Tag: Spending

Congressional RINOs Help Leftists Pass Spending Bill That Funds Evil, Baby-Killing Scumbags

Find Out How Your Lawmakers Voted on Government Spending Bill That Averts Shutdown, Funds Planned Parenthood – Daily Signal

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On the last day of the fiscal year, Congress approved a short-term spending measure that keeps the federal government operating through Dec. 11.

The bill passed easily in the Senate, 78-20:

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The bill faced strong dissension in the House, where 151 Republicans voted against it because the bill does not cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood (vote roll call here).

President Barack Obama signed the spending bill late Wednesday.

The vote was notable in the House in that it provided a chance for candidates for upcoming leadership races to weigh in on a controversial issue in the caucus.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who is the leading candidate to replace Speaker John Boehner, voted for the measure.

His only opponent for speaker, Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., voted against the bill, as did Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who is one of two lawmakers running for majority leader.

The other majority leader contender, Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., voted for the spending bill.

Some House members believed that the vote on the continuing resolution, as the funding measure is known, would be telling in how potential new leadership may handle future issues.

Conservatives argued that leadership candidates would be judged on if they stood up to Planned Parenthood in the face of a potential shutdown.

“It’s unfortunate that this thing passed,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But I think the most unfortunate thing is we should have back on July 14, when the first [Planned Parenthood] video came out, went full commitment to making this a national debate and really elevating it and going all in. We could have been in a position to win, but we didn’t, and this is the part that frustrates me.”

Jordan added:

“Our new leadership has to commit, whoever that happens to be, to the same effort on things that we’ve told the voters we were gonna do – like we all told them we were pro-life, right? – we have to have the same intensity in getting those things done that we did on, for example, trade promotion. We have to demonstrate we are actually fighting on the things we said and have that full debate. And that’s what we are not doing.”

Taking a different view, Rep. Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania, told the The Daily Signal that conservatives were wrong to try to hold up the spending measure to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood.

“Leadership will look feckless and ineffective if they try to appease the rejectionist members of this conference,” Dent said.

“Going forward,” Dent remarked, “leadership will have to find a way to move forward on five or six measures that must be resolved, including a budget agreement, tax extenders, the debt ceiling, and a long-term transportation measure. All will require a level of compromise required to move beyond the warfare and get to a better place.”

The continuing resolution funds the government at a rate of $1.017 trillion annually for the next two and a half months. Senate leaders argued the deal gives Congress time to negotiate a budget deal with the president, though Obama has been pushing Congress to break the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The continuing resolution also provides $74.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations and reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration, E-verify program, and Internet Tax Freedom Act.

Senate Republican leaders introduced a government spending bill last week that included a one-year moratorium on funding for Planned Parenthood. The legislation also directed the $235 million in savings derived from the government funding allocated for Planned Parenthood to be directed to community health centers.

That bill, however, was blocked in the upper chamber, after it failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance.

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Orlando International Airport Spending A Quarter Of A Million Dollars To Build Muslim Prayer Room

Orlando Airport Spending $250,000 To Build Muslim Prayer Room – Weasel Zippers

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Celebrate diversity!

Via Click Orlando:

Orlando International Airport will soon open a Muslim prayer room.

The decision came after Emirates airlines announced it will soon be flying out of OIA.

Since many that fly the airline are Muslim, OIA will spend $250,000 to build a reflection room where people can pray.

Currently at OIA, many Muslims pray in public or even in restrooms. There is also a non-denomination chapel where prayer rugs are available.

With hundreds of new Muslim passengers, the airport wants to accommodate everyone.

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Obama VA Illegally Spending $6 Billion A Year

Veterans Affairs Improperly Spent $6 Billion Annually, Senior Official Says – Washington Post

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has been spending at least $6 billion a year in violation of federal contracting rules to pay for medical care and supplies, wasting taxpayer money and putting veterans at risk, according to an internal memo written by the agency’s senior official for procurement.

In a 35-page document addressed to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the official accuses other agency leaders of “gross mismanagement” and making a “mockery” of federal acquisition laws that require competitive bidding and proper contracts.

Jan R. Frye, deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics, describes a culture of “lawlessness and chaos” at the Veterans Health Administration, the massive health-care system for 8.7 million veterans.

