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Author Topic: Bureaucracy and Regulations in action: The Fourth Branch of the US Govt.  (Read 11684 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #50 on: April 14, 2013, 11:32:23 AM »

Perhaps even more to the point is that this is the man who believes in the power of the state to "nudge" we the unwilling into state-desired behaviors.

This is the guy who Glenn Beck called "the second most dangerous man in America".
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objectivist1
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« Reply #51 on: April 14, 2013, 05:19:40 PM »

Yes, I'm well-aware of this man's predilection for controlling others' behavior.  He's a true Marxist in that sense.  Believes that man can create utopia on this earth, if only the right government polices are enacted.  The very essence of the difference between conservatives and leftists.
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: June 02, 2013, 07:47:48 AM »



http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/story/2013/05/31/wdr-moore-tornado-relief-us-border.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #53 on: June 15, 2013, 02:19:30 PM »

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323734304578542981761557180.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #54 on: June 18, 2013, 02:47:48 PM »

The Founders didn't quite anticipate the imperial bureaucracy
Published by: Dan Calabrese

Our masters.
 
First of all, I wish someone could explain to me how Beltway conventional wisdom declares a shallow hack like Ezra Klein "bright," but doesn't recognize the real brainpower in Jay Cost. If you read the Weekly Standard at all, you know Cost for being thorough, analytical and always honest in his assessments. And as we see here, he does his homework and knows his history. Cost has done a really excellent piece that spells out one of the biggest problems facing the citizens of this nation - the fact that a gigantic bureaucracy the Founders could never have anticipated, and really designed no mechanism for reining in, has become such a power unto itself.

Here is the money passage:

The Declaration of Independence vested all sovereign power in the people alone, while the Constitution established a government to manage that power in a republican fashion. While the people still swear fealty to the founding ideals, they have not put much thought recently into the problems the Founders tackled. As society has become more complex, the government has, too; Americans have not reexamined the structure of government, in an age in which it accounts for more than 20 percent of the national economy, to ensure it still reflects the republican spirit. In fact, there has not been a serious public discussion about the organization of the bureaucracy since the 1880s, even as it has doubled in size many times over. And so today, it is a vast enterprise of millions of workers, with precious little oversight from the people’s elected representatives.

It’s no wonder that some agency somewhere in the bureaucracy could have worked so perniciously for so long against the people’s interests. Perhaps the only surprise is that we ever noticed the malfeasance at the IRS at all. Were it not for the over-the-top questioning from the IRS—asking one group to pledge not to protest abortion clinics, another to reveal what books their members were reading, another to say what they’re praying about—all this might still be hidden in the shadows, unbeknownst to an overburdened Congress and an incurious media. And it remains to be seen what will be done about it, whether the bureaucracy, now under attack, has the resources and wherewithal to block oversight and prevent reform.

If there is a battle between the people and the bureaucracy to see who will maintain power, the bureaucracy has a huge advantage because it knows the inside picture, knows where the bodies are buried and knows how to lay hold of the public's resources. Elected officials are theoretically responsive to the voters, but the truth is they know the bureaucracy can make more trouble for them on any given day than some constituent.

The IRS is far from the only bad actor here. We've all heard stories of the excesses at the EPA, and the truth is few really know what goes on in a broad sense within every little agency of the federal government. Even Obama's defenders - in a strange manner of defending him - acknowledge that the government is too big for anyone to really keep tabs on what it's doing.

Congress could pass reforms that would make the bureaucracy more accountable, which would most certainly mean it would have to be smaller, but if Congress tries, you know the greatest resistance will come from the bureaucracy itself and its champions in Congress.

This is a fight that needs to be waged at some point. I'm not sure how to fight it, and I don't see anyone willing to lead it. But someone needs to.

Follow all of Dan's work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #55 on: June 18, 2013, 03:27:57 PM »

second post

Money to burn
The muddle-headed world of American public-pension accounting
 
 
SLOWLY but surely the cost of America’s public-sector pension promises is becoming clear. Last year the best estimate of the shortfall was more than $4 trillion. To deal with its deficit, a giant Californian pension fund, CalPERS, recently announced plans that will increase contributions by employers (in effect, taxpayers) by up to a half, starting in 2015-16.

Final-salary pension costs have risen for decades because workers are living longer and the retirement age has barely budged. The bill was disguised in the 1980s and 1990s by good asset returns. But dismal equity markets have since forced many private providers to close final-salary schemes to new members and switch to less lavish defined-contribution plans.

This shift has hardly happened in the public sector, in large part because the accounting treatment is so different. Devin Nunes, a Republican congressman, recently revived a bill to move to a more conservative accounting approach.

Failing to recognise the true cost of public pensions builds up all sorts of problems, as an academic paper last year made clear. As pension funds become more mature (i.e., more of their members are retired) their asset allocation should, in theory, become more conservative. After all, the fund has to worry more about paying benefits immediately and has less scope to gamble that riskier assets will deliver long-term growth.

Sure enough, mature pension funds in Canada and Europe and in America’s private sector all follow this approach. But more mature American public plans have riskier portfolios than less mature equivalents. In its latest “Global Financial Stability Report” the IMF worried that American funds had increased the riskiness of their portfolios, “exposing them to greater volatility and liquidity risks”.

The explanation for such Behaviour is not hard to find. American public-sector schemes discount their liabilities by the expected return on their assets. The riskier the asset mix, the higher the assumed return—and the lower the bill appears to be.

This is an odd way of thinking. Suppose a car company borrowed $10 billion in the form of a 20-year bond to build a manufacturing plant and planned to pay off the debt with the profits from running the plant. The car company will assume a higher return on capital than its financing cost (otherwise it should not build the plant). But it still has to recognise the $10 billion bond liability on its balance-sheet. It cannot say it owes only $2 billion because it expects a very high return.

The reason is clear. If the plant fails to earn a high return, the firm will still be liable to repay the bond. Similarly, if pension schemes fail to earn a high return on their assets, they still have to pay benefits. Final-salary pensions are a debt-like liability.

When private-sector companies account for their pension schemes, therefore, they discount liabilities with a corporate-bond yield. Lower yields have pushed up liabilities and led to big deficits. Moody’s, a ratings agency, will in future use a long-term bond yield to discount American public-pension schemes, resulting in much larger liabilities than before.

Even if you use the expected-return methodology, the discount rate used by public-sector pension funds should fall. That is because all pension funds tend to own some bonds, and low bond yields mean low future returns. But the paper finds no link at all between the discount rates used by public-sector funds and the level of bond yields.

The motto seems to be: if reality is challenging, just ignore it.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) did change the rules for public pension funds last year. But the revised rules still throw up absurdities. In a paper for theFinancial Analysts Journal, Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Rochester argues that by destroying assets invested in cash a scheme can reduce its deficit by increasing the expected return on remaining assets. “A plan can sometimes improve its funding status by literally burning money,” he remarks.

This seemed such a startling finding that The Economist asked GASB to comment. Instead of a detailed rebuttal, we received this response: “GASB gave serious consideration to the views of Professor Novy-Marx when developing its new pension standards.” Not serious enough, it seems. American taxpayers must not know whether to laugh or cry.

