Monday, December 5, 2016

Government Waste

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waste

The U.S. government is a master of wasting taxpayer money. If the debates showed anything it’s that Hillary thinks that there isn’t anything that can’t be accomplished without more government. Which means, more spending, more debt, and a heavier tax burden on the everyday American. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that the federal government has spent more than most of us will make in a lifetime on some truly stupid things.

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cancer

The National Institutes of Health should be studying how to cure cancer, but instead they spent almost a million dollars on this…

At a time when our nation is almost 20 trillion in debt and close to 50 million on food stamps, our genius government decided to award Old Dominion university a grant of $911,056 to study the drinking habits of lesbian couples.

Instead of awarding some university a million dollars to research something that might actually help people, they study drinking habits of women in relationships with women.

No wonder he have so much debt.

According to the grant for the study, the younger sexually minority like to drink.

“Sexual minority women (i.e., women who self-identify as lesbian and bisexual) report more heavy drinking, more alcohol-related problems, and higher rates of alcohol use disorders as compared to heterosexual women. Young sexual minority women are particularly vulnerable.”

“Despite this awareness, no studies have examined how relationship factors and partners’ alcohol use contribute to hazardous drinking among female sexual minority couples.”

This isn’t an article that is upset because we are researching “gay” people, but the fact that we are researching drinking habits at all is ridiculous. The answers to the scientific study are going to come out one way.

People drink to cope with problems. Young gay people have a lot of problems in our society because of bigotry and ridicule.

One would think that young gay people would turn to alcohol like everyone else that has problems. I mean, it’s not too scientific, but it will come to the same conclusion and we didn’t have to spend $911,056 on it.

Next year, give the grant to a university studying cancer research.

What do you think the results of the grant will be? Let us know in the comments below.

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Hillary’s Campaign

Today President Obama is heading to Charlotte, North Carolina, to campaign for Hillary Clinton and guess who is going to pay for it?

When Hillary and President Obama boarded Air Force One today to fly to Charlotte for a joint campaign event for Hillary, the American taxpayer got the bill.

Donald Trump was quick to criticize the trip.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group discovered that a trip on Air Force One costs the American taxpayers about $200,000 per hour to fly each way.

The trip is going to be about two hours, plus the costs of all the Secret Service members and the transportation to and from the event.

So all in all, the trip should cost close to a million dollars for Obama to campaign for a woman who was just interviewed by the FBI for criminal wrongdoing. The worst part is, we are paying for it.

Under a law that was put into place in 2009, the Clinton campaign or the DNC is obligated to pay for part of the trip. How do they get the number to reimburse taxpayers? The White House creates a formula at their discretion, so who knows?

Do you think the President should campaign for a candidate and use taxpayer money? Let us know in the comments below.

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Benghazi Report

It took two years and a mind-boggling $7 million for House Republicans to finally complete an exhausting 800-page report on Benghazi that largely reiterates a lot of the information Judicial Watch has already released since the 2012 terrorist attacks on the Special Mission Compound in Libya. That amounts to a staggering $8,750 a page for material piled into an insufferable document that doesn’t even contain a smoking gun.

Nevertheless, members of the Benghazi Select Committee released the findings of their tiresome investigation this week with great fanfare, as if they had uncovered earth-shattering information during their lengthy probe. The reality is that most of the material had already been divulged to the public, much of it by Judicial Watch which has litigated in federal court to uncover the truth about Benghazi and published two special reports (read them here and here) on the attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The millions it cost to conduct this particular congressional probe could have been better spent. Not surprisingly, the mainstream media is having a field day pointing out that the two-year investigation produced no bombshells. One national newspaper editorial says that it’s hard to imagine a bigger waste of government resources.

Here’s the spark notes version of the report highlights for those who don’t have the stomach—or time—to go through hundreds of pages; the military was never deployed to help save the victims, the Special Mission Compound didn’t have adequate security and the Obama administration knowingly lied to the American people by claiming the attack was a spontaneous protest ignited by an obscure anti-Muslim internet video.