“Doors are swung wide open for fraud, waste and abuse,” he writes in the March memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post. He adds, “I can state without reservation that VA has and continues to waste millions of dollars by paying excessive prices for goods and services due to breaches of Federal laws.”

Frye describes in detail a series of practices that he says run afoul of federal rules, including the widespread use of purchase cards, which are usually meant as a convenience for minor purchases of up to $3,000, to buy billions of dollars worth of medical supplies without contracts. In one example, he says that up to $1.2 billion in prosthetics were bought using purchase cards without contracts during an 18-month period that ended last year.

He also explains how VA has failed to engage in competitive bidding or sign contracts with outside hospital and health-care providers that offer medical care for veterans that the agency cannot provide, such as specialized tests and surgeries and other procedures. Frye says VA has paid at least $5 billion in such fees, in violation of federal rules that the agency’s own general counsel has said since 2009 must be followed.

Frye alleges further violations in the agency’s purchase of billions of dollars worth of prosthetics and in the acquisition of a wide range of daily medical and surgical supplies. He says many products are bought without the competitive bidding and contracts essential to ensure quality care, effective use of tight dollars and proper government oversight.

“These unlawful acts may potentially result in serious harm or death to America’s veterans,” Frye wrote. “Collectively, I believe they serve to decay the entire VA health-care system.”

VA spokeswoman Victoria Dillon said in a statement that some of the care the agency pays for is not covered by federal acquisition law. She also said that the agency is trying to manage rapid growth in medical care administered by outside providers, with authorizations for outside medical care jumping 46 percent in the first four months of 2015 over the same period last year.

Dillon said VA officials are urging Congress to pass legislation that would allow an “expedited form of purchasing care” for veterans who need to go outside the VA system. She said the bill “would also resolve legal uncertainties that have arisen” regarding the use of purchasing agreements other than those required by federal acquisition regulations.

VA has been under intense pressure to provide adequate care to the surge of veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Frye makes clear in his memo that the agency’s violations of purchasing law have been going on for years and that senior leaders have had many opportunities to revamp their practices.

He discloses his repeated efforts to raise his concerns with other senior officials at the agency but says he was consistently ignored. He also accuses top agency officials of deceiving Congress when they were asked about questionable practices.

VA operates one of the largest health-care systems in the country, spanning 150 hospitals and more than 800 outpatient clinics. The agency has been struggling to serve not only the veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, but also a surge in veterans who served in the 1960s and 1970s.

VA has been rocked since last year by revelations about long wait times for veterans seeking treatment for health issues including cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. McDonald’s predecessor, Eric K. Shinseki, resigned as VA secretary last year after a coverup of months-long hospital wait times became public, and Congress has given the system $10 billion in new funding to ramp up private medical care.

On Thursday, Frye will have a chance to explain his concerns directly to lawmakers. He is scheduled to testify before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee about waste and fraud in the purchase card program.

Frye, 64, is a retired Army colonel who has overseen VA’s acquisitions and logistics programs – one of the federal government’s largest – since 2005. In his role as the agency’s senior procurement executive, he is responsible for developing and supervising VA’s practices for acquiring services and supplies, but he is not in charge of making the purchases. A former Army inspector general, he has held senior acquisition positions over 30 years in government.

Some of his concerns were previously flagged by VA’s inspector general, who has reported for years that weak contracting systems put the agency at risk of waste and abuse. Thousands of pharmaceutical purchases were made without competition or contracts in fiscal years 2012 and 2013, often by unqualified employees, investigators found. And according to documents that have not been made public, the inspector general’s office has warned VA repeatedly that its use of purchase cards needs better oversight.

For the most part, Frye does not explain why the rules are so widely flouted. But he suggests, in this discussion of purchase cards, that the reason may be laziness. He calls these payments an “easy button” way of buying things. Frye told McDonald he became aware in 2012 that government purchase cards were being used improperly by VA. About 2,000 cards had been issued to employees who were ordering products and services without contracts, Frye recounts.