Economist.com/blogs/buttonwood
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G M
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« Reply #56 on: June 18, 2013, 03:34:38 PM »

The low information voters are in for a bad time when the bills finally come due.
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G M
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« Reply #57 on: June 18, 2013, 03:39:48 PM »

The low information voters are in for a bad time when the bills finally come due.

Detroit To Dump Retiree Health Costs On ObamaCare

By JED GRAHAM, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
 

 Posted 09:18 AM ET
 
 
The federal government isn't among the creditors Detroit has turned to for mercy, but U.S. taxpayers will bear a large share of the cost of its restructuring.
 
High on emergency manager Kevyn Orr's to-do list: slash health care outlays for thousands of early retirees by shifting them to ObamaCare.
 
Detroit spent $177 million on health benefits for 19,000 retirees last year but figures it can cut that to $28 million-$40 million a year.
 
Part of the savings would come from paring supplemental coverage for retirees age 65 and older, most of whom already get Medicare.
 
But the federal government will pick up much of the slack for early retirees through age 64, who will be eligible for subsidized coverage as long as household income is less than 400% of the poverty level.
 
The news is hardly surprising. While the Motor City is an early mover when it comes to shifting early retirees to ObamaCare, it's not alone and the road for doing so has been well-paved.
 
Last month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — Obama's chief of staff when the law was passed in 2010 — disclosed that the Windy City would shift 30,000 early retirees to ObamaCare. Last year, retiree health care cost the city $109 million, but that's projected to balloon to $500 million within a decade.
 
Sheboygan County, Wis., also has crunched the numbers and envisions saving $286,000 in the upcoming fiscal year by shifting early retirees to ObamaCare's exchanges starting Jan. 1.
 
ObamaCare's crafters intended to provide an alternative to employer-provided coverage for retirees, which had long been in decline.
 
The law set aside $5 billion to offset employer costs from June 2010 until the launch of the subsidized exchanges at the start of 2014. The funds, to reimburse 80% of per-person claims between $15,000 and $90,000, were exhausted by December 2011. New claims were rejected.
 
About half of the employers who signed up for the program were government entities, including the city of Stockton, which has sought to dump retiree health care in bankruptcy proceedings.
 
Stockton public employee retirees recently agreed to accept $5.1 million in a lump sum, which is equal to just 2% of their lost health benefits.
 
The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program was described by the Department of Health and Human Services "as a bridge to the new health insurance Exchanges."
 
The implication was that employers would cross that bridge by shifting coverage to the federal government come 2014.
 
While relatively few government entities have declared such an intention, it seems logical to expect many to make that move in the next year or so.
 
As governments struggle with massive liabilities for pension and health benefits, court rulings have lent support to the contention that pensions are protected under state constitutions. On the other hand, rulings in a number of states have found no such protections for health benefits.
 
In a recent column, former Comptroller General David Walker wrote that ObamaCare presented "a huge opportunity for states and localities in desperate need of fixing their long-term finances."
 
He predicted: "The overall tax burden will shift, and in ways that Americans in other more fiscally responsible states may not appreciate."
 
Walker also warned that the influx of older, high-cost patients into ObamaCare would put upward pressure on premiums and make it less likely younger workers would sign up.


Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/061813-660353-detroit-chicago-shift-retiree-costs-to-obamacare.htm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #58 on: June 22, 2013, 06:17:56 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/21/irs-sent-46-million-in-tax-refunds-to-23994-unauthorized-aliens-all-at-the-same-address-in-atlanta/
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G M
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« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2013, 08:17:24 PM »


Too busy crushing the Tea Party.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #60 on: June 25, 2013, 10:16:26 PM »


https://mises.org/daily/6460/The-Tollkeepers-on-the-Road-to-Serfdom
The Tollkeepers on the Road to Serfdom
Mises Daily: Friday, June 21, 2013 by D.W. MacKenzie

Elected Federal officials can be voted out of office. But the entrenched army of empowered, unelected Federal bureaucrats remains to wield its power, and the Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats are some of the worst. Six years ago I published an article in The Freeman on the incompatibility of the tax code and liberty, and the threat to liberty continues unabated.

Friedrich Hayek described the process by which bureaucratic empowerment and discretion extirpates personal liberty and democracy as “the road to serfdom.” He warned us all that socialism requires bureaucratization. In the socialist state bureaucrats would become the new aristocracy and its citizens would take on the role of serf. My article argued that similar dangers existed with increasing the powers of the IRS bureaucracy, and that democracy could not be relied upon to hold it in check. Recent abuses validate this fear. Any agency without restraint and accountability is a threat to personal freedom and should be abolished.

I have published critiques of the US government and politicians without IRS reprisal, including some that targeted tax policy and the IRS specifically. The types of concerns I raised regarding IRS authority were spelled out by Hayek in his classic The Road to Serfdom. Scholars from Jeff Sachs to Gordon Tullock have claimed that Hayek’s warnings about abuse in social democracy were overstated. After all, many Western nations have large public budgets and extensive regulations without suffering the dire results that Hayek predicted.

The current IRS scandal has renewed concerns regarding abuse of IRS power. One flagrant example from the last election was the partisan use of the IRS as a political weapon. The IRS has a history of political abuse. Hoover, FDR, JFK, and Richard Nixon all used the IRS against enemies, long before Clinton or Obama. In the wake of recent scandals, some politicians are now investigating the IRS. IRS officials, like Douglas Shulman, Lois Lerner, and Holly Paz, in their appearances before Congress, have exhibited the arrogance of an entitled aristocrat instead of the public servants that they are.

Politicians see the IRS and its tax code as a means of fixing perceived political problems. Republicans want to use tax code to promote family values. Democrats want to use taxes to alleviate poverty and reduce pollution. Yet, regardless of the legislative agenda, it is largely unelected bureaucrats who decide where tax money goes.

Hayek pointed out that neither voters nor Congress can watch or manage modern Federal bureaucracies. Consequently, most bureaucratic actions are unseen. Agencies come under scrutiny only when a non-government entity, or the media finds their actions objectionable enough to sell papers or improve ratings. Last year’s GSA spending scandal took front page headlines away from a different IRS abuse scandal, and before that it was a different agency on the hot seat. The agencies of the Medusa-like Leviathan are too numerous to scrutinize all at once, so it is one agency and one scandal at a time, allowing hundreds of other agencies to function unabated.

The potential for bureaucratic abuse is pervasive. The worst rise to the top of bureaucracies in part because the people who want power most are, as Hayek put it, single-minded idealists. Single-minded idealists are intolerant, by definition, believing that their plans for society are objectively superior to any competing plans. Those who have a comparative advantage at acquiring and wielding power are the most ruthless and insensitive people in society. Obama once said “We're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us.” Some characterize Obama’s remark as “Chicago.” This is not just Chicago politics; all politics works this way because intervention always favors some people over others.
The New Scandal

IRS officials admitted to political bias during the last election. They deliberately delayed hundreds of applications for tax-exempt status, and used inappropriate criteria to select the groups it targeted. The IRS asked inappropriate questions of applicant groups, and targeted Obamas opponents with audits. Romney donor Frank Vandersloot was hit with multiple audits by the IRS (with seven other donors) and also by the Department of Labor, at a cost of $80,000. Katherine Engelbrecht was harassed by the IRS, FBI, BATF, and OSHA.

