VIDEO: Father sentenced to 6 months in jail for paying TOO MUCH child support
Clifford Hall is the opposite of a dead-beat dad, and a Texas judge is sentencing him to 6 months in jail for being too generous a father.
Here’s video of the local news report:
From Fox Houston:
Clifford Hall says he’s more than happy to pay child support for his 11-year-old son.
"I’m his father it’s my responsibility to take care of him," Hall says.
But Hall says when the amount of child support was modified no one told him.
"I discovered for some reason his employer was withholding a large amount some weeks a small amount some weeks a zero amount some weeks," says Hall’s attorney Tyesha Elam.
"I didn’t want to go to jail basically," Hall says.
So Hall quickly paid almost 3 grand in back child support.
When Hall and his ex were in Judge Lisa Millard’s court last November he owed nothing.
"Opposing counsel testified twice that he’s all paid up," says Elam.
But the attorney representing the child’s mother wanted Hall to pay her three grand in attorney fees and Judge Millard agreed.
Court documents also reveal Hall wasn’t following the court’s scheduled times to pick his son up for visitation.
Another modification Hall says he knew nothing about.
"The Judge ended up sentencing him to 6 months in jail." Elam says.
"When she said I remand you to the Harris County Jail for 180 days my mouth just dropped," says Hall.
"This entire situation is shocking to me," says community activist Quanell X. "I’ve never seen one like this."
Quanell X wants the state’s judicial board to investigate.
"The court failed the child," he says. "The court failed Mr. Hall the system broke down."
"I’m like he couldn’t have gotten a worse result," Elam says. "He could have gone in there with a monkey and gotten a better result. What did I do that my client has over paid over visited and is now paying 3 thousand dollars in attorney fees and is going to jail for 6 months."
"I can’t be there for my son in jail," Hall says. "I can’t pay child support in jail. This is not in the best interest of the child."
read the rest
There is a systematic breakdown of families and fatherhood in the United States, and this story shows how the court system is increasingly a part of the problem.
1:55 pm • 13 January 2014 • View comments
US Taxpayers foot $175 million bill for “vacuum erection systems.”
That headline has an endless number of punchlines, but sadly it’s no joke. Over the last several years, the Federal Government has dished out $175 million for penis pumps.
Taxpayers paid nearly $175 million for vacuum erection systems (VES), commonly known as “penis pumps,” from 2006 to 2011, according to an inspector general report released on Monday.
The federal government paid more than double the retail price for VES, the Department of Health and Human Services IG found. Medicare prices for the systems, the report said, “remain grossly excessive compared with the amounts that non-Medicare payers pay.”
Medicare paid 473,620 VES claims during calendar years 2006 through 2011, according to the IG report.
Health care policy experts said the revelations in the IG report are a troubling indication of what they describe as wasteful spending in federal health programs.
“The fact that taxpayers have spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars over the past decade on penis pumps via Medicare is obscene and insulting – even more so when you consider that this is an arena of Medicare expenditures rife with fraud and where the government doesn’t even bother to assess medical necessity,” said Ben Domenech, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute.
“This is a perfect example of what happens when government becomes the be all and end all of human existence – a system where everyone has a right to a taxpayer-funded penis pump.”
read the rest
This is big government hard at work….for small men. (Okay that’s my one and only joke. I just couldn’t help myself).
12:38 pm • 13 January 2014 • View comments
What bias? NBC’s Matt Lauer calls former Defense Secretary Gate’s criticism of Obama “dishonorable.”
Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates has dropped a few bombs on President Obama’s naive and political foreign policy decisions in his new memoir. In an interview with Gates, NBC’s Matt Lauer called his criticism of Obama’s policies “dangerous and dishonorable.”
Here’s the video:
I honestly don’t believe that most journalists are biased because they’re consciously trying to push their agenda…it’s just who they are. The vast bulk of the media are statists, leftists, and progressives and their entire networks are a giant cesspool of bias.
12:28 pm • 13 January 2014 • View comments
Millions discover that their new Obamacare coverage doesn’t work at their doctor’s office
The glitches that plagued the signup process for Obamacare are proving to be no less debilitating in the coverage itself. Millions of Americans are going to hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies only to find that their new coverage is, for the time being, completely worthless.
from New York Times (emphasis mine):
Paul D. Donahue and his wife, Angela, are among more than a million Americans who have signed up for health coverage through the federal insurance exchange. Mr. Donahue has a card in his wallet from his insurer to prove it. But when he tried to use it to get a flu shot and fill prescriptions this week, local pharmacies could not confirm his coverage, so he left without his medications.