He said his concerns grew after learning that a supervisor in New York had recorded more than $50 million in prosthetics purchases in increments of $24,999 – $1 under the charging limit on each card. In a response to a member of Congress who inquired about the purchases, Shinseki had few answers. “No contract files exist” and “there is no evidence of full and open competition,” Shinseki wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

Purchase cards, Frye says in his memo, can be a sufficient means of acquiring goods and services for “micro-purchases” up to $3,000. Above that limit, the cards can be used for payment only if there is a certified invoice linked to a properly awarded contract.

Frye’s concerns about payments for outside medical services are rooted in the reality that VA hospitals do not have the resources or specialists to provide all the treatment veterans require, such as obstetrics and joint replacements. For these services, VA normally refers veterans to a list of doctors or labs in their area.

The agency, Frye says, is required to identify providers through a competitive process and contract with them to ensure that the government pays reasonable prices and gets the best value and quality. And contracts help ensure veterans are legally protected if they get poor care or if a medical procedure goes wrong.

But according to Frye’s account, VA spent about $5 billion on outside medical care in both 2013 and 2014 in the absence of contracts, and such practices “extend back many years.” “Based on my inquiry in January 2013, [the Office of the General Counsel] confirmed in writing the fact VHA was violating the law,” Frye says.

Large medical systems similar to VA order many supplies in bulk through a list of approved vendors, identified through a competitive process, to ensure quick delivery for the best price. But VA’s system for these “just-in-time” purchases is deeply flawed, and this is yet another way that the agency wastes money, Frye says.

He writes that there are many types of supplies that are not covered by these arrangements. Instead, they are ordered off the shelf, without competition and for higher prices, from a “shopping list” containing 400,000 items, “indiscriminately and not in accordance” with acquisition laws.

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Holder Justice Department Spending Over Half A Million Taxpayer Dollars On LinkedIn Profile

Justice Dept To Spend $544,000 On A… What!? You Won’t Believe This – Independent Journal Review

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According to the government website FedBizOpps.gov, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division is spending $544,000 on a new LinkedIn profile:

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division is paying $544,000 for a shiny new LinkedIn profile, in the wake of a partial government shutdown that followed a top Democrat’s assurance that ‘the cupboard is bare, there’s no more cuts to make.’

The LinkedIn contract, first reported in the Washington Free Beacon, includes ‘Work With Us’ banner ads and ‘gold’-level user pages commonly purchased by private companies, all designed to drive job-seekers to Attorney General Eric Holder’s law enforcement agency.

The DOJ provided its contractor, the Reston, Virginia-based Carahsoft Technology Corporation, with a not-so-helpful table of prices for LinkedIn’s services, in which all the costs were listed as $0. The agency contracting officer responsible for the award did not respond to a request for an explanation.

While LinkedIn is free to use, it also offers paid plans that give organizations the opportunity to spice up their page and access several bells and whistles. However, it’s not incredibly extensive or complicated. To justify paying someone $544,000 for this is preposterous.

Suppose it takes Brogan & Partners, the consulting firm the DOJ has hired, 150 hours (and that’s a generous estimate) to redesign the profile, create some banner ads and write up some redirect pages. That comes out to $3,626 per hour!

Does it look like our government’s priorities are way off, or is it just me?

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*AUDIO* Mark Levin Destroys Obama’s Arguments On Obamacare, Spending And The Debt


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*AUDIO* Hannity: Federal Government Spending $2.2 Million To Study Lesbian Obesity


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ICE Spending Taxpayer Money To House Illegals In Hotel Rooms, Others Released Into U.S. Population

Agencies Buying Hotel Rooms For Surge Of Mexican Illegal Immigrants, Others Released – Fox News

A sudden influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico requesting asylum is overwhelming immigration agents in San Diego, forcing agencies to rent hotel rooms for some undocumented families and release others to cities around the U.S.

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Documents obtained exclusively by Fox News show Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been paying for hotel rooms for dozens of recently arrived families to relieve overcrowding inside the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, Calif., processing centers. Some ICE employees are working overtime and others have been asked to volunteer to work weekend shifts. “Duties include intake, placements, transports and release of family groups and unaccompanied minors,” according to a memo obtained by Fox News.

The surge has raised suspicions about what is driving the influx, amid claims that illegal immigrants have learned they can attempt to get asylum by using a few key words – namely, by claiming they have a “credible fear” of drug cartels.

