Daily Archives: February 25, 2012

Another Obummer Green Jobs failure

 

Thanks, Barry, and Allahu Akbar back at ya!

Recipient of $380 million in federal and state funds lays off 125 workers, readies for bankruptcy. Electric car batteries aren’t economically viable? Who knew? But don’t worry about (some of) those workers: while the company ran down the executives stayed busy, awarding themselves 20% pay raises, raising their salaries to about $400,000 each.

“It looks like they are trying to pad their top people’s wallets in case something really bad happens,” Paul Chesser, associate fellow for the National Legal & Policy Center, suggested.

Ya think?

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So what exactly is Connecticut’s “Community Renewal Team”?

Getting a Head Start

Just another fraud, peopled with the  professional grifters who gravitate to these public sector jobs. News that CCT’s former director, Paul Puzzi, was under investigation because in 2005  he exchanged his $300,000 per year salary as head of the place to a $100,000 no-show job, stirred my curiosity so I’ve been digging around the Internet to see who these people are and what they’re up to. Nothing good, that’s for sure, and they’re stealing $80 million per year while doing it.

Here’s a 2005 report (the year Puzzo “retired”. Coincidence?)  from federal auditors:

The objective of our audit was to determine whether Community Renewal Team Inc.’s (CRT) compensation and related expenses for five key executives and teachers were reasonable and consistent with Federal requirements and guidelines.  We found that the teacher’s compensation level was both reasonable and consistent with Federal requirements.  However, CRT did not complete a wage comparability study to support its executive compensation.  In this regard, three out of the five key executives exceeded the average rate of compensation paid to the Chief Executive Officers of Head Start agencies in Connecticut.  In addition, CRT did not provide written evidence that its Board of Directors followed established procedures in approving the CEO’s compensation level.  Further, CRT did not maintain adequate documentation to show that $177,867 in travel, restaurant, and other credit card charges incurred by four of the executives and charged to an indirect expense account complied with Federal requirements. 

And from the full report:

[T]otal compensation paid to three of the five key executives exceeded the average rate of compensation paid to the Chief Executive Officers (CEO) of Head Start agencies in Connecticut by $562,728 from 2000 to 2002. When compared to similar positions at a nonprofit community action program in New England, which on average, received 47 percent more in revenues each year, the net amount paid to the five CRT executives exceeded their counterparts by $457,809.

Did these folks live high off the hog? You bet they did.

CRT inappropriately claimed $177,867 of $269,562 in the following charges when claiming indirect costs for Federal reimbursement from FY 2000 through FY 2002.

• $36,341 in travel related charges that exceeded the Federal per diem rates. ;
• $61,000 in travel related charges not adequately documented;
• $48,244 in local restaurant charges;
• $25,555 in unusual or inadequately documented charges; and
• $6,727 in exclusive club memberships.

Note that all this theft occurred in just two years, 2000-2002. And do note that the amounts cited are only the amount deemed “excessive” by the auditors –  no mention is made of how much they looted up to those  federal guidelines but one can assume it was much, much more – these guys just got greedy.

Also note that this audit only covered two years of the scheme. Twelve years have passed since then with no visible changes.  Puzzo did retire, true, but received $100,000 per year under the guise of working when he fact he’d moved to Florida. Fernando Bettancourt was CRT’s Chairman then and remains so today, so no changes at the top. Has CRT’s funding been cut? Jobs eliminated? Not on your life – the way government works, salaries and staff have doubtless ballooned.

Never mind, by the way, that CRT’s running perhaps the most worthless welfare program of them all, Head Start. Head Start has consistently been shown to be useless in every study that’s ever looked at it. It serves merely as a conduit for crooks to award their inner-city cronies high-paid babysitting jobs and teaches nothing (the average Head Start graduate knows two more letters of the alphabet than a kid who never attended).  Forget that – everything about this program and the people looting it stinks. Repeat fifty-one times (D.C. runs the same scam too) and you have a representative slice of how welfare works in this country.

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Why do you think they call it an anti-poverty organization?

Paul Puzzo, poor no more

Paul Puzzo, former head of a Hartford anti-poverty agency is still paid $100,000 a year for a no-show job. $80 million a year of federal and state money to this “non-profit” agency and it’s easy to see how they keep that status: the executives steal all the money.

The administrative inquiry by [State Attorney General] Jepsen’s office came to light in recent weeks, after the Jan. 29 disclosure in The Courant of the resignation under duress of Trish Donovan, CRT’s $100,000-plus chief operating officer.

Donovan claimed in a Jan. 15 letter to CRT’s governing board that current CEO Lena Rodriguez forced her to resign after accusing Donovan of improper behavior. Donovan denied impropriety and said her ouster came because she furnished documents to, and cooperated with, state auditors.

The auditors were looking into an April 2011 complaint by a former CRT employee that money was being diverted improperly inside the agency from one grant program to another. The auditors say that they handed off the case — referred to in state law as a “whistleblower” complaint, because it involves an employee “blowing the whistle” about alleged improprieties where he or she works — to Jepsen’s office in September.

The CRT board’s chairman, Fernando Betancourt, said Donovan’s claims were “nothing more than the views of a disgruntled former employee” and denied the misuse of grant money or any other irregularities.

Shocking as it may seem, it appears that the whole leadership of this agency is corrupt. By the way, while awaiting trial, Mr. Puzzo can be found at Anglers Cove Condominiums on Marcos Island, Florida, where he is Director and CEO. Hope they’re keeping an eye on their books.

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I blame Bush

 

Just another boaring day in Islamabad

Wild porkers run amok in Pakistan.