The Justice Department has moved against the Associated Press and Fox News journalist James Rosen, in particular, over privacy issues. It appears that the EPA has been charging fees according to political bias. Obama most likely did not directly order Lois Lerner or Holly Paz to “punish enemies” in the Tea Party movement, but Tea Party members were singled out. Since Tea Party groups oppose the current Federal tax/spending system, the single-minded idealists at the IRS thought these targeting actions to be justifiable.

The fact that some bureaucrats might now be penalized for their transgressions is good news, but the heart of the problem runs deeper. Hayek pointed out that people complete the path from citizenship to servitude only after a psychological (or sociological) change occurs. Today’s change is from a free people believing in the primacy of individuals to make their own choices to dependence and acceptance of government as the entitled class.

Once people accept bureaucrats as authorities, as persons who should direct the actions of others, and reject dissenting views as illegitimate or illegal, they have taken up the mantle of serf. A recent poll found that 36 percent of self-described liberals thought that the IRS acted appropriately; that it should have singled out Tea Party groups for special investigations and delayed approval of their tax exempt status. In other words, they don’t think that there is a scandal—they believe that the IRS should be used to suppress dissent. Even 26 percent of “Independents” and 15 percent of Republicans found IRS abuses acceptable. One-in-four Americans currently embraces bureaucratic abuse and this is frightening for our future. Passage of The Affordable Care Act and The Dodd-Frank Bill, along with Obama’s reelection, indicate solid voter support for a bureaucratic state.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has declared his intention to prevent IRS abuses from ever happening again, but can he? Conviction of a few IRS or DOJ officials won’t prevent future abuses. Nixon resigned because of abuses that included misuse of IRS power, but the misuse of power didn’t stop. The prospects of reforming the IRS are poor. Fifteen years ago Congress passed The Internal Revenue Service Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, but here we are again embroiled in yet another wave of IRS scandal.

It is obvious that we cannot rely on political processes to regulate the IRS. Obama’s defenders initially thought that the IRS scandal would increase his approval rating, as it did for Bill Clinton’s, because many Americans sympathized with Clinton during the public inquiries into his misdeeds during the 1990’s. Obama is in a weaker position, but it is still unlikely that the Senate would begin proceedings to remove Obama from office. FDR also misused the IRS, but most Americans see FDR as a great president—despite his corruption and the failures of his policies.
Solutions

As long as unelected, empowered bureaucrats with tenure run the IRS, there is no solution but to abolish it and the Federal Tax Code along with it. Total abolition of the IRS will not happen immediately, but Congress should pass a sunset provision on both the IRS and the Federal Tax Code. Strong feelings of discontent with Obama and the IRS create a temporary opportunity to enact real solutions to recurring IRS abuses. Americans should move against the IRS quickly before these feelings of discontent fade.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #61 on: June 30, 2013, 09:21:37 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/29/hare-brained-usda-reportedly-orders-childrens-magician-to-produce-disaster-plan-for-his-rabbit/
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G M
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« Reply #62 on: July 01, 2013, 03:58:30 PM »


A spit and a campfire?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #63 on: July 01, 2013, 04:53:30 PM »

I was thinking in exactly the same way  cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #64 on: July 01, 2013, 04:57:51 PM »

I was thinking in exactly the same way  cheesy

Thank god the sequester spared these federal employees. Imagine the chaos without them regulating magicians so closely.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #65 on: July 09, 2013, 03:05:58 PM »

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/irs_mistakenly_posted_social_security_J8N94UwwIunpvllubAjoxH?utm_source=SFnewyorkpost&utm_medium=SFnewyorkpost
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G M
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« Reply #66 on: July 09, 2013, 03:32:53 PM »


Wouldn't happen to be certain people whom the administration dislikes, would it?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2013, 08:39:48 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/22/former-director-of-doj-group-sent-to-monitor-trayvon-martin-protests-employees-known-to-act-as-advocates-instead-of-mediators/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=Share%20Buttons
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #68 on: August 02, 2013, 10:47:54 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/1/13-wisconsin-officials-raid-animal-shelter-kill-ba/
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bigdog
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« Reply #69 on: August 02, 2013, 12:25:08 PM »

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/legislation/315241-house-votes-to-give-congress-power-over-major-regulations
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #70 on: October 17, 2013, 08:05:29 AM »

Sebelius Must Go

The kickoff of Obamacare and rollout of the exchanges since October 1 has been a disaster. It has been a technical disaster, a fiscal disaster, and most importantly, a human disaster. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius should be held responsible.

We now know that the Obama administration’s early characterization of the problems as “glitches” caused by overwhelming demand was disingenuous at best.
The technical failures are extraordinary. Millions of people are supposed to sign up for insurance plans using the exchanges in the next few months, but very few have been able to do it. It appears the system has turned away the vast majority of users. Apparently the flaws are so serious they may not be fixed for “a couple of months,” according to an astonishing New York Times report this weekend.

The Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, cost taxpayers an estimated $500 million and yet doesn’t work, even after three years of lead time to develop it. For comparison, the Mars Pathfinder (a pretty complex technical undertaking) cost $150 million and was developed in less than three years. It also actually worked.
Details have begun to trickle out about just how poorly the government managed this project. The Times reported:

Deadline after deadline was missed. The biggest contractor, CGI Federal, was awarded its $94 million contract in December 2011. But the government was so slow in issuing specifications that the firm did not start writing software code until this spring, according to people familiar with the process. As late as the last week of September, officials were still changing features of the Web site, HealthCare.gov, and debating whether consumers should be required to register and create password-protected accounts before they could shop for health plans.

Fatefully, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services assumed to itself the responsibility of managing the project, which, the Times continued, “some people intimately involved...seriously doubted that the agency had the in-house capability to handle.”

Much of the complexity was avoidable, but HHS and the White House complicated the challenge for political reasons. In particular, the administration chose to require users to register and enter lots of personal information before showing them the prices of various plans, so that consumers would only see prices after their subsidy was factored in. The administration insisted on the more complex registration system because it was afraid of the sticker shock Americans might feel if they saw the true costs of the policies.

No one, including those Americans who are deeply opposed to Obamacare, should think that the exchange failures are a minor problem. Even the New York Times admitted they “threaten the fiscal health of the insurance initiative,” making the law even more fiscally toxic than it already was. That’s because those Americans who are less likely to have health problems (like young people) need to enroll in the plans to help balance the cost of the more risky, more expensive people who are likely to flood into the system. The technical breakdown poses such a high barrier to entry that the healthy may not bother to enroll and instead simply pay the fine, while those with serious health problems will be willing to spend days trying to sign up, if that’s what it takes. That’s a recipe for financial disaster.

