News & Information

News & Information

"Since 1995, more than $15 million in taxpayer dollars has been paid out to settle claims, including sexual harassment claims, on behalf of members of Congress and congressional staff. While the amount of money paid is public, everything else is secret. The public doesn’t know which members have been involved in taxpayer-financed settlements for alleged misconduct." Those are the words of Florida Republican Representative Rob DeSantis, who is a cosponsor of a bill that would stop Congress’ secret, taxpayer-funded harassment settlements. While anyone else would be required to spend their personal funds to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit, politicians have been using tax dollars to do so for decades. Now that male politicians have been revealed as the pigs they are, now more than ever it’s important American taxpayers are refunded for bailing out the pigs. While the bipartisan bill would require lawmakers who used the secret Treasury Department fund reimburse the government, with interest, that’s not enough. American taxpayers deserve to be reimbursed -- not the government. That’s our money -- not the government’s, and when our money is used to bail out politicians who are already rich, our money needs to be returned. Since the Republican tax bill will force poor and middle class Americans to pay more in taxes to fund a massive tax cut for corporations and the rich (and raise the deficit to boot), the least Republicans could do is toss the average American a refund for settling sexual harassment suits. It might only result…
It’s getting close to redistricting time for legislators, both in Louisiana and throughout the country. By federal law, all election districts must be reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census figures. But should legislators, who have a vested interest in how the redistricting lines are drawn, actually be the ones to do the drawing, anyway? The problem is one of gerrymandering, where district lines are not drawn to reflect geographical or political balance, but to favor the incumbent or some other partisan choice. When legislators do the redistricting, the norm seems to be that the state ends up with meandering footprints meticulously designed, it would seem, to ensure that no incumbent will face serious opposition, regardless of how the political winds are blowing. As one local political observer said, “Think about it this way. In elections, people choose their legislators. In reapportionment, legislators choose their people.” Gerrymandering, by the way, means to manipulate the electoral boundaries for political gain so as to give undue influence to an incumbent or other favored candidate. The name comes from Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry, who in 1812 created winding districts that looked like salamanders to favor incumbents. Thus the convoluted word – “gerrymandering.” What most voters want to avoid is the self-dealing by legislators where voting districts slash across communities of interest and geography. A blatant example of winding, disjointed gerrymandering is the Louisiana third congressional district. It winds from the Mississippi border south of New Orleans though the southern part of…
A study finds many Vietnam veterans may have contracted liver flukes decades ago that could now cause pancreatitis, liver disease and/or bile duct cancer. The Department of Veterans Affairs commissioned a study that looked at bile duct cancer and liver flukes that may have been ingested by veterans while on tour in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. This was in response to a story reported by the Associated Press in which 700 cases, of cholangiocarcinoma, bile duct cancer, were seen in VA facilities over the last 15 years. The current small study looked at 50 blood samples, finding 20% of which to be positive for liver flukes. Most participants were not aware they were infected. If infection did later lead to cancer, symptoms would come late in the diagnosis. Tropical medicine specialist, Sung-Tae Hong, from Seoul National University in South Korea, stated he was “surprised” by the results and admits to more research needing to be done. Cholangiocarcinoma is still rare, however if Vietnam veterans are at increased risk due to their fish consumption while on duty, they need to be followed closely by their medical provider. Stool tests could be done to look for parasite eggs, and blood tests may look for antibodies fighting the infection. What is a liver fluke? Liver flukes are parasites that infect the liver and bile duct. There are multiple species. The disease Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica cause is called fascioliasis. Symptoms may range from none to severe liver disease. But the…
