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Displaced American workers sue the Department of Homeland Security over visa work permits

April 24, 2015

 A group of displaced American workers are suing the Department of Homeland Security over that agency’s expansion of work permits. You can read the full complaint here. This group is called Save Jobs USA and this is who comprises the group:

8. Plaintiff Save Jobs USA is an unincorporated group of computer workers formed by Americans who were employed at Southern California Edison (“SCE”) until they were replaced by foreign workers imported on H- 1B guest worker visas. They formed Save Jobs USA to address the problems American workers face from foreign labor entering the United States job market through visa programs.

9. Save Jobs USA members are direct economic competitors with H-1B workers. As a result of DHS’ H-4 Rule that will be effective May 26, 2015, Save Jobs USA members are economic competitors with H-4 visa holders as well.

  They claim the Department of Homeland Security does not have the authority to expand the H-1B and H-4 rules, here is more:

Read more…

The Clinton Foundation to refile 5 years of tax returns after errors were found in the reporting of money received from foreign governments

April 23, 2015

  The news just keeps on getting worse for presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton every single day: Today we learned a Reuters review has found that there are errors in The Clinton Foundation’s tax returns in at least the last five years and there must be something to that report because the foundation is now scrambling to correct those returns. Reuters is also probably going to audit more returns as a result of this.

  Here is more:

Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.

The foundation and its list of donors have been under intense scrutiny in recent weeks. Republican critics say the foundation makes Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, vulnerable to undue influence. Her campaign team calls these claims “absurd conspiracy theories.”

The charities’ errors generally take the form of under-reporting or over-reporting, by millions of dollars, donations from foreign governments, or in other instances omitting to break out government donations entirely when reporting revenue, the charities confirmed to Reuters.

  Read more…

Democrats pressure Hillary Clinton to state her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

April 22, 2015

 The animosity between Hillary Clinton and some Democrats seems to be growing, the latest example of this comes over her unwillingness to state her position on the TPP. Some Democrats are now calling for Hillary Clinton to tell them what her position on this trade agreement is.

  Here is more:

The 12-nation Pacific trade deal is the first major policy dilemma of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and she’s under pressure to cast aside her own past as a free-trade proponent and buck the current Democratic president whose Cabinet in which she served.

Now, pressure is intensifying on the presumed Democratic standard-bearer from Capitol Hill.

Democratic lawmakers intent on preventing fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership are calling on Clinton to take a more definitive stance on the legislation, hoping that she can tip the scales against President Barack Obama’s position.

The furthest Clinton has gone is to say that whatever agreement is reached needs to protect American workers and have appropriate safeguards. But Clinton owes it to voters – and to the Democratic Party — to more explicitly spell out her views on such a critical issue, a number of Democrats on Capitol Hill who oppose the fast-track authority and the emerging multination agreement told POLITICO.

“I think now that she’s officially declared for president she should share with people how she feels about it,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), laying out a litany of fears over the trade agreement that would be ratified after Congress first approves new fast-track authority. “Certainly these are major concerns — and she should speak to them.”

Merkley isn’t alone. A number of Democrats say their party’s front-runner should lay out her views and concerns with the so-called trade promotion authority bill that’s now dividing their party. The bill would give Obama the ability to finalize trade deals and Congress an up-or-down vote, essentially preventing lawmakers from making any changes.

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The IRS deliberately cut funding for customer service and then blamed the Congress

April 22, 2015

 The IRS, or more precisely IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, has blamed budget cuts (the Congress) for the agency’s poor customer service this year, but according to a new report the IRS deliberately cut its own funding for customer service.

  Here is more:

If you tried to contact the IRS with a question about your taxes this year, chances are you didn’t get a response. The IRS estimated that it would only answer 17 million of the 49 million calls received this filing season. Taxpayers lucky enough to have the IRS answer their calls waited an average of 34.4 minutes for assistance–nearly double the wait time last year (18.7 minutes).

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has blamed the IRS’s “abysmal” customer service on congressional budget cuts–funding is down $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak–but a new congressional report points the finger back at the IRS. While congressional funding for the IRS remained flat from 2014 to 2015, the IRS diverted $134 million away from customer service to other activities.

In addition to the $11 billion appropriated by Congress, the IRS takes in more than $400 million in user fees and may allocate that money as it sees fit. In 2014, the IRS allocated $183 million in user fees to its customer service budget, but allocated just $49 million in 2015–a 76 percent cut.

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Dick Morris claims the Trans-Pacific Partnership includes ‘unrestricted immigration’

April 22, 2015

 Barack Obama is trying to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal through the Congress, calling for a vote this year. While the President has some allies within the Republican party he has met resistance from an unlikely source–prominent Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and most recently Harry Reid.

  And now Dick Morris has come out against it, claiming the deal includes “unrestricted immigration.”

  Here is what he had to say:

“This is huge. I hope everybody listening takes action call your senator about it. If he is a Republican he is voting wrong. “I don’t think that people understand that in this deal which is a trade agreement among Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, and Chile, there’s a provision for free flow of workers, just like in the European Union. What It means is unrestricted immigration. It means literally that  congress would not have the authority to restrict immigration because a treaty supersedes a statute under our constitution.”

Read more…

Harry Reid says ‘hell no’ to Barack Obama’s attempt to fast-track Trans-Pacific Partnership legislation

April 21, 2015

 Barack Obama is trying to fast-track legislation named the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and is calling for a vote on the legislation this year. I have to admit that I do not know much about this legislation but it is being met with quite a bit of opposition. Here is what the opponents of the legislation have to say about it:

The TPP is a massive, controversial “free trade” agreement currently being pushed by big corporations and negotiated behind closed doors by officials from the United States and 11 other countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “trade” pact model that has spurred massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on wages, unprecedented levels of inequality and new floods of agricultural imports. The TPP not only replicates, but expands NAFTA’s special protections for firms that offshore U.S. jobs. And U.S. TPP negotiators literally used the 2011 Korea FTA – under which exports have fallen and trade deficits have surged – as the template for the TPP.

Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. One chapter would provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives for safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules.

The TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations, empowering them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the “expected future profits” they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies.

We only know about the TPP’s threats thanks to leaks – the public is not allowed to see the draft TPP text. Even members of Congress, after being denied the text for years, are now only provided limited access. Meanwhile, more than 500 official corporate “trade advisors” have special access. The TPP has been under negotiation for six years, and the Obama administration wants to sign the deal this year. Opposition to the TPP is growing at home and in many of the other countries involved.

  Read more…

Is Bill de Blasio secretly preparing a 2016 Presidential run?

April 21, 2015

  US-ELECTION-NYC-MAYORUp to this point in time Hillary Clinton is virtually running alone for the Democratic nomination to become the next President of the United States, sure Martin O’Malley is in the race but I do not think that very many people consider him to be a viable option to the former Secretary of State.

  With potential problems on the horizon, and with the reports that some Democratic insiders are very worried about Hillary Clinton and her baggage many of us have been wondering how Democrats could support such a flawed candidate. Surely there has to be preparations being made in case Hillary Clinton’s campaign implodes or in case The Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of foreign money becomes a campaign issue.

  Not all Democrats are sold on Hillary Clinton and that is evidenced by the “draft Warren” movement within the far left of the party and now according to this story Bill de Blasio is working behind the scenes to create a “draft de Blasio” movement.

  Here is more:

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