All of this is old news that was unearthed and disseminated long ago. Before the first anniversary of the Benghazi attacks Judicial Watch had obtained records and reported that a group of approximately 150 heavily armed Islamist militia members attacked the U.S. diplomatic mission. Subsequent to that Judicial Watch got ahold of droves of government files showing that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama administration officials knew in real time that the Benghazi attackers were “armed extremists.”

Back in 2014 Judicial Watch reported that the U.S. military had a multitude of forces in the region surrounding Libya when terrorists attacked the Special Mission in Benghazi, but the order from the administration was to stand back as the violent ambush unfolded. A retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, Randall R. Schmidt, provided Judicial Watch with a detailed Navy map pointing the specific locations of all the forces—including dozens of destroyers and amphibious assault ships—that could have responded to the attack. Schmidt got the information after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Navy while he investigated how the military responded to the Benghazi massacre.

Last year Judicial Watch uncovered Department of Defense (DOD) documents that show the U.S. military was poised and ready to respond immediately and forcefully against terrorists in Benghazi. In an email to State Department leadership, then DOD Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash immediately offers “forces that could move to Benghazi” during the attack and reveals that “we have identified the forces that could move to Benghazi. They are spinning up as we speak.” Years earlier then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta explained the administration’s lack of military response to the nearly six-hour-long attack like this: “Time, distance, the lack of an adequate warning, events that moved very quickly on the ground prevented a more immediate response.”

In 2013 Judicial Watch obtained documents showing that the State Department hired an inexperienced and virtually unknown foreign company to protect American interests in the dangerous North African country long known to be infested with terrorists. The State Department paid the obscure and untested British firm, Blue Mountain Group, $794,264 for nearly 50,000 guard hours to secure the U.S. compound. British government sources said that even they were unfamiliar with Blue Mountain and in fact the Brits used a different—certainly more competent—security company to protect their mission in Libya.

It’s not like the State Department wasn’t aware of the eminent dangers in Benghazi. In fact, the agency knew for years that weak security at American embassies and consulates worldwide could result in a tragedy like Benghazi yet senior officials failed to act. Benghazi was simply one of a long string of security failures that date back more than a decade, according to a probe conducted by an independent panel of security and intelligence experts.

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Housing

In a final push to end prejudice against minorities throughout the U.S., the Obama administration is spending another $37.3 million to combat housing discrimination and, as usual, the money is flowing straight into the coffers of leftist groups that share the president’s ideology. Throughout his two terms Obama has allocated colossal sums of taxpayer dollars to combat what he believes is an epidemic of discrimination against minorities in everything from the criminal justice system to education, housing and the workforce.

This has been a government wide effort in which a number of federal agencies have doled out hundreds of millions of dollars to fund a multitude of controversial initiatives. Among the biggest spenders has been the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Judicial Watch has reported on this waste over the years, including the results of a probe that revealed HUD violated a ban on federal funding for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) by giving the famously corrupt group tens of thousands of dollars in grants to “combat housing and lending discrimination.”

Congress passed a law in 2009 to stop the huge flow of taxpayer money that annually went to ACORN after a series of exposés about the leftwing group’s illegal activities yet the Obama administration has continued giving it cash, mainly to fight housing discrimination.

This is a cause dear to the president’s heart so HUD has funded it generously, increasing the amount each year even when the nation suffered through a financial crisis. In 2011, for instance, JW reported that HUD awarded 108 “fair housing organizations” north of $40 million to educate the public and combat discrimination. The allocation represented a $13.2 million increase over the previous year to end housing discrimination against minorities. In 2012 HUD gave leftwing groups $42 million to provide minorities with “housing counseling.”

Among the biggest recipients was the open borders nonprofit National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which has seen its federal funding skyrocket since one of its top officials got a job in the Obama White House. In one HUD allocation, NCLR got nearly $2 million to help combat predatory lending, train poor Latinos about financial literacy and help them become homeowners.