Similar problems are occurring daily in doctors’ offices and drugstores around the country as consumers try to use insurance coverage that took effect on Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act.
In addition to the difficulties many face in proving they have coverage, patients are also having a hard time figuring out whether particular doctors are affiliated with their health insurance plan. Doctors themselves often do not know if they are in the network of providers for plans sold on the exchange.
But interviews with doctors, hospital executives, pharmacists and newly insured people around the country suggest that the biggest challenge so far has been verifying coverage. A surge of enrollments in late December, just before the deadline for coverage to take effect, created backlogs at many state and federal exchanges and insurance companies in processing applications. As a result, many of those who enrolled have yet to receive an insurance card, policy number or bill.
Many are also having trouble reaching exchanges and insurance companies to confirm their enrollment or pay their first month’s premium. Doctors’ offices and pharmacies, too, are spending hours on the phone trying to verify patients’ coverage, sometimes to no avail.
“The system wasn’t really built to handle this kind of glut of new patients,” said Dr. Curtis Miyamoto, a radiation oncologist at Temple University Hospital who is president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society. “So it’s resulting in us having some delays in getting people verified, and therefore delays in their care.”
read the rest
The irony of Dr. Miyamoto’s statement is that the Obamacare system is about 5 million enrollees short of what was supposed to be the targeted number of subscribers. Regardless, the large numbers should come as no surprise to anyone. How could the system be so dysfunctional when the law mandates that people sign up for coverage?
This is government run health care in action…
11:45 am • 13 January 2014 • View comments
About that unemployment rate…
Yes, I know we’ve covered this already (monthly, it seems), but it bears repeating: The sole reason that the unemployment rate is declining is because people are dropping out of the work force altogether. Last month, nearly 350,000 people left the work force. That’s 350,000 people who are no longer counted.
From The Federalist:
According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released this morning, the U.S. economy last month added 74,000 new payroll jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent. Good news, right? Not really.
Yes, the unemployment rate has fallen significantly from its high of 10 percent in October of 2009. But it turns out the unemployment rate has been falling for a pretty depressing reason: people dropping out of the labor force. Last month, 347,000 workers dropped out, effectively sending the message that it wasn’t even worth looking for work anymore.
…To understand how the labor force numbers affect the unemployment rate, it helps to understand how the unemployment rate is calculated. First, BLS determines who is a member of the civilian non-institutional population: people who are 16 years of age or older who are not inhabitants of institutions (prisons, mental institutions, etc.) and not active duty members of the U.S. military. Next, BLS determines what percentage of those individuals are members of the labor force: that roughly consists of people who are either working or are looking for work. Then, BLS determines how many individuals within the labor force are employed. Subtracting the number of employed persons from the labor force gives you the number of unemployed, and dividing the number of unemployed by the total labor force gives you the unemployment rate.
If you hold total employment constant and increase the size of the labor force, the number of unemployed persons will increase, as will the unemployment rate. A shrinking labor force, however, can completely mask a serious job shortage by excluding those who stop looking for work altogether from the calculation of unemployed persons.
Read the Rest (H/T Ace)
Don’t let you eyes glaze over. It’s important that we fully grasp what’s happening here.
In short, if there are ten eligible workers in a room but 2 of them aren’t working, the unemployment rate is 2 ÷ 10, or 20%. If one of those 2 unemployed gets fed up with trying to find a job and finally gives up, that leaves 9 eligible workers with only 1 not working. This is 1 ÷ 9, or 11.1%. In this example, 8 people were working the entire time but the unemployment rate fell from 20% to 11.1%. Yay, economy.
But that’s not all! There’s the matter of the U-6 unemployment rate (AKA the “real” unemployment rate). What’s that, you ask? It’s defined as the ”total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.”
What does this mean? The economy is horrible. Numbers don’t lie.
12:04 am • 12 January 2014 • View comments
What bias? Big three networks spend 17 times more airtime on Christie’s ‘bridgegate’ in 24 hours than Obama’s IRS scandal in 6 months
The media is so predictable. So unbelievably predictable. They hilariously claim they’re not biased but then they do stuff like this. Facepalm.
From the Washington Examiner:
The Big Three networks, in a frenzy over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s traffic headache dubbed “Bridgegate,” have devoted a whopping 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage to the affair in just the last 24 hours.
By comparison, that’s 17 times the two minutes, eight seconds devoted to President Obama’s IRS scandal in the last six months, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center.
“While routinely burying new stories on the IRS scandal, the media practically fell over themselves to start taking shots at the potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee,” said the conservative media watchdog.