“This clearly has to have been orchestrated by somebody,” said former U.S. Attorney for Southern California Peter Nunez. “It’s beyond belief that dozens or hundreds or thousands of people would simultaneously decide that they should go to the U.S. and make this claim.”

Sources say one day last week, 200 border-crossers came through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry claiming asylum while and as many as 550 overflowed inside the processing center there and in nearby San Ysidro.

“People were sleeping on floors – they had nowhere to put them,” said one source, a long-time border agent and supervisor. “This shouldn’t be happening. Unless there is an immediate and well-publicized policy change, this situation will become another debacle.”

At a hotel near San Diego – which Fox News agreed not to identify for security reasons – ICE vans arrived several times over the weekend with immigrant families. They were escorted to the second floor by two armed, uniformed agents. Two border agents secured the entrance and side door.

Documents obtained by Fox News show that recently on a single day, dozens of illegal immigrants were being transferred to an area hotel where rooms cost $99 a night. Others were released to addresses in Texas, Florida and even Brooklyn, N.Y.

ICE sources say the addresses are almost always bogus. When they don’t show up for court, they are removed by an immigration judge in absentia.

Most of the immigrants came from Mexico, but others listed their native country as Haiti, Romania, Guatemala and Iraq. Some were over age 50, others were under a year old. Thirty were transported to a hotel. Seventy were released around the country.

Fox News spoke to four agencies responsible for the San Diego situation last week. All deferred to the Department of Homeland Security press office in Washington, D.C., which issued this statement:

“Credible fear determinations are dictated by long standing statute, not an issuance of discretion. The USCIS officer must find that a ‘significant possibility’ exists that the individual may be found eligible for asylum or withholding or removal.

“If the credible fear threshold is met, the individual is placed into removal proceedings in Immigration Court. The final decision on asylum eligibility rests with an immigration judge.”

It is during this time – during removal proceedings – when illegal immigrants are released. Many don’t show up, as 91 percent of asylum claims from Mexico are denied.

Asylum claims from Mexico are highly unusual and critics say this is an orchestrated sham – it’s not about getting asylum, they say, but about overwhelming the system and getting a free pass into the U.S. and a court date for which no one will show up.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have never returned and the list of people for whom warrants are outstanding is phenomenal,” said Nunez. “We have a long history of people absconding from immigration hearings of one sort of another, they just blend back into the community.”

ICE sources say an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 illegal immigrants a year do not show up for their court date and disappear into the U.S.

The number of asylum claims is on the rise, almost tripling the last four years. Most come from Chinese, Egyptian and Ethiopian immigrants. Fewer than 200 a year come from Mexico, let alone 200 in a day. However, by claiming they have a “credible fear of persecution” if returned to Mexico, the immigrant is entitled to a series of interviews, hearings, proceedings and appeals that can drag on for years.

The initial evaluation usually is done in the border processing center by an asylum officer employed by USCIS.

An immigration spokesman said last week: “The legal threshold for ‘credible fear’ is broad and low to ensure individuals who may face a ‘significant possibility’ of persecution… have the opportunity to have their case heard before an immigration judge.”

Last week, an asylum officer heard the claims of the “Dream 9,” nine Mexican nationals brought to the U.S. as children. Even though seven of the nine lived, worked and went to school in Mexico without incident, they were granted asylum. Most thought they would be deported.

“The order from Washington are to simply turn these people loose,” said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “All you have to say is you qualify for the Dream Act and or you intent to apply and they’re instructed by their higher ups to simply turn these people loose, to set them free and let them pursue any path they want.”

There are 57 immigration courts and 231 immigration judges. Immigration courts handle 280,000 proceedings each year – an average of 1,243 per year per judge, or four decisions per day.

Asylum can be granted if the applicant has suffered past persecution or has a “well-founded fear of persecution” on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion in their native country.

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*VIDEO* Congressman Trey Gowdy Slams IRS For Irresponsible Spending Practices


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H/T Right Scoop

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Democrat State Senator Resigns After Getting Caught Spending Campaign Funds At Porn Shops

Senate Leader: State Senator Robert Ford Resigns – WLTX

State Senator Robert Ford has resigned from office, even as an ethics case against him proceeds at the State House.

