7 Policies We’re Stuck With Thanks To Stupidity And Greed

We know that coin affects politics. But when we video the transactions, we reckon stodgy old financiers passing senators bags of money to look the other way while they exert orphans in their asbestos and battle profiteering plant. And while charitable expedition contributions are definitely responsible for a lot of asbestos-related orphan fatalities, the repercussions of giving companies affect legislators are often much less clear-cut than that. Like a butterfly in a $5,000 dres flapping its wings, the consequences of a legislator wanting a payday can both be unforeseen and ravaging. For speciman …


For-Profit Colleges Prey On Veterans Thanks To One Politician

America is a country that enjoys its soldiers — right up until they come home and motivation assistances like healthcare and education. After all, helping soldiers is patriotism, but facilitating civilians is communism, so no doubt lawmakers are letting ex-servicemen to get scammed into getting severities worth less than what you can whip up in Microsoft Paint.

Veterans who want to continue their education have access to the Post-9/ 11 GI Bill, which is great. What’s not so great is that the education assistances have a loophole big enough to drive a truck loaded with outdated textbooks through. The trouble lies with for-profit colleges. Those are “schools” like DeVry University and the University of Phoenix — the type of honorable societies whose mail always winds up in your spam folder. These degree mills have a history of disreputable recruitment tricks. DeVry recently had to pay a $100 million agreement for misleading dozens of thousands of students about the value of a DeVry “education” — with those quotation marks being exactly how it must now be referred to.

For-profit schools are especially fond of targeting ex-servicemen. Why? It’s thanks to something called the 90/ 10 guideline, which offsets for-profit schools lose their federal funding if more than 90 percentage of their receipt comes from federal student assistance platforms. This is tricky for these schools, as few parents are willing to bear the full cost of their shitty minors giving a Bachelor in Getting Scammed. Nonetheless, due to a technicality, the aid ex-servicemen get from the Post-9/ 11 GI Bill is considered privately funded, meaning that to situates like DeVry, it weighs toward the 10 percentage of private tuition that they need to maintain. It’s like having your cake and devouring it too — which is probably a full master’s platform at the University of Phoenix.

dolgachov/ iStock
“OK class, we’re now going to discuss the PIE-thagorean Theorem.”

So why not shut that opening? It seems like a simple solution, and legislation to do accurately that was introduced in 2014. Literally minutes later, it was curb-stomped by Representative John Kline, who chairs the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and who happens to have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gives from for-profit academies( they’ve too invested millions lobbying Congress ). If that opening was shut, many for-profit institutions would abruptly be in serious violation of the 90/10 regulation and would be forced to take drastic weighs, like offering planneds that don’t prepare your local parish college look like Harvard.

But as it puts, these schools is supposed to make billions of dollars from the governmental forces in exchange for holding a stretching number of veterans impractical PowerPoint performances. Shit, John, and all you got for selling out your country’s armies was enough for a new gazebo in your plots. What, did you learn math from a DeVry online course?


The Supplement Industry Is Unregulated Because Orrin Hatch’s Family And Friends Are In The Business( And He Get Money)

If McDonald’s started claiming that Big Macs were great for igniting apart your belly, the government would rightfully suggest them down so difficult they’d has become a squashed as their burger patties. But the add-on industry is still free to allege that they have supernatural lozenges that will counteract the consequences of a Doritos and scotch nutrition. And that’s thanks to Orrin Hatch, the senator who most sounds like a C-tier Game Of Thrones villain.

We’ve told you before how dietary supplements are a waste of money at best and actively bad for you at worst, but somehow service industries is still allowed to lie like they’re a toddler catch with their hand in the cookie container. The main villain here is the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, which Hatch wrote. The ordinance mostly allows a corporation to marketplace their product long before the FDA is allowed to study how many milligrams of bullshit is in every capsule. That action, by the time it’s proven to be snake oil, they’ve once drawn in their key demographic: naive idiots.

Since then, Hatch has worked to block any proposed laws that have the audacity had demonstrated that the supplement industry should be regulated like some kind of industry . In income, Hatch has received hundreds of dollars in subscriptions from Big Debris Pills. In happening, Hatch has been so extravagantly gifted to that he has decided to spread the love. His son is a high-paid lobbyist for the complement industry, as are five members of his former aide-de-camps, amongst other industry ties. If that everything chimes woefully tainted to you, that’s perhaps because of your low-pitched neoprine yield. Why not try Hydroxycut?

So what if in 2009 and 2010, there were 2,292 entered serious illness, including 33 deaths, caused by complements? The 83 -year-old Hatch has ascribed his continued good health to them, although our money’s on Satan not even wanting him.


Private Prisons Funded Arizona’s Crappy Immigration Bill

In 2010, Arizona bill SB 1070 was scoffed as abusive and prejudiced( yet somehow it seems adorably quaint by today’s rules ). It presented police the power to requirement identification papers from anyone they suspected of is available on the two countries illegally. Boosters called it necessary to combat illegal immigration, while reviewers alleged it of promoting ethnic profiling, because no cop has in the past stopped a lily-white chap to check if he sidled in from the Netherlands. But lost in the debate was the fact that the bill was designed to spawn private confinements a shit-ton of fund for the low, low cost of some human misery.