Read the Rest
What’s somewhat befuddling about all of this is that Christie is a big-government progressive who is also (amazingly enough) the early front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2016. It seems to me that a Christie vs. Hillary race would be exactly the match-up that a statist media would want. It would be a total win-win for them: Big-government progressive vs. big-government progressive. But the media is so eager to destroy someone with an ‘R’ after their name that they can’t even muster the restraint they need to ensure it.
11:03 am • 11 January 2014 • View comments
Change! Obama’s new hire to fix Obamacare site paid $63.7 million in 2011 for defrauding the US government
Today, the Obama administration finally fired CGI, the company who had a no-bid contract to build the Obamacare health insurance exchange. The new hire to replace CGI is already looking bad. Three years ago, they paid $63.7 million in fines for defrauding the US government.
Global consulting giant Accenture has agreed to pay $63.7 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it defrauded the US government, US officials said on Monday.
"Accenture has agreed to resolve allegations that it received kickbacks for its recommendations of hardware and software to the government," the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
The firm also “fraudulently inflated prices and rigged bids in connection with federal information technology contracts,” the statement said.
The lawsuit was brought against Accenture in the southern state of Arkansas by two whistleblowers who are entitled to receive part of the settlement under a US law designed to help ferret out fraud in government contracting.
read the rest (h/t Weasel Zippers)
Accenture just received a $90 million to fix the broken Obamacare website. Anybody want to take a guess who Accenture’s top recipient of political donations in the last election was? That’s right…Barack Hussein Obama.
6:15 pm • 10 January 2014 • View comments
GLOBAL WARMING ALERT! Great Lakes froze more earlier this year than any year since 1930s
So much for all that melting ice. This year we’ve got more ice faster than we’ve had it in any time in recent memory. I know, I know. Global warming isn’t weather…unless it fits the narrative. This definitely does not fit the narrative.
In the midst of record-breaking bitter cold, the U.S. Coast Guard has been relentlessly fighting against ice buildup in the Great Lakes region in an effort to keep important shipping channels open.
A massive swath of arctic air, known as a “Polar Vortex,” plunged temperatures well below zero from Chicago to Tulsa. In those temperatures, ice can form up to a foot thick in the rivers that connect the Great Lakes.
The Coast Guard uses ice cutters — heavy ships that have thick, reinforced hulls and polar ice-breaking bows — to clear the major shipping route that separates the U.S. and Canada, so that freight-carrying ships can get through. Without the ice cutters, large freighters can get stuck.
The Bristol Bay is one of four ice cutters that have been working around the clock to keep the shipping lanes open for freighters that use the Great Lakes and connecting channels to deliver goods between the Midwest and the East Coast. These massive ships range in length from 730 feet to over 1,000 feet — a ship that is 730 feet long can carry 37,000 tons.
“The biggest cargo for these lakers: iron ore, coal, heating oil and grain,” Henry said. “They pretty much come and service all the Great Lakes, coming through the Soo Locks and then heading either to Lake Erie or Lake Michigan.”
The Coast Guard said it was the earliest the ice had frozen here since the 1930s, and the river connecting Lakes Superior and Huron has been some of the toughest ice they have seen.
read the rest
For those of you who would claim that the “Polar Votex” is caused by global warming, know this…back in the 1970s, liberals were blaming the Polar Votex on global cooling. So which is it?
6:05 pm • 10 January 2014 • View comments
Obama admin finally fires company that had no-bid contract on Obamacare website
The Obamacare insurance exchange has been a complete debacle, costing the American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Today, the Obama administration finally terminated the no-bid contract with CGI, who built the website.
from WaPo (emphasis mine):
The Obama administration has decided to jettison CGI Federal, the main IT contractor that was responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it.
Federal health officials are preparing to sign a 12-month contract worth roughly $90 million, probably early next week, with a different company, Accenture, after concluding that CGI has not been effective enough in fixing the intricate computer system underpinning the federal Web site, HealthCare.gov, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Accenture, which is one of the world’s largest consulting firms, has extensive experience with computer systems on the state level, and it built California’s new health insurance exchange. But it has not done substantial work on any federal health-care program.
In a statement Friday, CGI spokeswoman Linda Odorisio said that even as the company’s work on HealthCare.gov was wrapping up, “CGI’s 15-year relationship with CMS will continue, including work on the nearly $37 million in contracts that have been awarded to CGI since October 1, 2013.”
“We are proud that more than 400 CGI employees worked around the clock from October through December to deliver a consumer experience that works for a vast majority of Americans,” she added.
read the rest
Many tech experts over the last several months have indicated that the Obamacare website is fatally flawed at its core and to fix the system would take a total overhaul. Spending $90 million more on a new company to come in and clean up CGI’s mess isn’t going to make the situation any better.