The human disaster is just as significant. Millions of people are being forced to buy health insurance in the next few months--many of them because Obamacare caused their employer to drop their coverage. And yet because the system is failing so badly, these Americans don’t know what coverage they’ll be able to get for themselves and their families, or how much it will cost. When they try to log onto the government website, they’re met with error messages and blank screens--sometimes after hours of frustrating attempts to enroll. This is a horrible position for the administration to put people.

The worst part is that senior officials knew the exchanges weren’t ready to launch but chose to proceed anyway, rather than face the political embarrassment of a delay. Long after they recognized there were major problems with the system, they continued to promise that everything was fine. In June, Secretary Sebelius insisted they were “ready to go on October 1.”

Even after the issues became obvious to the public, Secretary Sebelius remarked glibly that she hoped Americans would “give us the same slack they give Apple,” as though Americans’ health coverage is as trivial a concern as their smartphone software. Later, in a Daily Show interview with Jon Stewart, she claimed she couldn’t say how many Americans had signed up for Obamacare because she didn’t know. The claim is hard to accept, but whether she really didn’t know or she was deliberately deceptive, it doesn’t portend good things for Obamacare.

Senator Pat Roberts has called for Secretary Sebelius to resign, and he’s right. She has presided over one of the largest bureaucratic disasters in recent memory. If she won’t go voluntarily, President Obama should fire her. It’s time for real accountability.

Your Friend,
Newt
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #71 on: November 25, 2013, 10:48:25 AM »

Rationing Bone Marrow
The feds want to control who can donate despite shortages.


Nov. 24, 2013 6:15 p.m. ET

You know an agency has gone off the rails when its rules make the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals look like a beacon of sanity. So it goes at the Department of Health and Human Services, where a proposed rule-making is seeking to override the court's decision to allow bone-marrow donors to be compensated for their donations.

In 1984, Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act banning the purchase or sale of organs like livers and lungs for transplants. The intention was to prevent the exploitation of poor donors or self-mutilation for profit (think drug addicts). Swept up in the ban was bone marrow, which produces blood cells and is critical to the immune system.

Organs are unique and specialized groups of cells, but bone marrow is a connective tissue that regenerates naturally in a healthy body. In 1984 the typical bone marrow transplant was relatively complicated. Today, you can donate bone marrow through an outpatient procedure called apheresis. A donor receives a series of shots and then is hooked up to a machine that draws blood and collects marrow cells, much like blood donation.
Enlarge Image

Associated Press

The technique is less invasive than egg donation and has none of the risks associated with kidney or liver donation. Unlike blood donors, however, marrow donors cannot be compensated, which has led to shortages for patients with life threatening blood diseases and a waiting list of some 13,900.

In 2009, the Institute for Justice sued on behalf of Maine resident Doreen Flynn, whose three children have a disease called Franconia anemia and will most likely need bone marrow transplants to survive. In 2012's Flynn v. Holder, the Ninth Circuit agreed, noting that new technology and the ease of marrow donation put the ban wholly out of step with the purpose of the organ donation law.

The Justice Department petitioned for rehearing en banc, insisting that marrow transplants should "not be subject to market forces." When the Ninth Circuit declined to rehear the case, the Administration mobilized HHS, which has proposed a rule that would overturn the Ninth Circuit and define marrow extracted from the bloodstream as an organ. The purpose, says the rule, is to "ban the commodification" of bone marrow used in transplants, "encourage altruistic donations, and decrease the likelihood of disease transmission resulting from paid donations."

None of these arguments stands up to scrutiny. If banning donor compensation encouraged altruistic donations, it would already have done so. The ban has been in place for decades and the result is chronic bone-marrow shortages, which have disproportionately affected minorities who have a harder time finding a donor match.

The claim that compensation would increase "disease transmission" is also a straw man. The thousands of people on the waiting list, including many with leukemia and blood cancers or anemia, often need marrow donation to stay alive. Any marginal increase in risk pales next to the certainty of death.

Treating bone marrow as a public resource distributed by the federal government hasn't worked. The Administration's campaign to reimpose the compensation ban and overrule the courts is another example of its penchant for political and bureaucratic control over medical decisions. The rule is open for public comment until December 2, and patients and doctors ought to express their opposition on moral and humanitarian grounds.
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G M
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« Reply #72 on: November 25, 2013, 11:08:13 AM »

Get used to the words "government" and "rationing" appearing together alot in the next 38 months.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #73 on: November 25, 2013, 01:08:04 PM »

"Rationing Bone Marrow
The feds want to control who can donate despite shortages."
Get used to the words "government" and "rationing" appearing together alot in the next 38 months.

Government inefficiency is perhaps a redundancy.

I wonder what the price of 8-track tape players would be right now if the government had taken over that industry.  All we know for sure is that they would still be state of the art.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #74 on: November 26, 2013, 10:53:23 AM »

A few weeks after taking office in 2009, Mr. Obama issued a memorandum to government agency heads ordering them to minimize the use of non-competitive contracts, calling them potentially "wasteful, inefficient, subject to misuse."

CBS/Reuters November 25, 2013, 10: 30 AM
Obamacare agency rushed in contractor without bids, documents show
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obamacare-agency-rushed-in-contractor-without-bids-documents-show/

"representatives of the agency were unavailable to comment on the contract "

Asked about how Novitas was awarded the contract and the work it is doing... a company official told him, "We're not going to be able to get into this right now."
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« Reply #75 on: November 27, 2013, 07:36:55 AM »

More from the technocrat elites.  So we know that reducing the speed limit would save lives just by lowering the speed limit to a total crawl?  So now we make a city of several million slow down even more because statistically we might save some lives.  Why not get rid of all the cars?   Then the 98 % would be 100%?  Why do they decide when where how much?   Again the liberals making everyone suffer for some haze stats.  No one should ever die (except when they approve - death panels).  Every single thing must be studied and data has not become basis of all our laws, how we must live our lives.  It will NEVER end.  First the world has to give into delayed red lights.  Then we have the disability thing that inconveniences 98 % for the few.  Now millions must slow down for a relative tiny theoretical gain.   No end.   There really is no compromise. 

****Council Working to Reduce Speed Limit on City Streets

By Jill Colvin 11/26 4:03pm

The New York City Council hopes to pass legislation that would reduce the speed limit on most residential and side streets to 20 miles per hour, Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced today.

“We are actively working on that bill and our goal is to pass it before the end of the year,” Ms. Quinn said during an unrelated press conference this afternoon before the month’s final council meeting. “We’re actively working on it right now.”

The bill, introduced by Councilman David Greenfield, is aimed at reducing serous pedestrian injuries and traffic fatalities. Last year, 148 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents and crashes.

“We are working to fine-tune this life-saving legislation that will slow down automobiles on narrow residential streets. I am hopeful that we can get consensus on this important legislation, which will literally save lives once it is enacted here in New York City,” he said in response to the speaker’s comments.

