A half million will sleep on the streets tonight, but nothing seems to wake up Congress to this tragedy
The smoking guns in mass killings may not be just the weapons, but also the danger posed by the untreated mentally ill, who are responsible for ten percent of homicides in the U.S.A., according to the Treatment Advocacy Center.
And many of these mentally impaired are nearly dead, forgotten, sleeping in cardboard boxes, homeless because of a federal program launched in 1963 by JFK, that has become deadly, useless and exorbitant.
Our do-nothing Congress knows the danger, but the homeless don’t vote or give politicians payoffs.
The National Institute of Mental Health focuses on the problem this way: Continue reading →
Ask the Kochs, they’ll say you can’t buy happiness, but there’s a price to buy politicians in both parties
Brothers of a feather, Charles and David Koch, are once again spreading their wings, not in some benevolent embrace to aid their 120,000 workers worldwide, but instead to hover over the 2018 Congressional election and elect stooges who have pledged to kiss their bony talons.
That may seem a bit harsh. It’s not fashionable to criticize two craggy-faced zealots worth about $100 billion, who own the second largest (after Cargill) privately held firm in the U.S.A.
The Kochs will spend big bucks in 2018 – reportedly some $889 million – a lousy one percent of their total wealth, but enough to buy elections.
The Koch “investment” in 2016 was slightly less – $800 million, but compare that to $80,000 in 2016 ads by the Russians to influence the same election.
This proves American tycoons meddled best – the Kochs spent 10,000 times as much as cheapskate Vlad.
Grass fed beef called product of U.S.A. may be from cattle that never had one breath of air in America
“Where’s the beef…from?”
You’ll never know by just examining the supermarket package’s contents.
The problem started in 2015, when the B. Obama administration’s USDA decided to ignore food safety regulations, and rolled back Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for both beef and pork products, allowing meat to be sold without disclosing its home country on the label.
The result: meat can now be sold without disclosing the home country on the label.
But it gets even worse.
Because of the way regulations were written, beef and pork products shipped to the United States, and just processed here, can be labeled “product of U.S.A.” Continue reading →
Illegal drug dealers, who are designated as major suppliers, will face the electric chair or gas chamber if President Donald Trump has his way. Our sometimes alert members of Congress voice agreement, now suddenly aware that criminals who sell opioids, like heroin and oxycodone, deserve more than slap-on-wrist fines or jail time.
Don’t bet on the death penalty just yet for these creatures. With decades of litigation possible, it’s easier to prescribe life in prison.
And speaking of prescribing, when are we going to deal with the legal drug dealers, whose companies have priced life-saving medicine in the stratosphere, so that only the very rich, or those with golden health plans, are able to afford?
An illegal drug dealer who hooks 200 victims deserves their fate.
A legal drug dealer who ruins the lives of millions deserves no less a prison term.
Which brings me to the example of Hepatitis C and the story of Marsha Lecour, who contracted the condition when she was four, after open heart surgery that exposed her to contaminated blood. Lecour is a native of Canada, the only nation, other than the U.S., which doesn’t have government-provided prescription drugs, where there is national healthcare for everything else. Continue reading →
That buy your green card pitch by Kushner’s sister in China renews controversy over visas for the rich
If you had $300 during the Civil War you could avoid that first Draft by just paying the dough and walking away. No money, you could go to jail or possibly become one of the 620,000 Americans killed on the battlefields.
When it comes to citizenship, the rich don’t need to climb that wall or swim that Rio Grande, now they just put up money, $500,000 or more to be exact, to invest in some project in the U.S. and agree that somehow that will create ten new jobs.
Some 85% of all these “investment citizens” are from China. The deal is called EB-5 Visa, and not only can you become an American, but so can the wife and children – all for the same price.
By this criterion, anyone with enough money can buy citizenship. Poor folks need not apply.
The program was extended last week by President Donald Trump, even though he said he had qualms about it during the campaign last year. The day after he signed the extension, the Kushner organization was in Beijing, selling investments in the luxury apartment building, One Journal Square, that is set to be built next year in Jersey City. A brochure blasted:
“Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
It’s as easy as: one, two, three!
The 2018 Donald Trump Federal Budget can be balanced, even when including nearly $54 billion in increased Defense Department spending, and not one federal department would require any cuts in spending.
These are the proposed $54 billion in department cuts that would not have to take effect under my 123 Plan:
Agriculture 2018 Budget
- Eliminates $500 million Water and Wastewater loan/grant program
- Eliminates $200 million McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program
- Cuts Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance from $6.4 billion to $6.2 billion
- Unspecified staff reductions at USDA service center agencies
- Cuts $95 million from Rural Business and Cooperative Service
His mom started La Raza Unida.
His dad was a mathematics school teacher.
His brother is an identical twin and also a politician.
His education was only made possible by affirmative action.
“Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquín. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life”
Julian Castro has been on the high road to political success for many years. He was mayor of San Antonio, keynote speaker at the 2012 National Democrat Convention, was touted as H. Clinton’s best candidate for vice president on her ticket, and is the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed by Barack Obama.
But his high road has crashed into a sinkhole, and his choice as v.p. candidate with Hillary might just look like two politicians both in bed with Wall Street and serve as symbols of a cozy relation with politicians and financiers.
Julian’s disaster is called “Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. (DASP)” It is HUD’s attempt to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by selling more overdue mortgage loans to nonprofit community organizations, rather than Wall Street banks. Julian, who once had his own law firm with his brother, knows that the big banks want to buy these loans at a discount, then hound the homeowners into paying the full amount of mortgages, rather than working with borrowers.
Castro has done just the opposite. Look at last year’s results: 98% of homes sold through HUD’s DASP program went straight to Wall Street (15,309 out of 15,624). Community Development Financial Institutions only got 1% of loans sold in 2015, despite promises in April 2015 by Castro to stop feeding the loans to Wall Street. (That promise only came after pressure applied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Other political leaders are also concerned with Castro’s caving to Wall Street.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., requested a briefing on the program in a Feb. 1 letter to Castro. (full text of letter)
The letter cites the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation of the program: (Link to story).
Over 98,000 mortgages have been sold through DASP with the stated goal of helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure while also getting troubled loans off the FHA’s books. The Center investigation revealed that the mortgages were sold for as little as 41 percent of their value and that only 16.9 percent of DASP mortgages avoided foreclosures.
The Blackstone Group bought the majority of these loans last year. With some $311 billion of assets it is best known for its founder, Pete Peterson, an ancient magnate, who has backed everything from Fix the Debt to The Fiscal Times in his war to cut Social Security benefits and to raise the retirement age.
An excellent expose of Blackstone’s rental housing practices is here.