It appears that the administration plans to keep the cash giveaway alive until the very end. This latest $37.3 million allocation will go to groups that “fight housing discrimination under HUD’s 2016 Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP),” according to an agency announcement. FHIP gives money to organizations that assist people who believe they have been victims of housing discrimination and directs them to government agencies to handle their complaints. The groups investigate claims and deploy minority and white “testers” with equal financial qualifications to determine if housing providers treat them differently based on race. FHIP also conducts outreach, education and enforcement initiatives that promote fair housing laws and equal housing opportunity awareness. It’s all in the name of leveling the playing field.

To accomplish this task in other areas the administration utilizes different agencies. For example in the workforce the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the president’s discrimination police. Last year JW reported that the agency earned accolades and shattered performance records by getting more than $525 million in settlements for reported victims of discrimination in both private and public sector jobs. The breakdown includes $356.6 million for “victims” of employment discrimination in private, state and local government jobs and $105.7 million for federal employees and applicants who never got hired, presumably because they encountered discrimination.

Of important note is that the EEOC received 89,385 charges alleging employment discrimination during the fiscal year yet resolved 92,641. The extra 3,256 cases evidently were dug up by the agency’s “front-line staff,” which produced $60 million in monetary benefits over fiscal year 2014, demonstrating “high productivity of the EEOC workforce,” according to the agency’s fiscal year 2015 report.

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carry guns

After Obama’s 2013 executive order authorizing the study of “causes and consequences of gun violence” the National Institutes of Health has released $288,529 to Arizona State University to conduct a study.

However, the study is restricted only to research of young “urban” males, which they later explain is limited to “minority” males and their reasoning for carrying firearms.

The grant title, “Psychological and socio-contextual factors in gun carrying and firearms violence” came with the following description, which appears to draw its own conclusions:

Murder is the second leading cause of death among young males in the US, with most of these killings resulting from gun violence in urban minority communities. Policy and behavioral interventions to address this problem have been largely ineffective. Existing research on this issue has been almost exclusively cross- sectional, meaning that many of the factors linked to gun carrying and use (i.e., as part of an antisocial lifestyle, for self-protection, or as a product of social influence) may or may not be influential.A 2013 Presidential Memorandum provided an opportunity to conduct NIH-funded research on the causes and consequences of gun violence in urban males (PA-13-363); research previously banned by Congress. This is a response to that call for innovative research to address this issue. Longitudinal studies would provide more valid information than currently available about the purported factors related to gun carrying and use. These would, however, be lengthy and costly. The proposed project uses two of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies of males ever conducted to examine the mechanisms related to gun carrying and use in urban males from adolescence to young adulthood. Complementary analyses, using comparable measures, will be conducted with a high-risk community sample (i.e., Pittsburgh Youth Study; N=1,009) and a sample of serious juvenile offenders (i.e., Pathways to Desistance study; N=1,107). Together, these studies have information on gun carrying/use as well as theoretically relevant factors related to these behaviors (e.g., drug dealing, victimization) measured at least annually from ~ages 10 to 25. Both have a substantial proportion of youth who have carried guns and shot at others. This is a unique opportunity to do theoretically, programmatically, and policy relevant research on a pressing social problem. Applying state-of-the-art longitudinal approaches, this study will a) use intra-individual analyses to delineate the inter-related effects between individual psychological and socio-contextual variables across development, focusing on factors implicated in the current theoretical formulations regarding gun carrying and use (e.g., psychopathy, gang membership), b) examine the bidirectional effects (i.e., variables as both a cause and a consequence) of gun carrying/use and victimization and attitudes toward violence, c) identify the factors related to the transition from gun carrying to gun use, and d) examine whether certain factors (e.g., drug dealing) are more influential for gun carrying/use among minority vs. White males and whether any racial/ethnic differences are attributable to a disproportionate exposure to specific risk factors (e.g., neighborhood crime). This proposed project is a unique, cost effective opportunity to move research on gun violence forward substantially. It enriches theory about the processes of gun carrying/use, and informs interventions to make them more effective. It will identify what specific risk factors should be targeted, to whom certain types of interventions are most relevant, and the developmental point when specific interventions are most salient.

