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Sens. Paul, Heller and Rep. Amodei Introduce Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act

November 19, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sens. Rand Paul, Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) released the following statements following the introduction of the Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act. This bill provides state governors with the power to regulate intrastate endangered species and intrastate threatened species.
‘By removing the red tape, state governments will be better equipped to manage, regulate, develop and implement recovery plans for their critical habitats. This bill will better protect endangered species by allowing a more tailored response as implemented by the states,’ Sen. Paul said. ‘The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Actt ensures that local needs will be considered in the regulation process and places the decision-making into the hands of the states by allowing them to choose whether regulation occurs on the state or federal level.’
‘We have a responsibility to be good stewards of wildlife and the habitat that they rely on. In Nevada, we have been working hard to protect both the sage grouse and our economy, which is why I am working hard with the Governor, the delegation, and Nevadans to prevent a listing for the bird. The Endangered Species Act already has an abysmal success rate, so it is time to give the states to the opportunity to step in where the ESA has largely failed,’ said Sen. Heller.
‘Giving governors greater flexibility would go a long way mitigating the one-size-fits-all impact of the ESA, which is threatening to shutdown vast swatches of the American West, including Nevada’ Rep. Amodei said. ‘Governor Brian Sandoval has met the challenge posed by the looming sage grouse listing and that kind of leadership deserves respect from federal land managers. I want to thank Senator Paul for recognizing that there are two chambers of Congress and for reaching out across the Hill to work on solutions to this issue. I am happy to team up with any Senator interested in genuine bicameral collaboration.’

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Source: RAND PAUL

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McDonald's Advice To Underpaid Employees: Break Food Into Pieces To Keep You Full

November 19, 2013 in Blogs

By Alex Kane, AlterNet

The “advice” was published on the “McResource” website, meant to give tips to fast-food workers.


The latest friendly advice from McDonald’s to their low-wage workers includes tips on how to better handle stress–as well as how to fill yourself up better with dinner.  The fast-food corporation instructs workers that breaking food “into pieces” will keep you full.  

The advice was published on the “McResource” website, meant to give tips to fast-food workers.  While you need to be a McDonald’s worker to log-in to the website, details of the advice have been publicized by the group Low Pay Is Not OK, a union-backed group seeking to organize low-wage workers at McDonald’s.  The effort is part of the larger campaign to push for living wages, benefits and the right to organize among low-wage workers across a variety of industries.

A video published by Low Pay Is Not OK shows the website’s advice to workers.  One piece of advice given is for workers to take two vacations a year–an impossible task given that many employees work two low-wage jobs.  It tells workers to “sing away stress” because it “can lower your blood pressure.”  And it tells McDonald’s employees to break “food into pieces,” which “results in eating less and still feeling full.”

McDonald’s had previously come under fire for telling workers to apply for food stamps while being employed by a fast-food corporation raking in billions annually. Many McDonald’s workers make minimum wage.  The federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour.

The McDonald’s advices comes as more and more corporations undergo scrutiny for paying workers low-wages.  Yesterday, a Wal-Mart store in Cleveland made headlines after a newspaper reported that the store encouraged employees to donate food for other, less fortunate workers at Wal-Mart for Thanksgiving.

Watch the Low Pay Is Not OK video here:

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Geithner Cashes In

November 19, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Timothy Geithner is finally cashing in for all his years of government service, including his position as the President of the New York Federal Reserve and as Secretary of the Treasury during the latest financial crisis. The Washington Post reports that Geithner has been appointed president and managing director of the private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The firm manages $35 billion in assets in over 100 companies. Geithner is expected to receive millions in compensation. He was largely in charge of TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) which distributed government money to financial firms during the economic crisis. This post is not so much about Austrian economics as it is a reminder that the revolving door between Wall Street and the Federal Reserve and Treasury remains open and very lucrative. Current and future Federal officials will no doubt take note of it.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Sen. Paul Appears on Fox's Special Report with Bret Baier- November 18, 2013

November 19, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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State Rep. Smashes Homeless Peoples' Stuff With a Sledgehammer

November 19, 2013 in Blogs

By Scott Keyes, Think Progress

The Rep. roams the streets and looks for homeless people in order to literally smash their possessions.


