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Tag Archive: Washington DC


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Food Poisoning Bulletin

Restaurant photoThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken the lead in the investigation of a multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to Fig & Olive restaurants. The agency is working in collaboration with health officials in various states.

The Washington DC Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Forensic Sciences (DFS) are among the agencies collaborating on the investigation. DFS has collected and tested food and environmental samples taken from Fig & Olive in DC’s CityCenter. So far, 45 food samples and 15 environmental samples have been negative for Salmonella. Results on 10 other tests are still pending.

DOH has interviewed 135 people who became ill after eating at the restaurant. Those who became ill are from DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois and Alabama. Fourteen cases of salmonellosis have been confirmed. Interviews are ongoing.

Some of those who became ill ate at the restaurant over Labor Day weekend. After illnesses were reported, the restaurant closed for six days and was cleared to reopen September 16 after it had been sanitized, employees debriefed, food discarded and problematic menu items retired. Case patients reported eating truffle fries or mushroom croquettes, those items have been removed from the menu. Since the reopening, DOH has made two visits, September 16 and September 18, to monitor employee training and food handling procedures.

 

 

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Food Poisoning Bulletin

Fig & Olive DC Salmonella Outbreak Includes Cases From MD, PA, VA, IL & AL

Restaurant kitchenThe Salmonella outbreak at the Fig & Olive in Washington DC’s City Center sickened more than 60 people in five states and the District of Columbia. Case patients were from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Illinois and Alabama, health officials told Food Poisoning Bulletin today.

The outbreak, which began over Labor Day weekend, may have sickened as many as 150 people. Several people were so sick they required hospitalization.

The DC location was closed for six days for cleaning and staff training. When it reopened, two items were no longer on then menu, truffle fries and mushroom croquettes.

Fig & Olive operates several restaurants in NewYork, two in California, one in Chicago and one in Washington DC. Health officials in New York City, Chicago and Newport Beach, California told Food Poisoning Bulletin that no illnesses have been reported in association with Fig & Olive restaurants in those locations. But Salmonella illnesses were also reported in association with the California restaurant on Melrose Place in West Hollywood.

There are nine confirmed cases and three suspected. Of the confirmed cases,  six are patrons and three are employees. Truffle oil is a suspected food source in the California outbreak as well. Fig & Olive makes its own truffle oil.

 

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US airstrike killed 13 Afghan civilians in Parwan: Official

Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:50PM GMT
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A member of a fact-finding mission said on Friday that 13 civilians, most of them women and children, were killed in the US airstrike in Parwan Province on Wednesday. Initial reports had put the death toll at 8.

In a press conference in Kabul, the Afghan official said most of the victims were women and children.

The fact-finding mission began work after President Hamid Karzai ordered an investigation into the deadly attack.

A large number of civilians have been killed or injured at the hands of US-led foreign forces — most of them in nighttime raids and airstrikes. The casualty rate has risen over the past few months, even though the Afghan government had asked foreign forces to make every effort to avoid killing civilians.

An escalation in the US-led strikes on Afghanistan’s civilian areas has angered both the public and the government.

Afghans have held numerous protest rallies countrywide to condemn such attacks.

Afghan government officials — including President Karzai himself — have also frequently condemned the killings of civilians by foreign forces.

The latest development comes as the US and Afghanistan are still at loggerheads over a bilateral security deal. Washington has been mounting pressure on Kabul to sign the deal that would allow several thousands of US troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Afghan political figures have heaped scorn on the US-led forces for committing unforgivable crimes against Afghan women and children since invading the country in 2001.

JR/AB/SS

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An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.
An undated aerial handout photo shows the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland.

A new study has concluded that the massive collection of phone data by the clandestine U.S. National Security Agency “has had no discernible impact” on preventing terrorism.

A Washington research group, the New America Foundation, said Monday it studied the investigations of 225 people linked in some way to terrorism in the United States since the deadly September 11th attacks and concluded NSA phone surveillance only played a key role in one instance.

The report said the only piece of NSA phone data that had a clear role in initiating an investigation involved a cab driver in San Diego, California, who was convicted of sending $8,500 to al-Qaida’s Somali affiliate in 2007 and 2008.

The New America Foundation said NSA surveillance may have played a role in other investigations, but about 60 percent of the probes stemmed from traditional investigative methods, such as tips from from a family member or informant, or a report of suspicious activity.

