Simply good business or a flagrant abuse of a loophole?…….

When Congress designed temporary work visa programs, the idea was to bring in foreigners with specialized, hard-to-find skills who would help American companies grow, creating jobs to expand the economy. Now, though, some companies are bringing in workers on those visas to help move jobs out of the country.

For four weeks this spring, a young woman from India on a temporary visa sat elbow to elbow with an American accountant in a snug cubicle at the headquarters of Toys “R” Us here. The woman, an employee of a giant outsourcing company in India hired by Toys “R” Us, studied and recorded the accountant’s every keystroke, taking screen shots of her computer and detailed notes on how she issued payments for toys sold in the company’s megastores.

“She just pulled up a chair in front of my computer,” said the accountant, 49, who had worked for the company for more than 15 years. “She shadowed me everywhere, even to the ladies’ room.”

By late June, eight workers from the outsourcing company, Tata Consultancy Services, or TCS, had produced intricate manuals for the jobs of 67 people, mainly in accounting. They then returned to India to train TCS workers to take over and perform those jobs there. The Toys “R” Us employees in New Jersey, many of whom had been at the company more than a decade, were laid off.


Tata Consulting Services in India in 2011. Toys “R” Us used its workers to replace Americans. Credit Kainaz Amaria for The New York Times

A temporary visa program known as H-1B allows American employers to hire foreign professionals with college degrees and “highly specialized knowledge,” mainly in science and technology, to meet their needs for particular skills. Employers, according to the federal guidelines, must sign a declaration that the foreign workers “will not adversely affect the working conditions” of Americans or lower their wages.

In recent years, however, global outsourcing and consulting firms have obtained thousands of temporary visas to bring in foreign workers who have taken over jobs that had been held by American workers. The Labor Department has opened an investigation of possible visa violations by contractors at the Walt Disney Company and at Southern California Edison, where immigrants replaced Americans in jobs they were doing in this country. Four former workers at Disney have filed discrimination complaints against the company. The companies say they have complied with all applicable laws.

But the Toys “R” Us layoffs — and others underway now at the New York Life Insurance Company and other businesses — go further. They are examples of how global outsourcing companies are using temporary visas to bring in foreign workers who do not appear to have exceptional skills — according to interviews with a dozen current or former employees of Toys “R” Us and New York Life — to help ship out jobs, mainly to India.

These former employees described their experience training foreigners to do their work so it could be moved to India. They would speak only on the condition that their names not be published, saying they feared losing severance payments or hurting their chances of finding new jobs.

In most cases when American workers lost jobs, the positions have been in technology, with employers arguing there are shortages of Americans with the most advanced skills. But in recent years, many jobs that American workers lost have been in accounting and back-office administration — although there is no shortage of Americans qualified to do that kind of work.

The core purpose of the temporary work visas is to help American companies compete in the global economy. “If employers are able to hire the key people, they can keep jobs in the U.S. and create new jobs here,” said Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the Council for Global Immigration, which lobbies Congress for more visas for highly skilled foreign workers.

Outsourcing firms, and the companies hiring them, say they are careful not to violate any laws. But some experts argue the intent of the visas is being thwarted.

“At the very least, those are violations of the spirit of the law,” said Christine Brigagliano, a lawyer in San Francisco with extensive experience advising American companies on obtaining visas. “Those contractors are signing on the bottom line, saying we will not undercut the wages and working conditions of Americans. But, in fact, they are.”

The companies see it differently.

Kathleen Waugh, a spokeswoman for Toys “R” Us, said the staff reduction there was part of “designing a streamlined, more efficient global organization to make it fit for growth.” She said the contractors were required to comply with “any and all immigration laws.” The outsourcing, she noted, “resulted in significant cost savings.”

William Werfelman, a vice president and spokesman at New York Life, said the outsourcing was part of a transformation of its technology systems that would soon result in more jobs in the United States. “Our decisions are centered on keeping the company competitive, keeping it in the United States, keeping it growing,” he said.

The federal government does not track how often American workers are displaced by workers with temporary visas, but this year, employees at a variety of companies report losing jobs to foreign workers. For example, at Cengage Learning, an educational publisher, about 30 accountants in Ohio and Kentucky were laid off on Sept. 11, after they spent five months training Indian workers from Cognizant, another outsourcing giant. The temporary workers and the jobs went back to India.

