Month: February 2019

Lifestyles of the rich and socialist: Bernie Sanders has 3 houses, makes millions

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., entered the 2020 presidential race this week promising to transform America with a left-wing vision of economic and environmental justice. But the self-described democratic socialist’s high-end income, multiple houses and fondness for air travel have already opened him up to criticism that his lifestyle doesn’t always match the rhetoric. Sanders has pitched himself as a grassroots economic populist, focusing on income inequality and higher taxes for the rich. “Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” he said. “Together you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revoution,” he said. “Now it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for.” But Sanders has raised eyebrows over his spending and personal wealth. Notably, he owns three houses. In 2016, he bought a $575,000 four-bedroom lake-front home in his home state. This is in addition to a row house in Washington D.C., as well as a house in Burlington, Vermont. “The Bern will keep his home in Burlington and use the new camp seasonally,” Vermont’s Seven Day’s reported in 2016. The multiple homes, though, bring into question past statements — like when he asked in 2017: “How many yachts do billionaires need? How many cars do they need? Give us a break. You can’t have it all.” Sanders has also earned more than $1 million annually in recent years, though he remains on the lower end of Senate Democrats in terms of net worth. VTDigger reported in May that he made more than $1 million in 2017 — $885,767 of which came from cash advances and royalties for his book, “Our Revolution” on his failed 2016 presidential bid. It’s the second time he made roughly that amount, making more than a million in 2016 also. Despite that, according to Forbes he has one of the lowest net worths among prospective presidential candidates, with an estimated net worth of approximately $700,000, according to Forbes. To compare with other Democrats, fellow left-wing firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has an estimated net worth of approximately $7.8 million. But conservatives have pointed to Sanders’ lifestyle as contradictory given his tax-the-rich mantras. “That’s why they are called limousine liberals,” Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist said on Fox Business Network’s “The Evening Edit” on Tuesday. “You have enough money. You can imagine spending other people’s money as well.” “His health care plan, he admits, costs $32 trillion. He wants an 8 percent across-the-board tax on peoples’ salaries, which is only $12 trillion—an 8 percent pay cut for everybody in order to pay for his health plan [and] it only pays for a third of it,” he said. “So you can imagine the endless number of tax increases and regulations that they are looking to put on.” But other parts of his lifestyle are also drawing scrutiny, specifically when compared to his calls to limit environmental pollution and also to redistribute the wealth of the “millionaires and billionaires.” In October, he spent nearly $300,000 on air travel so he could speak to audiences in nine battleground states before the November midterms. This from a candidate who has endorsed a Green New Deal that seeks to dramatically reduce (if not eliminate entirely) air travel. Sanders’ team reportedly purchased nearly $5,000 in carbon offsets to balance out the emissions produced from the travel, according to VTDigger. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions to compensate for emissions elsewhere. The same day his campaign paid the jet company, Sanders called climate change a “planetary crisis” in a tweet. Since Sanders announced his presidential bid, he has received a fresh wave of criticism from conservatives, with commentator Charlie Kirk quipping: “For a committed socialist he sure seems to love living like a capitalist.” Other parts of his family dealings will likely see more scrutiny also. The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday zeroed in again on the controversy surrounding Bernie’s wife, Jane Sanders, and her time as president of Burlington College. The college closed in 2016, citing the enormous debt it accrued while Sanders was in charge — in particular when the college made a $10 million real-estate deal. Federal investigators looked into whether Jane Sanders committed bank fraud by inflating the amount of money pledged to donors by the school — but investigators purportedly closed the investigation and brought no charges.

Imagine that..  Its good to be the wife of a rich, hypocrite politician like ol’ Bernie.