Senate Pro Tem John Courson announced Friday he’d received a letter of resignation from Ford. It is effective immediately.

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The news came on day two of an ethics hearing against him. The hearing is to decide if the Charleston Democrat violated ethics laws by using campaign money for personal expenses and failing to report expenses, donations, and personal loans.

During Thursday’s hearing, the committee heard claims that Ford spent some of the campaign money at two adult stores. Ford says the items were gag gifts for campaign staffers.

Ford’s lawyer says the problems were just sloppy bookkeeping.

Ford did not attend day two of the hearing after he spent the night in the hospital.

Ford’s attorney told News19 his client was taken to Palmetto Baptist Hospital in Columbia Thursday night, and was released Friday morning. He adds that doctors treated Ford for cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure.

If senators determine Ford violated the law, the findings could be sent to prosecutors.

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Obama Says $1 Trillion In Obamacare Spending Is… Wait For It… An Historic Tax Cut

Obama: $1 Trillion In Obamacare Spending Is Historic ‘Tax Cut’ – Washington Examiner

As part of a Mothers’ Day weekend defense of his signature legislative accomplishment, President Obama claimed that the law represented the “largest health care tax cut for working families and small businesses in our history.“

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His argument was a Hail-Mary effort to redesignate subsidies for individuals to purchase health insurance on government-run exchanges as a “tax cut.” But according to the Congressional Budget Office, these subsidies actually qualify as more than $1 trillion in “Exchange Subsidies and Related SPENDING.” (Emphasis mine.)

Far from being a historic tax cut, Obamacare actually qualifies as one of the largest tax increases in history. It contains roughly $1 trillion in taxes – on insurance plans, medical devices and investment income. And many of the taxes will end up falling on the middle class. The law’s individual mandate, which the Obama administration successful argued was a tax before the U.S. Supreme Court, is projected to hit nearly 5 million Americans with incomes less than $60,000 by 2016.

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Government Spending $152,500 To Study Voice Therapy For Transgenders

Government Spending $152,500 To Study Voice Therapy For Transgenders – CNS

The federal government is spending $152,000 to study “voice therapy” for transgenders, saying it is incumbent to being “accepted as one’s preferred gender.”

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“This study will illuminate the capabilities of the human larynx and inform the relationship between voice production and perception,” states a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, awarded to George Washington University. “The long term goal of this research is to inform and provide new directions for Transgender (TG) voice care, thereby improving the lives of TG people who feel their voice is a great obstacle to living as their preferred gender.”

“Incomplete gender presentation can negatively impact the TG individual’s job opportunities, relationships, and social acceptance,” the study explains. “Results of this project will advance an aspect of gender transition vital to being accepted as one’s preferred gender and living a successful, healthy life.”

George Washington University received $152,500 in 2012 from the NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Adrienne B. Hancock, an assistant professor at GWU, is leading the project.

According to the University, her primary research addresses “transgender voice and communication.” “She has examined transgender voice physiology as well as the psychosocial influence of voice and communication skills for transgender speakers,” her bio states.

The project will compare male-to-female transgender voices with men and women voices, judged by 100 listeners to “judge the gender” of the speech samples. Those male-to-female transgenders who pass as a female voice will be placed in a separate group and then compared to those who still sound like men.

“Like voice therapy for other populations, [transgender] voice therapy should be grounded in knowledge of the vocal mechanism of the speaker,” the grant states. “It should not resort, as it currently does, to establishing acoustic goals based exclusively on differences between normative values of two gender groups and assumed gender perception boundaries.”

The study hopes to influence voice therapy methods for transgenders by its project end date in August 2014.

Its public health relevance statement reads: “The production and perception results of this study will inform voice therapy clinical protocols for Transgender speakers who face discrimination when their voice does not match their preferred gender presentation, which limits their ability to contribute to society and live healthy, safe lives.”

Although CNSNews.com asked the NIH for comment on this particular grant, the agency’s public affairs office responded by e-mail with a general statement that read, “NIH research addresses the full spectrum of human health across all populations of Americans. Behavioral research will continue to be an important area of research supported by NIH. The details of the specific grant that you are inquiring about, including funding amounts and project start and end dates, can be found on NIH Reporter.

