Projects: How the money flowed

first_imgNearly every defense contractor that Southern California lawmakers boasted securing federal funding for over the past three years also made political contributions, according to a review by the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. In the review of 32 private firms in Southern California that won money in federal spending bills since 2003, all but two made political donations to national or local lawmakers through their top executives, political action committees or Washington, D.C., lobbyists. The companies gave more than $10.8 million nationally, with about $200,000 going to Southland lawmakers who championed their specific projects. The companies, in turn, got more than $203.8 million in funding for everything from construction of unmanned aerial vehicles to fiber optic research. “It has become a pay-to-play system,” said Keith Ashdown, spokesman for Taxpayers for Common Sense, a non-partisan budget watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. “If you want to get federal contracts or earmarks, you have to support and financially back those in Congress. It doesn’t always mean you get want you want, but it opens the door.” All of the contributions were within the legal limits, and the earmarks have not sparked any allegations of misconduct. But two recent high-profile Congressional influence-peddling scandals are putting such dealings under a microscope, highlighting what insiders say is a pervasive culture where money opens doors on Capitol Hill. “All of this is now under scrutiny, and everybody is scared to death,” said Winslow T. Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C. The newspaper review targeted projects that Southern California lawmakers announced they helped secure funds for since 2003, and used Federal Election Campaign reports and, a nonpartisan, nonprofit public disclosure Web site, to analyze campaign contributions. While millions of dollars were secured for public universities and local military bases, area congressional members also brought between $32 million and $106 million annually to defense contractors performing work in their districts. Donors ranged from multibillion defense contractors such as Boeing and Northrop Grumman to smaller local companies. Recipients included longtime champions of defense projects such as Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Long Beach, whose district is home to C-17 transport plane production, and lawmakers who lead key committees such as House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-San Diego. They also included local lawmakers who rarely get involved in national defense issues, such as Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Santa Fe Springs. Donations ranged from $250 to $20,000. “It’s a very easy game of compound interest. You give thousands, you get millions,” Ashdown said. Southern California lawmakers maintain the donations did not influence their decisions to seek appropriations, and the companies said the contributions were made with no expectation of a return. Chang Industries in La Verne, AeroVironment Inc. in Monrovia and City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte won a total of $38 million in federal appropriations over the past three years with the help of Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora. Over that period, the companies contributed more than $50,000 to lawmakers – about $20,500 of that to Dreier. Dreier, tapped by House Speaker Dennis Hastert to design new ethics rules last week, did not return a call seeking comment. In an e-mailed statement a Dreier spokeswoman called the companies Dreier supports “beyond reproach.” AeroVironment did not make company officials available for comment, but the other companies said their donations had nothing to with winning federal funding. Napolitano helped win $6 million for United Technologies, a Connecticut firm with offices in her Pomona district. A recent $1 million contract will be spent upgrading certain atmospheric monitoring systems for older Los Angeles Class Navy submarines, with work being done locally. The company, in turn, made more than $1 million in political contributions, including $5,000 to Napolitano. “I want jobs in my district, and I don’t push people to contribute,” Napolitano said. “I actually made a phone call for them, and that was the last time I heard from them. I don’t expect anything. I’m working to represent my district. I don’t do it for the favors or for the money. “My working premise is, `I don’t buy, and I don’t sell,’ ” she said. “There is a lot of backroom dealing and that is not how I work. The people need to elect (candidates) who are honest and ethical. I havealways held myself as an honest person, and I don’t `quid pro quo’ anyone.” United Technologies spokesman Scott Seligman said in a statement that the company donates to candidates “with whom we have common goals, such as removing barriers to trade, maintaining a strong national defense and space exploration.” Wheeler, a former aide to Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., who worked for years on defense appropriations, said that despite what lawmakers and companies say, the wheels of Washington are greased with campaign contributions. “A competent congressional staff will check on whether or not a manufacturer made a contribution last year, and that will typically affect the enthusiasm with which the office seeks an earmark for the following year,” Wheeler said. While openly discussing fundraising is forbidden for both staff and lawmakers as well as contractors, “both sides understand it’s going to occur,” he said. It’s a characterization Southland lawmakers and their aides deny. But many acknowledge that Congress has a public perception problem that’s going to be tough to change. “I would love to see a system of reform that could take us to the meaningful elimination of contributions from private interest groups,” said Lewis. “But we’re not going to be able to, that’s the problem.” [email protected] (202) 662-8731 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for users around the world

first_imgFacebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went down today with social media users throughout Ireland and worldwide left frustrated.All three of the social networks – which belong to Facebook – started having issues at 11am.Monitoring website received hundreds of complaints regarding the problems. Hundreds of people also took to Twitter to report the issues.Those hoping to log on are being presented with an error message saying the site “can’t be reached”.As a result, people are unable to also access Facebook Messenger on PCs or laptops.It is not clear at this stage what the problem is, however normal service did resume for a time on Facebook just after 12pm noon before issues persisted. Facebook has yet to comment on the outage.Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for users around the world was last modified: April 14th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FacebookWhatsApplast_img read more

