Just months after the federal government spent $2.2 billion in 2012 to fund a cellular phone subsidy program aimed at giving low-income Americans taxpayer-funded telephone services, tightened FCC rules have revealed that a whopping 41% of those who received “free” phone service could not substantiate eligibility for the program.
The “Lifeline Program” began in 1984 as a way to keep low-income people connected to family and emergency services. The program was intended for those who meet federal poverty standards or currently receive food stamps, Medicaid or other taxpayer-funded handouts.
Until last year, telephone carriers were not required to verify the eligibility of those who applied for the phone subsidy. It is only now, after the FCC tightened their rules and require eligibility verification, that the massive fraud – accounting for nearly half of those subscribed to the handout program – has been revealed to tax paying Americans.
The FCC now requires telephone carriers to verify eligibility and may impose fines of $150,000 per customer, per day for fraudulent use of the Lifeline program. The FCC claims the new safeguards will save taxpayers $2 billion over the course of three years.
Frank Hannibal got more than he bargained for when making his way through the TSA screening area at LaGuardia Airport. TSA agents were apparently concerned about the thin layer of oil over top his gourmet Crazy Richards peanut butter and pulled the married father of two out of line for inspection.
Jokingly, Hannibal commented to his family that “They’re looking to confiscate my explosives”. A TSA agent overheard the comment and immediately called for police, who proceeded to handcuff the dangerous jokster and took him to jail where he spent the next 25 hours after being charged with falsely reporting an incident, which is a felony.
The charges were baffling – Hannibal made the remark to his family, not a TSA agent or police officer. It remains unclear how making a comment to one’s family can be considered “reporting an incident”. Apparently the local police department agreed and eventually dropped the ridiculous charges.
Hannibal is suing the TSA for $5 million. “It sounds laughable now but at the time to be led out of there like a terrorist was unbelievable,” Hannibal said. “My whole life was up in the air. It was a nightmare. My children were overwhelmed. It was crazy.”
The infamous political consultant and “renowned infighter” – wrote the New York Times – Roger Stone will “probably” run for the position of governor in the state of Florida under the Libertarian Party ticket, arguing that the Republican Party is officially dead and cannot be resurrected.
“I don’t have any illusions about winning, but I’d like to carry the flag for the liberty movement,” Stone told National Review. “The Republican party is dead and it can’t be revived, so it’s time for the Libertarian party to be a force.”
Stone said he would make a final decision later in the year as he asks statewide Libertarians for their support leading up to the 2014 election cycle.
Describing his future campaign strategy, “It’s going to be like Bill Buckley’s mayoral run in 1965. I’m going to have a lot of fun with this campaign. It’s going to get people’s attention.”
Stone worked as an adviser to Gary Johnson in the 2012 presidential elections and is known for his outgoing and “flamboyant” personality. Previously, Stone worked in the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp.
New legislation filed in Texas by Republican Representative Lance Gooden proposes the toughest laws against the use of indiscriminate drone surveillance of the American people, restricting drone use only within 25-miles of the Texas/Mexico border, or with proper search and arrest warrants.
All other uses from individuals, law enforcement or federal authorities would be prohibited in the state.
“These drones are going to get so cheap that soon you’ll be able to buy your own drone at Best Buy,” Gooden said. “You could park it a foot above the ground in your neighbor’s back yard and film into their house. If someone wanted to film your children out playing by the pool and put that video on the Internet, as creepy as that sounds.“
Gooden said it is important to address the issue now before drone lobbies begin surfacing to push legislation in support of domestic spying.
Texas is not the only state battling the issue of drones. Seattle’s mayor ordered its police department to stop its plan to use drones after relentless complaints from concerned citizens over privacy.
A similar bill in Florida would ban the use of drones except in cases of “terrorism”, missing children and court-ordered warrants.
Just when it seemed that virtually everyone in Hollywood swims in their own hypocritical ocean of restrictive gun control, Die Hard star Bruce Willis told a band of reporters that he is against new gun control measures and believes that if the government destroys the second amendment, any amendment then becomes up for grabs.
”If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn’t they take all your rights away from you?” asked Willis. ”No one commits a crime because they saw a film. There’s nothing to support that,” he added.
“It’s a difficult thing and I really feel bad for those families,” he said. “I’m a father and it’s just a tragedy. But I don’t know how you legislate insanity. I don’t know what you do about it. I don’t even know how you begin to stop that.”
The 57-year old Bruce Willis stars once again as John McClane in the fifth Die Hard movie set to be released February 14th. Willis also appears in two other movies to be released this year, sequels “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “Red 2″.
Meanwhile, Rambo star Sylvester Stallone lectured the American people on the importance of gun control fresh off filming his latest violent film, “Bullet To The Head”, where he shot dead 83 people – averaging a gun death every 3 minutes and 4 seconds. In his previous Rambo film, Stallone shot 78. Stallone’s net worth has reached a whopping $275m off of movies that glorify guns and violence. But, thanks for the lecture, Mr. Stallone.