Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Welfare cash used to purchase marijuana in Colorado

National Review has the story.

Excerpt:

For the past six months, welfare beneficiaries in Colorado have repeatedly withdrawn their cash benefits at marijuana retailers and dispensaries, according to a new analysis by National Review Online. Such apparent abuses have caught the eye of Colorado’s executive and legislative powers alike, and the state has launched an effort to curb them.

At least 259 times in the first six months of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, beneficiaries used their electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards to access public assistance at weed retailers and dispensaries, withdrawing a total of $23,608.53 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash, NRO’s examination found.

In 2012, the latest fiscal year available, Colorado used $124 million in TANF money from the federal government, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. Withdrawals at marijuana establishments represented only a tiny fraction of the more than 500,000 total EBT transactions that have occurred since recreational weed became legal in Colorado on January 1. And it’s impossible to determine how much of that welfare money actually was used to buy pot, given that cash benefits are fungible and some of these establishments also sell groceries.

Nevertheless, welfare withdrawals at weed stores are coming under increasing scrutiny, and Colorado’s legislators and bureaucrats are beginning an effort to restrict abuses.

[...]Last session, some Colorado legislators attempted to pass a bill banning TANF withdrawals at marijuana establishments, but Democrats blocked it. The state’s Republicans did succeed, however, in passing a budget amendment that would preclude such use. Because of a legislative technicality, however, the amendment “doesn’t have the power and teeth behind it that a statute does,” says Colorado Springs representative Dan Nordberg, one of the key proponents of the ban. Republican lawmakers plan to re-introduce stronger legislation next session.

Democrats are in favor of having welfare money be used for marijuana. Imagine that.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law gets $737M of taxpayers’ money to build solar plant

From the UK Daily Mail.

Excerpt:

Nancy Pelosi is facing accusations of cronyism after a solar energy project, which her brother-in-law has a stake in, landed a $737 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, despite the growing Solyndra scandal.

The massive loan agreement is raising new concerns about the use of taxpayers’ money as vast sums are invested in technology similar to that of the doomed energy project.

The investment has intensified the debate over the effectiveness of solar energy as a major power source.

The SolarReserve project is backed by an energy investment fund where the Minority Leader’s brother-in-law Ronald Pelosi is second in command.

PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund (East) LLC is listed as one of the investors in the project that has been given the staggering loan, which even dwarfs that given to failed company Solyndra.

Other investors include one of the major investors in Solyndra, which is run by one of the directors of Solyndra.

Steve Mitchell, who served on the board of directors at the bankrupt energy company, is also managing director of Argonaut Private Equity, which has invested in the latest project.

Since Solyndra has filed for bankruptcy has been asked to testify about the goings on at the firm by two members of the House and ‘asked to provide documents to Congress’.

[...]The project approval came as part of $1 billion in new loans to green energy companies yesterday.

Did they learn anything from Solyndra? No:

‘The administration’s flagship project Solyndra is bankrupt and being investigated by the FBI, the promised jobs never materialised, and now the Department of Energy is preparing to rush out nearly $5 billion in loans in the final 48 hours before stimulus funds expire — that’s nearly $105 million every hour that must be finalised until the deadline,’ said Florida representative Cliff Stearns, who is chairman of the investigations subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Since Nancy Pelosi took over federal spending in January 2007, the national debt has increased from $8.5 trillion to about $17.5 trillion. That’s NINE TRILLION dollars in new spending. And much of it just handed off to the people and groups who got the Democrats elected 2008 and 2012.

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State department: not building the Keystone XL pipeline could increase greenhouse gas emissions

From CNS News.

Excerpt:

Not building the 875-mile Keystone XL Pipeline could result in the release of up to 42 percent more greenhouse gases than would be released by building it, according to the State Department.

Not building the pipeline “is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the [Canadian] oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States,” the department noted in a long-awaited environmental report released January 31st.

But the “No Build” option is likely to result in an increased number of oil spills, six more deaths annually, and up to 42 percent higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the State Department concluded.

The proposed 36-inch pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels of crude oil each day from western Canada through the Bakken oil fields of Montana and South Dakota before connecting to an existing pipeline in Nebraska on its way to Gulf Coast refineries.

The project will create an estimated 42,100 jobs and add $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy.

This report follows last week’s report showing that the pipeline would have no major environmental impact.

Excerpt:

The long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared a major hurdle toward approval Friday, a serious blow to environmentalists’ hopes that President Barack Obama will block the controversial project running more than 1,000 miles from Canada through the heart of the U.S.

The State Department reported no major environmental objections to the proposed $7 billion pipeline, which has become a symbol of the political debate over climate change. Republicans and some oil- and gas-producing states in the U.S. — as well as Canada’s minister of natural resources — cheered the report, but it further rankled environmentalists already at odds with Obama and his energy policy.