5:20 pm • 10 January 2014 • View comments
Hope and Change: Number of Americans not in work force at all time high
Want to know how the economy can get worse while the unemployment rate goes down? People have given up looking for work.
From Zero Hedge:
Curious why despite the huge miss in payrolls the unemployment rate tumbled from 7.0% to 6.7%? The reason is because in December the civilian labor force did what it usually does in the New Normal: it dropped from 155.3 million to 154.9 million, which means the labor participation rate just dropped to a fresh 35 year low, hitting levels not seen since 1978, at 62.8% down from 63.0%.
Read the Rest
For those of you still in obama-denial, this is a direct result of the big-government, extreme left policies of President Obama. There is no doubt about it.
11:10 am • 10 January 2014 • View comments
Super. IRS considering new ‘Tea Party rules’
Hey, remember that scandal where the IRS, one of the most powerful arms of the massive federal government, was specifically targeting those who dared criticize the
king, er, president? Well, these unconscionable and unconstitutional actions are “still under investigation” (by the perpetrators, of course) which is another way of saying “nothing will ever be done about it.” But don’t worry, the scandal is about to get worse. How? The actions of the IRS agents at the center of the “investigation” are about to be company policy.
From The Washington Times:
The Internal Revenue Service is getting a special new power: a “license to kill” groups that oppose the Obama agenda. James Bond’s license to kill isn’t nearly as broad.
The power to tax is the power to destroy. Its new powers will let the IRS destroy certain groups, especially those connected to the Tea Party, by imposing a tax on their work and messages during campaign seasons. Even the value of volunteer work could be taxed.
Suspicion traces the plan directly to President Barack Obama, since he personally met with IRS chief counsel William Wilkins — an Obama political appointee and long-time supporter — in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 23, 2012, two days before the IRS issued its key internal directives to target Tea Party and other conservative groups.
…The IRS wants to create a new bureaucratic definition that re-labels those common voter information activities by re-naming them “candidate-related political activity.”
Read the Rest
In other words, all political activity is subject to extra scrutiny and certain activity is strictly prohibited…unless you’re not critical of the regime.
For more details, go here and here.
9:24 am • 9 January 2014 • View comments
Obama making poor people poorer, poverty rate breaks 50-year record
In my opinion, the most frustrating thing about the state of politics in America isn’t corruption or the lack of principle among the electorate, it is ignorance. It is that so many obvious straw men arguments and cliches perpetuated by pop culture, the media and politicians are accepted as pertinent fact. It is the willingness of the average person to simply believe lies, regardless of the evidence.
For example, facts show unequivocally that crime rates, especially violent crime, goes down when more people have access to weapons for personal protection. But anti-gun activists, the media and the average, uninformed voter, believes (or preaches) the exact opposite. So when someone campaigns for gun control, they are literally campaigning for more crime.
Perhaps the biggest of these political lies is that government welfare is a form of charity which actually helps poor people. When in reality, much like gun control, the opposite is true.
From The Washington Times:
Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama.
Aides said Mr. Obama doesn’t plan to commemorate the anniversary Wednesday of Johnson’s speech in 1964, which gave rise to Medicaid, Head Start and a broad range of other federal anti-poverty programs. The president’s only public event Tuesday was a plea for Congress to approve extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, another reminder of the persistent economic troubles during Mr. Obama’s five years in office.
“What I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability,” Mr. Obama said.
Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.
The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.
Read the Rest
Twenty. Trillion. Dollars.
There are a couple of things that should be noted here. First of all, while poverty rates might be seemingly stagnant, the definition of poverty today is different than what it used to be. After all, technology has done wonders in raising the standard of living for virtually everyone — especially those in poverty. Also, economies ebb and flow which, in turn, causes poverty rates to fluctuate.
But do not make the mistake of thinking that poverty will be eliminated by government. This is utterly illogical. As with anything else, when you subsidize it, you get more of it. Forcibly taking money from those who have earned it and giving it to those who haven’t does nothing to incentivize productivity or prosperity. Rather, this institutionalizes poverty. In short, when you pay people not to work, they will not work. It has the exact opposite of its intended effect.
Our good friend Benjamin Franklin had good something good to say about this:
“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”
12:40 pm • 8 January 2014 • View comments
California legislators: What say we ban the NSA in California?
Well this certainly would be interesting. A bipartisan group of California legislators is proposing legislation aimed at running the NSA out of California by essentially smoking them out.
