Federal authorities furnished Michigan transportation officials Wednesday with a $196.5-million grant for track and signal upgrades on an Amtrak passenger rail running between Chicago and Detroit. The line, running on Amtrak’s Wolverine and Blue Water services, will reportedly yield speeds of up to 110 miles per hour on a route serving nearly 30 million people. Granted to its own beloved enterprise (all of Amtrak’s preferred stock is owned by the federal government), the government’s lavish gift to the train line comes at the expense of American taxpayers.
First Lady Michelle Obama's June 2011 African safari is now being considered a half-million-dollar taxpayer-funded boondoggle, due to newly-released accounting information gathered by Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan government watchdog. Judicial Watch acquired passenger manifests and expense records from the U.S. Air Force pursuant to an August 19 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. Although touted as a working tour intended to spread goodwill in Africa, the trip's travel amenities and recreational "distractions" have brought political turbulence to the White House.
GOP lawmakers in Michigan, the birthplace of the American labor movement, are pursuing historic legislation that would make theirs the 23rd state to finalize a "right-to-work" law. But could the state that harbors both the United Auto Workers and the Michigan Education Association really pass a law prohibiting unions from regulating dues and compelling membership in closed-shop work environments? With the GOP now in control of the state legislature and a Republican Governor at the helm, observers are predicting that the measure is indeed entirely possible.
Robert Johnson (left), business magnate and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), has joined the mounting list of CEOs and business leaders who are questioning President Obama’s incessant demagoguing of America’s wealthy. On "Fox News Sunday," Johnson suggested that the President "recalibrate his message," so as not to "demean" or "attack" the achievements of so many hardworking Americans. "I’ve earned my right to fly private if I choose to do so," he declared, "and by attacking me, [Obama] is not going to convince me that I should take a bigger hit because I happen to be wealthy."
As the 2012 presidential race surges forward, President Obama’s past Wall Street financiers are abandoning him and steadily migrating to the Right, pursuing candidates more supportive of the financial sector and a leader who is more apt to rekindle the country’s economic spirit. One GOP candidate who many financial moguls are tracking is former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reversed course on a law to regulate safety systems to prevent swimmers, particularly children, from getting trapped in public swimming pool drains. Federal regulators will investigate single drain systems and require public pools to install suction shut off systems by May 2012, or they will be closed down. In a 3-2 vote, the CPSC approved the new pool-safety measure on Wednesday. Previous to the new requirement, municipal pool operators were exempted from requirements mandated by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007 if they installed special covers on their drains to prevent entrapments.
A new Gallup poll found a record-breaking 81 percent of Americans dissatisfied with the U.S. government�s performance, as the economy remains stagnant and the country�s fiscal integrity wanes. The polling company noted:
Infamous for political corruption, the city of Chicago rehired for one day former union leader Dennis Gannon (left), who as a result netted $158,000 in a public pension, according to the Chicago Tribune. Rehired by the city in 1994, Gannon was accorded an indefinite leave of absence after working a single shift. Raking in about five times greater than the average retired city worker, Gannon’s lavish pension is a product of corrupt political massaging among Chicago union leaders and government officials.
The Associated Press "fact-checked" President Obama�s combative proclamation that "middle-class families shouldn�t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires." In broadcasting his new "Buffett Rule" for millionaires � his so-called "revenue" vehicle for the American Jobs Act � Obama tossed a class-warfare grenade, claiming that the wealthy are not covering enough of the tax burden. The President demanded in a bellicose speech Monday that individuals earning over $1 million a year must "pay their fair share" to help slash the soaring federal deficit.
President Obama declared to an impassioned crowd of students at North Carolina State University Wednesday, "If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill!" In an auditorium holding more than 9,000 people, the President rehashed the supposed economic benefits of his new $447 billion American Jobs Act, as he pleaded with the audience to help him win congressional support. But do the merits of the President’s latest legislative attempt at reviving the U.S. economy have any relation to the American citizenry’s emotional feelings for their country’s political "leadership?"