Townsend expects to stay at Tottenham

first_imgAndros Townsend has said that he fully expects to stay at Tottenham.QPR have been interested in bringing the winger back to Loftus Road since he impressed while on loan there two seasons ago.However, Harry Redknapp does not believe Townsend will be made available before this month’s transfer deadline and the Rangers boss is currently looking at other targets.And Townsend, who faces a battle to hold down a first-team place at Spurs, has been given no indication that he is surplus to requirements.“The club want me here and I want to be here, so that’s all I can say at the minute,” The Sun quote him as saying.“I’m a Spurs boy. I’ve been at the club since the age of eight so as long as I’m in the team, as I have been over the last few weeks, I’m not looking to go anywhere.“The last six or seven windows have been the same, with my name linked with other clubs.“But unless the club come and tell me they want me to leave then I won’t be going anywhere. I’m fighting for my shirt.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

How Much Can One Bone Say?

first_imgTwo fossil discoveries are generating a lot of news from a single bone.  The first is a dinosaur hip.  The second is a human finger.  How much weight can a single bone carry?Australian tyrannosaur:  The tyrannosaurid dinosaurs had a distinctive hip bone.  Live Science cast any doubt on the claims: “it’s still a hypothesis that will need to be backed up by further research.”  Nevertheless, Science Daily was confident that “This find has major significance for our knowledge of how this group of dinosaurs evolved.”Finger pointing:  What does a pinky finger bone in Siberia say?  A lot, according to the science media.  National Geographic claims it represents a new kind of human.  The BBC News gave the bone a name right out of Hollywood: X-Woman.  Because mitochondrial DNA was extracted from her 40,000 year old cells, X-Woman can now tell her amazing story of having evolved in Africa and migrating to the far reaches of Asia.  This migration, the scientists tell us, was separate from the other hypothesized migrations of human ancestors and represents a whole new chapter in human evolution.  Science Daily announced, “New Human Species Discovered.” One finger yielded a tribe of “previously unknown hominins,” the headline blared.  PhysOrg called it a new branch on the human family tree, but did include some doubts about the interpretations.  The doubts are drowned out by shouts of overconfidence: “As shown by a detailed analysis of the mitochondrial genome, these hominins shared a common ancestor with modern humans and Neanderthals about 1.0 million years ago,” Science Daily told its readers.  “In addition, the age of the fossil suggests that these unknown people in Southern Siberia lived close in time and space with Neanderthals as well as with modern humans.”  Some of the reporters are even ready to tell the relationship of X-Woman and her people to the hobbits of Indonesia – all based on a single pinky finger.Scientists used to respect “evidential modesty.”  They used to restrict their interpretations to observable facts, and check each other’s extrapolations via a culture of peer pressure that discouraged unwarranted assertions.  As Colin Macilwain pointed out last month (02/18/2010), a weekly routine has grown in science reporting that “converts original scientific findings, via a production line of embargoed press releases from journals and universities, into a steady stream of largely uncritical stories.”You thought it was just the cosmologists who had gone stark raving mad (03/19/2010).  Evolutionists and their lackeys in the news are completely out of control.  If this keeps up, they will lose what little credibility they have left.  The strong evidence for design is being completely ignored, and the tiniest finger bone that gives the Darwin storytellers something to yack about for the media gets front page coverage, especially if it “sheds light on evolution” by one black-light photon aimed at empty space.  It’s disgraceful.  Who will shame them back to the founding principles of science?  Who will hold their feet to the fire of logical integrity?  Who will remind them of the reasonable limits of evidential modesty?  We can’t do it alone.  Join the Dragnet campaign: tell a scientist, “Just the Facts, Please!”(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Brand South Africa’s Domestic Perceptions Research wins two awards at the Southern African Market Research Association (SAMRA)