You just know that any business wants to reduce its tax burden as much as it can. Without doubt, Apple has a huge number of accountants at its beck and call to find ways to reduce its corporate income tax bills by billions of dollars. But Apple’s methods of handling its taxes have been the subject of severe criticism, more so with the release of the so-called Paradise Papers, leaked to a German newspaper, which contain documents purportedly revealing how the rich and the famous manage their offshore cash. Apple was included in the list, but it wasn’t the only company whose finances came into question. Other companies reportedly include Facebook, Twitter, Disney, Uber, Nike, Walmart and even McDonalds. I mean, it’s a huge list. But with Apple in the crosshairs, the company claimed that the data contained in those papers wasn’t accurate or misleading, that it pays more taxes than any company on the planet, and that it “pays every dollar it owes in every country around the world.” As the U.S. Congress debates revisions to the country’s complex and confusing tax laws, ways might be sought to convince domestic companies with huge offshore cash hoards to repatriate that money. You also expect Apple to deny that it does anything but obey the law, even if it has to be done creatively. But some corporations pay no tax at all, including GE. So the billions Apple remits might indeed be, as they claim, more than the others. Which brings…
With a majority-Republican Federal Communications Commission led by Republican Ajit Pai on the verge of reversing net neutrality rules put in place by President Barack Obama in 2015, people won’t even be able to guide their own education anymore, and they won’t even know they aren’t in control. All of this despite more than a million public comments submitted to the FCC opposing net neutrality probably being fake. Pai’s proposal to destroy the freedom of the Internet would allow Internet service providers to influence the “answers” users receive when surfing the web. ISPs would be allowed to guide users to information on websites they own or of which they approve, providing a guided tour of information acceptable to them instead of allowing the user to investigate all information available. The information superhighway would be exactly that -- if said highway’s path was dictated by those providing the concrete and materials and not the people who pay the taxes to build it. A highway with infinite exits would gave way to a highway of limited exits, determined by the biggest companies providing services along the highway. If your business is too small, it doesn’t get an exit on the information superhighway. People will have to pay extra to find you. The proposal would also allow ISPs to break up their information offerings and charge separately for them. Say, for instance, Verizon provides your mobile data. Well, under the new rules, which are expected to be adopted on Dec. 14, Verizon could…
This year there were three Thanksgiving NFL games (up from the traditional two) and the playoff picture is starting to clearly emerge. This late in the season two of the games were a bit inconsequential but there was a good battle in the NFC Central - the MN Vikings vs. the Detroit Lions. It was no surprise to many that the MN Vikings outpowered the Lions, despite a really strong 4th quarter comeback by Detroit’s QB Matthew Stafford. The Vikings look unstoppable in the NFC except for perhaps, the other dominant team in the division (more on that in a minute). The NFL is really starting to see that the Vikings have a super star receiver in Adam Thielen who already has 1000 yards receiving with another five games to play. Despite losing rookie sensation Dalvin Cook in game 4 the Vikings remain strong in the running game and have a top five defense. The 9-2 Vikings remain dominant on top of the Black and Blue division (NFC Central) and are legitimate contenders this year. That being said, the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles remain the team to beat in the NFC. Skeptics say the Eagles (who were 7-9 last season) had an easy schedule this year but beating winless teams (like they did vs. the 49ers) and beating teams that you should beat is all part of the NFL. There is a reason “any given Sunday” is a known colloquialism. Winning is hard in the NFL and you just never know…
Mass shootings continue across the nation where no part of the country is from a “wild west” mentality. The recent loss of life has been staggering. Those slaughtered range from one-year old kids to 77-year-old adults. A country music festival in Las Vegas was the scene of 58 people killed. In the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people were murdered in the middle of a Sunday church service. A deranged gunman in northern California killed five people just last week. And those of us living in Louisiana can look back on a series of mass killings including those executed at a Lafayette movie theatre and officers shot down on a Baton Rouge highway. Gun rights supporters say we should arm more people, and gun control advocates call for more restrictions on gun ownership. I remember reading a book back in the 70s called “Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand: The Story of Frontier Religion.” The problem today is that the entire country is now the frontier, and there is no place that is a safety zone. So where does responsible action begin? How about this refreshing idea? Let’s start by enforcing the present laws on the books. No new radical initiatives for the time being. The judicial system, on both the federal and state levels, has the tools to get many potential mass killers off the streets. But a number of laws are not being enforced. Take killer Devin Kelley, the mass murderer at the small church in…
