors to uncover the problems with Binkle.

“All these internal control entities that were supposed to be exercising internal control were not doing it,” he said. “I brought it to their attention, and they did nothing about it.”

“While recognizing that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, the charges against Mr. Binkle are extremely upsetting as they do not reflect the professionalism, ethics and character we expect of all L.A. Unified employees,” the school district said in a statement.

In October of 2014, Breitbart News also reported a major scandal in the LAUSD in which former superintendent John Deasy – a former employee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – resigned after pushing a $1.3 billion iPad buy for every child in the district from joint sellers Apple and Pearson, the latter of which had designed a companion iPad curriculum. The program was a huge failure and led to further scrutiny of Deasy’s close personal ties with Apple and Pearson.

In 2015, Deasy ultimately joined a training academy funded by one of his supporters, philanthropist Eli Broad. He became a consultant and the superintendent-in-residence for the Broad Academy, which trains urban public education leaders.

By Dr. Susan Berry | Breitbart

Death Spiral: 6.5 Million People Choose To Pay Tax Rather Than Buy Obamacare

For those who still aren’t convinced that Obamacare is trapped in an inescapable death spiral that will inevitably end in nothing short of an epic collapse of the federal and state health insurance exchanges, perhaps you should consider the following facts from the National Review and Mark Farrah and Associates.

–  Four heavily promoted open enrollments have taken place run by the Obama administration and the state exchanges.

–  Federal law has required people to purchase insurance or pay a fine — and the individual mandate was administered through 2016 by the Obama administration. In fact, in 2015, 7.5 million people paid the fine, while 6.5 million paid the fine in 2016, according to the IRS.

–  Every one of the people in the insurance market earning less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level were eligible for premium assistance — and those below 250 percent of the poverty level were also eligible to have their deductibles and co-pays subsidized.

–  After all of this, only about 40 percent of those eligible for subsidies have signed up for coverage. In what other business or government program would such a dismal acceptance by those it was targeted to serve be considered a success?

–  The number of insurance companies participating is on track to shrink by 38 percent in 2018.

And then there is the chart below…if people really saw “value” in Obamacare wouldn’t you expect that more than 2% of the people who don’t qualify for subisidies would sign up?

Finally, I will suggest the real test of whether a health-insurance program is stable is whether the consumers for whom it is intended believe that it provides them with value. Here is a chart of the take-up rate on the federal exchanges under the Affordable Care Act; excluding the “Over 400%” category, all of these individuals are eligible for subsidies. This chart represents data from last year, but with only a 4 percent reduction in those purchasing on the exchanges between 2016 and 2017, it should remain a fair indication of consumer approval of the program.

The health-insurance industry has long considered a 75 percent take-up rate to be the gold standard in evaluating whether an insurance pool is stable — i.e., whether there are enough healthy people signed up to pay the claims of the sick. While the exchanges appear to have achieved this for the lowest-income consumers — those who get the biggest premium subsidies and also have their out-of-pocket costs subsidized — only 17 percent of those making 301 to 400 percent of the poverty level have signed up.

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Still not convinced, how about this?  The “off-exchange market” (i.e. people who make too much money to quality for subsidies and whose premiums are required to subsidize everyone else who does qualify) contracted by 2.1mm in 2016, or a 29% drop.  With those kind of declines, it’s only a matter of time until there are no more rich fools in the pool willing to continue subsidizing a broken system.

Also, MFA published the same report in 2016, facilitating a year-over-year comparison. The on-exchange market fell from 12,681,874 to 12,216,003 individuals, a reduction of 465,871 or 4 percent. However, the off-exchange market fell from 7,520,939 to 5,361,451, a reduction of 2,159,488 or 29 percent. In other words, enrollment is steady among those who receive subsidies but declining dramatically among those who do not.

Much has been made of the question of whether the individual markets are in a “death spiral.” Given that the on-exchange market enrollment is relatively stable, there is clearly not a death spiral in the subsidized market. However, with a reduction in the unsubsidized market of 29 percent in just one year, that pattern certainly looks like one we would expect in a market spiraling down.

Meanwhile, of course, that 29% drop exactly why insurance companies are expected to hike their rates by 20-40% in certain markets again in 2018…

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…and why rates have soared an average of 113% over the past 4 years, or nearly 30% per year.

Source: ZeroHedge

Philadelphia Tax Makes Soda More Expensive Than Beer

https://i1.wp.com/freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Pepsi.jpgPhiladelphia’s tax on sugary drinks has made soda more expensive than beer in the city.

The Tax Foundation released a new study on the excise tax last week, finding that the 1.5-cent per ounce tax has fallen short of revenue projections, cost jobs, and has forced some Philadelphians to drive outside the city to buy groceries.

The study finds that the tax is 24 times higher than the Pennsylvania tax rate on beer.

“Purchases of beer are also now less expensive than nonalcoholic beverages subject to the tax in the city,” according to the study, written by Courtney Shupert and Scott Drenkard. “Empirical evidence from a 2012 journal article suggests that soda taxes can push consumers to alcohol, meaning it is likely the case that consumers are switching to alcoholic beverages as a result of the tax. The paper, aptly titled From Coke to Coors, further shows that switching from soda to beer increases total caloric intake, even as soda taxes are generally aimed at caloric reduction.”

