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NOVEMBER 29,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

COULD BE CRITICAL, BUT READ WITH CAUTION – FROM FOX:    Authorities in New York's Long Island are investigating a blast that left a crater and was felt miles away Sunday. Police are working with the FBI on the probe, to determine whether it could have been a prelude to something bigger.  The Suffolk County Police Department said the explosion occurred on Fox Island, off the coast of West Babylon, around 11:40 a.m. when a device was detonated. Authorities received nearly three dozen 911 calls, the department told Fox News.  No injuries were reported. Fox News has reached out to the FBI. Investigators are not ruling out the idea that the incident may have been a test run for something bigger, such as a possible terrorist attack.  "Terrorism is always a concern because people do test devices before using them," a police spokeswoman told Fox News. "The SCPD is investigating with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force on this investigation."  The blast left a crater on the north side of the island that measured 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Authorities are seeking a boat seeing leaving from the area at the time.  I would take this very seriously.  If this were some group trying just to get rid of an explosive, they wouldn't set it off, they'd dump it in the ocean.  The fact that the device was set off gives the episode the flavor of a test.  Eternal vigilance required.

November 29, 2021       Permalink

 

SCANDAL OF OUR TIMES – OVERNIGHT.  If the reporting is accurate, this is a scandal of mammoth proportions.  But who will have the guts to investigate?  From the Washington Times: 

As the coronavirus pandemic raged, Uncle Sam was doing more than putting money in unemployed Americans’ pockets — the federal government was also shipping tens of billions of dollars overseas to fraudsters working with the country’s most prominent adversaries, such as China and Russia.

Haywood Talcove, CEO for LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ government division, says 40% of the more than $700 billion spent on unemployment went to fraudsters. 

Most of that ill-gotten money — $175 billion of it — went to overseas actors. And most of that, perhaps $140 billion, went to organizations that are state-sponsored.

“It makes me mad that there hasn’t been enough oversight, that the tools that are needed when you’re distributing this type of money aren’t in place,” Mr. Talcove told The Washington Times. “It allows our adversaries, the Russians, the Chinese, the Nigerians, the Romanians, to use that money to hurt our country.”

He said the money lost to fraud could have provided $160,000 to each individual in the country below the poverty line. Or it could have paid a Harvard University-level tuition for four years for every 18-year-old in the country.

Instead, it ended up in the hands of criminals, from low-level grifters to sophisticated government-backed syndicates.

Nearly two years after the pandemic first broke out in China, and 20 months after Congress passed its first major coronavirus bailout bill, the U.S. is still reeling. 

Virus variants are still breaking out, and the economy is facing a chaotic jobs market and soaring inflation.

Government assistance has begun to ratchet down, but there’s not yet been a full accounting of the $6 trillion or so Congress allocated, including the $717 billion the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculates went to pandemic unemployment assistance.

Congress initially offered a $600-a-week boost on top of what states were already paying, and granted new eligibility to people who’d exhausted their benefits. The program was later extended, though at $300 a week.

The problem, Mr. Talcove said, is that the states just weren’t ready for that kind of money to flow through their unemployment systems. But fraud rings were.

For years, they’d been using the same playbook, combining names and pilfered personal identifying information to scam companies and government agencies like disaster relief or the IRS.

They’d not targeted unemployment because the money had been pretty small potatoes. But a $600-a-week federal payout on top of states’ payouts suddenly made it worthwhile. 

The average pandemic unemployment payout totaled $26,000, or more than the average tax-refund fraud, Mr. Talcove said.

California, which received more than $130 billion of the unemployment money, likely saw tens of billions of dollars in bogus payments made. Even a jurisdiction like the District of Columbia, with about $2 billion in federal assistance, lost about $800 million in bad disbursements, Mr. Talcove estimates.

In Michigan, an auditor’s report earlier this month found the state didn’t require individuals to self-certify the reason they were out of work. That meant people who didn’t deserve the money under the federal rules were nonetheless allowed to get checks in Michigan.