A Cengage spokeswoman, Susan M. Aspey, said the company needed to install higher-grade accounting systems. “To do this quickly and efficiently,” she said, Cengage sought support from Cognizant. Employees who were laid off were given “fair severance packages commensurate with their years of service,” she said.

Temporary H-1B visas are limited to 85,000 each year. In the last five years, federal records show, most of the companies that received the largest share of H-1B visas have been global outsourcing firms, including TCS; Infosys, another large Indian company; Cognizant, which is based in the United States; and Accenture, a consulting operation incorporated in Ireland.

Those companies also use another temporary visa, the L-1B, which has no annual cap and allows businesses to internally transfer their employees who have “advanced knowledge” from branches in other countries to offices in the United States. A spokesman for TCS, Benjamin Trounson, said it maintained “rigorous internal controls to ensure we are fully compliant with all regulatory requirements.”

At the Toys “R” Us headquarters on a leafy campus by a reservoir here in New Jersey, someone dressed as Geoffrey the Giraffe, the retailer’s mascot, often wanders around greeting employees to bolster company spirit. But the mood was hardly playful on the morning of March 3, when a company vice president summoned nearly 70 employees to a conference room and told them their positions would be transferred by the end of June to workers from TCS.

“We were asked to cooperate and show them respect and train them to do our individual job functions,” said another former accountant, 36, who had worked for the toy seller for almost 12 years. But, she recalled, “If you didn’t cooperate, you would be asked to leave.”


A Bangalore, India, office of Accenture, a consulting operation with $30 billion in revenues that has acquired many H-1B visas. Credit John Harper/Corbis

A few days later, TCS workers arrived to begin the training called “knowledge transfer.” Most had flown in days before from India and were staying at a La Quinta Inn nearby.

The 36-year-old accountant said the young Indian assigned to shadow her appeared to have no extraordinary knowledge of accounting. His expertise was in observing and mapping what she did.

“He was watching me like a hawk,” she said, remembering long hours at close quarters at her desk under the fluorescent lights of the accounting floor. “It took him a while to learn what I did.”

She had a hard time maintaining her composure. “I felt like, ‘Why am I sitting here showing this man how to do my job when they are taking it away from me and sending it to India?’ ”

Ms. Waugh, the spokeswoman, noted that Toys “R” Us employed about 33,000 people in the United States. She said the company offered workers “a severance package, including benefits and career transition services.”

The layoffs at New York Life were set in motion in 2014 when the company announced a $1 billion plan for an ambitious upgrade of its financial and data technology systems.

Since New York Life is not a technology company, said Mr. Werfelman, the spokesman, it turned to outside contractors for the upgrade. The company plans to cut about 300 positions, including up to one-fifth of its 1,400 technology workers, as well as some financial accountants. With 9,000 staff employees and 12,000 agents nationwide, New York Life is the largest mutual life insurer in the United States.

“We know there will be pain along the way,” Mr. Werfelman said. But he said that with new innovative technology, the company could rapidly expand despite the job cuts. He said it planned to hire 1,000 employees and 3,500 agents this year alone.

Accountants at New York Life were among the first scheduled for layoffs that started in May, under a contract with Accenture. The company’s accountants found out only by accident — when Accenture managers in India mistakenly sent out a group email with a full outsourcing plan — that the Indian workers they had been training for several weeks would be taking their jobs back to India.

One accountant said a worker from India made an exact digital “recording” during the day as he performed his job. At the close of business, the recording was transmitted to India, where workers practiced mimicking his tasks.

“It’s all just repeating exactly what we have been doing,” he said.

As a condition of his severance, he was asked to stay on for nine months to complete the training. The accountant, who at 26 was confident he would find a job elsewhere, preferred to resign.

An Accenture spokesman, James E. McAvoy, said it was assisting New York Life to build new global, 24-hour systems. He said H-1B workers were a small part of the Accenture employees involved; most were United States citizens or residents.

In July, about 100 New York Life technology workers were informed their jobs would be taken over by TCS, to be moved to India. At the insurer’s verdant campus in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., and at offices in New York City, New Jersey and Georgia, tech employees began receiving individual layoff notices last week.

“After 30 years, it is very, very disappointing being told you are going to lose your job to a foreign country,” said one technology team member who is 49, and started with New York Life when he was 18.

Many tech workers facing layoffs are older, with years at the insurer. They were galled by executives’ statements that they were less qualified to learn the new systems than the foreign workers replacing them. “There are a lot of new technologies coming in all the time,” said an applications engineer in New York, who is 58 with 18 years at the company. “There is no reason at all we can’t do training for that.”