Under SB 1070, anyone who couldn’t create papers would be locked up. And who would benefit from a abrupt uptick in demand for hampering seat? Why, the prison-industrial composite! Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce took the idea for SB 1070 to the American Legislative Exchange Council( ALEC ), a conservative group which facilitates the private sector in “helping” republican lawmakers draft bills, which are then shopped all over the country. ALEC is a laboratory that doesn’t believe in discipline. Shockingly, ALEC is also more prone to being influenced by fund than a child who will merely stop talking if you predict them a brand-new video game.

When SB 1070 was being drafted at ALEC, one of the individual member so happened to be the Correction Corporation of America, the country’s largest private confinement corporation. Talk about serendipity, huh? Of direction, CCA helped sketch SB 1070 when it was at ALEC, since they are conceived immigrant imprisonment was their “next large-scale market.” Then it went to Arizona’s legislature, where two-thirds of the bill’s 36 co-sponsors had ties to ALEC. Most of those same co-sponsors then get expedition subscriptions from CCA or other private confinements. The bill elapsed and went to then-governor Jan Brewer, whose top two advisors used to foyer for the prison manufacture, for her authorization.

From idea to principle, with SB 1070, the confinement industry got to write its own ticket for several years. Leave it to corporations to introduce vertical integration into corruption.


NYC Has Failed Billions In Taxes Thanks To An Silly Exemption

We’re going to tell you about a New York City tax program called 421 -a, and we cuss this isn’t going to turn into one of those emails from your daddy about how you can save 12 bucks on your taxes if you write off stays of gum as business lunches. 421 -a sacrifices residential real estate developers big tax breaks in exchange for ensuring that some of their gangs prepare as “affordable housing” — something NYC is in dire need of, as a “cozy” broom closet in Brooklyn will go for $2,800 a few months and the tenant’s stronger kidney. It was intended to keep regular people from moving to much cheaper suburbs so that they could stay in the city and perform chocolate to the wealthy people who can actually afford to live there.

The program was first seen as a success, being tremendously favourite with proprietors. For illustration, in 2014, one building’s proprietor would have had to pay $2.74 million in asset taxes, but thanks to 421 -a, they only had to cough out $91,567. If that sounds suspiciously generous to you, then congratulations on not being horribly pervert! That construct, owned by a company called Glenwood Management, residence indulgence condos, which you are able remember as being the opposite of affordable. Glenwood got around that little dilemma with some good old-fashioned bribery, paying State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver$ 4 million through safarus fundraising openings while leaving State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ lad a $10,000 -a-month place where their official duties included be standing and has become a senator’s son.

Mark Lennihan/ AP
If he looked 10 percent smarter, your fee would be 90 percent lower .

In exchange for those working little perks, Silver and Skelos persistently voted to prepare 421 -a as favorable as is practicable for Glenwood. The fellowship lopes 1,255 suites over four sumptuous houses, but thanks to adjusted requirements under 421 -a, exclusively 209 required to “affordable.” Better more, pedigrees could make over $ 112,000 a year and still were eligible for “affordable” housing, because to Glenwood Management, being upper middle class is the same as being poor.

Meanwhile, the programmes has cost NYC an estimated $ 3 billion in tax revenue. Revenue that could have gone toward, and we’re spitballing here, cheap housing. But hey, at the least the system use. The tainted version of 421-a eventually bit the dust, and Silver and Skelos were both imprisoned of dishonesty — although they’re both incredibly prosperou and remain free nearly a year later while their solicitors drag out the appeal process. Oh, and no one from Glenwood was ever blamed. Meanwhile, the government is looking at trying out 421-a 2: The This Time We Hopefully Won’t Fuck It Up A Whole Bunch Boogaloo, which is heavily backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo — who has received $1.2 million in safarus fund from Glenwood, so everything’s claim back on track.


Rhode Island’s Governor Gambled A Million dollars In State Pensions On Hedge Funds

Pensions, for our younger readers, are a imaginary recompense of yore paid attention to previous generations because their retirement age wasn’t higher than their expected lifespan. They are also very dicey for governments to manage. If a government has a poor pension curriculum, you wind up with a crowd of elderly onetime public servant sleeping in filing cabinets under aqueducts. But if welfares are too expensive, then you’re misplacing too much coin up front, like to purchase a minivan at age 16 in case you decide to have three boys in 15 years.

In 2011, Rhode Island, the state that once contributed $75 million to a baseball pitcher to make a video game, was facing the latter question. Fortunately, State Treasurer Gina Raimondo came up with the gorgeous suggestion to bar its expensive pensions crisis. Not only would she lash the benefits of public workers, but she’d too siphon a billion dollars from the pension fund and expend it in a variety of Wall Street hedge funds. Raimondo, a onetime venture capitalist, argued that by giving the funds, they would offset money for them! It was adroit in its opennes, except for the proportion where it was about as effective as putting all that pension money in a big accumulation, giving it on fire, and charging beings two horses apiece to watch the blaze.