But there are complications. The city’s Department of Transportation has argued the proposal would conflict with state law, which only allows limits that low if other traffic-calming devices are used. Last Friday, Councilman Jimmy Vacca, chair of the council’s transportation committee, told WNYC the bill was being “tweaked a little bit” and that members were “aiming for 25 miles per hour on narrow, one-way streets.”

Currently, the speed limit on most city streets is 30 miles per hour, unless otherwise posted. The new regulations would be a boon to advocates–including those who installed their own 20-mile limit signs in Park Slope this week–but have drawn grumbles from some drivers who feel the city’s notoriously gridlocked streets are slow enough.

According to the group Transportation Alternatives, pedestrians have an 80 percent chance of surviving being hit by a car traveling 30 miles per hour and a 98 percent chance of survival if the car is traveling 20 miles per hour.

The measure is just the latest of several recent efforts aimed at making streets safer for pedestrians. Later today, the council is expected to pass another bill, introduced by Councilwoman Debi Rose, aimed at slowing speeds near public and private schools. The rules would require the city to install speed humps near at least 50 schools.

“Speeding is the number one cause of deadly crashes in New York City and we must do everything we can to prevent fatalities,” Mr. Quinn said in a statement touting Mr. Rose’s bill.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not immediately comment on whether the mayor supports the bill.


Follow Jill Colvin on Twitter or via RSS. jcolvin@observer.com****
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« Reply #76 on: December 07, 2013, 08:02:05 AM »

Slowly They Modernize: A Federal Agency That Still Uses Floppy Disks
By JADA F. SMITH

WASHINGTON — The technology troubles that plagued the HealthCare.gov website rollout may not have come as a shock to people who work for certain agencies of the government — especially those who still use floppy disks, the cutting-edge technology of the 1980s. Every day, The Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government, publishes on its website and in a thick booklet around 100 executive orders, proclamations, proposed rule changes and other government notices that federal agencies are mandated to submit for public inspection.

So far, so good.

It turns out, however, that the Federal Register employees who take in the information for publication from across the government still receive some of it on the 3.5-inch plastic storage squares that have become all but obsolete in the United States.

Now government infrastructure experts are hoping that public embarrassments like the HealthCare.gov debacle will prompt a closer look at the government’s technological prowess, especially if it might mean getting rid of floppy disks.

“You’ve got this antiquated system that still works but is not nearly as efficient as it could be,” said Stan Soloway, chief executive of the Professional Services Council, which represents more than 370 government contractors. “Companies that work with the government, whether longstanding or newcomers, are all hamstrung by the same limitations.”

The use of floppy disks peaked in American homes and offices in the mid-1990s, and modern computers do not even accommodate them anymore. But The Federal Register continues to accept them, in part because legal and security requirements have yet to be updated, but mostly because the wheels of government grind ever slowly.

Davita Vance-Cooks, the head of the Government Printing Office, which oversees The Federal Register, spoke at a congressional hearing on Wednesday about her department’s attempts to make its work remain relevant in a post-print world. Despite creating mobile apps, The Federal Register still requires agencies to submit information on paper, with original signatures, though they can create a digital signature via a secured email system.

Agencies are also permitted to submit the documents on CD-ROMs and floppy disks, but not on flash drives or SD cards. “The Federal Register Act says that an agency has to submit the original and two duplicate originals or two certified copies,” said Amy P. Bunk, The Federal Register’s director of legal affairs and policy. As long as an agency does that through one of the approved methods of transmission, she said, “they’ve met the statutory requirement.”

But the secure email system — which uses software called Public Key Infrastructure technology — is expensive, and some government agencies have not yet upgraded to it. As a result, some agencies still scan documents on to a computer and save them on floppy disks. The disks are then sent by courier to the register.

Ms. Bunk said that although many agencies did use the secure email system, The Federal Register could not require it until Congress made it compulsory by law.

“There are limits as to how far we can make the agencies do everything in lock step,” said Jim Bradley, the assistant public printer for the Government Printing Office. Federal budget cuts, he said, had helped slow down any modernization.

“We’ve got to accommodate the funding and everything else,” Mr. Bradley said. “Some agencies move forward with technology, and that’s great. Other agencies aren’t ready to go this year, maybe not next year.”

A spokesman for The Federal Register would not say which agencies still used floppy disks. But at The Register’s office, a modest space on North Capitol Street in sight of the Capitol dome, couriers were recently seen coming in and out as an employee pulled a floppy disk from one package and at least two CD-ROMs from others.

Meanwhile, experts say that an administration that prided itself on its technological savvy has a long way to go in updating the computer technology of the federal government. HealthCare.gov and the floppy disks of The Federal Register, they say, are but two recent examples of a government years behind the private sector in digital innovation.

Mr. Soloway, of the Professional Services Council, said that the government’s technology was also causing it to fall behind in cooperation with the private sector. “It’s undoubtedly inhibiting the expansion” of what corporations are willing to do with the government, Mr. Soloway said. “And it remains an inhibitor for the next generation of companies.”
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« Reply #77 on: December 11, 2013, 10:24:16 AM »

Men With Pelvic Pain Find a Path to Treatment Blocked by a Gynecology Board
Rajah Bose for The New York Times

Dr. Daniel Davidson, an Idaho dentist, has pelvic pain so severe that he cannot sit, and can stand for only limited periods.
By DENISE GRADY
Published: December 10, 2013
NYT


After visiting dozens of doctors and suffering for nearly five years from pelvic pain so severe that he could not work, Daniel Davidson, 57, a dentist in Dalton Gardens, Idaho, finally found a specialist in Phoenix who had an outstanding reputation for treating men like him.

Dr. Davidson, whose pain followed an injury, waited five months for an appointment and even rented an apartment in Phoenix, assuming he would need surgery and time to recover.

Six days before the appointment, it was canceled. The doctor, Michael Hibner, an obstetrician-gynecologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, had learned that members of his specialty were not allowed to treat men and that if he did so, he could lose his board certification — something that doctors need in order to work.

The rule had come from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. On Sept. 12, it posted on its website a newly stringent and explicit statement of what its members could and could not do. Except for a few conditions, gynecologists were prohibited from treating men. Pelvic pain was not among the exceptions.

Dr. Davidson went home, close to despair. His condition has left him largely bedridden. The pain makes it unbearable for him to sit, and he can stand for only limited periods before he needs to lie down.

“These characters at the board jerked the rug out from underneath me,” he said.

In an email, Dr. Hibner confirmed that he had stopped treating men, who he said had made up about 10 percent to 15 percent of his practice. He said his staff was trying to find other physicians for about 100 male patients.

Other men are in a similar situation, unsure of where to turn for help. A number of nerve and muscle problems can cause debilitating pelvic pain syndromes in both men and women, but the problems are more common in women, and gynecologists often have the most skill in treating this type of pain, experts in the field say.

The gynecology board differs, saying that many other types of doctors can treat these ailments in men, according to a spokesman, David Margulies, who heads a public relations firm in Dallas. Board members declined to be interviewed.

The same board reversed itself for another group of male patients last month, however, and said gynecologists would be permitted to screen and treat men who are at high risk for anal cancer.