first_imgJohannesburg, Friday 15 June 2018 – Brand South Africa in collaboration with its domestic perceptions research agencies, African Response and MarkData, are proud to announce to have won two awards at the annual Southern African Market Research Association (SAMRA) conference.SAMRA is a non-profitable marketing research organisation that seeks to fulfil its objectives of growing the marketing research, social research, and opinion polling research industry and to enhance quality and professionalism in the sector.Their paper, “A social segmentation model of the diverse and complex South African society,” received both the Kantar Innovation award, and the Best Overall Paper awards in Durban, on the 13th of June. The foundational issue, the fundamental question, that precedes or underlies reflections on the development of a segmentation model for the South African society, relates to broad questions of nationhood, factors that influence both its making and un-making, how it is constituted through what people do, while acknowledging that how they do it, can also be the source of a nation’s un-doing.After extensive preparatory work the partners developed a segmentation model that identify ten broad behavior groups in South African society. Interestingly enough, none of the groups are dominated by any specific race, or traditional classification. This means that the behavior groups and underlying segmentation model shows the extent to which South Africans have much in common when it comes to values, attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions of ourselves as a nation.A brief introduction of the paper takes focus on the interrogation of nationhood and identity, or in simple terms – the Who We Are, and the Who Are We?, as a South African nation.“A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things, which in truth are but one, constitute this soul or spiritual principle. One lies in the past, one in the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present-day consent, the desire to live together, the will to perpetuate the value of the heritage that one has received in an undivided form… The nation, like the individual, is the culmination of a long past of endeavours, sacrifice and devotion. Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate, for the ancestors have made us what we are.” – Homi K. Bhabha  “Congratulations to the entire team. We are delighted to receive these awards for the work we do in order to understand our evolving nation, and national/brand identity better. To be acknowledged by the research industry through these awards, means that we are heading in the right direction with our domestic perceptions research programme. Through it we aim to understand the diverse and complex South African society we live in, in order to confidently communicate to both local and global audiences,” said Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus De Kock.During 2017 Brand South Africa implemented a new comprehensive Domestic Perceptions Research project encompassing both quantitative and qualitative elements. These include an annual national omnibus survey, monthly online/mobile surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. The programme delivers 6000 research records per year allowing for robust data on which to base analysis, advice, and feedback to civil society, government, business, and international stakeholders.Brand South Africa continues to make the nation proud as an award-winning organisation.  The organisation has been acknowledged by diverse industries such as the SAMRA, the Loeries, and for its work in marketing the South African Nation Brand.To set up interviews, please contact: Ntombi NtanziTel: 011 712 5071Email: [email protected]last_img read more

‘Other Aguilar’ Raymond earns Cone’s praise in Ginebra win over SMB

first_imgGlobe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next PBA IMAGESFor once, it was the other Aguilar, who shone in the spotlight.The seldom-used Raymond Aguilar provided Barangay Ginebra a big lift on Sunday, helping the Gin Kings snap their three-game slide after a 100-96 win over the June Mar Fajardo-led San Miguel Beermen.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHcenter_img Aguilar finished with 16 points and made such a big impact in close to 30 minutes of action that his head coach Tim Cone couldn’t stop himself from raving about the former National University slotman’s performance.“I can’t talk enough about Raymond Aguilar — the other Aguilar, for once. He was just phenomenal,” Cone said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutWith Cone not putting Japeth Aguilar as Fajardo’s primary defender in a move to keep him from getting into foul trouble, the tall order of defending the reigning four-time MVP was now on Raymond.And the 32-year-old big man went on to defy his coach’s expectations and gave Fajardo all he could handle while also giving a boost offensively. MOST READ 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Fajardo shrugs off SMB’s first loss “He guarded June Mar all game long. We didn’t want to put Japeth on June Mar because we didn’t want Japeth to get in foul trouble, so that chore went to Raymond. And then, he hit big shots and made big plays on his own,” he said. “It was amazing. He played out of his mind tonight and I can’t thank him enough at this point because we really needed a big game from somebody.”Aguilar’s breakout performance was just the kind of game Cone needs from the Gin Kings, especially with the team cautious in breaking in Greg Slaughter back from his injury.“The good thing about what we’re going through now is we’re developing trust in guys that we’re not used to trusting. Guys like Raymond are stepping up and playing big for us,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

Quote of the Week

first_imgI have always felt that entertainment and sports are two factors that are looked upon some what frivolously in the building of a nation. But both these entities bring the nation fame. Amitabh Bachchan,I have always felt that entertainment and sports are two factors that are looked upon some what frivolously in the building of a nation. But both these entities bring the nation fame.Amitabh Bachchanlast_img