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May 2011

Renewable energy mandate: Colorado sold a bill of goods

By PAUL CHESSER | The Pueblo Chieftain

Seven years ago, environmentalists sold Colorado voters a bill of goods: That forcing so-called “renewable” energy on customers would make air cleaner, save us from global warming and create thousands of net new jobs via “green” energy schemes.

They were wrong about all three.

The successful 2004 ballot initiative required that by the year 2020, Xcel Energy obtain at least 10 percent of its electricity from alternative (to coal and natural gas) fuels such as wind, solar and other nontraditional but allegedly “clean” means. Since then, lawmakers have upped the ante. In 2007, they raised the mandate to 20 percent and last year increased it to a 30 percent by 2020. Alternative energy entrepreneurs, who couldn’t sell their products without government to coerce it, cheered each increase.

Now they all have a lot of explaining to do.

Read the rest here:

http://tinyurl.com/3zjm565


New Behind-the-Scenes Video of Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s Announcement in Des Moines, Iowa

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. -- The Pawlenty for President campaign released a new video of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews from Governor Tim Pawlenty's official campaign announcement in Des Moines, Iowa last week.  

The video is available here: http://www.timpawlenty.com/pages/announcement-iowa 

Citing his record of tackling tough problems as governor of Minnesota, Gov. Pawlenty promised to tell the hard truths necessary to get America back on the right track.  The 3-minute video features remarks by Former First Lady Mary Pawlenty, interviews with Governor Pawlenty, and comments by Pawlenty aides and supporters at the announcement town hall. 


Sunshine on Medicare Fraud

By Jennifer Crull 

MOUNT PLEASANT, IA. -- Medicare is one of the largest entitlement programs that we have in this country.  Medicare was 3.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010 according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  The CBO projects that Medicare will increase to 9.0 percent of the GDP by 2050.  That is a 190 percent increase.  With growth like that it is easy to understand why everyone is writing about how the federal government will be broke with the growth of the entitlement programs.  Plus, that 190 percent increase is just Medicare, not Social Security or Medicaid. 

 While we all know that there is a lot of reform that needs to be addressed with the Medicare program, one of the first steps is transparency concerning the financial reimbursements.  When the courts ruled in 1979 that physician payments would not be made public due to confidentiality of the doctor, little did they know that this would open the door to fraud over the years.  Right now you have no way of knowing if your doctor is over-billing Medicare or not. 

The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud lists several disturbing facts on their Website about fraud with Medicare.  In 2007, $10.8 billion was made in improper Medicare payments.  Also, between 2000 and 2007 Medicare paid 478,500 claims that totaled $92 million to dead physicians.  

Transparency is desperately needed for the Medicare program.  That is why Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced Senate File 756 on April 7, 2011.  This bill, entitled “Medicare Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act,” is to amend Title XI of the Social Security Act to make Medicare-claims data available to the public.  With this database, we would be able to search by doctors and by state.  This will give patients a better idea about what their doctors are billing for.  Plus, it would allow users of the data to alert Medicare of any potential fraud that they see when viewing the data.  For we all know that the most watchful eyes are the people in the community in which a doctor or supplier lives and does business.  

“While we all know that a lot needs to be done to overhaul the cost of Medicare, Senate File 756 is at least a start in the right direction in decreasing the Medicare fraud that is currently going on,” said Jennifer Crull, an IT Specialist with Public Interest Institute in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

Sunshine on Medicare Fraud” from Public Interest Institute’s IOWA TRANSPARENCY NEWSLETTER is available at www.IowaTransparency.org. 

For an interview or more information on this issue, contact Jennifer Crull, Public Interest Institute IT Specialist.