The board has also informed one patient, who appealed to it directly, that he can continue being treated for pelvic pain by Dr. Hibner — the same doctor in Phoenix whom Dr. Davidson had hoped to see. In an email, which the patient shared with The New York Times, a board official said the intent of its policy was “not to have doctors abandon their current patients like you.”

But Mr. Margulies said the permission for that patient’s treatment did not mean that the overall policy had changed. He said, “A one-time exception was made for one individual.”

A specialty group, the International Pelvic Pain Society, wrote to the gynecology board, requesting that gynecologists be permitted to continue treating men for pelvic pain. The board declined.

The pain society has 300 to 400 members; about half are physical therapists, and 40 percent are obstetrician-gynecologists, said Dr. Richard Marvel, a former president and an obstetrician-gynecologist in Annapolis, Md., who has treated men for pelvic pain.

In an email, the pain society said, “Gynecologists with the appropriate skills, experience and knowledge who choose to participate in the care of men with chronic pelvic pain should not be at risk of losing their board certification, solely because they participate in the care of patients who have a real need, suffer tremendously and have limited options for treatment.”

Stephanie Prendergast, president of the pain society and a physical therapist at the Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco, said in an email, “I can assure you these gynecologists are better equipped to treat male patients with pelvic pain than most urologists, neurologists, orthopedists, etc.”

Pelvic pain is poorly understood and in men is frequently misdiagnosed as prostate trouble. Major nerves and muscles involved are the same in men and women, so some gynecologists began accepting male patients.

Patients say the pain can be excruciating, and constant.

In an interview, one man, 34, who had pain for years before finding treatment that helped, said, “I never would have been an end-my-life kind of person, but if I got run over by a car I wouldn’t have been that disappointed.”

Treatment may involve physical therapy, daily medication, nerve-block injections, counseling, lifestyle changes and, as a last resort, surgery. It can take months, or longer.

Dr. Marvel said that he had treated 66 men in the last three and half years, and that many had already consulted other doctors. Sometimes the trouble starts with biking; a few patients have been bull riders.

Often he finds that patients have not even been examined properly. Pelvic pain often arises from injured or irritated nerves, and diagnosing it may require sensory testing with pinpricks and cotton swabs in the genital area — a type of exam that many doctors are not comfortable performing, Dr. Marvel said.

Regarding the board’s ruling, he said: “I’m a little stressed out about it. Obviously I don’t want to lose my board certification.” Asked if he would continue treating men, he hesitated, then said: “Well, I mean for now, I plan to still see men if I have men who need the care. But I’m not sure.”

He added: “We don’t really want to fight with the board. But we do want them to see our position, that we’re just trying to help these patients who can’t get help any other way.”
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« Reply #78 on: December 11, 2013, 10:28:57 AM »

Imagine the outrage if women weren't being treated for pain...
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« Reply #79 on: December 17, 2013, 05:07:49 PM »

Washington's Worst Mistake of 2014?
Veteran regulators warn against making asset managers too big to fail.


Dec. 16, 2013 7:19 p.m. ET

Some consequences of government action remain largely unforeseen until a moment of crisis. That will not be the case if Washington regulators forge ahead on a misguided attempt to treat every large financial firm like a bank.

An experienced and bipartisan group of former regulators is calling it misguided right now. In a nearby letter, former senior officials who oversaw banking, futures and securities markets note the "flawed analysis" and "fundamental misconceptions" contained in a recent report on asset managers by the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research.

The report, requested by the federal Financial Stability Oversight Council, is widely viewed as a first step toward applying bank regulation to large managers of mutual funds and hedge funds. In today's letter, the veteran regulators explain why restraints that may be appropriate for bankers that play with taxpayer money are antithetical to vibrant capital markets.

For example, a bank examiner should naturally look skeptically at a federally insured institution that is "reaching for yield." But finding a cash-generating asset at a low price is the essence of investing and essential to wealth creation. As the former regulators write, "Investors of all kinds, including asset managers who invest their customers' money, necessarily seek to 'buy low and sell high.' The federal government cannot—and should not—attempt to influence investors' inclinations whether, when and why to buy or sell securities."

The regulators also note that the new federal stability council, which is chaired by the Treasury Secretary and is a creature of Dodd-Frank, suffers from a disturbing lack of transparency and flawed governance. These are problems Congress should address.

But in the meantime the council can best serve the country by resisting the urge to expand the taxpayer safety net. The council's bank regulators have enough to do without trying to remove risk from investing.
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« Reply #80 on: January 24, 2014, 10:23:45 PM »

http://thekronies.com
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« Reply #81 on: January 27, 2014, 09:18:49 AM »



http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/mark-baker/
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« Reply #82 on: January 27, 2014, 12:39:44 PM »

second post

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/school-ditches-rules-and-loses-bullies-5807957
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« Reply #83 on: February 01, 2014, 12:14:34 PM »

Somewhere we reported here on this case a while back; here is how it developed


http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2014/01/31/gibson-sticks-thumb-in-obama-administrations-eye-with-government-series-guitars
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« Reply #84 on: February 16, 2014, 08:37:09 PM »

Medicines Made in India Set Off Safety Worries

By GARDINER HARRISFEB. 14, 2014


NEW DELHI — India, the second-largest exporter of over-the-counter and prescription drugs to the United States, is coming under increased scrutiny by American regulators for safety lapses, falsified drug test results and selling fake medicines.

Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, arrived in India this week to express her growing unease with the safety of Indian medicines because of “recent lapses in quality at a handful of pharmaceutical firms.”

India’s pharmaceutical industry supplies 40 percent of over-the-counter and generic prescription drugs consumed in the United States, so the increased scrutiny could have profound implications for American consumers.

F.D.A. investigators are blitzing Indian drug plants, financing the inspections with some of the roughly $300 million in annual fees from generic drug makers collected as part of a 2012 law requiring increased scrutiny of overseas plants. The agency inspected 160 Indian drug plants last year, three times as many as in 2009. The increased scrutiny has led to a flood of new penalties, including half of the warning letters the agency issued last year to drug makers.
Launch media viewer
Ranbaxy, one of India’s biggest drug manufacturers, pleaded guilty to felony charges and paid a $500 million fine last year. Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Dr. Hamburg was met by Indian officials and executives who, shocked by recent F.D.A. export bans of generic versions of popular medicines — like the acne drug Accutane, the pain drug Neurontin and the antibiotic Cipro — that the F.D.A. determined were adulterated, suspect that she is just protecting a domestic industry from cheaper imports.

“There are some people who take a very sinister view of the F.D.A. inspections,” Keshav Desiraju, India’s health secretary until this week, said in a recent interview.

The F.D.A.'s increased enforcement has already cost Indian companies dearly — Ranbaxy, one of India’s biggest drug manufacturers, pleaded guilty to felony charges and paid a $500 million fine last year, the largest ever levied against a generic company. And many worry that worse is in store.

“If I have to follow U.S. standards in inspecting facilities supplying to the Indian market,” G. N. Singh, India’s top drug regulator, said in a recent interview with an Indian newspaper, “we will have to shut almost all of those.”