The report’s conclusion mirrors that of a White House-appointed review that concluded in December that the NSA’s collection of millions of records of calls made by Americans “was not essential to preventing attacks.”

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Related Articles

Mass surveillance of the National Security Agency (NSA) on people and world leaders have been making headlines for half a year throughout the globe, yet these security programs did little in battle against terrorism, concludes the study by the New America Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit group.

The study of 225 terrorism cases inside the US after 9/11, which is to be released Monday, corroborates the findings of a White House-appointed review group, which said last month that the NSA counterterrorism program “was not essential to preventing attacks” and that much of the evidence it did turn up “could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional [court] orders.”

NSA saves the record of numbers dialed and length of the call of every American. As the intelligence agency suggests, no calls’ content is collected. Then NSA analysts conclude whether the numbers were suspicious or not and it’s linked to a terrorist organization.

As the Washington Post reports, the researchers at the New America Foundation found that the program provided evidence to initiate only one case, involving a San Diego cabdriver, Basaaly ­Moalin, who was convicted of sending money to a terrorist group in Somalia. Three co-conspirators were also convicted. The cases involved no threat of attack against the United States.

“The overall problem for US counterterrorism officials is not that they need vaster amounts of information from the bulk surveillance programs, but that they don’t sufficiently understand or widely share the information they already possess that was derived from conventional law enforcement and intelligence techniques,” said the report, whose principal author is Peter Bergen, director of the foundation’s National Security Program and an expert on terrorism.

In most of the cases proved themselves much more effective. Traditional surveillance warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court were used to obtain evidence through intercepts of phone calls and e-mails, said the researchers, whose results are in an online database.

According to the publication, more than half of the cases were initiated as a result of traditional investigative tools. The most common was a community or family tip to the authorities. Other methods included the use of informants, a suspicious-activity report filed by a business or community member to the FBI, or information turned up in investigations of non-terrorism cases.

Yet, the New America Foundation suggests, it took more than two month after NSA transmitted the allegations to FBI, before the terrorism case was initiated.

Voice of Russia, the Washington Post

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Yahoo News

Associated Press

A view north from atop the U.S. Capitol dome shows Union Station and the Russell Senate Office Building during a media tour in Washington

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A view north from atop the U.S. Capitol dome shows the Russell Senate Office Building (R) and Union Station (2nd R) during a media tour of the dome on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 19, 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The women of the Senate who led the fight to change how the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks are hailing passage of a comprehensive defense bill that now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The Senate voted 84-15 Thursday night for the $632.8 billion bill that covers combat pay, new ships, aircraft and military bases. Drawing the greatest attention were provisions cracking down on perpetrators of sexual assault and rape.

The military’s handling of high-profile cases united Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate in a concerted effort to change the Uniform Code of Military Justice, with Senate women leading the fight. Estimates from the Pentagon that 26,000 members of the military may have been sexually assaulted last year, though thousands were afraid to come forward for fear of inaction or retribution, emboldened lawmakers to act.

“Today represents a huge win for victims of sexual assault, and for justice in America’s armed forces, but this is no finish line,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., one of seven women on the Armed Services Committee who pushed for the changes. “In the months and years ahead, vigilance will be required to ensure that these historic reforms are implemented forcefully and effectively.”

The legislation would strip military commanders of their ability to overturn jury convictions, require a civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case and require that any individual convicted of sexual assault face a dishonorable discharge or dismissal. The bill also would provide victims with legal counsel, eliminate the statute of limitations for courts-martial in rape and sexual assault cases, and criminalize retaliation against victims who report a sexual assault.

“Today we have taken a major, unprecedented step toward finally eliminating the plague of sexual assault in our nation’s military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Read More Here

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Military.com

Congress Sends Sweeping Defense Bill to Obama

President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington,Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

WASHINGTON — The women of the Senate who led the fight to change how the military deals with sexual assault in its ranks are hailing passage of a comprehensive defense bill that now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The Senate voted 84-15 Thursday night for the $632.8 billion bill that covers combat pay, new ships, aircraft and military bases. Drawing the greatest attention were provisions cracking down on perpetrators of sexual assault and rape.

