By Nathan Barton
Good morning! This is (officially) a short workweek because some people back in the 1960s decided the old traditional Memorial Day on the 31st (and previously, on a Sunday) was going to be a national holiday, for which we pay millions of government “workers” (drones, most of ’em) taxpayers’ money for doing even LESS than usual. And which messes up training schedules and duty rosters for military personnel and their families. And lets stores have an excuse to sell a lot. Based on response from various agencies today, I suspect a lot are taking more than just a three-day weekend. But then, short-term memory CAN be a problem and they may have to guess what they were working on at 1400 or so on Friday…
It appears that not ALL apparacheks (minions of the Fuehrer) were off yesterday, though.
In what may be one of the nastier Memorial Day pronouncements by the White House in a while, this appeared in the New York Times yesterday: Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to help pay premiums, but the Obama administration has squelched the idea in a new ruling. Such arrangements do not satisfy the health care law, the administration said, and employers may be subject to a tax penalty of $100 a day — or $36,500 a year — for each employee who goes into the individual marketplace. The ruling this month, by the Internal Revenue Service, blocks any wholesale move by employers to dump employees into the exchanges. Ouch! Considering that $36K is more than TWICE the annual salary at minimum wage, it appears as though this by itself may drive many small businesses and even a few much larger, service-type businesses into closing their doors. Hundreds of thousands of recruits for the labor camps will be available as a result.
This rather funny story is worth commenting on: a Nebraska mayor taken to task by an atheist over Memorial Day services and celebrations responded vigorously and profanely, supposedly surprising the atheist. Some things the story didn’t know and couldn’t report is that LaVista is one of the major bedroom and commercial communities around Offut Air Force Base, home of Strategic Command, and if it is too much “live-and-let-live” to actually go out and string up an atheist just for being one, will certainly not tolerate one that is obnoxious and attacking the town’s churches.
How many bad cops in such a short period? And at what levels?
Local: In Salinas, California, two police gunned down a man in broad daylight, and then apparently lied about what happened, based on a private citizen’s camera video of the entire incident, including minutes of the dead man lying on the sidewalk while the cops refused to approach and at least one person screamed obscenities at them for what they did (and did not) do. They claimed he threatened them with a pair of garden shears, that they tried to taser him, and that when he rushed at them with the shears, three shots were fired, killing him. This not only appears to be an execution, but with none of the elements they claimed, including NO reason to take this action based on what might have happened. Murder by Blue thugs.
State: Thirteen years after a West Virginia State Trooper left the force in VERY dubious circumstances revolving around a drunken State Police party and threats to a man who complained about it, the man who resigned has been hired back by the State Police, “as a civilian.” Apparently being involved in a racist beating attack, with troopers who were fired and convicted of various crimes, and a lot of other nasty stuff, is no reason not to find a “brother officer” work when he wants it. Not in West Virginia, anyway.
Federal: It turns out that the FBI agent who killed a man in Florida while interrogating him about his role in the Boston Marathon bombing was a former Oakland (California) police officer who was on medical disability retirement from California, and had been involved in dubious activities for the four years he was an Oakland cop. Not just double-dipping and questions about how he could possibly be qualified as an FBI special agent while collecting (at the time) nine-years worth of medical disability retirement, but more questions about what the FBI does for background checks besides using an Ouija board. The more NPR and others dig into the mysterious Florida killing, the stranger things turn out to be.
Meanwhile in the Med, the 250 Marines already nearby ready to rescue the Americans from the Libyan embassy have been joined by the USS Bataan and its 1,000 Marines, as things go from bad to worse in Libyan. A stark contrast indeed to the last time US embassy personnel were in trouble in Libya. And more than a bit overkill, considering it was only seven Marines needed to take on the entire country about 225 years ago.