This week the women of the week is a first timer. If you do not know here yet she is about to blow up. Claire Rhiannon Holt who was born June 11, 1988 in Brisbane, Australia. You may know her from The Vampire Diares and the spin off The Originals. The big news is this fall she is moving off the CW Network to a show on NBC called Aquarius. The show is a timepiece from 1967 starring David Duchovny as LA Police Sergeant Sam Hodiak. Claire will play the role of Charmain Tully. She has been in a couple of movies but nothing that has caught on. She did do three seasons of H20 in Austria and that is how she got to Hollywood. It is not hard to see why we choose Claire as the women of the week she has a great outgoing persona if you have seen her interviewed and she can melt the screen with a stare. She might have the most perfect legs in Hollywood and he body is amazing. When you wrap that around her bronze skin color and blonde sandy hair this is a smoke show that we cannot never see enough.
It is the Sunday before Labor Day and as with all Labor Day weekends nothing is going on. We did find a story that caught our eye. Over the last two years, the US has had a spike in renouncement. The government seeing a way to make money on something when there is a 221% increase, which just is the rarity it used to be, they are going to cash in. The thing is there are no tax implications and most of the time this is the reason for this. This is not a policy problem where they renounce because of the government, this is they made so much money they want to go buy an island and take all the money with them. The absence of tax motivation is coming after Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin departed for Singapore. Congress caught on and Senators Chuck Schumer along with Bob Casey introduced a bill to double the exit tax to 30% for anyone leaving the US for tax reasons. We are not sure the wording is correct but we get the just. To leave America, you generally must prove 5 years of US tax compliance. If you have a net worth greater than $2 million or average annual net income tax for the 5 previous years of $157,000, you pay an exit tax. It is a capital gain tax as if you sold your property when you left. At least there’s an exemption of $680,000 for 2014. Long-term residents giving up a Green Card can be required to pay the tax too. State Department interim rule just raised the fee for renunciation of US citizenship to $2,350 from $450. As congress can see this is a drop in the bucket and money is lost.
To those of us who still work this will be no shock. We have covered the slack as downsized companies combine jobs and move on, the extra work once under the combined worker never leaves and the days get longer. There are new needs and workers are hired for those and these old tasks stay combined. We text, email, watch YouTube and Netflix at work and the reason we are there longer. We check mail from home are available round the clock as the work day and time off have merged into just what you do to stay ahead. When we hear the full-time American workers labor the equivalent of nearly an additional day each week, averaging 47 hours instead of the standard 40, we were not surprised. Just 42% of full-time employees work 40 hours a week, the traditional standard nine to five. There were 39% that say they work at least 50 hours a week. And almost one in five Americans, or 18%, said their workweek stretched 60 hours or more. This is not a surprise and we are sure there is some over and under talk as well. We work 50 hours plus a week but 10 of it is handling things we need to get done because we are not at home. This is the line that is blurred. When you are paid salary you just work, whenever, you cash the check if they call you answer. You are responsible it does mean you can go and come as you please but in the end everything still needs to get done and you are responsible.
Everyday that Obamacare is the law of the land the tentacles are going to get harder to unravel. We see know that the White House and HHS continue push to expand Medicaid to nearly all poor adults nationwide. The thought is the more on the roles the easier the government to pick up the tab instead of the states. The states see this as a way to transfer funds on already over budget government programs. Latest in the ring is Pennsylvania was formally approved for its version of the program, which will provide health benefits to as many as 600,000 more low-income people. Starting in 2015 they will join 26 other states and the District of Columbia, which already have adopted Medicaid expansion, and which is currently totally funded with federal dollars. This will never be undone kind of like a lawn chair job on a union work site. Once they are in they can never get out. Too many things depend on the numbers and the system. The worst part is Governor Tom Corbett is the ninth Republican governor to expand Medicaid benefits. The Corbett trails his Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, who would win by 25 percentage points if the election were held today and the worst part is this probably will not help but when Wolf won it was inevitable.
