Bureaucrat Beat: Political Brain? Hoff Rousted, Census Taker

Last week one of our website comments equated intelligent thought processes with Liberalism. Since when have important brain functions become political? Good grief. That’s dangerous.

That’s the way both political parties seem to operate – take money from special interests and sell-out our democracy. An article from McClatchy Newspapers says that “Members of the powerful new Democrat Coalition in the House of Representatives are among the top Democratic recipients of Wall Street campaign money this election cycle.” Each one of them got between $150,000 and $400,000. Since then, they have reportedly yelled the loudest to weaken regulation of, you guessed it, Wall Street.

So, the newly elected, self-declared independent thinkers have, at the first opportunity, gone into the back rooms for their cut of the action as they hand over their integrity, if they had it to begin with. Apparently lots of other legislators followed suit. New reports say the regulation on Wall St. came out of committees much weaker than it went it, barely touching the dangerous trading of what’s called derivatives – or banks betting on their own losses. This does not make us feel warm and fuzzy.

Neither does Anthem Blue Cross. Seems the voracious health insurance company recently warned 230,000 customers that their personal records may have been accessed during a faulty upgrade of the company’s website. Oops. The company alleges it was mostly lawyers who abused the security breach as they sought out potential clients for class action lawsuits.

Talk about despicable, did you hear about the California couple who tried to sell their 6-month-old baby for $25 as they stood outside a Walmart. They face child endangerment charges. Maybe these horrible things have always gone on and we just never heard about it.

census_workerWe’ve heard plenty about the census this year – gripes about census workers asking local people about their neighbors, about failing to put employees to work, then saying they fired an employee because he talked to the news. Now, a story that two U.S. Census Bureau managers in Brooklyn have been fired over allegations that they forged questionnaire responses. Something like 10,000 household interviews will have to be redone. The fiction-writing workers claim they were under a tight deadline. Right.

Remember the story we told you about the use of California Welfare Debit cards to get cash in casinos? Now state officials have announced that welfare recipients using state-issued debit cards withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors over the past two years. Now what? The governor issued an order that requires welfare recipients to “promise they will use cash benefits only to meet the basic subsistence needs of their families.” Huh? The order also directed the Department of Social Services to come up with a plan to fix this.

On the local scene, the Bureaucrat Beat Newsroom has received complaints about banners left on the fence around the Tri-County Fairgrounds. One Mule Days sign, that hangs partially torn off the fence and another sign that says “Rodeo tonight.” It’s been over for some time. In the same vein, others have complained to us about election signs still littering the scene. Okay, time to take down the stuff, guys!!

Here’s a sign that times are tense. Our reporter Cleland Hoff stood outside the Bridgeport CHP office to shoot some tape to go with TV news stories that relate to that office. She got back in her car and drove away. She glanced in her rearview mirror, and, yep, the CHP was after her. What? The officers demanded to know what she was doing in front of their building with a video camera. Well, gee, said Hoff, I work with the Sierra Wave and it was for news. That’s when the officers told her that they have received threatening phone calls about blowing up the CHP office. Yikes!! CHP Sergeant Reggie Whitehead at the Bridgeport office told us later that this is not out of the ordinary. The calls usually make reference to bombs. Good Grief. Times have changed.

With that, this is Benett Kessler signing off for Bureaucrat Beat where we await your word on our lives in the Eastern Sierra and beyond.


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