The unease culminated Tuesday when a top executive at Ranbaxy — which has repeatedly been caught lying to the F.D.A. and found to have conditions such as flies “too numerous to count” in critical plant areas — pleaded with Dr. Hamburg at a private meeting with other drug executives to allow his products into the United States so that the company could more easily pay for fixes. She politely declined.

India’s drug industry is one of the country’s most important economic engines, exporting $15 billion in products annually, and some of its factories are world-class, virtually undistinguishable from their counterparts in the West. But others suffer from serious quality control problems. The World Health Organization estimated that one in five drugs made in India are fakes. A 2010 survey of New Delhi pharmacies found that 12 percent of sampled drugs were spurious.

In one recent example, counterfeit medicines at a pediatric hospital in Kashmir are now suspected of playing a role in hundreds of infant deaths there in recent years.

One widely used antibiotic was found to contain no active ingredient after being randomly tested in a government lab. The test was kept secret for nearly a year while 100,000 useless pills continued to be dispensed.

More tests of hospital medicines found dozens more that were substandard, including a crucial intravenous antibiotic used in sick infants.

“Some of the fake tablets were used by pregnant women in the post-surgical prevention of infections,” said Dr. M. Ishaq Geer, senior assistant professor of pharmacology at the University of Kashmir. “That’s very serious.”

Investigations of the deaths are continuing, but convictions of drug counterfeiters in India are extremely rare.
For Valentine's Day weekend, our nine favorite videos about love.

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Satish Reddy, president of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, said Indian drug manufacturers were better than the F.D.A. now contends. “More rigorous enforcement is needed, for sure, but this impression that India is overrun with counterfeits is unjustified,” Mr. Reddy said.

But Heather Bresch, chief executive of Mylan, which has plants in the United States and India, said regulatory scrutiny outside the United States was long overdue. “If there were no cops around, would everyone drive the speed limit?” Ms. Bresch asked. “You get careless, start taking risks. Our government has enabled this.”
Launch media viewer
Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, is in India this week to express her concerns. Associated Press

For Dr. Hamburg, the trip is part of a long-running effort to create a global network of drug and food regulators to help scrutinize the growing flood of products coming into the United States, including 80 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States, 50 percent of the fresh fruit, 20 percent of the vegetables and the vast majority of drugs.

She has gone to conclaves of regulators from Europe and elsewhere to coordinate policing, but Indian officials have so far not attended such meetings.

Many of India’s drug manufacturing facilities are of top quality. Cipla, one of the industry’s giants, has 40 plants across the country that together can produce more than 21 billion tablets and capsules annually, and one of its plants in Goa appeared just as sterile, automated and high tech on a recent tour as those in the United States.

Cipla follows F.D.A. guidelines at every plant and on every manufacturing line, and the company exports more than 55 percent of its production, said Yusuf Hamied, the company chairman.

But Benjamin Mwesige, a pharmacist at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, said in an interview in July that the institute had stopped buying cancer drugs from India in 2011 because it had received shipments of drugs that turned out to be counterfeit and inactive, with Cipla labels that Mr. Mwesige believed were forged.

He became suspicious when doctors began seeing chemotherapy patients whose cancer showed none of the expected responses to the drugs — and who also had none of the usual side effects. The drugs that had been prescribed were among the mainstays of cancer treatment — methotrexate, docetaxel and vincristine. Laboratory tests confirmed that the drugs were bogus, and Mr. Mwesige estimated that in 2011 20 percent of the drugs that the institute bought were counterfeit.

Enforcement of regulations over all is very weak, analysts say, and India’s government does a poor job policing many of its industries. Last month, the United States Federal Aviation Administration downgraded India’s aviation safety ranking because the country’s air safety regulator was understaffed, and a global safety group found that many of India’s best-selling small cars were unsafe.

India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, the country’s drug regulator, has a staff of 323, about 2 percent the size of the F.D.A.'s, and its authority is limited to new drugs. The making of medicines that have been on the market at least four years is overseen by state health departments, many of which are corrupt or lack the expertise to oversee a sophisticated industry. Despite the flood of counterfeit drugs, Mr. Singh, India’s top drug regulator, warned in meetings with the F.D.A. of the risk of overregulation.

This absence of oversight, however, is a central reason India’s pharmaceutical industry has been so profitable. Drug manufacturers estimate that routine F.D.A. inspections add 25 percent to overall costs. In the wake of the 2012 law that requires the F.D.A. for the first time to equalize oversight of domestic and foreign plants, India’s cost advantage could shrink significantly.

Some top manufacturers are already warning that they may leave, tough medicine for an already slowing economy.

“I’m a great nationalist, an Indian first and last,” Dr. Hamied said. “But companies like Cipla are looking to expand their businesses abroad and not in India.”

American businesses and F.D.A. officials are just as concerned about the quality of drugs coming out of China, but the F.D.A.'s efforts to increase inspections there have so far been frustrated by the Chinese government.

“China is the source of some of the largest counterfeit manufacturing operations that we find globally,” said John P. Clark, Pfizer’s chief security officer, who added that Chinese authorities were cooperative.

Using its new revenues, the F.D.A. tried to bolster its staff in China in February 2012. But the Chinese government has so far failed to provide the necessary visas despite an announced agreement in December 2013 during a visit by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said Erica Jefferson, an F.D.A. spokeswoman.

The United States has become so dependent on Chinese imports, however, that the F.D.A. may not be able to do much about the Chinese refusal. The crucial ingredients for nearly all antibiotics, steroids and many other lifesaving drugs are now made exclusively in China.
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« Reply #85 on: February 17, 2014, 08:42:40 PM »

http://www.examiner.com/article/south-carolina-policy-requiring-a-fee-and-permit-to-feed-homeless-begins?cid=sm-facebook-021714-9.00am-permittofeedhomeless
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« Reply #86 on: March 04, 2014, 03:42:20 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/04/the-romeikes-can-stay-shocking-180-in-the-case-of-german-home-schooling-family/
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« Reply #87 on: March 17, 2014, 11:13:40 AM »

Resident Fighting EPA's Wrath

A Wyoming resident is feeling the wrath of Barack Obama's EPA for inadvertently defying the agency's strict approval methods. His horrendous act? Building a stock pond back in 2012 ... on his own property. Andy Johnson and his wife constructed the pond with the state's authorization; however, the EPA says that the Johnsons violated federal law for failing to obtain approval from the Army Corps of Engineers. As a result, the EPA is threatening to fine Mr. Johnson $75,000 a day unless he complies with their order of rectifying the situation -- a fine Johnson vows not to pay. "I have not paid them a dime nor will I," he says. "I will go bankrupt if I have to fighting it. ... This goes a lot further than a pond. It's about a person's rights." Indeed it is. The EPA's power grab is blatantly unconstitutional, though such unlawful behavior is to be expected from an administration that has no regard for the Rule of Law.
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« Reply #88 on: March 18, 2014, 09:43:00 AM »

Fcuking outrageous.
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« Reply #89 on: March 28, 2014, 11:04:54 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304418404579466930939764344?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADSecond&mg=reno64-wsj
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« Reply #90 on: April 28, 2014, 01:25:01 PM »

These are all Compliance Regulations that lenders must comply with. No wonder everyone is hiring compliance officers and also that loan origination costs are going up.