Some workers were not as dismayed, saying the company was offering generous severance packages.

But a hard irony for many of the New York Life employees losing jobs to immigrants is that they are immigrants themselves. They came to the United States a generation ago from the Philippines, Eastern European countries, and even India and raised families in this country. They followed the immigration rules — some coming as refugees, others with work visas and computer degrees from their home countries. Most became American citizens.

One technology manager, an immigrant from Europe, recalled that when he was hired at the insurer. “There was an open position that had to be filled,” he said. “Nobody lost their job because I got my job.”

Related story at Disney here:

California Wildfire evacuees returned to looted homes

More than a dozen homeowners who evacuated during a devastating California wildfire returned to find their homes had been burglarized, authorities said.

At least six people were arrested on suspicion of looting or planning to loot homes after the wildfire that started Sept. 12, destroying 1,300 homes and killing four people in Lake County.

A total of 14 homeowners reported burglaries, Lake County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Brooks told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on Thursday (

One burglar broke into a home and spray-painted a car in the garage to make it look like a police vehicle, so the thief could get away easier, Brooks said.

The wildfire north of San Francisco was 97 percent contained after burning more than 118 square miles and sending thousands of people fleeing homes.

Residents and businesses in the county have filed more than 2,100 claims involving the fire, Madison Voss, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Insurance, told The Associated Press.

Residents and business owners in another deadly blaze in Amador and Calaveras counties have filed nearly 1,100 claims, Voss said. That fire started Sept. 9 and was 100 percent contained after killing two men, destroying nearly 500 homes and blackening nearly 111 square miles.

It would take time to put a dollar amount on losses and damages in both fires, Voss said.

There was relief Friday for those displaced by the fires.

Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order to expedite emergency housing for those who need it in both fire areas. The move provides funding, frees up resources and waives zoning restrictions with the intent of moving more people into temporary mobile or manufactured homes.

Some people really FUCKING suck…….

Veteran who tried to stop Oregon gunman was shot 5 times

When the gunshots started at Umpqua Community College, some people mistook them for falling books. But Army veteran Chris Mintz quickly recognized the threat.

“He was in the military and knew what it was,” said Mintz’s aunt, Wanda Mintz.

Her 30-year-old nephew, a student at the college, told classmates to remain calm and went to the door as the shooter came across the hallway. He tried to stop the gunman from entering the classroom and was shot three times, his aunt said.

After Chris Mintz fell, he told the suspect: “It’s my son’s birthday today. Don’t do this,’ ” she said. The gunman then shot him at least twice more and went into the classroom, where he kept firing. Nine people were killed before the shooter died during a shootout with police.

Wanda Mintz said her nephew tried to crawl away but could not move because of his wounds. He was recuperating Friday at a hospital in Roseburg and was expected to survive.

“He’s lucky to be alive, and we’re grateful he’s alive,” his aunt told The Associated Press on Friday.

In an interview with ABC News, the younger Mintz said: “I just hope that everyone else is OK. I’m just worried about everyone else.”

Speaking by phone from her home in Randelman, North Carolina, Wanda Mintz got a description of what happened from her nephew’s girlfriend. She said he went through seven hours of surgery.

“Chris is a tough guy,” she said.

He was hit in both legs, his stomach, his back and in the hand, but the bullets did not hit any of his vital organs. He has two rods in his legs and is going to be in a wheelchair for the foreseeable future, she said.

“It’s going to be a long, long recovery,” she said.

She said she spoke Friday with her nephew, who said he was in a lot of pain.

Chris Mintz was born and raised in Randelman, North Carolina, west of Raleigh. His son, Tyrik, turned 6 on Thursday, she said.

When he was in the military, Mintz was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, then moved about nine years ago to a base in the West. He never saw combat, his aunt said.

She said he’s an athlete and was studying body building and nutrition. He left the Army a few years ago and was a part-time student at Umpqua, she said.

Mike Gwaltney, a swim coach at the YMCA where Mintz worked, said he was not surprised to hear how Mintz reacted.

“It’s something that Chris and many others are trained to do,” he said. “He’s a pretty tough cookie.”

Gwaltney said he saw Mintz at the hospital as he was coming out of surgery.

“For the most part,” Gwaltney said, “he was in very good spirits.”

Sometimes a person just needs to step up when needed…….

This is what happens when you have an agenda driven Shyster speak for a hypocrite…….

