NO LAUGHING MATTER: THE UNITED NATIONS AND ISRAEL

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AN AFTERNOON MUSIC BREAK

SHAWN COLVIN” “GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE”
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NOW IT’S EASIER TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE CAR’S BEEN RECALLED

NHTSA finally got smart and allowed searches by VIIN.

The old was was tedious as hell and you’d have to drill down through menus and pages.

Excuse me while I go look mine up.

U.S. auto safety regulators on Wednesday unveiled a more precise way for vehicle owners to search online to find out if their cars or motorcycles have been recalled by the manufacturer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said owners can now search for possible safety recalls on the agency’s SaferCar.gov website by using the unique Vehicle Identification Number.

Previously, vehicle owners searched on the NHTSA website by make, model and year, but the number of vehicles actually subject to a recall could be smaller than the search result. Searching by the 17-digit VIN gives a precise result.

NHTSA is also requiring, starting on Wednesday, that manufacturers of light vehicles and motorcycles provide the ability to search for recalls on their websites using the VIN, which on cars can be found on the dashboard on the driver’s side.

Only about 75 percent of recalled cars are brought in by consumers to be fixed, and the agency said it hopes the new search tool will boost that rate.

“Safety is our highest priority, and an informed consumer is one of our strongest allies in ensuring recalled vehicles are repaired,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

A record 43 million vehicles have been subject to a recall this year in the United States, a NHTSA spokeswoman said.

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YOU GOTTA LOVE JOE THE PLUMBER

On his Facebook page he posted: THE BEST WAY TO END RIOTING AND LOOTING IN FERGUSON IS A JOB FAIR!

joe the plumber
Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe the Plumber,” took to Facebook on Wednesday to post his thoughts about the ongoing conflict in Ferguson, Mo. and compared the protestors to “cockroaches.”

In two separate Facebook posts, Wurzelbacher speculated about the clashes and looting that have broken out in Ferguson in the wake of the killing of a black unarmed teen by a white police officer.

Since gaining fame during Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) 2008 presidential campaign, Wurzelbacher has used his notoriety as a platform to weigh in on an array of national issues.

Earlier this year, following a shooting at the University of California Santa Barbara, Wurzelbacher said the killings should not lead to gun control measures. “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights,” he wrote.

And he also posted using one related to how work boots were items never taken.

joe the plumber
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MORNING EYE CANDY

278-candy45rg

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LIBERALS: REAL LIFE MEMBERS OF GEORGE ORWELL’S “ANIMAL FARM” (PART 2)

This one’s from the “all senators are equal but some more equal than others” school of thought.

Take Jay Rockefeller whose state is a scant 60 miles from D.C.

He could take a $206 round trip plane ride one hour each way if he wants.

But he charters a plane for $4400 which we pay for. He’s done it 10 times.

And has ended up billing more than other senators who live 50 times further away and travel more often.

It’s one thing to lord it up on your dime. But on the taxpayers’ dime?

Only a democrat.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller comes from one of America’s wealthiest families and represents a state only 60 miles from the District of Columbia, yet he travels home almost exclusively via private charter plane at $4,400 per trip and sends the bill to taxpayers.

There are as many as six commercial flights a day between D.C. and Charleston, W.Va., the city Rockefeller flies to and from. A round-trip ticket for the one-hour flight costs as little as $206.

Rockefeller’s aversion to traveling as most other Americans do may be somewhat ironic, as he is chairman of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over transportation issues.

The travel costs he billed to taxpayers over the past three years were greater than all but 11 senators, including those from Alaska, Washington state, Montana and other far-flung locales, a Washington Examiner analysis of Senate travel records reveals.

But Rockefeller also left his Capitol Hill trappings to mingle with West Virginia residents fewer than 11 times per year, even though his home state is only an hour away.

That means Rockefeller goes home less often than nearly every other member of Congress, yet his total travel costs are among the highest, all despite representing a state that on a clear day can almost be seen from the Capitol dome.

Rockefeller’s 32 trips in the past three years cost taxpayers $141,408 for the chartered aircraft. Meanwhile, 40 members of his staff traveled back and forth regularly for less than half that price, combined. The records don’t indicate whether the staffers drove or flew.

For one trip from Feb. 28 to March 1 of this year, for example, “airfare for Sen. Rockefeller Washington DC to Charleston and return” cost $9,657.

His economic development director, Brandy Lynn Messer, made the same trip one month earlier for $300 — and also managed to check in on two other West Virginia towns while she was there.

Rockefeller, whose full name is John Davison Rockefeller IV, is a member of the famously wealth clan descended from the oil baron. And it’s little wonder he prefers to make the home he owns in D.C. his full-time residence.

He owns a palatial mansion worth an estimated $18 million and built on one of the largest housing tracts in the District — 16 acres cordoned off by razor wire and nearly surrounded by parkland in one of the city’s most desirable neighborhoods, Crestwood, near Rock Creek Park.

It has “11 bathrooms on one floor alone,” the Philadelphia Inquirer noted when Rockefeller bought the estate in 1986.

Meanwhile, the state he represents in the U.S. Senate is one of the poorest in the country, with per capita annual income of $22,000, census figures show.

He has an estimated net worth of more than $100 million, making him the nation’s third-richest senator after Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Despite his wealth, Rockefeller not only bills taxpayers for the private plane, he charges them for expenses as small as $12.75 while he is “in and around Charleston.”

Rockefeller’s Senate office charters his flights through Martinair Inc., a Virginia company that rents four-seat aircraft for $1,850 an hour, seven-seaters for $2,200 an hour, and 12-seaters for $4,000 an hour, plus fuel and other charges.

On April 21, 2012, for example, the senator billed taxpayers $5,980 for a same-day trip from Washington to Charleston and back, presumably paying for the plane to wait while he did business in the state rather than risk having to spend a night there.

He billed taxpayers $10,654 for a two-day trip on Sept. 5-6, 2013. For 12 of Rockefeller’s 32 trips over the past three years, the charter flights alone cost taxpayers more than $7,000.

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FROM THE POLITICAL CARTOON ARCHIVES

Featuring some of the political cartoons I’ve kept the past few years yet so many are still valid.

pol cartoons
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