The study is clearly aimed at those young black makes who illegally carry, despite gun laws such in Chicago that are the most restrictive in the nation despite the highest crime rate.

How young black males obtain firearms as they pretend to be gangsters is not a focus of the study, rather a touchy, feely, “how do we intervene” and get them to stop wanting firearms.

The government could have saved nearly $300k of taxpayer’s hard earned dollars by realizing that in areas where violent crime is most prevalent (Chicago and D.C.) is also where citizens are not permitted to own firearms.

The correlation to race has nothing to do with a desire to own a firearm.

Personal protection, regardless of a criminal/legal occupation is a necessity . . . and only criminals own firearms where none are permitted. Those who illegally carry in a virtual “gun free zone” wield significantly more personal power and the equivalent social standing. I.e., it’s cool.

The government can make it “uncool” by honoring the Second Amendment.

There you go.

[Note to the National Institutes for Health: please remit a check for $288,529 through the address on our contact page.]

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king-obama

What taxpayers are paying so the Obama family can enjoy a luxury Christmas vacation in Hawaii is absolutely mindblowing.

For the First Family’s 17-day trip, sources say that it’s projected to cost taxpayers nearly $8 million—about $470,000 each day, based on current prices and data from their Christmas trip last year.

While the President and his family don’t get a free vacation themselves—they’re required to pay for their own expenses—the problem is that Obama’s share of the vacation budget isn’t all that much.

The Obamas are mostly just responsible for lodging and day-to-day expenses, like any traveler would pay.

What drives up the cost so substantially is the fact that the Obamas don’t travel alone. Rather, they travel via Air Force One, along with dozens of staffers and Secret Service agents. Their employees’ long Christmas trips to Hawaii have to be paid for by the taxpayers, because they’re federal employees just doing their job.

Even more troubling, the same sources that revealed the exorbitant cost of this year’s Hawaiian vacation note that this isn’t a fluke: Obama has always spent this much on vacation.

In fact, sources estimate that, in the seven years of his presidency, Obama has spent nearly $50 million in taxpayer dollars for his seven Hawaiian vacations.

It definitely pays to be in charge. Unfortunately, taxpayers are the ones stuck paying.

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welfare

If you’re having trouble making ends-meet with your job, you might want to go on welfare.

Apparently, thanks to the wasteful programs of the federal government, welfare pays even better than working!

A shocking study from the free market think tank, Cato Institute, revealed that, in the vast majority of states, welfare pays higher than the federal minimum wage.

But, even more surprising, a number of states pay even higher than the average national household income of $50,500—putting welfare recipients in the top 50% of wage “earners” in America.

That means, if you make roughly what the average middle-class American makes, people on welfare may be taking home more money than you—and they’re making wages that the middle class can only dream of.

Hawaii leads the pack—handing out a whopping $60,590 a year to people on welfare. That’s the equivalent of $29.13 per hour, if welfare was a job that required a 40-hour work week (it doesn’t.) More than 4 times the minimum wage.

$60,590 a year for doing absolutely nothing, other than sitting on a beach in Hawaii all day, doesn’t sound too shabby.

But Hawaii isn’t alone: if you’re a welfare recipient in the District of Columbia or Massachusetts, you’re also making more than the national average, at $50,820 and $50,540, respectively.

In fact, 35 states pay a welfare recipient more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25, enabling them to take home more money than many people who actually put in a full day of honest work.

So if you’re looking for a new “job,” without all of that pesky “working” involved, government handouts may be for you!

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hud-staffer

During the government shutdown a couple of years ago, an employee at a cabinet-level agency long embroiled in scandal fraudulently charged thousands of dollars in personal items on his work-issued credit card.

Enraging as it may seem, it’s not all that surprising considering it involves the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a famously corrupt agency well known for a multitude of transgressions over the years. In this particular case a HUD staffer racked up nearly $12,000 on his agency credit card by charging personal items such as groceries, lodging, television cable, transportation and even prescription medications.