The Vatican is confirming that the only “audience” the pope had while he was in Washington was with a former student and his family: Yayo Grassi, an openly gay Argentine who visited Francis with his longtime partner and some friends.

In a statement to CBS News the Vatican confirmed the meeting. The statement comes from Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, Director of Holy See Press Office.

“Mr. Yayo Grassi, a former Argentine student of Pope Francis, who had already met other times in the past with the Pope, asked to present his mother and several friends to the Pope during the Pope’s stay in Washington, DC,” the statment reads. “As noted in the past, the Pope, as pastor, has maintained many personal relationships with people in a spirit of kindness, welcome and dialogue.”

The revelation Friday turned the table on the narrative of Francis’ meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky law clerk who went to jail after refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

The Vatican on Friday distanced Francis from Davis, saying his encounter with her was by no means an endorsement of her cause. In the same statement, the Vatican said the only real audience the pope had was with a former student.

A Vatican assistant spokesman, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, confirmed the student was Grassi. A video posted online shows Grassi embracing the pope and introducing him to his partner, as well as an Argentine woman and some Asian friends.

In regards to the Davis meeting, Lombardi said such meetings are normal on any Vatican trip and are due to the pope’s “kindness and availability.” He said Francis really had only one “audience” in Washington: with one of his former students and his family.

Pope Francis, and Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis.


“The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” Lombardi said.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail for defying federal court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide.

A judge ultimately freed Davis on the condition she doesn’t interfere with her deputies issuing the licenses. When Davis returned to work, she replaced the licenses with new ones saying they were issued “pursuant to federal court order.”

Davis said earlier this week that she and her husband met briefly with the pope at the Vatican’s nunciature in Washington and that he thanked her for her courage and encouraged her to “stay strong.”

“Just knowing that the pope is on track with what we’re doing and agreeing, you know, it kind of validates everything,” she told ABC.

The Vatican statement made clear the pope intended no such validation.

However, Davis’ lawyer, Mat Staver, told The Associated Press that the Vatican initiated the meeting as an affirmation of her right to be conscientious objector.

“We wouldn’t expect the pope to weigh in on the particulars of any case,” Staver said Friday. “Rather, the meeting was a pastoral meeting to encourage Kim Davis in which Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and told her to ‘Stay strong.'” He said an unnamed Vatican official initiated the meeting on Sept. 14, the day Davis returned to work after being jailed, saying the pope wanted to meet her.

He said Vatican security picked up her and her husband from their hotel and told her to change her hairdo so she wouldn’t be recognized since the Vatican wanted the meeting kept secret.

Staver disputed a Vatican spokesman’s claims that the pope only met Davis in a “farewell lineup” or receiving line. He said the couple was in a separate room with Francis and Vatican security and personnel and that no member of the general public was present, to keep the meeting secret. He said the Vatican official who arranged the meeting insisted that it not be made public until after Francis had left the U.S., and gave him the “green light” to make it public after Francis was back in Rome.

The Liberty Counsel, an organization that actively opposes gay rights, disputes that the meeting was unsolicited by the Vatican.

The Liberty Council said in a statement that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano personally spoke with Kim Davis about the invitation to meet with the pope during his trip to the United States. “The private meeting request was unsolicited and facilitated by Vatican officials,” says the statement from Liberty Counsel.

News of the meeting sent shockwaves through the U.S. church, with Davis’ supporters saying it showed the pope backed her cause and opponents questioning whether the pope had been duped into meeting with her.

Initially the Vatican only reluctantly confirmed the meeting but offered no comment.

On Friday, Lombardi met with Francis and issued a fuller statement to “contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired.” Francis has made clear he dislikes being used for political ends, and Lombardi’s statement appeared intended to make clear that the encounter should in no way be exploited.

Lombardi declined to say who invited Davis into the nunciature or what the pope knew of the case ahead of time. Such encounters are arranged by the Vatican ambassador and his staff, not the pope’s delegation or the U.S. bishops’ conference.

The Vatican nuncio in Washington is Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, an Italian best known for his role in the Vatileaks scandal, which helped bring about Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation: The scandal began in 2012 when an Italian journalist broadcast letters from Vigano, then the No. 2 Vatican administrator, to Benedict in which he begged not to be transferred for having exposed alleged corruption that cost the Holy See millions of euros. Vigano was eventually transferred to Washington to become ambassador.