Now that summer is winding down the final primaries are set to happen and we had four on Tuesday night as voters headed to the polls in Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont. We love Arizona and the race to replace Governor Jan Brewer comes down to State Treasurer Doug Ducey, former GoDaddy chief legal Counsel Christine Jones and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. Big money is in play and Ducey has Koch brothers support. The winner will face former state University Regent Fred DuVal in November. Three Republicans are in the hunt in the first district to take on incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick. When we posted this we had not seen any results but we know this is only the beginning of a fall that will be all we have been waiting to have happen. There is talk of Romney running and the senate gaining 10 GOP seats and even more in the house. We have tried Democrat politics and it only makes us spend more to get less, we see those not trying rewarded and it is all coming to an end. It has been a long eight years but we can see the light at the end of tunnel. America can to and there will be a sweeping come November.
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We are pretty sure and have it from a number of sources that President Obama will drop some nuggets today. He is off to Charlotte North Carolina to address the annual American Legion convention. The word is he will use this speech announce executive actions aimed at improving access to mental health care for veterans, this is clear the executive action train is not slowing down this election season. The actions will be used for the military to improve suicide prevention programs and programs designed to treat PTSD. The White House will issue an executive order that automatically enrolls military personnel receiving care for mental health disorders into VA programs. There is another situation that may not be the best but it is all we have right now. President Barack Obama will talk about a new partnerships with banks like Wells Fargo, Citi and Bank of America that will make it easier for service members to get mortgage rate reductions. Then he will high tail back to Washington to meet with Secretary John Kerry over what to do about ISIS in Iraq, we are pretty sure there will be no new information when these tow dim bulds put their heads together.
We are not sure how it happens but the do a VMA and we get a Woman of the Week. The new glitch is it is the same person two years in a row. Rita Sahatçiu Ora who was born on November 26, 1990 in Pristina, Kosovo and moved to the United Kingdom when she was one. Rita is a singer-songwriter and actress. Last year we watched Rita walk the carpet and we were hooked this year she did it again. What a smoke show with a hot body, hot dress, long legs, big smile and an angelic face. Rita released her debut album, Ora in 2012 and looks like she is here to stay. She performed at the awards as well her new song Black Widow with the hottest girl on the charts and a beauty Iggy A. Rita took two years to completely finish her first studio album which highlighted Will I. Am, Ester Dean, Drake, The Dream and Stargate so she created plenty of buzz before the release. Rita Ora is a force to be reckoned with and she is going to have a big fall based on her work with Iggy and this performance. If you did not know her before everyone knows who she is now.
The President Barack Obama blame game is now being used at the state level. This is because Obamacare is involved and if it worked for the feds why not? We find out that the state of Oregon filed a lawsuit against Oracle for their role in creating the troubled website for the state’s online health insurance exchange. Have you heard this before? The lawsuit seeks more than $200 million in damages and alleges that Oracle officials made false statements, breached contracts and engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity. This is the kettle calling the stove black. Oracle was the largest technology contractor working on the state government health insurance enrollment website The Cover Oregon public website was never launched, forcing the state to hire hundreds of workers to process paper applications by hand. The small time software vendor called the lawsuit a desperate attempt to deflect blame from Cover Oregon and the governor for their failures to manage a complex IT project, that was tongue in cheek as Oracle is a behemoth and clearly knows what they are doing. They even filed a countersuit which the company blames Oregon for the website’s failure, saying the state had incompetent and indecisive staff. We are going with this version and need no more facts.
We can feel the wheels spinning in Washington as they have never had a regulation happy president like they have found in President Barack Obama. You would think the Obama administration would pump the breaks on issuing controversial rules through the midterm elections. We have seen they do not care about others only their friends in low places. We have heard the term they are using is called the White House’s go-it-alone agenda. This was not the way they played going into the 2012 election but they had more at stake, now it is all about legacy and payback. In 2012 the business was against a ozone regulation and President Barack Obama put that on the backburner to not have it heat up during election season. The facts make the case this administration makes about 127 rules on average a year but in 2012 it was only 83. Who knows it could be about kickback as well. In Kentucky the Senate race there has Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell using the Environmental Protection Agency as a weapon for the controversial climate rule as he takes on Alison Grimes. We see that nothing is changing and all about number one is still king in Washington.