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Obama Administration: $3.7 Million In Summer Jobs Spending On Watching Birds, Counting Fish

Obama Administration: $3.7 Million In Summer Jobs Spending On Watching Birds, Counting Fish – CNS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $3.7 million in spending as part of President Obama’s Summer Jobs+ program, saying the money will go to hire 500 young people to work on government projects over the coming summer.

“This public-private partnership will help bring young people from diverse backgrounds and urban areas to the public lands for meaningful employment opportunities, mentorships, and the joy of the great outdoors,” National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Executive Director Jeff Trandahl said in a press release on May 25.

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The $3.7 million in grants will be made through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and will be part of its “America’s Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists” initiative to expose young people to the government’s conservation work.

The per-job cost of the program is only $7,400, raising questions as to whether the positions will be paid, given the low per-job cost of some of the programs.

The USDA did not respond to CNSNews.com’s questions about whether the positions will be paid or unpaid.

As for the work to being assigned, one project will use $249,440 to hire eight Latino interns between the ages of 18 and 25 to “engage in field research, training, and data collection at sites in California, Colorado, and Alaska” monitoring shorebirds in those states.

Only six of the interns will actually monitor the bird populations, however, while one intern will serve as a recruiter for the other seven and a second intern will help “develop online program materials and encourage awareness and future participation” in the program, according to the NFWF.

Another project will employ 20 “predominantly Hispanic” young people to go into the Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado to locate and map specimens of the herb osha – a “culturally significant herbal plant” – collect “macro-invertebrates” in the water, and plant willow trees along a river bank.

Macroinvertebrates are creatures such as dragonflies, leeches, and water bugs.

A third jobs program will use $150,000 to employ 12 Sierra Native American youth to build trails, remove “invasive species,” and conduct “fish survey monitoring” in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

In all, the initiative will fund 20 different conservation projects on federal lands around the country restoring trails, planting trees, and conducting wildlife monitoring of various species.

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*VIDEO* Senator Marco Rubio Schools His Constituents On Spending And The National Debt

Daily Benefactor News – Dozens More NATO Fuel Tankers Burn In Pakistan – More Articles


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Dozens More NATO Fuel Tankers Burn In Pakistan – Yahoo News

Gunmen torched more than two dozen tankers carrying fuel to NATO troops and killed a driver Wednesday, the sixth attack on convoys taking supplies to Afghanistan since Pakistan closed a key border crossing almost a week ago.

Islamabad shut down the Torkham crossing along the fabled Khyber Pass last Thursday after a NATO helicopter attack in the border area killed three Pakistani troops. The closure has left hundreds of trucks stranded alongside the country’s highways and bottlenecked traffic heading to the one route into Afghanistan from the south that has remained open.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said an investigation of the helicopter attack was expected to be concluded later Wednesday, and that he expected the spat between allies could be resolved soon.

Tension between the two countries has also been fueled by a record number of U.S. drone strikes in recent weeks, including one Wednesday that killed six militants in the North Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border.

The U.S. has played down the impact of Pakistan closing the Torkham crossing, saying it has supply routes through other countries into Afghanistan and the closure has not caused fuel problems for NATO troops.

“We don’t suspect it will, even if this were to last into the future,” said Morrell Tuesday at the Pentagon. “But we really do have a sense we’re making progress and this can be resolved soon.”

Hundreds of supply trucks still cross into landlocked Afghanistan each day through the Chaman crossing in southwestern Pakistan and via Central Asian states.

Still, Pakistan is the fastest and cheapest way to get goods to Afghanistan, and trouble with other routes in the past makes it even more vital. Uzbekistan evicted U.S. troops from a base that was used to ferry supplies into Afghanistan, and last year Kyrgyzstan threatened to do the same, though it has since backed down.

The tanker attack early Wednesday morning came on trucks on their way to the Chaman crossing.

An unidentified number of gunmen in two vehicles attacked the trucks as they sat in the parking lot of a roadside hotel on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan province. At least 25 trucks were destroyed by fire that spread quickly from vehicle to vehicle, senior police official Hamid Shakil said.

Of the six attacks on convoys bringing supplies in from the port city of Karachi since the Torkham closure, four were on trucks heading to that crossing and two were on their way to Chaman.