Much like Batkid, Hawaii has found its own superhero. Except that instead of protecting the powerless from harm, he roams the streets with a sledgehammer and looks for homeless people in order to literally smash their possessions.

Remarkably, this vigilante isn’t just some random Hawaiian, but five-term State Rep. Tom Brower (D).

Noting that he’s “disgusted” with homeless people, Brower told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about his own personal brand of “justice”: “If I see shopping carts that I can’t identify, I will destroy them so they can’t be pushed on the streets.” Brower has waged this campaign for two weeks, estimating that he’s smashed about 30 shopping carts in the process.

“I want to do something practical that will really clean up the streets,” he explained to Hawaii News Now as he showed off his property destruction skills:

Uncontent to just destroy homeless people’s items, Brower is also on a mission to wake those he finds sleeping and tell them to sleep somewhere else. “If someone is sleeping at night on the bus stop, I don’t do anything, but if they are sleeping during the day, I’ll walk up and say, ‘Get your ass moving,’” he said.

It’s no stretch to assume that if Brower were found roaming middle-class neighborhoods and smashing items in people’s homes, he would find himself both out of office and behind bars. But segments of society view homeless people as less important and undeserving of the dignity of having their possessions kept safe.

One homeless person in Honolulu, Edward Ferreira, witnessed Brower in action. “To see someone banging on stuff like that, it was very scary for me,” he told Hawaii News Now.

Without a home, homeless people often have nowhere to store their possessions. A shopping cart can be very useful in both its storage space and mobility. Some localities, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and others have tried to address this problem by offering free storage space to homeless people.

Hawaii, on the other hand, is garnering a reputation for a less-than-compassionate approach to its …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Police Shoot at a Minivan Filled With Kids

November 19, 2013 in Blogs

By Alex Kane, AlterNet

Oriana Farrell bolted from law enforcement officers in New Mexico twice–leading cops to shoot at her minivan before finally pulling her over and arresting her.


What started as a routine traffic stop in Taos, New Mexico has blown up into a scandal.  The driver and her son are facing charges, while the police officers who fired at a minivan full of children are being investigated, according to the news outlet KRQE.

On October 28th, a New Mexico state police officer pulled over a woman named Oriana Farrell for speeding.  Farrell was driving with her five kids, who range in age from 6 to 18.

Video of the incident published by KQRE shows that Farrell, the mother, and the police officer were talking.  Farrell couldn’t decide whether to contest the ticket she received for speeding.  The officer then instructs Farrell to turn off her car.  But she doesn’t listen, and drives off.

So the officer had to pull her over again.  The state law enforcement official told Farrell to get out the car, but she refused to.  Then, Farrell’s 14-year-old son got out of the car and approached the officer, who pulled out his Taser and pointed it at him.  At one point, Farrell agreed to get out of the car to talk to the officer.  But the conversation didn’t last long, and Farrell bolted back towards her minivan.

Then, chaos ensued.  The 14-year-old got out of the car again and rushed up to the officer.  After the boy went back into the minivan, Farrell sped off, but not before an officer smashed a window with his baton.  Another officer fired shots at the minivan full of children.

A high speed chase ended with Farrell giving herself up. She and her 14-year-old son were arrested.  She’s charged with child abuse, fleeing officers and possessing drug paraphernalia–marijuana pipes.  The 14-year-old is being charged with battery of an officer.

 

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Keynes, Keynes, and More Keynes

November 19, 2013 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

The British students demanding more Keynes and Marx have been joined, predictably, by British academics — specifically, the self-described “post Keynesians” who think that mainstream economics isn’t Keynesian enough. Listen to this radical agenda: “The post-Keynesian approach emphasizes the central importance of aggregate demand in the macro-economy, the challenges posed by financial instability in a world of globalized capital flows, the impact of inequality on economic growth, and the effect of uncertainty on expectations.” Gosh, they’re right: mainstream macroeconomists — not to mention journalists and policymakers — hardly ever mention aggregate demand, do they? Nor do the standard textbooks ever talk about financial panics, inequality, or uncertainty. Indeed, as we all know, mainstream economics teaches that free markets are best, and there is no need for any government intervention, especially in the monetary system.