The military’s handling of high-profile cases united Democrats and Republicans, House and Senate in a concerted effort to change the Uniform Code of Military Justice, with Senate women leading the fight. Estimates from the Pentagon that 26,000 members of the military may have been sexually assaulted last year, though thousands were afraid to come forward for fear of inaction or retribution, emboldened lawmakers to act.

“Today represents a huge win for victims of sexual assault, and for justice in America’s armed forces, but this is no finish line,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., one of seven women on the Armed Services Committee who pushed for the changes. “In the months and years ahead, vigilance will be required to ensure that these historic reforms are implemented forcefully and effectively.”

The legislation would strip military commanders of their ability to overturn jury convictions, require a civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case and require that any individual convicted of sexual assault face a dishonorable discharge or dismissal. The bill also would provide victims with legal counsel, eliminate the statute of limitations for courts-martial in rape and sexual assault cases, and criminalize retaliation against victims who report a sexual assault.

“Today we have taken a major, unprecedented step toward finally eliminating the plague of sexual assault in our nation’s military,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Another member of the Armed Services panel, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said the special counsel “will help encourage victims to come forward to seek justice, and it will help ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes.”

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‘She thought she was Prophet of Stamford and Obama was stalking her’: Dental hygienist shot dead after ramming her car into the White House ‘had been taking medication for schizophrenia’

  • Capitol Hill was placed in lockdown on Thursday after gunshots fired in downtown DC on Thursday
  • Her one-year-old daughter was in the car when her mother was shot and killed by police officers
  • 34-year-old has a history of mental illness
  • One of Carey’s five sisters is an NYPD cop
  • Mother said she suffered from postpartum depression after birth of daughter Erica
  • Miriam Carey had been sued by her Connecticut condominium association for failure to pay fees

By Louise Boyle, Rachel Quigley, James Nye and Michael Zennie

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The mother gunned down yesterday after ramming a White House barrier because she thought President Obama was stalking her was prescribed schizophrenia medication after telling police she was the ‘Prophet of Stamford’, it emerged today.

Miriam Carey, 34, was taken for a mental health evaluation after an encounter with Connecticut police almost a year ago, in which she claimed to be a prophet and said the President was going to place the city of Stamford under lockdown, according to CBS.

She also believed he had been electronically monitoring her Connecticut home in order to broadcast her life on television like in the movie The Truman Show.

Authorities did not alert the Secret Service about the mother-of-one as they had no evidence she had ever made any kind of threat against Obama.

ABC News reports that cops had twice in 2012 been called by Miriam Carey’s boyfriend, who reported the woman was delusional, acting irrationally and putting her infant daughter in danger.

 

Authorities said the single-mother had a 'history of mental illness' but did not elaborate.

Snapped: Authorities said the single-mother and dental hygienist had a ‘history of mental illness’ but did not elaborate

Miriam Carey is pictured at the Connecticut periodontist office where she worked. Her bosses described her as having 'a delightful bedside manner'

Miriam Carey is pictured at the Connecticut periodontist office where she worked. Her bosses described her as having ‘a delightful bedside manner’

Luxury Car: Police swarm around the Nissan Infiniti car on grass near the U.S. Capitol October 3, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

Luxury Car: Police swarm around the Nissan Infiniti car on grass near the U.S. Capitol October 3, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC

Rescued: This is little Erica, the one-year-old daughter of Miriam Carey who was miraculously rescued safely from her mother's bullet-riddled car

Rescued: This is little Erica, the one-year-old daughter of Miriam Carey who was miraculously rescued safely from her mother’s bullet-riddled car

US CAPITOL SHOOTING: Moment police draw guns on driver

Last night her mother revealed the 34-year-old has suffered from postpartum depression since giving birth to her daughter Erica last year.

These revelations are the first clues as to what led a seemingly happy dental hygienist to snap and drive her Infiniti luxury sedan 270 miles from her home in suburban Stamford to Washington, DC – where her rampage put the nation’s capital on lock-down Thursday.

Carey’s 18-month-old daughter Erica – who was in the back seat – was not injured, despite the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol police firing up to 15 shots into her car.

Little Erica was rescued from the bullet-riddled car after her mother was shot dead. She is currently in the custody of child services workers.

