11:11 AM, Feb 24, 2015 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Morgan True who writes for Vermont Digger the state’s premier news website, reports that Jonathan Gruber, who so famously helped design Romneycare and Obamacare then bragged about how the “stupidity” of the American voters helped make the creation of his masterworks possible, is in a spot of trouble. Seem he may have been over-billing the state of Vermont, which had hired him to create a single-payer system, which was to be the first in the nation.
The project failed. Not enough money. And in sifting through the debris, the state’s auditor has found some anomalies in the bills Gruber submitted:
Gruber’s contract included an hourly rate of $500 for his work and $100 for his research assistants. Both invoices the state received were for $100,000. The state was billed for 100 hours for Gruber’s time and 500 hours for his research assistants. The invoices do not include a breakdown of when those hours were worked, or what work was performed. They also do not identify how many research assistants worked the 500 hours, nor do they list the names of the assistants.
In a memo to the Agency of Administration, notifying them that he has referred the matter to the attorney general, [the auditor] writes that it’s “implausible” the actual work would fit neatly into two identical invoices, and suggests the state was remiss not to have challenged that reporting.
Furthermore, public records and Hoffer’s own investigation have shown that Gruber had only one research assistant working on the project. That means the researcher would have to have worked 1,000 hours in a 10-week period to cover the time Gruber billed, or 14 hours per day every day — a feat Hoffer describes as “unlikely.”
Don’t these rubes understand that Gruber and his team came up from MIT? This is the elite, baby. They do the impossible, every day, before breakfast.
1:41 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren praised her fellow Senate colleague Jeanne Shaheen on Tuesday's episode of The View, saying the New Hampshire Democrat is "working hard for the people of Vermont."
Shaheen, Warren said, is "the only woman in the history of the United States who has been both a governor and a senator, and independent and out there working for the people of Vermont." Watch the video below:
8:33 AM, Aug 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Speaking at a recent town hall meeting, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont tried to have it both ways on Gaza. Wrong, he said, to shoot rockets. But Israel overreacted. This is the progressive equivocation. The precise, moderate, and acceptable reaction by a nation that his under rocket attack has, so far, not been outlined with any precision.
10:21 AM, Jul 31, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
No state in the union could be more sympathetic to the Obama administration or to its immigration policies than Vermont (where I live). But there is only so much a small state, and a sympathetic governor, can do.
5:42 PM, Jul 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Representative Peter Welch (Democrat, Vermont and, by the way, my representative) has announced that he is in favor of raising the tax on gasoline. He has a safe seat and, anyway, in Vermont it isn’t politically dangerous to propose a tax increase, especially if it can be somehow made into a positive for jobs and infrastructure and a negative for automobiles and oil companies. Vermont is eagerly anticipating the arrival of cars that are powered by wind.
4:05 PM, Jan 9, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s State of the Union speech in which he declared a “War on Poverty.” There was, and continues to be, much discussion and debate over how well that effort has gone. Are we better off now than we were 50 years ago? The country is materially richer and vastly so. But the poor are undeniably still with us and, perhaps, more impoverished than ever. Though not necessarily in a material sense.
Heroin in the hillsNov 4, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 08 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
On his way into town, Dana Gray wondered about the number of cars and pickups parked at a local health care clinic. It was Saturday morning, and normally the clinic would be closed.
4:05 PM, Oct 17, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Vermont has agreed to a $2.8-million contract with a D.C.-based public affairs firm to promote the state's health insurance exchange mandated by Obamacare. As Vermont-based watchdog site vtdigger.org reported earlier this week, the administration of Democratic governor Peter Shumlin is paying nearly a third of its $9-million, federally-funded Obamacare "messaging" budget to GMMB, which has offices on K Street in Washington, D.C., as well as in Seattle.
7:02 PM, Nov 6, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Fox News projects Mitt Romney the winner in Kentucky and Indiana. Fox also projects Barack Obama the winner of Vermont.
Obama won Indiana in 2008.
Fox did not project a winner for Georgia, South Carolina, or the battleground state of Virginia.
They may be old fashioned, but town meetings are still a fine example of democracy in America. 12:00 AM, Mar 6, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Today, the first Tuesday in March, is town meeting day in Vermont, as it has been for more than a century. Town meeting was a tradition in Vermont before there was any officially designated town meeting day. Town meeting was part of Vermont before Vermont was part of the Union.
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