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|Good Monday Morning, |
Today is Memorial Day.
Last week we won a major battle against political corruption in our fair and humble county and I warned that we'd have to be vigilant, that the Legislature, currently foiled in their plans, would seek other avenues to give Paul Camarda a $3.7 million taxpayer funded handout. And sure enough in this morning's NYJN an article says just that. It's below the fold.
If you want to take action to ensure this silly plan does not continue, see this and this as background and then, if you live over in Putnam Valley or Philipstown, the next time a Legislative election comes around vote for someone other than this plan's main proponent, Vinnie Tamagna.The Putnam county Republican convention this weekend was quite successful for Vinnie Leibell as skittish party members, for fear of losing their influence and access to the King, had a hard time finding anyone to second a motion to place Mary Ellen O'Dell's name on the ballot.
If anyone reading in The City has an available apartment, spare bedroom or a comfy couch for me to sleep on from Thursday night (late) June 3rd through Saturday night June 5th, please let me know. Downtown is preferable but almost anywhere within the city Subway system will work just fine. See this for more information on why and then scroll down a tad.
At some point yesterday (Sunday, May 30, 2010) the cost of the ongoing wars overseas crossed the $1 trillion mark and as of 6:42 this morning it was $1,000,321,850,000. This works out to around $7500 per taxpayer. Keep in mind that these are "off-budget" dollars and are in addition to the $600,000,000,000 we spend each year on defense and defense related activities.
But the human cost is far greater with 4400 US soldiers killed in Iraq and 1086 killed in Afghanistan for a total of 5486. If we add in those who were wounded we have another 5725 US soldiers coming home with injuries.Right wingers are all up in a twitter about the President not laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetary today and sending Vice President Joseph Biden instead. They might have a point if any of the last three presidents had been to Arlington on this day past.
Supporters of the terrorist group Hamas, attempting to run an international sea blockade of Gaza had their asses handed to them this morning. They were stopped by the Israeli navy who during their attempt to board their ships were beaten by "unarmed civilians". Before the boarding the Navy addressed the flotilla inviting them to land at Ashdod where their supplies would be trucked to Gaza as they were last time and the time before that and the time before that. Here's a brief video of an exchange between the Israeli navy and the captain of the flotilla. Though warned for weeks that their attempt would be met with force, Greta Berlin, spokesperson for the flotilla said, "We never though there would be any violence".
Bolant Yilderim, the chairman of the IHH, a Turkish based pro-Palestinian organization, said before the flotilla launched, "Israel behaves like Hitler did towards the Jews. Hitler built concentration camps in Germany, and today the Zionist entity is building concentration camps in Palestine." Sheikh Raed Salah, who heads an organization closely linked to Hamas said, "We are not the ones who eat a meal based on bread and cheese in children's blood."In other News:
And now, the News:
PATTERSON — The Putnam County Legislature last week never voted on a controversial measure to reimburse developer Paul Camarda with sales-tax money for road fixes he makes near his proposed Patterson Crossing shopping center.
Lawmakers on Wednesday night were expected to vote on creating a road-improvement district benefiting the shopping center.
The measure would have allowed the county to reimburse Camarda up to $3.75 million for improvements he makes to Route 311 or the Interstate 84 ramps with sales-tax revenues earmarked for that purpose. But Legislature Chairman Vincent Tamagna, R-Philipstown, said the state should also step in since those are both state roads."If we're going to pay a portion, then the state should pay a portion," said Tamagna, adding he would like to see a 50-50, county-state split.
The records also indicate that since the April 20 explosion on the rig, federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits, most of which were for types of work like that on the Deepwater Horizon shortly before it exploded, pouring a ceaseless current of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Asked about the permits and waivers, officials at the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Service, which regulates drilling, pointed to public statements by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, reiterating that the agency had no intention of stopping all new oil and gas production in the gulf.
While the risk of dying young in Australia has fallen dramatically over the past 40 years, the United States has failed dismally to improve its record, according to the University of Washington study of premature deaths in 187 countries published in the Lancet.
The study, which estimated the probability that an individual who has just turned 15 will die before reaching age 60, considered premature, showed that the U.S. — despite being one of the richest countries in the world — had fallen significantly behind other countries in reducing deaths.
In 1990, the U.S. ranked 34th in the world in female mortality and 41st in male mortality, but by 2010 it had dropped in the rankings to 49th for women and 45th for men, putting it behind all of western Europe and some lower-income countries such as Albania.
Australia, meantime, was one of the best performers, having shot up from 36th spot for females and 44th for males in 1970 to enter the top 10 countries in adult death prevention for both genders.
Health experts say one of the main factors explaining the stark contrast between Australia and the U.S., is the fact that, unlike Australia, only people with money can afford proper health care in the U.S.
Yes, Cleveland’s image has changed. This was the place where the notorious Cuyahoga River became so polluted that its surface caught on fire. The waterway and its tributaries have been cleaned up to an extent, though pollution remains a concern. Cleveland’s public parks and the lakefront give the city a surprising amount of natural attractions, and it is easy for Cleveland-based travelers to explore the nearby rural parts of Ohio along the lakefront. Public art and gardens add to the green scene and give Cleveland an unexpected set of features that should earn it a spot on the map of environmentally minded tourists.
Cleveland’s Wyndham Hotel at Playhouse Square has made some impressively green steps over the past few years. A recent renovation has given the venue a boutique flair. As with other inns bearing the Wyndham name, luxury is turned up at the Playhouse Square location: There is everything from bellhops to complimentary high speed Internet. On the green side, the Wyndham boasts all the usual recycling and efficiency features. The hotel takes it a step further with its staff uniforms, which are sewn using polyester fabric made from recycled plastics.
For those heading outside of the city, the resort town of Sandusky (about an hour from Cleveland) is home to the
Great Wolf Lodge, a large year-round water park and resort that is seeking to complete work to be certified by the
Green Seal organization. The Sandusky location is one of a dozen Great Wolf Lodges in the country that are on the way to earning the stamp of eco-approval.
we calculated the net worth figures for each in 2010 dollars. Because a number of presidents, particularly in the early nineteenth century, made and lost huge fortunes in a matter of a few years, the number for each man is based on his net worth at its peak.
We have taken into account hard assets like land, estimated lifetime savings based on work history, inheritance, homes, and money paid for services, which include things as diverse as their salary as collector of customs at the Port of New York to membership on Fortune 500 boards. Royalties on books have also been taken into account, along with ownership of companies and yields from family estates.
The net worth of the presidents varies widely. George Washington was worth more than half a billion in today's dollars. Several presidents went bankrupt.
The fortunes of American presidents are tied to the economy in the eras in which they lived. For the first 75 years after Washington's election, presidents generally made money on land, crops, and commodity speculation. A president who owned hundreds or thousands of acres could lose most or all of his property after a few years of poor crop yields. Wealthy Americans occasionally lost all of their money through land speculation--leveraging the value of one piece of land to buy additional property. Since there was no reliable national banking system and almost no liquidity in the value of private companies, land was the asset likely to provide the greatest yield, if the property yielded enough to support the costs of operating the farm or plantation.
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