He has since strongly taken up the religious liberty charge championed by U.S. bishops, suggesting that he might well have supported Davis in her battle over gay marriage: In a 2012 speech to the University of Notre Dame, Vigano denounced threats to religious liberty in the U.S. and abroad, citing a public school curriculum presenting same-sex relations as “natural and wholesome.”

An assistant to Lombardi, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, said he believed the pope would have been given a list of names of the several dozen people who were invited to the embassy to bid farewell as he left Washington, but was unaware of the details of her case or any possible implications of the meeting.

He hypothesized that the reception amounted to a receiving line-type event, with people in various rooms on the first floor of the embassy to greet the pope and receive a rosary from him. “I don’t think he knew the details, the full biographies of each person, except for the names of the people there,” Rosica said.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of being tricked as of being fully aware of the situation and its complexities,” he said. “I don’t think anyone was willfully trying to trick the pope, and at the same time nor was the pope briefed properly on who was he meeting. He wasn’t properly briefed on the person or the impact of such a visit.”

He said Davis’ supporters had “overblown” the encounter. “It could be distorted or manipulated. It could be exaggerated.”

As he left the country, Francis told reporters who inquired that he did not know specific cases in detail, but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.

“It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” Francis said.


An Indian tribe in California supports a local school’s use of the “Redskins” mascot that California legislators want to ban.

The Tule River Tribal Council, located in the heart of California’s Central Valley, wrote a letter to California Gov. Jerry Brown urging him to allow Tulare Union High School to continue using the “Redskins” mascot.

Brown is considering signing a new bill, AB 30, the California Racial Mascots Act, which was recently passed by the state legislature in the wake of media debate surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins NFL football team.

The tribe’s letter to the governor argues that while “the history surrounding the name ‘Redskin’ is negative…it is time to mend these feelings and move on.” The tribal council supports the school’s use of the mascot to express “tremendous pride and honor” felt by “students and alumni.” The letter adds: “Although we will never forget what has happened to us in the past, we do not wish to dwell on it either.” The school district has also written to the governor to oppose the bill. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill in 2004.

There are four schools in California using the “Redskins” name, according to the Fresno Bee. Tulare Union has used it since 1924.

They feel pride and honor in using the Redskin name and do not want to dwell on things of the past. Those are very good words and sound heartfelt and show me some good intestinal fortitude and a lot of good spirit.

All things that liberals do not understand and want to totally erase things like this when they become cause of the day. They want to erase all things of the past and not have our traditions and the lessons learned from our mistakes in history.

A loss of tradition or a needed change?

Army retires green service uniform after 61 years

The green service uniform has finally been laid to rest after 61 years of approved wear.

As of Oct. 1, the “Green Class As” are no longer permitted for wear.

From 1902 through World War II soldiers wore an olive and/or khaki/tan combination of some sort. But then the Army wanted a sharp, classic and dignified look to distinguish soldiers in a postwar era.

Enter the Army Green Uniform in 1954. The dark green color, specifically “shade 44”, was a throwback to the distinctive color for rifle units back in Revolutionary times, and was recommended to the Army by scientists and fashion experts.

The jacket featured four buttons, matching pants, light gray undershirt and black tie. The green uniform experienced only minor alterations since; from Vietnam to the early years of Iraq and Afghanistan, it served as the primary dress uniform.

n this file photo, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey wears his green Class As. (Photo: Army)

The Army wore blue from the Revolution through the Spanish American War, except for a short period from 1812-1821 due to a shortage of blue cloth. But in 1902 the Army introduced olive drab and khaki service uniforms. While that year’s Order 81 eliminated blue, a phase out continued in the ensuing years; blue full-dress uniforms remained authorized until 1917.

The Green Class As were born largely of the Army’s desire to restore dignity and prestige to a uniform the Army saw become diluted and often sullied due to extensive wear by veterans and non-veterans alike after World War II. Nationwide, “Olive Drab” Army uniforms became a ubiquitous and inexpensive clothing items of the late 1940s. By the last year of the war, the Army had more than 8 million active duty members — nearly 6 percent of the U.S. population. Many would go home and wear out their uniforms; many other uniforms turned up in surplus stores.

In an article in 1954, Major A. M. Kamp Jr. decried the resulting debasement of the uniform — including wear by criminals and prison inmates — and its effect on the Army’s reputation and morale.

This led to the Army Green Uniform, which replaced the old ODs and became the official uniform the year after the Korean War armistice. The service uniform went on to a long life. It was not only the uniform worn by generals-to-enlisted soldiers, but also a variety of famous soldier-playing actors in thencontemporarymovies.