The meat of wild boar is prized in many countries, but has no value in Pakistan because its consumption is forbidden under Islam. The country’s often persecuted and tiny Christian and Hindu populations don’t keep pigs or eat wild boar either. That has helped ensure the animals thrive.

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Coming our way, and soon

Britain delaying introduction of new cancer drugs because of cost. I’m okay with this because neither I nor any loved ones has cancer, that we know of. Parents of afflicted children, young women with cancer and others with the disease may disagree but regardless of your feelings on the subject, accept it, because the present in England is our future. Paul Krugman, call your office.

(2008):

In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false. Like every system, the National Health Service has problems, but over all it appears to provide quite good care while spending only about 40 percent as much per person as we do. By the way, our own Veterans Health Administration, which is run somewhat like the British health service, also manages to combine quality care with low costs.

NYT, 2011: Court upholds veterans’ complaints against VA

In a sweeping decision released Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that “unchecked incompetence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs had led to poor mental health care and slow processing of disability claims for veterans.

I could go on, but you get the big lie going on here.

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Confiscate millionaires’ fortune? Now I see the point.

Village Idiot

They’ll just waste it anyway so why not let Washington do it? “Comedian” Bill Maher becomes latest Hollywood fat cat to pledge $1 million to Obama Super PAC. Thought that PACs and their wealthy donors were an assault on democracy, did you? Only if the Koch brothers are involved. Hollywood liberals? “Bring it on”, to quote George Bush.

It is obviously time to repeal the Eisenhower tax cut, which ended, under intense pressure from politicians on Hollywood’s payroll, the 20% excise tax on Hollywood’s gross (not net) revenues. Imagine the wonderful effect such a tax would have on the obscene profits pocketed by folks like Maher. Priceless.

Hmm – if a fool and his money are soon parted and Bill Maher, Chris Dodd and their cronies are not stupid (okay, okay, bear with me here – it’s just a thought experiment), then why would they give millions to Obama? Is it (a) because they’re philanthropists and want Obama to pass their money on to the poor, or (b) they expect to gain something from their purchase of influence? Stupid, bleeding hearts, conniving swine or all three? I know where I’m placing my bet.

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Sad day when you can’t believe the CIA or even the top military

Death to Haliburton!

But I don’t. NYT: U.S. spies say no evidence that Iran is building a bomb. They said the same thing in the summer of 2007, when Bush was trying to mobilize world support for sanctions against Iran. The timing and the results were purely political, according to many other nations’ analysis.

Here’s what’s happened just this week:

UN inspectors were denied access to Iran’s processing plants.

Iran announced Friday that it was “ready to wipe Israel off the face of the earth”. 

How are they ready to accomplish the destruction of Israel without nuclear weapons and why did they refuse access to the UN inspection team? Hmmm. Liberals around the world, of course, dismiss even the possibility of Iran loading up on nukes.

And, in a busy week caused by the despots of the Middle East, our own State Department warned of Syria’s collection of weapons of mass destruction.

Remember when stories circulated during the second Iraq war that Iraq’s wmd had been moved and hidden in Syria? The stories were dismissed then because of the determination to discredit Bush and Cheney. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider.

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Next up, the “Victor Cruz” flavor, featuring watermelon and fried chicken flavorings

Thanks, Jerry!

Ben and Jerry’s introduces “Lin-Sanity” ice cream stuffed with fortune cookies and leche nuts. Fortune cookies aren’t part of the Taiwan culture Lin’s parents are from (he himself is American born, I believe) but never mind, one chink’s the same as the others, right? Only in Boston, where liberal racism is most apparent. (The firm has now removed the fortune cookies because they got soggy and not because they considered them offensive.)

Look: I don’t really care about this and I’m sure Jeremy Lin doesn’t either. I am amused, however, by liberals (and the founders of Ben and Jerry’s, if not the company’s new owner, Unilever, are prominent liberals) constantly brand conservatives and even Tea Partiers as “racist” when it is they who are the first to attack homosexuals, blacks and now, Chinese. How ironic.

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When you run out of other people’s money

Wasteland

Stockton California teeters on bankruptcy. Of the 600 municipalities to file for Chapter Nine bankruptcy since 1937, Stockton will be the biggest, so now the city will be number One in two categories, the other being “most miserable city in the United States”.

Stockton had the eighth-highest violent crime rate in the country in 2010; the second-highest foreclosure rate in the U.S., behind Las Vegas; and the eighth-highest unemployment, at 15.9 percent in December, almost double the national average.

Such factors helped earn Stockton the title of “most miserable city” in the U.S. twice in the past four years by Forbes.com, out of the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas.

Stockton now pays more in health insurance premiums for its municipal retirees than the salaries of active workers – wonder what long string of politicians made those promises – and that’s probably the least of its problems. Here’s one explanation for what happened:

“The sustained recession has reduced revenues significantly,” Management Partners said in a report dated Feb. 23. “In the years prior to the recession, the city took on a large amount of debt in anticipation of ongoing growth that now exceeds the city’s ability to pay.”

So, as the St. Louis Fed Chairman says about our national economic quandary, it was just “bad luck”.

Heinlein wept.

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The name’s gotta go

Hey, I'm not 12 anymore and I missed it. So sue me!

I just heard that Fox has started a newspaper exclusively designed for and available only on the iPad. That’s fine; they’re going with the times, so to speak, but Fox has named its new product “the Daily”.  Oh come on, the right name is so obvious any adolescent boy would have figured it out: “The I.P. Daily”.

They must have girls running the show over there.

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