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Middle Class Slams Brakes On Spending – Wall Street Journal

Middle-class Americans made their deepest spending cuts in more than two decades, slashing spending on such discretionary items as restaurant meals and alcohol during the recession.

Households in the middle fifth of the population sliced their average annual spending to $41,150 in 2009, the Labor Department said Tuesday in its annual spending breakdown.

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Fully Equipped Firefighters Watch House Burn To The Ground – Reed Insurance

Gene Cranick and his family lost all of their possessions, and watched their family pets die as their home was engulfed in flames last Wednesday September 29th.

Orbion County Firefighters refused to respond to the scene because the homeowner hadn’t paid a required $75 annual fee. The fire began when the Cranick’s grandson was burning trash near the home.

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Coldest Winter In 1,000 Years On Its Way – RT

After the record heat wave this summer, Russia’s weather seems to have acquired a taste for the extreme. Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.

The change is reportedly connected with the speed of the Gulf Stream, which has shrunk in half in recent years. Scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic.

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3M To Drop Retirees From Medical Coverage Over Obamacare – American Pundit

Today, 3M becomes just the latest company to announce that it will be forced to drop insured retirees from its medical plan starting in 2013. The move comes in response to ObamaCare.

Retirees previously covered by the private sector will be forced onto the overloaded Medicare-backed insurance programs, shifting people from private sector coverage to government-based coverage.

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21,000 Iowans To Lose Medicare Plans – Daily Caller

About 21,000 Iowans received notice last week that their insurers would no longer provide their Medicare Advantage plans in 2011, a state agency said.

With Medicare Advantage, Iowa seniors get their health insurance through a private company, instead of directly through the government Medicare program. The plans often provide coverage such as prescription drugs.

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2,300 North Dakotans And 44,000 Minnesotans Losing Medicare Advantage Coverage – SayAnything

Five insurance companies including Minnetonka-based Medica next year will stop providing a particular type of Medicare health plan in much of Minnesota, a state official said Thursday.

That means some 44,000 beneficiaries will need to shop for new coverage. The insurers compete in the market for Medicare Advantage health plans, where some 350,000 state residents buy their coverage.

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Democrat Candidate Joe Garcia’s Donor Linked To Fidel Castro – FactReal

Joe Garcia, Democrat candidate for Congress in Florida’s 25th district, has been accepting thousands of dollars in donations from John Cabanas, friend and partner of Fidel Castro.

Reported contributions from April through August, 2010: John Cabanas $2,400 5/19/2010 – John Cabanas $2,400 5/19/2010 – Adalgiza Cabanas $2,400 5/19/2010 – Adalgiza Cabanas $2,400 5/19/2010.

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100 Drunken B.C. Women Brawl Over Male Stripper – Calgary Herald

A drunken brawl broke out among a group of women at a Vancouver Island bar over the weekend after one woman blocked another woman’s view of a male stripper.

More than 100 woman were at a fundraiser on Friday night watching a man dressed as a police officer peel off his uniform when a women who was standing on a chair refused to get down after another argued she didn’t have a clear view.

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Burglar Hangs Neighbor’s Stolen Curtains In His Own Windows – APP

A British burglar who stole his neighbor’s curtains was caught after he put them up in his own windows. Jason Williams broke into a neighbor’s home and allegedly stole tools, two ashtrays, lamb steaks and the curtains before hanging them up in his home.

The 38-year-old at first denied the crime when the victims came to his door to ask why their curtains were in his house.

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Man Shoots Teen In Buttocks For Refusing To Pull Up His Pants – Weekly Vice

Kenneth E. Bonds, 45, was jailed Saturday after he allegedly shot a teen in his buttocks because the boy refused to pull up his pants.

According to Shelby County Police, two teens, ages 16 and 17, were walking to a candy store around 7:30 p.m. when Bonds started yelling at them to pull up their pants. He then shouted profanities at them, ordering them to “do what he told them to do.”

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Drunk Power Ranger Arrested For Trespassing – The Republic

Police who were called to a report of a prowler over the weekend at a motor home in Centralia found a “superhero” inside.

Commander Jim Rich told KITI the man in a Green Power Ranger costume appeared lost and disoriented and apparently had been drinking. Rich says the 28-year-old Centralia man apparently was dropped off by some friends at the wrong house after a party.