Why Wendy’s is the only fast food chain with baked potatoes

When you go to a fast food burger chain, the one side dish you can absolutely count on are fries. But for all the chopped and fried taters in the restaurant, one side is conspicuously missing from all but one: baked potatoes. Wendy’s baked potatoes might be even more famous than the chain’s fries. Customers load tubers up with chili, broccoli and cheese, sour cream and chives, and more. The “side” can get hefty enough to count as a meal of its own—each potato is about 11.5 ounces before adding toppings, according to Thrillist. Wendy’s sells a whopping 1 million baked potatoes every week, making it a pretty major revenue-builder for the company. So why haven’t more chains gotten on board? First of all, let’s go back to why Wendy’s started selling spuds in the first place. In the ’80s and ’90s, low-fat diets were all the rage. but there was definite appeal to replacing oil-drenched fries with a fat-free potato. Low-carb diets rose and fell, but the modest baked potato kept standing. We now know why “fat is bad”, but the baked potatoes are still a virtuous choice when you’re surrounded by fattier, saltier options. A regular baked potato has 270 calories, seven grams each of protein and fiber, and no fat to speak of. Ordering one with broccoli and cheese can add some green to your plate, too. Even loading a potato with cheese and bacon bits won’t put the 480-calorie side far off from the 420 calories in a medium order of fries, which only have five grams of fiber and six grams of protein. As health-conscious customers have made the push to fast food chains to serve more nutritious choices—most have side salads and apple slices—you’d think a plain baked potato would be a simple no-brainer. But for chains emphasizing the “fast” in “fast food,” it’s not that simple. “If you’ve ever cooked baked potatoes at home, you know it takes a while,” Lori Estrada, Wendy’s vice president of culinary innovation, tells Thrilist. “And we cook them from a raw state, in an oven, wrapped in foil, baked for an hour, just like you would at home.” Naturally, the cooking itself would take a lot of planning. But there’s also the matter of equipment. Fast food restaurants don’t typically have convection ovens, like the ones Wendy’s uses for its famous potatoes. Adding one in every location would be a major expense, and most chains just aren’t willing to make the move—especially if Wendy’s already has its grip on the fast-food potato market. A few chains have tried to make the jump. Carl Jr. used to sell baked potatoes, and as did Burger King during its early-’90s attempt to create a classier environment with table-service Dinner Baskets. Canadian Arby’s and select U.S. locations have them on the menu, as does the Mid-Atlantic chain, Roy Rogers. Unless anyone else decides to make push for potatoes, though, you’ll have to head to Wendy’s for your fast food non-fry fix if you’re in another part of the country.

Chicago police blast Jussie Smollett ‘phony attack’: ‘Bogus police reports cause real harm’

Chicago cops laid out their case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett Thursday morning, accusing the TV star of orchestrating an elaborate hoax involving two “bogus” hate crimes — one involving an alleged attack, and one involving a threatening letter — all in order to get a pay raise. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett orchestrated a “phony attack” in order to take “advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.” Johnson said at a news conference Thursday that Smollett, 36, also sent a racist and homophobic threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary. “I’m left hanging my head and asking why,” a visibly upset Johnson told reporters. “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol…how can an individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city by making this false claim?” He added, “Bogus police reports cause real harm.” Following three weeks of mounting suspicions, Smollett, who is accused of filing a false police report, was charged Wednesday with felony disorderly conduct. He turned himself in at central booking early Thursday. If convicted, he is facing up to three years in prison. Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway sandwich shop at around 2 a.m on Jan. 29. The actor, who is black and gay, said the masked men beat him, made derogatory comments and yelled “This is MAGA country” — an apparent reference to President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” — before fleeing. But that isn’t how police say it all went down. Johnson said police found the “check that [Smollett] used to pay [two brothers]” to fake the beating, adding he paid them $3,500 “for the two of them in total, and then $500 upon return.” He said the attack “was staged, the brothers had on gloves during the (air quotes) ‘staged attack’ where they punched him a little, but as far as we can tell, the scratching and bruising that you saw on [Smollett’s] face was most likely self-inflicted.” Johnson was also incensed at the spotlight the incident put on his town for the past three weeks. “This is shameful because it painted this city that we all love and work hard in, in a negative connotation,” he said. “To insinuate and stage a hate crime of that nature when he knew that as a celebrity he’d get a lot of attention… It’s despicable. It makes you wonder what’s going through someone’s mind.” “As a black man, who spent his entire life living the city of Chicago, I know the racial divide that exists here. I know how hard it’s been for our city and our nation to come together,” he said. Johnson added that “absolute justice would be an apology to this city that he smeared….admitting what he did and then be man enough to offer what he should offer up in terms of all the resources that were put into this.”