Now the State Department is one of the most liberal departments in the government. Unfortunately, this has not appeased the great climate science experts in Hollywood, who donate so much money to Democrat election campaigns. So long as the money keeps flowing from the high school drop-out celebrities, don’t expect this pipeline to get built. For the Democrats, it’s all about staying in power.

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Scientists go to Antarctic to prove global warming, get trapped in ice

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

In an event chock-full of bitterly cold irony, perhaps even Al Gore has noticed that multiple icebreakers couldn’t free a boat stuck in Antarctic ice that global warming was supposed to have melted.

Few of the media reports on the plight of the Russian-flagged research vessel MV Akademik Schokalskiy have noted the irony of a ship full of climate scientists getting stuck in an Antarctic ice sheet so thick that early attempts at breaking through the ice to free them were failures.

“We’re stuck in our own experiment,” the Australasian Antarctic Expedition said in a statement. “We came to Antarctica to study how one of the biggest icebergs in the world has altered the system by trapping ice. We … are now ourselves trapped by ice surrounding our ship.”

In a statement only climate-change die-hards could make, the group said, “Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.”

A Chinese icebreaker was unable to reach the ship, and another vessel, the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis, got within 10 nautical miles of the stranded ship but couldn’t see it through a driving blizzard and had to turn back to open water, Fox News reported.

A makeshift helicopter pad on the ice sheet was being readied for a helicopter rescue.

[...]Expedition leader Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at Australia’s University of New South Wales, dismissed the irony of their situation, claiming the ice they were trapped in was old ice likely formed from an iceberg that broke away years ago, and proves nothing.

The rest of the article contains a brief listing of the facts on global warming and ice extents:

Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record-large extent for a second straight year.

A review of the Icesat satellite data from 1992 to 2008 showed a net gain in ice mass in Antarctica — not a decline.

In 2013, the ice reached 19.51 million square kilometers, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center website.

That number topped the record-high level set in 2012 of 19.48 million square kilometers. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition has now found itself trapped in some of that ice as its leaders try to explain away the ice’s presence.

Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, a professor of geology at Western Washington University, points out that the East Antarctic sheet, which contains about 90% of the world’s fresh water, is not melting, but expanding.

That, together with the 16 years of no significant warming, should be enough to finish off the global warming hypothesis. It would be nice if the government had to refund all the money to the taxpayers that they spend on this ridiculous enviro-mythology, but somehow, I think that the money is gone for good. The only way to stop government waste on pseudo-science is to shrink government.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Undercover video: Obamacare navigators tell applicants to lie and defraud taxpayers

Secret agent James O’Keefe is once again doing the work that the liberal media won’t do.

The Heritage Foundation reports.

Excerpt:

Lie and defraud taxpayers – that’s what Obamacare “navigators” are telling some Americans trying to sign up for health insurance.

James O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas helped expose ACORN with an undercover investigation, has a new video focusing on Obamacare “navigators” in Texas, who received grants to provide in-person assistance to Americans signing up for Obamacare.

For example, a navigator told an undercover Project Veritas Investigator that he did not have to quit smoking to lower his health insurance premiums—she said that all he had to do was lie.

“You lie because your premiums will be higher,” said an Obamacare navigator assistant at the NUL Irving Community Center. She also admitted that she always lies on her forms.

A Project Veritas investigator also posed as a college student asking for help filling out his insurance forms. He told the navigator that he is employed by his university but also performs side jobs like cutting hair and cleaning houses. He admitted that he never included his income from side jobs when filing taxes.

“Mrs. Dorothy,” an Obamacare navigator at the National Urban League, told him that he is supposed to file a percentage of that income, but she added, “Don’t get yourself in trouble by declaring it now.”

She told him to file only what the government can see.

“Because if you show more than that then you open yourself up to an audit,” she said. “Because the IRS will be – has access to this information. Because that’s how they determine what your eligibility is for the [HHS] grants.”

Lakisha Williams, a navigator in Dorothy’s office listening in on the conversation, said to act as though it never happened. “Never report it,” she said.

These examples show that Obamacare navigators are encouraging applicants to lie and defraud the government to get access to more taxpayer money. As if that weren’t bad enough, Heritage’s Chris Jacobs has warned that navigators could pose a security risk.

Jacobs wrote, “Because their job involves helping Americans figure out their insurance options, navigators will often have access to sensitive personal information—bank accounts, Social Security numbers, insurance identification, and more. Yet navigators will not be required to undergo background checks, and the process for filing complaints about unscrupulous navigators remains unclear at best.”

In fact, even convicted felons are eligible to be Obamacare “navigators”. I think that this is just Obama paying off all of the “community organizers” who helped get him elected. Recall that Obama has connections to the radical leftist ACORN organization, and they were exposed for voter fraud. So this isn’t surprising at all. Obama is also connected to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the nation, and they have also been exposed for urging people to commit crimes. This is not even to get started on Obama’s campaign fundraisers who got rewarded with tax dollars for green energy companies that later went bankrupt.

UPDATE: Republicans move fast to call for a halt to these Obamacare “navigators”, based on the video above.

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