Tag Archives: US Government

Congress and the 2020 Census…Dragging their feet?

The Washington Post does a piece on the upcoming US Census due in less than 4 years….

In the past money was approved for the effort that occurs every decade as mandated by law…

But right now?

Congress can’t seem to do much of anything…..

They have cut back the allowance for the count seeking to have the Census Bureau modernize its collection methods….

One could be wary though….

Congress is presently a Republican majority ….

The population of the US is getting less white and THAT probably means less Republican….(And MOST of ALl the allocation of US House Seats by States)

Also some on the right in Congress want to add a immigration status question….

In the end they’ll get the money….

But the census, like anything else?

Can be viewed as a political thing and that clouds how it  will get money in these strongly partisan times…

“The bureau needs the money now,” he said. “It can’t be doing 2020 blindly. It should be taking the time to do the testing now, to work out all the kinks (and) make sure the bureau gets it right, because there are no do-overs after 2020.”

Funding for the Census Bureau does not all go to the decennial count. Among other things, the bureau puts out the annual American Communities Survey, a more detailed questionnaire sent to a smaller sample of respondents, and the Economic Census, conducted every 5 years, including this year.

For the 2020 Census, the strain is already showing. In October, citing uncertainty about funding, the bureau said it was canceling 2017 testing in Puerto Rico, the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota, and the Colville Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land in Washington State. Earlier this year, the government accountability office placed the Census on its High Risk list.

Part of the problem, critics say, is that Congress is not good at longterm planning.

“The Census is not the sort of legislative advantage that Congressmembers can see on their radar screens,” Lowenthal said. “It’s not a new highway that warrants a press release, it’s not a health clinic for senior citizens and veterans in the home district. But it is the foundation of democracy…and it’s at the point where starving the Census Bureau of sufficient funding will have the certain consequence of a less accurate count.”…


43% of Republicans could support a military coup in the US…Poll

The Rightwingnuts in THIS country HAVE gone batshit crazy…..

A law professor at West Point was forced to hastily resign after it emerged that he had authored a number of controversial articles. In one he suggested that legal scholars defending the rights of suspected terrorists could be considered legitimate military targets, while in another he examined a potential military coup in the United States, arguing that officers may have a duty to sieze control of the federal government if the federal government acted against the interest of the country. The United States military has long embraced the idea of civilian control of national affairs, and apart from certain rare moments the American officer corps has faithfully followed the orders of their civilian superiors.

YouGov’s latest research shows, however, that officers in the military are held in much greater esteem than their civilian superiors, and that they are widely viewed as having the best interests of the country in mind instead of their own selfish concerns. 70% of Americans believe that military officers generally want what is best for the country. When it comes to Congressmen, however, 71% of Americans believe that they want what is best for themselves, along with 59% for local politicians.

29% of Americans could imagine a situation in which they would support the military seizing control of the federal government, while 41% could not imagine such a situation…..


Look who’s back in Iraq….Ahmad Chalabi…


The guy the Bushe II US State Dept. and Defense Dept paid off and supported, was sent back to Iraq to run the place , but fell flat on his face after turning on his handlers by giving false info , has been approached by several people in the US Government….

image of Chalabi and then Defense Sec Rumsfeld….veteransday.com

He has been the subject of investigations in the US and abroad ….

Chalabi, a Shia has been rumored to have given Iran secrets on the US spying efforts….

That this could even be happening seems beyond belief…

Because of the lightning-fast offensive by Islamists over the past week, the immediate crisis in Iraq seems military, and President Barack Obama is sending 300 Special Forces troops to advise Iraqi forces and is contemplating air strikes. But the central issue in Iraq is political. The military crisis stems from Sunni grievances that, far from resolving, Maliki’s policies have actually exacerbated.
Chalabi, like others, has been maneuvering to topple Maliki for years, though he hasn’t ever managed to come close in elections. If Chalabi has a chance now, the reason has little to do with him or democracy in Iraq. It’s about Maliki.

In April, Maliki’s political party won a large plurality, which would give the prime minister a third term in office. But Maliki is despised by Sunnis, Kurds, and even many of his fellow Shiites. And the recent invasion, led by the Islamist group ISIS but joined by other Sunni factions, has undercut his main appeal. As the former American official put it, “Maliki ran on a security platform, and the security platform has blown up in Mosul,” a city seized by Sunni militants.