Agreed..  Jussie Smollet is total garbage.  IF found guilty (as it would appear he will be, but we’ll let the legal process out), he should pay the max fine (which would be nothing to him), and actually do the years in prison.  In addition, FOX should fire him from the Empire series, and this loser should repay the City of Chicago for the police resources that we were used investigating this phony hate crime.   Finally he needs to make a public apology on camera to the good people of Chicago for staging this outrageous stunt which could have turned into a riot.  Remember Rodney King in LA?   Or what happened in Ferguson?  That was all based on a lie.  Remember, “Hands up, don’t shoot?”  That NEVER happened.  But, even after it was proven that never happened, the agenda-driven, dominantly liberal mainstream media continued to promote it to fit their narrative.  Yeah..  That all could have happened in Chicago..  Stunts like this are dangerous and put all of us at risk.  The Chicago prosecutors need to make an example of this disgusting waste of oxygen.  People need to see that this sorta thing comes with consequences that even the liberal elite in HollyWEIRD have to pay.

Supreme Court rules states may not impose excessive fines

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that state law enforcement is bound by the same rules against excessive fines as the feds, incorporating a new Eighth Amendment protection against efforts to seize property. The justices, in a 9-0 decision, ruled in a case involving a convicted Indiana drug dealer whose SUV cops wanted to forfeit to pay off his fines — but the vehicle was worth four times what he owed. The high court said seizing the car to pay off his fine was grossly disproportionate. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who delivered the court’s opinion, said protection against excessive economic sanctions was “fundamental to our scheme of ordered liberty.” “For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history: Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties,” she wrote. “Excessive fines can be used, for example, to retaliate against or chill the speech of political enemies.” The ruling comes as police forfeiture powers are increasingly under scrutiny. In the case before the court, Tyson Timbs faced a maximum $10,000 fine a drug-dealing conviction involving $400 worth of heroin. He struck a deal agreeing to pay about $1,200 as part of his sentence, which also included a year in home detention and five years on probation. Indiana then filed papers to conduct a civil forfeiture of his 2012 Land Rover, which he purchased for roughly $40,000 after receiving an inheritance from his father, and which was used in his drug-dealing. A trial court ruled for Timbs, saying the value of the vehicle was far more than even his maximum penalty. An appeals court affirmed, but the Indiana Supreme Court ruled against him, saying the U.S. Constitution’s protection against excessive fines only applied to federal authorities. The Supreme Court stepped in Wednesday, ruling for Timbs and establishing that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause does extend to the states, via the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process guarantees. Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas both wrote concurring opinions agreeing with the court’s ultimate ruling, but disagreeing with the legal reasoning. They said the Eighth Amendment’s protection against excessive fines should be incorporated through the 14th Amendment’s privileges and immunity clause rather than through due process. “As a constitutionally enumerated right understood to be a privilege of American citizenship, the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on excessive fines applies in full to the states,” Justice Thomas wrote. Brianne Gorod, chief counsel for the Constitutional Accountability Center, said the ruling was a “milestone in the 228 year history of the Bill of Rights.” “Significantly, this case has united progressives and conservatives—both advocates and the justices themselves—in a shared understanding of the original meaning of the Constitution,” she said.

Agreed..  This is a HUGE victory for our personal civil liberties!  Kudos to the Supremes for this 9-0 smackdown of the Indiana Supreme Court.  Outstanding!!   🙂

Supreme Court denies abortion clinic’s appeal for Catholic pro-life deliberations

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Tuesday from an abortion clinic seeking access to records belonging to the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops concerning its pro-life deliberations. Whole Woman’s Health, a pro-choice health facility in Texas, had subpoenaed the bishops’ religious deliberations on abortion and any communications with government officials, after the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops offered to provide burials for aborted remains following a state law requiring hospitals to properly dispose of fetal tissue through cremation or burial rather than in a sewer or landfill. Whole Woman’s Health had challenged the state law in separate litigation and sought the records in conjunction with that case. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for the bishops in their motion to halt the subpoena, saying the clinic’s move ran afoul of the First Amendment. In rejecting the appeal Monday, the high court leaves the 5th Circuit ruling in place. “Thank goodness the Supreme Court saw this appeal for what it was: a nasty attempt to intimidate the bishops and force them to withdraw their offer to bury every child aborted in Texas,” said Eric Rassbach, vice president at Becket Religious Liberty for All, which represented the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops.

