In Washington there are two kinds of government expenditures. Those that are too small to sweat and those that are too large to do anything about. An example of something too large would be Medicare. In the too small category, there is Amtrak, which gets a billion or so in subsidies every year. In Washington, that is chump change. Not worth the trouble it would take to pry it from the clenched fingers of those who receive it. Still, some Republicans in Congress are making the effort.
Here in northern California the tracks through the Eel River Canyon washed out during the winter of 1995-96. They have never been repaired. The North Coast Railroad still receives federal and state transportation funds. They use "railroad funds" to BUS train passengers between Eureka in the north and Petaluma in the south. They fit all the trains passengers on ONE bus. These are the idiots who think they can make high-speed rail viable in trecherous terrain. Your tax dollars at work.
A million dollars is a lot of money. I´d like to have that much. A billion dollars is a thousand million dollars. A trillion dollars is a million million dollars.
"Small" expenditures add up and are important. I say cut all government expenditures by a 10 percent per year each year until the national debt is no more than 10 percent of GDP. Start first with White House and Congressional offices. The country is over the so called fiscal cliff and head down.
LOS ANGELES – Federal officials on Monday unsealed five criminal cases filed against 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff´s deputies as part of an FBI investigation into allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption in the nation´s largest jail system. The charges were announced at a press conference after 16 of 18 defendants were arrested earlier in the day. They were expected to be arraigned later in U.S. District Court. (Snip) One federal indictment filed Nov. 20 named seven deputies charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice. It is unclear from the indictment whether they are currently employed
Skiers and snowboarders searching for "the steep and deep" this winter may find the concept has taken on a much less appealing connotation: The price of the sport is getting so steep that some believe it may be becoming the exclusive domain of those whose pockets are exceedingly deep. "You have the haves and the have mores," said Douglas Quinby, principal analyst at PhoCusWright, which conducts market research on the travel industry. (Snip)Skiing, of course, has never been considered an inexpensive activity, but the sport has seen a significant upward shift in visitor demographics in recent years.
Denver - A baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony must serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines, a judge said Friday. The order from administrative law judge Robert N. Spencer said Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver discriminated against a couple "because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage." The order says the cake-maker must "cease and desist from discriminating" against gay couples. Although the judge did not impose fines in this case, the business will face penalties if it continues to turn away gay
The newly-unveiled uniforms for the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team are star-spangled and red, white and blue — but they´re not made in America. The hodgepodge design, which designer Burton Snowboards says was inspired by a vintage quilt, features the faded colors of Old Glory and stars on the shoulder, base-layer henleys, hats and gloves. But like Ralph Lauren, which designed U.S. Olympic gear for the 2012 games in London, Vermont-based Burton is now defending its decision to use a global set of vendors to complete the job ahead of the Sochi Games, which begin on Feb. 7.
New York - Did stores shoot themselves in the foot? Target, Macy´s and other retailers offered holiday discounts in early November and opened stores on Thanksgiving Day. It was an effort to attract shoppers before Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season. Those tactics drew bigger crowds, but failed to motivate Americans to spend. A record 141 million people are expected to shop in stores and online over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend that ends Sunday, up from last year´s 137 million, according to the results of a survey of nearly 4,500 shoppers
Janet Yellen moved one step closer to becoming the next chair of the Federal Reserve, after the Senate Banking Committee voted to move her nomination forward for a full Senate vote. The committee voted 14-8 to send Yellen´s nomination on for consideration before the full Senate. That vote on the Senate floor has not yet been scheduled, but is expected to occur in early December. Three Republicans joined Democrats on the committee in voting in favor of Yellen: Bob Corker of Tennessee, Mark Kirk of Illinois and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only
LAS VEGAS — A U.S. Navy sailor told his high school sweetheart he wanted to marry her the moment he laid eyes on her after an 11-month deployment off the coast of war-torn Syria. Seaman Apprentice Dylan Ruffer got his wish Tuesday shortly after stepping off a plane at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Ruffer and Madison Meinhardt, both 19, tied the knot just after midnight under a tulle-covered arch in front of the arrivals escalators. More than 200 invited guests, passengers and others looked on. "Seeing her for the first time, it was amazing," Ruffer told reporters. A reception followed
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a new five-year strategic plan to improve safety for elderly drivers and passengers. Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers is increasing dramatically — and with it, that group´s numbers of injuries and deaths. Since 2003, the population of older adults, defined as age 65 and older, has increased by 20% and the number of licensed older drivers increased by 21% to 35 million in 2012, according to NHTSA. Last year, NHTSA reported that 5,560 people older than 65 died and 214,000 were injured
A veteran Washington adviser who has worked for four Presidents on both sides of the political aisle said that the stunning Government Accountability Report report that found President Barack Obama has not had a one-on-one meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius since the passage of Obamacare over three years ago is an indictment of the entire White House operation and shows that the Obama administration has bordered on "malfeasance." "I have no doubt the White House is right, that Secretary Sebelius was in several group meetings with the president about health care," Gergen caveated, "but the whole
President Barack Obama’s Facebook page on Saturday posted a message honoring the dead from Pearl Harbor—accompanied by a picture of Obama descending the stairs next to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The picture barely fits the name of the Arizona Memorial so it can frame Obama in the foreground. The post´s statement reads: Today, with solemn pride and reverence, let us remember those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, acknowledge everyone who carried their legacy forward, and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the ideals for which they served. President Obama The Obama Administration´s current shipbuilding plan shrinks the size of
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack,
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the hapless, goalpost-shifting so-called "architect" of Obamacare, told Fox News´ Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that President Barack Obama´s promise "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" was absolutely true--with one important caveat: if you like your doctor, "you can pay for it." Wallace grilled Dr. Emanuel, challenging his false claims that California´s enrollment was keeping pace with the percentage of the young population necessary to keep the system afloat, and pointing out that the president´s promise on doctors would collapse once people lost their insurance or their
Just how much do many Hollywood liberals hate conservatives? In an interview with Playboy, Ben Affleck said, "When I watch a guy [on film] I know is a big Republican, part of me thinks, I probably wouldn’t like this person if I met him": PLAYBOY: You developed a political profile campaigning for presidential candidates Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama. How did that come about? AFFLECK: I grew up in a house with a mother who was a teacher and a Freedom Rider—very left-wing Democrats living in a heterogeneous working-class neighborhood. I picked up a lot of those values there, and I
The U.S. isn´t called "America the Beautiful" for nothing. Each year, millions of tourists come from home and abroad to see the country´s majestic landscape and iconic sites, from the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty. But there are also cool, quirky attractions, like Vermont´s Ben & Jerry´s Factory and Tennessee´s Graceland, the former home of Rock and Roll King Elvis Presley. From California to New York and everywhere in between, the country is chock-full of incredible attractions that keep luring in visitors. Here are the best tourist attractions in every state.