Friday, February 25, 2011

Redistricting Shenanigans; Tie Teachers Pay to Learning in Florida; Unions Now Exposed; MoTown Party at White House; Home Affordable Modification Program a Failure; Stimulus of Green Energy Company a Fraud and a Failure; A Listing of Items in Obama's Budget Bill

Expose Obama writes: Democratic-drawn redistricting plans will nearly always be rubber stamped by this Justice Department, unless local black or Hispanic Democrats don’t like how their white Democratic colleagues have sliced the pie. Republican-drawn plans, meanwhile, will run into a buzz saw of Voting Section opposition based not on the legal standards set forth under Section 5, but on whether the Section’s lawyers think the plan will hurt or help Democratic candidates. As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, “Democrats are looking toward the Justice Department in President Barack Obama’s administration to serve as a counterweight” to Republican control of the redistricting process in Texas. Doubt this will happen? Just look at how Justice blocked Kinston, N.C., from switching from partisan to nonpartisan city-council elections. Justice’s rationale? Minorities wouldn’t know whom to vote for if candidates’ Democratic-party affiliation didn’t appear next to their names on the ballot…
Sunshine State News writes: A bill that would tie teachers' pay to their students’ learning progress breezed through the Senate Budget Committee Wednesday, and is being fast-tracked to be taken up during the first days of the legislative session next month.

The bill would eliminate tenure for teachers hired after July 1, and establishes one-year contracts for teachers brought on board after that date. Teachers will be rated on the progress of their students in their classrooms over the course of three years, with those deemed “highly effective” or “effective” receiving raises. Those who receive two “unsatisfactory” evaluations in a three-year period or three “needs improvement” evaluations in a five-year period would not be offered another contract.
Charles Krauthammer wrote about the Wisconsin unions: Unfortunately for them, that telegenic faux-Cairo scene drew national attention to the dispute — and to the sweetheart deals the public-sector unions had negotiated for themselves for years. They were contributing a fifth of a penny on a dollar of wages to their pensions and one-fourth what private-sector workers pay for health insurance.
The unions quickly understood that the more than 85 percent of Wisconsin not part of this privileged special-interest group would not take kindly to “public servants” resisting adjustments that still leave them paying less for benefits than private-sector workers. They immediately capitulated and claimed they were only protesting the other part of the bill, the part about collective-bargaining rights.
The Detroit News reveals: The White House will celebrate Black History Month with a Feb. 24concert celebrating Detroit's best-known musical import. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host "The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House," a tribute to the record company Berry Gordy Jr. founded here at the dawn of the 1960s. [There shall be no cutting of expenses for "The Won".]
Forbes writes: A House committee plans to write legislation next week ending the Obama administration's flagship effort for helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and abolishing three other housing assistance programs.
At its meeting next Thursday, the highest-profile target of the Republican-run House Financial Services Committee will be the Home Affordable Modification Program. The Treasury Department has acknowledged the program won't meet its original goal of preventing 3 million to 4 million foreclosures, and last month a federal inspector general said it has been a failure.
Daily Caller writes about Solyndra, Inc: It was supposed to have showcased the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s stimulus and green jobs initiatives, but instead it has become the center of congressional attention for waste, fraud and abuse of such programs.
According to a Feb. 17 letter signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns, Florida Republican, to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the Fremont, Calif.-based solar panel manufacturer squandered $535 million of stimulus money.
The Energy Department estimated in a March 20, 2009 press release that the loan guarantee would create 3,000 construction jobs and a further 1,000 jobs after the plant opened.
Instead, Solyndra announced on Nov. 3 it planned to postpone expanding the plant, which cost the taxpayers $390.5 million, or 73 percent of the total loan guarantee, according to the Wall Street Journal. It also announced that it no longer planned to hire the 1,000 workers that Obama and Biden had touted in their speeches and that it planned to close one of its older factories and planned to lay-off 135 temporary or contract workers and 40 full-time employees.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Senator Tom Coburn "the conscience of the US Senate reveals:  "We are going in exactly the wrong direction. We ought to be standing on the principles that made this country great. There ought to be a review of every program in the Federal Government that is not effective, that is not efficient, that is wasteful or fraudulent, and we ought to get rid of it right now. We ought to say, you're gone, to be able to pay for a real stimulus plan that might, in fact, have some impact.

I would be remiss if I didn't remind everybody that next week we are going to hear from the Obama administration wanting another $500 billion. Outside of this, they are going to want another $500 billion to handle the banking system.
Until we treat the real disease, this is pure waste. It is worse than pure waste. It is morally reprehensible, because it steals the future of the next two generations.

[He then read some of the particulars of the bill, which I have abbreviated:]
1) $2 billion in this bill to build a coal plant with zero emissions. That would be great, maybe, if we had the technology, but the greatest brains in the world sitting at MIT say we don't have the technology yet to do that.
2) We eliminated tonight a $246 million payback for the large movie studios in Hollywood .
3) $88 Million to study whether we ought to buy a new ice breaker for the Coast Guard.
4) $448 million to build the Department of Homeland Security a new building. We have $1.3 trillion worth of empty buildings right now, and because it has been blocked in Congress we can't sell them, we can't raze them, we can't do anything, but we are going to spend money on a new building here in Washington ..
5) $248 million for new furniture for that building.
6) $600 million worth of hybrid vehicles for Federal employees
7) $400 million to prevent STDs ..
8) $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs
9) $150 million for a Smithsonian museum
10) $1 billion for the 2010 census? So everybody knows, the census is so poorly managed that the census this year is going to cost twice what it cost 10 years ago, and we wasted $800 million on a contract because it was no-bid that didn't perform. Nobody got fired, no competitive bidding, and we blew $800 million.
11) $75 million for smoking cessation activities.
12) $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges
13) $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas, putting 10 or 15 people to work.
14) $6 billion to turn Federal buildings into green buildings.
15) $500 million for State and local fire stations? Where do you find in the Constitution us paying for local fire stations within our realm of prerogatives?
16) $1.2 billion for youth activities.
17) $88 million for renovating the public health service building
18) $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
19) $850 million for that most "efficient'' Amtrak that hasn't made any money since 1976 and continues to have $2 billion or $3 billion a year in subsidies
20) $75 million to construct a new "security training'' facility for State Department security officers, and we have four other facilities already available to train them.
21) $200 million in funding for a lease-not buying, but a lease of alternative energy vehicles on military installations
22) We are going to bail out the States on Medicaid. Total all of the health programs in this, and we are going to transfer $150 billion out of the private sector and we are going to move it to the Federal Government.
23) We are going to eliminate fees on loans from the Small Business Administration.
24) $160 million to the Job Corps Program to construct or repair buildings.
25) $524 million for information technology upgrades that the Appropriations Committee claims will create 388 jobs. If you do the math on that, that is $1.5 million a job.
26) $79 billion in additional money for the States, a "slush fund,'' to bail out States and provide millions of dollars for education costs.
27) $47 billion for a variety of energy programs that are primarily focused on renewable energy.

Let me conclude by saying we are at a seminal moment in our country. We will either start living within the confines of realism and responsibility or we will blow it and we will create the downfall of the greatest Nation that ever lived.


1 comment:

  1. old grizzled veteranFebruary 25, 2011 at 2:24 PM