While green dominated, Army actually had three types of service dress uniforms by the turn of the millennium. The white service uniform was introduced as a summer uniform in 1902 and remained optional until last year. And between World Wars, the blue dress uniform re-emerged as optional wear, and remained so after introduction of the Green Class As as the primary service uniform.

But in 2006 Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker announced the Army’s plans to streamline its wardrobe and make the blues king. He notably rolled the Army Service Uniform out at the 2007 State of the Union address.

An All-Army Activities message in 2008 formally informed the Greens they had but six years to live. The green service uniform is survived by the Class A and Class B Army Service Uniform. The greens at this time lost favor among troops, in-part because the stiff, dated polyester fabric was unchanged from the 1970s.

The ASU’s blue color represents a nod to the first century-plus of the Army, from the Revolution to the Civil War and Spanish American War. The blues became standard issue in 2010 and from there quickly became the most popular service uniform. The Army added a year to the life to the condemned Green Class A uniform in a 2011 ALARACT, pushing back the wear-out date until 2015. But the green uniforms already faded significantly in prominence, limping to the end of the road.

Avid Cubs fan turns down free playoff tickets…….

Steve Bartman, the infamous Chicago Cubs fan, has no plans to attend his first game since 2003 because he fears for his safety and worries his presence would create a circus-like atmosphere, his adviser told USA TODAY Sports.

“It only takes one person who’s not wrapped real tight or a couple of bricks short of a full load to pose a security threat,” said Frank Murtha, an attorney who has served as Bartman’s adviser.

Bartman has not spoken publicly or stepped back inside Wrigley Field since Oct. 14, 2003, when during Game 6 of the National League Championship Series he reached for a foul ball — no ordinary fly ball. The Cubs led the Marlins 3-0 and were five outs from reaching the World Series for the first time since 1945.

But Bartman reaching for the ball kept Cubs outfielder Moises Alou from catching it for the second out, and the Marlins ended up scoring eight runs in the inning, winning the game 8-3 and then winning Game 7 to deny the Cubs a trip to the World Series — and leave Bartman vilified.

Murtha said Bartman — who is 38, still lives in the Chicago area and works in financial services — has received dozens of threats over the years.

“Invariably when there is some publicity about it or it comes up on an anniversary date, calls come into his office or people on blogs will issue threatening-type language,” Murtha said.

The latest publicity has stemmed from a group of Cubs fans trying to raise money to pay for Bartman to attend the Cubs’ NL wild-card game against the Pirates in Pittsburgh next week. The group has raised $3,475 toward its goal of $5,000 and said the money will go Alzheimer’s Association if Bartman does not accept it, according to the group’s page.

But Murtha expressed concern about where the money would go and said Bartman has redirected donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation in the name of Ron Santo, the Cubs’ All-Star third baseman who struggled with diabetes before his death in 2010.

The gifts Bartman donated to the foundation included radial keratotomy surgery — a procedure to correct nearsightedness — that Murtha said a doctor offered because Bartman would presumably have been able to see without eyeglasses and “it would somehow act as a  disguise.”

Instead, Bartman kept his glasses, and a low profile, even when he had a chance to cash in. He once turned down a six-figure offer to be in an H&R Block commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, according to Murtha.

But TV has kept Bartman connected with the Cubs, and he’ll be watching them when they resume their pursuit of the World Series, according to Murtha.

“Of course he’ll be rooting for the Cubs,” he said. “That’s never changed. Nor will it.”


Politicians have “manipulated” African-American voters, according to Ben Carson, the only major-party presidential candidate who is black.

“American blacks over the course of this next year will begin to see that they’ve been manipulated very, very largely; and people telling them what they’re supposed to think and what they’re supposed to say,” he said on Mike Gallagher’s radio program.

Newsmax explained that the former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University was answering a question about a recent poll by YouGov. Seventy-four percent of African-Americans who responded to the survey were critical of Carson’s recent declaration that no Muslim should become president of the United States. The candidate has come under fire from members of his own party, as well as Democrats, for the statement.

Carson told Gallagher: “More and more, I’m finding, (that black voters) are thinking for themselves, and are recognizing what really works for them and for their communities. And so, I believe that’s a dynamic that’s in the process in changing.”

The doctor’s comments about Muslims do not appear to be harming his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. According to recent national polls, he and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have narrowed Donald Trump’s lead in the race.