Editor's note - 11/28/17: This story was mistakenly attributed to "Dr. Daliah Wachs," when in fact it was written by Bradlee Dean. The error has been corrected. It seems that over the last couple of weeks the CIA-controlled media has, once again, succeeded in diverting the American people’s attention away from The Clintons’ Uranium Ore scandal to the fall guys that are conveniently picking up the attention for their sexual promiscuities in office, and that, at a most opportune time, Al Franken, Bill Clinton, Dan Schoen, Tony Cornish and the list goes on. And these were the ones that have been caught! Hopefully, this will bring to the light why this country is in the serious trouble that it is in (Psalm 9:17). These corrupt politicians have been so emboldened to take taxpayer dollars in an attempt to cover up their sexual misconduct. It is their job to uphold the laws of our Constitutional Republic, not tear them down (Article 4, Section 4 of the United States Constitution). In a time where the media has declared the guilty as innocent and the innocent as guilty, it is hard, at times, playing the arbiter when it comes to who is guilty and who is not. Yet, for the most part, when the media declares someone innocent, it usually means that they are attempting to protect the establishment players such as the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, etc… And when they declare someone guilty, you can rest assured, that they are the…
Thanksgiving (and the in-laws) has come and gone. And now we have lots of leftovers. And lots of pets. Can pets eat Thanksgiving table scraps and leftovers? Let’s look at what they can and cannot eat. Dogs According to the American Kennel Club, dogs can eat the following (in moderate amounts): Turkey, Chicken, Beef (remove all bones so they don’t get swallowed and perforate the gut) Ham Shrimp Salmon Eggs Cheese Peanut Butter Bread (without raisins) Popcorn Corn Honey Coconut Avoid the following in dogs: May be toxic; cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; kidney damage; pancreatitis due to high fat content, or intestinal obstruction. Onions Garlic Avocado Raisins Grapes Chocolate Cinnamon Ice cream Almonds Macadamia nuts Alcohol Nutmeg Mushrooms Energy drinks Fatty/fried foods In addition to my dog Apollo, I have 4 cats. So they’re begging for Thanksgiving leftovers as well. Cats Fluffy can eat – but again only in moderation: Meat Fish Grains Vegetables (though many stick their nose up at it) Eggs Cheese Butter Avoid similar foods as with dogs due to toxicity and also (according to Vetsnow) Alcohol Artificial Sweeteners Raw fish and eggs Coffee, tea and energy drinks Fish Yes, even Nemo can join in for Thanksgiving leftovers. It appears fish can eat many types of meat and vegetables and even cooked rice but be careful of toxins and cooking oils. Parakeet I don’t have any of these and if I did, I doubt I’d share my turkey with it. But according to pethelpful.com, many fruits,…
Thanksgiving is here!! Good food, no school, no work, and most of all….. family!! For many this is one of the best holidays ever!! For some…..the most dreaded all year. This is your very rare and valuable time off, and you have to spend all of it with people who don’t like you and you’re not particularly fond of. Four days of staying with family, (especially if they don’t let you stay a hotel and insist you stay with them), can be more than many can bear. So here are some steps you can take to make the holidays easier. 1. Huddle up Usually your spouse wants to avoid controversy just as much as you do. Before the encounter, huddle up and create a strategy for: a. How to deal with insults b. How to take a break – take the car to go grab some last-minute Thanksgiving necessities c. Where you get to sit at the table d. Potential arguments regarding the children and their upbringing 2. Try to get a hotel room This gives you the much-needed reprieve at the end of the day. However, if the family insists you stay with them and 4 nights at Hotel Hell are just too much to bear, plan a “sneak away” for an evening with your wife and tell the Grandparents they will host the kid’s slumber party. Remember to thank them for the huge favor they are doing allowing you and the wife a much needed night away “from…