The Tax Foundation points out that unlike most cities, Philadelphia passed the tax specifically to raise revenue, not to fight obesity. The city even includes diet sodas in its tax, as a way to raise money for pre-kindergarten programs.

However, less than half of the $39.4 million collected since the tax went into effect on Jan. 1 has gone to education funding.

“[T]he tax was originally promoted as a vehicle to raise funds for prekindergarten education, but in practice it awards just 49 percent of the soda tax revenues to local pre-K programs,” Shupert and Drenkard write. “Another 20 percent of the soda tax revenues fund government employee benefits or city programs, while the rest of the money will go towards parks, libraries, and community schools.”

Collections from the soda tax are also well below original projections of $92 million per year, due to tax avoidance.

“Soda sales in Philadelphia have also declined since the tax went into effect at the beginning of 2017, threatening the long-run sustainability of the tax,” Shupert and Drenkard write. “According to some local distributors and retailers, sales have declined by nearly 50 percent. This is likely primarily due to higher prices, which discourage purchasing beverages in the city.”

Earlier this year PepsiCo announced it was laying off up to 100 workers because of the tax, which the company blames for costing a 43 percent drop in business.

Philadelphians are also no longer able to buy 12-packs or 2-liters of Pepsi products in grocery stores due to the tax, the Tax Foundation said.

“From an operational standpoint, the tax rollout continues to create problems for the city as collections have come in less than projected,” the Tax Foundation added. “In July, city officials lowered beverage tax revenue projections by 14 percent, leaving the pre-kindergarten programs that the tax promised to fund in jeopardy.”

“Furthermore, soda taxes are regressive, hurting low-income earners the most. Philadelphia’s experience serves as a cautionary tale for other areas weighing similar beverage taxes,” the group said.

Source: The Washington Free Beacon

Russian TV Begins To Educate Its Citizens About Rothschild ☭ Global Power

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A weekend news broadcast, aired on Russia’s Channel 1 on April 2, 2017 reports on the history of the Rothschild family, using Nazi propaganda footage and antisemitic caricatures.

The item, which was broadcast following the death of American banker David Rockefeller, purported to shed light on another wealthy international banking dynasty, the Rothschilds.

The use of Nazi propaganda footage – and moreover, without explicitly mentioning the Nazi regime – is unusual in public broadcasts on Russian media. The broadcast describes the major conspiracy theories regarding the Rothschild family, claiming that it is part of an international Jewish plot to take control of the world.

The MEMRI TV clip has translated excerpts from the original news item.

Source: NWO Report

 

Another Maryland City Pushing Idea To Let Illegal Aliens Vote

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Council member Christine Nagle: “It just makes sense.”

Demorats love giving voting “rights” to their “constituents.”

From Fox News: A D.C. suburb in Maryland is considering a plan that would give undocumented immigrants illegal aliens the right to vote, making their city the largest in the Old Line State to do so.

The city, which is home of the University of Maryland’s main campus and nearly 30,000 residents, is weighing approval of the new measure to let noncitizens cast ballots for mayor and City Council, The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday.

Supporters of the measure say that local elections focus on issues like trash collection, and other municipal services and they are issues that affect residents of the city, regardless of their citizenship status.

“These are folks who have a significant stake in our community, and who rely on the facilities in our city,” College Park City Councilwoman Christine Nagle, who is sponsoring the measure, said to the newspaper. “To me, it just made sense.”

Others in the community say that immigrants should not have a say until they have completed the process of becoming a citizen. “On a personal level, I do not agree that noncitizens should be voting,” College Park City Councilwoman Mary C. Cook said before adding that she will listen to her constituents before making a decision.

Jeff Werner, an advocate for tighter immigration restrictions with the advocacy group Help Save Maryland told the newspaper that he felt even more strongly about undocumented immigrants illegal aliens going to the voting booth. “What gives them that privilege?” He asked.

A total of 10 municipalities across two counties allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. Voters in Takoma Park, a liberal enclave in Montgomery County, narrowly approved a referendum in making the town one of the first to allow the practice in Maryland.

It was preceded by Barnesville — a small town near Sugarloaf Mountain in Montgomery County — has allowed noncitizens to vote since 1918 and Somerset, which approved noncitizen voting in 1976.

The number of communities in Maryland adopting the measure has surged in recent months. Hyattsville in Prince George’s County approved immigrant voting just last year, followed by Mount Rainier, also in Prince George’s County.

The College Park proposal like the other municipalities, does not distinguish between legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants illegal aliens.

Those in favor of the policy say that’s by design. “We very intentionally made it so that we did not have questions about citizenship status,” said Patrick Paschall, a former member of the Hyattsville council who championed the legislation there said to the Sun. “It undermines the premise of noncitizen voting to try to draw a distinction.”

Source: Fellowship Of The Minds

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