For all this incompetence, one might ask whether we pay politicians too much, or even not enough. Don't worry: They take what they want. As the Fox News documentary “Porked: Earmarks for Profit” shows, at least three U.S. congressmen (two Republicans and one Democrat) managed to get earmarks for either their own or their family's profit.
Here is one example for you from Fox News:
In February 2004, [former Speaker of the House Dennis] Hastert, with partners and through a trust that did not bear his name, bought up 69 acres of land that adjoined his farm some 60 miles outside Chicago. The price was $340,000. In May 2005, Hastert transferred an additional 69 acres from his farm into the trust.
Two months later, Congress passed a spending bill into which Hastert inserted a $207 million earmark to fund the “Prairie Parkway” which, when completed, would run just a few miles from the 138 acres owned by Hastert’s trust.
After President Bush flew to Hastert’s district in August 2005 to sign the bill, Hastert and his partners flipped the land for what appeared to be a multi-million dollar profit.
THE GLOBAL WARMING HOT POTATO
The issue of man-made Global Warming has been tabled temporarily, thanks to over 31,000 American scientists who have signed a petition which states:
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catostrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.So now that we have decided there is NOT a problem which requires immediate attention, what does the U.S. Senate do? They are debating the America's Climate Security Act of 2007, more affectionately called "The Lieberman-Warner Cap and Trade Bill" by the National Center for Public Policy Research.
What will the bill get us?
...Lieberman-Warner would have virtually no effect on the climate, according to Dr. Patrick Michaels, a former president of the American Association of State Climatologists and now senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute: "Say the U.S. actually does what the law says, though no one knows how to. The result is an additional 0.013 degrees (C) of 'prevented' warming," says Michaels.And the potential cost? (from Forbes.com)
According to a study released by the National Association of Manufacturers earlier this year, Lieberman-Warner would cause 1.8 million job losses, as much as a $210 billion gross domestic product reduction and possibly a 33% increase in electricity prices by 2020.
But with all this comes good and bad news. The good news is the Senate will probably not pass it. Even if they do, President Bush has already said he will veto it.
The bad news? Both Barack Obama and John McCain have said they want to institute a similar system.
NOT MARRIED IN NEW YORK
What can you say about a court clerk working in an understaffed office who refuses to perform a wedding ceremony because she is "too tired"?
I know what I say. This is your government at work.