Even after being warned by the feds, Michigan took months to change its system, allowing people to continue to be paid benefits they shouldn’t have gotten. 

The auditor said at least 300,000 bogus claims were paid because of the bungle, and the money won’t be recovered because applicants didn’t actually scam the system.

Mr. Talcove said private companies could never withstand those kinds of losses. “With government, they just get to print more money,” he said.

COMMENT:  This demands a full Congressional investigation.  But will we get it?  I doubt it.  There are, allegedly, too many hands in the cash bucket, too many public figures.  There are reputations to maintain, future presidential candidates to protect. 

The story is just getting reported.  I cannot verify every line of it, but the sourcing appears to be sound, and the detail is compelling.  We were robbed.  Big time.  But who will care?

November 29, 2021       Permalink


 

 

 

 

 

NOVEMBER 28,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

I LOVE IT – FROM COLLEGE FIX:   A Native American group this week filed a lawsuit alleging that a law barring public schools in Colorado from using Native American mascots and imagery is unconstitutional.  Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, in June signed Senate Bill 21-116 into law, which prohibits public schools from using “a name, symbol, or image that depicts or refers to an American Indian tribe, individual, custom, or tradition that is used as a mascot, nickname, logo, letter, or team name.”  Schools with American Indian-themed mascots have until June 1, 2022 to cease use or face $25,000 fines each month for noncompliance, according to the law, which doesn’t apply if a school has an existing agreement with a federally recognized tribe.  The lawsuit, which was filed this week in U.S. District Court by the Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative public-interest law firm, is brought by current and former Yuma High School students and the Native American Guardian’s Association (NAGA), a nonprofit that advocates for the recognition of Native American heritage.   Read the story.  It's really about thinking Native Americans not allowing themselves to be pushed around by the trendies of the WOKE crowd.

November 28, 2021       Permalink

THE STATE OF OUR JOURNALISM – OVERNIGHT:  CNN can't even give us an honest accounting of the terrorist car attack in Wisconsin.  The leftist party line is always maintained.  From Fox: 

CNN was the center of intense backlash on Sunday over a tweet suggesting that the SUV involved in the Waukesha parade attack was responsible for the massacre that resulted in six deaths.

Darrell Brooks was charged with intentional homicide after driving his red SUV through a crowded street commemorating the holiday season, claiming six lives of those ages 8 to 81 and injuring dozens more.

On Sunday however, CNN appeared to place the responsibility on Brooks' vehicle, making no mention of the career criminal behind the wheel.

"Waukesha will hold a moment of silence today, marking one week since a car drove through a city Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring scores of others," the tweet reads.

Critics tore into the liberal outlet on social media for an apparent attempt to deflect blame from the suspect.

"Well, how about that? Autonomous cars seem to be running amok," legal scholar and McCormick professor Robert P. George wrote. "Evidently, one got it into its head to kill and maim a bunch of humans, so it 'drove through a Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring scores of others.' We should punish that car to teach others a lesson."

"A ‘car’ did this? Not a human being with intent to kill and maim and being held on $5 million bail?" California congressional candidate Buzz Patterson agreed. "You guys are a joke."

"Hey, @CNNKeith, what is up with this headline and tweet of your article?" Newsbusters deputy managing editor Nicholas Fondacaro asked. "You guys know the movie Cars isn't real right? Cars are not living things," he wrote in a separate tweet.

"Someone (Joe Rogan?) is radicalizing cars," former New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles tweeted.

"A car drove through a city Christmas parade," radio host Jason Rantz emphasized.

"Give me a break CNN," Sen. Ted Cruz's communication adviser Steve Guest wrote. "A car drove through a city Christmas parade. The headline was written like this for a reason."

COMMENT:  Cowardly journalism.  The alleged perpetrator is an African American with a long rap sheet.  He has hurt his own community many times.  But to white, woke journalists, he is probably seen as a confused but sympathetic figure who has done wrong because wrong was done to him.  There are people who think that way, and they're giving you the news.

November 28, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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