From US News:
A bipartisan team of California state senators introduced legislation Monday that would prohibit the state and its localities from providing “material support” to the National Security Agency.
If the bill becomes law, it would deny NSA facilities access to water and electricity from public utilities, impose sanctions on companies trying to fill the resulting void and outlaw NSA research partnerships with state universities.
Companies with state contracts also would be banned from working with the NSA.
"I agree with the NSA that the world is a dangerous place," state Sen. Ted Lieu, the bill’s Democratic co-author, said in a statement. "That is why our founders enacted the Bill of Rights. They understood the grave dangers of an out-of-control federal government."
Lieu said the NSA’s surveillance programs pose “a clear and present danger to our liberties.”
Read the Rest
Read that bold text again and enjoy it….
Lieu is exactly right. And as I’ve said before (and certainly will again), I’d rather live with the danger that accompanies unbridled liberty than the shackles that accompany an all-powerful government.
9:54 pm • 7 January 2014 • View comments
Who needs Congress? Obama administration issues a whopping 3,659 regulations in 2013
In 2013, the Obama administration issued a staggering 3,659 new regulations — a record. This is just a shade more than the number of bills he actually signed into law: 65.
From The Washington Examiner:
The Obama administration made up for the lack of laws passed in Congress last year, issuing a whopping 3,659 rules regulations, crushing claims that Washington isn’t doing anything.
Only 65 public laws were signed by President Obama in 2013, meaning that his government issued an average of 56 new regulations for every one, a record high ratio, according to the annual analysis by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
The surge in regulations has led critics to charge that Congress is now a bystander to federal regulatory agencies.
Said CEI’s Wayne Crews, who provided Secrets with his new analysis, “The deterioration of the Constitution’s separation of, and balance of, powers means that regulators and bureaucrats now make most laws. Congress is so 1789, after all. The executive branch increasingly imposes its will: President Obama and his administration repeatedly say they are not going to wait for Congress, so brace yourselves.”
Read the Rest (H/T WZ)
Keep in mind, legally, Obama isn’t allowed to dictate anything to anyone. He isn’t a king….or so he says.
This is serious stuff, folks. The president who, according to the Constitution, is not a dictator and doesn’t get to write laws, literally created more than ten laws per day in 2013. This should be frightening to every American regardless of political persuasion.
One person should not have the power to control 300 million lives simply because they won a popularity contest by a few percentage points. This isn’t liberty and it’s certainly not what our founders intended.
9:26 pm • 7 January 2014 • View comments
Frustrated Obamacare consumers walk out of hospitals without treatment
We knew Obamacare would make hospitals and doctors’ offices like the DMV, but I didn’t expect it to be so soon. I suppose we should just get used to it, though.
From The UK Daily Mail:
Hospital staff in Northern Virginia are turning away sick people on a frigid Thursday morning because they can’t determine whether their Obamacare insurance plans are in effect.
Patients in a close-in DC suburb who think they’ve signed up for new insurance plans are struggling to show their December enrollments are in force, and health care administrators aren’t taking their word for it.
In place of quick service and painless billing, these Virginians are now facing the threat of sticker-shock that comes with bills they can’t afford.
'They had no idea if my insurance was active or not!' a coughing Maria Galvez told MailOnline outside the Inova Healthplex facility in the town of Springfield.
She was leaving the building without getting a needed chest x-ray.
Read the Rest
But that’s not all. Another report tells the story of a doctor’s office staying on hold with an Obamacare insurer for more than two hours awaiting a routine surgery confirmation. The doctor eventually gave up and performed the surgery anyway.
Paperwork problems almost delayed suburban Chicago resident Sheri Zajcew’s scheduled surgery Thursday, but Dr. John Venetos decided to operate without a routine go-ahead from the insurance company. That was after Venetos’ office manager spent two hours on hold with the insurer Thursday, trying to get an answer about whether the patient needed prior authorization for the surgery. The office manager finally gave up.
“I’m not a happy camper,” said Nate Zajcew, the patient’s husband. The couple signed up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield bronze plan through the federal HealthCare.gov site on Dec. 16. “I understand it’s just a matter of paperwork and yesterday was a holiday. I can be an SOB, too, at times, but since they’re going on with the procedure, it’s OK.”
Read the Rest
Look, Obamacare is a disaster and the average Obama voter is starting to figure that out. But it’s important to remember that even if every facet of the law magically begins to work exactly as billed (and it won’t, that’s an impossibility), it still would be a gross violation of the Constitutional rights of Americans, regardless of how five justices want to twist the words of the founders.
10:54 am • 4 January 2014 • View comments