Did we mention that hedge funds are a famously risky anatomy of such investments which are better suited for people who have extra cash to gamble with, as opposed to tens of thousands of government workers who absolutely necessary coin for their retirement? Neither did Raimondo. First, the funds charged Rhode Island( and therefore the taxpayers who had their pensions chipped) over $200 million in costs. Then the hedge fund, one of which Raimondo happens to have co-founded, underperformed. Poorly. We don’t known better much coin they’ve once expense government employees. What we do know is how they’ve devote part of their costs: fucking over territory workers, as all three funds are backers of broom anti-labor laws.

For putting the future of an entire workforce in grubby Wall Street paws, Raimondo was penalise by … being given over$ two million in expedition funding from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and other speculation banks for pioneering the relevant recommendations of putting the future of an entire workforce in their hands. She journeyed that tsunami of fund straight to a successful gubernatorial safarus, and now operates a state that’s, uh, urgently trying to reduce the amount of pension money it has in those hedge fund, in favor of safer investments that won’t fuck over retirees. Cause that be a assignment?


Texas Approved Storing Radioactive Waste Near The Nation’s Largest Aquifer Because Rick Perry Needed Campaign Money

Nuclear power is much safer than people who grew up watching The Simpsons often conclude. Nuclear waste, however, is quite dangerous, and can’t be dropped in your neighbor’s backyard like it’s your kid’s dead guinea pig. It needs to be stored in a safe, permanent residence, far away from where it could create a entire generation of cyclops babies.

Enter Harold Simmons, owned of the uncreatively referred Waste Control Specialists LLC, who wanted to build a nuclear waste dump in a sparsely populated part of Texas. Not a bad theme, but the proposed location was akin to protruding a fireworks depot in the middle of a wood. Immediate relates were raised due to its proximity to the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the most significant underground water generators in the two countries. A report from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality concluded that “groundwater intrusion into the disposal cells[ is] highly likely, ” which is a courtesy sciencey channel of saying “Are you out of your goddamn intellect? “

But the three commissioners in charge of the TCEQ made one look at that report, crinkled it up into a bit missile, flung that ball into a public ballpark, and applied Simmons his license regardless in a private hearing. But before you start imagining a billionaire like Simmons was in the business of buying lowly environmental commissioners, you’d be mistaken. He was in the business of buying their leaders, like then-Governor and current paradoxical Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, who happened to have appointed all three commissioners and has coincidentally likewise received safarus stores from Simmons to the carol of $ 3 million — one for each commissioner, it seems.

Simmons and Waste Control Specialists then decided to massively increase the scale of assessments of their projection from a small facility to a sprawling 20 -square-mile installation, because if you have enough money on hand, you can be a real-life Captain Planet villain. Three staff members of the TCEQ quitted in disgust. Its executive director likewise cease, but to get a job as a lobbyist for Waste Control Specialists. Because protecting the environment is delightful and all, but Mother Nature ain’t going to buy you a Range Rover.

Luckily, despite buying its course past regulatory difficulties, the project eventually ground to a halt when an outraged throng teamed up with authority protectors to stop the incomplete curriculum. Psych! Simmons succumbed and Waste Control Specialists is now struggling to come up with the money they need to continue. If only they had an extra$ 3 million …


The Everglades Are Still Polluted Thanks To Big Sugar

Future generations deserve to enjoy “the worlds” we’ll left open precisely the channel we noted it — untouched by our jackassery. That’s why rules like the 1994 Everglades Forever Act are designed to protect and heal the Florida Everglades. There’s nothing like enjoying the doubt and perfection of quality while also were concerned that a big alligator is sneaking up on you.

By the mid-‘9 0s, the wetlands’ phosphorous stages had been spiked by industrial runoff, and the act mandated that they would be returned to their natural status by 2003. But despite some progression, by 2003, it was clear that goal wasn’t going to be stumbled. The faulting lay principally with fertilizer used by carbohydrate farms, which destroys plant and animal life about as rapidly as dumping casks of petroleum desegregated with the T-virus into the irrigate. So Florida’s parliament heroically overstepped a invoice that extended the deadline indefinitely, as long as the carbohydrate manufacture could show they were making such a “best efforts” to get the job done — like how a sun quarterback delivers his college categorizes. So the Everglades Forever Act became the Everglades Whenever Act, and shockingly, phosphorous ranks are now climbing action back up at some sugar farms.

In what we’re sure is nothing but a staggering coincidence, the carbohydrate industry has bequeathed nearly a million dollars to Florida Governor Rick Scott, devoted an estimated $500,000 to Jeb Bush when he was head back in 2003, and has also donated over $600,000 to the Republican Party of Florida. Altogether, the sugar industry has donated $2.7 million to various political struggles exactly since 2011, supporting once again that carbohydrate is bad for you.

In the meantime, the Everglades Forever deadline is now a soft 2025, and the sugar manufacture no longer has to pay for the costs — that’s now the taxpayers’ encumbrance. But if a U.S. region adjudicator went on to say that Florida had “violated basic fundamental commitment and promise to protect the Everglades” wasn’t going to stop them , nothing short of an alligator uprising will.

Mark is on Twitter, and gets a charitable kickback if you buy his notebook .

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