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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hippie Museum, Unions, Vermont & the Charlie Rangel Money Shuffle

By Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Today, two articles crossed my desk that addressed Congress, budgets and earmarks. Although addressing different topics, they both had some common themes: 1) giving or removing funds to influence or help friends or to gain a favor; 2) the figure $2 million; and 3) the Democrat leadership.

On one hand, I learned that $2 million was removed from the Labor-HHS Bill that funds Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) – the office that investigates ( or would investigate) union corruption and fraud. However, funding was increased for offices that go after employers for violating labor laws. What -- Is there no more union corruption? Not really, but the Democrats need to pay back the unions for their support in the last election. And to make the unions feel more appreciative, another $1.5 million has been earmarked for the AFL-CIO’s Working for America Institute.

In another article, I note that the House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) is hoping to steer $2 million to a building project at the City College of New York that will house -- not one, not two, but three construction projects that will bear his name. Yes, talk about gaudy, there is the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service, the Rangel Conference Center, and the Charles Rangel Library which will hold all of his not so important papers and will include a “well-furnished office” for Charlie Bro.

And, we all thought there might be a few slick shysters in Congress; now we’re sure. I am not against unions nor am I against using federal money appropriately to help universities or colleges. But removing money needed to investigate union fraud and abuse while funding an AFL-CIO institute is not in the best public interest. If Democrats want to pay back unions for their support, they should use their own money not public money. Oh yes, that might be illegal! So, they use earmarks and public money to pay for favors. And, Charlie Rangel using his influence to get his name on not one but three buildings by using our tax money instead of his own is brazen and sick! What message does that send to the students attending the City College of New York? Become a "pork-mister" and you too can have your name inscribed on buildings.

Since we now have a unionized Rangel headache, consider the earmark by New York's Democrat Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton for $1 million for a “Hippie Museum” on the site of the 1969 Woodstock “music” festival -- to share with future generations about a group of "grass-smoking" “peace loving” ancestors who “tripped out,” ran naked and acted stupid. Maybe we should save money on other future "stupid type" memorials and museums by funding one large national monument to stupidity. Considering the wasteful Congressional earmarks, we may already have such a monument and all we have to do is daily face East and envision the U.S. Capitol and laugh (or cry) every day.

And for “small sized” pork earmarks, there is the $100,000 for an aquarium in Vermont. I guess Congress hopes Vermont will not go through with their threat to secede from the U.S if they give them a government funded fish tank. Why not ask Bass-Pro to visit Vermont instead? In support of Vermont's secessionists, Rob Williams, editor of Vermont Commons, says, "the U.S. has become an empire that is essentially ungovernable -- it's too big, it's too corrupt and it no longer serves the needs of its citizens." Considering the all the earmarks above, point well taken Vermont! But, please show us you are serious and reject the "government funded fish tank."

Tags: Charles Schumer, Charlie Rangel, civil unions, Congressional Pork, Democrats, earmarks, Hillary Clinton, pork-barrel spenders, Vermont, Woodstock
Posted by Bill Smith at 8:35 PM - Post Link


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