Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Mania

Monday Mania is right! Someone please tell me why we, a country in dire financial straights, are giving nine hundred million dollars to the Palestinians for damage done to their country? Did we do the harm? NO. How about sending the bill to Iran who finances Hamas who started the whole mess with Israel. How does this stimulate our economy, President Obama?

The next big spending bill, the $410 billion Omnibus, is supposed to be signed shortly by our new Prez, and although he constantly claims there is no pork-barrel spending or earmarks in the package, a democratic representative on Glenn Beck specifically tried to cover up any of the 9000 included in this bill as an interpretative issue. I borrowed the following from to demonstrate an example of frivolous spending at a time when we simply cannot afford it. I've never met any economic's major who hinted that borrowing money to spend money is a way to overcome a deficit. I don't have a college degree and I figured that all on my own.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) explained to CNN’s John King on Feb. 1 that she worked with Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) to cut a bipartisan deal to pass the President’s government spending plan because the bill avoided “a bloated, overly expensive bill that wastes money and targets funding for programs that aren't going to make a difference.” Evidently Sens. Collins and Snow wanted to save the bloat and waste for the omnibus.

Collins and Snowe have inserted a $150,000 earmark in the omnibus for the Maine Department of Marine Resources to conduct “lobster research.” Tax dollars to research lobsters hardly seems an essential function of government, especially in times of economic distress. According to the State of Maine, the “Lobster Program” has collected statistics on the commercial and natural population of lobsters along the Maine coast for 30 years.

You should know that your hard-earned tax dollars are going to be used for not one, but two lobster research earmarks. The second lobster earmark from Collins and Snowe provides monies for a lobster boat ride, along with a program for another $100,000. “The objective is to ride aboard individual lobster boats, at different locations along the coast, and record information as the lobsterman hauls his/her traps.” You don’t mind funding that, do you?

If you’re worried that Maine’s seal population is being neglected, fear not. Collins and Snow have secured a $100,000 earmark for Maine’s Marine Environmental Research Institute for the “Seals as Sentinel” program. It’s worthwhile, according to Susan Shaw, the institute’s executive director, because "marine mammals like seals are important in their own right and also as significant sentinels for ocean health and the effects of pollutants in humans.”

Not to be outdone, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) inserted language to make Nevada eligible for the “Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery fund. If you check a map, you’ll see that Nevada has no Pacific coastline, yet Reid saw fit to use the omnibus to make Nevada eligible for Salmon Recovery funds from the Department of Commerce.

Add to these ridiculous allotments this information from a

WASHINGTON - Congress went on a pork-a-palooza yesterday, approving a massive spending bill with big bucks for Hawaiian canoe trips, research into pig smells, and tattoo removal - all while the nation faces an economic crisis.

Among the recipients of federal largesse is the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Honolulu, which got a $238,000 "earmark" in the bill.


The group organizes sea voyages in ancient-style sailing canoes like the ones that first brought settlers to Hawaii.

The sailing club has a powerful wind at its back in the person of Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill also has a whopping 8 percent increase over last year for the numerous federal agencies it funds.

New York got its share of earmarks, among them $475,000 to "improve and expand" the Italian American Museum in Little Italy.

The project was pushed by New York Reps. Gary Ackerman and Jerrold Nadler. The latter touted it, among other earmarks, on his Web site.

Nadler also announced $4.5 million for new park development in Manhattan.

Uncle Sam's generosity extends upstate, where there's $950,000 to convert a railroad bridge over the Hudson River into a walkway in Poughkeepsie.

Earmarks totaled at least $3.8 billion - a figure used by the House Appropriations Committee.

But the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense calculates that there are an astonishing 8,570 earmarks at a cost of $7.7 billion.

The bill, which critics slammed as larded with pork, has big bucks to combat putrid stenches in the heartland, with $1.7 million for "Swine Odor and Manure Management Research."

That's on top of $1.9 million in each of the last two years, or nearly $6 million over the last three years.

The swine research center, at Iowa State University in Ames, got funds through the Agricultural Research Service, and aims to improve the smell of animals and the lagoons where waste is stored.

There's funding for mosquito trapping in Gainesville, Fla. - requested by Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. The research deals with the West Nile virus, and was funded at $1.2 million in each of the last two years.

The House packaged the bill from several spending measures held over from last year. It needs to pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Obama.

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, whom Obama vanquished in November, is calling on the president to veto it.

But Democratic leaders say the spending spree was a bipartisan affair, with up to 40 percent of the earmarks coming from Republicans.

Obama has criticized earmarks and insisted they be kept out of stimulus legislation - a suggestion that drew laughs from Republicans at the president's address to Congress Tuesday night.

Another earmark, by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) provides $200,000 for a "tattoo-removal violence-outreach program" in Los Angeles.

The funds would buy a tattoo-removal machine to help gang members erase signs of their past.

Meanwhile, Obama is set to unveil a proposal today that sets aside $634 billion over the next 10 years for health-care reform.

He plans to pay for it, in part, by capping tax deductions for families that earn more than $250,000 a year I said yesterday, we are in deep doo doo! There is a time and place for these allotments, but why isn't something being done to keep these pet projects from slipping into the paperwork in the middle of the night, as one Democratic representative on Fox news today suggested. These are the people who are proposing oversight on TARP money, and will have a hand in running the banks??? They can't even oversee their own bills. Deep doo doo, I tell you.

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