Let the infighting begin as power for democrats feeds a hungry hidden beast. This was display early as it starts with leadership of the Democratic National Committee Women Caucus power struggle. The standoff was about picking a new leader for the DNC and a line was drawn in the sand between party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the other by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. There was not a lot of time and in the end, Wasserman Schultz got the leader she wanted. But to be clear this rift is not going away as you do not see this kind of back of forth as it usually takes place behind closed doors and months before so when it voting time it is all solidarity. Wasserman Schultz supported Lottie Shackelford, an old school member of DNC and vice chair of the DNC for nearly 20 years. She was also a former mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas. Nancy Pelosi wanted Alice Germond, who had been a secretary of the DNC until Wasserman Schultz fired her out of that job last year. Not a smart move and eventually Wasserman Schultz caved and brought Germond back as secretary emeritus. If the name sound fimilar she is the widow of political columnist Jack Germond. This was game on as both Shackelford and Germond sent emails to supporters announcing their candidacy on June 25, and while Shackelford made no mention of an opponent, Germond acknowledged that it would be a real race. This is the beginning of the vacuums being created in Washington as President Barack Obama and his gang depart.
The postal service is a train wreck no news there, it is the worst run organizations in the history of bloated government agencies. But as it tries to trim and get lean it still trip over itself. The Postal Service has cut hundreds of thousands of employees which should be good but explain how the workers’ compensation costs continue to grow. The Postal Service paid $1.3 billion in workers’ compensation claims and another $67 million in administrative fees in fiscal 2013. Which you would think after cutting more than 172,000 employees since 2008 down from 663,000 but the workers’ compensation costs have grown 35 percent. The agency currently has about 16,380 workers expected to draw compensation for more than 60 days. This is where you get what you get when you have the hiring practice of nepitism, hackarama and no fault firing policy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that private industry workers’ compensation in the same occupations cost 73 cents per work hour, while the Postal Service paid $1.16 per work hour in fiscal 2013. The agency could save $477 million if it capped workers’ compensation benefits by time and amount, and required employees to take generic drugs for prescriptions when available. It is only our taxes paying for it because no one is buying enough stamps.
We are pretty sure the AFL-CIO is not going put a block of votes behind Hillary Clinton. We have seen quotes from AFL-CIO Political Director Mike Podhorzer that claim the union wants to be unified behind a candidate. We all know in 2008 they were split between Hillary and President Barack Obama as they battled for the nomination. We think this is a clear shot across the bow that Hillary is not their candidate as they question what Clinton will emphasize in an expected run for the White House. In 2008, it was kind of ugly even for the democrats as the major unions were split Hillary was endorsed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union and the American Federation of Teachers and the United Farm Workers but President Barack Obama held the endorsements of the Service Employees International Union, the Teamsters and Unite Here, which represents hotel and restaurant workers. The AFL-CIO stayed out until it was clear that President Barack Obama was the choice but this means they are not warm on Hillary and by all accounts still are not. The problem is not a hidden one as Hillary is tight with Wall Street and a commitment to populist economic policies and priorities.
You know the fix is in when a company hires a President Barack Obama political strategist. That is the case with Uber as they have hired David Plouffe the 2008 campaign manager from Team Obama to be its senior vice president of policy and strategy. Why the need the heravy hitter is they are challenging paid transportation and running into resistance from some local governments. Uber allows consumers to summon private rides via a smartphone app, which they are doing currently in more than 170 cities globally. The problem is there are hurdles set up by regulators in the United States and overseas as they move into more markets. We first heard of this in 2012 when they started in New York City and the taxi industry went crazy. This is not a new play for Uber as they hired Ashwini Chhabra, a former top official at the Taxi and Limousine Commission in New York. He was their first leader of policy development and community engagement and David Hantman, a former vice president of public policy at Yahoo, to be its head of global public policy. This will be a big one to see where technology meets regulation meets government oversight.
This week we highlight Nina Dobrev. She is a five time member of the year end list last year #18 highest spot ever. In 2012 she was #24, 2011 rocked the #25 spot, in 2010 #32 and her first year 2009 she was #40. Nina Const Dobreva was born on January 9, 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria. She moved to Toronto, Ontario Canada at the age of two. Nina has many talents as she is an actress, singer, instrumentalist, and model. We first came to see her as Mia Jones, the single teenage mother on Degrassi: The Next Generation starting in the sixth season. She blew up on American television with her role as Elena Gilbert in the TV series The Vampire Diaries. We picked her this week as her movie Lets be Cops came out this weekend and although not a number one it was third and did $17M which is exactly what it cost to make so in Hollywood it is a winner. Nina is a smokeshow and if you have not seen her Ice Bucket Challenge video that is a must see. The fall returns Vampire Diaries and in 2015 another movie as she plays Vicki in the Final Girls. We think she will crack the top 15 this year.