Pictured: A neighbor has confirmed to MailOnline that this is Miriam Carey, the woman who is believed to have been shot dead by Capitol Police

Pictured: A neighbor has confirmed to MailOnline that this is Miriam Carey, the woman who is believed to have been shot dead by Capitol Police

It also emerged today that Carey’s friends said she was upbeat and ‘normal’ until she fell down some stairs and hit her head in April 2012.

When Carey was receiving treatment for the injury in the hospital, she learned that she was pregnant.

She received a handicapped parking permit because of the injury, but doctors from the medical suite where she worked complained that she was tying up parking in front of the building, according to CBS.

The resulting dispute from this ended with her losing her job.

It emerged today that Carey had beensued by her condominium association for failure to pay fees.

The complaint filed in November by the association for the Stamford building said Miriam Carey had failed to pay her fees in full since August 2010 and owed the association $1,759 in addition to collection costs.

The lawsuit was settled in February.

The lawsuit by the Woodside Green Association indicates Carey took out a mortgage on her Stamford condo in the amount of $237,616 in September 2009.

Idella Carey told ABC News that her daughter Miriam ‘had postpartum depression after having the baby’ in August 2012.

‘A few months later, she got sick. She was depressed…. She was hospitalized,’ Mrs Carey added.

She thought Carey was taking Erica to a doctor’s appointment in Connecticut.

The 34-year-old has five sisters, one of whom is an NYPD officer.

Another, Amy Carey – who is a nurse in Brooklyn – expressed disbelief when told about what happened to her sister by a Washington Post reporter.

‘That’s impossible. She works, she holds a job. She wouldn’t be in D.C. She was just in Connecticut two days ago,’ she said. ‘I spoke to her…I don’t know what’s happening. I can’t answer anymore.’

Dentist Barry Weiss told NBC Connecticut that Carey was working for him in January 2012 when she suffered a fall and missed two-to-three weeks of work.

When she returned she was pregnant but he later fired her in August 2012 after patients complained that she was too rough.

She was not married to the father but ‘seemed happy’ about the pregnancy, the former boss said.

Authorities said the single-mother had a ‘history of mental illness’ but did not elaborate.

Neighbor Erin Jackson told ABC she believed Carey lived in the Stamford home with the baby and the girl’s father.

Asked if she believed Carey suffered from a mental illness, Jackson said ‘absolutely’ and revealed she had her tires slashed in an incident last year in Connecticut.

Police, including FBI and bomb disposal units, surrounded a home in Stamford on Thursday evening that authorities say is linked to the investigation, but won’t give specifics.

Police there said they were awaiting a search warrant from Washington, though 50 people from the apartment building already were being evacuated for the night.


Stamford: Hazardous materials personal prepare to enter the apartment complex where Miriam Carey is believed to have lived in the early hours of this morning after a neighbor said the dental hygienist 'absolutely' was crazy

Stamford: Hazardous materials personal prepare to enter the apartment complex where Miriam Carey is believed to have lived in the early hours of this morning after a neighbor said the dental hygienist ‘absolutely’ was crazy

Aftermath: Capitol Hill police officers look at a car following a shooting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. A police officer was reported injured after gunshots at the U.S. Capitol Aftermath: Capitol Hill police officers look at a car following a shooting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. A police officer was reported injured after gunshots at the U.S. Capitol

Impact: A veteran Capitol Police officer smashed his squad car into a barrier while rushing to the scene of the incident. He was not severely injured

Impact: A veteran Capitol Police officer smashed his squad car into a barrier while rushing to the scene of the incident. He was not severely injured

Run For Cover: Seen from the US Capitol, tourists flee as Capitol Police are seen outside of the Senate side of the Capitol Building on October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC Run For Cover: Seen from the US Capitol, tourists flee as Capitol Police are seen outside of the Senate side of the Capitol Building on October 3, 2013 in Washington, DC

Events Unfolded just after 2 p.m. today in Washington D.C. when the vehicle driven by an unidentified woman crashed into security gates at the White House sparking a furious chase that ended at the Capitol Events Unfolded just after 2 p.m. today in Washington D.C. when the vehicle driven by an unidentified woman crashed into security gates at the White House sparking a furious chase that ended at the Capitol

US CAPITOL SHOOTING: Police car’s high-speed crash following…

BRAVE CAPITOL POLICE RISKED THEIR LIVES FOR FREE BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

When Congress reconvened after the lock-down Thursday afternoon, the Capitol Police officers who stopped Miriam Carey got a standing ovation – but not much else.

