Joke of the Day

Early one morning, a mother went in to wake up her son.

“Wake up, son. It’s time to go to school!”

“But why, Mom? I don’t want to go.”

“Give me two reasons why you don’t want to go.”

“Well, the kids hate me for one, and the teachers hate me, too!”

“Oh, that’s no reason not to go to school. Come on now and get ready.”

“Give me two reasons why I should go to school.”

“Well, for one, you’re 52 years old. And for another, you’re the Principal!”

Ooh, SNAP! (revisited)

Believe or not, food stamp recipients have traded their benefits with nefarious retailers in exchange for cash they used to buy drugs and weapons.

No! Corruption & fraud in a government run program?

That’s just one of many outrageous examples of abuse in the food stamp program revealed when Phyllis Fong, the Department of Agriculture’s inspector general, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday.

“In terms of fraud, we have seen many types of trafficking in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits,” she said in prepared remarks.

“By giving a recipient $50 in cash for $100 in benefits, an unscrupulous retailer can make a significant profit. Recipients, of course, are then able to spend the cash however they like.

“In some cases, recipients have exchanged benefits for drugs, weapons, and other contraband.”

“When trafficking occurs unchecked, families do not receive the intended nutritional assistance, and unscrupulous retailers profit at the expense of the American public.”

The latest estimate places the number of food stamp recipients in this fiscal year at about 46.3 million, up from 30.8 million at the beginning of fiscal year 2009. That’s a boon for the economy, don’t you know.

The sale or purchase of food stamp benefits for monetary gain is punishable by disqualification from receiving future benefits, fines, and criminal prosecution, according to CNS News.

However, it came to light in Fong’s testimony that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, does not have a policy to ban food stamp retailers from the program even when they have been convicted of defrauding the government.

Fong said: “‘Suspension and debarment’ is a legal tool that Federal agencies can use to protect programs from repeat abusers and ensure that the Government does business only with responsible parties.

“If FNS (the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service) took steps to debar retailers with a proven record of dishonesty, those individuals would be prevented from abusing other Federal programs.

“However, in a recent audit, we determined that FNS did not debar any of the 615 wholesalers and retailers convicted in relation to 208 cases, even though a conviction is adequate grounds for debarment.”

That’s just great. These companies were not just charged, but convicted and are still able to conduct business as usual.

She also testified that the USDA does not review the criminal background on food stamp retailers and “therefore cannot comply with its own requirement to deny SNAP authorization to any retailers with a criminal history.”

These are the same beuracrats that will control your healthcare soon. Comforting.

In addition, the food stamp program does not even check the Social Security number of many of its recipients, countless of whom are using the numbers of dead people and invalid SSNs to get benefits that Fong said potentially total $1.1 million a month.

Attribution: Newsmax

Joke of the Day

After trying a new shampoo for the first time, a guy fired off an enthusiastic letter of approval to the manufacturer.

 Several weeks later he came home from work to a large carton in the middle of the floor.

Inside were free samples of the many products the company produced: soaps, detergents, tooth paste, and paper items.

“Well, what do you think?” his wife asked smiling.

“Next time,” he replied. “I’m writing to Mercedes!”

Affordable Light Bulbs

Government Stupidity Defies Satire When a $50 Light Bulb Wins an Affordability Prize

 by: Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve written about the government’s war on consumer-friendly light bulbs (and also similar attacks on working toilets and washing machines that actually clean), so I’m generally not surprised by bureaucratic nonsense.

But even I’m shocked the federal government gave an affordability award for a light bulb that costs $50. I’m not making this up. Here’s a blurb from ABC News.

The U.S. government has awarded appliance-maker Philips $10 million for devising an “affordable” alternative to today’s standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That standard bulb sells for around $1. The Philips alternative sells for $50. Of course, the award-winner is no ordinary bulb. It uses only one-sixth the energy of an incandescent. And it lasts 30,000 hours–about 30 times as long. In fact, if you don’t drop it, it may last 10 years or more. But only the U.S. Government (in this case, the Department of Energy) could view a $50 bulb as cheap.

Isn’t that wonderful? My tax dollars were used to reward a company that produced a light bulb I can’t afford.

Lisa Benson has a very good cartoon about this light bulb, as well as the less-than-shocking news that Obamacare will be more costly than originally forecast.

Communism Doesn’t Work

Meet Elke. This inspiring woman was born in Hitler’s Germany and lived under communist rule for years before becoming an American citizen.

Her video explanation of what happened in Germany under communism and the parallels to our current administration and the path we are on will give you a chill.

Attribution: The Blaze

Ok, I’m in Love!!

Anyone familiar with guns knows of the classic American pistol, the 45 cal. M1911 & the M1911A1. It’s still one of the most widely known and loved pistols, used in The Korean, Vietnam and both World Wars. John M. Browning designed the firearm which was the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985.

The Colt pistol was formally adopted by the Army on March 29, 1911, thus gaining its designation, M1911 (Model 1911). It was adopted by the Navy and United States Marine Corps in 1913.

Originally manufactured only by Colt, demand for the firearm in the first World War saw the expansion of manufacture to the government-owned Springfield Armory.

Battlefield experience in the First World War led to some small external changes, completed in 1924. The new version received a modified type classification, M1911A1.

The differences in the M1911 and the upgraded M1911A1 were minor and consisted of a shorter trigger, cutouts in the frame behind the trigger, an arched mainspring housing, a longer grip safety spur,to prevent hammer bite, a wider front sight, a shorter spur on the hammer, and simplified grip checkering by eliminating the “Double Diamond” reliefs. You can spot the differences in the above picture. The internal components were all interchangable.

By the way, hammer bite describes the action of an external hammer pinching or poking the web of the operator’s shooting hand between the thumb and fore-finger when the gun is fired. Some handguns prone to this are the M1911 pistol and the Browning Hi-Power. It can be quite painful.

So how could a classic handgun such as this be improved upon?

Just Watch!

Greedy Bankers…Oh Wait

The former chief executive of The New York Times Company received $24million when she was forced out of her job, it has emerged.

Janet Robinson received the huge pay-off – larger than the company’s profits from the last four years combined – despite overseeing an 80 per cent fall in the company’s share price.

She presided over seven years of falling profits and squeezed revenues in the wake of the economic downturn and the threat to newspapers’ business models posed by the internet.

Ms Robinson’s ‘golden parachute’ deal has been criticised by Times staff, who face the prospect of lay-offs and a pension freeze in response to the firm’s ongoing struggles.

The 61-year-old former CEO, a 28-year veteran with the company, has yet to be replaced by chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr, who is temporarily acting in her place.

Ms Robinson’s package includes a $4.5million consulting fee that The Times had agreed to pay as part of her exit package, as well as pension benefits and performance-related payments.

In 2011, her last year with the company, it lost $39.7million, but she was paid a salary of $1million.

Her $24million departure package is equivalent to around 2.4 per cent of the entire market value of the company.

The New York Times Company, which owns the Boston Globe, the International Herald Tribune and About.com as well as its flagship newspaper, insists it is on the right track despite the troubles of the Robinson years.

It had 406,000 paying digital subscribers at the end of 2011 after it rolled out an online pay system last year.

The focus on an improved digital strategy helped circulation revenue grow five per cent to $241.6million in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the company.

However, it is currently lacking a digital boss as well as a CEO, after former digital head Martin Nisenholtz retired.

Attribution:  Daily Mail