Owned! Socialists confirm Glenn Beck's craaaaazy 'conspiracy theory'

The way the media mocked Glenn during what they celebrated as a 100% pure as the driven snow Arab Spring is looking more and more silly with each passing day. First, the extremist anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood have positioned themselves to grab power - and now, prominent socialists are openly bragging about how they 'coalesced' with other groups during this uprising to achieve one goal: end capitalism and the western way of life. Oh, and Israel is the 'enemy' and they, along with America, are the true obstacle to their socialist utopia. Hey! That's exactly what Glenn said all along! Watch the disturbing video HERE and get Glenn's reaction HERE


Report: Jim Tressel tenders resignation

Ohio_state_buckeyes COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jim Tressel, who guided Ohio State to its first national title in 34 years, resigned Monday amid NCAA violations from a tattoo-parlor scandal that sullied the image of one of the country's top football programs.

"After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach," Tressel said in a statement released by the university. "The appreciation that (wife) Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."

Read more at ESPN:  http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=6606999


Union, faith and honor

"Now is the seedtime of continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now, will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge with the tree, and posterity read in it full grown characters." -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

EFoods-claim_free_meals 


Small town Coralville has big city appetite for $$$$$

By Mike Thayer

There's really no need for a big narrative here, I'll just let the numbers do the talking. 

Project Construction Cost
Marriott Hotel $54,000,000.00
Flood Mitigation Projects $54,000,000.00
Coralville Center for the Performing Arts $11,200,000.00
   
Total $119,200,000.00

Those are just three of the city's many pet projects of recent years.  The Marriott is a completed project but is still costing taxpayer money.  Flood mitigation projects and the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts are ongoing.  I haven't even gotten into the Iowa River Landing project and others, for now we'll just stick with the aforementioned three.....

Cost to construct the *city owned* (taxpayer funded) Marriott Hotel:  $54 million

The hotel operated with a net loss of $2,364,288 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, costing taxpayers even more.  The hotel hasn't made money since opening in 2006.    

Flood mitigation costs, motivated in large part by protecting the *investment* of building the Marriott Hotel in a flood plain:  $54 million. 

The fund created for flood mitigation projects is $3,142,671 in the hole for the year ended June 30, 2010.

Cost to construct the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts:  An estimated $11.2 million.   Time will tell what the operating loss will be. 

The total cost for just three of the city's many pet projects of recent years is more than $119,200,000.00.  That's a lot of money to be sure.  Even more hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent on other projects and keep in mind the deficit spending I mentioned with the hotel and the flood mitigation.

Question:  Did you get to vote on any of that?  It's your money being spent.  Why is it that Coralville residents get to vote on smaller projects like revamping the city pool, but not on a proposed city-owned hotel?  Why do residents get to vote on expanding the library, but not on a city-owned performance arts center?

Because city leaders knew how you would vote, that's why.

Things that make you go hmmmmm....

Coralville is a small town of around 18,000 people, with most residents not really wanting a big hotel or a performing arts center.  Most folks want to keep that small town feel and leave the big city WANTS and deficit spending to Iowa City.  But Coralville's so-called *leaders* don't seem to care about that. 

 


Proposed: When promoting city projects, the price tag must be mentioned

By Mike Thayer

Have you noticed that city leaders are afraid to put price tags in project notifications?  Gee, why IS that?

Do you know how much Coralville's flood mitigation projects are costing you?  Do you know how much the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts is costing you?  Have you noticed that city leaders always like to promote the progress of these projects?  But have you also noticed that they never like to talk about how much these projects cost?  

Things that make you go hmmmm....

There needs to be a requirement that whenever city officials promote their pet projects, then the cost must also be mentioned.  Promotion and cost notification need to go hand-in-hand.  Hype up the performing arts center in the Coralville Connection, include the price tag. 

Check out the latest Sick Of Spin audio moment: 

Download City_project_promotion_does_not_tell_you_how_much_it_costs

 

Related Story:   http://coralvillecourier.typepad.com/community/2011/03/coralville-mariott-still-costing-taxpayer-money.html

Related Story:  http://coralvillecourier.typepad.com/community/2011/01/coralville-adds-68145-to-resident-tax-burden.html