To become prime minister, Chalabi would have to win a vote in the Iraqi parliament, which is divided largely along tribal, ethnic, and religious lines. “The Kurds will be with him, the Sunnis, and 75 percent of the Shiites will be with him,” claimed one of his Iraqi supporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It will be a challenge for Chalabi to persuade Sunni factions that he can ease their frustrations. After all, he was the inventor of “de-Baathification.” Patterned on “de-Nazification,” this was a process used after the American invasion to keep Sunnis, out of government. Not only did Chalabi invent the word, but he was the man put in charge of the process.

Also, he’s been at the forefront of divisive Shiite politics since the invasion. He set up a Shiite voting bloc called “Shia house,” or Beit al-Shia, in 2003, to unify Shiite influence. At times he has allied himself with Muqtada al-Sadr, the heir to one line of Shiite clerics, and at other times with the Ammar al-Hakim, another Shiite religious leader.

Now, Chalabi is reportedly ready to disavow de-Baathification….


The American White House listed @ $110 Million…

The Residence of the President of the United States of America…

The White House….

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington , DC  20500

Of course it’s NOT on the market….

It changes hands every 4 to 8 years and it actually costs almost a BILLION Dollars to move into…..

This the ‘People’s House’………

Image Gallery: Washington DC


What would it cost to buy the White House on the open market? One real estate site has calculated the listing value of the executive mansion at $110 million dollars.

The website Movoto asked real estate strategist Jason Koitz for an estimate on the home of the first family — and he came up with the following:

“I think just based on the size and location; the list price would be in the low $100 million range. It would probably be $110 or $115 (million). This would be an extreme luxury home.”

He estimates that given this listing price, the White House would probably sell for between $75 and $80 million.

Of course, this calculation does not take into account the history of the building — it only considers the White House as a single family home. Taking into account the historical value, Koitz estimates that it could sell for over a billion dollars.

For the record, that’s about 1/15,000th of our national debt….



No Raises for some of top TARP companies bosses ….US Government…

The US Treasury Department has notified the  AIG, GM and Alley Corp bosses that under the terms of their acceptance of the TARP monies ,

the US Government has decided that they will NOT get raises in their compensation for this year…

(This is actually the second year in a row for the Government policy call)

The chief executive officers of American International Group Inc. (AIG), Ally Financial Inc. and General Motors Co., (GM) which received government bailouts, won’t get an increase in total compensation this year, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

“Although there has been some modification in the mix of stock salary and long-term restricted stock for the CEO group, the overall amount of CEO compensation is frozen at 2011 levels,” according to a Treasury statement today in Washington.

The Treasury said the top 69 executives at the three companies saw their total cash compensation decrease 18 percent and their direct compensation drop 10 percent from 2011 levels.

The three companies have received “exceptional’ assistance from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Earnings for the top 25 executives at the bailed-out companies must be approved by Patricia Geoghegan, the Obama administration’s acting special master for executive compensation.

This was the second year in a row for a CEO pay freeze, according to the Treasury. Robert Benmosche is the CEO of AIG, and his counterparts are Michael Carpenter at Ally and Dan Akerson at General Motors.

AIG received about $68 billion from the bailout program; GM received $50 billion; and Ally accepted $17.2 billion….


Federalist Papers – with brilliant introduction…Talkandpolitics…

Just started a new book – with an 80 page introduction to the Federalist Papers by Isaac Kramnick, a Professor of Government at Harvard. And the walk-through of context and talks is brilliant. The camps of anti-federalists (politics of liberty) vs. federalists (politics of strength and stability) is framing much of the debate of national politics even today.

The fundamental choices of how to mix and balance the periphery vs. center, unity vs. independence, co-operation vs. fighting, and States vs. Union is discussed at length.

And the dual motive of mixing democracy, aristocracy and tyranny – with that of seperating powers in a judicial, executive and legislative branch – is hard to grasp in its complexity – and simplicity.

Another topic is the wealth of human experience and history that is baked into the constitution – millennias of trial and error with empires, city-states and nation-states – as well as a very honest (to some cynic..) and mixed view of human nature. All into a short and clear document with seven articles.

And the preamble is one of the most beautiful things ever written. Not one word by coincidence or in excess. Marvellous.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

So now it’s on to 400 pages and 85 articles, with Madison and Hamilton selling the pros and pragmatics of a strong central government and forceful Union – both in domestic and international affairs…