The 1,800 officers who protect the nation’s capital are currently working for free thanks to the government shutdown.

The officers are considered essential staff – so they are turning up for work, but won’t get paid for their service until the impasse ends and Congress agrees to fund the government.

Congressmen tweeted about hiding in coat rooms and ducking behind cars during the harrowing moments before Carey was killed within sight of the Capitol Building.

Meanwhile, the officers who risked their lives haven’t been paid since Tuesday, thanks to Congress’ in-fighting over whether to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund day-to-day operations.

Carey’s former boss of eight years, Dr Steven Oken, said in the eight years he knew Miriam she was ‘always happy’ – and not interested in politics. Neighbors told the New York Daily News she was ‘a nice young lady, stable’.

‘I would never in a million years believe that she would do something like this,’ he told ABC. ‘It’s the furthest thing from anything I would think she would do, especially with her child in the car. I am floored that it would be her.’

That portrait contrasts starkly with the woman who sent Congressmen diving for coatrooms in the Capitol Building and tourists fleeing in terror after she tried to force her way into an entrance to the White House about 2pm on Tuesday.

Despite the sensitive location, Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine said: ‘This appears to be an isolated incident.There is no nexus to terrorism.’

Witnesses say Carey plowed through a temporary barrier and hit a Secret Service agent who was trying to wave her off – sending him flying onto the hood of her car.

The Secret Service opened fire on her car as she turned and fled.

Police pursued her through the streets of Capitol Hill during a frantic chase that hit speeds up to 80pmh.

Video footage shows the Capitol Police officers – who have not been paid since Tuesday because of the government shutdown – surrounded Casey’s car – guns drawn. At one point an officer even sticks his weapon inside her open passenger-side window.

Read More and Watch Video Here

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freespeechtv freespeechtv

Published on Oct 4, 2013

US News and World Report’s Robert Schlesinger joins Bill Press as they discuss the government shutdown. They talk about how police officers that helped during the shooting at the capitol remain unpaid while congress is still receiving their salaries.

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Adrian Fenty, Mayor of DC, November 5, 2007.jpg

dbking on Flickr
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Former D.C. Mayor Raising Funds For Unpaid Capitol Police After Deadly Chase, Shooting

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Inspired by Thursday’s deadly police chase and shooting near the U.S. Capitol, former District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty is raising money for Capitol Police Officers who are still on the job despite not receiving paychecks due to the shutdown of the federal government.

Fenty praised the heroics of the officers involved in the incident before pointing out they were currently unpaid.

“As the tragic violence unfolded at the Capitol this afternoon in my beautiful hometown, I was following closely and holding my breath,” he wrote on the fundraising page. “The entire lockdown situation was horrific, but the Capitol Police acted incredibly courageously.”

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The Economic Collapse

Government Shutdown? 36 Facts Which Prove That Almost Everything Is Still Running

The West Front of the U.S. Capitol

All of this whining and crying about a “government shutdown” is a total joke.  You see, there really is very little reason why this “government shutdown” cannot continue indefinitely because almost everything is still running.  63 percent of all federal workers are still working, and 85 percent of all government activities are still being funded during this “shutdown”.  Yes, the Obama administration has been making a big show of taking down government websites and blocking off the World War II Memorial, but overall business in Washington D.C. is being conducted pretty much as usual.  It turns out that the definition of “essential personnel” has expanded so much over the years that almost everyone is considered “essential” at this point.  In fact, this shutdown is such a non-event that even referring to it as a “partial government shutdown” would really be overstating what is actually happening.  The following are 36 facts which prove that almost everything is still running during this government shutdown…

#1 According to U.S. Senator Rand Paul, 85 percent of all government activities are actually being funded during this “government shutdown”.

#2 Approximately 1,350,000 “essential” federal employees will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.

#3 Overall, 63 percent of the federal workforce will continue to work during this “government shutdown”.

#4 The U.S. Postal Service will continue to deliver our mail.

#5 U.S. military personnel will remain on duty and will continue to get paid.

#6 Social Security recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#7 Medicare recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#8 Medicaid recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#9 Food stamp recipients will continue to get their benefits.

#10 Those on unemployment will continue to get their benefits.

