5 Jul 2017
2017/07/02 – Responding to whistleblower’s claims, Duke admits research data falsification – Durham Herald Sun
In-house investigators at Duke University believe a former lab tech falsified or fabricated data that went into 29 medical research reports, lawyers for the university say in their answer to a federal whistleblower lawsuit against it.
Duke’s admissions concern the work of Erin Potts-Kant, and a probe it began in 2013 when she was implicated in an otherwise-unrelated embezzlement. The lawsuit, from former lab analyst Joseph Thomas, contends Duke and some of its professors used the phony data to fraudulently obtain federal research grants.
The committee reviewed at least 36 research reports, and in many cases found that she’d tinkered with data before sending it along other investigators. In a few, she simply made things up, Duke said.
Duke, UNC, and NC State received EPA grants over $100 million to each school based on this bogus information.
These are the experts that people quote for information and policy purposes. I know they are all not dishonest, but some of them are.
3 Jul 2017
2017/07/03 – Trump’s Leaner White House Payroll Projected To Save Taxpayers $22 Million – Forbes
Projected four-year savings on the White House payroll could top $22 million. Savings come from President Trump’s refusal to take a salary as well as big reductions in other areas including the absence of czars, expensive “fellowships,” and spending on FLOTUS staff.
- There are 110 fewer employees on White House staff under Trump than under Obama at this point in their respective presidencies.
- $5.1 million in payroll savings vs. the Obama FY2015 payroll. In 2017, the Trump payroll amounts to $35.8 million for 377 employees, while the Obama payroll amounted to $40.9 million for 476 employees (FY2015).
- Nineteen fewer staffers are dedicated to The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS). Currently, there are five staffers dedicated to Melania Trump vs. 24 staffers who served Michelle Obama (FY2009).
Trump is also mandated to take a salary, even though when he was campaigning from president he said he wouldn’t. He has donated the first quarter of his pay to the Dept. of Interior for construction and repair needs at military cemeteries.
This info comes from openthebooks.com.
20 Jun 2017
2017/06/20 – EPA scraps $1 million in gym memberships for employees – Washington Examiner
The Environmental Protection Agency is scrapping the agency’s nearly $1 million in gym memberships as an abuse of taxpayer funds.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt vowed to get rid of the gym memberships after the newspaper reported earlier this year that the agency had paid $15,000 per year for employees in Las Vegas to upgrade to premium fitness memberships at 24 Hour Fitness. This was done even though the employees already had complimentary gym memberships at the University of Nevada’s campus in Las Vegas.
This is the common sense stuff that got Trump elected.
12 Jun 2017
2017/06/08 – Trump’s renewable energy cuts alarm former officials – CNN Money
Trump wants to gut a key division of the Department of Energy designed to accelerate the development of clean energy like solar and wind power. The administration’s 2018 budget would slash funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by a stunning 71.9%.
Budget documents published by the DOE argue that the spending cuts to the renewables office will focus resources on early-stage research & development. The DOE added that it also “reflects an increased reliance on the private sector to fund later-stage research, development and commercialization of energy technologies.”
15 Dec 2016
Total subsidies from the decreasing pool of taxpayers will rise from $32 billion to over $42 billion next year.
Obamacare subsidies to jump $10 billion in 2017
Currently more than eight in 10 consumers buying private health insurance through HealthCare.gov and state markets receive tax credits from the government to help pay their premiums. Those subsidies are designed to rise along with premiums, shielding consumers from sudden increases. But the bill ultimately gets passed on to taxpayers.
Insurers say the spike in premiums is due to lower-than-projected enrollment, patients who turned out to be sicker than expected, people gaming the system to get coverage only when they need medical care and a premium stabilization system that has not worked as intended.
The administration says the higher premiums are a one-time market correction and not a sign that the law’s insurance markets are slipping into a “death spiral” of rising premiums and declining enrollment.
Wait… “people gaming the system to get coverage only when they need medical care”? That’s not gaming the system… that IS the system… no pre-existing conditions are taken into consideration.
9 May 2016
Trump just exposed America’s dirty little secret: Schiff
Last week, Trump joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” last week to discuss a wide range of topics including U.S. debt, interest rates and replacing Fed Chair Janet Yellen. It was Trump’s comments about potentially renegotiating the more than $19 trillion in U.S. debt and the sensitivity surrounding higher interest rates that raised eyebrows.
While some observers argued that Trump’s approach could be tantamount to a debt default, Schiff told CNBC the GOP nominee was fundamentally correct in his observation.
“Trump just admitted on CNBC that America has too much debt to afford a rate hike, and that he wants our creditors to accept less than 100 cents on their Treasuries,” the Euro Pacific Capital CEO explained on CNBC’s “Futures Now” last week. “In other words, Trump knows a U.S. government default is inevitable.”
Schiff has long been opposed to the Fed’s so-called easy money policies. He insists that rather than helping the economic backdrop, the excess liquidity has created fragile asset bubbles so fragile that may send the U.S. spiraling into a recession worse than what occurred during the financial crisis.
“[Trump] recognizes that we have a bubble and he wants to make America great again,” Schiff said, adding that of all the candidates he has the best understanding of how bad the problems are.
“To get great again we need to recreate what made us great in the first place, and so we’re going to have to let interest rates go up,” Schiff added. “A big part of that is admitting that we aren’t going to be able to re-pay the debt.”
If there is one thing on which Trump knows his stuff, it is money issues.
29 Jul 2015
The study highlights five main problems…
- Top Down Coercion
- Lack of Knowledge
- Political Incentives
- Bureaucratic Incentives
- Huge Size and Scope
Sometimes you just need a study to point out the obvious.