Sunday, July 23, 2017

Government Waste

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Capitol Fireworks
Personally, I'd rather spend that kind of money on a fireworks show, not a fireworks safety video...

Just like every year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, held its annual fireworks safety demonstration, to show the dangers of explosives and sparklers, and also blows up dummies.

This year, the government had some quite important tips and advice. The federal agency advised not to put bottle rockets on top of your head or look directly over a lit mortar shell. They also highlighted that little girls should keep sparklers away from their dresses and their friends’ too.

However, it is important to note that the agency spent $27,009 of taxpayer money on essentially the same video as every year. According to a contract, the federal agency paid $27,009 to CACI Inc. Federal, on June 26. This is the same company, the agency used to create its fire safety video and air it to local TV stations in 2015.

The CPSC advises Americans to “never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.” It even warns against sparklers, which, according to the agency are as dangerous for kids as firecrackers.

“Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers,” the agency said. “Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees—hot enough to melt some metals.”

Other tips include: “Never point or throw fireworks at another person” and “Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.”

CPSC’s latest video was used by a number of TV stations and news outlets to urge the American public to use firecrackers and sparklers responsibly.

However the issue being highlighted here is the use of taxpayer dollars by federal agencies, while they are obligated to protect the interests of the American people.

Recently, it was revealed that the Pentagon had spent $28 million on uniforms for the Afghan army over ten years. Apparently, the Afghan minister of defense liked a certain camouflage pattern, which was however, not suited for the landscape of the war-torn country.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley explained the case, saying, “You’d think the Pentagon would have had a good handle on how to pick the right camouflage for uniforms. Instead, the Defense Department gave up control of the purchase and spent an extra $28 million on the wrong pattern just because someone in Afghanistan liked it. It’s embarrassing and an affront to U.S. taxpayers. Those who wasted money on the wrong camouflage uniforms seem to have lost sight of their common sense.”

While the $27,009 may seem like a small amount compared to the $28 million wasted by the Pentagon on camouflage uniforms for the Afghan army, it goes on to show how federal agencies are using hard earned dollars of the American public.

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He's gonna need to get closer.

Patricia Brennan, a leading researcher and visiting lecturer at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, who was previously working on a ridiculed taxpayer-funded study on duck penises, is now using her experience to study orca whales. She is also going to the “March for Science” to oppose the proposed budget cuts.

Brennan was previously working on a duck penis study that received $384,949, in a grant funded through the 2009 stimulus package, from the National Science Foundation. The research studied the differences in the various corkscrew-shaped duck penises.

In a recent interview with New England Public Radio, it was revealed that the researcher is still amused by genitalia of marine animals. An orca that was just sent from Sea World to her lab is her latest fascination.

“Holy cow,” Brennan said when she first saw the penis. “Oh wow. Oh my goodness. It’s enormous!”

“Although Brennan has spent 20 years studying the sex organs of marine animals, she’s never seen anything this big,” New England Public Radio reported. “It takes up an entire lab sink.”

“So this is the tip right there,” Brennan said. “It’s not super long, it’s just wide.”

Protesting proposed budget cuts to her frivolous research, Brennan is on a mission to oppose the Trump administration and Congress’ plans.

Even though she is attending the “March for Science” this weekend, what “she’d really like to do, is get back to the lab and take another look at that killer whale penis.”

According to New England Public Radio, “the stakes for science have never been higher,” as President Donald Trump calls for budget cuts in the face of a $20 trillion debt.

Trump’s budget proposal, if approved, would give $25.9 billion to the National Institutes of Health. While the National Science Foundation currently receives almost $7 billion annually, it wasn’t mentioned in the latest budget proposal.

Since taxpayers discovered the cost of Brennan’s duck penis research, she has become quite a “sought-after science activist.” She has since been advocating scientists to help defend her research.

“They were attacking everything,” Brennan said, referring to media outlets that reported the cost her research incurred. “They were attacking the science itself, like, ‘what a waste of money.’ They were attacking me, as a person, like, I must be some kind of deviant to be looking at penises.

“Like, who does that?” she asked.

Explaining Brennan’s work, New England Public Radio said that she is just a “basic scientist,” suggesting that her job is to only determine how things work. According to them, she is not “necessarily applying that knowledge to a particular problem.”

There is no objective behind her new research on penises of orca whales. “Just the fact that we just don’t know what we’re going to find is so exciting,” she said.

“In order for us to actually be able to solve problems, or make money, or innovate, we actually need to know … about how the world works,” Brennan said.

 

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While nostalgic Americans will cringe at the thought of cutting out a government operation that has been broadcasting “freedom” for 75 years, the time may have passed for Voice of America (VOA) as a government-funded institution.

VOA is America’s propaganda network for the rest of the world. It is one arm of the “Broadcasting Board of Governors” (BBG), which is funded by a $751 million allocation that is approved each year by Congress.

VOA’s budget is $218.5 million of the $751 million each year.

The BBG’s stated goals using Voice of America contains talking points like:

Countering Russian Aggression in Europe and Around the Globe
Invest in Africa’s Future
Deepen Cooperation in the Americas
And “International Order”

How do they do this?

Through Voice of America, that claims over 2,500 affiliate stations and a weekly viewing audience of 236 million, they mix popular culture of each nation’s interests with “American” news.

However, dependent upon the partisan interests of any given administration, the definition of “American” varies greatly.

They have been accused of airing interviews that serve as recruitment tools for terrorists and regularly report on issues such as “Black Lives Matter” and liberal protests.

A headline on VOANews.com just this week directed viewers to a segment of an interview on the “90 Day Travel Ban” that interviews a Somali presidential candidate and others with a sympathetic view.

VOA then aired the complaints of the Muslim group, CAIR.

What began as a voice of freedom to the world through a form of propaganda, has turned into a taxpayer-funded voice of dissent against American policy objectives.

Time to defund?

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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.

START >

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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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