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California voters soundly reject tax and spend policies, the media misses the point!

The fine folks at BCB nailed the media’s spin on the anti-tax and spend votes in California. While the media misses is the massive rejection of more foolish, wasteful tax and spend California into oblivion policies by the voters of that state.

The national media has been pontificating all day about what a disaster the California referendum results are. They have been wailing about what cuts are going to have to be enacted as a result of the vote. Some are even bemoaning the fact that voters exercised their democratic rights to reject the tax hikes.

What is missing, from what I have read at least, is the incredible size of the majorities that beat hell out of the spend and tax proposals. If Obama’s 6% election victory was a “landslide”, this is a thermonuclear landslide.  We are talking about a nearly 2 to 1 rejection of higher taxes here, not a just-got-by defeat.

The only thing that passed in an even bigger landslide was that pesky proposition 1F – cutting off any legislative or state executive pay increases when the state is running a deficit. That one passed by a 3 to 1 margin.

In other words, while the media is stunned that Americans could actually reject, by gargantuan margins, the same assbackwards policies that put them in financial hell to begin with, they completely miss the fact that Americans have had enough of the same old BS from government.

Good, keep missing the point. The media is as out of touch as the Democrats are, and if thsy stay that way, they will get a large wake up call around early November 2010.

Update! The Democrat response to the voters? You are too stupid to understand!

Obama the control freak

Hmmm, why would the government refuse to take back hundreds of billions in TARP money from banks? CONTROL!

I must be naive. I really thought the administration would welcome the return of bank bailout money. Some $340 million in TARP cash flowed back this week from four small banks in Louisiana, New York, Indiana and California. This isn’t much when we routinely talk in trillions, but clearly that money has not been wasted or otherwise sunk down Wall Street’s black hole. So why no cheering as the cash comes back?

My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell ’em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.

It is not for nothing that rage has been turned on those wicked financiers. The banks are at the core of the administration’s thrust: By managing the money, government can steer the whole economy even more firmly down the left fork in the road.

If the banks are forced to keep TARP cash — which was often forced on them in the first place — the Obama team can work its will on the financial system to unprecedented degree. That’s what’s happening right now.

Got Marxism?

Coming soon to a computer near you, the Obamnet!

Ah, what Gorezilla “invented” The Obamassiah seeks to control

Should President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency?
Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor—an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. That broad power is rattling some civil libertarians.

 

 

I wonder how the “Bush is shredding the Constitution” crowd will react to this? Something tells me they will not bat an eye.
This is just the latest power grab by our new “changed” government. Let’s see here they want to control talk radio, banks, car makers, salaries, guns, and now the internet. Well, then, a question to Obama voters. How IS that hope and change working out for ya?

H/T Allahpundit at Hot Air 

Update! The danger might NOT be the government shutting down the net, that provision is not actually in the bill, but the Fourth Ammendment? That might be in trouble!

Section 14 may be a bigger problem.  It essentially revokes all privacy safeguards on Internet use for all networks.  The Fourth Amendment would go straight out the window with the explicit inclusion of “private sector owned critical infrastructure information systems and networks.”  While Section 18 limits jurisdiction to federal networks, Section 14 allows the government to go after private networks without search warrants.  The section also doesn’t limit the jurisdiction to acute attacks, either.  That jurisdiction exists at all times.

Congress has a midnight spending orgy!

With YOUR MONEY OF COURSE! I just want everyone to remember that this fiasco is all on the Democrats!

The House and Senate approved budgets of about $3.5 trillion for the government on Thursday with no Republican support, a sign of deep partisan tensions likely to color Congressional efforts to enact major policy initiatives sought by President Obama.

This is their bastard child, remember that voters! Remember that in 2010! Remember that when the economy gets worse, when your taxes go up, when your liberties are eroded, and when you cannot recognize your country anymore!

Video-Cavuto interviews a useful idiot!

Hot Air has the video and it is awesome! I love Cavuto in this clip. He puts the pinhead Congressman in his place several times, the Congressman’s response to the dressing down? He whines that Cavuto is rude. Clearly these politicians never ever think they are going to be questioned.