This occurred in the midst of the 2013 government shutdown caused by Congress’s failure to pass a spending bill. That paralyzed most functions of government, accounting for the second longest shutdown since 1980. The standstill caused a huge economic disruption and billions in lost output, according to a report published by the White House. Although federal employees were eventually compensated for the period of the shutdown, hundreds of thousands did not receive their full paychecks during that time. “The burden of delayed paychecks on federal workers and their families was significant and harmful,” the White House report states.

The HUD employee who went on a spending spree with his government credit card got busted but the agency didn’t bother to take action, according to the federal audit that exposed the scandal this month. The fraudulent purchases—$11,938 in total—were made during a relatively short period from August through October of 2013 so it was difficult for the agency not to notice. By January 2014 the fraud was confirmed but HUD failed to even reprimand the employee or report the wrongdoing. “This occurred because HUD’s existing purchase card policies did not include specific procedures to evaluate violations for purchase card program weaknesses and criteria to report violations,” the inspector general writes.

So, this bloated and notoriously corrupt agency gives its employees credit cards and has no measures to assess violations, which occur regularly throughout government. In this case the HUD staffer charged an astounding $7,357 in groceries, which raises red flags all on its own. He also charged $1,280 in drug stores and pharmacies and $488 on cable television for his home. The rest was spent on commuter transportation, hotels, restaurants and telecommunications equipment, according to the breakdown offered in the audit.

HUD’s scandals have been well documented throughout various administrations—both Republican and Democrat—and Judicial Watch has covered many of them. In fact, earlier this year JW reported that a HUD director who simultaneously ran a leftwing nonprofit changed agency policies to benefit her group. Her name is Debra Gross and for years she headed a crucial HUD policy office while she served as deputy director of a leftist organization called Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) that claims to work to “preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis and public education.”

In 2011 a JW investigation found that the Obama administration violated the ban on federal funding for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) by giving the famously corrupt group tens of thousands of dollars in grants to “combat housing and lending discrimination.” The money, $79,819, flowed through HUD and clearly violated a law (Defund ACORN Act) passed by Congress in 2009 to stop the huge flow of taxpayer money that annually went to ACORN after a series of exposés about the leftwing group’s illegal activities.

Problems at the agency go way back. President George W. Bush’s HUD secretary, Alphonso Jackson, was ousted after the feds launched an investigation into his plots to enrich himself and his friends by giving them lucrative government contracts and Bill Clinton’s housing secretary, Henry Cisneros, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about payments to his former mistress. An influence-peddling scandal under Ronald Reagan led to the conviction of 16 people, including top aides to then HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce.

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rainbow-crosswalk

Crosswalks and Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood are loud and proud–thanks to a new paint job, intended for Seattle Gay Pride Week.

Capitol Hill, a neighborhood that’s been the historic heart of gay culture in Seattle, had the new sidewalks installed recently–but here’s the catch: they cost thousands of dollars a piece, in city funds.

Overall, there are 11 new rainbow colored sidewalks–costing just over $100,000, which is far more expensive than regular crosswalks.

But worse, these crosswalks (because of their multi-colored paint job) are only expected to last about 3 years before they’ll need repainting, adding to the expense. The city, at this point, plans to maintain them–the rainbow colors are supposed to be permanent.

Seattle has a long history of being a gay-friendly city, but the crosswalks are one of the most visible symbols they’ve attempted–coming on the back of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hughes case, which legalized gay marriage nationwide. It follows after the White House, which President Obama ordered lit up in rainbow lights on the night of the decision.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was around for the unveiling of one of the crosswalks. He was beaming with pride, announcing that the garish new crosswalk “says something about Seattle,” and the history of the neighborhood that it’s in.

The crosswalks were installed after local groups campaign for the last few years. They’re being paid by taxes levied on new private developers in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Overall, the state of Washington has stepped up the visibility of Gay Pride Month. Apparently, a number of events are being held all month across the state–and the new crosswalks were Seattle’s attempt to do something, well, flamboyant.

Seattle Pride Week begins Tuesday.

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