#11 Federal retirees will continue to get their pensions.

#12 The federal school lunch program has enough money to go through at least the end of this month.

#13 Public schools all over the country will continue to stay open.

#14 Almost all federal law enforcement officials will continue working.

#15 The Federal Reserve will remain “completely functional“.

#16 The Supreme Court will continue to operate normally and federal courts have enough money to keep going for at least two weeks.

#17 TSA employees will continue to molest travelers at our airports.

#18 Air traffic controllers will continue to monitor traffic at our airports.

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Gimme

Gimme

 

Last I checked Republicans  were  not the  only political party in Congress.  From the looks  of  it   the  democrats  are  more  than  happy  to  step in  and  play the  hostage  game.

So,  when  are  we  all  going to  wake  up and  understand  that  this is  not  a  political party issue? 

 

It is a corrupt  system and  government  issue  and both  sides  are  rotten to the  core.  This  blame  game  may  look good from plush  offices and  homes  but  for  the  people  it stinks.   Government  spending  has  be   checked, not  something they  want  to  understand.   If the  citizens  are  expected  to  balance  their  budgets  without a  bail out then so  must  the  government.  Simply  because they have  been living  high  on the  hog  all this  time does not  excuse  them from their  lack  of  discipline  and  fiscal  responsibility.  They  have  played  fast  and  loose  with money  taken  from  the   Citizens wasting  it frivolously without a  second  thought  to  the  consequences.  Yet  again  it is   the  people  that  will pay the  price.  

The  poor  and the Working  Middle Class are  the ones  who will suffer  for  their  posturing  and manipulation.  None  of  the politicians  in  question,  and that  includes   Obama, have  to  worry  about  where  their next  meal   or  where the  money  for  rent is going to  come  from.  None  of  those  fat  cats  will have to  worry   whether  Grandma  will be  able to  afford  her medication  or be forced to choose  cat food  to  get  by  this month.  They  certainly won’t have to  concern themselves about  the baby  having  enough  diapers or  formula  to  make  it  through the  month. 

But  guess  who  does ?

 

I am  sick  of  the  partisan B.S..  Republicans  and Democrats  alike  are  responsible  for  this  mess and  it is  time  they  were  both  held  accountable..  They are  destroying   this  Nation and taking   us  with them  for  what? 

 

For a grand political  pissing  contest,  only  “We The  People” are  the  damn  target!!

~Desert Rose ~

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‘Unprecedented And Catastrophic’ Things Could Happen If Republicans Force The US To Default

Business Insider

Jason Lange and Andy Sullivan, Reuters

uncle sam

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Broken glass covers an armed forces recruiting poster at the scene of an explosion outside the U.S. Armed Forces Career Center in New York’s Times Square, March 6, 2008.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nobody knows exactly when America would default on its bills if Congress fails to raise a cap on government borrowing. But the recent past gives a pretty good idea of how a default could unfold.

Even the Treasury Department can’t know how much tax revenue will come in each day after October 17, when it expects to hit its $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. Nor can officials anticipate exact costs, such as how many people will apply for jobless benefits that week.

Yet we can infer how quickly the government might run out of cash by looking at the equivalent of the Treasury’s daily bank statements from that same period a year ago.

What follows is a timeline that shows what a default might look like, based on daily Treasury statements from October and November of 2012.

OCT. 17

The Treasury Department exhausts all available tools to stay under the cap on borrowing and can no longer add to the national debt. Treasury expects it would still have about $30 billion cash on hand to cover its bills. Among the many inflows and outflows that day, it takes in $6.75 billion in taxes but pays out $10.9 billion in Social Security retirement checks. By the end of the day, its cushion has eroded to $27.5 billion.

OCT. 18 – OCT. 29

Treasury’s cash reserve quickly dwindles. Washington only takes in about 70 cents for every dollar it spends and is now unable to issue new debt to cover the difference.

The tide turns briefly on October 22, when the government takes in $3.5 billion more than it spends.

But that temporary gain is soon erased. October 24 is an especially rough day: Treasury pays $1.8 billion to defense contractors, $2.2 billion to doctors and hospitals that treat elderly patients through the Medicare program, and $11.1 billion in Social Security, while taking in only $9.6 billion in taxes and other income.

One possible wild card: Treasury could lose the trust of the bond market.