Dodd Frank
HUD's Reg. X (RESPA)
Reg. Z (Truth in Lending)
Fair Lending Reg. B (ECOA)
Reg AA (Unfair, Deceptive, and Abusive Acts & Practices – UDAAP)
Reg. N (Mortgage Acts and Practices - Advertising)
Home Owners Protection Act (HOPA),
Reg. C (Home Mortgage Disclosure Act - HMDA)
Fair Credit Reporting (FCRA)
Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA)
Reg CC (Expedited Funds Availability)
Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
Flood Disaster Protection Act
CAN-SPAM Act, Reg. P (Privacy of Consumer Financial Information - Right to Privacy, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)
Reg. BB (Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
Secure and Fair Mortgage Enforcement (SAFE Act - CFPB Reg. G)
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-SIGN Act)
Reg. E (Electronic Funds Transfer)
Reg. O (Credit to Insiders)
Reg. D (Reserve Requirements)
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« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2014, 02:35:01 PM »

http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/28/doj-operation-chokepoint-and-porn-stars

Seemingly not concrete yet, but the hypothetical link is interesting. From the article:

"The very premise is clearly chilling—the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it's own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites."
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« Reply #92 on: April 29, 2014, 02:53:17 PM »

BD-- great to have you with us again!

May I ask you to post this in the Fascism thread as well please?
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« Reply #93 on: May 03, 2014, 10:41:06 AM »

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304178104579533693554509288?mod=Opinion_newsreel_1
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« Reply #94 on: May 13, 2014, 12:52:26 PM »

Exposing the EPA
Documents reveal a lawless attempt to block an Alaska mine project.
May 12, 2014 6:57 p.m. ET

A basic precept of American democracy is that petitioners before their government receive a full and fair hearing. The Obama Environmental Protection Agency is in urgent need of that remedial civics lesson.

The EPA inspector general's office last week announced it will investigate the agency's February decision to commence a pre-emptive veto of the Pebble Mine project, a jobs-rich proposal to develop America's largest U.S. copper and gold mine in southwest Alaska. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says her decision to strike down Pebble before it received a hearing shouldn't worry other developers because Pebble is a "unique" threat. She needs to say this because the truth might chill billions of dollars in investment in the U.S.

The IG is looking into internal EPA documents that we've also obtained that show agency officials were maneuvering to kill Pebble more than five years ago, and that EPA's main concern was building a façade of science and procedure to justify it.

This story goes back to the debate over the 1972 Clean Water Act, which gave the Army Corps of Engineers the power to evaluate projects and issue permits. Congress gave EPA only a secondary role of reviewing and potentially vetoing projects (with cause) under Section 404c. EPA has long chafed at this secondary role, which has made it harder to nix projects approved by the Corps.
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A worker with the Pebble Mine project test drills in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska in 2007. Associated Press

EPA's decision to initiate a veto process before Pebble had even received an Army Corps review is a disturbing first—and a flouting of the law. The internal documents refute EPA's repeated claims that it began this process only in "response to petitions" from local Native American tribes in May 2010, and that peer-reviewed science drove its veto.

Emails show that EPA biologist Phillip North, based in Alaska and working on Pebble, was in 2008 advocating that his agency bring down the 404c hammer. "The 404 program has a major role" with Pebble, wrote Mr. North to Patricia McGrath, EPA's regional mining coordinator for Alaska, in August 2008. By August 2009, Mr. North was pushing for EPA's annual mining retreat to include a discussion about vetoing the project: "As you know, I feel that [Pebble] merit consideration of a 404C veto." The retreat included that discussion, though Pebble's developer hadn't yet applied for a permit.

By early 2010 EPA staff made a Power Point presentation for former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson about Pebble that lists a "pre-emptive" veto under "future options." Emails also show that Mr. North was actively engaging outside critics of Pebble. When the Bristol Bay Native Corp. filed a veto request in August 2010, Mr. North responded in an email to the group's lawyer: "Hi Peter, We have been discussing 404c quite a bit internally at all levels of EPA. The letter will certainly stoke the fire."

The EPA veto decision looks to have been made by mid-2010. A Fish and Wildlife briefing paper dated that summer reads: "The [EPA] is seeking [Fish and Wildlife] support as they initiate a formal process to issue a determination that [the wetlands] within the potential pebble Mine action are unsuitable for the placement of fill material. This action would be conducted under the authority of Section 404(C) of the Clean Water Act."

A September 2010 email from U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Phil Brna to colleagues—under the subject heading "Pebble and 404c"—reads: "I spoke with Phil North. . . . He believes EPA leaders have decided to proceed and they are just deciding when." All this happened before the EPA had done any scientific review.

There's also an internal EPA document from September 2010 laying out the "pros" and "cons" of the EPA vetoing in the "traditional" fashion, rather than pre-emptively. Listed under the many "pros" of ignoring the law is that a pre-emptive Pebble veto can serve as a "model of proactive watershed planning." So much for Ms. McCarthy's claim that this veto is a one-timer.

Only after all of this did EPA concoct its sham watershed study that provided the scientific cover for its veto. That study invented a hypothetical Pebble mine, then assumed outdated mining practices to predict environmental harm. The study included contributions from obvious opponents of the mine, including Mr. North. The EPA's own peer-review experts ridiculed the study; one pronounced its key sections "pure hogwash."

These documents depict an agency willing to do anything necessary to gut the permitting process that the Clean Water Act guaranteed for developers. The Pebble veto model sets up EPA as the sole regulator of watersheds across the country, trumping the authority of the Army Corps and state regulators. The EPA's actions on Pebble make clear why Congress was right not to trust it with the power it has now seized.

EPA has been trying to keep this record hidden. Pebble Partnership received some of these documents through a freedom of information request, but CEO Tom Collier confirms to us that the EPA didn't turn over others that we are reporting here. EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins has clearly decided that there is enough to warrant an investigation, and that's a start. This is merely the latest in the EPA's growing record of dishonesty aimed at denying U.S. companies their rights under the law.
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #95 on: May 14, 2014, 04:45:19 AM »

 Free speech? Not if you're a critic of Obama's government. 

http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2548163 

                                P.C.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #96 on: May 14, 2014, 09:52:06 AM »

Great to have you with us again Prentice!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #97 on: May 14, 2014, 11:04:03 AM »



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLKi0EWpjFI&feature=youtu.be
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G M
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« Reply #98 on: May 14, 2014, 11:15:52 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/05/14/npr-explains-all-taxes-and-mandate-costs-in-obamacare-story/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #99 on: May 15, 2014, 08:13:39 AM »



http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/14/opinion/gingrich-va-problem-system-not-secretary?utm_source=Gingrich+Productions+List&utm_campaign=d66a66df96-va051414&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bd29bdc370-d66a66df96-46602837
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