As I noted in the post linked above, I think the Post Keynesians are upset that the economics profession is only, say, 75% Keynesian. For them, anything less than 100% shows disrespect to the Greatest Economist.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Click HERE To Tell Rand Your Obamacare Story

November 19, 2013 in Politics & Elections

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Source: RAND PAUL

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Militant Christian Rails Against "Effeminate" Jesus

November 19, 2013 in Blogs

By Alex Kane, AlterNet

The retired general turned right-wing evangelical activist made the remarks at a Men's Prayer Breakfast.


A former American general turned right-wing evangelical activist recently told an audience that the mainstream narrative about Jesus was all wrong.  

According to Jerry Boykin, vice president of the Family Research Council, Jesus is not weak and effeminate, as the modern-day church teaches today.  Boykin said that he was a “man’s man” and a “tough guy,” according to Right Wing Watch, which posted video of Boykin’s speech.

Boykin made the remarks a few months ago at a Men’s Prayer Breakfast hosted at William Jessup University, a Christian school in California. The former general told the crowd that Jesus got strong by being a carpenter and stone mason.  All the lifting he had to do, Boykin said, gave him “big, bulging biceps, big ole veins popping out of his arms, thin waist, [and] strong shoulders.”

“He was a man's man, but we feminized him in the church … He was a tough guy and that's the Jesus that I want to be like. That's the side that I want to be like,” Boykin added. “But we've feminized Jesus in the church and the men can't identify with him anymore; not the kind of men that I want to hang out with, they can't identify with this effeminate Jesus that we've tried to portray. He was a tough guy. He was a man's man.”

Boykin first burst into the national spotlight in 2003, while he was serving as Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in the Bush Department of Defense.  He courted controversy when he said that the war on terror was a religious war, and that the enemy’s God was “Satan.” Since retiring from the military, he has become an ardent right-wing Christian activist who is actively involved in fomenting Islamophobia.

Watch the video of Boykin’s speech on Jesus here, via Right-Wing Watch:

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Americans Are Living Better Then They Have at Any Point in Human History

November 19, 2013 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Hans Riegel recently died at age 90. He was not a household name, even in his home country of Germany. But he changed the world for the better. He brought us gummi bears.

Of course, life would go on without the gelatinous fruit-flavored candies. Nevertheless, Riegel gave pleasure to millions of people. His father concocted the precursor to the bear candies in 1923. After the latter’s death, Riegel fils became the master marketer for Haribo, his father’s candy firm. At his death Riegel was estimated to be worth $3 billion.

Human creativity and ingenuity—punctuated with a mix of luck and hard work—constantly transform our lives, leaving us far better off as a result.”

Politicians routinely crusade against wealth and inequality, but much of that occurs naturally when people create products and offer services benefiting the rest of us. Our lives have been immeasurably enriched by the ingenuity and inspiration of others. They deserve to be enriched financially in return.

Today people live on their cell phones. Once we didn’t even have telephones. Thank Alexander Graham Bell, born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, for this invention. His father was an elocution professor who taught the deaf to speak. In 1876 the son allowed us to speak to people around the world. The following year he and two colleagues established Bell Telephone, which eventually became AT&T.

The internal combustion engine auto came from Karl Benz. He was a design engineer who in 1886 created the two-stroke engine, and won a patent for what he termed the “motor car.” He started his own company, which eventually merged into what is now Daimler-Benz—which makes the famed Mercedes. In 1888 Benz’s wife, Bertha, drove his motorized three-wheel contraption from Mannheim to Pforzheim, demonstrating to the world that the vehicle worked.

Who among us has not enjoyed Life Savers, the circular fruit-flavored candy? In 1903 Clarence Crane started what became the world’s largest Maple Sugar business. He sold that company and moved into chocolate production—obviously a worthy endeavor—but found that some people didn’t want to purchase a sweet that melted during the summer. So he created the hard fruit candy, originally only in peppermint, which he called Life Savers because they looked like ship life preservers.

Helen Greiner came up with the Roomba vacuum cleaner robot in 2002. Born in London and the daughter of Hungarian refugees, she was a fan of Star Wars’ R2D2. Her …read more

Source: OP-EDS