This isn’t about abortion.  It’s about one group trying to bully a religious organization into releasing its private communications.  So, kudos to the 5th Circuit for putting a stop that brazen violation of the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court for upholding that decision.  Again, this ruling has nothing to do with abortion.  It was a victory for the First Amendment.  Excellent!

From pens to notebooks, office theft on the rise

Accidentally slip some of those new office Opens a New Window. pens into your bag to save a couple bucks? Discretely tuck some of your employer’s new manilla folders into your briefcase? If so, join the club of office thieves whose numbers have been on the rise over the last 15 years. According to data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner, office Opens a New Window. stealing of noncash items — ranging from scissors and notebooks, to staplers and paperclips, has ballooned to 21 percent of corporate-theft losses in 2018 from 10.6 percent in 2002. The Atlantic, Opens a New Window. which was first to report the trend, added that most workers aren’t even coy about it, with more than 52 percent of workers admitting they steal company property in a survey from 2013. Hot items include scissors, notebooks, staplers and tape, especially during the gift-wrapping holidays. The uptick has even forced managers to routinely stock up on 20 percent more supplies in order to account for lost items right off the bat. Mark Doyle, the president of the loss-prevention consultancy Jack L. Hayes International, told The Atlantic that there are a few factors to blame for office ransacking. He points to the decrease in supervision and the uptick in employees working from home for the increase.

Report: Assad has used chemical weapons 300 times since Obama ‘red line’

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons in his country’s civil war more than 300 times over just the past five years, with the vast majority coming since President Obama declared in 2013 that chemical attacks constituted a “red line” that could not be crossed, a new report claims. The report from The Global Public Policy Institute, a leading European think tank based in Berlin, examined nearly 500 claims of chemical weapons attacks dating back to 2012. The organization said it was able to “credibly” confirm 336 of those attacks, with the first on Dec. 23, 2012, and the latest in April 2018. The comprehensive study makes the case that Mr. Assad, for the most part, has gone unpunished for his use of chemical weapons. “The Syrian regime’s persistent and widespread use of chemical weapons is best understood as part of its overall war strategy of collective punishment of populations in opposition-held areas,” the study reads in part. “We show that the Assad regime did not merely ‘get away’ with its use of these banned weapons, but succeeded in using them for strategic ends.” “More than two-thirds of Syria’s population are internally or externally displaced, and opposition-held communities have been buckling and surrendering under the cumulative weight — and eventually the mere threat — of violence, including the use of chemical weapons,” the report says, arguing that Mr. Assad is on the verge of crushing his foes largely due to the use of chemical weapons. There have been no confirmed uses of chemical weapons since President Trump ordered retaliatory airstrikes against the Assad regime in April 2018, the study says, suggesting the U.S. military action had a real impact on the Syrian leader’s strategy. But the Obama administration had far less success. Mr. Obama in August 2013 declared that Syria’s use of chemical weapons was a “red line” that would lead to a military response from the U.S. Instead, the administration struck a deal that centered on Russia overseeing the supposed dismantling and destruction of Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons capability. That process appears to have been little more than a sham, as chemical weapons have remained strewn across Syria for years afterward. The Assad regime was responsible for the vast majority of attacks, though the weapons in a few instances apparently fell into the hands of the Islamic State. “Our research found that there have been at least 336 chemical weapons attacks over the course of the Syrian civil war — significantly more than has commonly been known,” the report says. “Around 98 percent of these attacks can be attributed to the Assad regime, with the Islamic State group responsible for the rest. Approximately 90 percent of all confirmed attacks occurred after the infamous ‘red line’ incident of August 2013.”

That’s because Obama was all talk..and didn’t follow up his threats with action.  Obama was a weak president, and Assad knew it.  Trump followed up his threat with action and guess what?  Assad stopped using these chemical weapons.  Imagine that!