Even though the government cannot add to the national debt at this point, it can legally roll over expiring debt. Investors have the opportunity to cash out about $100 billion worth of U.S. debt every week but choose to reinvest it. If fear of default causes investors to steer clear of new debt offerings, Treasury’s finances could unravel almost overnight.

“It’s very hard to predict,” said Brian Collins, an analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center, which helped Reuters with this analysis. “It’s the same thing that causes (bank) runs or credit markets to freeze.”

OCT. 30

Default happens. By the end of the day, the government is $7 billion short of what it needs to pay all of its bills.

So who gets stiffed?

Everybody, according to the Obama administration.

Treasury says it doesn’t have the ability to pick and choose who gets paid. The last time the government faced this situation in 2011, they planned to wait until public coffers were full enough to pay a full day’s bills before cutting any checks, according to a Treasury Department watchdog report from 2012.

Read More Here

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Gross Says U.S. Will Avoid ‘Catastrophic’ Default on Debt

By Cordell EddingsOct 1, 2013 3:29 PM CT

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross said the U.S. will avoid a “catastrophic” default on Treasury securities if lawmakers fail to extend the debt limit on the nation’s debt.
PIMCO Co-CIO Bill Gross

Pacific Investment Management Co. Co-Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross said a default would trigger a “complex series of events worldwide” throughout financial markets. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

“The U.S. Treasury is the center of the global financial complex,” Gross, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, said during a Bloomberg Television interview with Trish Regan and Adam Johnson. A default would be “unimaginable,” as it would have “catastrophic” consequences on U.S. borrowing costs, and would trigger a “complex series of events worldwide” that would ripple through global financial markets.

The U.S. government began its first partial shutdown in 17 years after Congress failed to break a partisan deadlock by a midnight deadline. Congressional leaders have scheduled no further negotiations on spending legislation, raising concern among some lawmakers that the shutdown may have an impact on the more consequential fight over how to raise the U.S. debt limit to avoid a first-ever default after Oct. 17.

The odds of a default are “a million-to-one” as the Treasury Department will be able to take other measures to ensure it is servicing the country’s debt, Gross said.

“The Treasury is not going to default on their debt simply because the debt ceiling isn’t going to be raised,” Gross said. “There will be other repercussions like slower economic growth. But the Treasury is not going to default.”

Read More and Watch Video Here

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Business Insider

washington dc capitol

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

A tourist gazes up towards the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

Someone — perhaps a furloughed federal employee — had enough of the government shutdown and put the U.S. Capitol up for rent on Craigslist.

It looks like Craiglist took the ad down, but ThinkProgress’ Zach Beauchamp found it via the WayBack Machine.

$1000 / 8br – 775000ft² – LARGE HOUSE! LOTS OF ROOM! RECENTLY OPEN! (Capitol Hill),” reads the ad.

Here’s the text from the “renter,” who takes umbrage with House Republicans:

So my roommates all left because of a job thing and I need to make rent. I really think this place is great and I’ve been living here for a while (incumbency FTW!). I don’t want to leave but the utilities are a real bitch to afford on your own. Some facts about the digs:

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Fiddler over Flames    Truthout.org

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The Rutherford Institute


By John W. Whitehead
September 30, 2013

Like clockwork, we’ve ticked back to the annual government shutdown scare that invariably dominates news headlines and sends stocks seesawing for a few scant weeks until, at the very last moment, the nation is miraculously pulled from the brink of disaster. It’s always an entertaining show, with both Republicans and Democrats doing their best to one-up each other with heartbreaking anecdotes about the millions who will suffer in the event of a government shutdown and showy bravado over the need for greater fiscal stewardship, while conveniently failing to rein in two of the biggest drains on our budget—namely, the military and surveillance industrial complexes.

Indeed, while a government shutdown will inevitably impact everything from Head Start, and key welfare services to national museums and IRS audits, the one area not impacted in the least will be the police/surveillance state and its various militarized agencies, spying programs and personnel. Incredibly, although more than 800,000 government workers could find themselves without paychecks or with reduced (or for members of the military, delayed) paychecks, President Obama and Congress will still get paid on time.

Take a look at the programs and policies that will not be affected by a government shutdown, and you’ll get a clearer sense of the government’s priorities—priorities which, as I point out in my new book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, have little to do with serving taxpayers and everything to do with maintaining power and control, while being sold to the public under the guise of national security.

