Seattle, Washington, is one of 25 communities that received $20 million from the Stimulus program as part of “Retrofit Ramp Up” — an initiative of the Department of Energy in which stimulus dollars are utilized to make homes more energy efficient. The program was touted as one that would create 2000 “green” jobs in the city of Seattle and retrofit at least 2000 homes. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But there’s just one problem. The program is a massive failure.
“Retrofit Ramp-Up,” according to Vice President Joe Biden who announced the program, sought to accomplish the following:
It’s about making our homes and our office buildings more efficient and more comfortable and more affordable, replacing windows and doors. I have visited, along with some of the people in the front row, new window and door factories making incredibly -- incredibly energy-efficient windows and doors, which can save billions of dollars over time. Putting in new air conditioning or heating units that are much more efficient. Sealing up cracks and openings where air can leak into and out of your home.
A new U.S. military report — which will give additional credence to those advocating an end to foreign aid and interventionism — reveals that America has been funding her enemies to the tune of $360 million. After a careful examination of combat support and reconstruction contracts, researchers determined that the U.S. tax dollars had ended up with the Taliban and other enemies whom the United States has been fighting for the past decade.
The Blaze observes:
The losses underscore the challenges the U.S. and its international partners face in overcoming corruption in Afghanistan. A central part of the Obama administration’s strategy has been to award U.S.-financed contracts to Afghan businesses to help improve quality of life and stoke the country’s economy.
The investigation into the contracts, led by U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, reveals many connections between the Afghan companies and their subcontractors to groups which the military would classify as “malign actors.”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has declared that the United States should cut off aid to Israel on the grounds of “human rights violations.” As head of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on foreign operations, Leahy is promoting a bill that would suspend U.S. assistance to three units in the Israeli Defense Forces, asserting that they are involved in human rights abuses in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. According to The Blaze, “Leahy’s legislation would seek to withhold assistance from the Israeli Navy’s Shayetet 13 unit, the undercover Duvdevan unit and the Israeli Air Force’s Shaldag unit.”
Leahy was the key sponsor of a 1997 bill that prohibits the United States from giving aid or military assistance to any foreign military suspected of human rights abuses or war crimes and now wants the new clause pertaining to the IDF to become part of the U.S. foreign assistance legislation for 2012.
President Barack Obama has been traveling in style — Canadian style — while riding through the Midwest to talk about creating jobs in America. The New York Post reported Wednesday that the $1.1 million bus — one of two purchased for the Secret Service — carrying the President through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois, was made by the Quebec company, Prevost. It is the top of the line, VIP H3-45 model used by many rock bands and country music acts, Christine Garant of Prevost told the Post.
"That's the more luxurious model," Garant said. "When we have the Country Music Awards, we sometimes see a lot of them," she said, naming Kid Rock, David Lee Roth and Kenny Rogers among the owners of the luxury vehicles.
Like the presidential limousine, made by General Motors and nicknamed "The Beast," the bus carrying the President has armored doors. Inside is a large, flat-screen TV, chairs, sofas and electronic equipment that allows the President to teleconference with people in any part of the world. It has a bathroom, but unlike the buses used by many of the big-name entertainers, it has no bedroom or sleeping area. Its Secret Service code name is "Stagecoach" when the President is on board, sources told ABC News.
While the private-sector is drowning under a perpetual recessionary storm, U.S. regulatory agencies are flourishing. "If the federal government’s regulatory operation were a business, it would be one of the 50 biggest in the country in terms of revenues, and the third largest in terms of employees, with more people working for it than McDonald’s, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined," writes John Merline of Investors.com.
Indeed, the federal regulatory business is thriving, and if there is one "victory" President Obama can declare, this is it, because government regulation has grown rapidly under his watch. From Investors.com:
The recent attempt to terminate both the ethanol subsidies of $.45 a gallon and the $.54-per-gallon import tariff on Brazilian sugar-based ethanol by the Senate failed because it was an amendment attached to a bill that was doomed to failure anyway. Both will cease on December 31 automatically, ending 33 years of subsidizing the ethanol industry; however, food prices are likely to stay high anyway. The main reason is neither the subsidy nor the tariff, but the mandate by the government requiring gasoline refiners to continue to increase their usage of ethanol when blending their gasoline products. Under the 2007 Renewable Fuels Standard, the United States is required to use 12.6 billion gallons of ethanol this year, increasing to 15 billion in 2015, and 36 billion gallons by the year 2022.
Although much of the media have their antennae out to pick up anything that might be construed as racism against blacks, they resolutely ignore even the most blatant racism by blacks against others.
That includes a pattern of violent attacks on whites in public places in Chicago, Denver, New York, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Kansas City, as well as blacks in schools beating up Asian classmates — for years — in New York and Philadelphia.
These attacks have been accompanied by explicitly racist statements by the attackers, so it is not a question of having to figure out what the motivation is. There has also been rioting and looting by these young hoodlums.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (still known as ATF) has come under fire for promoting three supervisors of a sting operation that led to the illegal sales of firearms to drug cartels in Mexico. At least 2,000 guns were reported lost in Operation Fast and Furious, many of them later found at crime scenes in Mexico.
Two were recovered at the site where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in Arizona last year.
The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the three supervisors of the operation — William McMahon, William Newell, and David Roth — have been promoted to management positions at ATF headquarters in Washington. McMahon was the agency's Deputy Director of Operations in the West when the sting operation was carried out. Newell and Roth were field supervisors out of the ATF's Phoenix office. The news brought a quick response from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who last week sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder demanding to know about other alleged ATF operations similar to Fast and Furious.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack claims food stamps and other forms of government welfare are camouflaged stimulus programs that stir job growth by pumping money into the economy. After questioned about the cancerous issue of unemployment and the growing number of impoverished Americans forced to live on food stamps, Vilsack responded that the reason so many Americans are on food stamps — 46 million, or one in seven people — is because the Obama administration has helped states get "the word out" about the program.
During an interview on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," Vilsack asserted that though the food stamps program dates back to 1939, large states such as Texas and California have "underperformed" in bridging eligible participants to the program. "The reason why these numbers have gone up is that we’ve done a pretty good job of working with states that had done a poor job in the past in getting the word out about this program," he alleged. "We’re now working with them to make sure that people who are eligible get the benefits."
Now that Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination, there has been heightened scrutiny of his record and his rhetoric by the very organizations he likely counted on for support in the primary elections.
For example, Rick Perry’s hard-talking (“it takes balls to execute an innocent man”), don’t-mess-with-Texas, socially conservative image has been polished eagerly by many of the coterie of Tea Party organizations anxious to impact the contest to take the White House in 2012.
While his appeal to many Tea Partiers is unquestioned (particularly by Perry himself), more than a few discordant notes have sounded in the Tea Party chorus of praise. Some in the anti-tax band of the Tea Party spectrum have begun questioning Perry’s anti-tax bona fides in light of his record as Governor of the Lone Star State.