Cyber-Security Swindle: The next billion-dollar boondoggle?

RUMORS OF CYBER WAR: President Obama’s State of the Union Address included this hidden stock tip: invest in cyber-security companies with government contracts. By Yaël Ossowski | Special to Watchdog.org WASHINGTON, D.C— Speaking to the nation during his 2013 State of the Union address in February, President Barack Obama used the spotlight to warn of the growing threat posed by attacks in cyberspace. “We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets,” he declared. “Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems.” And as the president spoke, an […]

The Chuck Hagel witch hunt, brought to you by the Beltway media

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – If one is to believe the mainstream press accounts from the nation’s capital, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel took a beating from his GOP colleagues during his confirmation hearing to become Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration. HAGEL ON HILL: Republican Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s choice for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Though the hearing lasted more than eight hours and was based on a wide range of subjects, it was reported narrowly as a litmus test based on Iran and Israel, […]

OSSOWSKI: Puerto Rican statehood could be GOP’s redemption

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — If the Republican Party is looking revitalize public sentiment and renew popular support for its platform and policies, a perfect opportunity can be found on a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean. Just more than 1,000 miles south of Miami on the “island of enchantment,” the commonwealth of Puerto Rico is clinging to its recent referendum result as a sign the time has come to find its righteous place as the 51st state. Once a spoil of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the island has received scant attention from the U.S. federal government in the past century, save for […]

OSSOWSKI: GOP’s rejection of social liberty lost the election

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Devotees of the Republican Party will spend the next several months testing various theories of why their candidate Mitt Romney lost to incumbent President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election. Inevitably, some of the blame will be placed upon formerNew Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate who pulled close to 50,000 votes inOhio, nearly 40,000 in Florida, more than 30,000 votes in Colorado and 1 percent nationally. The mantra coming from Republican spin doctors will be that young libertarians played “spoiler” to Romney, putting concerns about civil and social liberties above the need to “fire” Obama and put an economic conservative […]

OSSOWSKI: O’Keefe’s antics trap small fish but leave corrupt establishment behind

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org ST. PETERSBURG — Less than 24 hours after the latest James O’Keefe video sting and there’s already one casualty. But sadly, it isn’t the specter of voter fraud or even doubts about the integrity of voter registration rolls in states across the country. Instead, it’s Stephanie Caballero, an otherwise noncontroversial regional field director for PresidentBarack Obama’s Organizing for America in Houston. Caught on film aiding an undercover reporter seeking to vote twice in the general election, both in Texas and Florida, Caballero unwittingly fell into the trap set by O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, the nonprofit investigative journalism group dedicating to causing headaches among the political establishment. “There is obviously […]

OSSOWSKI: ‘Makers’ and ‘takers’ are what America is all about

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Renewed by the efforts of Democratic activists and a leading progressive publication, the national discourse has turned once more to the essential philosophical issue of taxation, a citizen’s most direct, albeit unpleasant, interaction with the government. At issue is the dividing line between Americans who actively contribute to the federal government in income taxes, and those who do not. Mathematically speaking, there is a quantifiable portion of the population that does not end up contributing money to the federal government at the end of the year, which GOP presidential hopeful Mitt […]

OSSOWSKI: Political parties are no longer engines of democracy

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. — Twice now, visible to all on national television, Americans have witnessed a democratic process snuffed by inner political party elites. First came the complaints of grassroots conservative activists in Tampa, Fla., at the Republican National Convention, upset by the national committee’s maneuvering granting future presumptive nominees the prerogative to choose their own slate of delegates to attend conventions and support their nomination. Detractors used every parliamentary action possible, even bringing up a vote, but eventually had their voice quashed by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who refused to recognize the opposition to the rule changes […]

OSSOWSKI: Good business — barring lawyers from legislatures

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog TAMPA —  In the business world of today, there is much more to worry about than just the bottom line. Entrepreneurs are forced to not only appeal to consumers, but they must also comply with federal, state and local regulations, keep an eye out for upcoming laws that will affect their business and update every procedure, piece of equipment and human resources file according to the latest protocol. On top of that, they must set aside funds to defend themselves against lawsuits and legal actions that may threaten their business if they do not […]

OSSOWSKI: Government does not create jobs, except for building weapons

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST PETERSBURG — A trait that is often regrettably lost when a politician takes office is consistency in both rhetoric and action. The rhetoric that fiscal conservatives in Florida and across the country have been successful in conveying and repeating is the idea that the federal government cannot create jobs. This is the mantra Florida Gov. Rick Scott repeated at the Conservative Political Action Conference inOrlando on Sept. 23, 2011. “In Florida, the unemployment rate has gone from 12 percent down to 10.7. We’re still above the national average, but we’ve generated 87,200 private sector jobs — private sector! And […]

OSSOWSKI: Is the Defense Department a jobs program or a tool for security?

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog TAMPA— In the decades following World War I, a widespread consensus existed in the United States that armed conflicts were not pursued for defense, protection or necessity, but rather for the opportunity of profitable investment enjoyed by the captains of industry. According to the Senate Historical Office, the 1920s and ’30s played host to “widespread reports that manufacturers of armaments had unduly influenced the American decision to enter the war in 1917,” and that they would once more “reap enormous profits” by convincing lawmakers to enter the ongoing conflict in Europe, what we know today as World […]