Laptop Looking   Truthout.org

Domestic surveillance. On any given day, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike—including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

Uncle WireTap   Truthout.org

NSA domestic programs. Government shutdown or not, the National Security Agency (NSA), with its $10.8 billion black ops annual budget, will continue to spy on every person in the United States who uses a computer or phone using programs such as PRISM and XKEYSCORE. By cracking the security of all major smartphones, including iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices, NSA agents harvest such information as contacts, text messages, and location data. And then there are the NSA agents who will continue to use and abuse their surveillance powers for personal means, to spy on girlfriends, lovers and first dates.

Surveillance: America’s Pastime   Truthout.org

Global spying. The NSA’s massive surveillance network, what the Washington Post refers to as a $500 billion “espionage empire,” will continue to span the globe and target every single person on the planet who uses a phone or a computer. The NSA’s Echelon program intercepts and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax and email message sent anywhere in the world. In addition to carrying out domestic surveillance on peaceful political groups such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace and several religious groups, Echelon has also been a keystone to the government’s attempts at political and corporate espionage.

Airport Security  Truthout.org

Roving TSA searches. If there is any absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the American taxpayer always gets ripped off. Indeed, one of the greatest culprits when it comes to swindling taxpayers has been the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with its questionable deployment of and complete mismanagement of millions of dollars’ worth of airport full-body, X-ray scanners, punitive patdowns by TSA agents and thefts of travelers’ valuables. Considered essential to national security, TSA programs will continue, not only in airports but at transportation hubs around the country.

The Flag, Ripped and Torn

The Flag, Ripped and Torn  Truthout.org

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VIPR Strikes. Under the pretext of protecting the nation’s infrastructure (roads, mass transit systems, water and power supplies, telecommunications systems and so on) against criminal or terrorist attacks, VIPR task forces (comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams) will continue to do random security sweeps of nexuses of transportation, including ports, railway and bus stations, airports, ferries and subways. VIPR teams will also be deployed to elevate the security presence at certain special events such as political conventions, baseball games and music concerts. Sweep tactics include the use of x-ray technology, pat-downs and drug-sniffing dogs, among other things.

Since That Day

Since That Day  Truthout.org

USA Patriot Act, NDAA. America’s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued since 9/11, has chipped away at our freedoms, unraveled our Constitution and transformed our nation into a battlefield, thanks in large part to such subversive legislation as the USA Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act. These laws—which completely circumvent the rule of law and the constitutional rights of American citizens, re-orienting our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the rule of law, our U.S. Constitution, becomes the map by which we navigate life in the United States—will continue to be enforced.

Savage / Dystopian

Savage / Dystopian  Truthout.org

Militarized police state. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers into heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America’s law enforcement officials, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, will continue to keep the masses corralled, under control, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens. Just recently, the Dept. of Justice—clearly not suffering from a shortage of funds—approved grants totaling $3.2 million to fund law enforcement jobs and expand community policy, and that’s just in Virginia.

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Government Destruction of Rights Continues Among ‘Government Shutdown’

Daniel G. J.

by
October 1st, 2013
Updated 10/01/2013 at 12:50 pm

With all of the talk regarding today’s mislead ‘government shutdown’, there is little talk about how the NSA and TSA will continue to operate. There is even less talk about the fact that these agencies, which exist to destroy privacy, are really responsible for draining our taxpayer dollars.

government-shutdown-tsa-Just consider one of the latest NSA scandals where taxpayer dollars were used to fund the jealous and perverted spying on women. A National Security Agency employee used the organization’s surveillance tools to intercept the phone calls of nine women and spy on his lover. That case was simply the most brazen incident of abuses of power by NSA employees.

The truly disturbing thing is that the abuse was only uncovered when the unidentified employee’s girlfriend became suspicious that she was being spied upon and alerted NSA officials. NSA officials apparently didn’t realize that one of their operatives was abusing surveillance technology in such a blatant manner, a report on the subject indicates.

The incidents occurred between 1998 and 2003, the NSA’s Inspector General Dr. George Ellard stated in a letter to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). The letter was written in response to questions raised after a comment by NSA Director General Keith Alexander. The letter doesn’t state what happens to the peeping Tom agent.

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